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May 2019 · 642
picturesque (2/4)
Stark May 2019

"the exposure looks kinda funny"
"maybe just adjust the aperture a bit"
"add in the lighting"
"is the white balance set?"

the chair squeaks as it moves to the left
the weight shifts the couch in their direction
heat radiates from the family
whose fake smiles are nearly as blinding as the flash from the camera
despite the tripod, the camera sits off kilter
like the uneasy tension in the room
it feels hot--no, sweltering
unsettled emotions sit like
discarded mail
away and out of sight


"Okay, we're good"

and the family heads off in their separate ways
with no goodbyes for the others
inspired by dean's dayfly
May 2019 · 310
auto (1/4)
Stark May 2019
the red light bores into my eyes
--hypnotizing me--

before bright rays slide through the dust
warming my skin

I see the blue melting with the yellow
to form a vibrant green
signals for me

my foot releases
from the brake

my momentum move me
away from

and then I see the headlights
slowly fading to black

everything is silent

death feels like a mother's embrace
Doesn't it?

what was forgotten comes
flashing back
only now

in sepia
inspired by dean's dayfly
Apr 2019 · 197
Stark Apr 2019
cold sweat
feet tingling
blood rushing
heart pulsing


fitful, but not fulfilling
shadows prowl through my mind
failed attempts to cast doubt
into the farthest reaches


hairs stand on end
soldiers awaiting a threat not realized
goosebumps appear on the skin--
landmines that have risen from hell
I brace myself for the war

that never comes

as my eyes snap open
awakening from a slumber
that was

just a nightmare
inspired by "when the nightmares started" from While You Were Sleeping
Apr 2019 · 194
empty promises
Stark Apr 2019
a kiss, long forgotten
turns back the time
déjà vu got your head spinning
to sweet love

a cheesecake
sliced and shared with care
graham ******* crumbles on the chin
wiped away as a melody rings clear
keys pressed softly, your hands covering mine
harmonizing----until a ******
crescendoing like a storm
Cover your eyes, my darling
it won’t hurt

but it did
seeing that same heat
from you and another
her lipstick
staining your face--
as the cold flush on my cheeks

when i emptied the bucket of your love
once full to the brim
of your
empty promises
something that's been running through my head lately
Mar 2019 · 271
Stark Mar 2019
i like it when my vision fills with color
kaleidoscoping into hybrid hues

or when skinny fine lines
grow into weathered wrinkles

i like it when borders border on nonexistent
and everything blends together

i like it when lines grow bold
the strokes of a paintbrush gaining confidence
with every motion

i like it when lines are crossed
over and over
into a tangle of yarn
everything connecting
a ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff

i like it when lines are blurred
and reality breaks down
letting my imagination roam wildly

i like it when things don't make sense
because i always know
that i can find that line
that leads me back home
just a poem about lines, guys.
Feb 2019 · 228
little match girl
Stark Feb 2019
huddled beneath the *****, dark alleys of the past
there's a girl
rubbing her hands together
for a semblance of warmth

the cold bites deep
through bare clothing
chilling her to the bone

as the frost flurries through
and bright Christmas trees
set her eyes alight

she shakily pulls a small
from her pocket

with a breath,
she mutters a prayer
and strikes the match
to watch it burn
one last time

the flame wavers
but continues to burn
'till there is no fuel left

just as the light dies
she, too, dies

and the ghosts come
to take her hand
to a safer place
where it's Christmas yearlong
and warm embraces await

for the little match girl has left
for somewhere, something beyond our reach
little match girl
Jan 2019 · 979
run. just run
Stark Jan 2019
that's what he said to me
before he fled the scene

whether it be from cowardice,
lurking in the darkest corners of the room

or the joyful victory lap
to triumphantly conclude a race

"Run. Just run"

whispered in the hallows of the haunted castle
screamed into the wind that slipped past you like a stranger, unbeknownst

warning of the foreboding nightmare you are about to be
awoken from

commanding your limbs to expel one last kick,
'till you fly away, far away

always remember, my friend

just run
run. just run.

any whovians out there? i gotchu.
Jan 2019 · 368
hallucinations (the woman)
Stark Jan 2019
a wisp of smoke curls up--heavenward
until it disintegrates into nothingness

a burnt tip-- alighted by an orange flame
that flickers quick from a cheap Bic lighter

the cigarette dangles tantalizingly
between *******-- index and middle

it's a balancing act--
to stay away from the ashes
and to not drop your sustenance

dark red lips slightly parted
nearly purple, but not quite
as if a speeding car halted at an invisible border
the arbitrary line between purple and red

she exhales

the smoke coming out in elongated ohs

once the smoke clears
she is gone

after all,
she was
a hazed out,
i tried to capture the typical woman from a hard-boiled detective fiction/noir film, in someone's dream. think broadway's city of angels, for an example.
Dec 2018 · 155
Stark Dec 2018
Flickering lights
Scrolling past image after image
Of loss, suffering
While i lay back on my bed
My life is mirage of the chaos outside

Papers strewn about my desk
An internal struggle for innovation
Ignorant of what lays beyond the cold, glass windows
A hand cast over my eyes
Shielding them from what is too painful to see

As the numbness washes over me
i stare at the ceiling
Stressing over what to do with my life
No purpose, no hope

A feeling of uselessness

Maybe i should just die
A self-centered voice cries out
No one would care
No one would notice

but what would happen?
i question

is it really better--
to live without a hint of the future to come
or to die knowing the outcome?

the idea flew away
gone away like the rain

Yet the blinds remain closed
To the outside world
Only the strobe effect of artificial lights fill the room

Shut into a enclosed space
Where only i stay
Poring over words
Their beauty
Their pain

Once, we were unable to look at a violent image
Without regurgitating
Now i can see something like that and compartmentalize it
Trap it in a box, never to be seen again
No more tears fall from my once-swollen lids
As i’ve moved on from the emotional
Towards an unforeseeable future
a few years ago, many things took a wrong turn in my life. it was like murray's law that "all that can go wrong, will go wrong." i've been dealt better cards since then, but it still has an impact on me--it left me feeling dehumanized. i feel like the dehumanization of our population is very real today, so i wrote this poem based on my feelings from that single year and applied it to center around dehumanization.
Dec 2018 · 976
Stark Dec 2018
riding out the highs of life
with manic ferocity


the minutiae of life
drag you down into the depths of despair

a pure loyalty like no other
hidden by a dramatized emotional facade

always there to bring you up,
simultaneously bringing themselves down
it's a slippery *****--
emotional support

Oh, to be Mercutio--
is to be the eye of a hurricane,
winding about a center
--that may not be
as stable as it seems
shakespearean bffs, pt 2
Dec 2018 · 476
Stark Dec 2018
a wise eyed cynic
head full of rational thought
ignored by his only friend

as i descend into madness,
will you be my Horatio?
standing through it all
with the utmost clarity?

Oh, to be Horatio
as your closest friends are dragged into the clutches of insanity
shakespearean bffs, pt 1
Dec 2018 · 335
tears to fill the sea
Stark Dec 2018
Pained expression on your face
Grimacing as you return your gaze to meet mine
It physically hurts for you to talk to me
A stark reminder
Of what you’ve lost

Everything is open
Like a gaping wound
All the cards have been revealed
And you let the grief engulf you

Falling backwards into the crushing sea
Waves cascading
Salty--for the tears that you have shed
falling into the sea of grief
Nov 2018 · 325
Stark Nov 2018
Laughter fills the air
As the hazy sun streams
Through the dusty forest

It is the peak of summer
As youth dive into the cooling
Waves of a nearby stream

But in a moment
The joy disappears
Transforming into


A body is dragged
-One of their own-
Drowned in the waters
Of the clear stream

Ambulances speed
But there is never
Enough time
To return

Sorrow follows them
Stalking them
Like a shadow
Never letting go

Months pass
People forget
Of the drowned one
But for one

The one that drowns
In grief
For what was lost
On a hazy summer day
Nov 2018 · 173
falling star
Stark Nov 2018
Wish upon a star that falls
Dying, as rays of light leave it
But is it really death
To go out in an explosion?

To the witnesses below:
A beacon of hope is lost
A source of light
A guide for those long gone

To the sky above:
A sibling has left them
One less star left behind
As they wait for their time to come

To the dreamer:
Death is beauty
Even as the darkness washes over
The remaining light

To the planets:
Once bathed in its light
They cherished its warmth
But alas-it is gone

To the star:
As the last of its embers
Flickers out
It wonders
What will become of it
In the afterlife?
Nov 2018 · 488
Stark Nov 2018
Rocking your head back and forth
Disbelieving faces stare
As you cry for mercy
Quietly going insane

Dropped through the hole
Feeling nothing at all
As you saw what the world could be
Reality and fantasy kaleidoscoping

When you awoke--
The brightness was gone
Vanished from your mind
And your ideas seemed inconceivable
--to the others

Oh, the others
The disbelievers
The skeptics
The ones that refused to open their mind

Possibility spreads like a tree from a single root
But they are unable to see it
Instead, they dismiss you
Send you to the sanitarium
Where your screams of madness can be heard
Even today
Nov 2018 · 136
silver bullet
Stark Nov 2018
A gaping hole
Straight through the brain
Perfectly cylindrical
Holds no mercy as it rings
Through my body

The gun is still smoking
From the heat of his hatred
Shot right through my brain
Can’t even consume it
The idea that he had done it

Silver bullet through my brain
Nov 2018 · 358
Stark Nov 2018
I feel it coming
The rush of recklessness
The active adrenaline
As it surges through my body

I may fall
But I will rise
And continue on

Only one life to live
May it be my last
As I run past
Towards the setting sun

Youth is like a day
Early brightness
That dies out like a star
Nov 2018 · 162
little glass heart
Stark Nov 2018
Wind it up
So it beats
At a rhythmic pace

Skim your finger over it
Cherishing it
And its fragility

Shatter it
To let the emotions flow outward
As you have broken my heart
Nov 2018 · 3.2k
Stark Nov 2018
All but still
Wheat wavering in the distance, shivering in anticipation
Animals hide away, tucked in the safety of hideaways, holes, and orifices
Humans crouch underground, waiting
Hours pass
A lone alarm shouts across the land
"This is an emergency. I repeat, an emergency warning"
So loud that those below, closer to hell than ever before, clutch their ears
For they are ringing from the vibrant sound waves stretching across the fields
A slight change in wind directions
A little bit of motion
Begins the devastation

A lone inverted triangle appears
Seemingly hovering, inches above the ground
Circling its prey, before it gorges itself
Endless cyclic motions, vacuuming everything in its path
Houses, barns, plants fly
Tugged from the attraction to the ground to the sky
Engulfed by the tornado
That winds down a path of destruction

On a whirlwind high
Drunk off of its power
Invoking pain for no reason, except that it can
Land ripped to shreds
Houses taken and tossed miles and miles away
Barns slingshotted across the American countryside
And the deaths
Oh the deaths

Those who thought they could wait it out
Survive again once more
Those who tried to chase the twister
Mesmerized by its hypnotic dance
Those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time
Oblivious to their preventable fate

When the humans emerged
From their underground bunker
They found a land left ruined
Wiped blank of human development
With that they shed tears
Watering the fertile lands
As the tornado wrecked havoc
It brought a rebirth
A chance to start again fresh
tornadoes and their destructive power.
Nov 2018 · 242
the void
Stark Nov 2018
“The void will come to take us away,”
she said, tears streaking down her cheeks
“One by one, they pick us off.”
She let go

And I screamed
And screamed
And screamed

Still tightly grasping the wall
Still breathing
Still living

But barely

I yelled, muscles tensed in frustration
The room seemed to be closing in on me

“Calm down. Take deep breaths,” my therapist said
I strained against my head
My conscience breaking into a thousand dissonant voices

“I could have saved her. She didn’t have to go.”

“You couldn’t save yourself. The void was unavoidable,” she said,
Stroking my hair in long, tangled motions

“But I could have. I could have done more. I should have done more.”
Tears streaked across my face, like window wipers spinning out of control.

“The void comes to take us all.”
And with that thought,
I, too, let go
when thinking about stressors, i describe the result as a void. one feels devoid of feeling when facing the worst odds possible, so i tried to sum it up in a poem and how i've lost others to the void.
Nov 2018 · 200
Shades of Freedom
Stark Nov 2018
Red for the blood dripping from a vein
White for the sheets that cover the dead
Blue for the visible beyond that is the sky

For every drop of red silk that
Glitters in the sun
One is a step closer to freedom
From the blood that ties us
To its fiery core

For every pure cotton cloth that
Shadows over the deceased
One has risen halfway,
Breaking their ties
With the underground deep below

For every new light
Borne from the dreamy blue sky
One has earned their freedom
From their mundane, mortal body

No longer held down by hunger
No longer held by thirst
No longer needing shelter
No longer needing clothing

Freedom from Earth
Comes in shades of
Red, white, and blue
wrote this after some ideas I was pondering over regarding freedom.
Stark Oct 2018
Thousands poured into the Great Hall
In this haunted, empty room
For something to happen

Nobody sat upon the throne
But order still remained
Maybe it was in the fear
That left them silenced

The throne was industrious
All blunt, sharp lines
Of cold, heartless steel
Fogging up as the peoples’ breaths brushed it

No heat in this desolate hall
Only people’s nervous, frantic heartbeats
Echoed through the room
Marking their place as prey

Footsteps followed
Each step
A quick, sudden staccato
Steady with every beat

The people spun around
Looking for the one that approached them
But there was
No one

Anxiety wrecked through the large hall
Rebounding off of the delicate stone arches
Sailing across the cracked, concrete floor
Filling everyone’s bodies with dread

The footsteps stopped
And their leader materialized onto his cold throne
His gaze held no emotion as he crossed his legs, staring at his people--
Who returned his glare with downturned lids

He bore a crown of silver
Glittering with the madness
Atop a thick forest of black hair
That you could get lost in

His eyes were a dark stormy blue
Appraising his guests
His people
That lay scattered across the hall

A slender frame
Overshadowed by a black velvet cape
And a white collared shirt
Pure of the injuries that he had wronged others

Form fitting grey pants slung tightly over his hips
Along with a matte hand pistol
Further accentuated by his knee high leather boots
That shined with the sweat of a thousand shoe polishers

He was their dictator
They were his people
With a snap
They rose to meet his commands

Without him, they were nothing

He called for disease
Infection spread rampant
the sick fell at his feet

He called for war
The clanging of swords broke out
And wet, hot blood began to coat the slick ground

He called for famine
Hunger gnawed away at the empty, acidic stomachs of the starved
Many fell, glazed eyes betraying their desire for food

He called for death
And suddenly the survivors fell
Only a hundred of the thousand had been left
To die at his feet

The hall was empty of all souls
But one

He commanded all that his people could give
And left with nothing to bear
But a single throne
Of cold steel
And an bare skyscraper
With a single, Great Hall
Oct 2018 · 180
old jacket, new life
Stark Oct 2018
i have this jacket of yours

weathered and worn

from those memories we shared

from your life before mine

a reminder of

the winds of fall

leaves fluttering down

in a cascade of withering color

a reminder of

the snow days

where the light flakes melted on your tongue

on this jacket

a reminder of the spring

with hail punctuated with sun

nature tormenting us

with her turbulent emotions

a reminder of

the blazing heat that tore

through the atmosphere

burning everyone, including the jacket off your back

and lastly,

the jacket holds you

what remains of you

in its stretched seams,

broken zippers,

and empty pockets

in this jacket holds-

my love for you
Oct 2018 · 167
Fall(ing) Days
Stark Oct 2018
The trees swayed with the wind
Casting a dynamic shadow upon the piles of leaves around it
Autumn washed over us
Bringing the chills of windy hours
Clouding over the sun in the early hours of dawn
Raining down on us with the mourning of summer
Fall marks the death of life
And begins the long slumber of winter
Oct 2018 · 352
Class Divide
Stark Oct 2018
Wealth drips from the fingertips of the rich
They languish in the materialism of the good life
Living out heaven on earth

The rumble of an empty stomach echoes through an alley
***** and homeless, people crawl to their tents
living to starve another day

Flashing lights brighten their already made faces
As they step carefully out of the limousine
Greeting the crowd with a wave, they enter through double doors
Ready to make a dramatic entrance

They sneak a sandwich through their ratty sleeve
As they wander through the convenience store
Desiring the things they cannot purchase
Alarms ring in their arrest

Bubbling champagne fills them with giddiness
Socializing with the friends that stick around for the money
The wealth that you have
And that they want

Waiting for your release
From this empty, pitiful cell
They stare at the wall,
Marked with the days until release into a life worse than before

As they head home, you realize
Is this a life worth living?
With fake friendships
And worthless objects surrounding you

As they uncuff you, you realize
Is this a life worth living?
With poverty at every open door
And no future to look forward to?

They both rush to the brooklyn bridge
Poised for the rush of bone-chilling water to fill their lungs
But as they look out at the city
The bright lights spell out:
The system is broken

— The End —