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Big Virge Sep 2019
Acquaintances and ... " Friends " ...
This Nonsense ... NEVER Ends ... !!!!

Who WITHIN ... " Your Crew " ...
Will Be There Til' ... The End ... ???

Who Are Those ...
Who You Can ... " Trust " ... ???

Who Will Make You ...
Want To ... CUSS ... !?! ...

Acquaintances ...
Are Often .............................. Cold .....

While ...
FAKE Friends ...
Will Come and .................................................. Go .....

When They See Your ...
..... ATTITUDE .....
Is ... DIFFERENT To ...
Their ... Simple Views ...

Do You KEEP ...
FOOLS Around You ... ?!?

Just So You ...
Can Have A ... " Crew " ...
of People ... Who ...
DEEP DOWN You ... **** ... !?!

Just To PROVE ...
...... That .....

You're ... " The MAN " ... ?!?

This Stuff I ...

They Won't Be There ...
When You Stand ... ON YOUR OWN ...
Or When You HIT ...
A ... TROUBLED Zone ... !!!

REMEMBER What Happened ...
In ... " Revenge of The Sith " ...

When They TURNED ...
They Turned SO QUICK ...

Jedi Died ...
Cos They Got ... HIT ... !!!

Just Like THAT ...
NO MORE ... " Friendship " ...

Friends Will Always ...
RUN Their Lips ...

Til' Your Life ...
Takes That ... " BIG dip " ... !!!!!

When You NEED Them ...
To ............. HELP YOU ..............

They Will ..... Leave You ......
Feeling ......... " BLUE " ......

Take My Advice Folks ...
PLEASE BE ... " Shrewd " ... !!!
In ... WHO You Have ...
Surrounding You ...

Make Sure They ...
RESPECT Your Views ...

... " Acquaintances " ...
Like To ... USE You ... !!!

TRUE Friends HELP ...
When You ... " Feel Blue " ... !!!

These ARE Words ...
You KNOW ... ARE TRUE ... !!!!!!!!!

This Applies ...
To  ... FAMILY TOO ... !!!
Some Are NOT ...
TRUE Friends To You ...

DON'T Think Cos' ...
Your Blood Types MATCH ...
That They'll Choose You ...
Before Some ... CASH ... !!!

They'll Make A DASH ...
Just Like The FLASH ... !!!!
Once They've Got ...
Their ... Money Stash ... !!!!

This Is What ...
We've Now ... Come To ... !?!
Friendships Are ...
Simply .... ABUSED ....

People Now ...
DON'T Have A Clue ... ???
What Their ... " Friends " ...
Are Now ... INTO ... ?!?

Coc' or CRACK ... !?!
Or ... White or Black ... ???

Friends WILL STAB YOU ...
In The ... "Back" ... !!! ...

These ARE Words ...
YES Based ... On FACT ... !!!

DRUGS Will Make Some ...
Be Like ... THAT ... !!!!!

Friendship ... " ODDS " ...
Have Now Been ... STACKED ...
Like The ... " Cards " ...
In A ... MARKED PACK ... !!!!!

Maybe You ...
HAVE Got ... GOOD FRIENDS ... !?!

KEEP Them ... "Close" ...
Until ... Your End ...


... " Acquaintances " ...

They WON'T LAST ...
Long ......................... Distances ... !!!!!

They Are ... QUICK ...
To YES ... " Jump Ship " ... !!!
When You ... START ...
To TEAR ... A P A R T ...
Things INSIDE Their ...

.. CALLOUS Heart ... !!!!!!!!

and JEALOUSY ....

" Acquaintances " ...

Give THIS For FREE ... !!!!!

This Is Why ...
I ALWAYS .......................................................... FLEE ............. !!!!!

From These ............................

........ " FRAUDS " ........
Who .....
TRY TO ... "SQUEEZE" ... !!!!!

ALL THE ... Goodness ...
OUT OF .... Me .... !?!

These Are ... " THOSE " ...
Once Known As ... CHIEFS ... !!!!!
On These GRIMEY ...
.... London Streets ....

I Hope ... By Now ...
That You Can See ...

Friends AREN'T ALWAYS ...

....... " Trustworthy " ....... !!!

Some Are COOL ...
But Most Are ... FOOLS ...

Who Are ... Simply ...
Human ... GHOULS ... !!!!!!!

This Is NOT ...
How I've Been ... " Schooled " ... !!!!!

I've Been SCHOOLED ...
To .......................................................

Avoid ... " Duels " ...
With These People ...
Who Will ... FUEL ...

....... ANGER .......
DEEP Inside of You ...

People ... THIS ...
Is My ..... Poem .....

About .....

" Acquaintances & Friends "
Well, we've all got em', however, it's not so easy sometimes, to distinguish who is who ... ???
False Poets Oct 2017
does the moon get tired?

~for the children who never tire of moon gazing upon the dock,
by the light of the fireflies,
till the angels are dispatched by Nana,
to sprinkle sleepy dust in their eyelashes so long and fine~

while walking the dog I no longer have,
a happenstance glanceable up over the River East,
there you were, mr. moon, in all your fulsomeness ,
surrounded by a potpourri of courtier clouds,
all deferentially bowing, waving,
passing past you at a demure royal speed on their way
to Rebecca's northern London,
of was it south to grace of  v V v's Texas^,
in any event,
the cloudy ladies, all bustling and curvaceous,  
all high stepping in recognition of your exalted place,
Master of the Night Sky

the word careless, poets excessive,
sometimes called silly poppies, old men,
left footed, still crazy after many years,
most assuredly poets false all of us,
without a proper prior organized thought train,
bludgeon blurted,
an inquiry preposterous and strange,
strait directed to the sombre face,
to mister moon himself!

tell me moon, do you ever tire?*

the obeisant clouds shocked
as that face we all uniform know,
unchanged anywhere you might go  to gaze, be looking upon it,
watched the moon's face turn askew.

He looking down at our rude puzzlement,
with a Most Parisian askance,
a look of French ahem moustacheoed disbelief,
while we watched as the moon cherubic cheeks
filled with airy atmosphere,
then he sighed

so windy winding, was it,
so mountain high and river deep,
that those chubby clouds were blown off course,
from a starless NYC sky
all the way past Victoria Station,
only to stop at Pradip and Bala's
mysterious land of
bolly-dancing India,
on their way to Sally's Bay of Manila,
magic places all!

Mr. Moon looked down at this one tremulous fool representative  
(me) and in a voice
basso beaming and starry sonorous,
befitting its stellar positioning,
squinting to get a closer look at the
who in whom
dare address him in such an emboldened manner!

Mmmmm, recognize you, you are among those
who use my presence, steal my lighted beams, my silver aura,
my supermoon powered light, borrow my eclipses,
reveal my changeling shaped mystery without permission,
only mine to give, you tiny borrowers who write that thing,
p o e t r y

head and kneed, bowed and bent,
I confessed
(on y'alls behalf)

we take your luminosity and don't spare you
even a tuppence, a lonely rupee, no royalties paid
to you-up-so-highness,
and we hereby apologize for all the poets
without exception,
especially those moon besotted,
only love poem writing,
vraiment misbegotten scoundrels....

with another sigh equality powerful,
mr moon pushed those clouds across the Pacifica,
all the way to the  US's West Coast,
up to Colorado,
where moon-takings from the lake's reflecting light
so perfect for rhyming, kayaking,
and moonlight overthrowing,
once more, the moon taken and begotten,
as heaven- freely-granted

yes, I tire
and though  here I am much beloved,
usually admired though sometimes even blackened cursed,
seen in every school child's drawing,
in Nasa's calculations,
of my influential gravitational pull,
moving human hearts
to love and giving Leonard a musical compositional hint,
and while this admirable devotion is most delighting,
would it upset some vast eternal plan,
if but one of you once asked,
you fiddler scribblers
my prior permission,
even by just, a lowly
mesmerizing evening tide's tenderizing glance?

yes, I tire,
even though my cycles are variable,
my shape shifting unique, my names so at variance
in all your many musical sing-song dialectical languages,
my sway, my tidal currents so powerful a deterrence,
unlike my boring older sunny cousine  who just cannot get over
how hot looking she is,
I,  so more personally interesting,
yet you use me as if I were a fixture,
on and off with
a tug of the chain string,
never failing to appear,
even when feeling pale yellow and orange wan,
and worse,
mocked as an amore pizza pie,
do you ever ask how I am doing?

yes, I tire,
of my constant circuitous route that changes ever so slowly,
but yet, too fast for me to make some nice human acquaintances, especially those young adoring children
who give me their morn pleasurable squeals when they awake and my presence still there,
a shining ghost of a guardianship protector still
watching over them

how oft in life do we presume,
take for granted
grants so extra-ordinary
that we forget to remember
the extra
and see only the ordinary

how oft in life do we assume,
the every day is always every,
until it is not,
only an only
a now and then,
till then,
is no longer a

oh moon, oh moon,
our richest apologies
we hereby tender and surrender,
our arrogance beyond belief,
what can we offer in relief?

silence heard loud and clear,
mr. moon was gone,
a satellite in motion,
so our words burnt up in the atmosphere

we did not weep
nor huff and puff,
blow those clouds back to us,
for we knew
the extraordinary
would return tomorrow,
we will be ready,
better another day,
to prepare
a lunar composition,
a psalm of hallelujah praise,
for mr. moon
of which
mr moon will never tire,
for filled with the perma-warmth
of our affection
for the one we call mr.moon
False Poets is a collective of different poets who write here, in a single voice,
hence the confusing interchangeable switching of the pronouns.    sorry bout that.

^ HP - give them back the claimed  V name!
June West Nov 2012
Best Friends
Friends with Benefits

I miss you

My best Acquaintances are those
With Whom I spoke no Word—
The Stars that stated come to Town
Esteemed Me never rude
Although to their Celestial Call
I failed to make reply—
My constant—reverential Face
Sufficient Courtesy.
Photo journalistic,
Everyday, realistic.

Commercial, architecture, landscape, artistic,
Industrial, fashion, ethnographic, pornographic.

Big Brother, fallace, stealer of souls, vouyer.
News seller, instant gratifier, man pleaser, woman abuser.

Barthes, Sontag, Cindy Sherman,
Virginia Woolf, Warhol. Weegie, Francesca Woodman,
Leibovitz, Adams, Arbus, Tina Modotti,
Nan, Evans, Hoffer and even the Paparazzi.

Cheap *****, digital manipulator, image poser,
Center fold, coupons, Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe.
Where did they go:

Lifeless paper product, painter's picture mess,
C-type, digital archival,
Sepia, black and white, hard drive retrival.

Image addict,
Image taker,
Image maker,
image seller,
image buyer.

Newspaper, magazine, graphics and ads,
TV, dreams, even the trash.

Billboards, subways, phones and buses:

Surreal, crop, stretched and air brushes.

Modern ideal.
Surface manipulator.
Brain conditioner.
Consent manufacturer.

Oh Photography,
I got you in my eye.
A few thousand dollars,
A BFA, A critical scholar.

Or maybe a nerd,
Just boys with toys.
Telephoto genitals, with motor drive action.
Studio lights, umbrella traction.

Oh Photography,
You proprietor of obscene.
Detailed, de-sensitized.
Court ordered, jury analyzed.

Click, image, copy, edit, paste, print or post.
Myfacespace, twitter, flicker,
An internet media overdose.

Pry, spy, your friend's friend's acquaintances.
Parties, picnics, reunions and shows.
Visits, vacation, style, shoes and clothes.

Pics, photos, images, jpegs and giffs.
Snap shot, portrait, panoramic, Kodak kiss.

Divorce, break-ups, jealousy, envy, love and fears.
Devour and captivate society for years.

Slaves to Western and Capitalist desires,
Destruction of Earth with psychological, monetary empires.
Dandelion May 2014
We used to be so close
We played and relied so much on each other
But time is so cruel
To create this deafening distance
A distance that seems so far
I am not that friend anymore

How have you been?
What have you been up to?
It seems like I won't be able to ask
Why has it gone this way
Its harsh I know
Its time where we have to part

I will treasure the times we had
The laughters and sorrows
The times where we tried to find ourselves
They are oh so precious to me
Your chapter in my life has come to a close
So farewell my friend

Hi my acquaintance
Your presence is valued
But then again it will never be the same
Lets just move on
So bye my acquaintance
Hope to see you again
Friends come and go. Though its hard to part with them but you know its time to let go once they have done their part in your life. Just a memory of these friends. Though we have drifted apart, I will treasure you, my friends turned acquaintances.
howard brace Jan 2013
Despite repeatedly shaking her pincer... much as a sprightly pensioner might brandish a furled umbrella at a grappling contestant, currently being boo'd at in the red corner... the baby crab stamped her foot in annoyance as she glowered at every passing wave that rolled along the shoreline.  In absolving herself of any guilt she may have felt over her prolonged excursion, she had become, even further marooned by a failure to catch a succession of tides back home, an oversight she later confessed, to observe local tide-tables in 'Old More's Almanac...' on sale in all discerning book shops and selected High Street newsagents, priced 10/6d... for unless fluent in the Russian vernacular, it was just about as articulate to the little crab as a map of the Moscow Metro during a blackout, only to have the Rouble finally drop with a throat gagging 'Gaaargh...' clunk, that you were currently standing on the down-line platform, when you should've been stood on the up... as the last train lurched unsteadily out of the station whistling a jubilant entente cordiale... 'wish me luck as you wave me dasvidaniya'.

     Still stamping her foot, only now in strict rotation with the other seven, the baby crustacean peered out from beneath the shade of the large pebble, rearing its bulk out of the rockpool like a lollypop-lady's 'STOP'!!! sign, her beady eyes twitching independently, first this way, then the other, cut withering swathes through every cardinal point of the compass that didn't duck quite fast enough, was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the rock-pool in which she found herself tapping her foot in today, would be no less aquatic as any other rockpool that she may find herself still tapping a foot in tomorrow and that the best course of action was simply to stay-put and take the matter up with the local town council, then petition for additional fare-stages to be implemented... and with the cost of shoe leather at current prices... well, with eight legs to consider it would make savings that weren't to be sneezed at.  

     It wasn't everyday of the week that a young and upwardly mobile baby crustacean had occasion to move both up-market and down the beach, all in the same mouthful... and into what could only be regarded as a desirable, detached beachfront property, a rock-pool of distinction with all available mod-cons.  She felt relieved that apart from the occasional day-tripper, who invariably dropped litter wherever they went, that a baby crab of distinction such as herself, was certain to be accepted socially and hob-*** with a new and discerning circle of acquaintances... you only had to take that nice lady earlier in the week, they both seemed to have so much in common... then she would roll up her sleeves and really show the neighbourhood what knitting was all about...  

     With as much enthusiasm as that of a three year old screaming for an ice-cream in the middle of an heat-wave, Red marched up the beach and as far from his wife's waspish tongue as a lame excuse would carry him, heading back towards the growing crush of holidaymaking fathers who were only there presumably, for the sake of their own children, laying siege to the mobile vendor... only this time, having already stood in the same queue ten minutes earlier, now had a sufficiency of funds to purchase that which he'd unsuccessfully queued for the first time.

      After an unspecified time which by his wife's reckoning was grounds for divorce... Red, now laden down with the iced confectionary picked his way through the same throng of fathers who moments earlier had been happily chatting in the queue together, were now enjoying the same berating as the one Red was looking forward to as he made his way back towards the rock pool, juggling more ice-cream than two manly hands could intelligently control... while in a bid for freedom, the rapidly thawing confectionary were hatching plans of their own, ones quite independent from those intended as they embarked upon their meandering exodus, known only to iced creamy desserts on hot sunny days... and into the unknown, roaming across Red's hands and trusting their fate to a far higher authority.

     "Did I mention that I was on a diet" snapped his significant other, as she sat licking pistachios from the melting cornet... "don't you ever listen," secretly smiling to herself... "and you did remember to bring Sockeye's water this morning.. didn't you..!" she continued "someone with half as much sense would've stood it in the rockpool to keep cool, I'm sure the little crab wouldn't have objected..!"   At the mention of his name, Sockeye with ears far too free-lance to ever consider gainful employment of their own, needed no further persuasion and charged straight through the rock-pool to his mistress's side, walloping the thermos flask for a tail whopping six... bringing his personal batting average so far this holiday to a self congratulatory forty not out... and found the baby crab spluttering flat on her back and having second thoughts on any immediate savings in shoe leather were she to stay. 

     Generous to a fault, Sockeye now thought to shower everyone's ice cream with liberal helpings of the seashore as several parasitic irritations had Sockeye hard at work serving eviction notices on some of the more exotic zoology that only a patent Bob Martin's would dare to muscle up to... the local wildlife, by the look on his face were having the time of their lives bivouacked behind his left ear, throwing wild parties and disturbing the peace.  Cross-eyed, it was only while launching a double pronged assault on the latest settlement of interlopers that Sockeye finally succumbed to his injuries and surrendered to a neighbouring sandcastle... it really didn't do to mention a certain name too loudly at times like these, especially when you just happened to be on the receiving end.

     For some strange reason he was undoubtedly in the dog house... they'd shouted at him, which made him sad, all except his little master who had pushed him away... which left him bereft.  Sockeye sat down on dads beach-towel and had a long, thoughtful scratch... where had all the fuss gone? he searched for appreciation their faces... his tail gave one disheartened thump before it stopped... and all those little pieces of ice-cream dipped wafer, which up until now had always appeared as if by magic.  

     Catching sight of one such treat, undoubtedly forgotten by the rock pool, a marauding seagull pulled out of a rolling dive and swooped, at the same instant as two gaping jaws launched themselves skywards... canine jowls quivering bravely in the light sea airs... and not too dissimilar to a heat seeking missile, rose gracefully from the ground to meet it... 'well intercepted..!' as both ears applauded in mid-air... no aerial freeloader was about to skip town with Sockeye's ice cream wafer without paying... leaving one solitary wing flapping its willingness to pay up.

     At least it kept her husband in useful employment Tina decided... and mercifully out from under her feet, as she brushed a fragment of affectionate pistachio from her bikini top... she'd have to  make sure he went for the ices in future... and without the means to pay for them... a mischievous smile turned the corners of her mouth as she leant towards the beach-bag and invested herself with several more juicy grapes... that everyone who fell within her sphere of influence had been warned well away from... under threat of dire consequence... and it would take a brave man indeed, or a very foolish one... she gave her husband who was sitting well within arms reach a caustic glance... and Tina's particular variety of justice had a very long arm indeed.

                                                        ­           ...   ...   ...**

a work in progress.                                                        ­                                                                 ­  1297
Cara McKee Dec 2014
I've been Google+ing a while now,
But I've got an admission to make:
I really don't know what I'm doing,
And I seem to have made a mistake.

I've got lots of folk in my circles,
Just a few are in family or friends.
But in the acquaintances bracket,
The list, it would seem, never ends!

I don't know who all of these folk are!
They are not acquainted with me.
So I'm looking now at their profiles,
To see who on earth they might be.

I've worked out, a men's dress designer,
Some writers, a woman called Eve,
An editor, and a photographer,
Are all friends of my good mate, Steve!

I have found some Icelandic artists,
Musicians from the Isle of Man,
And think what they all have in common,
Is they're friends with my ex-husband, Dan.

I feel I have finally cracked it.
I have worked out where I have gone wrong.
I've +1‘d their circles into mine,
Ending up with a friend list too long.

So now I am happily culling.
Goodbye! to Rebekah afar.
I'll not miss your feed from my circles,
As I have not a clue who you are!
My entry into a local poetry competition with the theme: Circles. I quite like it, but don't know what to do with it. Any ideas?
John Jan 2013
Back when I was about ten or eleven, the only friend I had was the most beautiful girl I knew. Her name was Jessica and her and I did everything together. In school we were inseparable, always chit-chatting before, during and after classes. So much so that teachers bestowed upon us the annoying, yet endearing, encompassing nickname of "Jackica" - a combination of our names; Jack and Jessica.
     I was so thankful for her companionship, and thinking back it might have been a pretty uneven relationship, emotionally. I was an overweight and awkward Harry Potter fanboy and she was a cute little auburn-haired thing who could've won any Miss America Junior competition in the world, as far as I was concerned. She had the most piercing powder blue eyes. The kind that made my skin tingle and mouth curl up into a stupid smile at any given moment. I felt like she saw me, like she really saw ME. Not the blubbery flesh that coated my muscle and bones but what I was made of, the real me. And I loved her for that.
     Along with Jessica's physical blessings, she was also given an insatiable appetite for adventure. She loved to go to the park at night,  after the gates were locked and when everything was drenched in darkness. We'd hop the five foot chain-link fence and roam around the grounds. We'd go the water at the edge of the park and sit on the rocks, look up at the stars and take turns telling stories to each other with intent to scare the **** out of the other one.
     One humid night in mid-June, Jessica told a story that succeeded in making my skin-crawl. She always told decent scary stories, she was gifted in the art of fabricating tales of fright right on the spot, but this story really got to my core for some reason. I just felt uneasy as the words spilled from her mouth to my ears and with each sentence my muscles tightened and strained just from the mere tone of her voice as she told the story. She sounded serious, and she rarely did, even when telling these stories, but with this particular one it sounded like she really believed what she was saying was cold, hard truth.
     What she said was that she heard a story that her older brother's girlfriend had told her. It was about a house on the outskirts of town, placed just a few hundred yards from the mouth of the woods that lined our little suburban utopia. She went on to say that in the house was nothing all that scary. She said it was an old house, a very old house, as it was a log cabin that was built in the 1700s, when the town was first being settled. Supposedly, everything in the house was just as it was back then, little kerosene lamps sitting on home-mad oak tables. The maple-wood floors would moan and creak at the slightest hint of any weight being put on them. And then she said that no one had lived in the house since the man who built it died, around 1785.
     Needless to say, Jessica wrapped up the story by proclaiming that we had to find the house. And we had to go inside and see for ourselves what was so creepy about it. Being the scared, chubby little wimp that I was, I immediately rejected the idea. There was no way I was going to try to find a place that would only succeed in making me **** my pants in front of a girl, especially the one whom I'd placed the delusional label of "future girlfriend" on.  But, as I subconsciously expected, Jessica talked me into it with just a few graceful words: "I'll kiss you if you come with me."
     The very next Saturday night, Jessica and I put on some dark jeans and t-shirts and took the bus all the way to the last stop, the edge of town. We hopped off and right in front of the stop the woods were already waiting, I took a deep breath as Jessica's eyes lit up. She took my hand and pulled me as she ran, me clumsily waddling along behind her all the way to a little dirt pathway that paved the only marked entrance we could see. She asked me if I was ready and I shrugged, saying something like "I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be." And so we started down the path. As the tall trees swayed in the wind, I dragged my feet with  Jessica always about five feet ahead of me, as eager as ever. We walked for probably ten or twenty minutes before the foot of the cabin was before us.
     At first sight, it was a very old structure. I'd never seen anything like it outside of paintings in my history textbook and this Abe Lincoln documentary I saw on PBS. I never knew houses like that stood the test of time. But there it was before me, two stories high with wooden shutters clad in severely chipped paint and a big oak door that looked stronger than any door I'd ever seen. Jessica took my hand again, smiled enchantingly and rushed me forward.
     Once at the door, I was speechless. It didn't look as old as the rest of the house and whoever made it obviously meant for it to last a very long time, taking extreme care in carving it out impeccably and sanding it until it shined with a professional touch. Without a word, Jessica rapped on the door. Three hard times, and when no one answered after thirty seconds, she rapped again, and again. She shrugged and turned to me, asked if we should just go in. I said no and she frowned.
     "There's no way we came this far just to go back home with nothing," and then she wrapped her hand around the rusted doorknob and turned.
     The door opened with no hesitation as she pushed it all the way in. She stepped inside, and I followed. The first thing I noticed inside the cabin was the creaking floors. They creaked louder and longer with each step, affirming that part of the story, making my blood run cold. We looked around, going from room to room with wide eyes. We were amazed that we made it, that we got inside and now we were actually investigating a place that no one else supposedly had gone before. Truth be told, though, it was nothing special. There wasn't much at all to see, save for a few tables, the creaking floors and some very old paintings on the wall. We were just leaving when we noticed something on a table nearest the big oak door. It was a metal box with a small lock fastened to the front of it.
     "We have to open it," Jessica proclaimed after a second of curious inspection.
     "There's no way were going to find the key," I told her.
     "So we'll break the lock, Jack. Duh," she replied in her sassiest tone.
     I just shook my head as she grabbed the box and began to furiously slam it in the wooden table. The sound echoed through the house, exacerbating it and making me shiver from head to toe.
     "I don't know if you should keep-" but my sentence was cut off my the lock flying off the box and clinking onto the floor below.
Jessica smiled again, very pleased with herself and looked to me.
     "Wonder what's inside...," She said, lifting the top half of the box open.
     After an initial and cough-inducing puff of thick dust subsided, the contents of the box were revealed. It was a letter, written on old-school parchment in heavy ink. In neatly laid Victorian script, the likes of which I had never seen so simultaneously neat and scattered, like it was written in a hurry or during a time of distress, was a love letter. Well, a kind of love letter. It was addressed to a woman named Tania and it was signed by a William. It told the story of how William had loved Tania since they were children, and Tania was now to be married to a Pastor named Hensley. William told Tania how he couldn't bear the thought of her ever being with anyone else and that the fact that she could never truly be his was killing him. Literally. He ended the note by confessing his plan to **** himself.
     I took a step back, but Jessica just stood at the table with her eyes glued to the crumbling parchment in her hands.
     "I'm leaving," I said after a few moments, mulling over the sorrow that this poor man must've felt. I headed out the door, Jessica following. The walk back through the woods to the bus stop I couldn't get this feeling of dread from subsiding. It seemed like I felt what William felt, but not in a sympathetic sort of way. It felt like I was William and the pain he felt was actually my pain. And then I noticed that, rolled up tightly in her fist, Jessica had taken the letter with her.
     "Why'd you take that," I said, sounding thoroughly upset. "That's not yours to take, go bring it back!"
     "No way. There was no way I was going there and coming back with nothing to show for it," she said, gripping the letter tightly, her knuckles almost whitening.
     I knew how stubborn Jessica could be and I knew whatever I said probably wouldn't even phase her in the slightest so I did what I did best and just shrugged it off. I found myself wishing I could shrug off the terrible feeling the letter put deep inside me just as easily as I could Jessica's stubbornness.

     Over time, Jessica and I lost touch, as kids of that age often do. I grew up, lost weight and opened up, making more friends and acquaintances, no longer hanging onto the thought of Jessica being my only love. I didn't talk to Jessica all that much. Just once in a while we'd meet up and have a chat over some coffee or pizza. We had both changed and morphed into young adults with different agendas and dreams and I had no problem with that. But on one such meeting, Jessica began to worry me. She said that every now and then she'd open her desk drawer and take the piece of parchment out and read it. Over and over again. And lately, she had been opening the drawer more and more, she said that she felt drawn to it. Like something about it made her feel this deep-seated dread that no horror movie or scary story had ever made her feel. She said that she felt like the letter was beginning to take a toll on her. And, by the look of her, it didn't seem like she was lying or kidding around like she always used to love to do. She had dark circles underneath her once striking eyes, which were now darker and had taken on an odd and ominous color. I was scared for her. And I told her so but she hugged me and assured me she was alright. I wanted to believe her, and I tried to, hugging her back and telling her I'd talk to her soon. But when she turned her back I knew something was very wrong.

     I'm writing this now because a few weeks ago Jessica's mom gave me a call. When her number came up on my cell phone, I think I knew, deep down, e actor why I was getting this call but I pushed the thought away and said hello. Jessica's mother called to tell me that a few days before Jessica had gone missing. The only indication to her whereabouts was a note she left with the words "cabin at the edge of town", and below that, instructions on how to get there. Her mother said she took the note and hopped in her car immediately, and made it to the cabin. She said she was breathless by the time she got to the cabin but forged on and barged inside and looked around. She said she found nothing and was about to leave when she noticed a small door behind the big oak door she had swung open to get inside. She opened the little door to find a stairwell. She climbed it, calling Jessica's name all the way, sobbing and wiping tears from her eyes. At the top of the stairs was the attic. And she said she almost died herself when she saw Jessica. She was hanging from a wooden rafter on the ceiling. And next to her was a severely decayed skeleton, dangling from a rope only a few inches away.
It's definitely more of a short story but I felt obligated to post it here for some reason.
Paolo C Perez Oct 2012
His Funeral was today.  Well, his wake rather.  It was in his old colonial home on Elm Street, a bought of irony that Paolo would never get.  Anyway, it was an odd set up at his house. Family and friends downstairs in the living room, acquaintances and honorable mentions meandering through the hallways clearly more interested in the intricate little floral patterns that adorned the wallpaper than how his family was holding up.  The company of the house was split, everyone either legitimately full of sorrow, or completely full of ****.  In everyone’s grasp either handkerchiefs or hand grenades it was as if the invitation read “Come see it to believe it!” In the study across the hall a small memorial was set up.  Big cards, tons of photos, some flowers, anyone who actually cared stayed there and stared at his once happy face, who knew what it looks like now.  
He had died of some sort of overdose, one that destroyed his heart, so he would have looked fine in an open casket.  The doctors say it was *******.  I don’t believe them.  Paolo had his fun in college, ***, *****, sure, but coke?  There’s no way.    The services weren’t to take place for another two hours, so his family rolled him onto the second floor balcony.  It was actually his dad’s decision, something about a “disgrace” and not wanting to look at his face.
Apparently his mom had felt bad letting her dead son chill on the porch for a few hours, so she rolled him across the hallway to his own room him and kind of laid him out on the bed, as if letting her baby boy take his eternal sleep where he’d have had most of his shorter ones.  
Picturing him lying up there was the first negative connotation I ever had with the image of him on that bed.  He had that kind of headboard that when we started getting at it the bed would hit the wall with each rhythmic movement.  Steady and almost tribal as our bodies danced to the ever increasing beat of a talking drum.  Our clothes off and our skin glazed with sweat it was like my own personal method for getting high. Now don’t get the impression that our relationship was based purely on a physical connection, we’d been dating for three and a half years, the love was there all right.  
We had met in the strangest of ways, through a mutual friend that I was kind of, almost, sort of, but not really having a “thing” with, you know?  Cisco was his name.  So we were together one day and he, being the adorable spaz that he was, had forgotten that his own birthday party was that same night.  He asked if I didn’t mind tagging along, it was a celebration for him and two friends whose birthdays followed his in sequence.  
This had been going on for several weeks, and I know we weren’t dating but I still had a feigning interest in the guy.  So we arrive to this girl, Cristina’s, house and I noticed this other boy almost immediately.  In a backwards cap and pair of boot cut jeans he was jumping around, tossing his arms, right in the middle of reciting some hilarious anecdote to any of his friends who hadn’t heard it yet; even those who had seemed riveted.  He was so full of charisma and with such assurance.  Besides that he was kind of cute so, though pathetically, I tried flirting with him for the rest of the night; he didn’t really catch on.  We left that night without having exchanged more than ten words between each other, I thought I’d never see him again, turns out I was wrong.  
“Broadway CAREols.  Show others that you care by enjoying a night of with your favorite blend of Christmas ditties and Broadway biddies” And before you ask, Yes, I did come up with that title, I think it was great and it was at the top of each flyer in big red and green letters and if you asked me “If you could do it again…” I would do it the same each and every time don’t judge me.
It was a show I had to direct for a community service project and of all people he played the piano for my show.  Only me and several other girls made up the cast, and I knew how easy it was to mistake a positive attitude for flirtation when it comes from a handsome young man.  He ran the music over three or four times individually with each cast member before the night of the show, but when Paolo and I worked that night he stopped me and just sang. For me.  
Each night after rehearsal I had to give him a ride home, I was a year older and thus had my license a year sooner.  I’d never mind allowing myself more time to bask in the glow of his perfectly understated confidence, so I was happy to oblige.  Technically Connecticut state imposed a law forbidding new drivers under the age of 18 to be on the roads past 11 at night.  My mom, being a government employee, really stressed this one.  His house was a solid ten minutes drive from our rehearsal spot, and my mom often warned me to allow myself enough time to get back home before 11.  What started as me beginning to drive faster and faster during the trip home ended as a routine each night, where I would finally allow him to step out of my car just as the clock read 11:00 PM.  
Our first kiss was in that car, my first uncontrollable breakdown was in the car, hell the first time he told me he loved me was in that car…right at the lip of the driveway.  I learned to ride my brakes perfectly to the point where I could park just beyond the edge of the sidewalk yet just before the point where the porch light would flash on, reminding his mother that his son is out past ten on a school night.  It was so warm.  I’ll never forget the cadence of his laughter as it trailed off, seamlessly merging with that next statement “Anna, I love you”.  I could have sworn the porch light went on.  

Now I know it may seem like I don’t care for his being dead right now, but the thing is, I did something.  I did something really bad.

You see, I had mentioned that he was up in his room, right?  Still, stiff, simply waiting to be brought down in a few hours as the catalyst to another round of tears.  Now don’t get me wrong, I did my share of crying the night before.  He’d been in the hospital for only a few days and when they told us he was dead…God, he was just so young, two years into college, the friend you have who was chasing his dreams down with a brand new pair of sneakers.  That kid the whole town knew because of the multitude of silly town functions he attended.  He would always insist.  Every other weekend was one silly thing or another “Oh you’re gonna love this.  Two words – ‘Poetry showdown’.  If you can’t take the heat, don’t stay in the kitchen”
The day of the funeral I just had to see him.  I snuck up the two floors to his room on the third floor.  As I neared his door at the top of that final flight of stairs each creak of the floorboard seemed to resonate through the house, followed by the hollow silence of my stillness.  I paused with each step as if stepping in larger spans of time would make what I was doing seem less suspicious, should someone hear me.  Upon touching his doorknob I felt an immediate chill. I couldn’t tell whether it was some ghostly feeling of being in the presence of a dead person, or the fact that the thermostat had been turned down to keep his body prime for viewing.
I held my breath as I opened the door, and blinked a couple times when I saw him.  He was wearing what everyone else was in downstairs, black tuxedo and a dark tie.  I know he would have scowled had he known he was going to be buried in a constricting penguin suit.  We had a conversation about it, you know?  Out on Academy Hill, right in the middle of a picnic. We were in enough shade that his transition lenses were only half tinted, and when he sat up, it was abruptly.  Pushing my head off his chest he kind of leaned in to the cemetery in the distance and pointed out how sad it is that no one really ever gets the chance to choose how they want to spend the rest of eternity dressed in.  He would have preferred his puma sneakers, still white after seven months, his striped green and blue socks, his only pair of ripped designer jeans and that express shirt he loved so much because it showed off his natural physique.  
I moved closer, inching toward him at first, then quicker as I broke through a place where I just relaxed, and for a moment he wasn’t dead.  For a moment he was just sleeping, all ready in his fancy get up simply waiting for me to wake him up.  I found myself sitting next to him, my eyes cast downward, half expecting his gaze to meet mine, and while stroking his hair I got an idea.  It happened quickly, and I kind of have a problem with acting upon my impulses, it’s something he used to criticize me on that and I never really improved.  Without thinking I threw open his drawer and pulled out what I knew he’d have wanted to be dressed in, should he have gotten the chance to create a will concerning his death-wear.  As I pulled of his starchy shirt my hand brushed against his chest, chilled as the room was, eerie as nothing else.  I finally got him down past his pants and saw, of all abominations, that he was outfitted in a fresh pair of tighty whities.  God, it’s as if the funeral home was asking to be haunted by his tormented soul.  I found his single pair of silk boxers and reassembled him in the way I knew he’d have wanted to be.
So great, now everyone will think I’m a loon for having desecrated his body.  Well what do they know; I’m the only one who ever really knew him! But how the hell would I explain it to his parents when the pallbearers march in and there he is, laying face up in his street clothes?  
This wasn’t right.  He didn’t belong here, he needed to be somewhere comfortable, someplace he enjoyed, not sitting upstairs in a suit with the lights off and the air blasting.  He hated the cold!  Certainly he would have hated a hundred people staring at his dead and lifeless shell, and he would, without a doubt, hate being six feet under, pushing daises at the Nichols Road cemetery.
I wrapped my arms around him, and as the building adrenaline made my breaths deepen I inhaled several moments of ecstasy off his clothes that still clung to his musty scent.  I lowered him gently to the floor and took care as I dragged him across the carpet to his door.  After fumbling, for what felt like several minutes, on his door handle I got him onto the awning introducing the stairs.  I even made it down the first flight of stairs without freezing up at the tiniest creak when I heard someone coming my way.  ******, they must need to use the bathroom, why couldn’t they just use the one downstairs like any normal person?  Without hesitation I throw open up the window near bottom of the stairs, heaving myself and him, sending us tumbling onto the garage roof.  Ignoring my probable bruises I spring up and slam the window behind me while taking special care to hide us both as far away from the bathroom window as possible.
Sitting up there, my heart racing, I felt his hand in mine and it was probably because my palms had gone clammy but I swear for a span of time he was alive again.  I closed my eyes and felt the breeze in my hair and was transported to a place where I spent a single moment in each day we ever shared.  Each beach side sandcastle, each afternoon spent cloud gazing, those same afternoons turning into evenings of star gazing, each and every night spent utterly and irrevocably lost with this silly boy that chose to love me.  
I was torn from my oasis as I heard the bathroom’s occupant exit and continue downstairs.   Knowing that my van was parked on the other side of the street I pushed his body as close to the edge of the roof as I could without his falling off and let him be. I hopped back inside and ran downstairs, but not before flying through the doors of the memorial and interrupting his mothers eulogy.  In an act of sheer brilliance I mustered a few tears and tore out the back door.  Everyone figured I was just so taken away by his death that I couldn’t stand to be there anymore.  Who knew anxiety could be mistook for remorse so easily?
I ran down the driveway, losing the grace I had composed in my dress in high heels the moment I slammed that door.  I jumped into Emmet, my van, because only crazy people drive around in un-named vehicles.  
I pulled out of my spot, nearly ruining the paint job on both my and his Uncle Ed’s car.  I flew my trunk door open and set the third row down, the general idea being his landing securely in my back seat.  I reversed up the driveway with the precision of a surgeon and the speed of a leopard right back to the edge of the garage where I had tossed his body.  I jumped out of my car nearly forgetting to put it into park before I shut off the engine.  I barely got halfway around my car before becoming transfixed on his hand, hanging off the gutter as if reaching for mine to grab hold and pull him to sweet salvation.  I jumped up a few times, unsuccessfully before I took off my shoes and got a good running start.  I flew up, grabbed his arm and ****** towards the car in a sideways downward motion.  He nearly cracked his head on the pavement coming down, he would have too if it wasn’t for my body breaking his fall.  I got up, too distracted by the sheer volume of my own heart to realize the pain I felt.  I shoved him into my back seat, slammed the trunk, stumbled into the car, stuck it in reverse and stepped on gas without even putting my shoes back on.

I told you I had done something bad.
This is a first draft, please, I welcome your critiques.
Life gets better - so much better that
you wouldn’t believe me if I told you
but before that happens
you’ll learn some lessons
some of them will be fun
others bitter medicine
swallow them though
they’ll make you strong

don’t beat yourself up so much
don’t put yourself down
you are actually pretty awesome
don’t obsess so much about being the best
the less you do that the better you’ll become
there is no such thing as “perfect”
but you will be excellent
you’ll be quite an overachiever – even when you don’t try!
You already know what you want to do
Not many 15 year olds have that kind of clarity!
You’re a rare, unique one – you’ll do exactly what you dream to do.

But there will be speed bumps
You’ll lose your way sometimes
and confused Gemini that you are-
you’ll always want both sides of everything
but you’ll figure that out eventually

you will never be as thin as you want to be
but you’ll learn to appreciate your body
just as it is
you’ll find you look beautiful when you smile

you’ll have a job you hate, and one that you love
you’ll do well in both-
much to other people’s envy
you’ll mostly have good bosses

you’ll never have a boyfriend, your marriage will be arranged
but you will find love-the love of a good man
who will stand by you even when things go wrong
he won’t at all be like the man of your dreams
but he will be exactly what you need-he’ll make you happy!

what I’m trying to tell you darling-
is that in ten years all the stuff you’re worrying about won’t matter
you’ll find new things to fuss over.
High school will be a distant land
That you would have left behind
The bullies who trouble you now
won’t be anywhere near

you’ll see that its okay
to be an introvert in an extraverted world
you’ll make a handful of super-friends
who you can trust and who care
and many acquaintances who don’t mind your company
but there will be some who you can’t trust
some who will take advantage of your kindness
ignore them and move on
there is more important stuff to take care of!

your writing will get better; you’ll be a super cook,
you’ll never like sports-stop trying to
its just not you!

in a few years time
you’ll be touching lives
and changing them for the better
you’ll be a teacher and a student
all at once
you’ll inspire and influence

so don’t give up on life yet-
don’t be so depressed
wear a smile and face the world
your life is going to be all set!

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Harry J Baxter May 2013
they come into your life
leaving everything important
in its place
but certain things they change
like picture frames
at jaunty angles
these magnificent creatures
flit into our lives
and back out
so fast
you barely remember them
until drunk summer nights
at the river rock festival
they seem to line up
beneath star specked
inky skies
and the heavy blanket
of summer humidity
girls with hugs
and guys with great roars of joy
as if they had been searching for you all night
memories are remembered
new experiences embellished
before the thread of your lives
untangle once more
and they are gone
off into the chasm of darkness
fdg Apr 2014
I need you to know
that I no longer write about you.
i know this may be cold, but you are not who i kissed in my dream last night.
Sjr1000 Aug 2018
Friendships that go the distance
Through lines of continuity
Lasting a lifetime.

Acquaintances come and go
They don't really know
Same team
Same office
Same school
All friendly and warm
But when you part ways
You'll never see them again.

Or there is the reminder
everyone is a hero in their own melodrama,
hurt feelings
falling outs

Let's let'em pass

Friendships that go the distance
Seen you throughout, inside out
ugly and beautiful
Know all the idiosyncrasies
Know what to give for your birthday
Know what your all about
Willing to work it out

Friendships which go the distance
Are friends with benefits
Unconditional accepance.

Acceptance connecting
Both ways.

We can surely say,
It makes it all worthwhile
When you have friendships going the distance.
For my dearest David on his birthday, the friendship which is going the distance.
Victoria G May 2013
She moved away when I turned 9.
She's the best drummer I've ever met.
He used to sing Ocean Avenue when we walked to class.
He said that no one could keep secrets quite like me.
He told me to learn how to say no.

It didn't seem as important as it does now.

She was half my height but had twice the heart.
She was the nicest friend I ever had.
He'd wake up at four in the morning to go running.
He read a lot of books and never spoke to me.  
He wasn't quite the fastest swimmer on the team.

I wasn't quite the slowest.

She likes shelves and the color red.
She hates sloths.
He is the fastest swimmer I knew, but I'd never seen him swim.
He told me that he liked my haircut when I hadn't cut my hair.
He told me I owed him four years.

I don't owe them anything.
Allison Wolf Jul 2014
We met outside of a dingy doorframe
of a hotel room and automatically blurted out
introductions at the same time,
pinking our cheeks and

The way you breathed out your name
as if it was the lingering smoke
from the last drag of your cigarette
captured my attention and
kept me hungry
for more.

Three days passed
and we were caught wrapped
in the white sheets of Room 243,
whispering compliments of the craft
of my soft lips on your bare skin
in between green apple
Smirnoff-soaked kisses.

You didn’t mind
when I desperately needed to find
my best friend wrapped in the arms
of a half-naked frat boy
by the bonfire flames,
just to tell her she was
the best friend I have ever had.

I didn’t mind when we ran
through the hotel hallways
to find your best friend
on the brink of arrest,
barefoot and broke,
giving the shuttle drivers a hard time.

We said goodbye outside the dented door
of the shuttle we coincidentally took
together the morning after,
leaving behind our two a.m. talks
of improvisations and dances
to stupid songs by the DJ
in the other world that is
Lake Havasu.

*May 5, 2014 4:17:28 PM
Monika Nov 2015
It's that day today
somewhere years hence
When i was born
Moving on
from grumbling to gratitude
vanity to sincerity
That's when i realize
we're born new each day
with a choice and a million chances
to be better each day
And encounter the perfection that we are
just as we were created
in simplicity and love
so why not celebrate each day
greeting with a genuine smile
friends and family
acquaintances and enemies alike
Blowing candles on chocolate cakes
Instead why not let them burn for a change
as a reminder
of the eternal spirit...
It's my birthday today and this thought came up. It's not exactly a poem.
BertJane Perez Jan 2015
Dear exams,

      I'm sorry to say, but I've lost all interest in you. I don't see why I didn't
lose interest in you sooner to be completely honest. I use to love learning
new things and cramming useless information into my cranium, but I must
say that forcing myself to study to pass your standards is just not who I am.There's no need to throw a question I cannot answer in my face whenever you're upset. Nor do I have to explain myself to you for that matter. Has anyone told you you ask a lot of questions?

      I must admit that I am not perfect, but neither are you. You are filled
with errors and flaws that I must say are simple mistakes. I will always
remember you, but I don't think my memory of you will be a fond one...
I am grateful for all the support you've given me especially with my
grades, but I will admit that understanding you was difficult. I remember
hopelessly thinking about you all night after seeing you. I felt terrible
because I literally had no idea how to go about answering your fifty
questions. Even though you gave me choices it was still a difficult decision
to make. I went home that night disappointed thinking that I had messed
up my only chance with you.

      But now you're back, but I admit I am definitely not excited about it.
And I will see you again today, which like I said I am not excited about. I
guess that all we can ever be now is acquaintances. A student to exam
relationship that definitely bares no love what so ever. I cannot wait to be
done with you. As they say, there are a million exams in the library...
And they should all be thrown away.

P.S: The paper shredder was looking for you.

                                                                                        The unhappy student
Nigel Morgan Jul 2013
It was their first time, their first time ever. Of course neither would admit to it, and neither knew, about the other that is, that they had never done this before. Life had sheltered them, and they had sheltered from life.

Their biographies put them in their sixties. Never mind the Guardian magazine proclaiming sixty to be the new fifty. Albert and Sally were resolutely sixty – ish. To be fair, neither looked their age, but then they had led such sheltered lives, hadn’t they. He had a mother, she had a father, and that pretty much wrapped it up. They had spent respective lives being their parents’ companions, then carers, and now, suddenly this. This intimacy, and it being their first time.

When their contemporaries were befriending and marrying and procreating, and home-making and care-giving and child-minding, and developing their first career, being forced to start a second, overseeing teenagers and suddenly being parents again, but grandparents this time – with evenings and some weekends allowed – Albert and Sally had spent their time writing. They wrote poetry in their respective spaces, at respective tables, in almost solitude, Sally against the onslaught of TV noise as her father became deaf. Albert had the refuge of his childhood bedroom and the table he’d studied at – O levels, A levels, a degree and a further degree, and a little later on that PhD. Poetry had been his friend, his constant companion, rarely fickle, always there when needed. If Albert met a nice-looking woman in the library and lost his heart to her, he would write verse to quench not so much desire of a physical nature, but a desire to meet and to know and to love, and to live the dream of being a published poet.

Oh Sally, such a treasure; a kind heart, a sweet nature, a lovely disposition. Confused at just seventeen when suddenly she seemed to mature, properly, when school friends had been through all that at thirteen. She was passed over, and then suddenly, her body became something she could hardly deal with, and shyness enveloped her because her mother would say such things . . . but, but she had her bookshelf, her grandfather’s, and his books (Keats and Wordsworth saved from the skip) and then her books. Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas (oh to have been Kaitlin, so wild and free and uninhibited and whose mother didn’t care), Stevie Smith, U.E. Fanthorpe, and then, having taken her OU degree, the lure of the small presses and the feminist canon, the subversive and the down-right weird.

Albert and Sally knew the comfort of settling ageing parents for the night and opening (and firmly closing) the respective doors of their own rooms, in Albert’s case his bedroom, with Sally, a box room in which her mother had once kept her sewing machine. Sally resolutely did not sew, nor did she knit. She wrote, constantly, in notebook after notebook, in old diaries, on discarded paper from the office of the charity she worked for. Always in conversation with herself as she moulded the poem, draft after draft after draft. And then? She went once to writers’ workshop at the local library, but never again. Who were these strange people who wrote only about themselves? Confessional poets. And she? Did she never write about herself? Well, occasionally, out of frustration sometimes, to remind herself she was a woman, who had not married, had not borne children, had only her father’s friends (who tried to force their unmarried sons on her). She did write a long sequence of poems (in bouts-rimés) about the man she imagined she would meet one day and how life might be, and of course would never be. No, Sally, mostly wrote about things, the mystery and beauty and wonder of things you could touch, see or hear, not imagine or feel for. She wrote about poppies in a field, penguins in a painting (Birmingham Art Gallery), the seashore (one glorious week in North Norfolk twenty years ago – and she could still close her eyes and be there on Holkham beach).  Publication? Her first collection went the rounds and was returned, or not, as is the wont of publishers. There was one comment: keep writing. She had kept writing.

Tide Marks

The sea had given its all to the land
and retreated to a far distant curve.
I stand where the waves once broke.

Only the marks remain of its coming,
its going. The underlying sand at my feet
is a desert of dunes seen from the air.

Beyond the wet strand lies, a vast mirror
to a sky laundered full of haze, full of blue,
rinsed distances and shining clouds.

When Albert entered his bedroom he drew the curtains, even on a summer’s evening when still light. He turned on his CD player choosing Mozart, or Bach, sometimes Debussy. Those three masters of the piano were his favoured companions in the act of writing. He would and did listen to other music, but he had to listen with attention, not have music ‘on’ as a background. That Mozart Rondo in A minor K511, usually the first piece he would listen to, was a recording of Andras Schiff from a concert at the Edinburgh Festival. You could hear the atmosphere of a capacity audience, such a quietness that the music seemed to feed and enter and then surround and become wondrous.

He’d had a history teacher in his VI form years who allowed him the run of his LP collection. It had been revelation after revelation, and that had been when the poetry began. They had listened to Tristan & Isolde into the early hours. It was late June, A levels over, a small celebration with Wagner, a bottle of champagne and a bowl of cherries. As the final disc ended they had sat in silence for – he could not remember how long, only from his deeply comfortable chair he had watched the sky turn and turn lighter over the tall pine trees outside. And then, his dear teacher, his one true friend, a young man only a few years out of Cambridge, rose and went to his record collection and chose The Third Symphony by Vaughan-Williams, his Pastoral Symphony, his farewell to those fallen in the Great War  – so many friends and music-makers. As the second movement began Albert wept, and left abruptly, without the thanks his teacher deserved. He went home, to the fury of his father who imagined Albert had been propositioned and assaulted by his kind teacher – and would personally see to it that he would never teach again. Albert was so shocked at this declaration he barely ever spoke to his father again. By eight o’clock that June morning he was a poet.

For Ralph

A sea voyage in the arms of Iseult
and now the bowl of cherries
is empty and the Perrier Jouet
just a stain on the glass.

Dawn is a mottled sky
resting above the dark pines.
Late June and roses glimmer
in a deep sea of green.

In the still near darkness,
and with the volume low,
we listen to an afterword:
a Pastoral Symphony for the fallen.

From its opening I know I belong
to this music and it belongs to me.
Wholly. It whelms me over
and my face is wet with tears.

There is so much to a name, Sally thought, Albert, a name from the Victorian era. In the 1950s whoever named their first born Albert? Now Sally, that was very fifties, comfortably post-war. It was a bright and breezy, summer holiday kind of name. Saying it made you smile (try it). But Light-foot (with a hyphen) she could do without, and had hoped to be without it one day. She was not light-footed despite being slim and well proportioned. Her feet were too big and she did not move gracefully. Clothes had always been such a nuisance; an indicator of uncertainty, of indecision. Clothes said who you were, and she was? a tallish woman who hid her still firm shape and good legs in loose tops and not quite right linen trousers (from M & S). Hair? Still a colour, not yet grey, she was a shale blond with grey eyes. She had felt Albert’s ‘look’ when they met in The Barton, when they had been gathered together like show dogs by the wonderful, bubbly (I know exactly what to wear – and say) Annabel. They had arrived at Totnes by the same train and had not given each other a second glance on the platform. Too apprehensive, scared really, of what was to come. But now, like show dogs, they looked each other over.

‘This is an experiment for us,’ said the festival director, ‘New voices, but from a generation so seldom represented here as ‘emerging’, don’t you think?’

You mean, thought Albert, it’s all a bit quaint this being published and winning prizes for the first time – in your sixties. Sally was somewhere else altogether, wondering if she really could bring off the vocal character of a Palestinian woman she was to give voice to in her poem about Ramallah.

Incredibly, Albert or Sally had never read their poems to an audience, and here they were, about to enter Dartington’s Great Hall, with its banners and vast fireplace, to read their work to ‘a capacity audience’ (according to Annabel – all the tickets went weeks ago). What were Carcanet thinking about asking them to be ‘visible’ at this seriously serious event? Annabel parroted on and on about who’d stood on this stage before them in previous years, and there was such interest in their work, both winning prizes The Forward and The Eliot. Yet these fledgling authors had remained stoically silent as approaches from literary journalists took them almost daily by surprise. Wanting to know their backstory. Why so long a wait for recognition? Neither had sought it. Neither had wanted it. Or rather they’d stopped hoping for it until . . . well that was a story all of its own, and not to be told here.

Curiosity had beckoned both of them to read each other’s work. Sally remembered Taking Heart arriving in its Amazon envelope. She brought it to her writing desk and carefully opened it.  On the back cover it said Albert Loosestrife is a lecturer in History at the University of Northumberland. Inside, there was a life, and Sally had learnt to read between the lines. Albert had seen Sally’s slim volume Surface and Depth in Blackwell’s. It seemed so slight, the poems so short, but when he got on the Metro to Whitesands Bay and opened the bag he read and became mesmerised.  Instead of going home he had walked down to the front, to his favourite bench with the lighthouse on his left and read it through, twice.

Standing in the dark hallway ready to be summoned to read Albert took out his running order from his jacket pocket, flawlessly typed on his Elite portable typewriter (a 21st birthday present from his mother). He saw the titles and wondered if his voice could give voice to these intensely personal poems: the horror of his mother’s illness and demise, his loneliness, his fear of being gay, the nastiness and bullying experienced in his minor university post, his observations of acquaintances and complete strangers, train rides to distant cities to ‘gather’ material, visit to galleries and museums, homages to authors, artists and composers he loved. His voice echoed in his head. Could he manage the microphone? Would the after-reading discussion be bearable? He looked at Sally thinking for a moment he could not be in better company. Her very name cheered him. Somehow names could do that. He imagined her walking on a beach with him, in conversation. Yes, he’d like that, and right now. He reckoned they might have much to share with each other, after they’d discussed poetry of course. He felt a warm glow and smiled his best smile as she in astonishing synchronicity smiled at him. The door opened and applause beckoned.
Emma E Jones Sep 2013
that night with no sleep
it rest in my head
with the smell of cigarettes
floating through the air

ladders were placed at a window
we made cookie dough i believe
around midnight the real night began

poems read allowed
with words lingering
far into to the night

out in the cold many cigarettes
smoldered in each hand
i lost count as to how many
after three

on the brink of dawn
i sat with coffee in hand
on top of my cold car roof
waiting for the sun to rise

clever words come to mind
as old acquaintances come
and judge me for sitting
and writing about what i see

after a walk
to clear me thoughts
i decide on donuts
with box in hand i climb
up the ladder to a dear friends room
curl up in bed
there i stay till noon

that sober night is my favorite
to remember
not a thought of sleep
only words carefully written
one sleepless night of summer, a favorite story
Lizzy May 2015
Cold, unforgiving.
My soul froze in time.
I gave love its last chance,
And clocks stopped.

The big hand contorted,
To mock my closing veins.
The small just pointed
And laughed in my face.

So I shattered all the timepieces,
Forbidding me to count the seconds alone.
In an hourless world,
I lost faith in hope.

The walls as my best friend.
My bed the only lover.
I'm content in waiting
For my torturous life to be over.

But you found me
Wrapped in passing seconds.
Prisoner to tic tic
Pacing in my head.

Where my skin
Tasted of decay.
And my claws retired
From scratching at the gates.

Given up on fighting,
Satisfied with thousand pound lungs.
A half timed beating,
Beneath my hollow ribs.

My souls began to thaw,
Clocks began to move.
All from your touch,
All from your air.

The big hand straightens.
And the small silences itself.
Opening my veins.
No more comically mocking my pain.

Your gentle hands piece together,
All the pieces I shattered.
Back to counting
All the seconds I'm alive.

My walls become acquaintances.
You replace my bed.
I'm not waiting,
This life won't end.

No longer bound
By the song of passing time.
Free from "tic toc",
It's a little less crowded in my head.

Warmth returns to my skin.
My hands click awake.
Not ready to scratch,
But to create.

There is no fight to give up.
Air quickly lifts my lungs.
There's a full paced beating,
Inside my glowing chest.

All because you touched me.
You kissed me.
With a calm fear,
You woke me from my sleep.
Karan Sherwal Aug 2018
I used to believe in good old days,
Still concerned about the little ways.
To get back in my childhood era.
Those uncountable acquaintances,
Now they are just faded faces.
Buzzing around oftentimes,
I do look at them with all my gracious Rhymes.
Those long sandwalks, I heard many voices & those preacher talks.
Standing on the top of a pile,
I saw the world with my pure human eyes.
My incapability of not performing as others,
Don’t forget we came from different mothers.
Though the course may be disturbingly fascinating,
Spot you there at the end of the lives you kept devastating.
I walked clean and I did no mean.
There was nothing to fear, but one day someone molested me who was so near.
Crippled inside myself that night,
Was so devastated couldn’t spoke a word inspite.
Moments still glare, dig in your knife so that you can pare.
Shadows no more controls me,
I fiercely play with them, and still move freely.
Enjoyed every bit just like my first bicycle wheelie.
I did both,from playing with slum folks to slept like a sloth.
Now I miss my never ending era.
Entered my puberty,
with little bit of curiosity
To not to have those thoughts control authority.
I was wild, a state called child.
Facts of my past life...
Jake Meager Jul 2015
We are on the outside
A collection of people
Friends, acquaintances, neighbors
Coworkers, family, strangers
  The more we have
    The more we are
It is not what we do
Not who we are
   But who we will be
The void is the black hole
Of cyber space
The unimaginable pace
The place of no space
  In an ever ending race
The chase- friends, followers, views
  Likes, tweets- for what?
Written may 25th 2015
Left Foot Poet Mar 2018
cellphone to heart, mobile to immobile, electric dead to living

you know that sleep and I are but passing acquaintances,
when it drops in, to heavy my lids, it is through a cracked window slivered, just enough for a Pan boy to grab me and away me to Almost Neverland

when the alarms sound that it’s sleepy time,
(quite like that quiet verse)
no time to delist the “those pre-shluffy to do things,”
cell drop upon my chest, like an open mic,
then the raging observatory tapestry begins!

the cell lies directly above my ventricular chamber,
and communication is live, the brain cutoff switch, well, cutoff

all manner of imps, devils, rejected poems, angels and
Greek gods and some Indian as well, stand in line for to make
free calls via a beating human message call center, utilizing my friends and family verizon plan to register complaints,
close out unfinished biz, or just contact, friends, family or other
mischievous imps or even you, in other time zone worlds

though my brain may not interfere, like the CIA, it records all
conversations and give me a list of new poem titles, notions, stories glories and wrenching heartbreaking heartbreak,
requiring “fleshing out” when I awake from my three fingers
of scotch, glass eye tears drops made me drunk,

damning this transmigration chorus of voices that offer up a treasure of divine humankind’s hopes and travails,
and the occasional call on the divine’s 1-800 confession line,
hear it all, my chewing out by one particular god of mine who does not suffer my criticisms well of his ungodly actions, nope not sweetly and

when else would he dare contact me, except when no edgewise
words of mine can appear to contradict his mealy mouth excuses

did you musty misty mistake  my poems  as the product of
the miracle water wages of my imaginary inspiration,
no, not, from the replaying of your desperate exclamations,
the cancerous shrieks of loss and prickly investiture of the aesthetics of soft whispers and solitary foot treads,
that is where my insanity is bred, and tumbling s-words, sworn

don’t consider it eavesdropping as there is no signed rental agreement, consider this unfair warning, if you should secret use my cellular line, your everything is now ******,
your genetic material is materialistic mine and my poems yours,
this bittersweet sentiment is a measure of our bloods commingling,
your tears and impish silliness, are shiny hidden within mine

somehow I feel compelled to state this unique statistic:

I love you

4:47pm on 3/11

who writes poems like this?
silly old boys with gray hair, standing on one left leg.  but you knew that, right?
Alek Mielnikow Mar 2019
Little spiders crawl on me as I try to
sleep. But I pay them no mind. They’ve
wandered around here for years,
claiming their deserved space, though
I’m sure they’ve been around long
before I moved in. I used to freak out
as their tiny legs made the trek across
one shoulder to the next and down my
arm, leaving a trail of goosebumps. It
was like a muzzle ****** to the back
of my head, or the first time soft,
caring fingers made their way across
my undressed skin. But now I could not
care less. These little ******* are
now my friendly acquaintances, and
they crawl around all they want.

by Aleksander Mielnikow
They say of me, and so they should,
It's doubtful if I come to good.
I see acquaintances and friends
Accumulating dividends,
And making enviable names
In science, art, and parlor games.
But I, despite expert advice,
Keep doing things I think are nice,
And though to good I never come--
Inseparable my nose and thumb!
skatem Sep 2014
My arms wrapped around you, yours around me.
We stand together in our now natural hug.
Although my height is sometimes a challenge
You feel warm; your back is straight and toned.

How does our hug feel from your side?
Does my back feel firm or yielding?
What is the sensation under your fingers?
Of the fabric next to my skin, my undergarments?

Our hug is just one
Of a striking variety we receive in a lifetime
From friends, lovers, family, near-strangers
An act seemingly simple but in truth, complex

The first hug you remember from childhood: your Mum
Warm and safe, and maybe a little squeezed
But her blouse is soft, and her arms reach around you nearly twice.
You are so small, and she is so big.

Your teen-age years, acquaintances: single arm hug
Air kisses, a quick pat, a gentle rub
It’s social hugging to keep up appearances
Feeling awkward, you’d rather shake hands

Your first true love – long, grasping, gasping embraces
That leave invisible marks on your clothing and skin underneath
A desire for another, the promise of more
Maybe in future, the touch of your fingertips on clothing-free skin.

Again a hug from your Mum, 40 years after her first
The alignment is different; somehow she has shrunk
Still warm and safe, yet with a different body tone
A kiss on her cheek is soft to your lips – a hug to last the ages.
Emily Pancoast Oct 2012
pencil-thin shoulders
mess of dyed blonde hair and fake
strawberry grins
lost in movie ticket stubs stuck
to crowded multi-coloured walls stuffed
bears hidden under bedsprings, pent-up
energy like carbonation in sugary soft drinks
unsteady hands on composed aged shoulders,
unsure feet find their way on moving
slabs cleaning out bright blue backpacks
filled with words forgotten on
pages dried up like pens or discarded acquaintances
discovering heart-shaped cardboard tokens of February
infatuation pure unlike clandestine Friday nights,
pounding nervous with blood in pink seashell ears
Jake Espinoza Dec 2012
Nights pass and I pick away at my skin.
Supine in this hallowed hollow of unwashed bedsheets and detritus
Spending my time, the most precious currency to date, trudging through virtual stacks of head shots of those I've known or half-known.
A healthy reminder that you are alone.
You are behind.
You ****** up early, kid.
You are behind in some sense, even if half the acquaintances pleasant or otherwise in your class are working jobs not much better than yours.
What I really hate is seeing joy.
Seeing these people and their ****** happiness, it's great.
    Really strengthens the misanthropic beast I've been feeding all week
    And it feels good, anger
Especially when the only other things I'm used to feeling are
    worried or
So its nice to indulge, I guess
I don't have to look for something to fuel my complaints, my bitter unwarranted jealousy –
    that's an annoying component –
    the awareness –
    this would all be much more enjoyable if I didn't notice these things about myself
but noticing is a habit I've nourished
    for years far exceeding
    the time spent with a cigarette between my fingers
I'd like to revise this eventually, but I'm sure it won't happen for a while. So, enjoy.
We hardly fit with our jagged edges
and our heavy breathing, our holes
don't even coincide. Our symmetry
is imperfect, as imperfection can be.
We can't call it home. We're too
edgy to ever do so. It doesn't even
come close to that feeling of
comfort and love. We're not in love,
nor are we friends by any means.
Hardly acquaintances. We wouldn't
lift a finger a finger to help the other
No, this isn't home, love or friendship.
Our weapons are still on us. The poison's
hidden in the secret compartments of the
rings we gifted each other. We never
believed in anything but practicality.
I specially sharpened the blades I
brought with me. I know he loaded
some 'special' bullets in his gun.
We deal like this, like rival gang leaders
It's the only thing that has remained
the same through all these years,
frighteningly comforting in it's stagnancy.
It doesn't even come close to companionship.
It's definition lies somewhere between
hatred, addiction and need. Quiet intimacy
will prevail between us and anyone who walks in,
feels like they're intruding on something a bit
more private and clandestine. Though no one
notices, our spines don't relax even once.
Helpful critique welcomed. :)
Megan Apr 2014
i've wasted the effort
of trying to be your friend.
i'm over you,
i know that sounds lame
but you've grown like rust on my heart
no longer making it work,
i'm over you.
so i'll grind myself back down
to hellos and how are yous
i'll be kind of a friend,
but no one you would want to talk to
all the time,
like we almost did.

dania Aug 2018
did it work?
I give a useless tug on my skin, done to reassure me
instead it reaffirms to me:

I am, again, inconsolable.

is the mask I wear today sealed on tight? too tight?
does it hurt to pretend so much?

does it seem clear to anyone else that there are loose ends I've yet to tend to? backdoors I've overlooked?
transparencies?    can they see through me?

I bare my teeth. canines, canines from the days of carnivores.
am I that carnivore? in my genes I am.

and in practice?

inconsolable, uncontrollable
barely a threat in her form.

this question comes to me under many guises:
an old man asking me: are you that of practice or are you that of genes?
a professor lecturing: are you that of cultivated identity or that of inherited form?

my concerned friends crying:
who are you?
is your mask anything like you?

and then i wake.
it's a terror turned nightly chorus.
recurring nightmares, doctors offer.

i admit i know the content of my dreams to be unfounded:
in life there are no physical masks that do the jobs my terrors depict.
no veil to hide the contours of each flawed personality, no mask to others, just me, weeping-in-the-bathroom, never-myself me

and those attempted favours to be like one another
i'll be like you so you'll like me
i'll like you because i'm like you

so the body charges on in this society like a mirror
cross your left leg when she crosses her right, fold your arms when she's folded hers, raise your hand to say hello, raise your hand to say goodbye

a kiss on the right cheek, a kiss on the left, one more on the left
this is how you show love and a greeting all at once

fold your arms over each other, this is sympathy, this is greeting, do you take comfort in this too?

so you learn to speak with your arms, and you learn to speak with your legs, and you learn to speak with your face, and you learn to speak with your head.

soon your eyes are apprentices of acquaintances, learning to borrow looks like library books, take on others' stories like they've read them end to end.

so in the middle of this process you learn to effectively say:
i see you, i hear you, i perceive you.

and in these attempted favours, at the end of your night terrors, is the parrot that they want to see. the parrot that you argue, can't really be me.
James Nigh Nov 2011
i’m not afraid of blood and guts
but am of the notion of separation
perspicacity’s domain is under my shoe
where adoration once lived
but it was late on the rent.

the doubts recede back into the ontology they sprang from
a paradox not unlike verbiage and emotion
tied together with razor wire and feathers.

i’m playing a hand of poker
where the cards are made of shame, disgust and jealousy.
the king’s looking at the queen with disdain
and furrowed eyebrows
he plans on uxoricide in her sleep.
it’s her fault for not saying “good night"
when i drew a pair of aces.
the jack and the joker are plotting raiding the medicine cabinet tonight.

but chemicals have failed us.
everything has.

we only find solace in the prayers of children
and the rain.

comforts that we once cherished
now have sharp teeth
and will lacerate you
before the sun sets.

a sick kind of lycanthropy
turns ex-lovers’ blood
into gasoline.
but we still sat on the porch and drank it
as solar flares bounced off our hips
and turned altruists into hypocrites
sweet, honest mistresses into liars
and vegetarians into fire eaters.

not much of a difference, you say?
well, the jacks have turned on one another.
it’s a battle of epic proportions
and the queen woke up just in time to slay the king.

the kingdom is in chaos.
while we weren’t looking
the peddlers turned into cannibals
and the priests now feast on peace
and tranquility.

a young, beautiful maiden
asked me to dance in the street
but i said it was too loud.

our imaginary children have been forsaken
by forgotten gods
and the beautiful music we were going to dance to
is just static.

was it always this way?
maybe we were just blinded by wanton hopes and long abandoned desires.

or maybe the king really killed the queen.

it’s darker now
and the sheep have turned in.
so have the cats and dogs and birds and plants.

but i’m still playing poker
and the static fills my head
bereft of any plans of retreat.

pride is not without a mighty downfall
nor is confidence without cracks in the tinted glass.

we all fall down.
some just more than others.

but you can only dig your hole 6 feet until the dirt comes back on top
and sometimes you can never clean it from under your nails.
and it is sentient.
it patiently collects there for days, months, even years
until it decides to strike
enveloping and suffocating
in a whirlwind of pent up rage and violence.

the children are gone
the laughter is gone
and the joy too.
the birds are without song
and the trees are without leaves
and love does not stay.

she has given up the fight.

i walk to the window.
it’s pitch black
because there is no moon.
it has deserted me along with all my
friends, lovers, acquaintances and guardian angel.
i think they’re all at a bar
making jokes and laughing at my expense.

it’s absolute zero outside.
i’m insulated by bitterness, sarcasm and apathy.
the girls stay warm
in facades
of trust, loyalty and love.

i sit back down
to play another hand
but something happens.

the kings, queens and jacks
are whispering and conspiring
shifty eyes, toothy grins
and all.

as i flip through them,
they begin making small paper cuts on my fingertips.
it doesn’t bother me
at first
but before i know it
they are moving up my arms.
not pain, just stinging.

then i’m in a state of complete paralysis.
i can’t brush them off or run outside.
i’m laying on my back
on the floor.
every time i muster a laugh
they go deeper.

they’re at my shoulders now
working their way down
at a 45 degree angle.

i know where they’re headed.

i forgot my heart is by my knees
but they can smell it

they keep working down my body
and each cut hurts more.
by the time they get to my thighs
it’s excruciating.

i mentally scream
for a God
who isn’t there
but i have a plan.

two more seconds
and i will will my heart
to stop beating
my lungs to stop pumping.

i begin to fade out
and my last vision
is one of them
maniacally frenzied
and beating at each other
in the air.


just blackness.

the abyss is looking back at me
and it doesn’t like what it sees.

i have saved my perfect mistake for last.
Keren Jun 2016
When I was younger
I was taught to never talk with strangers
For I was gullible
And they might fool me with no apparent reason

When I was a little older
Strangers turned into acquaintances
Acquaintances turned into friends
Friends turned into lovers

I learned that my elders were right
When they told me to never talk with strangers
For I was gullible enough to be fooled
I shouldve listened to them
One day the humanrace
will all be a beige
dullard monoculture
on minimumwage.
The real George Jetson
will **** a hologram,
then skype his priest on Gliese
for some Mandarin Quran.

Love thy neighbour,
but population won't taper,
She wanna be a mama,
& I want
Bonobo locusts:
vol-au-vents for vultures.
But my ***** hunger for

One day the humanrace
will all be Grays,
spreading politicalcorrectness
thruout outerspace.
**** Habilis
never missed the helicopter,
but Roswell testtube
can't beat bit o' hongabonga!

When my dinky's dongier,
I don't thinky of the consea-
quences for my descendences
- they ain't even acquaintances!

Hongabonga make the worldgoround,
but in humanbeings I don't wanna drown.
Kara Jean May 2016
Vulnerable, is my fame
******* on my dreams
Acquaintances speculate, at my disbelief
Crucial moments,
I'll eat popcorn instead
Wasting, a life that was over spread
Blank raw abyss,
Left in loneliness
He picked me up,
****** tension,
Consumes our bodies
His pants fall,
Pleasure pounding
Curled in a ball,
I scream
Tension built,
My *******, I grip
Is it love or quality
Either way, we crave

— The End —