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Cné Apr 2018

I wander throught the works of art
upon a gorgeous but cool day,
Bewildered by the beauty
(and the price they ask to pay).

Paintings hang in canvas booths
in styles of every kind.
Statues, crafts and metalwork
aesthetically designed

Food and drink and music too
a rousing, festive place.
But oh my friends, the greatest art
was smiles on every face.

So many strangers mingling
with a common goal to share
To wit: a friendly greeting
and goodwill enough to spare.

Indeed, the day was perfect
with weather cool and fine.
But nothing tops a friendly smile
in harmony with mine.

Traveler Sep 2018
I wouldn’t dare to guess
The whole extent of
The adolescent mess
  Left upon the first broken heart..

Certainly you are one of those
Who have overcome
Those common blows
    That tears a first timer's world apart...

Or even luckier yet
Perhaps your soulmate
This time around
Is who you met
   Reflected in the passion of your art....

Being a poet
Can be quite telling
Aesthetically rebelling
Sharing all the secrets
   Of one's unique solitary heart.....
Traveler Tim
bb Apr 2014
We write about two AM because it is simplicity and we are underexposed. Overtime, simplicity becomes complex and subjective and harder to define. Soon you associate two AM with her hair holding on desperately to her shoulder blades, but at that point it doesn't matter what time it is because all your brain understands is her mouth and how badly you want to kiss it. Everything is clinging to something: hair to skin, sheets to mattress, mouth to teeth; but the real fear lies in what will end up letting go and this is why we are born with out fists clenched, because from the moment we are living, every insecurity spills like air out of a bag you thought was vacuum sealed. See, life is full of complexities and we can't seem to find permanent serenity, but, in the midst of it all, there are small things that resonate within us and soon we collapse into a string of cliches and we fight not to drown within them, collectively babbling and trying to make sense of the concept of never letting go.
-b.r.b.
Catrina Sparrow Oct 2013
"you really are beautiful,
in your own kind of way",
he says
     as he spits through his teeth

in what way is that,
i wonder?

in a way that can't be crammed into a size five dress?
in a way that isn't actually aesthetically appealing?
in a way that's too intelligent to find your misogynistic outburst colored flattery?

he pushes the wire-like hair away from my face
and wipes an angry tear from my freckled cheek
     "see, all you have to do is try."

oh, boy
try
yeah,
     that's what i'll do
so i can catch another in a long line of "men" who think i COULD be beautiful

as if beauty is only one color
     one size
     one shape
as if it can truly be measured with a bathroom scale and a hand-held mirror
and can be purchased at a costly brand-name outlet in a shopping mall near you

my mother's mother has an affinity for referring to my twenty-three extra pounds
in a way that one refers to the neighbor's busted-down ford that needs towed away
"oh, catrina, you really could be so gorgeous,
     if you'd just get rid of some of your fluff."

she pinches at my sides
     and the backs of my arms
     and the little curve at the tops of my thighs
          just below my ***
like i'm an over-stuffed pillow on her antique love-seat
that's about to burst at the seems
     should the seemstress not pull out the threads with her teeth
and remove the unsightly over-fill like black-heads from a slender nose

everything she buys me comes from a plus sized store
     and wears a fat filthy double XL on it's tag

considering that i factually only need a large
i fight back my plump tears and wear a cheap smile
as i give thanks i don't mean
and kiss her on her heavily perfumed cheek
     "oh, such lovely lips
     why not a splash of lipstick?"

as soon as i'm out of her home state
i take the clothes back to the "big-girl" store
and trade them in for pizza and beer money

the girl behind the counter ironically weighs ninety-two pounds soaking wet
and that's only if she's still got on her padded bra
     slender
     starved
     sickly
     and supposedly ****
since when were curves a curse?
and who the **** decided it was a good idea to pattent worth with a lipstick shade, anyway?

no
     no way

i am beautiful without having to paint myself that way
my existence is not defined by the shape i take
my flaws and imperfections can't be remidied with any myriad of poking and plucking
     nipping and tucking
and all of my greatness and wonder sure as **** outweigh a tiny bleach-blonde *****

oh
*******
     and that pretty little pony you rode in on

i refuse to be pressed against a rubric and graded like a show-dog whose owner will only settle for best-in-show
     and kicks his failure of a companion sharply in the ribs when he doesn't bring home another ribbon

this obsession of society's is making us sick
  
we don't teach our children compassion and empathy
     we instead instill their heads with talk of thread count
     and color schemes
     how to brush on blush
     and how to pick a suit
cute won't save the world

i beg you sisters
     please
let us not give this disease to our daughters
let us not allow our sons to carry the gene

together
     let's put to rest the ill-concieved notion of our beauty residing without us
          rather than within

let us never again bow down to the revlon gods of vanity

together
we are Woman
     and we deserve to finally soar
elizabeth Jun 2014
Every night
And every morning
I stare at my body
Trying to figure out
Who could possibly love someone
With so much extra

So much extra
That has nowhere to go
But out

I roll over
And see the extra gather
Who could love that?
Not I, not anyone

Less is more
I'm not asking to be the most
I'll eat less to be less
Not realizing that I'm blessed
With a body that works
And does what I ask of it

It just isn't pretty enough for me
the air was filled with scented candles,
giving the room a red glare
featuring the sweet aroma of her perfume and my shower gel;
we were surrounded by nothing but white walls and blood-like roses that were aesthetically spread on black satin sheets

a once silent atmosphere
quickly transitioned
into a room full of light moans and groans;

we stood in the midst of it all,
lip-locked and engulfed in each other's arms.
she slipped my shirt above my head
and i unzipped her fitted red dress,
watching it drop from her body, onto the ground
discovering nothing but  an alluring bare body underneath.
her upper frame was prepossessing
and it took me a while to regain my sense of awareness.
"this is mine, all mine."
i felt like her thoughts mimicked mine
since we both gave the same smirk at the exact time.

we ended up on the bed sheets,
scattering the roses in our wild venture.

light pecks
quickly turned into deep french kissing
featuring hip caressing
and as my ******* grew
her wetness seemed to become more immense.

light bites
turned into a twilight ****** season
and a trail of purple blooms
trickled from her neck
to between her *******
straight down to her navel.

foreplay was always essential
so i tantalizingly used my tongue
following the flowery trail.
somehow, i got sidetracked
and ended up caressing her left breast,
then the right
and my mouth and tongue seemed to
be enticed by the stiffness of her *******
as they pleasurably tortured them with flicks and twirls.

her moans became louder
but i was unsure if she was ready.
as my mouth and tongue continued their torture,
my hand took a trip to somewhere warm and wet;
i stared her deep in the eyes as my hand slowly explored her walls.
i watched every little moan,
but mid-moan
my lips found their way against hers
and my tongue found itself once again
dancing its sensual dance with hers.

i pitched a bit at the sound of my belt buckle dropping to the floor.
i was left vulnerable and my ******* sprung to life,
pulsing as her soft hands caressed it,
forcing me to succumb and lean back,
giving her the power to do as she pleased.

as i lied there with
my back on the sheet,
my head on the pillow,
and my eyes closed,
i felt her warmth hovering over me
and again, her hand tightly
but comfortably gripped around my *******.

she leaned over me,
whispering sweet serenades in my ear;
the warmth of her breath and the slight touch of her tongue
gave me goosebumps.
it was obvious she realized the effect she had on me
because she repeated it over and over,
ear to ear.
suddenly i felt her teeth sinking into my skin,
sending a mixture of painful
yet euphoric sensations
throughout my body.
she tantalized me with the same purple blooms
but she traveled past my navel
onto the head of my *******.

the twirling of her moist tongue
gave me the impression that i had died for a split second.
i was far from a submissive but i allowed her some play-time
as she continued her pleasurable torture of tongue swirls.

her time was up.

i parted her thick but soft hair and slipped between her soft lips
which she already had wet for my arrival.
with slow twirling hip movements,
i repeatedly made an entrance and exit between her lips,
sometimes greeted by the tantalizing feel of her tongue
sending me off the edge.

things got heated and she pushed herself back,
parting her thighs,
looking me in the eyes and biting her lips.
the view was one to make any grown man succumb.
i crawled over,
playfully nibbling at her toes
up to her inner thighs,
leaving yet more purple blooms;
with each one,
i witnessed an exorcism
as her eyes rolled back and her eyes became more lustful
and her body seemed to crave me more and more.

sweet sweet pink matter.

my tongue found itself trailing along the inner parts of her *****
then circling and flicking her **** tortuously.
i felt her feet and hands
wrapped around my neck
suffocating me in the sweetest taste and aroma
and as i struck my final flick,
i ****** up her ****,
sending her to her ******,
as she clung onto my head as her body
repeatedly ****** and became tense.

it was time.

i found myself against her ear,
"are you ready princess?"
she nodded and my lips locked with hers
while my hands made their way down to her *******.
my *******, now pulsing vigorously,
found itself between her legs,
with tip at her entrance;
she began to let out slight moans and screams but
my kisses served as a suppressor for that.
my tip and shaft both made it's full entrance and
not even my lips could deter her screams now.
"should i stop my love?"*
she nodded no and
i felt her hip movements starting to matching mine.
with each *******,
her grip became tighter and tighter.
i felt her grasping onto my ***,
bringing me in deeper and deeper.
i felt my ******* soon succumbing  to the
wetness and tightness of her grip
then she whispered she's ******
and i found myself lost between her legs
and lost in a world of euphoria and relief.

(d.b.d.)
I guess this is one of my many fantasies..at least one of my 'vanilla' fantasies ;)
Steve D'Beard Dec 2012
Inspired by a vintage ****** postcard from the 1920s - 30s:

The Muse sits resplendent
caressed in sepia tones and pastel cream
gilded with the glaze of a bygone era
her silk Charleston negligee
worn proud like a vintage ornament
perched on an aesthetically pleasing
shapely pert insolent *****
blossomed with tiny beads of sweat
the heat of such anticipation
entices the pearls of the ******
to pamper and pleasure their perversions

etched as if in a radiance of candlelight
the flickering limbs pulse their bloom
nimble fingers of dancing shadows
cupping the feline curves of a chaise longue
the purposefully out of place set piece
the fantasy of a gentleman's reading room
caked in casked sherry
and Nat Sherman cigar infused aromas

her elegant pose sumptuous reclining
elbow length satin gloves
sensually wrapped in wanton desire
******* clasp a Sorbranie Black Russian
smoked like a sultry gypsy
with a fervent demeanour
from a silver opera cigarette holder
beckoning with the cats eyes of mischief
over Pinced nez eyeglasses
with a fascination imbibed
in the praxis of passion

the peach skin of refulgent youth
directs the viewer downwards, slowly
survey each contour of olive skin
and stroke every hidden cleft of fabric
to glimpse the nubile thighs of grace
leading the eye to the arch of an ankle
slipped like a fitted glove
nestled in the cleavage of her calf
and the chastity of future wonderment

the forgotten photograph
captures a period in time
the memories of the muse
now in motionless existence
a demure allure forever frozen
once lost, but now
never forgotten
Inspired by a vintage ****** postcard from the 1920s - 30s
Dak Apr 2014
I wish the world were blind,
so love could be.
Mental illnesses are not something to be envious of
There is nothing beautiful about being up at 4am at the fall of the moon
And the constant dull ache inside of you that never stops
With the hope that this pain will go away sometime soon

There is nothing cute about cutting your wrists
Hiding the evidence in a hurried, panicked mess
And hoping you'll be the only one to know
About the relationship with depression, who leaves you feeling helpless

There is no reason to be envious over the girl panicking in the car park,
Sobbing, shaking, running out of breath,
Throwing up because of a fast heart beat,
And feeling like you're seconds away from death

So what is beautiful about Crimson coloured wrists, wet cheeks and sobbing so hard you throw up?
Because last time I checked
Pain isn't beautiful
Pain is raw, honest and destructive.
No romanticising intended at all.
Traveler Sep 2019
My wall are covered with
Beautiful things
Dream catchers
Suns and planets
Loki and Zeus  
  The mark of Cain...
I love my
Statues of Buddha
Figures of Christ
Paintings of ships at sea
Guitars and amps
Keyboards and drums
  More than I could ever need...
Outside my windows
Lives the Trees
Sweet sounds
Of birds and bees
My aesthetic impairment
Has set me free
...........
Tim

BLACK
Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did
All five horizons revolved around her soul as the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn, ooh
And all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore
Too doo doo doo
Too doo doo
.........


Peril Jam
My life is a brilliant and vivid mosaic of failures. If depicted horizontally, it would span countless walls, each with its own tapestry. Intertwined in each image would be a visage of myself in yet another battle of me, metaphorically David, and the vastness of the woven problem, here named Goliath. The only difference however, I don't succeed. My slingshot, as it were, isn't good enough.
     "Almost" is a callous and cold word, however it is the most veril word I know. It shouldn't just be something on my body like a tattoo, but rather etched painstakingly into my hardest bones. Always. Always "Almost" is not a fulfilling way to live.
     My Father once said something along the lines of "The only way I wouldn't be proud of you or that I would be disappointed in you is if you did something or made choices that lead to your unhappiness." With that, I feel as though he couldn't have been proud of me in quite some time, and further, there is no evidence that it will change. I am unhappy all of the time. I am disappointed in myself.
     I am afraid, fearful, of the hatred inside myself at times. I try and use it to my advantage, to prove my "worth", to try and do better at the current task (whatever it may be at the time). But as it usually happens, I get so angry, even vengeful, with no explanation. I sit and think about it, come to nothing, and am scared of what I am becoming.
     I am breathing, organic garbage that, because of sentience, assumes too much of, and from, my existence. I am a ******* paradox. I am realistic but full of wishes, longing for what I know does not exist; I am pessimistic, yet full of hopes, or false hopes rather, that I know fullheartedly are hubris and lost time. Whenever I need logic, emotion takes control. Whenever I look for my heart, my mind conceals its help.
     I believe in absolutely nothing but who I think I am, but I doubt myself to my bitter, black core.
I have achieved nothing with what I have been given (everything) and therefore deserve nothing that I have.
     I Am A Fake. I Am A Lie. I pretend to understand, to know, to help, to listen, but I have no idea what the **** I'm doing, who the **** I am, or why the **** I'm even here as undeserving as I am. With that, what right have I at all to "help" anyone else when I, myself, have no idea where my words will lead them? That itself makes me worse than half of the people that have killed others because at least they know who they are and what they were doing.
     I find it hard to believe that I, personally, was crafted in the image of God because I can't imagine that I resemble (in spirit, mind or matter) anything like the Perfect Being that I love and pray to. I am handcrafted debris, trash, attempting (out of place) to be something more.
     I was once told by someone I truly loved, "How can you love someone if you don't love yourself?" It's pretty easy. You first look at them, think of all the things they do and all the things they represent that lead to them making you happy, and you fall in love with that. it isn't a choice, you just do. I do nothing that makes me happy successfully, in the end, I try and fail consistently whereas someone I love is victorious repeatedly just by being them self. Why wouldn't you love someone for making you happy, yet love yourself in spite of your inability to do so?
     I don't believe anything I've ever encountered or experienced in my, as of yet, short life has prepared me for the utmost feeling of loneliness that creeps like the most dark and shadowy oppression. No cigarette is long enough, no vat of bourbon deep enough to escape that thought. Even in upbeat company that fact lingers, and of it, I am afraid.
     Why must I settle and "stay the course"? Why hold onto a sinking ship? I don't mean in terms of living versus dying, I mean in terms of living in insufferable struggle versus changing the reality. Why is this made to seem so impossible?
     Why am I in constant debt before even being old enough, experienced enough, or brave enough to even make decisions with that debt as a possible outcome?
     Since I was old enough to formulate my own opinions of the world I live in, it's been the epitome and meter of one resounding conclusion: "I will try my best and fail, suffer, but in doing this, I will have no choice but to think one day it will get better, and I can hope in my time of struggle that when that day comes, I Might Be Able To Be Happy.
     I'm in love with someone who is half a country away. She even knows, She might even feel the same, but it is for naught. I justify this by telling myself every "writer" needs a Muse.
     I lack the natural talent required to achieve my dreams in this current world. I was born with a gift I should have kept the receipt with; something I could have traded for something more realistically useful.
     Those closest to me have no idea who I am. They are the only thing that glues my sanity, and I'm fearful if they fully knew what I am, they'd leave.
     I've condensed some of these thoughts and feelings into spoken words to those I trust the most, hoping and praying they might say this is normal, that everyone goes through this, that we are all fighting the good fight. Their deaf ears betray their silent mouths.
     The rhythm in music, the voices in plays, the words to poems, the flow of my pencil, are all I have to escape this solitary confinement. But upon realizing the only things I have to help me feel "normal" are inanimate and incapable of understanding, it only further drives me into the chasm.
     I have become everything I hate. A petulant, assuming, and undeserving child ******* about his life when it's not even fully begun, and worse, has been given everything along the way and pitifully has done nothing with ******* any of it.
     I look at my Father and my Mother, and mouth agape, am stunned at their character, their perseverance. Compared to the two people who made me, I am grovelling ****, with absolutely nothing to complain about.
     I have never made a serious decision in my life unless I fully knew the only outcome before the decision was made. This makes me a coward. Logically it might make sense, but this is real life, you shouldn't do that, and **** logic.
     I always have an excuse, I'm not a real man, I'm afraid to take a fall because it's just another piece of the prosecution's evidence pointing to the guilt I possess in relation to my long record of failures.
     I'm cast outside "normalcy" because I don't believe in society. I'm not afraid to die, death actually intrigues me, a lingering curiosity. I adore the macabre because I believe there is truth of humanity in the darkness that everyone ignores exists. We profit and capitalize on procedures that **** thousands, but because it's not us they target, and usually not until the long run, we pay no mind. I believe that more than half of our so called "society", myself included, are no better in most senses than Dahmer or Panzram. At least they were honest about the monsters they were.
     I'm obsessed with thing that don't matter; theories that wouldn't make a difference in the world if proven true, questing for a Love that I rightly don't deserve and that likely doesn't exist, searching for acceptance of anyone but at the same time and equally, in paradox, caring about none of it, especially myself.
     Most nights instead of praying to God as I intend to do, I find myself wondering if I deserve His forgiveness. I know, on some level or another, if the Holy Father, Himself, came to me at any time during those sleepless nights, I would not have an even close to decent answer arguing for His forgiveness, but rather, a full of tears and chopped up, pathetic plea for it anyway.
     I dream of someone to love romantically just for the sake of being able to love someone for exactly who they are and because doing so makes me happy. It has been so long passed of this being even close to a chance of reality, that the thought of ***, or even intimacy, without that love does not even interest me anymore.
     I'm twenty years old and every job I work wants one-hundred percent of my soul and time. Is this normal? Am I not allowed to be a responsible but stupid kid for a while before I have to settle with the reality of a mundane and mind/body numbing job that takes so much of your day that at night you can only imagine the freedom of sleep rather than having a spare few precious seconds for thinking that dying has the upside of never having to show up to that ******* place again? I have no problem with working at all, in fact, I appreciate anything that has a general task and goal that is monotonous enough to keep my mind focused just enough that anything I've written here, the things that upset me, don't leak in and ruin the day, but realistically, how can I give my soul to cutting lawn? To stocking a ******* shelf? I am part of the worst generation on Earth so far, I have potential to be better than ninety--nine percent of the drooling unfortunate vertebrae we call "society", and this is what I'm supposed to wake up for? If this is what I need to accept and I'm just going crazy, fine, I accept it, but in doing this, you need to accept that if I'm crazy, you're batshit ******* nuts.
     I find myself not ever wanting to wake up. I'm not even close to suicidal, I don't want to die yet, I just can't see a logical point, or an emotional reason for any of this nonsense to continue. Can anyone identify with that? Don't misconstrue and worry yourself with me being honest with myself, I DO wake up. I wash my face, but I look in the mirror afterwards and ask "Why?", and I get the day over with anyway so I can hurry up and get home to get ready to do everything over again exactly the same the next day the exact same way, the only difference being the date on the calender and the minutes of the one life I get slowly building themselves into hours and days that will now be an empty black void of memory in my head that could've been used for something worth remembering. Why? Why settle to sulk and squander in ***** and depression when you haven't even tried to bathe in gold and happiness?
     I hate almost everything. The way things are, have been, will be. I hate the faceless sheep that complain yet attempt nothing to change their circumstances. If there is one thing to look on with pride, it is at least I'm better than that. At least if I failed, by default it means I ******* tried.
     I lack the capacity and the capability to voice these kinds of thoughts. As well-spoken as I am, I choke the hardest when I try to speak about any of them. I have to scribble and usually type them, and further, put them in a format a possible reader might be able to understand. Alas, I have failed at that as well. I put my heart and thoughts into my poetry, but anything resonating from within me that I've pounded into the countless pages I've written is lost in a sea of meter and rule-abiding rhetoric as well as aesthetically and audibly pleasing metaphors and rhyme-schemes rather than just blunt structure. No one reads anything with nothing left to the imagination. And justly so, why would they? Why try to decipher someone's heart if it doesn't also apply to you? Why read an ending if you know you won't like it unless it has "happily ever ******* after"? Why not emulate the thoughts and endure the cramping in the thumb an forefinger if it's not something you already know or something you clicked "like" on to impress the friend with the independent mind that was the one who told you to read it in the first place? I may sound bitter, I am, and hateful, but at least I am not a liar.
     If I had one absolute thing, one pure thought, one controversial heading, one cry to all who have ever asked me and I have failed to explain it better; If I can leave you with one thing; If it were possible for me to speak one line to the empty church at my funeral when I die someday and move on to peace, it would be this:
The Words I Seek With Which I Wish To Express My True Misery Elude Me.
vern Apr 2019
I am a small and expressive six-year-old
I just came back from India, just a trip to visit family
I wear a bindi
My hands are decorated with mehndhi¹
I wear bangles on my arm of all different colors
I wore a little churi daar
²
And everyone teased me
“She has a disease?”
“Why is there a dot on your forehead?”
“You look funny”
A few of my friends tell me that I look pretty and they wish to wear it too.
I get a few compliments but the rest hurt
I never wore a bindi in front of them again
I washed my hands to rid the orange stains
I never wear my Indian clothes
I am a not so small and not expressive sixteen-year-old
I see music festivals, I see movies, I see the people who teased me when I was six
They wear the dots that I had worn
They decorate their hands with what they call “henna”
It wasn’t an Indian holiday
I’m a little hurt
Why was I teased?
But they are praised
“It’s aesthetically pleasing?”
“The bindi is indie”
Do not tease me for my culture
And then take it for your own praise
Is that even fair?
Do you think that’s fair?
some thoughts about cultural appropriation
1. henna in intricate patterns
2. an Indian outfit prominent in Gujarat, worn during holiday celebrations
pat pakla Jun 2012
Fatima Latima**

I had wished I had no gift of sight
That the worst I could endure is hear you speak
And not snapshot the footfall of your gradation

You may not be a thief
Nor ****, daughter of the dayspring
But definitely my heart you stole

I speak of the daughter of Arabia  
Aesthetically, she rocks
The queen of the pilgrim sands
And aeonian desert stones

Beyond the hijab
Artistically knead with consummate craft
Like the relics of Mecca
Blest by the prophet’s bones
The blessed

I see torches
Beaming with intelligence
Within those mascaras
Exquisitely trimmed and vibrant
A lulu class botany

She fixes a searching gaze
As she saunters close
And the stride and tread
Beats a drum entrancing
Soothed in her solacing spell
I give in, to her lullaby

She halts her perambulation
Stands magniloquent and stupefy
Like some pop diva magazine pose
Or Victorian secret shot
A tactical derangement of her gluteals
As she rests her palm in its cleft
I feel contractions, my dartos muscles

The blew of summertime
Gently beats her exceptional form
Her belt submerge her thigh crevice
Cleft by the sundered rift of fleshy fat
Built by the dainties and delicacies
Seasoned by the finest Arabian chef
As her silken dress slithers and gowns
Under the breeze bulging and blooming
Like a rose blossom or sunflower fore

As she bends down
To assuage the burlesque
The sun specula lilts her sensational
Her smile apologetic bids me stillness
I am caught staring
Guzzling down her scent and
Feasting on empty imaginations
Of What If that accentuate the mind and
Speed a hormone
And I pray I sin no more
Next time we meet and I see her again

For I am but a writer
Learning to use my pen and paper
And hope you but forgive
My linguistic impotence
When I make my confession
Employing too plain a language
When I say thus;

Her smile is classical
Her walk magical
Her beauty celestial
Her stride sensational
Her religion ethical
Her character spotless
And that leaves me breathless

And forgive if I step on broken toe
And try speak of the unspoken
Her ****** is sacred
Her being a type that dresses up
In the milliards of brutes dressing down
And shamelessly style it fashion

I must see a priest
One confession I ought to utter
And even vociferate abroad
For once I had fallen in love
With an Arabian Beautie
A ****** of Mecca.
Byron May 2013
There once was a man who said you could beat the world with your words. That you could conquer an army with the knowledge of a greater narrative and move the legions of many with the action of one verb. I want to believe who ever can recreate the frameworks our race. The foundational narrative of our moral ethic, the guidelines mankind has been leaning on for millenniums. I want to know a alternative story, with made up words and no respect for a-priori intuition or tradition but a legend of unabiding experience that is unlike any tangent or discourse known. I want to reinvent another codex.  

I saw god as the architect I consoled in the grand tree house, with the grand green house sitting in a curious English archway. The telescope room was laid with bricks and from it I could see all that made me content. I felt the time changing before my eyes. Whether I was in compromise or not was entirely up to the seasons of Zeus.

I am now never afraid of myself, I almost died and I remember it all. I have known fear and still revere the quenching of it's animosity. I am only a swerving flake of inner rind. I am all that is exhausted of my honest dive for humanity. I am me finally, a shell no more! Man is the helplessness of lost spatiality in his own timid surrealism. I have never been satisfied with the explanations no matter how exhaustive! Revisited by the techni-color outlook of the turning millennium craze. The alleviation of all hopes when they turned out a dead end inthemselves, a lost avenue of my childhood.

I guess we all wanted that age-old rampant abuse of youth in ways that were neither aesthetically pleasing or unifying towards our own, best. I was tired of the beautiful sprites I grew up with. I was tired of locking myself in closets at nights and rubbing my face into the it's knotted carpet floor. I'm tired of the songs that advocated joyful frolicking into the drapped daylight. The oddities grow old and the used up phrase are clique now. I lost my mind seeing the years of my language frightened by the sound of my own breath. Grow into yourself. I am done with you anyways. I am done seeing them engulf a titanic drift of colorful intentions; flirting around the grand bonfire of the uncreated experience. I am lost with them. I question more than just our own value and I resign my thoughts on themselves for their own wealth and safety. When you want it said so bad but the forces of those unforeseen, creative hives oscillate and never stop it's steps into the night-legend. Then the world ends and was never in out of tension. I electrify my time and run into the a.m. frantic like a monkey, waving around and jesting my arms. I'm tired of the old music, in with the artifacts who architect the reverberation of my heart.

Your myth has lived into the century and I can see your ideas into the lives of all maniacs and the honest young, the deranged youth. We are amidst a heavy tension, i cry again. I want my mother's words three times a day and more on my weak hours. I am content in the alien maze of my music and want only the childhood campers to love me like a king. They gathered around at night, around the campfire. They initiated the song and dance with gaiety rhythm; that was the nights stars collided into bedtime. The same night I was torn by the dreams of an old horrid man who gave me no name and no rest from tear and horror. What evil is an anonymous the Will that censors awareness and knowledge. If it kills

So what then of the tribal pack psyche we all inherit. In days where beauty was up to chance. Our proximity to a woman was determined by breeding patterns and the realm of funds available for travel and food. What now in these days of the internet? When the whole world is at the tops of our finger tips and even more far away is the understanding we gain of our inability to have the cream of the world. We are in a great exaggeration of ourselves, of our will, and of our determined out-come. We have little but the pessimisme of our predecessors to guide our philosophies application. The translation of dream-world is perfectly out of reach for us and always for our posterity. From here on out we are a new age. A new age whose gates are christened by the ungenuine thugs and malevolent brand names of our civilization. We are faking it till the end. I am scared and drilled by horror and filled more with black premonitions. I wish I had eyes to see myself with a more generous charity but I don't and neither do you. What you see is an age of outward anticipation for the soring ribbons of undone realities.

The artist is the one who has seen the broad fleeting wisp of an out-of-world innuendo. It is the ethereal encounter with a cognitive defect that mimic as a supernatural sensation, this is seen by the artist as true humanity and rightfully so as it brings him to tears.

I always forget that we are always on the cusp. That we are simply a few bruised years away from reveling in the stained, sealed golden sunlight of the age that has came. What we do now is entirely crucial to our ability to be in unending sorrow and remorse. We see our people in a clearer way, for what they where struggling with, for what their reverie finally came to look like, ugly or gleefully self created, their vision of the world will always be our continual source of inspiration.
Isabelle Emily Oct 2017
I'm beautiful.
I'm beautiful because I said I am.

I'm beautiful because my eyes crinkle when I throw my head back and laugh boisterously at a stupid joke I made myself.

I'm beautiful when I smile lazily and my double chin peeks through the polaroid that effortlessly captures my features.

I'm beautiful because, after many years of being told I don't fit into the spectrum of socially accepted beauty, I laughed and told them to *******.

I'm beautiful because all the years of self-loathing and self-doubt erased the moment I said I'm beautiful.

I'm beautiful and there isn't a soul alive who can convince me otherwise.
just a reminder.
judy smith Sep 2016
When I was chief creative officer for Liz Claiborne Inc., I spent a good amount of time on the road hosting fashion shows highlighting our brands. Our team made a point of retaining models of various sizes, shapes and ages, because one of the missions of the shows was to educate audiences about how they could look their best. At a Q&A; after one event in Nashville in 2010, a woman stood up, took off her jacket and said, with touching candour: “Tim, look at me. I’m a box on top, a big, square box. How can I dress this shape and not look like a fullback?” It was a question I’d heard over and over during the tour: Women who were larger than a size 12 always wanted to know, How can I look good, and why do designers ignore me?

At New York Fashion Week, which began Thursday, the majority of American women are unlikely to receive much attention, either. Designers keep their collections tightly under wraps before sending them down the runway, but if past years are any indication of what’s to come, plus-size looks will be in short supply. Sure, at New York Fashion Week in 2015, Marc Jacobs and Sophie Theallet each featured a plus-size model and Ashley Graham debuted her plus-size lingerie line. But these moves were very much the exception, not the rule.

I love the American fashion industry, but it has a lot of problems and one of them is the baffling way it has turned its back on plus-size women. It’s a puzzling conundrum. The average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18, according to new research from Washington State University. There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts. There is money to be made here ($20.4 billion (U.S.), up 17 per cent from 2013). But many designers — dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk — still refuse to make clothes for them.

In addition to the fact that most designers max out at size 12, the selection of plus-size items on offer at many retailers is paltry compared with what’s available for a size 2 woman. According to a Bloomberg analysis, only 8.5 per cent of dresses on Nordstrom.com in May were plus-size. At J.C. Penney’s website, it was 16 per cent; Nike.com had a mere five items — total.

I’ve spoken to many designers and merchandisers about this. The overwhelming response is, “I’m not interested in her.” Why? “I don’t want her wearing my clothes.” Why? “She won’t look the way that I want her to look.” They say the plus-size woman is complicated, different and difficult, that no two size 16s are alike. Some haven’t bothered to hide their contempt. “No one wants to see curvy women” on the runway, Karl Lagerfeld, head designer of Chanel, said in 2009. Plenty of mass retailers are no more enlightened: under the tenure of chief executive Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch sold nothing larger than a size 10, with Jeffries explaining that “we go after the attractive, all-American kid.”

This a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. Designs need to be reconceived, not just sized up; it’s a matter of adjusting proportions. The textile changes, every seam changes. Done right, our clothing can create an optical illusion that helps us look taller and slimmer. Done wrong, and we look worse than if we were naked.

Have you shopped retail for size 14-plus clothing? Based on my experience shopping with plus-size women, it’s a horribly insulting and demoralizing experience. Half the items make the body look larger, with features like ruching, box pleats and shoulder pads. Pastels and large-scale prints and crazy pattern-mixing abound, all guaranteed to make you look infantile or like a float in a parade. Adding to this travesty is a major department-store chain that makes you walk under a marquee that reads “WOMAN.” What does that even imply? That a “woman” is anyone larger than a 12 and everyone else is a girl? It’s mind-boggling.

Project Runway, the design competition show on which I’m a mentor, has not been a leader on this issue. Every season we have the “real women” challenge (a title I hate), in which the designers create looks for non-models. The designers audibly groan, though I’m not sure why; in the real world, they won’t be dressing a seven-foot-tall glamazon.

This season, something different happened: Ashley Nell Tipton won the contest with the show’s first plus-size collection. But even this achievement managed to come off as condescending. I’ve never seen such hideous clothes in my life: bare midriffs; skirts over crinoline, which give the clothes, and the wearer, more volume; see-through skirts that reveal *******; pastels, which tend to make the wearer look juvenile; and large-scale floral embellishments that shout “prom.” Her victory reeked of tokenism. One judge told me that she was “voting for the symbol” and that these were clothes for a “certain population.” I said they should be clothes all women want to wear. I wouldn’t dream of letting any woman, whether she’s a size 6 or a 16, wear them. Simply making a nod toward inclusiveness is not enough.

This problem is difficult to change. The industry, from the runway to magazines to advertising, likes subscribing to the mythology it has created of glamour and thinness. Look at Vogue’s “Shape Issue,” which is ostensibly a celebration of different body types but does no more than nod to anyone above a size 12. For decades, designers have trotted models with bodies completely unattainable for most women down the runway. First it was women so thin that they surely had eating disorders. After an outcry, the industry responded by putting young teens on the runway, girls who had yet to exit puberty. More outrage.

But change is not impossible. There are aesthetically worthy retail successes in this market. When helping women who are size 14 and up, my go-to retailer is Lane Bryant. While the items aren’t fashion with a capital F, they are stylish (but please avoid the cropped pants — always a no-no for any woman). And designer Christian Siriano scored a design and public relations victory after producing a look for Leslie Jones to wear to the “Ghostbusters” red-carpet premiere. Jones, who is not a diminutive woman, had tweeted in despair that she couldn’t find anyone to dress her; Siriano stepped in with a lovely full-length red gown.

Several retailers that have stepped up their plus-size offerings have been rewarded. In one year, ModCloth doubled its plus-size lineup. To mark the anniversary, the company paid for a survey of 1,500 American women ages 18 to 44 and released its findings: Seventy-four per cent of plus-size women described shopping in stores as “frustrating”; 65 per cent said they were “excluded.” (Interestingly, 65 per cent of women of all sizes agreed that plus-size women were ignored by the fashion industry.) But the plus-size women surveyed also indicated that they wanted to shop more. More than 80 per cent said they’d spend more on clothing if they had more choices in their size and nearly 90 per cent said they would buy more if they had trendier options. According to the company, its plus-size shoppers place 20 per cent more orders than its straight-size customers.

Online start-up Eloquii, initially conceived and then killed by The Limited, was reborn in 2014. The trendy plus-size retailer, whose top seller is an over-the-knee boot with four-inch heels and extended calf sizes, grew its sales volume by more than 165 per cent in 2015.

Despite the huge financial potential of this market, many designers don’t want to address it. It’s not in their vocabulary. Today’s designers operate within paradigms that were established decades ago, including anachronistic sizing. (Consider the fashion show: It hasn’t changed in more than a century.) But this is now the shape of women in this nation, and designers need to wrap their minds around it. I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices. Separates — tops, bottoms — rather than single items like dresses or jumpsuits always work best for the purpose of fit. Larger women look great in clothes skimming the body, rather than hugging or cascading. There’s an art to doing this. Designers, make it work.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/cocktail-dresses | www.marieaustralia.com/black-formal-dresses
Faeri Shankar Nov 2012
Some days I think I could love you
If the grass was green enough
If I didn't associate your musk with the flannel
I search for at every goodwill
At every thrift store
Trying them on relentlessly
Button up, button down
As if each little plaid square could shrink my ******* smaller
Stretch my back vertically
Aesthetically speaking.

Some days I think I could love you
If was smaller and wiser
If I could believe in nothing
Rather than the absence of something
Every time I close my eyes and pray once more
Beneath the shadow of the hospital-tainted shower curtain.

Some days I think I could love you
If I remember the piercing blanch
Of whiskey burning in the back of my throat
If I recall the tears in your eyes on a mid-May afternoon
Standing closely in a gravel parking lot
Telling me "See ya later" instead of goodbye
Kissing my forehead, nose, and eyes.

Some days I think I could love you
If you told me it didn't matter how prominent my collar bones are
Or that it didn't take the catalyst of pickling my insides
******* a lonely man while you were away
To make you want for me.

Some days I think I could love you
When you trace the lines of my waist
Asking me not to lose any more weight
When you tell me I'm beautiful
That you envy my heaven
When you ask to see me simply to hear my thoughts.

Some days I think I could love you
If you told me you loved me
If that alone didn't set you apart from the rest
Aligning yourself a whole in one with the others
Only greater.

Some days I think I could love you
If I couldn't recall the misshapen line
Between a large vocabulary and eloquencey
Between a man and a frightened boy
Between an eating disorder and self-motivation.

Some days, I think I might love you
If I could silence my mind of all the fragrances of adultery
If I could leap elegantly past the fear of such a concept
Without wondering how I appear to you compared to the rest.

Some days I think I could love you
If I could forget that you can't
If I could remember how to open my own hatch
Without fear, as the key
If I could remember to love myself.

Some days, I think I could love you
Some days, I believe it.
Some days, I don't.
scars of a past I wanted nothing to do with
led me to handcuff myself
to a lampole for security.

I had reached my consensus.

I threw the keys to these cuffs
in mental portals where I thought
no one would dare to ever travel.

Many tried searching
but I intentionally
obstructed access
with deceptive rants of fear and caution.

By then
I was sure
that I had thoroughly built walls of security;
I was safe
...but who would've thought
my aesthetically intellectual design
had a weakness?

The enemy came just as they all did,
hoping to be let in...
but this one reacted differently when the ranting came;
I was now at a disadvantage
because I had no other alternatives for defense.

The enemy showed no care for my security;
It was attractive
And I succumbed while
Never forgetting my plan
Although it seemed my design was nugatory.

My mental lampole and cuffs,
gone.

I was left subjugated
at the feet of a queen
who carried an aura
with the most beautiful spectrum.

Like a bull snake,
promises of security
grappled my core,
draining it of all fear
leaving behind no traces
of deception.

Although defeated,
she still remains my enemy
because serendipity
never seems to stick around.
Random Thoughts - I know my poetry isn't as pellucid so you can just ask me what it's about or ask me to clarify anything that may not be understood.
Diana Aug 2020
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
  ->doing whatever the fu€k I want; I usually thought this way, but now I would say when I’m worshipping or praying (usually a person will say when they look a certain way which is sad to an extent because it reflects the way in which they associate beauty immediately with an external reflection; however, most people think this way)

2. Who do you love the most in your life?

3. Who has shown you and made you feel the most loved?
—> I had a 11 year old ask me this once

4. What would you do during the summers as a kid?
—> it can reflect the socioeconomic background one comes from

5. Do you think you’re an aesthetically  beautiful person?
—> this is quite interesting, bc if a good looking person says yes, then they’re proud and stuck up; if they say no, then they’re obnoxiously oblivious and seeking attention; if a not so good looking person says yes, then they are praised for their confidence; if they say no, then they are pitied and encouraged, the best answer is to give an answer back: do you believe that everyone should feel aesthetically beautiful?

6. Do you have any siblings? If so, how many brothers and sisters, and are you the oldest or youngest?
—> learning about birthing order can be huge! Oldest tend to be protective, responsible, mature at a very young age, selfless, and carry more of a silent burden and stress, introduction to adulthood is rather quick. Middle child is often overlooked and will seek a sense of family/community elsewhere with friend groups and such; they feel like their thoughts/existence goes unseen by the ones that are supposed to care the most youngest tend to seek the approval of others especially of those older than them, outgoing, irresponsible, and babied. They can have a harder time managing task without it being done for them by others.

7. When we fall asleep, where do you think we go?

8. What is a thought that has kept you up at night?

9. What was the most humbling moment you’ve had in your life?

10. What is a piece of advice that you still hold today that transcends time?

11. What’s a favorite quote of yours?
-> the unexamined life is a life not worth living; don’t take yourself too seriously; come back home to yourself and choose to show up authentically; growth is a dance not a light switch; Harriet Tubman- I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed  a thousand more of only they knew they were slaves.

12. Who has impacted your life the most? How and why?

13. What is an overlooked or under appreciated strength that you have?
—> honesty, forgiveness

14. How do you give love? How do you receive it?
—> 5 love languages: words of affirmations, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, gifts

15. How do you communicate when in repairs after a rupture has occurred?
—> discuss as soon as possible, take a five minute break, wait a few days, words, touch, gifts, silence, etc. so you never repair after a disagreement?

16. Do you enjoy the late hours of the night or the early hours of the morning?

17. What’s your favorite type of weather?

18. Do you prefer exploring and staying in the gray, or the black and white?

19. Of you could study anything what would it be?

20. What are ways that you work on your emotional intelligence and character?

21. What type of communicator are you?
—> words, touch, actions, silent, loud, stoic, expressive, curt, bombastic, blunt, passive, etc.

22. Would you say you have a better face or body?

23. What is a moment where you felt a supernatural appreciation for the earth due to the view you saw?

24. How do you handle seasons? The ends and beginnings of them?
-> journal, reflect, avoid, acknowledge, cry, run backwards, move forwards, etc.

25. What book had a huge effect on you? What was it about the book?
-> all the bright places, Fahrenheit 451, the curse of the good girl, it ends with us, great gatsby, the voice of archer, etc.

26. What is the worst thing you can take from another person?
-> their time

27. What’s the greatest act of love (that you can do for another) ?
-> to die for another since the greatest fear is death

28. What is something that brings you peace that not many people do or notice?

29. What is the worst form of loneliness?
-> when you are uncomfortable with yourself

30. When do you feel the most vulnerable?
-> sleeping, expressing emotions, sick, crying, etc.

31. How do you handle seasons? The end and beginning of them?

32. Liquid or bar soap?

33. Have you ever closed your eyes, plugged your ears, and listen to the noise that comes when you let the water from a shower head pour over your skull

34. What is the most beautiful sound you have ever heard?

35. Do you think your parents are soulmates, or do you question their love for each other?  

36. What are important qualities to have in any relationship (platonic, romantic, etc.)?
-> trust, love, loyalty, respect, empathy, compassion, boundaries, autonomy, differences, effective communication, etc.

37. What are qualities that you look for in a romantic partner?
-> thoughtfulness, observant, confidence, wisdom, romantic, humorous, self-driven, self-discipline, humility, grace, etc.

38. How do you know that your (insert name/ relationship) loves you?

39. Would you rather be hated or alone?
-> interesting philosophical question in regards to being hated would mean that there is a recognition of your existence as opposed to being alone

40. How did you learn to ride the bike? Ice Scate? Snowboard?

41. When was the last time you felt rejected? By who? For what?

42. When was the last time you cried?

43. What has a kid said to you that has made you stop and reflect?

44. Which is a worse fear: the fear of dying or the fear of not being worthy of love
-> Jordan Peterson claims that the greatest fear that humans have is not death because then how would we explain suicide...the fear of death is a subcategory for the greatest fear which he believes to be the complexity issue (people **** themselves not because they want to die but because their life has become too complex for them to handle emotionally and/or physically)

45. What is the most destructive thing a person can do to themselves?
-> to deny themselves; to place the responsibilities of loving and accepting themselves onto others such as lovers or family members; to believe they are not worthy to be loved

46. What is something you want to experience/feel in a relationship
-> unconditional love; lol I have a while poke dedicated to experiences

47. Tell me about a dream that you have had multiple times

48. What do you like most about yourself?
-> my mind/thinking process; understanding, and open to conversation

49. Would you be friends with yourself

50. What is the worst thing you have done or said to another person? How old were you?

51. Why do you choose to wake up and participate in society?

52. What makes a woman or man their gender? Their body/attitude/characteristics?

53. Would you let your child date someone that has the character of you?

54. What makes you special? Since the beliefs you hold and the personality traits that you have aren’t exclusive to you?
-> it’s the combination and ratio that makes us unique

55. when was the last time anyone ever told you how important you are?

56. what are things you do when you need to feel nurtures?
->hot bath, foot rub, curling up in a comfy chair with a comforter and a good book, or making a *** of soup or a nourishing hot drink

57. what are ways that you neglect your physical and emotional well-being?

58. where in your life are you not protecting what is precious in you?

59. what adjectives describe your relationship with your mother? do you like the closeness or is it uncomfortable in some ways and hard to fully accept?

60. What do you do when you cry? do you try to stop it, cover your eyes, in the dark, into a pillow, silent, loud, sooth your body?

61. What was something that someone said to you that made you feel seen for the first time in a long time? what is something that touched you heart?
-> you are do brave, you have a courageous heart, you are a natural teacher and psychologist, you lean towards healing, you do not realize how much you impact other people's lives

62. what is a go to song that you could listen to at any moment in your life?

63. What do you do when you feel lonely?

64. What is something that puts a smile on your face?

65. What smell brings you joy?

66. would you rather get caught or catch your parents?

67. what is one of the biggest lies you have told yourself?
-> you are unworthy of love

68. what is a memory that reminds you of the beauty in life?

69. what is your favorite word to pronounce?
-> tantalizing, satiate, revere

70. what stereotype do you think people put you in when they see you?
-> pretty, (not super smart) blonde

71. what are things about you would shock other people?
-> first generation. youngest of five, 4.0 student, write poetry, love to read, not active on social media, don't like taking pictures, never been kissed, played the violin and cello, struggled with insecurity

72. tell me the accomplishments that you might be hesitant to share bluntly in fear that it comes off as being a show off?
-4.0 since sixth grade to nursing school in college, won a poetry competition in senior year of high school, got a full ride to UW Seattle and declined, won best dressed in high school, squatted 225lbs, muscular body, sang in a few songs (good at singing)

73. how do you interact with others when they are invading your personal space?
-> don't do anything, interrupt and tell them to move, slowly do something on your own without saying anything to them

74. what do you do and how do you feel when someone cries next to you?
-> hug/touch them, talk to them, remain silent, get stiff and uncomfortable, try to get them to stop crying, walk away

75. how do you regulate your emotions when they are out of homeostasis?
-> don't know how to, take deep breaths, walk away from the situation so the stimulus/source is not in front of me, cry

76. name as many emotions as you can
-> reflects their ability to accurately label their emotional experiences and can possibly be a marker/indicator for their emotional intelligence/maturity

77. how do you feel about death, do you talk about death, do you see others shut down or open up when you express this topic?
-> isn't it ironic how death is an inevitable event yet so many humans are uncomfortable with talking about it. I believe that it interrupts the natural grieving process. I talk about death with my dad and he is more open with talking to me about when he passes; my mom gets uncomfortable and gets upset and tries to switch the topic.

78. would you rather eat any form of noodles or burgers for the rest of your life?

79. when was the last time you sat in silence and was comfortable with it (excluding before you fall asleep)?

80. when was the last time you had a conversation with yourself about something deep? what was it about?

81. what is a revelation in your life that made you cry?
->only God can provide me with unconditional love; no one else can

82. what do you think is the root of all fears? what do you think can remove them?
->ignorance; distraction/knowledge -> unconditional love

83. What is the most unique response you’ve received when you’ve asked someone how they are doing?
-> still breathing

84. Do you think humans are easy to love?
-> I don’t think they are easy; it is complex just like they are

85. When was the last time you read a book? What was the title called? what was it about? Why did you read it?
-> the emotionally absent mother by Jasmin Lee Cori

86. If you’re comfortable with sharing, talk to me about the life of someone that has passed away? What were they like? How did they make you feel? Who were they to you? How did you cope when you realized they passed away?

87. Who are addicts? What do you need to do to be one? Do you think everyone is an addict to some extent? Why do you think people become addicts?
-> whenever faced with such questions it is imperative that we must ask ourselves the question of why! Yes, I believe all of us are addicts to dopamine; our brain is wired that way. But when we think of addicts, we forgot to ask the question of why they are addicts. Life became too difficult to manage and the body found a way to stimulate the mind in such a manner that it either numbed the pain or provide sensation to a chronic state of numbness

88. Other than the lips, where do you like to be kissed the most?
-> forehead, cheek, behind the ear, neck, top of head, hand, nose, shoulder, chest, back, collarbone

89. What type of kiss do you enjoy the most?
-> slow, fast, French, peck, open mouthed, short, long, sloppy, hungry, passionate, affectionate, sweet, etc.

90. it is easy to agree with the statement that dehumanization is not okay, but is it more gray than we think? is there a degree of dehumanization that is okay or needed? if so, what is that degree? also, do you think we commit acts of dehumanization regularly? if so, when and what are these instances?
-> i believe that as humans we have a tendency of wanting to see our light and ignore the aspects of ourselves that are casted in that shadow. to have a light is to also have a shadow; i believe that we dehumanize almost every time we meet someone by limiting their mystery to small snipits of who they really are; also, sometimes it is very difficult to handle and hold such emotional space that our minds need to shut off and dehumanize for our own sake of well-being

91. are soul mates meant to be with each other?
-> A soulmate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity. This may involve similarity, love, romance, platonic relationships, comfort, intimacy, sexuality, ****** activity, spirituality, compatibility and trust

92. what are ways that you can take a break from reality?
-> sleep, reading, gaming, showering

93. do you have people in your life where their presence is enough? no conversation is necessary, just each other's presence is comforting enough.
->celesa, kristina, michelle, marta,

94. what is a memory you like to relive time to time?
->dancing with celesa at the bistro to adore you; trinity; late night phone calls with close friends

95. how would you describe your relationship using 5 adjectives or phrases with your best friend, sibling (if you have one), and care giver?
-> "If you love yourself, you love others. If you hate yourself, you hate others. Because in relationship with others … the other is nothing but a mirror." - Anonymous

96. how would you describe yourself using 10 adjectives?
-“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best." I like this quote because it acknowledges the negatives of who we all are. we aren't all only happy, funny, bubbly, hard-working, etc. we are also grumpy, boring, rude, and lazy. we are a combination of every adjective out there; it just depends on how aware we are of our expressions of these adjectives. So, notice the kind of adjective the person uses when they respond and also note the context and circumstance of your relation to them.

97. do you prefer a hot drink on a cold day or a cold drink on a hot day?

98. if you could be famous would you? famous for writing, acting, food, music, sport, YouTube etc.
-> for me personally it depends on the exposure i get. if i get a lot of focus on myself then no (music, acting, etc.) but if my work gets more focus than i do and i can still live a "normal" life then yes (writing, food, etc).

99. which musicians or artists do you think deserve more recognition?
-> emotional oranges, Justice Der, cigarettes after ***, the 1975, pink sweat$, A. Chal

100. what is one of the most thought-provoking questions or statements you have ever heard?
-> "not all of us can afford to be romantic" - Pride and Prejudice;
"when will it be enough; how much more do you need to finally be happy"- My dad; "do you believe that everyone deserves to look and find themselves to be aesthetically beautiful" -My brother

101. Favorite piece of clothing?
-> yuriy’s wedding: the dress I had, red socks, fuzzy sweater

102. What’s your full name?

103. What’s the weirdest saying an old person has said?
-> don’t go spending your money in a wooden nickel

104. What age would you consider a person to be old?

105. Do you believe that life requires s purpose?

106. What is your purpose?

107. What is one of your biggest fears that you believed in (as a child, adult, etc)?
-> that I was unlovable at some point in my life

108. When you are in an emotional emergency, do you have someone you can call? If so, who is it and why?
-> I don’t really...I try to stick through it...weird since I have had people tell me that I could call them but I still don’t feel comfortable to talk to them...

109. Do you have relationships where you felt valued, a sense of belonging, calm, accepted?

110. What is your earliest memory of feeling left out?
-> the social pain overlap theory (SPOT) describes the overlap between the pain of being physically hurt and the pain of being left out. In our bodies, there is literally no distinction between the two.

111. If you could only have one for the rest of your life, would you choose to keep limes or lemons?

112. Have you ever experienced the relational paradox? If so, with whom?
->  when you’re convinced that your friends won’t tolerate who you really are so you decided the best way to be excepted is to leave a part of yourself out of those relationships; By hiding yourself you may preserve the friendship but at the cost of feeling that you don’t legitimately belong but if your friends can see who you truly are they would cut you loose

113. Have you ever done a relational mindfulness exercise?
-> set a timer for 10 minutes, and then stare into each other’s eyes silently. It should sync your cardiac systems as well as your respiratory systems. Hold each other’s pulses to identify; I find it weird how we get stared at lovingly when we are babies and then that goes away as well get older...

114. What is a secret that you have kept from your partner, family, or closest friends that you believe if they found out they would reject you?

115. Do you have a person in your life that can be categorized as “the one that got away”? Someone you either dated or never dated?

116. Is there someone in your life that you don’t see anymore that you would like to have a conversation with? Dead and/or alive.

117. Sunset or sunrise?

118. Do you want children? What is your opinion on men who don’t want children; what is your opinion on women who don’t want children?

119. Have you ever felt forced to do something that you didn’t want to do or say? Like give a handshake, hug, take a picture, have a conversation, give a number, compliment someone, disclose personal information, go on a date, say I love you?
-> there’s a difference between not wanting to do something and feeling forced to do something, and I find it interesting that we all do things that we feel are forced upon us when no one is directly stating that we have to do it; it’s like an invisible force

120. what is something that another person did that made you uncomfortable but you never addressed it?
-> sing terribly while they are genuinely trying, get physically close to me, compliment me in a creepy way, talk in a movie theater

121. What is a pet peeve of yours?
-> leaving garbage on a table after you eat (not cleaning up after yourself), having poor etiquette with servers or cashiers, saying “mom” instead of “my mom” if I don’t share the same mother as them (missing the possessive pronoun before a parent).

122. Who is someone that you find attractive that is the same *** as you?
-> Arbby, Irina, Jessica, Sara, Valentina

123. What is the most sweet/****** compliment you have given to someone?

124. What is the biggest plot twist you have ever seen in a movie or book?

125. When did you  feel the most loved (in your entire life, this week, by me)?

126. what is something I have said that you have always remembered?

127. Blue or red Gatorade?

128. Star gazing or sunset picnic?

129. What is something that is underrated?
-> our bodies (specifically our our hands, eyes), stars, cologne/perfume

130. have you ever tried to impress the other? If so, for what reason and when?

131. Which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner for the rest of your life?

132. Are you missing someone right now? Do you think they miss you?

133. What was the happiest meme out you have had this year?
-> dancing with Celesa at trinity, at the apartment, after hours at the bistro, French dip at lost like with Celesa, holding Lorenzo, seeing a birth and colostrum, making my first song and listening to it for the first time, board game with Hayden, D.E.A. Hat guy, Fourth of July with kristina -> ride back with questions, eagles falls, yuriy’s wedding and gelato boy, euphoria makeup with Bella, painting with Michelle at green lake, reading books

134. where were you born?

135. how many states/countries have you visited?

136. what color would you use to describe your life

137. would you say it is better or worse to listen to sad music when you are sad?

138. what is the #1 factor that predestines people for failed relationships?
-> no examples of healthy relationships

139. what is the weirdest ice cream flavor you have ever tried?
->black licorice, peppercorn/caramel/goat cheese

140. What’s the most exciting dream you have ever had?

141. What’s the most peaceful dream you have ever had?

142. What’s the most terrifying dream you have ever had?

143. Who is the most misunderstood person you know?
-> Mark; he wasn’t well liked, but I remember thinking that the was just misunderstood...

144. Who in your life are you misunderstood by?
-> my mom

145. Do you prefer handshakes or hugs?

146. Do you prefer movie nights or dinner dates?

147. When was the last time you read a paper book for pleasure?

148. What is a comment that someone said to you that you were honestly shocked by? Like, you couldn’t believe it came from their mouth?
-> when I was in sixth grade and my friend’s mom said, “aren’t you jealous of [her daughter/my best friend’s name] ****”?; “do you even know what wings are”?

149. As a kid in elementary school, where did you play during recess? Tetherball, four-square, hopscotch, jump rope, soccer, basketball, slide, monkey bars, swings, sandpit, etc?

150. What otter pop flavor was your favorite?
-> the pink one

151. When you brush your teeth, are you messy or clean? Meaning, does the toothpaste get outside of your mouth at all?

152. What do you remember about elementary school in terms of field trips, punishments, recess, fun run, day of activities, lunch food, movie nights, fundraisers, assemblies, and reading points?

153. what do you remember about middle school in terms of the change from elementary school with no recess, classes, $ex ed, lockers, assemblies, P.E., lunch food?

154. what do you remember about high school in terms of the change from middle school, classes, assemblies, P.E., sports, lunch food, standard tests, dances, friends from your first year to your last year?

155. what do you think is a poet's aphrodisiac in the form of a person?
->intelligence, originality, mystery, intriguing personality

156. what is a bad habit that you know you should quit ( can be a substance, activity, or person)?

157. How often would you say you reflect on your life? with the mundane activities and the more impacting activities?

158. what's a song that you are replaying right now?
-> redbone x childish gambino by Jospeh Solomon

159. what is the most random food combo that you really enjoy?
->mashed potatoes/gravy with corn; hot dog with jelly

160. who is a person in your life that was the most mysterious to you?

161. would you say that you were shown healthy relationships throughout your childhood? in particular, your parents' relationship?

162. would you say that your family made you feel seen, heard, and understood? if not, would you say that you subconsciously expect this in your adult relationships? what have you done to unlearn this mentality?

163. would you say that you are always the one doing the caretaking in your relationships?

164. do you have a hard time listening to others?

165. do you act differently with men than with women?

166. do you get hurt easily and withdraw when there is conflict; what are you like during conflict?

167. what are you like when you don't get your way (aggressive, sad, quiet, loud, irritated, calm, unbothered, indifferent, annoyed, happy, frustrated)?

168. what are the molds for your ideas about how relationships are supposed to work?

169. what do you believe you're entitled to within a relationship (any/ friend/ romantic/ family)?

170. what was your closest experience with death?

171. do you prefer cauliflower or broccoli?

172.  what's the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

173. what are your favorite tv shows or movies?
-> bridgerton, pride and prejudice, law abiding citizen,

174. what is the most controversial thing you have ever done?

175. what is the most controversial thing another person has done?

176. what is your superpower?
->there is no one on this planet that is quite like me

177. what do you believe is the purpose of a romantic relationship? Marriage?

178. do you think love is needed to marry someone? would you find yourself ever in a situation where you would marry someone that you did not love?

179. what is your weirdest talent? hobby? experience?

180. do you bring your phone with you when you go to the bathroom? if so, when was the last time that you went without your phone?

181. what is something that most people have done but will not admit to?
->eat a ******, smelling their **** out of curiosity, ma$turbate, blame a **** on someone else, etc.

182. do you believe that there should be aspects of yourself that no one else on this earth except yourself should ever know?

183. what's the weirdest conversation you've ever had with someone?

184. How old were you when you had your first kiss? Describe the situation? Who made the first move?

185. What is the spiciest thing you have ever eaten?

186. what is the most bitter thing you have ever eaten?
-> unripe pear!!

187. what is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done and/or said?
->eagles falls with kristina, lorenzo's birthday with selesa

188. how would you want a girl/boy to shoot their shot at you?

189. if you could be someone else for a day (someone you have met and know) who would it be?

190. if someone wasn't interested in you, how would you want them to rejected?

191. do you prefer buttered popcorn or the sweet kettle popcorn?

192. what is the rudest thing you've wanted to say but stopped yourself from saying?

193. what is the most genuine, heart-felt compliment you have received from someone?
-> you are courageous/brave; you are a natural psychologist and healer; you're my best friend, I can tell you anything

194. what is an experience you look forward to in life?
-> walking down the aisle and maintaining eye contact with my man the entire time until I have to hug my dad goodbye; my wedding night; going on vacations with just my husband; going to Jamaica; holding my baby in my arms for the first time; watching my husband play with our children on a beach as I sit under the shade; trying fruity cocktails on my 21st; going on my first date; my first kiss; moving into my house

195. what is a moment that you tend to relive in your mind?

196. what is something that you have learned to accept in life as you have gotten older?

197. who was your first crush? how old were you? what about them made you like them?
->ruslan at church; I was maybe four; he was really sweet to me and I thought he was cute; at yuriy's wedding, I saw him and told him about it which made him get really excited

198. what is something that you hate to eat? you've tried it and you know that you will try to avoid it at all costs.
->parsley, celery, beets, ginger

199. at what age would you say you lost your child-like innocence?

200. your turn. create a question!

201. how old were you when you found out that santa wasn't real? how did you handle it?

202. what is something that people hate, but still choose to participate in?
->beauty standards

203. what super power would you wish to have?
->time control

204. if you had the chance to have the superpower of mind control, would you accept it?

205. how would you decorate your ideal house?
-> different vibes for different rooms; monochromatic black room with lava lamps, white room with dark brown wood accents and lots of plants, pastel light pink with neon glass decorations

206. who is a person that had made you cry?

207. what is one of the most scariest thoughts you have had run through your mind?

208. what is one of the most sad thoughts you have had run through your mind?

209. do you believe you should have to pay to live on a planet you were born on?

210. what is a candy that you hate?

211. what is a song that you try to avoid because it is too personal?
-> apple bottom jeans

212. would you say that you are alive or merely living?

213. what is something that someone said to you that you have never forgotten?
-> you have a lot of knowledge, but you lack experience

214. what is an example of a person that you thought was good but turned out to be a genuinely bitter, horrible person?

215. When was the last time you felt truly understood by somebody? Who was it? What did they understand?

216. Can you think of someone in your life who understands you better than anyone else?

217. Is your relationship with yourself healthy or unhealthy?

218. Growing up, the relationships I primarily saw were healthy or unhealthy?

219. Do you attach guilt with growth?

220. Have you spent too much time today comparing yourself?

221. When did you feel the most trapped?

222.who do you feel most yourself around? Why?

223. what parts of yourself do you need to break up with?

224. what is your favorite conspiracy that you believe in right now?

225. do you prefer to work with people are are the same or opposite gender as you?

226. what was the most intense experience of $exual tension that you have had?

227. what activity do you do that makes you feel most at home/ yourself?

228. what was the most painful truth you have ever been told?

229. who is someone you will never forget even though you have only had one encounter with them?

230. when was the last time you felt adrenaline pumping through your veins due to excitement?

231. what about you feels easiest to love (physical and character)?

232. what about you feels hardest to love (physical and character)?

233. What kind of love feels more familiar to you -> peaceful or chaotic love?

234. to what extent to you feel your appearance is the most important aspect of who you are?

235. do you think being attractive is a privilege? are you nicer or meaner to people you find attractive?

236. what was the hardest thing that you forgave someone for?

237. how would you define forgiveness?

238. who have you farted the loudest or most often?

239. what is an embarrassing story of when you really needed to **** in class but struggled to hold it in?

240. what is something that made you blush really hard?

241. if you had the opportunity to be famous, would you choose to be?

242. what is the longest you have not dated someone (or was flirting or thinking with someone)? In other words, what is the longest you have been alone?

243. what separates us from God?
-> ignorance (spiritual) and death (physical) - Jordan Peterson

244. what is a message that everyone deserves to hear in life?
-> "you deserve someone who's going to work hard to find ways to care for you." You are worthy of unconditional love.

245. what is a difficulty in your life right now?

246. what is something you've always wanted to try but haven't yet?
->fall in love, go on a trip by myself, go to Europe with Itzhel, drink a mimosa at brunch in a sunny place

247. what are qualities that you really admire in people?
-> attentiveness, observant, thoughtful, thought-provoking, mysterious, charming, honest transparency

248. what is one of the most important connections you can have in life?
->your relationship with yourself

249. what memory comes to mind when you think about the ocean/beach?

250. what memory comes to mind when you think about carnivals?

251. what memory comes to mind when you think about water balloon fights or snowball fights?

252. Do you think your parents have thought about killing themselves?

253. Do you think your best friend has thought about killing themselves?

254. How often do you think people have thought about harming or killing themselves.

255. Do you believe in the concept of marriage?

256. what is the worst advice you have ever received?

257. was there ever a time where you were vulnerable and regretted it? if you are comfortable with it, what was the situation?

258. if you could go to any concert, who would you go see?
-> chase atlantic, post malone, cigarettes after ***, ariana grande, the 1975

259. why do you think people protect their pain? what does that look like - to protect one's own pain?

260. what is an acoustic version of a song that sounds better than the studio version?
-> like a rockstar & what u call that & cassie - chase atlantic

261. what is an experience that you wish to never experience again?

262. how do you feel about silence? is its presence comforting?

263. have you taken any drugs? if so and you feel comfortable sharing, what are they?

264. what is advice you would give to your 15yo self and your 40yo self? (a much younger and older version of yourself?)
-> younger self: you are worthy to love; you are worth getting to know and understand; you will one day believe that you are enough and choose healing with a life filled with authenticity that will get challenged; you'll be more unconventional; your way of thinking will not be like most that are around you - this is okay and expected
older self: I hope you are happy and live a life that you chose and not one that you compromised on for the sake of other's happiness and comfortability; I hope you live authentically and continued the process of living actualized as Maslow would saw; I hope you married your best friend that is your match in his own unique way; i hope your communication is better and that your relationships are healthy and boundary enforced

265. if you knew you were going to interview God for thirty minutes and could ask him only one question, what would it be?
-> who am I?

266. what would you do if knew you could not fail?

267. how are you, really?

268. how would you behave if you were the best at what you do in the world?

269. are you finding your dream job or are you creating it?

270. if there was a solution to your anxiety, what would it look like?

271. why are you worth knowing?
-> well, you're sitting in this seat listening to me

272. when was the last time you did something for the first time?

273. how do you treat people who can do nothing for you?

274. do you stack the plates and clean up your table when at a restaurant?
->analyze SES and their behavior to working class

275. what or who lights you up?

276. what would your perfect day look like?

277. what is an underappreciated fruit and vegetable?

278. what is something that guys/girls are insecure of that guys/girls do not really care about?

279. tell me about a time where you threw up in public?

280. tell me something illegal that your family did?

281. what is a word that would always make you laugh whenever you heard or said it when you were a kid?

282. what is the first cuss word you started using often in your vocabulary?

283. if you could be one animal, what would it be?

284. what insect were you the most fascinated by as a kid?
->ladybugs, dragonflies

285. if you could blow one thing, what would it be?
->paint, slaughterhouse, firework stand

286. what emotions would you associate to every color in the rainbow including pink, brown, black, and white? If that is too much, if you could choose one color, what emotion would you assign to it?

287. what is the saddest thing that a person has ever said to you about themselves or their life?

288. if you could be any pair of shoes, what would it be?
->professional rock climber, work boot

289. would you consider yourself to be an addict?
-> I think we are all on a continuum and are all wired to be addicted to dopamine and love we just go about it different ways.

290. if you could have any dog in the world, what would it be and why?

291. if you had to describe love and what it feels like to a young person, what would you say? OR
if a kid asked you what love feels like, how would you answer them?
-> able to feel no judgment and feel free to be who you are without the fear of rejection

292. how would you define healing?

293. how would you know that you are healing or healed?

294. where in your life have you compromised and lived for someone else?

295. what is a thought or idea that scares you?

296. why do you think people protect their pain?

297. how would you like to be cared for when you are experiencing an emotional crisis?

298. what is something that you were told when you were a kid that you have never forgotten because it provoked you so much?

299. who is a friend in your life that you know you should stop the friendship with but you struggle to?

300. what is a motto that you would tell your kids that you have lived by?
->be the man/woman that you would want your daughter/son to marry one day

301. when was the last time anyone ever told you how important you are?
Feel encouraged to add on in the comments.
WA West Sep 2018
A strange kind of intrusive ambiance; voices in several languages, forced laughter, technological functioning; human activity intermarried with machines. The volume rising perfectly in sync with my cortisol levels, I interrogate  my past for signs of the path that led me here; it remains blurred. I did not dream of working in customer service; but here I am regardless, moments of my life that I will never ponder again; a cascade of  the present moment repeating as long as my employment contract exists. An event-less horizon, memories are stillborn here and true ingenuity stifled. There is much and nothing that has led me here. It is hard not to feel like a horse bred for performance in this place; everything is monitored, quantified, reviewed and collaborated. Performance reports produced with the fervor of medieval scholars translating the bible.  I look to the sky, what else is there to do; only to see smoke alarms and aesthetically neutral lighting arrangements. There is art work on the walls, but is generic, created to defy analysis. The colouring of the walls is chosen to exude a neutral sort of trendiness; on brand for the overarching corporate image.
#short #customerservice
Baylee Sep 2015
She sits with one leg
Crossed over the other,
Her hair is parted
Off-center,
But not enough to be
Considered a side-part.
Her smile is a little crooked
Because of a surgery she had
Years ago.
Her gait is a little awkward,
Especially when she runs,
And her hips aren't nearly
As wide as her personality.
She has a birth mark that
Most people would not
Say is aesthetically pleasing,
But regardless of her imperfections,
She is perfect to me.
Blair Griffith May 2012
I

A Genesis! The Exodus, the Exodus!
A departure from all terrestiality
Always immoral and depraved, bathed in filth, in self-loathing
Abattoir of our souls, it entrenches us

Also, we too must be of the same make
And bear with our corpses the same proceedings, the same caliber
Allowed to their subversive candor,
All that broke the Carthaginians upon their own passage
Across the peninsular pathways

S'il in our conquest we find, however, that the pachyderms have run aground,
Vous must aggregate our conscious thought
Plaitcate the ravenousness within the heart of victory.

II

Bring victory, the winged harbinger of the conquest,
Beg for tyrannical proclamations: the end of man, the end of men,
By now, the greater of the concepts is lost to its own devices, devices,
Belching out smoke, that bend the corpses upon their backs.
By wrenching from their life a sense of purpose,
Byproductively, they feed heroic romanticisms of combat.

Brought yet upon these fields, there lies no stranger enemy
But that of the tide
Being self-effacing, masochistic,
Belittling, She breaks herself upon the shore, ravaging the bodies of
Both, Playing as ******* and as subservient

III

Come! Wave upon Wave upon Frothing
Crest, to shores of golden enfrenzied ******
Calmed by the liquid of our ***** *****
Charging forth as we
Charge forth armies upon the field of slaughter
Callously, for you, our gilded monarch
Can you see? They cannot see, and we hope to elucidate your presence, they
Cannot comprehend or fathom what they
Cannot see.

IV

Ceaseless now the charges
Come further upon the front
Crashing 'gainst the openings of each
Clangor and madness
Coalesce to form death

Dripping anew with sanguine libations
Drawn fresh from naked lambs, freshly cut for their country
Dionysian warriors return,
Desire forming their mental undulations

Effortlessly they overtake their feminine fortunes
Effacing their identities, removing from them with their clothing, the
Entirety of their selves.

V

From carnal conquest they rejoice,
Flaunting the destruction they wrought
Flinging husks of women about the room,
Foisting these shells on other patriarchs

Given no choice, they return to fields of battle
Godspeed, gods' will, and god-granted
Gaian soil is retreaded by their sodden flesh.

VI

Hellish, infernal is their presence
Having lost no measure to revelry or rest, neither
Halting nor slowed, the march quickens in time with their lustful bellows
Hastened to madness by infinity
Harkened back to prisons of mental anguish by their creators
How proud they are, the Old Gods,
Hacking away the pounds of flesh to reveal the
Haphazard construction to their instruments of torture.

VII

Into the bloodshed, into the fiery cavernous opening of the crusade
Ignited by righteous scraps of cloth and metal
Ignobly formed into crudely significant, textured shapes
Iconoclasts to their own ideals
Idyllic in their self-mockery.

Jabbering like hellbeasts, the warriors drive into the flesh of the conflict
Jettisoning armaments in the process, their
Joie de vivre having been lessened by mechanical limits.
Jocular slaughter synthesized with demonic cries.

Kapellmeisters to the symphony of death,
Keeping in the rhythm of mutilation, counterpoints of steel clashing against breastplates, giving shape to a
Kleptocracy of life.

VIII

Languishing now in the refuse of the struggle,
Laden with corpses, the warriors remain restrained by fatigue
Lurching through the mud, calling out feebly with voices
Long since bellowed to pulpy masses of throat tissue.

Masses of flesh crawling across the fields of strife,
Macerated ground, weak and shifting, struggles to support the
Multitude of half-corpses now in eternal respite upon the bloodied pasture.

IX

Now broken with regret and shame they collapse
Nestled into the marrow of the fallow earth,
Needing only rest in the cooling tendrils of dirt and blood that trickle across them.
Né de nouveau, their trek leads them towards the grave
Necrosis having taken hold in their limbs,
Nascent corpses, they subside with grave finality into a dead collective.

X

Opaque irises await those who uncover the un-burial mound
Oafish sockets containing them like marbles
Open to the elements, decaying with their corporeal encasement, shaded by
Oaken leaves that remain unfallen, while
Obsequious maggots go about their task of cleansing the remains

Paralyzed in the final moments of their mortal coil, the bodies lay stagnant,
Pacified only by the removal of sentience.
Pagan rituals surround such corpses, and the intrepid discovers
Patiently await the arrival of some necromantic spirit.

Quasi-instinctively, the pioneers of the superterranean mausoleum
Quell their fears and remove the bodies from their conclusive locale,
Quantifying their deaths by the armaments and metal carapaces upon them.

XI

Reeling across the path, weighted by the bodies,
Returning, the archaeological presence brings a pall over society, which
Remained reticent despite the presence of such suffocating solemnity
Repressed by its own intent

Solitude is given no quarter, and the bodies
Strung up like scattered marionettes
Silently serenade the town with a deafening cacophony.

XII

To Hell their souls desperately charge, frothing about the shackles of undeath
Torn from corporeal existence, yet unable to
Transgress the mortal plane
Torturous paradox!
Torment the fallen of Carthage's vestigal might no more
Traducer of the human condition
Tragedy is loosed at thy whim
Try not the patience of demi-gods of wrath and bloodshed.

XIII

Undulating by the beckoning of the wind,
Un-beautiful, un-ironed, the shrouds of the coffins
Under grey sky hang softly like leaden sheets
Unaware of the gravity beneath the few inches of oak
Un-aesthetically masking the dead warriors' forms

Visceral is the movement of the procession,
Vermicular, they wind a course to the peak of the foothill
Vehemently the priest urges them onwards, although he is
Visibly ill on this occasion of the anti-hero.

Warlike, the battle up the ***** claims the lives of those already claimed
Wastrels left to rot in the carcass of a long-dead conflict,
Wanting nothing more than solace eternal.

XIV

Xenophobes of the Inferno fear the inevitable presence of these
Xoana, false representations of humanity.
Xanthic is their fear, for inside the malebolges themselves
Xanadu is sought for those of the fallen soldiery.

Yet funerary proceedings dictate descent for these souls, and the coffins
Yaw slightly in the wind, disturbed by the
Yanks of the ****** rabble who bear their weight.

XV

Zeus himself presides over the ferrying of these souls,
Zion awaits them, their final collective fate at hand,

Yet slowly it turns its back upon them,
Xenophanes mocks from his post,
Wailing, they fall
Velocity increasing infinitely,
Until they see no more the lustrous light
Trapped eternally in dark
Stabbed with betrayal and fear, their souls
Run amok, fleeing from the source of their anguish
Questioning existence.
Periodically in the abyss, the helpless aggregate conscious is
Overwhelmed with memory of Paradise
Now to them denied for eternity.
Mephisto remains, their only companion,
Leeching from them the final vestiges of hope now left within, once
Kept hidden to protect the warriors, now
Jabbed and pummeled to death.
In this state of perpetual umbra
Heaven so distant, now only faded, as if on parchment,
Gained by the souls is a sense of locality, once
Forgotten but now reattained, and
En masse, the group instantly
Derives that they have returned from beyond the mortal plane, the terra once again
Collates beneath their soles, and the collective decides they must return
Before the open sun, to bear themselves
Against the gods, against sanctity itself, and thus they cry:
Its science versus religion
And cognitive thought versus deranged fantasy
Wars fought for love where loves lost and heroes are burned, cherished, forgotten
Little boys with ***** faces and sticks
Teenagers with cars
Young adults with assault rifles
Men in jail some with bars some with front doors a fax machines
Trees that reach the sky and some that wither crack and die
Burning thoughts of the afterlife a fire fueled by fear of death
The chance of being wrong
The opposite thought of being right keeping you grounded in the daylight
But fleeting in the night escaping just like the sun to comfort some other being
The loneliness of lying awake with a deranged mind running free
Clawing its way from your brain
Grandpa’s dead and dads on his way out
And moms still preaching the gospel
And gods still ******* on ashes but not putting out fires
Cities crumble and rebuild and repeat
Everything is a cycle love, hate, lust, love, hate, die, repeat
Breathe in oxygen exhale ***** and regurgitated knowledge
Of free press movements and the civil war
Fighting, sleeping, *******, eating, drinking, smoking, hurting, smiling
Fields of crops that feed nations and economies
They grow then comes harvest and their end
Just like us harvested in the end to feed nations and economies
Words that burn politicians and inspire masses
Bombs that end lives and ******* children
But prove were right and your wrong
Our god is bigger than yours he has more firepower too
Wrong side of the tracks on the wrong side of the ocean
Worms eat dirt what a pathetic existence
They eat dirt, **** dirt then die
We eat love **** love then die
We’re just worms
Bigger, intelligent, more aesthetically pleasing worms
Hateful thoughts and bold words
Worldly views from the comfort of a laptop
Medication and frozen dinners
Sick, fat and dying
Life is beautiful
Matt Kuhl Nov 2012
My water’s luminosity…
whisky and sage.
We breed to feed other fishies,
but I’m on stage.
Performing for some human’s selfish garrison.
This disregard is quite humane in comparison.

The cat, your companion,
He claws at me constantly.
I epitomize a pet.
I am merely your captive;
Only aesthetically attractive.
I long to be the social hippie of the sea,
but this isolation is drowning me.
One day you’ll find me ambivalently
sinking at the top of my bowl,
and you will flush me down yours like the rest of your useless ****
Diana Oct 2018
I once read the lines
“Practically on top of us
is a girl
with long brown hair
a black hoodie
and the tightest jeans I have ever seen
I automatically hate her
because those jeans
make her look good”
From a book

This mentality bothers me
I mean
Why can't we
Admire another girl's beauty
Instead of becoming jealous
Or envious of it
While attempting to find
A flaw of theirs
To counteract their beauty
Why can't we just appreciate it
While loving ourselves
Completely
Without making ourselves feel less
Important
Or desirable
Or worthy
Because they have something
That is "better"
Which is entirely subjective
Due to the fact
That there are many opinions
Of what being beautiful
Aesthetically means
Since there are many people
In this world
Which in itself
Is beautiful
We should feel empowered. There is nothing aesthetically that can make another more "woman" than another, so admire another's looks while confidently rocking your own.
softcomponent Feb 2015
What made Anthony so elaborately cold in those early autumn months? What made him glare so sourly at my exhaustion whenever I slithered past his adonis figure in our overwhelmingly ***** kitchen? Was I the quintessence of a terrible roommate? Irresponsible? Ditzy? Was the kitchen—in its pig-trough pig-sty bacon-grease glory—tacitly my fault, despite the observation it'd been I who had purged the mess last? Or was it my drug habits and the fact that on the night Anthony returned from his impulsive trip to Alaska, I was with Chris—blasting Bob Dylan and the Tallest Man on Earth—cradling my chin on the jean-sand islands of my cramping knees, high as a shuttle in the ketamine nebula? These were all questions that stoked the fires of internal doubt whether I liked it or not. People pretend to talk themselves out of status anxiety as if it were possible to entirely neutralize such a natural reaction—as if it were possible not to wonder what earned such irrational disfavor in the eyes of another. Especially when “another” is a roommate, an almost omnipotent staple in day to day life even if efforts are taken to ignore or avoid—a constant weave of growing atmospheric pressure and a pang of anxiety at the sight of his shoes or the sound of his grunts and clangs while at work on a meal in the kitchen—of course, as is obvious, I can take things far too personally. But there were points in which his silence or indifference would scare me—as if he might've wound up a psychopath and broke my neck in a fit of overboiled passive-aggression.
To be fair and give the reader a clearer picture of Anthony, he had—historically—been an incredibly generous fellow and a relatively close friend long before we approached one another on the idea of potential roommates. He was large in build—not overweight in any sense—but incredibly fit with an active agenda to exercise and eat right, both habits of which I had never had the stamina to maintain. Girls loved him. Physically, he was gorgeous—puffy curled hair deliberately stylized into a modern European pompadour; dark hazel eyes with a constantly evolving dynamism in the way they gazed... and a masculine stubble that seemed to naturally grow-out to look as posh as David Beckham, just without all the effort and pomp. Mentally, he was the perfect synthesis of adorable geek, thoughtful philosopher, and strikingly suave, dapper, athletic, and goofy 'good-guy'—he was always out with his friends or at home reading Terry Goodkind's fantasy novels, and on occasion I would see that his looks were almost burdensome to him. As if they were a superfluous gift and a personal curse—constantly forcing him into social over-exertion as an extrovert when he, at heart, was a closet introvert unable to disentangle his self-reflective image from his internal reality. As if he were unable to process the amount of attention he received.
I had tacitly wondered, at times, if he was also in-the-closet regarding something else as well, though I had always admired his effeminate qualities and mannerisms as he never once hinted at a negative self-consciousness about their strange manifestations in open view of the world. Externally, at least, he never acted like they were problems or indicative of some internal lack of found-definition, even on the comical occasion when I walked in on him bathing on his lonesome, quietly listening to Miley Cyrus and playing with a troupe of three rubber duckies—the bathroom light off and several candles burning in aesthetically strategic corners of the room. He also constantly brewed tea using an adorable teapot designed to look like an elephants head, with the hot liquid pouring from the Disney-like characters trunk. This—I reflected—was most certainly connected to his love for the 1941 children's classic, Dumbo. It was a movie he and I held in common, having watched it together on multiple occasions before our cohabiting turned sour. Of course, what was most indicative of this private wandering judgement of mine was the fact that he worked at the city's only gay bar as the youngest bartender employed. At 1 AM every night, all the bartenders (whom were pre-screened eye candy for the patrons' sake) would peel off their skin-tight neon tops and romp around shirtless, shouting last-call through the bright-eyed frey of top 40 hits and cannonading flirtations.  
Not that I wish to put him under the microscope, as if any feminine qualities in a man were something strange or problematic to me—nor do I wish to study his mannerisms like a condescending anthropologist of imperial Britain, establishing pathological definitions for what was never an illness to begin with. No... I ask these questions because he decided, one day, that he didn't like me. I ask these questions because I came upon him in the living room multiple times listening to Alan Watts's lectures on taoism—a strange anxious-emptiness behind his eyes—and when I began to worry he was dipping into some sort of existential depression, I approached him with an Alan Watts book—The Wisdom of Insecurity—in order to make a recommendation and strike up therapeutic conversation on the basis of  a philosopher we had in common. As I did so, he would frantically nod and avert eye-contact, hiding any perturbation well enough for me to assume he was still with me as I spoke. I later found the book on top of the fridge and placed it back on my shelf thinking, 'he probably has a ton to read as is.' It only became apparent when I finally decided to ask him if he was unhappy with me—this was about 2 weeks before he finally moved out—and he responded with, “I've definitely been annoyed that you use my stuff and eat my food all the time without compensation or asking,” which I understood at first until I realized I only did so because he did the same—constantly eating my cereal, using my milk, reorganizing my couches in the living room—but I didn't mind because I assumed it was a reciprocal arrangement and thus took his eggs and his bacon on the assumption (and belief) in pooled communal resources. But he continued: “And you talk at me all the time about things I have no interest in which is kinda frustrating,” which confused me even further when it was only friendly concern I was tacitly attempting to translate into his feeling wanted and liked by the person he lived with. These words, in the end, released the built-tension between us like a bursting pressure valve. He eventually apologized for how he'd behaved, and then largely disappeared from my life.

Sometimes I'll be brushing my teeth, and I'll wonder if he's doing alright. I'll wonder if he found his taoist balance in either silence or speech.
originally written as a personal assignment for my Creative Nonfiction class.
slr Oct 2018
Sweetheart you need to be have a flatter stomach
Put down that soda pop
Or one day it will make you pop
Put down those puff pastries
Or one day they will make you the Pillsbury Dough-girl.
Take up crunches and sit-ups
And just ignore when your body screams for food
Take up ******* in and waist trainers
And just ignore that ******* in all day weakens your muscles pushing you further from your ideal

Hey good lookin’ you’d be prettier if you had smaller thighs
Stop eatin’ them donuts
They turnin’ you too dough
Stop ordering your pizzas in larges
They turnin’ you large
Start doing some squats
Just ignore your back screaming in pain
Start running sum more
Just ignore that bigger thighs mean a lower risk of heart disease and premature death

And a simple request from everyone else: make sure your hair always looks like a girl from a movie, that your skin is flawless, you dress perfectly, are always happy, smiling constantly, have an aesthetically pleasing Instagram, be in an adorable relationship, know all the newest music and shows

You know what

just be perfect
but
not to perfect


-love society
Don't let society tell you anything about yourself. You are you and perfect just how you are.
as i'm laying down tonight
i think of how exhausting it is to wash you off my fingers
even if it's not like i ever get to hold your hand
or touch you, for that matter.
but everynight i have to wash your essence off my fingers
like trying to get rid of gasoline but always ending up
setting myself aflame. and that despite
knowing how dangerous and hazardous that **** could be
you just couldn't stop because you love the smell of gasoline
that fills up your lungs like pumps of adrenaline
right before the stench of your own burning flesh
chokes you to death. most nights, i wash you off like paint.
you can tell that i'm trying to forget what
i bled after your face appeared on the plain canvass
when my hand automatically reaches up and
perfectly colors your lips, and i couldn't help
but resemble them to pastel pink petals
of the roses growing in royal gardens
and i know i'm fooling everyone
making them believe that such expertise
is achieved because
your bottom lip have felt my gentle stroke when i
don't even know how your lips would feel when they quiver
under a curious and longing touch.
so i watch the colors spiral down the drain.
i watch my hands brush against each other
so intensely, trying to scrub the paint gone even
if it won't go away. even if the blood is clean.
even if i look clean.
how can loving you secretly be ever clean?
i'm scared it will never go away.
i am a painter in my own sense, capturing a glimpse
of something so intoxicating and aesthetically forbidden
then turning it into something tangible.
this is how painters show that their hearts
collapse with just a name
with just a glance not meant for their way.
and they paint what little of the hope
that shouldn't have been there in the first place
and every night. every single night they would aim
tirelessly to turn it into something they could allow.
something that could exist not only in my head.
something that i can call mine even if you
don't know that i am yours
and i knew this because your face
have begun to fill every blank wall
in my ******* house and i wonder how it is
possible to fall in love with someone the whole world
believes you shouldn't.
they say that when we turn our hands into fists
it is the size of our hearts.
and sometimes after the long hours of painting
i wash my paint-stained hands clean of
an abstract myriad of yellow and blue and black
and red. red for blood. red for love. red for fire.
i wash my paint-stained hands
turning them into fists
so maybe, just maybe
it will be the same
as getting rid of the colors off my young broken heart.
colors for you.
yet i always end up washing them off
with ******* gasoline.
and you still dare to call me 'smart'
i am an arsonist and a painter. i burned while i burst into colors. and you...you were the one that blurred my distinction between the two.
Opportunity or opposing unity to unify and untie
*****'s lesion sipping each seasonal reason for loving your flowing hair and knowing care

Strike the stench and light the match and throw open the hatch jump inside along with furry-toad-love
*** and lust and the vex of the ****** of what is on the television gone up and through and something grew inside my skull where IT is thus, null
And I speak of course off course because of this coarse curse of your love
Flinching finch-pinch-tense, since she's, hence, a personal goddess
I'm a man of fetus-like love of birth and woman-girth

I like my girls to be bigger
Though perhaps for a less redeemable reason

I am the humanoid-elemental-embodiment of low self-confidence
And most are out of my "league" (at least physically and aesthetically)
Leila Valencia May 2016
Aesthetically tuned with the goddess
My curtains blow beauty in the small corners
The vines climb the tallest towers and I swing on chandeliers dancing, swishing, jumping high!
I reach and touch the lantern sky!

But underneath the glove lies an iron fist
With this my glittering charms turn to dusk
The attentive mind ruptures with jewels of intellect,
Standing in the light holding the glass container of justice!

My eyes come alive - I will stand against the balcony lifting the scales
The flower field of lavender petals stand next to my thoughts
The horse in the wind I seem to some, but until the end I will never stop to stand up
Watch my kingdom come
Libra Sun Sign
Seán Mac Falls Mar 2015
Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One


"You’re going to need to spend a lot of time alone." - James Yamasaki


I recently left a teaching position in a master of fine arts creative-writing program. I had a handful of students whose work changed my life. The vast majority of my students were hardworking, thoughtful people devoted to improving their craft despite having nothing interesting to express and no interesting way to express it. My hope for them was that they would become better readers. And then there were students whose work was so awful that it literally put me to sleep. Here are some things I learned from these experiences.

Writers are born with talent.

Either you have a propensity for creative expression or you don't. Some people have more talent than others. That's not to say that someone with minimal talent can't work her *** off and maximize it and write something great, or that a writer born with great talent can't squander it. It's simply that writers are not all born equal. The MFA student who is the Real Deal is exceedingly rare, and nothing excites a faculty adviser more than discovering one. I can count my Real Deal students on one hand, with fingers to spare.

If you didn't decide to take writing seriously by the time you were a teenager, you're probably not going to make it.

There are notable exceptions to this rule, Haruki Murakami being one. But for most people, deciding to begin pursuing creative writing in one's 30s or 40s is probably too late. Being a writer means developing a lifelong intimacy with language. You have to be crazy about books as a kid to establish the neural architecture required to write one.

If you complain about not having time to write, please do us both a favor and drop out.

I went to a low-residency MFA program and, years later, taught at a low-residency MFA program. "Low-residency" basically means I met with my students two weeks out of the year and spent the rest of the semester critiquing their work by mail. My experience tells me this: Students who ask a lot of questions about time management, blow deadlines, and whine about how complicated their lives are should just give up and do something else. Their complaints are an insult to the writers who managed to produce great work under far more difficult conditions than the 21st-century MFA student. On a related note: Students who ask if they're "real writers," simply by asking that question, prove that they are not.

If you aren't a serious reader, don't expect anyone to read what you write.

Without exception, my best students were the ones who read the hardest books I could assign and asked for more. One student, having finished his assigned books early, asked me to assign him three big novels for the period between semesters. Infinite Jest, 2666, and Gravity's Rainbow, I told him, almost as a joke. He read all three and submitted an extra-credit essay, too. That guy was the Real Deal.

Conversely, I've had students ask if I could assign shorter books, or—without a trace of embarrassment—say they weren't into "the classics" as if "the classics" was some single, aesthetically consistent genre. Students who claimed to enjoy "all sorts" of books were invariably the ones with the most limited taste. One student, upon reading The Great Gatsby (for the first time! Yes, a graduate student!), told me she preferred to read books "that don't make me work so hard to understand the words." I almost quit my job on the spot.

No one cares about your problems if you're a ****** writer.

I worked with a number of students writing memoirs. One of my Real Deal students wrote a memoir that actually made me cry. He was a rare exception. For the most part, MFA students who choose to write memoirs are narcissists using the genre as therapy. They want someone to feel sorry for them, and they believe that the supposed candor of their reflective essay excuses its technical faults. Just because you were abused as a child does not make your inability to stick with the same verb tense for more than two sentences any more bearable. In fact, having to slog through 500 pages of your error-riddled student memoir makes me wish you had suffered more.

You don't need my help to get published.

When I was working on my MFA between 1997 and 1999, I understood that if I wanted any of the work I was doing to ever be published, I'd better listen to my faculty advisers. MFA programs of that era were useful from a professional development standpoint—I still think about a lecture the poet Jason Shinder gave at Bennington College that was full of tremendously helpful career advice I use to this day. But in today's Kindle/e-book/self-publishing environment, with New York publishing sliding into cultural irrelevance, I find questions about working with agents and editors increasingly old-fashioned. Anyone who claims to have useful information about the publishing industry is lying to you, because nobody knows what the hell is happening. My advice is for writers to reject the old models and take over the production of their own and each other's work as much as possible.

It's not important that people think you're smart.

After eight years of teaching at the graduate level, I grew increasingly intolerant of writing designed to make the writer look smart, clever, or edgy. I know this work when I see it; I've written a fair amount of it myself. But writing that's motivated by the desire to give the reader a pleasurable experience really is best. I told a few students over the years that their only job was to keep me entertained, and the ones who got it started to enjoy themselves, and the work got better. Those who didn't get it were stuck on the notion that their writing was a tool designed to procure my validation. The funny thing is, if you can put your ego on the back burner and focus on giving someone a wonderful reading experience, that's the cleverest writing.

It's important to woodshed.

Occasionally my students asked me about how I got published after I got my MFA, and the answer usually disappointed them. After I received my degree in 1999, I spent seven years writing work that no one has ever read—two novels and a book's worth of stories totaling about 1,500 final draft pages. These unread pages are my most important work because they're where I applied what I'd learned from my workshops and the books I read, one sentence at a time. Those seven years spent in obscurity, with no attempt to share my work with anyone, were my training, and they are what allowed me to eventually write books that got published.

We've been trained to turn to our phones to inform our followers of our somewhat witty observations. I think the instant validation of our apps is an enemy to producing the kind of writing that takes years to complete. That's why I advise anyone serious about writing books to spend at least a few years keeping it secret. If you're able to continue writing while embracing the assumption that no one will ever read your work, it will reward you in ways you never imagined. recommended

Ryan Boudinot is executive director of Seattle City of Literature.
Silver Heinsaar May 2017
Black-eyed abnormality
Following every footstep
Tucks me in bed for the night
Watching over while i'm asleep
Another nightmare entering dreams
Sickening images which seem so real
Killing intent surges beyond my control
All that's left is this blood soaked tongue
Wondering what's the color of your eyes now

Split their head open to witness the saturation
Curiosity of a demon that resides within you
Visible to those who didn't know any better
Believed they could reconstruct what i am
Should have ran and never looked back
Now your eyes are remaining empty
Forever regretting our meeting
Until your heart stops beating
Dissatisfied with the ending
Colin E Havard Mar 2014
I love the majestic ugliness of the Eucalypt;
Aesthetically more appealing in its twisted, gnarled appearance
Than any uniform northern conifer;
Infinitely more adapted to the unforgiving antipodean climate
Than those idealised European deciduous living monuments
Still transfixing our collective view of how a tree should be.

Those dropping leaves allowing scenes beyond;
Those tendrils of bark denoting Darwinian fitness;
All tug at the heart of we new Australians,
Conflicted, as we are, by sensibilities born elsewhere,
But borne, nevertheless, into an Ancient Eden.
10/1/2010
The Missing Link - Gaia's Boy Toy
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Within adobe walls
The mission San Antonio no not the Alamo this one takes its name from the San Antonio river that flows
Nearby in the central California coast a shallow river that has slab bridges that lie in the water so you
Just drive across the river while the water flows under your car hopefully founded by the padre father
Sierra his grave lies outside the mission’s great wooden arched church door just feet away stands an olive
Tree Planted in the same proximate time frame 1776 this is just one of the missions that makes a
String of pearls along the El Camino or the king’s highway to my taste the best one aesthetically pleasing
Architecturally nearly perfect long arch path ways in front and it squares the inner grand court yard that
Prominently displays a water fountain its flowing water conditions the whole of your being by sight and
Sound to gently enter a contemplative state the abundance of flowers spreads your soul outward in
Tender volumes the tall round pine trees adds depth to the grounds linear flow then checked by
Horizontal walls then crowned by the extreme downward sweep of the tile roofs that gleam they over
Reach but in perfection and in the distance the mountains showcase the mission in a nestled glorious
State and so there is no mistake a great cross has been placed between two peaks look outward look
Upward you are in a place made for the purpose of holy attentive action that ends in natural gratitude
To Place far away is the reality of personal homes that fill every street on the front entry is emblazoned
These letters W. M. No it doesn’t mean welcome master it means wealth materialism rules here the
Savoir of the world keenly observes the signs as he passes house by house he knows what his word says
Increased in goods they have need of nothing but it goes on to say being rich they have become poor
Blind and naked a perfect love that would if received lead you into divine protection and perfection all
The filthy habits that bind you would be broken your family would be as purified gold a testament the
Surest answer in a world that is disingenuous at its core material possessions alone will leave you with
An outward fullness but an inner emptiness go back to the original blue print no not that disgusting one
The edges burned by fire carried out of the pit that has man and woman described as susceptible to ***
Drugs alcohol the list goes on but you’re looking for the pure architecturally sound blue print in its details
You are a beautifully designed temple a woman of virtue and wholesome character who builds her family
And Community at the weakest points her life adds holy mortar the man can be led down many false
Paths Under the title of ******* pride atrocious behavior toward women this flows to the son and also
Will Wreck a daughters life in twisted ways that only an analyst can resolve into todays scary crazy world
We need men and women of God to correct our course and prepare us for a new world not a new world
Order but the new world of heaven
Ben Sep 2014
a soft grey blanket flows through the peaks of green pines
silencing the celestial voice of the moon
while steel horses restlessly paw, panting gas fumes
the volleyball desert, at first glance barren
reveals a complex terrain of mountains and cigarettes
to the watchful eagle's eye
a wooden temple towers, built on artificial ground
cool stone poured into aesthetically pleasing islands
a forty square foot-print
a holy site of human ingenuity
with offerings from the clans of Miller and Busch
lying scattered like bones on the monolithic plain
anbaric lamps imitating miniature stars cast shadows at night
and the once vibrant world takes on unifying hues of blue
I guess the old adage that
"misery loves company"
is indiscriminate of nature
mûre Jan 2012
Verbosity
A patchwork quilt that I roll roll up in
Stitched with syllables
Like a little phonetic sausage
So deep inside you can't hear me go
Dur dur dur.
(insert self-deprecating quip about being a wiener)
laughing track
But it's cozy and neat.
And if you do
I'll rubix cube your dearest mind
Til I'm tucked deep inside once again.  

And I'll softly pontificate about the genetic code
and how it made your irises not quite hazel
But still able to illuminate spontaneously
teal, laurel, cyan, the sea
And if you'll pardon my hyperboles
They draw me strong as an Atlantic tide
This ocean that ***** me the deepest inside
Aesthetically, the contrast is startling to your skin
An artist would capture the portrait therein
But really, all you need to know
Is they're the prettiest
prettiest ******* eyes
I've ever seen.

And I'm sorry
That when I get nervous
My heart is a little effervescent
My words become too efflorescent
(I seek not to strangle you with King's English Shrubberies!)  
As you stand before me, incandescent
My dread is that you're
Evanescent.

...

But that thing about your eyes.
All you need to know.
That thing about your eyes,
Not to mince words

But I think

I'll feel that way always.
mila Jun 2019
my heart doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing to you,
you have no idea what it's been through
Poppi Mae Jan 2014
Am I

beautiful
adjective
1.
pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.
"beautiful poetry"
synonyms: attractive, pretty, good-looking, nice-looking, pleasing, alluring, prepossessing,
as pretty as a picture;

to you?
Zero the Lyric Jan 2013
I recall hearing that term once in high school,
"Urban forestry", a paradox, seemingly and yet,
That is exactly what it is.
Strips of land sanction to be aesthetically pleasing.
For whom, I have not a clue.
I would have preferred a lane or so,
Over the regular 8' by 1' square of trimmed trees.
I also grimace within the grace
Of those knotted furled fists toward a sky asking WHY!?
After a much calmer gardener had pondered the same word
Underneath his humming chainsaw
(Though probably for a more debatable material world)
Amongst other cuboid amputations.
Not to mention those solid soldiers
Whose attention is really standing dead in plain sight until
Wrinkled pavement is not enough ground to hold.
Then our hero makes local news in an inhumane, absolutely atrocious,
Final act of trespassing, vandalism, homicide, and suicide.
Of course nobody saw it coming.
Undetected and decayed for half a decade.
With so so many Ys it is easier to yelp for for those Xs
Crossing against our assumed perfect grids and parallels
To those stories of stacking passed from older cries
For HELP! Though those did not settle quite so well
So I proceed passing over a particularly loud leaf
Amidst this dry pondering
And snap out of the whats and whys and wheres
To take another look around at my illustrious
Urban Forest.
Unto a more practical pensive test,
Which side of that phrase,
Burdens the winning emphasis?

Well, still warblers and sparrows to inspire a song
For how this within time shall also pass along.
Sarah Xander Oct 2017
She was 25 years young.
and beautiful

beautifulˈbjuːtɪfʊl,ˈbjuːtɪf(ə)l/
adjective
pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.“beautiful poetry" synonyms: attractive, pretty, handsome, good-looking, nice-looking, pleasing, alluring, prepossessing, as pretty as a picture; More of a very high standard; excellent." he spoke in beautiful English”

She made everything feel temporary
my problems
my fears
my thoughts
my love
She was just amazing, wonderful even
She had dark, tousled hair, and the most beautiful eyes; I got lost in them every chance I got
They were brown eyes, but **** they were mesmerizing
They would glow in the light and I couldn’t help but fall into them
She had the most Delphic and inimitable tattoos that I’ve ever seen on one single person, they decorated her porcelain skin perfectly and poetically.
I liked times where we would just lay, with our feet tangled together and I would trace one of the tattoos and she would reminisce about it and the experiences she had during that time in her life.
Her knowledge amazed me, she always kept me on the edge of my seat with her stories
Her voice was one of the things that captured me, her melodies and her lyrics. She knew I loved jazz, we would go to record shops and we would scope for the good ones and at times I would stop to look over at her and she’ll be staring at me. I complained but god knows I loved it. I loved her.
I loved the times when she would walk over to the single window in the cheap motel that we stayed the night or two at, and she would light a cigarette and scold me for being around the smoke; but she would cave and hold it up to my lips and she would look me in the eye as I cough the smoke up.
Those were the time I loved
They were the times I lived for

She would always tell me to not love her
That she wasn’t worth my innocent and tender love
But I disagreed
Time and time again
She was everything I wanted but didn’t ******* deserve
But what significance are all these words coming from a sixteen-year-old, who is now learning and experiencing life?
It was bound to end.
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Of Tetley's and V-2's
(or, “Why Not to Bomb the Brits”)
by Michael R. Burch

The English are very hospitable,
but tea-less, alas, they grow pitiable ...
or pitiless, rather,
and quite in a lather!
O bother, they're more than formidable!

Keywords/Tags: limerick, light verse, nonsense verse, humor, humorous, England, English, Tetley, tea, milk, crumpets, scones, war, bomb, bombs, V-2, rocket, missile, missiles, formidable, Britain, Brits, defense, military, mrbtet, mrbtetley



This World's Joy
(anonymous Middle English lyric)
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Winter awakens all my care
as leafless trees grow bare.
For now my sighs are fraught
when it enters my thought:
regarding this world's joy,
how everything comes to naught.



Elegy for a little girl, lost
by Michael R. Burch

. . . qui laetificat juventutem meam . . .
She was the joy of my youth,
and now she is gone.
. . . requiescat in pace . . .
May she rest in peace.
. . . amen . . .
Amen.

I was touched by this Latin prayer, which I discovered in a novel I read as a teenager. I later decided to incorporate it into a poem. From what I now understand, “ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam” means “to the God who gives joy to my youth,” but I am sticking with my original interpretation: a lament for a little girl at her funeral. The phrase can be traced back to Saint Jerome's translation of Psalm 42 in the Vulgate Latin Bible (circa 385 AD).



How Long the Night
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa early 13th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

It is pleasant, indeed, while the summer lasts
with the mild pheasants' song ...
but now I feel the northern wind's blast,
its severe weather strong.
Alas! Alas! This night seems so long!
And I, because of my momentous wrong
now grieve, mourn and fast.



Fowles in the Frith
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The fowls in the forest,
the fishes in the flood
and I must go mad:
such sorrow I've had
for beasts of bone and blood!

Sounds like an early animal rights activist! The use of "and" is intriguing ... is the poet saying that his walks in the wood drive him mad because he is also a "beast of bone and blood," facing a similar fate?



I am of Ireland
anonymous Medieval Irish lyric, circa 13th-14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I am of Ireland,
and of the holy realm of Ireland.
Gentlefolk, I pray thee:
for the sake of saintly charity,
come dance with me
in Ireland!



Whan the turuf is thy tour
(anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th century AD)
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

1.
When the turf is your tower
and the pit is your bower,
your pale white skin and throat
shall be sullen worms’ to note.
What help to you, then,
was all your worldly hope?

2.
When the turf is your tower
and the grave is your bower,
your pale white throat and skin
worm-eaten from within ...
what hope of my help then?

NOTE: The second translation leans more to the "lover's complaint" and carpe diem genres, with the poet pointing out to his prospective lover that by denying him her favors she make take her virtue to the grave where worms will end her virginity in macabre fashion. This poem may be an ancient precursor of poems like Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress."



Ech day me comëth tydinges thre
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th to 14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Each day I’m plagued by three doles,
These gargantuan weights on my soul:
First, that I must somehow exit this fen.
Second, that I cannot know when.
And yet it’s the third that torments me so,
Because I don't know where the hell I will go!



Ich have y-don al myn youth
anonymous Middle English lyric, circa the 13th to 14th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I have done it all my youth:
Often, often, and often!
I have loved long and yearned zealously ...
And oh what grief it has brought me!



I Sing of a Maiden
anonymous Medieval English Lyric, circa early 15th century AD
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I sing of a maiden
That is matchless.
The King of all Kings
For her son she chose.
He came also as still
To his mother's breast
As April dew
Falling on the grass.
He came also as still
To his mother's bower
As April dew
Falling on the flower.
He came also as still
To where his mother lay
As April dew
Falling on the spray.
Mother and maiden?
Never one, but she!
Well may such a lady
God's mother be!



Enigma
by Michael R. Burch

O, terrible angel,
bright lover and avenger,
full of whimsical light
and vile anger;
wild stranger,
seeking the solace of night,
or the danger;
pale foreigner,
alien to man, or savior ...

Who are you,
seeking consolation and passion
in the same breath,
screaming for pleasure, bereft
of all articles of faith,
finding life
harsher than death?

Grieving angel,
giving more than taking,
how lucky the man
who has found in your love,
this, our reclamation;

fallen wren,
you must strive to fly
though your heart is shaken;

weary pilgrim,
you must not give up
though your feet are aching;

lonely child,
lie here still in my arms;
you must soon be waking.



Floating
by Michael R. Burch

Memories flood the sand’s unfolding scroll;
they pour in with the long, cursive tides of night.

Memories of revenant blue eyes and wild lips
moist and frantic against my own.

Memories of ghostly white limbs ...
of soft sighs
heard once again in the surf’s strangled moans.

We meet in the scarred, fissured caves of old dreams,
green waves of algae billowing about you,
becoming your hair.

Suspended there,
where pale sunset discolors the sea,
I see all that you are
and all that you have become to me.

Your love is a sea,
and I am its trawler—
harbored in dreams,
I ride out night’s storms.

Unanchored, I drift through the hours before morning,
dreaming the solace of your warm *******,
pondering your riddles, savoring the feel
of the explosions of your hot, saline breath.

And I rise sometimes
from the tropical darkness
to gaze once again out over the sea ...
You watch in the moonlight
that brushes the water;

bright waves throw back your reflection at me.

This is one of my more surreal poems, as the sea and lover become one. I believe I wrote this one at age 19. It has been published by Penny Dreadful, Romantics Quarterly, Boston Poetry Magazine and Poetry Life & Times. The poem may have had a different title when it was originally published, but it escapes me ... ah, yes, "Entanglements."



Shock
by Michael R. Burch

It was early in the morning of the forming of my soul,
in the dawning of desire, with passion at first bloom,
with lightning splitting heaven to thunder's blasting roll
and a sense of welling fire and, perhaps, impending doom—

that I cried out through the tumult of the raging storm on high
for shelter from the chaos of the restless, driving rain ...
and the voice I heard replying from a rift of bleeding sky
was mine, I'm sure, and, furthermore, was certainly insane.



The Sky Was Turning Blue
by Michael R. Burch

Yesterday I saw you
as the snow flurries died,
spent winds becalmed.
When I saw your solemn face
alone in the crowd,
I felt my heart, so long embalmed,
begin to beat aloud.

Was it another winter,
another day like this?
Was it so long ago?
Where you the rose-cheeked girl
who slapped my face, then stole a kiss?
Was the sky this gray with snow,
my heart so all a-whirl?

How is it in one moment
it was twenty years ago,
lost worlds remade anew?
When your eyes met mine, I knew
you felt it too, as though
we heard the robin's song
and the sky was turning blue.



The Children of Gaza

Nine of my poems have been set to music by the composer Eduard de Boer and have been performed in Europe by the Palestinian soprano Dima Bawab. My poems that became “The Children of Gaza” were written from the perspective of Palestinian children and their mothers. On this page the poems come first, followed by the song lyrics, which have been adapted in places to fit the music …



Epitaph for a Child of Gaza
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.



Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live two artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...



For a Child of Gaza, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails
when thunder howls
when hailstones scream
while winter scowls
and nights compound dark frosts with snow?

Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?



I Pray Tonight
by Michael R. Burch

for the children of Gaza and their mothers

I pray tonight
the starry Light
might
surround you.

I pray
by day
that, come what may,
no dark thing confound you.

I pray ere tomorrow
an end to your sorrow.
May angels' white chorales
sing, and astound you.



Something
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

Something inescapable is lost―
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone―
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past―
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.



Mother’s Smile
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza and their children

There never was a fonder smile
than mother’s smile, no softer touch
than mother’s touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than “much.”

So more than “much,” much more than “all.”
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother’s there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father’s back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,

then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother’s tender smile
will leap and follow after you!



Such Tenderness
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness―as
only the dove on her mildest day has,
when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing
and coos to them softly, unable to sing.

What songs long forgotten occur to you now―
a babe at each breast? What terrible vow
ripped from your throat like the thunder that day
can never hold severing lightnings at bay?

Time taught you tenderness―time, oh, and love.
But love in the end is seldom enough ...
and time?―insufficient to life’s brief task.
I can only admire, unable to ask―

what is the source, whence comes the desire
of a woman to love as no God may require?



who, US?
by Michael R. Burch

jesus was born
a palestinian child
where there’s no Room
for the meek and the mild

... and in bethlehem still
to this day, lambs are born
to cries of “no Room!”
and Puritanical scorn ...

under Herod, Trump, Bibi
their fates are the same―
the slouching Beast mauls them
and WE have no shame:

“who’s to blame?”



My nightmare ...

I had a dream of Jesus!
Mama, his eyes were so kind!
But behind him I saw a billion Christians
hissing "You're nothing!," so blind.
―The Child Poets of Gaza (written by Michael R. Burch for the children of Gaza)



I, too, have a dream ...

I, too, have a dream ...
that one day Jews and Christians
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
staring down the barrels of their big bazookas,
knowing I did nothing
to deserve their enmity.
―The Child Poets of Gaza (written by Michael R. Burch for the children of Gaza)



Suffer the Little Children
by Nakba

I saw the carnage . . . saw girls' dreaming heads
blown to red atoms, and their dreams with them . . .

saw babies liquefied in burning beds
as, horrified, I heard their murderers’ phlegm . . .

I saw my mother stitch my shroud’s black hem,
for in that moment I was one of them . . .

I saw our Father’s eyes grow hard and bleak
to see frail roses severed at the stem . . .

How could I fail to speak?
―Nakba is an alias of Michael R. Burch



Here We Shall Remain
by Tawfiq Zayyad
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Like twenty impossibilities
in Lydda, Ramla and Galilee ...
here we shall remain.

Like brick walls braced against your chests;
lodged in your throats
like shards of glass
or prickly cactus thorns;
clouding your eyes
like sandstorms.

Here we shall remain,
like brick walls obstructing your chests,
washing dishes in your boisterous bars,
serving drinks to our overlords,
scouring your kitchens' filthy floors
in order to ****** morsels for our children
from between your poisonous fangs.

Here we shall remain,
like brick walls deflating your chests
as we face our deprivation clad in rags,
singing our defiant songs,
chanting our rebellious poems,
then swarming out into your unjust streets
to fill dungeons with our dignity.

Like twenty impossibilities
in Lydda, Ramla and Galilee,
here we shall remain,
guarding the shade of the fig and olive trees,
fermenting rebellion in our children
like yeast in dough.

Here we wring the rocks to relieve our thirst;
here we stave off starvation with dust;
but here we remain and shall not depart;
here we spill our expensive blood
and do not hoard it.

For here we have both a past and a future;
here we remain, the Unconquerable;
so strike fast, penetrate deep,
O, my roots!



Enough for Me
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Enough for me to lie in the earth,
to be buried in her,
to sink meltingly into her fecund soil, to vanish ...
only to spring forth like a flower
brightening the play of my countrymen's children.

Enough for me to remain
in my native soil's embrace,
to be as close as a handful of dirt,
a sprig of grass,
a wildflower.



Palestine
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
April's blushing advances,
the aroma of bread warming at dawn,
a woman haranguing men,
the poetry of Aeschylus,
love's trembling beginnings,
a boulder covered with moss,
mothers who dance to the flute's sighs,
and the invaders' fear of memories.

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
September's rustling end,
a woman leaving forty behind, still full of grace, still blossoming,
an hour of sunlight in prison,
clouds taking the shapes of unusual creatures,
the people's applause for those who mock their assassins,
and the tyrant's fear of songs.

This land gives us
all that makes life worthwhile:
Lady Earth, mother of all beginnings and endings!
In the past she was called Palestine
and tomorrow she will still be called Palestine.
My Lady, because you are my Lady, I deserve life!



Distant light
by Walid Khazindar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Bitterly cold,
winter clings to the naked trees.
If only you would free
the bright sparrows
from the tips of your fingers
and release a smile—that shy, tentative smile—
from the imprisoned anguish I see.
Sing! Can we not sing
as if we were warm, hand-in-hand,
shielded by shade from a glaring sun?
Can you not always remain this way,
stoking the fire, more beautiful than necessary, and silent?
Darkness increases; we must remain vigilant
and this distant light is our only consolation—
this imperiled flame, which from the beginning
has been flickering,
in danger of going out.
Come to me, closer and closer.
I don't want to be able to tell my hand from yours.
And let's stay awake, lest the snow smother us.

Walid Khazindar was born in 1950 in Gaza City. He is considered one of the best Palestinian poets; his poetry has been said to be "characterized by metaphoric originality and a novel thematic approach unprecedented in Arabic poetry." He was awarded the first Palestine Prize for Poetry in 1997.



Excerpt from “Speech of the Red Indian”
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Let's give the earth sufficient time to recite
the whole truth ...
The whole truth about us.
The whole truth about you.

In tombs you build
the dead lie sleeping.
Over bridges you *****
file the newly slain.

There are spirits who light up the night like fireflies.
There are spirits who come at dawn to sip tea with you,
as peaceful as the day your guns mowed them down.

O, you who are guests in our land,
please leave a few chairs empty
for your hosts to sit and ponder
the conditions for peace
in your treaty with the dead.



Existence
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

In my solitary life, I was a lost question;
in the encompassing darkness,
my answer lay concealed.

You were a bright new star
revealed by fate,
radiating light from the fathomless darkness.

The other stars rotated around you
—once, twice —
until I perceived
your unique radiance.

Then the bleak blackness broke
and in the twin tremors
of our entwined hands
I had found my missing answer.

Oh you! Oh you intimate, yet distant!
Don't you remember the coalescence
Of our spirits in the flames?
Of my universe with yours?
Of the two poets?
Despite our great distance,
Existence unites us.



Nothing Remains
by Fadwa Tuqan
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Tonight, we’re together,
but tomorrow you'll be hidden from me again,
thanks to life’s cruelty.

The seas will separate us ...
Oh!—Oh!—If I could only see you!
But I'll never know ...
where your steps led you,
which routes you took,
or to what unknown destinations
your feet were compelled.

You will depart and the thief of hearts,
the denier of beauty,
will rob us of all that's dear to us,
will steal our happiness,
leaving our hands empty.

Tomorrow at dawn you'll vanish like a phantom,
dissipating into a delicate mist
dissolving quickly in the summer sun.

Your scent—your scent!—contains the essence of life,
filling my heart
as the earth absorbs the lifegiving rain.

I will miss you like the fragrance of trees
when you leave tomorrow,
and nothing remains.

Just as everything beautiful and all that's dear to us
is lost—lost!—when nothing remains.



Identity Card
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Record!
I am an Arab!
And my identity card is number fifty thousand.
I have eight children;
the ninth arrives this autumn.
Will you be furious?

Record!
I am an Arab!
Employed at the quarry,
I have eight children.
I provide them with bread,
clothes and books
from the bare rocks.
I do not supplicate charity at your gates,
nor do I demean myself at your chambers' doors.
Will you be furious?

Record!
I am an Arab!
I have a name without a title.
I am patient in a country
where people are easily enraged.
My roots
were established long before the onset of time,
before the unfolding of the flora and fauna,
before the pines and the olive trees,
before the first grass grew.
My father descended from plowmen,
not from the privileged classes.
My grandfather was a lowly farmer
neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Still, they taught me the pride of the sun
before teaching me how to read;
now my house is a watchman's hut
made of branches and cane.
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name, but no title!

Record!
I am an Arab!
You have stolen my ancestors' orchards
and the land I cultivated
along with my children.
You left us nothing
but these bare rocks.
Now will the State claim them
as it has been declared?

Therefore!
Record on the first page:
I do not hate people
nor do I encroach,
but if I become hungry
I will feast on the usurper's flesh!
Beware!
Beware my hunger
and my anger!

NOTE: Darwish was married twice, but had no children. In the poem above, he is apparently speaking for his people, not for himself personally.



Passport
by Mahmoud Darwish
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

They left me unrecognizable in the shadows
that bled all colors from this passport.
To them, my wounds were novelties—
curious photos for tourists to collect.
They failed to recognize me. No, don't leave
the palm of my hand bereft of sun
when all the trees recognize me
and every song of the rain honors me.
Don't set a wan moon over me!

All the birds that flocked to my welcoming wave
as far as the distant airport gates,
all the wheatfields,
all the prisons,
all the albescent tombstones,
all the barbwired boundaries,
all the fluttering handkerchiefs,
all the eyes—
they all accompanied me.
But they were stricken from my passport
shredding my identity!

How was I stripped of my name and identity
on soil I tended with my own hands?
Today, Job's lamentations
re-filled the heavens:
Don't make an example of me, not again!
Prophets! Gentlemen!—
Don't require the trees to name themselves!
Don't ask the valleys who mothered them!
My forehead glistens with lancing light.
From my hand the riverwater springs.
My identity can be found in my people's hearts,
so invalidate this passport!



Autumn Conundrum
by Michael R. Burch

for the mothers and children of Gaza

It's not that every leaf must finally fall,
it's just that we can never catch them all.



Piercing the Shell

for the mothers and children of Gaza

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we'll discover what the heart is for.



Children of Gaza Lyrics

(adapted in places to the music by Michael R. Burch and Eduard de Boer)

World premiere, April 22, 2017, in the Oosterkerk in the Dutch town of Hoorn. Dima Bawab, soprano; Eduard de Boer, piano.

I. Prologue:

Where does the Butterfly go?
I'd love to sing about things of beauty,
like a butterfly, fluttering amid flowers,
but I can't, I can't …

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails
when thunder howls
when hailstones scream
while winter scowls
and nights compound dark frosts with snow,
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the power of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

Where does the butterfly go
when mothers cry
while children die
and politicians lie, politicians lie?

When the darkness of grief blots out all that we know:
when love and life are running low,
where does the butterfly go?

And how shall the spirit take wing
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is flown without a trace?

Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go,
where does the butterfly go?

II. The Raid

When the soldiers came to our house,
I was quiet, quiet as a mouse…

But when they beat down our door with a battering ram,
and I heard their machine guns go "Blam! Blam! Blam!"
I ran! I ran! I ran!

First I ran to the cupboard and crept inside;
then I fled to my bed and crawled under, to hide.

I could hear my mother shushing my sister…
How I hoped and prayed that the bullets missed her!
My sister! My sister! My sister!

Then I ran next door, to my uncle's house,
still quiet, quiet as a mouse...

Young as I am,
I did understand
that they had come to take our land!
Our land! Our land! Our land!
They've come to take our land!

They shot my father, they shot my mother,
they shot my dear sister, and my big brother!
They shot down my hopes, they shot down my dreams!
I still hear their screams! Their screams! Their screams!

Now I am here: small, and sad, and still ...
no mother, no father, no family, no will.

They took everything I ever had.
Now how can I live, with no mom and no dad?
How can I live, with no mom and no dad?
How can I live? How can I live?

III. For God’s Sake, I'm only a Child

For God’s sake, ah, for God's sake, I’m only a child―
and all you’ve allowed me to learn are these tears scalding my cheeks,
this ache in my gut at the sight of so many corpses, so much horrifying blood!

For God’s sake, I’m only a child―
you talk about your need for “security,”
but what about my right to play in streets
not piled with dead bodies still smoking with white phosphorous!

Ah, for God’s sake, I’m only a child―
for me there's no beauty in the world
and peace has become an impossible dream;
destruction is all I know because of your deceptions.

For God’s sake, I’m only a child―
fear and terror surround me stealing my breath
as I lie shaking like a windblown leaf.

For God’s sake, for God's sake, I'm only a child,
I'm only a child, I'm only a child.

IV. King of the World

If I were King of the World,
I would make every child free, for my people’s sake.
And once I had freed them, they’d all run and scream
straight to my palace, for free ice cream!
[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Can’t a young king dream?

If I were King of the World, I would banish
hatred and war, and make mean men vanish.
Then, in their place, I’d bring in a circus
with lions and tigers (but they’d never hurt us!)

If I were King of the World, I would teach
the preachers to always do as they preach;
and so they could practice being of good cheer,
we’d have Christmas ―and sweets―each day of the year!

[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Some dreams do appear!

If I were King of the World, I would send
my couns'lors of peace to the wide world’s end ...
[spoken:] But all this hard dreaming is making me thirsty!
I proclaim lemonade; please [spoken] bring it in a hurry!

If I were King of the World, I would fire
racists and bigots, with their message so dire.
And we wouldn’t build walls, to shut people out.
I would build amusement parks, have no doubt!

If I were King of the World, I would make
every child blessed, for my people’s sake,
and every child safe, and every child free,
and every child happy, especially me!
[Directly to the audience, spoken:]
Why are you laughing? Appoint me and see!

V. Mother’s Smile

There never was a fonder smile
than mother's smile, no softer touch
than mother's touch. So sleep awhile
and know she loves you more than "much".

So more than "much", much more than "all".
Though tender words, these do not speak
of love at all, nor how we fall
and mother's there, nor how we reach
from nightmares in the ticking night
and she is there to hold us tight.

There never was a stronger back
than father's back, that held our weight
and lifted us, when we were small,
and bore us till we reached the gate,
then held our hands that first bright mile
till we could run, and did, and flew.
But, oh, a mother's tender smile
will leap and follow after you ...

VI. In the Shelter

Mother:
Hush my darling, please don’t cry.
The bombs will stop dropping, by and by.
Hush, I'll sing you a lullaby…

Child:
Mama, I know that I’m safe in your arms.
Your sweet love protects me from all harms,
but still I fear the sirens’ alarms!

Mother:
Hush now my darling, don’t say a word.
My love will protect you, whatever you heard.
Hush now…

Child:
But what about pappa, you loved him too.

Mother: My love will protect you.
My love will protect you!

Child:
I know that you love me, but pappa is gone!

Mother:
Your pappa’s in heaven, where nothing goes wrong.
Come, rest at my breast and I’ll sing you a song.

Child:
But pappa was strong, and now he’s not here.

Mother:
He’s where he must be, and yet ever-near.
Now we both must be strong; there's nothing to fear.

Child:
The bombs are still falling! Will this night never end?

Mother:
The deep darkness hides us; the night is our friend.
Hush, I'll sing you a lullaby.

Child:
Yes, mama, I'm sure you are right.
We will be safe under cover of night.
[spoken] But what is that sound?
[screamed] Mama! I am fri(ghtened)….!

VII. Frail Envelope of Flesh

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying on the surgeon's table
with anguished eyes like your mother's eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable…

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand in your mother's hand
for a last bewildered kiss…

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live five artless years…
Now your mother's lips seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears…

VIII. Among the Angels

Child:
There is peace where I am now,
I reside in a heavenly land
that rests safe in the palm
of a loving Being’s hand;
where the butterfly finds shelter
and the white dove glides to rest
in the bright and shining sands
of those shores all men call Blessed.

Mother:
My darling, how I long to touch your face,
to see your smile, to hear your laughter’s grace.
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Return my child to me.

Child:
My darling mother, here beyond the stars
where I now live,
I see and feel your tears,
but here is peace and joy, and no more pain.
Here is where I will remain.

Mother:
My darling, do not leave me here alone!
Come back to me!
Why did you turn to stone?
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Please send my child back to me...

Child:
Dear mother, to your wonderful love I bow.
But I can't return...
I am among the Angels now.
Do not worry about me.
Here is where I long to be.

Mother:
My darling, it is as if I hear your voice consoling me.
Oh, can this be your choice?
Great Allah, hear my plea.
Impart wisdom to me.

Child:
Dear mother, I was born of your great love,
a gentle spirit...
I died a slaughtered dove,
that I might bring this message from the stars:
it is time to end earth’s wars.

Remember―in both Bible and Koran
how many times each precious word is used―
“Mercy. Compassion. Justice.”
Let each man, each woman live by the Law
that rules both below and above:
reject all hate and embrace Love.

IX. Epilogue: I have a dream

I have a dream...
that one day all the world
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
a small child, lonely and afraid.

Look at me... I am flesh...
I laugh, I bleed, I cry.
Look at me; I dare you
to look me in the eye
and tell me and my mother
how I deserve to die.

I only ask to live
in a world where things are fair;
I only ask for love
in a world where people share,
I only ask for love
in a world where people share.

Oh, I have a dream...
that one day all the world
will see me as I am:
a small child, lonely and afraid,
a small child, lonely and afraid.



hey pete
by Michael R. Burch

for Pete Rose

hey pete,
it's baseball season
and the sun ascends the sky,
encouraging a schoolboy's dreams
of winter whizzing by;
go out, go out and catch it,
put it in a jar,
set it on a shelf
and then you'll be a Superstar.

When I was a boy, Pete Rose was my favorite baseball player; this poem is not a slam at him, but rather an ironic jab at the term "superstar."



Reflections on the Loss of Vision
by Michael R. Burch

The sparrow that cries from the shelter of an ancient oak tree and the squirrels
that dash in delight through the treetops as the first snow glistens and swirls,
remind me so much of my childhood and how the world seemed to me then,
that it seems if I tried
and just closed my eyes,
I could once again be nine or ten.

The rabbits that hide in the bushes where the snowflakes collect as they fall,
hunch there, I know, in the flurrying snow, yet now I can't see them at all.
For time slowly weakened my vision; while the patterns seem almost as clear,
some things that I saw
when I was a boy,
are lost to me now in my advancing years.

The chipmunk who seeks out his burrow and the geese in their unseen reprieve
are there as they were, and yet they are not; and though it seems childish to grieve,
who would condemn a blind man for bemoaning the vision he lost?
Well, in a small way,
through the passage of days,
I have learned some of his loss.

As a keen-eyed young lad I endeavored to see things most adults could not―
the camouflaged nests of the hoot owls, the woodpecker’s favorite haunts.
But now I no longer can find them, nor understand how I once could,
and it seems such a waste
of those far-sighted days,
to end up near blind in this wood.



Solicitation
by Michael R. Burch

He comes to me out of the shadows, acknowledging
my presence with a tip of his hat, always the gentleman,
and his eyes are on my eyes like a snake’s on a bird’s—
quizzical, mesmerizing.

He ***** his head as though something he heard intrigues him
(although I hear nothing) and he smiles, amusing himself at my expense;
his words are full of desire and loathing, and although I hear,
he says nothing that I understand.

The moon shines—maniacal, queer—as he takes my hand and whispers
"Our time has come!" ... and so we stroll together along the docks
where the sea sends things that wriggle and crawl
scurrying under rocks and boards.

Moonlight in great floods washes his pale face as he stares unseeing
into my eyes. He sighs, and the sound crawls slithering down my spine,
and my blood seems to pause at his touch as he caresses my face.
He unfastens my dress till the white lace shows, and my neck is bared.

His teeth are long, yellow and hard. His face is bearded and haggard.
A wolf howls in the distance. There are no wolves in New York. I gasp.
My blood is a trickle his wet tongue embraces. My heart races madly.
He likes it like that.

Published by Dowton Abbey, Aesthetically Pleasing Vampires, Into the Unknown, Since Halloween is Coming, and Poetry Life & Times



Songstress
by Michael R. Burch

for Nadia Anjuman

Within its starkwhite ribcage, how the heart
must flutter wildly, O, and always sing
against the pressing darkness: all it knows
until at last it feels the numbing sting
of death. Then life's brief vision swiftly passes,
imposing night on one who clearly saw.
Death held your bright heart tightly, till its maw–
envenomed, fanged–could swallow, whole, your Awe.
And yet it was not death so much as you
who sealed your doom; you could not help but sing
and not be silenced. Here, behold your tomb's
white alabaster cage: pale, wretched thing!
But you'll not be imprisoned here, wise wren!
Your words soar free; rise, sing, fly, live again.

A poet like Nadia Anjuman can be likened to a caged bird, deprived of flight, who somehow finds it within herself to sing of love and beauty. But when the world robs her of both flight and song, what is left for her but to leave, bereaving it and us of herself and her song?



Southern Icarus
by Michael R. Burch

Windborne, lover of heights,
unspooled from the truck’s wildly lurching embrace,
you climb, skittish kite . . .

What do you know of the world’s despair,
gliding in vast  solitariness  there,
so that all that remains is to
fall?

Only a little longer the wind invests its sighs;
you
stall,
spread-eagled, as the canvas snaps
and *****
its white rebellious wings,
and all
the houses watch with baffled eyes.

Published by Poetry Porch and The Chained Muse



To the boy Elis
by Georg Trakl
translation by Michael R. Burch

Elis, when the blackbird cries from the black forest,
it announces your downfall.
Your lips sip the rock-spring's blue coolness.

Your brow sweats blood
recalling ancient myths
and dark interpretations of birds' flight.

Yet you enter the night with soft footfalls;
the ripe purple grapes hang suspended
as you wave your arms more beautifully in the blueness.

A thornbush crackles;
where now are your moonlike eyes?
How long, oh Elis, have you been dead?

A monk dips waxed fingers
into your body's hyacinth;
Our silence is a black abyss

from which sometimes a docile animal emerges
slowly lowering its heavy lids.
A black dew drips from your temples:

the lost gold of vanished stars.

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: I believe that in the second stanza the blood on Elis's forehead may be a reference to the apprehensive ****** sweat of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. If my interpretation is correct, Elis hears the blackbird's cries, anticipates the danger represented by a harbinger of death, but elects to continue rather than turn back. From what I have been able to gather, the color blue had a special significance for Georg Trakl: it symbolized longing and perhaps a longing for death. The colors blue, purple and black may represent a progression toward death in the poem.



Published as the collection "Of Tetley's and V-2's"
Fullfreddo Dec 2017
a human tool, a drawing pencil, shedding snakeskin cells as
lead from no. 2 pencil

am **** and blood, skin and hairless,
all-to-come-to-go,
return retuned, at their own chosen speed,
gen of regeneration of disrupted oils and heavenly blessings,
morning cracks and orifices, filling and emptying obediently,
to the tidings of the grieving gravity of my moon’s decisions
that govern the lunatic cycle

you may kiss me with all your heart unto a robust welcoming,
scorn with spittle and deem unfit,
I know the difference and it is inconsequential

see me as combustible or flat, airless and empty,
as a new or a two day old leaking birthday balloon, or a haiku
that makes the reader gasp for the reasoning for breathing

think of me as a meme who responds to the touch of
your nippled forefinger, but my powers are unlisted,
therefore unlimited

for I am neither cyber or cypher though aesthetically they
appear as parts of my humanity, a human machine
forever reprogramming to new stimuli sensating,
the temperature of your breath, the many odors of you
as inputs that bear newborn children notions in
my chested gas chambers, the belligerent bellum bellies of my brain

my digital describe in thousands of computers do hide,
but to comprehend the interacting calculations that are
my constancy and my inconsistencies, you must make a tour
if you are awake between midnight and dawn when from
wells the visions, the fluids - the words are drawn

they, the residuals of a man’s ******* with
other humans, kin akin, and the thriving discourse between l,
man and parental gods of invisible powers, that offers insanity
as a viable solution, to cracking the codex human DNA
in the vial labelled Medusa

Who else?
Who Else?
from Joseph Campbell...

“which has been registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind. And in every such screening myth–in every such mythology {that of the Bible being, as we have just seen, another of the kind}–there enters in an essential duplicity, the consequences of which cannot be disregarded or suppressed.".

— The End —