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Henessy J Beltre Oct 2018
Confused and misguided I found myself in the bookstore,
Looking for myself in the writing of poets,
Where pain and love met, I yearned for more
Found myself in disguise, broken, feeling time fly

Broken and insecure, I found myself in the bookstore.
Reading about my past lovers, was I not strong enough for the storm?
Loved a man who failed to explore,
The woman inside me begging for more

Lost but committed, I found myself in the bookstore.
Reminiscing on our lust, was I a bore?
Picking up a book filled with promises,
Will I ever get what love has in store?  

Running towards lust, I ended up broken in the bookstore.
You left me broken but wanting more
Addicted to your soul, I failed to remember..
That I met you at the bookstore

-Henessy J. Beltre
bookstores and libraries bring a great level of tranquility.
(© Henessy J. Beltre 10.10.2018)
Jeff Gaines Mar 2018
OK Reader, I'm going to tell you a tale … with great trepidation. You see, this tale, well, it's kind of like telling someone that you've seen a UFO. They want to believe you, but … it's never really been proven scientifically. Not to mention the fact that most folks who believe in such things are often the tin-hat wearing types, written off as … lets be nice and call them “odd”. And, of course, the more you swear to it, the crazier you appear. It's an epic tale, spanning 30 years of my crazy life.

  But, It's a story I want to tell, because it happened to me. I can barely understand it myself, let alone explain it. So … I'm just going to launch into it and you take it any way you wish.

*  *  
Where Can You Be?

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I'll search with gazes and I'll search with cars,
I'll search the cities and I'll search the stars, well …
I'm gonna find you, oh, wherever you are,
I'm gonna find you baby …  near or far, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I thought I'd found ya, but she wasn't you,
that girl she left alone and blue, well …
I know that's something that you'd never do,
your love has always been strong and true, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

If you must settle for some other man
and deviate from our immortal plan, well …
I hope you realize I will understand
and I'll try and do the best that I can, but …

Where will I be?
Where will I be, my love?
Hoping the next life sees …
our destiny!

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

~Wednesday, April 1st, 1987
10:30 P.M.

  I was singing in a band back in those days and, as it happened, this was the last song I'd ever write for it. Just after this, as it does, it all came crashing down and the band was finished. But in those last days, they pondered this song, with great puzzlement. You see, it was unlike anything I'd brought them before. It wasn't rock … It wasn't a ballad … it wasn't even structured like a “normal” 80's rock song.
  No bridge, no solo, no loud grinding guitars, etc. It even had bits where I hummed, yes hummed, the melody, like a lullaby. As they read the lyrics and I described how it went, they all looked at me like I had three heads and asked where this had come from. It was nothing like anything I'd written before. I could only tell them when and where I'd written it, but had no explanation of what inspired it. It had just came to me, so I wrote it down. They didn't know what to make of it, or even what to do with it.

  One of them said it sounded like a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary song or even in the vein of The Eagles. Another asked if it was about reincarnation … And I honestly, until that moment, hadn't thought of it that way, I didn't think like that at 24 … but then, one of them said it was “Haunting” …


  “Wow”, I thought, I'd never had anything I'd written described as that before. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me that it was haunting to think that this poor guy is desperately seeking a girl, that may or may not even know that he exists … in a world with billions of people in it. To top that off, he fears that she may off and marry someone else if he doesn't find her in time.

  This, along with the suggestion of it being about reincarnation made me rethink and rewrite the song. Well, a few lines in the last verse and chorus anyways. It actually made the song flow better and seem more complete. In a way, it actually made the song make more sense … to me and them. Sadly, we never did anything with it. There wouldn't be time. Ha … Time … how ironic. Over 10 years later, came this …

For Someone I've Never Met

Please save a place for me,
deep inside your heart.
Always know that I think of you,
as we both practice our arts.

Our worlds are full of temptations,
so very hard to resist …
and the good Lord knows
we're both far from,
sixteen and never been kissed.

Wealthy men with jaws divine …
Temptresses with looks so fine …
Paths that lead our hearts away …
Paths that surely lead astray …

They'll lead us there every time.
They'll leave us there … so  unkind.
Our hearts must shine,
night and day.
Through any darkness … they'll light our way.

If you never touch my face …
If I never look into your eyes …
We'll always have the comfort of sharing
the same
big, blue sky.

If I never smell your hair …
If you never kiss my lips …
Always know the search for your smile
has launched a thousand ships.

So, I hope you save a place for me
in your heart so sweet and kind.
Please, save a place for me …
Heaven knows you've one in mine.

~Thursday, September 9th, 1999
9 A.M.

“For Someone I've Never Met ” poured out of me in the midst of another breakup from the second, and last, girl that I wanted to marry. That emotion, never found me again. I looked at it on my computer screen and smiled, seeing “Where Can You Be”, in my mind, on my tattered old note pad that I called my “Song Book”. The memory of me writing it while sitting in my Z-28, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico as a beautiful heat lighting storm sent bolts across the sky, came flooding back; as did the debate of reincarnation I'd had with my pals in the rehearsal room all those years before. Here I was, again, writing about “someone” that I sensed, for lack of a better term, was out there … somewhere.

  Well Reader, do you believe in reincarnation? I was never really certain, but, as you can see, I had twice written pieces to someone I wasn't completely sure existed. I had always “sensed” someone out there beginning with the period after I wrote “Where Can You Be?” and thereafter. So, there they were, each written after losing someone I was deeply in love with. Each came out of nowhere, as they usually do. By the time I was in my 40's, I began to think I was either imagining it all (a side effect of being a hopeless romantic) or that I had just somehow missed this person and our “moment”.

  And then …


There was a place.
There was a time …
There, I stood … still unknowing
and everything seemed fine.

But there in that place …
at that moment in time …
the moment I saw the eyes,
I'd never believed I'd find.

Well, what could I say?
What could I do?
In a world filled with billions …
and there … was a you.

I'd always known you were out there …
even written of something amiss.
I never, ever stopped looking for you …
because my heart always said you exist.

My breezy Fall became harshest Winter.
My crazy life left my health running out.
I'd resigned myself that our moment had passed …
but this moment … it removed all doubt.

Well, what could I say?
Tell me, what could I do?
There we stood, staring … alone … in a city of millions …
yes, there … there was a you.

Oh, that mistress fate, she is just so cruel.
Frustration, a curse to be mine.
   I'd searched for you my entire life …
but now … my clock … knows a limit of time.

You see, I would never venture a love with you,
while knowing I'd have to leave you … hurt and alone.
I could only admire from afar … stoic and aloof …
while turning my heart into stone.

Nothing I could ever say and nothing I could ever do …
But now, at long last … at least I finally knew.

There, you stood … green seas, gazing up … into skies of blue.
My long-awaited revelation … become sorrow-laced realization.
There really is … a you.

~August 12th, 2009

  Typical of my life-long Charlie Brown syndrome … After being told in 2005 that I had “the lungs of an eighty-year-old man” and that I had “Six to Ten years” to live, I made a conscious decision in that Doctor's parking lot that I could never have another girlfriend and that I must face this alone. I don't see woman as objects. They are glorious creatures that are here to be our partners and friends and to make our lives amazing. I could never, ever knowingly let a woman fall in love with me, all the while knowing I was going to die and leave her. It's not in me to do such a thing, lonely or not.

  Yes, I'm still alive, I'm stubborn like that. But, some days are better than others and my new doctors say that they don't give people “time limits” anymore … because of people like me. I can't afford the lung transplant. So, as Bono so aptly put in one of his songs: “The rich stay healthy, while the sick stay poor”. It is what it is … and like the energizer bunny, I'm still going. Good for me.

  In the moment that I met her, the morning that followed, and the amazing speed of our nexus over the next several months combined with a string of synchronicities (Coincidences? Did I mention that she too, was a poet and writer?) that not only came after I met her on the sidewalk in front of the publisher we shared, but in those pieces I had written before and in several after; I was pretty much convinced I had actually found her. I have NEVER experienced anything like this, or her, in my entire life.

  So, after all this time, here she was … and there wasn't a **** thing that I could do about it. Besides, she was much younger than I and it probably would never have worked anyways. ****, the universe is rotten sometimes, huh? Maybe, if I'm lucky, things will balance out better in the next life. I can only hope. But I'm reminded, worryingly so, of the **** The Alarm song: “Collide”:

“All of these thoughts pounding in my head …
with the words I've wrote, in the letters I've never sent.
The distance in our lives may change …
Times that you can never erase …
But will our worlds collide?
Will our worlds collide, the next time?”

  Only time will tell.

  “Colors”, and a few others, were written about/for her. But, I could never show them to her. I would never endanger my friendship with her. I just wanted to keep her in my life. That, and that alone, was the only motive I'd ever had with her. I looked forward to seeing her marry, hearing her stories of her three kid's adventures; Hubby, all greasy, working on the car in the driveway, rabbits in her garden at night, eating her precious organic veggies or even about her new curtains. Just to know that she was alive, happy and doing well. I found a solace in her voice I could never describe and I was completely content to just have her in my life and watch hers unfold. Only I could end up in this odd position.

  I feared that she might get weird-ed out because I'd never displayed any romantic inklings toward her, so, to suddenly read these might make her feel a bit, lets say: uncomfortable. Actually, I didn't write them with any romantic intentions, per se; I just did what I always do … write what comes out. Still, there's no denying that they come across romantic. Again, so, so Charlie Brown. (long sigh)
  It is what it is. I also have to ponder the fact that maybe all those Charlie Brown moments in my life were preparing me for this one big, painful one. That does makes sense … ******' Universe.


Well when you're Green, I'll be your Brown.
Like the earth that loves the flowers,
I'll will be your solid ground.

And I'll be your Azure, when you are Verdigris.
We'll be thee most beautiful ocean
that eyes have ever seen.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
Mixing all of the colors … I'll make everything alright.

Now when you're Blue, I'll be you're Red.
If something should make you wanna cry,
I will feel your pain instead.

And I'll be your Orange, whenever you are Pink.
We'll be thee most amazing sunset,
that the sky could ever ink.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … and make everything alright.

Should you be Violet, I will be your Beige.
Like a sleepy moonlit desert,
pasteled in dunes and sage.

And when you're Grey, I will be your Rainbow.
We'll be thee most soothing rainstorm
the world has ever known.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … yes, I'll make everything alright.

With love on my palette, painting a glorious sunrise …
I'll color all your mornings with a smile and brighten up your skies.
If you should find yourself in sorrow from someones hate or lies …
I'll take the stars down from the heavens … and paint them in your eyes.

So whenever you are Black, I will always be your White.
I'll mix all your colors with a promise … everything will be alright.

Yes, I'll mix all of your colors with a promise … Everything's gonna be alright.

~  Winter 2012

  I wrote this after she had rang me up one afternoon lamenting about her life at the moment, troubled that her latest novel hadn't done as well as she'd hoped and now she had to be waitressing to make ends meet. I tried my best to cheer her up and assured her that she was strong enough to handle anything and that she must keep chasing her dreams. I wrote it as a poem, but I can't help but notice it looks like a song, though I've never heard music for it. Those repeated verses look just like choruses to me.

  Earlier in the day, I had been looking at a booklet of paint swatches. I guess, up there on my roof looking at the Manhattan skyline, her sadness and me looking at all those colors melted together somehow and, as happens, out came this piece. Even this, became another synchronicity as she would name her next novel “Show Me All Your Colors”. I remember seeing it in the bookstore and looking straight up … shaking my head at the sky. Was this the universe telling me to show and tell her all this?

  Well, if it was, I stuck with my gut and kept it to myself. My God, if you only knew how many of these synchronicities there were between her and I. It simply boggles my mind. I wanted to call them “coincidences”, but there were just so **** many of them … Each so unique, they just couldn't be called that. I don't want to tell them all here, because like I said, the more you swear to it, the crazier you sound. And I'm sure your questioning my sanity by now, aren't you? (Smirk)

  OK, OK … this one is definitely romantic. I wrote it one night, drunk to the bejeezus. I'd done what we called “The Crosstown Crawl” with my pal Tristan and a gaggle of assorted waitresses we knew. This involved starting at Brass Monkey on the west side highway in the Gansevoort District and ending at my favorite hookah bar, Karma, on the Lower East Side … Drinking in, and often being “asked to leave” (Read: Kicked out of) every bar that took our interest as we walked (Read: staggered) west to east, staying below 14th St.

  On my way home from the city on the J train, I thought about all the phone conversations we'd had while I was on this train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. Being drunk, I guess, I caught a bout of sadness that I'd never get to tell her any of this or even how I felt about it all. Before I hit my elevator, this piece was swimming in my head. It's about as mushy a piece as I've ever written … if not thee most! Not the norm for me, but this is, after all, a lot to keep pent up inside you. I wouldn't wish this predicament on anyone.

For My Little Red-Haired Girl …

You …

My Love.
My Queen.
This Shining Light in my eyes.

My Laughs.
My Dreams.
My Soft, Contented Sighs.

My *****.
My Lavender.
My Dew Covered Rose.

My Smile.
My Cinnamon.
The Joy in my heart … ever inspiring my prose.

My Best Friend.
My Co-Star.
My Fearless Partner in Crime.

My Breath.
My Cohort.
My Side-kick throughout time.

My Snow-capped Mountain.
The Wind caressing my face.
My Vast Green Field.

The Ivy Covered Wall
that harbors my soul … ever refusing to yield.

In a different time ...

You … would have been my Life.

You … would have been my World.

You … would have been my Everything

and I will always love you for my own special reasons.

It is just a shame … and I'm so, so sorry … that you … must never, ever know.

Maybe next time.

~Charlie Brown

   When I came-to in the morning and read what I had wrote, I had to laugh a bit. It is borderline corny, very beautiful, very telling and very sad … all at once. I shook my head, laughing and told myself :

  “*******, Sam … yer losin' it. Get your **** together, will ya?”

  I guess in my stupor, I was imagining what it would have been like to write something for her. I don't know … There it was and I was stuck with it. I almost deleted it, but, my finger wouldn't press the key. As I told you before … I'd NEVER show this to her. She'd probably never speak to me again.

   As a sadder epilogue, that eventually happened. I still don't know why, but we haven't spoken in years. Maybe she sensed this emotion in me and ran away. Or maybe, just maybe … she thought I'd pushed her away somehow … but for whatever reason, we drifted apart. I guess I'll never know.  As you can see by reading this, that was never my intention. But, like I keep reiterating … It is what it is.

  One day, I called her number to catch up and shoot the breeze. I hadn't spoken to her in a few months as she'd been busy promoting her new novel and I didn't want to pester her. But … it was disconnected … I checked my emails … nothing. I'd never been so confused, she just closed me out. I didn't want to bother her. I was sure she had her reasons and if she wanted to reach out to me again, she would. She had my email and my phone number. But, for now … she was gone … and that was that.

  So, what do you think, Reader? Do I get the Tin hat … or a Badge of courage? Am I bat-**** crazy … or just eccentric? I'll leave it up to you to decide, because as I said, this all happened to me and there isn't a thing I can do about any of it. I just had to get it off of my chest. Thanks for letting me vent.

  Wherever she is … she will always mean the world to me. I can see her green eyes if I close my mine and look for them. Sometimes, on occasion, her face haunts my sleep. Still, I like to picture her, kids playing in a sprinkler behind her, digging in her garden, wearing gloves too big for her hands and a smudge of fresh dirt on her cheek … it makes me smile.

-Sam Webster
Brooklyn, New York
OK, you can stop scratching your head. I'm sorry if you feel like I tricked you or was playing a prank … That was not my intention. This piece is experimental writing, of sorts. If you are wondering, it's titled “Somewhere … Out There”. But I didn't want to put a title at the head of the page, as that might have clued you in too early.

I also confess that “Sam” the narrator is, on no uncertain terms, based loosely on myself. But hey, what better way to string you along? Besides, as Stephen King said, you “Write what you know”. As far as I 'm aware, using poetry within a short story like this, or in this manner, has never been done before. Welcome to the future!

It really belongs in my “From Thee Edge” Collection with the rest of my Twilight-Zone-esque short stories. (You can now read some of these fiction short stories here, posted in my "NoPo@HePo" posts, along with some non-fiction essays. I hope you enjoy them.) But, because I pieced together several of my poems to not only tell the story, but as a vehicle to carry it along as part of it; I wanted to put it here on Hello Poetry just to see if I could convince you long enough to get you through the story … while having you believe it was me speaking to you and that it was all very real to me. Thus, making it feel real to you as you read it.

Was I having you along right up until it was signed by someone else? Or, at least until the narrator addressed himself as “Sam”?

If so, then I accomplished my mission. I'd love to hear your comments on it. If you've been reading any of my other posts, I'm sure you've figured out that I like to run wildly outside of the box sometimes. This was just, as I said, an experiment in a different way to tell a story … fiction or otherwise. As always, I hope that I took you on a journey and, more importantly, that you enjoyed it.

~Jeff Gaines
(Lower Alabama)
Sydney Feb 2015
I went back to that bookstore last Friday
Because I told myself I missed it
I was always so fascinated by the secrets
hidden between splinters in the old wood bookshelves
And the fleeting thoughts scribbled hastily
onto the ripped pages of old romance novels
That bookstore always reminded me a lot of you
In the way that it went practically unnoticed its entire existence
Yet it was still so fascinating inside
The floorboards creaked with every step
As if trying to remind you that they exist
And all of the good books hid on the top shelves
Just out of reach
Those shelves seemed to hold more mystery
more love, more passion, more life
Than any human being could ever comprehend
The lights would flicker just as your eyes did when you woke up in the morning
and you could hear their soft hum
Filling these halls with life
It reminded me of your shallow breathing
As you used to lay asleep so gently beside me
And I used to come in everyday to read new books
But there were so many
And if it took the rest of my life
I was determined to read each and every last one
And I went back to that bookstore last Friday
Because I told myself I missed it
But maybe I just miss you
bucky Jul 2014
[i'm sorry. i'm not very good at love letters. i've confessed my love to more angels than real people, but please hear me out on this.]
to the girl i ran into yesterday, with love from the girl who ran into you yesterday
i'm pretty sure i'm in love with you.
you left a handprint on my heart (a literal one;
your fingers curved over my collarbone like you were afraid you would break me)
i have cigarette butts for nerve endings
and i'm pretty sure that you must be a lit match
because i haven't felt this alive in seventeen years
please tell me you feel the same way.
i just want to feel your heart beat against mine, and i know we've only just met, i know you will probably never come to this bookstore again,
but if you say no i will pretend that this is a letter to the galaxy
(my favorite constellation is the one stretching across your shoulders;
a thousand and one stars disguised as freckles
play connect the dots with ligaments and fissures)
i will pretend that you are not the sun in my solar system
and okay, maybe i'm being overdramatic but have you ever looked into someone's eyes
and wanted to memorize every fleck of gold you see
i wrote down the things i want to know about you, a wishlist ten miles long
with nothing but your name on it
i wonder how you'd react if i held your hand in public
the sea swelling up to meet us there are wires from my heart to yours
and i know there is approximately an 86.3% chance you will never see this love letter but i wished on a star for something real
and then i ran into you
(i'm sorry again. i hope you enjoy to **** a mockingbird. it's one of my favorites.)
i hope your hair is still a preposterous shade of blue because it makes your eyes look like constellations
do you want to form a galaxy with me?
to the girl i ran into yesterday, who wore bright pink flip flops and had a tattoo of a star on her left anklebone,
i think i'm in love with you
please reply at your earliest convenience.
Rafael Alfonzo Sep 2015
I was down on my luck** and had not returned to my job nor had any notion of returning again. I had a plane ticket for Boston that would fly me to Minnesota that was scheduled to depart in twenty days. I had still not yet bought the bus ticket to Boston. I had one hundred dollars to my name. My friend Billy had owed me one hundred dollars as well and gave me one hundred and thirty dollars in 1988 pesos coins as repayment. Knowing that it might be difficult to find a place who would honestly convert them and that their worth fluctuated, I would have much rather he paid me in US dollars but I took them in thanks and didn’t mention it. He knew what I was thinking and told me that if I couldn’t get a fair price that I could mail them to him when he got to Missouri and he would mail me what he owed in cash but until then all of his money was ******* in his trip home and even that was barely enough but that he had checked on their worth and said it should cover the one-hundred he owed. I smiled and we warmly shook hands to seal the deal.  We spent the day riding around in his wrangler and running some final errands for him before he would be gone.
The three years we had known each other might as well have been a lifetime and had felt just as full as one and had gone by just as fast. We ‘d drunk coffee and smoked cigarettes outside of Elizabeth’s bookstore. We’d watched in silence the beautiful women that would walk passed without much attention given to us. We, however, gave great attention to every ***** and bounce and shimmy. There were some gorgeous women that came to the bookstore those years. We shot pool with Bernie, who had the keys to the Mason Lodge and had many great conversations on the fire escape. We played games of chess in the bookstore. We drove around listening to the blues. Sometimes we got together, the three of us, at Billy’s and we’d make a fire and they’d drink coffee because they were old men and had had to stop drinking years before and I would drink some bourbon or wine after a cup or two of coffee and then we’d share a pack of cigarettes between us and we’d feel the warmth of the fire and have some good laughs. Bernie was diagnosed with a rare and terrible cancer in North Carolina on a trip to see his son in the Air force and had been brought back home a few months later and beside his wife and daughter and son fell silently to sleep and never woke up again. I hadn’t gone to see him but Billy said that when he saw him he didn’t mention his condition once and that he even got out of bed and sat with him on the back porch that looked out upon the open land and sky and they talked like nothing was wrong and laughed and said they’d see each other again. Bernie died a week later.
I hadn’t planned it this way but the opening to this story is very much dedicated to Bernie, and Billy, I hope you get safely back to Missouri and that your pesos will help me make it through the fall.
I had not told my mother or my love, Rosalie, that I had left my job. So I made fake work schedules and left the house and returned home at all the appropriate times with a lanyard I had kept from work hanging from my neck and hung it on the doorknob when I got home. During the day there were several options to occupy the eight-hour shifts. The town ran very much so due to the college and I would go up there and browse around the old books called the stacks and take a few with me out onto the grass of the quad and read them. I would read for hours. I got restless every now and then and would even read while I walked in circles up and down and back and forth the crisscrossing paths under the trees of the quad. This was great until I got caught for taking these books from the school at my own leisure and soon it was revealed that I was not a student there and they told me not to come back. Some days I would run along the riverside. I enjoyed long walks on the train tracks around the city with my headphones on and taking pictures. I always had my backpack on, even if nothing was in it, but usually there was a book and a pair of Rosalie’s ******* and on occasion I would take this out and close my eyes to smell them and I would miss her very much. We lived with a few towns between us and she was a very busy and dedicated young woman. She was working in nursing homes and taking care of home patients and going to school full time on top of it and doing clinicals and taking care of her little brother because it takes a lot sometimes for a man to be cured from his drinking habits, which was very much true in their fathers case and her mother was a wild and paranoid woman who refused to believe that her boyfriend was beating Rosalie’s little brother while she was away at work. So Rosalie took great care and love for her brother and also custody.
I, however, had not been so responsible with my life. When I came back from the Army it was not as a hero but I could tell a great hero’s story because I’d known them all but mostly they were characters in stories I’d read in the barracks, or secondhand tales given in extravagant detail during chow and none of them were true but they sounded quite exciting. It made the time at bars when I had gotten home less lonely because I could tell a tale in first person convincingly enough that many an old vet, with his own made up fantasies, would act like they believed me and would share their stories and we didn’t have to sit there thinking about the buddies we lost or the women whom had fallen out of love with us one time or another or the families we were avoiding. I liked going to the bars, but I wouldn’t have had anything to say if it weren’t for those stories.
I met Rosalie a month after having been discharged. She sat in Elizabeth’s bookstore and was studying for a class. I was with Billy at the time and we were outside smoking cigarettes when we saw her walk in.
“Did you see that?” Billy said. I saw her all right. She had gone inside and we were still sipping our coffees and smoking and I was still seeing her, no matter what else walked by or how pretty the sky was or the warmth of the sun.
“That’s a good girl right there,” Billy said, “not like most of these others we see out here, kid.” It annoyed me a little that Billy was still talking about her, egging me on a little. As I had said, I had seen her and he was disrupting my fantasizing and I had known she was a kind girl and I wanted to save my dream of her for a little while longer before I brought it to her.
“I know,” I said.
“Well, go and see about her then!”
“I’ll go”
I had no intention of letting her pass by but there was thunder rumbling in my chest and butterflies in my stomach and I had suddenly become cold even though it was sixty-five degrees out on the sidewalk and something was keeping me from standing. “I’ll have one more smoke and then I’ll go in for more coffee and see her then.”
“Tonto’s nervous! Ha ha ha!” Billy got a kick out of the thought and patted me on the back. “If you want,” He said, “I’ll go say hello for you.” He was still amused.
“You’re twice her age Bill,” I said, “she’d probably call the cops on your old ugly mug”
“The cops may be called because of how well endowed I am and she’ll be screaming and the neighbors will worry about her and call the cops on us”
Billy was always talking about his manhood and I never knew any good rebuttals because I was honest with myself and so I never had a response. I let him brag. All I knew is I had one and I knew it wasn’t large but none of the women I ever slept with ever said it was too small and they all enjoyed lying with me afterwards and talking quite a while before falling to sleep and sometimes the *** had been wild.
The cigarette was finished and I was still nervous but I didn’t want to hesitate any longer. I don’t even think she’d even seen me when she walked into the store.
I went inside and ordered a coffee and looked over to her. She was on a laptop and had a pile of books beside her and some papers and she looked up and our eyes met. I held the glance with her for a little longer than a moment. I was a little embarrassed and she was beautiful and I was wondering what my face looked like to her and if my eyes had been creepy but she lifted a corner of her lips and smiled before looking back to her work and then my shoulders relaxed and I realized I had held my breath. I laughed to myself at my own ridiculousness and let it go and then walked up to her and extended my hand and she took it with a smile and I looked dead into her beautiful hazel eyes again with confidence and we’ve been in love ever since.

The reason for my trip to Minnesota was to see my old friends from the Army: Grady and Hank. We hadn’t seen each other since I was discharged eight years ago and they reached out to me when they could but I wasn’t very good at keeping in touch with them. After I left the Army it was hard for me to talk to them. I felt I was missing out on something and I didn’t want to think of them dying without me and I didn’t like those feelings so I tried to pretend they didn’t exist but they kept me in the loop of things and always asked how I was doing no matter how well I stayed in touch with them or not. It meant much more than they’ll ever know that they did. So when they said they had both gotten out nothing was going to stop me from reconnecting with them. They said they were going to drive east to see me. I called them back.
“Let’s not hang around here in Maine,” I said, “it’ll be the middle of fall and there’s nothing to do around here. Instead of you guys coming all the way out here and then staying for a week let’s make the whole trip a seven-day adventure and you ******* can drop me off home when it’s over?”
“That sounds all well and good Russ but how the hell are you getting out here?”
“I bought a ticket, I’ll be there on the twenty-second of October at eleven.”
“That’s what I like hearing old pal!” Grady said through the phone, “Now that sounds more like the Russ I know. You’ll find me at the airport at eleven. I’ll bring a limousine with a bar and buy a couple of hookers for us”
“No hookers, Grady”
“Yes, hookers!” Grady said, “do you still do blow?”
“Good. Me neither. Honestly, I don’t do hookers anymore also. But it sounded like a proper celebration didn’t it?”
“It did.”
“Well, then its settled Russ. I’ll see you on the twenty-second of October at eleven PM sharp in a long white limo and I’ll bring the *****, the blow and the ****** and it’ll be like old times.”
“Sounds perfect Grady, I can’t wait.”
We hung up.

The plan was I would spend the night at Grady’s and the next morning we’d get Hank and we’d head for Chicago as soon as we could. One of their friends, Lemon, would be making the trip with us and would be there at Hanks when we got there in the morning. Lemon was an excellent shot with the rifle and a better guitarist and Grady told me I’d get right along with him. He told me he was at the range and the Sergeant was yelling in this black boys ear that he couldn’t shoot worth a ****.
The Sergeant, Grady said, went on and on at the top of his lungs yelling at this black guy and we all stopped and stared at him.
“As the Sarg kept hollering the kids rifle kept popping off shots at the target and you’d hear him grab another clip when the other ran out and reload it and then keep shooting but none of us could tell where the shots were going. The Sarg was so loud and the shots had such a rhythm all of us at the range stopped and looked over. There wasn’t a single bullet hole anywhere on the target except directly in the center where every bullet he had shot had gone through and nowhere else.
“Finally Lemon ran out of bullets and the Sarg quit hollering and he called him to attention.”
“Where did you learn to shoot a rifle Jefferson,” The Sergeant inquired.
“Sergeant, I have never shot a rifle before in my life”
“Do you think it’s funny to lie to your Sergeant?”
“No, Sergeant”
“So why are you lying?”
“I’m not lying Sergeant”
“What did you do before you enlisted, Private?”
“I worked on the farm for my father, Sergeant”
“At ease soldier, Staff Sergeant Dominguez would like to have a word with you.”
And that’s how Lemon went to training to become a ****** but he broke his leg in training and got sent home.
“Well ****,” I said, “He must be one helluva guitarist.”

We were to spend a day in Chicago and camp at the Indiana Dunes and then drive to Detroit and spend a day and camp there and then head to Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia if we had the time and then go to Boston and they’d drop me off at the train the following morning and I’d go home from there. But all of that was still twenty days away and I was down on my luck and had to save every cent I possibly could for the trip. Rosalie was excited for me. She knew how much I hated being home and that I stayed around to be with her even as much as she said that I shouldn’t let her stop me from doing what I wanted with my life but I really had no clue but I did know that she was the love of my life. She was happy to hear of this adventure and supported me but she didn’t know how broke I was and I hid it well by cooking all of our meals with things at my mothers apartment or my fathers house depending on where she came during her once-a-week sleepovers. She was proud of me for how well I had been with managing my money. There’s nothing to it, I told her.
The summer had been one of the best summers I’d ever had. Rosalie and I got to spend a lot of time together in-between our own lives and every moment had been cherished. I worked often and hard for twelve bucks an hour for more than forty hours a week but had nothing to show for it now. I’d gotten in trouble with the law and the lawyer was costly and so were the fines and the bail, even though I got the bail back I had to dump it into my beautiful old truck and then some because I hadn’t taken the best of care of it. I also spent most of my money on dinners out with Rosalie and I liked buying her little brother things every now and then and I had a terrible habit of buying books. Also, I had a habit of going to the bars on weekends and I wasn’t a modest drinker.
The last paycheck I got was for five hundred dollars and I spent it on a room for a long weekend at an Inn by the ocean for Rosalie and I to end such a good summer properly. Money is for having a good time and is for others. That’s how I’ve always thought it should be spent. When you’re broke, it’s easy to find lots of good times in the simple endeavors and I enjoyed those but I also enjoyed getting away with Rosalie. So when I say I was down on my luck do not think I was unhappy about it, I had lots of good luck before I’d gotten down on it and Rosalie is possibly the best luck a young man could ever come across. Still, I only had one hundred dollars to my name and three 1988 pesos coins that I’m not sure will be worth the other hundred and with twenty days to go. It’s going to be pretty tight.

I want to talk about our time by the ocean now...

(c) 2015
Draft. Possible other parts. Story in works.
Tom Leveille Jul 2014
i always thought
you were thru traffic
that you were just jet lag
background noise
the kiss in the rain
i've never had
but what if you aren't?
what if this
was the thousandth time
i have loved you?
what if this is just a fresh coat of paint?
what if god
keeps a handkerchief
soaked in the day we met
next to his bed?
maybe theres a reason
i reach for no one in bed
the way i would
if someone used to be there
you know, they say
the road behind us
is littered with things
we couldn't hold onto
i wonder how many times
you've slipped through my hands
like hour glass sand
do you know
how much erosion you've caused?
i heard cupid
stopped keeping count
of how many times
we came together
just to come apart again
maybe it was just a rumor
it makes me think
about how many times
i've almost had you
like if all this talk
about history repeating itself
endlessly replaying is true
i wonder how many times
things have happened already
like the time
i tried talking you
into loving me back
back fired
or the time i could have sworn
jesus & lazarus were playing chess
with my heartbeat
but it was only you smiling
how many times
have i tried to tell you
how many times
have you read this poem
how many times
have i tried not to meet you
in my dreams anymore
it's like sleep tries to warn
me of what's happening
before it does but
i keep having this dream
where i tell you bedtime stories
and each one
is a different way you die
and in every one
i can never save you
it's like you're this song
i have on repeat
and every time it starts over
i forget the words
it's like you picked up the book entitled "us"
and the back cover
said you'd leave
so you never bothered reading it
tell me you aren't
going back in that bookstore
just to do it again
or will you tell me tomorrow?
or is this the time
you don't say anything at all?
if this has all happened before
if we call it quits
before we begin
from the beginning
i just want to ask you
to be my fire
because i am tired
of these old lives
and i'd like to see them
Austin Heath Jul 2014
Getting ready to play a video game
in a nice, not-actually-dusty-but-
"Townhall free wifi."
That's just great. I mostly
just cry and complain and wonder
why dolphins are so optimistic as
to not just off themselves,
since they can consciously do so.
Free wifi though.
I mean, that's just cool.
Kelsey Jul 2015
It's not as special as it sounds.
Although the title is exact.
I met the creator of the universe
In the dusty isle of discount mystery novels.
Had I not immediately known it was God
I would have profiled him a ****** predator.
Late middle aged and unshaven.
You're probably wondering but don't ask me.
I just knew, and you would to.
I asked him if he owned the place.
He said no, that he was the manager
To this tiny, tucked away bookstore.
He appeared to be an unhappy, lonely man.
There was a combination of comfort
And disappointment in this.
"Is there something you want to ask me?"
Of course there was.
"Why do you do this to all of us?"
He examined his fingernails
Pushing back his cuticals.
I could see the yellow of wax in his ears.
"I found myself existing.
Just the same way that you did."
He started with a sigh.
"I didn't understand,
and I'm still not sure I do.
Why do you live the way you do?
I was created and I try to make
the best of it just like you.
You see, I'm still trying to figure it all out.
I fail and I succeed.
I like to think I'm getting better."
Gary Brocks Aug 2018
No buttressed vaulted ceilings here,
or monkish men in robes of cloth,
a space where things are sold and bought
and yet, there is an atmosphere:

A cloistered hush outside of time,
etched in rows of words, wooden,
the self’s restrained demarcation
seeds this scene for the sublime.

“In the beginning was the word”,
nothing before that differentiation,
in the assemblage of imagination,
a whispered restless breath is heard, as

marks on paper command the motion
of eyes and thoughts across a texture
in which silence is a rapture,
the echo of yearning and union.

Copyright © 2003 Gary Brocks
Muggle Ginger Jan 2014
        That’s a term I have been waiting to use for my entire life. I wasn’t always the best at searching for you. I was young and mildly ambitious growing up; other things got in the way because I never knew how much I could love you.
        If only I had known.
        I’ve told you most of my stories: my days playing sports, the endless reading list I had at my bedside table, and the sleepless nights thinking I would never find you.
        I’m eternally grateful that God allowed our paths to cross at that bookstore – how ironic that I was looking for books about love and I found you.
        My life taught me to question and second-guess many things: marriage, relationships, and the future.
        I had let my doubts and expectations reach into my pockets of hope and faith, stealing my motivation to succeed.
        Some would say I was justified in being a stoic.
        Not you.
        Before I met you, I was full of silly ideas and visions of how the world was. Those things – doubt, disappointment, failure – may be in the world, but they don’t define the world.
        Or me.
       I’m glad I questioned what was shinning so bright in a dimly lit bookstore. I’m glad I saw you.
        Holding a flashlight.

Stefi Yu Jun 2016
There you are, just minding your own business.
Looking through the different comic books neatly placed in the corner of our favorite bookstore.
You pick one up and I see a faint smile painted over your lips.
Hay, what a sight.
You look engrossed by the Warcraft comic book you found.
It was as if you were in another dimension.

Admiring and just looking at you in a distance, I am engulfed by a weird feeling.
Weird - since it was a new one but at the same time familiar.
It was a recognition of something I missed feeling;
Something I thought I convinced myself I would no longer feel;
It was happiness.

I swear, I can just look at you like this for hours.
I wouldn't mind the days and nights passing by.
But seeing how perfect you are just scanning over the pages of the book you found, I couldn't resist taking a picture - the only thing I can ever do to preserve the moment.

God, you are beautiful.
julie Oct 2018
trees are changing their robes;
on misty mornings
I am sitting on my porch.
a book  
I've found in a vintage bookstore
at the corner of my street
is lying in my lap

drinking a tea
wrapped into my favorite blanket
and watching my neighbors
carving their pumpkins

smelling the scent
of firewood
while also listening to
Frank Sinatra

autumn, oh autumn
where have you been?
XslyfoxX Jun 2017
She was just an old woman.
Just like any other I'd ever seen.
But for the first time in my life
I saw a beauty and the details
of what surrounded me.

I can't tell you what voice told me to reach out but I helped this woman.
Something to small and so benign.

"I wish there more out there like you"
She said
Ma'am if only you knew.
If you knew the reason I'm in this bookstore
If you knew the reason I'm in this town, this place at all.
If only you could see past your clearance shelf books and see what monster stands beside you.

God bless you she says.
Her words made me choke, both choke in and choke up.
I wish I could say this is all made up.

You see the reason I'm here
Is because I'm fighting the urge not to die
I'm fighting these feelings of wanting  to get high.

Ma'am if you knew that I'm hear seeking the only friend I have left,
that I'm so desperate for acceptance right now because my life and my plans and my dreams are upside down.

So here I am.
At the end of me.
Ma'am if only you knew.
But the reason I was here
Was to buy 2 books costing as much as the 6 you took.
Ma'am I wish YOU knew how your words shook.
And if I never see you again I hope you got home safe.
I hope you sleep well and dream
I hope my deed and my "god bless you miss" was more than it seemed.
Because I didn't stay to talk,
I didn't tell you you're beautiful.
I didn't tell you anything.
But did my Lord?
Of this I am sure.
I should've told you that you're loved
I should've helped you to your car.
Just Something meaningful
Not so subpar.

Ma'am if only you knew
What I've done to get here.
But I walked away from that store
And I softly and most surely knew
I was at that bookstore, for you.
Ethan Chua Oct 2015
I remember behind the bookshelf,
by the young adults’ section,
how she picks off a paperback spine,
rests her finger on a half-forgotten name,
holds the edge against her skin and feels out a page.

we read the backs of books that day. run through twenty different blurbs,
let plotlines curl up into the air and swirl into the scent of musty paper reams,
wander past secondhand copies of Murakami novels and pick up pseudoscience theories,
flick through encyclopedias and chemistry theses while our voices entangle into
first-person points of view.

in the afternoon, we wonder at syntax. fix misplaced alphabets and authors left out of order.
on the eighth aisle she spots the old sci-fi series I read back when I was twelve,
and we laugh at the blurbs, at words like warp drive and plutonium capacitor which
would’ve thrilled our younger selves
until tired, we lie down on carpets and pretend to stargaze,
with old paperbacks as pillows -
ink rushes through our breaths.

underneath the bookstore’s cheap fluorescent lights,
her hand reaches for a half-opened book
at the same time as mine;
a soft brush of fingertips on fingertips.

I look up and find words on her lips,
lifted from my synonyms and grafted onto her skin,
think - poetry.
think - all the punctuation running in disarray skipping syntax in the spaces of my synapses relapses and sonnet turns pentameter heartbeats run in free verse feel my chest grow too light and too heavy like all the voices that they kept measured in their stanzas were let loose into her smile,

until the hours grow long into closing time.
Mischelle Aug 2014
the coffee shop on 1st street
you told me my eyes were warm and belonged here
I shrugged and gulped my coffee even though it burned my tongue
the bookstore on 2nd street
you told me my hands were made of love from the pages I've turned
I glanced at you and nervously chewed my fingernails until it hurt
the music store on 3rd street
you told me my heart was an acoustic guitar that'd been misplayed
I tripped over my shoelace and madly tied them up along with my heart
the arcade on 4th street
you told me my smile was worth all the time and effort because I deserved it
I went to the bathroom and before I left I smiled in the mirrors a little too hard
the beach off 5th street
you asked me what I was so afraid of that kept holding me back
I let the sand crumble between my fingers and told you that I was the sand and you were the waves
A L Davies Nov 2014
after one last summer of cottages, palm-beers floating on the lake,
faceplanting into the waves while trying to kneeboard,
badly-planned but perfectly-timed trips to toronto for shows
(getting kurt viled)
the family casa (host of
many ragers and teenage kicks) was sold and georgian bay was no longer home.
my parents bought a new truck and moved what was
once 15 quesnelle drive
down to cape breton island, three quarter million in pocket
and i,
i had a resurgence of old feelings towards a girl i won't name
brought on by our rekindled friendship after the death
of my best friend, (nothin' helped me get thru those months
quite like that smile)
and after an embarrassing night spent having various altercations
with a young birch tree behind my pal's place
i hopped in my '03 volvo and sped west like that old man once told
dean to do.
dust flying thru the open windows and my split knuckles
smilin' at the fat old sun.

that summer the bookstore,
where i bought so many weathered novels, died and
the man who was its overseer, with whom i spent so many evenings philosophizing over cups of joe in the closed-up shop ,
sort of faded away; i'd see him thursdays at the study sipping whatever he drank there in the corner and always felt too bad
about the closing of cottage books, ashamed in a word, to
ever go over and buy the guy a beer.
still don't know why.
guess i'm a bit of a *****.

that drive out west was good. made 10 mixes in addition to CDs
i already had and slept on the highway side and stopped
where ever the hell i wanted to stop. smoked cigars while blazing over the pavement with my life in the backseat at 120 km/h
not knowing how to feel,
but doing alright.
i haven't written a ****** thing in two years, so be patient with me.
GemstonePoetry Aug 2015
I saw you today.  I’m in a crowded bookstore somewhere between the days after losing you and the Miracle of Christmas.  It’s cold in here Love, in the wake of knowing I can’t be where you are.

The last word you said you spoke to me.  You called me Sweetheart.  I was sitting next to you, fluttering in an attempt to understand what you needed. You had been sleeping a lot and now awake, you wanted to sit up.  You called me Sweetheart and gently touched my knee.  That was our thing, your hand on my knee.  The unspoken message that always got my attention, was always understood and never questioned.  I loved that about you, about us.  You needed me to sit with you.  I would give anything to hear your say Sweetheart, to feel, to understand your hand on my knee once more.

Now in some beautiful, cruel moment you’re here.  It was all I could do, to stand there and watch you.  Tall and broad shouldered, your waves of dark hair resting on the collar of your coat.  You took my breath away.  You’ve done that more than once blessed with your mom’s Spanish looks against the creamy complexion from your father.  I was a good distance behind you.  I wanted to cross in front of you to let you know I was here, but my legs wouldn’t move.

Maybe this is what grieving looks like, my heart seeing you in a bookstore when my mind knows you're in Heaven.
R.A.N. | 09.01.75-12.13.09 |  You're always with me
and when I'm where you are, all will be as it was when.
maxx lopez Aug 2013
thats all we were.
destined strangers.
destined to meet.
destined to laugh.
destined to touch.
destined to love.
destined to hurt.
destined to love again.
this was our destiny.
but the funny thing is,
destiny tested us from day one.
the cafe you sit at everyday
is the same cafe i drive by,
the 20 story building you walk into everyday
is where i park my car,
the days you visit the bookstore,
are the days i'm out for a run.
the days i visit the same bookstore,
are the days you walk your dog.
at 1:45 pm, you come into my bakery everyday.
from 1-2 in the afternoon is my lunch break,
on the saturday you went to pick up a tux,
i was in the dressing room,
picking a dress.
friday, 3rd one of june,
was the day
you finally walked my way
and i walked yours.
you dressed in a smooth straight black suit.
and i dressed in lace, ribbon and chiffon.
all in white.
"Beautiful day, isn't it?"
i turned your way
and for the first time,
i met your eyes.
your eyes of caribbean blue.
"Yes, it is."
your smile
so warm and charming.
"i'd better get to my altar,
and i guess you better get to yours",
was the last thing
you ever said to me.
you walked away from my direction,
and i walked away from yours.
that day,
i said "I do",
and so did you.
but not to each other.
45 years past.
2 children.
3 grand children.
3 dogs.
1 divorce.
0 marriages afterwards.
all because of someone.
a man from 45 years ago.
he was my destiny
and i hope he knew too.
strangers are who we were.
strangers are who we are.
strangers are who we will always be.
destined strangers;
who will never see.
destined strangers;
you will just be you.
and i will just be me.
you and i will never
be the destined 'we'.
Amanda Stoddard Nov 2015
my pills smell like a hospital
this bookstore smells like my grandma
the faint reminiscence of old memories
cloud the only five senses I own.
I start to wonder if this life is becoming idle
if this IV lining my arms is broken again.
If I have enough will to stay.
These pills smell like a hospital-
and I'm worried you will find me there someday
withered from this world I can't tolerate enough to stay.
But these pills seem to help me stay.
Remind me why I'm alive-
this smell reminds me to stay away.
When the blade calls my name I don't listen anymore
when you call my name I don't listen anymore
I've been seeing your face too often
and not hearing my own voice enough.
I start to think nostalgia and you share the same interests
like you both started a google drive document
and shared the file with me and now it's all I see.
You can edit my life for me
and no matter what I continue to write
you change the font
and reformulate my sentences.
I wish I didn't exist.
Then I smell my grandma in this empty bookstore
and feel the pages against my fingers again.
I'm here whether I like it or not.
You were here whether I like or not.
Paying too much attention to madness
and not enough to bliss
I take up too much time thinking
and not enough doing.
25mg isn't enough anymore
and each time the clock strikes 9
my mind likes to contemplate quitting you.
But I smell the hospital again
convince myself to stay away from that place.
The pill hits my tongue and travels down my throat.
I don't think anymore.
I don't want to know.
I am home-
here in this bookstore
with the smell faintly touching my nostril
with the pills lining my nose
with you writing me apology notes
that sound too **** familiar.
I wish to erase you from my retinas.
I don't want to see you anymore.
I hoped these pills would help-
but they make things more clear for me.
You're face has been all I see
now I seem to be losing me
where did I go?
where am I again?
why are you the only face I recognize?
Lillith Foxx Jan 2014
Do you ever wake up and feel like anything is possible?

As if anything you decide to do that day is the right thing. The perfect thing. You can make no wrong choices. You could get hit by a car and it would be the best thing to ever happen to you, because it happened today.

You decide to wander around the city where you've live. Where you've lived for years, but now, today, you see the place as a newcomer. A tourist in your own town. Every building beckons, and what better one to visit first than the bookstore?

Everyday should start with a trip to the bookstore, you think.

The small shop is full of staff recommendations and ratings from the internet. Every cover tempts you. They all seem so ******* interesting. You want to pick them up and eat them whole. Digest them all at once. This reminds you that you'll never have enough time to read everything, but instead of bleak, this prospect seems romantic. It means that every book you do get to read is much sweeter. And it's cool, because you get to join the book's club. The story becomes the common denominator between you and a bunch of strangers who've also read it.

There's a woman working at the book store. She talks to you about Thailand and this yoga retreat she just returned from. It sounds beautiful. She's beautiful. So beautiful in fact, you think she may be the most beautiful person you've ever seen. That's nice.

You leave the book store with nothing, as it's too overwhelming to try and pick a book, and it was enough just to look at them.

On the street you notice everyone seems as perfect as the woman did. Flawless. Whole. With their experiences carried on their shoulders, bursting through their eyes and spun into the palms of their hands. Everyone has a million little moments, memories and ideas all caught up in their hair and tucked into their pockets.

And they bring all of these moments into every interaction they have. Everyone who meets you sees you slightly differently. Because when they speak to you, they don't see you simply as you are in this moment. That's how an infant would see you. No, an adult sees you compared to the last person they spoke to, you become tinged with the taste of someone they know who has your same name. They see you with a hint of hatred because your eyes look like their ex-girlfriend's, or they adore you immediately because you said hello the way their father does. Do you understand? When you meet someone, you're meeting their entire life. All of their experiences bundled up and traveling around on two legs. Every interaction unwittingly influenced by all of their predetermined notions and assumptions.

So. Here, you've realized this overwhelming awesome fact. Which you don't really know how to explain, but when you try you find yourself saying things like; "It's like we can't ever really know anyone, you know?" or "When was the last time you cried?" or "I hope I see her again." but in the end you don't mind if you don't. See her, I mean. You don't mind that you'll never see the woman again.  Like maybe she and you were only supposed to have that moment in the bookstore. Just a flash of personality in each others day. A random face that will show up in a dream two years from now. And when you wake up you'll wonder if she dreamt of you too.

That would be ok. That would be good. Because if nothing else, it's nice to be dreamt about now and then. Yes, you think, that would be enough.
My love, remember
when we first met so long ago
in your favourite bookstore.
Can you still see me,
with my messy black hair and way too big glasses
carrying way too many and way too heavy science books
on my clumsy arms?
I still can see you,
with your beautiful brown hair ******* in a ponytail
running your fingers along the spines
of books filled with adventure,
for a world to enter next.
Oh and do you still remember,
the furious voice of the old storekeeper lady
as she flung up her arms and ran to her precious books
that I had dropped?
I still remember,
how you softly shook your head, chuckling
"You're so clumsy..."
while you helped me
to pick up all those books.

My love, but most important of all,
do you still remember the moment, when our eyes met?
How you
how I
how we,
finally knew wich world
to enter next?
Writing prompt: "Write a poem that explores a relationship that takes place in a bookstore." - taken from the book: "The Daily Poet"
My first story poem :)
kiera Apr 2014
Today I found myself in a bookstore
and somehow of course
I ended up in the poetry section
and then suddenly 16 dollars were gone
from my bank account
and were sat in my hand
in the form of a book of poetry
by Billy Collins

I've spent so many hours writing with no direction
that I forgot how much I delight in reading poetry
until I dove into the wave again
headfirst without dipping my toe in
and that wonderful feeling returned
that often comes with tasting a delicious work of art
and makes you want to give a slice of word-filled cake
to everyone who comes your way

My father happened to be the first
his gentle eyes listened as they always do
and he commented on the smile
that had decided to take up residence on my face while I read
the heavy kind, that weighs down and warms
leaving lines in all the right places
always making the wearer much prettier, no matter what

It is in moments like these,
that I am quite sure
I will never need resort
to alcohol
nor any other form of drug
to keep me willingly dancing through life

I saw you once as I picked out a novel
It was a quiet bookstore and you sat on the floor
Your hair was pale blond like the sun on the snow
Ripped jeans, a shade of blue to match your eyes
You were beautiful, you know. I still think of you now.
What ifs swirling in my mind like an endless storm
softcomponent May 2014
Betwixt of any sense beyond experiment, I sat on the bed between shifts and out-whipped the bag of Concerta given to me by Matt, o'timey hard-worker-soft-souled Matt, who felt, perhaps, that I had a legitimate reason to explore this legal avenue of pharmaceutical mind-manipulation for reasons he would rather fathom in retrospect. I popped a single pill, and voilà, the legal-cocainnabinoid began to flow between my red and white blood-cells playing cops and robbers.

It is when I feel nostalgic that I feel the need to write. I remembered, at work, with all those strange everyone-elses faces gliding past (and myself annoyed at the general lack of positive reception "Hello there!" "h .. i ." is one sour-looking businessmans sultry whispered reply.. once, a woman told me 'look, I know that you are told to say hello at the door to everyone who enters, but I don't like it. I just want to shop in peace, and no, I don't need any help' and without case to what my managers could say, I somewhat-hissed-back, "if you don't want to be greeted, then perhaps you shouldn't walk into big private corporate establishments to find the books you're looking for," and she shrugged and muttered some ****-talk under her breath and glided upstairs to find a copy of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Machiavelli's The Prince to validate her bitter attitude, I bet, the sour witch), my time spent living in that backwater Esso suburb of Port Coquitlam back in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street was still a hungry potential, not yet bogged down in procrastinates over herbal teas and talk of chakras and enlightenment and how the typical Wall Street businessman probably never had a real ****** and hence had never truly satisfied the energies now burnt-to-crisps inside his Root Chakra or whathaveyou, where I believed I would find a better, more interesting world further from the musty-smallness of forest-drenched rain-drenched Powell River, only to discover I may be right outside my front door, but that's EXACTLY where I was, no further than right outside my front door.. I mean, for Goddaskes, I was born in Vancouver, this isn't a culturally-shocking move to New Delhi or Kathmandu--- and so on and so forth is how I once berated myself thru constant cycling thoughts of no-escape, I, a little walking hell of devils-advice and panic disorder-- the Great Big Port City of George Vancouver only succeeding in further overwhelming my already delicate attempt at false optimism thru self-voided Buddhist smalltalk as I travelled from bookstore to bookstore reading Alan Watts in shady attempts to save-myself but only digging my walking grave even deeper into the soil of feared-insanity.

Port Coquitlam itself was a small-town wearing a business suit and holding hands with an angry father forcing him to college for computer networking as it's the most economically viable market at hand.. at first, I did not see this. I saw my idolized imaginings of Vancouver (never Port Coquitlam), the shining water-reflected skyline of my past and present legacies, where my father once snorted ******* with a bohemian group of someones, and my mother tried LSD just to prove to her friends how bad it was (and lo and behold, what a terrible time she had!), all this Otherness, Strangeness, yet still Connected-- an Otherness with which I was taken, left to whisper into empty Campbell's cans so-as to speak with the city from a distance, two children growing older together 'til my inevitable return and our agreement to share costs on rent.

I returned, as planned. I returned, and found that old-best-friend hating the Homeless and loving the Rich-- spending time with the Peppy Plutocracy whilst enslaving the Middle Classes (first Letter Capitals to Assist YOU in Grasping my Anger with All Five Thumbs) and the horrors I saw in my already delicate state, all the starving addictives slouching-inching down the sides of ***** old walls, the only thing missing a smear of blood to follow their corpseish collapse, all just footnotes to history, footnotes to wealth and progress-reality, all footnotes with no shoes O my God O my Goodness and O Canada, Our Home and Native Land!

It hurt like it did, but I felt powerless and gaited. Felt like it were just as well me (*** it just as well is), I, in Vancouver.. *Great Big Port City of George Vancouver
.. saw the end-stretching-cold-legs of Nietzsche's Dead God.. those in cutthroat-black-suits armed with calculators and wives could afford private jets and yearly trips 'round our globular strangeness whilst others had to beg and berate and debate and break-down to get a crummy old bagel and a past-due mostly-empty jug of old milk and perhaps a 'side of fries with that order.'

What crushed me so much about this playing a Witness to God's Death (or, not so much a 'witness' as a relative asked to the morgue to identify the body) was my intuitive grasp that this is the poverty of the First World.. this is not as bad as it gets and on a scale of 1 to 10 this would only be a 3.. all the poor and displaced of Eastern Europe.. Moldovan families indifferent to the whims and what's taken.. someone called me a Socialist and said I would later grow out of it as 'reality' angled its rearing-ugly head to chop me smithereens like it did so mercilessly to the Poor and Irrelevant.. I looked at them and still look at people like them and think 'that is evil unsure of itself.. that is evil unaware... that is evil and evil is  evil to watch..' the Evil Act being the use of Money to purchase the world, demanding us all to pay royalties (mass royalties) for the privilege of life so afforded by them.. (the Sons and Daughters of God first stabbing their father then stabbing themselves then locking away and ignoring their young brother with cerebral palsy '*** he could never be armed with a calculator, nor wife)..

I learned, thru practice, to cope with these evils as laws-for-now. Coping did not mean tolerance, nor did coping mean agreement.. I had charged at life expecting hugs and bottles.. what I got was hugs and bottles.. all while I watched over the shoulder of whoever embraced me and saw young-others doing the same, where are the hugs and bottles..? they sank into the nether as the crowd ebbed past, ignoring the cries of pleading love, pleading love over time so traumatised as to distort this love (so inherent and implied in the Heart) into confusion, confusion into loss, and loss into hatred.. as the crowd ebbed past, the crowd ebbed past..

After 3 and a half months, I moved back home to Powell River.. the soggy ol' calm of what I already knew.. the warm arms of the rest, the warm arms of water-reflected sunsets.. and I got my hugs and bottles.

but was this really a happy ending?
Carlee Farhar Jun 2014
The one by that always-busy movie theater
In the parking lot where you picked me up
On our first date
Because we had met online
And you could've been a serial killer.

The one we ventured into as part of
Our many-adventure date that consisted
Of awkward conversation
And driving to various locations
Most people don't typically go on dates to.

The one your car was parked in front of
When we made out in your front seat
Until my mom came
Because I didn't have my license
And you were too enthralled by me to care.
broken Jan 2016
there's his boy I once met at the corner bookstore across from the liquor store that all the kids bought beer behind
this bookstore had red shades on its door window
maybe to represent the blood of broken hearts that had found therapy inside of its walls
I found this boy writing poetry on a bar-like stool from a leaky black pen that looked like someone had used it and then left it to die
I didn't know what to say to him
hazel eyes that were a little too intense
so I reached into my purse, and I pulled out a pencil
"Yours looks kind of broken."
"It's hard to hold broken things in your hands."
he just smiled and laughed
"I would know."
and that was the end of that.
but it wasn't
was it?
I went back to that bookstore later
on a cloudy Thursday afternoon
"Do you have any information on that boy who was here?"
"I was just wondering."
"Tell me if you can."
the clerk laughed
"he's banged every ******* this street."
"his father used to hit him."
"he leaves his poetry books here- in the back."
information upon information
I learned a lot from those books
so let me tell you about this boy
his eyes turned green in direct sunlight
he loved someone who didn't love him back
and his skin was stitched together by the words he wrote on paper
he had spent months under sheets that smelt of various perfumes
he had spent weeks inside of girls who's lipstick smudged on their too-long-nails
nails sharp enough to slit a throat
he spent years looking out windows,
while on his bed,
or maybe a girl who asked him home,
and wondering if the moon had broken the sun's heart when it turned to darkness
no one ever told this boy that you can't destroy love by faking it
the only thing he was really destroying was himself
but writing this is destroying me
and my pen is leaking all over the bookstore's new coffee tables
a church donated them
so I think I'm done
judy smith Nov 2016
While Walmart and Best Buy attract Black Friday shoppers nationwide, Fayetteville’s local businesses offer unique deals throughout the week on boutique clothing, gift-worthy items, outdoor accessories and Razorback apparel.

Southern Trend

Sale rack prices will range $5-15, and customers whose total reaches $50 or more will receive a free tote bag. Southern Trend clothing company offers Razorback apparel for men and women and other casual clothing that depicts Southern living. Their headquarters and closest retail location is at 614 W. Sycamore St.

The Mustache Goods & Wears

Saturday following Thanksgiving, The Mustache Goods & Wears will participate in Small Business Day with special deals throughout the store. The Mustache sells gift and novelty items and clothing, striving “to carry products you don’t normally find in Northwest Arkansas,” according to their website. The store is located on the Downtown Square at 15 S. Block Ave.

Lauren James

All regularly-priced items will be 25 percent off, and planners will be given to customers with a purchase of $65 or more. The Lauren James brand includes fashionable dresses, a line of women’s collegiate clothing, and other clothing and accessories with a Southern flare. One of three corporate locations in the country, the Fayetteville Lauren James shop is located just off campus at 623 W. Dickson St.

Houndstooth Clothing Company

Now until Thanksgiving day, all long sleeve and short sleeve tops are buy two, get one free with Black Friday deals to follow. The brand includes Razorback apparel and other casual clothing with outdoorsy designs. Houndstooth Clothing Company began in Fayetteville and now sells merchandise online and in stores across the state. The closest location to campus is just off the Downtown Square at 29 N. Block Ave.

Pack Rat Outdoor Center

Pack Rat Outdoor Center will sell featured Black Friday merchandise from The North Face brand. Saturday, Nov. 26, shoppers may enjoy food and drink at Customer Appreciation Day. Pack Rat sells clothing and accessories fit for an active and outdoor lifestyle, with products such as hammocks and hiking boots sold at their 209 West Sunbridge store.


All merchandise, except nine specially marked-down items, will be priced 30 percent off the original price tag during Black Friday, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Just off the Downtown Square at 19 S. Block Ave., Riffraff boutique sells women’s clothes fit for everyday life to holiday parties, as well as gift and novelty items.

Campus Bookstore

The Campus Bookstore sells new and used textbooks, school supplies, Razorback gear and clothing. The store is located just outside of campus at 624 W. Dickson St.

Alumni Hall

Alumni Hall, located at 3417 N. College Ave., sells various brands of Razorback apparel as well as Razorback accessories and gifts.


Established in 2007 in Fayetteville, the racks of Maude boutique feature women’s clothing from sweaters to skirts with shoes and accessories also for sale. Maude in Fayetteville is located at 706 N. College Ave.


A boutique local to Fayetteville at 1 E. Center St., Savoir-Faire offers casual and dressy clothing and accessories, including holiday fashions sold online and in-store.

Gatsby’s Boutique

Boasting a ‘20s fashion influence, Gatsby’s Boutique sells clothes and accessories at their shop located at 609 W. Dickson St.Read more at: |
Joseph S C Pope Sep 2013
Childhood was the greatest time for Timothy, and he remembers it that way. No disposition on the fact that his parents divorced when he was eight. Just old enough to develop a mental connection with the idea of a union. So when he was ten, his father remarried, moved to a farm in the southeast, and tried living off the land. The topic of an ecological environment had hit the internet heavier than global warming hit the ice caps. And everyone was pursuing happiness with steep drops in city living, and an up swing in rural living.
Timothy's mom refused to believe it though. She wrote about such cultural climates, the invasion of neo-british pop boy bands, the decline of football, and the hippie lifestyle clawing its way back up the columns of big city papers. So when the recession hit, and it suddenly became cool to dress like a homeless person, she saw the disgust, moved overseas and focused on the world-political spectrum.
“Societal fads be ******! I'm going to do something that actually matters.” And she did.
Timothy Glasser, age 82 looks back on that moment with pride.
“There was a sense that she had the ***** to change the world. With Russia building up Imperial popularity, it was cool to be big. America was on the decline by the word of all the heavy-hitter magazines.
“That was when I started to take my life serious. She had shown me all the would-be Bob Dylans, Lennons, Hunter S. Thompsons. She would say, 'These kids have all the brass words of a ****** who can bite down ******* the world, but they don't have the actual brass. Men who are not recognized for what they've done have the brass. Hell, women have ten more pounds of that kind of brass!'
'I would laugh, but she was serious. I think she thought I was too masculine to understand what she was saying.”
When Timothy's father moved him and his little sister, Sunni Glasser out to the backwater community of Oggta-Cornelius, there was a certain relief in his demeanor. In a matter of months the country way of living had worn down his impatience to a sluggish pace.
“Greg was my father's name. He's been raised in a similar place in the Midwest, but the slowness of that life got to him in his teens so he left for the city. I guess when he met my step-mom he found the good ol' girl that he'd been trying to cling to since he left home. And it was Sunni's choice to come with us. She always had the same kind of 'brass' Mom had, but there was a closeness she shared with Dad that adventure couldn't break. It's a **** shame too. But once the slow pace of the backwater hit Sunni, she rebelled. It was a catastrophe to watch her and Dad argue over the most petty things you've ever seen. The way our step-mom, Claire would fold clothes or how early she had to wake up in the morning for school. Five o'clock, five days a week, and sometimes Dad would wake her on Saturday just to punish her for talking back. There was always blood in the water.”
Timothy's face settles, his lower lip curls, and his eyelids clinch for a moment before he changes his position in his chair.
“Is everything okay, Timothy?” I ask.
There is a pause, almost as if he is reliving what he was just describing.
“**** has always been real, you've been fantasizing.” I hear him say. He refuses to look at me, let alone answer my question.
“Mr. Glasser?” I ask again.
He exhales suddenly, eyes watery, and lets out a sigh.
“Let's talk about Sunni. I never really talk about her much, and I think now is a good time. Don't you?”
I nod in agreement and try to give him a smile.
He still refuses to look me in the eye.
“When Sunni was in first grade, she was beginning to prove to be a bit of a handful. There was a small patch of corn out back. Maybe half an acre Dad keep for us to put up for the winter. Sunni was about seven years old around this time and she had the idea to make crop circles. Now I was out with my friends, played football in those days so I didn't have the time to be home all the time. Dad and Claire kept themselves busy with the work about the place, so Sunni got bored real fast. One day during the summer, Dad went to the store to get some groceries. A friend of his came up to him and said, 'I was up in the plane yesterday and I saw something strange in your cornfield. Like some kind of crop circle. Weird ain't it?'
“This rattled my Dad's brain for a few minutes until he got home and saw the two-by-four with rope tied to either end of the thing. Sunni was staring at the clouds and Dad walked over to her, and yanked her up off the grass. 'What are you doing flattening my corn for? Don't you know that's goin' to save us money in the long run?” She just stared at him. Not dumbfounded, just intrigued.
“That was kind of the starting point of their bickering. She had blonde hair running to the base of her skull brushed down neatly. A subtle blush in her cheek from the sun. And she always wore a dress, especially if it had sunflowers on it. She brought life to that house.
“On her tenth birthday, Mom sent her a touch screen phone, an iPhone, I think it was called with a two-year contract. It was so long ago minor facts like that seem to hang on for no reason.”
Timothy shuffles in his chair. Then clears his throat.
“Would you like to take a break, Timothy?” I ask him.
“I ignored most of the arguments Sunni and dad had after I graduated high school. As soon as fall semester started at Cornelius College I fled the backwater and started by life near the OceanFront. Oggta-Cornelius was divided into two sections: the Backwater and OceanFront. And like a sports rivalry there was always trash talk about the tax bracket you were in or how much you worked. After the first few weeks for sneaking into bars and partying on campus, the fun died down because of the arrests. I almost got caught twice, but my sixth sense for trouble tingled at just the right time. When the middle of the semester hit I was over-booked with mid-terms and reading assignments. I actually lived in my dorm then. Never really left the place. And soon fall semester was over. Nothing worth mentioning now. Sunni and I texted often, but she had become a brat and I wanted alone time to learn what I'd read. For everything literary to go beyond just test and quizzes.
“But right towards the end of the semester, one morning I was walking to an early exam and on the ground was a kid, a little older than me lying there looking up at the sky. I had the urge to walk up and ask him what he was doing, but it felt too rude so I left him. I kept walking and heard a voice call back to me, 'Hey, guy.' I turned around, 'Yeah you, come here.'
“I walked up to him, he motioned for me to kneel beside him.
'What day is it?
I told him it was a Monday.
'Really? Wow, must've fell out watching the stars with this gir--'
He reached to his other side, feeling for a body, but no one was there. He never broke eye contact with me.
'Well, with his lovely imaginary girlfriend I have. Her name's Elsie. She's a charm.'
I helped him up and he left without much of a goodbye. A disrespectful mysteriousness. And I didn't see him again till the weather warmed up in the spring semester. Which was a repeat of the fall.”
Timothy asks me for some water. I started to feel like I'm one of his grandkids. How far in the trunk of memories is he going for this information?
“Thank you. Now the next time I saw Alan was in a smoking gazebo along a walking path on campus.
'Hey, guy!” he shouted, getting my attention. I walked back to the gazebo, coughing as the smoke roughhoused it's way into my lungs. He had those circular shades on, like the one John Lennon wore back in the day. A tie around his head, a light blue button up shirt that hung loose off his think frame. His hair was long and parted, and he sported a straggly red and black beard.
'Top of the morning, ta ya.' he said, putting out a cigarette on the tray. I opened my mouth, but all that came out was coughing.
'Course, the Irish don't really say that. It's actually quite racist, but I'm half Irish so no skin of my knuckles. I'm a mutt.'
“He smiled with such pomp. The arrogance was so natural, it fit him like his face. Other people around him were having conversations about Samuel Beckett, John Irving, Stephen King, and Jimmy Hendrix tripping acid together in the great T.A.R.D.I.S. in the sky. I remember laughing at that. They were all smiling at the ludicrous actuality of it happening. And it was late evening.
'Stay! Be silly and merry with us!” he shouted. I held my breath and sat down. I never made it to the rest of my classes that afternoon or for the next week. Alan and I chilled in my dorm, burned incense and plotted a protest. The whole time I was telling him he had to be literal with the cause. It couldn't be just because the college bookstore sold shot glasses, but confiscated any paraphernalia they found in the dorms.
'*******,I say. It's hypocritical and a scam. Like police pulling you over for going two-miles over the limit because they need to feed their kids. It's a Darwin rip-off.'
“Later that week he took my phone while I was sleeping, got my number, and Sunni's too. He never asked if he could come over after that night. He just did.
'I thought it was cool since we had a good time.'
"I didn't know what to say so I let it continue. His reason for stealing Sunni's number still baffles me. He said he thought she was a girl I was into. She was my sister, he was right in his own way. It was a while before he ever texted her.
“The next time I saw him he told me, 'I feel like a clockwork man running on thousands of gallons of caffeine.' I laughed at him and told him to stop reading Burgess.”
I stop Timothy for a moment. “Anthony Burgess? The author of A Clockwork Orange?” He nods and goes back to the story.
“You know, with the Second Cold War flaring up again I don't think it's wise to be worrying about an old man like me. This has been a century of second fillings. There are still Hipsters running about. This makes me feel no better. I want to go home.”
“Alright Mr. Glasser, but can we reschedule? I need to finish this article.” As he rises out of the chair, he agrees and goes for his coat.
“One more question, Mr. Glasser. Can you give me another quote from Alan? A bit of closing for this bit?
He turns around and looks me in the eye for the first time since the beginning of the interview. He squints his eyes at me and says, “When we would hang out at the gazebo where we actually met for the first time, and after that week I got back in the habit of going to class and doing my work. As I would leave I'd say, 'Alright man, I'm off to class, to learn and stuff.' He'd moan about it, and say, 'Look at him now, growing old and dying young.' Behind that same pompous grin."
Pardon that it is fiction, but poetry has inspired this short-short story. Maybe the beginning of work on my novel, but it is along the same lines as "This is why the Hipster dies".
"Soyez muette pour moi, Idole contemplative..."

I came home and found a lion in my living room
Rushed out on the fire escape screaming Lion! Lion!
Two stenographers pulled their brunnette hair and banged the window shut
I hurried home to Patterson and stayed two days

Called up old Reichian analyst
who'd kicked me out of therapy for smoking marijuana
'It's happened' I panted 'There's a Lion in my living room'
'I'm afraid any discussion would have no value' he hung up

I went to my old boyfriend we got drunk with his girlfriend
I kissed him and announced I had a lion with a mad gleam in my eye
We wound up fighting on the floor I bit his eyebrow he kicked me out
I ended up ******* in his jeep parked in the street moaning 'Lion.'

Found Joey my novelist friend and roared at him 'Lion!'
He looked at me interested and read me his spontaneous ignu high poetries
I listened for lions all I heard was Elephant Tiglon Hippogriff Unicorn
But figured he really understood me when we made it in Ignaz Wisdom's

But next day he sent me a leaf from his Smoky Mountain retreat
'I love you little Bo-Bo with your delicate golden lions
But there being no Self and No Bars therefore the Zoo of your dear Father
        hath no lion
You said your mother was mad don't expect me to produce the Monster for
        your Bridegroom.'

Confused dazed and exalted bethought me of real lion starved in his stink
        in Harlem
Opened the door the room was filled with the bomb blast of his anger
He roaring hungrily at the plaster walls but nobody could hear outside
        thru the window
My eye caught the edge of the red neighbor apartment building standing in
        deafening stillness
We gazed at each other his implacable yellow eye in the red halo of fur
Waxed rhuemy on my own but he stopped roaring and bared a fang
I turned my back and cooked broccoli for supper on an iron gas stove
boilt water and took a hot bath in the old tup under the sink board.

He didn't eat me, tho I regretted him starving in my presence.
Next week he wasted away a sick rug full of bones wheaten hair falling out
enraged and reddening eye as he lay aching huge hairy head on his paws
by the egg-crate bookcase filled up with thin volumes of Plato, & Buddha.

Sat by his side every night averting my eyes from his hungry motheaten
stopped eating myself he got weaker and roared at night while I had
Eaten by lion in bookstore on Cosmic Campus, a lion myself starved by
        Professor Kandisky, dying in a lion's flophouse circus,
I woke up mornings the lion still added dying on the floor--'Terrible
        Presence!'I cried'Eat me or die!'

It got up that afternoon--walked to the door with its paw on the south wall to
        steady its trembling body
Let out a soul-rending creak from the bottomless roof of his mouth
thundering from my floor to heaven heavier than a volcano at night in
Pushed the door open and said in a gravelly voice "Not this time Baby--
        but I will be back again."

Lion that eats my mind now for a decade knowing only your hunger
Not the bliss of your satisfaction O roar of the universe how am I chosen
In this life I have heard your promise I am ready to die I have served
Your starved and ancient Presence O Lord I wait in my room at your

                                        Paris, March 1958
AvengingPoet Sep 2014
An independent bookstore
where the floor creaks
and the dust surrounds everything
is okay with me.

Because it’s a lonely, lonely world
and sometimes we need some comfort
especially when you are shy
even if you are surrounded by what the world has to offer.

You get so depressed if nobody is there to talk to
and it’s so hard to have fun
when all you have are a couple of books
and some words on a page.

You are simply an addict with a pen
that bleeds onto the page
without real effort
because spoken word is okay.

But someone manages to share words with you
and it doesn’t matter anymore
that it is a lonely, lonely world
because finally someone decided to talk…

It’s a lonely, lonely world
This poem is basically half ripoff, half original, so go listen to the music that inspired it:

Go listen to ACLU Benefit and download his music, it's incredible and not enough people listen to it:
the other day we were in a
bookstore in the mall
and my woman said, "look, there's

"I don't know him," I said.

"we had dinner with him
not too long ago," she said.

"all right," I said, "let's get
out of here."

Bob was a clerk in the store
and his back was to us.

my woman yelled, "hello, Bob!"

Bob turned and smiled, waved.
my woman waved back.
I nodded at Bob, a very
delicate blushing fellow.
(Bob, that is.)

outside my woman asked, "don't you remember him?"


"he came over with Ella. re- member Ella?"


my woman remembers everything.

I don't understand it, although
I suppose it's polite
to remember names and faces
I just can't do it
I don't want to carry all those
Bobs and Ellas and Jacks and Marions
and Darlenes around in my mind. eating and
drinking with them is difficult en- ough.
to attempt to recall them at will
is an affront to my well-

that they remember me is
bad enough.
"Hey loverboy," she says. I don't respond.*

A rough draft excerpt from my story, Fictional Truth.

“Hey loverboy,” she says. I don’t respond. I enjoy ignoring her for a moment after I come out of a day dream.

“Hey. Jake. Snap out of it boy. Time to come back to earth,” she says with her usual tone of pleased annoyance. This time I leave the world inside my head and return to reality. Slowly turning my head to the right, I can see those deep blue eyes gazing up. I never get tired of her eyes.

“Come on, you said you’d help me here.”

“Sorry,” I say with a half grin and my best attempt at contrition. I look down to the papers in her lap. Right, math. I was helping her with calculus. She was really very good at math. We were in the same class, but she was two years younger than me after skipping two grades in elementary school.

“This one you just take the derivative of your function and plug in these two values.” I can remember these things effortlessly now, which was a huge accomplishment for someone who doesn't particularly like math.

“See, this is why I keep you around,” she says, those rosy lips that I so adored pulled into a little smirk. She reaches up and kisses me. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me. “You can go back to daydreaming now.” Indeed I do, retreating back to the dreamscape inside my head. This time I think back to when I met Clara.

I had just arrived on campus, a bright eyed college freshman. There I was, lost in a sea of beautiful women. Small private schools had never been kind to me in that regard. Everything on campus was a wonder. Nobody from my high school had come here and I was very much alone but I didn't mind, I had outgrown most of my high school friends long ago. It was long past time for me to expand my horizons.

I found myself standing in front of a massive glass building. I wasn't past checking my reflection in the glass windows. Had to make sure my hair still looked as good as it did when I arrived. Who knew when I might run in to? Opening the doors I caught a waft of the bookstore smell, unlike anything I expected. At home the bookstores were small, with dusty leather covers that begged to be handled and old people that smelled like coffee. This was completely different. The odor of panicked freshman and newly bound textbooks permeated the air. I decided right then I wouldn't be spending much time there.

There was a long line extending towards the back of the building. Not knowing better, I assumed it was the line I was supposed to be in and slowly made my way to the rear. This would take forever. I pulled out my phone and started on another game of Angry Birds. I had been killing evil pigs for almost five minutes when I began to feel like I was being watched. Sure enough I glanced up to see a large pair of deep blue eyes looking at me.

“You know, some psychologists say that technology is making us less social,” said the girl looking up at me. I couldn't respond. She had straight black hair pulled behind her in a long ponytail. She had a small, perfectly formed nose with what seemed like a sea of freckles on it. Even more freckles danced on her cheeks. She was several inches shorter than me, maybe 5’9” and had on tight jean shorts and a black tank top that exposed only the most tantalizing amount of cleavage.

“So I’m just starting to feel a little uncomfortable with you ******* me with your eyes like that,” she said with the smirk on her face that I would soon come to know.

“Sorry,” I said, a tiny grin tugging at the corner of my mouth, “You surprised me a bit.”

“I’m Clara. This is the point in conversation where you tell me your name.” I liked her already. She had confidence and wit that was both abrasive and attractive.

“I’m Jake, pleased to meet you.” ****, I was smooth, like a wagon over rocks. “Are you a freshman too?”

“Yep. Just got here. I don’t think this line is moving.” I really liked the way little dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth even when she frowned slightly.

“It really doesn't seem to be. At least I have pleasant company,” I said. Oh man I was so smooth! I was really proud of myself right there. Flirting was hard with pretty girls, they seemed to throw me off balance.

“Well, that was the least offensive flirting I've heard all day,” she replied. Good gosh this girl was straightforward. “It’s a good thing you’re cute or I might not have accepted that.” Cute. Okay, I could work with cute. “So you’re in psychology 1000?” she asked.

“Nope, I took that during high school.” I replied. Why would she ask that?

“Well, you’re standing in the psychology book pickup line.” She said with a slightly puzzled look on her face. I definitely was not in psychology.

“Oh, Psychology! I, uh, I thought you said, uh, philanthropy. Nope, I’m definitely in the right line." Okay, that was a lie and I was at least 100% sure philanthropy was not a class. But hey, I was under pressure. She looked at me like I was slightly on drugs but moved on without hesitation.

We talked about various meaningless things while the line crept closer to the back of the store. The stunningly blue shade of her eyes made it very difficult to focus on conversation. When we got to the pickup window, she paid for her book and stepped to the side, watching me. I decided to bow out of buying a several hundred dollar book just to avoid looking like an idiot. I comforted myself with the fact that she might think it was funny.

“Soooo. I’m not really in philanthropy. Or psychology. I just didn't want to stop talking to you just yet.” I said with a sheepish grin. Luckily for me, she laughed.

“Alright then Mr. Jake, what books do you really need? Maybe we can go stand in line again.” I listed off several books that I needed for classes.

“Calculus. I need that one as well. Come on silly.” She turned her back and started walking. I followed right on her heels, a goofy grin plastered all over my face.

That was my first interaction with Clara. We spent the next two hours gathering all of our books, and at the end I carried her rather large pile back to her dorm room. I was promptly rewarded with her phone number and some cookies that her mom had packed.

“Hey. What about this one?” Clara’s voice comes from beside me. I lean over to look at the paper again.

“This time just take the anti-derivative of cosine and solve for x.”

“Oh right. That's the last one.”

“What do you want to do now?” I ask.

“How about we go to your room and see if we can make your roommate uncomfortable enough to leave?” She says with a mischievous grin, bringing those deep blue eyes nearer to mine. She always seems to find an excuse to kiss me.
A rough draft excerpt from my short story, Fictional Truth.
Hannah Fourn Nov 2012
Each night I lie myself to sleep.
Everything will be alright.
Each night I count rocky mountain sheep,
And wake up in the morning bright.

Each dawn I drink coffee with cream,
Two teaspoons of sugar or three.
Each dawn I live the american dream,
In my little house by the sea.

Each morn I ride into the city
To teach the new generation.
Each morn I make myself look pretty,
To gain a mans affection.

Each noon I head to the bookstore,
Eat a late lunch at the cafe.
And each noon I lay on my wood floor,
Making a small paper bouquet.

Each evening I cook myself a small dinner.
Dessert made with chocolate and powdered sugar.
Each evening I consider getting thinner,
And every time, to myself I snicker.

Now each night I sing my love to sleep.
I hold him close to my own delight.
Now each night we count rocky mountain sheep.
and we wake up every morning in the bright.
Written in about two hours. My rhyming's a little off, but all in all I like how it turned out.
barnoahMike Nov 2011
Down at the Shipyards people are *Waiting for their "Ship-to-come-in".     At the Ballpark people are *waiting for the "Home-run-hit".    At the Racetrack people are  *Waiting for "Their winning horse".   At the street corner people are  *Waiting for the "Light -to-turn-green".   At the office people are *Waiting for "That-Raise".    At the restaurant people are *Waiting to be "Waited-on".    At the bookstore people are *Waiting for *THAT "New-book".   At the the Shoe store people are *Waiting to see if  "The-Shoe-fits".   at the Doctors office people are *Waiting in the "Waiting-Room".     At the grocery store people are *Waiting to "Check-out".    And it's been said, that folks today,have No-Patience !   WELL,  Excuse me,  just the few illustrations above,  clearly demonstrate, THAT somebody is *Waiting for something !    What are their intentions of asking for Indulgence,  Tolerance  and Unity.    AND,,  don't dare Upset the Apple-Cart !   Down at the Coffee shop people are *Waiting for that  "Java-with-Ummph".    At the corner people are *Waiting to be "Taken-for-a-Ride".   Downtown people are *Waiting for a place to "PARK & WAIT" !      "Pray Tell,,,WHAT ARE  WE WAITING FOR " ?
copyright @2011      barnoah       Mike Ham
Sofia Paderes Dec 2013
I like the color of your sweater and the stripes on your sleeves and I especially like how the ends fray and the gray looks more like milk than it does a rainy day sky or a weatherbeaten road.

2. The reason I stepped back was not because you smelled funny, or that I was shocked to find you there, but because the air condition was hitting me right on the shoulders and I left my red sweater at home.

3. Okay, so maybe I was a bit shocked at finding you there; it’s just that you’re the first one who’s ever bothered lingering at the poetry section besides me, and I’m not good with surprises; in fact, I hate surprises.

4. But you’re a good kind of surprise.

5. I like your glasses. I used to have a pair just like them before someone removed them and told me that I should learn to see differently. Things have been kind of unclear since then, but I’m learning how to hold onto the side rails.

6. I hope you’ll let me remove yours, too.

7. Your hair looks like a bird’s nest. I wonder if you’re hiding life or pieces of green bottle in there. That’s a lovely shade of brown, by the way. I’ve never seen chocolate curls before.

8. Do you think that if a pine wants to, it will grow until its branches poke holes in the sky for stars and pinecones to fall out so we can catch them in our palms and compare who got the most scratches and who caught the most stardust?

9. The book you picked up happens to be my favorite. If you turn to page 118 you’ll find a poem about churning seas, angry thunderclouds, and a drifting boat that lost its sail.

10. I think I finally found my sail.
Audio here.
Lilah May 2019
I’m buried in a cocoon of stories
From poetry,
To biographies,
To dystopia,
And romance
So many stories
Of so many people
Or just figments of the author’s
Sitting atop wooden bookshelves
Waiting for the right person,
To pick them up
And get lost in their story
For everyone has a story to tell,
Some are overly exaggerated,
And other’s are rarely heard
The important thing is
That we share our stories
Through word of mouth,
The internet,
Or in a notebook
To be found by future historians
Tell your story
Believe me, you won’t regret it

— The End —