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JJ Hutton Aug 2010
I am a miserable ****.

Traffic jam thoughts.
Aimless speech.
Fever dreams,
coffee with no cream,
love with no pulse,
alone at restaurants,
            at grocery stores,
            at parties.

I have no identity.

Shifting shape, black to blue,
trading girls, red hair for Persian skin,
parents and gods,
politicians and lost purpose mobs,
all asking me to be sacred,
                            to be loving,
                            to be trusting,
                            to be active,
                            to have no spine.

All I want is a bit of my own time.

A grenade of change,
to end the coagulation of my brain,
to leave me hungry for anything
other than me,
didn't somebody say I was promised something?
                                            I was going somewhere?
                                            I was unique?

I am the same miserable ****,

As every other miserable ****.

The ******* that cut you off on Highway 62,

The person that complained about too many pickles,
on his precious fast food,

The boy yelling at his baby sister for getting too much attention,

The girl sexting your boyfriend,

The boy sexing your girlfriend,

The generation divorcing everyone it knows so it can fall in love with

itself.

All different,
in exactly the same way.

Traffic jam thoughts. Traffic jam thoughts.
                   Traffic jam thoughts. Traffic jam thoughts.
            trafficjamthoughts. traffic. Traffic Jam Thoughts. Thoughts.
Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Jam.
thoughts. traffic. trafficjam. trafficjam. traffic jam thoughts.traffic.
traffic jam. traffic, traffic, traffic. I am a miserable ****. Traffic jam.
Copyright 2010 by Joshua J. Hutton
Mitchell Duran Nov 2013
It was 98'.
No, it was 99'.
That was the year.
Yeah, that was the year.

I had just landed abroad and knew no one.
Well, I was there with my girlfriend, Page.

I knew her.

We had to get out of the states.
There was nothing for us there.
We were drowning in that nothingness - that lacking future.

Cookie cutters everywhere.

Everything I saw was like an outline of something that had already happened.
I couldn't sleep.
I couldn't ****.
I could barely call my parents to let them know what I was doing.

Nothing really.

Floating downward like a leaf broken from its stem.
I was scared.
I'll admit it.
I was terrified of the next four years.
Twenty-five seemed so far away and so close, all at the same time.

We had a found an apartment to live in while in the U.S.
We were lucky because people we met later on said it was hell trying to find a place after arriving.
I was never too good at that stuff anyway.
I always felt like people were trying to cheat me or something.

It was small.
You would have said you loved it, but secretly hated it.
One could barely stand in the shower.
Want to spread your arms wide?

Forget about it.

There was a balcony though and you could watch the street traffic from above.
People look so small when your high up.
Down the street, there was a large theatre where they filmed movies.
I rarely saw them shooting, but I could tell it was a good place to.
It was beautiful at night when the lampposts would flicker on, orange spilling on the street.
Everything was damp in the Fall when we first arrived.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked her. She was laying face down on the bed.
Whenever she was hungover, she would do that.
All the covers and pillows over her face, blocking out the world and its light.
I did the same thing, so I couldn't really say much.
We were hungover a lot those first couple months.
Then came the jobs and everything changed...mostly.

She moaned something that I couldn't understand.
I was standing by the window, staring at the pigeons and crows perched on the roof across from us.
They had made a little nest under one of the shingles.
Clever little ******'s.

"Look at those things," I said.
The coffee I was drinking was bitter and made from crystals.
It gave me a headache, but it was cheap and we were broke.
I stepped back to get a better look at their nest and knocked an empty beer bottle around.

She moaned again and rose up from bed, kind of like a stretching kitten or a cat.
Her back was arched like a crescent moon and she stunk of ***** and Sprite.
The blankets were twisted and crumpled and she was tangled in them like a fly in a spiders web.
I went into the kitchen and poured out my coffee, thinking of what to do with the day.

"Breakfast?" she asked me from bed.
My back was to her, but I knew she wanted me to make it.
I put the electric stove on and opened the refrigerator.

"No eggs," I said back to her, "I'll be right back."

She moaned and slithered back into bed.
I threw my jacket and slippers on and made my way downstairs.

"Dobry den," I said to the cashier.
He was a tiny vietnamese man with a extremely high pitched voice.
I struggled to stifle a laugh every time I came in.

"Dobry den," he said back, sounding like air escaping from a balloon.

"Dear God," I thought, "How does his voice box do it?"

I went straight to the eggs, pretending to cough.
All around me were packaged sweets and rotten vegetables and fruit.
There were half loaves of brown, stale bread wrapped lazily in thin plastic.
Canned beans, noodle packets, and cardboard infused orange juice lined the shelves.
Where were the ******* eggs?
We needed milk too.
Trying to drink that crystalized coffee without it was torture.
I don't even know how I did it earlier.
"I must be getting used to the taste..." I thought.

I opened the single refrigerator they had in the place.
It was stocked with loosely packaged cheese, milk, beer, and soda.
There they were, those ******* eggs, right next to the yogurt.
I looked at the expiration date of a small carton of chocolate milk and winced.
"Someone could die here if they weren't careful," I whispered to myself.

"Everyding O.K.?" I heard the cashier squeak behind me.
I turned and nodded and showed him the eggs.
He was suspicious I was stealing something.
It was ironic.
I put the eggs on the counter and handed over what the cash register told me.

"There you go," I said and handed him the 58 crown in exact change.

"Děkuji," he peeped.

His voice sounded like a stuffed animal.
I nodded, smiled, and quickly got the hell out of there.

"You know the guy that works at the shop across the street?" I asked the body still in bed.
Well, she was up now, back up against the wall with her laptop on her lap.
"You mean the guy that has the voice of a little girl?"
"Exactly. I was just in there - getting these eggs - and I nearly laughed in his face."
"That's mean," she frowned, staring at her laptop.
Many of our conversations were with some kind of electronic device in between us.
We needed to work on that.
"I didn't laugh at him directly."
She smiled and nodded and moved down the bed a little more.
Only her head was resting on the pillow.
I cracked two eggs and let them sizzle there in the butter and the salt.

"So, what do you want to do today?" I asked Page, "It's not too cold out. We could go on a walk."
"Where?"
"I don't know. Over the bridge and maybe down by the water."
"It's going to be so cold," she shivered.
"I was just out there in slippers and a t-shirt and I was fine."
"That's because you're so big. I'm tiny. I don't get as much blood flow."

I flipped the two eggs and looked down at them.
Golden and burnt slightly around the edges.
******* perfect.
Now, just gotta wait a little on the other side and make sure to not let the yolk harden.
I hated that more than anything in the world.
Well, that and hearing **** poor excuses like it being too cold.
It was nice out.
She'd be fine.

"Come on," I sighed. I did that a lot. "It'll be fun."
She looked up at me from her computer with a dead look in her eye.
"What?" I asked her.
"You're such a...nerd," she said.
"No I'm not."
"You're so weird. Some of the things you say sometimes..."
"Like what?"
"Let's go on a walk."
She exaggerated the word walk.
I laughed and knew I was being a little too excited about a walk.
"Yeah. So? What are you doing? You're just laying there doing nothing."
"It's my day off," she scoffed, jokingly.

We were unemployed.
Everyday was a day off.
This was not something to bring up.
It was touchy subject.
One had to go about it...delicately.

"We need to find jobs," I stated, "And we can probably ask around or look for signs in windows."

"Oh JESUS," she gagged, coughing and diving back under the covers.

"I'm just thinking ahead so we can stay here. There's got to be something out there we can do."

"Like what?" she asked, her voice muffled by blankets.

"I don't know...something," I mumbled, trailing off as I flipped one of the eggs, "Perfect."

After breakfast, Page finally got out of bed and took a shower.
I tried to sneak in there with her, but, like I said before, one could barely fit themselves in there.
We compromised to have *** on the bed, though I did miss doing it in the shower.
As Page got dressed, I watched her slip those thin black stockings on, half reading a magazine.
I had gotten a subscription to The Review because I was trying to become a writer.
I thought, maybe if I read the stuff getting published - even the bad **** - it'll help.
Later, I realized, this was a terrible idea, but I enjoyed the magazine all the same.
Page finished getting dressed.
I jumped into whatever clothes were on the floor and didn't stink.
Then, we were out the door on Anna Letenske street, looking at the tram, downhill.


"I can see my breath," Page said, "It's cold..."

"Alright," I said as both of us ran across the street, "It's a little cold."

"But it's ok because I'm glad were out of the house."

"If we would have festered there any longer, we would have stayed in there all day."

"And missed this beautiful day," she said mocking me, putting both of her arms in the air.

The sky was gray and overcast and a single black crow flew over us, roof to roof.
No one was out, really.
It was Sunday and no one ever really came out on Sundays.
From the few czech friends I had, they explained to me this was the day to get drunk and cook.

"Far different then what people think in the States to do," I remember telling him.
"What do you do, my friend?" he had asked. He always called me my friend.
It was a nice thing to do since we had only known each other a couple weeks.
"Well," I explained to him, "Some people go to church to pray to God."
He laughed when I said this and said, "HA! God? How many people believe in God there?"
I had heard through the news and some Wikipedia research Prague was mostly atheist.
"A good amount, I'm pretty sure."
"That's silly," he scoffed, "Silly is word, right?"
"Yep. A word as any other."
"I like that word. What else do they do on Sunday?"
"A lot of people watch football. Not like soccer but with..."
"I know what you talk about," he said, cutting me off, "With the ball shaped like egg?"
I nodded, "Yes, the one with the egg shaped ball. It's popular in the Fall on Sundays."
"And what is Fall?" he asked.
You can see our relationship was really based on questions and answers.
He was a good guy, though I could never pronounce his name right.
There was a specific z in there somewhere where one had to dig their tongue under their teeth.
Lots of breath and vibration that Americans were never asked or trained to do.
Every czech I met said our language was a high contradiction.
Extremely complex in grammar and spelling, but spoken with such sloth.
I don't know if they used the word sloth.
I just like the word.

As we waited for the tram, I noticed the burnt orange and red blood leaves on the ground.
"Where had they come from?" I wondered. There were no trees on the street.
Must be from the park down the block, the one with the big church and the square.
There were lines of trees there used as leaning posts for the bums and junkies as they waited.
What they were waiting for, I never knew.
They just looked to be waiting for something.
I kicked a leaf into the street from the small island platform for the tram.
It swept up into the air a couple inches, and then instantly, was swept away by a passing car.
I watched as it wavered in the air, settling down the block in the middle of the road.

"Where's this trammm," Page complained.
Whenever it was cold out, her complaining level multiplied by a million.
"Should be coming soon. Check the schedule."
"Too cold," she said, "Need to keep my hands in my pockets."
I shook my head and looked at the schedule. It said it would be there at 11:35.
"11:35," I told her, still looking at the schedule. There was a strange cross over the day of Sunday.
"You mad?"
"No," I said turning to her, "I just want to have a nice day and its hard when you're upset."
"I'm not upset," she said, her teeth chattering behind her lips.
"Complaining I mean. We can go back home if it's really too cold. It's right there."
"No," she looked down, "Let's go out for a bit. I just don't know how long I'll last."
"Ok," I shrugged.
I looked up the street and saw our tram coming; number 11.
"There it is," I said.
"Thank God," Page exhaled, "I feel like I'm about to die."

Even the tram was sparse with people.
An empty handle of cheap liquor rattled in the back somewhere.
I heard it rock back and forth against the legs of a metal seat.
"Someone had a night last night," I thought, "Hope that's not mine."
We had gone to some dark bar with a lot of stairs going down - all I really recall.
Beer was so **** cheap there and there was always so much of it, one got very drunk easily.
I couldn't even really remember who we met or why we went there.
When everything's a blur in the morning you have two choices:
Feel guilty about how much you drank, lie around, and do nothing or,
Leave it be, try not to think about it, and try and find your passport and cell phone.

We made our transfer at the 22 and rode downhill.
Page looked like she was going to be sick.
Her sunglasses were solid black and I couldn't see her eyes, but her face was flushed and green.
"You alright?" I asked her.
"I'm fine," she said, "Just need to get off of this tram. Feel like I'm going to be sick."
"You look it."
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah, a little bit."
"Let's get off at the park with the fountain. I don't want to puke here."
"Ok," I said, smiling, "We'll get off after this stop."

We sat down on one of the benches that circled around the fountain.
It was empty and Page was confused why.
"Maybe to save money?" I suggested.
"What? It's just water."
"Well, you gotta' pump the water up there and then filter it back out. Costs money."
"Costs crown," she corrected me.
"Same thing," I said, putting my arm around her, "There's no one here today."
"I know why," she stated, flatly.
"Why?"
"Because it's collllllllld and it's Sunday and only foreigner's would go out on a day like this."
I scanned the park and noticed that most of the faces there were probably not Czech.
"****," I muttered, "You may be right."
"I know I am," she said, wiggling her chin down into her jacket, "We're...crzzzy."
"We're what?" I asked. I couldn't hear her through her jacket.
She just shook her head back and forth and looked forward, not wanting to move from the warmth.
Dogs were scattered around the brown green grass with their owners.
Some were playing catch with sticks or *****, but others were just following behind their owner's.
I watched as one took a crap in the center of the walkway near the street.
Its owner was typing something on their phone, ignoring what was happening in front of him.
After the dog finished, the owner looked down at the crap, looked around, then slunk off.

"Did you see that?" I asked Page, pointing to where the owner had left the mess.
"Yeah," she nodded, "So gross. That would never fly in the states."
"You'd get shoulder tackled by some park security guard and thrown in jail."
"And be given a fat ticket," she said, coughing a little, "Let's get out of here."
"Yeah," I agreed, "And watch for any **** on the way out of here."

We made our way out of the park and down the street where the 22 continues on to the center.
"Let's not go into the center. Let's walk along the water's edge and maybe up to the bridge."
"Ok," I said, "That's a good idea." I didn't want to get stuck in that mass of tourists.
I could tell Page didn't either. I think she was afraid she might puke on a huddle of them.
We turned down a side street before the large grocery store and avoided a herd of people.
The cobble stones were wet and slick, glistening from a small sliver of sunlight through the clouds.
Page walked ahead.
Sometimes, when we walked downtown in the older parts of Prague, we would walk alone.
Not because we were fighting or anything like that; it was all very natural.
I would walk ahead because I saw something and she would either come with or not.
She would do the same and we both knew that we wouldn't go too far without the other.
I think we both knew that we would be back after seeing what we had wanted to see.
One could call it trust - one could call it a lot of things - but this was not really spoken about.
We knew we would be back after some time and had seen what we had wanted to.
Thinking about this, I watched her look up at the peeling paint of the old buildings.
Her thick black hair waved back and forth behind her plum colored pea coat.
Page would usually bring a camera and take pictures of these things, but she had forgotten it.
I wished she hadn't.
It was turning out to be such a beautiful day.

We made it to the Vlatva river and leaned over the railing, looking down at the water.
Floating there were empty beer bottles and plastic soda jugs.
The water was brown, murky, and looked like someone had dumped a large bag of dirt in there.
There was nothing very romantic about it, which one would think if you saw it in a picture.
"The water looks disgusting," Page said.
"That it does, but look at the bridge. It looks pretty good right
AR Jan 2018
I spoke to the moon and she spoke to me,
She complained about the sun as i complained about u,
She complained of their differences him being gold her being grey,
I too complained about me and u how i tried to be red when you were always blue,
And just like me and u they never saw each other too,
She said he was always late and he left a little bit early too,
Darling don't u see the story of the sun and the moon is the story of me and u.
Carter Ginter Aug 2018
Dear Sam,

I love you,
But I really hate you sometimes.

I've been cycling through emotions lately
Because our breakup led to me completely shutting down
I felt nothing
Until I felt sadness
And then I felt anger
Now it's all mixing together
In an overwhelming mess
Especially with your recent breakups
With your other partners
The one who I mourned our relationship over
Who you suddenly realized you weren't into
And the one I'm best friends with
Who you told that you were never poly
Because **** me right?

Because if you were never poly
Then you never really loved me
Then again,
Have you ever really loved anyone?
I try to correct the realization
Of you not loving me
With the fact that I love myself
It's probably a lie, but
Fake it til you make it
Right?
It's hard to accept that
Someone I loved more than anyone
Could give zero ***** about me
It hurts
That I was this disposable to you
And I did nothing but love you
And respect you
And hear you
And care for you with every ounce of my existence
And you just left

Remember when you promised that
We could get through anything?
And had me promise you the same?
Whenever we were unsteady
You would ask me that
The same thing you asked your last partner
Right before they left you
"Babe, we can get through anything, right?"
And it sounded so sweet and so
******* real
But you were just scared
You were only ever sweet
When you thought we were leaving you

And ******* it
I wish I had left you
I wish I would've told you all of the things
That led to MY decision to leave
Because when we talked
We agreed it was mutual
And I never told you my story
You never asked
All you asked was what I would tell people
Which to some might sound like you cared
But all you cared about
Was other people's opinions of you
Not me
Not my opinion
Because I was no longer of use to you
And during that break up
You did ask me why I was crying
Though looking back now
You probably just wanted to hear me say
"I love you"
One last time
Because why else would I be crying?

I don't know if I ever told you
But when you got your third partner
I wished I could stop loving you
Ironically, I pretty much did
In an illusory sort of way since
All my emotions shut down from the pain
And if I were religious I would've prayed for it
Begged for salvation
For freedom from
The shackles laced around my limbs
From loving someone who doesn't care
Who didn't respect me enough
To really remind me that I mattered
In the throes of a new relationship
But none of it helped
Because I still loved you
I still do

What's more than you leaving
Is the amount of damage you did first
Convincing me how radical and inclusive you are
When you shame anyone else
For the things that make them happy
Oh, and what about transparency
And how you avoid passivity in conflict?
Where did that person go?
You started being passive-aggressive
Or even silent sometimes
You'd exit the conversation
In the middle of an argument
And yell at me if I tried to do the same
I should've known things weren't ok
When I started to thank you
For not getting mad and yelling at me
Which only made you mad
Because I was demonizing you
Actually,
I was just afraid of you

I was never enough for you
You'd spend a lot of your time
Complaining about your other partners
And, as obvious as it is now,
I didn't know you were doing the same about me
Because when we were together
I thought we were good
I respected your boundaries
Even when they conflicted with my needs
You didn't like physical contact
Something I needed in order to feel safe
And the few times you did let me hold your hand
You complained about it to your other partner
As though I were a burden
But I am NOT
A burden
I am NOT
Disposable
And I may not be perfect
But I sure as hell matter

I deserve love
I deserve openness and honesty
And trust
Not like that one time
You "forgot" you made a promise to me
Then broke it in secrecy
And got mad at me later
When I was upset with you
Because you knew I had trust issues
You knew it would upset me
But you didn't care
Because you "don't need permission"
To do anything
Which is true
Except, when you truly respect someone
You keep your word
Or you don't get upset about it
When they feel pained by your betrayal
You said you didn't want to feel
Like you owed me something
And it's not that you owed me anything
But you sure didn't deserve my trust after that
And that made you angry

Though not angry like those few times
You called me yelling about
How I ****** up
Because 1)
I was hurt that you didn't want to see me
Even though we had plans to spend the weekend together
And 2)
Because I wasn't being a good partner
Aka I wasn't submitting to you
And following everything you wanted me to
You claimed I was hurting you
But when I called you out
For your blatant hypocrisy
You got even more mad

I was crying at work that day
I was crouched in the ally
Listening to you scream at me
Balling my eyes out in pain
Trying to maintain my ability to breathe
I didn't think to just hang up
Because I knew it was disrespectful
And I didn't want you to leave me

Later you told me that
You like when I cry when we fight
Because it proves to you that
I actually care
That is not ok
I can show you that I care
Without being in so much pain that
Tears stain my face and
I struggle to catch a breath

When we met
You taught me about autonomy
And that saved my life when it came to my depression
But then you used it against me
To avoid doing anything that didn't benefit you
As I bent over backwards to please you
And of course I didn't think it was an issue
When you would change your mind at the last minute
The plans I had looked forward to all day
Quickly fell apart
Autonomy freed me from my demons' grasp
So how could it not make sense?
You had the autonomy to choose what you wanted to do
But you were just being selfish
And didn't care about me
Or my feelings
And as soon as I stopped
Being the only one putting in any effort
You left me

You used to say that
Our love was stronger than anything
But that is an abusive tactic
Because if we were struggling, then
It must be my fault for not trying enough
For not loving you enough
And when I tried to put up boundaries
(Because sometimes I needed space too
Especially when you hurt me so deeply)
You decided to threaten that
Doing so would make you want to leave me
You often held me on that way
Threats
Manipulation
Fear

The way we chose to love polyamorously
Was pretty unhealthy
We didn't set boundaries
Until we did something that hurt us
And then we knew we needed to
But even then we really didn't
Because you didn't respect the ones I set
You told me that
I couldn't have any more partners
You didn't even want me to pursue
The new interest I had at the time
Thankfully, I didn't submit to you then
Because within a few days we broke up
And even though I was sad about it
I immediately felt relief
And regardless of all of this negativity
I truly hope you get help
And can find happiness in your life
And can stop hurting others
Just because you're in pain

You matter
So do I
But your opinion of me doesn't
Because I will love myself
Exactly for who I am
And no longer shame myself
For the things you didn't like
Because I am more
Than what you think of me
I am more
Than how you treated me
And even though I love you
I love myself more
And respect myself enough to let it go
And to let myself be happy
Without you in my life
This series is extremely important to me. It has drastically helped with closure over past unhealthy relationships. They were all unhealthy I'm largely different ways and I did not write these to take away my own fault in the breakups, but I wrote this to rid myself of the unnecessary guilt I have been carrying around because of things that these exes have said to me or the ways in which they treated me. This project is about self-love. Not about hatred or wishing ill will upon others, because I wish them nothing but happiness. This is for me.
How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
In graceful counterfeit of flower,
These children of the meadows, born
Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
This dream of summertime.

Our hearts are lighter for its sake,
Our fancy's age renews its youth,
And dim-remembered fictions take
The guise of present truth.

A wizard of the Merrimac,--
So old ancestral legends say,--
Could call green leaf and blossom back
To frosted stem and spray.

The dry logs of the cottage wall,
Beneath his touch, put out their leaves;
The clay-bound swallow, at his call,
Played round the icy eaves.

The settler saw his oaken flail
Take bud, and bloom before his eyes;
From frozen pools he saw the pale
Sweet summer lilies rise.

To their old homes, by man profaned
Came the sad dryads, exiled long,
And through their leafy tongues complained
Of household use and wrong.

The beechen platter sprouted wild,
The pipkin wore its old-time green,
The cradle o'er the sleeping child
Became a leafy screen.

Haply our gentle friend hath met,
While wandering in her sylvan quest,
Haunting his native woodlands yet,
That Druid of the West;

And while the dew on leaf and flower
Glistened in the moonlight clear and still,
Learned the dusk wizard's spell of power,
And caught his trick of skill.

But welcome, be it new or old,
The gift which makes the day more bright,
And paints, upon the ground of cold
And darkness, warmth and light!

Without is neither gold nor green;
Within, for birds, the birch-logs sing;
Yet, summer-like, we sit between
The autumn and the spring.

The one, with bridal blush of rose,
And sweetest breath of woodland balm,
And one whose matron lips unclose
In smiles of saintly calm.

Fill soft and deep, O winter snow!
The sweet azalea's oaken dells,
And hide the banks where roses blow
And swing the azure bells!

O'erlay the amber violet's leaves,
The purple aster's brookside home,
Guard all the flowers her pencil gives
A live beyond their bloom.

And she, when spring comes round again,
By greening ***** and singing flood
Shall wander, seeking, not in vain
Her darlings of the wood.
Crestfallen Jul 2013
Do you remember back in grade eight how we sat next to one another in algebra class?
You'd pester me for answers on everything and I'd help you.
You were always my partner even if we tended to clash.
But once the bell rang you dashed out of my view.

We only existed in the time span of over an hour.
I never told you how it felt to listen to music with you while we graphed slopes
Our classmates complained and still we played it louder.
I never would've imagined that the whole time you had hopes
That we could be together someday , somehow.

Maybe that's why I started to love math so much.
Ron Gavalik May 2015
In the mid-1990s I worked as a bartender
on the second floor of a local hotdog joint
near the University of Pittsburgh.
I poured beers and mixed simple drinks
for working class drunks.
The felons always had a game or a magic trick
they’d use to milk rubes for a free gin and tonic.
College students mostly stayed away,
but the ones who stumbled in ordered drafts,
paid for by daddy’s allowance
or the petty drug rackets they ran on campus.
In the summer, the best ***** came around,
**** pushed out of their tops,
*** cheeks crept below their skirts.
They knew how to find action
every single night.

Except one overweight girl named Susie
from the all girl’s school down the road.
She’d come to the bar alone,
her lips caked with dark red lipstick.
Like many students, Susie wanted to be older.
She’d order ***** martinis,
drink quietly, and she’d patiently wait
for one of the older drunks to make a move.
It never happened.

Sometimes Susie complained to me
about other girls at her college,
that they were aggressive lesbians.
All of them wanted to eat her ******.
‘Those ******* are as bad as the men,’ she’d say.
But then she’d laugh it off.
‘I really love ****,’ she told me.
‘I think about **** and *** all the time.’

One night Susie owed the bar $27.50.
She always tried to flirt her way past the tab.
I never let her get away with it.
‘Do you like me?’ she said.
I laid down my trademark response,
‘You’re the best.’
‘No, do you really like me?’
I figured she deserved a real compliment.
‘You have the sexiest lips here.’

She climbed off the barstool
and walked to the backdoor, the fire escape.
She then curled her finger at me to join her.
Outside on the small rusted iron landing,
above the roach-filled dumpster,
Susie crouched between my legs.
Both of us worked to unbuckle my belt.
A swarm of hands pulled down my jeans.
I looked up at the few stars between buildings
as those red lips and soft tongue became my drug,
a back alley escape from a ******* life.
When I unloaded, she refused to let go.
She swallowed it all. $27.50 paid in full,
plus tip.

That’s how we went for a while.
I gave Susie small escapes from lesbians.
Susie gave me small escapes from life.
Eventually, she stopped coming around.
I figured she graduated.
Perhaps her classmates finally got their wish.
Either way, I never saw her again.
To be included in my next collection, **** River Sins.
Sarah Michelle Aug 2015
Every night was tortellini
when were roommates.

I complained about my chapped feet;
you bought me the wrong socks.
Black, mens, I clarified,
but you kept buying the women's.
Then one day you got it right,
only they were for you
because black is a warmer color than white,
and the socks of a man felt like cherubs.

I complained about my chapped feet,
you the heart of the world,
its cold silence.
But we remained "alright".
You bought new pajamas every night
and painted a beauty mark on your face
to match.

Years of x-marked places on our bodies
which no one saw because
we were cynics,
I the most.
No roses at our mat--we grew our own bushes,
ordered the ones with the extra thorns.
I charmed that snake,
you bit me on its behalf.
That I'd do such a thing
was shameful.

We were girlfriends in a can of salt,
tears in our eyes, mouths and ears.
We drank wine in bubble baths in our clothes
for three days straight,
or even four,
after that guy dumped you.

From then on
every night was tortellini,
La Dolce Vita, and--

and the freckle below your ear,
the horns growing from my forehead,
the way your falsies touched your cheeks,
late nights looking brighter
than they should,
than they normally would.
Pretending to be goddesses awaiting their gods--

while I awaited you.

Then you felt them too,
touched my head as though it were a fever.
I always knew you hated the suburbs,
and I did listen
when you complained about the gray rooftops
and the saturated green lawns--
"Give them a chance, please.
Then we'll get away--"
I begged, I relented--

The wine, finally, fermented.
You remember what I said next,
because after that you broke my heart.
I never doubted it was a bad idea
to say it



but I said it
and you left.
A love story. Not personal.
Corvus Jul 2016
Spending a month in a hospital teaches you a lot about people.
The doctor that told me to shave my head or she wouldn't treat me,
The nurses that spent forever chatting to me
And giving me supportive advice about how my illness doesn't define me.
The woman who was given a terminal cancer sentence
And chose not to pay attention to it and defied it anyway.
How she sat next to me on my bed,
Told me that all suffering is valid,
And just because I'm not dying, doesn't mean I don't get to complain.
How she complains more about her skin problems
Than she ever complained about her cancer,
And that's OK, because pain rarely follows rules.
I never even learned her name,
But she gave me the words I hold most closely to me
On those days when I want to fall asleep and never wake up.
I'm allowed to scream and shout and rage against the pain
And the unfairness of it happening to me.
I just have to make sure I know where the line is
Between giving my darkness a voice and pitying myself.
The inner force
1- Believe
He couldn't believe that
He could imagine in fact
That can be the weakest
Convert to be the strongest
The kind waves that carry ships
Can be overlapped and damaged them
The fire that warm people
Can harm and hurt them
The boy lost his mother
His father was confused
He tried to heal his son from bad temper
His son cried a lot
And stayed alone at his room
His father asked many doctors
He went to a lot of physiologists
They advised to get new friend
For good luck, the boy found a small cat
They would be friends for all times
His father suddenly married one
He introduced her as she was kind
As she had two children
Son and daughter that would be fun
He refused that marriage
He insisted at his opinion
The woman appeared as she was kind
She dealt him as an angel
But he refused that deal
The kind can look at inner
Heart or self at inner
The father had wild desire
He married and got her in
After while she brought her kinder
She dealt him with her best
At the beginning, at the first
After that,
She appeared her solid heart
And began to hurt him for reason or not
She got very anger
When he studied and her children not
She hurt him
He had to wash the dishes
Before he went to school
After his return he must sweep
As well as clean the flat  
When he complained to his father
She lied on him and got him as a guilt
He was punished by his father
He remarked that when he complained
She wore naked dress
And mothered his father in obvious
Then they closed their room
After that he would be punished
He always ate at the kitchen
He ate the residual and bad food
He slept also at it
While her children ate well
Slept at their beds
Dressed well and did their home works
Without any annoy or disturb
His father lived in another planet
When he saw his son's hair cut in bad way
His step mother punished him by this way
His father didn't ask
What was happened at any way?

2 the cat
Once, when she found him playing with the cat
She lifted her up
She warned him at loud
She threw it in strong
The cat screamed at aloud
The cat fell without movement
He cried and tried to get her
Safe
He found his step mother’s heart solid
He called her a devil
She became in anger
She went and lifted her
She threw her out of the window
They were at the third floor
The cat downed without movement
The boy screamed a lot
The neighbors didn't get help
As they knew that she was worst
And his father ordered them in rigid
Don't give advised
When she tried to get his son straight
She hurt him badly
He could move heavily
He stayed waking and crying
She approached and hurt him strongly
Ordering not to get any sound
As his father would be coming
He lied silent
Till the silent covered
Every inch of the land
He opened the flat's door
And put a shoe before it
Preventing it from closing
He descended quickly
But his movement was silently
He thought that she had devil’s spirit
With millions legs and hands
Like octopus which stretches legs
And catches his victim and eats
Those could watch him
So he was been feared
Of disappeared and hidden ghost
He carried the dead cat
As the thoughts he felt
He got up to the flat
He found its door closed
He knocked it softly
As fearing of getting her up
When he disappointed
To get the door opened
He fell down crying
He curved around himself
He crawled into land
He was crying and wishing
To get die at that moment
He lifted her face up
He prayed to his God
Asking him to get himself dead
As the cat was dead
He looked frustrate
His father dealt him badly
His step mother dealt as a slave
He couldn’t open his mouth
Or even tried to give a breath
Of opposite that would be assigned
Of not satisfying to her plan
He finally got up

3-The chickens’ home
He ascended the stairs
He reached the last floor
He opened the chicken room’s door
He slept hanging his cat
Covering with hens over his chest
Over all his members
So he tried to get warm
In spite of the cold
He got up according to pick up
The chickens’ beaks
At his lips and face
He laughed for a moment
When he saw the cat without move
He cried and lifted her at the hill of chaff
He ascended and knocked the door
Ordering the chickens not to touch her
After he cleaned his clothes as he could
From their stools
She opened the door and released a high sigh
His father came with astonishment
When he saw his son at that manner
He laughed and tried to hang him
Forgetting to ask him
Where he was
Forgetting to show him his pathos
The wife screamed and wandered,”
Oh! Bad one
In spite of hurting him
You laughed at him”
The father ran and returned
He caught a stick
He hurt him in strong
The neighbors looked
His step sister and brother watched
He got up with big sad
When he stole out
He ascended with inner sad
His horizon was collapsed and closed
He expected everything wrong
He expected his future lost
When he opened the chicken’s door
He laughed at loud
He found the cat in fight position
With chickens those attacked
He carried her and celebrated
He danced and jumped a lot
He forgot his hurt and pain
He kissed her a lot
Then he hid
At his bag
When he was out
Her step mother kissed his father
She also kissed her children
When they ascended
His father called at him
He tried to kiss his son
He screamed and said,”
You are not my father
I wish one of us was dead”
That was bad wish
That son wanted to be achieved
There was some fault
Man could be remarked
Or all would be lost
He cried and ran
His step brother and sister took the bus
While he went on foot
The father hesitated
Then he went to his work as he thought
He was late
The boy went to school in sad
4- School manager
When he was at classroom
He got the cat out
He put it in desk
Ordering not to make a sound
At every inch
There were haters or lovers
For anyone had alive
For his luck, his classmates saw her
Who hated him
They laughed at loud
They might bassps with remarked
The teacher ordered him to go the manager
The manger called his father
He was coming on the following day
The manager told the boy to let the cat
As it was not permitted
It would get great noisy
It would chatter the mind
It would decrease the concentrate
The father looked
He talked to his boy
You must obey
All you will be punished
The boy refused saying she is my soul
She is my only family
My sister, mother
The manager interrupted,”
And here is your father”
The boy looked and laughed
“my father was dead”
The boy interrupted
Then he bowed to the land
Crying and screaming
The teachers, workers some pupils
Entered
The sound was sufficient to get up the dead
He said at loud
He said in clearest and repeated
‘’my father was dead”
She interrupted,”
He is a live
He is kind “
He screamed,”
You are liar
All of you are liars
He didn’t pay any attention
To any harm occurred
The only thing he is clever at
Obeying her wife and follow her
As he is the small kid
Especially when she dressed
In naked”
The attendants loved
He completed,”
If this cat was hurt
If this cat didn’t bring the class with me,
You will not see me”
The cat had a mind
She looked as proud
Of that speech was telling
The manger let his father to take him
And tried to get him calm
Otherwise he will be in
Physic hospital”

5-The punishment
The boy returned with anger’s father
He told his wife
To get that boy in moderate
He told her everything
The father returned his work
As his wife advised
His father advised her to deal with kind
She said,” She will return his mind”
She looked at him
She said,’’ so, for this
You would sell all things
Father, lovely mother your brother
And sister
Your manager
Boy let that devil away”
He said with loud,” no!”
She said, “You will be devil
You will enter the hill
He wandered, “why?”
She said, “As you didn’t obey me
Let her go or you will not know
Her way”
He screamed,”no!”
This scream vibrated wall
This scream wake up deepest sleeping
She laughed and said,” Oh boy! You feared me!’’
She completed,” let her or”
She went towards her
She lifted her
And threw it at the floor
She stroke her head
At the solid floor
Trying her to dead
The boy could not stand
The boy could not stop
He pushed his step mother away
In spite of his will
In spite of his polite
But he wanted to save his love
She got up
She threw the cat at the floor
She downed without movement
She stood in front of him
She caught his clothes
Saying,” Oh! Hero!
You will see your deserve!”
She threw him towards the wall
His head was strongly hurt
He fell unconscious
She dragged him to the kitchen
She brought a sharp knife
She put a steel rod
Which was used in grill
She said,”Mrs.
Who begged, was my neighbor
Advised her to bring you
To work with her
But she wanted some decorate”
Occurring at your body
She completed,”
I will cut your *******
Then I will get your eye blind”
The cat was hardly nearest
For his good or bad luck
When she saw her
She laughed and said,”
Let’s begin with this mad”
She caught her and brought the knife
The moment between death and life
The moment between day and night
Equals blink
The boy’s mind was returned
The boy got up and hurried
He forgot his headache
He threw his step mother out
She laughed as mad
She said with loud laugh
The neighbors swore she was mad
As they heard her mad
Laugh
She prepared towards him
After putting the rod on furnace
To get it red and hot
She faced the boy
With sudden move
She downed him
She prepared the knife
To be ready to cut his hand
To look petty  
To get mercy
To get a lot of money
He screamed
He called
“You are the devil”
She laughed and said,”
Am i
I will take your eye!”
He screamed, he prayed,”
Oh! God help, help!
No power like you God!”
She laughed and said, “Where is he?
He could not save you
As there was nobody
Except me and you!”

6-The reward
She said, “Oh! Idea”
She threw the knife out
She got the hot rod out
Saying, “Well, I will let you
Blind
As I have mercy
I would not let you hurt
Watching your hand cutting”
She approached, approached
She caught the hot rod
She was confident
But suddenly something was up
Something was on her face
Something hurt her strong
She was the cat
She didn’t let her
Until the blood got out of her eyes
The cat moved towards the hot rod
Forgetting his hot
She hardly lifted it up
Hardly caught it
With her weak mouth
She became so strong
She put it at her tongue
Till it was burned
She couldn’t talk
She was dead after days
His father apologized to him
He didn’t tell his father
As he was not believed
The cat lived at home
As faith and strong one
he inner force, do n't be proud
God
Jordan Rowan Dec 2015
Blind Willie Johnson strums six strings a day
He drinks with the woman who taught him to play
He spells out his secrets in the songs that he sings
And breathes his life onto six rusty strings
Blind Willie Johnson brings home the blues
Blind Willie Johnson will wail the blues to you

The brothel he grew up in is tearing down the walls
He's got so many memories of those smokey halls
His mama could be there or she could be dead
He's got no pictures, just anecdotes instead
Blind Willie Johnson said he don't know a thing
Except for the truth in the blues that he sings

Blind Willie Johnson ain't really blind at all
He's just got those gray eyes from years of alcohol
He stares into the smoke of a Friday night crowd
Who stare back at him as his stories ring out
Blind Willie Johnson doesn't cover up a thing
Listen to his pain in the blues that he sings

"Blind Willie Johnson" reads the graveyard stone
Under the blanket of the sky, Willie rests alone
Though his voice is lost underneath the ground
The world will never forget Blind Willie's sound
Blind Willie Johnson sang the way he felt
He never complained about the hand he was dealt
Martin Narrod Jun 2014
Most peculiarly of most things was that I thought all of this very fishy, daudry, drab, and boresome. This is where I turn on the second table lamp...

In a muster I arrived to the home of my aunt, where at once she drew me into the back of the house, down a flight of stairs made of tusk and bone into a catacomb where she kept a alive collection of wooly mammoths. She said the upkeep wasn't awfully horrendous as she had an invisible backdrop which led to a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe sort of thing. I stood in the gangway behind 10 foot high thigh bones waiting for one of the monstrous red beasts to come greet me, but what arrived was a very large elephant with longer tusks than usual. None of the red sillyness which I had dreamt of seeing in my previous years.

She could see I was not that impressed, and so I was led to another part of her home. Around the corner walked in my uncle in is superb and luxurious dress, reminiscent of 18th century British military fatigues. He said, "I bought the E.T. ride from Universal Studios, but as bringing the whole ride to my home I had them adapt a more suitable version to fit the property. A hangar opened and inside there were four chariots of orange and blue, diamond shaped school buses with their undersides aimed at withholding a V-shaped street. Then in two and two single file order all the classmates of my K-12 years arrived and took seat into the strappings of this 'ride' we were to take. Music played, John Williams even was produced by hologram, and after the ups and downs for several minutes we arrived to what I thought would inevitably be the forest, but rather was what I perceived was a Finnish town. The chariot I was in was stuck in the street, mud, rain, and soot entrenched us. I unbuckled the polyester straps and when I stood I realized that though the seats had built in urinals and toilets they were utterly noiseome to the senses. I followed a local girl to a food mart where I asked how I could find where I was but no one spoke a drop of English.

I corraled the group and told them to wait for me. I followed this girl who seemed quite younger than I to a small apartment in the uppermost floor of a very unsturdy chapel-like home several suburban blocks from our ride. She immediately removed her pants and I saw with my very own eyes that she was hairless and nubile. She insisted that we have a ****, and after I caressed her and complained too that she was far too young, she insisted that the age of consent in Germany was actually 13 yet she was 16. I remember it clearly. The most gigantuous feelings of pleasure as I mended a studio closet for my dining room furniture inside her ripening channel. Eventually after an hour we finished, she offered me a towel and some biscuits, which I consumed joyously.

Upon leaving her home I remembered that she had said we were in Germany, and so I produced a measure of Deutsch that I had been saving in my repetoir for the right moment. As Finnish is not my strongest language I was pleased of this and became instantly popular among the other candidates of our journey. This  E.T. ride is far different than  I remember it having been. Moments later I awoke quickly, a tuft of her black hair on my eiderdown comforter and a veil of tears from the merriment of glee shrouded over my face. After I rolled and balled into the soft feathers of my bedding, I twisted myself again into a knot, and allowed myself to rejoin the soporific treatice I was aiming for.

This is now where I turn off both lamps and go on watching films of a similar style.

Wishing You The Very Best,

Sir Martin Narrod

I keep my family of conscience
I shred my folly of heir
In case of torment or fondness
I never wear underwear.
laura Sep 2018
to be honest -
lots of penises
lots of them
worked out sort of

stepped on a jellyfish
stabbed myself on a broken mirror
by accident
ate a lot of donuts

pet a dog
hung out with cats
hung out with good people
a few of them
hung out with bad people
lots of them

ran away from a boyfriend
complained about nothing
got a lappytoppy finally
complained about trump

cut my hair and its still annoying
me with its definition
fell in love with a girl
then immediately regretted it

that sort of stuff
Pixie Ellis Apr 2018
Dear Cute Boy At The Party,

It was nice meeting you. Again.

I bet you didn’t know you were the first person I ever flirted with. I bet you didn’t know I prepped for this date for a week. I bet you didn’t know how much my heart soared when you asked me out.

Thank you for telling me that I have a cute laugh. Thank you for telling me how much you wanted to see me again before I even left. Thank you for walking me back to the station.

It was nice talking to you.

I know when you complained about the chair, it was just an excuse to sit next to me. I know you want L to like you back. I know you deserve someone who treats you better.

It was nice that you finally messaged me, a week after the party.

But I bet you didn’t know how quickly I accepted the fact I’d never see you again. That I’ve already wrote you two poems and that I’m sat listening to the songs you recommended to me. Thank you for making me realise that the right guy will come along, but not right away. I thought I’d just be that girl at the party who’s name you can’t remember, or face you can’t place, but I was wrong.  

It was nice meeting you.

I‘m excited to see you again next week.

— p.d.e
I went out on a date with cute boy from the party, last night.
Fiona Oct 2017
I'm sorry Mom, for the times I complained,
And for all the unnecessary tears,
I'm sorry Mom, for all the times I yelled,
And for all those wasted years.
I'm sorry Mom, for my stubborn behavior,
And for the times I ran away,
From all of the problems, I didn't feel like facing
Forgive me, Mom, for I was lead astray.
I'm sorry Mom, please show me the door,
I think it's time I leave.
I need to find my own way of life,
and stop destroying yours.
she used to call herself, Laurein
but i love it most calling her, mine
i know it's a bit cheesy,
but she's the love i couldn't define

i tried math
to find the value of her love
but i found indefinite

i tried science
to search and study
how great she is
yet even Einstein complained;
she's more than we could understand

i tried asking GOD...
and was told,
to just hold your hand, tight
with eyes gleaming with contentment and surprise
"love her for the rest of your life,
for the love she have,
is an equation made only for you"
I saw him in the fields as a boy
And he was smiling
Such a tender youth and full of love
For every living thing great and small

The sheep were all around him
And each he fed out of hand
One by one, smiling at his flock
With eyes full of love
And a heart ever giving


I saw him in the market square
And he was smiling
The great teacher
And all those who follow him

The people did flock to see him
And he spoke to them and told stories
He taught the masses, young and old
I saw the shepherd king
When jesus of Nazereth came to market

I saw him in his chains
Lead through the town bruised and ******
Lead by roman jailors toward death
While all around the crowd was in turmoil

He never cried out, nor begged for life
He never moaned, never complained
Even when the raised him up, and nailed him to the cross
His only words were a dying prayer
He was smiling.
Still must I hear?—shall hoarse FITZGERALD bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse?
Prepare for rhyme—I’ll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.

  Oh! Nature’s noblest gift—my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover’s solace, and the Author’s pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which ’twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Our task complete, like Hamet’s shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream
Inspires—our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

  When Vice triumphant holds her sov’reign sway,
Obey’d by all who nought beside obey;
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime,
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime;
When knaves and fools combined o’er all prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale;
E’en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

  Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand.
Still there are follies, e’en for me to chase,
And yield at least amusement in the race:
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed, Pegasus!—ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy!—have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed—older children do the same.
’Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print;
A Book’s a Book, altho’ there’s nothing in’t.
Not that a Title’s sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame.
No matter, GEORGE continues still to write,
Tho’ now the name is veiled from public sight.
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
Not seek great JEFFREY’S, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

  A man must serve his time to every trade
Save Censure—Critics all are ready made.
Take hackneyed jokes from MILLER, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault;
A turn for punning—call it Attic salt;
To JEFFREY go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie,’twill seem a sharper hit;
Shrink not from blasphemy, ’twill pass for wit;
Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic, hated yet caress’d.

And shall we own such judgment? no—as soon
Seek roses in December—ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that’s false, before
You trust in Critics, who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By JEFFREY’S heart, or LAMB’S Boeotian head.
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced,
Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;
To these, when Authors bend in humble awe,
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;
While these are Censors, ’twould be sin to spare;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?
But yet, so near all modern worthies run,
’Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.
Then should you ask me, why I venture o’er
The path which POPE and GIFFORD trod before;
If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.
“But hold!” exclaims a friend,—”here’s some neglect:
This—that—and t’other line seem incorrect.”
What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got,
And careless Dryden—”Aye, but Pye has not:”—
Indeed!—’tis granted, faith!—but what care I?
Better to err with POPE, than shine with PYE.

  Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a POPE’S pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation’s praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people’s, as the poet’s fame.
Like him great DRYDEN poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then CONGREVE’S scenes could cheer, or OTWAY’S melt;
For Nature then an English audience felt—
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire’s self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of now.
The loaded Press beneath her labour groans,
And Printers’ devils shake their weary bones;
While SOUTHEY’S Epics cram the creaking shelves,
And LITTLE’S Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves.
Thus saith the Preacher: “Nought beneath the sun
Is new,” yet still from change to change we run.
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas,
In turns appear, to make the ****** stare,
Till the swoln bubble bursts—and all is air!
Nor less new schools of Poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize:
O’er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevail;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own;
Some leaden calf—but whom it matters not,
From soaring SOUTHEY, down to groveling STOTT.

  Behold! in various throngs the scribbling crew,
For notice eager, pass in long review:
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace,
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race;
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror jostle on the road;
Immeasurable measures move along;
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange, mysterious Dulness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels—may they be the last!—
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast.
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner’s brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why;
While high-born ladies in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Despatch a courier to a wizard’s grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

  Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knight.
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think’st thou, SCOTT! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though MURRAY with his MILLER may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade,
Let such forego the poet’s sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain!
And sadly gaze on Gold they cannot gain!
Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted Muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo’s venal son,
And bid a long “good night to Marmion.”

  These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the Bards to whom the Muse must bow;
While MILTON, DRYDEN, POPE, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed Bays to WALTER SCOTT.

  The time has been, when yet the Muse was young,
When HOMER swept the lyre, and MARO sung,
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,
Without the glory such a strain can give,
As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, content,
On one great work a life of labour spent:
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the Ballad-monger SOUTHEY rise!
To him let CAMOËNS, MILTON, TASSO yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field.
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked BEDFORD for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in Glory’s niche;
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison,
A ****** Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on,
Arabia’s monstrous, wild, and wond’rous son;
Domdaniel’s dread destroyer, who o’erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e’er knew.
Immortal Hero! all thy foes o’ercome,
For ever reign—the rival of Tom Thumb!
Since startled Metre fled before thy face,
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race!
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales;
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville’s, and not so true.
Oh, SOUTHEY! SOUTHEY! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chaunt too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
“God help thee,” SOUTHEY, and thy readers too.

  Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple WORDSWORTH, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend “to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;”
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of “an idiot Boy;”
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the “idiot in his glory”
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.

  Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity’s a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elegize an ***:
So well the subject suits his noble mind,
He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kind.

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would make Parnassus a church-yard!
Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow,
Thy Muse a Sprite, Apollo’s sexton thou!
Whether on ancient tombs thou tak’st thy stand,
By gibb’ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band;
Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page,
To please the females of our modest age;
All hail, M.P.! from whose infernal brain
Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train;
At whose command “grim women” throng in crowds,
And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds,
With “small grey men,”—”wild yagers,” and what not,
To crown with honour thee and WALTER SCOTT:
Again, all hail! if tales like thine may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease:
Even Satan’s self with thee might dread to dwell,
And in thy skull discern a deeper Hell.

Who in soft guise, surrounded by a choir
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta’s fire,
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hushed?
’Tis LITTLE! young Catullus of his day,
As sweet, but as immoral, in his Lay!
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.
Pure is the flame which o’er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns
Yet kind to youth, this expiation o’er,
She bids thee “mend thy line, and sin no more.”

For thee, translator of the tinsel song,
To whom such glittering ornaments belong,
Hibernian STRANGFORD! with thine eyes of blue,
And boasted locks of red or auburn hue,
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick Miss admires,
And o’er harmonious fustian half expires,
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author’s sense,
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence.
Think’st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns in a suit of lace?
Mend, STRANGFORD! mend thy morals and thy taste;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive; thy pilfered harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian Bard to copy MOORE.

Behold—Ye Tarts!—one moment spare the text!—
HAYLEY’S last work, and worst—until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or **** the dead with purgatorial praise,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see “Temper’s Triumphs” shine!
At least I’m sure they triumphed over mine.
Of “Music’s Triumphs,” all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph’d there.

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward
On dull devotion—Lo! the Sabbath Bard,
Sepulchral GRAHAME, pours his notes sublime
In mangled prose, nor e’en aspires to rhyme;
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke,
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch;
And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms,
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

  Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings”
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, still whimpering thro’ threescore of years,
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles!
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls?
Whether them sing’st with equal ease, and grief,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bells,
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse’s hap,
If to thy bells thou would’st but add a cap!
Delightful BOWLES! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
’Tis thine, with gentle LITTLE’S moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere Miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor BOWLES for LITTLE’S purer strain.
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone—but, pausing on the road,
The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode,
And gravely tells—attend, each beauteous Miss!—
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles! in thy memory let this precept dwell,
Stick to thy Sonnets, Man!—at least they sell.
But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe:
If ‘chance some bard, though once by dunces feared,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first,
Have foiled the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets
Zach Gomes Feb 2010
It was warm in Emilio’s backyard,
The site of their game of explorer.
Emilio cleared the overgrowth;
Michael complained.
He was bent over, trying
To have a conversation with the blood lilies,
But he couldn’t hear them
Above the soft sliding hiss sent up by
The passing snake herd.
(Past the Huano palms, Emilio could see them,
Moving like a fleshy woven mattress)
Both boys noticed
The glut of termites
Crawling over their sneakers.
Michael complained more.
How could he explore
Amid so many noisy distractions?
This was when Emilio went inside
To get his father’s gun.
Michael watched as he fired
Three shots
Into the clouds threading the sky.
Both explorers presumed it was the shots
That punctured the clouds and caused the snow;
In the surprising silence of snowfall,
The two boys trotted across the yard,
Catching flakes in their butterfly nets.
Logan Cestare Jan 2019
Sun
She looked at him like he was the sun,
In that she never looked at him,
Except out of frustration.

She complained when he was gone,
But she never looked.

On days he was stronger, she hid from him
On days he was muted, she complained.

She never looked at him until he was leaving,
And in the beauty of the sunset she wondered how,
She'd never seen him before
Found this on Tumblr a while ago, felt I’d share it
Gods1son Sep 2018
I remember...
I was sad because I could only afford four textbooks out of five
Until the best student dropped out of school due to lack of tuition

I was upset because I wasn't served dessert
Until I saw a starving man

I complained my car was manual transmission
Until I saw a guy wishing for a used bicycle

I always wished for a bigger bed
Until I saw a man sleeping on the street

I was demotivated because my job wasn't paying well
Until I saw unemployment rate in other countries

I was ****** with myself when I dislocated my ankle
Until I saw someone without legs

It's definitely good to admire better things but
Appreciate what you have
Because somebody wants just that!
We seldom forget to be grateful and happy with our current state because we are aiming for the next step. We ought to take time and appreciate our growth so far
Madison Sep 2018
The moths followed the little square
Like he was a flame
The little square wrote a book about his despair
And the moths made a proclaim

The little square didn't like us
So he told the moths to find us, "the mess"
He told them to do it without fuss
'Cause without us his garden would be flawless

The moths came out to his garden
They found me and my kind
And pulled us out with a gun
Treating us like we aren't apart of mankind

We were put on trial by them
And thrown into fire
We were shoved into a room by 'em
And gassed because it was "prior"

Occasionally the moths were bored
So they played hangman with us
This was a game that they adored
All we could do was stare at the hanging carcass

They were our friends and family
They were the only medals we had left
We were too broken to be angry
So we ignored the theft

When the moths got rid of us
They went for the most damaged weeds
That often made us anxious
Because of it some did misdeeds

Some couldn't deal with the pain and fear
So those weeds jumped to the birds
On the floor they left a smear
The smears thought jumping would send them homewards

Though we saw death so many times a day
We were still able to eat and treat people with hate
It was because from our god we have gone astray
Maybe because we were all under weight

In our stomachs prowled lions
Our hunger was so severe
If we found stray scraps we would go for the ****
If you went for the food you were a volunteer

One time we ran out of food
So we complained even more
The moths got tired of our complaining mood
So we ran to a new camp door

We were often moved
We went from camp to camp
Of course we all disapproved
On the house that was based by our stamp

On each of our wrist
Was and inky black stamp
It was on the moths checklist
It was our name in each concentration camp

When we were saved from hell
We were all broken weeds
We couldn't even sleep well
But the ones that saved us answered our needs

The ones that saved us helped end the war
And some were normal citizens
Everyday we are grateful for their loving core
Even if we had great differences

Though the Holocaust made us different
And the memories haunt us
It was kind of a movement
Because now people won't walk into war without a fuss
This poem is dedicated to the Jews that suffered from the holocaust
Kareshma Mar 2017
He blew around his Trumpet,
All day and all night

Played no good tune
Just a ***** sound

The workers complained
The women complained
The dark complained
The blind complained

Stop blowing this thing,
You'll never win a Grammy!

Months later,
A crowd clapped to a Grammy winner,
A man and his silly Trump(et)

Popular vote it was
PJ Poesy Apr 2016
She served milk toast on Sunday
She served milk toast on Monday
Milk toast is what you might guess
Milk on toast with sugar and cinnamon
That is all
She served milk toast on Tuesday
That is all
Four of the five complained
She served milk toast on Wednesday
All but one cried, “We hate milk toast!”
She served milk toast on Thursday with tears in her eyes
The littlest one saw his mother’s streaming salty fluid
He said, “Momma, I love milk toast.”
The streams turned into raging rivers
Amongst all the wetness came odd quirks of laughter
Momma mustered everything she could
Next thing out was, ”I’m taking that job Dean”
What could Dad say while he sopped up his milk toast?
That is when Momma went to work for the phone company
They never ate milk toast again
Some days you had no cinnamon.
Victor D López Dec 2018
You were born five years before the Spanish Civil War that would see your father exiled.
Language came later to you than your little brother Manuel. And you stuttered for a time.
Unlike those who speak incessantly with nothing to say, you were quiet and reserved.
Your mother mistook shyness for dimness, a tragic mistake that scarred you for life.

When your brother Manuel died at the age of three from meningitis, you heard your mom
Exclaim: “God took my bright boy and left me the dull one.” You were four or five.
You never forgot those words. How could you? Yet you loved your mom with all your heart.
But you also withdrew further into a shell, solitude your companion and best friend.

You were, in fact, an exceptional child. Stuttering went away at five or so never to return,
And by the time you were in middle school, your teacher called your mom in for a rare
Conference and told her that yours was a gifted mind, and that you should be prepared
For university study in the sciences, particularly engineering.

She wrote your father exiled in Argentina to tell him the good news, that your teachers
Believed you would easily gain entrance to the (then and now) highly selective public university
Where seats were few, prized and very difficult to attain based on merit-based competitive
Exams. Your father’s response? “Buy him a couple of oxen and let him plow the fields.”

That reply from a highly respected man who was a big fish in a tiny pond in his native Oleiros
Of the time is beyond comprehension. He had apparently opted to preserve his own self-
Interest in having his son continue his family business and also work the family lands in his
Absence. That scar too was added to those that would never heal in your pure, huge heart.

Left with no support for living expenses for college (all it would have required), you moved on,
Disappointed and hurt, but not angry or bitter; you would simply find another way.
You took the competitive exams for the two local military training schools that would provide
An excellent vocational education and pay you a small salary in exchange for military service.

Of hundreds of applicants for the prized few seats in each of the two institutions, you
Scored first for the toughest of the two and thirteenth for the second. You had your pick.
You chose Fabrica de Armas, the lesser of the two, so that a classmate who had scored just
Below the cut-off at the better school could be admitted. That was you. Always and forever.

At the military school, you were finally in your element. You were to become a world-class
Machinist there—a profession that would have gotten you well paid work anywhere on earth
For as long as you wanted it. You were truly a mechanical genius who years later would add
Electronics, auto mechanics and specialized welding to his toolkit through formal training.

Given a well-stocked machine shop, you could reverse engineer every machine without
Blueprints and build a duplicate machine shop. You became a gifted master mechanic
And worked in line and supervisory positions at a handful of companies throughout your life in
Argentina and in the U.S., including Westinghouse, Warner-Lambert, and Pepsi Co.

You loved learning, especially in your fields (electronics, mechanics, welding) and expected
Perfection in everything you did. Every difficult job at work was given to you everywhere you
Worked. You would not sleep at night when a problem needed solving. You’d sketch
And calculate and re-sketch solutions and worked even in your dreams with singular passion.

You were more than a match for the academic and physical rigors of military school,
But life was difficult for you in the Franco era when some instructors would
Deprecatingly refer to you as “Roxo”—Galician for “red”-- reflecting your father’s
Support for the failed Republic. Eventually, the abuse was too much for you to bear.

Once while standing at attention in a corridor with the other cadets waiting for
Roll call, you were repeatedly poked in the back surreptitiously. Moving would cause
Demerits and demerits could cause loss of points on your final grade and arrest for
Successive weekends. You took it awhile, then lost your temper.

You turned to the cadet behind you and in a fluid motion grabbed him by his buttoned jacket
And one-handedly hung him up on a hook above a window where you were standing in line.
He thrashed about, hanging by the back of his jacket, until he was brought down by irate Military instructors.
You got weekend arrest for many weeks and a 10% final grade reduction.

A similar fate befell a co-worker a few years later in Buenos Aires who called you a
*******. You lifted him one handed by his throat and held him there until
Your co-workers intervened, forcibly persuading you to put him down.
That lesson was learned by all in no uncertain terms: Leave Felipe’s mom alone.

You were incredibly strong, especially in your youth—no doubt in part because of rigorous farm
Work, military school training and competitive sports. As a teenager, you once unwisely bent
Down to pick something up in view of a ram, presenting the animal an irresistible target.
It butted you and sent you flying into a haystack. It, too, quickly learned its lesson.

You dusted yourself off, charged the ram, grabbed it by the horns and twirled it around once,
Throwing it atop the same haystack as it had you. The animal was unhurt, but learned to
Give you a wide berth from that day forward. Overall, you were very slow to anger absent
Head-butting, repeated pokings, or disrespectful references to your mom by anyone.    

I seldom saw you angry and it was mom, not you, who was the disciplinarian, slipper in hand.
There were very few slaps from you for me. Mom would smack my behind with a slipper often
When I was little, mostly because I could be a real pain, wanting to know/try/do everything
Completely oblivious to the meaning of the word “no” or of my own limitations.

Mom would sometimes insist you give me a proper beating. On one such occasion for a
Forgotten transgression when I was nine, you  took me to your bedroom, took off your belt, sat
Me next to you and whipped your own arm and hand a few times, whispering to me “cry”,
Which I was happy to do unbidden. “Don’t tell mom.” I did not. No doubt she knew.

The prospect of serving in a military that considered you a traitor by blood became harder and
Harder to bear, and in the third year of school, one year prior to graduation, you left to join
Your exiled father in Argentina, to start a new life. You left behind a mother and two sisters you
Dearly loved to try your fortune in a new land. Your dog thereafter refused food, dying of grief.

You arrived in Buenos Aires to see a father you had not seen for ten years at the age of 17.
You were too young to work legally, but looked older than your years (a shared trait),
So you lied about your age and immediately found work as a Machinist/Mechanic first grade.
That was unheard of and brought you some jealousy and complaints in the union shop.

The union complained to the general manager about your top-salary and rank. He answered,
“I’ll give the same rank and salary to anyone in the company who can do what Felipe can do.”
No doubt the jealousy and grumblings continued by some for a time. But there were no takers.
And you soon won the group over, becoming their protected “baby-brother” mascot.

Your dad left for Spain within a year or so of your arrival when Franco issued a general pardon
To all dissidents who had not spilt blood (e.g., non combatants). He wanted you to return to
Help him reclaim the family business taken over by your mom in his absence with your help.
But you refused to give up the high salary, respect and independence denied you at home.

You were perhaps 18 and alone, living in a single room by a schoolhouse you had shared with Your dad.
But you had also found a new loving family in your uncle José, one of your father’s Brothers, and his family. José, and one of his daughters, Nieves and her
Husband, Emilio, and
Their children, Susana, Oscar (Ruben Gordé), and Osvaldo, became your new nuclear family.

You married mom in 1955 and had two failed business ventures in the quickly fading
Post-WW II Argentina of the late 1950s and early 1960s.The first, a machine shop, left
You with a small fortune in unpaid government contract work.  The second, a grocery store,
Also failed due to hyperinflation and credit extended too easily to needy customers.

Throughout this, you continued earning an exceptionally good salary. But in the mid 1960’s,
Nearly all of it went to pay back creditors of the failed grocery store. We had some really hard
Times. Someday I’ll write about that in some detail. Mom went to work as a maid, including for
Wealthy friends, and you left home at 4:00 a.m. to return long after dark to pay the bills.


The only luxury you and mom retained was my Catholic school tuition. There was no other
Extravagance. Not paying bills was never an option for you or mom. It never entered your
Minds. It was not a matter of law or pride, but a matter of honor. There were at least three very
Lean years where you and mom worked hard, earned well but we were truly poor.

You and mom took great pains to hide this from me—and suffered great privations to insulate
Me as best you could from the fallout of a shattered economy and your refusal to cut your loses
Had done to your life savings and to our once-comfortable middle-class life.
We came to the U.S. in the late 1960s after waiting for more than three years for visas—to a new land of hope.

Your sister and brother-in-law, Marisa and Manuel, made their own sacrifices to help bring us
Here. You had about $1,000 from the down payment on our tiny down-sized house, And
Mom’s pawned jewelry. (Hyperinflation and expenses ate up the remaining mortgage payments
Due). Other prized possessions were left in a trunk until you could reclaim them. You never did.

Even the airline tickets were paid for by Marisa and Manuel. You insisted upon arriving on
Written terms for repayment including interest. You were hired on the spot on your first
Interview as a mechanic, First Grade, despite not speaking a word of English. Two months later,
The debt was repaid, mom was working too and we moved into our first apartment.

You worked long hours, including Saturdays and daily overtime, to remake a nest egg.
Declining health forced you to retire at 63 and shortly thereafter you and mom moved out of
Queens into Orange County. You bought a townhouse two hours from my permanent residence
Upstate NY and for the next decade were happy, traveling with friends and visiting us often.

Then things started to change. Heart issues (two pacemakers), colon cancer, melanoma,
Liver and kidney disease caused by your many medications, high blood pressure, gout,
Gall bladder surgery, diabetes . . . . And still you moved forward, like the Energizer Bunny,
Patched up, battered, scarred, bruised but unstoppable and unflappable.

Then mom started to show signs of memory loss along with her other health issues. She was
Good at hiding her own ailments, and we noticed much later than we should have that there
Was a serious problem. Two years ago, her dementia worsening but still functional, she had
Gall bladder surgery with complications that required four separate surgeries in three months.

She never recovered and had to be placed in a nursing home. Several, in fact, as at first she
Refused food and you and I refused to simply let her waste away, which might have been
Kinder, but for the fact that “mientras hay vida, hay esperanza” as Spaniards say.
(While there is Life there is hope.) There is nothing beyond the power of God. Miracles do happen.

For two years you lived alone, refusing outside help, engendering numerous arguments about
Having someone go by a few times a week to help clean, cook, do chores. You were nothing if
Not stubborn (yet another shared trait). The last argument on the subject about two weeks ago
Ended in your crying. You’d accept no outside help until mom returned home. Period.

You were in great pain because of bulging discs in your spine and walked with one of those
Rolling seats with handlebars that mom and I picked out for you some years ago. You’d sit
As needed when the pain was too much, then continue with very little by way of complaints.
Ten days ago you finally agreed that you needed to get to the hospital to drain abdominal fluid.

Your failing liver produced it and it swelled your abdomen and lower extremities to the point
Where putting on shoes or clothing was very difficult, as was breathing. You called me from a
Local store crying that you could not find pants that would fit you. We talked, long distance,
And I calmed you down, as always, not allowing you to wallow in self pity but trying to help.

You went home and found a new pair of stretch pants Alice and I had bought you and you were
Happy. You had two changes of clothes that still fit to take to the hospital. No sweat, all was
Well. The procedure was not dangerous and you’d undergone it several times in recent years.
It would require a couple of days at the hospital and I’d see you again on the weekend.

I could not be with you on Monday, February 22 when you had to go to the hospital, as I nearly
Always had, because of work. You were supposed to be admitted the previous Friday, but
Doctors have days off too, and yours could not see you until Monday when I could not get off
Work. But you were not concerned; this was just routine. You’d be fine. I’d see you in just days.

We’d go see mom Friday, when you’d be much lighter and feel much better. Perhaps we’d go
Shopping for clothes if the procedure still left you too bloated for your usual clothes.
You drove to your doctor and then transported by ambulette. I was concerned, but not too Worried.
You called me sometime between five or six p.m. to tell me you were fine, resting.

“Don’t worry. I’m safe here and well cared for.” We talked for a little while about the usual
Things, with my assuring you I’d see you Friday or Saturday. You were tired and wanted to sleep
And I told you to call me if you woke up later that night or I’d speak to you the following day.
Around 10:00 p.m. I got a call from your cell and answered in the usual upbeat manner.

“Hey, Papi.” On the other side was a nurse telling me my dad had fallen. I assured her she was
Mistaken, as my dad was there for a routine procedure to drain abdominal fluid. “You don’t
Understand. He fell from his bed and struck his head on a nightstand or something
And his heart has stopped. We’re working on him for 20 minutes and it does not look good.”

“Can you get here?” I could not. I had had two or three glasses of wine shortly before the call
With dinner. I could not drive the three hours to Middletown. I cried. I prayed.
Fifteen minutes Later I got the call that you were gone. Lost in grief, not knowing what to do, I called my wife.
Shortly thereafter came a call from the coroner. An autopsy was required. I could not see you.

Four days later your body was finally released to the funeral director I had selected for his
Experience with the process of interment in Spain. I saw you for the last time to identify
Your body. I kissed my fingers and touched your mangled brow. I could not even have the
Comfort of an open casket viewing. You wanted cremation. You body awaits it as I write this.

You were alone, even in death alone. In the hospital as strangers worked on you. In the medical
Examiner’s office as you awaited the autopsy. In the autopsy table as they poked and prodded
And further rent your flesh looking for irrelevant clues that would change nothing and benefit
No one, least of all you. I could not be with you for days, and then only for a painful moment.

We will have a memorial service next Friday with your ashes and a mass on Saturday. I will
Never again see you in this life. Alice and I will take you home to your home town, to the
Cemetery in Oleiros, La Coruña, Spain this summer. There you will await the love of your life.
Who will join you in the fullness of time. She could not understand my tears or your passing.

There is one blessing to dementia. She asks for her mom, and says she is worried because she
Has not come to visit in some time. She is coming, she assures me whenever I see her.
You visited her every day except when health absolutely prevented it. You spent this February 10
Apart, your 61st wedding anniversary, too sick to visit her. Nor was I there. First time.

I hope you did not realize you were apart on the 10th but doubt it to be the case. I
Did not mention it, hoping you’d forgotten, and neither did you. You were my link to mom.
She cannot dial or answer a phone, so you would put your cell phone to her ear whenever I
Was not in class or meetings and could speak to her. She always recognized me by phone.

I am three hours from her. I could visit at most once or twice a month. Now even that phone
Lifeline is severed. Mom is completely alone, afraid, confused, and I cannot in the short term at
Least do much about that. You were not supposed to die first. It was my greatest fear, and
Yours, but as with so many things that we cannot change I put it in the back of my mind.

It kept me up many nights, but, like you, I still believed—and believe—in miracles.
I would speak every night with my you, often for an hour, on the way home from work late at
Night during my hour-long commute, or from home on days I worked from home as I cooked
Dinner. I mostly let you talk, trying to give you what comfort and social outlet I could.

You were lonely, sad, stuck in an endless cycle of emotional and physical pain.
Lately you were especially reticent to get off the phone. When mom was home and still
Relatively well, I’d call every day too but usually spoke to you only a few minutes and you’d
Transfer the phone to mom, with whom I usually chatted much longer.

For months, you’d had difficulty hanging up. I knew you did not want to go back to the couch,
To a meaningless TV program, or to writing more bills. You’d say good-bye, or “enough for
Today” and immediately begin a new thread, then repeat the cycle, sometimes five or six times.
You even told me, at least once crying recently, “Just hang up on me or I’ll just keep talking.”

I loved you, dad, with all my heart. We argued, and I’d often scream at you in frustration,
Knowing you would never take it to heart and would usually just ignore me and do as
You pleased. I knew how desperately you needed me, and I tried to be as patient as I could.
But there were days when I was just too tired, too frustrated, too full of other problems.

There were days when I got frustrated with you just staying on the phone for an hour when I
Needed to call Alice, to eat my cold dinner, or even to watch a favorite program. I felt guilty
And very seldom cut a conversation short, but I was frustrated nonetheless even knowing
How much you needed me and also how much I needed you, and how little you asked of me.  

How I would love to hear your voice again, even if you wanted to complain about the same old
Things or tell me in minutest detail some unimportant aspect of your day. I thought I would
Have you at least a little longer. A year? Two? God only knew, and I could hope. There would be
Time. I had so much more to share with you, so much more to learn when life eased up a bit.

You taught me to fish (it did not take) and to hunt (that took even less) and much of what I
Know about mechanics, and electronics. We worked on our cars together for years—from brake
Jobs, to mufflers, to real tune-ups in the days when points, condensers, and timing lights had Meaning, to rebuilding carburetors and fixing rust and dents, and power windows and more.

We were friends, good friends, who went on Sunday drives to favorite restaurants or shopping
For tools when I was single and lived at home. You taught me everything in life that I need to
Know about all the things that matter. The rest is meaningless paper and window dressing.
I knew all your few faults and your many colossal strengths and knew you to be the better man.

Not even close. I could never do what you did. I could never excel in my fields as you did in
Yours.  You were the real deal in every way, from every angle, throughout your life. I did not
Always treat you that way. But I loved you very deeply as anyone who knew us knows.
More importantly, you knew it. I told you often, unembarrassed in the telling. I love you, Dad.

The world was enriched by your journey. You do not leave behind wealth, or a body or work to
Outlive you. You never had your fifteen minutes in the sun. But you mattered. God knows your
Virtue, your absolute integrity, and the purity of your heart. I will never know a better man.
I will love you and miss you and carry you in my heart every day of my life. God bless you, dad.
silentwoods Aug 2018
Let’s go way back
To a simpler time.
To our very first chapter:
The summer we were nine.

You were too cool,
And I was too shy.
You didn’t really like me,
Sometimes you made me cry.

It didn’t take long
To outgrow that phase.
We developed a bond
In what seemed like two days.

From hiking adventures
To countless sleepovers,
We conquered the world
And saved snapping turtles.

When times became tough,
You knew just what to say.
My pain was your pain,
You made things okay.

You knew my whole heart;
All the grief, all the joys.
We shared endless phone calls
and complained about boys.

Fast forward to now:
We’re on year twenty-two.
Some things may have changed
But our friendship stayed true.

We’re secure on our own
But we’re stronger together.
I thank God for you,
You’re my best friend forever.
Dorothy A Jul 2010
It was the summer of 1954. David Ito was from the only Japanese family we had in our town. I was glad he was my best friend. Actually, he was my only friend. His father moved his family to our small town of Prichard, Illinois when David was only eight years old. That was three years ago.

Only two and a half months apart, I was the older one of our daring duo. I even was a couple inches taller than David was, so that settled it. In spite of being an awkward girl, our differences in age and height made me quite superior at times, although David always snickered at that notion. To me, theses differences were huge and monumental, like the distance of the sun from the moon. To David, that was typical girlish nonsense. He thought it was so like a girl, to try to outdo a boy.  And he should have known. He was the only son of five children, and he was the oldest.

At first, David was not interested in being friends with a girl. But I was Josephine Dunn, Josie they called me, and I was not just any girl. Yet, like David, I did not know if I really liked him enough to be his friend. We started off with this one thing in common.

I knew he was smarter than anybody I ever knew, that is except for my father, a self-taught man. The tomboy that I was, I was not so interested in books and maps, and David was almost obsessed with them. Yet, there was a kindred spirit that ignited us to become close, something coming in between two misfits to make a good match. David was obviously so different from the rest. He came from an entirely different culture, looking so out-of-the-ordinary than the typical face of our Anglo-Saxon, Protestant community, and me, never really fitting in with any group of peers in school, I liked him.

David knew he did not fully fit in. I surely did not fit, either. My brother, Carl, made sure very early on in my life that I was to be aware of one thing. And that one thing was that I did not belong in my family, or really anywhere in life. Mostly, this was because I was not of my father’s first family, but I came after my father’s other children and was the baby, the apple of my father’s eye. But that wasn’t the real reason why Carl hated me.

During World War Two, my father enlisted in the army. He already had two small sons and a daughter to look after, and they already had suffered one major blow in their young lives. They had lost their mother to cancer. Louise Dunn was an important figure in their lives. She was well liked in town and very much missed by her family and friends.
  
Why their father wanted to leave his children behind, possibly fatherless, made no sense to other people. But Jim Dunn came from a proud military family and would not listen to anyone telling him not to fight but rather to stay home with his children. His father fought in the First World War, and three of his great grandfathers fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. It was not like my father to back out of a fight, not one with great principles.  My father was no coward.

Not only did my father leave three small children back home, but a new, young wife. Two years before World War Two ended, he made it back home to his lovely, young wife and family. Back in France, my father was wounded in his right leg. The result of the wound caused my father to forever walk with a limp and the assistance of a cane. It was actually a blessing in disguise what would transpire. He could have easily came home in a pine box. He was thankful, though, that he came away with his life. After recovering for a few months in a French hospital, my father was eager to go home to his family. At least he was able to walk, and to walk away alive.

This lovely, young woman who was waiting for him at home was twenty-year-old Flora Laurent, now Flora Dunn, my mother, and she was eleven years younger than my father. All soldiers were certainly eager to get home to their loved ones. My father was one of thousands who was thrilled to be back on American soil, but his thrill was about to dampen. Once my father laid eyes on his wife again, there was no hiding her highly expanding belly and the overall weight gain showed in her lovely, plump face. She had no excuses for her husband, or any made-up stories to tell him, and there really nothing for her to say to explain why she was in this condition. Simply put, she was lonely.

Most men would have left such a situation, would have gone as far away from it as they possibly could have. Being too ashamed and resentful to stay, they would have washed their hands of her in a heartbeat. Having a cheating wife and an unwanted child on their hands to raise would be too much to bear. Any man, in his right mind, would say that was asking for way too much trouble.  Most men would have divorced someone like my mother, kicked her out, and especially they would hate the child she would be soon be giving birth to, but not my father. He always stood against the grain.

Not only did Jim Dunn forgive his young wife, he took me under his wing like I was his very own. Once I knew he was not my true father, I could never fully fathom why he was not ready to pack me off to an orphanage or dump me off somewhere far away. Why he was so forgiving and accepting made him more than a war hero. It made him my hero. That was why I loved him so much, especially because, soon after I was born, my mother was out of our lives. Perhaps, such a young woman should not be raising three step children and a newborn baby.

My father never mentioned any of the details of my conception, but he simply did his best to love me. He was a tall, very slim and a quiet man by nature. With light brown hair, grey eyes, and a kind face, he looked every bit of the hero I saw him as. He was willing to help anyone in a pinch, and most people who knew him respected him. Nobody in town ever talked about this situation to my father. To begin with, my father was not a talker, and he probably thought if he did talk about it, the pain and shame of it would not go away.

One of my brothers, Nathan, and my sister, Ann, seemed to treat me like a regular sister. Yet, Carl, the oldest child, hated me from the start. As a girl who was six years younger, I never understood why. He was the golden boy, with keen blue eyes and golden, wavy hair, as were Nathan and Ann.  I had long, dark brown hair, which I kept in two braids, with plenty of unsightly brown freckles, and very dark, brown eyes.  Compared to my sister, who was five years older, I never felt like I was a great beauty.

I was pretty young when Carl blurted out to me in anger, “Your mother is a *****!”  I cried a bit, wiped away the tears with my small hands and yelled back, “No, she isn’t!” Of course, I was too young to know what that word meant. When my brother followed that statement up with, “and you are a *******”, I ran straight to my father. I was almost seven years old.

My father scolded Carl pretty badly that day. Carl would not speak to me for months, and that was fine with me. That evening my father sat me upon my knee. “Daddy, what is a *****?” I asked him.

My father gently put his fingers up to my lips to shush me up. He then went into his wallet and showed me a weathered black-and-white photo he had of himself with his arms around my mother. It was in that wallet for some time, and he pulled out the wrinkled thing and placed it in front of me.

My father must have handled that picture a thousand times. Even with all the bad quality, with the wrinkles, I could see a lovely, young lady, with light eyes and dark hair, smiling as she was in the arms of her protector. My father looked proud in the photograph.

He said to me, his expression serious, “whatever Carl or anybody says about your mother, she will always be your mother and I love her for that”. I looked earnestly in his somber, grey eyes. “Why did she go away?” I asked him.

My father thought long and hard about how to answer me. He replied, “I don’t know. She was young and had more dreams in her than this town could hold for her”. He smiled awkwardly and added, “But at least she left me the best gift I could have—you.”  

I would never forget the warmth I felt with my father during that conversation. Certainly, I would never forget Carl’s cruel words, or sometimes the odd glances on the faces of townswomen, like they were studying me, comparing me to how I looked next to my father, or their whispers as the whole family would be out in town for an occasion. It did not happen every day, but this would happen whenever and wherever, when a couple of busybodies would pass me and my father walking down Main Street, or when we went into the ice cream parlor, or when I went with my father to the dime store, and it always made me feel very strange and vaguely sad, like I had no real reason to be sad but was anyway.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


That summer of 1954, I was a bit older, maybe a bit wiser than when Carl first insulted my estranged mother. I was eleven years old, and David was my equal, my sidekick. Feeling less like a kid, I tried not to boss him too much, and he tried not to be too smart in front of me. I held my own, though, had my own intelligence, but my smarts were more like street smarts. After all, I had Carl to deal with.

David seemed destined for something better in life. My life seemed like it would always be the same, like my feet were planted in heavy mud. David and I would talk about the places we would loved go to, but David would mark them on a map and track them out like his plans would really come to fruition. I never liked to dream that big. Sure, I would love to go somewhere exciting, somewhere where I’d never have to see Carl again, or some of the kids at school, but I knew why I had a reason to stay. I respected my father. That is why I did not wish to leave. And David respected his father. That is why he knew he had to leave.

David Ito’s father was a tailor. David’s parents came from Japan, and they hoped for a good life in their new country. Little did they know what would be in store for them. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, their lives, with many other Japanese Americans, were soon turned upside down. David was born in an internment camp designed to isolate Japanese people from the nation once Americans declared war on Germany and their allies. David and I were both born in 1943, and since the war ended two years later, David had no memories of the internment camp experience. Even so, David was impacted by it, because the memories haunted his parents.

There was no getting around it. David and I, as different as we were, liked each other. Still, neither he nor I felt any silly kind of puppy love attraction. David had still thought of girls as mushy and silly, and that is why he liked me. I was not mushy or silly, and I could shoot a sling shot better than he did. David loved the sling shot his parents bought him for his last birthday. They allowed him to have it just as long as he never shot it at anyone.

David Ito, being the oldest child in his family, and the only son, allowed him to feel quite special, a very prized boy for just that reason. Mr. Ito worked two jobs to support his family, and Mrs. Ito took in laundry and cooked for the locals who could not cook their own meals. Mrs. Ito was an excellent cook. Whatever they had to give their children, David was first in line to receive it.

The majority of those in my town of Prichard respected Mr. Ito, at least those who did business with him. He was not only able to get good tailoring business in town, but some of the neighboring towns gave him a bit of work, too. When he was not working in the textile factory, Mr. Ito was busy with his measuring tape and sewing machine.  

Even though Mr. Ito gained the respect of the townspeople, he still was not one of us. I am sure he knew it, too. Yet Mr. Ito lived in America most of his life. He was only nine-years-old when his parents came here with their children. Like David, Mr. Ito certainly knew he was Japanese. The mirror told him that every day. But he also knew felt an internal tug-of war that America was his country more than Japan was, even when he was proud of his roots, even though he was once locked up in that camp, and even when some people felt that he did not belong here.

If David was called an unkind name, I felt it insulted, too, for our friendship meant that much to me. How many times I got in trouble for fighting at school! My father would be called into the principal’s office, and I was asked by Mr. Murray to explain why I would act in such an undignified way. “They called David a ***** ***”, I exclaimed. “David is my friend!”

Because David and I were best buddies, we heard lots of jeering remarks. “Josie loves a ***! Josie loves a ***!” some of the children taunted. And Carl, with his meanness, loved to be head of the line to pick on us. He once said to me, “It figures that the only friend you can get is a scrawny ***!”

In spite of my troubles at school, Father greatly admired David and his father, and he thought that David and I were good for each other’s company. Mr. Ito greatly respected my father, in return, not only for his business but because my dad could fix any car with just about any problem. Jim Dunn was not only a brilliant man, in my eyes, but the best mechanic in town. When Mr. Ito needed work done on his car, my father was right there for him. It was an even exchange of paid work and admiration.

Both my father and David’s father felt our relationship was harmless. After all, everyone in David’s family knew and expected that he would marry a nice Japanese girl. There was no question about it. Where he would find one was not too important for a boy of his age. Neither of us experienced puberty yet and, under the watchful eye of my father, we would just be the best of buddies.

David pretended like the remarks said about him never bothered him, but I knew differently. I knew he hated Carl, and we avoided him as much as possible. David was nothing like me in this respect—he was not a fighter. Truly, he did not have a fighting bone in his body, not one that picked up a sword to stab it in the heart of someone else. It was not that David was not brave, for he was, but he knew the ugliness of war without ever even having to go to battle. Nevertheless, he used his intellect to fight off any of the racist remarks made about him or his family. He had to face it—the war had only ended nine years prior and a few of the war veterans in town fought in the Pacific.      

Because of the taunts David had experienced in school, I was not surprised what David’s father had in store for his beloved son.  Mr. Ito could barely afford to send one child to private school, but he was about to send one. David was about to be that child. When David told me that when school resumed he would be going to a boy’s school in Chicago, my heart sank. Why? Why did he have to go? I would never see him again!

“You will see me in the summer”, he reassured me. He looked at me as I tried to appear brave. I sat cross-legged on the grass and stared straight ahead like I never even heard him. I had a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit, and my lips felt like they were quivering.

We were both using old pop bottles for target practice. They sat in a row on an old tree stump shining in the evening sun. David was shooting at them with his prized slingshot. I had a makeshift one that I created out of a tree branch and a rubber band.

“You won’t even remember me”, I complained.

“I will to”, he insisted. “I remember everything.”

“Oh, sure you will”, I said sarcastically. “You’ll be super duper smart and I will just be a dummy”. In anger, I rose up my slingshot, and I hit all three bottles, one by one, then I threw the slingshot to the ground. David missed all the shots he took earlier.

David threw his slingshot down, too. “For being a girl, you are pretty smart!” he shouted. “You are too smart for your own good! The reason I like you is because you are better than anyone I ever met in my entire life. Well…not better than my parents, but you are the neatest girl I ever knew in my life!”

For a while, we didn’t talk. We just sat there and let the warm, summer breeze do our talking for us. I pulle
copywrited 2010
Kagey Sage Dec 2013
Dear God we need to leave this town, friends!
Please don't let me abandon you all here
shivering in underemployment
The West is calling with a Daniel "BOOM,"
the South whispers in a mountain mama window pat
Other countries laugh at us,
but will we join their jeers,
show them we are not just circus bears?
Multi-national parasites,
we're too trivially divided to terminate
O God, how my leisure hours went,
so much faster than the work room's ones
without any vent
I complained and complained
to my friends and fam on the phone,
but the time just spiraled stagnant
like a slow spirit taking six thousand years to explore a too small habitat
I haven't got nearly so long.
Ayad Gharbawi Jan 2010
The Story Of Sara

Chapter 7

Ayad Gharbawi


Chapter 7: GETTING A JOB AS A PSYCHIATRIST



At around this time, I realized, that I was living with Sanji and I still wasn't working, and so, that dear soul was having to work overtime in order to take care of me.
  I swear Sanji never complained; not even a ****** hint – but, I to my embarrassment, I realized this fact!
  "Sanji I just want to tell you I'm so sorry for not working; I just want to,"
  "Don't worry, Sara; you've been under stress and so I can understand. You've needed time to emotionally recuperate from the traumas of the recent past."
  "Yes, but stress or no stress, it's high time to work again. Don't forget, Sanji, I've got a psychiatry degree?!"
  "And, work will do you good. It will be a good source of distraction. Get your minds off this whole subject of the party, guilt, Omar and God knows what else!"
  "You're absolutely right, Sanji. Tomorrow, I'll be looking for any vacancies.
  I felt happy; I felt that finally I was going to be useful again.
  After all those years working for the party and feeling that I was being 'useful' and then discovering to my horror that I had been of absolutely no 'use', now I can say that I shall be useful to society.
  I will be respectable again.
  I will have a sense of direction in my life.
  A clear sense of where I'm going with my life, rather than just drifting like a jellyfish in the ocean.


  Sure enough, the next day I set off for the job centre, and applied for any vacancies for a psychiatry post.
  Within days, I received an offer for an interview at my local hospital.
  I was to be interviewed by Dr. Tajim, who was the Head of the Psychiatric Department at my local hospital.
  I went to the department, and there I met Dr. Tajim who was to interview me.
  Obviously, I was tense.
  "Good morning; how are you Ms. Sara?" said the elderly doctor.
  He looked frightening.
  "Very well, thank you," I replied.
  He was about sixty five; a bit overweight, and as I looked at him more closely, I pleasantly discovered that he had a really pleasant face and gently inquisitive eyes.
  I relaxed.
  I totally misjudged the character of this kind man!
  He wasn't at all overbearing, or stiff or cold; in fact, he was a very welcoming old gentleman, and he made you feel utterly comfortable with him, so all your nervousness simply dissipated!
  I had heard that one of his own sons was suffering from depression and that he was in a hospital.
I also had heard, that that fact really affected him a lot, and, at times, it seemed to emotionally exhaust him; and, yet he would persevere and he was known to be really loving, compassionate and deadly serious in his efforts to help not only his son, but all his patients to get over their depression.
  "Now, you do know what the job offer is about?" asked the soft spoken doctor.
  "Yes Sir; I am to be a psychologist for patients who are in Category 'C'."
  "I see, and you do know who are patients in Category 'C'?"
  "Yes, Sir. They are patients with mild to severe depression."
  "Good, that's correct. Do you have experience in working with depressed patients?"
  I thought for a quick moment.
  I couldn't lie.
  "No, Dr. Tajim; I have no experience, but I wish you would give me the chance to prove myself."
  "But that is rather strange. You are twenty eight years old, and you graduated age twenty one – so, the obvious question, is what were you doing in those intervening years?"
What am I supposed to do here? I needed Sanji to be with me. How can I tell Dr. Tajim that I was 'working' with so-called 'political parties''? I couldn't. He would never employ me if I told him which 'party' I had been working for. If I had worked for a decent, respectable party, then presumably, he would have had no problems with me, but working Tony and Omar?!


  I had to lie.
  Lie to survive!
"Dr. Tajim, during those intervening years, I worked on a voluntary basis for charities broad, helping the sick."
  "I see, that's interesting; where did you work, and what exactly did you do for the sick?"
  Great!
  Now I had to dig the hole of lies even deeper!
  What else can I do?
  Tell him that I was joking and that I never really worked abroad? Of course not, that would make me a fool.
  I really didn't want to lie.
  But what choice did God give me?
  "Yes, Sir. I worked in Uganda, in a village called Sanji", my God, of all names that came to my mind, I couldn't think of anything else except Sanji's name! "Yes, and there in that humble village, I acted as a nurse for the sick, in a really small infirmary."
  "Sanji?" Dr. Tajim asked, narrowing his eyes with incredulity.
  "Yes, Sir; as far as I remember, the village was called Sanji, but you know the odd thing about rural Uganda, is just how one village can have so many different names, since each tribe would have their own names, that differed from other tribes. So, you must excuse me, it was a little bit confusing."
  Rural Uganda!
  What on earth was I talking about!


  And did Dr. Tajim actually believe me?
  I was insecure, because I had no idea if Dr. Taji actually believed the lies I was saying.
  "I see; I ask because Sanji is not quite an African name."
  "Yes, Dr. Tajim; indeed, I may be completely wrong, but, as I say, there were so many languages in Uganda, that it was really difficult to communicate with anyone."
  God knows what I was saying!
  I was just saying whatever came out of my mind!
  "I see. Yes, there are different languages in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. But, I never knew that names of towns and villages would change, and certainly, no African tribe would give an African village 'Sanji' as a name. But anyway, maybe, as you say, the name may not have been 'Sanji'. Anyway, where did you get your training as a nurse?"
  Relief!
  Oh yes, but now I had to create another lie, in order to explain where I got my 'training' from.
I was getting deeper into this lying game.
  But I couldn't now worry about the morality of that.
  I had to come up, with an immediate answer to his pertinent question.
  "You see, Dr. Tajim, I went as a volunteer to rural Uganda, to help build homes and help women in their daily lives, and the next thing I know, is when the local doctor asked me for help. When I informed him that I wasn't a nurse, he said he would teach me. I soon learned the basic first aid medicine that was required. I guess, that I could be useful in the hospital in that sense too."
  "I see, Ms. Sara."
  Finally, Dr. Tajim paused, giving me time to think of what else he may ask me about my 'time' in 'rural Uganda'.
  "I see," he repeated, looking confused.
  Strange I thought, but this doctor would start every sentence with 'I see'.
  "So, for all those intervening years, you remained in this one village?"
  "Um, why yes, Dr. Tajim. I did spend all my time in Saji. Is that so strange?"
  My God, I called the non-existing village 'Saji', rather than 'Sanji'.
  Would he notice?
  "I see, but, I mean, as a volunteer, didn't your superiors relocate you to another village, or to another country, in all those seven or so years?"  
  I couldn't understand why Dr. Tajim was surprised at the time, which goes to show what a poor liar I was.
  Of course, later I would learn, that volunteers to Third World countries would get stationed in not more than a year or two in any country – let alone one tiny village!
  But, for that moment, I could only go on with my lies.


  "Yes, Dr. Tajim. I was posted for that village all those years."
  I simply stuck to my lie.
  Defend your lies, or else you drown.
  "I see, how strange. And now you are permanently back here?"
  "Yes, Sir."
  "I see," said Dr. Taji, looking uncomfortable.
  Silence, as he turned his attention to the papers on his desk.
   I felt that he was simply going to call me a complete 'liar' and to get out of his office.
  "Well, I shall get in touch with you. Give me a few days to get to a decision."
  "Thank you Dr. Tajim. I hope you will just give me a chance to prove to you, Sir, that I shall be really good at my job."
  What a surprise!
  With that, I got up and headed for the door.
  "Ms. Sara!" Dr. Tajim asked.
  "Yes, Sir?"
  I hope I didn't look nervous or startled.
  "Yes, before I forget, do send me by email the relevant documents from your charity organisation that gives me the official notification of your time you worked for them. Like a Letter of Recommendation from them."
  Yes, now I was startled.
  I know the colour of my face must have turned red.
   Where on earth would I be able to get any document from any charity organisation?!
  I felt that I was now caught!
  Was I going to be caught for lying?
  "No problem, Dr. Tajim," that's what came out of my mouth. And I found myself leaving Dr. Tajim's office.


  As soon as I was a safe distance from the hospital, I began to think once more: how can I forge documents that are supposed to be from a charity organisation? And, even if I did forge them with some expert computer person, wouldn't Dr. Tajim simply call the telephone number of the charity organisation and enquire about me, and then he would obviously be told that I had never worked for them, let alone having me fly off to Uganda?!
  Back at home, I sat down, and realized there was no exit.
  I lied and so now I must take the risk that Dr. Tajim simply would not call the charity organisation.
  I would choose one of the biggest organizations who would have hundreds of thousands of volunteers, and even if he did check, I could say that their computers get it wrong! They didn't register my name because they have so many volunteers!
  But, no, that's stupid of me.
  If I supposedly worked for seven years for one organization, then they would obviously have my name in their computer files.
  I was being stupid.
  Too rash.
  No, that's it.  
  I lied and so I must take the consequences.
  I would risk it.

  Well, I did forge a charity organization letterhead, and I wrote that I did 'serve' for seven years in rural Uganda.
  Next, I scanned the document, and had it sent by email to Dr. Tajim.
  To my complete surprise, within a few days, I got an official letter from Dr. Tajim's secretary, saying that I was accepted by the psychiatric unit in the hospital!
  I was so thrilled, that to be honest, I couldn't in the least be bothered about my lies!
  I was now going to be a useful member of society!
  At last!
  I was going to be a worthy, decent, respectable person!

**************

  As I got to work in the Psychiatric Department in the hospital, they began almost secretarial tasks to do. I would get 'introduced' to the depressed patients and, gradually, I was allowed more and more time to talk to the patients.
  I was really happy and pleased with myself, because I felt that I was, at last a 'respectable' person.
  For the first time since I had left, or rather since I was expelled from the party, I felt proud of myself; and perhaps, most importantly to me, was the feeling that I knew where my life was going.
  I would walk anywhere and, when asked, what I did for a living, I proudly reply that I was a doctor in the Psychiatric Department in our local hospital.

  It was at this time that I was watching television in Sanji's apartment, when the latter walked in and said:
  "You are not going to believe who is with me!"
  "Judging from the excitement on your face, it must be someone very important." I replied casually.
  "Yes, yes; so guess who?" asked Sanji.
  "Oh God, Sanji how am I to know? The Prime Minister perhaps?" I answered sarcastically.
  The next thing I know was that none other than Tony walked in!
  My goodness me! I was absolutely shocked and awed by his presence!
  What was Tony doing here?!
  This was the first time I had seen him since I left his party and joined Omar's party.
  And, I guess, he must have just left prison, because, it had been about one year, since I heard that he was prosecuted by our courts.
  He had changed a little bit.
  He was much fatter – which, I thought was a bit odd, since he had been in prison, and I thought that everyone in prison gets to lose weight!
  He looked older than his years. He had dark rings below his eyes, and for the first time in my life, I was really surprised, to find out, that he looked utterly dull, weary and tired.
  He seemed to have lost all that will power, charisma and charm.
  They were no longer part of his personality.
  "What are you doing here?" I managed to ask Tony.
  "And why not? Why shouldn't I be here?" he answered smartly.
  I got confused all over again.


After all, what had happened to him since our entire movement collapsed?
  I never thought about what happened to Tony, or Omar for that matter.
  Selfishly, I just thought about myself.
  That was typical of me.
  "You look dazed, Sara," said Tony laughing. "Is my appearance that shocking to you?!"  He joked.
  "No, not at all." I regained my composure, or at least, I tried to regain my composure. "It's just that, I never did understand, or know, what really happened to our movement? And what happened to you Tony?"
"Sara is confused about the entire movement." Sanji said to Tony.
  "Well, what happened is actually quite simple," said Tony, "the new government decided to take legal action against us for the first time. Previously, every government never even took us seriously enough to warrant a concerted attack to eliminate us. To them, we were just clowns."
  I was shocked.
  "Clowns? What do you mean Tony? What do you mean previous governments did not take us seriously? Of course they took us seriously; Tony, we were in a state of war, remember? What's happened to your memory? We were fighting battle after,"
  "Let me interrupt you, Sara; but you are so utterly naïve and blind that I just do not know how to face you with the facts."
  What do you mean? What are you talking about?" I asked frantically.
  Suddenly all those memories from the party days returned to me; for the moment I completely forgot that I was a doctor at the Psychiatric Unit; Tony had re-opened all my memories, anxieties and unanswered questions concerning those years.
  "Relax Sara, don't let your emotions take over your rational mind," Sanji said. "That's always been your problem. You simply allow your wildest emotions to highjack the rational part of your mind. I mean, you're supposed to be a psychiatrist and yet, you are so utterly impulsive in your thinking and in the actions you take."
  I knew Sanji was completely right. He was so rational and calm.
  "What 'battles' are you talking about Sara?" asked a perplexed Tony.
  Sanji laughed. "That's a good question Tony, go on, and ask her that one!"


  Tony joined Sanji laughing.
&n
Trevon Haywood Apr 2016
After days of hot sun, down came the rain,
It watered the garden, and flowed down the drain.
In less than five hours, the month’s quota met,
The news had reported, a record was set.

The drink was welcomed, by the parched earth,
Ending the dry spell, experienced by Perth.
But soon people complained, about getting wet,
They wanted the sun, how soon they forget.

We’re never satisfied, with what we get,
It’s too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet.
We want 24 degrees, with sky that is blue,
And rain for an hour, in the morning at two.

We should be grateful, for the sun and the rain,
Make the most out of it all, and do not complain.
when things do happen, which we can’t control,
Leave it in his hands, it’s part of his goal.

Bill Hoeneveld. 4/26/2016.
I stand there and smile and check them in
I answer all of their stupid questions with a pleasant grin
8 hours of this then I'll be free
None of these people care how they treat me
Their snotty and rude and make a mess
I've never behaved this way while being a hotel guest
They turn up their nose's and spend money all week
Then when it comes to the bill they want to be cheap
A discount here a discount there
And when I say, "No", they grit their teeth and stare
They yell loud and scream like I will bend or cry
Thanks to the survellience camera I have an alibi
In my head I start to wonder
"Isn't this the guest that asked for a plunger?"
"He's complained about the food and our lovely staff."
"He's dissing our lamps and even our town maps."
"Then he comes to the front desk to fuss and cuss."
"He's pointing his fingers and having a fit."
"Yuk! He's talking so fast his mouth is collecting spit."
I decided that was it I had enough
Working in the service industry is tough
But all I could do was stand there and smile
And this is what played in my head all the while
When people start to scream and shout
This is what I do to tune them out...............

This is a test of the Emergency ******* System.
This is only a test
*insert sound here
Megan Mae Feb 2013
Staring at a photograph,
And I wonder if its wrong.
What the heck were we?
We definitely weren't friends,
We most totally weren't enemies
But still i can't get over the stare
This single photo holds.

Staring at this photograph,
Why the hell did i keep it?
You never talk to me,
You obviously ignore my pleas ...
You probably find me annoying -
Just like the rest of those you'd
Complained about that one night.

Staring at this photograph,
Was that all we were?
Just that one night where
You were human enough
To make me smile and forget.
But how the hell can I pretend
That night simply didn't exist?

Staring at this photograph,
I wonder where I went wrong.
I thought  you were human enough
That you saw through the facade.
I figured you weren't a zombie of the pack
That you thought on your own.
And now here you are joining the herd
That you had complained about that one night.

Staring at this photograph,
Your eyes eat my soul.
How i would have done anything you asked,
Just the idea of you smiling was enough.
But what I would have given to get
Even just a hug from you, your arms
Around me, reminding me that i'm real.
But apparently I am as invisible now
As I felt back then.

Staring at this photograph,
I simply want to scream.
I dont' know why it bothers me,
You didn't do anything of importance
You didn't change my life...Did you?
You came during a weak point
And just two hours with you made me
Even stronger then I thought I'd ever be.

Staring at this photograph,
I wonder what I saw in you.
You are just a painting -
You seem so full of realistic emotion,
So sympathetic and understanding,
Open and kind. But you're a huge lie.
You're just like the rest of them,
Go ahead, conform and belong.

Staring at this photograph,
It all seems silly to me.
You're the book who's cover screams
"I'm the best, READ ME!"
While only to get a chapter in
And find you've wasted everything.
You're that kind of guy.

Staring at this photograph,
I then look at the words i write.
Do I really mean them? Am I that mean?
What do i hold against you other
Then the disappointment of what
Never was meant to be?
You were perfect, you were angelic,
You were what every girl wanted.
Why am I mad at you?

Staring at this photograph,
I'm left realizing...
The thorn in my side of what I
Believe you mean to me.
The fact that you so obviously ignore.
I call out simplistically, just wanting to
Connect to a familiar past time.
But you so Obviously Ignore each echo
And pretend you don't see, or hear.

Staring at this photograph,
I'm choking on the words.
You meant so much to me back then
And now you're just a bruise needing
Tending. Simplistically enough you're
Old news. You're a frustration of the past.
And now I'm realizing that you're
Absolutely nothing to me.

I'm reading once this poem,
On a photo i had obsessed over,
Finding it just a pretty face,
A pair of beautiful eyes that
Used to make me feel whole-
Now make me feel empty inside.
Steal my soul those eyes do...
So while reading this poem aloud
On a photo i had once obsessed,
I hold it to the flame and Burn it away.



Staring at this photograph,
It now bursting in flames.
The past doesn't bother me anymore
I feel released from  its chains.
I might be haunted later,
Truly this i'll admit,
For those eyes do taunt...
For a road not taken, choice not made,
But it's not mine to make, not mine to take
You're the one who missed it
And i just have to get over
The simple idea of you -


A frustration of the Past
- From Slipping Heart
bobby burns Feb 2015
in the somatic nervous system,
acetylcholine (ACh) stimulates skeletal muscle, causing contraction

action potentials
in the 8am physio lecture,
the biggest on campus
crammed with nursing majors,
and health science hankerers,
public health preachers,
OT saints and angels

amino acid NTs: glutamate (+) GABA (-) aspartate (+) glycine (-)

the prof wrote on a distant whiteboard
too many complained about being lost
she made a joke about feeding *******
to mice for her neuroscience research

amines: serotonin (-) dopamine (-/+) norepinephrine (+/-) epinephrine (+)

STEM-dominated
when i'm just looking
to drop my roots
and press that
good earth into
the spaces between
my toes and
under my nails

but the grounds are a garden
of biodiversity from clippings
gathered by migrant habit-clad
founders more than a century ago

the soil is fertile            it is temperate
there are water filters in most residences

there is enough here for me
*(+) stimulatory (-) inhibitory (+/-) stimulatory or inhibitory depending on the type of receptor to which it binds.

there are two types of summation: spatial and temporal.

in spatial summation, many presynaptic neurons fire to a singular postsynaptic neuron.
in temporal summation, a single presynaptic neuron fires sequentially to a postsynaptic neuron.
Savannah Becker Jan 2014
Toilet paper

I love you so much, toilet paper
And all of the things that you do
I love it so much when you dry my tears
Or cleanse my bottom of poo

Sometimes it hurts when I see
just how much you've changed
How your wonderful, glorious white
For brown you have exchanged

You are like a sister
A best friend or a mom
You helped me with my makeup
When I was readying for prom

You have never once complained
When I've torn you apart
You never once
seemed disappointed
When I didn't poo-but ****

My greatest wishes to you
Mr. Toilet Paper Man
You have never let me down
Since **** had hit the fan.
Travis Green Aug 2018
I listened to the soft sounding consonants
rise above my foster home, swirling against
exuberant trees and iridescent leaves falling
in twisting rhythms on the scratchy gray pavement,
an indication of distant metaphors flickering with
no sound, a slow spiraling square root evaporating
into thin dust, as I gazed at the overlooking sun, how
its shining depiction cried for validation, scorching
light, harsh vowels twirling around galloping clouds
trying to discover perfection.  There was the crumbling
landscape lost in the background, shifting in smaller
silences and flaming depths, filled with complex thoughts
and stumbling languages.  As I sat on the silent steps
watching the various figures fade into each other, streetlights
and skyscrapers, scurrying pedestrians and corner stores,
my stained blue eyes crammed and slammed, drowned
and pounding, dying every second when I realize the essence
of reality, the way it burns bright throughout the night sunken
its own intensifying flames, endless shapes disguised in anger
and pain, like a raging moon vanishing away never to be seen
again, like a vicious galaxy burning everything in its past to
a satisfying defeat.  My heart is cracking and splitting in
expressionless puzzles, a puddle of solo soapsuds, a scraped
brick building resembling shattered walls, scrawny hands hung
in smeared surfaces, stuck in a blob of yellow paint scrubbing
away its flawless scenery, leaking subjects and predicates scattered
in misaligned pages, wet alleyways branching into quivering caves,
while I reminisce on memories of my mother, the way she used to
hold me in her arms, every touch of her thin fingers pressed
against my waist, its magical rhythm traveling around
my beautiful body, rushing down my angled spine.  I could
feel her smooth skin sinking into my ochre-tanned flesh,
how she embodied every glorious kingdom, a crowned queen
draped in extravagance, how the bright hues in her frame
made me feel all the serenity within the world, so magnificent,
igniting every imagination inside my being.  She was my hero,
a glorious gem that gleamed like an array of galaxies surrounding
earth and Saturn, a melanin masterpiece purifying the atmosphere,
a wheeling instrument strumming its enchanting melody across the horizon.  She worked hard all the time, trying to make my dreams come true.  Most nights she would grab a second job to make sure the bills were paid.  She never complained or grew tired.  She was determined that I would be somebody and make a difference in the world.  She was the inspiring teacher sitting on the floor beside the living room chair, demonstrating how to solve an equation, how to disentangle the numbers and simplify it into its equalizing state., the way she would educate my mind and unwind the questions in my brain, the way she showed me the value of an honest living, letting it seep inside my soul until I could breathe in the definition of a true man.  Now I can see how the warm days drift away into restless nights, how the hummingbirds that soar past my sight remind me that she is never coming back, the way the sinking flowers stand in confusion, crying rosebuds, trembling petals, stripped stems roaming in loneliness.
Hard light bathed them-a whole nation of eyeless men,
Dark bipeds not aware how they were maimed. A long
Process, clearly, a slow curse,
Drained through centuries, left them thus.

At some transitional stage, then, a luckless few,
No doubt, must have had eyes after the up-to-date,
Normal type had achieved snug
Darkness, safe from the guns of heavn;

Whose blind mouths would abuse words that belonged to their
Great-grandsires, unabashed, talking of light in some
******'d, etiolated,
Fungoid sense, as a symbol of

Abstract thoughts. If a man, one that had eyes, a poor
Misfit, spoke of the grey dawn or the stars or green-
Sloped sea waves, or admired how
Warm tints change in a lady's cheek,

None complained he had used words from an alien tongue,
None question'd. It was worse. All would agree 'Of course,'
Came their answer. "We've all felt
Just like that." They were wrong. And he

Knew too much to be clear, could not explain. The words --
Sold, ***** flung to the dogs -- now could avail no more;
Hence silence. But the mouldwarps,
With glib confidence, easily

Showed how tricks of the phrase, sheer metaphors could set
Fools concocting a myth, taking the worlds for things.
Do you think this a far-fetched
Picture? Go then about among

Men now famous; attempt speech on the truths that once,
Opaque, carved in divine forms, irremovable,
Dear but dear as a mountain-
Mass, stood plain to the inward eye.

— The End —