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I am loud,
Demanding attention.
I know when I am being charming
Because I try.
I put on my impressing face
And do my impressing hair
And speak my impressing words.
I tell you my embarrassing drinking stories
And everything else about me
That you probably shouldn’t know.

I am not good at being quiet
Because that’s not who I am.
I am not the sweet girl
Who will leave you with a smile
And a touch
And a glance
Or a single word.
There is nothing of this fashion of romance
About me.

I am the girl who will point out your flaws,
And take you outside to see the stars,
And remind you how human you are,
And what a wonderful thing that is.

I am the girl who will talk about science,
And music and theology and history,
And point out constellations, laughing,
When you don’t know the big dipper’s name.

I am the girl who will make witty references,
To classic literature and science fiction,
And will tell you stories of how I once,
Made a gingerbread replica of a lighthouse.

I am the girl who will stand on a table,
And sing at the top of my lungs on the highway,
And act like a chicken or quail or velociraptor,
Or nuzzle your face like a lion to make a point.

I am the girl who takes too many shots
And then coaxes you to bed on a Russian liver,
And knows all the right places to bite, and tease,
And follows with exceptionally coherent pillow-talk.

I am not a thin silk scarf on the wind.
I am not a thing hard to capture.
You would not spend a perilous journey
Through a wild, perfumed jungle,
Searching for my slender garments
Hung beside a pool
As I wail to the breeze.

Rather, I am the bird who flies overhead
Making too much noise
Distracting from the trail ahead.
A bird whose plumage proves
What an interesting life it must be…
What a colorful life for me…
Perpetually strange
The lone comic relief.

I am many things.
But I am not quiet.
Of this I am sure.
09/07/12




A personal statement.
Terrifying are the attent sleek thrushes on the lawn,
More coiled steel than living - a poised
Dark deadly eye, those delicate legs
Triggered to stirrings beyond sense - with a start, a bounce,
a stab
Overtake the instant and drag out some writhing thing.
No indolent procrastinations and no yawning states,
No sighs or head-scratchings. Nothing but bounce and stab
And a ravening second.

Is it their single-mind-sized skulls, or a trained
Body, or genius, or a nestful of brats
Gives their days this bullet and automatic
Purpose? Mozart's brain had it, and the shark's mouth
That hungers down the blood-smell even to a leak of its own
Side and devouring of itself: efficiency which
Strikes too streamlined for any doubt to pluck at it
Or obstruction deflect.

With a man it is otherwise. Heroisms on horseback,
Outstripping his desk-diary at a broad desk,
Carving at a tiny ivory ornament
For years: his act worships itself - while for him,
Though he bends to be blent in the prayer, how loud and
above what
Furious spaces of fire do the distracting devils
**** and hosannah, under what wilderness
Of black silent waters weep.
Tanya Louise Jul 2018
thoughts in endless swirling
like a storm
and un-rhythmic beats of my chest
distract me
i should be listening
but my head is lost
far, far gone
deep, deep it's sunk
maybe its your stupid smile
or your uneven words
i should be listening
but the sparks are distracting
oh,
they'll surely be a second date
Jay M Wong Feb 2013
1:1
Stop. Who’s there? Tis clock strikes twelve,
brings thy Horatio to seek tis specter from hell,
In Denmark, something is rotting in thy state,
In Norway, unimprovèd mettle hot and full awaits,
Tis specter arrives to arouse confusion and fear,
but to treat it violence and majestic threat,
thy specter departs as the ****’s crow drew near,  
leaving the blows of malicious mockery to regret.
And for Hamlet may speak to the wandering soul,
Tis morning to Hamlet must the three a’go.

1:2
Claudius, thy Uncle, is crowned King a’last,
Gertrude, thy Mother, hastily marries a’fast.
With duties done, Laertes to France adieu,
Hamlet griefs thy Father’s death and thy Mother’s dine,
for once a Hyperion to now a satyr is Uncle to Father a’new,
is but now a little more than kin and less than kind.
Horatio brings poor Hamlet the fatherly news,
that King Hamlet’s specter is now a’loose.
The joyous Hamlet is but joyous to see,
the two month father, dead and decease,
but for he calls that foul deeds will foully arise.
He hurries to the heavenly site prior sunrise.

1:3
Laertes to Ophelia, a brother to sister, he warns,
that Hamlet is but a fiery lover and to love he sworn,
but to love now is but not the future,
for Hamlet’s fire may, thy mind unpure,
for his lovely vows are not to believe,
he is but a man of deception to conceive.
For when Laertes departs, Polonius rants,
that Hamlet’s love, Ophelia must recant
for his affections and fashions are but false wows,
for when blood burns, lends the tongue false vows.

1:4
Shrewdly the air bites, nipping and eager,
at Horatio and Hamlet thy specter nears.
To speak alone, it beckons so,
But Horatio to Hamlet speaks no,
for may it draw thy madness and strip thy reason,
but to thee specter does Hamlet go,
for thy life is but a’lacking living reason.
Aback do they hold him most,
but Hamlet, his sword he wields
Fate has brought him here, he feels
To hold him back is but to turn a’ghost

1:5
Revenge, does his heavenly father speak,
of tis horrid ****** of unnatural feat.
For the orchard’s snake, wears thy father’s crown
and ****** thy gracious Queen, whose now evil abound.
With dignity and devotion she loved me so,
but tis sinful ******, Hamlet, you must’a know!
Through my ears, a venomous potion he drew,
thy fair Uncle, Claudius that potion he brew.
Abed, my life he ended this night,
And to my crown and Queen took he a’flight.
For thy dearest father, revenge must thy draw
upon thy villainous head, Claudius must fall
And to thy sword thou dearest friends must swear,
to tell not the occasions of this night we bear,
And to madness Hamlet must falsely seek,
to discover the truth of horrid deed beneath.

2:1
Reynaldo to Laertes, Claudius a’spies,
to Paris, Reynaldo goes with a’plan devised,
to seek the situation of Laertes in foreign hoods,
with bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.
Ophelia then enters, with her father she shares,
"Oh, father, father, I’ve just had such a scare!"
In her sewing room, it is Hamlet she sees,
with no hat, nor buttons, nor stable knees
For he stared and stared to let out a final sigh,
Love mad he may be, a’to King we must a’by.

2:2
With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,
Directly or indirectly will Claudius learn,
of Hamlet’s matters they are to return.
Polonius, with news of Hamlet, he waits,
for thee Ambassador, to inform that Denmark Gates,
Are to be opened for young Fortinbra’s ****** defeat,
Polonius to Claudius, reveals thy madness roots,
For Hamlet is but love crazy for the fairest fruits,
of dearest Ophelia, who a letter he wrote,
Proclaims the fairness of her upon tis note.
And to test the truth, their confrontation, must’e spy,
Behind the arras to view thy love-mad side.
Is but our hastily marriage and his father’s death,
thy Mother, aware, are but the means of his mad breath.
Polonius then to Hamlet, speaks of witty words,
A fishmonger he calls, but one of two is misheard,
For when Polonius humbly takes a’leave,
He is but to take anything, but his life, shall he not receive.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, enter to Hamlet, they chat,
but Hamlet to quickly find the two are but a King’s ****,
Only sent to spy on a dearest friend,
And to human’s name do they offend,
Only to betray a dearest friend in honor of the King.
And so Players arrived at Denmark grounds,
for they, the best in the world, Polonius sounds.
And then for Jephthah, witty Hamlet chants,
the song of a foolish man who accidently grants,
the sacrifice of his beloved daughter.
Pyrrhus, do they perform for dearest Hamlet,
His sword is a’air, but a’air it sets,
for he hesitates to swing thy sword,
And with this, Hamlet hopes to store,
the strength to **** the horrid Lord.
Though he is but ashamed, for upon false emotions can Players act,
And in himself upon truths, strength can he not extract.
So a play for the King’s conscience does Hamlet devise,
for the heavenly ghost may be false in his advice.

3:1
To be or not to be; that is the question,
For Hamlet to be nobler or to a’take action,
Shall he withdraw with ****** self slaughter,
But shall’st never may see thy fairest daughter,
To die, but to sleep for a mere dream,
But in sleep shall fair or foul be unseen?
Now Polonius and Claudius awaits,
for Hamlet’s arranged meet with a’bait.
Hamlet to Ophelia, his love recants,
For honesty and beauty are but Someone’s grants,
Once did he love her, but now a’figured,
that women are but corrupt and impured,
For one’s honestly and beauty can and shall be taint,
For if God given thou one face, dear not another by paint.
For honestly and beauty has God falsely bred,
All but one, shall women *****.
All but one, shall women be nun.
Hence this marriage is over, and to a nunnery at once,

3:2
Let this mousetrap be named and this play a’set,
Shall capture thy horrid mouse or thy Uncle of Hamlet.
Polonius to Hamlet, the theater he knows,
For a Caesar death died he at thee Capitol.
Upon the lap of fair Ophelia, does Hamlet, lie,
Only to think of country matters and nothing (he implies).
And the play begins, with a prologue so brief,
Like a woman’s love, was Hamlet’s belief.
The King and Queen, a loving bond they share,
But the King by a mystic potion envenomed beware.
Thee action to ****, a murderous scene it was,
Leaving Claudius to regret the murderous act abuzz,
He arises to say: Let there be light! Let there be light!
And to the joy of Hamlet to see tis joyous sight,
For the words of thy heavenly father was but right.
Now shall the minute parts of truth ignite.
And to his Mother he shall speak daggers wield none,
for shall his tongue speak of the cruelties undone.

3:3
With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, to England a’go,
Should insane Hamlet know not a hawk from a crow,
And behind the arras, Polonius will again spy,
the taxation of Hamlet and his Mother’s cry.
Polonius departs to spy upon the Mother and the Insane,
Only to leave Claudius to regret thy hideous Mark of Cain,
Shall he pray the Heavens to forgive him his actions,
For thy stripped thy Brother of life, throne, and attractions.
As Claudius is never to withdraw his stripped token,
Divine forgiveness shall never then be unspoken.
Hamlet can **** not his murderous Uncle in praying stance,
For a hideous monster shall not a’go Heaven by chance.

3:4
So behind the arras dearest Polonius stays,
to view the idle and wicked tongue arrays,
Thou’st the Queen, Thy Husband’s Brother’s wife!
But to hear a rat, shall Hamlet for a ducat its life.
Oh, but death ‘neath the arras, may it the King?
A horrid act? To **** and wear thy brother’s ring?
Oh, King it be not, but be a wretched, rash fool,
And now shall Hamlet tell thy Myth a’Ghoul.
For thy murderer has slain thy Heavenly mate,
And only now by natural law does he abate.
Upon these portraits shall ring a’clear,
That from thy Heavenly father is he nowhere near,
A murderer, a villain, a horrid fiend,
He is but a devilish murderer yield unclean,
No way can one drop from THIS to THAT,
And shall by this scene, the specterous soul attract,
Dear not be untenderly to thy Mother it speaks,
And shall this revenge soon awake its peak,
Hamlet appears a’mad to thy watching Mother,
but to his mother he warns, abed not another,
For two mouths should speak of none,
of this revenge that will soon be done.
And again, abed let not him ****** you so,
For now, apart to English must’e a’go.

4:1
Gertrude to Claudius, she continues to reveal,
Of Polonius’s ****** and his arras squeal,
"A rat! A rat!" A’mad Hamlet is,
Brandished, to rapier the life of his.
And now where’s thou Hamlet still?
To draw apart the body he hath killed.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is but yet called again,
With discord and dismay, are they to seek that thou slain.

4:2
The two seek to Hamlet, for the body’s lair,
Compounded with dust now does it wear,
And a sponge, does Hamlet call them so,
for the King to squeeze them dry and thorough,
"A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear."
The body a’by a’King, but a’King, the body unnear.
And so, Hamlet to the King premiere.

4:3
And to Claudius does Hamlet call,
That Polonius now rests at a dining hall,
‘til a conference of worms devours him all
He shall eat not, but they eat so,
‘tis our fate despite status quo.
And upon the lobby stairs a corpse may lay,
One of dearest Polonius, slain to heaven or hell
Now to English death must Hamlet pay,
To one mother does he give two farewells.

4:4
With a Captain does Hamlet now proceed,
Who tells of young Fortinbras of Norway accede,
The Norway prince through Denmark he leads,
to seize a’minute ****** patch must’e receive.
A worthless land, must many die for one,
But true greatness acts not from fair reason,
But for the sake of the mind when honor is won.
And has Someone granted the reasoning mind,
For man to hesitate so cowardly inside,
For thy deed to act, must we rid the mind bind,
And act on instinct and be not wise.
And from the reasoning state must Hamlet now leave,
for honor he shall act, and his emotions he’ll believe.

4:5
False sanity is but false no more,
For fair Ophelia’s reason be not restore.
A’now sings of thy premature stone a’foot thy father’s grave,
and the departure of Hamlet for thy wed depraved.
Claudius is but to blame for thee rotting state,
For Polonius, a proper ceremony he not awaits,
For poor Ophelia, stripped from her reasonous state,
For Laertes aback from France, by thy father’s death, irate.
And Laertes enters, with thy support for king,
For the murderer, vengeful death shall he bring,
So Claudius to Laertes, says he is not to blame,
but thy father’s murderer is but another name.
And enters Ophelia, with figurative flowers to give,
But those of Faithfulness have ceased to live.
Alive are but for Thoughts, for Remembrance,
for Adultery, for Repentance, and for False Romance.
For his sister’s sanity is but another to blame,
Laertes, a vengeance mind, is but now aflame.

4:6
Horatio, a letter from Hamlet he receives,
that upon a Pirate ship has Hamlet board,
And that shall with speed would’st fly a’breathe.
Meet to hear the story Hamlet has a’stored.

4:7
Claudius to Laertes, he speak of innocence,
for by public appearance, the truth may bent,
For the public count loves Hamlet so,
And to thy fair Mother, Claudius a’beau.
Thy noble father lost and sister insane,
The murderous filth of Hamlet is to blame.
At this, a loyal messenger approaches,
to deliver the news that but Hamlet reproached,
An English death did Hamlet face not,
For now his destined death are they to plot,
Naked and alone, will he return to Denmark a’learn,
Of the honorable fence-match, he shall earn,
Against Laertes, whose fatherly love nor illusion,
Shall the death of Hamlet draw conclusion.
Even a’church will Hamlet, Laertes slay,
Death by no bounds, must Hamlet pay.
Envenomed rapier and wine shall prepare,
the faithful death of murderous Hamlet a’near.
Gertrude then enters with Ophelia’s news a’share,
For sorrows comes not in singles but in greater pairs,
Upon muddy death has Ophelia drowned,
for now another death has but profound,

5:1
Two Gravediggers upon one grave they create,
for to the death of thy Graveowner do they relate,
To die by self slaughter or to die by not,
the attention of passing Hamlet have they caught.
With Hamlet does one of thee two chat,
for once a woman, shall this grave be buried at,
A quick digger for Hamlet to his surprise,
Revealed that to England is mad Hamlet to advise.
For a corpse to live for eight or nine,
Thy dearest Yorick’s skull is to find,
Thy a corpse to date three and twenty,
Leaves Hamlet to recall thy memories a’plenty,
And to think Alexander, o’buried alike.
Here comes the King, Laertes and the Queen,
And upon the burial grounds is Ophelia seen,
His dearest sister does Laertes mourn,
But to Hamlet, her death, his heart a’torn.
Laertes to Hamlet, must’e not compare,
the death of one is a little more foul than fair,
For forty thousand brothers can sum not his love,
For the death of the fairest maiden beloved.
Claudius to Laertes, must Hamlet pay thy debt,
the plot of night prior shall’st not forget.

5:2
Hamlet to Horatio, does his truths trust,
Of thy wretched King and his unjust,
Of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern English death they meet,
With sacrifice and thy seal was thou to spare self defeat.
Now’st Osric enters to Hamlet a’chat,
For’st not hot, nor cold, nor sultry at.
And a’wish to court, with thy Laertes of excellence,
For Hamlet’s head does thee King expense.
With six French rapiers and poniards assign,
For by fate’s determination, shall this court incline,
For a special providence in the fall of a sparrow,
Can we do not, but abide by fate a’follow.
Trumpets and drums, now’st the fence begins,
For Hamlet and Laertes hand and hand therein.
Pardon he begs, Hamlet to thy brother,
For in him is but foil Hamlet yet another,
And so they fence for honor and fence for life,
Two of two leads Hamlet the strife.
The King, to Hamlet he drinks,
Tis pearl shall he the cup he sinks,
And unwounded for two, Hamlet prevails,
But Queen, the dearest Mother, so faithfully frail,
For she drinks thy cup of heavenly pearl,
For heavenly it be not, as thy malicious plot unfurl,
The cup! The cup! A poisonous potion,
Cause yet another by venomous commotion.
A distracting cause, for Hamlet to bear,
For Laertes envenomed blade must’e beware,
Now envenomed blood shall Hamlet shed,
Shall he hold thy rapier of Laertes instead,
to shed thy venomous blood of thy venomous mind,
For now thy murderous plot shall unwind,
At the honorable death of brother Laertes,
Shall the death of Claudius be a’seized.
The King’s to blame for the death of all,
And tis day shall he see his destined fall.
With thy venomous blade held a’hand,
Let the doors be locked and the evils banned,
For Hamlet wounds thy treacherous soul,
And shall horrid Claudius pay his destined toll,
For Hamlet forces to drink thy murderous potion,
And shall he too die of venomous commotion.
The death of four and tis ****** scene,
Shall Horatio tell to those unseen.
Shall he speak of murderous truths embark,
for Fortinbras shall now throne Denmark,
For in Fortinbras does his admiration lay,
For does Hamlet trust thou’st fiery ambitious way,
And tis now concludes thy Hamlet’s life,
For death and death thou’st all alike...
A dedication and summary of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" the tragedy of the witty prince of Denmark written in 2011 for a class journal assignment.
chylee plunkett Nov 2012
This is a poem of a girl. A girl who is so cliché, that she needs to write angst-filled poetry to keep herself conscious and her thoughts free, but is too hipster to believe it. A girl who is too freckled to be fair, too fleshy to be flirty, too conspicuous to be classy, too prominent to be petite, but too small to be seen. A girl who’s piercing blue eyes absorbs everything and regurgitates emotions like a tampered slots machine—excessi vely and noisily. This is a poem of a girl who is so over-stimulated with color, texture, love, and life that the numbness in her head is a pink eraser. A girl who was brought up to have opinions and dreams as long as they kept her on the path to perfection, poise, and parenting. A girl who is experienced enough to know the difference between sorrow and guilt, manipulation and cowardice, hysteria and hyperventilation but is too naïve to know why certain boys are a bluish green, why math is a bafflement, and why ground up chili peppers in dark chocolate ice cream isn’t everyone’s favorite food. This is a poem of a girl who salivates at the mere thought of classical music, couture fashion, and feminine heels. A girl who breathes in culture like a caterpillar inhales hookah smoke. A girl who Alis volat propriis (flies with her own wings) but ultimately plummets to nosus decipio (Let’s just cheat) because her humanity held down her Heredity. A girl who thrives on music of every variety: as long as it can paint out her emotions in front of her. This is a poem of a girl who is so acerbically witty and harsh that she could unarm Napoleon but is so vehemently protecting that Mother Theresa herself would be awed. A girl with an attention span of a fish, short-term memory like sea foam, thoughts that outnumber armadas, and a bad habit of dehydration. This is a poem of a girl who talks but shouldn’t, speaks but doesn’t, and who is so badly burnt by the enticement of affection that her wallflower camouflage is now charred ashes around her stubby toes. A girl who has such infatuation that she could pin Lust against the wall and make Passion jealous. A girl who wears red lipstick because she knows it will keep a man’s gaze for 8.2 more seconds than with chapstick and the 50’s will never grow old. A girl too nervous and traditional to make the first move, but too strategic and over-analytical to lie back and forget. A girl who loathes the word mamihlapinatapai because it describes her every circumstance since the day she befriended the purple-brown boy who thought her personality tasted of Raspberry ice cream and to this day she still can’t pronounce it. This is a poem of a girl who needs a bed so crowded and protected with blankets and pillows that her monsters can’t penetrate her mazed-up mind. A girl who drinks tea with her lips, and philosophy with her soul. A girl who can’t spell the alphabet backwards but can make great mnemonic devices. A girl who can’t tie ends together because she doesn’t want to leave anything unsaid but whose tangents are kite-strings. A girl whose sentences are distracting fences in front of her literal eyes but doors for her mind’s eyes. A girl who has Synesthesia but keeps it quiet because of the condescending kids in kindergarten who called her a freak, and a liar. This is a poem of a girl who thinks about Death and whether he is a snatching thief or just the ferryman. A girl who dances with her eyes shut, her heart open and her toe-socks on. A girl who will clean her room at 2 am because she can’t handle the sight and the night is too lively for sleeping anyways. A girl who wears her heart not only on her sleeve, but on her chest, open as a blushing book playing poker with hockey players and still winning a game. A girl who’s emotions are kept in a Tupperware box and left in the refrigerator but if you shake it hard enough the lid just might pop open
In between   (a poem)
.
my mind struggles against its own illusion
nightmare tumbles out into still morning
light is heavy,
a fog of echoes...
and I am caught
.
day dreams the sunlight
dreams light the day
and I am caught in between
mourning echoes...
like a stillborn ghost
who can't take a breath in the present

….
  
I live on a tropical island and just want to go surfing with my husband, but the nausea in the early morning as I try to eat  breakfast and drive with him to the beach is so uncomfortable.  Day after day it makes even surfing a chore, and I consider not going anymore.  Background anxiety and unreasonable irritation interferes with our marriage, frustrates him enough to want me out.  

For me, a trip to the grocery store or meeting a group of people awakens the same dreadful fear as rockclimbing a cliff. Perspective has been lost in the extremes.  I try to gain some control over this hindering nuisance, seeking situations that bring the same surges of adrenaline so I can learn to master it.  If I can just push past the avoidance that would keep me inside doing nothing, if I can just ignore the feeling I want to throw up, if I can just get out there, I am rewarded with life’s potential beauty eventually.  Many days I do enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or connection with nature when surfing, but there are too many days of internal struggle that reduce what should be enjoyable to a relentless chore of wrestling inner demons.

The VA offers a few sessions of marriage counseling, and the doctor begins to explain PTSD.  ***, I’ve learned to cope with an unreliable brain, but now there’s this?  From what I understand (and that’s just me, an amateur philosopher) Sometimes the brain is so traumatized, that the memory is literally sealed off, encapsulated, protecting it from changing.  If later something happens that is similar, the brain triggers avoidance responses as a take-no-chances survival mechanism.  Literally the brain is protecting one’s self from one’s self.  This all-or-nothing strategy works fending off potential dinosaur attacks, but in our complex society, these automatic avoidance behaviors complicate functioning and well being.  Life becomes an attitude of constant reaction instead of motivated intention.

The website for the National center for PTSD says.  “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.”  

“Common reactions to trauma are:
• Fear or anxiety: In moments of danger, our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger has passed. You may:feel tense or afraid, be agitated and jumpy, feel on alert.  
• Sadness or depression: Sadness after a trauma may come from a sense of loss---of a loved one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life. You may:have crying spells, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, want to be alone all the time, feel tired, empty, and numb.  
• Guilt and shame: You may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma. You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. You may:feel responsible for what happened, feel guilty because others were injured or killed and you survived.  
• Anger and irritability: Anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated. Anger can make you feel irritated and cause you to be easily set off. You may:lash out at your partner or spouse, have less patience with your children, overreact to small misunderstandings.  
• Behavior changes: You may act in unhealthy ways. You may:drink, use drugs, or smoke too much, drive aggressively, neglect your health, avoid certain people or situations.”   It lists four main symptoms: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind of the event, feeling numb, and feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)”

Four words strung together: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  They’ve become a tired cliché, exhausted from the endless threat of random cruelty camouflaged in banality, weary of the weight shouldering back the wall that separates death and gore from the living.  Living was a reflex beyond willpower and devoid of choice. Control was self-deception.  The mind was so preoccupied with A: survival, B: sanity, in that order.  Rest was a cruel illusion.  The tank was drained, no room for emotions ditched.  Empathy took too much effort, fear was greedy.  Hopefully they can be remembered and found on the other side, if there is one.  Sleep deprived cells were left hyper-alert from the imminent, shot up and addicted to adrenaline.  Living was Fate and Chance, and meant leaving that time and place sealed in forgetfulness.  

Now PTSD is a worn out acronym, a cold shadow of what it feels like.  I try to think of something more personal that can describe the way it randomly visits me, now resigned to its familiar unwelcome influence.  It steals through my brain, flying ahead of me with its own agenda of protecting sabotage.  Its like the Guardian Trickster of Native American legend.  Its an archetype but real enough to make mistakes: Chulyen, the black raven.

A decade after the ER, contentment is found in a garden of slow tranquility as a butterfly interrupts a sunbeam.  My heart fills with bittersweet as I’ve finally found something I love and want to keep.  Just then Chulyen’s grasping black claws clamp my heart with painful arrhythmia and it fills to burst, tripping in panic trying to recover its pace.  The sudden pain drops me to my knees, in the dirt between fragrant lavender and cherry tomatoes.  Pain stops breath and time and makes me remember the ER, when my heart rebelled its ordained purpose for a week.  I had tried to throw my bitter life back in God’s face but He didn’t take it.  Now that I have peace and a life that I treasure, He’s taking it now.  The price for my mistake is due.  It was all just borrowed time and I’m still so young, my children just babies.  God with a flick of cruelty reminds me not to put faith in the tangible, especially when its treasured.  The sharp claws finally relent and I can breathe, looking up with a gasp and the Raven takes flight overhead leaving a shadow.  Bright noon warmth, unusually heavy and foreboding, seems to say ‘there will come a time when you will not welcome the sun.’   Doctors run an EKG and diagnose ‘stress’.

The bird perches on my shoulder two more decades later, always seeing death just over there.  So I sit on the porch just a little longer and check my list again, delaying the unavoidable racing heart and rush of tension when I fix the motorcycle helmet strap under my chin.  I know all those stupid drivers have my life in their cell-phone distracted hands and hope my husband knows how much I love him, and my daughters too.  

Chulyen wakes me at 3:00 am when autumn’s wind aggravates the trees.  His rustle of black feathers outside unsettles summer’s calm night.  He brings an end-of-the-world portent that hints this peace is just temporary, borrowed.  Tribulation will return.

Ravens are attracted to bright shiny things.  Chulyen steals off with treasures like intention, and contentment.  I don’t realize they are missing until occasionally I find myself truly living in the moment.  I guess that is another reason why I crave adventure, for those instants and epiphanies that snap me out of that long term modis operandi of reacting, instead of being.  The daily list of ‘I must, or I should’ can for a brief while become ‘I want’  and I am free.

My companion the black bird perches relaxed in the desert on the gatepost of a memory.  A bullet-scarred paint-faded sign dangles by one corner from rusty barbed wire:
    No Trespassing    
    That Means You
I have a haunted idea what's behind the fence.  Chulyen implies the memory with a simple mistaken sound:
a Harley in the distance is for a second the agitating echo of a helicopter...
or those were the very same words they said when...
or I hear a few jangling clinks of forks in our warm kitchen...
hinting a cold cafeteria at 5:00 am smelling of fake eggs and industrial maple flavored corn syrup,
and everything else that happened that day...
My cells recollect, brace with the addictive rush of adrenaline.  But the raven denies access to the memory, distracting with discomfort.  I trip and I fall hard into the gritty dirt of irritation at the person who unknowingly reminded me.  Anxiety floods in along with fatigue of the helplessness of it all, back then and still now.  I can't go further.  Chulyen’s tricking deception says Leave This Memory, you never wanted to come back.
But I already knew from just recognizing the bird patiently sitting there a sentinal,
recalling every other time he tricked me with nausea and depression.
I tried to tell myself again that behind that gate,
the past has dried up from neglect.
Disintegrated into dust,
Blown away,
doesn't
exist.



After everything else, how to work through this?  The VA gave me a manual, a crudely printed set of worksheets with a government-looking blue cover page:  Cognitive Processing Therapy.
“In normal recovery from PTSD symptioms, intrusion, thoughts, and emotions decrease over time and no longer trigger each other.  However, in those who don’t recover, the vivid images, negative thoughts, and strong emotions lead to escape and avoidance.  Avoidance prevents the processing of the trauma that is needed for recovery and works only temporarily.  The ultimate goal is acceptance.  
There may be “stuck points”, conflicting beliefs or strong negative beliefs that create additional unpleasant emotions and unhealthy behavior.  For example, a prior belief may have been “ I am able to protect myself in dangerous situations.”  But after being harmed during military service, a conflicting belief surfaces, “I was harmed during service, and I am to blame.”  If one is ‘stuck’ here, it may take some time until one is able to get feelings out about the trauma, because one is processing a number of rationales.  “I deserved it because…” , or “I misinterpreted what happened, I acted inappropriately, I must be crazy…”  The goal is to change the prior belief to one that does not hinder acceptance.  For example, “I may not be able to protect myself in all situations.”

(chapter continues with recovery methods)
Jackson fox Mar 2014
Look at those eyes
Green as can be
There so beautiful
Distracting I see
Noah Apr 2015
When I am in statistics I cannot focus
because the world around me is ending in my mind
slowly fading into something without meaning
until I cannot breathe and I have to leave
to go cry in the bathroom.

When I am in my statistics class I cannot focus
because there is a boy there who looks like my favorite **** star
I know what his ***** looks like
     or might look like
     Schrödinger's **** in a box.

I cannot help but stare at him and
picture him in gym shorts and no boxers
or cargo pants and no boxers
or just in boxers
or.

It's an uncomfortable feeling of morbid intrigue that
makes me tap my toes too fast.

I want to know him.

I want to tell him that
I love the way he smiles
and laughs and communicate s
and makes sure everyone is safe and happy.

I can only watch **** that has behind-the-scenes features.
It's comforting to know that
everyone is happy and
everything is consensual and
everyone is having fun.
I get too invested in these people, too attached -

One time I had to give up
and take a moment to breath
because I was just so overwhelmed with pride
Like a parent watching their kid graduate after all their hard work.

And that feeling is not okay.

And seeing that boy in my class is not okay,

Because I feel so proud of all he's accomplished
So when he answers a question right in class all I can think about is
When he ****** a **** on camera for the first time
And the first time he licked whipped cream off another man's *******
And it's very distracting.

When I am in statistics I cannot focus
because I start to worry that I will fail this class
and then I start to worry that I will hate my future
and then I worry about having a future in the first place,
bunching up into an unfocused, panicking, asthmatic mess.

The **** star boy is a distraction.

It's because of him that I'm passing this class.



( and in a way, a stupid, silly way,
it's because of him that I'm alive. )
Yesterday, my psyche took a beating,
Today, I feel like a bruise
That is past its angry, blue-black peak
And throbs with a dull, distracting ache.

Like the aftermath of a storm
When the formerly purple clouds lighten
But still threaten a final, farewell wetting.

That's me, a bruise of many hues
Across a canvas of undetermined mood,
Turbulent, fierce, bleeding still,
Close to the surface, threatening to break.
Styles May 2014
So, along comes Love, who brings Passion, and Desire. Love ends up tying me up, Passion blindfolds me, while Desire takes control. Now we are ready to role. These ladies forced my hand, no plans to console. Love keeps touching my heart, has a strong hold. Passion is a work of art; touches my soul. While Desire has her *** up, legs are spread apart; trying to take control.  Love keeps on tempting me, such a tease. Passion keeps begging pretty "please", while she's on her knees. Desire won't listen, But she's dying to be pleased. They blowing my mind; I'm not talking a breeze. Loves so distracting, to busy multitasking. Passions is upset, didn't like my reactions. Desire is still her, looking for some action. Love, left with Forgiveness, and Passion left with the Compassion. Desire left  me for much stronger attractions. It doesn't matter, all three, were just distractions. Rather post it on Hello Poetry, probably get better reactions!
Lina Banzaca Jul 2017
It's before first-period...
My teachers see me walking down the hallway and rudely gawk at my body as if it's some sort of disgrace.
Flash forward...
My teacher calls the assistant principal down to 'approve' my clothes.
I'm sent to the office to find out my mother was on her way.
The same mother who has to work every day to make a living, and to pay for my clothes.
The same mother who's making eighty-one cents to my principal's dollar.
The same mother who taught me to love my body and how to look appropriate.
The same mother who approved and complimented me, only an hour before, earlier that morning.
The bell for the second period rings.
I'm still sitting in the office.
Because wasting my time over what I'm wearing is more important than my education. Right?
I can hear the whispers of my degrading school's staff.
A few higher established adults to an 'outfit check'.
Quickly after, the assistant called my name.
I gulped down my fear and anxiety, as I stood up.
Then I'm sent into a room.
The dullest, dark, and grayest room I have ever entered.
"Hello Lina, we're gathered here to talk about your outfit today."
A tee shirt dress with shorts underneath.
It reminded me of when I was in the fifth grade.
Girls were told that we needed to cover ourselves up because boys thought about our bodies in a ****** manner, and if we dressed a certain way and something happened, it was our fault.
It's getting close to the third period when my mother arrives.
After the constant duel to what seemed, death, with words, I got to go.
I didn't have to change this time.
I was lucky.
Lucky that a teacher came to my defense along with my mother, and told them my outfit was fine, and I couldn't help that I was a curvier girl.
Instead of focusing on what girls are wearing, maybe we should tell boys to keep their hands to themselves and grow up.
Because that's what the girls have to learn from an early age.
Our bodies shouldn't be over sexualized for what's covering them.
Girls are **** shamed and dress coded everywhere because of what we wear.
What if we focused on teaching students to be mature young adults, rather than disgusting pigs who apparently can't handle a girl who shows her shoulders?
Let's all obsess over real world problems.
Not what someone wears, or if it's distracting to boys.
Just when someone starts having confidence (which is a victory in itself), we're torn down based off of the clothes we put on our bodies.
Girls are taught that it's our fault.
Boys can just open and claim your body, like some kind of book.
Even when the only word printed is NO.
We struggle in our bodies from such a young age.
Instead of worrying about a girl's apparel, let's worry about the men who need to learn to control themselves.
This was actually a real experience for me and dress coding is something that lots of young people, or teens, deal with. People need to learn that a girl is just as respectable as a man.
You always complain you find me too distracting,
and I can tell by your eyes that you're not just acting,
but you are my distraction too,
and even though I don't love you,
I can lie, and say those words,
as we lie on the grass, watching the birds.
--- Mar 2014
Scented wax
Oh so soothing
My nephew gets his nose all over it
Because its good stuff
And he's a little one.
When you said you want one
I assume you meant like him?

Science
A paper
Distracting, but important
And about a topic I found stupid

And of course
Being corny
And without a way to release corniness
I wish I had time nowadays
Putting my thoughts to sleep
life nomadic Dec 2012
A Serotinous Pine there,
Where winter snows soak into thirsty soil but relentless summer sun bakes motionless
Every plant a tinder held close to conflagration,
in a season's Russian roulette of forest fire.
This pine seals precious seed away from every spring’s promise,
lest burning destroys every one.
Only searing heat during torched consumption triggers the last gentle act,
At the knife’s edge of apocalypse itself,
opening cones of seeds.
Fluttering down to new life on the other side of time.
Tiny bright green amid black ashes.

Swimming Penguins
Birds evolved to fly in ocean.
Wings to flippers, feet stepping clumsily from water.
Yet eggs must still nest, their babies still breathe.
Safety is the very precipice of existence, on bitter ice at 60 below,
Sheltering their young clustered from blistering winds,
fasting from sustenance,
While heaven’s glorious Aurora flame silently over their winter dreams.

So what then are we, on This Earth?
Cerebral Creatures, Storytelling Animals.
Minds created to sense spiritual constructs.
Living is the method of our creation,
Sheltering each other from inherited trials
With contrived joys and sufferings distracting each other
from the soul freezing fearful cold of the Empty Void
And consuming fire of electric chaos.
In the End, our sacrificing gift for our children
is God.
.
.
(part 1 of 2)  The next one is called This Earth, This Life Finished
.
.
Copyright © 2012 Anna Honda. All Rights Reserved.
Pitch Hiker Jul 2018
The rain felt beautiful.
The grass stuck to my body itched
But I secretly miss that feeling
On any sunny day
I feel meaning in the way the field slants
Its always done that
The white paint has faded away
I love it when it stains my fingertips
Every shot leaves a tail of water
And the rippling sound of the ball sliding down the net
The way that the rain falls on me
Feels beautiful
Literally washing away my worries
As I never feel truly tired
As if every drop was distracting me
From my physical state
This makes me feel strong
Joel A Doetsch Feb 2017
It starts with a tickle to my heart
tries to gently push my lips apart

I resist, much to it's consternation,
not giving in to it's polite provocation

It bounces around in my brain, so distracting!
Ever so slowly I feel my discipline cracking

My heart starts to race, my eyes turn to steel
I must stand my ground!  I simply can't yield!

You look into my eyes
sigh
my last defense broken...
How could I ever have stopped these words being spoken?

I love you
.
When you say "I love you" far too much and try to hold it back from time to time
glassea Jun 2015
i never really liked my mind much -
too loud, too full,
too distracting -
until i discovered algebra.

my first love was factorization.
my second was l'hôpital.
my third, ramanujan.

i fell in love with numbers
before i fell in love with you
because they make sense
when you don't.
yeah, i wrote a love poem for math. is there a ******* problem?
Westley Barnes Dec 2013
Bright windy November
with the slap of cold sun sending frowns
and the absent rain not beating down
choleric substitutes of alcohol withdrawal
and spatial omissions of home fires stoking
empty remembrances of faded potential and
misplaced amorous regret
Haunted by the lingering smell of the souls of
last night's GUINNESS intake staying swell in
the nostrils which is in reality the gulf breeze blowing
gullshit down the river Liffey giver of life.

...And here I am Dublin pillaged and funded
en route to the hour-rate slog
shiny white commerce bleaching out of
windowsills distracting from rooftop
Chiaroscuro  serenading a sky
which old ****** forgotten Sons and Daughters
will die under.

Boots tapping mock-goosestep to the ground
past a girl who speaks on her IPHONE to someone
who presumably not only wants to be seen speaking
to someone on their IPHONE but who also cares enough
to listen as the girl announces to all-and-sundry
human dodging on Bachelors Walk this fateful morn
that "I realised what my problem is Now! People
think i'm saying N when I'm really saying M!"

.....quite an existential crisis you got there, EH DOC?

("This girl's SITUATION belongs in a scenario in the TV show GIRLS which young
Woman Europe-wide have embraced as their spiritual saviour in an era of Consumer
impulse control. By placing the mundane generalities and perceived social failings
interpreted by young American female comediennes as instead representing a means of
self-forgiveness and attempted new-wave soft-core feminist self-celebration young American
actresses are inspiring a new generation of young woman to speak openly in a more in-depth level about everything that usually happens to themselves or some girl they know"-From "The Post-New Male Gaze: Interpreting Critiques of Stereotypically Feminized Pop Culture in Westley Barnes's "Notes on a Rant: The "Took Me Up To Dublin Where It's Famous" Notebook
:2013
)

This is the new white noise.

White Irish Male Critiques perceived socially-announced problems of White Irish Female over White Technology on a white morning in a grey city.

A grey city which subliminally stinks of shame and left-over guilt and of spending too much money on tecno-toys and new-improved nullifying debauchery and even rent during a significantly rough stretch of fiscal years. After a lot of years of white nonsense, really.

But this is where I took myself, and this is what happens once you take yourself here and this is where its famous for it.
Dublin,
Once Monto-based FUNDERLAND for the rich and royal turned over-waxie infested tenement slum district and second city of an industrialised economy waiting for the rest of the world to pay its way.
Dublin,
capital of green and squeaky saviours of the third-world who made some money and forgot about everyone else they used to know back home. Mr Poverty, Mr Humbleness, Mr Sense of Catholic Shame.
Until the rents got too high and they had to move home again.
Dublin,
no matters what it achieves, always putting itself down.

But I can adapt.
I've lived in Rathmines and Portobello before living in either was a
really hip decision to make.
I can find somewhere else before its gets gentrified
(after I find some job that's not worth complaining about
or I eventually leap into becoming to middle-class
to complain about it.)
enough that its a headache living there, too many men wearing the same winter
jackets. Too many packed restaurants and your local actually preparing the tables
in the run-up to the Rugby game on Saturday.
The less of all that, the better for me.

I used to day dream about all of the above, honestly, but I
somehow managed to regain my innocence by living through it.

As for the girl who discovered self-realisation on her (through her?) IPHONE?
She'll be alright. If that's how she starts wading through the floodwaters of relating
herself to the world, misunderstood syllables, name-fails and all, this time in twenty
years, she'll be laughing. Don't worry yourselves, she'll adapt with the times.
Sure, Dublin's famous for it.
Simon Soane May 2013
Sign in the staffroom at work.
Stay positive they said,
Stay positive I read,
Stay positive in the work you despise,
Turn a blind eye as your life goes by,
Leave your thoughts at the door,
Don’t think they implore,
Pretend there is no sun,
Look out of the window at your life on hiatus for eight hours,
Can’t get rid of the smell of this jail even after a thousand showers,
Take solace it’s for the money that I didn’t even want to use,
The books you could be reading now will only get you confused,
The songs you could be listening to now won’t speak to you anyway,
Silence your mental jukebox and toil for your pay.
Stay positive today,
The cash they flash,
I can see on my face a fiscal rash,

They can say put down your pens,
Strip your pencils of lead,
Tell creativity to slumber,
Put your canvas to bed,
But can’t stop us drawing in our heads,
Stay positive,
Like don’t start on that waitress and treat her with chagrin,
Cos she doesn’t bound over with your pie and chips with a leap and a grin,
“We’ve paid for this food, she better start smiling,”
Or the tip it is non and the polite police I’m dialing “
Have a word with yourself shes working,
And more than that she could be hurting,
Cos John in the kitchen isn’t flirting,
Or she could be wearing that frown,
Cos shes realised she only got £30.00 for her night out in town,
That’s not much when you consider the taxi back,
Plus after shes done serving you shes got dishes to attack,
But no she has a grimace,
Shes finished,
We have all felt like that, bit lonely and that,
Stay positive.
Stay positive,
Cos sometimes words cling to the air,
Like candyfloss to hair,
And birds sing for their bread while the cat bosses just stare,
At the endless charade of hierarchy,
John then Paul then George then Starky,
But star key unlocks the door to the skies,
Hope is life, I summarise,
There’s beauty in your summer eyes,
Don’t count the calories in pies,
Dietary information often lies,
Distracting from the truth with garish rides,
That only seek to compromise,
Our promise and delightful ties,
Forged from friendship not to buy,
Feel your waist and touch your thigh,
Dietary information often lies,
Love is all,
No chance to take,
No dast to cie,
Be brilliant and hear them sigh,
Stay positive.
I feel like,
Tintin going exploring,
Paths opening up, new days dawning,
I’m done with yawning it’s a waste of breath,
I don’t feel lethargic, I don’t feel bereft,
Heads down dive me a test,
About anything cos this beat in my chest,
Means I’ll beat Kasparov at chess,
Armani couldn’t make a sexier dress,
Allivate stress quicker than Prozac,
Cut the beanstalk down faster than Jack,
I can stretch my mind more than that guy on the rack,
Cos I think if our lips locked together we could throw away the lucky heather,
No more boring days of monotony,
Fingers crossed watching the national lottery,
Not just waiting around thinking I’ll chill,
But striving for the horizon over the hill,
Stay positive.
But the best thing I saw recently,
Was when I’d just finished my tea,
And I saw these two old folk who live near me,
One about 89 the other 93,
Twilight of their lives to say the least,
Real hunched and stooped over, all false teeth,
But the way they held each other’s hands the tenderness was palpable,
Cradled and soft the care undoubtable,
Cos some things are not withered by age,
They stick through this life to every page,
Decrepit vocal cords that would have a job to sing,
But there demeanor hit the high notes bellowing loves the greatest thing,
And whatever they think the next life is, earth, air or above,
At least the opening gambit can be, “we ended that one with love”
And everybody wants that, everybody,
Everybody with this life to live,
Peace be with you and bless you
And stay positive!
life nomadic Jan 2013
A moment is never singular, exactly;
nothing on This Earth lasts, obviously.
Yet People still search to locate a focal point,
identify the axis, ground the spar tree.
Molecules have been examined down to Music;
infinite harmonies taking perceived shape,
Each element ever-changing as our senses are tuned.
Particles are waves of color, our own hand turning the kaleidoscope.

But our mind's-eye has been clouded;
Selfish fear of inconvenience escalating,
leading us all to the cliff of catastrophe.
Inching feet-forward hover over black air;  the void right there.
Regretful feet-backward discover lost ground,  toes grasped by gravity into falling gravel.
Stilled to painful awareness, but at least to finally see

Ancient Sequoia,
giants rooted in misty epochs,
wizened moss-covered faces sleepily meditating
under their own constellations turning.
We hated their shadows, felled them for the void, stole their place in the heartbroken sun.
Our vain history in tiny arrows obscures their rings of years like graffiti.
But in the hushed forest remaining, sheltering treasured few seedlings 6 inches tall,
One breath in lasts a season; one breath out purifies the years
with timeless patience for you as well.

There's no need to hurry;
wishes already happened when they are dreamed.
time was measured to distract.


A Humpback Whale arrives to calve in sanctuary’s dawn.
Still water, then her nose appearing,
then her monumental presence rising like a building;
then her entire whaleness levitating on her tail for a moment in our thin world.
Only faithful joy has that kind of power.
Then arching to fly,
and slamming, bursting, the surface for the generations to hear and feel.
She fills an ocean with her soul, a year with one song.
She is alive today, escaping slaughter
After swimming through the blood of her family spilled by our grandfather's harpoons,
Even with all the seas poisoned and starving,
Swim in the echoes of her call; she loves completely.


Keep no tally from the intangible past,
forgiving is possible.


Swimming Penguins
Birds evolved to fly in ocean.
Wings to flippers, feet stepping clumsily from water.
Yet eggs must still nest, their babies still breathe.
Safety is the very precipice of existence, on bitter ice at 60 below,
Sheltering their young clustered from blistering winds,
fasting from sustenance,
While heaven’s glorious Aurora flame silently over their winter dreams.

Extremes reveal the Sacred, but we’re confused.
Fear mistakenly chained with control; but both dissipate with acceptance.


A Serotinous Pine there,
Where winter snows soak into thirsty soil but relentless summer sun bakes motionless
Every plant a tinder held close to conflagration,
in a season's Russian roulette of forest fire.
This pine seals precious seed away from every spring’s promise,
lest burning destroys every one.
Only searing heat during torched consumption triggers the last gentle act,
At the knife’s edge of death itself,
opening cones of seeds.
Fluttering down to new life on the other side of time.
Tiny bright green amid black ashes.

This apocalypse was our contrivance, but so is the word.
Beginning of the End or End of the beginning, all the same.


So what then are we, on This Earth?
Cerebral Creatures, Storytelling Animals,
Minds created to sense spiritual constructs.
Living is the method of our creation,
Sheltering each other from inherited trials
With contrived joys and sufferings distracting each other
From the abyss both sides:
Soul freezing fearful cold of the Empty Void and consuming fire of Electric Chaos.

In the End, our sacrificing gift,  greater than ourselves,
for our children,
is God.
.
.
I already wrote this in two parts, but I've been working on and revising them to bring them together better.
.
Copyright © 2012 Anna Honda. All Rights Reserved.
Xander Duncan Jun 2014
One: Sleepy
When your spine takes cat-like curves into the recesses of blankets
And crickets and thunder and howling wind all sound like peace
And puzzle pieces fitting splendidly against each other
You’re sleepy when your eyelashes are weakly magnetized
And pull gently towards one another in soft but stuttered motions
When white noise and static fill your ears the way that water can sometimes fill a glass a little bit past the top without spilling
And you look forward to the lure of dreams or of dreamless nights
Because you know you’re sleepy when the only reason to be awake in the moment
Is so that you can appreciate the split second of falling
When you finally lose consciousness

Two: Bored
When you switch from counting ceiling tiles to counting the colors that you can find when you close your eyes with varying degrees of tension
And you’ve become so bored with distracting yourself that sleep seems like the only genuine option
Even if you’ve only just woken up
Even if you’re not feeling comforted by darkness and silence yet
Even if distractions are abundant
Because they just aren’t distracting enough
Sometimes boredom summons misery just to occupy your mind
And you’re bored when you remember you were supposed to be in bed an hour before
And you actually listen to yourself and go

Three: Drowsy
When you wish you had longer limbs just so you could properly drape them from the edges of your mattress and stretch at better angles
Suspecting that maybe the odd crooks in your bedframe are the crooks that have been thieving in bits of the night and stealing the ends of dreams and the beginnings of alarms
You’re drowsy when you can feel the burn of smoke sloping against the walls of your lungs
Even when you’ve been breathing clean air all day
And the dizzy spin of the room is more of a waltz that’s moving just a little bit slower than expected
Until you turn the music off

Four: Fed Up
When stress is snapping at your synapses and igniting fizzling fireworks at the back of your throat
But the forward corners of your eyes pull together to shut out the world
Because ignoring is a temporary retreat into forgetting
And permanence isn’t something you’re in the mood to believe in any way
You’re fed up with the world, and with existing
Or maybe just being awake
When you know there are better things that you could and should be doing
But shutting down is all you can manage right now

Five:  Faint
When the world appears not only blurry, but verging on translucent
And there’s a steady hum lacing the edges of reality
With sporadic jolts of memory forcing twitching sensations down your back
You’re feeling faint when you’re hopelessly holding onto consciousness
Because you’re a little bit afraid of falling
But you would never admit it
Because there are too many blank spaces in your vision to allow for any vagueness in your thoughts
But sometimes the body can’t keep up with the mind
And you collapse all the same

Six: Weary
When time seems to thicken and stick to your skin
Weighing down your movements like steel beads of sweat
And pressing palms to your eyes almost seems to drown out sound as well
You’re weary when the grass feels a few inches too long and the ground seems a few inches too close
And the ends of your limbs feel as though they have been reaching for something a little bit too far away
And you have only just given up
So you grab handfuls of the clothes you have on and pull them tighter against yourself
Forming an artificial blanket
And imitation slumber

Seven: Exhausted
When you can feel static buzzing through your veins
Stretching capillaries into threads to keep yourself sewn together
Knowing that consciousness could spill from the cracks in your skin all too easily if given the chance
And your eyelids hold together like the grand doors of a cathedral
Opening only with a struggle that everyone tries to make seem effortless
You’re exhausted when you’ve been writing this poem for days trying to find the words
To properly describe different degrees of fatigue
And you’re sure that you’ve probably recycled a metaphor or two but you don’t bother to double check
So you keep trudging along
Until nothing makes sense anymore
And the seams that encase your consciousness begin to strain
And snap

Eight: Hyperactive
When despite all reason dictating that you should be experiencing the drag of being awake for too long
You see clearly and think in double time
With energy flickering behind your irises
Foreshadowing the dread of sunrise
You’re hyperactive when you’re knitting your voice with your friends’ voices in a collage of laughs
Each indistinguishable from the last
And you start counting the stars with flashlights until
Like sugar and smiles
And fast cars on icy roads
You inevitably
Crash

Nine: Emotionally Drained
When you’re worn to the point that mental distress manifests itself physically
And you can feel the chains of your own thoughts around your wrists
Almost wishing they were tighter so there would at least be proof of their damage
You’re emotionally drained when you can scream without making any sound
And you've perfected the syncopated rhythm of a nervous twitch
You realize that you've been grinding your teeth for the last two hours
So you switch to biting your tongue
And you don’t rest
You don’t rest until there are tears mimicking a Jackson ******* on your pillowcase
You don’t rest until the clock is judging you for testing it
You don’t rest until you feel empty
You cannot rest when you feel empty
No matter how desperately you wish you could just fade
And drift away
You do not
Rest

Ten: Tired
Just…tired
This is about twice as long as it can be for a poetry slam, so I need to cut out almost half, but at least I can post the full version here
Heather Moon Feb 2014
Dad
So my father,
he goes into the store to buy his $10 a pack for cancer
while he still attempts to hide his addictions from my sister and I.
Now I don't think it would bother me oh so much
but his frugal attempts to sweep the dust under the rug is like using a mop instead of a broom...
We see the crumbs leading to your door from the cookie jar.
Yes, we all have flaws, but you,
you
weave shamefully through the under layers of darkness, devoid of any resemblance to a heavenly nature, you fall like a night creature weaseling through crooked creaky cement alleyways, your gremlin spirit set ablaze.

LIFE, I revel and roll within the taste of each second, I run the grain of life across my tongue until saliva fills the creases and far reached corners of my mouth. I tap my finger to my lips like a true virtuoso, a connoisseur of life. Life.

My father's addictions completely derail me,
not even so the notion itself, I mean yes, but his blatantly obvious ways of avoiding confrontation not only from us, but also from himself.
Like Pinocchio's nose, my fathers back gets hunched more and more, his breath quickens when we draw close.
Father you are not prey, in fact if there be a predator, it is you unto yourself. I can no longer help but to roll my eyes when you tell me for the fourth time in the day that you must take out the trash so as to have a smoke.
I am fed up, excuse me sir, the trash will still be there no matter how many times you take out the "trash" .
The only "thing" that won't be left after you're repeated offenses of the benign chore will be you're dignity because you are so naive and ignorant in the way you dodge truth. How can you live respectfully when you don't respect yourself? Nor do you value what you are spitting out to your own daughters.
I am addicted to life,
I breathe it in with passion,
I embrace the truth within me
and have an eagerness to expand my wisdom.
How come father you do something that you know is a betrayal to yourself? How come you hide away in that old bar, the one with the flashing(flickering) light on the outside, dingy worn out red leather(plastic)booths on the inside, the bar located in some musty  little hole in you're brain and a blind spot on you're heart.
You sit in the back in a lonesome booth slumped like some chump, stuck in a stump, you ooze and wheeze not even grasping for air, no fight left within, you are like mucus, a toad melting into the ground. Sinister and swindling in the greed of you're gut. Your ***** mopey yellow eyes and the shameful acceptance as you indulge in the baths of life's luxuries whilst you poison your body, trash what you hold dear and continue to block out that little annoying voice.
The voice with the cracks in it,
worn out from you're games, the voice that nags and pleads. The one that catches you before you order another round, take another smoke break, the one that pulls you, tantalizes you with it's simple sweet natural charm in hopes of distracting you from your self harming ways.
The voice that chimes in the second you raise your fist to punch me. The voice that is screaming at you when you lock eyes with mine and can see my fear.
Yeah that voice, the little punk one that returns even after the crime of your actions has been committed.
After the music stops and it's just you and the world.
but even then
I don't think you will hear it.
You're living on the edge of the pavement father.
No you wont hear that voice, not when you're twisted and contorted into the sideways way of things. You killed that voice long ago, when you wound yourself deeper and deeper like a clock in time,
when you twirled yourself into that little empty pub, with a quiet pool table, with no hope, a sanctum of greed.
Yes, you're guilty, yes it was you.
It was you who killed the voice inside of yourself.
You killed it when you traded
your dignity and your truth
for yet another
$10 dollar pack of
emptiness,
lies,
and forfiet.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds.
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

I am alone in this mountain fastness, on a steep downward path in the deepest shadow. I play with the twelve characters of Lui Tsung-yaun’s poem. How few poems tell of the desolation of winter. The coming of Spring, the passing of Autumn? Yes. But the onset of Winter? Even my sharp memory only recalls a meagre handful of poems to this season: the time of the first snows. Against all good sense I set out from Stone Village too late in the year: now I search for comforting word images to accompany me on this journey. Just below the snowline I pass through a stunted forest of ancient walnut trees almost leafless; the unrelenting wind has dispatched them crinkled brown into the valley below. I see there a winding river. I see its distant lake. I think of this poem known since my teenage years, puzzled over that one could see in one sweep of the horizon a thousand peaks. Here are that thousand and more if the ranks of limestone pillars in these mountains can be counted as peaks. I count them as peaks. And those thousand paths? At every turn there is some fresh way falling into the valley, or a faint trail rising to the heights. But this path I tread asserts itself on the traveller. Its stones are worn and the excrement of passing pack animals sticks to my boots.

Last night a cave, tonight I will reach the village of Psnumako. My former guide provided its name with a disdain he could not hide. When questioned he warned me not to enter without a stout staff against the mastiffs that guard each house, supposedly ******* during the day but apt to break their bonds at the smell of a stranger.

The steep and ever steeper descent brings pain to my knees. At this hour of the day my body would prefer to climb to the heights, but descend I must. The cold, the damp cold begins to stiffen weary limbs. I am tired from a day’s travel, tired from three hard climbs, two descents and this, my third, to complete before nightfall. I enter a narrow gorge loud with clamour of running water, cascade upon cascade flowing from the heights, falling fast to the river soon to interrupt my path. I shall have to force a crossing. What passed for a bridge were two fallen pines lashed together.  Now they lie akimbo a little distant, thrown apart like sticks by the spring flood as the deep snows melt. I must divest myself of boots and lower garments and wade across, stumbling on stones up to my waist in swift waters, terrified under the weight of my pack that I will fall and be swept under and along. To travel alone at such moments is foolhardy, but on this cold afternoon I have no choice.

I am so intent on preparing for this crossing it is only when I reach the end of the path that I notice snow is falling, its flakes sharp and white against the dark-water flow. The whirl and turn of the water mesmerises. Fatigue, fatigue embraces me, a day’s fatigue holds me fast on the river’s stony side. I close my eyes and hear the water rush and place myself into the protection of a mountain charm learnt from a passing traveller. Dwarfed by the size of his burden I see him negotiate a narrow path high above a chasm; he walked trance-like to the intoning of this charm.

It is soon done, the cold crossing, and with a lighter step I walk the remaining leagues to the lake-side and sight of the village. There are the faintest sparks of light amongst the silhouettes of houses. Animals are being brought in from the home fields against the night. A sudden shout, the barking of dogs, and now the snow falls thick and fast.

The guttural dialect here is barely discernable as speech. We are from different worlds this shepherd and I who meet at the stupa guarding the village entrance. This is not a Buddhist shrine but an acknowledgement of some mountain giant of terrifying aspect. The shepherd sees my official insignia and nods, knowing I will require shelter. He utters what may be a welcome, but could be a warning, and leads me forth. The mastiffs leap and bay as I pass between the primitive two-storey houses, animals below, humankind above. He disappears. I stop and wait. He returns with a woman who beckons me to climb the ladder to what may be her home. A widow perhaps? She is alone unless the rank darkness hides a man or child. But there is none. I hear animals move and grunt under the floor, a mat of dirt and straw. There is a sleeping loft, a cooking corner. I can see little else. But I am out of the snow, the biting wind, the cold. She pulls at my cloak, wet and caked with ice. There is a bowl placed in my hands; a rough tea. I speak a greeting, but there is no reply just a rustle of straw as she moves across the room.

The stupor of a journey’s pause is upon me. After three days on the trail to the heights I am numb with fatigue. I need food and sleep. I need rest before a final trek into the wilderness. Beyond Psnumako Lake known paths end. Except for the tracks used by shepherds to move their flocks to different seasonal pastures, there is wilderness. I hope for guidance, for the whereabouts of the sages who, in the winter months I am told, leave their reed huts on the heights for caves in the lower valleys. I shall be patient, remain here a little while. I am now immune to the discomfort and dirt of travel. That is how it is. That is how is must be. I miss only the mental absorption of writing, the caress of the brush on a scroll. In my home in Louyang I keep brush and paper close to hand; wherever I may be I can write, even in, especially in, the privy. If a line comes to me I can write it down. Here there is only the comfort of memory.

To think that in the past I wrote of this mountain wilderness out of my imagination and the descriptions of others. I once thought of these remote places as havens of spiritual liberation.

In the hills there is the sound of zither.
White clouds stay over shaded peaks,
Red flowers shine in the sunlit woods
Rocks are washed in the stream like jade;

How very different is the reality of it all; in this emerging winter world of mist, where the sun rarely visits and most living things have departed, where wind colours silence and one’s footfall becomes consolation. The sound of stone rubbing stone on the path is the eternal present. There have been days when only a distant crow moves in the landscape. Lammergeyers are known in these parts, but I have yet to see one. If there are wild beasts, they shun me.

As this bowl of tea cools in my hands but warms my frozen fingers I form pictures of the past day on its dark surface. Before dawn from the mouth of a river cave I sensed changes in the qualities of darkness that have hidden the heights above me. Then a perceptible line appeared and divided the mountain from the sky. That line became variegated; there were trees bristling on the highest rocks. It appears that at this hour the prevalent mist settles in the valleys leaving the sky clear.

The woman comes to me. She kneels to untie my boots. She looks with a curious innocence at my strangeness, the distortion of my face, the cleft palette, the deformed upper lip, the squint of my left eye. She is kindly as I give her my best smile though my face seems frozen still. There is a whisper, a prayer of welcome possibly. Then she bows her head, unravels a long scarf to reveal a mane of oiled hair, and sets about removing my boots. I see only the top of her head, a severe parting, hair held tightly in wooden combs. I close my eyes to bring to mind the image of Xaoli, so slight in comparison, her butterfly hands flittering into and around my sleeves, her seeing touch mapping out the extent of me, each piece of clothing, only later my face.

My reverie is broken by the entrance of two men. They squat behind the woman and, after taking in my ugliness and my hairpins of office, patiently wait for her to finish and retire. We stand and bow, then sit again amongst the straw.

‘Honoured Lord, I am Yun. You have travelled from Stone Village? And beyond?’

I pass him the Emperor’s seal he cannot read, but remain silent.

‘You are seeking those who live in the heights? The village only sees their servants, young boys sent for a goat or flasks of barley spirit. They bring herbs our women favour. Some have seen their huts when seeking lost animals. Now it is said they are gathered in the caves like animals waiting for the spring moon.’

‘When was the village last visited by their kind?’

‘ Hanlu, my Lord, the time of cold dew, two boys appeared with a pony. There was trading. They brought Chrysanthemum flowers and herbs for two geese and wine. They left scrolls for passage to Stone Village. Now the snows fall we may not see them until the Spring’

‘How far are your summer pastures? Have you any who would guide me there ?’

‘We do not seek these places after the first snows. The sages haunt the region beyond Chang Mountain. Before the 11th moon you might pass into the valley of Lidong where it is believed their caves lie, but to return before the Spring will not be possible.’

‘How many days there?’

‘Allow four. A difficult way, unmarked, rarely trodden, much climbing. There is one here who we could send with you – part of the way, and at a price, My Lord. Dahan travelled two seasons since as groom to a party of six with ponies, but then in late Spring.’

‘I will stay three days.’

‘Just so My Lord. Xiu Li will see to your wishes.’

And they depart, Yun’s companion has remained silent throughout, though searched my face continually. By the door he places his hand against the stout bag that carries my lute. ‘Guqin’, he says tenderly.

This instrument is my pass to the community of the reclusive. I am renown for my songs and their singing. My third-best guqin has not left its bag since Stone Village and I fear damage despite all my care on the path.

Later, as the village mastiffs gradually cease their baying as the quarter moon rises I take this instrument and place it across my lap. Its seven silk strings I wipe with a cloth and gently tune with its tasselled pegs. I then prepare myself through meditation to avoid the intrusion of distracting thoughts. With my eyes closed I allow my hands to seek out and name each part of guqin: from the Forehead of the Top Board, to the String Eyes, the Dew Collector, The Mountain, Shoulder and Phoenix Wings, past the Waist, the Hat Lines and the Dragon’s Beard, to the Dragon’s Gums and thence to the Inner Top Board. I can feel the Pillar of Heaven – the sound post – has moved a little in my recent travels. So too the Pillar of Earth – but with care I move both to their rightful positions. And so on naming the inner and outer parts of each of the two boards that make up the guqin. I begin to regulate my breathing and allow the fingers of my left hand to stroke and touch, to press and oscillate in the manner of vibrato. Zhoa Wenji describes twenty-three kinds of vibrato. I feel in turn each of the hui, the thirteen gold studs that mark the harmonic nodes and allow me to play the guqin by touch alone. In these moments of preparation I hear the words of my teacher: a good player makes sounds that are plentiful but not confused. As the moon reflecting on water, so the sounds are together but not combined. Like wind in the pines, they are combined but also spread out. Such sounds are valued for their lightness. Avoid the addition of inappropriate  "guest" sounds. This is the refined theory of the guqin. To be knowledgeable about music, one must seek this, then one can realize its beauty.

I have tuned to the Huangzhong mode. The song *Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend
I have brought to mind. I recall the words of The Slender Hermit who says of this piece that its interest lies in holding cherished thoughts, but having no way to tell these to anyone. There are emotions about the present time, longings and laments for the past, but there is no way to express any of this. And so this piece.

In this poor reed hut the room is filled with mist and haze,
how far away are the things I love;
the old plum tree seems exhausted, its flowers about to die,
the mountains are lonely and I am nostalgic for past times.
The moon shines brightly on this lovely evening,
from this distance I think of my old friend and wonder where he is.
The green of the mountains never fades,
but before I know it my hair will turn white;
the moon is waning and flowers wither,
Old friend, I dream constantly of meeting you.
How hard it is to recall the joy of our last meeting!
With the many mountain ranges,
and its hidden tigers and coiled dragons,
I am unable return to you in Chang An.
The road is distant, the tall trees make the road dark,
and the world is vast.

I mourn Aquila and Lyra
separated by the Milky Way like the cowherd and weaving girl,
on the ground we are separated by 1,000 li
in the sky we are each in a separate place,
though our passions remain strong
There has been no warm correspondence,
there is restraint to the bright harmony,
and the flowing streams are swallowed by the setting sun.


The thought of this song of mid autumn touches me before its words have issued from my lips. I play the last two lines in harmonics and sing.
Zuo Si was the brother of the courtesan and poet Zuo Fen. This short story is based on a chapter from my novel Summoning the Recluse. The opening poem appears in a translation by David Hinton from his collection Mountain Home.
Andrew Rueter Aug 2017
Freedom flings
Tyrant kings
Into their rightful place
A head on a plate
Democracy inflates
The morale of the people
Oligarchy deflates
The idea that we're equal

Spiteful dictators make their way through the system
And dominate the world while nobody listens
Distracting people with things that glisten
Disseminating hatred as their vision
Engendering fear is their mission
To buy or sell weapons
For more money or more power
Dropping bombs from their ivory tower
From extreme explosions we cower
Explosions of hatred then violence
Explosions hastened by silence
Explosions of fire we ferment
To burn the faces off our enemy
To avoid exercising our empathy
Creating a world filled by entropy
People say ******* like freedom isn't free
When the currency we pay for freedom
Is restriction
We dampen our fiery feelings
With prescriptions

Freedom is free
It's inherent
It can only be taken or given away
It is not a proper excuse to slay
Those that rightly disagree
With what you're imposing

Freedom is fleeing far far away
When people are molded by clay
Of those with the power to shape civilians
Of those with the power to bring billions
Of people to their knees
When freedom is our fee
To live in timid apathy
onlylovepoetry Jul 2017
did not know her when she was miniskirts and high heels,
before she converted to the one true religion of
poetry & yoga

some stray dog thots raveling in a pack
cross the not-even-6am brain that alternates tween
new day Adam apple crumb crisp and
distracting lascivious Eve ones

I,
would have loved you same back then,
no different than now

I,
write in different styles
under so many pseudonyms,
but it is the same man

I,
who crawls into bed nightly with
great expectations and a list of salutations
to wake you up and commence writing how

I,
love your poetic yoga-toned long legs
snaking between mine
while I imagine them in miniskirts and high heels
which is a long way round of saying

You,
alone, my darling forever young one,
are my
one true religion...
inspired by C.A.

7/3/17 S.I. noon
Alaynah Nov 2018
anxiety
depression
anxiety
depression

the only things that never leave your side
the ones that are always there for you
distracting you from the world
as your life passes you by

constantly reminding you
that you don't need anyone else
so why would that be a question

"hey it's us again! the ones that
assure commitment,
anxiety and depression"

you cling to their words
as they've lived up to their promises
of never leaving you alone

"never question our loyalty we'll always be here!
you're wanted, we want you! and that will never be unknown!"

"we're not sure why you don't want us around
you're always saying you want someone to come in your life
and stay a while
we thought coming around when you felt lonely
would at least make you smile!"

I was never scared of the dark until I met anxiety and depression
they lurk in the nights and watch me sleep and then yell "WAKE UP"
to let me know that self guilt and sadness is still in my possession

it's time to go out and find the cure for this stupid disease
the only things that will make them go away, self love & inner peace

it will be a long time before i find it
but i know who will push me
in the right direction

my old friends who said they'd stay by my side!
Remember them? Anxiety & Depression.
Umi Jan 2018
Accompanied by the beautiful starlight,
Even if mother nature makes things distracting tonight,
All I may think about is simply to hold you, to guide you on
To be close to you until we are greeted by the blush of the dawn While the birds, bugs, bees, flowers and trees rest
I have but one simple request
Oh my dearest, let me love you, from now and forever
Let us be happy and shine together!
Like the moon is in need of the suns light to be able to give us light
Your gaze is what makes this night for me very bright
So will you say yes ?
To this mess?

~ Umi
John Stevens Sep 2010
Author:  Kristen Stevens
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Current mood:outside the loop

And yes I know that's a plagiarization (real word??? no matter) of a stupid show...but you shouldn't watch it anyway so there.

ME! Last week, as you may have heard was not of the fun, so this week in comparison rocked! And, yes, I am going to end every sentence with exclamations! (it's for the sarcastic effect don't panic) As such I’m going to let YOU write my entry…you’ll see.

Once upon a time there was a _ (adj.) girl. She loved her xbox very much. One day an evil _(noun) descended on the precious object and smote it with the fury of _(name of a god). The girl __(verb) for many minutes staring at the remains of her once beloved box. She promptly went to the other, less amusing, magic box and asked for _(noun). She__(adv.) navigated her way through treacherous and distracting destinations. As she approached the official site, a most __(adj.) thing occurred. The destination was _(noun). Much like the construction in her hamlet, it prevented her from registering her distress. Days _(noun) slowly, with still no relief for _(pronoun). What’s a girl to do when  _(frustrating situation)? In her profession the customers would not appreciate it if she came after them with__(weapon of choice from popular video game).

It had been one week, since the demise of _(object). She no longer was _(emotion). The days were literally _(color). Rain fell _(verb ending in –ing) the streets. There was still no reply from the xbox deity. Thus ends the tale of piteous woe.

This girl has been considering swearing fealty to another more worthy gaming god! There are three systems and I own two of them! Don’t make me get the third! This is a threat! (not you guys, the
___{insert favorite utterance} at Microsoft) goes away quietly muttering to self unkind and unpleasant things that should be done to xbox distributors

By the way, how was that I figure, if you’re going to take the time to read it. I should give you something fun to do at the same time. Who doesn’t like madlibs? Huh?
Mahima Gupta Dec 2013
Bipolar
There’s this label 

Which moves everywhere
with her 
Now and then 

Distracting people

And 
Making her life miserable

Because they think

It’s something different 

She’s something different 

There has been a breakdown
She’s mentally sick 

But do you listen to her soul 

Asking people

If they’re not different 

From one another 

Or are they not

Allowed to express themselves  

Everybody is different 

And they prove their existence

In their own ways

She has to behave

As if she has something 

On her conscience 

Something lurks every second 

In the corner of her mind 

With a sublime confidence 

Of acceptance 
But
Anhedonia comes alive with the words coming

Out one by one or rather 

All at once 

Incomprehensibly prefect 

But this label 

Those pills

That prescription 

Only swallows her

From within.
Preston Sep 2015
I have faith in medical science
But little in practice.
Straight spined doctors
Racing stopwatches against
Their appointment books.
Extolling the virtues of thousands of years of medical research
But unable to consider anyone's opinion other than their own.
Kindly, soft-voiced nurses shuffling from
Room to room
Doling out condolences and reassurances
Paired with regimens
Of drugs and IVs.
While Old Time in the ticking clock
Slows
To a dead crawl.
And the noise of heartbeats on machines
And discussions out in the hall
And loved ones distracting and pacifying patients in beds
Layer on top of one another to form a firm blanket of
Crushing. Boredom.
And the antiseptic smell does nothing to ease
The passing of time spent waiting
While the medical machine spins its wheels
To the chime of slot machines.
And the bustling rush outside a curtain
On hard white floors,
Does less than lend a sense a peace
But more of frantic urgency.
Minute long - task oriented visits
Where they know names, numbers, and insurance coverage
And they know how many steps it takes for them
To lend more of their valuable time
In that modern balance of cost and care.
Leaving me wondering,
Where did the connection go?
I wonder where peoples' trust went
And when it was replaced with,
"How much will this cost me?"
Hewasminemoon Jul 2014
It was almost February and winter still hadn’t hit. I was beginning to
think that it wouldn’t arrive, and that spring was here. One evening as I was walking down the streets of the city I looked up to see a single snowflake falling down to meet my face. It was tiny and looked lonely, but a few moments later, it was followed by several more snowflakes. Sooner than later, the ground was covered in a white sheet of snow. and I was stuffing my hands in my coat pockets and pulling my hood on to brace myself against the bone-chilling wind. I made my way into a small coffee shop that was still open and was greeted by a short stocky man in his mid thirties with a dark, curly mustache and sleeves of faded tattoos.
“Hello” he said, his voice sounding deep and smooth. I pulled out my headphones that were burning in my ears, pressed pause on my phone and shoved them carelessly in my messenger bag.
“Hello”, I replied back with a slight smile, pulling my hands out of my
pockets and making my way to the counter.
The shop was small, but it had a staircase leading upstairs with more room for seating. The man who stood behind the counter continued to unpack small plastic covered packages, putting them away in cupboards and freezers. I pulled out my wallet from my bag and plopped it on the counter, feebly attempting to pull out my card with my hands shaking violently from the cold.
“What a night”, the man said, his eyes still focused on his duties.
“Hmm.” I said, nodding. “Can I get a 12oz mocha, please?” The man looked up from his package, and giggled coyly.
“Sure you can, sweetheart." He put the package that he was holding down below him, and began making the drink I had just ordered. My credit card held tightly in my hand, still shaking. There was awkward silence between us and I got the feeling the man understood I didn’t feel like talking. He finished my order, filling a small, white ceramic mug, and pushed it across the counter towards me.
“Anything else?”
I shook my head, implying no and handed him the cold card. He swiped it and handed it back to me, along with a receipt and a pen to sign. I signed the receipt, grabbed my coffee and headed up the stairs to my right. Upstairs, there was a large room with a dining room looking table and several chairs, and to the left, and a small hole in the wall with several cushions. I smiled at the welcoming spot, and took a seat. Pulling a small table up next to me, I set my coffee down, and rested my bag on the floor below me. The upstairs was completely empty. In fact; the entire shop was empty besides the man working downstairs. I took a deep breath in and let my head rest on some of the cushions behind me. Closing my eyes, I let out my breath and felt the warmth and the vast history of the shop run envelop me. I grabbed at the cup beside me and sipped at my coffee. It was still too hot to drink comfortably, so I set it down. Out of my bag, I pulled out my phone with the headphones still attached and scrunched into a tight tangled ball.
Untangling them, I placed each bud in my ear, and pressed play, continuing the song I had stopped when I had entered the coffee shop. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and I sunk deeper and deeper into the pillows around me, the smell of old books seeping into my skin. Finally, I closed my eyes, and after a few moments, was sound asleep.
When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a man’s face, unfamiliar but comforting.
“Excuse me…” he said, with a wide grin.
I jumped with embarrassment; ripping my headphones out of my ears, although they were no longer playing anything. How long had I been asleep? And who was this young man? An employee of the shop? A customer?
“Sorry!” I yelped.
The man chuckled as I swung my feet around to the floor and pulled out my phone to check the time. Realizing it was dead, I scanned the room for a clock and with no success I asked the stranger “What time is it?”
He rolled up his sleep, and checked what to be a rather expensive watch. The man was dressed nicely, but nothing too formal. A clean pair of black jeans, a plaid shirt and a sweater over it. His hair, a dark brown looked thick and slightly curled. He ran his fingers through it as he responded. “It’s quarter past.”
“Past what?”
He blinked at me. “Eight…” he paused at my confused look. “A.M”
I gasped at the time. It was just past nine at night when I had dozed off.
Why did the short stalky man not wake me? Did he forget I was upstairs?
Maybe he assumed I had left, and just missed me doing so.
“I…I…” I stumbled upon my words. I wasn’t quite sure what to say, still
unsure who this man was.
“My boss told me you’d be up here.” He lifted my cup of cold coffee and
handed it to me. “I can get you a warm cup if you’d like. We don’t open for another half hour.”
I nodded, and with the cup in hand, the man turned and headed down the stairs. I gathered my things, smoothed out my shirt, tossed my hair to one side and followed the man down the stairs.
“My names Elliot” he shouted from behind the counter and the noises of the coffee machine.
“Ellie.” I shouted back.
A door swung open and in Elliot’s hand was a new cup of coffee.
“That’s a coincidence.”
I smiled nervously and took the cup from the man.
“Sit.” he said, nodded to a table.
I followed his instructions and set my cup down and pulled out a chair.
He stared at me for a moment as I stared at my coffee. After a long moment of silence, I started.
“I am so sorr-”
He stopped me and reached out, resting his hand on top of mine.
“It’s alright Ellie…really.”
I had a few questions but didn’t know where to start. So I let the silence
continue.
“My boss figured you needed a place to stay.”
I wasn’t homeless. Did I look homeless?
“Do you...have somewhere to go…?”
I nodded. “I’m not homeless…” I proclaimed. I couldn’t help but stare at
his hands. There was something different about them from the rest of the
man.
“I figured. You’re too well dressed to be homeless.” He smiled, and his
hands moved up and through his hair again.
“So, if you’re not homeless then what’s your story?”
My story? I didn’t have a story. I was a young single girl. Lonely. Living
on her own in the city. On her way home when a snow storm hit. I just stopped into the coffee shop to get warm, not to spend the night like some refugee.
“My story?”
“Yeah, your story.” he continued to grin at me.
I paused to think of an answer.
“I was just on my way home. Stopped in for a cup of coffee. Guess I didn’t
drink enough of it.”
He laughed at the comment, showing a set of pearly white teeth.
“Maybe it wasn’t a very good cup of coffee.” He glanced at the cup in front of me. I lifted it and took a sip.
“This cup’s better.” We both laughed softly, then found each other staring
for long while at one another.
“I’ll make sure not to tell my boss you said that.”
I took another sip. “I should probably go…” I said, standing up.
“Go where?”
“Home.”
He shook his head chuckling slightly. “Hang out. I’ll open late.”
“I don’t want to be more of an inconvenience than I already have been.”
Elliot reached out and took my hand in his, squeezing it softly.
“Ellie.”
My eyes grew wide, and I felt my heart beat quickly within my chest.
“Let’s not play games with one another. Stay.”
I pulled my hand away, and bit my lip.
“I can’t. I’m sorry Elliot.” I grabbed my bag from under the table, and thew
it across my shoulder. “Thank you…” I said, thinking of his hands but
staring at the blue in his eyes. I turned around, and pushed the door open.


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

It was Valentine’s Day (or as I like to call it “Singles Awareness Day” ) and my friend had dragged me out to this terrible bar in the suburbs  titled “Distraction” My friend, who was newly single and “ready to mingle” laughed when she saw the big blue sign with the name.
“That’s an ironic name” she said, snickering.
I nodded my head and groaned as we headed inside. She was right. What was this bar distracting me from? If anything, it was drawing more attention to the things I was supposed to be distracted from by just existing with such a name. My friend walked up to the bar, leaned against a stool and ordered something sweet. She asked me if I wanted anything, but I shook my head no. After a few minutes of small talking with her, and watching her sip at her watered down drink, I noticed a young man walking towards us. The bar was dimly lit, and I couldn’t quite make him out but I sighed and turned towards the bartender.
“*** and coke” I hollered out to the man. “Pour heavy!”
I stayed facing the shelves of drinks, the different bottles organized by color and type. Whiskey, Tequila, *****. Suddenly, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and with a deep inhale, I turned; expecting some man with sleeked back hair and a bad tan to be facing me.
Instead, it was Elliot. Staring at me, standing inches from my face. I took a step back into a bar stool, and fell into a seat.
“Ellie” he said, smiling.
I couldn’t help but smile for a moment too, but then I quickly wiped it away as the bartender slid my drink to the right of me. Before I could do anything, Elliot placed a few dollars on the counter.
“You don’t have to -“
“It’s fine”  He continued to smile widely.
I looked around the room for my friend, she was across the room playing darts with some broad shouldered man. I took my glass, placed the straw on the counter and gulped down about half of it in one drink.  
“Happy Valentines Day” he said, almost sarcastically following the statement with a slight laugh.
I felt myself smiling again and took another gulp. The bartender definitely poured heavy. The liquid burned as it slid down my throat, and I clenched my teeth. I could tell Elliot was trying hard not to laugh.
“Would you like to dan-“
I bursted out laughing.
“Dance? Oh god, please. Don’t do this Elliot.”
He stared at me widely for a moment. “What are you so afraid of Ellie?”
I scoffed, and shook my head, taking another drink I responded
“I’m not afraid of anything”
He blinked at me, then ran through his fingers through his hair and breathed out loudly.
“Is it me?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer this, or what he was really even asking. I stumbled on my words, stuttering. I finished my drink, and set the glass down on the counter.
“Another?” he asked.
“No...” I paused. “Thank you”
He stared at me for a moment, his brows furrowed. He reached out to touch me, and I pulled away.
“Ellie...Let me-“
I interrupted him and shouted out “space!”
He looked puzzled, then chuckled.
“What?”
“I’m afraid of space”
“Space....? Please elaborate.”
“Like the sky, and the planets and the stars and ****”
He laughed softly. “And ****...”
“Think about it. We have no idea what’s out there. We have no idea what’s coming for us. We are so small, comparatively.”
“So you believe in aliens?”
“I believe in possibility”
“Anything could happen.”
“Exactly! Right now, as we speak, the sun could explode.”
“Or, aliens could invade!”
“You’re really stuck on the alien thing.”
“It’s a possibility”
We both sat in silence for a moment, his eyes felt heavy on me. I stood up from my stool, our bodies were almost touching.
“I’ve got to go see if my friends OK.” I said, glancing over at her. She was still playing darts with the broad shoulder man. He had his arms wrapped around her, ‘showing’ her how to hold the dart now.
“She looks like she’s doing ok to me” Elliot said with a snicker.
I didn’t argue.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
I shook my head violently. “Look, Elliot. You seem-“ I stopped and thought of how I wanted to finish my sentence, but before I could, Elliot grabbed my hand and held it tightly.
“Ellie. I’m just a man. I’m not some comet coming down or some alien race a million light years away. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
I took a few shallow breaths, my heart was pounding. I tried pulling away, but Elliot just pulled himself closer to me.
“You said you believe in possibility. You can’t deny the possibility of you and me.”
“I...”
He reached up, and tucked a hair that was falling down my face behind my ear then stepped back, letting go of my hand.
“I have an idea.”
“What’s that?”
“I want to help you conquer your fear”
“Oh?”
He grabbed my hand again and pulled me towards the door, I looked over to my friend, but didn’t fight him.
“She’ll be okay.” he said, still tugging me.
I followed him out the door and down the street. We stopped and hailed a cab, as one pulled up, he opened the door for me.
“Get in.”
“I don’t even know you. You could be taking me to some wear house to **** and ****** me!”
“Ellie. Don’t be so dramatic. Get in”
“Where are we going?”
“To the moon.”
“And back again?”
“We’ll see. Maybe once you get there, you’ll never want to leave.”
“It’s a possibility”
I stepped inside the cab, and so did he.

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


Once we were in the cab, the rush of excitement I was feeling in the bar and in the street had faded. Elliot handed the man his phone, which had an address written on it. The cabbie put the address into his GPS and started the meter as he drove on.
“So are we taking the cab to the moon? Or are we just taking the cab to NASA and then a spaceship to the moon?” I said sarcastically, my voice breaking from nervousness. Elliot put his hand on my leg, and sat back into his seat without saying anything.
“Who’s paying for the cab Elliot?”
He continued to be silent. I turned at stared out the window, I noticed the cab was taking us out of the city and I began to get a little worried.
“Can you please tell me where we’re going?” I asked quickly. I looked back at Elliot, he was sweating.
“Elliot? Is everything OK?” His eyes were shut and his breathing was heavy.
“I’m afraid of things in motion.” he muttered softly.
“Isn’t everything in motion?” he opened his eyes, raised his brows and then smiled at me.
“I mean, the world is always turning and we’re walking, or breathing. So we’re moving, no matter what-“
“Can you be quiet please?”
I looked back out the window again for what felt like a long while. Finally, the cab stopped in front a large abandoned dome like building in a town I had never been in. Elliot was quick to exit the cab, and circle the car to open my door. I stepped out, Elliot paid the driver and the cab drove away.
“So you ARE going to **** and ****** me?”
Elliot looked at me, and took my hand.
“I’m sorry about in the car. What mean by things in motion is like, cars and trains and planes and...” he paused, “and ****...”
We both laughed.
“I knew what you meant. I’m sorry if I was being difficult.”
He gave me a look and I nodded at him. He took me by the hand and led me closer to the building. We reached a door that had been boarded up.
“This doesn’t look like the moon...Or NASA...”
“Ellie. Do you trust me?”
“I...I don’t really even know you so-“
Elliot pried back at the board, slipping into the building through a small space and pulled me inside with him. The room we stepped into was a circle, and in the center; a large telescope.
“Does that even work?”
He squeezed my hand, then let go. Approaching the telescope, he stepped up a small set of stairs to a control panel. He pushed a few buttons and a few moments later, I heard a whirring and a low rattle followed by a deep sound. I felt a slight vibration and suddenly the roof was opening above me, exposing the night sky. On this night, the stars were bright, and the moon was full.
“Come here” Elliot called out from near the telescope.
I started to shake only slightly at the sight of the sky above me, I felt frozen and tense, as if I couldn’t move. Elliot made his way down the stairs and towards me.
“It’s okay Ellie.” he said, reaching for my hand and guiding me towards the telescope. We stepped up the stairs, and he stood next to me, still holding my hand as he adjusted a few things, looking in the telescope, then at me, then back through the telescope. He turned towards me, nudging me.
“Go ahead.”
I looked at the giant metal telescope, and shook my head.
“I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here but-“
He put his hand on my lower back, and pushed me towards the telescope.
“Just look.”
I put my face close to the telescope, an
Esmena Valdés Jan 2018
It is known through the eyes.
Not from voice
designated instrument of the thymus
but the eyes.
Portals of silent universes.
The expression of the gaze
sometimes sings and dances.
Distracting eyes
couriers and trunks
sometimes they blink but aren't liars.
It could be the same wicked look
kinda lost,
kinda absorbed,
but never turbid.
Icarus Dec 2009
There are periods that need to be put at the end of sentences that started with a thought, rambled onto paragraphs that branched into multiple ambitious topics that was then  left hanging in jumbled confusion half-way through time. In the endless strings of unecessary conjunctions, painful careless adjectives, and inappropriate prepositions, a simple period, used at the end of a completed, sensible sentence, one in which you put an effort to complete, regardless of the distracting pauses of time...a perfect period like that could go a long, long way. It ends THAT sentence so that another, more mature, wiser, more sensible one that could  bring forth beautiful thoughts in endless paragraphs, could then begin.

Such is the language of life.
Such is the power of a period.
It is called closure.
Sometimes, we should use more periods in our lives,
to make our sentences clear.
Yes.
Period.
Rebecca Gismondi Sep 2016
it takes 8 hours and 1 minute to get to Gansevoort Street

they say to truly love someone
you must know them through all four seasons

barricaded branches prevented you from coming February 6th

black leather interior seemed like the perfect place

to evaporate
like a cigarette outside Baby Huey
punch holes in your arm like a belt
so a finger can’t trace it

without being caught
hornets under Dixie cups
razored wings carve out this body
phantom knee, nerve extension
push your thumb into its stump

regret pushing the willow
walking the length of dead grass to a childhood hub
a reminder of which sits on your bedside
as an 8-year-old pilot
spearheading a UAV to TOR

Dundas Square sees you in an amber light.
maybella snow Jul 2013
passed out at 3:42am
     woke up at 7:01
about three and a half
                          hours sleep
  and i'm still functioning
well, i'm moving around
                   and i'm distracted
            by thoughts
                 emotions
                 you
                                 and through all of this
all i want is to be held
     embraced by your warmth
                   enveloped by your smell
i'd cover myself in your fragrance
          if it made me feel warm
   like you were nearer
             like you were holding me
keeping me safe, watching me
       drift to sleep
                                       not pass out
Sara Rain Dec 2015
Do you know how ******* hard it is to have a disorder with no cure?
“It’s all in your head.”, because it’s so complex that doctors can prescribe anything for you, of course shock therapy isn’t a thing anymore.

I look down at my hands and think, “Is this real?” Of course it’s ******* real, stop being irrational.
But, why doesn’t it feel real?
I’ve been eating fine, sleeping ok, taking my medicine. Why do I feel as if my brain is not connected with my body?
Well, maybe it is. Maybe a part of me just isn’t here anymore.
I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel, off. I’m not me. I’m not anything. I can feel the oblivion in my veins. My sense of reality is gone, and I don’t know what to do with myself.

I can see what’s going on, and I do have control over my actions, but my thoughts are a jumble and some tastes, smells, etc don’t feel the same.
I miss myself.
I miss myself so badly.
Don’t get me wrong, clinical depression and such has kind of guided me towards self hatred, but I’d rather feel self hatred, than feel, this.
Feel everything at once, yet feeling nothing at all.

I’m reckless. I say what I want, do what I want, because nothing feels real.
I even dropped out of school, quit my job, all at 16 and I stay home trying to play video games to distract myself.
Distracting myself always seems to be the best solution. It holds me back from the temptation of just laying on my floor, crying and screaming, just wanting to feel normal. Feel whole.

I can sometimes have normal conversations. Sometimes. Very rarely unless it’s someone very close. Even family members I avoid speaking to in general.
Calen has been helping me, alot. Mostly distracting me. He understands my needs in general, and doesn’t insist on my spilling my emotions to him. He just supports me through it all. If I need to cry, if I need to laugh, he’ll be there.
He’s honestly the only person, well the only thing that has made me think twice.

Now, I’ve laid on the floor, screaming to the moon and to any higher power that might be out there to make me feel sane.

But Calen has seemed to be the only thing that makes me feel, real.
Like, continuing life is actually purposeful.
You could give me a list of things I could do with my life, and amazing things I could accomplish, but all I have to do is talk to him for 5 minutes, even if we talk about nothing of the sort, and I’ll feel the need to live another 24 hours.
You came back with rage again
You stupid, freaking, angry pen
I used to think that we were friends
But that seems to be coming to an end
You're an angry pen
A crazy pen
I don't like you one bit
You're a lazy pen
A stupid pen
A freaking baby nudist pen
And I Hate You
I want to write but you're too busy distracting me
With you're incorrect grammar and all your pointless babbling
I can't believe this is happening
How can a pen be mad at me?
I feel like a disciple and this pen is just a Sadducee
And I'm *******, again
But this time it's going to stay
All I wanted to do was play
But this pen led me astray
And I hate it
Every little click makes me cringe
Every little word I write makes me want more revenge
But lets face it...
What exactly would I do a pen?
Instead of taking it a part and putting it back together again
Well, it depends...
But honestly pens don't really make good friends
You rusty pen
You musty pen
You mother freaking ugly pen!
I hate you pen!
I breake you pen!
I can't wait to look down from Heaven and see your face in hell.

— The End —