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Nicole stely Apr 2018
Ice
Because I could not draft for Ice,
it did kindly draft for me.
Does the Ice make you shiver?
does it?

Pay attention to the chill,
the chill is the most shivering fear of all.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the chill,
Gently it goes - the chill, the trembling, the unsteady.

A thawing, however hard it tries,
Will always be Melting.
Does the thawing make you shiver?
does it?

The big winter sings like a Sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn
Now cosmic is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the winter is mature.

wooly glaciers sings like Iceburgs
"Rushing water", said the glaciers,
And "rushing water" then "rushing water" again.

How happy is the frozen popsicle!
Does the popsicle make you shiver?
does it?

The freezing that's really crystals,
Above all others is the frost.
Does the frost make you shiver?
does it?

Because I could not draft for Ice,
it did kindly draft for me.
Does the Ice make you shiver?
does it?

Because I could not draft for Ice,
it did kindly draft for me.
Ice, Ice, every where,
Yet not a drop to draft.

How happy is the cold surface!
Down, down, down into the darkness of the surface,
Gently it goes - the perfect, the gelid, the stone-cold.

Pay attention to the floe,
the floe is the most Dence ice mass of all.
Floe, floe, every where,
Yet not a drop to drift.

The thawing is like a gentle voice,
it tends to cause significantly.
Does the thawing make you shiver?
does it?

The athletic game that's really zany,
Above all others is the hockey.
Pause to assist, like the hockey does.
It does assist, it does draft,
Should it also induct?

Why would you think the snowfall is gradual?
the snowfall is the most sudden downfall of all.
Pause to last, like the snowfall does.
It does last, it does accumulate,
Should it also range?

I saw the the antarctic installation of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the water.
I don't like the fact that it,
learned to reside before it knew how to flow.
You can reside, you can flow, but can you supply?

Because I could not draft for Ice,
it did kindly draft for me.
Does the Ice make you shiver?
does it?

Because I could not draft for Ice,
it did kindly draft for me.
Pause to draft, like the Ice does.

Don't belive that the snowfall is small?
the snowfall is big beyond belief.
Never forget the braggy and large-scale snowfall.

Pay attention to the cold,
the cold is the most wintry respiratory disease of all.
Are you upset by how springlike it is?
Does it tear you apart to see the cold so frozen?

I saw the the little demoralize of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the chill.
Now small-scale is just the thing,
To get me wondering if the chill is trivial.

An iceman, however hard it tries,
Will always be cunning.
Are you upset by how adroit it is?
Does it tear you apart to see the iceman so attractive?

I saw the the Frozen excretion of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the water.
Never forget the sleety and unchangeable water.

Pay attention to the freeze,
the freeze is the most Frozen fractals act of all.
Does the freeze make you shiver?
does it?

Because I could not draft for Ice,
they did kindly draft for me.
Do Ice make you shiver?
do they?
Chirayu Writer Jan 2016
"Dedication of a particular word by a different manner"
                                                   "Draft"
A volume of traffic is controlled by a traffic person as like here in our writing world Draft is that person who control our work by saving a particular thing in a proper way.
Draft is that word which tick yours mind with a new ideal thought on everytime, Draft is a piece of text ,known for a particular work, which be saved incomplete without completing it till the next time.....
Draft is something that calculate work in a different manner of time...
A Person can continue the work with a fresher thoughts & can create a new idea to maintain it with large scales of words.... Draft of a letter is a roof of words and leaves of paper planted with different ways of thoughts!!...
Draft is only made when there is work to flip up with a new ideas & scripts lift down with the words weight in the reality of scene!.....
Draft is a friend of mine with a
Receiving and reflecting
revolution way of thinking.
Draft You are the  reason behind me
"I'm right", or " I'm wrong"
grating me about your righteous
way of correction agreeing to you,
An rated words to a
rescued agreeance.
                                                                             -Chirayu
eez Aug 2018
Unfinished,
unpolished,
unfurnished;
unpublished.
Like us, a draft
of what can be called
"the both of us."
A draft created
that's open for change.

A change
to be better
---better
than who we are
or what we are
in the midst of the conflict
that floats around us
for the sake of us
for the both of us
---for each other.

A change
to be smoother
---smoother
with no mistakes,
with everything
in order;
consistent,
and coherent
even with the dialogues
we say that matter.

A change
to be clearer
---clearer,
meaning it is
at least what it is
meant to be conveying
with no underlying
vague wordings
when it comes
to our feelings
---for one another.

But that's there all is:
a draft
of what could be called
the both of us;
a product
of what we can become
if we make it become;
a product
of the possibilities
of what can be us,
of what might be us,
of what is it between us
between the fragments
of the words,
the lines,
and the series
of all of them
that constantly paint
faint descriptions of us,
descriptions
created [fabricated]
in my mind
like a work of fiction,
of pure imagination.

Unfinished,
unpolished,
unfurnished;
unpublished,
l­ike the poems
I wrote for us;
like the poems
about us;
like us, a draft.
8.31.18

****
Test Ting Won To Tree
By
Charles Fleischer







Rifleman decal water is to Tiny basket liners as Strained yo-yo string is to?
Dark wool glowing is to Oldest lost oddity as First genetic engine is to?
Black quail taint is to Nut curdled paint as Hemp biscuit dominoes are to?
Steam traced paper is to Lemon ash vapor as Digital ****** wig is to?
Eccentric brine mimes are to Electric silk slacks as Spark formed lava is to?
Sunchoked black hornets are to as Rescued orphan doves as Retold cat jokes are to?
Hand traced videos are to Braided rubber spines as Opal rain dancers are to?
Halogen anchor gong is to Annoying bread portraits as Soft bracelet lockers are to?
Old troll bios are to Select cherub echoes as Broken matchstick parasols are to?
Dome nine chariots are to Frayed lunar remnants as Fuming honey flasks are to?
Bluing assault operas is to Beading fluted flowers as Magnetic lawn tweezers are to?
Converted flea sponges are to Floating dog murals as Frozen Archie comics are to?
Molded road pads are to Crusty gumdrop thread as Straw ribbed pelicans are to?
Inflatable diamond vowel is to Single gender raffle as Groovy desert coffee is to?
Temporary solution radiation is to Idiotic witness mumble as Motorized marshmallow kit is to?
Panoramic utopian paranoia is to Aggravated **** silhouettes as Unhinged gun sellers are to?
Homesick ghost pajamas is to Virtuous fly fungus as Royal sandpaper gloves are to?
Gangster hayride tickets are to Deer milk Oreos as Turnip fairy maps are to?
Glue gun **** is to Nocturnal cabin mice as Cab fare corn is to?
Speckled fish nickels are to Under water bric-a-brac as Epic snakeskin paisley is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Raunchy snail kimono is to Coiled time dice as Smeared equator malt is to?
Metallic centaur franchise is to Transparent cheese chess as Spotted glacial remnants is to?
Sky fused pong is to Rustic mothers brattle as Granulated canister ointment is to?
Overgrown maze mule is to Mated smugglers hugging as Floating thesaurus exam is to?
Sliding coed sprinkler is to Soapy whitefish rebate as Precious lamb diaper is to?
Mushy acorn luster is to Lilac protein rings as Slapstick wrestler dialect is to?
Freaky plankton bells is to Rolling horse divorce as Morphing morphine lips are to?
Sticky razor sparkle is to Emerald muscle spasm as Glaring cat cipher is to?
Peppy unisex mustache is to Pelican fighter syndrome as Clumping night grumble is to?
Scanning paired pearls are to Ruby rubbed roaches as Satanic sailor flotsam  are to?
Glowing asteroid solder is to Ideal shark data as Failed frail doilies are to?
Numb nuts boredom is to Fantastic icy phantoms as Sporadic silk creations is to?
Crooks crow chow is to Loading spackled bonder as Gargled snowdrop blasters are to?
Outdid myself today is to Outside myself again as Outlived myself controls is to?
Venting shuttlecock upset is to Texting badminton kitten as Settler tested motels are to?
Prepare paired vents is to Prefer paid events as Pretender predicts fiction is to
Crunchy mental fender is to Catching mentor menace as Poorly seasoned lettuce is to?
Outside sidewalk inside is to Seaside outcast input as Sideways landslide victory is to?  
Compile fake password is to Compost world poo as Compose village anthem is to?
Crooked crotch blunder is to Loud crowd thunder as Divine vine finder is to?
Chucks’ wooden truck is to Bucks good luck as Sticky ducks tucked is to?  
Overhaul underway overseas is to Overturned downsized pickup as Underground onramp overloaded is to?
I’ll bite there is to Aisle byte their as Isle bight there is to?
Gnat gnawed wrist is to ***** show beans as See through putty is to?
Flapping floppy guppies are to Buzzing zipped dozers as Muddy ****** strippers are to?
Dark diagonal dialogue is to Diabolical dihedral die as Interesting circadian exposition is to?
Experimental flossing expectations are to Waxed dental traps as Permanent impermanence resolution is to?  
Outran ringside intrigue is to Sidetracked onboard boatload as Loaded firearm topside is to?
Phony ****** phone is to Chewy ego honey as Yogi Mama’s dada is to?
Nimble teardrop squiggle is to Humble cage curtains as Loyal truckstop morals are to?
Torching curled elastic is to Sonic neighbor clamor as Golden droplet integers are to?
Duplex pupil scanners are to Nacreous cloud clocks as Shrouded flute shops are to?
Lawn rocket tendrils are to Finding surreal borders as Sheep monarchs children is to?
Gloating ungloved squires are to Busting double doubters as Pushing woeful doctors are to?
Tricking snowbelt firedogs is to Panmixing blackened haywires as Unclothed shameful leaders are to?
Malicious ranch ritual is to Internal puppet bubble as Ornate underworld masquerade is to?
Rustic debonair Eskimos are to Mindless sassy elves as Gorgeous somber acrobats are to?
Learned earthy pimps are to Fearless sneaky Queens as Somber gentle vagrants are to?
Shocking horse wear is to Glossy sled fluid as Damaged chipmunk tongue is to?
Traditional agony chart is to Damp voodoo motel as Backwoods museum quote is to?
Magical cat cabin is to Dapper porpoise humor as Malicious graveyard foam is to?
Therapeutic gazelle cushion is to Stored alibi equipment as Stunning tempo light is to?
Fantastic rascal art is to Wasted prune dust as Jupiter’s ****** law is to?
Little nut razor is to Gigantic hyena shield as Hourglass pillow fever is to?
Coiled rain clouds are to Dizzy tycoon clowns as Lime eating cowards are to?
Possessive epicurean demonstrators are to Faded eavesdropping giants as Determined swanky drunks are to?
Aquatic preview pocket is to Soggy judicial topiary as Finicky hamster fabric is to?
Enlarged fruit cuff is to Obedient mumbling orchestra as Dark tenant tariff is to?
Recycled flash thermometer is to Botched temptation probe as Pet glider grid is to?
Seriously shy idols are to Costly driving perfumes as Ferryboat chapel wine is to?
Winged jalopy details are to Faithful spectral fathers as Sprinkled mint rainbows are to?
Spelling unneeded words is to Sprouting donut ***** as Blaming mellow mallrats are to?
Eroding loom keepsake is to Magnificent accordion canoe as ***** bongo fumes are to?
Souring violet ink is to Juvenile insult park as Periodic ferret envy is to?
Obedient boyfriend aroma is to Sanitized fat lozenges as Dramatic jailer garb is to?
Mysterious patrol group is to Dynamic maiden discharge as Captured hurricane ratio is to?
Lackadaisical bigot bingo is to Oblong care merchant as Expensive swamp shampoo is to?
Petite orifice worship is to Atomic barge pet as Plucked hair exhibit is to?
Elite officer wallop is to Automatic yard rake as Healing ****** glitter is to?
Needless swan costume is to Giant jungle goat as Organic picnic napkin is to?
Leaky jet steam is to Innovative fascist whistle as Enchanting idol evidence is to?
Plastic mascara seduction is to Greasy thermal ointment as Attractive muskrat crease is to?
Lucky camel pills are to White coral Torah as Eternal stage clutter is to?
Roasted oat **** is to Sloppy *** glue as Nylon table debt is to?
Steep nook catastrophe is to Empty dome damage as Pulsing breeze powder is to?
Empty sack power is to Hitched buck stroke as Red claw warning is to?
Ultra brief slogan is to Yummy lab mutant as Pathetic ball armor is to?
Nauseating fish splatter is to Obstinate ****** twitch as Strained ***** coffee is to?
Mezzanine intermission fossil is to Proven **** apathy as Golden duck shroud is to?
Civil tutors torment is to Thor’s posted theory as Yellow melon rain is to?
Immense olive raft is to Exploding kangaroo buffet as Ethereal witness index is to?  
Marching dark speeders are to Searing scribble fighters as **** tripping sinners are to?
Seeping viral angst is to Aged hermit tea as Murky bowl nibble is to?
Condensed blister guzzle is to Pink dorsal pie as Lavish speckled runt is to?
Needy insult poet is to Sedated acorn trader as Dry honey zoo is to?
Veiled trust flicker is to Deranged poser fashion as Flat sizzle tangent is to?
Purified diet spray is to Nebulous wishing target as Thrilling screen dope is to?
Majestic ribbon astronomy is to Bizarre formation sector as Rebel bell gimmick is to?
Sealed dart whisper is to Green silk draft as Cold vacuum varnish is to?
Clumsy raven power is to Insect island circus as Minted mink drapes are to?
Curved map ruler is to Tiny lethal radio as Blue fused metal is to?
Inverted laser invasion is to Damp sheep dump as Puffy gown smoke is to?
Saucy Channel blazer is to Leather goat filament as Starched locomotive hat is to?
Broken jumper leads are to Disgraced mini exorcists as Designer shamrock caulk is to?
Tweaked poachers smokes are to Assorted sulfur pathways as Collected bedlamp trickle is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Crawling battle worms are to Vibrating metal pedals as Mentholated matrix wax is to?
Missing meshed rafts are to Liquid rock pipes as Crinkled bean bikinis are to?
Tithing **** joggers are to Perforated buck fronds as Leather zither picks are to?
Fearing truthful cowards is to Rambling preachers mumble as Gazebo ambulance gasoline is to?
Shelving elder’s whiskers is to Poaching goalies pesto as Radical tricycle angst is to?
Mucky gunboat polymer is to Primeval maypole flameout as Cathedral greenhouse intercom is to?
Diaphanous safety prize is to Unleashed saucer lion as Dorky blonde ropewalker is to?
Tapered spring meter is to Silver silo mythology as Misguided judges medallions are to?
Alligator x-ray money is to Cherry unicorn water as Coyote cactus toy is to?
Cowardly dorm scrooge is to Atomized pewter script as Flattened spore smoothies are to?
Trash can yodel is to Flashing wired spam as Exploding chocolate pudding is to?
Sonar blasted bushings are to Threading ruined wheels as Forty shifting boxes are to?
Tiny balloon rebellion is to Softened square cleanser as Iconic soul sucker is to?
Harmony night light is to Spanish nitrogen desire as Squirrel cavern iodine is to?

Lazy winter secret is to Slow airport widget as Silly mustard binder is to?
Elephants raising raisins are to Microscopic lamb planet as Purple hay puppets are to?
Caribou venom vaccine is to Electronic lemonade choir as Demonic princess massage is to?
Beet coated bridge is to Fattened needle point as Mylar monkey spine is to?
Ashy ink dust is to Youngest rabbi planet as Orange cartoon geometry is to?
Cold green chalk is to Cobalt ladder farce as ***** river filters are to?
Sublime sheep master is to Sleeping past rapture as Subliminal bliss jelly is to?
Ocean crust slippers are to Twigged germ radar as Popping sharpie scope is to?
Zen wrapped beep is to Oak foamed code as Wicked flashing sizzle is to?
Dew eyed sleigh is to Say I do as Act as me is to?
Humpback on hammock is to Ham hocking hummer as Hunchback with knapsack is to?
Corned flag jelly is to Draped wing chewers as Tripping swan acid is to?
Futuristic Rembrandt chant is to Almond likened meadows as Asian timber blue is to?
Nap in sack is to Flap on Jack as Ducks dig crack is to?
Flowing flavored lava is to Gleaming optic layers as Enhanced goose gibberish is to?      
Flag tied pajamas are to Saline checker choir as Speed reading quotas is to?
Whipped spam spasms are to Misted shaman scripture as Testing pitched bells is to?
Cave aged eggs are to Crowded tiger cages as ****** wagon pegs are to?
Pigeon towed car is to a Man toad art as Wolf whisker wish is to?
Second hand clothes are to Minute hand gestures as Final hour prayer is to?
Slick wicked shavers are to Tricky watch boxes as Sprouting pine tattoos are to?
Waxed stick ravens are to Match stick foxes as Narrowed thermal towers are to?
Ice cave rice is to Laced face lice as Gourmet pet **** is to?
Diamond lane anniversary is to Space age appropriate as Time travel agency is to?
Lime bark violin is to Lemon twig guitar as Lunar sky waffles are to?
Fake rat **** is to Smart cake batter as Rugged fur tax is to?
Tarred raft fluff is to Flaked rafter dust as Lined liquor flask is to?
Flakes will fall is to Take Bills call as Broken maze compass is to?
First faked voter is to Entombed cartoon honey as Smallest aching smurf is to?
Fancy bared ******* are to Flaky fairy treats as Kings amp filter is to?
Bone window folio is to Whittled fake pillow as Little fitted jackets are to?
Nine nuts brittle is to Ate pear pie as Six packed poppers are to?
Incandescent playground pencil is to Elastic hand worm as Perfumed piano ink is to?
Opal shifting anode is to a Windup lion decoy as Pale paisley trolley is to?
Stacked black boxes are to Old packed tracks as a Throwing micron hammers is to?
Apricot bark furnace is to Merry Orchid Choir as an Ivory rinsing funnel is to?  
Narcotic honey nuts are to Slick flag toffees as Silk fig sugar is to?
Orange coin raisins are to Low note candies as Smelling balled roses is to?
Pocket packed monotints are to Tragic ladder hayracks as Ravishing speed traders are to?
Crayon spider resin is to Coral squirrel forceps as Wolf tumbled loaf is to?  
Silver wheat flies are to Width shifting wheels as Golden blister blankets are to?
Really tiny hippopotamus is to Masked fat podiatrist as a Sad sack psychiatrist is to?
Miniature Mesopotamian monuments are to Apple minted elephants as Raising wise ravens is to?
Lathered nymph nacre is to Sonic ion constellations as Concealed iron craft is to?  
Epic gene toy is to Ladies bubble sled as Jagged data bowl is to?
Bugged dagger bag is to Pop sliced meld as Atom bending moonlight to?  
Rural madam’s deed is to Dyed dew dipper as Eight sprayed dukes are to?
Jiffy grand puffer is to Floating altar myth as Vintage dark mirth is to?
Undercover overnight underwear is to Overpaid undertaker overdosing as Overheard understudy freebasing is to?

Black grape crackle is to Red cactus ruffle as Installing padded pets are to?
Snide snobs sniffing are to Sneaky snails snoring as Snared snipes sneezing are to?
Exploring explosive exits is to Explaining expansive exports as Expecting expert exchange is to?
Shrewd logic ledger is to Puppets dropping cupcakes as Placated topaz octopi are to?
Door roof tools are to Cool wool boots as Wood cooked root is to?
Bright fight light is to Night flight fright as Mites bite site is to?
Floor flood fluid is to Wooden door Druid as Nasty **** broom is to?
Accurate police photography is to Intelligent microbe geography as Condensed aerosol biography is to?
Cowardly cowboy grime is to Corpulent corporate crime as Bosnian dwarf necromancer is to?
Jell-O clearing shaker is to Brillo cleaning shiner as Cheerios bowling shields are to?
Mumbled mindless hokey is to Fumbled found money as Humming kinder bunny is to?
Daisy’s clock setter is to Lilly’s boxer toxin as Poodles rose paddle is to?
Watch Bozo Copernicus is to Hire Clarabelle Newton as Find ***-wee Einstein is to?
Amethyst thistle whistles is to Lapis pistol whip as Diamond bomb scar is to?
Dandelion seahorse rescue is to Crabapple dogwood farm as Faux foxglove lover is to?    
Optical poppy stopper is to Polar halo lens as Day-Glo rainbow sticker is to?
Savanna leopard spotted is to Eskimo lassos kisses as Alligator lemonade standard is to?
Bill of Rights is to Will of left as Thrill of night is to?
Baptize floozies quickly is to Useless outsized nozzles as Puzzled wizard wanders is to?        
Chaps wearing chaps are to Chaps contesting contests as Consoling concealed consoles is to?
Quiet squirming squirrels are to Aeon beauty queens as Queasy greasy luaus is to?
Knew new gnu is to Sense scents cents as We’ll wheal wheel is to?
Blazing zingers ringing are to Wheezing singers flinging as Freezing finger number are to?
Lamb tomb jogger is to Dumb numb **** as Thumbed crumb bug is to?

Blue accordion casket is to Jaded scholar ***** as German mushroom circus is to?
President George Flintstone is to Funny Fred Washington as Abraham Jetson’s dog is to?
Google Desmond Tutu is to Kalamazoo Zoo Park as Zodiac actors Guru is to?
Swamp cradled whisperer is to Cherished drawbridge cello as Bludgeoned prankster outlaws are to?
Dukes pink mittens are to Smeared nest carava
K Nov 2017
draft horse heart, walk on
till the earth of troubles
seeds of hope planted in may never sprout, but the roots reach further down
draft horse heart, carry all my sadness
one heavy step in front of another
a beating heart climbing the same hill
draft horse heart, walk on
carry the troubles, the sadness, the pain
heave through snatching brambles
there are greener pastures there
walk on, draft horse, to the stable you seek
your hooves a beat of a bleeding heart
each trouble precious and sharp, wrapped in gauzy nostalgia
each sin and lie another stone, tucked in silk, packed so neatly
my broken heart, my lost direction
walk on, draft horse, walk on
the stable there is not right, walk on
we may find the right one later, walk on
each step a beating of this heavy heart
walk on
Styles Jan 2018
The
warm whipped cream
dripped from her succulent lips
thick liquids drips
smooth tastebuds sips
big long strokes
deep penetrating licks
sensational vibes capsize our hips
riding each other's waves like two crossing ships
mesmerized as our two worlds collide
and coincide like nature designed  us
to co-exist we a twist
two organisms sharing a gift
shifting from the present to the moment
relishing in the sensations before they cease to exist
Bamboo Bean Mar 2015
Love, camaraderie and poetry
You always did love it here.

HOW DO YOU save a poem as a DRAFT on here anymore? Help! I've been gone for a year and the save as draft button is gone?

Acacia tree sunsets over Lake Turkana
Yes, you always did love it here
Drawing Crocodiles on my wheel

The mouse in your hoodie
The hurt
the homeless
and all those people
you always did love it here.
1 year, 7 months, 7 days later and courage to get on Hello Poetry again, and tears and tears.
Chapter 1

Looking down at this bar with its variously brown stained boards beneath its
glossy finish reminds me of a surfboard I wish I could just get up on and ride a
wave out of this place.This place full of people with their devil horned hand
gestures and uneducated mouths uttering ridiculous thoughts to me.constantly
coming after me with their thoughts about rock & roll,heaven,hell,love and
deception.The real deception is that there's life in this bar where I find
myself time and time again.There might as well be bars instead of walls,we are
all jailing ourselves I think as I take a big sip of draft beer to momentarily
ease the brain.but just as soon as I replace the glass to the coaster paying
careful attention to return it to the wet circle mark where it had rested before
the thoughts start again about the crowd I am not only surrounded by but am
among one of the abused and scared running away from the truths we have
desperately locked away in places as obvious as the lyrics of our songs,cowards
confronting no one,nothing except beer drenched microphones and crowds just as
loathsome to stand there and watch us and are repetitive garbage we
unidentifiably call art.                                                             ­                                                                 ­                                                          Theodor­e why are you sitting here I think to myself as I
light a cigarette and take and take a deep drag,a drag that seems to relieve me
for a brief second from the anger and desperation.Theodore Francis Boone why am
I called this,what  could my parents have possibly been thinking,were their
intentions to high,could they have been thinking I may be a discoverer,hold a
seat in the senate,fast talking lawyer with a phone full of numbers of people
that want to be around me,well Theodore you are none of things tonight here atop
your ripped fake leather barstool here tonight.I clicked the bar three times
with my lighter took a drag and as I did I felt a tap on my shoulder Reluctantly
I looked over at an oddly attractive girl standing there with a sort of perky
stature and my fears were loose as I anticipated what she could possibly
want.                                                           ­                                                                 ­                                                        She mumbled words that at the very least I could care less about especially
with them being drowned out by the music being played at decibels better suited
for an outdoor venue.Great show she said my name Tabby can I by you a
drink.Tabby I thought for a second looked at my beer clicked it twice with my
fingernail took the last **** on it and then gave her a quick look and said
thanks and then returned my eyes to my empty glass.I turned my head back around
to her and said I'll have a draft,just a draft she replied? absolutely I said
just a draft.With guitar distortion consuming the smoke riddled air like a buzz
saw I felt her tap me on the right shoulder just as my draft arrived on fresh
coaster and she proceeded to ask do you guys play here often?I don't know I
added as she relentlessly continued with the questions.I one worded my way
through them until finally she let up for a few minuets and I returned to the
draft she had bought me.As I took a sip I thought maybe she was getting the
picture that I didn't need a Tabby or anyone else for that matter in my life who
felt like talking about the band or how often we played here in this prison.                                                          ­                                                              
  ­                                                                 ­                                                                 ­                                               But just then,just as I thought it maybe over I felt another tap on my shoulder and
as I turned she handed me a torn in half bar napkin with her phone number on
it.As I folded it she laid the other torn half in front of me and asked if I
could give her my number and I wrote it down thinking to myself why would she
want to talk to me again ,I had been pretty lousy company.She the torn paper
with my number and placed it in her purse.I took the last pull on my beer paying
close attention to finish every drop then stood up tapped Tabby on the shoulder
and made my way out of there.                                                           ­                                                                 ­                             As the door closed and I was now on the outside the
ringing in my ears became apparent while  making my way down the street in an
almost silent peace.This was always my favorite part of any day the quiet of the
night walking with little distraction.The city seemed so much more beautiful
when it wasn't full of people aimlessly wandering around it.Sure there was the
occasional drunk or druggie but they didn't bother me and I didn't bother them
most of the time ,it was sort of a mutual respect at this hour of
night.Generally it was the blaze of the daytime when the distasteful wanderers
where most displeasing.The boss's the politicians all those daytime degenerates
those are the ones to worry about,the bankers and the such.Those that think they
got it that think they are ahead of the game and got it beat,they always seem
way to persistent on getting me involved uncreative tasks,No none of them where
out here tonight to bother me and I could enjoy my walk home.
Looking down at this bar with its variously brown stained boards beneath its
glossy finish reminds me of a surfboard I wish I could just get up on and ride a
wave out of this place.This place full of people with their devil horned hand
gestures and uneducated mouths uttering ridiculous thoughts to me.constantly
coming after me with their thoughts about rock & roll,heaven,hell,love and
deception.The real deception is that there's life in this bar where I find
myself time and time again.There might as well be bars instead of walls,we are
all jailing ourselves I think as I take a big sip of draft beer to momentarily
ease the brain.but just as soon as I replace the glass to the coaster paying
careful attention to return it to the wet circle mark where it had rested before
the thoughts start again about the crowd I am not only surrounded by but am
among one of the abused and scared running away from the truths we have
desperately locked away in places as obvious as the lyrics of our songs,cowards
confronting no one,nothing except beer drenched microphones and crowds just as
loathsome to stand there and watch us and are repetitive garbage we
unidentifiably call art.Theodore why are you sitting here I think to myself as I
light a cigarette and take and take a deep drag,a drag that seems to relieve me
for a brief second from the anger and desperation.Theodore Francis Boone why am
I called this,what  could my parents have possibly been thinking,were their
intentions to high,could they have been thinking I may be a discoverer,hold a
seat in the senate,fast talking lawyer with a phone full of numbers of people
that want to be around me,well Theodore you are none of things tonight here atop
your ripped fake leather barstool.I clicked the bar three times
with my lighter took a drag and as I did I felt a tap on my shoulder Reluctantly
I looked over at an oddly attractive girl standing there with a sort of perky
stature and my fears were loose as I anticipated what she could possibly
want.She mumbled words that at the very least I could care less about especially
with them being drowned out by the music being played at decibels better suited
for an outdoor venue.Great show she said my name Tabby can I by you a
drink.Tabby I thought for a second looked at my beer clicked it twice with my
fingernail took the last **** on it and then gave her a quick look and said
thanks and then returned my eyes to my empty glass.I turned my head back around
to her and said I'll have a draft,just a draft she replied? absolutely I said
just a draft.With guitar distortion consuming the smoke riddled air like a buzz
saw I felt her tap me on the right shoulder just as my draft arrived on fresh
coaster and she proceeded to ask do you guys play here often?I don't know I
added as she relentlessly continued with the questions.I one worded my way
through them until finally she let up for a few minuets and I returned to the
draft she had bought me.As I took a sip I thought maybe she was getting the
picture that I didn't need a Tabby or anyone else for that matter in my life who
felt like talking about the band or how often we played here in this prison.But
just then,just as I thought it maybe over I felt another tap on my shoulder and
as I turned she handed me a torn in half bar napkin with her phone number on
it.As I folded it she laid the other torn half in front of me and asked if I
could give her my number and I wrote it down thinking to myself why would she
want to talk to me again ,I had been pretty lousy company.She the torn paper
with my number and placed it in her purse.I took the last pull on my beer paying
close attention to finish every drop then stood up tapped Tabby on the shoulder
and made my way out of there.As the door closed and I was now on the outside the
ringing in my ears became apparent while  making my way down the street in an
almost silent peace.This was always my favorite part of any day the quiet of the
night walking with little distraction.The city seemed so much more beautiful
when it wasn't full of people aimlessly wandering around it.Sure there was the
occasional drunk or druggie but they didn't bother me and I didn't bother them
most of the time ,it was sort of a mutual respect at this hour of
night.Generally it was the blaze of the daytime when the distasteful wanderers
where most displeasing.The boss's the politicians all those daytime degenerates
those are the ones to worry about,the bankers and the such.Those that think they
got it that think they are ahead of the game and got it beat,they always seem
way to persistent on getting me involved uncreative tasks,No none of them where
out here tonight to bother me and I could enjoy my walk home.
This is the first page to the book I am writing currently,entitled The Gothic Poet.
David Walker Dec 2012
Origins
written and directed
by
David Walker

Inspired
by
the films of
Quentin Tarantino
David Lynch
&
Rob Zombie

There is method
To his madness

                                                        ­                                                                 ­                  January 2013              
                                              ­                                                                 ­                       first draft









1. EXT. Run down project apartment complex - 3:00 am

A dark, tall figure with long black hair and a trenchcoat opens the already cracked red door.

MAN:
I'm looking for love in all the wrong places.

                                                        ­                                                                 ­                                       CUT TO:
INT. Apartment 3

A typical roach infested apartment with a kitchen built into the living room. 3 GIRLS are on the kitchen floor. GIRL # 1 one has black hair with big lips and a curvy frame and she is wearing a pair of Tripp pants and a black bra barely covering her ample *****. She has a flesh colored rubber hose tied to her left arm. GIRL # 2 has dyed rainbow colored hair, a nice smile, and a skinny frame. She is wearing a pair of tore blue jeans with smiley faces and cute in jokes written on them, also not wearing a shirt with a lacy blue bra on. She has a spoon with water and black tar ****** inside it which she is heating up with a silver Zippo with the word "Skittles" engraved into it. GIRL # 3 Has long naturally red hair, glasses and an extremely voluptuous figure. She is wearing tight black pants and a black shirt with thin sleeves. She is inspecting a covered syringe with an unsure look in her eyes.

GIRL # 2:
So, do you wanna do it or not Jane?

Snatches the syringe out of JANE's hand.

JANE:
I'm not sure. How long have you been doing this ****?

Girl #2 takes the orange cap off the syringe revealing a small needle.

GIRL #2:
Since after I graduated. About 3 years. Liz you ready?

LIZ:
As ready as I am for dat sweet tang!

Girl #2 giggles. She sticks the needle into Liz's arm, blood mixes with the brown fluid inside, and she pushes the plunger down. Liz leans back into Girl #2's arms and Girl #2 gives her a kiss.

LIZ:
I love you, Julia.

JULIA:
Well, I love you too.

JANE:
You guys are so gay!

(OS):
Save that **** for the ******* customers!

                                                     ­                                                                 ­                                       CUT TO:
Other side of room. A greasy looking MAN with short faded black hair and a scar going from the corner of his mouth to the right ear is sitting in a beat up recliner cleaning his Uberti 1873 Cattleman revolver while smoking a fat blunt and watching some kind of high budget **** with Sasha Grey in it.

JULIA:
Sorry, Mike. It didn't stop you from leaving me and Liz unsatisfied and bored, did it?

LIZ and JULIA laugh. JANE has a nervous look in her eyes.

MIKE:
Very ******* funny you wore out trick! Am I gonna have to smack the sass out yo mouth?

MIKE gets up, puts out his blunt and walks over to the GIRLS gun in hand.

MIKE:
Or am I gonna have to give your little friend a scar like mine.

LIZ:
Mike don't!

MIKE SLAPS JULIA with the side of his UNLOADED revolver and grabs JANE by her hair.

MIKE:
Who the **** are you, anyways *****?

JANE:
(stuttering)
I was walking down the street earlier today and I ran into Julia and Liz. They went to school with my sister I think. Let me go!

MIKE:
So you're a young'n. Well you have some nice big *******!

MIKE RIPS off her shirt exposing her *******. He begins to squeeze the right one. JANE SLAPS MIKE HARD!

MIKE:
*****!

MIKE lets go of her hair. Jane runs to the other room grabbing her shirt. LIZ stumbles towards him and PUNCHES him in the nose.

MIKE:
That's it! You little *** dumpsters are dead!

MIKE picks up the REVOLVER, runs to the chair where the bullets are and tries to reload. JULIA wakes from her daze. We see him load 3 rounds. All of a sudden the DOOR gets broken down and the dark clad FIGURE from the scene before pulls out a BERETTA M9 with a silencer attachment. MIKE FIRES 2 shots at him haphazardly missing both. The MAN LAUGHS and FIRES one shot that MIKE's crotch catches.

                                                       ­                                                                 ­                                       CUT TO:
2. INT. Next door in Apartment 2.

A MAN and WOMAN in their early 40's are smoking a joint and seem disturbed by the gunfire.

MAN:
(coughing)
What the hell was that?

WOMAN:
Sounded like gunshots. Do you think we should call the cops?

MAN:
**** no! There is a pound of chronic in the bedroom closet! Just pray whoever it is doesn't come over here!

WOMAN:
Okay. Are you gonna pass that?

                                                          ­                                                                 ­                                     CUT TO:
3. INT. Apartment 3.

The smoke has cleared. MIKE is begging for death and BLEEDING out everywhere, JULIA is in a daze, dumbfounded by what she just witnessed, LIZ is cowering in fear, crying, and JANE just came out of the bedroom with her TORN SHIRT on and a terrified "Oh my God" expression. The unknown assailant has a devilish grin upon his face.

MIKE:
Godfuck! **** me you sunuvabitch! Godda--

The MAN obliges. He fires a single shot into his RIGHT EYE.

MAN:
Well, looks like I got here in the nick of time!

JULIA:
(blankly)
W-Who the **** are you?

MAN:
That is of little importance right now. Who are you foxy ladies?

JULIA:
M-My name's Julia. That girl over there (points to Liz) is Liz, and the ginger is Jane.

MAN:
What pretty names! Well, I have a question. Will you three lovely young ladies gather round that despicable looking chair and listen to what I have to say, or are you going to run? Keep in mind I have rope in my trenchcoat and the fact I mean you no harm. I am just a lonely man with a story to tell, and the way I see it, what with that bruise on your sweet face, you kinda owe me.

JULIA:
I think we can stay. I just wanna know your name.

MAN:
Ahh, but I am a man of many names. My christian name is Derek. You don't need the last for now.

DEREK walks to the chair and sits down. He waves the GIRLS over.

DEREK:
C'mon I just want to tell my tale. Look, I will put the gun under the chair as a sign of good faith that neither you girls or I will start shooting the place up again. Are we square ladies?

JULIA:
What do ya say guys?

They gather in the kitchen.

LIZ:
This guy has a ***** loose.

JULIA:
Yes, but he saved us from our ****. We should humor him.

JANE:
I think he is hot!

LIZ and JULIA just stare at JANE.

JANE:
Sorry, but he is.

JULIA:
So it's agreed. We will listen to his story, silently pray he doesn't **** us and leave afterwards.

The GIRLS walk to the chair. DEREK has lit the blunt.

DEREK:
Ahh, so you have decided to join me. Good. Do you guys wanna hit this?

LIZ and JULIA shake their heads no.

JANE:
I will.

DEREK:
Great. Now, where do I begin. I suppose everybody's roots stem from childhood, so lets go back, oh say, 20 years ago.

                                                           ­       FADE TO BLACK        
Against black, TITLE CARD

October 15th 1995.

                                                          ­                       CUT TO      
4. EXT. Suburbia circa 1995.

There are three boys between the ages of 6 and 9 playing in front of a grey HOUSE with a white MINIVAN in the driveway. Little DEREK is a scrawny 6 year old boy with short brown hair and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure in his hands. The 2 other BOYS ages 7 and 9 are picking on him and trying to take away DONATELLO.

DEREK:
Leave me alone or I will whoop your ****.

BOY #1:
Whatever! You are scrawny and lame. Give us your Ninja Turtle now or we will beat you up!

BOY #2 picks up a STICK and starts hitting DEREK with it.

BOY #2:
What are you going to do? Get your daddy? Oh, wait...that's right, you don't have one!

The 2 BULLIES start laughing. A look of hatred fills young DEREK's eyes. He catches the STICK and slaps BOY #2 in the face with it. He then tackles him and starts beating him mercilessly. BOY #1 runs towards the PORCH and knocks on the DOOR. DEREK'S MOM answers. She is in her mid 30's with brown hair and casual clothing on, smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of "coffee."

BOY #2:
Derek's beating up Josh again!

DEREK'S MOM:
Well, good for him! Bet that little pecker snot deserved it too. Now, Brad...why don't you take you and your friend on home before I tell your dad you play with Barbies.

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
My mother was a sweet ol' broad!

BRAD:
(sighs)
Okay, Ms. Walters, but you do know you are going to have to pull him offa Josh right?

DEREK'S MOM:
(sighs like Brad)
I suppose.

DEREK'S MOM and BRAD walk to the front yard and GASP when they notice that DEREK has knocked out 2 of JOSH'S baby teeth, both in the front and broke his nose, which is bleeding profusely.

DEREK'S MOM:
Derek Charles Walters! Get the **** up offa him!

DEREK:
(crying)
He hit me with a stick!

DEREK'S MOM:
Well, now I'm about to!

She picks up the STICK and beats his *** with it several times.

DEREK:
******* *****!

DEREK'S MOM, infuriated throws the stick down and SLAPS him across the face. DEREK runs away.
He runs to a wooded area in the back yard as far as his legs can take him.

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
Do not weep, for on that day, I met God and Satan incarnate and it turns out they existed singularly in my head.
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                          CUT TO:

5. JANE:
Like a conscience?

DEREK:
Much more. These guys are in the room right now and only I can see him. Satan led me to you guys tonight! Who knows what kind of CRAZY hijinks are in store!

JULIA:
That's it I'm outta here! C'mon gu--

DEREK fires of his M9 1 time.

DEREK:
Now, listen to me you dykey, ****** *****. I have 3 more rounds in this ******* and one
of them is reserved for you if you don't sit your tight *** back down.

JULIA sits back down scared to death. DEREK regains his composure and is "all smiles" again.

DEREK:
Phew! I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want someone pretty to listen to my ******* story. ****, if you want, I will ask you guys about yourself later on, but for now I'm going to introduce you to my best friends.

JANE:
Who are they again?

DEREK:
Ah, you were trying to pay attention. I will remember that. They go by many names. One can be called "God", "Heroic Harry", "The White Knight", whatever you envision as good, this **** is it. He is the reason you guys are still alive.

LIZ:
And the other?

DEREK:
Ahh, him. He can go by "Satan", "The ******", "The Angel of Death." He's the reason ol' crusty here no longer bothers you.

LIZ:
So you're basically ape ****, right?

DEREK:
Pretty much! Now where was I? Ah...yes

                                                       ­                                                                 ­                                    CUT TO:

6. INT. Small wooded area behind the house --- Early evening.

DEREK has made himself a nice little HANGOUT in the woods! there is a trunk with tons of comics in it, an arsenal of sharpened sticks and rocks, Batman action figures, and a Game Boy Color. He is drawing a picture at the moment.

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
There I was in my element. ****** at my mother, then all of a sudden, a deep, angelic voice rang out.

VOICE #1:
(OS...of course)
You don't have to hate her, you know. She loves you.

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
And then another, this voice sounding more playful and mischievous then the other.

VOICE #2:
(OS)
But, for how long? Do you think she meant to have you?

DEREK:
Where are you guys?

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
And then they appeared.

A 13 YEAR OLD BOY with BROWN hair and a FLANNEL overshirt over a Nirvana T-SHIRT with baggy torn blue JEANS with stains on them appears.

BOY #1:
Don't hate your mom.

VOICE #2:
(OS)
But, watch her close.

DEREK turns his head. We see another BOY roughly the same age with slightly long BLACK hair and a TRENCHCOAT over a Nine Inch Nails T-SHIRT with tight black CHICK PANTS with a CHAIN leading from his pocket to his BELT. He has a lip piercing and he is smoking a cigarette.

DEREK:
Who are you guys?

BOY #1:
Just think of us as older brothers your mom can't see.

DEREK:
Wow! I should introduce you guys to my friends!

BOY #2:
No!

DEREK:
Why not?

BOY #2:
You are the only person that can see us. Don't go telling anyone and don't talk to us in front of anyone. People will think you are nuts!

BOY #1:
Think of us as two ghosts that give you advice. Don't listen to him though, he'll get you in trouble.

BOY #2:
Shut up! Or I will kick your *** again.

BOY #1:
Not in front of him. He doesn't need to see that ****. Not now

DEREK:
What are your names?

BOY #1:
That's up to you.

DEREK:
I'll call you Joe, and him Jerry.

JOE:
Works for me, for now. Call us whatever you feel like calling us whenever you like. If you wanna call me ******* and him poophead, go right ahead.

DEREK:
Okay, but for now you guys are Joe and Jerry.

JOE:
We are going to leave now. We will show up when we think the time is right. Sometimes you will see us others you won't, but we are always with you.

JERRY:
Even when you ****.

                                                          ­                                                                 ­                     CUT TO:
7. INT. Apartment 3.

LATE 20'S DEREK:
And then I went back home and they disappeared. I reconciled with my mom and for the next few weeks I didn't see them. Brad started hanging out with me again and school was good. The years go by and still no sight of them. 4 years pass by. It's 1999 and my tastes changed. Instead of Ninja Turtles and Batman it was KISS and Freddy Krueger. By this point me and Josh had made up and Brad was in middle school. And so we go to where me and the voices meet again.

8. INT. Taft Elementary
A class of roughly 25 children in your average 5th grade home room with a stout middle aged gentleman teaching. JOSH and DEREK are in the back row sitting side by side.

TEACHER:
...And that's how the metric system works.

JOSH:
(to Derek)
Dude, did you check out RAW last night? The Undertaker crucified Stone Cold!

DEREK:
**** I missed it. I was doing homework.

JOSH:
(loud)
****!!

TEACHER:
What did you say Mr. Jarvis?

JOSH:
Sorry Mr. Cannib. I forgot to do my homework.

MR. CANNIB:
Josh, Derek, outside!

LATE 20'S DEREK:
(OS)
The old man had taken kids out of the classroom before and they always came back with tears in their eyes. As we walked outside I heard a familiar voice.

JERRY:
(OS)
If he touches either of you, kick him in the nuts!

MR. CANNIB:
I told you boys too many times! None of this **** in my classroom! Josh get over here you little *****!

OL' TEACH GRABS JOSH by the NECK.

DEREK:
Hey ******* keep your hands to yourself!

CANNIB begins to throttle JOSH. DEREK pushes him off of JOSH and KICKS the TEACHER in the nuts with FURY about 3 times and jumps on top of him while JOSH watches holding his neck.

JERRY:
(OS) While we see Derek's mouth moving

Look here, *******. You think you can be called a teacher for drinking on a farm, ******* cattle and beating children so you can have Summer vacation every year? *******, you spiteful sad man.

DEREK SPITS in the *******'S face and begins to PUNCH him when JOSH pulls him off.

JOSH:
Dude, the door outta here is right there. Lets go to our lockers, get our **** and get outta here.

DEREK:
(Breathing heavily)
Did I just do that? What the ****? Let's get out of here...now!

                                                    ­                                                                 ­                                           CUT TO:
9. EXT. Taft Elementary
A bunch of playground equipment next to an alley with a fenced in field. JOSH and DEREK are walking down the alley. It is sunny outside but about to rain.

DEREK:
That wasn't me that did that.

JOSH:
If it wasn't you who was it?

DEREK:
It w...

JOSH:
(Interrupting)
It reall
I sat along this opened window,
wishing to escape your empty home.
Yet, you will never archive my peace,
You're clogging up my bones.
Sadly in your breath stung darkness,
I knew this house was my prison,
when this home stayed dark as night,
after the sun had risen.
You ignored my pleas for leaving,
and left a window open.
I'll escape as I've pled before,
if only I could focus.
Yet you knew what I could do,
as you stared into my past.
You closed the window with a smirk,
and said you felt a draft-
Funny back story, I made this a couple months back after watching a cartoon.
Two dogs are competing to get someone to go to their gym.
One places their hands on the open window sill,
and the other calmly reaches over saying "I think I feel a draft,"
slamming the window on his fingers.
I don't know, I'm weird. It made me think, and I made this. :)
All feedback is welcome and appreciated
[I accidentally deleted this, so now I'm reposting it]
This is not an attack, it is expression.
This apparently isn't a very popular subject,
but then again, when has popularity changed anyone's mind..

--
**** the 'Selective Service System'; the SSS.
It's neo-conscription.
FDR made us a deal we couldn't refuse
which included a stipulation
that about half of us still cannot refuse:

Selective Service
also known as
Peacetime Draft

But only for males. Only the males.
Not the females, though. Oh, no, not the females;

We need the Females
to bake the next batch of mindless soldiers/housewives/neoslaves.
We need the women to uphold the status-quo.
We need our women
to remain passive, docile, and beautiful ******* doormats
for our glorious and infallible western society.
We need our women
to be complaint, subservient, ***-starved, archaic-gender-role embodiments.

I see it as overtly 'cherry-picking' as well as misogyny both ways;
sexist, selfish, and prejudiced on both sides:

'Feminists' (read: Feminazis) claim to plea for true gender equality, but here is my plea:
If such is true, where then are their demands for mandatory selective service?
Why do they feel above reproach when it comes to the unsavory sides of society?
Why do they turn a blind eye to the ******* Draft if they ***** up such a storm about equality?
Why is it not a federal offense punishable by a $250,000 fine as well as up to 5 years in prison
for a female to not sign their life away to the military from when they turn 18 until at least 25?

How is that 'gender equality'?
Huh?
They, too, are cherry-picking.
-
Sieg Heil the SSS!
Sieg Heil Amerika!
Amerika über alles!
Wir lieben unsere Gewehren!
Wir lieben unsere Götter!
Wir lieben unsere Regierung!
A bit of this is me playing Devil's advocate, but at the same time I find that there is some innate truth to it.
-
All hail the SSS (play on the SS, the Schutzstaffeln, ******'s personal semi-secret paramilitary Police)
All hail America!
America over [it] all!
We love our guns!
We love our Gods! (hah! Monotheists.. get it?)
We love our Government!
The Gothic Poet
Chapter 1

Looking down at this bar with its variously brown stained boards beneath its
glossy finish reminds me of a surfboard I wish I could just get up on and ride a
wave out of this place.This place full of people with their devil horned hand
gestures and uneducated mouths uttering ridiculous thoughts to me.constantly
coming after me with their thoughts about rock & roll,heaven,hell,love and
deception.The real deception is that there's life in this bar where I find
myself time and time again.There might as well be bars instead of walls,we are
all jailing ourselves I think as I take a big sip of draft beer to momentarily
ease the brain.but just as soon as I replace the glass to the coaster paying
careful attention to return it to the wet circle mark where it had rested before
the thoughts start again about the crowd I am not only surrounded by but am
among one of the abused and scared running away from the truths we have
desperately locked away in places as obvious as the lyrics of our songs,cowards
confronting no one,nothing except beer drenched microphones and crowds just as
loathsome to stand there and watch us and are repetitive garbage we
unidentifiably call art.                                                             ­                                                                 ­                                                          Theodor­e why are you sitting here I think to myself as I
light a cigarette and take and take a deep drag,a drag that seems to relieve me
for a brief second from the anger and desperation.Theodore Francis Boone why am
I called this,what  could my parents have possibly been thinking,were their
intentions to high,could they have been thinking I may be a discoverer,hold a
seat in the senate,fast talking lawyer with a phone full of numbers of people
that want to be around me,well Theodore you are none of things tonight here atop
your ripped fake leather barstool here tonight.I clicked the bar three times
with my lighter took a drag and as I did I felt a tap on my shoulder Reluctantly
I looked over at an oddly attractive girl standing there with a sort of perky
stature and my fears were loose as I anticipated what she could possibly
want.                                                        ­                                                                 ­                                                           She mumbled words that at the very least I could care less about especially
with them being drowned out by the music being played at decibels better suited
for an outdoor venue.Great show she said my name Tabby can I by you a
drink.Tabby I thought for a second looked at my beer clicked it twice with my
fingernail took the last **** on it and then gave her a quick look and said
thanks and then returned my eyes to my empty glass.I turned my head back around
to her and said I'll have a draft,just a draft she replied? absolutely I said
just a draft.With guitar distortion consuming the smoke riddled air like a buzz
saw I felt her tap me on the right shoulder just as my draft arrived on fresh
coaster and she proceeded to ask do you guys play here often?I don't know I
added as she relentlessly continued with the questions.I one worded my way
through them until finally she let up for a few minuets and I returned to the
draft she had bought me.As I took a sip I thought maybe she was getting the
picture that I didn't need a Tabby or anyone else for that matter in my life who
felt like talking about the band or how often we played here in this prison.                                                          ­                                                              
                                                             ­                                                                 ­                                                     But just then,just as I thought it maybe over I felt another tap on my shoulder and
as I turned she handed me a torn in half bar napkin with her phone number on
it.As I folded it she laid the other torn half in front of me and asked if I
could give her my number and I wrote it down thinking to myself why would she
want to talk to me again ,I had been pretty lousy company.She the torn paper
with my number and placed it in her purse.I took the last pull on my beer paying
close attention to finish every drop then stood up tapped Tabby on the shoulder
and made my way out of there.                                                           ­                                                                 ­                             As the door closed and I was now on the outside the
ringing in my ears became apparent while  making my way down the street in an
almost silent peace.This was always my favorite part of any day the quiet of the
night walking with little distraction.The city seemed so much more beautiful
when it wasn't full of people aimlessly wandering around it.Sure there was the
occasional drunk or druggie but they didn't bother me and I didn't bother them
most of the time ,it was sort of a mutual respect at this hour of
night.Generally it was the blaze of the daytime when the distasteful wanderers
where most displeasing.The boss's the politicians all those daytime degenerates
those are the ones to worry about,the bankers and the such.Those that think they
got it that think they are ahead of the game and got it beat,they always seem
way to persistent on getting me involved uncreative tasks,No none of them where
out here tonight to bother me and I could enjoy my walk home.
Miranda Renea Jul 2014
I grew up in suburbia-
With picket fences as white as the faces
Who say they're godly enough to save babies
(As long as they're not queer)
Because we don't have to live with the fear
Of corpses lining the sidewalks
Of our perfectly landscaped yards
We have no guards firing on peaceful protestors
Because our children are filed into orderly lines
Laid out for them at birth
But for what it's worth, we teach them of racism
From a white textbook that lies about founding fathers
Where segregation is just a word and
Oppression is hardly even mentioned.
Our children, who play at the age of 6
And lose their innocence at the age of 16
Suburbia is a life of it's own,
Gangly arms and legs
Like the teenagers who starve themselves
And steal their parents liquor
Just to get drunk quicker
Ignorant of those on the streets dying of hunger
No wonder I yearn to be far from this hell I call home.

Allen Ginsberg once said
“America I’ve given you all and now I am nothing”
The Wonder Years once said
“Suburbia I’ve given you all and now I am nothing”
But I’ve found fallacies in both of these,
I feel it’s more like
Suburbia I’ve given you all
And now I’m an awkward 20 year old
Who doesn’t know how to talk to black people
Suburbia I’ve given you all
And now I’m way too confident walking around the city at night
Because I forget there are communities
Where people actually have to lock their doors,
Suburbia I’ve given you all
And now I have a 16 year old brother
Who thinks the word *** and **** jokes are funny
Suburbia I've given you all
And now my father hates that I'm for gender equality
Well dear daddy,
I hope this offends you.

Because I am offended
By a community that tells **** victims they were asking for it
I am offended by a community
That tells my best friend Liam
That he's just confused, that
His love for Adam is an abomination
I am offended by a community
That offers equality as thinly veiled oppression,
With houses decorated in the decadence of degradation,
All the while their perfect sons and daughters
Are dying of depression because
The hilt of a gun is so much quicker
Than the drugs of their addiction

Suburbia, you are the seed of suicide
Feeding off of your violent silence,
Your white fences slice our tongues
And leave us mindless.
Suburbia, you have betrayed us.
Taught us ignorance is bliss with
Algebra instead of how to do taxes,
Spent more time worried about
Girls' shoulders instead of *** education,
Taught me not to speak unless
My hand was raised as if praise
Is given to authority without question,
Funny how they forgot to mention
Our country was founded on rebellion.

But suburbia, I forgive you
And so I humbly ask of you,
Find the keys of compassion within the heart and
Shed the lock of ignorance that grips your mind
The door may be rusted but it can open with time
Suburbia, I beg of you
Join us in the war of love
Let us all raise our fists and
Paint peace signs on our wrists,
We are disobedient dandelions swaying in the sun,
Words of kindness rolling off our tongues
Like pacifistic shots of a gun
Firing respect instead of rounds
And burying hate instead of bodies in the ground.
***This is a group piece. The lovely Mary Hamula is the other writer that worked on it with me.
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


After stumbling through the passageway while keeping one hand on the wall to the left, I found the tunnel the picture had revealed Delvos to be luring in. Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me
“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers?” He relit the oily lantern and picked back up the canary cage. “Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.”. He turned his back without another word. I followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” then hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western-themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good night’s sleep and defeat this town’s fear of John Delvos the following day.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag, pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC, and stepped out onto the dirt in front of my motel door and lit up. The stars above stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except its sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of Vermont night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the star’s dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off. “I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Rivers, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Rivers. Are you new to town?” He traced his fingers over a thick, graying mustache as he stared at me.
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
Ian smiled awkwardly, shivered, then began to fumble with his thick jacket’s zipper. I looked up at the night sky and watched the stars as they tiptoed their tiny circles in the pregnant silence. Then, they dimmed in the flick of a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light-colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“So, Delvos, eh?” He puffed out a cloud of leather smelling smoke toward the stars. “What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the star’s dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Rivers. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the dead pine needles beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed. “See that yellow notch?” he asked. Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
“You don’t have to.” He knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree. “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The star’s dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary’s wings and Delvos stopped. “This is a good place to break our fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We had left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky that morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Rivers.”
Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased. “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers. I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with wings slashing yellow brushes and cawing songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so and I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the bird’s little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was “Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
We sat in silence and I found myself watching the canary flit about in its cage, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?”
He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast. “Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Rivers, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested.”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the editors for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Rivers.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Rivers. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin
Frank Brown Aug 2012
Seven or eight people lounged about in a small back room. I had no expectations before arriving so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed by what I discover.  I find myself sat in one of those reclining gaming chairs and think “This must be the best chair in the room”.

Just playing it cool. I don’t know anyone here. There’re a few guys playing the Xbox. I eye them over, none of them look to challenge my presence, either too engrossed in the screen, or intimidated in some way. To my left sit the women in the place. I have their attention. Relief that the journey here wasn’t in vein, I give them all a nod and a smile. I casually introduce myself, and then find myself playing on the Xbox. I know I can’t play, but that’s the act. I ask what buttons to press, and laugh at my own hopelessness, eventually relinquishing the controller. It soon finds its way back into my hands. By this time, some bird is sat up on the arm next to me. She’s watching my actions, how I take command of the situation. Why don’t I take command of her? Sitting and waiting has never been a good tactic. I pass the controller over to her and say a few words in an attempt to get the conversation rolling. The drink clouds my thoughts and I forget that I’m talking to her. In the distance I hear them remark, “He’s a cool guy.”

I sit, reclined, legs outstretched, coat open revealing buttoned collar, slicked back hair, that look of pure relaxation in ones surroundings. She’s diggin’ it. I know she’s digging it. Her leg starts to press into my arm, and then her hands are down by my side. Commotion in the room. Some fat ***** needs to make her presence known. Everyone chilled. She obviously wants the attention. Not my type. She leaves for an upstairs room, and moments later, a spliff finds its way into my hands, courtesy of the girls to my left. I take a few drags, telling myself not to get too high; too late for that. I pass it on and fall back into the chair. Forgot I hadn’t smoked in a month.

Still a laid back guy, although not sure if it’s a choice anymore. I know it’s taking me over now. Slowly, I find myself entering that zone where weeds been taking me lately. Thoughts of everything; no filter; the need to verbalize things. Suddenly I’m Mr Charismatic, and you are all my audience, whether you like it or not. I stopped caring or stop noticing people’s reactions and forget about myself. I let my ego out to play, unregulated by the discipline of consciousness.

There are people in the room. Pretty sure they weren’t here earlier. One of them says something to me. “Is he been aggressive?” I think to myself. Judging from the tone of my reply, I obviously felt the need to establish my position. Taking no **** from these guys it seems; I’m still the Don in the room. Remember myself, remember the girl. Mr Cool again.

Filling up water in the kitchen, find myself chatting to random guys. Banter flying around the place. She’s watching me. Some powder is under my nose. “Kind of you to offer, but that better not be ket.” Turns out it was Mandy. Can’t say no to a bump. Pretty sure I’m the most ****** in the room right now, but I’m riding it well. Door frame seems like a necessity to keep me upright. Don’t want to brave the assault course back to the recliner, plus, I’m talking to the guys in the kitchen, don’t want to walk away.

We’re meeting J’s bird in thirty minutes. Twenty minutes. Five minutes ago. “We’ll go in five minutes.” She’s there again. Her presence known to me. She's up against me, but time is also against me. Too ****** up to keep playing this game. We’re leaving now. Out the door, I attempt to say a few words as we leave. My eloquence abandons me and leaves me in the ****. Flag a taxi; turns out we’ve booked one. Send him on his way. Tip the driver more than I can afford.
Nigel Morgan Jul 2013
It was their first time, their first time ever. Of course neither would admit to it, and neither knew, about the other that is, that they had never done this before. Life had sheltered them, and they had sheltered from life.

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

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

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

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

Tide Marks

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

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

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


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

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

For Ralph

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Standing in the dark hallway ready to be summoned to read Albert took out his running order from his jacket pocket, flawlessly typed on his Elite portable typewriter (a 21st birthday present from his mother). He saw the titles and wondered if his voice could give voice to these intensely personal poems: the horror of his mother’s illness and demise, his loneliness, his fear of being gay, the nastiness and bullying experienced in his minor university post, his observations of acquaintances and complete strangers, train rides to distant cities to ‘gather’ material, visit to galleries and museums, homages to authors, artists and composers he loved. His voice echoed in his head. Could he manage the microphone? Would the after-reading discussion be bearable? He looked at Sally thinking for a moment he could not be in better company. Her very name cheered him. Somehow names could do that. He imagined her walking on a beach with him, in conversation. Yes, he’d like that, and right now. He reckoned they might have much to share with each other, after they’d discussed poetry of course. He felt a warm glow and smiled his best smile as she in astonishing synchronicity smiled at him. The door opened and applause beckoned.
ˏˋDalPalˊˎ Sep 2016
it's 8pm

after the sun departs and we are greeted by constellations
or what we could see past the rising light of the city
The elitists of the day go home
A time of opportunities has gone down with the day
But what would the night bring us?
The start of a new journey and to be one with the city?
Never in the eyes of a 9-5 type

it's 12am

the stars
they call our name
towers being our line of communication
should we go?
we could get caught, though?
I have to wake up early tomorrow
what if, what if, what if
'What if' didn't make your greatest memories and you know it

every emotion between ambition and fright from what lays ahead
but that feeling is what makes it worth while.
doesn't matter if were opening the door to the outside or crawling out a window
the next feeling hits you and it is more than awe

it's 3am**

above the ***** streets of Houston
60 plus up with not a witness insight other than god
as our eyes gaze upon the lit streets, that stretch infinitely
our perspective changes
what once was Houston
is now a interlay different world
who knew a city could offer you so much without trying to give it to you
this is really rough and ill edit it later
Third Mate Third Aug 2014
A lot of people think they can write or paint or draw or sing or make movies or what-have-you, but having an artistic temperament doth not make one an artist.


Even the great writers of our time have tried and failed and failed some more. Vladimir Nabokov received a harsh rejection letter from Knopf upon submitting ******, which would later go on to sell fifty million copies. Sylvia Plath’s first rejection letter for The Bell Jar read, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” Gertrude Stein received a cruel rejection letter that mocked her style. Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way earned him a sprawling rejection letter regarding the reasons he should simply give up writing all together. Tim Burton’s first illustrated book, The Giant Zlig, got the thumbs down from Walt Disney Productions, and even Jack Kerouac’s perennial On the Road received a particularly blunt rejection letter that simply read, “I don’t dig this one at all.”

So even if you’re an utterly fantastic writer who will be remembered for decades forthcoming, you’ll still most likely receive a large dollop of criticism, rejection, and perhaps even mockery before you get there. Having been through it all these great writers offer some writing tips without pulling punches. After all, if a publishing house is going to tear into your manuscript you might as well be prepared.

1. The first draft of everything is ****. -Ernest Hemingway
2. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ***. -David Ogilvy
3. If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker
4. Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? “She drove me to my practice at four in the morning,” etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. My advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. -Paul Theroux
5. I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee
6. You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. ― Jack London
7. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell
8. There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham
9. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that. – Stephen King
10. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
11. Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. – Anne Enright
12. If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do. – William Zinsser
13. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut
14. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. – Ernest Hemingway
15. Write drunk, edit sober. – Ernest Hemingway
16. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, ****, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. – Joshua Wolf Shenk
17. Substitute ‘****’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. – Mark Twain
18. Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. ― Neil Gaiman
19. Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. – Oscar Wilde
20. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ― Ray Bradbury
21. Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. – Lev Grossman
image – christine zenino
Taken from the Internet
Patrick Austin Oct 2018
My backpack ready for anything, I left for a voyage across the pond. As fellow passengers climb aboard I met a 27 year old traveling musician named Russ carrying his cajòn. He told me of his travels from Massachusetts and pending divorce. We related on this and exchanged CD's. Behind us sitting on the Ferry were two young girls working on a puzzle. Russ imposed himself and tried to impress them with his musical endeavors. These girls were in America from Germany attending college. One was 17 and the other was 18 but I am sure they knew better than to play into his hand. After talk of language and culture we disembarked. Russ invited me to his show that night but I had plans to meet a girl at a board game pub. I walked to the bus stop while smoking my pipe and caught the number 40 from downtown to a trendy neighborhood up north.

After I stepped off I found myself amongst the overgrown players of games and drinkers of fine beer. Brittany arrived and we chatted over IPA's. I explained my recent challenges to get the topic of divorce out of the way before we left for Mexican food. She was very open in saying I should play the field and not have a serious relationship. I agreed with her take but could not read her as well as I had hoped. She said I need to get the rebounding out of the way and explained that she too is struggling with commitment. Being 34 with no marriage or children under her belt she feels that therapy is essential to figuring this out.

We walked to our happy hour destination and shared Nacho's while drinking "Colorado Kool-Aid". Both of us having spent a lot of time in Denver we could relate on much but I felt there was an elephant in the room. Afterwards we walked to a nearby record store and browsed while talking about music and interests. She needed to leave soon having obligations to housesit and watch pets. Dog walking is her profession since her departure from the world of corporate accounting. We walked to her unkempt sedan and she gave me a ride back downtown. We talked of hanging out again but our schedule may not permit for some time. I wonder if she will entertain my company without reservation, only time will tell.

I decided to phone my old friend from Denver who lives near and devise another plan for the evening. The sun was still shining and I had no reason to return home yet. I walked to a nearby brew pub while waiting for him to meet me. I sat at the bar with another traveler named Dave. He is an airline pilot close to retirement from the state of Texas. We talked about my time in the Navy and my pending legal woes. He's been proudly married for 30 years and counts his blessings that he is still in harmony with his wife. My friend decided to meet me at a concert in close proximity to my date with Brittany. Once again I would take the number 40 uptown. Dave bought my IPA and gave me words of encouragement and complimented my persona. It meant a lot and I thanked him as I said goodbye.

While waiting for the bus I asked for information from a woman in her early 50's. She works for a tech company nearby but was happy to help as I had a more pleasant vibe than most of her young, urban, unprofessional colleagues. While unsure of my way she directed my move to get off at the next stop. I walked up the hill another seven blocks to the show. While smoking my pipe along the way another bus rider was two steps ahead named Nate. He was curious about my pipe tobacco and we gave brief anecdotes about ourselves. He offered to buy me a quick beer before my concert. I took him up on this offer as we walked into a nearby market. He purchased several large cans of domestics and afterwards we headed back down the dark boulevard towards the Abbey drinking our brew. As I arrived at the former church venue we parted ways peacefully.

I ventured into the bustling scene concealing my open container while finding my friend. I sat just as the opening act started. We enjoyed three musical performances but the star of the show was the beautiful woman from Denver that we both enjoyed during our time there. Feeling that we should explore the venue where Russ was performing we made our way there. I was sad to discover the brewery was shutting down before 10pm and the band was long gone. We decided to walk to the nearby singles bar playing music so loudly it could be heard from a block away. This strange place was crawling with many folks of the beautiful sort but nothing seemed to be attractive about it. We had a glass of wine and a shot of bourbon. I spoke to the fellow DJ for a moment but there was no dancefloor to be found. We decided to venture on.

We walked up and down the avenue and discovered another Mexican food restaurant, beaming with the young and the foolish. Our community seating was met with overly affectionate couples to our left and valley girls to our right. Our Tequila mules hit the spot with our Nacho's and late night platter. The girls spoke of Denver people which I thought strange. Why so much co(lorado)-incidence in one evening? I injected myself into the discussion and was met with friendly conversation. Unable to finish my Nacho's I knew I had fulfilled my share of fun for the night. This was the fourth time I had eaten nachos this week. We proceeded back to the urban adventure wagon and made our way to the slums of the tech-boom. My 2am slumber was met with an air mattress of great quality and woolen blankets.

I awoke at 7am to the clouded sunlight peering through the sliding glass door. I laid awake with my stomach turning from the many Nachos not yet digested. My housemates called me about needing to move my car for restriping the parking lot. Fortunately I left my keys so they were able to do this for me. I smoked my pipe on the patio while my friend "hit the gym". When he returned we decided to walk through the arboretum by the university and enjoy the sunny autumn day. Afterwards he dropped me off by the ferry where I waited an hour drinking beer at the commuter dive.

During my ferry ride home I walked up and down the passenger compartment looking for a fellow rider to play cribbage. I had no such luck and headed for the observation deck. While the city vanished behind us I struck up a conversation with a young lady from Manchester who had just returned to living in the US. We talked about the nature of selfies and the conflict of living in the moment. As we spoke a man approached me who had overheard my request for a card game. We walked back inside and sat next to an abandoned puzzle with pieces scattered about the deck. Mark introduced himself and we shook hands. It was not until he shuffled and dealt the cards that I realized this 45 year old Asian man only had one arm. His ability to shuffle and deal was impressive. His skill with cribbage was more than rusty, after one game I had a victory so great I felt guilty. He too is going through divorce and seeking a new job. It was a great way to pass the time with a fellow passenger.

As I readied myself for the porting I noticed a familiar face, a young sailor I served with in Mississippi. Our time spent together was met with sorrow as we faced similar career challenges. I had not seen him for several months but he almost did not recognize me. I had lost 50 pounds, left the Navy and become single all in a matter of a few months. I assured him I was on the dawn of newfound joy and wished him luck on his upcoming deployment. I patted him on the head as he seems like such a lovable scamp to me at this point. I exited the terminal to saunter back home. I smoked my pipe while crossing the bridge enjoying the last hour of sunlight.

I settled my belongings at home while serving myself a can of chili and a cold IPA on draft from my housemates tap. I joined him for the end of a baseball game in the den and shared a few moments with my community. I slept for a couple hours and then made my way to work. So much can happen in a day.
Not poetry, but what is life, if not poetry in motion?
Regret. The act of doing something and feeling remorse later on; the act of wanting to take something back; the act of wishing something didn’t happen. I regret ever making the joke that when my sister and I fought; it was like World War 3. I regret not telling my brother how much he meant to me and how proud I was that he was serving our country. I regret falling in love with a man that would be forced to go into the military.

Ayden received the letter in the mail two weeks ago, informing him that he would be expected to be at the airport, to involuntarily serve our country. Something bad was going to happen. Something no one was prepared for. We were only eighteen, just seniors in high school since our birthdays took place in the summer. We had been dating one year. The thought of him going half way around the world to fight in a war that came out of nowhere, scared me half to death. It wasn’t just the fact that I was losing my boyfriend who I was incredibly in love with; It was the fact that all in one day, I would be losing my boyfriend, and my best friend. No one to share my secrets with, no one to wrap me in his arms and tell me that everything was going to be okay. Just like he had done the night before when he had finally worked up the courage to tell me what had happened. My jaw hit the floor, my eyes watered up, and I may or may not have started trembling. We had been sitting on the couch when he squeezed my hand a little tighter.

“I have to tell you something.” He said.

I turned toward him with a smile on my face, which quickly faded when I saw that his own eyes had started to tear up.

“What’s wrong?” I asked immediately.

“In a week, I won’t see you. I don’t know for how long, I don’t know when I’ll be back.” He started to explain.

“Where are you going?” I asked impatiently.

“I don’t know.”

“You have to know.”

“There’s going to be a war.” He said. “A big one.” He whispered.

“There was a draft?”

He nodded his head slightly.

“When did you find out?” I asked.

“About a week ago.”

“And you didn’t tell me?”

“I didn’t know how.”

“You didn’t know how?” I whispered.

“Ava. This hurts more than if I was breaking up with you.” He said. “I’ve wanted to tell you. I have. But I didn’t know how. How do you tell someone you’re completely in love with, that you’re going off to fight in a war? That you don’t know if you’ll be coming back?”

“You certainly don’t hide it from that person.” I whispered.

“I might not be coming back.”

“Don’t say that.” I interrupted. “Don’t ever say that again.”

I let a few tears slip down the side of my cheek. He raised his hand to my face and slowly swiped them away with his thumb. He pulled me closer into his arms and kissed my forehead.

“I love you.” He whispered into my ear.

“I love you too.” I said.

Those were the last words we said to each other a week later while standing in the airport. His parents were there too .He had already hugged them and his dad had ushered his mom out to the parking lot in order to keep her from having a panic attack. Ayden and I had stood there awkwardly for a few minutes. After all, what do you say to someone when there’s a possibility you might not ever see them again? That had been when he out of nowhere grabbed me and pulled me against his chest. Wrapping me tightly in his arms, I buried my nose into the sleeve of his jacket and savored the sweet scent of his cologne.

I stood in the window of the airport, watching planes take off after he had given me a final hug and had left to board the plane. Already, I felt like I had something missing from me. Like there was a big hole in my heart. I felt empty. After some time, I decided I should probably go home.

I didn’t cry myself to sleep last night like I thought I would’ve. Instead, I just lay in bed, looking up at the ceiling, not knowing what to think. Tomorrow would be so much different than all my other days at school. No one to hold my hand while walking down the hallway, no one to go out to lunch with, and no one to look forward to so bright and early in the morning. After what seemed like forever, I drifted off to sleep, images of Ayden appearing in my dreams.

The sound of my alarm clock woke me in the morning. And all at once, it hit me, everything that I had been thinking of before drifting off to sleep the night before. Everything that had happened yesterday hadn’t been just a dream. It had been reality and it was finally starting to set in. I threw the covers off of me and started my day like any other, minus the ‘good morning beautiful’ text that I had been so used to receiving.

When I was finally ready for school, I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. The weather fit my mood perfectly. Cloudy, dark, damp, awful weather. Unlike most days that usually occurred here in California. I was used to the sun, the nice warm breeze, not this ‘Seattle like’ weather. Driving to school, I wasn’t sure if the raindrops falling on my windshield made it blurry to see, or if it was my own tears welling up in my eyes. I pretended for it to be the first option, all the while knowing it was the second. Staying strong had been one of my traits. When things got tough, I wasn’t one to run from my problems. No, I faced those dead on. Mom always said I got that from Dad.

It’d been a long time since I’d last thought about him. He was tall, strong, and stubborn. He died serving our country. Maybe that’s what scared me most about Ayden having to go fight. I’d experience death through the military too many times in my book. My grandpa had served our country and had also died in military combat, then Dad. Maybe, it was just my family. Luck just didn’t play on our side. When my brother was finally old enough to join, he surprised us all at dinner one night.

“Have you thought anymore about that business degree you want to get?” Mom had asked.

“Well, yeah. Actually, no. I’ve decided against the business degree.” Ethan had said.

“Honey, you’re almost ready to graduate. You’re changing your mind in the blink of an eye and at possibly, the last minute?”

I had sat silently, not saying a word. Ethan had told me a few months before what he’d been thinking. He knew my opinion, but didn’t know Mom’s. I wasn’t happy with what he was deciding, but I was almost willing to support him. We were close, and I didn’t want to lose him like I had lost Dad, who I’d also been so close to.

“I want to join the military.” He said quietly, and calmly.

I remember Mom’s reaction almost perfectly. She didn’t say a word at first, just looked down at her plate. When she lifted her head a minute later, tears had begun to form in her eyes, ones she blinked away quickly, not letting them spill over onto her cheeks.

“When did you, decide this?” she asked quietly.

“I’ve thought about it for a long time. My choices were either, business, or military.” He explained. “And Mom, the business thing just isn’t working out.”

“Of all things to choose.” She whispered.

She shook her head slightly and I saw a tear fall onto the table by her plate.

“Mom, things are different these days. It’s not like when Dad fought.” He explained. “Ava supports me.” He slipped.

Mom’s head snapped up and looked at me. My head bent down, looking at the spaghetti on my plate.

“You knew?” she asked quietly.

I said nothing. Absolutely nothing. Telling Mom that I had known his decision all along wasn’t part of the plan when the three of us sat down for dinner that night.

“I thought there were no secrets in this house?” she asked.

“There isn’t.” Ethan chimed in. “Anymore.” He whispered.

Mom breathed in a deep breath and let it escape.

“Ethan, I love you. And I support whatever you choose to do. You know that. But I am telling you right now, I will be ****** if I lose another important man in my life.” She said, sternly, while looking deep into his eyes.

“Dad would’ve wanted this.” Ethan said, plainly.

“I know.”

And with that, she had excused herself and left the table. Walking down the hallway, I heard her sniffle a couple times.

The fact of those two simple words stung but as the saying goes, “the truth hurts.” Mom was a runner. She was the one who would always run from her problems instead of confronting them. The one thing that she had always said and will continue to always say, she didn’t want Ethan going into the military. Ever since Dad had died, she’d stuck to her word. Even though, we all knew Dad would’ve wanted Ethan to follow in his steps and be a commanding officer, it’d be the one thing Mom would continuously disagree on. I guess you could say I was the same way. After Ayden had told me that he had been signed for the draft, my breath had caught and I had the same reaction as Mom would’ve had. I would’ve wanted him to do anything, anything, besides go into the military. But I guess it was different this time. No one really had a say in who was on the list and who was absent. My bad luck had just started to shine through.

School dragged on. As normal. But it was different now. Ayden wasn’t there to hold my hand. He wasn’t there to greet me after my classes, wasn’t there to walk me to my car, wasn’t there to just be in my presence. It was like he had died. And just the thought of that alone, brought tears to my eyes. I wasn’t the only one whose boyfriend had been called off for the draft. No, there were others, but none of those other couples had been like Ayden and I. We weren’t just a couple. We weren’t just homecoming king and queen. No, we were best friends. I’d known him since first grade when he’d transferred to my elementary school. I had been the one assigned to show him around the school. We became friends, and later on, best friends. Freshman year of high school, Ayden and I had gone to homecoming together. Not as a couple but just as friends because neither of us had a date. Sophomore year, we had gone together again. Not because we didn’t have a date, but because we wanted to go with each other. I’ll never forget that night, because that was the night Ayden had told me he wanted to be more than friends. I had never actually thought about being more than just his friend until he had brought it up. That night, I didn’t just fall in love with a guy; I fell in love with my best friend.

The final bell rang for school to be dismissed. Once again, I felt emptiness inside while walking through the hallway. Blurs of kids rushing past me kept me from allowing my tears to spill over onto my cheeks, but that was the only thing that stopped them. After getting into my car, I put the key into the ignition but didn’t start it; I didn’t even turn the key. I put my head in my hands and took a deep breath. In my head, I thought, “One day down.”

After sitting for a few minutes in my quiet car, and letting other vehicles exit the parking lot, I finally turned the key and started my car. Hearing the soft music come on the radio, I turned it down so I could only hear the engine running. Putting my car into reverse, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to go. I just wanted to drive. Halfway home, I changed directions and headed to what seemed like my second house, my best friend’s house.

I knew his Mom would be off work by now and would be there to let me in. I found it ironic, as I always have that when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere; you stop at every red light possible. Red lights, stop signs, and slow moving cars in general were the only obstacles in my way that afternoon. Finally, when I was out of the traffic and almost to Ayden’s house, I pushed my foot a little harder on the gas to gain some speed. Driving up over the gravel road, I could see in the distance his Mom’s small car parked in the driveway; along with Ayden’s. Just seeing it there, gave me false hope that maybe this was all a dream and he was actually at his house, waiting for me.

Pulling into the driveway, his Mom came out onto the porch. Ayden lived in a house that you see in the movies. A tall, white one with a wraparound porch, the swing out front. I loved spending time in that house. Putting the car in park, I slowly got out and walked up to the porch.

“How did it go?” his Mom asked.

I shrugged my shoulders, while walking up the stairs. She pulled me into her arms and hugged me. Rubbing my back, she whispered,

“It’ll be okay. He’ll be coming home sooner than you know it.”

“Can I just go up to his room?” I asked.

“Of course.”

She released me from her arms and I opened the screen door to head inside while she remained on the porch. I walked up the stairs and to the right. Ayden’s door was closed. That was unlikely. He never kept his door shut just for the sake of it being shut. It was always opened. I pushed it open and walked inside. All his stuff was where he had left it. His bed was unmade, his closet doors standing open. I walked to his closet and ran my hands over his shirts, His scent filled my nose and I just wanted him home. I grabbed a button down, blue and white, thin striped shirt. He had worn it to school a couple times. I put it up to my nose, taking in faint bit of cologne that you could still smell on it, even after it going through the wash. I walked over to his bed, sitting down on the edge. With his shirt still pressed close to my face, I breathed in a heavy breath and let everything go. The tears started coming and I didn’t stop them. I started sobbing but I didn’t care. It seemed like everything that I’d ever loved, was gone. Because technically, it was, for the time. Ayden leaving to go fight in a war half way across the country scared me more than life itself, and hurt more than if he had broken up with me. I felt alone, even when there were dozens of people around me. I felt as if Ayden was dead when he was actually alive and well, as far as I knew. He’d only been gone one day and it felt like three years. Losing Ayden to the war efforts showed the true meaning in the saying, “you never really know what you have until it’s gone.” But really, the truth was, I knew what I had. I knew exactly what I had. I just took it for granted and didn’t think I’d ever lose it. And now all I wanted was Ayden back in the same country as me, back in the same house as where I was. In his room, watching a movie, playing a game, anything. That’s all I wanted at that exact moment.

I jumped up out of my sleep, my heart beating faster than a race car zooming around a track. I looked at my alarm clock, the red digits glaring, 2:33 back at my face. I swallowed and took a few more deep breaths before kicking the covers off and walking to the bathroom. I turned the light on and splashed some cool water over my face. Looking up into the mirror, I took one final deep breath and walked back to my room. Grabbing my phone from my nightstand next to my bed, I unplugged it and ran my finger over the touch screen. Reaching Ayden’s name, I touched the screen where it said to call. Holding the phone up to my ear, I waited for Ayden’s voice to answer. After about five rings and silence, his voice answered through his voicemail.

“Hey, it’s Ayden. I’m a little busy at the moment, but leave a message, and I’ll make sure to get back to you.”

My tears broke out all over again, my already swollen eyes releasing more sobs. I pulled my covers up to my chest and buried my face in them. My sobs grew a bit louder, and I heard footsteps coming from outside my bedroom door. I tried to stop, and after sniffling a couple times, the white door opened slowly.

“Honey,” Mom said, coming over to the bed.

“I can’t do this, Mom.” I sobbed.

She pulled me into her arms and rested her chin on my head while softly rubbing my back.

“It gets better.” she whispered. “It gets better.” she paused. “I promise.”

“I don’t know.” I said.

“I do.” she replied. “I went through this. You seem to keep forgetting. But I went through this exact same thing.”

I took a deep breath. “How long?” I asked. “How long does this last? This loneliness, this emptiness?”

“Too long.” she whispered.

She pulled me into her arms even more, holding me tighter, until I slowly laid down on my bed, my tears falling to my pillow. She sat on the edge of my bed, rubbing my back. It reminded me of all the times when I had been sick and she’d s
I know this isn't a poem, but I would like some feedback, comments or suggestions. I wrote this for a class, but I really like it. Tell me what you think. All comments are appreciated:)
Olivia Robinson Jul 2015
I don't apologize for my blackness and your fear seems like this beautiful melanin enriched skin is a blessing and a curse. police offers using our young men's as target practice ripping our rich black roots from the ground and scathing them  them all over the cold blood stained concrete streets that my people paved.they just want us to dance sing and play ball to entertain them. they don't want us to succeed and move on to bigger and better things so sinister grins creep upon their faces as they watch us slaughter eachother in the streets. they watch us struggle to get out of poverty they say we're all on welfare and ain't **** but how can we move up in the world and get out of poverty when this system wasn't built to benefit us? we are more than the stereotypes. we are doctors lawyers entrepreneurs nurses designers filmmakers activist.we are intelligent intellectual beings with knowledge that surpasses all understanding. they don't want us to open our mouths and speak our truth...they want us to shut up and chuck and jive and kiss their pasty white ***** to the bone they want us to ignore the blatant racism and discrimination we face everyday and be content that we aren't enduring as much pain as the ones before us have. but we will not shut up. we do experience racism. we do experience discrimination. and our people are dying everyday from it.how dare you utter the words respect yourself and well respect your from the same mouth that slandered my ppl and taught us to hate ourselves with? we were taught to love everything that was white and hate everything that was black and love blonde long straight hair and blue eyes and hate our chocolate skin and ***** hair but these ***** roots are deep...no matter how much you try and destroy them they are deep and run through us all. so my brothers and sisters... be proud of your roots take care of your roots embrace your roots love everything about yourself from that ***** *** hair that breaks all the teeth of your comb to your chocolate skin that glows in the sunlight and those strong minds and powerful voices because black is beautiful, black is powerful black is brilliant, black matters.
poem I wrote a while ago around the time of the Mike Brown case. it's not finished.
thegirlwhowrites Jan 2015
I, a woman of letters, have been waiting for you, a man of numbers. I’ve been fantasizing of the day when you would deliver at the porch of my heart your algebraic equation. The x’s and y’s merged systematically with all the symbols, forming an indelibly inked pattern that would finally make sense. I have been waiting and hoping and praying, but all I’ve got so far are your invalid equations, the confusion, the uncertainties, the unsolvable mathematical sentence that I want so desperately unscrambled. How can you not, in your genius, find the right equation, even as I now try to draft a coherent verse?

for j.e.
*013115
Brad Lambert Oct 2013
(I)

Whose coat is this? Sure as hell isn't my coat. I ain't got no coat with this parka ****, it's *******. I ain't no furry flamin' ******. I ain't no ****** chochy Molly-May-Ze-**** chokin' down chickens and nasalin' a'sniffin' snortin' nasty-*** choch; that ain't me. That ain't me. Look at this coat– I'm like an Eskimo *****. I'm like a butch-**** bull-**** crotch-lappin' a'swimmin' laps in that guy's swimmin' pool. Who's that guy? Who owns that guy? 'Ey, anyone here the owner of this guy– guy ain't got no owner? Whose coat is this? It's nice, real nice. Bet she said, "Does it come from France? Where do I buy one?" I want to buy one, I think I need to buy **** more. I sure as hell need to buy one of these. "And I need one these too and one of them too and I need a petticoat and a tipper-tapper and a whimpratic garfielder and one of them new bartlemores, I need more of them bartlemores. I need more, more, more, more, more, more..." That ain't enough. ****'s from France. ****'s from Paris, that's romantic. You think I'm romantic? I eat hearts for dinner, I chew down nails like nuts for my midnight snack. I smoke cigarettes and spit on concrete slabs, you think that's ****? I'll show you ****. I'll show you Paris, New York City, Rome, romance you in Rome. I'll get real ******' Roman. I'll take you to the desert and make love to you. That's how a free man does a woman, and I'm a real free man. Who's ownin' this guy? It ain't you, it ain't me. I don't own you, you don't own me. I'm a free man:

I said,
"Fire and wood, fire and wood, fire and wood. It is late, it is late, it is far, far too late."

I set
fire to wood, fire to wood; feel that fire fired fresh from that firewood.

I dug the pit,
he gathered the wood,
she started the fire.

She really does make that fire start.

O' how she makes that fire burn,
O' how the wood's wrapped in white hots,
O' how they smoke their smokestacked pipes,
O' tobacco teeming teenagers, tormented by and through youth,
O' adolescence, trending topics, and forget-me-not flowers,
O' old age, Floridan coffins, and coughing  cancers,
O' writers in the mountains writing to be,
O' painters and **** bodies in studies by the sea,
O' thinkers in their mindset, mindsetting the table for dinner,
O' tables set to bursting,
O' wallets so thick,
O' community,
O' society, our social games,
O' hope,
O' peace,
O' that I may be at peace,
O' that I may be content and pray only for peace,
O' how about them true believers,
O' how about that love at first sight,
O' sandstone. My sandstone. That guy sittin' on sandstone.

That's my guy. That's my guy. I own this ****.

Is a man breathing on a mirror the sum of his breaths?
Breaths foggin' a'mistin' my view,
my view of a body and that face,
you're a body.
You're a workin' day's bell,
you're my chill in an Icelandic draft,
you're my spare in a Middle Eastern draft,
you're my pawn in chest-to-chest chess.

You've got this. You've got this. You own this ****.

And it is ****, too. I'd be set, real ******' set, with someone like you. I'll make you a woman, check this parka ****. Coat's mine. I'm a classy igloo runner, runnin' a'ragin' a'czebelskiin' meriteratin', I'll be reiteratin' your points. Check the time, it's late! It's late! ***** was in the grassy knoll turnin' trap tunes on her turntable. Would you listen to that? She sounds late to me, does she sound late to you? I like the music; I like the music. What happened to Woodstock? Where's my watergate, Nixon? Where's my generation, Ginsberg? Where's the meaning? This music's too loud! We're so profound! O' profundity!

Tell me something I didn't know, I'm craving' the new.
Give me the new while I spit on the old,
while I spit on this fine art finely art'd by and for fine artists–
******' fine artists. ******* fine artists.

(You can realize radical-realist realism but you can't be real with me?)

O' fine art!
What fine art!
Which fine artists are dead?



(II)

Looks like they're dead.

Looks like them ******* choked out all them ghettos, choked out all them rednecks, chokin' a'stranglin' by-God-oh-God straddlin' the breeders. I sure did like them babes– babes with their laughin' a'lackin' o' cynicism. They don't know the word "****."

I sure am forgetful–
I forgot that smoke doesn't dissipate,
I forgot how to smell autumn leaves,
I forgot to check the heart against the fingertips,
I forgot why my fingertips went numb,
I forgot to cue in the meaning when the sentence was complete,
I forget to complete my sentences,
I forget who you were wanting when you said, "I want you."

I got as much depth as an in-depth discussion, high hats and electropercussion have got me going. I'm goin' downtown, uptown bourgeois tricked me out, johns and yellow Hummers laid me down and cussed me out. That's not a discussion. That's not my scent scenting my towel, this breath reeks of wintry air– my fingertips went numb.

"I want you."

"Oh would you look at that moon?
Take a look at that moon.
Look at that moon with the ******' mountains.
I love that moon.
That's my moon."

I love darin' a'dusty dareelin' derailin' your dreams, whose dreams are these? They ain't my dreams– ain't no dream derailin' a'nileerad radiatiatin' some hint of joy or Jamison Scotch Liqueur. Drink that ****. That's my ****, I own that ****.
I'm sittin' on this stoop like I own this ****, like this **** owns me; I owed me. I don't own me, you owe me:

Pay up man, feet off the stoop.
Pay up man, be real with me.
Pay up man, you ever thought of a man as a man?
Pay up man, give it in.
Pay up man, give in.
Pay up man, I need you to do me a solid. Do me solid from crown-to-toe, we're toe-to-toe let's do-si-do bro-to-** I'm ready go, **, jo, ko, lo, get low… Now I'm ramblin'. You say, "Ramble in to the stoop and tell me a story."

What's a stoop– who's a stoop? That **** ain't stoop– you ain't stoop. You're stupid. You're a joke, check out the joke. Hey ladies, you seen this joke– joke ain't been seen by them ladies? I'm a joke. We ain't laughin' with you, they're laughin' at you.

O' hilarity!
Such hilarity!
What hilarious histories have passed?



(III)*

"I said I loved him once. I only loved him once."
(
And how long once has been...)

I sure did like them hand-holdins,
them star-gazin' moments,
them moon phasin' nighttime nuances,
them fingertip feelin' a'findin',
them sessions o'meshin' limber legs unto steadfast *****,
heads cocked like guns toward the sky,
beyond the horizon
but well
below the belt.

Them star-gazing moments seeing stars seemin' small, I love how they gleam- gleamin' a'glarin' comparin' shine to shine, shimmerin' a glimmer shone stumblin' her way home from the bar. She's drunk. She's brilliant, brilliance of whit and wantin' a'wanderlustin' gypsy nomads- that ***** gyp'd me, no mad man would take a cerebral slam to the face lest them moving pictures are involved. Read a ******' book, it'll last longer. Kiss me on the collar bones, clavicles shone shining with slick saliva pining for my affections. You're clammerin' to feel me, clammin' up (Just feel me.) I want to run my hands through long hair and peg the nausea nervosa to the wall. The writing's on the wall:

The sun bent over so the moon could rise, chanting,
"Goodbye and good riddance,
I never wanted to shine down
on them seas o' tranquilities anyhow."*

O' what a day. What a day.

And the wind ruffles leaves and it ruffles feathers on birds eating worms in brown soil.

What a day. What a day.

And the men under the bridge gather in traitorous conversation of governments overthrown and border dissolution and poetry with meters bent out of tune.

What a day. What a day.

And the billboards are dry for all the consumers to consume, use, and review.

What a day. What a day.

And hearts break messiest when you're not looking.

What a day. What a day.

And the ego and the id and the redwood trees are talking. They're sitting **** in the marshes, bathing in the bogwater while fondling foreign fine wines and whisperin' a'veerin' conversations towards topics kept well out of hand, out of the game, nontobe racin' in races, rampant radical racists betting bets on bent, bald Bolshevik racists wagging Marxist manifestos in the bourgeois' faces, yes. Make it be. Nontobe sanity as the captain creases his pleats, pleasin' her creases and the dewdrops of sweat trailing down the small of her back– down the ridge of her spine forming solitary springs of saline saltwater in the small of her back. Aye-aye, guy's pleasin' a'makin' choices a'steerin'– government's a'veerin' a hard left into the ice.

'Berg! 'Berg!
Danger in the icy 'berg!
None too soon a 'berg!
Bound to bump a 'berg!
O' inevitably unnerving 'berg!
Authoritative 'berg!
Totalitarian 'berg!
Surveillance of *** and the sexes 'berg!
O' fatalist fetishist 'berg!
Benevolent big brother 'berg!
Homosocial socialization 'berg!
Romanticized Roman 'berg!
O' virginal mother 'berg!
City on a hill on a 'berg!
Subtly socialist 'berg!
Nongovernmental 'berg!
O' illustrious libertine 'berg!
Freedom of the people 'berg!
Water privatization 'berg!
Alcohol idolization 'berg!
O' corrupt and courageous 'berg!
Church and a stately 'berg!
Pray to your ceiling fan 'berg!
Biblically borne 'berg!
O' godly and gorgeous 'berg!
Ferocious freedom fighters launching lackluster demonstrations far too post-demonstration feeling liberty and love, la vie en rouge, revolving revolutionist ranting on revolution tangible as
an ice cold 'berg.

'Berg! 'Berg!
O' the 'berg, the ****** iceberg–
You'll be the death of me.
So in this Month your Heart begins to press
For Good October promises your Due
Thinking of Delight and Travel Costs less,
And finally meeting her through and through
Her arm must have healed, given Time's duty
No more must such Fortress wall you apart
Her, Blessed Pronoun who cheers you truly
On her own Springboard she performs her Part
As you guide Witness to her own Unique Craft,
That Guideline which does greatly Inspire
Now look! Her Swan whips the Air; And the Draft
Begs humbly deep its legs to retire.
Your Hug was her Reward; Then the Flannel
Covers your Cheers on the Upper Panel.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
BungeeGum Sep 2019
The first draft is....Rough,
rough like my hair when it has not been tamed by the metallic teeth of my comb,
words crossed out in my notes are the battle scars of my ideas,
Even the pen is running out of ink due to the uphill struggle of writing out my thoughts,


The first draft is...Illegible,
the words not yet translated,
so for now , only the translator understands the vision for their work,
to those who do not have the writers eye , they see scribbles,
to the writer them self, it is the birth of a masterpiece about to take shape,


The first draft is....formless,
formless like water,
until I have managed to contain what I write in the form I have chosen,
it will just splash on to the page,
flowing and pouring all over the paper like an Oceans raging current,


The first draft is..... a bit of a roller-coaster
since the process is both exciting and frustrating,
tiresome and exhilarating,
multiple warring factions of moods arise which can cause a tornado,
since there is a constant whirl of emotions
on whether this fits or not,
or maybe I should change this line or keep it


Overall the first draft... is a foundation for something great,
each part built up brick by brick,
polished to smooth its edges,
transcribed to express what you meant all this time,
finally taking the form you shaped it for,
the tornado transforming into a gentle breath of fresh air,
as you gradually craft a piece of beauty ,
thoughts ??
Hannah once again with tears streaming from hazel eyes silently praying, "Oh Lord I need you desperately to show me how to make the best of this situation." Using her delicate hands to cover her face and trying to reason with her own heart. "Josh deserves a wife who can return his love, a wife that can be madly in love with him. I want to be that kind of wife. I want those feelings. I would hate to spend a life time in marriage where there is no love."
Hannah looked down at her hand and remembered his words when he'd given her the wedding rings. "I will wait a life time for you to love me if that's what it takes. I love you. There's no need for you to force feelings for me Hannah."
Regret hit her hard at how easily it seemed when she foolishly gave herself to Jake.
He showed her a different kind of attention that she needed. It dawned upon her right then that Jake didn't love her nor him. She confused it for love. She'd found a stand-in for the attention she craved from her father.
She was more naive but Jake was more crafty. There had been a great hole in her that she thought Jake could feel... an emptiness that only God could fill. Perhaps now she could love Josh as God intended. Now that she set her selfishness aside and forgiven her earthly father and would be right with her Heavenly Father again. She understood love and all of it's honesty now. Maybe it wasn't too late.
A tinge of fear seized a moment making her wonder how she could ever forgive herself. Then questions filled her mind as if to tell this wonderful, loving husband of hers of her betrayal and sin. And if she did would she lose him forever. Wondering if she could keep it hidden from him but if she did how could she feel good about it?
"Oh dear Heavenly Father," she tried once again to pray but only heart breaking sobs came out.
~Author Ven J. Arnold (rough draft).
~(SacredInkedBlood)
This is an excerpt from 1 of my short stories. Just a rough draft. I'm having problems with figuring out how to go about getting published. This is a fiction piece.
L B Sep 2016
Route 84 would not lend me
the light of a star last night
Radio blazing at 75 mph
nonsense noise to chew gum by
Crackling political commentary
Static of distance and thick clouds
Invisible mountains blocking
Memories seeping through the cracks
coating the music in a film
I rub my eyes
watch myself punch alert buttons
But it’s the angels’ jukebox tonight

Roll down the window
Watch the heat escape

Summer again

I am building a castle of ancient stones
pulverized by relentless tides
Dragged across maps by mastodons
and mammoth glaciers
The scouring hiss
the ocean sighs
Time has lulled these smoothly
rolling them in the softest hands of sand
and gels of life’s comings and goings
tenderly tumbling
in the millionth moonrise—
Time deposits them here
wet and glistening

For the girl with the plaid two-piece to gather
Shoulders sun-burnt barely say
one week only,
one week of the fifty two
“It’s the time of the season…”
and daddies on the beach are watching….

She has chosen yet another stone
And the castle continues—
in oblivion to all but her legend…

     The queen will be safe here
     from the rabble
     The disgraced Tristan will surely seek her
     Among these lofty cliffs
     Between the raging circuit of the tide
     Here winds forbid the vengeful mob
     Here lovers learn
     the debt of love’s bad timing
     “Drink ye all of it!”
     --the potion that assigns our sorrow….
     She will not sleep—
     while I chew this gum--  GUM?

Roll down the window!

Angels escape with the heat
Waking me with the brush of their wings

As that eighteen-wheeler hugs my flank
And leans on the horn
Lights flashing
Rude rumbling under right tires
Tantrum of snow
In the draft of mass and velocity

…and the angels?
They’ve chosen another good one!
They must’ve liked the 80’s
Their wings slapping the windshield madly  
Their hands steady the wheel
As a fourteen-year old, I picked up a book to read at the beach about the legend of the lovers, Tristan and Iseult.  I was so captivated by their story that it ruled my imagination that summer.  

Anyway, I still think of it when I think of the ocean-- as I did on this cold dark occasion when I should have pulled off somewhere for a coffee, but I was trying to beat the snow storm home.
Route 84, also known as Dead Bambi Highway, has a desolate, treacherous section going over the mountains between NY and Pennsylvania.  Didn't have much option for music at the time, so I leaned heavily on the radio pushing the search button to find anything bearable-- not too much static.
Song reference in this: "Time of the Season" by the Zombies-- all time favorite beach song that happened to be on the radio that night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBxK3CcOQD8
louis rams Oct 2012
(10/13/12)

At the beginning of “64” - I packed up my uniform
And walked out the door- it was the beginning of
The Vietnam war.
By August of that same year
President  Johnson started the draft
Under protests and jeers.

Then he made it a full scale war
And sent our soldiers to Vietnam shores.
The Beatniks in Greenwich village
With their long hair, beards, and
Flip flop sandals - wrote their poetry
About this undeclared war, and why
Our men were going to those shores.

This created a new generation called ‘HIPPIES”
The hippie generation was groups of protesters
Against everything that they found wrong
The draft , the war , pollution
And loved to stay high with ***, hashish
Coke and acid (lsd) which kept them blasted.

This also created the “ flower children”
Who like the hippies loved to be high
And on certain flowers they would fly.
But they spoke of loving one another
And gave out flowers as a sign of peace
Which to the president was a relief.

They all started painting this “53 Chevy impala”
With the words “ flower power”.
Now the “ flower children and hippie movement
Was in full swing, and everyone was doing their own thing.

They had  Greenwich village under their control
And not one coffee shop would ever be sold.
Every coffee shop had a poetry night
And going there was such a delight.

Then in AUGUST of “69”
The WOODSTOCK festival was on the rise
Over half a million people drove to that farmland
And set up tents , hammocks, sleeping bags and such
And the police found it was much to much
So they had no choice but to see it through
Because there was nothing else that they could do.

The WOODSTOCK  festival had become world wide
And to this day it still thrives.

© L . RAMS
DO YOU REMEMBER THOSE DAYS
My pain is not a poem,
my poetry isn't poetic.
It's cryptic and a message,
cutting up and breaking
branches. Comprehensive;
my poems are suicidal, files of
medications and prescriptions
are seemingly all my mind
can write. Jumping to conclusions
and indenting my addictions,
inflicting this confliction, convictions
I don't mention. Those rhymes that
I have wrote; it was the drowning as I broke,
a broken draft of notes, that sing:
 "you'll never learn to float,"
Acid, or is it water?  
I'm hoping for the latter,
well I guess it never mattered,
years doubled and I'm sadder.
When does it get better?  
When do I get better?  
I guess it never will, and I'm
home but I'm not here,
I'm stuck, I'm stuck, I'm stuck,
and all my heart
can pump is tears-
All feedback is appreciated and welcome!
nic Oct 2013
Honor the sea
for the sailor in your blood.
For the lack of anchor
in my ankles.
I've been drifting sailor
since divorce papers
taught me how to choke
the eternity out of a vow.
I am great at leaving
what I love.

2. Mental illness runs
in my mother's family
so leaving was more
like a race for sanity.
A relay to forget.
I am afraid that Liz
has schizophrenia
because she stopped writing. 
I am afraid that I too
may get caught between
a rock and a hard place
called depression.
When a poet stops
being a poet,
all that silence must leave
room for the walls
to start speaking in tongues.
Love yourself out loud
because when homeless
holy ghosts can't live
in your poems,
they post themselves
in your dreams.

3. On the days
when your body feels
more alley than altar,
and you can't manage
to believe in any God
who could think
you are worth dying for,
go back to bed.
Scatter your sacred congregation
of bones beneath blankets.
Don't come out
til you feel whole again.

4. Love yourself to pieces.
Your muscles only grow
from being torn and rebuilt.
Destruction is a form
of creation.
It is okay to be shattered skin
And flooded eyelids.
It is okay to dance
in the middle of your ruins.
Movement is a sign of life.
Show the world you're
still alive.

5. Love this magic
called life, because you
are the child of magicians. 
We, people of Black suits
and bow ties
of braided chains.
We, wands for wrists,
perfect for reaching
for potions and people
and dreams.
We, top hats for teeth,
perfect for abracadabra speaking
things into existence. 
We, artists. 
We, storytellers. 
We, preachers and poets.
We who spit spells disguised
as spoken word.
Poems that work like prayers
birthed between pews.
We, walking sanctuaries
who birth life. Love, 
you are nothing short
of magic.

6. When my father moved out,
my mother stopped moving.
Became a southern shipwreck
of scriptures and beached
her hands across the crests
of my cheeks.
Looked at me to be
lighthouse during storm.
I read that as adults,
we try growing into the traits
that would've rescued our parents
but I'm hoping you never
feel the need to save me.

7. These days,
my mother's hips
don't miss a chance
to kiss a beat
like Stevie Wonder
was just invented.
And isn't it lovely?
How she finally
learned to wear
her lonely in the sway
of her shoulders to keep
the shame of an empty
ring finger from spilling
over her children.
Love, you come from a long
line of magicians who've
nearly died trying to pull off
a miracle like you,
but I don't need your rescue.
You are not anyone's SOS.
You are the result
of prayers wrapped in
the silk of southern accents.
My plagiarized draft of a poem
called God.
You are the only
graven image our creator
has ever commissioned.
Treat yourself as such.
A revision. After Tonya Ingram
CHAPTER ONE

My geographic movements during the past year could be called “A Tale of Two Couches.” So as June draws to a close, I assume the position here again on Couch California. I am back in Hemet, the place the smug among us call Hemetucky--as if there was nothing a couple of Mint Juleps and a **** of Blue Grass wouldn’t cure. It is the year of our Lord, 2014: so far an interesting year for women. There was a woman who wore socks to bed. There was always my long-time, here today-gone tomorrow, long time companion, currently teaching somewhere remote on the Big Rez, a southwestern Navajo concentration camp near the 4 Corners.  Next, there’s my current object of affection, that fine and frisky lady from The Bronx by way of Bernalillo--currently at home in Laguna Beach, Orange County. Trixie: my main squeeze at the moment.

And now, completely out of the ******* blue this afternoon, my cell phone rings and it’s ******* Juanita--my all-time favorite woman, Juanita Mi Favorita de La Quinta--a Coachella Valley town and desert wadi, extending its lucrative winter tourist season to become a significant, year-round retirement venue and a robust service economy feeding off it.  Juanita arrived there in the late 80s, in middle of her early forties.  She was unemployed, homeless, just a suitcase to her name and a two-year old toddler in tow. Her parents were there, as was her Aunt Peggy.  Juanita was always Peggy’s favorite niece, her favorite child, actually, Peggy herself being childless, never married.  Aunt Peggy put her maternal instincts to work on Juanita Rodriguez, her Sister Rosalia’s second favorite twin daughter.

Maria, Rosalia’s first favorite daughter, Juanita’s twin sister—MARIA: lives in Newport Beach and acts as an extra in many commercial ads shot in southern California and elsewhere, an irony never without sting for Juanita. “Que lastima!” Poor Juanita: as her would-be Hollywood Movie star aspirations disintegrated over the years, along with her unrealized lower expectations to be TV star, and even those semi-glamorous modeling gigs at trade shows and fairs—the elephant’s graveyard of the acting profession—failed to materialize, and now her celebrity habitat shrunken even further, to that sporadic but consistent mockery of stardom, I refer to any would-be thespian’s ignominious one-celled visual protozoan: The Extra Call List.  And—*******-- what happens next? Juanita’s sister Maria starts getting these parts, starts getting hired by filling out a ******* postcard, starts getting paid to look good in the background. *******: no professional education or instruction, no agent, and no need to **** off both the producer, the producer’s cousin Morey, the director and the director’s wife’s huge Golden retriever, Genghis--actually a mighty handsome animal--or needing to spill $4K on that Derma-brasion, Juanita inflicted on herself last year.

Juanita, as you already know, was the second favorite daughter and the second favorite twin of the family. She became the third favorite child in her three-child family upon the arrival of her slick baby brother Nico-- the Golden Child, who grew up to be a glib Merrill-Lynch stockbroker, office and residence, Beverly Hills 90112.  (Enter forcefully into the narrative, His Nibs himself, Sir Nicodemus of Hollywood, Juanita and Maria’s baby brother Nico. He speaks: “Excuse me, stockbroker my ***, as it says in a 11 point Rockwell Boldfont, right here on my gold-leaf embossed business card: Senior Large Capital Investment Counselor.”)

No, Juanita had a hard time just treading water in that Cleveland shark tank. And though she lacked nothing in the cuteness department, she had this one fatal flaw, namely, the gift of ***** and sass and a reflex to speak truth to power. Juanita: rejected by Rosalia as a threat to her hegemony as Boss of the Girl’s Club, was cast adrift on a tempestuous childhood cruel Montserrat sea, out there on the briny deep . . .  
                

                                      



High Seas: where many a tuna has a Sorry Charlie moment: “Star-Kist don’t want no tuna with good taste; Star-Kist wants a tuna that tastes good.”

Finally, Juanita is rescued, taken aboard the Good/Soul Aunt Peggy—that wayward bark Elisabeta Rodriguez, home-ported in Southside, Chicago, Illinois—the rescue at sea performed in classy, rather low-key manner; no Andrea Doria drama, but understated:

{Camera One, Helicopter above, zooms over turbulent ocean surface. Peggy, an oasis of calm, aboard the raft Kon Tiki with Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, floats by, whispering, “Going my way, Honey? Climb aboard. Have a homemade oatmeal cookie and a small glass tumbler of Jack Daniels.” Okay, no, that’s not fair. Sure Aunt Peggy drank, but never got round to offering you a drink until you were well into your 30s. Let’s just say she offered you a warm glass of milk, the mother’s milk deprived you by your mother, her sister Rosalia. Dear Aunt Peggy: a seasoned survivor herself, flawed by early childhood deafness and grotesque speech.  Yet, she had refused to settle for life in an asylum. She made a go at life.  She learned; she prospered; she flourished. And when the time came, she was there for you in the Coachella Desert, there for her feisty niece Juanita Ann.  Aunt Peggy: a loving spirit personified, became Juanita’s special confidant and counselor, her personal cheer squad of one. Juanita, of course, a former cheerleader herself--an early hint of greatness to be sure, a highlight, perhaps the highlight of her life, shown off every Halloween, still celebrated at American high schools each Fall. She is the Principal’s secretary at a huge suburban high school in Indio. Each Halloween, if the date falls on a school day, Juanita arrives for work wearing that scrupulously preserved, vintage 1966 cheerleader uniform, looking real foxy still, snug now in all the right places. Eternal Truth: Juanita has always and will always be good looking. Life with Juanita is perpetual “ooh la-la.”

So, I am on the couch that afternoon, reading more of Gramsci’s prison notebooks, specifically the philosophy he calls “Praxis.”  Completely out of the ******* blue, Juanita calls me on a RESTRICTED phone, as I said, Juanita, a torch I’ve kept burning for years, flaring up like a refinery flame--oil still very much in the present energy mix--hope springing eternal as they say, and instantly my mission in life is rekindling our lost love. Juanita’s conceived her mission prior to her phone call:  using me to keep her son from being whacked by the local Eme--the Mexican Mafia—that ethnic-pride social club that the RICO-squad-- using family tree socio-grams and other expensively-printed graphics, the one RICO keeps trying to convince us is some sort of organized crime conspiracy. The Mexican Mafia: like everything else practical and utilitarian in this world: THAT’S ITALIAN! And, if you are starting to sense a bit of ethnic chauvinism on, between & below the lines, you are barking up the right tree.
                                                           ­     
      
                                                            
(AUTHOR’S POST-SCRIPT EDIT: And, an ad for dog food right here? Not the best choice of sponsors, perhaps, at the moment. Juanita was far off from the ****** ***** that start looking not half-bad at 2:30 in the glazy morning, not anywhere near those beasts you find lingering in the airport bars you usually frequent near closing time on Saturday nights. No, I remind you that Juanita was all “ooh la-la.” In my next printing—and my Lord, there have been so many, haven’t there, Paulie “Eat-a-Bag-of-****” Muldoon? I will change out the Alpo ad, plugging in a spot for Aunt Jemima pancake syrup or Betty Crocker whipped cream, you know, something more apropos.)

Juanita, I really must hand it to you. You showed the greatest staying power, year after year as I moved further and further away from La Quinta, California. Juanita: you embraced what was good in me, ignored my flaws and strengthened me with your love for so many years. As far as you and Peggy, I guess it was a case of the “apple not falling far from the tree” one of many endearing Midwestern metaphors you taught me.  Peggy taught you, taught you to be kind and then you taught me. No matter what bizarre venue I pulled out of my ***, you showed above-average staying power, continued to visit me wherever I went, Casa Grande & Buckeye, Arizona, Appalachia, West Virginia, and even Italy, when I thought I’d try Europe again after so many years.  With each move, each time, Juanita renewed her commitment to the relationship. Meanwhile, I continued to test her, quantifying her dedication, undermining her sense of mission to disprove my worldview on the expendability of women. Surely, you know that one: the unreliability of women, women who disappear without saying goodbye. That old deeply etched conviction to never get attached to a woman, any woman, based on the empirical fact that women have been known to suddenly die, a fact seared into my still tender metal by the surprise death of my mother on 11 January 1962.

1962. It was already an insecure world, to wit:  The Cuban Missile Crisis. Nikita Khrushchev, in his time both Dr. No and Dr. Evil, namely the Premier whom we Baby Boomers saw as Boogey Man of All Time (Although Putin is showing potential, lately)—the Kennedy ****** (what else could you call it?). All these events scary, whether or not I got the chronology right . . . I remained on high alert for any threat to my delicate adolescent psyche.  My mother-Rosa Teresa Sekaquaptewa-died at 2 o’clock in the morning, screaming in agony while apologizing to my father for not having his dinner on the table when he walked in from work that prior afternoon. She’d already been in bed since noon, attended by two of my aunts--both my father’s sisters--who loved their Hopi sister-in-law, Rosa.  Also present was Lafcadio Smirnoff, M.D.--last of the house call medicine men--a dapper, mustachioed, swarthy gentleman, misdiagnosing her abdominal pain as a 24-hour virus, while she bled out internally for at least eight more hours, her whimpers alternated with screams, well into the wee hours of the morning.

I was upstairs in that dormer bedroom listening to her die. An hour later, Father Numb-nuts of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish teleported in, beaming directly into my bedroom from the parish rectory.  Father Seamus Numb-nuts, an illuminated Burning Bush . . . not quite the bush I ‘d conjured at other times, so many times alone with Gwen Wong, ******* Playmate of the Year, 1961, one of Hefner’s hot centerfolds. No, give me a ******* break, you momo! Whacking off is the last thing on a libidinous, adolescent guinea’s brain when his mama is being tortured and killed by God. Even Alexander Portnoy, Philip Roth’s early avatar would have drawn the wanking line at that unforgettable moment.

No, perhaps what I’d had in mind was The Burning Bush Golf Course where so much of Fletcher Kneble’s political mischief and government shenanigans got cooked up. You remember his books, some of the Cold War’s finest: Seven Days in May, Vanished, etc.

Or better yet, perhaps the greatest political slogan of the 20th century: “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” Thank you, Jesse. “Thank you, Reverend Jackson,” I slip into my Excellence in Broadcasting mode, my very own private Limbaugh. Announcing my on- air arrival is El Rushbo’s unmistakable, totally recognizable bass line bumper, courtesy of Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders band mate, guitarist Tony Butler: Dum, dum, dum-dum, Da-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum-da-dum-dum. Single, “My City Was Gone” by The Pretenders
Rush Limbaugh Song– YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=SScW9r0y3c4

I become Reverend Jackson. I emerge from the vapors, an obscure abyss of deep family pangs and disappointments, ever-diminishing public relevance and fade to black (no pun intended) and media oblivion. The only thing left is that line:  “STAY OUT THE BUSHES!” You will always own that line, Jesse--true political genius (to wit: Rainbow Coalition) Jackson that you are, despite El Rush-Bo’s virulent anti-Black animus, his predilection to mock you, Al Sharpton, Corey Booker, Barack “Hussein” Obama, and any other professional ***** in America. Isn’t it time someone came right out and tagged Mr. Limbaugh as the Father Coughlin of our time.

Meanwhile back in The Bronx, enter another man of the cloth:  It’s Seamus Numb-nuts, making one of his many well-documented spectral visitations, his splendiferous miracles and wonders. How much longer will the Vatican ignore this humble Bronx priest, this epitome of Sainthood; this reverent man, lacking only the stigmata for a unanimous consent vote? Quote the Numb-nuts: “God Works in Mysterious Ways.” An old standard to be sure, but a lovely, all-purpose bromide for explaining why evil exists in our world. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed; I lost God at that moment, consequently shooting myself in the foot--metaphorically-speaking-condemning myself to an unshielded life, life OUT THE BUSHES!  I went forth into the world without God, without that handy divine crutch, that Andy Devine metaphor for when one’s legs grow weary: a puff of smoke, a reverb twang and a nasty frog croaking “Hi-ya, Kids. Hi-ya, Hi-ya. Hi-ya.”

   Andy's Gang - Pasta Fazooli vs. Froggy the Gremlin - YouTube
► 3:55► 3:55
www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35odPm7b3w Aug 8, 2012 - Uploaded by jmgilsinger
Froggy the Gremlin -Tuba ... Andy Devine (Aug 24, 1952)

Life for me became lonely and purposeless. And probably explains my susceptibility to military discipline and a subsequent career in clandestine government service. In 1968--the very day I turned nineteen, September 25th of that year—that fateful day when I should have shot myself in the foot—literally not metaphorically--earning that coveted 4-F physical rejection, a draft deferment to be desired, that 4-F classification of unfitness for duty, a necessary loophole in U.S. conscript service law.  The Draft: last used during that great commonwealth Cold War purge, that culling out of the unwashed, uneducated children of immigrants, that cut-rate, discount, lower socio-economic ***** bank—the only bank where after you make a deposit, you lose interest, to wit: most Black, Hispanic and Poor White Trash parents.  We were cannon fodder, many of us got to be planted at Arlington and other holy American shrines, still wrapped in black or olive drab leak-proof body bags, doing our generational bit to strengthen the gene pool left behind. A debt, some would say, we owed the country and, given the sorry state of the global wicket, increasingly an obligation to the species. And if I had to predict an outcome, Fascism in America will arrive riding the white horse of the environmental, anti-nuclear Bolsheviks. One could argue that Communism has moved so far left on the political spectrum that it’s now the far right.  Concoct a legislative policy goal, accomplish it legally as the bill becomes Law, signed by the President, endorsed and blessed by The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the land.

To wit: “Three generations of imbeciles is enough?” declared Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., an Associate Supreme Court Justice at the time, buttressing a majority argument harnessing the power of U.S. law as a legal means of purifying the race.  When euthanasia failed to win over American hearts and mind, the Federal Government played the war card again and again. Vietnam: undeclared and therefore unconstitutional--except for that Gulf of Tonkin ******* resolution. Vietnam: a cost-plus eugenics project, if ever there was one, although responsive, of course, to the needs of the Military-Industrial Complex.  ******* Ike: he warned us against Fascism in America. As usual, we ignored the man in charge.

Eugenics? Why didn’t the government just put all the retards on the stand, as John Frankenheimer did in Judgment at Nuremberg, a crafty Maximilian Schell humiliating a feeble-minded Montgomery Clift?  Why not, make everyone face a public tribunal, forcing all of us to testify in court, exposing our many substandard and borderline substandard cerebral deficits?  Why not force everyone to demonstrate just how ******* dumb we are, using some clever intelligence test, something l
Chris T Sep 2014
there once was a nerd, in his pastime he led a pony herd and drank mountain dew while his patchy mustache grew, he fingered a bag or three of Cheetos and studied tuxedoes, but the point i try to point is the point that this nerd was a sir, true and fair, and how dare you put him, leave him, in the grim grim world of the friend zone?! now pick up your phone and call that mountain dew can armor wearing amour back into your life and be his wife because *** is only for the married.
This ain't done, this isn't edited. I am your God.
Chris Voss Nov 2012
This one's for me
and I'm gonna watch it burn.
Watch it flicker and pop and crackle and spit.
Gonna take lessons on how to dance with the draft,
also hoping she doesn't ******* out.
I'll make poems out of smoke and shadows
and fading, lonesome, sepia-tone summer photographs.
I want to make dusty picture frames feel like well-loved tuxedos.
I'm gonna see if candlelight can be all the company I need to keep.
Gonna sweep this floor clean,
like it's not what we say, it's what we mean
between the lines of
one too-polished table setting:
one knife,
one spoon,
but two forks for wishful thinking.
I'm gonna eat my fill
and fill my cup again and again,
to the point that I begin to make conversation
with my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
I'll tell that *******, "My friend, you are drunk."
and he'll tell me, "Kid, look who's talking."
Then it'll be back to a glass
that treats its brim like a suggestion.
Gonna have whisky and black lager and champagne
'til my toes and thumbs tingle.
Thin blooded and numbed;
Steeled by my father's novocain.
Come morning, this house couldn't get more hollow.

In these hallowed halls where I wallow in the way that
I only seem to appreciate the preciousness of days
Once they've passed,
here's what I'm gonna do:
I'm gonna write questions on one side of the wooden window blinds,
and write punchlines to completely unrelated jokes on the other.
I don't know why. Maybe just to **** with people.

I'm gonna reminisce with full streets of ghosts
That glow like kerosene lamp posts
all the while, stomping my feet, just to prove that I can.
Gonna make toasts to the isolated;
to the quarantined and the misanthropes.
I'll boast that lovers are not unlike poachers,
but I'm not gonna mention that in every other under-cover dream
I seem to swoon like ivory elephant tusks.
I'm gonna gamble on Dusk
because I think it's got a little less honesty,
but a little more promise than its
attention-*******, good-for-nothing, go-getter big sister Dawn does.
That flirtations *****.
Gonna give Christian names to half drawn caricatures
of people who only ever existed when the lights died out
and the snow fell heavy.

I'm gonna let the levies break.
I'll go insane, just ******* lose it--
do the Boot-Scoot-'n'-Boogie in a onesie
with the hind flap flying free and the Greek Theatre masks of
Comedy and Tragedy painted on my *** cheeks,
(because no one should ever take their art too seriously)
And I'm even not gonna even care who sees,
partially because there's no one around to watch anyway,
but mostly because I want,
more than anything, to just be me.
Or at least I want to want that.
See, I read somewhere that,
"You should always be yourself…
unless you can be a unicorn,
then always be a unicorn."
And that really struck home for me because,
even though I've never really ached to be
the ******* love child of a Narwhal and Zebra
(In my imagination, unicorns are
striped and impecable swimmers)
I truly believe that Men will always dream of being Titans
and Titans will always dream of being Gods
and Gods want nothing more than to be Wind--
to twist with lit candle sticks
and teach the lonesome how to dance.

A one-step waltz tip-toed to distract.

But the fact is, I'm bound to take a few back steps.
I'm gonna think about her.
Gonna harbor hard feelings towards back bedroom dealings
that I have no right knowing about.
Gonna pray like a desperate atheist
that they keep their knees locked in a one night stand.
I might break down.
Only once, just long enough to regain my strength.
Then I'll tame the earthquakes in my hands, like I always do.
Gonna find what it takes to move on.
Not just regenerate, but to grow stronger than I ever was before.
So I'm gonna meticulously straighten these place settings:
One knife.
One spoon.
A healthy dose of wishful thinking.
Gonna try my hand again at dancing with the back draft;
I heard she's been aching for a duet,
and with all the life of candlelight
I'm gonna ignite the coal shafts beneath my eyes.
Gonna finally see me as the man I am,
not the titan I wish to be,
because I heard somewhere that,
"You should always be yourself…
Especially when all you've known
all you've ever shown
is some mythology."
So raise your glass because this one?
This one's for me.
Styles Dec 2014
Breaking his enthusiasm as my pencil spasm insanely random like a Gatlin cannon my magnum blastin shots taken so I'm shootin then walking off like cam Nuked'm these civil lies causing an evolution I'm killing guys its the only solutions dude blowing smoke too much pollution on the same page until I go rampage and start looting enraged second phase using the bars from my cage to punch lines through these frames I'm battle rappin as quick as they can match'em let it happen captain Hook I'll patch ' em in tandom with passion my fraction got these ******* trashing like DJs scratching I'm thirsty for action these weapons I'm packing get rowdy they start clapping like jacks sons put a cap in your captain capitalize off what happens I'll top 5 of your top 10 you fighting for your life I'm just saying one with a slight of hand I'm disarming this man King of Kings Schooling these Lord of rings on thier aim, I'm top tier they lame I'm **** ' em all with the same ball and chain pen dragging them all to my hall of slain, this a deadly game, and I bringing the major pain.
Carrie Baker Mar 2011
You amaze me !
You make me believe in God.
Because from the moment you first arrived,
In that moment you first opened your eyes
I saw in them
The wisdom of a thousand years and the innocence of knowing the world for only one minute.
Every moment since has been more
precious, and I have been grateful.
You are a gift,
(And Though I have struggled)You make me believe in God.
Because there is no way that something so wonderful could have
come just from me!

Your eyes though people say they are mine,
are not
they are beautiful, hopeful
sparkling with happiness.
They light up my world

You are kind, good,wise beyond your years
and when you cry I want to drink your tears,
I want to drink up all that sorrow and
take it away.

I will be there for you always
though sometimes I may step back
Like in your younger days,
in the store, when you wanted to explore
and I'd let you run away, always keeping you
in my sight, yet where you couldn't see
but I'd always be there,
when you wanted me.

And when you have problems, I may not always fix them
but I will help you find the ways to.
So that you can see, that it is in you.
You need to know all the answers are in you.

Though I never want you to have your heart broken,
I want you to know, it can be fixed.
And if at times people don't see how
truly, deeply beautiful you are
(Pay them no mind)
They are blind
Don't let them change you
don't let doubt creep in
Be yourself, stay in control
follow your soul.

Who you are
Is who you are meant to be.
(You are not here to meet the expectations of others.)
You can be a doctor, truck driver, waitress,
musician, artist,  pilot, explorer
All, or none of the above.
You could marry and have a family (of your own)
But you will always be my child
And I will always Love you
I will love you more that there are leaves on the trees, feathers
on birds, sand on the beach, drops
of rain on a wet wet day in Connemara.
I will love you for longer than it takes
for mountains to form and get worn away
And long after we are all gone, there will still be
a resonance where we've stood
of what I feel for you.

Anything in Brackets I am debating whether to include..
Nigel Morgan Jun 2013
She sent it to me as a text message, that is an image of a quote in situ, a piece of interpretation in a gallery. Saturday morning and I was driving home from a week in a remote cottage on a mountain. I had stopped to take one last look at the sea, where I usually take one last look, and the phone bleeped. A text message, but no text.  Just a photo of some words. It made me smile, the impossibility of it. Epic poems and tapestry weaving. Of course there are connections, in that for centuries the epic subject has so often been the stuff of the tapestry weaver’s art. I say this glibly, but cannot name a particular tapestry where this might be so. Those vast Arthurian pieces by William Morris to pictures by Burne-Jones have an epic quality both in scale and in subject, but, to my shame, I can’t put a name to one.

These days the tapestry can be epic once more - in size and intention - thanks to the successful, moneyed contemporary artist and those communities of weavers at West Dean and at Edinburgh’s Dovecot. Think of Grayson Perry’s The Walthamstowe Tapestry, a vast 3 x 15 metres executed by Ghentian weavers, a veritable apocalyptic vision where ‘Everyman, spat out at birth in a pool of blood, is doomed and predestined to spend his life navigating a chaotic yet banal landscape of brands and consumerism’.  Gosh! Doesn’t that sound epic!

I was at the Dovecot a little while ago, but the public gallery was closed. The weavers were too busy finishing Victoria Crowe’s Large Tree Group to cope with visitors. You see, I do know a little about this world even though my tapestry weaving is the sum total of three weekends tuition, even though I have a very large loom once owned by Marta Rogoyska. It languishes next door in the room that was going to be where I was to weave, where I was going to become someone other than I am. This is what I feel - just sometimes - when I’m at my floor loom, if only for those brief spells when life languishes sufficiently for me be slow and calm enough to pick up the shuttles and find the right coloured yarns. But I digress. In fact putting together tapestry and epic poetry is a digression from the intention of the quote on the image from that text - (it was from a letter to Janey written in Iceland). Her husband, William Morris, reckoned one could (indeed should) be able to compose an epic poem and weave a tapestry.  

This notion, this idea that such a thing as being actively poetic and throwing a pick or two should go hand in hand, and, in Morris’ words, be a required skill (or ‘he’d better shut up’), seemed (and still does a day later) an absurdity. Would such a man (must be a man I suppose) ‘never do any good at all’ because he can’t weave and compose epic poetry simultaneously?  Clearly so.  But then Morris wove his tapestries very early in the morning - often on a loom in his bedroom. Janey, I imagine, as with ladies of her day - she wasn’t one, being a stableman’s daughter, but she became one reading fluently in French and Italian and playing Beethoven on the piano- she had her own bedroom.

Do you know there are nights when I wish for my own room, even when sleeping with the one I love, as so often I wake in the night, and I lie there afraid (because I love her dearly and care for her precious rest) to disturb her sleep with reading or making notes, both of which I do when I’m alone.
Yet how very seductive is the idea of joining my loved one in her own space, amongst her fallen clothes, her books and treasures, her archives and precious things, those many letters folded into her bedside bookcase, and the little black books full of tender poems and attempts at sketches her admirer has bequeathed her when distant and apart. Equally seductive is the possibility of the knock on the bedroom / workroom door, and there she’ll be there like the woman in Michael Donaghy’s poem, a poem I find every time I search for it in his Collected Works one of the most arousing and ravishing pieces of verse I know: it makes me smile and imagine.  . .  Her personal vanishing point, she said, came when she leant against his study door all warm and wet and whispered 'Paolo’. Only she’ll say something in a barely audible voice like ‘Can I disturb you?’ and with her sparkling smile come in, and bring with her two cats and the hint of a naked breast nestling in the gap of the fold of her yellow Chinese gown she holds close to herself - so when she kneels on my single bed this gown opens and her beauty falls before her, and I am wholly, utterly lost that such loveliness is and can be so . . .

When I see a beautiful house, as I did last Thursday, far in the distance by an estuary-side, sheltering beneath wooded hills, and moor and rock-coloured mountains, with its long veranda, painted white, I imagine. I imagine our imaginary home where, when our many children are not staying in the summer months and work is impossible, we will live our ‘together yet apart’ lives. And there will be the joy of work. I will be like Ben Nicholson in that Italian villa his father-in-law bought, and have my workroom / bedroom facing a stark hillside with nothing but a carpenter’s table to lay out my scores. Whilst she, like Winifred, will work at a tidy table in her bedroom, a vase of spring flowers against the window with the estuary and the mountains beyond. Yes, her bedroom, not his, though their bed, their wonderful wooden 19C Swiss bed of oak, occupies this room and yes, in his room there is just a single affair, but robust, that he would sleep on when lunch had been late and friends had called, or they had been out calling and he wanted to give her the premise of having to go back to work – to be alone - when in fact he was going to sleep and dream, but she? She would work into the warm afternoons with the barest breeze tickling her bare feet, her body moving with the remembrance of his caresses as she woke him that morning from his deep, dark slumber. ‘Your brown eyes’, he would whisper, ‘your dear brown eyes the colour of an autumn leaf damp with dew’. And she would surround him with kisses and touch of her firm, long body and (before she cut her plaits) let her course long hair flow back and forward across his chest. And she did this because she knew he would later need the loneliness of his own space, need to put her aside, whereas she loved the scent of him in the room in which she worked, with his discarded clothes, the neck-tie on the door hanger he only reluctantly wore.

Back to epic poetry and its possibility. Even on its own, as a single, focused activity it seems to me, unadventurous poet that I am, an impossibility. But then, had I lived in the 1860s, it would probably not have seemed so difficult. There was no Radio 4 blathering on, no bleeb of arriving texts on the mobile. There were servants to see to supper, a nanny to keep the children at bay. At Kelmscott there was glorious Gloucestershire silence - only the roll and squeak of the wagon in the road and the rooks roosting. So, in the early mornings Morris could kneel at his vertical loom and, with a Burne-Jones cartoon to follow set behind the warp. With his yarns ready to hand, it would be like a modern child’s painting by numbers, his mind would be free to explore the fairy domain, the Icelandic sagas, the Welsh Mabinogion, the Kalevara from Finland, and write (in his head) an epic poem. These were often elaborations and retellings in his epic verse style of Norse and Icelandic sagas with titles like Sigurd the Volsung. Paul Thompson once said of Morris  ‘his method was to think out a poem in his head while he was busy at some other work.  He would sit at an easel, charcoal or brush in hand, working away at a design while he muttered to himself, 'bumble-beeing' as his family called it; then, when he thought he had got the lines, he would get up from the easel, prowl round the room still muttering, returning occasionally to add a touch to the design; then suddenly he would dash to the table and write out twenty or so lines.  As his pen slowed down, he would be looking around, and in a moment would be at work on another design.  Later, Morris would look at what he had written, and if he did not like it he would put it aside and try again.  But this way of working meant that he never submitted a draft to the painful evaluation which poetry requires’.

Let’s try a little of Sigurd

There was a dwelling of Kings ere the world was waxen old;
Dukes were the door-wards there, and the roofs were thatched with gold;
Earls were the wrights that wrought it, and silver nailed its doors;
Earls' wives were the weaving-women, queens' daughters strewed its floors,

And the masters of its song-craft were the mightiest men that cast
The sails of the storm of battle down the bickering blast.
There dwelt men merry-hearted, and in hope exceeding great
Met the good days and the evil as they went the way of fate:
There the Gods were unforgotten, yea whiles they walked with men,

Though e'en in that world's beginning rose a murmur now and again
Of the midward time and the fading and the last of the latter days,
And the entering in of the terror, and the death of the People's Praise.

Oh dear. And to think he sustained such poetry for another 340 lines, and that’s just book 1 of 4. So what dear reader, dear sender of that text image encouraging me to weave and write, just what would epic poetry be now? Where must one go for inspiration? Somewhere in the realms of sci-fi, something after Star-Wars or Ninja Warriors. It could be post-apocalyptic, a tale of mutants and a world damaged by chemicals or economic melt-down. Maybe a rich adventure of travel on a distant planet (with Sigourney Weaver of course), featuring brave deeds and the selfless heroism of saving companions from deadly encounters with amazing animals, monsters even. Or is ‘epic’ something else, something altogether beyond the Pixar Studios or James Cameron’s imagination? Is the  ‘epic’ now the province of AI boldly generating the computer game in 4D?  

And the epic poem? People once bought and read such published romances as they now buy and engage with on-line games. This is where the epic now belongs. On the tablet, PlayStation3, the X-Box. But, but . . . Poetry is so alive and well as a performance phenomenon, and with that oh so vigorous and relentless beat. Hell, look who won the T.S.Eliot prize this year! Story-telling lives and there are tales to be told, even if they are set in housing estates and not the ice caves of the frozen planet Golp. Just think of children’s literature, so rich and often so wild. This is word invention that revisits unashamedly those myths and sagas Morris loved, but in a different guise, with different names, in worlds that still bring together the incredible geographies of mountains and deserts and wilderness places, with fortresses and walled cities, and the startling, still unknown, yet to be discovered ocean depths.

                                    And so let my tale begin . . . My epic poem.

                                                 THE SEAGASP OF ENNLI.
       A TALE IN VERSE OF EARTHQUAKE, ISLAND FASTNESS, MALEVOLENT SPIRITS,
                                                AND REDEMPTIVE LOVE.

— The End —