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avalon Aug 2017
one more time, she whispers,
she whispers violently, tremulously, like an addict whispers
to the fingernail marks in her skin, like persephone whispers to pomegranate seeds, like sin, and her whispers collect on dollar bills in the wind, and the money flies home but she's still sitting in that bin,

wondering if Hades ever regretted his win
avalon Mar 2018
i am sitting and pressing green paint in misshapen swollen dots on my nail beds and thinking what if i **** this up? i am notoriously bad at fingernail painting and i ruin it and i am also afraid i will ruin myself by loving you.

yes, yes i hear you like a train. my head is all railroads and oceans, but i hear you puffing and whistling he does not love you, he would not love you, he loves her. long hair hazel eye i am not her i cannot be that girl i do not want to be his girl

but i want him to want me
Emmie van Duren Apr 2017
It's dark outside except for the pale glow of a fingernail moon sailing through the starry sea of night.
The wind has tucked itself to sleep with the birds, weary of bustling about and playing with my hair.
The whippet snuffles his way along the rabbit trails, delighted with this late night walk, white tail wagging in the air.
I wander down by the edge of the swamp, grass all soft and dewy 'neath my feet and spy the pallid uoow reflected upside down,
between the reeds along the creek.  
The constant, shrilling chorus of frogs and crickets drills my ears yet I find it strangely soothing -  a well known voice across the years.

I turn to walk back, whistling the dog and notice in the low fields,  the usual ethereal  fog begin to form.  
I look up at the dark shape of the house and see light from my
kitchen window painting squares upon the lawn.
Amphibean bodies seek the brightness, bellies pressed against the glass and if you warm them with your finger on the other side, they move.  
My man and I  bet kisses on whose frog would move the most -  one of those silly games you play when you're in love.
As I close the door behind me, grabbing logs to feed the fire, the dog flops down upon the hearthrug letting warmth dry swampy mire.
I make cocoa in my blue mug then pull down the kitchen blind - cutting off the froggy light source - abruptly silencing the choir.
© Emmie van Duren  25th April 2017
Deb Jones Aug 2018
You can lose your shoes
You can lose your job

You can lose your keys
You can lose your mind

You can lose your glasses
You can lose your heart

You can lose your remote
You can lose your child

You can lose your purse
You can lose your vision

You can lose weight
You can lose your house

You can lose a baby tooth
You can lose a beloved pet

You can lose a favorite shirt
You can lose a friend

You can lose sunshine
You can lose the war against skin cancer

You can lose your hair
You can lose a prayer

You can lose your money
You can lose your car

You can lose a needle
You can lose your tongue

You can lose at love
You can lose the ability to walk

You can lose a bit of change
You can lose the ability to stand

You can lose at cards
You can lose your hands

You can lose the lyrics to a song
You can lose the ability to hear

You can lose a game
You can lose a youthful face

You can lose a race
You can lose your mind to dementia

You can lose a fingernail
You can lose a parent

You can lose a toy
You can be lost in grief

But the worse thing you will ever lose
is your sense of self. Not who you  project yourself to be. But who you really think you are.
The truth is your sense of self may not come close to reality. And that is perfectly okay.
Julia Mar 7
Stickers all over my body
A collage as my identity
like tattoos

They don’t hurt when you peel them off hairless skin
But I will never let them leave
sticky residues

I have a long roll of stickers
that never ends
And I walk down the street

Sticking them on everything
just like friends
A flower sticker on the window

A saxophone on the telephone pole
Fried eggs on the sidewalk
Stickers glitter in the crystal shop

Those dots that color code life
I use them now to organize the world for everyone
And I give every little girl a lollipop

A fairy on my fingernail
A snowflake on my cheek
this poem wants you to read it really hard.
Snowflakes scraped underneath fingernail tips
When the charcoal was pressed harder.
As often as the cheetah runs with the crocodiles by the nile
They do not look for each other.

As often as the bees sing
Only once could they muster poison and sting
With a clockwork, shelter and carpentry of honey.
The fruitness of a living body.

The sound that gets lost in the woods
Gets lost and carried
Flying through the whispers between the branches and twigs.
All the creatures are all but lost
Yet the striking fur
Hunters into firing hot shells across
and the falcon fell.

A shouting cull
The silence that meant that wildly blooms have been collected.
A bouquet was calling the passing hours
Wrapped in the scraped white spirit of the wooden towers.
© Teri Darlene Basallote Yeo
Kara Rose Trojan Dec 2014
My Second Letter to Allen Ginsberg
Dear Allen,
Almost five years ago, I wrote you a letter, and in
That letter, I purged my drunkenly woeful cries
That seem so first-world now and naïve –
The things I grimed over with luxuries I didn’t
Realize that rubbed against my plump limbs
Like millions of felines poised at the
Tombs of pharaohs.

Oh, Allen, I’m so tired –
These politics, and poly ticks, so many ticks that
Annoy my tics. Allen! I smear your name so liberally
Against this paper like primer because the easiest way
To coerce someone into listening to you like
A mother
or predator
tugging or nibbling on your ear –
Swatches of velvet scalped from a ****’s coat
Are you and I talking to ourselves again?
Candid insanity : Smoky hesitance.

Dear Allen, I’m so tired –
Yes, I love wearing my ovaries on the outside like
Some Amazonian soapbox gem glistening from beneath
The iron boots of what the newspapers tell me while
I cough at them with the hurdled delicacies of alphabet soup.
Give vegetables a gender and call them onions, Allen.
Sullied scratch-hicks pinioned feet from slapping
Society’s last rung on the ladder.
Ignore the swerve of small-town eyes.
Scapulas, stirrups, pap smears, and cervical mucus – now do you know who we are?

That fingernail clipped too short, Allen. We’ve all got AIDs
And AIDs babies, haven’t you heard? Hemorrhaging from the political
****** and out – they haven’t reached the heart.  
Since when have old white men given a **** about some
13 year old’s birth control? I’m riding on the waves of the
Parachute game and I swear this abortion-issue is just a veil outside Tuskegee University
Being further shove over plaintive eyes, swollen and black.
Pay up and
shut up.

I still remember my first broken *****, Allen.
Can you tell me all about your first time?
The vasodilatation that made veins rub against skin,
Delirious brilliance : unfathomable electricity.
I made love during an LSD experience, Allen,
And I am not sorry. I see cosmic visions and
Manifest universal vibrations as if this entire world is
A dish reverberating with textiles and marbles, and
All are plundering the depths of the finished wine
Bottle roasting in the sink like Thanksgiving Turkey.
The patience is in the living. Time opens out to you.
The opening, between you and you, occupied,
zoned for an encounter,
given the histories of you and you—
And always, who is this you?
The start of you, each day,
a presence already—
Hey, you!

Ah, Allen, if you are not safe, then I am not safe.
And where is the safest place when that place
Must be someplace other than in the body?
Am I talking to myself again?
You are not sick, you are injured—
you ache for the rest of life.

Why is it that I have to explain to my students that
sometimes what I'm spouting is prescribed by a pedagogical pharmacy --
but all they want to know is "what do the symbols on the television mean?"
I am completely aghast against the ghosts of future goners --
I am legitimately licensed to speak, write, listen like some mothers --
I am constantly cajoling the complex creations blamed on burned-out educators --
I am following the flagrant, fired-up "*******"s tagging lockers --
Pay up and
shut up.

Yes, and it’s Hopeless. Allen.
Where did we get off leaping and bounding into
The dogpile for chump change jurisdiction, policing
The right and the left for inherent hypocrisies when
Poets are so frightful to turn that introspective judgment
Upon ourselves?
We didn’t see it coming and I heard the flies, Allen.
Mean crocodile tears. Flamingo mascara tracks
Up and down : up and down: bow – bow – bow – bow
Buoyant amongst the misguided ******* floating around
In the swirlpool of lackadaisical introspection.
What good is vague vocab within poetry?
Absolutely none.
Would you leave the porchlight on tonight?
Absolutely, baby.

Dear Allen, would you grow amongst the roots and dirt
At the knuckles of a slackjawed brush of Ever-Pondering Questions
Only to ask them time-and-time-and-time-and-time-again.
Or pinch your forehead with burrowed, furrowed concentration upon those
Feeble branches of progression towards something that recedes further
And further with as much promise as the loving hand
Attempts to guide a lover to the bed?

Allen, I wish to see this world feelingly through the vibrations of billions of bodies, rocking and sobbing, plotting and gnashing like the movement of a million snakes, like the curves collecting and riding the parachute-veil.

Ah, Allen! Say it ain’t so! Sanctified swerve town eyes.
And everything is melting while poets take the weather
Too personally
And all the Holden Caulfields of the world read all the
*******’s written on the walls and all the Invisible Men
Eat Yams and all the Zampanos are blind and blind
And blind and blind and blind and blind
Yet see as much as Gloucester, as much as Homer,
As much as Oedipus.

Oh, Allen, do you see this world feelingly
and wander around the desert?
Colored marbles vibrating on the curtailed parachute paradox.
Lamentation of a small town’s onion. Little do we know, Allen,
That what you cannot see, we cannot see, and we are bubbling
Over in the animal soup of the proud yet weary. I can see,
However, how the peeled back skulls of a million
Workboots and paystubs may never sully the burden
Of an existential angst in miniscule amounts.
Pay up and
shut up.  

My dearest Allen, there is always a question of how
The cigarettes became besmirched with wax to complement
What was once grass, and
What was once a garish night drenching doorknobs.
The night's yawn absorbs you as you lie down at the wrong angle
To the sun ready already to let go of your hand
As you stepped, quivering, on to
The shores of Lethe.
Spicy Digits Dec 2018
Amidst the humidity and darkness of the forest floor
ants scurry in hyper-speed over invisible highways
mushrooms spread boldly beneath wise wooden giants

At night, black panthers weave through thick overgrowth,
undetected, as birds quieten their hungry young and sleep
But even in the rich darkness of the dense forest
micro flashes of silken pink and yellow cream can be seen
catching the moon's light, glowing like precious gems

By day these colours dim in their translucent chambers
atop the world's most beautiful, fearless caterpillar

This tiny being boldly ventures from one leaf to another
while all others cower underneath
Its crystal spikes hide only soft, sticky goo
and it is no bigger than a fingernail

But don't be fooled by its size and raw beauty,
this bejeweled crown easily summons its strength
to move faster than the angry west winds

Its beauty comes not only from its form
but in its lion-hearted spirit and grace

This confident caterpillar lives
and surrenders to change
without the leaden shackles of fear and worry

and when the time comes

she embraces

and is transformed again

to something new.
My eyes were beaming out,
onto the gloomy streets.
Fog was lurking in.
It adhered to my skin.
As the dew latched on,
after only seconds,
I slowly became damp.
Contributing to my silky skin.
Dusting my cheeks,
generating rosiness on my surface.
Glazing over my hair,
gluing each strand to another.
Coating my hands,
nipping at my fingertips
The haze in the back of my head,
It kept getting heavier.
Digging my fingernails into my head.
Tugging on each strand,
between my scalp and jagged fingernail.
Clawing as my nails trailed down my skull.
Blood dripping,
Creating tidal waves.
Fog was sprouting in my essence
The fog began to maneuver on me.
Blanketing over my body,
weighing down my soul,
overloading my carcass.
Sky Yang Sep 2018
2 AM:

i'm falling in, and out, and in, and out,
of sleep.

my mind reaches:
arching forwards,
slowly uncurls a single finger

pinkish joints blossom

the slightest graze of fingernail
and what i think is real bursts into a million,
spinning globules sent
skittering down a marble hall,
who knows how long?

but sometimes there are no marbles--
there are only shooting stars

masses of hazy, gaseous yellow
pixels, flickering and glitchering

in the corners of my eyes, hover
at my brow, drop at my feet ah...

a sadness devoid of

like androids,
two dreamscapes
James Floss May 24
I cleaned up my **** today
Then, afterwords,
A lot of mouse turds

Decades-old dirt
Archived, postponed
Obvious duff discarded

Genetic leavings
Fingernail clippings
The flakes of folks we were

Cobwebs cleared
Mouse traps sprung
The new has begun
Jessi Apr 5
i've had a high pain tolerance ever since i was a little girl
my mom likes to tell this story:
i was about 3 years old
sitting in my carseat
sticking my fingers out the window
to feel the fresh air
my dad
oblivious as ever
closes the rear window on my tiny baby fingers
i didn't cry a single tear
not when it happened
not when i was raced to the emergency room
not when the doctor removed my fingernail

i've had a high pain tolerance ever since i was a little girl
i've had a high
pain tolerance ever since i was a little girl


i can drizzle
i can pour
i can calm
i can storm
i can rattle
i can shatter
i can tie
i can split
i can echo
i can scream
i can claim
i can plea
i can want
i can need

i can't explain
Transcription, my heart.
Loaded questions, self doubt
festering memory
tragedy included merely as folly.
How dare they disguise my infirmity.

Songs my soul.
Mystic disc notes for pain,
inscription the faulty tears
no relevance with no discourse
in chorus.
Like psychotic emotion,
what semblance have I for
Random seems better than
knowing how each track will

Broken my wings.
Dizzying heights, clipped
intrigue, grounded experience.
Aspire for perspective.
Engulfed in crosswinds,
cold rain blotting out
my shadow upon an ascending
ground, a falling risk taker.

Tantric words hypnotic.
Episodes of mouth spasms,
diatribe of the Angels, and demons
Who's who?
A serrated ceremonial knife,
meant for sacrifice,
penetrates, I can feel the tearing
flesh, each thought like
barbed wire, an encapsulated weary
warrior snagged, hangs on display.

Hunger in love.
Consume all parts once partly
me. Eat around the rot, the
discerned ailing heart.
Revive upon breaking,
no vibrations, no impulse,
no beating only awake
for emergency.

Welcoming erosion.
An altered shoreline.
A crevice cut beneath their
Wayward pirates, patrons,
and puritans alike.
A fingernail moon makes
shadows of jagged
rocks, but only when the clouds
occasionally part.
Where has the light gone?
Flailing full vesicles heard by
an empty one watching from shore.
Truly where has the light gone?

The one spoke of before.
Well rested analogies,
everything being said by existence,
it feels as though I am being
conspired against, simply for
the sake of living.

I call it love.
Nothing else makes the sounds
have colors, filling them with
hate once removed.
Too many to tabulate, but you
will anyway, regret has it's
nimble hands upon you now.
Breaking promise after promise,
doing things you swore,
"I'll never do."
Insert any mundane, or terribly
important instance of,
"This will work, it has to."
I tell you I'm being plotted against.

The left click of a mouse.
Window titles read like a how
to of ludicrous ignorant naivety.
You know if you were the
practical, confident, self assured
you, you'd see it,
hmmmmmmmmmmm but wait a minute.
"Do this if you want to make...."
Yep this is the one;

Where has the light gone?
The imprinted one resonant
upon my eyes. A deeply creased
smile in sincerity, where
has it gone?
Lonely, retracing the whimsy,
the beauty, the dancing wonder
filled child like exuberance,
before it was snuffed out.
I tell you I'm being plotted against.

Torturing others who listen/read vicariously.
No, you tell me what's fair,
and where the lights been taken!
A pillow of soil,
the poison unrequited,
the sound is silence,
the pen a bone I have to pick
with you, but I can't write
light when smothered by

"Where's the light gone?"
If they knew this they could
never take you back. Burning
a candle at both ends,
time to win yourself back.
don’t numb that brain silly boy

put it to good use

cleave in half

the line parsing

chest from

chin hair

        you’re a man when

        you say you are

save the streaks of palm-filth

dug-under nails broken

buried under dirtweight

what do you know of slippage


****** as inch-thick glass

run through a filter

                        tossed aloft


        the ceiling


I’m left for nothing of my efforts

it's dirt under the fingernail

        you can taste it

it's dirt

        taste it
dirt taste short attitude front survive life ride streaky

— The End —