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George Anthony May 2017
I know that there is a table
in a Catholic high school in my local town
with an etch of the letter "G"
next to boredom-inspired vandal,
jagged lines, circles,
perhaps a few ******* shapes
as silly high school boys
are prone to draw.

An Advanced Maths textbook sits on a shelf
with a little doodle
of a peace sign next to an emo smiley
from a time where I was caught
between two phases,
tight black jeans and a flowing turquoise shirt.

Tobacco stains smeared
over the wood of a sealed off door
just outside my bedroom,
evidence of the first time
I tried a cigarette, seven years old,
and then panicked and tried to
flush it down the toilet,
only to have to fish it out and stuff it
in a little crevice, to be hidden and
remain there for seven years.

We leave all these little marks
and stains
in places we've been.
Spilled food, spilled ink, spilled drink,
tobacco stains and pools of blood.
"The marks humans leave are
too often scars."

I have scars.
Left forearm. Right calf. Right wrist bone. Both kneecaps.

A scar across my ribs and chest I was
so desperate to be rid of,
I bathed myself in oils and it was
the first scab I
never picked at; but a couple of weeks ago
I dreamt it was there again, fresh.
It tore open in front of everyone, bled out,
and I woke up gasping, drowning in my fear,
agonised, clutching at a wound that'd long since faded
convinced I could feel it splitting me apart again.

I have evidence all over my body
and more buried deep within the recesses of my mind,
scars so jagged they put knives to shame,
shining, pale, like diamonds in moonlight
not half as precious
but still invaluable.
Evidence of the marks humans leave behind.

I'm not innocent.
I don't pretend like I am.
I know there is a man out there
who gained another scar to add to his collection
when he was fourteen years old.
I know my hands carved it into his skin.
I know I used to use my fists
when others used their words to hurt me.

When I die, I know that I will leave
pieces of myself
I've ever been. Whether people know it
or not, whether they
remember me
or not. There are ink stains
and coffee spills. My blood
is still on the floor of his house.
The high school cafeteria
has a circle of red
from a nosebleed I didn't realise I was having.
There are parks wearing my graffiti
and children donning my old clothes, and people overseas
still alive because of me

(or that's what they'll tell me, but
all I did was talk.
Give yourself the credit you guys deserve,
you're the ones who chose to listen.
You're the ones who had the strength to
pick your head up and carry on)

There are exes who still think of me
and friends who will one day
come across some article of clothing
or a piece of technology
I left behind after a sleepover.
Teachers who will remember
that smart, sarcastic student
who had panic attacks in their classrooms
and drank coffee in the mentoring hub with Mrs. Hume
whilst buttering bagels and functioning on no sleep.

Maybe our place in the universe is
insignificant. Or maybe it's the
most significant thing
of all.
Maybe the Buddhists are right.
Maybe we are the universe, together
as one. I sure think it makes sense.

Streams of consciousness
and spirits that need healing.
We work the sun
without even realising we're doing it.
We destroy it, too,
which is perhaps why we
are so self destructive in turn.

Maybe we're
smaller than specs of dust
but that's okay.
You don't have anything
without the particles required
to make things up.
Everything is a collection of atoms:
the tiniest things of all
yet they're the centre of everything,
the beginning of everything.

So when the end comes and
we burst back into the sky,
stardust and souls and
blinking little lights,
we'll have left our marks on the earth
regardless of who remembers
and we'll still be there, twinkling,
a collection of atoms that came from a supernova
essential to the makeup of galaxies
and life itself.
What could be more beautiful than that?
I don't know. It was... some sort of stream of consciousness, perhaps? I blanked out halfway through writing it.
Terry O'Leary Feb 2017
Awaking blithe each morning,
with eyes upon the World,
I wonder, are we mourning
with ebon flags unfurled –
or are they but a warning,
some draped like snakes and curled,
stray stars and stripes adorning,
sent from the netherworld.

I wander through the garden
with nothing on my mind
and say 'I beg your pardon'
alarmed at what I find
as winds begin to harden
and fate begins to grind.

Confused, I watch my neighbours,
they're wide-eyed, unafraid
to halt all useful labours
and join the death brigade;
the ritters rattle sabres,
the frail and fragile fade,
morticians tap on tabors,
the potentates parade.

The military blesses
(in tunics somewhat browned)
its crimson-stained successes,
hell bent and heaven bound.
Such scenes no more distress us:
a ****** battleground,
dissevered heads with tresses
and arms and legs abound;
the fourth estate suppresses
the heaps of bodies  found
(collateral excesses
discarded in a mound).

Society regresses,
now living by the sword,
with torture and its stresses
upon a waterboard;
a captive kid confesses,
his innocence ignored -
fallacious facts and guesses,
the guts of justice gored!

With canting vindication
a big brass bully brags
(with pearls of perspiration
and swollen tongue that gags)
of third world  subjugation
for gelt and oily swags,
of human rights' castration,
and on and on it drags.

The manifold migration
of refugees in rags
while searching for salvation
soon finds compassion lags;
uprooted populations
are fleeing from their flags
else dying of starvation
as naked hunger nags.

With trump cards politicking,
two little hands (all thumbs)
may send the Mad Dog siccing.
Insane! All sense succumbs.

Atomic timepiece ticking
until the Reaper comes
as Geiger counters clicking
drown out the droning drums.

Cast out for not conforming,
I wander day by day
to find the earth deforming
as nature wastes away,
with bees no longer swarming
(expunged with garden spray)
and ocean depths transforming
(neath plastic overlay).

With CO2 performing
the climate's led astray,
the atmosphere's been warming,
the grasses ashen gray,
eternal tempest storming
while permafrosts decay,
and ozone holes are forming
in deadly disarray.

The people profiteering
descend a slip'ry *****
destroying, never fearing        
of running out of rope;
instead they sit back sneering
“our wealth’s your only hope”.

Yes, Armageddon's nearing,
it's doubtful that we'll cope,
for Evolution's jeering,
she's scanned our horoscope:
we'll soon be disappearing
with whale and antelope.


The multitudes were jumbled,
some milling ’round the mall,
while politicians bumbled
when bracing for the brawl.

The World around us rumbled,
our backs against the wall,
as bombs were tossed and tumbled
across our broken ball.

My kneecaps creaked and crumbled
but I, too proud to crawl,
took but a step and stumbled  
yet found no place to fall.

And no one heard me grumble
although I tried to call,
or maybe I just mumbled,
as strength began to pall.

Well now the World’s been humbled
I seek an urban sprawl,
but since the feuds were fumbled
there’s nothing left at all.
Farah Hizoune Apr 2014
I had hoped to find on this trip to Morocco, like countless great ones before me, the scent of my youth, to create the volumes of my own tale. To find beauty in the colors of my heritage, to reinvent all that I am and all that I am destined to be. The joy of knowing that some of the greatest writers, artists, musicians, poets, have found solace, inspiration and true peace in the country I am blessed to call my home is unmatched. I wanted to be able to hold the sunshine in my soul, the world in my mind and the fateful nonchalance of destiny in my heart.

From what little I saw of Paris from the aisle seat on the relatively small Airbus 370 was magical. It was a glimmering and sparklingly beautiful city that filled me with a nostalgia that was not my own, but of the stories I'd read set in 1941 Paris. I pictured Henry Miller and Anais Nin meeting there in secret along le Rue de Provence. The fear that I held within when I stepped through customs into le Royaume du Maroc was smothering. There has to be a word for the fear of new beginnings, the fear of your heritage.. But as soon as I was out of the airport and in the back seat of my fathers rented Dansia, driving down the scenic coastal highway, I found my relief.

The relief came from the overbearingly-beautiful smell of honeysuckle and jasmine, with slight undertones of burning *******. It hit me and I no longer felt that overpowering fear. I started gulping for air, this time not because of a panic attack, but for memories sake. I never wanted to forget that smell. It smelled like my childhood, something long dormant, suddenly released. All of the places that I had ever tried to fit into and this was the closest to perfection. The beauty of the beggars, the commotion of the families of six packed tightly into the back of a speeding fruit truck, the droves of young punks taking over the sidewalks, they all brought me instant comfort.

The drive from Sale to Harhoura was, to put it lightly, riche. They were modernizing my roots with bypasses and tunnels built underneath of centuries-old, roman-built fortresses. New sidewalks and high dollar condominiums built on the edge of a brand new, man-made medina. The water was occupied by artesian fishing boats and the frail, brown men who powered them for measly pay or a days meal. My father was uncovering all of the wonders of his country in a booming, baritone voice. Showing me old stomping grounds and schools, and teaching me the history of everything we passed.

The vernal equinox, waning crescent moon on my first night was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever been privy to. Unable to be adequately described or properly photographed with the tools I possessed. It was the color of a blood-orange toadstool, hanging dubiously on the horizon. Barely visible but for the every-other peeks between the shantytown. It was enough to move me to tears and to fill me with a childlike wonder about the lunar beast and it's meaning relative to my being. She hung there, heavy and forbearing of the adventures I was about to partake in and the layer of my soul that was yet to be discovered. When I lost her I became frantic, craning my neck every which way just for one last glimpse at her celestial magnificence. When I lost her I gained realization - that although something was not with me, it was always there, watching over and hanging in time.

My first real day in Morocco was well spent, sleeping until 3pm, buying a SIM and minutes for my cell (of which I used all almost immediately on nonsense communication), and smoking hashish in the locale café. The hashish and the rolling techniques were very intriguing, I watched astutely for future reference. They used cigarette tobacco and white Moroccan hash and rolled it into a paper with the cigarette filter on the end. I wondered about what the people I was with and around me were talking about, due to my lack of fluency in either Arabic or French and their broken English that was too much effort to decipher.

What I really craved was a nap and to know where my father was since he had disappeared early in the day with my step mother, which was less of a surprise and more of an annoyance. The Marlboro cigarette smoke was extremely dense & bothersome and it became hard to breathe. I stood out there and everywhere like a token, sore thumb of an American, despite my demure outfit of boyfriend jeans, white tee shirt and Louis Vuitton scarf tied around my head á la Lou Lou de la Falaise in 1970.

On day three, I went to visit my potential 6 month employer. His vision was impressive. Khalid ran a small, local travel agency in Centre Temara, specializing in appealing to the nouveau-riche of America & Europe. His tours were of quality rather than quantity and consisted of showcasing the small co-ops of Morocco, argan oil production being one of the biggest. American sows will eat up any exotic cosmetic product that claims anti-aging benefits. They're all trying to fight time to keep the attention of their ******, manic-depressive spouses. My position in the company, if I stayed, would be to appeal and connect with the American market, to take my honed, Yankee accent and throw pretty words at the yuppie clientele. It wasn't a bad gig but it felt like I would be ******* my heritage. Aside from that I was dying to go on the tours myself.  

My father was still battling me on the never-ending war of my outfit choices. Again, despite jeans, leather sandals & my favorite mans' t-shirt. I think it may have been the heart-shaped sunglasses he disliked, or maybe it was just too early in the AM. For him it was all about "blending in", "not attracting attention", "sameness". It almost brought me to tears to hear him say those words. It wasn't in my nature to go with the masses. Twenty-three years of uniqueness and he was trying to strip it from me under the guise of "protection from harassment of any sort".

To me, it was natural to want to adorn myself with bright colors, sheer fabrics, intricately designed scarves not traditionally worn as head pieces. He dropped the topic but I knew it wasn't the end in the twenty-three year old argument. We were in the middle of life, I wanted my dress to reflect the elation and bustle around me. Everything was full of depth and ornate decoration. From the stones we walked upon, with their repetitive, diamond patterns, to the grand architecture  of what would be considered "the slums" in America.

I was trying to convince my father that I would be a great candidate for a moped or a motorcycle. He wasn't buying it, something about heart attacks and my lack of attention span. The beauty of the travel agency was that there was a small cosmetic tie-in via the argan oil and rose water co-ops. I was given the outlines for his guided tours and asked to edit them, which I was more than happy to do. Following a small me once back home, my cousin and I headed to La Plage de Temara.

The beach, how do I put this kindly, was less than spectacular, but the view was breathtaking. Once you got passed the scattering of soiled diapers and broken glass bottles from the vagrant winos, there was mile after mile of cerulean blue Mediterranean sea outlined by a coast made of porous volcanic rock. The hazy, white, almost-Grecian inspired homes that were stacked against the bank were technically dingy but beautiful still. I was praying for the sun to burn away my psoriasis and the brand new, but entirely expected, mosquito bite on my cheekbone.

The shoreline was terrifyingly littered with human detritus that almost ruined the picturesqueness of the scene. I waded in up to my kneecaps, saw a roll of toilet paper drifting like a jellyfish and ran out as fast as I could. After about an hour of sunbathing, we walked through the run-down, once beautiful coastal beach town, Casino. Our destination? The rooftop of one of the abandoned buildings to meet with a friend of my cousins. My first impression of the domicile, with its staccato flooring and the multicolored, crumbling walls, was trepidation.

The open plan of the rooftop, line with hand-strung bamboo walls & open wrought-iron roof was very Rabat. The view, an over-whelming 360 aerial, of the bounding city and the crystalline, raging sea. The cooing doves flapped about lackadaisically from roof to roof, landing near me on the branch of a blackened, dead rose tree. The high walls of the dilapidated homes were lined with broken glass bottles to thwart trespassers and graffiti artists. Although, it didn't stop them from defacing the outside walls with proclamations of "FAMINE OR FREEDOM", "BLACK ARMY 06" & "BEAUTIFUL DEATH" .

There was one, lonely grazing sheep tied to a frayed, red rope claiming him as a family meal. I could relate. Albeit, here the slavery was less pronounced. Everywhere I looked, I found inspiration, which is the closest thing to freedom we human animals can hope for.

As I prepared my bag the night before I was to head to Marrakech, my head was filled with visions of the spectacular. I had read stories and seen pieces on the fabled city and all of the magical things there was to be seen. It was a 4 hour, beautifully scenic drive down the auto route through hilly countryside and passed the city of Casablanca, covered in a dense brown haze. The difference in the quality of the air once you go out of the city was hard to believe. The one complaint I have to write about this 'god's country' is that the inhabitants have no respect for the land.

I don't mean that they don't appreciate the food that comes to fruition or the sea that supplies the freshest fish. I'm talking about their complete and total disregard for littering. When I drove passed the outskirts of Casa and saw a beautiful village with a backdrop of the famous Atlas Mountains, surrounded by a summit of garbage, I had to ask myself, "why?". Why do the people of a gracious and humble culture, not to mention an endemically CLEAN culture, throw their disgusting waste wherever they want? I'm straying off topic, but you understand my woe.

We arrived in Marrakech in brilliant time, around 1 PM, just in time to throw on my high-waist bikini & hit the pool. After sunbathing for a few hours, I readied myself to be astonished by the wonders of Djema el-Fna, the Mosque at the End of the World. In simple jeans and a tee-shirt once again, we headed out around 6 o'clock. The square was packed full of tourists from all over the world, of all ages, races, sexes.

When we entered into the square I was quite disturbed by the looks on the faces of the locals. They had the dejected look of what reminded me of the Chateaux Marmont, like 100 years lived in only 25. Like love lost and lack of options. There was nothing magical about the aggressive competition of the young and old men alike, vying for a bit of coin from some idiot tourists. The Barbary apes in captivity, dressed stupidly and piteously in women's clothing, the children of 4, 5 & 6 hustling those god ****** tissues, sickened me. The beauty of the place lay in the landscape, surrounded in the West by snow-capped cordillera.

There were charming things about the center, the smells of the many cooking tents, the sunset that left me gasping, and at night the stars shone and the moon was bright, but it all felt jaded. The old city was awash with men selling the exact same things for a higher price the farther in you walked, the jewelry was cheap and there were so many mopeds in the alleyways that it was dangerous to not pay attention for a moment. All in all, I saw the reason that UNESCO saved the location as an officially protected "cultural space", but I saw no magic, no story tellers, nothing  bewitching of the spirit. Sure, there were snake charmers, but half of them were fake. It was all smoke and mirrors.

The day following, my party and I took a guided tour into the High Atlas. Now this, this is where the enchantment laid, miles of blue-brown rock, stretched the length of as far as you could see all around. We had to travel into the mountains about an hour through deep country and the Marrakech of the locals, the real Marrakech. Through the towns that the government created when the foreigners started coming in, in droves of poisonous tour busses, and inflating the native infrastructure.

I had notions of grandiose to come and realizations of just what a small part I played in a large production. I had left selfishness on the air France flight into Rabat and quickly learned that peace is a relative thing here. People were not going to stop asking you questions but you realize that if they weren't questioning you it meant that they didn't give a ****. I felt loved undivided and genuinely, nothing comparable to the falsities I had thought were love previously. I learned of real beauty and to welcome, not fear it. That there were sad things in this world, yes, but I was a lucky one. I could not afford depression because I was taking it from the ones who had the right to own it. I still held my dark passenger inside but she's was lighter and quieter, she no longer bogged me down or spit vulgarity at all that I contacted. I still felt longing for my lost, lost lover as I would always but he no longer brought pangs at the thought of his eyes. I looked virginal in all white linens against a cerulean Mediterranean back drop, I felt virginal as I had taken no man in a month. I had been scrubbed and cleansed and covered to attain my rebirth and I had never felt the emotions that unearthed me. I clamored for more life, I hungered for it.

The way I used to be weak for him, I now craved strength with a sense of urgency for everything. I had new eyes for the world and the world, for me. I felt the pull and flow of the Andalusian and Berber blood that poured through my veins and nothing, not even not even the scorn from strangers calling me a daughter of the devil for my ensemble, could deter me from owning it. I had maddening notions that I was omnipresent, akin to a demi-goddess. I was earth, sun, ocean and blood - but unlike my peers and relations I was the only one who could find contentment in the peacefulness of silence. Still I would have liked so much to kiss you, with your full mouth and straight teeth, after a year of absence. For you to grab me by my neck and pull me into you hungrily, in the way only distance can make you sick for me. I fell asleep on the way back from Spain and I was awoken by me uncontrollably calling your name in my sleep. Yet how I longed to strike out on my own and meet a man of my future. I would not, like my dream, lie chaste and whole while in gods country and wait for you. No matter the poems I've writ nor the words I've scribed indicating so. I wanted something deeper and more deserving, though I will always love you, of my fullness and my crass, broken nature. My journeys were worth writing in diamond ink on golden pages and I needed someone who lived to review them at the peak of their worth.

I had mostly humdrum days in between which bled together until the day my father left for the states, sans me. It was an emotional scene and I was reminded about just how unprotected I really was without him. I took journey to Fes the following day with my Aunt and grandparents. It was a breathtaking drive through rough terrains from which masses of vegetation magically sprung forth to feed a nation. There were fields of wildflowers, all red peonies, brilliantly yellow buttercups, butter-colored daisies, intricate and massive wedding lace. Thousands upon thousands of sacred olive trees littered the landscape, it was perfectly picturesque. We journeyed into the 2,000 year old city and you could feel it's pulse. The stench was my only complaint, a mixture of ripe sea-water and rotten meat in some areas. It was a standard medina with hundreds bustling about, the most distinguishing difference being the beauty of the architecture. You had a feeling of heaviness from the age on the buildings and the locals looked as if they had been there since the beginning. I was in a pure state of wonder and vowed to look everything up about Fes that I could during my next peaceful wifi moment. We bartered and shopped and went as far into the twisting alleyways as we felt comfortable. For lunch we traveled into a small outer lying town in the hills and had the best kefta I
this is just the beginning
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2016
after that i'll let you wear my kneecaps for
prayer after that pagan harlot of a wife told me
it didn't rain because i wasn't a good enough ventriloquist
to her schizophrenia. i mean: **** just never stops!
(i actually like this line, apologies for vain-thought).*

"68% of Canadians respondent said that minorities
should be doing more to fit into mainstream society
instead of keeping to their own customs and languages..."

53% of American dittoed likewise...*

              a failure of multiculturalism is a failure
because: it didn't celebrate bilingualism -
i call that the Gaelic effect in Scotland just so
you know it was spoken in over-shadowed Gaelic
within a Glaswegian dialect...

  multiculturalism failed because it was easier to
make a lot of people deemed as schizophrenic
rather than have the ability to be bilingual...
multiculturalism is a failure because it made bilingualism
taboo and instead said: ah... be bisexual!
multicultural societies actually gambled on bisexuality
being more needed than bilingualism,
and anyone still bilingual and not bisexual
was ripened to be harvested by psychiatrists.

but i do wonder what these post-colonial societies
would have made of what the natives might have asked
              i think the natives of America would have liked
the immigrants to appropriate at least some of their
cultural traits... and no keep them in natural reserves like
some talking monkeys...

it's not enough that i have to give up a part of my soul
that i then have to twang the tongue like a banjo
with all that Texan ma'am ******* like those Arabs
in Lebanese American Universities...
oh please, stop this *******,
   i'm puking with the French on the question:
if globalisation is to be arrived at, why is English
the language of choice in achieving it?
              it's not a minority language, that's for sure...
the most poker-laden expression? sure, it is...
but i thought that within a framework of globalisation
(as Napoleon said): if a man speaks two tongues
the first head of the hydra is cut, and two emerge,
hence            the ambiguity of god
      and the proud expression of lizards
and their spies (cats) and why the first letter of
the tetragrammaton is shaped as      Y....
          hence the ambiguity of god and his Machiavelli
in terms of whether there is a world beyond this
one, and whether that diabolical Machiavelli (in all
his despair) did so on purpose to show god the sifting
                    yes, that face of the marine iguana:
smiles like a cat,
              sitting proud on the rocky beach...
yet it has unfamiliar mammalian eyes instead of
those slit-eyes of noon akin to serpents and cats...
            and as Machiavelli said: first time round was great,
second time round: i just don't understand why your
first incentive is somehow better?
        they simply can't know if the first version
is better than their own...
         got to feed them the knowledge of nothing,
so at least they can better what they're been given...
as did Milton, make him less of the two evils...
   what with inhospitable earth and the dream of
colonising mars... or as the history of stars suggests:
stellar evolution sort of does away with Darwinism...
Darwinism is the one form of paper that you
wipe your *** with... it's not a napkin for your mouth:
that ****'s for your ***.
                 at the centre so too iron: as in haemoglobin.
     and we never say stars in a constellation of stars:
those are white dwarfs...
                 is our stellar nebula origin to be resurrected
for a moment into a planetary nebula and then into
stellar ivory of the dwarf?
     personally i think we'll end up being a black hole
unless our right / left politics will lead us into ending
as a neutron... which can only be seen with subatomic
particle goggles... of when Mars and its two moons
housed all thing stable, we are at the stage of the dying
star: hence all our Apocalyptic thinking and bring together...
   Mars experienced the average / massive stage of
a star's life... it's the only planet that shares our common
thread of being solid rather than gaseous...
                    Mercury is equivalent of being the sun's moon
and not a planet if Plato is a declassified planet...
         that's my suspicion concerning u.f.o. sighting and
governments showing us the output of NASA
and then lying that they have this "capacity"...
    old Martians... after all: there were only volcanos on
earth, and then the dinosaurs...
      ******* about with time gets you into these
custard clots of: huh?! i didn't invent the Darwinistic
concept of history worthy noting, Darwinism invented
itself, it's just that after being popularising
the humanities' aspect of the theory came once
the science was debunked... which always sounds like:
see next year, after they told you i'd be
       using a chicken leg fibula for a toothpick:
oh sure, let's get together the Friday after that,
by then i'll be scratching one twig against another twig
to get the fire going...
             after that i'll let you wear my kneecaps for
prayer after that pagan harlot of a wife told me
it didn't rain because i wasn't a good enough ventriloquist
to her schizophrenia. i mean: **** just never stops!
the point is: multiculturalism failed because
  it created a toxic environment for language...
it didn't respect bilingualism...
         it respected bisexuality: isn't that the talk of the town?
all your home-grown terrorists? they only speak
a few words of Arabic... they have been harvesting
the toxicity of a multiculturalism that didn't deem
two language in man to be acceptable...
        and no one cared for the trade benefits?!
how the **** did they miss that sort of plus?
         surely if you're going to trade with the Chinese
you'd send a merchant to China who spoke Mandarin,
and not Swahili, right? common sense.
   if the multiculturalism of England embraced my
bilingualism, i'd be selling English crap in Poland
and perhaps vice-versus... but they said: nope, nadda,
n'ah... you schizoid... da' ****?!
               oh right, so i'm a slot machine or earnings or
those ******* farmers of the urban wheatfield of
thought that psychiatrists are?
   am i talking Dutch or something? me integrating
not good enough? a multicultural system that doesn't
respect bilingualism... deserves what history gives it;
and by now... i'm at Drury Lane: fanning the flames.
Arlo Disarray Jul 2015
the bones in my legs
have turned to jello
and both my kneecaps
are shaking
like the hands
of people
who have only
just met
for the first time

my palms are drenched in salty water
that seeps through my
skin when I'm nervous
or hot
and when you're involved,
I am both of those things

my lips quiver in anticipation
my arms tremble from
this heat we've created

I'm just going to close
my eyes tightly
and hope that when
I do,
your lips will
press against mine
about the first kiss shared between my love and myself.
Beth Taylor Mar 2016
Sometimes the words I love you swarm like hornets behind my teeth, a phrase so heavy it only has eight letters just like I lost you.
Sometimes in the pause you take before you speak, I wonder if you’re fighting to keep down the same things as I am; trying to swallow a confession that seems less like a secret and more like stating the obvious.
We were funny, we were bad at holding hands, I hated when a car goes over the tracks, you had this way of making silence the loudest sound in the room when it hit the floor.
I made a home out of your hands just like how many beautiful things go without reciprocation.
We seem to have found fault in being whole, somewhere alone the way, we’ve started enjoying breaking things;
Like my ribs when you’re gone and I want to know if you can tell the difference between the absence of my voice and silence.
You are the only thing I’ve ever let go that makes my hands ache.
I’m still trying to piece together what made you lose your faith in me, was it how everything starts with gritting teeth and everything ends with you walking away? I should’ve known, the way you used to hold my back like you were checking it for exit wounds.
It took me 2 car wrecks and 6 shattered mirrors for me to realize that the world has so much more to say when it is silent;
if I didn’t bruise so easily, if I wasn’t looking for a way to be made of a river, if I needed the silence to mean something, then I would ask you to build me out of quiet revenge and goodbyes that stick in your sides like tree branches, I would need you to build me out of reasons to believe instead of reasons to be afraid, I would turn my kneecaps into strawberries in exchange for potter’s hands so I could mild you a bulletproof spirit.
It was silence and your lighter, I was cold, you were drinking; that was our backbone.
You were alone, I was going too fast because sometimes you don’t have to be in the wrong place to be looking for the wrong thing.
I am afraid and you are warm; this is the beginning of a forest fire filled with broken glass shattering in broken homes with broken people inside on a broken piece of land in a city that has too much rain for someone to build an emergency room in.
I spend nights up until my body can’t handle itself any longer,
mornings have come like a hammer to my head-
instead of my face, all I can see in the mirror is an unfamiliar expression,
something like a dead battery.
All I ever wanted was for you to be my fire, I am tired of these old lives and would like to see them burn.
He Left.
nivek Jul 2014
the knock and tumble of youth
bruises and scabs healing kneecaps
always picked coul'nt wait away nurses
don't worry mum there will be plenty others
olivia grace Sep 2013
A small girl came up to me today.
She looked up at me with her big, blue, honest eyes and simply said;
"Hi, can I ask you something?"
She didn't even give me time to respond before asking, quite matter-of-factly,
"What does love mean to you?"

Well, I guess I had to think about that one.
"Trust." I said.
"Love, to me. Means trusting that your love for others will be taken care of with careful hands."
She looked up at me, not knowing at all what I meant. She just told me,
"Thank you miss." and walked back to the playground.

I found myself thinking about what this little girl had asked me. And I found myself thinking, I am so dumb.

Love is a lot of things. Love is a color. Love is a type of dessert. Love is sweet as ice cream, and it can be just as cold. Love is the scars on my wrists, and love is the bruises on my knees.
Love is the way the sun shines on every single one of us. There isn't a person that the sun refuses to shine on, so, I guess love is honesty? I don't really know.
But I know our love was infinite. We lived in infinity for a year and three days. Our love was also tears at 3am, and 9 hour phone calls with no sleep.
Our love was no secrets, we learned to spell love as Y-O-U and never as I-O-U. Your love never owed me anything. My love never stopped giving.
Love is non-judgmental.
Love is blind.
Love is deaf, love is irresponsible.

Second loves, are different.
Second loves are awkward, because they try to fit themselves in places where only the first loves should fit.
He tried to fit his kneecaps behind mine, but they weren't shaped the same as yours. My body before you hadn't been, imprinted. But the first time we spooned, yes, I just said spooned, your kneecaps created crevasses in the bends of mine. So when he tried to fit his fingers in the spaces between my own, I think he found your fingerprints still etched where they should have been washed away long ago.

Love, is a crack in the sidewalk.
Love turns your heart stone cold.
Love loves to see you suffer, and love loves the see you go through all the pain of broken-ness.

Be careful who you give your love to.
Be careful whose hands you drop your heart into, because some hands are too big and too strong and too unforgiving to hold your heart with the tenderness and care that it deserves.
Love will kick you in the stomach, and stab you in the back. Love will twist your words, love will make you lie.

Love is a pen and piece of paper.
Love is in every poem that I write.
Love is words, that sink into your blood and travel through your arteries.
Words that make your heart pump.
Love is your heartbeat.

Today, I walked up to a little ******* a playground.
I asked her, "What does love mean to you?"

And she replied, with absolutely no hesitation.
"Love is how when you fall off the monkey bars, you get back up and try again. Because even though I keep falling, I really wanna get to the other side."
There was a town beyond the woods,
Ne’er there any water stood,
Alas, a Well, of the purest kind,
The aquifer under, is here described,
Beyond a thousand gallons under
The diamond-esque rubble and sunder.
But one bucket, at but one time,
Kind, the town, taking turns of rhyme,
This essence, used to bathe and cook,
To drink, to create, a cozy nook.
The happy town, the gorgeous shire,
The crops grown there as green as Ire,
No law exists, they live but civilly,
A fetching, quiet community,
But always there exists a one,
Who would want power, want this undone,
So it was said regretfully,
Poisoned their Well, emotionless he.
Now this village was quite secluded,
No one not there born, ne’er intruded,
Deep in the forest, behind a mountain,
Over a peak, under a cloudy curtain,
It existed in secret and abolition,
And one did seek its demolition,
Knowing the only flaw to here exist,
The essence of life, no man resists.
He crept at night, while the guard did sleep,
Promising the pure water to weep,
Dropping the genocide with bucket and crane,
Releasing its Demonic Alchemic Strain,
The Well did hiss as the poison moaned,
Recoiling at this unwanted drone,
The assailant then brought to his steady lips,
A cup and was first to take Devil’s Kiss.
On the morrow of the mentioned crime,
Busy bodies awoke to start the day’s time,
Queuing at bucket and awaiting turns,
Each family there a portion yearned,
Not one did from the water strafe,
Each then bathed, then drank, unsafe,
No one could tell different taste,
Water is water, but not today.
The plague did start like any disease,
Sore throat, fever, stopped nose, displeased,
The people sought the witchdoctor,
But he from bed, would rise no longer,
He caught ill too, and wouldn’t budge,
Afraid for his life, afraid of this grudge,
He knew this sickness, had heard before,
But told no one, the end was sure.
In a week, vomiting and nausea,
Nasal passages sealed, no nostalgia
Brought to memory of any like sickness,
The virus brought about decrepit afflictions,
But slowly and steady, worse and worse,
The people became, some saw the course
But kept silent, to avoid alerting,
The so many children in need of comforting.
In two weeks’ time, the pathogen,
Had taken wits of sensible men,
At night, they screamed in somber fright,
Their deepest fears, real now, and bright,
The lutes died out, the bards not singing,
An unfortunate time, but this was only beginning.
Fingernails rotting off at the cuticle,
Too much blood for any receptacle,
Leprositic, the fingers came next,
One by one, extremities hexed,
Children lost their legs to run,
From mothers’ faces rotted, undone,
In every other step, heard were bones breaking,
Kneecaps cracked open, shins splintering,
Eyes turned cadaverous, awake, but not seeing,
Cataracts formed, blinded from viral being,
In cradles were witnessed toddlers there suffering,
Their mothers watched with empty sockets, but listening
To the cries impossible to stifle,
The pain too much for these tiny disciples.
The dogs normally to their masters zealous,
Became of them mortally jealous.
They bit the hands that fed them well,
For watering them from the cryptic Well.
Men watched their sons dive right under,
The bridge that harnessed a valley of blunder
Hundreds of feet above sharp rocks and stumps,
Their namesakes leaped, impaled in clumps,
For those lucky enough to still have eyes,
Cried tears of acid for images despised
Sickness was spewed upon the walls,
Entrails adorned the Gathering Halls,
Some had turned to mutilation,
Blood-letting for some, abomination,
Some crazed enough to “cure” themselves,
Clawed throat and stomach til flesh dissolved,
Some rich with elixir tried to embezzle,
Upon some of the poor, tired and grizzled,
Riot broke out amongst the walking dead
Fortune or lack of, irrelevant,
Black pustules broke out that looked Bubonic,
But the cure for that failed, how ironic,
That it rather hastened the steadfast curse,
Faster than iambic verse,
Molecules turned to embryo,
Rising like a great Pharaoh,
They became flesh parasites,
Taking internal organs, slow and precise,
They started with the liver and spleen,
So there lasted hours of wretched screams,
The intestines of some would close and then
Becoming septic, they passed, bile in stem,
A few had throats seeming cauterized,
Friends watched friends closest, strangle alive,
There were in fact, some optimists,
Among them, talk of being “rid of this”,
They too died while clutching life,
Endeavoring their eternal flight,
From noses, there dripped blackened murk,
Thicker than combined oil and dirt,
It then secreted as sweat from all pores,
Fatigue then struck those left to the floor.
Upon broken knees some prayed,
Usually the skin under ribs was flayed,
Trying to understand what went wrong,
Dissecting the dead was not headstrong,
It only furthered viral progression,
The open corpses breathing infection,
The cadavers would move still, the fleshbugs active,
The horror of lifeless movement, corrosive,
The minds of the weak, it pure happenstance,
One found eating dead flesh for a cure, no chance.
All in all, this lingering curiosity,
Provided once good people with animosity,
One man turned good people to hate,
Their neighbors in ways that were irate.
The chaos was not anarchy,
For, as I said,
It was civilly,
But verily, I do decree,
That no one knew such misery,
The inhabitants of this village,
Did not suspect innocent visage,
Or perhaps, their cherished Well.
To be culprit behind this hell
So they drank and drank to remedy,
To recompense this malady,
To no avail did blood get thicker,
Alas, they got but sicker and sicker.
This hell, the townsfolk then realized,
Wouldn’t end til they all were nullified,
Eliminated they were, eradicated at that,
This pathogenic virus had verily spat
In the faces of the people here,
Decimated they were, not quenching their fear,
Murdered they were by a systematic
Suicidal psychopathic,
Inflamed in the mind of darkness thereafter,
Only satisfied by his own laughter.
Not many, til now, know of this town,
From lowly peasant, to “Godly” Crown.
An explorer found the deserted hamlet,
Body parts and questions then found the hermit,
He had heard of a town like this, he wrote:
“It was a new age Roanoke…”
But the village, not a town to cause commotion,
All that was left of them, a tree scratched, “CROATOAN”.
Maya Martin Sep 2015
Explaining My Depression to My Mother: A Conversation
Mom, my depression is a shape shifter.
One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear,
The next, it’s the bear.
On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone.
I call the bad days: “the Dark Days.”
Mom says, “Try lighting candles.”
When I see a candle, I see the flesh of a church, the flicker of a flame,
Sparks of a memory younger than noon.
I am standing beside her open casket.
It is the moment I learn every person I ever come to know will someday die.
Besides Mom, I’m not afraid of the dark.
Perhaps, that’s part of the problem.
Mom says, “I thought the problem was that you can’t get out of bed.”
I can’t.
Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house, inside of my head.
Mom says, “Where did anxiety come from?”
Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out-of-town depression felt obligated to bring to the party.
Mom, I am the party.
Only I am a party I don’t want to be at.
Mom says, “Why don’t you try going to actual parties, see your friends?”
Sure, I make plans. I make plans but I don’t want to go.
I make plans because I know I should want to go. I know sometimes I would have wanted to go.
It’s just not that fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun, Mom.
You see, Mom, each night insomnia sweeps me up in his arms dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light.
Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.
Mom says, “Try counting sheep.”
But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake;
So I go for walks; but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists.
They ring in my ears like clumsy church bells reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in.
Mom says, “Happy is a decision.”
But my happy is as hollow as a pin pricked egg.
My happy is a high fever that will break.
Mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing and then flat-out asks me if I am afraid of dying.
I am afraid of living.
Mom, I am lonely.
I think I learned that when Dad left how to turn the anger into lonely —
The lonely into busy;
So when I tell you, “I’ve been super busy lately,” I mean I’ve been falling asleep watching Sports Center on the couch
To avoid confronting the empty side of my bed.
But my depression always drags me back to my bed
Until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city,
My mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from biting down on themselves.
The hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with echoes of a heartbeat,
But I am a careless tourist here.
I will never truly know everywhere I have been.
Mom still doesn’t understand.
Mom! Can’t you see that neither can I?
I do not own this poem! All credit goes to Sabrina Benaim. This might already have been posted a few times on this website, but I have always enjoyed this poem. So, here you go!
Felicia C Jul 2014
You are the velvet to my lace, the freckles on your face, the rocket to outer space when i’m forgetting why my feet need to hit the ground.

You are three seconds away from a sunrise when I desperately need the light, you are a cup of tea and wisdom, and you are a giggle at just the right moment while the blood exchanges ideas between my wide-eyed fanatic manic panic mind and my static acrobatic heart.

You are love and a smile when everything around has fallen dark. We fall down the seasons, each leaf turned to green as the time is subjective as valued.

we fall down the winter of broken glass and torn kneecaps and into the summer of understanding and patched hearts.

We fall down the stairs of the boy who was the blank slate and into the arms of the boy who painted his stone happy.

You are the living room of my soul, where all the pictures make us smile just to look at them and the quilt on the couch is beautiful enough to make up for the small tear in the corner. Where the cups of tea sipped are innumerable as the curls on your head and the watercolor windows open past our souls and into our worlds.

Someday we’ll be able to keep track of our socks and get enough sleep but right now I’m still figuring it out. I’m still trying to connect the sky to the tree to the earth to the tesseracted interaction theatrical statement of who I am and what I will be. We will become.
May 2013
olivia grace Sep 2013



can’t remember

which substance?



fill up my cup

fill up my pipe

fill up my syringe

fill up my veins

fill up my heart til it’s beating hard enough for me to feel alive

feed the mermaid in my kneecaps with glitter liquid

any kind

to make me forget

just want to use

to make me forget the pain
when he lays hands on me
lays his own
on me

someone once told me, substance abusers are weak
face your problems head on
why do you need to see stars before you wake up
why is coke your coffee
why is whiskey your orange juice
why is **** your pancakes

and I say
if I am weak
then how come I can cling onto the clouds

perhaps, if I could live to be 1000 years old
I will have clinged to the clouds long enough for them to get sick of me

but for now, those clouds are my demons
and I’ve never loved the color red
so much
Sarina Mar 2013
September speaks in dull sand flecks
and billowing my stiffened skirt to kneecaps
rested on for prayer, grinded on for ***.

It pokes and I’ll awake –
I am just like a ***** in the autumn morn
first torn, the first born of a hundred
encounters of which I would not believe
it could be the opus of.

Ladies lose physical barriers, but they
do not evade a September when orchards are
trimmed and all that’s beneath is unveiled:
see it with my glass eye. No dust inside.

See it with your honey bulbs –
the foothills, the knees married to the floor
where stars first aligned, so I ****** you off.
Kelsey Mar 2014
Glenn McCrary Aug 2011
Along a narrow, vacant street at 2 a.m.

Underneath the threatening lights of peril

An act of ******* was taking place between

A beautiful cigarette and the orifice of my lips

Halloween had not yet dawned upon us

Yet as I walk Jack-O-Lanterns smile at me

Displaying minor quakes of bloodthirsty evil

While a serum of scorn soaks my tongue

With a heartless trick of ice, cold malice

Summoning the entire town to its kneecaps

Devils regurgitate lullabies resembling the sound

Of nails ****** a chalkboard sparing no mercy

Arousing the hopeless romantics

To awaken a graveyard

And **** the corpses until they're

Resurrected from their comas

As the nymphomaniacs ice

Their frozen flesh with *****

Painting an ocean of abstract thoughts

Across the edges of their frames of mind

Do morticians make up the majority

Of necrophilia related crimes?

Maybe so but, I bet they had never felt

A ****** so dry and so cold

Yet still the thrill of chills tickle these criminal's spines

While they measure their screams careful not to awaken

The beautifully disgusting corpses that lie before them

They turn their heads only to find a pair of scarlet eyes

Gawking at them from within a cowardly shield of fear

Darkness was it's home, Mother to all its desires

In my opinion it was just a phase; A massacre encaged
Sean Flaherty Apr 2014
Sometimes it’s something, as 
Simple and clean, tapping my
***** hat forwards, and 
Kicking my back heel against
The wall. 

Sometimes it’s the dank cavern
Of a Dodge’s backseat. 
The frozen entrance to the
Diseased freeway, breathing words 
Of tragedy and paranoia. 

But, sometimes, it’s
The painted landscape of a
Beach, that hung in the
Girl’s TV room, Lodged in place. 

I contact my mind’s
Travel agent, to find it, and 
Wearing Ricky’s sweatshirt I
Stare at the open water. 
Mindful of sharks,
And the smell of ***,
Or sometimes, Svedka. 

Or I’ll stare into Sam’s eyes,
Wishing instead to be 
Spying the bottom of
Jacky’s bottle.
Or Mary’s bowl. 

And when my *** hits the ground,
I’ll look up, this time,
And just like last time, the
Trees will melt. Dripping like
Engine sludge, onto a pavement.
Behind the pool of
Vaporized reality, walls of
Fire rise, so I’ll sit
Back a bit. 

But sometimes, it is too much. 
And I’m down on my
****** kneecaps, 
Appealing to the apparitions. 
Begging for a 
Box of wine.
Even after you've been stuck, somewhere, and get out...
Ricky was the kid in the bed next to me.
I hate sleeping with other people around.
JR Rhine Jan 2017
**** Middle-Aged Dad at the Water Park,
this is an ode to you.

**** Middle-Aged Dad at the Water Park
ambles behind
the kids sprawling out of the entrance
like baby spiders spilling
out of the crushed mother’s abdomen.

**** Middle-Aged Dad at the Waterpark
flip-flops his way to the lazy river,
shies his black Harley Davidson tanktop
to reveal his sunburnt
abdomious belly
flopping over his camo swim trunks.

He shakes off his flip-flops
and awkwardly wades in,
his hulking mass shifting with
each foot and tree trunk
of a leg smashing into
the shallow water,
sending shockwaves towards
screaming toddlers
in his wake.

Finding a vacant tube,
he turns his body around
and heaves himself
into the neon green donut
with considerable
and farcical

Mother at the pavilion
opens an eye from the lawn chair
and chuckles to herself,
applying another layer of sunscreen
over ruddy cancer-sensitive skin.

Sporting oblong racecar sunglasses
atop flushed puffy cheeks,
**** Middle-Aged Dad at the Waterpark
basks in the baking mid-summer sun
and the cool ****-ridden waters
he sinks his hands and feet into.

What is on his mind?
I imagine it is as close
to nothing
as he aims to get,

free from responsibility
like a wiry youth
he knew
from long ago.

The piercing screams of laughter
from ambulant children
splashing about him
are fruitless
in penetrating
his enclave.

He coasts about this way
for an eternity,
his red leather hide
burning in the hot sun
enwreathing his glasses.

mother reads
under the cool shade
of the pavilion,

the kids tumble down
slides and splash gleefully,

and life lingers on a moment
for a necessary

**** Middle-Aged Dad
awakens from his sun-cooked daze,
approaches the exit
and prepares himself
for his departure.

Waddling left and right,
he flops starboard
splashing magnificently
like a cannonball rolling off the deck
into the ocean.

His sunglasses leave him in the ruckus,
he gropes blindly
with chlorine-infested eyes,
til he grasps the visage
and stands up in the water.

His great body surges
from the waters,
fading tattoos gleam
along with a bald spot
in the sunlight.

He ambles through the waters—
water spilling out of rolls of fat
undulating in the motion—
and sensuously runs a baseball glove of a hand
through thinning hair.

His trunks bunch up around
firm, beefy buttocks
and a tired old *****,
thick tree trunk thighs,
ending its constriction just above
the wrinkled knot
of kneecaps.

Mother snapshots a photo
of the visage,
his fruits spilling about him
in perpetual glee,
his stolid look of authority,
wisdom, drive,
and endearment.

Years later,
the ambulant youths
on the cusp of adulthood

leaf through old photo albums
suddenly eyeing the Father piously
in a newfound awe,

aware of his gargantuan countenance
that shielded their efflorescence.

He was their sun,
he was their shade,
and their sky—

for he knew
when to plant,
and when to water,
and when to wait.

Running a thumb over
the diaphanous visage
an analog adolescence,

they jeer each other
over the Father,
secretly harboring
an amassing reverence
for the great figure,

the **** Middle-Aged Dad at the Water Park.
Leah Rae Feb 2012
Fall In Love Or Fall In Lust.
Make Plans, Or Make Cookies.
There Is Living To Do Here.
There Are Books To Read, And Movies To Watch.
There Are Art Museums Meant To Wonder Through, And  Ocean Waters To Taste.
There Are Plays That Deserve Standing Ovations, And Musicals With Words That Need To Be Sung, There Are Girls That Need To Be Kissed, There Are Boys That Need To Know What It Feels Like To Have Their Hands Held.
There Are Poems That Need To Be Screamed At The Tops Of Someone's Lungs. There Are History Books With Frayed Edges, And Broken Tea Pots That Died Before Their First Breath.
There Are Heart Throbs Waiting To Make Teenage Girls Swoon.
There Are Jeans, With Knees That Are Begging To Be Ripped Open.
There Are Sunflowers That Have Never Been Told “You Are My Sunshine”.
There Are Grandfathers With Empty Laps, And Mothers With Empty Wallets.
There Are Law Students, With Hearts Ready For Humanity, There Are Babies With Broken Families.
There Are Fortune Cookies With Untold Wisdom, And Grandmothers With The Best Rhubarb Crisp Recipe You Have Ever Tasted.
There Are Undiscovered Passions, And Ancient Ruins.
There Are Empty Canvases And Blank White Walls.
There Are Silences, Recorded And Played Back For The Ears Of The Empty. There Are Places On This Earth Where The Sky Is The Color Of Bleeding Tissue Paper. There Are Places On This Earth, Where Dry Lightening Storms, Are As If God Himself Is Snapping Photos.
There Are Lost Valentines, And Flickering Lampposts. There Are Forgotten Dates And Remember Birthdays.
There Are Lost Puppies And One Man Bands.
There Are Butterflies With Missing Wings, And Eagles That Mate For Life.
There Are Places We Put Our Insane, And Others We Place Our Sick.
We Have Tattooed Our Mistakes On Skin, And Branded Cattle To The Same Tune.
There Are Times We Fall Together, And Others In Witch We Fall Apart.
There Are Moments When We Gage Our Existence In The Breaths We Take, And Moments When We Gage It In The Moments That Take Our Breath Away.
There Are Times We Take Chances And Times We Take Pills.
There Are Moments When We Bruise Our Knees While Praying, And Others Where  We Break Kneecaps For Dollar Bills.

There Is Living To Be Done Here.

There Are Words To Be Spoken, And Even More To Be Written.
JB Claywell Jan 2018
with gnarled tooth
and broken jaw,
it all gets stuck
in my ******’

with aching back
and twisted knee,
there’s little use
left of me.

the raven will come
and pluck my eye,
minutes after I
lie down
to die.



© P&ZPublications
JR Rhine Mar 2016
Flip flip slide slide
grind grind pop pop

hours and hours
sweat pours
bruised ankles bruised kneecaps
scraped shinbones scraped elbows
scabs and scars.

shirts and jeans torn, worn;
shoes a tattered mess--
laces shredded to bits tied desperately
clinging on to lapping tongues.

hair matted to skull sweating within damp skullcaps,
whether be it helmets (by choice or restriction),
or fitted baseball hats turned backwards,
or cuffed beanies in the dead of winter.
(father says the latter choices work well to soak all the blood up, I always roll my eyes in naivete.)

The paved driveway, where on my eighth birthday
a shining basketball goal sat at its full height
towering in the mountain sky--

stood forlorn in place as wide eyes glued to the pavement--

where shoes stood atop the gritty surface of a wooden board
with wheels attached to gleaming metal axles
rolled smoothly excitedly across the pavement in perpetuity.

Ella Gwen Apr 2018
I kneel
kneecaps cracking, head bowed
under the heavy breath of your adoration
eyes ground into the dust each footstep rises

I am dirt-blind
but the crows can see, my ears bleed
how they cry and scream, weep and admire -
they enshrine him; I, unwilling, immortalise.

I keep
my eyesight clouded, looking down
the soil is my church, inadequacy
a mired crown.
Jamie F Nugent May 2016
The South African sun caused my
Eleven year old eyes to squint.
Sat in the stadium, my father and I,
Sweated and watched rugby;
A father - daughter tradition.
That Saturday afternoon was the final,
The stands were crowded and full,
Like a fish-tank ready to burst
At any moment.
In front of my father and I,
There sat a dark-haired woman
In a lose fitting jersey.
About forty minutes in,
She bent down, sudden and quick,
Her head, hitting her kneecaps,
She screamed her intense screams;
Muffled in her own bent body,
Some spectators thought her crazy,
She continued her whails, and soon
A small crowd grew in front of us,
One man pulled her straight in her seat,
Her hands, her face, her her legs and stomach
Were all drenched red with blood.
No one ever heard the gunshot;
They traced it back to its origin,
Two hundred meters away,
Fired from a building by the stadium.
The bullet just happened to land where it did,
And the game went on.

- Jamie F. Nugent
You think you're a badass?
Shout at us all for no reason?
Blame me for your problems like I give a ****?
Take it out on my family and expect US to be sorry?
Well *******, you and your weird *** hair do.
I never had a beef with you
I didn't even know you!
You believe what others say about me
Well come at me now what do you see?
Am I all that they said I was cracked up to be?
Get the ******* message, I don't mess around, you hear me?
Or do I have to bash your brains into the concrete?
Would that be enough to get the message across?
If I blew out your kneecaps out would I feel sorry for your loss?
Hell ******* no, I'd blow your **** legs off!
Wait, ***** that I,d take a handsaw and cut em off!
Break every single bone in your ******* hands
Smash em with a hammer without a second glance
call 911 now that you can't touch a **** phone!
how would you like it if I barged in your home?
Sayin I'm all that and the president too
Yell at your family and blame you too?
Like your haircut? Let's see it all over my wall!
Hold the phone ******* let's give your insides a house call!
Oops, was that your gut, let me rip it open for you
You won't need it after I get done with you.
*******, you thought that this would go down smooth?
**** that, drink some barbed wire too!
Let me tell you this just one last time
Make my girl cry again and I'll make you wish I'd killed you..
Not geared towards anyone on here... just venting my anger. Had a really stressful night...
Kyle Dedalus Aug 2012
Distress signals emmited from bioelectronic tendrils
blades under kneecaps
seeping into taste
smelling like Spring.
So many bodies kneeling on innocent grass
lined up and lined on
sitting in pews at the park
the limitless stretches of people and people
and everyone
everyone was there!
How magnificent! for the whole world to get together
and have a nice evening at the park
billions of feet stammering on billions more blades of grass
smelling like spring
smoderling summer sun
filling air rotting
sad little whimpers
inaudible under the mumble of the world
over the look in their eyes.
The heat jostled air
radiation poison
burning away life itself
keeping us all warm and alive inside.

so many people
everywhere and all around us
-- I had a thought
I wanted to write it down
before it got lost forever.
I tried.
The words twisted around as I wrote them
the pen melted in my hands
so that the the silly
silly silly words
stupid arrogant words too proud to be written down
I tried to make eloquent or something at all
I tried I tried
trust me i really tried
i didn't mean to be such a cottonmouthed disappointment
those silly words all swirled around and about
begging for anything real.
Hissed for one last moment
before the sun and the sound and the agony
twisted and snapped
melting away all that was
of the words on the paper
ofthe ink in the pen
of the shadows in my brain.
melting out dripdripping
tears as black as silence
blaring like ambient noise
I wish the words would understand
that the real real the world the real greybluechemical world
didn't want me living in it
I don't know what I did to Life
to make it so upset
but I guess it just didn't want me hanging around,
said I never fit in well with the crowd.
Go find some other reality to bother.

And then it all set in,
0-60 in a second.
Here was your happiness
and here you are now.
And what an amazing distance that is.
when did those years go by?
why stand so sad with your soul in shreds?
Too afraid to set the strands on fire
so there they hung
ethereal chains jutting from every cell
chains that are a feast that you can't stomach
chains that are that sad song you can't listen to -anymore
chains that are that tear in your eye refusing to fall
all the loves lost if only you had just loved
who is this person in the mirror?
this blackeyed monster with eyes like sadness
and sleep like terror
with ink indignant ashamed of what you wrote
what you wrote deep down under those chains in you
mirror neuron pain must be felt
sadistic black mirror chained down and burning burning and melting and burning
and rambling
on and on and on and on and on and on
and you probably stopped reading long ago.
lkdl May 2015
Explaining my depression to my mother: A conversation

Mom, my depression is a shapeshifter,
One day it's as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear,
The next it's the bear.

On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone,
I call the bad days "the Dark Days".

Mom says try lighting candles,
But when I see a candle I see the flicker of a flame,
Sparks of a memory younger than noon.
I am standing beside her open casket
It is the moment that I learn everyone I will ever come to know will someday die.
Besides Mom, I'm not afraid of the dark, perhaps that's part of the problem.

Mom says I thought the problem was that you can't get out of bed.

I can't, anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house inside of my head.

Mom says where did anxiety come from?

Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town that depression felt obligated to invite to the party.

Mom, I am the party, only I'm a party I don't want to be at.

Mom says why don't you try going to actual parties, see your friends.

Sure, I make plans, I make plans I don't want to go to.
I make plans because,
I know I should want to go,
I know sometimes I would have wanted to go.

It's just not that fun having fun when you don't want to have fun Mom.

You see Mom each night,
Insomnia sweeps me up in his arms dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light.
Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.

Mom says try counting sheep,
But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake.

So I go for walks, but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists.

They ring in my ears like clumsy church bells reminding me that I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness that I cannot
Baptize myself in.

Mom says happy is a decision,
But my happy is as hollow as a pin pricked egg.

My happy is a high fever that will break.

Mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing and then flat out asks me if I am afraid of dying.

No, Mom I am afraid of living.

Mom, I am lonely.

I think I learned that when Dad left how to turn the anger into lonely?
The lonely into busy.

So when I say I've been super busy lately,
I mean I've been falling asleep on the couch watching Sports Center
To avoid confronting the empty side of my bed.

But my depression always drags me back to my bed
Until my bones are forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city.

My mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from biting down on themselves.

The hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with the echoes of a heartbeat.

But I am just a careless tourist here
I will never truly know where I have been.

Mom still doesn't understand
Mom, can't you see

That neither can I.
i smoke the ******, people take a wiff
i cant tie ma shoes but i can *** yo *****
i walk that streets wit my boombastic reggae styl
we go to ma doops bungaloo and he says *** and stay a while
we find some bittys wit a fat *** and tell them theat they fine
they say we're creeps witout jobs we say they need some wine
turns out they werent down to *** like an assembly line

tired i go home down tha empty reggae street
i light tha ****, i light tha spliff till i cannot feel my feet
a car puls up i drop my cup they say to get in the backseat
im ****** about the cup it had my last brew and i want to drop a **
i owe them money i have none they brake ma kneecaps what fun
they throw me out the car, away i scurry
she got a big ***** so i call her big *****
Ja feel?
Sarina Aug 2013
I built a home for you, out of me,
when the bricks break
it is because I have been raided. The blue sky's
not even immune to cloudbursts
the humid air lifts
to resemble some form of heartbreak.
Call it
a mushroom cloud, I go off almost nuclear.

The truth loves me enough to reveal itself
the truth loves me
even when you do not.

I've decorated the staircase with it
and discovered rope-burn,
calluses like children wanting you to just watch
what they can do
watch a ceremony. What fathers create.  

I've padded its feet
with snow, the whole summer leaks with December
and my kneecaps are rotting wood.

using garland as a noose
you know when I walk and when I sit, the truth
cannot stand for not knowing.

I've not let it lay down either,
this ****** affair. My
walls stay white and unheard of, untouched
yours are only
the cream of glue, I should have kept the doorway
shut and tied to you with a string.
Not even the truth can dissolve over a lie
(but I can, I can, I).

when God smells fear, he makes it happen
and God can be
a man, a woman, a lover.
I watched 'Sylvia' today, and as inspired by my own troubles and Gwyneth Paltrow's performance, came this.
heather leather Aug 2016
jan from the corner store doesn't understand me,
I told her I wasn't mixed; my parents are just different
shades of the same color but she doesn't believe me,
and the man behind the counter silently agrees.

the old white lady that always takes the 5 train
stares at me curiously, her eyes say they don't trust me
and I don't understand why. I never thought I had to
explain myself to strangers or that my race was the most
interesting thing about me but that's always the
first question everybody asks.

my aunt told me the other day that I was jabao,
in other words, nobody knows what to do with me.
I am unidentifiable. my skin screams the sun and
stars too small to recognize; it says I am the product
of a collision between the blackest sea and the whitest sand.
some parts of my body sing a ballad so dark only certain
people would ever want to listen to. maybe these are the
parts that the old white lady on the five train is scared to
listen to. maybe the curls I tried so hard to straighten are
what terrifies her, maybe the black in my kneecaps keeps
her up at night, maybe the sound of boisterous music in a
language she could never understand makes her skin jump,
sends shivers down her spine makes her think twice
about who I am.

jan from the corner store doesn't understand me,
I told her I was jabao, a mix of summer glow and
muted winter skin. but she doesn't believe me; says
she has never met a Dominican like me, that in some ways
I must be a mixed breed. and the man behind the counter
silently agrees.

cg Apr 2014
Build me with frostbite covering my heart, build me with a snowflake constantly falling from the roof of my mouth, build her with an addiction for cold weather. Let every person I miss for the next 20 years smear a dab of daylight on my sternum, let me lick my canyon deep wounds with the honeycomb tucked in between your teeth.
I want to stick a panic room underneath the chalices in my palms so they aren't so timid once I hear you talk about wearing Sunday clothes when you had your first beer.
I want the next girl I kiss to have lips like daylight and her hands to be warm, her legs to be every Summer that lasted just the right amount of time, build me with gunslinger fingertips that touch and touch and touch and stay steady, build my footsteps with the sounds of a rainstorm knocking it's fingers on the ground of an empty parking lot, build her out of prayers for a flood.
If I didn't bruise so easily, if I wasn't looking for a way to be made of a river, if I needed the silence to mean something, then I would ask you to build me out of quiet revenge and goodbyes that stick in your sides like tree branches, I would need you to build me out of reasons to believe instead of reasons to be afraid, I would turn my kneecaps into strawberries in exchange for potter's hands so I could mold you a bulletproof spirit. I want to spend the rest of my life watching the clouds, I want to have a voice as steady an oak tree and I want to see the sun cry rays of light so hard that it has nothing left in it but happiness and tugs the sky so tightly it turns purple.
We are nothing but a list of demands.
Jill Harris Feb 2010
I'd be okay with getting old
If I got to keep these gams
They'll wrinkle and sprout those purple-green veins
Like spiderwebs spun over kneecaps
Yes, since aging means ugly legs
I think I'll find a Peter
And a Neverland
And fight pirates in fabulous Lost Boy tights
That accentuate my ever-youthful gams
Holly Salvatore Feb 2013
Had her legs insured for
movies, her career,
a million dollars
calves and thighs
Kneecaps that just won't quit
and those tights
with the seams in the back
Betty Grable
Driving me insane sometimes
I lay awake at night
mentally budgeting future
online shopping for those
lacy tights
I want to get my legs insured
Wade Redfearn Aug 2018
A bill becomes a law through a process not unlike wet clay curing in the sun, seasonal labor filling the fields in springtime, a drop of sweat absorbed thirstily into a towel, a stain spreading across a tablecloth.

A bill becomes a law eventually, but often, not in time. A bill often fails on the floor, as do some people, as does, just as often,
the attempt to revive them. The attempt looks an awful lot
like a senator's face, energetic and gray and doomed and
looking for any advantage
when the needed advantage is in the ether
and still immaterial until the tenth of February.

I notice the bumper stickers, and I've deputized a Google Alert
to tell me that the popular mass is wakening.
I can also tell when it yawns,
or prods a rib for a pain that wasn't there yesterday.
I can tell when the popular mass has slept funny.
I can tell when it would rather not wake up at all
but the light is streaming in through the window
and the house is full of the sound of the dishwasher.

Pain on both sides, in both ribs, ignored
because sometimes it just happens - pain,
that is - and is a part of getting older,
like how you can't put peppers in your chili anymore
now that they don't grow on this side of the planet,
and there's nobody left to tend them.

I would like somebody to tend me, too,
but the law that sanctions that workforce
is still in committee, and mired in a dispute
about who deserves love.

This one goes out to all of those lying on their kitchen floor
once everyone is out of the house, lifting their legs and placing them on the countertop, listening to their heart ticking
and trying to discover if it reaches everywhere, if they can hear it
in their ankles.

This one goes out to their savings accounts and their kneecaps.

Here's hoping they make it.
emily Feb 2015
today it is sunday, and i want to be waking up with you.
look - this isn't going to be a cheesy poem about love, or maybe it is.
the summer of 2013.
i was only 15, i had no idea what love was.
you said it was never unrequited love, but what i perceived was just as bad. you loved the idea of a deadbeat me who would care only when you cared, and who wouldn’t mind being put on the bench when her team was losing. instead, i just scratched out my eyes and went to the mound anyways. somehow i never struck out.
some days i am an overly caffeinated and hyperventilated excuse for post traumatic stress induced dramatizations.
i wrote a trip report on you. the come up is foggy after repeated use. the peak is incredible as always. i am so ******* addicted that sometimes i forget everyone can see the track marks on my forearms.
if i were to speak for myself, i'd tell you that the universe is twice as big as we think it is and you're the only one who made that idea less devastating.
all the boys that had "loved me" before then, loved me with sweaty palms and left me with sad bruises. all the girls that "loved me" before then, loved me with busy mouths and shallow "i love you's". all the boys and girls i thought i might have "loved" were all just something leading me to you, and i think me still falling in love with you two years after we broke up really proves my point. loving you was different. it was hard. it was tiring. it happened fast. it happened so nicely. *it was. so. *******. worth. it. you're so worth it.
you have not been treated the way you should be treated, and i promise to make up for every time you were left upset all night crying because of the ****** person who made you feel that way.
this is so scattered.
it's like i wrote you into ******* existence. i never thought i would get the girl i've been dreaming up. you're everything i've ever written about all bundle up into one perfectly imperfect (beautifully) flawed person. and you're all mine.
look - i used to write you into a sad poem at two in the morning, and my bones trembled like your upper lip as you cried in your bathroom that night two summers ago. i think i’m still shaken because my skin is fitting a little strangely
i feel gravity in my kneecaps
i feel ice rubbing down my spine
i feel false hope and real hope,
and i feel the ten milligrams of relaxation that i took to forget what i could. the mass in my lungs is shrinking, the fear in my empty stomach is being replaced with love and it's all for you you you you y o u.
there was something in my bones that told me to love you. i remember promising to like you even after i knew everything about you, and it turns out i loved you instead.
i'll cut my soul into a million pieces just to form a constellation to light your way home.
i'll write love poems to the parts of yourself you can't stand.
i'll stand in the shadows of your heart and tell you i'm not afraid of your dark. you're so beautiful because you let yourself feel so many things, and that's pretty **** brave.
i am in love with you simply and as difficult as it is to remember all 10 trillion digits in pi. i want all of you, i am in love with all of you. i want you forever, i want to be in love with you forever.
i love you.
this is scattered and **** but my god do i love you
An acolyte of White Chapel, I walk the streets at night,

I strut the dark to feed my lust, my mildly selfish plight.

Don’t mistake me for insane, my demonic thoughts are clear,

Come to me my little *****, I show you why I’m revered.


I walk behind, step by step,

As I stalk my little coquette

she leaves the brothel, all dressed up,

Awaiting young gentleman to sup,

I’ve chosen this one for my knife,

It calmly grins to end her life.


Her caller leaves with no tip to spare,

Her saddened face hidden by her hair,

I follow her back until an alley,

The hatred then shall take my lead.


Twenty feet there from the door,

I felt her heart drop to the floor,

As I choked the breath out of her lungs,

I saw the sadness from being so close to home.


Upon my shoulder, I take her back

To the venue of my attack

I sneak through the darkest paths,

Until my home, we reach at last.


And at this part in my confession

I warn of the graphic, due to depression.


Upon my medical table she lay,

My scalpel awaits the ****** flay,

A little anesthetic, here and there,

Keeps her awake but still and fair.


She cannot scream but her eyes do widen

Though to be fair, my form does frighten,

When I lay my other instruments out,

Of leaving alive, I see her doubt.


“To business then my dear, my dear.”

Out of one eye, I spy a tear.


Because of paralysis I need no restraints,

She remains still, her heart remains faint,

I start with the kneecaps, just in case,

She breaks free of the spell, so I needn’t chase.


I place them upon my “excess” table

And then her legs I begin to cradle,

I take then every one of her toes,

And place them in a neat little row.


I take my time stemming the blood,

So death doesn’t come misunderstood,

Also that she may not pass out,

She remains conscious and without clout.


“My Sweet,

I cherish the sorrow I see in you eyes,

I enshrine the abhorrence of love I’ve revised,

acrimonious am I, animosity guides me,

I’ll **** everything you’ve ever believed.”


I move up onto her thighs,

Upon the blade, the sanguine does shine,

I split each side to sew again,

Except the muscle taken from within.


I stitch her fingers there together,

I rip out the nails to put on a tether,

Her arms have no concern to me,

Lest I graze an artery.


And  my favourite, the chest cavity,

I’ll make it a shrine to my depravity

Now is the point where time is a factor,

As I do this, she will die faster.


I hammer away with the sternum-splitter,

It cracks and cracks, her heart does flutter,

I eagle the ribcage as she stares in horror,

The sound of my laughter begins to adore her.


Her organs gaze up at me in fright,

I begin extracting in delight,

She looks up, looks for her God,

But he is absent, he is a fraud.


I witness the beating grow faster,

She is in shock, this could be disaster,

A little more solution for the pain,

But just enough so that she remains.


I slowly take a needle and puncture the left lung

Her other grows violent when its marriage is undone,

I extract her spleen and then,

Her heart does pump, her blood thickens.


Involuntary muscles in her lips tighten,

I barely catch it with her lips stitched in,

Her eyes, how they wonder everywhere,

Searching for some thing somewhere.


I see in them, she questions me,

‘Why have you forsaken me?’

Darling, I think that is not the question

I did this of my own suggestion,


You may ask why I left her womanhood alone,

Her ******* and ***** no violence shown,

To that, I answer you now and simply,

Frivolous things such as *** do not concern me.


You may ask why and where she may be found,

But you won’t find her, though don’t let that cloud

Your idea of me or what lies inside,

Don’t worry however, I allowed her to die,

After I had taken her precious heart,

She likely could’ve lived half a minute to start,

But at about second “fifteen”,

I cut her throat ever so gently,

She gurgled so quietly, ever somber,

I’m sure she would’ve thanked me regardless,

But in the end I don’t feel I’ve robbed a father,

After all, what father has a ***** of a daughter?


You will never catch me, I have no motive,

Other than sport, and a mind supported,

With thoughts of these wretched street walkers,

May they all be mindful they’ve gained a stalker,

Perhaps one day you may of me learn,

A clean city and plain interest, is all I yearn.
Jon Tobias Dec 2012
I felt like a giant
Holding fireworks in his fists
Fuses burning between my knuckles
I could silence the bang if I wanted to

Inside your chest are bibles
Full of psalms about hunger
And love
And letting go
Psalms about selfless
I want to kiss you like a prayer

******* like a prayer

I am small
And I feel the ground breathe beneath my feet
It is dark

I am a marble with a green cat eye center
Still hot and smooth
The glass blower that made me had asthma
I don’t roll like the rest of them
This dent in my chest
But you decide it is a good place to rest your head

You feel like the ocean
When I am sleeping on a raft
I made from fallen trees and rope
A steady rock just past the wave break
So calm I’m sure I could sail safely
As far as I wanted

I feel like I don’t exist
Like I am unicorn horn glitter
After the slaying
The men who have ground me down
Use me to sell toys to kids
Because glitter makes everything magic

I am magic
Clumsy magic
Like a giant learning sleight of hand
Fireworks in his fists
I could stop the bang if I wanted to

I don’t want to
I am hot glowing color
Falling from the palms of a giant
Whose hands are clouds

Someone has just prevented a car accident
Saved someone’s life
There are fireworks
A celebration

I am rubber kneecaps
For people who collapse
I bounce them back
People who don’t pray anymore
They just keep walking

I feel like a slave song
The simple message
When you sing these words
I can do anything

I feel like a giant

And I want to kiss you like a prayer
That stops someone from dying
o Oct 2015
Five years is an awfully short time to spend with someone you thought was a part of your stomach -
the skin in your throat, the folds of your kneecaps
You couldn't imagine shaking them from your fingertips,
not in a million lifetimes

But instead, it only took one;
not as brief as a mayfly but as not as long as a bird soars
If you ask me, we were cut down too soon but hung on too long -
I'd have kept hanging, too,
if only the branch weren't gone.
6/18/2015. This was a long time ago. I started doing this thing over the summer where I tried to write poems based off the GRE words I was trying to study. I didn't keep up with it too well, but it's a fun exercise nonetheless.
clxrion Dec 2013
Your body as a fleet of ships
Your words are every harbour i have found solace in
Sometimes i feel like the secrets you tried to tuck under pelican wings
Sometimes i feel like the burnt-out bulb in the lighthouse that you easily replaced
I've turned into a beacon for sailboats that ferry the dead, with a heart trailing behind every vessel
Every red light is a warning sign and the skeletons of dead sailors are standing on the bows, waving their arms
They appear to be screaming, desperate for someone to hear them, but the only sound that comes out is that of dangling chains
You can hear the moaning of drowned souls and you're wondering how long it will be until you join them
The dissonant waves turn into hands that pull on you like fingers doing a glissando down your heartstrings
Suddenly you're sinking and every breath costs you a life you didn't know you had but it's gone and you can't get it back
As you're pulled under you watch the light at the surface ripple and fade in the same way your soul crawled out of your skin
You're crawling on the floorboards of the ship and the nails are digging into your kneecaps and it reminds you of her
Your body is covered in splinters and when you pull them out it feels the same as her lips every time they left your skin
You're starting to get seasick but just as you lean over the railings her name falls off your lips
It drops like an anchor, and all of your inner demons rise from the sea and begin to climb the rope dangling from your teeth
You're choking on the past and every effort to shove your finger down your throat and expel it fails
Every bad memory fills your stomach and it feels like swallowing pieces of bait still tangled up with their hooks
You can feel them pulling at your stomach like every promise she never fulfilled, still threatening to destroy you
Your insides shred and tear like the sails and instead of air spilling through it's everything you've tried to keep from her
Suddenly the nose of the boat is diving into the sea and you're regretting ever thinking you were invincible
As the swells rock the ship you try to root your feet in front of the helm but your knees start to crack like porcelain
You're no longer able to swim, you're slowly turning to glass and your hands aren't working, yet you're still reaching for hers
When your fingertips finally touch, your entire body shatters to pieces
Your heart is left pierced and bleeding on the ravaged deck
You're no longer tethered to anything, flopping around aimlessly, you no longer have a purpose
You see your reflection next to hers in the water and it's convinced you that death at sea is more beautiful than you'd thought
Elise Nov 2013
This skin is alive,
but I wish it were rotting
beneath the soil,
roots forming between
my rib cage,
rain draining the blood
from my veins,
birds stealing hair for
their chickadees pillows,
insects burrowing behind
old kneecaps.

*This life has no meaning so I give my life to those who could use it.

— The End —