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Nat Lipstadt Mar 2015
oft on bus seated next,
every one of your senses
adjusting, modulating,
to her unpredictable
solar flaring

you don't ever risk
that first missing
your entirety is
sun bursted
in unhappy joy of her
consuming presence


you laugh
years later
re the topic of
your first shaky
foot in the mouth
a classic misstep
first bow shot,
opening one liner

and each storied retelling  
is nature!s
snow and rain
the love of your
groundwater table
welling up


you love her scent
the silly hats she wears,
her short skirts arouse,
that last open button
a misstep invitation,
angry it incenses,
her every solitary everything is
pervading a daily
oxygen? starved soul


her umbrella is a wet
selfie stick
accidentally opening and dousing
an un random next door

just another unlucky misstep for
someone sitting next store,
oil on the fire of
happily ever after

two selfies are last seen as
un selfishly
toweling each other off and
with wet kisses


you eavesdrop on her
earbud music,
weep internally you do with
crazed jealously

The Temptations
are so unfairly
singing to her
"Ain't to Proud to Beg"
and neither are you

you heart is misstepping
to every beat,
your fingers
you idiot, not quietly enough
in the next seat

the first,
will not be
the last

smile exchanged


poem writing on the tablet,
amidst the groaning awful
no moving
city traffic

overheated bus
combustible with
winter snow dampness,
wet dog sweat smelling people clothes

all you want to do is get home
shower off
the daily dirt

the poetry writing pastime
is the place
where you put yourself
to better to pass over
your sour surroundings

her finger rattlesnakes,
misstepping over,
noisily invading,
the invisible boundary
constructed to hold up the
Keep Out sign
to momentary,
too neighborly

her red painted
pointer finger
smudge prints on your tablet,
accompanied with
bespoke words
"try this"

that smudge suggestion
won't come off

insisting on crediting
a shared authorship,
you ask for her
email and cell,
so you can share

co jointed tangled
bus and bed sheet first efforts
on writing, all about
what you play~argue
what should your entitled poem
be titled

you think

endless short love story bus poems

but she prefers,
with red fingers persuading

the first misstep is the best

both see the merit
in each other
I love this poem. I do.

Lyrics to "Ain't to Proud to Beg"

I know you wanna leave me,
but I refuse to let you go
If I have to beg and plead for your sympathy,
I don't mind coz' you mean that much to me

Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darlin
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me, girl, don't you go

Now I heard a cryin' man,
is half a man with no sense of pride
But if I have to cry to keep you,
I don't mind weepin' if it'll keep you by my side

Ain't to proud to beg, sweet darlin
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go

If I have to sleep on your doorstep
all night and day just to keep you from walkin' away
let your friends laugh, even this I can stand
cause I want to keep you any way I can

Ain't too proud to beg, sweet darlin'
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go

Now I've gotta love so deep in the pit of my heart
And each day it grows more and more
I'm not ashamed to come and plead to you baby
If pleadin' keeps you from walkin' out that door

Ain't too proud to beg, you know it sweet darlin'
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby
Please don't leave me girl, don't you go
Baby, baby, baby, baby (sweet darling)
H Phone Jan 2018
A miss taken.
A misstep taken.
A misstep is all it takes.
A misstep takes it all.
Take a misstep, all breaks.
A misstep is all it takes to break.
A misstep is all it takes to break your spirit.

Do you know the feeling
of adding onto a mistake?
Switching, twisting, making it more appealing,
but no matter what you make,
what it used to be leaves an imprint on the paper.
Black on white.
Wrong on right.

Don’t you wish it wasn’t so?

But you can’t delete your save data, like in some game.
You can’t just start over, blank slate, new avatar, new name.
The system will never forget;
On that, you can place your bet.
And in case you’re wondering why...


Like a whirlpool out of control,
like a rampant snowball,
runaway, amassing all
intrusive memories it can gather,
moments and details you would rather
forget, but the fact that you remember makes you madder!
And it is as such with all matter.

Mistakes leave a stain
on your brain.
Wipe the muck?
No such luck.
Because that’s not how the world works, you see?
The way of the universe is entropy.
Entropy is a measure of the chaos in the universe. Everything adds to it, nothing can remove it.
A horror movie scene as the heroine escapes.
Everything is still besides her convalescing breath and the distant, chasing wind.
Not a noise is heard except the fall leave's rattle and the birch wood's moaning bark in the moonlight.
Her body slouches into the protection of a lone shed, and shrouds itself in the aroma of cut grass.
A tense brow relieves and tired eyes close, thankful to receive the momentary peace.

A possible misstep turns the wary peace on end with the jagged cut of broken leaves. The once relieved brow now concedes surprise as wild eyes are cast towards an opaque barricade.
Sly pieces of garden equipment leash a weathered jacket in place as she attempts to stand.
A cackle is heard, a shriek undone.
To spite the brittle wood, the formulaic jump-scare-skeleton-hand bursts through the shed's solicitous walls, set to declare the last of a weary soul as his own.
The wind catches up and spearheads any hole it can find.
It begins whistling around the dim room like a tornado elated to havoc behind a castle's walls.
The tree bark howls, the leaves, now delight.
We learn there is no reprieve for a begging champion.
The camera backs out of the splintered hole, and pans over a silhouetted forest to face the waning moon.
The hero succumbs with muted screams to a gore far below and out of frame.

Our only closure, a black screen, with bright white letters, slowly scrolling up.

The end.
Just something I had fun writing, figured not posting it would be a waste despite it not being "poetry", just an experiment I guess. I feel like it would be good, in like, a high-school, short story competition. *****.
Bad Luck Jul 2018
Doing a dance,
to wear a mask,
To play a game that you can’t stomach . . .
Just so that the truth doesn’t have to face you,
The way you recoil from reflections of yourself.

You’d forsake your happiness, your health —
                                                  You would burn it all.

To do a dance,
To wear a mask
To play a game you’ll always lose.
             To look in a mirror . . .
             To tell an image, that it’s anything but you.

And it is in that moment, that you'll find
                           You’ll tell the unfamiliar truth
As you bleed and feed
                           Your own obliterated youth . . .

To feel, and then
                          to lose —
Just like the loss you always knew

                          You would find in disappointment.
Like an unholy anointment
                          of your least desirable possessions
That retire from the heavens
                          Back to you.

To betray, and to amuse
The ides of irony rejoice!
               For they’ve found their lamb... or
their ever-dying muse.
                 Forsaking life itself, you clamor
To see others just like you.

And maybe, one day, one will choose
           the path that you can’t leave,
As it reciprocates to thee —
            Two partners in misery, fated to excuse
the waste of each other...
            until they find there’s nothing left.

To feel the flame within its breath consumed.

Wearing a mask,
To live a lie,
                And die a death,
                Whose dance you six-times misstep

                              And on the seventh, betrays you.

"Bad Luck: In a Wakeful Contradiction" is now available on Amazon in paperback!

JJ Hutton Sep 2010
Sit by my side,
talk me through,
let your sweet breath
caress my swollen eyes.

I select you.

Tell me about your past,
talk me through,
each misstep and lie,
the cadence makes it fine.

Curl up next to me,
talk me through,
make sure my heart beats,
but don't let me fall victim to dreams.

Call me your best friend,
talk me through,
if I show weakness, tangle about hair,
please don't call me handsome.

If we make it past night,
if you talked me through,
I'll make you breakfast
and you will make laughter.

Will you select me too?

Let's keep the trade even,
talk me through,
I'll distract you, you'll distract me,
from all the old lovers that proved themselves typical.
Copyright Sept. 17, 2010 by J.J. Hutton
Rob Urban Jun 2012
Lost in the dim
streets of the
Marunouchi district
I describe
this wounded city in an
  unending internal
monologue as I follow
the signs to Tokyo Station and
descend into the
underground passages
  of the metro,
seeking life and anything bright
in this half-lit, humid midnight.

I find the train finally
to Shibuya, the Piccadilly
and Times Square of Japan,
and even there the lights
are dimmer and the neon
  that does remain
  is all the more garish by
I cross the street
near a sign that says
  "Baby Dolls" in English
over a business that turns
out to be a pet
  shop, of all things.

the Japanese, I sometimes feel I live
in reduced circumstances, forced to proceed with caution:
A poorly chosen
adjective, a
mangled metaphor
could so easily trigger the
tsunami that
    sweeps away the containment
             facilities that
                   protect us
                        from ourselves
                                                            and others.
The next night at dinner, the sweltering room
     suddenly rocks and
        conversation stops
                  as the building sways and the
candles flicker.

'Felt like a 4, maybe a 5,'
says one of my tablemates,
a friend from years ago
in the States.

'At least a five-and-a-half,'
says another, gesturing
at the still-moving shadows
on the wall. And I think
     of other sweaty, dimly lit rooms,
      bodies in slow, restrained motion,       all
          in a moment that falls

         Then the swaying stops and we return
to our dinner. The shock, or aftershock,
isn't mentioned again,
though we do return, repeatedly, to the
big one,
         and the tidal wave that
                           swept so much away.

En route to the monsoon
I go east to come west,
   clouds gathering slowly
     in the vicinity of my chest.

Next day in Shanghai, the sun's glare reflects
  off skyscrapers,
and the streets teem
with determined shoppers
and sightseers
wielding credit cards and iPhone cameras, clad
in T-shirts with English words and phrases.
I fall
          in step
             beside a young woman on
                 the outdoor escalator whose
shirt, white on black,
reads, 'I am very, very happy.' I smile
and then notice, coming
down the other side,
another woman
        exactly the same
       message, only
                        in neon pink. So many
                                                 happy people!
Yet the ATMs sometimes dispense
counterfeit 100 yuan notes and
elsewhere in the realm
      police fire on
      protestors seeking
                more than consumer goods,
while officials fret
about American credit
and the security of their investments, and
     the government executes mayors for taking
                       bribes from real estate developers.
    A drizzle greets me in Hong Kong,
a tablecloth of fog draped over the peaks
   that turns into a rain shower.
I find my way to work after many twists and turns
through shopping malls and building lobbies and endless
turning halls of luxury retail.
               At dinner I have a century egg and think
of Chinese mothers
urging their children,
'Eat! Eat your green, gooey treat.
On the street afterwards, a
near-naked girl grabs my arm,
pulls me toward a doorway marked by a 'Live Girls’
sign. 'No kidding,’ I think as I pull myself carefully
free, and cross the street.

On the flight to Bombay, I doze
   under a sweaty airline blanket, and
       dream that I am already there and the rains
         have come in earnest as I sit with the presumably
           semi-fictional Didier of Shantaram in the real but as-yet-unseen
            Leopold's Café, drinking Kingfishers,
              and he is telling me,  confidentially,
                     exactly where to find what I’ve lost as I wake
with the screech and grip of wheels on runway.

     Next day on the street outside the real Leopold's,
bullet holes preserved in the walls from the last terrorist attack,
I am trailed through the Colaba district
by a mother and children,  'Please sir, buy us milk, sir, buy us some rice,
I will show you the store.'
    A man approaches, offering a drum,
                        another a large balloon (What would I do with that?)
A shoeshine guy offers
                                           to shine my sneakers, then shares
the story of his arrival and struggle in Bombay.
     And I buy
             the milk and the rice and some
                      small cakes and in a second
                          the crowd of children swells
                               into the street
               and I sense
                     the danger of the crazy traffic to the crowd
                         that I have created, and I
think, what do I do?
           I flee, get into a taxi and head
                             to the Gateway of India, feeling
                                                                                  that I have failed a test.

                                       My last night in Mumbai, the rains come, flooding
     streets and drenching pavement dwellers and washing
the humid filth from the air. When it ends
           after two hours, the air is cool and fresh
                                  and I take a stroll at midnight
          in the street outside my hotel and enter the slum
   from which each morning I have watched
the residents emerge,  perfectly coiffed. I buy
some trinkets at a tiny stand and talk briefly
      with a boy who approaches, curious about a foreigner out for a walk.

A couple of days after that, in
the foothills of the Himalayas,  monks' robes flutter
on a clothesline like scarlet prayer flags behind the
Dalai Lama's temple.
I trek to 11,000 feet along a
narrow rocky path through thick
monsoon mist,
   stopping every 10 steps
        my  breath,
              testing each rock before placing my weight.
    the surface is slick and I nearly fall,
    the stones
        themselves shift. I learn slowly, like some
             newborn foal, or just another
                clumsy city boy,
                   that in certain terrains the
       smallest misstep
                            can end with a slide
                                             into the abyss.
                  At the peak there's a chai shop that sells drinks and cigarettes
                                of all things and I order a coffee and noodles for lunch.
While I eat,
      perched on a rock in a silence that is both ex- and
the clouds in front of me slowly part to reveal
a glacier that takes up three-quarters of the sky, craggy and white and
beautiful. I snap a few shots,
before the cloud curtain closes
obscuring the mountain.
                                     --Rob Urban: Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Dharamshala
L E Dow Sep 2010
One misstep,
an ill placed footfall,
the single clumsy blunder,
can ruin even the most graceful

The mortal enemy of canvas
is the day the sun doesn’t shine.
The day the sky sheds its grey onto earth.
Whether rain or snow,
it doesn’t matter much.

One misstep,
and cold hearted canvas
absorbs the error you’d like to erase.
Mistakes fade,
but will always be remembered
by your cold, wet socks,
and the cold-hearted canvas.
Copyright Dec. 29th 2009 Lauren E. Dow
Eric W Mar 2017
It's obvious, isn't it?
When two similar planets pass by
each other
and get caught in
each other's
It's obvious what must happen here.
The words not said
scream loud enough to
bridge the hundreds of miles,
and we still don't
say them.
Not yet.
It's obvious we haven't been here before.
Into uncharted waters,
we move so
careful not to create waves
before we meet in the center,
careful not to misstep,
so that we can
do things right
for once.
It's obvious.
I'm so unbelievably grateful that my words were selected to represent this amazing community for a day. This is the best community I've ever had the honor to be a part of. Seriously, each and every one of you are amazing. Many of you have made a permanent mark on me with your kind words and friendship, and I'm continually amazed at the positivity and encouragement I see on this site. Stay great, friends. And thank you so much for reading! It means the world.
Colin Kohlsmith Nov 2010
I am listening to Leonard Cohen
And thinking of you
You know it seems like ages
Since we’ve talked things through
Our thoughts were once so in sync
It’s like we simply knew
Everything the other would say
Almost too good to be true

But it’s glance in the wrong direction
And just a single misstep
And we’re left only with memories
And a hint of regret

This constant need for closeness
This moving of the spheres
The mysterious pull of gravity
Whenever you are near
For we’re hurtling through time and space
Into the black unknown
And we never know whom we’ll meet
Or where our hearts will roam

But it’s glance in the wrong direction
And just a single misstep
And we’re left only with memories
And a hint of regret

So I’ll smile for you once again
And say a little prayer
You led me to a better place
Pulled love out of thin air
Can’t say I had the roadmap
But I was happy for the trip
You taught me to value what I have now
Not the things that I missed

*But it’s glance in the wrong direction
And just a single misstep
And we’re left only with memories
And a hint of regret
Zenobia Jan 2010
We've crossed the road into teenage haste
Generation gap
With confusion, harum scarum, mistrust, disparity
Not knowing who to listen or follow
Family, or so called, not your friends
You keep thinking we the parents our your enemy
When we only try to teach you
Embrace you with the facts of life
Are life, Are love has been
No More, No Less  
You know we given the best lessons of life
But it's your choice to make it right
You can't keep trying to keep pushing
Not expect to get pushed back
We our your parents
Not your friends
My word as your parent is bond
Don't take and misstep
Out of your place
Cause even though
Still you're moving around to find the right direction
The wrong direction will be probation officers
In your face
Think long and hard of the identity you want to choose
One time, two times, three times
You Lose
I'm just talking and giving tough love
All can be remove
With your last desire
To breathe free air
Your wake up call could be
Being locked up
In the streets with a dare
Bang, Bang, you're dead

So can we sit down without a lot of frustration
Talk things over
Everything changes in life
Nothing stays the same for long
Soon you'll be an adult
To make the choice
If they are wrong or right
Just don't make them now
Preferably not ever
Strange day's of a teenage life
Doesn't stay the same
One thing I do know
God doesn't put us here
On Earth
Without a purpose or a plan

Lauren Upadhyay Dec 2012
"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." -Lemony Snicket

For all its ostensible simplicity, death is complicated for those of us who have yet to experience it. And while I appreciate Snicket's sentiment, coping with loss is not always this straightforward. It is not always possible to merely readjust oneself after the painful shock of losing someone we care about, simply because some relationships transcend illusory misstep; there are some people who are more to us than just the empty space through which we navigate and which confuses us and makes us feel silly when we realize that there was never really any reason to worry in the first place, and that we are going to be just fine.

In much the same way as realizing we've tripped over a non-existent stair, it is always uncomfortably surprising when we lose someone we know. It's a feeling akin to being suddenly and aggressively shaken awake from some mildly enjoyable, but generally monotonous dream. Like we couldn't have predicted as much, as if it were some exotic and unfortunate illness that only ever happens to people in newspapers. And whenever we are made to confront the painful yet obvious reality, it forces us take a step back and reevaluate things.

It makes us think of the deceased, and how we must readjust our view of the world to accommodate their absence. And yes, many times this adjustment amounts to nothing more than a brief moment of miscalculation and confusion. But there are some times when this is not the case, when the loss of a person causes an unmistakable and lasting difference in our lives. There is a rare and special closeness with certain people that some of us are lucky enough to experience, and which at some point causes us to unconsciously realize the verity and significance of these people's existence.

There comes a moment when a person ceases to be merely an imagined phenomenon, and forever becomes an integral piece of the staircase in the multi-storied building of one's life. The people who ineffably and eternally changed us; the people who inadvertently etched themselves into our framework and forced us to recognize their inextricable realness. These are the people for whom we do not become only momentarily disoriented when they leave. When they stop existing there is one less step, a permanent gap in the staircase. And no matter how much time passes, no matter how well adjusted we become, it will never feel quite right skipping a step, making the unnatural lunge over the empty space they've left behind.
Willow-Anne Apr 2015
It doesn't matter how hard I try
I never seem to get away
Cause after all you did to me
I fear these feelings will always stay

Your lies I believed were the truth beneath
The pain recedes but the heart bleeds
My instincts were right all along
I’m just a part of your love song

You see, I live my life in fear
Fear I won't succeed
And every small critique I get
Makes me once again recede

My Iloveyous to you were inevitable
Like the sun emitting his ardor
Despite the moon in slumber’s nocturne
He shines brightly with fervor

I live my life, always afraid
That I am not on the right path
And if I take one small misstep
I'll have to face somebody's wrath

Time consumes me while I waste it away
Like grains of sand as I clenched and ran
Only to lose it
Again and again

I am eternally scared
That all my judgments are wrong
And if I ever meet someone
They'll only like me for so long

But then I met you out of the blue
You were trying to forget someone too
We sparked like fireworks in the night sky
But the fire burnt out and our colors faded hue

I live my life in constant fear
I fear that you were right
I simply am not good enough
And I will not be alright

Thank you for proving me right
That we were not meant to be
How could you love another light
When I was the one your darkness pleased

But even worse than all these things
Is my terror that someday
I will meet someone else like you
And not be able to get away.

You complete me

You destroyed me
So honored to have done my first collab ever with the wonderful Erenn
*Erenn is Italics
~Check out the rest of his work~
Regular Account -
Collabs Account -

Thank you so much for doing this collab with me Erenn!! ^.^ You are so talented! :)
Hope you all enjoy it.
Satan Jan 2012
I live in your basement
Unnoticed to your enjoyment
Quietly lost in my own existence
Yet firm and vast persistence

My heart beats to your every step
As i wait patiently for your misstep
Through a crack i see you every night
Beautiful and fair in my sight

Your scent seeping in through the floor
Through my skin, my every pore
The sound of your laughter i hear in the dark
I feel your breath on me with a spark

I touch your feet every night through the cold
Your bare skin... Heavenly like gold
I am only a feeling away
But not today
John Jan 2014
Oh, Anxiety
You **** me
Over and over
With no warning
You show up
With open arms
I've got no luck
I see you every day
Wouldn't mind at all
To simply walk and talk
Without misstep or fall
And forgetting all about you

Anxiety, Anxiety
Where from do you come?
Why can't we
Ever seem a little smarter than dumb?
Killing my core and my head
Dropping my body as it turns to lead
Satan Sep 2011
I live in your basement
Unnoticed to your enjoyment
Quietly lost in my own existence
Yet firm and vast persistence

My heart beats to your every step
As i wait patiently for your misstep
Through a crack i see you every night
Beautiful and fair in my sight

Your scent seeping in through the floor
Through my skin, my every pore
The sound of your laughter i hear in the dark
I feel your breath on me with a spark

I touch your feet every night through the cold
Your bare skin... Heavenly like gold
I am only a feeling away
But not today
Anderson M Nov 2013
A church mouse’s despondent muse
Is like a fuse
Melting as soon as it features in its brain
It does potentiate a pitiless migraine.
Bubbly spring in its step
A misstep
Seemingly a rare occurrence
Like a snow ball in hell, perchance.
A truce
With Zeus
To spare it
Bedeviling suited for a society’s #misfit.
Poor....poor church mouse
It's too poor to afford
the elusive luxury of hopelessness
are we thus rich enough
to afford it??????
Tracie Bulkley Nov 2013
Looking back
The things I regret the most
Involve everything I didn't do
And all I couldn't be.

I wasn't brave enough,
So I never let you know.

I wasn't careful enough,
So I never made it right.

I wasn't smart enough,
So I didn't understand.

I wasn't humble enough,
So I never asked to be taught.

I wasn't good enough,
So I couldn't make you want to stay.

I wasn't strong enough,
So I couldn't hold back the words today.

So what did I do this time?
What have I done now?
I already know that I ******* it all up
All I want to know is how.
When did I misstep?
What was wrong with me?
How could I have done better?
What do you want from me?
What I want is not to want
to be exactly what you want.
Cassie Mae Jan 2013
Like falling down stairs
you know before it happens
that misstep
the drop in your gut

Like falling down stairs
you know the pain before it's felt
that initial shock
the suppressed cry of pain

Like falling down stairs
hoping no one was witness
the embarrassment
the fear of getting back up

We stood at the top
when you pushed me down
the falling
hurt more than the landing
© Cassie Mae Writings 2013
JJ Hutton Jun 2013
Just below the ridge line, east of Tinnamon's Creek, that's where we found Lily's dachshund.
The brown, island patch of fur beneath its snout was caked with blood -- throat turn, chewed.
No coat remained on its front legs. Framework mostly. Some dangling, loose tissue.
White fibers I didn't recognize dotted the shriveled body. How many days had it been?
Three? Four?

"What'd you expect to find?" Harvey said, lifting the tag. "Brannagh. 5321 Starlite Drive."

"I know, I know. Lily's still going to break. Doesn't matter what I expected."

Harvey ran his palm along the dog's belly. Whispered something I didn't catch. The sun began to sink behind the mountains -- everything turned a variance of purple. And the wind came in, unannounced, as wind tends to do. What's the protocol on a dead dog? Bury at the scene of the crime? A pile of rocks left behind for hikers on the passing by to say, "I wonder what happened there." Or did we bag the unfortunate beast? Ring the doorbell. Ask Lily if she's got a shovel. Our fathers made no mention of times like that.

"I've never understood why people have pets," Harvey said. "Do you just want to be miserable? Your cat Socks, Millie, whatever, is gonna die. Your turtle Larry is gonna die. The charismatic hamster in the classroom, running the wheel, knows every step with its stupid paws could be its last. 22 fourth graders taught expiration dates. Teachers sign up for that. Brannagh was gonna die. Lily knew she'd outlive the dog."

Four deer looked on down by the creek. Still, yet comfortable in their stillness. I could have touched them if I wanted to. I hated that. Deer in Colorado made me feel powerless. They assumed, automatically, that I carried no firearm, only a camera and a bit of Chex Mix. Pallid threads continued to float down from the sky.

"What is this stuff?" I asked.

"What stuff?"

"Falling. In her fur, right there. On your shirt. In your hair. The white stuff."

After a quick scan of his chest, Harvey pinched one of the white fibers between his index finger and thumb. Hardly gave it a thought before giving it a flick.

"They're just coming off the cottonwoods. Happens toward the end of spring," Harvey said, reaching in his back pocket and pulling out a garbage bag.

"Is that what we are going to do?"

"I'm not burying the dog out here. Lily needs closure. If she 'breaks,' she breaks."

Harvey opened the black bag. Stepped on the bottom of it. So it would hold against the wind.

"Put the dog in here," he said.

"I'm not doing that."

"Well, you have to."


"I'm holding the trash bag."

The dog's eyes weren't there. Whatever mysterious factor that leads people to buy dachshunds, whether concentrated dose of cuteness or unmerited friendliness, it had bled out. I walked around to the other side of the dog. Stuck my hands under its spine -- cleanest spot. Stiff from rigor mortis, sure, but stiffer than rigor mortis alone. I knew the stiffness of death from my childhood collection of unfortunate pets. The sun had baked him, made the matted tufts sharp. I dropped Brannagh in the bag. Harvey lifted up quickly, as to not let the corpse hit the ground.

With the deer still watching, we began to climb up the rockface, taking us back to the trail. My eyes fixated on my feet to avoid a misstep. Harvey took the lead, looking only forward. When he began to speak, he did not turn around.

"You know what's funny about the cottonwoods? I hadn't thought about this in a long time -- both my mom and dad had a theory about what you so eloquently called 'white stuff.' Mom, sticking by her poverty- and church-induced eternal optimism, said that the white strands falling from the sky, came off the clouds. 'Heaven's confetti,' she said. It was God reminding us that his grace reaches all of us."

"What did your dad think?"

"Well, Dad worked hard for what money we had, and going to church wasn't exactly his idea. Believed God owed him a little more. He didn't even sit with us. Back pew kinda guy. Mom would lead prayers focused solely on him moving up a few benches. Anyway, I say all that to say, being poor and going to church created optimism's opposite in my father. It wasn't long after I graduated high school, before I moved to Fort Collins, that Dad gave me his theory."

Harvey reached the top of the ridge. Gave me a hand. Dog's corpse slung over his shoulder. He looked at me.

"My dad said that the white strands from heaven weren't signs of encouragement. He said they were tears of those who'd gone before. People looking down, weeping at -- not only what violence brother does to brother -- but also at how we **** away every breath. 'Trading dreams for dollars.' "

"Which do you think is true."

Turning away from me, Harvey switched the garbage bag from his right shoulder to his left.

"Neither is an option. And to remind you, neither is the correct option. For the sake of humoring you?"

"Yes, for the sake of humoring me."

"I think my mother's would be more accurate."

"Why is that?"

"The cottonwoods shed one time a year. Seems to me that white stuff would be falling all the time if it was the disappointment and sorrow of those who've passed. One time a year. I can see God giving us a little something one time a year."
Megan Joseph Mar 2020
everything is empty,
one misstep
and you're dead

isolation and
fills the room,
it's cold a dark,
deathly stares
are all that i receive,
the world has become
the weak are
left for dead,
the strong
but the fearful
are the most cruel.
everything is so busy now; college admissions, the coronavirus, everything. sorry for the lack of content
Satan Sep 2011
I live in your basement
Unnoticed to your enjoyment
Quietly lost in my own existence
Yet firm and vast persistence

My heart beats to your every step
As i wait patiently for your misstep
Through a crack i see you every night
Beautiful and fair in my sight

Your scent seeping in through the floor
Through my skin, my every pore
The sound of your laughter i hear in the dark
I feel your breath on me with a spark

I touch your feet every night through the cold
Your bare skin... Heavenly like gold
I am only a feeling away
But not today
I shall bound triumphantly into a time to come
Drink of waters no other has ever tasted
A serene and silent seer
I shall then become
Into the aching hearts of men
With visions still unread

Brilliant stars will bloom, which once were faded
Sleeping souls retracing steps
Of a time before their skies were jaded
By those errors made in judgment
Stealing lives
Into a dark misstep

I shall then lie outside myself
And watch to see
Those aching hearts drinking waters I have tasted
A serene and silent seer I will remain and be
While sleeping souls regain the light
They thought once wasted
Copyright *Neva Flores @2010
Wuji Jul 2012
Standing by myself before gates of open sky,
There she stands in front of me looking right into my eyes.
Open plains but I know the rain might just pour down,
So I stay hidden away under my umbrella.
Every answer is empty not caring what we do,
Whatever you want I promise I'll be content.
It's not a lie, no not all I just want to be your doll,
But I am locked in my emotion umbrella can't even feel the rain.
Never a chance of getting wet or misstep because I am protected from the pain.

Anything I want next time?
How about you get me out of this thing?
I don't need any promises any more,
Meet me at the door.
Because I can't walk in there with my emotion umbrella.
That touch will always tease me.
David Noonan May 2017
You're my fear
Everything that i hold dear
You hang on every word I say
As I pray, you won't grow
To one day, live that way
But to find your own words
Of world's old and new
That take you places
Beyond all that i once knew
Till that day, I'll always say
I'll carry your fear
Like a one true love
That i keep near
So grow my angel child
Take this life as you can
Be it one or be it many
Let it be dreams that you carry
And if you ever misstep
If you stumble or falter
I will always be humbled and proud
To be the one, to call you
m daly Jan 2019
for lips tasting
of cheap wine

do i scare you?

you touch me like
the slightest misstep, could
break me

is this
tenderness, or
Mary Velarde Jun 2018
Nobody ever talks about how the rain turns soil into mud;
how precaution tangoes
on the soles of your rain boots and
one misstep could lead to a concussion;
or a little scrape on the knee.
Nobody ever talks about
how caged birds sometimes forget
how to fly.
Mundane gestures marinated
as “special”
instead of something one ought to do.
He’s forgotten how to make her laugh.
When he says “baby”,
she could almost hear the anchor
pulling down the sincerity
in his voice box
along with the word “sorry”
and “sweetie, im never gonna hurt you again”
where his voice begin to crack
like tectonic plates that supported his
when he says “i love you”
nobody ever talks about the barriers
on beds and ******* and fetishes
to which the extent
of the phrase lies—
His i love yous were starting
to sound like a beg for ***
and his i love yous fade out
when he gets what he wants.

He gets what he wants.
Love is tacky.
Love is cheap.
Love is scrolling through an endless amount of ****** online dating profiles
on a Saturday night.
Love is not subtle.
Love is two people bargaining,
lying to each other,
lying to themselves.
Love keeps track of every misstep
so as to hold it against their partner in an ongoing war of attrition
so that they get to pick what to watch on Net-Flix.
Love does not rejoice in itself,
but does so on Facebook,
so that you can rub it in the face of your ex,
and all those friends that just really want to watch you fail.
Love is cheap.
*** with a price tag marked to sell.
Love is dead.
Zak Krug Dec 2012
Sleezy Santa
drinking honey flavored
straight from the bottle.
Ruining your Childhood
one large gulp at a time.
Chasing it with
Natural Light.
Oh the weather outside is frightful.
***** snow falling on
a ***** town.
The only way that drunkard got on the roof
is through liquid courage.
That **** is slippery
and one misstep means
** ** Hospital
for Jolly ole St. Nick.
The holiday season would be thrown through a loop
with Kris Kringle stuck in a coma.
Mrs. Claus is filling the papers for sole custody of the elves.
Happy Holidays.
I wait, untouched.
The polished road beneath my feet
vibrates with anticipation.
I look into the pitch black cave
And see the lantern burn
Brighter and brighter.
It burrows through the darkness
With a familiar fury.
With the desperation of a child,
I lean over the stripe and
Contemplate myself.
One misstep,
One careless bump,
And my fate would be decided.  
The ground shakes under me
And the underground wind sweeps my body back
I am pushed once again onto mortal soil,
And am afraid of myself.
Got Guanxi Jan 2016
turn on a sixpence

i slipped on your silhouette,
as i crept in your shadow.
Obscured in your umbrage,
an abundance of dark.
Opaque mistakes clouded,
our nebulous hearts.
I shaded your colours in grey tone,
to take home,
your essence in plainclothes,
and our monotone goals.
I was your eccentric apprentice,
You were a trip to the dentist,
pulling me out of comfort zone.
I had decayed in ways,
concaved incisors seen better days,
yet in spite of my enlightened phase,
the sweetness of life took me away in a chain of abuse of penny chews and the absolution of front page news.
I choose me,
I choose you.
Now if i misstep,
i’ll turn on sixpence;
and my value to you will continue to grow over time.
Elizabeth P Nov 2014
Starless, chilly an autumn night
It all started right
A dance it would be
A stranger I was
Amongst a two roosts of Latter Day Saints
Popular, I was not
Neither shy nor sociable,
I stood in wait for a suitor
Then a lad glided in
A bit taller than I, blonde hair, green eyes
And an adorable hat on his head
Smiles, laughter,
Then the Games began
This suitor, Gage he was called
Had speed, but not dexterity
And was soon defeated
Charming, cheering, continuing
The dancing came
Clumsy, was I ever so
While he radiated mastery
Every misstep spin on my part
Made him smile
He whispered in my ear,
In hot breaths,
Compliments of golden rarity
A suitor of suitors I see
A spectacular dance, then another...and quite a few more
Each spin drawing me closer,
As we learned the ways of our bodies purely
The intense stares making my cheeks glow rouge
Beguiled in the moment,
I followed Gage out in an innocent move
Outside, taking a walk around the sacristy
We sat upon an abandoned stair
We spoke, we laughed, and...
His sparking eyes locked with mine
And I knew such a day would come!
An elegant milestone!
Lips in incoherent shapes as we did the most ancient of things
Simple and sweet
Breathless, I was
Yet I wanted more
We kissed once again, longer this route
Your lips are sweet, he said in my ear, as I shook in delight
Paper and pen, number in hand
My phone in his hands, exchanging modern things
A quick hug
And a long night of thought for me
Since then, contact has been strangled to a near death
As though it was alive beforehand
My hope has faded
But still, I choose to see it as a lesson for the wise
Not a regret for the stupid
It was magical,
It was ordinarily extraordinary,
And blessed I feel for the experience.
Please no negative comments.
jeffrey robin Dec 2013




(The time to be free)


Caught in 1000 worlds


Bought by 1000 dreams


Easy now

Now ain't the time for a misstep

Now ain't the time for a mistake



A war like this ain't never been

The mountain is more fragile than your soul

But it is the only vision left

And so we go



Do not be afraid

At the end we're sure to meet


apathy Sep 2013
how did i turn to this dead end?
how did it get this bad?
there's no turning back now
i have no where else to go

i can't go forward,
I've already been to far back
how the hell do i get back on track?

there has been no questions answered
no apologies accepted
no smiles
nothing but silence and heartbreak hovering over me
how did i get to this point?

it all started with heartbreak
all of the risks we had to take
I'm followed by this haze
wondering, when will i get out of this maze?

i made my decisions,
i wish we could have a revision
i turned left on this maze,
and still,  for you, I'm crazed

your voice blares through the speaker
my soul is getting darker and darker
i can't stand it
but i know i can't quit

with every step,
it feels like i have misstep
the torture is getting worse
its like I'm cursed
and i know the end
is not near
get me out of here

I'm stuck in this heartbreak maze
i hurt in so many ways
its all because of you
how was i supposed to know that you're love for me wasn't true?

i hope you're happy
because i am unhappy
I'm going to die soon
from my big heart bruise
i hurt way too much inside
the pain will never subside

who knew heartbreak could ****?
i know you're having a thrill
don't be happy much longer
soon enough, your guilt won't make you any stronger

so here i am,
stuck behind these walls
i know you don't care at all
i sit here and give my last brawl
how did our love ever fall?

i hope you got what you wanted,
now I'm gone
Molly Greenhood Sep 2013
It is me and you,
shuffling in cool dirt above shards
of glass that wait
for naked toes to dance.

A lover’s trance
waltzes towards the edge
of dawn.
Summer never ends
when beating hearts
warm sheets on
cold nights.

Eyes my sea.
Hair my beach.
I stand **** and
unafraid of oceanic
monsters, hidden
deeper than can be explored.

Let us explore and defeat!
Live in paradise!
Swim naked every night
beneath gazing stars which
linger above sunburned scalps,
tender with exotic dreams:

Wish for this to remain
more pure than
elements on tables
reminding us we are only
recycled symbols.

draw blood,
warm the soil.
It stings.

I think of bumping into
jellyfish on our beach
how to get rid of them
without disturbing
everything else.
Sometimes, to scream seems like the only hope i have for eternal life; to scream and have the vibrations reverberate throughout the universe until it vanishes. How terrible it is that this hope is so callously dashed in the next sentence. How terrible that the universe will end. Will humans be there in the end? I suppose not. It seem we’re not very likely to make it past another generation or so. Oh well-- it wouldn’t really matter, then, if my scream did reverberate forever and the universe never ended; there wouldn’t be any humans to recognize it, analyze it and understand what it is that I was saying. To be honest, I wouldn’t even be able to explain if someone were to hear me the second I was screaming-- they probably would’t ask me either. I’ve only screamed a few times in my life. The ones i can remember were late at night on the side of desolate roads where i wouldn’t be asked to give an explanation; which was haunting. I almost wished the moon would pivot in space, reveal a mouth, two eyes and ears then ask me “now what’s all this about?” In either instance, my answer would have been alternating uncertainty about my future and loneliness. I might have even expressed discontent in my life condition. The moon might have responded “you control your own conditions,” but that’s only becase the moon represents society and the generalized other. I’m glad the moon just stayed the moon; a lifeless, crater-riddled celestial body incapable of empathy. I was jealous of it.
But here i sit now, tense and distraught. I’m not taking initiative in my life; what makes this worse is that if i were to set any goals for myself they would be social constructions of what other people value. My entire being is dependent on these others and what I think they want from me; without them, I couldn’t conceptualize myself. But, as it is, I see myself as a lonely, scared, miserable wretch. This is because I am not living up to their expectations-- or at least I assume not. My father tells me that all he expects from me is to “be happy” and “be the best you can at whatever you are,” whatever that means. I think I’d rather be expected to become a convicted felon than a “happy” person; at least felony is a definable and achievable condition. The only word more vague and meaningless than “happiness” is “love”.
So, I’m not happy-- I’m roughly the opposite, although that is a contradiction of terms. I don’t try to be happy, because I know it’s impossible. The people looking for happiness have just transposed the term onto the concept of God and made a religion of hedonism. They give offerings to their God in the form of unrealized self-disdain and misunderstood feelings of guilt, and most of them lack so much in introspection that they still attribute this to original sin, i.e. being human. They don’t even feel foolish when they worship the old gods. They don’t realize that human existence is that of God-in-Becoming; even though they relate to themselves as such.
It is this becoming God that troubles me and makes me want to scream. It is the desire to Be and to Know. Because we are conscious we cannot escape it, but we are liable to hide ourselves from this truth. Our individual-self (the Ego) only insofar as it is experienced by others. It is their reaction to this experience which enables us to make hypotheses as to our actual existence, and our behavior is the way we test these hypotheses. We are desperate to understand how others experience us because it is the closest we can come to experiencing ourselves. The only way, however, to run a successful psychological experiment is to maintain a control group, and in our private experiment, the Other (society) is seen, contrary to nature, as such. We treat it as a static monolith from which we read our name and Being. It tells us what we are and can become, but we look to individuals in our life to refute what the Other is telling us about ourselves. This is our second misstep in our search for the the true Self (Being), because we alter the random sample, deliberately or otherwise, to demonstrate not the truth, instead merely the opposite of what the Other has said. We do this out of necessity, in order to create meaning for ourselves and the only way to create meaning is by transcending the contingencies of Being and Consciousness. We use our consciousness of the Other to create our own Being and since this Self is unconscious and mute, we ask individual others to view it. Our Being thus becomes a shrine to the Becoming-God our Consciousness wants but can never realize. It is an empty shrine, where we wander until we forget the Being’s relation to the Self.
In essence, I am at the shrine of my Becoming-God tonight. And instead of lighting candles or screaming, I am wondering why I have come because I fail to recognize my Self at its alter to destroyed contingency. In the past I’ve laid down decisions I have made, actions I have taken, as so many animal sacrifices and lit them on fire. I’ve consulted my Being as to what to do and what to think about my life. Tonight I am unconcerned with this. My notion is to burn down the temple; vanquish my Being through overwhelming Consciousness. I want to deny my Self and its inevitable destruction in an unfeeling universe by destroying it through contemplation. Why should I slowly creep toward death, when it seems the only moment in life which is coherent and understandable? Why extend life? What is worth experiencing? What drives me on? The answer, again, is the illusion that I will once and for all deduce the Self from my interactions with others and recognize in it a transcendence of Being and Consciousness. I want to profess my Godhood, and in so doing enable myself to postpone death, until the final end of the Universe. I see my death as oneness and God, the gentle ebbing of all energy in the Universe into nothing, which is the ultimate meaning of life. All meaning is destroyed in the burning out of the Universe, and in my becoming-God I witness the destruction of all meaning, the only true meaning. Until that moment, the end of my human life is simply the snuffing out of a candle, or Consciousness. Forever after, my body is a waiting room to annihilation.
To destroy the shrine is to delineate nature and its synthesis with the human mind. This is not a cognitive parlor trick, but an active acknowledgment of reality using the body. I stand beside the charred ruins of what I built in my mind and am unaware of this fact as it simultaneously ceases to exist. This forgetting is impossible in death, because death is without Consciousness and there is no sense of loss. Therefore, I can only appreciate the fact that I have destroyed my Self in becoming something new while I live; a different, untested Self. I have thus oscillated to the opposite of Consciousness and become Being. I can no longer view myself and depend on others reactions to establish my new Ego. At the same time, my Consciousness is outside my Being, gathering stones for a new temple. My Being will take on the sheath of Consciousness at the entrance and commune once more in the act of becoming-God.
*This is a journal entry
Frank Sterncrest Mar 2013
poets often write about running
     through prairies
as if it is romantic.

they don’t know the itch
     the ***** of thick grass
     the **** of goldenrod
     the sting of thistle.
they haven’t hoisted one moist rubber-clad leg
over the other
again and
again and
waterproof yet sweating
     just to move ten feet.
they haven’t picked seeds from sticky skin
as the fields give way to marsh
     grass to cattails
     reeds to rushes.
they haven’t bobbed
and balanced
     up and
     down and
on floating mats
of dead, sewn stalks
     walking on water
     a minefield of bog slime.

i haven’t stopped watching my steps
since i got that job
and i think i’m due for a misstep.
i’m looking to stop scratching
to stop picking
to stop bobbing.
i’m looking for a darling weak spot
     strong enough to swallow me
in this swamp.
i would bushwhack to her
     through the pricking
     the prodding
     and the stinging
put the wrong foot forward
plunge through the mat
and let her pour over the tops of my waders
and sink me
     deeper and
     deeper and
too deep.
i would drown in her.
James Nigh Jun 2014
if all these intricacies are to be lost
then let someone celebrate

it won't be me

i have given everything  for a lack of return on investment

someone used to watch me sleep

but i slept too much

and now.....

the gold, time and investment...
all for naught

when the time comes,
we'll see how things even out

but for now,
just static and white noise.
kevin hamilton Sep 2019
you left your blueish dress
twisted by the pool’s edge
like a cold monument
to every single misstep
and my heart is overwhelmed
with visions of a dancing grave

via crucis in the morning
carry me to our palisade
while these tiny arcs of light
leave my eyes, breaking easily
and your voice keeps me awake
i believe that i need this

you were wrong
i am nothing
but one more familiar face
amid the pageantry

— The End —