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Is the moon tired? she looks so pale
Within her misty veil:
She scales the sky from east to west,
And takes no rest.

Before the coming of the night
The moon shows papery white;
Before the dawning of the day
She fades away.
for Susan O'Neill Roe

What a thrill ----
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indian's axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz. A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they one?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to ****

The thin
Papery feeling.
Kamikaze man ----

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux ****
Darkens and tarnishes and when
The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump ----
Trepanned veteran,
***** girl,
Thumb stump.
~Christi Michaels~12/2014~

you with an onion
in the palm of your hand
pulling back layers
seeing just who I am

removing the papery
outer shell
the flesh beneath
holding slight color tan

folding back the next
begining to understand
sweet juicy onion
in the palm of your hand

brave to peel 
the next layer
spicey as onions can be
a tear begins to form
a tear just for me

now you are intoxicated
as only an onion can do
you pull back again
translucent flesh
coming through

sweeter and sweeter
I become
as you genlty find my core
you've settled in
found your way
what a delectable
delicious score

Copyright © 2014 Christi Michaels.
All Rights Reserved.
*Just a Little Ditty!*
What is death, I ask.
What is life, you ask.
I give them both my buttocks,
my two wheels rolling off toward Nirvana.
They are neat as a wallet,
opening and closing on their coins,
the quarters, the nickels,
straight into the crapper.
Why shouldn't I pull down my pants
and moon the executioner
as well as paste raisins on my *******?
Why shouldn't I pull down my pants
and show my little ***** to Tom
and Albert? They wee-wee funny.
I wee-wee like a squaw.
I have ink but no pen, still
I dream that I can **** in God's eye.
I dream I'm a boy with a zipper.
It's so practical, la de dah.
The trouble with being a woman, Skeezix,
is being a little girl in the first place.
Not all the books of the world will change that.
I have swallowed an orange, being woman.
You have swallowed a ruler, being man.
Yet waiting to die we are the same thing.
Jehovah pleasures himself with his axe
before we are both overthrown.
Skeezix, you are me. La de dah.
You grow a beard but our drool is identical.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Today is November 14th, 1972.
I live in Weston, Mass., Middlesex County,
U.S.A., and it rains steadily
in the pond like white puppy eyes.
The pond is waiting for its skin.
the pond is waiting for its leather.
The pond is waiting for December and its Novocain.

It begins:

What can you say of your last seven days?

They were tired.

One day is enough to perfect a man.

I watered and fed the plant.


My undertaker waits for me.
he is probably twenty-three now,
learning his trade.
He'll stitch up the gren,
he'll fasten the bones down
lest they fly away.
I am flying today.
I am not tired today.
I am a motor.
I am cramming in the sugar.
I am running up the hallways.
I am squeezing out the milk.
I am dissecting the dictionary.
I am God, la de dah.
Peanut butter is the American food.
We all eat it, being patriotic.

Ms. Dog is out fighting the dollars,
rolling in a field of bucks.
You've got it made if you take the wafer,
take some wine,
take some bucks,
the green papery song of the office.
What a jello she could make with it,
the fives, the tens, the twenties,
all in a goo to feed the baby.
Andrew Jackson as an hors d'oeuvre,
la de dah.
I wish I were the U.S. Mint,
turning it all out,
turtle green
and monk black.
Who's that at the podium
in black and white,
blurting into the mike?
Ms. Dog.
Is she spilling her guts?
You bet.
Otherwise they cough...
The day is slipping away, why am I
out here, what do they want?
I am sorrowful in November...
(no they don't want that,
they want bee stings).
Toot, toot, tootsy don't cry.
Toot, toot, tootsy good-bye.
If you don't get a letter then
you'll know I'm in jail...
Remember that, Skeezix,
our first song?

Who's thinking those things?
Ms. Dog! She's out fighting the dollars.
Milk is the American drink.
Oh queens of sorrows,
oh water lady,
place me in your cup
and pull over the clouds
so no one can see.
She don't want no dollars.
She done want a mama.
The white of the white.

Anne says:
This is the rainy season.
I am sorrowful in November.
The kettle is whistling.
I must butter the toast.
And give it jam too.
My kitchen is a heart.
I must feed it oxygen once in a while
and mother the mother.


Say the woman is forty-four.
Say she is five seven-and-a-half.
Say her hair is stick color.
Say her eyes are chameleon.
Would you put her in a sack and bury her,
**** her down into the dumb dirt?
Some would.
If not, time will.
Ms. Dog, how much time you got left?
Ms. Dog, when you gonna feel that cold nose?
You better get straight with the Maker
cuz it's coming, it's a coming!
The cup of coffee is growing and growing
and they're gonna stick your little doll's head
into it and your lungs a gonna get paid
and your clothes a gonna melt.
Hear that, Ms. Dog!
You of the songs,
you of the classroom,
you of the pocketa-pocketa,
you hungry mother,
you spleen baby!
Them angels gonna be cut down like wheat.
Them songs gonna be sliced with a razor.
Them kitchens gonna get a boulder in the belly.
Them phones gonna be torn out at the root.
There's power in the Lord, baby,
and he's gonna turn off the moon.
He's gonna nail you up in a closet
and there'll be no more Atlantic,
no more dreams, no more seeds.
One noon as you walk out to the mailbox
He'll ****** you up --
a wopman beside the road like a red mitten.

There's a sack over my head.
I can't see. I'm blind.
The sea collapses.
The sun is a bone.
Hi-** the derry-o,
we all fall down.
If I were a fisherman I could comprehend.
They fish right through the door
and pull eyes from the fire.
They rock upon the daybreak
and amputate the waters.
They are beating the sea,
they are hurting it,
delving down into the inscrutable salt.


When mother left the room
and left me in the *******
and sent away my kitty
to be fried in the camps
and took away my blanket
to wash the me out of it
I lay in the soiled cold and prayed.
It was a little jail in which
I was never slapped with kisses.
I was the engine that couldn't.
Cold wigs blew on the trees outside
and car lights flew like roosters
on the ceiling.
Cradle, you are a grave place.

What color is the devil?

Black and blue.

What goes up the chimney?

Fat Lazarus in his red suit.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Ms. Dog prefers to sunbathe ****.
Let the indifferent sky look on.
So what!
Let Mrs. Sewal pull the curtain back,
from her second story.
So what!
Let United Parcel Service see my parcel.
La de dah.
Sun, you hammer of yellow,
you hat on fire,
you honeysuckle mama,
pour your blonde on me!
Let me laugh for an entire hour
at your supreme being, your Cadillac stuff,
because I've come a long way
from Brussels sprouts.
I've come a long way to peel off my clothes
and lay me down in the grass.
Once only my palms showed.
Once I hung around in my woolly tank suit,
drying my hair in those little meatball curls.
Now I am clothed in gold air with
one dozen halos glistening on my skin.
I am a fortunate lady.
I've gotten out of my pouch
and my teeth are glad
and my heart, that witness,
beats well at the thought.

Oh body, be glad.
You are good goods.


Middle-class lady,
you make me smile.
You dig a hole
and come out with a sunburn.
If someone hands you a glass of water
you start constructing a sailboat.
If someone hands you a candy wrapper,
you take it to the book binder.

Once upon a time Ms. Dog was sixty-six.
She had white hair and wrinkles deep as splinters.
her portrait was nailed up like Christ
and she said of it:
That's when I was forty-two,
down in Rockport with a hat on for the sun,
and Barbara drew a line drawing.
We were, at that moment, drinking *****
and ginger beer and there was a chill in the air,
although it was July, and she gave me her sweater
to bundle up in. The next summer Skeezix tied
strings in that hat when we were fishing in Maine.
(It had gone into the lake twice.)
Of such moments is happiness made.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

Once upon a time we were all born,
popped out like jelly rolls
forgetting our fishdom,
the pleasuring seas,
the country of comfort,
spanked into the oxygens of death,
Good morning life, we say when we wake,
hail mary coffee toast
and we Americans take juice,
a liquid sun going down.
Good morning life.
To wake up is to be born.
To brush your teeth is to be alive.
To make a bowel movement is also desireable.
La de dah,
it's all routine.
Often there are wars
yet the shops keep open
and sausages are still fried.
People rub someone.
People copulate
entering each other's blood,
tying each other's tendons in knots,
transplanting their lives into the bed.
It doesn't matter if there are wars,
the business of life continues
unless you're the one that gets it.
Mama, they say, as their intestines
leak out. Even without wars
life is dangerous.
Boats spring leaks.
Cigarettes explode.
The snow could be radioactive.
Cancer could ooze out of the radio.
Who knows?
Ms. Dog stands on the shore
and the sea keeps rocking in
and she wants to talk to God.

Why talk to God?

It's better than playing bridge.


Learning to talk is a complex business.
My daughter's first word was utta,
meaning button.
Before there are words
do you dream?
In utero
do you dream?
Who taught you to ****?
And how come?
You don't need to be taught to cry.
The soul presses a button.
Is the cry saying something?
Does it mean help?
Or hello?
The cry of a gull is beautiful
and the cry of a crow is ugly
but what I want to know
is whether they mean the same thing.
Somewhere a man sits with indigestion
and he doesn't care.
A woman is buying bracelets
and earrings and she doesn't care.
La de dah.

Forgive us, Father, for we know not.

There are stars and faces.
There is ketchup and guitars.
There is the hand of a small child
when you're crossing the street.
There is the old man's last words:
More light! More light!
Ms. Dog wouldn't give them her buttocks.
She wouldn't moon at them.
Just at the killers of the dream.
The bus boys of the soul.
Or at death
who wants to make her a mummy.
And you too!
Wants to stuf her in a cold shoe
and then amputate the foot.
And you too!
La de dah.
What's the point of fighting the dollars
when all you need is a warm bed?
When the dog barks you let him in.
All we need is someone to let us in.
And one other thing:
to consider the lilies in the field.
Of course earth is a stranger, we pull at its
arms and still it won't speak.
The sea is worse.
It comes in, falling to its knees
but we can't translate the language.
It is only known that they are here to worship,
to worship the terror of the rain,
the mud and all its people,
the body itself,
working like a city,
the night and its slow blood
the autumn sky, mary blue.
but more than that,
to worship the question itself,
though the buildings burn
and the big people topple over in a faint.
Bring a flashlight, Ms. Dog,
and look in every corner of the brain
and ask and ask and ask
until the kingdom,
however queer,
will come.
Shadow Paradox Aug 2015
Creatively I died inside a butterfly’s wing
Buried in the womb of a bird’s song


Planted deep in a spiders imagination
Twisted, converted
Underneath a pyramid
Midriff monsoon
Against the red noon of the Moon’s
Lunar tunes

Nightmares growing from daydreams
Like weeds
Reflecting the soul as darkness gleams
Broken seeds

The eyes of the Owl see
As wisdom he reads
Turn green with greed
No longer wise as pride
Glides and rides
Across the deceit of his landslide

Crashing like a crystal avalanche
Crushing lives and habitats
See one choice can lead back to the beginning
Of the first inning of a sliver lining
That has become dull

Losing its shine and luster
Like a haunted hall
In a old mansion cobwebbed with fluster
Skeletons and ghost threaded in walls
Shredded inside papery calls
Peeling from the owners fall

I’ve died inside the butterfly’s wing
The wing carved on a wedding ring
Its circle symbolizes my cycle
A tilted infinity inside the curve of clarity

Of my fall
That became a papery call
While threaded in a skeleton wall
Cobwebbed with fluster
Like a haunted hall
That has lost its shine and luster
Which became dull

Like the first inning of the silver lining
This choice has led back to the beginning
Crushing lives and habitats
Like a crystal avalanche
Crashing across the deceit of this landslide

Which glides and rides
No longer wise as pride
Turns green with greed
As wisdom he reads
The eyes of the Owl see
Broken seeds
Reflecting the soul as darkness gleams
Like nightmare and weeds
Growing from daydreams

Lunar tunes of the Moon
Glowing against red noon midriff monsoon
Underneath a pyramid
Twisted, converted
Planted deep in a spiders imagination
Buried in the womb of a bird’s song


For I’ve creatively died inside the ink of a butterfly’s wing
Dripping from an alien’s pen-well
Melting like clear gel
Faded and blurred
Secretly grew in between each verb
Hid myself in sentences
Like parables in genesis

With glee…

I impregnated the meaning inside me
Then birthed surrealism
In a chaotic schism
Between the fifth and second chord
Of a poetic discord
Liz McLaughlin May 2013
the magnolia was a bit of a *******
(as far as trees can be *******)
and like very many other things—
like japanese candy from the Fugi Mart in Greenwich
                                      (across from the McDonald’s and next to
                                             the music shop where I got my viola)
and like pokemon cards and nintendo gaming systems
and like Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” on a pink CD in a Hello Kitty radio
—that ******* of a magnolia was a distinctive taste
of the years I spent growing up in my house at the end of Wyndover Lane.

the ******* thing was almost perpetually in bloom.

it barged into both spring and autumn
(it didn’t give a **** about timing)
those pink and white spongy petals padding the ground
and at first you think it’s ******* beautiful
sitting in the crook of the trunk where it split into
                                                                two large
                                                       separate branches
tilting your chin back to catch a glimpse of blue between fat blossoms

then the petals start rotting
water-retentive little *******
and you can’t sweep ‘em away because they stick to the patio
brown clumps slipping under rubber soles
my dad lets loose a string of curses
and the magnolia shakes with laughter

I tried pressing the petals in a notebook once
while I was in that naturalist phase it seems all little girls go through
when you make fairy houses out of bark in the backyard
and put flowers between the pages of books because it feels
oh-so-much-more significant
than picking a pretty thing and showing it to mom

but the magnolia seeped through my spiral ring
and when I opened it up a month later they were dry tan papery things
not at all velveteen and rosy
and there were garish pink bloodstains all through the ten pages
on either side
magnolias don’t preserve well
except, honestly they do don’t they

then of course there’s that childhood tragedy that everyone has
when your dog got hit by some soccer mom’s suburban
or your teddy bear was lost in an airport
or maybe you just liked to cry because some things
were just really worth the tears at the time

but when I came home and found out they cut down my ******* ******* of a magnolia

I bawled

there wasn’t
Paulina Dec 2015
Your eyes
So deadly in the night
Rip the seems of my mouth apart
Oh and sugary kisses have long since turned bitter
Papery touches never leave traces
But words are echoed deep in my skin
Can't you hear
The echoes of our love songs
Spinning round and round
Thinking we could've turned it all around
Your laugh
I can still hear in my dreams
Tensing my muscles
There is no right way to find a distraction
What a cursed fatal attraction
Papery touches never leave traces
But words are echoed deep in my skin
Can't you hear
The echoes of our love songs
Spinning round and round
Thinking we could've turned it all around
When I'm ready I'll say it
God I beg you don't make it think it
Overturned and done
But I can still see through the page
The traces of our bygone age
Light touches deep cuts
Sweet kisses numb hugs
No easy way to find a distraction
What an unfortunate fatal attraction
Papery touches never leave traces
But words are echoed deep in my skin
Can't you hear
The echoes of our love songs
Spinning round and round
Thinking we could've turned it all around
Round and round
Round and round
Round turn it all around
ej Mar 2015
There is hope beyond a papery pharmacy
that is stocked with ink and sheepskin

The clerk is finicky and silent, and elixirs evaporate
as you browse the papyrus shelves

There is hope beyond this paper pharmacy,
so abandon poisons crafted by pen-laden fingers
To me, they're just words
There is this white wall, above which the sky creates itself --
Infinite, green, utterly untouchable.
Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference also.
They are my medium.
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.

A grey wall now, clawed and ******.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.

This red wall winces continually:
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two grey, papery bags --
This is what i am made of, this, and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and rain of pieties.

On a black wall, unidentifiable birds
Swivel their heads and cry.
There is no talk of immorality amoun these!
Cold blanks approach us:
They move in a hurry.
He looked at me
The way you look at
Stacked books
On a wooden shelf,
Carefully stroking my spine
After he's done it to
Three other stories
he'd gotten tired of.

Mr. Bookworm,
I am not a fictional option.
Yes, my cover is
And my last reader
Folded and tampered
With all my pages,
I only wish you'd
Treat this piece of literature
With respect.
You see, Mr. Bookworm,
I'm not a trilogy,
At least I'm not sure yet.
My Author isn't quite done with me. And I find it quite rude
That you stare at my papery insides,
Page after page,
Only to leave me
Back in the shelf,
Collecting dust.
Be patient with me, wandering reader.
Wait for my story
To reach it's ******.
Inhale my aging pages
Until you reach my resolution.
My apologies
For the times I've been
But wait with me
Till you've reached my story's ending.
Because I swear upon my
Mismatched table of contents,
It will be a story worth telling.
st64 Oct 2013
sense is seen
when scents on scene

jaunty-laddie walked and grabbed the sun out the sky
hid it leisurely in his back-pocket
while the candy jumped out the sweet-jar
and the farmer fed the dog to the food

an elm-tree nearby coughed nervously at the encroaching-air
as the letterbox chatted lively to the ivy-hedge
the wind popped by and whistled out a papery-sigh
that the clouds caught and flung into a blue swing-lasso

working out moves in ab-struck-shin
sweaters and jumpers* at the local gym got all scratchy
and went on strike to protest against the über-cool fridge
and gravity took a break
and we all
a way..!


S T - 26th of October, is it?
spot of facetious ink :)
when the world takes a healthy-break .. much of good doth come.. and larfs ensue :)

sub-entry: paint

bird flew high
so high..

the wind came by
and blew off
all its paint

its feelings got so hurt
it flew higher still
off to Arcturus
36.6 light years away
where candy-souls reside
Shadow Paradox Sep 2014
~Be You, Don't Change For No One~**

Smoking butterflies

Lilted with jade poison

Swirling into my jeweled lungs

I smile; high on madness


No one can defeat me now

The drug monster

Pulsing thru my veins

I feel I can rule this land


Though in reality

There is no such thing


Metaphors spill from my lips . . .

. . . my blood


Eyelids fluttering

Like the wings of a dove

Everything is blurry

White walls; nothing


I scream





In pain; lungs bursting

Mind racing

Heart beat beating---


I'm slowly dying

My paper body


Essence of butterflies


Floating around me

The ones I smoked

The ones I inhaled

They are killing me; whispered I


Though I am nothing but a page

Filled with Inkblots

Smudged . . .

My pen comes to save me; yet again


It rewrites me

Stitching new stories

Over my old scars

Creating a new me


Ink kisses my lips

Her chemicals seeping into my papery skin

Bleeding into me

I'm becoming a scroll


Decorated with so many rules


As I sigh

My pen stabs into me

Becoming me

I then scream ashes; everything fades black


Awakening . . .

I've become a notebook

Staring up at myself

I watch my own face





. . . Disturbed


Pen in my hand

I open myself

Taking the pen

The one, which stabbed me


Ink bleeds

Onto my pages

I feel my pain,

My obsessions, my happiness . . .


I watch as the spirit of writing

Leaves my body

Folding itself between my pages

Like a bookmark


The pen falls from my hand

Landing on me

I watch mystified

As the pen whispers


"No one can defeat you now

This is your land,

Your rules, your soul

Welcome to the notebook life'


"You wanted something better

So I remade you"


-B-but this is not what I want-

I plead; trying to cry

But notebooks don't cry

Only the ink can cry for me; the ink from my pen


The pen chuckled

"Then my friend . . .

Be careful what you wish for

You didn't want to be human"


"So I made you

Into something better

You are useful now

You are popular"


I tried to scream

But I saw myself get up, snatching the smiling pen

I closed myself

Only to be open again when needed . . .
-Be You- Don't change for anyone only for yourself- [The poem is a bit strange but its about not changing for anyone, just be you, because you are beautiful, Sometimes I don't like who I am but I have to remind myself that I'm different . . . you get the idea]
brandon nagley Nov 2015
Taketh the weapon's
Out of the young
Poor man's hand's;

And replace the gun
In the palm's
Of the old, rich beastly men;

Send the young boy's
Who art but eighteen;

Let the greedy
Fight their own war
For their oil, gold, and papery green.

©Brandon Nagley
©Lonesome poets poetry
Shadow Paradox Dec 2014
Ivory-teal ruffled his parochial feathers
His tongue dipped in languages
He wanted to learn the pronunciation of life
As he folded himself in Egyptian ink

He opened his mind against the dioramic surface of syllables
Painted in alloy; dripping from a papery canvas
He brushed his ivory creme feathers
in crimson and lavender hieroglyphics
Bleeding their pictorial valor inside a golden sepia lantern

"Go on, light the world with your suspense and mystery"

Ivory-teal twittered to himself
Wrapping the bijoux night around his little body
he disappeared into the stars
The teal birthmark on his forehead; glowing

He took the lantern in his gold beak
fluttering away into spirals of smoke
Toward Mythology mountain
Where a storm of butterflies
were winging their seasonal weather

Ivory-teal sometimes wished he could be a candle flame
Flickering in the darkest of moments
Letting the sunshine bleed through his beautiful feathers and soft skin

But his destiny was a bit different
He was folded in cultural prophetic proverbs and
sewed neatly in parabolic traditions
Where nationality is mixed into colorful pixels inside skin
Accents are curved in throats and lilted on the edge of tongues

Ivory-teal was carved in diamond flex dreams
In a temple of mythical patterns
Imprinted in mercury cocoons laminated with knowledge
The Angel Apostles printed him in their book of Dreamtales
Where he became a bilingual silhouette

He was birthed right here on this mountain
As he balanced himself on thoughts
He had learned to love himself to this point of his life
He wanted to be the change he wanted in the world
He gently lifted the little lantern

It rose up toward the sun and exploded into rainbow fireworks
The contexts that were inside split sideways
Tilting and pressing themselves into the air particles

If birds could smile then that would've been Ivory-teal
As he laughed quietly

"Now breathe in earthlings, breath in the wonders and knowledge of life"

He then spread his gorgeous ivory creme wings
tattooed with all the languages of the world and life itself
He twirled into the sunset and bled himself in a cloud

A mountaineer had been watching and wondered to himself
As he unknowingly breathed in the context from Ivory-teal's lantern

"If flying is a language I would love to learn and speak it with my wings"

But shouldn't he know that language already
For it is the language of freedom
Ivory-teal is one of many symbolic accents
Of that beautiful language
Jessie Feb 2011
Today is a day for special tea,
For muffin flowers
That spread their papery petals
Upon the table
Before being devoured by a

I'd like to tell you all about it,
But my mouth is full of

Follow me to the land of
Tea and Honey!
And a very merry unbirthday to you!
(did anyone get the innuendo? ;)  )

i'm in a silly mood today <3
Veronica Smith Jun 2013
The girl’s corneas expand over the small black abyss of pupil
Tides of blue and hazel rising over onyx isles
An unhinged eyelash balances precariously on its neighbor
It evaporates with her quick blink

Directly beneath her right eye
Below the mottled eggplant shadows
The corpse of a capillary drains among the freckles
Subterranean rivers of vein
Pulse under thin skin

Her nose is spherical
Etched by soft papery scars
Pores round and gazing
Culminating in a uniform valley

Lips are soft and pink and unkissed
A source for a  small steady trickle of pride
Her mother’s lips
But behind the outer façade
The seamed surface is rough with nervous nibbles
Ribboned with scars of worries and troubles

She lacks fourteen teeth
Absent since the womb
Those she has are either sickly infants or filled with grainy mystery metallics
Some entirely fabricated with spatulas of amalgam
Yellowed and cracking
Rough and worn
Spongy inner marrow screaming with pain
She hides the stony incisors from view

The hair
Curling and waving
Kissing with reptilian tongues at her cheeks
Framing her face in brambles and cowlicks
Indecisive of its true form
Fuzzy with moisture
Unwilling to obey
The strands of a gorgon
A monstrous tangle of personality
Instantly recognizable
Her hands attempt to soothe the undulating tendrils
But they anger
As stubborn as her
Refuse treatment
She gives up
Rinses her hands
And turns away from the mirror
"Do you like wasabi peas?"

She hands me a small sage-green orb.

"It's hot, spicy," she says, nodding encouragingly. "Have you ever had wasabi?"

It tastes like horseradish and is not at all spicy in comparison to the chile-spiced mango I've been snacking on. I nod and smile to her approvingly.

Before I know it, she's handing me a chocolate sandwich cookie and without saying a word, going back to the duty of putting away the groceries. It's delicious.

Jivy, upbeat soul music blasts from an iPhone speaker dock. The kitchen faucet is running. Cabinets, the dish washer, opening and closing like a delicate rhythm.

He was building a fire pit outside, thick white smoke billowing up into the sky. But it started to pour a soft summer rain, as it had two or three times already that day. The world beyond the kitchen is grey, wet, happy. The shabby porch is used to being drenched in rain, the mason jars filled with dead cigarettes and the disarrayed furniture.

With more than one person in the narrow stretch of kitchen, it's a crowed party. I watch on from my chair in the breakfast nook. She chops vegetables on the counter for cold gazpacho soup.

She, in a delicate red rose skirt. The men except for me in cargo shorts.

I'm drinking flat Dr. Pepper from a painted mug, instead of something hard like I might want. The sip of black beer he gave me tasted like soy sauce. It fizzled on the porch a bit.

"Oh, ****!" he said, putting his hand with the overflowing beer out the door while standing partly inside.


Asking the cook for permission, he sits down across from me and begins to sing a song on a guitar. A sad song, one that he's played before. Maybe the only one he knows.

I sit in my chair and watch it all go by. I take out a book from my bag to look like I want to read it. I'm really just sitting here, like a fly stuck tragically on the fly paper he hung in the kitchen two nights ago. Lying there all sprawled awkwardly, eyes open to what's around me.

He finishes the song. "Beautiful," she says, gathering papery remains of an onion and tossing them into a plastic bin. He strums another tune. His voice is untrained and not hard to listen to if not a tad syrupy and self-aware. A bit like the way he carries his wide personality.

He answers questions from across the room, interrupting the melody for a few seconds now and then. The two men are on separate wavelengths. But the singer didn't seem to mind being interrupted. They must have grown up with this dynamic, the men. It's a story they tell easily.


"Buongiorno!" she says, slicing a lemon.

"Hey, you have a nice accent. Arrivederci!" says the guitar-player.

"Arrivederci!" she responds, playing up the dialect with sweetness.

"Good deal." He says, striking up another tune. He puts on a different voice. Deeper, with more swing, like a caricature country-western singer. His voice fills the space.

Our mugs are gathered all together, mixed up in a menagerie of colors and shapes at the end of the kitchen counter. I brought several of mine from home and they mingle with the others unnoticeably. Multi-colored ones from Poland. Mine, purchased at various thrift stores. All of them stacked awkwardly and happy.

He asks me if I want to share a smoke on the wet porch. I say "Not right now. Maybe later, though."
Sydney Ranson Mar 2014
I would crack it open over the sink.
I would split
               first, the stiff, waxy skin
               then the inner membrane, papery and white and fleshy
and reveal a thousand rubies, nestled in their pulp.
And as my hands glossed, sticky and scarlet,
I would press my index finger to the center of my tongue
and **** the sharp juice with such ardency
that you would become
               the pink in my spit
               and the thick in my mouth.
I would take careful notice not to lose a single jewel,
but to fully consume.
I would not mind your seeds
lodged between my molars.
Perhaps I would even keep them there as long as I could
               because you are my favorite flavor.
And perhaps after your juice has spilled and painted maps on my arms
and dripped from my elbows,
I would piece the shell back together,
tuck it in your chest behind your ribs, and close you up.
And perhaps then,
               when I had licked its walls clean
               when I had emptied its insides,
then there would be room for me.
Juliana Feb 2014
Sleep is timed to the minute,
my breaths let out lazy smoke
icicles make goose bumps into paragraphs
books written on my arms through yellow mist
bare feet in the morning on my rooftops
counting international planes in the sky.

My migrant bones take to the sky,
each moderate minute
that passes by on my rooftops,
increases the rawness of smoke
like lung-fulls of lemon mist
spewing a nebula of paragraphs.

In the murk of paragraphs
red papery ashes explode into the sky
leaving a cloud of syllable mist.
The last fragile minute
reduces my shivers to smoke,
a winter shell of shoulders on rooftops.

Double exposed film across rooftops
turn silhouettes into paragraphs,
a congregation of vapours and smoke
speaking soliloquies into the sky.
I am minute,
dissipating into canary mist.

Billows of ocean mist
make my fingers melancholy on rooftops
where a tidal minute
freezes salty foam paragraphs
a vacation from the sky,
my mossy perch and violet smoke.

Heliotropic smoke
spirals against dense mist;
fine rain blinding the sky
soaking lemonade rooftops.
My bed of paragraphs
curls into an illegible minute.

The lilac smoke in my eyes is almost minute.
A mustard mist wrinkles the paragraphs,
like the purple sky dropping over the rooftops.
part of my sestina series
statictitanic Nov 2014
I want you
to rip every vein from my skin
pull them out like worms from the ground
touch my blood
and **** in the pure guilt
I have drowned myself in
pull my teeth out
and drag them along my naked body
carve shapes into this dead, papery flesh
don't forget the ruby red lipstick
cake it onto my betraying, seductive lips
let your arms travel everywhere it pleases
yank my hair
grab the strands and brush them over my face
my finger nails, paint them white like purity
wrapped in the ****** Mary
Last, don't forget my
Rip it from the connecting arteries
and let me feel the sting
and watch your hands too, tinted in my beautiful red

I am your canvas
I am your doll
I am your **** that
Nobody will ever know
Because under all this...
I'm dead.
Kahara Jones Jun 2013
The glasses in this restaurant
are spotted with finger-oil
and when held up to the sun,
you can see a misty cloud trapped within them,
just barely holding back the intoxicating light.

The papers in this restaurant-  a collection of unpaid bills and torn menus, are painted with the sweat of the workers, wilted by the heat, and wait to be thrown to the fire.
When held up to the sun,
you can see each splatter of grease and each drizzle of spit together as Picasso's inspiration,
unyielding to the light, whispering yes to each piercing ray.

The people in this restaurant
are spotted with needle-ink
and when held up to the sun,
you can almost see a nest of organs through their papery skin,
which invite the light to seep, seep in.

But the glasses, and the papers, and the people stay, planted on the table, or the swivel chairs, or the rotten floor.  The light waits outside.
Waverly Nov 2011
I am not a writer.

I am a fox
in a man-suit
pretending to be a writer.

Just to trick you all.

Just to trick myself.

If I put down
the pen
and the pretententiousness;
pulled the costume off
in a papery rip like a jet breaking the sky,
looked in the mirror
to see
that fire of fur,
then it would mean
that there is something inside of me that I've been using as fuel.

Alaska Jan 2014
What am I to you?
Surely, I am nothing more
Than a cigarette of yours.
You've had many like me before,
And you will have many more like me to come.
You keep me in your back pocket at all times,
Craving the touch of your lips
On my papery skin.
When you finally choose me,
It's heaven in my heart.
I feel fireworks, like the spark of a lighter
Igniting my love and soul.
You taunt me with the promise of a good night's kiss,
But all I receive are a few false kisses blown my way,
And eventually,
You drop me on the floor,
And stomp.
You'll leave me there, sparks extinguished and heart in fragments,
Watching your lips do their beautiful dance
On another just like me.

Forever forgotten. Forever irrelevant. Forever inept.

Breathe me in.
Inhale me.
Tempt, but never touch.
What am I to you?
Surely, I am nothing more
Than a cigarette of yours.

Lora Lee Mar 2017
and to you
I make myself
           a gift
to be held in palm
s l o w l y,
apparition of
yet firm,
with backbone
       and as you trace
your fingers
upon the small
      of it,
running them
         of spine
watching my skin
          slip from
rough ache han
smooth quake
know that
crisp wrappings
of papery
beats the ultimate
of ceremonial offerings:
the present of
       my presence,
shimmering like
blood on lava
ready for you
to dip your
      heart into
         lips parting
as my breath fills your
     spirit's cavern
slick dip
        of opening
as you draw
    shadows from
my deepest
Cimmerian caves
  ******* them through  
in siphon's pull
to the side of light
around you and
deep inside
you split
  oh so gently
and fully
Leah Ward Dec 2012
I inhaled sparks.
Because sparks are love.
And cigarette butts
Aren't sparks anymore,
Just papery ash,
But some have a few
Sparks left over.

I inhaled sparks
from the cigarette ash
Of a cigarette
Of a Giant.
In his station wagon  
He saw me wandering
Down the side of the highway
Looking for that fix.
He rolled down his window
Tapped his cigarette against the edge
And spent sparks flying.
I waited as they
Floated towards my nostrils and
I inhaled sparks
That were actually ash
But I didn't know any better.
raingirlpoet Oct 2014
i'm not proud to say
i'm 85 lbs
that's not much of a girl
but i remember
when being 85 lbs
was all i ever wanted
when i craved a flat stomach
thin wrists
a gap between my thighs so wide
when i spent my days
filling my belly with water and air
taking lunches to school
but not eating them
instead tossing them in the trash because the smell of fresh fruit
made me sick
when i look in the mirror
i see the ghost and skeleton of a girl
who's in recovery
and i'm disgusted
85 lbs
is not much of a girl
i remember when all i wanted
was to be smaller, smaller
when i was 80 i wanted to be 75
75 wasn't enough so i kept purging til i hit 70
70 wasn't enough
65 wasn't enough
nothing would ever be enough
0 would never be enough
-10 would never be enough
i remember when they forced needles into my papery skin
i remember when 80 was enough for me to keep my life
and i remember
when i decided
i would always be enough
i had an eating disorder. i have an eating disorder.
Nothing Much Jan 2015
The other day I told you about how I sometimes get the urge to eat tree bark
The flaky, papery kind that peels from the trunks of certain trees
Just a little, just to try it
You told me that was ******* weird

I'm more honest with you than I am with myself
You are my diary, a shoebox of secrets
And I tell you everything that runs through my head
You know me inside and out, like the back of your hand, like your favorite book

I want to be your hometown
I want you to find a place in me where you can be safe
And shed your skin, be as naked as I am
Let me be your shelter
Together, we can hide from the snow
Until the world thaws out
Nico Bee Aug 2012
For I to cherish soaked in sunbathe dream of freckles on cream and strawberries
For you to see and sigh and fill with warm fizzy pink water too sweet to contemplate 
For you to see and sigh and long for long sleeved sheathed in jealousy spilling out in bright red syrup

For I to paint faces with my utterances fanciful making ugly alluring curious mysterious attractive

I can take my nose to be strength clever seducting wicked men and women to listen to my describes or look upon papyrus sheets

I can make my jaw a naive child stricken with blue veins translucent skin clinging papery like wings to brittle bones under eaves ready to snap

I can write my eyes wide innocent in first time headlights first time frosted firsts filled with empty antecedents of unclasped things and fifty fifty longings

I can make the ugly striking like a stinging snake cruel contemplating lashing smarts or make it sad sorrowful quiet longing new to life love mature but still a child

I can add grace poise to my stretched out neck make it stand tall of pride training because it's ladylike to do so and so I must and say my prayers every night too as I powder over my faintly drawn freckles

Boyish humour uncaring to my generous brows a baseball mitt bubblegum cards and a fetish for goths forever unrecognised as spit flies and at home haircuts compose a flyaway life

Embellish the hollows collarbones and detract the too-broad shoulders make the frailty proud and small shrink it down to fit in a girl big brothers to gentle and lovers to rough pinned wrists that near snap

With my words I reap the benefits of my own mindly kindling I wander through half made times in history and finished times two seconds right now 

I can create myself and so I do my thirst to be is insatiably insatisfied like my attraction to bad grammar and lilts when you talk so I do I become each and every one 

I create myself and it's addicting
September Mar 2012
I am caught
In gold rays.
He plays with my strings.
Plucks and pulls at my papery wings
That flutter and beat
For the lights on the street.
Drags me in through attraction
When night is black and goth.
Just like a magnet.
Just like a moth.
I look up at the skylight
Rain drops coalescing
The reflection of a few drops
Dancing on the wall
In the breeze
Which is more
A gale
Howling and loud
Destroying trees

A silvery strand of a cobweb
Dances and shimmers
In the pale sun
Playing hide and seek
The silence in my room
So loud
The thunder outside
So far

The daffodils on my windowsill
Have died and dried
Papery petals, a brilliant amber now
Green stalks greedily still drinking
While the petals thirst
The tops of the trees
Through my window
Freshly showered
Move like a woman
Dancing for her lover

And yet
I think of Delhi
Desertlike and brown
Hostile and cruel
The dirt streaked faces
The shining eyes
Of the beggar children
At crossings
The eunuchs who bully
The traffic, the fumes
The noise that deafens
The rich women who flaunt
Diamonds and lovers
The clubs for the haves
The stares from the have-nots
And I come back
To the music of the rain
On the skylight
And the chirp of a bird
Somewhere far away
MereCat Dec 2014
There are two ‘Institutions for the Mentally Ill’ in my town
One is grimly Victorian. Lunatic Asylum.  
Forgotten by all but the pigeons and pylons
As it thrashes and wrangles and mangles the memories
Of the ghosts of the ghosts that lived out their non-lives there.
The other is a modern, glass, Christmas tree
A circus tent in brown and beige
Like sepia and coffee stains.
You aren’t Lunatics anymore, we got told
Like renaming a problem could diminish it.
You slip past us just a little too quickly
So that you don’t see the woman who smokes cheap cigarettes
Out the front
And who bites December like it was something that could be torn from the walls
And pressed out of sight somewhere
And the metaphors in her head get muddled in her oesophagus
And she speaks to a man who’s never been evicted from her right ear
And who’s never been born or been buried but has simply whispered
With meretricious comfort
Up the road you could pay to gawp at the carol singers
But why bother because she’s singing
Driving Home For Christmas
Like no-one ever wrote her a melody or an audience
Gives a nice festive atmosphere, our psychiatrist said
And I asked the car park if optimism had ever been so odious
And if the snow around our feet was ‘festive’ and ‘nice’
While a girl as papery as December
Tried to smother herself in it
She rolled it in her bare hands as if hoping there’d be nothing left of her
If she could only freezer her heart
And scrape back the whiteness of the snow and her skin to the ivory
That still lingered beneath
Unstable death trap, rigged scaffolding
Although it was threatening to slice its way out
From her shrinking face and arms and thighs.
She lay down and made a snow angel in the hope that she’d become one
If she could only riddle out a way to please Anorexia.
And did the car park see that no one cares that there’s a fourteen year old
Who’s hung a cigarette from his lips and is chewing on it
Because what more damage can be done
That isn’t already curdled and notched into the skin of his wrists?
And written into the lining of his skull
Or branded in each heckled vein or carved into his gums
By the lip piercing he’s worn since he was twelve.
He has pulled the arms of his sweater beyond his finger tips
And hugged them into him to stop the secrets
He’s stashed there from spilling in front of a car.
If only he could forget what he was.
And I kick my boots against the curled up world
And want to shout it out of my vision
And want to ask if I’m thinking ‘nice festive’ thoughts
Because I’m thinking about the snow I’m ploughing  
And the way that I’d like to tie fairy lights
Over my eyes until I can’t see anything but fairy tales
And I’m thinking about our parade of broken-bottle people
Wearing masks so empty that we don’t look human
Not to you
And I wonder if this is enough of a pantomime for you
That I’ve dressed my thoughts up in drag
And they’re telling you a ****** joke from a ****** Christmas *******
Thoughts rolled and congealed like the rims of strained bathtubs
Thoughts broken and fleeting and self-imploding like headphones
That got left to tangle beyond redemption in a back pocket
Too far gone to be saved
Thoughts that are forever curled back to the replay button
Re-destruct, re-punish, re-****
Pink Elephant thoughts that will never be sorted and thrown out
Cynical self-disposal
I’m on a retrieval mission that never knows what it’s trying to find
Because I’m a Chinese doll
And each face is cruller
And uglier
And blanker
Than the one before it
Until at the centre you find that the last doll is missing
And there are only a few jumbled messages where she’s supposed to be
And fairy lights
And maybe a memory of when Christmas meant stockings and fireside
Not carparks and frigidity
If only all my ******* repeats led to redemption.
We’ve built you a snowman, is that enough of a freak show for you?
Can you move on and join the carol singers in glorifying God
Safely out of Purgatory and back on holy ground
Or do you require something more?
The pitiful Christmas Dinner that’s currently being counted out in teaspoons?
The girls and the boy who’ll press their fingers across their lips
Like prison bars
And keep themselves under lock and key in their own
Lunatic Asylum
weirdodarling Feb 2018
Tilted hips
Hungry lips
Deep breaths
Papery gasps

One finger
A whimper of pleasure
Pleading for a requitement
Kelly McCarthy Jan 2014
A swift
the edge
of the cliff
a prickle
of dust
and pine.
Soft guitar
Drums steady
a beckoning call
Of nature’s
the loss
of technology
the freedom
of the world.
on golden
she’ll carry me
to a land
The wild
a soft
rain upon
my gritty skin.
will waken
the lulling
of big eyed
papery birch
beneath the wild
in a flurry
of cabin
smoky lungs.
Inspired by the music created by Danny Schmidt.

— The End —