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Em MacKenzie May 2019
You know I have every right to feel this anger swelling,
betrayal and heartbreak were the cards you wished to deal.
You say the future has no sure way of telling,
but I’m telling you now and you’re ignoring what I feel.

Try to save yourself, from the truth,
this time you won’t get my help,
so continue on acting aloof.
You know that I’m right to say,
if the tables had been turned,
it would all play out in a different way,
it’d be my name slandered and burned.

Please don’t make me live without you,
show me some mercy and be forgiving,
‘cause to be honest I’ll admit a fact painfully true,
life without you; I wouldn’t call that living.

You know I have a secret smile
that you and only you get to see
and I know that it’s been a while,
I don’t smile much at all lately.
You’ll take me, then you’ll break me and then fault me for the cracks.
You’ll shake me, and forsake me,
and try to wipe out and cover your tracks.

There’s this hole that’s essential
and it no longer can be filled.
A space in time so monumental,
I might as well have been killed

Please don’t make me live without you,
show me some mercy and be forgiving,
the skies are dark and it’s I that is blue,
as life without you; I wouldn’t call that living.

You are the one my heart beats for,
but you also brutally beat my heart.
You are the one that I completely adore,
but when I flatline can you restart?

Please don’t make me live without you,
show me some mercy and be forgiving,
there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do,
‘cause life without you; I wouldn’t call that living.

You know I’d never wish to hurt you,
before seeing you weep I’d choose to die.
But I could never even think to dessert you,
‘cause there’s no good in goodbye.

Do you feel a weight of regret,
do you even feel slightly bad?
‘Cause since the first day we met,
you said you’d still love me even wearing plaid on plaid.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Where do we meet
    Oh! No He_*
Getting onto
the next courses
Oh La- La "Cheri"
K>ANSAS>>City

_ Prime spot pretty

 let's >- jump ))) To Love
Please raise the horses

What a skirt steak in her
Petticoat Junction
Going to Kansas City affection
Different tribe or breed
What needs to love me
tender Elvis meet Beavis Buthead
    More  T.L.C  
computer DOC Tick Tock
IRS taking a meat beef
chunk is everybody drunk
IOS what is really the meat
Business Politician Trump

Subscribe well done
Cooked or rare spooked
Taking a Spin City kick
She got canned and licked
The prime meat hot seat

The ******* who arrives
first class steak knifes
Ms. Pork hard chew 
Mr. Beans second rate
Dark pumpernickel
Saloon *******, he
is eating
The young tender
chicken leg

High five thigh? Hands
up Robin Fly
Save the meat "let it be"
  "Let it Be" Beatles
The beat Colonel deep fried
Grade A rare meat slicing

Eating in a board meeting
The pig meat market
of pricing

Doe a deer
he loves
International beer
A very sensitive time
Slaughterhouse no way out
His poker face meets
potato heads beef jerky
Surrender Weds
maple smiles picky
The rich Syrup
Disney Mickey Mouse
Kansas City Wonder
meat house

The beauty of animals
"Moms kettle she is talking
to Parrots" meat
the market for rings riot
Six enemies making
6 rounds
Six servants 666 carats
Robin smiles heartily
"Campbells Chicken" little


He's the Beef Man stew
If you only knew

He's spitting tobacco chew
She peels the potato for the
meathead bad to the
T-bone Dachshund I Bone

Garlic knots heart of the
Sausage wearing the
meat corsage Superbowl
My sweet basil good soul
Grilling your bullhead
Pirate Ribeye steak pupils
Mr. "Billygoat" Bachelorette
Hair flat crepe Suzette

Moms Korean style fuss
coleslaw
what a seesaw
Playing Porgy and Bess
 Scarlet the red rare meat
Rolling stone baking pin
Mississippi one or two
Under my meaty thumb

Comes in three-4-5-6- Lucky 7
-Crazy 8 furries
Nine meat ribs-10 babies
with bibs
Hungry Man meat when!!
Country plaid tablecloth
"Kansas Men" of the cloth
The Pig approval
Kansas City Mayor
new arrival

Family together eating
Don't eat our animals
Why is life so unfair
Feeding the poor
with cans
The bad cut of meat devil
this is not the "Grade A"
This is not a ring
circus trainer Bullseye

Robin coffee animal-friendly
Two peas in a pod I pods
  I tune like Gods
Were the luckiest people to have
animals  

The Floridian with dog murals
Palm trees green thumb
plants sunshine events
The symphony dog tails
of hunts
Whats to compare her twilight
eyes hold the moment stare
Talk to the animal's hearts care
The barbecue all the meat men and the women who love their fruit listen to the Owl lady how she hoots those Kansas city slicker boots and the Hehaw have a good time with family and friends treat the animals with tender loving care
Sarah Richards Apr 2015
What's so
**** about a
cigarette hanging
out of your mouth
and
an old Russian
book,
a line of
tiny sculptures
Greek and Roman
myths portrayed
in stone?

What's so
thrilling about your
old raincoat
your umbrella stand
the plaid,
    the plaid
the sheets
of all the papers
that you wrote
about Athena
and Mykonos

I can't take any more
stone and plaid
Mike Hauser Nov 2014
my favorite plaid shirt

smells of her perfume

letting memories saunter in

like she did to a room

now that it's all over

what else is there to do

except to wear my favorite plaid shirt

that smells of her perfume
When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
"Come out, you dogs, and fight!" said I,
And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.
I sit and say, "The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won--
The difference is small, my son."

Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called Philosophy.
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
mask Feb 2012
If I could,
I would paint my room
The plaid of your old red flannel.

Rusty, ripped,
Rich with every piece of poor filth
Life has tossed your way.

I know you will go,
And I may forget,
But my red plaid walls
Will stay.
s y k Mar 2014
Many people have asked
why I seem so empty
and I found myself arguing
about how that wasn't true.
Yet here I am,
reminiscing painted blue skies,
nostalgic, for back then
for us,
for you.

When mornings began with casual long walks
plaid skirts,
black coffee,
the daylight's warmth.
Arm in arm, against all odds
we had laughed
we had sung
we were wild, we were young.

I'll remain yearning for those Bambi brown eyes,
long chestnut hair,
darling little dents of delight.

Distant yet close
for I think of you always.

Wishing for time to fly
to when I can hold you in my arms
again.
To my best friend. I wish you were here.
Stephan May 2016


Vagabond brothers in plaid patchwork socks
Crossing the street between stripes painted yellow
Stretching the avenue half past the hour
Dodging the drunk, he’s a staggering fellow
Reaching for handles of brass alabaster
Gathering things at a grocery store
Paying in cash with a currency foreign
Offering nickels, they don’t have much more
Pork chops on Sunday and sweet apple cider
Pushing their cart over ten city blocks
Still they are known for their colorful fashions
Vagabond brothers in plaid patchwork socks
I was given the title and challenged to write a poem to it
Ayeglasses May 2013
I've noticed something.
That it's always plaid.
Something about it.
Ends up being sad.

The perfect lines.
And colors.
Are mines.
For me and for others.

Even from across the room.
I can see it.
I can see it.
I wonder if anyone remembers.
That the embers to that fire.
Were red.
Red **Plaid.
Kate Apr 2014
When i was 13 I thought that gay and straight were things that other people were
People that weren't raised christian
People that didn't have dads
People that were abused
People that i should pray for but not get close to

when i was 14 my best friend came out as gay
i didn't see it coming but i probably should have
she wore ties every day
and plaid shirts with the sleeves rolled up
and cut her hair short as soon as she could
but i didn’t see it because gay was other people

when i was 14 i watched as the news spread like wildfire
“did you hear? that girl is gay.”
I watched as people slowly backed away from her
people that knew her all her life
that is, the people that didn’t cut her off instantly

I watched as the youth group we had both attended asked her to leave
I watched as her drama group kicked her out because they were afraid of the yearly camp we went to
that somehow knowing that she was gay made her more likely to attack the other girls in their beds than the year before

I watched.
I didn’t do anything.

what changed my mind wasn’t a change of perspective on queer people
it still took me a year to decide being gay wasn’t wrong
but i decided that my best friend was someone i would stick with
because i loved her

I quietly stayed.
didn’t make a fuss, didn’t call people out when they called her names behind her back.
I should have.
but i didn’t.
I didn’t join in, but i didn’t defend her
i didn’t say to these people
*******
that girl is beautiful and amazing
and if you can’t see through your hatred then i don’t want to be your friend either
but i didn’t .
I didn’t go through what she did.
I didn’t get kicked out of anything, i didn’t lose friends

When i was 15, i got fed up
I left that drama group.
I stopped going to that church.
I stepped away from those friends and even though i never said why
the look on my face when i ran into them and they asked, “how’s she doing?”
answered that question for them.

I spent 24 hours examining my bible
trying to find the verses that say being gay is wrong
there were barely any
and they were right next to verses that said eating pork was wrong
or planting crops next to each other
or wearing two different fabrics

there was my answer.

this isn't a story of my journey.
This isn't me building myself up
“hey, I wasn't as bad as those other people
I’m good now”

this is a story of how one person can change your life forever

if i didn't have a gay best friend
what a way to start a story, huh?
if i didn't have a gay best friend then I would still be there
quietly praying for the sins of others, but not trying to understand
so don’t look at all Christians and say
they’re awful
they’re bigoted
they’re judgmental
because we are
but often it’s because we don’t know any better
teaching us kindly works
leading by example.
So, this is the first poem I've ever actually finished. I had a emotional night, and wrote three things at about 2AM, so this is the first one.
L B Sep 2016
Route 84 would not lend me
the light of a star last night
Radio blazing at 75 mph
nonsense noise to chew gum by
Crackling political commentary
Static of distance and thick clouds
Invisible mountains blocking
Memories seeping through the cracks
coating the music in a film
I rub my eyes
watch myself punch alert buttons
But it’s the angels’ jukebox tonight

Roll down the window
Watch the heat escape

Summer again

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

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

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

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

Roll down the window!

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

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

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

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBxK3CcOQD8
The Affair

I fell in love with childhood,
he wore a red cape
made of polyester plaid,
tiny stitches of lines
circulated around his palm.
He never wore a mask,
his memories wore enough of one,
a fog remnant of a dream,
his home he’d never see again
all along the river, led up to a lake.
It didn’t matter anyway,
a wedge upon two brick walls
was a plaque – or a warning –
a memorial, perhaps, but
all succumbed to his pain,
every inch crumbled to dust.  
That’s when I took his childhood away.
I fell in love with memories.
Scar Sep 2015
Red plaid shirt
You wore it on the night of our second sober kiss
The end of last November was good to me
We planned out our winter breaks -
We said we lay on the kitchen floor and listen
To a song about sisters
(We know about sisters)
We stood with nervous hands gripping onto the counter
Your parents were home
Holiday breaks hold nostalgia in paper cups
Holiday breaks hold sad Summer magic under frozen high school football fields

Red plaid shirt
You wore it on the night that you forgot her mother was gone
August has always broken my heart
Wether I'm begging for forgiveness from the pine trees in my backyard, or smoking things to gather your attention -
I have never been at peace with the end of an era

We walked home in silence, party hat strings cut from our throats, and tears streaming from the birthday moon

You and your new friends gawked behind us -
forgetting every lap we ever took around your neighborhood
forgetting every song that ever made you cry
forgetting that the worst part about death is that we are expected to go on living
Parker Vance May 2014
Someone at the end of this hallway
Is wearing plaid shorts
And they look like the ones you always wear
For a minute I think
Oh god, it's him.
And I'm not sure if I'm happy or terrified
Nervous or excited
But it was you in that moment and that's all that mattered.
Kerri Jun 2015
Too young for marriage
too old to stay with mom & dad.
But she hopped a bus following him West
and gave up all she had.

Skinny dipping in the salty sea
Infatuation in a rusty car
Plaid shirts and promises,
he was a thief that stole her heart

He gave her two babies
but she always felt alone,
between those wood paneling walls
his explosive temper was shown.

Beer bottles and ashtrays.
Tumbleweeds and sand.
Black, blue, and purple
painted by his hand.

So weak for so long,
she would cower in fear
Until she saw her children's faces,
filled with confusion and stained from tears

She left with just the clothes on her back
and two babies clinging to her hand
following the sunrise in the East
going home to mom & dad.
Another rhyming poem
Trisha Apr 2014
"THIS PICTURE WILL NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT I STILL NEED FEMINISM AND I’M GOING TO REALLY, REALLY TELL YOU WHY":

-Because I got called a ***** for wearing a short plaid skirt when I was 10

-and because when Nujood Ali from Yemen was 10 she got divorced

-Because black girls’ names became my classmates’ favorite “joke” when I was 11

-and because when an 11-year-old girl in Texas was ***** by 18 men the New York Times wrote of how the girl “dressed older than her age”

-Because I started counting calories when I was 14

-and because when Malala Yousafzai was 14 she was shot in the head for trying to go to school

-Because I heard a boy greet a girl with “hey ****” today at age 16
-and because when a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio was filmed being ***** by two boys at a party while unconscious the CNN reporters talked about how tragic it was because the rapists had such bright futures as athletes

-Because I will have to watch my drink at all bars and parties when I am 22

-and because when CeCe McDonald was 22 she was sentenced to 41 months in prison for defending herself against a man who screamed transphobic, racist insults at her and then slashed her face with a bottle

-Because no matter what age I am the biggest threat to men will still be heart disease, and the biggest threat to women will still be men.

-Because it is not just about me, because it is not just about anger, because it is not just a JOKE, because it is not just about “hating men,” because it is not just about girls with vaginas, because it is not just about ending “****”, because it is not just about white straight girls in Rookie magazine, because it is not just about writing on backs, because it is not just about the fact that gay men are “****” but lesbians are “hot,” because it is not just about pictures of thin white girls being the only google image results for the search phrase “beautiful women”, because it is not just about writing signs, because it is not just about what she was wearing or how many times she said yes before she changed her answer to no, because misogyny is not just about one thing and feminism is not just about one thing and it is not just “a trend” and it will not “happen” in just one way.

-And because yes. It is about equality for EVERYONE, but first and foremost it needs to be about equality for girls, because they are not treated equally to men, in every single sense, and you are not going to take feminism away from me and call me bossy/hostile/aggressive and make this about yourself or make it into a joke, because truth be told, I’m not joking and I’m tired of explaining. If you want to call yourself a feminist, you work hard to spread feminism, you do not turn this into a contest of whose struggle is greater and constantly demand to know what you can get out of feminism personally. Feminism is not just about you, or me, it is about everyone. If you’re male and you’re tired of men being stereotyped as hyper-masculine, soulless, sexist, inherent leader-tyrant creatures, then go out and prove the patriarchy wrong and fight for girls, like someone with a soul who believes in equality would. Then, yes, feminism will be about everyone.


- http://crystallized-teardrops.tumblr.com/post/81364478634/wearethefourthwave-this-picture-will-not -
Again it is not a poem. I found this on Tumblr and I felt like sharing because it is wonderfully written.
Sa Sa Ra Nov 2012
I just knew I had to get there
try to begin again again yay
it was not conveniently along
the way to any ordinary business
else i had along to get on this day
but when i finally arrived i forgot
if it were the coffee or the chocolate
shop...20 oz got the mud and like me
just a single dark chocolate coconut turtle love
no trip to sip upon my way to self serve raw milk cows
and so return to head of the class or is it the line free pass
and refill...so coffee shop and coffee house does play; 'your troubles
are my troubles every dear sweet day'; sip sip 'how are you today', 'I don't believe' she said;
'but i have nothing else better to do myself' I'd say...we're acute of mars and where we are across
enchantments and beyond the covering of the bridge and bridges...wifi sure if you like so very need; 'email leave it here' she's owner 'there's the pad' 'but what?' oh silly me 'do I get' fearing junk and praying for the hand signed invite to the 'Caffeine Ball' in the tiny little town with two chocolate shops just in case you are northern or southward bound, you're 'Cafe Casual' or 'Belgium Tweaked', she the owner tickled me 'you get my email'!!!

...here and there it is the season of the witch; and here today it's black tight city in the pretty country sweet nitty gritty; soccer so too the day and I don't know the preppy privates or the awesome lovey local blessed pirates; moms and girls all a twirl and I'm just trying to empty this lovely cup; this sweater too is dark and fairly long but upon the tights its out of sight but upon any other else it's something else; here is mom silver lovely flows as she too can bounce about as if she's the star ready to run and play kick in the winning goal, saves the day again again again, and the line is steep and the shop full of eye candy take home treats; and too tights sporting is she though jumper; guess they don't got to be so long in seasonal dark bold yet subtly nifty blackish white grey shifty plaids with tinging blue line-ish sky-ish snuck sneakin' in and out and oh the kicker so very dainty being in defiance like of gravity as in light and loosely sweet, and the lucky man for the ring upon the left of hand, but it's all lovely to see the happy be and the treats she seeks to take home to for about that lucky other and at times we are other me's but there this time he is he; and I've got 6 oz to go before my free pass to head of the class upon the tip of the spear nothing to fear before the all waiting for the dearest of sweet service the all so love here; nah no Starbucks come close to dare about anywhere the near blessed be here, we all so are; our bubble ya, or so I am most likely blaspheming here for true I can repeat I am overly needy speaking for myself and so overly shameless about my overly humanness at the risk of judgement and inhumanity; so it is better to know thyself first and foremost;

6 oz and I'm still working hard sip or gulp b/s or bust but then silver soccer plaid treat tweaker; there we are; "I love the plaid" said I, "Oh why well thank you so much" "That's lovely" I am not used to compliments" she seemed so...well I'd love to know, "I saw the ring" I said "and that should be no penalty"

...but I am never prepared for the overly shocking and we lost ourselves beyond our paths crossing and out beyond the door; I imagine we are, she is routin' team and life the more for all; 
once upon a time
 I was overly dedicated to the loosing cause with all endearment and flattery in every way first thing in the morning and like every night tag team between raising angels and in defiance of everything I have ever heard they say about what you just can't get with a man; but then they forget to tell you if it just so happens; there may be better men you can steal from and who cares what if from other women other husbands and their retirement plans; while we're at it I don't worry 'bout that but blessed be I ain't no Mr Right even though overly right for much right right now, though nearest my age I wouldn't then stand a chance to be fooled by sweet angels but who rarely just don't get a **** thing not 'bout me my deep and long term needs and cares, not that any couldn't but I ain't spelling out those tales here now so well;
but hit me it did that goddess blessed soccer mom-ma
not used to compliments ripping me up still
and forever till we get the heck out of
our b/s self created living hell
which repeat repeat
our simple choosing
in the more willing
and overly
responsive
here we are
in the better
place for heaven
ain't that true as well...

I wish I could ask is anything real
but it's all true as well,
if we ever got real out
of here this way

look out we'd might
just miss all the
HELL
'O'!!!
Colt Jul 2013
for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.*

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disillusionment,
lacking egotistical sold, dragging themselves through the hip streets at dawn
looking for a socially self-aggrandizing fix.
Poets, as they sit in desks and discuss discourse
about discourse about discourse about discourse,
who fear that thinking itself was buried with Vonnegut,
who are lost in forests of brick walls,
inviting, because they block the wind of dying fall,
who swim in cesspools filled with academic sewage, yearning for freedom,
for truth, as they always have,
mining their minds for images, and searching for words to describe
-a reality which is virtual at its core and each act, another chore./
-a scene of life which reflects all that is poignant and sacred.
Poets seek musicians while musicians seek poets.
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly

These poets who search aimlessly for the feeling of feeling,
who are overwhelmed with meaning to the point where meaning
has no meaning in itself.
Who claim this poem as their own and continuously write themselves into it.
It is those who suffer in truth that live the poetic.
Those who sit in front of space heaters eating peanut butter sandwiches in winter,
who sweat unknowingly in summer, comforted in each’s odor.
Those who open Macbooks while squatting in empty flats.
Signing up, logging in and zoning out, forever disengaged.
Those who type prophecy on keypads and let keyboards gather dust-
stratification, signs of long nights spent in century-old homes still not renovated,
ceilings sinking at the sides while those above pogo to punk rock long dead,
or grind genitals to old soul, simulating all that is sensual.
Those who play archaeologist to their own layers of makeup, grimed on the sink.
Those who share their food with the roaches and the mooches who all have keys,
who use the books as shelves to hold ceramic mugs, stained with a single drip-drop,
who, with arms crossed, watch bands in basements play noise.
Those who replaced their nu-metal records with folk but kept the unkempt beards.
Those who drink stale beer on stranger’s rooftops.
Those who live with bags under eyes, themselves asleep, lacking a body,
sleeping naked together to stay warm,
sleeping naked together to stay sane,
sleeping naked together to stay touched.

Those who leave coffee in unplugged automatic pots, decaying rapidly.
Those who eat pizza for breakfast, cold or microwaved, as an act of ultimate indulgence.
Those who prance about in un-matching socks
from hardwood floors to vinyl floors to tile floors, all under the same popcorn ceiling,
dancing to the sound of rhythmic silence.
Those who fight with lovers about acts, but never once mention the act of love itself.
Those who don flannel plaid in springtime color, constructing Williamsburg,
who consider gentrification a new form of landed gentry,
who live in poverty as if it were a novelty,
capitalist martyrs sacrificing employment to hide being non-hirable,
who shop in online surplus department stores for unique vintage.
Those who, who, who hoot like the owls framed on their walls, eyes wide but beaks small.
Those who are oppressed by nonexistent kings ruling in imaginary suits.
Those who crave something new, not tired-as the form of this very poem-
something which is not-yet auto-tuned.
Those who, faux-hawked and shredded, rock and bop to Bowie doing Lou
on Sunday Morning from Station to Station shooting ******,
who walk swiftly with denim skin on their legs and refuse socks.
Those who, in their rightest mind, are the wrongest-minded.
Those who can reject privilege only because they are privileged,
who, in their uniform whiteness, denounce racism,
who, in their uniform straightness, claim immune to homophobia
who, with their ***** ***** in a row, claim to be feminists.

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?
Andra Jul 2015
Today. I give up.*

I got up to you,
I climbed
all the stairs of the seven storeys, until
I got there, where
I forsook
the costume and the mask,
the desire and the expectancy.
I left them all neatly folded at the door.
You will find them in the morning when
you will wake up and
you will leave sleepy for the office.
You probably won't put them into consideration.
You'll step over "i miss you",
over "i'd love to",
and you''ll hit the little"why" in its belly while
he slowly pulls your sleeve.
Don't worry,
I am better now.
I forgot about the dimples and the mole.
How does your voice sound?
Your eyes... are they green or brown?
That yellow t-shirt,
that plaid shirt...
I do not even care if
you will see the pile
waiting for you outside the door.
It's not like
you have not seen
my backpack every time
we met...

Today I give up.

Because
I am not made of concrete,
and that's how the breeze that
you carry with you
always
unbalances
me.
Because
I really know how to ride a bike and
I do not need training wheels.
Because
I am not afraid.
Because
I have courage.
And especially,
because
I have nothing to do here.
It's empty and deserted.
It's nothing.

*Today I quit.
Chuck May 2013
Plaid slacks
Feather cap
Argyle socks
Flip phone
Mullet hair
Greasy hands
Crusted fingernails
White belt
Sketchy beard
Members only
Casio watch
Deck shoes
Muscle shirt
Tribal tattoo
Chest hair
Plumbers crack

You look great, Mom!
Just joking. My mom is gorgeous. I started out picking out fashion flaws then I realized I know nothing about fashion, so I made it a joke poem. I hope you like it better than my mom would. Please don't tell her! Haha
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
i've moved past my belief
in the Christian trinity...

for me...
the meditation stands
on the pivot of
the following translation

the hexagon,
start of david -
which translates
as the Holy Ghost -
which denotes
a congregation...

the pentagon?
of the befitting analogy
to the five senses...
the "son of man" -
or simply...
the myopia of man
having to excavate
the sixth sense
using telescopes,
microscopes, the like...

and, finally?
on a hand of five extensions,
there are four...

the square...

  Y                    H

            ⠁⠑              ­       read clockwise
                                      like English traffic
H                     W            on a roundabout.

which? denotes the father...
    if the Hebrews "think" they
can hide their vowels?
   the Latin answer is...
   to interpolate Braille into
their language...
    
  and Emperor Nero would have
appreciated it...
whether with, or without
the Byzantine propaganda machinery
of the nevus testamentum...

and it wasn't a propagandist
piece?
    how much longer did the eastern
Empire, outlive the Western
empire, when the onslaught
by the Ottoman's reached
                  Constantinople?!

the Greek were craving
a cultural revival!
        they believed the Romans
to have origins in Troy!
they plaid the weakest cultural
card of Judaism,
revamping it into Christianity...
hell... that's what i believe...
and i'm not about to meet
a Jehovah's Witness propagandist,
or some aged Pakistani
citing the Quran on a park
bench...
  or some Scientologist
on Oxford St. with his wacky
machine...
  or some pseudo Hare Krishna
monk with a book about
some guru, pushing it like
marijuana...
   to change my mind on what
i'm digesting!

plus?

  ⠽                   ⠓

              Æ                   ( read anti-clockwise)     
                                      
⠓                    ⠺

fits in perfectly into the Adam
and Eve narrative -
as with all mythology -
given the extent of time...
    nuance, metaphor...
abbreviation...
                   ars poetica!
Lacey Clark Oct 2018
Raised faux-religiously in a catholic school by convenience of neighborhood (though, I loved the plaid and I wanted to do Eucharist but my mom explained I wasn't catholic, so I dabbled with the hymns and cursive) by my two gay moms and some 'extra kids' (fostering, etc) in Spokane. Homeschooled later (and seriously religiously, Vacation Bible School, NO HARRY POTTER and no saying 'stupid', a lot of neighborhood scootering) by uncle auntie and my two home-made and hilarious cousins (siblings) in Nevada. another private school in the Wild West with my grandpa and grandma (maybe religiously? they took me out to Mexican dinner religiously). And scattered across the West, Mid-West and South for all the rest. Public schools interwoven and equally traumatizing in between states.
One school in florida was known for fist fights and head lice. I kissed my first boy there. and girl. I left for what I thought was summer vacation and never came back. Another accidental move.
I had been squeezed in-between the palms of each coast for high school (plopped in the midwest).
In Wisconsin, I popped like a pimple and broke some major skin. Tried to end my life a few times. Psych ward after psych ward. Pills. Pills. Pills! A nurse took me aside and said "i have hope for you" and it was the first time i felt seen. met hard drugs to replace the cutting- they felt like long lost friends. Easy to pick up.
And recovery was like feeling your face after a satisfying shaving... and not a scratch since.
Now gliding along the West Coast in Academia's matrix. Politics and community engagement and the center. Clean. In the Heart of the City. Biking with helmets. Shoebox studio apartments. Nose in book, nose in food. Day job with a class of kids who I love and who love me. Space to grow, assess, reshape. Optimism. Peace. Stability.
Scarlet London Dec 2012
as the gray scale pictures appeared
i saw you bring yourself near
and the blackness so well hid your face
even with the red lights filling the space
you were in the back corner i was across the way
making masterpieces after every mundane day
with my hair in a braid clipped up on my head
and your hands in your pockets when you scared me to death
all those photos of yours, like the trigger of a gun
i held my arms wide and smiled with the sun

now you wont even hold my blank canvas eyes
and yours smile to me on the stairs every time
but you wont say a word nor make a sound
you won't even blink while my soul hits the ground
i guess all the chemicals made me insane
and my dream didn't help, you pressed to my face
in a blue plaid shirt, i see you across the room
i guess i was the only one to feel the fumes
but somehow i know that's not true

there were the days of just you and i
and the world around us-where are the lights?
i remember awaiting my pride to take form
and trying too hard and feeling so torn
and holding so tightly to the print you made
for no real reason besides the look you gave
showing off to you for no purpose at all
i know it meant nothing, just a cushioned fall

now you wont even hold my blank canvas eyes
you know yours strung me in a web of lies
you walk away when my skeleton comes around
do you see this smile? it's sinking to the ground
i guess all the negatives inverted my view
and this nightmare rewired the image of you
in a blue plaid shirt, you wore it yesterday
i guess i was the only one to see it that way
but somehow i wanted it to fade

how could you look in my eyes
and know about the scars i despise
how could you see into my heart
when i never saw you coming from the start
how could you sever that broken touch
without even asking me what i want

but today you looked into these blank canvas eyes
and yours, hidden by glass, were the first to shine
and you quoted a movie and laughed with me
and pulled me towards you, my smile you didn't see
i guess your arms are strong as the walls
the hidden room that was home to it all
in a blue plaid shirt, i see you across the room
but i still won't admit that i felt those fumes
even though you know the sad truth
samasati Nov 2012
I believe in smiling at strangers. I believe in saying hello. I believe in shyness. I believe in fear of rejection. I believe in the need of affection. I believe in the need of reminders. I believe in candles, especially those that smell of vanilla or christmas. I believe in wearing small crystals around my neck. I believe in energetic vibrations. I believe in colours - I think each person has their own colour. I believe every feeling is valid. I believe in chapstick and I believe in mascara that doesn’t clump. I believe in nail polish - every colour of nail polish. I believe that the only reason we lie is because we fear something. I believe in poetry. I believe in bluntness. I believe in the intention behind words, but I don’t necessarily believe in words. I believe in travel. I believe in travelling solo. In fact, I believe in travelling so much that it is pretty much all I want to do. I believe in music. Boy, do I believe in music. I believe any kind of musical composition can change a person. I believe music can cure depression. I also believe music can feed depression. I believe a melody can say more than lyrics and I believe that lyrics can be what someone couldn’t put together themselves to explain exactly how they are feeling. I believe anyone can create a song, even though they believe they cannot. I believe a single note can sound like the most beautiful sound in the world. I believe if someone records a song when they’re in an ugly mood, the ugliness emits to its listeners and can drain them. I believe in art. Of course I do. I believe in acrylic paint. I believe in oil paint and watercolours, but not as much as I believe in acrylic. I believe in fingerprinting. I even believe in painting with your toes. And I believe in dancing; even if it looks weird. I believe in flailing your arms even, as long as it feels good and right. I believe in dancing ‘til you sweat, though I don’t like that icky feeling too much. I believe that a babe can be a very ugly person and a physically unattractive person can be a very beautiful person. I believe that people who smile are beautiful. I believe that people who frown are beautiful too, just in a different way. I believe that there are sincere smiles and there are manipulative smiles. I believe that some people just know how to use their eyes well. I believe in eye contact. I believe in engaging. I believe in listening and dropping everything else that is going on in your mind just to listen to what a person is trying to share with you. I believe in sharing - sharing cookies and sharing love. I believe in the frosty cold. I believe that it doesn’t have to feel as cold as it really is. I believe that people complain a lot. I believe that people often have too much pride to be happy. I believe that we should embrace our discomforts and shames, that we should welcome them wholeheartedly so that we can be happy. I believe in honesty. I believe in empathy. I believe in tea. I believe in jelly donuts but only on certain occasions. I believe in quirky bow ties. I believe in knit toques and mittens and scarves. I believe in dresses. I believe in flirting. I believe in coffee in the morning. I believe in big comfy beds. I believe in walking around your empty house in your underwear or birthday suit, singing loudly. I believe in singing in the shower. I believe in singing on the street. I believe in stage fright. I believe in meditation, though I don’t really strictly set times to do it anymore. I believe mundane activities can be done in a meditative state of mind. I believe in clarity. I believe in not judging people because everyone is human. I believe every human has something very interesting about them. I believe in boring people too. I believe in christmas music - not the radio kind, the choral kind. I believe in cheap sweet wine. I believe in Billy Joel and I believe in The Beatles. I believe in Regina and Sufjan too. I believe that the ukulele is a very overrated instrument. I believe in having healthy hair. I believe in moisturizer. I believe in getting to pick a coloured toothbrush at the dentist. I believe in thick wool socks. I believe in baggy sweaters. I believe in yoga gear but I do not believe in sweatpants. I believe that yoga is one of the healthiest things for a person - ever. I believe in buying a friend drinks or dinner once in awhile. I believe in collecting shoes and scarves and rings. I believe in chords but I don’t really believe in jeans. I believe in hot chocolate with whip cream but not with marshmallows. I believe in dorky Christmas sweaters. I believe in baking cookies instead of cake. I believe in eating disorders - I do not support them, but I do believe they are much more severe and various than most people think and I believe there should be better/proper help for those who suffer instead of the usual cruel inpatient/outpatient care. I believe in trichotillomania and I believe in dermatillomania and the severity and impact it can have on its sufferers. I believe in gardens. I believe in every single flower. I believe that everyone is always doing their best. I believe that most people love to struggle. I believe in hope. I believe in having faith in yourself. I believe in iPod playlists. I believe in gym memberships in the winter, not the summer unless it’s to swim. I believe in matching underwear every day. I believe in Value Village. I believe in singing in bus shelters when you’re waiting for the bus. I believe in dressing up according to holidays. I believe in Grey’s Anatomy and I believe in Community. I believe in skirts and dresses that twirl like the ‘ol days. I believe in longboards more than skateboards. I believe in plaid like most young people do. I believe in bows in my hair, but not as much as I used to. I believe in foot massages and hand massages. I believe in reflexology and reiki and essential oils and chakras and crystals and holistic nutrition. I believe in anxiety; even crippling anxiety. I believe in awkward romances. I do not believe in flip flops. I do not believe in Beatles covers unless they are really insanely good; then my mind is blown. I believe in having long enough nails to scratch someone’s back appropriately. I also believe in biting nails. I do not believe in telephone calls unless I am extremely comfortable with the person. I believe in blogs. I believe in journals. I believe in naming special inanimate objects like journals, instruments, technology and furniture. I believe in the idea of cats more than I believe in cats. I believe in sharpies or thin pointed permanent markers. I believe in temporary tattoos. I believe in streaming movies online. I believe in royal gala apples. I believe in avocados. I believe in rice cakes. I believe in popcorn. I believe in airports but I hate the LA airport. I believe in openly talking about *** but I don’t believe in making it seem shameful and gross. I believe there should be no shame regarding sexuality. I believe in reading some great books more than once. I believe in laying on the couch under cozy blankets, watching a great suspenseful tv show or movie. I only believe in having a couple bites of cheesecake. I don’t really believe in lulu lemon. I don’t believe many people can pull off the colour yellow. I believe in buttons over zippers even though zippers are easier, they just look kind of dumb and cheap. I believe in the sun and the moon equally. I believe in closets over dressers. I believe in staring out the window for a good hour or so.
JJ Hutton Aug 2012
In the stands, down 35-3 with two minutes left in the fourth,
Fred Carson picks at the sticky, white remnants of a Coke bottle's label.
He leans over to me,
"Do you mind if I talk to you again?"
I don't, and haven't since kickoff.

"You know, I played running back on this same field."

"Oh yeah?" I say, allowing the story to commence.

"Started all four years. Rushed 1,000 yards as a freshman."

"Wow."

"It took five guys to bring me down by my senior year."

"That's insane."

"I probably still hold the record for most rush yards,
but I doubt they keep up with things like that."

He takes a sip from his drink. It's half empty.
His hair -- greasy, most likely on its third unwashed day --
parts to the left and clings to his skull.
He's wearing a long sleeve, plaid dress shirt.
The shirt is buttoned to the top.

"Hell, that was back in 1968," slows, "I graduated in 19-68. Jesus."

Fred retired from the post office six years back.
He claims he's never missed a game of Blue Jay football since 1970.
The high school band starts playing in the section next to us --
a misshapen cover of "Louie, Louie".
Fred raises his voice,

"You know, I've been to every football game since 1970."

"Yeah, you mentioned that last week."

"I apologize. Yeah, if it wasn't for that first year of college.
I got a scholarship to play ball at Florida State.
Couldn't be there and here at the same time, you know? Kinda hard."

He runs his big-knuckled right hand along his khaki'd thigh, checking his pocket.
He checks the left thigh -- nothing.
Reaches into his shirt pocket and reveals a lighter.
Then a soft pack of Marlboro Lights emerge.

"You know, I ran the fifty in less than five seconds."

To the dismay of cheerleader moms sitting behind us,
he lights the cigarette.
He stares at the Bic lighter with some NASCAR driver -- number 88 --
I don't recognize.
The cutout of the NASCAR driver's scraggly face
sits atop a navy blue and spiraling purple backdrop.
He starts to scratch at the label on the lighter.
A screech from a clarinet rises above the rest of the band,
Fred grimaces, takes a drag, continues,

"The coach at Florida State said I was the fastest boy he'd ever seen.
He said I was going to go pro. Sure thing, he said. I rushed for nearly
300 yards in the first game my freshman year. After the game,
the coach was like, see boy, I told you. You are going to tear it up
this season."

The NASCAR decal comes completely off. Under that purple and blue label,
Fred uncovers a white lighter.

"Would you look at that. I wouldn't have bought the **** thing if
I knew it was a white lighter. That's bad luck, you know. Hendrix and
that--uh--Janis Joplin lady both died with a white lighter in their hand.
Bad luck. A white lighter is bad luck."

"What happened at Florida State?" I ask.

"Well, we were playing Notre Dame during the second game that season.
Down by five with three seconds left on the clock.
We were on our own thirty, and the coach of Florida State was like,
run the hail mary play. But in the huddle, I look the quarterback
square in the eyes, and I say to him, captain -- he was team captain --
I say, captain, I'm hungry for that ball. He knew I could do it.
He took the snap, the receivers rushed down field, and I bolted toward
that line of scrimmage, took the handoff and I was gone, baby."

The crowd begins to cheer as the Blue Jay quarterback throws a long pass
to a wide open receiver. Fred freezes mid-story.
The cheer blurs into a silence, as each person in the bleachers
watches the ball ascend.

For the first time all night, the band lowers their instruments from their lips.
Just a ball floating.
The buzz from the stadium lights becomes audible.
One person gasps.
Then like dominoes the stadium follows suit.

The high arc of the ball betrays the distance,
and the pigskin plummets sharply.

"Interception!" the announcer cries through the speakers.

"That's a **** shame. I thought he was going to have it.
What were we talking about?" Fred asks as he drops his
finished cigarette into the nearly empty, naked Coke bottle.

"You were talking about Florida State. You were down five and--"

"That's right. So, I break up the middle. I dust that noseguard.
I stiff arm a linebacker. I looked like a Heisman trophy in motion.
I travel 69-yards down the field. I'm slowing down at the endzone,
thinking nobody is around, and sure enough -- plow -- the cornerback
dives right into my leg. I broke all kinds of bones and tore all kinds
of muscles. The doctor told me, he'd never seen anything like it."

The band plays the fight song as the clock winds down and the Blue Jays lose.
I try to disappear in the sea of blue and silver exiting t-shirts,
but Fred slows me down,

"It sure was good talking to you. I'll have to tell you more about Florida State
next week. Be sure to sit by me."

"I will," I say as the band director, Mr. Morton, steps in front of me.

"Hey, Fred," Mr. Morton says. He looks at me, then back to Fred.
He's trying to decide whether or not I'm of relation.
"Son, I went to Seminole State Junior College with Fred here
when we got out of high school."

"Really? Did you guys play football together?" I ask with innocent inquisitiveness.

"No, we weren't really into that. Though, we were at all the games.
We were in band together. Until Fred's wild streak got the best of him,"
Mr. Morton laughs, "am I right, Fred?"



The fight song came to a close.
With a lowered head, Fred walked into the silver, blue crowd
with a plaid dress shirt buttoned to the top.
Brandon Webb Nov 2012
1
she taps he hand, twice.
across the room,
he stares, thinking
into empty air.
others, scattered
tap pencils or fingers
on desktops, booktops
and phone keyboards

the balding man
with black hair:
combed backward
and to differing angles
so that his head is split
vertically-
stands, above the room
his back turned

his words,
meant for the crowd
reverberate only
along classes fringe
but still take precedence
over nothing
even to them-
academics, outcasts


2
back of the room
reveals everything
to the observer
trying to see

blue-eyed brunette
glares vengefully
at no one,
just to glare

he looks up once
to watch
as another
pulls up
drooping jeans.
she laughs
at conversation
unmeant for,
and inaudible
to her


3
today, she smiles
and lets her lip fall
begging, like a puppy
But when they
lose eye contact,
she glares, again

he leaves footprints
on parallel desk
from lounging
then fires himself
to his feet
using stored energy,
and sugar from gum

words bounce along
the walls in the back,
and isolated eyes peer
towards the screen
but hide the fact
that they care


4
two week vacation
has left their minds
full of everything
except math,
so they listen
to him, while he speaks

but travel backward
in time, with
those closest them
while he creeps,
silent, around the room

she concentrates hard,
on her work
glaring at the page.
he sits a desk forward
feet on floor
neighboring desk full
today, but only physically

blue hat rests
on sketchbook,
its border
barely covering
closed eyes

blond head
implants itself
jokingly, into
smooth shining
white wall
with enough force
to collapse
accidental target

a hand raises
attracting gazes,
awestruck,
at her interest
in forgotten
material
of future tests


5
only a few eyes wander
from blue lined notebooks
though the left flank
still chatters, embodying
either a secretive chipmunk
or the breeze which starts the storm

storm clouds appear slowly
in sketchbook, blue hat bobbing
rhythmically in response to active pen

perched above the flock
reminiscent, split headed
papa bird scans the masks
of his shockingly silent chicks

random lecture breaks the silence.
Her eyes aren’t the only ones
Fixed into a steel laden glare
But the chipmunk wind ceases


6
his questioning glance lands
on uninhabited space,
exhibiting a yawn
which traverses through,
and twists, the faces of
those otherwise engaged

lecture ends with a question,
the scent of nuts blows through
mentally empty classroom
turning desks to predetermined
positions and swiftly inhabiting
three-quarters of the physical class

his steel glare has replaced hers
the latter’s eyes now soft as an infants

within five minutes, his voice
undergoes  a brutal, complete cycle
pleading, congratulating, yelling
and as always, lecturing


7
pre-test:

preparations for misery-
mundane chipmunk chattering,
jokes and laughs from random
oddities appearing everywhere

blue hat rests in intervals.
Blue coat rearranges
essay for another class

The girl in the sunny plaid
Rolls an orange along her hand

He points at nothing and asks
Nobody something without answer

The left flank, as always
Is turned away, conversing

A sigh rings outward loudly
Everyone glares, nervously,
Everywhere, reward of concentration


After my test:

First paper in, he scans lightly
Sets it down with a scowl
and yawns, twice, breaking the
silent shroud of heavy fog
which is hanging overhead

wandering free eyes witness
down-turned heads concentrating
as much on tests  as on moving
their hands wildly, excitedly
trying to communicate non-vocally

others have yet to detach themselves
from their seats and stride upward,
hopefully more triumphantly
than their sole predecessor

one shuffles now, slowly toward him
his hand shaking as he releases
that  paper, he turns away as it flutters
onto the desk- he replants himself in his

twelve others walk forward
smiling, shrinking, sometimes speaking
and always he glares, triumphant
knowing his success at our failure


later:

his near-sleeping form            
finds distraction, in waking
dreams, jumping back suddenly
breaking from his plank-like state
without speaking. excitement
for approaching weekend is
communicated in the left flank

two girls break the silence
running in from outside            
he glares at them, but laughs

everyone breaks into groups
after the conversation about
mysteriously nutty discarded sock

he runs to the forefront
forehead folded, finger on mouth
no-one notices, but still he glares

8
he smiles and glares at the floor
his legs swinging back and forth            
tan slacks rustling softly

exaggerated scores bubble in ears            
as they search for their destroyer

in front of forgotten faces falls
the page of a forgotten tome

several yawn, hoping, understandably
that their stretched lips
will pull themselves far enough
to barricade ears from his droning

he kills himself, twice, bumbling
into half-thought chastisements
of the  flittingly flirtatious students
intermingling hoping behind him
causing waves of whispers, laughter
and slightly strengthened chatter

he re-aligns his thoughts quickly
and rambles on again, always

9
he speaks to her softly
from across a sea of desks
she looks up, panicking calmly
distracted from distraction

in silence, blank eyes turn
surprised at the non-withering
state of her barely living corpse

he asks a question, looking up
a single answer is given
unemotional and short, buy ending
heavy hanging awkward silence

how talented the teacher
who gives his lecture while
still addressing unrelated
student self lectures

the still silence given
in his questioning lull
hangs so loudly the whispers
traversing the classroom appear
silent as finger wiggle
and pencils trace zeros

his extrication, caused by
distractingly thunderous voice
is met with a comment
causing a wave of laughter
starting at his mouth
and extending to inhabit everything

10
half the time gives
twice the attention
as they concentrate
on keeping him on
the undying topic
of the work we
have already done

they admit defeat
as dusty tome opens
spreading a nutty cloud
causing heads to turn
and words to leap.

from opens lips,
mischievous gremlins
sprout, dancing on
tables and chuckling
away from the sigh
of his down-turned, split
shining, globular mind

he scratches pink ear
with bone pale finger
reading unrelated words

in the center of the room
both mentally and physically
he sits, momentarily quiet
as dark eyes glare past
rumpled pink nose,
concentrating

blue hat rests on open palms
above dust covered open page
he slips into sleeping state
but picks himself up
and stares though thin borderline
toward shiny rambling forehead

a shutter cord flies forward
the hand at the end pulling hard
but with no affect to the shutters
neither lowering the physical
or raising the mental

the color of non-color pencils
interrupts the class momentarily
as she strides forward to compare
and then criticizes his care

he just sits, smiles and stares

11
eleven desks lie empty
of one form more than usual
amplifying the arm movements
of the ever ticking seconds

his obscured mouth flings seeds
which sprout into words
before even meeting the worn
blood-colored carpet below

in the main room, sixteen
sit silent, sketching, sleeping
or siphoning the last minute

12
those left awake, and alive
have come to understand
the numbers on the screen
this being their specialty
in a nutty shell, of course
splitting, as we are, large
crowds of numbers, and us
being teenagers, isn’t that
how we think, in numbers
and ratings of everything
and, sitting in the central
crowd are the talented
crowd-splitters
flattery-spitters

13
the silence of half absence
is pierced, as always by vocal
anomaly, centered around
rows of shining wood
bookrests, but only one
set of hollow, dark-rimmed
vacant eyeballs watches
well-welcomed interruption

he lets us work, standing.
Someone somewhere opens
A large container of nuts
Entire class starts stuffing
Handfuls into puffy cheeks
Absorbing sensations into
Eternally ravenous minds

The apocalyptic mix of noises
Is split again by central
Nutcracker, and those in corners
Glare, smiling, rubbing shadowed
Acne scarred faces
with raw-bitten nails

14
balding papa bird speaks loudly
transforming his voice, becoming
vocally legendary cartoon duck

the wave of resulting laughter
ends in un-given nut-break
spreading, without speech
the understanding that his
comedic digression will not
meet a quick extinction

we greet the weekend
by rising early
our excuse: competition
to devour the worm

15
three heads are downturned
peering into textbooks
as the tsunami breaks

the days end starts
and beady eyes peer
in the direction of his
moving head, colored
gothic gargoyle in the
dim cloudlight streaming
through dust coated
slit windows

the room transforms
becoming triumphantly,
grumpily, repeatedly
conversational

artificial silence
spreads like a wave
from right back corner
to left front corner
leaving behind
the half of the room
hidden behind the wall
of troublemakers
who will eventually
cause the wall to topple
with the sheer force
of assorted nuts

16
blue hat is scrunched
under the of a fist
pounding on his head,
result of the decibels
consumed, and produced
by the embodiment
of the thoughts around him
which fall from stuffed
cheeks. Bounce off tables
and spread a sickening aroma
as their shells split
exposing, revealing
nothing

17
red face glances upward
as harsh words split
the widening sea of snickers
his words stop, first time today
as whispers spread wildly
of his speed in delivering answers
seconds later, room is silent
as statement ends and lecturer
turns back to him, offering
as always, another wave
of deep felt, anger hardened
quietly whispered, criticisms

thunderous-rush-voice leads
out of habit and necessity
the minutes following
his behavioral digression
each word stabbing split-headed
pointy-nosed papa bird, their
form a walnut-wood spear
crafted from drifted thoughts
of those sitting nearest him

18
on his back lies a pile of nuts
professor’s earthquake
shoulder shaking causes
eyes to open, back to rise
and with a tremendous roar
both physical and meta-physical,
it topples to worn carpet
and the laugh-track plays on

19
silence- pierced into being
by shrill, violent, mountainous
rise, and fall, of thunderous decibels-
hangs, heavier, louder than
the quick gone loudness replaced
or, in all actuality, displaced
mere seconds before being scrawled
into eternal memory
of those whose noses
sniff, daily, nutty clusters
of letters, which exclude
always, the ever-present x
the destructive π
and that y, which of course
flies as high as forgetful
nut-bearers




©Brandon Webb
2012
This is a series of observations, and. collectively, is the longest thing i've ever written, at 8847 words
Months of stale, cigarette smoke
and spilt **** water pleasantly
offset the stench of cheap cologne
and ratty, abused furniture.
    
Fictitious stories occupy this tiny, dim
apartment, birthed on the lips of
rebellious juveniles whose tongues
pierce the ears of our elders.

In a forsaken corner, Jeremy lounges
awkwardly on a grubby-plaid sofa that
suitably complements his button-down shirt.  
I join him.

Behind his right ear rests a lonely cigarette, while
another sits snug between his lips, set ablaze
by the 1968 Slim Model Zippo he inherited from
his beloved grandfather.

His transparent sense of self-worth emanates
from his grubby, grease-stained hands, scuffed boots,
blotchy-checkered flannels, and faded blue jeans
that are completely obliterated with holes.

I look into his pale blue eyes, the depth of which
often goes unrecognized.  Jeremy is a soft-hearted,
pudgy youngster with the kind of chunky cheeks
that all grandparents love to torture.  

But his marred, acne-ridden face betrays the transition
that has been forced upon him.  Slowly, his trademark
grin appears across his face – subtle, mischievous, and
typically without reason.  But this time it appears justified.

Jeremy takes a moment’s break from his cigarette to drop two
hits of acid.  A new drug for him, he hopes to find relief from
his seething anxiety, evidenced now by the wide expansion of his
chest as he takes another, more lengthy and powerful pull from his cigarette.

The mundane chatter that fills the room continues, a seeming
necessity to offset any potential awkward silence. I feel as if
this noise is closing in around us.  But just as suddenly as I
feel overwhelmed by this sensation, the noise stops.

I look around, noticing everyone’s eyes staring in my
direction.  Jeremy is still next to me, now giggling
like a little school girl.
I begin to feel sick.

Jeremy swiftly leans forward, giving his
cigarette a premature but honorable
death, eliminating its glow as he smashes
the cherry into tiny bits against the ashtray.

As he sits back against the couch, I can see that
his eyes are now indifferent. Foreign.  With a perplexed
and fascinated stare, he watches the pearly-white smoke
slowly slither upwards towards the ceiling.

There’s no question in my mind that his
soul has fled. Jeremy sinks further into the
couch, turning his vacant eyes in my direction.
I want to *****.

His high-pitched giggle has now subsided into a
low whimper.  Gradually extending his left arm into
the air, he tilts it from side-to-side, examining it as if
an infant discovering his genitals for the first time.  

Bike wheels appear in the corners of the room.
Entertained, his eyes rapidly zigzag from the
corners of the walls to his hands. He asks me
if I can see the wheels. I don’t respond.

Intervals of psychotic emotion begin to cycle. Jeremy’s eyes
fill with tears as he tries to understand the hallucinations
engulfing him.  The expression on his face betrays the reality that
he has stepped onto the never-ending theme-park ride from hell.  

Together we leave and walk to the bus station, Jeremy
walking slowly and whimsically. The bus arrives,
and I hand him a few crumpled, single-dollar
bills as I attempt to instruct him where to get off.  

All I can envision is his mother’s first reaction to her son’s arrival.  
Would she collapse at her son’s knees, crying like a mother whose boy
has come home from war?  Would he forever be an awkward guest
at the dinner table? Would she disown him?  Would he become a feral child?






I no longer know what day it is. I am surrounded by lockers
and students, trapped in a tunnel of shadowy walls.  As I stand
alone, I find myself entranced by the blinding, January sunlight
that floods through the double doors a mile away.

My vision is unexpectedly blocked by a figure
standing in front of me. Clothed in little but jeans
and a bright, white t-shirt, Jeremy stares at me, his eyes
mirroring the emptiness I now feel.  

“Do you have a lighter?”  My hands pointlessly search my pockets for
what I already know is not there. “No, man. Sorry.” A look of confusion
spreads over his face, and I suddenly cannot help but notice the sick irony
of the scene in front of me - Jeremy flooded in light as if born again.  

My thoughts linger here too long, and just as swiftly as Jeremy
appeared, he is a mile away sauntering out through those double
doors. Estranged, I continue to stand here, hoping with
futility that this isn’t the last time I have looked upon him.
Year: 1995
Austin Bauer Oct 2016
White Converse shoes,
Pants pulled up like
You came straight
From the 50s.
McFly! McFly!
You were reading
The paper when
You got up to ask me
To borrow a chair.
After all, it was dark
Where you were sitting,
And it takes a healthy
Amount of natural light
To read the paper.
At least that's what you told me.  
Of course I obliged because  
It does make it easier
For me to write about you when
You're sitting right across
From me. Mr. Plaid Shirt with
A Pilot G-2 Gel Ballpoint Pen.
Maybe if you're lucky,
Your coffee won't be cold
By the time you read,
"Animal Cuisine, for Animals,"
Or, "This Sushi Waits for No One."
What does it say about me
That I would sit here
And describe you as you read?
I could interrupt you,
Asking you a few questions
To really get to know you.
I assume you're a kind person
Based on the laughter-lines
Surrounding your eyes;
Based on the way you smiled
At that young woman as
She walked by.
Miranda Renea Dec 2013
I think you're the sea.
Your blue plaid shirt the waters and
My red plaid jacket the sunset,
Our hands are oars,
Yours tracing my fingertips-
My skin-
Arms, legs, and stomach,
Sending shivers down my spine,
Exploring my body like a ship
Sailing out into the horizon.

I hear your heart,
It beats in time with the tide,
Your breath a sweet ocean breeze
As it tousles my hair,
And I'm hyper aware of how
Deep your eyes are.
Not blue,
But brown like the ground of
The earth underneath the water.

Our kisses are dives,
Striving to reach the
Sunken treasure at the bottom
Of your ocean,
Of my ocean,
The pieces are scattered but
We'll find them and
Piece it back together.
Our hands intertwine to
Lock the chest but
I find I drown in your stare

Because seas are violent.
I'd forgotten that, but the thought
Seizes my mind as your waters
Grip my throat and I
Gasp for air but I find I can't
See anymore.

Your hands are cold against my body,
Like the tide of your heart casting me out
Onto the shore,
Naked and sure of indifference
Your breath a typhoon of ice
Hurled perfectly at my chest-
You used this sunset and
Left a storm in my eyes.
Painted a picture of sincerity but
Blue is the color of clarity and
Mine won't forget your
Murderous waves or
Mischievous ways and

Through you I've come to know
Some people aren't that lucky-
We cry alone.
Throw a rock, aim right at our chest,
Our hearts are stone.
We suffer in silence. And
If I could catch all the tears I've cried in a pitcher,
I would rain them down,
Drown a river in my sorrow.
Drown my sorrow in a river?
What's the difference? Life is only borrowed, anyways.
Second slam piece I've ever written.
alavandala Jan 2014
sign your poetry
with a cigarette burn
and your letters with

"goodbye"

leave a note at 12 o clock
"see you soon"

run to the tracks
use them as a balance beam
SCREAMmynamehurry
get off
the train
is coming

sprint.

run away from you
run away from the
bad and into the
arms of the good
the chase
           is over

the life you wanted-
             gone

a skip jump hop
          in my step
i give my heart to you
He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim, -
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands;
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now, he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.

One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg,
After the matches, carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. - He wonders why.
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts,
That's why; and may be, too, to please his Meg;
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt,
And Austria's, did not move him. And no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.

Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?
(C) Wilfred Owen
leila Sep 2018
poor kid
goes for shopping
in her imaginary
rose long sleeve jacket with skirt set
spring girl
pink and plaid bunny
emily swan sweatshirt
plaid princess
floral baby
ballet kitty moon and star tulle
with a flower in her hand
change those with a magic trick
you are princess of dreamland..
hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically that’s called hamming the bone sitting on a street curb singing making up lyrics i got a transitor sister loves cossack named jake he rides Cherokee chopper all he’s ever known is hate he’s going down underground where a man can be a man wrestle alligators live off the land ebb flow i don’t know racing chasing hair-pin turning at 150 miles per hour downshift to 3rd spread the word sweet sour naked flower touching skin deep within defies all sin with a grin speed speed speed all i need i’m getting off coming on you tawny scrawny bow-legged pigeon-toed knock-kneed Don Juan Ponce de Leon Aly Khan all wrapped up into one going to have ******* good time good time tonight i feel like an orphan mom and dad seem so far away tonight i feel like an orphan you make me feel this way hand slaps shoulder knee rhythmically hand bone hand bone

Odyseuss drifts job to job construction worker office assistant waiter whatever he does not understand how road to recognition works continues showing portfolio to art dealers but they react indifferently he does not know how to attain notice in art world begins to suspect there is no god watching over souls instead he imagines infinite force juggling light darkness creation destruction love hate Mom and Dad insist he can earn respectable income if only he will learn commodity futures like cousin Chris Mom says you can work down at the exchange and paint on the side a part of Odysseus wants desperately to please his parents he considers perhaps Mom is right for the time being maybe build up nest egg it seems like sensible plan he wonders why Dad and Mom never speak about money how to save manage they treat the subject as forbidden topic Odysseus has no idea what Dad or Mom earn or investment strategies Odysseus is about to make serious mistake the decision to get job working at commodity exchange needs deeper examination why is he giving in to his parents what attracts him to commodities trading is it Chris’s achievement and the money? does Odysseus honestly see himself as a winning trader or does it simply look like big party with lots of rich men pretty young girls is that where he wants to be why is he giving up on his dream to be a great artist does it seem too impossible to reach who makes him think that? is he going to give up on his true self? he halfheartedly follows his parent’s advice begins working as runner at Chicago Mercantile Exchange several friends including Calexpress disloyalty for entering straight world commodity markets are not exactly straight in 1978 clearing firms pay adequately hours are 8 AM to 2 PM over course of next 6 months Odysseus runs orders out to various trading pits cousin Chris rarely acknowledges Odysseus maybe Chris feels need to protect his image of success perhaps in front of his business associates Chris is embarrassed by Odysseus’s menial rank and goof-off attitude maybe Chris senses what a terrible mistake Odysseus has made

Chicago suffers harsh winter in February Roman Polanski skips bail in California flees to France in April President Carter postpones production of neutron bomb which kills people with radiation leaving buildings intact in October Yankees win World Series defeating Dodgers in November Jim Jones leads mass-****** suicide killing 918 people in Jonestown Guyana in December in San Francisco Dianne Feinstein succeeds murdered Mayor George Moscone in Chicago John Wayne Gacy is arrested

darkness descends upon Odysseus his heart is not into commodity business more accurately he hates it he loathes battleship gray color of greed envy he resents prevailing overcast of misogyny he meets many pretty girls yet most of them are only interested in catching a trader it is rumored numerous high rolling traders hire young girls for sole purpose of morning ******* remainder of day girls are free to mingle run trivial errands commodity traders typically trash females it is primitive hierarchy Odysseus bounces from one clearing firm to another then moves to Chicago Options Exchange then Chicago Board of Trade on foyer wall just outside trading floor hangs bronze plaque commemorating all men who served in World War 2 Uncle Karl’s name is on that plaque Daddy Pat bought his son seat hoping to set him up after war Uncle Karl’s new wife wanted to break away from Chicago persuaded him to sell seat move to California Uncle Karl bought car wash outside Los Angeles with Daddy Pat’s support Mom and Dad encourage assure Odysseus commodities business is right choice they promise to buy him full seat on exchange if he continues to learn markets they feel certain he can be saved from his artistic notions the markets are soaring in profits cousin Chris is riding waves a number of Chris’s friends are sons of parents who belong to same clubs dine at same restaurants as Mom and Dad Odysseus is not alpha-male like Chris Odysseus is a dreamer painter poet writer explorer experimenter unlike Chris who has connections Odysseus starts out as runner then gets job holding deck for yuppie brokers in Treasury Dollar trading pit Odysseus holds buy orders between index and middle fingers sell orders in last 2 fingers arranged by time stamp price size in other hand holds nervous pencil he stands step below boss in circular pit in room size of football field full of raised pits everything is traded cattle hogs pork bellies all currencies gold numbers flash change instantaneously in columns on three high walls fourth wall is glass with seats behind for spectators thousands of people rush around delivering orders on telephones flashing hand signals shouting offers quantities every moment every day calls come in frantically from all around world space is organized chaos sometimes not so organized fortunes switch hands in nano-seconds it is global fiscal battleground rallies to up side or breaks to down side send room into hollering pushing shoving hysteria central banks financial institutions kingpin mobsters with political clout daring entrepreneurs old thieves suburban rich kids beautiful people pretty young females abound big guns **** in same air stand next to low-ranking runners everyone flirts sweats sneezes knows inside they are each expendable Odysseus is spellbound by sheer force magnitude he feels immaterial only grip is his success with girls it is not conscious talent he grins girls grin back Chris’s trader friends recognize Odysseus’s ability they push him to introduce girls to them it is way for Odysseus to level playing field he has no money or high opinion of himself he simply knows how to hook up with girls

1979 January Steelers defeat Cowboys at Super Bowl Brenda Ann Spencer kills 2 faculty wounds 8 students responds to incident “i don't like Mondays” in February Khomeini seizes power in Iran in March Voyager space-probe photographs Jupiter’s rings a nuclear power plant accident occurs at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania in May Margaret Thatcher is elected Prime Minister in England in Chicago American Airlines flight 191 crashes killing 273 people in November Iran hostage crisis begins 90 hostages 53 of whom are American in December Soviet Union invades Afghanistan 1980 in November Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter one year since Iran hostage crisis began

he meets good-looking younger girl named Monica on subway heading home from work he has seen her running orders on trading floor she is tall slender with long dark brown hair in ponytail pointed nose wide mouth innocent face she confides her estranged father is famous Chicago mobster Odysseus recognizes his name they talk about how much they dislike markets arrant disparity of wealth between traders and themselves Odysseus says i hate feeling of being so disposable worthless Monica replies yeah me too he tells her if i was a girl i’d ******* myself to several handsome generous traders Monica acknowledges that’s an interesting idea but who? how? which traders? do you know? he answers yeah i know exactly who and how Monica says if you’re serious i’m in i have a girlfriend named Larissa who might also be interested i’ll call Larissa tonight following day Monica approaches Odysseus at work agrees to meet at his place after markets close that afternoon Monica and Larissa show up eager to learn more about Odysseus’s scheme Larissa is petite built like a gymnast giggly light brown hair younger than Monica he lays it all out for them cousin Chris and his buddies the money ******* both girls are quite lovely he suggests they rehearse with him he will coach them on situations settings techniques girls consent for 4 weeks every afternoon they meet at Odysseus’s place get naked play out different scenarios he shows girls how to pose demure at first then display themselves skillfully fingers delicately pulling open ***** spreading wide apart buns working hidden muscles he directs each to take up numerous positions tasks techniques then has them switch places he teaches them timing starting slow gradually building up rhythms stirring into passionate frenzy having two mouths four hands creates novel sets of possibilities one girl attends his front while other excites his rear he positions them side-by-side so he can penetrate any of all four holes he stacks them one on top of the other many other variations after reaching ****** several times making sure to reciprocally satisfy their eager needs Odysseus dismisses girls until following day finally after month of practice Monica and Larissa feel confident proficient primed Odysseus arranges for girls to meet with 2 traders through Chris most traders have nicknames Twist who is hosting event is notoriously wild insatiable on opening night Odysseus behaves like concerned father Larissa and Monica each bring several dresses and pairs of shoes Odysseus helps them choose suggests Monica ease up on make-up he styles Larissa’s hair instructs Monica to call him when they arrive again when they leave he requests they return directly to his place Monica wears hair pulled back in French twist pearl earrings sleek little black dress black stiletto heels she stands several inches above Odysseus Larissa wears braided pigtails pink low-scooped leotard brown plaid wool kilt just above knees brown suede cowboy boots he kisses each on lips then pats their butts warns them to be careful mindful Monica winks Larissa giggles more than an hour passes as Odysseus sits wondering why he has not heard from girls suddenly reality hits he does not want to be commodities trader and certainly not a **** this is not how he wants to be known or remembered Odysseus wants to be a painter and writer Monica and Larissa are good sweet girls whom he has misguided he calls Twist’s place Twist answers Odysseus asks to speak with Monica when she comes to phone he questions are you all right Monica answers yes we’re fine we’re having a fantastic time why are you calling what’s wrong he explains you were suppose to call me when you arrived i began to worry i think maybe this whole arrangement is a bad idea i want you to call it off and come back home i don’t want either of you to become prostitutes i love you both and don’t want to be associated with dishonoring you Monica says it’s a little late to call it off but we’ll see you when we’re done kissy kiss bye Odys another hour passes then another he frets wondering what they are doing after 4 hours as he is about to call Twist’s house again doorbell rings Monica and Larissa both giggling beaming Odysseus can spot they have a coke buzz Monica announces you should be proud of us Odys we got each of them off 2 times we left them stone-numb and tapped out the girls open their purses each slaps 5 hundred dollar bills unto table Monica says this is your cut Odys we both got a thousand for ourselves he replies i can’t touch that money we need to sit down and talk Monica demands no talking Odys take off your clothes he insists i’m serious Monica i’m never going to send you out again Larissa claims there’s no turning back for me i had too much fun Monica  pleads come on Odys we’ll be good we promise now take off your clothes Twist and his buddy never attended to our needs i’m ***** as hell Larissa where’s that little bottle of dust Twisty handed you

Chicago Monday night December 8 1980 Cal and Odysseus sit at North End they're on 4th round feeling buzz the place is lively adorned with holiday decorations Cal says you’ve changed Odysseus questions what do you mean? how? Cal says the commodity markets and your cousin and his friends they’ve changed you when was the last time you painted Odys? are you dealing coke Odysseus looks Cal in the eyes answers they’re so ******* rich Cal you can’t believe it one drives a black Corvette Stingray another a ******* Delorean anything they want they buy girls cars clothes condos boats yeah i’m dealing coke to Chris’s friends it’s my only leverage remember the Columbian dude Armando we met at tittie bar? i score from him and keep it clean Chris’s buddies pay up for the quality i don’t remember my last painting maybe the black painting i never finished after breaking up with Reiko Lee a girl falls off bar stool crashing to floor at other end of bar Cal says Odys, you better play it careful you’re messing with the devil got any blow on you suddenly bar grows quiet someone turns up TV volume they watch overhead as news anchorman speaks slow solemn camera pans splattered puddle of blood pieces of broken glass on steps to Dakota Building Cal looks to Odysseus John Lennon has been murdered Cal waits for Odysseus to say something tear rolls down cheek Cal glances away stares down at floor they drink in silence
Gather ‘round, warriors. This is your time.

This is your time to shine. It’s your day in the sun. It’s one-of-a-kind, o ye cheaters of death, but this is, nevertheless, your finest hour.

You found a home in war. You entered into a contract with bad company and gave up the rights to your body, your mind, everything but your mortal soul. They took advantage of the circumstance and you wound up deep in a bunk hole, hiding behind the tenuous wall of a manure pile. Bullets whizzed by your ears, fear possessed your frames like a demon taunted by the Lord. Death swooped in to put it’s fear into you, but you all laughed in his face and spat in his eye, turned your back on him without saying goodbye. Perhaps “See ya later” would have been appropriate. 

But no matter, husky gladiators. It is time to rest from your battle. It’s time to put away your swords and scabbards, your spears and your slings. Your automatic machine guns and your hand grenades. Your potent strains of anthrax and your agent orange. Surrender your arms, troglodytes. Cast them to the ground below. Consider the clatter they all make as they fall to the pavement. Take it in, breathe it all in, make it yours…

…for it IS yours.

Sorry, we didn’t get around to telling you. It was always yours, we just figured you would find it out on your own if you wanted it bad enough. No, I would agree: that is NOT fair. And I would also say this to you, “Fairness is a relative concept. When you consider the value we placed on you actually knowing this as a fact…well, I think it should be pretty ****** obvious. Don’t be a *****, you give all servicemen a bad name when you do that, you know?”

But enough of the self esteem-building fodder all, that is not why I have gathered ye here to-day. Nay, not even close. I have brought you all here together because I wanted to be the first to tell you. You’re all going home. That’s right, you’re homeward bound. Soon you’ll be able to pack your **** and take a southbound train to ride. You’ve lost your minds killing innocent civilians, you’ve struggled to keep your eyes open most nights, as staying awake meant staying alive. But you’re going home! Warm nights tucked between clean linen sheets. Soft goose down pillows to bore your heads into. The smell of coffee in the morning, bacon and eggs if you’re lucky. The prospect of another day that won’t be defined by the number of lives you’ve ended between sunrise and sunset.

The journey home will be a victorious one, indeed. You shall see it from the comfort of a first class seat on the most expensive airliner we can afford! A small bottle of gin or whiskey is only a few feet away and all you have to do to get one is ask the attendant. If you ask nicely I don’t doubt she might let you have more of those little bottles than administrative policy usually allows. But she sees it in your eyes…you’re a grizzled soldier. You’re still warm to the touch from the heat of battle. You know this. This is who you are, it’s what we made you. And she will sense this. It will drive her mad with desire. Her knees will quiver, she’ll blush, she’ll radiate ****** charm…but all you’ll be able to think of is that Vietnamese farmer with the plaid shirt. 

A ***** plaid shirt. Dripping with dark, brown mud, he smiled at you from beneath the brim of a straw hat that looked as if it had seen many better years. A smear in the drying clay was on the right side of his face where he’d wiped sweat. His lips were dry and cracked and his nose was a little runny. 

The buttons on that plaid shirt were the cute mother-of-pearl finish jobs, the kind that snap shut real easy. How many men would have noticed that? How many of the sharpest minds in the known universe would have missed how his left boot didn’t quite seem to match the right. But you caught it right away and you stored it into that immense data bank that is your United States Marine Corps certified brain. 

If only you could forget it, though. Right men? I see a few tears in a few eyes. I know I’m on the right track here, so if you still think I’m not talking to YOU, I have an invitation right here in my back pocket that will entitle the man to whom I give it a 6 month stint in the back of a mess peeling spuds. You don’t want that, now, do ye? What? No takers? I thought not.

But where was I? Oh, HOME, that’s what I was on about. You all have very nice homes, no doubt, and I’d bet there’s not a single one of you who isn’t just itchin’ to get back to ‘em. Is it the one you grew up in? Is it one you just bought? No matter, when you leave this place it will either be in a body bag or on the better side of Uncle Sam, who looks after all of those fine men and women who have risked life and limb in his service.

So what’s it going to be, worms? Death? He calls often here, and don’t think I don’t know that his is the song of the siren to many a worn out Spartan. But faileth not, loyal comrades. 

Will it be insanity? Will the wage of life and death struggle prove to be nothing more than a tug-of-war between lucidity and madness? Yer going home, grunt, why should it matter? Either one’s better than lying face down in a pool of your own guts. Don’t worry about it, just get on the plane. Baby, it’s your ticket to ride.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

I stepped onto the tarmac with a firm determination to forget the last 2 years. Maybe even the last 15. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m just tired of looking for an answer. I’ve listened for the still, small voice of reason and wisdom, but it seems to have stayed behind in the battlefield. Probably where it belongs. 


The night was cloudy and the stars shone like pinpricks in a dark black veil that covered the most brilliant light…ha, I almost said “life”…I may not have been too far wrong there. I wanted to cut the cord of gravity, float through however many miles it might take to reach one of the punctured holes. Then I would tear the fabric and crawl into the other side. Disappear into the brilliant aura.

Only a dream, only a wish. I drug my weary frame from the bustling airport to the highway. An old two-lane road, dangerous after dark. It doesn’t bother me. It’s purpose is to facilitate the traversing of distance from one point to another. I could care less about where it could lead me. I only knew that I would not turn back no matter where I wound up, so I stuck out my thumb and waited for someone to give me a ride.

Does anybody stop to give rides to strangers anymore? I wouldn’t. It’s not something I condone. In fact, I have only done it once in my life, when I was just a kid, before seeing “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”. After watching that seminal film I resolved to never, ever pick up hitch-hikers again. I wasn’t going to help anybody on the side of the road, either. **** being a “good Samaritan” if it means getting my brains blown clear out of my skull, flung to the side of the road like rotten fruit. 

Despite all of this I still had my hand stretched out, thumb in the universal position that signifies the need of transportation for the “down-on-his-luck” traveler. I remember asking myself what could be more pathetic. I was reduced, by circumstances beyond my control, to hitching or hoping that someone might be clueless enough to pick me up.

Yet, that is exactly what happened.

A hookah smoking caterpillar sat behind the wheel, and he seemed glad to do a small kindness to me. He could tell I was a veteran of psychic wars. He felt obligated, I was sure.

“Hop in, friend,” he said. “I can see that you’re a little down on your luck. I been there ma’self a time ‘er two. Just throw yer pack in the back seat and climb up here with me.”

I wasn’t shocked in the least that a hookah smoking caterpillar was driving a GMC Jimmy east on Route 66. It did, however, give me quite a shock to think that he would pull over and offer me a ride. I am no fool.

“Off we go,” I said to him. 


The road was a long one that took us out of the state. As we crossed the line the caterpillar turned the radio up real loud and started singing along to a Journey song they were playing on the classic rock station.

“Ooooh, wheel in the sky keeps on turning,” he wailed. “I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow!!!”

I turned to him. “You have a very distinct grasp of Steve Perry’s vocal mannerisms. Have you ever sang professionally?”

“Oh no, not me. I could never go onstage in front of a lot of people and sing. I just don’t have it in me.”

“Well, you aren’t afraid to sing in front of me. What’s the difference between one stranger and a hundred strangers?”

“Oh, it’s not that. It’s not that at all,” he repeated. “I had a friend who used to play and sing in a lot of the bars on the circuit between California and New Orleans. It was a job to him, you know? He told me about a lot of the stuff that goes on in those places. He told me how one time he was singing a Roy Orbison song when some pool-shooting loser throws the cue ball right at him. Beaned him on the forehead, BOP! Had to hurt. Said the bruise swelled up so bad directly afterwards that people started calling him “the Elephant Man”. I was a beginner in the days when he regaled me with these anecdotes and mister, I’ll tell you, he put the fear of God in me. I was so terrified of getting conked in the head with a pool ball that I never pursued the craft.”

I felt a tinge of sympathy for his plight. “I’m sorry to hear that. I bet you would have been a star if you’d gone for it. Bigger than Steve Perry, even.”

“Oh, it’s okay. I don’t feel cheated or like I’ve missed anything essential to my happiness. As long as I’ve got wheels, my hookah and something to put in it, I am a happy caterpillar. Remember that: I am merely a caterpillar.”

“I will do that, but you’re a caterpillar who could kick Steve Perry’s *** any day of the week!”

“Wheel in the sky keeps on turning!”

“**** straight…I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow!” 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

The caterpillar held the wheel steady and kept on truckin’. He sang along with every single classic rock song that came on the radio. From Kansas to Boston to “Sweet Home Chicago” he knew them all and, to be perfectly honest, he did a **** good job. He belted ‘em out like Springsteen, he crooned like Bryan Ferry, he croaked like Joe Cocker, he wailed like Janis Joplin, he screamed like that dude from Slayer. No two ways about it. This hookah smoking caterpillar had serious talent. 

I was curious. “So, mister, what to do you do for a living?”

“My friend, I am a mortician. I deal with death every single day. I do a job that most folks would find distasteful and not a little disturbing. And yet I love my job. I do, oh yes, I do. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the whole world.”

“Sounds interesting,” I said. “How does a man get a start in a field like yours?”

“It’s not too hard, really,” he replied. “You come with me, I’ll make you an apprentice. You lookin’ for work?”

“No, sir. I can’t say that I am right now. Still got a little cache stashed away from military days.” I made a gesture with my hand that signified that I was grateful for the offer, but would have to pass. “Maybe one of these days I might change my mind. I think I could handle it. I’m not squeamish. No, not at all.”

“Oh, I’m sure you could handle it. I can tell by the way you look straight ahead, you don’t look back, you’ve got a grip on everything in this world and you think there’s nothing that could ever shake your foundations, whether it be from the east wind or the west. The north or the south. Do I read you correctly?”

“I reckon you do. I’ve had a hard run most of my days. Experience has taught me one lesson, but it taught me good and well: Nothing is as you really think it is, and it could all be gone tomorrow. ”
judy smith Oct 2015
Even when going incognito, she oozes A-list glamour.

And Jessica Alba looked sensational as she stepped out in West Hollywood to grab a refreshing drink with her daughters Honor, seven, and Haven, four, at Verve Coffee Roasters on Sunday.

The 34-year-old actress, who is married to producer Cash Warren, perfected the low-key look in a grey cotton ****-dress with a **** split, which she teamed with a khaki and navy plaid shirt.

Jessica oozed laid-back cool in her chic ensemble which comprised of a soft cotton dress, which skimmed her gym-honed figure while a large split up one side revealed her legs.

The Sin City starlet ensured her accessories were equally on-point, topping off her look with a stylish navy felt fedora.

Yet again giving the look a matching addition, Jessica toted an oversized navy leather handbag, which boasted a large front-facing pocket with a gold buckle.

The stunning star topped off the edgy ensemble with a pair of ankle boots with a low heel.

Jessica wore her ombre locks loose over hers shoulder with a slight kink styled into her hair.

Clearly completely comfortable for her day trip, the actress opted to forego make-up, allowing her stunning complexion to stand out.

Getting ready to take her girls and their friend into the car, Jessica juggled her car keys, a parking ticket and two refreshing soft drinks.

The day trip comes just days after the actress and entrepreneur launched her new make-up range.

Jessica is the founder of lifestyle brand The Honest Company, which promotes and sells natural and non-toxic home and body products.

The company has introduced a new line of make-up - Honest Beauty - and established its first pop-up shop at The Grove in Los Angeles.

Speaking with Women's Wear Daily of the new venture, Jessica explained that the line had been inspired by her years in the business, and wanting dependable, quality make-up.

'I've been working since I was 12, so I have over 20 years' experience with make-up, and I am used to a really high standard of effectiveness and quality,' she told the website.

The Sin City star also revealed that she was always planning on launching a make-up line, but she just wanted to take time to make sure she got it right.

read more:www.marieaustralia.com/backless-formal-dresses

www.marieaustralia.com/****-formal-dresses
Harry J Baxter Nov 2013
The sun hides behind the clouds
but I see feet beneath those curtains
on a Sunday a girl with short hair and lesbianism smiles at me
You shouldn't mix plaid with stripes
that's like fashion 101
so I walked down the street
buttoning my plaid shirt up
when I fell down a  man hole
and a mole man said to me
you shouldn't buy those Adidas shoes
they treat the workers horribly
so I took them off
and cut my naked feet on rust ladder rungs
I went to the top floor
they told my I shouldn't wear my jeans so creased
they scoffed at the words denim
so I took my pants off and made them into a sail
I went to the mirror
and it told me I should fit a size bigger
and that I should probably work out some more
I tore muscular and skeleton systems from the pages of biology text books
and used it for kindling
to warm my cold shoulders

— The End —