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hayley robertson Oct 2016
you had these white plates
i never knew how one could keep plates that pristine
like they had been dipped in bleach
before and after every use

we used to eat off of those plates
those beautiful ivory discs
it was always spaghetti that we enjoyed together
at least once a week
i couldn't figure out how all that red never once stained the surface
i still don't know

i think your heart was like those white plates
those beautiful, generous, pure plates
that concluded some of the best days of my life
i spooned out my love
but it never once stained the surface

how do i know?

because in the end you were just left
with those white plates
like they had never once been eaten on
with a clean slate for someone else to stain
Harry J Baxter Jan 2014
The sound of clattering plates
as a voice in the kitchen yells
we gotta sailor walking in hot
and the waitresses walk around the place
always just beyond the breaking point
wearing voices which say
we hope you have a great night
the plates they clatter
as the men at the bar grow drunker
as the redskins lose yet another game
No sir,
we regret to inform you
that you can not take your beer home with you
in a kiddie sized to go cup
the plates clatter
as the bus boys and dish crew
bounce to Mexican hopping beats
bustling and jostling their way through the six tops
a cart full of leftovers and the crayon drawings of little kids
seven o’clock sees the dinner rush
come and go
and still that sound
the endless clattering of plates
as quitting time rolls around
and a hundred people throw a hundred exhausted punches
at the same juggernaut of a clock
as they always have and always will
outside fresh air smells chemical
and in the car
alone on the ride home save for the passing
of headlights: strangers navigating the same dark
you still think you can hear it
the clattering of plates
Rip Lazybones Feb 2015
I was walking down the street, but wasn't alone. The person in front of me  was myself, maybe it was him that wasn't alone. I was the shadow. Nervously, I asked where we are going. Myself told me we were going to this girl's house that I had long time feelings for. After answering my own question, we pulled together into one entity, as if my consciousness was playing catch up to my physical body.
We are now outside her house, I knock on the door and she answers. After inviting me in, she sits me down at her table and prepares tea. It was a dark blend, strong aroma yet a weak body. A few silent moments pass of us just sipping tea. She stands up and informs me that she has to take a shower. She request that I wait and relax here for her.
She goes off to shower. I notice there is a stack of small saucer plates in reaching distance. Slowly reaching, gripping, and pulling the plates to me, I hold them in my hands close to my chest. My arms slowly lift the stack of plates up to my mouth and I bite into the stack of plates. Chewing the shards doesn't cut my gums, but I can feel the pain in my teeth. After a hard swallow, I take another bite. This continues until the stack of plates are even halved.
Suddenly, I begin to worry what she will think or say about the debasing of her plates. Greater fear fills me when I begin wonder what she will think when she sees that I didn't finish eating them and they are being wasted. I convince myself to continue eating the plates. Before I can take the next bite, I begin to worry what will happen when these shards pass through my bowels. Anxiously, I set the plates on the table and continue to sip tea while I wait for her to finish showering. She never returns.
Jabin Apr 2018
Drip, drip, drip
Wishes...
Drip, drip, drip.

You think you're safe?
Think you gave me
the slip?
You thought you'd end
on a guilt trip?
Whip, whip, whip.

Whip, whip, whip
Dishes-
Crack, crack, crack.

All this - my blood.
Whip, whip, whip.
You think we're buds-
Whip, whip, whip.

The odds were stacked.
So you stacked back.
You said I lacked,
with a back hand
smack.
Whip, whip! 

I spin the plates.
I spin the plates.
You knock them down.
I spin the plates.
Crack, crack.

Because you say,
I must obey.
I'd rather pray
for sunless day.
Drift through the dark,
night, endless, stark.
Now on my mark,
Head down, *** out-
Whip, whip, whip.

Drip.
Drip.
Hate fills.
Hate steals.
Drip, drip.

Why couldn't you
just do like you
should?
Why aren't you
doing some good?
Whip, whip;
I can't take it.
Drip, drip.
Why can't you just
let me go?

I spin the plates.
You knock them down.
I spin the plates.
Crack, crack.
Angela Moreno Jul 2015
One day we will live in a house
Where plates are broken
Because of accidents.
Our plates will break
Because you were helping mommy
With the dishes
When the plate slipped from your fingers.
You and I will make faces
In the sink
With all the broken pieces
And laugh at the faces laughing back at us.
One day we will live in a home
Where plates are broken
Because of accidents.
And nothing will ever be thrown.
Poemasabi Jun 2013
I had to run to the store today at lunchtime
we were out of paper plates
we had a party last night
and didn't want to have to do dishes again

While there and while moving quite quickly
although in the shape I am in, "quickly" is being very kind to myself

I came across a man
In a blue blazer
with yellow shorts and
knee-high yellow socks
in beige shoes

My first thought was
I need to get paper plates
my father-in-law is waiting for his lunch
he's eighty nine and flew over the Pacific
during WWII in a PBY Catalina
one of the most beautiful flying boats ever created
pulling pilots out of the water
who had come up short in a dogfight
or of fuel
I needed to get paper plates

This isn't Bermuda old chap
or a cricket match in Rhoorkee
the british invented great campaign chairs there
this is Connecticut but then

I realized that I knew the man
I had worked with him in a previous life
in a long dead company
that burst before the internet bubble did
He was a former British Sergeant Major
and as such took his colonial British very seriously
that attitude fascinates me
his office I recalled, looked like a colonial governor's office in India

So I said hi
and we talked for a bit
and wished each other well
and said good bye
as I needed to get paper plates
my father-in-law was waiting for his lunch
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
This is not, a time to loosen up
Or nine to five job to give up
Just saddle up the power is in you
Five ladies cafe to dine at five and
drove_* the meter is running
(The Canadian Cup) team versus the
     Taxi Cup
He swooned you in your
Five dreamy but half heart sugars
Come on Baby bloomers
Let's see some boom!!

In your hips men will be men taking
frequent flyer trips temptation 1 2345
We need fewer digs one love teo reasons
World  345  heart flags
We don't have to cross our hearts
Perhaps tattoo heart legs no more strikes
Jumping Jack flash
What a rope in this isn't the Pope

Somehow we all get broke
To court her like your the lasso
stars cosmos hearts like Lassie
Never a change of subject how it
remains in your heart how it hit hard
to react but changed to five cards
Digging too long  lucky 777 like heaven
Heart digs

1-where?
Oh! There

No, I am here
We are always  
In-between
numbers_ I only
have 5 minutes
No I phone have a heart
Oh! where is designed for me
Those five plates

Whats in between them
      *Him

We are opening Live- Five
Strong heart to give the caring
The useful heart is never so daring
My gate* Girls are nail digging
Hugging

Or losing add +

Flirty
*****
Our community
Heftier like Jupiter
Heart to build
the gravity
A big kiss hunch
of five roses

Your getting to bloom
but only have
5 extra movie parts
The front dress mermaid tail
Your heart delicate hands
opened up your emails
I think you hit the
Jackpot

Max to the million shot
No heart of gold
Only more leaders
Scrambling and digging
your fork
Mixing those egg beaters

Five men think they know
there women
like ten
commandments
Turn to five wrong
engagements
There it goes the lucky
five arguments

A plot beating
like a hot-shot
The French Baguette
Bread 9 to 5 firecracker
Five-carat baguette
wedding band in her safe
Heart digs to five hands
Heart neck guilty as a giraffe

The cafe house had only
5 cups left  they sold you out
Only Five Bed and breakfast
stayers
Do detailed with their Ladyfingers
But need more alone time
Be on time get sweet key lime
What is real-time so sublime

That rose- paper cut- origami
Sorcerer of five he was like the
cold cuts of big Sub Salami
Japanese sword samurai
What a Geronimo Oh! no
Jericho
This wasn't a hot potato

Or Gizmo No-Go
Getting a shot for Polio
The gusto songs to the heart play
Maestro the Cosmo's
The five stars to heart his
afterglow
Like a titanic ship but heroics

Five lunatics wedding horns ******
Five two timer Mario gamers
so demonic
DOMINO'S bed five students wed
We dug deeper get-up sleepy-head
Exposed cries location set
Network U- dig cups

Something lip curved
He misplaced my lips
What did he do in exchange
More stocks and hard stone rocks
Like frying pan egg
scrambled words

Crossed heart Rapper so believing
The Fox five sticking tacky glue
His CD Rose lying pants no clue
Painful pointed shoes need R&R
     Robin's *Responsibilities
       The Heart On Replay
The deeper you dig to restart

The healthy organically grown brain
Men on Pause I truly believe nature
takes its course
but another beat to go is that so?
And if so heart digs to five
Feel the good vibe in another tribe
Five times I had to wake you up
I am the love cure reminiscing

Giving me five reasons
Our beautiful change of
heart in season

Studying the fine art heart
Referencing
Never refusing thats life
five-step to strive nothing
Fancy

Robin shoutbox she getting
her point across
Either you're the worker or loner
The heart pleaser the boss
Your heart looks good
on your dress
Whether we win or deep mess
The good heart can change to
a bad start

Recharge your heart count to five
Venus- beauty moved on like a
pathologist digging over staying alive
The hearts what digs this is not the 9-5 workers we are talkers
and long settling in heart walkers come any join me we may actually be alive did I get a live one
Broderick Jan 2012
We piled up dishes,
           yours and mine, both.
We didn't feel like cleaning our messes- we both had our own only we could handle.
It took months for us to realize how high the plates were stacked,
           -actually, at first, only I realized.
           -actually, you never realized.
We had plates in every crevice.
           You balanced spoons on top of the photo albums,
           I piled forks on my old notebooks,
           Knives were stabbed into the walls,
           I put bowls on top of my albums,
           You stacked plates on your bed,
           I put the cups onto my bed,
                      and we could never really sleep again.
We couldn't open old letters or see past pictures,
           (things grew easier that way, or so we deluded to ourselves)
and the plates and silverware and bowls and cups          
           ruined our lives,
so that we had to learn to live with our own messes,
           but, eventually, I realized
           I couldn't live in this mess;
I started to clean up. I made some **** good progress, too.
           It was a challenging task, but I've done well.
I can sleep most nights now,
           but sometimes I still turn and find
           a fork lost somewhere in the sheets.
When I open old folders, sometimes a teaspoon falls out,
           and I can't help but get lost in the mess again,
but it's gotten better for me; it can get better for you.
           You're not letting it, though.
You go out and buy dishes just to ***** them,
           because you get a kick out of living in a mountain of plates and silverware.
I don't think we can ever be clean again,
           completely at least,
but you've got to get rid of your mess,
           or else, you'll be just another plate in the pile.
Patricia Drake Mar 2013
I fell in love
when I was only 20
a comfortable
and affordable
pursuasive love
with a lawn
and green jaquard curtains
and gold ornamented
dinner plates
that blocked out all.

He fell in love too
and he was also 20
hed not known better
mowed the lawn
watched tv
and ate
not from the ornamented plates
for they were reserved
for special occasions
like the crystal glasses
we got for Christmas

Our love was dear
we spent fortunes
but did not go anywhere
did not dream
until one day
he left
and took half
of our collection
of gold ornamented plates
before we got to use them
I cried for that love

...seems like a different life
Zeeb Jul 2015
Hotrod
Verse I

Wrenches clanging, knuckles banging
A drop of blood the young man spilt
A new part here, and old part… there
A hotrod had been built!
A patchwork, mechanical, quilt

Feelings of excitement not unlike those of Christmas mornings long past paid visit to the young man, his head under a raised hood, hands occupied, the job nearing completion.  Did building that Lionel train-set so long ago form some type of pattern in his brain, now being so pleasurably served?  The good feelings would dissipate though, as quickly as they came, as he cursed himself for stripping a bolt, or cursed someone else for selling him the wrong part, or the engineer whose design goals obviously did not consider “remove and replace”.  He cursed the “gorilla” that never heard of a torque-wrench, the glowing particle of **** that popped on to the top of his head as he welded, the metal chip he flushed from his eye, and even himself for the burn he received by impatiently touching something too soon after grinding.  He, and his type, cursed a lot, but mostly to their selves as they battled-on with things oily, hot, bolted, welded, and rusty – in cramped spaces. One day it was choice words for an “easy-out” that broke off next to a broken drill bit that had broken off in a broken bolt, that was being drilled for an easy out.    Despite the swearing, the good and special feelings, feelings known only to those with a true capacity for this type of passion, would always return, generally of a magnitude that exceeded the physical pain and mental frustration of the day, by a large margin.   Certifiably obsessive, the young man continued to toil dutifully, soulfully, occasionally gleefully, sometimes even expertly, in his most loved and familiar place, his sanctuary, laboratory… the family garage.

And tomorrow would be the day.
Fire extinguisher? “ Right there”
Battery? “Charged and connected”
Neutral?  “yes”
Brake?  “Set”
And with hard learned, hard earned expertise and confidence, in this special small place, a supremely happy and excited young man commanded his creation to life.

Threw  a toggle, pressed a switch
Woke up the neighbors with that *******

The heart of his machine was a stroked Chevy engine that everyone had just grown sick hearing about.  Even the local machine shop to which the boy nervously entrusted his most prized possession had had enough.  “Sir, I don’t want to seem disrespectful, but from what I’ve read in Hot Rod Magazine, you might be suggesting a clearance too tight for forged pistons…” then it would be something else the next day.   One must always speak politely to the machinist, and even though he always had, the usual allotment of contradictions and arguments afforded to each customer had long run out – and although the shop owner took a special liking to the boy because, as he liked to say, “he reminds me of me”, well, that man was done too.  But in the end, the mill was dead-on.  Of course from the start, the shop knew it would be; that’s almost always the case; it’s how they stay in business - simply doing good work.  Bad shops fall out quickly, but this place had the look of times gone by.  Good times.  Old porcelain signs, here and there were to be found, all original to the shop and revered by the older workers in honored nostalgia.  The younger workers get it too; they can tell from the men they respect and learn from, there is something special about this past.  One sign advertises Carter Carburetors and the artwork depicts “three deuces”, model 97’s, sitting proudly atop a flathead engine, all speeding along in a red, open roadster.  Its occupants a blond haired boy with slight freckles (driver), and a brunette girl passenger, white blouse slightly unbuttoned,  both in the wind-blown cool, their excited expressions proclaim… "we are free!" (and all you need is a Carter, or three).

The seasoned old engine block the boy entrusted to the shop cost him $120-even from the bone yard.  Not a bad deal for a good block that had never had its first 0.030” overbore.  In the shop, it was cleaned, checked for cracks, measured and re-measured, inspected and re-inspected.  It was shaped and cut in a special way that would allow the stroker crankshaft, that was to be the special part of this build, to have all the clearance it would need.  The engine block was fitted with temporary stress plates that mimic the presence of cylinder heads,  then the cylinders were bored to “first oversize”,  providing fresh metal for new piston rings to work against.  New bearings were installed everywhere bearings are required.  Parts were smoothed here and there.  Some surfaces were roughened just so, to allow new parts to “work-into each other” when things are finally brought together.  All of this was done with a level of precision and attention far, far greater than the old “4- bolt” had ever received at the factory on its way to a life of labor in the ¾ ton work truck from which it came.  They called this painstaking dedication to precision measurement and fit, to hitting all specifications “on the mark”, “blueprinting”, and it would continue throughout the entire build of this engine.  The boy stayed  worried the whole time, but the shop had done it a million times.

After machining, the block was filled with new and strong parts that cost the young man everything he had.   Parts selected with the greatest of effort, decision, and debate.  “ You can compromise on paint”,” live with some rust”, he would say,  “wait for good tires”, “but never scrimp on the engine”.  Right on.  You get one shot at getting that right, and this proclamation demonstrated wisdom but also provided ample excuse for the rough and unfinished look of the rest of his machine.  But it was just a look, his car was, in fact, “right”.   And its power plant?  Well the machine shop had talked their customer into letting them do the final engine assembly - even cut their price to do it.  They were looking out for the boy.  The mill in its final form was the proper balance of performance and durability, and with its camshaft so carefully selected, the engine's “personality” was perfectly matched to the work at hand.   It would produce adequate torque in the low RPM range to get whole rig moving quickly, yet deliver enough horsepower at red-line to pile on the MPH, fast.  No longer a polite-natured workhorse, this engine, this engine is impatient now.  High compression, a rapid, choppy idle - it seems to be biting at the bit – to be released.  On command, it gulps its mixture and screams angrily, and often those standing around have a reflexive jump - the louder, the better - the more angry, the better.  If it hurts your ears, that’s a good feeling.  If its bark startles, that’s a good startle.  A cacophony?  No, the “music” of controlled explosions, capable of thrusting everything and everyone attached, forward, impolitely, on a rapid run to “red-line”, and it keeps pulling hard and delivering power while spinning fast because it is breathing right and proper and producing the power that thrills, and the only reason to shift gears is to preserve connecting rods, eager as the engine may be to rev further!

This is the addictive sound and feel that has appealed to a certain type of person since engines replaced horses, and why?  A surrogate voice for those who are otherwise quiet?  A visceral celebration of accomplishment?    Who cares.  Shift once, then again - speed quickly makes its appearance.  It appears as a loud, rushing wind and a visually striking, unnatural view of the surrounding scenery.  At some point, in the sane, it triggers a natural response - better slow down.    


He uncorked the headers, bought gasoline, dropped her in gear, tore off to the scene
Camaros and Mustangs, an old ‘55
Obediently lined-up, to get skinned alive!


Verse II (1st person)

I drove past the banner that said “Welcome race fans” took a new route, behind the grandstands
And through my chipped window, I thought I could see
Some of the racers were laughing at me

I guess rust and primer are not to their taste
But I put my bucks mister in the right place

I chugged/popped past cars that dealers had sold
Swung into a spot, next to something old

Emerging with interest from under his hood
My neighbor said two words, he said, “sounds good”

The ’55 I parked next to was “classic rodding” in its outward appearance.  The much overused “primer paint job” channeled “Two Lane Blacktop”.  The hood and front fenders a fiberglass clamshell, pinned affair.  Dice hanging from the mirror paid homage to days its driver never knew, but wished he had.  He removed them before he drove, always.

If you know how to peel the onion, secrets are revealed.  Wilwood brake calipers can be a dead giveaway. Someone needs serious stopping power - maybe.  Generally, owners who have sprung the bucks for this type gear let the calipers show off in bright red, to make a statement, and sometimes, these days, it’s just a fashion statement.  Now, expensive calipers, as eye candy, are all the rage.  What is true, however, is very few guys spend big money on brakes only to render them inglorious and seemingly common with a shot of silver paint from a rattle can, and the owner of this ’55 had done just that. 

Two things seem to be at play here.  One, he needs those heavy brakes because he’s fast, and two, hiding them fits his style.   Really, the message to be found in the silver paint, so cleverly applied to make your eyes simply slide across on their way to more interesting things, was “sleeper”.   And sleeper really means, he’s one of those guys with a score to settle - with everyone perhaps.   The list of “real parts” grew, if you knew where to look.  Something I had defacto permission to do since my rod was undergoing a similar scrutiny.  
“Stroked?”, I asked.  That’s something you can’t see from the outside. “ No”, the racer replied.  
“Hundred shot?”  (If engines have their language, so do the people who love them).   Despite the owner’s great efforts to conceal braided fuel and nitrous lines, electrical solenoids and switches, I spied his system.  The chunks of aluminum posing as ordinary spacers under his two carburetors were anything but.   “No”, was his one-word reply to my 100- shot question.  I tried again; “Your nitrous system, how much are you spraying?”  “Two hundred fifty” in two stages, he said.  That’s more like it, I thought, and I then figured, he too had budgeted well for the machine shop – if not, he was gambling in a game that if lost, would fly parts in all directions.   Based on the overall vibe of the scene, and the clean work on display, I believed his build was up to the punishment he planned.   I knew exactly what this tight-lipped guy was about, seeing someone very familiar in him as it were, and that made the “sounds good” complement I received upon my arrival all the more valuable.

The voice on the loudspeaker tells us we’re up.

Pre-staged, staged, then given the green
The line becomes blurred between man and machine

Bones become linkage
Muscle, spring
Fear, excitement

Time distorts ….
Color disappears …
Vision narrows…
Noise ---  becomes music
Speed, satisfaction

End
I.

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex



II.

She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

and,
under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.



A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.





III.

The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.



IV.

Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.





V.

A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.


Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.





VI.

The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.



Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.



VII.

I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.



My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.



A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.



My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.



VIII.

I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.



IX.

It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three



This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.





He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said

Disgusting.

People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.

Instead,

she would take their money by managing them.





X.

Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,

fabulous.



Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.





XI.

We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,

Whiskey,

Cognac.

There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then



It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.





XII.

A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.



XIII.

She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.



She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.



XIV.

She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect

Tall

Blonde

Model.

But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”



XV.

I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called

Marlene

and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.



XVI.

Her prison number was

888

which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.



XVII.

Never have *** on the first date.



XVIII.

There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.



“Allô oui,”



It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.



She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!



XIX.

She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to

Dior,

Vuitton,

to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.



My Swans.



It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was

better-dressed,

better-looking,

and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.



**.

The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all



Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,

chins,

teeth,

*******.

There was a lot to do.



Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,

read

certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.



You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.



It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”





XXI.

A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said

Neuilly.

Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.



I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.



Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.





XXII.

She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.



That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.



It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say

Yes,

Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.



There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be

beautiful.

Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.



I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or

Nulle.



Or,

on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?

No.

They paid.



XXIII.

Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,

oh,

a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.



Remember,

this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.



XXIV.

For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,

l’angoisse.

It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.



XXV.

I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.



XXVI.

There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all

here.



She will take many state secrets with her.



XXVI.

I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people

Who

were

beautiful.

And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.





XXVII.

I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you

‘advice,’

She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!



Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.





We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.



I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.



XXVIII.

That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.



XXIX.

To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.



Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.



By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they

chatted,

ate,

and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.



They’d order women up like pizza.



Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.



***.

Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.



The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.

Never!

What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’





XXXI.

Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.


It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.


To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.



XXXII.

She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.



She was, how can I say it,

classy.

When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.





XXXIII.

I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.



If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.





XXXIV.

I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.



I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn



She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.



Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.



Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.



XXXV.

You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business



XXXVI.

I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.



I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!



XXXVII.

Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!

Braaawk!

Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.



I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.





XXXVIII.

The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.



I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.



Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.



XXXIX.

I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.



Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?



Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.



That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.

Really?

I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.



He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.



XL.

I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.





I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.

Girlfriend?

Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.

Huge!

She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.



XLI.

No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.



We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.



XLII.

The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.



XLIII.

If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it

But,

if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.



She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,

crying,

and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
Fah Apr 2014
Creation can be a dangerous game ,
the words are not just words , nor the pictures measly brush stroke paintings

creation magic tricks
transmutation
translucent transfiguration from thought realm to
physical plane -


eat from the palm of third eye mind
lick the plates of your halo
Bruce Wilfrome May 2014
Plates of gold, hearts of steel,
keeping our secrets, never to reveal.

For wether we know it or not,
it is nothing more than a thought.

Plates of gold, hearts of steel,
keeping our secrets, never to reveal...
Thinking of You Dec 2015
And I know we won't be forever and we might not even be for long. And maybe you're not the one but your one. And maybe we don't match but neither do my socks or the plates in the kitchen. And maybe the end will be messy but so is my car and life. So why shouldn't we just enjoy it along the way?
Alexis Mar 2011
We turn on a clock
we've created ourselves
while the nature around us
seems to sit on a shelf
But it's all moving too
just on its own time
how selfish to assume
this world is only mine!

We live and we breathe
and then our lives are done
But the dirt and the rocks
continue to run
they seem to be the ones
having all the real fun!

In the light of reality
I'm the insignificant one.
Olivia Kent Sep 2013
Sunflowers

Good morning world.
After the deluge of yesterday I am sun-kissed once again.
Look out of the window.
Two gardens up stand sunflowers.
Heads the size of dinner plates.
Seems rather late this summer.
Late in coming.
For their gifts to be pasted to the sky.
They stand in a sort of floppy gestures.
Trying to support their heavy heads.
They remind me on this autumn morn with blazing sun.
That summer's almost gone!
By ladylivvi1

© 2013 ladylivvi1 (All rights reserved)
CommonStory Jan 2015
We need negativity

It's the only thing more potent than the potion of positivity

While we concern ourselves with the priority of support that positivity brings

Negativity is what makes up move

It's the faults we strive to perfect

In the aspect of perfect

Perfect itself is seen as positive to the point of negative outcomes

To pick on looks or physical attributes

To be stepped on

These are the negative effects of favoritism

That let humans know they are humans to other humans in the best of ways

It's the negative the humbles

And the positive that opens possibilities
Only to fall on the cushion

It's the negative that wraps the fear into a burrito and the positivity that plates it on hope

It fills us while the other gives flavor

And while you might disagree

I just talking about human equality
©  copyright Matthew Marquis Xavier Donald 2015
Big Virge Jan 2015
The ... " GREAT DEBATE " ...
Would Seem To Surround This Thing Called Race ... ?
  
It Makes Some FROWN And Open Their Mouths ...  
About The Ways This Debate Is ... Swept AWAY ..............  
    
By ... " Heads of State " ...  
And Those Who Claim That .......................................  
    
"Racism displays are minimal today !  
So blacks who have a chip, should stop running their lips !"
    
Well Like The Young Orators ...  
Shown In ... " The Great Debators " ...  
    
My View Is Simply This ...  
    
Would They Rather Blacks Shoot ... Clips ... !?!  
Than Use Their Minds To .... " THINK " ...  ???  
    
A Question When Expressed ....  
That SHOULDN'T Be Answered ... YES ... !!!!!  
    
It's CLEAR The Great Debate Will ALWAYS Be This Way ...  
Because A Black Whose Brain ...
Is Used To EDUCATE And ELEVATE Our Strays ...  
  
Is One Who Will Be Labelled As A Person Telling Fables ...  
Whose Thought Waves Are ... UNSTABLE ... !!!!!
    
" A TERRORIST !!! "  
" A COMMUNIST !!! "  
AN UPSTART WHO ...  
SHOULD BE REMOVED !!!
    
... "HIS - Story" ...  
    
KEEPS Giving PROOF ...  
That Blacks Who Choose To RAISE THE ROOF ...  
When They REFUSE To ... " **** and Shoot " ...  
  
But Choose To Use Their Brain Tissue ...  
To ... Air Their Views On Race Issues ...  
Are DEMONISED By Those Who Unite Behind Racist Tribes ... !!!  
    
It's NOT A GAME To Face Race hate ... !!!
    
And Now Is NOT The Great Debate ... ?!?    
The Great Debate Has CLEARLY CHANGED ... !!!  
    
Osama ... Obama ...  
All Kinds of Street Drama ...  
With The Credit Crunch At Number One ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!  
    
Terrorist Crimes At Number Two ...  
And Number Three ... No Energy ... !!!  
    
No Oil ... No Gas .... !!!  
No Cash .... No Bank .... !!!  
    
No Bonuses The Onus is ......  
    
DIVERSIONS Folks And That's NO JOKE ... !!!  
    
Until I Hear This Very Quote ....  
    
"The President has sold his home !" ...
    
I Won't Adhere To Credit Fears ... !!!  
    
The Olympic Fund Has Seen NO CRUNCH ... !?!  
    
Even Though ... Cashflow Is Low ?!?!?  
DOESN'T Quite Add Up Like Government Sums ... !!!  
    
Their Great Debates Don't Seem To Relate ...  
About How They've ... Got EMPTY Plates ... !?!  
    
When I See THEM Starve Instead of Laugh ...  
About Policies That PROVE They're THIEVES ... !!!  
I'll Agree That WE ... Have Got PROBLEMS ... !!!  
    
The Type That Mean No Bonuses ...  
For ... BOARD CHAIRMEN ... !!!!!!  
    
No Whitehouse For The President ... !!!  
No Number 10 For The ... " PM ".... !!!!!  
    
And NO More Wars Where Cash Is Spent ...  
As If There's More For .... KILLING Men ... !!!!!  
    
That's A Great Debate ... I'd  Undertake ... !!!!!    
  
Non Violent Acts Against Government Plans ....  
Like Corporate Expedience ... Against Civil Disobedience ...  
    
Debates Like These Are RARELY Seen ...  
EXCEPT These Days On Movie Screens ...  
    
But Even Then Critics Defend ....  
The Lack of Facts These Movies Have ...  
    
... " So, a movie lied ! " ...  
    
How Many Times Has Hollywood ....  
Made Things Look .... " Good " ....  
Because The Bad Would DISPEL Facts...  
SOCIETIES ... Stick To Like GLUE ... !!!  
To KEEP The FOOLS ... IGNORANT To TRUTH ... !!!!!  
    
When Governments ...  
Become ... UNSTUCK ...  
Who'll Debate Then .... !?!  
    
The ... IGNORANT ... !?!
Who've Been FED LIES Most of Their Lives ... !!!!?!!!!  
    
Now That Will Be A ... WORRYING Time ... !!!!!    
    
The Average Joe Who Is GUNG ** ...  
RUNNING The Show When People BLOW ... !!!!!  
    
It's Happening NOW Some Youth Are WILD ... !!!  
    
Running Around ...  
Toting The Style of ... " Gangsta Clowns " ... !!!  
    
Guns And **'s In Videos ... !!!  
How REAL Are THEY Who Get .... " Airplay " .... !???!  
    
Another Debate That May Bring SHAME ... ?  
To Those With FAME ....
Because Their Fame Has Been Man-Made ... !!!  
    
Like HIS-Story Now Seems To Be ... ?  
The Racist Theme of This Here Piece ...
Is NOT All That It Seems To Be ... !!!  
    
Whether It Be RACE Or The Exchange Rate ...    
Or The Time It Takes For Equality To REIGN ... ?????  
    
It Is CLEAR Those Who ORATE And Try To Educate ...  
Should ALWAYS Have A Say ...  
  
Within ...  
    
...... " The Great Debate " ......
The Debate ... RAGES ON ... !!!
Years after I wrote this ........ !!!

Says it all really ... Smh.
What happens when the good girl goes bad
like the spoiled milk she left out?
Because I couldn't seem to get up.
I think it was something about acknowledging that I'm alive, I'm here.
Wouldn't it all be easier if I wasn't?

When the good girl goes bad
because she worked her *** off on that paper and only got a C.

When the good girl goes bad
because the world doesn't treat her right,
but I guess it must because that's
how come I'm the good girl.
Not my depressed sister sitting in her room;
not my other sister running around, destroying everything I had to work for;
most definitely
not my other sister who always seemed to be your favorite but is now smashing plates in our backyard,
'cause I guess that's what happens if you get too close to you.

When the good girl goes bad,
you get angry because
I'm supposed to be your perfect child
not supposed to be
your ***** up child
your lonely child
your lazy child
your anxious child
not supposed to be
your good for nothing child
your dysfunctional child
your doesn't give a **** about anything anymore child.
why don't I ******* give a **** about anything anymore?

When the good girl goes bad
your life falls apart,
because clearly
you had enough to deal with already,
because clearly
this is all my fault,
because clearly
you don't have the time to face your good girl
and
because clearly
that's all on me.

When the good girl goes bad
because you left her out on the counter all those years, sitting there to rot.
And though I know that you can't waste your time putting it away, 'cause you never cared for it anyway,
maybe you shouldn't have bought the milk if you didn't want to drink it.
And I know the milk should take care of itself
but I tried and that only works for a couple of years
before the good girl gone bad falls far off the counter, spills across the floor,
and the only thing left is to throw that nasty old milk away
because your bread, eggs, oil, etc. need your attention
and it's just too late for the good girl.

When the good girl goes bad
because she never asked to be the good girl
or maybe I did, I don't really remember,
but not like this.
I just wanted to be loved
but little did I know that
the good girl just sits there
keeping herself afloat,
but the boat can't guide itself if it wasn't given eyes.
The boat can't patch itself if you keep telling it its still brand new
when its really old, broken, and covered in holes.
You shouldn't put a boat in the water if you know its going to sink,
but I guess you only really need a couple good boats
so you can just toss the good girl.

When mama's little good girl goes bad,
she feels guilty
because she was told she'd always be
the good girl.
Though, its hard being the good girl when you don't have any windshield wipers for your tears at night.
But the tears at night aren't supposed to exist
because
I'm still mama's mother ******' good girl,
just...
please pretend I haven't gone bad.
I added to what was originally posted. I was having some technical issues and decided to just post what I had before, but this is the full poem (5/16/18)
Tom Leveille Oct 2014
and i am eleven again
feeling like tomorrow
is a couple yesterday's ago
smothered in cayenne pepper
hot enough to take off taste buds
and tonight i am eating a meal
only worth burning
it tastes like my parents anniversary
it tastes like a zinfandel
left on the counter too long
it's a bad story, see
there's no silverware
'cause my mom sold it
to keep the lights on
and somewhere in heaven
somebody in a suit
doing commentary
on this fiasco
is telling someone else
in a suit that
"you have to eat love with your hands"
so we sit, four plates on the table
for the two of us
my brother's long gone
dad's even further away
& he's not the one who's buried
i carry both their names like anchors
that i cannot unmoor from
while she looks at the empty table
and says something about the news
she says something else
but she's not talking
we aren't proud of this, see
my dad likes to wax his car
he's proud of it
and my mom says
she sees a lot of him in my hands
says, i touch the things i find
like they didn't belong
to people sleeping in the ground
she says i touch photo albums
the same way-
you know,
i never used to believe
that history could repeat itself
not until i could
fast forward seventeen years
and still wake up to smoke alarms
how i would go into our kitchen
to find it empty
and the dinner smoldering
& my mother in her bedroom
looking through family photos
like it's a just another summer day
and the sirens are just the birds
i don't ask, i never say a word
in this moment
i am an archeologist
afraid to dig up the past
cause history repeats itself-
you see
my brother is dead
and my father is gone
they have been for some years now
and my mother
sometimes forgets
and sets their place at the table
like they're still here
and in the confusion
ends up ankle deep
in pictures of how it used to be
she let's dinner burn
and douses it in red pepper
hoping i won't know the difference
Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma,
Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.

  Through the clear, transparent water
He could see the fishes swimming
Far down in the depths below him;
See the yellow perch, the Sahwa,

  Like a sunbeam in the water,
See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish,
Like a spider on the bottom,
On the white and sandy bottom.

  At the stern sat Hiawatha,
With his fishing-line of cedar;
In his plumes the breeze of morning
Played as in the hemlock branches;
On the bows, with tail erected,
Sat the squirrel, Adjidaumo;
In his fur the breeze of morning
Played as in the prairie grasses.

  On the white sand of the bottom
Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma,
Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes;
Through his gills he breathed the water,
With his fins he fanned and winnowed,
With his tail he swept the sand-floor.

  There he lay in all his armor;
On each side a shield to guard him,
Plates of bone upon his forehead,
Down his sides and back and shoulders
Plates of bone with spines projecting!
Painted was he with his war-paints,
Stripes of yellow, red, and azure,
Spots of brown and spots of sable;
And he lay there on the bottom,
Fanning with his fins of purple,
As above him Hiawatha
In his birch canoe came sailing,
With his fishing-line of cedar.

  “Take my bait!” cried Hiawatha,
Down into the depths beneath him,
“Take my bait, O sturgeon, Nahma!
Come up from below the water,
Let us see which is the stronger!”
And he dropped his line of cedar
Through the clear, transparent water,
Waited vainly for an answer,
Long sat waiting for an answer,
And repeating loud and louder,
“Take my bait, O King of Fishes!”

  Quiet lay the sturgeon, Nahma,
Fanning slowly in the water,
Looking up at Hiawatha,
Listening to his call and clamor,
His unnecessary tumult,
Till he wearied of the shouting;
And he said to the Kenozha,
To the pike, the Maskenozha,
“Take the bait of this rude fellow,
Break the line of Hiawatha!”

  In his fingers Hiawatha
Felt the loose line **** and tighten;
As he drew it in, it tugged so
That the birch canoe stood endwise,
Like a birch log in the water,
With the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Perched and frisking on the summit.

  Full of scorn was Hiawatha
When he saw the fish rise upward,
Saw the pike, the Maskenozha,
Coming nearer, nearer to him,
And he shouted through the water,
“Esa! esa! shame upon you!
You are but the pike, Kenozha,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes!”

  Reeling downward to the bottom
Sank the pike in great confusion,
And the mighty sturgeon, Nahma,
Said to Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
To the bream, with scales of crimson,
“Take the bait of this great boaster,
Break the line of Hiawatha!”

  Slowly upward, wavering, gleaming,
Rose the Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
Seized the line of Hiawatha,
Swung with all his weight upon it,
Made a whirlpool in the water,
Whirled the birch canoe in circles,
Round and round in gurgling eddies,
Till the circles in the water
Reached the far-off sandy beaches,
Till the water-flags and rushes
Nodded on the distant margins.

  But when Hiawatha saw him
Slowly rising through the water,
Lifting up his disk refulgent,
Loud he shouted in derision,
“Esa! esa! shame upon you!
You are Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes!”

  Slowly downward, wavering, gleaming,
Sank the Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
Heard the shout of Hiawatha,
Heard his challenge of defiance,
The unnecessary tumult,
Ringing far across the water.

  From the white sand of the bottom
Up he rose with angry gesture,
Quivering in each nerve and fibre,
Clashing all his plates of armor,
Gleaming bright with all his war-paint;
In his wrath he darted upward,
Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
Opened his great jaws, and swallowed
Both canoe and Hiawatha.

  Down into that darksome cavern
Plunged the headlong Hiawatha,
As a log on some black river,
Shoots and plunges down the rapids,
Found himself in utter darkness,
Groped about in helpless wonder,
Till he felt a great heart beating,
Throbbing in that utter darkness.

  And he smote it in his anger,
With his fist, the heart of Nahma,
Felt the mighty King of Fishes
Shudder through each nerve and fibre,
Heard the water gurgle round him
As he leaped and staggered through it,
Sick at heart, and faint and weary.

  Crosswise then did Hiawatha
Drag his birch-canoe for safety,
Lest from out the jaws of Nahma,
In the turmoil and confusion,
Forth he might be hurled and perish.
And the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Frisked and chattered very gayly,
Toiled and tugged with Hiawatha
Till the labor was completed.

  Then said Hiawatha to him,
“O my little friend, the squirrel,
Bravely have you toiled to help me;
Take the thanks of Hiawatha,
And the name which now he gives you;
For hereafter and forever
Boys shall call you Adjidaumo,
Tail-in-air the boys shall call you!”

  And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
Gasped and quivered in the water,
Then was still, and drifted landward
Till he grated on the pebbles,
Till the listening Hiawatha
Heard him grate upon the margin,
Felt him strand upon the pebbles,
Knew that Nahma, King of Fishes,
Lay there dead upon the margin.

  Then he heard a clang and flapping,
As of many wings assembling,
Heard a screaming and confusion,
As of birds of prey contending,
Saw a gleam of light above him,
Shining through the ribs of Nahma,
Saw the glittering eyes of sea-gulls,
Of Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, peering,
Gazing at him through the opening,
Heard them saying to each other,
“’Tis our brother, Hiawatha!”

  And he shouted from below them,
Cried exulting from the caverns:
“O ye sea-gulls! O my brothers!
I have slain the sturgeon, Nahma;
Make the rifts a little larger,
With your claws the openings widen,
Set me free from this dark prison,
And henceforward and forever
Men shall speak of your achievements,
Calling you Kayoshk, the sea-gulls,
Yes, Kayoshk, the Noble Scratchers!”

  And the wild and clamorous sea-gulls
Toiled with beak and claws together,
Made the rifts and openings wider
In the mighty ribs of Nahma,
And from peril and from prison,
From the body of the sturgeon,
From the peril of the water,
They released my Hiawatha.

  He was standing near his wigwam,
On the margin of the water,
And he called to old Nokomis,
Called and beckoned to Nokomis,
Pointed to the sturgeon, Nahma,
Lying lifeless on the pebbles,
With the sea-gulls feeding on him.

  “I have slain the Mishe-Nahma,
Slain the King of Fishes!” said he;
“Look! the sea-gulls feed upon him,
Yes, my friends Kayoshk, the sea-gulls;
Drive them not away, Nokomis,
They have saved me from great peril
In the body of the sturgeon,
Wait until their meal is ended,
Till their craws are full with feasting,
Till they homeward fly, at sunset,
To their nests among the marshes;
Then bring all your pots and kettles,
And make oil for us in Winter.”

  And she waited till the sun set,
Till the pallid moon, the Night-sun,
Rose above the tranquil water,
Till Kayoshk, the sated sea-gulls,
From their banquet rose with clamor,
And across the fiery sunset
Winged their way to far-off islands,
To their nests among the rushes.

  To his sleep went Hiawatha,
And Nokomis to her labor,
Toiling patient in the moonlight,
Till the sun and moon changed places,
Till the sky was red with sunrise,
And Kayoshk, the hungry sea-gulls,
Came back from the reedy islands,
Clamorous for their morning banquet.

  Three whole days and nights alternate
Old Nokomis and the seagulls
Stripped the oily flesh of Nahma,
Till the waves washed through the rib-bones,
Till the sea-gulls came no longer,
And upon the sands lay nothing
But the skeleton of Nahma.
Chloë Fuller Mar 2015
i sat up on a sinking down
over-grown messy hair scratching my face
and ***** plates piled in the sink
memories of a year ago flitter through my memory like old film
projecting sweeter and more saturated colors on a time I once loathed
why do things always seem better when they're from the past?
over-drawn lips
new curves
cracks and rolls
our to-do lists never seem to be complete
all we have is messy hair on our heads
and a sink full of ***** plates
igc May 2015
I saw the best minds of my generation congested and
polluted overdosing on irrelevance

Abandoned abused replaced
Fed to the thought police
Corrected corrupted
Declining the potential to be heard in
exchange for the opportunity to be documented

Lives being lived according to unfeasible standards
You either make it or you don’t
there’s no in between
there’s no maybe
there’s no equal

Left to meander through the conceived thoughts of others
decisions being made
moves being made
eulogies being made

nothings real
nothing’s right
nothing’s honest
nothing thought up matters


Who in the safety of their homes were taught respect
are told to mask their emotions
Identities saved for the weak
Only to be showcased when conducive

Who pump iron into their veins
looking for an angry fix of acceptance
Sweat streams surge down their backs
Failure prominent in their thoughts
Motivation blessing their features
the Devil clever in disguise

Who see little white fields of fairy dust
a never ending landscape of courage
giving them superpowers beyond belief

Nothing beats the freedom of being told
You can fly

Who dream of equality behind closed eyes
But render to imposed birth rights when open
The upper hand implying more than height
and executing more force than necessary to move them

It’s all about the cause until you’re indubitably
the effect

Who tuck monsters into their beds
Forgetting to check closets for skeletons not quite left behind
in the path of carefully chaotic self destruction
Conveniently purging themselves of words whispered
in the throes of passion
Forced upon the ears of all naive enough to listen

Who carelessly expend countless hours playing with
condescending pawns disguised as adults
All grown up with no where to go
Replacing quality with quantity
Leaving long dull trails of breadcrumbs
leading to hearts long since lost
Never to be recovered again

Who follow sexuality by the book
doing this to get that for this him them who what when where
Why does the finish line have to be covered with brightly colored lace and muffled drunk cries chanting no

Who stare straight dead into the soul of love but never
Never into her eyes
Told she is not worthy of being addressed directly
Fingers itching to cop a feel
Only to discover the body is but a passage to her straight dead soul


Who trade in their voice mind and individuality
for half assed smiles and superficial men
As the face of a leviathan nicknamed acceptance
hands them a paycheck they’ve worked too
night day night night hard to refuse

Who idolize the feel of phantom limbs of lovers past
Twisted words convoluting their heads
Forcing on masks of pure heroine
at the sight of scars left on the soul
Scratching at the need to feel wanted
But cowering at the ability to truly be heard

Who have perfected the art of parallel painting
Elegant red streaks hidden beneath layers of
choppy dark colored hate covering pretty pale limbs
Seeming to fade as colorlessly caked on insecurities susurrate bitter-sweet nothings that curl themselves just inside her mutilated skin

Who scavenged their looks from the bottom of holes
they’re expected to clamber out of
Smiling pretty smiling
Being treated to complimentary meals
Only to be served plates full of disappointment.

Who crave companion’s flaws
in ruthless attempts to satisfy their hunger for compassion
Selfless beings dedicated to less than noble attempts at vanquish
The call for heat too satisfying to refuse the trade off forever uselessly launching themselves into razor sharp blades
aimed at ***** sleeves

Who see soft lips as cushion enough to fall from towers built of fear
Dragging moist palms across pavement thighs
Tearing at the seams holding their
hearts together

Who cower behind brick wall appearances
fruitlessly clutching on to ideas reserved for the most fortunate
Scaring away potential with claws that seemingly only come
out to play in the face of acceptance

Who’s sick stick thin limbs trail their worn down
fingernails in an effort mar skin no one can see
Streaks titillate their bright red scalps
A reflection of their underlying journey

Who disgorge yesterday's meal from stomachs long before empty
Blood spewing from the mouth an open wound
Continuously sewed up but never stitched tight correctly
Wiring shut opinions but never gorged enough to
muzzle their Howls



Ideas, calm and collected have long been hijacked and invaded by Hestia

Hestia! Consent! Content! Acceptance!
Long nights and roid rage men!
Two faces fighting a losing battle!
Girls playing mom! Boys playing war!
Ill ridden parents still pledging to the
United States of Controlling Media!

Hestia! Hestia!
Overall reign of Hestia!
Hestia the beautiful!
Incarcerated Hestia!
Hestia the ******!

Hestia twisted and shaped to form the voice of conformity
Hestia constantly watching over and monitoring
Hestia being told what to ******* think

Hestia seeping creeping sneaking into the
darkest crevices of our minds
Hestia when least expected coming out to say
“Hello”

Too late! Hestia’s already made herself at home
Wedged between the rooks of your biggest fear and
burrowed deep into the folds of
Your  Worst  Nightmare

**** in a constant battle between
rejecting Hestia,
and accepting her.
This was obviously inspired by Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."
Considering it was, at the time, the voice of that generation, Welcome to Generation Y.
This is a work in progress.
Gaye Sep 2015
We stood in front of my grandmother’s
Old almirah, facing each other
The peacock feather and empty bags  
Of the square room fell silent all over again,
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

Then they all came, marched in, reflections,
Paraded in like martyrs of Brute’s History.
I knew them all, she knew them too
They came, touched us one by one,
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

She looked confused just like me
Watching life pass by, centuries reuniting
After a very long season break, nations-
Travelled, explorers stood upstairs watching,
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

Streets strapped the coffee cans and middle-
Aged hospitals swallowed wars. Married women
Bend over like animals and in months, unable
To breathe they gave birth to few number plates;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

The city vomited battles, human heads
And dreams of muted foul slaves. Men and-
Their violent tradition screeched for blue number-
Plates, lean number plates, handsome number plates;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

Unexploded bombs bounced happy homes,
My brothers, my kids, my mothers
Blew their windows and ran, ran away,
Ran afar without destination;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

They were all dark, their land was darkness
Or were we all blind?
Like a watchman we preserved darkness,
The vapours that filled their glasses did not speak;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

We are all reflections, ripples and mirrors
Of men-dead and living.
They all stood outside my almirah, million faces
Inside a mirror. She did recognize them;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

She did nothing, an unusable empathy rolled in,
The hypocrite did not even cry.
In quiet hours she smelt pain, blood and
History flowing from confronting corners;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

An insignificant obligation drowned her nerve,
They needed a home, candle flame, cotton and wool.
The land, their land has become unfamiliar
And they stood outside locked gates and laws;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.

They all smelt the same blood, the abused blood,
I tried to kiss them and they kissed me back with-
Their cold lips. I tried to touch them, they touched-
Me back with water in their eyes;
Like strangers we stood facing each other.
Sindi Kay Dec 2015
The ones who should be forgotten are those who let you shift away from their memories like tectonic  plates in the earth

are those whom never placed you in their hearts, not even a single place even though the chambers are boundless and love is known to drop fast.

Face it, you weren't rooted in their cores
and when you floated into space, their gravitational pull wasn't strong enough...
because they didn't even try to pull you back.

It didn't matter how funny you were. How original your thoughts could have been.

They didn't know you were so out of your element because they didn't know your element.  

They lost sight of your ghost thinking it was all of you.

You're lost forever now and like a body lost at sea, they will never cross the bay.

They wouldn't even think about making a time machine
your existence was bound to be forgotten anyway

The only thing natural about your friendship was the disaster

You were the scarce soil that was only good that one time, the empty battlefield where blood shed was covered by the wrong victories.

-Sindi
Tyler Loeslein Nov 2012
You see the scars,
pale lines like tally marks
covering the math quiz
found on the delicate skin,
that when found
on the inside of your wrist,
looks like innocence.

It makes you wonder,
what monsters live
under this person’s bed
waiting until they sleep,
to sneak into their heads
and make them destroy
their innocence,
that’s hidden on their wrist;
that makes them destroy
the beauty found
in unmarred skin.

Regardless of the monster
and it’s name or origin,
you’re willing to don the armor
and become a knight,
so that you can slay the beast
in honor of lost innocence
and for a future
free of the pain
that accompanies self mutilation.

You’re a hero
in pursuit of  beauty
found in life
before it’s ruined on wrists;
but you also fight for the beauty
that is found in scars
and the stories they tell
after they heal,
as long as no new wounds
cover them
and smother their voice.

Although you’re ready
with a sword in hand
and protective plates
covering your unmarked body
you don’t really know
******* this monster
or how to save this person,
a stranger that slipped
when they let you see the scars,
unaware of the fire they sparked
within your mind
that made you want to reach out,
and if you could,
touch those scars
and tell them,
that even though
the scars came from ugly feelings
you still saw that person’s beauty.

You don’t know how to handle,
their violent reaction
to your seemingly kind words,
but don’t take it to heart,
I know you’re just trying to help,
but they don’t understand
that those words can be said
with real sincerity.

It’s not your fault,
that they only hear
insults regardless of what you say;
when you say beautiful
they can’t help but hear ugly,
and when you offer help,
they can’t stop from feeling
as though they’ve been attacked,
because although you want to help,
sometimes…
you can’t.
Please, anyone that reads this, leave me feedback. Consider this a very rough draft that I intend to revise, but right now I'm stuck. I'll even take any title options. I don't know, I had an idea and I tried going with it...
These China plates remind me of you
So i'm a little more cautious than normal
Because i don't want to break them
And i never want to destroy what should of never been broken
I only amend the fallen parts
And make them new
My body trembles
At the thought of you making a rash decision out of desperation
You've been throwing those words around and i get extra nervous
Because this isn't something i take lightly
It seems like i'm the only one in this imaginary small town that lends a hand
While everyone glares at us like they have a right to treat us like dirt
I want to save your life, regardless of how many people turn their back on you
I see backs all the time
People love walking away when it gets hard
I just keep going- it's what must be done
These China Plates get prettier by the year
I think it's the same for your soul
It just looks rusty because you've taken quit a few tolls
That also want extra fees
And i'm here to tell them that you already paid
Because you don't deserve any more wounds
Don't worry about me
You're the focus
The art on the China Plate
That gets unnoticed
Way too often.
But i'm the Man that takes interest in the non-perfect
And seeks to make it new again
The Misfits just lost their way
And i'm here to point the way.
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
Up steep streets
I repeat
In a dream
Words seen in windows
To myself
Sub-vocally

Turning right
And Northward
Left and Westwood
Checking number plates
For initial surprises
Numbers for primes

Multiplying
The number of years
By the number of days
Adding the leaps
The few left over
Beats

To arrive in the viewfinder
To stand on the edge
To look at the scene
To breathe with the light
To know finally that I am
The lens
Holly Peppy May 2015
The plates below are shaking
The house & lands on earths are moving
I can see the fear on people's face
Moving here &there; in fear, without interest
Hopeless face and tearful eyes,
Praying for their God, thinking, how to survive.
Dear Earthquake, Why you come?
Not only once but again and again with more
AFTER SHAKES.
Too many Earthquake and After shakes on Nepal
It was the twilight of the iguana.
From the rainbow-arch of the battlements,
his long tongue like a lance
sank down in the green leaves,
and a swarm of ants, monks with feet chanting,
crawled off into the jungle,
the guanaco, thin as oxygen
in the wide peaks of cloud,
went along, wearing his shoes of gold,
while the llama opened his honest eyes
on the breakable neatness
of a world full of dew.
The monkeys braided a ******
thread that went on and on
along the shores of dawn,
demolishing walls of pollen
and startling the butterflies of Muzo
into flying violets.
It was the night of the alligators,
the pure night, crawling
with snouts emrging from ooze,
and out the sleepy marshes
the confused noise of scaly plates
returned to the ground where they began.
The jaguar brushed the leaves
with a luminous absence,
the puma runs through the branches
like a forest fire,
while the jungle's drunken eyes
burn from inside him.
The badgers scratch the river's
feet, scenting the nest
whost throbbing delicacy
they attack with red teeth.

And deep in the huge waters
the enormous anaconda lies
like the circle around the earth,
covered with ceremonies of mud,
devouring, religious.
Kataleya Feb 2015
I'm gazing up, I'm gazing high.
Let me watch the stars tonight.

It mightn't give me better grades,
or wash my clothes or clean the plates,
or make me famous, make me rich,
or change the direction of my fate.
And it won't just fix the politics,
or save the falling economy,
or cease these tiring, endless wars
and it won't eradicate poverty.

But even if there's nothing right,
let me watch the stars tonight.

Hitchhiking through the galaxy,
a blazing comet passes by,
and waves to billion specks of light,
those sparkling diamonds in the sky.

Tomorrow I may change the world,
or I might even exercise.
Tonight I'm gazing up and high,
I'm looking at the stars tonight.
Francie Lynch Sep 2018
I've used them on my windows
To see the clear outside,
If I read the Op-eds,
I shudder, shuttered and hide.

I've spread them 'neath my plates and cups,
My shelves all neat and tidy;
But the headlines made it clear to me
My glass is more half empty.

They had a place in the litter box
For **** to scratch and squat;
I laid them round my garden plants,
They made fine insect traps.
Rolled and twirled they'd start a fire,
I could fold them into hats.
They cleaned the grease from BBQs,
And they're safe to pick up glass.
Crumple them for packaging,
They work as school book covers;
Add water and some flour,
To shape papier mache lovers.
Fold seeds in them to germinate,
Then use them for compost;
There's many ways to employ
Your Times and local Post.

But I won't subscribe to Dailies
For the felling of our trees;
And yet I miss my papers,
And the ways they worked for me.
But when enthroned,
You'll hear me grouse,
There's no **** paper in this ****-house.

My cell works well to scroll and swipe,
But it's only good for a virtual wipe.
GirlOfTheSky Mar 2015
My Mom's plates
given to me weeks ago,
remain in the trunk of my car.
Rattling chains of Marley
at every bump and turn,
reminding me of dinners long ago
when we were still a family,
when those plates still mattered.
Ryan A Flournoy Apr 2015
10:35 p.m.

Again the man ate too much for his own good. He could barely sit long enough in his car ride home without an involuntary bowel movement threatening to ruin the interior leather of his new convertible car. The same convertible he happened to clean earlier that day, and for the second time that week. Barley able to transition out of his car he wobbled his way to his front door and into his house away from the fascist eyes of his affluent neighbors. He plopped to the living room floor assuming the only position his body was capable of. As he lay spreadeagle on his back uncomfortable and slightly anxious he ripped his shirt off in fear of suffocation. The spinning fan above brought waves of nausea if he starred at it for too long. Rubbing his naked protruding belly seemed to be a brief fix for the brewing pain in his stomach, but then the pain turned for the worse. He felt the sidings of his stomach stretched and the food nearly about to overflow back out of his mouth. A small burp came from his abdomen and he could taste the food as it rose and steamed in the back of his throat. He questioned himself In agony, "Why?". Why would he continue to spoil the treat of dining out at his favorite restaurant in town just to come home in disgust and pain? Is it an inability to stop himself from ordering the biggest plates of food and forcing every single grain of it into his mouth? Or are the pictures that show the plates of food just too enticing for his self control? Is it that the price seems right, therefore it only seems logical to order the full plate and its copious amount of sides to choose from? Perhaps it is just because his finances allow him to and his lack of appreciation for what sparse living feels like, or even worse famine. With no real acknowledgment of the nonrefundable resources he so easily exhaust, not to mention the physical harm done to his body, he was doomed for failure. He winced as he rolled to his side. No burp could subdue the agony of each turn in his stomach. He feared at any second his dinner would decorate his luxurious new rug that he took so much pride in. So much pride it was not uncommon he would insist his guest to bend down and feel the plushness of it every time they stepped on it. Still the war raged in his abdomen. Focused on his breathing, he shut his eyes in hopes of a get away. Struggling to remain still he reassured himself to breath.

11:07 p.m.

Suddenly, like a light switch found in a dark room a life changing truth was revealed to him. One so beautifully powerful it was to change him for good. The awareness of this truth would put an end to his pain and suffering, his lies and imperfections. There was now an answer to the constant void in his stomach, his unquenched hunger, the glass half empty. No longer was he a prisoner of deception. There was an overwhelming fleeting of demons and a mountain of weight lifted. His vision was as clear and vivid as it could ever be. The bliss was not ignorance, not anymore...it was unfeigned truth. For the first time ever he could see life for what it really was. It felt like a lifetime of emotions in one moment. Simplicity surrounded him in every direction. He felt the joy of complete freedom. The weightlessness of eternal peace. He was to tell the world of this untapped truth brought to him. A new and better way to live. An actual sustainable lifestyle free of judgement.

Then without his consent, he abruptly stood up. Dazed and in a state of confusion, he glanced at the clock.

11:11 p.m.

He then looked down and saw what his life cleansing truth was. He had simply soiled himself while asleep, ruining his new living room rug.
Man longs for fulfillment but looks for it in material objects, false ideologies, pleasure and desires. We will continue to take from this Earth until one day there will be nothing left.
Bare-handed, I hand the combs.
The man in white smiles, bare-handed,
Our cheesecloth gauntlets neat and sweet,
The throats of our wrists brave lilies.
He and I

Have a thousand clean cells between us,
Eight combs of yellow cups,
And the hive itself a teacup,
White with pink flowers on it,
With excessive love I enameled it

Thinking 'Sweetness, sweetness.'
Brood cells gray as the fossils of shells
Terrify me, they seem so old.
What am I buying, wormy mahogany?
Is there any queen at all in it?

If there is, she is old,
Her wings torn shawls, her long body
Rubbed of its plush ----
Poor and bare and unqueenly and even shameful.
I stand in a column

Of winged, unmiraculous women,
Honey-drudgers.
I am no drudge
Though for years I have eaten dust
And dried plates with my dense hair.

And seen my strangeness evaporate,
Blue dew from dangerous skin.
Will they hate me,
These women who only scurry,
Whose news is the open cherry, the open clover?

It is almost over.
I am in control.
Here is my honey-machine,
It will work without thinking,
Opening, in spring, like an industrious ******

To scour the creaming crests
As the moon, for its ivory powders, scours the sea.
A third person is watching.
He has nothing to do with the bee-seller or with me.
Now he is gone

In eight great bounds, a great scapegoat.
Here is his slipper, here is another,
And here the square of white linen
He wore instead of a hat.
He was sweet,

The sweat of his efforts a rain
Tugging the world to fruit.
The bees found him out,
Molding onto his lips like lies,
Complicating his features.

They thought death was worth it, but I
Have a self to recover, a queen.
Is she dead, is she sleeping?
Where has she been,
With her lion-red body, her wings of glass?

Now she is flying
More terrible than she ever was, red
Scar in the sky, red comet
Over the engine that killed her ----
The mausoleum, the wax house.
Kiernan Norman Jul 2014
We didn’t bloom together the way we should have. We never eyed each other across neat soil; both self-conscious and self-righteous as we sipped the sun and, in quiet bursts, raced to touch the sky.  

We weren't planted by gentle hands in soft plots with room to stretch our limbs and shield our eyes, nor to bud in peace and thrive and find identity in both our own bold blossoms and as a pulsing piece of the whole lavish garden.

We didn't bloom because we erupted.
We running-start-swan-dived into stale dirt and were too close from the very beginning.
We didn’t sprout up straight; we snaked and lurked and left no bit of earth untouched by our vibrant, stencil **** fingers declaring ourselves alive.

By harvest we were tangled beyond repair.
By harvest I didn't know me from you and I liked it.

To be so entwined is lovely but depends on a balance
we could only begin to grasp.
To expand but not uproot requires perfect synchronicity maybe not beyond our years but certainly beyond our maturity. We spread out our emotions like tarot cards on a towel in the grass and reflected in your sunglasses I met the silent pieces of me.
In colorful, grim drawings those quiet, ugly bits floated up veins and settled under ribs.
They stayed silent. Until they began to scream.

And you and I- we didn't have the words;
not our own words that we earned and burned while stumbling across months and plains,
tripping over potholes and finding our feet quicker each time.
We had place-holders words we sang back and forth and splashed around and bathed in.
The words we spoke were profound and cardboard.
We were just reading lines, sharing identical scripts and an ache to be seen
so deep and desperate it was sinful.

We maybe shared the humid cling of regret; which hung heavy in stuck-air auditoriums,
it beaded sweat echoed, rolling down spines and turning blood to sticky wax as we whispered in the corner about the things we could say aloud while our minds never left the things we wouldn't dare.

We were mostly ill-equipped.
We joked about hurricanes
We didn't survive the first storm.

I want you to know you really hurt my feelings.
I want you to know you're the first guy I've given my feelings to hurt.
I want you to know I was terrible towards the end.
And I know that. But you gave up on me

You gave up on me at the exact moment I was giving up on myself.
Even as my tongue stung metallic and veins pulsed so hot and loud
through my eardrum that I felt I would explode- it was clean.
It was all remarkably clean.
and sterile.
There were no explosions.
No shattered plates, ****** knuckles or blown out voices
that scratched and rose in time with the sun.

Just a quick slash of rope-
an anchor cut loose and left to sink;
our secrets were set free to
rust over and collect algae.
We were suddenly off the hook
for any vulnerability we might have spilled
on each other in our fits of laughter
and hours of sleep.
A deep sigh of relief.
A deeper sigh of desolation.


The moment exists in sad yellow lighting that must have been added in restrospect.
I tweaked the floor of my memory too:
at that moment I was not wearing flipflops on linoleum- but sinking, slowly and barefoot, into chilly riverbed mud as it turned to ice.

I opened the door and there you stood.
You knew I had been crying and I didn’t try to hide it
it was too exhausting- running on fumes.

And I did expect something from you,
anything from you, that might dull the singed-dagger plunging
stab to my chest with each breath I gulped and spat .
I wanted anything that might reel me in from the cliffs edge
where my thoughts had carried me on horseback.

But you had nothing.
I watched your eyes glaze over my swollen lips and pinced, glassy eyes.
You threw back the melted, Picasso-esque mask where my face once was,
like a quick, sharp shot of warm whiskey.
Careful to avoid eye contact you slipped ‘**** this,’
under your breath and started to reach for my hand.

You started to, but then after a second suspended
you let your arm fall back to your body.
Head lowered, jaw clenched and you turned and fled with a new heaviness pushing down on your posture.
It looked painful and adult.
It looked like you finally felt the weight of our season.
And watching you go I shrank in lighter and thicker because I felt it too.

We are not going to get a happy ending-
not with each other and not right now.
Maybe not ever.
And that will have to do.
(Though I will miss your hand in mine.
I hope one day you'll remember being tangled with me and it will make you laugh before you cringe because I didn't like to be alone.)

If I wanted to be alone I would just go home.
JJ Hutton Jul 2013
The first time a man ever pointed a gun at me and asked me to love him was at Granny's Kitchen in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The waitress, a soft spoken white woman with her hair pulled back in a bun, had just dropped off my plates --- a simple mix of scrambled eggs, two pieces of greasy bacon, and a short stack of pancakes. Now, no matter how cheap, I always feel like I'm cutting loose at breakfast places for the sheer abundance of plates. While I'm sure the eggs and bacon could have shared real estate, each component had its own china.

The waitress lingered at my table, her fingers fidgeting with straws in her apron. I made eye contact. Well, my eyes contacted hers; she was staring at my lips.

Sure I can't get you something to drink? she asked.

This was approximately the tenth time she'd made sure. She was uncomfortable that I had supplied my own beverage -- a Big Gulp. But even more than that, she was uncomfortable by the deep red stain taking over my lips. Contents of the Big Gulp: merlot, boxed.

(That is an unnecessary detail. I've only written it so I never do it again.)

Before Greg hopped up on a table and announced to the restaurant, If I could have your attention, my name is Greg and this will only take a second, blah, blah blah, I poured a copious amount of syrup on my pancakes. Then I moved the bacon to my pancake plate. In my experience, very little in this life is better than syrup on bacon.

I shut my eyes for that first bite, just like the commercials. The syrup dribbled a bit onto my beard, and when I opened my eyes, I discovered it had also landed on my shirt. I grabbed a napkin. Heard a chair slide backwards. I started with my beard, peering around the diner, making sure no one saw. I think I heard someone gasp. But I was busy, working that napkin then against my shirt. Jesus, I thought. My grandma, who's got a splash of the Parkinson's, could eat with more grace.

If I could have your attention, my name is Greg and this will only take a second, a very official voice boomed behind me.

I turned around to see if I recognized him as one of those cuffed jean-sporting, wild plaid-loving NPR hosts. He wasn't one of those. He was a sunburn with mop hair in a black tank top and hemmed jean shorts. He did, however, have a cleft chin. That's actually worth noting. Don't see a lot of them these days.

I know you guys are busy, he said. I know that like me, you guys are probably broke as hell. I mean no offense Granny's, I love this place, but it ain't exactly four stars. Or three. Anyway, all I want from each of you is five dollars. If you ain't got five, give me four. Ain't got four, three. And so on.

He started with the stringy Japanese couple on the west side of the restaurant. Nobody really seemed scared, not the freckled brat in canvas sneakers, not the liver-spotted gentleman with a copy of that day's paper.

My old friend Jerome used to say that white folks are the only romantic criminals. He tacked it up to that whole Bonnie and Clyde crap. Greg, it seemed, was privy to that information, too. He smiled and thanked each person as he robbed them of a few presidents. The victims, smiling back, seemed to be thinking of their names tagged at the end of some newspaper dialogue. A few even gave more than he asked.

Here, take fifteen. Times will get better.

Aren't you just a charmer.

It was all very moving.

So he gets to me, and of course, I don't have any cash. I carry a debit and an arsenal of credit cards like a normal American. I don't know how he made it to me before running into this particular problem.

No, I don't have one of those iPhone card swipers, he said. Well, you gotta give me something.

I offered a gift card to Harold's Clothes for Men, it had like two bucks on it, but he wasn't interested.

What's your name?

Henry.

How much do you weigh?

Enough to keep me prohibited from most amusement park rides.

I like you, Henry. Well, let me ask you something. Have you ever loved a man? he asked, pointing his smudgy revolver just past my ear.

I shook my head no.

Me neither. I've always been curious, though. You been curious?

There was a time when I was thirteen -- Blake Hinton was changing after basketball practice -- and I remember thinking, that is an incredible chest. These lines just sprawled from his sternum, lines leading to these almond *******, and I specifically remember wanting to eat them like, well, almonds. But that hardly counts as curious. So, I said, No.

To which Greg responded: Get curious, boy. You're coming with me.


In the spirit of honesty, I was in a bit of a haze before Greg made me climb into his beat up Cavalier. Not just from the Big Gulp brimmed with merlot, no, I hadn't slept in two days prior to the whole gun-in-face incident. Reason being, I was, as Greg would say, broke as hell, and the rent was due. I stayed up both nights conspiring (and drinking). So, really I was pretty thrilled to be kidnapped away from the whole situation.

I had visions. I guess from the lack of sleep. Maybe they weren't visions, maybe just dreams, or fever dreams, I don't know. All I know is I blinked, and we were in the Appalachians. And there was a grey longbeard in the backseat rattling on and on about how change is easy, movement is easy; it's that whole nesting thing that takes courage and strength, blah, blah, blah. I told him to be quiet. Greg told me to get some sleep. I blinked.

We were in a karaoke bar in Madison, Tennessee. There was a gin and tonic in front of me. I took a drink. There was a water with lime in front of me.

Greg asked, Where did you go?

I told him, your dreams, trying to be cute. He turned and asked the bartender for a Yeager bomb. Reaching for the server in -- granted -- an overly dramatic gesture, I said, Make it two. We made it three. We made it four. Seven. Then some vague, but perfect number, because my head rang right. The words came right. And I was a journalist, asking Greg all the right questions.

I'm not a criminal, he said.

I was just bored, man, he said.

You see, I was in a rut, he said. Last month I put up a personal on Craigslist. I know, it's pretty ******* desperate. I've read the kind **** people put on there. But mine was different. I just wanted some time with my ex-wife. Some couch ***, you know? We hadn't done it on a couch since I dropped out of college, and I hadn't even really thought about it until a couple weeks after the divorce. Then it was all I could think about.

A black woman, whose teeth glowed under the black light, began singing "Wild Horses." Then he read my mind, I think.

Yeah, she answered it. Did our thing on her sofa. It was nice and all, and like all nice things, you just want more, but she said I couldn't have no more, this was a fluke, a one-time, or no, a one-off thing, she said. Had to relocate, so that's why I did that whole thing at Granny's.

You ever get it on a couch? he asked.

No, I said. I've see a bra though --- two actually.

He took that as a joke, which was good.

Though wild horses couldn't drag me away, a gasoline horse could.


He handed me a courtesy breath mint after I finished throwing up. The Nashville skyline looks perfect, he said. Especially at night.

My stomach was gravel in a washing machine. Masculine love. At gunpoint, I had agreed to indulge it. I was going to make love to a man -- not just a man -- a criminal. Not something to write about on a postcard.

Mr. Winters, my esteemed landlord,
Apologies about the rent. Got kidnapped by a *******, and I'm presently banging and being banged by him in Music City, USA.


I blinked.

We laid on opposite ends of the queen-sized mattress.

I always liked Super 8s, Greg said. I don't see the point in spending so much on a hotel. A bed is a bed.

And I tried to be funny with something about the confidentiality of dark bedsheets, but it fell flat.

Greg cried. I love my ex-wife, he said.

Can I help?

Will you hold me? he asked.

The air conditioner kicked on in the already freezing room.

I'm sorry. You don't have to, he said.

I scooted against him. He smelled pleasant in a family-vacation-kind-of-way, like a fresh pretzel covered in salt. I put my arm under his neck. He buried his face into my shoulder. I blinked.


The front end of his Cavalier was held together with copper wire and coat hangers. It was a two-door. Both doors dented from, according to Greg, hit-and-runs. It had a Vermont plate on the back. It was red. I mention all of this to say: if we kept moving, we were bound to get pulled over.

In the parking lot of 3B's Breakfast, Burgers And Beer, Greg asked me to retrieve his revolver from the glove compartment. You kinda have to uppercut it, he said. And I did.

I don't want to do it again, but we have to. I'm not staying put, not until I hit the ocean. But don't worry, I'm not going to hurt anyone.

He showed me the revolver. No bullets. I nodded, in approval, I guess.


The second time a man ever pointed a gun at me and asked me to love him was at 3B's Breakfast, Burgers And Beer in Bellevue, Tennessee. Of course, it was the same man, Greg, but the circumstances were a little different.

I went with two orders of biscuits and gravy --- or B & G as my dear friend Chance affectionately calls it. Four bites in and I'd yet to hit biscuit. For a moment, I wanted to tell Greg, C'mon man, ***** the ocean. Tennessee does gravy the way God intended. Nobody would find us in this suburb. We could be sharecroppers. Do they still have sharecroppers?

Do you like fresh corn? I asked. It was the first crop that came to mind.

Greg didn't answer. I noticed his plate of hash browns and eggs -- sunny-side up -- were untouched. You okay?

He was, he said, trying to get in the zone, that's all.

Alright.

Our waitress looked like a poster child for ******'s Youth. She couldn't have been much more than sixteen. She had blonde -- almost white -- hair. Her eyes changed color with the intensity and direction of light, a gradient between seaweed and dark ocean blue. She appeared to be an amish girl gone defective, and I was about to inquire into that very supposition when Greg stood on the table, and said, If I could have your attention, my name is Greg and this will only take a second.

Tennessee is not North Carolina. In North Carolina, they got a healthy aversion to firearms. In Tennessee, however, once a babe can walk, the *******'s got a BB gun and an endless supply of empty soda cans for target practice. I say that, to say this: when Greg stood on the table, so did three other men. Their three guns pointed right at him.

Lower that gun, brother. You ain't gettin' any money out of us.

Hate to shoot you in front of your boyfriend.

Coffee spilled and ran off the tray our waitress held. She shook so hard, it wasn't clear how many women she was.

Greg's cleft chin centered on one gunman, than the other, than the other.

Just drop the gun, *******.

We don't want to ruin no one's breakfast.

Fellas, I said, he doesn't have any bullets in his gun. We need a little money that's all.

That ****** is just trying to protect him.

I'm calling the cops, a purple-haired old woman yelped from under her table. Silverware clanged against the floor. Then the buzz of a fly. Then the pop of fries drowning in grease. Then the bell chimed as some idiot walked inside.

Greg's arm was shaky as he pointed the gun at me. Do you love me? he asked.

I blinked.

And I was at 3B's in Bellevue, Tennessee.

I blinked.

And I was at 3B's in Bellevue, Tennessee.

I blinked.

And I was at 3B's in Bellevue, Tennessee.

I put my arms up. Slid my chair back a ways. Stepped on the chair, then unto the table.

Do you love me? Greg asked.

His breath smelled like last night's alcohol and that morning's coffee. He was a child, a sunburnt child with a cap gun. He wasn't going to hurt anyone.

I put my hand on top of the revolver and lowered it. He crumpled, as if I were scolding him. They still pointed their guns at us. But for the first time in my life, I felt secured, tethered to a space.

I lifted Greg's chin up with my index finger. Covered his eyes with the palm of my hand. And I kissed him. I kissed him, keeping my eyes closed tight.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
Songs of Oregon: No. 1 “Gonna Make You Crazy, That Place”

nuts, crazy peeps

whomever wherever,
regardless of race creed color or gender (did I get ‘em all?)
current state of residence (geo-identified)
a poem - the very same recited,
as a disclaimer, a yellow finger wagging warning:

“Don’t go! If you go, you won’t come back”

now kids, I’m a veteran of foreign travel,
many continents, cold and hot, rivers and seas,
some living, some dead,
some so big they named it Endless,
been to the great cities, Swiss villages,
pyramids, climbed Masada,
danced on grapes (why can’t I recall where)
skied the Alps, trekked the Sinai Desert,
clubbed in Rio, and danced till morn,
on a certain Greek Isle that rhymes with Mickey’s Nose
even been to L.A and San Fran, left poorer
but in sync,
always came home
with my mind decently reshaped

me/ a product of gritty unpretty grime,
streets of normal humans
acting like normal escaped mad persons,
this brutal city island instilled a
layer of fat and smog neath my skin,
a kind of migrating duck-like survival kit,
came with a homing beacon included

the those of you who know me,
perhaps too well, ken we citified islanders
love our beaches (fire hydrants)
cherish our sun dappled blessings
upon on farms (window sill herb gardens)
and sunning settlements (rooftops)

they say our tap water is secretly bottled,
sold in places where the springs purportedly
run crystalline

though we don’t got no pinot, just sweet concord grape,
so sweet, the wine of children and street nodders,
needy for instant sugar highs

so as we new Yorkers proudly
say on our license plates,
prove it or stfup!

so a first hand investigation for which
the taxpayers won’t be charged even a lousy mill,
deemed necessary to put to rest this crazy claiming warning

“Don’t go! If you go, you won’t come back”

guessing must be something in the water and the wine
Skaidrum Jun 2015
.
Ancient games
tell tales of dust.  |||   A story drawn
from the lips of two poets.



~~~~~


It's the wits that ****, not Queens of ivory or ink. *
Charged with
coal strokes, scraping up the lies.
Pawns & Knights slip between the grasp of the sun, leaking into
   lion jaws of Leo.
Shifting these granite plates, ignoring the Rooks common price of aslant.
Here we have slain kin, crescent traitors that backstab the night and battlefield.
Closed doors and trap floors, trade me a tie, swindling your tactic ruts.
Reality never got the noose around our necks, check turned into manslaughter, and kingdoms ripped asunder by the roar of Jupiter
Get up, get up, get away from these liars, they can't have your rank or your fire.
Peak a notion, this match is spared by a luft.
Toss away the pride buried 'neath your dusty skin, it don't matter no more if   death has you by the lips.
Silence is a language too in our eyes of earth.
Take my hand, knott your soul into this downfall, and brace yourself for the wreckage in our bones.
The Sword of Sorrows will fall 'pon your shoulders, not to slay thee, but to dub thee a new day.
The drums of war will knit the lyrics in the sky,
singing:
"The mighty sharpen their fangs, the weak sharpen their wisdom"
~~~~~
I'm tired of your wishbones, and golden scales, give me the hard-earned truth.
Hot coals of honesty may you tread upon, shadow-bitten remorseful may you be, don't stray off the course of Ursa major.
The North star isn't the one I follow
It's the moon with all of it's phases,
Eclipsing and crescent, tipping the sky with it's beauty.
Now let this sink further than any soul has ever sunk,
no man could ever
rule the moon.
~~~~~~
Shoot on command,
C
h    
      e
c  
      k
m
a
t      
e

~~~~
You could drag me to hell and back and those words wouldn't mean anything.
Let this downfall become a *downfell,

Because last I checked
"Wolves worship the moon"
and I have broke it's reflection in the water
Just
by
throwing
s                    
t          
o
         n
                 e
                              s
                               ­        .

.
A collab between
The Dragon Prince & Skaidrum.

I'll give most credit to
Kalum here.

© Copywrite The Dragon Prince & Skaidrum
J Jun 2016
We ate off paper plates.
God, we were a mess,
we nourished ourselves with
disposable trays,
to leave less of a mess.

We slept on paper beds,
just incase we fought again,
what a waste it would have been,
to have bought a brand new set,
only to end up sleeping in separate rooms,
on the floor again.

We conquered paper mountains,
they didn't bend, they didn't break,
they ripped beneath our heavy feet,
and we let them because we were too defeated.

Together we made a world of paper,
that's why I'm gone from yours now,
you held me for three years,
but three years of paper burns in 10 minutes if you let it.

And that's why you're still in mine,
I never took you out,
I never had the heart to take the time
to set you on fire,
and now you're stuck here.

I eat off paper plates now,
hoping one day you'll get hungry again too,
and we can build a world again,
temporarly, disposable, as long as it's with you.

— The End —