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Lawrence Hall Nov 2018
The old order changeth, yielding place to new

-Tennyson, Idylls of the King

Like dinosaurs our institutions gasp
In spasms of existential death; they pass
At first unnoticed by the casual unobserver
Who trips over a covenant that isn’t there

If you vote they give you a sticker

The ephemeral Constitution changed
Like sweaty skivvies by each president
Law libraries catalogued for pulp
By obedient functionaries in tees

If you vote they give you a sticker

The faithful escorted out of the cathedral
By a bored security guard on overtime
The altar linens for sale at Goodwill
And the sanctuary repurposed on T.V.

If you vote they give you a sticker

Some of The Just Plain Folks cheer for the Reds
And the others cheer only for the Blues
As the reincarnation of Jack Chick
Blesses their four-wheelers and plastic caps

If you vote they give you a sticker

Election placards on abandoned buildings
Promise again prosperity for all
The **** lab cooks behind The Kute Kidz
Private Academy of the Dance and Math

If you vote they give you a sticker

An outreach of the Bright Light Free Will
Missionary Temple of the Lord Jesus Christ
Of the Lamb Sanctified 501C The Reverend Doctor Master Bishop Billy-Bob Hairdo PhD, DD a-brangin’ Messages and His Esteemed Lady Apostle Heather

If you vote they give you a sticker

And blessed be the Holy AR-15
God gave to His People to defend themselves
Here in the freest country in the world
Which you can find behind the barbed-wire fence

If you vote they give you a sticker

While fleets of luxury presidential jets
Arc high over our public housing projects
Reminding us of our prosperity
Here in the richest country in the world

If you vote they give you a sticker

And them Jews for Jesus I guess they’re all right
But them other Jews they just ain’t no good
Nor them Cath’lics nor them Mormons neither
And don’t you get me started on them Baptists

(We seem to have been otherwise engaged)

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new” –
(But neither cares at all for me or you)

But if you vote they give you a sticker
r Feb 2014
Back in my rebel days (yester)
I sported a spelunking bumper sticker
On my 1972  VW pop-up camper van
That read Free Floyd Collins
Totally apolitical well intentioned humor
Concerning one of my pasttimes that surprisingly
Never maimed or killed me
Whilst reporting for an official call for jury duty
The uptight and obviously a **** (did I just say that?)
Prosecutor enquired during jury selection
As to whether any of us prospectives
Had bumper stickers and if so
What they might say
The NRA sticker guy next to me
And the I'd Rather Be Fishin'  and NASCAR
Sticker guy next to him
Passed with smugly flying colors
(red needless to say)
While the 72 year old nun
With the Amnesty International sticker
Didn't fair so well
And was promptly burned at the stake
(I kid you)
Needless to say
The long-haired Harvard educated
Native American
With the Doctors Without Borders
And the Remember Wounded Knee
With a not so discreet AIM sticker thrown in to boot
Also got the boot
Pondering the merits of the court stenographer's
Shapely fingers while judiciously confidently awaiting my turn
It never ocurred to me that Mr. Collins might be
So wrongly accused as to have me
Rejected and summarily ejected
From jury duty
A travesty of justice
I say
If for no other reason than I was so looking forward to
Sticking it to the Man
You can imagine my surprise and disappointment
As I wandered down to the Shamrock
To catch Terry O'Leary do a slam
And raise a glass to
Bobby Sands

r~ 22Feb14
Floyd Collins: 1887-1925. Pioneering cave exploer from Kentucky. Mr. Collins died as a result of exposure and dehydration after being trapped in Mammoth Cave despite many attempted rescues. RIP, Floyd. True that my Free Floyd Collins bumper sticker resulted in my not getting selected for jury duty. I kid you not.
Test Ting Won To Tree
By
Charles Fleischer







Rifleman decal water is to Tiny basket liners as Strained yo-yo string is to?
Dark wool glowing is to Oldest lost oddity as First genetic engine is to?
Black quail taint is to Nut curdled paint as Hemp biscuit dominoes are to?
Steam traced paper is to Lemon ash vapor as Digital ****** wig is to?
Eccentric brine mimes are to Electric silk slacks as Spark formed lava is to?
Sunchoked black hornets are to as Rescued orphan doves as Retold cat jokes are to?
Hand traced videos are to Braided rubber spines as Opal rain dancers are to?
Halogen anchor gong is to Annoying bread portraits as Soft bracelet lockers are to?
Old troll bios are to Select cherub echoes as Broken matchstick parasols are to?
Dome nine chariots are to Frayed lunar remnants as Fuming honey flasks are to?
Bluing assault operas is to Beading fluted flowers as Magnetic lawn tweezers are to?
Converted flea sponges are to Floating dog murals as Frozen Archie comics are to?
Molded road pads are to Crusty gumdrop thread as Straw ribbed pelicans are to?
Inflatable diamond vowel is to Single gender raffle as Groovy desert coffee is to?
Temporary solution radiation is to Idiotic witness mumble as Motorized marshmallow kit is to?
Panoramic utopian paranoia is to Aggravated **** silhouettes as Unhinged gun sellers are to?
Homesick ghost pajamas is to Virtuous fly fungus as Royal sandpaper gloves are to?
Gangster hayride tickets are to Deer milk Oreos as Turnip fairy maps are to?
Glue gun **** is to Nocturnal cabin mice as Cab fare corn is to?
Speckled fish nickels are to Under water bric-a-brac as Epic snakeskin paisley is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Raunchy snail kimono is to Coiled time dice as Smeared equator malt is to?
Metallic centaur franchise is to Transparent cheese chess as Spotted glacial remnants is to?
Sky fused pong is to Rustic mothers brattle as Granulated canister ointment is to?
Overgrown maze mule is to Mated smugglers hugging as Floating thesaurus exam is to?
Sliding coed sprinkler is to Soapy whitefish rebate as Precious lamb diaper is to?
Mushy acorn luster is to Lilac protein rings as Slapstick wrestler dialect is to?
Freaky plankton bells is to Rolling horse divorce as Morphing morphine lips are to?
Sticky razor sparkle is to Emerald muscle spasm as Glaring cat cipher is to?
Peppy unisex mustache is to Pelican fighter syndrome as Clumping night grumble is to?
Scanning paired pearls are to Ruby rubbed roaches as Satanic sailor flotsam  are to?
Glowing asteroid solder is to Ideal shark data as Failed frail doilies are to?
Numb nuts boredom is to Fantastic icy phantoms as Sporadic silk creations is to?
Crooks crow chow is to Loading spackled bonder as Gargled snowdrop blasters are to?
Outdid myself today is to Outside myself again as Outlived myself controls is to?
Venting shuttlecock upset is to Texting badminton kitten as Settler tested motels are to?
Prepare paired vents is to Prefer paid events as Pretender predicts fiction is to
Crunchy mental fender is to Catching mentor menace as Poorly seasoned lettuce is to?
Outside sidewalk inside is to Seaside outcast input as Sideways landslide victory is to?  
Compile fake password is to Compost world poo as Compose village anthem is to?
Crooked crotch blunder is to Loud crowd thunder as Divine vine finder is to?
Chucks’ wooden truck is to Bucks good luck as Sticky ducks tucked is to?  
Overhaul underway overseas is to Overturned downsized pickup as Underground onramp overloaded is to?
I’ll bite there is to Aisle byte their as Isle bight there is to?
Gnat gnawed wrist is to ***** show beans as See through putty is to?
Flapping floppy guppies are to Buzzing zipped dozers as Muddy ****** strippers are to?
Dark diagonal dialogue is to Diabolical dihedral die as Interesting circadian exposition is to?
Experimental flossing expectations are to Waxed dental traps as Permanent impermanence resolution is to?  
Outran ringside intrigue is to Sidetracked onboard boatload as Loaded firearm topside is to?
Phony ****** phone is to Chewy ego honey as Yogi Mama’s dada is to?
Nimble teardrop squiggle is to Humble cage curtains as Loyal truckstop morals are to?
Torching curled elastic is to Sonic neighbor clamor as Golden droplet integers are to?
Duplex pupil scanners are to Nacreous cloud clocks as Shrouded flute shops are to?
Lawn rocket tendrils are to Finding surreal borders as Sheep monarchs children is to?
Gloating ungloved squires are to Busting double doubters as Pushing woeful doctors are to?
Tricking snowbelt firedogs is to Panmixing blackened haywires as Unclothed shameful leaders are to?
Malicious ranch ritual is to Internal puppet bubble as Ornate underworld masquerade is to?
Rustic debonair Eskimos are to Mindless sassy elves as Gorgeous somber acrobats are to?
Learned earthy pimps are to Fearless sneaky Queens as Somber gentle vagrants are to?
Shocking horse wear is to Glossy sled fluid as Damaged chipmunk tongue is to?
Traditional agony chart is to Damp voodoo motel as Backwoods museum quote is to?
Magical cat cabin is to Dapper porpoise humor as Malicious graveyard foam is to?
Therapeutic gazelle cushion is to Stored alibi equipment as Stunning tempo light is to?
Fantastic rascal art is to Wasted prune dust as Jupiter’s ****** law is to?
Little nut razor is to Gigantic hyena shield as Hourglass pillow fever is to?
Coiled rain clouds are to Dizzy tycoon clowns as Lime eating cowards are to?
Possessive epicurean demonstrators are to Faded eavesdropping giants as Determined swanky drunks are to?
Aquatic preview pocket is to Soggy judicial topiary as Finicky hamster fabric is to?
Enlarged fruit cuff is to Obedient mumbling orchestra as Dark tenant tariff is to?
Recycled flash thermometer is to Botched temptation probe as Pet glider grid is to?
Seriously shy idols are to Costly driving perfumes as Ferryboat chapel wine is to?
Winged jalopy details are to Faithful spectral fathers as Sprinkled mint rainbows are to?
Spelling unneeded words is to Sprouting donut ***** as Blaming mellow mallrats are to?
Eroding loom keepsake is to Magnificent accordion canoe as ***** bongo fumes are to?
Souring violet ink is to Juvenile insult park as Periodic ferret envy is to?
Obedient boyfriend aroma is to Sanitized fat lozenges as Dramatic jailer garb is to?
Mysterious patrol group is to Dynamic maiden discharge as Captured hurricane ratio is to?
Lackadaisical bigot bingo is to Oblong care merchant as Expensive swamp shampoo is to?
Petite orifice worship is to Atomic barge pet as Plucked hair exhibit is to?
Elite officer wallop is to Automatic yard rake as Healing ****** glitter is to?
Needless swan costume is to Giant jungle goat as Organic picnic napkin is to?
Leaky jet steam is to Innovative fascist whistle as Enchanting idol evidence is to?
Plastic mascara seduction is to Greasy thermal ointment as Attractive muskrat crease is to?
Lucky camel pills are to White coral Torah as Eternal stage clutter is to?
Roasted oat **** is to Sloppy *** glue as Nylon table debt is to?
Steep nook catastrophe is to Empty dome damage as Pulsing breeze powder is to?
Empty sack power is to Hitched buck stroke as Red claw warning is to?
Ultra brief slogan is to Yummy lab mutant as Pathetic ball armor is to?
Nauseating fish splatter is to Obstinate ****** twitch as Strained ***** coffee is to?
Mezzanine intermission fossil is to Proven **** apathy as Golden duck shroud is to?
Civil tutors torment is to Thor’s posted theory as Yellow melon rain is to?
Immense olive raft is to Exploding kangaroo buffet as Ethereal witness index is to?  
Marching dark speeders are to Searing scribble fighters as **** tripping sinners are to?
Seeping viral angst is to Aged hermit tea as Murky bowl nibble is to?
Condensed blister guzzle is to Pink dorsal pie as Lavish speckled runt is to?
Needy insult poet is to Sedated acorn trader as Dry honey zoo is to?
Veiled trust flicker is to Deranged poser fashion as Flat sizzle tangent is to?
Purified diet spray is to Nebulous wishing target as Thrilling screen dope is to?
Majestic ribbon astronomy is to Bizarre formation sector as Rebel bell gimmick is to?
Sealed dart whisper is to Green silk draft as Cold vacuum varnish is to?
Clumsy raven power is to Insect island circus as Minted mink drapes are to?
Curved map ruler is to Tiny lethal radio as Blue fused metal is to?
Inverted laser invasion is to Damp sheep dump as Puffy gown smoke is to?
Saucy Channel blazer is to Leather goat filament as Starched locomotive hat is to?
Broken jumper leads are to Disgraced mini exorcists as Designer shamrock caulk is to?
Tweaked poachers smokes are to Assorted sulfur pathways as Collected bedlamp trickle is to?
******* bungalow pranks are to Drowsy vapid oafs as Quantized cavern fish are to?
Crawling battle worms are to Vibrating metal pedals as Mentholated matrix wax is to?
Missing meshed rafts are to Liquid rock pipes as Crinkled bean bikinis are to?
Tithing **** joggers are to Perforated buck fronds as Leather zither picks are to?
Fearing truthful cowards is to Rambling preachers mumble as Gazebo ambulance gasoline is to?
Shelving elder’s whiskers is to Poaching goalies pesto as Radical tricycle angst is to?
Mucky gunboat polymer is to Primeval maypole flameout as Cathedral greenhouse intercom is to?
Diaphanous safety prize is to Unleashed saucer lion as Dorky blonde ropewalker is to?
Tapered spring meter is to Silver silo mythology as Misguided judges medallions are to?
Alligator x-ray money is to Cherry unicorn water as Coyote cactus toy is to?
Cowardly dorm scrooge is to Atomized pewter script as Flattened spore smoothies are to?
Trash can yodel is to Flashing wired spam as Exploding chocolate pudding is to?
Sonar blasted bushings are to Threading ruined wheels as Forty shifting boxes are to?
Tiny balloon rebellion is to Softened square cleanser as Iconic soul sucker is to?
Harmony night light is to Spanish nitrogen desire as Squirrel cavern iodine is to?

Lazy winter secret is to Slow airport widget as Silly mustard binder is to?
Elephants raising raisins are to Microscopic lamb planet as Purple hay puppets are to?
Caribou venom vaccine is to Electronic lemonade choir as Demonic princess massage is to?
Beet coated bridge is to Fattened needle point as Mylar monkey spine is to?
Ashy ink dust is to Youngest rabbi planet as Orange cartoon geometry is to?
Cold green chalk is to Cobalt ladder farce as ***** river filters are to?
Sublime sheep master is to Sleeping past rapture as Subliminal bliss jelly is to?
Ocean crust slippers are to Twigged germ radar as Popping sharpie scope is to?
Zen wrapped beep is to Oak foamed code as Wicked flashing sizzle is to?
Dew eyed sleigh is to Say I do as Act as me is to?
Humpback on hammock is to Ham hocking hummer as Hunchback with knapsack is to?
Corned flag jelly is to Draped wing chewers as Tripping swan acid is to?
Futuristic Rembrandt chant is to Almond likened meadows as Asian timber blue is to?
Nap in sack is to Flap on Jack as Ducks dig crack is to?
Flowing flavored lava is to Gleaming optic layers as Enhanced goose gibberish is to?      
Flag tied pajamas are to Saline checker choir as Speed reading quotas is to?
Whipped spam spasms are to Misted shaman scripture as Testing pitched bells is to?
Cave aged eggs are to Crowded tiger cages as ****** wagon pegs are to?
Pigeon towed car is to a Man toad art as Wolf whisker wish is to?
Second hand clothes are to Minute hand gestures as Final hour prayer is to?
Slick wicked shavers are to Tricky watch boxes as Sprouting pine tattoos are to?
Waxed stick ravens are to Match stick foxes as Narrowed thermal towers are to?
Ice cave rice is to Laced face lice as Gourmet pet **** is to?
Diamond lane anniversary is to Space age appropriate as Time travel agency is to?
Lime bark violin is to Lemon twig guitar as Lunar sky waffles are to?
Fake rat **** is to Smart cake batter as Rugged fur tax is to?
Tarred raft fluff is to Flaked rafter dust as Lined liquor flask is to?
Flakes will fall is to Take Bills call as Broken maze compass is to?
First faked voter is to Entombed cartoon honey as Smallest aching smurf is to?
Fancy bared ******* are to Flaky fairy treats as Kings amp filter is to?
Bone window folio is to Whittled fake pillow as Little fitted jackets are to?
Nine nuts brittle is to Ate pear pie as Six packed poppers are to?
Incandescent playground pencil is to Elastic hand worm as Perfumed piano ink is to?
Opal shifting anode is to a Windup lion decoy as Pale paisley trolley is to?
Stacked black boxes are to Old packed tracks as a Throwing micron hammers is to?
Apricot bark furnace is to Merry Orchid Choir as an Ivory rinsing funnel is to?  
Narcotic honey nuts are to Slick flag toffees as Silk fig sugar is to?
Orange coin raisins are to Low note candies as Smelling balled roses is to?
Pocket packed monotints are to Tragic ladder hayracks as Ravishing speed traders are to?
Crayon spider resin is to Coral squirrel forceps as Wolf tumbled loaf is to?  
Silver wheat flies are to Width shifting wheels as Golden blister blankets are to?
Really tiny hippopotamus is to Masked fat podiatrist as a Sad sack psychiatrist is to?
Miniature Mesopotamian monuments are to Apple minted elephants as Raising wise ravens is to?
Lathered nymph nacre is to Sonic ion constellations as Concealed iron craft is to?  
Epic gene toy is to Ladies bubble sled as Jagged data bowl is to?
Bugged dagger bag is to Pop sliced meld as Atom bending moonlight to?  
Rural madam’s deed is to Dyed dew dipper as Eight sprayed dukes are to?
Jiffy grand puffer is to Floating altar myth as Vintage dark mirth is to?
Undercover overnight underwear is to Overpaid undertaker overdosing as Overheard understudy freebasing is to?

Black grape crackle is to Red cactus ruffle as Installing padded pets are to?
Snide snobs sniffing are to Sneaky snails snoring as Snared snipes sneezing are to?
Exploring explosive exits is to Explaining expansive exports as Expecting expert exchange is to?
Shrewd logic ledger is to Puppets dropping cupcakes as Placated topaz octopi are to?
Door roof tools are to Cool wool boots as Wood cooked root is to?
Bright fight light is to Night flight fright as Mites bite site is to?
Floor flood fluid is to Wooden door Druid as Nasty **** broom is to?
Accurate police photography is to Intelligent microbe geography as Condensed aerosol biography is to?
Cowardly cowboy grime is to Corpulent corporate crime as Bosnian dwarf necromancer is to?
Jell-O clearing shaker is to Brillo cleaning shiner as Cheerios bowling shields are to?
Mumbled mindless hokey is to Fumbled found money as Humming kinder bunny is to?
Daisy’s clock setter is to Lilly’s boxer toxin as Poodles rose paddle is to?
Watch Bozo Copernicus is to Hire Clarabelle Newton as Find ***-wee Einstein is to?
Amethyst thistle whistles is to Lapis pistol whip as Diamond bomb scar is to?
Dandelion seahorse rescue is to Crabapple dogwood farm as Faux foxglove lover is to?    
Optical poppy stopper is to Polar halo lens as Day-Glo rainbow sticker is to?
Savanna leopard spotted is to Eskimo lassos kisses as Alligator lemonade standard is to?
Bill of Rights is to Will of left as Thrill of night is to?
Baptize floozies quickly is to Useless outsized nozzles as Puzzled wizard wanders is to?        
Chaps wearing chaps are to Chaps contesting contests as Consoling concealed consoles is to?
Quiet squirming squirrels are to Aeon beauty queens as Queasy greasy luaus is to?
Knew new gnu is to Sense scents cents as We’ll wheal wheel is to?
Blazing zingers ringing are to Wheezing singers flinging as Freezing finger number are to?
Lamb tomb jogger is to Dumb numb **** as Thumbed crumb bug is to?

Blue accordion casket is to Jaded scholar ***** as German mushroom circus is to?
President George Flintstone is to Funny Fred Washington as Abraham Jetson’s dog is to?
Google Desmond Tutu is to Kalamazoo Zoo Park as Zodiac actors Guru is to?
Swamp cradled whisperer is to Cherished drawbridge cello as Bludgeoned prankster outlaws are to?
Dukes pink mittens are to Smeared nest carava
Through the years of transparent existence, a void of illusion becomes apparent and slowly becomes nothing more than a side-show. The dribbling glimpses of truth fade like the bones of old. No man can create such an indentation in the mold of space and time that the observers at the end of eternity will render their imprint upon the infinite gaian consciousness and body of universal proportions of any significance. Even the earth laughs at such ridiculousness. The ego is a strong bind - it can create maya and attachment to such fantasies easier than a bear can find it's ideal location for a winter hibernation. It's a world of craziness, where nobody knows whats going on.
The man woke up from his deep slumber. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Squinting, he looked around, studying his surroundings and taking mental notes. His thoughts are ***** scribblings on a subway wall. His heart is beating, searching for a band to play in rhythm with. His soul is aching from loneliness and desire. His feet lifelessly surrender their position up on the couch and find the floor, shrieking from the cold of the linoleum. His presence is that of a bird with a broken wing still attempting to fly. He stands up and stares at the ceiling.
The room is small. Four walls of white, one window and one door. The window looks out over the grey city. The door leads into another room - the room most would call a kitchen. In the small room before the kitchen, there is only a couch and a blanket. No lamp. No television. No electricity. No electricity in the entire apartment. The kitchen holds no refrigerator, no oven, no toaster, no pantry. It's called a kitchen because that's what it would be if somebody else was living in the apartment. There are two bananas on the floor along with a box of wheat flake cereal. No milk, no bowl, no spoon. The bananas are almost entirely rotten. The box of cereal is on its side, leaking bits of wheat flake, resembling a dying soldier on a battlefield who's losing all his blood through the wound on his neck rather than a box of the West's favorite morning go-to breakfast.
The man is observing the cracks on the ceiling, along with various stains with no known origin to him. His eyes dart from one corner of the room to another to another to another and back to the first. Spiderwebs. Dust. Decay. A perfect example of life's ability to take care of itself. Biodecomposition. When no one is around to look after a house, over time, Nature will take over it. Vines will grow and overcome the walls. Rain will fall and wear away the roof and general structure. Winds will blow, taking blindshots at the weakened building, eventually cause it to fall. Nothing lasts forever. Everything goes back to where it came from.
The man now steps into the "kitchen", where he begins to study the stains on the ceiling in this room as well. His mind is electric, with no thoughts in the usual sense, but rather just a vague presence of void to help the ceiling stains feel important. He is the space through which everything around him can exist to their fullest potential. After a measureless amount of time, the man walks over to the sad bits of food on the far side of the small room. He picks up one of he bananas and studies it. He feels where it came from. The tropical skies and smells and earth of Costa Rica. There's a little sticker on the banana that says so. Each bit of fruit in the markets nowadays are individually stickered...for prosperity, one can only assume. Though it's best to never assume anything, and instead be open to everything - afterall, anything is possible, at any time. Likelihood and probability are also important factors in the universal constitution of existence. What was the likelihood that this man, when he was a little child, figured he'd be holding a rotten banana from Costa Rica in his hand inside of a kitchenless kitchen? Who knows? The man wouldn't be able to recall his thoughts from early childhood - he barely remembers waking up and experiencing the chilling sensation of early morning linoleum. In any case, everything is exactly the way it's supposed to be, for it wouldn't be if it wasn't meant to be.
He slowly peels open the banana peel to reveal this brown, soft mush of tropical fruit. Just the way he likes it - soft enough to chew with his toothless mouth. He takes his time consuming the fruit, savoring every particle. After a good bit of time, the fruit is gone and all the man is left with is the peel. He takes another good look at the peel, once again imagining where this particular banana came from. Then, in two swift bites, he devours the entire peel - sticker included. He figures the sticker came from Costa Rica as well, and thus must carry that Costa Rican tropical vibe of health and longevity. His eyes then focus on the wheat flake cereal lying next to the other rotting banana. He bends down and picks up the box. The box is upside down when he picks it up and so the cereal spills out all over the area of the "kitchen" floor that seems to be dedicated to eating food. The remaining banana is now covered in wheat cereal.
The man drops the box back onto the floor and takes a seat alongside of it. His fingers hold his face from drooping onto his knees. His knees are keeping his torso from melting onto the floor. He screams with no sound. The pains of existence seep through his hollow eyes and into the receptors of his soul. He screams with no sound. He’s as empty as the American Dream.
The cobwebs are spreading from the corners of the room and are aimed for the human form sitting in the “kitchen” screaming silence with all his might. The cobwebs grow. The commuters of the city highway are commuting. A thousand birthday celebrations are being had. A thousand people sexually uninhibited, joyously seizing the moment in disgusting miraculous unity of mortal physical desire. Junkies are roaming the street for their morning fix. Teaching are teaching their students absolute lies. Governments are stealing the lives of billions and counting. And the cobwebs are growing, encompassing entire walls. The the ceiling. Then the floor. Then they crawl up the lifeless legs of the man who sits screaming in silence and the spiders overtake his body. They stitch his mouth shut and close his eyes with their spun proteinaceous spider silk. The man withers into the wind of time and vanishes from the world without a single soul taking notice. Leaving nothing behind except an empty apartment, overdue rent, and a number in the system of Western Society. His spirit cries sorrowfully as it flees the clutches of molecular existence into the realm of eternity and space. Heaven. He made it. He looks down at the people of the world he just left and sings a pitiful song for them. He’ll see them again. Afterall, they are Him. And He is Them. His Heart, the Sun, burns as the world he left turns. The lessons He left are slowly being learned. One by one. But still, there’s a space between the atoms, between the cells. And that space can never disappear. Without it, there would be no point to the story. All would be one, as it is, and there’s be nothing to overcome. No triumph. Just an endless loop of bizarre beautiful experience and pattern.
Julia Mar 2019
Stickers all over my body
A collage as my identity
like tattoos

They don’t hurt when you peel them off hairless skin
But I will never let them leave
sticky residues

I have a long roll of stickers
that never ends
And I walk down the street

Sticking them on everything
just like friends
A flower sticker on the window

A saxophone on the telephone pole
Fried eggs on the sidewalk
Stickers glitter in the crystal shop

Those dots that color code life
I use them now to organize the world for everyone
And I give every little girl a lollipop
sticker

A fairy on my fingernail
A snowflake on my cheek
this poem wants you to read it really hard.
a malignant cancer spreads
in prime agricultural land
the Santos Company
gas wells ever expand

the waterways and aquifers
sullied with material not healthy
the corporate entity
aspiring to be more wealthy

campaigners outside fences
at drilling locations
wanting to stop the company's
sick infiltration

the fight to preserve the family farm
has been unheeded
company profitability
must be well seeded

a state government not listening
to scientist's info
seemingly it is more interested
in the gas field's revenue flow

as time goes by the waterways
and land will become sicker
all in the name of the Santos brands
noxious sticker
John Stevens Oct 2014
I was asked to talk on hope so… This was presented March 12, 2009 for a  “Celebrate Recovery” session.

===================================================

My­ daughter asked me where I was going this evening. I said I was going to “Celebrate Recover” meeting to give a talk on HOPE.  She asked, “what are you recovering from dad?’  I told her” My name is John and I am a recovering parent.”  She was rather amused.

Hope. When all is going well and the world seems to be heading your direction… you maybe don’t need hope or think about hope very much. If you do it might be rather superficial as in “I hope I get to work on time”. Personally, right now, “I hope I can get through this talk on hope.”

When life puts you through a trial by fire and all seems hopeless in the eyes of man, when all is burned away such as pride, selfishness, lust, ( insert your favorite hang up here)… all that is left is hope and faith. For me pride evaporated. I had and still have a bumper sticker which says “Proud parent of an O’Leary Junior high student.” The bumper sticker has faded into near nothingness now but it is a reminder of what was left for me. Hope and faith were still standing tall. Pride faded into the past and hope refreshes the vision of the future.

Hopes in our past are probably gone or maybe faded like the bumper sticker. We must look for new hope from Jesus’ words and His life. We must base our hope on Him, live in Him, trust in Him and never give up.

Most of my life, I have been the type who could fix things. Then the reality that my youngest daughter was broken and I could not fix her nearly shattered my life. As hard as we may try we can not live the life of someone else for them. Alcohol and drugs had apparently triggered bi-polar tendencies and she went from a straight A student to a total failure in a matter of months. It was very difficult to understand or even accept that this was happening to our family. For some time the guilt factor was rather great. Where did we go wrong? Why is this happening to OUR family?

The next two years spun totally out of control. Counseling and therapy seemed to make the situation worse. I remember saying in one session, “I feel as if she is on the other side of a glass wall. There is a door in the wall but there is no handle on my side to open it. As I pound on the door, she is bleeding to death and she will not or can not open the door and let me in to help her.” I felt helpless and there was little hope. Life as we knew it was slipping away and it would never be the same again.

Skip forward to May 6, 2003. At work, I received a call from a credit card company and they ask, “did you make such and such purchases? No.” They put a stop on all activity on the card. I went home and found my card in my daughter’s room. I told her to get dressed we are going to take a ride. She got some clothes on and we went down to the Sheriff’s office. A couple hours went by as we sat on a bench and waited. Our hearts sank as we watched her taken out of the sheriff’s office in chains to juvenile detention.  

This was the turning point of hope. It was going to be a promise of new hope or a train wreck. It all depended on the decisions she would make in changing her life style. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and I hoped it was not an oncoming train. After 20 days of detention and another 30 days house detention, we made a trip to the Walker Center where she would spend the next 30 days. It was not an easy 30 days and there were some very tense moments. About 3 weeks into the 30 days, there were three intense days of family sessions. On the second day of the family sessions at the Walker Center, we were on our way home and for the next two hours, I felt compelled to write this piece. I could not stop writing. It just flowed out of the pen from the interaction with parents and our children.

“My Name is __.
I am a Dopeless Hope Addict.”
© (7-25-03) John L. Stevens

Life seemed to ****.
The pain seemed so real.
The drugs seemed so easy
To change what I did feel.

At first it seemed to help
To cover up the pain.
But the ******* sound I heard
Was my life, down the drain.

The hole I found myself in
Got deeper by the day.
Hope seemed to fade from me
That help was on the way.

The help I sought and found
Was the “friends” who got me here.
Those who had the ***, the ****,
The drugs and the beer.

The family I once had loved,
Seemed distant from me now.
My love had turned to hate
By the love of drugs somehow.

The hole caved in on me
From a distance I could hear.
“We loved her, Oh so very much”
“We failed her. Somehow my Dear.”

They pulled me from the darkest hole
I, myself, had dug.
And took me into their arms
To rescue me from drug.

The days turned into many weeks.
My head began to clear,
To see the ones who really love me.
My hate was not so near.

A cloud of doubt and guilt rained down
For the things I had done.
Soon love returned to fill my heart
Where once the drugs had won.

Forgiveness came from those who loved,
To me, for the many years.
For the pain and sorrow I had caused
To them, through many tears.

A group of families gathered ’round
With love so great for me.
I soon discovered through the tears
Their abundant love was free.

I felt the love of those who care.
I learned to love again.
To care once more for what I’d lost.
To trust and live within.

When temptation comes to my door
To offer me a high.
Let Love instead answer the knock
And with Serenity say – goodbye!
——————————————-

This story has not ended. It will continue for a life time. Life is about choices we make on a daily basis. It dictates what we will possibly do tomorrow based on what we do today. Life is built on choices. The end of the story will be written when we meet the One who loves us unconditionally. The One who died on the Cross for us.

Love triumphs over adversity when God is in it. In the vernacular of Lola of “Charley and Lola “Never, never, never, ever give up” must be the words to live by. Progress is made even when there are two steps forward and one step back. Thank God for the progress. Hope lives on in the hearts of those who trust Him.
======================================================

A strange feeling set in during the time she was in detention and a ward of the court. We could sleep at night. We knew she was in a safe place and not running in the drug culture. It meant we would not get a call in the middle of the night to identify her body. It was the first time in a long time we could breathe.

On Father’s Day that year, my daughter wrote me a two page letter, a beautiful letter saying she understood why we did what we did. I treasure this letter. Tough love does not get any tougher. It was very tough on us. Most every night the last few years when I go to bed and she is awake, I hear this little voice as I pass her bed room, “Goodnight Daddy, I love you.” “I love you too, Sweetheart.” It melts my heart every time.

As I lay my head on the pillow my thoughts most every night are, “thank you Father for this day. Thank you for my daughter, thank you for letting us be her parents.” And with that, all is well in the world.


Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. Without love there would in all likelihood not be very much faith and hope hanging around. God’s love for us is so great, how can we not give our love to our children and each other, unconditionally, as an extension of His love for us? The story of the prodigal son was ever on my mind. A story of never ending love and hope on the part of the Father.

My hope is in the eternal Jesus who has promised to never leave me or forsake me.

I can not imagine living my life without hope. I can not imagine living without the love of God.

Spring of 2002 unraveled for a friend of mine. His wife got sick, his mother came out to help them and she had heart failure and died in the hospital one floor below where his wife was located. A month later his wife died, he lost his job, a vertebrae in his neck deteriorated, his insurance evaporated. It was Job all over again. We spent many hours of many days trying to make sense of his situation. It seemed pointless. Absolutely hopeless. I can remember a cold fear pouring over me. There was nothing I could do to help him.

I wrote a piece called “Hope for Tomorrow” a couple months later that reflected his loss and my loss when my mother died 1991. Writing is therapy for me. Writing puts on paper a reminder of where I am at that time. The words of this piece points to the loss of a loved one but the thoughts can translate to any loss.

Hope for Tomorrow
© July 2002 John L. Stevens

My heart was so heavy
With sadness and sorrow.
The day was so dark
I could not see tomorrow.
Hope seemed so dim
Through the tears that I cried.
I could not see You Lord
The day that she died.

I remembered Your promise
To be by my side.
For always You’re with me
In You I abide.
In the midst of the darkness
Your hand touched my soul.
You drew me so close
And made me whole.

There are times that I cry
Alone with just me.
When the silence comes crashing
Like a storm-troubled sea.
There are times that I laugh now
When I remember the years.
That we shared together
Through the good times and tears.

The peace oh Lord
The memories You bring.
Fills my life with hope
Make my heart strings sing.
Draw me close to Your side
And lead me gently on.
Give me hope for tomorrow
Till the dark turns to dawn.
———
Open my heart Lord
Let out the sorrow.
Pour in your spirit
And hope for tomorrow.
I need Your touch Lord
On my heart this hour.
Fill me with Your love
With Your healing power.

===============================

I hope these thoughts I have shared with you have been an encouragement to your heart. I hope you will have a renewed resolve to never give up but keep taking baby steps forward as you make your journey with Jesus through this life. Now from the words and wisdom of Lola, “I will never, never, never, ever give up Charley.”

To those who did not go to sleep, thanks for listening.
Ok it will stay up.  It is still a source of pain to read and to remember the days that almost killed me.  Maybe this is for you.
valencia May 2019
September

from dust and broken glass, from silver and stone, an army arises from their shallow graves. and to this day, no one can remember that this is how it all began.

demons run when a good man goes to war.
that’s what they have always told me. there haven’t been any good men here for a while then, because I can still see demons lurking around corners like shadows.


there have always been things in my life I have learned not to question. you do not doubt the stars in the sky, the ground beneath your feet, or the strength of the northernland. we do not question the northernland.

i like to ask myself questions-
after the sky fell, who gathered it all up and put it back in the sky?
they won’t tell us in school.
when the sky fell, what did the stars taste like?
i think it would taste like fire and pain and sugar, like drinking lighting hot lemonade in the summer.
we don’t ask in school.

thursday



there has never been enough. money, food, water. in school, they teach us about the war. the war has no name, it is just the war. maybe it will someday. no one dares to name it. you do not name the devil.

we bow to the throne of the northernland, unaware that is was born of lies. the cameras are our leader now. they are all we have ever known.

on Sundays we go to church and pray. the crosses will never hang right and are always turning upside down and the priest is always looking pale. we all look pale, now. the cloud of dust from northernland blocks out the sun most days.


friday
I went to Lou's house today. she has a red front gate and ivy growing in her garden. we kicked a deflated kickball around for a bit, but she kept looking over her shoulder. she pretended to drop the ball behind her but couldn't bend down to grab it because her arm is broken, so I went over. tears were hiding beneath her eyes, but she did not say anything. then her dad came out and watched us play. i didn’t like his smile, it was too wide.




when i wanted to go home, he offered to walk me home. i said i could do it by myself. wouldn’t want you to get into trouble he said, somehow smiling wider. lou made herself laugh and smiled too, but it wasn’t a real smile. as we walked home, he didn’t turn his head away from me, even to cross the street. i looked deep into his pupils, which were so wide they covered the colored part. i swore i could see someone behind them, watching. i didn’t say anything. after i went into my house,
he stood out front for a long time, watching. then i heard. shout from the basement but the door was locked as always so i got scared about that instead and when i looked out front again he was gone.

saturday

today in school i fell and skinned my knuckles. the blood that came was strange, reddish-orange. teacher grabbed my hand and bandaged it right away before i could get a good look at it. she said you mustn’t tell your mother.


teacher doesn’t know that mother went to go live in the White Building, a place for people who hear voices and don’t like the government and have to be restrained so they don’t hurt people. i don’t say any of this, i just nod my head ok.

sometimes i worry, about alistair. he’s a gravedigger and everyday when he comes home he looks so empty. he won’t tell me why he’s so sad but once i heard him tell canary that the graves just get bigger everyday and then after a long time he said but there are always to many bodies

i tried to listen more but he found me behind the wall and when i asked him why there were so many bodies he said there’s a sickness, that’s all
then after that teacher made us all wear cottons masks that are itchy and make it hard to breathe.


sunday

on the telly today the man in the suit announcer we had another victory but i don’t understand how we can have victories without winning the war. the man in the suit tried to show a picture but all we saw was a blurry mess because alistair said sometimes things can’t be shown on the telly but i don’t know why. i doesn’t make sense why they would restrict anything anymore. we now what it looks like. a flat landscape paved with bodiesaccented with blood.
we aren’t supposed to know about that though.

in school, teacher tells us there have been no casualties of the war. but only when principal is watching. when he’s not she’s stuffs our coats beneath the crack and the door and tunes the telly to a different station- one that’s fuzzy that she has to hold a hanger to in order for us to see anything. and she’ll flip back and forth between leader of the northernland and say this is propagandam  and then turn the **** back to the man in the suit, and then say this is the truth

i don’t know why teacher tells us these things.

monday

listen- do you hear it? i can hear planes buzzing overhead. teacher says to ignore it. teacher says we aren’t supposed to hear.
alistair never lets me go in the basement. he keys the key round his neck, even when he’s sleeping. he says it’s dangerous down there. but i’ve always been too curious- that’s what principal says. he looks at me with those stern different colored eyes and says curiosity killed the cat every time ms. hoth brings me to his office for doodling. i still have no idea what a cat is. cardeully, he erases my drawings and put the paper neatly into his desk. we waste nothing here. go home is all he says. but i know what he means. walk home in silence and do not ask questions, do not look behind curtains and do not wander off.

today mari has her birthday party. her mum wasn’t there. i can tell lou noticed because her eyes were scanning the room all strange, but she didn’t say anything. i didn’t ask. mari looked all scared and the camera of the ceiling fan hadn’t moved from her in a long time. i wondered who was watching her.

later, mari pulled me beneath her bed. i tried to say something but she covered my mouth with her hand. they’ll take me for telling you
was all she said.
but i have to tell someone.

i knew the feeling.
after a long time she took her hand off of my mouth and said mums in the garden








while she opened her presents, the mandatory ones from the northernland that are no fun, i tried to look out the window to see her mum. the only thing i could see in the garden was a pile of freshly turned earth. lou caught me looking and grabbed my wrist. she said you mustn’t look.


tuesday
when i come home there is a woman sitting at the kitchen table, and with her there are four ravens. she is royal, i can feel it in the way she sits and breathes and just exists. she looks at her hands and then at me. but this lady is not a guardian angel, like the kind canary says is always looking out for us. i am not an angel. she says. she is not from the northernland, but not from here either. i know is all i say, because i am not alarmed that she is here and that there are cameras and that she does not belong. i know she is not real. and she says i am a godess. i do not doubt her. she sits up, and puts the ravens about her in her hair and on her shoulders and the like. this is an omen. i nod, because why else would a goddess be at my kitchen table? and then she is gone because she was never really there, and i wash my face and make sure i am no longer seeing people that are not there, because i don’t want to go live in the White Building like mum.


wednesday

they are always watching us at recess- we mustn’t stand or walk anymore. we have never been allowed to run. there are cameras everywhere now, too. they see everything like a great waking monster that never sleeps. i thought i would feel safe with the cameras, but the back of my neck feels prickly like there’s somebody standing behind me and when i spin around and look the mushroom is empty except for me.

the only place there aren’t cameras is under alistair bed. i go and hide there sometimes, just to forget the feeling of being watched. that’s where i read the stories that alistair’s written. in them, he talks about a sky as blue as the ocean.
i have never been to the ocean. i remember the sky used to be blue, but never really. now it is a sickly grey.
canary caught me looking at the sky once and pushed my head down. she said don’t let them catch you looking or they’ll put cameras in your eyes.
i believe her.

wednesday

today we went to mandatory meeting, where they passed out rations. there is always less and less then there was last time. while we were there they made us watch a video where the leader of the northernland talked about how well we were doing in the war and how this would almost be over soon. he also reminded us that if we were past curfew there would be serious punishments.
for rations we got a red powder called kool-aid that you mix with water to make juice. we also got a loaf of white bread, a browned banana, circular crackers and a warm jacket. alistair took the jacket and left for work.

canary always looks worried. ever since mom went bonkers i haven’t seen her not wearing her worry lines. i can’t believe she’s only six years older than me. to alistair that doesn’t seem like a long time. to me, six years is an eternity. as long as a war.

canary watched alistair go at the window for a long time, long after he disappeared into the fog. then, all of a sudden, she turned around and said i’ll help you with your homework. i didn’t tell her that i knew how to multiply fractions. mom always used to say that if you were busy you weren’t worried. canary made me a cup of red juice and her hands shook so much she dropped the glass.
pity, that was our last one. it seemed to shatter in slow motion, and i could see every piece break slower and slower.

the day seemed to go by slowly, the cold sleeping into my bones and making me sleepy. i wa so thirsty, so thirsty. i wasn’t allowed anymore water till friday though. if you drink to much of it at once you get sick. i begged canary to let me drink from the stream in the garden but she wouldn’t. it’s black and thick, and smells like nail polish.

the last time i punted my nails was for dads funeral. i remember canary used her last bottle of nail polish to paint my fingers black, so as not to have anybody see the dirt under my fingernails. it didn’t matter, in the end. we were the only ones who attended.

canary is flying together the pieces of the glass with tacky glue. i can’t bear to tell her that all the glue in the world would never be enough. the shards are too small. she’s fills it back up with red juice and fora moment all is well, but then the glass can’t take it anymore and collapses with force into her hands. kool-aid runs down her fingers like blood. intermixed is real blood, from the cuts the glass left. she looked at it for a long time, letting the blood run down her fingers like that.

then she said what a waste

november

alistair is sick. principal gave us ibuprofen but all it does it make him feel empty. he begs us not to give him more but it’s the only things that will take his fever down. he thrashes in bed and screams ****** ****** and i worry he is going to be like mom, always seeing things and hearing things. maybe he can go live with mom in the White Building. mom would like that, if she could remember alistair.

i have been sleeping at school, because canary doesn’t want me to get sick. the dorms are cold and empty and heavily sanitized. i miss canary and i miss alistair but canary won’t let me come home. i don’t know what she would do if i was sick. so i stay. and every night, i say to myself i hate the northernland i hate the northernland i hate
but i say it in my head,  because i am worried they will come for me.
sometimes i worry about canary getting sick. she says promise i wont, sunshine but i know she never worries about herself. teacher gave me flowers to send to alistair. the card says “get well soon” it has been a long time since i have seen real flowers. most are fake, like the ones teacher sent alistair. i don’t mind. it’s the sentiment that is important.





sunday

today at church preacher said and let us pray for our sick
they have stopped re adjusting the crosses. the remain upside down and no one looks. except me. i was looking, while we were supposed to be praying, but canary pushed my head down and said  pretend you can’t see them.
that’s  when i knew she sees things too.

saturday
i remember when i came home from school and found mum. there was paper all over the house, because she’s been doing her drawings. it was on the walls and floor and crinkled up under the boxes, all pictures of the northernland and the pastor and everything. and she said there is no god. there is no god. there is no god. alistair covered her mouth but it was too late, the northernland men were already here. she drew here pictures more violently scribbling and slashing with my art pencils. she drew alistair and canary and father, but not me or her. there was lump in my throat. she picked a new piece of paper and drew god, above us all, but she kept saying there are no gods there are no gods there are no gods, and she slashed and scribbled at the paper, and the northernland men were knocking, watching us through the cameras, and mum pulled me down next to her. i could see blood beneath my skin she held me so tight, and she had. a thousand stars in her eyes that were all spinning, saliva dripped down her chin and  she did not look my my mum anymore. she looked lost. she said the gods have abandoned us.


after the northernland men took her to live in the White Building, her drawings were left on the floor. alistair gathered them all up and threw them in the basement and locked the door. then he put the key around his neck. at least, i think that’s what’s in the basement. i have never told alistair, but i took the last drawing she did, of me and her and a boy. i stuck it with glue to the very back of my dresser drawer, so no one will ever find it. in the picture, my lips looks like there are sewn together with greenish yarn. this has always scared me. mums mouth is open and she is screaming, but there is no tounge inside her mouth. the boy looks normal, and he is holding my hand. this boy is not alistair. this has always scared me. this has always scared me. this has always scared me. it’s only a picture.



monday

i keep finding myself in that moment-
when canary broke the glass and cut her hands, spilling red juice and blood like lines on her hands. she sat there for a long time, just looking. maybe it’s stuck with me because she was just looking, when we’re never supposed to look.

the clocks tick slower and slower everyday.


tuesday

teacher wasn’t at school today. instead we have a woman with blinding hair and an accent from the northernland. nobody asked where teacher went.
we don’t want to know. the hanger and the telly were gone, too.

when i got home i was feeling really sick with tears. i told alistair they’ve taken teacher. his eyes widened and he ****** his head toward the camera. canary dig her fingernails into my arm. of course they haven’t was all he said. that’s silly.

then he looked off into nothing for a long time. i just looked straight into the camera.


wednesday

at recess the northernland woman was acting real strange. she sat with us on the pavement and when the camera tune we it’s invasive x-ray eyes away she whispered your teacher has been taken by the northernland.

nobody said anything. nobody says anything, anymore. i think if we even spoke to many of us would cry. and then the cameras would look at us. so we just stared into space.
in our hearts, we already knew. but i still wanted to scream.


thursday

today was idyllic. sun came through the smoke and lit the sidewalk up orange. the woman from the northernland asked us what we would want if we could have any powers. almost everyone said healing. i said flying. maybe it’s because i’m selfish, all i want to do is fly away. but maybe it’s because i’m honest. i’m getting tired of not hearing the truth.

just to see if i could do it i ran all the way home. my feet seemed to leave the ground, its was as if i was actually flying every time i took a step. but then i landed and took off again.
i hadn’t run in a long time.
my chest seemed to hurt with a good  pain, if pain can be good.
i wanted to tell alistair but canary wouldn’t let me see him. i just need to you to get warm was all she said. over and over. but i’m boiling he said. it was quiet for a long time. it’s going to be alright. she said it again. twice. three times.

you know that feeling when you feel sick to your stomach, not because of disease but of fear. and mixed up in that sickness are tears and realization and you feel weak and helpless.  that’s how i felt when they took mum. that’s how i feel now.

i don’t know why, but a sudden hatred for the northernland boils up in my stomach. i think i am going to be sick. i turn around and run, run as fast as i can until i am at a strange gravel alleyway hidden behind some trees. i rest there for a long time, looking into the darkness after the cliff face. i know where i am. i am in the abyss, a place forbidden so long ago by alistair i had never thought to come here. i don’t break rules, i just ask questions. but i am here. at the abyss. where nobody should ever be.

friday
death is a sense. just like touch or smell, death is a feeling. i could feel it in my heart. in my bones and in my veins. it crowded about our house like fog in the summer. and all i wanted in the world was for it to go away.

teacher today told us about the northernland, how it was kind and safe and loved it’s people. the lie seemed to cuddle in her throat. nobody has ever gotten kindness from the northernland. the northernland started the war and has starved and survieled us to no avail. i know there was a time before, but i do not understand how that could have been. but i still haven’t  made peace with the cameras.


the abyss is where people go to go crazy. your screams bounce off the walls of the hole, but you cannot see them because it does not have edges. you cannot see the bottom or the sides of anything, just darkness. then the northernland men in the gas masks come in their yellow trolley and take you away. the abyss is where the devil lives, in a bottomless hole to the middle of the world.







saturday

i met a boy who lives in the abyss. he is made of sunshine and glitter, and plastic and paint and peace and everything that is beautiful.

but he is not really there. instead, he is almost see through. sometimes he is there and sometimes he is not. i know he isn’t real, just an imaginary friend. i am not like mum, who saw imaginary people and thought they were becoming real.

i did not say much to enyo, instead i said the only thing i was thinking. saying it made me feel sick.

i think alistair is going to die.













as i said it, it echoed off the walls of the cliff.
suddenly it was all too much. i was all too much. my heart started beating fast and my mouth felt dry and i stood up. i didn’t mean to cry but i did, big wet tears the dried my skin. i don’t want him to die. i said over and over.
my words echoed against the cliffs, i didn’t  sound like me.
HE CANT DIE
i shouted. HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE  CANT


i woke up a long time later next to enyo. i looked into the void that filled the space between the cliffs and the beyond. i wonder of that’s where heaven is i said. i pointed into the nothingness that felt all consuming. enyo said nothing. he looked as empty as i felt.
a long silence later i said he’s not going to die is he? enyo looked me in the eyes for the first time and i realized his were a beautiful black, layer upon layer of black and brown. he said what do you fear more, the echo or the answer

but enyo was not there at all. he is only imaginary.




sunday

preacher came again to the house and said that alistair is better. that his fever had broken. i didn’t know fevers could break. i asked him about what being sick feels like, and he took me outside to the garden and we sat on the piles of rubble that used to be the neighbors. he said that your brain gets confused, and everything seems fuzzy and mixed up. i can’t help but think that must be awful for alistair, he was always orderly.

monday
today mari has her birthday party. her mum wasn’t there. i can tell lou noticed because her eyes were scanning the room all strange, but she didn’t say anything. i didn’t ask. mari looked all scared and the camera of the ceiling fan hadn’t moved from her in a long time. i wondered who was watching her. i know who was watching her.


tuesday

i go down to the cliffs, but enyo isn’t there. schools closed for sanitization, so i have nothing to do.  i swing my legs off the edge for a long time. i don’t dare say anything, i hate how it echoes back. i look deep into the bottom but i can see nothing.  it is only darkness. something at the bottom feels like is calling to me, tugging at me to come. i turn my back.
was this before or after the preacher came? i am trying to remeber in order, tell you this story radially like teacher says.

i go home and canary’s there waiting at the window. she says here i’ll help you with your homework. no, no, no NO NO NO NO NO NO. that did not happen after, that happened before.

i can hear the ticking of the clock in my ears, slowing down.
maybe i’m going crazy.


wednesday
i’m sitting on a bench, but i cannot remember where. enyo is beside me and he is talking. in my chest i feel something strange, like it is moving and jumping. i feel queasy but it also feels nice.
i look over and he’s bleeding, golden blood from his eyes and mouth running down his chest. i want to scream but it stops in my throat. enyo puts a finger to my lips and the scream goes away.

he isn’t bleeding anymore. we’re holding hands. are we holding hands? teacher tells us not too, it will make us sick. but enyo is different. enyo doesn’t go to school. i feel as if my hands are sweating but it doesn’t matter, he doesn’t say anything.





i wake up cold. it felt so real, it all felt so real. my arms feel heavy.
i’m alone on a bench by the abyss. smoke fills the air and makes it hard to breathe.

friday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all. i remebemer becaus lou told me while alistair was sick. but that was days ago. i am sorry, it’s just so hard to tell the story in the proper order. my head hurts.

tuesday
i’m sorry if i cross out bits, it’s just that as i understand more i change the words. doctor says to stop doing this, but i want you to know the truth. the clocks are going slower and slower lately. alistair can’t work anymore, the preacher said so. i was going to tell him about enyo, how he is real now, not imaginary, but i didn’t know how. there aren’t words to describe him. looking at him makes crows beat their wings beneath my ribs, but i don’t know why. I sit with alistair after class but i can’t think of much to say. he doesn’t seem like my brother anymore, just a body lying on the floor.



thursday
doctor says i am defamilirazing myself, telling the story like it did not happen to me. telling it in all the wrong bits. i will try and tell it in the right order, but my head hurts. my head hurts so much. doctor won’t tell me why i need to explain, what the tape recorders are for or the make i have to wear the mask or why i’m here, what happened to my family. he won’t tell me why every time i say it like it was in the past and not happening right now he checks me for a fever. all he tells me is to start at the begging.

friday
the blonde woman from the northernland has a ring in her nose, but i do not know why. when i ask her she doesn’t seem to understand. she doesn’t talk anymore, either. just points at things on the board. i dreamt that she had her tounge cut off, but that was just a dream. the northernland would never do that to someone.

saturday
alistair is dead.
preacher says the disease took him, but i do not know which. the real sickness or the brain washing of the northernland. i think it was both, because the sickness made his brain weak so the mind-poisoners could break in. it’s okay, he wasn’t my brother anymore. doctor says that i never loved him.

sunday
church has ended and we are walking home, just arrived when our door opens. i wonder who would w at to come to this house, where the walls smell like death. the northernland woman is at our door, standing in the place the cameras cannot see her. she is smart. canary opens it and the northernland woman opens her mouth. there is no tounge or teeth, and the sides of her throat are black. i scream, so loud and shrill that i cannot believe that i am making this noise. my heart is in the center of the earth, fear running through my brain and i am screaming. canary covers my mouth. it doesn’t matter, the cameras were already looking.

canary pushed me to the floor and dragged me under the bed. i could feel the cameras following us the entire way. when she sat up, her pupils looked strange, the ways moms did when she ways seeing the people in the walls. anger seemed to hide in her voice, she was trying not to be loud but to me it felt like she was screaming, she had never thrown words that hit me like knives before. she told me never to scream or else the men behind the spying eyes of the camera would come for me. what would i do without you she yelled, but it wasn’t yelling it was crying. she help me close to her chest and i could feel her breathing and her heart beating, sparratic and short. she cried into my hair, until it was soaking wet with tears. this was when i knew canary was lost.

tuesday
enyo is in the void, just there. he is very pale today, and he doesn’t say anything for a long time. we have gotten to holding hands now. i have never held hands with anyone, and my fingers feel strange and clumsy. tecaher used to say that touching was against the rules, but i am so sick of rules that i am now glad to break them.
all at once, it occurs to me that there could be cameras here. there are cameras everywhere. i don’t know why this has never occurred to me before. suddenly i dont care, i want them to see. i stand up and scream as loud as i can.


thursday
after i screamed, no one came for me. even when i go back, i don’t feel safe anymore. i ruined the only place i felt safe.


saturday
enyo is gone. i go everyday and yell for him, but he left when i screamed. he is still missing. i’m worried for him, but at least i know the northernland has not taken him. a sick feeling in my stomach asks me if enyo was ever real. i know he was. but it is still there, pulling at my head. of course he was. i felt his skin, rough and broken. imagination can’t conjure up real people.
but then i think of mom. how her fever got so high she started to see people that weren’t there. my head hurts so much, like someone is trying to break out of jail in my skull. i am angry, for the first time in my life. enyo was my only friend, the only one who could see through the blanket of the northernland skies. i scream for him ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO ENYO, but i am not mad, i am crying and crying so much and loud that someone puts their hand over my mouth, but there is no one there. i am suffocating. i turn around and i can’t breathe, my vision is tunneling into the abyss.
i am sick.



someone is holding my body, but their skin is cold. i open my eyes but i can only see shapes. i am on the gravel and the sun is orange, just like always. i am alone. but can feel someone’s tears, touching my cheeks. i sit up as fast as i can, and i am seeing stars but i just need to look. we are never supposed to look but i am going to see.


the northernland is punishing me.
enyo is making me sick.


enyo is there beside me, crying. i have never seen him cry and something rises inside me, and all i want to do is put my arms around him, so i do. slowly he gets warmer and feels more solid. let the cameras watch, let them see.


sunday
im running, running by the tips of my feet and pushing me off the ground, i’m flying. i have to get home.  i think of the first time i ran, letvthe cameras watch, talked to enyo. all the times i’ve broken the rules. i has always hated the northernland, but i had witnessed something better. i had talked to enyo, heard stories of what it was like before. a hatred so strong curcdled beneath my ribs and made me want to punch someone. i ran and ran and ran and ran, shouting HE CANT DIE
i shouted. HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE CANT DIE HE  CANT.     he is going to die.






monday
i saw a raven in the wire pole today. it was big against the grey sky and he watched me as i walked into the house. i hadn’t seen a raven in a long time, so i turn to enyo to tell him he looks like a raven. he smiles, but he is. if there. enyo was never there.

wednesday
alistair has gone back to work, though i think he shouldn’t have. he tells me the symptoms of the disease when he gets home. headache,seeing things, bleeding from your insides. i play with the ring on my finger, trying not to ask if that’s what happened to mom. i open my mouth but a rock lives there, and i cannot move it without crying.


sunday
doctor tells me to get off the floor, that i can stand now. i stand up and he puts me on the table. he is old and pale, with shiny grayish eyes. tell me what happened to alistair he says. i do not understand. what happened to alistair?

friday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all. i remebemer becaus lou told me while alistair was sick. i go home alone, and cold. i feel like there is a little green man in my lungs running a garden hose. i think back to the time when i ran, the first time i broke the rules. nobody came for me.
i can’t run anymore, my arms feel heavy and when i cough thick red bloods comes out of my mouth. it must be the smoke. I go home, and canary is at the window. she is crying in reckless abandon, shamshing on the door with her fists. two men from the northernland are holding her back, and one hits over the head with a black stick. alistair is being carried out on a stretcher.
look what the northernland has done to my family. all for the sake of this stupid war. i can’t remember who we’re fighting and yet my sister and my brother have died for the cause.
enyo says they are not dead. but enyo is not there, he was never there.

wednesday
i screamed again. i know canary told me not to, that cameras would look into my eyes and into my head. but i saw the northernland man coming up the street in his yellow trolley, straight for lou’s house. when the door opens she is wheeled out on a stretcher. so i screamed, because lou is dead and the war with no name had killed her. the devil had killed her.

canary grabbed me as the camera looked at me, as every camera in the house was trained on me. there was a disturbance in her eyes i had never seen before, like she was not all there. she grabs my arms and is much stinger than she should be. she opens the basement door and i scream again, because now i know what’s in the basement.








more northernland men than i have ever seen are in the basement, and when the door opens they look up. somebody take sme from canary and i scream and writhe and kick, but they pull at my body until my skin tears.





when i wake up, i am holding very still, and i cannot move if i want too. doctor says this is called  paralysis. there is a very bright light and a searing pain, it’s hurts so much my body is burning. cascades of blood come down into my mouth, and someone is sticking my lips with pins. this hurts more than anything that  has ever happened to me. it hurts in a deep ache, not just on the surface, and my entire body wants to shudder. my lungs are filling up with blood, because it hurts to much to breathe.





saturday
when i wake up i am in my bed, in my house. more relief than i have ever felt washed over me, because it was just a nightmare.

i used to have nightmares where there was a man in my room, saying numbers out of order. but then preacher says that if i talk to god before bed and make sure my blood is pure of doubt for the northernland, then i will not have nightmares. this is why i have had this nightmare, because i was disbelief the northernland. i do not care, because it was only a dream. i will never hail the northernland.


my lips hurt, and i wonder if in the night i bit my lips because of the dream. that happens sometimes. i dress and get ready for school, and catch myself in the mirror before i go. i turn fully toward it to make sure i am not hallucinating. in the great horror of it all, i try to scream, but it stays in my throat. i cannot scream, or make any sound at all.

my lips are sewn shut with green thread.


friday
everyone at school is quiet. anna covers her mouth and big wet tears fall on the ground. mrs. hoth takes her to the office, and the cameras follow them all the way there. we say our pledge and do our arithmetic, but i cannot say anything. i hate the northernland.
i hate it, i hate it. and i realize this is why they have silenced me.
the northernland woman is gone, and a man in a yellow coat teaches us arthimatic.
the clock on the wall is barley ticking now.
lou sits at the desk in front of me, her hair greasy and skin pale blue. she turns round, just like the old days, but isstead of telling me what the answer is or who’s the cutest or any of the normal things, all she says is run. her mouth makes an o and she closes her eyes and rests her head on the desk.

when i blink, she is not there. i am alone in the classroom.


sunday
i go to church by myself, because i havent seen canary since she sewed my mouth shut. she is not my sister anymore, and i pretend i don’t care what happens to her in that basement.

when i get there preacher is not there, there is nobody there except the northernland woman. she comes and sits next to me and runs her fingers across the stitches. we pray together, even though we can’t say anything and there is no sermon. when we walk outside there is an officers car, and she is handcuffed an put in the back. the man who has taken her gives me a sticker, with a little white cloud on it. it says trust in the northernland. i do not trust the northernland. i do not trust anyone.
i run away as fast as i can and throw the sticker into the ground, but it still seems to follow me inside my head. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland. trust in the northernland.



monday
enyo is at the abyss, waiting. he says i am killing you. and i understand, it all makes sense now. but he is all i have now. if the only thing worth living for is killing me, that is what doctor would call dramatic irony. i do not feel dramatic, i feel used. the northernland has used me and used my family.


saturday
doctor says that when telling a story i need to define who is the antagonist and the protagonist. the antagonist is someone who antagonizes people. doctor says this means evil. this is hard for me to understand, because everyone is evil. this is not a story, and it does not have characters. the peoples i have met in my life are all complex and strange, evil and good and unpredictable. doctor says ok and that we will try again tomarrow.

thursday
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.
mari wansnt at school today. i know the northernland took her, broken bones and all.

friday

enyo is at the abyss, waiting. he says i am killing you. and i understand, it all makes sense now. but he is all i have now. if the only thing worth living for is killing me, that is what doctor would call dramatic irony. i do not feel dramatic, i feel used. the northernland has used me and used my family. doctor says to be thankful of the northernland, that they did not use me. i turn away from enyo because even though i love him, i am loyal to the northernland.
i am thankful to the northernland.
i am thankful to the northernland.
all hail, all hail.






love alistair
fire element
exposing government secrets
cult
enyo gets more real as he is dying.
preacher dies.
alistair goes crazy, then dies.
something in basement.
Very low IQ but the only one smart enough to see
enyo is a ghost
canary goes crazy and sews our mouth shut.
fall in love with enyo.
not told radially
told in sgememgs like cross cross
deep symboling
Poemasabi May 2013
I saw a sticker on a car coming home from work this afternoon.
One of those "international ovals" that used to indicate a foreign country
like France, Switzerland or, if you believe the TV commercials,
Detroit.

Now they stand for everything from the local swim team
to the driver's favorite species of dog
although pinning it on the driver might be unfair
probably better to say the owner.

The sticker I saw today, and it was a sticker not a magnet,
it was stuck on the window,
was OLF and it made me miss mom more than yesterday,
Mother's Day, did.

OLF stands for Our Lady of Fatima, the local Catholic Church
and it was adorning an SUV of appropriate size and sticker price for these parts.
Mom always called Fatima, Saint Olaf's because everyone around here calls it OLF
so it wasn't her fault.

Every time I, or my wife, politely corrected her she'd reply,
"I know" and then promptly call it Olaf's ten minutes later.
So today waiting for the green light on the way home
a little sadness as St. Olaf's SUV reminded me of mom.

and
I laughed.
Matt Jan 2016
I want to get
A bumper sticker
That reads

Adult Breastfeeding

Yes, your wife's milk
Is good for you!

Lol
Sylvene Taylor Jan 2014
Breathing in that familiar smell of sweet coffee that screams Starbucks i sit quietly inside....alone..but actually, i am accompanied by some cheap elevator music which closely resembles country, and my grande cup of thoughts. This grande cup feels more like a thousand grande cups: a possy almost. This possy fills the empty Starbucks with small talk and the soft murmur that many people usually create. This possy keeps me way more company than any other living breathing flesh.

The thought that sits closest beside me is my mask that i purchased before i could pick out my favorite colored sweater. I wear this mask every day of my life although not always at own will. its hard to admire whats staring back you every morning when your cards dont match the ones on screen. It goes like this, i feel as if i had horse like pony tail hair crawling down my black so silky and taking a skydive at my *** would make it a HELL of a lot easier to wear this mask of mine in which has the title of: MY FACE.
But what is it about the crystal blue eyes that show the rhythm of the ocean or the solidity of the sky? WHAT is it about the deep forest green or the eyes that you can see more than just the sky that is so appealing? HAVENT YOU HEARD??
"THE DARKER THE BERRY THE SWEETER THE JUICE?"

So why does it seem the whiter the paper the more in favor. the blonder the hair the greater the fair, you seem to have in life. MAYBE its the recommendations in which the tv inscribes for us. Maybe its the runway that draws the rules of beauty.
The twiggier the prettier
the fatter the more laughter you receive from people who dont even know
your ****
name.
As I stare at the reflection and into the deep pools of confusion I fish out decent..and different,
but not pretty. I never arrive at the adjective pretty when i look at the reflection staring back at me but
does it ever occur that i do not strive to be merely pretty but something more.
DO NOT and i mean DO NOT EVER
slap a label onto my forehead titled pretty.
dont slap the sticker of cute either.
find another **** sticker
that you can not find at a store, this sticker is so original that it doesn't exist, its so intricate, considered more than an antique
for I AM MORE THAN A MISSION TO ARRIVE TO PRETTY.

Do not look into my cage where I sing and call me beautiful- for its funny how that so called gift seems to be nothing but a mere sample at a beauty supply. Im not a biscuit for you cant butter me up and salt me down for ill never be your favorite dish you can take a bite out of for comfort. I am more than just a piece of meat for I am more than just an adjective for you will not be able to pick up a dictionary and collect the word that fits me best.

I am more, WE are more, we cant be thrown into a binder full of women---no, for no binder is large enough to hold the complexity of just
one. woman.

Listen to the sound, and loose it, its sweet music, and dance with me, for there is beauty in the world so much beauty in the world. But we put a parental block on it we ignore that ad
we throw away that piece as if they are the unwanted leaves to the strawberry,
or the peel to the banana---we drive by that ordinary girl.

We sadly fail to realize-fail to notice the blue skies, notice the butterflies, but you will NOT fail to notice me.
Now, Starbucks is full-full of other rocky mountain climbs and terrible tumbles. It has become a pool of not only coffee...but pools and pools and rivers and seas,
of insecurities.
sorry its long- not meant to be offensive
Dev Mar 2018
I am broken,
Come name your price

Hidden in the shelter
of a lonely life

Come choose your savage
See their perfect disguise

You could never love me
Cause I live in these lies

I am damaged goods
I’m misunderstood

I come in the perfect packaging
Wrapped up in severed ties

Stamped with a sticker on top
Come, name your price.

I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods.

I am lonely
In this sea of maddening sounds

I am hurt
From those people who aren’t around

I break my happiness
At every chance I get

And then I’ll ask myself
Why I feel so depressed

I am damaged goods
I’m misunderstood

I come in the perfect packaging
Wrapped up in severed ties

Stamped with a sticker on top
Come, name your price.

I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods.

I can’t get out
Fromt this crippling doubt

I feel so empty without
You there beside me

I need somewhere to go
Somewhere in the great unknown

Somewhere I can be alone

I am damaged goods
I’m misunderstood

I am damaged goods
I’m misunderstood

I come in the perfect packaging
Wrapped up in severed ties

Stamped with a sticker on top
Come, name your price.

I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods
I am damaged goods.
Another set of lyrics, new ones this time :)
saige May 2018
velcro wallet
was navy, i think
gray plastic zipper
grandma gave you
i had a locket
it had your picture inside
but you threw it away
because you looked like a rabbit
apparently
hair fluffed, eyes puffy
two teeth and two hours
of squirming on a photo booth

plastic coin pouch
small crayola blue
walmart sticker on a side
but it never made me smile
not like that piggy bank did
yard sale treasure
dinosaur-shaped
no smashing to withdrawl
our tooth fairy dollars and dust
still, you crammed stink bugs
down the long neck's back

now, a denim bag on my bed
rhinestoned one in the closet
and your wallet is
real leather, i think
has superheroes on it
rough and grungy
as the comic books in the attic
or, did you toss those too?

who needs a screwdriver
without a *****?
that's all money was
just hardware we didn't have
much use for
but there is more than one way
to use a tool
so here, i'll paint it straighter
who needs a coffin without a corpse?
especially when we were
so full of life back then
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
Janie pushes the metal book cart back into its parking space in the Document Delivery Department of the St. Louis Public Library and hangs the last sticky note for October 30, 2012 on the wall by the head of the department’s closed door. She retightens her brown scarf under her chin, tucking the wispy hairs above her ears back into hiding. Having your hair begin to prematurely gray as a teenager has dramatic effects on a person. Her mother wore scarves around her wrists when Janie was growing up and when Janie begin to wear scarves to conceal her salt-and-pepper hair, her mother just smiled. The clock hanging on the wall above the children’s section reads 11:28pm.
Two more minutes.
She reorganized the pens and books on her desk and set the box reading NOTES onto the right corner or her desk with three blue pens and a stack of note cards. Her coworkers learned fast that Janie does not like to talk. She does not like eye contact. She loves the silence, and never ever to ask her about her hair. Her manager gave her the NOTES box after about a month of horrible miscommunication and everyday it fills with requests for books or tasks that Janie has to complete. She completes the tasks one by one, alone, in her back office in the Reference Department and hangs the completed sticky notes on the wall by her manager’s door. She works the night shift and locks the library up every night. When she’s alone she can talk out loud to herself and those are the only voices she cares to hear.
“Goodnight, books. Good night, rooms.” Janie shut the heavy wooden door to the library, placed the color-coded keys in the front right pocket of her jacket, and began her walk to the bus stop one corner away. She avoids the main road, taking her first right onto a side street that she knows would spit her out right beside the bus stop.
“Goodnight Taco Bell Sign. Goodnight Rite-Aide. Goodnight Westside Apartments. Goodnight Jack-o-Lantern smile.” She stopped in the middle of the alley and peered up at the Jack-o-Lantern grinning down at her from the third story window above. “Mother wouldn’t’ve liked your smirk, Jack. She would’ve slapped that **** right off your face.” Janie, satisfied the pumpkin was put in its rightful place, smiled as she trotted on.
“Mother carved smiles into her arms and that’s why Daddy left, it is, it is.” She kicked at a crushed Mountain Dew can as she remembered that night from years ago.

“Mommy?” Janie pushed opened the door to her mother’s bedroom and saw the moving-boxes torn open and all their contents scattered across the floor. She tiptoed through piles of scarves and silverware and corkscrews until she reached the bathroom in her mom’s room.
“Come to us like rain, oh lord, come and stay and sting a while more, oh lord…” her mother’s voice was slipping off the tiled bathroom walls. Janie pushed open the door and saw the blood for the first time pouring from her mother’s wrist. Her mother was naked and perched on the bathroom sink, singing to a red razor blade.
“Mommy?”
“GET OUT!” Her mother jumped from the counter and perched on all fours on the floor. She began to growl and speak in a voice too deep to be coming from her own throat.
“Mommy! It’s Janie!” She began to cry as her mother, still naked and bleeding, twisted and writhed onto her back and began to crawl towards the door that Janie hid behind.


“Thirty-Three percent, dear. Just a thirty-three percent chance.” She shivered trying to clear the last memory of her mother with the words that all the shrinks had echoed to her over the years. “Schizophrenia is directly related to genetics, little is known about the type of Schizophrenia mother was diagnosed with except that it is definitely passed on genetically. But, there is only a thirty-three percent chance you could have it, dear. Thirty-three percent.” The sound of the bus stop ahead reminds her it is time to be silent again.
“Disorganized Schizophrenia.” She mouthed to herself as she stepped back out onto the busy street from her alleyway. She tightened her scarf and saw the bus pull into the pickup spot. She walked forward to the bus, again immersed in her self-imposed silence.
Stepping out of the February cold, Janie removes her wool scarf as the bus doors close behind her.
“Where to baby?” The driver smiles a sticky smile. Her nametag reads, “Shannon” and has a decaying Hello-Kitty sticker in the bottom left corner.
“The Clinton Street drop.” She hands the driver her $2.50 fare and avoids the woman’s questioning eyes. The night drivers are always more talkative, curious.
“Your ticket hon.” She tears Janie a ticket stub. “Everything is pretty dead this late, I’ll have you there in ten minutes top.”
Janie begins to shuffle towards the seats, ignoring the woman.
“You mind if I crank up the music?” The bus driver asks, purple fingernails scratching in her thick blonde hair. “I need to keep my eyes open and blood flowing and music is my fire of choice you know?”
“Sure.” Janie shrugs her bag onto her shoulder and walks on before the woman can say anything else.
“Route E-2, homebound.” Shannon’s voice crackles over the loudspeaker.
She shuffles down the bus towards her usual seat; second from the back right side.  Shannon starts the bus rolling before she reaches her seat and Janie can hear her singing along to “Summertime” by Janis Joplin. The bus floor, today, is sticky because of the morning rain. Two years of riding public transportation has taught Janie that staring at the floor as she walks to her seat is better than the risk of making eye contact. The bus is usually empty this late but if there ever happens to be anyone else on, it’s better not to converse. Safer that way.
She plops into her seat filling the indention that ghosts of past passengers left. The seat is still warm and Janie squirms around until the stranger heat is forgotten. She tightens her scarf and sighs. The brown pleather seatback in front of her is peeling towards the top. Janie leans forward and idly picks at the scab-like dangles of brown as she watches the sodden city canvas roll past her out the foggy window. As she picks, the hole grows. She twists and digs her unpainted nails into the seat until her hands feel wet, warm. Looking down, they are covered in blood and mud.
“What. The. Actual. ****.” she whispers, wiping her hands on her pants leg. She cautiously picks off another piece of pleather and a trickle of deep red begins to run from the seat back, clumps of mud now falling onto her knees. A puddle of blood and mire splatter down her legs and pool around her feet as she picks at the seat. Her white tights are definitely beyond saving now, so she digs faster until her thumbnail catches on something, bends back, and cracks. She gasps and withdraws her shaking hand, watching her own blood mix with the clotting muck in the seat, half of her thumbnail completely stripped off.
Looking around, all else seems normal. The driver is now muttering along to some banter by Kanye West, completely unaware of Janie’s predicament. She closes her eyes.
This is a dream, this is a dream, wake the **** up.
She opens her eyes to see the pool of filth around her feet trickling towards the front of the bus. Panic sets in with a whisper, They’re going to think it was you, your fault, you’ll be thrown in jail.
“But I didn’t do this.” She lashes out to herself. “I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Next stop, E-2. Shannon blares on the intercom.
“It’s just a dream, get your **** together, Janie.” She laughs at herself, manic.
Prove it! Her subconscious screams.
Convinced to end this moment she has to continue; Janie plunges her hand into the pleather grave one more time. Frantic and confused she laughs as she digs, spittle of muck splashing on her bus window.
Faster, faster, faster.
Deeper, deeper, deeper.
Realer, realer, real.
Wake up, now!
Then, as the bus slows, one last chuck of mud splatters to the floor and Janie sees a pink piece of her thumbnail stabbed into the white of a bone in the bottom of the seatback pit. Her white Ked’s were becoming so red they were almost black. She pulls her knees up to her chest and begins to rock back and forth. Clenching shut her eyes she begins to hum. Janie’s sweet soprano harmonizes with the buses deep droning purr, their wet melody interweaving with the driver’s alto and Lil Wayne’s screech made her feel dizzy as the bus turned right.
She take my money when I'm in need
Yeah she's a trifling friend indeed
Oh she's a gold digger way over town
That dig's on me
The bus slows to a stop and the bass is shaking. Janie is cold. She slowly peeks out of her right eye, expecting to be instantly immersed into the same dismal scene. The seatback is whole again. Releasing her knees, her feet fall back to the floor and her shaking fingers stroke the solid pleather.

“Ma’am? We’re at the Clinton Drop.”
Janie hurriedly picks up her bag and flees down the aisle to the bus doors.
“Everything alright, dear?” The bus driver asks, smiling.
“Fine, just fine.”
“You be safe out there tonight. The night is dark and only ghouls stroll the streets this late.”  Shannon laughed as Janie’s jaw dropped. “Happy Halloween, dear. It’s midnight, today is October 31st.”
The bus doors opened and a cold wind ****** the warm bot-air surrounding Janie into the streets. She begrudgingly followed, her mind spinning as she stepped onto the pavement. The doors slammed behind her and she turned to see Shannon pull out a tube of lipstick and smear it, red, across her cracked lips. Shannon made a duck-face in the mirror and reached down to crank up the music as loud as it would go. The bus exhaled and rolled forward, leaving Janie behind as it splashed through the potholes.
She surveys the surrounding midnight gloom and the street is quiet and dark. Even the stars are hidden behind swirling clouds. She begins to hum, hands in her pocket, and shuffle towards her apartment.
“Goodnight, stars. Goodnight, street.”
As she approaches her single-bedroom apartment, digging through her coat pocket for her keys, her thumb pulsates. She grasps the keys and pulls them out as she steps up to the apartment. Sticking the cold, silver key in the lock she looks down at her thumb and in the shadows of the porch sees half of the nail completely missing. She laughs as she pushes the door open to her bare apartment, light flooding out. Without any hesitation she closes the door behind her, sheds her clothes, and slips onto the mattress in the corner of the room gripping her thumb tight. She reaches out for the glass of milk on the floor beside her bed from the morning and it’s still cold. Nursing the milk, surrounded by blankets and solitude, she reminds herself,  “Only a thirty-three percent chance. A nice, small, round number. Small.”  
She sets down the empty glass and curls into the fetal position under the heavy blankets, pointer finger tracing circles on her thumb. Only when she has heated her blanket cocoon enough to feel safe does she remove her scarf and allow her thick white hair to fall around her face.
“Goodnight, room. Goodnight, mother,”
JM Romig Apr 2014
The bumper sticker
On the red jeep in front of me
Orders all who see it
to "Be happy"

Challenge accepted, stranger,
Challenge accepted.
NaPoWriMo 23/30
ConnectHook Dec 2015
Multitudes will be liberated by that recognition;
and although multitudes obtain liberation in that manner,
the number of sentient beings being great, evil karma powerful,
obscurations dense, propensities o too long standing,
the Wheel of Ignorance and Illusion becometh neither exhausted nor accelerated.

           The Tibetan Book of the Dead
          *translation:
  Lāma Kazi Dawa-Samdup


“Free Tibet” your sticker tells me…
Yes, I think, perhaps I should –
and the noble thought compels me,
uninformed, half-understood.

Will their freedom help my Karma?
Upgrade my reincarnation?
(Soul who could not dare to harm a
fly… much less a Buddhist nation.)

Not to justify aggression
by the ever-brutal Commies,
let us grant no glib concession
to the Maoists – or their mommies.

Slogans echo in the void,
shining in bardos of the dead;
stopped by the light, I am annoyed
impatient for the change from red.

A bumper crop of human woe
beams forth a mandate to my brain
while red Dakinis circle slow
in Buddhist hells of karmic pain.

The eastern concepts here diverge
and bow before brutality.
They make this driver long to merge
with incorporeality.

Then I glimpse a monkish fellow
swathed in saffron, calmly seated.
His, the cloud-borne sage’s pillow;
mine the traffic; stalled, defeated.

In his gaze of stern displeasure
I perceive the orient stars
calculating man’s mismeasure
trapped, exhausted, among the cars.

Flanked by Spirits wreathed in fire
he extends an accusing hand:
Western slave of base desire:
come and  liberate my land !”

I meditate before the stop light:
am I ready for the task ?
Should I just refuse it outright
Can’t it be someone else ?  I ask…

Must I free this mountain nation
from the Buddha, demons and Reds?
Shall your sticker’s declaration
shatter the yoke and raise their heads ?

Somebody ought to free Tibet,
and heed this Himalayan cry.
Maybe we should get upset…
The red light changes. Cars pass by,

predestined for benign events
and unconcerned for persecution;
oblivious to dissidents
awaiting execution.
Nigel Morgan Aug 2013
It always intrigued him how a group of people entering a room for the first time made decisions about where to sit. He stood quietly by a window to give the impression that he was looking out on a wilderness of garden that fell steeply away to a barrier of trees. But he was looking at them, all fifteen of them taking in their clothes, their movements, their manners, their voices (and the not-voices of the inevitably silent ones), their bags and computers. One of them approached him and, he smiling broadly and kindly, put his hand up as a signal as if to say ‘not just now, not yet, don’t worry’, or something like that.

This smile seemed to work, and he thought suddenly of the woman he loved saying ‘you have such a lovely smile; the lines around your eyes crinkle sweetly when you smile.’ And he was warmed by the thought of her dear nature and saw, as in a photo playing across his nervous mind, the whole of her lying on the daisied grass when, as ‘just’ lovers, they had visited this place for an opening, when he could hardly stop looking at her, always touching her gently in wonder at her particular beauty. In the garden they had read together from Alice Oswald’s Dart, the river itself just a short walk away . . .

Listen,
a
lark
spinning
around
one
note
splitting
and
mending
­it

As he finally turned towards his class and walked to a table in front of the long chalkboard, half a dozen hands went up. He had to do the smile again and use both hands, a damping down motion, to suggest this what not the time for questions – yet. He gathered his notebook and went to the grand piano. He leafed through his book, thick, blue spiral-bound with squared paper, and, imagining himself as Mitsuko Uchida starting Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto, fingers placed on the keys and then leaning his body forward to play just a single chord. He held the chord down a long time until the resonance had died away.

‘That’s my daily chord’, he said, ‘Now write yours.’

Again, more hands went up. He ignored them. He gave them a few minutes, before gesturing to a young woman at the back to come and play her chord. Beside the piano was a small table with a sheet of manuscript paper and a Post-It sticker that said, ‘Please write your chord and your name here’. And, having played her chord, she wrote out her chord and name – beautifully.

He knelt on the floor beside a young man (they were all young) at the front of the class. He liked to kneel when teaching, so he was the same height, or lower, as the person he as addressing. It was perhaps an affectation, but he did it never the less.

‘Tell me about that chord,’ he said, ‘A description please’.
‘I need to hear it again.’
‘OK’, there was a slight pause, ‘now let’s hear yours.’
‘I haven’t written one’, the reply had a slightly aggressive edge, a ‘why are you embarrassing me?’ edge.
‘OK’, he said gently, and waved an invitation to the girl next to him. She had no trouble in doing what was asked.

Next, he asked a tall, dark young man how many notes he had in his chord, and receiving the answer four, asked if he, the young man, would chose four voices to sing it. This proved rather controversial, but oh so revealing – as he knew it would be. Could these composers sing? It would appear not. There was a lot of uncertainty about how it could be done. Might they sound the notes out at the piano before singing (he had shaken his head vigorously)? But when they did, indeed performed it well and with conviction, he congratulated them warmly.

‘Hand your ‘chord’ to the person next to you on your right. Now add a second chord to the chord you have in front of you please.’

Several minutes later, the task done, he asked them to pass the chords back to their original owners. And so he continued adding fresh requirements and challenges. – score the chords for string quartet, for woodwind quartet (alto-flute, cor anglais, horn, baritone saxophone – ‘transposition hell !’ said one student), write the chords as jazz chord symbols, in tablature for guitar, with the correct pedal positions for harp.

Forty minutes later he felt he was gathering what he needed to know about this very disparate group of people. There were some, just a few, who refused to enter into the exercise. One slight girl with glasses and a blank face attempted to challenge him as to why such a meaningless exercise was being undertaken. She would have no part in it – and left the room. He simply said, ‘May I have your chord please?’ and, to his surprise, she agreed, and with some grace went to the table by the piano and wrote it out.

A blond Norwegian student said ‘May we discuss what we are doing? I am here to learn Advanced Composition. This does not seem to be Advanced Composition.’

‘Gladly’, he said, ‘in ten minutes when this exercise is concluded, and we have taken a short break.’ And so the exercise was concluded, and he said, ‘Let’s take 15 minutes break. Please leave your chords on the desk in front of you.’

With that announcement almost everyone got out their mobile phones, some leaving the room. He opened the windows on what now promised to be a warm, sunny day. He went then to each desk and photographed each chord sheet, to the surprise and amusement of those who had remained in the room. One declined to give him permission to do so. He shrugged his shoulders and went on to the next table. He could imagine something of the conversation outside. He’d been here before. He’d had students make formal complaints about ‘his methods’, how these approaches to ‘self-learning’ were degrading and embarrassing, belittling even. I’m still teaching he thought after 30 years, so there must be something in it. But he had witnessed in those thirty years a significant decline in musical techniques, much of which he laid at the feet of computer technology. He thought of this kind of group as a drawing class, doing something that was once common in art school, facing that empty page every morning, learning to make a mark and stand by it. He had asked for a chord, and as he looked at the results, played them in his head. Some had just written a text-book major chord, others something wildly impossible to hear, but just some revealed themselves as composers writing chords that demonstrated purpose and care. Though he could tell most of them didn’t get it, they would. By the end of the week they’d be writing chords like there was no tomorrow, beautiful, surprising, wholly inspiring, challenging, better chords than he would ever write. Now he had to help them towards that end, to help them understand that to be an  ‘advanced composer’ might be likened to being an ‘advanced motorist’ (he recalled from his childhood the little badges drivers once put proudly on their bumpers – when there were such things – now there’s a windscreen sticker). To become an advanced motorist meant learning to be continually aware of other motorists, the state of the road, what your own vehicle was doing, constantly looking and thinking ahead, refining the way you approached a roundabout, pulled up at a junction. He liked the idea of transferring that to music.

What he found disturbing was that there were a body of students who believed that a learning engagement with a professional composer, someone who made his living, sustained his life with his artistic practice, had to be a confrontation. The why preceded, and almost obliterated, the how.

In the discussion that followed the break this became all too clear. He let them speak, and hardly had to answer or intervene because almost immediately student countered student. There evolved an intriguing analysis of what the class had entered into, which he summarised on a flip chart. He knew he had some supporters, people who clearly realised something of the worth and interest of the exercises. He also had a number of detractors, some holding quasi-political agendas about ‘what composition was’. After 20 minutes or so he intervened and attempted a conclusion.

‘The first rule of teaching is to understand and be sympathetic to a student’s past experience and thus to their learning needs, which in almost every situation will be different and various. This means for a teacher holding to an idea of what might, in this case, constitute ‘an advanced composer’. I hold to such an idea. I’ve thought about this ‘idea’ quite deeply and my aim is to provide learning opportunities to let as many of you as possible be enriched by that idea. You are all composers, but there is no consensus about what being a composer is, what the ‘practice of composition’ is. There used to be, probably until the 1970s, but that is no more. ‘

‘You may think I was disrespectful in not wishing to engage in any debate from the outset. I had to find a way to understand your experience and your learning needs. In 40 minutes I learnt a great deal. My desire is that you all go away from each session knowing you have stretched your practice as composers, through some of the skills and activities that make up such a practice. You all know what they are, but I intend to add to these by taking excursions into other creative practices that I have studied and myself been enriched by. I also want to stretch you intellectually – as some of my teachers stretched me, and whose example still runs through all I do.

Over the next seven days you are to compose music for a remarkable ensemble of professional musicians. I see myself as helping you (if necessary) towards that goal, by setting up situations that may act as a critical net in which to catch any problems and difficulties. I know we are going to fight a little over some of my suggestions, the use of computer notation I’m sure will be one, but I have my reasons, and such reasons contribute towards what I see as you all developing a holistic view of composing music as both a skill and an art form. I also happen to believe, as Imogen Holst once said of Benjamin Britten, that composing music is a way of life . . .

With that he walked to the window and looked out across that wilderness of green now bathed in sunshine. He felt a presence by his shoulder. Turning he suddenly recognised standing before him a young man, bearded now, and yes, he knew who he was. At a symposium in Birmingham the previous summer he had talked warmly and openly to this composer and jazz pianist in a break between sessions, and just a few weeks previously in London after a concert this young man had approached him with a warm greeting. Empathy flowed between them and he was grateful as he shook his hand that this could be. She had been with him at that concert and he remembered afterwards trying to recall his name for her and where they’d met. She was holding his arm as they walked down Exhibition Road to their hotel and he was so full of her presence and her beauty no wonder his memory had failed him.

‘Brilliant,’ the young man said, ‘Thank you. Just so much to think about.’

And he could say nothing, suddenly exhausted by it all.
Ren Mayloft Mar 2016
Fold after fold,
On paper my ink was sold,
Words I was told,
Through words in a song,
My resolve became strong,
So I folded,
Making paper hearts,
Trying to replace the one I lost,
73 hearts is not enough,
So I fold more,
Hoping just to restore,
The heart dropped on the floor,
I'm not keeping score,
(Twice the heart hit the ground)
So I went to a different sound,
Words that I found,
Inking letters on heart after heart,
Hoping to give mine a jump start,
To no avail,
The love was stale,
I lost time,
Creating things
That left no stings,
It is a pleasant surprise,
Like a sunrise,
Something I rarely see,
Since I am me,
Falling asleep under inked words,
Carefully laid on crafted hearts,
And sticker stars,
The real ones are much to far,
Hidden behind fog,
So here I am,
Song after song,
Folding my heart to repair,
Up I stare,
At folded hearts and sticker stars.
Deana Luna Jul 2013
there is an i and a you in this story
and both are quite scared.
this makes for an interesting
plot line as the directors
have been saying// just listen to them *******
rave. and the audience
the !!audience!! can't wait
to see what'll happen
next. they have a stake in it. too.
>,/,/../
the i (being me of course)
is more nervous than she has ever been
(the silly girl)
because for the first time (in as long as
she
can
remember)
she is being treated
with respect
and the way she
deserves to be treated.
on the other side of things is the you (and
of course that is the other protagonist
of this lovely story
the king,
my
frightening ******
my scary sweet
my terrifying tease~
you who is stable in your beliefs yet
so unsure at the same
time
and that worries the i in this relationship
to no end.

-trust-
my darling is the last thing
i thought i could feel for
someone again (yes i understand
that this might be hard to believe
since the whole process
of me handing over my trust
to you has seemed
completely flawless--
but i assure you, my sweet, that

i make things look much
easier than they are

yet here i am
trusting you
…….?????!!?
carefully and willingly cutting open
my chest,
pushing my hand through
the imperfect incision,
and pulling out my
bruised and beaten
beating heart.

would you like a side of fries with that

i don't deserve a sticker anymore.
my tears flow too freely. they know no
discipline. they need to be trained.
hold back. hold back. hold back *******.
-restraint-
hasn't that been the key
word in our discussions
hasn't it been the key the k e y

sassy *******
i just don't understand
i'm not like that i can't do it
i don't understand
trick question
help me understand
i want a ******* sticker
you're irreplaceable
i got emotional
………….
--i miss you a lot--

she says this and the i
shuts up
stares
tears start flowing
goodbye to the ******* sticker
will the i tell me what's really
going on in her *******
head >>?>>

or
will she continue
trading her eyes in for metaphors
and her mouth
for hyperboles.
palladia Jun 2013
awkward is a promiscuous word. it flirts unintentionally. it seduces mentally. but most of all it's so disruptionally absurd even the first-come-first-serve basis comes 15 feet behind the typical quota. but it really isn't that serious. it would be awkward plus if i wasn't active right now. does that sound appealing to anyone? well it better. i'm no vanguard when it comes to distribution of emotions. they'll be distributed equally, thank you, and don't worry about getting more 'cause they'll be pieced out safe and fair. lord jesus, we need some sorrow-getter-overs in here! i'm always telling those who ask me for advice to relinquish the suffering and let the good times roll. not that it'll save their hides, i snicker mimically and divert the attention to something inappropriately interesting, like a ***** bumper sticker or a animal corpse on the side of the road. and you are gonna turn into one if you don't stop that crying! man i need some fresh air and i'm not talking about the innocent kind. it's more of the obvious, over-cynical cyanide-soaked air that formaldehyde would blush over. there are two r's in sorrow because the s and the o and w need to be capsized into one rowboat. i never thought i would compromise intimacy with loudspeaker attention-grabbers and then the sailboat does a belly-flop and lands head first in the witches' cauldron. which is like Hamlet's, but a lot less systematic and bunches more pagan. it's synthetically miserable but enigmatically moral. dance of the morals is another program i like. it has to do with the regard of selfish hope and loose pragmatism. pagan! ****** i know it's pagan but it's pigheaded trash like that which gets stuck in the garbage disposal ever so often and we don't have no time to clean it out. i use a fish net that once occupied a corner near the stove which had the net chewed through by ***** rats that inhabit the lower quarters of the bathhaus. it's nothing significant really but more or less a principle in not making leftovers from the unknown trashpile near the barn. attention: entrance alert. "too bad for" who cares. i'm sick of this. "too bad for". that's all said? "let's chat a lot" what? i thought maureen was coming over at 7? who left the cat out again--the dog's gonna have a field day playing cops and robbers, and there are always reallive guns. and i'm stuck back at square/ground one/zero figuring out how i'm gonna get the next day's meal without having to cut off my head or make the microsoft paper clip icon appear with those embarrassing clips telling you how you should appear to your boss on your first interview. and find out that he's a man after all. and ultimately regret what you said every two minutes. wish i had contributed crescents more to the goodness, and not brush over like a stuckist's paintbrush. he's actually using blood instead of acrylics- that's when i get running. wish i hadn't have done that. wish i hadn't. we "hadn't" too much, you know? i wish we had to have "hadn't" before it hadn't have been created. still my emotions are sold and i've cast a mold far too ugly to be a stupid cupid. can we get on with the show, please? no thank i've had enough cranberry pie for right now, maybe buttercup the parrot can have the rest? the cat hates water. then why is he swimming in the dog dish? i'm not complaining, just hesitating to say how i feel when i want it. yeah, i know you're looking at me make a sucker outta myself on your camera. all those poses weren't hard to accomplish but you aggrandize the bad and disregard that i actually have good talent after all. crazy 8s. thought i'd never compromise. thought i'd never make a sport out of tantalizing the shopkeeper's parakeet. yeah, they're playing that game everyone calls a bore cuz it is one. why not roast a marshmallow then find a salamander caught between the chocolate and the *******. and we can't have them crackers anyways cuz there's got gluten in them. can we take a walk, i have something to tell you? i have to tell you about my personal life. i don't care if you're bored. darwin was never bored, fyi. i don't want to hear your juvenile complaints anymore. you're always telling me your problems but you never let me talk. but why would you care? and no way am i gonna share? not there. still. you're still not coming around cuz you're crying and i can't take it anymore. stop the tears, i already told you just take another pill and you'll relax. your life can stop in a heartbeat because some freak told you to stop ******* with the power outlet and make an attempt on making it right. how am i gonna make it right? seems good to me to get up and go and never return. seems right to let it all hang lose and think of excuses as a way to win some money. i'm not the principle breadwinner around here, but i'd bake enough bread to feed an army if i had to. a whole cohort of emotional bigots who don't care anything about their stupid, money-******* societies. it's leveled to the drain again, yeah i know you don't understand. i'm done asking. please? do it for me? don't you know i'm hurting myself because... i'm not listening. don't you want to know i'm cutting my flesh because... i have to water the garden. oh dear what was that? whew! almost another collision with a bee. whew--another close one. what about the spiders in the cabbage bed? what why didn't you tell me? yeah, the cabbage patch has produced more memories than heads, and no not those types of heads. a mashup of what i hate most and what i hate least scourged outta me in a whirl. she's going to take a walk. the radio's on and it's hot in here. those maudy days of summer, but i love every shred of them like i do a coat in the winter. the radio's playing my song: doomsday magnificat! i like leather and metal combinations that are sold in a 60s oz town. you can tie and whip me if you conscience can, but not now. it's another adage gone to the birds. oh no the shopkeeper's parrot is out again and i didn't do it! how come i'm blamed for things i don't do? get over it. another fact of life. another testimonial head my way. dodge! that was a flying saucer that almost razed your head. you wouldn't care though because enough has happened today to make your head spin even faster than it already is. and they're real-live which makes me keeping fumbling my too-short curls disintegrated by sheer chauvinism and belated princeness. that's alright. i know how you feel. i know how the world feels because i am the world. and the world is my canvas. and i may dictate what you are allowed and i may waver onto what laws of principalities are shooting up everywhere, but it's okay 'cause there's a lot more to shoot than good time. and those wacked people can form an alliance and take down the stronghold because in reality, you know that you are wacked yourself to say that. i'm sorry you did. the world will keep spinning, snipers will keep killing, conservatives will keep protesting, parents will keep levitating, children will keep withholding, the days will keep heating, the pool will be more refreshing, and yeah mrs. renttib is still coming over. the world is new. and i am young. but we will all stay safe and good in this empyrean. because and i created it. and i established the surveillance cameras, which are everywhere, but don't feel pressed. yes, i'll forever watch your every move, and even though you've done good, i'll still send you to hell. because you belong there. you may begin now. make your tread strong yet gentle. it's not my expense, the water is cooler out here,
                                                                ­                             anyways.
i've had a rotten day, but i wasn't involved, rather- others force it upon me, for condolence's sake.

ah, you've got plenty to be thankful about so why bother complaining? i often try to analyze this, because my life isn't perfect and i'm often ****** into an uncomfortable state, even when i had nothing to do with it. this was written during (+ after) a family argument about help and those who shouldn't help us, and telling others first, and letting everyone know. i think it's better to keep it to yourself or see a psychologist than starting a whole mess like this again. i know people hate that i don't like opening up and sharing but i'm doing it for the good of everyone. i'm the breadwinner of myself; others will only make me file more tax returns, it seems! so i'm upset and nervous and kind of scared. i want to explore it in a different angle and if i have to be crass and confrontational to do it, i say "full speed ahead!"
Will Mercier Sep 2012
I hear talk, of the cruelty, and heartlessness of humans,
but I see things on a regular basis that disprove this.
There is no cruelty in a childs kiss, the gently caressed cheek
that puts a smile on your face.

But, today I saw the clincher,
a RIP sticker,
for
A Squirrel...
It hit me like a punch made out of "What the ****?"
I didn't know whether to smile and break into tears,
or shake my head in curmudgeony disbelief.
A memorial sticker for a road ****...

Would an animal do such a thing.
I think not. They'd eat the thing
or just as some leave it to rot.
A Road **** memorial sticker
is about the craziest compassionate thing I've seen...
Animals don't memorialize us when we die...
Of course, that's not true.
I remember my dad's old mangy bloodhound...
and how, after he died, she moaned everyday, at the time he used to come home from work.
For weeks she did it, just sitting  by the door
and moaning.
Until the sun set,
then she would slink and lie at the foot of his chair..
She died two months later.
And if that isn't mourning I don't know what is.
Maybe animals and humans aren't all that different,
we just mourn differently.
Quentin Briscoe Nov 2012
Extra Extra ...Read all about it!!!..The time for the righteous ***** is dead...You claim Your stature of limitations..But all you got is knowledge...Let me reconstruct the past...That the ones you preaching to don't see...Slavery...to share croppers.. to steal mill workers...Cotton pick en...to bootleg ‘en...to crack rock..**** ‘en...They got Aids from monkeys..So lets give it to all the monkeys..They know to much lets bury the smart ones under all the dummies...Rise up you righteous *** Shabazz..With more medals then Marcus Garvey...but this dispositions is thicker than the stash on Steve Harvey. Cuz the kids they love the Wiz...and all the green he smoke...Forget the yellow brick road...its these white bricks they see as Gold...But you so righteous with black power on Your bumper sticker...And so sweet that your water start to be thicker...then blood...with a hood that attack your own progression..You Been righteous for so long..with hope you feel depression..that you accuse your brother of mental retardation...urban gentrification...when he still live in the same house he did the year before...but you been moved to the east side on the top floor..You righteous *** ***** you been pronounced dead...back when them bombs hit over Bagdad...they waved the white flag..but you just made it easy...cuz you still so righteous...you done Got Fat, Turned Gay...and rallying for pride marches...Cuz you don’t know what else to do...your time is over..Them black cats use to be panthers, now you dress them up...and placed us all in a new minority...just to keep your righteous priority...Are You still looking East, or have you finally excepted the West..
ryn Aug 2014
Earlier today, painting was the activity that we had planned
I have a support teacher who would always lend a hand
She had left the class to get the paint all mixed
While I stayed behind to get the toys and props all fixed
She came back and bore bowls of red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Lunchtime I visited a store and neatly displayed on low shelves
Arranged so immaculately as if magically done by elves
Were cases upon cases stitched together with only zips
They almost instantly bent a smile to my lips
Their colours shone brilliant red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Passed by a shop selling accessories and apparel
Merchandise dangled on wall hooks and some in a jumble
On the adjacent wall something caught my eye
Carried all the neat little tote bags one could ever buy
One peeking from a corner was red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Walked by a building, so modern-looking and new
Down on one side almost obscured from view
Were these horizontal rows of dancing neon lights
Stopped for a minute just to soak in the sights
Then I realised that they flickered red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Waited for the bus to get home at my usual bus stop
Whilst waiting, I shifted and from my bag something did drop
Bent over and picked my coin pouch that had fallen out
Looked up only to see another commuter lingering about
On his pack was a sticker which boasted red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Bus was packed, found a seat in the back row
Sat myself down, I peered briefly out the window
Engine under me, I scanned around to those who were seated
Observed the floor beneath my shoes as it vibrated
My pair of Adidas, oh my, they're red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Got home, put my bag down and sank into the sofa
Switched on the telly, on was the Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa"
Surfed through the channels, caught a real estate commercial
Promoting prime land in a country not anywhere regional
Splashed on the screen, a flag - red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

End of the day, it is best that I hit the sack
Allow some rest for my poor aggravated back
But not till I complete the words you're currently reading
I'm thinking, dreaming and furiously typing
How do I end this? Hmm...red, white and blue?
I'm thinking and dreaming...and wishing I'm with you.
labels have been placed
on my personage
but the one label
I'll not wear
is that of a stalker
the person who placed
the stalker sticker
on me
can take that label
and place it
on other livery
Please handle with care we say
Please handle with care, Mr. Postman
I know you see that sticker all
day every day
But please handle with care
You don't understand our package is
important
We don't care about the rest
I know your numb Mr. Postman
But please
Handle with care
Kim McCarthy Nov 2019
'If you think education is expensive, try ignorance'

I read this sticker on a car that cut me off today and it made me wonder if the driver even read her message on display
Its message combines ignorance with what one can pay for college
Yet it seemed her expensive education left out a little bit of knowledge

HER ignorance was blinding, it was all that I could see... Beaming from the drivers seat of this shiny SUV

Everything inside of me wanted to follow this woman home,  say to her face to face what I'm writing in this poem

I'd let her how her sticker makes her look like such a fool, And I'd say it proudly on behalf of  us who couldn't afford to go to school

How her ignorance of driving laws and her ignorance toward me  made this message sickening enough to brew an anger inside of me
Her actions makes her bumper sticker offensive, can't you see
Ignorance will always outshine a shiny college degree
Austin Heath Jun 2014
I want to get hit by a BMW.
I want to get hit by a Mercedes.
I want to get run over by a Porsche.
Something big.
I want to get smeared against the pavement
by a Cadillac Escalade.
I want to get hit by one of those big *******
who drag gasoline across the continent,
but I want the driver to be a manic psychopath.
I want him to stalk me on the sidewalk
and then run me over slowly.
He's not any coward, not like those bald patriarchal
Corvette drivers in polo shirts tucked into khakis.
No, he's a great fat man, a hairy beast with
a crooked stare that slows the pulse on impact.
I want the police to cringe or get scared interrogating him,
and haul his truck somewhere to be inspected.
I want the price of gas in nearby areas to go up
by at least fifteen cents for two weeks.
I want to get hit by a BMW.
I want to roll over the windshield,
and drag under the bottom for about ten yards.
I want to separate at the middle and leave organs on his
left side view mirror and hanging on his hood ornament.
I want to seep blood deep into his car,
and when he turns on his heat,
he'll smell my blood full blast in his face
burning.
I want to wreck the car inside and out.
I want to get hit by a car with a McCain sticker on the bumper.
I don't want to get hit by some middle class Ford or Honda,
or someone's ****-level Chevy or beat up jalopy.
I want to get hit by a BMW.
I want the driver to make his tires scream like banshees,
and leave four long streaks of rotten burned rubber on the asphalt.
I want him to step out in business attire, and gasp, inwardly.
I want to flip off the sky, because my aim is bad,
and call him a coward for hitting the brakes.
I want him to think,
"What did I do?
Is he Okay?
What am I going to do?
What if I lose my license?
How will I get to work?
How will I pay for this.
Does my insurance cover
vehicular manslaughter?
I'm not alone right?
I'll get through this.
I'll survive.
I'll just be another statistic.
That's all."
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
What is so important to address
something to react to the illumine
fruity to their balance sips like
a goldmine
He sways passed you and trips
Rose Poumedeur right near your* lips

Both stumbling and boasting over her
imported wine dress

The swinging parasol his cork topped
delights
Those imported by his number nights
Cabernet Sauvignon
Hooked to there eyes
Million stars to lift
Her petite waistline
Like heartline of Valentine
wine felt dresses

Outnumbered you by four words
The strenuous tiresome love-wine
Be mine the stargaze* dazing inside the sunsets
So bottled inside her mission
His love how it aged in her
in  a good retrospect like
Deep cherry confessions

The import from a trade surplus
She got overlooked got flown in place
like a sticker
The smart star- reservation 
 high-demand book
To seek her

What a chemistry  love- hands creation
She's the many vintage dresses A plus
The pouring of wine of many fusions
The cloudy dress is a minus illusion

She learned her entire lesson
How many times she was moved
around like musical  I tunes of wine
CD collection of Rennaisance
Battling like the fort chair
But someone was moved by her Jazz
type of hair
My lesson my wish was on hold
the mission cruise of the impossible dress
Getting weaved inside someone's
powerful suite but the best suite
and stay
The Fort William Henry until this day
The Fort William Henry Hotel like no
other sorts and what sports

Japan imports 77.8 billion exports
more than imports
Lackadaisical called the
breath of sunshine
The daisy sundress sitting on the
veranda with Fort Williams and the
Henry the eight I am children

I've been sunbathing looking at the boat
The Minne Haha thinking of MaMa
Someone was singing like Lady GAGA

The matter of great expression of words
Hummingbirds at Lake George
Picking the best birth of seeds
Imported wine what our heart needs
Rising demands of the meat
like the paradise of lovebirds
Her dress was to heal the world
Those wildflowers were the
sort of thing silence is the  best thing
Somehow not the hype of the bling
or diamond ring
Sometimes the Goddess
sun shines more

Making her feel loved to sing
Her dress had the gimmick to move
What a rural fun tree orange grove
Like the referee wine shopping spree
Everyday people were moved by her
gift of imported wines
Her gravity of smiles he's mine
Her face steams like the highest
light beam very well bred and fine
The long winding trail her
corset gown
Started to make head waves to the
higher forces
So enlightening the lakes
such cascades
Those wine deep waves romantic
To prelude to a kiss the Cosmic
The Islander-border lace her face
To love and honor her more

Not necessarily less that
divine moment
We should never miss
Lake George rippling waves
On her outskirts

Princess Kelly cheese Italian wine
Naples deserts
The evergreen  long dress
Shined your Highness the
Roman pillars
How he grabbed her waist dancing
like the Gatsby
Gave her such splendor everlasting sip
But the imported wine was deeper

To Set up the date
To Make- the wine up
In the cellar aged hours to perfect
What a stir over her dress-up deep ruby
wine start to pour end
of a new beginning
subject
To book the trip Lake George New York
All you had to do

Go to the Fort William Henry
Hotel like a home with family
So many friendly faces with smiles
All you have to do is show up
This is about imports but I love the Fort William Henry in Lake George is a great place to stay on vacation I sort of tied it in ribbon-like gifts of imported wines tell me what you think
km Dec 2010
I love communication. I love the push and pull,
the darting of eyes, the grins and the smirks.
I love the deepened sound, the quick inhalations,
the hands to face.
Hands to face, hands to your face and back to mine.
Locked eyes, hands in pockets.
My pockets, your pockets.
Your thumb is sticking out. Mine is hidden.
Curled up in a ball. Holding spare change.
Counting as you talk. 1 dollar and 35 cents.
I think.
Maybe that isn’t a dime.
Maybe it’s a penny. Maybe I have 1 dollar and 26 cents.
You keep talking. I keep recounting.
A little boy walks by and does something silly.
I stop listening and laugh.
I look back, apologize.
Sorry, that was cute.
I say something ordinary. You think I’m profound.
I’m not. I’m ordinary. I just like to think. And say things out loud.
To hear my own voice against yours.
Against the wind and the silly boy.
I check my phone for the time. Not a watch.
No one does that anymore. No one owns watches.
I own one, but its battery is dead, its missing a link.
It doesn’t fit on my wrist. My bus is coming. I might miss it.
I better run.
So I say something expected. See you later.
Or, Have a good-day. Or, I hope your whatever goes well.
Because that’s what you say when you’re catching a bus.
So we depart, and I skip down the steps,
like I probably did when I was 7.
Because sometimes I just feel like skipping.
I get a high off the jump.
A nostalgic shot of carelessness.
Then I remember,  I’m in public. Walk normally.
And you’re probably watching me as I stop skipping and start walking – normally.
You’re probably thinking what the hell was that?
You’re probably laughing.
I don’t look back. My bus is here. I argue with the driver.
Someone stole my bus pass sticker. Yes I’m serious.
The carpet cleaners did it. I’m going home in four days.
I’m not paying for a fare.
He lets me on, finally, after taking in a deep breath.
Sometimes I do that to people. Exhaust them.
I had to this time. 1 dollar and 35 cents,
or 1 dollar and 26 cents, won’t cut it.
I have to get home. It’s too far to walk.
I take my seat, and I feel like an outlaw.
I know I’m not one.
I just like the way the word sounds.
Sounds dangerous and romantic.
I hate romance.
No that’s not true. I hate what people expect of romance.
I like what I expect of romance, and it’s not what people expect.
By people I mean people who like romance novels and movies.
They don’t know what love is because they think you can define it.
I’m almost home, on this bus.
I wonder if I should take the back door, to avoid the man I argued with. Or the front, to say thank you, because I mean it.
I didn’t want to have to walk.
Today I decide to be friendlier than usual,
and walk to the front to say a cheerful thank you.
What I really meant was thank you,
for not being a persistent ******-bag.
And he says something typical. Have a good day – or something.
He probably meant: get off my ******* bus. Buy a pass.
Don’t leave your student ID on your dresser,
when carpet cleaners come for the day.
I get it, and I’m sorry. But I needed to come home.
May not be printed for other than home use, published or used commercially.
Cian Kennedy Sep 2017
A strewn learner sticker

His ego was always too thick



Too thick for glass

A windscreen stood no chance



Now mourners melanchol

Of a young man taken



His mother saw the real him

She saw the fake



"A little angel" they say

Certainly the one he took away
ciankennedy.me
Ryan Hodges Jan 2013
Your mind has been
expanded
all of this time;

over-analyzation
has just clouded
your mind.
BarelyABard Nov 2014
America
is a vintage ad
with a miniature sticker
on the back
that reads...

"Made in China."
I recall from some time ago
a pink plastic tea set
a white plastic rocking chair
and a yellow plastic pony
with blue plastic hair,
     which
was impossible to untangle
except for with the green plastic brush
that belonged to my blonde barbie doll
out of her plastic vanity cabinet
beneath her plastic vanity mirror,
     which
she checked her makeup in
before meeting her plastic boyfriend
in his plastic van
to go to a plastic diner
that served plastic pizza,
     which
was really just a sticker
on a tiny plastic plate
that would get lost in the bottom
of my plastic toybox,
     which
had a plastic lid
that was also my sailboat
that brought me to a plastic castle
with a plastic princess
who had the prettiest plastic eyes
and the most elaborate plastic dress
and the shiniest plastic crown,
     which
was the envy of all the plastic women
in the entire plastic kingdom,
     which
was really just a plastic castle
surrounded by an enchanted plastic forest
filled with furry plastic creatures
all atop a clear plastic box,
     which
held the plastic dishes
and plastic glasses
and plastic food
in case a feast should be thrown
for an unexpected plastic guest
from a plastic kingdom in the far east,
     which
was really just a plastic plate
placed on the plastic-coated windowsill,
     from which
I would peer into the blue sky
through broken plastic binoculars
while standing on a yellow and green plastic step stool,
     which
when turned upside down
became not simply a make-shift plastic sailboat,
but a glorious, luxury plastic cruise liner
for my pretty plastic dolls

     and I would board my toybox lid
     and we would sail into a perfect plastic horizon

     which
was really just a white plastic baby gate
that kept me from tumbling
into the world downstairs
where things are wooden
and glass
and cloth
but not plastic

for plastic is synthetic
and plastic is superficial
and plastic looks bad
against gilded wallpaper

but plastic is cheaper
and plastic is safer
and plastic is durable
and childhood is plastic
Cassidy Claire Johnson © 2012.
Kristo Frost Mar 2013
how could You know
as You are walking down the sidewalk
           around a corner       wherever You want
that the world is not assembling itself
atom by sticky atom
from the blueprints
piled in piles (like so many piles of newspaper)
in (the rooms in) the back rooms of Your mind
particles rushing and streaming, fluttering
together with the ebb of Your consciousness?
-
the World blurs fuzzily into shape
before snapping
(snappily)
into focus

just as You enter the room
blending pixilated reality smoothly
into an orchestrated Existence
-
the next time You      reach
for the doorknob on
the door to
the waiting room
-
give
pause
listen            
carefully
-
can’t You hear the anxious atoms
           scraping
sliding
           shoving past each other?
-
they                jockey
       jumping into
the eye of
       the image of
the woman on
       the screen of
the television in
       the corner of
the ceiling where
       it hangs
-
she wants to know
why we divide
Them              from Us
-
so clearly
so readily
-
she wants to know
why our countries
are bordered
-
by an indifference to equality
by a contempt for disillusionment
-
A dispute broke out between two
atoms on the table this morning;
a tiny china teapot was broken.
-
how would You know?
people are no more
then elaborate pieces of Your own mind
now once You hang up the phone
e v a p o r a t e d  
                        into no more than
                                           an afterthought
                                                    ­     of empty space
                                                           ­         -
                                             the smell of burnt matches
                             -                                      -
                You think that
everything You imagine is beautiful
                    even death
                             -
               but in an ugly way
-                            -
the man on the
                                edge
of the third chair
from the door
has no face
(none of Them do)
all of Them don’t
(have faces)
-
until They speak or You look Them in the eye
-
until They do something       Wrong
which is why They look                  down
when They walk down the sidewalk
-
They are afraid
-
to live
  as a tree
    in the park
-
where a pillar of
angry
           energy
                       falling
failing
           the
                       pessimistic
sky
might strike
Them
(older than You
yet born
just this moment)
making the ground
around
Them steam
with the sweat
of a silent room
waiting
for the
            door to
                        swing open
                                      and tell
                                                   him
                             -               -
                she’s going to be all right
              it was close there for a while
                        but she’s strong
                      she pulled through
                                      -
                              in the end
-                                     -
the pressure
of the years
of the rings
(which promise to
grow tighter
as time leaves us)
is heated
squeezed
left sitting in
flesh
turned to char
ash and smoke gently
cradling a tiny newborn
diamond
-
perfect           (silence)
-
broken
down the middle-
                      aged
                             flawed
-                                -
You should be perfect by now
You should have a face by now
-
speak           look Yourself in the eye
-
see Your own          Face
stop looking                down
when You walk down the sidewalk
-
don’t be afraid
-
to live
  as a tree
    in the park
-          -
They say don’t talk             to strangers
and You’re a strange one            indeed
how can You see the glamour
where Others            cannot
see that laughing quietly to themselves
can (You) set the expressions on their faces
to joy
     to pain
           to fear
                to apathy
                     to peace?
                              -
              yeah, she likes him
                and she likes him
                        to know
               that she likes him
                              -
                      in the end
-                             -
she wants to know
why our countries
are bordered
-
to keep Them      out
and Us       in
-                                   -
           this is Mine                  and that is Yours
-                                   -
You see
what You want to see (without)
-
(knowing what You want)
the sticker
       on the bumper
              of the car
                     rolling past reads:
                           “jesus is coming,
                                  hide the ****”
-                                          -
in its green lettering
and its largely silent voice
-
if You listen             carefully
You can almost hear Them
-                  -
              giggling
                ­   -                       -
              please do not think about green elephants
-                                          -
(a student just snuck in
and sat down as
the professor was writing
on the board)
-                                       -
             please do not feed the green elephants
-                                       -
I
Myself
have a strong suspicion
that Your mind is
as You read this
(hidden in a carefully cupped notebook)
spilling
black ink particles into
existence
on the very next          page
-                              -
             ­       You write that
You imagine everything is beautiful
                    except for death
                                 -
                   it is an ugly thing
                                    -
               yet still the chisel gouges
                  -               -
  “i whistle a catcall
at my blushing bride”
      llac ot eltsihw i”
  “edis ym ot god ym
                  -        -
        through the crumbling protests
         of the reluctant stone
                               -    -
                     ­               each new line
                                    tampers with space
                                    holds suspect time
                                    postpones the end
                                    and evades death
-                                  -
You breathe
               You write
You sing
                You live
                       -
You casually craft causality
         -             -
         yet craft on
         surely You are not yet done
         You may never be
         at this rate but
         but
         STOP
-        -
the World reblurs then blows away
listen closely here I say
all things must come to end one day
-                                       -
You
Yourself

have tasted the                     hunger
                        of Greed
seen the                                 wealth
                       of Hatred
heard the                               stories
          ­             of Genocide
felt the                                    loss
                     ­  of War
and smelled the                    decay
                       of Truth
-                      -
                      this        ­     is Mine
                                 what’s Mine, is Yours...
This poem was originally inspired by the Russell's Teapot analogy.
samuel nathan Aug 2011
sly cartoon eyes
following me leading me
that
little blond Calvin kid
*******
on ignorance
all over your alma mater
on ideas on ideologies
on apologies
on this or that rhyme
on time on topic
on bad puns bad jokes
on sheriff on congress
on the president himself
on every self statement
on honor students
and schnauzers alike
all over your baby on board
sin grinning
because he thinks
he is winning
grin away
**** away
little blond Calvin kid

— The End —