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Nat Lipstadt Jan 2017
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.
Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.


~~~

faint knocking at the door to the Tower of Song

the ministering angels, hearing a rhythmic, lyrical rapping,
sigh, thinking the atonement day,
the holiday/holy days, are supposedly over,
the human balancing act, the rush to judgement period,
all tallies totaled, the busy sale season for souls,
at last completed, each fate inscribed & sealed,
in the book of life^

but, always one,
the itinerant straggler, the last reluctant sinner, a judgment resister,
flaunting an expired coupon, trumpeting demands for a recount,
waving it, claiming it, the bearer, entitled to a mercy discount and
an extra 30 days

"who shall we say is calling?"

the Angels are stunned to hear,
a familiar raspy, growling, almost indescribable,
yet, stammeringly, beautiful voice enchanting,
equally asking and answering,  how both,
with a strident humility, "a man in search of answers"

this voice, instantaneous recognizable,
the asking superfluous,
all beating wings now, all in vast excitement,
this psalmist, long awaited, one of His best,
a chosen one, a courtly singer in the Temple of his people,
blessed with the curse of seeing and believing,
the comprehension of beauty of the human superior interior,
never being quiet or quite satisfied,
in capturing, its multifarious variations,
in every language spoken

this is the man who took ten years
to compose just
one song,
one poem,
one word,
Hallelujah,
whose faith was strong,
but still needed proofs,
whose every breath of oxygen inhalation,
brought more questions,
every exhalation, only releasing partial answers,
and yet, still, yes, yes! finding hidden verses inside

a simple, everlasting
hallelujah

the hubbub subsides, the man sings~speaks:
how came I here,
was I one, who by fire?
that fire afeared,  that my finality was spirit consumer?

one voice, answers,
in one voice, the swaying back-up singers answer,
not by fire, not by water, not by stoning or
even drowning
in tea that came from all the way from China

when sing we Angels, the Judgement Day poem,
we alone, on high and above,
we, keepers of the books and records of everyone,
are permitted this to query:

Who by Sufficiency?

you, the sidekick of the creator,
special commissioned by him, anointed to live a life of research,
record in word and song the mysteries of musical gene strings,
that intertwine the skin cells of man and woman,
man and his fellow us-human,
your soul commandeered, ordered, delve deeper,
into the consolable chasm tween divine and mortals,
all those who are poorly constructed
in his image

he, who has earned his place, his best rest,
his works adjudged sufficient,
he, who best answered
this judging,
this calling out,
calling in
incantation,

Who by Sufficiency?

now forward on, write only of answers,
wade in the troubled waters no more,
no more passports, or borders to cross,
no more measuring the days,
the last road trip finale
finished & feted,
fate meted

no more changing thy name, changeling priest,^^
sing songs of solution, salvation,
for the questioning hours of confusion,
the urgency of revolution,
no longer need a hallelujah resolution


                                                    ­| | |
Who By Fire                             Who By Fire, Who By Water:^
(lyrics by Leonard Cohen)     (A Yom Kippur Hebrew Prayer)

who by fire                             How many shall die and      

who by water,                                how many shall born,
Who in the sunshine,                 Who shall live      
who in the night time,                   who shall die,                      
Who by high                                Who at the measure of days,
who by common trial,                    and who before,
Who in your merry                            
                                                          Who by fire
month of May,                                 and who by water
Who by very                                 Who by sword,
slow decay,                                       and who by wild beasts,
And who shall I                      Who by hunger,
say is calling?                              and who by thirst,

And who in her,                           Who by earthquake
lonely slip,                                         and who by plague
who by barbiturate,                      Who by strangling,
Who in these                                    and who by stoning
realms of love,                               Who shall have rest,

who by,                                             and who shall go wandering,
something blunt,                            Who will be tranquil,
And who by avalanche,                  and who shall be harassed,
who by powder,                            Who shall be at ease,
Who for his greed,                           and who shall be afflicted,
who for his hunger,                      Who shall become rich,
And who shall I,                             and who shall become poor,
say is calling?                                Who will be raised high,
                                                         ­     and who will be brought low
And who by brave assent,                  
who by accident,
Who in solitude,
who in this mirror,
Who by,
his lady's command,
who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains,
who in power,
And who shall I,
say is calling?




^From the liturgy of Rosh Hasanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the  Day of Atonement, there is this truly stunning prayer (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unetanneh_Tokef) in the Jewish liturgy. The Book of Life contents the fate of every sinner. From the first day of the new year, until ten days later, on Yom Kippur, depending on whether the sinner repents or not, his fate is sealed.
Yom Kippur this year was celebrated on Oct. 12th 2016.

Leonard Cohen passed away on November 7, 2016.

^^"A Kohens ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired many variations." Today, with no temple, the limited role of the Kohanim is to bless the Jewish people on the high holy days with a  special prayer with abeloved tune,  instantly evocative (see wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing) The Kohanim are still revered, honored, and always called up first to the Sabbath reading of the weekly portion of the Old Testament

A thank you to Bex for proofing and encouragement.
Part I of a trilogy
For a  more detailed analysis of the roots of the song, "Who By Fire," and its origins, see:
_____________________________________________
http://www.leonardcohen-prologues.com/who_by_fire.htm

He worked on the song Hallelujah, arguably his most famous composition, for ten years.
JR Falk Dec 2014
An artist has a busy mind.
Whether it be lines of a poem
or lines of a play.
One may argue that literature cannot be art,
But I will look at the accuser and ask him to count the callouses on my hands
he’ll ask what for,
what they are from,
and as I count them I’ll tell him,
"From crawling out of my own little hell."
Of course, he’ll scoff and leave, but who is he to blame?
Poets are emotional.
Others fear to feel.
Which, in retrospect, is very ironic when you think about it, because technically, they are still feeling.

My mind is like rush hour all hours of the day,
Because there is so much left to think about,
So little time to enact,
So little time to involve yourself in the thoughts.
Things occupy my mind often and when I sit alone on a park bench,
I see a collection of cars screeching against the pavement toward me,
or hear a phone call that tells me my mother,
my father,
my sister,
my brother,
is or are dead when all of the above are very much alive.

No, my mind does not silence,
It is persuasive and deceiving and it never fails to fail me,
Yet I’m trapped inside, because it’s all I've got.
When people ask if I’m alright, I respond with
"I’m fine! I’m perfectly OK!"
Because this is how my mind has been since I could count to ten,
and I cannot seem to picture it being any other way.

Normality is boring, but normality is accepted.
Being expressive is not.
So I’m told I’m too emotional when I speak in a crowded room,
I do not argue, though I still wonder how
An obnoxious burst of laughter is far too expressive.
They say the saddest people laugh the loudest
Because they are most vulnerable and susceptible to a comedian’s antics,
Especially considering they've muted their own expression to the point of near insanity,
Smiling and suicidal,
Laughing but decaying and cracking drastically with each and every chuckle,
Ironic like an abandoned amusement park-
A dying happy place.
People say that “the saddest people have the brightest eyes,”
And the most common compliment I get is
“*******- I love your eyes!”

I do not try to be obnoxious.
The words slip, and the volume cracks up,
And my mind continues running when I am standing still.
I am trying to figure out why I cannot catch my breath,
When I am not even moving.

I wish I could be normal,
I wish I wasn't so ****** up and broken
But you can’t just take a totaled car,
hand someone the keys and say,
"Take her for a spin!"
Because it will forever feel useless and it will not function.
Therefore, neither will I.

Writing helps in easing the plethora of trains speeding through my mind,
Trains of thought just chugging along,
But it only slows them down, if only for a while.

As an inexperienced conductor,
When someone asks me if I’m “BUSY,”
I can never answer them “no” honestly,

Because an artist has a busy mind.
Old, finally revised. Still unsure if I'm proud of it.
Carter Ginter Mar 2015
Cold white layers pile over the grey concrete
I did not expect the storm but I
Needed to face the journey
Someday
We knew it could not last forever

And in that moment
An accident in my vision,
Maybe the music screaming into my ear
Distracted me from the obvious truth that lie
Just through the windowpane
Leading to a collision straight into reality

Your words, the concrete divider
That hit hard enough to take deep damage
Yet not hard enough to stop me from moving forward
The unexpected truth that came at the least expected moment
My ignorance overlooked the obvious signs
That i could not stay safe forever
Not at the speed we drove..

My skin hugged my knuckles tightly
Enough to match the descending snow
As I knew from the first swerve
Your first word
That inevitable fate
I surely faced
Death loomed close in my mind

But I drove on
Grabbed the wheel and forced my way through
The place where I felt nearest to the grave
Until I reached a safe enough space to see for myself
Just how much damage I endured

And, like my car,
I am totaled
Broken into pieces that cannot be reframed
Some lost at the point of collision
Others gradually passing over time
And some still holding on

In the eyes of an astonished mechanic
The car shouldn't even start
And according to everyone else
I should be dead
But I'm not

And though neither the car
Or my own life will ever fully
return to their original condition
We still drive on
Moving forward on the unpredictable
Icy
Deadly
Highway of life
I crashed my car on the highway while driving home from my then-girlfriend's town. I realize now that the accident resembles our break up that came a few weeks after. Earth-shattering, unexpected, but noticeable without distractions.
Ovid Sep 2016
I'm pretty sure it's safe to say you're not feeling me,
I had a hunch that'd you end up feeling that way.

I was honest and I was going to try my best
But you're an individual that chose to go another road.
You're gone on the highway and I'm walking on a rail road.  

I swear my friends keep me holding on
But they don't know that I'm so far gone.
I'd hope you'd give me chance and realize you had me all wrong.
Keep going because you were right all along.

I'm a child that still hasn't hit his growth spurt.
I swear I'm a psychic because I knew I'd be left hurt.
We were going to have a good run but you left me in the dirt.
I'm a train wreck trying to get back on track
And you'd chugged along and showed me your back.

What did I expect because it all ends the same,
And guess what?
Yes, I'm the one to blame.
I was hoping you'd see me out but you were smart enough to see through me.
I decided to write something in my old style.
Mouth Piece Dec 2013
Sweat dripping from my puke, trapped and chained by an IV..my inner stereo screamed from 102.9 and on top of my ride I felt totaled. Darkness and alone with empathy blind to my dungeon. Why do you treat me like this? You don’t even know me! You don’t really care! You only care about yourself! Give me a second of your time! Don’t you see my heart is bleeding?! I was justified and as usual my finger went to point but at that point I realized I’ve always been the MARK. HAHA did it take disease to realize the disease. You see from the outside and don’t we many look so pretty? Hip Hip Hooray they say to my accomplishment but inner drive selfish like the parasite. I could have lived my whole life white picket ignorant, world successful and none the wiser. But I can’t trade it for nothing I had to die through a sickness to see the re-mastering of my soul by His remedy… Blood........ Light on “Would you go again?” Are you kidding! I’d go again if it kills me!.... No half and half I’m all in… I understand and want to Love like my own marrow. I’m coming back to you kids..I love you and no circumstance matters for this man. My unseen finally got engaged to the fire of my actions and……………. I DO
Glenn McCrary May 2013
An unsound disorder takes host
In a body for years I’ve loved
Memories becoming all but ghosts
Cell by cell with blackness she rusts

In each vessel of her sclera
In each fold of her fine vocals
In each tear of her mascara
The feat of a smile totaled

From a world all but brightening
Living in walls crafted by fear
Each breath, a scream of lightning
New evenings; old muscles speared

The feat of a smile totaled
Amidst an eerie, white speech
In each fold of her fine vocals
A desire for love beseeched
James Nigh Jul 2012
we were driving home
taking side roads in a roundabout way.

and you spotted something on the side of the road.
bloodied, broken and (i assumed to be) dead.

you pulled over and we inspected it.
i was rather disgusted, but you picked it up and coddled it 'cause it had fur.

you kept coo'ing at it and asked it what it's name was (expecting no answer)
but it struggled to utter "Love".

we begrudgingly decided to take it home
and made a bed for it and nourished it back to health.

a week later we were drinking Earl Grey by the fireplace,
heard a rumbling
and looked around to see it standing there looking at us.
it was 7' tall and had an expression of awe, wonder, and terror
as if it thought we would ****** it at any second.

each night it had a different face, resembling one of your former playthings.
you never called it the same name twice.

a week later, it couldn't fit through any of the doorways.
we always came home to plaster, paint and drywall scattered everywhere.

i complained.
"Love has broad shoulders", you quipped.
it had grown too much for us.

a week later, i spent the afternoon at the bar and you were shopping.
we rendezvoused back home at 3PM.

only to find a gaping hole where the front door used to be.
everything inside totaled.
precious collections, expensive technology, jewelry...
all gone (or destroyed beyond recognition).

i railed, "Love ruined EVERYTHING!!!"
you seemed to take no note, kept your composure and muttered, "It always does" and just began sweeping.

the next day we got a kitten from the animal shelter,
and were laying in bed with it at night.
i asked, "Do you think Love will ever come back?"

you answered coldly, "It never does".
Nathan Squiers Apr 2015
We’ve totaled all our totems just to glower under towers;
Handed in our scrotums; douched away our feminine powers.
We’ve traded in our lifetimes in exchange for prescribed hours.
We once basked beneath the heavens; awed by meteor showers,
But now we’re fed our heavens via signals from the towers…

We’re the antennae squatting upon the set,
So the gods in the TV can tell us what to fret,
But do you ever stop to regret
What they’ve forced us to forget?
We paid for this, but what a debt…

We felt infected by a plague known as freedom,
But the antidote… my god, what have we done?

Totaled all our totems…
Traded in our lifetimes…
Ignore meteor showers,
Just to stare at radio towers.
L Smida Feb 2013
Ask me why I don't like to drive
I will give you the easiest of all answers
It's because I have to put full trust in complete strangers that get behind the wheel of vehicles that have the ability to **** people if not used correctly
Half of the people are selfish idiots who don't give a flying ****
And I don't even like trusting people to begin with
Even people that I know very well
People that do give a ****

I have to trust that you'll stop at that big red stop sign as I'm cautiously pulling through the intersection
I have to trust that that red light there is going to retain your hurried monstrous being from crossing my path
I have to trust that all you rowdy strangers are actually driving with the correct licenses
If one at all
I hold my breath driving through town hoping that no one will floor it out of a parking lot to cut me off
Even when there are absolutely no other cars around
Making me slam on my brakes is easier for you than to wait for two seconds to let me pass
That'd be inevitable
It's like no one even sees me on the road
I'm as invisible as a ghost
Either that or the judgement is way off
Any slight amount of doubt whether you'll make it or not
Should be handled by waiting
Because that doubt about not making it could turn into a full certainty when you're smashed into someone else

But it happens all the time without fail
I cannot drive through town without getting ******* at someone's stupidity
People hate waiting
Even if its only for two seconds
And I don't get it
Where do you possibly have to be that's so **** important
Everyone is constantly in a hurry all the time
FYI, driving slow and taking your time saves so much gasoline it's not even funny
If you wanna stop complaining about burning through gas,
Just drive slower
It won't **** you
It actually might save you
(Ex: it use to take me a quarter tank of gas to get to school and back when driving 70-80 MPH. I was following the speed of traffic. Now I drive the speed limit which is 55. My gas needle does not move!)

Driving under the influence?
Only god knows
Don't get me wrong
Some drugs are awesome
But not while driving
Putting other people's lives at risk by driving with a foggy head?
(Babies, children, families)
Not cool whatsoever
Do you care at all
Obviously not if you're doing so
Who cares if you **** someone
Everyone does it
It happens all the time
I have to trust that you wild human beings are watching the roads and being alert
But I already know that you are not concerned in the least bit to watch where you're going
Heaven for bid you put down that phone for more than three minutes

I don't like having this paranoia chewing on my gut every time I need to go somewhere
I have my headlights on 95% of the time
Why?
So people can easily see me coming
What do I see when I drive?
No one because people don't drive with their headlights on during a ******* blizzard or heavy rain
Hell! People don't drive with their headlights on in the ****** dark
Let alone a little rain
Someone ran me off the road once because they weren't paying attention and they totaled my beautiful ******* car
In plain day light
Basically T-***** me right into a ditch
Why?
Because he couldn't take one tiny second out of his very important life to stop at a ****** ******* stop sign?!?
And by conserving that second he slowed us both down by painfully whole hours
He ruined my whole month
Ruined my whole driving career
Because I carry around this paranoia chained to my leg that weighs about as much as a boulder
Giving me all these hellish problems that could've easily been avoided
You can see why I hate driving with a burning passion
No one follows the rules
I hate watching out for morons when it shouldn't need to be done

This is what bothers the **** out of me
They are giving licenses to ANYONE now a days
The ******* driving test is suppose to be a hard ******* test
They need to make it harder in my opinion
If its one thing that I wish people would do
Is follow the traffic laws
If everyone did that
We wouldn't need insurance
We wouldn't have problems
We wouldn't have to cuss at each other and get enraged
Road rage wouldn't exist
I wouldn't have to drive and get a heart attack every time someone swerves in front of me
I don't like having random obstacles like that

I drive the speed limit
Why?
Because if someone hits me
I won't get blamed
You don't like how I drive?
You can't complain because I follow all the rules
You can't say a **** word about it
I like being relaxed when I drive
I leave myself enough time to get to my planned destination
I don't like to rush around because that's the number one thing that ***** people up
You hurry and your mind forgets every little ****
If you're late and you're stuck behind me going 40 in a 35
Sorry Bub but I ain't gonna go any faster for you
I do not want to get into an accident and have to deal with all that **** again
Or get pulled over and have the little money I have get ****** outta my pockets
Not gonna happen
Get into an accident and see how you like it
Get pulled over and waste money
Go head
Be my guest
Afterwards, I bet you'll give the road 50% more of your undivided attention
Bad mood rant.... :/
vanessa fonseca Oct 2017
my heart broke and spilled on the highway
completely
out

i dont have any interactions with ppl that are not customer service interactions
im lonely.     feels like my brain is just logged off.
with an axe i start to work throoo my leg
my brains just off
1 million dollar winner
oh my brains just
off
   wont go on
i hit a pothole, pop my tire and
lose control
911 how are you today im amazing cuz I love life
im laying in the woods and i can't fall in love
with a  hammer i work at my head
til its far gone
eve Sep 2018
To be blessed ,
favored and protected by the environment,
selected and isolated from your social groupings,
To be blessed is to synthesize what truly has meaning in life and self-meditate with the sake of life’s pace.
Before falling asleep, resting, force the mental to remain awake,
processing and breaking apart the information given today,
despite the fact that time wasn’t kind, brief or even prolonged; make it the moral commitment to self-reflect.
Make a correction if your answer is wrong; the fabrication of a scripture,
Make sure, for certain, that all the totaled scores calculate to a certain percentage,
Affirmed, scolded or ruled by another to convey your defined truth as inaccurate, almost there or rarely ample.
Time is allotted, effortless and to be taught a lesson is a blessing,
Space is limited, given and to be bestowed the gift of building is the set up version of a lesson, a shell of a blessing.
Taco bell in my body
It aint no shot bus shawty
2 Am munchie run
Driving high, much fun
Crashed into a pole
Driving high not so much fun

Get to tacobell what joy
I want to eat it now o boy
Forgot to order how embarrassing
She staring at me, looks discouraging
order caramel apple empanada
She asks for money, I have nada

Go back to car forgot it's totaled
crashed into pole earlier, to much yolo
walk home tired and hungry and pretty sad
Forgot about this blunt I never had
light it up and I now feel glad
Life without tacobell not so bad
Ja feel?
Lydia Jan 2018
At any given time
Brushing my teeth with my eyes clothes
Letting your soul leak out onto my skin
"This is crazy," I thought for the first time,
Singing vintage music in your beat-up convertible

I was in a good mood
Maybe it was John Mayer
Or my second Doctor Pepper
Or the cliff to the left of us
You were behind the wheel, and for the first time, I was not afraid of falling

Maybe there was a hurricane
I've never seen one before, I wouldn't know
All I know is that we came out kicking, and dancing
Like you had carried an old record player the whole way
Nothing but your grace keeping it dry
My heartbeat perfectly in tune to your footsteps
My soul, your rhythm
"My hands, your bones"

Your car breaking down on the narrowest stretch of that road,
As it does
Laughing at the sports cars driving too carefully on the pass
Leaning against your scrap heap in the middle of the road
"Totaled?" I asked
"Nah. But I'll sell it to someone who knows how to fix it."
Knowing that axel grease would make a perfect cologne, but you preferred pine

Let me be perfectly clear: we were not in love
Love would be complicated
Splitting hairs and asking about feelings
Your soul would be afraid to touch me, and your soul made me feel vibrant
We were nothing but real

I don't feel lucky
You would have found me if I were invisible
You were looking for a girl in hiking boots with her ball gown
Dancing to the tune caused by flickering stars on and off instead of the orchestra
And I don't know how many of us there really are anymore
Girls who aren't afraid to ruin their clothes and can still use a compass

The tow truck came at the just the wrong time
When you jokingly dipped me over the side of the road, like you were going to let go
But I've already explained- I was not afraid of heights
You were a sturdy harness maintained by a practiced climber
Any sort of chaos was braided into the ropes which made them stronger
We were laughing as we both crammed into single passenger seat of the truck and inched down the mountain
"My hands, Your Bones," is borrowed from Oh Wonder

Please comment :)
Foxgopher Nov 2015
I saw a man dead today
Head on
Chest liquid
Legs no longer
The truck he collided with
Totaled
A human sized dent
The bike he rode
Destroyed
The compressions don’t help
Though many try
Human’s banded together for one man
Who stood no chance

In this death I learned
There is good in this world
In this death I learned
There is sadness
Once a friend
Gone for now
Yet he lives on in the friends he rode with
Those who witnessed that horrific incident
I did not know him
I never saw his face
We prayed for him
For those he was with
For those who have seen
For those who grieve
For ourselves

I saw a man dead today
But remembered why we live
Andrew T Jul 2016
Backstory: A Memoir

For Vicki

By AT

5

While I was downstairs, folding laundry in the basement, I heard my sister Vicki stomping upstairs to the room that used to be mine, slamming the door, and locking it shut.

I was a ****** older brother. And Vicki learned that action from me.
Then, I heard more footsteps. Louder stomping. And I knew, with certainty, it was Mom coming after her.

I'm not an omniscient narrator, so I don't know what Vicki does when the door is locked.

But I do imagine she is reading. Vicki’s been using her Kindle that Mom got her for Christmas. She adores Gillian Flynn and Suzanne Collins. She's starting to get into Philip Pullman which is swagger. I remember reading His Dark Materials when I was in elementary school.

The Golden Compass ***** you into that world, like during June when you're hitting a bowl for the first time and you're 17, late at night on Bethany beach with your childhood best friend, and the surf is curling against your toes, and the smoke is trailing away from the cherry, and you begin to realize that life isn't all about living in NOVA forever, because the world is more than NOVA, because life is bigger than this hole, that to some people believe is whole, and that's fine, that's fine because many of our parents came here from other small towns, and they wanted to do what we wanted to do, which is to pack up our stuff into the trunk of our presumably Asian branded car, and drive, drive, until they reach a destination that doesn't remind them of the good memories and the bad memories, until memory is mixed in with nostalgia, and nostalgia is mixed in with the past.

Maybe I'm dwelling on backstory, maybe you don't need to hear the backstory.

But I think you do.

Life isn't an eternity,
what I'm telling you is already known, known since there was a spider crawling up the staircase and your dad took the heel of his black dress shoe and dug his heel into that bug. And maybe I'm buggin’, but that bugged me, and now I'm trying to be healthier eating carrots like Bugs. Kale, red onions, and quinoa, as well. Because I want to be there for my sister, Vicki my sister. All we got is a wrapped up box made from God, Mohammad, and Buddha.

Soon, I heard Vicki’s door handle being cranked down and up, up and down.

Mom raised her voice from a quiet storm to a deafening concerto.  
Then, there was silence, followed by a door slamming shut.

Welcome to our life.
Later on that night, Vicki sped out of our cul-de-sac in her silver Honda Accord—a gift from Mom to keep her rooted in Nova—and even from the front porch of my house, I felt a distance from her that was deep and immovable.

I sank deeper into my lawn chair and lit a jack, but instead of inhaling like I usually did, I held it out in front of me and watched the smoke billow out from the cherry.

I always smoked jacks when she was not there, because I didn’t want her to see me knowingly do this to myself, even as I was making huge changes to my life. It’s the one vice I have left, and it’s terrible for me, but I don’t know if she understands that I know both things. Maybe instead of caring about what jacks do to my body, I should care about what she thinks about what I’m doing to myself. This should be obvious to me, but sometimes things aren’t that obvious.

4

As we grew older Vicki and I forged a dialogue, an understanding. She confided in me and I confided in her, sharing secrets, details about our lives that were personal and private, as if we were two CIA agents working together to defeat a totalitarian government—our tiger mom.

But seriously our mom was and still is swagger as ****—rocks Michael Kors and flannel Pajama pants (If I told you that last article of clothing she'd probably pinch my cheek and call me a chipmunk. Don't worry I'm fine with a moderation of self-deprecation).

The other day Mom talked to me about Vicki and explained that she was upset and irritated with Vicki because of her attitude. I thought that was interesting, because I used to have the same exact attitude when I was my sister’s age and I got away with a lot more ****, being that I'm a guy and the first-born. I understood why she would shut the front door, exit our red brick bungalow, and speed away in her Honda Accord, going towards Clarendon, or Adams Morgan, spending her time with her extensive circle of friends on the weekdays and weekends.

Because being inside our house, life could get suffocating and depressing.
Our Grandparents live with us. Grandpa had a stroke and is trying to recover. Grandma has Alzheimer’s and agitates my mom for rides to a Vietnamese Church. Besides the caretakers, Mom, Dad, Vicki, and I are the only ones taking care of my grandparents.

Mom told me that she believes that Vicki uses the house as a hotel. Mom didn't remind me of a landlord, and I believe that Vicki doesn’t see her as that either.

I didn't believe Vicki was doing anything necessarily wrong.

She had her own life.

I had my own life.

Dad had his own life.

Mom had her own life.

I understood why she wanted to go out and party and hang out with her friends. Maybe she was like me when I was 21 and perceived living at home as a prison, wanting to have autonomy and freedom from Mom because she was attempting to make me conform to her controlled system with restraints. But as Vicki and I both grow older I believe that we see Mom not as an authority figure; but, just as Mom.

Vicky and Mom clash and clash and clash with each other, more than the Archer Queens of The Hero Troops clash with the witches of the Dark Elixir Troops.

They act like they were from different clans, but they're both on the same side in reality.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. And in this case the tree wants to hang onto the apple on the tip of its rough, and yet leafy bough.
Because the tree is rooted in experience and has been around for much longer than the apple.

But the apple is looking for more water than the tree can give it. So the apple dreams about a summer rain-shower that will give it a chance to have its own experience. A similar, but different one, to the darker apple that hangs from a higher bough, an apple that has been spoiled from having too much sun and water.

3

During Winter Break, Vicki scored me tickets to a game between the Wizards and the Bucks. From court side to the nosebleeds, the audience at the Verizon Center was chanting in cacophony and in tempo. Wall was injured. But Gortat crashed the boards, Nene' drained mid-range shots, and Beal drove up the lane like Ginsberg reading Howl.

Vicki and I both tried to talk to each other as much as we could; unfortunately, Voldemort—my ex-gf—sat in between us and was gossiping about the latest scoop with the Kardashians.

Nevertheless, Vicki and I still managed to drink and have an outstanding time. But I should have given her more attention and spent less time on my smartphone. I was spending bread on Papa John's Pizza and chain-smoking jacks during half-time, and even when there were time outs. When I would come back and sink into my plastic chair, I'd feel bloated and dizzy.
And I'd look over at Vicki and either she was talking to Voldemort, or typing away on her smartphone. I didn't mind it at the time, but now I wished I had been less of a concessions barbarian/used-car salesman chain-smoker, and more of an older brother. I should have asked her about her day and her friends and her interests.

But I didn't.

Because I was so concerned about indulging in my vices like eating slices of pepperoni pizza and drinking overpriced beer. There's nothing wrong with pizza or beer. But as we all know the old saying goes, everything is about moderation.

Vicki scrunched her nose and squinted her eyes when I would lean forward and try to maneuver around Voldemort, trying to talk to her about the game and the players in it. I imagine that when she smelled the cigarette smoke leaking away from my lips, that she believed I was inconsiderate and not self-aware.

After the game, we went to a bar across the street from the Verizon Center, and bought mixed drinks. Voldemort was D.D., so Vicki and I drank until our Asian faces got redder than women and men who go up on stage for public speaking for the first time.

I remember this older Asian guy was trying to hit on her.
I took in short breaths. Inhaled. Exhaled. I cracked my shoulder blades to push my chest forward.  

And then, I patted him on the back and grinned. The Asian guy got the message. You don’t **** with the bodyguard.

Vicki had and still has a great boyfriend named Matt.

I guided Vicki back to our table and laughed about the awkward situation with her.

The Asian guy craned his head toward me and did a short wave. And then he bought us coronas. Either, you’re still hitting on my sister, or it’s a kind gesture. She and I better not get... Or am I overthinking it?

But seriously, I wished I had been the one to spend money on her first—she had bought the first round of drinks. Because at the time, my job was challenging and low-paying. Or maybe I just wasn't being frugal enough and partying way too often.

I still remember the picture that a cool rando took of us, drinking the Coronas, and how I was happy to be a part of her life again. Our eyes were so Asian. I had my lanky arm around her small shoulders, like a proud Father. She had her cheek propped up by her fist, her smile, gigantic and beaming, as though she had just won Wimbledon for the first time.
I was wearing a white and blue Oxford shirt that she had gotten me for Christmas with a D.C. Rising hat. She had on a cotton scarf that resembles a tan striped tail of a powerful cat.

My face was chubby from the pizza. Her face was just right like the one house in Goldilocks. The limes in the Coronas were sitting just below the throat of the bottles, like old memories resurfacing the brain, to make the self recall, to make the self remember how to treat his family.
Or maybe this is just a brand new Corona ad geared towards the rising second-generation Asian American demographic? I'm playing around.
But end of commercial break.

Vicki pats me on the back and we clink bottles together. Voldemort is lurking in the background, as if she's about to photobomb the next picture. Sometimes I don't know if there's going to be a next picture.
Either we live in these moments, or make memories of them with our phones. And like sheep following an untrustworthy shepherd, we went back to our phones. She made emails and texts. I went on twitter in search of the latest news story.

2

Before Vicki and I opened each other's presents, I remember I blew up at Mom and Dad, and criticized everyone in the family room including Vicki. It was over something stupid and trivial, but it was also something that made me feel insecure and small. I was the black sheep and she was the sheep-dog.

I screamed. Vicki took in a deep breath and looked away from my glare, looked away to a spot on the hardwood floor that was filled with a fine blanket of dust and lint. I chattered. She rubbed her fingers around the lens of her black camera and shook her head in a manner that suggested annoyance and disappointment. I scoffed. She set the camera down on the coffee table and pressed the flat of her hand against her cheek, and glanced out the window into the backyard that was blanketed with slush and snow.
Drops of snow were plunging from the branches of the evergreen trees and plopping onto the patches of the ground, plunging, as though they were little toddlers cannonballing off of a high-dive.

She turned back and looked at me straight in the eye, so straight I thought she was searching for the answer to my own stupidity.

I cleared my throat and said, “I need a breath of fresh air.”

Vicki bit her bottom lip, sat down, and put her arms on her knees, a deep, contemplative look appearing on her face.

I stormed into the narrow hallway, slammed the front door back against its rusty hinges, and trundled down my front driveway, the cold from the ice and the snow dampening the soles of my tarnished boots. I lit a jack at the far end of the cul-de-sac and counted to ten. I watched the cigarette smoke rise, as the ashes fell on the snow, blemishing its purity and calmness. I inhaled. I exhaled. I could feel it in the pit of my stomach that Vicki knew I was having a jack to reduce my stress, stress that I had cause all by myself. I ground the jack against the snowy concrete, feeling the cold begin to numb my fingers that were shaking from the nicotine, shaking from the winter that had wrapped itself around me and my sister.

When I came back inside of the house, I told Mom and Dad I was being an idiot and that I didn’t mean to be such an *******. I turned to Vicki and put my hand on her shoulder, squeezed it, and smiled weakly, telling her that I didn’t mean to upset her.

She nodded and said, “It’s okay bro.”

But her soft and icy tone made me feel skeptical; she didn’t believe me. I didn’t know if I believed my apology. Minutes later, I gave my present to her.

Her face brightened up with a smile. It was a gradual and cautious smile, a little too gradual and a little too cautious. She hugged me tightly, as though my earlier outburst hadn’t happened.

She opened the bank envelope and inside was a fat stack of cleanly, pressed bills that totaled a hundred. Being an arrogant, noob car salesman at the time, I thought it was going to be a pretty clever present. I could have given her a Benjamin, but I thought this would make her happier, because it showed my creative side in a different form.

I remember seeing her spread the dollar bills out, as if the bills were a Japanese Paper fan. Vicki told me not to post the picture I had taken on insta or Facebook. I smiled faintly and nodded, stuffing my smartphone back into my sweatpants pocket. I understood what she wanted, and I listened to her, respecting her wishes. But I also wasn't sure if she was embarrassed and ashamed of me. And maybe I was overthinking it. But again, maybe I wasn’t overthinking it. Social Media, whether we like it or not, is a part of life. And in that moment, I actually wanted social media to display this a single story in our lives. I wanted to show people that Vicki was the most important person—besides my parents—in my life. Because I was so concerned with how people viewed me and because I lacked confidence, lacked security, and lacked respect for myself

Vicki's present to me was a sleek and blue tie, a box set of mini colognes, and refreezable-ice-cubes. I think she called it the car salesperson kit. But I knew and still know she was trying to turn me into an honest and non-sketchy car salesman. And you know what, I was genuine, but I also couldn't retain any information about the cars features—to reiterate my Grandma has Alzheimer's, my mom writes down constant notes to remember everything, and I forget my journal almost every time I leave the house.

After Christmas I wore the tie to work a few times, but the mini colognes and ice-cubes never got used by me. They stayed in the trunk of my Toyota Avalon. I should have used the colognes and the ice-cubes, but I was too careless, too self-involved, and too ungrateful.

1

Back in the 90’s, when we were around 3 and 6 years old, Vicki and I shared the same room on the far left end of the hallway in our house. She had a small bed, and I had a bigger bed, obviously, because at 6 foot 1, I was a genetic freak for a Vietnamese guy. I read Harry Potter and Redwall like crazy growing up, and I would try to invent my own stories to entertain her. Every night she would listen to me tell my yarn, and it made me feel that my voice was significant and strong, even though many times I felt my voice was weak and soft, lacking in inflection, or intonation.

I had a speech impediment and I had to take classes at Canterbury Woods to fix my perceived problem. I wanted to fit in, blend in, and have friends.
Back then Vicki was not only my sister, but my best friend. She used to have short, black bangs; chubby cheeks, and a dot-sized nose—don't worry she didn't get ****** into the grocery tabloids and get rhinoplasty. She wore her red pajamas with a tank top over it, so she looked like a mini-red ranger, and her slippers
Dedicated to my baby sister, love you kid!
cd Nov 2012
i could memorize your phone number if i had to.  just in case i ever became bitter enough to delete it, i could remember that the numbers totaled six hundred and seventeen less than your favorite number and that the product of the first three numbers went an even fifty-six times into the product of the last four.  (did you know you and my cousin have the same area code?)  but technology has lifted the painful burden of those ten perfectly strung together digits off my shoulders.  with microchips in place of neurons, i don’t get to experience the fear of calling from memory but being one digit off and getting an old Spanish woman who sounds like she lives alone, or feel the relief of negative reinforcement as i dial your number to talk about my day and everything i learned, falling asleep to your distant breath all the while.  we don’t call one another, anymore, anyway, so it’s not like it matters.  still, i could memorize your phone number.  
i mean, if i had to.
mira Sep 2018
i. reward ten thousand dollars
it scares me to think you will drive me home one day, one night, one night when i am very drunk and the stars do not glisten because there are no stars left! i am sure of the reason:
upon being conceived you swallowed them all whole. this is not purposefully clandestine so much as misunderstood knowledge:
in our lifetime these celestial objects will be mistaken, much like a well-intentioned teratoma, for
cancer
countless times you will be plucked, yet unripe, from the fire that will as soon liquify your flesh and cleanse your soul

ii. wanted, dead or alive
psychosis is not a watershed.
it is an amalgamation of the bugs who have crawled up your legs and gorged themselves on your fruity blood before hibernating
it is a room of walls plastered with ******* of nauseating pale cadavers, of empty homes, of longing hands, of breast buds and tied legs and virginal lips and bare ***** and stained sheets
it was in you forever and there is nothing to blame but an imbalance, for
you are the duality of...girlhood.
you are soiled ******* and unkempt hair, abused plush dolls and sticky hands, infected wounds and sunburn sting, stale cereal and coloring pages
you are satin veils and vain slumber, tired tears and starving entrails, hesitant touch and static vhs, shrill laughter and breathy song
you are itchy bug bites. you are snow in my eyelashes.
you are a lissome angel pregnant, god bless you, with a fetal (fatal?) evil; perhaps my fear begins here, or perhaps it greets me when your aura bites my eyelids...alack!
it must be so. **** orange light suffuses my thin veins. the sun exudes apprehension and abruptly the car is totaled and
this is why you cannot drive me home. even when i have become quite inebriated:
it is not natural for the air to be so warm; only ere our galactic body closes her eyes.
surely you will **** me. you are no creature of the night. run me over; crush me between your toes; let my nectar grow trees in the cracks of this, our, every godforsaken town.

iii. have you seen me?
her neotenous thighs stick, like sap, to the concrete floor, water seeps beneath the cinderblock. dust collects between her fingers in which she clutches, with the brutality of youth, a softened - if garishly colored - carton of apple juice. four-o'clock sun pierces the thick glass window (if one will call it such) and she feels listless; rather than squint she pores over the illumination with intent that, in her unsuspecting naivete, she is not yet aware she holds. before she ***** in enough light to blind her she hears a voice that feels familiar:
come upstairs
soon enough it will be ruefully forgotten
soon enough she will realize she was bagged and thrown in the trunk
too late she will wish to exact her revenge
you are harder to reach but my love only grows
Bo Tansky Dec 2018
It was the coldest day of the year.
We welcomed the return of cooler weather,
Fellow followers of the southern sun.
Winter had almost begun.
Delicious cool breezes uplifted our spirits.
Inspired these awesome(?) lyrics
There was a luminescence to the light.
It sparkled with the dearest delight.
The days were shorter.
The nights' longer.
The seasons were changing.
Change was in the air..
Change was everywhere.

Southern change is slow and steady.
Unlike the north where one must always be ready
The mass migration from the north was still underway.
Hordes and hordes of high blood pressure,
Scoliosis afflicted octogenarians invaded our state.
We who bore the brunt of the brutal summers,
Felt like we belonged to a sunny exclusive club.
Entitled to space, the roads, the sunshine.  
Now we must share with the worst drivers of vehicular crime
Accidents galore.
Everywhere you go.
Someone overran the barricade,
Cars totaled
Cars mangled
Twisted and tangled
Cars flipped & chipped  
A road detours
In the land of the aged & mature
Mature, I say, only in age
Otherwise, it would be an absolute outrage.
And it is.

People meeting people in the most unfortunate way.
I tell you it tests your mettle,
It tests your patience,
It tests your good nature,
Not to mention the nomenclature
of your exclusivity.  
Better rethink civility.
Better rethink senility.
Better rethink livability
In the south
In the wintertime
  
Missing you had become a pastime of mine...
Seeing you and Robert in the coffee shop that day-
Delighted me.  
So that I completely forgot to order tea.
I knew I would see you soon,
As fate would have it.
Not being in the habit
Of that particular time
That particular coffee shop
That day,
Anyway
Unplanned as this was.
That is to say
Not planned in the usual way.
Did the afternoon gods align?
Should I take it as a sign
Or is it pure coincidence
I know you agree with the ladder
It doesn’t much matter
Coincidence and me don’t agree
Nothing is accidental
No, I’m not mental
If you agree with me.
I admit it’s a hard nut to swallow,
Unless you’re in the habit of swallowing hard nuts,
Which most, I think, are not
Although I’ve never actually inquired
For the usual reasons
Excuse the nut reference
If you have a hard nut allergy
In which case you should stay away  
It’s not a bad thing,
More hard nuts for the rascal squirrels,
No hard nuts for the hard nut adverse.
How nutty is this verse?

I digress
As you can see
My thoughts always take me back to thee
Thought I’d get a little fancy.
Back to the Day in question
Referenced by me in this digression
If I thought something interesting was about to unfold
Oh no, oh no
It was the same old, same old
After the polite amount of time
You picked up your phone
It was a sign
Business as usual
Or is it you hiding behind
Some kind of some kind  
I don’t know what
I such a nut
Stale coffee sits in the microwave
It pings its readiness
Forget my forgetfulness
One more round
The coffee’s cold
Like you
Still
I take it out
Drink it anyway
While I wait
Still
The coffee’s cold
And so are you
That’s all I have to say
And that’s why
Without thinking
I grabbed the phone that day
While you were busy texting
Hey, I wasn’t getting in the boxing ring
You knew that

Robert was rather overreactive
It was only me being me
I’ll meet your cold
And up the ante
Are you all in
Do I win
I was only playing, all along
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write me a love song
Two for her
One for me
I think you’ll agree
It’s quite unfair
And you want to be fair
Don’t you
This isn't optional
Even rational
Or actionable
*******
My phantom love
I get it.
Still
I’m missing you.
Do you miss me too?
Caroline Grace Oct 2011
Mid October takes its end of season's leap
into the solitude of post-tourism autumn.
The landscape shows its truer face to celebrate
the reassembly of local solidarity.

Tat and trim tucked into hibernation,
chalkboards erased,
scant takings totaled,
inflatables deflated.
Unsold crafts packed between pages of yesterday's
'Correio de Manha'
Shocked freezers stand open-mouthed
their diet of ice dwindled to a thin trickle.
Sunshades collapse in deep south style,
redundant loungers relax supine.

Kids ***** back to school -
a mule-train of shoe-scrapers packed to the hilt
dawdles through warming scents of
post-salad indulgence,
sweet with the street-aroma of 'feijoada',
garlic, and  aromatic oregano
***-grown in a back plot, littered with
discarded placards and tired bikes.

Past men leaning doors, unsure of new routines,
idle hands and minds with new time to fill
mostly in cold bars for warm camaraderie.
Women pick fitfully at quiet-season's crochet
squatting to gossip under a white wash
slung and pegged, stick-sure
against thin bleached facades.

Under Planes, old comrades congregate
shuffling at a make-shift table,
tired eyes set on cards,
playing for cents under a limited sky
once defined by Salazar.

Car parks thin.
Beneath the russet canopies street-sweepers
scorn a reckless wind, where still sun-crisp leaves
gather in gutters, thirstily anticipating
the first deluge under autumn's gathering clouds.




copyright © Caroline Grace 2011
Chuck Jan 2013
Dis is one dream that won’t be pleasant
I’m the master, you the peasant
Broken Ankles and Totaled Cars
Really!? More like Strange Dreams from weird bars
Guess it can’t be, Queens too young
In a club, hands w’d get tied, like your tongue
More like a wanna be princess, than a true Queen
You got weak poems like Death by Dopamine
Mo like, Death by Dope Poet, me!
Ya best run back to the Prayer Closest gurll
Time for a Waking up, I’m da King of the world
There are two things you can take
That your Unabridged Loc Bat and your Mistake
Show some Self-Control SISS
Gonna get your ******* in a great big twist
Your right about one thing, it’s My Fault
That you’re stumblin’ in the hundred, an I’m winin the vault
BOO HOO! Handle With Care
My rhymes nock your teeth out and pull your hair         (Not me, rhymes. No violence towards women!)
I Release my poems, to be a my ****
You’ll be reciting’ Memories of You, like a drug
You asked the question, What I May Lose
It aint up to you B, it’s for me to choose
You were So Close, you could almost taste it
In stepped the King, now your poems aint worth sh…..

Yo Yo! Listen up all you shawtys
Ya steppin’ to the Kng, you must b chugging foties
Take a herd of ya’ll to get in my face
Talken to you, Somethin’ and Madison Grace
This is the toughest challenge you’ll ever face
Betta  get fifty of ya all pseudo poets
Cuz you’re the what?
And I’m the KNOW IT!!!!!!!
HAHAHAHAHA! Don't take this seriously! Fun with poetry not ment to offend. Something is in on this. Much love and respect to all poets and rappers.

Please read the Gangsta poem By Somethingweknewwasous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tis is a retort to her retort to my original Gansta Poet.
Dilectus Oct 2013
every word you said
made me feel guilting for thinking
i  should  have  crashed  the  car  harder
i  should  have  made  it  *hurt.
between the hat and boots
an old man stands
withered and totaled
with every breath taken
another months rent paid
and every time I blink
another decade passes by

but with each passing year
another candle stands
as the cake burns brighter
in the age of my doing
than the year before

while others await the
next coming attraction

while others rage
and never move on

while others drink
poison and wait

while others hold onto
an extreme admiration
for the total of their deeds

while others are out
walking and mingling
down the streets
and celebrating
their stupid existence

my piano tongue will
cope with the bottle
and write poetry
like taking a ****
it exits my body
and the weight
had being lifted,
but one is excrement
and the other is soul,
essentially the same thing
pending who you are
or who you were

and my two best friends,
loneliness and emptiness
will put on party hats
make some noise and
sing songs for me
under drooping streamers
where the living remain
physically present and
absent minded
once again.
It’s my birthday today
brandon nagley Apr 2016
Over a month, or a little more,
Maybe two, or just before;
At mine last métier,
Working at the
Dollar store.
I kept on seeing
The vatic harbinger's
In tax form; thirty-one
And thirteen. The register
Wouldst with none other
Sign to me read. For one day
After earning mine wages, I told
Mine mother of these prognostic gazes.
In fret, and distress, I kneweth these symbol's
Hadst to do with mother and father, twas mine guess.
In mine soul, God gaveth me sigil's, in the appearance of extra-change; O' how mighty God is, powerful, unchanged. Just a few twenty-four hour's ago, on the thirty-first of  March, mine father went to the restroom in anguish; Lip's parched. Panic hit ourn abode, mother ran to father's side, I was in the living room as mine father walked out-tears in eye's. He was holding his chest, as if a stone rolled on his beating heart, his face crimson red, he was stumbling toward's death's spark. Mother grabbed the phone, I went into dismay, I ran to grab the aspirin's, and started praying in mine mind silently. Popping the bottles top, fortunately knowing what to do, Sat father down on the couch, mother talking to medics to. I told him in force, " chew these pills right now, making him drink water, to get those orange thing's down. I couldst seeith quietus coming from his heavied breath, I held his hand as If that day was the last dance, with mine father's paining chest. The two emergency medical technician's, crossed into ourn door, there bag's in hand's with oxygen tank's; machines and much more. As the emt's were keeping mine father conscious, I took mine mother by the arm, I took her into the bedroom-closed the door in silent charm. I whispered to mother quickly, " Come on were praying NOW", we bowed ourn head's on the side of the bed, asking God though faith in Christ, " Lord please hath mercy and saveth Ron now. After a few questions from the emt's, I went down to the ambulance with father, as whilst mine dad was dying, he to the ambulance men preached. I laughed and smiled, as dad was telling those fine men how to be saved; Mine father spoke of Yeshua, even whilst his heart beat in rage. Mother followed behind the ambulance, I was sitting inside with dad, knowing all wouldst be alright, for the Lord and Savior was on ourn side that day, and for all coming night's. We got to the hospital, doctor's gaveth dad some tests, A miracle happened; no damage to his beater, no issues with his chest. As after dad was taken for x-rays to a darkly picture room, I looked at mother left alone with me, and it hit me with prophetic swoon. I thought about the number's thirty-one and thirteen, as I kept on seeing them in tax form, I kneweth it was about mine father or mother both, as crazy as it mayest seem. Though Yahweh giveth signs; vision's, or by death, symbols and dream's. As water started flowing in that room, left alone with mother, I cried out to her, as we stared upon another. I told mine mother "GOD SHOWED ME ALL ALONG", mine father's day of birth, was the thirteenth back way long. His heart attack was the thirty-first thus both signs matching the story, thirteen God showed me his birth, and thirty first was when this happened, a harbinger in timely warning. Though the story doth not end there, verily more to it, father hadst a dream a month ago, that I did not tell. Mine father sawest mine grandfather Nagley, who died when I was only five, from tumors throughout his body, cancer the way he died. Grandpa Nagley warned mine father a month in advance, of mine father's coming soon shaking, mine father didst not remember the word's from grandpa's mouth in the dream, though now we knoweth it was truth on string's. And one day before mine dad's happening as well, mine dad dreamt three dream's in a row, three; the number of the father son and holy spirit, the Trinity in God's mode. Dad hadst dreamt three dream's right before what took place, dad saidst he saweth me whispering " there's two men at the door, wake up. He sawest the two men come in, the end of his dream. The two men that first walked in to help saveth his life, were those two emt's. ...........


©Brandon Nagley
©Lonesome poet's poetry
©dedication to father Ron Nagley..... Thank God your alive dad love you.... As angels were once again protecting you, as God answered me and mothers prayer... And God's giving mine father a warning sign to come back to him.... As if we turn away from God he gives signs for us to come back to him....and it's truth and reality!!! Though what a loving merciful God you are!!! This even isn't the end of the story. Found out 31 had to do with my mother .. Kept seeing 31 and 13 at work. On cash register... Lol. Well mine mother just got into a car accident Jane knows about now I told her. Mother made it home safe. Totaled her vehicle. So this happened all literally two days apart from each other... Both numbers God kept showing me and I kept telling Jane, Jane these numbers are bothering me because I know they have to do with parents!! And yes!!! They did! God warned me!!! 31 July 31st mothers b day. August 13. Dads b day both matching signs God gave me!!! God wants mother and father to come back to him. I'm his vessel he's using to reach parents. And for me to come back fully!!! An amen to God alot!!!
métier- job, occupation...
Vatic- describing or predicting what will happen in the future....(archaic word)
Harbinger- a forerunner of something, ( warning)....
Wouldst- would.
prognostic- archaic, an advance indication or portent of a future event.
Twas- it was....
Sigil- sign or symbol- archaic word...
Joseph Childress May 2014
I love
You
Don’t care

In-diff-er-ent
Isn't paid
Much attention
In my apartment
We’ll
End-if-her-rent
Isn’t paid
In our
Department
But who cares?

Separation
Doesn't
Always cause pain
And pain
Isn't always
The cause
Of separation

We just
Happened
To drift away
Like
Messages in a bottle
Off the coast
With no intent
Of being found
Our lonely islands
Are crowded
With shadows
Of friends

We forget the darkness
Because at least
We no longer
Burn each other
With our angst
And anger

We remember
Everything
Except rations
Of ourselves
We left
Like t-shirts
And underwear
Tangled
In each others
Laundry

Then throw
Them away
Find them
Another day
in the exact same place
We excavated them
The returnment
Of our undesirables
Show fate’s
Sense of humor
But
Only a stubbornness
Such as ours
Could devour fate
And disavow
The vows
It set out
To make...

We
Will
Never
Be
Again
Never
Again
Will
We
Be

Sums
Up the sum
Of each halves
And the total
Is something
The totaled
Hearts
Can live with...
SøułSurvivør May 2017
With holes in pockets
Can we buy?
Gain truth from
The lips that lie?
Without ever asking
Why?

Is guidance in
A folded map?
Wealth within
Bottle cap?
Does fine champagne
Come on tap?

Does knowledge come
From books fast closed?
Water from a frozen hose?

Motion from a
Locked up gear?
Faith from gurus
Full of fear?

Can oil flow
From stoppered jars?
Travel made in totaled cars?
Peace be won from
World War?

Calculating sums from nil
For naught we pay
Usurious bills
No winning wars where
ALL are killed

The wind listeth
              where it will...


We beard the lion
In his lair
Close the pane

To breathe the air.


SøułSurvivør
5/23/2017
It's 2:20am... was reading
And this poem started to
Percolate. Now I pour it out
Kirsten Lovely Jan 2014
Streets as hot as metal
Where bodies turn to ice
Bullets litter cracked sidewalks
That broke the sad stoplights.
Laughs flood through the fences
With shattered slides and dreams
The man passed by this every day
With feelings that tested seams.
Every day, the same old thing
Drugs erupting from the bricks
Graffiti covering an old cafe
Crime makes this city tick.
Another young kid crying
For he hasn't got a home
Another car's been totaled
The wrath road rage has shown.
Another playground built again
Trying to make the town look clean
He can't ignore the orange jumpsuits
That stick around to plant some trees.
Blood stains here and flowers there
Take a stroll down Contrast Street
Ignoring grimy street vendors
Cause he's heard they've got the creeps.
Another gun shot in the air
Another cry for help
Another pretty restaurant
And people trying to convince themselves.
That maybe it's not happening
Someone will come along who cares
Someone else, take care of that!
Me? No, don't you even dare.
So I guess this can just keep happening
These walking contradictories
You're defeating your own purpose
We're losing, don't you see?
Ethan Solouki Aug 2014
Sometimes
I still think of you.
Most times
You're here in with me.
Head or heart
In both, sometimes apart
..Forever the heart.

I wish I could just say 'hi'
And tell you
That at times I go back,
Reminiscing on you and I.
I need to tell you
That when I said that "I will love you..
Always, no matter what"
That I really meant it,
Standing the test of time.

I wanted to tell you that if you still really feel
Everything I feel..
Then I must to apologize for all the Agony.
The negative emotions,
The way I look but don't see.
And all of the too many thoughts I still have.
The fears & Energy...
I hope they're far from you my dear.

**** I still love you.
**** it hurts so bad.

I fear crashing into you,
For my heart will be totaled.
I can't know
If you're happy or sad,
Both would be equally bad.
I can't see your skin,
The freckles running down your arm.
I wouldn't be able to look
Into your eyes
See your soft thighs,
My insides would just stop working, die.

I fear you having negative
or false thoughts towards me,
Thinking that I moved on.
I'm so afraid that you're still hurting,
Like I'm hurting.
There is no one,
no where to move past you.
I need you to know that
You are still my number one,
Forever.
I changed with you,
You became a piece of my soul
Which I could never erase,
I wouldn't want to.

Please know
I'm still here,
Thinking you're beautiful
Even though I've seen your ugly.
Precious girl,
I wish I could tend to you
When you're down.
I wish I could see you up..
Smiling,
But I really can't.

If you thought differently,
I need you to know,
It was you,
It was me.

How silly,
I still care for you..
More than anyone.
My blood, it's you,
My sight, it's you.
My vision of  Love,
It will remain..
You.

Even if you have moved on
I need you to know that
I still am deeply in love with you.
Not rivers deep,
And not oceans deep.
Not even galaxies deep,
Or the universe deep.

It's black hole deep,
Only we know what's in
That black hole.
Nothing can or will ever compare.

Please know.
For the ones I loved but lost.
Arianna Darshani Sep 2015
I'm here to spread the news that.
Despite its bad reputation with people
Back surgery works like a charm.

When I was 23, I injured my back lifting weights
I began to have chronic back pain
I researched what was the best thing for back pain
And yoga came to the top

At age 28, I began 8 years of yoga
That I practiced every day
My back pain was reduced until my age of 35

When yoga eventually failed
I moved in to physical therapy
That worked into my late 40s

I was rear ended in a car accident,
With the car entirely totaled.

That was the beginning of the end.

Nothing "alternative" worked anymore
I felt like there were razorblades in my groin

I would fall for no apparent reason
And then could not stand back up
I went to my doctor about it
He said if I got a MRI, that surgery would be the next step
Since surgery has such a bad reputation
I skipped the MRI

I was riding horses at the time
One day, I went to get a horse in the pasture
I kept falling and could not stand
I thought it was due to the mud.
I had to crawl through the mud and horse ****
To get back to the barn.

I thought once I was on concrete
That I could stand
But I couldn't
The stable manager helped me
To the office.
I rested for half and hour
And then drove home.

We were watching TV
In our downstairs family room
I went to go upstairs
And in the middle of the stairs
My legs stopped working

We drove to the ER
I had an emergency MRI
It showed that my disc was entirely extruded
And surrounding my spinal cord.

I went for emergency back surgery.
The procedure was called a microdiscectomy
They just took the gel
Away from my spinal cord
And within 2 hours of surgery
I could walk again.
I noted how easy it was to walk.

After a few weeks of just weird stuff
Like lightning bolts down my legs,
My back entirely healed Within 6 weeks
And that was the end of 27 years
Of back pain.

I often tell young people that
I had an extruded disc that
Was older than they are!!

It's been 5 years now and my back is cured.
If back surgery did not have
Such a bad reputation,
I could have saved myself a lot of pain

Microdiscectomy has a 95% cure for referred pain
In my case, it had a 30% cure rate for back pain
I am in the lucky 30%

Back surgery does work
And every year
There are more advances.

I went to my surgeon
And gave him a present
And a big hug of thanks.

Spread the word!
Careena May 2014
It sounds so silly to be crying over this piece of something
But this piece of something was our everything
You choked back tears and told me there will always be the memories
But I looked around inside our place and was filled with nostalgia
"This is the last time I'll be in here," I thought
The thought made my eyes well up with tears, and I started to blink rapidly
No one could possibly understand how much it means
That rusted piece of metal that we drove around in was where it all started
Where we started

It all started in track, where the throwers hung out in your van
Awaiting practice, just killing time together, listening to music
It was a home, our haven, in some silly way, just for a little while
It was the **** of all the jokes, not some Porsche by any means
But there was something about it's feel that made it unique

After track, it was post prom, that I was there with you
Falling asleep at five in the morning, listening to the radio
With your hand on my knee, something just felt right
When we got back to my house, I thought you tried to kiss me, but I hugged you instead because I wasn't ready
You drove away listening to the song "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
And you still tells me that you knew it was a sign

As the school days wearied down, we grew together
Longer days, shorter nights, and warmer weather
We started to see each other more and more
You always wanted to drive me home, pick me up
Just to spend more time together
You lived for that in-between time in the car
Driving around with you just always felt right

At graduation he was there too, we named him, you see
JFE for his license plate, but we pronounce it Jeffie
I watched you walk across the stand, receiving your diploma
And after we walked back to him, because you had something for me
Which wasn't how I thought graduation worked
But nonetheless you asked me to go get a toolbox from him trunk
To help you with some nameless task
So I opened it, expecting a wrench, but I was met with wrapping paper instead
In it was a card saying that you knew that I was hurt, but you were trying your best to show that your feelings were honest
And in the box were webcams to help us make it through the upcoming summer apart

He was there those first two weeks of summer
I bet we totaled a thousand miles
Going back and forth from place to place
Just spending all the time we could before you had to go
Those beautiful weeks, the best of my life
We stayed out until two a.m.  in my front yard, just talking in the front seats
I always came inside expecting a lecture on the time of night and the worries my mother had
But, I really didn't care
I spent every single day with you before you left
I wanted to make the most of a bad situation
Because it was planned before we happened

He was there that day you told me of your love
Like it was something that had to be said, it was already seen
You confessed you would miss me because of your feelings
That encompassed your life
It took me two weeks to return it
Not out of lack of it, but because I wanted to be absolutely positive it was love
Now, there is no doubt, but then I was a little shook up
And when I said it, we were standing right next to him
His chipped maroon exterior, with power windows that seldom rolled up, and his creaky sliding doors
I have since said those three words a million times in his vicinity

He was there when he left, after the beautiful time
We were so unhappy to be separating, it was unbearable
But he always brought you straight back home to me
I would look out for him everywhere I went in case you were back in town again
Waiting for the rumble of his engine from the bottom of the hill
Then I knew you were home again


Since you have come home to stay, he has been there for all of our countless days
For all the good and bad ones together
He has seen us shine and diminish, but he has always been the place
If we needed to talk, you would just turn the key off and park somewhere to resolve it
While driving in him, we have told countless stories and memories
We became best friends and fell in love there

He was there for all the memories
The ones that cannot be bought or sold
Even though he was named with a price
In my mind, he is priceless
A treasure
One of a kind
Even though he was made on a factory line of thousands
*Just like him
For Someone Special. Because we were both holding back tears tonight because he is being sold.
GABRIELLE Aug 2016
Let our feelings submerge
Into the deepest ocean
Into the deepest hole
Let it go
Like a corpse
Being cremated
Burn it to ashes
Bury it in the deepest part of earth

Make it
JUST a memory
Make it
JUST a part of the past
Write it in history
A tragic story
Of our
Done ‘always’
Sillo Anderson Mar 2019
Freedom comes not for free
Fetching heavy the fee
As poverty brings comfort a warning
Totaled by tears,
And
Roots please shamelessly
Bringing forth belongings to thee.
Jude kyrie Oct 2015
She kept a list of her lovers
in her desk drawer
the one that locked.
The one that held her secrets.

The list totaled seventeen.
Not bad she rationalised.
For a forty year old woman
divorced for three years.

she had watched tv dramas
women in her position
had barhopped to fifty lovers
in a year.
but not her.

They ranged from
lovers she needed
lovers she wanted
to lovers who
could not pass from
one night to the other.

But the new neighbor
was different.
he had a daughter
twelve or so.
She had dropped a bag
of groceries the
eggs splatterered
he held her close
saying shushhh honey
its ok.
kissing her hair
Keeping her safe
and comforted.

Her ex never did that.
An hour later he appeared
with two more
bags of grocery.

That night She felt him watching
her slip into her pool.
She felt his eyes on her.
He appeared with
a bottle of wine.
Can I join you he asked?
As he took his clothes off
and sat in the pool.
Only if you dont take this
the wrong way she smiled.

He slipped naked
in the blue water.
He looked fit and tanned.
As he slipped out of the water
he looked into her eyes
and said you have
beautiful breast.

Blushing she closed her robe.
Do you get lonely he asked.?
Yes sometimes.
I do too he whispered.
Are you lonely now
Yes she said.

three years later

They laughed as
their little baby girl
joined the other children
in the pool.

Swimming for the first time
her new baby laughed.
She looked at him holding
the child so safe,
He was so safe so warm.
So much what she needed.

He reached for her hand.
she felt his solid grip.
I love you my sweetheart
he said.
she smiled
and said back
not as much as I love you honey.

As he picked up their litte girl
she joined in
I love you too
daddy she whispered.

As a tear of joy
flowed softly
down her face.
B Berres Oct 2012
The room paused
Inhaling before a sneeze
Undo the manipulation
The world has little use for another
Inattentive
Bias
Ill-informed
Over opinionated
Individual
Watch well after they remove your plank
For a sight to behold is on the horizon
Unclog ears waxed over with idleness
Wash any obstacle so it may shine
Stand
High
Speak
Slowly
Deliberately choose
Know when enough has been reached
Losses will be totaled when the world has no comment
Tongues held out of respect and not practice.
Science will paint a peaceful picture of another collective that refused to coexist
Somebody knows
Somebody always knows
It’s a matter of asking the right questions
ERR Nov 2010
Life stories are the purest form of expression
They are your interpretation of your existence
Your lens; your skewed perspective of the world
No one can take your memories from you
You can only choose to share them
I choose to collect them
Recently I came across a hurting man
Howling about lost possessions, wrapped in material mourning
Thirty years of age half his life spent in a cage
He carried the marks of his imprisonment on his neck and torso
Symbolic scribbling coupled with raised traces of injury and survival
The beauty of his anecdotal being represented
He showed me a photograph, a gorgeous girl of nine
He fought for the privilege to make her acquaintance
Her face he wore on his heart, where she dwelled
“Daddy’s Little Girl”
For thirty brief years these eyes had seen much
A walking burden, society had no vacancy nor sympathy
Money made from paving, though once upon a time
This figure provided every intoxicant imaginable
We bonded over mutual encounters with death
He narrated a story where seven men made an attempt to end him
They beat him repeatedly, punished him publicly
Like Jesus
His arm broke cleanly from a bat, but the seven hadn’t finished
They ran a van straight for this man attempting paralysis
He moved at a critical moment
This driver he later met
Alone, metallic tool of death in hand and vengeance flaring
He returned the favor, blasted the knee of the newly handicapped
Half joking, I asked if he had ever been apprehended
Half joking, he replied no and searched me for a wire
Next, he shared another instance where he should have left us
Riding a motorcycle over a hundred miles per hour
Carelessly on a quiet stretch of road, headed for fateful arbor
He ejected himself; the new bike totaled his helmet scarred
His hand shattered and held by screws like mine
In his words I saw myself
Despite his fortune at enduring such a wreckage relatively unharmed
He lamented his survival at the expense of prized possession
This criminal on the brink with Italian flag in ink
One who never learned to appreciate
Small, thin, bald and distinguished by goatee
Upset over the misplacement of a baseball cap
He made my friend aware of her beauty, assured her he was unworthy
I shook his hand and promised never to forget
Here he lies immortalized
jennifer wayland May 2014
a month ago, i got in a car accident that totaled my car.
i was making a left turn at a stoplight
and the driver of an suv was paying no attention to her red light.
she barreled into the front end of my car at full speed before i even saw her coming,
and then everything was shattered glass and metal colliding and screeching tires
and suddenly my airbags were puffed out like sinister clouds and my engine sounded like a death rattle.
when i opened the door to get out, the hinges grated like a scream.

but i wasn’t hurt.
i cried for six hours that day but i went to school the next one.
everything was fine.

it's just that since then, everything in my life resembles a car crash.

i smelled burning for weeks.
i still blink and see spiderweb patterns of broken glass.
i cried for two hours when i realized i lost the cd i made
just so i could listen to my favorite songs in the car.
when i hear the song that was playing, i have to turn it off.

my father picked up the shrapnel still on the street a week later
and gave me my charred, crumpled, unreadable gravestone of a front license plate.
he straightened it out and put it on my new car when we got it.

i broke up with my boyfriend three weeks ago
and as i left i heard sirens from inside his house.
the day after that, i was talking to another boy
and his promises sounded like ambulances with no paramedics on board.

last week there was a fatal car accident half a mile from my house
and i couldn't breathe for the rest of the day after i heard.

i have to turn left at the stoplight where my own accident happened every day
and when i turn i clench my fists around the steering wheel
like it wants to tear itself out of my hands and maybe it does.

i still check left and right and left and right during turns
even when someone else is driving.

call all of this a reaction to trauma,
but honestly i don't know what's wrong with me.

all i know is i cried with frustration, immature, pathetic,
when my mother and my father couldn't find a new car.
all i know is i grieved for my ford focus
like it was my only friend in the world.
all i know is i keep talking about this accident
even though i’m even getting annoyed by myself
and my fingers on the keyboard sound just like the policeman's as he wrote up the report
as i perched on a plastic backseat, shaking, face covered with tear tracks,
waiting, alone, for my father to arrive so i didn't have to be an adult,
waiting, alone, for an explanation of why this happened to me.

all i know is everything in my life resembles a car crash,
and there are sirens in the distance,
and i'm still waiting for the smoke to clear.
performed at poetry slam 4/25/14
When you love someone,
it isn't always pretty.
Sometimes it's two people, full
speed ahead and once the wreckage is left,
You can say "I loved this hard."
I still look at our wreckage and
think of all who were involved.
You think there were no casualties,
no victims but yourself.
I was a casualty and all the victims and bystanders
of my love for you
would call me crazy for picking at the shattered glass windows.
The car is totaled.
There is absolutely no chance of it running again,
and like a fool,
I think sitting in front of the wheel
is gonna make it run again.
Anonymous Jun 2014
I buried all my pain in a 40oz bottle
My mother had once asked me if I was an alcoholic
She found endless bottles beneath the crevice of my bed
It looked like the valley of the shadow of death;
A grave yard of bottles that had been drunk’ to the last drop-
She lined every one across my desk; pleading for some answers
Her eyes were solemn and filled with grief
She must have looked like she aged about 20 years in that moment,
I saw her wrinkles were pained with disappointment
Tears escaped her eyes, I was lost to her.

She walked into my room to watch me sleep for a few minutes and say goodnight,
I was wearing a sweatshirt; only it wasn’t me
It was stuffed with blankets and pillows.
I was in the closet, I felt her disappointed sadden breaths as she peered in at her little girl
She had no idea I was leaving; I left the moment her bedside light when out.
Somewhere there was still a broken little girl who buried her pain in liquor and drugs
When the phone rang during the dead silence of the night she wondered if her little girl would be gone forever
She struck a blow to my sisters face; She had never been faced with a situation like this before
Her first instinct was to blame her for the loss of breath that would not will itself out of my lungs
Her eyes peered in at her little girl;
But this time it wasn’t from her bedroom door-
It was through her blurred vision standing outside an ambulance.
When a pulse was found my mouth began to foam and my chest heaved in spasmodic compulsions
It took me two days to recover; my mother didn’t leave my side.
She must have instantly grown grey hair the second she laid her eyes on my lifeless body

When I went away to Africa she found my drugs, she flushed them down the toilet
Wishing she could flush away all my bad habits
She must have sat in my room and cried numerous times that summer
Her little girl was still lost, even more than she could have imagined.
She didn’t know what to do, so she did what she could-
So she replaced my drugs with bible verses that had been burned into the back of my skull since I was a kid
I came home that summer to open arms, still full of love
But this time it looked as if she must have aged another decade
I walked into a perfectly clean room;
It must have taken days for her to clean.
She didn’t miss a single spot, my drugs we’re completely gone
And I felt pieces of my heart slip away,
I wondered how I could burden the woman who brought me into this world I wonder if she felt all hope was gone

She asked me if I was an alcoholic again
When she found new liquor bottles stuffed between my clothes
And the 24 pack of beer in the far corner of my closet
This time I left; I didn’t come back
She cried and tired to rip my bag from my hands
But the disappointment of her stare burdened me to no extent.
Her little girl was slowly slipping through her fingers.
When I finally came home she still welcomed me with open arms
She embraced me as if I was the prodigal son who had finally returned She didn’t realize I was still lost-

I told her I was going to my best fiends house
We went to Santa Cruz instead;
I was hyped up on coffee, and would soon be so drunk I couldn’t walk
My mom got another call that night; Her daughter had been in a car accident, it was bad-
The entire car was totaled on one of the busiest highways
I looked to the side and a semi was coming full on
I thought I was going to die;
I prayed that God would give my mother some peace about me
That he would somehow get her through the death of her child that has been long coming;
But I didn’t die, because some part of God’s plan wasn’t over
The semi hit us, our car was slightly underneath it;
Death stared at me inches from my face
Yet all I had was a few broken ribs and a scratch that ran along my forehead
I wonder how much older my mother looked then.
I was still lost, did she wonder if there was any hope of bringing her little girl home?

My mother discusses books with me now;
She hardly brings up my past
I can still see disappointment in her eyes
But she somehow looks younger Because her little girl finally came home-
Because even though her nerves want to wake her up at 3am wondering where I am, they don’t
It sounds like quite the story, but imagine reading it through her eyes.

— The End —