all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio.
i want to remember
the rumbling piano baritones
high notes like hailstones--your hands
running soundless scales.
i want the summer seas
the vineyard overlook, the olive
trees and sunwarmed coasts.
we filled the empty pages
with whole notes and halftones,
oceans and lovesongs.
we lived, we live
inkstained and drowning
through nights thick with words
and days shot with sound.
pyrite girlNote: Pretty please listen to the audio version for the full effect.
you noticed things
little things that came sneaking slyly in
smiling crooked like good children
with bad deeds freshly done.
of course you loved her all the same,
your little lighthouse among the tendrils of east coast fog
she tasted like mineral water
and you lived in soft, sweet depression
gazing out at a broken world from a tenth-story window
and breathing in the cigarette smoke.
your little pyrite girl
bright eyed and dark mouthed
a tiny dirty moon, dragged through the gray city snowmelt
and left to dry in the glare of rooftop suns
"who would live here?"--
musings from the tenth floor
and you knew the answer.
broken cities feed on broken souls
and even they need angels.
the song of a roamerAnd darling, I've been gone for a long, long time. Your eyes
are still that steely gunpowder blue, but your hair has grown long,
and there's a softer curve to your waist
and freckles on your shoulder I don't remember,
and I think,
What have I missed?
You tell me about the weddings
the divorces. You tell me
about the babies
and the losses, and how last year
your dog died--easy, in his sleep--
and there is a hollow lack in you,
a space reserved for things that won't come back.
Long ago, was there a space like that
When did it collapse--when did it
fold in on itself
under the weight of things that matter more?
I tell you about Cambodia. I paint
the jungles for you, breathe the crushing wet heat
of it into your lungs. I tell you
about the kids in Africa
and how the heat is different there--
belligerent and fierce.
I tell you how much you would have liked Barbados,
and how much you would have hated Rome.
And I remember all the things I
can't tell you--all the things I don't hav
SmokeYou smoked, and everyone hated that. The cigarette would hang loose between your knuckles, tendrils of smoke mimicking the tracery of veins and tendons that stood out along the back of your hand. You could do the most graceful French inhales, and sometimes you'd lean in close and grab me and kiss me, blowing warm smoke into my mouth. The scent would always cling to meI'd drag it back home with me and there would always be a fight over it.
You were sparrowlike, all taut pale skin and prominent bones. Your hipbones jutted slightlysharp elbows, sharp knees, a sharp jaw softened by cornsilk hair. When I ran my fingers down your back I could always feel every vertebra in your spine, a steel column anchoring you down. More smoke. More fights at home. You never belonged here and never would.
Lay back. Relax. Anythinganything you want. I'd close my eyes and forget to breathe because I knew you weren't mine. If anything, I was yours, a toy that trembled and kissed back.
The FountainThere were sixteen tall windows. She'd counted them over and over when she was small, her chubby finger outstretched as she spun in tiny circles. Eight walls, sixteen windows, thirty-two black curtainsthe arithmetic of her childhood.
"Eight window seats, Daddy. Eight buttons on eachsixty-four. I counted."
The fountain stood dry and dead-center in the middle of the black and white tiles. Eight sides, eight lion-mouth spouts. Sixteen limestone mermaids poised gracefully around the edge. Four thousand and ninety-six blue tiles. Five hundred and twelve white.
And two doors. Always the two doors, huge and solid and radiating a sense of looming disdain. The rough oak had bitten her hands and it bit them now, when she pressed her palms against it. The doors eased open like wings outstretching, coming to rest against stone doorstops.
Her boots clicked against the marble flooring as she advanced, each click reverberating through the silent room. A mute ghost of a man stood in
let's start a fire“Can I get you anything?”
She shifts, splaying herself along his couch that is quietly becoming hers.
the empty glass on the back of his hand. “A drink?”
“Yes, please.” A luxuriant stretch. She watches his pupils drag all the way down the curve of her hip before continuing.
“I’d like a glass of Kafka—distilled, mixed with
dark rum and a splash of Dostoyevsky—poured
so sweetly down my throat and
chased with a lungful of smoky Fitzgerald.
“I wasn’t aware this was a book club.” He pours a soda before joining her, taking
a biting sip in the half light.
“There are too many book clubs,” she says, hooking her legs over his.
“Too many streetcorner ladies and their lace-veiled
threats over coffee and New York Times bestsellers.”
She harbors a
derision for New York Times bestsel
A Love Story in Four Actsi.
I loved a blacksmith once, back when the sand still clogged up my soul. It was only far after that I began to love the desert too.
Underneath the casual noise--glass on wood, heat-smothered conversation, worn cards slapped down in careful triumph--there was this low, thrumming quiet that wouldn't be broken. He spoke in sepia undertones. "We're getting out."
Hot iron smells like hot blood, like blood that's been poured out under the white Arizona sun. It's something you don't forget easy, like the taste of whiskey or the plasma patterns left on your eyelids after watching fire all night. It sticks.
My childhood was fed on medical books, and I've got this pain right behind my eyes and I wonder if this is what it feels like being lobotomized. Of course the brain has no nerve endings, but the hurt has to manifest itself somewhere.
ode to the summer i never hadit's june and with whiplash rapidity you rule the asphalt
the cars make way for your sunwarmed ego
this town is yours and only the loudest of bars are fit retreats,
habitats for racing hearts and wildly pulsing souls
you wander through 3am streetlight glow
until you are lost and found again
and when the chill has finally seeped into overbaked concrete
you are spiked
alcoholized by cicadas and heathaze
on the fourth of july, lazy-eyed,
you watch as well-meant flames expand
singing meat and misplaced self-worth beyond repair
and when the fireworks begin you think
that's how I'll go.
you will not crash and burn
you will expand and supernova
your glowing embers scattering among the awed applause
because there is something beautiful in destruction
and you will inject yourself into their collective consciousness
and reappear whenever their eyes close
august finds you soaring
a supersonic stellar firefly
sailing up while time rushes down and when the countdown stops
.:Sweet Everythings Two:.
jumping at the light, consumed, by enigmaticsmile
#723, by holyolyoly
I read and adored this so long ago,
and just found it again.
The Gold Watch, by Ja-mes
It starts with a bang and a snap
and pulls you along
for a breakneck ride.
sunshine streaming, by forestmeetwildfire
Soft and sweet
fifty shades of blackout, by flawedfairytale
Beauty from the ashes, perhaps?
Date a girl who draws, by Enn-Chan
There's so much heart here.
Tips for the Messy Writer, by LiliWrites
Messy writers unite.
A Portrait of Suburbia, by sydnerella
"Deb has a big gaping hole in her f
Vulgar WordsShe is worried about
sex and love
and qualities of the mind
while he is busy
We have seen this all before.
Now listen here:
Poems like this
would be best if
they were honest
His children would
rush to the door like puppies
when he came home exhausted.
Her husband would
just to surprise her.
Orange juice and eggs are
and twice as delicious.
But instead, they are
Even in each other, alone.
Searching for meaning
in a seedy motel room
that smells like cum.
Still, it is poetic,
the way lower case letters are,
the way vagueness can be, like odd
punctuation is sometimes poetic
and using old English
is poetic; hell,
trying to be deep
ConversationAnd I've been telling you, you know, how heavy the sun feels and how it makes my muscles jump like a bird's wings as it flutters gently down on a windowsill. I still have those glass bottles on my mantle where the morning light hits themstill there, full of colored water and seashells. And maybe I'll tell you how they light up the ceiling in blue and green and pale yellow just like they always have, like nothing ever changed.
I smell you on the sea air, sometimes, when it rushes in past the thin white curtains you helped me hang. They still bounce with every gust like exuberant dogs. And I've been telling you how the salt has most assuredly worked its way into my marrow now, and maybe if someone were to put me in a pie they'd find it too brackish for their taste. And then I wonder just how much you taste like the sea.
The ocean beats my heart for me nowadays. Even inside, even at night, I can feel each breaker rumbling through my sternum and radiating along my ribs. And I've been
turning over bucketsperhaps it isn't beautiful,
lying halfway underwater;
pouring your palladium hopes
down your hands
looking full of shale and broken glass
half lighting whiskey-paper on fire
with that sun tossing in your chest
and all of you rattling
in this thin-skinned pineapple percussion,
the things you're so very sure of, sweltering under
callouses, under sea-
a kaleidoscopic mass of stinging cider-riviera
twisting into your human frame;
but when i say something of protests
you break in,
with too many pinecones waking in your chest, saying,
how lucky how
lucky we are
to be alive to be
mothsthey tell me I'll never make a catch
[a catch--whatever the hell
with the tongue I've got and its tendencies and
the tastes it's partial to
since when have they ever known a thing about me?
the drinking's just an excuse
it's always been
a way to let them down easy when they wonder about
the types of human moths my cigarette attracts
and I just don't have the heart to level with them
tell them that those human moths happen to be my preferred company
even with all their imperfections
and rough edges like knives gone too long without sharpening
not sterile scalpels sorted in wolfish order
for the display case.
and I've always had a sailor's lexicon
there are some kinds of beautiful that can only be expressed in expletives
because they go down like whiskey and light you up
from the inside out
and damned if you can keep a polite tongue in the middle of that kind of onslaught.
Moon Eye Fire Eye Sit
he says to me, and I sit and feel very small.
Let me tell you,
he says to me,
how it happened.
The creek dried up that summer and
the crops gave their last shiver
and bent down to the earth. And at night
you could hear the leaves crawling down the creekbed
like goddamn spiders along the rocks.
His face is half winter
pale and sparked with a milky eye like a moon
and half raw summer, twisted and scorched
with a flame eye that streams and shines in the firelight.
The ghosts came that summer,
he says to me, stirring the fire.
The ghosts came and whispered to her
that she was dying
until she believed them.
He is quiet.
PilkunnussijaHere's what I think:
There's a certain joy in not doing this face-to-face. For one, I don't have to leave my apartment and I have the quiet company of my goldfish and my goldfish alone. (I don't like people, which is why I love books. You can understand that.) For another, I don't have to see your presumably crestfallen and injured attitude when I tear apart the prose you cried and bled and sweated over for weary nights on end. But really the best parts are those uninterrupted hours alone with your manuscript and the shred of you that lies inside. It's a small shred, but an important one. It's the one that tells me who you are and what you think and how you feel and I never have to look at you and be disappointed when the real thing doesn't come up to scratch. As I sit there, un-tensing and re-tensing and tense-shifting and shift-entering (and damn it, wishing English were like German so I could get rid of those clunky space-wasting n-dashes--oh, damn there they are again) I feel li
A Letter to my FatherFather,
Today, It has been nine months and nineteen days since I left. Three thousand kilometers of distance. This is the longest period of time that we have been apart. I miss you, I remember you all the time. Suddenly, I remember things I did not think about before, suddenly they all keep jumping in my face, so many memories, some warm, some cold, some tough, and some just beautiful.
Do you know that I can remember the days you were teaching me the Arabic alphabet and the French Alphabet. Whenever we have a guest, I run to them and start shouting " A,B,C,D,E,F......." They smile and ask me who thaught you all this, I run to you, I hug you and I say " Dad taught me".
You took me to the beach, you taught me how to love it, this is why now the beach is where I find my soul, where my heart feels at home, where I feel a very strong sense of belonging I dont quite understand. We went to
to Yellow Plumto Yellow Plum (in blue
afternoon's slit of sun slips
between thick curtains
& woos you to ripeness.
it chooses you
not for flecks of honey-russet
held low in your seam of shadows,
nor your symmetry & swell;
you slink in shade, sink
behind green pear & clementine
& cannot hide
from each spear of light
against these lips
a tea-stain stone
the trashbin floor.
DormantWinter is a blank slate,
but not like Rousseau's
sucking out warmth like poison
leaving only windburnt frost
tacked to the window pane
all we remember
is the numbness
skittish steps across the ice
snowflakes pasted to our faces
smoke rising from our lips
dragged across bleak clouds
winter has us captured
bound by fur and walls
drifting in our eggshelled silence
bone cold until we birth ourselves by warmth
emerge from our shells wet and heaving
uncurl our fingers one by one
joints crackling like fire at our backs
until spring comes
drip by tender drip
old wounds thaw
we are found raw,
graced again by feeling.
One Way TicketI have always known that I will die on a train.
I used to wait for Death at the railroad tracks. Some days I would kick off my shoes and balance on the rails. Other days I would lie on the tracks and count the stars. He never came for me, but it's okay I understand.
I saw him once through the window of a passenger train, scythe leaning against the glass. He was reading the newspaper. He glanced up long enough to see me waving and offered a nod in return. I watched him go as long as I could, until the last car was a dot on the sun, and I finally turned away to find summer was now autumn and my shoes were full of dust.
I crunched my toes in the gravel and sat down on the cold railing to wait for his train to return.
Wind RosesAlabaster was a city of the stars. A brass telescope on every balcony, every rooftop, constantly pointed to the sky. The city slept easy during the day, but breathed new life at night and the smell of chocolatl and spice wafted from several of the vendors.
In the middle of the city, a compass rose was laid into the plaza, a magnificent marble thing with thirty-two points. The cardinal directions were lain in gold-flecked black marble and the ordinals in a solid, creamy white. The rest alternated between a dark emerald green and a soft red with veins of rust. The people lived their lives in accordance with the whims of the directions and stars.
I have come to the conclusion that this preoccupation with directions springs from the city's history as a mapmaking town; in centuries past Alabaster was the finest purveyor of maps, atlases, and globes. Even today beautifully designed pieces of parchment are showcased under glass, accurate to the tiniest cove. A great printing press still exist
My Eyes"The sunrise is my favorite part of my day," he said, setting his hand lightly on mine. "New chances look like sunrises."
"What does a sunrise look like?" I asked quietly.
For a moment, I thought the only answer I was going to get was his silence, but finally he replied, sounding like he was struggling a bit. "It's blue with pink and purple streaks and a little tiny yellow ball just coming into view."
"What does purple look like?" Purple had sounded the most appealing out all of them; it felt nice when I said it. I wondered what it looked like to see it.
"Well Right now there are two different purples. One looks well one looks royal. It's something majestic that a queen or king would wear. It's noble. The other is soft and muted. It looks quiet, almost like its understated and overlooked but it's beautiful because it looks so friendly."
"This pink looks how a flower feels," he answered, sounding a bit more confident, and I heard a rustle as he picked up
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