4 Traits of a Damn Good Boyi. drivebuddy, you were a throwback. you had a lot of wolf in you,a feral soul.i hope heaven has eased the stiffness in your jointsand brushed the gray from your furand left you sleek and gorgeous,a solid pack of muscle with the kind of determinationthat can never be taught.i hope there are lizards for you to chase,doves for you to launch yourself afterand catch out of the air with a finesse that would make professionals weep.buddy, i hope someone's up there throwing a stick for you every now and then.i hope you give 'em hell when they want it back.ii. couragebuddy, it seemed like the world was a very scary place for you. i'm not sure why,and maybe i laughed at you a little--at the neurotic puppy inhabiting the commanding formof a hunter--and sometimes i got angry at youand your insistence that the world was out to get youand i'm sorry for that.it took me years to realize that something must have happenedto plant a deep and unshakeable fearin
waking upand imagine my surprisewhen my insides bloomedinto so many dandelions,and in a single breathi becamehollow.
with thanks to frost Now with a reading.two roads diverged in a soulless dawnand you pull over,idling on the shoulder of route 50.it's a polaroid morning andthe world is as grainyand sleep-heavyas your eyes,and one million milesis not far enough.it plays back, filmstrip,blurred along the length ofoptic nerves,and here you are:facing a choice betweenonandout.and this?this loosejointed, hollowbodiedweightless ache--this is whatgonefeels like.
with thanks to salingerAudio version.it's on those cold morningswhen you are nothing but indrawn breathswirling and knitted up inside too-bigskin and weightless bones--when the horizon arches up againstthe half-thawed tendrils of sunriseand smileswith golden teeth,and smiling, begs--it's on those cold morningswhen leaving is easiest.the car will be cold, and you willshiver, and the engine,much too loud,will smack of blasphemybut you will find peace in the steady rollof tarmac and the yellowing lightspilling across it,with dust motes kicked up and carriedlike fish in the undertow.when you come to that firstcrossroads, it will shock you:the way the decision hangs theretrembling and desperate--but there are no right answers and you will nothesitate. and each successive choicewill be made of its own accord,and you will roll the windows down,and draw down the scent of ear
to my good boylife is too short for regrets, mostly,but just long enough to wish for one more day,one more labrador lean--ninety warm sleek poundspressed against my jeans and one paw, trusting, picked up. one more ruffleup through the long, thick shoulder fluffagainst the grain--one more i'm sorryand the goodbyei didn't get.
all that hasn't happenedPretty please listen to the audio. i want to rememberthe rumbling piano baritoneshigh notes like hailstones--your handsrunning soundless scales.i want the summer seasnovember tidesthe vineyard overlook, the olivetrees and sunwarmed coasts.rememberwe filled the empty pageswith whole notes and halftones,oceans and lovesongs.we lived, we liveinkstained and drowningthrough nights thick with wordsand days shot with sound.
cervinejealousy--let me shed my skeleton with the seasons,and each time grow a fresh backbonefor the weight of these relentless days.
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.i have always loved words as you love the seabut i have grown to hate prepositionsbecause i have always had wordsabout youwith youto you--but never for you.words for everything except you.but i have words for this, soi'll take them one by one.about.the ocean was your first love andi could always see it in your eyes.most would call them blue--justblue like a swell over a sandbarblue like the spring sky over a poppy field.but i don't think anyonegot as close as i did and they're not bluenot shorebound andsafe--they're gray like the steelbellied sea itselflike the horizon at dawn as itencircles youhems you into an impossibly vast canvaslike a demarcation lineor a promise. one you always chased.with.maybe i had a streak of ocea
inhale, inhalethe birds are singing in the deep haze of dawnand your bones are loose inside your skin.you learn gratitude from the trees.
The Poet's FollyI tried to write you in seven lineswith thirty six words,but I realized that wordsare largely inadequateand that poets are fools.I feel I am somehow lessfor thinking I could.
SuffocationI found a vintage denim jacketin the bottom of my mother's closet,underneath a black-and-white montageof shoebox photographs with burned edges.Like she had been trying to asphyxiatethe memory of my fatherbut kept coming up for air.
Census of Ghostshe now resides in susurration:shaken from our summer sheets,flags drawn taut and shuddering,and wispseeds rising into the lightwith their dressing gowns unbuttoned,planting onto my lips that namei've tried to hang with himself;on a late morning,while folding your laundry,i found him again and held his tonguewhen he yearned to speak of lovethat once transpired in his passion,or maybe it was the infatuationof surrealists: brown skin but touchedupon each other,marking the insignificant with brandsof remembrance: like the crinkling oftinfoil or the crisping of smokers' lungsor the thought that cigarettes are onlyromantic if you can witness their glowor hear them faintly burning—white ash rests on the dashboardand his fingers are caked with rustin my flashbulb drug collections:the color of blood that's been dryingin my mouth while i try to recall how it feltto hold someone who might have comeand remained forever breathingif that letter had never reached my
another set of i don't knows, another intersectionthe i don't knowsbefore every thoughtdescribe me better than a sugarcoatedjuxtaposition alongsidesome simplesplit-second similes.don't you knowhow to drop a goddamn subjectbefore everything comes to somescreeching, jarringstop?again?i would teach youif i hadn't already put mypast in apath least taken before meand my future behind mein a trail of dripping wateras i watched everyone slip and fallinto itbecause if i don't know,why should you?
A Pile of Exiled LeavesLook:under their father's roots,oven-baked by progressthey stare at the stars,ponder over their photosyn thesis'and wonder where they'll land next.Dry veins bringingdrought to the cuticle,the rivers sprawlinglike cobwebbed fingersscratching cellulose intoeczema of the upper epidermis,dirt-ink sketches bleeding softlyto the frayed edge ofmesophyllic parchment,where Death took his scissorsand cut oblong heartsfrom Life and intothe frigid air.Dead gold,curled up in amber wrinkles,a million Queens of Spadeswho played dead for too long.
the tattoo artist.she finds gems hidden underneath my skin andrips them out with her teeth, the soresalong my arms swelling with pride and red; neverhas she wondered if the pain would make megrit my teeth into powder—no, she knowsi take it like a man takes steak:raw and tough and bloody, like my fingersafter picking scabs to let some fresh air in; herwords are etched on the point of a needle, and sheis a tattoo artist drilling ink into my body, her linesthick with moxie: "alive" splayed out acrossmy wrist, "awake" above my heart—she paintsa vision on my eyelids of an endless sky andtells me it doesn't belong to me, but that ican have it; perhaps foolishly,i believe her every word
You found loveSly shoulders withtiny bruises notmeant for lovers eyes,Teeth and wicked collarbones:You argued in the stairwell,Fingers flirting withthat pretty dress of greenas you felt yourself asphyxiate.Her lips, the antidoteto your wildest dreams.
confessions of a misguided poetcertain things in my mindwould be better left unsaid,such as:i. how I stared at a bottle of pillsfor an hour as if they would slide downmy throat on their own.ii. when I stepped out of the showerwith bloody knees and didn't botherto put a band aid over them. iii. why I can't keep a smile longenough for someone to takemy picture.iv. who I wanted to be when I wasa little girl and who I amright here and now. v. where I tried to jump off abridge and landed in waterdeep enough for me to swim in.vi. what I wanted to scream atyou that day but I just stayedsilent and hoped you would forget.no more pretty words andludicrous metaphorstoday; just life,the truth, and everythingthat I never want to tellanyone else.
burning clouds for the sake of silver liningscontrary to popular belief,i would've been fuckingamazing for you -licked the cold outof your tiredears, caressed your weight-riddenshoulders and knees,been the perfect answer toyour illiterate idea ofzodiac signs.but you cowered behind areflection, a "too" instead of"more";trust me, baby, i've heardtoo many liesbefore,to know for quite sure, howguilty you feltwhen the fire in your heartwasn't passion.you're trying all thewrong ways; keeping methe way you shouldn't,and it might just make mebetter at filtering.but that'sthe only silverwhitelilaclining;you'reonlymaking me wiser.
for lack of a simile --every saturday,i scribble away at wordsthat have prettyyellowcolours, but mean nothing.because if i told you what was true about the both of us, it would be:we had something special,but now it's gone.that's all.because i don't have any clever similes aboutmagic and love and how fire falls into ash.there's just me, and the page, and the storiesi tell you about how we are fire, we are the oceanand we are the shore.
how it goesthis is how it goes; you meet a boy and you think he's cute and you hope that maybe someday you will kiss the nape of his neck. the ache grows inside of you like a tumour, you feel it pulsing every single day and there is a piece inside of you that hopes he likes you back.then you start to doubt it, you start to think you're ugly and your chubby and your clothes aren't pretty, but then you realize if you want him to like you, you have to like you as well. so you start to like yourself more, you're happier and you think he likes you back, which makes everything so much better.one day he walks you to the bus and you wonder how time managed to put you here, and you see his lips moving but all you hear is the sound of your heart hammering. you agree to go on a date with him, and you try hard not to maul him when you hug him goodbye. you sit on the bus smiling and miss your stop, but it's alright, because it's a breathtaking day.things are beautiful for a long time, trees look like they
let go, little bird--hope is the tired little bird at the bottom of your heart, the one whose tiny wings are broken and bleeding, the one that won't stop flapping uselessly at the sky, like it's going to take off, take off dammit, even when it's fading by the second and dying in a heap of feathers, and it breaks your heart to see the optimistic flame still sparkling in such innocent eyes.i'm writing this to tell you that i don't know what i need. i'm writing this because i can't pull any fancy metaphors from the back of my throat to save my pride this time. i'm writing this to see the look on your face when you wake up and wonder why i keep running away.hope is the thing with feathers, my broken baby bird. hope is the trust in those newborn eyes that makes you burst out sobbing although you never know why. it's the razor-sharp edge between happiness and pain, the line you try to fly on crippled wings, my little bird, just to save someone stronger from having to walk it for themselves.i'm writing
if you want to stop hurting:i. i have swallowed down this 3am lovelike the ibuprofen i fed myself for myswollen ankle that time in spainwhen i pushed a little too hard andlet go for a little too long.i have swallowed you down so manytimes before, kept you like little embersin the crevices of my chest, burningholes through tissue and bone andeverything that i am - through everythingthat i swore i wasn't.ii. a few months ago,i learnt that it's easier to breathewith your throat open, to take itdown and let go gracefully,like opening your palms againstthe wind outside the car and inhalingthrough your nose.iii. if you want to stop hurting:listen to them speak but do not hear their words, hear only their voice,feel it reverberate against your spine and tell yourself -this isn't a bad thing.rebuild your body like jenga blocks. if somebody comes close,hold their hand and tell them -i trust you.let the air rush between your fingers,let the fire in your arteries sizzle aw
we used to make butterfly handsYou told me that when I was older I would understandand I looked up and saw the sky in paper planes and periwinkle blue.I reached out and drew a line for you;traced it all over the globe and back to your wise heartso that when I was older, my head full of understanding,I’d be able to navigate back to my place thereand touchdown, settle down with you.You said that our worlds were too distant,you with your job and bills to pay and me with my honey-sweet dreams.I nodded and pulled back my flyaway hairthinking that if we’re alive together, against all the odds and centuries alive together,that’s close enough for me.I kissed you and you told me I was great. Carousel great. Sandy-toes great. Smiles on a Saturday, belly-laughs great.You snapped the string and flew away.I’m older and I do understandthat dotted lines get tangled or just fall away completely andyou were right when you said that things aren't quite as prettyas they are in my party-h
for hummingbird lullabies--he is not the kind of boy who chases golden afternoons or dreams of things like bright red ribbons and spiderweb silence and love. he doesn't like metaphors because they never say what they mean and he doesn't like himself because he doesn't know who that is.sometimes he draws pictures in the sky with clouds and feels like maybe they mean something. but mostly he forgets to look up.he likes things in neat, orderly rows. words that come in short sentences with two syllables and clear meanings, but really he doesn't like words at all. on his way home, he passes two shiny pennies, but he's not looking down so he doesn't think to pick them up.'look,' his mother said one night, pointing at the sky, 'that's the big dipper, and there! that's orion's belt, and that's andromeda!'but as hard as he tried, all he could see were stars, and so he stopped looking.he doesn't believe in the magic of finding a quarter in the bottom of his pocket and spending it on gleeful gumballs in celebration; i
. . . i dreamt you were a poetearly in the blue-blood-clot morning, i traced the varicose veins down my arm, following along my skin like a coloring book, but it only lead to a battery-dead end. like how id thought we were: a dead end. but we were nothing more than varicose romance twisted, coiling, unhealthily swollen.were abnormal, ill admit, but my basement-low bloodpressure and your self-induced peerpressure arent exactly best friends. hell, theyre not even acquaintances! theyre nothing more than varicose fantasies intertwined in my mad-dog-wild imagination my hypersomniac mindset, where i pretended you wrote me lyrical, varicose verses.-when my closet head met my discomfort pillow and my lethargic lids met rapid-eye-movement, i unrealistically piloted my paper-mache-airplane from the movie theatre to the schoolyard restaurant, but the faulty jet engine on the elevator popped my circulatory balloon. i somehow
No Pictures Left to HangShe was three hundred school lunches, and one thousand, ninety-nine days of mooching off of her friends' snack packs, and four hundred more spent shushing her screaming intestines.She was one sick day of flu carried over from the weekend. She was two bottles of cough medicine and toomanyadvilstocount. She was her mother's free time spent mopping up puddles of fresh puke.She was sick.She was sixteen birthdays, fifteen Christmases, and one hundred ninety-eight presents all specially chosen for the smile on her face that was never there.She was ten months of pregnancy and two months of getting there. She was twelve pills of Viagra swallowed with tap water. She was a trip to the baby section of Target and her parents' obvious beams at the checkout. She was a horde of pink things, now neatly folded and put away in the attic.She was never what anyone expected, including herself.She was a second glance in the mirror.She is four closebutnotcloseenough friends, two supportive parents, an
stars fade to blueit was past 2 am when i came up with the line[2:25:08 AM] Vie: i should write a poem about my favourite hatershe typed back'You should. You really seem to have a lot to say about him'what he does is what he doeshonestnow that i think about it honesty is what he doesi like making excuses for boys i likebecause i want people to like them toobut i never was one for making excuses for himhe may be a bitch, but he doesn't liehe's got baggage, he loves blondes,gotta thing for drugs and has shortaffairs with sleepthere isn't one person he's nice tofor too longjust because of his own insecurities.writer's block got me facing off againstall my demons. i don't even have my wordsto fight with. the past couple months havebeen tick-tocking torture for sake ofbiting my tongue and holding my habits.i can't write fancy unless i'm in love.so the only ink i spill is truth.i live like a poor princess on the edge of townsomewhere between classy and trashy,feigning the problems of
the breakers will always call us homedon't mind my voicein the twilight.i am without shoes,solitudebeneath my wings.i was the well that fed the lake--i [saw] your fingers touching the water.where did you sleep last night?things change,