Name That BabyI'm gonna lay it on the table
Do the tell
Get the spelling right
Got called "depressed"
Took it up to "manic"
Bipolar in the head
And they said --
"Make it longer,
On taking pills,
To flatten my hills
Knock out the frills,
I got double-damned.
'Cause a this shit --
Father dies in a pool
Mother dies too,
In love with a fool
Mother let days pass,
No food or water
How did she last?
I closed her eyes,
They felt alive,
Like little butterflies.
Hector also dies,
Left alone by
The very unwise,
Young white cats
Die like that.
Spat out with
All the cancer-dead
She too went back.
And nothing stopped.
I saw them all
Saw them all day,
Blood and flood
Not from me
Not my feed
Just these -- "things."
Small cold voices
In my ear
None could hear.
Little people sat
And they stood
And they spun,
In colorful fun
They had their run,
Whale Songs of the PacificListen, the girls swallowed by whales are the ones that grow up lucky.
Listen, no one will warn you about the little boys with the magpie eyes and the fists swinging splinters of glass. No one will warn you that their smiles are sweeter than their words are sweeter than their souls are sweeter than their intentions. No one will warn you of the sheer weight of the world.
Listen, sometimes girls are fragile. Sometimes girls are frothy. Sometimes girls let boys nuzzle "I love you"s into their necks and sometimes girls drink the wine of believing them.
Listen, sometimes the boys really are sweet, and little girls' tart puckered mouths can't taste the difference.
Listen, writers are the ones that drip fishhooks down their throats to coax out their hearts. Writers are the ones who fling those heart-hooks into the sea even if they have a message but not a bottle. Listen, sometimes fish swallow them. Some of those fish sink to the bottom of the ocean with the weight of the world in those heart
expired warningsI hate to break it to you but we're all betting on the day when
your nightmares will swallow you whole and you won't
remember how to open your eyes. we forget your voice,
it broke and no one buried the pieces. we're giving you up:
secessions (your ribcage is a civil war, your heart is the victim.
there will be no memorial; there are only red flags)
obsessions pick your bones dry, vulture needs, vulgar
mortality argues at least you're not alive
at least you can't see us anymore, counting the knots
in your neck and catastrophes in your mouth. in
your summer cage you were a soggy butterfly bearing
a cumbersome cross. now, we leave you naked and
seizuring on winter's doorstep as the little lamb who
never loved enough.
they haven't paid you for the dreams you pawned years ago
in exchange for a little sleep, no, they tied more rocks to your
ankles and begged you to fly - they said they traded your
misformed hopes for something a bit more fitting, a solid
dose of reality with a hint of self-h
i've ripped my lips from every burned thought.iii. my feet and hands
are always cold,
will always be cold.
i. i ransack memories
i thought i'd burned them all,
turned them all to ash,
and placed them in tupperware containers -
each one neatly labeled with dates
and numbered with catastrophes.
i shoved them all in freezers -
saving them for lovelier days,
thinking i've never deserved
anything better than freezer burn
to sustain me.
iv. my limbs are blue and reek of stale air.
my nose and tongue are covered in frost
and my lips are painted
v. i will trace new memories,
on your skin with my lips,
and pray i won't need
to burn those too.
The Prince's Last WifeIt must be confusing
to lie down every night
not sure if you were going to be with
the man or the bear.
Sure, he's always been a man by night,
but then he's a bear by day,
with those big, sad, polar eyes,
still trying to control his massive limbs
like he's the master of his own destiny.
And yet you find those white hairs
on your good clean sheets,
on your silk pajamas,
mingled in your morning tea,
which is always waiting,
hot and steaming,
despite the fact he can't carry it in his paws.
And he watches you dressing yourself,
pulling on layer after layer, wool and wire,
because he shoots the cold
right through you,
with a nuzzle of his nose.
And he never has to dress, though at night
you can feel his skin,
and the goosebumps that line his humanity.
It must be confusing,
to lie there at night,
hoping he'll be the bear,
coming to eat you alive.
ShipwreckingStars are scattered like a broken strand
Of pearls on a dark hardwood floor.
Where ocean-wake meets land,
I stand while my thoughts wage war.
Lights from iron vessels flitter like a midnight circus.
I'm as lost as the moon behind incessant cloud.
Hands rickety as old barn and nervous
For my soul's pending purchase, I pray aloud.
Silently I slip below the surface
To become a shipwreck in the sand.
Light reaches water in fog amorphous,
While I become a memory; a skeleton damned.
red leaves and Robert Frost.When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it.
We throw away half of our refrigerator each week meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day.
Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.
At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt.
I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.
Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.
People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist.
For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three.
That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet c
PlowIt's finally snowing again,
blankets of peace falling
with a freshness that lacks innocence.
Nearly forgotten, they're here as expected,
clearing the streets,
trying to push aside all the worry
that makes things unsafe, but
the steel mouth askew grates against my heart;
its thick bass scrape pushing more than piles of white aside,
it pushes my blood aside too,
piling it up in the corner of this pumping vessel that falters,
ice-caked and bitten, stiffened,
and keeps faltering,
until the air is silent
and the street no longer shivers in torture.
The only evidence is the blanket of white
that keeps falling,
like fluffy stuffing that's been yanked out.
All is silent,
except the fond memories that peel away
from my heart in little shreds,
and the plows, scraping fresh wounds again.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
Burnt Sienna IIBurnt Sienna
feet stride slowly along
a trail of sand that stretches past the horizon,
past suns obscured by occasional eddies of stardust.
The traveler makes it all the way to a sizzling, melting moon
before it sends her sloshing back to earth and
crashing once more into the land where the only noise is heat.
The unfortunate soul spits sand and liquid moon rock from cracked,
clay-covered lips and wishes it tasted more like chocolate
than centuries-old copper.
Searing the soles of the wanderer’s feet,
sand scrapes against blisters long popped,
but she rubs lukewarm poultice to stave off the pain.
The motion conjures recollections of other seemingly failed journeys
into the infinity beyond this.
She doesn’t mind-
it only means she has the opportunity to try another path.
I could not stop seeing
parallels between words
and human flesh.
A poem that could rise up,
hunching its back, a
concentration camp victim
with bare ribs; this
language rolls like the ridges
and dips of a spine, sticking
up through paper skin.
And theyre using the peaks
as an abacus, counting them
as they die.
suffocation keepthis city suffocates so we don't
no, at best
we sing in sign language:
the hushed glances, the solidity
of shoulder blades
let's leave the choking crowds
and chase out somewhere
where the wind blows
wide and rich--
where the knotted songs in your
to take these beartrap ribs
and let us
stolen dog-eared mapsAudio version.
we will run
directionless but on
until the sky recedes before us.
we will outlast the horizons
sink teeth into every sunset
until we chase
what chases us--
until the oceans below hold no demons
the galaxies above
we will lose ourselves
until there is nothing left of us but
north pacificAudio version thisaway.
icewater and tumblestone beaches, and i wonder, clifftop,
if the fog tastes like forest.
the ocean carves its histories
in the driftwood--creation stories and
lullabyes worn smooth,
bleached to a polish.
it might be sand shifting but maybe--
maybe i can feel the whalesong,
low and deep
thrumming in the hollow spaces of my bones.
i envy the seabirds
who have more room to feel.
ghosts of the border townsRead aloud here.
the desertgirls all wear their white dresses,
braids cinched with ribbons wilted
like the crops.
they walk barefoot, and they have learned
how to keep from kicking up
the sand--they have learned
how to be perfectly still.
the scorchwinds start up, and they
stand beneath the rattling ocotillos,
dresses curling and brushing against
calves dark with dust and
they stare such betrayal, such trust,
as though you are the devil
or salvation--as though
they haven't made up their minds.
say what you like.
they won't smile, only
until long after you are out of sight
and the horizon has