Write a poem
Write me a poem
Write ten lines that rhyme
No, not that
That’s not good enough
Write a better line
Make yourself take more time
Don’t leave any mistakes inside
Write me a poem
a beautiful lie
There’s a tightrope
I see man, he’s on a tightrope
Your face is a newspaper
Maybe she knows who you are
Who are you
Does she know?
Maybe you should ask her?
I knew that you wrote poems
I didn’t know that you wrote poems
It’s a tightrope
It’s a balancing act
That’s not a good line
Take that back
I’m not a painter
I’m not a stargazer,
not a believer,
not an enemy
not a friend
I’m just a pencil
I’m just a translator
I’m just an ever scribbling mess of fraying ends
Give me solace
Give me another twenty lines
Write me a poem
Write me a poem
Make your existence
April 14th, 2014
All these places I’ve been forgotten, I am
Buried, under the weight of all my deeds
Away from here I am light, I pretend, I am free
'Til I come home again, am
Reminded of who I’ve been
Over and under I weave
Singing, dragging on, singing deadly, singing to the
April 13th, 2014
Between the walls of most hearts there is affection: love and the need to be loved. Hers can be found between her vertebrae. Between her toes and behind her ears and between the skin on her palms and the weight they carry through the day. She is love, and though frequently tormented by it, longs to be loved. She doesn’t need much, but she needs a forever. Every movement is that of folded paper cranes and she is delicate and gentle and bold, and she is a stark contradiction to the storybook princess but looks for her happily ever after all the same. She is fighting and on fire and only when you juxtapose her flames with the ever soft calming of water can you imagine what it is to see rain.
April 12th, 2014
When things are the very best I walk slow
I walk slow
I hardly notice where I am and it takes me ten minutes to get from twelve noon to 8:00 am
I skipped an egg this morning
I made the egg
but I skipped the eating it part
because I was so eager
to just get out in the world
and start my day
and that’s the trouble:
I’m doing well.
I’m doing so, so well
and I find
that gives me a whole lot less
April 11th, 2014
I remember the day I first asked
"when did you marry my father?"
and I knew the answer
but not exactly..
and I held my breath
because somehow I knew
and I felt something inside of me crumble
"I was born in April"
"I know it takes nine months"
Mistakes are relative
by the general definition
and that part didn’t bother me so much
"Am I why? Am I the reason?"
"In a way, yes. You are one of the reasons."
I was not young.
Not times tables, lunchbox young
I was popularity, bullying
advanced placement, GPA
Not young enough to not
wonder how I could have ever
He was clean-cut, charming
and I was potential
begging for a nest
and you might’ve gotten out
but I was on the way
and you stayed
and I came
April 10th, 2014
She is bright-eyed and brilliant
She is a beacon
She’s witty and interesting
and breath taking
and all she wants
is to be pretty
She is bright-eyed and beautiful
All her wispy ends are running wild
She is talented
and she is so
so far away
Her body is a battlefield
the kind of struggle you haven’t dreamed
and the mirror never paints the same
what she says
is not what she means
She is lightning
Ominous promises of rain
and when she looks at you
she’s begging you
it’s the least of what she is but
she is pretty
but can’t you see how she doesn’t see it
how she longs for you to reassure
and the truth is you’re not the problem
but you encourage the problem in her
she’s so pretty
so far away
but you don’t see
the way it’s only if you say it
that she can pretend to believe
she is pretty
April 9th, 2014
I am a certified lifeguard.
I am certified to save lives.
I know that when there are no signs of life,
you begin with 30 chest compressions,
an inch and a half deep,
break the ribs beneath your hands,
force the heart to pump blood.
I know that you follow with two breaths,
rescue breaths they’re called,
you force the lungs to breathe.
I know that when an
Automatic External Defibrillator
is often treatable
most other things
and I know
in the moment
But it’s so rare;
It’s so rare that anyone would need me to.
I wish that instead of guarding lives,
I could be certified
Because they are so often in need of protection.
I wish I knew
how many compliments to pay
and about what;
which bones to break,
which barriers to break,
which breaks would make you whole.
I wish I knew
which types of pain
and when does the device arrive
that helps me find out?
The heart is
so much more dramatic in it’s downfall.
So visible are the signs,
they can be broken into steps
and performed with
And I’d guess that if you ever needed it,
you’d be glad that I am able to save your life
but the heart is just one organ
and there are so many
April 7th, 2014
Hit the backspace key;
that’s what it feels like for something to end.
Technology is so definite.
Once, my computer stopped working in the middle of my using it, and it didn’t start working again.
I took it to the place you take things like that
and they told me it was the hard drive
they told me,
"it will all be lost."
"I will be lost."
I left knowing that when I came back
I’d be less $100, and 100,000 memories
and I cried openly
the way my mother cried
when all those photo albums were thrown out into the rain
because hard drives and prints
pay equally in the eyes of the elements.
For three days I mourned
and when I came back for the shell,
for the rain stained album of my life,
they told me,
"it was not the hard drive,
only the cord,
it will cost you $5
and the loss
I cried openly
the way my mother cries
when she remembers all those
rain soaked albums
laying in the yard,
because some things
April 6th, 2014
I would have gone all the way down the long, deep well to rescue you. With bare hands I would have climbed up with you on my back, fingers jammed into the cracks until they were bloody. I would have nursed you back to health in the gentle whipping fields of wheat, and watched your first steps with the pride of a mother who birthed your self worth instead of your body. I would have walked next to you like training wheels until you could stand on your own and then walked next to you until it felt like home.
You called my name from down there with intent to pull me in.
I am sad for you.
So willingly I would have given everything you seek to steal,
along with all my secret ingredients for happiness,
along with all my recipes for love.
What you want from me cannot be stolen.
I thought to help you create it…
It’s easy to reach for what you see in others,
but only weakness comes from stealing light.
April 5th, 2014
Wrap me smothered in your absence; all my keys are figurative, and all your locks are rusted closed. We don’t know we’re metal until we’ve stayed in the rain too long. It’s no metaphor that I’m iron deficient, and sufficiently drained a significant amount of the time. We dance to the weight of rhyme.
Mark me dense in your drowning; all my swimming lessons won’t save you when you’re intent on the beauty of sinking slowly. Struggle for struggle’s sake is a pitiful play put on by those who sing themselves inadequate. I am a monster if provoked, a demon if implored; I will not forgive you. Your only enemies are within you.
Color me evil in your battle cries; I’ve not come back to where you left me. War is close to home in those whose home was close to war. Braver souls abandon; all my scars are postage stamps and shoulders eroded into ravines. Rock bottom isn’t word-worthy unless it precedes getting clean.
Name me Scarlett, paint me amber, toss me chaotic in your flight; some grow wings in hardship, others search for things to take. The brightest lights will give to you, how dark and empty you long. Be it carvings, or cursive, or calls in the wind, all my body has collapsed for demonstration. Call me science, or a fool, I’d name either worth my while; I regress so I can carry you this mile.
April 4th, 2014
All my surgical instruments will have to sterilize again because
I am a surgeon.
The atmosphere has expanded around me,
I feel faint,
I feel afraid.
I felt my pain
brought myself to move the bandages
standing in the way
and I saw how yellow torn my edges were.
I swore that there were sutures
I swore I’d felt it sewn
but it turns out that holding on means letting healing go
It doesn’t bleed
It’s too infected to be so human
It doesn’t grow
It’s stale and stagnant and putrid
I don’t know how it ever got this bad
I am a surgeon
I’m taking my life back
April 3rd, 2014
When you watch the world backwards it is a montage of broken vases that put themselves back together, wounds that sew themselves closed with no evidence of scar, and balloons that charmingly drift into the hands of children.
When you watch the world backwards all the tragedies are happy endings.
When you watch our story backwards it is a tragedy. Two people with big smiles that aren’t afraid of the dark go looking for the things they already have. They gradually peel each other apart and strip themselves corrupt until they simultaneously self destruct. That is how I know we are grand: the present is even better than when it was just the future, living in our plans.
I write my poems backwards, always with the endings in mind, and you speak like backwards is the way you learned to say “hold me,” and “help me,” and “tell me it’s alright,” but it’s alright. I’ve got a chip in my brain specifically designed to turn your backwards words right. I know all your nuances and all the grains of sand in your socks, and when these eyes are our glass prison, we throw rocks.
There aren’t that many things that tie strings to us now, but whenever they come for us again, and they will, we’ll pick up our battle worn pots and pans and sit on the porch together.
"Let them come," we’ll say, "let them come."
Because liars can’t tell their lies backwards, a fake memory only knows itself face first; there’s no reflection in the pool of tears. They’re lying, and we’ve seen it, so let them come hostile in hoards and handfuls and herds.
Their ending only looks like ours, backwards.
April 2nd, 2014
I woke up this morning and conquered the world.
I stood on the floor next to my bed, shook off my sleep, and made myself a lion among sheep. I stretched, sounded my yawp, and made eleven intentional steps to bathroom mirror to admire the perfection I had become. I am made out of gold.
I woke up this morning and admitted my faults.
I made them into a list and recited it front to back and back to front and said
"you’re a teacher,"
"thank you for the sermon,"
"my knees are still bruised but the knees of my soul are recovering"
I’ve invited you all here today to break the news. I’ve done extensive research and here’s the truth; it is my fault you’ve lived all your lives in darkness, and I’m shining the light like God himself might if he got to write his own book, so look - the fault is not in you, but in my perception,”
I woke up this morning and changed my list of faults into a collection of the things that make up my perfection.
I heard it so many times, I thought I was right, but the louder the message is the higher the chance that it hides something worth hearing,
and I’m whispering now
so I said to all my faults,
“you have a new name, a new place, a new mission,”
“you are a miracle, a piece of living housed on an idea that rotates around a fucking anomaly,”
and they heard me and now
I am perfect.
If your body keeps your brain alive successfully then your body has won the 21st inter-universal Olympics and
my god, look how beautiful you are.
I woke up this morning and achieved peace.
I woke this morning and the world woke up around me
I woke up this morning and changed everything.
I woke up this morning and solved the only problem stopping me from solving them all and today I am the manifestation of break through.
So if you’re lucky enough to wake up tomorrow, what are you going to do?
March 4th, 2014
There is a girl sitting on the stairs and she has freckles, and wears her hair just so, and every breath is a perfume I would die to enjoy… but our lips will not meet softly and hold… because we are ten and I am not a boy.
There is a pretty girl in the front row, and she keeps her notes swiftly in line. She ambles her questions and pauses too long and I wrote her my very first song.
She’s the girl with the long blonde hair
She passes here every day
And she’s the girl with the prettiest smile
But I never know what to say to her
She’s the girl I want more than anything
Else in this world
But she’s also the girl I know
I’ll never have
Everything hurts more in the past.
I am twelve and there is a girl sitting across from me on the floor. We buy CD’s by bands we don’t know and run through the woods and attack each other in the snow and we stay up all night making shirts and bracelets because every time we turn out the lights, we kiss. For me it is a miracle and for her it is a pastime and I don’t know if I’ve ever written so many lines to try to convince someone we were real… but I am not a boy, and she doesn’t know how she feels.
She is fourteen and I am fifteen and we are both head over heels. I smiled for a week when I met her and kissed her in my dreams for a year before we kissed for the first time. She is quiet and stubborn and soft and I am all the fuel she ever needed to take off, but her parents call on God and tell me never to call again, and I am all the mess I’ve ever been.
We lock eyes for the first time and I’ve already made up my mind; the first time we speak, all other first times bow down to kiss our feet. She tells me she is afraid to love me because everything she loves, dies. When we haven’t seen each other in a while, she says to me, “you used to have 14 freckles on your face, and now there are 34. You must have spent some time in the sun,” and there is no sun if she does not shine. If she is the moon then the day we met was an eclipse, I haven’t written a poem since that wasn’t born on her lips. If electrified were a true and verifiable feeling, it’s the one I would claim for the seven days a week that I am with her, wanting her, waiting for her, and watering my dry, dry desire for her touch. I hurt so long to find her, and she too has pain behind her, and I wrote this poem to remind her:
You are strong, and I am fearless, and we are vast. Let go. Let it all go. Everything hurts more in the past.
I watch you dance around in your self indulgent singularity, and don’t get me wrong, dude, do you, but don’t get your shit so twisted that you think making other people feel small is cool. The only thing small is you.
You claim an identity, associate yourself with an entity, join a community, wear the colors, and then paint them into an obscenity; you hate straight people, and men, and scream vulgarities at strangers passing by, and you wear your ignorance like decoration as you open us all for question.. must be losing circulation from how wrapped up you are in the hegemony, literally contributing to your own oppression.
This is an invitation to exit.
A feeling of unity with others. A result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.
You and this community have nothing in common, and this is an invitation to see yourself out.
You hate with your mind closed, only preach with the blinds closed, and your actions define those you attach yourself to, but we’re not behind what you do.
And this is an invitation to reevaluate your values.
You lead by example, separating us from them, inviting them to mistreat us.
This is an invitation to speak for yourself.
Your face is the mask they make when they portray us as monsters, and your actions are the sources they site when they justify slurs, and you are not a member of any community I’m apart of, because my community speaks safety, and pride, and love. You are an anti-role-model, a perpetuation of hate, and you don’t belong here.
So this is an invitation to vacate.
You cannot be apart of a people whose standards you don’t uphold, and you don’t treat all people as equal, you don’t have a place here - so go. We fight for our rights, and we stand up for our worth, and we encourage equal treatment for everyone, no distinction, so find a population who takes part in your arrogance, and leave my community alone.
This community is honorable and proud.
This is an invitation to get out.