[eudaimonia]we are kingsof empty castles.our transparent veins are bruisedfrom the lingering storm andsomebody has hidden the skeletonkeys.
[dear old soul]this year,i. learn to be bravebcos it's about time.defend yourself, speak up. heaven knows you keep too much buried.be honest with yourself and with others.love again.ii. watch the starsso that you never forget how small you are or how fleeting your existence is.iii. go somewhere far from hereso that you will be reminded of the beauty in life.the world is waiting for you. explore.iv. learn to forgivelife is far too short to hold grudges.michael was a lesson in moving on.what happened with priscilla brought you closer to the people who matter most.don't let the heartache stop you.v. visit the ocean more oftenit's where you feel most at home.vi. writeoften. it puts you at ease.even if you feel that you can't gather a decent sentence, write.work on your novel.vii. express yourselfthrough drawings or writings or the spoken word.even if your hands tremble."even if your voice shakes."viii. do what you lovewhen
[victus]delilah tied her husband to a fencejust before the light brokebecause the trumpet plays at dawn and shecan't stand the sound.and samson scares the crows awayalthough he desperately wants themto stay.
Liquor is one way out an'death's the other The art of growing up,is to pour shots of whiskey into your coffee in the morningto make it throughthe day.when all you want to dois lie in bedinstead,but there’s nothingbeautifulabout thateither.
five.Five is the number of times you worry he’s stopped breathing, as the surgeons carve around his heart, twisting away the plaque ridden arteries, and pulling a vein out of his leg. Five is the number of heart wrenching hours you and your family were waiting in the hospital room, worried that your lives would crumble, that there would be five members of the family instead of six, that five days out of the week he would not come home for dinner, that five kisses from him would no longer be given to his wife and four children. Five was the amount of fingernails you bit off while watching people enter and exit the waiting room, and the amount of minutes your mother spent on the phone, explaining that something was wrong. Five is the critical difference between holding a father’s hand as your mother cries into his heart shaped pillow. The difference between rejoicing and smiling weakly because he’s okay or carrying your father’s American-flag-covered-casket and watchin
AmberIt's begun again.The sun has extinguished itself; brittle ashes fall into our atmosphere and suffocate. Annihilate.The air is dry and the sky blackens, the thunderheads in my head threaten implosion.I whisper a sigh into the bright field of poppies, but they don't listen, they don't hear,and my whisper stains the stars with no promise of secrecyI am human, my veins run thin with led, with skin made of thin iron pallet, and a pulse that beats with norhythm, no rhyme, but eagerness to escape a euphoria higher than the heavens itself.My heart is a grenade, threatening explosion with every beat it dares tread, a disaster so imminent thattime itself is my enemyIt's begun again.andIneedmyfix.
love letters to introvertsi.To the boy who prefers spending Friday nights at home:the world does not understand how beautiful silence soundssometimes. As you crack open that book you've been waiting to read, or plug in your computer, or listen to music, or, or, or, or just maybe stare at the night sky from your bedroom window-(please) remember what everyone else seems to forget;that being alone does not always equal lonely--and that sometimes no company is the best company there is. ii.To the girl who does not speak up in class: I was once you. You are not deficient, I promise, despite everyone telling you otherwise. You might be the only one who will ever know the universes tucked inside your head, because they are beautiful secrets you cannot bring yourself to share,for fear that they might be vandalized. When you speak,
just another adolescent love poemlet’s get this straight right now:there are people i can only talk toat four o’clock in the morning, whenthe line between decency and secrecybecomes just as blurred as the one betweennight and day.you’re not one of them.i’m not ashamed of you.or scared. and don’t try to tell me that’s nota miracle because i still check under the bedfor monsters and behind the shower curtainfor serial killers. i know it’s all in my headbut things like that make me terrified;i mean, i still hold my breath crossing by a cemeteryand someone else is always going to have to kill the spiders.i’m hoping that someone will be you.which i’m also hoping i’ll never accidentally tell youbecause it’s like i lose all cognitive reasoningaround you, even when we’re fighting.you split me down the middle, half of me wantingto tear out your femur and beat some sense into youand the other half wanting to give anything,even the foun
Breathing RoomI leave chrysanthemumsscattered at your feet on tile floorlike the pencil shavings piledon your desk."The flower of death,"you murmur;with Rorschach roses on your knucklesand the hint of a warriorin the line of your lips,you sketch bears with open jawsand black-shadow eyesin the margins of your math bookwith permanent ink.The hooded abyss of your gazemasks everythingyou can't bring yourself to say:Love is shortand prone to fading.It's a good thing I don't mind breathing lifeinto negative spaces.
cynicism only gets you so fari've been bleedinglighter fluidfor quite a while now, i've beenwatching the sun rise through the websof skin between my fingersi've been stitching up my skin like it'san old pair of jeans, like tearing so easily isnormali think it's because this skin isn'tmine, it's an amalgamationof other people's expectations andscrewed-up pieces of paper andmorning coffee orpanic-induced nauseaand breath made for a different set of lungsi've been living offcaffeine and insomniafor quite a while now, i've beentalking to the moon through the diamondson my window panei've been throwing myself into the glass like i'ma sparrow, like i'm a blind birdbonei think it's because i don't know anybetter, i pretend to be the queenof the universe inside my room andthe ocean inside my teacup andthe lullaby i don't know the tuneor the words toand a lover wrapped in plastic for the holocene agei've been dreaming ofcityscapesfor quite a while now, i've beenthinking about running throug
i am worth it.and if this feelingonly lasts for tonight,i'll swallow the night;rearrange the starsto map theletters of my namebecause i am worthevery second it takesto let the world know i'm alive
the truth about growing up1. It's easier when you don't think.1. It starts early,on a cloudy day when you recallthe 'childhood memories' oftwo summers ago,that's when you start your backslide intogrowing up.2. On the bright sideyou won't notice this until you'regood and ripe in age,so maybe it doesn't matteranyway.3. That tightness in your chest?The feeling that you're not readyto take on the rest of your life; itnever leaves.4. It stews in the pit of your stomachmakes you doubt, but there will be days when you look backon the mountains you climbed -the raging rivers you crossed -and you'll have a sneaking suspicion you weremore prepared than you thought.5. There's nothing like your own bed.6. Laundry will never smell rightwithout mom's sweat and tears.But you still have to separate lights from darks,keep the zippers pulled tightand the buttons unhooked.7. There is comfort in your parents' presence.8. Things changethe future gnaws and rips
i hear knives in the windsomething in the timbre, tall heat,sugar licking palm fronds fat catssweltering sundays.wash the salt; wash the afterburn itisn't like we planned you neversay the words plain, only mm mm if we ever could we maybe staywe always tried but couldn't shakethe open space we make the world a-nother shape as we stand among thetimbertall sugar licking palm frondsfall. til heat escapes.
Spectraphotons like phantoms cross our pathsunseen except for their effects every poem begins with sometimesevery dream begins with maybe
White Pinewe speak in long blinksand sleep apnea. i count fifteen whole secondsbefore you breathe in. we find respirators in your apartmentand almost need them for catching our breath,your weight still settling onto our chestsand off of your feet —i don’t believe in heavenbut somewhere you’re standingcrooked, white pine.
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
Last WordsIn the beginning you never want to let her go,and so you don't for a long, long time.You commit to bobby pins underfoot, mismatchedplates stacked like landmines,long hairs that circle and clog the drain, filling the tubwith stagnant water.You tell her something that you love about hereach night before you fall asleep,until one day you look at her and realize that youdon't know what to say anymore.-“I am not happy.”You whisper this to yourself once and then try to say it louder,but the words won't cooperate.Maybe a whisper is as loud as this thought can exist,or maybe some words weren't meant to be spoken aloud,but you still think them, and yes,you whisper them to yourselfwhen she isn't listening.Perhaps this is what you should have been telling hereach night as her hands searched for you in the darkness.-This isn't happening, you think,unless it is.You wonder if you owe her something,like your heart, maybe, your red hooded sweatshirt,
Nervous MovementYou're a dime a dozen in a sea of billions.Individuality has no significance in numbers so vast.And while this fact may make looking forward hardwe can't keep living in the past.You're a nervous movement in a freeze frame scene.Steady hands won't help hold up such a fragile act.And while you take your time keeping characteryou fake what you can't take back.With nothing more than a thought we form our actionsand this is where we extinguish the lie they tried to invent.The lie that we painted our lives without passionwell conclusions are useless with no attempt to commence.You're a song I can't name stuck in my head.I've listened to you before and probably will again.And while I can hum the melody all day long waitingfor it to hit me I still won't know where you've been.You're a gust that has never changed direction.Nothing can touch you you're only felt as you brush skin.And while you can't be stopped nothing lastsnothing escapes time or an end not even the wind
lines for rae armantroutFor instance, an old oak grovedisassembled.And to you, Rae, because what appearslike campfiresis always the cosmic cascading bodies,torched and tumbling,and someone screaming evacuate-meaning rebuild, re-haunt.***Reading about the experiment,it became evident-the traffic of moans,crowds of shadows standingin the peripheral,a sense of expectation and dread.This is how death comes in poems:The last campfire in the distance goes dark.
fabled lifei.she talks through her wrinkles,'i have no desire for food', she says.i take her plate to the kitchennoticing how the beetroot shavings bled into the skin of the chicken and brown rice.it was blood, skin, and bone,and the rice was a million starlike cells floating between.this reminds me of my anatomy textbook:we've been learning what's beneath our skin,we learned that all cells divide. some cells often don't stop dividing.other cells divide and stop when they should...but not my grandmother's.starlike, they explode, they shatter, they consumethey divide.ii.i want to be mad at my grandmother's cells,but what would that do?i want to talk to my grandmother's cells,i want to tell them they can be aliveand not kill her.but first,i have to catch the moon,i have to visit hades and bargain with beautiful music,i have to sell my voice for legs,i have to sail the ocean blue in search of a good reason why cancer can't just be what it is.iii.this is not a fabled lifean
The Dreams We KeepWhat deep-set dreams we keep, lest others pry -As if to say that silence guards them best,And keeps them most alive - there in my breast,In silence born, and therein left to lie;But not unknown, not they - for I had sleptAs men and gods alike did haply dream,And dreaming, knew of all my deepest dreamsEre I. Thus, any hopes I hereby dress -Desires bespoke, if not, in truth, confessed -Shall mark me as a puppet born and boughtTo shoulder wishes men themselves forgot,Not knowing which are more and which are lessMy own. A bastion, then, of debts and dues -As others dreamt, I dream - and dreaming, lose.
[songs of rain]forgiveness in the third chord,like silence or the momentartemis pulls the arrow free,thanks the buck for his sacrifice.lightning in my lungs.saltwater in my lungs.i, storm,will rage & pass on.