Category Archives: Poetry

Ode To A Desk Doodle

The smudged and abstract set of jaws
Hangs half open with the weight of teeth.
The crude body curls into a cruder spiral
Perhaps a tail, perhaps a shape undefined,
Tightening in on itself until it smears
Into shady gray. Already the decay starts.

You will not last. Your time is short,
A distraction made in minutes and set
To die a careless death in days.
Permanence is a flight of fancy to you,
Immortality a concept impossible to grasp.
A sweep of a hand could wipe you away,
Without even a memory left to hold you.

Were you worth something? Did you
Provide to the hand that so callously,
Thoughtlessly carved you into the world
Some small fraction of amusement?
Some minuscule joy? Or were you
Made and abandoned in the same
Tiny shard of time, a work orphaned
Before it could even hope to be art?

A hand hovers over you
But you do not have eyes
To see it with. Hold your breath
And wait as I consider you.

But I do not wipe you away.
You exist, for some time more
Is that a kindness
Or a curse?

(Inspired by Ode to a Grecian Urn)

Call Me When You’re Sober

Fiddling with a small lighter in his hand,
Sliding his fingers through his ghastly white hair.
His cigarette rests on a shiny red ring which graces
His harsh, red lips.
He is lost, struggling to find himself –
His purpose.
Brown eyes gazing upon the dark road,
He finds himself lighting his fifth cigarette.

Hand resting on the leather gear shift,
So begins the long drive down the highway.
Accompanied by her best friend Captain Morgan
And his favorite chemical –
Acid.
Electric pumpkin hair blows in the breeze.
Down the 20 she drives,
In no search for a destination,
Only herself.

Chance encounters happen every day,
Opposites attract, as do similarities.
Clashing and meshing,
Like a puzzle piece.
That girl, that boy,
Fit perfectly.

needles
“Their bodies unable to carry the weight of love, Addiction setting in.” Photo from: http://www.treatment4addiction.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/drugneedles.jpg

Days spent,
An opener on a bottle cap,
Cold ones drunk,
Injections into the veins,
Munchies and a craving for shitty Mexican food.
Telling stories of adventures
Thought to have happened,
But now never will.
Eyes redder than the blood
Flowing through their veins.
Bags under their eyes –
A lighter color than their lungs after the first pack.

They tried finding themselves,
But only found each other.
Their bodies unable to carry the weight of love,
Addiction setting in.
Destruction of themselves,
Their love for the substances
Tearing them apart from the inside and out.
Maybe if they had met,
They wouldn’t have turned to the poison for love.

Senior Photo

graduation cap
“I look at the girl in the photo, Innocent and young. I don’t remember her” Photo from: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51QFfuJyTbL._UX385_.jpg

Could this have been me–
This girl seated here
Before a blue backdrop,
Hair parted to the side
And a headband like a tiara,
Shiny, youth-blue eyes,
Skin smooth, cheeks rosy?
She has a smile
With brace-straightened teeth;
Eighteen
And starting life.
Months after graduation
I sat in the studio.
A straight-haired woman
Placed my arms
Across ebony folds of fabric.
I can hear the flash of light
And feel the stiffness of my arms.
I look at the girl in the photo,
Innocent and young.
I don’t remember her
Face, her
Hands, her–
Do I know her?
Is she still me?
Can I recollect that girl
Forgotten?
Should I let her stay behind?

Standing

I made one mistake–
To tell the truth,
It helps to believe
The door is slammed shut
In my face.

Keep your mouth shut–
I never said anything of value,
You’d remember.
Kick and scream–
I run
Past the gate and
Down the road
So you don’t hear me
Whisper.

To be seen and not heard–
I’ve walked on tiptoe
All my life.
Chastise and lecture–
I leap
Over fields
So you won’t know I’m
Singing.

You don’t know the meaning
Of hard work–
I’ve spent sleepless
Hours reading and typing and writing
And working to pull myself
Out of the hole
You tell me is home.

girl writing
“To be seen and not heard– I’ve walked on tiptoe All my life.” Photo from: www.culturacolectiva.com

I worked every day of my life–
And I was grateful
Until today
You called me
Fool–
For wanting more–
More
Than trashed up trucks,
A wrecked house,
And more cracked eggshells
To creep over.

Get out.
Gone and running–
I fly
Farther than the sky
So you won’t see me
Standing.

Rising Song

If I told you once
I loved you–
I don’t think I foresaw
A life held back
Against a cold hard wall.
You suffocated me
With sparkling chains of words
I tried in vain to embrace.
I was grasping at an empty vessel
Of half-meant hopes and dreams,
And ‘almost like a dream’ meant
Nothing
If I could not catch my breath
From running aimlessly to escape.

A young woman’s escape–
I leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind
As I run out of the monster’s howling lair.
You carried me away
From the truth of a thousand lies
And wounded me with blows.
The skin is thick on the scars
You dug into the mental flesh
Of my blood-stained heart.
The places you struck me
Will heal with the falling snow.

Ring off finger
And flung away.
My finger can bend again–
I was numbed to the bone
From hypothermic waste.
Screeching,
I flung open the bars
Of the prison in which
You held me.

Your heart’s key–
I never meant to unlock
That door.
I threw the key away
Somewhere in the garden,
As drifts of white
Danced in the solemn breeze.

You denied me life
And pushed me inch by inch
Into a living grave.
I was a foot deep in mud
Before I hitched myself up
And braced my feet against the wall.
I won’t say it was easy–
The grips at the bottom
Were hard to cling to
And you were there holding me down.
I made it anyway
And overcame.
Your smug face shuddered
And collapsed into itself
Before the smoke cleared.

That smile was a dream
I attempted foolishly to keep.
As the flames of your fire
Scorched the meat
You had me cook for you,
The bonds of female servility
Were already crumbling
At our feet.

running in woods
“I was numbed to the bone From hypothermic waste.” Photo from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

As you held me down sweating
Against tear-streaked sheets,
I watched the window open
A crack to let the wind in.
As you pulled away and stood
At the door beckoning me to follow
Down the hall of portraits
Of faces smiling in false confidence,
I leaped at the chance
To fly out the window
And baptize myself in
Melting banks of snow.

You can swing at me again–
Your broken dagger was
Never too sharp anyway.
I won’t be hurt again
By untended wounds.

When spring comes,
I will run barefoot
Through the woods
With the sun beating down
And the wind following
My movements
There
And never back again.

Swallowed In Fear

Laughter pierces our silent night
As we explore
What lies beneath
Its ebony canvas.
You groan at the abundance of clouds
But I still spot scattered stars.

Warmth surrounds me as
Our fingers tangle together in loose knots.
I begin to melt into you—
But your hands are ice
(That’s why they’re shaking).
You tighten the knots and
We joke, tease,
Laughter replacing tension once again.
This time our faces inch closer,
Closer,
Close enough to see
Sparks of dread, desire—
Dreadful desire—
Begging to erupt.

starry cloudy night
“You groan at the abundance of clouds But I still spot scattered stars.” Photo from: https:media-cache-ak0-pinimg.com

Afraid of lighting a fire
We can’t control,
Reverting to a practiced posture as
Frigid as the air enveloping us,
We hide behind each other’s uncertainty,
Letting the radio talk for us on the drive home.

My toothbrush now scrapes
Across gingiva and enamel
While my mouth is left wondering
How these words
Swallowed in fear
Would taste in your mouth…

The Hardest Choice

Just a sip—
That’s how the addiction began.
They said it’d fix everything,
An elixir for my inhibitions.
I was passed an overflowing glass of something
And I eagerly downed this liquid god
To atone for the sin
Of being boring.
Happy medium? Too mundane.
I’m only happy living by extremes
And now my happiness is attached to
An extreme buzz
With lows just as intense.

drink
“I was passed an overflowing glass of something And I eagerly downed this liquid god.” Photo from: http://media.salon.com/2014/03/alcohol-1280×960.jpg

Maybe it was the regular blackouts
Or the sleazy boys who got too friendly
Or that time I vomited for two hours
While the world was spinning like that toilet bowl—
But I slowly realized my judgment had been flushed away
Long before my nausea.

As I walked away from the glamorous lifestyle
Of underage drinking,
Once-friendly chatter faded
And soon the loudest thing around
Was my own footsteps.
In their own coded dialect
They screamed to me—
Sobriety might be boring
But if it keeps you alive,
It’s worth it.
I didn’t argue—
Now I just keep myself busy.

Oh, How I Love You Broccoli Man

Dark earth piles up in neat rows–

Vegetables grow

In tall palatial columns–

A tantalizing treat

For the hungry young boy alone.

 

Over the fence and up the path,

Until he stealthily grips his prize–

A verdant head of broccoli.

Starved from days unfed,

He scarfs it down, collapsing

To hardened earth below.

 

Frost chills him to the bone

And an ominous wind moans

A witch’s curses from afar:

Ye dared partake o’ me produce

And ye shall be cursed to poison broccoli

Forevermore!

Whoever loves ye shall partake of the broccoli

Purged from your stomach

And will not die.

 

The lonely boy searches

For fifty years to find his love.

Youth is his until

A day when the sky is grey

And the sun is hidden

And the wind blows fierce–

He sees her!

A quiet girl with golden hair

And eyes of sea waves.

mirror
“We will meet again In the other dream.” ‘And she fell through The rippling mirror.” Photo from: www.vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net

He vomits and retches out

A head of verdant broccoli.

He fears the maiden

Will not accept his bouquet.

 

He catches her by her shirt tail

Pulling her into

An antique dwelling and in

A dark cavern hallway

Asks her,

“Do you care for broccoli?”

 

She replies to his timid inquiry,

“Of course I do! Why shouldn’t I?”

And gobbles it down in haste.

The boy watches in anticipation–

Lo and behold

She does not die!

 

A soft breeze whispers past

As he solemnly attests,

“You are my destined one!”

He pulls her close to him

And as he kisses her

A foul taste fills her mouth

As he falls apart like brittle clay.

 

“We will meet again

In the other dream.”

And she fell through

The rippling mirror.

 

All-Nighter

Sleep doesn’t come when I call anymore.

Maybe I’ll rub the tired from my eyes,

And write another thousand words before the sun rises.

I’ll let myself lose a dozen hours in a back-lit screen.

Just because it feels meaningful when compared with the alternative:

Lying in the cloying silence,

Inventing patterns on the off-white ceiling.

 

There is no heartbreak this time,

No creeping anxiety that drags at the back of my mind.

The weight of the cosmos is no heavier than it ever is.

Nothing to fix, nothing to blame.

These words may be the only meaning I ever find in it,

And even they won’t come easy.

night sky
“I’ll pretend every waking hour had been my decision So I can wear the dark circles under my eyes like some badge of honor.” Photo from: https://pixabay.com

Another all-nighter?” he asks,

And I return his well-intentioned smile.

I’ll pretend every waking hour had been my decision

So I can wear the dark circles under my eyes like some badge of honor,

As though my bone-deep exhaustion was a marker of academic fortitude.

But there is no significance or triumph in the reality

That rest has become some unruly beast,

And sleep doesn’t come when I call anymore.

15 Minutes

On one hand, a couple chuckles and mutters to themselves;

They’re lost in their own world, unconcerned with the rest of us.

On the other hand, two girls type away at their laptops;

One giggles and grins at something only she can see.

 

Time passes, the smell of pizza lingers in the air.

The couple have untangled themselves.

The giggling girl and the girl from the couple are chatting and laughing across the room.

Others chime in and the room buzzes with conversation.

clock
“Time passes, the smell of pizza lingers in the air.” Photo from: www.duratimeclocks.com

The couple eats ice cream while the two girls talk about the dog wandering through the room.

One takes the dog out for a walk, the room wishes her luck and fun.

Silence has descended about the room.

Finally, the girl from the couple turns to me and speaks.

Sunny Day

I am hiding outside

In the sun.

 

My black flats are worn –

The heels torn to the sole.

I am wearing the shirt

Your mother bought me –

The blue floral print

That falls off the shoulders

And exposes my bare back

Beneath crisscross strips of thin fabric.

 

I don’t like it –

It reveals the freckled maps

On each shoulder –

My essence.

 

girl
“It reveals the freckled maps On each shoulder.” Photo from: thenletitbe.tumblr.com

 

People glance at me

As they pass on the sidewalk.

 

I could be an Armadillo

Or a Turtle

Or poke my head out

Of this hardened shell.

I can choose to be an Emu

Or a Donkey

Or keep my mouth shut firm

In solitary silence.

 

You would be angry –

I did not wear my jacket.

My back is ice

And I don’t care.

I am a rebel without

A flag to wave –

All eyes on me

And mine on them.

Life-Drawing

Behind a locked door,

I can only think about

Simple compass circles,

And I am forced to steady my mind.

 

Your forest eyes follow me –

Will she? Will she really do this?

Slowly, I pull off one sleeve and then another.

You take me at my word,

Settling on a pose.

“Are you sure you can stay still?”

Are you sure? Are you sure you want this?

I nod, lounging across your pillow.

 

Every curve and crease

Drifts onto blank paper.

It’s the first you’ve worked me out

In pencil lines and ebony charcoal –

I couldn’t draw as you do.

You’d laugh at my sloppy lines

And squiggled fingers.

Artists scrutinize every motion,

But it’s better to lie here, still,

Soaking in sun through the cracks in your blinds.

IMG_20170129_154933_processed
The Burial, Photo from http://alexandra-sophie.fr/the-burial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You capture the feel of my skin,

The light that strikes my eyes,

And the thump of my heart.

I am merely lines and shadows

To a cross-hatched world in your mind.

 

Finally, work ceases.

You move to me

With shaking hands.

I grasp hold of each,

Pulling you to me,

And close my eyes to feeling.

Rain and Ramen Noodles

It rains.
I wake up,
Roll over and see
Class has been over
An hour or more.
I have no guilt.

I pull myself up slowly
And move across the room
On legs that could collapse
Beneath me.
I’m ill today
And it rains.

window
“I pull myself up slowly And move across the room.” Photo from: mediacache.pinimg.com

It rains,
And I am hungry.
I pull on my jacket
And stumble outside.
Somehow,
I have not fallen.
Make my way across a flooded plain;

Reach my destination.
Inside
My treasure sits upon the shelf:
Beef, Shrimp, Chicken.
I make my choices –
Head back.

I wait:
A boiling hot cup of
Ramen.

In The Dark

Silence hangs in the air like an axe.

The clock tick-tick-ticking closer toward the witching hour.

Gradients of darkness give shape to the room.

A black mass in the corner waits, quiet and knowing.

 

A face with two sets of eyes stare,

One a ghastly green, the other a blazing blue,

Never blinking, always watching.

High above it waits, eternal.

clock
“Never blinking, always watching.” Photo from: media4.giphy.com

The axe falls by degrees, a slow draining drip of dread.

Whispers, voices, leak through the wall,

Crawling along the ceiling and echoing,

Loud enough to hear, muffled enough to hide.

 

Scratches dig deep into the door,

Claws dragging long grooves.

Just wait, wait until the night ends

And the blood red light leaks in.

Floating

Ripped cellophane drifting in the wind,

Covering my childhood spot.

 

A habit of harmony and wonder

Turned resting place for all creativity.

 

Sleeping dog, covered in careful spots,

Striped with innocence.

 

I come here to dream

Drab and crass thoughts.

forest
“This place is mine.” Photo from: www.pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never have I shared this place,

Not even as a curious child.

 

False impression of ignorance,

This place is mine.

 

My place of sin,

Shaded by fading memories.

Waiting Room Blues

We’re all sitting in a makeshift waiting room.

A drug treatment facility masquerading as a fidcus emporium

The doctor is late

It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch

All of us are here for the same reason

Our brains flood us with that feel-good chemical

Get my heart racin’ baby

We shift uncomfortably

Unsure as to whether or not we’ll get our fix

waiting room
“The doctor is late. It’s as if having a medical degree comes with a broken watch.” Photo from: www.juiceforskin.com

 

 

 

 

 

They leave us in twos

Some cross the threshold and never come back

Gone into the zone of white lab coats and Zoloft

‘Not I’ said the bipolar

‘Not me’ said the schizophrenic

We shift and stare

Trying to find the drug addict among us

Only to find that we’re all addicts,

Getting high off serotonin.

Anxiety

Fluttering, falling, fading,

Once green leaves stained yellow with groundless fears,

Buffeted and shaken by rains that once

Wouldn’t have even been noticed.

One by one the leaves die of terror,

And the branches are left bare.

But instead of doing anything,

The tree lets it happen.

The more the leaves fall,

The less strength there is to hold on to the ones left.

The wind tries to help,

Tickling branches in ways the tree once loved.

But without leaves, the wind feels harsh and exhausting.

tree

“One by one the leaves die of terror, And the branches are left bare.” Photo from: www.staticflickr.com

 

 

Branches snicker, snap, and groan

At the innocent wind.

The bare bony fingers reach towards the sky,

Scraping against the blue in desperation.

But the sky never says anything,

And only the rain that was already coming

Responds to the cries.

Soon there is nothing

To protect from the coming ice,

And all that remains

Is to do

Nothing.

Hazel Eyes

The touch, the feel,

The heat, the sweat.

A hand running along the hip,

Feeling of rose petal lips against the heart.

 

Dark, spiraled hair of ebony,

The golden-green hazel eyes framed so well.

The soft, pale pink lips,

Often mistaken for a cloud.

hazel-eyes
“Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.” Photo from: www.muscledudelife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those hazel eyes see horror and pain.

Her pale lips are lowered.

These curls hide the face of a girl.

 

Those who passed her over,

Who didn’t bother to look beyond her skin,

Far too self-centered to see the damage,

Unable to see the women she would become.