Worn Out Siren TalesI was once the moon-rippled, crystal clear
disturbance at shore
and you found hope, resting
on the borders of
sand and wave.
When I moved, you breathed,
It just isn't worth it,
I was carved on ship hulls for a
and I was summoned from sleep to
drown myself in the clutches
of a sea that disowned me
for one too-
and I wrote on woody parchments
for more attention than
So when you moved, I stopped,
Tell me this is eternal,
I had not.
margo once told melately i've been counting the strings left
unbroken inside me
and either they're all split
time-spared drawers of dreamsi. someday the sight-starved
will find more than just the moon -
that i promise you.
we've seen all of what happiness
will never be and
like liquid stars in the milky way,
smiles will seep down
into the oceans of your laughter.
never mind what they said
about shady equilibrium;
it's only man's insecurity.
truth is, there is no
no rule, no eyes
watching over you;
just the forgotten remains of the
god that falls on us
every time it rains.
ii. someday, my dear,
those cranes won't just be
an exhibition of folded paper -
and those tears you cry now?
[which you hate so much?]
will leak into my arterial walls
and tell me they only tell stories of ecstasy;
we just have yet to realize.
love, it won't be long
till autumn will not be as forgotten
and between these
multiple shades of grey, will rest
the emptiness within yo[us]
and the broken smiles
of a shattered yesterday.
iii. grieve not, sweet traveler -
our draining journey has just begun.
and though you have been without comfort for s
you could read to me foreveryour vocal cords collapsed with
the heaviness of your words,
repeating the same exorcised
truth that you caught over the
phone when you moaned to me.
it took a thousand splendid suns
for us to see eye to eye, for you
to know why I weep over book
pages and not people and why
i keep some stories tucked between
my alcoholism and faltering acid
trips. your voice and mine have
the same cadence and we're caught
in the ceasefire between our cords.
i've always been too exhausted, out
of my mind to tell that each
oscillation we've let our voices
take has been plucked better
than a million dancing beams.
drinkdrinkdrunkanabolic alcoholic, summer
of watching you soar through
hammock seams and i had
almost found your reluctance
but then liquor dripped
and ran rather deep -
mounds of molehills
you drained with coke
vodka leaked jaws and i
told you the dreams;
the heights summer had
-ment etched in your
left cleft joints
so swallowing, wallowing
in catabolic ache
liquid froze at the
nape of your
neck and this white-red-pink wine
you love somehow
stole summer's dreams
and winds and thaw.
i fold paper for a livingpeople think it's weird - that i fold paper for a living.
i sit by a park bench, chant numbers under my breath and bend each fiber of light, fragile paper just the way i want.
because it makes you feel powerful? you ask. and i sit there and smile at the words that twitch the sides of your lips.
i sit here and watch that simple square turn into a crane right before my eyes - with my hands - because i can make it happen. i imagine my next move, anticipate an outlook and create beauty out of the simplicity of what the bark of the tree next to the bench twisted into from the paper in front of me. because you've been ugly your whole life? you ask. and i laugh at your naivety and inhale the scent of the rain.
the musky scent seeps into the paper and carries itself into the presence of the butterfly i folded. and it sits on the mantelpiece with all the other folded paper i find beauty in. i watch them on cold November mornings, when the fireplace is lit and the clouds sig
five ways to kill a mansomewhere before stressing away
my baby fat, i read that five ways
to kill a man included leaving
him somewhere in the clutches
of the twentieth century without
a home to nurse
his tachycardia back
but they never mentioned
that grief doesn't always catalyze
annihilation in the hands
of your own desolate storms.
somewhere before whispering away
my horrible taste in music, i heard
that it's always too soon for the end
to be near because hope
is a once-in-a-lifetime dream
you have on the poker-night of a blue moon,
oscillating between the acrimony
of the high tide and the blues
of the low
but it never said anything
about a sunrise meaning forever;
it never did, it never did.
somewhere before writing away the rawness
of a shallow cut in my bilayers, i memorized
'if' written by the withered hands of
kipling. i memorized the four-stanza'ed
sentence and hoped i'd never have to whisper
it to the broken ears of a departed
but that's where you lost
your headstart to the metro
i only asked for the end of the world"i found shadows in the sun again,"
i looked at her
with a gleam of sarcasm in my eyes,
as she looked down with wind in her hair.
the night looked lovely on her.
the purple of post-nebula progression
it made her eyes look electric blue
though they were a soft green.
"i said, i found shadows on the sun again."
she'd never look up unless
she couldn't breathe and needed
to pull a sigh out of her butterfly winged lungs.
and that bothered me;
- she'd refuse to breathe
only because the air seemed
she'd give up so easily sometimes.
i run out of pretty things to say
but she looks at me expectantly,
hoping i'll find my muse
within the corner of he
the clockwork liari. we dusted dreams off people like the first snowflakes of the season. you'd take one and rest it on the center of your tongue because you hated the taste of ice cream and wanted to reset what cold tasted like to you.
you taught me that the cold could be bitter, and so could people's dreams.
you drank out of out-of-order wells because you believed they still worked and that the government was keeping it all to itself.
i never realized how insane you made me before i wrote this all down.
ii. i wished on the sun because i ran out of shooting stars.
and just to spite me, you began wishing on raindrops because you believed that they were so many, one of them was bound to remember you.
but we both ended up laughing hysterically with protruding knives on a bloodstained floor, didn't we?
iii. i talked to clockwork towers and told them to lie because if they stopped for just a while, all the time in the world would seize.
one human, two human
white noise.sometimes i turn off the greasy yellow lights and run the water lava hot.
the quiet porcelain is an untouched coffin
familiar as the look in your eyes.
i can hear my heart beat in my ears
and i stare at the ceiling until it darkens and blurs at the edges.
my body is heavy as lead
i cannot remember the weight of movement.
sometimes the closest i can get is the suicide between each breath
and the apology unspoken on the inhale.
my skin is a ladder i keep climbing,
i can see through the rungs to the fat cells that weigh down my bones.
my hand becomes his when it creeps uninvited over the landscape of my body
and across the staircase of my ribs.
i can't erase the feeling of his body pressed like a book
over my flower.
my head is white noise that bleeds red,
but i'm tired of all the blood.
tired of all the memories like channels
i keep flicking past.
sometimes i wonder if i cut enough slack in my skin,
i would say my father is a wari would say my father is a war horse but that is a failed symbol
because he has been dragged through the dirt as many times as this metaphor
i want to write in abstract like in a book of
contemporary poetry i bought over the summer;
it was all syllables and lines of 'talk talk talk' repeated over and over
i want to write something that describes how i feel without saying a word that describes it -
dust and ache and tired and bone and overflowing and lonely and fuck and .
i want to write poems that have meaning without being cliche i want poems
that defy grammar and space and time because when someone reads them, they become me
i want someone to read this and know
it is approximately 12:04am
and my ears are itchy and my eyes -
my eyes -
i feel a deer prancing behind my eyes, his heavy antlers pushing
against my forehead and i should name him athena because i've got an olympic-sized headache
but instead the deer yells WANNA GO?
and he says it like an angry, unde
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
001 i am a whirlwind of
an aching heart
a regret that could
post meridiemi am no lionheart.
look closely. there are small cracks
along my fragile frame. where purple
and blue blossom underneath flesh,
and pink/white lines decorate hidden skin.
i am far from what you see.
bad days.on my bad days,
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.
a town i don't want to call mineon the right of the turquoise green sign
that welcomes you to columbia,
there are two gas stations and a church.
on the left side, there’s a morgue.
when i was five years old, my father pulled over
and stopped on the side of the road while black car
after black car passed us, going the other way.
“did we know them?” i asked.
“no,” he said, putting the car in drive. “but someone did.”
at seven, mr. jimmy down at the ice cream shop
let me have free samples of all the new flavors he made
before he put them out to the public.
a favor, he called it, for his little henry.
(years later i would realize that my mother
brought henry into the world.
i would realize my mother brought most everyone
in that town under the age of twenty
into the world, and she never regretted it
even if some of them became gang members, murderers, victims, and
little henry’s leg was crippled in a four-wheeler accident)
i would stand in line during church communion
count to infinity before you sleep.cause i know
there are days when
it's painful to even breathe,
your throat closing up on the knowledge
that you don't know
how much longer you'll be waiting on this
band-aided, superglued planet.
every cell in your body vying to be the next to die,
and all you have to tell them is
maybe. maybe next time.
those are the days you spend
cutting rose thorns into your palms
and clenching your fists tight around
jagged reflections and prismed rainbows.
the days you realize
we're losing so much faster than we're learning.
we're maturing faster than we're growing.
adults stuck in the bodies of kids,
moving around, making the mistakes
no one ever wants to look back on.
those are the days you realize
it's not worth living here anymore.
you're using too many burnt-like sugar words
to get what you want, a mistaken human in wolf's clothing.
your lies are becoming louder than your screams,
but if the knife fits wear it on your skin.
this is the age where you feel caught between
tear the skeleton from his comfortzonei want to build a skyscraper, seventeen stories high
and fill each floor with a story from the people who never said goodbye.
a middle child, born in 1994,
she always wanted to be loved the most
until she learned how to give a blowjob
in an alley behind Miss China’s Takeaway
at knife point.
she lost her childhood
to an ocean who always thought it was small
and never stopped pushing its borders.
he’s not sure how he’s supposed to live without her.
staring at the closed coffin, he loses the ability to want to.
it’s not fair, she thinks,
that the house creaks when she’s trying to sleep,
but when he leaves, it doesn’t make a sound.
nine months and a small coffin later,
she thinks she likes the name “amber”
“tomorrow,” he says as she passes him in the hallway—
him from math, her to english. “i’ll tell her tomorrow,”
a thought he had had for the
slingshot words.there are a million worlds living in your head
begging to be wrapped around your tongue and released like a slingshot
into the heart of some stranger you may never meet.
And should some why completely weepon nights wrought of quiet,
(born to the moonlight
who slunk between far theres
to nestle lines of silver,
when i felt her reflections
near)white sheets rustling
the only sound in my ear,
even the house held its ghosts
and rusting pipelines still;
when the streets were statue,
(and so rarely were the streets
empty)cars parked quivering
beneath the glass that held
my eyes in theirs: nights
when breaths were most rancid,
the floorboards creaked like
tectonics were his footsteps,
he the embodiment of mountains
shifting, eons spanned in frightful
seconds(when the moonlight
was shut from the bedroom
and noise repossessed)
one day, i sent a letter to the mooni got sick of our tired old earth
and asked if i could join
the man in the moon
on an afternoon for coffee;
he preferred tea.
to the gunman of a school shooting in newtown, CTthe black man on the television screen spits reform,
but parents of dead children plea gun control in the
wake of the destruction of 20 children, 26 lives total.
adam, don't you realize it's christmas time & these
parents will be burying bones instead of caroling songs?
the black man on the television screen admits:
our heart is broken.
but there is no beauty in the unity that follows robbing
of innocence. adam,
you sprayed the school with bullets bursting into shrapnel
off the shattering skulls of children.
20 little bodies hauled off in white sanitation bags,
stained red with crusty blood and shouting mothers screaming
to the heavens.
there is nothing clean about the way 26 connecticut families
will be washing the salt water off their chapped cheeks eternally.
you drained them internally. in america,
to know change you must create it, but we have
a cabinet full of ornate teacups not willing to
blow the dust off their porcelain edges.
you'd think we'd learn from our mistakes, but adam
there are 2 things that not even the most
forceful of rains can cleanse me of:
sometimes, i feel like a caged lion.
only with a lot more impatience
and a lot less resilience.
i have yet to discover what it means to be content.
i am either too stagnant or too fluid.
no middle ground.
i have mastered the art of leaving.
it's the idea of moving on that still haunts me.
i fear that the light in my eyes is so dim that it will burn out
before even i have a chance to see the world with it.
i am not as clever as i pretend to be.
someone needs to teach me that
i don't need reassurance; i need self-assurance.
that someone should be me.
my greatest fears are loneliness and cancer.
the second because all my beauty is in my hair.
the first doesn't need an explanation.
i am still discovering what it means to be a woman.
everything is confusing me.
i am secretly afraid of massages.
feels like i'm being stabbed.
we all know how that is.
2nd priority maili remembered you lion-hearted,
but just insecure enough to let
me wrap my good intentions around
your neck to warm you with the
heat of all their purity.
people aren't games,
but we played each other as if
our backbones were life savings
begging to be gambled away.
you melted inside me until i could
no longer tell the difference between
each of my individual bones.
you started screaming the promises
that were whispering through my blood stream
straight into the gaps between my eyelashes,
telling me that i should've looked for you
at that goddamn bus stop under the rain that night.
you cracked into shrapnel,
told me you were stuck in the arms
of someone you didn't deserve to call lover -
said you felt like shit wasting her.
at that bus stop, there was rain.
there was rain, and at the bus stop
you told me you were safe in my arms.
that nothing bad ever happens to those who wait.
i collected you like a pile of postcards
mailed from woman to woman, each kissing
your frayed edges wi
a guide to her sadness.her wrists are wishbones she breaks for luck,
not knowing there is no luck in the break.
her veins are unanswered prayers
her lungs an apology sent as letters to heaven,
hoping God will forgive her for being a continual disappointment.
her head is a phonebooth for all the thoughts nobody's picking up on.
the the sadness is sinking her again.
so when she leaves at midnight to longboard to the ocean,
go with her.
when she tries to climb bridges,
don't let her.
when she's drinking cold tea and playing daughter,
it means she's trying to pull her head together.
when she's in the bathroom praying to the toilet,
decide to knock.
when she avoids you,
hide her blades.
she doesn't have the will to fight anymore.
so on the bad days, fight for her.
she was my tabby catlurking recollections
of tossled moonbeams
were the patterns that radiated
her crescent skin.
she arched her back,
(like a yawning cat on a milky
and felt the rhythmic
spine as it
the rainfall kidshe always loved the sting of grapefruit
and the way the winter air kissed her skin,
leaving it pink and raw and sensitive to the touch
like the heart she tried so hard to hide.
but she never grew up, not really.
she always belonged to the rain
and never stayed in one place for too long.
she was afraid her stupid heart might dig in,
leave its roots in the people and then
it would rip and tear when she up and left.
and she never accepted the fact that
she did indeed have a heart.
she tried so hard to be hollow and
let the winter rain chill her skin and
soak into her bones so that she, too,
might be just as cold.
so she stopped believing in sunshine.
she accepted the title of rainfall kid,
and lived with thunder in her chest.