I would like to issue an apology to the kindergartener
who cried for eight hours on her first day
because she was alone in an ocean of unknown,
living, breathing, suffocating on air she didn’t know,
and somehow made it past the storm
with a mere scratch or two;
to the writer who didn’t know who she was
because people told her she couldn’t dream
or speak or wonder,
or be who she wanted to be,
but little did she know that one day she would use her words
and change the world,
and little did she know that dreams are meant for
breaking the rules;
to the young girl who never realized the joy of a book,
who lived in a one-dimensional,
because she never read the words that carried the colors
or adventured on un-taken paths, Read more »
I listen to the crackling of the fireworks in the skies, and think of how much you love them. You--the writer--and me--the dreamer--planting ourselves on the edge of the boardwalk every Fourth of July, festooned with red-white-and-blues from head to toe, listening to the water slosh below our dangling feet. “Where do the sparks go afterwards, Oliver?” I remember asking you once in the middle of a show, but you had been too captivated by the colors to hear me. During the grand finale, I turned to you once again, and watched as you fell into a trance, the reflection of the red and gold splashes glimmering in your eyes. You always loved beauty for what it was, and I always loved you for what you were, Oliver. I remember the same night for the way my stomach wrenched when your hand, in quick instinct, grabbed mine during the most intense part of the fireworks. It was always my little secret--us holding hands on the boardwalk below the gust of bursting colors; you never noticed. I remember trailing Read more »
I wake up every morning to a cup of tea
with my dad at the charcoal-granite island--
1.5 tbsp of sugar, caffeinated;
1 tbsp and decaf if I’m feeling particularly
I scribble thoughts in my notebook--
sometimes rambles, sometimes
coherent words that translate into
often pictures that temporarily
alleviate my symptoms. Read more »
If you listen real close in the peak of the night,
you can hear the packs of wolves
behind the dirt mound next door,
and you can hear the city awaken
under the moonlight.
When you look real close,
you can see lights,
magnified beyond the window-glass;
the pond leaves on the other side of the field;
the rustling of the grass where rabbits have hidden.
And when you close your eyes,
you will wander with your mind,
guided by your senses;
you'll drift to the songs of the wolves
but lie wide-eyed to never escape the city life.
along the way,
you'll find time to dream
of the sights you'll never see
and the places you'll never be.
When I am a writer,
if I am a writer,
I will dream of my
to be worn-out over time,
its pages folded by readers
who cannot stop,
margins smudged with ink
from every caress--
because a reader who falls
for my novel,
will wear it down with love,
for love is relentless.
I’d say there’s something beautiful,
and perhaps a bit reassuring,
about a novel that is falling
apart from love--
just like a person
falling apart from love.
I think it would be nice
to live with the stars
in the sky
and soar across on those
and watch the world
time by time.
On these nights on the highway,
with the murmur of the guitar strums
persisting in the air,
the stars seem content
in their own place,
seldom tied up;
exists an eerie silence, Read more »
I saw her silhouette from across
a dilapidated barn
with decrepit wooden panels
in the corner of the city,
became a diner
with cracked-leather bar stools
and a lingering coffee aroma.
When she turned,
she carried between her fore
and middle finger
an unlit cigarette,
yet never lit it
within the hours
I watched her.
She was young,
with signs of aging that
and a weariness in her
Hazelnut was the only
way to describe
them; Read more »
that returns to quash the
serenity of the present
These stars on my ceiling
have listened to my words
night after night,
have glimmered in times of darkness,
inspired me at 2am on Sunday nights,
watched over me at every changing moment.
They have been the only
aspects of my life,
lingering above the twin bed
year after year,
enduring nights of anxiety,
celebrating months of happiness;
for the past eight years,
I have started and ended each day
I have noticed their radiance
sinking into the navy blue curtains.
When the lights fall into a slumber
late at night,
I am left in darkness,
with no light
and no stars to speak to.
And spending these nights under the bare ceiling
has fostered a loneliness within me;
this solitude preys
on my vulnerable mind.
I am existing in a bubble
with words to say,
thoughts to convey,
and no stars to speak to.
Perhaps they, like me, hide from who I am becoming.
Perhaps they have survived with the strength of my free spirit,
the same free spirit that has begun to wane with every
with every heartbreak,
I am internally collapsing,
and perhaps my stars are too.
To no one in particular, just thoughts I imagine in my mind.
I have dreamt of listening to your raspy voice (or smoky or smooth, whichever you prefer) murmur the words off of a page, page after page, book after book, because I have always dreamt of being read to. Me weeping at the sentiments of characters & finding solace in the way I hold your hands & tracing the tinted lines on your soft palms. And oftentimes, lying by the fire where the sizzling of the embers break the lull of your reading & drifting into a delicate sleep with my head on the curves of your shoulders.
I have dreamt of winter days like these, creating imprints in the snow with footsteps & wandering to the top of the hill with the grafittied bench, where the sun dances at the end of the day. Closing our eyes & feeling the icy wind wash away our inhibitions & sinking into our deepest desires, our fears, our dreams. Sipping hot chamomile tea by the frosty window when the air is too chill (because there is something romantic about chamomile tea) & watching your eyes wander with every emotion. And listening to your stories, to the way you have lived life & the mistakes you have made on the way. I have always dreamt of knowing you. Read more »
Author's Note: I posted this a while back, but I've made some changes to it---line breaks, structure, etc. At this point, it's a character study. Not quite sure where it's going.
I was once told that I am a pessimist because I see a world that is half-empty
and you see a world that is half-full.
But I am a realist.
I often have thoughts that I cannot fathom.
Sometimes I feel as if my body is separated from my mind
by a fine line that never falters.
Other times, I am simply
And I take it that you think you understand how I feel,
but you, the constant optimist,
cannot comprehend the pain of
apart. Read more »
Breaking the barrier between reader and protagonist in this piece. Not sure where I'm going with it yet, but I'm thinking a series of letters or passages. Here's the first:
I was once told that I am a pessimist because I see a world that is half-empty and you see a world that is half-full. I often have thoughts that I cannot fathom. Sometimes I feel as if my body is separated from my mind by a fine line that never falters. Other times, I am simply disconnected. And I take it that you think you understand how I feel, but you, the constant optimist, cannot comprehend the pain of falling apart.
I have never fallen in love before. I have a theory that love doesn’t exist, and I spend every day searching for some form of invalidation. At this point in my life, I am like an animal in a zoo, isolated by an iron-wrought cage and taunted by liberated passersby, because I live a life that has no escape route. Read more »
I come from a family who pledges to Mitt Romney, and a place that worships Barack Obama. I choose to stay out and listen with neutral ears, but I am persuaded so easily by each side, until these persuasions cancel each other out. Politics used to have no effect on me---they were meaningless banters and politicians were devious people. I've come to realize that politics are less about understanding the laws of the country, but more about refining your own morals. Politicians are fighters who defend their views, but neither side is right nor wrong. Saying one party is wrong is like disrespecting their morals, their views, them as people. If there's one thing that irks me about politics, it's the lack of respect being exchanged. People defend sides with purpose, with personal reasons, and we, as outsiders, can never understand their reasoning without understanding them. Being divided between two sides has taught me this. How can we tell someone that their morals are wrong---that the way they have been brought up is wrong? How can we force them to change what they have known to be right for all their lives....just because we believe we are right? The whole process seems flawed to me, but maybe I'm just naïve. Read more »
Every season is a new color from the train to the city. Winter is my favorite. It’s sometimes grey, sometimes white, sometimes bare-spots-in-the-park green, and every once in a while, it’s the color of happiness---whatever that may be.
Winter is the trails the city snow makes with stilettos on the train floor, the lingering aroma of freshly baked holiday cookies from the pastry stand on the platform, the nip of the air as it escapes through the double doors at 42nd and 50th. In winter, a man with a red hat and woolen gloves says, Hello, how are you? Weather’s nice. Weather’s always nice. Sometimes the child with a bow-tied present shows me a new book or a toy---Mom got this one for me because I asked for it last Christmas, and Mom always knows the right thing to get me. Once I met a stunning man whose ocean-eyes were half-covered by the rim of a hat, and that was the only time I slightly resented winter. Read more »
We talk about caring as if we know what it means to care, to love, to cherish---
these are superficial words that are coated with sugar, some coloring,
but hollow on the inside like peanut shells at dusty sous-sol bars.
And we talk about leaping, risking, hoping,
as if we have ever trusted these things,
as if jumping off of a cliff can brain-wash us and send these feelings into secluded waters, far away---
but when has hoping ever changed the world?
And unrequited love is like losing air, like helplessly sinking into the earth's natural gravitational pull,
like being weighted down by the magnetic stare of the glowering moon---
no wonder the waves are particularly calm on this night.
Waiting for this is like waiting for a newborn seed to blossom into a storybook tree---
in my experience, the tree usually dies.
Waiting for this is like taking the express train to misery---
it's like waiting for presents on Christmas morning and ending up with coal---
ho ho ho, Merry Christmas, kids---
like diving and falling and never stopping.
My dear, your laugh is like an apothecary's poison,
your words like daggers,
Romeo and Juliet's signs from their frozen, stone-cold graves--- Read more »
I have a muse who prefers to be invisible.
She knocks on my door every other Saturday and sometimes on late 2-am Monday nights, but even those visits are rare. Sometimes she hides out beneath the doormat and plays an eternal game of hide-and-seek-and-never-find. Most of the time, she appears between the Times New Roman, 12-point, compressed words of The Namesake and sometimes on the cover of To Kill a Mockingbird, beguiling me away to empty computer screens that never change hours later. She’s sly in the way she preys on my delicate mind but never provides a drop of inspiration.
A drop of inspiration to an author is a drop of milk to an infant, and my muse is a parent who never learned how to raise a child. But unlike the latter, she never apologizes for crumpled-up notebook pages or characters that disintegrate over time or stories that dangle in a sort-of broken position. She never goads me to finish, to reach the end, to run the race that would catalyze the rest of my life. Instead, she tears at the spotlight, and hibernates for months at a time in a separate dimension. Read more »
The start to the story I've been working on! No direction, yet, but we'll see where it goes.
In the late moon-lit night, the woman walks by herself to the apartment building, a decrepit structure in the bowels of the city. The key pad at the main entrance is dysfunctional, yet she finds no fear of strangers or criminals; the city life has made her fearless. As she steps into her living room, she notices the distinct smell of burned chicken and sharp red wine. Beside translucent trash cans are rotting apple cores that never quite made the basket, doubled with the artistically-arranged paper crumples from her old notebook. The cat meanders in and out of the dark bedroom, purring under the city tumult; Ellis left the door open again. The woman hears his snore from inside the room, rising and falling with his chest, evanescent as her purse clamors against the mahogany table. Read more »
This morning, SB faced a huge loss as one of our favorite chemistry teachers passed away. The school was in grief all day. Thoughts go out to him, his family, his students, and his colleagues. Just some thoughts.
On this morning, I can't look anyone in the eye.
Teachers I have had for years are red,
and I fall apart at the sight of this.
On the announcements,
I hold my breath and a sob
and find solace in the hush of
Walking into the library, I feel hands
grasp my shoulders,
ask me if I'm okay--
but otherwise, there is this eerie silence
all throughout the school,
a silence that whispers prayers and thoughts
I will remember the day for its silence.
The boy in my second period with red eyes,
whose father died last summer, is a reminder
of what death does,
how even the death of others invokes memories
that never leave,
how being straight-faced-shocked-deadpanned
is often the best form of grief. Read more »
Hello my once-lost-twice-loved-never-found dear,
I like the lilt of your name as it falls and rises
like waves under the pull of
the crescent moon
and I like it even more than
because the latter does not make me
like names do.
Because I am porcelain
and I am a friend-person-nonpartaker-of-silly-love-stories,
but I am a girl who dreams of
and I crack easier than eggshells that are off-eggshell-white
or china teacups with my rouge-tinted-lipstick-stains.
So hold my heart and let it dance
or never take it and let it fly
like birds that flutter,
especially in these autumn days,
because you, my dear, are an amalgamation of
colors and emotions and feelings
like after-sunset skies,
only those invoke a certain happiness
that your ambiguity gently takes away.
Shards can always be melded back together,
but those who play with porcelain
will always live with the wounds and
Twenty years ago, on her first night in Paris, Marilyn wore a dress etched with rose petals, its hem dancing below her knees. Under the fervent sun, a rugged man bought her a red rose, and whispered intimate French words into her ear. Belle, he had called her, and she was instantaneously flattered by French hospitality. The most beautiful flower in the bouquet---that’s what Marilyn was.
The streets entailed parts of quintessential Paris---cobblestones that withheld pieces of beautiful history, the aroma of the sweet patisseries as sweet as the language itself, the vitality of the air as people moved through it. Marilyn walked mindlessly with solely her eyes, soaking in the life around her. There was no other feeling than those invoked by Paris, no other grandiose city such as it.
In a lit corner of artsy Montmartre, Marilyn met a French boy who drew her face when she wasn’t looking. He smiled as she caught his eye, riveted by her beauty which surpassed his mere canvas painting. She sat on a stool beside him, simultaneously filling an internal loneliness and lured by the boy’s story. Read more »
The wind whispered in Marilyn’s ear on the Bateau-Mouche on a late Paris night, a soft murmur that sent chills down her spine. She felt over-wrought with emotions, dissatisfied with the void in her gut. Somehow, she had lost all senses with the present---with the passing monuments that compiled the rich culture of Paris, the Paris that the world knew. She was a boat against the current, against the heavy Seine on this enchanting night. The beating of the waves could barely keep her from where she wandered.
There was little that kept her from the top of the boat and the sparkling waters under the stars. There was the rusty railing that had the world's fingerprints imprinted across it, the bottom deck where minuscule bodies undulated with Seine waves, the iridescent star-dust that compiled into a figurative wall. Yet, there was freedom from where she stood. She was open in the world, under the sky, feeling like she could tumble into the glistening Seine and fly through the canals of Paris. Read more »
I dream of nightmares where you disappear, and this, in itself, is not a dream because you are gone and I am left with nothing. It is a nightmare when I wake up and the illusions of my curtains make me dizzy, spinning, lost, falling. It's like a devil that emerges between the cracks of my seven-year-old windows, and why I haven't fixed them yet, I wonder. Often, you are silent in these dreams of nightmares; once, you screamed, and you screamed my name, and we know this isn't how reality would span out. Because my name is not at the tip of your lips like your name is at the tip of my lips; my name is a breeze that passes once in a while, providing warmth in all its coolness, but never a necessity like the way your name is a falling breath of fresh air. I hear it come back once in a while, the way your voice reverberates off of the walls of a canyon, and you are falling falling falling until you disappear. It is a dream of a nightmare that haunts me even away from this slumber, even when the contrast of blue and sunset are warriors that protect me---but they can't protect me from myself. Read more »
I am attached to a boy I have never met.
Rather, I have seen him.
I have seen him in an arched hall where pastels blend,
and I have seen him in pictures,
and I have seen who he is through his lens.
He sees colors and shapes and I see a boy who knows the world.
Rather, he brightens the world.
His honey-suckle, monarch butterfly,
rainbow-touched photographs are outlets,
I have fallen for these perspectives.
A photo is an image is a story is a thousand words,
and clichés such as this prove to be undeniable.
Because he is the boy who sees the Eiffel Tower
from an angle the world has yet to reach,
who sees the sun trickle through translucent material,
who captures the paradox of dynamicity in a still-life.
I am attached to a boy I have never met,
a boy who timidly wanders by the stage,
a photographer shy of his talents.
He sees not the music on black-ink noteheads, but the music in hearts,
the passion in a blur, the drive in an expression.
I fall like water droplets in fluorescent backgrounds,
and I fall like the fervent sun behind grand mountains,
and I fall for the boy behind the lens who is beautiful
in the way he knows the world,
the boy who I have met through Nikon photographs
and indirect eye contact,
the boy who has inspired me without knowing me.
These rainy days make me wistful for our childhood days, long before the storm that swept us apart. The smell of the lingering rain after a storm passes is a striking reminder of August afternoons in my kitchen with vanilla milkshakes and broken puzzles. It used to drift in through open windows in a lilting rhythm, coddling us with all its warmth. Sometimes we would lean against the windows, chasing the last raindrops across the mesh screen and sprinting onto the wet grass to watch the grey skies clear away. I remember the awe that would strike us from the gradience of colors directly after a storm, finger paints that delineated the swells of clouds. Over time, the skies would progress into a myriad of stars that assembled into anomalous formations. There was something special about standing side-by-side as the world unraveled its charm; moments like those spawned a certain intimacy between the two of us, a certain maturity in our relationship. It was one of these after-rain days when I first felt myself blushing. Yet, even deeper, I felt flowers of emotions blossoming. It was almost as if standing beside you under those ravishing skies made me realize your true beauty. It’s funny how inspiration can do that.
I started the year off in a Holocaust Studies class, which I eventually omitted from my schedule due to a multitude of reasons---nevertheless, the topic manages to fascinate me to all extents. I'm incredibly saddened by every event, but each story is so compelling. Anne Frank, of course, sparks my interest the most---the way that a girl like me faced all this. It reminds me to be grateful for life, for each breath. I've been reading some stories about the Holocaust, so this was inspired by it. I think I may continue it to a broader story, but that would require some more mental strength.
I broke a promise once.
A glass butterfly shattering. I felt the quivers of sound waves travel down my spine, the quivers of an unearthly sound reverberating off of shards of glass.
I broke a promise once, and felt a piercing suspend the mountaneous ridges of my glistening skin. It tore at the valleys, and destructed the peaks. There was the numbing feeling of sudden pain, prolonged for seconds and minutes and, finally, years. There were bandages to cover up, to coddle the wounds, to evaporate from the world. There were bandages until my broken promise seeped through in the form of a blistering red.
I broke a promise once, and felt the transient paralysis down the length of my arm. It was the blend of air particles and glass, hinted with remorse. I began and ended each day with a gentle reminder from the unresponsive nerves. Each day was a step closer, closer to the light, yet never close enough. Silent nerves pulled me back to where I once was, erasing any hopes for movement, imprisoning me in the past.
I broke a promise once--my third time--the same promise. Felt its wings sprawl across the vast space, eyes glistening ghastly, leaving no mercy. And I watched it take me away, off of my feet, dissipating into nothingness, because that's what broken promises do.
And I promised myself I would never break promises anymore.
a cold december afternoon beneath snow banks,
and I fell in love with you;
the love that induces nausea
and occasional fainting,
my condition was chronic;
it was destined for a dark hole,
invisible to the naked eye,
and I met my fate
late july and fresh paint fumes
and I fell in love for the second time
high from the lingering fresh paint
but mostly you--
oh what a cliche,
but you were a cliche;
my cliched condition.
mid-january and I felt my heart melt,
melt in below-zero
frigid temperatures. Read more »
Last bit of angsty late-night writing. catharsis, really.
red was her color, red like red
red like the blistering blood
running through her,
red like communist-red,
though none were indicative of her.
[she was more of a daisy,
a devotee of humanity,
scientifically-proven to be
she was red without the color,
a symbol of what it
red like streaks on the patriotic flag,
red like a glowing aftermath
of the sun’s lair.
[she was more of a moon who
stood on the edge Read more »
More late night ramblings, inspired by e.e. cummings. poetry is still a newish feeling to me; rather, not as familiar as it used to be.
lost, i am lost,
i am a wandering soul
in a mist,
i gasp in the fog,
entangled in my own web
i smell rainy
when the stars would
and you are not
what the stars said you
you are not
by red-rose lacy fingers
not inspired rolling hills
that roll endlessly
[and i am
but a wanderer]