The sky is framed every few seconds
by a breeze,
and you tire of my insipid disinterest.
But detached is all of
what I'm not -
I'm just a timid one,
lost amid the Fake
and the Stifling.
I want to write you love poems, but
I'm running out of time
at careful placements
of light, illuminating his
long-buried wishes, he snatches
at cones locked in ethereal waves, never
grasping what he thought was within
his reach. His subjects defy him, mutiny to the highest
degree, they say on the sea, but the only water in his sight
is the waves of light, pulling motes into sight, brightness blinding
his sorrow-eyes, and what he always wanted was just to be loved, as he loves the light.
I won't pretend this poem is about
When I first saw 'you',
Or the loss of a 'loved' one.
It's just raining,
Signify a first sight,
Or a heart breaking.
I creak out the rusty screen door to our porch,
Already being scrubbed by the scent,
But holding back, waiting for the perfect moment.
It is not raining, it is pouring. Then-
Lightning. A split second later, KAK-kakka-rumble,
But I am already in the air,
Jolted as if I'd been hit by the first flash,
Soaring out over the porch rail,
Into the flailing storm.
I sink to my knees in the pure force of it.
In the mud,
My hands look broken-mangled.
I am in the middle of a war zone,
And we have just lost.
I am on a massage table,
Losing circulation to my arms.
Not making metaphors.
Not heartsick, not missing someone,
Just in the middle of a rainstorm,
Dirtying my pajama pants.
When I wrote your name,
Blatant on smooth white, uncrumpled,
It made me think of other times.
She wrote your name and fantasized about it,
While I watched other people.
You wrote yours into her heart,
And I took no notice.
The two of you drew each other
Like that Escher of the hands,
Reflexive in their beauty;
One cannot exist without the other.
She said she might be quiet,
And I wonder if maybe I tore you two apart.
Fragile pages- ink splatters-
You as a single pair were long gone when I met
You as a single person, but
Am I as good for you as she was?
You see each other every day,
You are wonderful friends,
She knows you inside out...
I am but a temporary rose,
Petals white and out-of-place,
Thorns digging into the both of you,
Flung in the space between you
While you turned your backs.
I still miss the funny way you have of being you,
And I'm still writing your name,
But part of me wonders if I'm keeping you, Read more »
When I sit by the beach
I don't cry,
Even though I want to.
I have memories of this place,
But now it's been a decade
Since I stripped bare-chested,
Since I could strip bare-chested,
And now I've grown.
When I sit by the beach,
I don't see anyone I know,
Even though I want to.
I need a reassuring face.
Soft hands on my back.
I need someone to be
Tentative about touching me.
When I sit by the beach,
I stay for too long.
I don't leave,
Even though now I want too.
Invisible manacles of history
Gently caress me into sitting
Until it is too dark to see;
Until mosquitoes pierce the history-locks.
Then I rise to depart.
I'll work on it.
The reason I'm so afraid of writing is that
All of it that I see is so perfect.
Finished work, polished and bright.
(And mine is not.)
I wondered why that Perfection
Wasn't what appeared on my pages
When I sat down, pen in hand,
Until I realized:
Writing is as perfect as you make it,
And what you truly feel inside.
If you can be comfortable with who you are
And what you do
Your writing will be perfect,
Because that's what it really represents;
Your comfort and indifference
To the reality that is:
Your writing is not perfect,
Is in fact, imperfect to no end.
And the only reason nobody else realizes it is because
Either they don't see the imperfection
Or they like it.
(Or at least understand it.)
I am uncomfortable.
I look too far into my own work,
Into my own soul;
And I don't like what I see.
In contrast, I look too shallowly into the work of others.
I see perfection,
Not the emotion,
Pure and bright (yet Read more »
So inconspicuous, with its
So simple - yes or no?
Male or female?
I flounder for minutes.
Five, ten, eleven and a half...
N/A, I scrawl.
I'm glad once it's over,
And the blue ink shining up at me reassures me more
Than any grey lead.
I trusted you.
That night, you told me that if I had anything to say, that I should say it now or forever hold my peace. I thought you were quoting. No, I didn't think you were quoting, I knew you were quoting.
Only, you weren't.
I trusted you. I said goodnight. I believed that in the morning, you would wake up, just as everyone else did, to see the light of the sun again. To breathe in the humid air. To walk, barefoot, on solid ground. I let you go, because I knew, had to know as your friend, that you were going to be okay.
But you weren't.
I woke up that morning. I saw the light, I breathed the air, and I walked the ground. All the way to your house, I saw, I breathed, and I walked. Through your back door, just like every morning. Past your parents (hello, good morning, well, thank you), and up your stairs. I'd hoped to catch you in the bathroom or still sleeping.
You weren't sleeping. Read more »
"Today it snowed," she said.
That's a lot for around here.
It was bleary and white,
so when you walked through it,
you could mistake yourself for just another snowflake
in the middle of them all."
"We're all unique, like them," she pondered.
"But even in saying that,
we admit that we're all
just the same, really."
"One time when I looked out the window," she snorted,
"There was a manifesto of white little flakes
swirling about so
clumsily, just so,
in eddies of cold."
"In those swirls, I saw the world unfold."
"I plucked the strings from String theory,
shook God's hand,
and watched the big bang, eating popcorn."
"But you know what?" She asked.
I didn't. "What?"
She smiled a little, and I waited.
"I like it better here, with you."
I didn't believe her.
I mean, exchanging pleasantries with God?
"Anyone sane would have stayed."
She shook her head. Read more »
"Hey." Marsha sat down next to me, plunking her bag on the table. The contents of the bag made a heavy clanking noise. She winced.
"What's that you've got there? Sheet metal?" I asked, flatly.
She smirked and hit the bag. "Something nearly as valuable. That's my laptop. Anyway, hey - why're you looking so down today? I don't mean to pry, but... Even for you, you look sad."
Oh. Damn, and I thought I'd been hiding it. Activate secondary defense: denial. I forced myself shuffle papers and shrugged. "You know, same old."
She was quiet for a minute. I didn't look at her for a while, but when I finally sneaked a glance, she looked skeptical. I jerked back to fiddling with my stuff. She convinced me of her skepticism when she grabbed my chin and turned my head to face her. She'd always been a very direct person.
"Ellie. Spill." It wasn't a request, and it wasn't even an order; it was just a statement. I dropped the paper act and spilled. Read more »
There's lime juice and salt running over my bloody wounds -
A healthy marinade for a healthy heart! -
But now the lime juice is reacting with the myosin,
And the salt dissolves into my fingerprints, dissolves my fingerprints,
And I'm growing into something
Much more hideous than before.
I'm calling out to you,
Behind walls of glass.
A mime's paradise,
But no one is having fun.
I'm calling out to you,
And in that we're connected.
I've built myself these bonds.
I've written myself these rules.
I've plucked my thumb, and crossed my heart,
And I tried picking up needles with my eyelids,
Which is close enough to sticking my eyes.
But something's missing.
I can't connect anymore -
"Network not available" -
But for the world.
Everything's a blur, and I'm only walking.
I used to run towards you.
I see her in the hallways,
Every other day.
Except- she's lost her bounce.
It's something in the curls of hair,
Or the dark eyes, Read more »
Infinitely inspired, of course, by Nonsequitur. If she doesn't mind?
i. You caught a glimpse of me on the carousel, the one I'd said I would never let anyone catch me on again - and that was that. I was surprised when you asked me to walk with you, of course. You had never tasted cotton candy. I fixed that straight away.
ii. We both cried, countless times. I was ecstatic you allowed me to see that side of you that you always hid from everybody else.
iii. The rope swing had always been your favorite place. When you first brought me there, I was charmed beyond belief. We shared freezer popsicles first, and a ride second. The rope was worn, and the both of us could barely stay on, but you had tied it so high that it felt just like flying. I said no day had ever been happier. We found marsh lilies then, and stood knee-deep in muck to catch the frogs that hopped among them. Read more »
We have created a forum on this topic that includes a podcast of the VPR Vermont Edition program. CLICK HERE TO GET TO FORUM: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/27474
I heard an enlightening report on Vermont Edition of February 26th on genetics, and our role in predetermining them for our children. It was an absolutely fabulous discussion, and I'd love to bring it here.
Basically, the background story is this:
People have always dreamed of being able to edit themselves into more desirable shapes and sizes, shades and lengths. The fact that every single cell in the human body has its own set of instructions - all or most of which would need to be edited to make the change - makes it impossible (in the near future) to edit ourselves while we are grown. Thus, we turn to our children. Read more »
Today was a Thursday. Thursdays have always been good days for me. My mother and father were both born on a Thursday. The very first time I drove was a Thursday, too. I even got my first boyfriend on a Thursday, though we've been apart now for several years. Read more »
I weave into your hair,
Dancing on a strand here,
Muting one there.
Dodging motes of dust, and swinging on sunlight.
Plucking one and bending another,
And at times standing still.
This one is a highlight, fantastic, unimaginable and majorly effortless,
Floating out of me to race through the stars.
(Nobody knows this feeling.
You can describe it to no end,
But you'll never do it justice.)
You climax too soon for me,
And I lay back and let someone else step forward.
Watching the stars, letting your scent waft through me.
But I can never let go all the way.
I've stepped off a cliff,
Reached terminal velocity,
And as the wind whistles in my ear,
I finally spread my wings.
You crash into me,
Hip matching curve here,
Embrace for sweet embrace there.
Your tears I know are joyous,
Your beautiful smile my only sight.
I squeeze you to me,
But suddenly I jerk to attention,
Alerted. Too tight! You've disappeared.
I turn, frantically searching. Read more »
i. A roundhouse kick to the gut
or your knuckles to my teeth
couldn't hurt as much
As I know that did.
ii. Why can't I speak?
... my mind?
iii. Yes, my music is blocking you out.
Your calls, your knocks, and most importantly,
iv. You say you know my style.
I say that it might be time for a change, then.
Try that on for size.
v. And then, at last,
when you've finally sucked me dry,
I crumple -
but a husk of myself -
to the cement.
I've been to smoky bars in Los Angeles,
I have lost my glasses.
Battled air in Chicago.
Dropped my books in high school, and watched as she picked them up for me.
I have painted, never well, smudging all the colors together.
I haven't expressed myself adequately.
I've seen Australia (by boat and plane),
I have, yes, rocked out.
I have jumped as high as I can,
And I have lost control (bumper car, full-sized car, temper, life...).
I have made up, made out, made mistakes, made do, and made love. Once, simultaneously.
I've thought I could fly. Twice, I succeeded.
I have flubbed notes,
And I have followed directions to parties.
Gotten lost in my own house.
I have lost (weight, sight of what matters most, hockey, you, faith...).
I have won as well, however infrequently.
I have seen a bear. Said bear escaped from its cage shortly after. I have run from said bear.
Aced tests. Flunked them.
I have scoffed, I have put down, and I have beaten up. Read more »
I've been running for at least five miles now, and I can see from my tracks that my feet are starting to bleed. At first I thought it was my imagination. You know how it is, after you've been in the snow for a while - you don't seem to see colors where they are, and you do see them where they aren't. But now here I lay, on the side of the path, and I can clearly see footprints leading backwards... Red ones.
It's funny the way you begin to see things in a new perspective in trying situations. Like right now - I'm seeing a pattern in my footsteps I've never noticed before. I drag my left foot on the upswing.
My eyes slowly drift down the path of my footsteps. One, two. One, two. One, two. One... Wait. Read more »
I'd not yet even taken one bite of my carefully selected lunch before the discordant tones of Jayna Stone's voice pierced my personal space. They do tend to do that, though, no matter how far I sit from her or how I try to avoid crossing her path.
Jayna had been my enemy since preschool, when she kicked over my first sand castle. Granted, it was an accident, and granted, she did say sorry as our teacher instructed and help me build a new one, but I've kept a grudge ever since. As curteously as she had behaved towards me, she must have picked up on some of my hostility. These days she seemed to regard me as one might mildew on the bathroom wall or the dog shit one had just stepped in.
I was jerked rudely back into reality and the present once again by her voice. Leaving greetings behind, she quickly launched into the gossip topic of the day. Read more »
Layers of waves, spiking in painful laughter or forced gasps, caressed my eardrums. I was sure I heard my name called several times, yet everywhere I turned there was just more of the same; no friendly face to guide me.
I'd long since abandoned my schedule - the fragile paper would have torn in the bustling halls (as I'm sure I would have had I stayed there one instant longer than I had) - but my frantic gaze caught on a maroon plaque which would have meant nothing to me were it not for the memory then displayed to me as a filter before the masses. The same number I had seen on that paper earlier. To put it bluntly, the room my next class was in. Read more »