You know, I always associate
Waiting for my turn at a poetry slam
With really terrible things
Like sitting on death row
Or being led to sacrifice.
And y’know, I can’t help but think
I’m not the only one
Cause all the waiting poets I see
Are a shade of green
That would make the Wicked Witch of the West
Look like Key Lime Pie.
It’s kinda like being at a slaughterhouse
(Told you, terrible things)
You watch the other animals go forward
And you know you’re going to be next soon
And the people holding the axe
Show no mercy.
But it’s just the waiting that’s a slaughterhouse
Cause being on the stage
Is like being an assassin
Get in, do the job, get out
Feel no emotion.
And after you’re off is like Free Cone Day
Nothing in the world tastes sweeter.
"Where were you last night?"
He grins laconically. "Gonna have to be more specific than that."
The cop takes a long deep breath and forces himself not to strangle the young punk in front of him. "Where were you last night between the hours of five and eleven?"
"Why? Someone kick it?"
"Just answer the question."
He leans back in his chair. "I dunno, man, my memory's kinda rusty."
The cops grabs him by the front of the shirt and slams him against the wall. "Now, listen here, asshole. I don't have time for this shit, so just answer the goddamn question!"
He stares at the cop, then looks away. "Line."
The director groans inwardly. "Cut!"
A techie reads him the line while the actor playing the cop thinks that in his day, actors knew their lines.
This is based off the Regina Spektor song of the same name. I'd check it out if I were you, because it's excellent. :)
And If You Do, Then You're My Friend
She is skipping and dancing down the street, and he watches her as he walks behind her. She never bothers to slow down for him- either he keeps up or he doesn't. She plays invisible hopscotch on the sidewalk.
He decides to catch up to her today. He jogs up next to her, and she flashes him a bright smile.
"Bonjour, mon chere!" she says in her bright, bouncy way. He smiles.
"Are you going to speak French all day?"
"Non." Her voice is serene.
"Just for some of it?"
He chuckles. "Well, that's all right then."
And If You Don't, Then You're My Foe
She twines her fingers with his like she's weaving a basket made of their fingers and swings them. She's tugging him along, and she's skipping ahead of him. He's trying to keep up with her, but he doesn't really do skipping. She stops suddenly, and he's launched forwards, startled. Her hand holding his snaps him back, and he looks at her, bewildered.
She flashes him a smile. He shakes his head.
He doesn't fail to notice that she walks at the same pace as him now, though, swinging their hands more slowly. He doesn't bring it up, however, in case she smacks him up the back of the head. She tends to do that when he gloats.
Thing 1: Do Not Call Converse Sneakers
"Converse are not sneakers," she said to me sternly one day as we wiped the tables. "Converse are a thing above sneakers. They are to sneakers what Adele is to Ke$ha."
I rolled my eyes, checking the clock to see when we have our lunch break. "Uh-huh."
"Don't patronize me."
"Don't give me lectures on the differences between Converse and sneakers."
"If you had any semblence of intelligence, I wouldn't need to explain the difference."
He likes to leave bits of paper on windowsills and watch people pick them up and read them. Sometimes he writes nonsensical things about the accordion wanting to be a real boy. He loves the smiles on peoples' faces after those ones. Sometimes he writes poetry about how Shakespeare smoked generic cigarettes when he was blocked and how everyone wants a pirate ship because pirate ships represent freedom. He likes the thoughtful looks just as much as the smiles.
One time he wrote his life's story, minus the ending, because he couldn't think of one. He left it on a windowsill. A girl picked it up. He watched as she read about his scary grandfather with the monocle, and how he'd hide between the chair legs when Mom was drunk, and how once she hurled a pair of sugar tongs at him in a drunken rage and now there's a scar on his right arm.
The girl carelesly drops the paper on the ground and walks away. He breaks into uncontrollable, almost hysterical laughter, so people glare at him as they walk by.
It's cause he's realized that this incident is the perfect way to end that story.
Hello, welcome, such a pleasure to have you in our esteem-ed store. Could I, perhaps, interest you in an angel and a devil?
Oh, no, they're not very big, not at all. Perhaps the size of your neck, so when perched on your shoulder standing on tiptoe they may just whisper in your ear.
Delightful, delightful. Hm? Really? Oh, no, not at all, it's just harps and pitchforks are a little, well, how shall I say, passe. Excellent decision, yes, one I would make myself, if I may say so.
No, no, halos and horns are very much in fashion, I assue you. Smaller horns are much in style these days, not the great curling things, much too gaudy.
Hm? Oh, I am terribly sorry, but we really can't sell you the devil without the angel. It's a package deal, you understand, it works both ways- we couldn't give you the angel without the devil either. Thank you, so few are as understanding.
Excellent, will there be anything else? No? Here you are, do enjoy. Oh, no no no no no, it's absolutely free of charge. Trust me, it more than pays for itself. No trouble, no trouble. Thank you, do come again.
Twist twist twist
twist twist twist
twist twist twist
as I braid myself a new
bookmark I wonder if the fates
aren't knitters but braiders and this
life thing is a lot simpler than we think and instead
of stitches and needles and a ball of
yarn that is waiting to be cut it's just
three strands of yarn that have already
been cut and tied and all there is to
twist twist twist
it seems almost too simple and we have
been taught that everything is more complex than
it seems that there is no such thing as a free lunch
and usually they're right it's rarely that easy sometimes a
cross on the path is simply two sticks that
happened to fall on top of each other and a shooting
star is just a chunk of rock I think it would be in
our nature, a certain irony residing deep in
our bones if life was so easy as
twist twist twist.
The moon is full
Werewolves in Ireland shriek
All the psychics shift in their beds
Troubled by the screams of spirits
And all over the world
Women are readying their rituals.
All have the same purpose
As they sprinkle salt around their chosen lairs
All make the same motions
Only semi-aware of the others axistence
Too singleminded in their task
To focus on anything else.
They use pig’s blood to mark their circles
Based on ley lines and Satan’s signs
Some say they only use the blood of infant piglets
To symbolize the children that might’ve been
Had not so many sisters been lost at Salem
Those wiser know this to be a lie.
They sprinkle bone dust over the unholy circle
To ensure it dries faster
They have only a night to work
And so they paint their faces with the blood
Until they appear a thing inhuman.
The chants begin
A tongue like every other language known in life
And no words ever spoken before
Connecting to the mistress who has
Absolute power over the witches of the world
Who will give them all instruction.
She has no voice, only power
As ancient as evil and as strong as diamond
The person you see in the mirror out of the corner of your eye
But never existed when you return to check
She never was, but is
And always has been.
They connect in a circle around the world
The whole Earth shivers
The Mistress Witch instructs them
Tells them how to damage and warp life
In the smallest ways Read more »
1: Get up in the morning. It’s definitely tricky, especially because she always used to wake you up in the morning, and now the side of the bed is cold where she used to sleep. She was always a morning person. But you’ve got to get up in the morning, nonetheless, and morning is technically before noon, so that’s a decent time frame.
2: Go to the kitchen. You’ve always hated the color of the walls- stark white, blank white, there-is-no-hope-snowstorm-white. She always used to say that the white wasn’t blank, but full of invisible possibilities, could-happens and maybes that only became clear later. These days it reminds you of hospital rooms. You remember those all too clearly these days.
3: Put the kettle on. She bought you the kettle for your birthday a couple years ago. It was painted fancifully, splattered with colors, like Pollack. Now it seems grotesque, like it’s laughing at you. Reminding you of her love of simplicity, because she claimed there is no such thing.
4: Take a mug. Avoid her favorite ones. It brings up too many memories, and you don’t want to have another breakdown.
5: The filters are not the right size. They are never the right size. You used to cut the edges off and put them in collages. She would watch in amusement. “You artists,” she’d say, mock judgmental, mock haughty. “Always taking things apart or making them. Is it hard, being you?” You’d laugh. These days you just cram the filter into the thing that holds the filter. It doesn’t fit, but close enough.
6: One has got to get the right amount of coffee. You don’t, not anymore. You just put a couple scoops in, not noticing whether there’s too much or too little. There are more important things to deal with in life. Read more »
I hate you
My voice is echoing in the silence between us
I mean it
I just can’t…
I trail away
Averting my gaze
I can’t think of any words for what I feel for you
At that precise instant
So I pause
But it doesn’t last long
I shout at you
For what feels like years
I scream curse words that don’t belong in a place like this
I yell about how I should’ve run away
The day I met you
About how I never should’ve talked to you
About how the knives you drove into me
Were unlike any other
And how you hurt me
In ways I never could’ve imagined
Your utter silence kills me
I end my rant with a scream
I should just throw all of your stuff
Out onto the curb right now!
The only sound in the graveyard
Are the tweets of birds
I sink down in front of your gravestone
But I won’t
Voice cracking on won’t
I don’t say anything after that
Because what can I say
The same things I say every anniversary
Say I’ll never throw your stuff away
Because after two years
It still smells like you
Say that I still leave our door unlocked
Because I’m still hoping that you’ll have just forgotten your key
And you’ll walk in like nothing happened
Say that I was right about you wearing a helmet
When you rode that goddamned motorcycle
Apparently helmets don’t help as much as you’d think Read more »
Phineas Gage had a hole in his head
He was a railroad worker in Cavendish
A tamping iron went right through his head
And landed on the other side of him
Within a few minutes he was talking
And sitting upright
But then for many months
He was practically comatose
People expected his death
They had his coffin at the ready
But he recovered
No one can go through that amount of pain unscathed
But recovered Read more »
You told me once that
Being underwater in the ocean
Is like flying in outer space
Cause you need a suit to see the beauty
And you can see a whole world
You never saw before
And for one crystal moment
You are weightless
And everything makes sense.
I get where you’re coming from
But I think you’re wrong
I think that flying
Is like listening to Etta James.
Flying is like listening to Etta James Read more »
My mother is cleaning out the fridge
When there is a thump
Like a gravedigger's final pat
On the soil covering a coffin
In a graveyard filled with stones
And all the windows shake.
My aunt looks up from where
She is playing Ring Around the Rosie
With my little sister and nieces
Do you think she knows
That game is about death?
So many omens.
She goes out to the front porch
And is gone for a few moments
When she comes back
There is something cradled between her cupped hands
Something small and feathery
She walks into the kitchen
And shows my mother
Who is still kneeling in front of the fridge
Surrounded by long since spoiled hamburger
And the lasagna in the back of the fridge
That everybody forgot about.
"Look at this," my aunt says
With the slightly hollow tone
Of someone who is in the presence
Of a capsule devoid of life
And will soon forget about it
Like it never had breath in the first place.
She shows my mother what rests
In the fragile casket she has made with her hands
It's a bird
A little thing of feathers
Who worried like us
But perhaps had more freedoms.
"Oh," my mohter says
Tone trapping the same counterfeit sorrow
As my aunt had
In that "Oh" a cage is constructed
Capturing a shadow of
The real thing.
"Poor little guy must've flown in the window,"
My aunt says Read more »
I have wings on the back of my shirt
They remind me of angel wings
They're the kind of wings
I'd tattoo on my back
If I didn't want to act
And wasn't worried about
The repercussions of an angel wings tattoo
Sometimes when I wear the shirt
I kid myself that I can feel the wings on my back
Would I fly?
What would I do
If I did fly?
I'm a bit of a dork
So I'd probably hover high over my neighborhood Read more »
Your black eye that is encircled by
A capuchin monkey-fur colored ring
Is gazing at me
As your fluffy yellow body
Shaped like a slightly deformed Cheeto
Lies on a stack of books and papers
Maybe it’s the lack of a nose
But you remind me of the Sphinx
Unmoving and unchanging.
I don’t know a lot about you
Except that you appear to scare the crap out of my friend
And when he lobs you at me
After I place you on his shoulder Read more »
One day when you were playing Original Soul
On your awful old CD player that you’ve had to fix
More times than I’ve got fingers
You said out of nowhere in the middle
Of Grace singing about hidden superstitions Read more »
You sound like my doctor
Saying Sylvia Plath is bad for me
That I should take two Shel Silverstein
And call you in the morning
I’d like to know where you got your degree
In medicinal poetry
You read me Dante by firelight in Italian
It’s the only Italian you know
And you wouldn’t know what you were saying
If you hadn’t read the English translation a hundred times
Poetry is not the only way that you and I connect Read more »
Hey there, man, can you spare a dime?
Only it gets real cold out here
Alone with all the other freaks
And we're saving up the dimes
Cause we think eventually we'll have enough
To turn us into real boys and girls.
Hey there, sister, can you spare some time?
Only I haven't seen you in a while
And I was thinking that maybe
You were avoiding me
We could sing Happy Phantom just like we used to Read more »
So this is extremely different from what I normally write. It always rambles quite a bit, which I'm aware of. But I kind of like it, and I mean every word. So here it is. :)
The first time I said I wanted to write
I said it to someone I knew
She laughed like it was the funniest thing she'd ever heard
And told me that I'd never make any money if I wanted to be a writer
And that it was a very silly idea
I quietly agreed
(At the time Read more »
Little thing I read during open mic last night. It was fun! :)
Things you must never do:
Never play with the pixies
They like to bite at fingers
And your fingers
The hands of a piano player
Are no exception
Never try and grow skeletons from the teeth of a serpent
They may be good warriors
And they may give you something to talk about at parties
But they won’t protect you from
A smile Read more »
The only slam I performed last night, but I enjoyed doing it more than any poem I've done before, and I got some laughs for the first time as well, so all in all, I don't mind. :)
Welcome to the definitive guide to flying
Without the aid of an airplane, glider, wings
Or any other apparatus
Many believe that there is a way to mentally steel
One’s self for flight
But contrary to the whole wide world
Of Preparation for Flight books Read more »
There are people
They're there, their walls
They talk talk whisper to me
When I'm there
When I'm there
Crying to sleep at night
Crying on my pillow
They talk to me
Speak to me
Speak things to me
The The The best part is
They're just as whole as
So they don't look at me Read more »
There is a leprechaun standing on my nightstand
He's a little shorter than my pinkie
And I don't know what he's made of
But he's a pale, pleasant shade of green
He has the words WADE ENG stamped on the shamrock he's standing on
And his name is Mad Sweeney
He didn't come with the name Mad Sweeney
I stole that name from American Gods
Because I was reading it at the time
And I thought the name might suit him
Because he's smiling Read more »
Hello, all. This is the result of the creative writing class I'm currently in. We were given a prompt- we were given ten words and had to use at least eight of them in a poem, which we had seven minutes to write. We were not allowed to cross anything out or go back and revise it. I thought I'd put it up here, seeing as I kind of like it.
The silence is a cacophany
An elephant in the room
A stop sign for the thoughts
Of everyone in the ballroom
If we took the silence outside Read more »
I didn't bite my nails all summer
I trimmed them when they got too long
For my obssessive-compulsive sensibilities
And yeah, sometimes I trimmed them too short
But I didn't bite my nails all summer
And during the summer I sometimes wondered why
I figured out why this week
While sitting in English Seminar
As our teacher drowned us in paper handouts
Explaining writing guidlines
The books we're expected to read
What's expected of us Read more »
Looking back at the summer six days before school starts is like looking at a tapestry that you’ve woven that is almost-but-not-quite-finished-yet. Read more »
We lay in the field together, staring straight at the sky in silence, not even playing the game of trying to spot the shapes in the clouds, as people seem to think couples do. Our hands are intertwined, fingers locked like puzzle pieces.
She speaks first, something unusual.
"I don't love you." She says it simply and my answer is just as plain.
"I know." Read more »
It’s almost quiet here
There are no voices Read more »
So this is it, guys! This is the very last day of My July Challenge. You guys have been... so enthusiastic, more than I could have hoped for. So thanks so much for all your comments and encouragements. Read more »