May 24

Bandaids for Bad Dreams

Bandaids for Bad Dreams

I wish there were bandaids for all the cuts on my arm,
but there’s no bandaids, because I can’t tell anybody
that I’m bleeding.

I wish there were bandaids for all my scars,
long-healed they may be—but they’re still aching,
and everyone can see them.

I have to make my own bandaids. 
I put lipstick on my face, y’know, to hide the frown
even if it’ll hurt when it comes off.

Paper after paper after paper in my desk,
song after song after song,
That I’ll plaster all over the cuts on my brain.

I wish there were bandaids for bad dreams.
bandaids that will shut my mouth when I open it at night and scream,
bandaids that will close over my lips when I talk too much.

My thoughts are running away from me
and I’d better go catch them
before my teacher sees all the pieces of medical tape holding them together.
Apr 26

Just the Villain


I tried to say hi to a girl yesterday
Can you tell me why she was so afraid?
I know I’m fine—not disfigured or two-faced
I promise you guys that I’m perfectly sane.
My teachers don’t seem to think I’m all there
They tell me that what I write actually makes them scared
Maybe it’s because when they asked me where
Their heirloom glass jar was, I said I threw it down the stairs

Why is it that nothing I say
Ever seems to come out the right way?
Why am I always aiming to please
If you’re always controlling who I’m supposed to be?
Why do I never keep my head down
If people just don’t want me around?
I swear, this new act of mine’ll make a killin’
If you want it like this, I’ll play the villain.

I set your house on fire last night—
Oops! Mistake’s all mine.
Didn’t mean for that match to light—
Mar 23
poem challenge: Enough


Isn’t it enough?

Isn’t it enough for you
That there have been 102 mass shootings
In the past year?

Isn’t it enough for you
That most of them have been hate crimes
And have gone unpunished?

Isn’t it enough for you
That most kids aged 8-18 are afraid to go to school
For fear of losing their lives?

Isn’t it enough?

Isn’t it enough for you
That there have been thousands of hate crimes against African Americans
And yet the criminals get no punishment?

Isn’t it enough for you
That there are thousands of victims of anti-Asian discrimination and violence
And yet it’s swept under the carpet?

Isn’t it enough for you
That countries are banning Muslim youths from following their own traditions
And yet rape in Christian churches is allowed?

Isn’t it enough?

Isn’t it enough for you
Mar 18

Drowning Nation

We are a nation
That fights for peace
A country
That was born of ruin—
We are
An experiment
Passed down through the generations
Of sinners and saints
Struggling up, up, up.

We were a nation
That fought the outside
While we fought inside
Every person fighting another person
While fighting their sibling
While fighting themselves.
We were created from a civil war
And we will destroy ourselves as such.

We are a nation
That is still fighting—with no enemies
Left to turn to, we turn
On ourselves. Our parents, our
Adults and trusted figures
Are those we mistrust, because
bang! bang! bang! were they
Ever afraid to go to school
Or work
Because of the threat of gun violence?

We were a nation
That was segregated; we became
Less segregated, but the sick culture
Was grained in our blood. Only, the only blood

Feb 27

Classified: Subject Report Recording 227, written tape

"What's your name?"
[buzzing. A scream]
"What's your name?"
"What's your age?"
"Sixteen years old."
"Begin experimentation."
[buzzing sound, screen beeping, ruffling of fabric]
"Your name is now unimportant. Your age is sixteen years old. Your number is 227. You belong to the system."
[zooming sound]
"We will be observing your reaction under extreme stress to see how well you can be oppressed within the system. How long can you survive the Game?"
"I doubt it will be long."
"You are a promising test subject. Don't let us down."
"The virus will take you. Because you didn't tell us, you doomed yourselves."
"No, you're the ones who were too poor to afford food. That's not our fault."
[Buzzing of electricity. A scream. More buzzing.]
Feb 25
poem challenge: Haiku-Moment

Copper Ring

Feb 23

To be a writer

To be a writer is to be many things, and before one considers putting pen to paper and writing those first, flurrying words, let me tell you: it is too late. Those who are writers, and who aspire to be, are so far gone in their trade that it is best that one remains out of it all. To be a writer, one cannot be the average hoo-bob that sits around and talks of philosophy or science. To be a writer, one cannot, must not be arrogant, nor foolish, nor susceptible to the whims of mankind, for if they are, they'll never get done what needs to get done. Or, if they remain so, then the process of writing will wear them down. After putting finger to keyboard, the most arrogant man will have been humbled before the power of the idea, and the fool will have sat with himself long enough to have become wise. He who engages in alcoholism and drugs for recreational purposes will unlearn his addiction, for writing will replace whatever lust he had for substance abuse.
Feb 22

You're Obsessed

I can see you, sitting at the kitchen island
Scrolling through your phone (I didn't even know
That you knew how to scroll) and then tutting to yourself
Like there's a problem. "What's going on?" I ask
(Warily, because the look on your face doesn't 
Look good at all). You shrug. "Your grades," you respond.
I pale. A rush of cold goes through my veins, like
Iridium from an IV—I've learned that grades
Mean college, and college means future, and
Future has to be good to please the family.
And the way you're looking at my grades isn't
Promising at all—your eyebrows are knit
And pointed down, giving me unwelcome reminders
To your own mother, my grandmother, and that's not good.
"So," I manage, ignoring the anxious pit
Digging itself into the walls of my stomach, "what's
The problem here?" You tilt your head—you
Aren't proud. "You have a B," you comment,

Feb 22


mentally deranged, especially as manifested in a wild or aggressive way.

I wonder what aliens see us as, if they
can see us at all;
if they see us as crazy,
because we make war
for peace, tear gas
in order to create order.
yet, somehow, this is perfectly
n o r m a l
to everyone.

I've been told I'm crazy
more times than I can count,
by haze-eyed people
walking in a crowded street
all donning masks
and yet, in this hell we've created,
we somehow survive
only it's just surviving—
day by day by day,
getting by 
by waking up every morning
do tasks,
go to bed at night,
and ignore the world around us—
because this is normal.

a new normal, that's
what they called it, right?
and everyone adjusted
because that's normal,
that's conformity—
nobody spoke up
Feb 20

The Crow on the Tree

Caw, caw, caw, caw, caw.
The crow has moved places now—
It is in the tree opposite the light post,
And it is still mocking the racers
Which skim the fresh cotton-candy powder
Below its perch in the oak.

It's a rather aloof crow.

It fluffs its feathers, turns its beady eyes toward me
As I sit upon the chairlift, watching its plumage
Glisten in the early morning sun, and it says,
"Caw! I am the one
Who sits in the oak tree,
Who determines whether
You get a branch or a twig dropped upon you
As you wheel down the trail!"

Now, it's not wrong that it does have control over this.

However, the crow is rather small for its size
Despite having a large beak,
And it couldn't drop a twig upon a skier
If it jumped as high as it possibly could.
But, between you and me—
Don't tell the crow that,