Oct 10
Yellow Sweater's picture

A is for Apple

My room still has its baby-books:

and toads that sit under them.

A place to shelter 
is a precious thing. 

When it rains,
I read words becuase they are lovely, 
books because there are books:

with thick pages
that smell just as paper should. 

with life-things permuted 
into ordered sets.

A is for apple.
Oct 09
Yellow Sweater's picture

Little flames

By the time I stepped outside, the leaves were on fire. I hadn’t watched them change, so the orange was sudden, shocking.  I had spent the summer at my keyboard, in the stale air of a fairytale, in the perpetual perfection of a well-constructed story. But life changes. The light tilts. Blackberries rot. And the smell of cold dirt permeates even the most naive of fortresses. The leaves, bright and dying, were lovely.   

I rushed back inside for a sweater. I chose a baggy thing, made from light brown wool. It was plainly knit and a little itchy. Carefully, I descended the steps that led out into the avenue of burning trees. Life is a never ending series of edges. It’s the hovering, the cautious waiting, that makes it real. I filled my lungs with taut decaying air. But before I had even made it onto the dirt road, I started to cry. I cried for my broken fairytale. I cried because I knew I could never capture the beauty of the temporary. I cried because my dialog with God wasn’t going so well. The universe could be domineering in its bluntness, in its subtlety.  

I looked up, into the dancing, the fire. “Hello, lovely leaves.” I smiled, wiping away the tears with my scratchy sweater. “Shall we walk?” 
The wind animated their whispering: Only if you can catch us.

I swung my arms, bounding forward. It was a chase! I skidded across the mud and grass-stained my pants. My soft smile transformed into a feral grin. The air thickened, sharpened, and my sweater grew heavy and hot. But, finally, tangled in sweat and joy, I caught a glowing ember. I held it with fierce pride, my finger tracing its delicate curves. We danced. And after, I slipped the little red flame into my pocket.  
Oct 09
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Paris and Paraguay

My bed was a nest of rag blankets and hand sewn pillows. My walls were plastered with old band posters and vague sketches of my dreams. I didn’t have any shelves, but I amassed books. More than I could ever read. They collected in corners and piled up on my desk. There was hardly any room to write, but plenty to write about.

I filled my attic with plants. It was nice to watch them grow; the expansion of the innocent is a lovely thing. Thin sunlight poured in from the single window. But it was enough; my plants thrived.

It took years of sheltering, of sequestering, but I finally finished my book. It was a meandering tale. The characters found their way to Paris, to Paraguay. I hoped it was literary. An epic, yet intimate saga, spanning generations and continents. I pictured New York Times reviews, high school essays, and the Nobel Prize. Pretension, Paris and Paraguay.  
Oct 08
Yellow Sweater's picture

Out of Dark

I thought it was the dark that tore me apart. I thought it was the terrible shape of the night, the thick sculptable nothingness. But no, it was the thin tinny morning. It was the watery coffee and the boring paper and the little dingy flowers on the tablecloth.

It was the forced domestication of sadness: I am sorry for your loss. It’s hard, losing a friend. He lived a good long life. 

No. He lived a beautiful life. And beautiful lives don’t fit into graves. 

I wrote the eulogy in the dark. I could barely see the words. But they flowed, lopsided from my pen. I wrote that he had lived a beautiful life. I wrote that his body was beautiful, his corpse. But in the morning the words wouldn't show themselves. Did I put them under my bed? In my heart?  
Oct 08
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City Lights

Smooth jazz glossed the city. 
We danced to lamplight and gutter smell. 

You dreamed of the country, 
of a body filled with blueberries, 
and cream pouring from the clouds.

But the city shook us. 
And we danced
to smooth jazz,
under the unforgiving stars. 

I hate cement. 
I hate asymmetric shoes.
I hate the way we pass everything, 
on our way to nowhere.  

I hate the city, 
But I love how we dance.

Oct 08
Yellow Sweater's picture


Does it ache to grow?
Does it steal your breath, 
and your body? 

At 11, 
as I began to blossom: 
Breasts, Bellicosity, and Beauty, 
I got sick. 


It lingered, 
and lingered. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis

Stuck in excruciating latency, 
I never really died. 
I never really fought. 

I thought that pain 
was folded into forehead creases. 

I thought that up
was empty. 

Oct 07
Yellow Sweater's picture


My dusk is a disorganized rose,
adorned with raindrops. 

I lie in bed 
sorting the pieces.

We collect. 
Because in absence of the empirical, 
our logic.. 

it’s a bit

It’s hard to stand 
without muddy feet. 

And the day’s fragments,
spinning towards night, 
smell like heart-things: 
eucalyptus covers,
bedraggled books, 
spicy tea,

and the distance,
the cold wide distance,
the crashing of the sea. 

Oct 06
Yellow Sweater's picture

Does democracy work?

Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered. This is the attitude that allowed the Roman Republic to become the Roman Empire. Chauvinism is not a quality to be admired in a democracy, because a president driven purely by their own ego corrodes the strength of the collective. Exploiting the flaws in a system instead of helping to fix them is the providence of the politician. But a leader must build bridges instead of walls. A leader must patch the cracks instead of widening them. 
Oct 06
Yellow Sweater's picture

Paper Burns Nicely

Paper and porcelain coffee cups were piled high on the counter, waiting to be washed or swept into the garbage. I sat on a well worn armchair by the electric fire, pouring over three months worth of bills. With a sigh, I stood up and threw another cup onto the heap. I wandered over to the window. The rain was coming down hard, adding a contemplative rhythm to the grey evening. I leaned against the windowsill. The unpainted wood felt rough under my hands. I turned back to the counter. I was filled with a vague panic that was blurred and obscured by the sound of falling rain. My thoughts were interupted by an urgent pounding.
Oct 05
Yellow Sweater's picture


Autumn smells like decay and release.  
Rotting blackberries  
and moldy leaves.
The spicy smell of the dying.  

The fog is wide. 

The wet air is wrapped around autumn
and its fire.
We run through the grass,
caught on spider webs 
and tiny sad smiles.  

There is a warmth under this cold. 

I pull off my coat.
And peel my sweater from my skin.