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Joust

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Tick Tock

tick tock

the clock

frets &

dreams

butterfly heart 

waiting

tap tap

the feet

the heart

beats

& hours

flee

drip drop

her tears

fall on 

pale cheeks

thump thump

and then a silent

yellow moon

she floats

among the river's reeds

waiting no more.

 

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Torn

In dusky mist,

she walks forlorn,

among the pillars stone.

With dauntless grace

she does beset

timidity intrinsic.

 

Now is the time for bravery.

Searching to be done.

In quest alone abetted not

save darkest diety.

 

Her reprieve

scant at best.

No time to misemploy.

He waits for her

in trangressions shroud.

His recrimination tasted.

 

The pain is sharp,

the lesions deep,

a wound that cannot heal.

Until whats lost

is found to her.

Flightless wings of ebony.

 

From shoulders torn

by hands unknown

clinging to salvation.

Her empathy was

his ransom met.

Now is her desolation.

 

Inflections made

in tenor loud

unheard by mortal ear.

Perceived by legions

all the same

her crux  of desperation.

 

Walking now

in darkness deep

among the pillars stone.

All thats left to acquiesce.

Her fate is his alone.

 

 

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Nowhere to Hide

Emotions are sly snakes
they creep up
behind your back
chasing you down
spiral staircases
that lead nowhere
Like snipers
lying in wait
eyes trained
till you’re alone
then they strike
while you’re in line
checking out
at the market
and some old woman
in front
turns and says
“oh dear, are you okay?
I promise my order
won’t take long?

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maestro

Maestro

 

so subtle the transformation

from peon to poet

with new regard

for rhythm and rhyme...

when did our retellings

become a minuet of words

it sounds absurd

a metronome

has made our head its home

iambic footfalls

echo in our hearts

so often wake to musings in the dark

ta-dum-ta-dum-ta-dum-ta-dee

used, Edwardian words

like "thou" and "thee

and 'neath or 'tween

or ere and o'er

when was it we began to

sense the shape

of words well told

the emphatic use and place

"italics" - "bold"

like a blushing bride

white linen, ready,

awaits our words - our soul

to bleed black word by word

phrase by phrase

used sparingly

simile

metaphor

alliteration

done masterfully

to give our stories

color, character, charisma

no longer just a tale well told –

life by the letter

but a symphony of sound

and you – “ Maestro"

pen poised

an orchestra of words

expectant

waiting to spring forth

in orgasmic passion

with each purposeful stroke

of your baton

 

 

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lips

I remember all too well, you had
those winter split lips. You always
tried in vain, with tired eyes to
rejuvenate them. Spit slicked
and wind whipped, that
stripe of open sore was
where the devil in you lived.

They said your
holiness and
reverence
swapped,
for cursed
and plagued existence,
when the rest of you unzipped
just like the middle of your lip.
You dared to open yourself up
and let your insides
through the rip.

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Breathe

I hate the car rides home after school.

I can feel the vibration of the car's engine.

it pulls on my heart, and it makes me sick.

every now and then, I'd like to be independent.

as free-spirited as the flowers I watch,

as they bend their stems, like ballerina bones.

I like those flowers, I wish to be one myself.

I hate evenings after school, they make me sore.

I can never rest, and when I get home, even though

I have no homework, I feel overwhelmed and stressed.

I can never lie down and think of nothing, there is

always something, nagging at me from the inside out.

remembering what I thought about on days like these.

did I hate the car rides last year? I wish I knew.

but I cannot remember anything, anymore.

my brain is but a cloud, grotesque with rain.

there's no more room left.

seldomnly does it empty.

seldomnly do I breathe.

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Amid Festivities

The sun’s arms stretched across
forbidden lands. Slowly trickling

heat on hard pavements. The sensation
of foreign August asphalt rest

on our skin. It’s only May. Warm

colors explode before our eyes.
This is a welcoming; clouds
are dispersing, and there is only

this immaculate blue born
sky.

Roses hanged on tightrope,
dandelion furs spread across
midair—this is only a celebration,

welcoming us to perennial
feelings brought by summer

time festivities. Somehow,
I feel alone. The oblivion

burns the images and silhouettes
of everything that my skin
chose to forget, drift away
like reflections on rippling
puddles.

By then, a hazy gray sky

took us to cover. And I let my hands
spread and catch all of the tears

that the sky had forgotten
to shed. We welcome a new time.

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unsheathed

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Who Wrote You?

                Sometimes people remind me of poems. Ones I’ve written, ones I’ve read. I like the ones who make me feel like they were inanimate in a past life: a stanza reincarnated, a song in a new body. There’s a rhythm to such creatures, latent in an action as minute as a blink, but I think it’s noticeable enough if you are watching. We can’t all be poems or songs, but the ones who are, I could listen to all day. They sing, these ones: their blood, their laughter, the music of even a sigh. Little movements, each a poem succinctly.

                “Who wrote you?” I want to ask.

                I spot them on city streets at sunset, during the flux of seasons, summer on the cusp of autumn as the weather gradually mellows, wavering between rain and a steady heat that bears down on me as I take a seat on a worn park bench on a Tuesday evening. There I sit, silent and observing. I like the way they clutch their bags tightly to their chests, carrying an arsenal of mementos: expired Metrocards, assorted identification passes with outdated photographs, a last stick of gum. Summer’s sunglasses now replaced with September’s scarf, soon to be joined by December’s gloves when the air is too nippy to fight with bare hands anymore.

                One such creature leans against a brick wall, a cigarette hanging lopsided out of his bottom lip, the smoke making circles and then dispersing as the wind blows by to carry it on its back. The way he flicks off the little embers is a haiku: a nicotine stick, little droplets of gray ash chased by a coffee. I like the sound of him slurping a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I bet he asked for whip cream. I bet it’s lukewarm by now.

                 Another poem hustles past, one of Bukowski’s Meek looking for an earth to inherit, her footsteps matching the rustles of the leaves that crunch underneath, crisp jigsaws of orange-yellow-greens. She looks like she’s never tasted joy but only day old cheesecake, glasses askew and loose strands of hair coming untucked from behind her ears. Her hand holds a book, maybe non-fiction, maybe a Self Help title on how to break out of a shell others have created for her. I study the way her eyebrows furrow, the image ingrained in my mind’s eye even after she’s already down the block and around the corner. She looks cold, put off by the abruptness of autumn, out of place in a tank top and boots, an ensemble that obviously couldn’t make up its mind in regards to the weather.

                A city bus pulls up across the street and coughs out a swarm of passengers that quickly disband as soon as their feet hit the pavement. One of them has a phone clung to his ear, near enough that I can hear the words falling out of his mouth, desperate tokens. “What do you mean you can’t make it?” he says, heartbroken. “I had it all planned out, you know? We’d go out, and there was this great exhibit at the gallery—no, I know, you hated the last one but this one has completely different features, I just thought we’d…okay. Right, I get it. It’s fine. I’ll just…” He sighs, his voice trailing off. “I’ll go with someone else then.”

                But he won’t go with anyone else. He wanted to go with the him or her on the other line, and in the instant he pouts his lips and proceeds to press the end button on the phone screen, he is now the quintessence of Alone as Poe had written, singular in his love for the gallery, his passions from a spring no one else ventures to drink from. The phone is chucked into his pocket and his eyes water ever so slightly as he leans against the pole of the street light. I watch his eyes as they follow a young couple, the woman of the pair indeed looking like the meaning of a moon, her lipstick evenly applied and shimmering in the twilight, her arms loosely wrapped around a smooth gentleman with slicked hair who can’t seem to take his eyes off her face or his hands off her heart, which he so diligently carries to and fro just as Cummings scribed.

                They pass by gaily, laughter like jingling wind chimes erupting out of their mouths wide-opened and mocking. I drink in the envious tone of his eyes as he glowers at them. I lament the fact that strangers can take another’s love so personally. But then again, I understand it. Around this time, what with Halloween—an occasion that gives way to new identity, if only temporarily—so near, followed by the succession of other holidays that emphasize companionship and family, it is only natural to find oneself blindly clawing the air for a self or a purpose or a significant other. We each seem to turn up empty-handed, finagled out of love by a fraud of a God we only believe in come December.

                But in the Spring, I will remember you, I think. Now I gather my things and shuffle around in hopes of drawing his attention but he notices not. I am, too, a poem. I am the stanza of Audre Lorde, bidding you sit beside me, silent as a breath. I beg that you come softly, that you look into my eyes and understand me on a level unaccomplished by anyone else. “Take me to the gallery,” I want to say. But I am silent. “Sit beside me,” I want to plead. But you will not. I sit here, wishing to show you what sorrow sees, for I have been watching it all. I want to ask if you remember your first life as a Sunday’s stanza, forgetting that, indeed, only those who stay dead shall remember Death.