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The Last DetentionI've spent too many years sitting
in the back of a classroom.
We see thousands of chalkboard faces
in the evening haze of rush hour traffic.
The nicest days of the year always happen
when our Teachers give us detention.
We can't be trusted to punish ourselves.
Grab a stick of chalk and begin.
100 times- I will not cheat on my husband.
100 times- I will not miss my nephew's soccer game so I can drink alone.
100 times- I will not leave smaller tips for the older, less attractive waitresses.
100 times- I will finally get the courage to kiss her tonight.
100 times- I will tell him it is over if he hits me again.
100 times- I will not be weak.
100 times- I will notice the sky today.
100 times- I will invite the widow in 5A to Christmas Dinner.
100 times- I will call my sister.
100 times- I will learn the difference between what is worth fighting for and what isn't.
100 times- I will ask my co worker how he is doing and actually care.
100 times- I will do more than just get by.
What if there
Alone With St. JosephThe shell was pale- an afterthought of heat lightning
Every night the sun attends its own funeral
Days slowly die like the sparrow egg you found
underneath our favorite oak tree
You buried it in the dirt and said to me;
"The earth will make a perfect mother."
(Silence and a weakly nurtured glance)
Every time I think about failure, I picture
the crib in my tool shed
The opportunities we could have given it
Every time you think about me, you picture
sweat dripping into the ocean
And you wonder why I visit that tiny grave,
for no apparent reason
Not in FlagstaffFind a bridge
Palm tree growing in your left palm
You may enter
I hated myself until I met my ego
Id- Consult Freud
It must be April
Miss America kissing all of the bald
headed cancer victims
Everyone dies with honor
Something so natural and it made you ill:
Sea sick, blind salt, Japanese lanterns
Toe by toe, we crawl
I'm being followed by an old man with
a bird cage
You've never heard of a haunted protractor
Create an almost perfect wraith
I found a diamond ring hiding
in the GUTTER
You're wondering if I left it there
Ask the oven mitt what he knows about sleepy towns.
I Am Kept Alive By Soulless ThingsI put both of our lives in danger when I came back.
Someone had to keep the roaches from shitting on your pipe.
It's important to remember that everyone was beautiful once.
You used to let me hold your hair back when your head was in the toilet.
There was vomit in your curls that night and I'm tired of trying to forget.
I look at the scar on my arm and think about when you broke the mirror.
You were out of it when you sliced me open and you couldn't stop laughing.
I was so proud of you for making it through half of an NA meeting.
That was two years ago and I'm still too young to have to deal with this.
My biggest fear was that you would never get old.
Today I found out that the devil isn't real.
I thought I sold my soul so that you could find happiness.
As it turns out, it's the only thing I didn't give up for you.
I had to be the one to find you that night.
Where would I be if you hadn't forced me to watch the entirety of your collapse?
After all, I waited a long time to meet a girl w
Va'eiraThis was a lesson in just how quiet it can be
when you don't make enough noise.
Me, holding a toy gun to a stranger's head
"Remember when things stopped being ridiculous?"
You, eating dandelions in a midnight field
"About the same time things stopped making sense."
A boy in church camp carved a small crucifix
for his arts and crafts project. He won the blue
ribbon and a brand new Bible. The next morning
I found it hanging over our cabin door.
A toad was nailed to the cross.
Sometimes we wake up early enough to hide the evil from our world.
BeautyShe baked cookies every Saturday morning. The doorbell would ring, without fail, and always interrupt my favorite cartoon show. I dragged my young body down the stairs and opened the front door. The elderly woman, our neighbor, beamed at me. She held a large tray of freshly baked treats in her fragile arms. Always filling my head with rustic banter, I listened to her speak, nodding with false interest. Typically we chatted for half an hour, then, with an enormous smile, she turned away and shuffled back home. Welcoming her departure, I stuffed my mouth with a pecan sandy and raced back upstairs.
Her husband passed away in his sleep one Friday night. She called my mother the next afternoon to let her know of the man's death and also to apologize for missing our Saturday morning ritual. Sunday evening, I heard a gentle tapping on the door. I peeked out the window and saw her standing
The Stroke and the Over DoseI
This is the second time that I have ever been in an ambulance.
It is sickeningly winter outside. This time the roads are too
icy to speed on and the siren is off. This time it is quiet.
The paramedics are noiselessly saving my grandmother's life.
I'm riding up front with my ear pressed to my cell phone. There is
no room for me in the back and the driver just laughs when
I ask him to turn on the radio.
"We're so proud of you. You did the right thing."
Nobody knows that she begged me not to call 911.
Nobody knows how slowly I dialed those numbers.
Your spirit materializes next to me and you take the steering wheel.
We drive through the snow storm and talk about our nights
spent on lake Erie. Your dad had a boat and I always got sick
in the water. I preferred throwing you down in the sand.
We took a bus to Presque Isle State Park in early September.
Fall was on the horizon and we had nature to ourselves for one day.
The sun pulled away fro
There are no stars tonight. The sky is
alone and my skin waits
patiently for the rain.
Our roses withered and died that summer.
You blamed God, but He did not let
dust gather on the only tin watering can
The day you left me in a flower shop,
I decided to put what was left of my faith in an old
man spouting clichés to his granddaughter.
"If you don't like the weather here, wait a couple of minutes."
Half a year and I am still praying for a storm
to cool me down.
WastelandThree tours in Iraq and a bullet to the leg didn't stop him. They tell me what changed him was coming through U.S. customs. The metal detectors and apathetic stares. The donut kiosk. Now he is standing on the porch and avoiding everyone that came to his party. I've only met the guy once at another Fourth of July barbeque and that was a long time ago. Welcome home.
I notice an application for Arby's on the kitchen table. Someone was using it as a coaster and the paper is still soggy in the middle. Scotch sweats more in the summer time. I need to smoke.
I pull open the screen door and walk outside. He doesn't turn his head to look at me. He doesn't say hello or smile. I stand in front of him and try to make eye contact. He's about my age but so much older. When I strike my Zippo, his free hand clenches and his beer hand jumps to his mouth. &
its hard enoughIt's just too hard to keep up now
with your words
and promises I'm tired
of keeping -
in spite of
all of mine to let you
handle it all this time.
There are too many voices
inside the headlessness driven
It's much too hard to look
over your shoulder and still know that
there is far more to you
and silent anger.
It's just too hard
to love you again.
I might find stars to speak for
me, among the jury of the deserted;
Skeletons of a secret I
forgot too soon,
speaks too quietly for me to hear
that the end is near,
yes, the end is near.
Perhaps your lies are red blatant and
and your voice so icy cold
that your gaze even in the warmth of a glorious sun
does nothing more
than hurt so relentlessly.
Let my thoughts roam free and so will you.
I will end the rest of what I was
it is exhausting to
know that there was once
a you I used to know.
I can't keep
waiting here on a hope
that has brought me down
far too many times.
So just forgive me this one last time.
Missing BonesWe spent our nights star gazing
on the top of that local bar on 5th street.
You said you loved me by night,
that no star or moon in any given universe
could compare to me; that we were lost warriors
searching for a home within the roots of one another.
I believed myself a wandering ghost among the living,
searching for missing bones and the warmth of another's grave.
You shook me then,
kissing me where it hurt most-
just to test a theory.
"Like dead birds,
you are not faceless;
your rib cage has a meaning."
And I believed I loved you then
underneath the moon and stars
tipsy on your smile and your words
and your warmth.
Your hands must be the thieves
who stole these thin bones of mine-
because, I never wanted you more.
Society's feat.When childhood memories go running away.
When you've grown up, and it's not ok to live off your dreams you once held so dear.
The innocent times, we all seem to cherish.
When is it ok to live them again?
Society looks down on us, for trying to return to those times.
For trying to live a life filled with innocence, but we find joy in killing this thing callled
Or maybe that's just me.
Purity is gone by the time the clock strikes twelve, or maybe sooner.
We cannot tell anymore..
The media filling our thoughts, with images that haunt our nights.
With fate around the corner, to rape us of the childhood,
to kill it.
Kill our joy.
But, there is nothing we can do.
For the fact is, everyone becomes human at one point.
It's something nobody sadly, can change.
Achromatic Dreamstoday, god gave me present.
stilted windows, white bones
decaying lungs and my mind races
at the rate of a lone moth's jaded wings
we taste better alone
clemency is earned
by the damned, by the damned
we belong to nobody
and she bowed with artless grace
kissed the sky, shed stardust tears
choked on angelic moonshine
we draw our own constellations
today, i gave god presence.
once.the world was wider, once: strewn bright
and willing to a fingertip's beckoning, riddled
with roads that spilled in breathless wanders
to otherlands of reverie. i remember
the promise i made a wild changeling child
before i bade her hush and say goodnight --
i've not woken her since: she sleeps and i steal
her spun-glass dreams for my garden
of wilt, ever longing to hold
the ghost-dance that spins by their dying light.
Rotten BlossomsShe just needs to say something of consequence.
She just needs assurance that reality exists
Beyond the restless lines of her vision
And that entropy is a myth invented by a sadist.
Ruthless hands dictating reason
To a broken girl curled into the foetal position
On the coldest floor in the world.
A series of mirrors, reflecting each facet infinitely,
Until it is clear that no one has been breathing for a while now.
She likes to think of it as a dream.
(furious technicolour, a red fireworks display, emptiness)
Someone whispers that she is irrelevant;
Oh, how these collapsible bodies laugh!
Her face is smiling;
It conceals the screaming madness beneath the skin,
Like snow on bodies,
And they'll tear and twist and crush and ruin
What she was trying to convey about love or apathy
And pretend she'd the one who
Missed the last train home.
(the bated breath of Tuesday afternoons, a lullaby she never heard)
And she wants so bad.
To understand how they work and why
PixieI never had enough faith in you,
my best postmodern pixie friend,
who presses herself against my shoulder
killing her fall with leaning.
You taught me something new
about anxiety today:
how to wake
up when it's morning, how to miss
dactylic illness with the parched
indelicacy of a crinkled sun.
In the eternal rendition you say
your name is always in the vocative
case, and only vocative:
says the girl
who taught a smaller girl to sing,
a girl of thirteen, with the same
nimble character we shared, the same
calderical eyes we shared.
The girl's voice
tumbles out of its weakness:
a chaotic calling out to the deltaic
rush of rain, a grimy smoker's
howl: monadic, suffering, fresh
alzheimersin 43 seconds a girl will walk past me
as if i didn't exist,
and i will never see her again.
but it won't matter.
they all float by me and disappear,
(one by one, two by two
they all fade away
they stole chronology, leaving me
to drown in chaos,
but my timeline was already broken,
memories appearing out of
another crack won't make
(i loved you once, maybe it was yesterday.
or was it three years from now,
when i called out for you
and was answered by
an ambulance siren?)
i'm the only one living in reverse, and
though the moments are mixed up
i still remember everything.
Kill Them With Kindness.Mitchell Archer leaned lazily against the old oak tree that sat at the far end of Back-Water High School oval; it was the first recess back after mid-year break and everyone in year 10 were eager to see all their friends again.
"They act as if they haven't seen each other in over a year," Mitchell muttered to himself as he glanced at a group of girls that were screaming and hugging each other like their lives depended on it. "I mean it's hardly been a month." He sighed and gave up on trying understanding girls, sometimes it seemed like they were an alien species that he knew nothing about. Mitchell cast the muddling thoughts from his mind as he flicked his wrist and a red sphere shot from his hand on a purple string and hung at the end of the line briefly before snapping back into Mitchell's hand, he looked around as he heard a sound to his right.
"MITCHIE!" Shrieked the bouncy brown haired girl as she tackled Mitchie from his perch against the oak tree and onto t
HeliopolisYou flew too close to the sun my friend.
I'll tell you a secret. We worshipped
the sultry burn of liquid wax.
Praised how it dripped with the callous
uncertainty of a blood transfusion.
A candle light vigil plus an orgy.
It's always summer in the hell you made for me.
The sheer cold of sixty five degrees drove me mad.
All I can see are clay skinned women nursing
their babes with odious and bitter sweat.
Not even the devil would come
for a visit to this blistered land.
Fail me the way man failed to define evil.
It was my fault for putting the match in your hand,
God's fault for giving the Angels wings, and
your fault for being born on the wrong world.
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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