Romancing CottonSomeone told me that the balled-up almost was growing inside her likea sapling, that soon the girl would be all swell and wet. What she saidwas, "don't leave". Her ego was a white sheet caught on a branch, thetype of fabric my mother treated with contempt. Frippery, beautifulbut impractical: keeping it alive was like trying to catch a bubble withdry hands.The wind carried the sickly smell of opium and morning sickness,signals of a spring in which fingers like white spiders cradledthe beginning of bloom. Hope seemed at once skin-near and star-far.What I offered her was not a marriage proposal, it was a murderof crows slipping across the sheet of day. Union makes for ardourand sweat. We were trying to build a body bereft of bones, withphrases shaped like small sharp pins, like dove-fletchedarrows, like abandoned godsrelatively, you'rebeautiful and there are always greater pains.I assembled cribs, prayed to the god of broken things.The future
LevitationObserve.This is how women walk away.In broken heelsand secondhand jackets,cigarette smoke in their hairand no kiss goodbye.Do not mock.It is what it should be.A girl in a car,hanging a u-turnon a glistening, empty street.Her body is a road to be traveled.A shipwreck to be plundered.She does not know how she got here,and she does not care.And it does not matter.This is how women smile.Knowing, secretive,though her cheeks are sore.Though the windis blowing right through her clothes.Though there is no good musicon the radio, and no foodin the refrigerator.This is just an impression.An idea of nirvana.A slice of real, live ecstasy.But do not give it a name.Just show it, wear it likedesigner jeans.Tight against the skin.She is ivory, she is easy,and it is not love.It is something better,fermenting at thebacks of her knees.Flooring her.Bleeding from her fingerprints.It is a devastation,seven ways from Sunday,but that is how she likes it.It cannot hurt
Expedition Letters to GraceDear Grace,You told me, back when we were visiting Peru and I was feeling down, that I would eventually find my calling in life. I write to you now to tell you, quite happily, that I have.I can't explain much about it at the moment, only that my sudden absence from the university is for a reason. As I write, I am currently en route to New York City, to visit their museums and get a taste of the culture. I told you before how I wanted to visit New York while I had the chance, and now I travel with purpose.I will say now, that while what I am about to do may seem strange to you, even mad, I can promise you that I am of sound mind and am determined to see my ambition through. Never before have I felt so strongly about the rightness of my decision. I will explain more in time. All I can tell you now is that I am launching my own expedition, and that it will be unorthodox, to say the least. I write you because you are my oldest and dearest friend, and I feel I can trust you.Give my best
i have you bookmarked -vii. Sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner were like art; food was flung from each corner, creating a futile canvas on every wall. I played a scale of musical doors as they slammed one by one. I'm sure I broke a few vocal chords too. He was always right beside me, yet so far.But we mingled together. When his hand gripped mine with his feathery touch, it seemed okay to pretend. Maybe my mind still needed to develop, needed watering. Or maybe together we just made feelings obsolete.iv. And we did.We sat on park benches blowing smoke kisses and watched movies, that only seemed good because everything else on TV was crap.Bubblegum. Pot. Gallons of ice-cream. We fed two pigeons and named them Ben and Jerry. We danced to Genesis, even though we both knew that they were possibly the most overplayed band in the world-universe-all-shopping-centers-in-London-ever.At night we slipped between the park gates and sat by the lake. It felt like the moon was right ne
A Flowerwould I, I wouldwalk in Hiroshima, a flowercannot say muchunderneath cypress treeswe can believepyramid builders used starsto map something theresand in my hand, sandback to where I gathered itthe cypress branches atnight canvas us like a pyramidas it should be, with lightcoming down in shaftsI'd have a flower for everything we ever did that needs onethat is an uncountable amountof flowers and wecannot count the starsin a universe we do not understand
How To Ask Someone To Let You Love ThemI think you keep secrets under your skinlike trees keep rings and do not know it,like the sea teems,like dark and quiet spacekeeps every ray of lightthe stars whispered to one anotherwhen they were still youngand dying to make love.I think you keep secrets in youlike the desert keeps sands,like sleep keeps dreams,like cities keep sleepless peopleand people looking for sleepless peopleto fall asleep with.I think you keep secretslike secrets like to be kept,and I want to learn them all.
starspunobserving the romanticismof hooded cemetery kids,smoking cigarettes pretendingthey are not dead.you were always so sureabout my uncertainty,you watchedall my pick up linesdrop things.we built the heatof the evening from the solidityof starlight,pretendedthat two teens at the parkat midnightis the stuff of teen novels(cliches dim onour leaf-gold horizon)your eyes dartedfrom the gray expanseof the churchyard & wanderedin thoughtfulpaths.i wanted to ask youif i could follow. shovethe words aside &remember that i came here alone.i remember our innocencein the static b e t w e e nstars, thinkabout how youth without you is th-awing out the lines in my whittled-out eyes.look to the hoodedcemetery kids,wonder what we'd have been likeif we grew up as nothings,like them. teenagenothings with chiseledmarble in ourvoices, carvedout of our parents' adulteratedlies and the excitement of alcohol.i settle for a star.it's almost as luminousas the after
Better Off DeadBetter Off DeadIt was a normal Tuesday that I woke up dead. I could just tell when I opened my eyes that it was a different day. The doctors always gave people the warning signs for when they would die, so that there would be no mistake. A lack of warmth in your body, skin became pale, senses weakened and a distinct lack of breathing. Rubbing the sand out of my eyes felt surreal. Every joint popped and cracked on their journey, which was rare to me. Naturally, I just figured it was a rough night's sleep and nothing more, but as I pushed the covers off of myself, I saw how white my body turned overnight. Again, death wasn't the first thought to pop into my head, just that I needed to get out more, maybe take a day off work and go to the park. As I slowly creeped over to my bathroom, my body was still fighting me, making my apartment sound like a thunder storm. By the time I got the por
Happy HollowLook:I found him in Happy Hollow, the woods that's on the outskirts of the city. He was a little ways off the path me and my sister, Nahla, take to school, 'cept Nahla was sick that day so it was just me by myself. It's not the fastest way to get to school, but we can't go through Northampton or else the bullies that live there will throw dirt clods at us. After I found him I took him to this old shed out there. It's got a hole in the roof but I figured the little guy'd be safe there on account of it's a good ways away from the Northampton houses; plus you can't hardly see it through all the leaves and branches and stuff. His fur was real white and real soft, just like snow 'cept it wasn't cold. It was warm and fuzzy so it made you wanna squeeze him real tight. I liked playing with his ears cuz they was all floppy, 'cept when you made a weird noise, then they'd stick straight up and he'd tilt his head sideways and look at you funny. He had a long bushy tail and sharp little baby teeth
How They Flutter ByElusive quarry indeed.Bright-faced youths may scamperEndlesslyThrough sunlit meadows full of flutteringAnd yet, at end of day, return tiredNets emptyBut eager to try again, as children are.What of those too old, or too slow?They'll run too, or perhaps just watch.The glittering prize, promisedAnd so often savoured in anticipationProves always out of reach.Easy, after a while, to stop and rest.Easy, later,To forget those dappled hues and their dancing flight.Retire, and pretend they never were.Seek solace in other, greyer things.Or remain forever haunted.Gazing, maybe, at those more fortunate.And in envyOr in memory of sunny days long pastTheir collections might sparkle yet.Cold stillness belies their fate, in truth.Dreams, pinned under glass.
Man:An arachnid needling into nothing;Thrown rope nestled in NASA's outer space;A Hindu clarinet player's helperAscending an airy, azure ether.A phalange of "my gawd" (an ice/ash pillar)After an airborne space craft's absconding,A moon-landing. Impossible motion,Mired in unimaginative mindsMeditating on Om, missing the flight.
the hanged manThis little red book you call the human body:take it up and shake it. Shake the flaking pagesout of it, shake it from endpaper to endpaperuntil the last of the phrases are gone; shake ituntil it's aching and empty, the soul of a bird.I will give you new words.
TeatimeIn January, Elsa got new neighbors. She greeted them with apple cinnamon tea.It gets so cold, here, they told her, shivering in overstuffed parkas. Snow had turned to mud in their front hallan unavoidable side-effect of moving in winter. Elsa nodded along to their complaints and observations, silently brewing the tea in their kitchen. They were young; they had big plans. Allison and Steve, newlyweds, just starting out. They sat on the cold floor together, sipping with chapped lips. The house filled with cinnamon.In April, Allison knocked on Elsa's door. We're pregnant! White tea in a china teacup; the taste of flower petals and champagne. The last caffeine for the next eight months. Elsa let her keep the cup.In May, Steve bought a carseat and a crib. Elsa helped him carry it inside. Flat-packed, but heavy. Sturd
A MeetingYou will notice first, the bone juttingfrom my meat, it is called teeth,These are my lips;This, like so, is called a smile.And then there are the fabrications that I wearThe layers of silk, of wool,of iron air(indeed there is an air that I am not quite there)- And feathers I have wrapped into my hairAnd Afghan pearls, and finallyMy hands, hare-fleet, and meetingyours.
HOWL POETRY CHALLENGEPOETRY CHALLENGEMy literature prof posed this challenge to us while we were studying Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl. Even for someone like myself who isn't a poetry enthusiast this was an incredible poem to study and an awesome challenge.The challenge is this:Rewrite the first few or as many as you'd like stanzas of Howl so that it reflects (as cheesy as it sounds) something that is meaningful to you.The link will be posted below.This is my VERY amateur attempt at this:I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by depressiontwisted, aching paralysis,drifting through joyless hours by dayunable to rise from beds,suicidal zombies burning for an eternal deep sleep farfrom melancholy's tight grip aroundthroats of operas,who shoot up and bawled and slit and degeneratedalone among cold tiles in the florescent flicker ofbare-bulbs blinding rotten eyes that squint tocontemplate bottles of sedatives,who screamed their hearts to passing lovers constraint to glass r
anemic, broken, and growing up anywaywhen my sister was five, she dictated a letter to me in her strong little voicewhile dust drifted in the sunshineof our creaky old room.dear me [she said],barney is the best. i will wear blue all the time even though i'm a girl. my heart beats without me telling it to and that's pretty cool. i think people always feel better if you tell them you love them. i will always smile because i have dimples when i smile.love,me."did you write it?" she asked, and i told her i did, every wordwith the chunky yellow pencil i'd fished out of my school bag.i handed her the letter, and she folded it up carefullyand she smiled.when my sister was fifteen, she was a little bit brokenanemic and pale, with unsure hair and shaky hands.when i came home to visit she whispered to me thatshe didn't understandand when i asked her what she didn't understand, she said"everything."she wrote another letter that night.dear me [it said],this isn't a suicide note. this isn't another angsty poem. this
Exhume and InhaleI have tasted God, he tasted of sweet wineand sandalwood, the deep forest you lay downin the moss and twigs, scattered like finger-bones,your spine ripped out, curved like a bow.I couldn't find your heart, tremblingagainst the opened cage of your ribs,under the gently speaking rustle,leaves unfurling, the dance of sunlightslinking between your vertebrae:piccolo skims and birchskin shaves.I fled. Your right shoulder blade beckoned still,unfolding like the slow feathers of a wing,your wrist flung out, palmup, gasped my name,but I could not stay, onlystrained your skin with oleander tea,drifted, drifted with the tumbleweed,the blind breath of the wind:and I had tasted God, birdsong on my tongue,soaring, sweeping, sweet and free.