They'll never suspect you're a poet.A Letter To David Matzke
Andrew Glaze, from Damned Ugly Children
I tell you, David,
poetry ought to be shocking,
and poets ought to be dangerous people.
In whatever country, honest feeling is always
shocking and dangerous.
Anyone true to the heart can simply enough and at
any time be both.
But for their contempt, we've ourselves to blame.
We've been cowardly.
We've made the stuff so cheap
begging their love
that poets are poor people
from wearing out the money of never was
passing it back and forth among themselves.
Rub the truth in their faces!
What is the point of being a poet anyway,
if you can't be a kind of prophet?
Hold their nose to the stink.
Say "look, this is it!
We are here by ourselves,"
say "there's no kind uncle,
you will have to furnish the kindness out of your
If you see that, nothing can hurt you!
Stop kissing essences. Learn to respect
your essential rumpy importance.
And for God's sake don't mistake my words
a feature of honest things
Sparrowjack by neonxaos :thumb366209252: Mirror Talk by disrhythmic
self explained by devoman1948Beautiful Mess by defectivebarbieHere in the dark... by BioBiopsyMacabre by defectivebarbie:thumb335358272:
Twenty: I am Still Alive by Nichrysalis:thumb366336172:Some Place in Between by xlntwtch
Poison by Arinda-FoxgloveNightsparklies by Nightsparklies:thumb362105182:Self delusion by alter-ipse-amicusSwim The Black by eddiebadapples
S.O.S. by prettyflourthe heart of a quiet girl by littlemoonboots:thumb368971929:
:thumb363817404:Extreme Emotional Hennesy Explosion by MushroomBrainPatterns by NingerGinjaaahh
self by devoman1948Andromeda Calling by toxic-nebulaeSelf Portrait, 2013 by RyckRudd
The Lurker At The Threshold by aegiandyad
"self portrait" contest
Wednesdays by Judah-Leonardo
Earth Angel by Arinda-Foxglove
Self Portrait In An Upper Room by AlecBell
One man's perception by DanNeamu
Mantis by glossolalias
Self Portrait by bbyoung1971
Confessions of a Southern DandyIf you happen to find me lingering
On your front porch with the phone ringing,
Teakettle whistling, so on and so forth,
Just know that I'm trying to describe
A childhood summer pasture, and how at dusk
Lightning bugs suddenly appear above sagegrass,
Hovering like tiny UFOs in the honeysuckle air.
And please forgive my mushmouth dialect,
I'm simply mimicking a bobwhite, or a coonhound,
Or a grand-daddy gumming hot buttered corn on the cob.
And pay no mind to that shaky hand up your skirt,
That's either a re-enactment of Bull Run,
Or last night's winning Crimson Tide touchdown,
Depending on how much bourbon was poured.
And for Christ sakes, don't be offended
By my lack of eye contact,
Seems like these days I'm always looking up,
Trying to see the sky beyond the sky.
--Harold Whit Williams
from "Waiting For the Fire To Go Out"
Another poem from a random poet. I have 572 other things I need to be doing right now, so I thought instead I'd type this up. Makes sense, 'cause I'm about to tell
Just because....I can't seem to write doesn't mean other folks can't.
Take a look-see, people. Maybe even take a few on home with ya to your favorites.
:thumb276455385:Wilderness Prancing by TwilightPoetess
The Consequences of Falling by kamcalsteinternal existence by IgnitionInStarsnu by silklilies
Reality TV 5 by EmaciatedandEpitaphs:thumb310928128:Current by ExistenceWeSummonYou
As I inaudibly crumble by Sammur-amatreligion by riparii:thumb303069606:
If I were to host a contest, (of which I have absolutely no details on yet) would you all be interesting in playing along? Or would it be a big ol' waste of time? I'm thinking the big prize, being that I'm broke as a joke, would be a 3-month subscription and at the very least, a feature of the participants. Lemme know, y'all!
And we have a winner....
Why? I love the angle she took with the prompt words.
It was such an unexpected piece and you guys should go tell her what a lovely job she did.
Her prize? A 6-month premium membership. BAM.
It was a hardhardhard decision, though. I had help from vespera in debating the overall wonderful-ness of all the poems. She actually even submitted, but I disqualified her for cheap effort. She basically wrote all the words down on a postcard and mailed it.
A reminder of the words that were to be used, just so you guys can get an idea of how hard the prompt was:
I got all sorts of epic entries that blew me away.
I can't believe how creative you guys are.
chasing the greyHi, guys and gals.. (:
You all have been so stinkin' wonderful to me and supportive about my writing. The thing is, I don't really share it outside of this little playground. I've always been oh-so-backwards. Anyhow, I've finally gotten my nerve up to start a separate site and share that one with the locals and anyone else that may happen upon it.
I had a bit of help from my super wonderful friend, BeyondJen, who also sortof gave me the push I needed. So tell her she's awesome the next time you spot that icon of hers. (: Umm...so here's where I need y'all-- Even though you all have seen what I've posted there, I'd appreciate if any of you could just take a gander and tell me what you think.
It's sort of also a dedication to my Maw-Maw, who was always my biggest push and my steadiest rock. So I want it to be reflective of her and a proper tribute.
Ok...here we go:
Published (:Yep, over at The Legendary, which is making my day way more nifty than the rest of the week has been.
Issue 40: http://downdirtyword.com/poetrypage.html
MovementThere’s enough anger in the air
to strangle anyone. Anyone can
say they’d do this or that. That
isn’t the point here. Here and now
makes our tomorrow. Tomorrow
is the focus. Focus on that – that
we need tomorrow. Tomorrow
will be our truth. Truth is noted
after the fact. Fact isn’t respected
in the now. Now is when we react
to what happened then. Then was
the foundation of it all. All must
recognize what is needed. Needed
now is ground to stand on. On this,
plant yourself – yourself, and not
someone else’s voice. Voice instead
your hope, your rage. Rage against
the wrongs, with your rights. Rights
ought to be as free as breath. Breath
should never be taken by hatred.
TrespassingI will stay awake all night now,
where there is no definition,
for the stillness of your regard
or the way your breath
tickles my frame.
Lovely stranger, I would ask
to remember you this way:
only as the moment in a day,
bottled up in flesh. I don't want to recall
the low clouds or your arms, only how your eyes tilted
full of a moment's light.
That humid air, it settled between us
with more accuracy than the sun could have
held in his intention. Humbled by the sweat
upon your brow, the rains came
drenching us, and forcing our escape
to this place unlike home, but safe
We are nameless, here, and yet
I know you. I have learned your ways
without knowing a thing else. I am not afraid
of this dark night, no, only of its brevity
and the way your calloused fingertips
may not again find my restless skin. Though,
I know it is best that they do not.
Life's little dangers leave me this way.
They are creeping through the window to the wind.
Boulevard of Lost HopeNothing in these pockets
But a five dollar bill
And a pint of whiskey
In a crumpled up
Wife beater on
Carpenter style Dickies
And a ball cap
Sitting on a road side bench
Watching cars on the fast track
Doing eighty five
The boulevard of lost hope
Paved in broken glass
And ill repute
I grew up
Not far from here
I came to celebrate life changers
And wake up calls
Sold my dreams
Even in the worst of places
The world seems brighter
this aftershave smells like uraniumI don't want to die without leaving a piss-stain on the planet, except the world is a skeleton, and everything already stinks of ammonia. An old woman once told me what it was like to climb trees, how she'd hook her legs around the branches and swing and watch birds fly upside-down above clouds coloured white instead of green. We don't get much of those any more. Trees. Birds. Old women. Wise bastards with something better to talk about than how we should live our lives. Eat your veg. Smile. Brush your fucking teeth. Nah, this old chick with her gnarled fingers and her crumpled smile and her reading glasses with the crooked frame, she talked about seagulls and conkers and sitting on the sides of little streams with her toes in the water, catching frogs and keeping them in jars and feeling bad because they missed the winding river. About how to grow real shit from real seeds in real earth that smelled like earth... that smelled like rotting leaves and seedlings and dew and not formaldeh
three dogs in the churchyardThe chain link around the graveyard runs straight through an oak tree. The bark looks crippled where it passed through the wire--mutilated in a faint diamond pattern--but you can see around the edges where it's fusing together smooth again.
The kids with the distant eyes always come here to smoke. You've never seen eyes like that. Distant, but not glazed, like they're looking into eternity and watching the threads of livewire possibility arc and writhe before them. The embers at the ends of their smokes cast cherry-red reflections on their irises.
The top of the fence is buckling where it enters the tree. You wonder if they'll have to cut it loose if they ever take it down. You wonder how far the roots have crept.
You wonder why the kids with the forever eyes never stand, vulpine, by the churchyard with its stray dogs and subterranean hum of faith--of vulnerable hope. Maybe all the life drowns out the eternity.
On winter mornings, they exist only in the pinpricks of light from the ends
Lion HeartIt is building up deep within her fragile body like a heaving monsoon forming over the dry, cracked, heavy heat of an African savannah; an unforgiving and all-consuming storm desperately willing to drown out its less than fleeting welcome. Flickering with ceaseless coils of skin-searing energy like a grey-faced fugitive's adrenaline stricken heartbeat, it is not a bringer of life, but a threat to itand even the most reckless are hardwired to take flight in the face of such a colossal and uncompromising foe.
Beyond these white-washed walls, the world would have her believe that she is brave, a lioness, an exception confronted by the inevitable; but outrunning the storm is no longer an option, and she has never felt more betrayed. Slowly, it is emanating from her heart and through the pulmonary arterythere, free to roll and crash, it engulfs her lungs in a terrible thunder that rattles the brittle bones holding her together. The ominous feeling that has settled into
wanderlustshe was a s e v e n t e e n year old girl from nowhere [or was it everywhere?] with dark hair and long eyelashes and skin that was always pale white. when she was young she played in the poppy fields of greece and when she got older her tongue started yearning to speak italian and russian so that she could travel to other far off places.
she was born on a friday between two ice storms, and the first word she ever heard was b e a u t y. her mama told her that when she first opened her dark blue eyes, her pupil was surrounded by a ring of pure white. the blue stayed but the white turned to green [and from then on her eyes were always her favorite feature].
she always had nightmares, never good dreams, but maybe that's because she could never stop d r e a m i n g with her eyes open. all she ever wanted was dirt roads and stars and mud under her fingernails.
[maybe one day, when she's older, she'll take a crinkly old map and
For My DaughterDear daughter-I-do-not-have-yet,
You will be my perfect. You will be my proudest moments in one small person. You will be made in love, or maybe anger, or maybe even desperation. But that won't matter. What matters is what you will be made into.
You will have Daddy's hair and his nose, and my eyes and my smile, the smile that happens not because someone with a camera told you to, but because you're genuinely happy. But you will have your very own heart and will be full of all the things that give you your you-ness. Whether you sing in the bath or make Valentines for everyone in your class or give your last homemade chocolate chip cookie to the boy sitting alone at recess.
I will write you poems and stories about how you are my miracle. I will read them to you sometimes, just to remind you. As you grow, not a day will go by that I'm not thankful for everything you are. You will be dazzling and beautiful and brilliant and compassionate and playful and curious and all of the things
Away from NeverNeverLandMoney is dirty. Leaves invisible yuck on a person; stains fingers, smears over skin and catches under nails. Festers. And then hands turn into pincers to take and eyes small greedy and black. Skin hardens to bounce back ugly words and back curves under weight of things. Lobsters, fat and red.
Marriage is scrubbed. Clean and pretend. Perfect white dresses and kisses put and planted. Brides march and grooms promise so hard. Military of gowns with bow tie generals. An army of high heels and flowers landed in laps. Marriage spreads. Infects. Zombiefying disease. Shuffle, I do, brains.
Driving is fickle. Slide into each other, through each other. Blood and bits go with them. People cry over tombs and insurance papers. Or nothing. Home again, uneventful day. Locked behind wheel, over tarmac, lights suspended like vultures above. Danger, danger. Promise of convenience. Thrill. Like riding a shark.
Work is uniformed. Slotted, easy, organized files. Tags meaning le
e.e.cummingsThe day you left, I skipped school to see you off.
I said, "There are more important things than school."
You said, "I never said there weren't."
Now, I mostly miss you, and usually on Sundays, I make my way to the place where we used to sit out Sunday School. There's still a Bible on the rock where I think you might have left it, and I pick it up and read it. I've never gotten past the gospel of Matthew, because every time I read it I see you staring at the sky and asking if Heaven's hypothetical.
There were stars in the sky that night, and you said you used to think they were god shining through a curtain.
Once we talked about Our Father who Art in Heaven and you told me that if you were a believer, you'd say both your fathers art in heaven, and hallowed be their names.
I remember the day I skipped fourth block, and we sat on the rocks and smoked. You told me it wasn't good to abandon my education, so you taught me e.e.cummings-
"I like my body when it is with your
I learned t
I hope you are reading thisthe person I love loves music much too much
and the person I love loves that I love the quiet and easy days
loves that I like to stay up late (or early) till the birds sing of morning and
the person I love loves that I love to hold hands and hold a body but only when I know them fully
and the person I love loves listening to my songs and listening to my voice and to my poetry and stories
the person I love has songs to share too and a voice that melts my heart and words that mold it back into something nostalgia old and inspired new
and the person I love loves to look around and take it in once in a while and wonders why we can’t just run away to a secluded place in the forest with a cabin that harbors all of our needs, keeps you and me in a space apart where it rains when we’re sad because we would always be sad together and where the sun is warm on our skin when we are smiling together and laughing together because I made a spectacular pun out of seemingly nothing sp
FisheyeYour honest words perch upon brash lips,
teetering on thoughtful intentions; a super hero's cape
embroidered with moth holes, gossamered secret identity
shielding the crestfallen heart you disguise as armor,
forgotten about with a forced amnesia
until its lonely beating rips a hole
through your defenses.
I'm your kryptonite and your sunshine
the thing that makes you human, and weak,
and a villain to the unloved,
and my savior.
I'm the have and have-not,
the desired and the disdained
for your every rib aches to feel the pressure of my palms
and the tangle of my fingers witching for your marrow;
your every fiber argues my nearness and my absence,
and your heart murmurs a welcome and a warning.
You retreat from the latter,
because hope was never meant
for someone like you.
I've been wanting to tell you for so long,
your honesty is a lie.
Copyright © 2012 Jen Fowler
All Rights Reserved
ToxicCheap piece of gold;
I haven't taken it off since you put it there.
It's amazing how much weight it carries;
warped and bent after years of forming to this finger.
You'd think my heart would be broken,
but you managed that years ago.
Any lingering stubborn love
just grew toxic and thinned out.
This cup is full, no more room for error.
Now we just crash
burning the roads in front;
so many casualties I can't even keep count,
but the kids break my heart.
Through glossy eyes and slurred speech,
you don't even consider them anymore.
As bad as we had it, as hard of an upbringing
one would think we might have spared them,
but nobody is spared.
The world around us is our warzone
and we set fires and watch them burn.
When the flames go out
we start new ones.
This is what we've become
no sense in waiting
for that which will never be again.
Storm Music They say when I was first laid in my mother's arms, she gave me back to the nurse and said, "No. This is not a child of mine."
My father is the "they" I mean, the only one I heard tell that story. I guess he figured she meant it, because right away he took me as far from the Zuni reservation and my mother as we could get.
I don't remember being a little baby. I mean, who does? But I know my father drove his old car, with him and me and supplies, for miles and miles and miles. I hated that car. And he talked a lot, my Dad. He'd say, "Hey, freak. We're gonna cross a state line again. Mark it on the map." Or, "Hey, ghost boy. I gotta stop here for a few days. I'll set you up in a motel."
When my father said "set you up in a motel," he meant he'd get some half-drunk Indian to watch me, or more likely, to watch TV. He always went somewhere else. Some of those Indians fed me and some didn't, just like my father. I mean, it's like when I
FirefliesWe kept cicadas and caterpillars in mason jars, but never fireflies. My brother still has a cicada from three years ago, sleeping away under the lid. Grandpa says it'll stay that way for 17 years like all cicadas do, and it's okay to keep them safe.
But we don't catch fireflies; they don't live that long. They say light travels faster than anything, but our bugs are fat lazy things that travel nowhere in a big zigzag. The tall grass lights up with tiny little flashes every night all summer long and all is dark not two months later, but for the time being they don't even know they're dying.
SuperimposeHe doesn't look like a gymnast. He's all button down shirts and frazzled grey hair framing wire spectacles, a picture perfect professorial archetype down to the very tips of his frayed shoelaces. But he was a gymnast once, or so he tells us, and I believe him because he smiles like he knows something while he's chatting before class.
It's strange to see that image superimposed over the current one the distinguished professor in pressed khaki slacks and a jacket, worn brown loafers exuding a faintly courteous manner (you can always tell them by their shoes), and a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand versus the athletic kid who went to college for a semester and grew nine inches too tall to keep doing what he loved so he took up a tennis racquet instead. Gymnasts don't wear suit jackets; no steel mill worker has such manicured nails. But the images are all there, flickering just under the surface and bubbling up again when he's recounting stories about his days in Pi
Speaking From DeliriumPlastic. In tubes, in IV bags, in oxygen masks
lengths and lengths of clear plastic, coiled
Everything smells like sickness and death
The chattering in the hall speaks of death
I sweat sickness from every pore, I can't
I can't concentrate
The paneling on the wall looks like you, drowning
The water pitcher sweats disease
Panic at 3:00 am when breathing's almost impossible
Watching Adult Swim all night
It's down the rabbit hole, here, things happen quickly
but the clock doesn't keep up
I hear a tune about the little puppet boy,
the one who woke up, the one who took dares
The one who turned his head too late and woke with pieces missing
Without the grey-eyed girl from good Illinois stock
The one who lived too large to die but did a little each day anyway
One day he coughed it all up
into coils and coils of plastic
Off TopicIt takes twelve minutes
to assemble sixteen desks
in a perfect circle.
Or as perfect as I can get it.
Then it takes another hour
for the first stragglers to wander in, seating themselves.
The professor always arrives seven
minutes before class begins.
He sits on the left side
while discourse flows easily among
the discordant voices.
The exchange rate on ideas
is ten seconds of silence for a halting opinion,
unsure of itself,
but backed up with a quoted passage
from page one twenty-three, read aloud then cut off -
contradicted by a second opinion.
The first voice breathes easy;
the spotlight eyes are elsewhere.
In the midst of interrupt,
the professor bends one knee
up to his chair, fixing
the loose knot of an old pair of loafers.
He ties a new knot without looking,
caught up in the dialogue
of his charges and finishes tightening
the strings as he raises his voice,
steering the dialouge back
to the topic at hand.
My worn pair of red
and white double-knotted Sketch
Machine MentalityWhen I was a child
the wild and crazy
used to speak
of waking up old.
Reverend 'Dead-eye' would preach
every Sunday morning
of acid trips and street fights,
where motorcycles roared.
My old man would chime in
with white labels and table tops,
and rotating doors;
trips to Daytona, Sturgis, and Pikes Peak,
the Iron Horse
They forgot to slow down,
hard pressed to the edge
burning through the only life
It's that machine mentality
with no specified expiration,
as much in their day
as our own.
So we roll like there's no tomorrow,
we never look back
until our bodies
grow too tired
Then that day comes
we turn on the radio,
to find Cancer
snuffed out the Beastie Boys.
So this is what it's like
to wake up old.
before we know it.