Something

I am searching for something

Say I am on a hunt

Something to dizzy my head

To shake my skull with a violent yet familiarly gentle force

 

Something to paint multitudes more of freckles upon my shoulder

To make me feel like sharp scuff marks that mar the beige wall

This something will shorten my breathing

In out in out in out

I can feel my ribs hugging my lungs,

White and flesh

 

Something that will crack my spine and splinter through my center

I wish to feel the corners of my mouth burn

And my cheek muscles strain

I want to feel hell, the ground ruptures and succumbs beneath the soles of my shoes

To breathe charcoal, to feel Hades’ forearm drape around me

It’s a comfortable feeling

Hell, it cannot be a place, because you cannot feel a place

A place cannot twist and tear you

And knot you up and tangle you until rendered useless

 

Something that crinkles my nose

Stiff as a leaf underneath dried and dirtied boots

You say I am on a hunt

I am searching for something

Rain Rain go Away

Rain, rain, don’t go away

For I find the strangest comfort in a foggy window and my noisy yellow rainboots

Come again, visit me on Sunday and wrap around my shoulders like a woven blanket the morning after snowfall

I like the abundance of kisses that speckle my cheeks, trying their best to imitate my freckles, leaving me behind their icy drops

And the sound, the sound fills up that empty space in my head and between my ears

In the absence of thoughts, the sound consumes me

I smile at the sight of my reflection in the divots of my driveway that are filled with puddles of all sizes and shapes

Because I find myself beautiful in this mirror

Though my hair is weighed down and sopping

Though a single drop teeters on my nose, hanging on with a weak grip and wavering hands

Until down down it falls, splashing and rippling at the ground

And the mud shifting under my weight as I saunter amongst the trees

Rain, rain don’t go away

In Lieu of Flowers

In lieu of flowers, I want you to read this poem

For these words and scribbles come from the deepest and darkest corners of my throat

Bring me a bouquet of letters, and your beaming memories

Like our picnic under the birch tree, a checkered blanket laid beneath us on the knobby forest floor, and how I laughed until my insides burned after you tripped over that damn branch, you can remember the way it jutted out of the ground

For I don’t want the pain to scratch at your lungs and solidify in your stomach

I know when you cry your eyes look more blue like the Atlantic than they do green

But I like your green, and your freckles and your crooked teeth, and the lines and roads that map your face when you smile

I did admire the beauty of daffodils, but please, don’t bring me daffodils

In lieu of flowers, bring me the tranquility of rain that I grew to love

When we would sit in my driveway for hours, until the numbers and lines and ticks and tocks melted off of the clock

My hair was spotted darker, and strewn with rain drops and so was yours, but oh god

We smiled

I do not want the trash bin to be filled to its wiry brim with used tissues

or to hear the aching sounds that disease the air

Bring me the laughter and bring to me light that beamed through you in June

Just place it on my doorstep, don’t be afraid to get your calloused hands dirty

and know I will be out to retrieve your love and wishes once the stars tuck me in under a charcoal blanket

Please do not remember me for who you wanted me to be

Remember me for who I was

Raw and trembling

In lieu of flowers, please remember me

 

The Color of Summer

A small poem reflecting on my favorite aspects of the summer while I’m feeling the winter blues, enjoy! 

 

the color was red

it was the red that blanketed the skies and the red of the incandescent roses

the color of summer had to be red, like fireworks on the fourth of July

and melting cherry popsicles in mid August

 

no, if i’m remembering right

the color that those brilliant three months brought us was yellow

sunflowers that stood taller than I and a cartoonish sun

yes, the golden hues of sand and my five dollar flip flops

 

again, it has occurred to me that june did offer a palette of green

grass clippings and praying mantises

it was lighter than the color of the volkswagen beetle always parked in the lot next to the cove

but certainly darker than the granny smith apples they’ve been selling at the farmers market

 

the color of summer could be blue, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head

as blue as the ocean and as blue as the sky

the same color blue I paint my toenails  

and yes, the same color blue you painted the fence last June

 

maybe violet, but maybe not

the lilacs were more reminiscent of May

and the grapes and the buttons that line my favorite jacket

but I can see purple in the night sky, swirling with the stars and coating the night

with its gentle and mauve kisses

 

looking back, the color of summer

it wasn’t a color, no feeling can be scribed as a simple hue

the color of summer was laughter pouring out of wide smiles

and the feeling of bare feet treading unfamiliar paths etched into the earth

it was dirt under your short fingernails and the freckles that scattered my cheeks

it was the love affair of the sun and the sea

of the sun and us

it was love, yes

it was love

The Question & Answer

“Why do you write?”

These words slip from my mother’s jaw

Down and down until they kiss the pavement

Scratch that, a picture of romance and beauty is not what I wish to be etched onto this canvas

Down and down until they smack the pavement, the sound capillaries splintering like birch

Those words fall out and drizzle down as if it were a cloudy and charcoal coated Monday

 

Why do these words, and letters

And quirks and thoughts trickle themselves unto parchment

Persisting in a world now blotted and stained in figures and gears and metal and calculations

The click clack of the keys aches my bones mother, knocking on my door with a heavy brass fist, and I can no longer toy with these equations that scramble in my brain like twisted knotted up yarn

 

The numbers here before you and me, they don’t add up

Fives and the sixes and the sevens

But the words, oh mother, and the letters and the quirks and the complete and strangely symbolic chaos strung up inside

They do add up mother

 

They add up more precisely and evenly and exactly than any God damned number ever could

Making sense of a senseless jaunt

The words and stories help coat my wounds

They help as if they were cool water and ointment or loosely wrapped gauze

They help mother

I swear by it  

an excerpt from: Going Through the Spectrum

 Darkness surrounded him. These nightly fits were sure to mean something. Pain in his nose started to swell. First a shooting, razor sharp pain, then an itch. Oliver’s hand darted out to his night stand. In the cluttered mess of study sheets, day old tissues and medication bottles he snatched a tissue from its box. He brought the tissue to his nose. The boy let out a gigantic, painful sneeze. A sound that could only be mimicked by that of a howling wolf escaped the boy’s open mouth. Pain branched and crackled throughout his lungs. In all of this pain he’d somehow forgotten about the heartbreak that had taken place only ten hours ago. In curiosity, Oliver glanced at the tissue his shaking hands held in front of him. What he held in his hands was a tissue, spotted and smeared with black. Oliver’s eyebrows furrowed. He took his quivering index finger to the edge of his nose and lightly dabbed above his lip. His finger looked like it had been blotted in sky black ink. Before the boy could scream or run to face his own reflection, his bony knees gave out and he lay on the floor, unconscious.

White. The four walls surrounding Oliver were white. White, white, white. His mind and memory were fuzzy. It felt like the black and white static on a television screen. White was a word that kept reappearing back into the boy’s mind. The walls were white. His sheets were white. The sky was white. The tiles beneath him were even white. Oliver looked down into his thin, pale arms. IV tubes branched into them, and clear fluids sunk into his veins. He watched with intent as they flowed.

Oliver was alone. His mind was empty. White? Not only in the frost colored hospital room, but everywhere. He felt loneliness sink into his heart. Elsie, what he needed was the girl who had spent six years by his side. The girl who would laugh along with him to nothing. The girl who could comfort him without any words escaping her narrow lips. The girl who had fire for hair. Once again, Oliver fell into a deep sleep, this time caused by medication, not a tissue soaked in death.

Three hours had passed when Oliver found himself sitting up in the hospital bed. His ears led him to a nasally voice coming from a corner of the room. “Yes Mrs. Owens, Oliver is awake.” The lady dressed in white projected her voice through the phone. “You can come during our visiting hours, he’s in a stable condition. Not yet, we’re planning on running some more tests,” Tests? Oliver grew uneasy. That same lump in his throat surfaced itself against the boy’s translucent skin. Surely it was a clump of nothingness this time, there was no doubt.

The lady hung up the phone and advanced towards Oliver. The small white name tag fastened onto her uniform spelled out Nurse Lawson. “How are you holding up, Oliver?” Nurse Lawson spoke. The boy couldn’t reply; it was that lump again. Oliver could only nod his head. She let out a smirk, “You’ll be back to normal in time.” Nurse Lawson turned on her white heels and continued out of the blank room, and Oliver was left with the white noise.

Oliver sat in the silence; it devoured his frail teenage body. Tick tock. Tick tock .The clock overlooking his bed screamed out. He turned his head to the window and observed the outside world. The sky was white horse grey. Puffy clouds hugged each other and swirled into the nothingness that hung above. Tiny snowflakes danced in the heavens. Oliver could almost hear the sorrows of the wind clawing and scratching at the rain spotted window, if it wasn’t for that terrible ticking noise.

Red. When Oliver opened his weary eyes all he could see was red. The fiery shade fused into his white emptiness. The white pillows were now red. The white sheets were now red. The white tiles were now red. His eyes were bloodshot, maroon branched and crackled to his pupils. The room was no longer stark white. Fragments of blazing color interrupted the desolation. The amount of redness did not frighten Oliver, he had seen it once before: In the locks of Elsie. Oliver welcomed the crimson with open arms, it was all he had left of the girl.Was it all he had left at all?

Oliver’s insides were obsidian like the night sky. His blood flowed dark through his fragile veins. His lungs were spattered black with nothingness. Oliver’s being was an empty hull bobbing among the swells. The world surrounding Oliver leaked white. The clouds that swirled above were blank, an empty canvas that had shown no desire for color. Dull white snow fell and crowded around his shoes. Oliver’s world was painted black and white; what he needed was red.

On Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub or any Alike Disambiguations

I hold a firm belief that Satan comes in many forms, a variety, an array

This is my conviction that I grip to dearly, even if my knuckles were to whiten

You are at will to seek his presence at any corner, really

Last week I watched him strolling about Fourth and Emery Street

But that’s another story

It’s almost a game, you see, no more sinister than sorry and jenga or monopoly

A promise, a lamp, a person, a sentence, a phrase, a typewriter if you follow

So please, offer him a place inside your throat, deep down where nobody goes

A fine leather arm chair, the kitchen counter, a lived in mattress in the guest room

Somewhere hollow

The wicked are often misunderstood, the kind misinterpreted by twisted tongues

So, if you like

Invite him over for a cup of tea, although he won’t admit to it he does much appreciate chamomile and Tolstoy

Because his mother calls him by George, but friends know him as kind

Have a drink, pour a glass, I will promise you that the wicked are often misunderstood

and the good are not of interesting company

A Short Story: Keys

 

Keys

The lone soldier, clad in green like the woodland surrounding him, felt the crunch of stray twigs shiver up his body. The sound accompanied by his footsteps cracked and popped the thick silence held by bare branches. All around him were rooted and effervescent signs of life and growth. The firs let out long sighs and exhales of sorrow, and fallen leaves hummed an unfamiliar string of notes. The soldier himself did not. He did not share the same exhausted sighs or melodious tunes. He did not find rhythm with branches and rhythm with the bark. He only walked.

 

The grey blotted sky yawned until the stars appeared and the sky resembled a charcoal pen. The soldier grew weary and his muscles grew weak. Five hundred and sixty seven steps later he found himself sitting amongst the now dead leaves. Under his backpack and uniform they crunched like broken bones. His stony hands groped the ground, easing once they met with his gun. The soldier gripped his weaponry, holding it tight to his body. Just in case. The cold stock of his gun stung at his fingertips, but he did not move. Just in case.

 

His eyes opened to the sound of twigs breaking. The soldier became tense and he readjusted his hands on his rifle. His muddied combat boots lifted him to his feet. His head snapped. To the left. To the right. Above. Below. A calloused finger tip shook as it met with the trigger. Just in case. The silence felt thick in the air and seemed to remain there. The soldier began to walk once again.

 

The familiar faces etched in bark whispered back to him. The same firs and evergreens and the same pines encircled him. The soldier continued to hold his firearm, it’s body unevenly balanced in the crook of his arm. The woods were vast and the treelines thick. The gun mimicked the weight of a boulder, straining muscles and pulling at the soldiers uniform. His hollowed eyes moved toward a figure in the distance.

 

The figure was large and boxy, but from a distance seemed smooth and delicate. He walked closer, over piles of dead leaves and fallen tree trunks, feeling moss squish under the weight of his combat boots. He walked until he became closer and closer and closer and closer. He walked until he could decipher it’s identity and he walked until he recognized an old friend.

 

His dirtied hands caressed the wooden side panels of the instrument, the feeling struck a contrast to the usual, mud and rocks and bodies and blood and metal triggers. The soldier did not question the pianos location, sitting alone in the middle of a forest, much like himself. He did not want to know the truth. He wanted to sit.

 

After days or months or years fashioning chairs of tree stumps and stones, the cushiony feeling beneath him was a feeling now unfamiliar. He brought his fingers to the keys, the cool sensation of ebony and ivory provoked a slight twitch to the corners of his chapped lips, a smile.

 

    This smile was a stranger. It cracked his skin and drew blood. Then the soldier moved his fingers, first slowly, playing soft scales and light chords. This was the same smile of his five year old self. And that of his six year old self and that of his seven year old self. It was his smile until eighteen years had passed. It was a smile he had forgotten.

 

  The stresses and the tensions and the bruises and the bandages melted off him. The forest grew loud and harmonious. The firs hummed Mozart and the twigs snapped in various metronomes. The simplicity of the music, and of the past vibrated through the soldier. His combat boots eased on the damper pedal and the woods were alive. He found rhythm with the branches and rhythm with the bark. He shared the same exhausted sighs and melodious tunes. The soldier rose to his two feet and removed his rifle from the straps around his shoulders. Gently, and with shaking hand, he placed the gun down. With kicks he attempted to bury the firearm, under leaves and twigs and moss. The soldier did not look back, he only walked.

On Writer’s Block (And How to Kick It’s Butt)

It’s big, it’s bad, it’s mean. It’s writer’s block. Simply defined as: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing. Why is it that our minds can sometimes be completely incapable of brainstorming? Here are some quick easy tips to fight the beast and be the best writer you can be!

  1. Go Outside

What’s more inspiring than the great outdoors? Whether it’s a run in the park, a walk through the woods, or even just a quick trip to your backyard, nature is a great way to spark your creativity.

2. Create Your Own Writing Space

Switch up your environment. This can be anywhere, a small nook in your bedroom, your local library, or a desk space in your house. You can fill this space with your favorite writing quotes, some pens and paper, journals, etc.

3. Get inspired

Quotes about writing are my absolute favorite. They can serve as both motivation and inspiration to write.

“You only fail if you stop writing” – Ray Bradbury

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” – Charles Bukowski

4. Search for Writing Prompts Online

These small questions, sentences and ideas can be enough to ignite an entire story. Made to be open ended, writing prompts can go in any direction you’d like. With the help of the internet, you can easily access thousands of writing prompts. Also made readily available are daily writing challenges.

5. Just Write

How do you cure writers block? You write. Scribble down words on a paper and see what happens. This goes hand in hand with the Charles Bukowski quote mentioned above. The beauty in writing is, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can always go back and revise. Always put everything you have into it, and I can promise you, something great will happen.

 

 

The Newcomer

Everybody starts somewhere. There was a a time when Freddie Mercury didn’t know how to play a C chord, and Einstein grappled with addition, right? This is my starting point, a stepping stone that will hopefully help me persue my dreams and goals. Call it an 11 day late New Years resolution if you absolutely must. Here is my start, and this is my now. Sure, Freddie Mercury and Einstein are both eight feet under. But I’m not. Enjoy.