Anha

Australia

ms. eldritch horror

"people often reveal their true colours when they are held accountable for their actions; there are those who want to make amends and improve their behaviour and those who don't."
- amalia costa (wtw alum)

Message from Writer

no longer active. those with words to say can reach me on prose.

pfp by sara kipin

just reminding y'all posting weird political propaganda: i'm sapphic, i'm pro-choice and anti-gun. so basically everything you conservatives hate :)))

2019 wtw highlights

May 26, 2020

FREE WRITING

36
i always make promises i can't keep. i said this would be out in february or march, but now it's may. and it would have been delayed even further if not for the gracious efforts of my lovely assistant team. even though their names are holding a prized place in my bio, i'll thank them again here. without the hard work of the contrarian, weirdo, and loveletterstosappho on my behalf (and jun lei’s keen eyes for the final proofread), the compilation of this list could have been put off another few years. (my procrastination knows no bounds.) this is not as complete a list as perhaps i would have liked, but since i didn't start seriously compiling these highlights until the latter half of the year (and since the end of 2019, wtw has enacted a policy which effectively removes all responses to previous writing group prompts from the database, where a lot of brilliant writing has now been lost to) it will have to do. this list includes the immeasurable talents of writers whom wtw has said farewell to since their pieces were published, but that doesn't mean that we cannot admire what they left behind.
 
it's honestly incredible to me that the inaugural wtw highlights in june were a mere twenty-something pieces, and now every month has upwards of ONE HUNDRED PIECES without fail! this simply speaks for the growing aptitude of the wtw community, and there are no other words to say other than i'm so bloody proud of you all. to see some of you grow and develop your writing styles throughout your time here has been a truly exquisite thing to witness.
 
it goes without saying that this will be the longest instalment of my wtw highlights that have been released to date, so please! take advantage of the ctrl+f function if you don't have the time to look through the entire list! give your favourite writers some love on their oldest pieces! and for those of you who want to know which pieces have been added to each month since their respective highlights were released, previous highlights will be linked in the footnotes, as usual.
 
enjoy!
 
(for easier navigation, control+f to look for previous work from your favourite writers, but please take your time to sort through the rest of these gems while you're here. rest easy; this list isn’t going anywhere.)


JANUARY
 
pouringoutthesun's a wolf and a heart
There’s a boy falling down an elevator shaft and every 10 seconds there are hands trying to grab at him.
 
jey min (sota)’s aeterno
Only the elegance of craft  can colour the pain in
all its ugly wonder: how time folds upon itself and never stops.
 
paperbird’s all i need is a little rain and a little money
so show me a nicer, natural place
where rain falls like quarters
and lightning lashes as a great
ten dollar bill, greenish on the darkened night.
 
aryelee’s alone on this edge of the universe
        a world without you is one where i don't make it to see the dawn.
 
oscar_locke’s america -- sestina poem
Licking the sighs, his drug,
Bitter to sweet, my sea;
Do you trust silent men?
 
r.j.elsewhere’s bid madness good-morning for me
In that time, the time of morning’s slaughter, I lay awake in the folds of spotted sheets, starved and wanting, lacking the taste of slumber in the cuts of my lip.
 
loveletterstosappho’s carbon monoxide
for you,
i would have lit the world ablaze
but the oceans were too vast
and my matches too weak.
 
muppet’s carmeline’s reprise
to say i've grown some years in the past few days is an understatement 
i suppose sixteen rendered me still a victim of jealousy
 
r.j.elsewhere’s cold hard cash
She had skinny fingers that bore the shape of keys, something that was fitting for my love – that was all locked-shaped and bolted shut.
 
paperbird’s dear explosive star
no matter what man makes 
they'll always be natural---
it'll always be natural to blow up
 
paperbird’s death of a star
he starts to cry: beads slip down granite;
he is hard, he is willing.
 
paperbird’s fermatas
but i can’t do these things
so i remember it as music:
my mother’s frown unfurling like an inky treble clef...
 
paperbird’s glory in the rain & mourn in the sun
they say the flame is beautiful
but it's whipped me raw
and i've bled
so many times under those
cruel iron hands.
 
r.j.elsewhere’s he wrote love letters in the stars but she forgot her glasses - it happens.
The night was one of youth and gamble – yet all those who stepped foot through the tavern’s doors were ones of forever and eternal; ones that were young in the face yet eon in the eyes.
 
paperbird’s how to crush the moon
loosen up your silver hands
and raise them carefully to the sky, topaz blue...
 
elisa’s how to pray (in the light and in the dark)
i am the daughter of the witches they were never able to burn, and my prayers in the dark are made of spitting blood and rolling necks.
 
ghostlyglory’s i think i get this anger from you
you see? i scream, pulling tangled kelp out the sink,
i do not need a sky when this is an ocean
 
ghostlyglory’s learned behavior
even in sleep her teeth gnash together like 
there is something in the air 
she is trying to remove
 
r.j.elsewhere’s let not day break, for he is one frighten of the tomorrows which hold today
Dawn’s renaissance was for the young and the new, and yet it felt like a death and a defeat wrapped in one for the two to soak in.
 
acrosstheskysky’s loser
and i'm the loser
(but there really isn't a winner in this)
 
paperbird’s ocean currents
we watch the ocean currents
and the gentle sea foam, and maybe it's because
we're only waiting for
something else to happen.
 
ghostlyglory’s oh! this is love
you kiss my lips and run your hands through my hair like i am worthy of a prayer, and i think loving you makes loving easy again. 
 
elisa’s on: the boy
i am so used to loving hellfire and curves that i do not know what to do about his halo and sharp lines.
 
the bubbling pen’s once upon a time
They says white is the colour of elegance and class. But from what I can see, white just gets dirty, is all.
 
ghostlyglory’s she lives in the trees
one; when she was eight she climbed to the very top of the wise oak tree in her backyard, and there she stayed for an entire afternoon until a ruthless wind knocked her down, and through the branches she fell.  
 
araw’s shere khan
And for the champion title he holds
You are nothing but a coward in stripes
 
pouringoutthesun's softness
“Somewhere where we’re allowed to cry for a bit would be nice. Let’s make sure the next ones are allowed to cry.”
 
rainandsonder’s the world doesn’t spin like it used to
it was hamlet,
but they begged her
for the answers instead.
 
oscar_locke’s vesuvius -- octain refrain
Pluto counts the Roman souls due,
Marching down great Vesuvius.
 
oscar_locke’s winter
take the water, uncut and streaked, and melt it down to mercury --
quicksilver in the moonlight, drawn by rivers and spider string...
 
~~~
 
FEBRUARY
 
pouringoutthesun’s “you’re not entirely of this world? are you?”
and when you were 14 these things came crawling towards you in the dark and you weren’t scared because they told you it would be alright.
 
oscar_locke’s ~~ running ~~
Gypsy flips the tarot card,
Grinning within green eyes,
Hopeful as the lightning...
 
paperbird’s a tiny romance
remember that day when we sat by the moon
while the silvery rays gripped our stomachs?
 
elisa’s a response (because your words blew me away)
in this one, i found you young, and i found you in spinning words and old prayers. whatever gods are pulling us round and round, they built us beautiful, darling.
          my comment:
          this is going to be heavily biased, but i love this piece more than anything. it's poetic and flows with hope, grace and beauty in ways that shouldn't be possible.
 
elisa’s almost (sweet music)
with you there is always a sense that we have spoken these words before and will speak them again.
 
paperbird’s and the car exploded.
and maybe if i watch long enough, the water shrivels too
maybe it’ll fall away in thick black curtains
or expand into air in fragments of smoke.
 
paperbird’s art class
and milky glue is poured into the cracks of the clay
into the purplish spaces where my knuckles once were
it fills the tunnels.  it becomes my fingers.
 
paperbird’s as you ache by the window
in your milk-hazel eyes, i see
rushing rapids, the warm taste of mother,
of home.
 
oscar_locke’s c i c a t r i x
                you bite into bone, like
the moon slides against the sky;
 
taureanmusing’s the commodities of un-sung consent
How the consonants in c o n s e n t were silent
whilst the air carried the wind on that self-same tongue 
where whispers of women overlooked are sung
 
eyes wide open’s d e c a y
Sheep look like maggots
standing there, clumped, mindless -
gorging on the carcass of the land.
 
paperbird’s death of autumn leaves
or was it simply dead, hanging suspended and
dripping rust color into my entrance:
nature's little crucifixion?
 
ghostlyglory’s elegy for a left wrist
i used to wake up every morning with a heart
on the edge of a throat 
clenching gag reflex, my beating organ
i have never liked the taste of blood
 
oscar_locke’s feeling floral
alien anatomies mix
bodies taunt under
shell, twist
under skin
 
eaurora’s first
can i be blamed for falling so?
you were the one who let me go
 
paperbird’s fist fights & brotherhood & the cruelty of love
and the brother, very much dead
punched a tree, the wood splintering through his knuckles
as if to have one last fist fight.
 
ghostlyglory’s five minutes ago i wrote this in red pen
i do not want my tongue to become that killing hand
so i write poems about cobweb lips
instead of the insects trapped in them
 
megzegzoo’s footprints in deep space (and the implications of such anomalies)
Something is in the way. Earth-made and trodden boots, it becomes apparent, are incapable of stepping through time.
 
artificialaorta’s gay pirates
The boy turns out to be a navigator, and it’s just cosmic poetry, because just three days ago their navigator drank too much rum and fell off the ship, and now he’s sleeping with the fish and breathing water for air.
 
ghostlyglory’s i think i get this anger from you
so you stick
green stars on the shower curtain
and say i want you to see sky everywhere.
 
oscar_locke’s i'm no shakespeare
naked bodies swim
in that language without lips
 
oscar_locke’s icebox
i can’t tell if that is a ghost,
or my shadow in the dark.
 
eaurora’s kiln
fifteen years old, school bag bending
her back, she watches her childhood
burn.
 
ghostlyglory’s letter to blank sky
i will be eaten alive. you must promise to keep me safe from them. you must promise i will be okay.
 
rainandsonder’s lie on my epitaph when the dirt gets in my eyes
one day i'll wake up
wearing a crown of fingerprints round my neck,
and i'll know i'm a ghost but i don't think i'll care.
 
rainandsonder’s maybe the faces we see in the dark are our own
he wakes like he's waking from a nightmare: suddenly, in a cold sweat, and with a screaming heart. he wakes disappointed.
 
paperbird’s minerva
She gifts her passion only to seekers
the devoted, the wistful, may hear of the treasure:
minds built lavishly, paid by truth.
 
muppet’s music's too sad without you
If only this body could last a lifetime, in both regards. If he was immortal and she could sing her song, kept in this simulation. It would be enough to go on.
 
ghostlyglory’s my grandfather's legacy
he wrote:
i wish it was a son. 
 
rainandsonder’s my mother's smoke shapes - part one
Mother didn't bat an eye at the long scratches we found on the back door, didn't panic when the neighbor's house, and only the neighbor's house, had a blackout. She was perfect and she was fearless, and even as an adult I was firm in my belief of that.
 
rainandsonder’s my mother's smoke shapes - part two
We were young and ready to choke the sky, but anything underneath it was the limit.
 
rainandsonder’s my mother's smoke shapes - part three
"I wanted a girlfriend," I said. "When we were kids, I thought that I would travel. I wanted to get out as soon as I graduated, and then somewhere in there I would figure out what I wanted to do. I still do, I guess, but that's the thing, I can't. I'm doomed, Caleb. I'm waiting for a deadline that'll never arrive."
 
rainandsonder’s my mother's smoke shapes - part four
But she wasn't a wounded deer, she was an old, sick, dying woman, and that was how she looked.
 
ghostlyglory’s one day!
one day! 
i will move to the moon and start a cafe
you will become nocturnal
always trying to catch the shadow of me 
 
paperbird’s peeling off the stars
and van gogh’s landscape appeared before me
but the great curls of the starry night
had turned to my mother’s angry lips.
 
paperbird’s ramblings of the silent
left to mere mind am i
for my soul is like an open casket
 
ghostlyglory’s smoke signals
and the guilt that keeps his eyes pinned to the floor, as if there's some atonement to be found in the carpet. there isn't. god knows i've looked.
 
jengelman’s sold as is
this is the curtain call.
so i get ready to dress myself,
in cloaks of sin, and gowns of wrath. 
 
oscar_locke’s sphacelate
like scarabs stuck
in festering dung. i am dying...
 
ghostlyglory’s summer love
kissing her was kissing a sun too brilliant to bear and yet again and again i asked to be melted. (i guess that is what love is.)
 
araw’s tarantella
For as long as anyone could remember, an old shop sat on the corner of Potts Avenue and Stirling Street, growing a grey skin of dust and spider web netting.
          my comment:
          masterfully controlled sentences and clever foreshadowing: this is just one example of araw's stunning ability to manipulate words and worlds to create twisted tales out of thin air.
 
rainandsonder’s the book i'll never write - one
god, i thought. i had pricked myself for the twenty-first time. the procedure all over again: press my thumb into my shirt and stare at the spiral of the print it left and feel my cells multiply to heal the wound. i already missed you.
 
r34lity’s the city of a thousand sorrows
Do you remember? the voices ask, glass crunching beneath your feet. Do you remember? 
 
taureanmusing’s the commodities of un-sung consent
How the consonants in c o n s e n t were silent
whilst the air carried the wind on that self-same tongue 
where whispers of women overlooked are sung
 
jengelman’s the tangible enlightenment of human experiences
but i know rejection,
it has a fragile taste,
and it wanders to the back of my mind,
just like pollution dawns in yours.
 
paperbird’s the traffic light
think that cars stripe the work of van gogh
why else would his skies blink with hazy headlights?
 
ghostlyglory’s the villages i don't dream about
(i’m sorry i am so selfish, i’m sorry for
the villages burnt down, i’m sorry for
the epics they will write and the numbers
they will tally and the sorries i will say.)
 
paperbird’s they say let it rain
only i would tip my mouth
and allow water to seep through my lips
into my nostrils, past my lungs
and into the reddish pounding
of my own sickly heart.
 
paperbird’s they tell me this is what poetry is
they tell me this is what poetry is
you better Capitalize random Letters like
emily dickinson, or else
 
ghostlyglory’s what the stars tell me
they tell me they are five light years away from each other and i tell them my friend lives down the street but i still can’t find it within me to call them when i feel like i’m drowning.
 
~~~
 
MARCH
 
interstella’s a backwards suburbia: a collection of micro-stories
You hope the joggers pick up their haphazard pace before nightfall consumes them and rips their colorful athleisure to shreds.
 
ghostlyglory’s a ghost's company
metaphors i confuse with symbols and the ghost is so so sad when i listen to songs about halloween and melted caramel and the way some fool made me feel.
 
ghostlyglory’s a lament for amah
i must know her beyond
my tongue useless over
syllables i cannot spell  
 
surly wombat’s champagne
now you whisper your secrets to the rising moon, and make a wish on a shooting star, but then you realise it's your upstairs neighbors flicking cigarette butts out the window.
 
ghostlyglory’s counting: numbers.
and the night after mom went to the hospital
i stuck 2 fingers down my throat thinking to drown
instead i coated the floor in bile and rice paddies 
 
oscar_locke’s degrees
gas settles lung
sulphur plume 
 
aryelee’s dream me a world where we can love
You did your best not to become a monster. But your magic shakes the earth and calls forth a wall of black brambles, filled with thorns. The sky is dark under heavy storm clouds and the air itself is filled with a sense of danger. 
 
aryelee’s drop your crown, love, there's a better world out there
this is a tragedy in three parts:
you, her, and the world watching you come crashing back to earth. 
 
aryelee’s fist fighting chronophobia in an unlit parking lot
In my dreams, I break clocks and hourglasses,
mixing the numbers with sand in my own equation to create eternity.
Wolves howl behind me but I care little for them when I have a dragon’s heart. 
 
oscar_locke’s gawain & the queen
and she screams out,
queen of hollows,
lord of wild things. 
 
ghostlyglory’s i feel so little these days
why i was born a girl
    and not a forest fire  
 
paperbird’s i saw skeletons carved from paint and i thought of this
my life is lucid, my dreams are pained
and the world is made of microscopes––
the prints of vague lenses wiped
firmly on my ever-glassy eyes 
 
aryelee’s i thought i dreamt you
You take a moment to swear that you're going to love her past death. You're going to love her so much she drowns in it. 
 
n.’s indecipherable face of a playing card
For the banter in our grey brains that spin
Is nothing but a game of cards to win. 
 
aryelee’s living with a heavy heart
 Maybe it's not something solid, something that can be cut up and stitched together. That emptiness in my stomach comes from loss, a part of me that's been ripped away and discarded.
 
rainandsonder’s macabre soulmates
it slips over the skull as easily as a gown,
as though the dents in the head and the turn of the gold
were tailored for each other.
 
oscar_locke’s madonna
wrenched me out
of womb a babe... 
 
oscar_locke’s moonlight
sing, sail; navy docks in green;
whores & hoarders; moonlight 
 
surly wombat’s once upon a time
we sang and danced in the heart of the heat
we played hide and go seek in the smoke
 
paperbird’s paper birds
...here one second
disappearing the next: you’ll find there’s
no such thing as time. 
 
oscar_locke’s pyrite
lead dull,
lazy, leader of lazarus
relents, relents. 
 
loveletterstosappho’s savior complex
you leave me here
decaying with Cupid's arrows and
the taste of the sea on my skin
 
jengelman’s square one
but this toxicity enthrals me,
where my wounds are women and
you are my salvation. 
 
oscar_locke’s the bride
for you; i now vow
the loneliness -- my
doves in black, rotting bouquet 
 
loveletterstosappho’s there is no destroying a goddess
Green-haired and green-eyed and yet the least jealous person I know; claims she loves the color because it represents fresh starts but if you ask me, it's endings she likes the most.
 
oscar_locke’s twin sisters
Complexity, the greatest of goddess, stumbles and struts onto the scene... 

sarah yang’s when i dream
a robin egg keeps falling out of its nest.
 
aryelee’s when memory survived the end of the world
                                but the world ended when I was born;
                              only I had to carry those shackles
                              and know there was a dead thing growing in my place.
 
aryelee’s with baachan
I wonder why it feels like I’m chasing after baachan’s ghost when she waits for me at home, with arms open and question she’s asked before.
 
pouringoutthesun’s you’re a god in a new age and you don’t know what you’re doing
“I mean, you’ve still got that bounce of immortality in your step, the curled toes and strong footfalls. You’re walking towards an end I’ll never get to see.”
 
~~~
 
APRIL
 
pouringoutthesun’s a flash of colour & you’ve got words
I have seen so many things living on the edge of lightning strikes and mustn’t they be angels if they’ve come from the sky? Is that not the untouchable rule of the golden and good?
 
ghostlyglory’s a love poem #escapril
when the rain starts, i fall in love with you.
and the moon, and the black, and andromeda in a line 
i have never loved the stars so boldly.
 
ellie22’s an ode to the patron saints of girls in pain (or: this one's For lucy, agatha, and maria goretti) 
trigger warning: sexual assault and violence against women
And she whispers to the girls with hard iron hands 'round their wrists:
"Daughter, listen to that beat in your breast--a battalion's snare--it transforms
Pain into God's grace and blood into sweet wine."
 
jengelman’s an orange pomander
this is mount canobolas,
an ash ridden hideout.
a cordon sanitaire of frightful birds,
and unhealthy obsessions
covered in sand.
 
justpeachy’s april showers #escapril
springtime means writhing: clawing at my arms like a lion in a cage, my father’s eyes cried red and raw.
 
elisa’s assorted notes on recovery
    on the mornings at the end of nights without nightmares,
          you will be holy.
 
achatterjee’s blasphemies
mama cries the same kind of blood from her eyes dreading
the day her mother’s memories of her will slowly disappear too.
 
faith camp’s broken judgement
We were told the world was ours and believed each lie fed. They say love is blinding but we hadn’t a clue what we were, what we should’ve been, what we could’ve and wished we would have turned into as time went on.
 
casual.ties’ growing up
My childhood tastes like lime cordial. Years ago it was sweet but now the aftertaste has grown bitter in my mouth, and I think perhaps that's what growing up is.
 
pouringoutthesun’s had some thoughts about snow today ehile trying not to fall asleep in class
You used to have talons & hair the colour of something fresh & pure but you still haven’t found his body, oh god where could his body be?
 
kate gardner’s i've swept the porch (the sickroom)
the petals are soft as a cloth or a mouth
just to crumble, and fall at my
touch.
 
ghostlyglory’s in this movie #escapril
in some other movie neither one of us is empty and
you are not heavy. in that movie i am a heart and only a heart. 
 
oscar_locke’s 3. incorporate music
lisping sing song
in funeral rite
my narcissi
 
ghostlyglory’s it starts with skin #escapril
i am spilled pulp
surrounded by a sun that rots it’s worshippers 
and a god that never stops looking. 
 
pouringoutthesun’s just a few thoughts about glory & gold i’ve gone and strung together
And it does taste like awakening, doesn’t  it? Your tongue like dawn and your throat a home for beginnings. Every single one of your teeth is a new continent, and you spit out the words that spawn the heroes.
 
ghostlyglory’s morning routine #escapril
the creaking of your back is loudest in your own head. 
you are here. you are intact. you are bones that crack. 
 
ghostlyglory’s my haunted heart
and some monster’s spirit
playing hopscotch with my heartbeat
 
ghostlyglory’s on this strange night #escapril
but on this strange night
you will see look out through the river weeds
and see water in a whole different light. 
 
agustdv’s ouroboros
you begin at the end, judgement before examination, burial before birth.
 
eaurora’s pause
last few notes of the symphony,
with no purpose but to hang on the air
in elegy; to twist in the heavy silence
 
aryelee’s salt water hearts
when she looks up to the moon, there are tears in her eyes; she's opened on old wound that never healed right and is letting herself bleed out in front of you.
 
jengelman’s so i decided to actually write something that isnt a poem
As you stare at yourself, through broken fragments of your mirror and toothpaste stains of last night’s dinner, picture who you will become tomorrow. Perhaps it will be better. Most likely it will not.
 
rainandsonder’s the book i'll never write - two
it's the kind of thing that makes you watch the curve of moon and shadow on rumpled sheets, with cavities under your eyes and a buzzing in your veins, and ask: is this real? has this ever been real?
 
aryelee’s the sands that blind me keep me alive
it's hard to differentiate between the dead and the living
when your whole life is filled with ghosts...
 
rainandsonder’s the sea breathes in time to our lungs
hopeless indeed, the silvered sea foam hums
and we walk away to the seagulls' cries.
 
aryelee’s they told me everything about heroes except how to become one
I stared down the End Of The World and dared it to stop me.
 
andromeda’s to be sold; 10 likely slave girls, fit for any duties
trigger warning: implied sexual assault
Would you demand that a sparrow stop calling?
An eagle to silence it’s cry?
No.
These girls will not either.
 
ghostlyglory’s untitled poem
he cries before i know what tears are. pulls off
his glasses. wipes at the steam. breathes
in blood and splits me straight in two.
 
rainandsonder’s utopia with a capital "u"
i think that the world is smaller now, flat and sharing a sky.
i think that progress is a phantom and we'll tread these
tracks forever: for ever: for as long as we let ourselves...
 
earthstrungheart’s waterbones // first swim
girl afloat. planets ripped out of her spine. space breathing in the
emptiness beneath her soles and corpse-slung grounds.
 
ghostlyglory’s we are both here
fit me into your bones and i will tell you a story.
i am full of stories. some i don’t even know.
so tell them to me, you say. i will find them.
 
ghostlyglory’s when will i stop feeling like a forest fire? #escapril
i am so tired of feeling like a gas station on fire 
a volcano teetering on apocalypse  
         a bruise with fingers digging in
 
~~~
 
MAY
 
jengelman’s a small thing
in solitude we are silent,
like a flock of flightless birds.
or a myriad of litigious arguments,
somewhere between hopeless and sane.
 
jengelman’s an evening tempest
To any onlooker, we must have looked Mad. I didn’t care. After all, I am eight years old, and I know better than Them.
 
oscar_locke’s barb song
rosebushes     i saw one evening the rabbit       caught in thorns kicking,     screaming the poor thing.     rosebushes keeping           it caged; and the fox that followed, and the thorns tearing, tearing.
 
oscar_locke’s crow song
...and silver cars, shawls                                  of
                    sheening     oil,        on feathers.
 
eaurora’s darling
you want more knowledge
than you can carry, more choices than you can
choose, more years than you can have.
 
tyler rose’s elliot grace
Maybe he was sick and tired of living a life that wasn’t going anywhere. Maybe he had a plan that took eighteen years to execute.
 
ghostlyglory’s going home
when i am going home 
i feel like a dream folding in half.
 
aryelee’s in the shallows, my reflection showed me ophelia, drowned and free
Perhaps I am some reborn tragedy. It's hard to tell much of anything when the days are as dark as nights and the world only speaks in whispers.
 
bi’s lisbon at night
Devastatingly cruel, don’t you think? A town of lost potential to remind me of archaic dreams when reason falls asleep.
 
araw’s lux aeterna
It was no longer a song, but a last attempt at leaving something that showed she existed, and with her mark finally made for the night, she lifted her bow away and bowed.
 
oscar_locke’s memory
silent as lightning;
calling my name,
i breathe out.
 
littlepilot’s omelas
The clock was often off, and instead of chiming hourly, it would reside in a moment and move onto another. It may have been off, but it never seemed to be late.
 
r|a|i|n’s social ≠ survival
Fingers massaged face, massaged bones and eyes red as sunset.
 
littlepilot’s sunflower
 A breaking heart is quiet and cracks in odd places, she once told me. You lose pieces of yourself all over the place until you can’t remember where you’ve been.
 
araw’s the apparatus
 In France, they’ve started looking into a new theory of disease, one they have named “Germ Theory.” The idea that disease and malady is caused by one’s sin is slowly being dismantled, academic dissertation by academic dissertation.
 
oscar_locke’s  27. the state of it all
gold flows over me,
in streams; slows, knows the wounds and
cracks; fills the pieces
i lack; holding me
like lacquer...
 
littlepilot’s Vir
We are a helix, running towards the center.
 
~~~
 
JUNE
 
sarina adeline’s blue water
The water seethes, fogging the cracked window.
Chicago smokestacks tall as prison bars
Fade to ghosts through the steam.
 
norah’s birth day
The dirt around us was warm and soft, like thousands of crumbs of fresh baked bread. I breathed in and it was like being weightless. It was like being unborn again. Something in me burned like muscle memory.
 
norah’s but there aren’t any ghosts here, just bodies
Is it the history or the echo that matters? Is it the day I visited Auschwitz and walked right out to the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen? Because, guess what, they saw beauty too. And it didn’t matter. Not one bit.
 
kate gardner’s dislocate
And my skin is its skin, my warmth is its warmth, I am a satellite
just caught up in some greater thing, swelled by the protruding
veins of moonlight, pulled and culled
 
ghostlyglory’s fruit-based love
i see god blooming
like lychee
once peeled from the skin
 
ghostlyglory’s june, on a kiss
It played through her mind like the start of every hour. Time was always moving without her permission. Passing, passing; a flash of red hair, lips on lips, pear and coconut on her tongue. 
 
elisa’s momma said she met god kneeling in the creek behind mr smith's farm
maybe today i'll kill that red supergiant myself and turn his blood into a tapestry of dust clouds. beneath my salt-tinged knuckles, every sky's a crime scene.
 
r|a|i|n’s p u l l i n g m e a p a r t
yesterday my fingers prized apart
glassy sheep flesh, cerebrum cerebellum
brain stem fresh on shaking fingers
 
pouringoutthesun’s please leave them be, they’ve had enough
His lip is bleeding scarlet red and I can feel the bruise forming around my eye, like some sort of stupid flower except it was given to me from a fist and I hope it never blooms.
 
lucifern’s sails, unfurled.
forbidden reveries of beauty in a vast liquid wyrm;
the sea, of more than four directions and faces.
 
oscar_locke’s song of grass
youth ruptured, casting their seed
they weep for me
moans of pureness and-
flashes of scales, red and green
 
pouringoutthesun’s that blood isn’t your own
Sometimes there’d be a streak of gold running from his nose. Liquid immortality among the redness of those who did nothing more than die.
 
oscar_locke’s the colour of my shadows
a moth, red winged;
flitting like lips,
whispers and wishes...
 
cisco chico’s the final bird fallen
Its starved, featherless frame quivers at the feeling of flying in a sky drenched in a dreadful paradox that confuses evil with good, death with life, falling with flying. 
 
aryelee’s the morning will greet me at last
an act of desperate love as i wiped away my tears under the cover of the night,
feeling each breath like a blessing,
air                in and out
                              in and out
                                                  in and out
 
r|a|i|n’s the sun is set but all i see are the spaces between the stars
“the sky is blue”
but the ocean is bluer, a hasty murderer that
sent salt spewing down my pinkened throat
 
pouringoutthesun’s this is where you exit scene
Rivin laid a hand on the dragon’s snout, its breath was starting to slow now. Getting lethargic and tired like the gold that still oozed from its wound. He refused to look at Adoni out of fear that he might cry if he did.
 
kess' what lies inside the bleeding rocks
The tension between them vanished as the spell broke, and Iris took off after him, letting the caverns swallow her whole.
 
kira.prism’s words they claimed
But when the word witch landed on the sidewalk, she snatched it up like a fallen coin, tucked its metallic shimmer into her pocket to save for later. It was sharp, but lovely in a way. She decided to make it her own.
 
~~~
 
JULY
 
rainandsonder’s /əˈtərnədē/
we're all reaching out here. telephone
pole crosses and praying hills, a
stooped atlas with begging knees and
bent back…
          my comment:
          simply put, rainandsonder is an amazing writer. with insightful commentary on the modern world, and chilling descriptions on what is or what could be, their writing is always impeccably crafted.
 
bluebookbadger’s ambrosia
The honey made from that tree’s nectar was indescribable in taste but foul in effects. Heaven on the lips, but on the mind it played tricks.
 
pouringoutthesun’s and another one again
He rubbed at one of his hands and I watched as gold flakes fell idly to the ground. “Stab wounds and a broken body. He was thrown from the sky.”
 
pouringoutthesun’s apollo? hold him gently.
“There’s Icarus,” you would whisper in my ear, “do you think he will be so gold in the murk of the sea?” And I laugh, if only politely because you’re making light of what is to be your own fate.
          my comment:
          pouringoutthesun is notorious for brilliant short stories to do with fantastical elements and mythological tragedy, and convoluted titles are never ridiculous or pretentious when placed before her pieces. she's an absolutely brilliant author, and loves the greeks almost as much as i do. (maybe even more?)
 
norah’s breath. again, breath.
Rituals are the Big House in autumn and that place where the swing used to be. Singing is a ritual. And dancing tipsy through the streets of Prague with the best people in the world. 
 
oscar_locke’s carroll poem 1
we are watchers; vargolt gods
nearing
mountain top, heavened...
 
agustdv’s d r e a m s
i cannot breathe; water clogged lungs, airways, bloodstreams and blood in streams; ophelia, sweet ophelia is my protege.
 
pouringoutthesun’s death is nothing if unexpected
He sets the candle between us and I force myself to lie on my side only as to stare through the flame at him. He’s always ethereal while bathed in light.
 
oscar_locke’s family song
home is so far away
shrouds of smoke and eyes
a thousand colours, sight...
 
marsan’s gold and indigo
We're both intruders in this Manet painting of a night, holding onto the smallest piece of eternity.
 
surly wombat’s gold roses
gild your fingertips as your lips turn blue, and pour liquid gold down your aching throat to put out the fire in your lungs.
          my comment:
          this piece is short but full of emotions and convoluted imagery that most poets would take many more lines to explore. but sw is satisfied with simplicity, and that enduring trait enhances their writing to the nth degree.
 
agustdv’s gutters
hymn, hymn, humming into the skull.
 
jasmine_k’s heritage
she takes out the last handful of rice
shoves it in her mouth to chew
and
for a moment she remembers what
it feels like to be full
          my comment:
          i think i've always admired jasmine's pieces because of her deep cultural influence and how she voices everything from my childhood and adolescence that told me to assimilate to the social norm surrounding me. jasmine is a writer i highly recommend for the asian experience.
 
aryelee’s honey-sweet love, take two
i love a girl whose face i never see, stuck in my dreams, a moment away
from being completely forgotten.
 
surly wombat’s how to breathe in space
string the earth, jupiter, uranus, mars together, braid them into your hair, listen to the cacophony as they shatter at the cores. 
 
saunteredvaguelydownwards’ hubris
We are not broken, we are fragments of the moment, mended by sunbursts and ostentatious marble.
 
rainandsonder’s i've been standing with a doomsday sign so long, i have to be right eventually 
well, i'm not even half a poet but i know 
the end of the world, and it has a 
bleeding papaya sun and a sea with clenched 
salt claws.
 
oscar_locke’s jaw song
the wounds 
wet with whispers 
as your face 
shadows dawn.
 
scripturience’s lift your eyes like liberty’s lamp
but the backs of your heads speak more than your words ever could.
 
amalia’s margarita
She wore broken English on her right hand, and
Her native tongue, from deep in the mountains
It came, she wore on her left.
 
eaurora's may morning
now, she fears, 
it is too late: her bones creak with the 
weight of stories untold and she feels 
her years leak on like a ship halting 
into the night.
          my comment:
          eaurora is a write the world veteran in the purest sense of the word - she's been here almost as long as this site's bloody inception. and yet her poetry continues to appear on our dashboards, full of emotionally evocative language and vignette-like descriptions of the mundane, turning them magical.
 
rainandsonder’s melopoeia + phobia + snapped strings
faces once familiar, people
once perfect, and crumpled sheet music
and old journals
and how has this been forgotten already?
 
rainandsonder’s pear a dice
in a fracturing world where the trees
howl anthems and cut up the sky...
 
oscar_locke’s persephone
the trees hold us there 
your skin bare on black oak 
every fir outstretched  
cavernous, bridal 
 
agustdv’s refugee
rubble and ash and soot; a second skin,
dissonance and graveyard wombs,
how does one die before living?
 
surly wombat’s salt to the sea
raging ocean and aphrodite's fury from above; water against the windows, tangled ssusails, tangled hands, tangled clothes.
 
surly wombat’s sand and sea salt
when we fell into the ocean, our insides burned with salt as kelp wrapped around our ankles, and we sang soft and lilting, luring sailors to the deep.
 
oscar_locke’s sontag poem
like christ, a cornfield, a phoenix, bonfires, the taste of rye...
 
pouringoutthesun’s stagnation
Dancing on the edge of immortality until a bright blue hand of fate coaxed us over to the forgetful side, the side where the flowers bloom only to wither again.
 
artificialaorta’s start by the end
His eyes are open, pupils blown up like he's trying to fit the whole night sky in him.
 
rainandsonder’s the arsonist's hymn, the matchstick's command
the sun crouches behind seared trees, it lingers
like a frightened child...
 
aryelee’s the making of the queen's best sword and shield
It's only natural that you give all of you to her; body, mind, and soul. In kisses and sweet words murmured in the dawn's soft light, in the clash of swords meeting and the blood that's spilled.
          my comment:
          aryelee is sapphic fiction extraordinaire. this slow-burn story of a princess and a knight embodies what love should be - learning from each other and supporting your partner in adversity and in doubt. her style is simplistic, yet leaves you satisfied and with an intense sense of longing.
 
pouringoutthesun’s the only thing i’m certain of is that i want to feel a younger star’s light across my eyelids
Maybe I’ve spent too long wanting to be held in a cherry red mist, with those god touched silhouettes at my back and a river scarring it’s way through my soul.
 
pouringoutthesun’s the sky will be my graveyard, i can’t say the same for you
You’ve gone soft without your dreams to harden your edges anymore and it’s disgusting to watch. You’re rotting like fruit and your putrid insides are dripping down my hands as I squeeze and I squeeze and I squeeze.
 
surly wombat’s things you can try to fix | II
play constellation string cat's cradle and re-arrange the sky
 
~~~
 
AUGUST
 
norah’s 100 miles
My body wants to be back in the shade, the rain dripping, the sap, the smell. My body aches for it the way we ache for love: the simplicity of a life made underneath the leaves.
 
jengelman’s a love which forgets
a love which
is adored like broken wrists,
thick thighs
like winter’s sun.
 
aryelee’s a melody of tree rings
this forest is a cradle and a grave;
here, where you have lived.
here, where you shall die.
 
artificialaorta’s about unlove
Forever gets easier to say when you've said it before.
A practiced patchwork of three syllables turned industrial, polyester.
 
oscar_locke’s an exorcism
quiet as god
like the psalm on your palms
 
marsan’s anatomy of the table
She's barely twelve, and already understands the anatomy. She's silent, furious, waiting. The all mighty Time Bomb, who'll burn up one day, and bring everyone down with her.
 
eaurora’s at the close
But for now the house stands empty once again, a heart still beating firmly against the fading sunlight.
 
agustdv’s c l o s e r
The footpaths smile, brick and bone monstrosity, I am small; Lilliputian in pain.
 
ghostlyglory’s cloud
I reached my hand across. We shouldn't have been in the water.
 
aryelee’s don't worry kid, you won't last long now
My grandmother's ghost keeps singing. I pretend to sleep for another night.
 
pouringoutthesun’s ever heard of a world trying harder just for you?
A glimpse of a smile from the corner of her eye and Aurelion swells with pride, creating new valleys when she raises the earth in victory. 
 
rainandsonder’s fragments of flashes of vignettes
october: reject your circadian rhythm; never let the elongated nights pull you down. don't drown don't drown. chase the remnants of sunlight like a hound on a trail that never ends.
 
oscar_locke’s garden of the hesperides
atrophied, an apple tree 
her roots are rowan, are red 
the starving of soil 
to keep giving in end
 
she’s-got-a-story’s gravité
"Martin, If I jump out, will I fall up or down?"
"Down, into the sky.”
          my comment:
          elle’s writing is splendid and minimalistic - sometimes simplicity outweighs the need for over-truncated sentences and flowery imagery. elle's descriptions compare the most mundane and unusual things in a way that makes you see the world just a little differently.
 
rainandsonder’s like the dark has opened its maw and now i can see its teeth
and there, the moon like the last sliver of light through the keyhole before the dark opens its great maw and begins to feast
 
pouringoutthesun’s memories build the bridges to new homes
I have never seen him in these visions which starts to fill me with some hazy contentment. Bottle that contentment and clutch the glass in your hand like it could never crack.
 
astrobhbe’s my kind of story 
scene one:  
this is your kind of story. no one is the good guy-  
no one is the bad guy-  
the blame shifts from monster to monster  
and in this place everyone bares their teeth.
 
agustdv’s n a n a
my grandfather had a flowing
    white beard, snowy skin, wrinkled like time stopped in a beloved book
 
r|a|i|n’s pondering nihilism with the devil by your side!
i met the devil one afternoon.  he didn't look like much.  he told me i looked very pretty.  i told him thank you, although you couldn't expect much from someone who had no looks at all.
 
loveletterstosappho’s skinny-dipping
The lake's surface reflects blurry constellations and you are already anticipating your body slicing through Ursa Major and sending thrills rippling through you; cold, invigorating.
          my comment:
          sappho's writing is truly something to behold in every form. don't let her number of published pieces fool you, sappho's writing is of true quality that's hard to find in these times, lyrical style and emotive language abundant. if you're a lover of myth, sappho's another staple, along with the aforementioned pouringoutthesun and aryelee.
 
_nsbb’s  snippet of a hero’s story
“You know what I think, Hero?” The Villain begins, voice drenched with sarcasm and exhaustion. “I think that those silly men and women upstairs need to stop sending you to do their dirty work. Wouldn’t you agree?” 
 
aryelee’s sunburst daily ; for the people of 2120
We learned from Frankenstein and, more recently, Theomal Hjun, that creating this perfect human from scratch is impossible; playing God will never end well.
 
marsan’s symbol of power and death
The humans may have started to forget the stories, the names, the myths; but deep inside our forests, when the noise can't reach them anymore, the wind rises and whispers in their ears.
 
pouringoutthesun’s that doesn’t belong to you
You take more steps and start leaving imprints in the moss. This isn’t even your dream. Please don’t make a mess. 
 
blotted ink with a broken quill’s the clockmaker
He pulled out a pocket watch, which told him a story and gave him a secret—while also usefully telling him it was past half past eleven.
 
milktea’s the little blue house
The silver around his eye had an almost luminescent glow that reminded Delia of the slippery scales of a koi fish. Then, she saw the black splotches by his wrist. Dark magic.
 
ruthh’s the moon & her judas
I heard a gospel today; she was here.  
Among the pews, drenched in holy water, 
the communion wine staining her lips 
tears of blood a miracle on her cheeks.
 
valentina’s the wild plum tree
“We will have no need for food. We will eat the moon, and drink of each other’s love.”
 
ghostlyglory’s this night
like a church sermon, a half-written gospel,  
a bloody rite of teenage passage, a promise un-promised and  
I like to pray to you, lick the feet of a god, drown in a shadow.
 
aryelee’s twisting intricacies of two mother tongues
I still stumble over my words.
my tongue twists and tangles as I fight my way through vowels
consonants diphthongs and everything in between --
                    take a breath.
                              start again.
 
marsan’s walmart fae
It's under the white fluorescent lights of Walmart, that Willow became sure that her new roommate wasn't entirely human.
 
ali swe dream of the deep
We are baptised in salt water.
The seabed gives each of us a new name
as a siren's long-lost daughter.
 
renmarie02’s what a farm boy lays down in a field (october, 1943)
It was wailing the time she caught her foot on a grain bag and pitched forward and landed on a nail come loose. It went through her palm like a worm through an apple.
 
astrobhbe’s what they did wrong
i think my mother is a whale
singing through its split stomach,  
my mother is a warship,
i think my father is a harpoon, 
a black rock
jutting from the sea.
 
asteria’s you intoxicate me
the sun sets and our souls surface
and the fire flirts with our shadows.
 
pouringoutthesun’s you’re kind of small compared to everything else
Maybe it’s just that I am suffocated by how small I am and how utterly massive the whole universe is and I can breathe again when I try to scrabble at the palms of divinity.
 
~~~
 
SEPTEMBER
 
splitnymph’s 0.0.ii. /pocket of stars/ 
sweaty palms and bouncing legs, a scene straight from the veil of a polaroid with crinkled film and a destination set for a wrinkle in time.
          my comment:
          this vignette-like piece exudes the talents of a writer who has thoroughly honed their craft to the point of near perfection.
 
bluebookbadger’s a dreamer
We cannot guarantee the dreams that will be had, only that we will not wake the sleeper. They sign the dotted line, and we put them to rest.
          my comment:
          bluebookbadger's had a few gems during the time which i've been on this site, and this piece is no exception. with an urban gothic vibe, the uncertainty of a sinister nature being overshadowed by neon lights and uniforms that are always crisp, a dreamer has an incredible premise and an even more brilliant execution.
 
pouringoutthesun’s adoni: a study of fire
Destan has spent every day of his life since he’s met her, telling her that she was going to be remembered among all the best people but when she sees that blurry face, the word hubris is branded on her brain.
          my comment:
          this is maybe the best origin (and ending?) story i've ever read. pouringoutthesun is a master of phrasing, and this piece is no exception. the characters are engaging, the plot is almost poetically written, and the imagery is stunning beyond belief. the present tense makes you feel like you're watching a moving painting; you're watching the tragedy unfold but there's nothing you can do but sit back and watch it burn. a story worth telling again and again.
 
jengelman’s an empty plate
twisted tongues,
the sinner and the saint.
i am neither but both in this story.
to the foreigner's god: i am waiting
for nothing and everything.
 
norah’s any other steeple/home
moon man, who wishes sweetness onto the cradles
of the infidels, with their incessant crying
and sings them to sleep with his waxy patience.
 
rainandsonder’s concrete snowglobe
I think one day someone flipped us upside-down, because when I looked at the sky I saw a concrete city, slithering towards the horizon like poison slithers its way to the heart, and the ground below me was overcast brown and dirt gray like winter storm clouds.
 
oscar_locke’s coronach ~ heather
i spiral the edges of death
humans can look into nothingness
and see someone staring back and i did and i did
the memories fragmented
the garden you carved from stone
a gaze like broken glass
 
scripturience’s defiance is a preamble to change
Defiance never sleeps. Defiance spreads quickly and noticeably. And defiance is never quiet.
 
n.’s dumb poetry dump
But oh, Romeo of Riverside,
I never thought I’d be a Capulet.
 
merito’s five times when i catch myself alive
Still, there are times when her Igbo-ness juts out of the mold ever so slightly, with subtle cadences and foreign vowels. It moves through the air like a song, and her spirit seems full and at home.
          my comment:
          merito has such beautifully descriptive prose, you'd think they've been honing their craft along with us for months or years on end. but seeing as their entry for the human connections essay competition is their only piece, it is utterly surprising to discover that this raw talent comes unaided from the wtw community. the cultural aspects of merito's nigerian culture flow seamlessly to create this engaging and wholesome narrative; it seems all ethnic children are dissatisfied with losing their mother tongue.
 
oscar_locke’s god looking down at me
we are all priests
praying with our pain
feel nothing
but the absence of his
gaze. 
 
oscar_locke’s hamadryad
the hamadryad
in yew and mulberry
breathes, in root and rye
stumbling
 
bei_ohreally’s heal on my end
because now that i think about it, what is a home if not for the people making up of it? nothing, just a house. an empty, dusty & dark four-walled shell of what it could be.
          my comment:
          i wish i could articulate the feeling of returning in the way bei_ohreally has; coming home is truly a heartwarming experience, and it's honestly incredible how bei_ohereally has managed to express that concept without it feeling cliche.
 
agustdv’s hourglass
you lose your guilt in fragments, tombstones wailing, stonehenge and concrete perching on your window-sill; you nearly give in. maybe you wanted to. maybe it would've been for the best.
 
oscar_locke’s human decay
the gang kids lear and howl
hooded snouts
the peel of sunburn
like lacewings cling 
to swinging fists
 
oscar_locke’s iliad
I am drunk on your words (and their silences)
The moonlight like mercury
 
surly wombat’s lovely
she's made of marble and sea glass, champagne in the dark and piano notes on your tongue; 
black licorice, three golden feathers, the stars pulled from the sky, and absolution swirled through with lies.
          my comment:
          surly has pulled out all the stops since their return, and has been bloody brilliant about doing it. the imagery and concepts in this piece are out of this world; the parenthetical statements are a nice touch, and masterfully used.
 
agustdv’s metropolitan melancholy
follies are a second nature;
staring at the abyss
the abyss staring at me
singing to the empty blue seats
of dubai's cold, lonely metro trains
 
ruthh’s my town clings to me like damp, the landscape makes me cynical
but I slip through their fingers 
like water
spiralling down toward the motorway,
beeping cars, never satisfied
 
surly wombat’s nostalgia for someone else’s future (or, the taste of glass)
here's always been a delicate sort of balance between today and tomorrow and yesterday
(i haven't lived a day of future when there wasn't a hole in my chest aching for the past).
 
loveletterstosappho’s nuclear fusion
...and i am ablaze and she is swallowing my smoke like she needs it, maybe because she does, maybe because we need each other and i set her on fire and swallow her smoke and the universe rejoices and we combust; a supernova. 
 
agustdv’s of mundane tales
my teeth feel like nails hammered into a freshly painted wall; white dripping, my tongue stuck to the roof, boarded-up windows, and my neighbor saying goodbye.
 
surly wombat’s one for sorrow
spill my stolen words from your silver lips and crack open the bronze that fills my fingertips. swallow whole the flaming coals that burnt my paper lungs.
 
oscar_locke’s parable of the atom
how sodom burns 
with her blood, locusts, floods 
holy oh 
like salt, we still shiver 
as the river nile floods
 
oscar_locke’s sand grains
hummingbird hearts pound 
and the feeling of thunderstorms 
the paddies crushed 
testing water for depth 
and light for darkness 
my mirror refuses to reflect
 
she’s-got-a-story’s shared bathroom
on tile fell our femininity and dignity at night 
 
r|a|i|n’s siren song
...and lust and loneliness
are sprawled into my brain and body and it is all
with the tide, and the gentle siren’s song.
 
aryelee’s snapshot: monsoon season in the desert
But still, when you are home, sitting on the patio and staring at a dark sky filled with clouds, you know you'll miss this. The unforgiving heat is familiar, hydros a common accessory, eegee's always out with a new flavor, and deafening thunder and lightning dances.
          my comment:
          somehow, in response to a prompt about language, aryelee has managed to utilise magical realism to create an entire world within the confines of her town. the imagery and use of second person are incredible, definitely deserving of recognition.
 
eaurora’s stasis
...she held the ocean across open palms 
as one in love might clutch at the sun 
and thank it for just 
one more day of light. 
But now it drowns her 
a little more every minute.
 
marsan’s stories i tell myself at 3 am
Because we don't know if this is our only chance, so we can only wonder. Maybe we've had millions of lives, maybe we don't even have this one. Maybe we've been humans before and maybe we haven't. Maybe we shouldn't question it, and maybe we should.
 
rainandsonder’s sugar plum nightmares
and do you ever wonder why we put questions marks at the end of our questions, even when what we're asking isn't really a question, even when every year feels like one long question, written in permanent marker but too smudged to read?
 
kenny’s the witch
Her house was an ugly little thing, squeezed in between an aging cinema and a crumbling mansion that was long abandoned.
          my comment:
          kenny's talent in weaving an engaging story is not wasted on their human connections essay entry, the magical realism of the 'witch' in the neighbourhood fuelling the actions and reminiscing of a narrator the audience can easily relate to.
 
agustdv’s to cinema
i've been a patron saint of cinema since i learnt 
nine times nine is eighty one
 
aryelee’s waltz another night away (a gentler type of lie)
come closer, your eyes say,
and i obey, falling closer in this waltz of longing,
barely tripping over our feet as we lose ourselves to the moment.
your face is unguarded, honest,
                                                  is it any wonder that I'm in love?
 
pouringoutthesun’s we could be friends if your bones weren’t luminous
“Your eyes, it’s so often that they’re cold.” He rubs his temples. “The silver against the black? They look like frozen stars, ready to explode and take the world with them.”
 
jeily’s words for you
you told me to make a wish and i did, i had wished that i could always be as close to you as we were that night, but you were so close, and the cold had flushed your nose and cheeks, and your voice was so soft and gentle that i couldn't speak for a minute and tell you it.
          my comment:
          gods, jeily is brilliant. 'words for you' is maybe one of the sweetest pieces i've ever read, romance boiled down to its key elements - pure adoration.
 
~~~
 
OCTOBER
 
rainandsonder’s "i thought it less like a lake and more like a moat"
how do you have a
tearful hallmark-movie reunion with someone that
didn't notice you were gone? how do you blur
something into clarity, curve a line so
much it becomes straight again?
 
surly wombat’s 0.0354166667 (three kids watch the end of the universe)
we three are sitting on the bed in astrid's room, while the sky falls outside. she's looking up at her ceiling with its glow-in-the-dark sticker stars & crying.
 
marsan’s 1. be careful. (nine abadón)
Three hundred and forty tragedies have occurred since the street was born.
 
marsan’s 2. fatima (nine abadón)
In a tiny apartment of the city center, a woman observes her watch. It strikes midnight. She doesn't know what day it is, but really, that's none of her business anymore. She's dead anyway.
 
marsan’s 3. landon et debussy. (nine abadón)
He knew no melody he ever produced would ever replicate the rushed screaming, the howls, the silence that follows a real tragedy.  The death of a stray dog, the birth of a new demon. Fatima's last ballad. 
 
marsan’s 4. the herbalist (nine abadón)
The street she carried on her back was transforming, and she would be devastated if it weren’t for the fact that she was changing as well. New blooms, different thorns.
 
marsan’s 5.- dr. eustaquio (nine abadón)
In any case, the young artist had shut everyone's mouth when he shook hands with Eustaquio Dubois, the now owner of the mausoleum dressed as a home.
 
rainandsonder’s and his notes so blue they shatter the sky and the sea
i am sure this it. this is when i crawl out of my body like the undead out of their graves and stutter toward the indigo oblivion. this is when i crack the melody above my head and close my eyes as it leaks into my mouth.
 
r|a|i|n’s and lies will tarnish the blood of the innocent until my veins are ruby-red once more.
I had sobbed with beauty and tragedy.  My sister had sobbed with the revulsion of being.  When I told this to Therapist, she boarded her hands over her eyes and looked angry.  "Exactly" was all she said.
 
norah’s après nous le déluge
sit, eat the flooded food of our country,
oh graceful angel of the West,
tell us why the roads have turned to turgid rivers
tell us why the children on our backs 
cry out
 
araw’s clicker
Its steps are slow, methodical, like it knows where I'm hiding but hasn't found a good enough reason to engage yet. I'm worried that if my heart were to beat too fast and too loudly, it'll have a reason.
 
ghostlyglory’s declaration
I want to carry a treasure home in a bike basket. 
I want my arms to be full of bread and honey. I want to close every
space with a well-meaning word. I want to name all the part of a ship.
I want to be an apple tree.
r|a|i|n says:
it really is a declaration. it's courage and ecstasy and wonder and truth in one small piece. ghostlyglory is one of those people that has a packed and perfect portfolio. this is even perfecter.
 
artificialaorta’s dogs' eyelashes
Her blood curdles, and it's like hours before she can make a sound - but she shouldn't have, because that clever devil, that damned stranger takes her voice and her soul and swallows it whole.
 
jasmine_k’s how to survive prom
8. a limo will come to pick you up from prom. you did not order it, the spirits did. get in anyway. they will not try to trick you until you arrive.
 
agustdv’s i think growing up was a mistake
the pendulum wants to stop
and so do the vices cloaked
under an acceptable farce;
we call it rebellion
but we know it is too late
too sad
too little
 
aryelee’s it's not love, but it's the closest we've got
stuck in your shadow, i will beg you to speak to me, talk me through it, guide me in reanimation.
no need for a lightning strike;
                                          your fingers trailing down my spine will be enough.
 
pouringoutthesun’s it’s the type of burning ache
Death feels small and far away when he tips his head back. I glance at the column of his throat and feel invincible. The thrum of his heart spreads out underneath the floorboards.
 
eimphee’s lana
it's something like a poem,' you said
and you didn't bring your camera so you
took the red lipstick from your bag and 
scrawled in perfect loops and soft sweeping letters
the words to catch the picture 
of that ocean
          my comment:
          eimphee's done some truly brilliant work here, and i'm more than happy to add her to the list of wtw's phenomenal writers. lana is a piece that does something for wistfulness; for longing and something so close you don't realise it'll be gone tomorrow, and then for the rest of your life. i don't have the words to say what lana does to me; i only hope you'll read it yourself and feel the same.
 
weirdo’s life is full of stars
never knowing how long until
the final midnight consumes life,
you watch the sun and moon dance. 
 
efflorescence’s medusa
but she bursts with life, flowers spilling forth from peach-blushed lips and butterfly lashes. so much life it's blinding, like staring at the sun until sunset blossoms across your vision.
 
paigepaigepaige’s minimalist breakfast, october 17th
This is not for you. Life’s simple 
pleasures are these: a kiss on the eyelids / 
hot summer rains / cryptid sightings in your hometown.
 
marsan’s my name.
My name doesn't even belong to me.
It came from five ports, and was born on an autumn morning.
Its owners are luck, the dust of the road and all silences.
But as long as I can use it, I'll wear it in silver earrings.
 
babybluelamentations’ nighttime at the empty lot on the corner of our block
We’ll look up to the stars; maybe you’ll take my hand, and we'll imagine what the moon is like.
          my comment:
          long usernames aside, as short as empty lot is, it expresses a powerful emotion with some of the most beautiful sensory and auditory imagery i've ever seen. i highly recommend bbl's pieces for a brief respite from a harsh world; they create something otherworldly with their words, a romanticised version of our world, a place we all wish for.
 
babybluelamentations’ not for the easily offended
Cut down the steeple;
It’s gold and it blinds me
Sitting there high on its marble pedestal,
            The blood of the angels runs viscous and black down the sides of the white granite doorway
 
agustdv’s on how to say goodbye before your time
i think we take ourselves for granted;
skipping stones at the edge of drowning minds
 
oscar_locke’s onslaught
the hooded eyes
greet me
like gospel singers
the hollow pew
hosting lark, frogmouth
mayfly
 
gianna a.’s ophelia ; the girl
theatre is like ballet, but more poetry  
it’s a descent into madness, all the same  
the white swan falling from purity, 
like a moth 
shot from a flame
          my comment:
          who is gianna a. and where did she come from? and where did she go? it seems like this wonderful poet arrived at the beginning of my unwilling hiatus, threw some poetry at us - amazing poetry that didn't get enough attention - and then disappeared again. don't let the rat pfp fool you, ophelia ; The Girl is a masterpiece of contemporary poetry.
 
oscar_locke’s over the black
the carcass of childhood
sinks beneath the autumn leaves
into earth
like rain
 
pouringoutthesun’s pain’s not sweet, it’s never tasted like sugar
Clouds pass by and the grass plains flood, the sand stings your eyes and your heart stops beating but not before it shouts and screams at the sky for more time and more memories.
 
rainandsonder’s september is an ever-closer due date
am i a poet if all my stanzas just paraphrase what i've already said? am i a poet if i lean over at lunch and tell you that i get this sort of lonely ache in my chest, a strawberry aftertaste in the mornings and a cyanide cherry pit at night?
 
efflorescence’s silver, stutter, stars
they stutter from my tongue like skipping stones, worn smooth from the worry that guards my heart like a sleeping serpent. roses choke my lungs, bloodied petals falling from cracked, empty lips.
 
pouringoutthesun’s stage stumblers and battle cries
His eyes flash with all the glints of the knife he’s seen in the dark. A revolution tumbles from his lips.
 
araw’s star catchers
They looked as if the newcomers pulled them straight out of the sky, polished to the point of being blinding if the light hit them in just the right way. The other children and I often wondered if these newcomers could to climb to the sky and pull them directly from space.
 
oscar_locke’s still life
bus stops and traffic signs
tattooed to my lip
 
marsan’s the eddie finch paradox
In those moments he was the orchestra, and Leonard Bernstein raising the baton. He was the original sin, as well as the disgraced soul who in the process of biting an apple, created the first fuck-up in history. Both art and artist, and the irony born from trying to separate them. Exclamation point, neon light, little town revolutionary.
 
r|a|i|n’s the global cold
i hope they feel hated someday.
punishment will come in ghastly symbols, i know,
bulging blizzards and glaciers rimy and gleaming, stacked
brick-like in the streets, and the world will
scream with healthy ignorance.
 
araw’s the kraken
Even as he stared at the indescribably horrendous maw of the beast and its ever-deep dead eyes, he felt as though he was coming home to the sailors he led out onto the seas.
 
_nsbb’s the peculiar case of lily harthollow
I hate how, when the sunlight hits you just right, your body glows in a seemingly otherworldly light, and it makes you look like a goddess.
 
elisa’s transgenerational trauma: a theory
WOMAN beholds me with eyes that look like a metaphor i can't imagine right now. WOMAN is god, if god is supposed to taste like ash and give me a burning behind my eyes. WOMAN looks like someone who would make me dizzy if they weren't in my head.
          my comment:
          for more eloquent praise of elisa's abilities, see here. elisa's analogies are some of the best on this site, and i have no shame in saying that my writing changed almost completely after i started reading her work. she is one of my biggest inspirations, and i've grown enormously because of her support and even just reading her poems and stories. check out her stuff; i'm sure you can learn something too.
 
babybluelamentations’ unmak(tir)e(d) me
I remember when you dyed your hair mint green and I bought you that ring that wrapped around your middle finger twice, like a silver snake biting its tail.
 
babybluelamentations’ walk
Let me tell you: the city is made of nothing more than the intangible tactility of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen; a breeding ground for human error and regret.
 
babybluelamentations’ when i dream at night, there is never a sun in my sky
And then there will be no one who could say whether the world starts back into motion, or if it stays still forever, or if it ceases to exist.
 
agustdv’s wordlessly
i like to think of her as a calendar. she spins a new tale everyday, and i struggle to breath under the tapestry of lies she weaves. sometimes, i hold her close and sing to her bones, and her lips caress my mistakes. sometimes, this is all we do, all we need.
 
jeily’s words for you
you told me to make a wish and i did, i had wished that i could always be as close to you as we were that night, but you were so close, and the cold had flushed your nose and cheeks, and your voice was so soft and gentle that i couldn't speak for a minute and tell you it.
 
~~~
 
NOVEMBER
 
marsan’s 6.- el flaco (nine abadón)
Elena and the girls are silent, smoking. Cruz is picking out flowers for the funeral, nothing but sweet peas and daisies. By the time Eustaquio arrived, the woman's breathing matched that of the rhythm of her rocking chair. The wind howled and sobbed, as it would for the next week. 
          my comment:
          marsan's masterful continuation of their Nine Abadón series leaves behind a sense of intrigue and the charming loneliness of a small town dying with every breath its inhabitants seem to take. this partial epistolary manages to fit in its short contents: love, loss, and the all-encompassing fear of not knowing. the small details make the characters come alive - they are personable and real, even though to the wider narrative, they may be mere specks. but look! you'll recognise some of these names from marsan's previous instalments of Nine Abadón; this might be a good time to reread parts one to five, or test yourself to see what you remember about the characters just from reading it the first time 'round. claudia bernal lives and dies and lives again through marsan's engaging story, and i can't wait for the next installment of Nine Abadón.
 
daydreamforever’s a gift
At precisely seven minutes past nine Josephine Dubois walked along the stretch of worn footpath that followed the Seine like a child clinging to its mother.
 
r|a|i|n’s a river by my home.
tomorrow will smell like today
which smells like yesterday,
and no one here knows anything
except for that.
          my comment:
          this piece of poetry caught my attention earlier in november, and every time it was republished, i felt increasingly motivated to give r|a|i|n credit where credit was due. i feel like as a community, we have become disillusioned with pretty imagery, things that make us forget how terrible the world outside our windows is. i too am guilty of this kind of poetry. r|a|i|n makes no effort to spread such sweet lies. if i were to describe the language in a river with a single word, i think the closest thing would be "tainted". r|a|i|n highlights the purged and the sloughing waste with honest phrases which knit together with a seamless and genuine retrospective voice. at the same time, it barely seems real; it's this kind of warped fish-eye perspective that we all know of somewhat, and yet do not want to know of at all.
 
forgetmenot’s a small café by the sea (breathing for the first time, again)
I'm no longer pushed or held by waves. I'm electric, caught the currents of the frequencies. 
 
elisa’s abby turned to me today in math class and said i wish i didn’t have skin and i suddenly i knew her like judas knew christ
womanhood/makes me feel godless/and skinless and/boneless and eternally afraid/that one day i’ll start screaming and never stop
 
oscar_locke’s bad friends
in the sand the sharpest of shells
and the waves claw
at the heels of the sky
          my comment:
          oscar has a way with words and manipulating the simplicity of structure with poetic metaphors that make you realise new truths about the little details in your own waking reality. bad friends is no exception to his phenomenal writing; there is always an aspect of the natural yet human features of the roaring world, and that is partly why oscar's phrases are so engaging. the way his poems are structured, the lines run into each other like bleeding ink; it is difficult to see where one life ends and another begins, but the simple immersion of his words makes it all worthwhile. oscar's poems read almost like a montage - lavender fields morphing into purple-black bruises, bruises and bone and pins and visceral imagery that manages to shock you over and over again. i've gotten used to being enthralled by oscar. and can i say, every time, it's an absolute pleasure.
 
pouringoutthesun’s before the battle music started there was this
You take a breath and breathe in the space where he just stood. It tastes like lightning.
          my comment:
          i'd like to think that madeline miller's the song of achilles is a fairly well-known contemporary text on write the world (if you haven't read it, i highly recommend it; prose that reads like poetry and all that) and if it wasn't clear that pots has read and loved that very novel, you need only read battle music. the colloquial beginning eases you into a tale of fantasy and intrigue - what has happened? who is he? does it matter, when this prose tastes like music on your eager tongue?
 
norah’s bloom
“Were you ever going to tell her?” the woman said to Maggie, almost gleeful, “were you ever going to let her know that it was her rain, were you ever going to tell her where she was from, who you were to her?” 
          my comment:
          i have to admit, i'm glad norah insisted i read this piece. enjoying her previous work, i had opened it when she first published it, but was originally put off by the reversed nature of the narrative - i have an unwieldy penchant for impatience, and i barely read more than five paragraphs before deeming it too confusing; i barely understood why, where, how, or who. but norah urged me to reconsider, and i did. i read more slowly this time, took time to savour the phrases, to commit Eva and Maggie's names to memory, rather than skimming the surface, hoping to snag a metaphorical finger on a crag of stunning prose. rather than a crag, after taking time to read bloom again, i found it was more of a current. there was no 'hook' to speak of, just an unexplainable urge to keep reading, and urge to understand, and the more i knew, the more i wanted those explanations. norah did not promise something she could not deliver. take some time to read bloom and maybe realise how clever norah really is.
 
norah’s by morning
the terrible chill of autumn 
slid under your skin like a fish knife
cut beneath your scales and gills with 
an anger not unknown to you
 
babybluelamentations’ can you blame me for loving my city?
It’s bittersweet, it’s calm, it’s the dreamlike state of a tired city trying to escape from the world.
 
norah’s carry
carry it on the roof of your mouth like a nonbeliever’s prayer, like the sunset on your shoulders
          my comment:
          carry is one of the best examples of a successive anaphora that i've ever seen, with analogies and similes that are both sweet on the mind yet wrench something terrible in the heart. if oscar's work reads like a montage, norah's work reads like a film with too many pieces put together, or too many pieces left out, so all that's left is all the bits of life that we deemed worth keeping - there is pain in these structured photographs of an idealised world, but only those who have felt the tears in the earth can possibly comprehend the sadness that comes with a highway moon. the deliberate choice of formatting means norah's cluttered collection of poetic anecdotes reads more like a portrait of urban beauty instead of a structured "poem". and honestly, i prefer it this way.
 
babybluelamentations’ childish wanderlust
i am 
Hecate at crossroads, 
wishing green at every light. 
          my comment:
          it honestly astounds me every time i am reminded that babybluelamentations is only fourteen years old; her poetry uses language that is sophisticated beyond her years, a sort of rhythm and pattern, a flow of back and forth that is difficult to harness to this extent. basically, childish wanderlust is one of the most enrapturing pieces of poetry on write the world that i have seen, to date. the alternation between the modernity of urban dissatisfaction and ancient goddesses, hundred-year-old wells, and the constant elements of human nature tie in seamlessly to create a stilted yet effervescent story within its mere five stanzas.
 
she’s-got-a-story’s darlings
Not twenty-four hours After Tea, somebody goes missing. 
          my comment:
          for those of you who have not had the pleasure of reading elle's writing, now would be the time to rectify that. judging by her controlled sentences which engage the reader while not becoming too complicated, you'd never guess that she thought maps of australia were printed upside down. darlings is a story that i'd pay to see as a full-length novel, and to recycle my comments from the actual piece itself: "i had literal chills while i read this; the appeal yet terrifying prospect of a murder in an urban town, and all the little people dealing with it is a niche that you have slotted into seamlessly, yet still reaching out to grasp at new readers with your fabulous turns of phrase. the dialogue flows so seamlessly; i can imagine seeing this as a screenplay, and i am enthralled beyond words." the subtleties of darlings may be lost on you the first time you read it, but read it again. i assure you, when you realise what you've been missing, your mind will be blown.
 
r|a|i|n’s dehydration / you
bleached and dead / like a whale's remains
in the sweat of the summer.
 
n.’s delete my number
I regret comparing you to Paris,
my dear brother of peace and poetry,
because you know it wouldn’t be fair if
my heart fell captive under lock and key.
          my comment:
          guys guys guys. sonnets. if it isn't already obvious that all good writers should get something out of loving shakespeare, read delete my number. personally, i find it quite difficult to get invested in rhyming scheme poetry - it feels like it borders too much on the childish side, and a lot of the time, the syllables don't match up so it just feels like a pointless mouthful - but n.'s masterful crafting of this original sonnet makes me love ABAB CC structure all over again. the clear shakespearean allusions serve to enhance the message of this poem; by using names of old and applying them to a modern context, a new, unexplored concept is suddenly clear as day. i recommend reading this piece out loud - sonnets are made to be spoken, not silent on the page. sonnets come alive when they are heard. and n.'s work is no exception.
 
ali sempty
She’s hugging her knees to her chest, as small and fragile as she was five years ago. “Finn, maybe we were made to be lonely.”
          my comment:
          ali s' empty is another one of the many exemplars for the novel writing competition. i've got to admit, i'm a sucker for stories that start with conversation, especially between friends. male/female platonic friendships rarely get the representation they deserve, so when i see pieces like this - well written ones - which make it so abundantly clear that girls and boys can be friends without resorting to romantic stigma, i'm immediately singing praises. the language and sentence structure in empty is simple enough in itself that it reads like a scene out of a short film, while still retaining enough poetic analogies - astronauts loving suns, a friendship like gravity - to make this more than just a surface sweep of inaction. the dialogue flows naturally from character to character, and dipping into el and finley's psyches with a kind of practised ease that makes it feel less like you're an intruder in this private moment, and more like you, in some inexplicable way, are part of the moment. read this piece and see for yourself.
 
oscar_locke’s épea
The disciples made of marble
They are judging
Sinking to decide
The placement of the continental reef
          my comment:
          oscar's water imagery in this poem is exquisite; with language like "disciples made of marble", "where heaven and horizon meet", "this water is a mirror of the sun" how can you not be absolutely entranced? épea marks a slight departure from oscar's usual style of work - the subtle differences of capital letters at the beginning of each line give the poem a more formal feel, like each line introduces a new idea, a new perspective of the reality this poem is producing. the ebb and flow of the length of the lines and rhythm of individual phrases ties back into the central tenet of this piece - water, the ocean - which only serves to highlight oscar's prowess as (dare i say) write the world's most prolific poet.
 
jeily’s for you embrace me now even when you are gone
When you pressed a key, it reverberated throughout the building, and it felt like that single note understood all 7 billion of us on the Earth.
          my comment:
          just from reading the title of jeily's latest work, i knew i had to read it. jeily has built up a reputation of having brilliant examples of prose and descriptions that leave me breathless. believe me, it is really difficult to have a run-on sentence that exudes so much beauty and emotion while still managing to make sense. (too many times i've tried to stuff words where they don't fit, and it just ends up a jumbled mess.) for you embrace me's opening line drew me in at the first mention of a cathedral, and i was not disappointed when she began to delve into the physical appearance of the cathedral, let alone the emotional significance. with such sophisticated terminologies like 'baroque' and 'rococo', i was immediately impressed. and the contrast between the historical and the modern made for a charming setting. all that, plus a healthy dose of pining, for you embrace me is a piece of writing too good to go ignored.
 
norah’s how it goes
At this point no one is ever going to come get me. I am floating without the expectation of ever feeling the warm embrace of gravity again: to feel my feet reach the ground after a leap to nowhere. I am nowhere, and my feet will never reach the ground. 
 
aryelee’s i am something without teeth
what is a girl if not a collection of:
                                                  half-forgotten memories
                                                  misplaced emotions
                                                  bruised knees and weeping eyes
                                                  iron nails hammered into ribs
                                                  and   something hollow in the wrists
          my comment:
          aryelee's poetry has never failed to astound me with its rhythm, syntax and, over anything else, its unique structure which pushes and pulls the reader, almost seeming to orchestrate the reading of the poem just by how many extra spacebars and enter keys were pressed. it's mesmerising. the tone of i am something without teeth is a visceral emotion that i feel almost everyone has experienced at some point in their lives. aryelee's colourful metaphors and striking analogies help to paint a picture of a relic crumbling away, a life that's frayed at the edges where seams should be, hope left too long in a closet so that when you finally go to wear it, it crumbles to dust. i hope i'm not being too poetic when trying to compliment exactly why i love this piece, but if i am, it's because it's the only way i can function in the face of something that expresses life and the world so succinctly and yet so broadly. time after time, aryelee's writing is (all in all) a reflection of humanity. and i think that i why we are so drawn to it.
 
she’s-got-a-story’s i thought that love was a kind of emptiness
Lying in bed, I would think of Heaven
I would miss my old friends and also wartime
When people lived on little more than one thousand calories a day
 
n. inner monologue part one / organized religion is a ploy
save me from this sweet demise,
that cruel trial we call life.
they say this faith has worth;
nay, ‘tis hell on Earth.
 
maya!’s jill
There I waited, in the buzz of bluebottles and the drone of cicadas, under the relentless pulse of an August sun and the stale absence of wind. I crushed more ants with a stick; waited for Jill; waited, waited, waited...
 
brokencorpseslady lazarus
my sky is leaking, mother
it turns crimson for all the
foreheads that hoard apocalypse
there is no blue, there is no blue.
 
agustdv’s melancholy becomes this mysterious man in whom destiny lives like a parasite
the ultimate love is cannibalism—
or so say the poets
annabel lee and lady lazarus
entwined; seraphim and israfeel
blasphemous retaliation
 
babybluelamentations’ midnight flights from san fran to new york
When? You ask, but I do not know. The time is now and the future has passed us by. 
 
jengelman’s nightgown
you told me once that I’d look cute in a nightgown,
I thought it was a metaphor, of how
I so desperately wanted to hide my body
underneath the cover.
 
norah’s no answers but the kitchen sink
I can hear terrible noises coming from somewhere, and then I realize I am making them: great heaving gasps, wild and horrible, like a sick animal. That’s me, I think, as I look at her face, covered in steady, practiced tears, I’m sick
 
ghostlyglory’s roadkill
You don’t know you’ve left until you see the deer’s body on the side of the road. At first, you think it’s sleeping. You think: What if it is hit by a car. You think: I should do something.
 
artificialaorta’s romanticism
You know, there are a thousand versions of me who don't exist. You know, I wonder why I am the version who remains.
 
the great gabs-by’s salt tang
I plant both feet into the cold liquid and watch how black it looks when the stars are out; a sticky penumbra, black as oil, swirling in the moistened sand; where people go to lose themselves and find themselves again.
 
elisa’s six months in spain, 2019
living in a movie/living like death/living like a teenage dirtbag/living like a poet/living like a whore/living like a scholar/like a painter/like an angel/like i’d never die/and never go back
 
anatheia nyx’s skin bathed in moonlight
your body seems foreign in the dampened light, as if it's not your own. 
 
marsan’s soldier toy
underneath all the silk layers, upon the raw flesh is where I write down prayers for a stranger. 
 
maya!’s split
You come from two places and here, they diverge
As you sit between and October's tears become the stars and 
          November's forehead conceives canyons
 
fabri’s starchaser
Every word he uttered made me want to give up my life here in Arizona and follow him somewhere deep into the unforgiving night.
 
n.’s state of the youth and ambition
What happens next, in this era
where Lady Justice went deaf to
party politics and invertebrates,
where everything means nothing
and words have no definition?
 
babybluelamentations’ stop crying for perfection, beautiful
so the man in the alley was as much of a pariah to the people as Prometheus to the gods, stretched out at four and a half corners by the will of the world in its cruel ways; missing an eye, for his sight deceived him, a drop of India ink in a liquid diamond sea.
 
autoinfanticide’s teen immortal
teenage immortal, we both know time is running out for you
escape impending futures, please pour me another drink
 
norah’s the hungry blue
I do not know what my own face looks like, but does anyone? I’m always moving towards the mountains. I’m always trying to reach them. I don’t think I ever do. 
 
oscar_locke’s the land
i find in your closed eye
in the way you swallow the shadow
migratory birds scatter
their wings clapping
and bodies black and white
as the truth i've divined
 
aryelee’s the path to healing is lined with thorns
The tea in her elephant mug has gone cold. The house is silent. Around us, the world stops until it feels like we're stuck inside a still life painting, all rotting fruit and fading sunlight.
 
surly wombat’s things you learned when you cut your hair (seen 2:43am)
iv. there's music playing outside somewhere; the distortion underwater reminds you of home. (your phone buzzes but you can't hear it.)
 
babybluelamentations’ time?
solstice days have never felt further apart. they feed on the sun and the sun’s reflection; tired vultures close to a dry demise—an expiry of time.
 
marsan’s to my dearest, my hurting, my healing pecan tree
I must confess, my loneliest, that I've only included you in my scraps for writings once. And I have never bred you a name either.
 
norah’s too dark, too cold
“Shaun. Look at me. I’m okay. You’re okay. It’s going to be alright.” Shauna nods, but there’s a look in Bea’s eyes: like her world had been changed. It rocks Shauna to her very core. She remembers years ago, when her eyes looked the same, changed. 
 
elisa’s untitled - a7a9ac
how long will my body's borders continue to expand, i asked the lorimer mosaic, how long will i wander canarsie platforms in dizzy memories? i will not become temporary. i will not become forever.
 
norah’s urgency
She does not tell you that you are standing on a grave until you are standing on one. You never forget that.
 
aryelee’s we speak in flowers
she doesn't say goodbye; it's too permanent. you promise to come back to her, with flowers twice as beautiful as the ones that decorate your head.
 
aryelee’s we were never made for forgiveness
What is the use of forgiveness if it feels like a knife twisting in my chest?
End me if you must, but have the mercy to make it quick.
 
araw’s what to do when your parents forget to pick you up from school
6.       Notice that the playground isn’t actually silent. There’s a wind making the autumn leaves dance across the ground, sway to the whispering rondo. You can hear it howling very softly, a wolf whimper. It feels like ghosts are surrounding you on that empty blacktop.
 
norah’s years at a bus stop
location: the air smells of a foreign city, finally, a scent uncertain, laundry and warm air, helicopter smoke and concrete, the furnishings of a new life, a new world
 
~~~
 
DECEMBER
 
norah’s 12/11/19
I’ve been dreaming in maybes and hellos since the beginning, but now it’s just a tilted stage, again and again. I must memorize my entire life, as I fall asleep, I agonize about the moments I will miss the most, I smell last year’s trip to Europe on the wind.
 
marsan’s 7.- alma (nine abadón)
It felt as if the story had been branded onto her mind, red-hot iron filling her skull with thick smoke once it touched her.
 
ghostlyglory’s a night i remember
Esther grins and laughs, loud and vaguely manic. It’s nearly 12 AM, which is far past my usual bedtime but just around when the most untamed and wonderful parts of her burst to life.
 
agustdv’s a t l a s
i, eighteen, the age anne frank never reached, a hammer to my skull and suitcases under my eyes
 
amalia’s a taken seat at an empty table
England has smoothed our edges, clipped our tongues. We act just like the Englishmen do with their families now. Like we're strangers.
 
surly wombat’s and it is dark, and it is dark, and it is dark
one last second to leave your lungs behind before we disappear; and
it is dark, and it is dark, and it is dark
 
pouringoutthesun’s and there’s a journey in here somewhere
Some rules:
  • Do not ask the dream characters where their eyes are.
Last time you did this, a shadow settled itself over your honey-coloured vision. The bystanders, they put on masks. The sky; it split open from the force of their malevolence.
          my comment:
          in all my time on write the world, i've never seen formatting to convey such emotion as pouringoutthesun (pots for short) has here. perhaps i'm biased in choosing this piece, but pots' writing never ceases to amaze me, with its lyrical phrases and fantastical concepts ingrained in words that always scream that their story needs to be heard; even if you don't understand the story in its entirety, you need to listen. pots' titles add another layer of mystery to their entrancing prose - most of the time, it reads like poetry - and gives you a hint of context for the worlds you're about to enter. journey is no different in this regard; pots' choice of examining dreams under the lens of waking shines poetically through their use of italics and a formatted set of rules for the unnamed protagonist to follow. but when we return to dreams, will we even remember the living? i believe this is ultimately the question journey poses. or perhaps i'm being pedantic.
 
elisa’s but always keep them on a leash
whose ashes am i standing on?
whose bones am i breaking? i snap my tendons
and strike a match.
 
r|a|i|n’s celestial
and a fist milky with
sweat reaches
for the bible on my nightstand
and i am fearful of the things
i do not know
 
angela chen’s chrysanthemum tea
But very quickly, the familiarity of our crème-walled complex, the warmth of fall, the popping of oil and salt and pork after four in the afternoon—all of it froze, cracked, and turned into cough syrup, the under-seasoned soup of the hospital canteen, and the chill of something unpleasant, impending.
 
paigepaigepaige’s cornus florida var. Rubra
                              and the longing 
wraps around       me fast and thick
like       a san francisco fog
 
efflorescence’s darling
She didn’t know what freedom looked like until he came to her windowsill one night, perched like a bird ready to startle into flight.
 
dmoral13’s detachment // failing expectations
and pursuing them didn't help, 'cause all hope in humanity was lost and earth no longer held herself up on two legs but instead limped along and that's unexpectedly expected for both them and i.
 
grace coppola’s disappearer
I should have collected and stored raindrops in my pocket when I had the chance. Now, my pockets are just full of sand. My cup is empty.
 
n.’s false alarm
meet me halfway to the moon with paperclips and cinnamon gum and remind me why the earth still spins.
 
marsan’s if you ask.
If you ask a human how long will the War last, he'll surely tell you "As long as it has to".
 
loveletterstosappho’s in biology we dissected a pig and i saw myself in its gut
spread open so wide its vulnerability
split my heart, too. legs bound, dripping
with formaldehyde.
 
agustdv’s india
i sound accusatory
i sound bitter, i know
my mentor is my country;
barricades strung like fairy lights
outside my ancestral home
 
norah’s jetsam/flotsam
we drive out late and she is watching from her street corner
plastic bags glowing from her hands, rippling like the surface of a lake
          my comment:
          norah's poetry has always been exemplary, and this piece is no exception. this piece draws in the reader with fantastic lunar analogies and simple language that conveys a far deeper meaning.
 
agustdv’s kalamity
it's all these men and their maniacal fantasies. you, a pixie girl; him, a woodcutter. you, medusa; him, poseidon. you, in pain; him, on bail.
 
agustdv’s kronology
i am in a rat race, gasping for breath, but these aren't my sins. mine are yet to be made. mine are yet to sing to the populace. mine are yet to be deadly.
 
weirdo’s let our shadows be your light
i like to think my demons killed me;
that my knife (a reincarnation of
porcelain dolls and bloodied teacups)
was possessed and plunged into my soul;
my demons and i share fingerprints.
 
amalia’s maria callas as violetta in la traviata, 12" x 14" print: a modern sonnet
La Divina is the triumph of the Greeks, 
we remind ourselves as our economy
crumbles. We are La Traviata, fallen
woman. We are tainted. She is untouchable.
 
amalia’s misogynists can't play chess
Sometimes a million tortured voices sing in                  my head and I can't sleep. can't sleep. can't sleep.
The thunder roars overhead, and I cry to dream again.
 
_nsbb’s mourning doves
equality is a word clear as mud - thick as a cloud and sweet as blood
freedom is free like the planets revolving around the sun
ellipses in ellipses in ellipses we go
merry go 'round till the witches fall down
 
agustdv’s nobody loves december like i do
this joy is my quietus. i fall in love with the whimsical nuisance of the silky strands of rain; the strange liberation of swinging on damp tyres, the oh so blue sky and the oh so low clouds. all i can think of is how much it will hurt once this december comes to an end.
 
kate gardner’s on hands
as if the spilled spinnings of many beads, lost beneath the tables when the necklace breaks
could be picked, each one, and strung again
 
jasmine_k’s poet's block
for when the words are floating, in between
two worlds dragonflies for when you are a city girl and have not known
wildfire smoke
for when the glass is frosted and you
are allergic to sugar.
 
norah’s riparian rights
I have no name, yet sit
like a beetle pinned to a board, under oath,
like two thousand rivers and their rights to bodily autonomy
 
paigepaigepaige’s scale (b minor)
and we touch to prove we love,
and we are the stars and the trees, newly
woman and newly man, the thick hum
of a cello and the clatter of a cymbal, and then i knew.
 
aryelee’s sea-swallowed
the ocean sings its fury; what can i do but howl back?
          my comment:
          aryelee's signature style - by which i mean her engaging formatting and lyrical poems - always deserves to be exalted. her use of syntax and ocean metaphors are simply brilliant.
 
agustdv’s sigaro
you are an effigy of nonchalant affection
ripped jeans in the snug corners of a hollow december
 
jasmine_k’s swimming/lessons
they don’t teach you what to do if you want to drown
because maybe drowning is beautiful, or maybe i don’t want to swim anymore
or maybe i wrote this line of this poem and didn’t realize how dark it was
how dark it could be
 
the great gabs-by’s the art of embalming oneself
It is what my mother would have called a good colour; one that knows its place and grows healthily from the soil, well-balanced and modest; but perhaps this confuses you. I remember that your language does not permit an understanding that my mother had. 
 
engi_aek’s the end
my mind trickles through your fingers
as you grasp through searching for the holy grail
all you find is yourself 
come up empty handed gasping for air
like the swimmer i used to be
 
burningmidnightoil’s the sky will be red, you know
the ground is dust & chewed glass mirrors.
green was the yesterday of yesterday.
i’m gone & so are you; dulled evocations.
& when the world has come to an end,
the sky will be red, you know.
 
charles oleander’s there shant be a ripple in the pond, or so thought the lovestruck fisherman
if this is abnormality
then why would one comply?
i throw away all eloquence
for you, my lovely sky
 
paigepaigepaige’s tituba
[,,,our legs tangle together]
when we waltz for attention that only the
moon receives. we - a girl girl girl - burn
our arm hair off with stolen matches...
 
jasmine_k’s to make things beautiful
like cupertino’s poet laureate held cocoa butter in her mouth, consuming 
and said,
this poet wrote about racism and made it so, so beautiful.
 
jasmine_k’s to the white boy that called me dramatic
he claimed the reason i won was because i guilt-tripped everyone.
don’t he know he was the only one who felt guilty?
          my comment:
          this is a ridiculously underrated piece. jasmine's way of exposing white privilege is a shining example of how ethnicity is often shunned in the face of ignorant opinions and ingrained racism.
 
jasmine_k’s unholy
fire your sacraments into my saree contempt so thick
you can call it an accent shove your
leviticus into my chutney jar, here, maybe we can pickle some culture into him
 
jenna matus’ vignettes of inverted decembers
It's either looking to the past, which I've nestled someplace between my ribs and heart, or wishing for the future so hard that my blood fizzes. Trapped between nostalgia and hope. In limbo, liminal, lost. 
 
n.’s warning - it’s gay
i didn’t get up at 5:34 to hold my hand over a spectrum heart to a tinny rendition of my homeland’s battle cry and smile drenched in pathetic defeat all so you could spit on my shoes tonight [because we’re all faceless anyway, right?]
 
engi_aek’s waves
an uneven beat a skip of a note
breath in a cage
throw away the gilded key search blindly for it
tread in place
 
_nsbb’s we the children and our mother's one body
we the children of mother earth
hold her hand as we force the
smoke down her lungs, watching
(carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons,
methane, ozone, nitrous oxide)
as she attempts at holding her breath.
 
_nsbb’s when i was younger,
father, he told me
no matter what i did my words would be
silenced, crucifixion, my existence unholy
 
marsan’s white in the smallest corner of the universe.
Armed with plastic flowers, colorful shawls and a faith stronger than that of kings and soldiers, they tenderly cradle their saints between their arms.
 
weirdo’s you can drown in my love
our fingers are tangled together like the blackberry vines surrounding your home; remember the day we threw berries at each other? two girls stained with purple and unexplainable joy, what a sight we must’ve been.
 
jasmine_k’s 媧皇 /myth
sun-dried 黄河 mud, hit the ground,
hard, like he hits
me, don’t worry clay is soft, nothing will be 
dislodged,
your memories don’t count.
 
~~~
 
even in its compilation alone, this has been quite the journey. i’m so grateful for all the wonderful writers with whom i’ve had the pleasure of coming into contact with, reading your work and finding ways to improve in my own writing along the way. here’s to another year of fulfilling writing and new faces.
 
cheers,
anha
check out previously published 2019 wtw highlights:

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  • May 26, 2020 - 7:06am (Now Viewing)

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33 Comments
  • paigepaigepaige

    infinite kisses from me to u


    4 months ago
  • lucifern

    Hi! I DID finally sign in again! Thanks so much for adding me--so honored. This is such a great list and I'll dive into it soon! :)


    4 months ago
  • engi_aek

    guess what, another wonderful compilation!! Thank you so much! I'm honoured. I am going to spend hours reading through all these lyrically beautiful and imaginative pieces!! So many of these are so emotional and I'm in awe of all these writers, and you especially!! Thank you for taking the time to share new writing to everyone! Going to miss this...xxxx


    5 months ago
  • ellie22

    Thank you so much!


    5 months ago
  • Jenna Matus

    Thank you so much for the inclusion!! And thank you for all the work you put in, it's incredible. My account is being deactivated soon because of my age, so this is a really nice thing to close off my Write the World journey with. Good luck with your writing, and everything! xx


    5 months ago
  • ForgetMeNot

    Thank you so much! I’m sorry I’m late to see it but I’m honoured to be mentioned :)


    5 months ago
  • Oscar_Locke

    God, I miss this so much. I gotta get on WTW more often. And thank you Anha for hosting my stuff. And, thank you to everyone who is a part of this community. Y'all are so wholesome, so edgy, and such skilled writers. It's honestly an honour.


    5 months ago
  • babybluelamentations

    omfg. darling! how????
    i always look forward to these lists so, so much. your highlights are basically the wtw essentials master list. the time it must take to link every single one of these pieces and their individual authors astounds me every time. how in the world do you work so fast??
    you are a gift and a blessing to this site, anha, you goddess.


    5 months ago
  • ghostlyglory

    a very special curation. thanks for everything you all do


    5 months ago
  • Jasmine_K

    Also omg I have no recollection of ever writing Heritage. Thank god I improved lmao


    5 months ago
  • Jasmine_K

    Oh my GOSH this must have taken forever? Thank you so so much for putting this together Anha! (And thank you to everybody who helped. Y'all are insane in the best possible way.) I'm so excited to go through and rediscover some pieces! I literally can't think of anyone else who gives so much to the community without ever asking for anything in return. You're a superhero.


    5 months ago
  • birthdaycandles

    Thanks for compiling this!!


    5 months ago
  • Maya!

    I have miraculously returned, just to thank you for featuring me here again! The work you do here is wonderful, and I am honoured to be listed amongst so many prolific and skillful writers. Thank you again, and stay safe <3


    5 months ago
  • BurningMidnightOil

    i truly appreciate all the hard work you've done to acknowledge the brilliant works of our fellow users. you do this month after month and then compile it all into one huge list??? thank you thank you. and to the assistants: the contrarian, weirdo, loveletterstosappho, Jun Lei, my thanks to you for helping Anha put this phenomenal list together. to each and every writer that has graced this list: your writings are worthy of so much attention and praise and love, so keep writing, keep speaking from the mind and heart. there'll always be someone who's willing to read.


    5 months ago
  • freudiandrip

    this is so dope, and everyone’s writing is incredible!!


    5 months ago
  • EAurora

    You are amazing!! Thank you for compiling this


    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    woah! this must have taken ages to do. thanks a bunch, anha. I've been reading the pieces here and they are all so lovely! also thanks, contrarian, wierdo, lovelttertosappho, and jun lei


    5 months ago
  • jaii

    woohoo! it was a pleasure to help make this happen and i’m happy to see it out here. thank you for being such an awful member of this community!


    5 months ago
  • joella

    god, this must have taken you forever!! thank you so much for compiling this list of incredible authors. wtw needs to pay homage to you <3


    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    jeez, this is long! i can’t imagine how much work you + everyone that helped put into this, so thank you for compiling such a nice, neat list of all these pieces. i’ll get to reading them!


    5 months ago
  • Faith Camp

    thank you so much - this is awesome. much love <3


    5 months ago
  • loveletterstosappho

    anha! this is so damn long--major props to you for committing to it.


    5 months ago
  • jun lei

    we stan a queen. i still do not know how you do it; this was sixty four pages alone, and you compile the highlights monthly. thank you for everything you give the community.


    5 months ago
  • A Breath Into Silence

    This is incredible! Just scanning through this list has reminded me of pieces and moments in this site that were absolutely breathtaking. Thank you so much for putting this together - it's truly wonderful.


    5 months ago
  • N.

    rereading some of the pieces in this list made me feel a bit older than i actually am...a huge thank you to you (and your helpers of course!) for the insane amount of effort and time this took <3


    5 months ago
  • Norah

    This is fantastic, and clearly took a long time, thanks so much for the effort!


    5 months ago
  • Ali S

    thank you so much for including my piece in this amazing list, and always putting in so much effort for wtw <3 I can't wait to read everyone else's writing from here when I find the time!!


    5 months ago
  • jeily

    wow this was a step back into time. reading this list reminded me of the sheer talent the wtw community has, despite recent *ahem* turmoil. thank you anha, jun lei, contrarian and sappho for all your hard work, it is highly highly appreciated <3


    5 months ago
  • scripturience

    this is amazing. thank you anha and helpers! i am so honored to be among this list of incredibly talented writers and supremely kind people, and i can't even imagine what effort this took. thank you for compiling this!


    5 months ago
  • Wicked!

    Oh my god, this must've taken forever! Thank you so much for all the effort you people put into compiling this :)


    5 months ago
  • Ruthh

    oh my this is one heck of a list! Well done to you and your assistants for curating it <3


    5 months ago
  • PouringOutTheSun

    god, the sheer amount of talent held in here. it’s amazing!! thank u so much anha and all your helpers. this is wonderful


    5 months ago
  • fatpanda

    gods, anha. i can only imagine the sheer amount of hours you and the others put into this; surmising the best of an entire year of writing on this site feels so daunting, but i'm sure i'll like each of the pieces you included when i go through the list again. thank you so much for working on this, you did a great, great job.


    5 months ago