Lissie

United States

Everyone says I talk too much, but I'd like to say I'm a storyteller.

Message from Writer

I hope to someday give someone else a home in my words the same way I found a home.

Published Work

yell at me

yell at me                       
tell me to listen              
don't let me explain      
  
when I try to clarify             
don't let me utter a word     
because i'm interrupting   
   
You yell                             
i don't understand               
i could never understand 
    
keep yelling at me         
just keep thinking of      
all that You could blame me for  

tell me i never listen      
when I was Your tape     
so You could talk to someone 
 but You never played side B  

tell me i disappoint You         
and that i'm not good enough  
and say that i can't commit     
so clearly it's all my fault      
all my fault   
all mine 
all me       

I've been doing everything  
late nights and always alone 
but I was still there for you 
so you wouldn't be alone 
so don't stop yelling at me
 
put the shell close to your ear 
so you can know that I'm gone 
you're listening to the sea

Sunset

She sinks into a bed of earth
Until completely out of sight,
Nursing day into night,
Singing to the tired stars,
Ever nourishing life and motion:
To our dearest mother, the Sun.

Strangers Within Strangers

Sometimes we encounter people 
Who are strangers within strangers;
Their bodies become a foreign shell
Because while walking the hallways
They lost their sense of the floor.

Take As Much As You Can

Take the air from my chest
And the words from my paper.

Take the ink from my pen
And the light of my sun.

Take everything that you can,
But you won't stop me.

I'll grow trees in my bones
And construct new letters.

I'll use my blood to write
And create my own light.

It doesn't matter how much
You try to take away from me.

I'll get back up and continue
Building until you can't ignore me.

People Leave

Sometimes people leave
--and you can try as you might--
But most times you can't bring them back
Only they can do that.

Unplugged: Op-Ed Competition

Child No Longer

In one of my classes the other day, my teacher was giving us a presentation on Taoism. He passed out a packet of quotes and then started showing us his power point slides. His power point had a lot of different images of water because in Taoism , the Tao is often compared to water. Later in the class, he prompted us to look over the packets he'd passed out. After reading through the packets, he typically has us talk about anything that may have stuck out to us. One of the girls in my class, raised her hand and asked about the prayer he had put on the first page. He'd picked the prayer specifically for our Taoism unit, and the speaker of the poem was asking that they learn to be playful, relaxed, and carefree as a child because in doing so, they would "achieve the harmony of heaven." Above this prayer was a excerpt from the Taoist...

holes

holes in the curtain
sunlight filters through
weightless yellow fire
slips through holes in cotton

still pillars stand upon
a dreamer dreaming
shattering dreams burning
holes until they're gone

holes from coals
black red scorching
dreamer no longer
soul riddled with holes

0-9

cut short

0 days
1 pen
2 cars
3 friends
4 seasons
5 storms
6 dances
7 colors
8 pages empty
9 11 calls

we were

we are the water
and also the fire
we are the giver
and also the taker
we are the summer
and also the winter

the timer is over
we had the power
but we acted later
rather than sooner
so we lost all color

 

Frosted Glass

Late nights and pixie dust
Like a story waiting to be told
That has yet to be finished.

A story of tears like rust
And lonely nights that are cold.
Life's breath becomes diminished.

Broken hearts and wings and trust
Growing mold, having forgotten the bold.
Holes that could never be stitched.

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

A Kite

I thought I was a kite.
I thought I could fly.
I believed in a world so bright
I’d never doubted the sky.

I believed many falsities,
Like my distance from the ground,
And Fairness’s equality,
And rain that never drowned.

I had never thought so many
Terrible things could bother me
Until the day I knew I had no wings,
And it suddenly rained the sea.

This heavy pull had thrown me aside
Like some dragging invisible wind
Or maybe a string that was tied
To me which I’d never spied.

I thought I was a kite,
And I thought I could fly.
I knew the world to be bright
Until I was plucked from the sky.

Suddenly I was leashed,
And I felt I’d never be freed.
For a brief forever, I was beached.
Was the world truly concrete?

My world became shadow-caressed,
And I was always hoping for the best.
I felt so incurably oppressed,
But I...

No Script

Why would I let
Someone that isn't me
Tell me who
I'm supposed to be?
I'm not telling you how
Your life should have occurred;
You cannot write
My life out word-by-word.
I am not a book, nor are you.
I am not you, and you are not me.
The only thing you can do
Is choose how you react.
This is your final clue.
I'm done explaining my words anew.

minor changes

every word you've spoken to me drags a branch through my mind
tugging at the seams of everything i've ever known
i don't know how to keep my everything from spilling out
every drop i try to catch slipsout of my hand
between my small fingers into oblivion
your voice enters though the cracks and fills the grout
of the threehundredandsixtyfiveplus square tiles of each upcoming year
with the pressure realieved I can finally hear

For Reasons UN-(known)

sometimes I cry
for no reason
(actually I think
I know the reasons),
but i think it's not
about the knowing
in those moments,
it's about the crying.
little by little
it washes away.
i know it sounds sad,
but the crying is good.
and i know now that
i am not alone.

Silly Silly Spider, Move Along!

Silly silly spider, move along!
The people are scared by you.
Silly silly spider, move along
Before you're stuck to a shoe.

Listen silly spider, heed my words
Because the world is against you.
Something that has eight legs is just
Far too high a number.

Hurry up and pack up your little web and find a place safe from all the people.
Run along!
And if you race really fast, you might just get away 
With your life.

Silly silly spider, get going!
It seems you have been spotted.
I have warned you, silly spider. 
I hope you'll escape in time.

On Writing

Writing sometimes hurts because I want to share
Pieces my friends wouldn't glance twice at.
Writing makes me feel better and eases my despair.
Sometimes It's as if I've cut open my chest
And offered up the scattered bits of my heart
To familiar faces that smile as if they care.
Their glass eyes never see my words, and rubber hands
Give me plastic bags to use as a container.
I don't know if I will ever truly climb the stairs,
But I will bleed ink until my soul bleeds dry.

Dear Someone

Someone, please tuck me into bed.
Draw a blanket of tender care over my soul,
So that it can know love again.
Sing to me something that won't grate against my ears,
And press a kiss of understanding to my forehead,
So that I may feel understood.
Hold me in your heart,
So that I can feel every beat
And learn to breathe again.
Teach me what it feels to be loved
So that I can smile freely again.
Someone, tuck me into bed
And warm my quieted soul with rest's promise.
With love, No one.

To Forget

"Out of Sight, out of mind."
Just another great lie.
I wish that I could forget
This thing which has ceased to be.

Phenomenal Woman

Her

My sister never lets people define her limits;
Yokes hidden as words have never
Stopped her journey.

I witnessed the sleep
She lost to make it to the place
They told her she couldn't reach.

Even though it hasn't gotten any easier, she
Readily strives toward her approaching goal.

The Retired Hero and the Immortal

"What constitutes a villain and a hero?"
"Perception."
"And the masses, of course."
"Hm?"
"The people are to blame as well, don't you think?"
"People and perception then."

 

yell at me

yell at me
tell me to listen
don't give me a chance to explain
and when I try to clarify
don't let me utter a word
because i'm interrupting you
you yell
i don't understand
i could never understand
as if I haven't been your tree
when you were in need of shade
    keep yelling at me
    just keep thinking of 
    all the things you could blame me for
    tell me i never listen to you
    when I was your tape
    so you could talk to someone
    but you never played side b
    tell how much i disappoint you
    and how i'm not good enough
    and say i never commit to anything
    so clearly it's all my fault
        all my fault
            all mine

                                all me
        I've been doing everything on my own
        late nights and doing it all alone
        but I was there for you
        so you wouldn't be alone
        so keep yelling at me
        and one day maybe you'll...

More or Less

Demons lie, and
So do men.
If one smears
The lines de-
Fining that word:
Demon.
Men can be written as
More Demon-like
Or Less like.

Empty Words

It couldn't be--a paradox--
But was there really so
Little depth there?
All along it was a puddle,
And I'd imagined it an ocean.
 

Sorry #standalonedialogue

"I'm sorry."
"If you're not sorry, then don't say it."
"But I thought you wanted me to apologize."
"If you don't mean it, then it's just five letters that don't mean anything."
"Then what do you want me to say."
"Something that you actually mean."
"I'm not sorry."
"It's a start, a rather terrible one, but I guess it will do."

Tears #supposedtobe

She dried her tears and washed her face and covered it up with glitter and sparkles.

Caveat Emptor

Sarah Kersus wasn't really using her head
When she used her credit card and ordered
The strange package online, seeking mystery.
She intended to have a bit of silly fun which
Ultimately resulted in her selling her soul instead.

The Lonely One

"You look lonely."

"Are you talking to me or yourself?"
 

Love in Words

Sis

You are everything she wants to me be
Because your success is a guarantee.
I'm the disappointment, and I always hear
About what I didn't, but you did without fear.

I want to be like, but I don't want to be you.
I want to be someone who never gives up too,
But not someone with a future in the military.

I love you, your words, and your bold scorn.
You are strong and short, and your heart is worn
And so beautiful. I know that you will be an acorn.
You will plant and grow, green and glorious.

You've set boundaries for yourself that hurt you.
You are scared, and you've made yourself alone.
You would never confess this is true.
You are great and bright, and we see your glow.
You would see your loveliness if you would let us people in.

You don't have to bleed to prove anything.

Danny Slate

Danny Slate was really Daniella Slate,
But she never went by the latter.
She knew the things she did hate,
And set them apart from the better.
Some things and betters she did create.
She was a type of inventor--not a talker.
Danny had one good Friend worth the wait,
And Danny would say they would soon shatter.
She believed from day one, Friend would forget her.
Friend was adamant she would always be near,
But Danny smiled and pushed Friend to the front
Because she believed in Friend's great future--
One that could not have Danny in it.

Waiting Point

The rain of the night,
Rushing to meet the lamp-lit blacktop,
Looks like falling stars and gold fireworks.

It was...

loved by the people.
hated by the people.
heavier than the Titanic.
light enough to float.
untrained in swimming.
sharper than any word.
duller than fruitless earth.
brighter than fish scales.
harder than bedrock.
softer than any gold.
 

Butter

She was like butter--
She slipped into the smallest cracks
And left behind oily stains.
She wasn't who she had been before.

Milo Riggs

Milo Riggs was rather passionate about
A number of certain thises and thatses.
Sometimes, he found he would shout
About the thises and thatses he loved.
In thises and thatses, he was quite devout--
The way people are with what they hold dear.
It's a shame not many listened to his spouts
Of this and that--much of this being grammar.
He had the wrong crowd: students who were without.

Clementine

Clementine was a girl who read too many books.
She read words more than she breathed air until
Her eyes were made of whispering dream brooks.
Clementine was a girl of soft and little speech.
She spent every moment she had reading until
She faded into a book, becoming close and out of reach.
 

Daisy Mae

Daisy Mae had two cups
Filled up with water.
One cup was for drinking,
and the other was for dipping
Her brushes in while painting.
Daisy Mae was lost in thought, 
And she drank from the dipping cup.
 

The Mourning Sky

You will know it when
The sky is rainless, purple,
Gray, blue, and soft black.

Phantom 5 | Broken Plates

    One week before Charlotte would start her freshman year at high school, Hanna Lewis arrived home to find her daughter was not there. Hanna Lewis looked around the living room before she decided to check out the kitchen. Not long after walking into her kitchen, Hanna collapsed onto her kitchen floor by a large puddle of blood, presumably Charlotte's. She felt a sting of pain in her legs because she had landed on shards of white porcelain. The kitchen cupboards were opened and half of her plates were no longer whole. She began to sob when she picked up one of the white shards scattering the ground only to realize it was her daughter's broken glass eye. Carved into the tile of the kitchen floor was a symbol she had only ever had nightmares about. It couldn't be. Not her little girl. Why would they have done this? Why would they have wanted Charlotte dead? What could she possibly...

When All This Is Over

He couldn't put into words
How much he wished
He'd known what she meant
The day before she descended.

She smiled, but she had looked so hurt
As she said, "When all this is over,
I'll be waiting for you."
He never knew he would soon lose her.

Only when he saw her
Pale, Bleeding, and Empty
Did he realize she'd said goodbye,
And the this--life--seemed like an eternity.

Silence

I never knew how
Loud the silence could be, but
that was before you.
 

The Bed Frame

I know why
The bed frame creaks
It has held too much
For too long
Non-stop
It wants
the one thing
it cannot have
Sleep

Blue Eyes

Late nights and wild dreams
Left me swimming in blue eyes
I had never known.

Phantom 4 | The Offer

   Charlotte had been walking home from school for fifteen minutes, and she hadn't noticed the woman following her. She simply couldn't see the woman following her because the woman stayed conveniently in Charlotte's blind spot on the left side. The woman behind her stifled a cough and walked up to Charlotte's side. She introduced herself, "Hi, I'm Sloane."
    Charlotte jumped a little when she finally noticed the woman and looked at her for a moment, but she kept walking. "Uh, I'm Scarlet--I mean I'm Charlotte. I'm sorry, I don't know where that came from." She shook her head for a moment. She was speaking to a complete stranger. She picked up her pace a little bit because the faster she walked, then the sooner she could be home and away from this strange woman. What could the woman possibly want with her?
    Sloane picked up her pace to match the girl's again and winced at...

Phantom 3 | The Dying Woman

    A woman in a dark heavy rain jacket walked into the store and paused at the entrance for a moment to dry off. A shopper at the store chanced a look at her that turned into a stare. The ends of a blue scarf lay flat on her jacket. Her golden eyes locked onto those of the shopper looking at her, and she glared a glare that seemed to hold a promised threat before snorting and walking further into the store. She went straight to the cereal aisle, grabbed three boxes of one of those off-brand cereals with the little marshmallow shapes; they were called Unlucky Lumps and developed by the Charlatan brand. She just wanted to check out her cheap cereal and leave, but the angsty teen at the register gave her a dirty look when she coughed loudly. She scowled and left.
    It was sunny out, but she was so cold. She had yet...

Phantom 2 | July 6, 2015

    Hanna Lewis arrived home after a very long and upsetting day at work. She worked as a lawyer, and the last trial for a case she'd been on had been earlier that day. It was a complicated case, and she had represented three different families in a case against a horrible man. She was very frustrated because the man was declared not guilty due to a lack of proof.
    He had raped and murdered three teenage girls. They had no proof because the murders themselves happened too long ago, and since then, a parking garage had been built over the area that he had most likely hidden the bodies. There wasn't enough proof for the Fallmont City Police Department to dig up the bodies, and so the man was declared not guilty. 
   Charlotte was sitting on the couch listening to an audiobook when her mom got home. She was snuggled into a knitted blanket from...

Phantom 1 | The Girl With One Eye and the Day She Fought Back

There are an estimated 1 in 5,300 babies born in the United States with either anophthalmia or microphthalmia. Charlotte Lewis was born with anophthalmia, so she only has one eye, the right one. As Charlotte grew older, she had a few surgeries here and there for her eye and a prosthetic eye she wore sometimes. Charlotte was home-schooled until fourth grade when her mom put her into a nearby public school, and until the fourth grade, she was comfortable with who she was despite her missing eye.
    Children can be so cruel.
    On the first day of school, Charlotte didn't wear her glass eye; she didn't think she needed to. By the second week of school, she started wearing it. They thought she was weird. They stared at her, called her names, and made fun of her. Many of the names they called her didn't stick, except for one: Cyclops. When Charlotte started sixth grade, she was drastically...

Confidence

Sometimes I leave home
Only to realize I've left
My confidence too.

Tiny Love Story

A New Moon

When the sky is dark and the rain hammers against his home and the thunder howls and moans, he remembers her sad eyes. He regrets every word he left unsaid and the pride he shouldn't have so desperately held onto. 

When the rain slowly fades and the moon glows softly, she remembers the hope that keeps her alive.

Time passes, and she sees that her daughter has become as foolish as she used to be. A storm comes and two seek shelter in the rain. The rain brought them back together under the eyes of a new moon. Hearts entangled.

Family

You left me in the ashes--
I guess that's what family is for.
It is said blood is thicker than water,
But the water tastes likes mud.

The Day the Rain Fell

    the drought that lasted two decades
caused the people to forget the rain
                
                  and so                the  kids

                                    c
                                            r
                                                  i
                                                        e
                                                               d

                                                                       
and Panicked


                                   on the day the sky growled and roared like some kind of

        A N I M A L


        they weren't the only ones crying
                                            on the day the sky opened once more

                tears made trails down faces that had been sawdust dry 
    and long ago stopped dreaming of the day they could feel the

                    f
                    a
                    l                               d
                    l
                    i                               r
                    n
                    g                              o

                                                    p
                                                 ...

The Unsayable

I've heard people claim they are a lone wolf,
Which I must say I find rather silly,
For it is no secret that wolves keep in packs.
Then again, I've noticed so do they.

I know one who denounces the lonely stars.
If you ask me, it's loneliness they lack.
The stars that chat in far-but-not-far arrays.
The stars that watch, think, laugh, wink.

I met another who hates mother birds in fact.
They say pushing babies out the nest is to being flayed.
These people cry for a Titanic which doesn't sink,
Only I'd say many sea levels less dramatic.

I muse they pour molasses they say is not thick,
And pick at their broth with forks and sticks.

#ManateeContest || The End of the World

The world is ending!
The world is ending!
How very surprising?
Isn't it? The end is near!

The people are dying.
The children are crying.
Our time is ending.
Can you hear the cries of fear?

Our time is now passing
While I am still trying
To keep my garden growing.
Everything is now clear.

My statues are speaking, 
"You had time aplenty,
But you spent it complaining
Of the shortage of years."

The trees are dying.
My roses are not growing.
The world is ending
Like the turning of a gear.

Message Received: Revolution

     A group of three teenagers in a room with the door locked scrambled to cover all the cracks and every nook and cranny. Full of anxious excitement, hushes traveled through the trio as the smallest of them tinkered with an old radio and another dimmed the lights. A soft click followed by loud crackling static issued from the radio and the group of people held their breaths. They didn't have to wait long because a steady and much anticipated voice issued from the radio accompanied by soft static sounds:

   "I had never tasted something so sweet until the day I opened my mouth and stopped biting back my words. I had never tasted something so bitter before either. Nothing had ever been so liberating as the day I decided I would live for myself and those I care about, rather than be a puppet to my society. People who claimed they knew justice had been tugging me every which...

#oneblue || Something Lost

He had never hated a color more than the color blue because blue was the taste in his mouth the day he lost his wings. 

#candleflame || The Warmth of Life

A woman, seemingly motherly in nature,
Worked stitch by stitch and memory by memory
Into a quilt that would hold the warmth of life.

It can be said the woman was nurturing and tender.
The hysterical scream broke through the serenity.
The quilt forgotten as she saw her child of mere five.

Burns an alluring pink blossomed over small fingers.
The girl smiled at her mother's screams. "Look, Mommy!
I held a little candle flame." The words were knives.

The mother sank to the ground, sobbing with great fervor.
She mourned for her daughter and past to extremity.
She mourned for her daughter that was not alive. 

A Pair of Poems

An Unhappy Ending

The Two-legger
The forest stretched and yawned as the sun made his approach with his pencils of light. He drew his lovely golden gleams and streaks over the stirring trees and whispers of fauna among them.

Glorious radiance scared the darkness into the corners; it divided and conquered it into shadows. The shadows cowered and began their eager wait for the sun's leave.

The song of rowdy morning birds woke the two-legger. Alerted to the dawn of a new day, the two-legger donned clothes that clanged and covered him. He hoisted up a belt that bore a heavy weight he had grown accustomed to as all of his trade must. He worked. He cleaned. His actions precise and no nonsense; he bore the atmosphere of one with a rather serious agenda. With his things rolled and tucked away, he untied and mounted his horse with his pack. 

He journeyed for a happy ending.

The trampling footsteps of his horse and...

Mixtape

Half-Past Junior Year

1. Play Good Music at My Funeral -- Shane Niemi/iamnotshane
    The song basically points out that we take people in our lives for granted; we don't recognize them and pay enough attention to them until they're dead and gone. The message of the song is to start paying more attention. I lost people at the end of summer that I may never see again, who were really important to me. I knew I cared for them, but I learned the true extent of that love when I lost them. I should have paid more attention when I was still able to.

2. Tails -- With Confidence
    With Confidence is my favorite band, and the first concert I ever went to they were an opener for. My older brother had taken me because he knew it would make me really happy. I'd been waiting for the album Love and Loathing for a long time, and the longing...

Human and Not

"What does it mean to feel human?" asked the robot.
"What does it mean to not feel human?" asked the girl.

Unfortunately, there were three thousand miles between the two.
Unfortunately, neither was aware of the other's existence.

The robot stared blankly at a wall and tried to feel human.
The girl sighed softly at the stars and tried to not feel human.

The Music Box

    A girl in a candied forest trudged ever onward. Her small bare feet skidded against the dirt, leaving behind the occasional splotch of vivid crimson on the chocolate earth. Her legs and arm bore scratches from the brittle patch she'd crossed in hopes of getting out. What started as a dark dream was becoming a lovely nightmare as time passed. Everything was fun and laughter until she realized she was alone. After she realized she was alone, she realized she was alone in forever. A forever of spun sugar flowers and saccharine air. She regretted the wish she had made that fateful morning, before the world became so cloyingly sweet.
    Just that morning she had screamed at her dad, "Why do you hate me?" Her dad had taken away all she had left of her mom, a music box. He had told her to stay in her room, and he smashed the box with one swing and a...

Ten Words to You

A Little Nowhere

Dead grass
Dry leaves
Deer
Hot nothings
Backyard adventures
Dreams

My Sprite

I see his face daily.
I can’t seem to lose sight.
I think about him endlessly.
I can’t sleep at night.

He leaves flowers incredibly
For me at my door, despite
Not knowing; it was an  impossibility.
By my window last night, he gave me quite a fright.

I feel his gaze constantly;
I turn and he’s gone, like sprite.
My friends say I’m just silly,
But something about him just isn’t right.

My December Competition 2017

A December Portrait

    "There's always someone suffering worse no matter what you're going through." Everyone says this and it's true, but that doesn't mean what I've had to deal with sucks any less. I’m one of seven children, and my family has struggled greatly financially over the years. As the third child, I’m used to being overlooked and not expecting to receive much; however, my life completely morphed in 2013 for my family as well as me.
    In 2013, My brother was starting high school and I was soon to have a younger sister. Everything might not have been good, but it wasn’t bad either. In October we were celebrating my younger brother’s second birthday. I remember squishing with my family and a few family friends onto the ridiculous pink-and-yellow striped couch, so we could watch him. I remember the way he managed to get cake and frosting everywhere except inside his mouth. I remember the sound of my sister’s Nikon clicking...