Harlow

United States of America

A human that does stuff with words among other humans who do other stuff with words

DEEP THOUGHT WINNERS: Zalma and MarSan!!

Message from Writer

Hello, world! I’m a writer and a podcaster and a lonely potato. Enjoy my half-decent ramblings!
Podcast: https://anchor.fm/texttospeech
Bandcamp: heads-tails.bancamp.com

Published Work

The Inevitable End and the Promise of Tomorrow

We, as a race, live in a pocket of a solar system that lives in the pocket of a galaxy that lives in the pocket of the universe that sits in the palm of infinity. We're born to live before dying, to love and hurt and laugh and cry and grow and learn and die, not truly feeling complete. In this pocket of infinity, we have a wryly finite time to live and experience and complete ourselves before the explosion that created us comes to end us. The oblivion forewarned by our ancestors and their ancestors and the gods they all believed in will come, inevitable and unfettered. This one of the few things of which I'm sure, in stark contrast to a similar topic that resides upon a shaky foundation in my mind. 
Though there could be a tomorrow, there could just as easily not be a tomorrow. The promise of tomorrow is much less of a promise and...

Microphone

thanksgiving kitchen

in my pocket of the world, lend an ear
and you will hear
a symphony of joy. 

The sizzle of bacon
to wrap the crisp,
crunchy potatoes
and the drunken laughter from memories 
experienced by youth
in the mouths of elders,
and the squeal of childish glee
as relatives long gone
return around a table
with creaking chairs
and humming legs. 

 

DEEP THOUGHT WINNERS!!

Welcome back! I’m so glad that all of you who entered put obvious time and effort into your entries, but, alas, there will be only 3 victors. As you may recall, the rewards are as follows:

  • Winners get 2 reviews (pieces of your choice), bio shoutout, 5 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
  • Runner ups (2 per prompt) get 1 review, 3 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
So without further ado, here are our winners: 

Prompt 2: Good and Bad

Winner: 
MarSan - What are you?
This piece gave me a lot to think about. I had goosebumps reading. Definitely can’t wait to read on my podcast. 

Runner-Ups:
A Rose - miss monde and the girl
Amazing work! I’d be remiss if I didn’t include you as runner up at least. Beautifully written, compelling story, pleasure to be apart of. 

thelostprince - Black and White?
I’ve been reading your work for a while. I’ve...

Word Collage

Infinities

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
I suppose we're both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is.
The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.
​And there's nothing like swimming for 50 hours in the ocean that gets you thinking about things like this.

 

Word Collage

Infinities

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.
I suppose we're both just trying to come to terms with how horrifying infinity really is.
​And there's nothing like swimming for 50 hours in the ocean that gets you thinking about things like this.
The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.
 

CONTEST: Deep Thought DUE NOV. 20

Hi! I'm hosting another competition. This is my second one. Let's dive in, shall we?

Rules

  • Follow WtW guidelines (no direct self-harm, no abuse, no erotica, etc.)
  • No more than 250 words
  • Other than that, it's kind of a free-for-all 
    • All genres accepted
Prompts
  1. Write a poem or flash fiction piece about your proudest moment in which you stood up for what you believed in. This one’s for the budding social justice activists out there
  2. Explain good and bad. Do they exist? Why? Why not? Looking for something that'll get my gears turning
  3. Tell me a deep riddle. The best one you can come up with. If I solve it, let me know.
Rewards
  • Winners get 2 reviews (pieces of your choice), bio shoutout, 5 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
  • Runner ups (2 per prompt) get 1 review, 3 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
How to Enter
  1. Pick a prompt, genre, and write with...

CONTEST: Deep Thought DUE NOV. 20

Hi! I'm hosting another competition. This is my second one. Let's dive in, shall we?

Rules

  • Follow WtW guidelines (no direct self-harm, no abuse, no erotica, etc.)
  • No more than 250 words
  • Other than that, it's kind of a free-for-all 
    • All genres accepted
Prompts
  1. Write a poem or flash fiction piece about your proudest moment in which you stood up for what you believed in. This one’s for the budding social justice activists out there
  2. Explain good and bad. Do they exist? Why? Why not? Looking for something that'll get my gears turning
  3. Tell me a deep riddle. The best one you can come up with. If I solve it, let me know.
Rewards
  • Winners get 2 reviews (pieces of your choice), bio shoutout, 5 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
  • Runner ups (2 per prompt) get 1 review, 3 likes, 4 comments and a reading on my podcast
How to Enter
  1. Pick a prompt, genre, and write with...

Why I Write

The Friends I’ve Made

My worst friend is Gillette. 
Razor-sharp and terribly mean,
she’d follow me on my worst days
drawing lines on my skin 
in red ink 
as I let her torment sink in. 

The lines grew longer
and wider
and deeper
until Gillette was always with me
and I began to find new friends. 

The best friend that came from Gillette
was Pilot. 
She was always with me, but she was nicer than Gillette. 

I kept her around
so that I would always
have the courage
to find the words
to stop Gillette. 

I love Pilot 
and though there are days where Gillette will stare
through my window
or knock
on my doorframe,
Pilot wards her off,
and with her I find strength. 

I write to have the courage to live. 

 

"Twin Size Mattress"


    Yip Harburg, celebrated composer of The Wizard of Oz, once said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” Harburg said that concerning the lyrics for the score of his 1939 classic, lyrics that - in conjunction with the orchestral progression and Judy Garland’s tactful approach to her character - allowed viewers of the film to feel the same sense of yearning that protagonist Dorothy feels as she journeys to the wizard. Music, in a variety of ways, can allow listeners to empathize with the artist or in many cases, feel recognized by the artist with whom they may share similar feelings. In the case of The Front Bottoms, an American rock group, their 2013 song “Twin Size Mattress” was well-received by their thousands of fans who greatly empathized with the artists’ message of the ubiquitous pain and great trauma of loneliness. 
    In their two-minute masterpiece, the band...

"Twin Size Mattress"


    Yip Harburg, celebrated composer of The Wizard of Oz, once said, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” Harburg said that concerning the lyrics for the score of his 1939 classic, lyrics that - in conjunction with the orchestral progression and Judy Garland’s tactful approach to her character - allowed viewers of the film to feel the same sense of yearning that protagonist Dorothy feels as she journeys to the wizard. Music, in a variety of ways, can allow listeners to empathize with the artist or in many cases, feel recognized by the artist with whom they may share similar feelings. In the case of The Front Bottoms, an American rock group, their 2013 song “Twin Size Mattress” was well-received by their thousands of fans who greatly empathized with the artists’ message of the ubiquitous pain and great trauma of loneliness. 
In their two-minute masterpiece, the band...

My World #this_is_my_world

I caress the steel strings
of a worn wooden body
and lament through my fingers.

I close my eyes
and feel the frets
under my gnarled fingers.

I clip one string
and let a stray drop of blood
race down it.

In my world,
this is what I do
to block out my anguish 
and pain
and guilt.

I haven't stopped
in a while.
I've got plenty
to be pained,
anguished,
and guilty about. 
 

Childish #thingsihate

I might sound petulant 
or childish 
or grouchy

But

hate
direction.

I hate being told
that I can't do something
because it's against a God
I don't believe in.

I hate being told
that I shouldn't speak up
because no one cares
about my voice.

I hate 
the nay-sayers
and homophobes
and frankly, awful people
that  hold me down 

I hate when they say
that because I'm opinionated 
and outspoken,
I'm childish.

They're wrong anyway.
I'm just here 
to be heard.

Abstract Ramblings #hearmyvoice

Abstraction is often one floor above you
and the glass ceiling
of bleak conformity. 

All great things are abstract,
not quite tangible but
wonderful nonetheless. 

Almost as if by magic,
so many weirdly wondrous abstractions lie in waiting,
just above your frizzy hair, 
to be found and used and remade. 

The man on the radio called robots 
and radios and robot radios and people
abstractions 
and I was insulted 
because I am tangible and so are 
robots and radioes and robot radios, maybe. 

Would humanoids be abstractions?
Robot arms?
I ramble aimlessly, abstractly about this often. 
I don’t know. 

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing bass of a good song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sight of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than me. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a foreign sense of tranquility overtakes me. My...

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing bass of a good song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sight of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than me. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a foreign sense of tranquility overtakes me. My...

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing bass of a good song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sight of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than me. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a foreign sense of tranquility overtakes me. My...

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing bass of a good song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sight of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than I. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a sense of tranquility overtakes me. My chest,...

I don't know

I'm leaving
and returning,
pushing
and pulling,
whispering
then screaming.

I don't know 
anything
anymore
except for
words
and fear
and love.

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing bass of a good song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sight of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than I. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a sense of tranquility overtakes me. My chest,...

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing electric bass of a good, solid song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on any given Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sights of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than I. As I slip my fingers into the position on the ragged nylon strings, a sense of tranquility...

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing electric bass of a good, solid song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on any given Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sights of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than I. As I slip my fingers into the position of the few chords I recognize, a sense of...

Open Prompt

Lifeline

    The bus smelled terrible this morning, like burning fry grease and the usual Axe body spray. The eighth-graders were loud and rude as usual, cursing and gossiping as I waited quietly for the boy in front of me to sit down. I trudged into the seat behind him, tripping over his foot and biting the inside of my cheek as I went; people usually assume I'm sad on the bus but in actuality, I'm just not in a social mood like everyone else. I guess that makes me weird or something since the eighth graders always wear these scowls on their faces that they'd like to think I don't notice.
    I don't know what it was about this morning, but it seemed as if the world was speeding by me and I was stuck in place; perhaps because I hadn't slept well last night since I was engrossed in the book Sarah insisted I read. To her credit, it is...

Sijo

Lost in Music

Strumming, humming, buzzing, tapping. I can't stop playing for anything.
And playing heals me. I'm not worthless or useless. I'm just me.
And I only want to be me so I don't stop playing.

Human Connections Essay Competition 2019

Islands

    Music is an island I've found in the turbulent seas of adolescence. It speaks to me in a language of rhythm and melodies that can't be specified. As I listen to the light guitar or dreamy synth or clashing electric bass of a good, solid song, I slowly feel a little bit better; I no longer ache. The weight of conformity, the brevity of each day, the pain of battling my turmoil all lessen as I melt away into the sands of musical islands. 
    Blasting the cacophonous sounds of the Front Bottoms, as I usually would on any given Saturday, I enter the cool, moist air of the Guitar Center, my eyes devouring the sights of sleek, slender guitars on all sides. I creep into the warmer, wetter air of the acoustic room and lift gently a guitar no bigger than I. As I slip my fingers into the position of the few chords I recognize, a...

The Past Within (PLEASE GIVE FEEDBACK)

To look within 
is to look back
to your past
 
Because you must know
where you come from
to truly know
who you are.
 
So when I look within,
I see a past 
full of women
 
Of strong,
elegant,
outspoken,
confident women
who raised me in their image
 
So that when I look within,
I see the women that I have been 
So the woman that I will be.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Call to Action #sixlittlestories

May our voices grow. Hear us. 

One-Liner

Heard

If the world gets loud, be louder; you will soon be heard.

other forms of writing

As of late, 
I've been experimenting.

I want to tell stories
light stories
in a new way.

so i made a comic.
and would love your support

other forms of writing

As of late, 
I've been experimenting.

I want to tell stories
light stories
in a new way.

so i made a comic.
and would love your support

The Few Moods of Cricket

    The wind howled and the roaring rapids spat on my cheeks as I plowed through the sand, drying my cheeks of the frigid water as well as tears. My cheeks were flushed, my fingers numb and cold as I kept tears at bay. The corners of my mouth were coated in the blood that was anyone’s but my own;  Father had been quite generous, but my body count had to double in return.
    It’s just three more people, I told myself, Three strangers; they mean nothing to you. 
    My bare feet dried as the sand gave way to the marshes and my churning stomach settled; I hoped earnestly that Father would be pleased. With luck and nothing short of a miracle, he might allow me socks! First, though, I should probably focus on dinner.
    “Father!” I called, gingerly closing our rotting wooden doors
    “Cricket?” he yelled in response, “I’ll be down in a second.”
    Booming down our creaking mahogany stairs,...

Universal Knowledge

Belonging

In many tongues and many places and many hearts, 
we all just want somewhere
that we belong

A Trillion Trees

Treehouse, Treehome

Hi, tree!
It's me!
I've come yet again
to climb your trunk,
eat your fruit,
and lay amongst your limbs
and build a treehouse in your hair.

And once I've built my treehouse,
I'll come more.
I'll spend long hours
climbing your trunk,
eating your fruit,
and laying amongst your limbs
 and build a treehome from in our treehouse.

And once I've made my treehome,
I'll have my children come
from far and wide
to climb your trunk,
eat your fruit,
and lay amongst your limbs
and build a trillion treehomes
for you. 

The Port Chicago 50: An Argumentative Essay on the Posthumous Pardoning of the Navy's Civil Rights Heroes

    It was 10:18 p.m. at the Port Chicago California Naval Magazine, and the men had finished loading thousands of tons of ammunition onto the Quinalt Victory and E.A. Bryan for the day. Left on the docks were another few hundred tons of explosives in railcars. These bombs were armed, "hot cargo" as the sailors called it. The men in their barracks were preparing for or already in bed. Another group of men was still loading the two ships. Moments later, the cracking of crushed wood and the ringing of an explosion rung out across the pier. A few more moments later, scalding hunks of metal were sent into the sky with white-hot flashes of the exploding cargo. That day, July 17, 1944, 320 men were killed in addition to another 390 wounded. This catastrophe, however, was just the beginning of the story for 50 African-American men who took a stand against the injustices that occurred after the explosion....

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Graceful, Elegant, Poised

    As the curtains opened and the spotlight burned his emerald eyes, Danny's heart raced. His vision's edges were blackening, and his stomach churned. The piano twinkled, and Danny lifted his arms gracefully and danced across the staged. The piano crescendoed and decrescendoed, lifted delicately, perfectly as Danny moved in unison with the music. He elegantly twirled and leaped and bounded across the shined wooden stage and as the final notes twinkled from the piano, Danny's feet slid underneath him in one swift motion. The crowd applauded violently and as the curtains closed and the spotlight faded, Danny's heart raced.

Words at 6pm

Why
is
life
so
gay?

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Graceful, Elegant, Poised

    As the spotlight shined in his emerald eyes, Danny's heart raced. His vision's edges were tinted black, and his stomach churned. The jubilant piano twinkled, and Danny lifted his arms gracefully and danced across the staged. The piano crescendoed and decrescendoed, lifted delicately, perfectly as Danny moved in unison with the music. He elegantly twirled and leaped and bounded across the shined wooden stage and as the final notes twinkled from the piano, Danny's feet slid underneath him in one swift motion. The crowd applauded violently and as the curtains closed and the spotlight faded, Danny's heart raced happily.

failure

i'm crying 
in bed 
and i'm too tired
for sleep.

i messed up.
not badly.
never badly.
i wouldn't live with myself
if i messed up badly.

but i failed.
i tried to keep quiet
and sweet
to keep my parents happy.

and i overreacted
to a joke
and dad got mad.

i'm sorry
i failed.
i'm worthless.

help.

Fear #imagineit

You brush a hand
across your bare arm.

You feel the raised beginnings
of goosebumps
under your trembling fingers.

And you scream,
not knowing why,
but it doesn't break the growing silence.

And the only sound
is
the slow
   steady
      stagnant
beating
of your eerily calm heart.

The silence overtakes you,
enveloping you in its familiar hold.

And your hand is still brushing
your bare arm.

And now your whole body
trembles in the silence.


 

SHORT STORY SAMPLE (PLEASE REVIEW)

    The darkness loomed overhead, and the droplets from the beginning of a thunderstorm slithered down the back of my neck. Pawing at sudden goosebumps, I looked up at the rundown shack of a house and wondered what it once had been. At its prime, the house might have been warm and inviting, hosting grand dinner parties and many a family gathering, but through years of neglect and longer years of abandonment, the majestic house had reduced to a  mold-ridden, asbestos-filled hut.
    It had been six months since the move, and I had strolled by the house without issue until Mom pointed it out to me. While it was intensely risky to go near it, after Mom mentioned the house to me, I was obsessed, almost as though I needed the house.
    Nearly every day, I wheeled my rusting bike from behind our rotted shed and ride to the house. I rode past the flickering streetlight, over the molding manhole,...

SHORT STORY SAMPLE (PLEASE REVIEW)

    The darkness loomed overhead, and the beginning of a thunderstorm dripped down the back of my neck. Absentmindedly pawing at goosebumps, I looked up at the rundown shack of a house and wondered what it once had been. At its prime, the house might have been warm and inviting, hosting grand dinner parties and many a family gathering, but through years of neglect and longer years of abandonment, the majestic house had reduced to a  mold-ridden, asbestos-filled hut with boarded windows.
    It had been six months since the move, and I strolled by the house without issue until Mom pointed it out to me. While it was intensely risky to go near it, I was drawn to the exotic beast of a house by energies I still can't explain. After Mom mentioned the house to me, I was obsessed.
    Nearly every day, I wheeled my rusting bike from behind our rotted shed and ride to the house. I rode...

SHORT STORY SAMPLE (PLEASE REVIEW)

    The darkness loomed overhead, and the beginning of a thunderstorm dripped down the back of my neck. Absentmindedly pawing at goosebumps, I looked up at the rundown shack of a house and wondered what it once had been. At its prime, the house might have been warm and inviting, hosting grand dinner parties and many a family gathering, but through years of disrepair and longer years of abandonment, the majestic house had reduced to a  mold-ridden, asbestos-filled hut with boarded windows.
    It had been six months since the move, and I strolled by the house without issue until Mom pointed it out to me. While it was intensely risky to go near it, I was drawn to the exotic beast of a house by energies I still can't explain.

Sijo

Lost in Music

Strumming, humming, buzzing, tapping. I can't stop playing for anything.
But playing heals me. I'm not worthless or useless. I'm just me.
And I only want to be me so I don't stop playing.

SHORT STORY SAMPLE (PLEASE REVIEW)

    The darkness loomed overhead, and the beginning of a thunderstorm dripped down the back of my neck. Absentmindedly pawing at goosebumps, I looked up at the rundown shack of a house and wondered what it once had been. At its prime, the house might have been warm and inviting, hosting grand dinner parties and many a family gathering, but through years of disrepair and longer years of abandonment, the majestic house had reduced to a  mold-ridden, asbestos-filled hut with boarded windows.
    It had been six months since the move, and I strolled by the house without issue until Mom pointed it out to me. While it was intensely risky to go near it, I was drawn to the exotic beast of a house by energies I still can't explain.

Little Voice

There's this voice
in my head
that's monstrous.

Always pointing out 
my flaws,
my mistakes,
my wrongs.

And that voice is 
so loud
and I yell trying 
to force it out.

A futile attempt,
it says.
And all at once, I realize
that the voice in my head
is mine.

Help me.
 

I don't know

I'm leaving
and returning,
pushing
and pulling,
whispering
then screaming.

I don't know 
anything
anymore
except for words
and fear
and love.

Hi

Hey. I was looking through the entries for the songwriting competition and you guys are wicked talented. Just wanted to say that. If your song is on SoundCloud, YouTube, Google Drive, etc, comment the link. I’d like to put some of them on my podcast if that’s okay with you. They’re really cool and I’d like to help share them since I suck at writing my own songs. You guys would get all the credit, don’t worry. Scouts Honor. So yeah. Comment if you want. Bye

COLLEGE ESSAY ****REVIEWS ARE VITAL****

Like any aspect of growth and development, the teenage years are a part of life. Thus far, I have enjoyed mine to the best of my ability, filling them with long-lasting friendships and memories because I need something positive to look back on when these next few years get hard. Lately, however, the hardest part of my teenage years has been my ever-changing journey of self-discovery.
My self-discovery began in my first year of middle school. During this time, I was preparing myself for the move my family was making at the end of the year and trying to make a few more memories with my friends of six years.
At one point, we ended up discussing music during our free period and a friend suggested that I listen to a band called “Panic! At the Disco.” I was certainly skeptical at first, wondering what was so great about a new band with such an obscure name, but at my...

On Courage

A Not-So-Well-Behaved Woman

Stay home!
Keep house!
Quiet Down!

I can't
I won't.

I want to leave the house 
and see the world
and make a mark on it
because
it's just as much mine as yours.

Soon, 
you'll marry a nice man
and raise a quaint family, dear!

No!

I want an outspoken,
opinionated,
kick-ass
woman. 
She could be my 
not-so-quaint
family.

And I could apologize
for breaking your rules,
but why make amends
for your wrongdoings?
 

Regarding my podcast......

Apologies to all the wonderful writers that entered my podcast, but I have decided to discontinue my reviews due to the simple fact that I don't think they would benefit any of you. You are all so much more talented than I am, so any review that I can give wouldn't measure up to your abilities. Feel free to leave your desired pieces to be read instead of reviewed. I'm sorry

College Essay ***PLEASE REVIEW***

    Like any aspect of growth and development, the teenage years are a part of life. Thus far, I have enjoyed mine to the best of my ability, filling them with long-lasting friendships and memories because I need something positive to look back on when these next few years get hard. Lately, however, the hardest part of my teenage years has been my ever-changing journey self-discovery, which begins my summary of this journey within my teenage years.
    My teenage journey of self-discovery began in my first year of middle school. During this time, I was preparing myself for the move my family was making at the end of the year and trying to make a few more memories with my friends of six years. At one point, we ended up discussing music during our free period and a friend suggested that I listen to a band called “Panic! At the Disco.” I was certainly skeptical at first, wondering what was so...

On Courage

A Not-So-Well-Behaved Woman

Stay home!
Keep house!
Quiet Down!

I can't
I won't.

I want to leave the house 
and see the world
and make a mark on it
because
it's just as much mine as yours.

Soon, 
you'll marry a nice man
and raise a quaint family, dear!
No!

I want an outspoken,
opinionated,
kick-ass
woman. 
She could be my 
not-so-quaint
family.

And I could apologize
for breaking your rules,
but why make amends
for your wrongdoings?
 

College Essay ***PLEASE REVIEW***

    Like any aspect of growth and development, the teenage years are a part of life. Thus far, I have enjoyed mine to the best of my ability, filling them with long-lasting friendships and memories because I need something positive to look back on when these next few years get hard. Lately, however, the hardest part of my teenage years has been my ever-changing journey self-discovery, which begins my summary of this journey within my teenage years.
    My teenage journey of self-discovery began in my first year of middle school. During this time, I was preparing myself for the move my family was making at the end of the year and trying to make a few more memories with my friends of six years. At one point, we ended up discussing music during our free period and a friend suggested that I listen to a band called “Panic! At the Disco.” I was certainly skeptical at first, wondering what was so...

Water Body

Driftwood

Broken and battered and abandoned 
in the cruel unforgiving sand. 

Lifted by a forgiving mother
into a new home. 

Little Driftwood was lost,
but has found a new home 
with the sea. 

Auntie Flo

Auntie Flo paid me a visit today. 
She only comes for me or my mom
and she doesn’t seems to like us. 

She stopped visiting Mom
 before my brother was born,
but she can’t seem to leave me alone. 

I don’t like Auntie Flo. 

Text To Speech (PODCAST COMPETITION WINNERS)

Thank you to all writers that submitted their poems to my podcast.

The winners are as follows
EFLATTERING1.618:
 https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/115511/version/220342

CageySagey234:
https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/115230/version/219556

Weirdo: 

    • https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/100829/version/220002
    • https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/113227/version/221576
Puppet_Master:
https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/116558/version/221726 

Bride124:
https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/108115/version/206112

Again, thanks for submitting. For those who want to hear my renditions of their work, the episode is available on all common podcast platforms. 

Waiting

The world went silent
and tears rolled down
the dirty faces 
of sweaty teens.

The peeling soccer ball 
skidded to a halt at my feet. 
The whistle blew
and our chests heaved
and our jerseys were stuck
to our backs. 

The air was thick
with our sorrow
and the wailing
of our crumbled teammate.

Her foot was at a disarray 
and we were waiting
for an eternity
until the ambulance came. 

Its sirens pierced the thick air
and our sorrow lifted
but still 
tears rolled down
the dirty faces 
of sweaty teens
and we were waiting
for an eternity 
until they stopped. 
 

Waiting

The world went silent
and tears rolled down
the dirty faces 
of sweaty teens. 

The air was thick
with our sorrow
and the wailing
of our crumbled teammate.

Her foot was at a disarray 
and we were waiting
for an eternity
until the ambulance came. 

Its sirens pierced the thick air
and our sorrow lifted
but still 
tears rolled down
the dirty faces 
of sweaty teens
and we were waiting
for an eternity 
until they stopp
 

Unwanted

Wishing
and hoping
and lusting
for a girl 
that will love me
as I am. 

For a girl
that accepts me,
but still finds ways 
to better me. 

For a girl 
who laughs
at bad jokes 
and cries during 
worse movies. 

For a girl
whose eyes 
shine brighter
when I smile. 

Wishing 
and hoping
and lusting
for a girl 
that may never come
because I’m unwanted. 

My Girl

You're the guy
that's not a guy
but treats me like a gentleman

You hold the door
and tip your hat.
You're the guy I've fallen for.

And you,
my love,
you are the guy
the other girls adore

but I'm the one 
the calls you mine.
The one you're fighting for.

You're the guy 
that's not a guy
because you are 
my girl.

Podcast Poetry Competition #T2S

Hi there! I’m Harlow, for those of you who don’t know me, and I’m a writer! 
I’m also sorry that was awkward; I have no idea how to start this. 

I have a podcast for my writing, writing app reviews, and general stupidity (if you count that one episode) that’s called Text to Speech! I’m low on material and wanted to give fellow writers a chance to get their work out their. This is a POETRY ONLY competition, so I’ll be choosing from your best poetry. I'll leave a peer review for every entry just in case you want to edit something later and repost it, but I'll read the piece that shows up based on the link you comment below.

Requirements: No longer than 200 words. Can be about anything. Title piece with #T2S and leave the link in the comments

Deadline: June 1st (plenty of time I hope!)

I’ll choose 5 pieces, which will be read on...

Podcast Poetry Competition #T2S

Hi there! I’m Harlow, for those of you who don’t know me, and I’m a writer! 
I’m also sorry that was awkward; I have no idea how to start this. 

I have a podcast for my writing, writing app reviews, and general stupidity (if you count that one episode) that’s called Text to Speech! I’m low on material and wanted to give fellow writers a chance to get their work out their. This is a POETRY ONLY competition, so I’ll be choosing from your best poetry. 

Requirements: No longer than 200 words. Can be about anything. Title piece with #T2S and leave the link in the comments

Deadline: June 1st (plenty of time I hope!)

I’ll choose 5 pieces, all of which will be read on my podcast. Also, prizes include a follow, 3 comments, 3 reviews (pieces of your choice)


Good luck :)
 

Untitled

I’m
so 
tired 
of being 
scared,
worried,
and sad. 

I
haven’t 
slept
because
I feel like 
I’m not worth sleep
or even life. 

I’m
so 
tired
of life.

Monsters #MentalHealthMonth

Cracks drawn
on dry skin
by salty tears
that the monster made
under my flesh. 

In my mind,
it tells me
I’m worthless,
useless,
better off dead. 

All I can do
is agree
because 
I am so scared
of the monster 
that is me. 

I scream 
to quiet my voice
that's pounding
in my head
and it works
for a moment. 

The monster gets louder
and I scream harder
and I crumble
under the weight 
of the monster
that is me. 

Monsters #MentalHealthMonth

Cracks drawn
on dry skin
by salty tears
that the monster caused. 

In my mind,
they tell me
I’m worthless,
useless,
better off dead. 

All I can do
is agree
because 
I am so scared
of the monster 
that is me. 

I scream 
to quiet my voice
that's pounding
in my head
and it works
for a moment. 

The monster gets louder
and I scream harder
and I crumble
under the weight 
of the monster
that is me. 

Podcast Poetry Competition #T2S

Hi there! I’m Harlow, for those of you who don’t know me, and I’m a writer! 
I’m also sorry that was awkward; I have no idea how to start this. 

I have a podcast for my writing, writing app reviews, and general stupidity (if you count that one episode) that’s called Text to Speech! I’m low on material and wanted to give fellow writers a chance to get their work out their. This is a POETRY ONLY competition, so I’ll be choosing from your best poetry. 

Requirements: No longer than 200 words. Can be about anything. Title piece with #T2S and leave the link in the comments

Deadline: June 1st (plenty of time I hope!)

I’ll choose 5 pieces, all of which will be read on my podcast. Also, prizes include a follow, 3 comments, 3 reviews (pieces of your choice)

 

Monsters #MentalHealthMonth

Cracks drawn
on dry skin
by salty tears
that the monster caused. 

In my mind,
they tell me
I’m worthless,
useless,
better off dead. 

All I can do
is agree
because 
I am so scared
of the monster 
that is me. 

I scream 
to quiet my voice
that's pounding
in my head
and it works
momentarily. 

The monster gets louder
and I scream harder
and I crumble
under the weight 
of the monster. 

To Society

I don’t know
what to say
to wear
to believe
but it’s not my fault. 
Knowing
what to say
to wear
to believe
changes
as you see fit. 
Stop it! 
I should know
what to say
to wear
to believe 
based on
what I say,
but I don’t know
and 
that’s your fault. 

 

The Few Moods of Cricket

The wind howled and the roaring rapids spat on my cheeks as I plowed through the sand, drying my cheeks of the frigid water as well as tears. My cheeks were flushed, my fingers numb and cold as I kept tears at bay. The corners of my mouth were coated in the blood that was anyone’s but my own;  Father had been quite generous, but my body count had to double in return.
It’s just three more people, I told myself, Three strangers; they mean nothing to you.
My bare feet dried as the sand gave way to the marshes and my churning stomach settled; I hoped earnestly that Father would be pleased. With luck and nothing short of a miracle, he might allow me socks! First, though, I should probably focus on dinner.
“Father!” I called, gingerly closing our rotting wooden door. 
“Cricket?” he yelled in response, “I’ll be down in a second.”
Booming down our creaking mahogany stairs,...

Not Quite Perfect, Not Quite Imperfect

I’ve never fit in
and
I’ve never known why. 

Maybe because of
society’s views of
normal
or
Perhaps because 
I don’t need your rules. 

All in all,
I am 
abnormal 
crazy 
nonconforming
and unliked. 

That, in general,
is how I define perfect. 

How do you?

Clout

In the sea
of nonsensical posts
and memes
and beautiful poetry,
my work,
my joke,
my post
is lost. 

And for a moment,
I feel useless
until I see that 
one like,
one comment,
one review. 

That little bit
of validation 
of gratification 
of clout,
as I’ve heard it called,
is enough to lift my spirits 
until the next post. 
 

The Lonely Pyromaniac

    I don't remember when the burning started. Maybe after the divorce, maybe after my brother's suicide, maybe after I crumbled under the stress of life. I can’t remember the last time I saw my family.  Ma kicked me out when I burned the sitting room rugs to rags, and had me institutionalized when she found the matches. It's my own damn fault if you consider I had 'em lined up in order by burn damage on my charred mahogany desk.
    Ma forbade my friends from seeing me the month before I was institutionalized, so they all think I hate 'em. In reality, I might've needed them, but it's too late now. I’ve got friends, actually; my matches and the gasoline. They've always been there for me. Even now in a Manhattan cold alley, they're here. They help me burn bits of aluminum to throw at the alley cats and allow me to relieve myself from the wildfire of life.
    The aluminum was...

I Wonder

I wonder
what it’s like to be loved.
 
Not by family
or friends, 
but by a girl
who knows
all my quirks
and insecurities 
and pet peeves. 

 I wonder
what it’s like to be loved. 

By a girl 
who had been 
and will always be
my better half. 

By a girl
that brings out 
the best in me,
which is something
I didn't know I had.

By a girl
whose hand is soft
while it’s intertwined in mine. 
Whose eyes shine like stars
when she looks at me. 
Whose lips are gentle
against mine.  

I wonder what it’s like to be loved
by her. 

Will #Lossislife

Memory: I was 11 and I started to realize everything that was wrong with me. I wasn’t the right weight or sexuality or height or level of development and it really wore me down. I lost something really important that year: my will to live. 

Winter was new,
the grass smothered in frost 
and dew that had a calming scent. 
I needed something calming. 

I sat in bed that day,
crying and wondering. 
I walked over to my mirror
and spat at it. 
The mirror lies. 

I looked at my phone
Makayla 7 Missed Calls. 
Makayla deserved better than me
because
I am nothing
and no one would care 
if maybe I just weren’t here. 

I stared in the mirror 
and snatched a Sharpie
of my dresser. 
Fat ass
Pig
Worthless
Dyke. 

I stared at my mirror
now full of truths
that the monsters had told me
in my years. 

I threw my phone at the mirror
and it shattered ...

Hope #Ashes

The ashes were made
of hate
and self-loathing 
and hurt
and the fire around them
burned as bright as ever. 

I was trapped in the fire
and in my own hatred
and out of the ashes, came a hero. 
That hero was Hope. 

And in that moment,
the fire dwindled
to embers
and I knew I was going to be okay. 
 

I don’t want it

My eyelids are heavy
and yawns frequent my lips
but I can’t sleep. 

The monsters hide 
just behind my eyelids 
and if they close,
the monsters come. 

When the monsters come,
I shatter
like the window
I hit with a baseball 
years ago. 

I don’t want to shatter. 
I don’t want to sleep. 
I don’t want the monsters. 

Better Now

I was crying
but it’s raining. 
I like rain. 
I was sad
but it’s raining. 
Rain helps me. 
I’m still crying
and it’s still raining
but I’m better now.
I like rain. 

Returning

Returning to the Old Me

I think
back
to a young me
a happy me
from the cracked leather chair 
in my therapist’s office
and I realize that 
that’s the me I’d like to be;
Happy
Innocent
Undaunted
and perfectly okay with who I am. 
I look at myself in the mirror
through the eyes of a younger me 
and realize that 
in fresh eyes,
I need help
and that’s just what I’m getting. 

 

Too Loud

I feel loud
and empty
and useless
and embarrassed
and scared. 

The monsters bought friends
and they’re loud 
when they tell me 
I’m nothing 
and I agree,
afraid of
what happens 
if I don’t. 

I try rock 
to drown out the monsters
but the noise
is overwhelming 
And all of a sudden
it's too loud
and I’m crying. 

Why Can’t We Save Anybody?

Because 
they don’t want
to be saved.
Because
they can’t
be
 saved. 
Because
no one
saves everybody. 
 

Why Can’t We Save Anybody?

Because 
they don’t want
to be saved.
Because
they can’t 
be saved. 
Because
no one
saves everybody. 

Finally

finally wore overalls today
because
finally had the confidence 
to show my legs. 

finally got the help I needed
because
finally opened up 
to someone. 

Power in Words

Lines
make letters. 
Letters
make words. 
Words
make sentences. 
Sentences
make paragraphs. 
Paragraphs
make stories. 
Stories 
change the world. 

I Wonder

I wonder
what it’s like to be loved. 
Not by family
or friends, 
but by a girl
who knows
all my quirks
and insecurities 
and pet peeves. 
I wonder what it’s like to be loved
by her. 

I Wonder

I wonder
what it’s like to be loved. 
Not by family
or friends, 
but by a girl
who knows
all my quirks
and insecurities 
and pet peeves. 
I wonder what it’s like to be loved
by her. 

Not so Small Talk

Person: “Hi, how are you?” 
Person: “Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it?”
Me: “I doubt you care, but I’m fine and no the weather sucks. It’s been raining for a month, idiot.”
Hi, I’m Harlow. I hate small talk mostly because I’m awkward and don’t like unnecessary noise. To be frank to all those who’ve tried small talk with me, I don’t hate you, per se, but let’s be honest. Do you REALLY care about how I am? Or my opinion on the WEATHER? You just needed filler because you didn’t have the guts to ask the hard hitting questions. I’m here to ask those questions on your behalf, though these aren’t probably the questions you would ask. Comment your answers and like if you agree.

  • What’s your favorite pasta? Linguini
  • Do you like rain? Yes. a thousand times yes. 
  • What is your greatest fear? I’m my greatest fear
  • How are you really? I am tired and hungry and feeling a...

0-9

My First Love

0 is the amount of light in my soul and self-worth in my head

1 is the number of people who understand that

2 is the number of people I’m hurting 

3 is the words I’ve never been able to say

4 is the letters in her name

5 is the days I spend thinking about her

6 is the hours we spend talking

7 is the days we’ve spent arguing and ignor

8 is the minutes I’ve wondered where she was

9 is the minute she came back 
 

Tick Tock, Wall Clock

I search the room
feverishly 
for any sign of life 
in the near-dead herd
of testing children. 
I find nothing
but
the 
slow
steady
maddening 
ticking 
of the wall clock. 
Tick-tock!
says the wall clock
Don’t be late now!
I hate that clock. 
 

Almost

I almost wore overalls today
because
I almost had the confidence 
to show my legs. 

I almost cried yesterday
because
I almost lost a friend.  

#sweetly bitter Trapped in my own Solace

I find refuge, 
solace,
companionship
in the loud guitars,
animated drums,
and angst-ridden lyrics 
of rock.

It has helped me
through good times
and bad.
For better
or for worse,
rock is my only
true friend

So much so
that it's been a while since
I've opened up.

I feel trapped
in a cycle
of my own doing.
I am trapped
in my own solace

The Lonely Pyromaniac

    I don't remember when the burning started. Maybe after the divorce, maybe after my brother's suicide, maybe after I crumbled under the stress of life. I can’t remember the last time I saw my family.  Ma kicked me out when I burned the sitting room rugs to rags, and had me institutionalized when she found the matches. It's my own damn fault if you consider I had 'em lined up in order by burn damage on my charred mahogany desk.
    Ma forbade my friends from seeing me the month before I was institutionalized, so they all think I hate 'em. In reality, I might've needed them, but it's too late now. I’ve got friends, actually; my matches and the gasoline. They've always been there for me. Even now in a Manhattan cold alley, they're here. They help me burn bits of aluminum to throw at the alley cats and allow me to relieve myself from the wildfire of life.
    The aluminum was...

Odors

Carpet
This seems to be
a recurring scent.
I smell it
whenever I forget my socks
in 
carpeted homes.
It's a salty smell, and the dust tickles your nose
slightly.
You realize the salt
is the dust
and race to the nearest pair of socks.
Books 
Little Worlds
in their own right
transporting me from this
ungodly plain.
Books
smell like vanilla and ink.
You realize
that the smell
is all you really need to get you through
the day

 

Footprints

In My Wake

I have not lived a long life, but I have left a long trail. A trail of friends, memories, and a surprisingly large amount of waste. According to the quiz (see prompt), my top three carbon contributing factors are:

  • Goods
  • Mobility
  • Diet
Apparently, I eat too much meat and travel too many places by car and used many processed goods, but there's another legacy I'd like to leave. You see, dear reader, I have not lived a long life, so I plan to leave a long trail. A trail of changed minds, turned heads, and empowered voices. By the time I die, I hope to:
  • Have helped a friend when they truly need it and when they may just be feeling a bit sluggish
  • Have persuaded minds towards causes that impassion me
  • To be truly loved deeply but not widely

My Dream Girl

All the other girls
are obsessed with 
boys
and fashion
and Instagram
and rap music
so maybe it makes me
weird or
different or
strange
to want
to sit here and figure out the world of 
algebra 
and My Chemical Romance
and short stories 
and love
with her

I was Going to Wear Overalls Today

I was going to wear overalls today
but it was cold 
and I hate my legs. 

They’re decent looking;
soccer keeps them toned.

But they’re also scarred
from falls
scrapes
cuts. 

But oh well!
I prefer jeans anyway. 

I’ll wear overalls tomorrow
if it’s warm. 
 

Monster

You're not fat!
Girls would awe. 
You’re of healthy weight.
Mom would reassure.
That’s just hormones.
Dad would dismiss.

I didn’t listen or 
I listened
but didn’t believe.

You’re fat!
The monsters would say.
Gross!
Not enough!


I shouldn’t listen but
I listened 
and believed. 

The funny thing was
there were no monsters. 
I’m the only monster here. 

The Widow and the Dowager

Section 1: Joyce
    Although I grew up poor, I was always happy. Even though there were times when there was never enough food on the table or times when my father would come home intoxicated and angry and my mother would abuse my sisters and me for not speaking properly, I tried to act like life was normal; I tried to act as though I was like the girls who’d look at my family with looks of false compassion. Once I was old enough to marry, I did. I married a wonderful, caring man only because I loved him. Patrick McMillan was the love of my life, but he wasn’t rich. I never wanted to marry a rich man like my sisters, so Patrick seemed perfect when we met outside the slum that I call home. He was sweet, nervous, and smart; I fell head over heels. 
    He couldn’t afford college, but for someone who’d never had higher...

Meeting You

My usual Wednesday is plain. I wake up, eat a shitty breakfast and wash windows at the Oak Street apartment. A spritz of Windex, a swipe of the squeegee, and a repeat until the window’s bird crap-free. It’s simple and the motions have become second nature. My days have been numerous, arduous, and uneventful until the cat showed up. She watched me wash the windows in her apartment and sometimes mirrored the motion of the squeegee on her side of the glass. Some times she sat as though she’d been waiting for something new to happen. This went on for weeks and it was the highlight of my once uneventful Wednesdays, but the she stopped showing up. Wednesdays numerous, arduous, and uneventful yet again and I found myself looking through the glass before or after I cleaned it just to catch a glimpse of her. For a few weeks I didn’t see her until she came back; this time, she...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Sundew

The sun caressed the dew
on the soft morning grass.
I savored the flavor,
inhaling ever so slightly 
and letting the scent stroke my nose.

The dew was golden and thick
like honey;
With each step,
it carefully kissed the crevices
of my bare feet.

A bird perched on a birch tree
above the dew-coated grass
and twittered softly,
And the sun caressed the dew
on the soft morning grass.

#SomethingisComing

There’s too much noise,
not enough air,
and I can’t see. 
Tears are flooding my vision 
and I can’t stop it. 
Something is coming
I know what’s coming
and I’m scared. 

Bread and Light

Promise of Music

I could crumble
under the weight 
of math and gossip and girls and life,
but I haven’t 
not yet. 
I fight through each day with the promise of tomorrow weighing me down. 
Tomorrow isn’t a promise, but I try. 
I’ve got my music 
tomorrow
and that’s what keeps me going. 

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Sundew

The sun caressed the dew
on the soft morning grass.
I savored the flavor,
inhaling ever so slightly 
and letting the scent stroke my nose.

The dew was golden and thick
like honey;
With each step,
it carefully kissed the crevices
of my bare feet.

A bird perched on a birch tree
above the dew-coated grass
and twittered softly,
And the sun caressed the dew
on the soft morning grass.

My V-Neck Hatred

I feel
underdeveloped
young
gross. 
I wear 
big t shirts 
baggy jeans
men’s hoodies
because I hate
my body. 
V necks
and skinny jeans
and miniskirts
can go to hell. 
They try to expose what doesn’t exist
or rather 
what does exist, but doesn’t look quite right
 

Jukebox Safe Haven

I walked into the diner
to escape from the storm
and to smell all of the sizzlin’ bacon
on the skillet
 
It was a warm rain and
The winds crashin’ and howlin’
Tryin’ to break down the diner they were
 
I put a quarter in the Jukebox
And listened to the bacon sizzle
While the jukebox rattled and shook
Tryin’ to find my song.
 
The Jukebox rumbled and sighed,
Then the lights died!
We sat in the dark, tremblin’
Until the Jukebox played the Jitterbug
And we escaped.

Herr Adler

Bombs whistled in the air. My nostrils became enveloped in the lingering scent of gunpowder and the ashes burned my eyes into a bloodshot red through the cracked door. My mother was sleeping on the boiling floor that shook with each bomb, and I realized that I had awoken.
 I jumped from underneath the blanket and grabbed my satchel, ready to go to work. 
“Mother,” I hissed, “Get up. You need to eat.”
“Adler go get dressed,” she said as I looked down at my bloomers.
I found a pair of decently clean trousers among a wet pile of gray and brown clothes in the corner of the room. By the time I’d gotten them on, my mother was up and about as she shuffled around to find me a cloth to cover my face.
“Here,” she said throwing me a pair of dingy, brown socks, “rip them into cloth for your face.”
“Okay,” I replied as I wet the...

When the Rope Broke

In the scorching, boiling heat of the Sun here in the South, any pool is an oasis in a 6-month long desert. While most love the refreshing mood of wading in the cold, crisp water, some, like me, have a fear; A fear of what lies beyond the rope that divides the pool in two.
The rope is a safety symbol that ensures those who can’t swim don’t veer too far from the shallow end in which they dwell. But in some scenarios, the rope has broken.
In many pools, ropes have broken, but they were tied back together or repurchased. Seeing as we live in Pinefield, Georgia, which is a relatively small town, the rope broke and wasn’t replaced until an unfathomable tragedy occurred.
A group of children laughing and splashing in the safe, untouchable shallow end were seemingly swept away when the rope broke. A looming and eerie silence erupted amongst me and my fellow bystanders the children’s...

The Silence

I was born into a world of noise. The bustling of nurses, phones ringing, heart monitors, and other glorious noises of the hospital is something I thought I’d never miss, yet here I am 11 years later, hoping to hear the slightest noise. A raindrop, a whisper, anything that could remind me of noise. It’s April 27, 2018, and a few weeks ago, the sound ceased to exist. My friend Brooke texted me saying that she couldn’t hear, and before I knew it, I saw a red and green striped flash, couldn’t hear either. Panicked, I myself walked outside my home to see dogs barking, but no sound. An ambulance zipped by with its lights flashing; silence. My mom was yelling for me to get out the road, and I couldn’t hear her; I would have died if I hadn’t seen her point to the oncoming Chevrolet Impala. People were outside screaming, I think. Two women had passed out after losing their hearing. I felt my...

Jukebox Safe Haven

I walked into the diner
to escape from the southern heat
and to smell all of the sizzlin’ bacon
on the skillet
 
It was raining that day
The winds crashin’ and howlin’
Tryin’ to break down the diner they were
 
I put a quarter in the Jukebox
And listened to the bacon sizzle
While the jukebox rattled and shook
Tryin’ to find my song.
 
The Jukebox rumbled and sighed,
Then the lights died!
We sat in the dark, tremblin’
Until the Jukebox played the Jitterbug
And we escaped

The Lonely Pyromaniac

    I can’t remember the last time I saw my family.  Ma kicked me out when I burned the sitting room rugs to rags, and had me institutionalized when she found the matches. It's my own damn fault if you consider I had 'em lined up in order by burn damage on my charred mahogany desk. I don't remember when the burning started. Maybe after the divorce, maybe after my brother's suicide, maybe after the pressure of life blazed through my sole and raged there for a while. Ma forbade my friends from seeing me the month before I was institutionalized, so they all think I hate 'em. In reality, I might've needed them, but it's too late now. I’ve got friends, actually; my matches and the gasoline. They've always been there for me. Even now in a Manhattan cold alley, they're here. They help me burn bits of aluminum to throw at the alley cats and allow me to relieve myself...

Anthology of my Moods

The air is thick, but I can't seem to breathe. I'm wound up, but my mind is reeling. My mouth is dry but I'm drowning. I'm drowning under the pressures of life that extinguished the flames of serenity. It's my fault, anyway; I got too close to the flames and soon I was burning.
    - Anxiety

I made you happy.
That made me happy,
but it was momentary.
I'm  sad again
    - Momentary Happiness

I'm tired?
Sad?
Stressed?
Scared?
I don't know
anymore.
    - Ball of Emotions

My life is fine.
I just don't knoe if it's mine
to have.
    - Worhty 

The Lonely Pyromaniac

    I can’t remember the last time I saw my family.  Ma kicked me out when I burned the sitting room rugs to rags, and had me institutionalized when she found the matches. It's my own damn fault if you consider I had 'em lined up in order by burn damage on my charred mahogany desk. I don't remember when the burning started. Maybe after the divorce, maybe after my brother's suicide, maybe after the pressure of life blazed through my sole and raged there for a while. Ma forbade my friends from seeing me the month before I was institutionalized, so they all think I hate 'em. In reality, I might've needed them, but it's too late now. I’ve got friends; my matches and the gasoline. They've always been there for me. Even now in a Manhattan cold alley, they were there. They helped burn bits of aluminum to throw at the alley cats and allow me to relieve myself from...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Sundew

The sun kissed the dew
on the soft morning grass.
I savored the flavor,
inhaling ever so slightly 
and letting the scent tickle my nose

The dew was golden and thick,
like honey or marmalade;
with each step
it carefully caressed the crevices
of my bare feet.

A bird perched on a birch tree 
above the dew-coated grass
and twittered softly. 
And the sun kissed the dew
on the soft morning grass

The Prettiest Wallflower

I’m a people watcher. Always have been. Maybe because I find it hard to talk to them. Maybe because I prefer my own little world. Whatever the reason, this bullshit party was the perfect reason to watch people. The drunk cheerleaders seemed bubbly, but from previous research, I give them an hour before a downward spiral ensued. To be honest, I hate parties, but this one seemed interesting. The theater nerds were having a poetry slam in the guest room; I could’ve gone there and listened to some new stuff. First I had to find the guest room in a stranger’s house, so I needn’t say I didn’t hear any new poetry. My friends, of course, flaked to go suck some football players’ dicks, so I’m stuck here in the corner watching. I suppose that’s fine.

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Sundew

The sun kissed the dew
on the soft morning grass
I savored the flavor
inhaling ever so slightly 
and letting the scent tickle my nose

The dew was golden and thick
like honey or marmalade
and with each step
it carefully caressed the crevices
of my bare feet.

A bird perched on a birch tree 
above the dew-coated grass
and twittered softly
as the sun kissed the dew
on the soft morning grass

The Prettiest Wallflower

I’m a people watcher. Always have been. Maybe because I find it hard to talk to them. Maybe because I prefer my own little world. Whatever the reason, this bullshit party was the perfect reason to watch people. The drunk cheerleaders seemed bubbly, but from previous research, I give them an hour before a downward spiral ensued. To be honest, I hate parties, but this one seemed interesting. The theater nerds were having a poetry slam in the guest room; I could’ve gone there and listened to some new stuff. First I had to find the guest room in a stranger’s house, so I needn’t say I didn’t hear any new poetry. My friends, of course, flaked to go suck some football players’ dicks, so I’m stuck here in the corner watching. I suppose that’s fine.

The Lonely Pyromaniac

I can’t remember the last time I saw my family. I don’t recall the last time I had friends. Actually, that’s partially true, since I’ve got friends; my matches and the gasoline. The rain poured slick on a beat up Caddy, so I didn’t expect it to light. That night, I didn’t really expect anything to light, but I had to try. I had to. The drenched the cracked leather seats in gasoline and poured some in the dents on the roof. I lit a match and lit my cigarette first. A good smoke gave me a good mood. I lit a second match and watch with a euphoric delight as the orange flames enveloped the car and licked at the wet sidewalk. This was thanks to my only friends.

At Gab’s Request

You, my 3 wonderful followers and anyone else who happens to read my mediocre work, are in for what I believe is quite a treat. For my next few entries, I’ll be posting short, raw, unedited paragraphs that are stories based off of the suggestions that my best friend gave me. I’m looking forward to your edits and advice that will turn these Saturday night ramblings into full fledged stories that will be reposted here and read on my podcast. Thanks

Love,
Harlow

Strike

Girl-Boy

In our youth, we're given too much or too little time to goof off and be kids. We try to make friends and figure out our lives, falling and getting up just to try a little harder, which is something to which I cannot stay passive. My friend decided it'd be fun to dress up as an anime character, but an issue arose with our biology teacher in the sense of the character was female and my friend was male. My teacher verbally forced him the remove the outfit, which did not oppose dress code or county policy, and I took offense a hypothetical situation that,in this era, might not be so hypothetical. Transgender or nonbinary students choosing to dress to the identity that they're comfortable in should not be reprimanded but praised as it encourages us as people to be ourselves, which is an issue I would more than speak out for.

The Rickety Motel

    My thick red hoodie was drenched by the pouring rain as I trudged my way to the motel that was shown on the dripping map. I prayed that a room was open as men and women raced into it.
    The vile woman at the front desk had thrown me my rusty room key that seemed to be a bit bloody, as though she’d cut herself on it; her hands were unblemished.  She forced me down the hallway, into a stairwell and screamed at me my room number before running back to her desk. She shortly thereafter went out of the back door.
    I must the last guest, I smiled to myself, Lucky me.
    The air was still in the winding corridors of the motel; it was damp and muggy, but at the same time dry and smelled potently of this unidentifiable stench. While I came here to get away from the pressures and expectations of my overachieving parents, something...

Open Prompt

Lifeline

    The bus smelled terrible this morning, like burning fry grease and the usual Axe body spray. The eighth graders were loud and rude as usual, cussing and gossiping as I waited quietly for the boy in front of me to sit down. I trudged into the seat behind him, tripping over his foot and biting the inside of my cheek as I went; people usually assume I'm sad on the bus but in actuality, I'm just not in a social mood like everyone else. I guess that makes me weird or something since the eighth graders always wear these scowls on their faces that they'd like to think I don't notice.
    I don't know what it was about this morning, but it seemed as if the world was speeding by me and I was stuck in place; perhaps because I hadn't slept well last night since I was engrossed in the book Sarah insisted I read. To her credit, it ...