A Certain Type of Decisive

United States

Just your unfriendly neighborhood disaster, bringing you bi-weekly updates from the bottom of my own shoe!

Published Work

Dust

Tell me mother, which do you think hurts more
To burn as a star forever or to become a black hole?
Today I learned that
After six weeks of decomposing, a rat's body will have swollen so much
That there is no longer enough skin to contain him
He bursts, a glorious display of blood and rot
At sixteen weeks, he will be nearly dust
On my walk today I saw a sign that
There are three missing cats in my neighborhood
Big red letters read:
DO NOT CHASE
And I'm okay but
Sometimes I wonder if God has posted a similar sign about me
Maybe no one's ever chased me
Because I've never run
Tell me mother, do you think
The stars believe that humans reach for the dark and not them?
Maybe it's wrong to know that I'd find comfort in that
I'm allowed to find comfort in just about anything-- there's a crisis on
Did you know...

A Teaspoon (of fear, of grief, and of you)

Hate is just fear we're too afraid to feel
And I never meant to scare you
Snakes and spiders and heights and change
Any poet worth their salt can spin you tales of Icarus and Apollo
But I've always been more of a Daedalus
Stuck in my own little world
I'm not afraid of the dark
I don't even run up the stairs after I turn off the light
Shadows and thunder and insects and love
I'm the route 66 of part-time friendships
Attractively convenient and killing of small town business
Can't get left on read if you never text
Love seems too hard 
Too much work, too much thinking
But fear is so natural and easy and smooth
Anger is grief we're too afraid to feel
My favorite fish jumped from his tank
And I always over-water my desert plants
Love doesn't save us, it never has
But it sure doesn't hurt
I still dream of you-- no, not like...

Complimentary Colors (book review)

    Like most girls my age, I’m obsessed with the balance of being both beautiful and threatening. I look in the mirror and wonder if I am enough to unsettle those around me and scare away predators-- to protect myself. Yet, I can’t bring myself to wear hair in my face. I refuse to try and blend in with the background-- I’m too vain. That’s why I found myself reaching for that bright yellow book with purple pages and an inside cover showing endless layers of disembodied human teeth. I’ve always been attention seeking and filled with more hubris than should fit in a human body, so I liked when the bright colors caught the eyes of my peers and I could show them the inside cover-- an angler fish, of sorts. The summary promised a discussion of religion and science. It delivered on that, of course, but not without bringing me into a world that was just a little too weird...

Dust Jacket

What's Up, Nerds? (A Dust Jacket aka Bookmark)

    Have you ever picked up a book so fast that you were half-way through the book before you even read the title? Or started writing a story in the middle of the night only to find that you never named the main character? I read obsessively and write haphazardly-- a train wreck of partial plots and adverbs, but people are kinda into that sort of thing. Sometimes, you don't read the dust jacket on a book until you're in a dentist's waiting room and forgot a bookmark, and you're already invested. That's okay, it wasn't important at first, but it might change your mind about how you think it'll end.
    So... hi! What's up, you nerds? I'm A Certain Type of Decisive, but I don't mind if you call me ACToD or Gecko-- which is my pseudonym on another popular writing that will remain unnamed. I started writing here almost two years ago, in the fall...

Snazzy

    A medium sized magician with a PhD once told me that if you mix a Monster Energy drink and 14 pixie sticks over a Bunsen burner in the science lab, you'll enter the astral plane and be stuck in a coma for three weeks. I trusted him because, honestly? I haven't tried that one yet. He also said spells can only be undone by the caster. Professor Gall was merciless when it came to rounding up grades, but as introductory magic courses go, he got the job done.
    
    "Dr. Stone," she sighed, sitting behind a high piled desk. She looked exhausted-- hair in every direction, with pens and quills sticking out at odd ends, dark shadows beneath her eyes, long ears hanging low-- but I wasn't surprised. Even as a young woman, back when I knew her, Karaoke had always looked like this-- plus or minus a couple wrinkles and grey hairs.
    "Well,...

Math and Poetry

I tried to handcuff the moon to the sky because I liked it more than the sun
But the stars disappeared and she got lonely--
Isn't everyone lonely?
Did you make the mistake of imagining me differently than I am?
Thank god we weren't parallel
It was a miracle we ever even met
But we tried too hard to be perfect
To be perpendiculars
That every angle we saw each other we looked just the same
And every time it was just 
Right
But life isn't linear
And we were never going to be perpendicular.

I tried to tape down the ocean to keep the tide from retreating
But it washed away the sand and there was no beach left to stand on--
There's never anything solid to stand on
I'm good at math, but not so much as thinking past my own happiness
Wouldn't everyone be a little happier if the ocean stayed still just a moment longer?
For...

Human (Being/Living/Thinking)

I can draw people but I can't draw flowers
I asked her for something worth holding
And she grabbed my face and whispered
Nonsense
But I don't mind because
We're only human
I miss seeing strangers--
It's so much harder to write without them
I'm just a romantic with no one to fall for
And I worry if I look too long in the mirror, I'll stop thinking I'm beautiful
I never had body image problems
Because my memory's not good enough
To remember what I look like when I'm in public
Or to remember what others look like when I'm at home
I cry over little things
And it's exhausting
A colorblind clown might accidentally pick clothes that match
At least we can count on stripes and polka-dots and
Nonsense
Not all love is pretty and pure
Sometimes it's gross and I don't mind
We're only human, after all
I'm still scared of thunder
But I can talk to...

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Mimicry is Nature's Way of Punishing Hubris

    Bright eyes-- lighthouses in the midnight of her mask. Gloved fingers-- were those fingers? This alleyway was getting smaller, he was certain. She could hear heavy breathing through his mask-- terror written across the top half of his face. 
    "Oh God--" he whispered, as she reached for her mask-- a threat.  He could see claws peeking through the tips of the gloves, but that was not the cause of his prayer. As she peeled away the fabric, he saw the last things he would ever see: sixteen rows of teeth, four tensile tongues-- and bright eyes, not quite human.
   

Hogwash and Moonshine // Chapter 2

    Have you forgotten the shorb? I hope so. Today, the shorb is meaningless. If you have accidentally brought the shorb back into your mind, please dispose of it before beginning today's exercise. 
    
    Picture, in your mind, the process of cooking spaghetti. You may use your own pots, pans, and stove, but try not to picture yourself completing the steps by hand, just imagine them being done, as if by their own will. The water is so loud in its boiled state-- move quickly before it is evaporated away. The spaghetti is simple-- milled wheat and water-- it knows not, it feels not, and yet, it rises and sets. It enters the water like a timid child at their fist swimming lesson in a new state. Will they still do kick board races? Will they get a prize when they finally learn to float on their back? No. The pasta only sits in the water,...

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Mimicry is Nature's Way of Punishing Hubris

    "But-- whatever I say, you'll just turn it on me," he said. "That's what genies do."
    She sighed, trying to imagine what it was like to stand there, in a world where magic only came from lamps. What had the universe come to? 
    "Yeah, but I'm no genie, kid. I'm just--" she looked around for a clue, how many years she was trapped? "Just a magician."
    His eyes flickered to his hands-- his mother said it was a gift, a dangerous one.
    She was staring through the apartment window, at cars, billboards, skyscrapers-- mourning.
    "The greatest magician in world."
   

Starfish

I would send you a love letter
but my betta fish said it was a bad idea.
You’re just the same as everyone I’ve ever met--
what’s so wrong with being the sum of your parts?
We’re all just skin and bones and skin and bones and
far too many chemicals, all shook up like
the smoothies we used to make in the morning
and I’ve always loved
my fish more than I loved you.
You have the right to call me childish,
but you’d be the first because
I was a very industrious fifth grader--
I thought I needed friends, enemies, dreams, and regrets
in order to be taken seriously.
I already had friends and dreams, and enemies were easy enough to make
but I had no regrets, I don’t know how to make them--
the only one I came up with was
forgetting a cookie in a lunch-bag before I threw it away.
You have the right to...

Phrases for Phrases

Write me a story and I'll write you a song
Give me a poem and give you a melody
I'll trade notes for words
And phrases for phrases
Art is cyclical and I am not about to waste it

Any piece strong thematically that you think could make a nice song, link it in and I'll see if I can write a song for it. If it goes well, I'll share it! If not, I'll have read some good poems and stories. When I say strong thematically, I mean it in a way that music could make sense, Gothic, romantic, space-age- anywhere genres of literature overlap with genres of music. Old, new, it doesn't matter to me, of you want to send in somebody else's piece, that's cool, too.

I had planned on doing this without telling people, but I realized a lot of writers would love to hear something based on what they wrote, so I thought I'd open...

Hogwash and Moonshine // Chapter 1

    Imagine, for a moment, a shark. Not a cartoon, but a living, breathing, thinking shark. It could do these things, but don't imagine it doing them. It's alive, but disconnected from everything. It has no food in it's stomach, no memories, no parents or offspring, no native sea, nothing. It is still in all it's functions. 
    Imagine it's skin, smooth, grey, rubber-- it is disgusting, no? But it's not wrong, just alive in a way that evolution has warned you not be. Listen to your instincts, they are whispering something to you. I wish I could tell you their secrets, but alas, I do not know. Imagine the bones, smooth, grey, solid-- just like yours. The blood, too. It is red, it is stagnant in your mind, but if you were to free the shark from your grasp, you know it would flow throughout the body like the contents of a water-bottle in a middle school classroom in...

Silver Lining

I live in a desert
It rained today
And it hadn't rained in so long
I forgot that my lungs were not made of dust
The desert does not understand the idea behind a silver lining
A silver lining is a threat
And a promise 
If you've ever been in a desert while it rains
You know how people walk outside, just to stand
Just to watch it
And it hadn't rained in so long
Little kids come out in swimsuits
But the older kids come out fully clothed
The rain soaks through them
Soaks through skin
I forgot my skin wasn't made of sunlight

I live in a desert
And it rained today
But the lack if rain was only
My distance from my closest friend
And it hadn't rained in so long
I forgot that my life was not made in isolation
A silver lining is a threat, but I refuse to heed it
And I promise
Because...

Letter Writing Competition 2020

Ouija Board

To the Ghost That Lives in My House:

   On a normal occasion, I might greet you, the two of us have spent enough time together that I doubt I could say anything that might make our correspondence less awkward. You've also probably figured that there's not much I can say to anyone to make situations less awkward- I think it's my signature move. I'm sure you're aware of the situations at hand- I don't know death, but I won't assume it's unfeeling and unknowing for two reasons: firstly, if there's nothing but an endless, uncaring dark that follows death, you won't be reading this letter. And secondly, it makes a boring story-- and you know that's all I've ever cared about.

    We've been spending more time together-- I didn't realize at first, but I've shown you a side of me that no one else has seen. No one-- not my best friend, my siblings, my parents-- has seen...

Letter Writing Competition 2020

Ouija Board

To the Ghost that Lives in my House:

    Though, on a normal occasion, I might greet you, the two of us have spent enough time together that I somehow doubt there is much I could say that might make our correspondence less awkward. You've also probably figured that there's not much I can do or say to anyone to make situations less awkward- I like to think it's my signature move. I'm sure you're aware of the situations at hand- I'm not quite sure what it's like to be dead, but I try not to assume it makes one unfeeling and unknowing for two reasons: the first being that if there is nothing but an inky blackness, an endless dark of the universe, you won't be reading this letter. The second being that it makes a boring story-- and you know me well enough to know that's all I've ever really cared about.

    We've been spending a lot of time...

Letter Writing Competition 2020

Ouija Board

To the Ghost that Lives in my House:

    Though on a normal occasion, I might greet you, the two of us have spent enough time together that I somehow doubt there is much I could say that might make our correspondence less awkward. You've also probably figured that there's not much I can do or say to anyone to make any situation less awkward- I like to think it's my signature move. I'm sure you're aware, at least to some degree, of the situations at hand- I'm not quite sure what it's like to be dead, but I won't assume it makes one unaware of any large affairs of the living world. Besides, if there is nothing but an inky blackness, an endless dark of the universe, it won't matter because you won't be reading this letter anyway. So I won't bore you with trying to explain it- death is likely boring enough without my half-assed explanation of the pestilence...

Your Pretty Faces Are Going to Hell

I was here to do anything but fall in love
She leaned over the table
Red satin spilled over smooth skin like dark glass
Unblinking eyes a sea of endless black
She grinned- teeth a little too sharp
"Didn't you know? The revolution's already here"
And I didn't believe her
Why should I?
What has she ever been but a romantic and poet?
I guess we've got something in common
She cracked her neck by pulling her head too far
Back
It could've been ten thousand years before we met eyes again
The battlefield seed to suit her- red as far as the eyes could see
I was here to do anything but fight
But the blood rushed to my head
Fists clenched
Short tempered and not witty enough to be funny about it
She could taste my anger
And fear
It permeated the air, like perfume
She carried roses, but she smelled like smoke
"You never should've come here....

True Story

    Hey best friend! Just the guy you've always known here- a space traveler with a crush on the universe, ready to go bowling and tell you an outrageous lie. A fantastic lie, if I may say. You know- my arms are actually really, really weak, so maybe I'll stick to eating your nachos while you do all the bowling. Gosh- these are some good nachos! Too bad they aren't real.
    You all know by now that I'm not actually a writer with imagination, I just have the ability to be reborn as any object or person in any situation for any amount of time and tell you what's literally happening. Maybe it's because I was a fish who learned how to cry, maybe because I was a star with really good behavior. Who knows why the universe did this to me, she's beautiful and mysterious and-
    Ooh. Seven-ten split. Rough luck.
    Well...

Harmless

I'm just a who? in a what? where? when?
No why?
The world wasn't kind to you
But maybe I can be
Our light went the same way it came-
In the dark
You've always been a Y? in an A. B. C.
And I tried to tell you there's a reason some people don't fit in
Sometimes people know what's good for them
And they stay away
Our worries are a venn diagram with a very thin middle
Like an instagram model
Perhaps existence is not the default state of the universe
And to be is inherently a fault
But we'd never know
We were just what? in a why'd? you? leave?
We're just human- we don't deserve pain
We don't deserve anything, we're just alive on accident and meant to be happy
What is God was a algae clump and never knew any better
How could she plan a world around a consciousness she didn't possess?
Is there...

A Gift

    I'd like to take a moment to say I love you. I'd like to take a moment- any moment will do, but I'd prefer this one. This day, by the ocean, nine years ago. Your smile, in the middle of the chaos. Your steady hands, holding children, steady gaze on the camera. I'd like to take that moment, to keep it in my pocket. I want to hold it close, like paleontologist hold dinosaur bones, like a photographer holds a camera, like Medusa might've held a lover's statue.
    I'd like to take a moment, but I can't. It is a plank in the tallest tower we've ever built, every moment pushes further, deeper, higher- love is monument we build for ourselves. I might say "in spite of it all," but there's no spite in it. So instead, I'll just say: we keep going, in love of it all. It was one in a million moments, one in a billion we...

Questions

Can you be charged for crimes you committed while legally dead?
Asking for a friend. 
It's probably time,
Past time,
We quit the pastimes-
People are dying out there
And I'm watching Netflix.
What's the difference
Between me and the dark?
Between you and oblivion?
Us and the Void?
Us and them-
Guess again!
Now and then,
I find myself wondering,
Wandering around my own home like a stranger,
Using context clues, like a third grader, to find the meaning of word.
Can any word be a bad word if you're mean enough?
Asking for a stranger.
It's not like the road to heaven's paved with bad intentions.
No exceptions,
To ascension,
No intentions,
Beyond beating boredom-
For just a day,
Just a minute,
Five more minutes!
What's the difference between you and your bed?
On good days it's a couple inches,
On bad days a couple less.
Sick and stuck or Relaxation-
In relation,
Connotations
Are the only thing...

Beautiful (Beautiful) Beautiful

Round hands round fingers (soft soft soft) just a little out of proportion but in a good way
You know those noses that curve down? (two little crooked spots) a face in all dimensions?
The eyes of the boy I saw across campus (dark dark dark) the sun caught them and it looked like stars
Little white high top converse (legs so thin they might be cylindrical) and cuffed jeans
She always wears her hair down, but in a pony tail (tight tight tight) her ears stick out just a little
Little gap in his teeth (between his front and back incisors) but you only see it when he grins
His hair, his lips, his skin (white, white, white) but his eyes are so blue
Her eyelashes are short (and sweet and to the point) you have to lean in a little closer for butterfly kisses
Her forehead arches (back back back) and her hair's as orange as the setting...

Lollipop

Some love stories are written in blood
And some are written in gold
Ours, darling, is written in crayon 
Let's grow young together-
It’s some kind of innocence
All wrapped up in inexperience (with a cherry on top
And a kiss on the cheek)
You’re my favorite constellation
My favorite, star, planet, galaxy
My favorite world I've explored in this wide, wide universe or people
And I like you very much
Let's cuddle- surrounded by stuffed animals
Let's build a fort in the couch
Let's paint the walls pink and cover them in stickers
Because we're no longer waiting for the right time to use them
Our kisses taste like birthday cake and cherry chap-stick
Cartoons and Cheerios's-
We'll watch the sunrise and the sunset and the moon
And maybe we'll take a spaceship and fly there
Some say love hurts-
But does it have to?
We'll cover out scars with band-aids and kisses
Roses? Wildflowers? I can't tell the difference
Can...

Singing, Screaming, and Strangers on Subways

There's always been too much music in my head-
It's uncomfortable
The white noise of air conditioner sounds like trombones
And screaming sounds a little too much like singing

But can you imagine it?
Can you hear the cacophonous sound?
Like strangers on the subway- they hit the walls and crash back into you
The echoes hitting every wall of this great church
And, by anything the breathes, you couldn't hear yourself scream even if you tried

There's always been too much noise in my mind
Who's voice is that-
Who's singing me to sleep?
My bones shake
I shiver and it makes such a noise
An inconsequential noise you'll never hear
Even if you did, it wouldn't be in time

The fight scenes in movies are in time
As they beat each other, my heart beats with them
Music swells like bruises and pours over like blood
Singing is just like screaming except
They don't put it in action...

Happy

You make me happy
You make me feel like a grasshopper who just found some grass-
I don't actually know how grasshoppers work
You probably would
You would explain that they don't eat grass, but that they just got their name from a Japanese emperor or something, Nothing seems to matter except what you know and how you say it
(with a smirk on your lips and bubbles in your voice)
They say it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but they obviously haven’t heard your voice
It makes it hard to concentrate on the words,
But I do
Because it's important
You worked hard to know what you know
To be who you are
To single-handedly redefine what it means to be a nerd here
Because knowledge is good, wisdom is better, but let's not pretend this is a dichotomy
Beauty and Brawn are good, Brains are better, but you refuse to choose.
You make me better because you make...

What I Didn't Ask in Our Emails (And Maybe I Wish I Had)

If butterflies grew fangs and spread disease, would we not evolve into a species that found them disgusting? If the stars could talk to us, do you think they would? If poetry was about words, wouldn't God have written the Bible herself? If we could not die, would we have colonized the bottom of the ocean, the coldest reaches of the Earth, or the hottest desert first? And if we were not so far apart, do you think we would have kissed by now?

This I Believe

My Mom, Macaroni, Machiavelli, and Me

    The first book I ever really read was The Mysterious Benedict Society. I had read plenty before that- picture books, school books, and the occasional Junie B Jones- but they never really count, do they? There's always one book that starts you, the one that makes you feel something. Like just about any kid who reads their first long book, I wanted to be like the main character- I wanted to be interesting enough to write a story about. I can see now, from my unfair vantage point in history, that the main character was pretentious and an all around snobby guy. But because I was only seven, I decided that “contemplating the universe instead of conversing with peers” must be pretty cool if it meant Reggie got to solve puzzles, learn Morse code, and live in a cool secret fortress! I have always been classically selfish- I wanted to be the one to figure out the meaning...

And Make it Double #Sunprompt_2

    "This is your first and last warning," I whispered, leaning into the woman's ear. If she thought she could fool me with a new haircut and different clothes, I had overestimated her. The odd thing? That cool and collected persona she was known for had all but disappeared to surprise. Rock's never been one to be unsuspecting- especially out in the open like this- something was wrong and I knew it.
    "Huh?" 
    The word came tumbling out of her mouth, almost imperceptible. Had I been fooled, again?
    "You know what I'm talking about," I insisted, not daring to waver. Allison Masalis, code name "Rock," one of the greatest criminals the world's ever seen- or no. One of the greatest criminals that my world had ever seen. I lowered my gun, but not too far.
    "Apologies, ma'am. Please turn around." She did so very slowly, arm raised and eyes shaking- this...

Happy Pride Month!!

    It's June! Nobody asked- but celebrations are fun so I've compiled a list of all my LGBT+ characters! 

  1. Hope, a semi-immortal alien with a rickety spaceship who's been outlawed from her home planet, going on a permanent "road trip" of the galaxy, steadily making friends and enemies who will help her fight the dawning war. (Ace)
  2. Valentine and Oswin, a pair of sisters who run away from home stumble into a celestial war, finding the mystery of their parents and prevent the coming apocalypse. (The older sister is trans, the younger is gay)
  3. Veil, the shadow entity that is the parent of those sisters that rules a dark dimension (it's not evil, just really dark) that separates the afterlife from the material dimensions and houses the Grim Reaper and all the other, lesser reapers. (Agender and the grim reaper is demi)
  4. Echo, a dinosaur in a "Jurassic Park" style research lab, but got one of those computers that she uses to...

Museum of Dreams

I once had a dream of an massive museum
One thousand rooms, branching and looping
I dreamt of tourists hiking and marching
One thousand strangers in one thousand rooms
Kindergarten classrooms and long office hallways
Barren retail stores and coffee shops
Nurseries and hospital rooms
Labrotories and mortuaries 
And every single room, you have been there before
Or maybe you've seen it in pictures
But you can’t quite remember
One thousand tourists walked in and all walked out
You and I explored together
Sitting in tiny chairs
Watching raindrops chase each other down the greenhouse glass
Walking hallways that seemed to stretch into infinity
I dreamt of a museum
Of one thousand rooms

Phrases for Phrases

Write me a story and I'll write you song
Give me poem and give you a melody
I'll trade notes for words
And phrases for phrases
Art is cyclical and I am not about to waste it

Any piece strong thematically that you think could make a nice song, link it in and I'll see if I can write a song for it. If it goes well, I'll share it! If not, I'll have read some good poems and stories. When I say strong thematically, I mean it in a way that music could make sense, gothic, romantic, space-age- anywhere genres of literature overlap with genres of music. Old, new, it doesn't matter to me, of you want to send in somebody else's piece, that's cool, too.

I had planned on doing this without telling people, but I realized a lot of writers would love to hear something based on what they wrote, so I thought I'd open it up....

Stille #create

still·e
    /ˈstilə/
    adjective
        filled with non-verbal thoughts or processes, to the point of inability to 
        think.
        "The mass of stille children waited passively for clarity- cold medicine would 
        be arriving soon."
    
    noun
        the state of being stille.
        "The stille creeped into my sleeping brain."

 

Wildflower #PrettyContest

She looked best with flowers in her hair
Bright white daisies woven through the darkest curls
We stargazed together
Laying in field of jasmine and lilac
She was a wildflower
Undaunted by anything and free
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Flowers have no reservation to open up
But I do

She looked best with flowers in her hair
But I was too late to tell her
Flowers wilt, flowers wilt, flowers wilt
She was not buried with flowers in her hair

It was a cold, empty winter
And in the spring, I picked my striped carnations
Pulled them from the ground
And I walked
And I wandered
As far as the world would let me go
When I finally collapsed to look up at the stars
I knew, from heaven, she had grown me a patch of butterfly weeds
And forget-me-nots

The Astronaut


(The Astronaut)
I think this would make the cruelest prison
The most brutal punishment
To strip a man of everything that makes him human
Every sense the body has is useless-
No sound, no taste, no sight-
There's nothing hot or cold
Nothing pressing against your skin
Perhaps this is what death feels like

(The Void)
He wishes he could hold the stars in his hands
Use them as handholds and footholds
He wishes he could go back home

(The Astronaut)
I want to go back home

(The Void)
He'll go home
One way or another
But he will not forget

(The Astronaut)
Did you know the star don't twinkle out here?
There is no atmosphere to distort them
To hide them
They don't pulsate and blink
Stars, they hold steady gazes

(The Void)
I think it's funny that humans make maps of the stars
They constellate the universe to try to understand
But it's just random
And uncaring

(The...

Pushing Up Daisies #LBC12

    Cornflowers and daisies- the community garden was my proudest accomplishment. I had always been dedicated to fixing up this town- repairing houses, painting fences- whatever it took.
    I grew up with my uncle, a drunkard. He always caused trouble. He lost control; I wasn't the only one who got hurt. I got my start helping this town the day I got rid of him. 
    Besides, the garden needed fertilizer.
      

Playwriting Competition 2020

Chillax


Act 1

                                                       Scene 1

                A small untidy apartment, sink full of dishes. Cabinets and 
                drawers are left open haphazardly. A clock is visible above 
                the sink. A pointed hat and cloak are on a hook. Dim lights- 
                an overcast morning.
                DR. STONE enters, looking exhausted, wearing wizardly 
                clothes, a blue robe with white stars and a pointed hat. Her 
                hair is heavily slept on. She shuffles onstage slowly, slouching. 
                She hits her leg on one of the cabinets

                                                       DR. STONE

                (grimacing)

Ow! Oh- 

                She holds her leg, trying to maintain balance by hopping, other 
                hand casting a spell. Magic comes very naturally to her- she 
                makes it look easy. Motors close the cabinets and drawers and 
                the lower dishes. The opening few notes of “A Spoonful of Sugar” 
                play, but she cuts off the music.

                                                       DR. STONE

                (annoyed and dismissive)

Shut up. Save...

Time Passed Differently There

    A breath in. The air was colder than it had been in days. I knew summer was ending, but the gardens here never wilted. It was a constant state of spring, summer, and autumn, all at once. Impossible- yet here it was. The trees were adorned with flowers as well as fruit; all of it scented the air, an endless concoction of indistinguishable aromas. Most of it just felt cold. It stung my lungs, but it was good. 
    A breath out. I heard the birds chirping from hidden perches. They didn’t like the bird houses- too unnatural for them. The greens of the leaves around me were too dark for spring, the flowers contrasted them, pure white petals pressed against leaves so deep they might've been black. Bees danced through the air to music I knew but couldn't hear. Their buzzing was quiet compared to the people somewhere in the garden, talking. 
    A breath in. I didn’t see any of...

Playwriting Competition 2020

Chillax


Act 1

                                                       Scene 1
                A small untidy apartment, sink full of dishes. Cabinets and 
                drawers are left open haphazardly. A clock is visible above 
                the sink. A pointed hat and cloak are on a hook. Dim lights- 
                an overcast morning.
                DR. STONE enters, looking exhausted, wearing wizardly 
                clothes, a blue robe with white stars and a pointed hat. Her 
                hair is heavily slept on. She shuffles onstage slowly, slouching. 
                She hits her leg on one of the cabinets

                                                       DR. STONE

                (grimacing)

Fuck! Ow! Oh fuck- 

                She holds her leg, trying to maintain balance by hopping, other 
                hand casting a spell. Magic comes very naturally to her- she 
                makes it look easy. Motors close the cabinets and drawers and 
                the lower dishes. The opening few notes of “A Spoonful of Sugar” 
                play, but she cuts off the music.

                                                       DR. STONE

                (annoyed and dismissive)

Shut the fuck up. Save it for someone who...

Infinity Was Never A Number #70comp2

    Fifteen steps out the door, but I could've sworn it was sixteen. Call her optimistic, but I think she's just bad at counting. I can't exactly blame her. The only number she's ever really known is infinity- and she knows it personally. Her name was Indigo- I'd like to think it's not important, there's no secret meaning, or so she assured me. But she said that about a lot of things. Everything was always more complicated than she let on.

    ​The crash landing was the worst part. The sudden re-humanization was in the middle of space- and the closest teleportation got me was the upper earthly atmosphere. All that brand new fresh skin- burned to a crisp. It kept rebuilding and regenerating, lasting only long enough to remind me I was still falling, still burning, still screaming. And what was left of my eyes told me there an was end in sight, but not for another minute or two. ...

Huntresses Come for the Archbishop #42dreams

    "Crete Eakin, do you swear on your life to be Loyal to the Letter of the Law, to the Spirit of the Law, and to the Spirits that guide us?"
    "I am," she answered, taking the phone from the officer's hand. This is what she had wanted, what she had been training for. She had been dreaming of becoming a Huntress for the spirits since she was child.
    The phone she had taken was purely symbolic, of course. She continued to use her normal one, of course. If not for convenience, simply for sentimental value. She remembered all the photos it contained, all the text conversations with her friends, a map of every place she had been, stories and news she had read, her opinions, her purchases- it was the proof that she existed. Proof that she took up space and mattered. When she died, it would be buried with her, so future archaeologists...

Haunted

I don't believe in ghosts
But I like the ideas because I'm
-sentimental-
And it makes for a good story but
I feel like I have to choose between
Writing everything that happened or everything that
-didn't-
And I guess I believe in God
But I don't know if I like the idea because it makes
For a good story maybe
If no one used language for God that is used for other things he would seem more
-holy-
People are just made of meat and that's why
I don't believe in ghosts I know that
Eyes deceive and skin deceives and memories make
For a good story and even if
You're a good person you can't help it because we're chemicals and chemicals make
-mistakes-
And I'm just skin I'm just
Skin with memories of things that might never have happened because so many
people have been betrayed by the thing most loyal to them
Has my mind deceived me...

Spunk

    A little rat once told me that if you mix Gatorade with crushed up Gushers and dip a knife in, it can neutralize any magician. I have since learned to trust rats with my life- and I was starting to miss that 5-hour energy.

    "911, what's your emergency?" 
    "So I was walking into this grocery store, right? To get my groceries, some bagels, some almond milk, spider egg cheese, the works-"
    "What is your emergency, Ma'am?"
    "Oh, right, so I walk in, after talking with this sphinx, Deborah the Okay? She has these terrible riddles and I didn't want to answer, because it's just too much work and-"
    "Ma'am," said the operator, getting impatient. He was beginning to suspect this was a prank call- it would be the second one today. A couple mermaid kids thought it'd be funny to tell him their houses were on fire. At the bottom of Clarton Lake. 
    I looked around at the burning grocery...

Radio Broadcasting

    Everyone believed the old Sharp house was haunted, even before Lin was born. They say a woman stands at the top of the stairs, looking at nothing. She re-arranges books and cabinets the way she remembered. They say the house still creaks under her missing feet. 
    Lin didn't believe in ghosts. She had enough rationality not to believe there was anything in her house, but learning about serial killers didn't really help her ever diminishing view of humanity as a species. Ever since she her dad-
    She stopped herself, hearing creaking through the house. In the ghost hunting books, they would always talk about how any noise could conceivably be their own movement, amplified through old wood. Her house was definitely old wood. Whenever she walked around, it made twice as much noise. She hated the creepy old house- it felt like she'd been living there for centuries. But hey, better than rent, right?
    Once or twice there had been...

Phrases for Phrases

Write me a story and I'll write you song
Give me poem and give you a melody
I'll trade notes for words
And phrases for phrases
Art is cyclical and I am not about to waste it

Any piece strong themetacilly that you think could make a nice song, link it in and I'll see if I can write a song for it. If it goes well, I'll share it- if not, I'll have read some good stories. When I say strong thematically, I mean it in a way that music could make sense, gothic, romantic, space-age- anywhere genres of literature overlap with genres of music. Old, new, it doesn't matter to me, of you want to send in somebody else's piece, that's cool, too.

I had planned on doing this without telling people, but I realized a lot of writers would love to hear something based on what they wrote, so I thought I'd open it up. I hope...

The Grass in the Cemetery is Cut Parallel to the Sky

My great grandpa died the day they closed the nursing homes to visitors
And I think my great aunt died with him
No one brought any flowers to the viewing
And I'm not sorry
And I'm not sad
We were strangers
Hey Grandpa?
We were just strangers
And maybe I should apologize
But I'm not sorry for your loss
No one hugged at your funeral
There were no other kids at your funeral
The grass in the cemetery is cut parallel to the sky
But the dirt beneath is uneven
Oh God,
They were the littlest plaques you've ever seen
Carved with elephants and moons
And teddy bears
I didn’t cry at your funeral 
And I'm not sorry for that
Hey Grandpa?
Two strangers folded your flag
They looked your son in the eye and told him they were honoring him
But I didn't even know them
The way they moved they could've been more dead than you
My great...

Witches and Ghosts and Drugs and #pb&pig

    "This is Dalphine, leave a message!" The chipper voice was almost unrecognizable as the woman he used to know. He read somewhere that voice actors have to smile while they read lines because you can hear a smile in a voice. He didn't even know Dalphine knew how to smile. He almost hung up. Almost.
    "Hey Dalphie, it's me, Justice. I know you told me never to call you. Ever. So help you God. But that was ten years ago and I'm certain you still don't hold that event with the church against me. Anyway, my grandma- you remember her, right? The one who said you should become a botanist? Well she died. With a heart attack, like you said. On the day you predicted, a couple years ago. Well, this may come as a shock to you, but you're still the only person I have in my contacts who knows how to perform a seance....

Science and Poetry (Again) #126

Is there anything half so sickening as an orbit?
Something half so cruel
As God devised to keep lovers apart?
A dance they must dance because they can't stop making music?
The Sun and the Earth and the Moon
And you
And I
The Sun, he pulls, and he pulls
And he pulls
And the Earth, she reaches and reaches
And she reaches
And the moon, she is none the wiser
Everyone is dying to escape the dance,
To go flying into the other, top-speed, 
To die
The Sun and the Earth and the Moon
And you
And I
And Newton
He was wrong-
He was oh, so wrong
The difference between Love and Gravity is that Gravity is affected by distance
And he was wrong because Gravity decays
Gravity dies
You and I are Neutron stars
And our orbit is coming to an end
Love comes in waves and it sounds like a song
Is there anything half so...

Angels in Bird Cages

We dot the skies and paint the rainbows,
Light is just the closest thing to it
Second only to the dark
I understand
That we're beautiful
But we aren't yours
You can't keep mermaids in fish tanks
They don't fit
Climb out of the bathtubs and the swimming pools,
The washing machines are all still spinning
I painted the universe on your face at the carnival
And you cried because you asked for a kitty
And I was sorry

We dot the skies and carve our names into the dead
Bodies you left in the ground
Fun is the closest thing to it,
Second only to grief
You didn't call them mourning doves for nothing
Funerals and weddings were the only times we saw each other
I understand it's wonderful
But it isn't yours
You can't keep a forest in a flowerpot 
It doesn't fit
Climb out of the concrete cracks,
It's inspirational, yes,
But it doesn't have to be...

Chromatic Charisma

The only way to tell the void from the stars is to kill them both and see who changes
I know I should apologize
I’m not sorry, 
But any good man knows the monetary value of diplomacy
Maybe I’ll run away and sell my life to someone craving connection
Rent out my my existence to someone who wants a family
The only way to tell a lonely man from anything is stop them all and see who sighs
‘Cause after all, 
A poet’s just a stripper of the heart

Running and Running and Running Away

And I'm trying to paint a masterpiece-
but my fingers are short and chubby 
And the finger paints are only in red yellow and blue
I'm trying to remember
Trying to remember who you used to think I was
Who was I when you met me
And I'm running and I'm running
Like my feet never learned to do anything else
Because I need to feel the wind try to restrain me
I need to feel anything
anyone to hold me back
To remember what it used to be like
And I'm falling and I'm falling 
And I wish I was falling in love
But I'm falling from the sky
From the moon
From the sun
Fallen angels are known to burn in more way than one
I'm trying to scratch
And scribble out my mistakes 
But my fat little fingers can barely grip the crayons-
How will my shoulders ever hold the world?
I'm running and I'm running
into...

Time Passed Differently There

    A breath in. The air was colder than it had been in days. I suppose summer was ending. But the gardens here never wilted, a constant state of spring, summer, and autumn, all at once. The trees were adorned with flowers as well as fruit. Impossible, yet here it was. All of it scented the air, an endless concoction of indistinguishable aromas. Most of it just felt cold. It stung my lungs, but it was good. 
    A breath out. I could hear the birds chirping from hidden perches. They don’t like the bird houses, too unnatural for them. The greens of the leaves around me were too dark for spring, the flowers contrasted them, pure white petals pressed against leaves so dark they might've been black. Bees danced through the air to music I knew but couldn't hear. Their buzzing was quiet compared to the people somewhere in the garden, talking. 
    A breath in. I didn’t see any of the...

Marvellous #febblackculture

    She is the night before the day and the day before the night. She's the brightest star in the universe and the darkest, largest tear in it, too. She's just after the beginning and just before the end- the not quite god of the universe. 
    You could call her the curator. The caretaker of a museum full of art she didn't make and didn’t really understand. Piece after piece of painstaking detail, abandoned. Well, somewhat abandoned. Someone filled the Louvre and left it, with only her and a weekly planner for the next milenia. 
    And how beautiful it all was. The stars, the planets, every impossible thing, every unimaginable concept was here in this universe of hers. She marvelled at gravity and heat, atoms and energy, fusion and fission, the emptiness and the infinity of everything and it was marvellous. But it was so delicate. Her hands had to be strong, careful enough to push and pull the strings, short...

Green Eyes and Valentines

Hey Grandpa
Happy 95th?
I know I didn't write
as much in your card as I should've
But I ran out of space
I wanted to write big so you could read it
Hey Grandpa,
Can you still read?
We only really met eyes on Christmas Eve
And exchanged a shaky smile
You confused me for my mother
She was all grown up, you knew,
But she only had the two blonde daughters,
One only in elementary school
And the other in only diapers-
This couldn't have been either
 Hey Grandpa
It's been almost a year
Since she died
I've been told you were a romantic,
(Born on Valentine's, what could anyone expect?)
I guess I inherited more than just green eyes from you
She wasn't well, when she died,
You know that, right?
Hey Grandpa?
 

And the Beginning of the World, Yes, We Found Her on Our Doorstep #KickOff

    "We have to go into town soon," she said, leaning her head on my shoulder. We stared at the fire, weaving it's patchwork arms through the fireplace. The air was warming, spreading her loving arms through the whole house; but it was not as warm as her body pressed against mine. I shifted my legs beneath the quilt.
    "Eh?"
    "We're almost out of salt, and the back window still need replacing."
    "Ah, back window-they just gonna break it again, love," I said, thinking of the shattered glass surrounding the single brick. It was midnight when we found it, but the moon hit every shard of glass and lit up the room. I might've called it beautiful had it not created so much fear within me. It brewed like a storm and I could still feel it then, even with the warmth something inside me was cold.
    "Why do they do that? Why they throw bricks through our windows, like we...

Money Can Buy Happiness

You'll find happiness in the half buried sand dollars in your grandparents sandbox
You'll forget the ocean if you just keep digging
Just keep digging down
Maybe the sand will be wet enough to build a castle
Maybe you'll just have to use the hose

Love After Love

Welcome Home

Welcome home, my love
I say to myself
As I kick off my shoes at the door to my mind
And I'm glad that I'm here
I think to myself 
As long wooden floorboards creak under my toes
And there on the stairwell, a soft cat sits
She watches me enter and doesn't't run
She sticks out her tongue and I stick mine right back
And she runs right down to cuddle my legs
My sister is there
And she's playing the piano
And my one little brother is singing along
My mother and father are quietly reclining
By the fire with tea
Discussing the things that have happened that day
Everyone else is sitting and eating at a red clothed table
With candles and ham and popcorn and green beans
Welcome Home, my love
I say to myself
As I slip on pajamas and lay down to sleep
And there, through the window
A big Cresent moon
Has risin...

And the Beginning of the World, Yes, We Found Her on Our Doorstep #KickOff

    "We have to go into town soon," she said, leaning her head on my shoulder. We stared at the fire, weaving it's patchwork arms through the fireplace. The air was warming, spreading is loving arms through the whole house; but it was not as warm as her body pressed against mine. I shifted my legs beneath the quilt.
    "Eh?"
    "We're almost out of salt, and the back window still need replacing."
    "Ah, back window-they just gonna break it again, love," I said, thinking of the shattered glass surrounding the single brick. It was midnight when we found it, but the moon hit ever shard of glass and lit up the room. I might've called it beautiful had it not created so much fear within me. It brewed like a storm and I could still feel it then, even with the warmth something inside me was cold.
    "Why do they do...

Just Off Route 187

     I am the FBI woman who lives in her webcam. Well, I used to be. There's a lot of things I used to be.
     I used to be important. A loving eye watching the world from afar, keeping it as safe as it can be. Safe from people like her.
    I used to be an investigative agent, when the AI's had done as much as they could, and delicacy was hard to come by. Well, out of human hands. 
     I used to be those human hands.
     I used to be a soldier. Before this job, that job, but they didn't let me remember it. I doubt I wanted to. Horrors of war and all that. But they let me keep high school ROTC, memories of crushes and rivalries and secrets between friends left behind. I don't remember their names.
     I used to be a person, but now I'm...

Anything But Love

I am Shadow and he is Death
We are infinities in ourselves,
but limited by life and light.
We get drunk on galaxies
Season them with stars
Set them into motion,
Shake them up
We raise our cup to God
And lay in the infinity of Nothing
With nothing to look at but each other
Everything that touches him dies
I can touch nothing
A perfect match
Is this love? he asks
Can we love? he asks
Is there love in death or shadow?
Of course, darling I say
What is Death, but God's love for creation, calling it closer to him?
What is Shadow, but a friend with promise never to abandon?
How can be but love?
How do anything but love?
If we had faces we would smile
If we had bodies we would dance
If we had voices we would laugh
But instead we simply lay
With nothing to look at but each other

Of Sound Mind

I can hear the echoes of movement in my house because
It is the oldest house on the block
It creaks
My sister is singing more than she used to
Because she is going to audition for her school's musical and can't decide on a song

The sound of rushing water is good because it means the world
is changing
For a moment our surrounding will never be quite the same
Because I turned on my kitchen sink
And maybe I just like the sense of control it gives me
My ears sometimes delude me with voices I know saying my name
Are you saying my name? 
Who's knocking on the bathroom door like the house is burning down?
Who's at the door?
Who's out there?

Our piano is old but not grand and she is vaguely out of tune
But all in the same way so you can't really tell
Sometimes I'll play chords on it like I know what I'm...

Good Morning, Good Night, and I Loved You

But I did love you
In a way that you might never understand
Because I do not talk about love in a way that I should
I do not talk about the people I should
I assume too much 
And learn too little
And I guess I thought you'd always know how much you meant to me
Without my constant reminder
But the world has never worked like that
And by God I've never been so hypocritical in my life
Than as I looked for so much peer approval
Because I am telling stories
I tell so many stories
And forget that other people don't
I forget that sometimes other people have it in them to tell the truth
and I never have
I tell stories
I tell lies to try to make you feel emotions that I never had
I tell stories
And I forget that I'm not in one

I did love you
I did, I did
I...

Liar

Just stop for a moment
Just stop and look around for once in your life
Is this what you wanted?
Was this your end goal?
Was this the happy ever after you wanted?
Because you made this mess
And there's no way back now
And I'm sorry but
I'm not sorry that it's like this
Because this is your fault
It's all your fault
Look around 
Listen
Pay attention
Look what you've done
You made this-
This is your creation, your child
This is your can of worms
Now lie in it
Just like you lied to me
Because It's your fault


 

Things that Fall

Rain
A pencil off my desk in the middle of a test
My drink (I blame the cat)
Lots of Canadian water into New York
Parachutes
Leaves from the big tree in my front yard
The house of cards I made because I didn't know how to play poker
Rain
Birds, more often than you'd think
The first domino
The last domino
Trees in the forest (even when no one's around to hear them)
My very old dog
My little sister in high heels
Rain
Shooting stars
Me, trying to walk down stairs
My brothers, out of the canoe (twice)
The Sun and Moon into the horizon
Day into Night
Summer into Autumn
And I, so desperately in love with you


 

Cryptids

I'm watching from the window
As you stand in the street
In the rain
The water keeps sliding off you, like it wants to get your clothes wet but it can't
I catch your eyes and they are bright
They radiate light like my phone at midnight
Each imprinted little dots on my eyes that I could see when I looked away
I looked away
I looked back
And you were gone
I was looking through the window 
To an empty street
In the rain

I saw your face in leaves on my tree
No details
Just three eyes as bright as anything staring with a smirk
Three little lights where a person should be
I moved to get closer
I moved
And you were gone

I keep lighting things on fire
Candles, logs, fireworks
Just to hold a little bit of light in my control
Your eyes
Are not under my control
You do not exist, but you are...

Your Pretty Faces Are Going to Hell

I was here to do anything but fall in love
She leaned over the table 
Unblinking eyes a sea of endless black
"Didn't you know? The revolution's already here"
And I didn't believe her
Why should I?
What has she ever been but a romantic and poet?
I guess we've got something in common
She cracked her neck by pulling her head too far
Back
I was here to do anything but fight
But the bloods rushed to my head
And my fists are clenched
She can taste my anger and fear permeating the air
"You never should've come here. War's not half as pretty as you are"

 

Cryptids

I'm watching from the window
As you stand in the street
In the rain
The water keeps sliding off you, like it wants to get your clothes wet but it can't
I catch your eyes and they are bright
They radiate light like my phone at midnight
Each imprinted little dots on my eyes that I could see when I looked away
I looked away
I looked back
And you were gone
I was looking through the window 
To an empty street
In the rain

Open Prompt

Winged Victory

    I wasn't what you'd call the ideal art student. Certainly not the man, either, but I think Da Vinci might've painted me anyway if I had paid him enough. That's the thing about artists, I guess, you can love their art, fantasize, theorize about it, but they're still ruled by inspiration and money like the rest of us. 
    Inspiration is a lot like money- hell, sometimes it is money, mine often is. You can find it on the street, chase it, work for it, and when you don't have any, getting some can be the hardest thing in the world. But inspiration’s worthless when you're poor and money can only get you so far without inspiration.
    The man walking across the beach with the metal detector was not looking for inspiration, but I, paint brushes in hand, was. Everybody paints the sea, everybody always paints the sea, I thought, Bob Ross can paint the sea better than I...

Now to Then

When the Clock Strikes Twelve

And she lived happily ever after
Except she didn't
Cinderella was queen but she didn't forget.

Sometimes she did.
Sometimes she would go around the palace in huge dresses and eat the most wonderful food
And she would be able to forget, for just the moment, that she didn't belong here.
Sometimes she would walk into the kitchen and she would see a girl scrubbing the floor
Or hear the ringing of a bell
And all in a rush it would come back to her .

All those days and nights
and days and nights 
and days-
Because that was her life-
That was who she had thought she was going to be forever.

She escaped a life of work on her looks and don't think she didn't know it-
Don't think she wasn't grateful she was so lucky-
She used to be the one scrubbing the floors-
Her ears still listening for a bell-
The emotional and manual...

Math and Poetry

I tried to handcuff the moon to the sky because I liked it more than the sun
But the stars disappeared and she got lonely.
Isn't everyone lonely?
Did you make the mistake of imagining me differently than I am?
Thank god we weren't parallel. 
It was a miracle we ever met,
 but we tried too hard to be perfect
To be perpendiculars,
That every angle we saw each other we looked just the same
and every time it was just 
right.
But life isn't linear
and we were never going to be perpendicular.
I tried to tape down the ocean to keep the tide from retreating
But it washed away the sand and there was no beach left to stand on
There's nothing solid to stand on.
I'm good at math, but not so much as thinking past my own happiness-
Wouldn't everyone be a little happier if the ocean stayed still just a moment longer?
For the longest...

Winged Victory

It was warm-
Skin should be, but I recoiled
Alarms blared throughout the museum as you turned your marble head down to me
Down to look at me
That's the thing with sculptures-
I already know it's stone, don't carve it like it's hard,
Make it soft
And eyes like that and skin like that-
That's art
It was warm and it moved slightly, 
like it should
concave dome around my fingertips
Pressed in like dough caked in flour
Where's the line between an idol and art?
I guess it doesn't matter if we all believe we're catholic anyway
Paint me in the school of Athens, if not a man, than at least a pillar
That I may be immortalized in something that matters
I was the column that killed Solomon-
Maybe I was made of marble and killed me
It was warm-
Like skin should be, but I didn't trust it
Handcuffs on my wrists but they can't lead...

Of Sound Mind

I can hear the echoes of movement in my house because
it is the oldest house on the block and sometimes it 
creaks
My sister is singing
more than she used to because 
she is going to audition for the musical and can't decide on a 
song
The sound of rushing water is good because it means the world
is changing that for a moment our surrounding will never be quite the
same
My ears sometimes deledude me with voices I know saying my
name
Are you saying my name? 
Who's knocking on the bathroom door like the house is burning
down?
I ask and no answer and I wait and it comes again and I opened the door and there is
nothing
Our piano is old but not grand and vaguely
out of tune but all in the same way so you can't really tell
Sometimes I'll play chords on it like I know what I'm doing but I  ...

Miracles

Stop crying my darling, though tears fill the pipes, it's storms that break down the doors.
Start thinking, my dreamer of dreams, for dreams are not things you can build with.
You don't realize that by extension,
Murders must be Miracles, too.
Hitler was made of the same things stars are made of.
Tread softly-
Not because it is holy, but in fear of triggering the mines.
We're afraid of everything,  most of all each other
Your attention tears me until tears are at my eyes,
Think what your words do, your worlds do
Something to me.
Sprinting to the finish line, finishing last,
We're dangerously close to the end of it all,
Not because we're on the edge,
Because we're already falling.
It's not heights we're afraid of, it's falling, but it isn't falling we're afraid of, it's landing, and it's not landing we're afraid of it's death,
And it isn't death, because, my love, there are things far...

Winged Victory

It was warm-
Skin should be, but I recoiled
Alarms blared throughout the museum as you turned you marble head down to me
Down to look at me
That's the thing with sculptures-
I already know it's stone, don't carve it hard,
Make it soft
And eyes like that and skin like that-
That's art
It was warm and it moved slightly, 
like it should
concave dome around my fingerprints
Where's the line between an idol and art?
I guess it doesn't matter if we all believe we're catholic anyway
Paint me in the school of Athens, if not a man, than at least a pillar
That I may be immortalized in something that matters
It was warm-
Like skin should be, but I didn't trust it
Handcuffs on my wrists but they can lead me away
My body's made of marble
eyes like that and and skin like that
It's a brand new kind of renaissance
 

This Is Not A Love Poem

You could say he looked like an angel
Like an awkward teenage version of Michelangelo's cherubs,
golden curls and acne
Lady Justice left a permanent mark on him
We were spending our lives learning to be him and he was spending his trying to be anyone else.
March with me into battle, my friend,
Lead me into the flames.
He calls himself Sadness
But I call him a scarf
Or Curly
Or anything else
A nickname like that excludes the possibility for change.
What's he going to be when he is better?
He is going to be happy, again.
He is going to be happy
You could say he looks like an angel, but that's not quite true.
Marching into the sun, carrying the golden light
It's so heavy
I carry it with me, too, and stagger, yet he dances
Do not be mistaken, there is no grace, 
Not in his bony figure with a misaligned spine
His glasses and...

Universal Knowledge

Fight Me (Part Two)

Fight is the universal language; If I punch you in the face, guess what buddy, you're gonna get the message pretty darn quick, don'cha know.

I Guess I Though You'd Read It

I wrote sonnets in the clouds
And haikus in the dirt
I re-arranged the raindrops just to please you
But when you glided off the bus
You never glanced at the graffiti 
And you never read the writing on the walls.

Not This

Leave me your compassion, 
I am but an egg among brothers in a carton.
I've been here so long, 
Trees have begun to seal me in.
I imagine the stars so close and so inumerable that you can't see the dark.
It was sort of like this but not this.
When I say rest in peace,
I mean it. 
The idea is too abstract,
A feeling only felt
And never seen.
Leave me be,
I am but a balloon among enemies in a Subway.
You've been here before.
So many times that you don't remember.
Like a heartbeat, that way,
And I am the electricity.
I imagined the world so big if you walked, and walked, and walked, you could never come home.
It was sort of like this but not this.
When I say happy birthday,
I mean it.
Doordash me your forgiveness, for I never check the mail,
I'm just an empty seat in an empty theatre,
No...

Angels in Bird Cages

We dot the skies and paint the rainbows,
Light is just the closest thing to it
Second only to the dark
I understand
That we're beautiful
But we aren't yours
You can't keep mermaids in fish tanks
They don't fit
Climb out of the bathtubs and swimming pools,
But the washing machines still spinning
I painted the universe on your face at the carnival
And you cried because you asked for a kitty
And I was sorry

We dot the skies and carve our names into the dead
Bodies you left in the ground
Fun is the closest thing to it,
Second only to grief
You didn't call them mourning doves for nothing
Funerals and Weddings are the only time we see each other
I understand it's wonderful
But it isn't yours
But you can't keep a forest in a flowerpot 
It doesn't fit
Climb out of the concrete cracks,
It's inspirational, yes,
But it doesn't have to be this...

Lunar Phrases

Waning, Not Winning

I guess I was only the Moon.
When was the last time you looked at me-
Really looked and saw me for what I am?
A rock.
Your 
Rock.

I guess you forgot where we came from.
Just some dust.
Space dust.
It was a miracle we ever met.
A miracle we didn't fall into,
well,
Him.

I guess I forgot where I came from.
A collision.
Back when you were molten
When we were one.
A miracle she hit us. 
Twice.
Better in orbit that in the void
The dark

I guess I was only a scar to you.
Not a part of you.
I thought that we would be,
well,
Forever. 
71% of 1% isn't very much.

I guess you owe all your bugs and people
crawling about on your skin
To Him,
The only way they see me
is owed to Him too.

I guess they noticed before you did.
I'm 
Leaving.
I'm leaving because
well,
I'm only...

Just Off Route 187

     I am the FBI woman who lives in her webcam. Well, I used to be. There's a lot of things I used to be.
     I used to be one of many, watching the world from afar. Keeping it as safe as it can be. I used to be an investigative agent, when the AI's had done as much as they could, and delicacy was hard to come by- out of human hands. 
     I used to be a soldier. Before this job, that job, but they didn't let me remember it. I doubt I wanted to. Horrors of war and all that. But they let me keep high school ROTC, memories of crushes and rivalries and secrets between friends left behind. 
     I used to be a person, but now I'm just a peach farmer, with more or less of memories. Now she's buying my peaches just off route 187.
     I'm still...

Questions

Can you be charged for crimes you committed while legally dead?
Asking for a friend. 
It's probably time,
past time,
we quit the pastimes,
People are dying out there
And I'm watching Netflix.
What's the difference
between me and the dark?
Between you and oblivion?
Us and the Void?
Us and them,
Guess again,
Now and then,
I find myself wondering, wandering around my own home like a stranger,
Using context clues like a third grader
to find the meaning of word.
Can any word be a bad word if you're mean enough?
Asking for a stranger.
It's not like the road to heaven's paved with bad intention
No exceptions,
To ascension
No intentions
Beyond beating boredom
for just a day
Just a minute
Five more minutes
What's the difference between you and your bed?
On good days it's a couple inches,
On bad days a couple less
Sick and stuck or Relaxation
In relation
Connotations
are the only thing...

Dreaming?

Are you real?
Your words,
do they come from an infinity
lurking in
Nowhere?
Are you a You?
A Who?
Your poetry is riddles
de-tangled
and lain out like the dawn,
plain as day,
clear as wind.
Are you real,
my darling?
Do you know?
For I think you're real.
I read every word,
every phrase graced upon my eyes.
I cannot hear your voice,
but I hear nothing that is real,
so I must assume
that you are really there.
I only hear synthetic,
sounds of bubble
and footsteps in a place that isn't real on repeat
forever.
That is not a metaphor.
This is:
My thoughts are a wave on an ocean
with nowhere to run but the beach.
They sing in caves
and storm
and rise
and fall, 
foaming at the mouth.
My thoughts are waves
on an ocean
searching for a shell,
just one,
but waves don't reach the seafloor,
they only grace the top,
leaving...

Smog. Smoke. Soot.

Science and Poetry

They say,
The scientists, I mean,
That energy can neither be created nor destroyed,
Just transferred into other forms.
So I have reason to believe
That the air is full of words
Still traveling,
From destinations unknown to here,
So much we can't hear,
Because the sound waves move so far from the others,
So low of a sound,
The hairs in our ears don't move.
But biology is unpredictable,
Just because our ears can't hear
Doesn't mean nothing else in our body can.
The problem
Is that even if you build a cell,
Atom by atom,
Protein by Protein,
It still won't work.
They say,
The people, I mean,
That those are souls, energies, the Breath of God,
So they have reason to believe in something bigger,
But I believe the air is full of words,
And ideas are just arrangement of all the words hitting our bodies at any given moment
The energy is transferred.
The cycle is...

Unplugged: Op-Ed Competition

Audience

You've been here long enough
to know what it feels like
to shove your opinions at a stranger,
teeth bared,
daring them to hate it.
I,
on "good" days
am able to tear out my own,
bloody,
beating heart
and smear it on a page
to show the world,
hoping it fascinates them for enough time for another
to grow in its place.
Maybe,
a long time ago,
it was out of my comfort zone,
but I can't remember what it was like.
I remember I used to read books everyday,
to always be engrossed,
when that was the best part of my day.
It
desensitized me. I
would grow
my own consciousness
would grow into a character,
I would die
and be reborn,
and I would tear myself apart
just for fun
and cut it all off with a snap.
A new book,
a new life,
until I couldn't feel it anymore.
Too much stuff inside me.
You wish you...

Home

Let's not run away together.
Let's stay here,
Where we have the keys to the community pool.
Where I know how to use the shower
Where you don't get lost on the way home
Let's stay where coffee baristas know our names
Where our family is buried
Where we will be buried.
Let's not run away 
From home.

Smog. Smoke. Soot.

Science and Poetry

They say,
The scientists, I mean,
That energy can neither be created nor destroyed,
Just transferred into other forms.
So I have reason to believe
That the air is full of words
Still traveling,
From destinations unknown to here,
So much we can't hear,
Because the sound waves move so far from each others,
So low of a sound,
The hairs in our ears don't move.
But biology is unpredictable,
Just because our ears can't hear
Doesn't mean nothing else in our body can.
The problem
Is that even if you build a cell,
Atom by atom,
Protein by Protein,
It still won't work.
They say,
The people, I mean,
That those are souls, energies, the Breath of God,
So they have reason to believe in something bigger,
But I believe the air is full of words,
And ideas are just arrangement of all the words hitting our bodies at any given moment
The energy is transferred.
The cycle is...

Flower Chains

Flower Chains are what they call the children's links of delicate flowers,
Placed on their heads like crowns-
That could crumble with the wind.
Lost somewhere between Eden and the Abyss,
In the space between violin strings;
The playing has began to shake me more awake than I ever should be.
Maybe I am blind,
Or maybe just dumb.
The birdsong,
Does it make up for the freedom I lost?
My golden prison bars, 
Do they make this my home?
The buzz of honey bees, going places I never can,
Their honey will never be as sweet as wings-
Or at the very least, a stinger.
Handcuffed by clouds,
10,000 pounds of water;
Lightning dances on my fingertips
But I can’t tell if it tickles or burns.
Flower Chains, like laurel wreaths, a symbol of something won,
But for many more something lost.
Still, they crumble, like sand in the wind.
I was running from you,
But where can I...

Flower Chains

Lost somewhere between Eden and the Abyss,
In the space between violin strings.
The birdsong,
Does it make up for the freedom I lost?
My golden prison bars, 
Do they make this my home?
The buzz of honey bees, going places I know I never can,
Their honey will never be as sweet as wings-
Or at the very least, a stinger.
Handcuffed by clouds,
10,000 pounds of water;
Lightning dances on my fingertips
But I can’t tell if it tickles or burns.
Flower Chains is what they call it when children link delicate flowers together that they place on their heads like crowns
That could crumble with the wind.
The flower chains that bind me are a little stronger.
Bound to you and bound to find someone else eventually because we bound across the empty feilds more ceaslessly than the sun.

Flower Chains

The birdsong,
Does it make up for the freedom I lost?
My golden prison bars, 
Do they make this my home?
The buzz of honey bees, going places I know I never can,
Their honey will never be as sweet as wings-
Or at the very least, a stinger.
Handcuffed by clouds,
10,000 pounds of water;
Lightning dances on my fingertips
But I can’t tell if it tickles or burns.
Flower Chains is what they call it when children link delicate flowers together that they place on their heads like crowns
That could crumble with the wind.
The flower chains that bind me are a little stronger.

Chillax

    A little bird once told me that if you mix Coca Cola and 5 Hour Energy in the bathroom of an IHOP at midnight, you will gain immortality. I have since learned not to trust birds. But it did give me enough energy to climb onto the roof and scream the pledge of allegiance until the firefighters came. That's why I found myself with six different versions of the essay I was trying to write for history on my computer this morning. I smashed them all together and hit submit, hoping my teacher wouldn't really read it before heading out.
    Sure, it was a beautiful morning in the park, golden sunshine illuminating the tops of buildings and mountains in the distance, but the screaming made it hard to concentrate. 
    "I need a healing potion!" someone shouted from the volleyball court. They had ram horns  peeking out of the yellow mess that could roughly be described as hair. They...

Miracles

Stop crying my darling, though tears fill the pipes, it's storms that break down the doors.
Start thinking, my dreamer of dreams, for dreams are not things you can build with.
You don't realize that by extension,
Murders must be Miracles, too.
Hitler was made of the same things stars are made of.
We tread softly-
Not because it is holy, but in fear of triggering the mines.
Your attention tears me until tears are at my eyes,
Think what your words do, your worlds do
Something to me.
We're dangerously close to the end of it all,
Not because we're on the edge,
Because we're already falling.
It's not heights we're afraid of, it's falling, but it isn't falling we're afraid of, it's landing, and it's not landing we're afraid of it's death,
And it isn't death, because, my love, there are things far worse than death,
And we're about to see them all.
One in a million is...

Stay In Bed

I'm just a stay-at-home, stay-in-bed mom,
with glued-to-screen, glued-to-bed life
And if your break-up-face, break-your-child ass can't handle it,
Meet me with my stay-at-home, stay-in-bed, fists
in my stay-en-lightened life.

I'm Looking

I'm looking for someone to tell me I'm worth it-
Or maybe not "it"
(Whatever that is)
But I'm searching to be told that I am worth something,
That nothing and me are not one in the same.
But everyone's looking  and everyone's searching for someone to tell them that they are worth something
So why waste my time?
Just waiting for someone-
Can I be the one to tell me myself?
If that is allowed, I'd rather do that-
That way I know that I mean it for real.
 

Fight Me

I'll fight in the morning,
And I'll fight you late at night;
I'll fight you 'til the sun comes up,
Bathing us in light.

I'll fight you at my own house
Or I'll fight you inside yours;
We can fight across the ornate rug,
Or even tile floors.

I'll fight you for a cheez-it,
I'll fight for a dime,
I'll fight you for a Super Splasher
Classic lemon-lime.

It's not that I don't like you.
I'm just violent.

 

Chillax

    A little bird once told me that if you mix Coca Cola and 5 Hour Energy in the bathroom of an IHOP at midnight, you will gain immortality. I have since learned not to trust birds. But it did give me enough energy to climb onto the roof and scream the pledge of allegiance until the firefighters came. That's why I found myself with six different versions of the essay I was trying to write for history on my computer this morning. I smashed them all together and hit submit, hoping my teacher wouldn't really read it before heading out.
    Sure, it was a beautiful morning in the park, golden sunshine illuminating the tops of buildings and mountains in the distance, but the screaming made it hard to concentrate. 
    "I need a healing potion!" someone shouted from the volleyball court. They had ram horns  peeking out of the yellow mess that could roughly be described as hair. They...

Clap If You Believe

I never believed in Santa Clause.
I didn’t believe in ghosts.
I didn’t have a monster under my bed.
I just believed in you.

But the winter break ins,
My haunted soul,
The monsters in my mind,
And you-

I guess you were right.
I don't  know anything after all.

Self-Respect

Worth Your Weight In Box Tops

You are only worth as many Doritos as you can get from a kid you don't  know.
You’re worth the amount of days you keep your Snapchat streak.
You’re worth your weight boxtops, but only if you get the pizza party.
You’re worth how many grapes you can fit in your mouth.
And your only worth as many textbooks as you can hold up with 10 pieces of paper.
 

Tiny Love Story

Mean

Eyes the same shade as the bagel you threw at my face,
But your face was the ridiculous one when I took a bite.
The lunch lady made you apologize.
You didn’t mean it.

When you sang the abc’s slower than usual before demanding my swing
When, at the top of the slide, you said you just were mad because your mom wouldn’t let you have pink hair like me
You meant it.
    
When I got you hair dye for your eleventh birthday
When we danced together (the only nice ‘sort-of’ boy) in the whole school
I meant it too.

Forgotten Prayer

I pray to the Patron Saint of Hot Cheetos left on the dirty pavement of the parking lot to a school you don't go to anymore.
Of sweat pants more sweat than pants.
Of chipped plastic diamonds on a purple string on the basketball court.

I pray to the pagan god of dead sunflowers, when it's too hot to snow, but thanksgiving is long gone. 
Of the dots left everywhere you look after a bright light.
Of dead batteries at the bottom of the drawer.

I pray to the guardian angel of forgotten things.
Of what's left behind after life.
Of us.

Love in Words

To Someone Who Already Knows

You're cute.
But you already know that.
Even if you didn't shove it in the face of everyone who tried to tell you otherwise,
I can see it in your walk.
You already know.
And it's not like you aren't humble,
because you'll scream it to the rooftops
that you don't know shit.
But nobody does.
And you already know.
The smirk in your eyes and the spring in your step dazzles me.
Leaves me helpless.
You talk like a teacher with something to say.
You came out during your own philosophy project-
just to prove a point about love.
You said humans as a society will always have love.
I personally, as a human, agree. 
Because I can feel it around you.
Also, those historically accurate sources and reasoning in MLA format with homemade infographics were pretty convincing.
But I digress.
I learned that phrase from you.
You're so far above everyone else I feel like I can't keep...

Paint

    I painted today.
    Faces I've never seen.
    Well, besides inside my dreams.
    They say it doesn't work like that.
    I ask how someone can have so many teeth.
   
    I painted today.
    And the colors trace up my arm.
    Less smudged than the paper.
    The hanging garden left me with a green thumb.
    The fire left me bleeding.

    I painted today.
    I didn't think until it was over.
    You don't look at the word until you write it.
    Left panting from the pain of pent up pints of purple paint in the rain.
    It a different set of rules than writing.  

    I painted today.
    But I'm not painting anymore.
    I tried to leave my ideas back on the easel,
    But they're harder to wash off...