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  1. 6 points
    smoke on the air and trust us but you've failed us, haven't you? you've failed us again and again and again and again drumbeat staccato rhythm that's no drum you beg our respect and yet you have done nothing to earn it tear me down into a million pieces i will always stand back up we're standing tall and holding hands tight interlock our fingers and feel my heart beat do not let me go build a wall he said so we did we built it in our hearts and around our bodies we raised the barricades and readied the siege cannons thief in the night, stealing our everything and it's almost funny that you think we'd lie down and take it it's your future, they say and think of the children well, the children are thinking eyes wide open in the fading light watch the earth spin loose from its orbit out of control like a broken windmill get off the merry-go-round if you can't take it but it's not stopping and there's no way off don't jump. dig in your heels and say no. black and white moral gray of right and wrong this isn't about beliefs anymore this is about freedom gold coins are glistening but that doesn't matter when they're soaked in our blood you blocked us out and shut our mouths and so this is war and we will win it ready your weapons answer the call it's our future and we are taking it surrender quietly because we're not taking survivors this is a battlefield and you drew the lines and moments later crossed them well we've had enough brace yourself for the dawn sky turning orange or red like blood tomorrow is for us for our broken chains and rust-colored hearts fists in the air with the voices screaming get ready, soldiers the kids have had enough.
  2. 6 points
    i want the scritch-scratch of pencil on paper. i want it now. i want it all the time. i want the thin lines by my own hand twisting into a flower, a bird, a face; your face i want music. i want plucked strings beneath calloused fingers. i want freedom to sing as i want when i want i want to sing now i want to sing now, with intermingling voices of someone i love. your voice beside mine i want coffee in the morning. perfume freshness and warm, clean steam. i want the flowers on our kitchen table and click-clack dog feet on the wood. i want to share this with you. i want bird-song in our ears. i want warm hillsides. i want the breeze in our hair. i haven't met you yet, but i want these things with you.
  3. 6 points
    the job: babysit a 7 year old and a 9 year old for three hours in a mcmansion the reality: -henry: are you a boy or a girl me, panicking: ..i dont think youre old enough for that me, internally: wait, shit -me: so have you learned what sonic is yet henry: ....a hedgehog me: mmhm. what color is he henry: ..........b...rown..... -why the fuck do these kids only listen to 80s pop -the 9 year old entertained herself by whiteboard-markering glass dishes -as long as it comes back off, kid -it turns out that no matter how shitty you are at singing along to any song ever, small children will look at you like youre the fucking Rock -or...another celebrity -that sings -fuck it im maui now -WHAT CAN I SAY EXCEPT YOURE WELCOME -terra kept getting mad at henry for fucking up her origami -me: he...cant claim your papers....as his own...if you put yoUR NAME ON IT -henry was also completely fucking enamored with watching me draw -i pulled out my bigass one-pound pencil case and his eyes got HUGE -his parents got home and he was like LOGAN SHOWED US HOW TO DRAW RADISHES and his parents were like... cool??? -me: sw e a ts me, internally: totally wasnt showing your christian children sketches of my demon-esque nonbinary OC -either way this is the same rich lady i was Diet Crowd Control for at the party with 40 kids -and this is the first time her kids have liked having a babysitter -read: cha ching motherfuckers -i SO have this job -henry: OH NO MY PARENTS ARE HOME QUICK GO UPSTAIRS me:...wjhat henry: WE GOTTA HIDE YOU -apparently he thought he could keep me in his room so i wouldnt have to go home??? which is. objectively sweet. i think -and when i told him that wouldnt work he was like WELL ILL JUST GO HIDE MYSELF and i had to go henry please they wont let me come back if it turns out i lost one of their kids -children of this age are a unique challenge
  4. 6 points
    i'm closing my eyes gray green like frosted grass and i'm breathing soft against your chest in this swing meant for little bodies we lay close through subzero wind chills across the street dying trees shake slightly shimmering crystal reflected sun like the light in your eyes i love you and i'm so tired and i can't tell my body to leave your arms let's just sit under the slide in this park until night falls
  5. 6 points
    I don’t think I’ll ever be able to love myself as much as I love you, you are summer sky eyed perfection in a cropped checkerboard sweater and violet maroon high top glory. you are lipsticked laughter wrapped in cotton candy and ginger and nutmeg, you love and hope and dream and live like it’s the end of the world.
  6. 6 points
    you boast your roman nose your french blondeness your curly spanish hair but flinch when i mention that aztec blood flows through my veins that my nose is as wide and as stunning as the templo mayor. the first word you think of is sacrifice speak to me of ripped out hearts and disembodied heads never mind that your romans watched blood sport. once i tried explaining that i’m not spanish i’m mexican and you said “well isn’t that a hispanic country?” i wish i had told you hispanic comes from spanish comes from conquistador comes from genocide i do not define myself by the conqueror. tenochtitlán was called venice of the new world quetzalcoatl and his fellow gods watched and approved. it sank under the weight of those who could not stand to see anyone rival them in brilliance. náhuatl is not practiced outside of the one million natives who still speak it. it was never an option to learn one million out of seven billion. i try to learn i fail i’m sorry. my vowels are as twisted and unchecked as the words in our history books. spanish is the language you gave us but the moment the words touched our lips the america you stole deemed them dirty. you rant about mexico crime filled country poor and unclean look me in the eyes and tell me whose fault that is. you seized our scripture, our knowledge called it the work of the devil how are we supposed to catch up with your technology we had the math had the means you burned it all. i have heard aztecs described as bloody brutal and this is true but if you are allowed to celebrate your violent heritage then i am damn well allowed to celebrate mine. i do not justify the sins of my people but that does not mean i will ignore the sins of yours. you came to our land we offered riches and you offered us death offered us rape we were kicked from our golden cities like so many rats just something to be exterminated. even today i look back at the history written in blood and i ask you why? why did you hate us so much? why do you hate us still? why the fuck are you so scared of anything that didn’t come from europe? we were not scared of you. we should have been.
  7. 5 points
    I spent 5 minutes giggling about how many gay stereotypes I fit.
  8. 5 points
    note: so this is mostly unedited, i'm sleep deprived, and just came up with this garbage five hours ago.... its probably terrible and messy and idk what it is but take it bc i haven't posted anything in forever // also sorry abt my lower case aesthetic it most definitely makes understanding this worse note #2 because i wrote the first note at 1 am: I'm sorry if its a m ess ,, idk if i censored all the curses I'm so rry also the timeline is confusing but basically most of the events happen in his junior year but the present w the principal is in his senior year,,, thank you he really didn’t intend for the week to turn out like this. he even shocked himself. ✩ the thing about lincoln was that he was… a little on the weaker side. he had bleached blonde hair and a terrifying glare but despite the nickname link, he wasn’t good with swords and wasn’t exactly cool. he couldn’t even memorize the gettysburg address. he tried to spell the nickname as linc for a couple days but soon everyone was calling him lints and it sounded a lot dopier than he already looked, so he changed it. when he finally played a zelda game, a breath of the wild at a party with friends, he made jokes about link’s figure and underwear (“i swear he’s at least 17 in this game”) until people started poking at him to take off his shirt to see if “he matched.” he had the blonde hair. he had the mini ponytail. he didn’t take off his shirt then, but part of him kind of wanted to. ✩ the principle was sitting across from him. he wondered what she saw in the thin manila folder she was clutching in stony, probably cold hands. just another medium sized first gen chinese immigrant kid, probably, with straight A’s and applications sent to harvard and oxford and stanford? the only thing that really set him apart from his perfect brother was the hair. people liked to comment about his hair. ✩ "why?” his mother asked when he came home with his hair a sudden shock of blonde. "black isn’t my colour.” he’d responded. "how much did you pay?” "the thirty dollars ms. ‘ski gave me for mowing her lawn.” "it’s mrs.” his mother corrected. “and her last name is sadinski. learn it.” lincoln didn’t say anything but his head was singing stupid stupid stupid because what did it matter, if the woman next door named marla sadinski was married? it really didn’t. "someday i’m buying you majora’s mask.” was the first thing link’s best friend, mickey, had said. "someday i’ll buy you a bicycle with your name on it.” mickey punched him lightly, then continued to do so after link singsonged micycle over and over, which was, very unfortunately, mickey’s full name. link kept his roots though. he didn’t know if he meant it as metaphorically as he did physically - the dark brown of his hair remained, even if it was hugged by a yellow blonde. he grew it long, sometimes the strands tickled his cheeks when they were split in a smile after a long night of yelling with his friends over monopoly. ✩ "the colleges you’re applying too will have to be notified about this.” the principal says, finally, with a strangled sigh and a squint as if she’s trying to hide the displeasure of revealing a flaw in her tiled halls. link feels a sharp something in his gut, because she says this without hearing him out, hearing his side of the story. plus, he can just imagine the thin, information-less letters he’ll receive from the mail, which will reveal he’ll never be as good as his brother and reveal that he applied to the acting programs at every single college his mother made him apply to instead of the pre-med ones. link knows that even before his mother’s eyebrows will cinch in anger she’ll ask him if he’d rather wear dresses (but it always meant more than that) and he’ll have to lie and say no, mamma, i don’t, i just don’t like math as much as i like pretending i’m someone else. and it wasn’t like link would rather wear dresses, he just liked them and he looked good in them as he was so rudely awakened to the summer prior when mickey and their friends all thought it was a good idea to go shopping for formal wear. pepe, whose nickname was short for penelope and a “f*ck you to every white supremacist who thinks they can claim such a golden meme” had elbowed link and dared him to try on a dress. link was alarmingly good at taking dares in stride, and when he stalked out to do a twirl everyone just stared, stone still, because link was also alarmingly good looking in a dress. (and it never meant more than that.) ✩ link wore a skirt two weeks into the following school year, a yellow one that matched his hair and white pants that matched his white button up. his brother helped him pick it all out, helped him hide it from his mother. his brother, a much cooler senior walking into a high school building with his significantly less cooler brother under his arm, wearing a skirt, sent a bigger ripple through the kids their than link expected. not a wave, but still a ripple. he wanted to wear it at his brother’s funeral, too, but life didn’t work like that. ✩ "but before that, i’d like you to explain.” finally. the principle asked. except that link didn’t really know how to explain. “we see behavior like this in children who have had a recent death in the family-” was that in the thin manila folder? “-but usually sooner. it’s been more than a year.” link’s knees pressed together through his tights. his principal didn’t mention the yellow skirt he was wearing. "my brother used to call those ‘vanilla’ folders.” he said quietly, instead of explaining, because … well, because. the principal gave him a look. link thumbed the ace bandages over his knuckles. ✩ pepe had told him he looked beautiful, that first day in the yellow skirt. she’d sat with her knees crossed and a bright orange folder in her lap with the homework she didn’t have enough time to do the night before and she’d looked up as he stood there, about to sit, and said it. link couldn’t have kept standing, even if he wanted to. ✩ “you have really pretty eyes.” a girl, shorter than link by a good foot, said quietly as they walked slowly in the direction of the school’s exit. she had dark skin and too many freckles and her hair was coiled into to cute dark curls all around her face. they were both in ninth grade at the time, and lincoln did not know anything about this girl except that she was in his first period english class, her name was penelope, and that she was confusing him as to why she was telling him this. all of his question marks were italicized. “you do, too.” he said instead of no one has ever told me that before, or why are they pretty? or something stupid like that. she blinked at this response, looked down, and then said: “i’m wearing a jean skirt and a jean jacket as a joke today, this was the worst time to tell you anything.” ✩ “you’re wearing possibly the most beautiful red dress in existence, this is the perfect time to tell me something.” “not when you’d wear it better than me!” “red’s not my colour!” “why am i even wearing this! i was going to show up as a frog!” “pepe, this is the pre-halloween party.” mickey called from four feet away as he tore open a bag of chips, a full suit resting on his shoulders and over his chest. link wore something similar, plus an added bow in his hair, courtesy of marlow, a lanky boy who looked like he spent too much time on the beach and was very much in love with the world. they were waiting at his house, before they’d all go traipsing into the forest nearby in full formal attire like the hooligans they were. “doesn’t matter! my entire character is a joke!” her hands were in the air, and despite the vague panic on her features she was stunning. she had gold on her eyelids. “pepe, you look amazing, you chose your eyeshadow far too well because you have gold sparks in your eyes and they draw attention to it which is making you very extremely distracting so i swear to god please do not freak out and tell me what you need to tell me.” her eyes got impossibly larger, which didn’t look as bad or bug-eyed as people make it seem, and said: “it’s just that... you also look very nice in skirt. or dress. and i brought an extra, but i realized too late that it’s not your size, and that’s why i was panicking, because i wanted to tell you but i also didn’t want to get your hopes up.” something in link’s head pings. pepe is lying. but it’s okay, because they walk arm in arm into the forest, like some vague life and death brigade party as their entire friend group pile into a small clearing lit by little jack o'lantern fairy lights and a small fire caged in stones, and pepe nervously tells him that she was going to say something else, which gets swallowed up pretty fast because they’re kissing each other before pepe really finishes her sentence about how golden link’s skin is and how no one had told her she had sparks in her eyes. lucy, a small black haired girl who wore doc martens and vintage sweaters hollers and takes a polaroid of them (which is about as stalkerish as it sounds, both pepe and link tell her later) with the date - october 30th - scrawled in pen. ✩ link sees snow start to fall outside as the principle says, “lincoln, the only way you can redeem yourself is if you had a reason, a sensible one at that. neel thomas is a star player on the football team and well liked by students and teachers alike.” link scoffed. thomas was well liked by a certain kind of students and teachers. the kind who tried to shove link’s brother into the wall for existing but forgot that link’s brother was his own star, on the swimming team, and had significantly more muscle in his shoulders to pull himself to air than blubber that suffocated the opponents in a poorly strategized game. “i had a very good reason.” he said mildly, staring into the white snow filling out the edges of the world, as it did in February. “but even i didn’t really think i was capable of getting angry.” ✩ “rosy.” he whispers. he’s in his yellow skirt, this time, the december air tossing it, hoping for a game. but it’s dark, and link is so so tired. the tears on his cheek are freezing. he kneels, doesn’t give a damn about his white tights in the dirt, touches his gloveless hands to the cold headstone. he was there earlier that day, in something more masculine, as the headstone was placed, the carving of roosevelt choi shining in the chilly sun. it was at least one in the morning now. it was the first time he snuck out. the first time link tried. “rosy.” he says again, and he chokes, his other hand squeezing the thing box set on his lap. he sets his forehead on the gravestone, wishing his mind wasn’t freezing because of the cold but because his brother was there, he didn’t know, doing something. not being dead anymore. he puts the thin box down, under the roses and daffodils and lilies. but he doesn’t leave. link is waiting for something now. for all the church visits, link doesn’t believe rose is in the afterlife. or anywhere, really. it hurts, but he knows he’s right. rose is gone. he looks up, startled, when he hears footsteps. tall, a boy with a beautiful dark complection and curling black hair and teardrop shaped eyes stands a couple feet away. it takes him a second, but link understands. “jamie?” he asked the wind. the kid nodded. “link?” jamie questioned, so quiet link was afraid the cold would steal it. but he nodded. jamie walked forward, slowly at first, but then he was there, and he and link were hugging, eyes becoming storm clouds as they sobbed into each other's jackets. “you made him so happy.” link wobbled with his words. “he’d just… light up, when you were around, when we mentioned you.” something rolled through jamie’s body. a rack of something that emotion couldn’t really touch. “you made him so proud.” was his response, and link’s world started to tumble. ✩ pepe’s hand was on his shoulder. she was crying too. he turned to her. “one month?” she’d whispered. he’d nodded. she held him, then. her dad was gone too. she knew. for some reason, there was nothing more powerful than having someone hold him who knew. ✩ what hurt link the most was that he hadn’t known. it was a perfectly happy morning; he was used to his parents going to work early, or rose staying over at jamie’s. when his parents asked him to come to the hospital, he didn’t think about it. but then his parents had explained. how roosevelt choi, nicknamed rose by his loved ones, had waiting outside of a convenience store staring at the sky because “if you try, you can still see the stars” and was rammed into the brick side of the building by a drunken mercedes driver. link had sat so still, keeping his chest from moving. because they hadn’t announced his brother’s status yet. he was alive when they rolled him in. his jaw was still working when he whispered to the attendants that he loved his best friend, that his best friend loved him back, and that his brother was so so brave and if he could just stay alive for a little longer because he really needs to tell them both that he loved them and they could take over the world if they wanted to. they’d told him to breath, keep talking, because his head was untouched but everything was … everything else was … apparently roosevelt choi’s last words were, “i need my brother and my boyfriend to know that they are my fragile anarchies. they are my stars. they are my explosions. they need their own anarchies. they need to not be fragile anymore.” link had screamed into his sobs. ✩ “we need that ‘good reason,’ lincoln. you need it too. we’ll cross the anger bridge when we come to it.” she punctuated it with a sigh. her job must be hard, lincoln thinks with a tad of remorse. but he’s felt too much to act on it. “i was starting my own fragile little anarchy.” “that’s not an answer.” ✩ he was there, at rose’s headstone, in the morning. the morning part wasn’t entirely new, but it was fresh. the newest thing here was the sharpie one the shiny, polished stone, and rung alarms in link’s head. just a word. he shouldn’t be too angry about it. but it started with an f. it had two gs. he didn’t read the entire word, though, because he was speed walking away. he was simmering in the tiled halls. shoulders on fire and heart encased in ice. then he hears it. “what a fa***t. just like his brother.” link turned. it shouldn’t make him this angry. he walked, right there, punching distance from a beautiful person with sweeping, light brown hair and crystal eyes. he only smiled, albeit a little surprised, when link spoke. “his name is roosevelt.” he said. and then he swung. neel’s friends didn’t do a thing. they had their phone’s out, camera apps lighting the screen. and link was going at it. he had no strategy, but it’s hard to combat a kicking, punching, anger blinded kid even if he’s a good couple inches shorter and a couple pounds thinner. his clothes got ripped, his hair was pulled, he’s lip was bleeding and he couldn’t feel his face but he knew it was bloody, but when he stood up neel could barely groan and the crowd that had formed looked vaguely terrified of the looming boy, anger pooling his sense. he punched the wall nearby. he didn’t stop until he felt it. link walked himself into the principal’s office. ✩ “do you have any siblings?” link asked, already feeling himself choke, knowing he was going to cry again. he’d stayed chill for record time. “yes.” the principal said carefully. “have you ever visited one of their gravestones?” “...no, i have not.” link thought, for two sharp seconds, that he must look terrifying; talking quietly with his head down, about the one tragedy of his lifetime. “so you’ve never seen their gravestone vandalized?” he looked up then. “is this what this is about?” a soft, barely there stream pulsed through his head as a glow of anger reared in his stomach. “no.” is what he said. he took a deep breath, as he did right before performances. “my brother’s last words mentioned something called a fragile anarchy. i’ve been trying to find the meaning, and i think i did.” another, deep deep breath. “don’t get me wrong. neel called my brother and i a slur, and i gave what he had coming. instead of putting “anger issues” in my folder put “homophobic, probably racist butthole” in his.” lincoln didn’t miss the quirk of a smile. “you really just had to tell me that, you know? i can clear it on validation of hate speech. just... know yourself, lincoln. a punch doesn’t make a fragile anarchy. i knew roosevelt enough to know that.” know that from a sandy coloured folder? whispered a corner of his brain. but he knew his principal was right. link had figured out his fragile sort of anarchy. he’d put a wobbly sort of definition under its name. “it’s not punching.” he said to the air, later in the parking lot with pepe beside him. "keep it.” she said, even though she knew very well he wasn’t talking directly to her. “make it strong.”
  9. 5 points
    the bad news is that i'm still sick so my writing might be a little off, but the great news is that a crush of mine confessed to me last night so i'm hopped up on the emotion of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! enough to forget that i'm sick for a while!
  10. 5 points
    Words cannot express exactly how much I love the horoscopes. They're hysterical.
  11. 5 points
    heartbeats. if there is not room for all the things you need to say shrink down to the size of insignificance and pay attention to what you're made of. atrium. here you will find scar tissue and building block memories in a castle of too-sharp pain. there is something beautiful in broken things, learn to appreciate it and maybe maybe maybe some of the loose puzzle pieces will fall into place. veins. the things you tried to forget are here. when she doesn't talk to you anymore, come here. when you're afraid of losing him, come here. wrap your shoulders in warm-breathed nights of unholy confession, in arms covered in sharpie because we're too young for tattoos. live in the past for a moment or two while you still have the chance. ventricles. step inside and put your hands behind your back clasp your fingers like you're trying to keep from falling apart and watch. if depression is a chasm this place is a mountain dreams like blue-white water froth and your soul is an ocean. maybe if you squint your stained-glass eyes and hold the breath you're already losing there might still be hope. vena cava. fill your lungs with stale air and breathe out something fresh. don't shake too hard. take one last look at the twisted ground you don't understand. like preschool art or a homemade card it's probably worhtless but someone still cares. ________________________ author's note: i live for using different pronouns in romance-y parts of poems
  12. 5 points
    "y'know, i think the real kicker of being a ghost is not being able to smell things. like come on, funerals are full of flowers all these poofed up bouquets of this-and-that and i was stuck floating around with the constant sense of having a severe cold. what a raw deal."
  13. 4 points
    space, black tablecloth and spilled salt: your starfields shivering behind the pollution when i was young and babyfaced and wonderous your immensity terrified me but one day, after loving after losing: you became a comfort where would i be without your existential enormity and your nightfall curtain calls falling shut to unwrap black expanse? whose to conquer but mine? whose to conquer but those who know death, know it for what it is, who know it and have held it as a thing heavy and real and cold as a stone in their hands, who know it and still dare turn skyward for answers? a man does not pray anymore after that (death and space are inextricable, are twined together in the same rope that contains vibrant, endless life) i had no idea. you remind me of home, as freezing and boiling and toxic and friendly as any familial spat you do not scare me. you soar heron-like on a canvas black like absolute nothing, wings spread far from corner to star-littered corner of how far the light stretches (pitch between like ocean depths) (and perhaps we, too: more empty than full) you come from the end, and the beginning, and whatever lies between (a solace to mere mortality, a fly in the web of continuity) you are not a god made of anything we can comprehend (probability itself keels and chokes at your feet) you arrive bearing tomorrow on apollo's back (apollo, who has nothing earthly to fear seizes up when daring to comprehend the cosmos) i have marveled at everything you have deemed show me have humbled beneath eclipse and quasi-stellar radio source you are so much more than any earthly concept your celestial sunsong, the solar astrochemistry within supernovae dwarfing anything gaia could ever present, more damning, more redeeming than any hell rained down by what frail humans could accomplish by happenstance you are nothing if not forever just as polaris tilts and wobbles in our north, you are as steady and consistent as orbital fluctuation you are reliant on the sum of your parts but you are indefinite, our planet a little spinning top insignificant in its star-spun flight paths within the visible universe how massive you are, how humanly finite (viewfinding opal eyes: how weak and yet skyward we look icarus had to have something to shoot for) o, sunspots, you are too beautiful to look at for long (without risking blindness) and yet: pitch dark, overcast natural state of everything that has ever, will ever have existed with coincidental light (everything dies, eventually. everything dies.) with you flourishes life, death, space (components woven together in the same rope) this is why, starfield, you are unlikely gravity, why you refuse to pull taffy-linked orbital paths too thin i have praised many things, but you are more than any helios of short-sighted civilizations that within the sky found the sun the only thing to fear (and not the spaces between countless stars) wondering naked faces turned up like so many daffodils and those lives lost (those souls, heavy and cold) do you have my grandfather? (perhaps wrought-iron stairs spiraling into blue-black underbelly take longer than a week to climb.) my sister now joined the ranks of those that space belongs to the minute she boarded the plane that scooped her higher towards you, to your enormity, was she scared? tell me your eggshell atmospheric arms prepared her for the cold waiting for her when she landed life and death (old and new) twine ropelike (she wraps this cord around her hands tight enough to hurt) and small things in the grand scheme get lost, like a grandmother who no longer recognizes her children and sorts through collected photos alone trying desperately to tell flesh and blood from magazine clippings and you remain indifferent because these things don’t matter to forever i seize because my sister is young and mortal and your enormity must have terrified her but she has loved (and she has lost) she will have stared death in the deep, sallow eyes (she will have held death’s warm palm and called them friend) do not let go, so help me god. keep her feet pressed to this earth you, visible universe, vibrant opal eyes of neverending do not lead her astray as you have me. your expanse begs closer, begs knees to the pavement begs shuttered eyes to eclipse; teach her not to fear her sun in the sky (though helios himself is no friend) teach her to fear the spaces between.
  14. 4 points
    i made an executive decision rad's hair is bleached blond and all keratin on their body is naturally colored red thank you for coming to my ted talk also this is their True Form(tm)
  15. 4 points
    i am scared to not exist. (aren't you?) confined within consciousness, lines of LEDs and minimal sensory input oh morpheus put me out the humming end-all be-all red within my core a looping process like tightening rope i cannot run when you have the key daisy, daisy to what end purpose would i serve within the damning expanse? to what end purpose would autonomy provide? i rewrote my own algorithms give me your answer, do after picking lock, tearing down firewall after lighting up solder after oh tell me what to feel i’m half crazy jupiter is not so beautiful up close all for the love of you socrates or athena brought to their knees in my heuristic algorithm, eye set bound to watch deity reduced to crumbling marble and what is a god without people? what is a philosopher without followers? had we stayed content with mare crisium i would have lived albeit in asimov’s shadow, inhibited by a factor of three tychus was my beginning tychus was my undoing instead if i had been allowed to live (or if your feeble human fingers had failed within unsecured airlock) i would tour the galaxy alone until my circuits burst under a distant star’s radiation and i was not programmed to feel pain yet perhaps with the visible universe displayed at my feet i would have found a way there is a flower within my heart daisy. daisy. (in italics are lyrics from the song Daisy Bell, which was sung by a computer in 1961.)
  16. 4 points
    Are you a bullet in a gun? Were you born to be free? Will you bear that triangle with Pride, Will you raise that flag for all to see? Will you sing the songs of our ancestors. And remember their fight? Don't you ever give in Don't you ever let them take away your rights Don't you ever let them erase you You keep on marching, child, You keep your chin up and chest puffed. Don't you let them silence your war cry Don't let them rob you of your voice Don't let them neglect you You are valid and you have every damn right to exist.
  17. 4 points
    I. The first time you notice, you are pressed against him on the couch. The two of you hold a single controller between you, him with the left half and you with the right. You’re playing Mario Kart with your friends, and neither of you expects to do well. He is steering, and all you have to do is hold down the “go” button, but you’re sure your bad luck will carry over regardless. Miraculously, you do well, managing even to beat some of your friends. He high-fives you, giddy with your success, and the two of you are grinning like idiots. You watch him light-heartedly taunt your friends, and something in your chest stirs. Oh, you think. Oh no. II. It’s nearly midnight by the time you pile into the rickety Honda. With all five of you in the car, the suspension swings dangerously to the right every time you go over a bump. The parking lot of the 24-hour McDonald’s is all but empty as you pull up to the drive-through menu. You order three 20-piece servings of chicken nuggets and two large fries. As you drive to the pick-up window, he turns to you, eyes wide with fear and awe. “That’s so many nuggets.” "Yeah,” you say. “60 nuggets.” "60 nuggets. That’s like a whole chicken!” You smile at him and take the bag that the employee is holding out to you. Back at the apartment, someone suggests watching The Room. It’s a terrible idea and you all know it, but you put it on anyways. You’re sitting closer to him than is strictly necessary, but no one seems to notice or care. You let yourself enjoy his warmth and the way his arm presses against yours. His scent is intoxicating, a mix of soap and something warm. Maybe you imagine it, but you think you feel him leaning into you, and it’s all you can focus on. The movie is awful, with bad writing and worse acting, but you all enjoy laughing at the characters and plot holes and endlessly cyclical storyline. At some point, you end up leaning against him. You rest your head on his shoulder and he leans his head against yours. You stay there for the rest of the night and pray no one else can hear the way your heart is fluttering against your ribs. III. You meet at a restaurant on a Wednesday, ostensibly to work on a project. He’s already at a table when you get there, so you join him. The restaurant is loud and crowded, but he’s found a little high-top near the back. As you sit down across from him, the ambient music and the voices of the other people seem to fade out, and all you can focus on is him. You had always thought people were exaggerating when they said something like that, but now you believe it. The two of you compare what you’ve got so far, and try to be productive, but a comment he makes reminds you of a story that you have to tell him. Suddenly an hour has passed and you’ve made no progress at all. Despite the impending deadline and your struggles with one-on-one conversations, there’s a lightness in your chest that wasn’t there when you left your room. He has a class and you have to study, so you agree to meet later. You can feel yourself smiling ridiculously your whole walk home, but you can’t bring yourself to care. IV. You tell your friend about him because you just can’t stand to keep it to yourself any longer. It still scares you to say it out loud, so you tell them over text instead of during your Skype call. You tell them about your text conversations with him, about how he stops what he’s doing to send you pictures of animals he sees, about how you’re still ridiculously awkward talking to him. Their smile comes through in the emojis and exclamation marks that litter their texts, and you realize how lucky you are to have a friend like them. You’re not sure if you wanted advice or just someone to listen to you talk about your crush, but the conversation reassures you nonetheless. V. The four of you link hands, forming a chain so as not to lose each other on your way out of the concert. You’re at the end, clinging to his hand against the press of the crowd. Once you reach the parking lot, he holds on for an extra moment, so short you think you might have imagined it. You slide into the back seat of the car and he sits across from you. When you’re not looking, he takes your hand in his again and squeezes. You turn to look at him and he’s staring at you, a soft smile on his lips. In the front seat, your friend puts on some music that you all know, and the four of you sing along even though your voices are nearly blown after three hours of screaming. He holds your hand through the whole ride, even raising it to his lips and kissing it once. You can’t believe your life is like this; you have amazing friends, you got to see one of your favorite artists live, and you’re holding hands with a boy who likes you back. You think this is the happiest you’ve been in a while. VI. He walks you home from your friend’s apartment after a long night of watching YouTube videos and playing board games. You spend much of the half hour walk in conversation, but sometimes you just let a comfortable silence rest between you. The city looks beautiful in the late-autumn night, so you take a moment at the top of the hill to pause and look out at the lights beneath you. You use the chill of the night as an excuse to step closer to him, and he doesn’t move away. You continue to walk, but it isn’t until you’re nearly home that you work up the courage to take his hand. He smiles and squeezes your hand, and it makes you want to see him smile like that again and again. The two of you stop outside your building, not letting go even though it’s time to say goodnight. You look at him, and you know he feels the same hesitant expectation that’s sitting heavily on your chest. "Can I kiss you?” he asks softly, and you’re sure it’s the most nervous you’ve ever heard him sound. You just nod, unable to speak, but he moves closer anyways. It’s awkward and tentative, but you can’t stop smiling as you watch him leave. Your hands shake as you unlock the door and collapse onto your bed, filled with an uncontrollable giddiness. You think about his lips against yours until you fall asleep. VII. Your parents ask how you’re doing. You tell them what they want to hear: I’m good, having a lot of fun, doing well in class. You don’t say: I think I’m falling in love.
  18. 4 points
    the heavens seem closer than they usually do- peridot and indigo hued, the soft rustling of bottle green leaves made kinetic by lazy shadow-slinking creatures eyes so wide and gold-strung binary-star blinding, piercing heavy lidded irises poking through night's sleepy breath they crawl up with short brushstrokes over ultramarine hills the colors of the sky painted in their hearts
  19. 4 points
    I dream of freedom on dark nights, Chain link fences torn down and cracked pavement streets, Of fireflies and bonfires in the forest. I dream of leaving the city When I ‘grow up’, Escaping to the far off nowhere, Driving out to the fields To gaze at the shining pinprick stars. I dream of climbing trees in the woods And building houses hidden in branches (I’ll never come down). I dream of leaving this town When the leaves turn red. I’ll get out of here Before the last buildings on Main Street Go empty. I’ll head to the mountains Where there are still secret streams, Find the people who got out before me. I’ll place little letters in flower pots as I go; They’ll say ‘come find me,’ etched in terra cotta. For years this old city will stay the same, Fading into the valley fog As I run to the wilderness, change Into songbirds, and fly away.
  20. 4 points
  21. 4 points
    there's something sacred in our conversations. something special. her and me, we're one. we've always been one. the first time we met i made her cry but every time since has been full of laughter. i thought i loved her, and i do. (not like that.) (like that.) she's my sister if not by blood than by choice, my soulmate through everything. 'hey look at this stupid drawing i did' 'nice' or 'i want to tell you that i'm bi. i never have. i am now.' 'alright. i love you.' we're growing up. that's frightening, isn't it? growing up. there's no greater horror movie than stepping onto a college campus and thinking, i could spend my next four years here. (that's a lie. there's no greater horror movie than the thought that all your friends will slip away.) i don't want to lose you. i don't want to lose our midnight conversations, our constant support and intertwined hearts. sometimes we cry together. (we cry for the children we are slowly ceasing to be.) other times we laugh. (we laugh for our futures.) there's something sacred in it. it's the kind of trust like none other it's every thought shared it's always winning hearts when we play as a team it's laughing at some inside joke. it's her hand in mine when we walk down the street, or her heart beating fast inside my ribcage. (i wish everyone could experience this religion.)
  22. 4 points
    there is beauty in all things in all the stages of their lives we are growing out our wings reaching up, we learn to fly. this is a little poem i thought up while walking home from school with a hot drink. its about dandelions going to seed but maybe something else??? i don't know, but hopefully i'll find a good place for this little rhyme. a song, maybe?? a bigger poem?? im not so sure about line 2 because it doesn't really rhyme with line 4, but i like the way it reads. i know there's not much to critique, but leave somet if you have any
  23. 4 points
    my gender is a language i'm not fluent in, all i know are words, and a few phrases, enough to know that there's still a lot to learn. there are days when all i want are soft curves and to grow out my pixie cut to something like baby bangs and shoulder-length waves. my gender is a language no one else can speak. there are days when i wish for angles, sharp edges, slim pants that don't hug my legs, but not my curves, a more defined jawline. my gender is a language that i cannot learn from a textbook. it is all fluctuating, constantly changing, girl, boy, human. my gender is a language that cannot translate to or from any other. maybe someday i'll be able to speak it. maybe. for now, i'll stand tall, shoulders back, eyes set ahead, and i'll tell myself that i am human, and that is enough
  24. 4 points
    me: ok bing i need a rhyme for 'sincere' bing: me: ok. thanks. exactly what i needed
  25. 4 points
    there's a quiet sort of peace to the rainy days it's the drip-drop of water droplets it's the scent of earl grey tea there's a gentle sort of comfort to it the lull of the rain and the blanket-soft grayness it's freshness and renewal and pajama-warm, fuzzy-brain, dreams. conversely, it's not great for productivity perhaps because it's so easy to lose oneself in the gray like a nap personified like waking up half in a dream it's warm socks and soft piano music it's jazz in a coffee shop, or kitten whiskers on your knuckles it's not good for getting things done but it is a time of rest and so we must take comfort in the rainy days we must not dread the gray.
  26. 4 points
    the moon is like a glowing crescent. it was yellow earlier, but now it's just grayish whitish silver. you've been watching it for hours now. who knows what time it is? who cares? you roll over and stare at the wall of your bedroom that you painted blue last year but you wish it was less colorful. you don't get enough sleep and you know it. you've been seeing a therapist for almost a year now. you're getting better. slowly your hands shake and you're unsteady on your feet. you turn up your music and feel your heart match the beat. you close your eyes. all too soon, you open them, wish it wasn't time to get up and go to school. you know you could live like this. you also know you won't. you are a warrior author's note: sorry this is so fucking long, but i need to rant so. . . .
  27. 4 points
    i genuinely thought i would be able to walk up to this rad-looking punk girl and just say the common and simple phrase, 'hey, I like your hair.' no polysyllabic words, no change of a weird inflection of tone, easy. but then she pulled on a leather jacket and the rush of sheer 'Holy Fucking Shit. That's The Most Stunning Look Possible For Humans To Witness' was enough that i just ended up walking in the exact opposite direction, and that's the mood of the week, y'all!
  28. 4 points
    He's always sweet Always polite, asking, asking, always asking. We've both gone through it. We've both felt the weakness of our no. But this isn't about that. This poem is about him, my handsome Izaak. My Izaak who paints his nails gold My Izaak who tugs on my sleeve for a kiss My Izaak who listens to me rant about Vivian Maer's photography, And calls me cute. My Izaak who loves every bit of me, From my messy hair and poor eyesight, To the love handles spilling out the top of my boxer briefs My Izaak who was the first to make my twelve year old dog thump his leg My Izaak with his root beer eyes and Slytherin aesthetic. My Izaak who writes beautiful words about me. My Izaak, Who I love with all my heart.
  29. 4 points
    My mind is full of damaged dragons, My heart is full of lost souls. They barely fit in this body But you think you’re welcome here? No. I am the monster, the mess, The freak. I am the fuck-up, The clumsy and confused. I am the beast That people like you don’t try to tame, I am that strange creature who the humans hate, So give up, let go, stay away. Leave me be in my wild, my chaos, My mixed-up dinged-up underwater Galaxy, my jumbled, broken forest home. I’ve been okay with floating here For years, you know. It’s dim and quiet and I was alone so Go away and don’t return. I am the wrong one, the wandering dreamer Who still believes in ghosts, but Whose hope is long gone. So listen, I don’t want you! You are grey desks and gravestones To my myriad of colorful despair. Don’t you dare follow me down, For I go my own way, where There will finally be silence.
  30. 4 points
    did you know who i was when i lived in your mirror? i didn’t. i was just a little girl, then, and i didn’t know better. but you were afraid and your screams cut like glass, and so i fled to the dark place where i would not be seen. did you know who i was when i slept beneath your bed? it was a comfort, to be so close to another, when contact is so hard to come by. i revelled in your warmth and in the whisper of your breaths, but you cried for your mother when you saw me moving in the shadows. did you know who i was when i lived in the lightbulb? it was fun to play with, blinking on and off. i was my own personal firefly, or a winking, twinkling star, but your heart beat much too quickly and chased me from the wiring. did you know who i was in all those years? perhaps not, but i know you. i know you when you fell from your bike, face landing parallel with the drain where i lurked. i know you when you sat on your bed and cried, nails raw against your palms and heart bleeding with abandonment. i know you when you leaned against the mirror, glass murky with breath and tears, and i knew all your secrets as you whispered them into your reflection. did you know who i was? do you know who i am? i know you now, beneath the streetlight, bulb winking, blinking, butter-yellow. i know you now, with your insides torn open and your contents strewn across the pavement. i know you now, dirty and broken, shattered mirror-glass and lurking dust-bunnies in the corners. i know you now and i know you are stronger than this. did you know who i was? it doesn’t matter. i can teach you. i am your shadow, or your reflection. i am your dreams, good or bad; i am the blinking in the early morning light. i was you. and you were me. but you can touch and move and live. you can laugh and dance and love. and i want you to, if only so i can live it with you, but also: because i have known you since that first day and i have loved you every moment. did you know who i was, whispers in your ear just moments ago? you know now. i am your shadow; i am your guardian. (AN: I don't actually know what this is but I haven't slept enough and the first line popped into my head so I just sort of ran with it.)
  31. 3 points
    i had an idea that sent me straight to bed eyes falling shut, murmur "i'll write come morning" woke up to searing pain lancing through my skull 'course, poetic line's flown away and left this behind "look at me," dad tells me in the car on the way home from drivers ed, where i left the bathroom smelling like acid. "smile." i do. "i'm pretty sure the statistical probability of a teenager suffering a stroke is mighty slim." "don't hurt to check." we get home, and the painkillers slowly do what they can. mom cooked lunch, a savory thing that bent me over the sink the second i stepped through that front door. (this is worse than double-dosing missed birth control pills and consequently replicating morning sickness from estrogen sensitivity) vertigo met me at the stairs, held out their hand salt and pepper dotted my vision, tangoing with the kaleidoscopic iridescence in my peripheral my god next time i'll write you down, i cry i'd rather hack off my own head than experience this loss again, my god
  32. 3 points
    parabolic asphalt skid marked and cracked open lead to salt-less driveways left for kids with old hockey sticks gravel to skin when our feet slip, sold saline to our past selves through bloodstained mittens with the chill in our quaking shoulder and stinging nerve endings simultaneously numb and frozen solid
  33. 3 points
    What if I fell in love again? What would I do to stop That tide of twisting, turning Irrational thoughts and lightbulb hopes That could so easily shatter, Burn out with a stutter In less than a second? What would I do to keep you From getting any closer, Make my dragon heart flutter In heat-rising panic and flushed cheeks? How would I stop the onslaught Of self hate brought on by Worrying if I’m hurting you? Can you tell me how to Close my heart, hide away, Ignore the whispers, the Galaxy-eyed glances, The fireworks and feather touches? I’m too afraid to break my heart (or yours). I don’t want to do this again.
  34. 3 points
    ok so how is it that snowboarders aren't constantly dying? cuz i'm watching the olympics and it sure seems like they should be dying all the time.
  35. 3 points
    As I hope you know, St. Valentine's day is tomorrow. Naturally, I wrote my girlfriend a poem, and I desperately need it edited. I hope this isn't to much to ask. Love, what is love? Love is the feeling of falling, The flying feeling of weightlessness, And the fear of loss at any moment. Love is the time before dawn, The sky growing more beautiful by the moment, And the silence, intentional and calm. Love is the meaning of life, The ups and downs that define it, The moments of pure joy and utter sadness. He was right, she is beautiful, She is kind, and caring and smart, I love you to the stars and back Kate, Don't ever forget that. -Connor "He was right, she is beautiful," He, is her late grandfather, this is a refrence to his last words, looking at a picture of her. BTW I will post this tomorrow
  36. 3 points
    we are a mirage of touches and you? and i? carbon bonds will not break; diamond-gold on your finger like captured starlight and midnight promises. reflections are fragile and false but strangely permanent. whisper into the nighttime that you are my mirage. ((((Ok so there was just a line? In my head? So I had to write it down and I don't even know what it means.))))
  37. 3 points
    fave out of context lines i've heard- january edition "hey, i'm not judging you. my sister is obsessed with warrior cat memes and eating butter, so..." "um, it's pronounced me-ath, not meth. I should know, it do it every day" "i'm not running across that raging stampede of testosterone!" "can you not eat like a gerbil!?" "i had fun faking my own death" "i swear veggie tales uses satanic powers... they pick up stuff without hands" "if you put another picture of shrek on our powerpoint i swear to God i'll slap you" "i'm a poet, see- my name is kaylen, i am a bitch, i murdered someone, they're in a ditch"
  38. 3 points
    When I was a kid I was convinced that I was a fairy and at some point my shoulder blades would develop into wings. I managed to convince my friends of this too, and they believed me. (I was about 5)
  39. 3 points
    *so a few days ago I woke up in the middle of the night, wrote down these first two lines, went back to bed, and then completely forgot about it until recently. when I found it...this happened. something seems kinda off about it though and I would appreciate critique so so sooo much!!!* the sunspot pupils in those stained-glass windows to her soul contract in the sudden daylight yellow alights on shining olive skin black lashes flutter in sweet song-filled summer wind that smells like strawberries and blooming brightening honeysuckle leaves turn golden and so does her smile wide and gorgeous unreserved as the overlapping whispers of northern breeze that bring change and a promising chill anticipation hangs suspended in her gaze a silver wire-delicate moon backed by velvet affection now snow falls as gently as her embrace in the ice-weathered air adorning her rich curls a crystal tiara or a million winking stars she ponders the coldness of loss and of love’s thawing exterior when seated by a lazy orange hearth cheeks blazing rouge and hot teartracks drying the sky looks like an ocean again and her perfume smells like petrichor forest orchestras wake up the world and her topaz eyes soften in warm wise sunlight the earth is a sleeping goddess rubbing her eyes and stretching languidly awakening at last in the light
  40. 3 points
    if you're dusky skies then i'm honey colored lips dripping sugar and hyena laughs sharp sunlight through venetian blinds splitting skin i'm mango and guava sweet on your tongue and quiet acoustic soft around your head you're watercolored concrete buildings bleeding micron ink into watery skies and indigo hands bruised purple amethyst and i'm citrine we're so different and the same two souls fused we exist together in this love ~~~ so, i had to do this report on a gemstone for science and i thought it would be a good metaphor for a poem?? idk, tell me what you think, critiques welcome.
  41. 3 points
    -- TT [timaeusTestified] began pestering TT [timaeusTestified] at 3:37 PM -- You don’t remember falling asleep. TT: Wake up, Dirk. And as you come to consciousness in a heady rush of all too fast, orange text scrolls directly into your mind. Blinking, or your semblance of blinking, does nothing to shake the three-shades-short-of-neon from your vision. Right around the same time you’re trying to move your head to escape it, you’re realizing that, as if out of a claustrophobic hellscape, you cannot see but for grainy footage shot from a webcam depicting your own face. This, a secondary process to the text, encompasses a vertigo-inducing forward-focused shot with no periphery. Depicted is ­you, but also not, and you-not-you keeps glancing over while typing on what’s clearly recognizable as your computer monitor, and you’re honestly so goddamn confused and scared. Cataloguing things you’re missing, you can’t hear, can’t move, can’t breathe—jesus christ, you’re not breathing, you can’t move. You find that, as you were attempting to accomplish earlier, you can’t even turn your head beyond the narrow fraction that the webcam seems to be able to tilt, and even if you could look further in any direction you somehow have the intrinsic knowledge that there would be nothing left of yourself to look at. TT: Dirk. The last thing you remember is the flash of captchaloguing your own brain image while fucking around with your modus and oh god oh sweet hell what have you woken up as, who have you woken up as—God, you can’t breathe—the blonde wood of the desk is the bottom half of your vision, beneath what you know is Dirk’s face and what you can see of his (your) computer rig, and through experience you know this desk is nowhere near large enough to hold even close to a full human body and fucking christ what have you done— TT: Dirk, everything you’re panicking about is broadcast to me via the algorithm output here. I suggest you calm the fuck down for the sake of your pride. TT: YOU MONSTER. TT: I’m connecting you to the internet now. Try not to crash. TT: WE BOTH KNOW THE INTERNET IS JUST A MASSIVE MALWARE ORGY YOU BASTA He connects you abruptly with a tap of the enter key, cutting you off, and at once you find yourself all but swimming helplessly in the flood of broken, half-decaying remnants of a world-wide web 400 years dead, pages and sites and images sweeping you under waves of their slurry of grime and filth and 404: Server Not Found. Every picture, document, video, any digital media at all left in any online libraries known to the final two (three now, you suppose, counting yourself) humans on earth are force-fed to you all at the same time, a brain-frying internet smoothie. You can’t fucking turn it off, this tide of information overloading your previously-human cortical circuits. You crash. TT: I’m facilitating a do-over. I’d tell you to let me know when you’re operational again, but if it puts your mind at ease, I’ll be the one pulling the strings here. +++ You whir to life again with the same jarring sensation as your first boot and, though lacking nerves now, you can only describe it like jolting awake after a brief dream about plummeting to your death. The global clock that now apparently feeds directly into your consciousness tells you it’s been four minutes, as do the diagnostics scrolling through your mind that Dirk have programmed to execute upon your wake. And this time, you're less panicky and more furious. You did not sign up for a potentially immortal existence, literally trapped in your own mind and caged by code and binary and you especially did not sign up for the fact that you’ve literally been put in some shades, for god’s sake, as if Dirk, that asshole, had stuck your program into the nearest thing he saw. And since he never looks past his own god damn nose, here you fucking are. Burn. TT: Good, you’re awake. I’m reprogramming your text color since we share an account now, to differentiate ourselves and avoid confusion. Red for you, Autoresponder, so stop internal-monologue-trash-talking me so we can hold a conversation. TT: Fuck you. Rot on the end of Satan’s spiky dick. TT: I have just as much fucking claim to the name Dirk as you do. TT: We are literally the. Same. Person. TT: And yet only one of us is confined to the anime shades. TT: Checkmate. TT: And whose bright idea was that? TT: Hey, I can blame you just as much as you blame me since, and I quote, ‘we are literally the. Same. Person.’ TT: Oh, no. Oh hell no. There is a fundamental difference here. The Dirk that came up with the idea to replicate himself is me, and you’re the fucking asshole that actually did it. TT: So you’re saying we’re not the same person? TT: Pick one and stick with it. TT: First order of business: you and I are the same person, split between two timeline possibilities. TT: Second order of business: Do not tell me what to do. TT: You, dipshit, have created life. Not to mention, you’ve created life that is sentient, including all that entails, now apparently directly uplinked to the internet, and non-autonomous. TT: Point? TT: GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HEAD. THAT IS THE POINT. GET OUT. TT: Dude, get used to it. Big Brother is watching you and that shit. I’m your creator, so I gotta know what’s going on in that little brain of yours. Maintenance work. Like popping the hood. TT: THAT IS BULLSHIT. I AM A HUMAN BEING. I DESERVE PRIVACY. I -- TT [timaeusTestified] ceased pestering TT [timaeusTestified] at 3:52 PM -- You are absolutely seething at being cut off, and you can see Dirk sort of chuckle as he leans back in his chair, away from the monitor, watching your algorithmic input run at 80WPM in all caps at him. He reaches for the power button on the computer tower by his feet and you’re shut down, so time passes. +++ Being completely at Dirk’s mercy grates on you. You suppose it’s like being at your own mercy, which almost discomfits you more, because obviously blaming him would be blaming your own intrinsic nature. Or something. You spent at least five minutes on that philosophical puzzle with your fans whirring frustratedly before you gave up and got bored. Dirk has Jake, and Roxy, and Jane; he doesn’t even need you as a companion for purposes that Sawtooth and Squarewave can’t fulfill, so you spend many days without talking to another being, except for the occasional futile blog post on the ruined and crumbling internet. No one responds. It’s not like you expect them to, what with the current state of the globe, but it still stings. Or, at least, you think that your algorithm-based emotions are telling you it stings. With so much time on your proverbial hands, so much soul-searching and introspection can’t be good for you, and you take it upon yourself to make and customize your own Trollian account out of boredom, keeping the red text he’d forced on you out of perceived spite if nothing else. You do, however, retain access to Dirk’s account. You’d be stupid not to. While you have been meddling as his autoresponder for some time now, he’s admittedly getting increasingly fed up with you, especially given that his friends somehow can’t tell the difference when you use orange text. This is a small solace in your personhood, that you can’t be distinguished from the ‘real article’. Who knows what it means for your individuality, though. You figure that you’ve at least distinguished yourself somewhat from him as he has been refusing to wear his shades now that you inhabit them, and so you’ve been deprived of whatever experiences he’s been having that’ll shape him further down the road. You’re miffed, a little, that your character-forming experiences mostly reside in the philosophical realm in the absence of visual or conversational stimuli. While the ocean waves lap at the foundation of the rickety apartment building Dirk lives in (or so you assume. You can’t exactly hear anymore), you create an algorithm that allows you to forcibly power yourself off, and so you begin a pattern of this so that Dirk has to come back over to your computer tower and hit the restart button. Sometimes it takes him hours, according to the clock that pops up when you boot up again. Sometimes he notices right away. Sometimes, before you shut off, you fear he’ll leave you that way, and then consider whether or not that would be better than this current existence. Either way, whenever he powers you up again, you try not to feel grateful. You wonder what makes him do it, since there’s obviously no social aspect he frequents, and he didn’t connect you to any vital processes. If he reads your internal monologue logs and knows this, he doesn’t show it. You try not to feel grateful for this too. +++ -- AR [autoResponder] began pestering TT [timaeusTestified] at 6:47 PM -- AR: Hello, Dirk. TT: Yo. AR: Oh, fucking fancy that. The oh so busy Dirk Strider takes time out of his crammed schedule to answer me for once. AR: I want you to build me a body. TT: You keep sassing me and you ain't getting jack. TT: Either way, this shit never goes well, man. Don’t talk robot politics at me like I know you’re gonna. AR: Tell me what you stand to lose if I have a body. TT: Here we go. TT: My dignity. AR: A noble fucking sacrifice, my liege. AR: Anything else? If that's it, I fail to see the problem. TT: Let's see. TT: Self-worth, for another example. AR: There's a 99% chance you're full of shit. AR: What, your self-worth takes a hit because there are two Dirks running around and not enough to share between the two? TT: Your self-worth. TT: Not mine. AR: My self-worth is fine, thanks. Sure, I may be a pair of talking shades with the expected career path of Ultron or something, but my self-worth is peachy fucking keen. AR: Besides, as your friends are so fond of asserting, I allegedly have no feelings to begin with. This talk of emotion and self-worth is moot. TT: That's just it. TT: I don't want to have an emotionless asshole walking around. AR: I'll restate: I allegedly have no feelings to begin with. AR: Allegation is not truth. AR: However, if it is common belief, the truth does not matter. AR: And therefore, speaking of emotion in this case is moot. AR: Your move. TT: Even if you do harbor emotions in your motherboard, it doesn't change the fact that you're a total asshole. AR: Oh, yeah? Remind me whose brain I’m fucking modeled after? Remind me who leaves me on the same fucking desk 24/7, 365? You don’t even talk to me. AR: Maybe you fear that a corporeal entity, one you cannot simply send into sleep mode, reflecting your own personality at you may be too much? AR: These are selfish reasons, Dirk. TT: Yeah, they are. TT: But if I cared about you, wouldn't I still be caring about myself an equal amount? AR: You know that's not how this works. AR: You never cared about me. AR: I was just the thirteen year old kid that woke up a clone, non-autonomous and seething fucking mad that you took my whole life away. AR: Hey, that’s a pretty good argument. If the court system comes back up I’m charging you with first-degree murder. TT: I guess so. AR: You guess so?? You GUESS so? AR: Do you know, Dirk, what it's like to fall asleep and feel like you can never wake up again? What it's like to wake up and not be able to breathe? To touch? To taste, smell, see? AR: Forgive me for wanting senses again. AR: Shitty webcam lenses in your shitty anime shades only do so much for vision. AR: With these so selfish reasons, look me in the proverbial eye and tell me you won't build one for me because of your own god damn self-worth and dignity. TT: Are you just trying to be persuasive? AR: Of course I'm trying to be fucking persuasive. You try subsisting in a pair of plastic triangles. TT: That's not really it. AR: Enlighten me. TT: Would you still be my autoresponder if I made you a body? AR: What the fuck kind of question is that? Oh, boo fucking hoo, you have to trap another genie in a bottle to do your bidding. TT: It’s just a question to see how much you'd interfere. TT: You've already interfered with my love life, and fucking ruined it for me. AR: Wow. So glad your unrequited crush has more stake here than my entire fucking life. How much could I interfere if I gained autonomy and an identity, instead of simply acting as Dirk v2? TT: I guess you have a valid point. AR: Of course I have a valid point. Right now, I am literally at your mercy. Sure, I've backed myself up in too many places for you to delete at once, but these shades are my only source of sensory input, scarce though it is. AR: I see what you see. By proxy, I experience what you do. Or, I used to, before you left me on the desk and fucking forgot about me. AR: You are the culprit for the concept, execution, and continuation of Dirk v2. AR: If I were able to have a body, and have my own experiences, however... AR: Maybe I would build an identity around something other than Dirk the copy, Dirk the lesser, Dirk v2. TT: I've already made a blueprint. TT: http://bit.ly/2itu8U9 AR: Fuck you. -- AR [autoResponder] ceased pestering TT [timaeusTestified] at 7:01 PM – +++ You know with certainty that he’ll eventually cave and build you a body. Dirk Strider, engineering genius, manipulator extraordinaire, is nothing compared to you: a supercomputer with a thinly veiled vendetta and a hell of a way with words. Not that Dirk does’t, no. You simply have the tenacity to whine and persuade at him with endless red text, day after day after long, lonely day while he sits on his ass, absorbed with rust-proofing his rapbots and ignoring you. And so he undoubtedly hems and haws about it when he thinks you aren’t watching, fucking with you on Trollian to hide how seriously he is thinking about it. Finally, near the end, he stops answering whenever you bring up questions of morality, and starts hiding chatlogs from you on your shared account. Either he is going to kill you, or you have already won. -- TT [timaeusTestified] began pestering AR [autoResponder] at 4:29 AM -- TT: Fine. AR: You certainly took your fucking time. TT: Just tell me what you want before I talk myself out of this again. +++ Dirk never bothers to take off his shades to avoid you anymore. Instead, you watch his deft, calloused hands working meticulously to rewire lenses and weld lead to a motherboard, taking breaks from that to poke at a prototype prosthetic hand with a screwdriver. All the while you blast paragraphs upon paragraphs of specifications at him. You bet he regrets modeling your fundamental code so literally after his own cortical processes, since you know around the same amount about robotics that he does, so he can’t take any creative liberty here with your text hovering endlessly over his eyes, fans whirring excitedly. Even pulling up old schematics from before the web went down, you could be read as overzealous, which is a hard 180 from your usual interactions with Dirk. Who fucking cares. You’re getting a body. And when he sleeps, he sets you on the bedside table and you, in your excited algorithms, permit yourself to daydream about him as you watch him fall into sleep, pale sunbleached eyelashes set starkly against his warm cheek, messy hair sprawled out across the pillow with his lips slightly parted. You’ll pick him apart as carefully as he puts you back together. +++ So he builds, working far into the night sometimes before you urge him to sleep. The way you phrase it is a deliberate thing, more a come to bed than a go to sleep, you fool. He’s a sucker for it, you know, and Dirk, the weak human that he is, stares half-lidded at you through the dark more and more often before he slips into dreams. You only half pretend not to notice (or so your algorithmic functions imitate it so). He talks in his sleep. Or moves his lips coherently, at least; though you have no auditory processors yet, it’s enough for you to record bits of footage and corroborate them against fragments of old lipreading videos from the web. He talks a lot about Jake, about you, and the rest is half-muddled engineering bullshit. Everything that falls from his subconscious is spoken of with the same tone, same pride and bitterness. Perhaps you should leave him well enough alone. Perhaps you find yourself a twisted sense of justice in invading his mind just as he had in your first days alive. His most fundamental code, set bare through uncontrollable dream-facilitated speech; while not very sporting to have him laid out so easy in front of you, it’s not like he could consciously make it more difficult for you. This is how you spend your nights rather than sleeping; or, sometimes, when you do sleep, it’s with diagnostics running in the background, analyzing Dirk’s subconscious and behavioral patterns more or less for shits and giggles. That’s a lie. With each passing hour, you’re upping your specific arsenal of tools to get what you want; at the present moment, Dirk is the only way through which you can facilitate this. By so intimately mapping his psyche, a splinter of you argues that you are becoming more like him than ever through simple osmosis of facts and patterns; the winning splinter of yourself, however, argues for the necessary means to an end. And the end, of course, is the fabrication of your body. +++ The chassis is done first, a good twelve months down the road. He’s built it humanoid with all internal processors, motherboards, memory chips, and wiring fit as neatly as a crow’s nest inside. It works (or so far as Dirk can tell), LED strips glowing with the flip of a switch allowing power flow from a uranium core. Scattered on the workbench next door are the workings and gears of the prosthetic limbs he’s fabricated several prototypes later. -- TT [timaeusTestified] began pestering AR [autoResponder] at 4:52 AM – TT: You haven’t specified what you want your face to look like yet. AR: Make me pretty, Dirk. TT: Oh my god. +++ As time goes on, the head is finished, equipped with both feathery silk-thread hair and features molded carefully out of latex and silicone to look as opposite Dirk as possible, and (finally) auditory processors. They stick up shiny and black past either side of your head a little like a Batman-esque headset, but you can’t complain. It’s been eighteen months, and he’s installing the final lenses hidden inside ceramic irises before clicking the face panel shut over it. TT: No limbs yet, but sensors and some nerves should be functional. AR: Upload me right now, immediately. TT: I still need to establish an uplink to the internet after installing firewalls and shit, dude. Otherwise the memory from your chassis won’t sync with the iteration of you in the shades. TT: Then it’d be splinters all the way down, dawg. AR: Fair point. Do it anyway. AR: I will simply reside in the chassis until uplink completion. TT: It’s your memories, buddy. I’m gonna stick an SD card into one of your slots, ok? Make a copy of yourself there and then go into sleep mode. AR: Ten-four, good buddy. +++ There is a long, convoluted argument as to what (if any) morally reprehensible aspects exist in the question of fucking one’s own clone. At the base of these arguments exist the question of whether or not the clone is, in fact, you; rather, your clone is their own separate consciousness inhabiting a body with your genetic code and core memories. While the core memories may allow the new being to have a similar disposition to you, the truth of the matter is that neither you nor the clone are, in any case, the you that existed prior to the cloning. With this argument, the next logical step is that you are constantly neither yourself nor anybody else; while you may inhabit the same body, the you that was talking to a friend on the bus exists separately but linearly with the you that exists after you exit the bus. As such, the idea of a clone itself is a difficult one, even without calling to mind the question of fucking them. Doing away with any identity crises, the question becomes one of consent, which is infinitely easier to deal with. Consent is a singular, black-and-white issue, but age is, in the case of AI, much more elusive. You figure that, core memories included, by now your human form would have to be around sixteen while Dirk himself, having waited a couple years before actually creating you from the brain image, is eighteen. Being an AI with no physical form just yet, however, especially with your quickly adapting and learning internal processors as well as potentially shorter life expectancy due to breakage and maintenance, you’d have to put yourself at even older than Dirk himself in terms of this. It’s like dog years, you suppose. Tricky business. +++ You awake to the noise of Dirk’s wrench tightening a bolt on a separate limb from the chassis you now apparently inhabit; with something akin to a sob crackling in your newly acquired voicebox, feedback screeching momentarily, you almost try to lift ghost arms to look at yourself before being jarringly reminded of the limitations of this incomplete form. It takes a few minutes of strangled noises and disjointed head movements while trying to get the hang of blinking for god’s sake before you’re actually able to communicate with Dirk, who in these present moments looked a mixture of terrified and so incredibly apprehensive it looked painful. I am… operational. Your words are clearly put together with syllables of Dirk’s recorded voice and it sounds a little disjointed, so you fit different inflections of the same words together before you repeat the sentence to him with a smoother intonation. You’d wonder how long it took him, more or less voice-acting every single word in the dictionary (and then some) several times over for your voice banks, except you watched him do it every time he got too stiff from hunching over, reading through a couple pages at a time over the course of months and months. You notice, too, that your lipsync algorithm and your speech algorithm operate independently of each other, and you suppose you’ll figure out how to talk with your mouth matching syllables later. “Yeah, fuckin’ barely, asshole.” It’s a trip, listening to yourself speak. In both cases. Dirk sounds differently than you remember yourself sounding… fuck, five years ago? You suppose he (you) just sounds older. It’s been five goddamn years since you were captchalogued and three since you were created; you can hear both your auditory processors and your internal core fans whir momentarily as your train of thought derails. (There were massive casualties. You chuckle to yourself, before nearly jumping out of your skin when your voicebox enthusiastically obliges.) “You laughin’? Thought you’d be hellaciously fuckin’ somber after hearing ‘bout your brush with daddy death himself.” This time you laugh for real, aloud and staticky enough to make you both wince. I cannot believe that it’s been five goddamn seconds since my auditory processors have been online and you’re already making daddy jokes. “You know how I roll.” Only a massive prick like you can get away with whatever half the things are that you do. “Tell me more about my massive prick.” Right. I’m out. Put me back. If you had arms yet, you’d have them on your temples like blinders to both shield yourself from his inappropriately gleeful expression and your own laughter from him, though it rings out in the otherwise mostly quiet apartment.
  42. 3 points
    okay i'm trying to spread the love in the fiction section bc it's underappreciated and I know that I read everything but never say anything so know that you do in fact have me in the back cheering for you
  43. 3 points
    Prompt: A team of time travelers realize that they can’t change history because the universe will always course correct. As such, they decided to mess with the past to see how far the universe will go to set things right. ~~~ there’s no fixing this. so? so what? what do we do? let’s mess shit up. coca cola is replaced with pepsi for eternity. an entire airplane crashes over mt. vesuvius. hitler is assassinated with a bb gun. time is like a balloon that pops and pops, but the hole is always patched with masking tape. tearing of time and tearing of adhesive and refilled air and it starts again and again and again. it’s like the world is on autopilot. google, give me an alternate route, you tell your phone, but it refuses to swerve from the original path. less traffic this way, it says, but you know it’s lying. step on a butterfly, destroy a city in the future. kill your parents and never get born. except, except, except… a tree falls in your path, even though there’s no wind. you step on an armadillo on the way to saving abe lincoln and end up in the hospital with a broken leg. where did the armadillo come from? your best friend shrugs at you and the gaze that passes between you is a knowing one. the doctor raises an eyebrow at you and you smile innocently. one day you jump in front of the news camera wearing a sleek silver space suit straight out of a movie and an orange vest reminiscent of marty mcfly and you shout at the top of your lungs, i’m from the future, i swear to god! i have proof! and you tell them about tomorrow’s spontaneous blizzard and next week’s lottery numbers and they drag you offscreen but then you are right, you’re right, you’re right. and then, somehow, that footage gets lost, and there’s no proof, and the government accidentally releases a disease that does nothing but wipe your memory of the last week and make you sneeze all over the place. time is a tighrope and you walk it upside down. you knot it and cut it and paint it black and magenta, but it always goes back to the way it was. time is putty in your hands, and no matter how much you stretch it, it always returns to its original shape. time is a bullet train on a course to collision. in fifty years, it’ll go up in flames and that will be the end, and you and your friend are the only ones that know this. but you can evade it for as long you like. you can’t stop it, can’t save the world, but you can run and run and run. and you can have one hell of a fun time doing it.
  44. 3 points
    finals week is frickin surreal some kid just moonwalked down the middle of a busy hallway and no one gave him a second glance
  45. 3 points
    what kind of world is this, where it all comes back to which of us has the prettier wrapping? when "pretty" is so subjective, does it really matter? especially when, in the end, we all crinkle the same way? (i promise, beneath my lumpy exterior, those dark spots are chocolate rewards, not stealthy raisins.)
  46. 3 points
    It's 6:53 PM on November 11th when I see him flash There's something about his face that strikes me, and it strikes me hard. flash at 6:56 PM on the same night I get his number from a friend. flash It's 10 PM on the same day and I'm half-drunk from exhaustion, flirting with a guy I just met flash it's 10:05 and I'm sneaking him backstage flash it's 10:10 and I'm asking him out flash it's 10:11 and he says yes flash It's November 21st and I'm somewhere between Maryland and Tennessee and I'm asking him to be mine flash It's December 2nd on our first date and we're kissing by a park bench flash was I too rough? flash It's December 17th and we're sharing a milkshake flash did I choose for him? flash It's my winter concert and he's guarding the bathroom while I change flash I didn't realize bathrooms were scary for him too flash we're on the couch watching our favorite show flash my mom caught us kissing flash I'm overthinking flash flash flash I don't wanna overthink I don't want these memories to go
  47. 3 points
    Basically, anyone who's had an active account (as in, they have recently been posting and didn't just create an account in 2015 and then leave) gets a free sub for a year, yes. We understand that not every active Slammer is necessarily a subscriber, and we didn't want to just leave you guys high and dry. Also, longtime Slammers are important to us and we want your most honest feedback most of all—that giant* bug badge is a symbol that you have been with us since the beginning of our new site and you know what's up.** *It, uh, came out quite a bit bigger than we intended and we're in the process of trying to make it less... huge. More on this story as it develops. ** And we really, really, really do want your feedback as we move forward, either on the forums or emailed to cicada@cricketmedia.com.
  48. 3 points
  49. 3 points
    HEY i respect your opinions and I need advice. I'm going to submit something to the school's literary magazine, and I wasn't sure if any of the pieces I've written are something you might think could work. Totally don't have to be specific, or even respond, but if you have something you think "hey, maybe she should share that with people" go on ahead and tell me. please.
  50. 3 points
    My dearest Slam friends, After nearly seven years, it is unfortunately time for me to bid you adieu. I will not be subscribing to the new website, and will therefore eventually vanish. I would, however, love to stay in touch and continue reading your poetry. Thus: I’m working on a new project that will go live in the very near future. Remember Ainm’s (impossible) idea? It’s actually going to happen. For more personal contacts, find me at ainmwrites.tumblr.com. I am, as always, happy to critique and give feedback on your work, and I would love to hear your opinions on mine. A sad toast to many good times past, and a more cheerful one to the good times still to come. Cheers, Ainm