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  1. 12 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.
  2. 11 points
    *ok I have no idea what this is, but I saw this art on instagram titled "Blind Woman in Love with Medusa" and I just melted??? it was so beautiful and cute?? so I wrote this thing down. first draft.* I should be dead, really, I should his blade should have slit my charcoal-gray neck in one raw, stinging swipe pulsing, spitting thin liquid crimson his shield baring my repulsive reflection, the one I despise so much the one I hardly ever see because I try so hard not to look. I should be dead, really, but seeing myself ugly and monstrous in his shield gave me the fury of Hades (no pun intended) and I struck him down. now I am alone again in my lifeless garden the only flowers here are the ones tucked gently behind a young maiden’s ear she is cold, gray stone now, and I have memorized her features the flowers are violets. I do not know how much time passes after that and I truly do not care two more mindless travelers stumble into my garden two more mindless statues adorn the withering grass. but then one day she comes a woman’s footfalls treading lightly over stone I do not see her, but I feel her anticipated breaths in the air, almost scared, almost intrigued and I wait for her to come into the light to scream, freeze in shock at my hideous visage the writhing nest atop my head my ashen, hollow cheeks my dark eyes, deep like Tartarus with monsters lurking in the abyss the one Athena condemned. but she stares and stares, unaffected, beautiful, delicate and I stare and stare, wondering, grotesque, pained I realize, now, that she is not looking, her eyes are milky and useless. no, she is feeling and smelling and tasting and listening but not seeing, never seeing I laugh. I laugh and laugh and laugh, “has somebody sent you to kill me? you are the perfect weapon. immune to my ugliness.” she tilts her head, chestnut hair falling in a sheet “nobody sent me. I am no killer. I am curious, however, as to why you are.” “I do not try,” I say “my face is hideous enough. whoever sees me is finished, and I cannot control it.” I think of the maiden with the violets in her hair and how full of life she seemed now trapped in an eternal wide-eyes raised-brows open-mouthed fear. I tell the truth. “An unwanted curse,” the woman says unseeing eyes blinking, “I am sorry.” “what ever for?” she smiles slightly, and a giddy uncertainty takes to trembling wing in my chest. “for nobody ever taking the time to ask if you created your garden on purpose.” I almost smile back, but I remember that she cannot see. “either way, it is not beautiful,” I say. “it is not,” she says, “but the fact that you know that, is.” I smile this time and I know it is ugly, gray and unnatural but she doesn’t see of course she doesn't mind. the woman leaves and comes back the next day and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next and she tells me about the way the salty sea smells after a storm and I tell her about the way the leaves look just before they flutter to the ground like butterflies on gilded wings she brings me a woven basket of grapes and nectarines we laugh at the way the juice drips down our chins, warm and sweet she tells me my laugh is beautiful. I tell her that she is beautiful. she is silent. whenever she is with me and a traveler approaches, unknowing of my danger she directs them away so they do not lay eyes on me. my garden does not grow at all in an entire season. when I tell her this, I find that I have begun to weep and I cannot stop she embraces me and kisses me lightly on my marble-cold cheek. the warmth of her delicate, rose petal lips stays on my skin until she comes back the next day. she arrives, carrying nothing she sits on the grass next to me she says, “I love you.” she takes my hand. I say, “I love you,” and I almost begin to weep again but I tell myself that it would be foolish. then she begins to weep instead, a quivering smile on her lips, tears clinging like dewdrops to her lashes and I tell her about the way the sun looks as it rises in shades of rose and marigold. she says, “you’re beautiful,” and I do not protest. I gather her in my arms and hold her close she does not protest.
  3. 11 points
    every sentence you speak hums against my throat: you still awake? Your voice is drowning out my thoughts, I would let you go if I could remember how And Even if I could sleep, every Dream sounds like your flower scented voice You say you dream of me, of butterbeer and scented candles. but I Know. You're just telling me cuz you Feel so Alone. And who would dream of blue skies when there are bright stars above them? Each star twinkling like the jewels on your diamond necklace. Each bone glittering, osteoblast gemstones, blood like red dye number eight tattooed over R#3 hued muscle but i will say to you: don't walk away. not now. For then I will see the jewels in your necklace were glass instead of stars and your bones mere calcium instead of gems and your eyes, love, were only as full of the universe as i wanted them to be Our goodbye was a slow burn The world turned out of my hands and swept you away in the wildfire And as I tried to cut the stars from your eyes, you cried out Would kisses rend you, tear heart-flesh from rib-cage? Oh, our sweet, Sweet vanity. Wearing your presence like rubies, garnets, our love was a fire opal. We are rough and jagged, uncut diamonds scratching once smooth skin. the good ones, despite jarring metaphor, step back with 'are you sure?' but you, you were a good one in how you stepped forward and up, to reach the top of the pedestal you placed me on and the pedestal i made for you fell to earth along with he sky, with the stars, as you wept and those fiery comets dripped out with your tears the shattered pieces are a stronger monument to Pain than the smooth marble was to Love leave the architecture to the greek, my god, and don't bloody bare feet on fragments of my shattered heart that the ones before you ground to glittering dust follow not my path; I will not pave bloodstone, but rather marigolds. for marigolds are blooming suns that burst alive in the velvet sky; crystalline stars of burning passion. Swirling Van Gogh yellows will sweep you away with glittering shards of glass Ha! That's all we are And ever were: Brushstrokes and gemStones. The art Medium. Stars winking, remote and alone. Solitary titans, like those we used to be; or, perhaps, nebulas clusters like who we are now. Clinging to faint wisps of hope that this universe, this vast fresco of burning cyan and cushioned crimson, will one day take pity on us pitiful ones. and yet, statistically: space is more empty than full And even if we say otherwise, we are more empty than full, too. and so we are ever reaching, ever grasping: empty creatures striving to fill the void swallowing ground-up glass to make the stars to fill it can only do so much, we've learned that and the stars that aren’t bring blood from the walls of my throat as I try to choke them down i touch your cheek and Hope that all the Stars you've swallowed were real Because if they weren't, you'll be more broken than before And I, tattered as I am, will be left to glue together your pieces and plywood, sum of scraps, holds no candle to fine wine-stained cherry At the same time, too many metaphors leave sweet crumbs that scatter. Too many metaphors break us into idealized clay-footed statues, and we forget that we are only human in the end. Well, my love. I Believe we both Know the Time has come And so, dear one, adieu. The Collective Slam Poem: Nov/Dec 2017 was written by: @drowntown @queenie_flower @X_of_Coins @Short_comedian @Hydra ’Liope @WanderingMonster @Beautifulgarbage @O. Captain @septemberskies_ @mouse @writeandleft @conradbirdie @Apollo's Lover @thepensword @Over the Rainbow @flamecoloredglowstick Thank you for contributing to this masterpiece. It has been really fun seeing how we all created the poem. I hope to continue collaborating with all of you this year. The next Collective Slam Poem will be hosted by @drowntown. May your 2018 cure your writers block! -Hydralio
  4. 9 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
  5. 8 points
    waxen citrine sunlight turns our eyes to tinted crystal from the side, they look evil- not like i'll destroy half the universe and call it mercy evil, more like i'll slice you down to marrow with a smile we sit on bottle green park benches three girls, with nihilism seared into our cerebrum (someday, our generation will get a better name) laughing into the golden hour around the peridot-hued grass is cold under bare feet, so unlike the tar lines in the road we sing hallelujah as we walk home harmony melting into the pavement and into our hearts
  6. 8 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.
  7. 7 points
    i. i’m standing naked in front of the sink examining myself like a cadaver i can’t decide whether i like what i see because i don’t believe the mirror or my friends when they tell me i’m pretty maybe i’m unphotogenic or conditioned into hating myself who knows ii. my skin and the room are turned vanilla by curtains that dim sunlight and block the outside and i haven’t shaved in weeks because it’s so cold so so cold goosebumps dot my arms and dark hair grows in all the places it shouldn’t i’m iii. envious of blondes and a lot of people really iv. i’m sorry v. there are three scars on my leg from my neighbor’s dog where the skin is not real skin but stretched and red and indented another on my right hand from a plastic chair (long story) a fifth on my ankle from twisted metal and a sixth on my arm from me vi. sometimes i wish we were all blind and always i wish i saw more girls with smiles on billboards and mall store signs vii. i smile often but do i deserve to? viii. i’ve gotten so bony to the point where i can stack quarters on my collarbones and you can see my sternum in the right light but is that good or bad? am i beautiful or not? ix. i can never decide
  8. 7 points
    i like the harmless habits, above all the ones that shy away from shoving they leave gentle touches, instead across the line i used to think of mentality like that some great towering 2d plane of black, deeming you in all caps: HEALTHY (in smaller letters, ‘good’) UNHEALTHY (even smaller, ‘bad’) a blue moon good day would let me inch forward, getting to dip my face through the curtain plunging my face in instead of just few hesitant fingers, just to squint at what could be better to catch my breath and the next thought, moment, minute hour, day, week, month year, years, endless cycle would drag me back down into the water, where my thoughts turned shifty, hard to catch red-handed and still, the harmless habits cradled me bathing only in strawberry shampoo made me feel warm against the pressure of approximately a fuckton of cubic meters of 3 point font ‘bad’ laughing ten seconds too long because i was grateful to get to smile dropped two more labels on top of that but it felt like a triumph, still its the harmless habits that got me by
  9. 7 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.”
  10. 7 points
    oh hot damn this is my jam leg bounce? leg bounce? clickclickclickclick mouse? pen? either works eternal munchies: the saga gotta have something to chew on no music? guess ill die taptaptaptaptaptap type LOUD and FAST just because of the clickety clack three-note scale repeats. repeats. repeats. nothing to fidget with? aggressive fixing of hair ITCH FAST, clack fingernails sitting down? ankle roll, ankle roll standing up? tiptoe until you cant anymore wiggle shoulders, bob head, rock your center of gravity "how are you not single" good motherfuckin question gotta fidget, dude, check messages/websites OVER and OVER them spinners arent enough and i gotta keep my hands free leg bounce? leg bounce? can't quit these internal monologues turned imagined arguments god damn that second story window? all grey-ass fuckin' sky suddenly something to soft-focus your eyes on forever "what are you doing?" "sometimes you just gotta dance, you know?"
  11. 7 points
    i know i've barely been on here but lemme just say? i had a very sweet old lady all me a 'kind young man' on a day i was feeling like i couldnt physically get to the level of masculine i wanted to and uh w o w that felt good?? i mean, obviously i cried happy tears within the next 5 seconds, which wasn't really the look i was going for kjgfbkjfg
  12. 7 points
    I'd like to start by saying That it may appear I'm not involved . Born and raised here, a "true" american, in a nice, rich, democratic city where everyone thinks the same things (in terms of politics, at least). People don't have prejudice when they look at me If I curse, am rude, say something stupid, that's not applied to my mother or father or teachers who look like I do. Who look white. But that doesn't mean that I don't see what others like me are doing. It doesn't mean that I don't judge what some of you are doing. Sometimes I get it. I hate it, but I've slipped up. I regret everyday. You say that the problem is other people, that "we are the good ones, that it's just those not right in the head those ones from over the border those ones who look different those ones who love wrong those ones who believe in a different version of god." But what happens when you are suddenly faced with the gripping realization that laws are on people not guns on people not tax bills on people not corporations on people, just like you who want to feed their families by leaving them behind forever who want to have another chance who are dreamers who are hard-working who look and sound and believe different but are still people. Those laws aren't working. We've tried working on people, and it didn't work. We don't need more laws to use on people. To anyone who's not convinced yet think of this. What happens if a child, a son, lets say, doesn't like girls? Doesn't believe in the kind of god you do? Loves someone who doesn't look like everyone you know? isn't "right in the head"? You can't control the human condition. You can't control humans. If your son hates his life making it just peachy won't help. Pushing him might just push him to guns, drugs, rape, hate, and more. And then what will you do when your little boy is on TV shooting up a school full of innocent children. You don't have to listen to me. I'm just words on a screen. But I'm really tired of my friends breaking down after class because for them racism is present. I'm tired of listening to girls get harassed on the street Because they wear less clothes or more than most. They are on your side the people you hate. Many voted for him too not because they wanted to be deported or harassed or worse. But because they wanted to "make america great again". They want jobs and food and better wages just like you. They thought only the "bad" would punished that they were "good people". But the man they voted for punishes everyone. I hate to be that person, but to quote To Kill A Mockingbird, "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."(231) _____________________________________________________________________ I don't know if this was PC or not. I hope so. Let me know if it wasn't. I just was kind of fed up with the way things have been going the past year and a quarter.
  13. 7 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. . . .
  14. 7 points
    talking to someone from childhood— oh, a hundred, a thousand years ago— and remembering the sleepovers & the daydreams and the “these help me fall asleep” dreams. i’m asking if she remembers the time i dangled a caterpillar in front of her face, the time i destroyed her fairyhouses, the sleepover/pajama party (elementary school innocence & how badly i wanted to kiss her, didn’t want to admit it to myself but it was there), the time she asked how much i weighed, somewhere in all of this, and then we stopped being friends until she saw me at work, and recognized me through the tied-back hair, through the name change, through all of it. she laughs and says “i don’t remember any of that.” author's note: i want to publish this on tumblr even tho it's like 3 days old at this point but. shrugs. idk if i like it enough to post.
  15. 7 points
    dear mom. no. mom- no. hey mom. it's me, *****. i'm just here to tell you... you can do this, you can. i'm non-binary. I know it's a little strange to hear that and i'm sorry if it startled you but i just thought you should know. it means i don't identify with either male or female (the gender binary) and i'd be more comfortable with they/them pronouns. that's not all actually (sorry). in terms of my orientation i'm asexual panromantic. it means that i don't feel sexual attraction (asexual) but i feel romantically attracted to people regardless of gender (panromantic). almost done you probably have questions so here's an faq: are you sure? yes, yes i am. I have been sure for a long time. wouldn't it be easier if you just picked one, gay or straight? i can't, it's not how i was made. are you confused? is this just a phase? no it most certainly is not, and i am not confused at all well, do you require a pronoun change? it's what would make me most comfortable, so yes. what about a name change? maybe later. doesn't it feel nicer to have that off your chest? love, ***** author's note (bc i don't see a slot for it anymore): i'm planning to come out to my mom this Saturday, which is also my birthday! i get too anxious when i have to make out loud announcements so i decided to do this by email and this is the rough draft. i'm nervous but i also can't wait. <3
  16. 6 points
    For the past year and a half, two of my friends and I have been keeping a list of quotes we’ve overheard. Some of them require context, but I find the best ones are better off without it. For example: "You don't want to get in a fight with him. I think he kills people for a living, he's been pretty vague." “No, he’s just scared of girls. That’s not his problem, though.” “What’s in the fanny pack?” *unzips neon yellow fanny pack with a straight face to reveal fruit snacks* “You don’t want to get stabbed? That’s so extra.” “I mean, the guillotine had a pretty sweet pulley system.” “You’re overlooking all the other perfectly valid reasons I’m going to hell.” “Shrek is NOT a folk tale!” “You shake my spear.” “NO.” “FUCK YOU.” “I love it when girls say nice things.” “Do I have an ass?” “Well, all your shit has to come from somewhere.” “the gate keeps out T H E B E A S T” “We didn’t play like the fucking goose.” “How’s your boyfriend?” “Still nonexistent.” I have around 100 more pages of these, but feel free to add your own. If anyone wants more of these, I can attach more. If nothing else, it’s C O N T E N T Update: this had a great response, so enjoy some more. Like, this is the highlights of last semester's list, just to give you perspective of how many damn quotes we've collected overheard quotes pt 2.docx
  17. 6 points
    let's endeavor to be soft and round like the warmest muffin, the sweetest marshmallow; place her on your tongue and she tastes like confidence. let's lift up her soft spots and give them a trophy tell her that flight is free of gravity that her size is not detriment to soaring through the stratosphere. dress her in jean shorts and a crop top. belly button showing and thighs bared to the world; look at her stretch marks, proudly displayed, inked in sharpie look at her hips, round and powerful imagine your hands are full and you need to close your car door. there you go, swing those hips! sometimes her reflection transforms into hideous monstrosity, into too much flesh; sometimes she hides beneath sweatshirt and blanket, does not bear her roundness well this is when she needs you the most; your reassurance, your warm touches: i love your roundness, your softness, how good you feel to hug. let's place her on a stage and encourage her to dance let's praise those thighs that jiggle, that stomach that spills let's find the laws of physics in those hips and that presence is like a hurricane let's teach her she's a force of nature and that nothing can move her let's teach her to love herself in her entirety.
  18. 6 points
    the most ridiculous thing about realizing you’re probably a lesbian is that it’s also the first time that your heart pounds really, really fast like lightning strikes flying out of your body when you see a boy, not because you think he’s hot but because he’s gay. too. he’s gay too, and you’ve talked about Love, Simon together (you told him how you cried 3 times) he’s gay too, and you forget to agree with him when he calls other guys cute (because it’s so exhausting to trick yourself into saying something you know you’ll never actually believe) he’s gay too, and when you make a comment in English class about how hypocritical biblically driven homophobia is when you talk about Oscar Wilde in class (you blush too hard and stumble and stutter over your words too much) you're afraid he did a double take from the desk behind you, gaydar: on insecurity: detected you: gay it’s not like you’re even really friends- you don’t wave to each other in the hallway because to be honest he’s a little intimidating (and you’re 95% sure he does drugs, and even if it’s just weed you’re 500% sure you don’t want to get mixed up in that) and you’re a nerd and you don’t like his popular-ish friends (they’re snobby, and this comes from experience) but still, these are the lightning strikes you can finally point out in dark, dark blue skies and lean back, laughing at how stupid and blind you were before for thinking the fires you tried to start out of a broken matchbox and fear could ever compare to a wonderfully platonic feeling of not being alone.
  19. 6 points
    you flutter in peppercorns and daisies theobromine is your wine petrichor, your perfume a hundred thousand instances of worldly absurdity gravitating to you
  20. 6 points
    hey, li'l dude. dont you call me little while you here wearing my shoes from two years ago. it dont matter cos youre still my baby brother. and youre still shorter, my older.... si- sibling. ill never goddamn forgive my mother for making my cis, straight brother see why she doesnt deserve me he come up crying daisies tells me mom said you aint gods plan and that he cant call me who i am or he gonna get beat he finds solace in critical thinking when i say mom dont know shit and thats rich coming from a woman tellin us to be tolerant and openminded in the context she defending confederate flags he's stopped crying. i say you think god made everyone perfect? he answers yeah and i tell him then god made me perfect and trans and aint that just the goddamn tea
  21. 6 points
    Farmers market, on Saturday mornings Hipsters in jean jackets and nose rings flock to the food co-op And my third-grade teacher sells donuts from a food truck The icing is sticky on the pads of my fingers Downtown liquor stores and apartments Give way to churches and cornfields I know the way home by heart We would meet on playgrounds Little kids in fleece jackets Convinced we were something magical And now those little kids are teenagers Separated by thousands of miles It's the little details that I miss The bowling alley where octogenarians eat lunch The shopping mall carousel, the old museum Saturday mornings at the farmers market, the bustle of people Author's note: So this is really unedited but the whole city poem tag and @thepensword's urban hive poem made me want to write something about my hometown. I don't live there anymore, but just thinking about it makes me really nostalgic for all the little things that I never realized I loved about it.
  22. 6 points
    Hey Slammers, Art Director Jacqui here. Question, have you ever doodled on a sticky note? For like ever we have been kicking around the idea of a low-stakes ongoing art prompt for the Slam. Something that would be just for fun and open to all levels of artistic capability; from stick figures to Rembrandts. We'd put out a topic and y'all would post in the thread your interpretation on a sticky note. So if the topic were "Sea Life Formal Attire," someone might post something like this: What do you think? Interested?
  23. 6 points
    welcome to astrology....take a fuckin sip, babes aquarius. murderfish, wweh, friendzoned terrible little bitch Pisces. adorable little fish. glub glub! capricorn. stoner. hOnK scorpio. spiderbitch. 8 eyes. THEMS THE BREAKS. sagittarius. sweaty horse man. fists. how lewd libra. justice. blind. licks things virgo. the mom friend. carries a chainsaw, always. leo. an actual cat. tears apart prey ;33 cancer. loud shout crab. wears black. fucknugget gemini. horrible horrible computer nerd. origin of 'hoe don't do it'. pii22 tavros. bigass bull. Peter pan kin. is half the man he once was Aries. dead things!!!!! ribbit.
  24. 6 points
    seattle, concrete-bound pier, your slipknotted sidewalks/city blocks traverse the port. when i was young i never dared set foot into your dense skeleton, all asphalt and stainless steel and sometimes, in the barrios, slumping wood. but one day, after finding myself, after clutching blue bus pass like a shield: you became a vast, unfamiliar home where would I be without your droves of anonymous faces like grapes cascading from a vine and your sky? oh, your sky? framed, always, by the rooftops, enough that ill never see your moon but from those very same rooftops? i had no idea you were so endless. you remind me to be finite. you sleep on the sea like a wayward soap bubble stranded on the surface. it is as if you have come from man's feeble attempts at creating beauty. you are not colorful, a sunken ship, or an edge waiting to slip, neither understood nor incomprehensible. you are as sharp as a canine’s point. you arrive bearing due west, towards the ocean's blue underbelly while your space needle salutes the moon. I have marveled at your gardens, be them of sound, glass, metal, or plants. chihuly begs us to take up landscaping. you’re seattle, the gay city, the starfish in the sand. you are a marvel. just as our flag, you are as vibrant as the midnight sun. you are not warm by any measure, all overcast rainy days, but you are definitely made true by your severity. how fluid you are, and along the highway the boardwalks rock with the winter waves. oh, seattle, you are the worst traffic and the endless night life. without you i would have never heard of the food truck that sells the best bubble tea and chicken wings. with you i find new ways to fall in love. this is why, seattle, you are the embrace i can slip into and lose myself in, why you refuse to let time run the same, why you shock hearts like a defibrillator on the roofs of the strobing nightclubs. i have praised many things, but for me you are more a fever dream than a dance floor of forgotten time. to my eyes, you are an ocean drowning in itself. ((i used the same form as ode to the visible universe but with less improv. heres the template i used from my poetry class: ode template.pdf
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 6 points
    The stars swirl paths Across the dark domed sky Like pinprick snowflakes And comet ice In vast silk swaths And hidden patterns. The rime sticks to my fingers As I reach out to those lights In the deepest of blue. I lick sweet aurora from my hands And brush soft spirits from my eyes; Those tears angels cried inside The empty void of space. The stars will always move Through their ethereal journey. I’d love to stay and watch them Until the sun sends night away, But time calls me down From the tall chalk hills Into green valleys and This lonely little town.
  30. 6 points
    iron & stone one day, i will ask myself why everything i am is laced with Blood, dark red like the moment despair turns into anger, like the instant before you die pour it into the hallow places in my collarbones, feed them hemoglobin; drain your veins, build up your marrow. paint my skin with it, open wounds in my metaphoric cardiac muscle, drink deep unravel my history like a spool of thread (with a skinning knife) spill my guts in crimson embroidered organs, unhinge your jaw, find my death-(rattle) at the end, (snake) teach me how to dance in death’s arms, i will need to at my wedding (father-daughter dance), should someone ever fall in love with Blood over bone, flesh over wire-frame-posable-skeleton tear off my cult-robe and peel back my skin all at once, rip from me Witch, and Queer, and Flesh, but leave me Blood, and Bone, and Death you can’t, you see. my Self is tattooed onto the surface of my bones: Blood runes when you kiss me for the first time i want you to taste the blood from my chapped lips, be disillusioned from perfection, be grounded, taste earth and take root behind my sternum one day, i will tell myself why everything i am is soaked with Blood, dark red like the moment you fall in love, like the instant you decide you want to live [Author's Note: Sorry about the Heavy Blood Symbolism I took a Homestuck Classpect test in like 2015 and have been hung up on my god tier (Mage of Blood) since then I just really love the Blood aspect]
  31. 6 points
    dear, you're built of hydrogen and energy, too beautiful to look at directly for too long-- and you've got sunspots because you're a star, because you're a heavenly body, because icarus had to have something to shoot for-- i'll love the sun if it's the last thing i do.
  32. 5 points
    "leave your wishes at the well; you don't need to build your own world you will soon be big enough to climb over that mountain, or that molehill." "the grass is green here, too-- please, stay with me. step on the stones i left for you-- i promise they're sturdy. don't fall! i would fall too."
  33. 5 points
    lancaster county, familial birthplace, your thunderstorms lend me the peace of mind to continue. when i was younger, and wishing to be undone, i blamed myself for not loving god enough. i said i was rotten, and didnt know why. my eyes only knew how to glare because i was scared of smiling, or of not deserving to, or of letting go of that hurt, or of losing my identity if i did. im still scared of dying. that didnt change. and one day, after letting myself stop pretending to be godly, after letting myself love being rotten, just a little, you became a monument to learning the word hate. where would i be without your shame and your conditional love? i had no idea what passive aggression meant until you had a reason to teach me. you remind me how to glare, and how to be undeserving, and thats a kind of rotten too. you carry churches on your back like god is my fault, and sometimes i believe you. it is as if you have come from the past and youre upset the world is leaving you behind, and thats my fault too. you are not a kind county, a home, or gentle despite the rolling fields, neither a place for outsiders nor one to give up a warm body without a fight. you are as lonely as a postapocalyptic movie's deserts, and your cities beg to be left empty and standing and dirty just so theyd fit so perfectly at the end of the world. these cities are paved with bricks and paint and god. you arrive bearing washed out, low-contrast hues of green and undersaturated brown and every photo ive taken looks overexposed. i have marveled at your night sounds, at the tar lines clacking under the tires on the highway, and yet youve never been beautiful. the closest thing to beautiful is the full moon, orange with pollution, rising over the lakes dug out of the prairie and filled then with rocks and fish and water. youre the stadium that becomes a city every weekend, youre lincoln, or youre the storms in the night that put hail the size of my fist through the windows. you are a 754-block coping exercise. just as i let myself love being a christian's rotten shame, just a little, you are as oppressively godly as a rural town with 192 churches on a sunday. you are not made of tomorrows, or of opportunity, but you are definitely just green enough to think so. how frightening you are too, where i am scared of being gay but losing myself in the closet, and afraid of that too. oh, old cheney road, you are the apothecary's witness and a false sense of safety. it could only be the echinaceae, but laying in the ditch on the side of the road is halfway beautiful. without you i would have grown up more slowly, and learned to love myself a little quicker. with you i am nothing but homesick. this is why, lancaster county, you are made of towns of empty architecture and lonely streets, where only the animals and the crooked trees are content this is why you refuse to progress, why you cling to old, tired bigotry hastily rebranded as belief like an beloved, frayed blanket clutched protectively in a fussy toddler's hands. i have praised many things, but for me you are more unloveable than you told me i was. to my eyes, you are a thing waiting to die.
  34. 5 points
    infinity must be shades of blue war paint old brushes flutter over forearms fingers sweep across jawlines in groups of three drips of royal rain collapse down necklines drizzle into hair (stained further as we card our hands through) legs are pressed by palms handprints left as memory streaks of darker-than-sky swatches bridging wrists ocean-dipped fingertips tangle drying paint coats the curves of our necks a second splintering skin splattered inverse stars freckle cheeks stretched by grins lips half-touched by blue
  35. 5 points
    my friends show me their scars made by this that and their own sword i touch my skin bruised and pimpled the hangnails are my work but not the scabs reminders of blood a girl i know walking in the rain with bair feet makes a pretty picture but sidewalks tred to escape leave sore heels i am walking through the world not stepping on myself and it feels unfair that their ways lie over their own bodies seems unfair how much they get pushed down when i am extended an arm i guess i'll be thankful you can ride on my back for a while instead of your own and we two will raise no blades against ourselves
  36. 5 points
    I want to learn To fall in love with writing again I want to whisper lines of poetry to myself in the mirror again I want to yell my truth from the top of a mountain, Scream my verse and let the whole world know That I am me
  37. 5 points
    i. some days i feel like i'm drinking in the silence or more like it's being poured down my throat; sitting in empty cars, empty rooms all gray matter and cold air ii. other days it's breathing in noise like catching raindrops on your tongue-- only these droplets have a sort of bitter aftertaste that you'll forget maybe some day iii. but i'm running miles on an empty stomach till my legs give out and i fall iv. because pretty hollow things break every time
  38. 5 points
    "you look at me like i hung the stars in the sky." my dear, the sky is the canvas behind your irises and i could swim endlessly in the cosmos within them please do not mistake this love for blindness my gaze long ago sought every fault line, every dying sun every craggy moon in sharp pitch-contrasted relief my dear you're better than you think
  39. 5 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.)
  40. 5 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.
  41. 5 points
    I spent 5 minutes giggling about how many gay stereotypes I fit.
  42. 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."
  43. 5 points
    i am a little girl and we are walking. 'i just don't know, daddy,' i say. it's a bright day, with the sky a bright cotton-candy blue and the clouds chasing each other across its expanses. the news is riddled with politics, as it always is, but i am only just starting to open my eyes to it. 'i don't even know if i'm a democrat or a republican.' he eyes me for a moment. 'ok,' he says thoughtfully. 'well, it should be pretty easy to tell.' 'ask me questions,' i say. 'and tell me by my answers what i am.' and he does. he asks me many things. he asks me about black and white and freedom and confinement. he asks me about the death penalty. he asks me about abortion. some of these things are easier to answer than others. there's one, though, that stands out to me now. we're three-quarters of the way home, and the hill is steep enough that the dog is starting to lag. 'what about gay marriage?' he says. this is before it's been legalized, and we are in north carolina where politics has always been a few steps behind. i think about this for a moment. i have an answer but i don't know how to say it. 'i think,' i say carefully, laden with eight-year-old wisdom and confining societal philosophy, 'that they should be allowed to marry. it's weird and i don't think it's...natural, or whatever, but it's not my business what they do.' we stop as the dog sniffs a spot in the grass. my father is frowning slightly, eyeing me with a thoughtful gaze. 'why isn't it natural?' he asks, and i pause. 'it just...isn't.' he tells me that it is. that it's perfectly natural. i'm troubled, and doubtful, but i am eight years old and i do not question the things i'm told. (he tells me i'm probably a democrat, based on my other answers, though it doesn't really matter at this stage in life.) homosexuality comes up more and more over the years and i start to warm to it. it's still weird, and unnatural, but i brush it to the side. if they're happy, then fine. i don't care. and besides, it's not like i'm gay. i've had crushes on boys, right? and, after all, you can't be gay if you don't want to be. that's what i think, ten years old and staring out the car window. you can't be gay if you don't want to be. you hate that, right? you hate everything i've said. it's funny to think you might have hated me, then, if i hadn't been kind and adorable and lovable in every way. i'm fifteen and it's dark out. i'm dressed in my dance clothes, almost bare naked in the winter; my dad and i have already had our argument about car temperature. i'm hot and sweating, having just exercised, but he's been sitting in the car for an hour and he's freezing. the overpass curves before us, lit only by the headlights of his blue jeep cherokee, and we're talking amiably. i don't know what leads to it, but he says something that night that lingers. 'and when and if you have a husband...' he pauses for a moment, and then says, gentler, 'or a wife, then—' and the rest is obscured by foggy memories but i remember thinking, 'thanks, daddy, but i'm straight.' but it stuck. i'm straight, right? what follows is hot showers and existential dread. i've since opened my eyes more to the community; i have queer friends. i know more. one of the things i know about is bisexuality. 'i'm straight,' i think, but then i think: 'am i?' it's mid-winter. it's freezing and i'm in the car on a way to an audition. everything is perfectly normal. my mom is beside me, the radio is playing soft music, and i'm texting my best friend. she's dating her first boyfriend and she needs advice: she wants to break up with him but she doesn't know how to say 'no' or 'i don't want this anymore'. she's afraid that it'll hurt him and his family, and so she's content to let this continue to hurt her. i have no experience with relationships but i give her advice anyway. the three little dots bounce on the screen and she says 'thank you for putting up with me. if you ever need help with anything, don't be afraid to ask.' and i stop dead. this is the worst timing possible; i'm in the car next to my mother, who does not know, on the way to an audition. i'm hopped up on anxiety: if this goes awry, my audition will be terrible. i will likely not manage a poker face in the small confines of the car. i'm not thinking about these things, though, as i text her back. 'actually there is something. i've been thinking about this a lot over the past year and i haven't told anyone but i think i might be bisexual.' there's a long pause, wherein i very nearly die. oh god, i think. she hates me. the three little dots are back. 'i'm back. sorry, i was walking into the house.' a pause. i'm trying not to cry, from anxiety and fear and relief and tension. 'oh. i'm so sorry i have literally the worst timing.' the little dots bounce like they're taunting me. 'ok first of all, know this changes nothing. i'm still your friend and i love you.' and suddenly it's real. but not...quite. two months later it's my birthday. i'm sixteen and i'm bundled with nerves and i sit my family down and i say, in many more words: 'i'm bisexual.' my parents tell me they love me. my dad says, 'i want you to know you can tell us anything.' my brother says nothing, but leans over to give me a hug. this is the first time i've said it aloud and it's the first time it's felt so real. i'm bisexual. i'm bisexual. now i think i may have been wrong. i may just be biromantic; i may be asexual or demisexual, i might even be aromantic, but that's not the point. the point is you would have hated the me from the beginning, who called you unnatural and thought it was a choice. the point is i grew. anyone can grow; it's easy, once you open your eyes. it's okay to make mistakes if you someday will learn from them. so do not hide people away; help them learn. help them grow. but most importantly: define yourself as who you are now: someone who has grown. someone who has learned. do not let yourself be defined by who you once were.
  44. 5 points
    space, black tablecloth (and spilled salt), your starfields shivering behind the light pollution when i was young 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 nightfalling curtain call unwrapping staticky 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, 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 life and earth and sea) 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 on a canvas (pitch like ocean depths) black like nothing, because you are statistically more nothing than anything (and perhaps we, too: more empty space than things) it is as if you come from the end, and the beginning, and whatever lies between you are not a god, a titan, a deity neither made from man's feeble wishes nor of anything man can comprehend you are more roiling and alive than any sea’s waves than any beryl-vibrant canopies (probability itself keels and chokes at your feet) you arrive bearing tomorrow on apollo's back (apollo who has nothing earthly to fear seizes 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 youre so much more than any earthly location the celestial sunsong, the solar astrochemistry within supernovae you are not a deity just as polaris, you are as steady as orbital fluctuation you are nothing without the sum of your parts but you are indefinitely infinite, our 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 icarus had to have something to shoot for) o, sunspots, you are the hydrogen and energy too beautiful to look at for long (without risking blindness) and yet: blindness, pitch dark, natural state of everything that has ever, will ever have existed without you we wither as one with flora, with fauna space hurled together a haphazard goldilocks (everything dies, eventually. everything dies.) with you with inconceivable odds flourishes life, death, space, earth, sea (components woven together in the same rope) this is why, starfield, you are unlikely gravity, dream-maker why you refuse to pull taffy-linked planets too thin why you burst nova like every celestial sunsong 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) by my weak human eyes, you are the very end.
  45. 5 points
    yellowing light and busy hands. i like your eyes, I search crowds for the back of your neck. bet you didn't know. you make me laugh, you make me feel happy so i ask for this light. light and your time, light and your time. i don't ask for a whole lot from you. i try to try to be a better person. is change a myth fed to us by bright colors and cheerful music? I'll never know the answers i don't know the questions, either i'm letting it all settle into my skin: dust suspended mid-air, particles of light, your hands on the piano, stargazing blankets, but watch for spiders until all the film is exposed and i can make sense of what was of what could be we'll see it all in glorious technicolor connect the dots, constellation
  46. 5 points
    i know we're a week in but 2018's gonna be the year of me insisting on getting therapy bc my parents' "just get over it!" isnt gonna cut it lmaoooo - but more positively: hey! i already came all this way to get better, time to finish that journey up, physically + mentally + emotionally!!
  47. 5 points
    that wednesday afternoon he took my heart into his palms: flick of a wrist breaking it into two, a fortune cookie snap. he extracts the futures from the blood stained caves of my insides, he reads all that fear written into all that paper. tucks back my hair. brushes his knuckles over my own. i strike his cheeks with all of the ways my eyes can’t land on his own; every fruit tree withers without its butterfly. “bear, you aren’t used to this. you aren’t used to all this love, little moth,” he smiles. he wraps his arms around me and my stowed away moth wings. this is the last time i see him; he is unraveling his arms from my body. he is walking away. he hardly waits to wipe his hands free of the crumbs, newly sweetened, for all the birds to peck up swallow. i pick peaches off the ground now. misplaced the fortunes in some suitcase heart of hope-sent boy. only gray bubble text message like cloud on a white snow sky: “we’ll stay together, tomorrow. i promise.” peaches bruise on the soil from which they grew. tomorrow never arrives. live the cliche: it’s always today. spit the peach pits. lick your lips. pat them into hard december soil gray. do not wash your knees. grow all these trees. put every broken bone of your body back into the bag of your skin. in the evening, lit by man-lit gaslight pray it’ll fit together. pray all the fear away. but first, plant the trees. always plant the trees with both knees knelt, dirty.
  48. 5 points
    original: http://cicadamag.com/index.php?/forums/topic/9321-dont-write-me-out/&tab=comments#comment-9297 anyways this is a poem about a homophobic, transphobic ex and im bitter as fuck kjsdkgjdfs i almost ran into the guy this poem was about in the college cafeteria a month or so ago and almost had a panic attack lmao god i Strongly Dislike him wow Eat The Rich Cishet Men i. listening to a new song on repeat, somehow i never get tired of the tune. i thought of you. how free i was (fired up and shot down, independent of your excuses and horribly casual 'im not gay and neither are you' or tiring 'youre a fucking girl' and 'why be proud of your identity? it's just an identity.' i didn't try should have known not never to reach out to you again.) ii. i talk a lot (either i always did i will not apologize for it or and you are starting to respond less. thank god.) and i apologize for my excitement. know that you don't deserve me this time, there's no answer. iii. local policy throws up firewalls between sound sites, sound bytes and half-rate speakers. i never was good at coding, and your language is one i don't know how to read. if i want to learn how to read. (silence has never been a thing i could deal with well. it radiates like static from your lips. but i don't need you, and you don't deserve pretty sugarcoated excuses for refusal to change.) iv. (am i falling out of touch? are you? you'd better fucking bet.) i forget you were my best friend. it's no fault of mine that anything has changed but you can barely look at me. spun glass threads hold us together. they're cracking. (thank god.) v. i wrote you out of a screenplay, suddenly wistful triumphant as hell (because for a good couple days i had forgotten you existed. written words made me remember) and i looked out the window, heart twisting. jumping with possibility. vi. we're in a state of 'never' and it was n't always meant to go this way. (we don't exchange words the way we used to, you know? maybe it's a result of finally standing up for myself.) vii. maybe it's because of what today is. (i forgot.) i still don't remember, thank god. do you regret anything, my dear? i don't. either respect my identity, or get out. viii. i reached out, fired up, (it had been a number of weeks since i had seen your face) shot down. graced with one-word courtesy, i didn't reach out again. why miss someone who's only done you wrong? vix. (i can deal with losing cutting you off. again. i can not deal with the cold and dismissiveness you throw at me, because we both know who's the better man.) at each fork and crossroads, i should never have offered meant every single 'we can still be friends' that i said. vx. i heard, a year later, that you'd switched programs and dropped out of fucking college for no apparent reason (or at least reasons i didn't care enough to pursue.) is this divine retribution? karma, maybe.
  49. 5 points
    My boyfriend woke up at 1:47 in the morning to draw a picture of me and a random dude in a speedo. He didn't remember doing it but his sketchbook and the voicemail on his friends phone say otherwise. The sketch is surrounded by notes about how hot I am????? He's quite the character.
  50. 5 points
    every day my understudy sits up in my bed and walks across the carpet, rehearsing her lines. she slips into green jeans and walks across the hall looking for something to live for. some days it takes twenty minutes to stand up, and on those days, my understudy makes up her face. she outlines her eyes in black, pretty girl war paint. my understudy walks across college campuses and listens to the songs that direct the dances she will do that day. she’ll smile at professors, because she knows that somewhere deep inside, we truly love this moment, these books and words that we try to read, that my understudy pretends to have studied. my understudy smiles at my rapist when he sits next to me and rubs my knee, telling me it’s my fault we aren’t happy, that we are so very hipster beautiful together, that they could make movies about the barista poet and the librarian poet, opening a bookstore and cuddling cats in dim bed, kissing. soft. ladybugs and summer parks and backpacking through europe. open windows. that’s who we are. my understudy nods, says silently, we are open windows to jump from? my understudy nods when he says that i should be happy that i am alive. my understudy stays inside my body, while i float away. i climb among the rafters, closer against the sky. my knees covered in cloudy dust. the wood sends slivers down my fingertips, and through my mind, and i climb across the roof and i look towards the sky. my understudy, she holds me like a balloon. she carries me with her, always. my understudy holds me down every time i curl up around my migraine mind, when i wish i had more bottles than i have. more alcohol, more pills, more anything. she looks at orion and sees more than his bow and arrows. she sees personal mythology. and somedays well, the first poem in my capstone chapbook. critiques welcome, as always,
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