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thepensword last won the day on April 22

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  1. thoughts on a cold

    there's a fog in my mind and bees in my throat there is a deafening silent pain to being sick and things to be done are sailboats caught on a tide i am reaching, grasping— wading through molasses my voice is locked inside my chest and my thoughts alongside it drop it to the bottom of the ocean may the mermaids guard it i'll see you when i relearn to swim
  2. little things

    hey ok so this? this is something i struggled with big time when i was trying to figure out who i was. i was afraid to identify because what if i was wrong? what if i was (for lack of a better word) 'appropriating' the identity? i have since come out to myself and to others and my advice to you is this: you aren't lying to anyone, you're not appropriating any identities, and you aren't hurting anyone. feel free to identify. say, "i'm bi" or "i'm a lesbian". or any other term you think might be right. try out that label for a while. see how it fits. if it doesn't, return it to the store and try on something else. maybe it wasn't you but at least you learned from it. it's not a huge deal. and if it does fit, then that's all the better, because now you know yourself better than before. people talk about coming out a lot and how much of a challenge it is but what isn't talked about is just how hard it is to come out to yourself. so take your time, don't worry about anyone else, and consider coming out to yourself, even if for just a little while, even if in the end it turns out you were wrong. it's not a lie. it's just another step towards discovering who you are. identity is a challenging concept no matter the subject. i hope you find yourself eventually and we're here for you in the meantime. <3
  3. i have sick i wanna die i'm the lead in a show and i've got an audition thursday this is the worst hhhhhhrrgrgrhgrhrhrhhhhgggggggg


    1. Apollo's Lover

      Apollo's Lover

      you have sick?

  4. ode to my belly rolls

    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.
  5. The Most Ridiculous Thing

    i don't know why it took me so long to see this but uh. i love it? it's really really nice thank you for writing it. i particularly like the lightning metaphor and how you brought it back at the end of the poem. it helps tie it together really nicely.
  6. midnight hour

    yellow light, yellow like daybreak, butter, burnt ochre— paint caked on the end of the tube. rich velvet sky beyond broken shades, eternal fireflies gleaming radiant above the stratosphere eyelids droop and pages turn quiet like wind outside or cricket song or low-level buzz of the noise machine there is nothing else so silent as the midnight hour
  7. what if we could end all war it's simple in theory and impossible in practice because all it would take is an end to all fighting a kindness, forgiveness we could change the world now, we could end all suffering but just as everyone is capable of good, everyone too is capable of evil and why is evil so much easier to do? what if there were no lines and we lived boundless what if we were not confined by the borders scribbled in violent red crayon on construction paper earth what if there were no refugees because there was no need of refuge what if we ended pain and fear today what if what if we were birds and instead of fighting we flew? what if we were free? what if we were painted the colors of the canvas, bright orange and midnight blue what if we were all beautiful beneath the dust what if someone had a rag to wipe off the grease stains what if red was just sunset and not blood on our hands what if we said good morning and we meant it?
  8. Overheard Quotes

    "Alright, can I have tops on one side and bottoms on the other?"
  9. Exquisite Corpse: April 2018

    We watch as velvet sky above is filled
  10. Exquisite Corpse: April 2018

    The crickets chirp on grassy midnight hills
  11. soul to give to fire and flame

    Prompt: "Your people have been living on an island for over a million years. There is a supersized volcano in the center, but that’s not a problem. Whenever it begins to erupt, your community sacrifices a virgin to the volcano gods which stops it immediately. Today, the volcano starts to smoke and the ground starts to tremble. Your town starts preparing for eruption. There is only one virgin left in town." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The day she is meant to die is the day she meets the goddess. It is a tradition of sorts; occasionally, the mountain will rumble, and then it will smoke, and then a sacrifice must be given to calm its wrath. And on, and on, but now she is the last sacrifice and after her, the town will have no one left to give. She is frightened, but she will not show it. She inhales deeply, and only the slight tremor of her fingers belies her terror. Her mother is crying. “My baby,” she sobs, running tear-soaked fingers down her cheeks. But the sacrifice does not cry. She closes her eyes and stands tall. This is her duty, after all. She’d always known this day would come. She knows it like she knows that she will be the last, and that after her there will be no more sacrifices because there will be no more need. “It is time,” says the High Priestess as the ground trembles beneath her feet. There are tears on her face, too, and her wrinkles are like canyons in her grim, gray features. The sacrifice nods. She is as ready as she will ever be. The climb up the mountain is a long one. The sacrifice is barefoot and dressed only in a thin, pale slip and she nearly falls several times, but every time she steadies herself and continues. She is a soldier, headed for battle, her home behind her and her eyes ever-fixed on the rim of the mountain. The small group stops a few yards from the edge. The High Priestess reaches out and paints red clay in unwavering lines across the sacrifice’s forehead. The symbol of the volcano gods, etched into her skin, marking her as their prize. She had left her name behind at the base of the mountain but it is here she leaves her identity. The High Priestess sings a long, low prayer to the gods and the earth below their feet trembles. “Go, now,” she says, gesturing to the rim, and her eyes are sad. The sacrifice nods once, taking just a moment to steal herself before turning away, towards the top. She begins to walk again. The ground is warm beneath her bare feet and the rocks are jagged, but she pushes on against the pain. There is no turning back, not now. There is a moment, at the rim, where she looks down into the crater and she looks up at the sky and she wonders why this must be her lot in life. Why this is her fate, her duty; why she hadn’t given up long ago, found a lover and defiled herself from the sacrifice. But, she thinks, she never did find anyone worth that love, and besides, she’d always known that someone must perform this task. If that someone had to be her, than so be it. But no more. She thinks of her sisters, her cousins, and she thinks, no more. “O, Great Gods of the Burning Mountain,” she speaks, voice hoarse and rough and choked with ash. “I beg you to spare my home. In return, I give myself to you, pure and untouched.” The lava below bubbles and belches and gives no answer. The sacrifice squeezes her eyes tight. It is time. “I know it is not my right, but I have one additional request of you. After me, there are no more who are suited for the sacrifice. Those who are untouched are young, far too young, and they are not prepared as I am. So I ask only this; after I am gone, let me be the last. The people of my village have lived quietly by the ocean for centuries and we have only ever given you our respect. Ask what you will of us, be it temples or gold or a piece of our harvest, but please, please spare our children.” The sacrifice turns her eyes to the sky and knows that her piece has been said. She has nothing more to offer, no more reason to stall. And so, wishing that she had at least kissed her mother’s cheek one last time, she steps carefully forward over the rim. There is a hand at her wrist, holding her back, keeping her from falling. It is hot, unbearably so, and her skin blisters and burns at the contact. Unable to stop herself, she turns, eyes wide, and finds herself gazing into the face of a god. “Why, child?” asks the god. The voice is an ancient one, creaking like stones and crackling like flames, and on the god’s forehead is the symbol of the youngest goddess, Itum. “Why give yourself so willingly? Why beg this deed?” The sacrifice trembles. “Great Lady Itum,” she says, voice fragile and afraid. Around her, the world has warped and faded, turning to smoke and sparks and haze. Magic weaves itself through the air, terrible and beautiful, and the sacrifice knows that she now stands in another realm, an ancient one of gods and demons. “Please forgive me. I merely hoped to save my sisters.” Itum watches her, unblinking, eyes of molten rock wholly unreadable. “You are kind of heart,” she says, and lays a burning palm over the sacrifice’s chest. “You have never given yourself to another and yet you are so full of love.” The sacrifice knows, in this moment, that she is going to die, and it compels her to bravery. “My Lady Itum,” she says, and this time her voice does not tremble. “Please grant me my wish. Stop the endless killing of daughter after daughter who never had the chance to love.” “Is that what you really want?” asks the goddess, laughter in her tone. “Or do you wish for freedom? Do you pity your successors because you so strongly desire to be loved?” “It does not matter,” says the sacrifice. “I am the last. The village is empty, and I will soon die. It does not matter whether or not I desire love.” Itum leans in closer, breath singing the sacrifice’s skin. “You are noble,” she says. “And kind. Both are admirable qualities, and I do not wish to see them in vain.” “My lady?” “My brothers,” says Itum, and the magic in the air shifts around them, “would see you dead. It is they who lust for the sacrifice, who send the tremors to demand more and more. My brothers will not grant your request, for they know there are always more of your kind and they know they will always be given whatever is is they may ask. You are proof of this.” “And what is it that you want?” asks the sacrifice, and then curses her own tongue, but the goddess merely laughs. “I am not sure, myself,” admits Itum. “Perhaps, like you, I long for freedom, and for love.” “Then what will you do?” The air is quiet between them as the goddess thinks. The sacrifice is burning with the proximity of the lava, skin blistering and hair turning to smoke. She wishes to cry out in pain, wishes that this would finally end, but she bites down on her tongue and does not make a sound. “Perhaps,” says Itum at long last, “I will break the cycle and free us both.” The sacrifice opens her mouth, perhaps to ask a question, but she does not manage it because in the next moment, the goddess kisses her. It is not a soft kiss, like the touch of her mother’s lips beneath her ear, but a fiery one, passionate and hungry and burning. The sacrifice’s lips sting at the heat but she does not struggle, even when the goddess slips tongue between lips between teeth and tastes of her lungs. When the goddess releases her something has changed. The air around them is thinner, cooler, bits of blue sky breaking through the smoke. “There,” says the goddess, and smiles as she slides an ember-bright thumb over the sacrifice’s lips. “You are no longer undefiled.” The sacrifice stares at her, breathing heavy and words lost to the goddess’ tongue. “My lady?” she whispers, unable to manage any more than that. “You are free now,” says Itum, voice gentle and strong. “The last virgin is no more, and the village is empty. There will be no more sacrifices. The cycle is broken.” The sacrifice closes her eyes. A tear slips free from between ash-flecked lashes and the goddess wipes it away in a puff of steam. “Go, child,” she says, not unkindly. “Go home to your people. Tell them that the sacrifice is no more. Live in freedom and find yourself someone to love.” The young woman, no longer a sacrifice and no longer a girl, nods her head and does not say a word. Itum lets go of her wrists and steps back, and behind her the smoke clears a path to the top of the crater. Numb and in shock and overwhelmed by emotion, the nameless young woman begins to climb away. When she reaches the top, when she sees her village in miniature before the sparkling blue sea, she turns back to the goddess. “My lady,” she says, and her voice breaks. “Thank you.” Itum smiles and then she is gone. The young woman crumples at the mountaintop. She crawls the paces down from the rim, to where she may lean her back against a rock and cry unseen. And cry she does, tears streaming down her cheeks and aching sobs pulling daggers through her lungs. It is over, she thinks. At long last, it is over. There will be no more. She is the last one.
  12. Exquisite Corpse March 2018

    Wind-whipped chaos sweeps across the sand and blue-gray-green waves crash along the seam of the land some find peace in the serenity of natural things—not as I do for its constant motion, tumult, uncertainty, imminent danger is still a constant, despite the chaos— disorder is a reassurance in its consistency so when I stumble into a quiet place off-balanced by the sudden roar of silence in my ears I think about the thunderstorms I've felt and how they pulled me toward the inmost chamber of myself how myself is a chamber of its own, my oyster-shell identity wrapped glimmering around my hidden pearl. to find shelter inside myself from sandstorm winds—grit in my teeth, eyes— is like a welcome inhale of coastal sweetness and salt may be hidden in the sweetness, but then the peace is only made sweeter white noise generators hold the same lullaby of constancy but lord knows mother nature does it best quiet conversation in coffee shops is mirrored in cricket-song and summer wind I find in nature as much pattern as disarray—what charm!— never did I think that chaos would be my home but the silence when it is absent is chaos in itself —chaos as departure from a norm, as deviation from bell-curve existence— chaos is a resting place, a sandy beach, a coral reef— an oasis of bright and different and alive I breathe looking up at all the water completely submerged I feel no pressure in my chest my lungs find new ways to peel themselves back for the openmouthed sun the phytoplankton sing of that sunlight on their tongues, of quiet serenity, and i sink into blissful dark unknown where my eyes don't see but there's a kaleidoscope in my soul and the kaleidoscope is like that one i find in your eyes, like the sinking into pillow-soft dawn and cricket quiet, like the serenity that enfolds me as i gaze up at the sun. this is our oasis. (Contributors: @queenie_flower @Hydra ’Liope @thepensword @catasterism @Apollo's Lover @writeandleft @conradbirdie @O. Captain @drowntown )
  13. Exquisite Corpse March 2018

    and the kaleidoscope is like that one i find in your eyes, like the sinking into pillow-soft dawn and cricket quiet, like the serenity that enfolds me as i gaze up at the sun. this is our oasis. ((just needed to wrap it up there. gimme a second and i'll post the full thing.))
  14. sometimes i am angry sometimes i am angry because the world is too big and not big enough is uncaring, unyielding sometimes i am screaming to the sky but i am unheard sometimes i am crying into the silence of mobile people, empty hallways, broken gazes sometimes i am cheering fist raised and eyes wide peace sign brandished with more power than any weapon could hope to yield sometimes i am smiling at my siblings on that stage doing what i cannot at the crowd that watches at the signs held high sometimes my heart is one with the rebellion sometimes i am angry and sometimes i am ready to go i am feet marching and throat red from screaming i am fists on doors and demanding my existence sometimes i am speech at the barricade and sometimes, sometimes i am words as bullets and only watching sometimes i am helpless, but sometimes— sometimes i am angry