I guess I just like words

I think English words taste like pickles: crunchy on the outside with savory, meaty middles.

Image: goldbelly.imgix.net

Spanish is like a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window, its colorful geometry sliding into place like the children’s game Rush Hour.

Speaking Arabic is like putting on gilded silk robes that I don’t deserve.

Hebrew diffuses through my veins, and Yiddish sends me spiralling into my ancestors.

When I sat in French class, I was able to peer into a manicured francophone antique store that enthralls me.

And when I preach my dreams of universal Esperanto, I feel the international interdependency of the future colliding with the frilly beauty of antiquity. 

I was barely twelve when I sat on a train pouring words onto a page, words that sounded right, that fit right, that like singing nails resonated in my chest.

I was a silversmith working self-righteous metal into ornate rings around fingers black with mud.

stars in tyler's toes

tyler died the other week 

and in his death I was forced to remember him

stuck uncomfortably askew into my otherwise sweetly lapsing childhood

the odd cold memory next to geraniums and my dads’ warm hands:

it hadn’t rained in weeks but it would tomorrow

tyler and his friends tore down the highway

the truck old 

the boys young 

and the night infinite

four teenagers careening through space

running out of time

(twinkling like stars, the holes in the bottom of his truck shone into the cab. Twinkling not like natural light, but like reflections from yellow road reflectors and moonshine)

then as Murphy knowingly frowned

the teenagers plunged abruptly into the darkness

two flew through the night and landed bloody on the highway

but he and his passenger tumbled endlessly into that indiscriminate abyss

and someone I hadn’t thought about in years came crashing back into my life

(and those stars that lined his bare calloused toes erupted into vivid supernovas)

credit: upload.wikimedia.org

tyler and I were friends when i was very young. he lived in Kauai and i would visit every so often. he was a terrible influence; he would steal stupid things, and i would watch. sometimes tyler took me fishing. he would torment the fishes by cutting off their fins and sending them back to the water to die bloody but breathing. and i would watch. he told me fish don’t feel pain, but i saw that he did. he grew up between houses, neither one was particularly welcoming. he grew up never believing he had a chance. one day he was watching his younger sister, and i remember sitting where the tide leaves sandy pools on the beach. she splashed and screamed while he delicately folded her clothes placing them carefully on a log. I watched him pull a shirt over her wet sandy head and I saw how precarious tyler’s life was. he couldn’t have been more than twelve.

it barely hurts to imagine him flying down the road drunkenly focused, it doesn’t pain me to imagine his dark brown eyes, and not even the dead teenagers trapped in a combusting coffin bring me to tears

but that little girl

Pillows

Why do you enjoy reading

people’s screams that live in

Pillows that arent yours?

Is your pillow empty? (it’s not)

Are there screams that are especially beautiful?

And for that matter is there a scale?

or do we just “like” some people’s pain more than other’s or even our own?

Pillows are meant to capture sound

but for me i empty mine out

fun sized pain

spilling on the hardwood floor

you read all that i’ve got

and you sort it however you see fit

and pick and choose

what gets traded

and what gets kept.

Better Down Feather Pillow | The Company Store
Credit: TheCompanyStore

why is it? you.

Credit:https://pixels.com/featured/aztec-sun-olga-ponomareva.html

a brick wall,

why is it that when I lean into you

like a brick wall you can support me

or cause my world to tumble down

brick by brick

like a brick wall

warm,

why is it that when I put my neck on your shoulder

it’s warm and comforting

even though

sometimes

it shouldn’t be

on a hot day.

why is it that on a hot day when it is dry and breathing is a chore

you make me so happy to just be there

to just enjoy

the

way

things are

and you’re there

why is it that when I see you

I know you’re there

when

even you don’t really know if that’s true

smiling.

why is it that when you smile

even when i scowl back at you

you still manage to make me happy

Itchy

I have a bad case of itchy foot

The itchy foot runs through my leg

When I itch the itch it numbs my toes

Through my foot it goes

And all the way into my calf

It feels like the beginning of poison oak

The sweltering alergic reaction

That has plagued me since days old

I feel the familiar itch

The friendly ooze

The glorious disgusting hot irritated mess that is poison oak

But not quite

It’s just one singular bulb

One little plague bubonic

A tiny little boil

A reminder of bare feet in mosquito territory

A reminder like a cracked phone screen

Or a scar on your arm

Something you see everyday

A reminder of something you forgot

Like her face in my camera roll

Like looking back at just how perfect it has been

Because so often I took photos when things were good

When I wasn’t staring at a blank google doc

An image stamped in my skull

When it was incredible

Or when it was supremely funny

Or when it hurt like a mountain insurmountable

And when I scroll back and see these myrtle memories

For an instant I feel that excitement that takes me back

That yearning for days old

But not for a million dollars

Not for an ounce of that love that I felt

Would I miss a second of the now

It’s weird

But I scratched the itch

And honestly it doesn’t itch anymore

To a Stranger in Brooklyn Heights

Dear stranger in Brooklyn Heights,

I don’t know much about you, but I can infer some things.

I think you are someone who cares about your belongings.

Like your copy of Spoon River Anthology, for example.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

I think you care about it because you stamped it twice – once inside the front cover and once inside the back.

Maybe you just didn’t want to lose it and for it to be returned to you if it ever did get lost. But, if that’s the case, how did it end up in a used bookstore in a town 3,000 miles away?

I would want to know which poems are your favorites, but it seems like you never read them. The pages are nearly perfect, despite being printed in 1962.

I wish I could ask you some questions.

How old were you when you bought it? How old are you now? Why didn’t you read it? How did it end up with me?

I don’t know who you are, but I want to say thank you. Your book that was originally sold for 95 cents is now my book that was sold to me for three dollars.

And now I have a story within a story, thanks to you.

I’m not sure if you still live in New York or if any of my assumptions about you were correct or if you’re even a person at all.

But just in case I was right, once I finish the book, I’ll send it back to you.

 

Poetry Based Off of Songs

The Beautiful & Damned 

The Beautiful,

a delicate rose.

Small and light in a sea of others,

Bright and beautiful,

Photo Credit: defiantart.com

silky-smooth petals,

like a gentle caress.

The Damned.

Crimson red like its fallen petals.

Damned in the colors of rust and blood.

Tainted with thorns,

hidden in the layers of the silk petals.

Sharp and deadly,

Hidden in beauty.


Colorless (Colors – Halsey)

Side note: i wrote this poem for an english assignment where I had to write a poem using words from a song.

You’re colorful like a saturated sunrise.

Glowing with red, orange, and pink,

but like an overflowing sink.

Your colors seep

and it covers me in blue.

The same blue as you.

The blue of your pills, hands, and jeans.

Photo Credit: paintings.pinotspalette.com

The same blue as you,

but unlike the day’s blue sky

and the night’s starry light.

Your blue’s dark,

a starless night,

an empty sight.

And like a black and white book;

Your mind’s the pages,

your thoughts the ink.

And they’re grey just like your dreams.

Your body’s the pages,

tattoos the ink.

But they’re grey, just as you think.

And I rip at every edge of your masterpiece,

but you’re so devoid of color,

you’re colorless.