Categories
poetry

The Party

The room was full to the brim

There was no space to stand in

Each person crowded and squished thin

And I was alone.

The walls breathed with a steady beat

There was no where to take a seat

The edges of my mind started to eat

While everyone else fasted with limited happiness

My mind was out of its head

I walked around and felt half-dead

People screaming crying shouting

Laughing chittering pouting

Bantering talking gawking in an outing

That hit my inside

I tried to hide in the corner

But isolation ostracized me

Putting me in a place I didn’t want to be

The first time

Sadly, this isn’t a new rhyme

It’s an old clock ticking

Drowned out by the crowd

I don’t say anything aloud

Because sadly, what I see

Isn’t really in front of me

My head’s holding a party without my consent

People came and go and return then went

To the Denny’s on the street

My feet beneath me are bare

I don’t care

It’s just too loud for me to think

Maybe if I took a drink

Of water

This wouldn’t bother me so much

I can’t be touched or rushed

But I want to be

So I’m sorry you weren’t invited

We won’t be reunited

In hindsight it

Was a better decision 

***

I apologize for the quality of the drawing. I am a poet, not an artist. As I’m sure many of you have experienced, this uncertain time has started to prey on my thoughts. I am left alone too much with the constant stimuli my head relentlessly produces, and my new schedule is not strong enough to keep it at bay. I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stay positive recently, but I do hope that this is only because of what currently affects my world. It’s never healthy to be alone with your own thoughts, for that’s what drives people mad in the end. Never circumstance, but their own minds turned against their souls.

Categories
poetry

My Broken Temple

It all started with what you drew

Lines on paper, that went up and through

An image beautiful and harrowing and hollow too

That’s when I knew there was something haunting you

Your smile was contagious

Your humor outrageous

I remember you on the stage

Just right

Every night

You took off in flight

Saying lines to the light

Persistently proving your amorous ambition for acting and its high

How sad it was when you decided to say goodbye

You woke up on the wrong side of your mind

Decided that you were a little behind

Slipped into shoes old and ragged

Smoothed out your edges, rough and jagged

Ran your fingers through your wild hair

Put on a careless and relaxed air

Ignored the monster under the stair

And lofted about on a blue, ancient chair

I looked at your art again and again

A curious case of a curious new friend

Piecing together the puzzle and trying to comprehend

Why your aura was cold and desolate and blue

Why you shut down when the focus wasn’t on you

Why your knuckles were scarred and bruised

Yet nothing affected your upright attitude

We talked more and more

Months and months went by

I eventually found out

And it made me cry

Your past was dark and jaded

Any determination you had faded

Depression loomed over you and waited

Anxiety eating at you on a day-to-day basis

Yet you gave me the understatement

Blew it off and tried to be patient

You carry a world of hurt on your shoulders

It gets larger and larger as you grow older

You keep your distance, but refuse to grow colder

But you’ve also sacrificed other things

Your drive disappeared

You seem to live in fear

Your focus isn’t even here

What do you love or hold dear?

This puzzle is only half-done

I don’t know if this is just some

Theory of a question that will never see completion

Or perhaps… you’re an artist who’s just begun

***

A dear friend of mine asked for a perspective, to see what I thought of him. Hours later, after a burst of creativity and consideration, I created this poem and showed it to him. To accommodate for brutal words, I crossed out lines and phrases, but the poem itself still demonstrated the good and bad of his character in my eyes. Days later, he gifted me with a picture of his perspective. There was no malice in the image, no hint of my vices (which are plentiful). It remains one of my favorite illustrations. Still, guilt gnaws at me. While my apology may never see fruition, I do regret my coarse and brutal nature as much as I regret befriending his patience and kindness.

Categories
poetry

An Ode to Winter

O Winter! How I forget about your quiet days!

How I forget about your silent snow!

And hours without craze!

For this seems to all be a haze

Of sun rays

In my fragile state

It’s not a fact that I can debate

Luckily, weather has a constant rate of change

Even where I live, where it can be strange

Where it rains then hails then the sun shines bright

When it’s day for weeks and then turns night

In the blink of an eye

I said goodbye to our time

Which felt sublime

And subtle

Yet looking at the rubble of our memories

It’s a bigger hole in my heart

For you hung onto the trees with a gorgeous grace

You kissed my face

And took me in your arms

Cold bit by toes, but it only made me smile

I know in a little while

I’ll see you again

O Winter! How I forget your quiet days!

How I forget how much I miss you

But as for my heart, the snow always stays

***

I apologize for the late post. I lost my numbers. Some of my fondest memories happened in the snow. My entire family was born in winter, so we celebrate many days within the season. Nothing is more enjoyable and refreshing than the first snow, how it blankets the world in a strange quiet that can’t be replicated. Recently, I started a tradition of waking up early to walk in the first snow when I first spot it from my window. It gives me a profound sense of calm, and for one minute, the entire world holds its breath. While I embraced summer and its warmth, winter will always hold a special place in my heart.

Categories
poetry

The Sea

It wasn’t your smile that stole my heart

It was the way you swayed like a piece of art

Your stride was grace

I miss your pace

And the way I felt safe

And kept so much faith

In the way you climbed

The wind chime chimed

The hour struck nine

But we were fine

The cold never bothered me

Even though you were colder than you ought to be

I still share my secret laugh only with you

I still wish for your beautiful view

While my world is spinning

You kept me still

While I strove to be winning

You taught me to chill

No one makes me smile like you

No one’s taken my thoughts away

I no longer stew on my hypotheticals

But our time together seems theoretical

For me, it ways weeks

For you, it was short

I miss the seaweed

And driftwood fort

I miss your sound

And your sight

And your gaze

No one’s ever set my heart ablaze

In the way you did

I never hid anything from you

Never had guilt to chew

Just focused on your beauty

And a laugh that saw right through me

Even now, a hundred miles away

I still think of the day

Toes in the sand

Hand in hand

I want your presence to fill my room

I hope to see you again soon

***

When I was younger, I went to the ocean with my family. We stayed in a rental home and spent a week at the beach. While the sea herself was only 50 degrees and sometimes the air was colder than that, there is nothing I wouldn’t trade for a few moments in her company again. I can still feel the salty air and sand as I write. Although the time I had there is cherished, I look towards the future and try to focus on what’s ahead of me, not behind.

Categories
poetry

The Graphite Man

Through blurred lines

His fingers run through time

Slow and sublime

Yet he hides behind

And sits beside

The words “I’m fine”

A man made of graphite

Sat finite

On the edge of his mind it

Was a cold and desolate place

The artist drew his face

Replaced it with troubles and woes

Unbound and unspoken

He was already broken

Yet incomplete filled his seat much better

***

“The Graphite Man” was a short poem I wrote after a late-night creativity session. I later created a much longer version, but I believe the original conveys the spirit of the poem much better. Everyone, to some extent, comes in contact with The Graphite Man. He is the embodiment of silent suffering, of the darkest parts of our conscious that only appear when everything else vanishes. In a world where connection with others is through cold, unfeeling screens and scheduled meetings, it’s easier to suppress negative emotions than reach out to others and speak about our well-being. However, scars created from emotions held too long are kept for an eternity compared to the negativity in the moment.

Categories
poetry

Sunshine

Sunshine

A part of mine I take in time

Something I see and long to be

A face in a mirror

Graced with a slower pace

And a tempo more moderate

Than contemporary

I see this sunshine

Find a smile in its sunny rays

Ticking off the days when it will graze

The front of my yard

A place that feels far beyond my current state

Which I hate because I relate more to this mind

Than the one I left behind

I wish it wasn’t hard for me to find

This sunshine

For this sunshine used to light up my skin

It was blood and something I lived in

It was my smile and bright, bright eyes

A world without malicious lies

Constant surprise for the highs

And the joy I brought to others

Treated them like sisters and brothers

Sought solace only in my mother

Yet now there is no sun

My days are done having fun

Even when I had some work to do

I always managed to push through

The end was always near

Yet now it isn’t clear

When and if everything will disappear

And leave me to stand here

Alone

Feeling the sunshine spread its hand

Help me stand

And giving me reason to love my land

***

I live in an area that’s not particularly sunny, so seeing the sun is always a treat. I usually open up my windows to allow the natural light in. While this poem does talk about the actual weather, it also describes a state of mind many find themselves stuck in, especially during this trying time. Isolation is a difficult and sometimes detrimental process, yet it is a step required to see this entire ordeal through. Stay healthy, stay strong, and we’ll all see the sunshine in the end.

Categories
short stories

The Guitarist

The night was young and whispered as the moon illuminated the grey streets of Florence, Italy. Dogs howled and screams echoed against the dirty brick buildings, yet they were as familiar as birdsongs in the forests. Garbage crashed against the moist pavement, its trash soaking in with the rest of the liquid trickling through cracks. Even as misery seeped deep into the bones of the city, even as despondent inhabitants wondered what kept them going for the next day, a single sound cut through the darkness like a knife. Strings of a well-worn guitar caressed like a lover and played like a lament. Notes plucked out from its steel and fell through the air like raindrops. Soon, the clouds overhead joined in with the music, creating its onomatopoeia of precipitation, percussion for the sweet strings. As the music swam through the air and echoed as a beacon of hope, it intrigued one particular habitant of Florence. Agatha rose from her fitful attempt at slumber and shuffled outside in her bathrobe. She had never liked guitar players, especially ones on the street who played their music late at night. It was almost second nature for her to scowl at such things, yet her scowl turned to anger. A lean man in shabby clothing became drenched in the rain, slicking back his raven curls and thumping against his old guitar. When he looked up at her, she saw eyes older than her own and a smile that radiated respect and pleasure of life. “Good evening, bella. Do you have a request?” he asked. Bristling at the endearment, the word brought her back to when Agatha was not a crone, but a beautiful young woman. Her husband used to call her by that name until he found a lover to call it by. Now, the words cut deep into Agatha and hardened her already prickly edge.

“Yes. Get out, beggar. You’re interrupting my sleep and I don’t want to listen to your caterwauling guitar all night,” she snapped, her voice rough as sandpaper. Instead of protesting, as guitar players usually did, the man’s grin widened. He stood up slowly, graceful as a dancer, and picked his guitar up tenderly by its neck. At his full height, he stood well over Agatha’s stout form.

“Of course, bella. I’m sorry I interrupted your evening. Have a good night,” he said, bowing so low his head grazed his knees. When he straightened again, Agatha felt a pang of guilt as he strode down the street, barefoot with his guitar slung around his back and sopping wet. However, he disappeared into the night before she could call out to him. As she walked back up her steps and hardened her heart once more, she stopped for a moment. Her brain racked through her memories to find what song the man had been playing until she recognized the tune. Tears spilled down her cheeks; tears that hadn’t been shed for almost thirty years. It was the first song she ever slow danced to with her husband, and its sweet melody brought up the scent of her husband’s cologne and the warmth of his hands and smile. She sprinted out of the hall, the worn boards of the hallway screaming in protest as she threw open the door and ran to the center of the street. Rain fell in buckets, yet all Agatha saw were the cloud’s tears. There was no sign of the guitarist, and all that remained was the faint echo of a heartbroken string.

***

This is an excerpt of a novel I started yet never finished. While the entire tale focuses on the mysterious guitarist, this particular part is written in Agatha’s perspective, third-person limited. A lot of books today tell stories of the young and beautiful, people we look up to yet still have so much to learn. There is something special about tales of the old, the imperfect, and those who stumble and fall through life. It brings out a different level of humanity in stories. However, stories about youth should never be easily dismissed. They may have much to learn about what their future holds, but no one, newborn or ancient, knows exactly what lies ahead.

Categories
poetry

Shakespeare’s Modern Problem

To text or not to text

A statement determining self-respect

This is a prerequisite to the new and direct

Message that he sent

Or lack thereof

Maybe the relationship was already spent

Maybe he just came and went

You sit waiting and wishing for what?

For the sunny beam

That you only saw in a midsummer night’s dream

It’s better to think he’s just another puck

Taking all your good luck

You fancy yourself a Juliet while he stands as your Romeo

A lamentable tragedy about youth and romance though

It still had a nice ring to it

And a comfortable place to sit

You could challenge him to a battle of wit

But you know that he is unarmed

Otherwise, why cause so much harm

Only a periwig-pattered fool could be blind to your alarm

Yet, he’s still your heart’s charm

Tearing your delicate and dainty desires to torn tatters

While reciting insults trippingly on his tongue

It isn’t the victim you need to play

You aren’t Cleopatra or Caesar today

Teenage foolishness won’t go away

Put you know it doesn’t have to stay

Be a Hippolyta, or Catherine, or Cordelia please

Don’t let him take you down to your knees

Be above his strife and pettiness and spite

Prove to the world that you can fight

It won’t be easy and it won’t be fun

But when it’s all said and done

When the play has finished its run

When the actors take a final bow to the sun

Then you’ll know you are the real champion

***

Technology has made us more connected than ever, yet we also became more isolated. In a face-to-face conversation, it’s easier to make both people speak and engage. However, texting has become a dangerous edition to new conversation. All it takes is one unread message to completely cut off a conversation. Despite globalization, problems of toxic relationships and unrequited love have existed for eons. Many people feel they carry conversations and connections while the other remains uninterested. It’s difficult to break off a relationship, especially when you can’t forget the good memories, but your well-being is always more important than whatever cheap excuse the other can make.

Categories
poetry

You and I

You and I are pieces of glass

Made from colors and sands that surpass

The normal square that a cube usually makes

Because we take on our own, jagged shapes

When I think of us, I think of the ocean

Of dreams and laughter in motion

Of toes in the sand and my head in the clouds

Or of closing curtains and dark denim shrouds

If we were vases, I’d be small and you’d be tall

Stretching shadows far off the wall

Yet never shining that much at all

I’d be blue, and you’d be gold

With some black veins that made you look old

“Antique” is the name given

The name you live in

It’s the tide you sit in

When the ocean’s coming back from its first wave

Your black veins would show a darker inside

How you’re afraid and hide yet try to coincide

With this difficult existent

Please

I’m at your side

Sometimes there’ll be days when you stand

Smile like a jaunty marching band

Playing your song across the sand

Yet refusing to let the heat be fanned

Please

Just take my hand

The world if full of people who cheat and lie

People smiling and simpering with soft sly shines

Slipping through soles of silk

Sipping on sumptuous secrets and snakes

The loft of my shop

However

Is never at stake

So we slide into our comfortable silence

Keep the quiet

Hide inside it

Just you and I

Toes in the sand

No more marching band

But still

Please

Just take my hand

***

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to help someone who refuses to believe they can be fixed. People build connections and bonds over shared memories and secrets, from actions we both remember and don’t. Every relationship comes with tears, laughter, and love. A friend of mine inspired this poem, and he’s been a constant muse for a while. Some of the greatest inspiration comes out of relationships, whether we write in sadness or joy.

Categories
poetry

A Romantic’s Apology and Introduction

I’m sorry if I romanticize you

If your skin is made of paper and words

If your eyes are gold and you talk to birds

My glasses frame my face in a rose-colored hue

I’m sorry that you can’t see my view

My world is made up of magic

It’s a tactic to distract from the fact it

Isn’t made up of flowers

How many countless hours have I spent wondering why not

How many days I’ve shed tears over my rotten luck

That my skin wasn’t made of paper too

But the glasses are held onto my face by faith and glue

That you are just like me

Because you

Aren’t made of paper too

As my expectations fly and disaster begins to rise

I romanticize the scenario to the point where I criticize

Everything that doesn’t fit in my eyes

I start to swim in eternal lies

Look in mirrors that distort my true size

For what is smaller than a mouse yet larger than a giant?

Riddles and riddles that make me less compliant

I’ll try and stay silent

Not bother you with my defiant view of reality

Because I think we were all meant to be

More than what we see

Or how we feel

So I’m sorry if I romanticize you

My standards grow tall

My world turns small

But I still think it’s a wonderful view

***

People use different creative outlets to express themselves and their talents. One of the first things my readers should know about me is that I use poetry to express my emotions. And before that, I am extremely emotional. Romanticism has been around for centuries, and it’s an idea we each carry with a different perspective. I have always found myself to be a romantic person, yet my rose-colored glasses have often led me to create false visions and high expectations. While romanticism seems fantastical and wondrous next to the cold, calculated conformity of society, there is an immaturity and hubris that comes with it. Learn to apologize for pain you bring, but never doubt how you see the world.