Categories
poetry

The Balance

I watched everything hang in the balance
On a Tuesday night
I watched as people screamed and shouted
Over my people’s rights
I watched the numbers climb and climb
In a fight between blue and red
Right then, I wished to be a million miles away
Or just tell everyone I’m dead
I can’t think of world where I can’t love
In the way people think is wrong
I can’t live in a world where everyone’s stripped of rights
And the majority just move along
For we will always have that little voice
That asks, “what about me?”
And until that little voice is answered
We are never “free”
So, tonight I watch my life hang in the balance
Between parties of red and blue
And I wish I was wise enough
To know exactly what to do

***

There is nothing more terrifying than watching other people fight for control over one’s life. This poem was made in early November, as one might’ve guessed, and I believe it still applies now. After all, is the battle ever truly over when more sides wait in the wings?

Categories
poetry

Heart Size

How is it possible

To want to be so big and so small

At the same time?

To be so large that I encompass the world

And so small the world never sees me

How is it possible that I want my heart to be so big

But it’s always three sizes too small?

Or one size too large?

***

I fear by writing an explanation it will succeed the length of the poem itself. It was created at that timeless hour when I can still see light long after the sun has set, and perhaps also after watching a sad movie. Melancholy is a creative force like no other.

Categories
short stories

Never Fall in Love

“You will be my last love.” I glanced over and laughed at the ridiculous statement. We’d been dating for little under three months, and I certainly think it was too early to declare any sort of eternal connection. “You mistake me. You will be my last love, even after we terminate.” Part of me is flattered by your words, yet another becomes concerned. What do you plan to do if I am your last love? If I am the last person who you kiss and hold and cherish? Where will your heart go while the rest of us have ours broken and mended and soaring? However, when I rest a hand on your shoulder, I see no pain in your eyes. You seem almost… content, as if this is an epiphany you’ve denied yourself for so long that you almost forgot it existed.

“What happens when your heart finds another, even if your head keeps the vow?” I ask. You throw your head back and laugh, but there is something bittersweet about the sound.

“It shan’t. I’ll lock myself in a cave or rewind my memories. Perhaps I’ll make myself so ugly that no one else could love me. Whatever I do, I will not have my heart broken again,” you explain. I glance at your scars. No, you are not beautiful in the traditional sense. I see no defined cheekbones, bright eyes, or shiny hair. However, I do see your intricate tattoos and your cropped hair, and I see the smiles that stretch from ear to ear and your strong hands. Although I may not see physical beauty, I see internal.

“Making yourself ugly won’t do anything,” I contradict.

“You mistake me again. Ugliness is found on both the inside and the outside,” you respond, and bitterness continues to lace your words. I chuckle, and it’s your turn to glance gaze incredulously at me.

“You can’t make yourself ugly, no more than the sun can stop shining or the birds stop singing. Beauty and ugliness, from within, are inherit. Even if we become hard or selfish or cruel, we still hold our nature in our hearts,” I comment. You stare at me, and then a small smile tugs at the corner of your lips.

“And that’s why you will be my last love,” you say, and the words seem even sadder than before.

I can’t remember what happened to you. One year later, we broke up because I moved to the U.K while you stayed in the States. Years passed and seasons changed as the people did. Some I spent alone, others with lovers and friends and family. Work kept me busy, but travel allowed me to meet people from everywhere. There were days where I saw movies that made me think of you and rainy nights where I could hear your voice. However, you were only a chapter in the story of my life, and I have many others.

I traveled back to the States for a road-trip one year. When I passed through Georgia, I thought I saw you sitting on a bench. In New York, I thought I saw you standing on the corner. In Washington D.C., you sat near the monument and stared into the water. It wasn’t until I made my way to Portland, Oregon that I truly saw you.

Blue

10/17/1962-12/4/2000

That seemed too damn young to me.

***

Consider my two weeks of absence a hiatus of sorts. I apologize for no notice, but my outside duties took up more of my time and resources than normal. I am very tentative about this story, because its plot isn’t definitive and it exists as little more than a word splurge. I will disclose that this story was based off a very real conversation, and one that I don’t think I’ll forget until my brain rots. Do tell me what you think.

Categories
poetry

The Way I Am

Sometimes I’m a trickster

Whose eyes are filled with glee

Sometimes I’m a beggar

Asking for anything to be

Sometimes your heart is mine

And sometimes I am yours

Sometimes I jump through windows

Because I can’t get through closed doors

Sometimes I’m so ugly I hate mirrors

Because they reflect my goblin face

Sometimes I just grimace at my reflection

Because I think I have no taste

I can carry the world on my shoulders

But one more person, and I might break

I shout random things that hurt others

Then cry for self-pity’s sake

Sometimes I want to sleep for days

Then get up only to live through one more

Sometimes I’m wealthy

And other times I’m poor

Sometimes I marry a murderer

And sometimes you’re my princess bride

Sometimes I create things

To help the others hide

I’m a girl to society

And a person to myself

I can break a wrist in seconds

But will always cry for help

I write words on my skin until the pen bleeds

Only to have them disappear tomorrow

Sometimes it hurts to breathe

Because my heart’s so full of sorrow

But I know that no matter what I am

Whether goblin god or tree

You’ll always smile

And stay beside me

***

Apologies and a bag of chips to all who noticed I didn’t post this Friday! My schedule has kept me busy and I haven’t gotten a good paragraph of writing for ages. This is an older poem, a more intense poem, but it still makes sense poem. Overall, it has a sweet message. I promise to get something out once I enter the eye of the hurricane that wasn’t written ages ago.

Categories
poetry

The Greenroom

There’s no place like the greenroom.

There’s no place to sit

There’s no place to stand

We’re packed in

Touching hand to hand

I grab a chair and listen above

Hearing the chatter of the audience I love

While a fairy does her makeup

And the queen laughs with the men in black

Who stay back

To make sure we shine

And the hour is mine

There’s no place like the stage.

And the rushing and pounding rage

My heart goes into every time I take my place

Every time I stood with painted face

I remember my makeup man’s smile

And my mother’s proud grin

I remember the laughter of the crowd

And the music’s little spin

There’s no place where the air is thick with art

And the words we recite live in our heart

There’s no place where even empty rooms are filled to the brim

There’s no way to make that audience applause dim

Because there’s no place like the greenroom.

The home of the actors.

The home of the performers.

The home of the stagehands.

The home in my heart.

***

I’ve mentioned a greenroom in several of my poems (shared or otherwise), because the setting marks the beginning and end to a chapter in my life. A chapter that made me grow and adapt as a human being, and a chapter that I both cherish and loathe. I will always remember my time backstage and on stage, and the lovely people I met. I couldn’t describe accurately the feeling of either, yet I try through rhyming word. Enjoy.

Categories
short stories

Opal Eyes

“You may not know me, but I know you. I know your smiles, your laughter, your tears, your anguish. I know every strand of hair that falls across your beautiful face, and I am jealous of every coat that’s ever kept you warm and every glove that’s touched your hand. I spend my mornings waking to the ghost of your voice from my dreams, and my nights recalling. My life is spent in your hands, and all I ask is that you do with me what you truly wish,” I whispered. The ripest tomatoes couldn’t rival the shade of red my face took upon my confession. You looked down from your throne and smiled, and it made my heart soar through my ignominious confession. A smile, just for me and me alone. When you slowly stood and approached, however, I shrunk back. I couldn’t fool myself, not truly. There wasn’t a creature on this world who tolerated goblins, and a goblin I was. Hesitantly, as my last peace offer, I held out the flower I picked from the gardener’s land. If he caught me with it, he would thrash me later. How loud I would scream all depended on if I could escape to a memory of true bliss or a memory of deepest sorrow. Your laugh surprised me, and I gasped when you plucked the marigold from my fingers. We were a wonderful contrast, you and I, with hands of finery and splendor and the softest skin brushing against knots and wrinkles and dried mud from the lake. It was your laugh that almost undid me, and a sob escaped my throat when you pressed the petals to your lips.

“Ah, my little love, how can you possibly lay such a precious life down at my feet, as if it is a gift to be discarded upon whim?” you asked, and a few tears trickled down my cheeks. They were lost in the folds and gnarls of my skin, yet your hand dispelled the few left. I held my breath as you cupped my face in your palms, the intoxicating scent of the marigold wafting around us. When your lips touched my forehead, I crumpled. You helped me up when I tried to grovel at your feet and wouldn’t hear a word of my apologies or sincerest thanks. As you bent over to look me in the eye, I felt the smile I kept buried beneath my heart’s surface for the first time in years. There was no one else in the kingdom with eyes like yours, white as opals and shining just as brilliantly. “Although I may never see your face, or your smile, or your laughter, I know them just as well as I do my own. I know every joke you tell, every song you’ve sung, every jest you’ve made in good fun. I know every time you’ve cried, every shout of rage, and every time you wished out loud you were something else, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.”

It was my first real hug. You embraced me tightly, kneeling before as if I were the ruler of our lands. I felt the marigold petals crushed against my neck, yet I didn’t care that they fell to the marble floors. I hugged you back just as fiercely, with tears spilling down my cheeks for a different reason than ever before. “I truly wish for you, and your companionship. That’s all I’ve ever wished for,” you whispered, and more tears dripped onto the floors. Our laughter echoed throughout the grand halls, like a new melody never before sung yet immediately treasured.

A monarch, a partner, a lover, and a friend. These nine words engraved into your tombstone do you no justice. As I sit near my pond, where I spent years sneering at my reflection and woefully scaring anyone who came near, I now guard your final resting place. Unfortunately, humans last much longer than goblins. However, I feel my time is near. Your body is gone, but I think you stayed with me in spirit. After all, how can one remember so much about their soulmate after they’ve already passed if they aren’t there? How can I still recall your laughter and your opal eyes? The sun begins to set overhead, casting her pink glow against the marigolds that bloom every summer around your grave. I pluck one and twirl its stem in my fingers, then rest against the grass near where your head should be. “You now know me, and I knew you. We spent years and years treasuring and nurturing and laughing and dancing. I am no longer jealous of your gloves because you held my hands as often as I wished, yet I still wish that I could’ve held them one last time. It is no matter, anyway. Soon enough, we’ll be together once more. Soon enough, my love.” The marigolds dropped from my fingers.

***

Ha! I did it! Take that, Father Time! I have an update, and a short story at that. Please enjoy this perfectly sad and fantastical tale about a goblin and their love. The best part about writing in the forbidden you-and-I perspective is the freedom of character. This is a product of maddeningly rattling of ideas towards the wee hours of the night, and I hope that whoever reads this enjoys its elaboration.

Categories
poetry

Little Dancers

When I was younger, I never saw the bags under their eyes

Or the laces sometimes frayed

I never saw the knots in their shoulders

Or the hair that sometimes strayed

From buns and ponytails kept neat and trim

At the base of their elegant necks

I never saw the wrinkles in their leotards

Or the secrets they tried to protect

Spins and leaps fascinated me

In a way I cannot write

Because to me, they were beautiful

Dancing from day to night

With a padebure and a grand jete

They glid right through the air

Sometimes dancing to the instructor’s voice

And sometimes without a care

When there weren’t pointe shoes

They were contemporary slips

When there weren’t jazz boots

There were taps with steel tips

And I can still remember my sense of awe

In seeing a dancer take their pick

I can still remember the pounding of the music

As they performed an elaborate trick

Yet I never saw the bruised feet

And the aching souls that came

To relieve the tension of the outside world

Because we all feel the same

They were artists and orchestrators

And music was their love

They danced across the wooden floors

As if they came from above

And now, I look at the children who sit

Right next to the studio’s door

And think how they never see mistakes

Or trip-ups on the Marley floor

One day they’ll dance alone

With pointes and slips and taps

And know that we come here every week

To avoid reality’s traps

For now, they watch with open mouths

Eyes wide when I come down from my tips

And as the music stops and we all pause

A smile forms on my lips

For little dancers don’t know the sorrow

That awaits them as they age

For now, they just know the older dancer’s steps

And the glory of the stage

***

I’ve devoted more than half of my life to dancing, from hip-hop workshops to years of tap classes to national competitions. I remember feeling extremely insecure when I was younger about my movements and image, and always looked towards the older dancers for an example. Now, as an older dancer, it is strange to see the children who crowd around the door to watch us perform. It brings back a sense of déjà vu and nostalgia, if I am using those terms correctly. As I recommend martial arts, I recommend dance. Sometimes, there is very little difference.

Categories
poetry

The Countdown

One step in

Two inches down

Three times I wished

To just let myself drown

Four lines written

Five lines said

Six people screaming

And emphasizing my dread

At seven the apathy sets in

At eight it takes its fill

Nine times I felt strong

Strong enough to kill

Ten ways I can say I love it

Nine times it heard it wrong

At eight, it heard it right

And now it’s long gone

Seven days of feeling empty

And six of missing you

Sometimes I hug my pillow

Just hoping to get through

Five more months of never touching

Four more weeks of wearing masks

Three more days until it resets

So maybe we can sit at a table for two

But that’s just one estimate

***

I have an obsession with number-based poetry, whether consecutively written or just dealing with math. Perhaps this explains my affinity for Harry Baker and simple melodies, because their numbers are always what I can count on. Plus, it combines the childlike yet methodical counting method with bitterness, much like Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Ah, one hopes for the density of the population to decrease, both in numbers and minds. Perhaps this poem wouldn’t exist if such a thing occurred.

Categories
poetry

The Orchestra

It started with a single note

A single glance

A single step in the right direction

The wrong direction

It was a quirk of lips

A spasm of the brow

Which just jumbled up the melodies

Until we became an awkward duet

Not entirely unpleasant

The flat tones of the bass rang out

The flutes began to trill warning signals

I was already long gone

It continued with a text

Another measure

Another line

Another rest

The violin’s concerto still rips my soul

As I waited for the little black notes to begin again

As I waited for the rest to end

The silence to end

After that, it was the brass

And the winds

Shrieking

Warning

Sliding up and down scales

As my mind slid up and down

Up and down

Up and down

Until the cymbal crash sounded

And I thought it finished

Three measures later

Two octaves lower

The bass began anew

I can still hear it sometimes

Even when the broken flute chimed

I still listened

Even when the trumpet took the flute’s place

I still stayed

Beethoven wallowed

Mozart shrieked

Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich ranted

But I burned

What went from three melodies became four

Then six

Then twelve

Until I couldn’t keep up

Until every measure of silence stole breath

Until I couldn’t speak

The music never came to an abrupt stop

The cymbals didn’t crash again

The ending melody wasn’t raised an octave then lowered respectively

The music came to an end when the broken flute uttered one last line

With the musician out of breath

And the notes wavering like a whisper

And only one of us survived the finale

Only one of us remained in our seats

And it wasn’t me

***

A longer poem, but it’s a longer story. It feels stupid to continue to pull memories from this time, but my creativity knew no bounds more than a year ago. And I can’t express my utter surprise when I had my time epiphany. To think! A year ago this orchestra played and half of that time later I left that symphonic concert. Ah, well. There are better concertos out there.

Categories
poetry

A Million Things

I’ve been told that my mouth will get me into trouble

That my attitude will leave me wanting

That my words will leave me lonely

And my smile makes me too smart for my own good

I’ve been told that my heart will leave me friendless

My body will leave me jobless

And my choices will leave me optionless

Unless I take the path they expect

My fists make me crazy

My mind makes me intimidating

My eyes make me pretty

But the rest of me makes up for that last one

I’ve been told a million things

About how wicked this world is to people like me

But if I can see you smile when I share my mind

Or my mouth

Or my heart

Then the rest of the world won’t mean a thing

***

I am terribly sorry to my readers for the deterioration of my poetry and my lack of creativity streak. As many a writer and artist would know, when the muse doesn’t hit, the creation isn’t formed. However, I bring you a sweet little love poem laced with some unintentional bitterness about my little goblin. I immensely enjoy this writing scheme, and hope when lovely Inspiration peaks her head out again from the darkness, she’ll grace me with a couple more verses.