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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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poetry

Worthless

I’m not worth a grain of sand

Or a drop of time

I’m not worth the tears that trickle down your cheeks

As you get caught up in my rhyme

My hands are greedy and my eyes are wide

With all that I want and feel and see

But at the end of the day it’s all meaningless

Because I’m hopelessly free

The little pain in my heart reminds me

That I’m not worth my mirror’s gaze

The symphony in my head

Is better than its theater’s craze

I’m not worth the ground beneath my shoes

Because I’m mean, shrewd, and loud

I’m not worth the masks upon my wall

Because I always come out too proud

One day, I’ll live a million miles away

So I can cause no one further grief

Whether it be over my physique or mouth

Or unorthodox belief

I’ll live underground and get a gondola

Living off the rats and stew

But I could never, ever imagine

Living without you

***

People are inherently selfish creatures, as the Machiavellian principle goes. I once read about a man who suffered from both critically low self-esteem and a God complex, which I sometimes reference because it’s darkly humorous. After all, don’t most people feel worthless? Yet we still want, and we still hope and we still dream. That makes humankind either incredibly optimistic or hopelessly blind.

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poetry

Coney Island

Soft sand and bleak land

Is where I want to be

But seagull cries as someone dies

Often confused me

I’d stand there with my little love

Holding out hope that from the above

They’d get their heart and soul

And I’d collect mine back

From the same shadow that leaves a muddy track

On the steps of my front door

Forefront in my mind

Sometimes I’ll slow dance

If the music’s right

Flute plays on grey days

Without bright light

And he stands miles away

Minutes from my eyes

And watches the couple

As one cries

The other stands closer

Bare feet with rare pace

Soul and heart marked with empty grace

And in his face, I see a sorrow

One I’ll think about tomorrow

Because for now, I’m dancing

Two by two

Both of us without shoe

And the ocean’s blue

As I whisper a song into your ear

“I wish you were here”

***

The title, a reference to both a Death Cab for Cutie song and an obscure novel. The song in the poem, a reference to a Pink Floyd ditty. There’s a special place in my mind that holds this little fantasy, and sometimes it makes me smile to think that it may come to fruition, absent of the onlookers, of course. Who doesn’t love a good alternative rock reference?

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poetry

I Never Loved You

I never loved you
I’m sorry I said otherwise
I’m sorry I entangled myself
In this bed of lies

I fell in love with your idea
With your kindness and fair gaze
What I didn’t love was how you didn’t respond
For days and days and days

When I dream of you, you were always warm
But in reality you’re very cold
You’re eyes looked so young in the mirror
But now you seem so old

Your ghost still lingers
In every word that I write
I fell in love with my muse
But my gut still twists at the sight

At night I shamed myself for loving you
I never knew why
But after I lost count
Of the times you made me cry
I forgot about your virtues
There wasn’t many to name
Tried to count your vices
That gave me a lot of pain

Every time you approach me
I want to shrink far away
Yet my heart starts to stutter
And spikes when you say, “hey”

When you say my name I flinch
The word seems like slander when you speak
I also hate how insecure I feel
How you make me become so weak

I never loved you
I hope you feel the same
So we can stop this torture
And put an end to our mind game

***

I wrote this poem a while ago and had the audacity to send it to the subject. It’s rather comical how dense people can be sometimes when it’s about them. This was a darker part of my short existence, and still tastes bitterly. However, doesn’t such strong emotion make for such good poetry?

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poetry

**

We existed in the space between asterisks

The breath in the crevice of a message

A smile at the fleeting thought

Our words poured from our mind and lips like water down a hillside

Pet name after nickname after game

And game of holding hands

And sharing kisses

And little embraces

All within the space of a couple of words

And two black stars

***

A love poem dedicated to the little goblin that inspires me. The reader can speculate if the goblin was borne out of fictitious desire or to portray who rests in my heart. Although it’s shorter, I couldn’t bear to add anything on to it. To write more would’ve desecrated its simple beauty. Enjoy the time with your loved ones, folks, even if it’s a hundred miles away and in between the space of messages.

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poetry

Oh Dear

I’m sorry, no one told you?

No one made the off-hand comment

The afterthought

Proposed the question?

Did they not care enough to tell you?

To inform

Yet you never inquired

You never wanted to believe otherwise

However, I can only keep up a pretense for so long

Especially when everyone else is in on the game

Everyone has placed their bets

Called their bluffs

Watched their hands as readily as they watched mine

Because who knew what I would write next

Declare to the world

To myself

What decision would find itself in my mind

Lost with a sense of purpose

Perhaps I should’ve mailed the secret

Or whispered it in your ear while you slept on the couch

Or even called you so that I could run when I wanted to

Away from your predictable reply

Yet still so unpredictably disastrous

You may flatten city blocks

Or you may merely dent the sidewalk

Either way, did no one tell you?

How unfortunate

***

I apologize for the abrupt ending, yet the ending I keep closer to my heart than my keyboard. I enjoy wordplay, and while the lines in this may be considered marginally clever, they aren’t the normal rhyming stanzas. As with everything I write, however, I hope that my reader enjoys my organized ramblings.

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poetry

Imagine

I imagine us on a Sunday

With nothing to do

I imagine us with our instruments

Playing a song or two

I imagine you dressing my wounds

While I steal your sweater

I imagine you kissing my knuckles

To make me feel better

I imagine driving downtown with you

Or to the big city, if you want

I imagine blasting the radio

To ignore society’s taunt

I imagine you wearing my jacket

As we pull up to the bookshop

As we sit and browse for hours

Neither of us can stop

I imagine a future with you

And I think it’s coming soon

I imagine laying with you on the hood of my car

Under a full, bright moon

I imagine you in my arms

Whispering how you’re here to stay

But for now, we can’t see each other

And you feel so far away

***

A poem written on a whim, yet the rhyme scheme was good enough to post. Recent events have put me far away from the rest of humanity, as I’m sure it’s done to almost everyone. While this is a love poem, an undercurrent of bitterness permeates the blissful and longing words. However, as with most my writings, it is merely a work of fiction.