My rage wasn’t a flame,
it was a crashing ocean.
This anger wasn’t a spark,
it was an entire sea.
Yes, I feel things deeply,
and sometimes I even
let myself drown in those emotions.
But I’d rather live in depths
than simply exist in shallows.
Kiss me No.3
I still believe in the ghost of us.
You live under my skin in pleasant friction
And physical matter.
A burning braid in a throat
Where you felt nothing i felt everything.
Scratch and caress my wounds.
Blow out the mirror. In a moonless pleasure. Underneath your scent and temperature our honey was made in purity
If you are not rough around the edges
I will tear you open
If you cannot handle the language of love
I will curse your name like thunder
I am not looking for calm seas
I’m exploring for wild winds
Because dear, I’ve lived that calm sea
And I’ve learned I was built for storms and thunder
I can only describe it as heat, coming to life. What once was hard turns soft at someone’s touch. Unshakable marble is filled with warmth and is transformed into mouldable flesh. Hot blood melting the stone like wax in the sun. My beating heart is warm but my mind is on fire. I think thoughts, I question existence, and because I think I am alive.
The first thing I remember is touch. There are a plethora of kisses upon my brow, my neck, and my cheeks. Wet and heated hands mould and press against me. Each bringing the dreaded heat and melting away my solid armour. My stone wall is easing at this touch, breaking down stone by stone. Soon I will be vulnerable, soon I will come to life. My chest heaves. Air floods my once full lungs and burns with it the breath of life. The air stretches and cracks my lungs making them flex each time I take in air. My joints are breaking. Snapping so that they may move freely. I long to stretch, to run, and test out my new found abilities but I am trapped. There are arms around me.
He is the first thing I see. My eyes flutter open taking in the light and colours of this new world but they are blocked out by him. His eyes carry in them wanton desire and his hands grip hard and fast to my arms. I squirm, confused and alarmed, but he doesn’t let me go. A flash of fear shows in my eyes but he doesn’t see. He is staring at my lips. He bends down and kisses me. What am I to do? What am I to think?
He says he is Pygmalion and that he fashioned me from marble. He says I have been brought to life and am to be his wife. Here I am not minutes old and already married. Here I am married to the god who has created me. I bend to his will for he is my god. I submit to this perversion of god and priestess, creator and created. What else am I to do when the god who fashioned me from marble says that my purpose is to love him.
But is it love in his eyes? These eyes that are the first things I ever saw. His eyes held more thoughts of love and lust than my infant mind could ever think of. He says loved me as a statue but what was I as a statue but a body? I had no heart, I had no mind so what was there to love but my idea. The idea of perfection, the idea of me. As I lay with my husband I cannot help but fear that I won’t live up to this idea of me. That I will falter or make a mistake, one that deems me unperfect. What will happen when I am not what he wants? This is the thought that keeps me up at night, the thought that makes me want to will my body back to stone because now that I am alive I want to live. But by all means he gave me life so it’s only right that he can take it away.
Poems don’t do us justice. I’ve looked through so many, I’ve attempted to write even more.
You’re worth more than being shoved into the confines of words on a page.
You’re the inspiration for my day.
You’re the sure-footing I feel when I step into a challenge.
You give me the grit that I need to make more of myself but the softness I need to be content where I am as well.
When I think of you, I feel a warmth that makes my heart feel like it might burst but it also holds it gently and there is peace I can’t comprehend.
I see in my mind bits and pieces of our future and it thrills me. It makes me smile that silly grin I get when something has made me exceedingly happy.
My heart has grown from loving you. It has grown to fit in a little bubbly sprite who calls me mommy and it feels like I’ve always been that to her.
My boys have loved you since they met you and see how much we adore one another.
Our love may not fit perfectly into a poem or prose. But our love fits perfectly into this life we’re building.
I love you. Also very much.
Ear piercing shrieks. Bloody wails. Cataphonic noise. Is it the apocalypse? No just a baby crying.
It’s got to be 3am in the morning when the baby starts crying. I was having the best dream. My letter to Hogwarts finally came and I was one my way to King’s Cross Station, or at least I was until the baby went at it. There is nothing louder than a baby’s scream. Maybe it’s parental instincts that makes it so easy to hear. But right now I want to rip off my ears and thing to get to wear a stupid green and silver sweater vest.
I flip my pillow over and pin it to my head trying to drown out the noise but someone it can go straight through inches of feathers. To get up now would be such a shame. It’s the perfect temperature, not too cold but cold enough to snuggle into the blankets. Inside of my little cocoon I’m warm and cozy, but out there I’ll be cold and exposed. If only children could feed themselves. Groaning I sit up, I almost leave my bed before I flop back down. Give it one more minute.
Flailing my limbs I finally get the energy to get out of bed. I rub the sleep from my eyes and feel my way around my room. I’m pulling on my robe as the child continues to scream bloody murder.
“I’m coming, calm down!” I yell as I exit my room. I don’t bother turning on the lights. It’s only when I go into the hallway and reach for the other door that I remember,
I live alone.
The baby is still crying.
something different i wrote for my creative writing class today
I am nine, and when the light comes, I read as quickly as I can, claiming another line or two before the dark takes the words away.
I am nine, and while I wait for the light, I keep my pointer finger by the line I will read next.
I am nine, and I am going home, and that is all that matters to me; I am going home, and someone is driving me, and Jack has his head against the window, curled up legs twitching in time with his dream, feet brushing against my right side sometimes.
I am nine, and in a hungry grip, I hold the whole of my existence.
I am nine, and the light is orange but soft like candlelight, and someone has to get me home, and I have to get myself to the next paragraph, and I am hunched over the book, squinting, fingertip burning hot as I push it across the page again and again and again and again.
I am nine, and the highway is white noise, and dark ink stares up at me, and my eyes move faster than my head, and orange light and shadows stripe across a page, and my hands hold my existence, and my brother dreams, and someone is driving me home, and my pointer finger is pressed against paper.
I am nine, and when the light comes, I read as quickly as I can, claiming another line or two before the dark takes the words away.
It’s not that I forget things easily, it’s just that I have no energy to pay attention.
A Grumpy God Gets A Piggyback Ride From My New Pet Dragon
“… What the fuck is that?”
“That is clearly a dragon wearing a cat ear headband.”
“No it’s not; it’s a cat.”
“That breathes fire?”
“… It’s a very rare breed.”
The God of the Night stared at me, the corners of his mouth twitching like shadows from candlelight, as if even his face was unsure whether to laugh or scold me. He settled on shaking his head. “I left you alone for one hour and you found a dragon. Maya, you can’t … we have to leave it here, you know.”
I crossed my arms and frowned at him. “Why?”
He rolled his eyes. “Because it’s a dragon. Listen, it looks cute now that it’s all … I guess this is what we’d call tiny.” The dragon huffed, a puff of flame escaping its mouth, and it laid its head down on its front claws like a leonberger. Except, of course, that the dragon was twice the size of an adult leonberger, could breathe fire, and had a passion for razing medieval villages. The God of the Night continued, “But it’s gonna grow and … you’re petting it.”
I grinned at him and patted my new friend on the head. “I’m naming him Fluffy.”
“You are not.”
“I totally am.”
“Uh. We’ve got company.” I pointed past the God of the Night’s shoulder, and he turned to see ten figures on horseback galloping towards us over the dark hills, metal armor shining under moonlight, a large cross painted on each of their breastplates.
“Shit.” The God of the Night looked at me with wide eyes. “Looks like we’ve caught the attention of the Holy Roman Empire.”
I reached my hand towards him. “Time to go?”
He shook his head. “They see us. We can’t just disappear in front of them; that messes with things.”
“Um. Einstein.” I wiggled my fingers. “I don’t wanna get captured. They’ll write some myth about a shadow-travelling demon, and you’ll be immortalized in medieval text. No big deal.”
The God of the Night drew his mouth into a straight line, dimples forming in his cheeks, and put his hands up. “Can’t do that. Rules are rules.”
“Who’s fucking rules?”
The God of the Night trained his eyes on the quickly approaching figures. “It’s no use making a run for it; we’re in an open field right now, and the hills aren’t steep enough to provide any coverage. I say we let ourselves get captured, comply, and hope they don’t burn us at the stake or something.” He turned to me and his focused, furrowed eyebrows scrunched even more deeply over his eyes when he saw my blatantly mischievous, lopsided smile. “What are you doing?”
I gestured to Fluffy.
“Do you want to get captured, or do you want to escape via dragonback?” I raised my eyebrows. The God of the Night stared at me, still, until he groaned, tilted his scowling face towards the sky, and waved a pointer finger as if to say to the Universe, This is your fault.
I climbed onto Fluffy’s back and heard the God of the Night huff while pulling himself on. Fluffy rose to its clawed feet and started to run in the completely wrong direction.
“Fluffy, no!” I shouted while the God of the Night swore in different languages, none of them sounding familiar to me. “Fluffy, away from the Romans, away!”
Then Fluffy started to flap her wings, and just when I could make out the golden lining of the front soldier’s armor, she lifted, back claws knocking the soldier’s lance from his hands, and we were in the air.
I whooped and turned back to grin at the God of the Night, who was beaming as widely as the North Star. Fluffy roared, tendrils of flame reaching ahead of us in the dark, and we left the soldiers far behind.
The land of the Holy Roman Empire rolled by, and I told myself, Maya, this is Ancient Rome! History is right before your eyes! But it was nighttime and all I could see was the dark river of grass and the even darker masses of trees. It looked like Earth. Nothing extraordinary; nothing awe-inspiring; just trees and grass that could have been from anywhere, anytime.
I pulled myself from my thoughts to turn back and say, “Hey, this wasn’t so bad, was it?” to the quiet God of the Night.
That was when we started dropping.
“The dragon’s too small!” The God of the Night gripped my arm. “It can’t hold us!”
“Teleport us out of here, then!”
“I can’t, not when we’re touching the dragon - it’ll come with us!”
“Okay, well I don’t know how to land a dragon!”
“I - We need to jump!”
“Jump!” The God of the Night grabbed me by the waist and hauled us over the side of the dragon into the black night air.
I had only just opened my mouth to scream when I felt ground under my feet again. I twisted in the God of the Night’s grasp and looked at him, mouth hanging open, hands shaking. “We left?” He nodded and let go. I stumbled slightly, then felt still enough to look around at the alleyway, to see the figures of garbage cans against brick walls, to hear the clops of hooves against cobblestone in the distance, to smell a wet, dirty city. “Where are we?”
“Not Rome.” The God of the Night laughed lightly and shoved me in the arm. “I saved your life.”
I scoffed. “Okay, Caesar, you can tell yourself that, but the real hero was Fluffy.” I tilted my head and grinned. “That’s what I’ll call you!”
He drew his eyebrows together, confused. “Fluffy?”
I laughed loudly, bringing a hand to my mouth. “No! Caesar.”
Caesar laughed, too, then nodded his head towards the end of the alleyway, where starlight turned the cobblestone silver. “Okay, I can live with that. C’mon, let’s see where we are now.”
We weren’t shadow-traveling anymore, but he extended his hand, and I took it.
The entrails of my massacred heart flutter flimsily without Purpose
Oh! That elusive siren Purpose.
Once my most trusted comrade,
my most loved confidante.
Her ebullient light occupied the cavity of my soul
and ballooned from my core to the tips of my fingers.
Her nubile charisma sharpened my mind
and let me meet my reflection with eager dignity.
Hovering at my side, she steered my resolute legs to grail!
Where did she go?
Was she too irascible for her own good?
Or was I too careless for mine?
Did I violate her?
Was I worthy?
Why am I not worthy?
I am left empty once more;
an impressionable puppet once more.
My words, no longer my own.
My thoughts, no longer my own.
My feelings, no longer my own.
But which are my own?
They sputtered quiet so soon after she left, could they have ever been my own?
My actions and beliefs now muddled into misalignment.
My neurons now stretched taut, addled into paralysis.
I am dissipated into ashes,
shaped and carried by the wind of a complacent majority.
One I no longer care to question.
If my guiding doctrines are worth no more than the paper they’re written on,
why not hold my breath as I submerge myself in distraction?
If no causes greater than my selfish considerations tug at me anymore,
why not pull the weighted covers of nihilism over my fetally curled body?
If my value can no longer be evinced,
why define about myself what can quickly be done by others?
If pain no longer carries meaning,
why continue to contend with the numbing ache of my growing void?
So passively, I now wait
till the day Purpose can taunt me no more.
For if I am not worthy of her today,
I have not been worthy of life itself.
If you hadn’t worked it out, this piece is made up of 7 independent scenes about 7 unrelated characters. Each scene ends with a question and answer. The catch is, I’ve mismatched the answers in such a way that gives each scene some extra subtext.
The text is colour-coded so you can find the original order of answers, if you so choose. In fact, I recommend reading and comparing both ‘right’ and 'wrong’ answers to get the full dimension of each scene.
There’s so much I loved about working on this: the puzzle/game of it, exploiting dialogue as an interpretative device, storytelling based on isolated moments, present tense, writing first person for voices that aren’t mine (which is the strongest use of first person, imo).
I learned of her
through raspy admonishments spat in the dark, stunning me to choleric slumber
My hairs raised each fated time my translucent skin grazed hers
a silent mist who lurked the corner of spirited horseplay and tersely spoiled green dreams
I confined her
to a prefatory outline
internalized strictures and ramifications that became the ictus to my red detonations
Growing bored, I decided once to study her
through minds she haunted and ancestors she seduced
Intrigued, I yearned to understand her
idiosyncrasies, grimaces, and creeds
And then I dared to exorcise her
out of indelibility
prematurely coaxing her into trysts I abandoned with adrenaline,
rushed exits that breathed unpolluted life into mine
Defiantly I questioned the rumors about her
her wicked intentions and the stale gift she threatened to pilfer
I became a favorite of hers
as she assured me of her presence in the rotted cavity of earth where a plum once lapsed or the ebbing white permanence of my shut bedside light
Entranced I could not help but mentally undress her, pillage her
the muse to my deviant soul;
a deus ex machina sorely awaited in plot
Foamy wisdom erupting from passion, I serenely welcomed her,
transcending condition with enlightened certainty and rational acceptance, I awaited her
Yet I could not help but gasp when I finally saw her
when the steady waves of my faculties betrayed me, receded and beached me, leaving me exposed to lambent granules and a harsh sun
And when my trembling lips were summoned forth to lock with hers
I was at once the child who cursed her and the desiccated promise before her, petrified not of her, but at reminiscence of a sweet opportunity never realized;
to have played, achieved, and loved
I don’t have a body, I’m not even sure I have a form. I was born like everyone else, with two mothers but the only difference is that I died. At least my body died. Because after I died as a little tiny baby I moved into another body. The body of my older sister. I lived in her thinking I was her until she died as a teen. It wasn’t a random death, no car crash or freak accident, she, or I, got sick. Her body started wasting away. First it was the weight loss, slow at first but then rapid at the end. Hair fell out too along with the nails. The doctors said it was like a parasite was eating at her but they couldn’t find anything. Funny thing is that I never felt sick, in fact the weaker the body got the stronger I felt. It’s almost as if I knew I wasn’t my sister’s body.
Then I occupied my mother. She died in the same way. So did my other mother. In a matter of years I had wiped out my entire family including “myself”. I thought it would end there but I jumped to another body, that of the doctor that took care of my mother. From there I kept occupying bodies, a new one each time the other died. It’s been so many years since I was born I don’t even remember when it was. But I’ve learned a few things about what I am since then.
I drain every body I occupy.
I jump to the nearest body to the one I occupy when I die.
When I enter a body, the consciousness of the other person goes away.
Never meet the people I occupy. It’s like moving into a new house. The house can’t tell me what’s happened in it, I simply stay there until I move. But that house is already furnished. There are pictures on the walls, furniture in the rooms, beds in the bedroom. I learn about the person through being in them and sometimes I get attached. Some of these people have been genuinely good people. Doctors, lawyers, or activists driven by bettering the world. Some have been mad men, murderers, or corporate elite. But nonetheless, they all die.
I am the great consumption, I am the final straw, I am Death. At least that’s better than thinking of myself as a parasite.
What is callow love but a naive demonstration in shameless effrontery;
avarice drenched in hypnotic lust;
foibles conveniently cloaked by long eyelashes and curled bites of plump lower lips?
What is callow love but a smoky admiration from afar;
of testaments to fertility and glistening manes billowing in a summer afternoon’s breeze;
of adroit conversations and pedantic drivel?
What is is callow love but harangues written in hesitative fits of passion;
admissions erased in frenetic prods;
juvenile taunts and withdrawals in an intoxicating game of cat and mouse?
What is callow love but a rejection of a just mirror’s reflection;
a pilfering of validation, acceptance, and neurotransmitters;
an unmerited opportunity for reinvention?
It must be callow love then, to blame, for the nights I spend lassoing the same moments in my mind to dizzying momentum;
for my bewitching darkness I neglect in favor of your narcotizing company;
for the presumptuous acceptance of your gift-wrapped conception of me,
knowing it to be a falsehood.
I, another cliché casualty? Not I! With my precise discernment? My honed intellect? No, not I! I, divine amongst mortals? To humor such folly with valuable time? No, certainly not I.
A simple exercise in discipline,
I force my restive mind into obsequity,
and train my newly raucous heart to quiet once more.
I anoint the skin from my follicles to my soles with oleaginous repellent,
I rebuke the evil of such a pernicious plague,
and whispering under my breath, I seek refuge in my fastidiously constructed edifices
and higher priority,
which all but crumble to feeble cavils
under the heat of your lecherous gaze.