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FamilyDon’t rely on those
who love you
for everything about you
that is beautiful,
because that is not enough
to merit trust.
Instead, turn to those
who love you
despite everything about you
that is ugly
because when you let go,
they’ll still be holding on
and when you give them your back
they will still be there when you turn around,
ready to forgive
even before you’ve mustered the courage
Turn to those
who you call brother and sister
though you don’t share a lineage;
those you call mother, father, children
through a bond thicker than blood,
because though they did not give birth to you,
they give life to you.
It does not fool me –
a visceral understanding
allows me to see through this veneer:
of stones solidified by struggle,
and cemented into place by insecurity.
Painted with patterns of positivity,
it deceives passersby so well
they never once think
this façade is framed by a fortification,
and just beyond that barrier
wanders a soul, tangled
in a maze of its own making.
This fortress fabricated from fear
is possessed by the spirit who haunts its passages,
and makes of it a prison,
but this confinement was not crafted consciously.
Tattered by trauma, the body became a bastion,
walls within which the mind withdrew
to dwell, like a shadow in a shell.
And just as I see through the false front,
I hear the stifled screams beneath the laughter.
You’ve become raveled in your refuge,
and though I mean to rescue you,
I will not destroy your defenses,
steal from you this sanctuary
and leave you naked to unknown elements –
no, I know this stronghold is a shelter,
Late night, Early birdA caffeine induced Insomnia,
I forgot what morning feels like,
I'm the first customer.
A shot of espresso in a cup of coffee
to forgot I'm tired
and a cigarette to feel normal.
It's cold, I'm shaking,
not sure if there's a relationship,
and here it is:
Early birds are trying
to get a head start
populating the roadways,
I want to tell them,
hey, man, hey!
the worm is a myth.
Fish Eye ViewIt’s not my fault
you expect a fish
to walk on land like you,
but maybe it is my fault
for taking the bait,
letting you yank me into the air
to deal with the questioning criticism,
“Why can’t you just breathe like everyone else?”
I know, you tell me you care
but I’ve swallowed enough worms
to know what that means -
You care what others say.
You care about the comments,
about how I have fins instead of feet.
You care about a perception of me,
because when you look
down into this pond,
you see a distorted reflection of yourself.
You don’t know the schools I swim with,
you don’t know the depths I live in,
so you don’t know
what’s beneath the surface.
So here’s the situation:
either I’ll live to be
a disappointment in your eyes,
or I’ll suffer to be
a disappointment in my eyes,
and guess whose eyes I care more about.
I’m sick of this suffocation,
so take your hook out of the water,
and stop trying to save me
Used to beSober used to be “normal”, but now it’s “not drunk”. Drunk used to be a destination, but now it’s a way-point. The shelves of brown liquor used to be an adventure, but now it’s a road map. The clock used to be fifteen minutes ahead, but now it’s as good a time as any. It used to be the future, but now it’s tomorrow.
It used to be a glass half-full, but now it’s ice. It used to be one drink, but now it’s another. It used to be a pleasure, but now it’s a tolerance. It used to be a cigarette, but now it’s a filter. It used to be today, but now it’s tomorrow.
Imperfect MachineMaybe from the dust of stars,
which span from one side of the universe to the other,
you were conceived to be a beacon of hope,
with a guiding light, dissolving the darkness of human life
to see what is and what could be,
to help others discover their own internal benevolence,
to make the world a brighter place,
And maybe you were meant
to be above and unfettered by this reality,
to give the clouds their silver lining,
but you were dragged down to this earth
by one who did not comprehend or appreciate what you are
and, injured and confused, you lost your way.
So maybe from the ebb and flow of existence,
which spans from the beginning to the end of time,
I was crafted like an imperfect machine
and sent after you, following a dimmed shimmer,
to see you for what you are,
to help you understand and believe,
to make you embrace and be,
And maybe I was meant
to stumble onward with faulty parts
and attempt to fix other broken creations,
learning to work with dysfunctional tools,
having a purp
Something about Spring in CaliforniaSomething about Spring in California
makes me want to
quit my job
start a new romance
write about Spring in California
So I did,
so I will,
so I am.
Something about Spring in California
makes me want to miss my exit,
so I can keep driving down the freeway
with the wind rushing through my open window,
even though I finished my cigarette
several miles ago
makes me want to get a drink
when the sun goes down,
so I can stand outside the bar
in the warm twilight and share with strangers
my feelings on the weather
makes me want to cut ties
with the world of responsibility
lose the feeling of my feet
on the ground, and float until my head
is in the blue, blue, slightly cloudy blue.
So I did,
so I will,
so I try.
Free Coffee and Forgotten PensCoffee at the bar – I mean, its not good, but it’s free and that’s a helluva lot cheaper than at the café. Free, like this pen I found on the ground outside the café, and I’m just happy to discover it works. It works, unlike me, because I quit my job to be a writer, so that’s why I like things that are free, like dive bar coffee, and forgotten pens. But back to the coffee; it tastes a bit better then you throw in a shot of whisky. The whisky isn’t free, but hey, they don’t serve Irish coffee at the café – I mean, they probably from upon it, but they know me, and if I brought a flask and kept it subtle, they probably wouldn’t care, but I don’t like diluting good coffee, but I have done it before. Let’s move on.
I quit my job because it was killing me. It wasn’t stabbing me in the chest or slitting my throat, but I’ll put it this way. This is what I thought when I decided, months in advance
Pre-AlcoholicA pocket full of black, narrow, chewed-up
straws with the trace residue of
gin and tonic from the dive bar where
they call me Caesar, where
men shooting pool bet five bucks
a game on a slightly slanted table, where
friendships are formed over a cigarette;
Half-gnawed ebony plastic tubes
when I reach for my wallet
symbolize the transition I knew was coming
from black coffee at the cafe
because it was never really about
the cappuccinos, just as it's not about
the cocktails, it's nothing more
than consuming a beverage at a location,
wearing away the novelty of an atmosphere
in search of inspiration to translate
into words etched in dark ink.
So, here's a compromise:
I'll get a cup of coffee,
with room for whiskey.
The Voice of HeavenThe sweetest music fills the atmosphere
The voice of heaven itself
Surfing on waves of air
Sound so pleasant, beyond orgasmic
Listen to the subtle facets of its audible splendor
Every measure, every crescendo, every lick
Everyone is savored
Never have ears been so graced
Graced by such a precious lullaby
Transcendent silvery tones caress the soul
Knees begin to buckle
Everything fades in haunting mist
Oh, harmonious ballad!
The notes sparkle along their silky path
So smooth, so lovely
Sing them forever
Sing sweet love,
Your beautiful heart let shine!
Light up the darkness
Play your songs again and again
Play your songs in my heart
In the heart you've captured and chained to yours
If only everyone could know their magick
Those notes will resonate in me til I die and ever after
I love you, voice of heaven
two can play at this gamehelp.
my heart beats
and my lungs
swell with air,
but I swore
my life would
cease to be
if I could
no longer call
you mine. please
Lost and FoundHe has prayed as much
as he said "I love you"
in both cases
they were inaudible
Occasionally you can hear him
when he traces the outline of you
similar to the way
a stroke induced December
remembers to speak spring
like he's seen you before in his dreams
You can hear him
when his eyes linger at your smile
as if he could find faith
from your light
trapped, imbedded in insecurity
his way is a broken record even the deaf could listen to
He will not say I love you
not because he doesn't
but because you can not hear a man
you have yet to meet
but when you do, oh god, you will be brutally aware
Because with love like his
you could drown twice
and not want to come up for air
By Suzanne Karbach 27th July 2014
sugarclawyou sang, watermystic
rosehips swaying two hearts
to a shell
and i, niagara
fell beneath, earth tesselate
seeping in infinite squares
but this is no desert love
story you are telling, lies
stretched over acres
o' your sweetscented mouth
One Year // TimelessOne Year // Timeless
I wanted to write something,
About being with you for
A whole year.
But I can’t. (So I won’t)
Because it doesn’t feel like
A whole year.
I feel like I just met you,
I feel like I’ve always known you,
There is something meaningless about
“A whole year”.
It feels timeless.
One Year // Timeless
I know from eighth grade Science Class
That energy cannot be
Created (nor destroyed).
This, I’m quite sure, is the case with how I feel about you.
I think this feeling goes beyond me,
It stretches back through time,
And has lived many lives.
It started, I believe, as a far off sun.
All passion and fire and boiling,
Existing that way for many billions of years,
Until it compressed and
All that energy released into the cosmos,
Undamaged, undestroyed, (uncreated).
For a while after that, it existed as the stars.
Every last twinkling one in the sky,
It nestled a bit of itself into.
Jack and CokeIf ever you asked me
to compare your kisses to a drink,
I would say,
Jack and Coke on the rocks.
But not the room-temperature-2-liter-bottle
kind of coke,
or the syrup-and-seltzer-water-from-a-nozzle
kind of coke,
I mean the go-down-to-the-7-eleven-and-buy-one-of-those-12-oz-glass-bottles-made-in-Mexico
kind of coke,
because your kisses are so sweet,
they must be made from pure sugar cane.
And they hit my mouth so cool,
but go down so warm,
and that bubbly sensation
mixes with the whiskey
so sweet and so smooth and
so, maybe it's too easy to drink, and
so I ask for another and another and
so you have to cut me off
because I get carried away
in the intoxication
of your kisses, like
Jack and Coke on the rocks.
And that is what I would tell you,
if you ever asked me
to compare your kisses to a drink.
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