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are what brought us together;
with a stir of paint chips and skin,
we made clumsy love on the concrete
of a condemned factory,
moving in the shadows of machinery
that loomed like winter trees
or judgmental Gods
who still stopped to smell the alcohol
in our pores.
"will you pass me a cigarette
and along with that sign your lust
on the paper that will gray in a flicker,
bitter acrid and addictive
like the first high of tobacco—
a euphoric quiver
that lasted only a minute,
gone when you inhaled your second
seeking the same."
indiana is the land of crossroads,
where the wind blows
to find a better destination
and the tired rest in restless homes
with wheels that creak
beneath the hardened earth;
you said you were meant for something
better than a bible belt,
sought my eyes when you whispered
i paid for your bus tickets.
i wondered if love was letting go
or knowing that you never loved me
as more than a first.
a playroom in mississippihe is a skinny kid
who builds a simple fort
with six dining chairs,
poking holes in a nice black sheet;
his mother, weary, scolds him
but he says they needs stars!
next comes the dirt,
lugged in from the yard,
a red bucket of it with bits of sod
dumped on the floor.
he constructs lopsided hills,
digs shallow rivers and egg-shaped lakes,
fills them with tap water,
and places insects onto their fresh earth.
they scurry, settle,
lay tiny families and flourish;
he feeds them melon rinds and bread,
protecting their homes from centipedes,
spiders with angry eyes and legs.
he names them all, calls them children,
but mother calls him for supper,
finds him and yells to clean up the mess:
put the chairs where he found them,
throw away the sheet,
mop the floor until it shines,
return those dirty bugs
to where they came from.
the insects, clueless, are bundled into jars,
whispered prophecies of a return,
and forgotten on a dusty shelf
in his cluttered closet;
he has his favorite meal
A FeatherHere, in the feigned quiet of a bedroom that's never plainly restful,
is not the dreamless sleep I was promised while reading novels
about human frailty and how it can be overcome.
There is no black of night when, for hours at a time,
my synapses cease to fire or at least pace themselves:
stretch like runners, envision ambition and set aside
the grueling hours of circling. To accomplish this,
I want you to visualize an object, and when you wake
from your meditation, that object will appear. Perhaps
not somewhere you can see it, but if you believe in it,
it will have appeared somewhere. It's just the matter
of finding it in the vastness of the your consciousness
that complicates this process.
I am dragged from one contemplation to the next on
a object's path with no resistance. Gravity doesn't temper
my rages, my pity, my faith—I have tried to assign meaning
to happenings, to symbolically shed my dysfunction by bathing
with the lights on or off, by shedding personal treasur
Late Monet in a Boy's Bedroomyou have mourned for a childhood spent
siphoning color's touch from men with your eyes
unshut, begging at the heels of lovers who
wanted to know your shadows. you accepted them
into your bed, reminding yourself of such moments when
you lay back: powerless, aroused. his hands knew you
in wide spectrums they shouldn't have, but you lusted
and lust for another whose brush is careless, whose teeth
will paint your neck without praying to consequence,
who will have you jealously, selfishly: who will let you
call him by that paternal name that rots your liver, that
makes your tongue soft for affectations. he was a liar,
but a charming, intelligent man: an artist, blending his
Why I Can't Love a PoetHe said you're beautiful like
black birds on a gray sky or
a tree that's recently died but
holds its last green leaves until
they wither and crack, swept away
by a northern wind bearing his name.
AnatomyI cannot be the backbone
of your moral affirmation;
set aside the scalpel,
burn the phonebook if needed.
IntimacyI asked to be slapped—
and your palm met my cheek
with constraint, cupped to lessen
the ensuing redness, the responsive tears
that welled but only in my left eye.
There are things like tealights
and dinners after midnight that we agree
to be romantic: that we consume
through antique filters, lace
between our fingers, but your palms
sweat when we hold hands
and I've never liked skin webbing,
nor the catch of calluses—
So, I propose to rewrite
a definition: mostly for my sake,
but also for the sakes of others
who have found themselves wondering
if they might be a-something
because they don't like to be touched
softly on the skin
or loathe surprises of any sort,
who would like to make love
then smoke a cigarette,
go for a jog without meaning insult
to the man in their bed—
Because when I asked you to slap me—
I meant to say I trust you,
a streetcar to nowherei.
he must crack
when his hands are tulle:
rough and tearing,
bought by the yard
or cent-marked minute,
spin a skirt
that won't last a winter,
and snort ballerinas,
hope he's flexible
thin and shimmering,
don't stay another minute,
clear the aisles to say
so he must crack
when his hands are tulle:
by a craving spark
crisp and burning,
thin black ash
like your real name or
just something i can call you,
something that won't make me
feel like i'm talking down
to you. not because
i respect you, i never—
no i don't think i
respect you, but
something soft like i can
pretend i'm decent,
or normal maybe, don't
look at me, i didn't pay to—
where are you going after this?
and maybe i won't laugh."
stomachedyou blush and bruise
with sidewalks, stones,
the quiet doorways in your thighs
and the weight of your purple
tongue against mine
(a carnival of teeth)
if you swallowed the moon
with your agate jaws,
you could not be more nacreous
(c)loves and (c)loversi am no artist's muse,
i am no ship's harbor
i am no hero's weaker heel,
i am no good earth's flower
i have never been your lover
nor have i ever kissed you,
- not even once
though i dream of you (c)love-scented,
with lips shaped like a lucky (c)lover's-
kissing you and to be kissed by you
i can never profess,
not even confess
even to myself
i stay standing, (b)raving the cold nights,
pretty much batty and bootless
the absence of you weighs metric tons on my
shivering nape, and
you dam(n) me with
you are my river's boulder,
and undefined border
a town i don't want to call mineon the right of the turquoise green sign
that welcomes you to columbia,
there are two gas stations and a church.
on the left side, there’s a morgue.
when i was five years old, my father pulled over
and stopped on the side of the road while black car
after black car passed us, going the other way.
“did we know them?” i asked.
“no,” he said, putting the car in drive. “but someone did.”
at seven, mr. jimmy down at the ice cream shop
let me have free samples of all the new flavors he made
before he put them out to the public.
a favor, he called it, for his little henry.
(years later i would realize that my mother
brought henry into the world.
i would realize my mother brought most everyone
in that town under the age of twenty
into the world, and she never regretted it
even if some of them became gang members, murderers, victims, and
little henry’s leg was crippled in a four-wheeler accident)
i would stand in line during church communion
ily2i wrote a poem for you because
you make me believe in happily ever afters,
romantic suicides and the fact that one day
i might not break everything i touch.
i don’t know what i’m going to do in four years
because i can’t comprehend a life without you.
and i hate you for it.
you’re just so—
you adjust my skirt and give me a pair of jeans
and say, “don’t let society make you .”
you stay up late with me to watch the sun set
only to wake me up early to see it rise.
you guide me out of the way of
already-broken leaves and
piggy-back me straight into puddles and snowdrifts.
you steal pieces from every one of my jigsaw
puzzles and call it a metaphor.
you’re beautiful and amazing and
if anyone ever tries to tell you differently,
it’s because they’ve never seen you
laugh at two o’clock in the morning
or spend days trying to figure out how to knit
a scarf for your step-sister’s birthday.
they’ve never seen you ba
Redthis is the way we are set loose:
like bulls released from their pens -
all anger and bucking fear,
unaware that we have thrown away
the most harmless annoyance
& quivering, we await
the wrath of realized
mistakes - the end
of the fray.
Hands don't have to hurt, you know.There have been hands
in my bed at night again,
only I let them in
starvetoday, i don't hate myself enough
to deny the hungers for -
a cup of coffee that will treat me like sin dancing to the pulse of my bloodstream
the absence of guilt
cracks in personality
screaming poems silently at my reflection
today, i will gorge
on the things i vowed to give up.
today, i will break vows.
today, i am a glutton
for relapse and binge cycles,
for starvation and changing reflections.
tomorrow, i will wish
i could be the skeleton that
hangs in my closet.
[ leave the tears where they lie,
take the fallen stars and ripped up wings,
do not regret spinning circles
around vices. ]
on irrationalityI begin to think that I am
ridiculous as a gardener
who stops tending
to a bed of flowers,
only to be
shocked and grieved
when weeds begin to grow.
i would say my father is a wari would say my father is a war horse but that is a failed symbol
because he has been dragged through the dirt as many times as this metaphor
i want to write in abstract like in a book of
contemporary poetry i bought over the summer;
it was all syllables and lines of 'talk talk talk' repeated over and over
i want to write something that describes how i feel without saying a word that describes it -
dust and ache and tired and bone and overflowing and lonely and fuck and .
i want to write poems that have meaning without being cliche i want poems
that defy grammar and space and time because when someone reads them, they become me
i want someone to read this and know
it is approximately 12:04am
and my ears are itchy and my eyes -
my eyes -
i feel a deer prancing behind my eyes, his heavy antlers pushing
against my forehead and i should name him athena because i've got an olympic-sized headache
but instead the deer yells WANNA GO?
and he says it like an angry, unde
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Lilyas has dedicated herself to making our community a brighter place with her vibrant artwork and infectious enthusiasm for interacting with others in our community. It has certainly paid off, as many deviants flock to her page on a daily basis to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. We absolutely agree, and couldn't let all that hard work go without recognition, so it's with great pride that we bestow the Deviousness Award for March 2014, to ... Read More