Year III - Issue XIII
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RoutineI washed my face with the hottest water I could stand,
thinking afterwards that the pink in my cheeks looked attractive,
but not really sure what I was trying to accomplish.
I decided my hands are more delicate than my face.
As I brushed my teeth, I paced the bathroom floor,
running random numbers through my head but not really counting
the white tiles I thought I should be doing something more than staring at.
So I was careful to step on all the cracks because maybe I'm an opposite.
I left the bathroom unsure of everything, vision blurry with glasses in hand.
At least that made sense to me.
The only clarity is his echo in my head:
"It's rare; most people never find that."
Copyright © Jen Fowler 2013
All Rights Reserved
Delusions of SocietyMy bone-dry mouth whispers "We are free." and I silently nod.
But my bloodied, mangled fingers grapple the pencil...
"We have failed."
You have glorified your poisonous diatribe
to create "equality" for all.
But we continue to be chained
with indestructible clasps of malice.
Many are oblivious to the shackles that
dig into the ankles of the naive.
But not me.
And not them.
I see the selfish, inflated perversion
of your empty words.
Lackluster and void of sincerity;
Full of superiority.
Guaranteeing your protection is all you desire
Your heart is black and covered in rust
And when you reach the top
That darkness will consume the last bit of you
And you will cast your whips and chains upon us
Forever holding us down.
And they tell us that we are free.
"We are free."
IntensityI dress in broken greyscale,
In walls of smoke-charred glass:
The paper-lined abysmal veil
That glistens as you pass.
I live in boxed enigmas,
Counting star-drenched seas
Until the etched out sigma,
My breath a sour wheeze.
I am the tattered sailboat
Among your wispy words;
I dip and fly 'til I can float
Beside your past, lust-lured.
My ceiling is a blanket
You wove with mirrored stars
And set upon me, "take it",
And carved my fledgling scars.
My body is no canvas
But the artwork that you make
Within the winds around us
And the watered earth you break.
the way i close my eyesthis is the way i close my eyes
while lying in the dark chill
and huddled under blankets:
shakily, with shivered hesitance
and a frosty breath of nostalgia,
with a will to turn the clock forward
and cheeks yearning for
the warmth of the sun.
this is the way i close my eyes
while sweating under the heavy air,
bare-skinned and bare-boned:
with resignation, wearily,
as if a hundred thousand years
have eaten away at my skeleton,
fragile as bird wings,
and the aching desire for another soul
to lie broken beside me.
this is the way i close my eyes
while trembling in a cold sweat
in the dead of the night,
too terrified to glance behind me:
with forced whimsy and
a manufactured, prepackaged diorama
constructed behind my eyelids
of your presence next to me
and a soft breath pressing
against the back of my neck,
an everlasting reminder that
i am not alone in living.
Scattered like dandelion seeds
Caught on your breath,
You laughter in my ears-
Dreams just as fragile
Sent spinning adrift...
You bring the wind,
Your bring the storm,
You bring my destruction
With your careless romance.
NostalgiaMy life is made up of brief moments of intense magic.
You were one of them.
true affectioni. sometimes she felt like a coin,
flung down a well and
sinking to the bottom, surrounded,
but unable to touch.
and while she was looking at lights
she didn’t know were turned on, a
blue bird laid an egg on her
and when it hatched it was just
ii. he was a pair of earbuds,
stuffed in a pocket and left to be
washed out, lost
on a train station bench, waiting.
he felt like a crooked picture frame
no one bothered fixing,
a burned-out lightbulb
on the back porch that
never gets changed.
slowly, and then all at onceand for once, he slips on his wedding ring, to cure the monotony. it slides over his knuckle, a perfect fit, and in the morning release of sunlight the silver gleams at him. it glares, calling him a liar: she is not a whorehouse and you are too broke to own her, you harlot, you. he buttons up, tucks in his shirt tail, and buckles his belt. the clinking of metal parts is the only sound in the room besides the dusting of her breathing beside him. and when he's gone, the only thing he leaves behind are the bruises on her collarbone.
you find him because you're lonely, (well, it's actually the opposite.) he finds you because his wardrobe is black and his shoes are scuffed and he asks you where your castle is. you're the only princess he sees 'round here. the rain soaks into his shirt and he curses it, grinning. and damn girl, you follow him, because you think you see some kinda warmth in his ice blue eyes.
it takes you days t
I think I thought I saw you try-- a big bang
was what I was left waging on top of a Russian roulette bed
the night the world collapsed upon itself unto
my staining inkblot eyes and your fading g-clef footsteps
hissing noises in a background of waxen black, white, and red.
I spat out every tongue in strife-striped breaths
to every statue upon every monument I had collected like stamps
at the back of my burning head, all the while my pennies
grace new penny cases as I plead with them to plead for me.
almost-rabid sea spume and monsoons rave of the oneness
in particles of posthumous composition, fragrant with notes
of skyscraper blinkers and helipads not forgetting that of
pesticide cans approaching us intravenously in a coating of
(I) dre(am) (a)nd be(lie)ve.
splintersi can’t stop thinking about you.
i know you were not a lover. you were not someone i spit silly words at over soup and telephone-air. you were not someone i admired from afar, wishing i could craft my words into something that wouldn’t come out in stutters. you were not a best friend leaving me, not a sick parent whose limbs i sent off to heaven, not a lost animal whose please return if found poster i kept as a sacred artifact.
they told me you were a mentor, a counselor, a listener, and if i was lucky, a friend. i suppose i was lucky, because most people i know wouldn’t pull your phone number out from under their tongue just to hear the rhythm of your speech. most people i know wouldn’t dream about sending themselves back to a place where the only way they could reclaim identity was to eat, already just so you could make them feel properly untouched. most people i know have thrown shoes and books and the roots of their worst nightmares at you, hop
Poem from the PavementThere are stony faced facades
imposing judgement upon my daily viewscape.
They clutch a fence to them like cards
as if to hide their poker face behind.
I am a step away from them
behind festivous displays of success
the pride of the University plathered
over hardnosed metal.
On this side, between the rock
and the green space,
I hang a yellow satchel from my self
and paint myself with painkillers and Prozac
as I try to find the perfect place to be.
Somewhere dreamy by the lake,
under the wise eyes of a beloved castle.
In the clutches of a tree cluster
in the shadow of a fallen oak.
With hard edges and cornices,
bright colours and Tetris windows.
With lush grass, reality's stench presiding,
I search for my place.
On the inside, between a rock
and a hard place,
I strangle down my anxiety and fear -
paint myself with painkillers and Prozac
and try to be the person I always wanted to be.
Denouement The meadow beneath us slowly
sprouts from sand, scorches earth
like wildfire. Its tendrils drink in dust
until it mirrors the curvature
of our bodies lying on a horizon,
clinging to each other with the power
of a thousand setting suns.
His life, His art.Your hand moves like an elegant dance
on a barren canvas
Slowly changing hollow nothings
into sweet perfection
Your sweeping gestures
tear into bountiful colors
Making a creation
all of your own
You take no waste in time,
yet your hand seems to portray a pace of its own
out of color and imagination
Were ash and night
form a creature of beauty
as if one
is most magnificent
And absolutely timeless
DepressionI am suffering from depression.
Every stitch I crochet is a sad thought.
These chains last for miles.
I often sell them but the money doesn't help the depression.
Some chains are created from suicide thoughts.
I keep crocheting chains to hopefully fill the hole in my heart.
But alas, material objects cannot fill holes.
One day, a goddess comes by to admire my melancholy creations.
Her eyes are of emeralds.
She asks me why I am depressed.
I just simply put a finger to my mouth and say shh.
People will usually walk away when I do this.
But she follows suit.
I am shocked.
Finally someone who understands.
You can continue to be depressed and I cannot cure that.
She cuts off a piece of her gorgeous hair.
However, use this hair for your next creation.
She put her finger to her lips and shushes again.
I do the same and we exchange goodbyes.
She leaves and I take a closer look at the shimmering hair.
I know exactly what to make from it.
Arming myself with my hook, I start crocheting away at th
ElectricMy touch is electric to her sensitive body.
I run my finger along her collar bone,
she breathes heavy on my hand.
I caress her neck,
her breath catches.
I kiss her,
jolts of pleasure coursing through.
I pulse at every lip bite.
We spark at the touch.
HotlineThe first time I dialled your number I felt a skipping in my chest
the skip that comes with talking to strangers
the skip that tells me that I’m strapped into the rollercoaster, ready or not for the ride.
You answered, and your voice was like a cave,
deep and warmish and mossy
with echoes trapped inside the dark spaces
like a cave to keep me safe from the storm.
I spoke to you and my own voice was like cobblestones,
cracked and scattered
strewn out across a much-trodden road and kicked into the gutter,
like cobblestones with missing bits, crumbling from the elements.
You told me that things would get better from here on out,
that I’d made the first step and
that you would talk to me for as long as it took to get me from one place to another one
or longer, even.
You spoke to me about large things
responsibility and Ferris wheels and distant nebulas
you spoke to me about small things
garden mice and sub-atomic particles and how many spoonfuls of sugar you take with your tea.
then she writesI waited until the stars fell to the ground like snowflakes. There were little parallel shapes in the breaths I take.<da:thumb id="403362689"/>
I must have smelled of sea sweat & leftover breaths of saltwater when I showed up. The sun bled through my hair.
I'm not a writer anymore. I throw words into a pile on the bed, & leap up & down. The fabric spreads, & I trace the pattern back to me, back to me, back to
the last time I saw me do something for myself.
I'm only guessing it's for my health. My shoulders are cold, & I walk through unfamiliar streets pressing buttons & pulling down my sleeves. Fold, release, expose, my
niche is an autumn rolling into my fresh, uprooted hands.
I try to understand what it means to just be, to just live with
fingers spread out for the ones who love you, & it's been more beautiful than I could ever imagine.
I am so undeserving of love, but it is enveloping me like letters imprinting perfect impressions of my freckles that leave me screaming.
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