To a Father,
please, don't bury her. she is afraid of the dark.
From a Mother.
Fragment #4One thousand black umbrellas
unfurl, nylon wings spread &
shadow strange faces: the
world fades, grey.
within her lies a weightwith hazel eyes shuttered,
she feels the thunder roll over her senses;
it is in this moment that she is beautiful,
though her space is empty
and there is nothing to witness it,
except an apple tree too shy to bear fruit
and a handful of disgruntled red hens.
she waits for the rain,
her face upturned
and impatience throbbing in her bloodstream;
rain has been one of the few comforts in her life
and she revels in its tang still.
slowly, as if to tantalize her,
the rain falls to strike her face
in a quick, bruising flurry
and within moments it coats her eyelids,
blue with sleeplessness,
and her mouth,
half-pursed and wilting from disuse--
but oh, we are not here to watch it rain upon her.
no, we are here for something more,
something that lies deeper,
something that she does not let linger--
we are here for the shyest of souls.
below the soft,
tanned flesh her body writhes,
ever moving in its desire for fulfillment.
is far from sexual
and she does not desire the c
some things aren't solid outside the mind.you couldn't know
that the boy sitting
beside you in Advanced
English was going to
fetter himself to the ocean
and break the sound barrier (and
his mother's heart) with his
you couldn't know
that the girl sitting three
rows back in Computing One-oh-One
would fall so deeply in love with
the colour of the sky that she would
spend a summer practicing knots just to
mirror the pale, bloated hue.
you couldn't know
that the man walking by
at seven a.m. with a briefcase beneath
his arm was on his way to
blow his world apart, along with
half a dozen strangers.
you couldn't know
that the woman rushing through
the supermarket was on her
way to drown her sorrows
in the eyes of another woman
while her husband was busy
drowning in himself half a mile
and a gunshot away.
you couldn't know.
alcoholism is the last to blamewhen you don't drink,
you can't blame the mistakes you make on inebriation.
you have to hold them close to your chest
and pray that nobody else sees them before you prepare your defence,
before you scratch away their most soiled parts
and spit-shine the rest,
and even then you spend your life
praying that nobody will ever look any closer
because spit and hope can only conceal so much.
Dreamscapehis mind was lost in music, played
by the gods: headings
she saw potential energy, and
there was a synergy
it's the last time he'll try for
skies, too pitch black for
it's three a.m. and her sheets
are riddled with pilling, the by-
product of a restless
one has met the other, if
only within a dream.
a time to rise, and a time to fallI have never asked her what it is that she misses so much. Whatever it is, it turns her eyes blue mid-winter and chases the heat from her cheeks. The truth is, I never thought it was my place to ask: after all, I'm nothing but a stranger in her quiet heart. And even now, years after we first met, I do not ask her.
She stretches one morning, all smooth edges and warm spaces. She looks at me as she always does before she tumbles out of bed, and her eyes are blue. Again. The weeks melt away and I am staring at six years worth of winters, all rolled into one. It chills me and my teeth chatter. She doesn't say anything but I know that she has caught me looking, has inhaled my shiver and tasted old winters in it instead of fresh laid snow. There is no fooling her, there has never been any chance of that: she always knows.
I give up all hope of further sleep and step out of bed and onto rich, plush carpet. It is a violent hue, bu
Miscellaneous Snippets #3How do you tell a story that has no beginning or end?
How do you decide where to open, where to close,
those stuttering lines of prose?
Do you take the first concrete memory you
stumble across and breathe life into it? Or do you
own to the fact that you see, have never
seen, a definite beginning? Do you tell those
strangers on the subway that there is no end in sight
or do you feed them a fictional end to satisfy their desires?
How do you decide what to put in, and what to leave
out? How do you determine whether telling them about the
puckered flesh on pale arms is too much or too little? How do you
meet the silent demands for more? More action, more
romance, more, more, more?
How (not) to transplant a heart.your mail doesn't show up in this old letterbox anymore. when i asked the mailman about it, he shook his shape-shifter face and left me shuddering on our porch.
months later, i am still lying here. summer has come and sunny days beckon the parts of me that are still fused to you, parts that would have indulged in a picnic or a bike-ride a year ago.
spring is too far off and i am wilting beneath the combined weights of summer and the loss of you. the neighbours stare at me and whisper behind the safety of their shutters; and i wonder, will they think to scrape my dried husk off this porch once it is all over?
Funeral WeatherMami touched my back,
reminding me to kneel. The prayer lasted
until the rain stopped pouring,
the pallbearers standing by the casket,
white gloves on white wood.
The grass was wet at the cemetery.
Papi told me he didn't want a Catholic funeral
when he died.
"It was right for him,"
he whispered as Abuelo descended
with his red roses. Papi squeezed my shoulder,
trying his best to cry like he had yesterday
and the day before.
I held the printed obituary. It promised,
"He was born into eternity."
Now the priest rambles about communication,
how kids today don't bring situations to their parents,
and tragedies like these could be prevented
if everyone just opened up at the dinner table
or at least sat together.
I know when to kneel,
when to stand,
waiting for Michael to move his head
so I can catch glimpses of the pretty girl
whose picture has been cropped and enhanced,
blown up into a portrait that looks more watercolor
unlike the flesh and blood
of Jesus Christ o
in Appleton, Wisconsin, there is a boy named Cael
who dreams of Copenhagen and draws demonic flamingo.
his spine is curled the wrong way from countless years of binding.
his parents do not approve of his gender. he loves them anyway.
in Bay Village, Ohio, there is a girl named Roxy
who sleeps with her eyes open. her dreams climb
up her purple bedroom walls and sprinkle into her hair
as she watches, wide-eyed. she smiles like sunshine.
in Salem, Oregon, there is a boy named Andrew
who writes poetry about the laws of physics.
he is going to college to learn how to be a professional.
he has ramen-noodle hair and soup in his veins.
he told me once that sometimes, love can swallow you.
in Farmington Hills, Michigan, there is a boy named Jordan
with big hands and a smile that makes him look 6 years old.
his favorite word is cumbersome because he likes the way it rolls.
he kisses like a firework and hugs like a fireman.
i look for him in everyone.
in Pawtucket, Rho
the burning lights showseven p.m. and the sun hasn't set yet:
a sure sign of survival;
you think your performance wasn't half bad today, you could have
even passed for a human;
the voice tells you with unprecedented urgency
to stop freezing your ass off and take that bus; not that it goes
anywhere you know,
a thousand tiny suns explode; the christmas tree just
tangerine rinds and plastic needles ground into the
shit-stained snow; there is a part of you
sniffing glue and bleached
soviet ceilings that you'll never be able
to explain to anyone else;
symbolism is stupid, you think,
you wish the world would shut up its jaws because thoughts
tighten dryly in-between your scarred brain tissue; there is still
some part of you protruding like a f
Last Flowers to the HospitalThe last flowers to the hospital
were peach calla lilies,
upturned cups. (
Peach cordial smashed
across the sterilitical floor-way,
the frantic hup-hup-hup-hup
with no clear reasoning,
with no response.
) A late response
to those wilting hours;
the last flowers to the hospital.
The first flowers, burnt around the edges with funereal inertia, to lay beside her in the ground.
unmadeclean, now, of your diaries;
sun cut, singed through the brume
pure and guiltless as a virus, white
without a needle eye or task to
lay into your inner brides, the bent
to disturb your wealth of fruit skins
or run my pathos through the calculus
and see my dimples rise as underlings
to terrorize your pond face, scold its careful
glass with frost or lunge into your acquiescence,
the satin cinch for your panoplies,
to make pillows for my wreck.
what am i when i’ve no effigy for doubt,
no biorhythms to sicken with childish bellows from my song?
there is no dormant eggshell to gather up this loss
and nothing left from which to birth;
if i cannot be of something else,
then nothing will become me.
ScabbageCrust clings to skin, puckered edges spreading red
On elbows and knees, shouting out where you’ve been
Raised white lines across wrists indicate attempts
Salvation, damnation, maybe just blissful sleep
Fog rolls in your eyes, bees buzz in your head
You paint the world bright and colorful, sarcastically
Because all you’ve ever known was darkness
And you do like your primary colors to dream in
Walk down the street, head hung low, mumbling
Expecting nothing from the world, and getting it
Knives in your eyes and poison on your tongue
Born to be crucified; who am I to deny you?
Love does not conquer all, not the likes of us
Festering wound souls finding a moment’s solace
Before the wind howls our names again
I am you, you are me; together we are we
Briefly opening the coffin lid to daylight’s touch
You raise your head high for me, and indicate love
Clasping hands, we jump together into the maelstrom
Leaving two hearts carved on an aging tree
here is my heart, and here is my home.i am done writing about
you can find me
in the "new beginnings"
isle, splashed with scar tissue and
dear child, open your
there are stars, a galaxy, and
there is breath in your lungs.
the past is never
you have lived through it,
swam through it and
maybe died a little
through it, but you
came out on top.
when this winter ends, it
will end harshly;
but spring comes every year,
and i hope that you
i hope you open your eyes
to rain and i hope
that you fall in love with
it, and i hope
that you let life move
like i had to.
On Wanting Everything to Be RightYou got too comfortable,
forgot he could make mistakes,
and set your consciousness aside
so he could mend the thoughts
which have remained disordered
in your fumbling sobriety,
despite the years of learning to cope
with the pace of regularity:
scraping the mailbox with his key,
dining out every Sunday,
setting the thermostat to sixty degrees,
and changing despite every effort
to remain apathetic about his plans,
how your name became a constant
in his living equations,
the variable which defined the function.
On the morning you leave,
only your luggage and body will move
through the summer shadows
of oak leaves shaking in a breeze,
and only your barest senses
will know the satisfaction of hearing
his footsteps behind yours,
cicadas composing another song,
a car door slamming shut,
the engine firing up,
though your muscle memory isn't enough
to bring you peace or independence,
money or place or dignity.
When you turn onto Justamere Road,
you'll picture the nightstand
on your side of the
what to do when he doesn't say it backa)
you will give all of yourself to a boy who won't know you at all.
he will recycle your parts, make you stationary, bind you into
paper that he will gift back so you can write poetry about him.
you, too, say i love you quickly.
when he doesn't say it back, evaporate.
he will kiss you in places you didn't know existed.
until him, you were a peasant in your body's palace.
he crowned you princess, broke the lock of your castle's gates.
when he doesn't say it back, load your cannons.
you are a fountain pen.
look him in the eye when you write him letters on your skin.
when he asks to read them, surrender.
you have always been this way: too eager
to make wildflowers bloom inside of him.
when he doesn't say it back, trim the stems.
when he tells you that your eyes remind him of tree bark,
show him that your gaze is sturdier than nature's limbs.
without breaking eye contact, slowly back him into a wall.
when he expresses discomfort,
ask if he knows what choking is like.
GreenwareGod took a pottery class
and could have spun perfect
pots from the store-bought
clay the instructor found half
off with an expired coupon.
He could have thrown slender
vases on a rickety wheel
or molded leather-hard discards
into elegant tea cups.
The glaze on his biscuits
unblistered; His earthenware
free of crackle; no shivering
to be found on His mugs.
God took a pottery class
and made sure every piece was flawed,
and called them perfect.
Darkness vs. LightDarkness creeps so slowly,
I am caught by surprise.
Somehow my world plunges into unending sorrow.
All it takes is a song,
Then I am falling.
Silent screams echo in my ears.
I struggle to find a light bright enough.
Something to fend off the darkness like a sword.
It isn’t fair to face the darkness knowing there is no escape.
I will not die.
Life clings to me against my will.
Where is my other half?
My soul mate?
I don’t want to be alone,
Facing down my demons without a shred of hope.
Shine so brightly I will be drawn to you.
I can’t forget I need to shine.
I just feel as if my light is dimming.
How will you find me if I am swallowed by my darkness?
A spark of hope.
I need a way to defeat my sorrows,
So I can help battle yours.
Just a glimmer of hope?
DustThe picket fence is worn and broke
The swings have turned to dust
The flowers died from all the smoke
This dream is far too much
There's cracks in every sidewalk here
And through them grow the weeds
This beauty just a thin vinear
Atop the lives we lead
There's vines that grow on every sign
Disguising what they say
The bricks have stood the test of time
But every one has greyed
There's not a tire left intact
They've all succumbed to rot
There truly is no going back
Back to the life we sought
In every broken windowpane
I see a broken dream
I walk across this empty lane
It`s splitting at the seam
And so I leave this empty place
That once was full of life
But in the end there's no escape
And no one else in sight
© Jarrett Douglass DeLude
Tapestry of TimeParting ways is natural.
No one stays close forever.
Love is the stuff of dreams and fairytales.
Friends walk away.
Love takes work.
Life is full of surprises.
Sadness and darkness.
Beautiful light and glimpses of joy.
Forever is a really long time,
But can pass in the blink of an eye.
Life is a beautiful tapestry,
Shimmering with possibilities.
BrokenI tried so hard to put my faith
Into your waiting hands
To let you bear a bit of weight
To help you understand
I gave my trust as if it`s free
And not too hard to earn
I let you past the gates to me
And then the tables turned
Within my walls you tore me up
You chewed and spit me out
And when I fell you kicked and punched
You knocked me all around
And then you left, without a word
No sorry or goodbye
And here I've laid, both bruised and hurt
And still I wonder why
What did I do but give to you
What you had wanted most
Why did you tear my heart in two
And put it on the roast
I heal, but questions burn within
I wish I knew the truth
But in the end I guess you win
I'm broken, just like you
© Jarrett Douglass DeLude
LifePlease grab my hand before I fall
And pull me back to you
I feel I'm slipping after all
Or maybe breaking through
Just take a shot and save a life
Before I'm gone for good
I vow to you I'll hold you tight
The way you know I should
If I should fall I'll die before
I ever hit the ground
And I'm not waiting anymore
I'm drowning, let me out
You have the choice so make it right
And lead me back to shore
Without your hand I lack the fight
Without you I'm no more
© Jarrett Douglass DeLude