Hard to Get

A damsel in distress she’s not, though nights are all besot with her

Affection widely chased more than even gold, frankincense and myrrh

Aged better than Venetian wine, smoother than a fine liqueur

Treat her as the Queen she is: this maiden we call Literature

 

Sought by many, caught by few, to court her is a Fool’s Errand

Exceptions only granted when one’s dedication’s apparent

Gentle, patient one must be; to nothing she can come second

For absolute commitment is the quality of all legends

 

Everybody’s knocking but the owner just turns out the light

Fight to find a way inside and find the lock is far too tight

I smile as I watch them shout and beg her for one night’s invite

Because this pen unlocks the pad where Writing lays her head at night

 

So intimate we’ve grown to be, forever I’ll be in her debt

For it was I who was distressed, and she who saved me from regret

Sincerely now I thank her for becoming my one true duet

Eternity I’d wait for her: this love who was so hard to get

Wanderlust

Wanderlust, traveler, perhaps even gypsy

So many labels they’ve applied, but in reality

Living life is all she wants, it’s really that simple

Her spirit shines through both her smile, and her cute cheek dimple

Life is meant for living, yes, a thing she truly gets

Singing, dancing, spinning round, she loves without regrets

Always brightening what is dark, this girl, so free of care

Defined by “one day at a time”, she’s happy everywhere

Some may say she’s weak, not strong

But she knows that they all are wrong

She is not lost, like others say

This girl’s just finding her own way

For all the things we say and do

There is but one thing that is true

Life, she says, is nothing more

Than canvas, white, awaiting more

It’s you who gets to fill the blank

And for this chance, we all should thank

This beautiful and wondrous place

For giving us the life it’s graced

Support

It’s so funny

To me, at least

Each time I see

A friend succeed

As others shout

He’s a sell out!

In a negative outburst

Real friends agree

And true family

Support you, see

Help climb that tree

They do not doubt

What you’re about

They help you charge headfirst

It’s easy to see

The irony

For if you feed

In jealously

As people go

I’ll let you know

My friend, you are the worst

Winds of Change

Softly cup my hand to ear

As wind blows whispers that I hear

Sadness, loss, regret they bring

All shadows from my yesteryear

Words escape me, ones I’ve lost

I never knew how much it’d cost

When I thought not to buy a ring

The path I should, I never crossed

Now I’m forced to walk, move on

Time has passed; those moments, gone

And though I wish to have them back

I must stay focused on the dawn

For life is cruel, it won’t concede

Regardless if I pray and plead

And though I may not be on track

Faith in myself is all I need

Things in life, they come and go

And as I lift this small window

I look outside, only to see

That we reap the things we sow

Every action, every word

Is seen, or felt, or tasted, heard

And whether it is you, or me

Life’s purpose always seems so blurred

So, to you, who has a past

Do not let your transgressions last

We’re here, together, throughout our time

And everyone has sins amassed

Live with love, try to arrange

The life you want, an open grange

Do not break rhythm, just to rhyme

And always, ride, the winds of change

Woe is Me

Friday night, bars are closing

I don’t know why I’m here

Feelings hit me deep inside, stepping in this Uber ride

It’s loneliness I fear

Every time, inside my head

I say that she’s the one

Naïveté and ignorance have got me acting with no sense

So why oh why do I keep saying this is pointless and I’m done?

Finally things are going well

But like every other time

The real comes out and causes doubt

I cant stand the paradigm

I don’t think I’m wrong but

You don’t think I’m right why

Can’t we get along and

Not do this every night

I’m tired of the fighting, and

I’m tired of the arguin’

This only causes breakups and

Makes people want to live in sin

I wish more than anything

To find someone who’s struggling

Someone who sees the world like me

Who doesn’t judge and lives freely

A person who embraces flaws

Instead of these unspoken laws

Who’d rather sit and talk with me

Than go out for a shallow drink

Sadness sweeps so subtly

The more I think of you and me

I wish this world was different, see

Filled with love, and yet sadly

It’s superficiality

That guides our actions, you agree?

I beg your pardon, woe is me

This world is just…melancholy

King in all but Name

Put my whistle to the wind, there’s naught another ‘round

Divided is the road I’m on, my choice shall prove profound

“Go left,” says he, “Go right!” says she

The demons, they’ve misled

I ask “which way?”

“That way!” They say

And so I point my sled

Every choice we make is a decision in our head

A string of choices, such is life, that’s all until we’re dead

When these choices come to you, what ever will you say?

Will you take the high road out or will you run away?

Make the choices that they love, My Lord you’re looking great

Undermine the ones they want and soon you will find hate

Treat the people as you would yourself, and you’ll find fame

They’ll sing your praises, call you King, in everything but name

The Old Unknown Aristocrat

Some people get it, most people don’t

Some people will, most people won’t

Some people love, most people hate

Most people: good. Some people: great.

 

Maybe I’m the one who’s been mistaken after all

Maybe all this fighting’s a good reason for a wall

The more I see the more I hear the less I seem to understand

It’s almost like this world is pieced together and events are planned

 

Confusion is the currency they’ve built all of their kingdoms on

White homes do not host their crowns they’re places that they place a pawn

Puppets playing House is what we’re looking and we’re pointing at

And all the while he’s up there, the Old Unknown Aristocrat

 

We don’t even see all of the strings and pieces he commands

But he’s the one who wrote all of the things for which your flag now stands

His name: unknown. His work: unknown. He dodges notoriety

The master of this game knows this is how you mold society

 

Five steps ahead, he always knows which side he has to pick

Its easy when you know the things that make the people tick

This Old Unknown Aristocrat said of Earth, and all its flaws

If I control its money, I care not who makes its laws

Pages

A never-ending story is what all of this appears to be

This book of life we write together seems to me a tragedy

The prologue speaks of hope and faith, introducing you and me

Act One of Three disguises the forthcoming, sad reality

 

Characters, they come and go, most are just supporting cast

Center stage through Chapter Four, by Five they’ve faded to the past

Teaching us that friendships; love, they’re delicate and rarely last

As subtexts teach the die of trust is earned instead of blindly cast

 

A world that works as advertised, that’s what we learn and buy into

Coasting through our story with a smile and five-star review

Thinking that this book’s motif is happiness; our point of view

That plot twists are just fiction meant to entertain; that they aren’t true

 

Life’s first Act is ended by the bookmark of naivete

As Two begins, foreshadowing the darkness written in this play

Sadly, most don’t see the signs; lost among their day-to-day

Not reading what’s between the lines, faith is weakness some might say

 

This is where our story starts to show its face without the mask

The greatest writers realize that pursuing truth’s our only task

Revealing life has always hidden sadness bottled in its flask

It laughs as those who victimize, mocking the “why me?” they ask

 

What follows next I’ll spare for now, for the sake of brevity

Not to mention that this story needs relief and levity

Yet such is life, is it not? And if you want longevity

Its comedy to those who think; for those who feel, a tragedy

 

Now I speak to you directly, sharing what this poem’s about

One moment life can mere whisper, then the next become a shout

To deal with things we all go through, we all must learn to cope with doubt

And if you need to turn a page, just rip the whole damn chapter out

No Pun Intended

I start and I end with a shower, all nude

Turned on is the water, so set is the mood

I put on my old socks, ever so slowly

I should take them to church cause my socks are so holy

But before this day starts, I must say that this chap

Shall first drop a deuce, ‘cause he don’t give a crap

Flip a coin in the well, but it wasn’t well-spent

Matchbox 20 disc broke; the damn album got Bent

Wrapped a fish in some tin, but my main course was spoiled

Too long did it cook, dinner plans were all foiled

Felt so lonely today, I bought some stock shares

Now I have company, so pull up some chairs

My last girl couldn’t see straight, she was sadly cross-eyed

We broke up when I heard she sees men on the side

The ex before would come home shouting, loud as a drum

When asked why she said “sorry, I scream when I come”

The girl before her wanted me strong, fit and stout

When I said no to the gym, things just didn’t work out

Once saw a suicide bomber eat so much on the road

When asked for dessert he said “I’m ‘bout to explode”

Saw a one-legged hitchhiker, so sad and so thin

I stopped on the spot, said “come on man, hop in”

Then saw this girl’s chest that looked swelled with disease

Turns out she’d been stung by a nest of boo-bees

My sis said the number of bad jokes I tell: myriad

“Your PMS jokes are not funny, Matt: period.”

Way down in a foxhole, I wrote poems before sleep

If I say so myself, my war writing was deep

A misunderstanding got me fired, I’d called right at dawn

Asked my boss can I please come in late? He said “yeah Matt, dream on”

They say French fries are France, but this one press release

Said “actually the truth is they’re all cooked in Greece”

My childhood Priest had two jobs under control

Fixing shoes on the side, he heeled so many soles

Saw Peter Pan as a kid but could not understand

How he flew all the time and how he’d never land

But that wasn’t my only dilemma, I say

If I knew why Earth rotates, it would so make my day

Damn – I must go now, big brother’s listening, you see

Those jerks are beginning to really bug me!

Top 10 (Word) Plays

We all know that athletes get highlight reels every week so we can see the coolest plays in a given sport in case we missed them. Well, I thought I’d show some love to the sportsmen/women of word-smithery. Anyone who’s read my work before is fully aware that I’m consumed (and possibly obsessive) over the craft, so I thought this would be a fun little exercise.

What I’ve done is combed through my playlists and such to try and listen for the cleverest uses of language. Basically the most creative puns, double entendres, rarely used words, etc. You know, stuff that makes you think “damn that was a sick line” as you rewind to hear it again.

I never paid attention to this stuff before I got into writing myself, so maybe some of you will appreciate the closer look. And obviously there are like a trillion examples I could list here, so feel free to comment if you have some of your own you like. So without further adieu (in no particular order)!

1. Post Malone – Congratulations

Everything custom like I’m at the border
If you fuck with winning put your lighters to the sky
How can I make cents when I got millions on my mind?  

I really like this dude, because he has an amazing story and worked ridiculously hard to make it. The line when he spins “how can I make sense” by using cents in reference to the money that motivated him is brilliant. It stuck out to me the very first time I heard it, and still does. Oh, and the border line (no pun intended) is a good one too.

2. NF – Real

That nurse came into my room, she told me I’m sick in the head
I’m in hip-hop’s hospital bed with a pad and a pen and a brace on my neck
They told me that I’m never leaving. Why? I am as ill as it gets

Man, NF. What do I even say about this kid? He’s just now (finally) exploding into the rap scene with his recent track Let You Down going triple platinum. The quality and nuance of his writing, coupled with his completely fresh perspective (he’s a Christian rapper who doesn’t curse, rapping about the difficult issues we all face) has placed him in my top 3 all time artists. Plus, he has the darkest backstory ever and the death of his mother is one of his most significant driving forces – precisely the situation I find myself in. This particular line, however, stood out to me because of the clever usage of “ill” as both an ailment and it’s slang interpretation. Quick note, I might actually do one of these Top 10 lists for him alone because his writing is truly on a level that very, very few people can compete with. Expect to see a lot of him in the foreseeable future.

3. Eminem – Killshot

How the fuck can him and I battle?
He’ll have to fuck Kim in my flannel
I’ll give him my sandals
‘Cause he knows, long as I’m Shady he’s gon’ have to live in my shadow

I mean come on. The feud between now-blowing-up (mainstream) newcomer  Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem is one of the most entertaining back and forth’s since Biggie and 2Pac. It’s breathed life back into hip hop, and was a much-needed non-political headline dominating news feeds just weeks ago. While MGK’s Rap Devil was a more than just a solid punch, Em’s Killshot…well, killed it. The track is jam packed with some of his best writing since the old days of Slim Shady. This reference to his original identity literally casting a shadow is simply an incredible bar. Truly great wordplay.

4. Rachel Platten – Fight Song

Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

Yeah, I know. No homo, alright? Its a good song! Anyway, Rachel’s writing in this song (which is about battling depression) is just amazing. Her meaningful lyrics probably explain why Fight Song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Top 100, doing precisely what the line here says she would do – make an explosion. What a beautiful story she can now tell, as the impact she achieved inspiring women with this song is huge.

5. Witt Lowry – Let Me Know

I guess that’s what we were taught
We open up depending on how many drinks we have bought
He wants your head and its ironic, he doesn’t care ’bout your thoughts
You’re one more drink away from drowning, feeling empty and lost

I often wonder what really it is that I offer you
At least you feel my touch, even if it’s just when I walk on you
Alone but together, we always make it less than it seems

It’s funny how if you have feelings, you’re weak, so we say less than we mean
Your hands on my chest, you whisper, “What do you want to do next?”
Our generation’s taken love out of sex, and so the question is left      

You probably haven’t heard of Witt before (if you have I applaud you for finding good music). At the moment he’s still more of an emerging YouTuber, but recently has been gaining a lot of traction; starting his first tour just last year. His writing is similar to NF’s in terms of relating to everyday struggles, but he’s a bit more brash with his language. Let Me Know is perhaps one of his hardest-hitting accounts regarding dating as it is today. Witt’s lyrics here pour out his soul’s dark, depressing, yet so bone-chillingly real reflection of how many relationships in today’s world are shallow and superficial. The title and chorus is a reference to his plea for people to share their deepest, genuine feelings with one another – rather than projecting the fake facades we’re all so familiar with. The title & chorus make this evident: if you love me, Let Me Know.

As for these verses, the first line I highlighted probably shouldn’t need much explanation as to the double meaning he achieves; one which I think will particularly resonate with women who can relate to such men. The included the second because its such a concise statement that conveys so, so much. This track hits so hard that you should check it out like, now.

Let’s call it our halftime break: YouTube: Let Me Know by Witt Lowry

6. Hailee Steinfeld & Grey (feat. Zedd) – Starving

I didn’t know that I was starving ’till I tasted you
Don’t need no butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo
By the way, right away, you do things to my body
I didn’t know that I was starving ’till I tasted you

This is just a really fun song. While the lyrics weren’t written by the artists, they’re still meaningful. Short and simple, that first line takes a creative spin on the concept of our appetite for love. Good writing!

7. Elle King –  Ex’s & Oh’s

I had a summer love down in New Orleans
Kept him warm in the winter, left him frozen in the spring
My, my, how the seasons go by

This is another fun one. The tune is so catchy, in fact, that its easy to overlook the nuance and depth to the writing (also not by the artist). Even the title itself is clever; playing on exes and the XXOO hug/kiss acronym. This verse here I liked because of the juxtaposition between the two seasons and relating them to her treatment of the ex. Very smart scribbling in this track.

8. Julia Michaels – Heaven

Love’s my religion but he was my faith
Something so sacred, so hard to replace
Falling for him was like falling from grace

All wrapped in one, he was so many sins
Would have done anything, everything for him
And if you ask me, I would do it again

It makes sense that Julia’s songs are full of great writing; she began her career in 2010 as a songwriter for major headliners such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes, Justin Beiber, and countless other pop stars. Her growth in the industry has been a heartwarming tale, as in 2017 she finally released her very own single for the first time. The smash hit Issues peaked at #11 on the Top 100, launching her from songwriter in the shadows to singer in the spotlight. Her 2018 single Heaven, featured in (the basically soft-core porn) Fifty Shades Freed, is about the love/hate effect that “bad boys” tend to have on women. The lines I pointed out showcase Julia’s amazing ability of using imagery to convey her feelings and messages. One critic even praised her skills saying that “Michaels manages to summarize the entire Fifty Shades franchise in just two lines: ‘They say all good boys go to heaven / but bad boys bring heaven to you‘”. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on moving forward.

9. The Revivalists – Wish I Knew You

I wish I knew you when I was young
We could’ve got so high
Now we’re here it’s been so long
Two strangers in the bright light

Oh, and I hope you don’t mind
We can share my mood, yeah
Two strangers in the bright light
I wish I knew you, I wish I knew you
Oh, I wish I knew you when I was young

Ugh. This is such a beautiful, yet so freakin’ sad, song. As the music video illustrates, its about two emotionally-hurting elderly people finally chance meeting at the end of their lives; immediately connecting on a visceral level. Written by a team of songwriters, the lyrics capture the full spectrum of feelings during their encounter: inexplicable elation as they spend the whole night dancing under the stars, to tear-jerking sadness felt wishing they had more time to spend together now that they’ve found the person they’ve been searching for their entire lives. Oh, and the “share my mood” line is a really cool one.

If you haven’t heard this one, definitely check it out.

10. Andrew Lloyd Webber – Damned for All Time/Blood Money

I came because I had to, I’m the one who saw
Jesus can’t control it like he did before
And furthermore, I know that Jesus thinks so, too
Jesus wouldn’t mind that I was here with you

I have no thought at all about my own reward
I really didn’t come here on my own accord
Just don’t say I’m
Damned for all time

I couldn’t write a top 10 lyric list without including Andrew. Not only because of the obvious (his use of language is incredible), but this musical has a very special place in my heart because the 1970 original was my mother’s favorite film ever. The nostalgia and memories that sweep over me when I listen to the soundtrack almost always bring a tear or two to my eye. As far as the lines I highlighted, I could just have easily pulled them from any song on the entire album, as they all have powerful wording. This one I liked because it really casts a light on Judas’s perspective, and how he genuinely wanted to do the right thing by turning in the man he idolized. What’s more, the wording reflects that Judas knew exactly how much Jesus loved and understood him, even going as far as to say he knows he will be forgiven for betraying him. Such a very strong portrayal of the depth in their relationship.

So there you have it, peeps. That’s my take on the Top 10 Plays on Words taken from my limited peek into some playlists. There’s so much more I could say, but for brevity I’ll save that for another time.

Thanks for listening, and happy writing!

Editing Sucks (but Marriage is Great)

I’m wedded to Words, yes I’m smitten with love

But like any such marriage, we fight

Sometimes it gets tense, and push comes to shove

As they shout, “Don’t give me your bullshit tonight!”

Of course that’s unfair, Words just don’t understand

Just like any ole husband or wife

Its worked to the bone, this here writing hand

Far too much for that “editing” life

Why can’t Words just listen, do what I say

And tidy things up on their own?

I’m only one man, and its been a long day

Must I do so much work all alone?

As carpal tunnel sets in, Words just lounge and relax

Can’t even say “Good job today, Matt”

Oh its cool Words, I got this, ya’ll just lay on your backs

Like I’m hitched to a fat fucking cat

Hell, I even invent those new friends that you like

“Words Night Out” exists ‘cause of ME

The least you could do is be more sportsmanlike

And help edit occasionally

I mean how hard can it be? Just shuffle your feet!

One step and that loose screw is tight

My spelling is solid, my grammar’s is neat

Its not like it’ll take you all night

But whatever I guess, I know they think I overbear

I truly feel marriage is great

I just get so worried they might have an affair

With that douchebag songwriter I hate

 

 

 

 

 

UNITY

Come sit for a moment, just lend me your ear. I want to be honest, no matter how I appear. The things that I say may not at first be so clear, but as you continue to read they should soon seem sincere. I’ll put this quite simply; my words are austere. The things on the news create division and fear. This shouldn’t surprise you, two thousand eighteen is the year, and everyone knows it; the whole hemisphere. The media, for ratings, will always just smear the things that which should actually be crystal clear.

I’ll give you a moment to let this newsflash digest. I had to be sure that bias was addressed. See, the fights and the feuds that make so many distressed are mostly just bullshit that the “system” professed. They take a small story and tell you folks are oppressed so they can divide us through lies and protest. And don’t get it twisted, injustice is surely expressed, but the majority of people are good, I attest. I have to be honest, these lies have surely impressed, they’ve manipulated the world while leaning on an armrest. Though I have an objection Your Honor cause yes, I know I’m obsessed. But I can’t sit any longer as this world is repressed. I’m sick of complacency; we haven’t progressed. There’s so much in my mind to suggest and request. What things do I mean? Well, its only time that can test. But if you’ll just listen its time that’s good to invest.

The first thing to do is to swallow our pride. I know that its hard, but please let peace be your guide. If you truly are righteous, then take one small step outside; get away from the narrow and rigid divide. Sacrifice all your judgments that you’ve been forced to confide, and instead start thinking of what bonds us together inside.

I could not create a more significant plea. My mind thinks of so much but this one problem won’t leave. We cannot go on fighting, we cannot disagree. This has to be fixed, whether on foot or on knee. America: its on us. Its on us to agree. Winning a fight is not as important as it is to be free. So look past your motives, and look past the “me”. Be strong together, create UNITY.

Lighten TF Up

I’m on a lifelong mission, I’d be remiss not to admit

But every now and then I say enough of all this shit

Why don’t I let my fixed hair down and pour myself a drink?

You know what? Let me take that back. I’ll pour several, I think

 

Tonight I shall forget the world and everything within

Call a timeout on my quest: tonight let’s live in sin

I mean come on, is that so wrong? I don’t claim to be St. Paul

Sometimes a guy just has to stretch his manhood, after all

 

And on that point, can I please ask just how the saints do it?

No pun intended but life must be so hard; the celibate

Anyway I should digress, the details you don’t need

Point is, to stay sane we must sometimes feed our greed

 

The thing that matters most is to do it with respect

Be honest with intention for your actions cause effect

Never lie and lead folks on to satisfy desire

Cause if you do, and you believe…eternity is filled with fire

 

But more than that, its just not right

For they have feelings too

And son of a bitch I just realized

That this poem is preachy too

 

Where were you guys on that one, huh?

My Hands

Never idle, on the move, ink pours on the page

The force that drives, a needed guide, is with me on this stage

I try to be an optimist, but sometimes I’m consumed by rage

Thinking of how things are done and how they could so quickly change

Yes all the world’s a stage you know, it’s something that you shan’t forget

The sun and stars would get along if only they’d shake hands and met

Humanity could follow suit, we’ve got the tech but somehow, yet

We manage to exacerbate the very things we should forget

Fossil fuels and everything, you know that it’s all temporary

But tell me more of how it works, and how mining isn’t mercenary

If you truly want to change the world into a gilded sanctuary

Then play the long game not the short, and hire you an actuary

Maybe they can run the numbers, project a truth that you won’t like

Their findings likely point to truth like human beings should take a hike

Sure, we all know that we need to build that interstate or that turnpike

Yet as we do this trees are cut, it’s like the land of the Third Reich

Yes it’s so, the world’s a stage, it’s just a game of checkers, chess

We put our pieces on the board, where we think they’ll help us best

And when we find a new chance to establish ourselves, let me guess

You want to build a military presence just to clean the mess

Sure my man, come on down, bring your gadgets and your tech

Cause I don’t really care what happens as long as I get that big check

You see this is why the world is wasted, all it’s countries are a wreck

We let the people be in charge that only care for their own neck

Maybe one day you’ll wake up, realize that this dream of yours

Doesn’t have to happen this way and you won’t be on all fours

Rising up and taking charge, you’ll fight and finely take these lands

Until then I’ll try my best, just writing with my moving hands

DNA: A Controversial Poem

Open the cover, turn the page, are you sure you wanna find what you’re lookin’ for?

Some things are better left unsaid, I bet you don’t wanna open up this door

There’s a mask that we all wear; you know what I mean, don’t act like you think you don’t

There’s things that we all do; you know what I mean, don’t act like you think you won’t

People are animals, that’s the truth at the end of the day

Wait a sec, you don’t think so? I’m sorry you’ll get it, but maybe not right away

Look at a man, what does he want? He wants all the things that’ll get him a girl

Look at a girl, what does she want? All the things as the girls in the animal world

A place for the fam, no? A unit that’s close and looks after their own

And then you’ve got Dad, right? Who just runs all around trying to make it alone

But hey we can’t really say much, know why? Cause at the end of the day

It’s not the Dad who’s confused, it’s just all written in our DNA

Ballad of the Bimbo

Lemme tell a story, it’s about this crazy bimbo

That booty was so strong ya’ll, just like a Slice of Kimbo

I took her back to the crib, thinkin’ I’mma get some some trim, yo

Next thing I knew she bends on down, “You gonna lick this rim, tho?”

“Hold up girl, wait a sec, I gotta check my bills, ho”

“I don’t know if I can pay for this,” my mind starts movin’ real slow

“Wait up girl, the fuck is that?” She just pulled out a dildo

Fourteen inches, girth of Thor, I laugh and tell her “HELL NO”

But wait a min, the shit is this? Whips out a Pokémon handcuff,

“Come on now, don’t be shy, stop actin’ like you hard n’ tough”

Locks me up and bends me down, grabs the dildo, lookin’ rough

Stares at me straight in the eye, “This gon’ Peek-on-thru that Jigglypuff”

“Oh my God!” I screamed out loud. “My butt isn’t that durable!”

“Sorry bitch,” she said to me, “this tickets not transferable”

I’m sorry ya’ll, I cannot tell, what happened was unbearable

Let just say that the next day, my butt was unrepairable

Listen now, all of you, don’t care how much you think you know

Never go to that same place. Never shop by that window.

Cause if you do, I swear to you, you’ll soon be playing limbo

With the roughest dame in town, that crazy freakin’ bimbo

My Life

The sand, the dirt, the grass, the trees

The sticks, the stones, the light, the breeze

The things this world has made for me

Have warmed my heart and set me free

I look at the stars as I rest on my knee

They twinkle and spark, this light that I see

I gaze at them wondering, what could they be?

As I listen to waves hit the rocks under me

So calm it all is, out here with the leaves

No fear of the world, or it’s warriors and thieves

My mind is at rest, this feeling I’ve sought

A needed reprieve from the torment I’ve thought

The darkness within isn’t something I share

I keep it behind the false mask that I wear

It’s not that I’ve feigned, and not that I’ve lied

I just don’t want to release all the pain that’s inside

I want to be happy

I just want to live

Her death, it has gripped me

And it’s hold will not give

My words carry weight

Of this, I know

But now I see nothing

Through her bedroom’s window

It used to be filled

With her smile, her love

As she watched us all playing

With a ball and a glove

Those days are all gone now

And it hurts me so much

Please take this away, God

Please heal me, your touch

I don’t care if they read this

It’s my only escape

These pages have saved me

From a much harsher fate

I beg you, my Father

If you truly are there

To take this away

And heal my despair

These words that I’m writing

They’re the realest I’ve penned

I beg of you, God

Will I see her again?

Scars

They’re carried each and every day, they never ever go away. I cannot seem to find a place where minds are clear and thoughts erased. They stay with me, they’re always there, it seems a saddened love affair. My heart is blackened when the air begins to flow with fervent prayer. The things I’ve done, the things I’ve not, they occupy my every thought. The questions that I ask myself are known to me; and no one else. The answers lie in of itself, or maybe on my dark bookshelf. Our past, it haunts, it makes us see, that which we often disagree. For truth is that, and nothing else. It doesn’t care for time, or self. It shines its light, and nothing more. It opens every locked, closed door. Yet when we see the things we’ve done, we often want to turn and run. Such deeds exist, there in your past, and if you let them ever-last, your further will be chained and cast to those who judge and those who blast.

Let your scars, while they remain, fade away into the plain. You’ll always have them, they’ll maintain, but use them for your growth and gain. Learn their passage, learn their plight, and if you ever have to fight, your scars will tell you what to do; if it’s wrong, or if it’s true. Some see them as the wounds of life, but I prefer to use them like a knife. Every time I’m broken, down; my scars remind me that I’ve found. I’ve always found that this will pass, and every time, it always has.

Love can be the best of things, but think before you exchange rings. Be certain that they are the one, that love and bond won’t come undone. Take a look back at your past. Make sure this time that it will last.

And if you doubt things, look to the stars. Then, look back, at all your scars.

91 (A Short Story by Josh Jones)

91

At 91, Gladys sips bourbon from her grandmother’s floral teacup. It’s eleven in the morning. The teacup shakes slightly in her veined, big-knuckled hand. The saucer clinks several times as she sets it down. She’s given up reading the newspaper because her eyes are shot and she feels reading glasses are gauche. Instead of reading she listens to the radio.

Her radio, an original transistor type, picks up programs broadcast on the FM signal. A light jazz music traipses through the air. She wears a light cotton gown. White, wispy hair dances around her face, catching the morning light. Her eyes are set deep within a wrinkled face. Looking out her window to the yard, a young Hispanic man mows and trims.

Her lips, moistened from the bourbon, tense every so often as she listens to the irritating man on the radio who talks between her songs. As he prattles on, she closes her eyes and sees the lovely vignettes of her childhood. She dwells here more and more, in the thoughts of a youth, where memories are so vivid in her mind. She revels in her recollections and the emotions they bring. They take her back to times long before the Alzheimer’s became the focal point of her life. Mornings are the best, with her bourbon, her light jazz and her youth.

She remembers the small apartment where she, her sister, and parents lived. It was an Irish neighborhood on the cusp of Harlem in the thriving days of New York City’s bustling renaissance. She remembers ‘rushing the can’ to her parents as they listened to Benny Goodman. The large can, coming from the corner bar, was filled with cold beer. At nine years old, she would give the slip of paper to the bartender for credit at the bar from her father. She remembers the smoky bar. She remembers neighbors sitting on the stoops of their buildings. She remembers her parents would drink the beer out of clear glasses while dancing in the kitchen.

Her older sister, Esther, would come home with stories from The Cotton Club where she was a coat check girl. She told her parents about the fur coats, the shimmering clothes and way the dancefloor pulsed with people dancing, drinking, smoking. Gladys would sit in the window overlooking the alleyway watching her parents dance, wanting to be older. She remembers her mother moving to the icebox, her hips swaying to jazz orchestra, to get refill the glasses. When her mom would be busy, Glady’s dad would pluck her from her window seat and spin her around to the jumpin’ and jivin’ music. She could smell the beer on his breath and the smoke on his clothes.

At her kitchen table, the ninety-one-year-old Gladys brings a hand up and feels the cotton collar of her house gown. She thinks of the sable furs her sister described from her job at The Cotton Club. In her silent reverie, Gladys picks up the cork from her Maker’s Mark bourbon bottle. The weight in her hand reminds her of the Bazooka Joe bubble gum her mother would give to her. She’d unpeel the wrapper, read the joke to her parents and they would hoot and holler with tipsy delight.

Gladys’ toe is bouncing along to the jazz station on her FM radio. The bouncing reminds her of jumping on the bed as she and her sister giggled together about a Barney Coogle cartoon called “Patch Mah Britches”. The character, and his big bottom, are covered by trousers with a hole in the seat. They fall back onto the bed laughing at the picture of the man’s underwear poking through his britches.

The radio goes to a commercial and her thoughts stop as an advertisement to cure erectile dysfunction dissipates the fond visions in her mind. She looks wide-eyed at the table. A plate from dinner with her remaining meal still sits on the table next to a pill dispenser.

Did she forgot to eat last night?

Oh dear, whose pills are those?

She sips her bourbon as a commercial for feminine hygiene products for maximum flow days causes her to scoff. She looks at the table again where her teeth are submerged in a glass next to her uneaten meal. She touches her mouth as if she’s surprised her teeth are across the table from her.

The music begins again and again, she is now skipping down the sidewalk beneath her apartment, throwing  a stone onto the hopscotch square. She hops deftly from one square to another, leaning forward to pick up the stone. A siren sounds down the street, she looks up as folks lean out their windows to watch the fire truck ramble by with its large water tank as firefighters hang off the sides.

Finishing her hopscotch, she says hello to Mrs. Finnegan, the fat lady across the hall who wears enormous, floral dresses and hands out candy. She gives Gladys three pieces of salt water taffy. She puts the candies into her pocket and runs upstairs to share with Esther. The radio in the kitchen is playing a rumba song. Esther grabs Gladys and they try to copy the dance moves they’ve watched her folks do. They both trip over each other, falling into a pile, giggling on the kitchen floor.

“Mom!” Gladys hears the sharp words and thinks her mother is yelling at them.

But, where’s Esther?

The knock comes again to her door. The door to her house, not her parent’s apartment.

Gladys walks to the door. “Yes?” she says.

“Mom,” a woman says again. “Open up, I have your groceries.”

“Groceries?” Gladys questions laying her hand on the door. “I didn’t order any groceries.”

“Mom,” the woman says, “it’s me. Your daughter.”

Gladys opens the door and looks at the woman and says, “I don’t know. I need to call my daughter to see if she ordered these groceries.”

“Mom,” the woman said. “I’m your daughter.”

“Oh…” Gladys said.


 

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Letter to My Lost: 1

My love. My all. Such memories do we share. Memories such as the times we’d awaken to the sun’s shimmering rays darting through the window, on those soft linen sheets as you’d rollover, greeting me with the morning’s first kiss. Memories of your fingers gently gliding, cusping the back of my neck, holding me as if you’d never let go.

I so long for these moments. I cannot help but wonder where you are and what dangers lie ahead. Each day, without exception, I sit gazing out this window at the calm beach and its soothing waves; the soft sound of the salted water drifting to the shore. I think of us, my love, walking along that cool, flawlessly smooth sand with our hands clasped tightly together, enjoying the warm breeze as it passes through us without a care in the world.

The days are proving harder, my love. Each day without you further shatters my soul, as my thoughts are imprisoned by the uncertainty of your welfare. I miss you every waking second of the day, and am greeted by your embrace only in my most deepest of dreams.

Tell me you will be returning soon. I cannot bear the thought of going through this every day. I miss you, my Braden. I hope my letter finds you well.

Please come home to me.

With everlasting love,

Your Lilliana