Text

Deciding whether or not
to stand up & speak
can be like deciding whether
or not to open your mouth
with a grenade lodged in
your gut:

might be better to spare
those around you the
discomfort of shrapnel
and not give it any exit
between teeth, swallow
everything.

You wonder who placed it
there because your gut is
deep & shadowed, no finger-
prints or serial number to
trace, only the presence of
a grenade,

the absence of a pin, & the
knowledge that it may have
been your own, manufactured
in those shadows, as you are
wont to do from time to
time.

Tags: poetry
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Text

So, The Washington Redskins

are the team
for Washington, D. C., not Washington state.

The team for the capitol of this cuntry,
(and it would be this game)
is tastelessly named after the people
it was taken from.

The English language
is missing the word to mean
‘all of the no-no’s.’

Text

Me and my pal Drunk
have these run ins.

Clandestine rendezvous
regardless of the barroom;

the more crowded with
strangers the better

because he’s boastful, like
make-a-big-scene-when-there-

Isn’t-any-space-to kind of
lovably annoying. All the

more exciting when I watch
Him enter and sit atop a stool

all slow like, as if he isn’t
wearing a technicolor coat of

absurd.

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i like my poems, so sometimes i make these little things out of them.

i like my poems, so sometimes i make these little things out of them.

Tags: poetry
Text

Half: a ghazal

I am plagued by thoughts of me without her.
They attack at my weakest, when I must be without her.

I am in awe of how losing something could make me feel so heavy;
an epiphany I could only see without her.

What is this foolish notion of a ball and chain?
I am grounded, like a broken wing, less free without her.

All others have become weeds to her rose;
I cannot imagine saying “we” without her.

This city screams through any sleep it gets,
and I, this make-believe man, would probably flee without her.

Tags: poetry
Text

I have experienced:

2:18 am calls from Mike Rosen because he needs to say he loves me. Now ain’t that a community worth belonging to?

Tags: poetry
Text

At a bar,

rather be reading.

The more I change

the more I remain

utterly the same.

Being ok with this

is like reading a

translated poem

in its original language

and understanding

every word.

I wonder who

taught me to read

in someone else’s

skin before my own.

Tags: poetry
Chat

A Kait Rokowski feature, a four-person slam, and several drinks later...

  • Steph Holmbo: Don't be a hero.
  • Me: I won't. Actually, if I could, I'd be a zero.
  • Everyone: ...
  • Me: Yeah, I don't know what that meant.
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a short poem i wrote today.

a short poem i wrote today.

Tags: poetry
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Text

cracked.

in this moment
i am an earthquake of a man.

in the silence that follows—
before i start breathing
again— i can hear that first
crack form, rolling forward
through time.

it was several years ago.

my parents taught me that
love is doing anything for
another, being selfless.

her mother taught her that
relationships are what happens
when a selfish person tires
of being alone.

she was a car without brakes.
only stopped violently.
assumed pedestrians knew this,
that anyone standing in front
of her long enough to determine
her eye color wanted to be hit,
assumed anyone wanting to be
hit was worth getting to know

in the short time before colliding.

i thought she was only
in a hurry to meet me.

at seventeen, the thing i wanted
most was for a woman to want to
meet me; i felt so lucky.

my chest quaked in the
moments before our first
kiss, i thought it was
excitement, i know
it was a warning.

i was always happy to see her,
eager to do what she asked of me,
quick to forget her shouting at me,
rarely understood her anger with me:
i didn’t have a dog then, so i
didn’t recognize the similarities.

i forgot to bring butter to the
table, she said i was horrible
for calling her fat, asked why
i fuck everything up: i just
forgot; she’s thinner than i am.

she said my words were daggers.
if that’s the case, i never
threw them, they were just
falling out of my mouth, landing
in my feet; it could explain why
i didn’t move out of her way.

but i’m no masochist, so i took
to keeping my mouth closed, my
throat a desert.

time stretches in the seconds
before an accident; appears
to become long enough to
convince her to swerve; then
snaps back, faster than before,
like whiplash, force enough
to crack almost anything.

now,
in this moment
i am an earthquake of a man,
plagued by aftershocks.

you are everything she isn’t.
you deserve everything she didn’t,

but when something has upset you,
i can only say sorry, over
and over, a mournful yelp.

i know it must be frustrating.

i want to apologize.
you love dogs; i’m just
trying not be one. i still find
it difficult to learn new things:

my parents taught me the world
is an evil place.

she taught me it was my fault.

you are teaching me it isn’t,
that dogs deserve love,
that i walk upright,
that even if i am cracked,
it’s more like stained glass.

she taught me what it was
like to be run over.

you taught me the feeling
the passenger seat when
there are working brakes
and a steady hand behind
the wheel.

-sw

Tags: poetry
Quote
"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility."

William Wordsworth

I believe this so fully.

Tags: poetry
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Tags: poetry
Text

my uncle is a pastor:
when i was born, he told
my mother: i see this
child doing great things.

she told me this—with
tears in her eyes—the
first time it seemed
like i had other plans.

for a born-again christian
the pastor’s word is
practically law; i don’t
know if it was her intention,
but i felt like a criminal.

Tags: poetry