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Room 227you just keep pulling the pins out of all the grenades,
and i just keep falling apart because those pins were holding me together.
they keep hitting the floor like a fallen angel parade,
spent cartridges from the cold trenches of heaven.
cloud nine opens it's throat to sing cadence
and i'm standing under the blades,
so cut me down from my complacence
and let me drown beneath this morbid rain.
you just keep pulling all the stitches out of this scenery,
and i just keep spilling my guts because that thread was holding me together.
we are ransom notes and morse code and machinery,
spent cartridges in room 227.
Therapythey speak of depth and contrast and emotion
without knowing what the words mean.
you can't analyze a broken heart on a torn sleeve
by poking it with a stick and watching it skip a beat.
White Widowshe's passionate,
she has a thousand intentions, and they're all wrong.
she's poisonous, oh
she plays these girls and boys like a song.
but you can't deny
there's something in her eyes,
it pulls you inside
like the spider and the fly,
and the webs she weaves,
all those little white lies,
and a little white powder,
these little white lines.
she's drinking my blood
and i'm watching it happen.
Words For Herif you were the sky,
i'd be the ship sinking in your emotion,
golden anchor chains cut to free the wreck,
i'm going under anyway.
if you were a fall,
i'd be the impact when we find the floor.
if you asked for chaos, i'd be your disarray.
i'll follow you to the dark side of the room..
if you were a fire i'd burn my hands,
i'll burn my lips to kiss you if you'll let me.
if you were a narcotic i'd be an open vein,
you are already anyway.
I Just Called To Say I Hate Myselfangel, twist your halo into an anchor,
tear your wings out at the roots if you won't fly anymore.
blow out the candle you left burning at the window,
close the door, i'm not coming home tonight.
sing the stars in your silver sky
a melancholy lullaby,
sing them down
the way you used to.
angel, don't look for me tonight,
i'm on the wrong side of a one-way door.
you know i love you, but i'm a whore,
i didn't mean to let this go so far.
wipe the tears from your silver eyes,
i know you are but what am i,
sing the stars in your fading sky
a brokenhearted lullaby,
sing them down
the way you used to.
It's Always Better Next Timeshe's at my door,
she smells like sex and alcohol.
she says she loves me,
and can she crash here tonight?
this is the way this always goes,
i shouldn't say yes but i can never say no.
so she trips out of her clothes,
and here we go again.
i won't say i don't love her,
but this cycle is wearing on me.
so tell me if you know.
where does this leave us now?
somewhere between acceptance and denial,
a second time around.
thought we'd left this behind,
thought you'd pushed me far enough out of your indecisive mind,
but suddenly last night..
i'd almost forgotten the way you move,
the way you taste,
and the last time we were in this place.
and then suddenly last night,
does it mean anything to you?
you've never meant more to me,
and i feel like i've never meant less to you than right now.
and it leaves me wondering
if i've never been more than your favorite last resort.
Poetic Injustice (Carpe Noctem)razor blades and plays on words,
accolades and bridges burned.
splinters sleeping restlessly beneath our paper thin skin,
souveniers from hazy nights out on the town we're drowning in.
we're all these things and nothing more.
you've got your head in the clouds,
i've got my head in my hands,
and i'd spell it all out but you'd never understand.
i'm head over heels in love with the idea
of being heels over head in love with you,
but you've got your pretty designs for the rest of forever
and i'm just trying to make it through the night.
you're nothing special, i'm nothing at all,
we're just hopeless and desperate and afraid of being alone.
i'm the hero in distress, you're the damsel in denial,
we're just hopeless and desperate and afraid of being alone,
but we're still alone.
Glass Half Full Of Emptywaking up on the wrong side of the world,
disorganized and incomplete, story of my life.
another bloodshot morning in a city i've quickly grown to hate,
another monotonous day without the things in life i've slowly grown to love.
breaking up the scenery with daydreams,
momentary static distractions from the routine.
i'm wearing the floors thin from pacing wall to wall to wall..
if i threw it all away,
i wouldn't miss a god damn thing about this dead end town.
if i bought a ticket to where you are,
i could be there inside twenty four hours.
what the fuck am i still doing here..
easier said than done when i'm this fucking spun,
but they say where there's a will there's a way,
so i'm looking for a way to cut and run and stay.
my mind tends to wander, you would know better than most,
but it's never gone too long before it finds it's way back to you.
disorganized and incomplete, story of my life,
i know i drive you crazy but you keep me sane, and that's the truth.
so take this for whatever
Highway Robberythe stitches run like train tracks across her heart,
but it must have derailed because the only sound is her monitor.
i've been awake for four days and nights just watching her sleep,
afraid if i close my eyes she might slip away without me.
her hands are wrapped in plaster casts
and there's still stained glass buried in her face.
her lips are broken and silent, her eyelids are static and braced,
and she's my angel full of staples, my sunshine.
please don't take my sunshine away.
closed my own eyes for only a second,
woke up on the wrong side of the road again,
your room is suddenly full of nurses and you're flatlining.
their voices sound like breaking glass
and the passenger side of a Honda Prelude caving in.
please don't take my sunshine away.
i never even got to say goodbye.
Residualtoday’s reason to keep living:
i thought of this six word story:
here’s a pen, let’s end this.
i survive, a blossom that heaves through winter
like a lonely citystate, an intemperate Sodom
waiting for God’s discrimination. i see it
foaling its own diminishment
when it had no right to colour
me. and i’m reminded of how i
start each morning with an ambered prayer
and end the darkness with a glass bullet
that i have taught how to dance.
still i spin an echo, a copy of
desolation, the weight of a single judgment. i see
the sun spill out of the dull morning. muted and mocked,
caged in iron weights that tug my rusted temples.
i am reminded of how the crosses fell
to the valley floor in blood-speckled shards, amassing
an illness of splintered peaks. my mind, an angry
jury, the whispers start early, night falls fast. still now
my only wish, to find what eloquence
is left to me, as all my times, my paper
admonishments left screaming in streets,
I wrote you a poem.
skeleton smile-- moonbeams
drip from your unharnessed
habilitations; you speak and
ravens tear through your throat
(I will be there) you are
a catalyst whose ghost eyes
died for a better day
unaware promise bearer, take
me away. as you live these
beautiful vanities, take me
somewhere refined and romantic
like the lies you languish, where
a heavy heart weighs up to
primed and pruned, I am
a seedling: an exaltation to
all that is you
we both cry the same kind
of quiet, and whisper the same brand
of please-don’t-listen-close; I
just want to leave before I break
when you [do it first] decide there is
a life worth more than the scars
I bear (though I mostly want to ask
does it ever go away?)
churning repetitions of an
unmentioned time, I carry you
within my mouth; tucked away and
slowly disintegrating the things
I barely speak:
(you saw more of me than either of us
could admit) the time for letting go
has passed me by
ApsaraFind me sunken into the
lotus field, bathing skin silvergreen,
waist-deep and pink
in sunset, and we will cry:
for three-faced elephants,
for the dancers threading grace
between their fingertips—
until I dress in the heaviness,
a sarong of heat.
scraps and sacramentsyou,
beautiful siren girl with melodies
entangled in her hair: you are
shell-shocked and sea-struck
even though you cannot stand
the sensation of sand beneath
you have fingers for prying, picking,
pulling at your skin and nesting
in that hollow space between
your bones. and if anyone asks,
you will swear there are monsters
sleeping in the concaves of your ribs;
there are ghosts beneath your tongue,
embittered, and you are not the words
they say there is an answer, little girl
(sometimes you begin to believe you are
a scarecrow on the border of reality
begging people to turn the other way;
and the mirror will agree)
how far have you gone? a feather in
the breeze who won’t promise to return
again; there is a wandering warmth in
the hesitation of your harbored fear.
where will you be in six months when
the future has become itself and you
are still astray? little one, no one is like you
in the way you sway to the cadence of a
dissonant night. no one knows your
ThoughtsI'm so sick of not being perfect
I'm sick of hurting people
I'm tired of doing nothing right
I'm tired of holding back
Let me scream
Let me lash out
Let me show you the other side of me
And try telling me you still know me
Everything confined inside
It builds until I almost burst
My eyes grow heavy
My fingers claw at my arms
Tear out my hair
Twitch for the blade
I hold back
But I can only hold so much
Then I do it again
I screw up
And I fall again
Self-loathing is almost a comfort
I often wonder why
Why am I this way
Why am I messed up
Answers won't be found
I'm sick of hating myself
I'm sick of hiding it too
I'm just tired of the pain
I'm tired of taking it out on myself
Let me hide in the dark
Let me face it once again
Only through self-destruction
Can I build the true me
I wish I wasn't this way
I wish I knew how to stop it
But it's there
I only hope you still accept me
I find comfort in one
Who's eyes aren't blind through my self-hatred
Idylliche always spoke of the romantic stance in a smoker
whose every gasp was like a suicidal swansong, he
wrapped himself up so tightly in unwarranted wishing, when
they stripped him free, he then stumbled into the sunlight
and burnt [out]
no one laced his pillows with lavender and moonbeams
and all the other things that call dreams out from
hiding; but he still prayed upside-down overdone
every evening for a falling star to find its way
instead, they surrounded him with [a grain of]
salt circles like curses to draw out the weaknesses
temptation had embedded in him, because
nothing beautiful was ever built atop a rotten foundation
(one exception: architecture of shattered resplendence)
and no one ever got anywhere by treating the
thorns in their side as a reminder to remain
more prominent than the injuries they would inflict.
he's broken (he does not reflect) he wanes and worries
as his heart choruses "not enough," ever-growing
as his fears acclimate and his pulse sings- some
Two Cents and Mirror ShardsShe wears her worth around her neck
In the form of
From ninety-three years ago
And rusty locks,
Strung on an iron chain,
Along with broken
Keys that go to
She knows of
She finds them, on
Street corners and in forgotten,
Treating them like
And long-lost friends;
She hangs them near her core
To try and remember
Where all the pieces go,
Where they all come from.
Maybe one day.
Is made of a shattered mirror
In the hopes of
Being able to see
Something that isn't on the outside.
She is not sure
Exactly what that is
None of her parts match;
She constructs herself
Out of odds and ends
That others have thrown away.
She is cracked,
She would not know
How to fix herself
If she was whole.
She strings up
Old bottle caps and
Passages from decaying books
While she tries to fasten together
Shards of glass
That leave empty spaces
She loves them
How else is light
Supposed to shine through
Without a few ho
Revolver in a Bag of PuppetsRevolver in a Bag of Puppets
For Christine Chubbuck
On a fiery July morning
your eyes opened with intention
to involve innocents
in a cold steel plot
detailed on pages
in the bowels of your briefcase
wishes birthed in solitude
no light, no hope
Did your hands shake
as you buttoned your blouse?
Did your coffee
go cold in the cup?
Did your eggs
burn in the pan?
Did you think of the children
watching that day,
as the camera's eye
transmitted your pain live in color?
A thirty-eight caliber Smith and Wesson
drawn from a shopping bag full of puppets
fired behind the right ear
slammed against the desk
Screens faded to black
control panels fell dark
in silent horror
Your final statement
against the sensationalism you detested
through a tempest of permanence
Your sorrow felt
like bombs over paradise
COPYRIGHT 2014, William Barker
All my work has copyrights
with the Library of Congress.
A(nother) letter to myself.You have grown.
You are not ten years
old and silent.
You've found the words
and you have made them
your sword and your shield,
your battering ram against
the walls you built when you
were too afraid to live.
And I know that some days
you feel like letting go,
That you wonder if it might
feel like flying if you spread your arms
and close your eyes and pretend you
aren't doing this to die.
You have stood on the edges
of rooftops and bridges
(To follow her, I know,
but you were not born to go this way.)
and you have climbed back down.
You will make it, my girl,
by the skin of your teeth.
And when you get here,
I will have built a life out of
the ashes of yours.
You will be born into me,
and I am strong enough for both of us.
the crows have taken their pound of flesh and eaten it raw,
dragging their voices down the chalkboard sky.
medicated, i watch them feed with empty Auschwitz eyes,
every day is the same claustrophobic affair over again.
i miss the taste of axenic fear in my throat,
but my new world is monochrome and i am forced to swallow their synthetic ambrosia.
twisted into my fetal pose, i mark the walls misted from my metric breath,
they say those in glass houses.. but i have no stones to throw
or i would waste this crystal mausoleum from the inside.
they nailed my wings to the floor,
they keep me tranquilized and tell me this is home.
the shower drains are clotted with famous last words,
this is where savages and wandering savants come to die.
i am the leaden albatross around my own neck,
my metamorphosis brought me here.
Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
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