Alice's Works

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AliceElite
//wrestles darkness...WINS!
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Alice's Works

Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:42 am

//under construction

Poems
Wild
Spoiler: show
Why don’t you go find her, instead of making her out of me.
Find yourself a southern belle, that blonde beauty who'll laugh at just the right time and let you dote on her, and own her.
Find yourself a desert rose, one of those cactus flowers you find in the part of the world where it hardly ever rains.
I won't be that for you.
I want to be the mustang, the horse you never could break.
I'll never be your country girl with her yellows and oranges, the pale lavender of lilacs and the soft blue of the sky like you want me to be.
No, I want to live life in every shade, in red like blood, pink like the neon lights, and green like my backyard.
I will be vibrantly rash! Make decisions based on my turbulent emotions and then try and take them back four hours later.
I will walk like I have somewhere to be, damnit, because where I am going is important.
When my classmates see me at our reunions, I'll smile at them, those normal people, and treat them like they’re just as important as I am,
because they are.
I will bring out my inner Monroe, Millay, the Bettie Page I know lurks beneath my surface, and shock the world with what I have to offer!
I will rebel against a stress-free environment, because anything that's ever worth having comes with a price.
Something I don't think you ever understood.
Arguments with my husband will abound.
If I'm feeling adventurous, I might even throw a plate or two.
My sex will be rough, intense, beautiful, soft, glorious, and varied!
When I will cry, I will cry like a four year old who drops her ice cream in the dirt,
And I will always buy my four year old a second ice cream when it happens to her.
The laughter that flows from my mouth is loud, honest, and happy.
Why didn't you ever listen to my laughter?
But maybe this is all my fault.
Maybe all of our fights, all of our differences, our expectations and who we were together hinged on one slight miscommunication.
Maybe this is all my fault.
I never told you I was wild.

gravity
Spoiler: show
I think there is something about the water
something that makes light the heaviness in me

Density.
And it is the same thing that makes the moon pull me, too.

I know it does
because, looking up at the sky,
my body also moves

like the sea.

Desire
Spoiler: show
Stillness surrounds you,
Calm.
Serene.

You don't belong in this
chaos,
neurons firing
in busy
streets,
horns honking
on grey avenues.

The asphalt where I come from is
the same crayola color,
- forgotten gray

There's no asphalt where you come from.
Just dirt.

Dirt,
and the desire to grow things.

breakup
Spoiler: show
dream about me and everything bad that I ever did.
don’t you dare remember how much you loved me.
never think for one moment that our relationship was good.
because if you do, then i have to, too.
and heaven forbid me to ever remember how beautiful you were.
how kind, patient and nearly perfect you were.
i never want to think again about all the things you taught me,
or about how you changed me for the better in too many ways to count.
i don’t want to ever hear our songs,
or see a candle flame and remember the first time you made love to me.
if i had it my way, i wouldn’t remember the dip in your hips,
the smooth skin on your belly, or the line of your jaw.
and i wouldn’t see those things in every man I fuck now.

i wouldn’t remember how much i love you,
if i could erase memories at will.
because then i wouldn’t hurt so much now that i see you’re gone.

that arm
Spoiler: show
The stretch of that arm
muscle, shoulder, back
flesh
slips
beneath my hands
this texture
i can’t describe
your skin.

That smell, not soap
in my hair
those hands grasp
objects and my fingers
with purpose and delicacy
respectfully
you open the door

and i enter.

dreaming insomniac
Spoiler: show
He tells me -
“You’re grinding your teeth again.”
Grinding
my teeth? I don’t even know what that is,
but it means my brain is
working
to relieve real stress in fake dreams and
chasing
something in sleep I can’t get when I’m

Awake.

3 AM.

Ten hours of useless puzzle solving.

cut my tongue.
“Lexi, you’re grinding your teeth again.”
I still don’t know what that is but I know that
thoughts are
racing
to remember answers to questions unknown,
running
from some invisible specter I know from
somewhere else.

A dreaming insomniac.

Grinding my teeth again?
Yeah, I know.

feedback
Spoiler: show
It’s a strange loop.

I like the way you like
The way I like how you look at me.
The fugue intensifying until my ears are ringing
And your eyes are dark and distant.

Somehow, I have been distracting you.
At a volume you describe as ‘cacophonous’
When the only sound is your thumb drumming on my ankle.
You leave the room, and I want you more.

Suddenly I am back at the beginning of this
Mobius strip that I have been treading,
Hoping, futilely, that if I walk it carefully enough
I will end up somewhere new.

Maybe I would step off onto that Good Earth
(different than yours, I know)
Housed behind the event horizon of some imploding star
Like the one that sits quietly in my chest while I cry myself to sleep.

Or the one that steals all the light from your eyes which are
Just across the couch (the bed, the console)
A million light-years away,
Silent.

The feedback is ear-splitting.

One Dimensional
Spoiler: show
The first time I let myself admit I love you was in a poem.
I can't voice the words
but somehow they fit in verse.

I wish you loved me back -

Me, with a heating pad, complaining about my period
Sleeping for 14 hours because we need to adjust my meds (again)
Giving my son a bath
burning cookies
kneading bread
Domestic.

Instead, I think you love
me, with a book and a highlighter
undressed to the waist,
prone on the bed
reading some dull intellectual text,
with your fingers buried in me up to the knuckle
your hands around my neck.

I hope Good Earth us is happy -
because this sucks.

Economics
Spoiler: show
I'm better than this, you say.
Brilliant
Determined
Beautiful
(Deserving)
That's fine -

Thoughts like that are a luxury
(because there is risk in chasing a better life)
that I can only believe when I have some breathing room.

Some distance from obligations like
Rent
Hunger
My son
(His father)
Or in your arms.

The problem with boys with money is that,
when they love you,
there is a mania that makes us look beyond our limits.

That glimpse into middle-class possibility -
A full stomach
New clothes
A vacation
(Freedom)
Gone as soon as they are.

You make me high, or maybe it is the air up there
so far above my place
that you breathe into my lungs after you kiss me.

My medication warns me about
excessive happiness
racing thoughts
reckless behavior
(unusually grand ideas)
And I am calling my doctor

Because
how can I tell what is a mania-fueled delusion
and what is my use-value?

just tired
Spoiler: show
I'm too tired to write a poem.
I tried to write one about
how I only ever learned what not to do
in the ongoing struggle to raise a well adjusted child.
Or one about how desperately
I want to teach him he doesn't have to be afraid
like I was for twenty six years.

I'm too tired to find the words
look at my spacing
Does this line meter right?
is the break
appropriate
or is this line much too long?

All I can think about is
making my own tea
how many times I'm going to forget my phone in the morning
and who is going to teach me to drive, now.
The tiny little spaces in my life that he filled.
How he makes me cum long,
and deep,
slowly bringing me to a climax,
and knows exactly what buttons to press
and for how long
and in what cadence
to leave me exhausted and filled with love.

I don't feel loved anymore.
I don't feel anything -
just tired.

On the Question Mark
Spoiler: show
I love the way you say "yeah"
With a question mark.

The question mark is important.
It is waiting for me to continue, of course
But it is also, somehow
Pleased.

It is like a puppy who hears
"Here, boy"
And the ears perk up,
Suddenly alert.

It seems, in a way,
To be excited
with an air of "wow, really?"
disbelieving, and hopeful.

It is not incredulous,
This question mark,
or genuinely curious,
It is not looking to be answered.

It is, I think, a little shocked-
But pleased at the discovery.

In Memoriam
Spoiler: show
So many bad things happened,
And I sat quiet.

But I want to walk into the street and scream.

Fifty of my siblings are dead.
They lay in pools of blood
while loved ones cry
or
convince themselves that
they are fine.
mourning their own friends at the hospital
cell phones forgotten.

I want to cry for them.

I want to confront the
toxicity of men.

I watch my sister's abuser
excused and justified.
Her pain erased,
violation dismissed.
Because of his
potential.

This week has been a series of headlines
About pain and death
and the only news is
that my life is tossed aside
just as easily as
fifty dead friends.

That my narrative is taken
as remorselessly as he took
my body from me.

These news stories
responses
memes
tweets
status updates
photos
only frame the portrait of me
that the world has been painting for
years -

A poor, queer woman
who is only newsworthy
In Memoriam.

one minute
Spoiler: show
I'm never going to stop painting my son's nails.

Whenever he wants to match my
blue
or purple sparkles
glitter bronze
macintosh red,

I remember how good he is at holding still
(for a four year old)
It only takes a minute
(His fingernails are so small)
And he is so happy to match his mom.

I want him to know,
that beauty is not reserved for women.
It is not an exotic flower,
or something that we possess
and he desires.
I want all doors to be open to him.

Today he handed me a bottle of
highlighter yellow
and he said, "please, mommy"
Because he always asks nicely.
And I paused my video game and painted his nails.

It only took a minute
He shows off to his dad
His aunt
And me.

I am trying to teach him
that he can be proud of all his joys.
And not be afraid to share them.
Masculinity does not define him.

He defines masculinity -
by deciding which nail polish to wear
and strongly identifying with Gordon the express train.

After he fell asleep that night,
I found the yellow nail polish on my desk.
With two coats dried,
I showed his father,
proud.

It only takes a minute for me, too,
to unlearn what it means to be a man.

poor is permanent
Spoiler: show
Was it Sisyphus?
Who pushed that rock up and up
and up until the hill got too steep -
and then it rolls back down?

That's what 'poor' is like.

I work so hard, harder -
More, and more.
Afford insurance, finally -
but now I have less food.
My car needs a wheel bearing,
And I lose a week of work.

or my job.

Impostor syndrome is inescapable because
If you finally manage
to find yourself clutching the next rung
of the class struggle ladder -
Congratulations!

You will still always feel poor.

Save the last can of corn
(until you buy another one)
Even when you can afford to buy groceries on a daily basis.

In a room full of your
peers
they will find you odd.
Maybe it will be your mannerisms
or turns of phrase
and they will not understand your
motivations.
Ever.

They will say
"No one does this job to get rich"
And it will remind you you are an outsider -
because this is the first time you've
ever
been able to pay your bills on time
had a salary
or not felt guilt about buying your son an ice cream
from the truck that drives through your low-income neighborhood
and to you,
that is wealth.

One Good Poem,
A gloss on Elizabeth Brewster

Spoiler: show
Not even one good poem
out of it.
Obviously
I was no Sylvia Plath.

-Elizabeth Brewster

Inspiration
(they say)
comes from hardship.
So, I think,
Maybe my hardship wasn’t hard
enough
to inspire a book,
or an essay,
Not even one good poem.

There must be a disconnect
between me
and my talent.
My experiences,
and my efforts.
Well, fine.
If there’s no
creative explosion,
Maybe all I’ll get is
red eyes and hoarse throat
out of it.

And the simple things in life
like sweet fruit,
clear skies,
and a whole and satisfying
love
are still here to write about,
though they may be a little bit
dull.
I’ll never be an established poet,
Obviously

Still, I’ll be around to
tease my lover,
and birth babies
If that’s where life takes me
instead of to a short or long list.
At the very least,
maybe my children,
(and grandchildren)
will boast with pride that
I was no Sylvia Plath

Grinding My Teeth
Spoiler: show
“You’re grinding your teeth, again,” he said.
Grinding my teeth.

Grinding my teeth?

I didn’t understand what that was.
It sounded like it hurt.
If I was doing it,
wouldn’t I know?
How do people not wake up?
Didn’t it hurt?

I know, now.

Yeah, it does hurt.
It hurts like
when you’re fleeing him so fast
your chest is burning
and you wake up unable to breathe.

And it lingers with you for hours
as you eat your lunch and wonder
Why does this ache?

Sometimes you do wake up
But not always
like when you choose not to rouse yourself
during a dream where you’re being molested
and remember in the morning
that this could have been prevented.

And wouldn’t you know?
Shouldn’t you know
what your body is doing
without your permission
when you are trying to rest?

No.
Not always.
Because sometimes things happen
that are
out
of your
control.

happy birthday
Spoiler: show
you didn't tell me it was your birthday.
I could have
would have
planned something nice.

If that's what you wanted.

I can't even, really,
get you a gift.
Something small to say
"I'm glad you were born."
"Thank you for existing."
"You bring joy."

If I had had the time,
with a little warning,
I could have gotten you something
new
unique
a fresh experience.
Something you will remember,
because I am sentimental.

Instead,
I am lying here
at two in the morning
thinking of the many ways I could have said
(given some notice)
I love you.

stages of grief
Spoiler: show
I can do this on my own.

There are lies I tell myself so I can survive
The harsh winters of my life.

But I don't lie to you -
So you have two choices, here.

Understand that I have to start,
Or promise me I won't have to.

Reasonable Proposition

It is not so bad
being apart.
I've done it before
It's not worse
Just different.
More space.
And that makes sense
You're not ready to commit
And that's fine.

But,
look,
when you leave,
I promise to let you live your life
If you promise not to regret me.

Casually Cruel
You don't get to love someone
and not invest.

That's not fair.
"We're both adults."
is not an explanation
it is an excuse
so you don't have to feel bad about hurting her.
You're doing the same thing to me now.
Is this what she meant by 'what you do to girls'?

You have done too many nice things for me
Given me too much hope
For someone that plans to leave after half a year
of falling in love with me.

How do you help me solve problems, huh?
How do you see me do homework,
have a salary
unionized benefits
stability
safety
teach children
tell my story
succeed
How do you teach me to be
middle class
If you just intended to leave?

If you are so in control
if you didn't want to tie down
why
on Good Earth
would you have let me fall in love with you?
I do not play it cool.
I know you know
how it is with girls like me.

Is $2500 how much it costs,
now,
to break a girl's heart?

Uneven Trade

I am starting to believe that I
am not a good person
to fall in love with.

I don't know how to moderate
These Feelings
without medication.

And so I sweep up into a pile
all of the things I think we want
as if we can have all of them at once!
That is a mania-fueled delusion
Which happens when I breathe too much of your air.

It becomes someone else's job,
then,
to clean up after my messes,
to group the many parts of our lives
into cans and cannots.
I don't know how to sit with cannots.

I don't offer a lot
other than occasional sex
and being good at having children
(And I will also lecture you
about the plight of women and the
working and non-working class
and stay up late, too anxious to sleep).

Unfortunately,
that would not be enough
for anyone I might fall in love with.

bite the bullet

Going through a heartbreak
Is like ripping off a cheap bandaid.

The worst part is knowing
That you will have to get it over with
And rip off a layer of skin
Exposing what is raw underneath,
Eventually.

When it happens, it is over quickly.
Humans heal.

But we don't want to.

a hymn
Spoiler: show
last night I said
I want to write poems about your orgasms
(we were both pretty stoned at the time)
do you remember?
I said
You made me want to write love songs.

If you had kept fucking me like that
I might have wept
tears of exhaustion and joy
of pure love and emotion
But I didn't.

You make me want to worship.
I wanted to take you inside me
fill all my senses with you
breathe in the essence of you
tell you that I love you

your orgasms make me want
to whisper loving words in your ear
to kiss your skin
thank God for your body
and the way you make me feel.

When you are inside me,
pushing me through climax after climax
without even letting me come up for air
I think that when He looked at
all the pleasures on Earth and said
"it is good"
He must have been
talking about
this.

lines
Spoiler: show
You said once
that I had to draw a line in the sand
and work backwards from there.
I couldn't wait for what I wanted
to neatly fit into where my life was going.

I want your line in the sand
to be me.

return on investment
Spoiler: show
return on investment was
the poem I was trying to write
to convince you to
see me through to the end.

It was exhausting.
Trying to persuade you
without begging you to stay
or alarming you
with the depths of my attachment.

I don't want to have to walk the line
between how much I love you
and how much I think you love me.

I was writing a poem
to convince you that
I could earn you a large
return on investment,
and worth your continued affection.

But I don't want to beat around the bush.
My heart is already racing from too much coffee
and I have work to do today.
What I mean is:

I love you
and

I think we can do this
for a long time.


Prose

Fire
Spoiler: show
I am eternal. I don’t do very much. I mean, I’ve been doing it for...well, forever now. I’ve been doing it for forever. And I like it, it’s just...not much anymore. At least, not to me. The novelty’s worn off, I guess. People love me, people hate me. Everyone knows me. But I just do the same thing, every day, all over the world, and I change people’s lives. At this point, I don’t really care anymore. I do it now because I should, not because I enjoy it.

I’m more than what I do. Who isn’t more than their job? I’m not my job. I speak over one million languages. Well, I understand over one million languages. I only speak one. And I’m the only one who knows it. I love to watch people. Learn about them, who they are, what they do. I collect people that way. Once my job stopped being enjoyable, I looked for other entertainment. Eternity is a long time to be bored, you know.

I love your languages! You humans have the most interesting ways of speaking to each other. I can never make out this thing called ‘body language’ though. I know from watching. When she moves like this, you move like this, and when he does that, you say this…

But only from watching. I don’t understand you, not really. I guess that’s why I feel so alone all the time, watching you, never really knowing you or being able to interact with you. I try, sometimes, but you always get hurt. I always hurt the ones I love. Isn’t that the definition of humanity? So why can’t I be you?

I do take pride in one of my duties. I love being the one you look up to. You look up to me and pray. You wish to me, as though I had power to grant your heart’s desires. Oh, how I would love to! I would give my last breath to grant your wishes. I burn for you, and you alone! Longing! The most painful of your emotions, and yet, it’s the one I feel most often.

The only solace I get is what I do for you! And oh, how I wished you appreciated me! I am everything you need. Without me you would be powerless, dead. So why is it that you do not praise me, long for me like I long for you? Why do you not try to be me, understand me? You shy away from me when I try to touch you! You can’t even look at me! I look at you, from so many angles, all of my eyes, all of me, I stare at you, I watch your love, your hate!

You are beautiful, with your beautiful bodies. Your beautiful voices. If only I had tears, I would never stop shedding them. I would never stop shedding them for you. But I have no tears. None. I will never cry for you.

Oh, but I will burn!

City Blocks
Spoiler: show
Stalking down the street, I began to hear the footsteps following me again. Always this block. Always this building.

“Don't you have something better to do, like look out your windows and spy on the neighbors or something?” I scowled at the asphalt, refusing to look behind me.

I hear a chuckle. “Not particularly.” Always so nonchalant. Doesn't he take any of this seriously?

I continue walking in silence. I'm so angry at him, even the gravel crunching under his feet infuriates me. The moonlight falling down, the rustle of the trees. It feels like too much sensual stimulation. “Just go home, okay? What're you even following me for?”

“Aw, Tria, don't be sour. I didn't mean anything by it.” His voice really sounded penitent, but it didn't quench my anger.

“I don't know what you mean. I'm not sour, Jason. Just tired of having some creep follow me every night when I walk home from work.” I stared at the ground as I crossed the street, the lines of the crosswalk faded.

“That's not my name. Tria, can't you just stop and talk to me?”

I turn around. On the other side of the crosswalk, he stands. Jason, Mitch, Sean, Samuel. All names I've tried before. I have a list at home.

“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you last night.” His eyes look so blue-gray, I know he's sad. His eyes look like the color of moonlight, and I can't refuse him.

I walk back across the street, sagging my shoulders. “I'm really angry, you know.” But I'm not. I've already forgiven him for refusing to come home with me last night.

“I know, love. You made it all the way across the street this time.” He smiles at me, and I smile back, because the last shreds of my willful anger have evaporated. “Come on, I'm dying for a float.” He turns right and heads towards the neon sign at the end of the street.

We walk down the block towards our usual haunt, a diner on the corner, not touching, but he tells me jokes and I laugh. I tell him about work, about how no one even notices I'm there until I do something wrong.

He stares at a stray lock of hair on my face. I brush it behind my ear, and he says, “I notice you.”

“Stalk me is more like it,” and I laugh.

But he doesn't laugh. He just keeps walking.

I try a few more names. James, Jess, Alexis and Ashley. Nothing sticks.

“I thought you were only going to try one name a night?” He says with a laugh I can easily tell is false.

“You seem particularly down tonight. Figured it might cheer you up.”

The door jingles as we close it behind us, and we sit down in our booth like we do every night. I drink a root beer float and devour a basket of fries doused with vinegar and salt. I offer him one, and he shakes his head. “You know I hate vinegar.”

I lick off the vinegar and wave a soggy french fry at him. “Look, I wiped it all off for you. Doesn't even taste like vinegar any more.”

But he leans back with a wide grin, looking like the smart ass I'm in love with. His skin looks sallow in the artificial light. I can't wait until we get back outside.

After slurping the last remnants of my float, I leave some money on the table and get up, reaching to grab his coat sleeve and pull him out the door. “Let's go.”

He flinches away from me, but I ignore it and turn towards the door. It's almost time, and I want as much of him as I can get. I hear an apology as he hurriedly follows me, but I ignore that, too. I don't want to waste any of tonight with more arguing, more “I'm sorry”.

We walk back to the corner. The corner where I leave, but instead of crossing the street and going home, I stand and look at him. His dark red hair, almost black in the moonlight, and the sad smile on his face. “You wanna tell me what's wrong? Or you just gonna be sad all night.”

“Nothing's wrong, Tria.”

“It's okay to tell me. You tell me everything else. I can help.”

He shakes his head. “Not with this.”

“You can't know that until you tell me. I'm nosy and I want you to be happy.”

“I'm fine. Really.”

“You're a liar. I'd like to think, after a year of you stalking me, I'd know you better than that.” And there it is. Tomorrow is our anniversary, of a sorts, and now he knows it hasn't gone unnoticed.

“I'd better go. It's almost time.” He turns around and starts to walk back towards the end of the block, the crooked stop sign where he always seems to materialize behind me. For the first time, I watch him as he walks away hands in his pockets, head down, hair hanging over his forehead. He turns down an alley, and I have to follow him, I can't leave yet.

I run, and when I turn into the narrow dead-end alley, he's gone. My chest is on fire and my head hurts with exertion. There are no doors, just a rusted fire escape that looks as though it hasn't been used for years, and even if I were brave enough to follow him up, it would buckle under my weight.

I can't follow him, so I just close my eyes, and whisper into the empty alley. “I love you, you jerk. Why can't you just talk to me, like a normal friend would?”

“I can't. I can't tell you the truth. But please, don't stop coming. Don't leave me.” His voice in my ear is a whisper, right in front of me, but when I reach my hands out to touch him, he must already be gone, because all I touch is brick.

I sigh, open my eyes to an empty alley, and walk home silently. This boy. How can I put into words how much I love him? What do I say to make him believe, to make him come with me? I give up on writing the speech that will finally make him love me back, and instead think about how I'll fill up the hours of tomorrow before I can go visit him again.

I pick up the day's paper from my mailbox, and throw it on the table among my other assorted mail. I walk through the apartment, turning on one light after another, and shedding clothes along the way. Since the shower takes forever to heat up, I turn it on and put on the kettle, needing some caffeine to jolt me into wakefulness. I collapse at the table and flip through the paper, scanning the articles without much interest. When the kettle starts to whistle, I don't hear it. I'm staring at his face on the fifth page. Albeit a bit older.

The face of Davis Adams. The face of the man who built that diner, that bar, and in fact, all the shitty brick buildings on that block. Tomorrow is the day they throw some stupid anniversary party to celebrate the development of Adams block – the unofficial name the locals give it. After all, the entire block was at some point owned by Adams, and he was the one who had turned the empty lots into “cultural centers” as the article had called them. To the locals they were just worn brick buildings that had somehow had the wherewithal to hold up against bombs, fires, wind, rain, and any other obstacle thrown at them.

Loved by the locals not because they represented any sort of cultural bullshit, but simply because they were the meeting place of lovers, families, friends, and enemies. They were the scenes of knife fights, lover's quarrels, sidewalk chalk art, the most beautiful graffiti in the city, and the singular best busker in town. I smile thinking about the place.

Still, the photo of Adams unnerves me. Is my boy a relative? A grandson, or great grandson? But, no, he never had children. I'd call it an uncanny resemblance, except that the color of his eyes are the same color as the sidewalk, his skin like the moonlight, and his hair is the exact color of the brick.

I think about the fact that I've never seen him touch anything that didn't come from that block. Never seen him eat, or drink, or hug me, or cross the street.

And then, then I think about something scarier:Did I fall in love with the spirit of an entire city block?

Do places have souls?
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:42 am

//reserved
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:06 pm

Wild

Why don’t you go find her, instead of making her out of me.
Find yourself a southern belle, that blonde beauty who'll laugh at just the right time and let you dote on her, and own her.
Find yourself a desert rose, one of those cactus flowers you find in the part of the world where it hardly ever rains.
I won't be that for you.
I want to be the mustang, the horse you never could break.
I'll never be your country girl with her yellows and oranges, the pale lavender of lilacs and the soft blue of the sky like you want me to be.
No, I want to live life in every shade, in red like blood, pink like the neon lights, and green like my backyard.
I will be vibrantly rash! Make decisions based on my turbulent emotions and then try and take them back four hours later.
I will walk like I have somewhere to be, damnit, because where I am going is important.
When my classmates see me at our reunions, I'll smile at them, those normal people, and treat them like they’re just as important as I am,
because they are.
I will bring out my inner Monroe, Millay, the Bettie Page I know lurks beneath my surface, and shock the world with what I have to offer!
I will rebel against a stress-free environment, because anything that's ever worth having comes with a price.
Something I don't think you ever understood.
Arguments with my husband will abound.
If I'm feeling adventurous, I might even throw a plate or two.
My sex will be rough, intense, beautiful, soft, glorious, and varied!
When I will cry, I will cry like a four year old who drops her ice cream in the dirt,
And I will always buy my four year old a second ice cream when it happens to her.
The laughter that flows from my mouth is loud, honest, and happy.
Why didn't you ever listen to my laughter?
But maybe this is all my fault.
Maybe all of our fights, all of our differences, our expectations and who we were together hinged on one slight miscommunication.
Maybe this is all my fault.
I never told you I was wild.
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:08 pm

gravity (work in progress)

I think there is something about the water
something that makes light the heaviness in me

Density.
And it is the same thing that makes the moon pull me, too.

I know it does
because, looking up at the sky,
my body also moves

like the sea.
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:17 pm

Desire

Stillness surrounds you,
Calm.
Serene.

You don't belong in this
chaos,
neurons firing
in busy
streets,
horns honking
on grey avenues.

The asphalt where I come from is
the same crayola color,
- forgotten gray

There's no asphalt where you come from.
Just dirt.

Dirt,
and the desire to grow things.
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:23 pm

dream about me and everything bad that I ever did.
don’t you dare remember how much you loved me.
never think for one moment that our relationship was good.
because if you do, then i have to, too.
and heaven forbid me to ever remember how beautiful you were.
how kind, patient and nearly perfect you were.
i never want to think again about all the things you taught me,
or about how you changed me for the better in too many ways to count.
i don’t want to ever hear our songs,
or see a candle flame and remember the first time you made love to me.
if i had it my way, i wouldn’t remember the dip in your hips,
the smooth skin on your belly, or the line of your jaw.
and i wouldn’t see those things in every man I fuck now.

i wouldn’t remember how much i love you,
if i could erase memories at will.
because then i wouldn’t hurt so much now that i see you’re gone.
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:35 pm

Perfect

He'll fight with me, tease me, but smile at me and kiss me in the end.
He will live with me, but will, occasionally, go to bed mad.
He will never sleep on the couch.
He will cook me dinner when I get home, because, lets face it,
He does not want to eat my charred mush.
He will never understand some parts of my life.
I will frustrate, amaze, confuse, dazzle, stun, craze,
Drive-him-to-drink, light his passion, and emotionally punch him in the face.
He will race my 90-mile and hour mind and will, on occasion, win.
He will be so angry with me.
He will take me seriously, even when I run down the street
In a sundress with his favorite hat so he chases me
Like a child,
And even when I'm naked in our bed staring at him over the pillow.
He will be fucking me for my mind.
He will be dark haired, tall, smooth in the skin,
With the complexion of a model and the body of a Greek.
He will not look like what I imagine.
He will be jealous, but not possessive.
He is a Man, not a boy who likes to play pretend.
He will NEVER fuck me like I am a toy,
But it'll still be the best I have ever had.

The perfect boyfriend is not perfect.

He will see me like a quilt,
Made of a zillion little pieces, not all of them pleasing,
But he will love that blanket.
It will cover him in the cold night,
It will comfort him when he misses home,
He will wrap it around his children to hide them
From the monsters under their bed before he tucks them in.
Just like my Daddy did for me.
He will pick and fray the edges of each patch,
Picking and picking and picking and picking,
Till all of my weaknesses are opened,
And I have come undone.
He will sit down, and take that quilt in his lap,
And he will sew me up.
He will sit there, and sit there, and sit there.
For as long as it takes to complete me again.
And ya'll know, I could do it myself.
But I like it more when he do it.

The perfect boyfriend is not perfect.

He will get me flowers just cause he wanted to,
But he won't always buy them.
He will look at everything I write and call it 'art',
But he won't always call it good.
He will speak with conviction,
But he might not know what he's talking about.
He will take me out to fancy dinners,
And if he checks out the waitress, you can be damn certain,
I'm looking too, cause my man has good taste.
He has eyes that tell me everything I want to hear,
Even as his mouth calls me a bad name.
He will be hurt by my words.
Because he knows that opening himself to me is
The best gift he could ever give me.
He will say my name, all of it,
Because even if I hate it, he thinks it's beautiful.
And even if I hate me he still thinks I'm beautiful.

The perfect boyfriend is not perfect.

He will, at 2 AM, continue to fight with me,
Cause we're still too angry to go to bed.
He will understand that I REBEL against a stress-free environment.
He will have the guts to tell me that I am doing it wrong.
He knows that nothing is important enough to stop a kiss.
He will always hate that a small part of me will resent trusting him.
He won't need photographs to remember our time together.
The chemistry between us would destroy this place!

He will be passionate,
He will admire me,
And he will respect me!
And it's like William Wharton said, man.
If you have all three, you don't need to die to go to heaven.
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:46 pm

Fire

I am eternal. I don’t do very much. I mean, I’ve been doing it for...well, forever now. I’ve been doing it for forever. And I like it, it’s just...not much anymore. At least, not to me. The novelty’s worn off, I guess. People love me, people hate me. Everyone knows me. But I just do the same thing, every day, all over the world, and I change people’s lives. At this point, I don’t really care anymore. I do it now because I should, not because I enjoy it.

I’m more than what I do. Who isn’t more than their job? I’m not my job. I speak over one million languages. Well, I understand over one million languages. I only speak one. And I’m the only one who knows it. I love to watch people. Learn about them, who they are, what they do. I collect people that way. Once my job stopped being enjoyable, I looked for other entertainment. Eternity is a long time to be bored, you know.

I love your languages! You humans have the most interesting ways of speaking to each other. I can never make out this thing called ‘body language’ though. I know from watching. When she moves like this, you move like this, and when he does that, you say this…

But only from watching. I don’t understand you, not really. I guess that’s why I feel so alone all the time, watching you, never really knowing you or being able to interact with you. I try, sometimes, but you always get hurt. I always hurt the ones I love. Isn’t that the definition of humanity? So why can’t I be you?

I do take pride in one of my duties. I love being the one you look up to. You look up to me and pray. You wish to me, as though I had power to grant your heart’s desires. Oh, how I would love to! I would give my last breath to grant your wishes. I burn for you, and you alone! Longing! The most painful of your emotions, and yet, it’s the one I feel most often.

The only solace I get is what I do for you! And oh, how I wished you appreciated me! I am everything you need. Without me you would be powerless, dead. So why is it that you do not praise me, long for me like I long for you? Why do you not try to be me, understand me? You shy away from me when I try to touch you! You can’t even look at me! I look at you, from so many angles, all of my eyes, all of me, I stare at you, I watch your love, your hate!

You are beautiful, with your beautiful bodies. Your beautiful voices. If only I had tears, I would never stop shedding them. I would never stop shedding them for you. But I have no tears. None. I will never cry for you.

Oh, but I will burn!
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 3:58 pm

City Blocks


Stalking down the street, I began to hear the footsteps following me again. Always this block. Always this building.

“Don't you have something better to do, like look out your windows and spy on the neighbors or something?” I scowled at the asphalt, refusing to look behind me.

I hear a chuckle. “Not particularly.” Always so nonchalant. Doesn't he take any of this seriously?

I continue walking in silence. I'm so angry at him, even the gravel crunching under his feet infuriates me. The moonlight falling down, the rustle of the trees. It feels like too much sensual stimulation. “Just go home, okay? What're you even following me for?”

“Aw, Tria, don't be sour. I didn't mean anything by it.” His voice really sounded penitent, but it didn't quench my anger.

“I don't know what you mean. I'm not sour, Jason. Just tired of having some creep follow me every night when I walk home from work.” I stared at the ground as I crossed the street, the lines of the crosswalk faded.

“That's not my name. Tria, can't you just stop and talk to me?”

I turn around. On the other side of the crosswalk, he stands. Jason, Mitch, Sean, Samuel. All names I've tried before. I have a list at home.

“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you last night.” His eyes look so blue-gray, I know he's sad. His eyes look like the color of moonlight, and I can't refuse him.

I walk back across the street, sagging my shoulders. “I'm really angry, you know.” But I'm not. I've already forgiven him for refusing to come home with me last night.

“I know, love. You made it all the way across the street this time.” He smiles at me, and I smile back, because the last shreds of my willful anger have evaporated. “Come on, I'm dying for a float.” He turns right and heads towards the neon sign at the end of the street.

We walk down the block towards our usual haunt, a diner on the corner, not touching, but he tells me jokes and I laugh. I tell him about work, about how no one even notices I'm there until I do something wrong.

He stares at a stray lock of hair on my face. I brush it behind my ear, and he says, “I notice you.”

“Stalk me is more like it,” and I laugh.

But he doesn't laugh. He just keeps walking.

I try a few more names. James, Jess, Alexis and Ashley. Nothing sticks.

“I thought you were only going to try one name a night?” He says with a laugh I can easily tell is false.

“You seem particularly down tonight. Figured it might cheer you up.”

The door jingles as we close it behind us, and we sit down in our booth like we do every night. I drink a root beer float and devour a basket of fries doused with vinegar and salt. I offer him one, and he shakes his head. “You know I hate vinegar.”

I lick off the vinegar and wave a soggy french fry at him. “Look, I wiped it all off for you. Doesn't even taste like vinegar any more.”

But he leans back with a wide grin, looking like the smart ass I'm in love with. His skin looks sallow in the artificial light. I can't wait until we get back outside.

After slurping the last remnants of my float, I leave some money on the table and get up, reaching to grab his coat sleeve and pull him out the door. “Let's go.”

He flinches away from me, but I ignore it and turn towards the door. It's almost time, and I want as much of him as I can get. I hear an apology as he hurriedly follows me, but I ignore that, too. I don't want to waste any of tonight with more arguing, more “I'm sorry”.

We walk back to the corner. The corner where I leave, but instead of crossing the street and going home, I stand and look at him. His dark red hair, almost black in the moonlight, and the sad smile on his face. “You wanna tell me what's wrong? Or you just gonna be sad all night.”

“Nothing's wrong, Tria.”

“It's okay to tell me. You tell me everything else. I can help.”

He shakes his head. “Not with this.”

“You can't know that until you tell me. I'm nosy and I want you to be happy.”

“I'm fine. Really.”

“You're a liar. I'd like to think, after a year of you stalking me, I'd know you better than that.” And there it is. Tomorrow is our anniversary, of a sorts, and now he knows it hasn't gone unnoticed.

“I'd better go. It's almost time.” He turns around and starts to walk back towards the end of the block, the crooked stop sign where he always seems to materialize behind me. For the first time, I watch him as he walks away hands in his pockets, head down, hair hanging over his forehead. He turns down an alley, and I have to follow him, I can't leave yet.

I run, and when I turn into the narrow dead-end alley, he's gone. My chest is on fire and my head hurts with exertion. There are no doors, just a rusted fire escape that looks as though it hasn't been used for years, and even if I were brave enough to follow him up, it would buckle under my weight.

I can't follow him, so I just close my eyes, and whisper into the empty alley. “I love you, you jerk. Why can't you just talk to me, like a normal friend would?”

“I can't. I can't tell you the truth. But please, don't stop coming. Don't leave me.” His voice in my ear is a whisper, right in front of me, but when I reach my hands out to touch him, he must already be gone, because all I touch is brick.

I sigh, open my eyes to an empty alley, and walk home silently. This boy. How can I put into words how much I love him? What do I say to make him believe, to make him come with me? I give up on writing the speech that will finally make him love me back, and instead think about how I'll fill up the hours of tomorrow before I can go visit him again.

I pick up the day's paper from my mailbox, and throw it on the table among my other assorted mail. I walk through the apartment, turning on one light after another, and shedding clothes along the way. Since the shower takes forever to heat up, I turn it on and put on the kettle, needing some caffeine to jolt me into wakefulness. I collapse at the table and flip through the paper, scanning the articles without much interest. When the kettle starts to whistle, I don't hear it. I'm staring at his face on the fifth page. Albeit a bit older.

The face of Davis Adams. The face of the man who built that diner, that bar, and in fact, all the shitty brick buildings on that block. Tomorrow is the day they throw some stupid anniversary party to celebrate the development of Adams block – the unofficial name the locals give it. After all, the entire block was at some point owned by Adams, and he was the one who had turned the empty lots into “cultural centers” as the article had called them. To the locals they were just worn brick buildings that had somehow had the wherewithal to hold up against bombs, fires, wind, rain, and any other obstacle thrown at them.

Loved by the locals not because they represented any sort of cultural bullshit, but simply because they were the meeting place of lovers, families, friends, and enemies. They were the scenes of knife fights, lover's quarrels, sidewalk chalk art, the most beautiful graffiti in the city, and the singular best busker in town. I smile thinking about the place.

Still, the photo of Adams unnerves me. Is my boy a relative? A grandson, or great grandson? But, no, he never had children. I'd call it an uncanny resemblance, except that the color of his eyes are the same color as the sidewalk, his skin like the moonlight, and his hair is the exact color of the brick.

I think about the fact that I've never seen him touch anything that didn't come from that block. Never seen him eat, or drink, or hug me, or cross the street.

And then, then I think about something scarier:Did I fall in love with the spirit of an entire city block?

Do places have souls?
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Postby AliceElite » Fri May 06, 2016 4:01 pm

that arm


The stretch of that arm
muscle, shoulder, back
flesh
slips
beneath my hands
this texture
i can’t describe
your skin.

That smell, not soap
in my hair
those hands grasp
objects and my fingers
with purpose and delicacy
respectfully
you open the door

and i enter.
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Postby AliceElite » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:41 pm

I have soooooo many more poems to add to this thread. God.

**Pending me having 3 hours to format shit**
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Postby ink » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:50 pm

:O whaaat! how is there no love in here?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


these are all real deep.. i think im feeling the fire one and city blocks. thats on some meta right there, girl! keep doing your thang, im not scared to indulge you.. ;)
we are, what we allow to occupy us..





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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:11 pm

"Wild," "Desire," & "That Arm" are all epik poems. Great job, I cant wait to read the other stuff you plan on posting!
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Postby AliceElite » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:32 pm

Alright, have 7 more:

[spoiler=dreaming insomniac]
He tells me -
“You’re grinding your teeth again.”
Grinding
my teeth? I don’t even know what that is,
but it means my brain is
working
to relieve real stress in fake dreams and
chasing
something in sleep I can’t get when I’m

Awake.

3 AM.

Ten hours of useless puzzle solving.

cut my tongue.
“Lexi, you’re grinding your teeth again.”
I still don’t know what that is but I know that
thoughts are
racing
to remember answers to questions unknown,
running
from some invisible specter I know from
somewhere else.

A dreaming insomniac.

Grinding my teeth again?
Yeah, I know.[/spoiler]
[spoiler=feedback]It’s a strange loop.

I like the way you like
The way I like how you look at me.
The fugue intensifying until my ears are ringing
And your eyes are dark and distant.

Somehow, I have been distracting you.
At a volume you describe as ‘cacophonous’
When the only sound is your thumb drumming on my ankle.
You leave the room, and I want you more.

Suddenly I am back at the beginning of this
Mobius strip that I have been treading,
Hoping, futilely, that if I walk it carefully enough
I will end up somewhere new.

Maybe I would step off onto that Good Earth
(different than yours, I know)
Housed behind the event horizon of some imploding star
Like the one that sits quietly in my chest while I cry myself to sleep.

Or the one that steals all the light from your eyes which are
Just across the couch (the bed, the console)
A million light-years away,
Silent.

The feedback is ear-splitting. [/spoiler]
[spoiler=One Dimensional]The first time I let myself admit I love you was in a poem.
I can't voice the words
but somehow they fit in verse.

I wish you loved me back -

Me, with a heating pad, complaining about my period
Sleeping for 14 hours because we need to adjust my meds (again)
Giving my son a bath
burning cookies
kneading bread
Domestic.

Instead, I think you love
me, with a book and a highlighter
undressed to the waist,
prone on the bed
reading some dull intellectual text,
with your fingers buried in me up to the knuckle
your hands around my neck.

I hope Good Earth us is happy -
because this sucks.[/spoiler]

[spoiler=Economics]I'm better than this, you say.
Brilliant
Determined
Beautiful
(Deserving)
That's fine -

Thoughts like that are a luxury
(because there is risk in chasing a better life)
that I can only believe when I have some breathing room.

Some distance from obligations like
Rent
Hunger
My son
(His father)
Or in your arms.

The problem with boys with money is that,
when they love you,
there is a mania that makes us look beyond our limits.

That glimpse into middle-class possibility -
A full stomach
New clothes
A vacation
(Freedom)
Gone as soon as they are.

You make me high, or maybe it is the air up there
so far above my place
that you breathe into my lungs after you kiss me.

My medication warns me about
excessive happiness
racing thoughts
reckless behavior
(unusually grand ideas)
And I am calling my doctor

Because
how can I tell what is a mania-fueled delusion
and what is my use-value?
[/spoiler]
[spoiler=just tired]
I'm too tired to write a poem.
I tried to write one about
how I only ever learned what not to do
in the ongoing struggle to raise a well adjusted child.
Or one about how desperately
I want to teach him he doesn't have to be afraid
like I was for twenty six years.

I'm too tired to find the words
look at my spacing
Does this line meter right?
is the break
appropriate
or is this line much too long?

All I can think about is
making my own tea
how many times I'm going to forget my phone in the morning
and who is going to teach me to drive, now.
The tiny little spaces in my life that he filled.
How he makes me cum long,
and deep,
slowly bringing me to a climax,
and knows exactly what buttons to press
and for how long
and in what cadence
to leave me exhausted and filled with love.

I don't feel loved anymore.
I don't feel anything -
just tired.[/spoiler]
[spoiler=On the Question Mark]
I love the way you say "yeah"
With a question mark.

The question mark is important.
It is waiting for me to continue, of course
But it is also, somehow
Pleased.

It is like a puppy who hears
"Here, boy"
And the ears perk up,
Suddenly alert.

It seems, in a way,
To be excited
with an air of "wow, really?"
disbelieving, and hopeful.

It is not incredulous,
This question mark,
or genuinely curious,
It is not looking to be answered.

It is, I think, a little shocked-
But pleased at the discovery.[/spoiler]
[spoiler=In Memoriam]So many bad things happened,
And I sat quiet.

But I want to walk into the street and scream.

Fifty of my siblings are dead.
They lay in pools of blood
while loved ones cry
or
convince themselves that
they are fine.
mourning their own friends at the hospital
cell phones forgotten.

I want to cry for them.

I want to confront the
toxicity of men.

I watch my sister's abuser
excused and justified.
Her pain erased,
violation dismissed.
Because of his
potential.

This week has been a series of headlines
About pain and death
and the only news is
that my life is tossed aside
just as easily as
fifty dead friends.

That my narrative is taken
as remorselessly as he took
my body from me.

These news stories
responses
memes
tweets
status updates
photos
only frame the portrait of me
that the world has been painting for
years -

A poor, queer woman
who is only newsworthy
In Memoriam.[/spoiler]
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Postby cerrodepedro » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:18 pm

AliceElite, this is going to replace everything I'm currently reading for a little bit. Thank you.
Once was lost and now am lost; was blind but now I smoke
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Postby AliceElite » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:06 pm

Please workshop these, offer suggestions - I'm planning on self publishing these in a small volume. What are your favorites, and what are your suggestions?
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Postby ink » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:17 am

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we are, what we allow to occupy us..





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Postby cerrodepedro » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:18 am

Okay so you're prolific and also congratulations on a top-notch 500! Because you're prolific I'm going to have to split this up in chunks and cater to my boorishly linear way of thinking by just doing critique in sequence.

Wild

AliceElite wrote:Why don’t you go find her, instead of making her out of me.
Find yourself a southern belle, that blonde beauty who'll laugh at just the right time and let you dote on her, and own her.
Find yourself a desert rose, one of those cactus flowers you find in the part of the world where it hardly ever rains.
I won't be that for you.


Stylistically, I like that a rhetorical question starts things off. "Why don't you go find her?" is so abruptly cutting but manages a comfortable rhythm. The whole quatrain tends to keep this up, though I nearly get lost in the length of the "Find yourself" lines. As for the message, you're not fucking around with imagery but going tersely, directly to the point.

As to SOME of the content, this is where we might get pissed at one another: I have never liked anything that ends up describing shitty or just vapid behavior of men who have romantic/sexual relationships with women in the terms of those other women, as if there is more wrong with them than the asshole seeking out those attributes you describe here. I noticed something in a feminist space where, when discussing the shit men who fetishize "youth," Ariana Grande came up as problematic, fulfilling the ideal of this patriarchal fantasy (not speaking specifically about kink here), and a couple of women stepped in and were like "OKAY BUT SHE IS A BADASS SINGER AND COULD YOU PLEASE FUCKING GIVE HER THAT CREDIT." And so this is where I also admit that I'm looking at it a little reductively, because fact is, THERE ARE men who do this: They want to find a specific type of woman who fulfills some ass-hattish patriarchal ideal. Maybe there was no other way to describe the behavior in just the way you did. Regardless, I do get the truth of this, and that it's your truth.

AliceElite wrote:I want to be the mustang, the horse you never could break.
I'll never be your country girl with her yellows and oranges, the pale lavender of lilacs and the soft blue of the sky like you want me to be.
No, I want to live life in every shade, in red like blood, pink like the neon lights, and green like my backyard.
I will be vibrantly rash! Make decisions based on my turbulent emotions and then try and take them back four hours later.
I will walk like I have somewhere to be, damnit, because where I am going is important.
When my classmates see me at our reunions, I'll smile at them, those normal people, and treat them like they’re just as important as I am,
because they are.


YES. The visuals are more succinctly descriptive than any description of sound or touch or taste or smell could be. If you painted this, with just "pale" shades on one side contrasted with the brashness you describe on another side, OR SOMETHING, I feel that would be glorious. The flow here is a little less smooth than the previous stanza, I think because 1) I'm not a super huge poetry/prose connosieur, and 2) the length and structure are so distinct. When I concentrate a little bit, though, I get the quatrain/sestet/quatrain/sestet/quatrain thing you have going. This is a forum, so I'm guessing the formatting outside the forum has a space in between each stanza. I like it. Just a little harder for me. For what it is worth, you might consider making this section a little tighter, but that doesn't mean I don't very, very thoroughly enjoy it as is.

AliceElite wrote:I will bring out my inner Monroe, Millay, the Bettie Page I know lurks beneath my surface, and shock the world with what I have to offer!
I will rebel against a stress-free environment, because anything that's ever worth having comes with a price.
Something I don't think you ever understood.
Arguments with my husband will abound.

If I'm feeling adventurous, I might even throw a plate or two.
My sex will be rough, intense, beautiful, soft, glorious, and varied!
When I will cry, I will cry like a four year old who drops her ice cream in the dirt,
And I will always buy my four year old a second ice cream when it happens to her.
The laughter that flows from my mouth is loud, honest, and happy.
Why didn't you ever listen to my laughter?

But maybe this is all my fault.
Maybe all of our fights, all of our differences, our expectations and who we were together hinged on one slight miscommunication.
Maybe this is all my fault.
I never told you I was wild.


Please pardon the spacing if I'm fucking up the structure into something you didn't intend. It's certainly not meant as a prescription if that's the case. I love that you vary the verb conjugation, first person to second person to third person, with the actual structure of the whole poem. Makes it clearer. As to the "My sex will be" line, I feel like what you did there is a thing, a literary mechanism or something, where you say varied at the end after giving a list that makes it clear that it's varied. It's really cool. And holy damn, the last stanza. Hits me like the pounding in my chest I get after taking in a really strong bit of Sour Diesel. Part of this is because I relate, and HARD, to it, and part of it is that you're being very lucid here.

The feeling of the entire poem for me is that it is very literal and very vulnerable. Those are my key takeaways. Thanks for opening all this up to us here. I'll be so glad to accept counters, defenses, or direct contradictions on any of this, even though I'm confident that I'm telling you the truth of what I think of this poem.
Once was lost and now am lost; was blind but now I smoke
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Postby Corgimom » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:29 pm

I promise when I come up for air to read and make meaningfull comment. I love you and look forward to ging this the time it deserves.
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Re: Alice's Works

Postby AliceElite » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:07 pm

Finally fixed the fucking spoilers......
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Re: Alice's Works

Postby AliceElite » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:18 pm

I really want to rework wild tonight and take into account some of the critique that I've gotten in another thread, and I actually might copy Cerro's response over there so that people know what I'm working with but for the moment I want to add a few more poems that I wrote in my absence from forum life.

one minute

Spoiler: show
I'm never going to stop painting my son's nails.

Whenever he wants to match my
blue
or purple sparkles
glitter bronze
macintosh red,

I remember how good he is at holding still
(for a four year old)
It only takes a minute
(His fingernails are so small)
And he is so happy to match his mom.

I want him to know,
that beauty is not reserved for women.
It is not an exotic flower,
or something that we possess
and he desires.
I want all doors to be open to him.

Today he handed me a bottle of
highlighter yellow
and he said, "please, mommy"
Because he always asks nicely.
And I paused my video game and painted his nails.

It only took a minute
He shows off to his dad
His aunt
And me.

I am trying to teach him
that he can be proud of all his joys.
And not be afraid to share them.
Masculinity does not define him.

He defines masculinity -
by deciding which nail polish to wear
and strongly identifying with Gordon the express train.

After he fell asleep that night,
I found the yellow nail polish on my desk.
With two coats dried,
I showed his father,
proud.

It only takes a minute for me, too,
to unlearn what it means to be a man.


poor is permanent
Spoiler: show
Was it Sisyphus?
Who pushed that rock up and up
and up until the hill got too steep -
and then it rolls back down?

That's what 'poor' is like.

I work so hard, harder -
More, and more.
Afford insurance, finally -
but now I have less food.
My car needs a wheel bearing,
And I lose a week of work.

or my job.

Impostor syndrome is inescapable because
If you finally manage
to find yourself clutching the next rung
of the class struggle ladder -
Congratulations!

You will still always feel poor.

Save the last can of corn
(until you buy another one)
Even when you can afford to buy groceries on a daily basis.

In a room full of your
peers
they will find you odd.
Maybe it will be your mannerisms
or turns of phrase
and they will not understand your
motivations.
Ever.

They will say
"No one does this job to get rich"
And it will remind you you are an outsider -
because this is the first time you've
ever
been able to pay your bills on time
had a salary
or not felt guilt about buying your son an ice cream
from the truck that drives through your low-income neighborhood
and to you,
that is wealth.


One Good Poem,
A gloss on Elizabeth Brewster
Spoiler: show
Not even one good poem
out of it.
Obviously
I was no Sylvia Plath.

-Elizabeth Brewster

Inspiration
(they say)
comes from hardship.
So, I think,
Maybe my hardship wasn’t hard
enough
to inspire a book,
or an essay,
Not even one good poem.

There must be a disconnect
between me
and my talent.
My experiences,
and my efforts.
Well, fine.
If there’s no
creative explosion,
Maybe all I’ll get is
red eyes and hoarse throat
out of it.

And the simple things in life
like sweet fruit,
clear skies,
and a whole and satisfying
love
are still here to write about,
though they may be a little bit
dull.
I’ll never be an established poet,
Obviously

Still, I’ll be around to
tease my lover,
and birth babies
If that’s where life takes me
instead of to a short or long list.
At the very least,
maybe my children,
(and grandchildren)
will boast with pride that
I was no Sylvia Plath


Grinding My Teeth
Spoiler: show
“You’re grinding your teeth, again,” he said.
Grinding my teeth.

Grinding my teeth?

I didn’t understand what that was.
It sounded like it hurt.
If I was doing it,
wouldn’t I know?
How do people not wake up?
Didn’t it hurt?

I know, now.

Yeah, it does hurt.
It hurts like
when you’re fleeing him so fast
your chest is burning
and you wake up unable to breathe.

And it lingers with you for hours
as you eat your lunch and wonder
Why does this ache?

Sometimes you do wake up
But not always
like when you choose not to rouse yourself
during a dream where you’re being molested
and remember in the morning
that this could have been prevented.

And wouldn’t you know?
Shouldn’t you know
what your body is doing
without your permission
when you are trying to rest?

No.
Not always.
Because sometimes things happen
that are
out
of your
control.


happy birthday
Spoiler: show
you didn't tell me it was your birthday.
I could have
would have
planned something nice.

If that's what you wanted.

I can't even, really,
get you a gift.
Something small to say
"I'm glad you were born."
"Thank you for existing."
"You bring joy."

If I had had the time,
with a little warning,
I could have gotten you something
new
unique
a fresh experience.
Something you will remember,
because I am sentimental.

Instead,
I am lying here
at two in the morning
thinking of the many ways I could have said
(given some notice)
I love you.


stages of grief
Spoiler: show
I can do this on my own.

There are lies I tell myself so I can survive
The harsh winters of my life.

But I don't lie to you -
So you have two choices, here.

Understand that I have to start,
Or promise me I won't have to.

Reasonable Proposition

It is not so bad
being apart.
I've done it before
It's not worse
Just different.
More space.
And that makes sense
You're not ready to commit
And that's fine.

But,
look,
when you leave,
I promise to let you live your life
If you promise not to regret me.

Casually Cruel
You don't get to love someone
and not invest.

That's not fair.
"We're both adults."
is not an explanation
it is an excuse
so you don't have to feel bad about hurting her.
You're doing the same thing to me now.
Is this what she meant by 'what you do to girls'?

You have done too many nice things for me
Given me too much hope
For someone that plans to leave after half a year
of falling in love with me.

How do you help me solve problems, huh?
How do you see me do homework,
have a salary
unionized benefits
stability
safety
teach children
tell my story
succeed
How do you teach me to be
middle class
If you just intended to leave?

If you are so in control
if you didn't want to tie down
why
on Good Earth
would you have let me fall in love with you?
I do not play it cool.
I know you know
how it is with girls like me.

Is $2500 how much it costs,
now,
to break a girl's heart?

Uneven Trade

I am starting to believe that I
am not a good person
to fall in love with.

I don't know how to moderate
These Feelings
without medication.

And so I sweep up into a pile
all of the things I think we want
as if we can have all of them at once!
That is a mania-fueled delusion
Which happens when I breathe too much of your air.

It becomes someone else's job,
then,
to clean up after my messes,
to group the many parts of our lives
into cans and cannots.
I don't know how to sit with cannots.

I don't offer a lot
other than occasional sex
and being good at having children
(And I will also lecture you
about the plight of women and the
working and non-working class
and stay up late, too anxious to sleep).

Unfortunately,
that would not be enough
for anyone I might fall in love with.

bite the bullet

Going through a heartbreak
Is like ripping off a cheap bandaid.

The worst part is knowing
That you will have to get it over with
And rip off a layer of skin
Exposing what is raw underneath,
Eventually.

When it happens, it is over quickly.
Humans heal.

But we don't want to.


a hymn
Spoiler: show
last night I said
I want to write poems about your orgasms
(we were both pretty stoned at the time)
do you remember?
I said
You made me want to write love songs.

If you had kept fucking me like that
I might have wept
tears of exhaustion and joy
of pure love and emotion
But I didn't.

You make me want to worship.
I wanted to take you inside me
fill all my senses with you
breathe in the essence of you
tell you that I love you

your orgasms make me want
to whisper loving words in your ear
to kiss your skin
thank God for your body
and the way you make me feel.

When you are inside me,
pushing me through climax after climax
without even letting me come up for air
I think that when He looked at
all the pleasures on Earth and said
"it is good"
He must have been
talking about
this.


lines
Spoiler: show
You said once
that I had to draw a line in the sand
and work backwards from there.
I couldn't wait for what I wanted
to neatly fit into where my life was going.

I want your line in the sand
to be me.


return on investment
Spoiler: show
return on investment was
the poem I was trying to write
to convince you to
see me through to the end.

It was exhausting.
Trying to persuade you
without begging you to stay
or alarming you
with the depths of my attachment.

I don't want to have to walk the line
between how much I love you
and how much I think you love me.

I was writing a poem
to convince you that
I could earn you a large
return on investment,
and worth your continued affection.

But I don't want to beat around the bush.
My heart is already racing from too much coffee
and I have work to do today.
What I mean is:

I love you
and

I think we can do this
for a long time.
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Re: Alice's Works

Postby cerrodepedro » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:33 pm

Okay so this thing exists and I'm glad it's bumped and I need to get back to workshopping like the Good Lit Ninja I am
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Re: Alice's Works

Postby ink » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:34 pm

stages of grief screams pain.. a few of these do actually

poor is permanent is a harsh one

i might be stating the obvious, but it seems like this is cathartic for you Alice
we are, what we allow to occupy us..





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Re: Alice's Works

Postby ravenrussell » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:48 am

Omg, your newest poems are absolutely stunning. Poor is Permanent, and One Minute are substantial and complete. I love all of these new ones. You are growing into your words and vice versa. Amazing, I truly mean it.
Peace to all.
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Re: Alice's Works

Postby AliceElite » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:33 pm

ink wrote:stages of grief screams pain.. a few of these do actually

poor is permanent is a harsh one

i might be stating the obvious, but it seems like this is cathartic for you Alice


Stages of grief CONSUMED me for an entire day. It was really intense.

I got really tired of hearing "no one does this job to get rich, it's a labor of love" from my boss, like, i dunno how much YOU got paid before this but $2500 a month is WAY better than the shitty retail pay I was making. It was like I could NEVER forget that I was an outsider. I was constantly reminded that I was the only poor person in the room - AND I WASNT EVEN POOR ANYMORE.

ravenrussell wrote:Omg, your newest poems are absolutely stunning. Poor is Permanent, and One Minute are substantial and complete. I love all of these new ones. You are growing into your words and vice versa. Amazing, I truly mean it.


one minute I think needs some work, but I don't know where to start. I like it, and I was really important for me to show that masculinity and undoing toxic masculinity and gender roles goes both ways - I have to teach Fox but I also have to teach ME, because i also got all the 'what a man should be' conditioning.
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