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The thirteenth step
Written by: culex-knight

i. deception

somewhere between early august and
auburn leaves you took that
softly swirling feeling, that
succubus whip-lash sting,
away from her,
away from me

ii. monsters

there are monsters;
the wolf ran you down,
little rabbit, as we were
running through the forest.
i followed blood trails and
pieces of fluff from your tail
to the shores of our
imaginations, now nightmares.

the full moon cackles madly at me.

iii. the countess

some saintly figure,
standing solemn in the forest,
soft light lighting the lectern
from which he reads from a
book entitled,

iv. air

i am near sighted.
they told me my night vision
was pretty shitty, but with these
lenses i would see better.

it’s still pretty ****ing dark.

v. perennial

death has forgotten me

vi. linen litter

i lay here, left
along a foxhole in
the love-laid laundry
you’re leaving.

vii. remembrance

“And with pursed lip sorcery
quell the maelstrom
inside your head.”

viii. orpheus

we laid like lions beneath the breeze,
shifting paws and purring yawns,
you listened to my love-lyre serenades

we soon became rabbits running from wolves;
in the furrows of the forest, i lost you,
you had sold yourself to the snakes

all of you will weep for me

i turned hell itself against death,
Hades himself wept for me.
listen to me now, love, it is time for you to come home

but it is here where i walk now,
that knowing i will not look back
for you cannot be there

Hades calls to me, she will not follow
why is it my Eurydice, why is it
that you have forsaken me?

ix. the gravel road


x. geis

we left, in full flight,
our chariots charging across the fields.
my foot was pierced--
what brooding this brooch would bring?
none for we knew all and nothing

my charioteer and i did see
along the road, the daughters three,
we didn’t know it then;
i ate the hound in me

i left this life later at the battle.
three pointed spears,
the king of charioteers,
lord of horses, and me

only when the raven’s perched
you will know i am gone

xi. silently/answers

the blankets were not enough..
all these sheep, and i have failed as a shepherd.

so i will sink back to the bitter weeds
from which i came;
we will leave the answers untamed.
no longer will you bathe in the dim light
of my pastel soul,
so i will sink back to the bitter weeds

i will forever be trapped in the doorway
the window sill,
the drafty house--

xii. prophecy

oh little prince,
happy birthday

xiii. the thirteenth step

-- Longing for you
no one else…
This is not a pipe

Face down in the river...
Written by: NinjaMonkey767

don't be fooled
she was there to be taken
you're not as locked up as you play it out to be.
but Katie's getting older now.
She'll wander off to party and
explore her body,
how many drinks it takes to black out.
And like a loser, I'm throwing a football out on the street,
feeling visible, but
always cutting the vines
that try to conceal me-
make me one with the land-
one of them.
I never went to prom.
I never got that dance.
I never casually placed that kiss upon her cheek.
I'm 19 years old,
and the time of my youth,
and all it's would-be romance
is dead and gone.

She doesn't know how close I've been
to cutting my throat like a fish fillet.
Maybe if I do it on her porch, she'll notice.
Anything to not wake up again.
To be forced to suffer the dawn
that wakes me, as if to say
"you still haven't found a way
to break free."

This is not a pipe

Written by: Carmel

An early fall breeze tickles the nostrils
of dark bays and cliffs on the shore.
Entering the cavities, the wounded
rock walls plagued with caves, it gushes
inside them, spills out from the gashes
and races upon the tide and onto the sea.

The breeze, now a wind,
taunts the waves, calls the water
to fight for its name; element to element,
body of liquid to body of nothing but movement –
a mating dance, a sacred ritual of an ancient battle
declaring war on the spray of the sea, its tears of anger.

Some may call it a storm, this gathering force
that troubles and wakens from slumber
all the gages, ecstatic, anything but static.
And the sea gazes, glazed over by the sweeping
sweet whispers of the warm western winds,
provoking, enraging, enticing the watery flames
of the waves, which stay enslaved to the sea,
bounded by atoms aspiring upwards, in love
with the wind that can only carry but a few drops
onto the land where it cries back to the ground
for its lover the sea, that can never come on the journey
without severing all bridges of nature.

And if it could –

It will be the revolution that revolves around
their rotating rebellious body parts of water and air
that quiver to vibrating electric charges, exploding
on a subatomic level all around us and crash
the unstable ground under our very feet
as it becomes a landslide in front of our very open eyes,
gasping in amazement at the beautiful destruction

when sea and wind become one.

This is not a pipe
Written by: ZanasCross

It’s the hallway glances that will always mean the most to me. The half or quarter second where she and I or he and I share our lives. It’s non-verbal, but pungent and tangible. His grimace, her faked smile, his busy schedule and over checking his watch to make sure that he’s still on time from when he checked it two seconds ago, her cell phone conversation that isn’t going as planned. For milliseconds, I get to step out of my life; out of my broken relationship (that she’s trying to wrench back together), my fear of what’s to come (the future always looks good from far away, like fat chicks look skinny about a mile out), my piss-poor GPA, and just bleed through them. For as long as I can stare into passing eyes, I get to feel. God, it’s amazing. Feeling. Something I haven’t done for myself in twenty-one years. I remember being five and standing at my best friend’s casket, thinking about the flashcards at school that day and telling myself that Danny was bound to die eventually at least he did it fast enough that I wouldn’t have to beat him in flashcard races tomorrow. No tears. No emotion.

Oh, here comes one. Fishnets, black hoodie, short black skirt, black hair... brown eyes. She’s a *****. I can tell it, and she knows it. Her glance is still singing the praises of last nights random encounter. She liked that one, it made this morning good. He was handsome in a scary sort of way, and the way he pulled her close right before she came; oh the exhilaration. God, she lived for that. If she could feel like that…

The moment passes. She’s on to her next meeting and I’m still standing at the corner of the hallway, just looking. Pretending like I didn’t just get high off of her emotions. Trying to hide the fact that I just took a hit in public, and my mind is racing with all sorts of ideas that could have never been there without my drug, without being a wallflower with pacing eyes.

Another specimen. He’s a professor; my physics professor actually. Typically a jolly fellow, but today his face is dark. Brows are furled, lips taught and poised to jump out and bite anyone who dares wander too close. He thinks his wife is having an affair. I know, because I’ve been there. I’ve tightened my lips and taken it out on friends but for different reasons than him. He’s hurt… bloodshot eyes tell me he was up all night thinking about it; he’s betrayed. I was never that, I was perplexed; but that’s a different story. He pauses, bald head gleams in fluorescent lights, and he turns into a classroom; eyes never lifting from the floor below him; but I know. I know he wants to burn a hole through the door and punch through the cinder blocks beside it, but he never will; he doesn’t have the balls. I know how that feels too.

Cheerleader. You can always spot them. Their eyes have a fake gleam about them. Like they painted a reflective film on them… to make sure they're always sparkling, just like she painted her teeth white. It’s the cheeks that give her away, a missed make-up spot that shows tired lines and dying skin. It’s red and chapped and tired of being hidden underneath a fake beauty. Her cheek is singing BB King and she’s chanting the latest pop song. Her cheek sings prettier; I can feel it; it touches my soul, reminds me that I should give up living vicariously through strangers… that I’m hiding behind the emotional foliage of teenagers and old men that have seen too little or too much to be of any logical value.

“Ummmm, why do you always stand here and look at me as I walk to class?” Dear, if you could see what I just saw in your face, you’d kill to just stand here and gaze.
This is not a pipe

Written by: Bassbeat77

I step outside for a second...
Won't need a coat,
just a light jacket.
It's been two weeks,
I can't wait to see her.
Step back in, stop
to take a quick look
in the mirror;
nothing too fancy,
(I don't want to seem desperate)
a red T over blue jeans,
her favorite pair because
she likes the way
they hug me.
I comb my hair,
brush my teeth,
feed the cat, now
it's time to leave.

She asked me to
meet her at the park.
The one downtown where
people always go to
walk their dogs.
During the 10 minute hike,
my excitement is peeked.
Almost there, almost...
there she is. I spot her
on a bench as soon as I
turn the corner,
other than her the
park is empty.

I jog over and take a seat.
She doesn't even look at me,
just drops an envelope
on my lap, with the word
"sorry" written in red ink.
I open it up to find
only one thing,
an engagement ring,
the one from me.

I can't think of a reason.
I close my eyes
long enough
to notice I've
stopped breathing.
I open my eyes, open my mouth
and turn to her to say...
nothing, she's already
up and on her way.

I realize just how empty
the park really is.
The quiet emphasizing
the subtle snap and crackle
of autumn's failing patience,
and with each step heard
I wonder under which leaf
she's hidden my backbone
and dignity.

This is not a pipe

Written by: The Hurt Within

In 1985 my Grandfather celebrated
two birthdays, his own and mine.
A few years down the line
when I sat beside his chair
and heard him hauling in his
unsteady chain of breath, each link
another lump in the back of his throat,
words he wished he'd said.
"Stephen" he crowed, saying my name
like the demand "look at me,"
while placing his hand on top of mine,
displaying a scar across his knuckles -
a workmans' wound from the buses,
back when they were maintained.
"Never look back, I never did."

Both of us began to cry,
side-by-side in the Ercol chairs
I had placed outside for us,
facing out at the untended garden,
until a woman came and took his hand
from mine, escorting him back into the
past, leaving me to walk away freely
looking forward to living by way
of the future.

This is not a pipe

(i) mr. pensitivity and the wailing so and so's
Written by: Rushmore

1988, i was kicking at my mothers womb with my combat boots and the ripe thoughts of revolution only a baby can possess. feed me popsicle sticks and toothpaste on birch tree limbs, our father of a few will love me like the other two.

i came out of her belly button with sketches of nuclear war heads and christmas lists for 89', 90', and 91'. i want a firetruck, handcuffs, a race track, and a suite in the hotel hilton where my love for everything can incubate and hatch into a love for nothing without two arms, two legs, and a crooked jaw.

2008 now and its all about the same, my distaste for women, my eternal hate of happiness. banging my head on a pleading park bench, begging for climate change, limousine courage, a staged petition to save the whales and to stop mr. pensitivity and the wailing so and so's from taking over.

downtown east parking garage, stuffing every god damn exhaust pipe of every god damn car with potatoes, still my thoughts of revolution flutter on.
This is not a pipe

New England Clam Chowder
Written by: haunted_engines

signal ghosts with cigarette flares
in hazy alleys—between thorn twisted vines
and your jeans soaked with beer.
You’ve got extramarital intentions
I’ve got six dollars, a bus pass
and a garage door code.
Don’t worry, no one lives there anymore
but if you touch the front door
this will turn into a story
about a building collapsed
and an armed robbery
of bottled water and birth control.

Poets look like rock stars
they wear sunglasses and drive sexy
imported cars. They are the grandsons
and granddaughters of slaves and moonshiners
they shout through dormitory hallways
Obama is president, I can do whatever the **** I want,
and thank God, because my erection for Bush
turned flaccid and infected.

anyway I got robbed that night
but I didn’t care. Money makes you
feel like you shouldn’t spend it.
Now I would if I still had it.
I’d buy that ukulele with no strings
in the window at 1st Avenue,
and that makes me much happier.
I could join you and be wealthy
I could betray you and be penniless
and unzip illicit zippers and kneel in closets
hidden from a coyote killing madman husband
if he knew his wife called out my name
against the rotation of ceiling fan blades
he'd field dress me with Palin-like precision.
if he doesn’t catch me
if he doesn’t slit my throat
it’ll be a miracle

I trusted Jesus, I held onto that rosary until my palms were sweaty.

but I bailed because I thought I saw a UFO
in the desert in New Mexico.
Looking through a book of poetry
wondering what they did with all the fat, old
Viagra-abusing, moustache doting, clown-ass
mother****er descendents of war heroes.
So I stick my head between my shoulders
and I stare east, carry my gaze Virginia
because I went down on this girl
and it tasted like clam chowder.
New England, you shine like a deserter.

This is not a pipe

Eulogy for a Beach Bunny
Written by: NGD1313

"eulogy for a beach bunny"
(fonzie jumps the shark pt. II)

ceiling of pale blue,
casting shallow light and slick hues.
everything shines for a little while.
it was as if the pockmarked postcard
had swallowed the whole world in its
tired little sigh of joy.
"see the way the shore is never short on waves?
that's god telling us, 'the tide will always be there
to wash our footprints away'. isn't that beautiful?"
i'd liked the steps the way they were,
the tentative stumbles of the unsteady child.
progress, leaves nothing to chance.
crawl, sit, stand, you'll still be alone on the cold, wet sand.
and everything you love will rest on the pale blue ceiling,
just above your hands. but the tide has washed certainty away,
so i will stand and fall, a dream-drenched giant, who still feels small.

This is not a pipe

For Those Who Live
Written by: sre9981

Those who live, I salute you

You are the broken wrists,
Spilling out of bar-room brawls,
Pounding on the pavement
Of oil-slicked streets.

You are the empty Krylon cans
Littering back-alley murals,
Shading the line
Between vandalism and art

You are the fierce word-smiths
Syllables into steel sculptures
Assembled on the streets of the city

You are the turntable twisters
Spinning needles into grooves,
Weaving dancers like threads
Into a single tapestry of motion

You are fireworks
Screaming across the night sky
Towards inevitable destruction
In one remarkable flash

You are the ones who live
For the rest of us
As we spend Friday nights alone,
Afraid of what would happen

If we light our own fuse
And forget to count the seconds
In the dwindling moments before
Our one final, brilliant burst.

This is not a pipe

Woodchips and Playgrounds
Written by: Ebshabutiee

I don’t think crying can explain what just happened
The tears would create mud
And you can’t bury your love in mud
That’s not habitual
Listen to the melted bells clang
That speaks volumes about this day
Decibels like pages in a short story by Poe
I feel light, and never to be the same

My Boutonnière,
Red flower, scarlet perhaps
Quiet so that it was guilty of puritan plagiarism
I feel bad for Hester, this was tacky
My Hair,
Long overdue cut to perfection
Barber shop off the boat Italians
Telling me, it’s a good day, maybe,
Without all of that hair you’ll finally be able to see it

Coax my limo driver into speeding
Not late, so much as, anxious
It is Christmas time by the way
Carolers out and about,
Hollering at people like KGB-superlatives
Harsh? I don’t like unwanted noise
Tis’ the season

I am burnt pretty badly by all of this
Last I remember is flat on a stretcher
Crying eyes of pop,
Not mine, hers,
Drunken loons shouldn’t be allowed near candles

Missing you is too cliché to state,
I still remember our first fight
You pushed me into the woodchips at school
They’re suppose to help cushion the fall, not so much
And when the Drunkard buffoon comes waltzing in with an apology,
That to me is the definition of playground-irony
I cliché you. Truly, I do.
This is not a pipe

the mirage suite.
Written by: NGD1313

the mirage suite
[or the life you'd dream to lead.]

i. lady and the tramp

she felt his eyes close around her gaze.
"stop it, let me go"
"no this moment is mine until we curl up and die,
alone in a house that will never become a home."
their joined spines unwind as they leave behind only imprints
on the ground to remind someone that for one violent moment
they were comets colliding with the earth.
they were the sparks that set flame to the hearth.
for one moment she was beautiful, and he was there to see it.

ii. the ballad of the s.s. minnow

the worst thing about ships is their tendency to sink when storms hit.

he was a captain, sea sick, unfit, to guide this boat to anything but rocky shores.
of course. of course. of course. his throat was hoarse. cathartic screams, and always off course.
"i had a thousand paper crane dreams that one day you'd sail back to me,
but i couldn't wait for you my captain. i'm already broken and you're a heartache waiting to happen.
and i had a thousand songs to sing, though you heard not a word cause you've been forever lost at sea.
and i had a brick house with a white picket fence and two children and you never came for us.
i've found a new heart, cut from construction paper and colored with black marker.
and though i drew you in the center, you've long been scribbled out and replaced with another.
oh my daydream lover. don't you dream of me anymore?"
and all along he sat and played piano songs on pearl keys sparkling like diamond rings.
"minor, minor, minor chords, my man. everything feels minor right now."

iii. springtime for hitler

"years and years and years,
you're still not here.
but i'll wait. some day it'll rain,
and i'll bloom inside your bedroom.
it's been a long winter, and all i need
is a little sunlight and something to hold tight."
and when he found her it was like a film reel played in reverse.
her hands peeled off his shoulders and she ran backwards.
she was a stream and he was rising steam.
so certain they'd never meet, that when they did,
they'd forgotten everything.
but he dug in his pocket and pulled out a sea foam rose.
"i added a petal for every day since you'd been away."
"but you were the one who left."
"i was always with you, hoping you'd find your way back to me."

iv. casanova

he is a violent shiver.
she shakes and stutters as she
draws her lips together in a silent quiver.
her lips were emeralds, and they were endless.
and the lovers were a landscape of sweat and flesh,
of longing and regret.
of life and death.
they weren't anything but two breaths drifting through
an expansive atmosphere.
but when their forms collided inside her bedroom mirror,
they were as one. the man becomes a god.
"our love has the power to move worlds
to swallow words and leave only the feeling."
and he was birthing blistering semen dreams of brothers and sisters
in the valleys of her hips and all that was left were a few months
til they'd find they had redrawn the lines on their palms.

v. benjamin button

and so nights unfold,
children grow old
and everything becomes a sun setting.
or a dream ending, back at the beginning.
"you'll leave, i believe, but i won't come find you."
he placed a shriveled seafoam rose on her chest
and left her forever.
"there are no comets, or imprints, or sailboats, or happy endings."

vi. plagiarism

so began disintegration.
the wild mood swings of the imaginary boy
with no faith and no place to rest his head.
she was a ghost and he was a fool,
with no space to meet except under some tuesday moon
in an aeroplane over the sea, with avery island under their feet.
he stood above a stone.
"i fell asleep with explosions in my eyes,
but i didn't dream of swelling riffs or dynamic shifts,
i only dreamt of your hand in mine,
forever and ever, all time."
he wept, he slept, on the wet grass.
sank through the dirt and found
a home at last.

This is not a pipe

the former years.
Written by: ottoavist

Valentina sank in the couch
with a wall clock in her lap
and an unwaivering stare into
time. pay close attention here
and then it's so easy to lose yourself,
but she's not lost, so don't fool
yourself. mother's Maker's Mark
on the dry bar and she brushes
Val's hair with golden intentions
while a monkey takes time to think
about dying on her breaking back.
distinguished father and the
rain clouds above his newspaper
dropping scents of pipe tobacco and
musk to the untrained nose, he greets
the neighborhood each morning with a
smile that took years of practice in his
polka dot boxers and exposed hairy
chest from an initialled silk robe.

she was unnaturally beautiful;
intimidatingly beautiful - but,
Val didn't talk for some reason.

in the summer,
her father gave me twenty-five
to mow their lawn while he and
the wifey were out for dinner.
when i finished
i ordered pizza for Val
and i,
and we'd get high and
watch sitcoms
and she always clapped at the end.

i loved her.
i wanted to love her,
the way a woman should be loved
by a decent man.

in the winter,
her mother ran the vacuum
and neither her or her manly
man knew how to work the
breaker box. so when i flipped
the switch for them, i'd sneak
and hand Valentina
poetry i wrote just for her,
and sometimes i'd see her
crying in her room looking
back to me from window to
window -
man i just wanted her voice.

the marvelous Valentina
went to college in 2006,
and after two months in,
she hung herself with a belt
in her dorm closet.

i received a letter from her
before i'd heard the news -
she told me that when she
was 10, her father and his poker
friends whom he owed money to,
took her on a little "vacation"
to his log cabin.
they each took turns on her
for payment,
and when she screamed in pain,
she was told to
hush, hush, hush.
when he took her back home,
he told her:
hush, hush, hush;
and rocked her back and forth to calm her.

hush, hush, hush.

hush, hush, hush.

hush. h
hush. u u
hush. u
hush. s
hush. h, babygirl.

she wrote me -
i love you so much,
but i am too used up
and filthy now
to give myself to anyone.
when i enter Heaven,
God will cleanse my body
and we can spend eternity
together when it's your time
to meet me there.

the silence;
it sometimes came to her as
a broken entity,
like when a person recollects
small fragments of their
infancy; a surreal blanket
for a logical creature.
surviving traces of an evidently
chronological servitude
to unhealing scars from those,
former years.

that day,
i called up a dirty surgeon i
fronted 4 ounces of pot to,
and told him he wouldn't have
to pay me back if he could
do me a big favor.

her father was greeted the next day
by a vacuum salesman
with so much more perfect
than his.
the doc called me and put the phone
up to this manly man's ear -
and as each incision was precisely made,
i just told him, hush:
hush, for i am the unheard retribution
that shall disconnect you from this world.
...and then he was silent.

This is not a pipe

Written by: Jammydude44

and i see rain, and i feel rain,
flick after flick, annoying - not
a thing more -
and umbrella is pest
with pointed corners poking
sharp; stop-stare,
it's rain and it's water
and i'm sure i've been safe
under rain before,

and i'm sure i've been burnt
by the sun.

This is not a pipe

Written by: rockergirl1122

About this time, I’d have been
Pressed against your wall, my skin
Stretched against my bones; saran
Covering my guilty hands
See-through, pretty plaster mask
Flooding with my laughing tears
Was I there or was I here
Basking in the aftermath?

(Instrumental, music gains intensity)

They cuffed me like a criminal
The key so stern, the lock so cold
If only I was characterized
Cartoon smile, drawn-on eyes
I’d arise, my hands untied
A victor in my episode
But I remained, half-ashamed
The key still stern, the lock still cold

The key did turn, the lock took hold

(Another instrumental, music more intense)

You threw me in the hospital
The faces pale, the hope so scarce
A jail for petty fiends of fate
Beady gazes burning air
A goldfish in a tank of eels
Smoke exhaling from my gills
My eyes had lost their guppy glow

So am I here or am I there
My head for sale, my freedom sold?

(Bridge Instrumental)

If I were just a storybook
I’d mark through every yellow page
Then stumble over all the lines
And beg for every word to stay

I stain each blank slate with my brain
They fade to black as I grow gray
My eyes that find you, blurred and dark
Never bound, never apart
This is not a pipe

a he and a she inside a city
Written by: skagitup

waking to the sounds of the city. the recently employed rising, brushing teeth over sinks laden with a selection of economy branded beauty products and shaving foamy mist of morning in the bloodshot eyes - smells of pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, tee tree etc. rushing out of apartment windows and drifting down the street into a crowd of oncomers, sweeping and shoving bags swaying and flattering with shy looks across. it was perfectly demonstrated in one particular attempt of embrace to a stranger on a morning just like this - he attempted to sweep a woman into his brutish arms in a moment of splendour and observed only her panic and fly off down montague street, muttering something about redemption. i heard only cries of exemption. she simply did not wish to be touched. the city simply too congested for a man like him, smoking on the balcony in terms of perfectly profound fragile lips slipping to the neck of a cigarette with such delicacy that the city appears to be facing his way. the rim of his wineglass is moist, the wine inside such a deep european flavour mixing and almost beyond the constraints of everything, including the traffic below making such a very big noise.

she - "come inside. you'll die"
he - "so be it"

and walked back into the room through the french doors from the balcony and flopped down onto the white sheets next to her, several strands of hair losing position and framing his face for her as if to say hello i am a picture. and it was indeed a picture the two of them within a city, within infact a world containing several oceans (one in particular being the mediterranean of which he was undeniably fond) that would never be sailed in favour of comfort. she brushed back his hair into place as if to say i do not want to look at the picture i want to look at the real thing and he smiled back as if to say i would rather not be a picture anymore as well. it was such a special moment highlighted perhaps by him hopping up momentarily to grab a slightly warm can of budweiser from the dresser before returning to her on the bed. they spoke of several things which are not too important (they knew this) but spoke of one which was - they were very much in l.

& such were the events of that sad day, that saddest day infact. in what is now an older man's life - the day when he will begin to delight in thoughts of the past more so than he delights in ideas of the future.

This is not a pipe

Seasonal, Seasonal
Written by: Jammydude44

The clocks lie; days stretch their bitterly blue arms
out longer in the winter, straining but holding.
Does the Sun know? Yes, and hides for fear of fearing
the moon. The moon? Behind the clouds to pounce.

It came on gradually - summer passed it's time
by sweating, and bee stings. Autumn never had it.
Then winter came and dragged the hours like
the heaving bosom to a top too tight.

Also winter swindled me. With the sky blue
and clouds invisible, I started outside. The cold
hit me square in jaw like a boxer. I counted
myself out. Then this sap went back to bed.

Am I melting with the slush? I feel as frail as the
creaking oak under the strain of wind, yet look
pink, and as sprite as a shorn rabbit thumping.

But there, skulking from upwind, is the fox,
with February lurking behind him.

This is not a pipe

Andrew and Angela are laid on his bed.
Written by: seventh_angel

Andrew and Angela are laid on his bed. It’s half past eleven in the night, and they are addicted on each other to kill the boredom that composes the air.

You’re not here…

No reaction whatsoever in his face. There was no mumble; no sound; nothing that made him being in the place he was.

Where were you?
In my mind.

She touched him on the left side of his brain. He didn’t feel a thing.

Somewhere in between.
Are you lost?
In you.
Because you’re not here.
Yes I am.
In my mind.
…In your mind.

“A moment of silence, please, for those who never get the chance.”

Are you still looking for me?
For three months… Are you here?
Only if you want to…
You are.
Look into my eyes, babe.
I’m afraid.
Of what?
I’m afraid that you might vanish.
Don’t be silly! It’s up to you.
It’s up to me to be the mediator between my head and my hands.
Don’t quote things, you silly!
I’m sorry; I was never good with words.
You are…
But you don’t like them.
True… Do you think we stopped the clock?
Au the contraire. It’s rushing to midnight.
Do you want me to go?
Do as you wish… You were never here in the first place.
Do you want a kiss goodnight?
You can’t.
Because you never gave.
Because you’re a coward! All you do is being a ghost in the scene; biding time to take the initiative you’ll never take; imagining things that will never happen if you stand there, acting as a ****ing martyr! If you grow some big, strong balls and say things out loud, instead of keeping them in a ****ing monitor or in a paper sheet, maybe people would see you as the person you’re afraid to show.
I’m just insecure… I lack self-esteem.
Oh, and is that something new? Go back to the past you lied to me about and search for the things you never had.
You’re being harsh…
I’m being bitterly honest with you. Can’t you see I cannot love who you’re not?
Can I be bitterly honest with you?
I love you.

And so, she vanished to where she never left.

This is not a pipe

good morning, GOOD MORNING
Written by: cubs

and i never found out where she went
or if she was even here at all
but its good to have faith, i mean
she must still exist somewhere
in a circus, some place
selling stars, wandering around
still dreaming of ways to fly
as the world slowly drifts by

i have nothing to say to her.
last time we saw each other we could
not communicate. she kept screaming
something in this mechanical language, i
just smiled and wished her a happy birthday.
she blew off the candles (not sure if she made a
wish or if she even could) and offered each one of the guests
small slices of cake carefully cut up with
her favorite chainsaw, her own hands
and i told her "you know, I had the weirdest dream
last night: we were in some valley in California, it was
spring. we climbed the highest mountain we could find
and in the cold steel air we promised
to forgive each other for everything we've
ever done. we removed our hearts from our bodies
and cast them into the world below."

and her skin, her skin
it feels colder each time
her mouth is an icebox
gotta keep those lies fresh
and my head (ohyesyes!)
keeps trying to delete that scene
in which this golden sunset
turns into that ugly rusty moon

and i think i saw her a few weeks ago
said hi;
"hey, you still have that perfect
smile on your face."
she blushed and with bees flying
out of her mouth wished me a
nice day.

This is not a pipe

January 14th, 2009
Written by: ColdFrontAttack
Can I walk you home? And just maybe I can get out some of these things you might not have known. But then again i'm sure you saw it everytime you looked into my eyes, the way the light reflected off yours on each occasion they aligned. And i'm sure you saw that smile of mine, it's never been so wide. Or even close, stretched out from coast to coast, just a bit too much to hide. Like I hid behind these wishes, just wishing you were mine. I put my two front teeth under my pillow, and in the morning just a dime. I made my way up to the genie, he said 'son look, there's a line'. I know what to do with lemons but life only gives me limes.

Well happy Valentine's

Can we talk alone? There's some things i'd like to say to you, sans the static of a phone. Things you probably could've guessed when our bodies were aligned, you'd have no intention of leaving, even if you knew the time. And even that became irrelevant somewhere between 4 and 5. I only made you go home cause I had to catch my flight- and that was only the first time. I skipped stones all day but they eventually sank, and I was the captain of my ship, but forced to walk to plank.

Just wanted to say thanks.

For everything you never let unfold, for making such a young man begin to feel so old, and tired, lost and uninspired and cold. I always knew February could be rough, but it's frozen more than just my toes.

Can I walk you home? You know my heart is racing, I've yet to find a way to slow my pulse. Or calm my head, I just wish I could take it apart, show you everything inside. Cause it's all out on the floor in front of you, nothing left for me to hide behind. I'm dying for reassurance what we had wasn't a lie.

And I wish that you would stay, but either way, here's wishing you a happy Valentine's, even if you're not mine.

This is not a pipe

a dream.
Written by: Something_Vague

I went to sleep for eight years once,
and when I woke up I was the same.
The same face,
the same fair skin, the same weight and the
same charming stare.
My brother was married and had a child
Her name was Allegra and she had auburn hair.
My friends were now living with their spouses,
decorating their apartments, naming their pets,
and planning their weeks around their work schedule.
I walked around the places I knew,
and the people I'd met, and they all saw me
as a passing and unfamiliar old friend, someone
they were close with, but had just
disappeared one day.

I'd read my e-mail, and the girl that I loved
so much before I slept and had loved me,
was so angry that I abandoned her.
"I want cocks in my mouth and vagina."
Repeated hundreds and hundreds
of times in her e-mails. All dating back to _____ years ago.
I was never more hurt, than reading those words, every single
one over and over.

i woke up in a cold sweat, and
i had no one to call. no one to say
it'll be alright. i wasn't sure if
i was still dreaming. but i wished.

This is not a pipe

A Harmonic Pinch
Written by: streetcarp19

I tried to explain what the leftovers looked like
outside the fridge, on top of the counter, beside the sink.
just last night, about a minute from now
is when the symptoms started to both persist and wane
could do nothing but lay on my back, with both hands clasped and wait.
there should have been a kiss waiting for you at the door, i know.
there shouldn't have been a pile of clothes for you to fold, i know.
it starts at the ankles and lingers slowly to the knees
just beneath where the flesh and the bones would probably meet.
i grind my teeth and squaller from side to side
moaning a hum i made up in grade school to get me through recess.
a collision of sensations that actually are truly beautiful
and reddish-green harmonic pinch of utter bliss.
who would have known how fun it would be not to breathe.
and syringe my last pulse that's hanging from the sleeve.

This is not a pipe

aluminum bitten roof.
Written by: freshtunes

twisted up a cocktail napkin
turned it into a hopeful rose
white with a blue stencil letter
words blooming out to her nose

soothing sounds of a sunday belle
like the notes ringing in a depression era tennor
hanging over from the night before, we awoke
desire for a bite, hungry together

she spent a year in an attic
withering away but retaining her shame
three children had died following birth
each one was given the same name

i was a wandering carepenter
from west to east, a bar room gardener
trying to speak easy to anyone who would listen

they were all empty except for a free glass of water
i came along and offered a flower for their stomach vase
but all i gave was paper
"chew, 'cause everything beautiful is as bad as it tastes"

This is not a pipe

Written by: Carmel

A sea side restaurant to taunt
your hungry eyes with sliced
up pies and piled up chocolate lies
under a neon lit buffet.
The menu read, “Disappointment –
a shared plate for two”, and you
have always been a sap for lady
and the tramp style cuisine.
And so we sat down and across,
while you awkwardly picked me apart;
sucking the sauce, pulling the strings,
from kidney to heart,
gracefully wrinkling your nose
when all you could taste was tart.
Then with puppy eyes you looked past
what was us; licked the plate,
sucked the bones –
you smiled.
It was all you wanted,
all along.

This is not a pipe

The Run
Written by: Phoebus

I ran
Down concrete-poured sidewalks, through speeding steel cars and over fences
I ran
Over bridges spanning the great seas and holding continents connected
I ran
Until my muscles tore away, until my lungs seared and my feet ran raw
I ran through the dark places where the monsters and gods of the ancients dwelled, where no man has gone before
I ran past fossilized great lizards, the terrible rulers we inherited everything from through the trickery of environmental catastrophe
and evolutionary happenstance

I ran beyond the edges of this and other worlds
I ran until I reached the place where the sea meets the sun , the places known in legends as Talocan: the highest paradise.

The valkyries walked with me out to the edge, to the great waterfall of stars onto the universe.

I waited here for you
Stepped out
and was washed into the Eternal.

This is not a pipe

orchestral maneuvers in the dark
Written by: Arthur Curry

what holy scripture
what poetic verse
authored in some strange brail between the
contours of her features,
flickering in the soft light around the window
and told
screamed in a hot breath against my skin when
my insides swell
explode into beauty redefined
our bodies
are vehicles and
temples at times
and in this moment i can't help but believe in god.

take me out of context,
i'll be dying under fruit trees
with my friends
smoking cigarettes
drafting bills in conversation
and letting them go
like balloons into the air we cannot breathe
and dreaming wine into divinity before the apple falls

stack all my mercurial thoughts, truths found in fits of passion,
build them high above their weighty science
their age old certainties,
their pedestrian knowledge of love.

This is not a pipe

floodplains and coffee.
Written by: Ebshabutiee

I have nothing left to say,
nothing more,
about breathing
seizing, dropped off
into a nether,
I feel like
a microbe falling off
a brim of a coffee cup
going down into that black
sugarless abyss

because you don't take anything sweet anymore
its always the dim-and-grim horrorshow
because you won't even sleep anymore
I would stay, but I'd be barely there

I felt like walking up to the plains the other day
just to look for what ever flora is left
the sun has taken away
a lot,
the rain has taken away
a lot,
I feel I haven't taken a thing; on the other hand
I took everything, like a selfish little
I took everything.

This is not a pipe

the cotton to weave
Written by: spike_8bkp

Looking at me, I know you'd never think that I'd be one to write race poetry.
I'm a northern European mutt raised in the land of the free.

Yeah, I've been poor, but the poverty line has never been my ceiling,
like at Freddy's place where for years the roof leaked rain pendulums,
his parents too broke to feed he and I truth, so we made do with what
we knew, which was the equivalent to what we saw on the news,

and it went like this:

his parents were black, in the ghetto and a white boy staying the night
was like a comedy, a Will Smith tragedy; nasty looks from neighbor types,
so we kept the windows tight and away from the doors, you know these people,
Sean, they ain't like you and yours, his mother told me once, and

I know that in my youth, I liked to think I knew a lot, so I said
what are you talking about? They're just like me. We've got ears
and we hear the same sound and the noses that smell all the same food,
and we all get our clothes from thrift shops, listen to hip-hop, and act
like we don't like cops. Hearing this, she laughed, and so

she sat us both down and put us through school in one afternoon.
We saw pictures in books of black men hanging from trees, surrounded
by white hoods and she told us who picked the cotton to weave them and I
wasn't the same after at the age of seven or eight, I learned in too much
detail the definition of rape.

And at some point, I started to cry because I couldn't comprehend that color
was a reason to kill, or why these guys had to die, or work their entire lives
in these jobs they didn't even like - I said I'd save them. With my Tonka truck
and bears, if anyone even dared...

I said I'd peel my skin off and compare it to theirs, 'cause my heart was still red,
Freddy's heart was still red. She said it's been done, in the name of the lord,
of people and wars have been fought over this very thought, but keep thinking
like this, Sean, and you'll be proven wrong someday, oh, so very wrong, she says.

A little while later, Freddy and I made little cuts in our palms to see if it was true what she said. When we shook hands, though, it was all the same color red
that hit the ground where we defiantly bled away history and time, from hate and from crime and we decided there and right then that the world had changed since
she was a kid.

A few weeks later,

A single mother of one was killed in her East San José home today, receiving a fatal
bullet wound to the head. The source of the bullet is unknown, but police have said it came in through the kitchen window, leading them to believe a drive-by shooting to be the cause. Currently, no suspects have been found.

I read of pointlessness in cities and hear kids writing poetry of history,
how they hate what is happening and how people are doing nothing,
but they are, and they will continue to, until the cycle of society has
been stopped or destroyed, but in the meantime I stop every time
I hear the n-word slip, my body tenses up and I want to peel my skin off.

I want to show them who I am without it, and who they are without it,
incapable of senseless hate but not afraid of rage,
I don't care about your color, or from where you came, but just know
whether you own slaves or raise kids to judge race,

you're cutting your hands, picking the cotton to weave
the hoods that will hang you from oak trees, the color of your skin
becoming the banner generations will love to hate.

This is not a pipe

the sarcophagus.
Written by: #1_synth

On the floor near the piano, the carpet of dust soft against their naked thighs-
The attic is still, ladder drawn up, windows closed- dense air burns their throats.

Near the piano; her fingertips rest on the inside of his thighs-
Their lungs settle back into a steady rhythm like the sea after an unnatural swell.

Near the piano with eye-lids closed tightly, like her thighs,
Wrapped hysterically around his hips sucking the color from their skin.


Near the piano and silently- how long has it been since this room has felt human thighs
Push its floorboards past their inborn lifeless calm and into chorus’ of perverted spasms?

Near the piano; in her hands he can no longer smell how she tastes between her thighs,
As the single light hangs like a noose from the crux of the ceiling and hums dimly.

Near the piano- in her mouth his spit sticks dryly like the ancient lacquer under her thighs
And her tongue spins the saliva with it into a thick tacky paste.


Near the piano and his silver seed drips pensively from between her thighs
Into a puddle on the floor where it mixes with the dust and tries to scream.

Near the piano, whose bench now quivers to repel the sweat left by their thighs,
And whose body says nothing, hundreds of mournful strings muffled by a heavy mahogany lid.

On the floor near the piano, the throbbing from their thighs
Long gone, her lips open like a phantom limb, mutely mouthing, “I love you, Dylan.”
This is not a pipe

abattoir full of retarded children
Written by: Something_Vague

She makes her face up,
nice enough to pretty rough
smiles deep before reaching over
the railing and grabbing her guts.

"I told Easton I' moving for college."
"You never told me, I thought you were staying."
"I won't be close either way."
"I still half expect you to come into my work one day, hop over the counter and kiss me."
"You have silly dreams sometimes."
"I have silly dreams."

Scribbled out of her address,
Head's on fire, thoughts a mess
Kept thinking of how easy it was
to make her lfall in love with me.
Another guy
another guy,
another guy.

"I was thinking, I love you to death, but if I don't see you this summer, I think we should call it a day."
"Did you just give me an ultimatum?"
"I am a bit of a bond villain aren't I?"
"Sometimes...sometimes you don't know much it hurts to love you."
"I am fully aware. Trust me."

Bad dream tonight no one to call;
kept seeing her, laying flat from a fall.
Paisley dress in Gosling Park, flat and
firm from the starch she put in earlier that morning.
Told her about another dream, kept reading e-mails
about her deserve to suck other men's cocks.
Worst feeling I've ever experienced, laughed at the thought,
felt like punching holes in walls,
self doubt,
keep moving,
keep keepin' on.

I am standing next to me, I am a young man with a firm jaw. I have thick hair, and a charming, personable smile that is inviting and warm. My voice is calm, and soothing. I have seven scars on my right hand from when I was nine, and put my hand in a door, more random scars highlight my pale body. One lies succinctly on the back of my left heel, from when my brother ran over it with his bike, tearing the flesh off it. I have a suspiciously tiny mouth, with naturally white, straight teeth. I am six foot and weight just over two hundred pounds. I have had many woman, it shows under my eyes, already there are wrinkles from stress, bags from lack of sleep. My pores are clogged with oil and dirt, and my arms are scarred from when I was an obese child. I have lost most of that weight, but I still keep the scars. There are several women that have put things on my body. Becca, a scar on my left hand from giving her a piggyback ride, tripping and having the cement grate the skin off my hand. Ashley, when she refused to be my girlfriend in freshman year, a few scars are still visible on my upper forearm, when I tried to cut away at them with a pair of sheers. Those are the only two visible ones.

I am standing next to myself, I am alone. I am world weary, and afraid. I do not understand the happiness that other people enjoy. The insanity of my relationships doesn't seem to have transfered to others. I do not envision myself married in ten years, or with someone. I will be perpetually on this adventure, to see others have what I've wanted for so long, and for me to achieve what others would kill for. I will be brilliant, famous, and loved by everyone, and yet everyone else will love one other person a little bit more. She will move. She will move.

This is not a pipe

Sir Thomas the Quiet
Written by: ZanasCross

I've been watching her forever.

Supple curves and a birthmark on her left thigh.
She's so embarrassed by it. Always puts make up
over it while she's getting ready for the day;
even though no one ever sees that far up
her long long toned legs.

Her current boy is a douche.
I watch him too. Not when he's naked though;
he's not pretty.
He's ugly.
Like scuff marks on a newly cleaned and bleached
tile floor; he sticks out against a beautiful world...
he is sin and hell and evil.

He tells her she's fat and
too stupid to amount to
anything at all.

He hits her.
hits her with his fists.

And I watch. But I can't do anything.
If I did, she'd know I exist.
That's just too risky.


Last week I watched as he broke her.
Bones and soul.
His neck tie,
her remedy

feet kicked; legs stretched forever toward the floor
and she was gorgeous; the beautiful side of death.
Her body a hand carved oak casket,
with intricate designs so wondrous
only God could have crafted them.

I couldn't do anything.
I'm a watcher. I don't cry wolf.

She spun toward the window;
I had my moment with her.
Eye to eye. Heart to heart.
Death to Life.
We loved each other to the end.

This is not a pipe

Hard of Fearing
Written by: Dæmönika

Her last breath was beautiful, a wistful
sigh as her life departed. You know when you
lose someone so close to you, you feel nothing, just
this...this hollowness, so deep you can’t speak, move
or do anything? No emotions, just a blank expression?
I didn’t before then.

That morning, with tubes coming out here, there and
everywhere, she said she didn’t want to be here, wanted
to be in a happier place. I began shouting at her:
“A happier place? You’re dying!”
“I don’t want to die in of death.”
“Well, what’s a happy place for you?”
“The tree...”

I lay on the ground with the trunk to my back
and held her in front of me, her back on my stomach.
****, I didn’t want to let her go, all those feelings.
What was I doing? I knew she was dead already, I’d known for a
while now, but I couldn’t make myself realise it. When that
dickhead in his white coat earning hundreds of thousands
telling people “There’s no cure, now piss off,” I could’ve killed
him in a gleeful twist of irony. No cure for death, is there?

We didn’t speak to each other for a while, just listened
to our breathing. I could hear her lungs less and less
with each breath she took. She coughed delicately, turned
to meet my face, kissed me – **** **** **** **** **** – and
she spoke in a tiny voice:
“It’s getting dark now.”
“Oh **** it painful?”
“’s nice. Soft. Silky.”
“I’m scared.”
“Don’t be. It’s okay.”
“How can you not be scared?”
“Remember what you said to me when I told you I was dying?”
“Yeah...’Life is but a passing dream...but the death that follows is eternal’”
I’m going to tell you something to not be afraid.”
“’The fear of death is to be more feared than death itself.’”

The breeze died as she did. The tree was a golden willow
and its branches drooped mournfully, the tip of one resting
on the crown of my head. That feeling that the tree
felt my pain got to me and I let out a scream and tears.
Her last breath was beautiful...
Her last words were beautiful...
My hand reaches into my pocket and withdraws.
I can see my reflection, tears on my cheeks.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there soon...”

This is not a pipe

The Scarf
Written by: ndakasimba

Do you like it?, you asked, following
my eyes to a trim, tattered length of fabric
slung over the bar in your closet.

Take it, you insisted, it’s yours.
So I did, lifting it from where it hung,
frayed and thinning, forgotten –

a sorry defense against a New England
winter, I remember thinking as I pulled
the soft, grey wool through my fingers.

Later that year, when the brittle cold broke
and spring sent up flowers
like little flags to announce its arrival,

you mentioned that it was your dad’s
before he died, casually, as if you
were telling me the forecast, or the time.

I had worn it in ignorance all winter,
the threadbare scarf a familiar, airy
lightness on my shoulders and I know now

why you were so quick to give it away,
why the wind swept through
like an icy breath at the back of my neck,

and why it clings now to the shadows
of my own closet, like a ghost
no one wants to remember.

This is not a pipe

Good Ol' Suburbia
Written by: BluesyBilly

all this self medication
swerving beside me on the highways
makes me wonder
What our loving God really made all this alcohol for.
Probably for a cheap laugh
as the 81' camaro wraps around a telephone pole,
while the man inside howls out his daughters name
in a scene of pure heartbreak and agony.

The first Friday of summer,
and this is what we've all been living for
for the past month and a half.
Do we even recognize our friends anymore
when our heads are so caught up in where we're sleeping this weekend.

I wanted to be a cop
but a black guy got the job.
So I never got the chance
to yell at drunk rich kids in their daddy's mercedes benz
driving their girlfriend home
while she's all doped up like a modern day little Miss Monroe.

This is something no one wants to relate to,
but secretly we all somehow do.

This is not a pipe

black balsam.
Written by: we have sound

i was arguing with my woman long distance
when the other phone rang -
friend on the line
how's things?
he had just got off a train
in the next town
and was walking thirteen miles into the countryside
to take his girl some flowers.
he told me how his
feet were aching
on the one phone
and on the other
i told my lover
that we'd come real far
but it was getting tough now.
he said that the trees were
growing out of the side of the road
and bending over
and great bars of dusk light were
throwing themselves over him
and i whispered to my baby that i felt
a little like she'd tamed me
that i was an animal but
i just felt a little caged right now.
he told me his girl was expecting him and
i told mine that i didn't expect
anything at all
that i just wanted
to come to some kind of agreement you know
sort everything out.
the friend asked me to
grab a map
check his route for him
he was getting a little lost
in the near dark
and so was i.

This is not a pipe

baptism.rebirth.uglybluebird. (a roadtrip)
Written by: NGD1313

iced down the tires and we set about the rubber map,
each roadway fluid and poised to stretch.
alex sings along to the a.m. channels,
and alex sings the prettiest songs, in the worst keys,
warbling at higher speeds, and when the frequency releases its last note,
alex hums the static, and i dance along, man, i dance the whole night through.
alex keeps polaroids in the trunk, of everything we've ever loved,
our families, the snowfall, dead autumns, and graffiti walls, he hides them from me,
he knows i can't see them yet, or i might turn around,
and we're not even close to there. alex knows we're going somewhere.
alex counts the yellow lines, and tells me fairy tales in the blistered pines,
of the western coast. he sings me lullabies in the gold of california glows,
and alex drinks from a flask, that he gladly shares, but
meticulously cleans before sipping again. in the arizona deserts,
alex stirs the dust. alex retrives a polaroid of the most gorgeous elm tree,
you and i have ever seen, and he places it in the brambles,
he turns beauty into shambles, and carefully measures his steps back to the car,
and to this day, i'm sure, that tree still sits in its perch,
encouraging a cactus to be a better cactus, and lizards to flee to the grasslands,
alex has that kind of magic, and when we reached it, whatever it was,
in the middle of nowhere, in the dank and rust, alex handed me the shovel,
and the pictures and the pistol, and he said to me, with a tongue unplagued
by decency or brevity, "you love your family. you love your home, and your radio,
you love the sound of alice's footsteps, and the new year, but
you'll have to live there, in the nothing, every night, alone,
and i don't belong, and you can't go back until i'm gone, so do it."
and i beat alex so ****ing dead that night, that i've been washing the blood
from my knuckles ever since, i broke him so good, that i made it so he never existed,
and the nights are easier without him there, but the sunrises just don't fill me up anymore.

This is not a pipe

blackness, part two
Written by: DigUpHerBones

we're burning our buildings
we're making up mountains
we're throwing underground parties
we're tugging on drawstrings
you've got your head inside a black box
a camera pointed right at the sun
and I don't have the heart to tell you
"honey, that ain't how it's done"
"honey, that ain't how it's done"
we're hiking up the yellow line
made where paper meets lighters
the ground is on fire
the future looks brighter from here
but there's such a bright sunset
before the black of each night
we're walking on ashes
honey, something ain't right
honey, something ain't right
fireflies are coming out of the ground
but we're dancing with moths
as we touch their wings
their markings brush off
it's just dust on the mountainside
falling down into water
there's only dark in the deep
and little else left up here
the fireflies are falling
the mountain's losing its might
into the dust we are sinking
honey, something ain't right
honey, something ain't right
we're lost in the dust
and we can't get back
don't know which way I'm falling
got to believe there are crystals inside the black
how come creatures evolving in the darkness
become transparent in time
but they're always the brightest
when they're brought out into the daylight?
honey, something ain't right
honey, something ain't right

This is not a pipe