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#121


eleven:eleven
Written by: ottoavist

on a thursday approaching noon
Shane calls me and says:
"i've got a ride back to town, and a lil money, too.
so you wanna party or what?"

i'm like
yeah.

he's a brute, in and out
of the system
since age fourteen;
the mom was a head growing up
and the dad skedaddled
so by unwanted events
his loyalty
in the ties of friendship, are
unscathed by a
circumstancial childhood.
his blueshot eyes stream a
darker consciousness
that says:
fuck the world - this life is mine.

indeed.

and so we began the night
popping valium like PEZ
but
out of a tic-tac bottle -
nothing screams taste like
residual-wintergreen on downers,
and i had some morphine patches
this old-head sold me
for cheap
'cause i changed the bulbs in
his outdoor motionlight;
we were dodging bullets
and buzzkill
in slo-mo.
some hours ticked by and then
he called up a pill-fiend
named Bridgette. she
told us she had
lorcet and liquid promethazine
with sprite
and we'd start spinning
if he'd smoke a couple of bowls
with her.
soon she was here
and then we were everywhere
slumping, sliding out of furniture
and my head felt
too heavy to raise.

Shane and Bridgette
went upstairs to
fuck
while
i took a drive around town
to find more people.
my eyes caught trails of
life and light
and drug and stretched them
past me
and hula-hooped them around
my head;
i was helpless, but withstanding.
and i wanted to find somebody -
wanted to be with somebody.

Shane called me and
"where are you dude?"

driving.

"well me and Bridgette are heading out,
there's a party out on the ridge...you alright?"

yeah i'm fine.

sometimes i turn red
when the others are not
inclusive, but
i guess i dug that hole
hours ago.

This is not a pipe
#122



sweet eveningtime.
Written by: We Have Sound

a flat over the bike shop with my baby
we were making it
we were winning it
had people over
almost every night
drinking my beer
but i didn't care that much.
the conversation lit us up
like fireworks
and we reinvented ourselves
twelve times a second
to keep them
second guessing
her hand in mine
and all the pretty girls came and
left
sad
(they could never get me on my own)
and they would only be
playthings anyway.
I thought back to the girls before and
they were a blur
a sweet memory of
manipulation and betrayal
and things that other men
applaud
but really are hateful and
shouldn't have been done at all.

I've got a good wine now and
it's late
i'm going to bed with
a beautiful troublesome angel.
to heaven.

This is not a pipe
#123


Freddie Freeloader
Written by: SubwayToVenus

in between the clicking of heels on the cobblestone outside
and the tapping of raindrops upon the window of this bustling cafe,
i can hear the splashing of paints
as the artist in my mind brings color to my memories.

the virgin canvas is dashed with a bantam gold
and my feet dip deeper in the sand
on the shore of a hushing lake,
while the rocking of the lingering waves on my body
push me gently back and forth.
I feel our fingers waltz with one another
and when I catch your brown eyes,
the sun kisses the gold in them.
I listen closely to the water
and hear it sing to me;
such cadence and timber in its voice.
every subtle breath that it exhales
glides effortlessly in my direction,

as a shadowy blue is launched from my artist's brush,
the same blue that grandma's eyes held
before they ran away from me.
it was the kind of blue that flirted with blackness,
the kind that caged beasts of a faraway mind,
creatures that you never thought you'd see up close.
and i saw their razor eyes and rapier teeth
as massive paws brought the entire solar system to a halt,
just for a moment
until they were gone.
and then all that exuded from a tranquil queen,
were ribbons of love for all her subjects,

and then a sanguine red dresses up this work-of-art,
like the flow of your gown as you descended the stairs
on the best night of our lives,
with my hands coolly sweating in my pockets,
and my face beaming like the headlights of the bus
that we rode on our way to the ball.
the electricity of our conversation strengthened
an evergrowing spark,
and the exchanges of heat solidified
an eternal flame,
one that could never be doused by any flood
or quieted by any gust.

a slight draft from the opened door hits my back
and my artist steps away from his masterpiece;
an amalgamation of colors,
a beautiful mess is all it is.
you give me a kiss and sit down across from me,
flashing a smile.

i think i'm the only one who gets the picture.
This is not a pipe
#124
Rose And Whoever The Groom Is
Written by: Hesh


I had a dream, so long ago
but I was afraid to tell you-

Two doves were weaving silk
around a pole carved with love letters.
Around and around they spun
fabric rippling from their talons
in a tightening spiral.
Through each of their feathered white backs,
a nail pierced like an interruption,
stuck to it, a bloody note
"In sickness and in health."

Though each could barely fly from the pain,
they never faltered in their task.
And their wings
never touched.

After some time, one of the doves
began to weaken.
The steady beat of its wings became ragged
and the slack of its thread grew more and more.

Finally, the bird spoke quite clearly.
"I just can't hold on anymore.
We are undone."
And the nail fell from its back.
It flew away into the roaring silence,
the bloody mark of its bond
never to fade.

The other bird never hesitated,
but it couldn't keep the weave from collapsing.
So eventually it gave up, and
perched atop the pole.
Its dark blank eyes
were searching for something
outside the confines of my dream.
The pole was now scrawled with graffiti.


then I awoke. it was 4am.
you were so far apart from me,
I thought I was alone.
in the humming quiet of the air-conditioning,
I told your back
we would be together forever.

the turning point was when
I reached out to touch you.
my hand pressed against you
and you moved away.
This is not a pipe
#125

Antarcticism
Written by: SubwayToVenus

you took me outside
and started making a snow angel.
"Won't you make a snowman for her?" you said
while the december air gripped my body
and whipped my head.
I flashed you my bare hands,
already bitten by the wind,
and asked,
"Now what do you think?"
not expecting an answer good enough
to keep me out there for long.

and you didn't give me one,
so I waddled back inside
leaving you
to make an army for heaven.


but now
everysooften,
when the city's asleep on a blistering winter's night,
I walk underneath the halo
of an empty streetlight and pray.
I pray she's found a saint,
who'd withstand whatever weather
with no complaints.

and as my feet become one with the asphalt
I reflect on a single, sad thought
'til the break of day:

men like me,
even those made of snow,
are not for angels.
This is not a pipe
#126
The Writing Room
Written by: circular.parade


I got into the house
and wandered from room to room.
her father's an author, he said
"I don't care what you do or
where you go, just don't set the house on fire,
don't get yourself hurt or killed but mostly,
don't come into the Writing Room.
you've got no excuses."

he closed the door
and she cried silently,
like the women in his stories.
There were
books all around, in fact,
you couldn't see a single wall,
not the
slightest hint of enclosure,
no fence of the mind.
it seemed like every time you took a book
there was another one behind it,
maybe a little torn apart,
maybe just a little worn out
but it was there nonetheless,
pushing you further, like a sin,
like a sin.

she said he designed the finest verses
and crafted polygraph paragraphs
out of mirror glass,
as the only witness, the only gauge
of his impassable mind.

next to the writing room we sat
in the living room, there were
comfortable cushy chairs,
sky-like marble stones, handwritten
manuscripts, the fireplace--
oh, that fireplace...

the only place without transcripts,
the only place that's letter-free
the one and only dead end
to infinity
she said that it always burned,
that for as long as she could remember,
she sat crossed-legged and watched,
alone,
the tiny men dancing in the flames,
the artists of the blaze.

I took her hand and we got high
a soft and creamy high
like iced cream in black coffee
and we tried to stay quiet
to not disturb the host
so kind in his absence.

when i asked, she said
that he wrote about nothing,
nothing and everything,
mostly
the pains in life and tragedies,
foreign countries, his family,
about how she looked like her mother...
i knew,
the blaze in her pupils.
she said
that he was well informed,
as I could guess by the books,
some he wrote and some he read,
most he knew as if he wrote them,
anyway, a great artist.

This is the point I'm having
a hard time to describe.
You'd need to ask her but for a moment
she poured a little bit of her soul
out in the room
to mix with the creamy smoke and
to fill the cloudy space.

she spoke of many things,
as if reading my mind.
answering all the questions
I would have never dared to ask,
if you don't mind
I'll keep them for myself,
but mostly why so much misery
in such a family--
anyway.
she pulled my arm,
brought us to the writing room
and
without pretending that the house
was on fire or that
we were getting ourselves killed
she reached for the doorknob
of the writing room.

--and so he stood
pressed her against the wall and
collected himself in her matching eyes
the eyes of his daughter

I observed for a little while,
couldn't see anything in the room but them,
it seems
he could have died in those eyes
i understood, and realized
that there are some places a man can never
ever leave
This is not a pipe
#127

Mrs. Pipe
Written by: Something_Vague


in the corner of my basement there is a pipe that just sits there
and in this pipe that's in my basement there is some mold that has grown.
In the corner of my basment there is a pipe with some mold and it is
dark and awfully smelly
and i tried to suck it out.
i do not know as to why, but i wrapped my mouth around it, and i
tried to inhale whatever in it grew. in my lungs i had it pictured, as to
what was really happening. And as the tiny spores over took me
the waiting was quite maddening, just to lay down and die.
but i didn't i just waited and i coughed up an awful thing
a black phlegm that had grown deep inside my throat,
not from the pipe it was there, or from any other mold
it seemed that it just grew there since before i was old.
now in this moment i knew that i would never die alone here,
i would never rot away in a basement built for two.

across the street there is a man and he's pulling a shopping cart,
he's got all his things and all his food and he's pulling a shopping cart,
and i witnessed this with my mold still deep inside my chest and
i saw what he face said and i knew
i'd never die.

and in the same vein there is a girl out there willing, to sit down
and talk to me when i need someone, she is lovely and she's dark haired
and she is Croatian. There is something about her voice or the way that
her body looks, the way that her eyes look when I think of her, she doesn't
give me pity or the smallest sign of laughter at my awful jokes, and so it
is in this, i regret to have sucked the mold out of a dirty pipe below my kitchen floor.
and it is now that i realize that everything is wonderful,
that everything is beautiful and that i will die alone,
this mold that has been growing and the mold that i suck
it will be stuck inside me until it drops me dead.

i'm sorry mrs. pipe for putting my mouth around you and sucking
all the bad out of you, and putting it in myself, and i hope you have
a great life being a pipe and all. Will you be doing things that you love to do, like
draining water and pushing exhaust and letting spiders into my home, will you
be doing all of these things when I am all gone? I really hope that you are being a pipe
so often, and being a pipe so well because that is what you're best at, you wonderful little pipe.

and then i died.
This is not a pipe
#128

wool hat
Written by: rushmore


a wool hat in summertime, you wore it everywhere,
hair always wet from sweat dripping down your forehead past your
tanned neck. you'd never take it off though,
i remember even once we went swimming in a pond on your parents land
and you took off everything besides that wool hat.
you get attached to things too easily,
you're young,
but not too young to remember last winter
when you would never wear a jacket and
always ask to borrow mine, i spent those few months shivering until i
started wearing two jackets so i could keep at least one.
i don't know where your wool hat was then,
but you'd ask for my gloves and scarves and socks and boots until i finally gave up,
spent prom night freezing naked on a bench outside the gymnasium while you were
off with friends warm and occupied with things more temperate than the temperature.
olivia, its not about that prom night though,
the way you shrugged it off and put your comfort ahead of mine,
its that you never dress for the weather and it pisses me off.
This is not a pipe
#129



to live and die in verona
Written by: NGD1313
to live and die in verona
the lacquer of the spit shined smiles we gave to the handsome,
will soon cover our own intentions until the shine distracts
from all we'd prayed to save. you can't always love what you choose
and when the dots don't connect you self-destruct in sunday shoes,
head on your knees, crying in the pews, "god help me please,
i'm too porous to hold all this blood. won't you take it out?
won't you take me now? "

pale, pale, pale man.
what a plan, what plan.
you bleed on god's floor
and you spit in his kitchen?
put your feet on his couch
and hit on his women?
you fool. you coward.

home. for the first time in 2 years, 8 months, and 11 days,
my mother turns the corners of my bed. my brother puts
his hand upon my head, my father turns his bottles out,
sends the sweetness spiraling down to the bottom of the city,
and i dream and i dream, my body found a blank expression
and old depression on the blistered blankets of a
cheap motel and my words will reverberate off dirt-deafened
walls for the rest of eternity, mocking the ears that arrive but aren't listening,
"**** god and grandnoise. my gestures reflect my dignity and poise,
show me heaven or the purity in dirt. i care not."
and my mother holds my arms, dresses my wounds,
though the subdued pulsation of my heart assures
that i will bleed and bleed, til i've filled up a lonesome motel bed.
This is not a pipe
#130



Gasoline Fumes and Tea Parties aka 18 Reasons to Just Keep Driving
Written by: Jimmy388
I'm well versed in
buildingSinking ships
fostering dependence
and falling in love with closet hypocrites.
Mesmerized by ink stained skin and crippling habits.
This is my midnight hour,
shallow bathtub blackout.
I can't keep this up,
this wasted... factory
and its old machines.
I've reached my renaissance!
I'm finished with obsolescence
and the adolescent-esque.
No machine made parts!
just the finest hand made art!
This is not a pipe
#131


I just need a minute
Written by: Ebshabutiee

opened up the door to this little bazaar
walked out with a t-shirt and bangles, for you.
thinking about moving towards the side streets
to get away from all the busy feet.

on the corner there is a man, sign in hand
says the president has no mind for anyone
its like he's eating through our time,
mainly mine.

kept snippets of the news paper you appeared in,
snippets of memories from when we first met.
open the closed hope chest and started pulling out songs,
rewriting them to your silhouette.

broke down every little line,
made sure each of them rhymed.
held your hand as we cross the streets,
getting lost like pulling teeth.

so anxious to go back to our bed, crept up on you tonight.
waking up from bad dreams
falling back asleep to blue eye gleam.

so anxious about everything, i am scared to cross your streets.
waking up from bad dreams
falling back into the same damn things.

hypochondriac, self diagnosed
these are what i believe
keep me from seeing me
as anything but ugly.

i think i could use a minute
or two
or three.

This is not a pipe
#132
Implications
Written by: hippieboy444


I was told that
Venus would sparkle
with polka-dots
and milky scarves
Wrapping its slender body
in moonlight
when I was eight
and that night
I was so
disappointed
when The Big Dipper
was all my eyes Could catch;

[I wonder if
the Philippines’ witnessed
the murder of my excitement
in the Big Dipper’s handle]

And even
Six years later
I can still only ever see
An impressionistic portrait-
Sometimes peeking,
Sometimes gazing
Down on my little
Fish bowl of existence-
Unless someone
Points Venus out of
The pointillism
This is not a pipe
#133
warbonds
Written by: NGD1313


man of convictions
cracks a case of pabst blue ribbon
rolls his armchair looking to put his feet where
the veiled spine of the collective life hangs her hat,
because he's had enough of that tired bitch
and her tired this and that.
hands blistered and bleeding,
arms folded and heartrate declining,
lets the sun and sisters go,
lets the blood and body flow,
lets his heavy breathing slow,
and now he's gone. now he's perfect,
and when he wakes in the morning,
he hangs his head, his pavement warming,
and walks out a door to a slow and trying death,
and in the closet, i clutch my sister to my chest,
and i tell her, "don't worry little girl,
i've got a pile of warbonds
underneath my bed, and when this one's over,
we'll collect on our debts.
we'll get the **** out of here and never come back."
This is not a pipe
#134
Cigarettequette Lessons at the Adair County Mansion
Written by: stellar_legs


From mounds of chin to pick food from scruff
To birdlike men and psychedelic drugs.
Traded the girth to wrap your arms and hug
For sharper necks and collarbones to suck.
I chase dinner with a mug of Listerine
To chemically plunge out all my rotten teeth.
It's a little more than just a lucid dream
Because these days I can shit through metallic screen.

Hold your medals tight as you master a liquid with no advantage
to ever fuel the artistic mind.
Hold your rusty relics tight as you're buried thin, distant
And still very much alive.

There were two years where I got soused and rose high all the roof beams.
Cut the plywood, dug the well and washed my filth down by the creek.
There were two years where I ate cereal out of butter bowls, whiskey out of jam jars.
Let's smoke crack out of a soda can and watch our eyes swell up like neutron stars.
I want my kiss on your neck to be your every reason to stay -
I want to see you log your orgasms in a day planner and update it every day.
I would love nothing more than to storm your castle on horseback
and take your far away from gut rot and decay.
This is not a pipe
#135
Africa
Written by: Bleed Away


We arranged our visit,
a graceful pursuance
at times a journey.
We grew old in the darkness
as we journeyed without a second glance
into the dark heart of Africa.
But my misfortunes were clear,
my skin too weak;
it is the hardship that leads me here.
Can you skip
to the flogger's song
of watchfulness?
Because those days are dead
and the gesture remained solemn.

The voice of the sheppard
possessed the land
and the plans remained unageing.
For the deeds were never fulfilled
and the endeavour, never settled.
A fallible god once ruled there
with an iron rod and a tolling bell
rattled by the wind,
things that I could never change
but rather forget.

The farmer said onto the sheppard
"I don't know what you should do with yourself,
you have opened the gate; the future
and the incantation in which it contained.
I feel like killing time;
the ignorant period of restoration
once was the incentive
to be alive. And mention in your prayers:
Africa,
you do not know what you have gotten yourself to...”

The civilians never wished to breed
and the rain poured towards
a recessed state. They seemed ready,
for what was next
was proceeded by oblivion.
Human existence;
a recurring vice.
I remember, the tourist said
to never be happy in a dream,
but I didn't understand-
I never understood,
but this wasn’t quite the truth.

The priest was wailing
and was buried alive-
beside the rugged river of Cavally
and awaits eternal life.
We couldn’t hear
the voice of the mother;
the morning cry she couldn't renounce.
Songs of the voice and the fullness thereof,
she had come to whisper a verse:
"No more rivers at the door,
at last it has found its rightful place.
You wouldn’t understand
what it is I’m after.
Suffer not
the witch to live
of the inner felicity
upon the crest of vanity.
A trackless land into the steady morning
that was guided only by the moaning of doves;
this was the way to hell.
You are the saviour they speak of
at the barren coven.
You once called this the last hour,
the hour of our death.
The sound of the wind,
the crest of waves;
a clarification of thought.
It is not what you want,
to wait in the fire
in which you so badly despise.
These are the last days,
and I have at last come to terms
until the end of the world."


We fared forward
through many green pastures;
a graceful pursuance;
a perpetual journey.
We rested, and the rain lapsed-
I didn’t feel like sleeping
so I receded to the Juniper tree,
there, I found solace.
The strange fruits brought no relief;
the road was filled with desolation,
a much updated ruin
within the jars of tribulation,
the siege of Africa.
The resolution of a dying animal,
I presume and cry out twice,
for what this image could resemble
and resemble much.

Time and madness
wine and lilacs;
the harvest of the mystic brew
the women couldn't bring themselves to drink.
They kept it discreet
from the sowing circle
upon the bleakest hills,
a place to be.
The idea of being cursed resounded me.
Naked old ladies gathered around me,
with leaves in their mouths,
enthroned in limbo.
And with a convoluted smile
they decreed:
“There’s no hope for you here,
like blind men
who grope in the dark,
who were escorted
by the immemorial horn;
you cannot escape.”
And it was so.
Time has told me to never fear;
it was all a distraction
and at once it became a distraction.

Dearest,

I watched Pharaoh’s dance at a distance,
where the demons could no longer sleep
and the poets couldn't bring themselves to sing.
My time is coming
and I’m no longer afraid
for the spirits I no longer embrace.
The problem and the annunciation.
The breakage and the destination;
in convergence,
they no longer discourage me.
By the throne of grace,
my visit remains sincere.
And now I leave.
This is not a pipe
#136
Watching Clocks
Written by: Jammydude44


I'd had enough of the limit
of the edge of the rough,
the rub of the green, the
lust and the love -

and then this -----

and then finite grew
(it wasn't with you)
and then I looked
close -

and I was sat on the meaning
for a day, a week, a month,
a line or two.
This is not a pipe
#137
distance
Written by: ottoavist


so
enormous;
like genre disposition and
hobo smiles,
the veiling mists of the divide seem to
purge its ghosts at me, relentlessly
but hey
restless hearts were never
a stone's throw, i suppose.

walked outside and knew
how the world worked

but not you;

into the bar
with wisdom
of the birth of life

but my divining rod
could never pause grace
in your wishing well.

i love you so much.

but alas,
i am a man: solitary and elusive.
please -
turn around and count to ten
while i bury my
insecurities, frustrations, and weaknesses
somewhere safe.

...ok, ready? go.
This is not a pipe
#138
the pains of being pure at heart
Written by: jiminizzle


one time back in high school
i picked up your homework when you stayed home sick
because i wanted a reason to come over,
but his car's there so i gave it to your parents
and left without saying anything,
and i hope it bothers you.
This is not a pipe
#139


god bless the outlaws
Written by: SilenceEvolves

that old grove ain't sweet no more
the oranges lay tossed along the floor
withered and dry, like fruit jerky
feeding the worms beneath my feet.

stumbled barefoot amongst the trees,
followed pawprints to an old cemetary,
and sat atop an unmarked grave -
when I looked up, there in the dark,
couldn't tell if I saw stars
or headlights on the interstate.

gave a bareback man a needle and thread
and he threw the damned old needle at my head;
tossed a goldfish into a wishing well,
but no matter what I do, it don't seem to help.

but there's this road I know, Old Dixie Highway,
drift by everyday on my way home from work -
I swear one day I'm gonna make that turn,
follow that road til my wheels can't rotate no more.

This is not a pipe
#140


Out of State License Plates
Written by: D&DLover

Headlights glint off the reflective white
And pressed tourist sites on an out of state license plate
My words color paths for the driver in my head:
The snow covered brake lights make halos of warming red

The radio recites its soliloquies low
While I tune it out, your voice swallows my evening view
Streetlights pirouette, elucidating brown eyes
Fingers intertwined as we follow the traffic lines

I taste shadows of distant stars
Echoed across windshields of the parking lot-lined cars
I taste the language on your lips
And memories of last week’s departing wooden ships

Your arms wrapped around your legs in front of the blaze
While the movie screen spills faint flickering light on your face
The gentle string soundtrack scoring our scene
As we sit together by a film that I’m hardly watching

We open our minds and pour ink on each page
Of a history textbook simply titled both our names
Quiet exchanges, longing timid hush
Conversations march circles like lost hikers as our hands brush

I taste shadows of possible lives
Echoed across the clear lenses of auburn eyes
I taste the language on your lips
And fading memories of yesterday's casual quips

This is not a pipe
#141


Winter In Me
Written by: BrandyCross

theres nothing soft about the leaves that fall
and winters chill it takes them all
another night all alone
i guess thats why its broken

and i could almost feel
the softness of your skin
and wonder what it would be like
to hold you close and then.

the frost that sets in
as the day turns into night
wake up in the morning
and nothing makes it right
because its become apart of you
nothing left that you can do

and i could almost feel
the softness of your skin
and wonder what it would be like
to hold you close and then

this house is not my home
it merely holds me in
and love its not that close to me
to far away to ever be

sit and watch the leaves that fell a long time ago
autumn rain has turned into the cold of winter snow
a little shiver at the sight of ice on the tree
ill cover up and try to hide the winter here in me

This is not a pipe
#142


the love song of will navidson
Written by: NGD1313

i remember when
we walked full frost
through the colored parks;
each piece of playful scenery
pulled apart from the picture,
by the whites of the winter
and your center of focus.
sitting quiet and simple
on the benches and swings,
compelled to smile, not
because i asked, but
only because you could.
i found out what all the meager poets
gave their lives to spinning.
like a portrait, our cheeks sore from the grinning,
but in the possible still frames
of our every day romances,
i find so few are fit to waste
on your cameras.

this one is mine and mine alone.
This is not a pipe
#143


Separation anxiety
Written by: Rasta Dogg

Pt. One

Hazy carmine taillights interrupted darkness
Bright, they were fiery autumn leaves against dead asphalt
I took my cue to leave
I hit the ground rolling

We witnessed a lifetime together in a single night
Iconoclastic love is sandwiches at three am
And watching sunrises over polluted beaches.
Fleeting.

Pt. Two

Wake.
Sweaty palms and the plane isn't even halfway there yet.
Comfort tattooed on the back of my hand
And
I can breathe again.
The text message punctuates this romantic ellipsis.

From 35,000 feet,
“Happy birthday. I love you.”
This is not a pipe
#144


filter-dope Saulm.
Written by: ottoavist
caressed his bottom lip with
the cigar not lit, yet.
a mission is in store, in loveless
cooperation for
matters most secret; Saul fiddles
numbed thumbs
and hums knotted thoughts
loudly to all of the nothing surrounding.
he is nude on the couch
with a plate, hooter and razor;
he is pierced with lust and coffee
and the microwave smells of an
acetone justice, just follow
the track-marks all the way
to his tear ducts.
this is the way elements
are broken down
and seduced into the most
confusing sort of romance
and this is the way
humans are cracked open
so no matter how hard the eyes
are shut
an imprisoned soul is revealed
to every sense and angle
he lifts the baggie
and orgasms
he chews the remains
like a fiendish creature
till the last is no more but what is
mine.
i see him in the eyelids
till the light bursts through
and then he desolves
with it and
me.

i remove the cigar once again
from it's tube and spark the torch;
toss the cigar
and hide the tube in a sock
to love me later.
This is not a pipe
#145


Pocket Change
Written by: Milo.

ellie counts the tiles of my roof
and i try to match my breath
to her steps
as she hums (she never sings),
drags her feet
and insists we sleep on the floor
so i never have to fix the sheets.

and i love her.

i tell ellie about
every dream and every coin
that i left to die in wishing wells
and she tries to understand,
but she doesn't believe in what i believe
and thinks it's the prettiest thing
that i still dream.

and i love her.

they told me i couldn't be an astronaut
because i lacked the stomach and i lacked the heart,
so i tore apart the tiles of my roof
hoping to carve mountains instead of stars
and ellie was there to fill my hollow arms
with the smooth of her skin
and the solace of sin.
and whispers that she wants some of my clothes to take back home
because if i'm not there, at least she'll have the memory to keep her warm
and i told her i loved her
not because she hums and never sings
or how she breathes when she sleeps,
but because she can find the beauty in everything,
even the coins that die for our dreams.
This is not a pipe
#146


water insects
Written by: culex-knight

you were all dark green and
alaskan auroras; during those
days heaven was underwater,
the sky would alight at
early morning above the
willows, who never seemed
awake at all, really, but they
taught their tendrils to
touch the face of the lake--
we would swim through them,
those forest fingers of
sleeping trees, glide across
the glass face of the lake like
water insects.

#147


rapture.
Written by: Carmel

No one knows the city like I do,
when I feel its sleek pavements so close to my skin,
speaking with voices that vibrate within me,
through my everything, and hit heart and soul.
As the cold days breed these new words,
painting my lips with chapped meanings,
steering their way across signs of urban misunderstandings –
I try to find joy in the uncontrolled rhythm,
in the chasm created by this new addiction of mine:
the noises that sing in my daydreaming ears,
the eyes that tear up in the face of this breeze,
the teasing short glimpses of fast conversations,
always blurred, never all heard as the world walks me by,
leaving my uncertain body of lies in its midst,
mystified and unjustified, unloved in a way,
waiting on the streets to end on the day
all buildings implode on my reason.
I live in a street-junky prison, every day,
breathing the curves of a city that plays me;
I want to explore it, to caress with my mind,
to make it be mine and find cause
in its concrete gray parts, in its cold stale stone of a heart,
lost among the nameless faces I’ll never know and that
will never know me.
I crave just to be and for them to be free
from the immanent rapture that’s bound to eventually come
and slam down on this speeding, spiraling mechanism of ours,
spinning out of control until it finally breaks us all
and wakes up everyone that will never see who I am
as they walk upon me,
the earth to their feet.
#148


speakerbox serenade
Written by: spike_8bkp

If in my boundless wandering I find a definition of you,
rest with the wisdom that the focused corners
will be explored with human precision,
shadows of soundwaves, avenue parades,
rhythms and earthquakes, and unlearned truth.

After that, you may stumble upon my solitude -
surrounding it are threads of misplaced chaos,
pensive revolution, thoughts of home, indecision -
all sadly deserted at the peak of a fabled reign.

Create from them what you may sustain faith with,
for there is only a violent end to ferocious winters:
the angles of heaven are slanted, serpentinesquare,
and all of its armies of angels are already here.
#149


blue flower dishes.
Written by: pixiesfanyo

i caught myself in luke warm faucet water
forgetting ways on how to say
anything creative.
a useless display of teen cliches
and finding time to get inebriated.
when will drinks catch up?
when will passed days make me feel less jaded?
i've turned hot to cold
trying to wash away the overwhelming.
tired of old thoughts of time
and being sold on why we're here.
the stupid rhymes
shivering hands and having to
watch facial hair always disappear.
i look for something solid.
ache for something timeless,
easy and to always keep near.
This is not a pipe
#150


"Fu**ing These Days"
Written by: stellar_legs

I've been hiding behind my beard because it's the only thing
on my face that seems to be flourishing these days,
I will never ever go to outer space so the ocean
is the closest to the infinite that I will ever have,
So throw me off a boat when I croak after you donate
my intestinal tract, fascinating liver and teeth to
a Dayton science show,
I'll be hollowed to float - We all want death but the
process of validating suspicions moves so slow.

Little girls who present womanhood will be the death of me.
The way they move, the way they drink, the way they speak.
I understand eight months with me is enough to make a person cheat,
But I'll always have thick, coarse brown hairs embedded in your
wet, soiled, love-stained sheets.

The low rise collarbone of engineering gaps a span
of water never seen by me,
A place to wash my shit because I was rugged
before dog-like men ever scaled the tops of trees.
I piss in parking lots,
Can lift full 13 gallon trash bags over my head,
Lace up heavy boots and eat and sleep to eat and sleep.
I never make the same mistake twice.

Little girls who force maturity will be the death of me.
The way they socialize, the way they wink - the story of onset bleeding.
We shot wads across parking lots the day we grew our hair long, washed our
dicks for several minutes in the shower and gapped that bridge over
troubled water into much ado about fu
cking.
This is not a pipe
#152



Vishnu's Wunderkammer
Written by: jiminizzle

"hundreds of thousands of hospital beds and all of them empty but mine"
-Shiva- peter silberman

i
-Matsya (fish)

"you are being realeased from here."
you walk away to the great lakes
along the floor something has changed.
I am driving home and soon know.

ii
-Kurma (turtle)

gathering soil
from the deepest valley
forests in jars
filled with lightning
bugs that float like shooting
stars in the canopy of leaves
and in the shadow of an old mountain
man and his mountain.
he laughs as you huddle away
with his home and his land
straddling the stretch of your back.
he follows you from afar
as you have won him too.

iii
-Varaha (boar)

"I am atlas
again
I am following maps, and
You are on my shoulders
like a young girl
at a fair-
soon we will be far from here"

iv
-Narasimha (man-lion)

this is not the end, yet.

v
-Vamana (dwarf-priest)

here it comes to a slower pace.
there is a mother and a son, her
husband is gone
there is somebody hurting
a young girl in the room next-door
and the mother stares at the peeling wallpaper
her son is fed up
dropped out
and almost done
with reason to give up
and for a moment there is no mother anymore.
here is where it comes to the beginning again
the boy opens the door to leave
headlights pull in faster than the breeze
from the small fans motor straining against florida heat
a man gets out dripping wet in the moonlight
tells him its gonna be alright
"I'm back we can start over"
and suddenly on top of everything
the boy looks older

vi
-Parashurama (warrior-priest)

it smells like a closet in here
with father's leather shoes
lining the floorboard
and belts and pants
draping over my face.
this half holds everything
that I ever held in the dark
of the last night of a journey home-
my existence bound to the world
by indian feathers and bullets from the civil war.
the other half is desert shelves
alive and squirming
waiting to be filled.
Mohini wanders
and I with her to
cringe before Shiva-
a nightmare in a bed
too small to writhe in,
a last memory tossed
a turn for the worst.
a boy birthed to always be alone
a room woven to complete him
but calm
a flower in a tree hangs
plucked and pressed
overtop of me.
there are no prisoners here

vii
-Rama (prince)

I will do my duty
and for that, you will never know

viii
-Krishna (bliss/cow-herd/boy)

við sváfum
Stórviðri ofsaði út

ix
-Buddha (thinker/statue/to shiva)

I sit and wait
watching the door
I've given my part
You're off collecting yours

x
-Kalki (horseman, who has not yet appeared/sleepy hollow)

you come home to me
wicked as the west
four-armed
& hunch-backed
from you're now-full chest
I might have said under my breath,
I care not for burdens past
for there is more to carry in lives ahead-
"but the vault we build to watch your end
will never see such things again."
#153


400 Blows
Written by: punchupatatigge

eszter is sick so
tonight i hit the ground running solo,
a few hours later and i am alone, shadows
of old Britishers who monitor media publications,
Hungarians who think i don't know the word "turban"
as if i don't know it in every accent--
her eyes wander over to me, i meet them,
she looks away, a whisper to the girl next
to her, and the conversation ends rather abruptly--
a long-haired drunk-ass receding-hairline Hungarian
asks me from the other table if i agree;
"time is fragile space. space is running time."
i don't understand but it feels significant,
he babbles on about punk-rock,
a Pall Mall in my left and a Dreher in my right
a whole lot of tourists but they probably
read Frommer's Day-to-Day Budapest too.

i'm slumped in the backseat of my taxi with the window open
after taking the "Soviet underground" (as she calls it)
and seeing Eszter off at Dohanya ter in Buda,
i've got the one cabbie who doesn't know the New York Palace
and suddenly we're blazing down the Chain Bridge, i sit up straight
with Buda up my ass and Pest at my feet and i feel
just how small this city really is, Erzsébet-híd to my right
and Margit híd to my left and it feels like the Manhattan Bridge
except no concrete wall of buildings, not so many lights,
no NYPD but that strange old huge building popping up
in your face every once in a while, stops my heart for a second--
i take a deep breath and toss the cabbie 1200 forint
and slam the door behind me

her hair is blonde and her eyes are blue
but she is quite pretty in fact,
my bags are packed when i go to see her for breakfast
the last time for a long time,
it is Monday morning and i am born anew
today i know what i want and am fully prepared
to raise hell to get it, the plane leaves
in a few hours and time is short
New York--
it'll be there quicker than a kiss on the lips and a slap in the face
------------------

Oranienstrasse 34, Bar Luzia
it comes by text message
after 30 minutes of getting lost
I finally arrive--
it is the first time seeing her since Budapest
4 months later she is still pretty, shivering
in the cold, her blue eyes curved into her smile, glistening
as she meets me outside with a hug
and takes my hand lightly, leading me into the bar

I haven't slept since London but I am awake
the warmth of her leg against mine, my hand
sometimes gliding across the smoothness of her lower back
she allows it, looks back at me, still smiling
but with something different, it's 2:30
when a waitress takes the flowers and candle from the table,
3:30 when we leave each other,
my regret arrested with a smile--
tomorrow.

It's 6pm when I come upon Bar Luzia again,
I walk past but then change my mind;
I should be at the DDR Museum with her
making a joke to catch her eyes, curved into her smile
glimmering in a moment of pure distraction, then dinner
after which I'm just an inch from her, confessing
“i wouldn't have come back to Berlin if you weren't here”--
but Eszter is sick so
tonight i'm tucked into the corner of Bar Luzia, alone
sipping a pint of Berliner Pilsner over two hours
“hopefully see you tomorrow” it comes by text message,
the flowers and candle are back on the table
as I empty my glass and exit onto the darkened street


#154


honey.
Written by: cubs

your breathing sounds like the universe waking up,
resurrecting - beginning again under morning sun,
nightmares from lives ago lie dead on its pillow;
the confusion, condensed to the size of a period.

(oh, green leaf of joy
girding our days like a thread,
delicate like a honeycomb
and bright as a bell.)

while words rest - in plow lines in the soil and fountains made out of stone.
words of the song we've sung through the green fields of the world:
(their souls sink deep into my skin,
their notes blend with the insides of your heart.)

it's us for us.


because without you my handwriting wouldn't be cursive
and your green eyes would rust like metal locks under rain

oh, sweet beings sent here by sweet hands,
the sweet hands which made the Earth turn on itself!

brightness of days says:
- the golden feathers of love landing on land wasn't luck.


(i find the flowers on the soil
are sweeter and more each day;
ourhearts pose like a pair of bees
at the edge of a strange sunray.)

we change together, we sing and we breathe everyday.
(as the inviting landscape timidly unfolds ahead.)

#156



Happyness.
Written by: greyeyedfire

She leads me on
moaning and writhing
her eyes keep saying yes
but her mouth says "pickles"

I should never have taught her the safe word

She just stares at me now
pissed off because maybe I was looking forward to seeing her naked
I don't want to look at her now
so I get up and get a drink
she's always screaming because she's always hated my drinking
always accused me of loving Skyy more than her
I do,
I have to remind her every time

She goes for the pills
tries to take them away before I can take them in
I made them myself,
cut the safrole,
mixed the lye and 409,
put them over a burner, exactly thirty-six celcius
I had hand crafted my own happyness
and she expects me to just throw it all away


#157


the diamond in (neck)lace
Written by: Iamonfire

it is the turn, the reversal
the screeching of tires that once were crippled;
not entirely able to take you where you needed to be
making haste. forget love.
it is the turn, the rehearsal
those lungs that once produced the highest notes
now pierce your ears, ringing round the lyric
and struggle to exhale even the simplest cut chords
as you fumble for your keys.
it is the turn, the reverseal
that which was strung along
now hangs upon a thread
the blood diamond in (neck)lace
polished from the rough patch
revolving evermore, shedding broken light
no matter how you look at it.
and the same line that you adorned on your neck
now claims there are more fish in the ocean
despite you, always the greatest catch.
and that lock you picked,
keeping us in, now keeps you out.
it is the same lips that kiss
that also spit
is it is the same arms that embrace
that also push you away
it is the same adult that kids around
the child weeps in me
it is the same heart that grows heavy
that also breaks.
it is the same locket that is the key to it all
the part of me that time won’t let you have back
the spindle rotates, heads chasing tails- the mirror imagery
I am too top heavy. it is all dead, wait
I topple.
and of course
the same love that eradicates every pain,
pains me to say this.
that which was priceless is now worthless
and the same hand that waved you in
oceans of regret
now waves goodbye.

the axis remains on a tilt
drooping from atlas’s neck
as the largest cat’s eye in the universe
spins out.
the same earth that slept beside the moon
must also face the light of day.

the gritting teeth in the grass
weep as weeds do
the dew of the mourning
slides down their cheeks
and as she dies
I have my wake.
This is not a pipe
#158

easter 1989
Written by: NGD1313

god damnmotel carpet hair
mender's brown; the
skin(niest) wrists,
not quite
off-white.

little bellows, little birds strutting like
little fellows, all high on sunrise punchlines
calling back to little yellows peeking through the
holes in not-quite grays, that are holding back the
not-quite days.

i dreamt you were a train last night
all shaking and gray and seeming
to be only ever going one way.
i might've heard you screech in the
middle of the night. i might've
put my arms around your waist and
said it'd be alright. i might've drank too
much or not enough and slept like a
lie the whole damn night.

and the dogs bark like the
trailer park you grew up in
ain't ever gonna leave your doorstep;
the bargaining old and raindrops
aren't clean enough. you might stash
your blood in banks but your veins
are still full of ashes and garbage and
the heavy(iest) nothings.

i saw jesus in my toast;
saw him in oaks and
my bathtub and your
cigarette smoke.

i am a dog for love;
would follow you through the
winter holding the tv antenna
so we might get a signal and
learn to pray for all the things
we'll never have. i would sit
on the sofabed smoking the last of
your cigarettes with your head in
my lap; hair spilling like rivers
down your cheeks and neck and
run my fingers up and down your
tiny little wrists, hands tucked
tightly between my legs.

if nothing else,
i would probably
rise from the dead for
you or mary magdalene.

#159



Hymn; Or the Gospel of Joe Louis
Written by: OfLuckAndDust

I stood unsteady with blood trickling down my chin from a busted lip
"Listen, kid..."
The rest an unpallatable noise like hammers raining down on streets made of glass,
a call so chaotic and preposterous as to warrant a reaction of irrational rage.
My blues eyes turn to ash in their sockets and my heart implodes hymnals
A dazzling whirlwind of paper blotted with mouths of black ink
singing into the hopelessness of it all
From a time when I would go to the back of the church and fight
Alex Barnes for no reason at all other than I liked to imagine he was God
and I was there to make him answer for everything he gave me
so arbitrarily as if his vision
would work any better than
my own
#160



Pinched Isolation
Written by: Something_Vague

Sarah parkly, in a bench or a tree, sitting
calmly,tosst hair sat near and looked past
as to not make eye contact. She smiled and
I smiled and succinctly we burst into vigorous
necking, kisst her that dear and watcht stray
as men from the park looked away, held their
children's eyes and called local authorities.
Police arrived but nothing was done, set up
a yellow tape perimeter around were we was,
days went to days longer,
and weeks went to weeks longer
and we sat there still
caressing still kissing still meshing
and the park put up a plaque that said
'Lover's Caught in a Kiss'
and then weeks went to months
and months longer we still rested on that bench,
eventually the tourists came and started taking pictures, the Chinese
bored with their great wall had her and I to stare at,
and the Italians and the artisans put up little statuettes,
and items, television shows, movies were made
about the lovers caught in a kiss, and we never stood up
or protested, or cared because we could only see
what was past the tips of our tongues.