Poll: Nobody likes being devoured by starving wolves, so MAKE DAT CLICKAMOUSE DANCE, SON.
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View poll results: Nobody likes being devoured by starving wolves, so MAKE DAT CLICKAMOUSE DANCE, SON.
2 40%
0 0%
1 20%
2 40%
Voters: 5.
So, instead of getting everybody's second pieces for this round, I decided just to re-use the pieces from the first round, since this is a "first piece" comp and not a "first couple of pieces" comp, and it would probably be too much of a hassle to get everyone to reply to me with their 2nd piece anyway. So here you go, this is for all the chips! Top two from each group moved on.

I went to church. This is what I heard.

It happened in a small town in New York. A boy brought a gun to school and killed 7 children.
Shit. Spit.
dragged across the floor
paints more than
red black and blue,
not quite an IOU
but nothing short of beautiful.

All of the mothers rushed to find out if it was their child. It was somebody's child. It's always somebody's child. The mom went home and stared at her son's unmade bed, at his muddy shoes, at his dirty clothes. She washed the clothes and made the bed. Put the sneakers in the garage on the shelf. It wasn't real. It was a dream. Then the hospital called and asked if they had permission to transplant his organs. She said yes, and his kidneys went to a dentist. His heart went to a minister. Two years later, she found that minister and talked, laughed, and cried with him for hours. And as she was about to leave she cocked her head, stared into his eyes, thought for a second and asked if she could listen to it- if she could hear her son's heart beat one last time. So she pressed her ear up against his chest for hours and heard the most beautiful sound in the world.
And she left
a changed woman.

There was a monk in northern Greece that had a dream of making a pilgrimage to the great city of Jerusalem. There he would walk around the basilica three times and kneel on the earth and the dirt and find God peeking down on him. He saved his money until he was old enough to say he was getting old. Then, he grabbed his cloak and his staff and his bag of coins that would carry him to Israel, but he didn't get very far. He made it half a mile before he saw a tattered beggar with tattered excuses for clothes and a tattered heart. The man asked for help. He had a family. The monk stared into his eyes and thought for a second. Then he gave the man his bag of coins and walked around him three times then knelt. Kissed the earth like a haymarket square but with nothing there.
And he left
a changed man.

I wrote a letter once. It was to somebody who knew me better than she realized, but she didn't realize what she knew. I wrote a letter about a little boy and a little girl who made a tire swing up on a hill somewhere back in the fifties. I wrote a letter about a teenage boy listening to lo-fi tapes in his bedroom for hours. I wrote a letter about a little boy, mid-twenties with his back up against a column that was holding up a hospital in upper New York City. A boy who fell asleep on the subway on the way home. And as the wheels rattled through the veins of the city born to me eighty years ago, my dream went like this.

I would see you like a hand reeled movie
sleeping on a park bench
in a town too small to go unnoticed in.
Waking up from a small hill in Tennessee with our bodies imprinted on it's crest.
A man would ask you if you had ever cried
and you would say yes
but it was red and soon drenched
in whiskey to help the pain
and save some face.
Save some for me, you'd say to your slipping hand
but it was already gone to your veins and the floor and a little in your jeans.
You hadn't hesitated, you just hadn't thought of stopping
And you would think of whether or not
you should have told him all of this.
And whether it was right to lie about such important things
But it wouldn't be important enough to think about until later.
When you would have time
and a place to sleep
that wasn't so quiet
and so lonely. A place with more people,
where nobody cared that you were there,
on their park benches,
on their minds.
A place in Andalucía with other people like you.

I crawled out of the steam into the lower east-side
opened my eyes
walked around the block three times
and fell to my knees at the mercy of a dark alleyway
Whatever comes out can have me
I thought
And I kissed the pavement
let an insult bounce by
And I thought about dreams
of us taking a steam ship to Spain
and worrying about not taking in the sunset
for as long as it was
but it would only get better until it disappears
and dreams of sleeping in Seville
and leaving everyone else behind
but now your bound here. You’re
buried here
you’re etched in stone here
Embossed in the city here.
Lady Liberty once said she welcomed me
But I don't know if that means
I'm allowed to leave
it wouldn't be the first time
but this time
I just wouldn't tell her that I wouldn't be coming back.

Maybe it's better that she never knows.
Off to Andalucía And I Lose You

It’s time to start again, there has to be an end
Stuck in this place so deaf to everything
You try to make me hear, the words that make me sear
But inside I have grown cold and numb
This other part of me has a mind of its own
It’s alright one day I’ll learn to fly

These thoughts that terrify
They control our lives
Can’t seem to change our minds
There is a reason why
It’s just hard to find
To overcome you have to try

So strong when in the light, but dark when out of sight
I can’t stop thinking about the way it is
Oh no it’s not enough, the thought is way too much
For me right now I’ve never seen you fail
The gift that you have given to me
This fear fades fast but we are never free

These thoughts that terrify
They control our lives
Can’t seem to change our minds
There is a reason why
It’s just hard to find
To overcome you have to try

Lay in bed, no sleep you’re trapped in your head
When it’s gone the time slips so slowly
Plead and beg, till the words are stale and dead
You might start to believe that it won’t change

These thoughts that terrify
They control our lives
Can’t seem to change our minds
There is a reason why
It’s just hard to find
To overcome you have to try

Take a deep breath
and look up
past the trees,
past the rooftops.
and see in the darkness,
see the clouds
drifting silently and peacefully

Now look down
and the magic is lost
to the glow of the TV creeping its way outside
and the sound of my pen
clawing its way across the paper
searching endlessly
for what?

Look up again
at those same clouds, still wandering
with infinite patience
to find wherever it is that they are going.
the stars wink playfully
begging me to come join them

Now when I look up,
there is no deep breath
no worrying about getting lost up there
and not being able to find my way back
I don’t care anymore
I’ll get lost on purpose
and only pretend to try to find my way back home

and down here,
there is still the stinging glare of the florescent lights
burning unwanted images into my eyes
the scratch of the pen
is scraping across my eardrums
I don’t like it down here
so I look back up
and intend to never look back down again

Panda Poem

Between the dribble of eucalyptus
And the sweet bamboo, pressed
Between the pressure of the solstice;
Pandas drink their wine.
And they ponder by the ounce why each day sets,
Why light is turned to night,
Why the imprint of trees leaves the clouds
And shadow is replaced by moonlight.
And in a drunken delusion, they always cry
To the night for an answer.
But the moon has a funny way of being empathetic;
Mutilating itself each night, carving slivers out of the whole,
'till Pandas are left in absolute dark;
Their questions waned
Into the waxing of the moons revival;
But they still cry, trying to will the waning power in the sky.
And while they drink their wine and cry, they ponder why.

Between the cage, housing a neighbor's birth,
And the sweet faux rocks, pressed
By the monotone of wind blowing in a gale around a miracle,
Tigers are born into a night,
But they are left, with fur sopping from the birthing
To ponder why their mother is not moving,
And their father is a million miles away.
But they are left with the wind of a miracle,
And ponder why,
Wind in the night can sear so completely,
And blind them something they never knew,
And now, will never know.
Ponder why a miracle can burn their senses,
And now, they will never taste sweetness.
They ponder why.

Earth, stars, elements.
Come to me, the zealous zookeeper,
Devour me in mystery,
And I will be forced to ponder why,
And I will cry into the night,
With the miracle of bereavement
Winding around me in a gale of drunken delusion,
Up towards the sky, up towards the clouds.
And I will ponder why.
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black
Anyone wanna break the tie?
Today I feel electric grey
I hope tomorrow, neon black