Imbalance – Marta Shaffer
The pills aren’t for me: they’re for
the man who lives in my stomach,
who is hoisting up my spine with a stick
upon which he is trying to balance
the spinning plate in my head. It wobbles
like a warped record on a player.
The man’s neck hurts from always
looking up at the bottom of the plate.
The pills are to ensure he does not lose his
No Confound – Davo
Moon I sip
Soon I slip
Spoon I dip
me just a pebble
bounce here then there
maybe long time
from place to place
with new eyes now
flow of river
hush of wind
pebble don’t care
where pebble go
I think understand
no see clearly
what is moved
can keep you stuck
or free and new
can not forget
sudden sobbing spokeness
of the heart
in hoarse high tones
sound of ocean in back of throat
from the soul
burst from salty eyes
pain in harmony
now is gift
of new eyes
Untitled – Caitlin Eubank
the last time i dropped acid i smoked cigarettes
in my closet for seven hours
and swirled paint
with unsettling words on small canvases
until i came out of it saying, "never again,"
and each day the world got a little stranger, still,
and the meaning of the phrase "never again"
slowly churned itself into "maybe."
After Hours – Loston Grimshaw
When I taste cocaine in your kiss,
the evening drips and slips into my glass.
It's half past a full moon and I know you.
You only call when you've been drinkin,
that late night schmooze like
I got nothin else better to do.
"Hey are you still awake?
Can I come over?"
Sad faces with x's and o's
I keep my eye on the door
and listen for your car behind venetian blinds.
I hear your exhaust ticking in the driveway.
The red porch light catches you before you darken my doorstep.
You are eerie and Lovely.
and lets drink to the daddy issues
you tattoo on your skin.
Lets touch bruises and make music.
Let's binge and swing to the stars,
And then savor all the wild things
we are in the dark.
So few drink from your fountain,
the damaged basin of tepid dreams.
So few taste your lunacy,
the flow of ambrosia filtered through fits of loneliness.
And toast shot glasses
to the boys and girls who cheat on us
because we deserve it.
Here's to lookin at you kid,
your perfume smells cheap.
Likee Irish whiskey and Turkish Royals.
We are thoughtless patterns penned by whim and mortal error, we are the company misery longs for at the witching hour.
You hang your halo above the porcelain,
Like you're looking for something
lost in the toilet bowl.
Go on and puke up your liturgy,
I'll hold your hair back.
Go ahead and spit out the gold
only sad girls swear in tongues.
Ive fallen into your fountain
The half empty basin of tepid dreams,
Drinking in the moonlight ether,
your shallow space.
Go ahead and flip the record,
blow out the lights before
we collapse on the floor.
Needles touch grooves
in way that the sun could never love the moon.
I wish beauty would drink from my mind,
in this little shaken cosmos.
Drugs – Amaris Cardenas
Such as the devil you are warned.
Child, beware, be scared of the unknown.
Just like the devil, we find in the end
Drugs are like candy
To partake can be a sweet
Too many, child, and you may lose your teeth.
I Made A Promise – Evin Wolverton
On Christmas eve, I wept like a beaten fire hydrant
until my eyelids collapsed and I had to trace
the sidewalk with my toes
I followed the waterfront,
where every minor patriarch galvanizes his riches
into an exoskeleton against loneliness –
an unshared veranda, an empty third floor,
a mute, American flagpole,
more desperate than proud.
I made a promise to myself:
If I can't stop anything sacred from falling down dead,
I take responsibily for passing on laughter
to the animals.
An idiot in the desert, surrounded by hooves
and underbites, squeezing the sunrise
from his lungs.
The Sky-Thief Princess – Reed Rickmers
I heard you tried to lose yourself yesterday
with a bottle of hard drink and a handful of pills
so that your volatile heartbeat could finally just stand still
guess you needed to hammer out the inconsistencies
so you placed your dreams upon the anvil
well, turns out a lack of purpose most certainly can kill
Goddamnit, Jill, we knew each other since we were children
there was a game we used to play, it was called:
when stupid heroes fall in love with super-villains
we each took turns leading the other one onward
we would trade roles, interchangeable
even then we had the same soul
that's how we found it so easy to just ghost
go invisible, and just be gone
looking back, it was your laugh
that first made me see life for what it really was
made me hear the songbirds
you drew the shape of the world across the inside of my eyelids
now, twenty years later, I remain fixated on the way time slips
while you lay there dying
I remember in our early 20's
when I was approaching the end of Emily
and you were half dedicated to the surface
there was the only night we ever spent as strangers
discovering a foreign land together
in the morning it became painful
we both had been unfaithful to the normal lies
we tell ourselves to excuse our fear of happiness
and then the very next night
I had this dream that in the end we both make it out alive
but that's just fantasy, isn't it?
a comfortable illusion I use to fill the empty spaces
once occupied by my friend before she learned how to ride the wind
and then there she went, Jillian in the sky stealing diamonds
and it's hard to tell what was coveted more
by that horde of blind men who followed behind you
was it the Sky-Thief Princess?
or those shiny baubles once buried underground?
of course, true to form, you had to go and blur the lines
you always had a flair for the dramatic
always needed to show me up
when my nose became accustomed to the taste of cocaine
you had to go and become a heroin addict
though eventually I broke the habit, but you only grew worse
oh, my little Jillybean, looking back, it was the laugh you once had
that first showed me what love really means
though it seems like ages since I have seen anything
but sadness in your tear ducts
remember when we were innocent?
partying meant catching a beer buzz
in the beginning, it was you who were the fierce one
but the last time I saw your face
it was spelled out with shadows
remember when we were 15, hiking creeks
you fell down and shattered the bones in your ankle
so I lifted and carried you 3 miles, a young atlas
holding my entire world in my arms
I don't think I've ever felt more alive
than that single honest moment
that perfect metaphor and how you kept whispering
“I love you” as you cried
your tears and my sweat pooling on my collar bone
and even though we were just best friends, my only wish
was that your words would come true in time
after all, to everything it's season…
though I heard you tried to lose yourself yesterday
just like every other day preceding
the only difference being
that this time
Drugs – Tyler Shuster
Blood thick with patriotism the formerly innocent in swaying entranced masses have far outstripped the boundaries they would have set for themselves under different circumstances
What was once a last resort for those about to die has found its way into the hands of common people no more aware of its power than a stone is of the sea
Humdrum – Lowell E. Rhoads
You're sick again.
I never hear you puking when you're in the bathroom but
the bulimia's beginning to worry me.
Pills and pills and pills and pills.
Still I'm never the one on your mind.
I'm your waste of space,
your last resort score
for a taste of sweet leaf
when you're coming down.
I'm your fool.
Do you hear the jazz
cutting through the rain?
Or do you only listen to the idle drone
of your modern life? The humdrum
of some dumb conversation,
the sickly sweet floral dreams of
I hear Billie Holiday spilling over piano keys,
do you feel it too or are you fast asleep?
Im driving downtown,
rushing through the heart of the city
with the windows wide,
and I can barely feel the road.
Those head shops, those liquor stores
are lit up like heavenly gates.
I'm tired of you looking at me like
an old lover who wants me to fuck off and die.
I want to forget the way you look
when you curl up on the couch and listen to my heart beating like a machine gun.
I want us to be sober and sane
But that is simply asking for too much.
RAcognition – Kate Wright
The Outlaw Handbook states,
"revere the jugglers."
Free Will - Will is enough for me
good dose of Earth therapy
ungraspable certainty, is certain
enough for me
Some people know their locks. Some people know their keys.
the incredibly short and profound game of
"Would you rather?"
If I gave up both, I would need neither.
medicine isn't always easy,
but games are meant to be fun
in the carnival of my mind the only beauty that doesn't require
a nosebleed sacrifice
exists in the helix of playing and healing
fear believes the bonsai tree is better because you can see everything
forests are meant to get lost in
She asked me, "Why do you speak in metaphors?"
I see things in meta forms,
all objects are events are changelings in the crib of this foundling's curiosity.
the agitated electron, made it's way into a grain of sand, made it's way into a clam
princess and the pea, gave rise to the pearl, in the safest of hands
swans are the pearls of bird speci-nation
a point is hard to make
a "point" is hard to define
nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll agitates far reaches of space
alien race is an oxymoron, human's race.
perhaps fear and hate will stumble into some great
sphere of contracting interstellar gas
and a star will be born in the next dark galactic oyster
I've been writing this poem since we said goodbye
instinctual yearning, infinite returning
Love capital L
you say, "Only one electron," like it might be me
searching constellations, physics equations, saving money, saving seed
she can't always see the pebble for what it is
tumbling at her feet.
the difference between together
between Let's Go and Let Us Go
is all in one apostrophe
things are held together in strange, unexpected ways
RAmember, remember your share, meant to Share
eyes glaze over, distraction, in an instant
infinity and all it's lessons, forgotten.
tide pools, wheat fields, moonbeam gaze,
thread meanders into tapestry.
revere the jugglers.
Drugs – Alex Hilsee
There breathes in Amy
a game of resort
Whatever the name
she lost the child
To win back blue virginity
so much blood by a corpse
was that so brave a quest?
and then you're gone
and then you're gone
and then you're gone
If this girl is never born
no daughter again will want
Drugs – Izeck
Drugs are bad Mmmm’kk
Drugs can get you through the day
They’re fun in deserts, fun at bay
Drugs are at almost all par-tays
They can make your eyes act like rays
Drugs might even help you crochet
Ever had sorbet?
While you thought you were JonBenet?
Drugs, I’m tripping on the letter A
Or is it the Canadian “Eh?”
Drugs like I’m smoking Jays
Never the letter K
Drugs are the sugar mounded on your tray
Dumped in your drug, coffay
Drugs, any chemical could put you on this way
Go to rainbows and outta the grey
Drugs from the companays
Judge say “Yay”
People’s lives saying “Nay”
Drugs are sometime kinda cray
Crawlin’ ‘round like Sgt. Bray
Drugs to make you behave
Crave at the rave
Grave after grave
Make some folks brave
Makes some need to shave
Drugs are a lot of things but yours to be made
Your Love, My Drug – Ryan Wall
Your love was my drug
one I just couldn't quit
Your love was my drug,
But this addiction I have no cure
one I try to stay away
but I couldn’t stop loving you
your love for me was like a drug
when I talk to you it was hard to breath
my heart started to race
You’re memories my brand of heroin
My hated cocaine
You kept me grounded
You kept me sane
You’re My biggest fear
You’re pot and brandy
You're needle and spoon
You're whiskey and meth
You're acid and shroom
Your love was my drug
And here’s the reason why
I have no emotion for you but memories like scars
You left me desperately wanting more
You left me in a state of confusion in a world distorted
Make me fall to the floor
I found myself reaching out for you
Even when you’re no longer here
Your touch gave me the high I needed for a time
Sent those shivers down my spine
I feel my whole body burn with heat
Burnt from the withdrawals
As every single nerve becomes aware
your love was my drug one I couldn’t cure
But the withdrawals now gone skin no longer crawls, body no longer addicted to the pain because your love was my drug.
Bandwagon – Tyler Watt
Light up the escape route.
The exit sign was always waiting.
Packing up used baggage
to get back on the same bandwagon.
The destination never changed.
The goal was always singular.
Escape. At all costs.
Without looking at that
broken teapot on the floor.
Without listening to a song that
repeats the plight outside of us.
Without tasting a bit of freedom before
going back on the same bandwagon.
Sobriety is a menace to civilised society.
The more a person thinks for themselves,
the less one is held
by caged patterns of need and want.
That false desire for fulfillment external
that begets the eternal search for completion.
Before taking up that cigarette, that blunt, that nice flask of Glenlivet or the dime bag in the trunk,
remember that it's all one.
It's all a part of ONE.
There is no escaping that.
No matter how fast that speedball helps one to run.
There's no escaping the truth of one's capacity to create, so why get back on that same train?
Why repeat a lesson so clear?
The dialogue of the demagogue constantly appealing to physical desire rather than the rational neural wires that have been working so hard to maintain sanity.
The calamity comes as the strings are broken, when logic no longer carries its appeal.
In this sad and twisted state, the ultimate goal is to end such a fate.
To capsize and brutalize and find a million other new ways to die outside, because that's what it feels like on the inside.
It all stems from aloneness.
From feeling unwanted, unworthy.
These simple abstractions that hold on absurdly to the hope that the human is weak, the human is useless.
How fruitless an idea!
Some spiritual constipation that prevents the love from on high to smack someone in the eye and reveal, for a small moment, the modicum of peace that comes with being.
Forget the lesser pattern.
Ask, what would the child inside do?
Be the sovereign integrity that is held in all aspects of divinity.
Spin around a few times.
Make vomiting sounds and play pretend.
All of those weary ideals come falling out.
Those silly reasons to hold on to pain, to damage the vessel, all gone.
There's no more outside now. No more inside. No more You and I.
It's just us, forever.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.