this feature and these wonderful works of art, thank you!
The amount of artistic talent here on dA has always amazed me, I feel like it should be a privilege to be able to feature such amazing pieces as these. Therefore, without further ado this Sunday's SpecialsLiteraturePoetry
the culling songi watch the clock shift,
its hands sinking like ships.
every notch in its rope
lowered into the sea of time,
i realise i spend
most of my time
thinking of dying.
i'm going to kill myself.
please stop laughing,
it's only going to make me
do it faster.
and it goes like this:
you pour your hips into mine
and i hold your bones together
like an eggcup of wine.
truth is i fell apart years ago
and you're only talking to
the fragments of a human now.
i feel you on an airplane,
pushing its way into the sky
as a baby does from its womb.
you're leaving me behind
on crumbling ground,
faster than even you
could have dreamed.
i become an ant,
a segmented being
divided in three-
where i am,
where you are,
where we were.
and it goes like this:
you leave me like dirt
under your fingernails,
and i hope it makes you sad
to drive down my street
to see my house
empty of me.
i want it to make you ache,
like your concerns
for yourself over me
what happens is this:
rahabshe's built of honeycomb bones --
where her skeleton presses, tight
beneath her skin her
sweat is sweetest
from her temple to
knuckles and knees,
her limbs brings tears to my eyes and
i use her ribs as a ladder;
her lips gates to heaven as i climb toward
god; as i climb toward her tongue,
whisper -- hallelujah
hallelujah; spelt across her shoulder,
a saviour savoured in fingerprints
that press faith into my flesh,
her heart beating hope
she presses into my flesh:
her rhythmic rapture,
lungs gasping glory
leaves me longing
throat exposed to revelation,
and from her temple,
to her temple, temple -
she is a temple
A woman is missing.A woman is missing.
My sweater is knit too loose and the wind blows through.
The leaves are done changing and are waiting to fall.
I think of them collaged against my morning-damp windshield;
they will mostly be red. My wipers will push them off;
I will forget about them. But inbetween these thoughts
my brain hums. A woman is missing and I cannot forget.
Two weeks ago the leaves were mostly green and yellow.
Two weeks ago a woman went missing.
I didn't know her but she went missing and today
I am standing at a wall covered with candles and
I am rolling her name over my tongue and I am thinking.
I am thinking and praying, but I am not hoping.
A woman went missing; a woman is missing.
I keep going to work, getting up each day.
I brush my teeth, comb my hair, pack my lunch, drive my car.
And mostly I do not think about her. But sometimes I do.
Sometimes the hairs on my neck stand up and the two blocks
between the library and the coffee shop are impossibly long.
the bright scarlet egg of dawn
nests in my head.
when it is time, it will crack my
skull like a shell
and be born.
I have a witch's fingers and a
witch's eyes, rough pewter lenses
through which I see the world.
I have sabotaged their crops,
I have plagued their children,
I have eaten their livestock in the night
(so they say)
and I hear the whispers in the streets.
they will be willing to kill
for their conviction, though
I am not willing to die for it.
I am no longer human.
I've been branded
with an ugly mark
of fear and desperation,
one terse syllable that cuts
like a switch.
a thin reddish line splits the horizon;
I set my ribs on hinges
so they can get to my heart.
a damp wooden platform,
a rough rope necklace
I am not a Spartan
carried home on his shield.
this is not an honourable death.
the art of making loveyou and i make love
without ever taking our clothes off:
through the cheesy poems we write for
each other, through all the sidelong
glances across the dinner table. your
palm pressed into the small of my back,
or when i have to reach up on my toes
(or sometimes, jump) just to place my
arms around your neck. when we nuzzle
our noses like inuits in the cold and
talk about growing old together. when
you start to fret when we aren't
holding hands, when i see your face
in a mirror and smile and suddenly
feel beautiful. all the gentle kisses,
laughing until my ribs might crack,
holding back tears when it's been too
long since i've seen you.
this is how we make love.
WhisperEyes solemn as pinewood
The touch of your hand
The river's at half-tide
They don't understand
The night is still falling
Don't know you like me
When sun breaks the morning
By sunlight you'll see
We whispered 'mongst spring-blooms
A promise to keep
When we were both yearlings
The valley is steep
My hands through your mane now
As sure as the day
Fly free as the meadows
Where grass finches play
Our eyes are still keen and
Our hearts don't know grey
With these limbs like greenlings
I'll take you away.
Static Smudges and Smears
The newspaper is illegible:
Crop circle smudges from heaven,
Or maybe sieved through the soul's portcullises
Forever closed off to the dangers of the world;
So, instead, I trace the fault lines in
Broken mirrors plagued with fingerprints,
A desperate attempt to read and
Ascertain the present and
But cannot seem to discern which rifts
Are simply my faults and which fault
Is actually my life line,
Where and when do they end.
But, as so often is the musings of fools,
This too is meaningless.
My Romantic Bones Are Dancinglove is...
the ability to face torment
from a thousand needles
drilling a million holes each
into the same square of skin -
the gouge is a constellation
accompanying an epic tale
that's every brand
the knowledge we are broken
by familiar hands
and restored by
familiar arms & lips
a metaphor for the inexpressible
god in each of us;
manifested in a flame, licking
hollow spaces in our yawning caverns.
one soul seeking the fingertips
of another soul seeking the fingertips
of another soul seeking
reparations for its mundane sins.
the first breath, the last breath;
the purpose of inhalations between.
The Last DetentionI've spent too many years sitting
in the back of a classroom.
We see thousands of chalkboard faces
in the evening haze of rush hour traffic.
The nicest days of the year always happen
when our Teachers give us detention.
We can't be trusted to punish ourselves.
Grab a stick of chalk and begin.
100 times- I will not cheat on my husband.
100 times- I will not miss my nephew's soccer game so I can drink alone.
100 times- I will not leave smaller tips for the older, less attractive waitresses.
100 times- I will finally get the courage to kiss her tonight.
100 times- I will tell him it is over if he hits me again.
100 times- I will not be weak.
100 times- I will notice the sky today.
100 times- I will invite the widow in 5A to Christmas Dinner.
100 times- I will call my sister.
100 times- I will learn the difference between what is worth fighting for and what isn't.
100 times- I will ask my co worker how he is doing and actually care.
100 times- I will do more than just get by.
What if there
When God Sleeps.I. So it comes to this: pangea tearing itself raw
from our throats to pour into squares of newly open sky
where the stars grew aches and darkened lakewater
once bloomed into bruised winters. Somewhere
beyond the thick of snow, prayers are strung
on moon-rattled winds
and birds' teeth tear apart the poetry
of our hands. They will raise something beautiful
from these ruined words.
Continents shift slowly. They are
dirt-bound titans, these beasts;
rootless giants that mold themselves
to fit the vision we hold inside our heads. Oceans sigh
and their tides crawl ever upward.
II. Our shadows become umbilical
in certain light. Unknown children cast
dark shapes of water
to nourish the gardens springing forth
from the dirt's wrist like a eulogy for lost sky.
Morning doves sing because they see what we cannot:
the years between us laid out like miles and our feet
that never mark the reddened earth and
the passion-trees birthing flowers of such cold, untamed souls.
We are walking in the wombs of
Romancing CottonSomeone told me that the balled-up almost was growing inside her like
a sapling, that soon the girl would be all swell and wet. What she said
was, "don't leave". Her ego was a white sheet caught on a branch, the
type of fabric my mother treated with contempt. Frippery, beautiful
but impractical: keeping it alive was like trying to catch a bubble with
The wind carried the sickly smell of opium and morning sickness,
signals of a spring in which fingers like white spiders cradled
the beginning of bloom. Hope seemed at once skin-near and star-far.
What I offered her was not a marriage proposal, it was a murder
of crows slipping across the sheet of day. Union makes for ardour
and sweat. We were trying to build a body bereft of bones, with
phrases shaped like small sharp pins, like dove-fletched
arrows, like abandoned godsrelatively, you're
beautiful and there are always greater pains.
I assembled cribs, prayed to the god of broken things.
Magentashe liked to face the general direction of applause.
she would devour entire poems but in haste,
she only thought in phrases (that had a nice ring).
a metronome was kept ticking by her desk-
a table of conversion to chew the syllables as they
rumbled past in clumsy, skewed boots with forced perspectives.
she kept her instruments gold-plated, silver-washed;
on the inside they were mahogany,
wood from sheared toothpicks lying in drains or
chopsticks ground down at a dinner table-
pickings from a heap of discarded things.
her eyes seemed to shine like gilded awe,
upon closer inspection it was found that
the reflective wonderment lighting up her face
was due to tiny metallic fragments
embedded in her watercolour irises
(from standing too closely to stage lights
directed on a podium when they imploded).
she goes to sleep being introspective.
she doesn't drink coffee because
either way she stays up all night,
tossing and turning over and over again to avoid
the faces of every
Too Many Clever BuggersThere were too many university applicants.
A theory for the clever bugger influx was that previous generations of university graduates went forth and multiplied. Another was the rise in opportunities for the peasant classes. Whatever the reason, there were now legions of heartbroken students feeling quite miffed. Touched by their suffering, the government voted to triple tuition fees so that many of the peasants wouldn't even try to apply.
Apparently that didn't work so well, making all the politicians very sad. They consoled themselves by claiming second homes with taxpayers' money, because even if you lived less than twenty minutes from the workplace, having two homes was just nice.
Using paper money to wipe away tears as they sat in their second homes, they wondered what else they could do to discourage the clever buggers from fulfilling their potential. Eventually, an idea came to them.
Testing. They needed more tests.
Unfortunately, it was known that clever buggers had a certain a
Why I Am HappyThe boy sitting on the park bench had eyes like sandpaper melancholy.
I think I noticed because I am a poet. I don't think anyone else but a poet could look at his eyes and think, "sandpaper melancholy." But they were that color. A fair brown. And grainy. I liked them in the way I like bitter baking chocolate -- because it has an interesting flavor, not because it is sweet. Unadulterated chocolate is almost unpalatable.
We like sugary chocolate because it has been changed. Adulterated. Oh.
Could tears clean out the roughness in his eyes?
That is why I am happy. I cry the Sorrow out, since poets are not afraid to do that sort of thing. The hunger of starving artists makes us sensitive.
He seemed like one of the people that can be Happy while Sorrow constantly nags on their heartstrings. Like, "Ha, ha, that film was funny!" but after the film is over there is nothing to distract you so tugtug! you remember being sad. They're always sad, but they can't always remember. He seemed ok
Artistic SolipsismThe world has ended. Maybe it was an alien invasion, an astronomical catastrophe, the ever-popular zombie apocalypse, or some ironic twist involving irresponsible science and man's own hubris. It doesn't really matter. Perhaps it was a grinding decline like a torch starving in the night, or a fleeting blaze of cinematic glory. That doesn't matter either. All that matters is that somehow, I ended up being the last person on Earth.
I learned a lot mostly about survival, but I'll leave that for a later monologue. I found that in a strange way, I had never really existed. No, I haven't gone mad. At least, I don't think I have. Allow me to explain
My first move, reasonably enough, was to find a dwelling close to clean water and nonperishable food, which would buy me time before I had to venture out for more supplies. Soon after I settled, I found myself doing the oddest
learn to smiletheres this man whose eyes bleed this beautiful, sad blue. he hides it though, behind dark crops of hair and thick eyelashes. sometimes i find myself wanting to count the folds and wrinkles that hide his cheekbones and teach him how to smile. theres times i pass him and hell be pressing a cup of coffee gently to his lips and it makes me happy. i dont know why but i think it shows me hes alive. hes hearts beating and hes feeling something, anything.
he writes postcards to himself from his capital city to make sure he never forgets where he is. he posts them to himself and wonders why he does it. he cant really remember, but he buys new postcards every wednesday on his way home from work. he tells himself who he is and who he wants to be tomorrow. hes never who he wants to be, though. hes always who he wishes he wasnt.
on friday nights i walk my dog past the pier. sometimes ill walk down to the end, watchin
Journey of a Coin.Penny's life started just like every other coin's long life: having been melted, flattened, punched and inscribed, she was finally born into the world in 1971. Along with her 1,521,666,250 sisters, Penny was introduced to a new life of travels and adventures and hardships, beginning in the bottom of a Tesco cash drawer.
It was lonely there, certainly not one of the high points of her existence: none of the other pennies were particularly verbose and the majority of them were dull, rusted and squalid. However, as one of the newest coins on top of the heap, Penny didn't have to stay there long.
On her first day on the job, she found a new home in the hands of a four-year old boy: his hands were sticky and grubby and soon both of Penny's shiny faces were thick with a mixture of soil, saliva and sugar. It was almost a relief when he set her on the counter in his kitchen, but when the child's mother came into the room and beat him violently for taking ten pence from the coin tin, Penny wish
Improbable(Lights up on a modest kitchen. MAN and WOMAN are standing, facing each other.)MAN
So, can I ask where you've been... all my life?
Here and there. Why? Does it matter where I've been?
Shouldn't it matter?
There could be something the matter. But why do you care? Are you afraid?
If I were to know, would it bother you?
(gasps) You know? How did you find out? What tipped you off?
The more appropriate question is... who tipped me off?
Okay, who tipped you off?
Ah, but therein lies the question, doesn't it?
Therein lies the answer, too, I hope.
Really? Does it now? Fascinating.
Don't you have the answer?
Do I? I thought I had it, but I might've eaten it, or used it to fill my gas tank, or mistaken it for a -
(yells) How could you be so careless? I gave you that answer on our honeymoon!
Wait - we're married?
I thought so... aren't we?
Perhaps, that fact has been es
The Business of Murder"Well, now that we're through with the pleasantries, Mr. Daniels, I must ask: Why is it that you want to die?"
Joseph Daniels sighed and slumped down in his seat, the picture of unkemptness. His face looked tired, with large bags underneath his eyes and at least three days' worth of stubble. His hair was a mess, his clothes were disheveled. He seemed to exude an aura of despair.
He surveyed the room he was in, which was quite his opposite: neat, orderly, unremarkable. Blank, white walls, some filing cabinents, three windows looking out on downtown. He was sitting in a plain, wooden chair in front of a plain, wooden desk with merely a fake houseplant and laptop on top.
The woman behind the desk, typing notes on the laptop, was similarly forgettable. She was dressed in a black pantsuit, her dark brown hair in a bun. Her eyes were blue, but otherwise ordinary. She wore little makeup on her plain face. She was as unremarkable as the room, which was how she liked it.
She had introduced hers
The Squirrel in the Woods"Can we go to the woods today, daddy? I want to find a dead squirrel to dissect. I haven't dissected a squirrel yet." She saw her dad's expression, and her face fell. "Daddy, please? You promised." Tears came into her pretty blue eyes, making them seem stormy and turbulent.
"Honey, you know how people talk when you bring a new
" He paused, searching for the word she had used earlier. "
specimen home. None of the neighbor's kids want to play with you, and the parents whisper about us behind our backs. There are standards in our society, and we have to uphold the standards or we will be--" He cut himself off as his daughter's tears streamed down her face.
It hurt him to see his daughter treated like the plague just because other kids didn't understand her. It wasn't her fault she was interested in different things than them, that she didn't like playing on the playground, or reading books about faeries, or finger-painting. He sighed, making up his mind. If it made his daughter
ThrillShe felt it every time. The rush. The adrenaline.
It was an accidental discovery. She hadn't meant to... it just sort of worked itself out. There she was, cramped up on the tube with everyone else, when Jane noticed the neck of the girl in front of her. It was beautiful. Such clean, soft skin, lightly peppered with hairs, snaking down to the secrets held underneath her pinkish collar.
No-one was looking. And they were all packed in so close together. So she just gave it a little lick.
Just a light brush with the tongue. A dab. She barely even made contact - just the faintest of pecks.
And it was beautiful.
The lady barely even knew it had happened. She looked around, absently rubbed the back of her neck, but continued flicking over her iPad as if nothing had happened.
That was when Jane realised that people didn't expect the unexpected, and as such they didn't react to it. The rush she'd felt.. that fleeting intimacy, that slightly salty taste just tingling on her tongue. S
these roads we travelYou could've been the girl who changed me.
I've fallen down and fallen apart enough times that it gets hard to remember, but sometimes I study my scars in the sunlight and trace the patterns back through time. I spend my mornings living in memories, reliving the places I've scuffed myself, and I've found that romance is better in hindsight. Her kisses are sweeter tinged with nostalgia, and it almost feels like I'm whole again when I'm thinking of the dents she put in my pulse and smoothing out the wrinkles she left in my resolve. For a moment, there's equilibrium, but then the sun is setting and I'm disoriented, dropping fragments of myself between cracks in the sidewalk I'm following down the street and towards an independent sunset. I'm standing on the corner and waiting for the light to turn, and you show up with a wayward smile cradled in your fingers. You press it into my grasp and I'm thinking maybe I've spent too much time looking at my flaws instead of my potential.
You could h
SunriseYou say my name like a poem you will never write. You look at me like a sunrise you'll never witness because if you stayed to watch, I would be real, instead of being just the promise of something beautiful beneath the horizon. You touch me like a question I can never answer, like words I scratched into your back that you can't quite read, like the only phrase in your vocabulary is "what if." I don't know how to fix this. I don't know how to use tools or how to follow directions. All I have are my two hands and the sheer determination to do something right for once in my life.
I'll duct tape phone lines and life lines and fault lines back together. I'll peel off my nail polish and rub my skin raw, so you can see I'm not a sunrise, I'm just me, don't worry. I'm not. I'll pretend I can hear your heartbeat in your smile and I'll let you think I can handle myself just fine.
You pinned the butterflies in my stomach against the cage of my ribs and tied the corners of my mouth to transcontine
For Sarah, Forever AgoI worked the midnight shift last night. It was the sort of night where you body feels so heavy that your mind just starts floating away. I was exhausted, worn. Sleep reached for my heart like a vigilante reaching for a gun, and I couldn't stop thinking of you.
You filled my head with poetry.
I could write something beautiful, that it was a clear night and the stars were out, that the moon shone above me like a love song in the sky. But it wasn't. The clouds were low and heavy and the streetlights painted the sky orange.
It was the kind of night that makes you feel trapped. The kind when there's no one alive but you, no sound but your heartbeat, a wolf howling and a siren in the distance. The kind when I decided that the world isn't big enough for us. The nights that turn into sunrises the sunrises that break apart the horizon and pull the breath from your lungs.
You know the nights I'm talking about.
The nights when the wind lashed our lips like we were sky-sailing to
fleeting forevermorei fell in love with a stranger today. we sat on the bus together for all of ten minutes- but i knew from the moment i laid eyes on her that she had my heart. she didn't even notice i was there. i sat by myself and out of view, in my usual spot at the back of the bus. i watched as she made faces at a little girl. eliciting the sweetest smiles from the otherwise quiet child. they began to speak and it was as if her voice was an angelic song. the velvet tones of her laughter warmed my heart and i longed to see her smile at me. i imagined it was i that was causing her to laugh. that she was so taken with me that her eyes glimmered with love and a soft caring which i knew permeated her soul. she got up- it was her stop. it was mine too. my heart raced- this was my chance. as we got of the bus the little girl turned in her seat and waved at my love. she blew a kiss as the bus pulled away. she turned to me and i saw the smile on her face radiating with a simple happiness you could tell was fe
The Little SparrowHer name was Emma, and she wasn't afraid of falling. For as long as she could remember she had been jumping - always plummeting. She understood the laws of nature: no matter how high she climbed, gravity would always carry her back to the ground; gravity would always grant her momentum to fall and wind-resistance to float. She understood why birds had wings and humans didn't; it was because humans would just as soon leave, and they belonged on the ground.
They always called her a little sparrow, always trying to fly, but they never understood that she didn't want updrafts or wings, she only wanted to scale walls and scurry up trees, to test the limits.
She wanted to throw herself from rooftops and swan dive from balancing bars, challenging inertia and gravity and the laws of motion. She wanted to cannonball into puddles and see if the ocean caught her, or if she merely fell through the earth to the steaming, bubbling core. She wanted to lift up her arms in triumph, her hair