THE DICTATOR

A silence wafted over the crowd,

As the man raised his arm to the sky.

“My people,” he bellowed into the mic,

“It is our time. The time to take our place!”

The silence burst into a rupture of applause.

I turned to my father,

Who had began to walk away, and asked,

“Where is our place?”

He paused, and turned back to me.

He knelt, and smiled a tired smile at me.

He put a hand on my shoulder,

And an arm across his chest.

“Our place is, and always will be, together.”

 

His voice was like a pebble

In an ocean of people.

And like a pebble,

the ripples of his words

Carried a silence through the crowd,

 

Until a circle of eyes landed on us.

There was a pause,

Then the man’s voice called out to us.

“What is it?”

His voice was filled with contempt.

The people edged closer to us,

And my father stood up.

“My friends,” my father called out.

He pointed to the man on the balcony,

“Do not let this man

Steal the fire of your mind!

We have lived for each other!

Not as the fists of one man!”

 

The crowd turned back to the man

With expectant eyes.

They seemed unsure what to do.

The man brought his fist to his chest

And said,

“Do you not see what I have brought you!

Do you not see the respect we have gained?

A respect that this man,”

He pointed at my father

“Abandoned for personal gain.”

 

The people turned back to my father,

With eyes full of hate.

He glanced at me, and mouthed

“Go.”

I backed away into crowd

And my father was pushed out of sight.

 

I didn’t know then

That his tired smile

Would be my last sight of him.

 

A voice in the East rallied the crowd,

And they charged at him.

They buried him in a rage.

Then I turned back to the man

Far up on the balcony,

And I could see a faint smile.

A smile that said he had won.

FOR EVERYONE SAYING “FUCK 2016”

For everyone saying “Fuck 2016”

Let me show you something you’ve never seen

Fisher, Prince, Bowie, and Rickman.

Ali, Michael, Wilder, and Cohen.

 

And hundreds of others left unnamed.

Our democratic order driven insane.

This entire year has been a mess,

But let’s not forget the rest

Of the people out there who live this way,

Where the struggles exist everyday.

 

Oh, and I should probably make it clear

That we made up the idea of the year.

The idea that these problems stem

From a measure of time that comes to end,

Excuses us from responsibility

For the actions that brought us to hostility.

 

But if we want 2017 to be better

We need to learn to be together.

We need to learn to act for good,

Instead of just do as we “should.”

CARDBOARD KID

I’m a cardboard kid.
I’m faded brown on one side
And printed white on the other.
I’m exactly what they wanted me to be
They made me out of leftovers
And drew a smile on me.
They separated me from the collective
With an industrial grade X-Acto knife.
And they played with me
To fulfill their amusement
Until they found out cardboard
Was weak and flimsy.
My legs were bent and broken,
My arms were torn apart
And I was cast aside
Like all the rest of the cardboard.
Yet I’m still a cardboard kid
With cardboard dream
And cardboard feelings
But to them I was just a play thing.
And that’s why they cut out another one.

PEPPERMINT NOSTALGIA (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Snowflakes

The icy snowflakes

Fall like a flower’s petals;

Bring winter to life

 

The Monster

The monster is here

To reign terror over us.

I can’t control it.

 

Taste of Pain

You cannot tell me

What I should do with my life

’til you taste my pain.

 

Bittersweet

She tastes like honey

And she can move like sugar,

But, boy, does she bite.

 

Peppermint Nostalgia

I smell peppermint.

It reminds me of my home

In between the rain.

LOVE POEM #18 – CHRISTMAS WISH

“Merry Christmas one and all”

Echoed the television down the hall.

All the children were filled with cheer

Yet I just wished to have you here.

I just wanted to hold your hand,

Give you the flower that I’d planned

As your gift for this Christmas Day.

But now it begins to wither away.

The once vibrant petals begin to wilt,

And in my heart I feel the guilt

Of a kind man who had been too quiet.

To afraid to cause a riot.

 
Because to you I am just a friend,

Just another reliable bookend.

And it makes me bite my tongue

Out of fear that we will be undone;

That our friendship will be submerged

If I tell you those little words.

 
So please, Saint Nick, grant me this:

The courage to ask her for a kiss.

The courage to be something new.

And the courage to tell her “I love you.”

CHAPTERS (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Morning Showers

Hey look it’s morning!

We live in California…

Why is it raining?

 

Sleeping In

I am still in bed

And it’s already past one

I wish I had friends.

 

Help!

I need somebody.

Help! Not just anybody.

Just someone to love.

 

Chapters

As I turn the page

I find that all the new words,

Fill me with meaning.

 

Staring

I end up thinking,

“Who am I supposed to be?”

When they look at me.

STOOD UP

His right leg was twitching. Beating up and down like a drummer in the middle of his solo. But he was stuck on a bench waiting. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out at half past ten and rising. The birds were chirping, the children were playing, the air was crisp, and the grass seemed greener than usual. Yet he looked as if he were sitting in a dark room.

He had been there for two hours. Sitting, waiting, wishing. Hoping that she would show up. He let his mind wander to the dentist, to his classes, to his family, and back around. He’d look at the children playing happily and smile. But if anyone looked a bit closer, they would see the pain hidden behind that smile. The sense of worthlessness that had hardened itself inside. A sense that himself tried to hide away in drinks, parties, and friends. Yet nobody ever seemed to look that closely. They just saw the smile, and thought he was ok.

He stayed through the sunshine and into the starlight, until the happy cries of children had turned to the empty silence filled only by the chirp of crickets. Until finally a gust of wind pushed him to his feet, and he realized the time. With a cool, clean breath of the night air, he began his walk home. He passed by happy couples, warm houses, and smiling teenagers, until he finally got to his flat. He ascended the stairs, focused hard at the ground so as to not think about the let down he had experienced again. He numbed himself to the pain, until he could stand to face himself in the mirror.

He checked his phone. No new messages. No calls. No friends. He felt so alone. He tossed his shirt to the hamper, and left his pants on the floor, and decided to shower. The water was like the warm embrace he had hoped for. He let it drown his senses. The steam built up and cleared his lungs. He cried. First it was small dribbles, then in heavy heaves. He sunk to the ground, legs crossed, and waited. The water poured down on him for what seemed like hours. Until he felt the heat run away and the chill set in. He got up, shut the water off, and got out. It was time to get up again.

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (IF YOU LIE)

Anything is possible, if you lie.

Most people won’t even bat an eye,

And even when they start to pass you by,

At least they’ll believe that you can fly.
If you lie you can do all sorts of things

Be the president, make the Ring.

You can make all new friends

Who love you up until the end.
But one thing you can’t do is have a heart.

Because lies only break people apart.

Lies might be what make you rich,

But in the end, you’ll be in a ditch.

SPOILED BRAT

Good morning my dear!

I…I said good morning!

Can she even hear

What I am saying?

I asked my husband
You know, I think not.

It looks like she’s got

No time for her parents;

Just time for our presents.

What a spoiled brat.
No mom. I’m just asleep.

I was up all night.

And I’m only up, dad,

Because you don’t let me

Go out during the day.

A spoiled brat, indeed.