Tag Archives: poetry

Love Dance -Meaghan Menzel

The song is about love

Sweet but sad

A jazzy guitar strums

To a slow rhythm

I can dance to

Even alone

Three step turns

Step out then back in

Roll my head

Roll my shoulders

Roll my upper body

Roll my hips

I swing my arms out

My head looks both ways

The angel on my right shoulder

The devil on my left shoulder

I feel like someone should be

Dancing with me

I purposely dance

As though I have a partner

In my mind’s eye I do

I hold one arm out

He’d take my hand

I’d turn into him if he were there

I lean back

He’d be dipping me

Three step turns

My arms cross over my sides

He’d stand behind me

Hands on my shoulder and waist

He’d be next to me

As I perform quick footwork

He’d imitate my steps

I’d be enclosed in his arms

While I spin

I can almost swear I feel hands

I take long steps across the floor

He’s now following me

I sometimes look at my shadow

It follows me perfectly

Possibly the best dance partner

Besides the one in my head

The room is white

My companion shadow is alive

He could be too

Run my fingers through air

Stroke the air

I hardly breathe air anymore

Sickly sweet

My head feels numb and light

I’m lost

Between fantasy and reality

But I love this song

So I’ll just keep dancing

With a man’s final sad note

The music fades

He vanishes

I’ve been dancing alone

I turn away and

Strike a simple pose

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A poem by Val Dunn

Self-censorship is the antithesis of masturbation,

A cold calculation of what it costs

To give yourself what you want

But cannot have.

I say have it. Have at it.


Have her,

The girl you’ve been eyeing

Against the backdrop of a dingy nowhere.


Everywhere; she’ll go there.

And if she won’t,

Make her take her take you bring you here.

Sin is only made of fear.

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For a Price by Val Dunn

The Prostitute’s Proverb, For a Price

I am not a handmaiden of some lord.
I am a handmaiden of what for;

a prologue of a pouting deep darkness

dark like the shadows between and below

lips pouting and legs like the dexterity of raindrops.


And I will tell you what I don’t know

and tell you that I do know

that what I don’t know

is better than what you do know

-maybe, I don’t know.


My mind is not made up,

but my bed is turned down,

and my head spins round

and round and round with the thought

of you making it up to me.


For I am only lost once I am found.

If you cannot see me

can you see me frown?

Do you indulge the gentle pull of my lips?

Indulge and sink into the pool of my lacy white slips.


She will only stay white

in the fierce moon glow of night,

they say. I say

what for?

I am only and always a damned good whore.

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Love, According to Larry Stahl by Will Malkus

“Treat each one as if it’s fully functional and loaded,”

he says.

And that’s my biggest problem

because I know what an empty chamber feels like.

It’s metal-cold and there’s too much room,

but on the other hand, you can’t hurt anyone

and I’m grateful for that.


“Never point it at anyone that you’re not prepared to shoot,”

he insists.

“Common sense,” the whole room thinks.

And, you know, I haven’t.

Except maybe once.

She said she never wanted to see me again

which worked out, I suppose, in the end.


“This is the shell,”

he says, and he points to my chest.

“Inside is the bullet.

That’s the part that can kill.”

So now I know what it means

When I can feel the piece of lead in my chest pound

Making it hard to breathe.


“When you pull the trigger

the hammer strikes the cap, and it explodes,”

he looks at her when he says it.

Maybe he knows what her smile does to me.

The way he describes being shot, it sounds like most mornings,

because when you open your eyes, I get tunnel vision

and I’d swear I can feel them looking right through me.


Did you know,

That when you finally let me see your face,

I feel holy?


“If they see you with it and stop you;

One: Do nothing quickly.

And two: Do nothing, quickly.”

But, sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful,

I’m just so fucking sick of freezing when I see her.

So I’m going to spin it around my finger

Give her a John Wayne smile

And tell her to draw, pilgrim.


See, the thing is, sir,

I know I’m being unsafe

and your advice is great, don’t get me wrong,

but the thing is,

and I don’t know about you,

but when I find myself staring down the barrel

I get a split second to weigh my options,

pros and cons,

gain versus loss,

and, well, it may not be safe,

but we wouldn’t play with guns

if they didn’t make us feel so damn alive,

would we?

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When I Am Drunk I Am an Indian by Will Malkus

I am a warrior.

And I am poisoned

Just like all great warriors.

My stomach is full of the tears

That were shed

Or weren’t shed

On a long walk

My blood is thick with ink

Or names, or both

But because there are no names in my blood

I am full of poison

My ears are ringing with bloody, ululating pride

And when I slam my feet into the ground

They scream at me

To run faster


I am a warrior.


I am a warrior.

I can do no wrong

I will never bow my head

I will never cut my hair

As long as I am poisoned

Or alive

I will wear a lopsided smile

As my warpaint

And when I am poisoned

I will never stop fighting


I am a warrior.

I am covered in scars

My head is full of the white man’s bullets

And they know everything

They teach me how to fill my belly

With unshed tears

But early in the morning

Before battle, before we walk forever

And forget war

I am whole

And there is no ink in my blood

And there is no poison in my blood

But I am only a great warrior.

When I am poisoned

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The Thing That Breaks Plates by Zoe Woodbridge

When she’s mad she drops things

like plates and pots of water.


She never dropped either of us, thank goodness.

She always said she would drop him first.


Our father, that is, as he sips his drink in the parlor

if you can even call it that,

as my mother washes and drops her dishes

and fights back years of words she’s never said.


I skim, no…I read, I immerse myself in his poetry

and maybe I can see why he drinks

each glass of wine or vodka depending on the day,

because his life is so hard.


How do I know? Because he’s told me so.

Everyday he told me until I stopped asking and then,

then he kept drinking and nothing changed.


Nothing ever changes until he stops drinking

Then the plates stop dropping but the yells are louder

and the doors slam louder and I hear everything.

We hear everything as our ears are pushed against the door.


I see now this is it, this is what tears families apart.

But we still cohabitate this place, this home.

She talks of leaving but she won’t

I know she won’t.


She can’t leave because I already have left,

gone to a place where they drink more, sometimes

they even drink themselves to death and I don’t get it


Why they push vodka down my throat when I refuse

and it burns, not the alcohol but these hot tears running

down my face, they burn my face


And I’m just left with scars on my cheeks

and pieces of  broken plates.

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The Pens Know All Your Secrets by Zoe Woodbridge

This one knows I stole it
from the office
and don’t really plan
on giving it back

The black one with all the bite marks
can tell you all about my first sloppy,
gross kiss and the bad things I wrote
about it afterwards.

The tiny pink one
that came with a stationary set
I got for Christmas from my cousins,
hoping I’d write to them,
doesn’t know that much.
Just what I buy at Giant, really.

But they never tell anyone
Not even the little pink one.
(You would think she would.)

They just let me hold them
and use them till they’re old
and done. Even then,
they know more about me
than I do.

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