metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
It seems like I moved through the world always puzzled,
forever the girl who would pull loose ends of strings
just to see what would happen, sometimes unraveling what was enmeshed,
always seeking sources but rarely finding myself pleased
with what I discovered. It's my curse, perhaps,
or maybe my blessing, this ability to trace but not

a commensurate ability to leave those threads in the knot
holding them in place, to find a shape but never fit the puzzle
pieces together. My blessing, or curse, perhaps,
to myself be a single piece of string
unfrayed by association from those who'd fret or please
me, to hold myself apart from what might ensnare

me past my point to divine myself. What matter, my yearning to entwine,
to create something lovely with another thread by knotting
ourselves into complex beauty? I thought it past my ability to please
anyone well enough, to find someone who matches the edges of my worn puzzle
piece and interlock to form an image, to find a hue of string
which harmonizes well with my own mild blue-- to be matched, perhaps

in complement, or alternately in contrast, perhaps.
So long I've sought one I could embrace,
someone to join me in stitching us close with strings
of conversation, someone who might love me when I think I'm not
worthy of love, the one who'd strive to solve the puzzle
I present, that person who might seek to please

me, and in that pleasure find themself well pleased.
I wasn't sure that I deserved them, had earned them, perhaps
felt that the loss of one proved me forever an unmatched piece of a puzzle,
a letter never sent and doomed to remain unenveloped.
How thrilling, then, to have these fears dispelled, to not
remain in the grip of these tangled dreads, to slice the anxiety-frayed string

with your sharp wit and let you reel me close with love's stronger string.
How long I've waited for the touch that would not panic but please,
for limber arms and legs to catch me in a knot
of adoration and proximity, to find, perhaps,
the perfect one with whom to entangle
both our hearts into one perfectly aligned puzzle.

Bind us together with delicate strings which we may perhaps
find durable enough to please our hearts entwined:
no longer uncomplemented, not to stay an unsolved puzzle.
metaphorliteral: (Default)
It comes every year, and here's spring
again, bringing with it my
usual promises to change my ways. I forget
them after a few weeks, thoughts flighty as a bird,
resolutions washed away sooner or later by the rain.
I've got to try harder, that much is clear.

It's coming soon-- the signs are clear--
the warmth, the longer daylight, birdsong, spring.
Once all the snow is melted by the rain
I'll open boxes and reveal my
brighter plumage, dresses gaudy as tropical birds,
shed my winter layers and try to forget

the length of this freezing winter. I've forgotten
what it's like to enjoy a day that's beautiful and clear,
but according to the scolding sound of robins,
soon I can revel in the mild temperatures of spring.
I'll take whatever improvement I can get-- my
boots and umbrella mean I'm well equipped for rain,

and as the saying goes, into each life a little rain
must fall. It seems so easy a thing to forget
on the sunny stretches, but I bring the rain upon my
own head-- I could avoid some of it if I was clear
about whether I'm up or down, but spring
gets me all turned around, silly as a goose,

confused as a nestless bird,
left outside to get soaked by the rain.
I feel more defenseless in the spring,
haunted by memories and feelings I need to forget,
fending off beloved dreams that make it clear
that this is where I want to roost, even though my

brain tells me to fly elsewhere, it's my
instincts that fly me back like a homing pigeon
to the one who always helped to make things clear.
It doesn't have to be this way, but into each life a little rain
must fall, and it won't wash my mind clean or help me forget.
It's the time of year I get nostalgic for a past spring.

To be clear, I don't blame it on spring--
My complete inability to even want to forget
the days billing and cooing like lovebirds, safe from the rain.
metaphorliteral: (Default)
They say you can't love anyone if you don't love yourself.
I stared long and hard into the mirror's surface
and eventually I started to accept the flaws I never
thought of as lovable before I had learned to stand
on my own two feet, even if I could only stand for an hour.
I found myself in a field lit only by stars,

found the single one I would call my star,
found my star every time I couldn't love myself,
coming back night after night to the field that was ours.
I walked by the water and saw myself below the surface,
walked on the ice to make a stand
against this frozen side of me that could never

thaw enough to feel the warmth of flame, never
find the spot of sky that holds my star,
never reach out far enough to take his hand.
If I wanted him, first I had to love myself,
so I pulled my frozen side through the surface
of the ice, held her in my arms for hours,

told her my history, hers, ours,
and slowly melted the ice that had bound her forever.
It felt like holding my breath under the surface
of the shining sea of light, witnessed by my star,
becoming one with this newly loved part of myself,
feeling the chill as my hand touched her hand

and overlapped, as we united, and
it took a year, or maybe an hour,
but at the end I loved my entire self
with a frantic single-mindedness I never
should have turned upon another, but like my star,
he'd been my constant reminder of why I had to look beyond the surface

of my teary eyes, delve beneath the surface
of my shallow thoughts. He was why I loved myself,
and how should I not have loved my lucky star?
I brought him to the dark field I considered ours
and showed him where I'd looked for comfort, ever
finding his brightness to turn me back to myself.

He never had trouble seeing past my surface,
but never saw me as a shining star,
and never told me how he saw himself, for all we talked for hours.

Love Spell

Sep. 7th, 2013 02:50 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
Perhaps my agenda is too overt:
my plan is for me to lead and you to follow,
to finally be your goal, to have you get in your car
and wonder how you ended up at my house. I know
the incantation to initiate this reversal, the words which
will bring me all I ever wanted: you.

I don't care about the ethics. I just need you
to come to me for a change, to drive over
all the miles between us, and knock on my door, which
is always open for you. Come in, and what will follow
will be just between you and me, forever. I have no
need to crow once I've got you under my spell. I care

only for what I know we could have between us. Does it scare
you to think of being in my clutches? What are you
so afraid of? I'd treat you well, cherish you, allow no
sorrow to cloud your eyes, no tear to spill over.
All I want is to make a request and have you follow
my plea. I won't force you-- I may be a witch,

but I'm not evil. I just have a heart which
cries constantly for your love, which is covered in scars,
which could have set its sights on any fellow,
but chose the brightest shining star-- you.
The spell's been said-- soon the longing will be over,
you will be here and finally I will know

your voice soft with words of love, never saying no,
the touch of your refined hands, over which
I've spent so many restless thoughts, the sight of you over
me at long last. Get in your car
and come to me now, I've waited long enough for you.
So I bid, and so you must now follow.

I've left a trail of fairy lights along the route you must follow,
I've marked your way and made a place for you. No
excuses now, no hesitations-- it's time for you
to be mine now. My spell has you bewitched
and in time you will love me in truth, will care
for me above all others. My incantation is over.

A spell for now, but true love will soon follow:
perhaps you hold no love for me as yet, but witches
have power over men, and so I over you.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
You knew that you were what I needed,
so when I turned around, you were a ghost.
Any good mistake is worth repeating; every
time I said "I love you," expressed my wants,
did you think my words were just blowing smoke?
You knew my desires and thwarted them. Have

I ever learned my lesson? It seems I have
hit upon the way to never get just what I need--
simply ask you for it. Sitting on the porch exhaling smoke
and dreams, my breath shaped a ghost
out of your name. Come here, I want
to tell you a secret: you were never

just a man to me, not once in memory were you ever
simply physical, and you may never be. You have
a gravity to you, words and glance and gesture. I want
your focus, I wanted for a while to be what you needed
like you were for me. When I'm a ghost
I will haunt your grave with longing and the scent of smoke.

I don't know how to cope besides to smoke.
The stress has been getting to me. Did you ever
think of how I felt, or was I just a ghost
occasionally troubling your thoughts? I have
to know, even if it hurts. I think I need
to trouble you if I can't be what you want.

I wish you would have told me what you want.
No sweet, no liquor, no intoxicating smoke,
and I guess not me, either. Did you ever need
to hold me reverently in your mind or did you never
think to ask yourself what I could be for you? I have
to admit I'd still give you anything-- my breath, my ghost,

my body or my love. I'm haunted by the ghost
of who I could have been for you, if I'd been what you want
even for an hour. Tell me now, what have
you wished for in secret? Did the smoke
of the torch I carry for you never
once bring tears to your eyes? What do you need?

I choke my love with smoke and let the ghost
rise and soar away. You need to know I never
wavered in my devotion: you are what I want, what I need.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
Every night, I dream of love
and every morning wake into a nightmare.
I search for vibrations and frequencies. Will
tuning into the right wavelength bring me your voice
or merely lead me further into the desert?
I look up and see nothing but the glow

of the lights above the Arby's. I look down and see the glow
of your smile for me. What terrifying love
forces cacti to bloom, brings rain to the desert,
dispels for a moment this waking nightmare?
What power in the mouth which shapes the voice
that murmurs in all our ears, that will

hold our town together with force of will
and a private smile lit by the glow
of the "on-air" sign? Your sonorous voice
telling all of Night Vale about your love
for me is sort of a privacy nightmare,
but my romantic life was a barren desert

before I moved to this uncanny desert
town. Did some small part of me will
this impossible place into being-- some forgotten nightmare,
long ago demolished by the nightlight's glow?
Was some corner of my soul so desperate for love
that it conjured up this place and the voice

of my beloved Cecil-- the Voice
of Night Vale-- surrounded on all sides by desert
and monitored by the Sheriff's Secret Police, but willing to love
regardless of all the eyes and ears on us-- the kind of will
to love that makes the sky (mostly void, partially stars) glow
and reassures me with soft words when I have a nightmare.

When I got here, I thought this place was a nightmare.
I never thought that there would be a voice
to murmur my name affectionately, a hand to hold beneath the glow
of mystic lights, a man to walk beside through the desert,
a heart to cherish in the darkness. I will
tune my radio past the static to hear my love.

Somehow my nightmare turned into a dream of the desert.
Will I be forever bewitched by the mysterious glow
or will I find my love by the sound of his voice?
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
My dearest love, please close your eyes
and while I hold you tightly in my arms
accept that I cannot control myself.
You are the only thing that can keep
me sane and quiet on these rainy nights.
Allow me to show you my gratitude.

It's rare for you to express gratitude--
the thanks you give me come more from your eyes
than from your words. When, in the night,
you come and enfold me in your arms,
that is exactly what I cannot use to keep
these words of love tucked deep within myself.

Yet, sometimes, I regret your lovely self
offered to me in twisted gratitude
and sympathy. If what I most desire to keep
is offered only when I'm most in pain, my eyes
would be forfeit, I would give what would most harm
me to lose, to keep you with me every night.

But--oh-- the endlessness and dark of nights
spent with the ghosts that haunt my former self
terrify me... with you, I am well-armed
to defend my soul. The pure gratitude
shining through my unfrightened eyes
seems to touch you. "I wish I could keep

that look on your face forever." Then just keep
us here like this, beloved, through the night
and I swear I'll stay this joyful. Although eyes
might close in weariness, my inner self
will not sleep, but cry out in gratitude.
There is no safer place than in your arms.

The morning sun beguiles with its charm,
the dark of night is the moon's lonely keep--
but you provide my light-- with gratitude
and love, I set my course by you at night
and chart my travels by your radiant self
by day, when you are still dear to my eyes.

I could not keep my gratitude inside--
my eyes told you, my arms spoke the words
that in the night, our selves echoed silently.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
The day in question had a sky of brilliant blue,
as is usual for my crises. The weather
never cooperates with the unlucky daughter
of water and fire. It never sides with me.
Clouds drifted by in sheepy puffs, shifting shape,
and the day was lovely, but that's not the point.

Maybe I should just get to the point.
That day, the sky wasn't all that was blue--
I was feeling sort of down, bent out of shape,
to put it plainly, I was sick-- under the weather.
It seemed like only bad things would come to me.
I felt it in the air-- gift of a seer's daughter.

Foresight couldn't change my luck. (I thought it oughter.)
Some force of nature thought it apt to appoint
the daughter of foxes, the least likely heroine-- me--
to save the day, find from whence spring winds blew,
and record my deeds in rhymed couplets, whether
I would choose the form or not. They cannot force the shape

of my poems. All I cannot control is my own shape.
I should have stayed in bed, a shell of blankets, daughter
of birds. I should have called in sick, blamed the weather.
The alarm's shrilling cracked my shell with an audio point:
I swung at it one-handed, blinked sleepily at the blue
sky in my window, and knew things would go badly for me.

The birds outside had a coded message: "so la ti re me"
"a poem is commissioned by the fates," words were shaped.
I whistled notes back to the birds in blue:
"tell them she'll obey, loving and obedient daughter."
I couldn't see why me, why my poems-- what's the point?
I was getting ill, and besides never wrote well in this weather.

Against my instinct, I decided to take advantage of the fair weather--
pack a lunch, a notebook, spread a blanket beneath me
on the grass, and subject innocent paper to the point
of my pen-- if I could force a point through the shape.
It was all doggerel, some imagined love between boy and witch's daughter,
and my repeated creative failures only made me more blue.

Finally the shape of the poem overwhelmed me.
I ended the pointless poem about no one's daughter,
lay back, and enjoyed the sunny blue-sky weather.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
The taste between my lips is tartly sweet--
pomegranate staining them a deep and bloody red--
but my favorite fruit is little more than ashes
in my mouth. You've come-- gone-- left
me here alone, my thoughts my only company,
you with green glass curled in your elegant fingers.

I can't help but try to catch you with curled fingers
as you walk away from me; it's bittersweet
to realize there's no time I don't want your company;
while here, I am surrounded by books unread,
berated on all sides by duties undone, writing left
for another day. My notebooks turn to ashes.

Still, there's a phoenix risen from these ashes
where my inspiration died, reaching with fingers
turned into claws. They sank into me, and left
one venomous talon. Delirium drags sweet
and simple words from me, written in red,
pleading: I beg for anyone's company.

I'm bound to die unloved, longing for your company;
one kiss before my body is consigned to ashes.
Better to be remembered truthful, blushing red,
than shy and lying perpetually behind my fingers.
Just kiss me tart and pomegranate-sweet
(which is to say not sweet at all) before you're left

alone here with my pyre. Flame will be all that's left--
no need for excusing away the company
never offered. The thought is sweet--
but there is work yet to do, and I am not yet ashes.
There's my story, there's my pen in shaky fingers,
my words still to be written, to be read.

My fingertips are stained with sticky red--
once juice is licked away, blood will be what's left.
There's nothing more to write with bleeding fingers,
no further pleas tonight for your unwilling company.
Here I burn the rinds of fruit into a pile of ashes,
leaving on my tongue only a faint memory of sweet.

The frantic hyperbole pushing my fingers burns out to ashes.
Left after the exaggeration is something almost sweet:
My request for your company in a note yet to be read.
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
At night, the faintest vestiges of warmth
slip from my tea, and also from myself.
The coldness of the day has settled in
and I have found myself resigned to this--
the certainty that I feel wrong was done
and yet no gallant mounted knight appears.

I truly know to most I must appear
an icy woman, most devoid of warmth.
Although I protest, offer what I've done
as proof-- can I really believe myself?
Perhaps I am as vile as all this.
Perhaps the time has come to do me in.

The others, though, who see the face within,
from those, my friends, who I believe can peer
past all my masks into my heart, comes this:
they say that all my caring words are warmth
and love-- I save none for myself
but offer what they need to feel well-done.

The opposites in words have nothing done
to ease me in my turmoil within--
for all the questions I have asked myself,
the answers are reluctant to appear.
Likewise, I am doubtful of the warmth
of friendly words, believing that in this

friends are biased, as are enemies. For this
my fears are shown, and all my trust undone,
for how can I believe in others' warmth
when it seems that I hold no warmth within?
All that I am, and all that I appear--
are they merely illusions of myself?

How difficult to believe in myself
when all seems trials, tribulations, this
lie revealed, this selfishness appeared,
the worst of all the things I've ever done
laid bare, made blatant, and cast coldly in
the light of eyes lacking in all warmth...

For what I've done, for you or for myself,
in kindness or in cold, loathing or warmth,
one truth appears: love might improve this.

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metaphorliteral

September 2016

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