shaunterrywriter

These are my writings. Ideally, these are the most honest expressions of myself that I could give.

We’re a Holocaust

Convulsing

Life is lived
in microsecond increments.
There’s no rewinding,
no editing.
Everything is impermanent,
each moment scrawled
in the annals of
the minds of those who remember you.

Memories stick in your brain,
shrapnel from wars
waged in lost pasts:
the smell of a teacher’s lipstick,
the first time a girl touched you,
a fleeting moment of glory,
your mother at her weakest.

To move without purpose
is self-betrayal.
You’re a plump pig
in an open field,
munching on fat little fruits,
unsuspecting and unprotected,
as vampires look at you
with seductive glares
and grumbling bellies.

And when everything has been made just wrong,
you’ll make a meal of me.

I can’t sit still,
and I can’t keep from looking back.
I cut my jeans like you wanted.
My ear kept scabbing for a week.

A bug is chomping its way
through the dark end of my ear,
into my brain.
How do I make this shit stop?

1-800-Suicide

Sad Man

I called the suicide hotline
just to have a live human voice
to talk with.
I figured that they wouldn’t make it obvious
that they were judging me,
and all my razorblade thoughts,
slicing, slicing.
They’d just mock me
and make stupid faces at other operators,
holding their breath at me,
while I told them what a fool I’ve been,
while lying on my bedroom floor,
listening to depressing songs on repeat.
And then, they’d go home
and watch reality television
while they ate greasy potato chips.
This is the best I’ve got
now.

You think this is a game I play,
but this terror game isn’t fun for me, either.
I know that I was wrong
the whole time –
a child,
obliviously shitting himself,
over and over,
screaming and kicking,
blaming everyone else.
And you were right
all along.
You’re a good girl,
no matter what idiotic bullshit I said.
Maybe I’m just bad news.
Maybe I’ll always be bad news.
I’ve been so mean.

You haven’t seen the best of me
in over two years,
and I haven’t been nearly-good
in probably a year.
Anything sweet is so far in the distance;
you can hardly see it now.
But maybe that was all a farce
to begin with,
just a cruel mind’s illusion.
Maybe I’ve always been the bad guy,
and I’ve just been putting on an elaborate show,
fooling everyone,
including myself.
Maybe I’m the bad guy,
and maybe I’ll always be the bad guy.
How else could I have behaved so stupidly?
How else could we be here
now?

I snuck into a movie theater,
like a dirty, slimy, rejected, red-eyed rat,
because I needed somewhere to cry,
somewhere to release
all the self-loathing and stupid self-pity,
and I couldn’t sit at home anymore
without thinking about how horrible
I had turned everything.
And I figured that it’s okay to cry
in a movie theater.

I never learned how to cope.
You don’t start to be a person
until you realize that your parents betrayed you,
and by then,
it might be too late.

You’re an aqualung
at the bottom of the ocean,
and I’m swimming among
all these brightly-colored fishes,
and they look grey to me.
I’m drowning,
and it’s my own fault.
“It’s no one’s fault,”
you would tell me,
but maybe you’re wrong.

I guess you win.
Or maybe I win.
No; everyone lost.
I made everyone lose.
I’m lying on the ground, again,
waiting.
For nothing.
I’m sorry. Really.

A Universe’s Last Cruelty

Depressed Old Man

Fusing with acidic upholstery
in his dark, rustic salon,
the ridges and ravines
between sagging, ever-glowering features
tell a long, loveless story.

He reaches,
like a seagull in cane,
for his rocks glass
(single-malt scotch)
next to the bitter ashtray.
But his arms,
of pale, melting butter,
had grown calcified and feckless.

He’d been a proud man:
an ineffectual lapdog,
full of yap, full of yang,
devoid of wisdom
and its most valuable product.

He’d been to paradise,
lapping in warm breezes,
glowing in glittering golden sunrays,
living with the most tender companion,
on nature’s sweetest nectars,
fooling himself into thinking
that he longed for something more.

In the back of his mind,
he’d always known himself
to be a fool.
The wait wouldn’t be long now.

We Were Always Friends

Cuddling

Two eggs spin
on sterling silver spoons,
spotting while executing
synchronized pirouettes.

Baby birds
chipping at stone –
fuzzy contortionists –
trying to fight free
from the ecru walls
that isolate them.

Their feet stumble
over remnants of
tattered translucent prisons.

“How did you know I was lonely?”

“Well, why else
would I have longed
for you?”

Every fraction
of a jigsaw puzzle
fits flushly against
the pieces for which
it was designed,
just as no amount of force
will ever fuse
two disparate jigsaw puzzles
together.

The Place Where You Are

Woman in Nature

Soaking in the softness of her azure irises;
a pale, pleasant morning
before a torment of questions and born-hollow doubts.

Pedestrians pass her by and smile:
their eyes
manipulated by the weight of her
gentle, lovetrap face,
supine to subtle, incidental seduction
in long, limber, elegant limbs.

And boys and men
and girls and women
try to find some bit of something
to say,
hoping that she’ll
look on them
with something
more than pity.

But they don’t
see her;
they see what they want
her to be.

They don’t see around
rounded corners’ creases in big blue eyes,
calling for
the kind of conversation
or homily or footnote or patterns in pavement or jester’s song
that leads to
fountains of forgiveness
and forever-forgivenness
and open hands
and open hearts, ready-made
for placing her just so;
she’s wavering,
blind to tricks and traps,
fighting to find space where she can just breathe:
her tender, ripened, crimson mouth,
reaching to pull in air
that grows a her that is hers, alone.

They don’t know her eager ambitions,
they don’t know her fears and revelations;
too dumbstruck
by beauty and benevolence
to realize that
she’s already all there.
She has all that she needs.

From what corner of this place did you find me?
Who held your hand when you were four,
and who wiped away tears
when your universe was unkind?

I am each person here, and I am not them.
I own their motivations and weaknesses,
but I see filaments and fragments
of what they mostly miss.

I want to smooth a path so soft
that you might find
yourself free from suffering.

Daily Disturbance

Sleep

 

8:45am
Get dressed
Brush teeth
Fix hair
Put on deodorant
Make breakfast
Check email

But no shower

Wait – am I hungry?
8:45?

This bed’s so warm.
I can’t think.
9:00 is fine.

What Remains

Sad Man in Bed

“Left of the last door,” he said.
Less remains from before:
a book, a lamp, a chalice, a bed
are what remain after Jason’s snores.

The last embers burn the bottom of the fireplace.
They crackle as the angels chase
a man too late, too fast to catch,
resigned to Thanatos’s dispatch.
Family, enemies, friends and lovers
make breakfasts as he freezes beneath covers.
The bedroom door extends and squeals
as the meowing cat demands its meal.

Jason was the best of us,
his name now scrawled in ash and dust.

The Last Winter

The Last Winter

Snow in springtime,
breaking leaves on pale powder,
a furnace for last year’s lost love letters.

Stubborn spades of April’s grass
try to break Winter’s promise
of short grey days
and long black nights,
of half-chewed words
and touch born of pragmatism, rather than of
profound personal connection.

But this snow is never-ceasing:
long, sunny days will aim to
break the shackles
of this coldest, longest winter.

The edge of an axblade can’t
break a fire forged
in millennia of mismanagement.

What It Is To Be Saved 2.0

Newborn

Slacked jowls,
cue balls where eyes should be,
tight, matted ebony swirls –
thick used motor oil against ivory fresh flesh.

A phantasmic rugby ball squeezed through a coin slot.
Narrow, rounded, pudgy, piggish shoulders,
one after the other,
squeezing, slipping, sliding.
A tiny humanesque body
– squished, crushed –
sucking four thousand tons of oxygen
through a coffee straw
at a pace enough
to cause reverberations of the room.

A wail makes its way from her apple-sized lungs,
and smiles cross giant faces.

You are, for a moment,
the most vulnerable of all creatures.
Your life is in the hands of a few well-versed strangers,
and they give routine smiles and reassurances.
The odds are in your favor
in this case.

But I won’t and can’t let harm come to you.
I’ve been no sort of hero to anyone,
but I will be yours.

Salvation in Stars

Stars

Every stick and stone that makes you
was forged in a celestial fire.

And you are stars to me.

This world is a small one –
an infant toddling,
trying to find her feet beneath her –
and she is ever-growing.

Without stars pushing the last frontier,
the world could be only that which has been.

You, as stars,
expand everything.

Without you,
the world would lack a little luster;
the world would stop growing, and contract instead.

But with you,
the ever-shifting edge of everything
expands and amazes.
With you,
cockamamie dreams
and half-eyed fantasies
and last-ditch ambitions
stretch eager limbs
to hearts and hands of delicate dreamers.

You, like stars, make wonder.

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