I know a secret.
You keep it locked inside of you.
Your heart’s out here in the open, but there is one part that you keep well hidden.
There is an explosive light.
I may be fiery reds, pinks, and blues, but you are surely rose skies and rivers of champagne.
I wear that fire on the outside.
But you have a fire there too.
Stronger than any that rages from my broken insides.
You have a pale yellow outlined in a burning, bright gold.
A warmth of protection.
Hidden deep inside you.
It’s enveloped me.
And I swim in your liquid sun.
All Things End
The canary died. There was running and screaming and light and dark. But before the bird died there was work. There was my father covered in soot. There was my father with lungs black with smoke. Lungs so caked with coal dust that with the right amount of pressure they’d turn precious and glittering. Instead, abused and worked to their limit. Unable to fill fully. Over worked and underpaid. There was my father with the bird and a light. His boots and a pick. There was the bird golden and slight. A beacon underground. There was my father and a bird and their last, gasping breaths buried underground. Lost between the light and the dark.
Dance like the devil will ask for the next one
Laugh till it echoes in your cerebellum
Lay your lines thick and careful
Every page could have ‘The End’ at the bottom
Take a breathe, do your best, leave regrets
With bridges burning brilliantly
Fake a smile, try it on for size, fits you best
I’m only half the man I wanna be
Familiar with tragedy
Made pain my glock and vest
Trained for war but never left love behind me
Tamed the jungle but not my family tree
Take what’s yours, you’re worth it, trust
I’ve seen mud and blood
Been around my block a million times
A million miles, I know every bump
Every white line on that highway
I’ve tested fate doing 90, drunk and high
Never did find my place
Found my people, kicking rocks at steeples
Giving middle fingers to authority
Easily bored by bullshit and evil
Don’t mind rain use to the pouring
Bring it, we’re dying to live anyway
Sing it, dance like tomorrow’s dead today
Fling it, all your fear to the wind
Then spread those wings; dirty feathers
Hurricanes will clean em up for heaven
Laugh, don’t forget to try; not give a damn
Stay on the lamb from your demons
Swing and miss don’t forget to swing again
Nothing wrong with a flask
Treat life like it’s your deejay
She Couldn’t Close Her Eyes...
Art like Insanity
runs in the family
red as the ruffles of
an old fashioned Love,
left hanging from the valance
of childhood’s dilly dalliance;
Locked in the box of scraps
and faded photographs
Relations were buried
with caskets, still married;
These portraits down the hall
that wayward dogs would maul,
have eyes that never saw...
though they always follow
...and called back with Time
painting her place in line...
I can talk to the moon
and have her talk to
the stars and maybe they
can mention to the clouds
how beautiful I think they look
when they weep.
Gemnah Maley Bray
Some days I remember how I tattooed you across my lungs.
It’s then that I know why I can rarely breathe.
It’s then that I know the oxygen never hits my bloodstream.
Stops just short,
catching on your fingertips.
Burning and branding instead of filling and spilling.
It’s then that I remember how you’ll be choking me from inside, eternally.
Never letting me catch my breath.
Always just shy of full.
And now I breathe shallow,
just like you.
Dear Guy I Saw Order Spicy Tuna Salad on a Chocolate Chip Bagel 3 Years Ago
Hey. We need to talk.
Do you remember where you were the afternoon of November 3, 2015? At approximately 1:07pm?
Because I sure do.
You were in a crowded cafe, as rain poured outside and early 90s rock music played inside. You wore a tailored business suit, carried a brief case, and were clean shaven. You appeared to be a mature, intelligent adult.
But then you strolled up to the overworked cashier and spat out “spicy tuna salad on chocolate chip, please” as your order.
That was pretty fuckin’ weird.
I was the customer behind you. You probably don’t remember me — given that this was nearly three years ago, we never spoke, and I ordered a forgettable sesame bagel with plain, low-fat cream cheese.
How ya doin’, buddy?? Can I call you buddy? I thought about you a lot since that fateful day we almost met.
I’ve turned your decision over and over in my mind and have come up with only one logical explanation: you were trying to teach me a lesson.
Or lessonS, rather.
Here’s what I learned:
Never be afraid to ask for what you want. No one’s gonna just hand you a promotion, a day off, or a dollop of spicy salt water fish on sugary bread.
Be confident in knowing your own desires. Don’t settle for cream cheese when you’re really craving canned mackerel.
Get creative! Life is to short to solely mimic what others have done before you. It’s a vast world out there, filled with many protein choices and baked vessels to pair them with. Go out and explore!
Life is like a chocolate chip bagel with spicy tuna salad. Some parts are sweet, some parts are stinky, and some parts are gaping empty holes. Oh and it’ll probably make you gassy.
Don’t worry about what other people may think of you. So what if the neurotic girl behind you in the cafe line will judge you, waking up in a cold sweat for hundreds of consecutive days, remembering your actions and finally deciding on day number 935 to self-publish an essay about it? Not your problem.
Thank you for these incredible teachings, oh great one! You took a peculiar route to instill this knowledge in me but I respect it.
…or maybe you just really like mayo with chocolate? Sicko.
You've always been drawn to the broken,
Junkyard trash salvaged and transformed,
Dismantled and reassembled into perfection.
Maybe that's why you chose me,
Collecting my fractured pieces in jars
And storing them away for reassembly.
But I am no puzzle.
My pieces will never fit again flawlessly.
Jagged edges exposed and cracked surfaces
Leave you searching for the girl beneath the wreckage
As if the girl standing before you needs perfecting.
Can you not find the beauty in the damage?
Can you not see the strength in the stitches that bridge the cracks?
You're waving fragments like white flags,
Jars opened for operation,
But I never asked for reassembly.
I only wanted to know if you could love the scars.
Logic and reason, she thought to herself, were truly no match for charisma and cheekbones.
You have Something that Belongs to Me
Excuse me, Sir?....
Do you think you can give me back what's
in your hand? You seem just to be handling it without care. Fondling it with undeceive manner.
I don't mean to bother Sir, but that's my
heart you keep playing with-
Wouldn't matter much... But, I worked really
hard on loving it back to life. And yes, it's filled still with lots of
You know... now that I think about it- (with a quaint smile)!
You don't need to give it back WHOLE.
I realize people like you hurt inside too,
and it's okay- take those pieces- you need them more than I do
P.s.... Thanks for understanding & Returning what doesn't belong to you.