i have been doing a 30 day poetry challenge but i've been posting to tumblr instead of here
i could maybe post some of those here if anyone wants me to
Ten Days Before MovingI unstacked the crates and began filling themTen Days Before Moving by ClamShellHeart
so when this isn't my place in two weeks
I can disappear
like everyone else
like dust being blown from a book
all the finger drawings.
It's so difficult to think of this as a beginning,
I can already hear the car doors slamming.
Someone left a wineglass here,
I must remember to return it
before August swallows it and someone's
set is incomplete.
I could condense this summer, I suppose,
into three bottle of liquor
and so many cubic meters of sawdust
I've dropped on the sidewalk between my room and the theater
and washed down the shower drain.
There must be a finite length of two-by
and the number of hours I've spent at the back of house
memorizing the shows
and forgetting there is
a finite number of showings.
At an open mic night a poet said,
you need to shape your isolation,
I've been struggling to collect it from
puddles on the table around my potted plants,
from between carpet fibers,
A Proud Struggle,
Noble, almost, as I shape
When I was betterI spend a lot of time thinking aboutWhen I was better by ClamShellHeart
when I was better.
Everything was good enough.
The words fell uncontested
and unchallenged like individual raindrops
from an endless expanse of clouded sky
but not anymore.
Since I graduated high school
free verse feels gangly after
architecture alchemy classes
and practices under my hands,
the clouds don’t rain but demand
from me, where I must reach up into
the ideal conditions
and extract each puddle
drop by drop.
Even oceans would lose beauty in the
bloodshot hyper-focused eyes
of the hands who built them up from the sand,
every bead drawn and placed
meticulously between fish and weeds
and while the people in the house clap
for every splash
I feel like I’m running to catch every grain of salt
And replace it nightly between hydrogen, oxygen,
unspoken lines that no one notices,
a choreography I perfect quietly from the sidelines;
there is no applause.
The Stolen PromiseOn the outskirts of town between old dark treesThe Stolen Promise by ClamShellHeart
Was an ancient well that could any heart please,
But it could be paid to selectively listen,
One bad soul bought it and for decades acted prison.
A girl ran away from home with a promise,
The elders in her home village claimed to own it,
She traded her heart, they stowed it in a cage,
She stole it back, bars and all, behind her dragged the chain.
Heaving, eyes streaming, she stopped running beneath the leaves,
Her heart rattling behind the bars but for a moment felt free,
Down the well a captive heard and started crying loud,
“Please, I’ll do anything if you’d only get me out!”
She, before the promise held, surely would have helped,
Now said “I cannot stop for you,” securing chain to belt,
But as she turned to leave him there the ground split dark and deep,
Her caged heart slipped from her hands and landed at his feet.
“Now you must trade me,” he said with her heart in his hands,
Moving to ClevelandAt the most inopportuneMoving to Cleveland by ClamShellHeart
I’m-Going-To-Fail-If-I-Stop-Focusing kind of moment
I closed my eyes and found myself on
faded graffiti moon, dead bedrock space shuttle,
but among the burned out ashen brush
there were clumps of flowers sucking on straws
stretching all the way back to earth’s atmosphere.
I was so distracted by them I didn’t notice the city
was my city
was cracking and starving
was my body
was my brain
but they were so beautiful I didn’t care.
Old men sit in coffee shops
wiping pastry out of their mustaches with a paper napkin,
hands retract back under a newspaper,
hair long and pushed back over a
happenstantial bald spot.
Animals gathered around
a watering hole in the desert
stomping in the dust, drinking
the desert away, not with alcohol
but media and caffeine.
The same way that photons
stretch and retract under camera lights,
I imagine the buildings would get shorter
if I looked at them long enough.
The concert tickets and fluttering hearts