‘The Coffin Blind’ Excerpt

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“Is that Gaven?” Ingrid lifted a pale hand to shade her equally pale blue eyes and stared into the setting sun’s light.

Irritated, Elijah only nodded.

“He shouldn’t force the emissaries to act. They’ll just send him to the Farm,” Ingrid said.

Elijah squirmed uncomfortably. He couldn’t let Ingrid know how close he had come to crying. “Should we say something?”

She thought for a moment. “He lost his family today… leave him alone.”

Elijah was grateful for her empathy—a rare trait among a culture where deep emotions were deemed distasteful. The chastisement of Gaven’s actions was nothing more than rote; one of the strange laws they’d followed compliantly since the End nearly thirteen cycles prior.

Elijah often wondered what it had been like before the End, but he couldn’t picture it since he’d been born into the new world. Now, all he had to imagine the lives of his parents and siblings were pictures and remnants. He wondered if it was harder for the others who knew both, or for him not to have known it at all. The way they mentioned it was almost reverential; he was sad he would never understand.

In the village behind them, hushed whispers announced the coming of the emissaries.

At her hip, Ingrid’s hand tightened on the pommel of her short sword, and Elijah followed suit. Did someone already call them? He wondered. After a few minutes of fearful expectation, he forced his hand to unclench.

After all we’ve seen today, Elijah pondered as survivors turned and dissipated into the dark houses of the settlement, maybe they don’t want to cause more pain?

It wouldn’t last, though.

It never did.

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Devil

Poetry

I’m like an urging in your blood
A rush of speed inside your head
And you’ll never win against it,
We’ll just decide when we’re both dead

I’m a beast inside your soul
A fiendish frenzy through your veins
A smile to cause your heart break,
With the hands to soothe the pain

Intrigue and delight,
A source of wonder and chagrin,
Remember dear, remember!
That I’m the devil you let in.

And remember that you chose
To love the animal in me
A vicarious atonement
for the pain you’ll always need

And father bless the wicked
But let the innocents prevail
Amidst your journey through the fire
And the sins that you exhale

Smile because you want it
(Cry because you’ll never win)
And if you’re saddened, just remember:

I’m the devil you let in,
Yeah, I’m the devil you let in…

Settle

Poetry

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she was dressed in black

when they finally took her pulse

and she was bleeding out this sorrow
from the blank spots in her pores

and they promised that tomorrow,
that tomorrow’s gonna come,

but her eyes are set on somewhere deep,
and past the setting sun.

She knows she’ll never shake it,
that sort of crying in her eyes,
and she can feel her body dying
but she knows that it’s not time,

but they said that in the end when
all the sadness is all gone,
that someone’s gonna be there

and they swear they’ll guide her home.

yesterday’s a mystery, but no more than today,
and there’s a solitude in silence

and a heart in disarray,

and she finally finished sewing that one outfit
for the one

who she hopes is gonna be there when her dyin’ is all done

and this one is the story that she’s never gonna tell,
and this one is scraped up knee that bled each time she fell,
and this one is that speck of tear inside of each her eyes,
and this one is the face that she would use for a disguise.

she knows she’ll never fake it,
that sort of dying in her eyes,

  and she’s always sort of bruised
and battered down from time to time,

and by now she knows the ending,
(she’s pretty sure her story’s done,)

so she’s finally gonna’ walk alone
into the setting sun.

Pitiful

Poetry

stock-footage-night-moon-and-moonbeam-in-sea

you believe that you are weak.

because at night you rock yourself

whisper that tomorrow will be better
even though yesterday’s tomorrow has failed you

still, there is a dim hope burning in your eyes

you are stronger than you think

But every evening,
you will lift your battered wrists to the heavens

Hoping that the pale scars will be like a roadmap to god

if you wait long enough, they will guide him to you

down the thin path that you have set for him
because you once heard that his path is narrow-

but god is not in the air
he is not in the trees outside of your window
he is not in the places that you can see him,
because you have looked there-

god is in the breath that you have forsaken

in the life that you have given up on

now there is more remembrance than hope in you
there is now more thought of the past
less belief in a future, but

your hands are burgeoned. They grasp at the memories
your mouth is dry,
it holds only bitterness (but it recalls the sweetness far more profoundly.)

sadly, you know
your hands have held love. These hands have known happiness-
have molded and shaped it between their careful fingers.

still, they have forgotten the motion. Now they can only clench in awkwardness

find nothing to grasp, because comfort has left them frail-

your eyes have known darkness, and they understand it far better
because they have seen the light as well

you will sleep because you have to
you will sleep because it takes you away

you will lie in this echo, waiting for a distant star
to watch it fall on the horizon, close enough to wish,
but far enough to remind you-

that in the morning
repetition is all you know
time is painful,

and your scars have failed you, because your scars will never forget

but

you are lulled back to sleep…

by the sound of your heart beating,
by the sound of your heart breaking-

Belittle

Poetry

I laid in ruin

among the dusk
      and spider webs by twilight

I heard the blood
  and spoke a curse
while bathing in the moonlight

my words were glass

  my thoughts were weight
and time, my weary sponsor

could not reason with my mind

(to make the better offer)

and promises, like candy
can taste pleasant on the tongue
and like the short-existing treat;

best given to the young 

and needles mend and ribbons make up

pretty little band-aids
        wrapped in lies and secret blights

that glisten as the light fades-

I chewed your name up with my teeth
I grimaced at the notion
spent ages whispering about
      a young boy and the ocean

because the drought was so severe
    the bottle’s never been that deep

the struggle brought the pain to light

                and agony begot its sleep

distant though the voices are
the clouds are riddled high

the melodies; forgotten hope
    (await the lover’s sigh…)

Escapism

Poetry

This poem received the 2013 Full Sail Editor’s Award in Poetry and was featured in the school’s art editorial, The Aviator.

 

We have built everything

with the assurances

of our fragile youth—

 

the tiny voice that whispers

like a shadow stretching tight

across the courtyard at dusk;

 

“To be young is to be infinite,”

 

so we press ourselves against

the glass of misbegotten notions,

 

immortality;

elixir of the gods

who cruelly breathed life into

beings of clay—

 

and gave us no true sense of ingrained loss,

(only that which can be earned.)

 

In the evening, ghosts flicker against

my eyelids like moths to the lampshade;

(drawn in by nameless need—

—pushed back into the darkness by pain.)

 

We will often dream of your daring escape;

a Houdini-like endeavor that left

 

gasps in the wake of your tired soul,

 

hurtling through space

to become one bright star,

 

dancing eternally in the distant night.