Buildings were reflected on the water as people fished in a river in Hechi, China. (Reuters)

I’m with you till the end of the line.


The Ambassadors, detail (1553)

Hans Holbein the Younger



why do people
think that this is
a poem even if it’s
not because i am
just clicking return
if i feel like it to make
it look like i have created
the most sensible poem
anybody could ever think of.

when i was eight my mama taught me that
poems had to rhyme because that’s what 
made them poems and i thought maybe 
i was the worst writer in the universe because
when letters clickclacked into place like that 
my brain would get distracted and my head 
always hurt trying to understand how to 
piece together a/b a/b in a language i didn’t
speak i mean i absolutely hated poetry

in sophomore year of high school we learned
about freestyle and i found out that i was stupid
because i never understood contemporary pieces
i felt them nestle like fists inside of my mouth i
would stare at them and couldn’t shake the meaning
out so while everyone else was talking about how
certain pieces moved them i kept quiet and 
didn’t say “i really don’t get this work it’s just
words unconnected,” i put my hands in my 
pockets and told poetry to fuck off

every once in a while someone mentions that
hitting enter doesn’t make a sentence a poem
and i want to ask them why their opinion alone
gets to define a work of art - maybe the writer
felt the words stick in a particular order maybe

i fell
a river
over high ledges

felt more like a waterfall than a single line 
did maybe we’re all just 15-year-old kids
and the only way we can get our ideas out are
by scrubbing them out of our skin

let them experiment, love. stop suggesting
poetry only lives in the lungs of those who
can write sonnets from birth. let them live
poetry as free thinkers with slant rhymes
and awkward pacing - let them breathe, my
love. let their poet awaken. let it run along
their fingertips like electricity, let it change
our society, let it break bones and blow minds,
let them hit enter as many times as they damn well please.
poetry is not always about
format, it’s about trying to speak. if it’s a
simple message, that’s fine with me. you
don’t need eighty words to make something
powerful. “i love you” only takes three. 

it’s not training or wisdom or inaccessible 
talent that makes a poet. it’s having words in
your body that will bleed to be free. do
not scorn an acorn for not being a tree. 

love the wild and the bold, love the
new voices with the same fervor as you
love the old. we should not smother fire.

we should let it burn. it is the only way we can stay warm.


La Dispute 

The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH. 4/3/14

I can feed the caterpillar, and I can whisper through the chrysalis, but what hatches follows it’s own nature and is beyond me.

At fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon.

F.Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (1920)

artist: Panic! At The Disco
song: Northern Downpour
album: Pretty Odd