Sharing My Poems for the First Time

Emmet Klaseus

I reach deep inside myself and rip out my
Still
Beating
Heart
I look away as I hold it up to you
Embarrassed by the bloody mass cupped in my hands
A mess quickly pooling at my feet
You called it beautiful
I whipped my head back and stare down at it
It looks like a dissection done by a failing biology student
It looks like it belongs on the side of the road after being hit again and again
It looks
Like how I feel
But when I look up at you I see love in your eyes
And I want to scream
Your supposed to be horrified
You’re supposed to be disgusted
You’re supposed to leave
Instead you’re holding me
I don’t know when that happened
My eyes are wet with tears
I don’t remember that either
You tell me it will be alright
I’m not sure if I believe you

et al

Casper Sullivan

tuft-tuft toothy tumble,
the animal’s gullet ever-rumble.
switch in hand and fire on wick,
against its flank a beatin’ stick.
daw-daw claw and maw,
a’other jab to its willow-whipped flank,
and as indemnity, a’other ship sank,
ne’er there be a beast with so many’a tamer—
life’s lion,
the generation-blamer.

Poetry King

Alexandria Kayce

I need to get this written. It’s for an assignment. Why do I have to be so bad at poetry?! I need to get this done.

“Whatcha doing?” I look up at my friend and he smiles down at me.

“Trying to write a zappai.” I tell him, going back to counting the syllables. Why is this hard?

“Ooo fun! I love zappais!” He exclaims, sitting down across from me and picking up a pen. He starts writing… and he has five zappais in no time. “This is so much fun!”

I am not good at poetry. I glare at him, and go back to writing my ONE zappai. He peers over at it.

“That’s wrong. You have one too many syllables on the top line.” He points out. I grit my teeth. Why am I so bad?! I go back and fix it.

“That’s still wrong.” He tells me, going back over and writing the top line how he would write it. He had the right amount of syllables. I huff.

“Let me try again.” I try over and over again, and I’m always one syllable off. My friend has started to talk to me in zappais. He can count the syllables without even thinking.

“Leave me be, Poetry King!” I shout, storming out of the library. He is the poetry king and I am not good at poetry.

Poem about Nothing

Emmet Klaseus

Waking up next to a space where your lover used to lay
It still smells like them
Fabric softener mixed with warmth and a tinge of sweat
It is a southern summer of course

The window is open and a fan on
A thin breeze blows past you
Wiping the sleep from your eyes
You wonder out of the bedroom and into the kitchen

There they are
Pouring a bowl of cereal
In nothing but boxers and a white t-shirt
You stare

Realizing you can look at them doing the most mundane things
and think they are anything but ordinary
You swear the sun shines out their skin and their smile glows soft as the moon

They look up at you, smirk
Ask “What are you looking at?”
“You” you respond earnestly
They smile, blush and return their gaze to their cereal

Odds are you are straight
Odds are your partner is straight
Odds are neither of you are transgender
Because of this your morning feels ordinary
Almost insignificant

For people who are queer
Loving someone is an act of rebellion
Against all the people who told them
“You’ll never find someone to love you”

You are so lucky
To be with your lover without fear of being ostracized, imprisoned or killed
To be yourself loudly and proudly.
How does it feel?
It’s all I’ve ever wanted

Retail

Ray Boone

Why should I have to be a machine?
The last customer in line must think I’m animatronic
Another expired coupon, it’s not even a deal from my store
Common sense earns me eyerolls from the customer who follows me after I clock out

She glares at me in the bathroom
As if it’s my fault she’s in hell
But my will doesn’t bend to her
My body and tongue may succumb to those like her in the morning
But at 5pm I flow with my own sea

“Yes, ma’am,” I turn to her and say
“Retail employees have to use the bathroom too”

Ivy

Jerry Windhorn

I wish to see how elegant she is,
How regal she will be in years to come
Or how, better yet, she incites a hiss.
Perhaps we laugh: two warm notes bright in sum.
I hold a wry breath…anticipation
Of what her next sharp slight or jest might be
But will she be as kind and free as fun;
Or bear a burdened blouse with heartless sleeves?
While my love grows as ivy off the eaves,
I have only just found the perfect boy.
I am floods away from knowing her leaves.
Do you think they will let me have this joy?
Wishes may be just for the stars above.
If not a wish—a fight forged from my love.

My Life in the Mist

Ryan Barker

Going through life is like stepping through mist
My heart’s gone away and fallen adrift
I make my way through but can’t see a thing
My life is like mist. What will it bring?

Going through life is like hiking through fog
I trudge through the marsh, I trudge through the bog
I’m trying to search but can see only cloud
My life is like fog, a terrible shroud

Going through life is like trooping through rain
I fight my best fight and swallow the pain
But after it’s through a rainbow will shine
My life is like rain, I change over time

The Girl

Emmet Klaseus

The girl is not fully attached to her body which is not completely immmersed in this world

She is convinced there are parts of her missing from herself
“It must have started from birth”, she thinks
The girl’s mother holding her to her chest as if she was not just rejected from her body
As if the girl was not forcibly pulled out through C-section just hours before
Due to complications with her mother’s anatomy
But this is just speculation
She remembers the first time it happened so clearly
She was five years old when suddenly
The world sunk below her
Only she could see it
She didn’t have the language to describe what happened
So, she stared blankly at the changed world
Tears streaming down her chubby cheeks
Her mouth not releasing a sound

The girl is not fully attached to her body with is not completely immersed in this world

Mirrors have always eluded her
The girl can stare into them for hours
She could never quite grasp who was staring back at her
“Why do they look so lost?”, She would think
“Why do they look like a dream? Hazy and faraway”
The girl is always floating three inches off the ground
Tethered to this earth with only a thin twine
Like a red helium balloon
She has forgotten what it’s like to touch the ground

The girl is not fully attached to her body with is not completely immersed in this world