@brinkof

Avoid Drama

“Avoid Drama”

How dare you spread such rumors
How dare you say such lies
How can I be pregnant?
I’m not a girl; I’m a guy!

Why would you think that?
Why would you fib
About people you don’t know
Or things you never did?

He broke up with her
She cheated on him
Please don’t get me involved
I don’t know where to begin

So what if you never
Got asked out to the prom
It only lasts one night
Then life will carry on

Every week there’s someone
Fighting with a friend
Who hates who this week?
Please let this drama end

Because I’ll never understand
Why people have to judge
And add tension to problems
To hearts that never budge

What you’re probably feeling
Are typical teenage emotions
You’ll switch feelings as fast
As the tides switch in oceans

I know that you’re miserable
But aren’t we all?
Who hasn’t at some point
Taken a fall?

Don’t say you hate your parents
Because I know you’ll love them after
Don’t blow it out of porportion
It’s just another chapter

I don’t need your drugs
I have a paper overdue
What’s the point of writing
About some guy I never knew?

If you can’t afford that dress
Get a job after school
Stop using her for money
Don’t use him as a tool

Problems can be solved
So let’s not overthink
Every bad conclusion
Or you’ll be on the brink
Of always seeking attention
But you won’t get it, you’ll see
I’m just trying to live
A life that’s drama-free

Stay Full

I’ve starved myself
To boredom
For all the things
That matter
Like enjoying
Life’s simple pleasures
Or tastes
Of my favorite
Foods

And stories
I used to savor
In books
And films
Once cherished
For the reasons
They keep me
Faithful
When hope
Is fictional bliss

Each day
I find no meaning
In consuming
What should be
Savored
As gifts
Of God apparent
Whose voice
Is barely heard

As a faint
And tainted whisper
By the sounds
Of loud tinnitus
That rings
Like bells of deafness
Over songs
Which keep me
Sane

And blast
Despite its dangers
Of losing them
Altogether
When betting
My only wager
Just to risk
Music itself

And suffer
Despite the consequence
Of indulging
My claims
To freedom
By escaping the grind
Of labor
To replace
All work with play

As it seems
So vaguely tangible
Or a tale
That’s too transparent
Like truths
I’ve made of fantasy  
By defying
What most
Obey

And paid this price
Expensive
As losing
All sense of enjoyment
When it comes
To the brink
Of obsession
And choice
Is a daily
Chore

A fable
I’d somehow written
Unconsciously
In my laziness
Where the moral
Is too much
Pleasure
Can never sustain
One soul

A plot
That keeps us
Hungry
To the point
Our needs
Are ravenous  
And dulled
Or wholly expected
To chew
What dreams
Stay full.

- J. Pigno

education.

they call it education
this hell we are forced into
they say we “need to know”

but when have I ever
needed to use
imaginary numbers
in my daily activities?

when did my life require
that I write an essay
longer than the first book
I read on my own

why are children taught
numbers before morals

when will I need to know
what happened in ancient rome
or the outcome
of a battle long past won

why did they teach me
such useless things
and then throw me
out into the world

they didn’t teach me
how to write a resume
or balance a checkbook

they didn’t teach me
how to budget myself
or save money for later

they didn’t teach me
how to deal with stress
or that it’s okay to
ask for help sometimes

they didn’t teach me
to recognize the warning signs
in a friend who’s on the brink
of self-destruction

they didn’t teach me
how to have safe sex
and instead told me
“don’t have sex”

they didn’t teach me
anything practical
but instead filled my head
with useless fluff

they call you smart
if you can memorize
and regurgitate information
that you’ll never use again

they call you stupid
if you can’t keep up
instead of helping you
they ignore you
because you
aren’t worth it
to them.

if school had taught me
what a healthy relationship is
or how to leave an abusive one

if school had taught me
that though I may be young
my opinion is not irrelevant

if school had taught me
the truth about the way
the world works

perhaps I would have
a few less cracks in my paint
a few smaller breaks in my heart

perhaps I would have
learnt that my happiness
and mental health

is more important
than this thing called
education.

Lil Sis (Daveed x Reader) Platonic Pt. 2

Word Count: 1,507

Lil Sis Series

“Hello Hello Hello! Welcome to today’s Ham4Ham! Boy do we have a good show for you! This isn’t what I had planned for today, but yesterday I was asked if we could make a change and I loved the idea. We have a rap battle today!! In our first corner, from Oakland, California, is America’s favorite fighting Jefferson… Daveed Diggs!” Lin said into the mic, and the crowd cheered. Daveed gave you a wink, then exited the doors to face the crowd.

“In the other corner, making her Ham4Ham debut, standing at 5’ 9”, is our very own stagehand (y/n)!” You took a deep breath and stepped outside, hearing the crowd scream. Your breath immediately caught in your throat and you could feel the blood pulsing through you. You felt like you were going to fall over, and you almost did, but Daveed grabbed your hand and held it above your head, presenting you to the crowd with a sparkle in his eye.

“We all know techies prefer to stay behind the stage, and (y/n) is no different, so for moral support please welcome most of the Company!” Lin hit the door one more time and the rest of the company came out, filling in behind you or Daveed. On your side were the girls of the company, and on Daveed’s side, the men.

“Daveed, you can start us off,” Lin said, handing him the mic.

Daveed’s rap started out slow and safe, in a more Thomas Jefferson style. You knew he was giving you something that you could brainlessly jump off of until you found your groove. He started spitting words faster and faster, transitioning into more of a Clipping style rap. You knew it was almost your turn and you considered backing out until Daveed finished his rap with

You think you can out rap me Lil Sis,
But you could never spit words as fire as this,
” he dropped the mic, with Oak catching it like they do for the first Cabinet battle. Oak handed Lin the mic, who turned it over to you. You took a deep breath, then began.

Diggs, that was a real nice declaration
Thank you for the present but I’ll have no hesitation
I can rhyme just as perfectly as you
Probably even better, don’t get scared… Boo!
I got my girls behind me and I know they’ll never waver
Hey Can you help me out? I need a little favor
Daveed likes to think he can push me to the brink
Of rapping for a crowd, Is that even allowed?
Why are you behind him,
when you can always find him
Takin ‘shotsoutthegrammy’
I bet his hands are getting clammy
Don’t be nervous Big brother
Just because you’ve got another Rap competitor
And you sent Anthony as your messenger
My words gotta be too much for you to handle
Losing to a techie must be a scandal
” you finished, handing Lin the mic nicely. The crowd went wild. Daveed was grinning, and so was Lin. Jazzy pulled you into a hug, and Renee and Pippa both followed. You went back inside with the cast and started immediately preparing for the night’s performance.

After the show, Lin approached you, still half dressed as Hamilton.

“(y/n) there’s someone who’s asking to interview you. I know it’s late, so you can always tell them to come back at a better time,” he said. You nodded, gazing into the pile of jackets you were hanging up.

“Yeah, tell them just a minute. I have to finish this,” you said. Lin touched your hand.

“You don’t have to do everything, someone will finish,” Lin said, his kind eyes meeting yours. You put down the jacket and followed him.

“They’re in the house. I think they want you to sit on the stage,” he told you. You went out onto the stage, where the reporter was waiting.

You exchanged pleasantries, then sat down for the interview.

“How did you start working for the production?” She asked.

“Our stage manager, Jason Bassett, is friends with one of my dad’s friends. My dad was frustrated that I didn’t have a plan for after high school so he pawned me off onto his friend. He introduced me to Jason, who took me on a tour of the production. I fell in love with being backstage, and it helped that I liked the musical as well, so he hired me as a full-time crew member,” you explained.

“How old are you again?” the reporter asked.

“Only 19 but my mind is older,” you quoted with a laugh.

“So you’re the youngest out of the company and crew,” she inferred.

“Yes, by quite a few years, and they like to remind me of it. Daveed likes to call me Lil Sis, which confused a lot of people when they finally found out I was… well, me,” you said, gesturing to yourself.

“People are starting to know who you are, how did that come about?”

“I pranked Daveed by covering his dressing room with sticky notes. He tweeted a picture of it with the caption ‘thanks Lil Sis’. A lot of people thought he had an actual sister who pranked him, so he had to clear up the fact that I was just a techie. Since then, I’ve gained a ton of Twitter followers, and people always ask me about behind the scenes things, Techie perspective.”

“Tell us about the Ham4Ham show you did this afternoon with Daveed. Where did you learn to rap like that?”

“Just by listening and practicing. I listen to Daveed’s band Clipping before I go to bed, and I’ve heard Hamilton a million times. Lin likes to have freestyle circles in the wings, so one time I jokingly joined in. Since then Lin doesn’t let me go without rapping, and yesterday Daveed, Renee, and Oak decided I should do a Ham4Ham. Hence our rap battle,” you said.

“We’re sitting in the middle of the stage, an area you don’t normally get to go. Will you ever go onstage during a performance?” Her question was answered with a laugh.

“They’re trying to get me to fill in for Lin one night, but it probably won’t happen. I’m perfectly content backstage,” you said, stifling a yawn.

“I know it’s late, you probably want to go home, how late do you normally stay at the theater?” she said.

“This is home. I have a dressing room that I call mine. I never leave the theater most days. Too much work that I can get done here. That’s why the cast loves me. Things have actually gotten done since I moved in,” you joked.

“Can we have a tour of your room?” the reporter asked. You nodded, standing up and guiding the camera crew through the mess of dressing rooms to your own room. You opened up the door, revealing Daveed and a few other cast members lounging across your furniture.

“Don’t you have a girlfriend to go home to?” you joked with him, momentarily forgetting the cameras at your back.

“Not before you do a Shot out the Grammy!” Daveed said, thrusting the gramophone into your hands. Oak reached over his shoulder, pouring your favorite liquid into the statue.

“Oh crap, don’t worry, this is only Orange Juice,” you said, turning to the stunned camera crew.

“Maybe this isn’t the best time. Thanks for the interview,” you added. The reporter nodded, turning away with the crew. You shut the door, still holding the Grammy, as Daveed started the Snapchat Video.

“(y/n) just won a rap battle, so she gets to take a Shotoutthegrammy!” Oak said. You took the shot of juice, wiping your upper lip with the back of your hand. Daveed put his phone into his pocket, then pulled you into a hug.

“You killed that rap, you had nothing to be nervous about,” he said.

“I’ll always be nervous in front of a crowd. Don’t go complimenting me to try to get me to do a show,” you told him.

“One day Lil Sis, one day,” Daveed laughed.

“I love you all, but can you please go home? I need some sleep,” you said, trying and failing at pushing Oak out the door.

“Good night (y/n)!”

“Love you!” you got all kinds of goodbyes as your friends left. Daveed was the last to leave, he had positioned himself at your laptop and opened Spotify.

“What song am I starting with tonight?” You asked as you pulled a pair of sweatpants off of a shelf and put them on.

Tonight. You liked that one, right?” he asked, mouse hovering over the play button. You nodded sleepily.

“I like them all Daveed, you know that,” you said as you crawled onto the cot you kept in the corner of the room.  

“Good night Lil Sis, proud of you” Daveed said, hugging you one more time before leaving you alone, with only his repetitive rap in your ears as you fell asleep.

Avoid Drama

“Avoid Drama”

How dare you spread such rumors
How dare you say such lies
How can I be pregnant?
I’m not a girl; I’m a guy!

Why would you think that?
Why would you fib
About people you don’t know
Or things you never did?

He broke up with her
She cheated on him
Please don’t get me involved
I don’t know where to begin

So what if you never
Got asked out to the prom?
It only lasts one night
Then life will carry on

Every week there’s someone
Fighting with a friend
Who hates who this week?
Please let this drama end

Because I’ll never understand
Why people have to judge
Adding insult to injury
To hearts that never budge

What you’re probably feeling
Are typical teenage emotions
You’ll switch feelings as fast
As the tides switch in oceans

I know that you’re miserable
But aren’t we all?
Who hasn’t at some point
Taken a fall?

Don’t say you hate your parents
Because I know you’ll love them after
Don’t blow it out of proportion
It’s just another chapter

I don’t need your drugs
I have a paper overdue
What’s the point of writing
About some guy I never knew?

If you can’t afford that dress
Get a job after school
Stop using him for money
Don’t use her as a tool

Problems can be solved
So let’s not overthink
Every bad conclusion
Or you’ll be on the brink
Of always seeking attention
But you won’t get it, you’ll see
I’m just trying to live
A life that’s drama-free 
So do yourselves a favor
Avoid the fakes and liars
And anyone who savors
In causing you some drama

2

You must be out of your god damned mind if you think
The president is gonna bring the nation to the brink
Of meddling in the middle of a military mess
A game of chess where France is queen and kingless
We signed a treaty with a king whose head is now in a basket
Would you like to take it out and ask it?
Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’ head?
Uh, do whatever you want, I’m super dead

–Cabinet Battle #2, Hamilton [photo credit: Joan Marcus]

Withdrawal

Speak to me…
like your would,
to a dream;
Your own
Putty in your hands,
sublime
unthreatening;
Word your words,
with infatuation,
flirting on the brink
of truth;
Reveal sunflowers,
growing under shadows,
and I shall be the Sun;
Let me sing you,
a lullaby,
of hope,
while you eat
into misery,
the likes of which,
crawled on walls
sullen
silent
memories;
Let me absolve you,
of your sins,
erase with kindness,
past horrors,
imprinted on your trampled being;
And when you are done
before I go,
as you snap the strings,
let it be known,
I was love
and maybe, the only…
soul
who understood you thus;
And I am leaving, carrying
with me,
everything you meant to say…


© SoulReserve 2015

Trajectory

I

our lost silence
crouches on cool sand
in the lower inlet
rushing blood heats
unearthed hands

unafraid in the dark
in the junctures of limbs
slick with seafoam need
we are strangers equal
to discovery

the sea is a familiar
the sea speaks only of itself

II

in the darkness
of brush rustle
of bird-cry settling
we seek out the brink
of giving up return

to a world inflicting light
upon itself

III

our joint cravings
lapsed indecisions
fateless escapes
make love as the water
grinds glass into a sheet –
the last rubbing of us

IV

a high cry –
in concentric circles
the water grows more lustrous
than the satellite
we lie under
deeper than the dead
we last
eating dune roses
until the sea is a wall
and I take you up against it

V

that restless bird –
where light dyes pathways
I tear out your heart
and hand you mine
still beating
in defiance

VI

your silvery shocks
never arrest,
still clenching
sea changes
under my fingers
the shells of your lives
the hiss of the moon

the petals of your blissful
abandonment of subterfuge –

I’ll be there for your birth
I’ll give way for your funeral
I’ll miss your wedding –
arched back in waves too cold
eyes closed
a fin for an arm
an ending for your finds

washed up
we are

VII

still breathing
against glass silence

for the last drawing of us

Cabinet Rap Battle

WASHINGTON: The issue on the table: France is on the verge of war with England, and do we provide aid and our troops to our French allies or do we stay out of it? Remember, my decision on this matter is not subject to congressional approval. The only person you have to convince is me. Secretary Jefferson, you have the floor, sir.

JEFFERSON: When we were on death’s door
When we were needy
We made a promise
We signed a treaty
We needed money and guns and half a chance
Uh, who provided those funds?

MADISON: France.

JEFFERSON: In return, they didn’t ask for land,
only a promise that we’d lend a hand
and stand with them
if they fought against oppressors
and revolution is messy
but now is the time to stand!
Stand with our brothers
as they fight against tyranny.
I know that Alexander Hamilton is here and he
would rather not have this debate;
I’ll remind you that he is not Secretary of State!
He knows nothing of loyalty
smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty
desperate to rise above his station.
Everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation.
(Hey, if you don’t know, now you know.)

WASHINGTON: Thank you, Secretary Jefferson. Secretary Hamilton, your response?

HAMILTON: You must be out of your goddamned mind
(oooooohs) if you think
the President is going to bring the nation to the brink
of meddling in the middle of a military mess,
a game of chess,
where France is Queen and King-less.
We signed a treaty with a King whose head is now in basket,
would you like to take it out and ask it?
Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’s head?
“Uh, do whatever you want I’m super dead!”