I feel like im in limbo
Inbetween safe spaces
Running from bad places

“im sorry, im sorry”
Is that all they fuckin say?
Be original for fucks sake
Im dying here
Crying here
Losin my fuckin mind here
I dont have no fuckin friends
Or family
Or no fuckin 401K

Im young and im restless
Always with these messes
I dont wanna sense these senses
I numb myself evey night
I hate to hear their voices

GOD! PLEASE! Take it the fuck away from me!
I cant stand myself
I cant stand real life
The fuckin knife
My strifes my pride
You know the life I’ve lived
The price I’ve paid
To get to where I am today…

I told my nan,
“I feel like my whole life, I was born to be abused”
What a fuckin ruse,

How i feel is up for debate
And you know i hate
These dusty carpets
With all the shit thats been swept under it…

I’ve lost faith…

I love to sleep
I love that lull
That intimate and sleazy pull,
“Come unto me”
“Its going to fine”
“Just sleep it away”
Its promising
Its shiny
Its such a sweet deal
Up until i discover
Just how fuckin
- just how fuckin awful i feel

Being awake tries me
Like flyin in a blizzard
I can hear her
Im fearing her
Those fuckin times
They shake me
They grip me
Its here
Ever present and closing
Closing onto me
Hard to breathe
I dont wanna breathe
Those times do reek
Real bad and deep
Web MD
This shits a mess
Yeah, they cant help me…

I just wanna feel safe
In a safe place
Some place quiet
Without the booze
Or sleazy pills
I’ve had my fill
I’ve seen too much
Shits real tough
Trying to stay asleep
Hoping to stay alive
I dont wanna feel
I dont wanna hear
Or smell
Or see
Or taste my tears-
Fuck these fears
Theyre the shit keeping


From being me.

I want to forget
And i want to wake up
Return to the lull of living
Unafraid and unharmed
But for fucks sake, its so hard

These loud sounds
These echoing pounds
Those angry screams
They haunt me

Im here
So much fear
Waiting- and away from there
Thats good I guess
But time will only tell before i realize that my life’s a fuckin mess…

—  I finished this at 4:27 am, June 30, 2015
Three Letters to my Former Self and One to my Future Self


tomorrow you will see your mother drunk. it will not be the first time, but it is the first time you will understand that she is drunk.

she will be on the floor, vomiting tears from her eyes, breathing with a desperate urgency you’ve never seen, screaming. for you.

do not go to her. she will only hurt you: spit the bile from her mind into your mouth. you will believe all of it.


when the emergency room nurse picks up the phone instead of your mother it will make sense.

it is not your fault. it has nothing to do with you. she is a runaway child, you do not have to be her safe haven.

know this: she will be fine. take care of yourself before you worry about her.

when she comes home, do not go to her. she will only hurt you: middle finger wavering in the air like she is a twelve year old and you are her mother.

do not clean up her vomit this time. let her fix her own mess, sober, in the morning. do not go down to the basement and wash the blanket.

if you do, you will hear the whirrs of the washing machine and her words echoing in your head. the two will mix together until they are one melted mess rattling inside the washer: not enough, not enough, not enough, never enough.


when she says she will pick you up, do not wait for her. two and a half hours is too long. she will not show up.

do not call her fourteen times. do not call your father. he is in a meeting. your sister is at college. neither of them can help you.


you will be scared as you pass men who look like they could devour you in one bite, but you will survive. it’s only three miles.

when you get home, feet sore and heart racing, do not go to her. she will only hurt you: she knows where to throw the punches so they leave the biggest bruises. she has done this so often your heart is a mosaic. after all, she is still your mother and you are both running.

when you get home, do not kiss her.

buy chocolate chip pancakes from Big Daddy’s. to pay, use the money from her purse, the one she flung to the floor before she made it to her room.

remember: you don’t need her. she needs you.

next time she slurs her words on the phone at the bottom of the bathroom floor of a bar, do not go to her. pick yourself up off the floor and put on your favorite dress; the one that makes you feel like a beautiful, strong woman. feel beautiful by yourself. feel strong by yourself. she should not have to rip your scabs off to form her own. hurting others is not healing. take care of yourself first. do not let her hurt you this time. you are pregnant with strength, reclaiming your heart. this is healing.

©Olivia Robbins


FROM THE VAULT: G. Yamazawa - “Elementary” (NPS 2014)

“I’ve loved a language that hates people, cracking jokes, trying to shatter their mirrors just cause I wasn’t confident in my own reflection.” 

Performing for Beltway (D.C.) at the 2014 National Poetry Slam. Beltway won the tournament. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

An ode to all the people I have loved:

i. Theres not much to say, you never loved me back and always made sure I knew it.

ii. My only real love, you took the already broken pieces of me and ground them into fine glass dust. I have journals full of only your name and it’s written in blood. What did I ever do to deserve this? I would move heaven and earth to see you smile, yet you seem to take pleasure in causing my pain. All I ever wanted was to make you happy. All I ever wanted was your love. Was that really too much to ask? I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it and I guess that was my biggest mistake. 

iii. I never really loved you and you never really loved me, despite what you say. But, when you said to me “baby, it’s just not working” I swear to god in that moment I heard every goodbye ever said to me all at once, every door that’s ever been slammed in my face, and every person who told me they’re sorry without meaning a goddamned word. I screamed to the heavens the night you left and no, we can’t still be friends.

—  Somehow I am always the one who ends up hurting more

Victoria Morgan - “How to Succeed in Heartbreak” (CUPSI 2015)

“Do not pick yourself up, do not be okay, because heartbreak is not about being okay, it is about remembering you were okay before.”

Performing for Southern Oregon University at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

She asked me, “What do you want from me?” As we stood there,
in the middle of an argument; she asked, “What, tell me what you want from me?” My response, was simple, “I just want you; I just want us.” But that was a lie, because there’s so much more behind that statement that she’ll never know. So much hurt and truth behind the theory of us that I have yet to tell her. I want her more than anything in this world but I don’t just want kisses, dates, sex, and corny memories. No, I want us. I want a trusting relationship, I want to be able to sleep at night and not have to reassure myself a thousand times, that she won’t walk away. I’m not afraid of lust or one night stands to get in the way. Cheating is not what I fear. I fear, the fact that she’ll wake up one day and just leave, just leave because it isn’t me she wants. I want us to grow together, none of these mindless dates and kisses on sunset beaches. I want to learn and build a future together. I want to be the person she trusts in. To tell me all her hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Not only will I support them, but I want to be a part of them. To be able to say that we helped each other, that we supported each other. I want hand holding, not as a sign of possession, but as a sign of commitment. I want a title not because it ties us down, I want a title because there’s nothing that would make me more proud than to know that I am hers for the taking. That I shout to the world that I want no one else but her. I want morning breakfasts with no clothes on, because in the morning fog is when we’re the most vulnerable.  I want these things not because of what movies portray for us to believe in. No, I want these things because they were what our fathers and mothers never had. I want midnight talks about the things she fears the most, and I won’t judge her for them. I want dancing in the middle of the living room not because of romance but because of unity and happiness. I want to live in happiness, to know that I have found someone who wants all the same things. I want kids, oh god, how I want kids with her, and I want them to never doubt how much of this home was built on love, alone. I want to build a career with her along my side, so that nights full of stress still somehow make me feel blessed that I have a woman like her by my side. I want her to feel safe in my arms, to know that I will never leave her. I want to be there when she needs someone to wipe away her tears and I will try my best to never be the reason for her aches and crying. I want her to want us just as much as I do. There’s so much more behind that statement, because it’s not just as simple as “I want us” no, I want something with her that I’ve had with no one else. I want to drown in love, go in head first, to never be afraid to commit to her. I want it all, and I want it only with her.
—  My answer
She’s trying to get over him.
But when she has to get out of the house, she can’t stop her eyes from looking behind the steering wheel of every red car that drives by.
He kissed her last on a Thursday, she didn’t hesitate to brush her teeth till her mouth bled just to get the taste of him off her tongue.
Last Wednesday she bought the same flavor gum he used to steal from her. She finished four pieces because it tasted more like his lips than berries. She didn’t bother brushing her teeth after that.
She’s been writing poems about him since the day he left and I guess that’s proof that she’s not doing too well with moving on and she went and reread all her old journal entries where his name was so neatly printed. She wished she never lost the pen he gave her. It was the only thing she had to remember him by.
And oh god does she still love him. She’s kissing boys to try to move on but they don’t give her the same butterflies like he did.
She’s told everyone how much she hates him and that she couldn’t careless about him, but she still smokes at night in hope that he will stop by in her dreams.
She really is trying to get over him
It’s just that he still exists somewhere out there where she can’t quite reach.
—  (via unknown-taylor)

To the next girl who has the privilege to love you:

1. He is very shy. Even though he looks tough, he would be too timid to talk to you.
2. He would hold you as though you are the most precious thing in the world.
3. When his lips land on your cheek, you would be free of all the worry of the world, but only temporarily.
4. He’s stellar at making you feel special, but please keep in kind that he treats every girl like this.
5. You’ll never love someone the way you love him.
6. He’s not very good at taking care of himself — so please take care of him for me. Make sure he drinks enough water and eats enough food.
7. He hardly sleeps. Encourage him to nap please.
8. He really likes sugar cookies. Bake some for him — but don’t end up like me and leave a scar on your wrist.
9. Borrow his sweaters. He smells like heaven and home and I swear to god, you would feel so loved when you wear them.
10. Send him pictures of yourself — lots of them. He loves seeing you happy so don’t forget to smile.
11. He doesn’t get angry often, but when he does, you’ll cry. Not because he’s hurting you, but because you simply cannot bear seeing him upset.
12. It’s always friends before you. Don’t force him.
13. He says “I love you” a lot. You’ll remember every time he says it.
14. He likes walking you home, even if it means he has to walk an extra half hour alone.
15. Don’t tell him you cried for him. He’ll take it upon himself.
16. Kiss him a lot — while you can.
17. You’ll fall way too hard for him.
18. Please treat him well. He deserves the best and he always offers the best.
19. Don’t get mad at him, please. I made that mistake one too many times and I still regret it.
20. Give him all the love he deserves, please. I beg you to treat him right.

—  Where you are, I once was. (May 31, 2:41am)

Lauren Zuniga - “Things That Happened to Me in High School…”

“Someone successfully killed themselves every year at my private, Catholic high school. Scott’s brother carved freedom into his chest before he blew his brains out.”

Performing during the Lit Slam at the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!


It was the kind of night that starts off with a flirt; the shallow kind. Quick arm touches, you tease. Five minutes later your telling him every dream and secret you’ve ever had. Things you forget were still in your chest.

I decided.

It’s blurry at best, when you think about it now. You put me in a box buried 6 feet under where we used to have our hammock. You know, in the backyard. But the funny thing about memories, is your not actually remembering. In reality your remembering the last time you remembered. It’s a fluid snapshot and it’s changing forever.

But I remember, playing whisper around the room. It was the same thing. You start out with an honest truth, a few thoughts and whispers later it’s a different monster now. You keep him in your closet and he growls

It’s not until he starts whimpering that you realize you probably should have wrote it down. It would have been better to have the snapshot more authentically. Stronger and more grounded, more clearheaded and realistic. But I’ve been thinkin; thinkin those qualities might be lost on me.

And that’s when I decided I could be more holistic when I’m tearing everything apart in my head. Ever since I was little I’ve been rearranging facts to make stories make more sense. Because it’s just all stories, you can’t write fiction about ideas or rhetoric. You have to write about people and life is people. Billions of people and billions of stories to forget.

I can’t forget, but id like to. We’ve all been pulling the wings off butterflies to pass the time. Little pains aimed at each other.

So I smothered the last little bit of life left in my pen. When the ink like blood dried I had a better idea of what it was like to feel safe in my bed again.

That’s when I decided to stop breathing.

It was that simple, I was bored. I was talking to a soul that wanted my heart to keep pumping but didn’t want to look in my eyes again. So I downed the pill bottle and I yacked. I didn’t even see a light. It was…pathetic. The bathroom floor was more welcoming than my goddamn kitchen. And that’s sad.

The very last text I sent ended with a semi-colon. A half finished sentence, with words like sparks capable of starting fires. I almost robbed the world of that. The incomplete sentence would’ve ended with I love you. And I meant that.

It was probably the only thing I meant. Since I first heard that lyric. This is fact not fiction, for the first time in years and; it took me two years to realize what it meant. death cab always seemed to say it best.

When I couldn’t. And I can’t. I can’t put down my…pen. Since I heard the mark on my wrist is a god damn fad on the internet.
Whatever, I’ll be a cliche. At least it shortens the distance between everyone and me.
Unlike the distance from my sanity.
I decided It’s indifferent and mundane
I’m tracing lines and finding peace in the space between my knuckles and the wall.
As I negotiate with whoever the hell is running heaven these days.
Why didn’t you take me when I decided?

Written by alanscrying-whileimwriting 

10 Slam Poems Every Woman Should Listen To
In the world, young girls have accomplished so much without being noticed or applauded. Normally, their accomplishments are even hidden away or ignored, even ridiculed. Clementine von Radics wants young women to know that they are brilliant and much more capable than they’ve ever been told they can be.

My poem “For Teenage Girls” is on this list!


For Teenage Girls by Clementine von Radics


Neil Hilborn - “A Series of Short Poems”

“You will never be more wrong than the first time you say ‘I love you.’ You’ll mean it, sure, but you’ll still be lying.”

Neil Hilborn, performing from his book at YouTube Space LA. Check out Neil’s book at the Button website, and subscribe to Button on YouTube!

1) I can’t remember the last time I picked the dirt
from your kiss of my teeth. Honestly, I don't think
I have ever washed my mouth out; grown accustomed
to the grime you layered across my tongue over the few
crucial months we spent together.
And since you left I can only taste blood from trying to
scrape the taste of you into other peoples' mouths.
2) There was never a moment where our relationship
was not a loaded gun. I was born as ammo for the
revolver you embodied. I should have anticipated the
possibility of you turning yourself on me.
3) Our second date was to a cemetery and I had never 
felt more alive with your hand in mine. Earlier today I
visited the cathedral we lost ourselves inside and I could
feel the memories of what once was attempting to break
through the concrete benches where we sat.
I’ve never felt as cold sitting alone.
4) I was never considered a priority to your prideful bones,
was never considered the bird whose wings you wanted
to mend. I hate to think I only tried to heal you of your
burdens and you didn’t even look at me long enough to
realize I, too, had been bleeding this whole time.
5) You were like a re-lit cigarette; quick to burn and bitter.
And you were every pit in each peach I spit out and choked 
down to distract my tongue from screaming for you to
come back to me. 
Because I know no matter how sweet my lips may taste,
the idea of distancing yourself from me is so much sweeter.
—  five things to update you on how i’ve been since you left // Haley Hendrick