Birds of a feather

There’s a bluebird in my heart
too,

but unlike
yours

I like to let mine out
from time to time,

I let him spread his wings
I let him sing

his songs to me
& to the world,

My bartenders like him,
he’s how I’ve gotten most
of the whores into my bed

and he doesn’t mind the smoke,
everyone needs a drag
from time to time,

He’s the one
who prefers Jameson
and told my tongue
to not drink
much else,

I don’t hide him,

But I’m not mad
that you hid yours away

I’m glad you did
because as much as you
inspire me and make me
want to share my songs

with the world,

I’m glad I’m not as angry
as you made yourself out
to be,

I get it, the image
is everything about
what seperates the men
from the boys,

and at this point I think
I’m all grown up
and we’re stuck together
with the same fate,

So I let my bluebird sing
Bukowski,
because more than anything

your songs taught me

how to fuck
what the world thinks.

And thank you for lying
to me

You old, drunk bastard,

Because you let your bluebird
fly, you know it

and may the gods bless you
for not even trying.

I love you
motherfucker.

Just one question,
Are you crying now?

©Bryan Grissom, 2015

Napowrimo #24 - Write a response poem

I used Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

no,
you are not athena.
you were not born
gracefully
from the head of
your shared father.

you came out
bloody
from between the legs
of your outcast mother,
from that moment
burdened
with the responsibility
to bring forth your
brother.

you do not belong in
olympus,
like their darling on her
silver throne.
apollo is their golden boy,
in his golden chariot.

you belong to the
forests, to the wild
beasts you will never
tame.

you are not athena.
you never will be.
you had to
claw
your way up to olympus.

you are artemis,
wild girl with the
wild hair, and the blood of
your prey on the soles
of your bare feet.

no.
you are not athena.
but you make every
head in olympus
turn your
way.

—  huntress of owls//e.m.

when you think of me
do you remember the way I
held you when you were a shaking
leaf in a storm
do you remember when I forgave you
every
single
time
and how my love for you stretched
from my soul all the way
around the universe and
back to cradle your heart and
do you remember the way I
looked at you in the dim light
damp from dancing in the rain
and the wrinkles by my eyes from
the way we were invincible until
we weren’t or until
you chose them over me and
do you remember how I
moved on but never let you know
that I remember
every breath and beating and
I hate you for living in the corners of
my mind and I’ll never forgive you
for never letting me go

Don’t fall in love with me unless you are prepared for a hurricane in conjunction with a meteor shower.

I’m not easy to love.

But if you wade through the tsunami of emotion 
I promise to be worth it
If you just try at least.

—  Zienab Hamdan - Just wade/wait

Call me
And tell me you miss me.

Call me
And tell me 
How your bones are brittle.
That they are aching to be held
By hands that are calcium-infused.

Call me
And tell me
That the world hasn’t rotated in your favour
Since I walked away.

Tell me 
About the sunshine embedded 
In my smile.
And how you haven’t
Witnessed a proper sunrise
Since the morning
You woke up 
And I was gone.

Call me
And tell me you miss me.

I’ll tell you
That I’ve been missing you too.

—  Zienab Hamdan – I’ll always be soft for you.

i.
there is war in your veins
and blood in your hair.
there are men dying at your feet,
with broken bodies and failing hearts,
pleading, crying, begging for sweet mercy.
but you are not merciful.

ii.
there are tears on your cheeks
and vengeance in your heart.
your husband is not faithful,
and your hands are red, red, red,
as his lovers cry out for justice.
but you are no judge.

iii.
there is beauty in your eyes
and something frightening in your love.
men and women are on their knees for you,
praying and worshiping their goddess,
and wishing for your favor.
but you do not play favorites.

iv.
there are arrows in your spine
and a howl in your lungs.
you are a huntress, the guardian of children,
daughter of wolves and the moon.
you protect women while men beg for forgiveness.
but you are not the forgiving type.

v.
there are flowers in your hair
and a kingdom under your charge.
“poor girl!” they cry. “how full of woe and misery!”
you roll your eyes and adjust your crown,
as they demand your freedom.
but you are already free.

—  zeus has nothing on us // t.y.
At twelve years old...

At twelve years old, I let the devil rear
its head. It was dressed all in white, – a pure
thing, – with the softest voice that said you lure
me to you, yes.  I am what I appear.

And the devil beckoned: come here, come here…
with a sharp red claw, and a hush-hush cure,
and the you want more, so I will give you more.
You like it in your room. I am not insincere.

Six years later, my imagination’s gone.
Each day, a ready image lifts its head,
another flashes, another, and soon
I go to meet them. Couldn’t feel the rot
set in. And no one told me it would spread
to blacken steadfast stars and each bright thought.

Everyone has their Alaska Young
Who gives you the courage to seek your great perhaps
Believe me, solid nights in your bedroom compare nothing to the world seen through her eyes
Alaska paints the world with white daisy’s and stories about trips to the zoo with her mother
She’ll kiss you and infuse you with cigarettes and watered down novels in piles
Flash you her bright green eyes and knowing smile-
Alaska is the hurricane through the drizzle of everyone else
The pink wine in a room full of ambrosia
But you won’t get Alaska Young, because you aren’t meant to
The layers between you and her will grow until there is nothing but concrete
She’ll mix you up with her laugher because the next minute she’s smoking to die
Understand that your Alaska is a deeply unhappy person
Who believes in straight and fast
You fell in love with the girl who makes you laugh and shows you porn and drinks wine with you
You fell in love with the perfect image of this Alaska
Unable to see the cracks beneath the surface
Everyone has their Alaska-
Everyone has someone who is beautiful, but broken
And god dammit, she is broken
But you-
Can’t keep using the future to escape the present
You must dig your way out of this Labyrinth of suffering
Stop calling it a dream. Call it a plan.
Understand that the only way out of this Labyrinth of suffering is to forgive
You have to forgive
Stop looking for Alaska
And start looking to forgive
—  Alaska is over there; I heard it’s beautiful
Sleepless at Midnight

This is not death.
I close my eyes
to make it darker,
as the street-lamp’s
orange midnight glow
seeps in under the blinds.
Then I forget that I’m
meant to be dead

Lord, I’m five hundred miles
away from home.  
      Pause.
It must be darker yet.
I put my hands on my eyes.
That’s not right.    Let them fall
slowly back to your side.

you can’t help thinking over and over
will it last?
these feelings, these people
will it last?
you sit there trying to grab it all at once
and savour it
incase it gets snatched away from you
you wait and you wait
for something bad to happen
as if its all TOO good
and that waiting eats away at you
it eats away at you until the question
will it last?
is something you don’t have to ask anymore
because its something you smothered yourself.
—  pretty self explanatory 
Nightmare

       -after Francisco Goya-

This is dark glass against my cheek,
and, when I close my eyes, I make
a night like that. Hunched

at my windowsill in dream’s first act;
there are bats and hounds, an owl,
and a mosquito touch.

Waking then, my skull blinks
and all the creatures disappear.
An unlike monster eats the moon.

Don’t mind my trembling hands
They seem to shake
When I’m holding beautiful things
Because I’m afraid I might break it.

I’m afraid of breaking you.

But above all
At the end of the day
I’ll sit next to you
Trace the creases of your palms
Despite my own trembling palms.
And at the end of the day
I’ll sit next to you
And I’ll be good to you.

—  Zienab Hamdan – Stuck on beautiful
Tonight I have been thinking...

Tonight I have been thinking I could stay
like this forever, trapped inside this frame
of mind, and never try to pull my way
outside to see daylight, or feel thought’s flame.
I know my imagination’s somewhere,
it’s lurking deep down in the muddy dark,
but what I don’t know yet is how I’ll hear
it call me when I’m near to life’s faint spark.

So far, you have resisted by this sonnet,
that means a change goes on. A fair way still
to go, of course; I’d like to walk among
the forests, hills, and flower-gardens, until
each bird song there’s repeated in this tongue;
brain, I know it’s dark; I will lead you from it.