Once there was a little girl made of paper, with a hollow space in the middle that ate the world and never had enough. The space howled and whined and ate and ate, not just food, but love, and kindness, and pain, and anger, and courage, and all the things that make up a little girl, or even a big girl, until all that was left was what other people saw and said and stuck on. Then one day, the little girl had enough. She held on to her last story, holding until her fingers were on fire, until her tears melted in the fire, until her anger turned back to ice, and the last story came to be a strong, solid shell around the hole. The hole whined and snarled, but no matter how hungry it felt, how empty, the girl knew that it would never be filled. So she built her shell with the food, instead. She took the kindness, and the courage, and the words and words and words that everyone threw at her, and she used her pretty eyes to make them as pretty as she could, and pasted them into bright places and patterns on her hard, strong paper shell. Sometimes the hollow was stronger, and a few pieces were lost, but she always managed to find new ones, sometimes even better ones. And maybe she lived happily ever after, in her own way, and maybe she didn’t, but either way, she had a new name, and it would keep her safe. She was no longer the paper girl…she was the Paper Mache Girl!
how many miles to bethlehem
three-score years and ten,
you can get there by candle-light
but you’ll never come home again.
the walls are mirror covered,
in the room inside my head,
sprinkled with manic laughter
and eyes of glowing red.
the eyes are the window of the soul,
or so the proverbs say,
mine open on a burning hell
of discord and decay.
chaos is my normal,
normal is a curse,
sanity is stifling,
and boredom ten times worse.
my laughter smells of lightning,
and color-coded shame,
my face a demons beauty,
my heart an angels game.
look deep into my eyes and see
the mirror crazed within,
razor sharp glass shards that swirl
and swell beneath my skin.
city lives and canyon eyes, the blue of distant skies,
crystal air and pinon scent compete with smog and lies.
through city traffic, city noise, he walks as if alone,
his mind awash with starfields, and the scent of cooling stone.
the smell of burning refuse fills his clothing and his hair,
the flames that warm the icy night reflected in his stare.
the city teems with tortured souls, a million silent howls,
a beast that grinds the spirit fine within its slavering jowls.
he walks alone within its jaws, and dreams a different night,
cold and clear, the stars so near they fill his mind with light.
and as he walks, the starlight gleams, a shimmering silver glow,
it spreads its wings behind him through the dirty sleeting snow.
and everywhere it fills the air, the scent of pine and sage,
it stirs the stagnant city smog, and cools the sullen rage.
and in his wake, the city’s ache, the all-pervasive pain,
is smothered to a fitful glow, an ember in the rain.
I need to make it clear,
the deadly way I feel,
that all the while I’m here,
this world is not quite real.
The floor beneath my feet,
the walls that box me in,
the voices on the street,
the screams beneath my skin.
My eyes within the glass,
my heart within my chest,
my too abundant mass,
a long unwelcomed guest.
I strain to breach the wall,
to shatter all the lies,
but still the wall stands tall,
and the world wears its disguise.
My fight will never end,
my dawn will never come,
my signal never send,
my voice is locked, and dumb.
The words come from my mind,
and from the deepest well,
and every line is signed,
with love, to you, from hell.
nursing invisible bruises, inflicted by words used like heavy hammers, pounding away at the core, printing their story for a trapped and desperate audience of one.
bandaging invisible scratches, deep and painful, grooves cut sideways through the music, against the rhythm of a life. sharp-nailed words and thoughts, expectations that can never be met, an oyster with no pearl.
sewing up invisible slashes, some shallow and weeping blood tears, some deep and gaping, deepest thought and belief open to the eye, ravaged and torn. how can they know, those who strike, the perfect spot to place the knife?
how do they know how to hurt, how to bruise, how to scratch, how to slice…how, finally, to kill? and how can they, and feel nothing themselves??
crazy is as crazy does, sanity is immensely strained,
turns and twists of clever thought and pointed bits of pain
a straw-maze of impulse, instinct, and ugly gator-mind
tail-mind, the bit they left in when the model was redesigned
the bit that says do this, do that, hurry-hurry-quick
touch this, run from that, feel-feel-feel, it’s a trick!
hurting mind, frightened mind, shuffled dark and deep inside
curled around the tiny self, with nowhere left to hide
the missing why, the awful who, the stabbing pain of what
sliced away, the where and when, with many a jagged cut
acid pain of complicit how, engraved forever on the soul
world seen through filtered lenses, from the bottom of the hole
The death of a child, a fruit torn from the tree,
A desperate phrase, a common refrain,
“That’s not the way it’s supposed to be!”
It echoes through time, a howl of pain.
For parents, each twig is a limb
that branches off into forever,
and when it’s lost, that light gone dim,
forever dies off into never.
Never to see that tree grown tall,
with leaves and branches proudly grown,
forever to feel that wrenching fall,
the loss in heart, and soul, and bone.
Frantic and flailing, panicked and pained,
she moves through her day like a whirlwind in chains,
Her body is fragile, and so is her heart,
her eyes burn in her face as they scamper and dart,
Her mind searches, desperate, for something she’s lost,
letting the ones she has left pay the cost.
Constant apologies fall from her lips,
as she races, and runs, and falters and trips,
One day she’ll fall where there’s nowhere to land,
and I’ll lose yet another, a thought I can’t stand,
But for now I’ll stay constant, and help where I must,
and try not to watch as she crumbles to dust.