[19.02.24 − 25.02.24]

PROMPT: fuck salvador dali for being evil. that said, write a piece inspired by two famous dali paintings-- persistence of memory and the elephants. consider exploring movement, slowness/speed, heat/cold, and warped sensations.

he hovers over me
hands planted on either side of my body,
carefully balanced above.

we stayed in this position for ages
our joints surely stuck
sweat cascaded from his skin,
dripping like analog
glinted across his warm-toned tan body;
the street lamp outside
made for nice lighting

the air around us warped with heat
he leaned his head down to kiss me,
steadily with shake,
and I melted underneath him

he kissed me
his hands traveled up my shirt
my breath hitched
he kissed me again

the windows fogged
boys will be boys
and all I can think of is Titanic '97
ripped through concentration

the walls came down,
and I laid motionless on my bed—
the blue hue of my phone taunts me

these accounts, on lifted stilts,
finally came crashing down
now existing as pings on a cell tower

i wish it could be more
at least, I think I do
it won't be though,
and there's no one to blame but me
in what could only be called
"the consequences of my actions"

[26.02.24] − [03.03.24]

PROMPT: write about echoes, sound, and reverberation. what is an echo— just sound or something more? how can it reverberate through past, present, and future? can emotion be an echo in that way? what else can be?

A screaming silence stood in the air.

The counting of an analog clock could be heard clearly throughout the small studio. The ticks were practically claps with how much silence they could move through. They imagined the inside of the clock. Gears scrapping against each other, springs and sprockets bouncing up and down. Intricate enough to fit inside a flat circle the size of a small cake.

They shifted a bit. A few joints let out a satisfying crack. Staying in the same position for so long began to show its effect, but they couldn't be bothered to do anything about it.

"You awake?" They asked the boy underneath them.

His body laid slack— one leg draped over the edge of the couch. His arm curled under their chest, holding them in place. He had to take noticeably larger breaths because of the dead weight. With every one he took his chest rose and fell, and they rose and fell with it. Their breathing was off-sync from one another; he began inhaling moments before they began exhaling.

"I am now," he replied.

"I can't exactly stay in the same position all night, you know."

"Sounds like an excuse to me."

They rolled their eyes.

"Fine, I'll get up if you want me to—" they propped themselves up to move, but he pulled them back down.

"Hey, hey, I didn't say that." He held them tighter against him.

"That's what I thought."

The same silence overtook the air again. Not awkward, just... present.

"I can hear your heartbeat," he whispered.

"Surprising, hm?"

"...What is?"

"That I have a heart."

as a gay enby, i always notice the lack of representation for people like us in a lot of media... so i wrote this as a sort of self-indulgent filler for the fag shaped hole in my heart. the "they" is non-binary and loves men, and the "he" is a man who is attracted to non-binary people. its kinda rushed, but im still proud of how it came out.

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[04.03.24 − 10.03.24]

PROMPT: take time to explore different structures of whatever you like to write. for poetry, consider writing a pantoum, ghazal, or abecedarian (some of my favorites). for an essay or fiction, consider writing vignettes, something in epistolary form, a diptych/triptych piece, a frame story, or a circular narrative.

a love letter in my locker with a pretty red bow
he cupids his arrow, but it still doesn't land
i exist in a place demonized by most

no water, soil, or fertilizer; nothing to be grown
a cattle to the herd with no loving heart-shaped brand
im on the other side of unrequited love

halved in his chest, the x-ray does show
romance isnt a tool that i have in my hand
i exist in a place demonized by most

black eyes and busted lips are the closest that ill know
to highschool sweetheart boyfriends with hidden knuckle brass
im on the other side of unrequited love

used, abused, and ran through; you reap what you sow
too late for me, i guess, no take-sy backs
i exist in a place demonized by most

"a life of sex and lust is nothing to boast"
every indulgence taken part in... not meant to be that
i exist in a place demonized by most
im on the other side of unrequited love

i havent written a villanelle since high school (spoilers: it wasnt very good), so i wanted to see if i could improve at all. i think i did a good job. i find that whenever i write something like this with strict rhyming schemes i tend to just write single lines that i mash all into one place. i do enjoy repetition, though. anyways, this poem is about being aromantic whilst also being allosexual. hope you enjoyed. P.S. i know that they aren't perfect rhymes, what're you gonna do about it?

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[11.03.24 − 17.03.24]

PROMPT: explore a life cycle in some kind of writing. for example, you could use metamorphosis, diapause/hibernation, paedogenesis [very weird], puberty, the salmon life cycle, the amphibian life cycle, or something else entirely! you don't have to be direct-- just start here and get inspired.

its 1:32 am
and im googling images
of apartments i used to live in
crisped and color-corrected
until they're no longer plausible

unnaturally florescent cyan pools
with not a dead wasp or twig in sight
stand out among the freshly cut lawns
and dark oak buildings
they repainted since i left
no more chipped brown paint
with moss growing in the cracks
the fences are still rotting, though

i guess not everything can be perfect

the buildings still surround
the picturesque courtyard
with firs,
a park,
and hounding parents

claustrophobic all the same

someone else lives there now
in apartment U3
i don't know who
but i imagine they're a lot like i was

i hope that the kids are taking care of the place
that they still ride their bikes around the parking lot
and wipe out over speed bumps
and the laundry room is still the primary hangout spot
for awkward loser pre-teens like me
i hope that the pool is still closed for maintenance—
like it always is
—and the ice cream truck still makes it's way around the block regardless

so that when they,
get priced out
the next batch of poor kids
will experience it too

ive grown up in poverty most of my life, so this poem is about my childhood in low income housing. specifically the one i lived in for my middle school years. i used to hate that i moved out of district for high school, but i love my high school friends so i don't think i would ever change anything. and i still talk to my old middle school friends too... the ones that i like anyways

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[01.04.24 − 07.04.24]

PROMPT: explore the concept of time in your writing. play with the idea of how we perceive passing time [linear/cyclical/all at once/not at all] and make it weird and surreal, or maybe go more classic & write some fun time travel/time loop fiction. how does time shape us?

"poetry is supposed to suck a little bit"
i told myself
in my high school writing class
hours old drip coffee
no longer cold
sitting to my left

the over-the-top edge
i developed under fluorescent lights
was a bit more than necessary

"poetry is supposed to suck a little bit"
i tell myself
sitting at the dining room table
writing straight into the html of my neocities page

three years have passed
and i still write useless diatribes
about how sad i am

—a coffee to my left

some things change
some things stay the same

oh my GODDD this was one of my favorite prompts by FARRRR. i literally immediately had the inspiration to write something, which is not common for me at all. i love thinking about how i was in the past and how much ive changed so this was right up my alley. i was a little edgelord in high school, so i look back on those times with mixed feelings :>>

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[08.04.24 − 14.04.24]

PROMPT: try to make your writing as silent as possible. i know it's a weird prompt-- don't take it too seriously. have fun. what does it mean for writing to be quiet?

flowery language
made for pinterest
that don't really mean anything
with randomly placed italics
and line art
that has nothing to do with the theme
of the poem
quiet as in not loud,
or quiet as in doesn't speak?

call me all of the names that you'd like but i genuinely cant stand Rupi Kaurs affect on modern poetry so i wrote about it. here you go. this is mostly me complaining so it probably sucks. think of it as the diss track of the poem world. if it desserves that title.

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[22.04.24 − 28.04.24]

PROMPT: explore on the softness & blurring of edges—dawn/dusk, the place between sleep and wakefulness, transitions from youthfulness to adulthood and adulthood to old age. what do those borders & changes feel like, look like, smell like?

One day closer to freedom, I think, wiping spaghetti stains off of a red-and-white tablecloth. The checkered print had been seared into my mind by the time 7 o'clock hits. Glasses clank and clatter as I load them onto the tray. I try (and fail) to grab a plate without getting butter on my hands.

Of all the days to be wearing rings.

I let out an annoyed sigh, and haul the tray to the back.

This isn't my job— I wipe a plate into the compost bin —I'm a host. I'm not a busser, I'm not a server. I sure as hell don't get paid like one. I pick the straws out of the cups. A plate shatters in the kitchen. I should quit.

I don't, though, instead I simply continue grabbing used napkins and utensils and keep my thoughts to myself. My coworker, one of the serving staff, passes by my left shoulder with a plate of chicken parmesan (I could smell it before I saw it). She turns to me before making it to her table, and asks me something:

"We're getting drinks after work, wanna come?"

My feet, calloused and blistered beyond belief scream to me. "Please, not a moment more of walking!" They beg; they know just as well as I do. I have to do this all over again the next day, and the next, and the next after that.

I know all of this to be true, and yet I still muster up a reply.

"Sure, when are you off?"

im in a kind of transitionary period of my life, where im basically just working full-time in order to move out. and in the past, ive wasted a lot of my time in these transitionary periods because all i could focus on was the end goal. but now i know better, and even though this is a transitionary period, i treat it like its not. because time wasted is time that i cant get back.

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[29.04.24 − 05.05.24]

PROMPT: write about or use asymmetry in your writing. what is the intrigue in imbalance? maybe work with different-sized stanzas or long, long sentences followed by short ones, or think about how no two bodies are the same, nor two halves of the same body, or how the feeling of a painting shifts with where the objects sit.

i fall betw
een the pri   the
me meridian     sky  
my body fol        line
ded a milli-------------
on ways ori   is
gami'd unti     pre
l i can't s        ttier
ee myself a--------------
s me who  i   on
am is unkno      my
wn to those        own;
that are th--------------
e closest t   sile
o myself in      nce
between the        is my
closet  and--------------
the unemplo   new
yment  line     favo
the old que        rite
eer special          song

ive always loved concrete poetry. the idea of incorporating form into a poem has always fascinated me, so i gave my attempt at it. the left stanza is supposed to be an apartment building, and the right is meant to look like a fire escape. since the prompt mentioned asymmetry, i aligned everything left so it would be asymmetrical. i romanticize the city a lot, for better or for worse, so a lot of this was just me day dreaming. oh well, what else is new?

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[06.05.24 − 12.05.24]

PROMPT: consider 'trace elements'-- barely noticeable things and what they change. think butterfly effect! are their effects expected & small or disproportionate? is a 'trace element' an extra bit of DNA? is it some milk in a loaf of bread?

i like to buy things
on ebay;

used things
with stories

claw machine prizes
and christmas gifts
that sat in storage

trapped in boxes,
label over label
until they decide
it'd be better off with me

when i open that package
and reveal my piece
an aroma alien to me

cigarette smoke
and old cologne

traces of someones love

[13.05.24 − 19.05.24]

PROMPT: write about evolution and devolution. how do we unravel & re-ravel? think about what histories our bodies & communities & species & worlds are made of.

overtly overbearing fathers teach
the tricks to their own kids
clearing their browsing history
and faking an occupied bed

i dont want his temper
or his hatred
i want his drive and yearning
not his innate fakeness

egoistic mothers
love to treat you like you're dumb
they force us to be daughters
when we want to be their sons

i learned a lot from her
whether it's what she hoped or not
i will be better than her
i will be everything she wasn't

a bit of a simple one, but this is about vowing never to be like your parents. wanting to pick and choose the parts of yourself you get from them. something i have experience in. i think about this a lot, honestly.

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[20.05.24 − 26.05.24]

PROMPT: write about brief encounters, fleeting moments, first impressions. what do these leave behind for us?

"Hate the sin, love the sinner."

The old woman with the curly bob gives a small smile. Her gaze doesn't meet mine, as she's sitting down, but regardless I meet it. There's warmth in her words, but all I see in her eyes is pity. She holds out a pocket bible outstretched in her hand.

The stand she's behind is typical of any small-city-festival-proselytization booth. A white fold-out table adorned with banners, booklets, and other religious literature. All of the important words— Hell, repentance, judgment, Leviticus —are bolded on the signage.

I think about what she must have thought in order to stop me specifically. How my height gives away my biology. The way my feminine shape must still peak through my boxers and cargo pants. The trans tape peaking out the side of my sleeveless tee. The boy I'm interlocking hands with.

I grab the bible with my free hand. Deep copper text on top of a dusty navy cover. I trace the words 'King James version' with my thumb. How could something I spent so many years escaping still look this beautiful? I grip the book out of frustration.

"But I am the sin," I tell her.

Her smile waivers, caught off guard, and she looks at me in confusion.

"The sin is fused into my skin, and threaded into my heart. The sin is graffiti scrawled on an overhead highway sign, with the words 'FAGGOT' and 'TRANNY.' Separating me from the sin is like splitting an atom from itself. Me and the sin are like the men i commit them with—"

"—entangled despite the eyes"

this is loosely based off of a number of experiences ive had as both an unaware/closeted kid, and openly queer person. the first one was in 2018, when a street preecher offered me a bible outside of the main entrance of my high school. the second was at a fair in 2023, when i passed by a booth against HB 5599 which was made to protect trans youth seeking gender affirming care from their transphobic parents. the last isn't one instance, but the many instances that my family and others have told me that exact phrase; hate the sin, love the sinner. it felt cathartic to be able to write about this without clamming up (what i actually did irl).

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[10.05.24 − 16.05.24]

PROMPT: remember a moment that's both nostalgic and visceral. it can be old or new, but something that feels both vague and like you can still feel it in your skin, muscle, and bones. write about it however feels right.