Tag Archives: writing


Perhaps not the best poem to start off a new school-year with, but I suppose it’ll do.


My poems are just
empty strings of words

They don’t rhyme like
everybody secretly thinks they

Cause they’re just thoughts
pulled out of the crevices in my

My head isn’t the way
it ought to be

Thoughts move a lot slower
and faster than they used

And panic threatens to
eat me when I

When I sleep the sky
turns kinda

I wake up twenty-three times
in the early morning

Because my brain forgets
which house I am sleeping

Today it’s the corner
of my friend’s

I don’t sleep in my own house
anymore because it’s empty

Just like my poetry
the sheets never quite wear

And yet they’re still in disarray
when I struggle to wake

Aug 25/16

I Break

It took me three long days
to break your necklace
just like I break
everything here
Like that time when
twenty-four hours with you
cost me 500 bucks
And then it turns out that
it was good to see you
but those twenty-four hours
may have been
the shittiest of my life
’cause we were
saying goodbye

Then I broke my house when
I was working a forty-hour shift
one day and
everybody else was
picking up boxes
and then putting them down again
in a meaningless cycle
for clarity
As if planning a funeral
takes any time
– or family – at all these days
And the most important
thing in the world
wasn’t my insurance
or the money

I broke my mind when
I was counting fifty-dollar bills
in my pocket
and I couldn’t make them
add up to my mother
like they do in 1984
when four plus four
somehow ends up as five
And they just tell me
meaningless ecclesiastes
over and over
and over again
While I was still thinking
that grief is an okay thing
like the blog-posts
all tell me
When IRL grief is just
a word you use to
please your therapist
before you go out
to burn some gasoline
with friends who know only
how to distract you
from your long-term problems

It took a little longer to
break my feelings ’cause
they’re not quite
broken in yet
Trained to wait for
the most imperfect moment
before they erupt into tears
And I’ve known
for a little while
that emotions might even
be real
but I break them anyways

I break them when
my favorite people
turn out to be really good
at things that aren’t very
helpful right now
Like sitting down and
talking about
a video game that relies
solely on the principle
of meaningless distraction
which is one of
the few things I don’t need
because maybe talking
about this impossibility
will make it seem more real
and prove that you
mean whatever words
you text me when
I’m sobbing in bed
at three AM

At the same time
I break superfluous connections
when people who I’ve known
for somewhere around
the last five minutes
ask me how I’m doing
And I just answer “good”
and “fine”
since I can’t explain how
there are still a few things
in my life that make
the mess seem bearable
for a few hours
each day
Yet even they aren’t ever enough
to fill the gaping hole
that’s been forming
in my chest lately

So when these people ask
if I really mean it when
I say I’m okay
I think of laughing hysterically
right before I cry
as if they both aren’t exactly
the same thing
right at this moment
I wish my friends would be
the ones to hug me
or the ones to listen to
my two-hour long rant about
freaking everything
Except I know that
my friends are the people
willing to give me space
when I need it
even if they misjudge me
and give me too much space
inside my head

The last thing I break
is that thing inside somewhere
that doesn’t really have
any words connected to it
except that it probably
writes my poetry for me
I don’t remember how
but I break it when
everything goes grey
and it rips the words from that space
until I’m all bloody inside
and the garbled sentences
flicker out

May 7/16


Do you ever have
moments in your head?
You play them back,
wondering what went wrong
and what didn’t.

Something you said?
Possible. You know
you’re not that smooth.
Or did you mishear
her tone and his intentions?

Then it gets annoying
when the moment won’t leave
and you’re stuck
staring at it for hours,
still unsure.

You’re wondering if
the moment is a regret.
You know,
one of those phrases
you hang on to forever.

And later that month
you’re still waiting.
The data is gone,
and the sound is fuzzy,
but that moment’s still there.

Apr 19/16

Revisiting: the Who and What and Why

Sometimes it’s time to curl up with a good book.
And I wish those times were timely more often….

But now that school, aka college (yikes!) is about to start, it’s time to do a bit of grunt work. In addition to my college courses I’m taking Blogging101 – a challenge to myself to start paying attention to the little things, to get more focused, and to find out where I want this thing to go. I know I’ve done a bit of “revisiting” already this summer – in terms of the blog and what it’s all about, but now I’m gonna do some more. You might call it spring cleaning, because fall cleaning just doesn’t sound as nice. So here it is: more thoughts on the who, what, and why of insertcleverwordplay.


Starting with my first post, I purposefully made very few concrete statements about who I was. The reason? Going out there on the internet is scary. It feels unsafe. So here’s five facts about me that will hopefully help you get to know me more.

  • I am/was an MK – a Missionary Kid
  • I play Pathfinder, aka Dungeons and Dragons. So yeah. Nerd alert.
  • I absolutely love writing, so much so that I’ve begun writing a fantasy novel.
  • I am a Christian. No negative connotations please.
  • I officially moved out yesterday. At eighteen. Scary.


This one’s kinda tricky. From poetry to art, to planned posts about photography, video games, and swords, this blog is a mishmash. So here’s my best attempt at narrowing down the focus of insertcleverwordplay.

  • 1) writing about the world and my experience of it (poetry, short stories, etc)
  • 2) my art and what I’m currently making
  • 3) occasional personal interludes


It’s so easy these days to go and get a blog, right? It’s free, simple, and available to anyone with a device and an internet connection. But I think it’s important to know the why of it too. The “why do I bother doing this?” and the “why am I writing out loud and not in my head?”. So here’s my take on it.

  • I think I have something unique I can share with the world – no one’s writing is quite like mine, and this goes for every writer out there.
  • I want to test my writing in the crucible of online publication. I’m starting small.
  • I like doing it. As simple as that.

Any thoughts to share or comments to make? I’d love to connect with you and get your take on blog writing. After all, your opinion matters, because blogs are safe spaces to explore and put yourself out there.
And since we’re on the topic: thanks for putting up with me in turn.

Sep 7/15

Bonds of Friendship

Dear readers:
I don’t know if you like the personal (and sometimes unintelligible nature) of some of my poetry, and so I beg forgiveness in a ‘sorry-not-sorry’-sort-of-way for posting one last (or rather, another) poem of a very specific, personal, experience-based flavour. This particular poem describes my “core-seven” friends in colours and impressions. I don’t know if it applies to you, but I suppose you can still learn things from this piece. Things like the fact that you don’t have go by the rules in poetry. At all. You can describe sounds in colours, people in words, nature in heartbeats. Or something like that.

Dear friends (who are hopefully also readers):
this poem is about and for you. If you think my descriptions awkward, then, well, deal with it. If you don’t, then hey, that’s cool. I’m sure you’ll know which one is meant for each of you when you see it, though I’ve given you a bit of help by providing your first name’s initial. In the case of overlapping initials, well, let’s just say it’s very obvious who’s who. And no, the order does not matter. It simply flows best this way. Know that I’ll miss you guys a ton, at least whenever I’m not crazy busy with college. You’ll hear from me soon, though probably in less creative ways than posting on my blog….


You are a song of green
A whipping willow with
its branches of the clearest red
So dark it flows like molten lead
in complex shapes and crescent waves

You are a ripple of red
A shining ocean storm with
soft waves and tides in mixing hues
Of greens and yellows, reds and blues
that form inside your perfect mold

You are a pool of black
A liquid being with
the infinite space of possibility inside
The grey shades mixing with the white
into a steady, statued self

You are a sun of blue
A shining lantern with
a yellow light inside its folds
That keeps whatever hues it holds
inside a copper lamp with many hands

You are a rock of gold
A boundless bridge with
its windows weighed in tan and brown
And twigs with cherry-blossom frowns
that freeze before the spring

You are a drop of rose
A cherished moment with
its loud blue-laughter calling
To autumn petals gently falling
in the cold embrace of the wind

You are a fold of purple
A complex weave with
thoughts that go both there and back
Within confines that teals still lack
to brighter shades of lilac stones

Aug. 6/15

On Wheels

Packing for college has made me think. I’m not leaving for long, but I realize that I’ve missed this, the hush of suitcase-slipper wheels on hard floors, the din of imaginary crowds in my head and on the city streets.
This one’s dug up from two years ago, and it says it well: How life sometimes is more together and yet still further apart when you’re walking on suitcase wheels….

A man walking, beautiful how
he has his suitcase by his side
comfortably. Its grip is smooth
and a familiar walking stick
on wheels. He walks, big steps
In a hurry to get somewhere
though he doesn’t know where
he’s going, really, just home.

I miss the walking quickly
when it’s dark and it’s cold
and the man needs his coat
as much as he loves his suitcase.
Sometimes I wish I was the man
in the city – any city, really –
that breathes as a body
is crawling with red ants.

I love the rush you get from
knowing you are completely
insignificant and yet a part
of some phenomenon we call
“The World”, I think. We know
not where we came from or where
to go, but the man is content
to simply fulfill that lust he feels
when sitting still.

Oct 25/13

“I Love You Dark”

My love’s not pure nor glorious as the day
As dark and coarse as skin is fair and bright
It shines, but without light to guide its way
Not holy or of perfect, lacy white
It clads itself in simple, dirty scabs
In scars and bone and curling, muddy hair
My pulse it quickens and my hear it grabs
Without decorum, rules, or playing fair
As old as earth, as dark as dawn is light
It twists and writhes; it shudders like the frost
My love is neither perfect nor alright
But hard and dark and all too eas’ly lost
My love is simply man and shades of skin
So dark they mold this golden heart within

May 13/15

The God Beneath

I am a nation. I am the fabric of pride, nationalism, and community. Rippling in the breeze, the heavy folds of cloth remind me of my importance, the fact that no expense is spared in me, and no sky is above my conquering gaze.

I fly. The gentle wind lifts me and the shining sun casts my shadow down below, where among heaps of fallen bricks the ants run around in a frenzy. I can hear snatches of conversation from them.

“Left my textbook in the math hall,” they say.

“Wonder if she’ll go with me,” they say.

I neither care nor understand.

Each day I guard the ants and make their courage rise up in their chests, make their feet run faster, and make the day so much brighter. In red and blue glory, I watch their meager attempts, their futile squabbles and short-lived victories. I am timeless.

Each evening I sink with the sun, coaxed downwards by the gentle slap of rope against pole, folded like a child, and carried to a boxed bed of finest silk like the treasure I am. Each evening my stars lie folded, and I die – and in the morning I rise again, the first to wake. Drawn aloft by the threads of spider’s silk, newly coated with dew, I come to watch again over the bustling anthill of mankind.

I am timeless. I have existed as long as I can remember, which must be a very long time indeed. No one has come before me, and no one would dare follow. The ants, however, aren’t timeless at all. They come and go, and when they go I am sure they die.

“The flag’s getting a worn patch,” they say.

“I’m so screwed for that English final,” they say.

“Look into getting a new one,” they say. “The pride of America.”

I am right, see? They leave and when they leave, they die. That is what they say. The word America means death, or maybe heaven, I think. At least, that is what I’ve discovered.

This is a day like every other day, except that I do a thing I’ve never done before. I have experienced all, and yet today I do the thing I’ve never done before: I touch The God Beneath.

The God Beneath is big, and it is mottled. It is the only thing bigger than myself, because so matter how far I stretch, my folds of painted skin can never quite obscure it completely, whereas the ants are blocked out easily.

The God Beneath is something beyond me, something too vast for me, but today, as I am gently drawn down towards it to be put away, it rises up to meet me.

I don’t quite know what happens.

“Don’t let it slip-” says a voice.

“You’re letting go,” replies a second voice.

They are loud voices, much louder down here than when I am flying above them. My ant servants hold me gently, but I tip, and the God Beneath jumps up and grabs hold of one of my corners – the one that’s blue with a star in it.

The exhilaration is too much. I am flushed beyond comprehension, alive with the fire of a presence so much bigger and more important than myself. I’ve never felt this before. It feels like ice so hot it burns me up, and I feel this so strongly that the flames spring from my imagination and suddenly coat me in a fire feeding hungrily on my red and blue flesh.

“Well, it was getting worn anyways,” says the first voice.

“Shouldn’t have dropped it though. Shame we have to burn it,” says the second.

The Flames consume me, and before I pass into America, the last thing I feel is the God Beneath embracing me.

Jun 2015
photo credits: http://ilimage.com/american-flag-2/