Free Hands

When I hear “the lighthouse was blown up,”
I think of enlarging a photograph—
Blow it up on the screen.
Not explosions,

When there was a bomb threat
at my high school,
we had to bring clear plastic bags
to school
instead of backpacks.
Stand in line at the door—
We thought about the
of the plastic bag’s zipper.
Always breaking on the spirals
of notebooks.

And we had no free hands.

Every year my friends and I stand
at the island around
the lagoon in Boston
on the 4th.
If it wasn’t for the marathon bombing,
there would have been a
4th of July bombing.

Fireworks sound like guns, explosions,
They can set off car alarms
from the vibration of the sound.
But our necks are stiff from fascination.
Colors crackle
on the sky (we imagine.)
It’s the illusion and the shapes
we can’t get enough of.

We fold up our chairs,
and smell the sulfur.
We are safe.

nilly writes:

Hey everyone! It is my pleasure to share this with you. My dear friend has spent the past few months creating something incredible to music. I have been lucky enough to be a part of this process by providing edits and feedback. I hope you enjoy. :)

Originally posted on Cryptic Dreams:

Signs of things to come...

Hello. Welcome to Pathfinder, the new official name of this story. This project started out as a simple idea for a gift, and has become so much more than that. This nine-part story is dedicated to my favorite musical artist in the world: Kubbi.

On February 5th, 2015, he released the album Ember. This story is a response to that very soundtrack. Each part of this story correlates with a song from Ember, and is correspondingly named. Pathfinder is an adventure that I hope you will enjoy. Thanks so much to Kubbi for releasing this amazing and inspiring creation. If you enjoy what you hear, please go give your support to him.

I’d also like to thank Emily Pineau of Nilly Writes for reviewing and helping me edit and being very supportive throughout the process of writing this.

The story corresponds with the soundtrack. I highly encourage listening while…

View original 902 more words

Windshield rain makes me feel
as though a dome will always
protect me,
and I can always fit inside
a shell.
I want to feel heavy
with water–
everything darker
on my body–
my hair barely long enough
to be squeezed out.
I do not want shelter from
how I feel about


3AM lights up my corner of the room,
and I blame the coffee I had
too late,
but I know it’s the buzz of my mind—
My obsession
about grad school,
the programs that I could fit
my soul into,
like clowns cramming into
their car.
I close my eyes and
“MFA” on Google’s search
flashes across my blank slate.
I see a wall of red,
like I looked into the sun.
And I feel unreachable.

I am searching for
a better writer inside
But I am afraid
of what I want the most—
to show you that I am
more than words.

Surrounded by crumpled paper,
she holds a drawing
she is proud of.
It could win contests,
be in that art show
she talked about for months.
It could be framed,
filed in her portfolio.
It would be enough
to get her into art school.
It would be enough
to call herself
an artist.

But it wasn’t until
someone picked up the discarded
surrounding her,
that she felt vulnerable.
They would see
faces that looked alien,
animals without the right shading,
bridges that didn’t look like
you could walk across them.
All the stages that proved
to the girl
she could never make it.
The drawing she held
was just an accident.
She could never draw this way

But nothing was said about
the drawing she was holding.
He loved her disproportionate horse
on attempt number 5,
and her house that leaned
to the left
on attempt 33.
He wanted to see another
lake without the right shadows
and a garage without
a three-dimensional look.

“You’re a natural artist,”
he promised her.
And then she felt alive.

Past the Limit

For weeks I stared
at the same three paintings
on my wall.
Cherry Blossom tree,
Never got sick of them,
but I got sick of myself—
Heart sunk in my bed sheets,
numb from what I can’t control.
How fast the unknown is
catching up to me,
as though my own shadow is
a stranger.


I think about if I will ever see
my name on a bookshelf.
A knot in my throat tightens
and the rope frays.
How much can someone
want something?
I think I past the limit.


The day comes, and my reflection
is wearing
a cap and gown,
the speeches given,
the names,
the heartbeats exchanged with
knowing looks and pride
from a professor who became
more like family,
the gold sticker
on my diploma,
and newfound closure.
I walk forward and
shake many hands.


I feel the smooth keys on my laptop,
the rows on my typewriter,
the spirals
of my new notebooks.
I smell new novels,
and feel the rough wood of my pencils.
I write before I can think
and I realize I never want
to think again.
I want to create.

I care about your face
more than my own face,
and your flat feet,
wide eyes,
veiny hands—
Where are you working?

I want to know how you handle
your letters.
I wonder if you nearly rip
the entire envelope
in half when you struggle to pull
a strip straight across.
And how much do your rejection letters
Can they fill the mass of your body?

I want to know your buoyancy
better than your name—
more than memorized—

I take comfort in knowing
you will love the same people,
because I already feel
more than the normal,
like there is this set bar
And I feel you ahead of me.


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