Originally posted on Coffee With Noor:

The house was not haunted. Rather, it was hauntingly mysterious. Several generations had come and gone, each with its own web of relationships and stories, some more interconnected than others.

I remember the staircase, under which the children played. The abacus, the stuffed bear, the tattered box filled with other toys that had been passed down from my great-grandparents to my grandparents to the numerous aunts, uncles and parents that had drifted through that solid home.

In the summers, one could see streams of light shining through the windows upstairs, glittering with dust in the air. The laughter of children would fill each room, despite the defiant Pakistani heat and humidity. It would rain at night, and soon after, one could hear the bugs buzzing excitedly outside, as if they were trying to keep in tune with the crickets in the wet grass.

The dinner table would be a clutter…

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GUEST SERVICES

Originally posted on FLASHLIGHT CITY BLUES:

I approached the woman popping her gum and placed the plastic bag on the counter between us. She stared blankly at me.
“Can I help you?” she asked me.
“Yes, hi. I’d like to return this please.”
“What is ‘this’, sir?” she said.
“It’s my heart.”
There was silence, distant registers clicking and beeping in the background.
“You would like to return your heart, sir?”
“Yes, that’s correct,”
“Is something wrong with it?”
I laughed, and then I laughed some more.
“Oh yes,” I said, “There certainly is. The damn thing is too fragile. Every bad day, every tremor from a shaky friendship cracks the thing right open. I feel like it’s once a week that I’m trying to super glue the damn thing back together. It’s too sensitive. Too effective, I guess. I hate the thing,”
She popped her gum.
“Would you like to exchange it for a different…

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Some challenges to overcome

A load of web technologies I’m not motivated enough to learn

The cleaning of this disastrous house

Making an internet dating profile

Haven’t meditated in a month or more

Haven’t exercised in a month or more

Drinking beer before work (although my performance is actually better, I’m sure the managers can smell it)

Catching up with all my untriaged and untyped verses

Getting together a coherent book for the Omnidawn contest

Getting my postcards printed

Getting my business cards printed

Getting some sidewalk chalk

Getting a real job or at least one that isn’t minimum wage

Figuring out where to send those postcards

Building out my personal website more

Using my twitter account

Linking all of my expressive accounts for marketing

Carmichael’s books consignment program

Getting my book or books printed on demand with title on spine

Reading the 4 self publishing books I weaseled Mom into getting me

Waiting for my first paycheck at Domino’s

Promoting those books with my various accounts, contacts, bulletin boards, and other means

Starting a meetup poetry group ($72 for six months if you want to start a group as opposed to just join (free))

Getting a handle on the routines so that this all is doable

Getting a handle on either sleeping well without beer or having money for beer left at 10 every night

Washing a lot of laundry

Clearing away the trashbags

Washing the sheets blankets and pillows

Making clear to my cousin he may not stay more than two months before he moves in

Reliable eating with food I can stand

Not getting 86ed from any more places

Countering the slanders that follow me

Not snorting too many of my antidepressants so I don’t run out before months end

Quitting smoking

Avoiding damage to my heart

Getting a real relationship, or some satisfying part time ones

More real friends

And now I go to see my neighbor who will criticize me for drinking before work

II. Wealth

Originally posted on elena xtina:

Abia had little concept of wealth.

Only that In Merolas, money was merely bits of brass that jingled in cloth pockets.
Soon to be spent, or stolen.

At market, two pieces could be exchanged for pan caliente (hot bread).
If you dared beyond the safety of the crowds clasping hands, two pieces could be exchanged for vida (life).

Dinero is trouble. When you have it and when you don’t.” her mother would say.

Merolas sat on the edge of a city that had begun to change.
With rapid influx of wealth arose luxuries un-dreamable.

But Grand silver towers were built in hast with bricks of ego.
Evergreen bloomed boastfully in it’s thousand tones.
Rivers ran rapid with greed that spilled out into the city.

Abia and her family were cloaked in distance. For now, they were far enough away to stay unaffected.
But they were close enough to see, close enough to hear.

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Waiting for ma mere
Seeming ever to take longer than forecast
Ever into the turning tides I dream
Writing and working, working and writing, these compose my day
The house yet to be picked up weeks after the binge
Only adding onto the pile
Today, though, I judged for poeticrepublic.com
So a difference
The more sets you judge the morr influence you have
I hope to do many more before deadline
Dreaming into the sea
A winner I could never be
All is futile
Yet I spent the money anyway
Flickering candles light my way into darkness
Strolling the oceans for a moment of repose
Earlier the yard men were here, mowing and whacking
One nodded to me as I returned with notebook from my car
As if to acknowledge that yes, he works too
Coffee in the earlier morning in silence
Waking up seven times and having nightmares through the night due to last night’s sobriety
Yet we progress on to different things
This dead end minimum wage job will not last forever

Don’t call me a good mother

Originally posted on A Leaf in Springtime:

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Don’t call me a good mother.

For being good somehow means doing all the “right things”. And to be honest, I’m not necessarily all that concerned about doing the “right things”.

I’m more concerned about doing the brave thing. The thing that is needed to be done even when nobody understands. The thing that might raise a few eyebrows. Or even shock some folks. The thing that is contrary to what is popular or trendy. Contrary to opinions, charts and reports. Contrary to what everyone says is right.

For I am more concerned about the man my child will become one day. Even more than my own concern for being rated good.

For you see, I am not merely raising a child. I am raising a new race of man. A father. A husband. A friend. A team mate. A son. A seeker. A world citizen.

And because of that…

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The Worry Hotline

Originally posted on :

Motherhood brings much joy, but also the responsibility for actions that will affect your children for the rest of their lives. The weight of making the wise decisions necessary to keep a child alive, safe and thriving can be agonizing. So many questions! So many answers!

WH 1 & 2

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REUNION

Originally posted on FLASHLIGHT CITY BLUES:

this shouldn’t feel foreign
but it does
fingers against the surface
rhythms that i’ve trumpeted
one million times
but there’s something else

an electricity bouncing back
that i’ve not felt before

i shave my beard

i shave my head

i disrobe my skin
in front of my self
in the mirror

the familiar skeleton
appears before me
top hat before chest
ready to perform

what am i doing?
this white rectangular cell
that my black footprints dance around
why bother?

no matter how loud you yell
the echoes fade out

no matter how quiet you whisper
they’ll never lean in close enough

dance monkey dance

smile for the camera

yes be reckless
love reckless
kiss reckless
punch the piano keys
kick the organ in the kidney
all on camera
it’s all on camera
we’re on camera
we’re always all on camera
each photograph an ash of skin
each thought a…

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what fruit are you?

Originally posted on Aimee Herman:

On the 4 train headed toward Utica, Brooklyn, I look up and notice an ad.

How to describe what should never be described? How to describe an advertisement that shames bodies and attempts to capitalize on a woman’s parts? How to imprint media’s peer pressure module to coax a woman to…..

OK.

For the low, low, CRAZY price of $3,900.

White woman in white tank top holds two clementines between white fingers against chest.

MADE IN NEW YORK, it says.

Same white woman in white tank top holds two grapefruit, one in each white hand, against chest.

“For other body modification, we also do liposuction, tummy tucks and Brazilian buttock lifts,” reads small print.

In the first photo with the clementines, the white woman is frowning. Her mouth is turned toward the floor as though an invisible wire had been threaded into each lip, causing it to droop.

In…

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Jose Padua: Notes for the Coming Revolution

Originally posted on Vox Populi:

If I were better at facilitating
meetings I might have something
resembling a career by now. If
I could pursue a lifestyle instead
of just being alive, my coworkers
might be more comfortable sitting
near me at lunchtime when I
open my brown bag and fill the air
with the aroma of cinnamon and
garlic. If I thrived in a fast-paced
work environment and excelled at
putting out metaphorical business
fires, I’d have an office with a
window looking out over the alley
behind the building, which is where
the rats play at night. If I could
troubleshoot like a feasibility study
conducted by creepily upbeat sub-
contractors, I’d have a parking space
and season tickets for every professional
sports team in town. If I could apply
the word ‘synergy’ in a sentence while
speaking with the boss and not laugh
hysterically and make it look like I’m
trying to…

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