Sad Songs (Free Verse)

I fall asleep listening to music, like how some people fall asleep with the TV on. It relaxes me ninety nine percent of the time, but on occasion, it will keep me up, bringing back memories (both good and bad), and as of recently, inspire me to write. I enjoy playing around with alliteration, and that was the main purpose of the poem, so the syntax and word choice might seem forced and unnatural. Forgive me.

 

Sad Songs

The sounds of a sad song,

sting the soul,

and slam my chest

with the strength of Samson,

to the point where sticks and stones

seem supreme.

The Philanthropist’s Nightmare

He waited for her to get home to open the letter. He had a surprise for his wife, and she had one for him.

He (with the help of his lawyer) decided to donate all of his savings to various charities and live off of his small, but sufficient retirement fund. His wife knew about this, so there was nothing going on behind her back. In fact, she was the one who had encouraged him. She had always felt they had too much money for their own good.

His wife walked in with a grave look on her face, holding a piece of paper.

“What’s that you got there, honey?”

“Nothing,” she said reluctantly.

“What’s wrong? You look upset. Don’t be upset; I have good news! We just got the letter from my lawyer making everything official.”

“…”

“Honey, say something,” he said in a confused, but encouraging voice. “This is just what you wanted. I waited for you to come home so we can open it together.”

She continued to stare at him, without saying a word, and went over to the couch.

“It’s alright to feel nervous, honey. I’m a little scared too, but we worked everything out before. Remember?”

She put the paper on the coffee table and opened the envelope, which was in fact, from their lawyer, saying that everything has been been confirmed.

“I’ve been hiding something from you–well not really hiding, but–um, you see, I haven’t been honest with you lately. I–uh…”

“What are you saying? You didn’t want to do this? I thought we agreed that–”

“No, it’s not that. I wanted to do this. I–well, read this,” she said while handing him the paper. “Do you remember those tests I took a while ago, when I thought I had something–well actually, I didn’t think I had something, but something was different so I felt I should check it out?”

He stopped reading and put the paper down, then looked at her as if he had been betrayed and said, “yes.”

“Well…it turns out that the thing I didn’t think I had was actually something–cancer.”

He picked up the paper and the paper confirmed what she had been saying. He looked at the letter from his lawyer again, and back at his crying wife, and then burst into an unexpected fit of hysteria.

 

 

Mrs. Butterworth’s 3125

Another hint fiction piece inspired by a conversation I had with my cousin over the weekend.

 

Mrs. Butterworth’s 3125

They didn’t know what they had stumbled upon.

“A clear figurine of some sort.”

“Most likely a—”

“Get The Director right away!”

“—Goddess!”

Hint Fiction

I’ve been playing around with hint fiction (stories with 25 words or less) again and have two stories: one that’s totally fiction and one that is fiction, but hits close to home.

 

Conclusions

She did her best, but she was young.

He tried not to hurt her

feelings, but made no promises.

As she cried, he laughed–

again.

 

Brother of a Special Needs Person

He’s gone and I’m upset,

but I can’t tell if I’m sad he’s gone,

or mad at myself for feeling

relieved.

Mayonnaise

Hey everyone! I have a new story that I plan on using in my fiction writing class. It’s about ten pages, double spaced. I know it’s long, but I’d really like some feedback. It’s also a first draft, so there are definitely going to be grammar mistakes.

This is a work of fiction. Nothing in this story is true, except for my hatred of mayonnaise. Fuck mayonnaise.

Mayonnaise

“You got the stuff, man?”

“Yeah, it’s pretty strong, too. You haven’t done this before, right?”

“No, first time.”

“You should have someone with you; you know, in case something goes wrong.”

“Take them with me.”

“Alright, I’m not doin’ anything. Thanks.”

Phil and Alex were planning on doing shrooms. Phil has done them before, but Alex has not. Alex had everything planned out. He watched a video online of a guy who had a bad trip. The guy nearly got himself hit by a train. Alex didn’t want to get hit by any trains, so he was glad Phil reminded him he should have someone with him.

Phil and Alex have been friends for a long time. Almost fifteen years. They’ve done everything together. They were friends in elementary school, through high school, and even went to the same college. They don’t see each other all the time, but they keep in touch. Phil was into doing drugs, and so was Alex, but not as much as Phil. If someone passed a bong to Alex, he’d hit it, but nothing more.

Alex’s family put a lot of pressure on him to succeed in school. He tried his hardest to live up to their expectations, but he couldn’t—no one could. This gave Alex a lot of anxiety. The weed helped, but he was getting tired of weed. He wanted to try something different. Shrooms were ideal because they were easy to obtain. He also wanted to see if people really hallucinated on them. There was a video on Youtube of some girl who claimed she gained telekinetic powers on shrooms. That interested Alex.

“Do you have a bike?” Phil asked.

“No, why?”

“We’re going on a bike ride. I know a spot on the bike path where no one will see us. There’s a lake too. It’s a good place to trip.”

“But we just ate the shrooms. What if they kick in before we get there? How far away is your spot?” Alex asked nervously.

“By the time we get there, they’ll just be starting to work their magic,” Phil said reassuringly.

Alex was reluctant at first, but agreed. The bike ride wasn’t a part of his plan. Alex wanted to take them at home, alone. His parents were on vacation all weekend. There was orange juice in the fridge, his laptop with Netflix was set up, and he had sandwiches and chips, ready to be eaten the second he felt hungry.

“Your house is on the way to the bike trail, right?” Phil asked.

“Yeah.”

“Do you have any food? We’ll need something to eat when we get to the spot.”

“Yeah, sandwiches.”

“Good, I love sandwiches. Run home and get them, and grab your bike. I’ll meet you at your house. I just have to lock up.”

Alex forgot that he didn’t eat anything for breakfast. It was a part of the plan. He wanted the shrooms to take effect as fast as possible. He was worried about running, thinking it would speed up his digestion and he didn’t want to walk because he was worried he wouldn’t make it to the spot before the shrooms kicked in. Alex picked the safer option, and walked.

It was only a ten minute walk from Phil’s house to Alex’s. Alex got home and grabbed the sandwiches and a water bottle. He locked the house up and went around back and grabbed his old mountain bike from the shed. Alex was surprised at the condition the bike was in. It still looked new, which was nice. The last thing he wanted was people to stare at him for riding a crappy looking bike.

Phil was waiting in the front yard, ready to go.

“What time is it?” Alex asked Phil, still worrying about the ride.

“We got time, but we gotta go now,” Phil stressed. “Let’s go.”

It was a beautiful, sunny day on Long Island. On people’s lawns, perennials were beginning to bloom. Phil pointed them out to Alex, but Alex was focused entirely on getting to Phil’s spot. He didn’t notice the flowers.

“Alex, you alright? You aren’t feelin’ it yet, are you?” Phil asked.

There was no response.

“Alex! What the fuck! We’re not even half way there,” Phil yelled.

Phil didn’t want to ruin the trip for Alex, so he stopped yelling. He took a deep breath and kept riding. He knew he had to get to the spot quickly.

What the fuck is going on? This isn’t what I imagined. Everything’s so dark. Where’d the sun go? Why is Phil riding so fast? And why is everything staring at me? Stop staring! You don’t know me! What did I do to you, tree? What about you, you fucking squirrel? Don’t look at me like that. You’re being a dick and you know it. What are you supposed to be? A cat? Stop chasing that rabbit, fucker! What did it do to you! You’re the reason everyone hates cats. No, get away! I was kidding—don’t hurt me, please! I’m sorry! Just get the fuck away!

“Phil! How much longer?”

“I don’t know. Ten minutes?” Phil responded. “Relax, we’re close.”

“You said that last time, asshole!”

Phil ignored him and kept peddling. The shrooms were starting to take effect on Phil now. He had done them before, so he knew what to expect. There was zero chance of Phil having a bad trip.

“Do you hear me, asshole!” Alex yelled, breaking Phil’s concentration.

He laughed out loud and returned his attention to the woods all around him. The same woods that were causing Alex such turmoil were more like the Garden of Eden to Phil. The warm breeze, blowing through Phil’s hair brought with it positive energy, like the energy in those power bracelets at Target, except it was actually real. That same breeze blew the trees all at once, like the waves at the beach. Everything felt alive to Phil, and Phil felt he was also a part of everything around him. His purpose in life was to be with nature.

The scent of wild roses began to burst its way into Phil’s nose, signaling they were getting close.

“You smell that, Alex?” Phil yelled. “We’re getting close!”

No response.

Alex smelled the roses, but he only saw the thorns. He was always afraid of roses. He fell in a rose bush when he was little. Little thorns covered Alex’s entire body. The tiniest movement caused a significant amount of pain and Alex began to feel that pain again. He started yelling and Phil told him to shut up, so he did. He still felt anxious though. The roses couldn’t be trusted.

“We’re here, bro,” said Phil.

Alex sighed in relief. He felt as if the weight of the world was finally off his shoulders. He looked around and the paranoid thoughts disappeared. Like the morning after it rains, the sun was high in the sky, shining down warm, comforting light, hidden earlier from the trees in the woods. As the light touched his skin, he felt his body absorbing the energy of the sun’s rays. He was finally calm and Phil saw this.

“Feeling better, Alex?”

“Yeah, man. I feel free. They’re still staring at me, but not in a bad way.”

“No one’s here, bro. Who are you talking about?”

“The trees and flowers, man. They were upset with me before. I did something wrong, but I think they forgave me. Either that or they weren’t upset with me. Maybe they felt bad and they were trying to empathize with me. They knew I was scared and they were scared too, but they saved me, bro. They save me!”

Phil laughed and said, “Dude, I don’t know what the fuck you just said, but I’m hungry.”

“Me too!” said Alex.

“Give me one of your sandwiches. You remembered them, right?”

“Yeah bro,” said Alex, handing Phil a chicken cutlet sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayonnaise, on a soft, fresh deli roll. This was Alex’s favorite when he was growing up. His mother always made him this for lunch when he got home from school. Alex didn’t like the sandwiches at school. The bread was stale and sometimes moldy. They never put anything on them either. They were dry and impossible to eat. His mother’s were perfect. Alex savored every bite, knowing the minute he finished, his mother would be up his ass about his school work.

Alex really knows how to make a fuckin’ sandwich. This is mad good. It really can’t get better than this. It’s a beautiful day, my best friend is finally seeing the good in life, and this sandwich—this fuckin’ sandwich, man. What’s on this? Chicken. Lettuce. Tomato. Onion. What’s this? Is this mayo? Jesus fuck, no! What the fuck!

“Alex! Is there mayo on this sandwich!” yelled Phil.

“Yeah man, it’s good, no?”

“NO! I fucking hate mayo, you know that!

“No I didn’t! How am I supposed to know you hate mayo?” Alex asked genuinely.

“You’re my best friend!” Phil yelled, nearly in tears. “You should know stuff like this!”

“Just rub it off, man. What’s the big deal?”

It was a huge deal. Phil hated mayo with “the burning passion of ten thousand suns.”

“Why do you hate mayo so much? It doesn’t taste like anything. It just keeps everything together.”


Phil was only eight years old at the time. He didn’t know Alex yet. It was a hot summer day and he was playing with his older brother, Johnny. They were having a catch and Johnny threw the ball into their neighbor’s yard. The ball hit a tall oak tree and bounced off the wood fence dividing the properties, causing a loud bang that scared Phil.

“What’s wrong with you, you idiot! How did you throw it over the fence!” Phil yelled.

“You get it, I’m older.”

“Who cares how old you are! You threw it!”

“You know the Robertson’s are the meanest people on the block. They still hate me for throwing the snowball through their kitchen window. I can’t go back!”

Johnny always got himself into trouble. He was the type of kid that had these “brilliant” ideas where nothing could go wrong. What he didn’t realize was that they always went wrong. And he was always dragging someone down with him—Phil.

“I’m not ringing the bell,” Phil said. “If they hate you, then they hate me too.”

“I got an idea.”

“What?”

“Go inside and grab the mayonnaise. The whole jar!”

“Why?”

“Just grab it.”

Phil went inside and grabbed the jar of mayonnaise from the fridge, worried about what Johnny was about to get him into.

“Alright, take your shoes and socks and shirt off, Phil.”

“Ew, no!”

“Just hear me out. Do you remember the hole we dug under the fence last year?”

“Yeah.”

“Well the shovels are locked in the shed so we can’t make the hole bigger, but maybe if I cover you in mayo, you’ll be able to squeeze under the fence and get the ball. The hole’s behind the tree, so you won’t get caught.”

“That’s such a stupid idea, Johnny! How can you be so stupid? You’re the older brother!”

“Do you want the ball back?”

“Yes.”

“Then do what I say, or I’ll tell mom you were the one that knocked the TV over, and not our stupid cat.”

“You promised you wouldn’t tell!” Phil yelled.

Phil tried thinking about everything that could go wrong. There wasn’t much. It seemed like Johnny finally thought of something smart. Disgusting, but smart. He finally agreed and took off his shoes and shirt. Johnny covered his entire body in mayonnaise. The hole looked very small, but they had to give it a shot. They were having a catch with the foul ball Phil caught at the Met game last week. It was his favorite ball.

“Alright, Phil, you’re gonna go head first. If your goofy head can fit through that hole, the rest of your body will.”

“My head’s not goofy! Your head’s bigger than Mom’s butt!”

Johnny smacked him in the back of the head. The mayo he rubbed in Phil’s hair was all over his hand.

“Are you ready?” Johnny asked.

“Yep.”

Phil went down on his hands and knees and fit his head through the hole. He was half way through when he heard a loud buzzing noise. He looked over by the ball and he saw what looked like a broken piñata lying on the ground. They didn’t have a party. What’s that noise coming from? The piñata was actually a yellow jacket nest. The yellow jackets smelled the mayo on Phil’s body and flew towards him to investigate. Phil hated yellow jackets because they always stung him. He started panicking and swatted one of the wasps. It stung him and he screamed.

“What’s wrong, Phil!” Johnny yelled from the other side of the fence.

“Wasp nest!” Phil cried. “Get me out! Get me out!”

After the first sting, the other wasps came over, stinging Phil over and over again. Phil wasn’t allergic, but the amount of stings he received caused his face to swell almost instantly. Johnny grabbed Phil’s legs, but Phil was stuck real good. The hole was a lot smaller than they thought. The mayo didn’t help either. All it did was coat Phil in a layer of dirt and rocks, and wasps.

“Johnny, what are you waiting for! Pull me out!” Phil cried as the relentless yellow jackets pounded away at his arms and face.

“I’m trying, Phil! I’m gonna pull you hard, but it’s gonna hurt, Phil!”

“I don’t care! Do it!”

Johnny pulled Phil as hard as he could and Phil screamed as loud as he could. The neighbors couldn’t see what was going on, so they assumed Phil and Johnny were fighting like usual. Their parents weren’t home either, so the ear piercing screams went entirely unnoticed. Johnny gave Phil one last tug and freed him, but the yellow jackets weren’t done. They came into the yard through the hole in the ground and continued their attack.

“Get to the pool!” Johnny yelled.

He grabbed his brother and ran to the pool. They dove head first under the water. Johnny signaled to Phil under the water to hold his breath for as long as possible. They needed to be sure the yellow jackets were gone before surfacing.

Johnny stuck his head above the water and was instantly greeted with at least five stings to the top of his head. He was forced back under water. He looked over at Phil and told him to swim to the other side of the pool and take a quick breath. Phil listened and managed to get a breath unnoticed. Johnny tried to surface again, but the wasps were relentless. Its’ been at least a minute without taking a breath. He didn’t want to go to the other side of the pool either because he didn’t want to bring the wasps to his brother. He tried again, and failed to get a breath. Johnny ended up swallowing some of the water, which caused him to panic.

Phil watched in horror from the other side of the pool. He thought about getting out and running inside while the yellow jackets focused on his brother, but he didn’t want to leave him. He also didn’t want to get stung anymore. Phil watched his brother desperately struggle for a lifesaving breath, and fail. He screamed and cried under the water when he saw his brother’s lifeless body float to the surface.


“They’re in my hair! Get them out of my hair, Johnny! Hurry up and pull me out!”

“Phil, stop, it’s Alex! Who’s Johnny! Just calm down. Nothing’s in your hair, man.”

“They want the mayo, Johnny!”

“What’s in your hair?”

“The wasps, you idiot! Get the wasps out of my hair!”

Alex had no idea what was going on. He was starting to get really scared. He had no idea what went wrong. Everything seemed fine not even ten minutes ago. Alex looked in his bag and found an unopened bottle of Ibuprofen.

“Dude, take this. Maybe it’ll help,” Alex said, handing Phil the bottle. He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, hoping the bad energy wouldn’t penetrate his soul again.

Phil ripped the plastic off and downed the entire bottle. He then ran down towards the pond and tripped on the rocks behind the wild flowers, and fell face first in the knee deep water. He was still conscious, but he had no control over his limbs. The Tylenol had already kicked in.

Two hours later, Alex woke up from his meditation to flashing blue and red lights, and to the sounds of sirens and Phil’s mother, screaming as they pulled the body out of the water.

First Attempt at Free Verse Poetry

As a heads up, this will probably be terrible. I struggle with imagery. It’s tough for me to show and not tell. I don’t like titles when it comes to poetry. As lazy as it sounds, I rely on you to connect to the poem. It’s about who/whatever you want. I don’t want a title to hold you back because I feel that would defeat the purpose of free verse.

I’m definitely looking for feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. I need something so I can learn how to improve.

 

Untitled

Walking in, inviting

pessimistic, narcissistic,

soul-sucking, cynical

attitudes towards life,

ruining the joy, destroying

everything in your path–

with knowledge;

knowledge of how the world works.

It radiates from your skin.

I look in your eyes and–

nothing, nothing but

sadness and I want to help,

but the only way I know

how is to be just like you,

which is nothing like me.

 

 

 

Tomorrow is Another Day

Before you get the chance to open your eyes and start the day, the estimate from the mechanic takes over all other thoughts in your mind.  You know you never should have tried to fix it yourself, but you constantly do whatever it takes to save some money.  Because of your mistake, you are going to have to spend even more money for a mechanic to replace the transmission you insisted on fixing.  That money was going to be used on a once in a life time vacation, but now the kids are forced to wait a little bit longer.  There’s a good chance they may never get another opportunity like this again.  It took nearly two months of working overtime and relentless budgeting to get the money together and it will be gone as soon as you sign on the dotted line.  You know you’re going to have to give everyone the bad news, but in the back of your mind, you hope they understand that you’re working as hard as you are for them.  Your wife knows how hard you work and she wishes she could help, but she needs to recover from the back surgery that finally fixed the muscle she tore from playing with the kids.  After allowing these thoughts to run rampant in your mind, you finally get up to get ready for work.

Although the transmission is shot, you manage to get the car started after 45 minutes of messing around under the hood of the car.  The trip to work takes about an hour, but today, there was a major car accident.  Luckily, you got out of the house earlier than usual, so you still have a chance to get to work on time.  As you sit in bumper to bumper traffic, you look at the birds flying in and out of the trees on the side of the road and the flowering bushes planted in the median.  It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts during this time of year.  For a minute, you actually forget about the trouble that is untiringly harassing yourself and your family.  You roll your windows down and the warm, spring-time air brings in the aroma of freshly-bloomed wild flowers.  This aroma fills your nostrils with the memories of your childhood out in the country; during a time where money had no impact on your life.  You now realize that you are not the only thing in the world struggling to survive.  The flowers beginning to bloom struggle just as hard to break through the ground and introduce its flower to the sunlight.

You take out the estimate from the mechanic and smile knowing that one day, your kids will appreciate all the hard work and sacrifices made to keep the family together.  Just like the flowers, you will work as hard as you can and will give the children the vacation they deserve.  Your kids need you now more than ever, so giving up isn’t even an option.  One day, they’ll look back and be proud to have someone so motivated and inspiring as their father. You look up and realize you’ve only gone a couple exits, but for the time being, the weight of the world is finally off your shoulders.