Sunset Blvd.

My heart overflows with half-shed tears and regret

The memories of the blows my mind can’t forget

I tried to break free, but I fell for their lies

There was no room for mercy, so, too soon, I died

And I loved it, once, the way it all made me feel

It was so perfect, a dream — and, like dreams, not real!

I had to walk away, but I didn’t know how

And you were no use; you just told me to bow,

To relinquish my powers, relinquish my rights,

Give everything I had to earn a chance in the light

But I walked away because that isn’t living

Lies without truth, take without giving

And you said I died, and you were happy, a fool

Who broke those who faltered or strayed from the rules

I thought I had a way to make it better, I did,

But it caused worse problems than the ones that it rid

And I can hear their screams, sometimes, in the night,

The ones left behind, for whom I couldn’t make it right

I abandoned them there, for it was too hard,

And left them to die, on the Sunset Boulevard,

Where the same stale day’s repeating, on and on

Keeping you trapped so that you never move on

But I’ve gotten out, and now I am free

I’d had enough, and ripped their hands off me

And now to forget, hardened heart, and move on

Accept that’s the past, and forgive all their wrongs

Or pretend to, at least, while everything’s still fresh,

The cuts and the bruises painted into my flesh

Hurt when I move, when I think, when I cry

Victory is torture, though I’m not sure why

I never thought freedom could ever be this hard

Why can’t I escape from the Sunset Boulevard?

Wanderlust

A.N. Dedicated to all the newbie residents out there. :.) 

Like butterflies they come alive

Creeping tendrils, wisps of time,

The memories then make you roam

Where your feet land is your new home

Your soul walks straight, you never look back

The only rule to this life is to have no regrets

The same sun lights the whole world’s sky

And you’ll see it each time it passes you by

The world is an oyster, and you’re seeking its pearl

Every new place is a page to unfurl

One day it will end, this adventure you lead,

But, as for now, it’s only companion you need

Nothing Short of Gods

The eternal flame, which lights their eyes,

Flickers to dark as they fall from the skies

Cloud Nine is dreamy, but none stay long

Dreams are for the lucky, and we don’t belong

So it’s back to below, with the turmoil and tears,

Where wrinkles and greys are a sign of the years

We could live forever, but we wouldn’t dare

We’ve fallen from heaven. Why would we stay here?

But there’s a power to behold, which lights us inside

We’re not to be trifled with. Don’t push us aside.

Though we’re not fit for heaven, you’ll still watch us in awe

Soon enough you’ll see, we’re nothing short of gods.

Notes on Editing

Over the years, I’ve encountered a variety of ways to edit. Writers mould their own personal editing style, but it never hurts to try something new, especially if you’re stuck or looking for a new perspective. Here are a few of the ones I feel stand out.

 

  1. The Standard: Your typical editing style. Write a draft. Edit #1 = second draft. Edit #2 = third draft. Going from start to end each and every time.
  2. The Modified Standard: Same as the standard, but with a break (ranging from 1 month to 1 year) between drafts. I’d recommend 1-2 months, with other projects built in to truly make it feel like a break. This can give you a much-needed “refresh” and allow you to look more critically at your project with fresh eyes.
  3. The Reader: Read as if you are a new reader; don’t edit. Take notes on the side: plot holes, character development. Things that your average reader would note. This is good for looking at the big picture, and not getting caught up in specific wording or sentence construction.
  4. The Google Doc: A haphazard reviewing system, where chapters and paragraphs are not edited in order. For the chaotically-inclined.
  5. The Absentee: One draft for the win! I mean it. Don’t edit. It worked for William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. (You may also need to confine your writing periods to midnight to four AM over a period of six weeks, but I’ll leave that to your discretion).
  6. The Hairbrush: Possibly the most time-consuming, but my personal favourite. Edit from the start after every addition. So, from the beginning of a novel after every chapter, from the beginning of a chapter with every paragraph, from the beginning of a poem with every line. Very, very time-consuming, but it lets you work out kinks and plot-holes as you go. Think about passing a hairbrush through a particularly tangled knot of hair. Takes a few tries, but you get through.

Free!

I’m out, I’m gone, I’m finally free

Turning my back like they turned theirs on me

Picked up my things and ran far away

Switched off like a lightbulb, should have gone yesterday

Now that I’m free, I can live life like a star

Light up my skies light-years from where you are

Yesterday was too late to escape from this place

But it will never be too soon to forget your face

They tell me to be steady, to work through the pain,

But I’m flying too high to find fear in your name

Yes, you drove me crazy, but you drove me out,

And now I won’t have to listen as you rant and shout

I’ll obliterate your legacy, I’ll ruin your fame,

I’ll have my retribution for your psychological game

Yes, people might love you, but I know your heart,

And I know what it feels like to have it torn apart

So tread carefully in the future. You never know where I’ll be,

The things you might find written, the people who I might meet

A few words here and there, in the right time, the right way,

Can turn the tables even on gods, and make the fairest fade away

You kicked me down one too many times for me to just let you win

And now it is now our payback time…let the vengeance begin

A Difference of Tongues

I hold the hand of a frightened man

As he asks me questions I don’t understand

¿Qué pasa aquí? ¿Qué van a hacer?

The other patients point, whisper, and stare

The hospital’s busy for a midnight on call

We dodge carts and nurses as we rush through the halls

But when we arrive, we find the OR packed

They’ve been briefed on the accident: two dead on impact

The patient we have speaks not a word of English

Nor any other language which I can distinguish

But I can taste his fear, it’s a contagious thing,

I look all around, try to think of something

When a girl approaches; she’s no older than twenty

By her scrubs she’s a student, of which we have many

So I don’t know her name, or her year, or her role,

But she takes the patient’s hand, gentle and slow,

And whispers, Hola, señor. Me llamo Maria.

Está en el hospital. Necesita la cirugía.

The patient calms at her words, as if they came from an angel

His vitals relax into something more stable

I draw up medications and lay out the surgeons’ knives

Adjust the bed height and the overhead lights

But a few words were all he needed for comfort to be had

A familiar sound amid chaos was the best sedative we had

Ghosts

Your words were thoughtless, in the heat of the moment,

But they hit too hard, and they left us broken

We didn’t want to die, but there was no choice

Your noose was too tight, and it cost us our voice

And now we are ghosts, and we walk through walls

Find boarded-up houses, and haunt empty halls

If you dare come inside, we will make you scream

In our grip you’ll be trapped in your very worst dream

Just like you did us, made us the dead among living,

You know it’s not in our nature to be kind and forgiving

So take care where you step, lest you find one of us your host

For, if so, you just might hang at the vengeful whim of a  ghost

 

Sodom and Gomorrah

With bound hands I walk through Sodom and Gomorrah

The graveyard of innocence, sanity’s diaspora

The deviant desolation, where sinners rule strong

And the impious implore you to blur right and wrong

The impenitent sin through which I now wade

Lets me drown in agony, leaves no chance to evade

The pressure, the pain, the stench of sin, and the fire,

Where virtue is forbidden,  replaced with molten desire,

In brimstone and fire, they burn, turn to ash

While I cower in chains from their merited backlash

I still try to stay clean, amidst the fire around,

But I falter and fall, licking blood on the ground

A hapless waif I wander, millennia from home,

Trapped in others’ squalour, in which I now roam