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.

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

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

Bitter Taste On Your Tongue

I guess everyone’s crazy, at least when they’re young

But your ‘crazy’ still leaves a bitter taste on my tongue

And maybe, someday, I’ll laugh you off, too,

When the blood is forgotten, and the wounds have healed through

But I can’t think clearly while my heart’s still a mess

You had too many secrets, too many sins to confess

Your backhanded ways screamed ‘foul play’ from the start

But I was blind to your lies, and let you into my heart

And now I spit at your name, for the way you deceive

Is cowardly and shameful. I’ve no reason to grieve

Your leaving, your loss; it’s a joy to behold.

I don’t need your love, or a man’s hand to hold

Your love’s cruel, the kind that rips you apart

And leaves bloodstained scars carved into your heart

And makes ex’s of lovers, and old hearts from young

And leaves a bitter taste forever stuck on your tongue

Harbour of Shame

A.N. Lose it a bit towards the end, but the flow isn’t too bad.

He swears that it’s true, but his truth is a lie,

And any love he felt has, long ago, died

At least so they tell me, but I’m not so sure

My heart aches when I’m alone, and he’s the only cure

They say it isn’t love if he hurts me, but they

Don’t understand how he suffers, day after day

His boss is relentless, and his workers are fools,

He can’t stand it when others don’t follow the rules

And traffic’s always bad, that’s why he runs late

’til the sun’s long gone, and the food’s cold on his plate

And, when he gets angry, he’s never to blame

I’m often underfoot, and that stokes his flames

But when he raises his hand, I beg him to hit me no more

But he doesn’t listen, and I end up on the floor

He doesn’t mean it, I know. He forgets himself, when he does

I know inside is the man who I always will love

But sometimes I wonder, as I lie on the floor,

What will it take for him to hurt me no more?

The Bogeyman’s Daughter

She sits by the window, stares into the night

Hugged by the darkness, unburdened by fright

The thrill of death enraptures, envelops, excites

But she stands by her post and stays out of sight

A highway, you know, is a dangerous thing

You can’t count the horrors that travel may bring

But she sits and she waits, contains her delight,

Until an unsuspecting traveller enters her sight

And that’s when she pounces! And that’s when she scores!

The Bogeyman’s daughter, heard of only in lore

She’s the devilish damsel who grips her prey tight

And whisks them away beneath the cover of night

So be wary, dear traveller, lest you enter her realm,

She’ll personally escort you to the Gates of your Hell

Dreams for the Plucking

Ripe on the tree and plump on the vine

They’re ready to pick, it’s just about time

The colours are bright — can you imagine the taste?!

But don’t wait too long, or they’ll go to waste

A dream’s only good for a limited time

They take so long to ripen, yet but a moment to die

You can pick any one, but beware which you do

You’ll be stuck, forever, with the dream you choose

And if it tastes foul, or it slips from your hands,

There’ll be no one to blame, but you will be damned

You will walk your whole life beneath the weight of lost dreams

So go ahead, pick a fruit! I can’t wait to see where it leads

Played Like a Pack of Cards

I have no feelings; my heart’s too scarred

So I play the world like we play packs of cards

I pick out the aces and leave all the spades

You’re useless to me if you can’t be played

Let me shuffle the deck, and you’ll never know

Which cards I might hide, and which I ones I’ll throw

Before you look down, I know all your cards

And I’ve won even before the game itself starts

So don’t fight the tide. There’s no point in accusing

Me of bending rules when that you find you’re losing

I’ve laid out the game before you’ve even sat down

So, all of that said…who’s game for another round?

Clarity

Every day’s a strange night’s end

Where rules and logic start to bend

Life’s a riddle, and I spend too much time

Search for a clarity I’ll never find

But it doesn’t matter, when I’m lost and confused,

Which roads I take, and which ones I’ve used,

Life doesn’t care. It will attacks all ways,

That’s the reason I run; I know I’ll die if I stay