life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

The pain may not be your fault but the healing is your responsibility

Start by pulling him out of the fire and

hoping that he will forget the smell.

He was supposed to be an angel but they took him

from that light and turned him into something hungry,

something that forgets what his hands are for when they

aren’t shaking.

He will lose so much, and you will watch it all happen

because you had him first, and you would let the world

break its own neck if it means keeping him.

Start by wiping the blood off of his chin and

pretending to understand.

Repeat to yourself

“I won’t leave you, I won’t leave you”

until you fall asleep and dream of the place

where nothing is red.

When is a monster not a monster?

Oh, when you love it.

Oh, when you used to sing it to sleep.

Here are your upturned hands.

Give them to him and watch how he prays

like he is learning his first words.

Start by pulling him out of another fire,

and putting him back together with the pieces

you find on the floor.

There is so much to forgive, but you do not

know how to forget.

When is a monster not a monster?

Oh, when you are the reason it has become so mangled.

Here is your humble offering,

obliterated and broken in the mouth

of this abandoned church.

He has come back to stop the world

from turning itself inside out, and you love him, you do,

so you won’t let him.

Tell him that you will never know any better.

Pretend to understand why that isn’t good enough.


Start Here by Caitlyn Siehl

There is a time and place in the world for abstraction. When my mother left Puerto Rico for the first time, the year was 1968. Against my unknowing. We hesitate to say what intimacy is and whether or not we have it. I keep trying / to teach my students that / stream-of-consciousness is / this, not that / this / activity fails. We know it does because each of us leaves the room / feeling like barbed wire— snarling behind the barricade (because) at some point, we stopped feeling (like language could say). So we went without while some others embraced. Notice (after the emptiness) : a pain that is not private. In other words, focus not on the object, but rather, the light that bounces off of that object. Perforated. Estranged. Esa luz. Tómatela. Under that light° I felt my body try / to hold on (to the knot inside) your right hand; when did it become a fist? Remind me what it is again / what it is that you wish / to share (with others) >> when you’re on stage…

°That light, this pain (what never translates).


A Pain That is not Private by Lara Mimosa Montes

After this and that

Before the next and hereafter

I fell in love with the shadow of a beautiful soul

within a busted bone frame

made of finest porcelain without

but sheltered from within by the twisted logic

of angry words held hostage

from learned bigotry and class structures

from the beginning of our need for ruling

and so and so

just so and for so long

because of

in case of

ideas held tightly

what the world must be

in order to provide safety

to ones inherited abuse

keeping cover through vast accumulation

I began again to learn

a new thing or two

concerning heartbreak

and it’s benefits

how sometimes those choices keep us

where we are supposed to be

and give us opportunities to fly and flourish

without the prison walls of another

without seeing all the way into Dante’s vision of hell

(just a small glimpse kept me gasping for air for years)

I begin, again, to re-define the word wealth

and realize love, that is pure love

doesn’t change

but does allow

for a transmutation of the grief

into a kind of sacred learning

a new way of dancing with myself

and as my world softly shifts

into this newly understood place

within my freshly tenderized heart

watered by the tears of plenty

of days of loss

wrestling and rumbling

with my need for connection

my desire to be seen by a beauty,

that even tho hidden from itself,

is still so glorious.

I wake up to this new day

knowing anything is possible

to those who believe

I am expecting something good to happen

because it always does

the light is on in the hallway

revealing the titles from my bookshelves:

One Thousand Gifts/Ann Voskamp

Eager to Love/Richard Rohr

Rising Strong/Brené Brown

The Invitation/Oriah

Beauty/John O’Donohue

Consolations/David Whyte

It hits me how true the scriptures,

‘You are what you think about’

These writings color my path with grace

I think about these things

I am always becoming new

and I bow deep

as I breathe into this amazing diamond of a day


Amy Lloyd

connection cannot happen without giving and receiving on both sides

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