If you could give Daily Deviations to literature, what pieces would you choose? Having once been in the position to do just that, I've learned it is a much harder job than you realize! Nonetheless, here are a few of my favorites that I would give DDs to, had I the option!
You can join in this project as well! Full details about this event run by the Community Relations team can be found here: Community Feature Project: If I Could DD
I hope you'll enjoy these selections!
TravelShe suggested walking at night
when the sky was relatively clear.
There you’d find poetry, scraps
tucked into moments – an ocean
of yellowed nightlights defying
an absent sun. There’d be more
luck there than in off-white rooms
all filled with glowing screens
and things too like life.
it was cold.
DFC 2016: 2. SwanHer fingertips have skimmed a path
Across my skin, I hope this lasts,
‘cept every breath I take is fast
My heart beat thunders quick.
And every kiss, caress reveals
More ecstasy than one could feel,
Each moment soothes, cures and heals
The wounds that never bleed.
Her breathless voice into my ear
Eliminates all doubts and fear
As she is present, only here,
I need not run away.
And yet as daylight’s face is shone,
The bed is empty of my swan,
I should have known she would be gone,
She left here months ago.
She's not catching the bus this morningExhibitionist: She's not catching the bus this morning
she lets him watch
as she rises from the bathtub,
slick, with bubbles sliding down her naked body.
slow show of her
preparing for her walk to work,
the neighbors are keen to study her gait.
brisk morning air,
she opens her coat
and shivers from the cold.
Side streets she crosses,
one by one,
as she walks to the signal.
The long street she walks down
early morning alone,
is a canyon of limestone
blame inherent don me a river spiral
and radio talk, all screens gone
there is swelling in the creek,
water in the cheeks
and mangroves grown, in delta
bones disappearing, beyond the weight
of a body as it passes through;
time unpacks itself into the pause
and I, alive, can't reckon
what comes after this
what skin and nature wrought
from the colors we once were,
our simple heads spun out
into politics and science
into the heavy thump of our conscious
as it crashes
against a wall that borders our imagination
for we will never outrun
once more with feelingjust tonight,
i will reduce myself to instincts.
when your hand settles wide and warm on the curve of my hip
i will allow myself to ease into you,
to sink into this infrequent surety -
to feel small,
(just now, just tonight)
and lay my body and my vulnerabilities bare,
trembling and receptive to your heat -
your solidity -
i will be reverent,
(just this, just once)
enamored of each breath,
each plane and edge,
each soft channel between
each heaving pair of ribs -
i will allow myself
(just once, just once)
to consume you,
to find myself
(just this, just please,
Miles to Go1
“Can you move your leg over the edge of your bed?”
Already it’s been roughly two weeks since my rail platform accident. Still I’m bedridden, still my left leg is all plaster and bandages, and already I’m growing dangerously thin by comparison to my usually slim build.
I concentrate all of my energy into moving my leg. That’s when the excruciating pain quite literally kicks in, taking the form of a spontaneous muscle spasm.
I don’t flash back completely, but my leg does. I feel terrified and am ashamed when I break down crying with childlike abandon. But Jessica doesn’t scold me the way the therapist in the hospital did. Her voice, colored by a hearty Michigan accent, contains realism and optimism in equal measure.
“That’s all I need from you today,” she says, placing one hand on my shoulder and one on my leg. “I just wanted to see where you’re at.”
violet and violet.a spliff
between my fingertips,
(blue smoke in the morning)
kabul city this time.
i see them everywhere now.
i am back,
at an endless sea of rime
stretched and stained before me
on the pale concrete
in the weed-turned gravel.
and i remember death
when i sat, sun-sunk but it's night
now, ex-breathing smoke
under the floods.
the sirens sounded
that night: incoming shells.
i sat with strangers on a bench,
the alarms vomiting back
we witnessed explosions blooming
nearby, exchanged glances
in our flagged eyes
shrugged, a deep resolve:
we'd rather keep smoking than run
staring into the dirt,
expecting any moment
to hear the last
the gameimagine your body — not how it is but how it isn’t.
imagine two very strong hands pulling your mouth apart
until it’s a giant hole and imagine the hole your favorite color.
imagine the color spilling — trickling, really, out the sides
of your new mouth and try to taste your favorite food.
where did your tongue go?
high-five the two very strong hands for a job well done.
it isn’t easy to rip a body or invite one in.
say thank you and imagine your wretched, spilling body
on the floor of a living room that isn’t yours.
what color are the walls?
imagine your body inside of your actual body.
are you more beautiful?
FleasTwo immortals meet in a bar, only one by choice. It’s a quiet niche, small, cozy. Wolf’s hunting ground with solitude as prey. His camouflage is a black suit, a white beard, and a distant look.
Coyote is a firecracker, all noise and color, blue jeans and an assaultive tie-dye shirt. A tag dangles from the sleeve. Eyes follow his bee-line to Wolf, read the invitation printed on fabric.
Ask If I’m Wearing Underpants!
He plops on a stool next to his cousin and gives him a warm pat on the back. In absence of tail, he lets his tongue do the wagging. “Well, if it isn’t the handsomest humanimal around! How you been pal?”
Wolf takes a slow sip of his beer. “I had been… alone with my thoughts.”
“A nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.” Coyote signals the bartender. “I’ll have one of everything.”
The human’s eyes are suspicious slivers. “Pay up front or get out.”
there's something so raw about winter morningswhen the cold air reaches your exposed skin
i wake up with the dawn to unfinished dreams.
(don't leave me here without your warmth)
i'm finding more fascination with the words i don't understand.
lexicon in languages long lost to ashes
speaks to me.
i want a word for
the way nightfall after a day of thunderstorms is
and nothing but soft, deep, dark.
do you dream about it too?
gradients in scarlet and rose, in blue shimmering on silver
the sky was a painting, back then.
(don't forget that colors exist behind that realm of clouds)
do you realize that i still think about you?
it returns without warning like
a book disappears under the new covers on the shelf
and some day it surfaces again, forgotten
how its pages feel but no one ever forgets
how to dust it off and murmur,
oh, i used to love this one.
they're looking forward to summer already,
turned away from sunlight and wind,
shelter in the cold.
all we want is to feel home.
i miss what i never had.
A Worse Better Placeanxieties like this
don't take ahold of me
so much as they let go
of an impending something
that feels too inevitable
to let go of
and pills like this
catch with nubs for nails
they shift in the chokepoint,
the wrong pipe, a portal
to a worse better place
i chew and i grind
through prayers like this
like the writhing eel
of an enemy's tongue
i've woken to find
in my mouth
uncertain which end of it
remains attached to whom
and to what certain end
i'm attached, tonight
that feels too inevitable
to let go of
A State of FlowIn my sophomore year of a high school
run-down from too much renovation
a running joke of mine became
a joking bet:
I bet I can beat Toby in a race, easy!
With a head full of sophomoral morale
and softened male ego,
Toby finally agreed to race me.
He was the fastest and most finesse in class and I was
the fat kid always last to the finish.
We set up our start line, agreed on a finish,
waited for a kid counting down to call go
but my mind had already gone.
There were no stakes to this race,
it was mutual fun between tortoise and hare,
but my mind had already decided
that I wanted to win, so I was going to.
In my older and more venerable yearning
I never failed to forget what happened
even without understanding why
because I have yet to achieve
such a state of serenity since
and now when
I am trying to make sense
of why being present doesn’t content me
I yearn for that race,
matching my fastest peer stride
for strife, side by
using nothing but focus
and a mental
to the left is uncertainty, to the right is death sir you can't sleep here
you can't sleep anywhere
the home you saw on TV was someone else's mountains,
you will have to carve your own.
yes, and lead them there.
yes, and point out the direction of sunrise
yes, and teach them to dismantle a fake.
and i know your stomach coils like an eel
from the thought of the work.
it is not fair,
cogs riling the rotgut empty
already, and now this underskin snake.
but last time we all fell asleep on different benches,
hugging our branches like cats on life's tree,
we woke up in hell;
there is no other way,
don't let them tell you it gets better,
for there are no QED's here, no ever-afters,
the swamp remains arbitrarily cruel:
an hour after losingwhen i walk into the bathroom, with dawn
breaking her fingers to squeeze her hands through the windows
at the end of the hall, i am surprised to see a girl at the corner sink.
i expected to be alone to wipe at my face, to press gentle fingers
against the tender skin of my neck, to pull up my shirt
and check the visibility of my ribs
and the flutter of my heart, to stare at my eyes in the shitty mirror
in the shitty lighting and calculate all the little changes that a boy’s hands
can wreak on a body in under an hour. but she
is there at the corner sink, scrubbing at her red and irritated cheeks
like she is lady macbeth trying to erase the ghost of a touch
that never left a physical mark. i have makeup and sweat sticking
to my skin and knots in my hair desperate fingers left behind
and i’m not sure my shirt is my shirt and i just want
to be alone to examine the damages and count the casualties
of a war whose victor i could not point to,
and really, the only reason i walked in
Garden“What made you seek the Garden?” Gray asked.
It wasn’t an uncommon question. There was a queer freedom in this journey, burdened with the weight of walking to their deaths. I became their keeper, the last human that would take in the sight of their faces and hear their words. They gave me their secrets.
“I guess I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” I replied quietly.
I didn’t need to give them mine in return, though.
“There’s not much out here on the edge of the glass fields,” I continued. “I didn’t have anything to my name. I just kept heading west and then I thought maybe I’d keep going, right through the glass and to Eden, and I found the canyon.”
“But you were crippled,” Gray said.
My hands tightened on the reins. Glass snapped under the horse’s hooves like gunshots. I found the canyon, the gate to the Garden