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A collection of poems written in 2022


Julien Baker lampooned herself in her lyrics at one point, saying "I wish I could write songs / About anything other than death", which I relate strongly to. Poetry is something I have recently discovered as a means to process negative emotions. I mention all of this simply to say that there is a big content warning that I want to make here: Every single poem on this page is about death, heartbreak, addiction, or trauma.

I never read any poetry (outside of school) before I started writing my own. This made them a lot more freeing than other writing that I do, because I know nothing of the "rules" surrounding them. I cannot evaluate whether any of my poems are any "good", whether they are successful is whether I feel any better after having written them.

A few of them have intros in italics where I'll try to explain what I was doing with it (since this is a learning process for me), or simply to cite some inspirations. These are completely unedited and largely stream of consciousness, and have all been written between December 20th, 2021, and December 20th, 2022. They are in no discernable order.


a large ken doll
kept in the corner
mostly forgotten

you play with it
when the mood strikes

it has no wants
it has no needs
it exists for others

that's what you tell yourself
because you believe it
to be true

if it had a mouth
it would ask for more
it would ask endlessly

it's black plastic eyes
scream with frustration
but it has no voice

you don't notice.
you don't look it in the eyes
why would you?

it's just a thing


I had hoped for something

I had no reason to believe
Would ever happen

Why did it upset me
When it didn't?

(Back to top)


in my mid-20s
i had the thought that happiness
could be quantified

an equation that gave levers
to adjust that would increase
the output

work / home balance
connection to community
satisfaction in love

now when i examine my options
i try to weigh things against
each other

which lever do you adjust
what happens when changing one
affects others?

is health more important
than artistic expression?
is travel? is love?

how do you value free time?
is my heart heavier than a feather?
i never accounted for the unknown

these quantum entanglements
a web of feelings and connections
the only things that matter

The Wolf of Tomorrow

Obviously extremely inspired by The Wolf You Feed.

two wolves live inside me
like the old Cherokee man said
but his descriptions are wrong

the white wolf is the Wolf of Yesterday
he is regrets and selfishness, yes. but
he is also warm memories. he is safe.

he tells me I don't have to change
i can stay inside with him
he won't ever leave me

the black wolf is the Wolf of Tomorrow
she is the unknown, the darkness that
lives at the end of the day

she tells me to look to the future
she tells me to have faith
but sometimes I just see her dark fur

the old man said i choose
which wolf to feed, which wolf gets stronger
but that's wrong, too

the wolf of tomorrow feeds me hope
but the wolf of yesterday
feeds on my hope

when i stay focused on the future
and look forward to things
there is enough love on my bones

it is when i am starving myself
depriving me of tomorrow
that his bites become fatal

the wolf of yesterday will never starve
not while i draw breath
that is not how you defeat him

you must tend that garden
keep him fed, but keep enough
stored for yourself.

the wolf of tomorrow can
care for you both, if you let her
if you just believe


your feet are bloody
a trail where you've walked
bright red in the sun

memory is unreliable
we fill in the blanks with

even now you don't know
what really happened
only what you felt

look back at the carnage
and know you caused it
you and no one else

the spiral makes sense
when you're in it
the most natural thing

to be going in circles
feeling like you're getting
closer to understanding

but nothing else moves
you're twirling around alone
as the destruction spreads

it's only in the aftermath
when it's too late to fix
that you really stop to think

what am i doing?
what have i done?
and why?

No Way Home (aka regrets)

we gave what we could
we loved without reservation
we can cling to that

like we clung to each other

did we even have a chance?
was the story already written?
doomed to go this way?

just playing our roles
try in vain to
paint over the writing
on the wall

it keeps bleeding through

all the things we can't take back
regrets for actions taken
words spoken

things we wish we'd done and said

do you feel them as strongly as i do?
you're happier now
but do you ever want to go back?

would it be different if we could try again?

Untitled (The Plant)

i lost a plant today
my third in two years
i don't understand

i can keep my cat healthy
i can keep myself alive
but plants elude me

is it harder to tell what they need?
is it harder to provide? i know
i cannot control sunlight

the plant died before i realised it
by the time i got there, there was nothing to save
i starved it to death

am i so negligent in relationships as well?
do i forget to water them?
forget to talk? forget to love?

is the light within me hidden behind clouds?
hard to see, hard to feed on
did you yearn for more than i could give?

Adrift aka ocean

i have been adrift for years
long enough to wonder
if i only ever imagined land

sea and horizon in every direction
everything is shades of blue
distance immeasurable

one night i see a light
i turn towards it
expecting it to vanish

a lighthouse, i decided
for years i followed it
dreaming of the shore

the sky dark with clouds
the sea dark with terror
and a single beacon

i dreamed the light was for me alone
guiding me to a future
a home with you on the shore

for years i chased that dream
because i never learned
to read a compass

it wasn't until i got near
that i realised my mistake
a mirage on the waves

you are no lighthouse
but another ship
drawn to me the same way

for years we saw each other
as something else
like a folie a deux

we'll travel the seas together
looking for our own shores
we may never find them

but traveling together
our lights reflecting each other
we feel less alone

A Walk

a walk around the block
and nothing has changed

i searched for something
to remind myself why
life is worth living

a walk around the block
and everything has changed

while i was looking
the years ticked by
everyone is leaving

a walk around the block
have i stayed the same?

i want to believe
that i have learned why
i am worth loving (saving)


you're meeting your boyfriend's parents today
i never asked you to meet mine
you were the only family i ever needed

there's a hole in my chest where you
used to live, caved out in my bones
my ribs grew around you, offering shelter

you'll never come back, i'm wholly behind you
even as i try to stay by your side
my chest still bears the marks you left

i wonder if it will heal in time, if it
can possibly grow to fit someone else or if
i'll love you the rest of my days like i do now


the choices we make
are what define us

and more regrets are "i wish i had..."
than i wish i hadn't

and those i can swallow

but the choices that
wake me in the night
in a cold sweat

are the ones that were
taken from me

The Tree

in this dream i am rooted in place
my legs splintering and wrapping around
themselves as they plunge into the earth

it is a tactic i learned for survival
because being immovable means you
cannot be knocked down and kicked

but it makes it hard to move forward
when each step means untangling
and rerooting one of my legs

because to not do so would be vulnerable

i thought i wanted someone else to
wrap around and grow with
but everyone i love leaves

i am too rooted to keep up
i am too tired to run
i am too cynical to trust

i feel my own leaves growing
and dying, all ver again, like
fast-forwarding through seasons

every day begins with blossoming,
and optimism, but by the end,
i am shriveled up and cold

where is the woodsman to end this
and cut me down

Untitled (fears realized)

all the things i feared came true
how i'd feel replaced
how we wouldn't be close anymore

that after almost a decade we
wouldn't know each other
wouldn't know each other's lives

it's so frustrating i could scream
ask why don't you miss me
ask why you don't care

but when i tried to cling tighter
you pulled away
you put up walls

and i try to keep a distance because
it hurts that you left
it hurts that love died

Untitled (chrysalis / ptsd)

I was dating someone in the summer of 2022 who had been through a lot. I don't claim this to be representative of how she felt, but was sort of me trying to put myself in her shoes, and understand some of her anxieties.

It felt extremely unfinished to me at the time (and I never even showed it to her), but now, months later, it feels right that it isn't finished. I don't know where her story will go, I'm not a part of it anymore.

Friends described this as a "soft sad" and "a bubble of sad about to pop" but it was intended to be uplifting - even though our speaker is still struggling and still constnatly on guard, she's out of that situation, and there's a belief that she'll wake up one day feeling fresh and new.

on dry land
trauma's in the rearview
but always close at hand

i reclaimed my home,
my sanctuary, my life
but am i safe yet? can i
put down the knife?

in bright rooms
wearing a groove
like fresh wounds

i want to feel,
like this is earned and mine,
but it is incomplete
and not fully defined

under weighted blankets
comforted and cocooned
my transformation belated


i would carve out my heart
rather than allow you
to break it again

but just tell me that you
love me and i will gladly
hand it over


feeling cast aside,
wondering what's left inside

the plans we'd made,
someone else in my place

you don't get why i still hurt
and i don't get how you don't

do you even understand
how much i loved you?

laughter is the best medicine

it's "funny" how a single text from you
can still completely ruin me

funny not like a clown is funny,
funny not like joe pesci's rap career

but funny like finally beating
cancer and getting hit by a car

i laugh so hard i cry

untitled (last wishes)

when i'm gone
throw me in the trash
it's what you did
when i was alive

ghost aka drive

can't tell you i miss you,
that i wish you were here
you don't say the same
and that silence i fear

my calls go to voicemail
a box always fully
i hear you say your name
and my heart starts to pull

i don't know what changed
we once were so close
now you don't see me
as though i'm a ghost

how long can i wait for
a train that may not arrive?
i know i must take the wheel
and, to my own future, drive


I was told after I wrote this of the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. I did not know it before I started, but this poem is based on something that someone said to me, and I do not know that she wasn't referencing the song when she did.

one pill makes you larger
one makes you small
one makes things "better"
too many can end it all

one pill makes you remember
this one makes you forget
one to wake up and one to sleep
one to hide all your regret

take them when you wake up
and when you go to bed
and when you're feeling anxious
or aching to be dead

one pill becomes two or
exchanged for something stronger
you never cut back down
just try to hold on longer


i tell you of my accomplishments
you don't respond. you're spending the weekend
with someone new.

i try to have a solo celebration
i don't respond. my heart beats only when
I think of you

you do things for you
having broken free

i'm still wrapped up in 'us'
and feel i'm drowning


dreams of you once kept me warm
now i wake up feeling numb

the fire's all but gone out
i know i could add more wood

but what would be the point?
i watch the embers slowly die

will it ever light again?
perhaps the wood i'll find

will be too wet, too rotted
too small, or too sparse

i look at the wood i still have
enough for many more winters

but a fire burning memories
can't be shared


why is it so hard?
the wrong words spill out
the right ones too far behind

they get jumbled in my mind
and sometimes out of order
they hang in the air like bulelts

speeding over to their targets
and somehow hitting both your heart
and mine

i didn't even realise my mouth was loaded
why the fuck would it be?
i never wanted to cause harm

the sharp pains in familiar places
reopening wounds before
they can heal

a trail of crimson blood
the same color as love
feels oddly fitting

heartbreak like a cut in your mouth
it's always there, ever-present
and difficult to ignore

when you think you're finally recovering
boom, it reminds you again that it exists
as though you'd forgotten

as though you could ever forget

Prized Friendship

A long time ago
we used to be friends.
You'd call, driving home,
and make plans for weekends.

But when things got too real
you disappeared in the night,
without even a whisper why
I wasn't worth the fight.

You'd later apologize but
the trust would be broken.
Against others' judgment, a
second chance is spoken.

I wanted to believe that
you could change, as I did.
But you're either a coward
or don't think I'm worth it.

I wonder sometimes if
I ever truly knew you.
Did you deceive me? Did
you become someone new?

What do I do with this
fractured connection?
It's a one-way dead-end
with no intersections.

Will you just take what I
give without giving too?
And if I leave now, will I
be just like you?


Inspired a little bit by LOST, and the idea that Kate lived the rest of her life without ever seeing Jack again.

you were the love of my life
and the best of my years
what does that say about all
the ones still to come

i never believed in soulmates
or that any of is us "meant"
for anything, but i also
can't ignore that

others have had love endure
longer than what i have left
without as much to go on
but have maintained faith

i don't believe in heaven and
i may never see you again
even if i did, you don't feel
the same way

i want to put down the torch
or extinguish its flame
but what would be left for me?
what would remain?


my games on Steam are categorized

some are by genre
categories for strategy and horror
and puzzle and platformer

for ease of finding what I want

some are by content
categories for lego or point & click
or storytelling or classic

for those games before 2004

and some of them are with importance
games I really love or ones
high on my list to play

for fun on a rainy day

I just deleted a category of games to play with you
and watched the games scatter to other categories
to be enjoyed in new contexts as different stories

our plans were all categorized around
buying a house, getting married
taking trips, building a life together<br/
those dreams are all scattered, cast to the winds
some we may do on our own, others may never happen

but when I look at those games, even in other categories
I still see you in them, and imagine us playing together

Even though we never will again


Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers, and in Breakfast of Champions he has this line that has stuck with me for years:

”This is a very bad book you’re writing,” I said to myself behind my leaks.
”I know,” I said.
”You’re afraid you’ll kill yourself the way your mother did,” I said.
”I know,” I said."

This one is named for someone I lost.

You're lying to yourself
hiding how bad things really are

Cracking jokes and making
light of the turmoil inside

Everyone does that

You're afraid that you won't
come back up this time

That you'll finally kill yourself
like she did

She didn't kill herself

Do you really believe that?
She was alone, saw the futility
of it all. Just wanted to
end the pain.

Her father would say
at her funeral
that her luck ran out.

What makes you think that
you have any left?


Obviously extremely inspired by Sylvia Plath's "fig tree" to the point where it is almost plagarism

in the field where I lay
are fotting figs
some with bites taken out
some untouched

more figs fall
more figs begin to rot
turning blackened and hard
I hope the same is not true of me

the ones that I bit, before they rotted
how can I be sure they were wrong?
a healthy fig should be "good enough"
but they are all discarded

i search for the perfect fig
the one that fits me right
with a taste like nothing else
but... everything is figs

it's me that is different
it's me that is rotting
unable to choose

from this clearing are paths
too many to count
some that fork countless times
some that loop

i scarcely remember the one
that brought me here
it faded away, lost to time
there is no going backwards

some roads vanish
others form from their ashes
not better, not worse
just differemt

with a million lifetimes
i'd walk them all
i'd eat every fig
at least that's what i hope

but with an infinity of time
and an infinity of options
would choosing where to start
be any easier?

the unrealized possibilities
surround me, getting somehow louder
weighing on me
suffocating me

but they are innocent and featherlight
and what i hear and feel is me
my voice screaming in my ears
my arms pushing down on my chest

it's my decision to make
why can't i make it?


after 36 years of being me
i thought that i knew who
i was

how i would react to things,
happy news, surprises,

i've seen so much and it is
easy to put together a mapping,
when x event, y emotion.

but i surprised myself
in the worst way, and in
frustration, caused harm

it is not who i want to be
it is not who i thought i was
but it is who i am

and how do i change that?
finding this infestation hidden
below the surface

a rot that has taken hold
under my skin. a cancer
that says

if i'm not who i thought,
if i am worse than i believed
am i really so far

from being my father?

dreams and shadows

wake up more tired than
you went to bed
with an ache in your heart
and a throbbing head

i used to have dreams
when i was young
filled with fear and hope
for songs unsung

they protected me by
reminding me why
i was searching and that
it mattered to try

now they are just of loss
paths long since blocked
days we can't get back
and doors forever locked

shadows dance across
the wall in the morning
but their sources have long since
left, and left me yearning


Gator in the sewer

It does not know that there exists
A hot sun
A cool breeze
A still lake

But it feels there must be more

It does not know if others like it exist
It would not know where to find them

It does not know the story of Lucifer
Or that he, too, was cast down
Just or being what he was

What he has been made


experimenting with format and rhythm

I'd put in the effort because"it'll get easier"
3 pills every morningall hard to swallow
Look in the mirror and remind myself
that i won't see youtoday or tomorrow

the pill that i choke on every day has
the tiniest writingall down its face
it says the love of my life ishappier without me
and that i take up way too much space

if anyone acts surprised whenmy body turns up I'll
fucking haunt them for the restof their days
The signs weren't hidden,asking for help in
giant neon lettersturned on every day

when Death finally comesI'll get
onto that buswondering why it's never on time
there's a spot saved for mealone near the back
with a window and at last peace of mind

the lover & the coward

a coward dies a thousand deaths
but so do those who love openly
who try to plumb its depths
without reservation or fear

to the coward, "I wish I'd..."
is a haunting mantra
reliving the moment you had
your crisis of faith

but for the lover, the phrase
is "I wish they'd..."
because you know the ways
in which you have value

you believe in yourself and
fight for what you want.
but you're just a man and
it takes two to love

you try and try and each time
your heart shatters a little more
and you look for the line
where enough is enough

there you'll resign yourself to
defeat, and encase your heart
in a tomb. but every time you
try, you hear your own voice

it speaks the words of the
coward, but they ring false
to your ears. For even now
you know that's not you

so dust yourself off, for you
heart will again mend.
and look for a heart's open door
ready to invite you in


i ask the same questions
on repeat, going around
in circles in my mind

i already know what the
answers are, but i try to
reframe the questions

different questions may
yield different answers.
a different you, hidden

inside what you've become
or perhaps what you
have always been

i am not sure i know enough
to know the difference and i
don't know that it matters

was anything you said true?
was anything you felt real?


I don't think it worked but this was an experiment around trying to make a quickening pace when the climax hits.

you sneak past my walls
slip through locked gates
past guards and over
infested moats

all to reach what lies
beyond the battlements
in the center of the castle
in a modest throne room, alone

my heart never asked to be in
charge, and never longed to
rule. it tried to do its best,
and when you enter, it looks
to you with relief and
appreciation, as the one who
has come to help it. It has

been doing this alone for
so long, and it is so very
weary, and if you'd let it, it
would lift you up and the entire
kingdom would bow before you

but instead you brandish
your sword and for a moment the
heart remembers what the fortune
teller once said about how those
you love will be the ones to hurt
you but it doesn't raise a weapon
itself and it doesn't cry out and
it doesn't object, it just waits
for the pierce of cold steel and
when your eyes meet it still can't
even begin to understand what
brought you here or why you'd
do this, wy it isn't deserving of
mercy, what it ever could have
done to make you so callous and
as you withdraw your blood-soaked
sword, the kingdom begins to
crumble around you but you don't
even notice or spare it a second glance
as you make your exit and search
for another target

trying to do what's right
keeps making me feel
worse than i did before

giving her space
keeps making me feel
alone and unloved

trying to date
keeps making me feel
misunderstood and awkward

increasing my meds
keeps making me feel
cloudy and confused

focusing on my work
keeps making me feel
undervalued and bored

i want to focus on me
and becoming a person that
is better and healthier

but i feel like a shell of who
i was, cracked all over,
some threatening to burst

and as i try to fill myself with
hobbies and interests that i can
barely even focus on

everything leaks out the sides.
I try to keep a grip on myself
and keep things contained

but I've bled out my passion
i've tried out my love
and nothing remains


we used to talk all the time
hours every day, and now
i have to find excuses and
work up the courage

topics that are safe to
bring up, shared interests
that don't hurt my heart to
think about

i can't ask how you're doing
i'm glad that you're happy
but it hurts me too, a knife
through my heart

talking to you twists it
but i miss you so much
i never wanted to live to
hear you say goodbye

new beginnings

i come in from the cold night
introduce myself
leave the outside where it is

the snow's prettier from in here
problems seem less intrusive
with light and warm beverages

new possibilities
a coffeeshop for two
i try to hold eye contact

i wish i were excited
but i feel mostly scared
i've forgotten how to do this

i talk about my life
the strange road that's lead me here
and ask questions about hers

it's not a good fit
we go through the motions
but already know

i go home alone
trying to feel accomplished
it was a first step

but all i feel
is that i miss you

untitled (jump)

my fear of heights
stems not from a fear
i might fall

my fear of heights
stems from a fear
i might jump

l'appel du vide
call of the void
has any siren sang so sweetly?

i don't keel alcohol
and won't buy cigarettees
my knives are all a little dull

my pills are in the cabinet
behind a mirror
ensuring i'd have to face myself

the look in my eyes is not
of someone who wants to jump
just someone who is in pain

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