“I opened my eyes to see the ugliness and beauty of humanity”

Braeden Michaels creates a curve in the poetic stratosphere revealing glimpses of the characters who walk amidst the life of newly-widowed Stella Walker. By exposing the flaws, scars, quirks, and the light we see in each other, this profound collection generates a fine line between friendships and acquaintances.

Within these pages, we are introduced to different shades of colorful characters in varying points of their lives. Every poem describes the hidden truths and realities of human attributes. Each perfectly imperfect person we meet is a representation of the people we run across in our individual journeys which then become stepping stones in our own growth.


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Acquaintances and formalities

shook hands with the Devil’s tongue

Saliva drips down to the

center of honesty and disintegrated

Kindness only filled a shot glass

As gulps of uncertainty surrounded

glass scarecrows and empty vigilantes

Stale friendships vanish in the mist

Faded signs were torn down

Three bedroom houses decomposed

Laughter is a decaying tooth

As you turn on this fragmented road

I’ve been chasing a sky of blurry lines
I’ve been chasing constellations with my eyes closed
I’ve been chasing misplaced trust with heartfelt lies
I’ve been chasing danger with silent explosives
I’ve been chasing peace with a vicious expression
I’ve been chasing filled pages in an empty book

If these decorated walls could shout
crumbled words would cut my open arms
If these rooms could plead guilty
my disease would cry indifference
And my inflicted patterns dwell on Silence Boulevard

On my knees with my hands clenched together
Reciting scripture and broken prayers
Begging “Take my pain away, tired of all the shadows of yesterday”

I’ve been chasing delusions with a vacant jar of pills
I’ve been chasing wisdom with limited experiences
I’ve been chasing a river of echoes with a pierced eardrum
I’ve been chasing a fantasy with numb fingertips
I’ve been chasing daylight on a dim path

If these decorated walls could shout
crumbled words would cut my open arms
If these rooms could plead guilty
my disease would cry indifference
And my inflicted patterns dwell on Silence Boulevard

On my knees with my hands clenched together
Reciting scripture and broken prayers
Begging “Take my pain away, tired of all the shadows of yesterday”

I’ve been chasing riddles with a cracked compass
I’ve been chasing affection with a crippled identity
I’ve been chasing sentiments with a star dripping resentment
I’ve been chasing sweetness with a bitter tongue
I’ve been chasing suspicion with an arrow
in my hand
I’ve been chasing time with drops of heartache

If these decorated walls could shout
crumbled words would cut my open arms
If these rooms could plead guilty
my disease would cry indifference
And my inflicted patterns dwell on Silence Boulevard

On my knees with my hands clenched together
Reciting scripture and broken prayers
Begging “Take my pain away, tired of all the shadows of yesterday”

No, I couldn’t stand in your resonance
and your mind numbing negligence
No, I refused to be your noxious scapegoat
and omission in your dangerous eyes
No, I wouldn’t be a remainder in your lopsided mistake

“Hush hush, nothing will save you”
Yes, I thought I was rescued from my haunting past
Yes, I thought this residence was permanently carved

No, I dismissed the fatal request but still felt the jagged nail in my back
No, I denied you satisfaction and drifted in an awkward disposition
No, I fell in your discrimination and felt blackballed from the very second

“Hush hush, nothing will save you”
Yes, I thought I was found until I realized the pieces were scattered
Yes, I thought this residence was secure and guarded

No, I destroyed the walls you built with your reckless hands
No, I stumbled into your humiliation with anxiety stuck to my skin
No, I cried until my rage leaked from my mouth

“Hush hush, nothing will save you”
Yes, I thought I discovered love in a colorless dream
Yes, I thought I found peace when in reality all I heard were silent screams

Love was just an insignificant occupant making me gag
Love was just a bad joke I heard in another language I couldn’t comprehend
Love was just a citizen that held me down and raped my soul with a jagged knife
Love was just a stench I couldn’t wash out
Love was just a word created by Hallmark
Love was just four letters thrown together to serve a ridiculous purpose
Love was just a shadow so I can feel myself
Love was just a bruise on my shin to prove I exist
Love was just a song written by a billion dollar jester
Love was just a death wish waiting in the wings
Love was just a plant I didn’t water
Love was just a black eye with covered up lies
Love was just a watercolor I can’t see
Love was just mascara running down my face
Love was just a cloud of obscurity
Love was just a gram and a kilo of voids
Love was just a room of emptiness
Love was just a shattered mirror I look at every day
Love was just a pile of poems that made sense one day
Love was a just a pile of poems that I threw away the next day
Love was just an adolescent that claimed to know it all
Love was just an adult with an addiction that didn’t know a damn thing
Love was just a bomb that exploded on planes, in buildings, and in schools
Love was just a clan, cult, gang, a war of losses
Love was just a book that millions don’t read
Love was just a doctrine of stolen beliefs
Love was just a pile of divorce papers
Love was just a trigger pulled by one finger as the other four were staring at him
Love was just an overused word
Love was just ten minutes of causal sex
Love was just an irrational scream
Love was just the sun not seeing the moon
Love was just a down payment for an item I haven’t touched
Love was just a puzzle piece that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere

Deep inside a serious social commentator
I chronicle little nothings from something
Residing in a seven hundred square foot
apartment with spaghetti stains on Saudi Arabia colored carpet
Exhausted from walking on egg shells and shrapnel from the one word responses
“I planted seeds, give me what I need”
She exclaimed with a riddle with her arms raised in the alabaster breeze
Shrugging my shoulders in discomfort
“You dealt me ripped cards, at Zero Point Boulevard”
Squinted eyes, zig zig aggravation, and
disgust is a ghastly taste
I use to dance in your verses and your loose lipped stanzas
Coincidentally there are no replies to my praise
Dwell in your manipulation, circus mind and a diary written in mud
Frankness stood upright and you ignored it
No transitions in your language, just a hint of apricot
Senselessness and ramblings squabble on this path
Coping is your worst enemy

For I am the gust in this brilliant joy
For I am the hope in these disorientated chapters
For I am the trembling suspicion in the corner
For I am the optimism in your stained pupils

And the fascination pierces in the burgundy sky

For I am the prosperity in this shattered mirror
For I am the wisdom you have never heard
For I am the glare in the whispering blur
For I am the salt in your four seasons

And the enchantment glows in the burgundy sky

For I am the zest in your shaky bridges
For I am the rainbow in your weeping azure
For I am the shine in your rusty screams
For I am the fear in your gripping wishes

And the artistry blooms in the burgundy sky

For I am the peace in your self destruction
For I am the grit in your sandcastle
For I am the treasure you haven’t touched
For I am the daydream in your hallucinations

And the elegance radiates in the burgundy sky

That’s the way the addiction grumbles
That’s the way the drunk stumbles
That’s the way the moon serenades
That’s the way the elephants walk in the parade
That’s the way the politicians talk
That’s the way the predators gawk

That’s the way the innocent dream
That’s the way the raped scream
That’s the way the fears surrender
That’s the way the cold remembers
That’s the way the lost are found
That’s the way the veterans weep to the sounds

That’s the way the truth should be told
That’s the way the lies are bitten and sold
That’s the way the victim cries
That’s the way the quiet feel inside
That’s the way the impregnator stares
That’s the way the son of a bitch cares

That’s the way the glass is poured
That’s the way the children are ignored
That’s the way the perception is skewed
That’s the way the label is crude
That’s the way the society thinks
That’s the way the one percent drink

That’s the way the air becomes stale
That’s the way the skin becomes pale
That’s the way the poets write
That’s the way the day turns into night
That’s the way the heart breaks into bits
That’s the way the last puzzle piece fits

That’s the way the thunder growls
That’s the way the thieves prowl
That’s the way the light disappear
That’s the way the dark becomes crystal clear
That’s the way the luck falls
That’s the way the anger crawls

That’s the way the perpetrators finger points
That’s the way the hippies smoke a joint
That’s the way the teacher dresses
That’s the way the students make messes
That’s the way the winners gloat
That’s the way the captain steers the boats

That’s the way the rich treat the poor
That’s the way the small companies closes its doors
That’s the way the snake rattles
That’s the way the beast fights in battle
That’s the way the cookie crumbles
That’s the way the insider fumbles

That’s the way the performers act
That’s the way the sky becomes black
That’s the way the song is heard
That’s the way the villains see the words
That’s the way the view turns into stone
That’s the way the virtuous become alone

That’s the way the branch breaks
That’s the way the dealers make mistakes
That’s the way the world divides
That’s the way the humans collide
That’s the way the people see
That’s the way the universe will be

Grappling with a toxic incubus
Static tangled up in hallucinations
A diabolical perpetrator is lurking
Dabbling with molecules and carbons
And I sleep with annihilation

Memorizing the periodic table of elements
Sinister mind combining mercury and lead
A splash of chromium, pinch of caesium
Blending a explosion in a wicked bottle
And I sleep with obliteration

Ensuring a plague like disease spreads wide
A blackhearted voice speaks with a chuckle
Corrupted hands, apocalyptic intentions
Selfishness wrapping around throats
And I sleep with termination

Belligerent critters stalking the lands
Referencing the last chapter of the divine
Symbolic torture rest within the dollars
Greed softens up the lips and tongue
And I sleep with eradication

A clash of reasons, brawl between sins
Fears sobbing until the break of dawn
Scent of misery swarmed the dirt
End of virtues, end of light
And I sleep with a contagious virus