“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.
Cast the alabaster referendum Spike the juice, transfix the vanishing liquid Zoom the screenshots, taste the lip gloss Scratch the two percent surface Know nothing, keep the pulse on the dial
Seek optimism with self entitlement Wrap your vertebrae around your cell phone Dye the color of mass destruction No dissection, analysis, or an ounce of depth Know nothing, keep the finger on emptiness
Follow your ill advised democratic leader Spit into the Declaration of Independence Wash your jittery hands at the masquerade Give Kim Kardashian a peck on the cheek Know nothing, spell the word legislation
Walk the line between capitalism and socialism Speak from one corner of your grand mouth Run for mayor, sleep with the dirty sweetness Dollars have value, integrity depreciates Know nothing, move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Parade around foreign affairs and zig zag policies Trade agendas with corporations, chop down family shops Spread the cancer with your thumb on reality TV Download useless apps, swim into the word “myself” Know nothing, wear the crown as you veto knowledge
Lack a vigorous backbone, ignore loans Salivate over the disappearing social security checks Pitch your ballot for the plagiarized speech Steal from the rich, sit on your lazy throne Know nothing, commit crimes and plead ridiculousness
Separate, divide, and do what you do best “Label” Stare into the trends, curse at the economy Blame the universe, unleash expletives at your choices Embrace the seconds, neglect the forthcoming Know nothing, glaze over conclusions and regurgitate
Wear the pin stripe suit like a hit man Blend in with the smoke of politicians Laugh in your three thousand square foot home Drink the bitter honey on your porch Know nothing, emulate the millions and toss your skull to the curb on presidential parkway
She disguises herself with prescriptions and 1970 cliches. More often she sleeps in black leaves and clenches to the whispers of the blizzard. She prays to the secondhand lions and searches for forgotten riddles. She laughs at horror films and weeps at the comedy classics. She’s never used the word forgiven.
She wrestles with the fears in the morning and drowns in the insomnia at night. She speaks in a language without discretion. She plays with her skeletons in the closet. She ignores the left side of her imagination. She dances to jazz and dips her fingers into white pages to write enigmatic poetry.
She expresses affection with amber kisses and her fingertips. She said goodbye to her fireflies. She built walls with quicksand and tears. She stares at her right side of her imagination. She pleads with the stone truth. She’s witnessed more endings than beginnings.
She circles her anger like a hawk. She’s deprived of human decency. She loves with a small percent of her tattered heart. The rest is locked in a music box surrounded by caution tape. She sings to her frustrations to soothe the madness. She’s in love with only parts of her identity.
She slips on theological rhetoric She hides behind the voodoo stuck to her silent tongue Wearing her vixen like dress She acquired accolades and accommodations from the saliva of the burnt orange wolf She spoke the language of love in riddles and teenage rhymes Wearing her Madusa like pearls She mishandled truth and washed down a liter of half bitten lies She threw away fortunes and laughed at others misfortunes Wearing her witchcraft perfume She roared liked the bitch she was and ignored the crowd who carried her on a Persian rug Wearing her battle ax over her shoulder
The quiet man is a cerebral hunter. The quiet man gravitates to the intellect. He is absorbed into observing and memorizing behavior. The quiet man is a visionary. The quiet man is complex and fascinated with the dynamics of relationships. The quiet man values quality not quantity. The quiet man sees the world through others. The quiet man seeks purity. The quiet man seeks beauty in all; perhaps he sits silently in the distance. The quiet man seeks simplicity in the complex. The quiet man is methodical and artistic. The quiet man is an optimist and embraces the warmth of humans. The quiet man is not a perfectionist. The quiet man admits when he is wrong and does not judge. The quiet man believes in the phrase “I can”. The quiet man sees the value of stages: growth and the truth. The quiet man reaches for spirituality. The quiet man has high standards and is goal oriented. He believes in equality. He is captivated by harmony and the melody of humans. The quiet man is viewed as an anti-socialist by others, a volcano ready to erupt. The quiet man defies social labels. The quiet man is blind by color, but can clearly see ignorance. The quiet man does not have the answers for everything, but only has perception. The quiet man does not like drama or self-pity. The quiet man is ambitious. The quiet man is shaken by intimacy. The quiet man is disturbed by his emotions. Perhaps the quiet man is tired of how he is viewed and labeled. The quiet man is not quiet. Perhaps no one listens to the quiet man, and how could they? The quiet man’s tongue is burning. The quiet man’s perception of himself is mediocrity. When the quiet man speaks, heads turn. People ignore the quiet man. Nobody cares what the quiet man has to say. He knows how he is viewed and would like the change that perception. As much as he tries to change, the label sticks. The quiet man is invisible. What is the quiet man to do? The quiet man is speechless. The quiet man is patient. The quiet man does not want to be the center of attention, but just to be noticed for something else than being quiet. The quiet man is misunderstood. The quiet man is not superficial. Perhaps others are wearing a mask. Perhaps the quiet man is afraid of what others will say when he speaks. Perhaps the quiet man just wants to be himself and be accepted for who he is, not a label. Perhaps we are all labeled in society from the minute we are born; from each stage of life that we enter. Someone gave you a label and it stuck. The reality is that every one of us is different. We are who we are and can’t change that. We like what we like and dislike what we dislike. The minute we speak of it, we are judged not for who we are, but interests. People bond due to interest in general, not for how we approach, live, and manage our lives. Perhaps the quiet man just wants to be accepted for who he is…doesn’t anyone care what the quiet man’s perception is? Maybe if we dug beyond the surface of people, everyone is beautiful in some small way. We all have quirks hang-ups, baggage, skeletons in the closets, and that really shouldn’t matter. Does that define who we are? No.