Ode to the Out-of-Hand Character

There’s been something about you since the day you first appeared
Your metaphorical birth sparking widespread interest
Raising eyebrows, giving Professors topic ideas to hurl at bored students
Fostering that little flame of rebellion in your author
That says “I can make something no one has seen. I can awe creation.”

You had a lock on this whole character development thing
It was the rest of your world that couldn’t keep up, lagging
Like a bogged down internet connection, throwing problems at you
You could solve in your sleep. Forcing other characters to act against reason,
To provide an excuse why you should have any pain at all.

And it was that, your resistance to pain, your apparent invulnerability
That made you a target, that goaded your author into raining untold hell.
It was your strength, your superiority to fellow inhabitants of your particular story,
That made it impossible for you to outlive them. Your author was too clever
Devising an uncontrollable force like you, an intelligence not sustainable even by its creator.

So you die, alone, stripped of your humanity, your love, while inferior personalities live on
While the story rambles past your grave, narrative desperate to make everyone forget
While dull minds are touted as genius and audiences move on to new obsessions
You are thrown on the mercies of fan authors, one in a thousand returning you to former glories
One in a million with to skill to handle fire, to come out less charred than the one who gave you life.

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Self-Made

In a home of my own making
Amidst the broken glass of an abandoned Colorado factory
The hollowed-out brambles of a Pennsylvania backwoods
Shared blankets and trash can fires of a New York slum

Sticks and sheets and coffee cans
Huddled under a bridge
Decorated with a showcase of my discoveries

Cobbled together handiwork
Make the best found-item artists proud

With friends of my own making
Fellow travelers and lost boys
Street preacher questioning his book
Cop who turns an eye when I “find” bread

Songs and stories and helping hands
The few who look at me from where they are
And accept the journey to who I am

Cobbled together acquaintances
From the throngs of passersby

Through plans of my own making
Tomorrow’s landing site, today’s art medium
Who to say goodbye to, who to invite along
How to respond to the next insult, what hat to wear

Trails and trials and mangled maps
Close my eyes and point
To who I will be next

Cobbled together dreams
Building a sculptor from the clay

From components handed to me
An upwardly mobile society
A forgotten trade
Poor decisions by someone who once was me

Snips and snails and castaway coins
I pick up where you leave off
Twigs discarded at my threshold

Woven together human
Designs from a graduated cobbler

From leftovers handed to me
I weave art from the twigs

Geometric beauty
A mathematical masterpiece

That no one will see
Until the birds pick through it for food

Reaction to House of Cards (no spoilers)

Author’s note: While this is technically a reaction to House of Cards, it is more a reaction to the feeling I had while watching it than to anything in the actual story. Also, I never thought of rhyming as really my thing, but since this is the second rhyming poem I did this month I guess I’m doing a bit of an experiment.

Compounded Interest

A knight in rusty armor slowly grinding to a halt
A king of broken castles with his thrones now made of salt
A sword of rubber wielded by a child still on milk
A bed of weeds and plastic instead of down and silk

Where you’ve been is where you’re going, never doubt it’s true
All the power in the world won’t stop you from being you
You’ve buried all your treasures just to keep them far away
But when you dig them up all you find is dust and clay

Every cry of pain that’s uttered falls on your deaf ears
You dry the moisture off your shoulder like its water and not tears
You go on living as you are, as if you’ve never loved at all
As if you never reached for me to save you from this fall

But how can I hate you, though you’ve now become this way
Though all your promises are cracked and your words full of decay
You’ve left one standing, shining truth I never can deny
You’ve sold your soul for apathy, and I’m the reason why