O foul, fantastical dimension, speak;

Let not the shackles of the truth refrain

Thy tongue nor still the manner which doth seek

The cruel fashion with which to carry pain.

Thou art no monster but a realm thine own;

A chasm that dares not hear reason’s tone.


What art thou if not claim thou the deepest, dark seas

Or if thou dare not claim the most fearsome of fires?

How deserves thee thy name if thou plagues my mind not

With the ghouls of most elderly lands or shadows of Hell?


Indeed, dem’nic soul, pleasure doth befit thee not

If, by thy power, I feel naught but tame;

Nor may dark spirits hail thee with the rot

If, by thy junction, thou fails thine own name.

Dare, mighty spirit without form, I say my place

That thou would never fail to see to its disgrace.



The Raven

The Raven

Tap, tap!

The clouds had covered the sky in a thick blackness and the rain poured alongside lightning’s glow and thunder’s boom. The Moon stood at the zenith of its kingdom and glowered with a royal coward’s glow as it hid behind the hazy sheets, shining through with feeble streaks.

Tap, tap!

The gentle rapping roused the near-drowsed man – a rugged man, with an unkempt face and brazen hair, with rags as clothes – from his sleeping place by the window pane. His eyes opened at a patient pace, his gray vision invited to view the grayness of his study: the piles of books collected in subjects of various lore, wild notes and crossed-out terms, balled-papers scrawled in ink, and everything covered in comfortable blankets of dust. It floated about the room, as if daring to hold a mind of its own.

Tap, tap!

“Hm…” The man groaned as he wiped his eyes and stood. “A visitor… a visitor who taps upon my chamber door…”

He walked to his door and unlocked it. “Forgive my lack of haste, dear madam or fine gentleman. Before now, I was napping ‘til so gently came you rapping and so faintly came you tapping on my chamber door. Pray me, I had near missed your sure…” He opened his door and peered the visage of darkness, with none but its face to fear. “…arrival.”

The face of darkness was a formless shape until the shadows began to shed and give form to a familiar front. The man’s eyes widened to their limit as a weak gasp escaped. “Lenore…?”

His breath became shuddery and his neck heated, his foot sliding back as he witnessed a beautiful woman stand before him, wearing a white gown with golden locks and green eyes. She smiled at him and outstretched her arm delicately.

The darkness seemed to vanish around her, his shaking ceasing as he stepped forward a foot and returned her motion by reaching for her hand. The blackness was no crueler than the grave with how quickly it swallowed her form again and returned the shape his eyes could perceive to nothing but the dark. Only the dark and nothing more.

“Lenore!” he cried, his legs giving and forcing him to settle on his knees. His tears were unyielding as they trickled down his face with his hand covering his eyes.

Tap, tap!

“Something beyond my windowpane?” The man rose with unsteady footing then staggered to the window, where the rain steadily pelted against the glass that invited cold vapor to make itself a second skin. “What threat, what mystery, what thing bequeaths to me a worser heart? Let me explore and test the theory that this is but the wind… Does it howl still? Does it decide my fate be cursed, a fate ere suffered by the self-indulgent?”

His feet dragged on, his legs weighed by the ocean of his mind. Bubbling, bubbling – his mind was a shadow of a flame and it boiled in the depths of its own self. His eyes pried the pages of his books again, notes upon notes saying: “To overcome the loss of love, the grief of death, it is required to drown the mind in work; There is no white… thus only blackness reigns; My dear Lenore, how best can I surmount this pain?”

The man opened the window and looked over its horizon, his face doused from the rain.

Flutter, flutter!

He was knocked back by the entry of a dark figure. The wind delivered the rain through his window and onto his body as he quickly rolled to meet the gaze of a raven, staring down at him with small twitches of its head as it perched itself on a headless bust. Its coat and crest matched best the darkness beyond the man’s chamber door.

“Abandon sorrow, all who leaves here…” the man muttered as he rose steadily to his feet. “Black thing, you have trespassed your bounds and entered here my home. You bring with you no Chariot nor Carriage nor do you demand my Soul to its torment. Tell me, by near what River of Woe do you hail? Of Acheron? Of Lethe, where then comes you to pour in me a sweet unmindfulness? Hear! Name yourself!”


The man’s eyes widened and his face paled upon hearing the bird. It uttered but one word and was then entirely still, not fluttering a single feather while its eyes washed over the man. The raspy echo – the slow croak and deliberate speech and force – reverberated until the walls took on the word as its skin and the man saw nothing but its paint.

“I have seen Ghosts in the waves of my Mind…” the man muttered again with his breath growing steady. “By what they are, soon will you disappear as well, like all the Friends that visit from it…”


The man grit his teeth and sat against his window where the rain continued to patter against his back. He shivered, but not from the cold, as his eyes fixed on the bird that still stood motionless.

“A name like ‘Nevermore?’ Names are no currency… what’s in a name? Would my Lenore be any less an Angel by her name? Indeed, her touch would be as warm and lips as lush, her Eyes as crystal and her Heart as pure…” The raven’s pupils shifted to shine on the man’s, directly peering into what lay beyond them. “It better is believed that it but merely utters what some sordid master in some dire disaster had before it said. As only now a word relents… the word of ‘Nevermore.’”


The man frowned as the raven continued to do nothing but glare at him, its eyes never changing and its sight never ranging but on himself. “Ignoble shadow! Prophet, as a devil or an angel guised, I know not which. You stare as if to know my Fate, so speak! Am I to know what horrors shall pervade in this abode? Is there salvation in all the Nine Spheres? Will my Soul see ascent?”


“A devil, then!” he cried, with tears streaming. “If Eden is but distant, then have mercy on this drowning Soul… may a day come when she, whose radiance outshines the fading streams of moonlight through thundering clouds, shall once more clasp my hand; she who the angels know as pure Lenore?”


With little more than a shudder, the man collapsed to his knees with spasming gasps of breath and thicker tears. He spat on the ground, his throat burning as it continued churning the bile turning in his stomach.

“Let that word be what cooks your wings, foul fiend!” the man croaked as he stared at the bird with ruby eyes. “Back to the storm with you, to where you hailed, whichever stream of Hades’ realm you spawned! You are to devils a most kindred Soul, a fowl with eyes of demons and the tongues of liars told! Leave me to my Despair if only you join glee in bending it!” Still on his knees, he tried to erect his body to wave away the bird, but his arms were too weak and he fell on his front where he laid still with drool pouring from his lip. “Out, out… ghoul, shadow, specter, serpent… the offender of all holy things, flit from my chamber door and be seen hence no more…”


The howls from beyond the window gave current for the rain to pelt inside of the room and against the furniture. It tapped and rapped against everything, filling the room with water – a small ocean where just above the raven stood. And it flowed, flowed, flowed past the chamber door.

Stars and Shine

Stars and Shine

There is far too much beauty in thine heart

That thou makes so thyself a breath of art.

How best compare thee, then? Thy starry ways

Outshine the cosmos with thy grace pristine

And magnify all that is with the sway

Of a divine thing – beyond e’en that sheen,

With thy soul pure and thy heart’s heavy weigh.

Must I say more? Need I? Or hath this pen

Failed in the task of capturing thy beauty

With truth in its modest form therein?

As rests indeed my scribe in its calm duty

To scribe thee heaven lest thou be’st scribed sin.

To thee, I have to thank for that at night

Which I now view with heart anew and eyes alight.

Angel Impoverished

Angel Impoverished

Hey, you logged in yet?’

Hey! Yes, I just got on. How are you?!’

I’m ok. Just got home from school’

You don’t seem ‘ok,’ you seem sad. Did something happen?’


You can tell me, I’m always hear for you.’

I know, Zainab. What’d you do today??’

On her bed, a young girl laid on her stomach, humming with a dimpled smile, kicking her feet. She had long raven hair with eyes matching her hair’s hue and innocence marking her visage.

Knock, knock!

Zainab.” An older man entered. His face was covered in a snowy beard and his skin was darker than her’s.


Your lessons are going to begin soon. Come.”

Ah, okay, one moment.”

The father left with a low grunt and Zainab returned her attention to her computer.

I must be leaving now, but will I talk to you again soon yes?’

Sure. See you soon’

Bye now, Taylor!’

She shut her laptop and hopped off her bed, dressing herself in her beige, shimmery garments – a hijab and an abaya – before opening her door and smiling to her father, who stood with his arms crossed and mind absent.


Oh!” He shook his head, wiping his hand over his face. “Are you ready then, ibnati?”

She happily nodded, and after he offered it, took his hand and was lead outside their modest home to the quiet streets of their city.

Zainab was surrounded by the small buildings on each side of her, varying in apartment size. Open windows had elders leaning from their sills like dogs, observing the wind. The color of most of the architecture near-matched her dress and her eyes were drawn to the frail men cupping their hands in hope.

Why is the city so poor, Papa?”

Her father sighed, pursing his brow and gaining a look of many miles with each passing second. “The government squanders us by reaping our pockets dry and leaving nothing for our people to build on. The other countries of the world are no better – our land is dry and our poverty increases because no one who leads here leads with honesty.”

If we have bad leaders, Papa, are we bad people?”

Her father stopped, then looked down to her. He reached forward then and held his palms against her cheeks in a soft but firm hold. His eyes were the things of steel – the desperation of words unspoken. “Not you, Zainab. Never you. Understand?”

She nodded steadily, her eyes searching his with her innocence. A small smile from his lips and he once again took the lead, walking with her to the downtown area.

There, the people came alive. On every corner of the city square, where it branched into several limbs of direction, were markets with people no richer than Zainab exercising their breath to the height of Olympus for honey’s suckle.

Come, come! Mangoes, bananas, dates! Everything you need here!”

Blankets! For sleep, for rest, you need them, you know!”

None sells the finest liquor like this! Not in all of the country!”

Zainab and her father passed the road and entered a small building with an entrance covered by a curtain. In a group, several other children her age sat in a circle chattering. She ran to her friends and plopped down next to them, joining their conversation with rapid lips.

The father gave a nod to the teacher with the teacher in reverence replying with the same motion. The father gazed at his daughter a final moment, his face painted with a paternal smile, before turning and leaving with a silent farewell.

What are you talking about, gone?!”

The night had robbed the sky of its light and the people who had dominated the streets since left in fright of being its prey. The street lights lit the corners of the city and inside the building where the father had previously left Zainab now stood with a cherry-veined face and more than audible words.

I’m sorry,” the teacher said, “but I assumed it was her guardian. He said she was her uncle and she didn’t seem to protest-”

She is a child! A CHILD! One merely of twelve, you idiot! Who was the man? Tell me, who was he?”

I-I-I don’t know! He just took her and they left several hours ago!”

Hours?! Ah, hours?! I would strangle you if my stomach weren’t filled with bile and my anger wasted on a woman!”

The father turned and stormed out, his feet lifting to take him racing down the stone streets of the city. The quiet night held only the mutters quiet nights usually hold.

Zainab!” He searched through the shadowed alleys and knocked on doors, parting curtains and interrupting familial dinners.

Zainab! Where are you?!”

His plight caught the ears of others and soon, the whole town was flooded with raindrops pouring their hearts into fellow shouts.



Where are you? Please come out! Zainab!”

Hey!” The people and the father were all turned to the sound of a man from near the trash area – a space where garbage was tossed into a basin. The father ran to the basin and jumped into the ankle-high water – then fell to his knees with a small gasp.

Lying on the man’s lap was Zainab: her pale, naked corpse dark purple on her side and around her neck, and stab wounds pierced on her chest. The man who found her had, in his eyes, building tears. He gazed at the father and shook his head slowly, his lips trembling.

If only we were not nothing… If only we were not…” he trailed off, the father taking his daughter into his arms and sobbing against her.

9:30 P.M.

Hey you back yet?

10:24 P.M.

Just wanted to let you know how much I apreciate you for being around and being my friend, Zainab. I feel so lonely around here but talking to you makes me beter every time. You really mean a lot to me and I just don’t think I could hande things without you. So, thank you. Just wanted to say that, text me

12:01 A.M.

You there?

12:11 A.M.



The Everflowing Stream

The Everflowing Stream

I ponder oft this currency called Time

That spends itself e’en as I write this rhyme.

How best to spend this precious, waning gold;

It glitters best in passion of sweet labor,

But scolds in heart’s regret coinage fruitlessly sold.

So then, o Time, how bless’d in every second tick’d –

A drop in the finite stream – art thou so

That even in the breast of darkness wick’d

I am to never be lavish wi’ thee in show?

Art thou then borrowed from a banker’s bank,

Where in that truth I owe much with naught to savor

As my own, for every drop wast’d is mine to thank?

Thus then, I hence confess to fear this debt

With its increasing loss and lossless fret.

My Mind on Loneliness

My Mind on Loneliness

{January 6th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 685

I was bullied again today. It was by Mark and his stupid fucking crew… They came up to me in the cafeteria and just threw my food on the ground, and nobody did anything. Not the students or the teachers, they just all pretended like they didn’t even see it. They just laughed and pushed past me, like I was dirt.

{January 7th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 686

Why do girls hate me? I never understood why they just feel the need to shit on me like that. Earlier today, some girl literally told me to kill myself. Like, just why? I don’t even know her name, but everybody around just smiled at her and agreed. Must have made her feel so damn warm being such a bitch…

{January 8th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 687

My mother is so nice. I can’t remember the last time anything good happened to me, but today, she got me Avengers on DVD. I was never able to see it but always wanted to. We’re gonna watch it together next week. I love my Mom.

{January 9th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 688

I fucking hate my life. There’s nothing to hope for sometimes. It’s so hard to speak in class, to even do a fucking presentation without shaking up. The meds for my hallucinations are not enough anymore, my Mom says. Now, I keep seeing horrific shit around the house. Like, why does all this bad stuff keep happening to me?

{January 10th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 689

Mom’s cancer just took a bad turn. She seemed so invincible for the past few years that I legitimately could forget sometimes that she was fighting off a fucking death sentence… for me. She’s in the hospital now, just breathing through a tube, barely responding to anything. I just… I can’t even help her, despite her always helping me. I’m such a piece of shit. I’m fucking useless. I’m so sorry, Mom. I’m sorry…

{January 11th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 690

I’m going to kill everyone at that school, I swear to God. Why is everyone so horrible? They hear my Mom is in the fucking hospital, and the stupid jocks are wearing germ masks. Like, seriously? Why does everyone think that my life is a goddamn joke, like it doesn’t even matter? If it wasn’t for my Mom…

{January 12th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 691

Mom’s trying to be strong, trying to be tough. She always tries to smile at me, it nearly breaks me down to tears. Part of me feels so selfish. Like, why am I here, trying to constantly hold her to this life and force her to suffer? It’s not fair. But I just can’t. I know I need her. I just want her to be okay. I just want everything to be okay.

{January 13th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 692

I don’t know why I’m even writing today… everything is awful… I have to go live with my abusive dad now… My Mom…

{January 14th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 693

Living with my Dad, who I haven’t seen in like ten damn years. Fuck this guy, I hate him. He pretends like he’s an adult but he’s just a loser drug addict. I hate that I’m a part of him. I hate my life so much. Why am I even here? I’ve been asking myself that more and more lately.

{January 15th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 694

I’m done. I’m actually done. I can’t anymore. It’s too damn much. I’m taking care of it all – tomorrow. No more of their stupid laughter, no more of this damn voice in my head, no more of my strung-out junkie dad. I’m done. I’m so done. I’m so, so fucking done.

{January 16th, 2016}

Journal Entry no. 695

To any who may read this, I want you to understand that I had to do it. There was no other way to stop hurting. These fucking voices everywhere, they just don’t stop laughing at me. I’ll burn this journal, every entry I’ve ever made… but if somehow, they can salvage any pages at all, I hope you can see this. To the victims, I’m sorry your children were shitbags. To my Mom… I’m sorry. I’ll see you soon. I’ve taken my father’s gun… I don’t know what else to write or say. So just, goodbye. Fucking bye.

The Eye of the Night

The Eye of the Night

My love, for the unsureness of tomorrow

Leaves lovers better now than future’s sorrow.

So kiss me with a fiery kiss of hope

And invite me by thy bedside this night;

And let despair shroud not in wailing cope

This night that sees and hears – where moonlight

Is the watcher and we dancers elop’d.

The glowing eye of the night dares not blink

Lest it miss this that we ourselves indulge,

Nor dares it fade, for fear the sky will sink

And render loud what ere was ours to so divulge –

O, sweet! O, love! Die wi’ me t’night along this brink.

I should hope after sleep to wake to thee

And not the end of us, or better, th’end of me.