buttonpoetry:

Want to get your poems published (and filmed!) by Button? Our third annual chapbook contest is about to start! Open submissions from July 15 - August 15. Winner receives a $250 cash prize, 50 author copies, and roundtrip travel to Minneapolis for a book release show filmed by Button! Check out our announcement video, and head to our website for more information. Contest is open to all ages and nationalities.

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So yeah, there’s a Sailor Moon reboot.

All of the Sailor Scouts’ faces look the same.
It’s cute and all, and yeah, the storyline is closer to the original.
Yay.
But, as far as animation and art style are concerned,
they offered us Sailor Moon and gave us Archie.
Standardize their hair and they’re basically the same cookie-cutter person.
Am I the only one who’s kind of disappointed?

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how to tell a woman on a street corner that she’s beautiful (for gentlemen who might not be so gentle)

step 1 - consider your approach.

maybe you think she’s beautiful.
maybe not in the conventional sense — she’s got
curves
in all the right places
outfit sits just right against her shoulders hips & breasts and

maybe
you’re not objectifying her.
you’re a “nice guy”
no irrational desire to know her in any other way
than here and now
but you feel it — how much time she spent
curling her hair
all that time she spent
painting her nails so imperfectly
but you like it
and you wanted her to know that all that time has paid off.

proceed with caution.
shy away from pushing and shoving your way
into her field of vision.
do not circle her like she’s a caged chinchilla in a pet shop
or tap her shoulder like an impatient toddler
or touch her in any way.

step 2 - be polite

you want her to know that all that time has paid off
but, she knows.
she’s been told before.
by every man from 8th to 16th street
best believe they’ve told her before.
and please know that not everyone is a poet
not every man has treated her
eloquently.
the way her outfit sits just right against her shoulders hips and breasts
sometimes gets lost in translation
dribbles out of lonely muzzles in some new bastardized form of english
where every word of praise makes her feel
soiled, like her immaculate dress will get her
raped one day on a street corner
just like this one.

like these men’s saliva is the gravy
and she’s a roast straight from the oven.

step 3 - be a human

understand that a compliment given
is never a compliment wasted.
understand that words are not currency
her eyes cannot be forced open
she has to see you herself
her mouth can not be told to speak
her lips made to smile
you can write her a sonnet
and perform it for her in the middle of market street
and she will not owe you a single
iota of breath.

so brush the chip off your shoulder and remind yourself
to be a human
speaking to another human.
not a hunter who’s found his game
not a gamer who’s found his geek girl
not a king who’s found his queen
or a dog chasing the cat
you’re not on the prowl
you’re not a general
or the answer
or the smoothest motherfucker on the planet

you’re a human
on a street corner
surrounded by other humans
on a day unlike no other

and maybe you think she’s beautiful.
so pack up the pickup lines
and stick to the tried and true.
tell her, “you’re beautiful.”
they’re not the most difficult
two words
in the world.

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Hell’s Consultant

Let’s not get carried away here.
#25,682,467 out of 24 billion on the queue for today
and I don’t have time to be picky
Or analytical
Or facetious — I don’t have time to talk to you.

I know what used to be
But let’s talk about what is:
a never-ending sea of hellfire
millennia of bludgeoning and rape
emotional torture to the end of the end of your life —
and you say you’d rather this.
this is what you want. where you want.

i’m holding the pen.
sleek and black and boiling with power
it scalds my fingers with every touch but i endure
because this is my fate.
too many forged signatures
ruined accounts and casinos.
but at least, i was good at it.
so good, apparently, hell pulled me out of retirement.

now you’re standing below me in shackles
waiting for my judgment.

hell has gotten crowded, so I’m here to consolidate.
a tick of one box means eternal damnation,
the other means nothing.
darkness.
no opportunity for retribution,
i can never put you back where you belong.

no more hiking or business trips

no weekends, no drunken escapades,

no bills — no choices.

i never thought i’d see you here.

but let’s not get carried away.
ticking boxes can wait
i’m been meaning to ask you
all this time
how you’ve been.

What’s the symbolic meaning of the Statue of Liberty, again?

Santa Cruz, 2013

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Source: SoundCloud / Aubrie L'rai Johnson

Santa Cruz, 2013

You’re dreaming of a beach you walked alone
Pouring from your fingers like granulated gold
There is nothing but time here.

Breezes too cool for swimming, sun too hot for standing still
It is here that you break your record
for the most times you’ve questioned your life choices
in a single day
Young couples playing hooky under a blue sky
Dogs bounding after tennis balls
and you, notebook in hand,
mouth half-hung like a neglected dresser drawer
It isn’t the most beautiful sunset,
but it’s the only one, really.

As lectures and electives shoot forward in time
like fusillades, shifts begin and end,
Interviews aced, resignations tendered,
As life burdens on
You’re standing penniless and breathless,
Ambition oozing from every pore at all the wonders you can make
from this sand, and those waves, and that notebook.

He’ll get out of class, come to take you home
And you’ll refuse to climb into the car
Tomorrow is Saturday.
You’re here for the next two days.
The sand pours through your fingers like granulated gold.
So what’s the rush.

You are nobody here.
And no one can take that from you.

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