I Don’t Want You to Say It (I Want You to Mean It)

I read poems and stories
so I can feel emotion.
Words with actual meaning,
full of conviction that
sends a shiver down my spine
and makes me understand
who the author is–
who the characters are.
It should wash over me,
like a massive tidal wave
or a glass spilled
on an empty kitchen table.
I want to get knocked from my feet
by every word,
to be left clinging
onto each syllable
like a jockey
on his way to the Triple Crown.
Every day is spent drowning
in advertisements and products,
so your words better sell me
something I haven’t been sold before.
Don’t preach from the classics–
I’ve already read them.
Don’t regurgitate their messages
to an audience who can predict
exactly what your next words will be.
If I wanted Shakespeare
I’d Google it.
So please–
move me.
I don’t want you to say it,
I want you to mean it.
-ZCS

**“pollphail graffiti 11” by Kev Lock via Deviantart

Puzzle Pieces

Being with her was like doing a five hundred piece puzzle,
only to realize at the end that you’re missing several pieces.
Irritation that nothing fits together,
anger that you didn’t realize sooner,
but above all–sadness.
Sadness that you’ll never see the final image.
You’ll never see how it turns out–
no matter how hard you try,
how long you wait,
how many times you go to bed praying
that it will all fit perfectly in the morning.

Being with you is like finding the missing pieces,
trapped underneath the sofa where you’d least expect.
The satisfaction of seeing everything work out,
happiness you feel when you see how beautiful the final product,
but above all–relief.
Relief that everything will be ok.
Relief that you didn’t ruin everything–
no matter how badly you’ve screwed up in the past,
no matter how many people hurt you or picked at you.
Thank God we finally found the pieces that fit–
my hands, beautifully interlocked with yours.

-ZCS

**“The Weeping Woman” by Pablo Picasso

Sunsets

How come people always ask me if I
caught the latest episode of Grey’s or Big Bang
but nobody asks me if I
caught the sunset yesterday night?
Because they really should.
Every night,
no matter where you live,
everyone should stop
whatever it is they’re doing
and spend ten minutes
watching the sunset.
The sun spends the entire day
making its journey across the sky.
Are we too busy to spare a couple minutes
each night to give the credit it deserves?
Recently I was asked why
I didn’t write an Earth Day Poem.
“Do you not appreciate the beauty of our planet?
Do you not recognize the harm we’re doing?
Don’t you want things to change?
Maybe you should spend more time
appreciating the world around us
before writing poems about it.”
My response?
“Did you catch the sunset last night?”
“No…why?”
Because I did.
And it was absolutely beautiful…
-ZCS

Deepest, Darkest Writer Fears

When I write,
I always turn on music.
Sometimes I go places to write,
places full of people, life,
and the hustle and bustle
that reminds me so much of home.
There’s something intimidating about the silence,
about the quiet.

When I write,
I always write on something that’s already been used.
Sometimes I tear off the corners of school papers,
receipts, old Post-It’s, even used notebook paper.
Google documents that I’ve written in previously,
that always seem to remind me of what I wrote last.
There’s something intimidating about a fresh page,
about the unfamiliar.

When I write,
I always think about you.
Memories of us can cause me to smile fondly,
while other times they cause my heart to break a little bit more.
Once in awhile, I will simply go quiet.
When I think about you, words flow on the page and it all just makes sense.
There’s something intimidating about starting over,
about my life without my muse.

-ZCS

**Image: “Old Whisper” by Alexey Demidov

55 Words: On Writing Poetry

**A while back, someone commented on a 6 Word Story and challenged me to write a 55 Word Story instead. Yesterday, I was reading through and his comment caught my eye. So, I give you “Writing Poems.”

Before I realized who I was,
I used to belittle myself for writing poetry.
“Nobody will read this,
nobody will care.”
But I guess somewhere
along the line I finally realized;
writing stopped being about
other people a long time ago.
From then on,
I was a poet–
with an empty notebook for an audience.

-ZCS

Words.

Words mean nothing without emotion.
How can we praise without faith,
cheer without compassion,
tell a joke without good spirited amusement?

Words mean nothing without emotion.
How can we lie without envy,
scream without anger,
swear without conviction?

Words mean nothing without emotion.
But as I pour thoughts and ideas onto paper,
I find myself writing with a blank mind,
rereading lethargically with a quiet heart.

Words mean nothing without emotion,
but sometimes they were never meant to.

-ZCS

The Man in The Elevator

We ride the elevator,
two complete strangers
trapped together in a small box,
separated by nothing but
uncomfortable silence.
Every day,
we get on at
the exact same time,
the exact same floor.
You get off at the 7th level,
and I at the 12th.
You have coffee and a briefcase,
and I the same thing.
Our briefcases are the same color
and the same style.
I’ve thought about mentioning it,
but it’s been five years now
and I still haven’t.
Your eyes stare forward
into another world,
light years away from here
when in reality–
we are separated by mere feet
instead of miles.
It feels like you are standing at the North Pole
while I have my feet firmly planted at the South.
Polar opposites,
yet similar in so many regards.
We ride the elevator together.
Two complete strangers
trapped together in a small box,
separated by nothing but
uncomfortable silence.

-ZCS

**The image: “Elevator” by Maxyme via Deviantart