Where you dwell

You’re the last shadow in this world
that scares me

the wraith hissing
in my recurrent dreams,

the nicotine smoke
in my periphery,

the emaciated paramour
of wasted fantasy

and every horror that crawls in the dark.


wish you were here.

“I’ m verry dr unk” he giggled. The reek of whiskey and weed
peeled from his skin like rancid sunburn.

I know,” I murmured. Kissed him on the eye
so he’d get some sleep. I had watched him slip,
drink by drink, from my small hands into a wet mess
of twist-top bottles and drool pooling under his chin.

“I ve been do ing thiis sin ce I was yourr age” he said.
Eyeballs lolled around in their sockets. 5 years gone.

1,825 nights. 21,850 bottles in a million shards
lodged into sand and and taken by children as oceanic currency.

M. Alden

To the other end of 12 o’ clock

It’s late, too late for young girls to walk dark sidestreets-
that’s what the man in the freedom-color police car tells you.
It’s a dangerous time to walk, pump gas, go for a jog,
a dangerous time to live- haven’t you heard?
but the three of you are bold and raise your chins to the shadows.
You call attention to yourselves, the good kind that repels sidewalk monsters
belting middle-school punk anthems and cawing when the others make dirty jokes,
the whispered kind that no one expects Catholic girls to know.
You lose your breath looking at your friend’s moon-blue skin, and you think
she is goddamn beautiful when she’s fearless.

You have no reason to be out on the streets, but you want to kiss midnight
with an open mouth and taste his black secrets. You want to dance
with those honking drivers and toss your hair when you step on their sorry toes.
You want to sing along with the cricket-thrum and the screeching tires.
You want to conduct this moonside cacophony, and watch the world kneel down
as you yourself bow to the omnipotence of dawn’s aureate crescendo.

This piece was first published on The Paper Plane Pilots. Click the link and enjoy a few flights of poetic fancy-

lost you. (a quiet reply)

I never meant to leave a mark, love. All I seem to do
is press bruises on your neck or drag my nails too hard
on your ivory arms, leave my hand too long
on the quivering small of your back
and I never meant to leave you in the faceless
queue of bodies pressing on to their otherwheres.
The weight of the carnal mass in my chest
is too much for such small hands like yours.
And I confess sometimes I speak without
brushing my teeth pearly and unilateral, with a sluice
of bitterness in between, and I see how that kills you.

And I know I’m not what you asked for, a granite-heart
with thistles growing in a weed-ridden garden
and hate in her roots, no more faith to water.
Grow up, to an iridescent forever, hand-in-hand
with you, the way we dreamed as you tucked me into bed.
If you wonder when the night-light sputters out
if I miss the tender press of gentle tongues and ready grace-
oh my love, of course I do.

A year circumnavigating tempestuous waters
has left us dry, I think.
And I’d sail back to you, a thalassic lullaby
singing me home, but long ago
my crew jumped the ship, and my spindly sails
tear like curtains in the face of all our tempests.

M. Alden

Hold on till May

Hello dear hearts,

I hope it’s alright by you if I give a bit of a personal update, which does hold relevance for the typical content of this blog. Recently I’ve been posting increasingly sparingly, sometimes erratically taking pieces down within the hour they go up. Or days will go by during which the most I transcribe is lecture notes, and this is so uncharacteristic that it truly unsettles me. There’s a plurality of possible reasons behind this, namely that I bit off more than I can chew taking two honors courses in one 18 hour semester, or that all-nighters and a long history of insufficient/poor health choices are taking their toll, or (most likely) that Michaela just doesn’t have a grip on things like she should.

I used to wake up at 7 so that I could write contentedly until my first class at 10, and spend said class with a blank document open for notes, that more often than not are a mélange of test information and creative writing. Lately, with a spate of final essays, work, and volunteer commitments, it’s been a matter of practicing the noble art of getting by. What I do write these days is indubitably sub-standard (there’s no implicit expectation for a contradiction; I merely know when I’m satisfied with a poem and I am so rarely satisfied these days), and often reactionary to whatever is happening in the week. Thus the pieces become too close, too personal, and (as it was recently pointed out to me by another writer) incomprehensible.

Because of this, I’m putting this site on hiatus until the end of the semester in a few weeks. There’s a maelstrom of things to take care of in the interim between now and my two weeks of summer break, which do include some very happy events: preparing to study for a year at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in France, writing a term paper I’m enthusiastically enraptured in researching, and finishing the year alongside some of the brightest, most tender-hearted humans I know.

Thank you for reading this, and I apologize for the forthcoming absence. I hope to return to you all in May with something deserving of your readership.

With much love to all of you,

M. Alden

Je est une autre

I think such
preposterous things.

Yellow poppy
seeds burst

five-July in my head
squeeze eyes tight.

I can fly
on paper wings

and dress myself
in petal skirts;

breathe like rustled
leaves quivering

green mirrors
falling in the summer.

I must be
a million

Step gently

Sleek doe
with frozen hooves
still, poised
at the top
of this hill
quivering when leaves
under your

Cannot be
only caught
your sleight of hand.
Slender face
nuzzles the
black hollow fingers
and quakes,
scared of
your hand
and all its heat
supernal light
in your

spindle legs
the ground in
quick small
and you
in pursuit
leave a
trail of sparks
to glow
in winter’s

You keep
that which