Shuffle and Replay

Broken headphones by nessieblack09 (deviantART)

Shuffle and Replay
JCD Kerwin

Sometimes (a lot of the time),
my favorite part
of each day
is when I’m ignoring the world
with tunes.

Because sometimes (a lot of the time),
it’s nice to pretend
I’m not me
and I’m not really sitting here
at all.

(Sept. 2014)



Yeah brah, I’m mad.

JCD Kerwin

If you say this “dream” is “cute”
one more time,
I promise I
will bite your hand.
I will listen to
the voices
in my head
and snap,
like the snarling,
yipping monster in my head.

Think it’s all a game to me?
Hold out your hand;
I’ve got a shinning knife.
I love Roulette.

You think I wanted to
all these bottles,
after bottles
of ink
into rivers;
crumple all the pages,
light them up,
watch them burn like
they were only meant
for kindling?
(Use your own damn bones;
they’re cold and brittle enough
to go
up in a snap.)

I drone enough
like a wind-up toy
(I’m sure of it),
but when you’re sure
it’s going to pour,
you tend to roar
like hurricanes.

I make ground shake
with my reverberating lexis;
I scream my voice into the earth
like its made of stone.
I’ll make my mark
like a cave painting—
you’ll hear me in
10,000 years,
singing like the buffalo.

Don’t think I won’t
carve myself
into your heart.
You’ll speak my words aloud but
the voice you’ll hear
is mine.
It’ll rumble like volcanoes;
I’ll shine through you
like a billion exploding stars.

Call me crazy, but
to kill my monsters
(to kill all your monsters)
I gotta stab this sword into
the gut of all Eternity.
And it all begins with you;
saving the world
begins with you.

(January, 2014)

Punching Snowmen

The other night I was out with M and I was talking about something inane having to do with either my novel or writing in general. M hadn’t the foggiest what I was talking about and I got frustrated because despite M’s apparent interest in my annoying “writer talk,” it sometimes becomes quite obvious that I’m simply being humored.  So right then at the bar I went on a terrific rant [the following], much to M’s blinking surprise. (Thankfully I dropped the whole thing and we went on to talk about NBA All-Star weekend and MJ’s 50th birthday…Rightly so.) M really deserves a cookie or something for putting up with my shit.

I think one of the worst things other writers spew off to me is this: “I only write for myself. You don’t? That’s terrible!” and then they look at me like I have five heads. I find it admirable that some writers have only ever given a damn about doing this one awesome thing for themselves–cool–but others. Wow. The ones who tout they “write for themselves” as if it’s some sort of accomplishment, though still plaster their work across the internet or have several published works. If their claim were really true and they were some sort of purist, why the hell do they give a damn if anyone ever sees their work?

I have never once in my life ever simply “written for myself.” It’s because when I was a kid I read to be saved. I read stories written by my heroes because they saved me. SAVED ME. And I decided then, when I was a stupid kid, desperately wishing to run away, that I wanted that, too: to save people. So I started telling stories…I write to save people. Do I write because it’s what I have to do? Yes. Because if I didn’t, I’d die? Yes. For all the same reasons as any other writer? Yes. But just “writing for myself?” No. Jesus, that just sounds selfish. I will absolutely admit that I (somehow, someglorioushow) save myself with the actual process of writing stories. You betch’ya, I do. But in the end I couldn’t give a shit about saving myself from all the monsters that ever haunted me. I want to save everyone else because once upon a time some guys named JRR Tolkien and Ray Bradbury saved me by flashlight when I was tired of hoping maybe “it all” would just go the hell away. Once upon a time I decided that maybe if my heroes could save me, I could do that, too. Maybe I could give people a reason to believe in “once upon a times” again, too.


Plastic Shields and Wooden Swords

On the Burning Away
JCD Kerwin

A siren screams and
radiates back the screen
of my black and white, black static
cellophane, underwater,
claustrophobic world.
I never see,
never see,
I never ever see kaleidoscope colors,
never a light-bright cornucopia of
my ten-year-old, happy-go-lucky dreams.
Those stupid fucking reveries
blew up in brimstone fire when
I learned there’s no such thing as Faraway
and you can’t sew stars into your pockets.

[The fruit of a thousand apple trees would
taste better if the snake would nicely mention
the seeds are made of cyanide.
Instead my eyes go wide
as I lean back and hack
for air while I wait to breathe again.]

It all fades together in the same old
coffee-drenched, psychotic robotic days.
The air smells like burning plastic and
we’re all electric blinking lights trying so damn hard
to make math problems into Green jobs because
no one gives a shit about paper anymore.

Libraries are just graveyards for all the little children’s dreams.

When I grow up I’ll keep a junkyard
so I can save out-of-date non-collectibles
that everyone’s forgotten and
everyone thinks are just myths
and legends of a time that never was.
(I’ll keep books in my basement and
become a relic just like them.)

I’ll wrap myself in armor
and scream stories at computer screens
and make-believe
the people of the world can hear me when I say
I’m saving them…
I’m saving them…
I just want to save you.

Oct., 2012

Made-up Words Like Thundercane

Sometimes it feels as though you could stomp your feet and make earthquakes erupt from fault lines coming from your insides. Sometimes it feels like mountains in your lungs are crumbling into oceans, making sea foam turn into hurricanes.  Sometimes you think if you were to open your mouth those hurricanes would escape your lips in a supernova. Sometimes you’re sure if you were to prick your finger, your blood would run India Ink instead of plasma red. And then suddenly, all at once, you realize someday you will, most certainly, burst into a thousand, shining letters because you are made of thundercane stories.


…because currently I’ve been replaying it fifty times on my mp3 player. I’m slightly tweaked like that.

I’m gonna go put my goggles back on and pretend I can fly.