Author Archives: ianbarbella

like a cat in a corner…

He says that those days are gone,

And I tell him I’m well aware,

That I’ve said my so longs,

I just saw these regrets coming from elsewhere.

I explain I want not for nostalgia to become tangible;

Asking not for the heartache to get worse.

It just those days creep in so resiliently forceful,

Giving way to canyons worth of memories to traverse.

I fret over loyal shouts which have turned to whispers,

Those constant companions who now are but peripheral shadows,

I muse over the thought I could be a fastener,

A maestro to keep us all in synchronized tempo.

He restates that those days are gone,

And I tell him it is still deserving of pause.

That all the kinships we had set upon,

Should be worth enough to produce some cause.

Another example I am told of having a want to believe,

That things can get better when you wear your heart on your sleeve.

civic funds…

We walk for over an hour through waves of snow, it shoots over our head like fountains.  You have a camera with you, yet you don’t take a single picture.  Instead, you take my hand and lead me through the common like you’ve been here a million times in just this way.  I follow behind as you almost skip along.  I am being dragged but it doesn’t matter because I haven’t felt this full of life since…

You stop quickly and I crash into you.  We are now face to face in the cold, our breaths visible and short.  My heart is pounding.  We haven’t kissed yet; hands have been our only communication of flesh.  I am far too old in this game to feel fear but then and there you are a force to recon with, Lily.  You don’t blink, you don’t move, and I am left shuttering.

It is here that you bite your lip, coy and pale you’ve ensnared me.

“have you every kissed someone and really meant it?”

I am completely off-guard.  To anyone else I would have said yes, I would have told them I was once in love.  That she had broke me into a million tiny pieces and left me to put back together the jig-saw.  To anyone else, I would have held high a torch to meaning and beauty in love.  Here however, I am not sure.  With you at this moment I am not sure I have ever loved someone or that anyone has loved me, and I doubt every kiss from post-coital to truth and dare.

“I don’t know…”

Your lips part to reveal a glowing smile.

There is a kick of wind and the snow whirls around us, cloaking us in white dust like fireflies in summer.  There in that vortex,

“well why don’t you try?”

We share our first kiss.  Innocent and fresh, sweet and still, there is nothing else but us at that moment.   We are us at the purest form.  This is the start of it, our gun has gone off and the race has begun.  It is March 16th and 29.3 months from now, my cheek will sting again but not from your lips…

i shall defend your name…

Everyone feels the air pulled from the room, from the force of the first blow. I feel every inch of my body reflectively launch itself towards the body with arm mid recoil.  You fall back, eyes closed, jaw dislocating, but worry not; because vengeance is already being enacted by the eight pairs of fists that walked in the pub with you.

A lethal combination of alcohol and loyalty will irrupt in a fury of right hooks and rib shots.  It doesn’t matter what words were exchanged, who was truly insulted or injured because these are irrelevant now.  The only fact that concerns us now is that there be a physical representation of our allegiance to you.

Within moments my ears are ringing with the symphony of shattered glass, fractured ribs, and tables dismantled by the weight of human flesh.  There is sweat already burning my eyes, and the strong taste of copper in my mouth.  I can’t see whose winning but I’m certain none of us are losing; at least no more than the opposing muscle.

When they finally pull us apart, when we are thrown out of the establishment our middle fingers in the air, you’ll laugh, telling us it was a lousy drink anyway.

…and with that we’ll move on to the next place that will have us.

rational behavior…

“I’m tired”, she says in her usual manner.

I’m tired too, so rather than asking her what might be inflicting this malaise I merely stir my coffee and search the table for another cream.  This quest isn’t necessary; the coffee is already a nice tan color yet it seems a much better use of my time than listening to her.  This will cause problems however, so I decide to be a slightly better boyfriend.

“Why are you tired?”

There is ever so slight of a pause as her left eyebrow raises.

“I was wondering how long you were going to take to ask me.  Really Connor, I question how much you care sometimes.” She begins to get that look in her eye.

It’s not really a stare, or a gaze, her eyes don’t glaze over and there is no real noticeable difference to anyone who hasn’t been in this kind of relationship. She keeps it a secret to the general public.  My recommendation, don’t date her…or anyone if you’re smart.  It’s better just to pick someone out of the crowd and ask them to marry you.  While this might seem ludicrous to the normal social customs, let me explain my reasons for this approach:

1.     It seems romantic, so at least your new bride or groom (if things pan out) will think you’re sweet and slightly crazed, but anyone who wants to get married is usually member of both those catagories.

2.     You’re chance of picking someone who is compatible to you is slim, but you have about the same odds in a normal dating situation.  At least you won’t have to worry about them changing; since you didn’t know them before your impromptu proposal.

3.     You have picked them solely on looks, so again this isn’t much different than a normal bar outing.  However, instead of a one night stand, you’ve picked up an old lady to worry about how much time you’re spending at the bar.


I’ve stopped listening again.  I even seem to have abandoned the search for more cream, considering that there were only three possible places for it to hide.  I look up from my coffee, which I have decided is more interesting than my girlfriend at the moment.  She looks pissed…this is understandable though.  I can’t really blame her, and then I notice something that I didn’t before.  As I pick up my cup to receive some reassurance from my caffeinated friend, I am confronted by the fact that my suspicions are correct, I’m about to be dumped.

Now average folk about to lose their girlfriend of three years might be about to cry, or wishing that they had the power to turn back time, or better yet wishing that this diner served alcohol through an IV.  I ,however, have decided to take a much better approach.  Just as the words escape her lips, just as I hear;

“I think it’d be better if we separated, found ourselves a little more first”

I do the only reasonable thing I can think of…I pour my coffee into my lap.

brown bag book cover…

I dreamt last night that we were infinite,

As if mathematics could somehow prove we were real…

As if our square root could undo lifetimes worth of                                     uncommon denominators and imaginary numbers.

If I had only remembered the remainder, something                                     different would have occurred.

A new product would have been found

I dreamt last night that long division was as complicated as life gets,

and that real love was as simple as 3rd grade romance.

But when I woke up your eyes reminded me that I never passed calculus

As that you were made of cos’s and sins.

So I put my head back on my textbook pillow

and decided to give me calculator away…

I never liked math anyway.

co-written years ago with the very talented Sydney Roberts.

there are those things we forget to say…

There are many things in this world that could have killed me…they haven’t.

I am thankful

There are many things in me that could have killed me…they haven’t

I am thankful

There are people who invite me over, keep me company, and give me their love.

I am thankful

There were times you helped feed me, and dealt with my suffering as long as you could.

I am thankful

You have shared your thoughts and your drugs.

I am thankful

I have been given credit, and given hope.

I am thankful.

I am still here this year, despite all I have done to prevent that.

I have grown because of this.

I have grown because of this love.

I have lost, I have won, and I am still going…

For all of you, for all of this, because you once loved me, and because I still love all of you-

I am thankful.


I am sliding phrases

built along drifting analogies of suffering sophomoric-


I am as complicated as your breaths,

And as easy as the girls my friends all lay-


I am decisions to be made,

times to adhere to,

and things to be respected-


But I am juvenile,

and your hand tastes better than any dish you ever plated-


So forgive this era of ours

and the leaders my head elects-


They make beautiful platforms,

full of promises as they are rot-


I wanted to take you along,

but this ribcage said it only held space for one-


And he doesn’t even like me that much…