********WARNING!! suicide/self-injury/eating disorder/alcohol triggers!!********



all poetry/short stories by ghost



goodbye x


you were the cure for my love sickness

my loneliness

for every empty day


for the ache of the snow melting

ice shifting

in the cold numb waste


in the hold of blue blackness

red liquid anesthetic

let me hide from them


and if only i'd held you closer

felt you deeper

would i be better then?


you were the only kind witness

to the nothingness

a meaningless silent pain


a goodbye kiss that never happened

praying after a falling sunrise

coming down like rain


in my mirror with your sad ideas

dark eyed

against a pale flat sky


how could i ever let you go?

wings broken

crashing into the same hard ground


now we can only stay together

who would be my lover?

marked forever yours


so ok, make me what you want

i'm sick at heart

a bleeding angel pinned in the snow


i thought maybe we'd

solve this mystery

i thought everything lost is found  

if i could ever be what you needed

or if you too are afflicted

let me know somehow...






no matter how thin i get

i still cast a giant shadow

no matter how many times i bury her

she digs her way out through the dirt

with her nails in my flesh

and whispers in my ear from behind

i shed my skin

but the scales return

red and black and smooth

i choke her down

i kill the thirst

and she is flying out

singing 4 and 20 black words

looking out of my eyes

her poison in my veins

her venom in my mouth

her fangs piercing flesh

her rot in my heart

her smile on my lips...




hospital corners / (out of my mind)


  there is no room

for me

between the corners

of this mind

across jagged

corners of light

shadows bleed

in corners of eyes

a cornered soul

scored and troubled

would if i could

stitch it up tight

tuck it all

in right

pull down the night

and sleep in cobwebs..








is the only way to go

sure in gravity's embrace

weakness pulling you down

speeding into eternity

against the deafening wind,

dropped from care's numb

fumbling hands..

the cold increase of night

changing your eyes to black

as day gives up everything


to the lowest edge of the sky

the obsession called life arrested and

surrendered to your maker

in the glow of goodbyes

the secret debris of your spent heart

only a meaningless vapor trail...



good at hiding..

little mouse run and hide..

run and hide and disappear..

hide in a hole.. hide in a crack..

under leaves along your tiny secret path..

in a crater on the moon..

so far away no one will ever find you..

deep in the woods..

in the snow.. in a cave..

under roots and inside trees..

sleeping long long freezing dreaming dark days away..

breathing slower slower.. getting colder..

waiting to awaken some sunny morning..

just a kid

keeping a secret..

speaking only with your colors or in codes..

saying all your words with silence or your eyes alone..

holding the answers and the questions

close to your heart..

rainy day.. running away..

safe in the dark where shadows live and lie

whispering and hushing..

inside a rocketship..

never telling

no one can make you..

good at hiding..

in a closet.. on a rooftop..

so good at finding just the right most unseen hiding places.. 

at keeping perfectly still..

listening and waiting..


in a box of cats.. in a drop of blood..

on a dark ride.. under the water..

an unsigned valentine

lost and weeping in the center of your maze..

between the lines of a poem..

behind a stack of books..

in storyland..

in the trunk at a drive-in movie

on a starry night..

in another drink..

in the back of a classroom..

under a black hood and in the words

of the music in your ears..

under the house in a crawlspace..

good at hiding..

i know your secret though

(there's no one looking for you...)


now i lay me down to sleep


a child in bed in the dark looks at the door leading to the hallway, it is open slightly and she hopes her mom will come in to check on her. she looks at the door in the dark as she waits, listening for a sound in the hall, hearing only the faint sound of voices farther off somewhere in the house. in her mind's eye she makes up a fantasy of her mom coming to check on her, she imagines what she will say, and how she will smile and kiss her goodnight. she says her prayers silently, in her head, and then drifts back into fantasy, adding a different story, changing it to another, making up all kinds of possible realities. her eyes get tired and she closes them, but she is awake. the longer she waits, the more fervently she believes that it is the time, and surely her mom will come to check on her. with her eyes closed she bides her time with even more stories. at some point she realizes that a long time has passed and it is very late. she hasn't been able to fall asleep yet, and no one has come to check on her. no one ever does.


the child, in a different room, a different bed, beside a window, stares out at the round white moon through the glass. it's a warm night and she pushes the blanket off her pajama sleeve and places her hand on the white wall beside her. she leans over and rests her cheek against the cool surface. she feels the wall with her palm, with her knuckles, then, making a fist, she lies there perfectly still for a long time. finally, in a silent sort of slow motion, she hits the wall with her knuckles, softly, secretly, feeling them bruise.


the same child, a little older, says her prayers, still silently in her head, only now they are longer, more elaborate. she checks on her belongings which are hidden under the bed at her side, ready. the closet light is on and shines dimly in a stream into the room, but she doesn't need it, she is not afraid of the dark. she still makes up stories in her head, or sometimes she counts or says parts of her prayers over and over and over and over. the voices in the house are louder than before, she listens but cannot make out the words, only the tone, the decibel. there is a sudden loud noise like a piece of furniture being knocked over into a wall. she listens intently as the voices get louder. she is only able to make out a word here and there, but she can't seem to stop listening.


the child is older now, not really a child anymore, as she comes up the dark driveway and lets herself quietly into the house with her keys. she locks the door behind her and slips into the livingroom, sitting down in the chair there, she lights one last cigarette for the night and sits smoking quietly in the dark. she listens to the soft snoring and breathing sounds coming from the couch and small bed nearby, where shadowy figures lie sleeping. putting out her cigarette, she gets a pillow and blanket from a cupboard in the hall and lies down on the hard floor. as soon as she closes her eyes the world starts spinning. she knows it will last a little while before it will stop and she will fall asleep too.


a long time later, a woman sits on the edge of her bed. she takes a small tin from the bedside stand and opens it, removing a sharp razor knife. she looks at it, turning it over in her hands. taking out a cold alcohol wipe from a tiny packet she cleans the blade carefully and waits for it to dry. she pulls up her sleeve, exposing the inside of her left arm, where she slowly and silently slices first one, and then another shallow cut into her flesh. she pauses and watches the blood bead up in spots along the criss-cross cuts. without expression, she stares like a kind of dead doll as she makes several more cuts, deeper this time. the blood wells up, rich, warm and alive, and drips down the length of her arm. the woman watches until the bleeding slows and stops, she watches until it dries there on her skin, she watches intently for a long time. she feels cold. cold but safe. she drops the tin with it's contents replaced back in the nightstand, and draws a blanket around her shoulders. the door is locked and the house is silent. she wraps her arms and the blanket around her self, feeling the bones in her arms, her elbows, her wrists, and her ribs. now she can sleep. she feels like she can sleep forever.




bruised and bled


standing paralyzed

turned to glass



cold as death

dry as raven's breath


remote red rage



for want of an ice pick blow

direct to

the heart


or one well placed stranger

by blind accident

to stumble into you

to send you tipping over backwards

to leave you breaking

to feed on sharp grateful tears of pain

to rest in pieces

bruised and bled




the fall


i could hear the fall coming

as crows in the trees

it tasted like nightmares and smoke

on the breeze

i could see it come toward me and

beckon me in

with sweet treats and tricks

and a jack'o'lantern grin

it was yellow and black

it was blood red and brown

as the leaves that lay piled up

dead on the ground

it took me off guard

and it spun me around

it showed me the right place to stand

and look down

as a calliope whined out it's

last minor tune

it pushed me

and i saw the man in the moon

it left everything broken

my bones

and my mind

in a thousand small pieces

too scattered to find

and the only thing i recall

thinking of then

was of all the king's horses

and all the king's men

how sadly idiotic

and twisted this season

had swept in so deftly

and stolen my reason






there are desolate places

not faraway

in the corner of your eye

down a side road

stuck in a crack

behind a windowpane

pale grey saturdays

taken out

looked at

put away

locked in the corners

pounding in dusty darkness

you've already forgotten

if you dreamed me

or if i dreamed you...




no title



and you're far away

sweet memories

scared up by the rusty warm october wind

kindle my love for you

and are released to play

in wild flying spirals

with the leaves




keys for unlocking


there are all kinds of smiles

and designs of cages,

covers on books

and the turning of pages,

unwinding the heavens

unspoken equations,

poems from angels

to stir up the stars,

the masterful

thumbprints of golddust,

our hearts






snow angel whispers white

to see a good child through the night

in sacred flight

i'll take your hand


she hears the cries of those

with secrets in their eyes

to them she sings her sweetest

saddest lullabies


hide here

perfect velvet wings of blue and gold

the crumpled paperdoll soul she

will there enfold

feels not the cold



it's ok, it's safe to sleep and play

together we'll call smiles from far away

and dream a way…






you're an idiot

(you know that you are)

say goodbye

to the fool in the mirror

she got swallowed whole

swallowed down

hard and deep into oblivion

held in the starry arms of

the milky way

snowflake tears

fall cold and silent

without the warmth of a heartbeat




the spellbreaker


once upon a time

there was an invisible lady who lived in an invisible house. there was nothing very unusual about the lady other than the fact that she was invisible, and every day she would wake up and wash her invisible dishes, make her invisible beds, and hang her invisible clothes out to dry.. she would sweep the invisible leaves that had blown into her kitchen off of her invisible floor, and only she could see them. it would not have mattered really if she left them to pile up there on the floor, or the dirty dishes to stack up in the sink, because no one would know, but she did them anyway.

the lady had a husband, and every day when he came home from work the lady would get after him for knocking over things, or bumping into pictures on the walls of the invisible house, sometimes sending them crashing to the floor in a thousand invisible pieces… he remembered that once a long time ago he could see his wife, but he thought that probably he was just getting old and could no longer see very well.

the couple had a son, and he was their pride and joy. he was able to see the house and his mother just fine, perhaps because he was born there, who knows why.. but he was visible and went to school, and had an otherwise normal life.

one day the lady was working in her invisible garden when she accidentally cut herself on sharp garden shears and she ran to her husband bleeding, but even her blood was invisible, and the lady had to bandage herself, and this made her feel very alone and unhappy. why was she invisible? ..she wondered, when all the other people of the town could be seen plainly going in and out of their houses with their families, looking so happy.

she asked her husband to help her find a cure for her condition, and he talked to many people, but no one knew quite what to do for the lady. they tried giving her potions till she felt dizzy and sick, but nothing worked. then one day they happened upon a cleric who was very wise and thoughtful. the lady learned from the cleric that she and her house had been turned invisible a long time ago by a magic spell. believing this, the lady began looking into all kinds of books and speaking all kinds of magic words in an attempt to break the spell, but still nothing worked, and the lady was very sad. when people came to her house they saw nothing there, and could only hear the wind blowing through the leaves of the invisible trees in the garden.

years went by, and the lady consulted many magicians, wizards and seers of different kinds, but found that most of their ‘magic’ was done with mirrors and such, tricks set up to make her ‘appear’.. but it was not really her. she eventually read all of the books in the town library, and she realized that what she needed to find was real magic, not tricks, so the lady and her husband, her son, and the cleric all kept searching for signs. the lady even took long trips looking for the magic she knew must be out there somewhere.

it came to pass that the lady grew old searching.. and then one day in her garden, the strangest thing happened.. as she was picking her invisible apples she noticed a blackbird that had made a small nest in one of her invisible trees! so that day she left out breadcrumbs and seeds, and eventually set up a birdbath, and with her husband’s help constructed wooden birdhouses, which she painted delicately with her invisible paints. sure enough, not only did the bird stay, but other birds came.. and eggs hatched in the springtime bringing yet more birds to live and sing in the invisible garden, and this gave the lady great hope. she just knew in her heart that if the birds could see her and her garden, then surely one day she would be visible, and she believed more than ever that the real magic existed and that she would find it.

it was then that somehow the curious spell began to break.. people walking by on the street began to notice a house at the end of the road they didn’t remember seeing there before, and they smiled when they saw the beautiful garden and apple trees around it coming into blossom. soon children came over to play in the garden with the lady’s son, running through the grass and hedgerows and playing in the rooms of the house, finding toys and books and games and other interesting things. the lady’s husband stopped knocking over the furniture, because he could see it again, and this made the lady feel much better.. she began to get color first back into her hands and fingers, then her arms and body, face, her long dark braids, and finally her eyes.. until she was completely visible, even the scar on her hand where she’d cut herself so long ago…

every day the lady would wake up and wash her dishes, make her beds, and hang her clothes out to dry.. she would bake cookies for her son and the other children that would come into her bright little kitchen, she would feed the birds from jars of seeds she kept in the windowsill.. and she would sweep the leaves back out into the garden. in the evening she would sit on her porch petting her cat, (who could of course see her all along) listening to the wind blowing through the trees.. and she was happy…




just (a poem for a friend)

i was just a ghost scratching my x on your tree..

i was just a black snowflake falling in the night..

i was just a tin target shot full of holes spinning..

a small shadow on the moon..

i was just a silent crash in the mirror..

i was just a bloody fishhook..

lying there inside out..

you were just a stranger walking down my crooked road..

and your sunny smile was just my undoing.




last day in november



is not like




settled in silent

and grey as dust

on the windowpanes

and today the sky

looks white as clean paper

without lines



tries to slip in

under the crook of my arm

into my eyes



sleeps awake numbly

reaches back to anything

and scratches out a little prayer

in the sky



is not like





along the edge


twinkle twinkle, little star

wink out and disappear

back out of this silent night

from a room of whispers and heaviness

eyes closed, too much for you to hold

make no precious wishes here..


puddles in a room of blood

her snakes under your chair

taunting her.. running your hand

along the edge

a taste like chewing on gumfoil

how long has she been back in there…


get your father, dinner’s ready

he isn’t answering

what do you mean, not answering?

please, he just sits there staring

making meaningless motions

not hearing…


colorless dreams in a haunted house

with streaked walls and stick figures rattling

where a deep tear pulls across the sky

and something dark and awkward scrambles

like a blackwidow spider stumbling into

a nest of tiny robins…


now “listen, let me tell you the last

most secret story ..

a story that gets smaller

and comes inward instead of opening

like a flower…”

and of sleep found in the snowy arms of angels…




no place like home / la cara st.


when i was small i used to touch the world

now i can't open my eyes

put me in a bottle stopped up tight

and throw me out to sea for a long long ride..

the bright red ribbon.. sirens at night

xmas spirits and the 4th of july..

he'll be back out before the morning light

but the stars have fallen out of her sky..

there is no place left on the outside now that you want to be..


the face of the past still talks in my sleep

but you're too numb to talk back

like dynamite stuck in a beercan in a tree

put your fingers in your ears

and wait for the crack

you're moving through the motions

but you're holding still..

all along you're sure you're leaving

you never will

and she won't ever speak it

but you'll see it in her face

the long-lost history that can't erase..

you didn't catch it but the ghost of someone else wrote it down..

you follow after the one you say you love the most..

you're just a sickness in the blood of your chosen host..


and all the words are folding over on themselves repeating

you're listening close

but they've lost all of their meaning..

your thoughts are a train wreck of things unsaid

you better cut deeper than that..

you better cut deeper than that..

you'll have to cut deeper than that..




when you finally stop looking around

and you're looking down

looking down right into the ground..

when the change in your view

dizzies you

and you're past being through..

dark and hateful at the sound

of dogs barking or laughter..

knowing it won't matter here

or hereafter..

you've found nowhere

you're not alone

i'll see you there..

when the thing that did it to you

that cut you in two

and left you there

is what you thought was love or hope

or someone true..

do you just accept and say again, 'ok, i lose'?

do you muster up a few more

meaningless 'fuck-you's?

count your tears and paint in blues..

you've found nowhere

you're not alone

i'll see you there..

tired of wrestling demons in the night?

wishing still that you could only

close your eyes or be held tight..

but losing wrong from right?

when you can see it all

right in that spot of ground

how can you ever turn around?

a few more scars and bruises won't release you..

you know that no one sees you..

your pretty scribbled words won't get you


you've found nowhere

i'll see you there...


all writings by ghost
all rights reserved 2006 copyright brenda roudebush