Author: Charleston Poets

I speak truth, heartache , love and political notation. I am like a love potion leaving you hypnotized by my movements of flow, transfixed on my words as they leave my master’s lips heads moving like in ectasy , trying to understand the deepnes  of my lines, the very movements as we connect an d flow as one.

I am forever changing, evolving.

        I am poetry

I am the ghost of botany bay
I sit in the oaks and watch you play
You search for shells and walk the beach
Just short of being within my reach
I look out across the sea
A sad existence is for me
Alone I walk this desolate place
I pine to see my true loves face
But alas I have to wait
For His return who deemed my fate
For once with just a flashing whim
I made a wish as heard by Him
If when I die this lovely place
That I should haunt to be my space

Concave
Pummeled from the pressure
Crushed in a way
3 atm can’t make a deposit
Doesn’t talk much
Talks too much
Can’t really tell, can’t really decide
Because they tend to think of these pipe-laden dreams as unsettling
Self-medicating isn’t real medicating
But sometimes I just like to take some time
Watch the water for a spell
Reverberations, energy pulse
Or is that just me getting in my philosophical feels
Because i like to think a lot
Overthought from these drawn out processes
And each detail is traced to perfection
But still sometimes i get this uneasy feeling
Because i didn’t take time to watch the water for a spell

We all end up somewhere
Coming to these crossroads
End of the street, back to the house we used to break into at night
But we were just kids we said
Just getting the jitters out
Because we are young and free
But we all have to grow up at some point
Float through it, drifters fade through those cracks that seem second nature
Coming home to the place we were meant to be all along
They say home is where the heart is
Wipe your feet and come through this door
Because there is no dirt in his house
Complete and shining bright of exaltation
Incomparable

Of course its pride I’m referring to
Because the young men of our age stand too tall
Grow up too fast halfway to an early grave or so i was told
But turn the other cheek because they just took a wrong turn somewhere
Some type of dirt road
An elementary passage
And they think it’s some rite of passage
Who got it in with who
Locker room confidential
And this isn’t the road not taken
Nobody could have seen it coming
When young men and women go sprinting into it all
And i told her to quit being so emotional
To just let it roll off of her back,
That he wasn’t worth it
But we keep making it so hard on ourselves
When we stop keeping everything under lock and key
But instead we keep it on the hush hush
On a need to know basis when it should have never happened at all
And they pin it all on that damn music television
Yet when responsibilities go unattended
And we find ourselves witnesses to victims
Our hands are just as bloodied as theirs

Clam, crab, cockle, cowrie

Clam, take the shell, find a pearl

A pearl of wisdom

Grandpa sits you on his knee and shares his wisdom

He says there’s this man

He stands by the railroad tracks

His hair, wispy and fair, blows as the train passes

The buckles of his overalls shining glory

He says the man is waiting for someone to come back

Never be the one who waits

But pearls don’t come from clams, but from oysters

Crab crack open my shell

Look at my writhing innards

Watch me bleed out

Look at you

You can see all of me

Vulnerable,

A gush of honesty, a breath of fresh air

Cockle

Cackle

Cackling, laughing

A chuckle at his expense

Families gathered around the television

Tin foil trays to keep their meals separated

Laugh

Rest your weary soul and join in the fun

Be like the American family

Look at them laugh

What the fuck is a laugh

How are they that fucking happy

Cowrie

Cowering

Cowering in the corner stall

The other ones don’t like you so much

They think you look weird

They want you to quit correcting them so much

Maybe if they didn’t have the IQ of a walnut they could understand

Cowrie

Cowering

Cowering as fists fly

Fists fly and bruises form

Press my tender flesh

Tenderized, made weak inside

Clam, crab, cockle, cowrie

Wisdom, vulnerability, false happiness, cowering from abuse

Punch my fucking skull

Make my brain fall all over this concrete floor

I want to see my thoughts

I want to see what goes through my mind

What the fuck goes through my mind

Watch me be creative

Watch me type for you

Watch me listen to what you want me to hear

Listen to me defy authority

Wow I’m such a rebel

Who the fuck cares rebellion is senseless

Just sit down please

These desks can’t hold the weight of your past

Wow how fucking deep

This took a turn for the worse

Guess I just have to end it all now

Polish that silver barrel

Load it up

Now dig in

Bon appetit

It’s been quite some time since we’ve sat together and we’ve really spoken

, because the last time we sat and spoke it was you who was breathing your last breath,

And you wondered what comes next, and now we sit here and I wonder what comes next,

And I ask because you know.

You know because you lived, and you came to pass on, and you’ve come now as a shadow,

And this is how I see you because you have faded.

You faded from our thoughts, from our memories, but never does our love for you fade because of the way you lived.

The way you loved each and every one of us,

The way your hand touched my face when you saw me,

The way you raised me,

The way you raised those before me,

The way you showed such deep love for those around you,

The way that you loved our God,

And the way that you knew of His love,

and as you lay, breathing those last breaths at that place where we last sat together, you knew that it was his home that you were running to, and his doors were open,

And his doors were open for you because of the way you lived,

Because of the man that you decided that you loved, and because of the great care you had taken all of your life to the man that you loved and lived with for so long because he was yours and you were his,

And as we sat there on that last day you looked up and you saw his face, and you knew that you were going home,

You were going home to those that you loved before and those that you will continue to love because you have gone home to be with them,

Yet here we are just left with a faint memory of your life,

And these Polaroids do your life no justice,

For you made an impression that is incomparable,

You did something that no one else was able to do,

You raised and you loved what was not originally yours, what was not originally given to you by our God,

You brought in and you cared for and you loved because you are love,

And now I feel such love for you because you felt such love for me,

And as we sat there on that day when you breathed your last breath, I felt your love in me and you felt my love in you, because I knew that you were going home,

I knew that your days were gone,

That each breath was one less second of life on this earth, and how much closer you were to going home,

And I look back at these Polaroids,

And I see your face,

And I feel your touch,

And I smell your perfume,

So I went back to the days when you were here with us,

Before the day that you left us with your faint shadow,

Before that day when you looked up and you saw his face,

And you knew that you were going home

When I was thirteen, I noticed

I noticed that something wasn’t quite right,

that every time I walked into a room I could see things.

The chairs and cups facing the wrong direction,

I could see the disorder in the color scheme,

See the numbers on the wall and what color they matched with,

See every single speck of dirt and every germ…

And when I was thirteen, I noticed…

I noticed that my mind wasn’t working the way it normally did,

That things just weren’t fitting together like they used to.

I noticed that I had this thing called “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.

And what this means is that,

Every second

Of every minute

Of every hour

Of every day,

I’m constantly analyzing,

Observing everything around me,

Pinpointing everything that doesn’t “suit my fancy”.

And it seems so commonplace these days,

To quote literally every person I’ve ever spoken to,
“I’m so OCD”

As a younger child, a lot of things stressed me out.

New people, new places, pretty much anything that had to deal with change

And as a younger child, I was taught to count to ten

To close my eyes,

Plug my ears,

And count to ten

And all of the hustle and bustle and fuss of everyday life would fade away

And every time I walked into a new situation,

All I saw was a sea of staring eyes, judging and critiquing

Noticing every move I made, knowing all flaws and soft spots

And every time I walked into a new place,

Mom would tell me,

“go find a table,

Close your eyes,

Plug your ears,

And count to ten”

So that’s what I did…

I counted to ten.

  1. Did I check the doorknob three times or only two? Because if I only checked it twice then it’s just not right, then I might as well have not checked it at all. I didn’t, I didn’t check it three times. I bet you right now someone is in my house, sorting through all of our memories and just picking and choosing like a lot at the swap meet.
  2. The volume on the TV has to be 37 because 3 is blue and 7 is green and blue and green are good, so 3 and 7 are good, and 3 plus 7 is 10, and 3 times 7 is 21, and 2 plus 1 is 3, and 2 minus 1 is 1, and 7 minus 3 is four, which is a perfect square, so it just has to be 37
  3. I wonder if all of these people notice when it’s really bothering me. I wonder if they saw me when I walked in, saw the horrified look on my face when I realized that there would be more than 3 people at a popular restaurant on Friday night. I wonder if they watched me put my head down and shut my eyes and plug my ears and start counting as my legs shook.
  4. Maybe they didn’t notice. Maybe they didn’t pay any attention at all. Probably not though. They probably think that I’m some emotionally disturbed young man. They probably know that I’m some emotionally disturbed young man

Six. You probably noticed how I skipped five, and how I spelled out six, and I did that because 5 is red and red is bad so 5 is bad, and I just hate how the number six curls up like its afraid. What does it have to be afraid of?

7. I want to check that doorknob right now

7. I want to check the doorknob right now

7. I want to check the doorknob so bad it burns

Burning, itching, crawling about like germs upon my unclean palms from touching that damn doorknob

8. So doctor…when am I supposed to be able to let these things go?

9. So doctor…when am I supposed to be able to control these impulses?

10. So doctor…when can I be happy? When can I finally be positive?

10. So doctor…when can I stop counting?

My name is Christian Gilmer, and i’m a 16 year old senior at Hanahan High School. I started writing poetry after a suicide attempt during my sophomore year.

I used it to convey emotions about the event that I couldn’t express in any other way. All of my poems are based off of life experiences and observations, which is one of the reasons that I feel so passionately about my work.

I like to say that I’ve lived a lifetime in my 16 years, and after hearing my story, many would agree. I’ve had a life-long struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, I was bullied often at a young age, I have seen lives of friends and loved ones fade away far too soon, and I’ve had to confront death face to face, but all of that is another story for another day.

Through poetry, I found a way to talk about what I was feeling and really show my point of view on the world around me. In the future, I hope to have my works spread throughout America and maybe even the entire world. But, it’s not really fame or anything like that that I care about. I just want people to know what it’s like being me.

~Christian Gilmer

Sentinel in the Sea (Morris Island Lighthouse)

And what luminous beacon shone,
to warn the lighthouse
when eroding tides came,
and
swept
the rug of sandy assurance
from beneath its candy-striped mass?

None other than the melting decay
of each sunset.


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