I write short stories. I own surprisingly few pairs of shorts. I sometimes short circuit.
"Alana" sounds like "A lotta" = A lotta shorts.

Take the title however you like.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This poem came to me as I was sitting outside in the sun, enjoying the day. Which is odd because it's not a happy poem at all. But it's what came out and you can't deny that.
It is definitely a snapshot of how I've felt many times over the past, oh, 4 or 5 years. But it is not the norm so don't go calling some crisis counseling hotline on me!
As I've said before, poetry is very cathartic for me so my poems are more often than not the result of working through some difficult or complicated emotions. I can't remember, in fact, the last time I wrote a 'happy' poem. Maybe I should try that some time!

I imagine reading this off a little crumpled piece of paper, standing over the grave where I'm about to put my 'old life'....I am, of course, wearing a fabulous black dress and hat with a veil.

My Old Life:
In Memoriam

We made a lot of mistakes, you and I.
I taught you how to hide;
You taught me how to lie.
Now that this goodbye has come,
I don't know how to cry.

But weren't there good times?
Didn't you teach me how to fly?
The last thing I want is to romanticize you.
(Or is it the first thing I want to do?)
The breakdown is beginning -
What is right? What are dreams? What's more, it seems,
I have no course for completing reciprocity.

But you and I are bound to die and I
Think I would gladly sigh and give it up to go with you below.
Better than living in the lie of this faded echo.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It's been a while since I've written any poetry. Even longer since I've worked any and edited it like a true artist.

I used to call poetry 'my soul's release' and I'm remembering again how much I not only love it, but need it for catharsis and in order to process emotions and events.

Most of my poetry is very structured. I like to count the syllables, make and follow a pattern. I find I do that most often when I'm dealing with emotions that aren't quantifiable, that refuse to settle into something linear. This is my way of finding order in the chaos - as cliche as that may be.
Other times I'll go free verse but I find it more challenging, interesting and rewarding to follow a form. If you can master the sestina, you're really doing something!

With all that said and so much left unsaid, here are a few poems. Enjoy!

This first poem I wrote after a spate of very real dreams in which friends who have passed away or friends I have lost contact with appeared to me.

All the Friends That I Have Lost

All the friends that I have lost, I’ve found inside my head,
Living in little sunny suburbs, on quiet streets.
When I think that out here in the world they’re dead,
I look inside and find them all asleep.

In the morning, in their town, they have bacon and eggs.
I’m not sure what they do after they rise and eat.
At night they go out and find their legs -
They wander into the random worlds of my dreams.

With different faces, they appear, challenging my memory.
Often when they touch me it feels real, I find.
They warn me. Hug me. Kiss me. Know me and remind me,
Who we were when the world was full of rhymes.

Sometimes their visits are frighteningly clear;
Other times they’re filled with fog.
Sometimes when I wake I feel they are so near;
Other times I feel the loss and I tremble deep with sobs.

If I could but bring you back to life, my loves,
And leave the streets of my mind with vacancies,
I would bring you back to life, my loves.
And leave all this pain to distant memories.

This next one is about...freedom. I sing it much like the "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" song - with a happy, lilting melody set to odd, troubling words. "You bury your head" should be sung the same as "I guess she'll die". Feel free to sing it how you like!
Song for a Caged Bird

Bird! Bird!
Why don’t you sing?
They coo at your feathers and bring you nice things.
They think you are lovely and envy your wings.
And then instead,
You bury your head.

Bird! Bird!
Why don’t you fly?
The door is ajar and the wind is just right.
If you'd just take a leap you could soon be in flight.
But then instead,
You bury your head.

What do you think
When the Master’s in bed?
Do you plan your escape?
Or dream instead?


Bird? Bird?
Why do you die?
Salvation is close and redemption is nigh,
Again and instead, and instead, and instead,
You bury your head.

You’re dead instead.


This one's pretty self-explanatory.
Great on Paper-Doll

You look great on paper - tantamount to bliss!
of all your grand accomplishments!
Your qualifications, when stacked on top of genius-size I.Q.,
Show potential that stretches out for miles; talent and humor, too!

But when I cut you out, my doll, and try to stand you up,
You slip and flip and float across the floor.
I lean out and make my hands into a little cup -
I am too late and you disappear under the door.

Now I’m on my stomach, looking through the crack.
I can barely see you lying flat and out of reach.
My arm is stuck and pinched and my skin has been pulled back.
Although if I unbend this hanger, I can almost touch your feet.

I begin to feel a tremor, tears fall out my eyes.
I hesitate to ask but finally squeak out a, “Why?
Why don’t you stand up –stack up- out here in the world?
Why don’t you help me help you really come uncurled?”

You give me no answer. I pull my arm free.
My tears drop off my face and into the floor seams.
Days go by as I sit here outside the door,
Wondering if I was the one who could have done something more.

About Me

My photo
I'm Lanii. I try to Be Good. It doesn't always work. "Call Me Lanii" is sort of about that - my inner and outer triumphs (what?) and struggles. "Alana Shorts" is sort of about that, too: I draw way too much inspiration from the crazy and strange events that actually happen to me and end up writing very little 'fiction'. I usually have my tongue quite thoroughly stuck in my cheek.