A Space to Fill


It’s the coldest January I’ve known
the white light coming in
through the protective glass–
white, I think, like my grandmother’s
white sheets she’d hang in June.

The white light coming in
takes me for a turn and
I think for a moment in a slip–
is it color? Or space? Like
the space we can never fill

and then I remember where I am
and why I am here.
The emptiness fills me.
It’s hard when you learn
there is no God. [Read more...]

Love, Your Angry Ballerina

In another language

you tell me I am only dancing

in your room for you,

you tell me I am a stamp

of a woman, elegantly abstract

across your stage of equations,

silly in my shoes.

I watch myself in your iris

and I shrink to pose,

turning for you I

want to say

See?  See

how I slip

behind the





published in Psychic Meatloaf, issue 3

time lift


Amy Jo Sprague:

This is a beautiful poem reblogged from The Mirror Obscura, and I had to reblog as well.

Originally posted on from an otherwise sane perspective:

the lines between one thought and the next
when the air feels thick
a weighted misery
i wasn’t the best at anything
don’t expect it now
suppose there is more to life
than this odd sort of anticipation
come into your own
but mine always seemed borrowed
when all you can do is not share pain
desire doesn’t matter
hope spreads over larger areas occupied
by better souls
and i know how to give… don’t get me wrong
but to get was not making me humble
hoping for any vision
it’s like holding something down
because to fly is to fall
and forgotten roads go nowhere even if they are less traveled


View original

An Old Essay


I found my flashdrive from college back in 08′ and I found this piece.  I wrote it when all my essays and poems and stories began spilling out in college like a damn fever and this, oddly, is before the PTSD hit full-force.  And it describes my current nightmares.  Weird, eh?

Amy Sprague

Eng 360



The Nothing Caper

 It came in the night.  We were all sleeping in the creaky house and I woke to it lifting my sheets; it made my nightgown bleed.  My doll saw it all so I ripped out her eyes the next morning before breakfast.  Then it started coming in  my dreams, and I thought a monster was asleep beneath my bed, gathering my things.  On the scratchy carpet where the sun comes in, it branded my skin with its tongue, so I gave it my voice.  Mother and father swallowed it up.

They found me in corners and closets and they didn’t hear their words running from my mouth.  I didn’t know so I swallowed the words whole; they fed me spoonfuls of aches that echoed deep into my belly, burning my insides until it dulled.

I began to sweat them out my pores like a broken fever.  I washed and raked my skin when I saw them in the mirror.  They curdled and clotted the mainstreams of my heart as I took their pieces and ate them.  I choked and spewed out a doll that didn’t have eyes.  Her messy dress had burned away so they stitched her a new one and kept it inside, and I ran away, hungry.

Listen by Vladimir Mayakovsky

Amy Jo Sprague:

Check out this fantastic poem over at Russell Boyle’s blog. It’s beautiful.

Originally posted on russellboyle.com:


if stars are lit
it means – there is someone who needs it.
It means – someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those specks of spit

And overwrought,
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
In tears,
he kisses God’s sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
He swears
he won’t be able to stand
that starless ordeal.

He wanders around, worried,
but outwardly calm.

And to everyone else, he says:
it’s all right.
You are no longer afraid,
are you?’

if stars are lit,
it means – there is someone who needs it.
It means it is essential
that every evening
at least one star should ascend
over the crest of the building.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

View original

The Holiday Stupids

Amy Jo Sprague:

A hilarious reality check for Christmas

Originally posted on Covered in Beer:

The “Holiday Stupids” are the people and things that I like to mock during this otherwise wonderful time of year. I do love the holidays, but they also bring forth a certain type of imbecile that can’t help but to inject themselves into our happy holiday celebrations. I’d like to describe some of these people for you in an effort to expose their atrocities and end their reign of terror.

Dos and Don’ts

Throughout the Internet, annoying posters are writing “Dos and Don’ts” lists for various holiday traditions like office parties and gift giving. If Mork popped out of his intergalactic egg just in time for his first Christmas, then he may need these lists but the rest of us could do without. (The word “dos” doesn’t need an apostrophe by the way; most of these idiot authors make that mistake) They include things like, “don’t drink too much” and…

View original 658 more words

Beyond the Border


This poem is about God as my Mother; it only took a year to figure that out:



The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,

swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,

cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—

beyond this room, beyond this wall

I can almost hear you—the soil

sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;

folds of light robes around you like

[Read more...]



imageYou held the sun in your hand.

You held the sun in your hand.

I stared at the light shining

through your very skin, your

fingertips red, as if you were

singly holding a ball of fire

and the darkness around us

was a wonder then, wasn’t it?

A universe we would harnass–

sketching stars in reverse,

stunned at such beauty.

It’s strange how the ones we love

seem to sink in the deep when we’re not looking. [Read more...]

dVerse Color Poem


Also sharing this with Open Link Night over at dVerse)

I’m about to write a poem about a certain, special color for me (oddly it’s not at all a….pleasant one usually). This is Claudia’s creative idea over at dVerse Poets Pub. Join the fun, read the poems of other bloggers, comment, and the like. Thanks for reading.


Brown like the mahogany pews in the Rectory

my mother used to polish

as a side job when I was four,

trailing behind her with a bucket

of Pinesol–that clean burning smell

of brown sloshing bubbles.

Brown like the carpet squares she

single-handedly pieced together [Read more...]

an excerpt

     "We believe in one God, Father the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth..."  I was raised a Roman Catholic.  I have painted my old Reeboks white so they look new; they're stiff as I walk downtown toward our apartment.  The steeple from my school and the lake behind it disappear behind the run-together row of clapboard bars, hair salons, and the broken down apartment buildings.  Lilacs are always pushing through the dirty fences and even they smell like cigarettes and beer.  Gum all over the sidewalk; gum in my mouth.  I look down.  I'm nervous every day at age eleven.  I am shy.  I do what I'm told and I have manners.  I pray.  I pray for my mother.  I pray for the holy force to make Joey Larson fall in love with me.  My shoes are dirty from the day--in the sunlight I see you can tell they've been painted and I feel for a moment delayed embarrassment.  One block to go and I pass the Cassaloma--the last bar before home.  The red door is held open by a rusted ashcan and hot, smuggy air permeates from the dark.  Bleach and smoke and beer.  Stale heat flutters my white blouse and I'm suddenly hot.  I take my ponytail out and peek behind my blond bangs, just to see.  I always have to see. There's the glare from the chrome of the barstool once my eyes adjust, and I see the silhouette of the man who's there, every day,at 3:20.  He doesn't move as empty ashtrays clang and spin across the counter as the bartender wipes them with white rags.  The sun catches in his big glasses that always magnified his blue eyes.  I want him to see me; I don't want him to see me.  I mouth the word "dad" just to see how it feels in my mouth.  It's just a fact--as my mother tells us--he has been an alcoholic since we before we were born.  A heavy woman in a Mickey Mouse shirt leans back from her stool and stares in my direction.  I can't risk her drawing his attention in my direction, so I walk away and wonder if Joey Larson saw my shoes in the sun.

My Dear





All This quiet time by myself
looking in the mirror, at my triumphs,
failures and mistakes
and I feel a sad song in my veins
when I think of you and me, my dear

I think you’ve gotten tired like me
Maybe we have no way
of getting out of this for awhile
I try not to call
but I’m not that good at being alone.
So maybe I’m sorry, my dear
Maybe I gotta do some things on my own–
as I’ve always tried to do.

I’m slow building up a new foundation
but the layers take me time
but I’m used to getting dirty

When I lost it in November
you were the only one
who could just barely reach my loneliness–
but you did, dear…

and when I hate me–
you’ve always seen some part
of me I can’t–some piece
of me you somehow see–and I trust you.

I think your heart is too big
for someone like me, dear
I think I hurt you
in a bad way–in a way from love
I didn’t know I was twisting up your insides
bad enough you had to
stop and pull back

And maybe I’m sorry
even for things outta my hands
because it’s me anyhow, behind the wheel.
And I don’t wanna drag anyone down
into this with me anymore
for some damn reason you were crazy enough
to volunteer in the dark at my side
and I am
to you.

I miss you.  I miss us.  I miss me.
I promise I’ll get better, my dear.
You believed in me–before I ever could–
what else could have possibly
kept me here?

Since I was little you were
what love was, like a mama, and shelter
and you always let me go my way
as maybe is the way of sisters

I wonder if you–did you think
you’d always have to break your back under me?
I got mad at you for being tired.
I’m sorry, my dear
I expect so much out of you
I see how you kinda had to let me go a little
step back, away
and that’s okay
I’m kinda keen on fighting alone–
you know I prefer to have pride that way

But maybe–you never let me be alone
and so I’ll trust you while you are.
Maybe, for the first time–
Ill do something for you
And let you rest.