The Greatest Writer Alive, The Book. Plus, A Special Giveaway

By now you’ve seen and read Dallas Clayton’s recurring column The Greatest Writer Alive on our website. Building upon it, we’re happy to announce that Dallas has just released a new collection of poetry and illustration work in print. Boasting over 100 pages, it’s a great book to pick up at any time of the day. To celebrate the release of the book, we’ve put together a fun giveaway with Dallas that will net you a signed copy of The Greatest Writer Alive, plus an original drawing. The scoop is below:

To become eligible to win the signed book and original drawing by Dallas Clayton, go into the comments section and write some words (a short poem, perhaps?) about an awkward moment in your teenage years. On December 22nd, we’ll pick our favorite and to top it off Dallas will make a drawing to accompany your words. Simple, and awesome. You have until Wednesday 11:59pm to enter, so go for it!

For those who are shy, or lazy, or indifferent The Greatest Writer Alive is available here

71 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. I thought,
    One day,
    That I would be like everyone else.
    So firmly,
    Trembling inside,
    I stepped onto the soccer field.

    Can I play?
    I follow the ball,
    I lose interest completely.
    I found,
    However,
    My ex-bestfriend (we had grown apart over time…)

    We talked,
    We laughed,
    In the middle of the soccer field.
    Until,
    Of course,
    Some jackass soccer enthusiast screamed at us to get off the damn field if we weren’t going to play soccer.

    Awkward, but
    Laughing (at him),
    We flee the scene together.

    :)

  2. A boy that I liked
    Had a beautiful bike
    With a cart on the back made of wood
    It had headlights and tail-lights
    Made of duct tape and flashlights
    And he drove us as fast as he could

    But I lost track of time
    And had to be home by nine
    And he said “We’ll do this my way”
    So we took his shortcut
    And did I don’t know what
    But somehow ended up on the highway

  3. Heather

    He asked me if I was drunk.
    Really, it was just my first day on Heelys.

  4. Tiia

    Girl meets Guy
    Girl likes Guy
    Girl tells Guy
    Guy tells girl he’s gay.

  5. Michael Hewitt

    PLANET SEX

    I had sex the other day. I have always been a big fan of sex however this was something else. I slept the night at Lizzy’s, my girlfriends. This probably doesn’t mean a lot to anyone reading this, but I just like to add that in for my own recollection.

    I woke up, startled at 6:30 am from my phones alarm screaming at me. In a sleepy daze I jostled to look at Lizzy my partner next to me thinking, ‘Why the fuck did you put the alarm on you cunt?’, but instead I said, ‘Good morning baby’. It was still darkish as she stumbled to the bathroom to shower in preperation for a long day of looking good as a part time model.

    While she was bathing, disgruntled about being awake before 10 o’clock I contemplated why I am not I as happy as my penis. Like most men, able, every morning I am greeted by throbbing erection that usually restricts my sleeping positions and ruins my general wanting to get back to sleep mood. Alas I drifted back to sleep.

    Only to be again woken a few moments later. The sun now doused the room in a yellow glow, with the curtains acting like a translucent lamp shade. The wind penetrating through, with the shadows of the trees outside dancing like ballerinas across the lit room. This was not the reason why I woke up.

    I would like to think that it was my animalistic sexual drive that self consciously picked up on that fact that there was a wet naked woman toweling her self next to me. Perhaps more likely it was the sound of the bedroom door closing.

    I spied on her while she absorbed every droplet of water off her body. Starting at her toned slender lower legs all over her shins and calf the towel dried. She jumped from there to her back bending down briefly noggying her beachy blonde hair with the cloth, exposing her well shaped arse with glimpses of her waxed hairless pussy. Her wet hair clinging around her nipples and chest. Completing the daily process by drying her perky breasts, descending to her belly and finnally to her inner thigh. Using her leg on the bed to stablise her as she padded away water from between her legs.

    To someone, with an erection, watching a fit disgustingly attractive naked female airbrushed with yellow aurora towel down and to describe it as tortuous is a fucking understatement. There was an urge deep down inside me, growing. I don’t know what precisely it was. I do not suppose it was just hormones or my erection – I imagine everyone experiences it. It yanks you, wrenches at all your physical emotions. A primitive instinct evovled over thousands and thousands of years culminating in this one moment, recklessly driving me to just… fuck.

    What happened next was utter sexual magnetism. The bonding of two opposite forces with the same motivation.

    The time was 7:18am. I know that because she had a clock on her wall and I was dreading each minute before I had to drive her to work at 7:25am.
    She noticed me ogling her through the mirror. She turned around to confront me. Standing there stark naked, glowing, she glared at me with such a posture as too say, ‘I know you want to fuck me’.

    Spotting my erection she pulled back the blinding white sheets that my penis was turning into a tent. She crawled on my body and straddled my hips with her legs. Her pussy illuminated and pink exposed from the racing light of the sun that painted her figure, hovering an inch above my large, engorged, slightly veiny, cock. I could tell her pussy was wet. I could see it in her eyes. She was an animal like me.

    She pulled back my foreskin and shifted the helmet of my cock up to meet her clit. Both erect, she rubbed them together as if they were long lost friends finally embracing after a long time apart. Sparks and tingles of sensation overpowered our most intimate. Pleasure vibrations took hostage our bodies as she simotaneously massaged these most sensitive areas. The ascent of tension was building to a level of uncomfortability. It was no longer a need, it was a necessity. ’We have five minutes’, Lizzy ordering.

    Wrestling me between her tight swollen flaps. The bottom of her arse cheeks softly bouncing as she positioned herself. She began oscillating her hips grinding her clit tenderly on my trimmed pubic hair. She the mixing bowl and I, the egg beater… quite literally. her rotations, thrusts and moans increasing in veracity and violence. Her bubbly sunny demeanor was tranforming with her sexual ambitions. Her face was painted with a blend of concetration and pain. This was the mask of pleasure as she viciously rocked on me hunting her orgasm.

    I was in a world different to the one I normally reside. I was outside my mind, there was not one thought that crossed my mind. Lost, in a adventure land of pleasure, instincts and emotion. Maybe it was the fact we had a time limit or maybe that her mother was still down stairs and thrill of getting caught – whatever it was it was exciting. Just two lumpy figures bashing against each other on single bed…

    In a frightening and unexpected moment her mum broke into the room looking for her wallet. Startled by what she saw she froze, as did we. As to extinguish the bold awkwardness her mother thought it the best option to remove all her clothes and eagerly join us. Just like that and the mood was restored as she clammered into bed and started to fondle my testicles whilst lovely caressing the arse of her daughter in a manner that could only be described as motherly love… To set the record straight, that last part did not happen it was for satrical purposes only.

    Her mother didn’t come in. Five Minutes passed as did the gripping nails, scrunched faces, shivering legs, hard of breath and explosions of sensations. The feeling of utter relaxtion and comfort, was this the feeling of love? Or is my mind playing tricks on me. I exited that sex fantasy world. Dazed, tired and now slightly stickier. Forced to slave in the quote unquote ‘real world’ which is ultimately full of boring people, jobs and pointless stress only to die many years later.

    Thank you for sex.

  6. johny rocca

    Obama
    you caused a drama
    every time i turned on the TV
    bloody Panorama!

  7. Poems can be about anything
    So I’m writing this one about tissue
    I could rhyme that with something cliched now
    Something like
    Oh, how I miss you

    But as well as being about anything
    I’m told poems don’t even need to rhyme
    Which is good
    Because I don’t miss you anyway
    Bitch

  8. Mariam

    AP Classes

    i don’t know how to accomplish
    much
    if i have access to
    erasers.

  9. Thanks Are To My Little Sis For This

    “Hello, my pretty”
    said the dwarf in the city,
    “I’ll protect you from any harm”

    For he loved his little ant;
    his friend, his companion,
    and held him in his palm.

  10. I was young[er]
    We didn’t really know those boys
    My sisters and I
    But they asked to show us the woods
    Out back behind their house

    We ran, barefoot through the big trees
    I do not think you have seen big trees
    Till you run though a forest in Washington
    And there were little white flowers
    All over

    They climbed trees like monkeys
    My sisters too
    But I stayed on the ground
    Looking at the white flowers
    I never liked heights

    It was when we ran back
    Everyone dashing in different directions
    I got lost
    But one found me
    He wanted to make me ride on his shoulders
    I refused
    I assured him that was too high too

    But I regretted that
    When we got to the hill
    Large, and all mud
    Climbing up that was worse than the trees
    But I rolled up my jeans
    And one took my hands
    The other attempted to help

    Slight miscalculation
    Just a small one
    And I ended up with mud on my behind
    Sitting at the bottom of the hill

    There faces were best
    The monkey boys and my sisters
    Biting their lips, rubbing the backs of their necks
    Nervously
    Till I laughed
    And laughed and laughed

    I was young[er]
    Things weren’t so bad
    Even with mud painted on the butt of my jeans
    And white flowers everywhere
    But everything’s better when you’re young[er]
    Even with boys you don’t know

  11. Karly

    He sat behind me in 4th period each afternoon
    Biology is hard, but it would be okay
    Even if he was never very nice to me
    I could just laugh and get though the day

    “Your laugh is so weird!”
    He would hiss at me
    And I would fall quiet
    Scared of a “kick me” sign for all to see

    Again.

    But now I like my laugh
    It is different from the others’
    It’s gone so many places
    Not seen by those others

    So I’ve laughed through England
    And I’ve laughed in France
    That mean boy from Biology?
    He still frowns through his daily dance

  12. Myra

    I had to buy those shoes at once
    I thought that I had found a bunce
    I stepped on some poop
    And spilled lentil soup
    Now I’ll never become Mrs. Munce

  13. Alexander Francois

    i used to experiment
    wholeheartedly with
    drugs.
    when i was 19 i ran a coffee shop with a friend of mine
    i had long, long hair, like a birdsnest
    that in retrospect,
    attracted more men than
    women
    i didn’t make much money there
    so i stole coffeebeans, friends paid with
    lines of cocaine.(this is all true bytheway)
    then i met paul herber(realname)
    an elementary school music teacher who,
    was a nice married man
    he gave us a little work doing some website editing
    and one day, while working at the elementary school he asked a
    question
    that was
    simple enough.
    “do you party?”
    “yes”
    “do you like Tina”
    “huh”
    “Meth.” “i’ve never tried it.” “you want to?” “sure”
    and in the middle of parent teacher conferences at Dublin Elementary in suburban Detroit, i tried meth for the first time.
    literally, this all really happened.
    he pulled out a tiny bag of crystalline methamphetamine and asked, as he dipped a key into the tiny pouch,
    “do you want to go to Florida with me?”
    “i’ve got school.”
    Into the bloodstream.
    then i get a phonecall,
    its a friend of mine and i tell him what just happened.
    “He’s gay man, watch out,” said my now dead friend Dennis.
    “No way man! he’s married, he just likes to party.” I say, sped up, cropping photographs of the Dublin Elementary 5th grade choir.
    “whatever man, you’re an idiot” Dennis says.
    Paul then suggests, “if you have to piss, piss in the sink.” as he unbuttons his pants and proceeds to do what he told me to do. In the elementary school music room.
    He grins, “i love these kids”
    I continue to crop photographs and paste them onto the school’s website. sweating, eyes wide as ever. He introduces me to some of the teachers.
    He asks a 4th grade teacher for a joint. She smiles, leaves for a minute and comes back with one.
    “I love her.” Paul says.
    “She seems nice.”
    Now this goes on for quite a while. Me in the middle of the classroom on a laptop while every hour on the hour a class of 30 or so students enters, sings, and leaves. Each time Paul plays the piano and belts out lyrics that the kids wholeheartedly lap up and sing themselves.
    He asked me if i knew the lyrics to “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”
    I do, and i sing them with the class.
    After school he buys me a smoothie tells me that he gets horny on Tina, and drops me off home.
    I was 200 hundred dollars richer.
    I watched King Kong that night and cried.

  14. Allie

    Trying so desperately just to fit in
    Changed my hair, my clothes, my shoes
    Trying so desperately just to fit in
    Only got me singing the blues
    Didn’t realize til years later,
    The only thing I had to do
    Was be my awesome weird awkward self
    And the same goes for you
    Don’t rely on what others think
    Even if you kinda stink
    You, my dear, are truly amazing
    Oh, and don’t forget to blink!

  15. Adeline

    there once was a boy called jason
    who after my love was chasin
    he had red hair
    it wasn’t quite fair
    that freckly boy called jason

  16. ed

    Walking down the hallway every morning with a big coffee in my hands
    I really had to fight myself from throwing it in someones face random. Although I never got around to it I still remember fighting my arms against attacking teenage faces with scolding hot coffee.

  17. adventurer!

    The number 1 is rather greedy, and self-absorbed, one might propose.
    The number 2 is sanctioned well and tends to keep his great repose.
    The number 3 a gluttonous cow, bellies engorged but still not full.
    The number 4 a sturdy sail – leeward, windward, stable hull.
    The number 5 is slick and sly, slithering like the scarlet snake.
    The number 6 a modest friend, to four and five and seven and eight.
    The number 7 stands statuesque – but evermore acute with sin.
    The number 8 like a man of snow, missing a scarf and charcoal grin.
    The number 9 with the bloated ego, a head so large he can hardly stand.
    The number 0 the best carousel, going round and round and never ends.

  18. Johanna Rese

    Summer 1997:
    My first journey to the US. I’m 15 years old and travelling with my parents. We enter a hotel lobby. A stranger comes to me and starts talking. For me, he is some kind of american stereotype. He must be round about 50 years, 330 pounds, he wears an aloha shirt. He tells me, that he comes from Arkansas – like Bill Clinton. He’s so gentil and smiles all over his face when he noticed that I am from Europe. Then he tooks his wallet and gives me a two-dollar-note. “something special for a special young redhaired girl.”
    Quiet later I noticed how rarely these notes and these sorts of encounters are. I still got the two-dollar-note (and my memory of the big guy from Arkansas.)

  19. Heather Rutkowski

    Chillin’ with my girls under the
    Stairway to homeroom,
    Spending life’s extra minutes
    Basking in the light of each other’s smiles,
    And I’m telling this great story
    About my boyfriend and his dog
    When they go silent.

    Seven girls all motionless between
    A morning coffee and our first classes—
    Have you ever heard of such a thing?

    So, my voice dies down quickly
    And I turn around, a question on my
    Over eager face, to find
    Our principal standing silent,
    a box of Dunkin’ D’s in his hands.
    “Do you want them?” he asks.
    So we are silent.

    Seven girls all shocked between
    A tempting box of Boston cremes
    And, wait YOU are the principal!

  20. Faith Morris

    Begin:
    The shuffling of feet.
    The checking of the time (it is 8:00, 8:01, 8:01:30)
    The wring of the ring-less hands.
    The darting eyes, cast low
    The hope I’ll get asked.

    And then:
    The outstretched hand,
    (My palm, so damp)
    The dance floor, scratched.
    The air, taut with anticipation.
    The startled instruments cry and clash,
    slowly get used to themselves, singing.

    Queue:
    The moving bodies,
    warming up, bumping up
    murmured apologies, sheepish grins.
    The beat beat beat.
    The twirls and the dips and
    the spins and the slips

    But when the music stops

    I’m left alone again.

  21. Koonuy

    edit…

    Never was there a more awkward moment,
    when I said good bye to my father as
    he dropped me off for school when we
    were having a car repaired. I turned
    towards him as he did the same and and we
    ended up kissing. We always made sure
    to have enough drivable cars since then.

  22. Tori

    Gym class.
    A course to be reckoned with.

    Cow bones jutted out from her hips and a skeletal whip lined her spine;
    Puberty hadn’t quite finished her off yet.
    She jogged with an awkward-forward-facing-stumble,
    And never failed to miss a goal, a point, a basket.

    Large, uncoordinated thumbs filled his shoes and door knobs replaced his knees;
    Puberty laughed upon his graceless figure.
    He loped around the indoor track with sagging confidence,
    And never lost a chance to fantasize about her swinging behind.

    Health class ensued in a matter of months.
    Safe sex? Sign me up!

    Thanks to merciless praying and vigilant gods,
    The boy’s back slumped mere inches from the girl’s hopes.
    Daily, a shy smile threw itself off the cliff of her face,
    treading in the pool of his lap.

    Somehow, through disgrace and fumbling comments on Myspace,
    The relationship came to fruition.

    That
    Is high school romance.

  23. ARTHUR

    yesterday I went to the beach;
    my friend
    made me
    a bracelet
    out of
    seaweed.

    today I took a shower;
    my friend’s
    bracelet
    made of
    seaweed
    is gone.

  24. AJ

    I couldn’t trace my steps back
    even if I had some tracing paper,
    a pencil,
    or a map.

    I couldn’t begin to tell you
    about the sinking,
    crushing,
    feeling I get.

    The times when I just drew
    hearts into the margins,
    headings,
    I could never concentrate.

    School made me a fool
    a machine,
    afraid,
    to love.

  25. pat

    there is a mirror in my basement
    it is as big as I am
    so I see myself
    all of who I am
    and i thank it for this
    I see myself aging before my eyes
    one second at a time
    as the boy in front of me becomes a man
    posing in front of his reflection
    imagining his dreams around him
    and i express my gratitude
    and sometimes
    I forget this so called man I am
    and like the days of childhood
    dance and sing in front of this mirror
    not only to see myself
    but to watch out for parents and curious brothers
    wondering who is making all the ruckus
    and I will pretend I never made a sound
    I thank the mirror for this too

  26. Joel

    When I was shorter
    I had a free quarter
    before history
    then I experienced a mystery

    I was heading out
    just to walk about
    I opened the door
    and there stood the girl I adored

    My legs started to totter
    She looked at me and said “you look like Harry Potter”
    then she passed me before I had time to answer
    But it felt like I just found out a drug that could care cancer

    But this is not my theme song
    and the character I played was totally wrong
    I saw her later kiss a boy
    he looked just like Draco Mallfoy

  27. Young heart

    All I know about this world
    Is oh, so little
    I know the sun is up
    And the sea is blue
    I saw the birds and how they flew
    And all of this is beauty, as I reckon
    But all that’s beauty breaks my heart.

    The salty sea with waves that roar
    The leaves that fall
    The way my mother says my name
    Or how you feel when you’re first picked to play the game
    The game of life is all it takes to snap my heart in two.

    A gentle blow
    The smell of tulips in the air
    Or someone’s hand that strokes my hair
    It’s all it takes for it to crumble
    Like sugar in a pan.
    The starry night that looks upon me
    Lying on my back and drinking tea
    The smell of chocolate cookies
    The tiny tongues of tiny puppies
    It’s all it takes.

    My heart is made of glass, I guess
    It breaks so easily
    No stitches and no glue
    Can make it back as new
    But that’s just fine, you see
    ‘Cause lately it just came to me:
    My heart’s not only glass
    It also has a core that’s made of steel
    And it can take the pain and beauty as they come
    So thank you, heart, for being warm
    And strong
    And taking me head-first into the storm
    I pick you up and dust you off
    And off we go!
    And for the end,
    I thank you, world,
    For giving me a heart to break.

  28. Lucas

    Death tells me im his prodigal son.
    And now im not scared anymore.

  29. Alex L

    you ought not cheat on a high school girlfriend,
    with a girl whom you barely know
    you may end up in bed
    with her
    and she may
    fart gently,
    against your leg
    like tootie did with me.
    (itwasn’tokay)

  30. sam

    during a pep rally i fell off of a bleacher.
    i farted swinging at a pinata.
    at least three premature ejaculations.
    every other ejaculation barely mature.
    my head to body ratio.
    my desire to give other boys fellatio.
    fucking my sock.
    understanding my cock.
    driving a car the color of shit
    and trying to be cool about it.
    being a dick to a girl i liked,realizing it worked,
    and doing it again.
    having to concede normalcy
    to those jesus freaks and sheeps,
    fuck high school.

  31. Rachel Weeks

    Freshman

    It would be a freshman,
    on the first day of school,

    To wait in line for a
    single slice
    of cheese pizza.

    And to pay in quarters.
    (That’s all my mom had.)

    And to turn back to my table,
    And tumble and fall,
    And watch my pizza
    dive
    into the gaping mouth of
    that senior’s purse,
    right between her
    chemistry and Spanish
    notebooks.

    And to panic and dive
    to that pizza’s side
    and try to save it from it’s
    leather Coach grave.

    And to be caught
    By that senior,
    red-handed, red-faced,
    with the slice in my fist,
    and my fist in her handbag.

  32. Erin

    I tweeted, blogged, reblogged, & trended.
    Posted, reposted,
    deleted & friended.

    I liked, tagged, followed, & accepted.
    Ignored, denied, & then I commented.

    I skyped, then I typed
    Everything is alright.
    Signed out, logged off, & said “that’s it for a night”

    I shared I was there,
    Then quoted a quote.
    Thought about it for hours and then I wrote…

    The only thing I wanted to do,
    was to say in person,

    I-Love-U!

  33. S. Slade

    Bad Timing

    I’m sorry we met
    under circumstances
    and in environments
    we were both eager
    to flee.

    I just hope
    that I’ll know you
    when we’re older
    and where we want to be.

  34. Charly Mae

    There’s so many people with less things than us
    who cant travel by train or go to work on a bus
    no taps, no clean water, not much food…..not even kippers
    not many friends and no bedroom slippers
    and sometmes I look at all that I’ve got,my toys and my friends
    oh yes I’ve got a lot
    so I think that it’s nice just once in a while
    to give someone a hug and to just make them smile.
    Tell someone a joke or write someone a letter
    just to know that you care makes them feel better
    so when you look around and see what you’ve got
    think of the people who’ve got not a lot .

  35. Briseida

    Little poem made from paper, made from chewed up gum and senior spring

    Gave you two pigtails, hazel eyes, and chalk teeth

    Notebook poem made in notebook not in textbook, made you in a patio, made you quarter to ten

    Finished you at noon and made you wait till tomorrow, gave you no breakfast, then gave you away

    And now my mouth is looking for a chewed up pen and the ink stained letters scribbled on a piece of paper where one dreamy soccer player mixes his math and home ec. notes together ‘cause he’s pretty careless like that

    So now I’m real mad but I don’t show it so my little curls cut right into my weak smile because it’s too thin and I play at scratching wrong equations on the chalkboard

    Then the school bell rings from the back of my tongue and I wake to find you gone and in the dark I sit calling out your name, which I forgot hoping that someday you might laugh off my bad

  36. C. Arlow

    Once a little chickadee,
    Sat and said “a chick like me,
    Needs a little kiss or three,
    Underneath the Christmas tree”

    So there, little chickadee,
    Pretty little chickadee,
    Come and take a walk with me
    Over by the Christmas tree

  37. Alissa

    Out in the bog in the cricketty night
    lived a frog who needed a night light
    lucky for him they flew all around
    occasionally landing beside him on the ground.
    One day while he watched the lightning bugs
    he heard his tummy growl and he shrugged
    he needed a snack and flies were his favorite
    so maybe he would pick a glowing one and bait it.
    He has a long tongue that he uses to catch
    a delicious lightning bug from the batch.
    He caught it, he did and swallowed it whole
    then licked his lips, but he still wasn’t full.
    So he thought to himself, mmm delicious
    I want to eat more, but I don’t want to be vicious
    but I am a frog and this is what I do
    floating around eating a bug or two.
    So out went his tongue
    he slurped up another one
    and he just couldn’t stop
    he ate until his stomach could pop.
    But no it didn’t pop
    it did something else
    something no other frog could have felt
    with a little hiccup he looked at himself
    and there he was glowing in the dark
    reflecting off the pond in the park.
    The fireflies laughed and the silly sight
    a little frog who could light up the night.

  38. Hallie

    Hi.
    Hello. I know you! How are you?
    I’m good.
    Aww, fun! Have you seen Megan today? Are you going over there?
    Yeah, did you go? It happened already. Do you know my roommate?
    Oh, oh hi!
    This is Emily. Emily, this is Ashley.
    Hi! I’m Kat. [offers hand]
    Oh. This is Kat.

    #akwardchurchmoments

  39. Kelsey Pinckney

    While I Drowned in the Ocean

    It was beautiful, the sea
    more so than the others would agree.
    I plunged myself
    inside
    ready to consume
    the beauty.

    The fish swam
    past me.
    The sharks offered to carry me through
    to safety.
    The octopi whispered “pity”
    and the squid stayed with me.

    The whales laughed
    obnoxiously.
    The seaweed frayed
    frantically.
    The starfish understood better than most
    and the squid stayed with me.

    The piranhas had
    no interest.
    The dolphins stayed optimistic.
    The mysteries revealed themselves,
    and the squid died with me.

    No one believed my tale.
    No one cared to know.

  40. I was eating a quesadilla when I saw an opportunity.
    It had nothing to do with soda pop,
    and it had everything to do with New York City.

    I could see you there, if I tried hard enough.
    But you keep calling and laughing at me.
    (And if there’s anything I know about laughter–

    I almost drowned when I was 4, in water more shallow than that,
    and my brother pulled me up with his barely 6 year old paw,
    and I never forgot about that.

    and I’m thinking of asking my mother if she’ll take this empty
    vial around my neck
    and put a piece of him there,
    but that might be a little morbid,
    although the Teen Witch revival lingers heavy in the air.

    Probably inappropriate, but we all want to win.
    And who knows what has come out or been copied and pasted
    from hearts and keyboards across state– lines across your face,

    it’s that you earned them.)

  41. Alex d.

    (The greatest poem EVER)

  42. There was a young girl who was awkward
    like snow on a bright summer’s day.
    She was confident and happy completely
    and ignorant of her urkle-like ways,

    She daydreamed of unicorns & gnomes
    in the field beyond her school.
    Never mixing or mingling too much with others,
    never caring too much about cool.

    Most would have been embarrassed
    walking in her shoes for even a minute,
    but, this girl, she knew in the depths of her heart
    that “coolness” had its limits.

    So onward she went through life
    wearing her turtleneck & her rainbow toe socks.
    Her treasure was the uniqueness that she carried within
    never caring to fit in with the flock.

  43. Kathleen

    The sand was inked
    when it drew tattoos behind our ears,
    Some soundless whispers
    that only memory could hear –
    Between the walls of peeling paint
    where we rub jars
    with Vaseline –

    our dreams,
    Forever smooth

  44. Katty

    Sunrays lash down my neck,
    down my spine
    they grasp two calves
    a naked thigh
    warm gentle breath
    like stale mown grass- so sweet in its descent

    black bitumen steams
    through my barefooted sole

    Cheeks are pressed to a grey wooden bench
    and skin pulls away,
    like sticking strands of glue
    invisible bonds of strength
    so ready to let go.

    But the light is too shy
    to kiss me Here
    all humidity lacking from the air

    These senses crawl beneath my bed,
    unwound strings of dream
    no name from where they came
    but always there,
    reminders of an afternoon sun
    missed too soon

    Once passions used to seep as sweat,
    and wind-
    too thick for rushing grace
    -turned to reverse
    and being’s time was slowed

    Safety lurks in fleeting light
    but Sun was not
    – is not
    one to run from There
    instead it merely dripped away
    the Ceiling’s canvas stripped till bare

  45. 15 year old girls killing boredom with chatter,
    About the age they would marry – as if the man didn’t matter,
    And I quietly listened to the details and banter,
    Like we were young enough to know.

    The number of bridesmaids; the trimmings; the colours;
    Walking down the aisle with their father or brother;
    How many years they’d wait to became a mother,
    And I wondered what I was having for lunch.

    For my silence, they turned like a murder of crows,
    “And for your wedding?”
    How the hell should I know?
    I dreamt of lecterns and honours and Parisian snow,
    and the lover to whom I would say: “No heels”.

    “What else? Don’t you know? Do you even care?”
    “I’ll decide when the person with whom I can share
    the rest of my life will also be there.”
    “…but everyone thinks at least”.

    They rushed off with the bells, and I straggled behind,
    On my way to English, white lace on my mind,
    I was too scared to ask “Is this how we’re defined?”
    And still, no one bantered with me.

    Dreams make you unique, or so they say,
    Yet there’s always pressure to speak the right way,
    About the man or the prom or the wedding day
    we should have had planned by then.

    Dreaming of weddings or not, no one should feel so bad,
    Yet having no plan made me think I was lonely and sad,
    Those girls never asked what other dreams there could be,
    Only “Do you have the same dream dress as me?”.

  46. An aspiring teacher
    with dreams to be
    out of the box inspiring.

    The world doesn’t believe
    in teachers and for me,
    but a certain few do!

    I will inspire my future students.

  47. Ryan

    Superman is divorcing Lois Lane
    Faster than a speeding bullet or train
    Into the washing machine
    Some bleach to make it clean
    Now he flies with a cape so white and plain.

  48. Melissa

    at the tender age of ten
    a songstress i was
    but only to myself, you see
    for everyday
    for the whole of fifth grade
    my nostrils made music for me

    i’d breathe in and out
    with the force of a gale
    convinced that no one could hear
    eighth notes, triplets
    in out in in in
    the tune in my head so clear

    until one fateful day
    i heard my fifth-grade love say
    “could you stop doing that, please?”
    the music then ceased
    and a sigh I released
    the gale turned into a breeze

    FIN

  49. ed

    my teenage awkwardness hung
    right there on the end of my tongue.
    i struggled when dealing with words:
    stumbling and frumbling with verbs..
    and my adjectives came out all squashly –
    all bishly and bashly and boshly..
    and with nouns i was even the same,
    sometimes even forgetting my name!

    i’d see other boys talking all slick;
    with extrodinary mouthfuls of tricks…
    but my tumbly, bumbly slips
    would never impress any chicks.
    so while others would heckle and gloat,
    my words
    just stayed at the back of my throat.

  50. Dee

    Fabricate or Fornicate or Both

    High school daze
    Soap opera star turned English teacher
    A vocabulary game
    Before an exam

    The teacher read the definition
    The students gave the matching word

    They raised their hands high
    They yelled their answers loud

    I never won
    Until
    He said
    Something like, “to invent or concoct”
    “Typically with deceitful intent”

    “FABRICATE,” said my brain, signaling my arm to shoot up
    “FORNICATE,” flew off of my tongue instead
    It came out incorrectly
    Loud and harsh
    And wrong (even though sort of right)

    The room overflowed with laughter
    The teacher flushed red with shame

    Candy was my consolation prize

  51. The change of adolescence
    From a carefree young girl to an awkward, self-concious lass
    Paint chips on the edge of the cup
    Brushes waiting to be cleaned
    Approval waiting to be earned
    Drip, drip, drip in the sink like stones over a pond
    Finally release, warmth rushing down between my legs
    pure embarassment
    my fathers suspicious eye but closed mouth

  52. Coby Gerstner

    No.

    You cannot have my memories.

    They are tied to the strings in my mind, like twine.
    You cannot have them.

  53. Rebecca

    your voice has this habit of coaxing from my vocal chords
    the most hybrid sounds. 

    yes, i have dreams that i speak in lovely sultry vibrato
    that the notes in each word flow in harmonic tune

    and yet, 
    our voices clash in the most obscene manner, your smooth baritone
    caressing, not my practiced practical i’m-in-control humming tone

    but this array of half-notes all jumbled an octave too high. 

    an example for the books:
    we pass and you are all eyes and from your throat emits this perfect tune
    of hello
    and here i am, a savage
    responding to your mozart concerto of greetings with a few native
    clicks and grunts. 

    ahem, i’d like to take the time now, just moments too late to say to you
    hello. 

  54. “You’re beautiful, I swear!”
    His bad breath permeated through the air
    Still it wasn’t enough
    His lies and false love
    I knew what I was

    “I don’t need you to tell me”
    I knew what he could see
    The handles of love
    Even with my clothes on
    I knew what I was

    I didn’t give him what he did want
    And now the “beauty” is all gone
    Now since i’m not holding his hand
    I knew what I was
    Now I know who I am.

  55. Shhhh

    Close Your eyes now

    It’s time to dream.

    Forget the day

    and don’t worry about tomorrow.

    Just close your eyes and dream away.

    Shhhhh It’s time to dream.

  56. it rained that day but it had stopped
    we stood outside on the hill
    where we always did
    it was a little more slippery that day tho.
    we should have known a casualty would happen.
    little did i know it would be me.
    i moved to the right and down i went
    “down goes frasier!”
    everyone turns and laughs as im slidding down the small hill
    mud all over my pants.
    i got up and smiled and tried to laugh it off…
    i felt like crap until my buddy..
    well the hill got him too.
    he wasnt as graceful
    as he jumped up and yelled
    “fuck you!!!” to everyone around
    as he flipped them off
    it only made them laugh more
    but it made them forget about me
    and i felt a little less bad.
    2 friends taken down by one soggy hill
    but they’ll remember him and his fuck you’s
    and not me.
    thank god not me…

  57. laura

    a little bit below my left shoulder
    there are two small moles
    half an inch apart like eyes

    i would let anyone draw a face
    around those two moles
    with a goofy smile,
    or pretty lashes,
    or angry eyebrows,
    or crazy hair,
    the possibilities were endless…

    just seeing that person laugh and smile
    at their own little creation
    (and would sometimes drag me around to show it off to others)
    made me feel awesome
    knowing that i’d at least made someone’s day
    even for a short while

  58. Kate

    I’m a teenager now
    And all I can hope for is that it gets clearer
    Why all this exhaustion and extensive AP knowledge on the
    Entire history of the world
    Matters.

    Because really, most of the time,
    I just want to write essays out of music
    Write love letters to the moon about her beautiful curves
    (or his beautiful curves. we never will know will we)
    And draw on the backs of doors.

  59. jenQ

    The word
    I stole from Ms Le Guin
    For that time
    Spla
    Like wearing
    A baseball cap
    With no bill
    When you’re supposed to
    Start wearing bras.
    Don’t like me
    Coming in fresh?
    Why don’t you
    Kick out my friend again
    For her Rainbow hair.
    I crushed hard
    On boys back then.
    Wait
    Are we talking
    About now
    Or then?

  60. My hiding place is a house made of glass:
    A bright house. A clear house.
    A fragile house. A glass house.

    In my hiding place They mutter
    The Don’ts and Mustn’ts,
    The Wouldn’ts and Couldn’ts.
    Ah, they say it with such
    Confidence and Imprudence!

    One bright night, when the glass house
    Reflected the moon’s mighty light,
    I walked on my toes and took flight—
    Away, away from my house of glass.

    Wearing my Mama’s hat
    I walked far, I walked tall
    Waved “Hi!” to folks big and small.
    “It’s so good to be out tonight!”

    But then trouble ensues
    When I see myself in another dress,
    In another’s shoes. She looks like me,
    But she isn’t me:
    Awkward. Lost. Confused.

    I ran, I ran, I ran ’til my feet no longer
    Touched the soil and rushed to
    My hiding place of glass…

    Only to find my head won’t fit on my door
    Anymore. For I chose to grow up.

  61. I went to a party and didn’t know anyone.
    Then the person I fancied came in and
    fancied someone else.
    I went home and wrote in my diary:
    My life is a Smith’s song.

  62. In high school I had my first crush
    We took the same bus for 3 years
    and every day he got on I would blush.

    We talked almost every night.

    After 2 years, I told him I liked him.
    He dated another girl a month later.

    Whatever.

  63. Nick

    it was odd, being put on the spot
    like that, so odd that i
    had to take a moment
    to consider all the
    side effects, the front
    and back effects, the every
    which way
    effects of finally

    having to face up to the
    reality of loving you,
    and i was so busy thinking
    and so busy loving

    that i think you got bored
    and went one of the
    ways i had dreaded.

  64. Carlie

    Dear friend,
    Haven’t seen you around in a while
    Just wondering what’s new with you
    Did a new color of grass grow in your yard
    Have you mapped an alternate route to the work
    Do you still cut your sandwiches to look like kites
    I ride my bike, still
    like I did when we lived in the same town
    where do you live now?

  65. heath

    I sat with my legs spread
    The light falling on my thighs
    Revealing two marks
    Marks that my body will own
    For the moment
    Or most likely forever
    Marks that are separate
    But form as one by the light’s shadow
    With me
    Not forgotten

  66. Annika

    solstice

    something breaks somewhere inside you
    when he makes it up the hill to your old house,
    the boy who has driven that same indiana jones yellow yellow jeep for as long as you have loved him.
    you are home from college for the first time this year,
    and he says to you, leaning over some giggling girl in the passenger seat,
    seriously,
    congrats. you’re really
    really going places
    done more already
    than I’ll do
    in my whole life.
    hey, man, you want to say, you were gonna be an imagineer!
    what happened out here
    while I was trying to find myself
    in central new jersey?
    instead you shrug. I Was Lucky,
    that’s about
    all you can offer
    to someone who you used to work so hard to impress.

    step back from the jeep as it pulls away and realize, jesus, you ran out to see him in bare feet
    on the first day of winter

    and the days will only get longer from here.

  67. Vicky

    To my Grandma’s we came, each car bringing more kids.
    We threw down our coats and removed hats just like lids;
    Then ran to the radiator and warmed up our toes,
    Each used a clean sleeve for a quick wipe of his nose!
    The difference in ages divided us all,
    The old ones, the teens, and the boisterously small!
    The aunts fixed the table, the uncles lit up their smokes.
    The teenagers played cards and told off color jokes.
    Though we were the youngest, we had the best time of all
    As we raced to the stairs at the end of the hall!
    Our bottoms became sore as we bounced down each stair;
    And all was quite fine until we heard my dress tear
    When caught by a shoe as I began my descent,
    In my slip and panties down the staircase I went!
    Tears welled in my eyes, my lips started to quiver!
    Then I saw Grandma as she came to deliver
    A gift wrapped in bright paper and tied with a bow.
    So I grabbed at my slip, to my nose gave a blow,
    And the snuffles departed to where sniffles live.
    Then I found in my heart it was time to forgive
    The cousin whose shoe had been put in the wrong place
    And just nearly caused Christmas to end in disgrace.
    The present that year was my favorite, by far,
    A magnificent snow globe made from a glass jar!
    Now I am the grandma remembering the night
    When the love from my Grandma made everything right.

  68. Dave

    Thanks All. Submissions are now over.

  69. Kameron

    frizzy hair
    awkward stares,
    nervous hands
    all night crams.
    Metal teeth
    cologne that reeks,
    this is what teenagers are made of.

    But please dont be discouraged
    When your older you will see,
    with some confident courage
    just how un-awkward you can be.

  70. Hi, when will you announce the winner?

    Happy Holidays!

  71. Just curious, have you already chosen a winner? :)

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