Novels In Verse

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Thin Places

When you are young
you have
imaginary friends
make them up and
hang out with them
have adventures you can
never have
with real people.
I had a whole crowd
of friends who
didn’t exist
outside of my head.
Real people were
Adults were the worst.
They say How are you?
And I usually say nothing
because I know they can’t handle
the truth.
Some ask What do you want to be
when you grow up?
And sometimes I answer
I want to live in my own kingdom
an island filled with amazing beings
only I can imagine.

My Imaginary Friends
spoke to me
and told me stories
urged me to do crazy things
make parachutes out of sheets
and jump from
the shed roof.
They suggested I should learn
to juggle knives
and study the nature of
They told me where to look for
and demons
and sometimes they
were not lying
although sometimes
they just wanted trouble.
(My father said he had a plan
to destroy
my imaginary friends.
That made them very angry.
But I said
I would never let that happen.)
late at night
they spoke to me
of amazing places
that could not possibly
The voices were always clear
sounded like me.
I guess they were really
just me
or parts of me.

Let Me Introduce Myself
My parents named me
Declan Lynch
Names are important
it’s also important to
that someone usually your parents
just made up your name.
You were not born with it.
Think about that.
were just you
when you came into this world.
My mom and dad were the Lynches
living on an average street Maple Terrace
like the tree
with the little helicopter seeds.
The Lynches had their first and only kid
and said I looked like my great-grandfather
whose name was Declan Timothy Lynch.
I only saw pictures of my great-grandfather
much later
when I could focus my eyes.
I didn’t look anything like him
the name stuck.
or Deck sometimes
or Declan Patrick Lynch
when I was bad
which was often.
Just jumping from shed roofs
getting lost in malls
hiking deep into the tangled forest
behind my house
always determined to not come home on time
chasing ghosts and demons
and listening for the next bit of advice
from the voices in my head.

Parental Advice
My mother told my father
it was just a phase
I was going through
a very long phase
and I would grow out
of it.
(But she secretly told me
that she understood the voices
and that I should learn the difference
between the good voices
and bad ones.)
My father
was a sworn enemy
of my imaginary friends.
Your imagination
he said
plays tricks on you
dirty tricks.
When I asked him what he meant
he tried to explain
but grew frustrated
and stomped away.
I heard him say to my mother in the kitchen
Sometimes, Fiona
Sometimes I think
that boy is not our son
at all.
Maybe they made a mistake
at the hospital
and gave us
the wrong

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