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how to build a house This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

this is how you build a house.

find land, claim a stake in it ­­–
no matter if someone else is already living there.

chop down all visible greenery,
then section off a designated quadrant,
this will be the lawn.

(fight, build) with tooth and nail
blood red splattering wood and bricks
this is to ensure a little piece of yourself
remains in the soon-to-exist.

make a roof,
so you can never see the stars.

make three walls,
install the fourth,
and never break it.

find someone whose eyes shine
bright; artificial contacts work as well –
they're there to replace stars that
you have already forgotten.

raise two.five kids,
watch them revel in that patch of
grass out front and never
tell your antsy little boy
about the forest out back (and a
couple of years ago).

feed them a steady diet of
marshmallow puffs and corn puffs
and cheese puffs and pray to yourself
they don't end up puffing a pipe.

follow the end of your youth,
through their beginning –
substitute sugarcane for the saccharine
goodness of daytime TV,
math + math = 2(math).

show them the universe –
in censored pictures of crossed-out stars
and tell them that pluto
is no longer a planet.

this is how you build a house,
in a couple of steps.

(it turns out you picked up the
wrong book from your public library.
this one says)

this is how you build a tomb.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the December 2012 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.




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KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm:
You are an amazing poet. The imagery and your concise word choice and the ending are all perfect. It's stunning and brilliant. I'm really impressed.
 
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TheSkyOwesMeRainThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:53 am:
I love the ending, it gave me the chills!
 
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utility This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm:
i first read this poem in the print edition right next to my own ("After-Thought") and my first reaction was to be ashamed at having my own poem on the same page, or even in the same issue, as if the quality is even somewhat comparable.  so i immediately opened teenink just to say that this piece is shocking and progressive and soberly provacative.  it strikes me as a form of graceful and subdued protest, yet it's the furthest thing from pretentiousness -- this piece is a... (more »)
 
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