Wednesday, December 31, 2014


And that tap tap tapping
Of nails against the desk
Echoes your impatience through
The wide spread walls of an empty room.

As though something could be done
To speed up time
Like your tapping will cause
Someone to realize your importance
And cut you through
To the front of the line

But you are equal
At this moment
To everyone else in this line

A straight class balancing act

In line you are better than no one

So tap your fingers as you might

You are last

You will remain last

Until another - equal - joins the end.

Riley Welch

Monday, December 29, 2014

One More

Some people are half glasses of water
Now, they can be optimistic
It is their choosing
But you

You are a full to the brim
Splashing the ground below the cup
Refreshing, cool, pure
Sweet, lovely, full

Like you have too much good within you it cant be contained in such a small frame.

And so you must share it
Along, passed, given away
And this good is beautiful

Just like you.

Riley Welch

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Emotions are wet
They are sticky and messy
And they don't stay and
They smear themselves down the side of your face
And they run their fingertips along your brain
And they leave you dripping
Wet sloshed tears running sticky with mucus and dancing down muddled puddles resting at the tip of your nose and chin
Grimy sweat wading along creases in skin
And pooling in damp wrecked habitats
Feeling too much
All at once. 

Emotionless means dry. 

Means very clean cut. 

Means no movement. 

Means no mess. 

Means in the moment there will be no immediate pain or discomfort. 

Because everything will be very neat, 

Very straight. 

Very right. 

Maybe not interesting. 

Or unique. 

But it won't be muddled.

And it won't be messy.


Riley Welch

Friday, December 26, 2014

Favorite Fridays

The Loser


Mama said I'd lose my head
if it wasn't fastened on.
Today I guess it wasn't
'cause while playing with my cousin
it fell off and rolled away
and now it's gone.

And I can't look for it
'cause my eyes are in it,
and I can't call to it
'cause my mouth is on it
(couldn't hear me anyway
'cause my ears are on it),
can't even think about it
'cause my brain is in it.
So I guess I'll sit down
on this rock
and rest for just a minute...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


I've got this thin layer of cellophane
Stretched across my vision. 
Not skewing what I see 
But giving a veil between me and reality.
Like everything I touch sticks with a thin film. 
And I can't necessarily discern what is real. 
Ever trusting and believing. 
Without doubt - never fleeting. 
And if this veil will ever lift. 
I'll feel wide awake.

But today is not that day 
So I'll stay hidden under this thin meshed curtain
Drawing tight the corners of reality
Around all I encounter.

Riley Welch

Monday, December 22, 2014

(Thoughts of the day)

And I feel so much lighter. 
I laugh so much faster,
I look for light in everything. 
To counteract
Heavy thoughts. 

But maybe my thoughts aren't so heavy anymore. 
Maybe they lost their weight. 
And with that some worth. 

And that is okay with me. 

Riley Welch 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lack of Lighting

A black and white dark wash over a room
Removes color
And makes it dry
And void
And gray dust settles over all the surfaces 
Painting it fair shades
So no one can tell
What is what. 
Within the gray. 
Of the dimly lit room. 

Riley Welch

Friday, December 19, 2014

Favorite Fridays

I find this weeks poem especially beautiful. The author has asked to remain anonymous. 

I Wouldn’t Know

Is this madness? Is this the sickness they warned me against?
The everlasting search for something magnificently real in this seemingly false world
The words become a blur and the voices cease to exist in this endless maze of never knowing.
Never knowing
If everyone is merely masquerading or if I have become insane
Trapped in this hideous cycle that is human nature, always greedy for something more
Always succumbing to roaring emotions as all sense fades away
Yet in the midst of this swirling confusion, the routine continues
The paperboy completes his route 
The professors teach their lessons 
The students try to get ahead
Tell me, am I mad?
I wouldn't know. 

Monday, December 15, 2014


This poem is dedicated to my good friend Kevin, who I offered to write a poem for in exchange for coffee during finals week. 

Kevin He, oh, Kevin He
A sweet melodic melody
Of sunshine, spring, and all things sweet

To bring the center of my addiction
Caffeines love is no work of fiction
He'll arrive "in a bit" was his prediction

Poor, poor finals bury him whole
In study, papers - a true book mole
Someone needs to work literary crowd control

But this boy, oh boy, he'll ace those finals
His professors are in great denial
Of his brilliance, no one rivals

And when he crashes through those doors
Coffee in hand, I don't abhor
Like a sweet beverage fairy lore

A great motivator to motor through those words
He'll herd knowledge like a flock of birds
The line between him and genius is blurred

So as I finish these words and wait for my mug
Of sweet, brewed nectar you sip - don't chug
From the smartest dude at UT, Kevin He, what up.

Riley Welch

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Large Bodies of Water

So much history overlapping
On itself
Falling back to familiarity
Over and over
Like ripples in the
Most stereotypically metaphoric pond.
It probably represents eternity
But I guess easy comparisons
Make for universal understanding
So everyone feels included
On the philosophies of

Riley Welch

Friday, December 12, 2014

Favorite Fridays

This week's favorite is a piece by Taylor Mali, that is best presented in his spoken form. So below is a video. Below I have included a transcript of the piece. 

What Teachers Make


He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?

He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.
I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-­‐kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-­‐ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.
Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Orange Walls

A sudden contentment
Where I can feel all the blood coursing through my veins
In racing synchronicity
With my surroundings
I sit in still harmony
While physically
My body is restless within itself.

It's a relaxing content.

That I can be productive
While doing nothing.


Riley Welch

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Circles of circles ellipses
One over another
So nothing is actually in sight
Disappearing behind each other
Appearing as one
But they are many
They are ever infinite
Like looking into a mirror
And seeing yourself repeat
A million times
Off into the distance
But you stand straight on
And you are one.

Riley Welch

Friday, December 5, 2014

Favorite Fridays

When I heard the Learn'd Astronomer 


When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;         
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


And then I was hit by a wave
I was hit by a facade shattering wave
Sadness overtook me and the the spry sparse mist hit my soft cheeks like sprinkling tears
Decorating my face with a hint of red puffy eyes and sad turned lips

And I entered into a circle of melancholy blue
That matched the pattern of the wave that hit me

Its swirly misery dancing in shades on the side of the color wheel
Opposite of where I sat
Bright yellow hands folded in glee

Being pushed farther and farther.
Because of that wave.

Riley Welch

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mugged Disappointment Part Three

If you've been reading my blog for a little bit, you now know that this is part three in a (what seems never-ending) chain of bad coffee experiences. I will hope this is the last one, but it all depends on the cup. 

I intake a lot of caffeine,
But none ever quite as bitter,
As the solid, opaque liquid,
That made me gag and spitter.

When you receive an iced drink,
You expect to see the ice.
Except from this dark, rich black,
Sparkling from my cup, this does not entice.

My straws ability to suck up the drink is shocking.
And the fact that my jaw isn't locking.

Is this coffee drink not partly water?
Did you forget the ingredients?
How did you land this job?
You are so very disobedient.

My wallet lets out a wimper,
While my blood boils and simmers,
I am now greatly over - caffeinated,
But for this coffee - I don't feel the least infatuation.

So next time I'll buy something sweeter,
Maybe warm, forget the heater.

Until this disappointment fades,
I won't come back another day.

Riley Welch

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Eucalyptus Mint

I love those trickle of rain
Dancing across window sills
And clouded up skies, foggy
like the way milk opaques coffee.

It lets me stay in bed,
It let's me negate the guilt of staying in bed,
When I need to:


It lets me pause my life
And say,

"Well, how about not today."

And then I can just pretend
The bed is a life
And I am living it

I can surf aimlessly the ends and outs of the internet
The last, lone thing connecting me to a ribboned out society.

I could, theoretically exist.
In this bed.

Ordered food and clothing off the internet.


I'm not sure I would even get bored.
I might just become discouraged
Causing me to sink deeper into the woven together blankets and pillows from which I've built my nest.

And at the end of the day
I would feel so alert
And so awake

I wouldn't even sleep.
I could take the actual world by storm.

At night.

Riley Welch

Friday, November 28, 2014

Favorite Fridays

This poem is a lullaby my grandmother used to sing to me and my sisters. She wrote quite a bit of poetry, and I plan to post more once I find them, this one I know by heart. 

If you can't tell, the holidays brings out certain emotions that make me miss her a lot, lot, lot. 

BY: LaRa Woznicki

Go to sleep, my little one
Go to sleep, the day is done
Soon you'll see the rising sun
Go to sleep my little one.

Go to sleep, close your eyes
Go to sleep, and by and by
Angels guard your little bed
Go to sleep, my sleepy head

Go to sleep, my little one
Go to sleep, the day is done
God watch o'er you all night long
Go to sleep, 'til mornings dawn

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Thank goodness for these people
Though they may be here but a second
Thank goodness for their goodness
For their caring
For their split second hugs and hot coffees
Thank goodness for these people
For their ability to listen
And their ability to ramble
And thank goodness for these people
Knowing I need the distraction
Agreeing to be the distraction from the real world
Thank goodness for these people
For laughing
And lifting

And just for caring

Because I know people care
But from all angles of your life, it is so unique
Thank goodness for these people
All of these people
All around me
Inhabiting cracks of my life I didn’t know I was lonely

Thank goodness for these people
And all that they do
And all that they want to do
And all that they couldn’t do
But that they really tried to do.

Thank goodness for these people.


Riley Welch

Friday, November 21, 2014

Favorite Fridays

This weeks poem is also a song, both of which I have posted below! This is by my wonderful, lovely TA in the lab I mentor, Catalina Gempeler. And yes, it is about science!

Here is the song:

And lyrics:


I can see
Through your skin your bones and joints
in your bowels and  your blood that flows but 
more, there‘s more, ten times more cells than your own, that live and 
breathe and call you home, that live and breathe and call you home. 

If I was born in any other way I would have
a different set, I wonder if they would do as well
Cause mine agree with living down in Texas 
And they like to swim, I wonder if they picked me or

If I picked them, while doing things I like
By working late, by petting dogs or playing darts,
Just tell me what you think, Once you know all the creatures that keep me company
Cause we like it here, yes we like it here.

If I was born in any other way I would have
a different set, I wonder if they would do as well
Cause mine agree with being down in Texas and they 
like to swim, I wonder if they picked me or

Cause this song is about your micro biome
you re not alone they call you home, 
you re not alone they call you home, 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Rumble tumble
In one ear
And right out the other
Passing over and under the thoughts
That sticks themselves inside your head
But avoiding contact
Because they are only present for a minute
And they only represent a minute


Riley Welch

Monday, November 17, 2014


When you come from snow
You understand the stillness. 
The creeping of the silent flurries -
Hitting the snow.
Piling up.
Pillowing up.
Because snow doesn't need sound.
And the bright pure white
Reflects every speck of light
That comes into its view.

And if the clouds are still hanging low over the landscape they reflect the stars and the moon
And the world becomes lit up with all this reflected light
And being outside at night isn't scary.

It's like being in a room with a nightlight,
But the nightlight is bouncing off every white wall,
And maybe a mirror,
And the white of the carpet,
And curtains,
And sheets.

And you could hear someone coming from miles away
Because it's silent
And light
And sparkling.

Riley Welch

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Favorite Friday

Unfortunately this Favorite Friday is actually a Favorite Saturday. This poem is one my mother sent to me a while ago "to inspire me", which I would say it did. 

Perfection Wasted


And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.

Mugged Disappointment Part Two

The bitterness scowls your nose
Into a grimace
Your nostrils are hooks
Sinking into curled back lips
Showing your teeth

This is genuinely -
The worst -
Cup of coffee -
Ever tasted -

But you have to keep going
Because this is the liquid of life
This is what keeps you alive
Keeps you going.

You don;t finish this,
You don't speak for the day

But more importantly, you don't listen

So that black slimes claws its way down your throat
Avoiding your taste buds
My disappointment snaps from the disgusting coffee
To the slacking baristas
Who made it.

Please utilize La Marzocco
And those fresh harvested beans


I don't have time for poorly brewed water

It's sad,

It's gross,

And I'm already asleep.

Riley Welch

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Faster, faster
Speed of lightening
Crushing, crushing
Smashed punched peeled
Whirling whirring
Fast paced

The sound of a thousand things happening at once
Blending into one unifying sound
The way every voice and scream on our Earth sounds like a solid static to everyone around us
Traffic horns and sirens
School bells and marching bands
And music, TV, footsteps, high-fives, crinkly fabrics, papers, key boards clacking
All rhythmically in sync with an unknown beat
We complete the motions
And together create one tone
Ringing out into what we don’t know
Harmonizing with other galaxies
Speeding along faster than what is imaginable
Screeching brakes slam
And finish the chorus
We launch bombs and they steady the ever charging, marching, base line
It's there
Always there
You don’t have to know about it,
You don’t even have to know your part
And you add the to speed
The eventually shattering speed
The eventually shattering speed that will increase and increase
And increase and increase
And increase
Until it reaches the end
And we don’t know what the encore is either
Which is okay
Because in the middle there will be silence.


Riley Welch