Pinto Moribund

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Pintofest:  The Retiring of Joyce Dramis
Pinto Moribund
ewinfic

Title:  The Retiring of Joyce Dramis
Pairing:  Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto
Summary:  Pintofest prompt by babykid528 - "Zach's an excellent poet... secretly.  Only his mom and brother know he's the author.  As it turns out Zach is Chris' favorite poet - Chris actually wrote a big final paper at Berkeley all about Zach's poetry."
Rating:  R
Wordcount:  5348
Disclaimer:  a heap of words merely, not the men themselves
Warnings:  some angst, random outbursts of poetry
A/N:  I doubt my poetic skills.  This is not said to inspire a flood of reassurance; I really, genuinely do not like my own poetry, and I only ever write it if absolutely FORCED to do so by some inspiration that wrings me by the throat and pushes me down and yanks poetry out of my fingers.  In other words, I feel Zach's pain in this one.  (Or perhaps he's feeling mine.)  That said, this was fun to write once I got over my own personal angstfit.




The Retiring of Joyce Dramis



#
I don't want to write this poem.
#


Zach spun his pencil around in his fingers for a little while, and finally threw it against the window, flopping back into his chair with an irritated sigh.  A morose sigh, he thought.  A bitter exhalation.  A pale puff of remorse... no, that's just silly.  He kicked the back panel of the desk restlessly.  Sometimes it was too much.  Every poem was a war, a monstrous battle:  Zachary verses the Words, and every time he went to this place, there were grievous casualties.  Why am I still doing this?

Only the stupidest, sickest, veriest glutton for punishment on Earth would ever deign to write fucking poetry.

He looked out at the trees.  Pittsburgh always brought the Words out, and he inevitably surrendered to the call.  Zach suspected it was something to do with the trees, the bricks, the cold.  L.A. was nearly anathema to poetry, and that was a part of why he loved it there.  When he was there, surrounded by beautiful people and beautiful parties, smog and glitter and all of that action... well.  When he was there, he was an actor.  But here...

"Here they wait for me."  He stood up and glared out the window, left the room, pounded down the stairs.  His mother met him at the entrance to the kitchen, her eyes calm and resigned.

"Zachary, please tell me you didn't break any furniture."

He shook his head, smiling halfway.  "Not this time.  I just need to get back..."

She nodded.  "Yes, you do."

Zach's face fell.  "Aw, Mom, way to make me feel wanted."

She shook her head and went back into the kitchen, reaching for her purse.  "I'm your mother, I shouldn't have to convince you that I love you every time I see you acting like an idiot."  She passed by him and yanked his head down for a swift kiss.  "How do you think I feel when I see you this miserable every time you set foot in my house?"

He hugged her.  "It's not the house.  You know it's not the house."

"I know.  But I've seen you here and I've seen you there, and you're happier there.  When's your flight?"

"9:30."

She nodded, and he thought for her, Not soon enough.  Zach knew he'd spend most of the night wrestling with that line, and he'd make the flight gray and exhausted tomorrow.

I don't want to write this poem.
I feel a defeat with every press of a line to paper.


Zach shook his head.  Not a line.  A stroke... something to indicate that moment when the pencil leaves that first charred mark of lead, the corrosion of commitment marking up the clean blankness of possibility.  Is it the sound I want or the image?

He needed to get back to L.A., and badly.  There was a movie waiting for him there, and beautiful people, and beautiful parties, smog and glitter and all of the action in the world.


#
I'm waiting for a feeling
The room stretching its emptiness
Molding an outline of the space where you aren't

#


The first time Zach laid eyes on Chris Pine, he was shaken with the sudden feeling of wind in the trees, a brief sharp cooling of the air.  Chris made his world expand briefly and then collapse.

It was a simple hello, a meeting at a party, a shared audition.  Zach felt his lax Hollywood persona, all patterned fabric and charity events and organic smoothies, fall away from him as the pale, gaunt artist gripped him by the throat.  He looked into a pair of eyes so blue they took his breath away, and at the somehow fragile line of Chris's neck, sloping down into shoulders that looked like a banquet.  And suddenly, Words overtook him.

Zach went home that night and wrote three poems.  One was nothing but sensory images; poetic scribbling... words like golden and enticing, and okay, maybe cerulean might have crept in there.  The second poem was more formal, structured, it even rhymed.  It was a few stanzas about a man walking through a stand of trees in a thicket, and it was the most blindingly obvious sexual metaphor Zach had ever written.

The third poem was about a mentally disabled man going blind.  Zach fell into writing space and emerged when it was finished.  He looked at it, thinking both That's somewhat decent, and, I really haven't matured at all from my teenage years, have I?

He glanced up, out of his window.  The sky was lightening with the dawn.  He'd been fighting with Words all night long, and the jazzy ambiance of the Los Angeles night hadn't muffled them in the least.


#
I take one shadowed step into the damp
Face dusted by a pollen-silted leaf
I kneel to taste the riches with my hands

#


Aside from the whole "your existence on the planet compels me to insane behavior" aspect of him, Chris was a decent enough guy.  Zach refused to think of him in glowing terms.  Chris was kind, that much was true, he was enthusiastic, incredibly fun to work with, brilliantly intelligent, generous to a fault, affectionate, almost incidentally gorgeous, thoughtful of children and animals, and overall... a decent enough guy, Zach firmly concluded.

But when he got started on Joyce, everything went right to shit.

"It's that look that's getting me... that one look on the transporter pad."  Zoe was gesticulating wildly, her hands flailing somehow gracefully and ridiculously at once, like the movement of a pigeon's wing.  But not a swan's wing.  Zach was mentally slapping himself roughly thirty times a day these days.  Zoe continued, "I know what it is I'm feeling, sort of, it's like she's expressing this intense vulnerability, and there's Kirk, the one person she wouldn't want to reveal that side of herself to, but Spock's leaving, so she has to.  So.  Woeful, in-love, but a little defensive.  But also defiant.  I know what I want, I just don't know what it looks like."

Chris winced.  "It's a tough moment.  Haven't you ever been in love and been a little defensive over it, though?"

Zoe shrugged expressively slowly, first one shoulder then the other, as though to indicate maximum unsureness.  Zach smiled.  Being expressive in general was clearly not the problem.  "Not really?  I mean, love is always something to be proud of, right?"

Zach and Chris exchanged a glance, and Zach stifled a pang of gleeful agony that they were often so quickly on the same mental page at the same time.  Zach said, "You must have had very kind parents."

Chris chuckled.  "Or friends in college."

Zach glanced at him.  "You got shit from friends in college?  My family was always way worse about the relationship stuff."

Chris rolled his eyes and raised his hands in the universal indicator of loooong story, and said, "Don't even.  If it had been a real person, maybe, but my heart belonged to Joyce Dramis."

Zach pulled out all of his years of schooling and training and experience, added a brief but fervent prayer, borrowed on several decades of karma, and somehow managed to keep his face still and calm.  Zoe looked mildly baffled.  "Who's that?"

"She's a contemporary poet... started publishing about the time I was finishing high school.  She's the whole reason I decided to major in English, and I wrote my senior thesis on her work."

Zoe smiled.  "Aw, but that's kind of sweet, really.  Why wouldn't you be proud to love a famous poet?"

Chris sighed deeply.  "You don't even want to know the kind of flak you can catch for being a blatant fanboy of a poet in a serious English program.  I was supposed to be admiring and distant and critical.  I wasn't supposed to memorize her work and defend it in classroom discussions... it got to the point where people would deliberately bring her up any time they wanted to discredit my opinion on anything."  He looked faintly amused, but also wounded.

Zach didn't yet trust himself to speak.  He was almost certain that he was still breathing.

Zoe patted Chris on the shoulder.  "Well, they were idiots, weren't they?"

"Yeah, but so was I."  Chris winced.  "I used to quote lines from her stuff on dates!  I was absolutely sopping wet over the woman, and to this day, do you know there aren't even any pictures of her?  Christ."  He shook his head.  "And she stopped writing.  Like, one day out of the blue, just stopped, after publishing five collections.  Would you believe I miss her?"

Before Zach could stop himself, he blurted out, "She probably couldn't take the pain anymore."

Chris and Zoe both stared at him.  Chris said, "What pain?"

Zach opened his mouth, knowing he was about to ruin everything and somehow unable to stop himself.  There was some kind of a truth here, that was important, and he couldn't seem to keep it from pouring out of his mouth anymore than he could stop himself from writing when the Words took over.  "Poetry is torture, Chris.  It's the worst thing ever invented.  Poetry is nothing but the illusion that you can somehow force words to transmit meaning.  Its very structure is a lie."

Chris's face said very clearly that Zach was making a mistake, but Zach plunged on anyway.  "The free-form structure in modern and contemporary poetry makes you feel that poetry was created to do what prose can't; that you can somehow free the words from structure, that it will give them more power, and that will somehow make a poem anything else than what it always, inevitably is:  a failure.  Poetry is about trying desperately to connect to people and failing just as desperately, Chris.  It's the worst thing on earth.  I'm always amazed there are poets who haven't killed themselves."

Zoe looked stunned.

Chris's face was reddening.  He blinked slowly, and then said, in a voice dangerously low and quiet, "When I was struggling to learn how to be alive, I could read Joyce's words.  She whispered me to sleep on nights so dark I thought they were never going to end.  She kept me going when I wanted to quit, and she inspired me to devote my life to words.  Even now, as an actor, I'm always about the script, Zach.  Words keep me alive and moving.  She was a living, breathing force in my life through those words, I still love her today and she's gone now and I fucking miss her, I miss her!  And I hope to god she hasn't killed herself, and I am who I am today because of her, and I like who I am so fuck.  You."  He took a deep, shaky breath.

Zach felt an icy shock from his head to his toes.  It didn't hurt yet, but he knew it would soon.

Zoe stared at Chris's face.  "That's the look I needed.  That, right there on his face."


#
I walk you through the lines, cast them like stones for your feet
Hoping to guide you up and out
But you're lost in the words

#


Chris and Zach gave each other a wide berth for the next couple of days, only interacting professionally, and otherwise cloaking every word and glance in bubble wrap.  Zach wasn't sure if blame had been assigned yet, but it hurt deeply to see Chris's beautiful eyes shadowed every time they were in the same room.  Frankly, he felt like a champion asshole.  And yes, Chris's words had definitely set in a slow acid burn beneath Zach's collarbone.  They needed to get past this.

Zach, despite his biases, knew the power of a well-chosen word at the right time.  He gave their situation the requisite time to breathe, and then knocked on Chris's trailer one day, opening the conversation to Chris's expectant face with, "I am a champion asshole."

Chris burst out laughing.  "Oh, man, you're really not.  I promise.  Come on in."

Zach peered inside at the cramped enclosure, thought for an instant about being pressed up against Chris in that tiny space, and said, "Er, why don't you come out here?"

Chris grinned and stepped down.  "I'm sorry I was so touchy, it's just..."

"Please."  Zach stopped him.  "Look, when I went off on poetry, I was talking about something completely different, and it had nothing to do with you or your experiences.  I was just... spouting off, totally venting.  I'm really sorry."

Chris nodded.  "I was pretty much doing the same thing.  But... seriously, man, why do you hate poetry so much?  I mean, what did it do to you?"

Zach stood quietly for a moment and thought about the countless, endless nights that went into that first collection; the way he wrestled his demons onto the paper and marked signs against them in ink and hoped desperately to bind them there forever.  He shook his head.  "I'm really not sure it's a topic you and I can discuss safely.  It means too much to both of us."

Chris looked surprised.  "Very wise, Quinto."

"I have my moments.  You want a coffee before we head home?"

Chris looked in the direction of the set.  "Set coffee that's been sitting out all day long until it's formed a skin and a distinctive character?"

Zach grinned.  "Obviously.  It's almost to the consistency of dried tar at this point."

"How can I resist?  One cup... then we need to get the hell out of here before someone thinks we work for a living or something."

That night Zach went home and stayed up two more hours trying to capture the way Chris laughed in words.  He failed, repeatedly, and wanted to beat his own head against the wall for his inability to quit trying.


#
A sparkling rasp, thrumming against me like a hive of emotion
Nudge you and watch the swarm, wrapping me in a warm honeyed buzz

#


They got along much better once poetry was established thema non grata, but Zach still had an assortment of problems to deal with.

The first and biggest was that he was unable to shake the constant awareness that somewhere, deep down, Chris was in love with Joyce.  And Zach was both despairing over and a little in love with the fact that Chris was in love with Joyce.

The second problem was that every time he and Chris were together, the chemistry between them as hot as a fire that licked away at his self-control, he couldn't suppress a number of goofy smiles, inane moments of staring, and increasing feelings of daft happiness.  Had Chris been anybody but a lover of poetry... and even worse, a lover of Zach's poetry, Zach would have just asked him out and damn the complications.  But Zach knew that Chris was an absolute danger zone... dip one toe and he'd never come up for air again.

As was evidenced by Zach's third problem:  he wasn't sleeping, and people were beginning to notice.  Zach was grateful that his makeup made him look pale and greenish, because otherwise he'd look pale and greenish with no excuse.  He drifted through the days half-kindled and vague.  The only times he truly lit up and engaged when were Chris was around, lighting the room with his smile and his eyes, and this began to cause Zach a further problem:  people were starting to notice that Zach behaved differently around Chris.


#
The candle's been taken, as has the torch, well overdone, baked you could say
My metaphor for the way I light in your presence
Is relegated to modern times
I am stuck being the LED which you forward-bias
(Incandescence being, apparently, a tungsten bulb thing)

#


It was a break between scenes and Zach was napping in a folding hammock chair in a corner when he felt a sudden Zoe land in his lap.  She snuggled against his chest and said, "Zach, we're worried."

Zach absently put his arms around her like a pillow and drifted off again.  "Mmmmhmm."

"It looks like you're not getting any sleep at all.  And Karl says he suspects that you're spending nights here, is that true?"

Zach mumbled something and patted her shoulder, looking for the button that would turn the alarm to Snooze.

Zoe sighed.  "Well, I called your brother.  Maybe he can do something."

Zach startled violently, nearly dumping her on the floor.  "Wait, what?  You called Joe?  What FOR?"

Zoe, keeping her precarious perch as easily as an experienced lap cat, looked at Zach from beneath a fringe of seductive and mildly enhanced eyelashes.  "I see you're awake.  Wardrobe wanted you for a fitting.  Ciao."  She got up and sauntered off, leaving Zach frazzled and and blinking fiercely.

She was hardly out of the room when his phone rang.  Zach pressed it to his ear with dread, not bothering to check the number.  "Hey bro," he sighed.

"Fucking shitwit, why did you not call me?"

Zach closed his eyes.  "Because I didn't want it to be real."  And that much was true.  "Shit, I really should have called."

"Yes, you really should have.  How bad is it, Zach?"

"I've written almost another full collection."

Joe paused, and Zach could hear the panic foaming up around his ears.  "While shooting.  You're in the middle of a blockbuster film and you've written THAT MUCH poetry.  This is what you are saying to me?"

"I'm afraid so," Zach murmured.

"Fuck!  I thought L.A. fixed you!  I thought this didn't happen out here!"

Zach covered his eyes with one hand and slumped forward in the chair.  "There's a guy, okay?"

"I should have guessed that."

"Yeah, you should have."


#
The worst is the double-stitched alligator feeling I get
For your dimestore vinyl smile

#


The throw-down was in a diner, over pancakes and coffee.  Not that it was a very robust specimen as throw-downs went.  Joe took a bite of pancakes and pointed his syrupy fork tines in Zach's face, lowering his brows furiously.  "Tell him."

"I can't."  Zach closed his eyes, picturing cerulean... shit... azure... shit blue skies...

"Tell him."

"No.  Joe, you don't seem to understand what I'm experiencing here.  I am a tiny helpless island and he is a motherfucking hurricane so big he dwarfs the meteorologist on the Weather Channel.  I can not put myself in his path.  I will be destroyed.  Do you get me?"  Zach fell sideways onto the seat.

"Stop being dramatic.  We have this talk every fucking time.  You need to tell him."  Joe ate another bite of pancakes.  "I don't understand why you feel the need to draw it out."

The answer arose faintly from beneath the table surface.  "I'll either get rejected or end up with another Julio."

"Hooolio was a flash-in-the-pan wanktard with a bad fake accent and delusions of mediocrity.  From what everybody tells me, this Chris is actually a decent, smart, successful guy."  Joe drank a sip of coffee and kicked Zach.

Zach popped upright, wincing.  "Fucking ow, man.  And look, Julio was ridiculous, I know that.  Don't you understand?  If someone ridiculous can send me into a spiral that has me publishing two entire volumes of poetry and losing twenty pounds and drowning in red wine for six months, what the fuck do you think a really wonderful man is going to do when he leaves?"  He pressed his forehead into his hand.

Joe nodded.  "Good point.  Now quit being a pussy and tell him or I will."

Zach glared at Joe with the one eye not smeared against his hand.  "Joe, why would you do that to me?"

"Because if it's one thing I know, it's that getting you laid gets you out of wordspace and back to the real world.  When you are dating, I know you're sleeping, I know you're eating, and I know you're making it to work on time.  When you're writing, I know you're doing none of these things.  And it's my fucking responsibility to look out for you.  So tell him, get laid already, go nuts for a few months, and you can do the poetry thing once the film is over, okay?  I'll take you in and push food into your mouth at regular intervals to make sure you don't die from it."  Joe sighed and reached for his wallet.

Zach looked down at the table mat.  "How did you and Mom put up with me all those years before I moved here?"

"I'm pretty sure Mom used to spike your spaghetti with lithium.  Come on.  I'll drive you home."


#
It's knives inside, little knives, when they come out
They come out spinning
I'm a twist of shredded guts over you baby

#


Zach wrote a note with the poem, and in his opinion, the note scanned better than the poem did.  He felt like an interloper the next day, creeping around the trailers furtively, checking for spies, tucking the tiny illicit white envelope in the crease of Chris's door.  The gritty tape plastered across the door of the trailer said Kirk.  Zach touched it gently with his fingertips and sighed.  He walked away with a lighter step that lasted roughly ten seconds before the screaming internal critic threatened to fling him to the ground and pound his ass into a flan.  Zach pressed his hands to his head and forced himself to continue walking to Makeup, where he knew he could rely upon a professional with sharp stabby tools to force him to sit very still for a couple of hours while he attempted to calm down.

The note said:

Dear Chris,

I am hopelessly in love with you.  I hope this doesn't come as too much of a shock.

I'll be perfectly honest:  it shocked the hell out of me to know that you were hopelessly in love with me.

Please see the attached for an explanation.

If you would like to talk of this later, I'm open, and if you don't, I'm shut as a tomb.

- Zach, aka Joyce
The poem was a flailing span of nonsense, intended to explain to Chris just exactly why Zach hated writing poetry.  The point of the poem was incidental at best; Zach really just wanted Chris to recognize the style.

And that line about 'shut as a tomb'... Zach had to laugh at himself.  If Chris didn't come to him at some point during the day with a response, Zach knew himself capable of anything from picturesque tears to belting out a Broadway tune on the craft services table to get a reaction.

But Chris loved poetry, and hopefully poetry would be enough.


#
Butter me up in paint, weave me a hiding place
I can dance out on that stage and slide right past your eyes
I am a poet
But I can act like something else.

#


Zach finally ran into Chris five hours later, and they were promptly caught up into several grueling hours of shooting before their first obligatory dead spell.  Chris collapsed into one of the nearby chairs and groaned, and Zach sat beside him, openly staring.  Did he read it?  Of course he did.  What's he doing, pretending to doze off like that?

Chris's eyes were closed, but he turned his head toward Zach and said, "I had a chance to re-read one of my favorite all-time poems the other day."

Zach tensed.  Chris was treading on the sacred thematic ground of poetry again, which could only mean a shift in the terms of their arrangement.  "What poem is that?"  Zach steeled himself to hear his own words quoted back to him, always a grindingly painful experience.

Chris said, "Just a little bit of doggerel... it goes...
I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr Fell.
"

Zach felt his eyebrows twisting into an curved line of deepest confusion.  Chris opened his eyes and looked at him.  Zach managed, "Huh?"

Chris spread his hands.  "It's simple.  Direct.  It rhymes.  It's even amusing.  And yet when you drill right down into the deeper meaning, there... isn't one.  It's honestly kind of insulting.  A little poem just to tell someone you don't love them?  Who would do that?"

Zach blinked rapidly, trying to figure out if he were being rejected in an astonishingly literary fashion, or merely being distracted from some other purpose.  "I believe that particular poem was intended as a translation exercise."

"It would have had to be.  It sucks at being anything more meaningful."  Chris nodded to himself as though agreeing with his own conclusions.  "The simple fact is, the purest and best emotions expressible, can't really be expressed in poetry.  You can really go to town on the negative emotions, and Joyce was always really gifted that way.  I have to wonder what her life was like when she wrote those words, though.  When she stopped writing... maybe she just started feeling better things.  Things that couldn't be expressed so easily in words.  Things that had to be touched and tasted and danced and spun around in your arms and hands, things you kiss and hug and don't let go of for even an instant, not to go pick up a pen."  He looked at Zach, a small smile on his lips.  "In a way, poetry really sucks.  I'm glad she got out of it.  Especially if it was making her so unhappy."

Zach felt his heart climb up into his throat and throb there, threatening to burst and spill his feelings all over the dank cement floor beneath them.

Chris sat up in his chair.  "I love her.  I want her to be happy.  Even if it means no more poems."

Zach pressed his fingertips to his lower lip to keep it from trembling.

Chris looked off into the distance and said, "Do you like to dance?"

Zach relaxed his fingers enough to allow his lips to form a, "Yes."


#
The silence of first reading
Flights of invisible criticism burst my skin
Leaving me torn raw and wide for the sting of your luscious approval

#


They went to dinner, and didn't talk about poetry.  They went dancing, and it didn't come up once, although Zach felt it would hardly be possible to discuss structure and its impact upon theme while grinding to a bass line so deep and loud that it rippled up through the floor and into their feet, teasing every nerve ending on its way up to the brain.  Zach found himself unable to think of any kind of silly description of Chris's body, not while it was undulating against him.  His brain was tempted to sift through the archives for some way to describe the way it felt when their lips met... he went as far as soft, seeking, yielding... and then Chris stopped being quite so soft and yielding and Zach was forced to redirect his attention.

But when Chris drove them back to his place, occasionally shifting in his seat and smiling the nervous, giddy smile of someone who was expecting some really excellent sex and trying not to exceed the lawful speed limit in the pursuit of it, Zach had little to do but look at him and want him and let his mind spin.  He sat back in the seat and before he could stop himself, he said, "I feel like I'm being dragged home to bed by your lips.  I think I might follow them anywhere."

Zach immediately winced at himself.  This was not sane conversation; this was poetic conversation, of the type that had destroyed many a relationship in the past.

Chris blinked a couple of times, gripped the steering wheel harder, bit his tongue, and groaned like a rusty wheel axle.  "God.  Zach... if you start making up poetry about me right on the spot, I can't be responsible for what might happen.  We might never reach the house."

Zach put a hand over his mouth and turned to face the road, and shook with happiness, and tried to remember what caution was.

They were quiet entering the house, and then noisy, knocking things down on their way to the sofa -- the bedroom was unspeakably far away -- and the instant Chris had Zach pinned down, sucking a hot red bruise into his collarbone, Zach gasped out, "I once compared you to a hurricane..."

Chris paused, taking a breath.  "Am I?"

"And myself to a tiny island in your path.  Just ready to be uprooted and torn apart."

Chris shivered.  "Jesus."  He raised up, staring at Zach with lust-burdened eyes.  "What else?"

Zach gazed at him.  "Your voice wraps around me like a sheet of rusted steel, tearing me up, filing me down, every sound you make aches across my skin..."

Chris gasped, reaching down to fumble at belts and zippers, his chest heaving.  "And?  What else, Zach?"

"Right now?  You feel like a breathing, billowing furnace.  I'm swelling and reddening and bubbling up under all this heat, going to burst..."  Zach trailed off in a strangled yelp as Chris ground down with his hips, bare hungry skin meeting skin.  He held on tight as Chris rubbed against him, not more than a few seconds in before they were both gasping for breath and overwhelmed.  Zach had no words for what his body did under Chris's touch, a liquid communion between them detonating on contact, echoes riding thick and welcome through their bodies.

You rewrite my skin in your image and give it back to me.

"Zach... I never... dreamed..."  Chris shut his eyes and shuddered.

Zach, panting from his own release, just nodded.  "Yes.  I might... have been created for you.  Custom-molded, just for you, Chris."  He wrapped his arms and legs around Chris and they fit like a velvet glove.  "I've never fit anywhere else in my life..."

They shifted to their sides, curled up together and kissing, recovering.  Chris murmured, "Does this mean the only poetry you'll ever write will be the words you say to me during sex?"

Zach kissed his neck.  "That or just before sex, in the interest of getting you into bed."

"And how did I get so lucky again?"

Zach was already asleep, an expression of peaceful and beautiful relief on his face.


#
I soothe into you, send my aching trembling bones into the flesh of you
Pour you over my heart, and I sleep.

#


Failure
a poem for Chris Pine, by Joyce Dramis

I wrote you a poem.
I didn't want to write it.
Every line I write is murder
The brutal rubbing out of millions of other lines,
The children of my mind, gleaming darkly with potential
Until, with the strike of a pen, they fall
Already I've killed so many hundreds of thousands

Here I am, stabbing away at the paper
Again.
Because of you.
You are too much for my mouth, for my hands
The compass point of you drawing on the pole of the world demands words
And so I trudge madly forth, churning this page into Waterloo
When the war is lost, I'll fling the corpses of vanquished words at your feet
And say, I wrote you a poem.

But behind my triumph, the trophy rope of dead words
I'm quietly pleading
For you to look behind the words that staggered
Somehow managing to fall on my page
To see the countless ghosts of all that escaped
The ones I mutilated, trampled over trying to reach what I thought I wanted to say

I could stand in front of you, vaguely gesture to the rear
It would be more eloquent and effective.
If I do,
If I come to you one day and silently point over my shoulder, please know...
I wrote you a poem.

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That was beautiful. You have so much talent. I loved the last poem and these lines
It's knives inside, little knives, when they come out
They come out spinning
I'm a twist of shredded guts over you baby

Beautiful, just beautiful. I memmed it.

Oh my God.

Oh my God, I ache so good. You just. You slay me. This made emotion like, pour out of me. So, sosogood.

Here I am, stabbing away at the paper
Again.
Because of you.


THIS. You rocked me to my core.
*flails*

.... wow.... you killed me. you have seriously slain me with your brilliance. and now i feel i cannot write this comment with capital letters. i have little words that can express my love for this pulsing... thing. you hear the adage love is pain but you never really equate it to anything real until this.

you have depicted the very heart of a tortured artist, writhing in the tangled web of words he can't get out but needs to. this was torture, blatant, sensual torture that speared into my heart and took it hostage. i love this story and and i am in love with your poem at the end. thank you so much for sharing this. it is one of my all time favorite stories and it really has inspired me to write more of my own original stuff. you are truly a master of this art, my dear (if you'll accept my humble opinion).

Ahhhh, I've been waiting for thisssss! *flail*
I shall wait s'more but not very patiently AT ALL.

You're a beautiful person and I love you. <3

Because well. I love your bravery and your honesty, about these feelings. So go you.

That was amazing. That kind of stream of consciousness writing is probably my favorite. The poem at the end was absolutely beautiful.

Wow. This is amazing, BB. I can't even narrow what I liked most: the neat concept of Zach and his Words, the way he is when he writes, his obsession over Chris, or Chris's love for his poetry. Or, the poetry itself.

Beautiful. One to be mem'ed. ~

Oh my *happy sigh*

I loved how poetry was Zach's addiction, kind of. That he hated it for consuming all his life and still couldn't let it go. And Chris as unintentional muse was just gorgeous and hilarious both. xD I loved the moments when Zach was trying to stop the "poetic" words from coming up in his mind.

Also, poetry as dirty talk = hot!!


The candle's been taken, as has the torch, well overdone, baked you could say
My metaphor for the way I light in your presence
Is relegated to modern times
I am stuck being the LED which you forward-bias
(Incandescence being, apparently, a tungsten bulb thing)

This one was my favourite. I dunno why, it kinda cracked me up a little xD

I think your poetry doesn't suck. I like your prose better, but that's probably because poetry doesn't really do it for me. *shrugs* And I'm really not qualified to comment on its quality, seeing as me writing poetry is writing prose and breaking lines often enough to make it look like poetry. Ans "Failure" would be an appropriate title for all of them xD

Anyway, delightful story! I think anyone here can relate (at least a little) to the 'tortured artist' theme *g*.

Oh, I forgot to ask, how did you choose Zach's pseudonym?

really enjoyed this fic. It just had so many pretty words.

Wow, that was beautiful. I really love it.

I...I have no words which, I admit is rather ironic given the subject matter. There's so much inner anguish, desperation to be rid of it, being helpless to control such a strong, destructive force...

...and then there's just such peace. Even during the frantic sex I felt peace from the scene.

My grammar and punctuation are atrocious right now, but I don't even care. I just want to wrap you up and lick you brain. Or maybe just cuddle you because wanting to lick your brain is kinda gross and serial killerish :B

This is wonderful. Every word of it. And at this:

Zach put a hand over his mouth and turned to face the road, and shook with happiness, and tried to remember what caution was.

...I suddenly couldn't see the screen for tears. Oh god, my heart. Lovely, lovely fic. &hearts

Wow. Maybe this explains why I stopped writing poetry when I met my husband....

Thanks for sharing! It was lovely.

ackpffft *flail* your ICON. *is scared*

I have no words because you have slain me with yours. Just beautiful.

I really enjoyed this :) I don´t care much about poetry - it simply doesn´t work well with the way my mind works and believe me, that´s horrible thing for a student of English :D - but I really liked the poem and, really, everything about this fic. Poor Zach, that had to be rather a shock to find out his crush was deeply in love with him and not even knowing it was Zach! :D

Hm, now I know what to do to get out of this "I´m writing way too much, make it stop" phase I´m having - I need to get laid :D Why hadn´t it occured to me before? :D

Only the stupidest, sickest, veriest glutton for punishment on Earth would ever deign to write fucking poetry.

Hear, hear. Masochists in solidarity.

And you were worried. Pfft.

Because I fail at reading A/Ns, I went to google the author of the poems...Now I'm short 5 collections of poems (I wanted to read badly) and a way I could make non-slashers read that last poem, because it's brilliant.

This was so amazing. It was raw, and I could really feel what Zach was feeling: his exhaustion, his fear, his love. Everything. The poem at the end was beautiful (and I must say, that I really don't like most modern poetry) but dear god you could get that published. Just. Wow.

Thank you for this.

OKAY I LOVE YOU BEYOND FOREVER!!!

1- He shook his head. "I'm really not sure it's a topic you and I can discuss safely. It means too much to both of us."

Chris looked surprised. "Very wise, Quinto."


PLEASE SIT DOWN HALF THE PEOPLE I KNOW AND EXPLAIN THIS TO THEM!!!

The first time Zach laid eyes on Chris Pine, he was shaken with the sudden feeling of wind in the trees, a brief sharp cooling of the air. Chris made his world expand briefly and then collapse.

and

Chris's face said very clearly that Zach was making a mistake, but Zach plunged on anyway. "The free-form structure in modern and contemporary poetry makes you feel that poetry was created to do what prose can't; that you can somehow free the words from structure, that it will give them more power, and that will somehow make a poem anything else than what it always, inevitably is: a failure. Poetry is about trying desperately to connect to people and failing just as desperately, Chris. It's the worst thing on earth. I'm always amazed there are poets who haven't killed themselves."

Zoe looked stunned.

Chris's face was reddening. He blinked slowly, and then said, in a voice dangerously low and quiet, "When I was struggling to learn how to be alive, I could read Joyce's words. She whispered me to sleep on nights so dark I thought they were never going to end. She kept me going when I wanted to quit, and she inspired me to devote my life to words. Even now, as an actor, I'm always about the script, Zach. Words keep me alive and moving. She was a living, breathing force in my life through those words, I still love her today and she's gone now and I fucking miss her, I miss her! And I hope to god she hasn't killed herself, and I am who I am today because of her, and I like who I am so fuck. You." He took a deep, shaky breath.


I think this is true of any writing. Any kind of writer and reader meeting up. If Faulkner could meet me he'd probably say almost the same thing, just switch poetry and prose, and I would be JUST as defensive as Chris. And then there's the personality difference. And you just capture it so succinctly and perfectly here.

And then:

"Yes, you really should have. How bad is it, Zach?"

"I've written almost another full collection."

Joe paused, and Zach could hear the panic foaming up around his ears. "While shooting. You're in the middle of a blockbuster film and you've written THAT MUCH poetry. This is what you are saying to me?"

"I'm afraid so," Zach murmured.

"Fuck! I thought L.A. fixed you! I thought this didn't happen out here!"

Zach covered his eyes with one hand and slumped forward in the chair. "There's a guy, okay?"

"I should have guessed that."

"Yeah, you should have."


First, I should say now YES to Joe and Margo! YES!!! I LOVE when they're included and the fact that Joe IS the older protective brother here is making me SOOOOOOOOOOO happy I'm dancing inside!! Seriously!!! And, on top of it all, I'm aching for Zach. <333333333333333

Chris blinked a couple of times, gripped the steering wheel harder, bit his tongue, and groaned like a rusty wheel axle. "God. Zach... if you start making up poetry about me right on the spot, I can't be responsible for what might happen. We might never reach the house."

Zach put a hand over his mouth and turned to face the road, and shook with happiness, and tried to remember what caution was.


<3333333333333333333333

You rewrite my skin in your image and give it back to me.

"Zach... I never... dreamed..." Chris shut his eyes and shuddered.

Zach, panting from his own release, just nodded. "Yes. I might... have been created for you. Custom-molded, just for you, Chris." He wrapped his arms and legs around Chris and they fit like a velvet glove. "I've never fit anywhere else in my life..."

They shifted to their sides, curled up together and kissing, recovering. Chris murmured, "Does this mean the only poetry you'll ever write will be the words you say to me during sex?"

Zach kissed his neck. "That or just before sex, in the interest of getting you into bed."

"And how did I get so lucky again?"

Zach was already asleep, an expression of peaceful and beautiful relief on his face.


OMG!!!!! IT'S SO PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!

And then, fuck! The poem and all the poetry throughout! I just want to gather it up and hold it to me forever!!

And so I trudge madly forth, churning this page into Waterloo
When the war is lost, I'll fling the corpses of vanquished words at your feet
And say, I wrote you a poem.


And

I could stand in front of you, vaguely gesture to the rear
It would be more eloquent and effective.
If I do,
If I come to you one day and silently point over my shoulder, please know...
I wrote you a poem.


Really the whole poem!!


A few days ago I would have said, "Man, I reaaaaaally need a Zach to write poetry about me!" but I'm suddenly wiser now ;-) and really I fucking need a Chris. <33333333333333333

I think I may be using up all the hearts in the world in this comment, haha! :-) But I love you and I love this and I could never thank you enough for snagging this prompt and giving this back in return because it's just too beautiful and painful and loving! *GIANT HUGS*

I feel just so lucky to be in love with a fandom inspires such beauty....
The tenderness of your art, it never fails to move me.
I adore your writing... its such a treat, I can't tell you how excited I get when I see you've posted *anything* because LORD woman, even your PWP manages more complexity and depth of character than I could ever dream of writing.

And *this* was silky smooth dark chocolate<3

I loved this.

Please don't ever loose the pinto love bb<3

A sparkling rasp, thrumming against me like a hive of emotion
Nudge you and watch the swarm, wrapping me in a warm honeyed buzz


You hate your poetry... why?

I am stuck being the LED which you forward-bias
(Incandescence being, apparently, a tungsten bulb thing)


Really. WHY. Remind me never to show you any of my "poetry," lol

Zach mumbled something and patted her shoulder, looking for the button that would turn the alarm to Snooze.

I lawled, okay, this is beautiful

"Fucking shitwit, why did you not call me?"

I love your Joe. I love him. He is the big brother I always wanted.

The worst is the double-stitched alligator feeling I get
For your dimestore vinyl smile


scuse me while I marry this line, brb vegas

"I'm pretty sure Mom used to spike your spaghetti with lithium. Come on. I'll drive you home."

OH JOE. DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE YOU.

...screaming internal critic threatened to fling him to the ground and pound his ass into a flan.

I will never get over how well you blend painfully true funny bits into even the angstiest story, thereby making it all a hundred times more chest-stabbity and aching. This both made me laugh and made me hurt all over the inside, for Zach and for other reasons. You are fantastic.

I am a poet
But I can act like something else.


THIS IS WONDERFUL. YOU ARE WONDERFUL.

furthermore the final poem just undid me, okay, I might not recover for a bit

Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

I honestly don't have the words to express how much I revelled in this fic, and how beautiful it was, and inspiring, and liquid, and touching. This is, by far, my favourite Pinto that I've ever read. GAH. I felt every sentence, and the poetry was out of this world. Thank you for writing this!

<3

Very cool. Love the poem.

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