Category Archives: Poetry

Retreat to the Shower

There is something about showers that is soothing,

like: I can’t sleep through the violence of the memories
(retreat to the shower)

like: The world is a cold place and I just need a little warmth
(retreat to the shower)

like: I can’t remember why I’m alive but I’m afraid to sleep
(retreat to the shower)

like: I’m so tired of dying every night in my dreams
(retreat to the shower)

And the showerhead is a sun
amidst the clouds of steam;
but it casts the kind of light
that allows you, at last

to find rest
from the shards of your past.

Prisoner and Pride

This is a picture of me,
the rainbow on a chain around my neck
both prisoner and pride.

This body is mine.
Mine to own and care for, but
the strange curves of hips and chest,
the thickness of the thighs,
the high waist, the voice,
unabashedly feminine,
unflinching in the mirror:

Those do not belong to me,
photo or not,
flesh or not.

I am all rough edges and stubble,
gritty passion and flame.
But I’ve watched my demons come and go,
addressing me by name.

Still, I stand male,
though of all my friendships,
fear is the most familiar.

The light that formed this photograph
can just as easily devour it, and I
am caught somewhere in the middle
of fighting for myself,
and fighting to make the world safe for myself

and others like me.

When Beautiful Things Come Together With Time

Eli is coal. Built from a million memories and past experiences,
he is what happens when beautiful things come together with time.
Charcoal meets paper. The past and the present collide
and art is formed from their touch.

When you are lost in the darkness, call for him. His light will guide you home,
forming brilliance from broken moments and hope from scars.
Why coal was named darkness when it forms such gorgeous light
is something I will never understand.

Still he burns, moment to moment, creating art from shadows and blood.
His heart is fierce in its love to those lucky enough to receive it, and I
bow down to the resilience in its touch.

Maybe beauty and time
can be enough.

Grief, Healing, a New Book, and Other Updates

These past few weeks have been difficult. A friend died, and it’s unclear whether it was suicide or accidental. What is clear is that she is gone. As an atheist, I don’t have the comfort of believing that she’s still around in the afterlife. With a single bullet, her energy and the light and love she carried within her dissipated, and that is a true tragedy.

The same day as that lovely human took her life, I found out another friend has inoperable cancer and an unknown amount of time left. This activist and inspirational human told me what matters is the fight to make the world a better, more equal place, but all I could feel was grief. For the past few weeks, I’ve been cycling through depression, anger, denial, and numbness, but I’ve finally begun to find the peace he told me about the cancer with.

The turning point was not what I expected. Grieving, broken, sliding from numbness to depression to crushing anger moment to moment, I drove my way home from a discussion at the local humanist center far from at peace. When I walked through the door, though, my roommate introduced me to “When Marnie Was There.” His favorite Studio Ghibli film, it was a moving, ultimately healing testament to overcoming tragedy, and when it ended, I felt lifted up with hope, the first hope I’d felt since the day of bad news.

Day to day, I’m finding my healing.

There’s been good news, too, though.

On July 20th, I put out a new book. Raw and honest, “Seven Ways to Break a Heart” deals with themes of heartbreak, addictive love, and tragedy in a deeply moving, transformative manner.

There will also be a book release party for this book on August 16th. Taking place at Maya Pizzeria in Mesa, Arizona from 7pm to midnight, there will be fantastic musicians, wonderful friends, my books, and some of the best pizza on Earth.

Later in August, I will, for the first time in years, be going back to college. I’d dropped out with only 4 classes left before my associate’s degree when I needed to appeal my financial aid suspension (I’d dropped too many classes due to a series of traumatic events that had severely exacerbated my PTSD) and been too overwhelmed and stressed by the appeals process to complete the steps to have financial aid returned. I finally took the necessary steps to appeal, and will be registering for my classes shortly.

Also, in February of next year in Bisbee, Arizona, I will be doing a workshop on “Navigating Gender Identity” as part of a series of workshops to help provide more information and support for the trans and non-binary community in Cochise County. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this transformative movement toward a brighter future, and especially in as lovely of a place as Bisbee.

I’ve recently begun working again on my dystopian YA science fiction novel entitled “Crimson Class Rebel,” and I am 138 pages in. I recorded the first chapter as a little sneak peak for you guys, and I’ll be releasing that chapter soon.

The last bit of news is personal, but something I’m incredibly proud of. I’ve been struggling with weight gain for years, reaching 300 lbs at my highest, and feeling hopeless about my ability to lose any of it, but in the past couple months, I’ve managed to lose 28 lbs. While I’ve still got a way to go to reach my personal weight goals, I am proud of myself for overcoming my despair and stress to take steps that improved my health. Though I do believe that no one should be shamed or judged based on their weight, I personally was unhappy with mine, and am proud of what I have achieved on my own weight loss.

What have you achieved recently that has made you proud, and do you have any advice or things that have helped you to overcome your own moments of grief?

Solar Flare

I tumbled off a cliff into your arms.
You swore you’d keep me safe from harm.
Twenty steps away: the ocean spray.
I’m so ashamed of my choice that day.

I held you, burying scars
from all the promises of our previous wars;
every false laugh an arrow to the heart,
but I just wanted a fire to start.

I wanted to feel the burn;
the flame and warmth a way to learn.
It was so cold. I just needed relief.
I forgot solar flares do more than just heat.

You burned me to ash. I crumbled to dust,
my old life gone with a single touch.
Everything stopped, even my heart.
There’s a little bit of glory in all new starts.

But glory doesn’t stay amidst bitterness and decay,
and every time my heart raced, it was anger, not grace.
You danced a great dance. Oh, so light on your feet!
But every dance ends, and ours did in defeat.

There’s no such thing as destiny.
We weren’t “fated” or “meant to be.”
Still, there’s grace in the effort; in building a dream,
but our grace was more drunken tragedy.

I tumbled off a cliff into your arms.
You swore you’d keep me safe from harm.
Twenty steps away: the ocean spray.
I’m so ashamed of my choice that day.

Addicted to Your Sin (Poem)

From Seven Ways to Break a Heart | James Avery Fuchs


I didn’t know love could taste like teardrops falling.
I didn’t know I could feel this kind of alive.
I only knew romance as a plot in a story;
cardboard pages, flimsy as goodbyes.

I didn’t know the ups and the downs:
the rewinds, redrawn parallels, the rebounds.
I didn’t know bleeding out felt just as invigorating
as the first blush of sun in the morning, waiting.

You taught me a whole new melody,
a red-lined, redacted symphony;
more than a chorus, less than a cacophony
early morning mid-range rhapsody.

And yeah, maybe I’ve forgotten the songs I used to sing,
but misery makes for terrible harmony.
I’ve spent the last four years trying to forget my memories,
and even if I break, at least I’ll feel what I bring.

The match burning beneath my skin,
filling me up with fire, every breath a thrumming sin,
tells me there’s more to this play we perform in;
a drum beating down my spine, 4/4 time in rewind.

Allegretto to prestissimo,
my heart races until I crumble.
I’ve forgotten my name. All of life has been so tame
until you tumbled my fortress into a stream.

All past-tense assumptions fade.
I never knew it could be this way.
In a life spent between 0 and 10,
This is what a thousand tastes like.

Exhilarating, heart-breaking;
so much intensity I’m afraid of breathing:
If this is just chemicals in the brain,
it’s a high I never want to go away.

Crash and burn; hit the ground:
seven steps from here to heartbreak.
Nerve endings jagged, breathing ragged,
I remember the way you taste.

You’re the song I adore, and I’m panting for more.
These highs and lows won’t quit.
I’ve spent the last 12 days recalling the ways
your touch could make my breath hitch

And when the beat drops and the rollercoaster stops,
I’ll be lining up to ride again.
You’re the music in my brain I can’t quite place,
and I’m addicted to your sin.

We grew up two blocks
from a lifetime of regret,
and though it never claimed us
I can taste it on your breath.

With every deep inhale,
every silent scream,
I know that I am losing you
and it rips me just to see.

But perhaps it is better.
Dreams don’t build a heart,
and we’re both so miserable, dear
every time we start.

Love takes hard work:
devotion, not just dreams;
so I’ll carve my initials
into my own damn arteries.

We grew up two blocks
from a lifetime of regret,
and though it never claimed us
I can taste it on your breath.

Razzle Dazzle

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I recently had to put a pet down for the first time. I’d had Tazzle for 7 years, since she was almost a year old, and she was a loving, loyal cat who got rapidly and inexplicably sick, losing much of her body weight, her ability to walk, and her ability to control her bladder in a matter of days. I made up a little ditty as I drove her to the vet, and sang to her the whole way there, then petted her until the light left her eyes.

I don’t know that I believe in an afterlife, but I do know that she was loved, and she’s no longer in pain. I can’t really ask for more than that.

She used to love being called Razzle Dazzle Tazzle, and I’d call her over to me with that and she’d come running, purring up a storm. This poem is for her.

Razzle Dazzle

I’d like to say I remember a day
when scattered hopes are gathered,
but the pounding in my head
leaves me far too bruised and battered.

You’ve been gone for two days
and already I’m a haze
of bad dreams, restless sleep
and a numbness I can’t beat.

I search for happy endings
whenever I try to write,
but tonight tears pour too free,
water drowning my sight.

Tazzle, you were far too young
to be given to the Reaper.
He laid his claim just the same,
no longer here to suffer.

Razzle Dazzle, dance on stars,
but remember me someday.
Find me when I leave this life,
old and wizened gray.

We’ll tumble down a rainbow
together that day.

<3

Spoken Word Albums and Other Updates!

I apologize for my long silence, but a job was swallowing my life for a while. However, there are some exciting new updates!

  • I recently released a spoken word poetry album on Bandcamp. You can find it here: War Songs for Peace Keepers
  • I am a quarter of the way through recording another spoken word album, this one entitled Graveside Goodbyes. It should be released this month.
  • I plan to release a short album (EP) every month until at least July. They’re all written and waiting for recording and mixing.
  • I am doing a major site overhaul to make sections of the site more convenient to access. So far the Home Page and Spoken Word Poetry sections have undergone their first round of edits, so check them out and let me know what you think!
  • I’ve started singing my original poems and songs at open mics around the valley as an add-on to my poetry, so if you see an open mic listed on the calendar, you might be in for a new treat!
  • There are three more books planned for release in the upcoming months. Two are poetry and one is something entirely different. Keep your eyes on this blog for more details and some previews!

Speaking of previews, here’s a preview of the album cover for Graveside Goodbyes:

Graveside Goodbyes

James Avery Fuchs signing out!

(P.S.: I finally got my legal name change!)