poetry

The Spirit Prints No Timetable

Someone else
once described poetry
as the practiced revelation
of subjects ordinarily marked
for concealment, but no one
buys it so why bother
sourcing the quote. “It” must be
ok for me to steal, I excuse myself.
Time and time again
I excuse myself.

Let’s say
for the sake of shaky
foreshadowing that the door
to everything I didn’t do in life
is straight across
the footworn hall from everything
I did—that The Did and The Didn’t are
lifelong neighbors, occasionally
getting each other’s mail, riding
the same elevator or climbing
the same stairs, walking
the same corridors and sidewalks, passing in
the same streets, noticing
one another, exchanging
pleasantries perhaps, talking
about the weather
since the weather
is revelation but you don’t have
to take sides. This is the way
things are, they each announce
once the doors close behind them, so
might as well have a little sneaking
peering peek through the keyhole
at what the market will bear, actual
and imagined.

When I
finally saw the sun, it was
far more _____ than it had
ever been in crayon. Condemned
to see the particulars, I’ll think
about the rest of my life
later because tonight my steps
for once feel firm across
the wood floor with its
creaks and cracks, a substantiation
that inspires me in a flash
of poetism to affect a posture
of gracefully uncertain, fatigued
defiance—this is everything I have
left at night as sleep awaits.

Sleep awaits
and choice has brought us
here, I think, the actual stupidly
collapsed in a corner after banging
on the walls all day
because the imagined isn’t across
the hall at all, he’s next door
carousing, suffering, enjoying, lamenting,
enduring his own facts with
the volume up too high. Time and
again
in the midsts of revelation and
concealment
and it’s here, back to sleep, done
in action and coming undone
in speech as I playfully murmur some
solipsisms about having met most
of the people I could’ve been.


Originally published on Art & Insolence.

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Burning without fire

close up photo of red candles

Photo by Aloïs Moubax on Pexels.com

Last night I scalded myself Mama and as the boiling water ran down my arm

I saw you through the pain and you were smiling and everything was wrong

how you are alive and yet gone, how you exist and yet don’t, how I was never right

and somehow always mistaken

If I don’t come from you then who? My mitochondrial existence and all the women before us

seem to pass into memory and then detached, by our severing

every day I wake and I think of you and then I remember

you’re not thinking of me

What tenderized my heart so? Pounding it until it cried out

I know it’s futile and still I yearn

What compelled it to continue beating even after the obvious?

I loathe that about myself and I love that about myself

I am like a ship in a bottle, you cannot figure out how I came to be

full and whole, encased in glass and yet

I am neither full nor whole, but hungry and drowning

a featherweight, a word, something you created and then said

no you can take it back, I don’t want it any more

(I never did / I pretended / it was the mask of a mask in a mask)

and so I went far and nowhere

near and not close

wondering what will come first? The last loss of you, or the first diminishment of

my eternal want?

Who am I kidding? With endings there remain

more scabs to pick off, prayerful knees and bowed heads

no amount could achieve

forgiveness or whatever it is I need to be to

change everything that cannot be changed

so I watch myself and you

I watch nothing and no one

empty their expressionless pockets into water

watch the colors of us turn dark and indistinguishable

as if we’d never been and I am not sure

where or who I am without you

like a glass blower who stands on the quayside

wondering if

the boats will come today

marking the horizon with their

dusky forms

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Sunstroke

close up of couple holding hands

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Oh love

Your dispossessed erstwhile vowels

My clamoring for meaning

When we are both, slung over a giants shoulder

Soil carried to replace the old and build future

Timorously and then bold, holding bit between teeth, gritting and grinding down

Sensible molars, well protected in childhood

While voices of reason chime midday bell

We hear only the inside out sound of skin and bones
Our own scraped bare-faced challenge

Hot in the sun captured in bottles without secure tops

Ready to burst, I observe in the minutes lacing themselves forward

The steeped joy of owning this private glance into your fickle heart

Where many times it does not rain but still you never age, nor

Run out of the substance making you strong and bright

Like hammered silver bends only to the implement and wears its
bruises well

You are well. And I am well. Deep down. In the stir of our marrow.

Where we recognize that weather vein casting our fates together

Your pianists fingers crisscrossed against my loss of inhibition

Who am I kidding? I’m never absent from the purchase of passion

Long it has been the fiddle that gets my jig

And the moment is stretched long and elastic against mutual want

We breathe the same, dissimilarity leaving her clothes in the doorway

I cannot say after this long staring into you

Where we leave off being separate

The whisker and fall of our mutual song

Sprints ahead into unpaved road

And I am left with pictures

Of the young girl I was

And the woman I became

Beneath you and running through you

A river without dam

Claiming her hot land

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poetry, prosetry

This Time

We’ve said it seriously a few times before we really need to stop we cannot possibly carry on like this we can’t keep doing this shit anymore this is getting out of hand we’ve got to calm down we’ve got to stop and this time this time we really truly mean it

so we pledge and sit indoors on a Friday night sober and tired shaking and wired phones buzzing ignore ignore ignoring wake up Saturday morning wow how good it feels to have slept to feel clear in the head to have spent nothing no fights no sex no shame no regret

so let’s celebrate with a bottle of wine and some shots and a few lines because now we know that we can do it or rather do without it so we’re fine and we deserve it because we’ve worked so hard all week and we’re young and it’s fun so why should we impose these crazy rules on ourselves life is for living drugs are for taking drinks are for drinking music is for dancing so fuck it let’s live it let’s do it let’s do this

and then in a couple of days when you’re sick and skint and I’m a depressed mess we can have our little chat again and pledge again and

this time

we

really

fucking

mean it

right?

no seriously
I mean it this time
I know
we’ve got to stop
yes I agree
so do I
right then
that’s good
that’s fine
we can do this
yes
we don’t need any of it
no
everything is gonna be just fine
yes

 

 

 

is it really though?
what?
is everything gonna be fine?
yes

 

 

 

silence

 

 

 

 

 

I could really do with a line
same

 

 
one last line
for the last time
the last line for the last time
yes

 

 

 

 

I really fucking mean it this time
so do I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(’til next time)

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Possession

bonfire burning camp campfire

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

A house without visitor

a life without notice

the invisible among us

silent behind their walls

we think nothing of

in our hour of mirth

trying instead to catch the tailcoats

of that good feeling as long as it lasts.

For some of us, if we are lucky

we never run out

of brightly colored days and regard

for others, life is a jigsaw of incomplete moments

too much spent unnoticed and forgotten

behind structures that do not speak

the words too hard to say.

We are not selfish for wanting to stay

free of sadness, and shrugging it off when seen

though it compounds those many weary souls

alone so often it begins to feel

like a waking death.

I used to wonder at their fortitude, why

they continued on, what kept them going

if anyone ever gave them a thought

never imagining I could become myself

their neighbor in isolation.

There is nothing to be done for it

some of us are by our natures and fate

passed over, left behind, forgotten

no pity required, we sustain ourselves

on the very grief felt, sitting at single tables

trying to open our mouth to sustaining.

Sometimes, even breathing is

an effort

perhaps, when we die early

and unremarkably

this is why

for the body responds to sadness

shutting down, closing off

turning out the last light.

I think of childhood and how I should have known

it was a preparation, or a warning, depending

but then I had hope

and now you cut me off

with not so much as a whisper

and I see my own reflection fade

from all memories and all common ground

to become what maybe it always was

before I ever existed, before

time itself, counted down

loss

though loss is not the right word

for you cannot lose what you

never possessed

 

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