i am so conflicted right now,
because i know i'm at fault too,
but when you go and say
all of this shit to me,
i can't help but wonder.
what did i do wrong?
i'm sure you could write
a long list of all my faults
and wrongs i've done,
just like i can write one
we were going to be friends,
you visited that one day,
and even though you cried,
my heart was numb and
no tears could come.
i've done my share of giving my
tears throughout my life
and i'm honestly done with it.
it's exhausting, being hurt and sad
all the time. it's hard to keep up
and i've grown tired of the
now you've been given the hand,
how does it feel? you say
you're cynical, bitter, tired,
well darling, i believe it.
going down that road, it must
seem dark. are you going alone?
you're going to need a hand to hold,
i can see the dark circles
under your eyes, the tint of red
at the corners of the whites,
have you been crying lately?
the trees are going to loom over you,
evil fingers outstretching to
squeeze the good out of you.
don't become another me,
like a zombie i hope i haven't bitten
take this moment in stride,
learn from it and i know you'll
be holding hands with a new
mamasloth, taking her out for
ice cream and walking along the river,
looking into her gorgeous eyes,
and breathing a deep sigh knowing
that you have moved on, and you're all
it's never actually all right.
even though he was verbally abusive,
i still miss my first boyfriend.
the way his hair fell into his eyes, above
his glasses, and his big headphones
he'd sometimes place over my ears,
so loud that it'd drown out his voice
and i felt like i swimming in a sea
the way his eyes were a deep blue,
and it reminded me of the ocean i
saw once, and the way he called me
killer, so endearing,
when i was too excited.
calm down, killer
his smile, his voice,
for the longest time i thought
he was my soul mate,
but it was just the wrong moment
i thought once, i could fix it.
before we even begun, sweet pea.
speaking for just a few weeks,
went to wichita to see you,
asked if he'd like to see me too
and instead i got
you make me sick,
i hope i never see you again,
i just wanted to
string you along
like you did
it goes full circle, each time,
throwing hearts away
just to see how much it'll hurt this
I am filled with regret
You were strong. You were brave. You were reliable.
I long to go back if God would allow
But who can fight time’s unrelenting tide?
I am filled with longing.
They miss you. I know they I do. I know I do.
The lack of shade. The sun’s smothering embrace.
If only I’d thought, and not run away.
I am filled with remorse.
Will you forgive me?
I am filled with regret.
You were the best dog a family could have.
So barren, for me, was that June
after your death, when I still left plates
of food up high out of your reach.
When we made the decision my head began to riot:
All Dogs Go To Heaven on Disney channel. But the abyss
into which you fell has no baby bunnies under the porch
or couch pillows like mountains or bites of Shepherd’s pie.
I remember you relished in eating peas
off the floor, your wrinkled tongue a prune
pressed against the wood.
But your life was a cocked pistol,
a fraying string on a guitar.
When the snap finally came, I brooded
a bit. But still, I miss your wet kiss.
there is poetry in dirt
in greens, in beets,
especially in rutabagas.
you are a symphony of compost
with which an old man’s teeth are smitten;
Rosemary sprig, beneath all your flavor
you are the staff-lines of a madrigal written
in loving anticipation of the mason jars, weighed down with water
where you will grow and swell and bud and spread out strong purple flowers which elate
that you are part of a song
which sings every year
a little louder.
My beautiful, daredevil vegetables,
This coming September, I will miss you dearly.
I will be days of travel away from your world of roots, of mist,
of six-in-the-morning-before-classes tonic of rain
which saturates my skin so good I’m surprised when I shake the dirt from the leeks
all over my bare feet, that you don’t crop up green & white from between my toes,
that my arms don’t grow heavy with peppers
after they cake with jalapeno & bell seeds from all the half-rotten miracles
to whom I have given baptism in shallow plastic tubs of water
floating like elations of fire
in the grayness of the morning.
Know how to tell if a pepper’s rotten? Wash it & shake it
& if you can hear the water swishing inside,
if you can make a maraca of its innards,
then give it back to the dirt.
This is the wisdom of peppers:
when you grow soft
when you have been chosen
& thoroughly loved
when you have called out like fire
beside your brothers in a basin,
lay down in the compost
the kindly compost,
& listen, just listen,
(there will be nothing left to do
to the poetry of dirt.
Grounds of caffeine and capsaicin
Surround my feet.
Tiny specks spilt
From a nonchalant cupboard.
Effective, yet useless
Down by me feet.
Gather the specks
And boil the concoction!
Mix the beverage
And pour it into a cup!
Drink, bastard, drink!
How morose. How macabre.
The dog has moved to another tree.
The bitch merely ignores it. Rejects it.
Give a visage of violence.
It’s alright now, you’re safe.
She calls again.
The tree is not the tree.
But a special tree.
A sip, a sip, take another sip.
Gulp it and see.
See the busy bumblebee,
And the ascending anathema
And the cacophanous cunt.
It is all beautiful. Ambiguous. Curious.
How odd, the drink I consume.
And there you stand. Oblivious to me.
I call and you turn, briefly.
Are you a ghost? Angel? Demon?
I don’t know.
But you begin to blur.
It cannot be stopped.
I will miss you.
Grounds of caffeine and capsaicin:
What a beverage. What a drink.
No bricks. No lemons.
Just my serendipitous spill.
If only I had
Grounds of capsaicin and caffeine.
Thank The Peppered Pickle Clown
(Peppered Pickle Day)
This is a story you may not know
And it is banned in pickle town
It's about a peppered pickle
That became a circus clown
He started out his short life
Looking through a stained glass jar
Watching his sweet pickled brother
Become a kosher star
Although his peppered pickle life was sweet
This peppered pickle wanted more
He would join the circus as a clown
And be a cut up fans adore
At first it started slowly
No fans did call his name
But a peppered pickle as a clown
Well thats funny just the same
As time went on he made them laugh
They started yelling for him more
Then a show was built just for him
And a peppered pickle day was born
All the fans they ordered pickles
On peppered pickles they would gorge
Then one day there came a time
Peppered pickles they ran short
The peppered pickle clown, he knew right then
That it was time to make his mark
He made a deal with Vlasic corp.
To put peppered pickles in their jars
So Vlasic corp. invited him
To come take a private tour
They said that he would relish it
And be a cut up in the stores
They put the peppered pickle clown
In a clown chair and tied him down
They said it was for safety
As the belt showed him all around
The belt went slow when starting out
Picked up speed as it went along
The peppered pickle clown was sliced and diced
Vlasic didn't clown around
So remember the peppered pickle clown
When you shop at your home store
He gave his life for stardom
And thats why you now pay more
Today is peppered pickle day
And will be known the world around
Made famous by a sweet delight
The peppered pickle clown
Carl J. Roberts