Staring upwards towards the void of eternal blessings
The angel behind the leather mask
Just wants you to feel out the sacred nature of your transgressions
Just vibrations stuttering to a heartbeat
Tearing a hole in the sky
Teasing out the idea of turning you on
You were already lit up
igniting fire to my loins
You came in the dark and left marks
Bruising my ego to dismantle itself
You held me down like sleep paralysis
Demanding my soul to sacrifice itself to the Moon
Watching with pleasure
You were the shadows in my room
Dancing the divine candlelight
A cuckold of my imagination
as I took it lying down
This is worship
This is tribute
Descend on me
do you know how many times i've had to suffer through the same tired metaphors over and over and over again.
put down your tears and your stars
and your cigarettes and your coffee
and your waves and your skies
and your hearts and your bruises
and pick up your pen and write
something worth living for god damn it.
because i haven't read a poem from the heart in years
and all your elaborate conceits and sadness and promises
and "i love you"s and lips and dreams
are getting on my fucking nerves.
rage against the stereotypes and conventions and
rage against Petrarchan and Romantic and
Post fucking Modern love.
Don't write something because you feel like it.
Write something because you would explode if you didnt
Let go of this delusion, burst the bubble where I dwell.
Then let reality set in to dissolve my wispy veil,
Let go of mindless babble; silently listen for awhile
Let go of false pretenses and slowly learn to smile.
Let go the jagged remnants, of my shattered heart.
Let go white knuckles clutching, so grief restrained may start.
Let go pathetic excuses and attempts to justify,
Addiction, plain and simply explains why I get high.
Let go the lies I tell myself, be brave enough to see,
Devastation happened in my past, now, release me agony.
Let go one single blood-curdling scream, make it worthy I get just one.
Let go of superficial friends, do unto them as they’ve done.
Let go of wishing that beauty would change me just for you
I’m proud of who I am inside, no one but I can fill my shoes.
Let go all of the games we play to avoid having to feel
Let go of who you think he wants, and be the one that’s real.
I don't come here much anymore.
Too many memories.
They say every house has a tale to tell,
Every rusted door jam a mystery.
That window over there, looking pale
And yellowed with age
And dust and yesterdays wonder, I broke
Way, way back before Grandpa had his stroke
And Grandma left her rocker for the last time.
I'd thrown a baseball right through it.
Pa was drinking then, the hard liquor,
And he whipped me raw out back behind the shed
With the full buckle. He reminded me
Windows cost money we don't have.
She was six or seven then.
She was just learning how to ride a bike,
And she was proud as can be.
She would hang out by the hollyhocks,
Pretending they were scarecrows,
Naming each one,
And telling me she'd found a pirates treasure
Buried out there near the windmill that still needed
A coat or two of fresh paint.
She was that shine in Momma's eyes,
The one person in all the world Grandma would tell
Her stories to -
Stories that would bring Eleanor
Into worlds of imagination and wonder
She'd never known before.
And Eleanor would drink it in,
All the color and fire,
That lingered in every word.
And when she wandered that late October night
Into the fields,
We searched up and down with lanterns lit and flashlights, And the neighbors helped,
And we found her come morning in the silo.
I guess she'd climbed in to explore.
You can't breathe when it hits you. It's like it
Sucks the air right out of the little space you find ,
And the weight of the grain slowly drowns out your Thoughts and your struggles, your prayers
And your cries. And nothing's left to do
But feel that terror
Of nothingness pull you away.
So many memories...
And I was angry then. Angry at Pa,
I blamed them for everything and then some.
I learned to smoke , and I did it well.
I learned to swear, and I was good at it.
I didn't stay home much after that.
I left, hitched a ride to New Castle Valley,
And then to Porterville.
I didn't care for schooling,
So I found a job feeding pigs.
That lead to butchering. And I was good at it.
I could lose myself in it. In the thunder of the sin,
Found some satisfaction in how they bled.
I didn't go back til after Dad died.
He'd lost everything, did a bit of drinking,
Spent his time in the county jail,
Did more drinking
When he got out.
I'd learned Grandpa died of the pneumonia,
And Grandma had a few strokes.
Nobody ever told me what happened to Momma.
She just disappeared.
...and over time I grew less angry.
And I'd talk to God at night,
Sometimes I'd talk to Eleanor, cuz I knew
She was up there with God doing angel things,
Probably riding a bicycle real good by now.
Time marched on and I made due.
But I don't come here much anymore.
This place haunts me.
The silo that claimed Eleanor now a rusted heap
Of wood and metal that watches every step I take
...and I hate it,
I'd burn it to ashes if I could.
The porch where Grandma's rocker sat
Is weather beaten and tired.
And the stump where Grandpa would sit
Trimming his fingernails with that pocket knife
Lays on its side, victim to the winds of time
And those echoes that whisper things I thought
And I lose it for a moment
And have to mop away a few tears.
Me, a fifty-six year old blubbering fool,
Still picking at the scars.
I can hear her voice,
As she circled the gravel road on her bike,
Kicking at the small stones to get the bicycle moving
Just a little faster.
And I can almost see her sweet face
And her eyes so wide
They captured the Autumn sun like a rising star.
And there's Momma, hollering "Supper's ready."
And Pa, slamming down the hood on
The truck and wiping the hot sweat from his brow
As Grandma's little rocking chair squeaked its protests
Into the wind.
And there was Grandpa,
Grinning and pocketing that knife
And kicking mud off his
Work boots and heading on in.
No, I don't come here much anymore.
This place holds far too many ghosts for my tastes.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
"You fall out of your mother's womb,
you crawl across open country under fire,
and drop into your grave."
She loves me for the me I am,
If that makes any sense.
And no, I'll never understand-
That is my one defense.
I surely wish that I could see
How she can love a nut like me.
Somehow I feel she's settled sore
When she could have demanded more.
She loves me in her special way,
That makes no sense at all.
I heard her mention just today
She's in for the long haul.
I'll never understand how she
Could ever love someone like me.
She has so very much at her command,
Yet she got me second hand.
Copyright © 2010 Richard D. Remler
"Sometimes the heart sees what is
invisible to the eye."
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
You can't read my mind
But I wish you could sometimes
I can't read your mind
But I wish I could sometimes
I wish I understood
I wish you would read between the lines
Or at least make the attempt too
Because I'm not always
Going to tell you when
I am feeling down and blue
Yet even when I do
Or even when I hint
All you can say is "Okay..."
I wanna know you care
I wanna hear you say-
"Is everything okay?"
I wanna feel your flesh
I want it against mine
I want it, I want it
I want it all of the time
But I'm not always
Going to ask you
I may just suggest
And hope you catch my drift
Yet even when you do
You never have much to say
What's the matter?
What's the matter anyway ?
What's the matter with me?
What's the matter with you?
Am I too much for you?
Is this? Are we?
Have you had enough?
Please tell me or give me a sign
Because I can't read your mind
And maybe I've fallen so hard
I'm blind to what you're trying to tell me
Without actually having to tell me
Or maybe I just think all too much
I don't know, so-
Why don't you tell me?
What don't you tell me
What love means to you...
What I mean to you...
Because I don't get it.
...on this Saturday afternoon there is a street fair in Greenwich,
You step off the 1 train at Christopher Street station and all along 7th Avenue,
the little sidestreets, Bowery, Commerce, give me that old Dutch sensibility
Street vendors and street people eating, laughing, trying on five dollar leather clogs
On a day that is slightly drizzling, we pause to consider the trees
In a flash I understand the world you come from when you say you normally stay on the East side of Lower Manhattan, you start counting the colors on the street and ask where all the Spanish people at?
there is this reversal, a turnaround, a recognition in me that binds me to you, when I realize you can teach me how to be young and dance with my hips, when I know that you can give me what I've craved for so long, freedom-the opportunity to face all my fears- and the chance to be a wild thing. I am nineteen, for the love of God, and I never got the chance to rage and abandon all cerebral intelligence and just live in the realm of the senses! But for now, I'll settle for to know myself better and to live without apology-but of course, there is a certain fear with taking that step and giving all of myself to you.
Yet I find myself considering it as we walked with your arm around my shoulders and my hands on an eight dollar bag of Swedish candy. I know you know the effect you have on people, other women especially, I see the way they eat you up with their eyes. But then again I'm only beginning to notice the same kind of attention from men as I walk down the street-though I owe that to you too, giving me enough confidence in my body-to sway a little bit more.
And the fact that you repeat thoughts and ideas that have been constantly looping in my own mind makes me believe we are on the same wavelength. Like when the lights suddenly flickered off on the train and you glanced up at me and said how much you love it when that happens? Goddamn, it sent my head spinning.
And now we are together, supposedly. But of course I always keep in the back of my mind the possibility that everything you are is a lie and you could wake up one day and say I don't want you anymore and just walk out my life with both hands in your pockets.
If that happened now, I could say fuck you and move on.
But if I love you the way I want to love you and the way I long to be loved, all of that mind body spirit crap, a piece of me would just break and float away forever.
I guess that's a risk I might have to take one day, and I find myself considering it as we race each other to get burritos and later on I flick some water in your face and you just stare at me with a faint smile on your lips. So, at this moment, I am too much with you. It scares me when I think of what I might feel for you, and so I am on the edge of a precipice here-wondering whether or not to run with you.
In the morning I help her gather her things
With clothes everywhere
Where's the underwear?
Ibuprofen please and coffee
I'm going to bruise
But I like what you do to me
The coffee makers broken
I'm all out of ibuprofen
It's getting late don't you think
Try Starbucks, it's probably open
Almost always your place not mine
So I can quietly leave early
But I'm not the callous type
I just can't fuck so hard for love and fail
Wake up and pretend it's alright
So thanks for spending the night
We're not bad people just real
Let's hug and kiss and lie
Say it was great
How do you feel?
I wish that I were ten again,
Just to see the things as they were then,
Back when life had a slower pace,
And I had a much younger face.
I'd run wild and barefooted through the park,
And play kick the can 'til after dark.
And I'd outrun every firefly
That lit up my late, late Summer sky.
I wish that I were ten again,
Just to hear the way I'd say amen
Each time good Marion would swear
When I'd put a beetle in her hair.
And she'd jump and scream and call me names.
Oh, we were crazy kids with silly games.
It did not take much to make us smile,
Oh, to be ten again for one short while.
I wish that I were ten again,
Life was so very different then...
We'd turn this valley upside down,
Whenever the fair came to town.
Exploring every hidden thing
Their mysteries and magics bring.
And how they'd swell and light the night
So big and loud and fierce and bright!
And there were times that I'd skip class
Just to make trails in the tall, tall grass
Right outside Baker's General Store,
Before they called Dad into war.
Before things that I could not understand
Brought him back a different man.
A man who's heart could not recall
The child playing basketball.
That's why I'd climb that tree at my Grandma's house
As cleverly as any mouse,
And I'd climb as high as I could get,
And stay there 'til the sun would set.
And I'd watch the colors of the sky,
As the nighttime drifted by.
No, I don't mind every now and then
To wish that I were ten again...
Copyright © 2000 Richard D. Remler
"I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired,
now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive,
I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that."
~ Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
The girl with the smile.
The perfect storm.
Wonderful. Just. Wonderful.
Aren't we a shy pair? The names
you use to describe me to others are cute indeed
but I'd like them better if you used them with me.
I'm more than Lauren, your friend from school.
I'm the electric wonder who you deemed "too cool"
to pursue back in eighth grade. So you sat back like a
fool and let me get my heart broken by a boy who didn't care.
I forgive you though,
because you were there when he let me down.
And it was your hug that I'd wished had been his all along.
And back in tenth grade when another stood me up,
it was you, skinny love, who picked me up. From a
lonely cold night outside the movies. It was you,
who took me out for ice cream and it was you,
who told me he wasn't worth the trouble.
In tenth grade you deemed me an exciting beauty who
could never fall for a man like you. But all along it was
your hand I wished had been holding mine.
And my senior year when we parted ways,
and we reminisced about the days we had
you had a look on your face. Like there was something
you just had to say. But instead,
you told me you'd miss me when I was at college
and nothing more. You made me the girl with the smile
that ignited the light in your heart but you did not tell me.
You let me go. And I never let you know that I wish it had
been you in school who I called my own.
Summer after I came home from my first year away,
you said I had changed. I had purple in my hair
and the care I once had of the opinions of others was
gone. We spent weeks together, like nothing had changed.
And when I cried because I had to leave you again you
were the one,
who calmed my fears and promised to visit
once you'd moved in.
I was your perfect storm of grace and tragedy.
And it was you,
who I wanted to share every moment with
during those warm summer nights.
Sophomore year you brought me to a party. I
didn't know anyone and your friends were rude.
And when I wanted to leave and never come back it was you,
who stood up for me and told them I was perfect.
You said I was Wonderful. Just. Wonderful. And after all
the times I let the truth stay bottled up inside I finally
let it out. That kiss on the porch was not the wine, nor the
weed. It was me. It was you. It was us. It was all the times
you were there for me and all the times I'd secretly wished
you were those boys who'd let me down.
So why? Skinny Love? Why continue on this way?
No need for another heart break. Let's admit the
way we feel, my friend,
the way we've always felt.
For tenth grade me.
For senior year you.
For the times we cried together.
And hid our feelings for each other.
Come now, skinny love, tell me how you feel.