Round and round the black tape went,
Swaths of it came, and left unbent,
Around my wrists, and around his mouth,
From back to front, from north to south...
Round and round the tape unfurled
Spinning and spitting, his lips- they curled!
Sneering and snickering, bitterly he yelled,
"What good is a God who's secrets don't tell?"
While mourning and weeping in this valley of tears,
His mighty hands shook with them ancient fears,
Tongue wet with wine, lips dry in stutter,
He buckled his knees with all faith he could muster...
While he, the mournful jeerer lost,
Quickly towards the garden rushed,
As darkness, nearer and nearer, hushed,
Left him to ponder its cost.
Let's play a new game.
One we've been playing for years.
Let's call it Hide, don't seek.
Hide your feelings well brother,
Don't let a girl find them.
Hide your secrets well sister,
Don't let that boy find them.
Hide those thoughts of suicide kid,
Don't let your mama find em'.
Hide those insecurities pal,
Don't let your father know them.
Hide that, hide this.
Don't let anyone successfully seek.
Write a poem, write a book.
Hide those words, don't bother to look.
Don't you tell the world your worries child,
You know very well this world is wild.
Save that poem as a draft, you fucker,
Don't you dare open your eyes you sucker.
Wipe those tears and fears away,
Forget your worries, forget to pray.
Hide the scars around your hands,
Don't let your teachers find em'.
Hide your lips, how dry they are,
Don't let your girlfriend find them.
Hide your dried up tears my love,
Remember no one cares.
Hide your hunger well my bro,
You know that food is theirs.
People that don't follow these rules
Will be disqualified by morning.
People that decide to break them,
Will be followed by deep mourning.
Starting now, you're one of us,
This is the game we play.
Starting now, you must hide, not seek
It will all be good some day.
But hide that little hope my friend,
For you know it shall not come.
And if you're scared at all my friend,
Just chug it down with rum.
That's all we all can do now,
We can no longer tell the truth.
We all are now playing this game,
I call it Hide, don't Seek.
HOW I MOURNED MADIBA IN EXCESS
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; email@example.com)
Rationality is antediluvian
Emotionalism is post napoleon
Shrewdness comes with the queen
Slyness a game of head boys
Strength ist meine Kampf
Bad dirgical mourning is mine
The dark son of Africa
My billow is love for humanity
Giving a dick the tick where it is due
Mourning heroes of the world
That battled for songs of freedom
In which cradled I the son of zinjathropus
To day Nelson Mandela is born
He is sired a new and again anew
Not the son of a chief but humbly
In humility as son of humanity
I want to dress in
your insecurities and
be the perfect you.
- Corey Taylor
We live through my frail
in this world, we love.
Flicker, black and white,
the scenes that make up our lives.
Shaded in dark light.
The greatest Haiku,
our fractured, structured romance,
prison art for you.
I got a tattoo;
your face, inside my eyelids.
The night owes me you,
and you owe me the night, too.
I am morning, blue.
If you see me run
ask the wind to give me flight.
Catch me in summer.
Tell me you loathe me.
I want to be the one you
love in black and blue.
If I regret you,
my sorrow must be only
because I'm lonely.
You are my secret,
my self-loathing, my fury.
You drink the glory.
That taste: your cold kiss.
Should all else fail, remember this.
Winter on your lips.
That scent; earth and rain,
fogging in my skull again,
season ripe for pain.
The touch, inside skin,
only ghosts can wander in;
abandoned - ruin.
The vision, since scarred,
iris pattern bleeding hard,
beauty of you, blurred.
That sound, a distant
echo of another day;
winter, ruin, bleeds.
Give to me your tongue;
when you turn your back on me,
it might stay and talk.
You wind me up, let me go.
Don't understand no.
I write you haikus;
five syllables, seven, five.
You say: they don't rhyme.
Your eyes are open,
as though dreaming of my face
creates too much space.
I see you pulsing,
malformed, misinformed, miming.
I think I'm dying.
Iced glass in my veins,
your lack of speech, cauterized
wounds you reopened.
Clouds shift in your eyes,
jaw becomes rigid bone, clenched.
You have betrayed me.
You don't feel yourself
raping my subconscious mind.
You leave me behind.
I hated you then,
past with fervor, the future
feels like resentment.
Somehow, we climax.
Your face, many, like white stars
out of reach. Too far.
The sky is mourning,
bleeding red and blue, for you,
raining in rainbows.
Afternoon sun pales
to cloak the coming night.
The sky looks brutal.
Romance, inception -
ensnare our greatest love, hope,
kill us with your depth,
frail, lucid dreaming,
the wake-up kiss of new days,
fresh belief, broken.
Use me if you please.
This bruised affection is yours,
sincerely - adored.
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood (unleashing lashing waves
that wash the stony structures clean with radiance that laves).
Deserted streets, once draped retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with sounds of words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life ( at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.
Within its walls, whist buildings, tall... outside the City, dunes...
they frame a frail forgotten tale, once written carved in runes,
with symbols strung like halos hung, reflections of the moon’s.
Though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise
the City’s now a sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues.
A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos still aglow.
Steel chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.
The footsteps swarm the church no more (apostates that profane),
and echoes in the nave ring thin, though chalice cups retain
a taste of brine, once altar wine decaying back to rain.
No face appears with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
or paint pale lips with languid laughs to pierce the deathly calm –
or pray for mercy, grace, reprieve, or beg lethean balm.
Coiled candle sticks! Their iron claws no longer loom the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since night lit up, and innocence dissolved in melted tracks.
Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across the cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.
Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak .
The parapets... unoccupied, with neither voice nor crier
(no cantillation, belfry bells; no Minarets inspire) –
abodes and buildings silhouette their mirthless muted choir.
Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness meant to slate,
while lanterns, lovely high above, in silent swinging gait,
haunt ballrooms, bars, abandoned now, with no one left to fete.
The steeple tower, stone and steel, drab dagger in the sky!
Its hallowed hall no longer calls, when breezes wander by –
for filled with dread to wake the dead, it’s ceased to sough or sigh.
Sky’s silhouettes show no regrets, neath twilight’s silver shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap their spirits seep, a clutch of clammy clouds.
No things appear with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
or paint pale lips with languid laughs to pierce the deathly calm –
there’s only hollow emptiness that shifting shades embalm.
The sun-bleached bones of those who shone are scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains.
But plaintive tears were never shed, for no one felt the pains.
The castle clocks unwound and blocked! Their peerless speechless spokes
unfurl in black the reigning Night, by spinning off her cloaks
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.
Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now phantom things on voiceless swings, like statues made of clay,
watch graveyards groom the marbled tombs, where grievers knelt to pray.
The terrors of a conscience fraught, no longer stalk nearby
to rip the shrouds from curtained clouds, frail fabrics of the sky –
the wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.
And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she sails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow shades of misty tears on sheets of shallow gray.
Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
are lying fallow, barren dust, where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a spade.
A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane –
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein –
the fruits of all the labour... lost... ’twas truly all in vain.
No souls appear with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
or paint pale lips with languid laughs to pierce the deathly calm –
they vanished quite a while ago, beneath a neutron bomb.
Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
it is 3:15 PM and still no sun has leaked through the grayness that blankets the earth.
i wonder what the sky is mourning.
there is snow. not much. but enough to see the footprints i've left behind.
i can taste the rain which will soon come and wash my territorial markings away.
i find comfort in this. nothing stays.
Less like, Peace the fuck out,
more like, I gotta go.
I'm leaving the way ships are wooed by waves,
under the pretense of more promising continents.
I can see where countless hands have pulled at my shoelaces,
wrapped my arches in ribbons of origami,
left me second guessing how well holes burn through soles.
It's been a long day of finding breathing space between double-knots and bending
broken fingernails back into place;
the self-constrained chaotic embrace of something supposedly so
straight as string brings forth beckoning ghosts of
those figure-eight souls who laid themselves
to waste their Sundays tracing the Hills
on the breath fogged side of some painted-shut window sill;
trading the promise of Infinity
for the Religion of Monotony.
Praying through agoraphobic day-dreams
raining across the night sky of their eye lids
with the brilliance of meteorites,
imagining how earth-shattering they could be
if only these tyrannosauruses would just look up.
I have come here;
Less like, conquest
more like, exploration.
--Abandoned the comfort of quaint, suburban
ruins of the American Dream, which buckled
like widows knees mid frail-voiced eulogy
mourning the death of their Salesman--
and wandered aimlessly into the improvisation of some story-book jungle,
wishing I was better rehearsed.
I have come here
to congregate with the snakes and beasts; to feast beneath
the din of carnal sin and primal instincts. I've chosen to begin jumping
from stump-to-stump like stepping headstones
in a graveyard of fallen trees, where men,
who grew up too quickly and forgot the importance of fictional stories,
who learned early on how to black-market trade
the need to imagine for something a little bit more
who, smiling through serrated teeth,
saw it fit to clear this wilderness for something a little bit more
But thank god, these brambles grow so thick!
For every hail Mary their metal tongues would lick
into the trees' skin, a hallelujah of vines and branches and roots
would erupt in confused medley,
and their finest mathematics couldn't begin to calculate
the thriving division of a place so ungoverned by logic.
In a jungle plucked straight from storybook pages
I'll band together with these untamed brutes
--these feral barbarians and unbroken monstrosities--
to howl at the moon with the effervescence of a Ginsberg poem.
We'll forge a tinsel-town crown and take turns
playing king of Where the Wild Things Are found.
See, unlike concrete cities
The Wild of Atavism has never forgotten that
Tradition is a catalyst for change
and that nothing is permanent.
Hell, I've been having laughing contests with a mountain
because every now-and-again he will crack
A smile, and when a mountain laughs
He does so, so gutturally,
From deep within his catacomb chest that
the whole Earth quakes -- everything shifts--
And I'm not gonna lie to you right now,
I've sort of got my heart set on being a part of something so
So if you follow,
shipwrecked and mapless,
your shoelaces strapped tight
and run off the infinity of double knots.
If you go looking for me, continue
past the paint chips, through
the open window;
Set your sights to the far treelines.
And don't strain yourself listening for
the laughter of mountains,
Because when that stoic disposition
Finally does crack, you'll feel it in your feet
no matter where you are.
And from the way his ridges are crumbling,
I think I've almost got him beat.
© Christopher Voss
I feel bad because my best friend is leaving for a long time and I'm barely brimming with tears. I give her a neckalace saying to her, "You don't bave to wear it, just take it with you." Because I know really well she has a particular taste. And we take a photo. I hug her goodbye saying "I love you" over and over again. And meaning it. Then she's gone and it's cold.
I walk inside and sit down on the couch and I sob.
Mourning her but being so proud of her.
She really is something.
Why is it that winter
portrays darkness, a death upon the Earth?
Sorrow, Mourning, and Melancholy
But if only we could see
Microscopic are these flakes that fall
so gently and not one of them alike
You catch one in your hand
delicate, it melts
Is that what leaves you feeling sad?
Just think, together each of these snowflakes
Blanket the earth and caress branches of trees that have no leaves left to bare;
they sink into the earth and into our bones
Is that what leaves your feelings cold?
Looking out our warm houses we see the sparkling white
We hear not but a sound
All is at peace. It is silent.
Is that what leaves you lonely?
This desolate, lovely new place the earth has been crested with
Soft but cold to the touch, beautiful but vacant
Distinct snowflakes to blame.
What feeling are you left with then?
I didn't cry the day my grandmother died.
Perched in the canopy above my mourning family, dry
and marble faced, I tried and tried.
My mother, puffy and embittered, pondered me
between clenched teeth, "how can you be," she accused,
"so cold." As if it were the conscious decision
of an eleven year old to be stoic and silent
in wake of the black hearse which re-emptied
row after row of hard, ungiving pew. As if
I'd been doing so to spit in the direction of her
righteous tears, muddling our excrements
with soulful purpose to spite and embarrass.
I wonder now if once she ever wandered
down dirty dusted corridors high upstairs
to find that, triple locked, there resides an empty
box, which once and never again homed
a little dented book filled with homely secrets.
Erased and discarded pages that once contained
truths whose very ink was impained. Somewhere,
once, she caught her shadow harboring blame.
It's been ten years past that fatal day- the first dry
spell of a prideful self-dammed drought.
I move along quietly, and spitting all about.