Those veins in my hands,
they show that I work.
These scars on my face,
show I've endured hurt.
My rank remains low,
so continue to fight.
I must work to achieve --
for the rest of my life.
My muscles protrude,
as they pass, they see.
My work isn't taken
Men & women gather,
they stand behind me.
We call ourselves Feminists,
they label us "crazy".
We liberate ourselves,
our minds and bodies.
For like-minded people,
awaken from the faulty.
Our thirst for empowerment has never changed,
our roots are thorough -- where they remain.
I'm given the strength to survive every day,
I live guiltless & unashamed.
Cruzers , bruiser's The Antilosers ,
We roll proud when our music's up loud,
We be true and we see just right through,
To be the boo you must know the crew. We bust we trust and we Don't need no dust.
Your'e dirt you hurt I won't wear you're shirt!
thanks for the neckless but boy I am wreckless
Far from a test guess Hot in the best dress.
don't rank me less or think I'm some mess
Just don't need stress or you on my chess..
won't play this game You're not gettin fame, don't claim my name cuz boy you're just lame!
Man life know just set eyes way like young world soul day hunger space mouth earth thoughts ignorance blind things mind knew final moment human creation kind creatures souls high forgotten dream love spoke self existence face holy deep bound think home void say surrender ear forever called held ephemeral red state end shall heed hope edge living waking fall sea wake garden need February thought past wanderer got men page colored tepid terrible damn proudly untitled features point painted faceless box forgot render wild spring splendor handfuls looking half brain lost torn ancestral unseen vision inner summer honor mister owned banner save today fear groans wasn't smoke street fable strange year contrast black years able pain body spoken word known motion palpitate reeling nature culture disclaimers cancer beg attentive frames bodily base profound double remember wholly finger death token cries continue folk oh fishing form broken true divides spread ah twas away breathe wait warning hallowed wish closer lens turn eye live constant current author hung theory dangle bramble chemical new force changes adderall anymore giving beneath possess pardon commentaries eternity internal walk reason long change does idea glimpse consciousness wandering simply wonder physical dreams war sleep told rest benign prior begging truth little 2012 born tale crow bowels allegory animal rule exasperate making horse curse hands ones read rearrange capture doing command fail awake aperture seedlings shift steely sir nap spead doofus demons slits clever telling loud spits la-la-di-dah killing slip game reflected nameless ask lovers rabid bear salivate plunder shameless famously savior mint rides menthol bully fate traded melodies play misunderstand mammals gentle witless fine utterly savage silt tongue-less dirt dilutes pure non-sensory taste briefly ravage dismember it''ll shedding ruined curtain knots offers plot fulfills munificent two-act relegates boxz bug altruistic wintergreen tossing callously guise grovels one's singers treachery ashes mid-life mutter fashion parading ambiguity separatist liars staple steeping neath guidelines scoffing stitch moans civil wrote Fictitious undoing fables table effigies serve sonnets staged remark psalm swoll praise harken beggar verse bread lines heavily electricity detection snow sack-happy preaching credit spotted wicked best gravity gun campaign owe barge choir revelry celebratory satiated sinking headline pack hound persistently propaganda gentlemen excluding diminished fucking run idles occupied levies wolfishly honestly misinformation cuba vehemently dumb grace spectator erasing toned sage crowded secrets inter-connectivity loaned prayer hymns grave mistaken magnified vandals selective jump leak escapes says minister buckle mass honesty shut tar children's hats monument doping long-lived electrical ladle exaggerated cartoons address seconds cool cradle bleak yang's mind-framed hypnotic walker caps folly treble claim streaks mixtures swelled interstate elapse teasing spoon mobile succulent witchcraft borderline fatal 99 temple stacks sups plastics creeps neurotic ills tossed meek sipping old crack interlock wax alleyway coughing blown freak clock birthdays societies slow flashing viscous candy argument toothless pills cerebral rapt wall bisect lives wheezing photo kid starter foiled pair saturated self-castrating pre-packed naked uncertainly pill used came chaos coated reprisal fells wrack irreverent mirth sickly disinherited proudest collate wheeze appearance palette disharmony discontented bastardized emotive bio inhale diction beat spoiled reclamation loudest tempo totally disembodied matte imperfect shells flat struck sounding imparts flak origin severance remarked bone walls snared leaflets mocking hot scripting adjective noun agape seemingly resistant gawk calamity passage paintings wind trashcans signings sits cheap makers poetry persist scrap slipping individual talk wonders leaving questions fold actor fancy parchment fates engenders flown jaws stripped longer music sacrifice fakers book boldly frown sigh atop patient hang trade occupation blows spectacular whispers worthy backward waving certainty danced suppose needn't ‘drawkcab’ second-guessing boys forget marched motto heads tightly lies two-tone earthbound harp twice turns goodnight lying vomit internally indiscriminate nickname drunk convictions myth steep in-consumption fitting artist thug universal sick expressions bad du spell melody big siphon proud learn sprawls song spastic something temperaments utter check fissures stomp totality blend definitely thrall sing rug voice shade pestilence ties commiserate round devil steady brains emotional certain gate suckling gates dearth decay weight bounce pound carrier pangs glass startle contest earthen web tug pressed air patience flush amassed guest gone apprehension staring empathize captain believe fading in-perceivable deathbed guarder makes surrounds scatter drooling ebb blink cob tome venom near door lair derision draws host stairs scent parts curiosities spider webbing surprise wares tips stepping ascetics starkness realize picture surroundings dictations grand pillars deaf limited comparisons greet visual residents personal settings dismiss alien law stability common earthly shiftless places prelude understanding mosaic keen trifling embodiments geared inception whisper visible jowls kiss murky puddle rank dawn dichotomy single faithful fraying pays tailor veil climb mores pence whim breath wellspring samara god stony pear shadows fruiting forebodes moonlit looming shown passed bog gold wracked faint tongues noble preachers mirror shifting layered depth threads jungle narcissus bemused seamstress self-worshiping architect's wore slumber anomalous opened barren seam lip caustic scene coupled brick gardener's clenches -with forms idle breed embodied lore starving empathy design illusion tree coat fabricate lucid mason scatter-all narrative seeking imbued 16th shivering chemicals 17th 15thrisk improperly dare deliberate plan purge try brought chapter speed aide utmost spirit leading intervention felt recall recent advent sincerity times diary lackluster piously lasting happy holding hear stem tasteless whimpers wet spine monstrosity dripping causes position quite softly claws pallet answer digging tearing beast satiating circle breaks skips redwoods beckoning rotted hushed gray lapsing monoliths deities creborus imbuement hand stroll paradigm rendered chorus shy whispering forest residual tension surrenders tolerance lull anew sentenced bearing tide birds dirge divergent rim joined cogs wood hesitant mist emergent towering offer awareness confinement inverted faultier stowed plane sanctified blanketing trusting memory fossil flash twists laden self-indulgent fleeting invitation agony grip shore impetus lingering crows promise gift union swallowing endless floor supposed ecstasy sensory intent psychotropic cradling placement interned jagged connectivity exchange congenial begun summons singular spiral assumes ambient reciprocates re-entry fruition reached aggregate lifetime limbs birthed instinct frightening tarry proper entire light boundaries innocence pursuit ago discover left youth's unknowing sacred time place meager simple fact cast ceaseless wide-eyed literal apparent coincidence create boldness morphed crooked kempt mere stumble buried shutter fairy pivotal definitive months worth shear ambition sound required journeyed self-reflections title facets vague restless intimation gut wanderer's leap motivate path account boy soon bears faith question tripped reasons uproot awaited confronted days step heal provocations wisps crushing transcend chronicles instance directness raw drove occurrence objective-less real enters slightest confident nondescript typify foreshortened interment paradox bitter heart devoid jeopardy angry sensation confidential guilty arrogance mercy compliance reprieve vincent deadening factual sign emotion awe inhibition shackled butterflies absence actual sciences acknowledgement violent stagnant spiritual American doors roots lack matted fore gestures society cause streams intensity hair impossible discord lonely hearts resounding jest what's flavored pains closed toxic contented happenstance scientific knowledge yeah wizardry shaking stifled withdrawn bloom jitter dreads settle asocial hulton make predisposed figurative reflections demeanors wondered affect hulton's projected sense morning industry arrays ghosts feeling certainly endomorphic where's partially wrath passer mornings jovial unease advertized asking trash onward wished tempers media mentality connect pasts sharp-toothed scramble great colours trial test salvation continually lent degree secretly subjection social waned disconnected colors grimly intellectual civilization cash trading baffling particular digest myths monumental ending seasons winter repetition introducing agent everlasting shoulders delivered honestly-- possession funny continence history unsightly function suffering propulsion profession divulge familiar tugs era importance capability perpetuation spite inventory words entirety leveling fray insight date record continues writer getting evermore fellow tongue possessions identical proof accuracy education similar sack admittance favor unravel conveyance guilt gives beginnings predicting audacity definition bobby heady eaters frameless learned release stone grandeur sang speak molds sleeps split built seats people folded sheer pour evoked playhouse liquid boring tellers frayed stark walked reality pleas doth preformed shows beak pride squawks opinions greatest bold stunning sightings he'd loudly slain sunk watch legend precipice theater deeper compound commentator civility justly silly sin reverent seen prophetic moral confounds notion lacking explain attempt prolific viral estrange proclivity scorn hide blur pious strung eden's horror cut skin arch cruel twig mother vile pass lend woods peach shrunken trail man's canopy worn 434 eat warm limb familiar father delete.
You are what your reading lady. Now would you hold this gun?
Honourable Younger Sister,
This village is a world of stone. Lanes, houses, courtyard walls, towers, pavilions, tables, benches are all hewn from ancient red rock. The stone streets are lustrous with the passage of feet and shine in the moonlight; tomorrow they will glisten in the morning rain. After six days on the path into the mountains I finally rest at this inn. Here I can buy light: to write in this loft whilst the house sleeps, though a dutiful daughter dozes against the foot of the stair-ladder to serve me should I require sustenance. Frightened by my ugliness I summoned up my sweetest voice for her and soon there was a shy smile and downcast eyes. These are long nights for the village poor, but few here as poor as those whose shelters I sought on the path. Tonight I miss the steaming breath and ceaseless rustle of the animals brought indoors for warmth and security. My travelling robes are already filthy, but my body remains clean. As soon as I depart each night’s shelter I search for a stream to strip and wash thoroughly in the ice-cold water.
Dear sister, we have both been taught that the function of letter-writing is to unburden the mind of its melancholy thoughts in the form of elegant colours; its purpose to state one’s feelings without reserve. My thoughts turn constantly on whether I have it in me to ‘summon the recluse’. Have I the stamina, the patience, the resolve to seek out these elusive souls? Such thoughts induce fear rather than melancholy, fear of failure.
Already my journey into these mountains has crossed the season of late autumn into that of early winter. I am told the russet-red leaves and pink berries of the Ash, the deceptive Rowan and speckled-leafed Lace set the mountainside alight as the sun rises into a clear sky. For me clouds hang all day in the steep valleys, and so hide the heights where the solitary ones are believed to live. They alone see with the dawn the mountain peaks aflame It is only in the very late afternoon that the sun melts the clouds, breaks through, and enlivens the landscape, turning it gold, then amber, and a final dull red before the blue blackness of dusk descends. Beyond this village my sources tell me there is real wilderness, and paths are few. I am to be my own guide.
You and I are so adept at the play of words. Our honoured father encouraged us, and as custodian of the Imperial Archives he knew how words could be arranged to both conceal and reveal; we played with the characters as other children played with coloured stones. So with the poems we call “Chao Yin”, let us play with verb “Chao” as both to seek and to summon. Chu Hsi, a courtier of that prince of Huai-nan, was sent into the wilderness to summon an errant official back to his post. His poems speak of terrors of the mountains, their ‘murky depths sending shivers of fright’ of ‘the caves of leopards and tigers’, and of the deep forest where ‘a man climbs from fear’. The poetic form uses “Chao” as in the ancient ceremonial song “Chao Hun”. This calls on a dead person’s soul to re-enter the body, so ‘a summoning of the soul’. In those times such poems argued against the recluse, the withdrawn one, and sought a return. Today there is this feeling abroad that we need to consort with the recluse, to taste his solitude. Does the solitary life speak of the ineffable Way? Or is it in the search for the solitary one that a moment of enlightenment may present itself? As the saying goes: ‘to travel one must surely uncover truth’. In my bones I feel ready to invert this old poetic form. I must summon the spirit of the recluse out of the mountain fastness, but not seek his return. I need to touch his ways, see evidence of his mountain life, for a while to walk his paths breathing the same air. In my heart I expect nothing but his absence. I foresee I may reach his shelter and find his gate ajar, though the embers of the hearth still warm. He will be on some distant peak gathering herbs. If on a precipitous path I was to turn a corner and find him before me I have no words prepared. For the moment it seems I am exploring an idea through this summoning and seeking, not a living, breathing body.
Tomorrow I shall reconnoitre. My official hairpin and staff will command any audience, but for reliable answers, I am far from confident. There is always talk, rumours, sightings. The common people respect these beings as kindly mountain spirits and guardians of the wilderness. At the fork in a path, by the crossing place of a stream, corn, persimmons and millet are left for them. Such offerings will be replaced in time by the rarest mountain herbs, wild fruits, the skin of leopard or bear.
Your last letter spoke of ‘following my path into the mountains’. You have always defied convention, so it would be no surprise to find you here on my return, although I think your Lord would not sanction it. He would find such a request unfathomable. I am still perplexed at your situation, that you, the most homely of women should be so favoured, so adorned, and yet so free. It is that confidence you hold to yourself.
To me, you have always been the essence of woman. What knowledge I possess of your kind comes from you alone. The infrequent gropings that occasionally present themselves I have only dismissed. An hour in your company smoothes and stills both soul and body. Your movements and gestures are always quiet and true, as are your woven words that sing in my memory on the path.
I read your letter
And savoured your words,
Your sorrowful songs of separation.
I can almost imagine your face before me
And I sigh and sob out of control.
When will we meet again
To amuse ourselves with prose and verse?
How can I tell you of my misery
Except with these woven words?
Have I remembered your poem correctly? I expected no response to my own lines on our separation. On the very morning of my departure your scroll arrived. I delayed to read it, delaying further to know your words: to carry them in my memory on my journey. In our respective verse we follow the way of tradition: the lonely woman in her room; the man travelling far from home. How many thousand poems describe this antithesis?
My life has always been sheltered by the expectations of scholarship, the requirements of official rank, and more recently acclaim due to my songs and poems. This journey begins a new page, as a seeker and summoner. Follow my path deeper into the mountains, be at my side when I rest, calm my fear of the heights and the depths of dark ravines, reveal to me the words to paint the scene. Know that I share with you everything that is to come, without reservation.
Remember the words of Lun Yu: ‘The good man delights in mountains. The wise man delights in water’. In these mountains the sound of water is present everywhere.
A stony spring rinses bits of jade
Minnows now and then emerge, and disappear.
Here what need of my silk-strung gujin? –
The mountain water has its own crystal song.
Your brother Zuo Si
A vile serrated day that suffered
The wind and the air to be stifled,
Spread sick among the ashes of burning,
And held silence upon the screams of yearning,
Yelped frigid chorus of agonistic moans,
In pain and torment, of rotting bones.
I walked along a path paved of marble brick,
My temperment unnerving, my gait was thick,
The path aforementioned halted upon a gate,
There opened, I saw, where the dead gestate,
Leading down a snake-bodied trail,
Tried as I did to turn back, I failed,
I saw no reason to leave the place,
The corpse garden, it seemed, held great solace.
Trudging down in acute contempt,
I struggled to see all but lament,
Comforted, dare I might say,
With being surrounded by extent of decay,
I flowed forth as if some purpose,
Guided me to them, the reason unsurfaced,
At where I found them sitting aside,
The trail of things in past belied,
Quiet, and leading to the body swamp,
With scars detailing drunk mourners’ clomps,
Chipped and chiseled, repaired and mended,
The Stairs awaited me and repented.
The first step sat on the top of the hill,
Where the path veered, silent and still,
A narrow case were these stairs so shrill,
A horror oozed from them and fear me filled.
I could not but wonder why irony had found,
That in the graveyard, it started profound,
Aside this step a great living tree at each flank,
And aside the bottom a matching pair, but dead and rank,
Like a gateway from living world to dead,
This whispered somber secrets to my ears full of dread,
I took the first step and it’s concrete creaked,
Rather odd, I thought, a sound for stone to secrete,
Or was it a muffled wince of pain,
From another mortal stepping again?
The weeping willows here feigned not their name,
For I heard them cry again and again,
The tragedy in bark and each branch,
Etched inside were names and romance,
Initials of lovers on the first two trees,
Rotting off the second set like some disease,
The twins were mirrored like that in a story,
But this was reality, this was horrifying,
I knew their fate even without a headstone,
They loved and died, and only the trees had known.
The perils of this place seemed haunting,
The grass so green and at peace, seemed daunting,
I took each step with trepidation,
The caution here lingered with anticipation,
At the last step I was greeted with a chill,
The faint breeze had just marked another kill,
As I stepped forth once more on to the earth,
It seemed as though the staircase lurched,
I knew then I could not leave,
Until I’d seen all of what was bereaved,
The only thought I could think was one,
Were I to die here, I wouldn’t be alone.
I was looking at your photograph
And it took me back to that
When we laid in bed at your
And you told me
You were a
I said "What's that?"
"It's a rank in Boy Scouts."
I almost died laughing
And we were just clowning
All night laughing so hard
We were begging to stop!!
"I MISS YOU!"
I had a dream I went to Heaven,
But something wasn't right.
It seemed to lack those streets of gold,
With mansions large and bright.
Instead of songs, the angels cried,
And gnashed their teeth at me -
The streets we walked were ashen,
There was no chrystal sea.
I stumbled somewhere distant,
And then I saw your face.
No smile of contentment
In the entire place.
No peace, no joy, no happiness
Within these shades so gray.
No backyard family gatherings,
No children out at play.
Your merriment seemed quiet,
And your walk a weary gait.
I had no clue what time it was,
I did not know the date.
My memory, usually sharp and fine,
Seemed vague and dull and sore.
As the windless heat of heaven
Creaked and crackled every door.
The dark, at times, seemed far too dark
To ever be a night.
And fires burning here and there
Gave off a ghostly light.
The sound of rusted metal
Echoed through the shadowed deep,
And a woman lay upon the ground
Begging the dark for sleep.
My body ached in weariness,
And in my head a thudding pain.
We struggled through the glooming dark,
Unwilling to complain.
This shadowed place I did not know.
Neither precipice, nor broken stone.
Or the taste that welled up in the air,
That scent of purgatory bone.
Like mottled smoke that hissed to vent,
And eggs rotting in the dank,
That left the dead, unmoving air
To taste hot, and seared, and dry, and rank.
"I know you," somebody said,
In the shale and shaded blight.
And I heard them limping in the dark
Shadowed by the murky light.
"You were there. You knew. You did!
And oh, how I recall your grin
That day we asked of paradise.
You said there was no such thing as sin!"
"Every Sunday, right on your dime,
As if you held a razor scythe,
You would mock our preacher without fail,
And you'd remind us God was a myth."
"You'd tap that Bible in my hands
And say old men created god.
How men who's lust for wealth and power
Could invent a sham so worn and flawed."
Then another man pointed to you,
And I saw his smile beam.
He said, "Seems like it's been forever.
You used to coach my baseball team."
"I was only ten, and so naive.
You taught us how to play,
How to treat the game like a business,
To never give a game away."
"You taught us to stand in our pride,
And never settle for second best.
You told us what we had to know,
And we did the rest."
"Some of those games we played were raw.
But we won. You showed us that.
We damaged more than just their pride
When we were up at bat."
There was a hint of recognition
In the corner of your eye
As the stranger shook your tired hand
Before you managed a reply.
And oh, I saw you smile,
As they held you ever near,
So proud of you that I was glad
I happened to be here.
When a boy of nearly seven,
Called your name from far away,
He had heard those muffled thank you's
That your nearby friends would say.
But he was not very grateful,
He was not very kind.
And his eyes were full of anger,
And there was fire on his mind.
He said, "You lied! You lied! You lied!
All those things you did to me...
Every bruise, each cut, and every tear
My parents would not see."
"They trusted you! We trusted you!
And all you did was lie.
I prayed I'd get to see you
One more time before I die."
"But that was oh, so long ago.
How long? How long? I'll never know.
But I'm glad you're here. Enjoy the fire.
The Laborer is always worthy of his hire."
And he walked away, in silence, yet,
He left a void I could not forget.
I looked at you, and gently sighed,
"What did he mean when he said you lied?"
And how you grinned, your eyes so wide,
As though they had a glow inside.
And all you said was, "Good old Kevin,
What makes you think that this is heaven?"
Copyright © 2010 Richard D. Remler
Anne crutched her way
through the narrow path
and back gate behind you
on to the side path
that led to the beach
the sky was overcast
she moved up beside you
as you stood there
looking at the horizon
look at the sea
and sky and gulls
look at that wildness
breathe in the air
fill your bloody lungs
you breathed in deeply
smell of sea salt
if I had both my legs
I’d go out there
she moved forward
until her foot
touched the start
of the sand
come on Boy
breath it in
you breathed in
she stood there
her green skirt
billowing in the wind
her dark hair
this is fucking life
this is it
all I want now
is a tall ship
to sail her by
the bloody poet
you looked at her
of a ship
her skirt rising
carried by the wind
now and then
her stump showed
and her other thigh
with her white leg
what do you think Boy?
breezy and fresh
trying to keep
your short trousers
moving in the breeze
the white tee shirt flapping
she crutched herself
onto the sand more
moving near her
the crutches firm
we found that fish
on the beach
where you pointed
yes and they cooked it
for dinner next day
and it was fucking rank
and she grinned
it was up there
by that wave breaker
that you kissed me
you made me
well you enjoyed it
carried her voice away
were broken up
then away again
she looked up
at the darkening sky
the pissing rain.
that tumble off grocery stands
of dusty wood-colored plastic
wiped clean with rank rags dripping dirty water
and a hint of bleach
to kill germs.
Covered in dripping red
gooey sweet syrup
that resembles sour sauce
of lo mein Chinese restaurants,
but encapsulates all feelings
to nerve tinglings
and lick chops to swallow drowned.
Atop a table
tuckered in the corner
next to borrowed chairs
that mismatch from three to one
and darkened grain and pale wheat
with a broken leg
that will one day topple to the floor.
Retching from inhalation
as breath stops short
lungs rejecting air
from the path of recycle-ment
like tossing used paper bowls
into foundations for isla de debris.
Enlightenment of the general mood
from stumbled laughter
into an inception loop
of spinning tops and trading card games
into a never ending bubble stream
like a train braking
and go to rest.
Dead like a corpse
as in sleep like the departed
where nothing can be bothered
except the alarm for tomorrow.
Because I am scared,
for the shadow of despair,
that will rise as a lion's roar,
to claim the title "king,"
and rain down sorrow,
before the lamed warrior can raise a piece,
or a scholar a pipe,
to ward away evil,
and purify with ceremonious smoke.
I cannot speak for anyone but me
But what I watch is what I see
What will it take to someday break free
From this violence, we must flee
When will adults look around the room
And apologize for their sins
Where egos and rank have no bearing
Ending hate before it begins
When will the ones who run this world
Shatter the cycles of pain
Dismantle all the ignorance
Washed away with heavy rain
When will the day come where I will be allowed to travel
To any place
Where I will not be discriminated for ethnicity or race
When will a time come near, where children play with no fear
Of strangers who play with them, with strangers they call friends
When will the people shout for change? When will they rise and say enough?
Enough with the killing
Enough with the death
Enough with the battle fields, enough with the wars
No more shattered windows or broken down doors
How much blood must be spilled to change the world?
Enough to paint a city red?
When will people cast down their stones and cherish life rather than being dead?
I cannot speak for anyone but me
But what I watch is what I see
And I see a world, a dysfunctional world
Talking too much
But taking no action