it is said that
a prophet finds no honor
in his own country
are received as a
threatening to melt
the caked wax
blocking the closed
intolerant ears of
once found no
in his homeland
his people driven
from their land
gobbling the land
people from villages
they had occupied
since the dawn
spilling Zulu blood
into roiling rivers
petitions of the
the blood of
against the victims
by corralling them into
where rivers do not
flow, grass never grows,
game cannot graze;
only the dust doth blow
riddling the captives
with torments of
mocking the speakers
of mother tongues with
the fained eloquence
of bastardized Afrikaans
the dominion of the
and affirmed by exiling
a people from their land,
outlawing their language,
dividing the nations into
a fallacy of separate
destinies where a forgetful
history blessed with amnesia
will anoint the conquerors
with the spoils of abundance
stolen from the vanquished
Madiba spoke of these things
and was awarded a prison
cell for twenty seven years
but the hostages of
a conquerors justice
to be freed by the arrival
of an accepted truth
set free by the very words
prisons cannot contain truth
steel bars cannot imprison
the idea of divine justice
it slips through the smallest openings
like a wafting fragrance of the first day of spring
it saws away at the rust strewn steel bars
like the surest movement of a master carpenter’s arm
it melts the thickest links of iron chains
in the fiery forges that burn in the hearts
of all freedom loving people
the truth of justice
is born and takes flight
on the wings of history
covering the globes
nesting in the most
and mean estates
on God’s good earth
truth and reconciliation
can never be separated
planted together to grow
healthy nations and
trust and restoration
Madiba, you always
found honor with
the salt of the earth
the children of light
who seek to dispel
the darkness of
we continue to
walk your way
guided by your
we take the first steps
asking liberators to join
with oppressors, pairing
in a magnanimous walk
along wholesome pathways
perceiving the buena vistas
of reconciled communities
of peace, equality
and justice for all citizens
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Madiba
as he rolled by in the Canyon of Heros
showered under a June blizzard of confetti
and a resounding acclimation of love.
I was a plebe inhabiting a lower floor
Broadway office, yet my station blessedly
brought me closer to Madiba. As he passed
I was moved by his miraculous smile and felt
the colossal reverberations of his waving arm
triumphantly hailing the sweet freedom of
liberation all hostages of feigned justice
exude in the vindication of divine justice
enraptured in the joy of affirmed truth.
we are enriched
and blessed for
the time you walked
the good fight
for we shall resume
the climb to
the next mountaintop.
Well done Madiba
Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela
7/18/18 - 12/5/13
Ladysmith Black Mombazo
I don't want to listen to Rachel Taylor anymore
I hate her voice
God, I'm so fucking over that
Being so complacent
And then the sob stories
The crests and troughs
Like a wave's
One night wanting a change
The next - same story
Same old story
Just a new face
I step onto the cold glass tile
The window's open
And the hairs on my leg
Stand at attention
Put the towel down
Turn the nozzle on the shower
I wait for the scalding water to pour out
The music snaps on
5, 6, 7, 8!
I just stand in the shower now
I don't even imagine conversations anymore
The water rolls off my head
My skin is bright red for the heat
And I should have just showed up and said
Get in this car - let's run
I wash the soap off from my face and shoulders
And run my hands through my hair
A dark, wet matte
The cool december air
Blows through open window
I run the towel
Over the wet hair sticking to my arm
Check my phone:
"Maggie Upham has uploaded 5 new photos"
And then the little red circle with a little number "1" in it
And I feel my heart pounding,
And I think I might scream!
And then my heart sinks
And there air is knocked out from my lungs
Like it always does
When you read such a tragedy
Your bold boiling,
Your stomach in ropes
But now I just hate it
It's always the same shit
Some fucking romantic song
Some fake book about love
Always there romantic side of art
The romance of depression and angst
The, "Why me?"
I'm sick of it
I don't want to read the poems anymore
And be lied to
I don't want to hear they lyrics and hear
The beautiful, gentle voice
Two tears ago, I'd go through hell to hear that voice
But now it's just a chore, a task
Something that I do begrudgingly
And I've heard all the songs so many times
Now I hate the sound of a bow pulling on the violins
The hum of the quartets
The ping of the piano
The beating reverberations of the bass
And Anna Bulbrook's lovely harmony
I don't want to listen to Mikel Jollett anymore
Drips down a neck
And With it-
That little drop
I feel I sink
in on myself
dark and thankless.
Is Known naught of
Is a wail.
That call from the wall
Are a small face
A large patch of damp
Ten years ago
are the realisation
Of a grey intruder
Will never go away
You do not want
In your bed
Breathing your air
As you stare
At the moon
From a window
Which is locked
Under the spell
Which is enchanting,
So beautiful and terrible
That you tremble
That it cannot be
Slept or scratched off,
Outrun or drowned.
If it's to be written off
Then im afraid you are too
You never learnt the words
That It didn't want you to
There's an architect designing the world from the skyline downwards, as he believes himself to be a God
The paraffin lamps on Victorian cobbled corners are as dry as the seraph in dust bowls over some arid sea
A portrait exists, of a town covered in mist and the orange cliffs are a thousand bloodied wrists
Somewhere music plays to ghosts, obtuse reverberations of some cave on a mountain... or something
and what a useless skill it is to be a poet, flouting fanciful words as if a single soul cared or could possibly muster anything more than unadulterated apathy
What a lonely life it is, to spend entire days watching pornography and reveling in dissociative stoicism
Watching cam girls for hours on end, swept up in conversation yet never taking part, only watching
They seem as lonely as anybody, holed up in crimson rooms as anonymous DJs play through laptop speakers
Fielding obscene questions with a smile and renting their body in timetables to the highest tipper
and some days the depression becomes so heavy that masturbation seems impossible, though it's possible to blame such scarcity on the anti-anxiety meds that have ruined so many-a youthful folly
Is there a more flattering notion, than a story teller being commended for honesty when every word is a lie
Fictional accounts of melancholic lives told in a pulchritudinous verse or a prose of the most regal purples
Using nothing more than psycho-stimulants and a smeared bedroom window for inspiration
There's a writer sat at a desk, typing ridiculous lines of text, as he knows himself to be human
and in that humanity he strives to create a realists interpretation of existence through scattered memories
and derivative styles of his favourite authors whilst using educational texts as footnotes in imaginary diaries
The insular heart unsealed; pearled eyes
Breach parapets of stone— periled shield,
The sweetest kill—
A threatening wonder and irrefragable synergy,
Nervous routes of cognition
In this nascent, amorous craving.
Locked and abased,
Dissonance lends pathos — euphoric and onerous,
Disconsolate cries curb sublimation,
The regnant bleed diffusing — fervid lust
Fondled, tactile surfaces in throbbing anticipation.
Sullen, aft a veil of laughter,
Visceral aftermath, out of
The ardent ash,
Burns a thirst;
Insuperable numbness and ache.
Table for two
Enraptured in new alliance,
Élan vital (psyche);
Urgent dialect petitions
Equivocation, jocularity blending
Provocation with indecision,
Noted lilt of descending inhibition.
Adrift, the incessant Now;
As occasion inexorably diminished;
Resonant simpatico tending,
Heard conversant, cognitive idioms—
Lassitude, time-eaten pangs of the unhinged heart,
In disquieting synergy,
Nibbling, the circumference—
Misery’s permeating truth;
None immune, all trundle incongruously past,
Facing intrepid savages.
Licitly felt, reverberations of Amor
Whence the heart behaves;
Measured cadence, pulse elevating—
Treasured lover, contemplative muse;
Undulating clasp, inflated bone of absence;
Incarnation — a woman,
Ineffable adoration pours in certitudes of verse,
Elenita, enclothed —virtue unvarnished;
Reservoir intrinsic, poised advocate of the innocent:
The crooked lines of insolence,
Brazen culture of neglected youth.
Perceptive blue stare, sensitized tears—
Plaintively, evincing her injustice ago.
Siren silence, eruptive blush, ampler between phrases
In dulcet tones — stirring discourse;
Foments rebellion, the strife beneath— his loin,
Out of its vast reserve,
Penetrate the narrowed ambit, vaguely announced.
Groping hands, migrating the sensual member
Stern faces grimacing— mirror in abrasion,
Under the blind surf of consent;
Burrowing ambiguity, emerging torsion,
Plunge, enlisted and content in the sea;
Subsumed in the nonverbal cue,
Quelled in the post cerebral assent.
Piercing eyes parallel crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe.
An untouched portion of his awareness remains aloof,
Palpable in the subsequential quiet,
Obsequious and febrile, they sinned on sofas;
Peregrine predilections quenched and viscid—
Serenely requited, the room breathes her presence,
Limp, figures orgasmic, mantled in adolescent torpor.
Erudition in bloom, trust undoubted,
Illuminating, satiating; tempest calm—
Terrain soaked and sodden,
Postliminary — rains of invalidation.
Allowance and permission
Recalibrate, salivate, shortly only—
Initiate, obliged consecration, appraising
Curvatures of the spine,
Stuns him obeisant, her femenine pulchritude,
Propinquity inciting vigor,
Emergent allure, the updriven
Tower of wood sprung from the blanket.
Suffused in ether, purring streams of remembrance
Vaginal honeyed dew, sung into
Orchids, remnants of remember;
Drenched down the cynosure of devotion;
Succulent view, diaphanous pantied bottom;
Halcyon mist, saporous wine — compliance of the will,
Freed fires wander,
Pliable rind, twin plums dripping,
Abject confession, dispatching doubt
In tendered senses,
Pivotal tree, lavender Jacaranda holds the key,
Unfurled, cindered vulnerability.
Half-denuded skin invites confessional savor
Acutely bubbled rear, fleshly furnished denim;
Sultry visit, San Ramon Valley in the fall,
Strewed limbs splendid, flowing filmy;
Bursting silk congealed
Across deft thighs, ambrosial thong draping ankles,
Grazing ascension, the curvaceous trajectory
Nose inflamed with fragrance,
Inhaling, climb of acquiescence,
The facial weal, amid the globed fruit,
Focal intention — ploughed lance thrusting,
Absconding, the ancillary perfume of essence.
Perceiving avid validation,
Swimmingly, amid the monstrous gaze.
Humid skies simper dank, set swell the incense of Eros,
Surge of poetry engorged
The flame levened shaft,
Nimble breasts flounce, spill the harboring mouth;
Moist hands merging, unfettered,
Weave in supplication,
Vicinity voicing, enmeshed diversion;
Supple and spherical behind
Posterior arch, milky-skin against the lip—
Ripeness jostling their complacency;
Lapped the mooring, ridden decisively;
Recapitulating— spumed forth, bellied over hips warmth.
Abandon the dirge of self-pity
Late under ego’s trance.
Tempting trespass across sacred gardens,
Flowering, scandal set luminous: attachment—
Consensual, their corresponsive fear;
Protean manifestations— evocative, perpetual
Unutterable contention in a fictive resolve,
Deliberating the merits of their widely disparate tastes in coffee,
Amorously touring wine, let’s drowse through the gnarled vine.
Sundry deficiencies pale, once contrasted;
The beatific vision—
Material substance unaccompanied,
Imperceptible, tear-streamed cheeks in synch,
Ventral kiss, peak of carnal perfection,
Reminiscence— flesh violent with Love.
Fiction knew to meander the innominate rift,
A tincture of irony soften misdeeds
Immense as the sea.
Insolvent beast stippled with sapience—
Unmasked, the fabric of delusion;
Dependence smothering the disciplined heart
Resentment put up for release.
Waste of residual years
Fate’s apportion, scars bleakly observed;
Chastened by heartache, engulfing fervor
Too faint to recapture.
Vague glimpses dry—
Hypervigilant his defenses,
Veritable suspensions, embers lit linger;
Slender walls of solidity, the horizoned self,
Faith and reason in concert — stone levels of elucidation.
Fractured bones of distance, emanate a rigid salience,
Another ponderous night of absence—
Lingering, cauldron of dearth as indifference ushers,
The quotidian coil of contrition.
Tearful pallor, sequestered —ciphering time and solitude;
The unkissed mouth, his restive brow;
Suspend in the approximate span.
After Lucid alliterations are spoken
Devoid of her face, his lover’s nudge—
The man nurtures his hurt.
Anxious as seldom unscarred,
In present tenses,
Kissed by her serenades of integration—
Notwithstanding metaphysic intrusion,
No chain stays unbroken,
Postponed drifts of deferment left unspoken,
Reverberations of amor.
© 2013 W. S. Warner
The redneck got arrested last night.
The bastard was barking back at dogs
and belting shots of scotch well-before sundown.
You could say he and the sun were collectively sinking.
Nights like these
breed pregnant silences
between the outbursts.
I sit poised for the next eruption
as a child cloistered under covers for fear of thunderclaps--
(presumably bellowing for beer)
then he's batting his live-in lap-straddler
around the apartment beneath me.
With every strike
the drywall learns a lesson
this ignorant bitch
can't get a grip on:
some things never change.
The world will change around them
like tissue growing around a bullet fragment.
The cops come,
the cuffs go on,
and the problem is put on pause for an evening--
but he'll ascend the stairs with the sunrise.
because misery does want for company.
He'll promise he'll be different.
She'll actually believe him.
They'll be back to battering their plaster
with the reverberations of orgasms and arguments.
She can't see that a drunkard's apologies
are counterfeit currency.
I took it for common knowledge.
Perhaps it is...
Perhaps, like living in tornado alley,
they cope with ceaseless shit-storms
because they're just too lazy to move.
Well met, sir. You've directed these orchestras for years, and you've done it well. You may feel free to attend the dinner at my home, which will have dishes sprinkled with gold and the maids will know not to interrupt you with trivial requests.
Mr. Samuel Barnabas Affluent
You handled the orchestra with such a mastery that I have never heard before. I was, of course, absent from the concert hall, though I could hear the reverberations of your music from the street, where I lay below a stone arch at the time. Your new drum beats mingled with the sound of the rain, and I fairly shivered. Thank you for performing such a masterpiece.
Mr. James Destitute
One- I was drunk and lonely and you were a bored
masochistic mind full of regrets. A winning
combination. My mouth tasted like every
bitter emotion I had been swallowing for months
on end, my dress tight enough
to break every bone. Your eyes were the color of a
mirror that I tried my best to shatter. You asked me
if I liked your tattoo (two dragons intertwined
on your forearm) and I told you no,
I hated it. I asked you if I looked good in red
and you told me not to be so fucking narcissistic.
Our bodies fit together like a puzzle with a few
of the pieces missing. I made sure you kissed me
everywhere but my lips, because then I would have to
close my eyes and trust that you wouldn't
tear me apart.
Two- Different night, different bar. Lipstick the color of
pomegranate that stained the white napkin and the
shot glass. It was a coincidence to see you again
but you had never believed in fate anyway. You flashed
your damaged goods status like a label and I wanted to
punch the mirrors in your eyes until my knuckles bled. The
dragons on your arms breathed fiery whispers into
my skin and I felt myself losing control again. Your pulse
was cacophony, so loud I could feel the reverberations
in my toes. Sometimes I cringed and I told you
I didn't expect you to understand, didn't want you
to understand. I think you could sense that I was a girl
entirely pieced together by memories and held in place
by overwhelming nostalgia. At the end of it all you
scribbled your number into my palm and I hated the way it felt
like a promise.
Three- There was too much weight on my chest to even
contemplate breathing and I called you. You were
static before you were ever something solid, something
tangible. You held me while I cried, never making
a sound and I couldn't even feel the tears. We looked
into each other's gaps like a telescope and tried
to find the stars to guide us home. Unlike me, you
weren't afraid of being hollow. I asked you when the
pain would stop and you told me I had to wear it
like my favorite sweater. I asked you why I
felt so empty and you told me not everything was made
to be complete. It was so melancholy, the knowledge that
neither of us would mind being annihilated. I asked you
if I deserved to die and you sighed and kissed me,
the universal sign for
no more questions.
Part the First -
In the secret alcove you sold yourself to,
you can hear the church bells tugging at yarn.
And death shall have no dominion, Thomas said
but one day I will be killed by this drowsy
desperation to immolate myself gone out
This is how you understand Girls
who Survive on Domestic Violence:
When I was younger, I would lend the
outline of my skin to boys,
begging for them to please
hurt me hurt me hurtme in
tandem with the rhythm of
my impaling, right up to the top
of all the sharp angles of my shoulders and my
soul; I am, at the end of all things,
a creature that needs to be used.
In my headspace,
I was always hanging by a rope, spinning
all alone on the tip of Everest,
breathing crisp winter air; screaming.
And there were echoes that shook me so hard,
you could have composed symphonies
of the reverberations of my body,
the manifestation of ghostly pleasure and my own ruin;
the sound of my snapping bones and the way they moaned.
Part the Second,
those moon songs my
mother never sang to me –
the ones about pretty faces you saw through gin in
neon light bars, and the ones about
the lonesome dreams of peter pan, adrift in
the trappings of this old fisherman still living by the
sea, all the cartilage of his knees and elbows worn away, and
the ones about the way we would someday implode,
a mirror image of toppling
children and houses made
from tarot cards painted by women with swollen
Sage advice to trace yourself in the smoke of
religion and all these candles you blew out at the altar,
before everything visceral dissipates and
you are suspended in time,
an Introduction to Suffering and Suffocation: head caught [pause]
in the steel lining of clouds and rawhide tied around my waist,
tethering me to smog and pressing my face into wood.
In the breaking of flowery porcelain and bared teeth,
all the world is shrouded by sempiternity, but
I can still hear the poetry in your voice.
The dying sun,
the gushing sea,
the crashing waves,
sand below her feet,
the purple sky on the horizon,
brings to her soul tranquil and peace,
a dip for divine ablution,
she curls her toes and leaves her impression,
to see her burdened soul released,
a look back at the clean slate of sand,
the grudges swallowed,
the mistakes washed away,
tomorrow is a lovely new day.
Humbled by the powerful force,
she prays to the vast expanse,
pain and sorrow sans.
But in her head there haunts a babel,
screams and shouts she cannot strangle,
she looks up to where they must be,
memories, tears and shambles.