I'm tired of living my life taking orders from fate in a language I cannot comprehend let alone understand
It's too intricate and complicated to start to untangle all the excuses we're using to confuse things
I can find momentary happiness at the end of the bottle and some solace in the pills
I can lose myself to the pain anger and passion when I take possession of another soul that succumbs
To all of the darkness and silly rigidity of all of my sorry dreams and pathetic hopeful fancy
You thought it was love when I choke fucked you until you came like stars singing and fading
I just thought of someone else I love hate can't have to hold and humiliate
I guess it's about the same thing
-Azrael Always James
© Copyright 2013
Blessed is your devotion, offering better wishes;
Lips were bestowed upon me with lovable kisses;
You had brought my soul from most evil to the best;
I cache you the most in this existence as my dearest;
Since you altered my life within a flash of an eye;
And by an embrace of your body, you said bye;
Are you a graceful guardian angel sent from above;
To take care of me and shower me with pure love;
It so magical those things you've made;
To bring back my confidence that almost fade;
A desire to nurture your soft white wing;
While all glittering stars line up to sing.
(All poems in this series are, translations from Malayalam, originally written in author’s mother-tongue, “Malayalam’”, the language of Kerala, in South India.)
BY WILLIAMSJI MAVELI
The city streets of Cleveland were cluttered with hate filled riots
Night skies glowed orange with piping mills at U.S. Steel
Lake Erie was a stagnant pond floating toxicity
Yet 3047 Wilson Street was the house with curb appeal.
A decade of harsh winters was the time that I spent there
Daddy's cancer took him away at age thirty-three
Yet in his suffering he made a plan for me
That included a move to the mountains of Tennessee.
He must of known the mountains would bring healing
To the brokenness of girl slightly shy of thirteen
It was at bedtime the hills would whisper his goodnights
Resting my anxious mind and bringing peaceful dreams.
Safety rested on every road and in each rolling pasture
Stars filled the darkest skies and the streams were pristine
My home rested at the end of a bending hollow
With a swing on the porch picturesquely primitively serene.
For this, and too numerous the reasons
I cling to the hills when I've lost all sense of me
For in them my questions are answered
In them I regain my sanity.
September warmth is in the air,
That playful tapping
Of the breeze
As it winds its way
Through the laurel trees
That line Eastwind,
Up over the cobbled stone
Of Mr. Willow's
Sarsparilla Soda Shoppe.
And there he is,
Outside his storefront
Sweeping away leaves
And late afternoon
Jabe's running around
Like a bobber,
Up and about the yard,
Kicking at the nectarine tree
And demanding it
Drop its sword
And Annie tells on him
Pointing all the while,
Letting Momma know Jabe's
Gonna get himself hurt
Again if that tree
Ever gets mad.
And Dad's outside
Cleaning the windshield on the car,
Eying every streak he misses
And then giving it a name
I'm not supposed to ever say.
He hits the car again
With the garden hose
And washes her off,
Suds and soap splashing
Against the concrete
Of the driveway
As Momma hollers out
At Jabe to get his rear end
Back in the house
And get himself ready.
I go in and change my shirt.
It's hot, the best kind of hot,
And the sky is clear,
And the Summer air smells
Like a barbeque. The best
Parts of Summer always seem
To come when you're heading
Into other things - and if you
Don't keep your wits about you,
You'll miss 'em. They'll just
Wisp away like dew in the
Morning. So I get a clean shirt,
Change my shoes,
And grab my sweater
And head out.
And there's Momma holding
Onto Jabe's hand, and he's
Not too pleased. And Annie
Is holding her SusieQ Doll
And wondering about the fuss,
And Dad's smiling and shutting
The hose off and finishing those
Last few brushes across the
In just moments we're all tucked in,
Windows all rolled down,
Heading up the highway away
From the sun. Momma's got
Her pointy sunglasses on, and she's
Holding her hand out into the wind
Like a movie star. And Dad's
Shifting gears and putting his arm
Around Momma, and I see
Airplanes taking off not too far away
In an open field, those kind you pay
Three dollars for a ride on, and
They swoop you over the town
And you get to see everything lit up,
And you get to puke in a paper sack.
But that's not where we're going.
Dad just drives right on by, and
We watch as the planes and their
Pilots and the little fat kid with the red
Hair disappear into the haze.
Further up the road the lights of the town
Gently flicker away, and the sun
Rests over the horizon, and stars
Peek out overhead one by one, watching
Us I suppose, keeping an eye on the
Shiny not so new car with the three
Streaks across the windshield Dad
And the wind picks up just a little,
Still warm, still alive. And I stick my head
Out the window just to get the wind rushing
Across my face, through my hair.
Nothing like wind racing through your hair,
I thought. And I was right.
The horns brought me back to reality,
And up ahead I saw cars waiting in line,
And there was laughter, and the long
Tall green wooden fence lined the road
Half way to forever and back again.
Inside giant white unpainted signs
Stared at you, and as we pulled up
To the old man smoking on what was
Once a cigarette, he asked how many
And Dad said two adults three kids
And the old man peeked at us inside
And Dad paid a few dollars and we drove
Inside. Slowly, up and down and up again,
Like a sea of black asphalt. And Annie
Dad finally parked, and the car was
Facing up, like it was reaching up
Into the sky, except that the big white
Signboard was in our way. And outside
People were happy, had their radio's on,
Jumping, running. Other kids were there,
And we wanted to get out and run around too,
But Momma said hell no. And Dad kissed Momma
And got out and left us, and the dark grew,
And I breathed in the scent of hot dogs and
Cotton Candy and Popcorn and Pretzels and
French Fries and Hamburgers and it was
Seemed like forever since Dad had left,
And Momma got out and hoisted up a metal
Box onto the back window right beside me,
And then she got back inside and closed her
Window some. Annie asked Momma what
We were waiting for, and Jabe shoved his
Sling-Shot into my ribs and said "Stick 'em up."
And I took it away and tossed it into the front
Seat, and he cried.
Then the giant posterboard lit up some, and
Mentioned a snack bar, and I wanted to go.
After that they showed a Popeye cartoon,
And Dad made it back in time to give us all
Something to eat, say shut up, and take his seat
I'd never seen a screen so big. Never knew Popeye
Could punch Bluto and still be nice to Whimpy.
And we laughed, and the warm wind tapped against
The car, and radio's quieted down, and everyone
Was drawn to the giant picture. And we laughed.
Annie and Jabe were both asleep by the time
Dorothy made it back home. And she was telling
Aunty Em all about where she'd been, what she'd
Done. And they rolled a bunch of names,
And Dad said so how'd you like the drive-in?
And I stared at the big screen with bright,
Wide eyes, wanting more,
I didn't want the words to stop,
The story to end.
All I said was that's the biggest tv I ever saw.
And it was. And I was right.
And I guess that's when Dad
Had to laugh at me again.
Copyright © 2012 Richard D. Remler
Is my girl purple
like the long-forgotten
Is she green?
like the tall-unbending
Is she orange?
like the ending-darking
Is she blue?
like the crystal-flowing
Or is she white?
Not there? Not mine?
I heard a story that moonlight was no more,
And I wept for the forlorn stars,
Orphaned, lost and fatherless.
For the man in the moon had
To galaxies uncharted, gone off,
Feeling unappreciated by the human race.
He found a milky white galaxy,
Where the light of his moonbeams poems
Would illuminate the nighttime sky,
And that is where I wish to be
Before sleep overcame me and stole my consciousness away
My last thoughts were of you and what I would write today
I could compare you to the sun
Because your pushing the darkness back
I might liken you to the stars
Because so many wishes might come true
I could say you are the wind
Because I dream of you gently carressing my skin
I might believe you are a river
Because your washing my sadness away
But all I can really say
Is that I hope you stay
You tell me that I am young
That life has merely licked me, not stung
That I do not understand, that I have not yet lived
Enough to grasp the substance
I have known disease
Slow tears, muted pleas
Pain that nothing could appease
I have known the smell of hospitals for summers
The beeping and slurping of machine in massive numbers
I have spoken to voiceless loved ones,
Loved ones with teethless mouths and twisted tongues
Distorted jaws and wheezing lungs.
We have spoken with little green charts
And broken hearts
From the inability to connect the mouth to the thoughts in the head
And I left without understanding,
What they had said
Because I eventually had to let it go
(I still don't know)
I have spent countless summer nights
In nature’s garb, floating silently in a river
So warm that my limbs, skimming the surface, didn't shiver
Under a clear sky, the stars like paradisiac lights
Without anyone ever finding out
About these wild and primal escapades
I've drank, I've smoked
I have burned my throat
With coarse lemon gin
Until I could no longer feel my skin.
I have been frightened
Yes I have felt fear, like a noose around my throat being tightened
Like a gruesome black crow, perched on my shoulder
I have often awoken affright at night,
Longing, praying, for the morning light
I have felt fear, wild, fierce and turbulent fear
More than anyone will everyone will ever know
By men, by life, by myself
Desolate under the sheets, like a forsaken toy
All by myself
I have seen Paris in the rain
Traveled the French countryside by train
I've woken up to New York window views
And seen New Orleans afternoons, filled with heat and blues.
I've swam the Mexican Baja waters, turquoise and clear
With snakes as sharp as spears
I have known humiliation
Causing my cheeks to turn carnation
A spoon, emptying my insides out
Like a gourd
I have loved
I have known the aching pain of a swelled heart
And the way it can tear you apart
I have gushed torrents upon my pillows and sleeves
Tears running down my chin like guilty thieves
From a lit-up house
I have known death, and grief
The meaning of "never"
Whimpering in the school bathroom
And cold, lonely nights
I have seen the works of Van Gogh, Mondrian, and Miro,
Modigliani, Cezanne, and Frida Kahlo
Of Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, Magritte, and Picasso
I have wandered through hallways of masterpieces
Holding tight to my grandmother's hand
And I have wept shamelessly for joy
Before Degas's La classe de danse
I have been diagnosed
I have undergone computer programs designed to shift my brain, to better it
To get me to be normal, to submit
I have had brain-altering medicine shoved down my throat,
Like stuffing a goose,
To make my brain run a little less loose
And I have submitted and gotten use to my brain being altered.
I have had kisses that were mere trifles
Frivolous, yet fierce and acute like shots from a rifle
Lips of mere flesh, not sweet godly nectar
And gazes that meant everything
That seemed to connect with an invisible yet indestructible string
Iris like distant galaxies and pupils twinkling like black jewels
Eyes that seemed enkindled by some ethereal fuel
Speaking of emotions far too secluded, cryptic and cluttered
To be worded and uttered
I know the way in which violence resides
Not in commotion, brusqueness, nor physical harm
But in silence
In the time that covers pain and secrets
In the slow impossibility of trust
In the way that some secrets become inconceivable to tell, time has so covered them in rust
In that dull, dismal ache
In all that is doomed to remain forever opaque.
I have read, for pleasure,
The works of Balzac, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Voltaire
Of Bobin, Gaude, and Baudelaire
Of Flaubert, Hemingway
and good old Bradbury, Ray
Émile Zola, Primo Levi
Moliere, Rousseau, and Bukowski
I have read, and loved, and understood
I have known insomnia
The way a beach knows the tides
Sleepless nights of convulsive, feverish panic, of clutching my sides,
Of silent hysteria and salty terror.
I know what happens at night, when sweet slumber seems so far away
The worries and woes seem to multiply and swell in hopeless disarray
My lips grow pale, my eye grow sunken
As a time ticks by, tomorrow darkens
I have witnessed horror
In the form of a blue body bag
Being rolled out with a squeaking drag
By two yellow-vested men
With apologetic eyes
That seemed to say "Oh god
We're so sorry you had to see that
And try to forget"
But you are right
I am still just a child
Naive, innocent, and pure
I have known nothing dark or obscure
I have not yet lived.
her mind was a storm
of waves and words and almond-shaped eyes
of sand and stars and hands on the steering wheel
of regrets and maybes and words unspoken
and in the midst of the maelstrom
she could not find her way
she was no longer drifting in the shallows of love
but the depths of despair
the boy with the cerulean smile
had unmoored her, eased her in
with sandy-haired promises
and freckled compliments
Let me introduce myself.
Whether you call me your friend, your confidante
Or you call me a jerk and crazy,
I am your mother,
Your Ma, your mom, your momma, your mommy,
I will be your faithful guide, friend, companion.
I Will be your first teacher and your last.
Sometimes I will be in front of your saying “Nice try! But try again.”
Or I may be beside you unsure of the same answer as you.
But sometimes I will follow behind you, learning from you along the way.
Remember the good times
And the bad, and be scared of your feelings
Because fear is an emotion too.
When you become lost, never let the wonders leave your eyes,
Even though you may wander.
But in your wandering, your small hands could touch nations,
If only you would let them.
Just believe the world has magic in it,
Because the moments of small silence give way
To their own kind of bewitchment.
Sing loud and proud like no one is watching…
And if you can’t, Happy Birthday works just as well.
Look for the glow worms, my child,
The baby fireflies,
Because they are a rare creature indeed
And can only be seen at the darkest of times,
Just like the stars.
Let your eyes be like fireflies and your steps like a prance
Because nothing attracts men like a bright girl who can dance.
So move your way closer to me
Because there is a pigtailed shaped hole in my heart
For the little girl that you will always be to me.
Live as many lives as possible and explore several worlds,
But always follow the banana bread crumbs back home by nightfall
Because nothing good ever happens after eleven…
Unless you are making a wish.
And if you are, load every 11:11 wish with a prayer
And aim it towards the sky.
Send a letter to the stars to make room for one more
Because someday you will shine,
But on your way to the top,
Tread lightly, my child,
And don’t wake the beasts
Because they exist
Trust me, I know.
Even when you are grown and have daughters of your own
Think back to me and remember.