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JLB Sep 2020
You were a pile of bones.
I loved you before I met you,
blindly as one should, staring at your photo through a phone.

I didn't know, but my heart knew, as I sat nervously in the car.
Scenarios of sickness,
unfolding in my brain,
spilling out like oil.
I tried to clean up, but everything was already greasy and black--
primed for you to leave me,
before you even laid down on my lap.

Then I held you.
You felt so soft,
and gentle.
But, instead of joy,
I felt dread.
You were too calm.
You didn't wiggle, or whine.
I said "It's probably fine,"
but your body was ticking like a bomb.

I feel foolish, dear pup,
ashamed of my dreams on the way home,
of you running, and playing, and growing up.

But you did not play,
and you did not eat.
You were so tired, and woeful, and weak.
I knew when I heard
your little heartbeat,
and your raspy breath,
right next to my ear as I slept.

And the next day,
on a cold metal table,
you slipped away quietly.
I hope that you know I loved you entirely.

Aside from crying,
all I can manage to do now, is to laugh.
Because, while grasping at straws I had thought
"You can't spell Olive without the word 'live.' "
What a cruel cosmic gaffe.
JLB Oct 2018
There's a woman drenched in blue
walking in a cold stone room
circling in a blinded way--riddles raddling out of her brain
and into a shoe.
what to do, what to do.
she walks with armoured gate.
hardened in nature,
speaking her truth,
she holds a hand high to measure
her worth
and it begs the question: do we believe her?
I don't dare go inside,
for worth dwindles with time.
the shelf life on her truth--
though certainly dire,
is short and sweet as vermouth
and society must hear him
before lighting the pyre.
I, a reporter,
root for her-- her biggest supporter.
through a peep hole I can see
the man, and then she.
but I can't type too loud, or the alarm will sound--
one eyelid closed, ball point pen stabbing down
to release some subliminal seismic rapture:
invisible to me, but gushing all around.
Our collective furry, coming un-wound
while unwavering folks still capture
a crooning boy in their arms
despite his cloying false charms.
She throws the shoe, blind,
spilling its rhyme
onto the stone floor
a moment of quiet
and some piece of mind...
but ending somehow
the same as before:
There's a woman drenched in blue
walking in a cold stone room
circling in a blinded way--riddles raddling out of her brain
and into a shoe.
what to do, what to do.
JLB May 2018
My heart is skyward.
I feel light at the sound of low flying planes, recalling my home now so sweetly.

I am a wilted Trilium,
for months fed by a foreign smoggy sun, with roots longingly outstretched for rich appalachian loam,
but grasping instead at the plumes of dust left behind overcrowded buses.

Still, I've grown.
JLB Apr 2018
Underneath the overhead window, overlooking a chaotic city,
on cotton sheets,
gathering breath longingly like
soft blades of sawtooth grass in a woven basket,
I store them in this vessel, the size of a pea.

As humans we cannot truly feel the present moment,
as all sensations of the present have already been devoured by the past by the time our brains can reckon with them.

With each word that you read of this poem, another micro moment will have passed, and the seeds sewn by your consciousness will already be
setting to sprout.

But underneath the overhead window, my fingers circle the center of my sensation,
and my consciousness is caught beneath their pressure,
and submits
to their rhythm.

Outside a storm converges. I hear soft thunder,
the wet smell of rain, and the pinging of
I devour their energy between my legs,
surging into a complete connectedness
with the world
and with myself.

And although the present charges ahead, I’m carried now languidly with it: eyes closed, legs spread, breathing the world in deeply.
JLB Aug 2016
I always used to write when I began to feel the weight of the world.
But sometime last year, I think that I fell into a hole and I forgot how it had helped me.

Every effort started to feel futile.
I stopped trying to make sense of my lonliness,
And I gave in to my

Now I'm beginning to realize
that these feelings of dread
They are all in my head.
And I can put them to bed
By putting words in their stead.

I can use my rhyme
And up the stairs I will climb
Of sorrow and depression
With this tool of expression.
JLB Aug 2015
In your arms
Just two days ago but the feeling’s already leaving
I was bent out of shape
I was dry heaving
on my own stupid emotions so
I wasn’t able
to burn the vision of you in my mind
so hot that it stuck
stuck into me like a point in a *****, turning the turbine
and molding the muck
of my reality, in my conscious so clear it
separates from this one from the great spasm called space and time created by…
I don't know why, but, life sometimes separates the score from the assist.
and now i can’t resist
to list
the ball from the bat
the land from the sea
the you from the……
too corny.
I hope that I don’t seem too pathetic, I’m just too empathetic,
and I need to put this to rest:
to me,
I'm afraid we might be
like that bird who had flown from
The nest, and had his body broken by the nets
seizing the life from his chest.
aHH and now how I seem to sling
with a piece of string
a metaphor
back around to tie the knot
around that bird who got caught cuz
Metaphors and me are a package deal.
they allow me to feel.
And in my sweaty palms.
I felt the life leave
after having expected that it would, yet still also hoping that it might not.
But it did.
And everything should be ok but it’s not. And I should feel relived but I don’t. And I should be excited for what’s next but
I just feel sad.
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