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Eric L Warner Sep 2016
One of the worst parts about post 9/11 airports is you can't meet your lovers at the gates anymore.
You can't run off a plane and embrace with a kiss like two poor folks who never went to etiquette school.
The kind of kiss that is more like two faces punching each other.
The kind of kiss that has traveled a thousand miles in bated anticipation.
We shuffle off the plane and head to the baggage claim.
The kids behind me were born after 9/11.
They will never understand Richard Gere and Julia Roberts brand of love.
A love where nothing else mattered but getting back into each other's arms.
That love is gone.  
We have to go through security first.
Take off your shoes, check your liver for spots, and make sure you aren't
    carrying anyone else's luggage.
Loose lips, sink ships.
Don't say anything that might give aid to the enemy.
Everyone has to make sacrifices.
Your love comes second.
Eric L Warner Jun 2017
"That's outrageous!" He said.
"You're a ******* fool" I muttered.
That's pennies on the dream.
If you think that the four dollars
   And 29 cents is for a piece of plastic with some ink and a ballpoint then you're probably just making a grocery list.
A pen  is not for scribbling to do lists.
There is an app for that.

A pen is for unlocking dreams and opening windows.
It's for recording the nightmares and victories of a life worth living.
If you don't have PTSD from one thing or another by 28, then you aren't living right.

"You're a madman" he chuckled.
Maybe so.
But I think the price is worth it.
Eric L Warner Oct 2016
The beat pulses.
The rhythm shakes.
And she never breaks eye-contact as she serpentines
around me on the dance floor.
I thank god for that.
Because even after 4 whiskeys
I can tell
I'm an awful dancer.
I went "club dancing" for the first time in my 32 years on this earth. I still don't know how I feel about it.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
To center the chaos,
And calm the screaming in your head.
To teach you,
To survive without.
Without shame, without remorse.
To teach you,
To serve.
Without fearing the burns.
Without fearing the binds.
Without fearing monsters in your bed.
To teach you,
To find peace in empty valleys.
To find love in sinful places.
To find courage in a rope,
A knife,
A gun.

To teach you,
To remember, and forget.
Remember your place in my arms.
Remember your oaths around your neck.
Forget the physical and the mental scars.
Don't forget the anger.
Don't fear the burn.
It'll keep you warm.

To teach you,
To find a purpose.
A purpose in pain.
A purpose in agony.
To find courage,
In a rope,
A knife,
a gun.

To teach you,
To cry.
With a Rope,
A knife,
A hug.

To teach you,
To be the girl I know you are.
"Beautiful, Intelligent, Capable" (Say it every day..)
Until you stop saying it,
Because you know,
You are.
Thoughts on a D/S relationship I had many years ago.
Eric L Warner Dec 2017
"Carpe Diem *******!"
It's the Latin battle cry version of the YOLO generation.
The Abbreviation Generation.
The "I don't have time to explain **** to you because I'm trying to just focus on my art right now mom" generation.

Carpe. *******. Diem.
And you have no clue.
Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero
"Seize the day! Trusting as little as possible in the future."
It means doing everything you need to do to achieve everything you want to get done.  
Not jumping your bike off a roof into a pool ya *******.

Or how about...

Blood is thicker than water.
What kind of guilt trip are you riding along on? And who taught you that?
That family is more important than....than....than what?  The bunch of water sandwiches you hang out with and call friends?
The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.
Means the family you choose is greater than the one you are born into.
As in blood brothers.
In war.
In the streets.
In love. a gentleman.
A gentleman with a top coat and a hat.
The kind of gentleman who holds the doors and walks on the street side when accompanying a lady.
Why does he do this?
What makes this gentlemanly??
Because back in the days of olde, before indoor plumbing and sanitation services, we woke in the mornings and threw our buckets of **** out the window.
Into the street.
And before the automobile those heavy footed horses carried the wealthiest of them in carriages and where would they slop around???
In the street.  
And they would splash literal puddles of **** on whoever was street side.
And when the gentleman arrived at his destination with his buxom lady in tow...he would hand his **** stained coat to the coat check and don his finest finery and proceed with his evening.  
All the while, providing the woman he is escorting with his left arm, so that his sword hand (his right) may be free to defend her honor.

So if you take one thing away from my set young pupils, let it be this.
Dress your best, eat like kings, fight for honor, and for ***** sake, check your **** stained coat before you go in the restaurant!!
Carole Diem *******!!
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
A mother is still crying in Ferguson, Missouri tonight.
There's no media coverage though.
They are all in Charleston.
Tomorrow, they will be somewhere else.
Once the cameras get turned off, and the microphones put away,
      the story does not end.
There is still a father crying in Ferguson, Missouri tonight.

There are children crying in Minneapolis tonight.
There are dozens of young children walking
      the hallways of their school, and searching
        for a man that will never walk them again.
There are still tears in Minneapolis tonight.

There are smoke and tears in Charleston tonight,
There is rage and exposed indignity.
There is corruption, and a systemic virus that
    we all pretended was over on July 2nd, 1964.
The fight is not over.
But tomorrow, the cameras will be gone, and there will still be tears,
     in Charleston.

With so many tears, it's amazing the entire establishment hasn't just
      been washed away, by a salt-water flood.
A Phyrric Victory is defined as "a victory that was gained at too great of a cost."
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
I was painting a portrait the other night,
    when I figured this out; so let me paint you a picture now.
See I’m a writer, and not a very good artist, and I’m overly clumsy
    and far too bulky for my own good.
I have a boxers’ hands to go with a boxers’ grip which is the worst
    way to grab a paint brush unless you want to tip over your paints.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I tipped over that tray thing with the little slots for all the different
   colors of paint to keep them separated.
They went tumbling to the floor and they all mixed together and
   became one, and there was no more white, no more purple, no
       more yellow or red.
There were no lines to color in or outside of cause the paint was
     everywhere and I left it to dry instead of calling it a
                      “mess that needs to be cleaned up.”
I gave it a chance to become its own thing.
And it didn’t.
It just remained sprawling on the floor.
But at LEAST it was given a chance.
And then I turned on the TV to see that cowboy has-been from Gran
     Torino talking about how this is a “***** generation” and how  
             everyone is too Politically Correct.
He said we used to not be afraid of words like '******' and '****'
    and we walked around proudly in our own neighborhoods,
         and I immediately turned that ******* off.
Not to ignore it, but because I couldn’t respond to it.
I’ve been screaming at the TV for 32 years now and have determined
     that either they can’t hear me or they just don’t give a ****.  
It may be both.
But I want to scream.
I want to tell him that people still aren’t afraid to use those Words; they just choose not to.
I want to tell him that they still walk around proudly in their own neighborhoods, and they are even more proud that he doesn't live here.
But all that’ll lead to,
is an Us vs. Them mentality,
which eventually leads to wars.
We can’t have a war.
Not based on this.
And there are people out there who want that, and there are a
   lot of them.
And they are using those words and they are walking those
      neighborhoods, and they are posting on Alt-Right Message Boards
           and talking about how the White Man is going extinct and how
                   they are the minority.
They white-wash phrases like “White Supremacist” to become
   “Racial Purists” and I realized that they just gave us the answer.
We need to spill the paint.
We need to fall in love with people of color.
Any color.
Every color.
We need to spill the paint and mix it together and make new colors.
And it’ll take a long time, but anything worth doing is worth doing
And there will be no more primary colors and secondary colors,
    there will only be people.
But its not enough to mix the colors, we have to clean up the act too.
We have to raise our children of all colors right.
We have to tell them that no color is better than another, and that you  
    can draw a painting with just one color, Because that IS a choice!
You can surround yourself with just one color, and only use just one
       color your entire life, but what kind of a life is that?
You walk down the street and the Roses are grey. And the trees are
     grey. And the grey men at the bar are hitting on grey women
          outside and the bartender is pouring grey goose for everyone
               trying to wash down the fact that something is definitely
We need Red roses and green trees and black men with white women,
      and Asian women with white men, and everyone needs to just start
           mixing and loving, and loving to mix until there is nothing left to
Nothing left to minimize, undermine, or scrutinize.
And if we don’t do this soon,
I fear there may be nothing left to scrutinize at all.
Some thoughts on Current Events
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
You Get Visibly Upset*
Every Time
I Hang Out With Her
As Far As I Can Tell, Its Because We Have A Healthy Connection.
We Look Into Each Others Eyes, And Change The Topic
You Know
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
I told her I am somebody new this year.
Someone with a story to tell.
Someone with something to write about.

Last year I was a drug addict.
The year before that, I was a drug dealer.
The year before that I lost all my money gambling.
The year before that I tried to be a gambler.
The year before that, my sister picked me up in front of a greyhound station.
I didn't have any shoes.
I was trying to be a hobo.
The year before that I was trying to be an artist...or an alcoholic...whichever one drinks more.
The year before that I dropped out of college.
The year before that I tried to be a college student.
That year.
The year I started writing.
The year my words started to flow.
The year I had a teachers love support me to the point where I left school to go support myself by writing.  
That year, I tried to be a writer.
But I didn't have anything to write about.
And she said, "go try new things."
"Go be somebody new."
"Go be someone with a story to tell"
she told me, "Go be someone with something to write about"
A poem inspired by a college professor
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
The people need a villain.
Someone to hate, the loathe, to look up to.
A captain hook, a long john silver, a BlackBeard.

The people need a villain.
To justify their own strange existence.
Sitting at their cash registers, in their grocery stores,
wondering if they're doing the right things.
They see the news about the school shootings and feel better because
      no one wants to shoot them.
An Eric Harris, A Dylan Klebold, A Jeffrey Weise

The people need a villain.
Someone to tell them stuff they don't believe.
To rally them, **** them, and **** them,
Cause they haven't the nerve to do it themselves.
A Bush, A Cheney, An Obama.

The people need a villain.
Someone to love, to idolize, to fear.
God forbid we take our own chances, and maybe come out a villain,
      when all we ever looked for was truth.
A Thompson, A Bukowski, A Kerouac.
Eric L Warner Feb 2018
Love is a verb.
An action so intense that it scalds the tongue and makes those 3 words difficult to say.
And with each broken heart, scar tissue builds up along the pallet and makes it even more difficult to say.
And the taste buds start to singe and the words taste bitter.
And then a new love comes along.
And her kisses are the aloe that opens up the vowels and consonants of the heart, and allow me to speak softly and concisely, until I am able to sing.
Eric L Warner Nov 2017
You came to me 12 years ago as I was laying in a gutter.
You stuck out your hand and said your name was Joe.
Your hand was neither cold nor clammy, like they say.
It welcomed me, without a second glance.
You've been with me throughout the years, in many forms.
You come to me in my dreams, and conquer my nightmares.
You came to me outside a bar, and took my finger off the trigger.
You came to me in Louisiana and whispered that "Everything Will Be Okay".
Then you told me to "run".
And run I did.
I haven't been back since, yet you remain beside me.

You are the calm in my rage.
You are the glint in my blank stare.
You temper my anger and chart a course for my wrath.

You came to me in my sleep once, and told me its okay to cut a man's finger off, as long as its not his trigger finger.
You do not take away another mans right for vengeance.
This is a form of respect, for as long as he has his rights, and I have mine, then we can both talk civilly.
Thieves however, are never afforded respect.

I've asked you for what I wanted, but you only give me what I need.
We both understand that if I want anything more, I have to take it.
And when I make a plan, and that smile creases my face, I know that's your smile.

I can feel you looking out from behind my eyes when the ******* hits.
I can taste you in my kisses when I bite.
we are one and the same being, but you know so much more than I ever can.

I learned patience when you locked me up.
I learned temperance when you released me.
You taught how to to hit someone with a claw hammer.
And you taught me how to stop.
You taught me that you don't need safe words when you understand each other.

You are always with me.
Your cloak kept me warm when I lived on the street.
Your hands give me strength, when they guide my own.
And yet, I can offer you nothing.

I can't offer you my life, because it's yours any day you want it.
I can't offer you my soul, because its been yours for over a decade.
I can't offer you fear, because I find comfort in knowing you will be there at the end.
I can only offer you loyalty.
And return it to my family in kind.
Eric L Warner Nov 2017
She opened the lost journal,
and it was blank inside except
for the cover inscription.
It said that somebody loved her, who no longer did.
She scribbled it out like a lost opportunity,
and began writing a new chapter.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
Perched under the cat's meow,
a **** lady flashes above my head.
With my hand on a smiley, and my eyes across the street,
I focus.
These streets are full of victims,
and she's not going to be one tonight.
Hurricane smiles squat next to me, and we're being eye-balled from
    across the street.

It's time to go home.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
The greatest proof we have
That intelligent life exists outside our galaxy...
Is that they haven't tried to contact us yet.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
Her online dating profile said she was "Outdoorsy".
She asked if I wanted to go camping.
I told her, "No, I'm done camping."
I spent enough years sleeping outside,
and even more sleeping in the dirt.
It wasn't all bad.

I got to sleep with the stars and wake up with the sun.
once I woke up in the middle of a circle of deer.
I opened my eyes and the fawn looked at me, and I smiled.
She nodded at me, I swear to god she did.
Then she nudged her little ones awake, and they went off to find another spot so I could get ready for the day.

I've encountered ghosts along the rivers, and thieves among their banks.
I've never successfully started a fire without the aid of Gasoline,
    and it cost me the title of King of the Hobos one year.
Even as a homeless guy, I was mediocre.
I'm good at some things though.
I have references, I told her.

The next day, she deleted me from her favorites list.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
I count the divider lines as they disappear under the truck.
The hood of our big rig eating them up like some,
insatiable beast.
"You and me" he says, "We're the last real cowboys."
He's right.
We're the last real vestige of the American West.
The thousand dead bugs and cracked windshield tell the stories of
      our cannon ball runs.
Littered floors and bloodshot eyes have replaced our calendars.
Local bartenders have replaced our therapists.
And the 8-track gives us hope with a steady beat.

"**** John Wayne!" he screams as he snorts a line and blows past the
     weigh station.
This has been going on for three hours now, and I'm strangely comfortable.
Eric L Warner Aug 2017
"Will you write a poem about me?"
She actually asked me... "will you write a poem about me?"
I told her that this conversation had entered very dangerous territory.
How many nice poems have I really written about people?
"I know of three" she said.
(Staring). Yep.  Three.  In fifteen years of writing!

And yet...this poem is about her.  
Not just about her.
It's about asking for something about you.
it's about asking for yourself.
It's about asking for hugs and attention and monogamy and a bunch of other things that you know I don't give.
You have to take them.
If you want anything more than a gesunsheit from me after you sneeze you have to rip it out of my ******* talons.
I want predators around me.
I want poets around me.
I want wolves around me.
I want beautiful women and caskets full of money.
I want fast cars, large scars, illegal substances and dancers of the pole.
I want truth, and honesty, and confidence.  
I don't want someone who "achieves their goals".
I want someone who rips a hole in the space time continuum with their teeth and spits it back out to create new dimensions for those ******* sliders to show up in.
I want a relationship of promises that were never made and words that didn't need to be spoken.
No half truths or small talk.
It's better to ask forgiveness than permission.  This has always been my motto.

And I love you.
I do.
But you should never ask me to write about you.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
Goldilocks stopped on red.
I was waiting for green.
Blue eyes met for a moment,
When she saw me for what I was.
A rabbit in wolf's fur.
A drifter with a college education.

My eyes were not so honest.
And she passed by,
With a smile and a wave.

I might have been the luckiest man on campus that day.
I may have been the last.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
We've been sitting on the edge of the top of the city, watching buildings
    scrape the sky.
The view is nice, but the ledge gives way.
Our assassins are moving in with smiles brother, so be careful
    who you hug.
It's been said that the only ones who know where the edge is have
    already gone over, and I disagree.
Time slows down when it's running out, and we can both feel the wind
    upon our faces.
There's nothing to get upset about brother.
This is only castles burning.
Eric L Warner Apr 2017
As a reformed anonymist, I'm not one to look down on drunks.
But today at the bar, I looked up at one and saw a beautiful disaster.
Long dreaded hippie girls have a soft spot in the corner of my heart. From the patchwork dresses to the oxymorons of a vegan ****** addict, I've loved many.

But it's sad to watch someone create themselves through liquor.
To create a persona through drugs because that's "counter cultural."
To create another line of ******* about not wanting to be a robot.  
A message so timeless and repetitive that it's...

She was actually kind of personable.
The few times that day she could speak, she was even funny.
She carried herself with a grace that was quite remarkable for someone who could barely stand.
But she was on the run.
From a halfway house.
From a boy friend.
From a drug.
From herself.

There's no truly meeting someone who is already halfway out the door and already in the bag.

There was a desperation in her smile that I've seen before in my own reflection.
I don't believe in God.
But if you do, say a prayer for her.
I believe it's worth it.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
I met her through her brother.

He was a self-proclaimed anarchist activist,
But it was in her eyes, that I saw freedom.

We drank under bridges.
We screamed at the moon.
We ****** until dawn.

And then she was gone.
And years went by.

And then she was here.
Returned from Brussels.
Speaking a new kind of language in a new tongue.
Once again, her eyes spoke of adventure, and her tongue tasted
     of travel.
I felt new winds, devoured new poems, and experiences new
     thoughts in her kisses.
We tried to stay in touch, and we managed to for a couple of breaths.
And then, I was gone.
And years went by.

We met again a few months ago.
We're both different now.
It's been ten years.

We speak less now than we did before,
But we say more.
We've both learned the art of poetry,
and not everything has to be coarse.

I can sit quietly in a car with her, and twirl my fingers between hers,
and she can hear everything I'm not saying.
I can lay in bed with her, listening to our bodies listen to each other,
and I can breathe again.

Because I know,
This isn't so much a ode to a girl, as it is an ode to how our love has grown through out the years. We may not be together, but we understand each other.  And sometimes I think that's more than most couples ever get.
Eric L Warner May 2017
She hugged me, and I breathed in deep.
Better than any perfume or cologne in the world, I know that smell.
It's the scent of a thousand lost boy summers fighting pirates and chasing shadows.
It's rust dust and rail yards and campfire smoke.
It's gypsy smiles and moldy locks and secrets whispered through the trees.
It's waking up to gentle words from complete strangers we connected with the night before.
It's the scent of broken lips and battered kisses the morning after sturgis.
It's the sun glistening off an oil stain on the highway.
It's the scent of river washed clothes and ticks and lice and fleas and kids named after all those things.

It's a scent of secret love affairs, and ****** exploration and anarchist propaganda.
It's the smell of the E.L.F. And the Crimethinc. Ex Workers Collective. It's the smell of the Wobblies.

But mainly, it's a smell that reminds me that they are still out there, laying in wait, in the shadows of the broken fence in the rail yard. Arms willing to hold you and fight for you, and never let you go.
Eric L Warner Apr 2017
A black miniskirt and a ****** band shirt.
She's wearing the same thing as the last time I saw her in Missoula.
And Chicago before that.
Two wandering souls with the same flight pattern.
No matter where I went, that's where I was.
And so was she.
Chicago, Illinois.
Brattleboro, Vermont.
A rooftop in Philadelphia.
A graveyard in Iowa.
shes another ghost on this highway.
She bums a smoke,
We share a kiss,
And she's gone.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
Gypsy smiles with aching minds put forty ounce bottles to pursed lips,    and we're still not drunk enough to have excuses in the morning.
Our lives have become the lyrics to a Tom Waits anthem.

Dusty Carhartts and broken knuckles beg the question: "What kind of collective living exists when nobodies home?"
My mind is racing like the CSX flyby out of Baldwin, and I'm tempted to jump in front of that ******* tonight cause I'm too scared to change the world.
She walks up and hugs me and I pray that it's more than the beer hugging me.
"Another World is Possible" is painted behind us in strokes of motivation the others just don't have.
There was no dust kicking up behind me as I walked away. There wasn't even a break in the conversation.
Written in 2006, in Gainesville, Florida.    I was a hobo from May 2005-Through November 2009. My newer stuff will be up soon, along with more from the Hobo Collection.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
We were good to each other,
We were not good for each other.

The red-headed gypsy in thrift store Gucci.
We shared the same exact starting point in life.
We were born at the same time, on the same date, under the same sun,
     with the same red hair.
We both carry with us, a mischievous grin.
She danced off the stage and into my heart, and I keep her there today.
We are good to each other.
We were not good for each other.

A fair haired Feline, who was fairly forgetful to boot.
Not someone I will ever forget.
I chased her to the ends of the earth, and then chased her off.
As though on a walk with Robert Frost, A fork appeared in the road.
She broke up with me, because I had already left.
We were very good to each other,
We were not good for each other.

A mocha-skinned beauty, who stole my heart for the better half of a
Our hearts fled to each other, while our bodies ran away.
On freight trains, in pirate caves, and under bridges,
    the winds carried her kisses to me.
She's just as crazy as I am.
We are very good to each other.
We are not good for each other.

And yet...I think of her all the time.
Eric L Warner Oct 2016
We sit in a car,
just after dusk has fallen.
It's dark now.
The windows are tinted.
Passersby can't see inside.

A quiet little residential neighborhood
full of Doctors, and Lawyers, and Teachers.
They don't know who their neighbor is.
They don't know what he's done.

Inside the car, a pair of hands grips a pistol.
Like marines, they instinctively keep their forefinger
away from the trigger guard.
There will be no accidents tonight.
There will be no civilians.
Sixteen rounds in his hand.
$30,000 in the house.
That money is owed.

We put our masks on, and wait.
It's below zero, and two guys wearing ski masks isn't
that strange of a sight.
We would thank God for that,
but he's not in this car.
The devil's breath kicks out of the A/C.
It warms up our hands.
The gun remains cold.

Our eyes are fixed on the front porch.
He told us, "If the light comes on, come in hot."
The porch light is our green light, and we stare it down.
It remains off.
He comes out with a small manilla envelope tucked under his arm.
He gets in the backseat.
"Everything is square. We can go now."

It's been five minutes of holding our breath.
We exhale, as the car pulls away from the curb.
I Plead The Fifth.
Eric L Warner Oct 2016
How do you write about something you can't talk about?
How do you discuss anything, when every wire is tapped?
How do you profess your love or confess your sins, when every confession will lead to a cage.
I need to get out of here.
Just one more job.
Just one more loose end.
Just one more person to pay off.
Just one more dollar.
Just one more bullet.
Just one more tank of gas.
Just one more broken heart.
Just one more funeral.'
Just one more poem, to get through this day.
Eric L Warner Oct 2016
Don't you call me "Friend".
Not on a suicide call.
A friendship isn't based on threats.
I am your friend,
Which is why I tell you its your choice.

I don't judge.
I don't condone.
I don't care.
It's not my life to take.
It's not my responsibility to save you.
I will not have that put on me.

And if you **** yourself,
I will care.
I will hate you.
I will loathe you.
I will call you weak.
I will not understand "what you're going through."
Because That. Is Not. An Option.

Not if you care.
But hey, it's your call.
Make a decision.
A friend called me threatening suicide. I think its one of the most selfish calls I've ever heard.  But it's their decision. They haven't spoken to me since. I don't know if she's alive or dead.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
My written words are a true reflection of myself.
Stop reading the words, and look at them close.
They don’t follow grammatical rules a lot of the time, and they don’t believe in ******* censorship.
They don’t believe in editing, re writing, or organizing.
They are a jumbled mess of run on sentences with no controlling rules or principles to give order to.
And I love to break even the most deeply rooted rules, like not starting a sentence with And or But.
Seriously, words are my weapons and I can cut through the ******* and break through to a higher meaning.
Eric L Warner Feb 2018
SHe saves her kisses for when her heart jumps.
She straddles my lap when she needs to be heard.
She has 13 different smiles that range from “that was a terrible joke” to “I love this freaking dog” to “I love you”
She covers her eye like a pirate to nail a bullseye.
She loves Fleetwood and blues brothers and wonderland avenue.
Her kisses can be apologies or declarations of love. They can be quick pecks or longed for desires.
I can read the words tattooed on her tongue without her ever having to speak them.
This seems to work out well for both of us.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
Bus stop dreads stop me in my tracks because I'm too white to be coming
   around here.
My clothes are too ***** and my smile too honest.
I live a life of privilege that has nothing to do with the color of my skin or
   the "insufficient funds" in my bank account.
Idle time is the devil's plaything they say,
But the devil has always sent his own to take care of me.
So we just keep on walking, not to be judged by the race based politics of those who have no recognized power over us.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
I'm sitting in a strange man's house reading, "stranger in a strange land",
     and resisting the idea that I am another on a strain of poor
         marginalized Americans.

I'm a night janitor at an elementary school that goes unnamed.
The kids smile and run past without a second thought.
My boss doesn't ask questions for his own reasons, and I
    just want my story to be heard.

My girlfriend is curled up on the futon behind me, and I'm wondering
     how I got so lucky.
There's a Francisco De Goya **** hanging above this overtly
     post-modern desk, and I'm eating at the soup kitchen tomorrow.
I stay inside most days, wrapped in a blanket, not realizing until too
     late that it's actually warm, and that the AC is turned up way too high.
Thoughts from a few weeks spent working in Kansas while traveling.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
"What do you do all night?" She wanted to know.
I didn't understand the question.
"Can we watch Netflix or something?"

No, no, no my newfound friend, this is not the place to Netflix and Chill.
I need to teach you these things now.
I need to teach you because I need to spend one-third of my life with you.

After having vowed to never get married, never settle down, never
    have kids or college degrees, never spend another night in jail,
       never waste another night fretting over whether I should've call that
             hand or returned that call.
After all this, I still stuck with you.
Confined to the quiet of an empty building.
I've seen the world, and world history unravel and unfold inside these walls.

I've walked through the remains of Chernobyl, looking over the charred
     ashes and the shadows, and out into the vast empty parking lots that
        stretch for miles.
I've held Geiger Counters in my hands and monitored for signs of life,
     and pondered on how I managed to be the last one standing.
Gawking awkwardly at my sickly arms and wondering why they aren't
     glowing green.

I've stalked ancient tribes through the recesses of my mind.
Truly, the only explorer of a people that never existed outside my own
A people with a passion for knowledge that exceeds the early incans.
They gather outside the palaces of Kings and Popes in order to hear
    their poetry in the mornings.
They never take it serious, or cast aspersions, or build idols. They only
    come to listen, and then....they dissipate.
They head to their jobs in the markets, or on the docks, or to the book
    binderies in the center of the city, since reading and literature is
       considered my peoples greatest currency.
And on the outskirts of town, there is a quiet army waiting.

Sometimes the building catches fire, or the flood rains come down, or
    the sky opens up into a ****** storm of biblical proportions.
Sometimes there's a tear in whatever dimension it is that stops us from
    being able to see the spirit world, and I stand up on the roof and see
        hundreds of ghosts walking around.
Proving once and for all that the dead stay with us, even after their
We can feel their smiles in the car seat next to us, and we can feel their
    disappointment when we don't understand why it all happened like

Sometimes I'm a hitman or a hacker, or a ghost myself.
I think about if I died here tragically and my soul was stuck in
   this ill-fitting suit forever. Would I care? Or would I be ethereal so it
      wouldn't even matter?
Would I wander the halls on a constant tour of the buildings?
Stuck in my rounds for eternity, I'd look out the windows to the park
   across the street and know that I would never feel the dirt between
       my toes again.  
This is my idea of hell.
Would other people be able to see me?
Would other guards quit because of the ghost of the guard who died?

Sometimes I'm a ghost hunter, here to clear out a building over the long
    weekend, before the workers come back on tuesday morning.

Sometimes I've sat in executive offices making decisions that affect life
    or death.
I've hired and fired people who were going to change the world with
   a new therapy or a medicine that would change the fates of millions.
I've interviewed people and yelled at people and told them that the
   only way to truth is out that ******* window.
And it doesn't matter that we're on the sixth floor, you have to jump.
Everything that matters in this life is a leap of faith.
And they always do.
They saunter past my desk, and open the window, and stand on a chair
     and casually step out.

Some of them smile.
Their eyes closed, just feeling the rush of the wind on their face.
Some of them soar.
They spread their arms, which the sun sets ablaze and burns away the
   flesh to reveal their wings underneath.
They fly into the sun, and I try to watch them to figure out how it was
    done so that I too can fly away.
But the sun is bright and before I can catch a glimpse, I blink.    
And it's gone.
I had to train a new ******* an over-night security job in a corporate building.  This was the inspiration for this poem.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
The door is sealed, but voices ring out
And purple hearts still point the way.

There's a pipe in the corner that we're too afraid to pick up,
And microscopic devils reside in these sheets.

The screaming upstairs is getting louder,
And this won't be the first time I've tried to hurt her.

***** rigs with missing caps make up our mind,
The floor is the safest route here.

But this is home, and love resides here.

It shows itself among smelly blankets cuddled together in the
    midnight sun.
Or in the way permission is asked before saliva trades with water.
It smiles from behind broken skin and bruised eyes,
then saunters away to go spare change a meal.
Notes from a week spent living in a squat in Philadelphia known as "Paradise"
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
My friend and I saw Val Kilmer make a **** deal last night, and her
    nose started to itch.
We both used to ride the rails, but on completely different lines.

Mine took me to new states.
Hers took her to a different state of mind.

I Asked her to come with me once, in so many words.
Before I could ask her, "why not?" she asked the same of me.

I told her I was scared.
She said, "Me Too".
Eric L Warner Oct 2016
She wanted to know if I've ever been with a man
I told her, "Sure. In many ways."
"And you don't consider yourself ***?"
"No." I told her, "I'm only interested in people."
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
Where God's colors renew the horizon's edge, Salvation Soldiers
     aren't to be found.
And while prairie dogs find themselves squatters on their own land,
     upper crust artists show us where the day old bread is.
This is a good place to clear your head if ever there was one.
Where dusty markets lead down dusty roads, which lead right into
      the middle of where I want to be.
Free and Alone on the side of a mountain, where the sun don't
     apologize to me, and I don't have to explain myself to anyone else.

Some go ahead and call this God's Country.
But I call this place New Mexico.
Eric L Warner Jun 2017
I've been off the road about 8 years now, but I still find a need to sit by rivers.
Maybe it's a hobo thing.
Rivers provide water for drinking and washing.
They provide fish for eating and white noise for sleeping.
They take care of all those who take the time to stop and acknowledge them.
And yet, a river never stops for you.
She doesn't even slow down.
Trains and people and love affairs all slow down.
Rivers just keep moving downstream, and they don't look back.
Eric L Warner Oct 2017
Writers block isn't always writers block.
Sometimes you just have nothing to say.
Or no one worth saying things too.
Sometimes it's a plan that no one can see the forest for the trees and you just need to zip up your mouth and let it all come together at the end for them like some brilliant film they're seeing for the first time.
The kind that requires a second viewing.
Some of them have called me a psychopath.
Some have called me a genius.
I think it's too early to add up the score.
Eric L Warner Nov 2017
A Friday night in silence.
My mind races a hundred miles an hour.
Solitary confinement is the most dangerous thing to me.
I will either use it to destroy my world, or yours.

I'm not good at sitting still.
I die with stagnation.
On these nights, I drink til I can sleep,
or stay amped until I collapse.
I don't know how to shut down.

That's the same thing that keeps me going on the good days.
#AA  #Drugs
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
I woke last night in a sweat,
eyes gaped open and throat tight shut.
I awoke, from the American Dream.
My original fear was that I wouldn't know what was going on.
Upon waking, a new fear was confirmed.
The fear of knowing, and not having the power to speak.
My mouth had been sewn shut by the Patriot Acts of the powers that be.
My audience was rendered deaf as the Freedom of Speech, or even
   my freedom to speak was rendered obsolete in the aftermath of
        smoking towers.
Now we're living in a world of smoky mirrors and no one seems to
    remember that John Kerry was never against the war.
The hippies and the boomers raised the standard on the education /
    occupation link.
Now, most of the class of 03' is helping with a different sort of
    occupation, cause they don't have the money to be "progressive".
Plato once said, "Be wary of any enterprise requiring new clothes"
    and this sent me into a panic.

I don't want to march for war, and likewise for peace.
I see "regime change starts at home" stuck to the bumper of a black SUV
But when I asked that lady for change, she said she didn't have any.

Now I'm sitting on the sidewalk thinking about government, listening
   to Dylan and realizing no basement medicines will shut out new

And the thought crosses my mind:

"Maybe this is the way it's always been."
Thoughts on the 2004 Election, Homelessness in the wake of 9/11,  and the apathy about politics in our country.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
I gave a homeless man a quarter yesterday,
   and he threw it in the wishing well.
I went into the store and bought him a sandwich.
I brought it out to the wishing well, and sat down next to him.
He stared into the copper and silver waters and said,
"Thanks, but that wasn't my wish."
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
As the gusts blow in from the south, ***** bundles huddle on the shore.
And as they rest their flea-bitten heads, they dream of a time before this.
When they were thought above stray dogs.

Their waking hours focus on today.
They focus on the rocking steel, as it clinckety-clacks the past.
They focus on eating.
They focus on the sun.
Women are a luxury when you're stark, raving, mad.

Of course, they don't actually think about any of that.
No one ever thinks about their unconscious decisions.
But they act upon it.

They act upon growling stomachs with fine point sharpies put to
     dumpstered cardboard.
They act upon the holes in their jeans, following the sun like any
     right minded bird.
They'll follow it all the way to paradise.
Surrounded by pink Taffeta dresses and protective boyfriends.

They don't need to ask for a dance.
They already left these girls.
It was in another town, and they had different names.
But it was them.

The ones that not only lit up the room, but sent the message that
    you were somebody.
The ones who swore you were "the one" before leave with the one.
And that's okay.
Because maybe they never believed her anyways.
Maybe they never believed in "the one" let alone, "just one."

Regardless, that was in another time, at another place.
It's time to get focused.
It's time to get moving.
Only 10 more hours til we're hungry again.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
A roar broke the silent dissidence of head shaking in a coversation
   about America that I was in.
This voice railed against the country whose pride ran deep in her blood.
And with this voice, I agree.

But it did cause concern when she lumped the red, the white, the black
    and the blue in with the rusty freighters and rolling hills that I've come
        to love.
And the concern brought forth lessons from my own teaching.
Stories of 15th century frontiersman tramping around the great
    wilderness, with nought even a flag to their name, for they had
        rejected even that.
And memories of bloodline relatives that fought for the type of
     independence that the declaration wasn't offering.
An independence from having unknown men, armed with bibles,
    translated to the 19th power, telling them what's "right" and "just".

Now here we are today, lying in a grave that is no longer fresh whose
    tombstone reads: Democracy.
All because we have not yet understood that a flag is not a country,
    but rather a symbol of control.

And a country!
Now there lies something to love.

And it's easiest to love in the labored breathing of a mountain top view,
   or in a toast from the top of a water tower overlooking the Mississippi.
It can be seen in the wave of a conductor as he pulls out of the yard.
Or heard in the hissing of his wheels when you have the moment of
    realization that, "Yes! Those trains are actually going somewhere!"

It can be grasped in the handshake of a homeless man, who is not
   unlike your forefathers.
A cast away, tramping about the wilderness with not even a flag or
    a prayer, but two hands that are ready to work for change.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
Poetry is a fickle thing to be in a relationship with.
It is a domineering lover who does not know the meaning of "later",
    but needs it done, "Now! Now! Now!"
As such, I have had to pull the car over on the side of an interstate,
    hit the 4-ways, and hope for the best.
All because I needed to scratch out some thoughts on love, because maybe
    I'm on to something.
Or I sit in my office, which is an un-insulated closet filled with disheveled
    thoughts and ******* that pre-dates my existence.
It is because of this chill in the air that most of my writing is done
    at the bar.
And with it, the worry that those drinks seep into my work more than
    they should.
But still lady poetry stays, if only to heckle that all my favorite writers
    were published posthumously.
I scoff at this and acknowledge that not a one amongst us as a species
    has died without regrets.
And in this, I too shall be no different.
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
I'm not sure if this is going to be a letter or a poem, but it's important you understand why I forsake your type of love.
If I say, "I don't believe in monogamy" you give me those eyes.
Those predator eyes.
Those judging eyes.
The ones that want to own me.
The ones that have been taught that love is one woman and one man.
The ones that are looking for a child.

So I tell you instead, that I simply believe in love.
I don't believe love is limited, contained, or restricted.
I don't believe love is deceitful, broken, or abusive.
I'm not willing to lie to you.
Because I love you.

There are others.
There  have always been other.
There will always be others.
And they are as much a part of me and my life as you.
As much a part of us as the skin on your face, or the blood in my heart.
I want you to meet them.
I want you to like them.
You don't need to love them, I'm not looking for a *******.
But You do need to respect them.  

I don't want you to look at them with those eyes.
Those predator eyes.
Those judging eyes.
The ones that want to own me.
The ones that have been taught that love is one woman and one man.
The ones that are looking for a child.

I can't have children.
Not by accident or cosmic design.
It was by choice.
I've decided that instead of making a living from my art,
I want to make art by the way I live.
I want to travel.
I want to learn about everything and everyone.
I want to hear your desires, your dreams, your fears.
I want to help them come true.
I want to help you overcome.
I want to know the one thing you've never told anyone....ever.
I want to look in your eyes and know you understand that you can have me, all of me, and I will give it freely, but you still have to share me.

I can't look into those predator eyes.
Those judging eyes.
The ones that want to own me.  
The ones that are looking for a child.

When property came into existence, so did monogamy.
This is my philosophy.
You are not property.
I want to know every part of you.
Every thought, every caress, every loving and poisonous deed.
I want to know your past.
I want to be there in your present.
I want you to see me in your future.
But I do not want to own you.

I want to look into those eyes.
Those predator eyes,
And Know,
That even if you can't understand it,
you can see,
my type of love.
I've been polyamorous for the last 10 years of my life, and at this point it has become a kind of religion. These are just some very minor thoughts on the subject. I'm always willing to discuss this with anyone who may want to learn more.
Eric L Warner Aug 2016
A veritable caricature of Jeremiah Johnson, I strung out on "truth"
     years ago.
Sitting amongst August sidewalks which sweat like a ***** in heat,
     I verbally assault passersby.
With a slurred battle cry of, "I can out merlot you any day!" I fall to
     my knees, unsure of which direction is up.
I try not to think of words like vertigo, or.....vertigo.
A honking car sounds life back into me, but the windows are tinted so
    I can't tell if I have it coming or not.
I flip em' the bird, just to be sure.
Eric L Warner Nov 2016
I have a hard time appreciating Veterans.
My dad was a veteran.
My only memories of him involve a lot of screaming and tears.
He kicked my dog once.
He hit my mom a lot too from what I hear.
I don't remember any of that.
He should've died for all of us.
Then instead of being an *******,
he could be a hero.
I'm not saying you're not a hero, I'm just saying he's an *******. But if you take this personally, you probably are an *******. Happy Veterans Day
Eric L Warner Sep 2016
If you walk away from the billboards and the lights,
you will find that the moon is still there, along with the stars,
and they make for a much better companion.
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