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Michelle M Nov 2020
Sometimes I miss Baltimore,
as it was,
in this ragged snapshot from 1999.
Smoky bars, diffuse light,
the dusky anonymity of proto-digital consciousness,
A city teeming with its own subversive imagination.

Palpable in the night air,
the questionable intentions of the still willfully living,
A dim seediness skulking in the corners and alleyways,
bearing impartial witness to the transgressions of all those nights, preordained to bleed into mornings,

A time,
A town,
that was fearless,
rogue in the absolute saturation of its moments,
Shimmering in the mists like slick cobblestone,
like points of light upon dark water,
the winking reflections of a neon harbor,
paused somewhere between future and past,
A bastion of the new prehistory.

I miss Baltimore,
covert and alive,
In its hour of renegade persuasion,
however quaint or illusory,
its voice was distinct,
in the chatter of the underground.

There was a relevance to the present then,
a sanctity in the moment.
There were questions left unanswered.
There was intimacy in a shared secret.
Misfits were permitted to revel.

I miss that Baltimore most,
the one that curated me,
called me out of myself.
With a history cemented in the arcane,
its raven-dark undercurrent
like smooth cognac softening the edges,
delicate as roses,
giving the rage a moment's pause,

Giving human momentum a breath,
to observe and retain the poignancy,
of  itself,
In all its uneasy coexistence,

as it once was,
steeped in the tradition of the unsung,
like an archeological dig,
On the surface,
merely crumbling dirt,
and broken things.
but  deeper,
an uncanny relic of rich insights,
and richer delights.

But one had to know where to look,
and one had to know how to let it take lead.
And one could never be too scrupulous,
or scrutinous.
The Carnival of Dissonance,
was not for the uninitiated,
Michelle M May 2018
It was sunny the day we buried you,
and then it rained for a week,
the skies paying soggy tribute,
to your passing.
A soft, somber deluge,
pounding wet earth,
into the spaces between your bones.

The topography of your,
erstwhile romping ground,
dissolved into wetlands,
puddles deepening into a chain,
of small ponds you could sail
paper ships upon.
I'd launch a fleet in your honor,
If I thought you were still
near enough to notice,
and give them chase.

Give them chase...

They say all dogs go to heaven.
If there were ever a version
of that ideology I could reconcile,
it would be the one where you are
blissfully chasing bicycles
through the clouds.
No soul has better met those lofty criteria....

We buried you with Peanut,
headless and limbless though he was.
We buried you with one of James's bath toys,
the one that you always stole,
and hid in your bed.
We buried you in the sunshine,
where you can bask and watch the kids play,
where you can fortify the soil,
And become a garden.
A lively butterfly garden,
No squirrels allowed.
Michelle M Mar 2018
You and I have not been friends,
in a long time.
We want to be,
we try our best each day,
with fresh intentions,
desperately seeking to recapture,
a life we had,
a moment of honest bliss,
now barreling toward a pinpoint,
in the rearview of a car,
we are either driving,
or chasing,
I am no longer certain.

For a time,
we were insurmountable.
For a time,
We we had beaten the odds,
Began speaking in ever afters,
Asserting our legendhood.
We're still a talking point,
in our old stomping grounds,
I hear.

But you seem to only see,
through me now,
To be content with appearances.
Stamping out lovers' optimism,
As we settle into the business,
of middle class mediocrity.

We were better as rapids,
You and I,
than we are as still water.
is what we knew how to do,
was who we were.
This newfound lens of,
"ought to",
keeps obscuring the course,
and hampering navigation.

I do not wish to to find,
our way back,
But I long to find our way.
To create a more
sustainable universe,
for our legacy,
And for the whitewater surface,
of our worldly love.

We need but one small breakthrough,
Some eloquent solution,
that solves the elusive equation,
of our gravity,
And restores us to spinning,
in perfect orbit,
around each other.
Michelle M Jan 2018
Fate is a funny bird,
The way she breezes in,
like a tipsy traveler,
tinkering with the scenery,
bumping switches,
with a head toss and a laugh,

Then flitting off,
to the next hapless reality,
leaving not so much,
as a blueprint,
or a crudely sketched,
cocktail napkin,
in her wake.

And so began the story of us...

I had seen the inside of that bar,
but once in a decade,
it was the sort of solo-cup,
frat haven,
of the type I staunchly avoided,

But the city was a Sunday night,
ghost town,
and she snd I were diligent,
two chicks desperately ,
chasing the night,
we wandered onto Boston Street.

And you were there,
slinging drinks,
to a smattering of people,
A handful of bar snacks,
in semi formal wear.

And then there were three,
I'll never know,
if it was boredom,
or a  mutal wish
to be anywhere,
but our respective homes,
that kept it going,
or if  something,
in each of us,
recognized the other,
that night,

Gypsy dancing into the dawn,
sauced on your private recipe,
lemonade warlock potion,
my frienzied twirling stitching,
a spell in the darkness,
while my friend,
assured of her superiority,
tried to ****** you,
With that cocked-brow smirk,
you looked past,
and watched me.

Was I burning bright?
Or burning out?
A superstar in your midst,
or a supernova self-destructing?

I think we've yet to see it
the same way,
at the same time.
Is this our strength,
or our impending demise?
To this day I can't be sure.

And somwhere,
in a dank speakeasy,
our mistress fate,
is taking a long sip,
from a dry martini,
and throwing back her head,
with a throaty laugh.
Michelle M Jan 2018
Cruising along mudddy
mountain back roads
in my father's Bronco,
A misty rain hovering,
on the horizon,

The Eagles,
Or Fogleberg,
Or Little Feat
drifting fuzzily,
into the back seat
Dad intermittently,
singing along,
and cursing the fog.

My Grandfather's musty trailer,
Atari games beeping and blooping,
from the television,
A jubilee of pixles,
thrumming on the 32 inch set.

My cousins chasing me,
through the hay lofts,
Michael falling from the rafters,
Six feet into a cow pie,
the size of Mt. Everest,
Neck high and flies buzzing,

Jake and I making the long trek,
back to our parents,
to report that our charge,
had been accidentally,
suctioned into a vortex of ****,
They were mostly mad,
that we had left him there,

The sweet strumming,
of my father's guitar by a bonfire,
Beer cans hissing and popping,
morphing into alien shapes,
in the flames.

Stars a cacauphony,
of tiny lights overhead,
If you walked just a few steps,
away from the blaze,
you could get lost
in their cosmic spiral,

My dad had a story,
about the time he saw a ufo,
in those stars,
How one shot up into the sky,
then straight down,
like a plummeting rocket,

Only he didn't belive things like that.
Ever the pragmatist,
quick to interject that we were all,
just worm food,
but when he told that story,
his hairs stood on end.

Days spent
picking grapes off the vine,
gorging myself in the,
strawberry patch,
and in the orchard,
There were so many apples
that we left some for the deer,

I recall being jealous,
that the boys got to go hunting,
while I stayed back canning fruit,
with the women.

Weirdly wishing,
that I could amass,
rank and file,
with the men,
Douse myself in animal ****,
and sit painfully still,
for hours,
in a rickety tree stand,
Our play house was probably sturdier,
and better insulated.

Looking after those stupid beagles,
and gathering eggs from,
stupider chickens,
Feeding infant cows with,
oversized baby bottles,
cradling them,
kicking and *******,
in my skinny arms,
barely aware of the pervasive smell
of manure.

Eating Papa's tomato casserole,
and drinking buttermilk,
Thinking they were only things
in his whole kitchen,
that weren't mouldy,
or mildly terrifying.

Walking wooded trails,
on cold mornings,
catching quick glimpses,
of foxes and grouse,
before they fled,
Warned off by the snapping
of small twigs underfoot.

Such rare and beautiful moments.
I didn't appreciate them then.
Only now that those days,
are long past,
just wistful songs in the mountains,
can I recognize their worth,
and sing their twangy melody,
with warmth and love.
Michelle M Jan 2018
From the center of my mind,
Clouds and pools,
in the depths of your eyes.

We flourished in darkness,
Yet cried for the skies,
I wept to be free,
You wept to die.

And we are mourning tonight,
The death of an American Violet,
The death of torment and passion,
A velvety bloom,

A funeral,
A wake,
Would you like to be a visionary,
A drifter,
A prophet?

I keep this vigil in reverence of you,
For it rained last night,
And I remembered this.

I shall miss you,
My spring eyed comrade.
You were my tortured,
My young,
My alive.

In the season when,
Our minds brushed,
A memory was born.
A violet blossomed.
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