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Peyton James Sep 14
Wee little beastie; though now you’ve grown.

Once a dust bunny, underfoot,

To my silent confidant,

With purs that dry tears,

Blanket of fur,

Brazen tail wags,

And vast eyes,

My dear

I'm posting something fun for a change! It's an angst-free zone this week.

In all seriousness, Luna, my black cat, is much more to me than a pet. I adopted her as a kitten for emotional support while recovering from anorexia. She kept me company when I lived alone in University and I didn't have friends
Peyton James Sep 8
We were livin’ low,
       Set on the corner of a downtown intersection,
       Spittin’ Parker and Davis at the passing throngs of tone-deaf
       And swappin’ smokes with the retired Coney Island Clown
       Whose cartoon smile hadn’t cracked a joke since the mass-
                   marketed Piper’s call
       Drew the hordes of drooling children to pixelated carnivals

“It’s all in the delivery,” he said.
And we believed him.

We were livin’ low,
       And burnin’ up, like an eruption of lit Roman candles
       Extending our glittering fingers up to the mannequins in full
       Who haven’t left their glass cages long enough
       To recognize the enormous inkwell above them
       As Heaven.

“It’s all in the pension,” they said.
And we snickered at them.

We were livin’ low,
      Incarcerated for each polluted inhale
      Our lungs recycled,
      Shackled alongside generations
      Of overpopulation victims,
      Naked, bloated, and starving.

“It’s all in the struggle,” they said.
And we traded yawns.

We were livin’ low,
     Wearing carefully crafted masks
     So others would take us
     At face value.

“It’s all about professionalism,” they said.
And we nodded off.

We were livin’ low,
      Prayin’ to each false wishing star
      For a chance at Lady Luck.
The first stanza is based on a true story. I used to play bass in a small jazz combo. We would busk on local street corners, and one time we did have a retired clown stop and listen to us play. After our set finished, I traded him a few smokes to hear stories about how he used to scare children in the old fairs. I was trying to get an honest answer if people like clowns, but the answer is still no.
Peyton James Aug 31
“Hey, it’s me again. I don’t know if you care,
But I picked up a brand new bottle of dye
One of those do-it-at-home kits for blue hair;
I couldn’t do it, though, couldn’t think to try.

“I wanted to go dancing at that club you found,
Remember? The night of sushi and candy,
Our bodies making love to electric sound?
Turns out your voice can’t be drowned out by brandy.

“I can’t say that too much has happened lately;
I’ve succumbed to the addiction of couch life
And boredom. Do you know what I miss greatly?
Your voice, your drawl, your wit sharper than a knife.

“Sometimes I have these nightmares where you pick up,
And we talk again, the moments mixed up;
So I call back, waking, my stomach nervous,
Reminded that this number’s out of service.”
When I was a kid, my grandmother passed away. I had this strange habit of still picking up the phone to ask her advice. I would remember at the last minute that she wasn't there anymore, but it felt nice to have that connection again. Sometimes I would still tell the empty phone line my stories and problems.

I recently had a friend pass, and just staring at their abandoned social media made me remember calling an out-of-service phone number all over again.
Peyton James Aug 24
I wish you could know me back then.

I was a hard pill to swallow
Ripped up message in a bottle
A phoenix born into fire
Spit up with ashes and bile
Much like a gun cocked and loaded
A grenade ready to explode
I struck the Earth down like lightening
My smile sickly and frightening.

I’d inhaled the sweet scent of sweat
And exhaled smoke on every breath
A witty quip hung on my lips
Rationality eclipsed
Begged for your champion fighter
Emerged a bloodied survivor
Then tossed myself outside the ring
Became another fading thing.
This poem is for all my high-octane folks who constantly burn themselves down to the wick.
Peyton James Aug 17
I am the whisper from my own restless slumber.

But maybe it’s not me at all, but you,
the other save file, on this unrelenting game of life.

You gave me this itch - so I blame you,
tickling me with the most beautiful lies of:

Glory! through lines,
             Glory! through character designs, and
                          Glory! to light the oil lamp in the darkness of my
                           own wretched mind.

So sure, call me the midnight poet,
without a single word to spare.

When most minds are abloom with dollops of
inked fantasies, or remain a blissful white canvas
in the art of rehearsing for death;
I leave the porch light on and the back door unlocked,
praying that the ideas come traipsing through again.

In a way, it’s more lottery than patience, craft, or care;
it’s dragging a meat-suit stuffed with the written word
over the cliff of the mundane;
it’s using a butter knife to carve out a smile,
while the company moths leave
a couple of threads in my bank account.

If you want the truth, then I’m a fraud, a hypo.

I am the face of every other weary public transit rider
using my two Bachelors degrees to patch up
the holes in my best pair of blue jeans.

So hand me the needle, I will make my own stitches,
and while you’re at it, throw out a couple of pennies
in celebration to every artist
who gets less sleep than an insomniac.
Peyton James Aug 4
I sat beside the Thames on a Sunday,
The fling of my feet was a childish reflection,
The rotting wood pier a mirror of a stage,
But this time, the balcony held only Chevys
Exchanging pigments as they passed me by.

My sole spectator is a murky impression,
A visage of a woman trapped in the current
With her two feet tethered to mine at the ankles.

She doesn’t know that this is a funeral,
That I read the eulogy out loud in my head,
The cityscape whistled forgotten hymns,
And the sirens wailed like the echo of church bells
Reaping the moments that bloom and decay.

I laid to rest my guitar on the river bank,
Sand and silt filled the scars on its body
And suppressed the last odes that could pass through its strings.
Peyton James Jun 28
“We need to talk.”
When we did,
She said nothing
And I walked away.
"Cat·​a·​clysm: a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition. Broadly: an event that brings great changes." - Merriam Webster Dictionary
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