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AJ Jul 2018
Came and left
gone and dead
give me life
upon this hearth
I cry

Give me chance
give me death
I’m just a poor man
looking for my life
to save

All my days
I’ve tried
to validate
my own existence
so the pain would
steer away
into the ocean
so blue and everclear
don’t tell me I’m saved
save myself in the meantime

Free my head
free my heart
free my hand from this
bloodstream rolling and collating
down my sideburns so
hot hot hot
burn burn


Knocking behind my eyelids
like magma underground
but hell is a place above ground
AJ Jul 2018
We were indefinite

We were habits
built and snapped
promises made and snuffed

We were village idiots
nocturnal cretins running
stop signs and red lights
and bounding a hundred miles an hour
down empty highways
at three o’clock in the morning

chattering and chortling
and secretly feeling
at each other’s hearts

trying to hoodwink the universe
into believing
even for a moment

that we were more
than just a flock of sleepless kids
searching for unattainable
AJ Aug 2017
I am not
what I foresaw

Among rainbow-colored
lands askew with fruit ripe and seeping
springs wallowing on ancient forest loam
I used to dream of the sky

Now I lay upon nail beds
destined by shadows demanding
legacies foretold by soothsayers
with eyes clouding against the present

I am nothing
change is something

Was I ever
Abstract thoughts on a steady change I've noticed since my youth. At some point, I dreamt of spending my life within the confines of the unimaginable. Now, it's difficult to even imagine the unimaginable.
AJ Jul 2017
Take your ship out to sea
and bring laurels blessed with holly
on this journey to unearth treasure troves 
hidden in the gossamer waves

Let your flag sail high in wind
and crane your neck high
among floods that rage
in endless sickness and fledgling health

Chests of gems and gilded bands
await at the edge
miles numbering thousands
unfettered to all but time

Rally your spirits and hang them by the sails 
so passing shipmen may see
the bones upon this watery hull
and chant for boundless Someday

Storms await and creep like snakes
through flumes of silver clouds
the tears they wring rocks the fleet
and dyes dry skin vermilion

Famine prays to fish for food 
while brine coats the shattered deck
parched crewmen beg to die in sandy oases 
surrounded by undrinkable water 

Promises and tears the only drinks
now pain tattooed to flesh
gold glows neither in caves
nor does it shimmer in light

However many years pass as eternities
brighter dreams mark crystal soils
and platinum trees plump with diamond fruit
float atop the promised land

Though the ship has weathered shattered frame
and dried blood lines your chest
the anchor dives through watery shore 
and cries through salt land ** 

Sands crunch loud underfoot
like God's soft muse skies hum 
no treasure lies here but an ashen tree
and the whispering wind begins to cry

my fortunate babe, you've arrived
I'd like to think this poem is about the struggles of aspirations. The floundering steps toward unreachable goals gilded by our flawed expectations. We are like shipmen, floating perpetually toward a distance that may never come, losing much along the way in pursuit of an ideal future. But often, reality is something else entirely. It is up to you to decide what this reality means, and whether or not it is worth the price.
AJ Jul 2017
I'm alive
I'm alive
I'm alive
AJ Jun 2017
You've forgotten why you lost contact with your closest friend but you haven’t forgotten the days you invited him over to play video games and instead conducted two-man airsoft skirmishes in the forest behind your house

nor have you forgotten the short films you created, in which you portrayed a murderous Bosnian chef who cooked toxic meals, and he played the fourth-wall-breaking cameraman who hurled plastic bananas at your head as you ran through your unscripted spiel.

You still can't forget the weekends you’d bike to his house to point and cackle at comedy television, nor the nighttime drives during which you two would talk about where you wished to be in ten years: he in a log cabin nestled in a Finnish forest, you somewhere in France.

The younger you believed you’d grow alongside him and build those dreams.

Now you hope you’ll one day find him sweeping through the Finnish glades and he’ll ask you to walk with him.
AJ Mar 2017
In meadows of supple leaves
and sands of crystal grass,
long-lived fears
of a life lived long have passed.

Still, cradled in the veins
of another person’s heart,
you cannot help but bleed.

On days of untold
ire, your eyes wet and red,
you rue the day you took a breath
from the old ocean sun.

Yet salty waves of green
could never hold back
your swelling song.

I have watched you grow
and have watched you drink
water from the riverside mound
upon which lay
the dreams you have held
since you were a child.

I know not where you belong,
where years will place you then,
but sirens wail upon your hearth,

Wherever you end up
you will be beautiful.
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