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Aug 20 · 26
Sunday Dress
JN Cole Aug 20
eastward balcony
and hotheatnoon-like shine
of the morn it floods
the floor
why don't you draw the
curtain close?
fresh barn fresh farm the
animals are up and blinking.

crushed wheat
crushed grass
the smell goes up
to meet you.

you reach into
the depth of your closet and
feel for the tiny box your
mother gave you on
your happy sweet sixteenth

happy birthday my dear

Sunday dress
Sunday dress
the old and worn
moth-eaten hem you don't quite
they tell you to just
give it away or throw it somewhere
you won't see

don't pick it up
pick it up
don't you ever

Sunday dress
Yellow Sunday Dress
with blue flowers you
pair it with your gold locket

put on your best hat girl
wipe your eyes
and slap that sticker of a smile

Sunday dress
they don't have to know
you scatched your arm
against a nail somewhere in
your closet.
JN Cole Aug 20
Oh, hi... Yeah I'm good you know...

I've been thinking about
death a lot lately, but no.
I don't want to die.
I think about death as
a concept like...

What happens when
I die?
No... things like Heaven.
I do believe but more like...
What now?
What of this earth?
What of the people?
What is one less

What is the impact.
Ah, yes. That is it.

Will anyone remember?
Remember me for
cutting my hands often?
Having Band-aids wrapped
around any finger?
Being short-tempered?
Listening to punk music
and pretending that I am
one? I am not sure about
the pretending part though...
What about the books
I read that no one has ever
heard of? Because I just
pick them at random
at a random time
at a random bookstore
on a whim
on a bad day
on a day where home
isn't home.

I'm sorry (laughs).

Oh, where are you headed?

Oh, it's fine. Me?


Will my family still use
lemon-scented laundry soap?
Lemon-scented bath soaps?
Lemon-scented aerosols?
Lemon-scented bathroom deodorizer?
Lemon for the water.
Lemon for the tea.
Oh, and for the toilets
and bathroom floor...
Lemon-scented thick bleach?

I'm sorry (laughs).

Lemon is just a scent...
a memory from childhood.
A candy
a summer day
a sun-smelling bike ride
a nothing-to-do-just-
kind of day
I've been obsessed about it lately.
Maybe because I read it in
a poem. Something about
scrubbing your clothes clean
till they smell like lemon.

Oh, do you have to go now?

Well, do take care and
see you soon. Thank you for
listening I hope you'll like the smell
of lemons from now on.
Lemon-Scented Memories Part 2/Prologue
Aug 20 · 60
Lemon-Scented You
JN Cole Aug 20
gone now the
laundry basket by the
multi-color tiled bathroom half-
empty been a week now
been trying to fill it now
been trying to
not feel
empty gone

now the
cartons of milk he's allergic
to anyway,
in the fridge at the
bottom being replaced and being
tossed and
tossed again.

gone now he still
winces at the freshly laundered
sheets now
lemon-scented you
but you are gone now.


who is going to
pester him for more tuna
more vegetables who is
going to tell him not
to water the cacti you
planted in chipped tea
cups who is going to
walk the dogs he gave away
not long ago because
no one has the love and
patience to do it anymore.

who is going to love
the lemon-scent the
scent you loved
just because of a poem
about it or a story who
who knows now
what you want
where you are how you've been...

who's gonna tell him
now not to
take the pills after
you bitter-sweet
lemon-scented good
Lemon-Scented Memories Part 1
Jul 2019 · 62
Midnight Snack
JN Cole Jul 2019
kitchen low-light,
kitchen low-bright Kitchen;
open refrigerator door,
illumination on on on
tiled floor
dull light; dull bright reflecting
your sadness.

kitchen low-light kitchen
low bright, kitchen
low; spirit
kitchen empty yogurt
cup >kitchen<
fiddling fiddling
striking the spoon
inside the hollow
(metal spoon,
against plastic cup
the blunt
'til you decide it's time
to stop playing and
throw it away.
Jan 2019 · 114
Roadkill Prayers
JN Cole Jan 2019
BLIND. a cat
in a flashflood
of head/tail lights

frozen as a
deer in the
middle of a
highway through
midnight woods;
once upon a
once upon
the frozen

do you think
YOU know?

how does it
how do THEY
FEEL before
they D I e?

(do you know where i was going?
do you know where i've been?)

do you say
your names
when you pray
with lifted hands?
do you think
the rain will
wash the muck
down your body?

muck sliding down
your paperthin

your candlewax sins
melting your
showing the
core of
your being.

true colors.

make you feel
pure and hallow
make you feel
like a saint.
make you
feel like
you own the
make you
feel like
you own

find me
flat against
the road
on thick
find me
an empty
cup like
red unwanted

bury me
under your skin.
bury me
in the emptiness
of your mind.
bury me
in the hollows
of your sinews.
bury me.
i was
never well
half-alive, anyway.
Sep 2018 · 161
on a Wharf with a dog
JN Cole Sep 2018
Christmas eve leftover for
breakfast before i drive us
out to Sea. On the

wharf in your doggy tiny
doggy mirror doggy eyes
i am Camera Obscura melting
blue melting one with the

Small enough, dog; small,
dog-enough so i can place
you inside my hand-cage of
crooked fingers and

red-bitten bitten red
red nails red-painted
painted red, red, red
redsoveryred red.

Let us
          Let us you


together we~
throw ourselves
to Sea

Let us let us you and me~
you and me~
we throw ourselves we
throw, we, you and me
let us let us.

Mister Death
mister death i know
you puke out
Sep 2018 · 602
Inside a Paper Cup
JN Cole Sep 2018
Watching sunset
Watching  lu rid nes s
Watching the blue fall
like dew on grass
or the other way round.


Watching small insects
Watching them circle
around and around
the farmer's son's head
because he is
an angel
where holiness and
is a halo of Gnats.


Watching leaves
Watching leaves rustle
like old maidens
and lace veils,
chanting and chanting
chanting forgiveness
And stout little
red candles
Lined up like

             a procession
                an offering
                   a sacrifice

They rustle
They sing songs
in languages too
daedal for the
finite understanding
Because language
is but a bit
of the more
  v   a   s   t      imagery.


Watching hands
Watching hands
with old worn skin
like an old worn sweater
that used to be warm.


Watching hands work
as blue veins pop against
papery brown skin
They used to hide
the life and now they
are draining the light from
eyes squinted against the
glare of the morning.


Watching flowers
Watching flowers wilt
Someone forgot to
take the hose one
late morning maybe
because they’re gone
or out The latter
is a wish.


All of these are
but fond memories
in a house next
to a field of
corn and rye
I used to think
That maybe
I would come to like
   Living There.
Sep 2018 · 815
Dead Leaf
JN Cole Sep 2018
Count red cars
or the billion stars

maybe count each
silver charm on
a silver chain

Watch the night fall
quietly onto town

sleep a dreamy sleep
dream a sleepy dream

Chase the wind to
chase it in your
own worn shoes

Run away from
the waves you've
known since

all you've ever

Blow away the
fluff from the
silent dandelions
blooming on
the roadside to
your home

Wait for the
rain to drop
on roofs,
hear it
patter against
your window

Pass the time
see the rusty
trains speeding
into rusty blurs

into nowhere

Do nothing on
the benches in
the station

Catch someone's
hat blown away
by the wind
maybe keep it
as your own

who knows,
it could all
be yours.

To you,
Girl by The Sea
Aug 2018 · 88
JN Cole Aug 2018

it's alright
you can sit on the moon
whenever you like
you can fish
for stars and comets
you can put them
in your pocket,
if you want
it's alright


you can stay in
their flowerbox
if you want to
no one will warn you
no one will harm you
they will not
bloom without you
it's alright


you can swim in
their fishbowl if
you feel like it
take it as
your own little sea
all the corals
and fishes
and mermaids
and shells that sing
and candy-coloured rocks
are yours


you can build a castle
on the ocean floor
Atlantis is yours
it's alright


you can have all these things
and be what you want to be
it's alright
it's all right.
Aug 2018 · 84
JN Cole Aug 2018
come and go
between night
and day
be as free
as you may
break or crash,
slowly creep
awaken into
deep blue sleep

bloom and wither
near the spring
it's alright,
the wind
heard you sing
rise and fall,
colors you paint
in chaos,
stroked soft
and faint

bright and fair,
deep and hollow
all the time
you need to borrow
it will pass
it will last
no ruse,
nothing but
a Muse
Aug 2018 · 104
JN Cole Aug 2018
Girls with beautiful eyes
shouldn't die but that's
the thing.

we all fade away
Aug 2018 · 241
Darger's Gun
JN Cole Aug 2018
why shoot the cartoon bird
why nip the buds
why shoot the kids
why trap the self-amused boy

he goes to Church five times a day

beat the bad dog
                                                bad bad dog with the blue collar
                                         the bad bad dog
                                         the  big bad dog
till he weeps watercolour

praise the dog
who picks up fragments
of yourself
as you walk dead
         dead                     very dead
among your fellow zombies
Aug 2018 · 436
JN Cole Aug 2018
swim awayswim away

paper tyger
burning bright
in the forests
of the night
caught in
screens of
forest trees
paper tyger
the night

swimaway swim away

paper tyger
burning bright
in the forests
of the night
the woods
the woods down
burn it all
but keep me
keep me alive

keep me
i will eat
the moss
out of
your sinews

keep me
a life
living off
of stardust
and of mildew

keep me
keep me

embers flicker
embers flicker
i will eat
the ashes
of your

burn it all
burn it all down
don't let me
fade away

paper tyger
burning bright
in the forests
of the night
fill the sky
fill the sky
with glories
from your
burn the night
burn the light
paper tyger
burning bright

swim away swimaway
JN Cole Aug 2018
i want to be
a cartoon fish

i want to be a cartoon fish
in a television sea

someone raps
on the black vacant

no one, no one
nobody i know

at least that's what i see
at least that is all i...

beyond the static
beyond the screen

i want to be a cartoon fish
Aug 2018 · 100
birthday candles
JN Cole Aug 2018
wish upon
a red
paper plane
on a dock
the river

i pray
to be
a fish instead
swimming                                 endless
and forever.


wish upon
the orange
float glass
on the old
and crumbling

i pray
to be
a rotting
numb and
dumb and
Jul 2018 · 155
JN Cole Jul 2018
I have never been
To the worn and
Cracked asphalt streets
Of your home
The home you
Came to know
After the long train ride
From nowhere
60, 70 years ago or so

And the scene outside
The commuter train
Was a war-torn sky
And dead trees
And shadows of
What looked like
And there were children
Shadows of them
Or ghosts
But they were
Just hiding somewhere

And you near 20
probably wondered
If airborne bombs
Exploded red paint
And gray and yellow
All the morose hues
That painted Tel Aviv
You near 20
Had a new life
Just beyond the
Train's door
A step outside
And he chose you
For better or for worse

The stranger brought
You home
And words cannot reach
You both so that was
Why you kept yourself
Busy in the kitchen
And you have come to
Learn the words he
Told you over and over
With your back
Bent over the sink

"Ata nir’e nifla."
"Ata nir’e nifla."

He always said it
Like a prayer
Because you were
The goddess
In his small kitchen

We have never met
But it's as if I'd
Known you

And while you
Lay in your deathbed
This is the
Only memory you
Can ever recall
And somehow
Before you go
Before your body
Becomes just
Another earthly
Somehow i know
You and i think you
Lived a good life

To die is gain
They say
And i guess
We are just
Story after story
After story
After dreams
Fade and we
Are nothing
But a memory
Of ash
About a Lebanese woman I knew. She was a Holocaust survivor.

Rest in peace, Eema.
Jul 2018 · 225
JN Cole Jul 2018
Nariyan na,

mga Hukom

Bibig ay itikom

Ika'y hahatulan

Mga kasalanan

Pilit mang tubusin

Pinagmamasdan parin


mga bahid ng itim

Mata at bibig

mas matalas pa

Kaysa sa

kahit anong patalim

Ipinagkaloob ng

Mga diyos-diyosan sa lupa

Sino ka nga ba

Para sa basag na salamin

Ika'y tumingin

Tumakbo man palayo

Mula sa iyong

pulang titig

Walang sulok sa aking

Mumuntihing daigdig


Sa iyong nakapapasong


Ako'y bilanggo
Jul 2018 · 97
Broken Wing
JN Cole Jul 2018
What would you do if you could fly?

I can.

I tried.

But I don't want to fly.
Jul 2018 · 693
Paper World
JN Cole Jul 2018
Paper boats sail
With little paper sailors
And their little paper hearts
They belong to a sea
Of broken blue acrylic

Paper aeroplanes fly
With little paper pilots
And their little paper courage
They belong to a sky
Of rich and dank enamel

nothing is real

Little paper people
Walk restlessly around
Some little paper town
They have no home
They don't belong

In this paper world
Where we are all
Just being eaten by
Waiting for paper rain
To wash us all away
To wash this Paper World away

It's not a dream
It's just on paper
That's why
nothing is real
Jul 2018 · 173
JN Cole Jul 2018
Shoot the cartoon bird
From the illustrated book
Take the bucket and the mop
Wipe that crimson clean, son
I bet you don't want them
After ya bet ya don't wanna
Be scalin' your own grand
Life is a makeshift stage

Who's the fair boy
With his fair hair
And his cream-pink conch
Who's the fair boy
Who daydreams
The chief!
The chief!
Law and order!
The fair boy
The chief
Law and order
On the desolate island!
Chase the chief
With two sharp ends
Of a stick
Or a Spear if you may
Courtesy of The King's Book

The freckled red-haired boy
Chapter chorister, head boy
Boy can sing in C#!
Chase 'em
Chase 'em
Go get 'em hunter!
Get ya self some
Alrighty! Somebody's
Ougtta take care of the fire!
We have ourselves a sow!
One end of the sharp stick
In the soft mud
The other inside a
Severed head

Who are the boys?
Furtive and cunning
And quiet
Quite shrewd if you may
If you say
One's "Piggy!"
Law and order everyone!
Sweet allegory!
The island
The island
Swallowed by crackles
And ashes it will be
Swallowed by bathed in
The swallowing bathing heat
Wacco, Wizard, Smashing
Flight home Flight home
Island no more!
Smashing Wizard Wacco!

— The End —