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I’m only a poet;
There’s nothing I know but
How to say what’s been said
Without a thought in my head.
I’m only a poet;
I know how to show what
We’ve seen, paint lies instead
Of novel truths unread.
I’m only a poet:
Hear the cry from my hut
Of this man who has bled
Tears borrowed from the dead.
co'brien May 25
i wish i could take flight as the plover
rather than flail and fight ‘till it’s over
wading through endless swamps of mire
waiting until i discard my ire
fading faster than last summer’s clover

i wish i could sing as the songbird sings
maybe tell the tale of beautiful things
cut through the skylight chains
strut about the windowpanes
but i haven’t any wings
co'brien May 21
a city plain enough
for all the world to see
though round the edges rough
it always seems to be

as half the city sleeps
long past alluring Dusk
lonely screams creep
from eventual husks

sirens blare
while i grow pale
and cast a prayer
to no avail

a city plain enough
asleep at thirty to three
missing finer stuff
to keep me company

laying there, wide awake
the night not quiet yet
i shut my eyes for my own sake
and wait for silence to set

i hear ambulances convene
on the parking lot below
whisk away a pallid teen
without her soul in tow

my mind is forever *****
as a war-torn sieve—
i could never forget two-thirty
not for as long as i live
co'brien May 17
striving, searching

meaning everywhere to behold
in a world hardly days old

diving, lurching

in a drowning sea of possibility
each drip a different plea

defending, upending

small bottles of water
preparing for the great slaughter

sending, contending

“mine is best!” i cry
and why?
co'brien May 14
Let not our humble minds admit
That we are better than the rest;
Lest we ourselves our fates forfeit
To those who jeer and **** and jest.
Let not our thinking hearts believe
Love must belong to fools like them;
Such noble strains as hearts must grieve:
Second to none; none to condemn.
Let not our wills be resolute,
Never able to bend or change;
Pity the strength of duller brutes.
So trust in life’s sordid exchange:
Though we will fall and surely die,
We too, one day, shall live to sigh.
so it's iambic tetrameter, sue me
co'brien May 13
when all the rooms are dim,
when all the crowds have thinned,
when all the thoughts that brimmed
have been by shadows pinned
against pride’s swollen rim,

when a quiet song is playing
from a radio relaying
static voices always saying
that never were they portraying
a world of only hurraying,

amid soft singing and late voices
are we not held against our choices?
yet in this the poet rejoices:

his soul’s words are yet unspoken;
no two works share the same tokens
through history’s line unbroken.
co'brien May 13
in my house there’s a restroom
it has a toilet, a tub, a mirror, a sink
it has two perfectly fine lights
but I am enamored by how the light from my phone
bounces in then out of the sink

then that mirror, what a sight
whose hair is that, curled and untidy
whose brow is that, furrowed and staring
at what?
my head is cocked, I must be confused
and so I keep on staring

my gaze falls to the not dry sink
droplets of water arranged in a spiral
pointing towards the drain
they must’ve been placed there by
some maniacal artist
such a thirsty drain

though photons there bounce about
showing me myself
I think I’d rather
live a little? maybe I’ll just fade away
be swallowed by a drain, and sink
into void—this I’d rather

yet here I stay
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