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Craig Dotti Jan 2010
How rare it is that any collection of people
In any numbers
Should breathe as one

Perhaps a mother as she births
Her first
Or last born

Maybe when one saves a brother
As they fight back
To back in war

Sometimes, when man and woman
Make love for the first or last
Or 44th time

But these events and moments
Are rare unto themselves, not
Synonymous with a unified breath

But on this day, I saw
Two million people and then some
Breath in and out,

The sweet air of hope
In a cry of “YES”
An exclamation “ WE”

And in complete unity,
Harmony, and accord
They said “CAN”

And those in the dark
Who think they can not
We will band together

As a living memory
To the era of reconstruction,
To the new deal

For though we are the weak
The tired
And the meager

We have always welcomed those
And we will
Inherit the earth

We will go
From ashes,
To monuments
Craig Dotti Sep 2011
Steady rains come down today
It will make everything grow
They say
Inside I'm feeling shrunken and with thirst
Who is they anyway?

I want to get outside
Passed the school-girls playing footy
I wish I was knocking it around
In a driving rain somewhere

I don't leave because I'm afraid of the world
Afraid to see me this way

I'm no longer a cog
I'm a plant
I watch and I wait  
For what?
How can we ever know?
I take in just enough. I give out just as much.
When people I live with come back into our space
They are met with a hot meal

This much I can do

When I View myself
I'm not sure if I've changed  more in the fact that I'm like a child inside now
or that I'm starting to look like an older man
or both

I feel different but not quiet enough
Like dough not fully baked
Perhaps I've been in the oven too long though

I feel scared and scarred in a way I never thought possible even in dreams

And then I think of the tree in Brooklyn and how it stands
but stands alone

I know all of this is nothing
All of it esoteric and dramatic because
I breath air and eat,
Bask in the glow of the sun
And pollinate sometimes

Steady rains come down today
It will make everything grow they say
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
Never mind the best of us
I, I have seen the rest of us wander out into the desert parking lots, exodus from bars and rest stops with no sleep drunk behind wheels that take them no where in particular.
Bodies and minds prostituted in our highest universities. “Before I throw you out of my class may I ask you why you have such a sense of entitlement?”
We are all entitled to learn and to do it at no greater cost than our time and our blood and fears and ambition.

We have gone on too long to see men without women and men with out men. Men without *** because there is no revolution. The women are too busy texting while driving and they are now dead. Free love is as dead as communism and the act of necking at the drive in.

Men are turned boys again who live on couches in one room basements in basements in basements in cages. Just where they ought to be, youthful beasts, who wish to make more of their lives, wish to make anything at all.

I have worked shoulder to shoulder with those that do not want to work because it can’t even pay the bills. Why dig your own grave only to die trying to dig your way out?
And yet even to the lucky ones death never comes. There is no cold, only the burn of want, ever and always.

Perhaps money is a sickness far greater than those who suffer and sweat through swine flu and strep throat, have broken legs, loose bowls and AIDS. HA! For money won’t afford them the 300 hundred dollar lift in the ambulance. So even the dead are not dead, they are being ****** instead.

Then there are the zombies those that walk both day and night, rather, endless night, loyally addicted to a tin of tobacco or a real wicked pack. Forget what they tell you about health risk, at 7 bucks a pop tabbacy can’t feed your baby and winter is coming fast.

People have forgotten the elderly that walk the sides of the roads waiting for handicapped access to their graves. Perhaps it’s because the old has forgotten the young just as much. But lest we forget, I speak to you as a fountain of youth.

“Let them eat cake!” OR feast on handfuls of Slim Jims and pour me a tall, warm Pap’s Blue Ribbon because bread and eggs and water are for the Prince of Monte Carlo and food stamps are too passé, besides they aren’t even stamps anymore!

I want to cry for the many with broken hearts sewn together through strings of text messages and with the precession of a Nike sweat shop worker. The heart of the world is coming undone. Touch the next person you see before it’s too late.

Finally a word to the wise, more specifically the literate: My generation knows God is dead (we found his body in one of those soggy bar parking lots after a night of Quizzo) yet so is science (Discovery Channel is way boring nowadays). We are alone as a tree in Brooklyn.
Craig Dotti May 2011
Aloft a Country Hill II

If I should meet you aloft a country hill
I'll build a barn
The field you can till

If you'd care to stay
There will be a place on the porch
Next to mine

We can walk to the pond
Through the brier
Past the pines

To the west, hike the mountains with me
and enjoy the view from the peaks
I know you
You know me
Though at this point, we hardly speak

Explore with me our shared land
We can do it together
Clasping our Earth -soiled hands
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
I feel you in the nuts and bolts of me

And if you want to be mechanical about it
You leave the very hinges of my soul undone
Come in

No one ever said a sweet word to me
Without a knife to my spine soon to follow
No one has woke the ghost of my mother
I asked her, “Mother, can you see that light across Peck’s Beach, to the North?”

No one owns light
And it cannot be contained by any set of four walls or three
You see, if I wanted another piece of property
In the form of a pretty face
I’d have traded my mind again
For the spoils of another less-than-honorable war

And her name would be…
What use be a name for that type of woman?

At this point in my life, what name could evoke anything?
Other than yours, the one that I want to sing

I scaled a bridge the other day
What a lofty bridge it was,
Like something you might have dreamed up

Atop I saw a sun so bright,
So piercing
I could not look away

To say it reminded me of you would be no truer
Than all those pretty faces,
You my dear are less harsh than that blistering orb

But to be sure,
I wanted you next to me
all the while that I burned in the sun.
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
I woke up to you buzzing about the flowers today
I guess I won't see you again till' April or even May

I hope you make it
I hope you'll know
To show up again
When the flowers start to grow

Maybe when the lilacs bloom again
You'll be working in the garden by the gate
Maybe not you,
Something like you, reincarnate

All this worry and indecision
Must show you that I don't know
up from down
Nor the changing of seasons
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
Fear and Loathing in Ocean City

Everyday that goes by
Our bond becomes little more than a time of day,
Dust on a window sill,
A lightning bug in a mason jar

I know that nothing can be permanent
Change cannot scare a man that has no constant
But recently the thought occurred to me that you keep going about your business
When the clock strikes that hour,
That you brush the thought of me aside as if cleaning me out,
That you are glad that light in the jar has gone dim

So I find myself waiting on you like a train that will never come
And I ask about you now and again
How are you? Are you happy? Do you have a new light?
At this point I've realized I could say anything and you'd pay me no mind
People tell me that perhaps you can't deal with the thought of me emotionally
That I hurt you
Cut you and whenever I open my mouth I'm pouring salt into to a cavernous wound

The other day a close friend told me something different
She doesn't respond to you because she doesn't care about you. Move on

You've gone from crutch
to love
to desire
to memory

She doesn't care. Move on

That's a change that would put fear into even the most roving of nomads
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
In a building not concrete of origin
Near a forest we used to forage in

In the village we muck and wander
Towards the river over yonder

On the isle of sacred Avalon
There was new ground to tread upon

Amidst the brier, bog and heath
Among the thistle, needles and oak leaf

Round the timber fire we sang
Of lady luck’s mercy and lady love’s pain

We drank a drink of potent potables
Phrases spoken few of which notable

From the lambs leg we feasted
While the mystic death we cheated  

Nights never ending and those yet experienced  
We roam them on and on, ever-delirious
Craig Dotti Aug 2010
I.      I had once thought and so there for told you
that action is more important
than thought
So here I am writing my heart

II.    You say you like
My words
I say that everything I want
I turn into phantoms

        At days end for you, I am striving to be a rock, one that you
        Might hold onto in rough waters
and yet,
I am floating
in my own great, salty sea

III. I'll dream that we take
a long weekend in the city
it's raining
and it seems as though
the whole East Side
May float away
We order room service
and we intertwine
and it feels like the bond of
root in earth
of tide to beach
as atom to atom
as eve to adam
and we fall asleep
Things are quiet
You no longer bare that weight
on your narrow shoulders
My passed has passed
We fall in love and into sleep
and we do not
sleep to dream
any longer
We are living one
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
Hope, at times for them
Is a once-great passenger ship
Breeched and sinking fast

This vessel is one that sees the Mississippi,
Floats on it for a brief period
But has no idea that it's being dominated
By the mighty, muddy beast

In these instances responsibility
Becomes government reports that are long,
Arduous and too thick to be stapled

"Many people will die." they say,
"200,000 people will be displaced."
This incites the mantra,
Home is where the water is not

The ship that was a home is made of steel
Neither black nor white
Its grey, so grey that it is without true color
It finds itself trapped in the womb of the dense, delta mud

The people;
The brave, the bold, the idiots, waiting for their ship to come
Sit on top of their roofs,
Now islands where they can soak up Indian Summer Sun
For the abandoned, perseverance is a suntan


Words spray-painted white on black shingles
The rescuers, government, American people
Are suddenly illiterate

Federal law states:
Energy (money) cannot be created
Nor destroyed
But the ship is gone,
The people are in watery graves
The City is a large crescent with greedy bites taken out of it

6 years later the laws of the universe are disbanded
Ferrel dogs rule the day
And love is never having to say you care
For Linus, Smitty, Craig and the others of the Lower 9th Ward
Craig Dotti May 2011
I look at pictures of you now living thegoodlife
It's not beyond me to say "I remember when we…"
But specifics, like the eroding shores of my home- town have been muddled
to bits and pieces of a kiss, a park, a cut on the palm

I guess I want to check in to know that I can still be 19
and love-sick to the point of death again

I want you to be a voice in the onyx night
When I'm drunk beyond belief and I need something, anything
On the other end of the fiber-optic cable
In that sense you could be any number of people
Saying any number of things
In that sense we are all too detached

In my head though you'd cross whatever rogue obstacle  
of nature or nurture, time and space
That I dream up
I'd awake to you in a nondescript white room
You'd be holding orchids and all the cards
Ripples that could hardly be called waves would be lapping up on the
Beaches outside the window
I'd laugh out of feeling overwhelmed
You and I would go about making love and memories that we'd both forget
Craig Dotti May 2013
I am mostly brown or black or reddish
An amalgamation
So when the May- sun magnifies off my sweat-beaded skin
It just makes my cheek- bones a bit pink

There are only so many ways one can be reminded they are still living
There are only so many phrases to let the audience (reader) know that I am wilting

To look to the future is more than just waiting on something speculative
If it is not a wasteland it is something so vague and sleek and mod that a person like me falls right off
Drifting between the fruitless present

And you walking down Nassau Street. The trees were blooming. I followed and snapped pictures with a camera.
Your hair was long and you were taller than most everyone else.
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
It's said if you get hit by a High -speed train
The body-bag needed to house your remains is no bigger than the one needed to fit your sandwich in at lunch

As I pass Brielle and South Amboy, Perth Amboy and Secaucus at 80 mph
I stare out into the swamps festering with industrial run-off
And the bombed- out buildings of once thriving towns
I get the feeling that I want to return to the earth

People tell me a lot of things
They don't ask much
They tell me I can be successful at anything I choose
They throw around words like charismatic and love and passionate
They tell me that I have the mark of Cain
They fail to realize
Charisma is for the talentless
Passion is blood on your hands at the end of the day
And love is blood and war and a dark place and feeling that keeps you in bed

Some call this depression
But to me it's  seeing my world as it is
Not as it might be

I tell anyone who will listen
I can't get over you
Guess I'm hoping for one final piece of sage advice
But the blind are the blind for some reason or other
And I can't look at myself in
The mirror these days

I've never made a habit of Walking on the tracks
It's not that I want to be in a zip-lock body-bag but I don't own a gun
I've smoked enough *** for five lifetimes
And I don't care that I have never seen the Pacific
Water is just water anyway Right?
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
People tell me  
I came pretty close to dying

Now I just sit and think about why I'm
alive anyway

I can't think of a thing to do during the day
but then again maybe I'm not trying

I've been seeing time as
A strange, madras garment
Memories, strewn together in a sloppy, random, make-shift way

At their most detailed
They are incidents given a slot on the
nightly news
But we can never be there again
whether we are the ones falling from the burning building,
being interviewed about it
or glued to the couch watching

Everything, just snippets on the cutting- room floor,
Melting frost on a window
"I love you" written in the middle
Something overheard in a smokers' annex
A person you bump into on the L
That sweater you had to have but lost at the 92nd Street Y
A flash in a pan
A view from the top

Our lives are abridged versions of some greater path, that only those who walk truly upright are unlucky enough to perceive
Craig Dotti Jun 2010
Just Days Before XMAS

I’m up on a Sunday morning so early that only the church goers are out on Spruce St. But I do not believe. I’m not singing along with my favorite songs. I don’t know that they are still my favorites.

I’m ******* onto faces that aren’t there. Don’t remember throwing that desk through that wall. Don’t remember being that strong. Ever. I do remember wanting to see you **** her last night. I’m sorry.

I see people chiseling off the glaze of morning-ice from their shiny, leathery luxuries. Mine’s from my ***** hair I napped too long outside. I ask them if they would like my help. “Excuse me sir, my mind’s not right (I’m in a bad place [right now]).”

I get home to sleep in a fortification that I don’t know. Surrounded by people that I’m even less familiar with. And I wonder why I didn’t crash my car going 400mph. into the back of that electric trolley that looked more like a nostalgic toy than something to ride upon. Look at me: I drive a V6.

I sleep until I am ***** again. Not hungry, *****. I **** myself with  a grip that borderline feels like yours

I wake up so late on a Sunday afternoon that I couldn’t possibly call myself a football fan. I love the Dolphins.
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
Everyone’s so **** far
Everything is on steroids

And as all we know
Swells to sizes more
Than even god planed
They inevitably come in between us

The way a 70 inch TV splits a family apart
To opposite hemispheres of their “living”- room -world
“Can you hear me over there Brother?  Sister?”
“Not listening.”  
“Can’t see you.”

Electronic wedges that push us farther
And farther from our fathers

“Dad I just called because you never
answered my textual message
And email is too slow as you well know.”

“Come home son.” He concedes

“I lost my way home pop.”

“You’re right, I guess the 50’s are done and The Wonder Years
is long out of syndication.”

So I’m an alien on this *******- like stretch of land.

Ponce de Leon would claim it for his peninsula as
A peninsula of eternal life
A greater man than I would label it “The happiest place on earth.”

But all I know is this:
This earthen ***** might as well be an island off the coast of nowhere
Gainesville might as well be in Russia, rather
The Steppes of Asia Minor
And you most certainly are
An aberration from a softer night far ago

I guess I’ll see it all half full and live
In my State of Confusion
Located somewhere between the North and South Pole

Call it self pity, but no one but people like me understand
The concept of one million miles
Meet me halfway, someplace if you agree

Live in States of Unknown
So then you will
Always have a home
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
Paramus? I bought a desk in Paramus. Don’t remember what it looked like.
There were ***** men outside the store. Or maybe they were Mexican?
They played a Skiffle beat as I haggled for that couch I was getting.
“When I’m dead and in my grave. No more good times will I crave.
When I die they’ll burry me deep. Way down on old Chelsea Street.”
Title was “Freight Train”.Think that one was by Nancy Whiskey You said Rutherford you’re from or Roebling?Ya, that Lonnie Donegan could sure make a song The song those Mic’s in front of the store I got the hutch at in Oradell was called “Face in the Rain”, went, “When I’m dead and in my grave. No more good times will I crave. When I die they’ll burry me deep. Way down on old Chelsea Street.” Wait what were we saying bout’ Paramus?
I mean Patterson.
Craig Dotti Sep 2011
"We work with the substantial,
but the emptiness is what we use."

If all things were equal it plays out like this:

A rainy day and we're at the Rose Garden
Your father bought the seats. He enjoys that I like sports so much,
Takes him back to a simpler time when he played in a gym similar to this
Where he met your mother
You're in black and it has nothing
to do with the team colors
You say it's a phase and I believe it

We scale Nanda Devi and you look the part of the mountain's name
You look the way you did on the afternoon I met you.
I wonder where the levee is this time
Above the clouds we are naked to the sun and the sky,
naked and raw to each other
and it feels whole and honest

Feverish night in a dive bar in La Paz
there are skulls on the wall
I think to what end
Men and women crowd the floor
The band is hitting its stride after a marathon set  
We dance until we are both in many different places
Some of which involve the person we are dancing with
Sometimes we are alone in front of a mirror
I've never had to help you stand at the end of the night
You never have to ask me to go outside

Intertwined tightly on a twin bed, maybe for the night
A train eats up track in the distance.
We remember now when we shared a room.
(Tops of two bunk-beds, as if lying on two different shores)
Arms around you and I forget the concept of possession
Craig Dotti Jun 2010
I see you from across the room.
It’s impossible not to,
I have to look through you,
To see out the window
You don’t look as good tonight,
As his words might lead us to believe.
Good enough for him.
Good enough to write about.

He salivates over you,
Like I might over a steak.
Like you are over the poem he reads.

I may have lost you over this one.
Because he is tender.
Because he wrote one good poem.
Because he might kiss the same way he *****.
**** the same way he would,

Put his thinly pursed lips,
On the curve of your neck.
But he wouldn’t appreciate your neck.
I do.

He might not be spitty
Chapped from years of rejection.
I stare at your neck
I’m sorry if I stare.
I need to see out the window,
During this three hour class,
To know the world is still there.

He doesn’t know your feet.
And if he did *******,
With your socks on or off.
He never felt the abrasion,
Of your well-earned calluses.
You always feel the scruff of my chin,
On your neck.
The neck he will never know.

**** me on my bed.
Bleed on my hard-wood floor.
Let’s get out of this place,
This three-room mansion.
We’re either better than this, or,
I am delusional.
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
Lumber and lacquer
Nails and elbow grease
Blood from the splinters
Before you were stripped down
From the wood
Of the forest behind our home

Standing sturdy and steadfast,
On the patio
I laid
Brick by brick
Gate keeper of the orchard that grows,
Thick in the summer  
And curls up barren,

In the cold months
As if sitting on its mahogany shoulders there are
Mountains to the North West that seem
To smile with their peaks,
And valleys against the blue satin
Sheet of a sky

You who bare witness to my body and the bodies of
Countless others
Those that would just simply use you and fewer,
That would become your very grain
You are watching our conversations,
Through knots for eyes
Through bird-burrowed holes,
Hearing us,
As we break bread as brothers
Wood through the trees
Flesh from bone
Feast to famine
You are,

Beautiful and complete
As the steak,
Cooked rare
A glass of summer port–wine:

The color of the red russet potato,
And the earth-soiled hands that dug them up
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
Part I. When the Saguaro Cactus Blooms

“All mountains everywhere are being worn down by frost, snow and ice.”

“In the brief arctic summer grasses thrive, but too little energy reaches the ground for trees to grow.”

“When Nubian Ibex dual with their horns, the tussles can last up to an hour if the opponents are evenly matched.”

“Rainforest covers only three percent of the Earth, but contains more than half its plants and animals”

“The Shark is faster on a straight course, but can’t turn as sharply as a seal.”

“Throughout much of nature, life is built on decay.”

“Earth’s journey round the sun creates the four seasons, in most places. In the tropics, the sun strikes the earth head- on year round, temperatures barely change.”

“The Great Island of New Guinea harbors forty-two species of birds of paradise, each more bizarre than the last.”  

“As always, where life thrives, trouble follows.”

“Each year a single tree can **** up hundreds of tons of water through the roots, but the trees can’t use all this water so much of it returns to the air as vapor from the leaves on the branches”

“Every year three-million caribou migrate across the frozen Canadian Tundra. Some herds travel over two-thousand miles a year in search of fresh pastures. This is the longest over-land migration of any animal.”

Part II. And Your Bird Can Sing

From my position as being something
Other than what I am now, I saw
the planet Earth which is too impossible to be true.

I saw that land never stands above water.
Water simply allows the tired earth to rest upon its shoulders.

I see places where nothing is alive, save the maggots that feed off themselves,
amongst the cathedral of stalactites and stalagmites and lakes of acid.
No one ever said Hell wouldn’t be beautiful.

I see what was once mountains, now little more than slender, awkward
pillars into the sky. Withered away by an unwavering wind
That blew rigid rock as easy as it might blow
a leaf on the streets of city.

I see that spring even touches the most arctic of locals.
and that you can freeze in a desert that you can fry in.

I see for the first time, the tree as the inverse of itself;
branches into sky, roots into earth.
And I suddenly question paper and hard-wood floors.

And animals,
which we so often chose to deny as our neighbors and brethren.

I met with the Amur Leopard, rare as jewel,
Never before seen,
Destined to lose his home or his fur coat
To the likes of a Russian czarina.

I laugh at the penguin, the sausage of the bird family
and marvel at its audacity to survive
in places its unthreatening, unimpressive body should not.

And in the shark’s eye I saw, as it leaped out of the water
finally engulfing the once allusive seal,
the grace of god, the face of ******
at 1/50th of  the normal speed.

I came across baboons wading through flooded plains
walking upright through the shallow waters,
holding their young above the depths,
predecessors to a two-legged, less noble cousin.

I witnessed nearly every animal fight each other for supremacy,
with the same savagery we do,
but with less discrimination as to who they combat with.

I noticed that countless animals disguise themselves.
Frogs as rocks of exotic hues. Foxes as bushes seemingly on fire.
Bugs as flowers not yet in bloom.
I think I’ll hide myself as a whale
with a harpoon in his side.

I watch male birds of paradise attempt to sing, yell, peck and dance
themselves into a lady bird’s heart;
their Pavarotti, their Don Juanian exploits, their best Baryshnikov
yield them no love, yet my undying admiration is theirs.

I long to be a part of a flock of birds or school of fish,
who seem seamlessly connected by one mind(interwoven by the urge to move)

I see the flower and the fungi bloom, the latter off the former,
in stop-motion photography
I wish to see myself grow in stop-motion.

I swam next to two whales;
a large one whose eyes said to the smaller one,
“I’ll starve for you.”
a small one whose eyes said,
“I will lose my mother when the water is warm.”

I walked with caribou, transient as I am.
Just searching for a place to call home,
both of us knowing that the only stable thing in
life is continuous change.

Part III. Rivers Do Run Dry (See Grand Canyon)

Years later it would be discovered that “HD TV” did not in fact stand for High Definition Television, but rather Hoaxed Depiction Television. Indeed nothing we saw in “HD” was in actually real; rather it was highly doctored images created by the media powers that be. This would explain seemingly implausible animals, landscapes and natural phenomenon seen in the BBC series Planet Earth. Cryptic statements made by the narrator of the documentary (who turned out to not actually be British or a man) such as, “This is the first and last time this spectacle has ever been documented on film.” Ironically, these claims by the narrator are the only truths the entire project has to offer. The images never will be seen again in nature due to the fact that they were fabricated in a Hollywood warehouse.
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
If she is my half
Then it is one of numbers
And order
It is that which gets me up in the morning,
A wholeness that keeps me fed

If I may be her better side
Then I am there only
To loosen her mind
For she cradles the weight of
So **** much
I’m there to keep her warmer
Than she’s ever been

And at night when she’s at my side
I say, “Let go” and when I do,
And only then she will sleep in a velvety daze

When I put my head to her body
She holds it and takes my blood
And takes my faults
And who I may be
No longer matters
Just who I am

It is her smell
On my bare chest

Her hair, in thick strands
Wrapped in between my fingers

What she does with her fingers
to every inch of me

It is her grandmother’s way of talking

It’s how near she can be to my mind
And how distant to my person at the same time

It is all these things
That makes her a calculated mystery I never want to solve
Craig Dotti Mar 2010
Those Chicago kids danced till' they were teary eyed in them **** crepe-soled shoes

He said to me, "Mamma I walked my little crepe-soled shoes into the heart of the South and said 'Hello World!'"

And God be ****** if he wasn't wearing crepe-soled shoes when we beat the man out of that ****** trash

His body lay there
lacerated and bruised like goin' ten rounds with Rocky Marciano. His face was like a sack of potatoes with holes in it. On his feet were spats, no, crepe-soled shoes.

Did you hear the news?
Black boy's struttin' his stuff in his new soul-shoes

As we lit his things on fire that ***** *******'s crepe-soled shoes just wouldn't burn but once they did, the flame would not go out
Craig Dotti May 2011
We must stand firm as rock in the sea
We must bend like winds through grass
In this way we are strong and weak to last

Inevitably, the winds blow stronger still
And greater waves will crash
In this way all things must pass
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
I do not know of WWI

Because I know not of drowning on land
But what hypocrisy it is to say I
Cannot speak on mustard gas
But I will design you a bomb
That kills for days if not
For always

Call that genius if you feel the need
To me it is the call to arms
Every man feels
It is the essential want to take to the sea
It is the secret urge to make
Another man bleed or change the way
He gets up in the morning
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
From down a 1000 foot marble hall
I see you stand
In a room of crimson
You are white, a thousand years grand

And there is a story behind you
As there often is
It’s one that I do not buy
That you were in a noble court or a stately yard
All weathered attempts to keep your mystique alive

Me, I see you as a statue like any other
With curves of body and bust like Venus,
I’d crave in any lover

Yes, I have looked upon many stone
And alabaster faces before
Made by defenseless artists who stand alone
We gaze and just ignore,

That you were no doubt modeled
After someone once living
Someone with a real story
And a face more forgiving

And though you are stuck in a cold and stony
Shell for the rest of your days
From your marble casing I won’t break you away
I’m sure, deep down,
You’d rather stay
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
If I never were to see you again
You'd join an ever- growing line of women
Who tell themselves they never heard my name before

Women I gave a piece of myself to
A kiss on the forehead and spine
A squeeze of the hand
A look that says "I only feel safe in my own skin, when yours is touching mine."

Maybe those looks are the problem
Maybe the kisses are smothering
I might be throwing up red flags to everyone

   Swap spit with him and he will be upside down in love with you
   Swap any other body-fluid and you might have to change your Locks
                            Phone number
                                    Point of view
But it's not that
I never set out to ruin anyone's day
Or scare them into thinking i'm Patrick Bateman

It's just when I share these looks, kisses, fluids
More often than not, even if it was some kind of
Mistake amongst random strangers/lovers
I'm giving a piece of me to have

Label me transparent and then see right through me
When I find myself giving away chunks of my person
I can't seem to tell where love and blood
Craig Dotti May 2011

Form into
so very beautiful
that it makes me stare in a way that I know I am star

Parts of me burning hot and bright
Parts of me fading away

⁃ QΩ
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
In the midst of a heavy snow
I saw a thrush amongst the dunes
With little cover and no where to go
The bird perched brave against his doom

Having said all that,
I am indomitable
Any road- block or set back
Proves to be nominal

In truth at times I have cowered
My face has fallen victim to ill grimace
And yet in this my final hour
I see it is not how you start but how you finish

For it is in the stars for me to battle
Though my soul may be worn
I will break free from mediocrity’s shackles
I am intrepid as a thrush in a storm
Craig Dotti May 2013
She Just didn't love the thought of hands felt on thoughts held old in time

And who knows the kind of feeling the heart wants

When the last words and last breath comes through heavy lungs

Eyes gathered up and to the left

They forget the world

But they are burning to talk and tell of what they saw
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
In these ways unlike any other
You have made me a bigot  

How can I trust someone
With your nose; broad as any stereotype
Your eyes; The color of over-circulated dollar bills
Your lips; billowing, plush, plumped like a fresh Challah
Over-flowing like your Manischewitz Wine.
Lying mouth
A liars mouth

You look like a lender
You look like a heathen

You are an Aryan Mother Mary

Your hair is blonde. No, it’s yellow. No, it is ***** blonde
***** blonde

Stop controlling my multimedia experience  
Mismanage the tasteless fruits of my love no longer

But who am I to hold your cultural tropes against you?
The way you hold my state of mind
Up to my eyes, only to make me see what it is you view

You are the jew. And I’m the one burning alive.
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
She* only calls because we are both night owls

S h e only calls when she's alone and feeling shallow

She never calls
Writes me every once in a while
"I'm gonna wander
I'm asking you to follow…"
Craig Dotti Jan 2010
You interest me in the way
That death does,
In the way that strangers can,
In the way that complicated surgeries might

You perplex me deeply enough
That I write about you often,
That you break and build
Walls in my subconscious,
That you feel like a warm ghost in my arms

You demand my gaze that same way
A fine building will
Or an early-spring snow,
Or a doe in heat

You make me crave you
Like a steak,
Like spending money,
The way I crave attention

You bend me as
Light bends in an eclipse, subtle and yet undeniable,
I bend like the rules do
For the rich and bold

You call me to arms
Like revolution in the streets,
A revolution on the page,
A revolution through the speakers

You inspire me no less than a favorable sky to write
A new pair of shoes to walk
A great athletic feat to play

You fill a space like a home-made poster,
A sold out concert
A partner in crime riding shotgun

You have me searching for you
The way I search for
My mother,
My father,
My sister,

You have me
You have all
You have me in the way
That up always has down
Craig Dotti Jun 2010
I meant to leave him a note in his chair

"Thanks for dinner. Thanks for the movie. Funny right? Haha. Have a great day."

Things like this I rarely do but,
I had this feeling that a man only comes down the stairs so many times
Feelings aside,

"Sorry about saying ******* and what not. I need to grow up."

I said this after finding myself in a room
At my shore house
Where I am expected to do little more than work the beaches

"It's your house, but let's try to live in it together…for Mom's sake."

You see, I get mad at him only as my fallen hero
The way a sports fan degrades their team
Out of a laden yet powerful desire to see them succeed

"So anyway thanks for everything."

I meant to do it
I didn't have the guts to write the thing
Craig Dotti Mar 2010
Alabama 3:34 am-

I don't know much of time
I'm not familiar with ratios or denominators
Angles make me uneasy
And I can't deal with numbers
That my son can

On this I swear,
time for me
Is measured in segments of the roles I play
If quantified at all

Because I drive and drive
And walk and walk
And soar
Come join me
Craig Dotti Mar 2010
When we grow to be new things
We will not add hands nor
feet nor wings
We will be Less

We will be wild and
wholly unbridled
limited by nothing
less like a man
and more like a child

We will be free then and only then
When our being no longer walks
and our ideas float
So we needn't write or talk
Making our earthly bodies altogether remote
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
I don't have it in me to be your friend
because losing a friend is worse than just someone in the back seat of a cab or sprawled out on a towel on the beach at night

besides, why wouldn't you leave? Go to London with her, with him, with her, with them

You and him and her and they and they tell me to have goals. You ask about dreams.
I seldom get asked questions
"Im paralyzed by everything that I touch or that touches me."
I tell everyone else I want to be in the "non-profit sector"

I think about renting  a small room.
Working a night shift or not working.
Watching sun pour in the window with a saffron glow
Watering the plants on my small sill(s) to help them grow.

I rarely think much at all

I wasn't wrong the other night, to say, that you always **** me over.

You weren't off-base to say I'll never be happy
Craig Dotti Apr 2010
For now I am under a New Jersey Sky
Who among the Argentinians can say this isn't
a beautiful thing?

All things being equal, I am flat on my
back, legs straight, hands folded on my chest
which makes me little more than a
body at morgue

Yet this immortal sky
and the roof that I lay on
Is alive with other skies
and roofs and me and you
and roofs,
time and women
and music
That is… if everything is just so;

The stars are no longer fixed points
but glowing ***** against a backdrop of
soupy liquid
an unexplained transient black

When things go beyond description they become hallowed
One can see this in
                           Sleep, or the works of
     Geoffrey Chaucer,
                                          A Jersey Sky, or
Craig Dotti Dec 2009
In the not too far off distance
I here the faint splashing of an indie song,
That reminds me of you ?

Maybe not of you,
But your gait
And if I want to reminisce about
Your demeanor I will twist
And gnarl and damage the song
To be who you were,

To me , it is as if
Whenever I think of the grand entrance
Of the natural history museum you are there
On the steps, in a deceitful black dress

And I weep like a wound infected
Half because you are heaven
An eighth because you are a day at the DMV
Or worse

I’m not alone
I have a partner for checkers
The computer
But I find that you can’t have a laugh
About how bad you are
With someone that much better than you

I’m now on loan
But what a strange feeling it is to own
Half of someone
Like when you take a lean
On a car,
Sure, the bank could take it back

But would they understand the eight-week-old,
Chulupa in the back seat?
Would anyone understand

Your tongue?
Or might they ****
The life out of it
Only to cut it out later

I recognize the song
And draw it closer to me
I have bent the sound to fit me,
To suit you,
Fake- deaf, I tune it out
Only to have my conk- shell –for- an- ear
Throw it back up in a fishy -mess

Then it laughs at me and says,
“Don’t be silly now, I’m your song forever.”

I can’t handle that
So I run away leaving my brain
My brain is on the ground bleeding
Saying, “Oh! How embarrassing to wear red after my birthday!”
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
One morning I'll wake and I won't feel it anymore

One morning
You'll wake early, 4am,
Rub the sleep out of your eyes
and see things a new way

You will then:
1. Shower
2. Make toast
3. Pack everything you can fit into your Mazda
4. Take the scenic route to 95 North
5. Head (anywhere)home?

   You almost hit him as you back out of your parking space
    He tells you that you are a light in the dark  
    It's taken 24 years but you finally let your guard down

By 10am he's in the midst of most of the unpacking while you play with his dog, Ringo

            One morning I'll know your not leaving the Sunshine State
             I'll wake a bit too early that morning and the feeling will be gone
Craig Dotti Mar 2013
Casey and I look out over water
Clear and black as oil

The beach is narrow and flooded
On one side by high- tide
On the other with happy people

The sky is alive with a swollen, blood-orange- for- a- moon
Ready to burst over the ocean
There are fireworks anywhere you turn
To the South, over the water, rogue firecrackers on beach
and bursts of them above Atlantic City
Which meld with the casinos to form a near- solid pulse of light

"How can things be any better than this?"  Casey asks

My memory wanders out onto the sable, rolling  surf

I Think of the taste of salt on your skin

The wave your hair would get
When dried in the sun after you swam

How you woke in a sweat, rambling about collecting sea shells
That night you came to care for me a year ago

A cherry bomb nearly explodes at my feet
A few snickers from some small kids wearing stars and stripes
I look at Casey's face
Contorted and animated
By the flashes of the fireworks

"It couldn't get better. You're right."

I strip down piece by piece to my shorts
I ask Alex to hold my valuables (gold watch, cellular matrix, gum)
                 Run in the water and think about the concept of value
                                                And about mistakes

— The End —