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Danny C Nov 2014
I stood at the bridge on Monroe,
peering into a stale brown river
hoping to be swept away
by a historic flood.

Reflections of these steel towers
bent, cracked and refracted,
becoming ripples where the water lay flat.
And as I turned, a great roar exploded
like a thunderous train
galloping over a brittle iron bridge.

Slabs of forged metals and concrete
crumbled like an autumn leaf under a footprint.
Mighty architecture burst out in a spectacular grey;
a Fourth of July before 1855.
Everything built, believed and once conceived
now fell like deflating balloons:
slowly, calmly without hurry--only certainty.

And I stood amid the wreckage,
where we once built cathedrals
surrounded by heavy lights and one-way flights.
One step wedged another mile between us,
and our dusty promises became harder to see.
Danny C Apr 2013
Suddenly everything made sense
and all my tragedies became one
They were woven together
like a sad, sad country song:
"I've been alone forever and all along."
"Everybody leaves and why, why wouldn't you?" - The Gaslight Anthem
Danny C Nov 2012
Mom sneaks through the front door
I'm pretending to be asleep on the couch
At 4AM, she reeks of cigarettes
She closes the door softly, dad stays asleep

I pretend I am sleeping on the couch
Mom drags the smell of cigarettes in with her
The door squeaks quietly, dad still sleeps
He left the TV on again, it reports today's tragedy

Mom smells like black lungs again.
The door clicks shut, she creeps past dad's recliner
He left the TV on again, tragedies muffle her footsteps
She's used to sleeping alone by now.

The door's closed, and dad still sleeps
He left the TV on and snores through tragedy
Mom can barely sleep with him around
The tragedies mean nothing to me

Dad leaves the TV on every night
Mom would sleep better if he left
I don't care about the tragedies
I can see my mom ****** in a crumpled burning car

Mom is restless when dad is home
Tragedies don't mean anything to her
She speeds at night and takes drags of embers
I wonder if she really wants to die

Tragedies play through the screen
Mom speeds at night and lights another cigarette
I wonder, does she want to die?
Doesn't she ever think of me?

Mom drives too fast at night and burns up her lungs
I worry that she's always dying
And never thinks to call me saying, I remember you
I picture sirens and lights outside my house

I ask God why she wants to die
I wonder if she knows what she does to me
When I hear the sirens driving by
I shut my eyes and wait for the door to creak again

I scream whispers, why does she do this to me?
I pray the sirens aren't going to find her
I close my eyes and try not to cry
And at 4 AM, she smells like cigarettes
Danny C Jul 2013
I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life:
all the pictures you see of me weren't goofy moments
with friends and family whose cameras sympathize.

I'm not one for portraits or photographs.
And I don't do well with a candid capture
of the face I see every morning.

Each angle is meticulously planned and preordained.
Every gesture, the charming smirk you see in my smile,
is scrupulously rehearsed like a Broadway show.

Because lord help this man, if I let them see what I am,
there ain't a body who'd love someone like that.
Danny C May 2013
I look at the legs of older men
Aged, with their imperfections
showing more visibly every day.
Clustered veins bulging
like roots from a tree
climbing from under the dirt.

I look at the bodies of women
who have lost their youth
from passing years and cigarette butts.
Their faces sagging and folding over
pressing lines into the skin,
a new flaw every year.

And I'm haunted that one day
my body will be decrepit and tattered
like the rags of a skeleton's suit,
and I wonder who will love me
when I have nothing left to show.
Danny C Jun 2012
I don't know who I am
I left every piece of myself somewhere in a dark room
Now I lie on the floor like broken bottles
Shattered and left alone in the cold the wind blew in

Every single word I write
I hear your voice in the hallways of this empty house
These days I just don't bleed like I used to bleed
I'm burning from the inside every time I see your face

Tell me, what's it like being beautiful?
You walk with angels at your feet
Wanna steal your clothes, your hair, your face
If only just for a little while

You took the last thing I had
My only hope at getting out of these cold black chains
I don't got nowhere to run without a home
And what's the good in talking if I've got nothing to say?
I don't recognize myself,
I'm not the man you love;
Behold the hurricane.

-The Horrible Crowes
Danny C Apr 2014
Books with spines curved like gymnasts
are my favorite to own.
They're frail, aged and loose;
they've been worn to the bone
and have no strength to close themselves up
without being stacked tall
between other broken spines.

Like old men, they've endured time's unforgiving trial.
Books like these tell stories outside their pages.

At 21, my pride sliced open my spine
spattering out herniated fluid down its arches,
shooting fireworks down my legs.

I know about damage and battered bodies.
I learned eternity, as the suffering reminds me
through the dark, cold night and tiresome day,
that I won't escape this body
until my eyes fall shut one last time
and I learn eternity again in sleep.

I'm battered, broken and chewed to the bone.
But, unlike Tithonus in ashes and endless life,
I will one day rest without suffering.
Danny C Jun 2013
I found your flaws first:
your thin, wispy hair,
the arch in your back,
that slightly crooked nose.

And you found mine:
following a girl who took my heart
and the air right from my lungs.
She'd wring me dry
till my veins were scarred purple,
caked with pale red dust.

While you and I laid on the floor
in the dark, planning
our escape to California
as we had always done,
I realized the mistake I made
by not loving you first.
Danny C Nov 2018
It’s not you I miss;
not your cherry red hair
or the crack in your voice
when you’d fight back tears
(You never did cry much)

It’s the loss of the feeling
of prairie fires in our chest
running with the wind in perfect time
like we made plans to run
out from under the sprawl
toward mountains and cedar trees
to find new languages
and faces we’d never seen

The world grows larger in passing time
and distance becomes relative.
To think we’d have made it to Nepal
to sit upon crystal white shelves—glass figurines
looking to build a new home somewhere overseas
Danny C Nov 2014
I took a drive tonight
to the edge of town—
to our teenage horizon.

I remembered how big that wall used to be,
how scared we were to be confined.
We'd stand at the end of glass-frame houses
like it was the edge of all the world.
So afraid of looking down,
we never lifted our eyes across.

I always thought we were too afraid,
not ready, or something vague.
Maybe we just grew farther
apart. We were meandering rivers
flooding over new plains,
carving out separate trenches.

But I don't think you changed.
I know now I ignored that side of you,
that I was blind to your warning signs
and caution lights.

You were bound to challenge that horizon's cliff,
and I couldn't run from the cities we built
on the front porches of our wild and reckless summers.
Danny C Feb 2016
Biddle-ding deedling,
Hear the sound wind chimes make
Summertime rolling in
East from the west

Lemon wedge swirling round
Whiskey kept icy cold,
Tangy now, bittersweet
Soft words confessed
Danny C Mar 2013
Back then I would wait by phone just in case she'd call.
Shuffling through my old MySpace messages,
I tried to remember the way that I used to think
as I wrote to friends in acronyms and broken words.

Shuffling through my old MySpace messages,
I remembered my sweaty palms clicking “Send”
as I wrote to friends in acronyms and broken words
begging them to understand that I couldn't carry on like this.

I remembered my sweaty palms clicking “Send”
They told me to change, while I spent my nights
begging them to understand that I couldn't carry on like this:
A girl who only came back when a clever boy got the best of her.

They told me to change, while I spent my nights
drunk on cheap stolen beer and plans of escaping
a girl who only came back when a clever boy got the best of her.
But I could never say “Not tonight” to her – or to anyone, really.

Drunk on cheap stolen beer and plans of escaping,
I figured I’d run to California, or somewhere farther,
but I could never say “Not tonight” to her – or to anyone, really.
being a heap of ****** flesh on the floor was better than being alone

I figured I’d run to California, or somewhere farther.
I tried to remember the way that I used to think:
Being a heap of ****** flesh on the floor was better than being alone
back then. I would wait up by the phone just in case she'd call.
I revised this by using the correct form of a pantoum, rather than tweaking it.
Danny C Sep 2014
I will leave this house in a year.
Before next Christmas it will be surrounded
by monstrous yellow machines
and fat, grimy men in white hard hats.

My home will crumble into dust
like bones done aging—brittle and tired now.
And what once stood will no longer remain:
a white stucco box of memories,
photographs and heritage tucked within the walls.

I will run away to Chicago
taking comfort in drags of cigarettes.
Our lives will have no evidence, no proof
of ever breathing, laughing and crying
in every room that welcomed us.

My mother will leave for the countryside,
somewhere with fewer people and dimmer lights,
to make room for cornfields and starry skies.
Maybe there she will find peace.

I will be there when the swinging mechanical arm
tears away at the shingles and panels of this house.
She is a dying friend and I am a hand in her hand,
assuring her she isn't alone in death,
that I will remember her when the world forgets.
I will scoop up ashes of pulverized concrete and iron.
Somewhere within them will be air we breathed.
Danny C Feb 2014
I kept my secrets far from you
Water rushing dark and cold,
I can't seem to plug the holes

I lost my love to the wild blue waves
Lost at sea, never coming home.
California was better alone.

I'm not enough for anyone I know.
I never learned how to find faith,
I never learned to believe in anything.

I'm on my own. I'm stumbling through the fire.
I'm all alone in this house with these walls
burning right down to the ground.
Danny C Nov 2012
I throw my first through the silver pane
for showing me all the reasons
I hate myself.

I tore the hair from my scalp
and chewed my lips
to blood and scars.

While I measured the chips
and stains on my teeth,
the perfect men screamed
into microphones
and the whole world danced.

These mirrors are the reasons
I never speak.

Dress me up like a Broadway star.
Make me flawless.
Danny C Nov 2013
Under these lights I'm honest.
Every flaw, every imperfection
shows true, like raw footage of a plane
crashing into the ground,
showing everything that went wrong.

They show me who I really am,
and what everyone sees:
Chipped, coffee-stained teeth,
frayed, wiry brown hair,
small, deep brown eyes,
every scratch, every scar
every razor-burned pore,
everything I try to ignore
in other rooms of the house.

It explains why I buy lamps
with dimming shades and
warm, dark-yellow bulbs:
The less you can see of me,
the longer it'll be before
you go on rushing out,
jingling keys, clutching a cocktail dress.
Danny C Apr 2013
In the halls of my first school
I passed bulletin boards
trapped in locked glass cases.
They reflected my bony shoulders
and awkward overbite.

I passed those mirrors every day
to judge the way I walked
and carried my books
about Heaven and Hell.

I wondered how to make myself perfect:
Maybe if I changed, they would have stayed.
I don't really like this one too much, so feel free to critique it all you want. I'd like to work with it more so I can come to appreciate it myself.
Danny C Nov 2013
In school I was taught to love
Jesus because he died for me,
so I could be forgiven and
see him in Heaven.

But I never learned what Heaven was,
or Hell, and what the difference
was between the two of them:

Hell, with its flames and sorrow mixing
like red and blue paint, blood under the skin.
The wounds we witness but can't do anything about.

Heaven, white without temptation,
clouds that never rain or clash with lower pressure,
and offer no decision to do good.

Eternity is a prison, whether a rigid valley of burning faces,
or an endless celebration of our sacrifices and charity.
Danny C Jun 2014
Heavy streetlights
drown your face in an orange glow.
And I was burning like a California forest
holding your hand.

Coursing highways
driving down through half the world
so I can tell you I've always loved you best
for all this time.

Surprised affection
holding you: skin and bones in my arms
with your head buried into my shoulder,
sheltered now.

Chest percussion;
Tremors like midnight fireworks
when we tiptoe to your room.
Will it last the year?
Danny C Mar 2022
I often wonder why he hated me,
what it was that drove him,
and what I had done to deserve it.
I sometimes think it was primal,
with nothing he could do
at such a young age, just born into this world himself.

But my mother remembers,
"He loved you," as she hands me
a picture, high exposure,
my infant body: half-asleep, drooling, smiling,
his toddler face: eyes crinkled, lips pressed upon my soft, fat cheek.
I don't remember that.

I remember the curled, fatty muscle of his hand,
landing on my shoulders, my arms, my back,
rock-paper-scissors with everything at stake,
over, over, and over and over.
No knuckles, never in the face.

That nasal-rushed snarl,
a barb around his tongue and
razorwire lips, and all their violence.
I remember learning what I was:
Stupid, weak, small—******* ******, shut up ******.

And yet at the park,
when Mickey pulled my hair and sicced his dog,
burying teeth deep into my right cheek,
I remember the weight of a body crashing.

Mickey, crying loud, runs home,
his hand over his face, bloodied and bruised,
and my brother darts away on his bike.
CW: Homophobic slurs
Danny C Mar 2012
In my head everything is collapsing
The irritation from aches and distractions
The worries that ask "Does she miss me, too?"
The memories of words I've tripped over

I am such a fool.

In my mind there is nothing stable
Philosophies I've loved are tearing their stitches
Friends I've held dearly are drying up in the sun
The words I've sung are becoming strangers

I am losing touch.

In my head everything is lost and gone
My father's eyes fall down in shame
Pictures of close friends refuse to look at me
My reflection condemns the man he sees

I am all alone.
Danny C Nov 2012
In your face I see the girl I loved
all those years ago. You are a
memory between my thoughts
flickering like dying embers.
From minutes spent with a shaking
voice through the phone, you will
never be the same. I offer everything
I have, knowing the bullet cut
clean through your chest, and
nothing will soak up the blood.
You deserve better than this.
Danny C Jun 2014
My bruises are fading
from that old, ragged bench
that we sat in for hours
as we fell further than we ever did before
into each other's arms.

That tattered metal frame
carved out a starving skeleton
through a dull blue cushion.
The bars dug into my back, shoulders and neck
like sinking teeth, spurting blood under my skin.

Now, the vessels are healing,
soaking up what's left of me
and tunneling it back to my heart.
Blue and purple reminders
of a quiet, muggy Saturday night
are becoming fluid—like my memory will:
Rather than the truth, I will remember
what suits me best, from a faulty camera in my mind.

I pray these wounds never fade,
so I can know the jagged angles forever:
both of the frame in my back,
and your sharp thin bones
cradled in my skinny arms,
maybe for the last time.

I press down on the waning bruises,
a sign that time has escaped me,
to feel no pain; no proof
that at last, you loved me best.
Danny C Dec 2012
I met you at the corner under the streetlight
You were staring west, following tail lights
I already knew how this would end
So I said a prayer on my torn and bleeding knees

A plane crashed before I finished speaking
Flames took over the November night
Screams and wails roared from dissipating turbines
I wish they tore up every piece of me

My eyes were steady when the wings broke apart
I stood with the stone on my shoulders
Even when the smoke filled my lungs
I forgave you, I had no choice but to lie

We held each other amid of the wreckage
Engines and fuel went up like the 4th of July
I knew what was going to happen then
So I bought a ticket for the next flight
That secret that you knew, but you don't know how to tell
It ***** with your honor, and it teases your head
-Bon Iver
Danny C Apr 2012
Just one step forward,
Cross the line that lies between
The fires in my mind and cooling breeze
Just one step further,
A phone call, perhaps a letter
Just wade in the troubled water
I'm lifting my foot from beneath the mud
Take me by the fire and prove I'm not dead
Give me a comfort and cool out my head

Just one step forward,
Jesus is on the other line
Maybe he's been there the whole time
Just one step further,
Close the door behind me
Let the weight down slowly
I'll lift my foot from beneath the mud
If those city lights can grow a little more, man
If I can hold on for just a little while, man
Danny C Nov 2014
These killer parties pretty much killed us.
That music was loud and pulsating and violently fresh.
There were kids tripping on some stuff
and over some passed out bodies on the floor,
always laughing and saying, maybe just one more.

I always figured we'd out grow these things,
crooked walks home when we were a total mess.
But you got caught up pretty bad in the scene,
and pretty soon Los Angeles had left your mind.
But you were always looking around for a ride.

Suddenly, I found myself in a swarm
of blues, blacks and grays,
funneling past traffic lights and skyscrapers,
up elevators, under railways and
squeezing between shoulders.
But burned into my lips
is a wiped away kiss
(a few hundred, probably),
that maybe we shouldn't have traded.
Danny C Feb 2019
The only time I've ever thought
to step out in front of a bus,
and feel its treads roll me out
like gold—malleable and elongated—
if the pain I left you with
was that of citrus resting on your tongue:
bitter and cold and sour
like lemon meat
gnashed and torn.

No longer holding form,
or fitting perfect
in the cup of your palm
like my hand once did

In September you spit
and cursed my name
And walked home
in the middle of the night,
Maybelline blurred
all down your cheeks,
with the picture of home
upon a foundation of stone
you had hoped to build with me
Danny C May 2013
I learned to hate when I was 10
and studied my flaws first:
frayed and wispy hair,
weak and bony shoulders,
and a smile more crooked
than old, crumbling floorboards,
(a calloused thumb to blame).

When my only few took to rushing out,
like blood from an open vein,
I wasn't surprised: Everybody leaves,
and why wouldn't you?

Soon my house would have
one less body, leaving alone
to sleep in another empty bed.

When I was 16 I tore myself apart
on the bathroom floor at 4AM.
I knew it was my fault
that she didn't love me.
I saw every reason in the mirror.
I chewed my lips to blood and scars
and tore my brittle hair from its roots.

I studied my flaws like a science,
measuring the chips and stains
on my teeth, still crooked
like an uprooted house.
Danny C Jan 2013
I remember too much
Teach me how to forget
Mix the blood and dripping medicine
to a lighter shade of red
so the sheets stain less violently
so the spatters look like
a bouquet of pink lilacs
Danny C Apr 2013
My futon mattress is still on the floor, folded
once over with a crumpled blanket on top.
I’d laid it out for us to fall into and fumble
over each other, drunk and half-naked.

We laughed and breathed deeply,
you on top of me, me on top of you.
We bumped our heads and joked
that only we could make *** a comedy.

Led Zeppelin came through the speakers
as we tumbled into each other the next morning.
Your eyes met mine as I watched you move,
we joked we've probably seen too many ******.

I haven’t planned to put away the mattress
or even fold the plush, brown blanket.
I'd like it to seem as if you’re still here
and that we didn't just **** for nothing.
I don't usually write with curse words, but I felt like it works here to express emotional detachment. What do you think?
Danny C Nov 2014
I stood slumped into the corner
of two converging granite counter tops,
struggling to focus on what
he's remembering next—some bland anecdote
or an irrelevant detail: Larson,
I think,
he says finally.

Between pauses—with small, contemplating eyes
set deep, split by his dark, Italian nose—
and dragged uhhh's and hmmm's,
a sowed adoration splits and grows,
a seed (a supernova now).
A man—half my connection
to this world, to existence,
to a trickling, patient bloodline.

He, I; a rambling, scatterbrained mess
of neurons and hard-wiring, sparks and electrical fires.
My father: plagued by anger and impatience,
a sitcom of clumsiness and a tied-tongue,
blessed by conviction, faith and reason.

I don't say any of this. He'll die first,
never knowing how easily I'm reminded
of what I am to become, 32 years from now,
unless he finds me drunk, perhaps after reciting vows,
now vulnerable to cheapening emotion into language.
Danny C Nov 2014
Their noses share an awkward shape,
both too large for their faces, drooping
low and out, the crests aiming down
toward each other's chest.

My mother holds her youth and beauty
tight as a red and white bouquet in her hands.
Her smoky white veil falls behind her shoulders
and down her back, folding gently like summer curtains.
It wasn't love in her eyes; she's admitted before.
but here, anxious and barely 28 years old,
she wears hope on the smile reaching across her cheeks.
Perhaps it was a single thought, a flicker
of a candle's teardrop flame: Maybe
I will love him forever.
And though
it was a lie, here it forced an affection
that pushed long black lashes apart,
and each hazel iris gleamed
with momentary faith, light flooding
the sudden click of a 1/100 shutter speed.

My father looks like another man.
He's consumed by fervent confidence and swagger,
built upon conviction and certainty.
He ought to have a big wet rose in his teeth,
and a big wet bottle clenched in his fist.
His shoulders, broad and rigid, push his chest
toward my mother's fragile collar bones.
His gaze meets hers, and he admits a stubborn smirk,
the same one his father had wielded
in an Army portrait 30-some years before
—that you could see on me now, as well.

This moment is dishonest,
those candid smiles were sudden
and fleeting, a bolt of lightning
splitting the sky in half.
But it's captured here, forever.
Two wild hearts in a moment
of sincerity, toeing a wire
they'd come to learn they
could never balance upon.
But I caress this photo some nights
slowly with my thumb,
knowing neither is my mother
nor my father, but two kids,
who might just hold on
when they're swallowed whole
and buried under rubble and silt
of all the world crashing down.
Danny C Oct 2012
Maybe the problem is me.
We both know what’s really true,
I’m not good with honesty.

I was never sure about the things you
wanted me to believe in. And before I knew
what we were dying from,
it was already too late to
resew the stitches. I fall numb
onto the floor, and you strum
that guitar, the same songs
about living in a slum
and where your heart belongs.

But I can’t say I’d put the blame
on you for what you became.
Danny C Apr 2013
They teach you Hell is a fire
and the endless roar of burning souls.
We'll be surrounded by murderers and thieves
all suffering the same eternal anguish.

But that's not what I see:
Hell's flames are full of company,
countless charred bodies that say,
"We're all here, don't be afraid,"
compassion you'd only find in Heaven.

But there's no Hell that burns.
It isn't climbing flames
or smoke-filled lungs.

It's exile and solitude:
It's family and friends
fading from your reach,
rushing out like the house
is burning to the ground.
Revised - 4/24/13
Danny C Feb 2013
In the back seat of Dad’s red Grand Prix
I thought about death for the first time
and if God forgave kids who didn’t believe in him

Eternity was suddenly terrifying,
even in Heaven, an endless celebration
And in the dark, I would be alone, a streak of light
racing through empty space
with nowhere to go but further away

Mom was the first to see me falling to pieces
as I tried to explain the promise of Heaven was scary
like endless flames, and an eternity of nothing was just the same

As a child I ran from fear and hid in a well lit room
But here, as a crumpled heap on the ground, I couldn’t escape
Mom begged me not to be afraid
with a kiss and a therapist’s receipt
She promised peace and beauty in death
as I tore myself apart on the side of the road
Danny C Jun 2013
I looked at your name in my phone,
the picture and last post
from your Facebook account
sent to and from space
on transmissions and airwaves.

I have a hard time remembering
the last time I saw you - at a bar,
the Blackhawks and the Bruins
making history on some LED screen,
while we sipped on cheap beer
and reminded each other
that our jobs aren't that bad.

A wise man said friendship
needs constant repair,
like your old red Jeep,
always rattling and clanking
for one reason or another.

And I realized tonight how things have changed:
that we're not growing apart, just growing up,
or maybe it's both, and maybe it's okay.
Danny C Jun 2014
I will always remember your face
in an orange hue
from streetlights, scattered
all down your hazel eyes,
and a slight overbite
exposing your skinny teeth.

I've loved you better than the rest:
longer and deeper than any great canyon,
and farther, until the edge of doom.

In a humid summer shade,
surrounded by creaking swing sets
and shredded wood chips
you told me, "I'll never stop loving you."

Street lights and park benches our cathedrals,
the hood of a beaten down Honda our tower of stone,
where I came to love you most.
Danny C Aug 2012
Ain't this beautiful?
The familiar breeze
welcomes me back to where
I should have always been
While I beg her to forgive me

I wasn't thinking back then
I was only a kid with dreams
to make something of myself

Well it caught me like a claw
to the back of my leg as I ran away
And I watched every part of me
tear up in his teeth

I woke up from devils' dreams
in a log cabin
where the world is okay;
the weight is forgotten
and thunder rolls by gently
Knowing we'd seen enough for one year
And knowing we'll be back again next year
First of seven poems detailing my trip to Rhinelander, Wisconsin, a place I hadn't been in 3 years where my many of my favorite childhood memories reside.
Danny C Aug 2012
The children snatched up their guns
and left to fight their grandfathers' war
There were liars and cheaters
Making a game of their deceit
There were monsters in the woods
One touch to spread their disease
And the villagers gathered through fear
To raise a man by his neck into a tree

On a beach, there are explosions
Relentless war, the very battle
that's been fought for decades
The same words, the same blood
The same friends -- year after year

Eternal slavery to build great towers
Only to crumble like sandcastles
and to end with a fire
Surrounded by old faces with stories
The same wounds, the same blood
The same friends -- year after year
Part two of seven, detailing my trip to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Leave some love if you've been there!
Danny C Aug 2012
Only the might survive
Olympians, they triumph with great battle cries,
challenging all who dare to test their strength
The wounded retreat to safety
They are the lucky ones
Seeking shelter as the storms blow in

Clouds mask the stars above
And wishful minds are bitter to give in
In the field, a girl lies curiously
She is alone, but never sought
an arm or a chest to sleep upon
At least, never from me

But I am tired now, I never learned to swim
For the night I sleep on the raft
And wait until I wake from this dream
when the beauty fades into memory
And I return to the city, to dream
Of sleeping again someday
Third poem of seven I wrote each night in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
Danny C Aug 2012
If I dare test this balance,
And step upon the ice
Only God knows if we'd survive

I distract myself
With circling thoughts looping endlessly
Hoping to stack these bricks
High enough to hide you

Cause I know you're not my kind
And there's rules to be followed
We're taking drags of bad ideas
and blowing out the smoke

You've got letters from your anchors,
and I'm not sticking around for long
So I'll say whatever I can
to ease our excuses:

We'd have fallen off the wire
Had we walked any further
Fourth poem in a series of seven I wrote during my week spent in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Ever been there?
Danny C Aug 2012
I found you in a ditch
You were ripped up and tangled
I couldn't even tell if you were breathing
And you confided in me, who'd left you here

The girl you loved had you by the strings
She was tearing out your stitches
And wringing out your blood
While I tried to sew you back together,

She took a plane out of Chicago
And landed in another boy's arms.
You told me it was your fault
That she wanted more than this

I never trusted you’d survive with her
You tried for years and years
To untangle the thread, and I found
you wound up and choking.

You've always been a patient man,
So full of sympathy, an endless apology.
But you said you're leaving in a month
I hope you meant it.
Danny C Aug 2012
We are the weary kind
Young hearts with bitter lips
Like old men cursing the government
We try and fail to reconcile ourselves
With the world and sins surrounding us

We are the weary kind
Tarnished souls and foul language
We joke to fix the world
Or at least fend it off a little longer
Before it closes us inside

We are the weary kind
We stay up late with talks of how to save the world
And how to get out of it alive
I've been told that everybody dies
But what if we stayed?
Do the weary learn to survive?
Part six of seven poems I wrote in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Leave some love if you've ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Danny C Aug 2012
Our memories are packed now in boxes
We'll remember them again in another life
Cause they'd never survive in the city

We spent our last hours in a bar
Toasting friendship and experience
While shooting solids and stripes

We quietly express our joy
Under sighs of reminiscence
Saying how good it's been, begging for one more day

And we laugh and admit
The beauty of this place
Lies woven in brief moments
That we alone are allowed to see
Between two eternities of before and after

And we keep it a secret
Nobody else would understand
That when the days are over
We were happy just to be alive
Last poem of seven I wrote about my vacation to Rhinelander, Wisconsin. If you've never been, I encourage you to take some time and go.
Danny C Feb 2014
We drove 70 on 88.
We'd be a blur of gray
if some photographer was studying
the shutter speed of his camera.

This land has no trees to breathe
back into this earth,
no mountains to reach up
and stab at the sky.

These fields are eternal,
and in winter when the sky is faint
with clouds and the ground gray
with aging snow like old men,
the horizon blends into nothing.
Nobody can see where
this earth ends and the sky begins.

I will never escape this place;
this universe of physics and evolution.
Like old trees in a winter wind,
I will erode like dead, frozen roots.
Somewhere, in a polished wooden box,
they'll remember me in my best clothes.
Danny C Jul 2013
When I found out you were dead,
I looked at your photo on the mantle.
It seemed older now, your crooked smile
and that Budweiser hat you always wore.

What is it about dying that gives
our portraits a new power of time?
A drunken nostalgia pushing tears
down over our eyelids onto our cheeks.

When I look at your photo on the mantle
I feel a creeping thought crawl through:
"You seem like the one who'da died."
Not fate, not destiny, definitely not God,
but a part of who you are, the man we knew
had a trait that fit death so sweetly,
like a sad song from 1961, and a line we loved
about old cars and holding on, just a little while.

You seem older now, you'd be 33 this year.
Your crooked smile would be different,
and that Budweiser hat you always wore
wouldn't fit as well as in our photos of you.
Danny C Oct 2012
I’m afraid of dying.
I’m afraid of what
I’ve been warned about you.
I’m scared of everything
That may just be true

I’m afraid of everyone.
I’m afraid of what
They’ve all told me about you.
I’m terrified of living
Without a single answer

Was Thomas so wrong
Not to believe you
Without slipping his fingers
Through your heart and your wrists?

I’m afraid of being a skeptic.
I’m afraid of doubting
All that I’ve been told about you.
I’m scared of believing
That you’re my only chance

I’m afraid of being wrong.
I’m afraid of what
I’ve been told you might do.
I’m terrified of being right
And falling into nothingness

Would I be so wrong
Not to believe you
Without slipping my own fingers
Through your heart and your wrists?

I’m afraid of eternity.
I’m afraid of where
Either death may lead me.
I’m terrorized by knowing
Only one fear is real.
Danny C Oct 2013
It's amazing what can happen in a month. And how when you meet someone, you see them how you want them to be, and they go along with it for a while. But as time goes on it totally changes. Like, things get all tangled and twisted out of shape so very easily. You never see it coming, but once it's painfully obvious you've lost control, you start to see all the warning signs you either missed or chose to ignore. And then, that conversation you dreaded for days is that much harder. It's like watching the ceiling start to give in and break apart, and you're just sitting there watching the plaster and dust crumble down just before the drywall and beams cave in. And when she leaves you tell her you understand, because you have no choice. But that's not enough when you're lying awake at night waiting for your phone to vibrate and spray a burst of blue light across the darkened walls and falling ceiling. But she's really gone, and she really is moving to Chicago and will probably find someone else who'll keep her warm when the winter comes through.
Danny C Oct 2013
I saw her sitting on the curb with somebody, smoking an extra cigarette so she could stay an extra four minutes. That's how long it takes her to smoke each time. He lit one next to her and they talked about whatever reasons they had to complain that day. What's worse than knowing exactly what's going to happen next? This train's whistle is wailing and begging me to get off the tracks, but the ropes are tied just tightly enough so I can wriggle and squirm and scream but it's not enough to roll over the rail. I'll see him lying next to her admiring long black hair and a colorful elephant tattoo. The scent of stale smoke radiates from their lips as he leaves for the night — with their teeth stained a little darker now from reheated coffee. Soon they'll empty every bottle in the place and slip out of their clothes between dark red sheets stained from her teeth sinking into my neck. I'll be buried in the churchyard, my last rites read by a thief.
Danny C Nov 2013
When we met inside a Dunkin Donuts on the corner of two busy streets, I ordered a small coffee. I said I had a lot to get done tonight, so I can't be out too long. If you knew how well I can lie, you wouldn't recognize me on a crowded street. I always ordered a medium before, because it took longer to cool, so we spent more time taking cautious sips through the small opening of a plastic lid protecting a styrofoam cup. But I dreaded seeing you again, because it'd be so long since I remembered the angles of your face, and the deep darkness of your swirling brown eyes, and the straight sharpness of your thick locks of black hair. Because when I'm not lying, I can say I don't miss you anymore. A busy street full of strangers is plenty company for me, and I don't mind my right hand catching a cold November breeze, instead of warming up inside your left. You said you're doing better, that the emptiness of your studio apartment isn't as lonely as it used to be. You said sleeping on your full-sized bed was okay now, that only one side warmed by a breathing body wasn't sad anymore. But you still missed me, my scruffy, uneven beard, the boots I look my best in and your head on my chest. We walked outside so you could smoke a cigarette, and I left quickly. I lied and said we should see each other again. But I hoped you'd lose sight of me on that busy street, becoming ambiguously shaped inside a scrambling river of cold winter bodies, all with cold hands clenched or covered in gloves, not holding any others.
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