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Derek Yohn Oct 2013
"A life lived for art is never
a life wasted,"
that's what Macklemore
and Ryan Lewis
told us.

Those of us in recovery
need this to be true.

Those of us?
--all of us--

because we are all artists,
placing pieces of our broken
lives into a mosaic,
a cathedral floor frieze,
something we build
to walk on, a
snapshot of past agonies
and beautiful memories
that lifts us out of
the ***** Earth.

A true artist manufactures
their own hope.
ouch, so personal...for each of us, i hope.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i need another hole in my head,
something to let the sun in
and the evil out.
A set of beige drapes like
a wet napkin over a bowl of oatmeal.
Size: 4 by 2, color: beige, hardware:
not included.
Just big enough for a three-year-old
to reach his (her?) grubby fingers
in, uncross my wire, accessorize my
space, evaluate my feng shui.

Oh my god, is that a hole in your head?
       --one of several...--

Just an access panel, really.

i am a talented surgeon,
as seen on T.V., spreading
hope and renewal...
BEHOLD!  i have faced death
and returned to you a shaman!
Hear my words, heed my words,
i i i, cast down amongst you,
beseech you:
*Rejoice and tremble,
look upon the beauty that is,
despair no more in the
illusions that were past,
face illusions to come,
as real as we make them.
another old one (after high school)
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
Such a simple thing:
our inner Cain shedding
onion-skin locust husks
to become the scorpion hand
of the Phoenix, each
generation a more beautiful
creature of destruction.

          (it sleeps in the backyard
           next to that log that
           never quite made it inside
           to the fireplace, mulching)

Would the coming of the farmer monk
for us bring about a revelation or a
revolution of the obvious?

All i wanted was a Pepsi...
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
This is your reality, the brave new world;
i just hang out here:
birthed in the Cradle of Elam,
a mourning son of Baal,
smeared and anointed
with the oil from the
***** fingerprints of
countless scores of
sweaty neophytes;
carried, dropped, dented;
brought forth from eons passed,
updated for the 21st century,
gilded Krylon-gold.

This nebulous gift,
made tangible and
whole by blood,
a form fitting sacrifice,
transmogrified kudzu,
rootless, digging
talons' clutch into
our minds' construct,
seeks strength of
conviction, action.

Our ship is now
veering off course.
i must respond in kind.
i will not be led astray.
i will not have my good
intentions commandeered.
i will hijack your purpose,
screaming mutiny,
holding Occam's Razor-knife
to the throat of your jihads.

i issue a fatwa of peace,
as you once did,

i renounce a kingdom of hate,
as you once did,

i seek charity in effort,
as we once did,

Let us rebuild.
Let us move forward.
***** a new Babel,
forsaking the sword.

Let our forks be on roads,
and not on our tongues;
a forging of union,
as we'd once begun:

My sisters, my brothers,
my family,
as one.
originally, i repeated "my family" in German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Afrikaans, Hindi, and Spanish (in that order, for no special reason) between the last two lines....[sorry, i found a super cool translator program online]....turns out i couldn't include it all here because of the character display restrictions....i could probably figure it out, but that seemed like pretentious overkill, and i am too lazy for all that....
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Where i live, there is
a neighborhood dog.
His name is "Freedom,"
he visits us all, though
less frequently of late.
He is spritely and cute,
only so-so with kids,
but refuses to beg
for scraps.

My neighbors beat it to
death with bricks of
compliance, nicknamed
security, to its face.

They were gentle,
so gentle...

hushed voices and smiles
all the while.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
We have no business meddling with unicorns,
fantasy beasts, and lands afar.
The make-believe things do not believe in you.
They have no weapons of war.
They pose no threat to the American Dream.
they are perfectly capable of harming themselves,
and our work here has only begun.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i remember vaguely those times,
when solitary leaves drifted
downward, greenish earth tone
children, laughing as they twisted
and curled through the air,
touching nothing and touched by nothing
until finally resting on the floor of
the forest, together at last, forming
loose beds of disbelief only to
lie in stupor for being at the bottom
and not on high where they began.

The wind saves some of them from
their true demise, rustling many
and moving a few back up again
to freedom.  Those chosen few become
the one, traveling together upward
in natural harmony as the lovebirds
of flora that forsake all  but the other.
Such simplistic beauty brings tears to
the eyes to know that it began
with such sadness.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i have spent all this weekend
building voodoo dolls
out of belly-button lint,
newspaper clippings, pipe cleaners,
and tufts of my own hair.

They all have names.
The Fearless Lemming.
Mr. Tweezles.
Vexorg, the Merciless.

Forgive me father, for i have sinned
and i liked it...

Vexorg, true to his name,
slew the Lemming in single combat.
It was...disturbing, at best,
and quite messy.
Mr. Tweezles betrayed his sacred
post as medicine man,
poisoning Vexorg with krokodil.
I thought Odenkirk would
exhibit strength of character,
but he fled in the night
like a *****, most likely
in fear of Bob.
Mr. Tweezles should have paid attention
to that turn of events.
Bob fancied himself an attorney,
and Mr. Tweezles thought
himself clever and indestructible.

i am Dark Helmet,
playing puppet-master
with my dolls,

Today's horoscope:
*Fear death by stupidity.
i added the Dark Helmet stanza on 10/28/2013.  or maybe i am Mr. Tweezles?...your choice.

eh, Spaceballs...("****, there goes the planet...").  I love Mel Brooks movies.  Yes, even The Producers.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i am a predator,
preying on my self interests,
allied with wounded
spiritual ninjas,
seeking absolution,
ferreting out truth
and substance;
a live action rat
dragging the world's
biggest piece of stolen cheese.

What are you that is better?
Derek Yohn Jan 2014
Arthur McKnight was a powerful man and New York was his playground.  Not that he ventured out anymore at night now that he had met Evangeline.  The long days of mind-numbing numbers he crunched managing Wall Street hedge funds had taken their toll on him over the years, but becoming intimate with Evangeline had saved him, had changed him in ways so fundamental that for him she was all that mattered.

     Arthur no longer noticed these subtle differences.  He daydreamed by the dim LCD light of stock tickers, craving the touch that only his woman could bestow upon him.  He had surrendered completely to her bliss.

     These days when he woke to her already gone from his Upper West Side apartment all that was left of her presence was a lipstick kiss on the mirror and a bottle of Sally Hansen Tangerine Orange nailpolish.  The quiet was deafening, but that bottle of Sally Hansen left on the bathroom counter held the promise of Evangeline's return.

     It was just after 7 p.m. when Arthur made it home and he could already sense her.  She was coming.  He strode with purpose to his master suite, spying the black thigh-highs and silky red dress he had laid out for her arrival.  The waiting was unbearable, and Arthur finally broke, needing Evangeline so badly he could smell her perfume, could taste her in his throat.  It was time; no more waiting.

     "You look lovely tonight, Evangeline," Arthur croaked aloud as he pulled the first of the thigh highs onto his shaven legs...
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
If God has a plan for us all,
then the wise make God the boss.

If the wages of sin is death,
and God gave us free will,
as we were created in his image,
to accomplish his plan as we
see fit, then i am forced
to conclude God doesn't pay
very well.  He is not a
particularly good employer.

Working conditions are terrible.

In point of fact, God is not
our employer, because he doesn't
pay at all.  Is he waiting for
bitcoins to catch on?
Or is he more into
spiritual slavery?

Is it wrong to question this?

It would seem self-evident
that if God gave us free will,
surely he expected us to use
it, even to question him.
If not, maybe God didn't
think it through first.

If our rewards are in the afterlife,
how can we be sure we will
get paid?  No one has
verified any of this.

Is that what faith is, God?

Crossing our fingers?

Depending on you, the God
with a plan, the same plan
that takes from us all that
we love and cherish, just
as he gives us those same

God is an Indian-giver.

We are each his image,
and we broke all of our
treaties with Indians.
Excuse me, Native Americans.
i don't want to offend

least of all God.
not meant as blasphemy, although some may see it that way.  That is your right.

I am much more of a New Ager, personally.  I don't think we are his image nearly as much as we are god in the first place.  We just don't remember.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
Tomorrow, my dear, i will surrender my eyes for you,
since i am blinded regardless by your senseless beauty.
i will uproot my hair and humble myself
before the face you put on and
burn incense of sage to cover
     (because you should love me).
We can shake our heads,
remember the times when we journeyed through the night
with glass walls around our auras
or spoke riddles to the walls of sound
and giggled like imps drunk on our own brand of evil
or were dragged kicking and screaming
back to our blissful misconceptions.
We chant like monks in
a wilderness of god's flesh, saying
we are not the  X  on society's forehead,
only that we were once confused
but we turned out the lights
and suddenly understood:
that sometimes life is the blue-gray
blanket we buried ourselves in once.
We get bruises on top and
hide our scars of fallen grace deep.
We time-share our creativity.
We lie down in cool summer grass with
grasshopper lullabies and drift, drift, drift
away twitching our eyelids to the
beat while we wish we were real.
i use a variant of the first line in another poem, but this one came first....
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
earth tone embrace,
gently going down...
simple pleasures of twisted senses,
an equivocation of use,
i know not what, but
if death is the famished dog
then surely we are the fluffy white
rabbits on sticks,
until it is humorous to turn off,
and vise-grip jaws rip, tear and devour;
an **** of natural selection,
meant as god's jest
that breathing is quick,
mainly because we have to
scurry so quick.
Derek Yohn Oct 2014
The women on campus walk by,
short and tall,
radiant youth in hipster dress,
chattering on their way to class.

What are their intentions?
Saving the world?
Healing the sick?

i am unconsciously judging
their ****** prowess...

Around a corner one's stare
catches my own briefly:

i look at her looking at me
looking at her looking...

it never ends, this watching,
beyond the eyes.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
there is a terrible oneness of self,
a totality of single-serving lives
all sip it from teacups sometimes...
some drown in a flood of its
mountain-cold rapids

to be resolute, to face the
falling of the light wearing
the face of Red-coat bravery,
a garment forgotten in the New World,
to carry on without comment
is an unspoken bargain, an
acceptance of defeat with dignity.

Our triumphs are of little notice
to those we struggle for.
Derek Yohn Dec 2013
Am i not entertained?

Channel 2:  weather...
Channel 7:  ******...
Channel 13:  lies...
Channel 34:  murderous weather...
Channel 43:  lying murderers...
Channel 99:  murdering lying weathermen and women...

and all points in between and so on,
ad infinitum.

Am i not entertained?
Derek Yohn Apr 2014
What is today if not a ripple,
the shock of yesterday
bouncing off tomorrow?
Each moment nothing more
than pebbles thrown and sinking?
Our human efforts a shrill
cry in the canyons:

"I want to be free to be me...
to be free to be...
me to be free...
i want to be me...
be free to want...
i want me..."

but it trails off, dies out,
like the ripples in the pond,
the efforts of a stone.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
What has become of my lost brothers?

Trimmareus, the insane voice of the sensual pig,
     who fled from his blue mural
     to the land of jazz and muffaletas
     only to discover the senselessness of clothes...

Peter, the pine tree apostle,
     who paved the way to indifference
     on a needle point, silently
     prophesying the burning of Atlanta (in Atlanta)...

Time Crisis, the first disciple of
     the salt or pepper Antichrist,
     who physically assaulted his mind
     in an attempt to defy gravity,
     finally settling for three
     squares and a cot...

Amante, the disturbed and uprooted lover,
     who, by some accounts, fancied
     urinating in the face of his

All of these brothers have fallen,
cherub wings or no, and the
meek are left behind in
quiet speculation of our vain attempts
to ***** out these small campfires
of insurrection.

We have taken the low road,
carrying our hearts in wicker baskets
and our monkeys on our backs,
spitting and cursing about
time love money *** school work
life the safety bar money ***
violence apathy love and time
when we discover we do not have
the ones we feel we need.

          (do you want peace?)

We cried over the death of the apostle
knowing he had martyred himself
for no particular reason, and
after vilifying his role and path,
attempted to follow his lead
into the night regardless

          (I make peace.)

We vomited on the lover's dossier
in response to repeated professions
of innocence and conspiracy
at the hands of the merciless
system (created by sensuous hands).

The outsiders can see the dragon,
rising out of the depths
and whispering our demise like
sweet nothings in the ears of the
desperate hopeful;

          (Come and be free in my sunshine.)

the beckoning of the crashing surf
and the beauty of the half sun
radiating and filtering our
reservations into happiness at the
acts we commit in its name

          (Sacrifice to me your children's tongues and hearts,
               send them away bleeding and crying.)

We are the pure of heart in
this sick land of Golgotha,
where the rain is only the urination
of our higher powers, the
soap we cleanse our souls with
and witness to others so
that they too can enjoy
this ancient bliss.

          (Visit my website and see...)
Derek Yohn Aug 2014
I lack the words,
the syntax, to
Xerox my feels to you.

These caravan routes we walk,
in the shadows of our freight,
are just a path, a swath
of yesterdays and tomorrows
strung together by moments.

We carry these deeds,
these sins of deliverance,
to the next stop,
hawking the wares,
the smell of camels thick,
tasting the heat of the desert,
collecting its sand,
blinded by the sun,
but never by its promise.

Shielding our eyes, we
carry on in the dark,
seeking oasis, that
eventual moment in the
shade of the palms,
the emergence from the
cool waters, the
feeling of clean skin.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
There is never enough time:
     To forecast the turning of the seasons,
     stave off the influx of movement
     or the trickling of the mountain
     springs over the backs of the
     spawning masses.

There is never the right time:
     To saturate the grass with
     the musings of subtle
     fantasy lore about the
     splendor present in the
     pause of the moon cycle
     or the coming of dawn.

(the caterpillars have returned,
ushering the day when
the salt will rise from
the seas and shake the
apples down to the ground,
for harvest has finally arrived...)
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
To all the women i
have loved before:
you are welcome.

For me leaving, i mean.

Some of you got what you wanted.
Some of you did not.

None of us got what we bargained for.
Who ever does these days?

To all the women i
have yet to love:
don't crowd.

There is enough of me to disappoint you all.

One at a time or all at once.
It makes no difference to me.
who doesn't love love?  the trick is knowing it when we see or find it....
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i sing a song of the cooing dove
that orbits in blue skies above;
biding time and waiting,
seeking wings of love.

i sing a song of waters still,
teeming underneath;
of predators that seek out fish
until they've had their fill.

i sing a song of swaying grass
on African savannahs;
that weather through nature's cruel
and bend as the winds pass.

i sing a song of songs to sing,
aloud, accompanied;
for one appreciates alone,
but two enjoy a thing.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Teach the children?  Well...

There is very little of substance
to be gleaned from individuals.
A process, a recitation, a
custom is customary.  Let
the young divine the marrow
from the bare bones of
their coloring books.

We, the protectors of
our future lot, laid
down the workings of
the cosmos in stark
bitonal outlines.  The
black, the white, the
small details of the
bigger picture.

Color me a spectrum of
what it means to be
alive, children.

Prognosticate between the
lines a rhyme for the
ages, transcend the
myriad of gray crayons
and begin to understand
that each shade belongs
to us all.
Draw me into your pages
of unity and division.

Color us all, children, and
learn what it is to be
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
In summers past, hot and hazy,
we wandered northern shorelines,
sand whipping salt brine and
vinegar enveloped, marveling that
even the Amish possess swimwear.

I lingered at the taffy shop,
toe-raised peering through smudged
glass and candy bins, spying
both worker and robo-worker
pulling long tough ropes of
salty confection and memory.

Our time on the path is pulled taffy,
event-pummeled, tugged asunder,
reunited bittersweet.

baked boardwalk beneath feet,
cobbled personality planks
stretching taffy of time

In summers past I was there.
In summers present i am there.
In summers beyond we are back
there once again
folded and kneaded
smiling, reunited.

This is the back-end of forever,
yet do not fear;
the dying of the light
is the dawning of the dusk:
a wheel that we spin,
a point that we traverse,
a keeping of a promise,
a memory of a scent,
a vision of disorder,
and the chaos in the calm.
an old one, but seemed to fit the general motif for this collection
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Excuse me,* sir, your pants are on fire.

Yes, i am talking to you, sir.
This is quite a mess you have made,
you starry-eyed dreamer.
Not that it was perfect in the beginning.

Nothing is.

When my grandfather got old,
he made sure to dress well.
If he was to die on any
given day, he intended to
do it in his Sunday best.
My grandfather died in a
unisex hospital gown.

When i was growing up,
Mom always made sure
i wore clean underwear.
It would be shameful
to die in ***** ones.

Speaking of growing up,
i was raised on Reaganomics.
It doesn't matter which side of
the aisle you stand on these days,
because Reagan defeated communism
through the clever use of money.

When my grandmother was set to pass,
she faced the changing seasons with
poise and dignity.  She was
ready to move on, to reunite with
loved ones lost.
My grandmother died in a
unisex hospital gown.

My best friend, Peter, didn't
put much stock in appearances.
He was funny and sarcastic.
We all loved him like a
brother.  Peter's mom buried
him in brand new Ecko
gear.  He died in boxer
shorts on the floor of a
ramshackle apartment
blue in the face from a
****** overdose.

Thank god none of these
people will ever need healthcare.

Mr. President, sir, i am no

i am an American.

You do remember us, don't you?
How silly of me...of course you don't.
You were busy watching your legacy.

i would have watched it better, if
it had been my name
at risk.
My name is all i have.

When Bill Clinton was president,
he lied about getting a
But we forgave him.
It was just a *******.
It's not like it was our
privacy or healthcare at stake.
Or our economy.

Have you dreamed about any
of those things, sir?
Or just your legacy?

Who knows?
How well do we ever know anyone?

Christmas is right around
the corner, and i and
others have made you
a fine gift, a lovely suit.
It's invisible.
You probably won't notice.

No matter...
one day you will have to
remove your flaming pants.
To try on your new suit.
Or, god forbid, to put on a
unisex hospital gown.

And then you will finally
see your legacy.
Derek Yohn Dec 2013
i have to stop watching the news.
The only politics i want to hear
about is the politics of dancing.
At least then i might get lucky.

The government says i am a criminal.
i made them prove it, and they did.

Shut up and take the money...

i know how much the
government hates competition.
the finest criminal justice limited funds can buy...
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
The blank page stares at me
mockingly, an empty wishing well
of impermanent desires, my
thoughts a herd of nomadic
feral cats to be coraled.

It is a mathematical permutation
of the identity matrix, imaginary
numbers and exponents,
fractional divisions with
no order of operations.

Solve me for x, given y,
yield absolute value at
absolute zero as my
function crosses Cartesian boundaries.

     | x |  =   y * (universal truth / personal experience)  ±  squareRoot(-1)

y  =  zero;  go.

Factor in gravity (9.8 meters per second^2),
we have lost cabin pressure.

Please show all work, points will be deducted,
this is a test.
bonus points if you can solve the equation...
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
i am wealthy beyond imagination.
We all are, since
time is money.

Money isn't real
and neither is time.
i imagined us all to be
wealthy, therefore
i have imagined the
creation of something that
doesn't exist, making
it real.

This is solid logic because
Descartes reasoned that
if we think, we exist.
This clearly illustrates how
money and time exist
even though they do not.

We can't use time to buy
money, although the converse
applies:  money will buy time
and temporary happiness.

Money and time are not
real, but they are, and
one can purchase the other
plus happiness, therefore
happiness, while not
technically real, can be
if we imagine it to
exist, thereby creating it
from nothing.

We are not nothing because
we think we exist.
You are welcome.  The mind is powerful, eh?  Your consciousness is nothing more than an electrical interchange between organic compounds....create whatever you want to be real.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
If we were in Hawaii,
we would be on an island.

If i fell off the boat en route,
i would be an island,
floating in the ocean of my life,
carried by the currents, winds,
and storms, unable to bend
the universe to my will,
treading water, fearing
sharks, scanning the horizon
for help.

When i leave my house
and venture out into the
crowds, i always wonder
how so many islands can
exist and there still be
room for the ocean, or is
it just an ocean of islands?

Navigation becomes difficult,
the islands cease movement,
there are fewer ports on
which to call.

Scan the horizon, tread water,
look for help, but
above all else,
watch out for sharks.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
My house is surrounded by
Illuminati operatives.
Lizards!  Everywhere i look...

green ones in the grass like
slithery snakes with feet,
brown ones on my porch
running counter-intelligence
on my kitties, tan little
enforcers with an ochre-red
streak of war paint along
their spines.

i know what you are thinking...
but i stopped wearing a
tinfoil hat.  It wasn't
keeping the N.S.A. out of my
emails anyway.

Just yesterday, one of the
lizards' double zero
agents followed me to McDonalds.
i saw him through the windshield,
gripping the wiper blade
with all his might, tail
whipping in the wind like a
whip antenna, broadcasting my
subversive Big Mac purchase.
i don't use Geico insurance,
therefore it was clearly an
Illuminati spy, without question.

Nowhere is safe.
My days are numbered.
They fear what i could expose,
that i would tell others
what i remember about
think for yourselves people, while you still can...
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
My cat hates my dog.
I wonder why?
They never dated, but
they lived together
for a while...

I love my dog, he is
just like me:  he just
wants to play with kitty.

I love kitty, too.  And
she likes me,
unlike my ex-wife.

How is that relevant since
my cat and dog never
were romantically linked?
It isn't.
NO, it isn't isn't.

These kinds of thoughts
torment my days.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
a glass tripod menagerie
set inconspicuously against
the room's only blue wall:
i reached out to touch
the carnival mirror in the east,
splintering its unbaked ceramic surface,
raining shards of pseudo-sunlight
across my back, in my eyes,
in my side betwixt my ribs;
     (scene shift)
lying among the poppies of
my younger years, collecting their dew;
i was fed pungent sage cakes
baked by a strange man
named Mordecai, who rants about
gardening techniques, espousing
the spiritual value of tearing
the treacherous heart out while
it still beats, as he prepares
more cakes for the remaining guests;
     (scene shift)
in the bleachers, watching old friends
watch a beautiful female athlete
play raquetball with my treacherous
rubber heart, silently glad
that at least she had not
eaten my oatmeal or broken
my fingers off with a car door;
the roar of the cheering crowd
made my ears ring out loud
vertigo gripping hollow chest aching
bolted upright, clawing in search of the wound, gaspingfranticdiscombobulatedandsuddenly...
the memory of my eaten heart,
and the look in your eyes
when you did it.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Was it Kruschev who said,
"We will spoon feed you socialism
a bit at a time," or
something like that?

Turns out whoever said it
was a prophet (one of many).

We are Americans.  We love
free stuff, and a sale, and
convenience.  We want to
germinate a seed and then
reap the harvest the
same day.  One spoon at
a time was maddeningly
too slow for us.

Margaret Thatcher said, "The
problem with socialism is that
you eventually run out of other
peoples' money," or something
like that.

Just not in her lifetime.
Or mine, i guess, since we
just print whatever we need.
What could possibly go wrong
with that strategy?

My ancestors fought in the
American Revolutionary War.
I can even prove it on
paper.  Violence and dissent
are my birthright as a
Son of Liberty.

Which, of course, means i
must fight in the next
revolution.  With words
and ideas, or actions
or a gun, with
conviction and apathy of self,
with my bare hands even,
to the death.

It won't end well for any of us,
no doubt.  A day will
come when we must take
our hearts and minds to
the fields, and possibly
leave our ***** there.
For someone.
For Something.
To be true Americans.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
Our lives are a Jenga masterpiece,
a collage of self-interpreted
debauchery that we have been
told is the work of R.F.

Is it necessary to destroy ourselves
for the things that we desire?

Why do I have to be symbolic
of an Irish dome of the rock?
     (have you ever touched the rock?)
     (has anyone?)

I am tarot prophetic in my
loathing of our distorted level.

I am chronic mime gestures
on the West Banks of the Jordan.

We are rouge lipstick
smeared across blue collars
and twisted pretzels lounging
citrus grove clean and sad.

I am just a man.
We are just people.
The buildings are just Lego's we have
crushed and spent combating azure tides
to stand ourselves straight against that
last wall...
but I love you still,
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Into the everything,
a hard coded "is":


argh....i really wanted to make the separate "our fates" intertwine like a double helix strand....can't figure out how to simulate the 3D effect.  I even tried making a grid pattern that could be read multiple ways (up-down, left-right), but I couldn't get the characters to line up so it was readable.  I can do it with Photoshop, but we can't post pictures, only text, so you are going to have to use your imagination, which kills the intended effect I think...
Derek Yohn Jan 2014
From the Ankara of Augustus wandered,
east to the clefts of the Earth's breast:
at Shambhala i seek the tooth
from the maws of paradox,
a teaching from Lord Maitreya,
a stretching through the void of ascension.
In the cycling Kalachakra looping
step three, the divine is inside
and divides, as out so in.

As above, so below.

It claws through the pages to reach me,
and you, to strike the gong.

As within, so without.
Beyond you always,
eternally inside.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
A ship in a bottle is a useless thing,
encapsulated, isolated.
It is meant to be crewed.

We are each holographic captains
seeking first mates
and yeomen to climb the riggings
and guide us through the storms.
Floating colonies needing founding,
battened hatches guarding dwindling
stores and shielding superstitious
sailors galore.

We must learn to trust our
crews and captains alike to
brave the rough seas and
coral reefs of life and
nature's faith.

Sometimes ships run aground,
the founding of the colony,
and then sandcastles reign supreme.
We must learn to trust our
crews and captains alike to
learn from their faith in nature.
We must build upon the dunes,
carrying buckets of water and
trust from the sea to inland
shores.  The castle, like the ship,
will one day be reclaimed by the
sea, despite our efforts.
We build them anyway out of hope,
fearing faith, learning trust, while
wishing we were safe in a bottle.
Derek Yohn Dec 2013
The sun sends us life as a
coherent cohesive beam, unfiltered.

Our science has shown us that
all it takes to rationalize this
is a prism, the rainbows'
gatekeeper, after whose interference
we can see the dichotomy of
each ribbon of color, naked
and categorized like society.

A prism isn't necessary to see
that life is beautiful, any
more than society or our
minds are necessary for us to
instinctively know that light
loses something as it meets
the prism.

The light was too beautiful for
us to comprehend, so we broke
it down to build up walls.

We used the walls to build rooms,
and our minds to bar the doors
and windows.  Society took care
of the rest.

The real breakthrough takes place
when we take all that we
learned and use it to tear
back down that prison
of the light.
The Specials had a song called "Free Nelson Mandela."  Wicked cool song back in the day, for a wicked good cause.

Thanks for everything, Nelson.  Now you are finally free.  Godspeed, & R.I.P.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
i detoxed myself under this pale sun
     (you stood by and watched the
      unfolding saga all the while
      questioning the meaning of zen)

the original concept was lost
somewhere along the way
when i dropped the ball
on the forty yard line
     (can you recover your own fumbles?)

every time i stand by,
the waiting is eternal
and i become engrossed
in the uselessness of my position,
     (my love for this is a game of solitaire)

i am the ultimate in
irrational action,
a demagogue of dark
pathways and religious
zealotry, trapped beneath
glass floors watching,
trying desperately to
cannibalize my fingers.

i have smoked your toenails
and wandered away listless
at comments unbecoming
and salivated on the fires
set to displace my vessels
     (i have seen you ignoring me)

in the coming months i will
rend my eyes and pierce
my skull artificially
so you will be able
to see into my soul and
destroy me more efficiently
     (you will know me by the number of the dead)

i will search deep and
long inside this shadow's
shell, extracting this cancer
so i can cook up my
shortcomings and inject
them into a Ken doll
because then at least
i will be pretty.

i will feed my
chilled oatmeal to a
Cantonese family
that will honor me
as the ***** poo-flinger
i am for you.

i will cease to exist
on a plane with your
type, sinking lower
on scale like a rock in
the Mississippi River.

Mom, when i stop
growing up, i will
be the ****** loser
everyone always
thought i would
     (aren't you proud?)
     (isn't he cute?)

i cannot imagine
surviving your intern camp
after the tattooing of arms,
we will eat the testicles of the
fallen gods and dispense
great suffering on the weak
because of our enlightened
prospects and redemptions
     (what do you know about pain?)

i will place my severed head
in a place of prominence, likely
in your bed, right before
i cease to breathe

my eyelids weaken....
flicker, flutter....

i grow tired with the
advent of your indecision,
the totality of abandonment
the lenses fog, fade...
flicker, flutter...

i have run out of things to sacrifice
this is an amalgamation of three individual, and originally unrelated, poems
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
i don't like love songs.
They fill you with the joy of others,
often serving only to remind
     they do not apply to you.
And all the banter and clever friendships
stay seated while you go home.
Not to say they've no meaning,
but the pulse is still slow,
and all the dreams dreamt
wind down till they creep by,
and, reading the fine print,
you see that it really was what
it seemed at first glance,
and nothing more.
Derek Yohn Aug 2014
This perpetual summer engulfs me,
bathes me in its dew, and
deafens me with its hum.

I thought the winter had put
these feelings down, trampled
these blades flat.
I was fine with that,
but the sun comes again,
and the promise of rain.

Now the blades grow again,
unchecked in this
perpetual summer.
They move me once more,
and I croak my response
from afar, under the
weight of this dew,
waiting for the rain.
It is impossible to say just what I mean.
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
People of Wal-Mart:
what the **** is wrong with you?
You are reducing our lives
and prices in unison...

Today, in passing, i saw on T.V.
a special report:  a year
after super-storm Sandy, New Jersey
still hasn't gotten its
sand dunes back.

This is news?

It took 5 years for the
Gulf Coast to begin recovering
from Hurricane Opal.
No national headlines about
Okaloosa Island a year later.
It was flat.  It didn't
used to be.

A year after Hurricane  Katrina,
all i heard was that Kanye West
thought President Bush didn't
care about black people.  But
Wal-Mart helped with logistics
deliveries.  Because Bush asked (kind of).
We  basically lost a major city
that time.

Where was our airborne toxic event?
Our 15 minutes post mortem?

Thanks for helping, Wal-Mart.
But this is all your fault.

Because without cheaper stuff,
the People of Wal-Mart
would still be able to think.
They would know that
consumerism is great, but also
that it is an identity crisis.
A buzz in their heads.
Our nation fights wars
for capitalism,
but our soldiers fight
for their lives.

So i will see you on
Black Friday, Wal-Mart.

We are dying here in the
South, we have to save
a penny where ever we can.

And, People of Wal-Mart, don't forget:
No president cares about any individual.
The greater good prevails.
And **** your sand dunes, New Jersey.
shoutout to Don de Lillo's modern masteriece "White Noise"....loss of identity and its re-establishment thru consumerism.

You are not what you own.

fugazi = fake (italian)
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
This is my diary
of the world,
a trillion million
copies of the one,
digital diamonds,
faceted and mirrored,
dispersed on binary winds,
encoded, decrypted.

It is the proof of my love,
tangibly viewed,
now i am forever

Derek Yohn Oct 2013
Allen, my parents stole your name and corrupted it.
An unwitting mistake, surely,
chosen at random as an epithet,
a mark of sublime distinction;
Perhaps discovered under the
head of an old bongo drum
or on the back of a gnarled
copy of Marx and Engles, a
scrawled incoherent possesion tag
somehow passed on appropriately.

Allen, i have taken your name and it's corrupted me.
The implications are pulsing
through my veins and
acid burned inside my skull.
It has led me on paths astray
and opened the flood gates
to subterranean subconscious,
eroding twin pillars ancient,
created by my forefathers against
the chill of January's night.

Thank you...i think.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Exhaustion is the price of vigilance.
My cats sleep all the time now,
it seems.  It hurts
                but i understand.

The road has a hypnotic effect
as it gazes back into us all.
The void consumes everything
but becomes nothing,
compressed infinitely smaller,
enslaving particles, photons,
feelings, planets, systems, and

Feeling isn't saying, and
meaning isn't doing.
Impressions are sculpted into
the granite of our mountains
by the expressions of the

When the eagles soar overhead
they must all pass through
the wormhole to hunt,
to ****** victory from defeat,
a sustained life from a
final death,
but it is all perspective.

Roadkill live life in the fastlane,
if life is indeed a highway.
Woodland creatures brave existence
only by darting to the other side
of the killzone, timing the gaps,
patiently judging the distance.
"Going Tharn" = a deer (or other animal) frozen in the headlights, unable to flee from an impending certain death
Derek Yohn Dec 2013
Tuesday afternoon construction projects,
i am framing an argument,
holding my hammer white
knuckled tight.

If I had a hammer,
I'd hammer in the morning...

i would hammer the love between us all,
helping clarify between
getting what you want
and having what you get.

i would hammer it's face
till i was breathless,

standing at the left of what is right,
writing about what is left.

Can most of us tell the difference anymore?

Don't answer that...
you can't.  You don't know how.

Don't speak to me about love,
or how if you don't have it
you will surely die from
neglect or razor slashes from
your own hand.

You would end the same if
you had what you thought
it was, because it isn't
that at all.
Derek Yohn Nov 2013
Inside the walls of my citadel's
keep, i wander haunted halls
and rooms, broken images of
continuous life flashing light
randomly around, an epileptic's
nightmare, beamed in from
beyond, playing dangerous
paranoid games with my mind.

My grandfather's apparition
stalks me silently,
inching to the couch,
guarding the bathroom,
verifying the existence of
gravity behind door
number three, on the bed.

He approaches!!


(Darth Elder and his walker)


i evade his ghost of Christmas'
passed, darting to the porch and
in another entry door.
Each time i look up, his
spector stands frozen in
silhouette, spurring my adrenal
response, yet only imperceptibly
creeping, ever closer...


He is everywhere!

Frozen in time at various locations,
practicing being dead on his bed,
re-living the now, back then in
his head, inside my head!!

There is only one solution.
i have spoken to the others:
no Christmas tree this year,
we will wrap grandfather
in colored lights and
garland, and help him
celebrate life in style.

A slightly motile tree, a
blatant festivity.
Derek Yohn Sep 2013
An ode to you on your birthday, Osiris:

Your example of redefined divinity
gives us pause, a momentary blink
during which you have cleverly
shape-shifted within and without.

     (It was so fast so fluid so sublime...
      Did you see it?
      Were you watching?)

Your lover dutifully collected your members,
reuniting all that could be found,
reforging your manhood minus your manhood.
Do not fear, Osiris.
We will build you a phallus out of
artful decadence and corn husks.

     (It is a testament to our love...
      Did you see it?
      Were you watching?)
Derek Yohn Oct 2013
My father used to take me fishing;
i can remember it clearly:
bleary eyed wakeups at 2:30 a.m.
after preparations late into
the night prior, the
smell of gasoline
as the outboard motor
sputtered to life,
its deafening roar as we
raced the sun along the
river's length.
The eery silence that followed.
Because we rarely talked.
We were fishing.
Dad loved largemouth bass,
red-breasted bream, catfish,
shell-*******, warmouth,
stump-knockers, and
whatever else.
i enjoyed fishing, too.
But we rarely talked.

Time moved on, and us with it.
And there was less time for
us to go fishing together.
Years passed, and i said
to myself, -i said it
very clearly, i did- i said,
self, we need to go fishing
There is at least one more big fish
out there that i am after.

i even mentioned it to my father.
Let's go soon, i said...
     -Yeah, that sounds good.-
but we both knew we wouldn't.

Time moved on, and us with it.
And there was less time for
us to go fishing together.

On the day of my father's funeral,
there were many surprised faces
upon my arrival.
They thought i had gone off fishing,
but i knew the river had run dry.
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