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bobby burns Apr 2017
take one

gotta make sure the lighting is just right
that silken glow perfect for when the other
first graders take off your dress for you
because dress-up is one thing, but this, another

take two

adjust the camera angle, you wouldn't want
to show your tummy. **** that gut, boy!
no streetwear allowed in the public pool;
you can't keep your hoodie on forever

take three

i cast coal and cherry juice over myself because i'm scared
scared to show it all for what it is on camera but the truth is,
i was clueless, she was strong, and what's the harm in a little
******* when she'll bruise and asphyxiate you otherwise

take four

i knew this time, but i liked that way her teeth raked over
my bottom lip, it satisfied that near-catholic compulsion
i had to atone, to hurt myself to better myself, it was sweet
the sweetest bloodwine my adolescent pre-**** self would ever have

take five

my god i deserved you. we deserved each other. until, of course,
the stones you used to give me -- agate, citrine -- landed on my
dusted cheekbones, in the middle of love, sometimes because your nose was stuffy and you felt you couldn't breathe and it was cathartic to take out your frustration on objects (hello, hi, i am not one)

take six

and the truth is, i'm too tired to write a take six, and i've long abandoned this metaphor, and take six will be a poem of its own, in ways, take six is my teenage finale, my rite of passage, my understanding of myself as a vessel of men's aggression
and far too few sunsets have passed for me to write it, anyways, and far too few footsteps over the land below the car where i was *****, and far too little writing on how this has affected me, my psyche, my masculinity, any sense or semblance of self outside of victim, and ******* i'm not ready i'm just not ready so don't push me with this take six, business, alright?

CUT
getting there
bobby burns Apr 2017
i remember someone on this site a long time ago.
they would write unrelenting epic poems that
always made my fingertips tingle in that way
they do when you're surprised art made you
feel something again, you know?

i arrive back here tonight because i've been
doing a whole lotta feeling and far too little art
and i've stopped letting it surprise me.

i keep oversharing when people ask, "how are you?"

i keep wondering who i'm supposed to be at this point on this long path of becoming. i don't know, i've never liked the phrasing but it resounds so cleverly from forebrain to nervous system it's uncanny and unavoidable and ineffable. who am i am i am i am i am i ...

i want to make a map,
a cartography of memory,
charting the granite and
soil, marrow and moss,
river foam, abusers,
flower gardens, wild blackberries --
the purple dabbed away from those
soft parts that blackberries might stain

to wash deep berry blood off
in the public pool bathroom
where she first made you a novelty

to scrape darker
from under his fingernails
with bark from the tree she
made you hide behind

the same park you grew up in

a spot you always caught the sunset
a spot he caught you and the sun seemed always then to set

still haven't gone back

it's time to make a map
Mar 2016 · 827
threatholds
bobby burns Mar 2016
upstairs and downstairs, like a frazzled owl character in my third-grade reader
in the doorway of my 200-level on sub-Sahara where we talk only of Nigeria
holding the elevator for my superior in the lobby of a too-tall edifice to man

a college student.
an ABD.
intern.

backstage at your high school graduation ceremony, your mortarboard won't stay on your head
in a food court where your mother doesn't get it when you say you can't wear pants anymore, or get your bimonthly haircut
when you're skirting the poverty line after your family business was sued but your FAFSA says parent #1 earns six figures

initiate.
neophyte.
not-quite-other.

the female body as a threshold between worlds, channel betwixt boundaries
Schrodinger's cat simultaneously in separation and marginal phases according to van Gennep
divorce papers signed but not sent, enclosed in manila at the bottom of a cherrywood desk

continuum.
spectrum.
a line without points.
on liminality
bobby burns Feb 2016
capitals irk me.
parentheses are comfortable, like my love embraces me, like i slide letters into envelopes, or don't, rather.
uneven lines and fragmented line endings feel more accurate,
real, everything that is not posed or
staged, everything that keeps you
hanging on to the last syllabic
exhale.
on methods.
May 2015 · 2.5k
hiraeth (lacuna love)
bobby burns May 2015
n. A homesickness for somewhere you cannot return to, the nostalgia and grief for the lost places of your past, places that never were.

insatiability makes its burrow
in my gall bladder,

wringing bile from the *****,
craving toxins to purge.


i thirst for sweet lexical gaps,
holes in patterns,

dots that don't make shapes
but still gladly connect


komorebi
n. The sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees

loveliest in the distinction
it is only komorebi

once filtered, green soul
bleeding through
bobby burns May 2015
writing is my ******* bane.

jeweled paws of inspiration
dangle that carrot to keep me running.

wring out the baby with the gray matter,
spool it like spaghetti, slowly get fatter.

i was under the distinct impression
that this habit was too large a vent

until i left it somewhere in July
between the Yuba and a car ride

and never quite calmed down

it's my solace, my oak-tree,
haven in the hellishness,
clarity to ugliness,
Gilead balm,
panacea.

why
should it
take such tolls--
to push too hard
is to turn a deaf ear

my ear ain't so sharp
and my brunt is still strong
Mar 2015 · 2.6k
tannins
bobby burns Mar 2015
buckeye flour,
almonds,
acorns,
tree-bark,
cacao,
wine

your only criticism is that i split infinitives and spit bitters.
Mar 2015 · 562
compensatory
bobby burns Mar 2015
my grace is cherubic,
seraphic, angelic,
she is a temple built
upon skepticism.

my boy wears a sloth-suit
and is swept away by even
the weakest rapids after
dipping only his pinky toe.

my grace is a hefty FAFSA award,
and she is report card dinners,
a new-blue honda, a heartbreak,
she is coming home to  do laundry.

my boy is a defect, anomalous,
he cannot bide his time and so
rushes. i chase him to the city
limits and hope he'll get it right.

my grace is building strength,
compartmentalizing, sequencing,
she is careening into career
and coping/moping with loss.

my boy is behind, he's lazy.
he shirks, avoids, evades,
any escape, any port, no storm,
he has to bring something else,

he only sits with us when he
wants something. he spends
time with us when it serves
his agenda, his procrastination,

he likes men; he's abnormal,
he has to bring something
extra to the table or else
it will reflect badly on me.

i never went to college.
i rarely did my homework,
so my daughter, son, my wife,
they bear the brunt of my avoidance.

my grace breaks down while
student-teaching. i love her.
my boy aces econ test after
physics quiz. i tolerate him.
siblings from father's view
(get me out of this house)
Mar 2015 · 410
malaise
bobby burns Mar 2015
yeah i'm angsty,
angst-ridden,
angst-infested,
angst-infected,
weren't you
(i leave the question marks off rhetoricals because it's only honest)
no no no no no more metaphor. i'm crashing headlong into this one:
i am a person. i write. i am a writer-person or maybe just a too-clever-person.
my parents are in debt, and my parents' parents went back to work at eighty.
my friends' parents are debtless and their parents' parents never stopped working.
there may only be a year of water left in California, but i need water, i run hot and my skin is uneven from cracking.
i'm tired from only resting one eye when i lie in bed, i sleep a solid eight hours each night. (just how sturdy is time)?
bobby burns Feb 2015
in the somatic nervous system,
acetylcholine (ACh) stimulates skeletal muscle, causing contraction

action potentials
in the 8am physio lecture,
the biggest on campus
crammed with nursing majors,
and health science hankerers,
public health preachers,
OT saints and angels

amino acid NTs: glutamate (+) GABA (-) aspartate (+) glycine (-)

the prof wrote on a distant whiteboard
too many complained about being lost
she made a joke about feeding *******
to mice for her neuroscience research

amines: serotonin (-) dopamine (-/+) norepinephrine (+/-) epinephrine (+)

STEM-dominated
when i'm just looking
to drop my roots
and press that
good earth into
the spaces between
my toes and
under my nails

but the grounds are a garden
of biodiversity from clippings
gathered by migrant habit-clad
founders more than a century ago

the soil is fertile            it is temperate
there are water filters in most residences

there is enough here for me
*(+) stimulatory (-) inhibitory (+/-) stimulatory or inhibitory depending on the type of receptor to which it binds.

there are two types of summation: spatial and temporal.

in spatial summation, many presynaptic neurons fire to a singular postsynaptic neuron.
in temporal summation, a single presynaptic neuron fires sequentially to a postsynaptic neuron.
Feb 2015 · 587
25
bobby burns Feb 2015
25
when i spit the CO2
from me, gasping
rabid and rampantly,
i at least (at last)
will know how
to reconcile myself
with its parting
bobby burns Jan 2015
():
you've taken up too many characters,
a placeholder, 0, is all i attribute to you.

(I):
i lack recall enough
to call back when
we first reacted--
science fair, maybe,
mâche volcanoes
from wet bits--
(too little base,
a surplus of vinegar)
the only magma
with measurable
pH

(II):
made cattle to caffeine,
the pastures we frequented
have gone out of business
by now

(III):
spoke and wrote
with silly string,
messy, childish,
hard to clean up--
impossible to pick
every adhesive trace
from tweed coat fibers--
i draped it around you
and left quietly without
apologizing

(IV):
number four, morphine drip,
corruption (with a caramel center),
you took me to a courtyard where
you had scrawled your number
with a gold safety pin stuck
in the grain--
didn't matter as long as they
brought you plain grain beverages--
i can't say how long i must have
been unconscious for you to
have been able to fully affix
trusses, crossbars and artificial joints
between prostheses--
you made a marionette of me
in a grubby alley operating room,
with an empty bottle
across the occipital for anesthesia,
and a patchwork of phone numbers
staring down from the scratched
portrait in the wood walls
of office buildings surrounding--
keep your cloths on a little longer
keep yourself closed from now on
keep yourself close from now on


[V]:
think of whichever oath you hold
gravely, and think of me, promising
i felt just as illusory as you before--
saved a letter from you i read sometimes
to remind myself how first real loves
can be, so as not to lose faith to cynicism,
and cynicism/stomach lining to coffee grounds.
thank you

[VI]:
i met you only once,
it was enough.
i didn't make out your
last name as you introduced
yourself between zipping up
your fly and cinching your belt,
and even while you walked
inside, between dry heaves,
i could think only of
your Texan-tinsel-town namesake--
good luck streaming the past like
mother's ashes from the back of
your lake boat so many miles from home,
it's all anyone could ask

(VII):
i took that polaroid of you;
you had your hand over
a candle flame and the
shadows dancing between
your fingers illuminated
the spare patches of snow
remaining on the playground.
there was no mistaking
the draining of my swimming
pool of ego as i witnessed
you staring out from each
ice crystal reflection in awe:
your smile tumbled down
the slide and spilled into laughter
while
your voice lilted up the rock wall
and sang in triumph at the top --
i miss you, ganges girl

[VIII]/[IX]:
first time i knew,
second time i suspected,
finally broke me down,
now we laugh about it,
or preferably, don't bring
it up anymore

[X]:
i might still be in love with you
first and foremost, if that's how
things worked, but virginity
isn't a collateral asset, you did
me no favors,
but share in sunshine shoves
and pushes-- a beer down,
3g 'til the bottom of the bag,
alice and wonderland--
i can't watch that movie
without thinking of long hair,
self-destruction, self-deceit,
and naïveté--
you made me grow up with you,
and while you've been in college
i've been rotting.

[XI]:
i've whiled away a year of slacking words
in favor of those spouting from you torrentially.
a placeholder, for people i've written too much about already:
11.

[XII]:
unnerved me in the best of ways,
but you were always ****** up
and emptied of scruples--
had me once at your favorite album,
fooled me twice when you came back,
but you won't get another chance to
touch me

[XIII]:
snow-flakey,
corn comfort,
corn snake.
solid, supple,
untrustworthy.

[moscow]:
you spent a year abroad
so i had only one thing to call you,
and even though I brought my black
camo S&W; pocketknife,
when you told me ******
was cheaper than marijuana
in the motherland,
i knew i shouldn't
have soothed myself
into confident
complacency,
and instead
leapt from
the subaru
piled high,
tobacco-strewn,
littered by cremations
of victims before me.

[XV]:
i yawn and jaws part,
droop down lids,
the realist rendering
of a singularity in film
can't even keep me awake--
but when we get home,
and crawl into the satin
cascade of your mother's
sheets, god, i can't
even think of sleeping.
the moon was also full--
it wanes for awhile now
Jan 2015 · 867
(w)reckless freckles
bobby burns Jan 2015
carpal tunnel
born of first-serve lets
and second-serve ace
comebacks --
from
sloughing off
winter coats
to share between
twelve --

my wrists are
less than echoes
and may have
been little more
to begin --

suspended
by gossamer,
brass-covered
lichen
and ticking fungi,
like man, (with his
whirling gears
and mad metals)
replaced
nature's course
with an automated
system --

i would rust
just to crack
but they keep
me too clean --
my sunspots
have fled to
warmer pastures,
i am milk-buckets
on overcast farm
dawnings, but surely
even they have seen
the light of day --

splashed my face
with wine
and rooibos
to see if i
would stain
like the canvas
metaphor
my generation
ascribes to --

maroon dispersion
in terra cotta wash,
twining around
a spiral course --
the folly of it
went ignored
'til my lost and
floating freckles
gathered at the
drain and clogged
the sink to overflow.
bobby burns Nov 2014
los vacíos en uñas
como pozos de alquitrán
roban el foco
de dedos delgados
hechos para tocar el piano

codos como el mío,
     como gotas de rocío,
      y como pulpa redonda —
    no conoces la pared ni la espada,
pero esas en hombros herniados.

y las alas, alas
como el día
que aletea
nubes mostazas
a través de un campo

envuelveme
en plumas
así que yo conozca
solaz soleado
siempre

permanece vigilia
encaramado arriba
en tormentas
transformadas y
contenidas dentro de
las cavernas vivas
del espectro.
homage a Neruda
Nov 2014 · 733
short circuit
bobby burns Nov 2014
if a woman were to wile
     and beguile me
it would be she--
she is ebola, burning hot and fast
                 replicating majesty
       without space or energy--
she is spirit in a short circuit
voltage and current--
       she aptly replaces
                 the schematics
copied down in physics.
            a girl of the Ganges--
               distance distracts
          and remembers little
       yet often still i pray to
    insulate her sparks, to
absorb each ionic mote
  of excess she discharges,
     wrap them in neutrino ribbons
        and save them under my vest
          for the birthdays still to come.
Oct 2014 · 427
bedmaking
bobby burns Oct 2014
first light is cavernous,
ochre vivification for
the ruffled goose-down
sage squares

'neath which i seek
refuge in feign dreams,
pores peeled, wakeful,
like a deep-roving shark,

sedate half the brain
and keep vigil, open
every thirty minutes

to secure myself --
perpendicular,
swaddled,
taut.

there are fundamental rituals
with which we are inculcated
in the households of our heralds,  
our inheritance -- idiosyncrasies.

"the day begins when the bed is made."

i devoted nine nights
to avoiding nuestro cama.
i spent six siestas
preferring the loch ness futon

and three on the threshold
to the bathroom
because i couldn't always
bring myself back to face it.

now, just like mother says,
i make the bed upon first light
and la cama rests in a tight corner
on a frame piled high with pillows

like i'm filling up space

i keep my books cushioned
and my homework has become
a permanent fixture, sprawling,
embedded

i've remade my queen's cot
207 times in the last
18 days and regardless,
can't say i've started my day.
bobby burns Oct 2014
whirl, whirr, whee,
'round, back again --
squaring loops slinging hoops
wandering

why
  stay
   on the
    hill tonight
Oct 2014 · 1.7k
quilt trip
bobby burns Oct 2014
long before light graced
beyond my sealed lids,
a gray lady sat sewing
squares, "for foundation."

her accent was like the
magenta strips with
which she bordered:
a boy needs foundation,
boundaries to teach him
his boundlessness, dirt
in which to sink his feet.

and unlike my foundational
quilt, linked so firmly to the earth,
she faded
first to rose, and then
to silver pink before
                                   dissipating
into dusted petal wither.

i'll meet her on the next go around.

my sixteenth was bitter-themed
and my parents gave me
a mexican blanket,
colored like mother,
aqueous aquamarine
and patterned like father,
those angular and triangular
movements;
woven just like theirs,
to give me rest and
haven on the roads
of my inevitable adventures.

and when i am eighteen
the women of my family
will meet with needles
and spools, and wool
to click-clack and chit-chat
over my adulthood -

and when it is done,
i will behold azure
like the heavens
entangled with warm tones
and spun prayers
to cocoon
in the chill of
carolina's coast
Sep 2014 · 711
senses seldom shut
bobby burns Sep 2014
obdurate, ******,
he fastened twine
tied to tarsals
around my
ventricles,
closed off
the vena cava

i am blue
in the breastbone

empty blood
can't reach
the lungs

but
i am equipped
with the tools
to deal with this

animal instinct
to fight off
infection
or to let it in
and cradle
me every
night at
2
when you
wake to
make sure
you haven't
missed

the tug at your toes
or
the platelets & plasma
or
a warm wavelength --
a chance to record a dream
you lost in rising
real this time // good in the end
bobby burns Sep 2014
remember to never let a ****** change you
without permission
bobby burns Sep 2014
i wrote you
letters last January
so many, i
had to pull the sterling rings
you gave me
from my cramping fingers
just to keep
putting bone against black
and ease you
out of me gently

*** was never as good
with the dishes done
or the laundry folded
and we never
held time
for chores
once we
were finished
Sep 2014 · 257
self-contract
bobby burns Sep 2014
iwillnotindulgeinbreakuppoetry
*nomatterhowgooditfeels
i lied
May 2014 · 1.2k
melocotónita
bobby burns May 2014
fire me towards a career
or something
(any/or/either/neither)
because i haven’t been
playing music

and i’m starting to seem
the emaciate-pit peach on  a too-tall
tree of plenty
just out of reach

of tantalus,
waist-deep in a river
of cornsilk braids too
rich for eyes, too coarse for tongue or teeth

garden of goddesses
wielding life-flow
geometry
keep the
hounds and
ghost-things
at bay.

undress a smoky corset,
tendrils, or turgid
rapids, swatting
ceases less
twining strands
than flies.

i wish it away,
woven comfort,
a web of fraying
calico and red tape,
bearing the weight
of an arachnid slew.

yet away with it
yields my downfall,
tumbling branch
to branch,
unfeeling, unthinking,
but for my parachute.

i lost a life
to watching
a mirror and
the marker in my hand,
but it could not stop
the leaves from drifting,
nor the water from taking the leaves,
nor those leaves from disintegrating.

simmer down,
shudder breath,
breathe deep
&center
May 2014 · 1.1k
cynical daffodil nectar
bobby burns May 2014
-
i couldn’t call you smoke, gaseous,
(though you are organic by definition)
for you [(we)re] mostly the milky ringlets
of ethanol drops in water, aqueous
always reacting

breaking bonds
without combustion
burning tight-rope bridges
you could barely balance
with the released chemical
energy and unknown power
of your lips sepa/r/ating
to smi(rk?)le

so(me)one pruned your boughs back
so coldly
your flower dreams grayed
to sustain your verdancy

aren’t you tired?
-
bobby burns Mar 2014
around my seventh year
of forked lightning,
i remember a storm,
an opening of cumulus
floodgates
                    extending
longer than my forearm.
the drowning levels rose,
bloomed,
                 and our pond out back spilled over,
     like so much noble grey from china pots,
        by the long barn, below naranjo peak,
                  with its namesake
a luminary of psychedelic
psychiatry and the gestalt,
                                               i played myself
to exhaustion in a marsh of gods and survival
the meadow pulsed;
no grass in zephyr-dance,
or ambient movement,
but for the desperate
flopping of fish,
silver on silver,
ruthless flood
displacement,
refugees in hostile land.
each moment i stayed staring
i lost another fish, i knew,
and the rain was thinning
and i was six, and a gallon
bucket was just the right size,
and for that afternoon, i grew
scales, and gills, fins,
                                     i couldn't
let them die, or keep suffering,
i scooped them up, bucket filled
up to my small arms' capacity,
and returned them to the pond,
making sure the transition
was comfortable for them.
i only remember now that
the others began eating
their dead once they could
swim and dart past one
another.
               i sloshed and splashed
all day to save my kindred fish
from a dry slaughter, en masse,
only to find them flowing out
once more when the rain picked up
from its reprieve
a distant memory for proximity issues
Feb 2014 · 990
saturn T² (fiebre)
bobby burns Feb 2014
balance is beholden to little,
just as the stars do not compel.

i roused with asphyxiation,
down suffocation, fever.

reverie so irreverent,
(removal proves impossible).

subcutaneous deposits of venom
perspiration is the poultice.

(but the brain was never meant
to drown in the skull)
hazy delirium words
Jan 2014 · 670
(s)hower(s)
bobby burns Jan 2014
your body is orange plastic,
the shade of wilted jack-o-lanterns,
l'ame is a disposable razor,
and your hair is my hair, severed,
i cannot place the bishop
on the opposing diagonal any more
than place you in or out of an awful dream:
each time you touch me, callous caress,
is a slit to pruned fingers,
the nightmare in water
sluicing through soggy skin
to balloon in my palms
clown's animals,
wrapped in drowning matter,
and burst.

i sometimes wish upon whatever **** rock'll listen
that my voice could stay the swells,
but most days i swell myself,
and stay to sing you storms,
precipitation is my forte
but you could always smell
the rain on its way.
thank you sadness, for your cleansing nature. thank you rain, for rinsing with sadness. all things are temporary and abundance abounds.
bobby burns Jan 2014
morning: 2,
future: 0,
reasons
to smoke
cigarettes:
just one.
bobby burns Jan 2014
if i were to bread my tongue
with rocoto and cornmeal
and twist to reach the andean soil
my tastebuds long for so many nights
out of the year
olfaction and your left-sinus blockage
would stay cradled
in broken-baguette bread-crust baskets,
a trebuchet's missile,
naïve to the horn of the world,
and brittled to a carcinogenic crisp
caped in my earthenblood geysers
en el humo, en la tierra del fuego
in(fierno)

i recount by the tally marks of black felt
resorted to in the puddling of spilt tea,
(like broken china, you never missed
a beat to correct potential error

and my memory),
i count them to remember
the epiphanies standing over a red faucet
a gallon water jug, whistling snail-trickle,
wishing away the cracks in the grout
or the grout itself,
wishing away the cracks in the pottery
or porcelain facade of which
you're so fond and grace with singing cuticles

the fingers of a pianist
lacking the wherewithal
and solid brick gall
to answer the ivory's summons

i am not a piece of clay,
i respond poorly to your sculpture of my surface,
covered in oxides and baked in
hell's oven, your mountain fire
scathes me as it does cedar resin
and i am similarly embittered,
pooling sap & draining smoke
in the embers and dead charcoal
of your embrace

avant le corps, sans l'âme
sans le corps, avant l'âme
bobby burns Jan 2014
universe, displace from me
this trauma in the breaking
of my father’s favorite scotch glass
for it is simpler to clear glass shards
from the dishwasher and laminate tile
than ventricular shrapnel from my chest

eyebrows
straight as a net
keep me serving lets
racquet, arm, the ball
is all i don't know

40-love
scoreboard soothsayer
divining the true value
of affectionate devotion
game, set, deuce off the bat
[wrong sport]

my serve is in returning
paper bags brimming
with your belongings
(our volleys never lasted)

game, set, match
[applause]
bobby burns Jan 2014
a
little more
than 160 proof,
little less than
you.
bobby burns Jan 2014
(i am my only captor)

i've missed possibility
and the 3.15 to ecuador
won't quit its wreckage
nor its descent, a mist,
wistful through glass
i'd rather shatter
in a fit of impulse
in a fit of anything
in the fit of a blue bottle in your hand
or mine (either way i'd feel concussive)
and the fit of a moldavite splinter
in the palm of the kneeling woman
accepting your absinthe-stilled rage
so her little ones' heels wouldn't

and every time you walk through my door
i'm tempted to say welcome home,
but the way you hit the pillow at night
itches my fingers to report abuse
and none is meted but to you,

so i write my greatest love-letter
upon your thoracic vertebrae
and whisper security through
your cell window pajamas,
and wait 'til hours before
first light to do it all again
when you wake.
bobby burns Jan 2014
l
  i
    n
g
    e
r
i
  n  
   g

i've never anchored another,
nor been so catapulted
as to sense without sensory
those high-reaching and
boundless realms where
loving you is littler than
thought and twisted
feel into infinitum.

yet my affections cease not to dwindle
you remain my (mis)guiding light
my lighthouse in the heavens,
wrecking me on earth.

i am not nearly a victim
but mourning is appropriate
for futures focused naively.
Aug 2013 · 2.1k
an epic (past due)
bobby burns Aug 2013
an octagon tent
wide enough that chucking rollies
to the sand made impossible
sprawled layers
you turned to quote Dali
told me how pale blue washed with lucy
shimmered skyline into dimension
acryllic-smeared sass drips canvas
into murmurs circling dilation
dimethyltryptamine stains
painting dreams on my eyelids
with flowerbrushes and silk,
mushroom dust gathers in discarded hues
on your pallet, where the colors of your irises
dry into a nebula of night-blooming jasmine
the scent of how you move when you sleep
and sleeping is never so sweet
as dancing through lucidity
with you as my sheets.
and i've traced your thumbprint so often
i'm sure if it were stretched around a marble
like buffalo skin on spirit-caller drums,
a globe would be seen
in which Greenland is finally proportionate--
the map on my wall always bothers you,
but I do too, and everyone does,
urging me under the geography
etched into the sea of your surface
by the crucible of your purpose
and working me into
empty behind your right
below the 22
between i'ching
and the forty two names of god
clasping your fore in silver
copper wound around my finger
hamstrings woven like wire
kambaba jasper, two to share
you hang Tibetan tektites
to elevate space
meteorite fragments
lodged in your helix,
stardust blood,
mandala sand from your mother,
and our tendons wrappe
by dexterous carpals
make such a pretty pendant
of my heart,
for synesthesia mistakes not
and my addiction to the pen has eased
for you breathe murals
and syllables never could
match brushtrokes of carbon dioxide.
Jul 2013 · 1.0k
half a head of hair
bobby burns Jul 2013
fingernails
through the slits
of borrowed garments
brilliance
leaks from sinkholes
riddling your forearms
earth touch
in your tendons
tarred feet to sync
with astral chords
and soil chains
-
the subject of this poem~
Jul 2013 · 1.2k
sensuous
bobby burns Jul 2013
i want: an elbow-crook to rest my head
             a cigarette to share,
             naked forms in riverbeds
             and universal train fare.

i need: breastplate percussion under my ear,
            a breathing on my spine,
             a sunrise built -- my eyes to sear,
             and send me to my sign.
to a boy named sam because i never got to say mine
Jul 2013 · 1.2k
cusp of beauty
bobby burns Jul 2013
-
your earth speaks to mine
in ways not unlike precipitation;
condensation under your nails
collects and drips
onto my face of mulch
and compost brain,
kicking up the bits
of essential oils locked,
distilled in my lungs
or my boughs
or a hole in the ground,
(for) everything fills with rain,
even the brass scales
sharing skyspace
with a simple ******'s dress
sitting outside the snow-globe
atmosphere we breathe
playful as nakedness
sore as creation
-
Jul 2013 · 3.2k
chromosomal saṃsāra
bobby burns Jul 2013
i would hate to be built a brick wall
linear as immovable constants
and the wristwatch hands i fear

weave me around callouses
like a spring, double helix,
and i will shrug in content

nucleotides formed of consciousness
hydrogen and karmic bonds together
jacob's ladder extending to liberation

and sincerity for all the moments
i was missing from the jigsaw tangle
of pillows and down and sprawl
bobby burns Jul 2013
i put down what seeps porous
lost in translation
from mind to mouth
somewhere near my left nostril
it lingers, always
-
i have forced all my figures
since the iridescent night
and i have surrounded myself in breath
golden wax and wane
for everything forced is nonsense
Jul 2013 · 1.1k
time to be moving on
bobby burns Jul 2013
i cannot gap
the necessary bridges
or bridge the scorched landscapes
or burn whatever is left of the people in my heart,
for the accusation of turning dirt with heel
each time one is overwhelmed
has little more stock
than discourse laid down
in the glass reflection
of the narcissus;
altruism with motive.
bobby burns Jul 2013
red-breasted and sandy curls,
her power lies in her name,
as does the validity of this veil
softened in soaps and silk
in the washroom tucked
away beneath my molars
so as to never say
the unacceptable(all of it)

i started writing this with a lot to say
and now all i can imagine saying (facetoface)
is that i'm so terribly sorry the only way
you chose to deal with your progression
was to progressively think for yourself
the more others thought for you,
and good tidings on rivertides
will be the last things to draw
you back in discovery of them
and how they have figured out you fill the quota to the brim
on your own,
without fail
bobby burns Jun 2013
forgive me
if i mistake,
but i was taught
the tides stand tall to meet their maker
when she beckons,
and it is not clouds called
to congregate, but the people.
bobby burns Jun 2013
-
the present-perfect is a *****
because its implications
are that of continuity
-
bobby burns Jun 2013
a)  i am the mortar incurring blow after blow
     from the abrasive quality of your negligence.
      no, i am herb between pestle and mortar
      the full realization of 'rock and a hard place'

b)  i am the mortar between each brick you lay,
     in blue collar glory, or rock star slumming,
     to bind shaky corridors of past serenity
     and bear indiscretions on my limestone shoulders

c)  i am the mortar you fire before crawling under covers
     for inexpensive *** and trashier beer
     by a lake on a camping trip where tents trump love
     like the queen of spades in a hand of hearts
      
d)  in fact, these are false, merely possibilities --
     actuality: you were never enough
      to make me spew homonyms in metaphor
      because you were nothing like them,
      always appearing changed but monotonous in meaning,
      and if you're so into contraposition,
      are we not but names for each other?
Jun 2013 · 858
clarity
bobby burns Jun 2013
i may not imagine a world
where waves curling along the lakeside
are void of truth,
                             flux, warping of rock
dimensions through shifted occurrence.
flow, continuous, samsara, the cyclical
wheel of becoming
                                 spins ever onward
until five dollars buys a gallon of gas
until everyone is a pedestrian
until six worlds are wearied,
until mythologies collide.
Jun 2013 · 1.2k
canyons
bobby burns Jun 2013
To sit so happily slouched
around a burning skeleton
of PBR party packs
and revel in the cremation
of our troubles
To properly inter them
wreathed in white sage
and murmur melodies
until they seep into the dirt
To nourish.
bobby burns Jun 2013
I'm sick of writing
self-righteous sadness
just to drain the abscesses
left putrefying small cavities
that sneaked past my demeanor
so cleverly, so cautiously
Sticky fingers are a hard thing to manage
when everything is crying out to be taken,
i suppose.
I mainly remember K-I-N-K-Y smeared in shisha
on the door of a shed where we would go to get drunk
and listen to the two albums left on my rich kid phone
because it's the only music we had, and silence was just slightly too unbearable.
But ****, I want to stop citing all these ******* sea wolf songs
before i lose the discography to my inner ocean
and have nothing left to sing my sails
away from here.
bobby burns Jun 2013
I.
black & blue
as the scissor handles
on a hospital desk
outside the x-ray room
where a scared boy
waits for his best friend
to emerge safely

six sickly pink
as the sutures
outlining her kneecap
and the pale
as anesthesia
filling up her irises

II.
black & blue
as the waterfall
  of markings
cascading down
sheer breastbone
to pool in my bellybutton

brown
as the split blue moon
on ice, and darker as
the curls still unable
to rival the vehemence
     of your stare

III.
black & blue
as the smeared ink
of broken contracts
bound to my skin
in sheets

  achromatic
as the morning after
and the murmured reminder
to forget all about it
seeping from your pores,
as tainted honey
from bees beaten
blue & black
into blindness
Jun 2013 · 1.3k
Ballad of Margo
bobby burns Jun 2013
A live oak, grey suit not moving,
“He’s dead,”
The strings inside him broke.
She loved mysteries so
That she became one.
-
Tonight, darling, to right
Wrongs and wrong rights
with zero dollars and zero cents
and bat mitzvah money.
-
Orlando was pretty well lit,
A LEGO set sunk, a paper town
That’s uglier close up – dementia,
Paper-thin, paper-frail fox-trot
All the way around to slow dance
And finally, “I. Will. Miss. Hanging. Out. With. You.”
-
Highlighting “Song of Myself” opens the door of your mind,
Not poetry, not metaphor, clues the size of my thumbnail
Couldn’t help but smile half straight edges and half ripped
Paper towns, you will come back.
-
If only I walked like I knew how to kiss
Guthrie sang to Whitman as Walt read of doors
And maps of mini-malls leading
To graffiti messages and skipping graduation to drive,
“Though life can ****, it always beats the alternative.”
Found poem from John Green's *Paper Towns*
May 2013 · 716
it's only a matter of time
bobby burns May 2013
my parietal lobe is home to a phoenix
and each time i awaken in thought,
he burns brighter than type II supernovae,
littering vitalizing ash throughout
the entirety of my internal,
over incongruous cobblestones
and grooved floorboards
bearing all the signatures
and singed residue of rebirth.
-
the ashes multiply and collect
filling me gaunt with each muse lost,
and fifty times the sun is just enough
for him to wither into a black hole,
rendering my mind little more
than an event horizon,
and my life little more
than an expression
denoting eventuality.
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