It's the feeling of the edge against the ***** of your feet,
Your center of gravity swinging, pendulum light
To and fro, causing quite the commotion
It's the idea of the fall that's most frightening;
The mental picture of anguish we conjure
So clearly it could be stamped on celluloid.
A sinking, really
The steep angle of a roller coaster;
The proverbial rug pulled out from under our feet
The architect of gift and curse
how each face you turn
is another cheek for me
to meekly reach toward
an attraction to
rate of change
the first one was coy
it held me in its gaze
and built a house of straw
for me to crawl in
the second, more familiar
a me in you for me to see
and dive into head first
familiarity scratching at the scalp
the third, half smile and half frown
the kind of face that martyrs itself
on a crown of need, a list of to dos
that cause a summersault inside me
the fourth, set in glass
fixed, permanent, fragile
one misstep and it's bad luck
seven years of wandering
away from you
Sometimes you’d softly sing me to sleep
Songs that tend to make women weep
No nursery rhymes for this little boy
Just tales of women robbed of joy
No wonder I'm the same today
Morality tales of heart’s decay
The imprint on my earliest thoughts:
Love isn’t love, unless you feel caught
It's like the reality of falling leaves:
In autumn, people seek them out
Their perfected performance of death
A leap from ten stories in a party dress
The taffeta catching the up draft
No one gathers to see the aftermath
Of carnage covered by dirt and water
Taking beauty and churning it out
Brown sledge grunted up by the earth
Spit out, mangled, the marrow exposed
It's always the same
The crowds bottleneck, shove, push
To see the start, but at the end
Everyone is looking for an out
Such happiness for what follows hello, for
Everything that comes just before goodbye
When I left you
There was nothing left
For me to give
A slap on the ***
Feet firm on the ground
And that's all I had
No moon over Manhattan
No Bambi eyes on the prize
Just two hands, two feet
Ten fingers, ten toes
You'd think I'd at least
Have wrapped you
Tied you to a post
And slung you over shoulder
See saw of gravitas
Instead I had empty pockets
Hole sewn into the hem
So that when money went in
It just fell out again
I think you're better off
Busking on the street
Earning pennies for thoughts
People will take pity
A gift that's more than
What I was given
But then again
What do I really know
I left my dignity behind
So long ago
All this heat
It rises like the balloons
Full of *******
That promise satisfaction
Like a heavy meal
In your belly
The mercury is boiling over
Fumes that make the hatter
Mad and frustrated
Sad and depressed
Searching for a better tomorrow
But we know it's in jest
The court is full of sparks
Flashes in the pan
That leave you blinking
Unable to focus
Palms pressed to your eyes
Calling forth so many stars
Were struck dumb
Like fireflies in the summer air
They flicker in and out
And maybe if we cross our eyes
Just right, they can focus
Take away our doubt
And fill the glass half full
But this heat is relentless
A fever pitch that's begging for an end
No matter how full we want
Our glass to be, the drops will rise
Condensation clinging to the sides
A mist that relents and moves into the air
A collective sigh of defeat.
Your voice rises up like worms from the earth.
No matter how deep I bury it, it claws back out,
To think of its tenor brings me nothing but hurt.
Your voice rises up like worms from the earth;
To see its gaunt face, a fresh mound of doubt,
The day you left me you had no room for air.
Now it's me, who can't breathe, lungs filled with despair.
I may be underwater but
Maybe I'll adapt and sprout some gills.
It seems that natural selection
Has been pretty selective,
The stacks we dug long ago
Are spewing out their ash:
Burnt flesh built off the backs
Of those who can't blend in against
The chalk white trees.
Everyone knows prey comes so easily
For those whose camouflage
The dawn is breaking
Bones on its back,
The opposite of odes,
A reversal of a truth
We thought we once knew,
Which we were taught was true.
We cannot feed this whole army.
Not on a diet of skin and bone,
Of ash clinging to the bronchioles
And bullets plucked like
Pomegranate seeds from our skin.
The perimeter insecure.
We **** Papa, maim Mama,
When we strike out the son,
And not so much
As a thank you m’am,
A tip of the hat towards
The floor where we
Kicked our own faces in.
We’re turning this wheel in a frenzy,
So much fury at the sound
Of a full revolution,
With time sewn in the hem
So we’re right back
where we started again.
And for what?
To pay a debt
So in the black
We bleed red to cover the ink,
And whitewash over the stain?
The cost is just too costly,
We've penny pinched the flesh
To make it count.
Our holocaust is never ending:
So many tears,
Yet still a drought.
We only fear monsters in the dark;
it’s the surprise that really gets us.
When it’s light out,
it’s easier to accept them.
After all, they’re just reflection
of the wild hunters we once knew
who we’ve tamed into regression,
who now just feel neglected.
early draft, I thought of the line "wild hunters we once knew" and tried to build something around that idea
Everyday we're tested.
It seems the world just
has a vested interest in
what we know and
what we don't.
In what we can handle,
and what we can't
or maybe won't.
It's hard, this testing.
To take everything
we've had a thought
to think, and cut it out,
spread them onto paper,
our worth bled out in ink.
She said the Guatemalan women
had a trick for situations just like this.
A variation on a familiar tune of
slow and steady wins the race:
Just take small-calculated steps,
don’t exert too much force,
and when you finally reach the end
it’s like the journey was a godsend –
but I rise helium heavy, each step
an angular insult to my weight.
This modern pilgrimage of bottled water
and Doritos, clothes marred by tide and decay.
Otis, I pray that you’ll hold me once again
I’m not made of hearty peasant stock
My hills are made of concrete and
I order Seamless ‘round the clock.
It’s just made to look like one,
to follow your preconceived notions
of what a poem should be and do
This isn’t a poem and I’m not a poet,
I wish I could **** with a stanza
flashes of lexicon that burn right through
If this were truly a poem, and not pretend,
not even your marrow would survive
but these are just a few words I spewed
Waiting for the Mexican lady to finish
folding my shirts and boxers into neat piles
while I scroll past titles in my Netflix queue
When I burst forth,
you held your breath,
and ever since
there’s been nothing left
but unmoving air.
A stale uneasiness.
The CD in the tray
and the sun on my skin
hot vinyl beneath me
and an unstoppable wind.
This is one of the few days
I try to remember.
I cling to it like the Newports
between your fingers,
ashes settling on the dashboard.
But after all that happened
with the roof off
the memory is hard to hold.
Yet, I wrap myself up in it.
Tie myself inside
the days when I felt your
hair hit me in the face and
I’d see the ocean stretch
on one side,
past the endless median
on the other
When I knew
that love rolled on wheels.
For my brother, it meant everything
to stretch out and press
his face against the pane
of candy stretched crystalline.
To take the path away from father
for me one step away from
baking our dreams into
crumbs we left on the floor.
We’ll trace them back
to the place between
lost and found,
once we’ve fulfilled
he’d always tell me.
But he doesn’t understand,
and honestly when does he,
that we’ve been doomed
from the start.
There is no Gretel,
to stoke the logs,
close the grate and latch
no heroine to fit the story’s need
there's only me
So when the witch comes back
has Hansel truly grown fat?
a little pinch of the skin
an inadvertent test to see
which one of us should win?
It’s always an offering
always a suffering
always a surrender
of what makes me, she
and Hansel truly him
But I don’t mind
filling this role
I know it’s what I was made for
half baked like the crumbs
in a crummy oven
the real Gretel’s long gone
so her understudy will do.
If Mother could bake one daughter
why not try to bake two?
The witch will say it’s time
and ask me to reach back far
to find a warmth she can't see
it’s really not that odd
to hear the words escape me:
"why don't you try,
it's utterly exhausting
always having to hide"
I always desperately wanted
someone to show me
And I’ll even smile
as the crackle burns for just awhile
Hansel holding my hand
my pigtails askew.
The crumbs, our true
eaten in the leaves.
Uttered wishes don’t come true.
There’s a breach of contract
in the act of saying what you want.
It’s the reason we’ve never reached world peace.
Every pageant queen sliding it out
between clenched white teeth, ruining the
surprise before she blows out the candle.
We’ve mined out wishes from the earth
and put them out on display;
“a wish for a better tomorrow”
Mason jars full of eyelashes
just longing to be blown
to the wind, dandelion free.
How can we ever expect anything
but the decay of our future?
It’s all boiled down to this singular wish –
a sideways stare at this candlestick,
and no matter how nimble,
no matter how quick,
whatever we think before the blow,
won’t change what we know about tomorrow.
Once we make a wish,
There’s no more room for light.
I sometimes wonder why it is we’re forced
to close our eyes right after *******
to fall into bed with the cease
of all that has just occurred
your kiss put me here
instead of waking
and heavy lidded I struggled
with the snare of all these sheets
but I really shouldn’t be surprised
at the moment I closed my eyes I knew
you were a walking contradiction
This always happens by mistake.
I put my faith in rust
and act surprised when it burns
leaving me with jagged edges
and an *** on the curb,
by the beach of broken glass
and chipped asphalt.
I can’t really say it’s my fault.
This is the effect caused
by the scarlet faced trust of
Too bad I never listened
in grade school
about the dangers of faces unknown,
at least I didn’t
and roll straight into traffic.
A word of advice: never
put your trust where people
put their money;
the pockets are always too small
sewn shut, so it’s like
they’re there, but
— The End —