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Mar 2018 · 688
Ghost Bird
JR Potts Mar 2018
You are singing silence out in the yard,
the newly empty nest hanging overhead,
like cliché clouds of grey, foreboding so.
Twee words feather dust the ironclad guard
with your feelings locked in its bear trap jaws,
hold them long enough and they will starve.

Stoicism has its cost.

Oh Ghost bird, how can I fix what is wrong
if the tune is subdued? Sing it slow.
Let the words bend at the edges,
allow your voice to crack and crow.
There is beauty in its breaking,
a love in the nakedness of it all.


Muted light shown though like saltwater
spraying through holes in the canopy’s hull,
kissing your eyelids with a warm familiar glow.
Twisting paths of gnarly branches pass
towards either dark clouds or blue skies
and you are drowning under all its mass.

Confusion has its cost.

Oh Ghost bird, how can I fix what is wrong
if the tune is subdued? Sing it slow.
Let the words bend at the edges,
allow your voice to crack and crow.
There is beauty in its breaking,
a love in the nakedness of it all.


I meet you underneath the dogwood tree,
arms around arms, my forehead against yours
the rain now falling ever so softly under the sun.
I am pleading, let go the injured doe, yelping there
in the grasp of your iron bite and in the daylight
let go of what holds you in the dark of night.

Romance has its cost.

Oh Ghost bird, how can you fix what is wrong
if the tune is subdued? I’ll sing it slow.
Let the words bend at the edges,
allow my voice to crack and crow.
There is beauty in its breaking,
a love in the nakedness of it all.
Jan 2018 · 807
Glorious Fool
JR Potts Jan 2018
It is in the midst of strife
when the burden weighs most heavy,
your innards writhe and twisted;
the discomfort tugging at you so intensely
you cannot help but feel the tightness in your throat.

It is in the thick of this black mist
when your hands pick and pull
upon the wisping thread inside your head,
unraveling the rabble of cowardice voices
which spill like venom on your thoughts.

It is the unsettling notion
you are alone in a vast and empty ocean
sinking, suffocating and claustrophobic,
your mind is brimming, overflowing,
afraid it might just crack right open

It is knowing
these thoughts which come pouring
from that fractious bore inside your skull
seethe with undisclosed emotions
and their exposure to the air could crush you whole.

Will you allow this shameful wave
to crash atop you with all its galling weight
and drag you under grain by grain?


Will you battle back the coming storm,
standing above the surging tide
a rampart refusing to forfeit a single inch
of your distinguished shore?

I say battle.
Battle with the erosive waters rising inside you.
Battle knowing fully at first you are destined to lose.
The hero must be humbled
before others see him as the hero too.
So battle **** it, battle you glorious fool!
Aug 2017 · 1.2k
About a Month
JR Potts Aug 2017
I want to fill my days with you
the way I fill my mug in the morning
with coffee

my passenger seat is full
of empty bottles in the shape of a conversation
we need to have

because that seat used to be yours
and this boat has gotten harder to captain
without a navigator

I can’t read the stars like you
even with the telescope you gave me,
I lack your patience

except for that night on Outer Beach
when we laid on the roof of my car to watch
the evening blue turn black

it started slow but soon the night sky
was consumed by the shine of a billion lights,
some over a million years away

but today I’m staring at an empty closet
draped in naked hangers where your clothes
once hung

somedays I still catch a whiff of you
the smell of your shampoo on my pillow case
I should have washed it by now

I know I am not a perfect man
and I need not remind you of every flaw
but I find it easier to be a better one

with you here...
May 2017 · 781
We Use to Talk
JR Potts May 2017
What whispered words
linger on our longing lips,
they go unsaid at the hands
of our fingers tips.
These touches talk like old friends,
o’ how familiar
the conversation feels,
even after all these years.

Undress your formal tongue
and we will speak with the slang
we spoke when we were young,
when our bodies were still foreign,
even to us.
We were explorers consumed
not by god, glory or gold
but by lust.

So if we must speak
let it be with our skin pressed,
hot breath on sweat glistened *******,
biting at the napes of our necks
and fingernails breaking flesh.
In the morning we may regret
but we're both here because
we cannot forget.

I promise
this is not a reconciliation,
this is only ***.
Dec 2016 · 2.6k
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
JR Potts Dec 2016
The mirrors are now flush with a fog,
the air grows hot from the bodies
that move about the mat like acrobats,
swimming through the guards and grips
of their opponents’ limbs
as I sit back and admire
another training session
at the monster gym.

Sometimes I think, not too often
(but occasionally) and I wonder
where would I be if I had not been here-
for the last two and half years of my life?
What kind of person would I be
had I not met all these different personalities
who have wandered in and out those doors
both day and night?

   For some this place is an escape
               but for me it’s become a way of life.
Oct 2016 · 3.9k
JR Potts Oct 2016
I hate to be the bearer of bad news baby
but I was broken a long time ago.
I had hoped
when I showed you that video
on kintsugi, the Japanese art
of repairing broken pottery
with lacquer and powered gold
that you would've seen our history
was not meant to be hidden,
that our imperfections,
the cracks in our ceramics
were meant to be illuminated
with gold
Oct 2016 · 1.0k
Toothaches and Welcome Mats
JR Potts Oct 2016
One year I had a really bad toothache
it felt like all the wrong words
kept coming out my mouth
and I couldn't help but bite my tongue
just to the numb the pain I was spitting out.

It hurts to be hated
but it hurts worse to be loved,
especially when you don't think your worthy of it.
Put those lines next to all the other dumbs ones I've used  
swinging hammer handed words, scalpel-like terms,
some of the meanest **** you've ever heard
trying to break you in two and you might just have enough
between the half truths and the promises I never kept
to write one really, really sad tune

I knew better than to speak to you the way I did
but some people act like welcome mats
for other people's ***** shoes,
you left the front door unlocked
and I made a habit of wiping my feet
as soon as I walked on through.
I'm not proud of what I tracked in
and I take responsibility for most my actions
but lets not act like they took place in a vacuum.
You had to lay down first
before I could ever step all over you,
and when you refused to love yourself,
what did you expect everyone else to do?

One year I had a really bad toothache
and you were just too sweet a taste for me to take,
without getting angry at myself
for trying to have my cake
and eat it too...
Sep 2016 · 1.6k
JR Potts Sep 2016
"You are what you eat" they say it so often you would think they were just chewing with their mouths open. You happen to be so many other things than the diet you keep. I think "you are how much you sleep" would be an equally fair claim to your self identity. We regurgitate these talking points with such little consideration and worse we build our lives around these quotations because they are embossed over a scenic, awe-inspiring image on Instagram. These metaphors are so far removed from their original context that they could almost mean anything to anyone inside of their own head. Too often in juxtaposition to one another these contradictory ideas subside inside of you disguised as a rational point of view. Maybe you are what you eat or how much you sleep but do you ever wonder who's words become your thoughts?
Sep 2016 · 3.5k
There Is An Algorithm
JR Potts Sep 2016
There is an algorithm out there,
somewhere on the web
it is calculating my every click
my likes, my comments
how many hours I spend at night
browsing poetry
or probably ****.

There is an algorithm out there,
somewhere on the web
it collects my style, my taste
it knows my favorite color,
it has studied my face
the way no lover ever has,
down to the freckle.

There is an algorithm out there,
somewhere on the web
it knows things about me
my friends or family would never ask.
It knows how many times
I have searched the word 'suicide'
how many times I asked for nudes
and how many times I received.
It knows my greatest fears
but also my most coveted dreams.
It knows things about me
I may have forgotten about me.

There is an algorithm out there,
somewhere on the web
it has created an image of me
I would rather not see
nor believe in its legitimacy
yet every time I go to type
its guesses my next thought
with pinpoint accuracy.

There is an algorithm out there...
JR Potts Sep 2016
Sometimes when I think of you
I wish I had all the money in the world
because I want to give you all the finer things
the expensive dinners
the diamond rings
the designer clothes
the tropical vacations
the pearls
the shoes
and basically
every material
desire in this world.

Sometimes when I think of you
I wish I had nothing, nothing at all
because a man with nothing has time
to make love on a blanket
under the star-lit night sky
to kiss you a thousand times
to count the individual lines
inside of your eyes
until he knew them all
like his own reflection
he has time
to listen when you cry
and promise that it'll be all right,
even when he doesn't know
he wants you to know
it'll be all right.
He has time
to hold you tight,
he has time
he has time
he has time
for you.

Sometimes when I think of you
I wish I didn't have to choose
Originally Written 09/06/13
Sep 2016 · 1.9k
I Cannot Imagine Myself
JR Potts Sep 2016
i cannot imagine myself,
i mean the voice with whom I speak
who both doubt and believe (in me)
i cannot imagine that self
without you.
your silence a symphony
your words a philosophy
carefully constructed behind
the blue iris and white wash
of your eyes.

i cannot imagine my life
without you in the passenger seat
(you let me drive) and you've yet
to fall asleep
i can still feel you staring at me
and that self doesn't want to believe
(at least not on this particular day)
it's worthy of whatever good you see.
yet here you are, in all your quiet thunder
humbling me with each individual

i cannot imagine myself
because as much as i have wrestled
and fought against this inevitable truth
it grew more clear with every struggle.
i cannot imagine myself
because since the day i met you
i knew inside this mind of mine
i had to make room for two.
Jul 2016 · 1.5k
JR Potts Jul 2016
The individual drops of sweat
each represent a small piece
of your former self.

How much longer
before you are the person
you promised to be?

Your muscles tremble,
under the weight of change,
have you forgotten?
I know it has been so long
since you were a child
but growth has always
demanded pain

and it is time you pay.
May 2016 · 1.8k
No Self
JR Potts May 2016
I have yet to know a self I can call my own,
wandering through these bodies
the way one would try on clothes
but far deeper
than this analogy could ever dig,
I live with these identities.

I fall for them
the way lovers do in autumn,
keen that the coming winter
will leave me yearning
for the comfort of another,
but no sooner do the bells of spring
begin to ring in summer air
does the necessity of this comfort fade.
The temptation of sweeter fruit
hangs above me in the orchard shade
and an affluenza of potential
almost coerces me to stay.

Though no self have ever felt my own
I know within my heart, within my blood
and in my bones, more than anything
I am compelled to grow
towards entropy and complexity,
ascending, never settling at any plateau
a silverback drumming his barrel chest
and roaring into the void of the valley below
“What is next for me!”

and the answer is silence
(I should have known)
May 2016 · 655
Fool To Its Flames
JR Potts May 2016
Ignorance is a light
that many men follow
and I too for some time
was a fool to its flames
May 2016 · 1.6k
Some Alternative Universe
JR Potts May 2016
She spoke rather enthusiastically of her planned trip to India, of her love for yoga and her passion for the pursuit of enlightenment. I was never one for spiritualism but she seemed so full of life and she had this appetite for experiences that was awe inspiring. Her hands moved feverously when she spoke, almost spastic but my focus, never more clear in recent memory remained on her eyes. They were soft with nativity but they carried with them a profound sense of conviction. Many before me have spoken of the eyes as the window to the soul and I had never fully understood the sentiment until I found mine intertwined with hers. Like a bridge over a seething river; our gaze had brought us closer. I felt as though we were no longer divided by ego, pride or other such frivolous illusions.

The conversation flowed so effortlessly, one could only describe it as natural. Had I been a determinist I would have regarded the meeting as fated to occur. She could shut me up just by talking; I always loved that in a woman. My fixation slowly slid down from her eyes to her mouth and almost like a fever coming over me I wanted to kiss her in that instant but you can’t just lock lips with your waitress in the middle of a café during lunch. Once again the nuisance of social structure and etiquette impeded upon my desires or so I told myself; knowing full well I could have just as easily stood up, grabbed her by her narrow hips and pulled her in tight for a good old fashion French baiser. Instead I allowed my longing to fume up inside of me like a tremendous furnace clouding my thoughts with black smoke and self-doubt. It was not society who was stopping me; it was me who was stopping me. Regardless of socially appropriate behavior we humans had always had a choice but like fools we often idly choose to cave under the pressure of our cultural conditioning. I like all cowards before me, used words like "can’t" as an excuse to allow moments of beauty to slip from my fingers and into the abyss. It was like a black hole, an all devouring entity that consumed all of our potential greatness and crushed it into nothingness.

Maybe in some alternative universe, somewhere in the infinite there was me sitting at that café gushing over her and she was standing there all delicate-like, telling me how she wanted to spend a month in India. Maybe that version of me acted on his impulse and he felt alive when he kissed her; in a way I may never feel. I hope somewhere in the vastness of this existence there is someone enjoying that kiss because if I squandered the only possible chance for that instance to ever occur then I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy.
Posted this today two years ago on my Facebook, forgot about it and just fell back in love with it.
May 2016 · 979
How Infectious
JR Potts May 2016
I don't want to be misunderstood,
losing a friend to suicide is incredibly hard
but what I find most unnerving is how infectious
the idea of escape can be.
Talk to someone
JR Potts May 2016
Dave was the kind of guy to always talk about leaving; we have all known a guy like Dave and we have always wished he would go, not because we didn’t want him around but because we knew he was one of the few who could go. Sometimes he would work up the courage and leave this suburban drive by; he even spent a few months out west, Portland or something. He never mentioned it much, the trip didn’t last long, more like an extended vacation before he was back working the same job, drinking at the same bar and kissing the same woman, well not the same exact woman but she was always close enough to the previous one, the difference seemed insignificant to us. I'd look at him at the end of that bar, sipping his beer as he wore the face of a man who was often late for work because he lost his keys. He found them once before between the cushions of the couch, so now every time he misplaced them, he would check their first and check again six more times. Always looking for what he needed in the same place he found it once.
May 2016 · 1.3k
Caught Wind of You
JR Potts May 2016
My limbs wrested, and extended, towards the heavens
like young children’s hands on the first sunlit days of spring.
The muted grays of winter fade, soon replaced by softer blues.
I still remember the first time I caught wind of you,
your back against my trunk and it lent me your lungs.
I learned to breathe like you too,
in shy and quiet silences while trying not to shake-
the world
but darling you came into mine, trembling fault lines
like an earthquake reading poetry and upended my roots.
I was seduced by you and there was nothing you did,
or could do that would untie this bind we shared
our bodies intertwined, ancient wood and woman
tethered together by the invisible pleasure
of one another’s company.
You spoke to me with feathers
and kissed me with subtle gestures
while I shade you from the sun.
I had never known such a word
but on that summer I called it love
and I believed it to be true
until the day you did not come.
The earth and soil from which I sow
has slowly grown into a prison atop this grassy knoll.
I have become a tree with the memories of a man.
Apr 2016 · 1.8k
Not A Writer
JR Potts Apr 2016
The coffee had settled to a temperature few could drink with any pleasure. The cursor impatiently blinked against the empty word document as he sat defeated by the previous one hundred attempts to write a single sentence.  He could not be a writer, he thought, writers do not spend hours in front of blank screens, staring blankly and drawing blanks. They are full of original stories which overflow from the gray matter of their brains, spilling out from the tips of their fingers as they beat atop plastic keys like Mozart realizing symphonies as he glide across the ivory teeth of a fortepiano. He was right; he was no writer, not yet. In this instance of doubt like Schrödinger’s cat, both men, the writer and the not-writer inhabited the same chair, the same space in time waiting to be woke by a single decision. If he decided he was not a writer than all potential realities collapse into one and the writer dies in that chair. I'm no Edward Lorenz and I don't know much about butterfly effects but what if this is one of those microscopic events that changes the initial conditions and forever alters the data set? What if a masterpiece is lost on a whim? I so badly want to communicate all of this to him but I can't, because I am remembering a distant memory of the moment I lost the man I was suppose to be.
Mar 2016 · 2.0k
JR Potts Mar 2016
the tessellated tile floor of my existence,
once alabaster white
has sullied under the steps
of a muddied life
spent wading in the river bank
attempting to coalesce
a series of seemingly random events
into a fabricated web
spun of the finest thread.
only to find the ephemeral now
a fractious flowing river
so violent and cold
from the melting spring snow,
whitewater breaks
against primordial stone
like titan thunder atop olympus,
rattling our bones
because legends follow entropy
but chronos begets chaos in mythology.
Some of my more experimental work.
Mar 2016 · 1.4k
She Didn't Answer Questions
JR Potts Mar 2016
I could never get a straight answer from her, the words didn’t turn crooked at the edges of her mouth. They just didn’t come out… Her forehead would wrinkle, creating a fold at the delta of her brow and nose. She would close her eyes and occasionally flash those electric blues in my direction. I could not help but admire how beautiful she looked trapped in her own indecisiveness. This woman would be the death of me, but **** it, I loved her, I loved her so much that my unanswered questions would never be enough until she confessed to me, she was in love.
I've been focusing a lot more on poetic prose, so forgive the lack of rhythmic formatting. I've always been a fan of novels and I think I feel more comfortable writing in this format.
Mar 2016 · 16.5k
She Was Wild
JR Potts Mar 2016
She was wild like skinny dipping at midnight, stars watching overhead and falling in love with moonlight. The way it lay upon her skin made the ocean envious of her depths within and sometimes between us. She was my sister, not in blood but in orbit. A Venus to my Earth, forged from the same collapsing star and if the universe was in fact to be infinite then this moment would happen again, and again, and again an immeasurable number of times. I found comfort in this thought, knowing though our existence was meaningless, it was still full of feeling, and this feeling, right now, it insisted on existing forever.
Feb 2016 · 5.2k
Northport At Dusk
JR Potts Feb 2016
It was almost spring here,
the purple light snuck in
cutting the overcast sky
and the venetian blinds.

The last snow lay out in the yard
slowly melting there
like something sad
but also something beautiful.

My kitten crawled up under my arm,
she lay her little head in my lap,
stretching out her paws
and yawning the way cats often do.

Soon it will be dark
but for now I live in the twilight
almost spring, almost night,
almost alive and almost dead.
Came home from work and this beautiful purple light shined into through my front windows. One of those moments where you just feel it.
Feb 2016 · 2.4k
The Little Black Book
JR Potts Feb 2016
I’m old enough now to admit,
I’ve slept with far too many women
which is practically less than a fraction
of the number of women I desired.
In a way I’m saying
not nearly enough, is plenty.
Jan 2016 · 1.5k
Yet She Held Tighter
JR Potts Jan 2016
Apricus came upon a beauty far younger than he,
she lay in the forest glade like a daisy among the weeds.
Her body wet from the emanation of the morning light
it coursed through gaps of green in the furrowed canopy
and wrote atop her flesh with the knowledge
of our ancient galaxy.

The fragile flower insisted she travel with the poet
and Apricus could hardly argue against her plea,
he took her hand, yet she held tighter
as they walk beneath the dogwood trees.
The buds of spring began to blossom
and blooms of white hung like gowns among the leaves.
He faintly heard the sound of church bells ringing
calling from a far off village he could not see.

Not yet ready to return to the societal herd
Apricus stepped back, his eyes turned crooked
looking towards the wilderness from whence he came
but her touch had taken hold.
He realized now to break from her
was to break apart from something whole
and thus he spoke

We learn when leaving those we love,
even as our paths have crossed and intertwined
that no matter how hard we try, our destinations,
they are different sometimes
This is part three in a series of poems I am writing about my fictional protagonist, Apricus. He is a wandering poet and perhaps a projection of a life I would prefer to live.
JR Potts Dec 2015
Milky golden light sawn through
murky heavens and it bent my glacial heart.
The scent of soggy leaves out on the lawn,
fall has come and done its part.
Winter weighs heavy in the idle air,
hung as though it were a conversation
not yet had

Waning passions hushed by waxing sighs
and unpacked bags in need of packing
before the coming sunrise.
I talk of leaving often but you silence it
with pint-size gulps of red wine,
drunken *** and yet another argument
before you cry
Oct 2015 · 2.1k
Wannabe Author
JR Potts Oct 2015
I wrote a book once
but every page was breakup letter to myself.
It’s not you, it’s me appeared to be the theme
yet I found those words incredibly hard to believe.
Sep 2015 · 1.5k
The Write to Live
JR Potts Sep 2015
"My life has been the poem I would have writ"
But I could not both live and utter it.
The words- of Henry David Thoreau
echo in the woods outside my childhood home
but I can see a younger me with rolled up sleeves
diligently grinding graphite against loose-leaf,
I watch as he tries to capture snippets of life  
like fireflies in mason jars on summer nights.
He squandered the sands of the hour glass,
recluse in his room obsessing over a moments pass
but has he not breathed life into soon forgotten memories,
striking alive these Frankenstein ideas with electricity?
Sep 2015 · 2.1k
The Ghosts of N'awlins
JR Potts Sep 2015
It felt as though the humidity itself
carried a hint of liquor as we walked
out into the night, wanting only to escape
our lives for a little.
Deep down in Vieux Carre
twisted brass clashed with a piano
running half step from the crowded clubs
on Frenchman Street.
We filled our lungs with the city
and found her to be like certain kinds
of dangerous doses--

It was our second night
and the more we drank
the more I began to see glimpses
of the specters spoken of by locals.
They linger in my peripheral,
watching me with their sunken eyes.
You could faintly hear them moan,
only in defeated tones
and their collective scowl danced
in the heavy air of summer
as though it were a part from
all that jazz.

In the stranger hours of morn
I was approached by a ghost
a few blocks off Bourbon.
He offered up nothing but his ***** palms
in hopes of some false salvation.
I wrestled a dollar from my pocket
and passed it on to him,
only to watch him fruitlessly grasp at it
before it slide through his ghostly hands
to the floor below.
He looked down at the dollar
all helpless-like and he said
"It’s been slipping through my fingers
like dat for years now
and ain't nobody help’n me."

I walked from him, realizing then
why I had needed this trip,
I needed to remember all the love in my life
because the only difference between
me and the ghosts of N'awlins
was someone cared about me,
and I cared enough about them
not to destroy myself.
Aug 2015 · 2.0k
Long Island
JR Potts Aug 2015
The Atlantic Ocean and I sigh
in unison against the shoreline
of Amagansett Beach
and as she inhales;
she drags the land above below,
one grain of sand at a time.

In a few generations
she will have devoured this entire beach,
eventually the whole Island
and with it the multi-million dollar estates
which decorate its topology
like an effigy to human vanity.

I would say never before in history
has there been so few with so much
who have done so little
but that would denote
some kind of significance
and they are hardly worth noting.
Aug 2015 · 908
The Trial
JR Potts Aug 2015
Her heart sunk into a half moon
before fully disappearing from view.
Her head hung the way clothes do
from coat hangers
and no words could be said
to raise these organized thoughts
into some holy clarity.

She wept now
not for the lack of love,
but an abundance of it
and it ate at her illusionary ego
the way venues of vultures do cadavers.
Warm blood glazed on their beaks
in exhausting Saharan heat.
Hardly a reason to ruffle feathers
for the scavengers who have come to eat.

His words gushed in devious waves
like raging oceans unsure
of the storm still far from landfall
but she saw through the salty cover
of his convoluted spoken screeds
to see the tsunami approaching
with such ferocity.

"Are you breaking up with me?"
her voice trembled
like the echoing hiss of a violin
as it struck its final cord
in an auditorium of empty seats.
His lecture ceased,
he had yet to reach the conclusion
she had foreseen for several weeks.

The silence grew between them
calming both wind and sea.
The tidal wave would have demanded
rebuilding and temporary peace
but the nothingness arrives
on the hushed breath of the heavens,
bringing with it both
the ship from Delos
and the poison hemlock ****.

He drank of it,
thus his love of her succumb
to everlasting sleep.
It becomes but a past life,
only to visit him in haunting dreams.
Aug 2015 · 1.9k
Amittyville Harbor
JR Potts Aug 2015
I can hear gulls squawking
like catcallers in the streets
of New York City
but they're not talking to me,
they're speaking to the ocean breeze.
They'll be heading south soon.
Fall is coming
and you can taste it
even in the August heat.

I still have memories
of childhood summers
that lasted longer than some years
Can't help but think of the days
I wasted worried about
who I would be
and now I'm someone
sitting beneath a girthy oak tree
wearing a collared button up
that hangs on me a little too loosely.

I don't know what that means
but it may mean something
to somebody else
who writes love letters to life,
that might just double
as quiet cries for help
in a world so high on noise
it's forgotten poetry.
Jul 2015 · 1.3k
Stray From The Path
JR Potts Jul 2015
The desert gradually turned to a grassy thicket
tamarack branches turn towards the fleeting dusk
above, ancient starlights fade in cimmerian skies
their ghostly glow choked by the sullen silhouettes
of churning charcoal clouds against the abyss.
The world feels as though she is being devoured
by nothing and emptiness.

Again the tortured-self awakes inside of Apricus
wrestling with its bindings merely out of gall.
It elicits ache in the belly of its captor,
the kind that only heartbreak makes inside us all
and once the tantrum cease,
it laugh a little before it speak

The darkness comes, not for you and I alone
but in the end all life is its sacrifice,
why struggle any longer to change the minds of sheep?
Has the battle not hardened our flesh, sharpened our teeth,
has it not made us hungry for what lesser men eat?

A thunderhead above him began to coil
tightening its hold around the moon,
each rotation siphoned the lunar light
till the well traveled soil of the trail
turn to a thin brush, then into a heavy wood.

Ask not if you shall stray from your path
rather ask if you will have the constitution
to find your way back in the black
of a stormy night.
Part 2
Jul 2015 · 2.5k
Hikers & Swimmers
JR Potts Jul 2015
Sometimes we run
into the arms of a terrible person
just trying to escape a broken heart
because loneliness has been known
to taste like warm whiskey,
parliament lights and the kiss
of a lack luster lover who spent more time
trying to lie you between the covers
than they did learning to say your name
out loud, you know the type.
I'd be lying too if I didn't say
I've been that kind, that tall glass of water
promising to dampen a dry tongue
which ain't got the courage to say I'm sorry,
not to nobody else but to themselves.

So I want apologize for not seeing
or perhaps ignoring how crushed you were
when I rolled you up in my arms
the way hikers do sleeping bags
and I held you in my lap
because the car was packed
and I didn't know where else to put you.
You must have felt safe there
thinking you were the place
for me to lay my head on this road trip
we call life, but little did you know
had the trunk not been full
I would have been sitting alone
face aglow from my cellular phone
texting other women,
probably with a smile.

I am here to tell you, you deserve better
and I don't want you ever settle
for anything less than a lover's embrace
because comfort plus time
equals unease on your mind.
Worrying whether this companion of yours
has become a stone tied to your heart
with a heavy rope and its tugging you down
into the dark blue depths
filling your lungs with ice cold seawater
with every last breath.

I want you to be with someone
you can chase for the rest of your life
and when you get tired of swimming
they won't leave you treading,
chumming shark infested waters
with blood from a poorly stitched heart
but they will follow and follow
until you both find that deserted island,
that paradise you promised one another.
Jul 2015 · 808
Mental State
JR Potts Jul 2015
Late at night sadness covers up my skin, ivy
on the old bricks of an abandoned mental hospital,
broken windows, we stopped needing help years ago,
and this place is just as scary empty as it was full
expect when the doors were open the crazies
would come and go, I swear it made the stay
a little more tolerable
Jun 2015 · 914
The Touch of A Lover
JR Potts Jun 2015
Their eyes met in perfect alignment
as he place a single finger upon her breast
and he pushed,
not so hard that she would notice
but he pushed and he pushed
until he could reach through her.

Though she had not felt his hand
as it sink into her skin and out her back,
she certainly felt it when he withdrew.
Each inch of his arm stabbing
like a thousand pin ******,
his fingertips cutting like scalpels
along the innards of her chest
until there was nothing left
but a hole where her heart once lay.

She looked down at her wound
and expected to see red, but there was none.
I guess for all she had suffered at his hands
she imagined there would be more blood
Apr 2015 · 1.1k
The First Hike Since Fall
JR Potts Apr 2015
I find your eyes
to be like a trail less traveled,
one must first wander in them
before ever getting to know you
and just as soon as I felt myself
familiar with them,
we found ourselves
in the midst of a sun shower.
I still recall the cool air
kissing your skin
as we found shelter
under an ancient elm.
Apr 2015 · 1.2k
Daily Reflection
JR Potts Apr 2015
I never understood how both
a self-obsessed egomaniac
and a hopeless romantic
could inhabit one body;
perhaps it is the reason
I have spent so much time
in front of the mirror, hating myself.
Apr 2015 · 782
Late April
JR Potts Apr 2015
The skies were that pretty kind of gray,
cloudy saturated with the smell of rain.
It was one of those days where you felt
six feet deep in bills you couldn't pay
and promises you couldn't keep.
Thoughts of Robert Frost because
I still have miles to go before I sleep.
Apr 2015 · 1.9k
Her Dysphoria
JR Potts Apr 2015
I wrestled with the black sea
that brood inside of her,
but nothing I possessed
could stop that dark tide
from taking her.
The poem is actually a line from a short story I wrote about a man trying to deal with his wife's depression
Apr 2015 · 991
JR Potts Apr 2015
I know darling, I gave you an ocean of words
when all you needed were a few drops of rain.
Mar 2015 · 1.2k
My Commands
JR Potts Mar 2015
Come to me woman
as creatures of light often do
float into my arms,
dig your talons into my chest
exposing what lie beneath
my muscle bound flesh.
Lay kisses upon me;
in such succession
that they burn my skin
like lightening
and make my heart pound
like thunder.

Undo these buttons
with nimble fingers,
remove from my body
this disguise I wear for others
and see me,
I ask that you see me
as I refuse to see myself.
Touch me with soft hands
until I am a statue in your grasp,
bite my neck, as your palms caress.
Each stroke shortening
my every breath.

I will take you like this,
disrobe you, see through you
and your eyes will come alive
shinning upon me like great stars.
I bury myself so deep
that the lines between
what is yours and mine
become one in the same.
Now my darling
as my hands clinch your hips
And you ****** your body upon me
like Cato Minor  upon the sword;
call out to me, cry my name.
Cato Minor was a politician and statesman in the late Roman Republic, and a follower of the Stoic philosophy. He attempted to **** himself by stabbing himself with his own sword
Mar 2015 · 595
I Hate Everything I Write
JR Potts Mar 2015
I hate everything I write
I hate every word
every rhyme
I hate all of it
and secretly I want you
to hate me too
Feb 2015 · 1.7k
Awaiting Giants
JR Potts Feb 2015
The wind swept across sheering dunes of white sand
the way certain kinds of dancers sway
like flames
The way young children often play
free of their father’s shame

It filled his lungs with the fire of his innocence
and the longer he inhaled the larger he grew
no sooner had he rivaled mountains
did he hear the cries of his former self
this being bound in chains spoke thus

Be wary Apricus,
many great men have had their heads over hills
and their fates delivered them to the stake.
Are you willing to burn, to crumble into ash
and return to the dirt of mother earth
for all that you believe?

Broken by doubt,
the mountain becomes a man again
but the heart of a giant still swelled inside of him
It raged against his fragile frame like a violent slave
until it grew weary of its own restless thunder
and there it sunk into the deep,
the deep frore of a wintry slumber

Sleep for now my lively child
for the hearts of giants reside inside of all men
but first they must learn to love themselves
before the giants can walk the earth again
I originally wrote this work in 2012. I envisioned it as a piece of a larger body of work surrounding my original protagonist, Apricus a Gypsy Poet who wanders and talks with people of life and philosophy. Think Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" or Friedrich Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". This poem was submitted to several poetry contests with no accolades being bestowed upon it but I still consider it one of my best works. Thank you for reading.
Feb 2015 · 1.0k
I Will Wait Outside
JR Potts Feb 2015
I will wait outside
because you've locked the doors,
battened down the hatches,
and prepared for a storm
but the day will come
when you’re not afraid anymore
and I’ll be where you left me
because I've always been yours.
JR Potts Jan 2015
the fever of the evening comes upon us
and again we find ourselves into the cups
half drunk, half in love, but never full enough
and the words we discuss


revealing fresh blood, warm to the touch
the taste of salt and iron on the tongue
speaking what we whisper in our waking lives
with a certainty that would make sober hands


as I listen I can feel your potential
in subtle pauses and hope soaked syllables
I do not want this night to weigh upon us
I do not want your words to mean nothing


the morning sun will rise, whitewashing drunk lies
do not allow these dreams of other lives to die
for every second you wait is but another grain
escaping your grasp into the abyss of time

I love you and I'll forgive you for leaving
Jan 2015 · 1.8k
Very Little
JR Potts Jan 2015
I told her there was very little of me left to love,
and with glassy blue-green eyes she replied
*There is enough
Jan 2015 · 1.7k
Old Friends
JR Potts Jan 2015
The other day
I happened to see a friend
who had passed away.
It was not until I saw him
had I realized,
I no longer cared for him.
I had been busy living
and after all these years
he was still the same.
How does one explain
to a dead friend
that people change?
Jan 2015 · 1.1k
A Stroll in The Wood
JR Potts Jan 2015
I went for a stroll in the wood
felt the earth bend beneath my feet
heard the chorus of cracking ice
out on the old stump pond.
watched as waves of fog
rolled off its melting sheets.

I found a small bit of peace
in the clatter of my footsteps
on my brownian walk
and felt seduced
by the eerie absence
of my thoughts.

no plotting and scheming
or unreasonable wanting
and dreaming of more.
finally an escape
from the neoteric noise
the technicolor screens,
and the scripted realities
we call life.
Jan 2015 · 1.9k
A Cottage in The Country
JR Potts Jan 2015
I live with all the women I've broken
in a cottage in the country
and in the evening we drink tea.
We talk sometimes of love
but mostly we speak
of how much we hate me.
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