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Apr 2014 · 540
Jake Espinoza Apr 2014
Under the snow
She held her breath
A smile kissing her lips.
Though threadbare, unblinded.
Heads held high.
Her gray sky was
    September afternoon
    Crisp leaves, ripe as
        apples, skittering
        over it all,
        perfuming the air.
Apr 2014 · 1.0k
Icicles Dance
Jake Espinoza Apr 2014
Send me the wind
Heard all over.
Autumn is soon
Her heart will change
My time is short
I can't argue anymore
Someday, all we have will be dust
Where does that leave us?
Jake Espinoza Apr 2014
Heaven's storm
vanishes over the bow
So it goes.
My mother threw the throne
Over miles of terrain
Rushing from the serpent
Spent and hiding in the rain.
Apr 2014 · 352
Cashing In
Jake Espinoza Apr 2014
Then he thought better
about thinking worse; poured him-
self a glass of hearse.
Jake Espinoza Dec 2013
Let's use a dry sponge
To dry a matching wet sponge
in the heavy rain
It strikes me that 'like' is a strange-looking word.
Sep 2013 · 907
To be decided
Jake Espinoza Sep 2013
So I got caught up in life like so many other stiffs.
So I work two jobs. So I'm
twenty-three. Halfway dead, quarter-way dead -
Percentages and figures surmised by a
fictional statistician in some far off laboratory
wearing a handsome tweed sweater
despite the heat, helping to contain his

So doctors have told me beer will **** me.
So they advise that I not indulge in any illegal
substances. We do not debate the validity of law. The
role of fear in today's culture. Hysteria. So I'm on antidepressants.
So I'm a candidate for pharmaceuticals. So I drink when
I can, which is just about every day. So I had a problem in
the past, so I spent a month locked away. So I'm not taking
a class. So I'm just about white. So I share a room with Phil
and a house with five other young men. So I had *** with
a girl I pretty much just met. So my drugs are right next to my bed.
So my *****'s *****. So I'm a brother and a son.

So I'm my own man.
May 2013 · 1.1k
Jake Espinoza May 2013
Time stopped in the dark street illuminated with sparking electric bulbs, sputtering cold light from their beings onto the shining asphalt upon which my feet pound, blood pounding in my ears, drumming a tempo which I cannot begin to understand. Why am I running, these streets made of oblivion shining slick like the scales of a great beast beyond human recollection, something older than we can ever hope to be. Pounding again, beads of moisture fixing themselves to myself, my face chest hair dripping as my hands like swords pointed pump in semicircles, wicking moisture to be replaced with the tears of the incessant storm raging from the heavens; god knows my light-winged thoughts of vigilante vendetta, I’m racing for blood other than that which lights my eyes with the fire of blazing vengeful purpose – this god sees, he sends the storm to make known his rage through which I fight because this within me is bigger than myself, consuming my mind with one-track riots I am racing to destroy this evil with my humble hands, the power I feel beneath my skin, my body more capable when roused with blind ferocity I become a demon, I have black-winged spirits leaving fire in my wake, each step pounding pounding, separating water from stone, stone cracking fire springing up beneath my footprints occupying empty space left by my electric heels, I transfer the energy brimming within me to the pavement because I cannot possibly contain it all. Hands like blades cutting merciless, cleaving wind and water alike as each stride heavy with effort carries me closer to my destination, I am no longer dependent on the strength of my body i let the boundless energy beneath the seams of this reality consume me, I am theirs to do their bidding. I know this road never ends, but I will never stop running. The rain no longer falls beside me, my force is greater than that of gravity, I drag it in my wake – time has slowed as my steps drum a tattoo on the black pavement, the frequency, the tempo ever-increasing to a frenzied rate I hear angels singing songs of sorrow for what I am about to do, but they understand I must and they are there for me – their chorus reaffirms, encourages invigorates frenzy into a force uncontainable, unstoppable by methods divine or mundane, resolves, time stops I hear nothing but the heartbreaking din of angels their voices drown out the world I am theirs as I reach the edge with little conviction and heavy faith I cast my arms behind me as I slide through the air...all has slowed as my feet leave the ground, my arms divine wings I am intent on my goal I take one final breath and close my eyes as the raindrop I have sought collides with my forehead, the purest note sounds as it breaks upon my brow. Visions and memory of light explode into being, enveloping me in the splendor of all things willing as I, like the rain, spread myself to the whole of existence I vanish, no longer static and constrained but a part of all things.
        I hum to the tune of time, sonorous; I have become part of the peaceful wind kissing all things. Here I am content, I strike chords within the hearts of lovers and romantics winded by their own passions – I have joined the choir and taken up my fabled robes, welcome home.
        Welcome home.
short story, I guess
Apr 2013 · 695
The Wood
Jake Espinoza Apr 2013
the Wolf and his night creatures are invulnerable sages
    Make sure you're aware.            padding silently, urgently
        Vigilance, empress.                     calmly
            Vigilance.                              over knotted roots
                                                                suffering tangled nature
Apr 2013 · 708
Jake Espinoza Apr 2013
It's easy to claim courage or indifference in face of change
There was a time when that might've been true
    being younger & more resilient
    or just naïve enough
But these days, your voice is dented and disused
    a bold whisper through fog
    & dampened dust
the words flutter up weak
a common flock stirring skies


It's time to start counting
Or good poems, for that matter
Apr 2013 · 327
Even Now
Jake Espinoza Apr 2013
Even now
doubt tugs at the bottom
of my stomach
courage whispers in my head
my lungs burn
my blood rushes
and I am uncertain
as ever
Who cares about good titles anyway
Jake Espinoza Mar 2013
I'd rather drown in poetry
than fly lackluster arid skies
I did not know this before today
Mar 2013 · 456
I am not a cat
Jake Espinoza Mar 2013
There was a song
    the singer
    presumably the author, we can guess
    urged me to open all the boxes
    he did this several times.
I like the sound of that.
    Opening boxes could be satisfying.
    They can contain all manner of affairs after all
    My mind is all cardboard and razors
    and forgotten tape

            where did I put the tape
I had it just a second ago
Mar 2013 · 1.1k
Remember and don't forget
Jake Espinoza Mar 2013
Deal with it. It won't stop
probably so deal with it or
haha nevermind silly, just
move on to something else.
Who gives a **** about headphones
advertisements in the middle of
hypnotizing music from her stores?
The larder is – behind that door – you
can't enter no matter how hard you
try, that is music there. There's nothing
physical, no floors no walls no just music and you can open the door.
What you hear won't make sense and it will blot out all other
senses but there she is striding past me and walks

because that's where she belongs. This is not my comprehension. In she went,
and I will never see her again but hear her as she has infiltrated the
realm of organized sound to contribute to the beautiful lustful chaos. She
has only just begun, I realize. There is no end, though there was a beginning;
she has fractured infinity casually as sipping water from tea cups in faux-innocent
sunlight filtered through a hangover on something you're pretty sure was called a
veranda but that's more a polite curiosity than a serious one so you content yourself to take in
this retrospectively invented image of her in Ray Bans and anything but pants with her scars
embossed and tattoos in a rare moment of silence preceding the moment of sound where she asks  
why you're looking at her like that, and you hadn't realized you'd done it again, shifted to the
future you reflecting on the present moment to grasp the intangible, to outline the undefined to
alter the fixed and whatever other paradoxes you happen to be causing at the time because you've
accidentally, temporarily transcended again, so you're really just along for the ride with your
pretty little thoughts of her and this veranda or whatever while she's smoking a cigarette you
offered her so enjoy it while it lasts. Whatever you do, enjoy it while it lasts, and go easy on
yourself, you're just a kid after all, remember. Remember. and don't forget
Skip the first half of the first block of words.
Or don't.
Jake Espinoza Mar 2013
such quiet eternities bursting back & forth
over new-wave angels exuding neon
sermons on sermons intermingling
the saturation varies in violent bursts this time
through – everything swallows everything else here
there goes my hat. There are too many layers
indistinguishable. I see only one detail or the
whole confusing mess and it is
             (drawing of a planet!)            here
                                                       ­            in
                                                              ­         gray.
It looks like Saturn.
Jake Espinoza Feb 2013
I walked and spoke in whispers
and prayed for kingdom come
our mothers removed our splinters
and begged not to come undone

We wandered wished and savored
a man had come and gone
our fragile bones were withered
bleached by fractured sun

I came I saw I cowered
heard rumors of holy storms
set fire to the stables
in hopes of staying warm

Lost once more in twisted paths
witness'd angels been reborn
step'd softly past the prostrate men
souls unbent, untorn

Gleaming through the crooked cracks
upon the whetted wall
testimonies of ancient stars
condemning those creatures that crawl

We bent our backs we tied our knots
we toiled for daily bread
with eyes downcast and humbled tongues
we sanctified our dead

Now retire into the depths
from whence we came before
with penance paid and duty done
we fight off sleep no more.
Jan 2013 · 680
An Abstract Year
Jake Espinoza Jan 2013
Makeshift mannerisms and blood composed of fire and dirt
streaming through my wrist and fingertips
learning to breathe once more
a feeling of passion in the midst of such monotony.
Modesty, your majesty, modesty;
Sometimes it's acceptable to do your best.

Concerned with cancer and algorithms
Love drawn from oak
Pressure the unfeeling, torture the joyous.
Do it as it must be done
Forget your phantoms.
Let them sleep, descend.
Written over a year ago.
Jan 2013 · 467
Jake Espinoza Jan 2013
the flimsy white of the walls are only
so broken
up by an old
faux wood
bookshelf and a desk.

the closet's a happy blue
challenging anyone to notice it
hidden in the corner.

it's here
where I'm planted under my bed
where I've retreated under heavy fire
where I'm unwashed and indifferent
where hunger is confusion

that I spend so much time
thinking of other _s
as if it's only
a matter of time before
I conjure other __s
into being
through sheer force of
Jan 2013 · 781
Jake Espinoza Jan 2013
It's a four step walk
from the chair
to where I can ****
without undue consequence.

I can't see the sky
but I know
it's gray

Pumas race around the room
clawing up my books and desk
without disturbing anything
ignoring me out of spite
for being unable
or unwilling
to follow
their movements.

Eight steps to the kitchen
four more and I can stare
into the cupboard
for a solid minute
before I remember
I've eaten shadows all day

This room is host to
invisible flowers
long decayed.
My hands and feet are fish.

I haven't known an
affectionate touch
in months.

I hide in basements
where the people I see
have such nice things
to say.
Jan 2013 · 866
Jake Espinoza Jan 2013
There's a skeleton lamp turned up bare
against a grainy wall
casting an unwashed child's silhouette
over my chair.

There's an antique
TV set
mesmerized the kid with
cartoons that have been
laundered by too many
as to have lost some of their

The kid's curly black hair
dark solemn eyes
that he borrowed from his father
he won't know
for a number of years.
Maybe he'll evade
refined realization
until circumstances improve –
if circumstances improve.

"Go ahead," says his mother
from her pockmarked armchair
as I finger my lighter.
"He's used to the smell."

Her eyes flare up
holding mine
as she herself lights
and for a moment she becomes
a more vibrant caricature
as those characters
on the screen

The cheap metal tip goes cold again
and the former flame
seems to have taken more of the
remaining light
from her eyes.

Muted –
I could stay in this room
passing by unnoticed
but for a gnat of impatience
and it terrifies me.

Living entombed
with this deflated woman
with this lackluster soul
and this baby
taking after his

There's a phantom feeling
of my hair graying
but only because
the dawn broke over
and it takes so much energy
to fight such things

and I'm so tired
all of a sudden.

So she passes the torch on
to me.
Nobody's going
Jan 2013 · 799
Petty Frustrations
Jake Espinoza Jan 2013
I'm having a hard time saying anything
but exactly what I mean.
Enough time alone can do that to you
I'm sure other things can do that to you too.
Like reading bleak poems
broken up by tales of deranged love
and relationships based on *** and abusive chemical indulgence

I have a hard time saying what I mean
leaving thoughts open to interpretation
is difficult
when you forget why
abstraction or
is important
and why
that makes such small things as
wasting away
in a fog of alcohol, smoke, and temporary loves
so ****** beautiful
and so ****** ugly.
Dec 2012 · 511
Jake Espinoza Dec 2012
This is not easy
progress is dauntingly slow
I will persevere
Dec 2012 · 3.0k
Jake Espinoza Dec 2012
Nights pass and I pick away at my skin.
Supine in this hallowed hollow of unwashed bedsheets and detritus
Spending my time, the most precious currency to date, trudging through virtual stacks of head shots of those I've known or half-known.
A healthy reminder that you are alone.
You are behind.
You ****** up early, kid.
You are behind in some sense, even if half the acquaintances pleasant or otherwise in your class are working jobs not much better than yours.
What I really hate is seeing joy.
Seeing these people and their ****** happiness, it's great.
    Really strengthens the misanthropic beast I've been feeding all week
    And it feels good, anger
Especially when the only other things I'm used to feeling are
    worried or
So its nice to indulge, I guess
I don't have to look for something to fuel my complaints, my bitter unwarranted jealousy –
    that's an annoying component –
    the awareness –
    this would all be much more enjoyable if I didn't notice these things about myself
but noticing is a habit I've nourished
    for years far exceeding
    the time spent with a cigarette between my fingers
I'd like to revise this eventually, but I'm sure it won't happen for a while. So, enjoy.
Dec 2012 · 753
Jake Espinoza Dec 2012
I've been brainwashed. Several somebodies have taken a cerebral antiseptic to the outermost crevices in my head, trying to scrape away my thoughts deemed poisonous. Condemned, pieces on the wrong end of a long finger, almost touching the targeted areas. The finger long and rigid attached to an arm, long and rigid, like that of a cruel king delivering a death sentence.
    Scrubbed me clean, they did. They know I am fond of it, so they went deep, taking extra precaution. Scoured. Sent me off, bid me goodwill with farewell kisses, waving handkerchiefs from modest doorways and lattice windows, farewell. Be careful out there, remember all we've taught you from the kindness in our hearts and the space in our pockets, our hungry bank accounts.
    Play along, play nice. Let's sit and try to write poetry when it feels like we forgot what it was. Smoke more cigarettes than usual because they're lights and it's the same. Walk to town, around town, back to the second floor to your strange home. Forget how to measure the passing of time without using hours and days. Nothing catches my attention when every minute's watched, waiting for the next small thing to happen. Live a life both empty and full. Miss your friends, experience a dull ache in your chest, then clean away that sad feeling with the next small thing you have to do joy-free. You don't have to like it they say. You just have to do it so I'm told. Just do what you're told. Don't think about how long it's been since you felt alive. Don't think about why you don't feel alive.
    Just do what you're told. There'll be time for being young when you're old and comfortable, when everything's set in place for you to live without financial difficulty or crushing loneliness carefully ignored. There are several minds I miss. There are people who remind me to feel alive, remind me that I want to, remind me of the hunger carefully ignored but all pervading, present as a dull ache. Remind me what I enjoy, remind me what it feels like to want something. Rekindle the cold ashes that had once been ablaze with glorious thoughts and words to strike dumb. Remind me how it feels to be powerful.
    A life of endless toil, tireless subordination, unbefitting of kings among men, we who see what others cannot, we who endure the suffering of madness because poetry is the fruit of our sacrifice, the music constantly in our heads. We for whom simply being alive has never been enough. We for whom the thought of ending a poem after it's begun feels like admitting a friend's passing.
    We who don't know how to stop.
    We who will never want to.
I'd like to revise this eventually, but I'm sure it won't happen for a while. So, enjoy.
Dec 2012 · 868
A Willful Boy
Jake Espinoza Dec 2012
I’ve got fire in my blood
    that doesn’t seem to want to die resilient
I try to quench the hungry coals
But my youth is too strong
My mind alight
My yearning eyes and flesh

I’ve tried to quench
I’ve drowned and drowned to no avail.
I gave up, at one point.
I submitted to quiet life and told myself it’s what I wanted
I shuttered the flame – covered it, alleived the
but only

I’ve since given up giving up
and resolved to restore my youth
    which had been willingly
the juggernaut of playful recklessness
beating its fists against the inside of my ribcage
trying with all its might
to remind me that
I’m alive

It is wonderfully volatile
I had forgotten the allure of excitement
of feeling something again
So the fire man burns and beats
sending dangerous exotic enticing signals to my head
Floods me with potential energy
to be dispensed
I'd like to revise this eventually, but I'm sure it won't happen for a while. So, enjoy.
Oct 2012 · 983
Calamitous Misanthropy
Jake Espinoza Oct 2012
There are occasions that call for misdemeanor.
There exist instances of philanthropy in selfishness
        i don't have too many good things to say
so i'll just write my little thoughts
        on this little paper
                and call it a day
Oct 2012 · 993
Jake Espinoza Oct 2012
Today I felt my skin turn to bark as I leaned against a tree. I felt a warmth spread through me as I reveled in joy of hidden things. I watched people pass me by, had a conversation with a few people perceptive enough to notice my fringes.
    They said hello. You are difficult to notice.
    I nodded silent thanks.
    Why don't you speak?
    This is how I thought. You're asking a man nearly imperceptible why he stands so still.
    At times the bark or grass fell from me replaced with concrete or off-white plaster or the likeness of another. I stood and watched as I smiled, talked, acted, convinced, spoke from the heart, and not a souls suspects.
    When I feel like hiding, this is what happens: I become everyone. I become no one. I am tasteless, odorless, bland. I become no one, but not the kind of no one that gets noticed. I see that the truly homogeneous hide twofold, sixfold, eightfold. I hide that I am hiding that I am hiding that –
    Continuum. I become a vacuum of character, perfectly unremarkable.
    This is whenever I feel like it.
    Whenever I want it, my outline becomes harsh, sharply black against white against black leading to my deadened surface made vibrant by desire, by necessity, by conscious appraisal of the path of least resistance. Feeling clashes with wanting, the cacophony is maddening where such fragile melodies had once been harmonic. All of a sudden it is clear that I am hiding. I can no longer conceal the bare bones sprouting from my shoulders, clumsily fashioned into bare outlines of wings. All of a sudden I am laid bare, and the unfinished construct is revealed. Everything looked wonderful, immaculate, meticulously attended, even upon close inspection, until the keystone shook loose. Can't find adhesive that lasts more than a few months these days. My fragile creation appearing bold and strong, emanating vitality such that it can be gleaned with proximity, fell.
    All I can see are my feet or darkness.
    I cannot produce sound more substantial than murmurs.
    I cannot clothe myself but with scraps of cloth that fall with the most gentle breath of wind, but still I toil.
    The spectacle as it has become is made piteous by the clarity with which I am seen. My futile attempts to recover myself incite anger and pity. They fade, and sadness remains. I am in plain sight, as if illuminated by some unseen light, and I am understood. It is understood that I will continue affixing the fragile scraps to me until they stay. It is seen that I am undaunted by such a seemingly insurmountable task. After eons of exposure to the eyes of all, a scrap grafts itself again to my bare flesh. My lips spread slowly into a wicked grin – for it is known. It is known that those witnessing this disgusting degree of satisfaction at my own partial concealment will soon forget the fissured and sickly creature they now behold. They will soon forget what stood in the place of the great statue now erected around me.
    Inside, I stand in fear of the day when again I must build myself anew.
    Like a bird constructing its fragile nest, I take everything I can use. My toil is patient...careful. I refine tirelessly. The light turns hard and flat, but still I am great and formidable in my fragile, meticulous, manufactured splendor.
    One who remembers sees this, and knows that this is my true love.
    One among them all remembers.
    He is the closest thing I have to a friend.
Sep 2012 · 887
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Another night spent lining my lungs for want of something better or worse to do. Remembering friction, remembering nights spent sparking smokes and staring drunk at the moon, looking to pick a fight. This night there are wisps in the sky with winds shifting them so I can’t decide whether my view is obstructed – whether I’m staring directly at the steel circle full-on or with impediment of future rain. I don’t care which it is, I’m busy thinking on the other side of Michigan, missing friends and mistresses, the families of fall and winter, the community thereof. I’m still in my staring match with the moon in a plea for it to tell me things I can’t think of myself. Cold nights, coats and comrades, brothers at arms and legs and minds. Sisters too, but fewer of them present in the alleys or the porches we torchers frequent, inhabit frequently to satisfy bad habits and good ones, keeping contact with the community of those pulling at pipes and Pall Malls because they’re cheap and we’re cheap too. Nights passed with a ceaseless and confused current through thresholds. Too much beer, too many smiles unmerited, dumbing ourselves down to engage in daunting discourse, drawing from the source of courage so many seek at our age. The watering hole’s dried up, so we didn’t drink water but liquor and beer, anything to quell the fear of social surrender. I’m not here for you but I don’t know that yet, so I’m trying revive the dying conversation though I lack the concentration to resuscitate this discussion on life support. It’s doomed to negligence, and so are you though as bipedal beasts go, you’re a looker; the minutes mind themselves, I’m too busy for time, I’m waiting for something to happen, trying to tip the momentum with whispers, smiles, grace.
        Tomorrow I’m going to wake up hung over the edge of my bed to curse my head. I’m too tired to kick and scream so you just picture me putting up a fuss against pulling on my pants and slumping downstairs and we’ll call it even though we can see it’s odd that we do this to ourselves, that we spend so much time and expend such effort to effect ourselves in similar situations one night after one day after others. This is where the present costs too much. This is where we leave our heads and shoes. This is where I subject myself to symptom, when I lose bits of myself at all these thresholds we cross only to disentangle ourselves. The bed sheets are a ******* trap, a maze a labyrinth, and I don’t really wake up until I’m back asleep and by then it’s too much too early to make myself more human.
Sep 2012 · 1.5k
Academic Nonslaught
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Drinking *** to reminisce about fun times drinking *** and talking about dumb lines where a sociologist posed as an astronomer and took the moniker to heart claiming forbidden foolish nonsense of black holes and super novas and the Goddess that is Neptune. But he also forbade the odes of the old testament, he nicked the hold on my head and soul and feet until I couldn’t walk because I was too busy kicking my *** and licking my teeth with thoughts of dinner stolen from the solemn souls in the coral reefs – those that Neptune created and nurtured with nursing fingers and eyes that hid cruel truth from the water, the creatures that didn’t suffer the bite that God’s daughter took so long ago, but the flow of the current never ceases it never reaches the bleeding feet connecting repeatedly with the bottom that serves me to sit and think or **** about the gospel spilling from the hostel of the professor’s mouth. And I doubt the drought that lifted my spirits out of the well with the spout of Neptune’s *****. These days I’m on it with a sense of self-flagellation that only makes sense in the dimension of my imagination pondering the nation of the brotherhood of stars and heavenly bodies that weigh so heavy on Mars with the clingy core dragging desperate attention from divine inventions of intervention with rats and cradles. Neptune, who’s cradled in fables and left to such imaginations as those. Invention allows the suspension of disbelief and spite if one might rest in humility in face of such things as humanity where miracles are mistreated and under-recognized and falsely advertised as products of greedy eyes that lie in wait to shake the foundation and tune it to the stellar station or broadcast populated by the whispers of holy apparitions misconstrued as static.
Jacob is the heathen with reason to grasp his brother’s heel and deceive him. The treason to sit up to stand down to kiss the hem of the gown of whatever clown performs a pretty act while he’s in town. The frowns expound and expand for the man whose body spans the sand of the holy land.
Sep 2012 · 590
Elusive Memory
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
I woke up in a cell for the second time in my life not wondering how I managed it again because I
        knew what I did this time.
Drove back from another nights of drinks and dances and smokes
        Kissing the lips I thought I’d never kiss again, maybe
Telling lies and climbing stairs to avoid making people move for me
        So they’ll remember and move for me later when I need it.
People passing substances I’m not supposed to see or consume or be around
        To a degree, at least
                because a few men and the State of Michigan said so
                and I’m bound to their word because of my lifelong place of residence
                and the people who elect to keep things from change.
I sat in that former attic
        The very place where I’ve committed such acts and slept soundly.
Took two on the way home and lost myself on the road
I slipped and slipped. The miles slowly spread my mind out on the highway
        to the point where nothing was left behind my eyes.
The signals sent from the two black holes on the front of my face
They tried to ignite the synapses of sense and caution and consciousness
        but forgot the spread of sense on the highway that the two and ten brought to be
        and so backfired, backed up with nowhere to go but shrivel and dissolve through the dead
                nerve ends
        and spilled out my eyes til I could no longer see.
I don’t know how my mind found its way back into my head after being spread so thin over the asphalt
        Disbelief and depression and shame came with it –
        I suppose some of that must’ve been on the road
        along with a longing for the mattress I’ve dirtied over the years
                the one on the second story of the place I’ve dirtied for years
        Yeah, that one, all the way north of where I wasn’t supposed to be
I did a couple hours’ worth of things I wanted to do.
        I may have to trade a year for that if the high demon woke up to heavy traffic.
I have these three sins gathered under my skin, sticking out quietly.
Again I’ll stand before, and I’ll stand before another
        to receive the boredom and discomfort this state of land and collective mind sees fit
        to pass out to a kid who passed out two times too many.
Sep 2012 · 361
Write my Wrongs
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Things come out wrong when I try to write my wrongs in pen
        In ten days I’ll be doing one of two types of time:
                either time spent sitting and sleeping and waiting
                or time spent sitting and sleeping and learning.
I guess I’m not too quick when it comes to confessions of carelessness
        I have a habit of avoiding caution and careful conduct
        I’m calloused and confused
                and my bones are bruised
                and my soon-to-be present
                will be spent serving time in a room or a cell.
My second sight of the wise old hermit
        made me feel like wising up a bit myself.
He seems not to want me no matter all the times I’ve tried to travel to his doorbell.
        He must be waiting for something I have yet to give.
Sep 2012 · 630
Abandon Danger House
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
The mind space time continuum
        warped, twisted, smooth
        streaming forth in its never-ended cycle
        the current carries us all.
Relatively relaxed
        speaking in terms of dusty boxes
        you’ve half-forgotten in shadowy corners.
We put them there,
        slid them gently along the floor
        each sub-parcel wrapped haphazardly
        but the surface sealed tight.
We placed the contents in accordingly
        small things in big boxes, sometimes
        but sometimes we can only cover it with a sheet.
We build rooms.
Anything to store the horrors we had
        hidden among discarded toys.
Concealed, always concealed;
        whether hidden in plain sight
        or locked in boxes and buried
        hoping that enough time under those six feet
        will be enough to make these sinister beings
        these beasts we birthed and bred
        lose the will to continue breathing
        broken, forgotten
The title's bad.

Sep 2012 · 645
Bitter Amusement
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Let’s drink to memories of purpose.
        Let’s drink as a visible testament to our apathy and indifference. Raise our glasses because nothing we do matters in the end, does it. Let’s sit here wasting our time because nothing matters and those who think otherwise are blind and thoughtless.
        Can’t they see? Aren’t they too privy to the questions? Do the questions not haunt them in loud lucid thoughts come when breathing is slow and measured, half-studying white ceilings, minds anywhere but in our bodies, eyes open and unseeing, projecting visualized masses of shapeless forms, rendering the ceiling a makeshift screen. Not concrete, solid; ambiguous considerations, ideas swimming through my head, spilling out my mind on to the ceiling where I study them until they’re covered by new ideas and connections formed, fantastic or ordinary. I cease to associate myself with anything but my operating consciousness. Varying degrees of metanalysis and chains linking like sin waves. Tangents everywhere – can’t see the curves obscured by infinite straight lines pointing slightly different directions, solid black blindness forms another canvas onto which I vigorously splash my thoughts like paint or something more violent. Constant reset, overlapping images recycling canvases and backdrops sans intent. This is just what happens.
        Let’s drink to all this nonsense, let’s laugh at our impending doom, and cheer away the world’s worries, stave away the gloom.
Sep 2012 · 753
Tigress, Inked
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
I want to find this **** poem the tigress has inked on her dainty wrists.
The tigers have found me, it says
        and I do not care.
a simple memory of the woman who smoked
        and liked me more than I knew
        how to deal with.
I guess people who read poetry
        care more about it
        than those who write.
and that girl had hips.
        *** to stop wandering gazes and hold them
        even when ADD is everywhere.
she loved me, maybe
something I didn’t understand
        because I was always thinking about her ***.
You’re crazy again,
        you fool,
        let it go.
those times are gone
        for now.
she’s gone
        for now.
I couldn’t even find the ******* poem.
Written after having indulged in Bukowski for an hour or so.
Sep 2012 · 4.9k
Conscious Decision
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
Write something about nothing, call it poetry.
Quiet jet-engine speed turmoil indecision on the topic.
Silent bodies, screaming minds, communication desired and avoided
Chance glances, glimpses. Hoofing it.
Write poetry about nothing, call it something, but only in whispers to yourself, pretend to hope to be heard, have interest feigned or genuine directed your way.
        Confusion. Mingled strings of internal conversation.
        Misdirected. I can’t think crooked, focalisation se présente sideways. Self-expression in non-poetic terms seems likely. Saw girls, one on Detroit street, summer clothes and quiet face, scampered inside from the yard littered. Saw her again in the street next to a minor catastrophe, passed her by and looked.
        Let’s take a second to breathe, introduce a silence to the mind so that everything that comes can be better heard. So much background noise, minor thoughts mingle into static, almost impossible to interpret the bemused psychobabble. Empty it out, slow down, relax, and maybe you’ll begin to recognize coherent thoughts; organize the jumble of words fighting to be understood all out of order and as yet meaningless. Thoughts keep revolving, recycling; the girl, she reminded you of Melissa. Same style, a girl whose mood is always a grateful summer to your wintry perspective. Refreshing reminder, easy on the eyes. This girl’s likeness and your friend the poet, separated; his utensils. The paintbrushes he flourished about to create were not wooden and sable but liquid and smoke. That small ******* secret voice suggesting unwholesome things, acts unbefitting of brotherly conduct. He is my true brother, my family; an extension of my own soul. I went to treatment, they broke me down, whittled away at my rough hewn surface to make sculpture, a replica of others, manufactured to meet requirements and specifications deemed necessary for target successes. This talk of will, sacrificing my own, force-fed trust and mantras begetting themselves in circular fashion, turning in sync with the earth’s rotation upon its axis in its course of necessary revolution.
        Expended effort and time saved or served, goals impossible until forgotten, let go empty space ellipsis let god. Self-supplanted in unpredictable incomprehensible present, trying to avoid thoughts of crumpled papers in paper bags serving as receptacles for things undesired or abandoned or too truthful, I’m forgetting what it is to hide from myself which makes it possible to disappear. Tune in to the present, your train of thought – a queue – crowding, crowds rushed and frantic me first says everyone impatiently awaiting their turn for attention. Starved but forgotten proper nutrition. Self-criticism equating to self-analysis – spontaneity – uncontrollable, unforeseeable in the present aromatic mixture of mason jars swarmed with colored lights beautiful dim in darkness in which beer was swilled, time spent in unkempt kitchens nervous, standing walking evading settlement peace or rest, this is excitable discomfort, anything to slow down or feel a surrogate thereof. Forgotten words remembered, past rooms beautiful dim in darkness, proper illumination – see everything just right, not too brightly though not too dark. Living in this room for now, seeing as though immersed, submerged in memory of smiling faces easy laughter, cold-eyes Vera and well-at-ease. There is a wealth of self-acceptance. These people, their faces shine contentment, comfort, and mine is manufactured. I’ve become a factory where everything is sought after and nothing is attained because my goals are intangible, comprehensible but beyond aid, sorry, it’s just the way you are, maybe you’ll know one day, but we can’t help. We don’t waste our time with questions of absurdity, we live in this present moment, and that’s how we do it – no plans until plans come. No thoughts until thoughts come. Easy transitions in conversations, we don’t think of how to be ourselves, we just do it because we slow down, we know we are breathing, and it is not in our nature to forget it. It is not in our nature to live in our heads, to flail in a swell of questions less dense than water, we attend. We simply are.
        This is contentment. This is their seamless skin where mine corresponds to scars and rabid suspicious scratches dug deep. They were content with their surfaces; I was convinced of malice subcutaneous hence the scars and blood breathing open air. It is this suspicion that draws a line, places me on one side, them on another; it is this curiosity intrinsic and ironically unquestioned that digs the trenches in shape of graves. This fatal imaginary need for understanding where there is nothing to be understood. Questions are my poison, self-manufacturing, self-sufficient destruction, coming hot off the assembly line in my skull. Questions incubating further questions error: implement infinite loop, killall. Find the bug, recompile, run. Sit still, learn from the wind and atmosphere you’ve learned to sense which makes you an outsider only because you wanted this somehow. Uncertainty, confused reflection, arbitrary comments; coincidences, conspiracy, breakpoint. Programs running in smooth operation.
        Radiohead blaring, self-conscious self-care, these people enjoy themselves with unconscious grace, they let themselves be and immediately I tear my mind in two to understand what they understand without understanding. It is the nature of love and music that displays the closest correlation. These people are my idealized notion of grace, rendered more so by speed of processing, depth of analysis so that they appear not only graceful creatures, but with grace amplified as if observing them in slow-motion. So much contingent on understanding, contingency notwithstanding if I was comfortable with ignorance, if questions did not occur. These people are appropriate; balanced, no need for brutal introspection, no need to stir up sand composing the sea bed. These people, they understand certain things I cannot as of yet. They understand, they know without knowing that things are the way they are because things are the way they are and that’s ok, we’re ok, and everything is and will always be ok as long as we know well enough to leave well enough alone. We are each other, serving compliments to sainthood.
        ...let go, and be one with us, for love is in our hearts.
It took a few lines to get into it. Also, this is meant to be read aloud, somewhat intensely.
Sep 2012 · 523
Written at the Alano
Jake Espinoza Sep 2012
I have measures of conflict between doubt and confidence.
I am a ******* alcoholic, supposed to set myself aside from myself.
Then I read a piece of prosaic fiction and I forget everything.
I forget who I am.
I feel this surge of undeniable purpose, I cease to exist outside of this
        world I hid under.
It reminds me of the words I carry in my head
reminiscent of what I meant to convey in abstract terms of the Candlemaker
A plane where a piece of me resides, where no one can see or visit
unless I take up the pen and scribble a few words down on a single sheet of paper
effectively, casually creating another sphere to add to the countless that already reside in the
Maybe someone else could find a piece of themselves
in a few words.
All of this time wasted elsewhere
when all I have to do is draw these lines in shapes called letters
and everywhere is at my feet.
Jun 2011 · 752
Urgent Internal Pathways
Jake Espinoza Jun 2011
This swirling feeling – I'm feeling this – I can't quite be alone. I'm lost in my self, but it's so comfortable to attain a smaller piece of oneself when nobody's looking, nobodies looking so keep it to your self. These dark ribbons played across the highway in a world where everything is inherently empty, they look like fear but I fear not I know you're near I can sense it.

We can find our freedom, our respite if only we learn to surrender to the darkness instead of fear. For so many long years have I fought so hard.

Come to me from the other end of that lowly light, the bar down the street a little way I wanted to take a break from everything and see you because you, you are the only person I want to see. I have to fight through the seeming impermeable shadows in order to reach you before you land away. Am I chasing or are you waiting?

I will find you through the midst of this fog. I love you with the deepest sincerity my heart can muster, with a power that God himself must envy, and I will let nothing get in our way. I will raze Rome if I must, just so long as you're safe. If you're there....we do what we please and it is all beautiful and necessary unto ourselves. This amalgam of ***, literature, knowledge, ancient patience, romance, desire until all of this ends when I finally meet your eyes.

One of the slightest glances, but I feel an explosion of the most powerful emotions to overcome man and it has me reduced to tears not because of the loss of love but because I know now, I know now that there exists such a perfect creature of like mind of body of soul with whom I belong.

She is there, she is here.

Let us embrace in celebration of each other, let us share a comfortable, intimate place in this world that exists between our two heads.

Nothing can hurt us any more.
May 2011 · 662
Jake Espinoza May 2011
    This strange individual
        Named myself
Longs for
    Longs for something
        something this myself
        hasn't first-handed
        in what seems to be
            The duration of an epic tale.
In those, however, the hero
    always finds,
        against all odds,
    his ******.
    His soul
        disguised as one separate
            from his own.
Don't blame me
    Please don't blame me
    For such things as this are
        Out of the control
        Of such a control maniac
        As God
            and myself.

God and I share a peace treaty.
    The roses and violins –
    They give me hope.
    They are the substances
        the only substances
        with the power to refurbish my soul.
May 2011 · 893
Contrary to Popular Belief
Jake Espinoza May 2011
I can't I can't I won't.
    I refuse.
You're allowed, if you so please,
    But I won't.
    Not me.
    I can't.
        I won't.
            I refuse.
Not when someone
    Meant so much
        To such a monster.
Tame me.
    Please, I beg you
        Tame me
        And I will be yours
        With your consent
        So long as I breathe the same air
            As you.

Forgive a poet
    His silly inclinations
    For believing in such
        silly things
        as forever.
Such a concept has always
    Disturbed me
        of course
        I saw my own eternity
        My entire being
                with yours.
May 2011 · 758
Jake Espinoza May 2011
Bless us Oh Lord
Us –
These demons in dolls
Dancing in dreamlike reality.

Some save themselves
Whilst the others refuse to recognize
Their strings.

Unwilling to see them.
Unwilling to see.
Afraid, comfortable.
After all –
A life like this –
Abandoning your shackles
Can leave you feeling bare.
Or worse,

That's the hazard to handle
But first we must learn to see.
If only we look hard enough –
The strings become clear.

Then comes the hard part.
We fight the strings,
War against our master
Over to the scissors or box-cutter
Anything that tore the cotton out of unfortunate others
Once before.
That this giant child left scattered about.

An unspoken truce exists;
Anyone can show you a pair of scissors
But no one else can ever sever your strings
No one
But yourself.

Then, after the skirmish
And post circumcision
The giant child towering
Smiling a proud smile
As if this is what he wanted for you all along.
May 2011 · 804
Drinking to Drinking
Jake Espinoza May 2011
I'm a hidden hero wrapped in plaster
Scrape away my hollow eyes
Uncover the darkness, danger, dust
I am shallow, shocking, forgiving, loving,

I'm a would-be poet, afflicted with an inverse scheme of self-preservation.
Conducting concertos of charm on my inferior exterior
Appearing dreadful, hungover, a mite dreary
Enough to seem needy
Feed me, clothe me.

A courteous, cancerous kid contemplating causes and effects
Affect me, feel me, fight me tooth and nail.
Coddle the cuddler, campaign with cannon.
I'm a casual casualty
A murderous misanthrope.

Color me gray, tear me down to size.

Charming and belligerent
Selfish and unholy
Feb 2011 · 947
Jake Espinoza Feb 2011
Hurricanes and foghorns mixing up a ranch on the outskirts of Nowhere
The candlemaker doesn't seem to mind
Reading and rereading collapsing tomes
Cluttered desks, but all is calm inside.
Twisted in corruption, knobbly fingers shaking
Here's a man we'd call wizened.
He's seen all sides of the foreground.

There's a path around his house where nothing grows
His soles made it
Silent and statuesque he trod
Quiet and calm in his solitude
He fears nothing but unrest.

Cryptic script mars the mahogany dresser
A source of comfort, pride
Mystery of bygone days of the infinite October
When the sleepy sun would kiss the earth goodnight
When the dust would catch the light
A gift to the eyes as they lay themselves to rest.
Feb 2011 · 697
Stone Ovals
Jake Espinoza Feb 2011
I’ll drape these stone ovals across my fragile face across from the crazy catastrophe of the conversation occurring around my consciousness – in my consciousness, cause that’s the residence of my empty pail into which all can discard their stupid say-so’s and I’ll absorb them because I have little else to do and I won’t complain and I won’t restrain myself, I won’t stifle my snide judging resentment because I need to share the poison that resides in the topmost part of my body except for when I’m laying down or doing handstands. These stone ovals allow me to see just how blind I am, just how many things I may never see may never know may never want. I’m sick of seeing the fears of others expressed with air and vocal vibrations escaping their inverse-*******, though I fear I may succumb before too long, join their ranks, if I learn too well to fear all that which I’m around so that I'm too occupied with my surroundings, so occupied that I can’t pay attention to what I’m expelling from behind my teeth and eyes.

My wide eyes behind these thin stone ovals made of nothing but rims and scratches from times when I temporarily forgot how to walk well enough and because I’ve long-since lost my give-a-**** in the cushions of the couch I call carelessness.
Slam poem, to be read out loud, quickly and intensely.
Feb 2011 · 1.7k
Long-Lost Nothing
Jake Espinoza Feb 2011
Somebody, come along and give me perfection,
for so dearly do I need it;
Somebody, approach with eyes that speak naught but love,
for I cannot believe in you.

Yield to me a rose from your mind;
Bestow upon me a token of the solstice,
It is then that I shall know you;
Lead me not into temptation, but forgive

My sins as they sing from the hollow of my heart;
I can only give you my all,

Show me what perfection might mean;
And I’ll give that which I can.
Disregard me as a peasant of yours;
And I shall follow you until my days’ end.

Lead me so into temptation,
That I cannot help but succumb;
I cannot resist your body,
You cannot resist my fingers.

Give to me all that which is yours,
And I promise not to hurt you
Until the times passes;
And one of us outgrows the other.

Tell me that which you want from me,
And most certainly will I avoid it;
Tell me that which you detest of me,
And most certainly shall I console you.

Give me yourself, for I have no self of my own
I shall expose to you my soul
For you, naught but you, alone.

I hope for you to give me hope;
For I have lost my own.
I beg for you to show me God;
For I am all alone.

I hope for you to love my rhymes,
For I think they are ****;
I’d love you for all of time,
If only I could make sense of it.

So, –––––, this poem may be for you,
As lame as it may seem;
But I’m hoping against hope
That all you love, all you know,
Can be seen in the lines between.

So what if I’m frantic, so what if I’m a joke,
I can’t help but love you still
So on my own tongue, may I choke
When I say these words to you
Words I know you want not to hear;
I could **** myself without you,
If only this time of year.

I am stupid in my stupidity, so
For God’s sake, someone beat it out of me.
I find solace in my silence, in my solitude;
May I will it otherwise;
May I triumph, may I elude
The source of my discomfort, that I should rather not escape
Though I may think myself Superman
I shall never wear tights.
Until tomorrow.

There was this one night were I was thinking about this one girl who meant this one thing to me; this one thing was one of the most important things of which I could ever conceive – sure, love – and ******* if I don’t miss it as a child might miss his favorite toy.
Don’t get me wrong, no, don’t get me wrong, for God forbid if I forget how much I forbid myself of God and thus need strength here and there on earth to continue with my open negligence of the divine ***** to which so many wrong-doers seem to do right.
I miss love like an orphan misses his parents – I miss my parents like an orphan misses his abusive stepdad. I miss my abuse stepdad like a kid that didn’t have one – I suppose I’m lucky in that respect – but let’s get back to the subject here, the subject of love – something someone always tends to stray away from; and let’s talk about it, because it’s on all of our minds, every waking moment of our slight existence because we have naught else to think about but the suffering of others.
Love is a selfish act, brilliantly, altruistically selfish and I would have it no other way. I can tell you that ten hundred people will die today, and your immediate thoughts will be for those that you love.
So back to the point about this one girl from this one place who meant one thing to me. Her name isn’t important because it’s not important to me or to her; it’s just something other people hold in their minds to match her face to a word. I myself don’t match her face to a single word but a dictionary thereof – I see her as being everything in the world at once; a muse, a lover, a fighter, a foreigner, a slight, the perfection of hatred – I see everything, everything that exists in her eyes.
Give me pardon or give me death, for that is all that for which I can ask in this crazy world with this one girl from this one place from this one moment in time in which we were in love.
Love to me is hopelessness, because I just think it’s silly – I can’t help but look down upon people with hopelessness, because they think it’s a virus, an incurable virus, that leaves them open and vulnerable to all the evil forces in this vortex of a world. I embrace my hopelessness, my hopelessness in love – for God forbid that I might begin to search for those things that only exist in romantic comedies, those feel-good Disney moments. I don’t want that perfection, I only want my imperfect perfection, the only thing with which I feel I can live; bestow unto me, my lord, my savior, my nothing, that which I can only find for myself.
Pardon my death, or **** my pardon, for I am not but a man lost hopefully in love – something I cannot, will not, will never want to escape, for there is no greater pain than the pain that comes from loving some girl this one night from somewhere who means more to you than any girl anywhere.
The second part is to be read as a slam poem.

Jake Espinoza Oct 2010
Give me bread, he said
There's something wrong in my head.
I'm passing thoughts to the dead, he said
Thoughts lost in black and red.

My father's a liar, he said
I saw him birthed from the fire.
He rose from that pyre, he said
To curse the world with Saturn's satire.

I know that I'm crazy, he said, I know that I'm crazy.
My chair and his cat, the pair could call me Daisy.
I'm scared to be lazy, he said, I'm scared to be lazy.
My beard is getting hazy, my eyes are a bit hazy.

Ooh, my skin feels so funny, he said, he said funny.
I feel the cave of bats – no – put your hand on my tummy.
Come summertime, he said, come summertime my nose gets runny, but only in Alaska, he said.
He said I'm a bad man, a bad bad man, said he to me, sonny :

You'll always remember me, my Lord and Savior.
Criticism is encouraged, literary or otherwise. I absolve you of the guidelines of, because I want to hear whatever you have to say, whether it be praise or obscenities.

This is something I wrote while hung-over, after a three-day anti-festival of excess.
Jul 2010 · 1.1k
Le Son du Sommeil
Jake Espinoza Jul 2010
J'ai toujours menti pour dire la vérité.
Je joue aux jeux pour que les autres puissent gagner.
Tout est si important
     que ça m'est égal.
Si je pense assez
     j'oublierai tout.
Je suis le Roi des Ombres
     important seulement pour les êtres qui existent en silence et poussière.
Je me change en pierre si je me tiens tranquille
     à me trouver dans un jardin d'une telle beauté
     avec les couleurs qui ont une sonorité jamais vue.
Je sens les émotions à travers le temps
     celles qu'aucun humain ne peut sentir.
Je tombe à travers la sécurité confortable et rouge-noire
     dans la clarté des vastes profondeurs du bleu foncé.
Mon corps s'est fait parfait pendant que je succombe
     et mon esprit se réveille.
La musique du violon se condense en amour sous mes yeux
     l'accord profond et sonore déchire le poison de mon esprit.
Je ressens les montées bleues claires de la vie dans mes veines quand je suis seul.
Je m'assieds avec les montagnes jusqu'à ce que nous nous unissions.
Mes yeux ne pourront jamais devenir impurs
     mon âme est sans tache.
Il y a la curiosité silencieuse dans la Vie
     l'amour dans ses yeux est si manifeste
     son sourire si tendre
     si silencieuse.
Ici sera où je pose la tête
     c'est la réalité que je choisis.
See "The Sound of Sleep" for the English translation.
Jul 2010 · 602
The Sound of Sleep
Jake Espinoza Jul 2010
I have always lied to tell the truth.
I play games so that others may win.
Everything matters so much
     that I don't care about it.
If I think enough
     I'll forget everything.
I am the King of Shadows
     important only to the beings who exist in silence and dust.
I turn to stone if I sit still
     to find myself in a tranquil garden of such beauty
     with colors that possess a vibrancy that has never been seen.
I feel emotions through time
     those that no human can feel.
I fall through the comfortable, red-black safety
     into the clarity of the vast depths of the dark blue.
My body is made perfect as I succumb
     and my mind awakes.
I watch as the violin's music condenses into love before my eyes
     the deep, sonorous chord tears the poison from my mind.
I feel the light blue surges of life in my veins when I am alone.
I sit with mountains until we are one.
My eyes can never become unclean
     my soul is blemishless.
There is quiet wonder in Life
     the love in her eyes is so evident
     her smile so tender
     so quiet.
This shall be where I lay my head
     this is the reality I choose.
This is the English version of a poem I wrote for my French Composition class in the Winter '10 semester at Grand Valley.
May 2010 · 1.6k
Spindle Octet
Jake Espinoza May 2010
Black like spiders telling truths only God should know
The wise old hermit
Offers you his hand as if you were a child
And leads you forth into the unknown.

As you walk, you think to ask,
"Where are we going?"
But you realize it doesn't matter
Since you know that wherever you're going

He'll be there with you
In the shadows of your mind
Holding your hand
I wrote this poem because of the first line of the first stanza. It was one of those nights where my mind wouldn't allow me to sleep, and that was one of the things it produced.

— The End —