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I'm so tired of walking this tightrope.
I'd rather fall than turn back
Only to be turned around again.
Turned around touched down long long ways from the ground.

I look out the door to a grey sky
Promising rain.
The color of my mood this afternoon.
The very same grey...
The very same rain...

Maybe I shouldn't be listening to this music,
Melancholic as I knew it was before I even queued it up,
Expecting or hoping,..well here I am.
You're a drug I scored this morning and I couldn't wait
To get you my blood.
You're a hard drug, relentless, and now I cannot wait
To get you out.

Who pushed me into this corner?
What made the difference, pulled the last straw?
Closed my eyes?  Opened my mind?
Opened my eyes. Closed my mind.
You're a hard God, teasing.
Blessing with confusion and the unknown.
Damning with certainty.
A game for the enlightened who know better
Than to believe it matters.
Anyway our animal souls won't realize
Until it's too late.
I see atoms
Fall down like rain
A paper thin curtain
Hiding the eternal
A weak barricade
Though strong enough
from Bipolar Confessional
( )
© 2010 by James Arthur Casey
She pushed a strange religion
With hand-printed Southern Gothic tracts
Crumpled, wrinkled, stuffed in the pockets of her robe
Though the name on those notes was Yahweh
Her smile betrayed witchcraft
If you tried
You could read it between the lines

On the surface she seemed to assimilate well
The new rules ****** upon her
She tried and tried to take it in stride
But this new paradigm had broken stronger souls than hers
Days like months in the Year of the Snake
Slithered all too slowly towards yet another night
Spent under cover of darkness on hospital beds

She pressed those tracts on me all of the time
At first I'd read them, admire the artistry
The thrift store Ram Dass influences
Collected a few like flyers for R.E.M. shows in the early 80s
Until their true nature was revealed to me
By a voice that seemed to come from my crown chakra
The only aspect of my personality that I implicitly trusted

On the day I left she found out I was going
She could not care less, despite the "love thy neighbor" ramblings of her mission
It only meant that she was staying
Indeed it meant that she would be staying for a long, long time
Long, long, long
She only had so much religion to go around
It was failing her now

The last time I saw her, as I sprinted to the door finally unlocked
I stopped dead in my tracks
She lay on the ground, the ***** filthy ground
Face down, beating it with both hands
Her wails and crying filled the fourth floor
She looked up and her face was grotesque, dripping wet tears smearing and smudging shadow and mascara
Finally broken

I knew the feeling
No dignity for the 4th Floor Psych Ward gang
Paraded about through the entire building
Rockin' and rollin' blue & white striped bath robes
Didn't bother with the belts, we coulda made it work
By sheer determination and the awkward looks on our faces
We set the trend for people who didn't know any better

Out for a trip to the commissary
Fifty cents in hand for a can of soda
Even though the medicine I was on
Made Dr. Pepper taste like club soda infused with flecks of rust
And a metallic, radioactive aftertaste
That was far from the sugar rush one would expect
Coca-Cola was even worst

Such dignity we carried, they called the food tray box "the chow cart"
And the food was barely fit for animals
Quickly transitioning from warm to cool
Always some ridiculously nasty chicken-based meal
I had never seen a fried chicken breast that was gray
But the sherbet was heaven for my cotton mouth
Dry as the tundra
I lost a lot of weight during those months
I survived on the fourth floor
I shot some 8-Ball pool with swagger and Sinatra confidence
Convinced I saw recognition in a visiting gal's eye
A flick of the wrist and this goofball magically exuded *** appeal
Nothing more than confidence
I could make those two girls smile and blush
Because they could sense the looseness in my crotch
They could see I was in charge, batshit crazy as I may have been
I had reached the perfect weight
For those blue and white striped bath robes to truly shine

I let them walk away, didn't say anything
I knew where they were going
I knew what they'd be doing when they got there
Always on their minds

Why couldn't the catatonic Ethiopian soldier girl do it like me?
She couldn't even hold a spoon
Psych techs had to feed her like a helpless baby child
Even then she resisted
So that food dribbled down the sides of her cheeks
But one day I passed her room, looking in
She was brushing her hair without a problem
There was some intelligence in her eyes
She caught me staring and with perfect ease she rose to close the door in my face
Catatonic no more?
Or was she ever?
Was ANY of this real
Or was it all staged for my benefit?
What exactly was I doing on the fourth floor?
Was it a test?
Was I a guinea pig?
That spot on my skull just behind my right ear
It itched a lot lately
Was that bump a quartz crystal embedded between skin and muscle?

Why yes, I believe it is
Within these same walls
I watched years
Too long taken for granted
Become precious
Once tedious
They fly by me now
Like swift birds
Heading south for the winter

Fifty-three years you'd think
I could feel something by now
Such omnipresent guilt
Poisons my heart
And numbs everything
Feeds upon itself

Perhaps I've been breathing the same air for too long
Trusting the wrong mirrors
Believing every word
Like my path treads through
Infinite clouds of gloom
Only briefly broken at ever shrinking intervals
By the Sun's warming rays
Like my thoughts are taken hostage
Convinced of their hatefulness
Worthless ideas, useless trash
I could retreat into nihilism
But for the warmth I sometimes feel
On the back of my neck
But optimism has been stolen from me
And now this god ****** curse
Is the cross I carry
Who will take it from me?
How long?
God grant me the wisdom
To look towards that day
Blinded by the Sun
My heart's delight
Razor groomed, baby's bottom
To glide my fingers across
Gripping, fascinated
You breathe in a sweet fog
You exhale a trembling sigh
An indescribable exclamation
An indiscernible exhortation
A dove's song of desire
Caution for the wind
Mine to control
No puppet, yet I pull strings
No fortress, yet I crash the gates
As you throw open the doors
I halt
So as to worship
Before I cross this line
Of fire and water
That no longer wields power
To lock me out
Left to wander, to live
For this moment
Or to let me slip
Out of consciousness
Into the womb
Soft baby's bottom
Sharp razor groomed
The Cherubim and Seraphim lie dead
Bleeding on the floor
Slashed and drained of the power
Conferred upon them by YHWH
Drained and stained
Dry and stolen
Given to a flower
A dowry so inadequate
I feel enlightened
Punished as I leave
For such an epiphany will not come again
Whereas I feared the intensity that brought me to
This place within you
So I dread the inevitable
Being born again
Better to remain
Surrounded by infinity
A gas planet that bears your name
Where the air I breathe
Smells of cotton candy
Hot coffee
Marijuana smoke
And your darkness bright
A shroud of purple light
Laser beamed into the back of my head
With the sole purpose of making me forget
All that came before
So that I might be clean and prepared
To get ***** again
I'm given 9 months
from Bipolar Confessional
© 2010 by James Arthur Casey
He stared at blank pages
His heart ached to fill
With nothing inside him
He'd sadly turn away
Leave till tomorrow
What he could not do today

His dream far behind him
Too short and too sweet
The ones who shared it with him
Lost in miles and years
The sounds of their voices cherished
A simple song, a picture in his mind

He felt like he was falling
Away from all that's real
Every day more disconnected
The sudden dawning realization
That some things weren't anything at all as he believed them to be
And so they became new

He thought perhaps it was a period of transition
From Egypt to Canaan
It should have been exciting
But it only confused him
A distraction
Wouldn't go there alone

The last time his pen touched fresh paper
He almost told the world he was through
The future held but one glittering prize
He wanted the race to be done
He searched for words, forget the rhymes
To share these dismal depths

The last time his pen touched fresh paper
It lifted without a stroke
Left behind a dark period that stained through to the back
He stared into it's center, as it were an abyss
He recognized himself in it's void
Falling, he'll write no more
Shining pearls of metallic rain
Jettison vertical, a thousand picture perfect
Puncture wounds
Bleeding light, both hands pointing skyward
A world sleeps, not all dream
Blissfully ignorant
Of the raging storm
Lightning flashing, clouds crashing
YHWH awakens
The nightmare ends
When a pet bird escapes
Through windows or holes
In the walls or the roof
She is overwhelmed by freedom
Wings catching air she soars
In only one direction
Almost as if she knows
There's nothing for her down here
A beeline straight into the stratosphere
Her weak wings quickly wearying
Having never really been used before
They can take her only so far
Until worn down they give up
Burning and aching like overdriven muscle
Exhilarated and ready
For free fall
Her weakness is the ceiling
An invisible barrier of pure air
Across which fate has decreed
She will not pass
Not high enough to touch clouds
But much too high to expect
A smooth landing
Much of a landing at all
Perhaps someone will see her
Grisly reunion with Gaia's unyielding Tarmac
The price you pay for too much freedom
As her cage is cleaned
Ready to be sold in a garage sale
Because the guy who kept her
Couldn't bear the guilt
Of accidentally leaving the window open
No matter his love for winged creatures
He'll never own another one
She sings, unites beautiful melody with a naturally melodious language
The end result being how I don't have a clue what she's saying
chanting the mantra given to her
by the bearded sage in the terry cloth bathrobe
who told her "your mind is a vast field where elephants gather to play"
before conferring the mantra

She lets the Sanskrit words roll over her tongue
a vernacular of formidable power
effecting even those who don't speak a word
such was I, Sanskrit illiterate, but the repetition
opened the lotus flower of my heart
the baby blue visage of Sri Krishna materialized
from the words she was singing

I took away his flute and blew a line from an old Jethro Tull song
she thought it enchanting
but Krishna was not happy to see his vaunted woodwind in the hands of a mere mortal
he stepped up to me, polite as can be
he says "if you don't give me my instrument I will be forced to cut off your hands, and then what do you think will happen to this poem?"

I stood my ground, possession being two thirds of the law
I blew the flute solo from Genesis' "The Musical Box" (having known it by heart)
the blue boy asked several times for me to
give him that almighty flute
each time I told him "No! You'll have it soon enough"
apparently not soon enough

(For he felt a pair of garden shears slice firmly through his right hand
the same set of shears severed his left
he dropped his stylus and papyrus to the ground
toppled over, landing smashly with a great crash
within a matter of time he bled out from the stumps where his hands had once been attached

Krishna picked up his flute and said
"what a pity"
and vanished into thin air
it all ended quickly as it had begun
and the sweet lady never stopped chanting her mantra
in fact her back had been turned before Krishna even showed up
it was a great shock to find her gentleman friend's lifeless and handless body on the ground

She shed a tear
I was no less miserable and sad
wished above all else
that I had been a real poet
so I could have finished the man's life work)
I could live without
Another day like today
The hour of realizing
It was not like any other
Was liberating and
At the same time
Dysfunctional kid
Someday I will be able to forgive you
For the lies concocted to terrorize
It's easy to see you've lost your way
Your first experience of love
The sharp ***** of a viper's fangs
The stinging heat of venom
Ushered through ******-tainted blood
By the pumping of a stubborn beating heart
Through it's chambers and on to your brain
This is where you lost touch with reality
You've hurt the ones I love
So even though I sympathize with your plight
(Reality so often a slippery *****)
I can't forgive you
Stupid kid
In my dream he wanted to know why
I want to think he'd care with my eyes wide open
This ghost that dwells in the wells of slumber
Deserves an answer
I feel compelled to spill it out
Before he melts, fog-like as the sun rises
And returns to more comfortable depths
Far away from memory
Into the bigger wind to which no one knows
From whence it came or where it goes

Would that the Wind show me a reason
I could pass on to him
That it would blow through the hole in his soul
Indifference punctured through

Take heed
Before experience proves the truth of my words
If love dies in your heart and your mind
Dare not believe that the ones left behind
Will heal any time

If you have ears to hear, Know
The love you refuse to mourn
You believe was stolen from you
Ripped from your fist
With violence excised
The love you choose to deny
Time after time after time
That with cruel alchemy
Melts into molten gold
Grows like a Rose,
Resonates with beautiful Music
Shines a most brilliant Light,
Feeds the Breath of Life
At your peril clip it's petals (with your "loves me-loves me not" nonsense )
At your peril drown it out (with your arguing and fighting)
At your peril call down darkness (call it down, down it will come)
Try not to breathe and fail every time

Only violence, desperate to have it's way, should wield the power
To break a chain of love
Sleepy ghost, you know this is true
On my life I would not do it to you
If a link in the chain were so weak as to break
You'll know which one before I'm awake
Though you'll never know why the metal was broken
Neither will I
Once I've awoken
One constant in my unremarkable life
The infinite ringing of tinnitus
Ignored by methods learned so long ago
I could not remember to teach them to you
Certainly not fail safe methods
With age it seems harder not to listen
And lament as it gets louder
Slowly, slowly, barely perceptibly
As through a screen I listen to things
From the dullest congressional hearing
To the most exquisite music
Of Gustav Mahler and Sigur Rós
I know there will come a day
I will not be able to dissect the intricacies of a randomly chosen Mahler symphony
Or appreciate the perfect bliss
Of Jónsi channeling angels
Breaking barriers, cerebral and ethereal
How will I remember this divine sound
When tinnitus masks the music of the spheres?
Will my memory ability do it justice?
Soon, oh graceful Lord, soon the curse will overshadow the blessing
And I will have to stand condemned of it being my own fault
It makes me want to cry when I say
I'll miss all music
For music has been the most trusted and reliable friend I've ever known
Sacrificed for what? Persistent ringing
But who knows, perhaps the tinnitus
Is to keep me from hearing the voices that accompany schizophrenia
Perhaps that's the sacrifice, the trade-off
Godsent music the price to keep insanity at bay
I must not think that way
Though my years are getting shorter
And tinnitus will surely claim my hearing sooner rather than later
I can't let myself feel guilty
For basking in the sonic waves of comfort
For playing Riceboy Sleeps again
Listening for the million musical noises
Floating around in the atmosphere like fire flies on a dark, humid summer night
There are recordings of ghosts on the record
I'm no para psychologist and I don't even believe in ghosts
But I swear I hear their mournful cries
Pianos in empty rooms
Simple melodies picked out by no hand at all
Sounds that cannot be identified
Pin ***** starlight shines pencil thin bright light beams
That show the moths and dustmites hanging from the air
Riceboy Sleeps you can wear like a cool coat or hide beneath like a sheet waiting for Answer Man to come get you
Stalling, stalling to keep you here until the absolute last minute
Something so strong that even tinnitus can never fail to steal it's otherworldly beauty
And though it's true I would choose Mahler over Sigur Rós and Jónsi/Alex
To be stuck on that desert island with
It's only because I think his symphonies would be better tools against boredom, so complex and intricate they are
I could live 50 more years and still not have heard what waits in his symphonies
Jónsi's voice is carved on my heart
I take it with me everywhere I go
I will never lose it
It is indeed part of me, even as it grows in it's mythology
Jónsi will be with me always
Even through the gates and down streets of gold
Mahler, though, will take a long, long time to work his way into my memory banks
Though he my not totally succeed I know
I'll get more than enough
And the desert island experience
Was only made tolerable by those 9 symphonies either in the Claudio Abaddo versions or the Muchael Tilson-Thomas cycle
So I keep 'em both
And in similar ways my tinnitus is staved off by
Message For Bears
Immanu El
Stafraenn Hakon
Jean Sibelius
Gregor Samsa
...there are many others
   Stand against tinnitus
   Pray a miracle from God
   To point out
   Unrecognized silence
Written under the influence of Jónsi & Alex's superb album "Riceboy Sleeps", an album that I cannot recommend highly enough
I remember a time
When I used to cuss like a sailor
No one could hold me back
Least of all you, my pretty little doll
I never saw you flinch
Though my profanity was loud and obnoxious

These days you ride with me, still mighty sweet
But you've curbed my expression
By the hateful disappointed looks you give me
If I dare utter an offensive word
And I have to ask
Did you grow a stronger set of morals since the good old days of yore?

Maybe I did, you reply
All I can think of to respond is
Well, doll face, you can **** me running
But this horrid language is branded on my brain
And I don't see how I'm ever gonna purge myself of it
You say Its easy, just find other words to use
That's fine and dandy but all the other words I have to use are worse than the ones you get so offended by
I'll curb it some but I can't guarantee I won't let a ripe one slip now and again
She said Well that's fine and acceptable to me
But don't go expecting I'll tolerate it well
Cuz I won't
You're a grown man

Of course I'm a grown man
That's why I'm allowed to talk that way
She said Grown men DON'T talk that way
That's what I'm trying to tell you
If you had any maturity about ya you wouldn't find the need to use that language
I say well I'll be ******* if you didn't just place it all in perspective
Thank ya dear, for enlightenin' me
Even were it ever so minuscule

I love ya baby more than my own
Personal freedom of expression
You're too good to your man for him to discount your feelings and emotions
I'm gonna wash my mouth out with soap
One last time
And I am going to join well-mannered clean-speaking civilized society
All my cussing will be just between me and God
Cuz He ain't told me to stop yet
I'm pretty sure He thinks those words are funny
Don't worry, God, I won't tell my sweet honey pie
If she found out she'd probably die
It was there
though I don't know how it got
I can tell you with a considerably high degree of confidence
of it's presence and location within
for I see myself practicing an alchemy
with thoughts deranged making their way
into the stew
the broth in the brew
into not one, but two magnum opusi
tweedle deedle dee and tweedly umbi
get 'em by
I see myself succeeding in this alchemical work
playing itself outside of me
and pretending it's a poem
This alchemical voice all too often silenced
before the pivotal motive of the book has been read
burning bushes it returns
and it is to this location I direct you
when I say I know where it is
and though I do not inform you
of the items in the magical box
when I pulled them from my hat
they were all there
they were all alone, crying, some with real tears
others substituting with expensive reproductions

I couldn't tell you what's in my heart right now
if you'd let me
I stand condemned, alone, leaving this
life atoned
I don't even know
It's full of ghosts and dead bones
filled with history and broken dreams
to the brim with emotion
to the extent
that a heart can be broken
I claim mind has been broken a few times
and it never crossed mind
how the last time was worse than the last time
and every time was just like that
So look out, I'm courtin' the jester
I'm on the hunt for a crime
I'm telling lies just for lying

and I am not distracted by the dramatic strains
of Franz Schubert's 8th symphony, ushering in
the dramatic while I sit and try to think
of something to say
and a way I can say it
with meaningless syntax
and dreamless taxed sin
that's the stuff I'm wallowing in
it's like gooey taffy, the color of Granny Smith
even smells like green apple, the kind God doesn't grow
in Indianapolis in the summertime
I'm assuming that's to imply
that apples can be found on each and every tree
when the magical season of summer is in session
and that there has never been a summer that has not
brought us much and more ever needed
never in need of anything more

I was that poet voice
took a liking to your mind
together we rollicked in forests
and made shepherd's pie on St. Patty's Day
and what a day, that day, Patty O'the Day
I gave you the words on this page
Though their eventual response be rage
Try to find meaning in them
I dare you
It cannot be done
I lie alone
I was once afraid
To die alone
I don't know where that fear has gone
I guess I've been alone too long
That's a lie
I am a vessel of experience
I'm only along for the ride
My prayers echo through dark chambers
Shining light into dark corners
Forgotten the second they've crossed my lips
Nothing but hope
No petitions to change what's already created
From the beginning of time
The inception of space
For grace and acceptance only
Are all I expect for my words

I am eternal
Having forgotten
What it means
To begin
Never conceiving an end
I am the conjunction of circles
Bridging light and darkness
The crux of duality
I stand on the border

I am the empty void you breathe in
A mirror
The reflection alive and swimming
A moving portrait of who you see me to be
But a stranger there to my eyes
I'm doing what I can
I can't do anymore
Be honest with myself
Isn't that what you want?
Integrity? Isn't it enough?
It had better be
Because it's all I've got
Not that it feels like it does me any good
I'm just tired
I fall asleep during the opera
the wrinkles around my eyes
seem deeper now than they were
the last time i looked
steep, soft valleys
too often lately
flooded by saltwater
chiseled in skin
by experienced hands
Fire breathing gorgons
Consume radical liquids
Fall into poetry repetition
Also sprach Zanabanana
Centered and pressurized
Back-up pushes against

Antibiotic shortage
Carefully planned
Lower intestinal numbness
Head in the clouds
*** on the ground
I'm right
It hurts.
Things that worry me
Is my vision steadily deteriorating?
I look at the iPhone screen in the dark with my glasses off
Is that enough?
Or must I factor in the harsh light from my lap top screen
And the screen on my Kindle HD-X
I will even on occasion watch the television screen
And a movie once every two or three months
But all those I wear my glasses for
It's mainly the iPhone at night I am concerned about
Like I'm doing right now

Let me tell you the truth
My cynicism has evolved into a meaner beast
There aren't too many people I want to get to know past "thanks for the money
God bless" and if you think I really care if God blesses you why then you haven't been paying attention
I can't seem to muster up a smidgen of compassion for anyone
It's been so long since I felt that special kind of affection for anyone
And though it's true that people are typically getting dumber much faster than they're wising up
I'd say it's a wonder we worry about it at all
Or is it all in my head?
Is the Ambien invading entire sections of my brain, one by one, the ones not totally massacred and eradicated by the last ten years onslaught with marijuana of various properties and potencies
I suppose I should level a fare share of the blame on the Great Communicator THC
BUT I'm not a lost cause
Not yet
Not today, I made it through the day
Tomorrow isn't quaranteed

And as far as you know
I'm just the quiet guy in the market
Not a word for anyone he runs into
Not a word
Thank God for the self -checkout
I may ***** you, it's true
But I'm harmless
Unless attacked
Then I'm a ******* raging inferno
Blessed with precision
I will drag you into my hell
And you will know what it's like to be me
Walking cloud nine in the pits of Sheol
She told me
What I wanted to hear
Like she knew
When to pour it on
And when to ease off
This and nothing more
To make me fall in love
With her blue eyes
Staring through impenetrable glass
I never thought she lied
Making an idol of me
Teasing my peace of mind
"Without love,"
I heard her say
"The world would go insane"
Then she walked away
When the weight lifts
I rise
Hope like sunshine fills
My eyes
With gentle certainty
All things change
Nothing dies

I'm not as smart
As I thought
I needed to be
Now I see
I never needed to be
As smart as that

I idolized the intellectual
Depression was my reward
For failing to meet that standard
But life gets hard as the years go by
Harder, harder, yet harder still
Death loses more of its sting
The older I get
Until I'm happy to go out
Like Kevin Spacey's character
In American Beauty
Lost in the portrait of better times
Distracted unaware of danger behind
For at this moment Heaven fills his mind
A camera shot the photograph in his hands
A hateful man shot a .45 slug into his head
With a smile on his face he fell to the floor dead
Life extinguished in the exact amount of time
It took for the flashbulb to illuminate the image
In the frame
Smiles all around, except for the executioner
He was miserable
Feeling the weight of pounds and pounds
Lowering onto his back

Never to lift, thrown into
Drowned like unwarranted litter from the
Fat belly of a mangy dog
Sinking like the ******* twisted face
Of the unwanted feline
Ghost sends for the ropes
Ghoul fetched the heavy stones
Goblin tied the ropes to the animals feet
Gully dwarf secures the stone
And I'm the only one with the sense
To see what needs to be done

Weight has lifted
I'm not as smart as I thought I was
Slow down, read aloud
It's almost as relaxing as cannabis

But that don't mean
I ain't gettin no cannabis tomorrow
And I hope it's bomb sativa
Cuz I wanna fly
Didn't it sound a lot like something
He said a long time ago?
Now it makes sense
Dripping from honey lips

I lowered the box into the ground
Empty but only I knew as much
Nothing to see, nothing to touch
My own heart was buried deeper down

Looking up I saw you shed a tear
For all I was laying to rest
Was to you a memory blessed
A short respite, the re-emergence of fear

Or maybe I had it wrong
You could have known all along
I could have been the one deceived
Or maybe I only thought you believed

Step back
She sings the Mantra
Let her finish
Before we continue

Hare Krishna ¥ Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna ¥ Rama Rama
Hare Rama ¥ Hare Rama
Rama Rama ¥ Krishna Krishna

I could tell you reasons for what I've done
Before the passion flamed
I dreamed her naked, unashamed
Innocent as the day was young

I thought it was love that drove me on
Even when the snake bared it's fangs
Injected it's venom of change
Convinced my compassion was strong

Now I know that it can't be forgiven
The arrows pierce you from behind
Weaker still your weakened mind
And contaminate your imagination

Stole a page from God's playbook
I'm sorry, my old friend, that you fell
But I have ****** myself to hell
Just one page was all it took

this end is for me even more than it is for you
the fog in the forest is still sickly thick
and you can't see the forest for the trees
I dragged it out for too long
but I know your ignorance is blissful and I don't blame you
I'd do the same thing if I were in your shoes

It was my own guilt that stopped me cold
Made me think twice of what I'd done
I know you'd just soon it go on and on
(And on and on)
But seeing you so often demeaned is getting so very old


Cry when you hear the song
Crying is often the best thing to do
Break down for an hour, in the back of your mind
Know it gets better when the grieving is through
Don't take anything she said for granted
She felt she had good advice
But you gotta let it work
Learn how to pray
Build a fortress around your mind
Evict the rogue voices

"This is rebirth
The hardest word
Held under water
This is death
I'm out of breath
Held under water"
           - Dustin Carpenter
            "Held Under Water"
             (big sleep., 1988)
I hear…I will…I do not understand, if you are speaking through me won’t you please make your presence known. If not, kindly show me to the door. Jolly rancher, jolly Rodger…Every rose has it’s burden, a shifting stone takes in all it has coming. A stitch to throw in a ditch saves just three under a dozen. Come in and care. Come in and make yourself at home. Come in here and cough up a phlegm-ball. Rest your weary head on my tombstone.

There’s a reason for all the things I do. Do you want to know what it is? One thing, and ONLY one thing: Pepto-Bismol. **** gets things done. That’s my excuse, pardon me, sir, if you don’t get it, you won’t get it you won’t NEVER *** it down in yer soul where it needs to be.

Never so young as you were that day. What a show. What a show. Pretty maids all in a row, fit to a one with tight trusses emblazoned. BUTNER BUTNER BUTNER! Three cheers for Butner. One big long cheer with corresponding slutty ***** dancing routine thrown in for free. From your friends in Butner.

They ate that right up. Didn’t even have to spoon feed ‘em. They’z musta bin reeeel hungery. Sure thought mine was special.

And it was.

Take my pick, that’s the schtick. Maybe the doll in the unwashed dreadlocks? Maybe the gal with the go-hero pout. Maybe the one with the sad dropping eyelids? Maybe the ***** with the genital itch. Maybe the ***** with the venereal sore. Maybe the **** with the cellulite ****.

Or maybe the tiny, mousy mouse of a sprite, never had love look her in the eye, that stuff only makes a man wonder why. Hair shorn short and shut out the lights or you will never see that incredible aura and glow she dwells in like a bubble. She’s the one to choose. She’s the one, you can’t lose, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, how can I make it more plain? You’re gonna get wet if it rains and I haven’t got time for the pain, Strange Woman. MY woman.

Make some plans for a one night stand I’m a dope smokin’ man and I sure get around and my life revolves around Strange Strange Women. Strange customs. Strange habits. Strange ideas of just exactly how incredibly Strange they actually are. I’ve got mine, now you go get yours. We’re hookin’ up at the dance.

Dilly dance, dance of the week, American Bandstand dance and you didn’t like the words but it’s got a good beat so you give it an 85. You could dance to it.

Such was my hope. Twas to be my destiny, if luck stayed tucked in my pocket I was fittin’ to be gittin’ my share o’ what I got comin’…

…and I did.
I was high, oh my, higher than a bird
flies on the breeze, gliding that fast track
to the sun

Anchored by a hunka heavy bass guitar
jumpin' up and down singin' chunky words
look around, those my friends strappin' guitars and drum sticks
call us Behemoth, heavy and hairy and loud
call us Godzilla spittin' radioactive beams
but we been up here for four hours
anybody listening?
I got secrets of the universe stashed
in the second chorus of Dazed and Confused
People, you missin' out

Whose that spittin' at the table at the stage?
she keep tryin' to catcha my eye
she done caught my attention
gal knows I'm only playing two more songs
I telepathically dedicate the last one to her
I'm sending signals and suggestions till my knuckles are blue

Hot **** the girl done understand
I got her right where I want her
feelin' bored I'm needing a lot more so I say
"condition, baby, who is that lady
hanging on to you all of the night?
You think she's down for some animal action
with me and you in the hotel tonight?
cause I don't feel like a natural man
that's not what I want to be
I'm tired of settling for one, how 'bout you?
when I can get me two, two and one makes three

She introduced me to her own best friend
I smoked a bowl of some bud
they weren't looking too bad before
but that herb had 'em lookin' REAL good!

It was on like a *** of neckbones
we was making movies
feeling groovy, feelin' frisky, feelin' high
feelin' fine, feelin' fine, feelin' fine
we crawled together like a funky new animal
swapping each other's sweat
just when I thought I couldn't take it no more
the two on 'em swore they wasn't half finished yet
I gave 'em one more hour then I hadda shut it down
though I appreciated the party goon' down

They was gettin' dressed and puttin' their shoes on
the first turned 'round to me
she was the prettiest of the two
so I listened to what she thought we should do
"let's do this again maybe tomorrow morning "
I admit that sounded like a capital idea
"you guys rock and you deserve to live the life"
I most surely could not argue with that

Went to her crib next morning
ready for a repeat performance
but she opened the door with a sad face
"baby," she said,"my oldman's gettin' outta prison today
he'll be here anytime "
I could read in her face
not even enough time to knock off a quickie
in fact she looked frightened
as if he might walk in the door any minute
I wondered if he knew what a free spirit his wife was
this was the first time I was aware she had been married

I turned and walked to my car
perhaps no groovy lovin' but at least I wasn't riddled with bullet holes
I will live to rock another day
but I don't harbor any illusions
I'll ever kink as supremely
as I did when I had those two beauties
and those two beauties sho nuff had me
I've been waiting

I've been here

Submerged in sorrow, drowning in fear

I'll be watching as they march tonight

Take my hand and we'll walk into the fire

This ain't no heartbreak

No one involved

Just some problems that I can't get solved

I'm the problem...a thief, a liar

Come take my  hand and we'll walk into the fire

The sound of gunfire

No gentle death

A final struggle for one last breath

I don't reject it...I couldn't be higher

You took my hand and we walked into the fire
Monica, all I ever had to offer was my love
Someone somewhere someone knew
That wouldn't be enough
You slipped from my existence
With the ringing of the phone
I would not see you again
Something I should have known
I should have seen it coming
From miles down the road
When it finally came to me
I should have seen it go
Monica, your name could stop me
Hopeless in my place
Your elvish smile, your puppet frame
Devoid of tact or grace
Devilish I made you out
The demon you could be
Made me want you all the more
For things I could not see
Dancing close I felt I knew
How empty your world was
That I could be the very thing
To give your life a cause
Monica you laughed at all
My lame *** poetry
Even so I didn't mind as long
As you were beside me
And then there was the kiss
That made me think I could
Do all the things I promised you
The things I said I would
But even as I felt your breath
And held you 'gainst my chest
Something in the way you moved
All my fears addressed
Monica, I should have known
But I wanted you so much
You were as ******* up as I was
Toxic to the touch
I had nothing for you
I only thought I did
Now the years have made it clear
I only thought I did
I never had anything
I only thought I did
I didn't want to give it away
I only thought I did
Who is this madman with the smile pasted
So painfully out of place
On his painfully unremarkable face?
An offering to a camera
Or to the preservation of a memory
He doesn't wear it well but how can you tell?
You can't see the weight of the world in his eyes
The grey in his hair is common to all
It's the phony smile
Out of sync with some unseen but tangible aura
Gives him away
He floats on the periphery
Where nothingness is preferred
Apathy rots...
What will it take
To awaken you
When you've lost faith in dreams?
When sleep is a warm amnesia
Nothing more
Granted, a good thing
For a wise old man
Whose mind is stuffed with memories
A good thing
For a tired old soul
Weighing experience on rusty scales
Whose biggest regret
Is having succumbed to apathy
Realizing, too late,
What a weak enemy it is
How easy it would have been
To conquer and subdue it
To bend it to the will and tame it
It couldn't be all that hard
But you have barely set off on the journey
You can offer advice to no one
Even as you take no advice from anyone
Who convinced you your soul was black?
Do you think there will ever come a day when
You will forgive him
You will forgive her
For lying to you?  

"It is better to have loved and lost
Than to never have loved at all"
What a **** shame William's wisdom
Has been relegated to the status of a Hallmark greeting card  
Where so many people laugh and snicker
So secure in their smug little minds
That they have a ******* clue what it really means
That they don't have a use for this kind of optomistic philosophy
Or the sad sacks who just don't get it
Who can't look past their pain and bitterness
To grasp it's prophecy
Who won't swallow the pill because they just don't want to
Even if they know
(as they all do)
That it's a cure

I'm powerless
I WISH I didn't care
But that's a death wish
I'm a child who loves his toys
I don't want them taken from me
Christmas is around the corner and you know what that means
That's right!
© 2010 by James Arthur Casey
By the time he wrote those words
his soul had sprung a leak
the best he had to offer
long ago had seeped into the ether

He put pen to paper
but the emptiness mocked him
dared him to write a single word
he knew to be true

It would be the first
though words had flown through him
blood to a punctured vein
from the days when his heart was strong

By the time he wrote those words
the needle fluttered on "E"
the last drops, too precious to waste
he knew they'd be the last

The first to admit they never "got him"
with his too-deep jumble of esoterica
he took comfort in the hope that death would bring them understanding
if he couldn't change the world surely the world would change for him

On the day he wrote those words he realized
the sacrifices he made for his art
all but the last were pointless
there's no getting around impermanence

With shaky hands and weak gripping fingers
taking up the paper's challenge he wrote those words
"I am..."
in an instant Truth slayed him

Subsumed into the primal substance
a thief no more
unconcerned at last with being

I'm embarrassed to admit this. The night before last I ate an excessive amount of Sour Chewy Sweettarts. If you've ever had them you know that just one or two have enough toxic chemical dust sprinkled on them to make your mouth numb for several minutes. Well I got into a rhythm of eating one, then adding one to it, then another for three, then four, then five, then  six all the way to seven at one time. In that experiment alone I consumed no fewer than 26 Sour Chewy Sweetarts and even that was after having warmed up with several single helpings.

Sour Chewy Sweettarts were at one time marketed under the name  "Shockers". Let me tell you they should have respected the truth in advertising inherent with that label. The intensity of tartness conferred from all these ***** Wonka treats was remarkable and very well could have been the most face-squinching sourness I've experienced in my fifty-plus years.

The unfortunate downswing of these hijinks is that I developed a chemical burn that spread across the entirety of my tongue all the back to and including the area where my uvula hangs.

It's my own stupid fault. I could feel the chemicals eating through too many layers of cells long before the administration of candy pellets had reached four, even five-count multiples. By the time I had the seven pack ****** down to gel the burning was so bad I had to squint my eyes. The question that found priority amongst all that came to me at that moment was "how long is my mouth going to be so alternately sensitive and numb that I won't be able to eat my beloved jalapenos and spicy vittles?" A couple of days later and that answer still has not been found, although progress has been made to the point where I have faith it WILL indeed know how paranoid I can think sometimes, surely my mouth will never heal from THIS god forsaken self-inflicted injury, after all, I deserve it, hence the term "SELF inflicted". It's nothing but payback being it's usual self. If I never get to taste the wondrous seasonings of a well-mixed chili recipe cooked to perfection by someone who really knows how to make chili...if I never sigh with uninhibited satisfaction after downing a swig of Dr. Pepper or Miller's High Life or Guinness Stout...if I never again will be able to tell the difference between prime Angus beef and succulent Maine Lobster it is for good reason that I've been deprived of these tender mercies. It's because I knew when to stop and I kept on eating, though tears had begun to form.

No, it's more than that. It's because Universal Forces were all the while begging me, whispering in  my ears, "Stop! Stop! Enough! No more!" What would have happened if Joseph had ignored the Lord on that cool December night? Gabriel let Mary in on what was going down, what do you think would have happened if she'd gotten jealous of Joseph and disregarded the angel because he didn't have quite as much clout as her husband's Messenger? What would have happened? Nobody knows. But I know what would have happened if I'd heeded the advice of the benevolent spiritual  beings who were trying to warn me to lay off of the Sour Chewy Sweettarts. I wouldn't be sitting here typing on the hp laptop about how I got the chemical burn from hell.

But it seems like valuable lessons may be learned at every turn. So it is that with almost every experience I am resigned to also look at this one as the hard earned silver lining. Just what exactly have I learned? Well, first of all I've learned that it would probably be a good idea in the future to regulate severely the amount of Sour Chewy Sweettarts (aka Shockers) I eat in one sitting. If I ever eat them again, If the emotional scars of the chemical burn will free me in my sweet tooth's cravings for Wonka Sugar to ever again opt for the sour stuff. I learned that eating Vlasic Kosher Dill Pickles with such a freshly de-sensitized/throbbing chemically-scorched tongue is a prospect that shares much in common with a full day of taste-testing ghost peppers. Only on a slightly smaller scale does the briny pickle juice pack it's own searing acidic punch.

Other lessons? Oh I'm sure I could fill a book with lessons this has taught me. Writing that book might be the most useful, benevolent gesture I ever offered my fellow man but I don't know if I can do it. But if I did, this would have to be the first couple of lines on the very fist page:

Make sure you're going to have a LOT of alone time the morning after.

But that's just plain good advice.
This was my life's work.
It's all I had going for me.
A head in a hand basket and a knuckle-rust sandwich for dinner.
Stored neatly in a corner
Reserved for mice and maggots
Wrapped in used aluminum foil
It's just as I left it
That cold and only day
Far away from grey skies and blue turtle tails.
I could barely concentrate on it most days.
Too much pressure.
Too many distractions and though I realized this was to be
My memories last stand
I couldn't help but feel as if more than time
Was being wasted.

All I could do was apologize.
It's the way my brain works.
Nothing gets done.
I fall in love with the thought of impermanence
Until the cold realization that it's my own illusion  
Whispering away on the wind and no one else's.
I fail again.
This beginning is near the end and it's no indication
Of what I'm capable of.
It's an anti-****** of sorts.
If there's a God in heaven,
If I haven't wasted all this life struggling against the weight of damnation in vain
I'll be redeemed in it's eccentricity
For eccentricity is all I've experienced.

Let me say that again.
I've courted eccentricity like a blind lover
Too eager for the afterglow.
The expectations I've hoarded are staggering
They make me an eager handyman of souls.
This eccentric nature I've absorbed
And yet it is loathsome to me.
I crave acceptance but ****** be the man who can figure me out.
It hurts so much to know I've missed you.
The signal resignation that I've been forced to grant normalcy.
Without sense or sensibility.

Should I speak in the third person?
Would you think I was trying to hide behind a character the thoughts and plans and deeds I might not care for your knowing?
Is that something I might do?
Those thoughts.
Those deeds.
Those plans.
They exist be they the property of
or of Jerry the poultry dealer.
The only difference is that Jerry the poultry dealer is a fairly affable fellow.
I'm a *******.
This was my life's work.
It's all I had going for me.
A head in a hand basket.
A knuckle-rust sandwich.
Stored neatly in a corner
Reserved for mice and maggots
Wrapped in used aluminum foil
Just as I left it
on that cold and only day
Far away from grey skies and blue turtle tails.
Most days I could barely concentrate.
Too much pressure.
Too many distractions
...and though I realized this was to be
The last stand of my memorys
I couldn't help but feel as if more than time was being wasted.

It's the way my brain works.
Nothing gets done.
I fall in love
with the thought of impermanence
until the cold realization
it's my own illusion
whispering away on the wind
no one else's... I fail again.

This beginning leans
towards the end
No indication
an anti-****** of sorts
and if there's a God in heaven,
if I haven't wasted all this life struggling against the weight of damnation in vain...
I will be redeemed in it's eccentricity

I've courted eccentricity
a blind lover
eager for the afterglow.
Expectations I've hoarded are staggering
They turn me into an eager handyman of souls.
An eccentric nature I've absorbed
Yet loathsome to me.  
Craving acceptance
but ****** the man who can figure me out.
It hurts so much to know I've missed you.
The signal resignation
I've been forced to grant normalcy.
Maybe 20 years
if I'm lucky
I'll waste every one
I know I will

Vultures winging lazy, hungry circles
majestic carrion
thinking of dogs
too lazy to chase them way

Maybe it's the poet
on the feeding trend
lifeless, soulless
his broken heart to mend

the poet cannot be trusted
he has dealt with lies and half-truths
almost his entire life

He thinks he knows who his friends are
but he doesn't recognize the sound of their laughter
when he's turned away
guffaws, giggles, hateful, evil snark

But he deserves it
madman desire it
your useless, poet,
when your words have no use for you
By day and through night
My brothers and sisters waited for him.
I never knew he was gone.

In a house heavy with history forgotten,
Save a few precious moments, hoarded,
That barely made up for an hour but at least they were mine.

I found myself last night,
With all that I'd lost,
Cowering in a corner.

The reasons, submerged beneath a thick, black muck of subconscious
Thought, I would just as soon not know.
I tried so hard to shove forgiveness down his throat when it was too late and he didn't need it.

There we were, wide-eyed and grateful,
Locked in each other's arms,
As if he had never been gone.

By now I knew
The newness of his heartbeat...
The novelty of breathing...

It was then I saw.
It was then I felt
His body held tightly in my grip, no longer frail.

I felt his warmth.
The heat, an aura of life,
Brushed against my chest and I grasped the body all the more firmly.

We shared the same air for a moment.
Selfishly stealing it into our lungs,
I was so frightened of exhaling.

He'd conquered that monster
A long time ago,
But he held me all the tighter.

I felt the pressure of his embrace...
We must have stood there for hours...
Or a few precious moments, hoarded.

I don't remember him ever leaving.
We stood like statues in that haunted house
Until the rain of nothingness soaked us to the bone.

I don't remember him leaving.
We merged into ghosts and floated together
Until the wind of forgetfulness finally blew us to other shores.

I don't remember him leaving
We dissolved into baptismal waters meant for saints
Until the Sun scorched us dry.

I never knew he was gone
This tower will fall
humiliating, humbling
razed to rubble through
force of confusion
exposing the weakness
revealing the softness
of those trusting
it's shelter
the gods who maintained
fooled us all
those wraiths convinced us
the invisible crown
was a perfect fit
for our imperfect heads
Only a moment to tell you
Bradley Cooper wearing a trash bag
Makes more sense

How I despise
Still yet I cried
Or at least
You don't have to talk to me, babe
No, you don't have to talk
I won't say a single word
There's nothing more I could say that you haven't
Heard it all before
What was it like before?
What was it like before the horsemen
Rode that final mile
What was it like to rustle cows all day
Drink up the saloon all night
Girl you betcha heard me right

I knew you weren't no saint, from the
First day I saw you I knew
Courting trouble ain't a winnin' game
Sometimes it feels the victor is the one who loses too
What does it all mean?
What do you need from me tonight?
Now has come the time
You better tell me why I shouldn't cut you off
Like I should have a long, long time ago
Tell me do you love me so?
Courtin' trouble ain't a way I know
Courtin' trouble ain't the way to go
Courtin' trouble and nobody throws in their hand with the winning card
So where you goin', Cat?
Where are you going?
Cat said I ain't going nowhere,
I'm staying right here with you
From sunrise till nightfall
I be with you throughout it all
I said Cat you're a dreamer, baby
But this is one of those dreams that just don't come true
You got no choice but to take it, baby, embrace it as the truth
One day you will look back
Laugh and recoil at scenes of your brutal youth
Laugh and enjoy the bitter irony
Of following a muse a man made spirit
Who can explain these things?
What are the feelings we share
And to what extent do we truly share anything?

Did you get the part about the horsemen?
It was one of the most painfully obvious placements of symbolism I've ever read
Just as the last sentence was the most painfully inept viz. grammatically butchered and la di da dee da
We want you to sing along
You remember that Carpenters song, "Sing"?
Hokey, corny song then, only made more hokey and more corny with the passage of years since the time it first made the rounds on the AM radio and the streaming realities of the music industry's eventual ******* by Spotify.
But that song..."Sing"
You remember that, I know you do
Let's sing that chorus
Here we go, everybody ready?
Ok, 1, 2, 3, 4
'la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear, just sing
Sing a song'

I asked you to not say a word
And you were chivalrous enough to grant that request
I appreciate your silence
As I also hope you have appreciated my own utter cavernous silence
Without a single word spoken between us
This was without question the most quiet dinner I've ever spent
With anyone
Shelter me, O Lord
In the impenetrable fortress
Of your Reality
Let not the pregnant clouds of thought
Obscure the brilliant ray of your Light
Shining for all men to see
I shall walk away, O Lord
So I have time after time before
Charmed by angels and demons both
You have always called me back
To celebrate the lessons taken to heart
And to forgive my wandering spirit
I have denied You and disowned You
Questioned the proofs that You gave
My mind is never satisfied
I am so enamored of the seeking
I won't accept the Names You've been given by others
You are the One which defies naming
Too often I forget
You took a Name
And a face and a beating heart and lungs that required
The same air as mine
God With Us
Jesus Christ
The Kingdom of Heaven
Hated and adored
Devoted, dismissed
A name almost as powerful as the God within
Divisive, misappropriated
A sharp double-edged sword, misunderstood
All my seeking has brought me back to You
Even when my mind is convinced You are illusion
My heart burns for You
I listen for Your voice, silence overwhelms
I look for You only to find
That everything else is the illusion
That even my own body and thoughts are part of that illusion
While You are the mind that holds it all in
I do see you...when I close my eyes
I do hear you...when I penetrate through sound
Help me, O Lord
Sort through these disordered thoughts
To find the Cornerstone
The rock of my salvation
And give me wisdom
To cling to it...
I can't talk with my mouth full of water
But I'll try

What are you doing here?
I would have thought you'd be
Dry, bare bones by now
I'd come to terms with the memory
Filed and stored it in a dusty chamber
Where it's power could not hurt me
Sealed in a strong locked box
I thought I had mastered the anger
That I'd dominated it through the tears of others
Though it had eaten me
To leprous skin and bone
Forgiveness seemed easy
When you were so far away
Because I wanted to love you so badly
But now you're back
Your own anger almost dwarfing mine
Your own tears, earned honestly
Though not half as innocently as my own
And you're still repeating your mantra
I will never forget
Your message, your signal flare
Something you needed me to know
With all the urgency of confession
(As if that were an excuse)

"My nerves are shot
My nerves are shot
My nerves are shot
My nerves are shot"
You always had a knack for stating the obvious

Until today I had managed
To squelch that ridiculous chanting
But here you are again
Showed up almost out of a dream
Needing a sponge
To soak in your rage
(None of my doing)
Begging me to stitch your heart back together
(I haven't the surgeon's skill)
Punching holes in walls
Getting your knees *****
Asking for miracles
Expecting me to pull them off
Ultimately disappointed
Hallucinating power for me to wield
Not realizing
That my back had already been broken
By the same sad world
That broke yours
Follow your thoughts to a garden of ideas
That grow on green trees, ripe for the picking
Sweet cleansing rain falls from velveteen skies
Each drop a word, every word a bomb
Turn to see the look on your face
And you're gone
Off to some other ridiculous place

Caught up with you, no easy feat that
Almost got lost in translation
Thank God you're a thief
I'd be wandering aloud, alone in the woods
Without those touchstones
To set me back on course
Fields of neon wheat and poppy seed
Another shadow world
Hidden behind curtains
A poor man's veil

This house is alive
The wood, the mortar
It moves, inhales, exhales
It dances with the wind that blows
From the southwest
A breeze that breathes
Some semblance of life into it's architecture
Something for the old ghosts to dream about
It's over my head

They've chosen and called elders
To propagate unreality
Men who have believed a lie for so long
They can convince it is the truth
A subtle manipulation of the obvious
It's not a game to them
I should remember the color of your eyes
All the time swimming hypnotized
Lost sight of surface tints and hues
Drowning in the deeper parts of you

Twirled your hair around my index finger
Things you wouldn't think I would remember
Shivering embraces desperate in afterglow
Restless and naive but even so

Sure enough how we had conquered love
Or likely more how love had conquered us
Fingers tracing lifelines, mine yours, yours mine
Telling wondrous stories of all we looked to find

Then the day I watched you fall out of step and down
How I tried to join you when your body hit the ground
How they held me back and swore you'd be okay
Sure enough without my help you got up and walked away

I hear this song and I always think of you
Fragile music we once liked making love to
Invisible reminder of things that used to be
Fuel for the fire of our union's memory
That old song from the seventies
Is as sappy as the thought
That it still could make me feel something
For you
But the seventies are long gone
With them a lot of other things
Not the least of which is
Any appreciation whatsoever
For this sappy song
From the seventies
The puppy love sick sensorium
That is a teenager's heart
Skirting 'round the boredom of the day
Is a skill
I have developed
Through the long, empty years
****** upon me by mean 'ol One-Eye
A temporary fix
Still useful for a time
It keeps the push from becoming a shove
A defense mechanism
Manipulation of time, streams of ballast
All the while
This becomes obvious as
The voices tell me it is so
They keep me awake at night
There's no shutting them up
Not hateful tones
These shadows don't accuse
They only want to help
But they don't have a ******* clue how to go about it
They don't listen well
Because they aren't sure if I'm the one doing the talking
They don't trust the other
Or maybe they don't know the other
Perhaps they feel as if they are anchoring me to reality
Telling me I should hoard
That I need these things for my own
That I could actually own these things
When all the while I have no illusions
Any of it could ever be kept
I know something they don't
It's not worth keeping
They won't be convinced, though
And so their benevolence
Drives me out of my mind, for a short break

They dropped the charges
The killer got off
No one ever knew
He went to his grave
Happy, smiling
Guiltless in his own mind
With blood on his hands

I saw her lying on the road as I drove by
The ambulance had only just arrived
No shattered glass on the ground
No smashed vehicle for the rubber neckers
Just some old guy bent over her
Checking to see if she was hurt badly
I didn't see any blood
But she wasn't moving
Bliss taunts me
From the other side of the mirror
Where I've seen those heavenly shores
Imagination clothes brilliance
It is enough
More than enough
It is everything and all things
Nothing and anything
To inhabit as a world of my own
Satisfied in the simple observance
Yes I've basked in the glow of ethereal Oneness
The memory keeps me running
On the promise of reconciliation
And this I believe:
From One I came
To One I shall return
Let all that stands between
Remain as it is, what it is
That I may give it all away when the time comes
And I have Someone to give it to
I want to resist the urge to be right
Jump into the fire, sway like the flame
Explode on contact and take pleasure
In ceasing to be
I need to be it one more time
To know what it is
Then embrace it like a lost daughter
I'm needing to be
Electricity is the word I use
A substitute for drugs
Which are themselves a substitute
For belief
But it's belief I'm sick of
Faith only takes one so far
It may be as far as we'll ever truly need
At this moment not far enough
I could be a puppet
I wouldn't mind
As long as the one who pulls the strings
Believes in me
As long as the one who gives me speech
Brings me to life and guides my steps
Calls me his own
Calls me his own
At this moment I understand
Blessed, sacred moment
At this moment words are failing
I am falling
A forest of trees
Sacrificed willingly
For the greater good
A medium of memories
Watch your step
The management is not responsible for personal injury
Refer to the Self-Help section
Second room to the right

The ghosts who congregate here
Holy and profane
Lament the passing of their generation
Guard against fire
For one little spark will bring the whole house down
With enough kindling to keep
It burning for days

I remember my first visit to the Bookery
The improbable tales of countless manuscripts
A sea of words, an ocean of ideas
Stories and poems to wear like clothes
A world on yellowing paper
Easier on the eye
A hundred miles I did drive
To find this treasure of treasures
When I got there I couldn't find a **** thing
But it was fine because I wanted everything

No out of the way bookstore or well organized library
The Bookery was a beast in it's own category
The disheveled nature of the books on the shelves
Made it a puzzle to solve
A maze you forget where center is
Distracted by the scenery on the way
Not much of a poem, I know. Just a silly tribute to a really cool  place. They even have a credit card machine now, but that doesn't mean  you can't haggle the old woman down to half price if you look intimidating enough.
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