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Jon Tobias Apr 2015
I wish the traveling circus were still around to run away to. It's not about being afraid to leave as much as it is needing a place to go. But my father was a mountain and my mother was a hole. And we're caves, mouths open and full of the cold. Been sitting so long myths have been made about the things that live inside us. The children come on dares to look in there. And yell in fear, at first only to have those sounds echo back. Then they laugh. There was never anything to be afraid of. Our bodies are full of that noise. Mostly the laughter. It lasts longer. It feels better. But is easier to forget because no one ever learned anything by laughing as much as being brave. You have to be scared to be brave. And moving from this place takes the strength of an earthquake sometimes. But you should know, your hands will never be big enough to hold all the rubble when the mountain crumbles. I remember when the cancer hit. The chest x rays from when they removed the portocath. Backlit, your chest resembles a busted cemetery gate from some ghost scene in a Sherlock Holmes movie. Broken. From letting all your ghosts go. And don't focus on all the things your hands can't hold. Your head fits just fine. Your hand. Cupped over your mouth to catch all your sighs. Can hold a cup of coffee to give to someone. Flowers. A poem. Tonight. Tonight you realize you're a mountain twice removed. A marble statue. So strong and so beautiful people will come a long ways just to see you.
Recycling some old metaphors. Why not?
Jon Tobias Mar 2015
I wouldn't call them scars. Our bodies are ancient calendars marked with times and places. Tonight, you are not real. You are the desperate ocean lapping at the shoreline trying to take back the secrets in the bottles cast off by lovers, and children, letters to the dead sometimes. They are not your secrets, but they came to you first. They are full of feelings you have once felt or will feel. The bottles glisten in the sand mockingly, beautifully, painfully, like window shopping for jewelry you'll never be able to afford. You never expect to want the glass back after it has been pulled out of you. But the stories inside are your stories now too. You cast them off in the same manner hoping somone better than the sea will find them. The story about your cancer, your mother, the love you feel right now, the love returned, the time you thought of the beauty of a flower, the flower you killed to show someone how beautiful it was, the realization of the importance of stillness. All those stories like broken bottles in your skin. Like jewels encrusted on a big brass door leading to a room you live in. But tonight, you are the ocean at high tide, finally getting your bottles back.
As per request from a friend.
Jon Tobias Dec 2014
The metal in this brass knuckle heart
punches my chest from the inside out

The valves, a semiconductor for the static
electricity of your touch

Who ever thought a defibrillator could be so soft?

And in the challenge of this love
I wonder what kind of mettle you're thinking
of now

And I think patience is found
on a molecular level inside the iron
in your blood

And love then, a stone ground down
from your ashes

I mean, pressure and heat are
what diamonds are made from

Tell me again of the struggles you shone through

And through that logic, we are precious stones
but so much softer than that

I want to hold you like the focused light
from a jeweler trying to make a sale
but so much more earnest than that

And what of the contradiction
between hardness
and softness

Because there is you

How can you be so hard
and so full of life?

How can you be so beautiful?
Jon Tobias Dec 2014
Today I did not miss the ghost parade
Which always comes without warning
And leaves the way your glasses do
Dusting its tracks before placing itself
On the counter in the bathroom

I think of the pain that comes with growing wings
And understanding the difference between
Beauty and utility

I am too big to fly

We need to grow simpler things from our backs
Starting with patience
But I am just being silly
Patience should grow from your lungs

The ghost parade is a quiet thing
Always manages to pass through you
With the slowness of a carriage ride
Through some well lit park in the evening

And just like all ghosts
They remind you of something you've lost
Or will never have
And takes it with them when they leave

The parade marched off with my wings
Silver feathers erupting like confetti

I heard the hunters load their rifles
And assumed this was a good thing
Jon Tobias Aug 2014
For a moment, right now, pretend that forgiveness will never feel like taking a bet. That the phrase, "I love you," Is not just another form of turrets. Pretend that you've got a pocket heavy with change and you walk like a wishing well wind-chime. And you've got a nickel in there for every time you cried for something. And your chance to change is as easy as flicking your thumb. Launching a coin into a pool of water. Pretend that you've got a penny melted and molded from the iron in your blood. Pretend that that wish will come true. Pretend that I just put mine down on a bet on you. Double or nothing, because ******* kid, to me, you mean something. And I don't mean any big life success. This is deathbed memories type ****. Who was there when it mattered type ****. Pizza on the car hood when the mice are asleep in the oven and the birds have nested in the old stove burners. Finding safety in a hammock held up by the corners of a mouth. Warmth in arms when you realized how cold it was actually going to be down south. For a moment right now pretend. That you've got a friend with a body made of drawbridge and hands strong enough to close it when you need to. Eyes like a moat. A blanket quilted from your lover's muscles. For a moment right now pretend that that friend isn't me. It's you. Forget God. Forget finding forgiveness and love there. On the inside that friend is you. Making penny bets like a Philippino woman in the smoking section of a casino. Double or nothing. 50/50. Pretend now that I'll be there too. Tossing coins in a well. Wishing only the best for you.
Copied and pasted from my phone to hp. Sent at 2:33 am 8/5/2014
Jon Tobias Jul 2014
My father is an old truck
Sunbleached red

Breathes broken bottles
A faulty catalytic converter throat
All the smoke trapped inside

But the nicotine helps his brain function

Cinderblock sturdy
But skinny
A single pillar holding the roof up

A man built in a time when you had to tell things it was time to die
Leave them in a field somewhere and forget about

How do you write a love poem to a car of a man
Built in a time without airbags?
A car of a man who crashed with you inside so many times
You learned about rebuilding from experience
From trial and error

And how do you forgive a man who can no longer tell you he’s sorry?

Don’t feel
Don’t give up
Don’t hurt you on purpose

Sometimes something inside just breaks
And no one catches it
And maybe you crash
Break a nose
Black an eye

As far as I know
I am not a broken man
But I’ve learned where all the parts go

And if I am my father’s son
A mechanic more often than a car maybe
Then I will be fine

The truck is dying
And beyond repair

You forgive it for that
It is old and past its time

And maybe it can’t say that it’s sorry

But there is a field somewhere that you plan on leaving it
To collect weeds
And rust
And be forgotten

So you forgive it
Jon Tobias May 2014
Today I wanted to buy the copyright to the process of hallelujah
******* in joy the same way whales eat krill
You just bottle it up inside your lungs until you have enough

Inside my fridge I have vacuum sealed jars of hallelujah
There’s nothing religious about that
Jars labeled things like
Loss of virginity
Rob lived this time
The homework is complete


It’s the same way prayer works
Pulling bits of god like an inhale

I want to hyperventilate on your hallelujah
Like a gospel choir on speed

It collects
Over time
For instance
It was maybe a month in to sleeping at Delia’s and Toffer’s house
Before I realized
I didn’t have to sleep in my car anymore
You go into the bathroom to **** and realize
A jar labeled
Found a Home for now

I know science can do this
For the sake of all that is a monument to a single life
So that on your death bed, or at your funeral
Everyone there can hold a jar

Cold and warm at the same time
Vibrating in their palms
In violent joy
Like mozzletoff cocktails
They are thrown
And when they shatter there is a song
That has been collecting for years

The same word in different tonal joys

Your life

Every good moment

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