JP Goss Sep 15
Though paths remain uncrossed
And souls still give a friendly gesture,
The local haunts are still shuttered
To those that brave these occult and rural roads.
The busted macadam speaks volumes
Written in its faults those riddles and anecdotes
Long kept in the spirit of the place
And the etchings of otherwise mute country spaces.
Such is the clarion of a hero’s return
On the lips of a medium, forever for profit
Incanting enchantments upon grounds
Which formed his genesis and the ash he became.

Or so the flicker of passing trees conceit.

Delusions of that throbbing arrogant wound
Have played tricks on these eyes before
To all soothsayers and falsifiers with words
So dulcimer as they are harmful to restful nights.
This is the true passing of the hero:
A loss of a child’s wonder to the silver lines
In the unnatural twinning of reality and make-believe
As sung from cardstock ramparts of an ocean of carpet.
There is no looking backwards to a road disappearing
With the valley’s crushing winds to my back though
The battle grounds and olive trees suspending offerings of peace
Run headlong in their respective directions, those unrealities: present, past.
Only spirits can hold time’s scales
With such precision or precariousness
As preternature may devise—
Those creatures of children’s books.

Or so the flicker of passing trees conceit.

Smoke crafts the forms of three adolescents
Jogging along the culverts of the West Fall hill:
Among them, the long-haired boy I know, face as though a mirror
In fear, I fire my arrow straight and true in the name of reason.

They scatter into the fronds of wheat and I utter futile words of advice
To ask of him: do things differently.
And they seem to listen.

Or so the flicker of passing wheat conceits.

I come to the shores of that river where young men dive
Inside the crater that grave of bicycles inured twelve in all
Attempting to dredge the depth for a lost frivolity
And the scattered refuse of the year before: perhaps a trading card.
I throw myself to westward skies out from that sylvan steppe,
Whose lustrating turgid flow repelled the revenant of the past.
May its purity allow me to meditate upon its unwavering face,
And it shall shine back stern with an idol of a comforting familiar.
As it opens its eyes, halfway, its clear aspect scatters
Beneath the inflatable tubes where, hand-in-hand and sweetly as birds
The voices of those long-haired wraiths: the girl of his fancy,
Whose name was destined to be cast aside in the autumn wind.

They pass beneath and I utter futile words of advice
To ask of him: do things differently.
And they seem to listen.
Or so the flicker of the passing stream conceits.

And, oh, the mountains rise as the curtain
Upon which a young poet casts dispersions
And anger for the sclerotic moments in flowery metaphors,
For there at the altar of renunciation, one can only speak in tongues.
And over the young poet, the fog hangs lazily to mark the world’s turning away:
A blinding of witness to his offerings, the deafening of ears to his word.
For I am no mere present, but the possession of that which looms
And that which as passed—for whom am I, the present, a memory?
Yet, this knowledge sates all hunger and quenches thirst
For those wounds, those ashes,
Those songs written deeply
Have proven fertile for genesis before.

Or so the flicker of passing dreams conceit.
JP Goss Sep 15
Many men use November
As an excuse to grow out their ****** hair
I used it to quit smoking.
Neither of the abovementioned
Examples came to fruition for me
Except an itchy neck
And some newfound attitude,
Strange dreams and lingering antisociality.
It’s the adulthood that
Comes with image
Something you can’t see when pondering the dismal
Grey sky like some kind of disembodied muse
And thinking ill of your fondness for it.
Such a pity is the happiness we derive from tragedy.
When prompted, you say your religion
Nihilism. Most people can’t tell
There’s a smile behind the self-effacing humor,
The sarcasm.
To see her riffing on her insecurities,
Is seeing pride shy away from
Its beautiful face
And you know she’s a mirror
Into a heart you abandoned to objectivity,
To brute facts of loss
And she’s the antagonist Zarathustra
Spoke so fondly of
A mirror nature speaks through
The voice you didn’t know you had, the breath that inspires
You see your own nihilism.
No songbird beneath the rose of Sharon
Ever refrained so sweetly.
JP Goss Sep 15
When one lives in the mountains,
Valleys are common
And the winding backroads that fill them,
My mind is frenzied by the tires’ pop and hiss
With a 10-***** of a russet colored pill
Transubstantiated by the visionaries
Foretelling the end of sensation
And peddled by the wellmeaning.
If my psychotherapist has brain cancer,
Who needs their head checked more?
Again and again, I see my fingers reaching out
Enticed by the chemical change.
The homily promises
Anatman, nirvana,
Immaterial whimsies
That briefly entertain your days as a doppelganger
Or harlequin dancer wreathed in
Clear strands of
Struck in dumb bliss.
The mountains always show the veneer,
Always their plan of bleakness
To follow the autumn beauty,
And to cycle back like the conceit of forever.
JP Goss Sep 15
Out on the tollroad
I see signage everywhere
Saying, “I knew you before I formed you in the ****.”
And then I knew of the concept
Before it was formed into words:
To know of one’s pain,
To be aware of pain.
I saw this drawn all over the rings
You imagined painted both our fingers.
Did you know me
Before you formed me into words?
Before I heard the words come from your mouth
I knew ***, I knew gnosis, I knew the gospel
I knew bewitchment
From a grimoire, etched with hearts
And symbolology.

From there, we look for the perfect philosophy,
A biological philosophy deep latent
In the passion in the sweat on your upper arms
And leveraging all that came long before,
A generational memory
Recollected when I’m ******* on your mammaries
Realizing the good in that which
Makes my life ****
And my parents proud.

In passion, I notice the double standard,
Feeling drowned in water and this,
This is the sense of
Understanding the world
With the perfect syllabicality.
The kind where
The tokens we carry in our pockets
The ones we talk with,
Flash before love
Is ever a factor.

Too easily, do we speak about love.

How could a fetish for the perfect
Distract us enough to forget
The imperfect,
Something fear perverts far beyond utility
Something that’s far more a safer bet before
The perfect is good but not good enough
And you’ve lost your stomach to draining bottle after bowl
Seeking dopamine desperately.

You’ve been the cat in my lap
And the histamine storm
Assaulting the roof of my mouth
A reminder we can’t get too close
To the things we love,
And I’m not into you
Being so into me,
Being so bereft of the thing
Neither of us expected to happen.

The way you say you love me
Seems off balance,
Your love seems like a self-reassurance
Quietly nestled behind the greatest desire
For your worst insecurity, it is with that
I know what about yourself you love the most
It is outside the flow we promised one another
As though we’re held to the same ground
By a different gravity, said different words
That we nodded to.

It’s been said before,
I’m sorry, it was something, upon which
I thought we agreed,
There’d be no tears when we would leave.
So much wisdom is in the idiom,
“Follow your heart.”
Follow where it flows if even into the dark
If even along many streams
If even it strays, follow your sense of pain
And where it may teach you
Never to fear what you were
Meant to have
Even if it means the unfaithful
Path along the straight and narrow.
JP Goss Sep 15
I couldn’t help but notice the concern on your face
As I loosed my hands to fall from grace
Into the flames
That lapped at your feet.
You warned me this was ****, those scabs and sores
From the fire,
But not your sore hands on the boiled rung
Nor your dry eyes or crowd you’re among
Nor the dense developments that seem so dire
I let go, anyway
And scattered my life like seeds
Straight into the vacuous winds
To grow elsewhere
And fall into everything
In the face of the fire regime.
The pain was real, you saw me writhing
Through the smoke;
What you didn’t hear was my laughter
And your name through my lips
As I called up from a field of molded rye
What the forests had to tell
And that we’ve been here on various trips.
Do you forget why you hang over the fire?
Dry your tongue from nonsense and spit?
Declare your freedom from pain and it?
It’s the safest you’ve ever been
To fear without guessing and calling it sin
From ashes a forest rises not asking for repentance
For life, we thank what death has lent us.
JP Goss Sep 15
Do you feel how the air moves
Autumn, my love?
I have a secret to confess
Autumn, my love.
I have been blue like the summer sky
Among the cordial zephyrs
Those crowds and their pleasantries
Alight everywhere
As the trees in plumage
Concealing so much as they reveal everything,
Autumn, my love.
It has been a feverous summer,
Mad Augustine march of the southern breeze
Into the remote Tuscarora contemplation
Of lascivious concealing,
Autumn, my love.
You chilled my hands, leading me up
The logging path,
Ignored my glance and kept pulling
My insecurities up to the surface
The grief and lethargy I feel
Stomping through the moving pictures
Of the concealed revealing
Soon the sky will be very clear
And your darkness passes across your face
Much sooner now,
Autumn, my love.
Why did you bring me here, to the edge?
You pause and wait for the sky the perfect
Blend of grey and decay.
You speak and the leaves fall around me
And I feel myself melting into your *****
Covered by your many hands
Curving around my body, enveloping,
With your gravity putting me on my back
And carve my every sacred cerebra
With the twists and moistness, the cool
Air scent of the sleeping earth
Of your belly
Autumn, my love,
I wish to have you always,
Autumn, my love.
Your cracked embrace swims down the ravine
Seeming to wave goodbye.
It’s in time likes these,  
Autumn, my love,
I cannot bear the thought of an equinox of passion,
Where the golden sun is soon on its way to setting
Autumn, my love.
You look out, where the sun will rise,
Your footsteps gliding over the edge
Where I cannot chase you out
The valley of your body and you giggle at the fact,
Autumn, my love.
A single leaf falls from your hand,
I wish to have you always, too
But this joy can only perch on the precipice
Of despair
Each day must flee quicker and quicker
You tell me, you’ll love me more when I am gone,
Autumn, my love.
Not about a woman, either.
JP Goss Sep 15
In the middle of it all, linoleum and cleaners
I find the shelves of candles and pry off their lids
Just to find out what scents they hid.
No noise, no racket, and nothing meaner.

The balsam fir in craters of wax
A chirstmas tree hunt and sugarsnackes
Recollect times to play and relax
Late December days and skies overcast
The carrides back smelled of this.

Of the wild rose, all pink and flush
Our faces betrayed us after stealing a kiss
And stealing away hidden with a wild blush
When asked just where we were.

I’d say the black bamboo
Where the growing pains began
I remembered what I never wanted to know
Smelling her sweat on my hands.

After every cupcake and fall harvest
We felt torn in two
Amidst the parents and summer’s zest
Everything I wanted couldn’t possibly be true,

The strawberries, the honeybees
Clean linen on a quick, tense rainstorm
I fell to my knees,
Afraid that my passions would
Take on another form.

Far too wild and winterborn,
You have your sleights in sympathy
And obtain what may decorate your court
I amuse you with love: an elegy.

But, the heart is no traitor, not to any court
And says I’m no citizen of your lovely heart
I’m a smiling nomad that goes in due time
And, love, we can trade castles
Since you’re no citizen of mine.

Again, the scents linger with no flame to their wick
Closed were their lids to choke out the burn
Cool were the insides, like ash in an urn
A single spark dazzles but goes out too quick
Each smell left unfamiliar may not have you
It’s not you and me, but me and you and you and you.
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