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Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
The first thing to do is forget everything you've lost
Second, zip up your jacket, just to ward off all the frost
Best case scenario, you're alone, but sometimes you are not
Find anything to make you smile, bring a song, or bring some ***,
Sing along with the monotony, to get closer in the cold
Third step is to try to remember every part of your soul that you sold
Sketch out a poem, lose a friend, give the bitter pill a try,
Put the sweet one on a shelf, keep it there until you die
The fourth step is to take a crowbar directly to the glass
Leave it burning, phase existences, break choruses en masse,
Fifth step in the protocol is to never speak its name,
Check back on it in forty years to find it still the same
Then photograph it, crop it to a flattering degree,
Frame it like a work of art but hope they never see
And sixth in line, if you are bold, and still have a bone to pick
Then -- then you can finally break into the '84 Buick.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
You interrupted my sonnet
Somewhere between lines four and five
As I sat on your steps and absorbed the sunshine on it.

My quatrain became split in two
The upbeat unwritten. Ending on a low
Note, I dropped my sonnet to follow you.

I can't go back to it now
Because something in your nature defies
Meter or form. Even if you would allow

Me to finish it, before my head starts to pound
You'd appreciate more this broken sound.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
Long hours forgotten in sheets of paper,
A better bottle, more for nothing:
Lost saints and false idols,
Iconoclastic Oddfellows -- strange masters bellow
Shows of blue smoke and mirrors, a dream
At Bradbury's 2 am, shared nightmares
Ending all the same way, with no
Connection to be known except the lack of sleep.

Making the long drive, ending in your arms,
No direction except for tiredness, no
Autumn except for slotted time,
No finished books, only started stories,
Just a taste of dry leaves, dryheaves, and delerious summer eves.

My middle name is sleep, and I will dream
In wakeness as easily as with my eyes closed.
But sometimes the best answers lie
On the backs of your eyelids.
Read carefully.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
If much of taste is olfactory
And smell my strongest sense
Then I am only remembering the bad taste in my mouth
Whenever I smell your cologne.
Or were those pheromones?
Which someone once told me were a pop science myth
As far as humans are concerned.
But from what I've learned, there's a reason
I remember when your birthday rolls around,
Curse the fact that your phone number's still memorized,
Wonder how we all grew out of our awkwardness but somehow
We never stopped being weird kids who dream about taking over the world without
Wanting anything to do with it,
Convinced somehow we wouldn't know what to do but
Planning every step of development
Developing bad habits to have something to break later
Breaking up frustration with a long handled axe
Asking questions of the ceiling and being ambidextrous
Dexterously clumsy, bursting from cicada skins
Skinning cats and giving catty answers cause we can
Canning ideas, blasting truths, getting reaction shots
Shooting *** and pounding drums and whatever ***** comes along
A long , long way from home.

If there's a method to my madness then my sanity is rhymeless
And sleep gives no more stability than sadness.
Awareness is a legendary goal, but
I'd rather be blind than forgetful, rather
Anxious than regretful, never
Seek salvage from judgment, shelter from justice,
Which someone once told me was a pop culture myth.
And if it's mythology then please, call yourself the hero.
You deserve it after all, you deserve the fall,
To stall till last call, shoot to brawl
It takes all strands of our silk, when you consider it.
Done are the days of self righteous *******,
Gone are the messages you seek,
Long are the nights and low is the sun now
Sunning like lizards in the light from a flare gun
Gunning for a desert road that exists only in memory
Memorizing lines and making them glide smooth like glaciers
Glacial glances but loving deeply every pulse felt or heard
Herding the sheep you count before your childhood sweethearts close their eyes
Eyeing the dreams that glow in a summer sky like faraway missile tests
Testing cold waters, and debunking theological fallacies,
******* fantasies or secrets, slowly losing steam for longing
A long, long way from home.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
The first burnt burst of roasting beans brings sorrow
All at once memories of yesterday outweigh residual wonderment at tomorrow
The troubles of people who may be countries away slink over individual concerns.

Without being able to help it the world is suddenly covered with shadow
Dark oily patches blocking out early morning sunshine
The reasonable you scoffs, the sensitive you sighs.

The carton of eggs isn't the right combination of
free range organic fed lies, the toast is enriched and bleached
And you're eating it anyway.

Even the soy milk you pour into your coffee
because the right kind of milk isn't cruelty free
Caused deforestation somewhere miles across a sea.

You don't even want to think about the morality of the crispy bacon
And suddenly your morning is a dilemma of humanity.
But ****, all you wanted was a simple cup of coffee.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
Mild day in winter, week before Christmas
Turns out the tree in your front yard has been
A holly tree all along, finally showing true colors
As a taxi driver leaves the driveway and
A neighbor in a red shirt crosses the concrete
Sidewalk. The succulents to my side reach like alien
Synapses, your white car looks at me cross-
eyed, cinnabar brick damp with Peninsula fog.
The morning’s cup of coffee still lingers on my
Tongue, my body aches with last night’s indulgences
And repressions. Warmth is relative, hangovers
Are absolute. A pagan zodiac spins inside a
Haze of long-lost memories, a gauntlet of trees.
A gentler repercussion, a less insightful song,
For I am only human, stains on my sleeve,
Sleeping in when I should be producing anything.
I forget what I am, except a shivering flesh vessel.
I cannot remember what I was supposed
To be.
Kelly O'Connor Jan 2014
An ant on the edge of a glass clings with microscopic acrobatics,
A thematic blood-curdling scream breaks my concentration. A dream’s
Manifestation, a masturbatory second-glance, a fiftieth
Chance exhaled out a window, instead of words. I heard
Every one of yours, believe me.
Let me retrieve my dignity, your amnesia only temporary
And your memory selective, my detective skills more useful
For playing CSI in the mornings. The bruises are telling,
The losers uncertain, the wine stains on the curtain
Permanent, the bloodstains invisible, the headache miserable,
The reasons obvious. Be more devious, and less serious.
The lipstick marks I leave on your blanket make it
Impossible to forsake it, but better to forget it, forget the words --
“That jacket would look better on you with some bullet holes.”
*******, let me explain:
I don’t want you feeling pain, don’t want you driving home drunk,
I didn’t want you to get into this funk, can’t keep
Protecting you from the truth, I hoped my honesty
Might help you see a little, even help you sleep.
Keep your assessments quiet till noon, adjust your feelers,
Sniff the air, there, there, little ant, it’ll all be over soon.
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