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Mark Upright Jun 2020
my father had a
sense of humor,
and high hopes
for his first born son.

almost named me
Short ‘n Sweet,
cause that is how
most like life.

thot about calling me,
cause that is what
most deserve to be told.

but he didn’t want
no blowback, so he he
stuck me with this name,
Mark Upright.

all I gotta say is this
and it’s short & sweet:

Dad, take note,


my *******,

for you, see it,

marked upright.
Mark Upright Dec 2019
she confounds me with sweet raisins and nuts, accolades oh so
high the caloric content....

”Yours [poetry], is subtle,
that seek to grasp, hide and peek,
It charms like a snake a wake of ideas,
with innuendo, yet it's sublime,
a bell that chimes, a walk in hell,
a credo a charm, two-arms to keep one warm”

**** your praise, cursed encouragement,
leave me well enough to my audience of
the occasional stumbled on, the accidental tourists,
the who few nick my cheek when they randomly seek
a few minutes aside, an at-last-last-chance peek,
giving us both, the reader and criminal, pause,

the pause of
‘who wrote this?’
and it’s innate counter-mate of wonder,
when to my attention brought,
‘did I write this?’

**** praise, poisonous snakes only need apply,
the wake of my ship so quickly dissipates
upon the unmapped, unending Sea of New Poets,
where the 99% just drown the first time round,
and the remaining survivors  glory in fame so fleeting,
‘twere not for the unburied of the internet, their zombies
would too be shipwrecked, ungiving, undead...

a credo? not I.

a credo requires preaching, acolytes according a poet succored reams
of accusative praise, all such leads to ******* up to the egoland
where failures reside alone gleeful pride, and goes to die on bouquets
faded from by over caressing their petals, to floor dropped, in silent admiration, the imagined bells of hell ringing only in the ears
of the delusional deluded

my maturity existential, let it be forgotten, troubling no one,
a new audience of one, owning tickets of broken mirrored pieces,
my layers peeled back, this imagery unrecognized, not I, not I,
for fainted be, the poison of pride denied, for my writings writ
by an accursed one, long since buried in the faint ashes of
lost glorious forgotteness
but humbled nonetheless and it is the finale,
“two arms to keep one warm,”
with an elixir of words ear whispered,
**** you know my weakness, and now
my bravado erased by your single touch prophesied

~for Bill T. Jones~

two poets, laureates both,
on the nature of hunger, they discourse,
in temple, where sacrificing is to living arts

I was there, hungry in every aspect,
seeking wisdom of the hungering nature of human.

examine the word, hunger,
hardly a rolling off the tongue mellifluous.
you growl it from the gut, in gowned resplendent ugliness,
go ahead, try it, it’s coarse and powerful insistent.

awoken empty but for the hunger, hungover from
dancing words and imagery not mine, now mine,
maddeningly demanding my dutiful attentions,
as if hunger was the master, me, obedient pupil.

the clean white slate the IPad re-presents repeatedly,
insulted that I have yet to crayon color it with the coherence
of hunger-exhaled words, dismissive that I am but an also-ran,
my village of lexical too unsophisticated,
the page addressed yet unplanned,
Apple white
is the color of the
starving artist.
for Lori, Riley and Kendrick

the questioning words jump off the page,
into two hands transforming,
words shape shifting into
multicolored ink stained fingers,
now, all a chokehold on my brain,
my throaty gasps rasping from
a simplistic convolution -
single questioning deserving an answer

what are you made of?

the obvious answers left in the slow lane,
bone, tissue, rivers and arteries of blue bloods,
just oil and fuel of a containership,
but the cargo carried, that’s the real stuff

you have insight inside that cannot be seen,
self-survival instincts that morph into morals,
our shared air affects you differently,
a sense of defending, caring,
costless  and costliest simultaneously,
spaghetti strands strong sinewed intertwining,
into a better human than most

to call you hero is wrongly insufficient,
but the thesaurus lends me no substitute,
weep, I do,
as the spring and summer blushing green
will not be seen by you at all, and by me,
seen now so differently,
when thinking of
soil-born courage instinctual that has no name,
but grows only in nature

what are you made of?

we know now, but knew not well,
that thing that makes you leap first,
was all you, the entirety of the best,
that exists, existed, as reminders to us,
to mine it, wear it,
medal it upon our fabric

you three,
breathe it back, exhale it from where ever you are,
that trace chemical odor in our atmosphere,
of life-giving sweetness, a rebirthing chlorophyll freedom
that we humans all desperately need,
even just to know it exists,
and inform us

what we need to be made of
“As shots fired inside a synagogue outside San Diego last month, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, put herself in between the shooter and the rabbi and died as a result.
Riley Howell, 21, charged a gunman who burst last week into a University of North Carolina-Charlotte lecture room carrying a pistol. He too lost his life to save others.
And Tuesday inside a STEM school in Denver, Kendrick Castillo, 18, lunged at a fellow student who had pulled a gun in class, giving his classmates time to take cover. He was the lone student killed in the attack.”
Mark Upright Apr 2019
your admirers are unlimited by geography or name,
but only by unlimited limits of imagination*

~for Albert’s wife~

the tattoos on my body, a complete list
of my 7 names^ stolen/shared with a heavenly human,
the ******* pretending he/it got no skin in the game

but that is a poem for another time...

you thank me for being a “follower”

unnecessary for your admirers are unlimited
by geography or name,
only by imagination,
a yet to b found,
unfound Cern particle

whatever name you/I choose,
what we/me love about your poems,
flora, fauna, the human cuppa,
the patient touching,
is that you write what your eyes feel,
yet, it is I doing the seeing

for that
follow you kicking and screaming,
your /us
babe in arms

wed-nes-day Avril 2019

  Apr 2019 Mark Upright
first I smell myself.

the deep bass tonality of my musk,
hot, creamy, sweetness unique, of coffee and creamy,
my owned sweat oiled secretions massaged into her skin
emplaced by vigorous parts rubbing and tongue caressing,
under the fading shadows of my glancing, desirous admirings

then I smell herself.

sinking sunset glimpses of last nights parfume parfait,
scattered in random strategic locations architecturally planned,
some flavors come over me like modest waves,
others spelunking found in crevices, cracks and caves,
where humans tread in guileless search of guiltless pleasure

then I smell our sharings.

lemon and thyme, paprika, sea salt and pepper,
a basted rub laid upon animal skin consuming, and consumed,
the vinaigrette balsamic and California yellow raisins, pine nuts,
decorating leaves of red soil spinach and spicy arugula,
word salads, so miraculously ingenious, you swear off eating flesh

then I smell our combinations.

the air conditioned atmosphere that blends us properly chilled,
the olive oils pressed from two colored differing skins,
the mortal and pestle finely grinding our own fresh crumbled dirt,
appearing in places where dirt is wet panko crumbs encrusting us,
our combined liquidity, shaken and stirred, drying in martini tandem

it is 8:17am and this recipe of reciprocity,
at its most pungent peaking,
for soon raining waterfalls of potable city water
and the sophistry of French soap,
the pseudoscience of modern chemical shampoo,
together erasing, scrubbing away this poems aromatherapy tapestry,
your perplexed complexing nostrils will mock you once more,
for ever disbelieving, thinking you could no longer write of
only love poetry that crested high above the trite

Friday, March 29 2019
Aroma olp musk balsamic paprika sea salt ***** martini olp
  Apr 2019 Mark Upright
extending thought and delving into intent
(where the poems come from)*

when I was younger, say five years ago,
the summer poems breezed by ripe for plucking,
airborne from the compost fat of
sun, water and soiled nature and its intersecting creatures

then winter poet soldiered on, past the easy season,
seeing rhymes-in-city-fireplaces snap cracking pops,
the wet dog smell of humans in overheated buses,
the seasonal wet sock torture that debated suicide alternately

and the early afternoon dark that closed doors,
a jailing of the populace; when by the glow of reruns,
we perform surgery upon ourselves and poems entitled
all sad words begin with a D get composed

now they don’t come that way

now, wait for you to ***** my eyes into seeing
what it’s that ails us all, what repeatedly fails us all,
and what makes living more than just mere presentable,
oh! your scrappy hints, chocolate covered mints and
oatmeal raisin clues

read now a word that exact interrupts


and its timed arrival perfect, making my point too well,
the poems come from you and we transmigrate into a duo,
you are equally responsible for the fat places

in the messages and texts, in the storied themes
underlying all your writings, saying, see man, what the babies
can’t say outright or keep in the studio crevices artfully partially hidden,
the list so credibly lengthy, god sent B12 shots
of extra strong caffe inspiration

that’s why you co create the paintings we paint,
I, paint, you, hang them in the place where they can’t be missed,
in the exact spot when you walk in the door, or overhead,
in bed-overhead ceiling,
cursing that prayerful ******* you let slip

making you mark, verified your, Hancock signatory
in the lower corner

so many pins becoming dagger stories,
change is gonna come, and in every letter is the risk,
that what will be brought, what needing saying,
the penultimate penury,
when you can’t pay the bills with monthly unsocial  insecurity

for what is for the best, or worse, reliving the worst twice more,
it cannot be helped in prevented, only reverted,
what you tell me is the what, of the wherefore
and where the poems come from

so you force me to live in every season,
“breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
(Henry David Thoreau, Walden)

and its inhabitants that inhabit my every seeing,
which is why I am, is
where you are...

1:33 pm April 6, 2019
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