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Jul 2023 · 354
July Contrast
The heavens explode against my windows
all gnashing of teeth and thunder growls.
It rolls off the lake on the hooves of Buffalo,
and I stare deep into the July contrast:
dark skies on dark waters -
Occasionally illuminated as if Hephaestus
is shaping this world at his forge.
Jul 2023 · 541
Wedding Vows in Sonnet
Jennifer, I vow to be all for you.
I promise to you
that part of me will always stay on the
sidewalk where we met.
I vow to pay you back for bewitching
my serious heart.
I will never not lose myself in your
mysterious eyes.
I vow to be engulfed in love forever -
toi et moi toujours.
I promise to be drawn to you as the
tide yearns for the moon.
I give you all of me until the seas
dry unto desert.
vows wedding sonnet
Feb 2022 · 301
There on the sunlit floor
I sat in the middle of the floor of an empty room,
and I started to unpack all the love;
love that I thought I didn't need anymore,
love that I thought I had lost, and love
that I bought on a whim during a sale.
I stacked it all like books, there on the sunlit floor
next to your grandeur and that sweater that I don't wear.
Oct 2021 · 278
It's funny how the wreckage of a relationship
seems to be bigger than the sum of two people.

It's the same when the memories of our youth
tower over the reality of our childhood.

The Miami of our memory is vast,
but only Miami can be more Miami than Miami.

Some things burn out, and the embers gently smolder,
while others have a finite point of death, absolute and huge.

Death is so large compared to man.
So nebulous, and God I ******* love that word.

Some things should rightly be beyond the rules of language
little points made by little men
Aug 2021 · 200
Lace and Moonlight
I saw you there
a thousand years ago;
dressed in lace and moonlight -
black, but no, not the trendy kind,
opaque like 4 A.M.
My eyes could of been closed;
I felt you inside,
felt you in my stomach.
There's no metaphor there,
in my ******* stomach,
so deeply that you felt violent
Call it whatever you like,
just don't  you dare play it cool.
Gentleness, like antelope in the dawn,
isn't always what I need...
Sometimes you crave citrus in a
fresh cut from lifetimes ago.
Aug 2021 · 515
In the Darkness
When the embers smolder
I find you in the darkness.
Dissipating smoke and I can nearly touch you,
but you slip away, back to black.
Haunt me still;
just don't go...
Nov 2020 · 282
Past a Point of Return
And in those northern woods
where winter quietly closed in
and the stars swarmed
I saw her eyes,
and in them maps of the world
in its primal becoming.
Sep 2020 · 225
That if he had been God
He stared at her through campfire;
its flames sounding like a babbling creek,
and through the smoke he knew
that if he had been God, he would have thought
how perfectly he created the world.
Mar 2020 · 196
And when we two parted
I wandered your apartment
placing my life
into a shopping bag,
but under your bed
I hid a photograph of us.

I hope that some day you find it,
that you say that I was EVERYTHING
that you needed,
I'll settle for you remembering how in love we were,
and realizing that somewhere
that person whom you loved still lives
somewhere in me.
Byron, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Oct 2019 · 513
My Treasonous Heart
My heart has always been skeptical,
and sometimes I think that it's waiting.
waiting to go back to being hollow,
like that old church in Vienna,
after mass on a rainy day in October.

I stood outside in the garden:
extracted my rib,
ground it down on that stone,
shaping it into a knife
so that I could dig a small hole
to bury my treasonous heart.

You emerged into that dark wood,
and we found a path together
through moonlit streets and storms
until we came upon a tavern-
your laughter sloshing like
warm bourbon falling into a glass.

I'd watch you when you lost your self,
and I could see the fire burning in you
warming me, and in those lost moments
I didn't care at all that I might get burnt.
Oct 2019 · 938
The Possibility of Forever
She had lips
that whispered
the possibility
of forever,
and eyes
that looked
like home.
Sep 2019 · 386
Close Like the Tide
She didn't really have a beginning,
or an end, now that I think about it;
she was moonlight on a dark ocean.

Her eyes were a night sky
and I could hear the wolves howl
when she laughed.

She was just the type of woman
that your grandmother warned of,
and she pulled me close like the tide.
Sep 2019 · 829
Deeply at Dusk
I drank you deeply at dusk,
and that,
is where I'll wait-
drunk on your magic
grasping at your ether.
Sep 2019 · 528
Dressed in Moonlight
Love is the sound
of your door closing
as I leave for the last time.

All too often we mourn
the fact that the fire's burned out,
but I WON'T think of the embers!
I'll remember the blaze burning brightly-
-those nights that you dressed in moonlight
those morning that you were there,
soft and gentle, still dreaming.
Sep 2019 · 9.1k
Never Yours to Keep
Some women belong to the Spring.
They're meant to bloom,
but they were never yours to keep.
Sep 2019 · 340
Of a Sunset We Wander
It's haunting to date in Chicago,
where the ghost of us yet lingers.

I dream of a universe where all of
our dates replay endlessly,
and that terrifies me,
but I also find comfort in thinking
that somewhere in the vagueness
of a sunset we wander the river
endlessly in love.
Aug 2019 · 1.4k
And Her Love I Drank Deeply
She was the finest of vintages,
and of her love, I drank deeply-
-knowing that my drunkenness
would be worth any hangover,
for a sweeter wine
I have not tasted.
Aug 2019 · 669
From Spring Herself
And it was in April,
that she first arrived
with the bloom of flowers, and the scent of rain.

I was never sure from whence she came;
some high rise, or maybe from Spring herself,
but I knew,
from the first moment she grasped my hand
that she was so many things that I didn't realize
my soul thirsted for.

I knew then, that she would be worth the
heart break,
and that in those shattered moments
I would love her still.
Aug 2019 · 638
Is the feeling when
you are not enough,
for someone who is
everything for you.
Aug 2019 · 590
the WHY, is
a mystery
you have to
leg go -
- because if
you ever
found it,
would be
any different,
so you
free it
and thus
yourself too.
No one else was there with us;
so I don't care what any of them think.
They don't know how sweet that wine tasted
on hot summer days up in the cool clouds.

God knows I wish I was better than I am,
good enough to make you stay.
The city lights  burned so extravagantly
I had to know they'd burn out.

The love pulsed out of you that summer,
and I couldn't find the wound
as the life bled out of us
through the fingers of our intertwined hands -
- yet still -
in that moment,
there was a gentleness to you, lady -
- like a deer in mourning fog

I hope that someday
you find an old letter from me,
and that when you brush it off
you miss me
Jack Gilbert
Jul 2019 · 204
Chance the Snapper
Everyone rejoiced over the Humbolt Park gator being caught
but I wept alone
in my office
under the slightly angry glow of fluorescent lighting.

We don't know much about Chance's life,
but... we can assume a lot:
we can assume he lived in a basement
dark and dank
in a kiddie pool
with ***** water.
We can assume that he had a uv light,
but that he was a stranger to the sun,
to other animals,
to the feel of fresh water, and yet...

For six days he became Godzilla.
Imagine the triumph!
Crocodilians have been around since the Triassic,
but never in all those millions of years,
did one dream that it would go from a ***** basement
to being the apex predator
in an ecosystem where no one knew his name.

People complained that
he must have been confused,
terrified for his tiny reptilian life,
but I never thought that.  
- I imagined him enjoying his triumph
as he paddled through the lagoon,
the sun on his back.
Torrential rain turned the river to rage in July,
the bottom a swirling attack of mud and anger.
The water flooding the valley awoke the men.
To be unwashed no more they watch the water.
Destroy destroy destroy the works of men.
As tides drew back behold! Rise again.
To be inspired, insisting to dream
Return to home, yet past cannot be again,
and thus the men employ the ground up high
delay not here, for waters may again arise.
Inscribe the stone, beginning's need nothing
more than... belonging. Summer ahead now soft.
From immortality two roads spring like sleep
tomorrow is not today, arise fair sun.
This is a metaphor for the chaos and destruction that comes with a breakup that leads one to grow and find new and better things
Apr 2019 · 658
The April Breaking Dawn
She awoke in the clouds
bright, light, and ethereal.
her cheeks the color of...

The April breaking dawn -
To chase the sun through the desert
one must follow the wild horses,
but the dust gets in your eyes.

It's hard to truly see that land;
the barren plains are the other -
they are not the absence of life.

I thought it easier to find-
her in the city amongst
the soulless testimony there.

One could see her in the darkness,
her love gentle like a lone doe
in the vagueness of the morning.

Her name boomed wise like thunder
reverberating sublimely
all around the rain scent lingered.
I wander through the irreplaceable night
waiting for the grey vagueness of dawn.

It isn't always so complicated;
the deepest things are simple at their root.

When the wolf wanders into the valley
does she hesitate at the fork?
Does she wonder about the untrod path,
or just stick to the banal evil of normal?
She prods at my kidneys with her nose,
hesitates, smells the remnants of Florida,
and trots onward, not looking back.

It's second nature to love you,
but first to see my wrongs.
It's easy to miss things
in the new darkness of night.
Mar 2019 · 791
Out of the Foggy Banks
I watch you rise
out of the foggy banks
of Lake Michigan;
I can see the love
running right
out of you.

It's late winter now,
and the sun isn't shining,
but soon...  

You returned the diamonds;
they weren't precious
at all,
just shards of glass,

This is me at 11.

The ice is breaking.
I caught a fish yesterday...
Well, almost;
she slipped through my hands.

This is me at 34.
I can still see that boy
at least the idea of him
he's hidden in the fog.
Oct 2018 · 480
June in her eyes
She vomited up spring time,
the scent of mud
and the sound of ducks wings
spilling out onto the sidewalk

There was June in her eyes
embers starting to burn
things starting to grow
laughs foreshadowing tears
Jun 2018 · 523
De Obras Desalmadas
Me desperte en el desierto.

Las llanuras pulsaban en el calor:
ido fueron los edificios que habitan en el cielo.

La Tierra me hablo;
"Mira en mis obras eres poderoso y desperado."

Eschuche el lobo en la noche.
Yo lo conocia,
el lobo es una cosa incognoscible-
- solo puedes verlo a traves de tus ojos.
Y ver un lobo a traves de tus ojos...
tus ojos tambien podrian haber sido cerrados.

Senti vida alli.
En algun lugar entre mi corazon y higado.

En la suave luz del amanecer,
antes del incendio
mire por encima de obras desalmadas
y yo queria saber lo que el lobo sabe
es impossible:
uno no puede saber lo que el lobo sabe
mas de lo que uno puede saber lo que sabe el rock
el dia
el mundo.


I woke up in the desert.

The plains pulsed in the heat;
gone were the skydwelling buildings.

The land spoke to me,
"Look on my works ye mighty and despair."

I listened to the wolf in the night.
I knew him,
the wolf is an unknowable thing.
You can only see it with your eyes
and to see a wolf through your eyes
they might as well have been closed.

I felt life here
between my heart and my liver.

In the soft light of the dawn
before the fire
I look on the souless works
and i want to know what the wold knows
it's impossible
one cannot know what the wolf knows
anymore than one can know what the rock knows
the day
the world.
The border
May 2018 · 712
Bee's in Winter
I met a girl once,
from some distant
antique land,
and she told me
that sometimes
Chicago winters burn brightly.

Her silent snows fell softly
on my sandy shores,
and her skies saw hues
that she hadn't known.

I wanted so badly
to take her hand,
but you can't really care for anyone...
until you've lost them.

I buzzed around her heart
for she had honey in her core
but it wasn't ready,
and when we said goodbye
I wondered if our paths would diverge
once more.
Apr 2018 · 2.5k
I picked my emotions
out of the night sky,
and dredged up my guilt
from the wine dark sea:
packed them into a suitcase
with socks,
and that old wool sweater.

I stepped off the plane
into the Miami swelter,
but for the first time
in to
a Miami
without you.

I watched the life fade out of you
like a tide slowly receding -
- inexorable, cold, without mercy.
I could sense you from afar
as your body fought a civil war
down in the depths
where it was too dark
too dark to see.
I am not sure if I want to say the bowels of hell
or just...
your bowels -
- I am not sure if there's a difference.

You waited there.
In a room filled with neon lighting
charts, beeping lights, and cords:
with nurses and strangers passing by
until life stole even you
from yourself.
Feb 2018 · 753
She had a beauty that boomed like thunder,
distant on the newscast- while some family
stood by the wreckage of their lives after
the storm (somewhere in Oklahoma) and,
it made you want to cry, like a newly made
widow, who’s story would follow at the top
of the hour: people described her with -

vibes a lot, but nothing vibrated, it was more
like an explosion, but not like a backpack in
Gaza, more like the Fourth of July, in Ohio.

It was hard to see her by looking directly:
you had to find her in angles and moonlight,
and even then you weren’t sure in the same
way that sometimes you can’t see the stars
because the constellations get in the way.
She made me think of Miami, but I couldn’t
say if it was more Miami than Miami, or just
what was left …

…of imperfect pictures painted by a sculptor
that wasn’t always paying attention at the
right time.
stars painting art miami
I keep telling myself to not look back in anger,
but I wonder what I'd even look back to.
How much of you is left;
or has your Chicago been built over by a more Chicago?

Sometimes you can't see the stars
because the constellations are in the way
in the way that only your love
can be more you than you.

Some day that tea cup
will put itself back together
and it will all start to collapse;
hold me closely then?
Nov 2017 · 733
She Burned So Extravagantly
It was early July when I kissed my father Daedalus goodbye.

She burned so extravagantly under the stars.

I soared through soggy summer air.

All the while the love in her faded.

My fall into autumn was triumphant.
Nov 2017 · 474
All Brutality and Lace
She had lips that tasted,
like the scene in that movie
that you'd fast forward to get to.

She'd roll through things
whirring by
all brutality and lace.

I'd paw at her in the autumn night
searching for her warmth
looking for her love.

I wanted to write it on her back
(everywhere you go, -
I am going to be your man.)
She fell:
into my arms,
like raindrops
at my feet,
but no:
not the tiny type
that proceed the storm,
like the plump generous kind
that fall,
and let you know
that you're in the beginning and the middle of the deluge
half way in, and you can't go no farther -
type of rain.

Lighting up the night sky
of my life
with spiderwebs of purple lightning
she rolled like distant thunder,
while her waves of water
made everything brand new
The heart wanders at night
searching, searching, searching,
for what remains
or for what has been romanticized,
but was never really there to begin with.

Combing through the debris of failure
with such regularity
that it resonates like an owls talons on cement-
- down a dark hallway.

Yet sometimes in the starlight
the heart finds something that makes everything
brand new once more.

I couldn't decide if the light attached to her
or if she swallowed it whole,
or was engulfed by it,
but there it was, in her hair -
diaphanous strands living in the ether
a little closer to the Gods than I was.

She burned extravagantly in those soft hues,
pining for the garish light of day.

The light plays tricks on you sometimes,
and the heart finds its way out of the woods
remembering sailors tales and old
Jun 2017 · 846
Don Quixote
She decorated her soul with dreams:
the kind that can't be stolen,
not even by the inexorable march of age
which eventually robs you of yourself.

Her love was a massacre;
savaging everything in it's path,
but with a beauty that you forgave her
before she apologized.

Her eyes were lilly pads,
and her voice
was the crunch of snow underfoot,
and while you couldn't believe that she could be hurt
you knew from the moment you met her
that you'd be her unneeded Don Quixote
Jun 2017 · 454
Tout semble
Tout semble parfaitement parfait
a l'interiur, il sent de la pouritture.

Les nuits sont longue,
je aussi longtemps.
Je aimerais revenir
la nuit quand nous
sommes recontres
a nouveau.
J'ai hate de rire.
J'ai aimerais etre alleurs.
quelque part ce n'est pas
cette apartmente
avec ses pelouses
parfaitement entrenues
ou personne ne
connait mon nom.
Mar 2017 · 2.2k
Writing a Spiderweb
"No!" - He protested
Yes, he had said that she was like lightning,
but he meant that she startled him
with her randomness
and thunder,
and not that she pulsated
writing a spiderweb
into the nights sky;
it was that she filled him with a certain
and no, that nervousness was not
like an electricity.

And while the argument continued
it was brought up that he had also compared her to a storm.
It wasn't because she climbed with a certain
inexorable quality
like the tides
or that she was the perfect mix
of calm pretense
and wuthering looks.

It was more because she reminded him of the rains
lightly dancing on his bedroom window
making him dream.
Oct 2016 · 1.2k
The Hurricane Within
The waves tossed about in her soul
while I drifted perilously in the deluge
all the while wondering what monsters swam below.

With thunder in her voice
and lightning in her eyes
I knew that the blood of the gods
still pumped through her veins,
but I was still just a man adrift.

I longed to calm her tempest,
but I wanted it to rage just as bad.
Her lips were salty and solid,
and gave no hint of the hurricane within.

She was a storm destined to be wild.
Jul 2016 · 933
And She Danced Too
She tossed the kindling:
twigs, dried leaves, and an old piece
of tattered fabric,
at the base of the bridge.

The wind whipped her lace dress,
as lightning flashed,
and she gave a secretive grin
before the thunder raged at the night.

She hummed something;
not quite a song,
but not not a song either
while she longed to laugh
like the people in a painting
or cry like a widow on the news.

The flames danced gracefully
under the angry sky,
and she danced too;
small feral motions,
and twirls,
as the structure smoked,
and more dancing,
always dancing...
until the lovely ruins smoldered,
and all that she was left with
was a faded memory
of what the smoke
must have smelled like.
re-work of Small Feral Motions
She tossed the kindling
twigs, dried leaves, and an old piece
of tattered fabric,
at the base of the sturdy bridge.

The wind whipped her white lace dress,
and lightning flashed
as she smiled a secretive grin
before the thunder kicked at the night.

The flames danced with so much grace
under the angry sky,
and she danced with them;
small feral motions and twirls,
as the structure smoked,
and more dancing
always dancing...
until the lovely ruins smoldered
and all that she was left with
was a faded memory
of what the smoke
must have smelled like.
Apr 2016 · 1.8k
For the First Time Again
Your love is addicting –
******* in my beard
on a Tuesday night.

Teach me to see
as an infant:
I need everything to be
for the first time again.

I want to watch you bleed –
into the subtext and margins
of my notebook
so we can dispense with the periods.

Your sweat is bitter
like dreams deferred,
but I still long to lick
your mind and taste your voice.
Our humanity does not lie in our goodness,
but rather it exists within our flaws,
for it's our flaws that make us interesting,
and it was because of this that I found
my aunt to be the most interesting person in the world;
for she was flawed in the most exquisite ways.

She was nothing short of a legend in my family.
Her deeds were not spoken of in day-light,
but whispered about late evenings
amidst closely clustered kitchen tables.

I remember hearing lurid tales:
she's been married twenty times -
she's been arrested before -
she's knocked out a boy's front teeth.

I never knew if these tales were true or not,
and I hope to never find out either.

I'll believe them; I'll believe in HER -
as she believed in me before:
as she believed in love and excess.
We talked shortly before her death,
What good is a life without regrets?
Patricia Berkshire let the wings of angels bear thee to thy rest 3/29/2016
Mar 2016 · 2.8k
Brown Eyes Turning to Fire
He sat watching as the love dripped out of her,
like broth dribbling off the spoon back into the bowl;
each drop of pho causing ripples of warmth.

He wished to plunge deep inside of her soul,
to penetrate her mind and pause briefly, but
long enough to see how much love remained.

He watched as her hands became a swarm of bees,
her brown eyes turning to fire as she spoke,
and in this moment she was still beautiful.

His heart writhed while slowly realizing that,
it doesn't matter how much you love someone.
Sometimes love just isn't nearly enough.
Mar 2016 · 9.3k
And Rain Forever
In Florida sometimes it rains so hard
that you believe that it can't possibly stop,
that it will just rain and rain forever.

Sometimes I'd wake to a storm late at night,
and I'd sit out on the porch.

You could smell the lightning, and the coolness of the storm would
make your hair stand;
I'd feel so alive.

Some nights I'd go out, and my father
would be sitting on the porch already.
Lost in the storm
or maybe
called to it.
We wouldn't talk,
but we'd be lost together
in the rain and thunder.

Sometimes I wonder what of him
is left in me.
I am not sure
if I am more afraid of there being
very little
or of there being a great deal,
but when it rains
I think about him on that porch;
Mar 2016 · 2.7k
Vincent van Gogh
When all around you saw darkness,
you gazed at the stars.

Everyone wants to paint their pain,
but only you, Vincent,
channeled that awful torment
into beauty
immaculate and sublime;
only you, dear Vincent
saw the beauty in the shoes, the bedroom, the weeds, the washers,
only you saw the beauty when it wasn't pretty.

To suffer is human.
to find ecstasy in the ordinary
and transform the banal into the magical
is something only you could do,
my dearest Vincent.

We always compare food to women.
****** metaphors are the height
of good food literature,
but I wonder how it would work
in reverse...

If I met a beautiful lass,
eyes the color of fallen leaves
in the deeper part of the forest,
and I told her that she was lovely
as bark on a roasted lamb,
deeper than massaman curry,
more complex than pho,
hotter than szechuan rabbit,
sweeter than fresh cream...

I wonder.
I met her in a cold cemetery
somewhere in the south-side of Chicago;
raindrops foreshadowing snowfall
fell delicately on her tanned face.

Her embrace warmed me throughout the winter,
and her laughter soothed my damaged mind.
I wanted to travel to Paris,
yet she so dearly longed for Indiana's fields.

I decided that I'd like to be a lion,
and she decided that she'd be a lion too.
Nights kept passing quickly, until they slowed.
Suddenly the weather was too cool for lions.

We parted upon the promises of Spring,
both of us agreeing to remain quite close friends.
Off she went to her muddy mid-western fields,
yet here I stayed longing for cold rains.
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