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Apr 2018 · 483
5/30 Worry Peaks
Michael DeVoe Apr 2018
The jagged edges of my fingernails are mountain ridges of anxiety I’ve chewed into their earth
I climb them daily
But the storms are so severe and I often turn back
Apr 2018 · 376
4/30 Hands
Michael DeVoe Apr 2018
There’s not a whole lot of my body I’m proud of
I’ve got an extra ten pounds on each my toes I gotta lose
My mirror is the biggest ******* I know what with always showing me, me, and ****
But when I lie next to a woman
With my arms around her
I can make my hands so big across her belly
That I know there is nothing out there that can reach her in here
And that
I’m proud of that
Michael DeVoe Apr 2018
There is a little boy
Who walked a dirt road
It was lined with birch trees
He carried a cello twice his size
Dragged his feet
Kicked up a cloud of dust
Took breaks on big roots
Played out of tune melodies to passers by
Newsboy cap turned up
His only quarter a hint

There is a small girl
She has a bow on her dress
A bow on each pig tail
And her best go of one on her shoes
She eats cucumber sandwiches
While her grandmother
All eighty years of her
Drinks hurricanes and talks up a storm with the woman down the block
She learns words like “give a ****” and “lord knows”

There is a gentleman
Hat hung beside him on a nail
Sitting in a tire up porch top rocker
His snores hum Amazing Grace
The chair squeaks harmony
His leather shine tin is crusted from disuse
Never quite remembers much
Still knows mama’s cooking by smell alone
He leaves voicemails to busy grandkids

A cloud of dust passes by the old man
Tickles his nose
Causes him to sneeze so hard he wakes up
Mama and the little bow haired girl
Who giggles so loudly the little boy picks up his hat and runs
Apr 2018 · 240
1/30 Smooth
Michael DeVoe Apr 2018
She’s using the word smooth like it’s a venereal disease
Says I have too much of it
Doesn’t want to catch it
Says I’m too rehearsed
Too programmed
Too automatic response
Wants to hear a genuine thought from me
Like every 90s rom com from my childhood wasn’t a lecture in a class I was taking on this very moment in this very bar
I mean what else was I supposed to do when you fell into my lap after tripping over a bar stool
I was just supposed to let you walk away without comment
I was just supposed to say bye
I some how wasn’t supposed to ask you if that fall from heaven hurt?
I mean don’t be ridiculous
Apr 2018 · 1.1k
2/30 So Why Try
Michael DeVoe Apr 2018
Sometimes when I’m playing Tetris I leave small gaps when I could complete lines
I do this to keep from winning

Sometimes when I am cooking dinner I leave out one ingredient
I do this to see if I notice

Sometimes when I clean my house I leave one room messy
I do this to see if I really need anything in that pile

Sometimes I try to do something all the way correct
I do this to remember I couldn’t even if I tried
Got to get some of that bad ones out of the way to find the fruit in 30/30s
Oct 2017 · 606
Michael DeVoe Oct 2017
I am a teddy bear made from loosely sewn together patches of cardigans passed
You are a warrior trapped inside a glass jar full of butterflies they sewed inside of my stomach.
You, warrior, hunt monarch dragons from the backs of black bears draped in the patchworked wings of fallen enemies
You are iridescent in the sun that pierced through the holes in my slipped stitch skin
You have woven a basket from antennae and leaf stems you found on the ground
Lassoed the last of the mourning cloaks and tied them to your basket
And like a butterfly air balloon you rose
Saw the battle ground below you
Flew towards the light above you
From within your winged chariot you directed your flock out of the mason jar home they sewed you inside of me
Saw all the butterflies you once drove away fluttering aimlessly
And drove them once again towards the space between my seams
They pushed against my fabric
They pushed against my thread
And they burst forth, scattered, iridescent in the sun a kaleidoscope of butterflies in the sun
My skin fell to pieces covered in stuffing on the floor
The jar shatter echoed off the walls
And I was a boy
And you were Malala Yousafzai
And I was in love
And you were warrior
And I dreamed of a life with you
And you dreamed of freedom
And I reached for you
And you kept flying
And I waved goodbye
And you, warrior, did not look back
Sep 2017 · 471
Michael DeVoe Sep 2017
I have proverbial boot straps
And I pull them everyday
They bundle tight the kitchen knives
And keep the guns at bay

But there will be a time
I mean there's gonna be a day
Where I let loose these imaginary shoestrings
And take my life away

And you may think don't go
You might even yell please stay
This is not a game of wills
I have no cards left to play

Do not conflate my mental illness
With my willingness to stay
This world and you were beautiful
Come what may
If you are feeling unsafe or in anyway not in control of your behavior please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (U.S) 1-800-273-8255
Sep 2017 · 354
Michael DeVoe Sep 2017
The last time we were in court she said I could have Ava’s Roasters
But here I am and here she is
What the hell
The judge said specifically since I’m the one with insomnia I could have the 24-hour coffee shops
It’s two in the morning
She’s never awake at this hour anyway
It’s like she’s a whole different person now that we aren’t together
She’s not even here with anyone
It’s not like it wasn’t a fair trade
She got everything else
She got the grocery stores in town
The two main parks the freeway commute the bar I showed her in the first place
I mean she even got the burger joint, she doesn’t even order burgers there she gets the ******* salads
My lawyer said I should’ve kept some of the things in town
I know I should’ve it would’ve saved on the gas but
There was going to be fights and I just wanted this **** to be over
Besides I don’t hate the drive and I mean I haven’t missed running into people from high school
I just wish I could call the judge about this
It’s my time
I have poems to write about her and how could I possibly do that while she’s in the room
I mean since when does she need mocha’s this late
This is my thing
She already stole my heart
Mar 2017 · 1.3k
This Too I Liked
Michael DeVoe Mar 2017
His hands were callused and cracked
They were rough on my cheek
I had never been pulled in the way Clark Gable pulls them in
Like in all of those movies I had seen when I was a kid
The way I had always practiced
Back then my ringtone was the sound of bells chiming
More specifically the bells of Notre Dame
As his stubble grazed mine they rang out
He let go of my face, his untrimmed nails scratched my chin
I would weep for hours that night
Stare into the dark corners of my room
Trying to identify all of the shadows I used to think were scary
I knew now what scary really was
Scary was his hand on my rib cage
Scary was liking it
He never did call
I changed my ringtone to the whistle from Robin Hood
I was set up on a date by my best friend
She was kind
Her hands were soft and smelled like Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret
She had no stubble to graze mine
She pressed her lips on the scratch he left on my chin with his untrimmed fingernails
And I flinched
This too was scary
This too I liked
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Nov 2016 · 1.8k
Wobble and Sway
Michael DeVoe Nov 2016
Alright so if you walk in to my bedroom
Pressed in the far corner is my bed
The headboard against the left wall
And, if you’re lying in it, the left side against an interior wall of the house
On that wall, the one on the left side of the bed, is a painting that came with the house
It is a long rectangle
I would describe its artistic value to be
Blocks of color and weird squiggly bits
Not a picture of anything as much as a tool to bring the end table and the drapes together with the sheets
It’s on canvas stretched around a wooden frame
Nailed into the top bar of that wooden frame, dead center, is a jagged piece of metal
Normally you’d just put a nail in the wall and center that bit on the nail there you go
But this house has those paper thin walls that a nail with an ant on would tear through like Robin Hood sliding down a royal banner out a castle window with Maid Marion under his arm
So you can’t just hang the painting on the wall
But the room has crown molding
So instead of a nail in the wall
There is a string tied to the jagged piece of metal that extends up the center of the wall to the top
Where the string is tied to a fishing hook that is clipped into the crown molding

All this is to say is that sometimes when I lie in bed alone in my thoughts or otherwise
I reach my hand up and push the painting
Like a brother in the backseat being told not to touch his little sister I just kind of give it a poke
And I watch it swing from side to side
Or rather I expect to watch it swing like a marble on a string in a pendulum prop at a CEO’s desk
Side to side
But it doesn’t
It wobbles while it sways
Like how at Disneyland
The Tea Cup Ride
The cups spin in circles while they go in circles
The painting wobbles while it sways back and forth
And I just don’t get it
Like I don’t understand at all
See I’m a smart conceited man so this gets on my nerves
And I know that if I spent my junior year of high school, first trimester, third period paying attention to Mrs. Whatever’s physics class instead of eating turkey sandwiches in the back with Sean then falling asleep that I’d be able to tell you exactly why this happens
But I got hungry at like 9am back then and I can’t help that I didn’t give a **** so I can’t explain it

And all of that was to say that I spend most of my daily energy trying to feel normal
Trying to be a sane person
Waking up all five days of the work week on time
Showering and brushing my teeth
Taking my kid to school and not forgetting to pick him back up after work
Not taking shots on my lunch breaks
And we all have the internet
And we all like poetry
So we’ve all heard the phrase “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting diff…and you know where I’m going
I’ve been in therapy since I was eight
Been on all the medications
Kept myself alive even when I didn’t want to
Worked a job long enough to get promoted a couple times
Live a real life, with real consequences
And every once in a while if I’m not looking too hard
I start to feel like a normal
Like a sane person
Like someone who is of his right mind
And then all of it gets undone by a ****** painting hanging on a string in my bedroom
Because I know what it means about me to push that painting and expect it swing every time and to every time watch in shock as it wobbles while it sways
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Aug 2016 · 797
Michael DeVoe Aug 2016
That this world is full of sparkles and magic if you’d only look up
It’s not all bar charts and logic and predictable outcomes
Sometimes, things, don’t go how we thought they would
And sometimes it’s true they go even better
I know it’s crazy talk
You think it’s logical that I won’t find a love that will want to marry me
And that it’s even more illogical to think they’d want to sing Joshua Radin’s  “One and Only” with me
And even more ludicrous still to think I’d be able to learn and play the Ukulele during it
And I’m here to tell you
It is logical to think that maybe I’ll fall in love with a girl who loves me back
That she might want to sing with me at a wedding of ours
And that I can learn an instrument
Law of big numbers says so

Roman candles aren’t always lit on the Fourth of July
Sometimes it’s New Year’s Eve
Sometimes it’s the tingle in your spine when a kid jumps off a swing at the peak of their pendulum
Sometimes it’s gunpowder and colored sparks
But other times it’s hormones and spring and eyelashes
I know the world is safer when we do cost benefit analyses of our Friday night options
I know if we all acted like insurance adjusters that we’d never get hurt
Did you know if you go outside right now and look up, you won’t see the Milky Way

I am Aladdin, I have a carpet, and I know where the magic is
I know how to cast levitation spells
Have you ever turned a rock over just to see the bugs run
Ever kissed a stranger just to see if maybe that love at first sight thing was real
I dare you to take a left when you always turn right and see what the world brings you
Maybe you’ll run out of gas, sure, maybe
But maybe you’ll find a bench
Or an old woman who needs help across the street
Or the best photo opportunity you’ve ever seen

Shirk a responsibility for me will ya and play tag with a firefly
There are waterfalls worth chasing
Love is one of them
Laughter is another
Fear can be sometimes
Friendship is always one

Magic is everywhere
It’s on Wednesday night meetings of old strangers at the pub
It’s the first time you hold their hand
It’s a falling star, just the one you saw, in the whole sky
That you never would’ve seen if you stayed home
Go find it
Open your heart to the world
Close your eyes if it helps you see
Magic is logical
If magic wasn’t everywhere we wouldn’t have poems
Or songs
Or Disney
Or a hotel made entirely of ice in some far away country
It’s not so hard to find if you look for it

I’ve got one
A simple one
No risk
No cost
Can’t hurt anything
Won’t miss nothing
Go outside tomorrow
Right during sunset
Don’t worry about the sun or the horizon
Leave your cell phone at home
I know, the horror
Find a stop light
Look at it
Keep looking at it
Just a little longer
Look for it
The magic
It’s as quick as a flicker
You’ll know it when you see it
Here’s a hint: it starts with a spark
It’s over in a moment so don’t look away
After that it’ll just go back to a stop light you’ll never think twice about
But for a moment it will have been the best stop light in the world
Better than all those fancy New York City stop lights
Pretentious *******
Because you were under it
Because you watched it come alive
Or maybe just because you wanted it to be

Sure life can be a ***** sometimes
And thinking ahead can save a lot of turmoil
Oh but what’s a boat ride if the sailing is smooth
Certainly isn’t a story worth telling
And I want my life to be a story worth telling

That moment when I’m at the wedding I didn’t give up looking for
Where the flowers are my colors
The center pieces my dream come true
On a stool next to my wife on a stool singing a silly love song to our family
I won’t be thinking yeah, you’re right, it was illogical to keep looking for this
I’ll be twisting, turning, free wheeling
I’ll be surrounded with shimmers and sparkles
I’ll be Wingardium Leviosa-ing all over that dance floor
And the cost benefit analysis of looking harder for what I really wanted
Will look like my middle fingers doing the hustle in matching velour suits

Stop worrying about what might happen
Start dreaming about what might happen
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Aug 2016 · 981
Space Flight
Michael DeVoe Aug 2016
I’ll be home soon
I’ve been on this trip for a while now I know
Longer this time then last time that’s for sure
But I promise Chuck I haven’t forgotten where I live
I just can’t imagine myself there right now
I must disappoint you greatly
Out here in space dodging asteroids and avoiding life
Some days it all feels like progress
Other nights it feels like shame
I know what you’re gonna say but Chuck I tried
Well, I mean, I thought really hard about trying
And I can still see my son’s lighthouse on the kitchen table
I could get home if I really really really needed to
I’m sure of it
Listen I’m not some lost cause
Left drifting through galaxies with no hope of return
I’m E.T. and I know where the pay phone is
It’s just I’m not done up here
I’ve got more to find and more to see and more to discover
Sure Chuck, I’ll prove it
Home, it’s right there
Past that nebula and through that asteroid belt and around that comet
I could’ve sworn it was right there just yesterday
Where’d it go
Oh **** Chuck
Now what
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Aug 2016 · 1.1k
Party Favors
Michael DeVoe Aug 2016
1.  Put the plastic bat on the ground
Press your forehead against the top of it
And spin in circles ten times exactly
Or as close as you can count to ten times around
Use the crab grass as a marker while you turn

2.  If there was ever a girl I was meant to be with her name was Megan Briley
By fifth grade I knew she was a girl who was going to need saving
I didn’t know back then that saving was what I would cling to in the dark
It was a long November when she moved away
Neither her or I knew much of the other and we never will
For obviously good reasons

3. Push the bat down onto the ground
Look up
Dizzy as you may be
Find the cone and run to it
Do not fear the grass stains as you sprint around it
See the finish line and run with all your might

4. Luggage poured out of the overhead compartment when we landed in Shanghai
Contents had shifted
The air was thick
And soggy
And it all just looked like smoke out the window of the airport
My dad told me it was just the way the air was here
It made me sick for weeks

5. All you have to do is tag your friend’s hand
Then collapse in a heap at the end of the line and watch
To see if your team is going to win the relay race
Allyssa Clark is the fastest girl in the yard and she’s on your team
Odds are good you’ll leave this party a champion
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Aug 2016 · 701
The End Of The Road
Michael DeVoe Aug 2016
We drove together to the road’s end
It’s not like what you’re thinking
It was just the end of the road
We took a left
Ended up lost somewhere on the hill behind town
It’s not like that
Didn’t even make out
We just got lost
Never stopped
Didn’t get out to look at the stars or sit on the hood of the car like they do in the songs
Just drove until it became clear that neither of us intended to talk about it
Also if I didn’t figure out where home was I was going to run out of gas
And besides we both worked in the morning
There’s nothing louder than a love song on the radio turned all the way down
In a car with two people who can’t decide if it still applies to them
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jul 2016 · 745
I Say, You Say
Michael DeVoe Jul 2016
I say, whoa now
You say, let’s go
We are ones for running
Our knees have the scars to prove it
Sometimes my fingers grasp for the rail but silly me
That’s not how falling works
We are humans
And humans do not carefully climb down scaffolding held-to with harnesses into love
That would take forever
And it’s boring to say
We fall into love
Crash to the ground together
Get up and laugh heartily
Spitting our broken teeth out as we do
Love is a collision we don’t all survive
But you and I are the Bear Grylls of the heart
And I would gladly drink my own **** to stay loved by you

I say, hey girl hey
You say, boy please
It’s sickening to watch I’m sure
But **** if you aren’t my Pepto-Bismol
And I ain’t your TUMS with Vitamin C
And I ain’t a fourth
And you ain’t a fifth
And we aren’t some sort of major lift
I’m sorry that was dumb
I’m sorry
It’s just that song sometimes
It reminds me of that time I felt the corners of my lips curl up involuntarily watching you watch my favorite cover of it
And I get all worke

I say, I’m sorry
You say, I love you too
Falling isn’t always graceful
But having fell is always worth it
Grass stains and all
I don’t see futures
And you don’t make promises
But next to you is a place I’d like to wake up tomorrow
And the day after
And if you’re tenable to the idea the day after that as well
I am knee deep in love with you
This quick sand has hold of me
I’m struggling harder so I can sink faster
You say, closers dive in head first you *****
I say, I love you too
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jun 2016 · 942
Michael DeVoe Jun 2016
I am as a willow in her old age
Whispering curious questions in my rustle
When the Santa Anna's blow
Holding answers in my weeping

I am as a skateboard riding pug pup
Marvelous to those who can still find novelty in a one trick pony
And those who will never meet me
Because I **** everywhere else but on camera

I am as a the coming tide
Coming in eventually
I swear
So long as the moon will let me

I am as left up Christmas lights in August
All things equal I will be worthwhile again
So long as the owners don't move
And they still like blue icicles next year
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jun 2016 · 830
Sadness My Old Friend
Michael DeVoe Jun 2016
I am often caught off guard by my sadness
It just happens sometimes
When I feel like everyone else is smiling, sometimes, I am crying
If anyone were ever to make a Vine that encapsulated everything it meant to be me
It would be a six second loop of me pushing the hair up out of my eyes to reveal tears
While someone laughed off camera
It’s not that happiness makes me sad
It’s that sadness he just stops by unannounced sometimes
Sad is not something that happens to me
It’s not something I get
It’s not a mood I am in
It is another person entirely and when he knocks I answer
And when he invites himself in I pour the coffee
And when it gets late I offer my bed for him to sleep
Him and I are very different
I believe everyone has a right to see the joy in the little things and smile at them
He believes that every little thing has some bitter jade to pull from it
We both agree that feelings are not boogeymen to run from
But pools we should dive into so that we can fully experience ourselves
We just look at different waters as warm that’s all
I see my son as a growing, living, embodiment of the human spirit
Sadness looks at my son and sees all the evil in this world I can’t protect him from
And we both love him
I look for romantic connection with no knee pads on and pray to fall hard
Sad loves love, there is nothing that hurts more
We both agree love is a wonderfully broken construct
Sad is a wonderful man
He cares deeply
Looks closely
Pays attention to all the grimy details
Laments for what he knows has been lost
And frowns at the turning of Earth
I am a wonderful man
I care deeply
Look closely
Pay attention to all the passing could-be’s
Long to take my turn in sun
And smile at the ticking clock
We are almost the same person
But we most certainly are not different
When sadness arrives I am sorry to see him come
When he goes I am sorry to lose his insight
I know I should hate him
Should fear him or despise him
But feelings are not boogeymen to run from
They are men with whom handshakes are required
And for whom room should be allotted
I gave sad a skeleton key to my heart and he uses it liberally
I suggest you keep a few rooms hidden from him
I certainly wish I had
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Apr 2016 · 914
Cloud Naming 2
Michael DeVoe Apr 2016
Her kite strings are caught on a gill
She’s refusing to let go
Grains of sand have formed to hands
And are trying to hold her toe

                                No dad it’s not that
                                It’s an airship bound for Mars
                               With hands out the window
                               Waving king-sized candy bars

No son surely that’s not right
It must be a school bus full of children
With coloring pages
Half-way to all the way filled in
                                Dad don’t be silly
                                It’s Harold and his Purple Crayon
                                But he fell out of his balloon
                                And is trying to draw the ground

Oh no, will he make it
                                 I don’t know
I do hope he will
                                 I do think so

That’s good son
I’d hate to see him fall
                                I know dad
                                Wouldn’t we all

But you’re sure those aren’t whales
Floating through the skies
Because it sure does look like it
                                Dad!  Whales aren’t that size

                                Besides even if they were
                                What would whales be doing up there
Well, I mean they are just clouds
                                Not if you try real hard, I swear

                                                     Silly little humans there on the sand
                                                      Humphr­y, surely they’re little bugs
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Apr 2016 · 574
Not Much of Anything Really
Michael DeVoe Apr 2016
I can sing The Animals poorly to my son a million times and he will never understand what that song does to my heart

I wrote a song once he calls it The Ocean Takes Her and loves it
Asks me to sing it **** near every night
Nothing like making your son smile with the memory of your great heart break

It’s strange to make up meanings to my tattoos when customers ask why I have them
The boss says I can’t tell people about my depression and familial disappointment
So I make up stories about this one time I met Charles Schultz’s wife
People seem satisfied with my made up answer to their polite conversation question

I have lost lovers
To this day I still can’t figure out where I put them
I mean I’ve checked under all the couch cushions

My door is never locked
I know she knows where I live
It’s just that she left her key on the counter
And I don’t want a locked door to be the reason
I mean aside from the whole other life she’s living now

I spend hours watching compilation YouTube videos of the best The Voice Blind Auditions for other countries
You know, The Voice UK, The Voice Thailand, The Voice Sweden
I do this exclusively when I should sleeping
like the 2-4 o’clock hours of the still last nights
I can’t tell if I really like them
Or if they are just entertaining enough to keep my mind occupied
I guess if I make it through the night it doesn’t matter which

The older I get the more I relate to Charles Bukowski
Not the poet, of course, the man
The broken
The bitter
The lost
The never found

I could never write a poem gritty enough for the punk rock crowd
My sadness isn’t gritty
It’s sad

My stomach is 73% beer at this point
But I don’t often get drunk any more
I just forget to *** in the mornings

I really should clean this house
There’s no telling when she might get here

But before I let you go
I can never really tell if the her in my poems
Is one of the ones that have already broken my heart
Or the one I’m still searching for
Sometimes I give you too much credit
But I always know when it’s you,
You’re the only one I call you
The rest are just her

Bye now
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2015 · 8.4k
Copies of Copies
Michael DeVoe Dec 2015
Here at Kinkos
We have a saying, “copies of copies”
You are trained to always ask for a source file
The digital file of the picture the camera took
The negatives of digital cameras
You see because when you print a picture from that file it’s the best it will ever be
Every detail captured in that moment stored in bits and bytes ready
If you make a copy of that picture it will never be as good
And if you make a copy of that copy it’ll be even worse
And if you were to make a copy of the hundredth copy of the ninety ninth copy you might not even recognize the image
Whether it’s a speck of dust on the scanner
Or a crease in the print out
Sun stains from prolonged exposure to the elements
Or simply from time
Copies never look as good as the original
Even if you try and protect them
And even if you were to magically protect that photo from any external forces
The next copy still won’t be the same quality
A scanner can never pick up every detail from the print on the glass
Copies of copies are never the same
Sometimes the printer is calibrated different
Sometimes it’s a heavy magenta day
Sometimes it’s a saturated cyan day
Maybe you touched her face when you handed it over
And now every copy has a feint of your thumb print above her eyebrow
You had him taped to your rearview mirror for a whole year
And now every copy you make has a glare where the tape used to be
It blocks out his heart shaped hands he was making you from the bus window
Folded in your wallet and now all the copies have white spaces where her face was
I mean where the creases were
I’ve heard that when you remember something you are simply remembering the last time you remembered it
Memories of memories
So that after you’ve remembered her a thousand times you’ve forgotten all the details you forgot to remember the time before
So that the more you remember something, the faster you’ll forget
Maybe that’s why we forget exes faster than family
Maybe that’s why we forget the great parts of high school before the painful ones
I remember that you had red hair, that your eyes were kind, that your hands fit my cheek
I remember that you were bad at pool and that it felt like love, and if it wasn’t you’re the only one that knew it
And now I’m wondering after all these years what I’m forgetting to remember
What I forgot to remember last time
What did I forget this time
What won’t I remember next time
Memories of memories
Like copies of copies
Fading over time
If I never wanted to forget the best moments of my life
Should I never remember them
Is the fastest way to forget the bad ones
To remember them often
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Nov 2015 · 1.6k
Michael DeVoe Nov 2015
What if smells a lot like vanilla
But not like scented candle vanilla
And not like perfume vanilla
But like liquid air freshener vanilla that you’ve had in your drawer for two years and didn’t have enough left in the bottle to use the spray top so you unscrewed the lid and splashed it all over your sheets
Let it dry
Waited two days
Then invited a pretty girl over
Let her sleep in your bed
Had ***
Dreamt of forever
Took a shower
Laid back in your bed
Let her go
And then slept face down on the pillow you let her use while reading text messages about how she won’t be able to keep seeing you any more
You know, that kind of vanilla
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Nov 2015 · 2.3k
Geometry Class
Michael DeVoe Nov 2015
In geometry we learn how to measure the distance between things
The space between things
The empty space between lines

How long is the shadow cast by a branch on a tree if it is two o’clock and the branch is east facing and 7 feet above the ground

A train departed Madrid in rush hour at 5:40pm and arrived in Barcelona at 8:15pm it went 63mph for 50 minutes how fast did it go the rest of the way if it is 386 miles between the cities

A trove of treasure held 300 cubic inches of gold and had a six inch square face, how long was the box

If it takes 3 seconds for my phone to chime after you send a text message and it takes 2 seconds for my brain to recognize your name on my phone how long will my stomach flutter if I’ve loved you for a month

Assuming my stomach flutters for that long and you ended our burgeoning relationship yesterday to stay comfortable in your current surroundings and we both don’t want to give up how real it all feels, how much silly putty does it take to fill the empty space in my chest

If Wal-Mart sells silly putty for $1.36 per package and each package contains 4 oz. of silly putty and I work for $13.51 per hour and $13.30 of each hour’s wage goes towards bills and other essentials how long will I have to work in order to save enough money to buy all the silly putty required to fill my chest with it, assuming I live in Oregon where there is no sales tax and that I only drink one six pack at $8.99 a week

More importantly though
If I fill my chest with silly putty, will my heart bounce back after it’s dropped next time
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Michael DeVoe Nov 2015
I've ran my hands across the bones of teachers
Buried between the bricks of The Great Wall
I heard them whisper grumbles of their true worth
Beneath the crack of the overseer's whip
I've felt the shivers of their shame
As they ground the bones of their colleagues into a paste
And lathered the human mortar among the sections of rock
I spit on the ground before me
When I tasted the words of imperial edicts blasted from uniformed men

I stood upon a guard tower at The Great Wall of China
And saw in all directions the nothing for miles
Felt the hollow loneliness of the soldiers, teachers, slaves
Men thousands of miles from their homes
Bitterly building defenses for a collection of villages
One man called his nation

I ran my hand along the edge of The Wall and got a splinter
Studied the protrusion
Wondered if it was stone, dirt, stick, or bone
A tourist took a picture
A jogger ran by
Father told me they could see this monument from space
I saw a drop of blood on my little finger
Wondered if it was mine or the walls
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Oct 2015 · 1.3k
Michael DeVoe Oct 2015
We are grown ups
Full grown *** adults
Making out in the front seat of your car at the edge of a crowded parking lot in front of a high school where mothers are picking up their daughters from their first homecoming dance
You know, like grownups do
But that’s not really what we are
Not here, not all day
Today we’ve been movie characters
We’ve been comic strip accidents
We’ve been fairy tale destinies  
The clock is striking midnight soon
This fidgeter’s bracelet still doesn’t fit over these fat fingers
Come morning you’ll be back in the castle
Where princesses belong
Stupid fairy god mothers always ******* up a perfectly good nursery rhyme
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Oct 2015 · 660
High Tide Goodbye
Michael DeVoe Oct 2015
I would build you a bridge into the waves if I knew you were afraid of getting your boots wet
It’s never that simple
I know
It would take a lot of lumber and it’s not your boots you’re worried about
But I understand, the cliff is always there the ocean never takes it
I hope you enjoyed your stay on the beach
The sand sure loved having you sink into it
But high tide is here and you can’t swim out with the grains you’ve come to love
Not without letting go of the cliff
Stay safe please
You never know where the under-toe will take you
Some other beach, with some other cliff
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Sep 2015 · 1.7k
Worth the Risk
Michael DeVoe Sep 2015
Have you ever scooched so far down in a chair
That you’re not really sitting on the chair anymore
You’re just kind of holding on by your elbows?
That’s like my life right now
It’s a metaphor
And I mean don’t worry, I have strong elbows
I’ve fallen a lot in my life
And I don’t really moisturize there so the skin is pretty dry and has a lot of friction
So I don’t think I’m going to fall off any time soon.

The thing is though if you’ve ever been that low in a chair
Have you?
You can’t really just push yourself back up
There’s nothing to grab on to
Your upper arm is fully extended all the time
So if you want out of that situation you have to sit all the way down
On the floor and then turn around and get up
The thing is, the chair, is a metaphor for my life
And I don’t really want to go down any further to get back up
I don’t want to see what’s down there
I kind of just wish someone would come up behind me
You know a bystander, friend, family member, girlfriend, wife
Grab me by the arm pits and pull me back onto the chair
Then I can stand up on my own from there
I want to stand up on my own, I’m a grown man I have the strength to stand
I’m just metaphorically hanging on by my elbows
To this metaphor chair and I just need a real person
To metaphorically pick me up by my arm pits
And I’ve let you in now on the metaphor part
So it’s probably time I tell you about the literal reason
That I’m in this metaphorically precarious situation
But before I do one more thing
The chair, the metaphor, it’s an office chair on wheels
So you know, when I tell you why I’m scooched down so far you can’t cry
If you cry the ground will get wet and the chair might slip
Or it’s been a bit hot so it might steam and get moisture under my elbow
I might slide off so you can’t cry
It’s super important you don’t clap too hard either,
The vibrations might roll the chair away and I’d fall on the ground
I’m only hanging on by my elbows
So anyway here we go the literal reason
I’m serious though you can’t react too much or I might fall
So please keep your reactions internal for me
Can I count on you?
Can I?
Are you sure?
Okay here goes.
The reason I’m hanging on by my elbows on this chair is
You know what
You’re right,
I shouldn’t risk it.
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jun 2015 · 1.1k
The Darkness We Share
Michael DeVoe Jun 2015
The darkness we share is not in the details of how we each turned off the lights
Nor the names we call our shadows
Nor the time we spent amongst them
It is that as we slipped into the absolute of despair we each took something with us
Call it hope
Call it memories
Call it armor
Call it weapons
It is that as we slipped into the absolute of despair we each flailed our arms for anything
That we each sought a way to hold on to anything
And while we both found ourselves here in this blackness anyway
The darkness we share is that you hold in your hand steel
And that I in my hand hold a flint stone
Our shared darkness is that we each stumbled around the dark
Until happenstance lit us a spark
And while we each adjust our eyes to light
Our minds come back from the maddening black
Thank you love for your outstretch hand
We know too well how heavy the dark weighs upon us to ever forget the strength of our happenstance
We may now use a spark to guide us
And later the stars
And later still the moon
And maybe then the sun
And if we are ever to count ourselves among the lucky
Perhaps then we will use each other to guide us to the light-of-still-here-tomorrow
AA collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe   poem for Charlie
Michael DeVoe Apr 2015
I am a good man Charlie
You may not have noticed because of how humble I am
I mean surely you've heard me say contrary things when complimented
But that's only because I want people to love me for me first
I'm sick of all these nice guy chasers out there
Who only love me for my decency
I'm looking for something real here you know
I just want it to be like the movies
I mope around til the perfect girl loves me
Then after we're together for a year
I surprise her with a lifetime of love from a kindhearted compassionate soul
Is it really too much to ask that she love the worst of me before she ever sees the best of me
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Mar 2015 · 772
A Poem About The Rain
Michael DeVoe Mar 2015
They are the kind of raindrops that hang around for awhile
The ones that laugh at your coat
Get your shirt wet anyway
The kind that if it weren't so **** cold outside
You'd really like to stand under them for a while
The kind they make those slow-motion-water-drop-hitting-water videos out of
And all I'm doing with them is watching
Watching them fall on windows
Watching them tear apart the littered receipts on the sidewalk
I'm watching them tear leaves from cherry trees
And wondering if they listen to Beethoven or Slipknot on their way down
Portland is always so far away until it rains
Then even here in this farm town
Everyone finds their North Face
And these raindrops remind me of something
Not our first kiss though
Or the tears
Or the leaky faucet
Or the day we did nothing but watch the Discovery Channel
It just makes me think of you
And how I never knew if you were there to water me
Or tear me apart
How I never knew if it was a Rascal Flatts day
Or an Evanescence day
How I never knew if my hand on your cheek would be a turn on
Or a trigger
How bad days had ringtones
And good days were just waiting for the call
These raindrops remind me how close I am
To the only city I've ever loved in
How far I am from ever getting over you
And how incredibly jealous I am
That moving on seems to be easy for someone who does it so often
I can't let go of the damage you've done
Even though it's clear now watching the rain
That you were just falling
And I was just in your way
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Michael DeVoe Feb 2015
You never see the rabbit hole before you fall in
She just shows up
Blonde haired and in the way
And somehow that very urgent, very important...
...thing you had going on
Is all so suddenly not blonde and very very much in the way
But the certain mghmhm inside of you insists you whiskey up and go handle your business
While the mhmm inside of you makes you look back
Just in time to see her doing what all the good blonde girls do in all the great black and white movies
Kiss the crap out of some guy you can't stand
And while we all think we could pull off a fedora
Truth is we're all just one injection of testosterone away from ******* the whole thing up
Letting it slip through our fingertips
Then where does that leave you?
At the track placing bets on Four-for-the-winter's-socks like he's finally going to pay off
Or at the bar with the touchy hair dresser who smells like cat ****
Back in your office
Feet on the desk
Cuffs off
Four AM
Watching green lights turn red like it's the fourth of July
Then again
If that dame's worth her weight in the dead baby seals it took to make the paint that's got her lips so red
She'll be there
Knock knocking
With a pocket watch hung round her neck so low you'll forget it's tick ticking
And you're late silly rabbit
Tricks are for kids
Unless of course they're wearing red dresses
But this one's not like that
She's got a story to tell
A sucker to make out of you
And since neither they nor I could care less about what she's saying
And you're too busy practicing different ways to say yes to that dress
Let's skip to the part where you're taking a bullet in the *** in an alley behind a speak-easy on a cold damp Friday night
Where the fog from the steam vents conveniently cover the shooters face
The part where the guy twice your size is between you and what she wanted...I mean the truth
Where you wake up tied to a chair being interrogated by a man in a white suit and gold **** cane.
The part with you questioning your morality
Where she had it
Then she didn't
Claus did
But he really didn't that was a fake
Where it must have been the big guy two timing his boss
Or the guy she was kissing, but, no, he died
And come to find out it was the little person handing out papers on the street corner where you first saw her and they were in cahoots the whole time
And that's when you realize you're not Johnny Depp
And the Mad Hatter doesn't get the girl at the end of the movie anyways
So what the **** are you doing here
Eat the cake, get big, and go the **** home
Let that high heeled ***** walk her sweet *** down the yellow brick road alone in the rain
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Feb 2015 · 919
Just Words
Michael DeVoe Feb 2015
...And in the final throws of love we will find ourselves within each other...
Sounds like something someone will write in a poem about you some day
Not that I know what that means
I have no idea what that means
It's not like I can pry open your jaw and stare down your throat to see some part of me I didn't know existed
Though it says 'final throws of love' so I guess I'd find my ***** inside of you
But it's 'within each other' so your ****** would have to be inside of me which isn't exactly how that works
Except maybe technically your jui...
Not the the deal
The deal is this it sounds sweet
Romantic even
And it is definitely something someone will write in a poem about you one day
I know this on account of I wrote it in a poem about you one day
Not that I would've expected you to read it
Not that you would've read it
You never read any of the...
Not the point
The point is this
Sometimes the words that we write
Are just words that we wrote
And they don't really mean anything until someone else reads them
Kind of like how your promises
Were just words that you spoke
And they didn't really mean anything until you broke them
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Michael DeVoe Jan 2015
We said **** it to the big wedding we had been sketching out
Got married in her living room
She wore her grandmother’s dress
Long sleeves, ruffles, the whole bit
Her family was there, that’s all that had mattered anyway really
My family didn't need a ceremony
My friends couldn't care less
And her friends, fickle as they were, wouldn't have come anyway
So before her family, their god, and his bible we were wed
Her smile, the same as it ever was, beamed
I guess I was disappointed that it wasn't a different smile
I assumed that somewhere between, “will you marry me?” and “I do”
She would've practiced her fake smile more
But that’s how it was with her
Enough effort to make you love her, never enough to feel loved
I know, I know, I know
But I’m still trying to figure out if she means well
Or if she’s just doing what she thinks she’s supposed to
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2014 · 672
Bring It On Home To Me
Michael DeVoe Dec 2014
Bring your sweet love home to me
Where it has never really left
It has just rotted away in the trash can where you left it
It must have not been Thursday in years
I don’t hear the trash truck come by anymore
The neighbors have begun to complain about the smell
But I don’t smell a thing
I walk by it every day and smile
Say hi to it, ask it when it’s coming back inside
It doesn't talk of course
It’s a rotten, moldy, pile of discarded love
The fruit flies can’t get enough of it, it is so sweet
But if you ever change your mind I know just where to find it

Mother I will never be a scientist
Scientists wear white coats
Those stain too easy to drag through the mud of my life
Mother I will never be a singer
Singers sing loudly for other people to hear
Mother I will never be a fireman
They run into burning buildings
I haven’t run in a decade
Mother I will never be a doctor
Doctors help fix wounds
My hands shake too much
They would do more harm than good
Mother I will never be a mother
I will just make one

This bouquet of flowers is so much like you
There are white pedals on white flowers
There are pink pedals on pink flowers
There is one really tall yellow flower
A bunch of green leafy bits sticking out every which way
A bundle of white dots on the top of green stems
They use those for filler
Like you used smiles to fill in the spaces between your lies
You kept waving your yellow flower around
Plucking pink pedals and making sure I saw them fall
Shaking the thorns from your white roses
Tell me now
For whom did the chrysanthemum in the middle shutter
Indeed for whom did your heart flutter

Fingernails, fingernails what have you done
Gone away on my carpet never to be found
I have chewed you, and pulled you, and cut you at the quick
Yet still you live in the thicket of my **** carpet’s thick
Now I must vacuum
If I am ever to impress a guest
And I am in the market to impress a guest
Ever since the guest most impressed stopped vacuuming
For all the other guests I could not have cared less
Whether they were here or away
Fingernails, fingernails, and toe nails too what have you done
This house was so clean before this had begun
I sat in my room and sat and sat and sat
And never once had to look at how the rest of the house sat
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2014 · 547
Singing Man
Michael DeVoe Dec 2014
When people introduce me to strangers they make sure to point out that I sing a lot
Not just because I do sing a lot
Which I do
But because they want to warn people that I sing at the most inappropriate times
When I sing people look at me like I'm playing drums in a library.

2. There's a lot more space between us now
Like a whole pillow
Maybe even like a whole pillow turned sideways
Too far to touch
But just close enough in case either one of us ever really want to reach
I don't see that happening

3. I'm a song that is stuck in your head
Good luck with that

(A completely unrelated fourth point in two parts)
4a. It's really easy to transition from a relationship to a long distance relationship
4b. It is hard to stay in them once one of you realizes the "ship" in relationship probably doesn't refer to a an actual boat.
(Back to the poem)

5. Most of the songs I know from start to finish are sad songs
This is probably why people don't ask me to sing at their weddings
Maybe there are other reasons

6. My son's favorite song is "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone"
That's probably not good parenting
When I sing my son doesn't look at me like I'm playing drums in the library
He looks at me like I'm swinging chainsaws in heart valves
He's not wrong

7. Some people tell jokes
They say, "Do you know who sings that song"
I say, "Of course it's Billie Holiday.
They say, "Let's keep it that way!"
Which is funny...

8. I know that sometimes you sit inside my larynx at night
Listening for your song
I know it's you, I can here the leaves crunch under your shoes
I don't come in to say hi
I don't stop either
I don't want you to know these songs are for you
I don't want you to know I'm reaching

9. You are a song I know from start to finish

10. If you didn't want me to play drums in here you shouldn't have built it with such great acoustics
I see you haven't filled this place with the new boy's furniture yet

11. When I introduce myself to strangers I use my name

12. I sing at work
In line at the super market
At the DMV
Waiting for someone to answer the door
Walking away from a breakup
Driving away from you

13. I am a song stuck in your head
Isn't it funny how his finger tips on your rib cage play piano tracks from songs I sang to you
I am a song stuck in your head
Isn't it funny
How his finger tips on your rib cage play piano tracks from songs I sang to you
I'm a song stuck in your head

14. La ti da la ti da ti da ti da da da la ti da
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2014 · 573
Like Clay, Mold Me
Michael DeVoe Dec 2014
I will stand still for you
Arms spread
Naked before you
I will let you look at all of me
All at once
For everything I am
For everything I am not
I will let you come to me
From wherever you are
With whatever speed your inhibitions allow
Walk to me
Crawl towards me
Close your eyes if you must
Flail your arms blindly until your fists find my skin
And if you find me not to your liking keep on swinging
If you are not strong enough to effect change grab a sledge hammer
Grab a knife
Grab a memory
Keep swinging
Keep swinging until I am a broken husk of a man I can not recognize
If that makes me the man you can love
I am not attached to this form of me
I am not beholden to the treasured memory of a childhood I can't forget
I am not holding out hope that these muscles, these bones, this skin, or the 19 little hairs on my left ring finger are strong enough to commit to the weight of your heart
It's amazing how heavy "I love you" can feel
And how willing I am to shoulder that burden
Bring the mirrors
Bring the smoke
Turn me
Fold me
Twist me
Until I am as you want me
Until I am strong enough
I want to carry "I love you"
With a finger
Until it loses circulation, turns purple, and falls to the floor
The lightness of loneliness is becoming tiresome.
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2014 · 400
Just Friends
Michael DeVoe Dec 2014
I imagine that if I lived on a planet with two moons
On a night when they were both full I would've been able to see how sad you were that night
As it was, it was a crescent moon here on Earth
And it was just as gorgeous as your smile always is
I'm so sorry
I'm normally so much better at noticing those things
I was so lost in the beauty of your eyes
I thought I was swimming in the blue of them
But as it turns out your eyes aren't blue
Those were just gathering tears
Waiting for me to save your mascara with my thumb
Settling instead for cascading down your cheek bones after I had finished bathing in them
Sometimes I am just a stupid, stupid, boy
We've been friends for so long I shouldn't still have a crush on you
But you're just so pretty
So kind
And you talk to me
Which is a combination of things I'm still not used to
It's been hard to not notice
And that really gets in the way sometimes
I am so, so very sorry
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Nov 2014 · 424
Grade A
Michael DeVoe Nov 2014
I no longer know where the meat market is
They took me off the mailing list
Not that I'd know what kind of currency they are using these days anyway.
Probably something I've never heard of
Something you can't exchange at a bank.
It's okay though, I don't miss it
I'm not a vegetarian or anything
I just prefer a more balanced diet these days
Besides look at me
I don't need that Grade A cut
We both know that supermarket meat tastes just the same
Lasts longer too
Plus I'm just gonna eat some now and freeze the rest for the weekend
Scrape the frost burn off, marinade it in the fridge for a bit, cook it over a slow fire for hours.
Because it doesn't matter where your meat comes from it's how you spice it up that'll make you want to lick your plate clean
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Oct 2014 · 1.4k
Michael DeVoe Oct 2014
On the day we met
You asked me where I lived
I told you two blocks that way
You laughed and said I live to blocks this way

Today is our wedding
We are dancing to the smash hit country song, "Meet in the Middle" by Diamond Rio
It's super cute
Your right hand in my left
My right on the small of your back
Room for Jesus between us
There is a prescription of steps we are fumbling through
I can see your eyes dancing through the room
Picking out Instagram filters for the memories you've shared with each of the people who are looking at you and whispering at each other, "how cute"
The life you have walked to arrive at this middle that we have found will make you smile
A brand new bride glow in your cheeks

We have run through our choreography too quickly
Neither of us are particularly talented at dancing so we slink into each other
Your arms wrapped under mine and around my shoulder blades
We are dancing like eighth graders
The dance floor fills with your family and my friends
The song is faster than a slow song
We dance slowly anyway
So does everyone else
It is cute

You glance over my shoulder to pick out Instagram filters for the road I walked to find this middle with you
And when you do
This song, "Meet in the Middle" will feel like the biggest lie you have ever told
On the day we met
You were walking towards the possibilities of life, humming to yourself, "High-**-High-** it's off to work we go" a skip in your step a smile on your face
I was shuffling with my head down, whispering, "just one more step, take just one more step"
You are about to feel very guilty for never having realized how hard trusting this 'happy' has been for me
You will be crushed under the weight of my past
I will spend every moment of this marriage, for however long that may be, trying to make you believe this was not a mistake

I lean into your ear as the song dies down
I whisper, "It gets better"
You smile a smile that will define our marriage
While your mother will cackle at my mother,
"Oh aren't they're just so cute."
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Sep 2014 · 567
Where's Waldo
Michael DeVoe Sep 2014
I’ve become quite adept at hiding the best parts of myself
In my Facebook status, tweets, Instagram photos
You are looking for a reason to justify the attention your mind is giving me
A redeeming quality
A reason to say, “hey…hey I see you there”
“That you inside of you that isn’t so afraid of you”
I see you out there looking for the me you saw that one time
For that thing that made your heart miss for a second
We are playing Where’s Waldo with my confidence
You keep finding all those striped shirt imposters that are my insecurities
I have left littered everywhere
But you forget silly little girl we are not looking for simply a man in a striped shirt
We are looking for a man in a striped shirt and a ridiculous hat
I bought this stupid ******* hat so that you could see me
Clearly this is not the kind of hat one wears at the dockyard
The pier
Or on the farm
Or Time Square
Or the circus
Well maybe the circus
But definitely not at home
Or the zoo
And for sure not on the internet
Every day we are playing two insecurities and a truth
Did I post that picture of my book because I want you to know that I think I’m smarter than I think most people think I am
Or did I just like the book
Is that a picture of my shoes
Or was I just wanting to let you know that I was financially secure enough to take care of myself
Is that a picture of my son
Or just a statement of my ability to commit
Tell me which one of those is the truth
Which one of those would make you go first
I am standing here
In this stupid mother ******* hat
At a shopping mall
In the middle of ******* Minne-*******-sota
Please find me
I know that you have spent a long enough time looking at the parts of me that look just enough like me that you might confuse them for me
But they aren’t the real me
They’re just some self-doubt who bought the same shirt as I did on sale at Costco over Memorial Day Weekend
Please recognize me
Say hi to me
I am really good at saying hi back
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jul 2014 · 947
Johnny the Devil Slayer
Michael DeVoe Jul 2014
This golden fiddle sure does draw a lot of attention round here
I haven't had an empty beer glass since the day the Devil slunk outta Macon with his tail between his legs
Johnny the Devil Slayer they call me
You should hear them chant
It echos off the rafters of these hollow afternoon bars
They know my name because they know my fiddle
They don't know my face and they ain't never gonna remember it
I am the man who took their beloved golden fiddle from the hands of the Devil himself
They ask me to play the song that out played the Devil
Like God would come down from heaven and course that song back through my veins to impress four drunks on a Tuesday in Macon
They ask what the best that has ever been is doing at a bar on Tuesday morning
Like it wasn't my soul if it hadn't been this fiddle
Like it wouldn't've been their souls if it hadn't been this fiddle
They ask for Fire on the Mountain Run Boys Run like it wasn't a warning
Like I don't still have scars on my chest from the spark that jumped off the strings when he pulled his first note

I leave my winnings at home sometimes
Pay for my own beer
Listen to people tell stories about my fiddle
Say, "I'd love to see that fiddle"
Say, "If I could only touch it once"
Say, "I just want to hear it play"
Say, "I saw it once it was amazing"
I sit silently thinking to myself
How easy it is to worship the Devil's golden things
Often have I had the prideful impulse to stand and shout,
"I am Johnny you sons-of-*******
I am the best that has ever been
Memorize my face
Tell them my name
My name is Johnny
I am the man with the golden fingers who played my warped, cracked, widdled-down wooden fiddle 'til my bow was threads
My strings snapped and my fingers bled down the neck
Dyed my fiddle crimson that day
My fiddle, my fiddle brought down the Devil
This golden idol will remind you what his face looked like"
But that line of thought does not befit God's chosen instrument
They call me Johnny the Golden Fiddle
They call me Johnny the Devil Slayer
But that Devil ain't dead
He's in this here golden violin
And he smiles every time they stare
It's my crimson fiddle that shines the brightest when the days are dark
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Michael DeVoe Jul 2014
Out here the hills bite back
They nip your toes at night
In this hollow place there is nothing between your dreams and the Milky Way
Except of course the moon
The moon makes you sleep walk
The cacti get you in your sleep
On your fingertips
When you reach for the promise of their mirage
     Trees you once climbed
     Bunk beds and secret forts
The foxes snap at your heels in the morning
It is time to wake up and get out of the sun
It is coming up now over those dust covered mountains yonder
You should not get caught in it
It does not forgive like father did

Have you ever heard a rock sing?
If you are still alive come sunset
Stay awake a little too long
You will
As an echo first
Then the distant memories of a lullaby mother sang
And when you close your eyes you will hear her full volume
Come hither on her siren tongue
Go thither woven into the soles of your boots
You may not wake up
These hills bite hard
You may not want to
She sings so
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Michael DeVoe Jul 2014
She tiptoed through the city playing 'Hot Sticks' on her snare drum
Her fire-engine-red bright-as-****-mother-*******-snare-drum
Midnight street lights jumped off the chrome tube lugs harder then her four sixteenth notes
Never had realized how good the acoustics were here on 47th
Not so much an echo
A reverb
The lights on behind every curtain
Children pressing oils stains into the windows leaving little ovals of fog from their nostrils
Old ladies in the middle of dialing 911
The telephone wire shoes tap dancing her rhythm on the sky
pop ta-pop-pap-op pop pop-pap-pap-pap-ta-pap-pat
Tip toeing
Like she was yelling the whole world the biggest secret she could think of just wanted to make sure she didn't wake her parents in the next room
I can't remember what she wore

A dress, I guess
She kissed my cheek and bit my shoulder
Tip toed away
Blue high heels...****** eye-shadow blue high heels
I yelled at her, "Why are you tip toeing, you've already woken the whole neighborhood?"
Without a thought
Without a pause
Without missing a beat she yelled back,
"If I am going to wake them all up anyway it ought to be with my song, not my step"
I sat down and heard the stem of a flower snap beneath me

The drumming was gone, all the lights were off
There were no footprints to follow
My shoulder dry
My cheek a tingle
I had woken them with my step
Had no song to put them back to sleep with that night
Tried to whisper a lullaby
Instead pulled the trumpet from my pocket
Blew 'Taps' the whole way home
A string of cop cars, and yelling ladies with their curlers in behind me
Stage lights and groupies
And from somewhere in the fog my desperate attempt to wake them all up became a duet to play them back to sleep.
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Jun 2014 · 675
Still Life
Michael DeVoe Jun 2014
We are students in a beginner's art class you and I
We are both staring at the same bowl of fruit
Aren't we using different brushes
Love, we are using different paints
Yes, we will fall in love
In the possible futures we see in each other
We will leave this class holding hands
Carrying different paintings of the same fruit
We will wake from naps on the same couch
Remembering different dreams
Make dinner arrangements
Whisper different forevers to our friends behind
We will say it loudly
We will be proud of our luck to have found each other
We will be so certain in the inevitability of us that we will tie blindfolds around each other's eyes
Take ten paces
Say, I love you
And with complete confidence in the future our love is bringing
We will walk towards each other
Ten steps
Twenty steps
Thirty steps
Reach out
Take each other's hands
Remove our blindfolds
Color us confused
To find ourselves in the arms of others
Color ourselves surprised
To be smiling
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Apr 2014 · 1.3k
Michael DeVoe Apr 2014
From atop Chehalem Mountain I heard it for the first time
Like a violin on a death bed
Firetrucks at midnight
Sirens to a sailor

The sunset, it rose that day
Purple fire across the tree tops
Music notes bouncing off of falling leaves
Crickets playing violas
The bats came out - a choir of sonar in the sunlight -
A song meant to welcome the dark
Played in the parting fog of dawn
Morning dew just the right squeak under my shoes
A wailing woman whispering hello to...
...something it feels I should recall
I danced
To the coming of whatever it was she was praying for
I danced
The notes rang from under the trees
And I watched it
Climb from out of the valley
Past my childhood
Swimming through remnants of first dates
First stick shifts
Second tears
Thinking swings
I watched it crawl through the memories of everything I have ever known
This beast
This past
This regret a mosquito to the flame of this song
This song
This music
This royal procession
This woman
Compelling me to dance to a lullaby I know all the words to
I...I just can't remember how it goes

From atop this mountain I look down upon everything I have been
Every path I have taken
And none of it makes sense
I am lost in the maze of the directions I have chosen
Changed by every mistake I have made
The woman singing a song of past in the air
The notes of this song so random
Every memory changing the song
Each song meant to move me shot arrow straight
Every missed note sending me typewriter reset sideways
The melody a scared cat on a keyboard
Equal parts haunting and nostalgic
The tune a childhood toy running low on batteries
And after all the moves had been sung
And all the lyrics danced
I stumbled down the hill
Blackberry bushes tearing at my shins
I opened my arms to receive the beast of past the woman called up from the valley
It swallowed me whole
And I wept silent tears onto two week old deer tracks in her throat
Falling leaves just falling leaves after the monster had her fill of me
The purple flames of sunset now an overcast autumn day
We have no crickets here just sounds we heard once in a book
The squeak still under my shoe
Just a squeak
Only a squeak and the occasional snap of a stick
As I climbed back to my car
The music had stopped
I was right where I started
Nothing around me looked familiar
Everything around me was exactly where I left it
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Apr 2014 · 823
Closed Tabs Opened Wounds
Michael DeVoe Apr 2014
Put it on my tab
I’m good for it
I always have been
I’ve never not been
They never ask
Always leave it open
No ID needed
Never a regular
But always there
They only ever ask what it will be today
I always pick the red head
I tell them IPA tonight
They pour a drink that looks so much like a dream I’ve had before
She sings Robin Thicke
Her dress stays on
Our wrists are bare
Her skin a good whiskey
Her lips a granny smith
My eyes transfixed on her neck

These dreams never last
The drink fades too quickly
I don’t have the liver to keep her around
I don’t have the heart to let her go
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Feb 2014 · 2.3k
Michael DeVoe Feb 2014
I've become acutely aware of the gravity in the fact that all I said to her was that I don't want to be the one who starts all of our conversations anymore
And that since then we have had no conversations.  
I don't think I will be rid of the haunting that this is my fault until I am haunted with the fact that it may be hers
In so making her not the woman I wanted for
Nor the woman I was all too eager to give myself for
Thirdly making me that man who opened his rib cage exposing his heart for her taking
Only to collect dust, rain drops, and those twisty helicopter things that fall from trees in the autumn
All from being left open so long on a very windy day when she saw what my heart was stretching to offer her and chose to leave it there
Couldn't I once be the one worth taking
Or at least notice when she's not the one worth opening up for.

There are days I wish God hadn’t built me with a zipper for a sternum
You know I don’t always mean to show them everything
It’s just sometimes I forget to zip it back up after I take it on walks to the liquor cabinet
My heart is a bow-tie drinking Manhattans at the center table with a chair full of friends and a twinkle in his eye
My tongue is a rolled up cuff drinking whatever’s on special at the end of the bar confusing, “I’ll have another” with proper conversation
My mind has an unplugged mini fridge in the corner with two luke-warm ciders waiting for a chance to celebrate...remembering to brush my teeth
Depression is a funny sort that way, it’s all her fault, right up until you remember how hard it is to brush your teeth everyday
At which point it’s either your own fault, or we’ll try again tomorrow.

Knowing is not half the battle when the battle is not being waged in your head
Knowing it is all going wrong is just another reason to never put on the helmet and see what the battle may bring
Seeing what right looks like on Pintrest is not motivation to check my zippers
It is the battle cry my stomach gives my lungs after lunch
It is the battle cry the fists of my mind give my heart when we are alone
It is a crop duster driven by the Morton’s Salt Girl, who never misses the open wounds of my torn innards strewn about an open field after losing the battle for the day.
I am a slug on your porch and I shrink with every grain
And you will never hear me scream
It’s just so tiring to tell someone you hurt and have no blood to prove it.

I do not much dream for stars or skinny girls anymore
I am afraid of what their sharp edges will do to my fingertips
I’m just looking for something I can hold on to
Someone who will remind me that I have a place here
If that place is only to take up oxygen
Sometimes I let my dreams get away from themselves and I dream of great magical things:
Like being loved back
Feeling important
Sleeping peacefully

On occasions I even see myself at work opening a love note in my lunchbox from someone who felt compelled to take the time to tell me they love me
It always swells my heart
Makes me want to be a better person
To get out of bed
Run a marathon
Sing an opera
Lift a weight
Sky dive
Read a book
High five a stranger
Take a dancing class
But then I wake up and look across my room at just how far away the light switch is and decide I must be afraid of the dark
Since I never remember to turn off the light before lying down and I never have the strength to get back up

I dream most of all of having someone to tell me the things I need to hear
To give me a purpose
A vision
A reason to live
To stop letting me find better excuses
To yell in my ear or write me a note that says,
“You are worth it, every minute, every cent, every effort.  You are worth it, because you will become a great man and because I love you, and because you are destined to change my world, and because your son needs you, and because you are brilliant, and because the world needs your words, because I need your words”

But the only notes I get are the ones I put into my own lunchbox as a reminder come noon-time
That even if for no other reason than because I said so,
I am worth it
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Dec 2013 · 1.2k
Michael DeVoe Dec 2013
Broken hearts
Reaching for something to catch their fall
Grasping dead Autumn leaves
Weaving them into combustible parachutes
Begging for a breeze
Longing to take flight
To land somewhere that no one knows their mother
Walk into a produce aisle
Grab a cucumber
Find a wife
Start mending the broken pieces of heart valve littering their lungs
To tell the story, catch their breath
And while no one who pushed them off of that tree would recognize the facts
For once to be completely honest
For once to have nothing to hide

Blistered toes
Bleeding for a river to float them along
Eyelids orange from a mid-day sun
A back of leeches for a raft
Dreaming for a waterfall
Longing to take flight
Scars from smiles passed whispering in their ears, "Momma always said that pain is a long way from your heart son, you'll be alright"
Evaporate with the rest of this fish house in June
Catch a Kansas lightning storm
Meet a genie
Make a wish
Burn that ******* house down
Envy is only green if the cuts get infected
For once to sing a song of a home land lived
For once to be home

Fingerprintless fingertips
Stretching for new strings
Tied the horse to the stake
Plucked the worn neck of what's left of the steel guitar
Laced those boots with sad eyes closed
Spun yarn
Knotted a noose
Longing to take flight
Somewhere no one will find him
Without a friend to kick the chair
Get down
Find cardboard
Stand the corner like grown men
Suffer through dreams
To once loose a string without a sound
To once: silence.
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Oct 2013 · 812
Michael DeVoe Oct 2013
You tore out the clock I'd hung up inside of my wrist

Suddenly forever seems like somewhere I might go

I have blisters on my heels from walking so much further than I had prepared for

I need better shoes

I didn't plan on liking it here
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Oct 2013 · 1.1k
Michael DeVoe Oct 2013
There are days when tired eyes are not enough to wake the moon
There are nights that have chosen to stay
This Morning, This morning, is a good reason to believe in angels
Angels are, of course, a good reason to sleep
Love is an animal
Home is a distant shore your toes are buried in
Home is an accent that no one can hear
Sea shells around ear lobes bring dreams to ear drums



Scraped knees

Scars are chapter headers in a novel no one bought but everyone owns
Bodies are either the slowest way to heaven
Or the fastest way to hell
And regardless of the answer, elbows, are funny little things
Like toe knuckles
Like breakable hearts  
Life is a Red Flyer wagon full of little pieces broken heart
Duct Tape
Super glue
A broken high heel
The hilt of a wooden sword
The rind of six oranges
And the fingerprints of a very angry lady with too much weight on her toes
It bounces over the cracks in the sidewalks and across the train tracks
Life is waiting for everything to bounce just right
As it should
As it will
As it was going to anyway
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
Sep 2013 · 1.4k
Dear Family
Michael DeVoe Sep 2013
Dear Shyla
I keep the suicide note that you've forgotten you wrote our mother folded up in a small wooden box in the corner of my bedroom
It's there so that on my worst days
When I've run out of friends who will listen
I can remind myself that other people feel this too
And after all we've been through apart sometimes our depressions and our mistakes are the only way I can remember we're related

Dear mom
I've hidden a diary you kept while struggling through your ill-fated relationship with my father
In it there are weight loss goals
Vows of marital celibacy
Existential questions
But mostly just a whole lot of why's leading you to answers you wanted to hear
While all of the things you needed to say you left in the blank spaces between the lines on the pages you never made it to
Your favorite thing to say after the divorce was that you were grateful to no longer have to walk on eggshells to protect his feelings
It has been twelve years and you still can't admit the feelings you were trying to protect were your own
And your feet still hurt

I have an envelope of pictures of you and I
From when both of us were oh so much younger
In each of them you are smiling at me
And in every one of them I am smiling back at you
I don't remember most of them I was quite very young
And for quite very different reasons I can imagine you would have a hard time remembering them as well
When I flip through the envelope I'm left sitting criss cross applesauce on a tore up linoleum floor
Staring at the scales of justice
Weighing the honest love of a drunk
Against the stoic rejection of the sober man you've become
And I am ashamed with how often I choose love

I am the keeper of this family's pain
Somebody has to
Someone has to admit it's real
One of us has to stare at the elephants in the room and see them
To know how each of us actually feels

Dear family
We are nothing more than four misfitted human beings
Tied together with tin can and twine telephones
By an astronomer, who in an effort to console himself,
Confused a congregation of lonely stars for a constellation
And eventually that is going to have to be enough
For each of us to love ourselves
To carry our own pain
I can not keep carrying all of this for each of you
I have my own pain
Which on most days is more than enough
I assure you
On most days
It is more than one man should
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
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