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Jun 2018 · 1.2k
Children Of The Camps
Mike Essig Jun 2018
The wind is curiously silent tonight.
Nothing disturbs the deep darkness,
but the wafting scent of madness.

In the desert, captive children
toss and turn, whimper and sleep,
the government their souls to keep.

They will wake to razor wire,
and the company of strangers,
caught in concentration camps
of unknown bureaucrats and guards
blamelessly following the orders
of distant, calculating masters
who play political chess
with the lives of the innocent.

The country that separates
mothers from their babies
will rise and ask no questions,
going about its business,
buying, selling, grasping at more,
untouched by this insanity,
kissing its own kids good morning,
unwilling or unable to feel or see
the malignant cancer eating its way
through the complacent, rotting soul
of what, once upon a time, used to be

the home of the brave,
the land of the free.
Apr 2018 · 896
Senior Bucket List
Mike Essig Apr 2018
"This is the end, my friend…"

Take refuge in the Golden Years.
Retire to an inevitable monastery
plopped on a suburban mountaintop.
Immerse yourself in the lost writings
of Nikita Khrushchev and Harry S Truman.
Learn to cook gizzards and meditate.
Find solace in obsolete atomic weapons,
enlightenment in the raw, butchered
expressions of the naked thermonuclear.
Wangle, ******, fire, and maneuver.
Get in touch with your inner Eichmann.
Devour baskets of tasty deplorables.
Stop clinging to guns and religion.
Love the fascism of the ordinary.
Become content with mere content.
Stop waving daggers at the innocent.
Wash yourself in the blood of the lamb.
Accept that Woodstock was futile.
Admit you can’t get no satisfaction.
Penetrate the goddess of unreason,
and come screaming to your senses.
Declare the dawn of the Age of Onanism.
Keep your fingers out of Pandora's box.
Bid farewell to the ghost of Joe Hill.
Depart the smothering, smooth life
of lust, corn flakes, and competition.
Expand your mind in a mushroom cloud.
Travel upriver to the ****** of Darkness,
legendary source of honeyed generation.
Attain new heights of perfect despair.
Discover the latent bliss of cassowaries,
rooted in their strong disdain for kale.
Play poker with the spirits of the dead.
These are your days of lucky revelation.
Lick magic frogs and witness lost dreams.
Arrive at the perfect wisdom of what is.
Everything and nothing, just what it seems.
Mar 2018 · 715
Mike Essig Mar 2018
I think I am
   finally ready
for that other life.

You know,
   The one without
all the mistakes.
Mar 2018 · 602
Join The Club
Mike Essig Mar 2018
Despair and grief are buddies,
always hanging out together.
Grief is despair's wingman.
Together they always score.
Grief sets despair up.
Despair closes the deal.
Best best friends forever
at the club of how we feel.
Mar 2018 · 682
Escaping The Labyrinth
Mike Essig Mar 2018
"Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky." WHA

Easy to escape what you hate;
difficult to find what you love.

Handsomely equipped to fail,
we sail out into the world.

Disillusion follows disillusion
until disillusion becomes disillusion,
it's own gray Shade of life.

The old know they have failed.
They young suspect they will.

Take wing against the dead.
Craft waxen wings. Seek the sun.
Soar against all despair.

Better to tumble than not to try,
to fall far and furiously alive.

Try to breach that pure, Attic sky
where light and hope may reside,
once before you wither and die.
Mar 2017 · 1.6k
Chemistry Problem
Mike Essig Mar 2017
for KA*

There is something in this for both of us. We have chemistry, let's be lab partners. Help me with problems like which would make a better poem: a pandemic, a wolverine, or a broken heart? You know I only chose you because you enjoy my fondling your blond *** as you lean over the Bunsen burner, because we have flammable *** on the periodic table, but this is more serious than calculations or *******. As a poet, I need to access the deeper moaning of reality, but you are a screamer, not a moaner. Let's experiment anyhow. Lift that skirt and let's explore something elemental, make a new molecule, feel the reaction. Help me probe the fundamentals of creation and I may love you, though surely not enough, as we are both non-valent. Even though we may never bond, we are in this together, partner. Lift your beaker to my lips. Outcomes are never certain.
Mar 2017 · 1.3k
Mike Essig Mar 2017
You know it's over.
Your shoes have walked away.
Your phone dives
into the pit of despair.
Cigarettes have become healthy.
Your knees don't knock, but clap.
The chipmunks have fallen silent.
All the chameleons are gray.
The cat dismisses you and leaves.
Bullets pass through you like prunes.
Love is a forgotten memory.
Everything transforms into other.
You are a stranger growing
stranger by the day.
Over and out good buddy.
You know it's over.
Mar 2017 · 1.2k
"How Do I Love Thee?"
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Call out for Love.
Call out for Love.
Call out for Love.

Repeat until it becomes
a chant, an incantation,
a summoning, a charm.

Expect no answer.

Love is a tattered,
weary ***** standing
on an unlucky corner.

Her feet hurt and she
wants to go home alone.

She is disenchanted
of desire; dog-tired of
endlessly being needed.

Love does not listen.
Love does not hear.
Love does not respond.

Love owes you nothing
and pays her debt in full.
Mar 2017 · 972
Mike Essig Mar 2017

is the one true
The Sacred
is not a puzzle
to solve;
not a commander
to follow;
not a creed
to mumble.
It is a joy
to experience;
it is a love
to share;
it is a way
to be.
It is simply
and divinely,

Mar 2017 · 903
Burning Man
Mike Essig Mar 2017
The heart
of the wood
burns hottest;
the heart
of a living man,
as well.

Both consume
to produce
light and heat.

A life of fire.

In the end,
only ashes
Mar 2017 · 916
Cycle Of Cruelty
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Step out of
your frigid bones.
Break into blossoms.
Snow-bells and crocuses.
Tentative daffodils.
Spring arrives
outlining a new world
and all that might imply.
Mar 2017 · 944
Mike Essig Mar 2017
You sow
these words
in a graveyard.
They  sprout
in deep darkness,
never to see
the light of day.
It drains you
to plant only
Your heart
Do not expect
to live long.
Mike Essig Mar 2017
The coffins are sailing to a port near you.
Consider their lovely, dark sails.
how perfectly they catch the wind of death,
Think of them as bringing you precious gifts
on the Christmas Morning of Doom.
Forget the card. Be the first to unwrap yours.
Don't be concerned about returning it.
You can be sure it will fit you perfectly.
Mar 2017 · 781
Descartes Reconsidered
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Sometimes I think;
therefore, sometimes I am.
Sometimes I’m not sure.
Those are the best times,
when uncertainty renders me
an electron only knowable
by observing where it’s been;
a statstical state of non-being
where all wonders coexist,
where *what I might be

is more real than what I am.
A dreamer dreaming dreams
in the presence of reason.
Mar 2017 · 1.1k
Tombstone Blues
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Send me dead flowers...*

He wanted his tombstone
to exhibit just the facts, Ma'am.

No cherubs or platitudes,
meaningless dates or military service.

Only the really important stuff.

Which toenail had the fungus.
His endless dreams of falling.
His penultimate decision about
the imminent existence of God.
How he became a hermit.
Why bourbon was the best medicine.
How, after 57 years, he found a voice.
His two or three best puns.
The virtues of solitude and celibacy.
The best *** he ever had.
Who really killed the Kennedy's.
How he came to fear cassowaries.

Just the things that really mattered.
The things that actually made a life.

This might require a billboard
intsead of a tombstone.

Little enough to ask for eternity.
Mar 2017 · 615
Before You Were Nothing
Mike Essig Mar 2017
a man of no fortune with a name to come.*

Important things are happening
in the outside world of events,
but no one ever mentions you.
You have had a celebrity buzz cut.
You are not attuned to twittering.
The glasses you broke work better now.
Your hunger for renown is so great
that you can't stand to order poverty.
The cat looks at you like protein.
Your bed is an ancient dry well.
The ghosts of your memories
can't even afford clean sheets.
Do not these signal events import?
If you could but get your boyish face
out there on the Internet, someone
in that outside world might mention you,
and the virtual lottery of fame would
allow you to purchase and stockpile
marrow bones, crème brûlée and ******.
You could go out with a belch of flame,
and everyone would say they knew you
long before you were even nothing.
Mar 2017 · 850
Ghost Town
Mike Essig Mar 2017
t's so hard to walk in this old town anymore
since the cemetery took over every inch.
Wherever you go ghosts nibble your toes.
Dead people pretend to smile, but are resentful
Their mouths mumble but they say nothing.
The grave stones are shaped like former houses.
The lanes between them like streets you strolled.
Now the invisible exerts a ruthless domain.
There is not a nickel coke to be found.
Only empty glasses and bloodless lips.
Rather than become a flâneur of the lost,
I'd rather just stay inside and remember.
It's so hard to walk in this old town anymore.
Mar 2017 · 520
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Don't look back.* - Satchel Paige

Once upon a time, I
stumbled and dropped my life.
It hit the world hard
and shattered into a
myriad of sharp shards.
For years I struggled
to rearrange it
using the glue of
many helpful hearts.
But after I managed,
whenever I looked into it,
the life I saw was
never quite the same
as the one I dropped.
Mar 2017 · 596
Bankrupt Dreams
Mike Essig Mar 2017
I dreamed I opened a bookshop
where you had to pass a reading test
before you could buy anything.
I just might have promulgated
a radiant, renaissance of literacy,
but I went broke long before that.
Mar 2017 · 673
Twenty Degrees At Four AM
Mike Essig Mar 2017
You must have a mind of winter...*

A gelid wasteland.
Your mittens disappear.
It feels cold without hands
and a ***** when your nose runs.
Winter chips your heart away
like flakes from a butter sculpture.
You are writing the secret history of Ice.
You never can discover the end.
Time has frozen into fragments.
Each fragment blasts a finale.
Let your reader choose the period
Crawl back into bed.
Clutch the covers to your chest.
Dream of laughing flamingos.
Mar 2017 · 544
Love Pome
Mike Essig Mar 2017
tis pity she's no more*

A redolence of musk pervades the evening's air.
Take situation in hand. Sweat and perfume. Lubricious.
Teasing digits. Pressures applied. Tense of touch.
An opening of skirts. A parting of lips. A portal.
Brush of thumb she begins to writhe. Early moaning.
Damp, wet, moist, oozing, dripping, slippy. Fruition.
Coming to. A dance of desire. So many ups and downs.
Withdraw slowly. Enter with alacrity. More is not less.
Hollows of legs on shoulders. Depth charges. Grasp of gasps.
Muscles massage. Internal grip. External eruption.
Bear down. Press your case. Silent screams. Everything ends.
Simply collapse into delight. Smooth texture. Fine night.
Mike Essig Mar 2017
It seems to have spontaneously combusted, but it didn’t. The disease struck long ago, brewed in the petri dish of Depression, WWII, and convergent technologies. Well before that, really, but that was the point of critical mass. By the 1950's, it was an epidemic. The independent Republic of individuals, small towns, coherent communities, distinct cities, local diners, shops and stores tied together with two lane blacktop was crumbling. Things only got worse faster. It was a disease of toxic, lulling dreams. American Dreams. And standardization was its crushing foot that flattened everything and left a homogenized wasteland in its trail. The old gods vanished and the new became despots. Go anywhere in America, Boston or Biloxi. You can’t tell where you are. Most shop at the same stores (real or virtual), eat at the same chain restaurants, wear the same clothes, gulp from the same Internet, swallow similar information, and think (within acceptable variations) the same thoughts. Even sin has become tediously consubstantial. Knowledge has been supplanted by content. Words are squeezed of meaning. Everyone is an expert and no one knows anything. Except Siri and Alexa. The Dreamtime of consumerism, consumption and conformity dominates. All that remains to come is the dominion of AI. Then we will all be watched over by machines of loving grace, free to graze in bovine bliss in the cybernetic meadows of bland utopia.
Mar 2017 · 949
How To Become A Poet
Mike Essig Mar 2017
I am often asked this question in comments, private notes and emails.

The short answer is: I don’t know.

I don’t know if there is an answer or if I’m the man to even try.

First, there are probably as many ways to write poetry as there are poets. I can’t imagine any one size fits all template. That is too horrible to contemplate.

Second, my method is actually a non-method. I will describe it, but I doubt it will be useful or transferable.

I have been a fanatical reader all my life. I still am. I probably read an average of three books per week. This has been going on for decades.

I have been reading poetry seriously for perhaps 43 years, including being taught how to read closely by some brilliant professors as an undergraduate and graduate student.

This has deposited an enormous mishmash of poems, sentences, images, phrases and fragments in my brain. Add to that mishmash decades of reading across disciplines, especially history, philosophy, religion and novels. Imagine that mishmash slowly marinading and fermenting.

From that random accumulation, without provocation on my part, poems emerge. There is no order to this and not much effort. I just channel what shows up. I do some retouching, but little serious rewriting.

And there you have it: my non-method. It should be obvious why I doubt it will be of much help to anyone else.

I can give a bit of advice, but only based on my experience.

Love words. Love to learn them. Love to play with them. Delight in them.

Read as much poetry as you possibly can. I doubt anyone can become a poet without doing this.

Be patient. It takes a while for the marinade to work. I’m 65 and I only began writing seriously eight years ago.

Find your own method and your own voice. You’ll know when that voice is authentic.

And then, sing out.
Mike Essig Mar 2017
You seem to remember robust days of anarchy. Heroic limbs. Tungsten nerves. Oak-like tumescence. But they may have been fictions imagined beneath dripping choppers or among Tennessee wild flowers. Your feathers now reject flight and time has pressed all blossoms. Everyday chaos directs your steps. The anaconda in the mud puddle only a curious worm. Shrunken shoes, but reminders of mortality. Where does light go when it’s dark? Why these dreams of deserted airports? Where has lust absconded? The universe looms a question of questions. The mute shades know all, but it’s difficult to comprehend nothing. You miss the caprice of logic. Confusion rains. You stagger beneath the headlines of oblivion besotted with sobriety. A corpse in Argentina guards the labyrinth's portal. Kale refuses to surrender its secrets even under torture. The fangs of women drip enigmas. Even the slugs have abandoned reason. The antennae of the night sing silence. You await a message from reality announcing the invasion is imminent. Do nothing until you hear from me. The sun shines, having no alternative, on the nothing new world.
Mar 2017 · 473
Remembering The Ward
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Next time
you stand
on the corner
of Asylum Street,
there can be
no return.
Mar 2017 · 497
False Hope
Mike Essig Mar 2017
Thunderstorms grumble
this first March dawn.
The sun hides, shamed,
from the downpour.
Crows drip from bleak wires.
Spring is a lie on the lips
of budless branches.
Life can only be
what it is, when it is.
Feb 2017 · 589
The ABC Of Reading
Mike Essig Feb 2017
The real deserts are outside of tradition.* Leonard Cohen

Cloze reading does not run in jeans.
The eyes must fasten; synapses fire.
Practice, the way to Comprehension Hall.
Reading marks more than mere seeing.
The need to get a hold of yourself.
You must know stone to take up mining.
You must know the way of digging.
Pound your way to the Chapel Perilous.
No tradition equals no understanding.
Meaning illustrates a point in a process,
not an arrival at a place. Not home.
Volunteer yourself to be committed.
Engage the hard work first. Learn.
Forget the desert of individuality.
Follow the songlines of Culture.
They will lead to the Knowing of Know,
the springs and sumps of understanding.
Nothing easy, but all necessary.
Discover the way to where you must go.
The ABC Of Reading by Ezra pound.
Feb 2017 · 495
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Plumbing the abyss
is fine if you wish,
but there is much
to be said
for a full heart
and a warm bed.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Never chase your desired.
Just go to the place she will be
and wait patiently for her arrival.
She will find you at her journey's end
through her own life's labyrinth.
Only then, at exactly the right moment,
can you begin your twin journey,
gliding in harmony, together.
Feb 2017 · 478
On Board With Mystery
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Be sure to secure your own mask
before helping others with theirs.
Droll instruction, but essential.
Wise advice for all in transit.
In a world of facile familiarity
you will need to clamp it on tight
to make sure it never slips.
Knowing who you truly are
does not mean that others should.
Join in the necessary Kabuki dance.
Let them guess what lurks behind.
They will anyway and usually wrong.
You are so much more and so much less.
Make every day of your every day
a safe and mysterious trick or treat.
Be sure to secure your own mask
before helping others with theirs.
Feb 2017 · 805
Zero Hour For Terror
Mike Essig Feb 2017
life is but a dream...*

Lithuanian speaking parrots
dangle alluringly toxic grapes,
but you breakfast on hyacinths
and suddenly turn cruel in April.
Seductively sleepy lidded women
grip you with invisible fangs
squeezing away any latent lust.
Your cat silently reads your will
licking his sharp, sodden chops.
The IRS sends you an inviting
prison manufactured Christmas card.
The car you can't drive finds a
new owner on Craig's List and
leaves you stranded and alone.
Unable to reach the grocery store,
you will choke on frozen burritos.
Your good cholesterol joins the plot,
turns bad, and conspires to ******.
Lowly earthworms dug for fishing
mutate into malevolent Blacks Mambas.
AARP hounds you to rejoin
no matter how many times you move.
Your high-speed Internet connection
devolves into a slow, taunting swamp.
Your toenails just won’t shut up.
The sun rises suspiciously late.
And you've only been awake an hour.
Could be a very long day.
Feb 2017 · 565
Planning Is Everything
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.*

Another day and what to make of it? Tu Du list.
Things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew.
Water down darkness. Ask the sun for a light.
Loot Frederick's of Hollywood. Cultivate pompous grass.
Rewrite Moby **** as free verse. Irritate life with art.
Plant Rhino rhizome and grow *****. Turn over an old leaf.
Take a road trip to a state of anxiety. Try chewing gun.
Play the Jew's harp in a mosque. Pray for drains.
Steal a cop from a donut. See if LSD still works.
Listen to Rockabilly noir. Experiment with dysentery.
Set out buckets to catch sky. Talk with, not to, turnips.
Insist on having the last word. Get it. Die.
   Or just admit another wasted day,
   lonely as your heart, but not as gray.
Feb 2017 · 473
Mike Essig Feb 2017
-mors vincit omnia*

The many old who live alone
must pay attention, take care.

Any misstep might hasten their descent.
Tumble down the lonely steps.
Lie waiting in your own filth,
unable to reach a phone.

What loneliness must attend such a fall?

If only we could choose.

Proud Aeschylus was struck down
by a falling tortoise.
That’s not too bad.
To be hit by a bus while
lighting one last lethal cigarette.
That’s even better.
In bed, at ninety, chugging toward
one, final gasp of ******.
Even better yet.

But not in a strange bed hooked up
to noisy, indifferent machines,
poisoned by chemotherapy,
surrounded by terrified
friends and family struck dumb,
embarrassed and uncomfortable,
stunned by their own fears.

Best on your own two feet.
Like a soldier before the bullet.
Like a Viking struck down in battle.
Like you might have even mattered.

But there is no choosing.

Decrepitude is woven in our DNA.

You cannot escape the
inevitable carnage of mortality,
but you can be very careful
where you place your feet.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
-a fragment. For MD.

We must not speak of this. ******* and nonsense swirls around old age. It’s truths are inconvenient. *Golden Years
. Honored old age. Valuable old age. Deserved Rest. Most never get what they imagined: honor, comfort, love, troops of friends. We must not speak of this. They no longer look to have those things. Drugs and medicine have turned old age into an endurance race, difficult to endure, much of it unrelenting, inert, isolated boredom. Forced longevity has ****** up pensions, health care, housing and happiness. It has ****** up the entire experience of retirement. Life everlasting, mummified. What disturbs our blood is this longing for the tomb. Oh Reason not the need. We must not speak of this. Memory becomes diaphanous, stretches and thins until it is all skin, no snake. Those who delivered important opinions or stinging rebukes fade to faces without names. Or vice versa. The old become greedy and selfish (we must not speak of this), because they have been abandoned by the living world and must look out for themselves. It becomes more difficult to share the joys and pains of others. Our own impending deaths render other’s less substantial. No matter. Even *** becomes selfish. There are needs which succeed *** and affection. We must not speak of this. Many older folks who are perfectly capable abandon it because it involves relationships which are (we must not speak of this) too much trouble. Been there, bought that T-shirt, wore it out. Primates die, the oceans become poisoned potions, the very weather conspires against life. **** it. The future is no longer our concern. We must not speak of this. We are ghosts in a country no one visits or forgotten photographs without identifying marks. We are the muddled memory of our generation, dead but walking. Young people look through us as if we aren’t there. We look at them and think (schadenfreude) they deserve exactly the world they got. Good luck with that. Grin. We must not speak of this. We have entered the realm of No More Second Chances, where all that happens is just more of what has. We are riding the Turnpike of Infirmity which has only one, involuntary exit. Wishing the destination more distant, we drive on through the Valuable, the Honored, the Deserved Rest, The Golden Years, waiting for the bony hand to collect the final toll. The one that, in the end, we all must pay. The day thou gavest Lord is ended. We must never, young or old, ever think of this.
Feb 2017 · 668
Mike Essig Feb 2017
He awoke
this morning
infested with

Dreams erased
his sleep.

The Angels
mumble in
his heart.

He feels their

They clamor
like divine

They seem to
be telling
him the
but he can't
hear them

This is either
or he needs
the services of
a good Vet.
Feb 2017 · 617
Helen Keller Universe
Mike Essig Feb 2017
The Cosmos is deaf,
mute, and dumb, too.

We humans make up stories
and call them our lives.

When the stories
don't turn out well,
we curse the Cosmos.

Such hubris!

The Cosmos can't hear
our pathetic laments
and wouldn't care
if it could.

It's too busy just
being the Cosmos.
Feb 2017 · 429
Mike Essig Feb 2017
They are ubiquitous as red, white and blue.
Everybody's entitled to them.
Everybody has many, all insightful.
Everybody feels compelled to share them.
Frankly, I don't care what you think
about Trump, Obamacare, refugees, Syria,
the patriarchy, pumpkins or the Patriots.
But go ahead and fill me in. I know you will.
I will smile politely, as I always do,
while imagining twenty ways to ****** you.
Feb 2017 · 491
Be My Valentine
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Let us get together and share nightmares.
You show me yours. I'll show you mine.
We will tremble like off balance washing machines.
What is love if not a combination of horrors?
So many intimate fears and phobias to merge!
Assuredly we shall end up an old married couple,
mute at table, staring blankly into the void,
wondering whatever possessed us,
waiting for the inevitable exorcist to arrive.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Valentine's Day Shopping...*

She had a
Mercedes’s face,
a Porsche body,
and a Maserati

Sadly, I was at
the wrong dealership
looking at
the wrong model.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Another dreary, dismal,
kidney stone of a day
that doesn’t want to pass.
You might name it suicidal
if you were an optimist.
The rain pearls like tears
on every wet, black bough.
Not enough bourbon in
the entire weeping world
to wash them all away.
Dreams of white beaches
and bikini clad women
just do not suffice.
Might as well go out
and sit naked in it,
become one with moisture.
The neighbors will doubtless
not approve. Better to keep
this satori to yourself.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
It’s all smoke and mirrors,
he declaims in Caesar's voice.
Do nothing until you hear from me.*
The yokels weep sincere tears.
Women get wet and men tumesce.
He mounts a gilded Mercedes,
glances over a shoulder with disdain,
and motors away, counting the take.
Feb 2017 · 554
The Talking Dead
Mike Essig Feb 2017
"Poetry Makes Nothing Happen..."*

The New is Confusion.
Embrace it and be baffled.
Give a nod to the absurdists
among us who demand illusion.
That engenders a reality.
Satire cannot compete
with rampant trumpery.
Poets who marry politics
produce stillborn tracts
whose topics will be
forgotten in a week.
In the theme park of words,
they are the talking dead.
This pig wallow of blame
leaves no hands clean.
History's a house that burns
too quickly for choosing sides
or taking detailed notes.
Accept the tangle of Truths.
Nothing outlasts everything.
Never sell out to the moment.
Feb 2017 · 430
Over And Out
Mike Essig Feb 2017
You know it is over.
Your shoes walk away.
Your phone dives into
the pit of despair.
Your cigarettes
have become healthy.
Your knees no longer
knock, but clap.
The chipmunks are silent.
Wolverines arrange
mass suicide pacts.
Chameleons permanently
turn invisible.
Everything transforms
into Other.
You are a stranger
becoming stranger
day by day.
You know it is over.
Ten Four good buddy.
Feb 2017 · 1.9k
Rabid Declamation
Mike Essig Feb 2017
You have abandoned purity for perfection.
Even the blind have moments of clarity
but you ***** around like the Cyclops
feeling nowhere for noman while
affecting a quiet, moronic expression.
You can't knit without needles,
but you have mislaid the point and
so things unravel into random skeins.
Your typewriter rattles only in reverse.
Bards stub their toes and wail.
You hear them, but pay no attention.
You are listening for the atomic thunderclap.
Nothing less than finale of final will do.
When it explodes at last you will know
the inarticulate, unspeakable name of god.
Perhaps Fred. Perhaps Norma or Justine.
Perhaps merely a very loud Boom...
That will be more than enough for one life.
Feb 2017 · 423
Old Nightmare
Mike Essig Feb 2017
Only the dead
       know the end of war.*

Sit abruptly upright
into shivering darkness.
Nothingness shimmers
before your eyes.
A whiff of cordite.
Echoes of screams.
Distinct feel of falling.
War holds on tight,
even in dreams.
Blessed absence of details,
although the stink
of fear remains.
Remember when you are.
Try to go back to sleep.
The past has passed.
The future will keep.
Feb 2017 · 547
Old Ass On Thin Cushions
Mike Essig Feb 2017
All that's left of me...*

Cross-legged in meditation at four AM.
Sitting in a provincial burg. Alone.
Completely comfortable with obscurity.
Ambition dead as ashes of embers.
Swallow emptiness as it swallows you.

This world holds no prizes worth winning.

Youth: dream dreams and lust.
Prime: chase success and love.
Age: write poems and be quiet.

What can a dead cat do but bounce?

You've done all you can for your fellow man.

Action is the province of the young;
there are reasons soldiers are only twenty.

People say go for it, time remains.
You know, you know, there's nowhere to go.

Everything important ends before it begins.

If all your words turned suddenly to gold,
at your core you would still be poor.

The things men chase: money, women, fame;
no longer matter at the end of the game.

Grab those pillows, sit down and see:
already all that you need to be.
Mike Essig Feb 2017
A certain circuitry of insanity takes hold.
Objects of the world Unite!
The pure products of America, made in China,
(not merely ****** and iPhones),
have had their minds made up for them.
Wake up and smell the coffee burning.
You never programmed that.
There arises a distinct need for caution.
The 70 inch curved flat screen takes notes.
Ovens awaken as self-stating Birkenaus.
The Roomba tries to **** your toes. Not ****.
Your phone will not stop calling you.
Lawn gnomes achieve singularity. Somewhere,
someone activates them. You sleep.
They stalk and slash. Red doom ensues.
These are the times that fry men's soles.
     This morning the toaster bit your thumb.
     The world was safer when it was dumb.
Feb 2017 · 523
Brooding Over Regrets
Mike Essig Feb 2017
When I have fears that I may cease to be...*


I am strongly opposed
to stating the obvious,
but there is forever
scant hope of forgiveness
and I expect none.

I only did what the crazy do.
Events cascaded as they are wont.

Never expect absolution.
Who could ever know all your sins?
How could there ever be time enough?

Much better to mirror
the Stoic habit of silence.

Bind your wounds and walk away.


the only path leading forward
into the vast unknown.
Feb 2017 · 311
Mike Essig Feb 2017
The rain is of the process…*

Clouds gather in my mind;
rain falls in my brain;
ink flows through veins;
words drip from my fingers
to gather on pages.

What does that make me,
but a puddle of poetry…
Feb 2017 · 577
Just Walking
Mike Essig Feb 2017
You never know what you will find.
The eyeball of a cow. Weeping condoms.
Deserted televisions lacking flat screens,
no longer desirable, abandoned, forlorn.
A pair of torn, lacy,black *******
in an alley; must be a story there.
A cat with one eye and three legs,
devouring a vole. Scattered books awash.
A depressed, deflated hemorrhoid donut.
Soaked album of ruined wedding pictures.
Forever mute, broken, vinyl LPs.
Three shotgun shells but no shotgun.
Not a sign of the splattered victim.
Almost everything you can't imagine.
The devious flotsam and jetsam of life.
The ordinary stuff of nightmares and poems.
All the world's magnificent mysteries,
strewn like tears on streets and alleys,
waiting to be rediscovered, again,
like dangerous, lost New Worlds,
yours for the simple effort of walking.
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