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Jeff S Jul 2019
I’ve always loved

The crane of green, of spiring atoms
Years in their making: the
Burdened, brittle backs of flowers in my garden.

These are the stems which are nothing but,
letting loose a leaf  here that wonders then
Wilts; slung, there, sullen, at the side.

I’ve always admired

The ribald crags, a matter of mid-life
Crises. Yet, all about its warted middle
A uniform purpose nonetheless rises:

Dewy petals ringing white in halos,
Their fearless figures spread wide upon the air:
Indeed, all the supple self naked to the whim of Nature.

I’ve always enjoyed their grace.

Except, there is one bowing low, shut upon itself
And gray. I wonder how it came to be that way,
Still haloed in its ashen regalness.

Or, for that matter, how many more will
Slump before tomorrow, exchanging their halos
For a bit of rest.

Yes, I’ve always marveled at the uncanniness of flowers.
Jeff S Jun 2019
Before it occurred to me to break things—

Before, when purity was paramount to *** and
Words and duty and the drink—

Before, when academics wagged from ivory
Thrones to never mime the masters—

To be content with being only me—

To sit in wood and ruminate upon the thoughts of
White men, drunk and dead—

To raise revision for our mankind
In merely muted measures—

To be right-handed rogue, forever plying “please”—

Why then—then—

I was Halfman in a wholeman’s body,
A fish without its gills—

A flapping Fop of scaling incongruities
With gurgled protestations seldom bubbled up—

A wily Portraiter, blinded since his birth—

An agnostic Abbott soaking up a season’s sins
Outside of habit and the church—

A boisterous Beat, a bouncing drum, and gongs
With two left feet—

A Farmer without a *** or seed or farm
Or Nature much in mind.

But, my curious greenhorns on the other
Side of life, don’t heed that—no! no!

You’re free; the world is completely broken now.
Jeff S May 2019
When I was a boy, the castles of education
soared impossibly large: Brick-laid with Blake, mortared
with Marx, wound round-about with subsidized ivy, rooted
in the 17th century.

And me, just me, on two legs, from 1981.

The flickering incandescence of rebellion started in
these fortressed halls; ideas more snapped than volleyed, until
at the end of our emotional tether, we society on our pale legs,
we sure did fall to a gust of reason.  

Emotion pounded at the walls in every century; and minds, fortified with logic and stoney fact, beat back, beat down, beat away the
Crying, yelling minds. For tears do not make progress.

I was tender, careful, deferential in my youth—an idealist without ideas; merely the powder keg of emotion lurking somewhere beneath my epithelial smarts. Ready and willing to rain against the parapets of education with unsightly feeling.

And I stood, in my academic frock, at the feet of the great hall of learning. And I wondered if my legs could stand it.

Is it any wonder I was raised to be an intellectual?
Jeff S Apr 2019
Once, Jesus said, you are saved. But I wonder.
Save for later? Save, is in, extract the good parts?
Save like, save the best for last? Or maybe:
Good save! Because I was right on the cusp of
falling on my face with my foot in my mouth.

Save, perhaps, like save the future and all humanity?
Or like a goalie keeps a ball from sailing into a net. To save us
from the Damnable Score. Or no—save to fix later.
Like a broken-down truck with a cracked engine
you might, some day, get to.

No, no, none of that fits, I conclude as I pour out a
second cup of bitterly strong coffee when I should be
at church on Easter Sunday.

There’s nothing to save. And who would know better about
what worth saving than me? This, as I pour the undeniably
burned second cup of coffee down the drain.
Jeff S Mar 2019
If ever the dusk settles on dry bones
I'll drink my ***** for wine
And celebrate
The impotence.
Jeff S Mar 2019
Each morning, I wake before God has roused
The sun,
And that is just what we must do: To complete the busy-making-madness of a job. To compose the email, to manipulate the story, to rope the client, to extol the virtues of money and shore up the pillars of industry.

Though we sigh as we do: there is no shine in an empty inbox. Not that we ever see it—

Each day, we are gaveled:
More, and greater, and bigger, and best. Which is exactly what we do, but our wrangling and sending and crafting and praising of profit is never sufficient: More, and greater, and bigger, and bester than best.

In the sands of the sun, we are erecting Ozymandias.

—fired not by passions, not by growth, not by light, but by false engines: caffeine and fear and shame.

It is 7pm on a Tuesday and I hear the sun whisper, its orange lids closing: I have risen and shone another day. So have you. Now:

Jeff S Feb 2019
The consequence of dreaming,
Between the blood-shot weekdays,
Is too dark to admit I’m afraid:

That there is a better lost in the status quo
Like a dryer sheet in a load of laundry;

That there is a possible lurking just out of reach
Like a jar of peanut butter stuck up on the highest shelf;

Or even—yes even—that a happiness can be caught
Like a chase after the bus that came two minutes early.

Oh, friend. I hate to disappoint you as you wade through coffee and the news in your bedroom slippers by the fire—

But the consequence of dreaming is dire.
And so we had best stick to the humdrum—
Never changing our habits or the channel again.
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