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4d · 22
Stop.
I think maybe
you been on my mind, baby.
Stop.
Letters in the post
missing you the most
texts left on ghost
and every word outta your mouth is fire
and every step is climbing higher
and you and me, which one's a liar?
'Cause we're scant yards from the pyre
and it's overwrought and in under the wire
but my eyes droop and I tire.
Stop.
The last shelter you take in the storm
is the the only spot I'm safe and warm.
I kept buzzing but got lost in the swarm
blended in style, substance and form.
No.
Real now.
I miss you.
When I'm out here on the road tired and alone, I miss you.
You're on my mind.
Not always, but often.
And sure, we've been together a long time
but I don't want anyone else.
I'm miles away and covered in sweat and dust
and my knuckles bleed
and
my skin cracks
and my dream fades American
and I miss you.
I always do.
This much, only, is true.
Stop.
Apr 26 · 257
Letter.
I found a letter you wrote
when you were thirteen
and it doesn't bleed right
it barely reads right.
In youth there was fear
and lightning and violence
and sure maybe you weren't
complete but you were whole.
An island on which only you
could stand.
You could look into the distance
but you couldn't see forever
and maybe it scared you
but it didn't really matter.
You didn't deserve forever, anyway.
I read the letter and didn't
see you anymore.
Time and tide have long since
had their effect.
The island has gone
the violence
the silence
the fear
they've gone, too.
I look out into the distance
and I can see forever
but this letter,
these scared pages,
they aren't me
and by that, I mean you.
Apr 20 · 31
You and I.
I ache and mewl and burn to life
under a sky the color of the sea.
Slow and sluggish I push through
the world.
From street to street
Lettered, numbered and named
and I'm ten years old again.
We ride our bikes all the way
to Coney and laugh first, then conspire.
We talk about the small things
that occupy lifetimes at a mere decade.
The world is on fire
red and blue pills and choices.
The sky is burnt from the smoke
a dull orange color.
I am seventeen.
We are strong in this new city.
Bold and young and alive.
We smoke until the filters feel
hot against our lips and joke
and we talk about the girls.
If only they knew the secrets.
If only.
And with speed we tear through
another city, another lifetime.
The sky purpling like a new bruise.
I'm 26 and downhill,
though we don't know it yet.
The street lights hold us in place.
We plan our plans across digital
airwaves and we smile small smiles
as we talk about the women.
What is too personal? What is too much?
Love is an unbroken chain of
icecream stains.
The time just soars now.
I'm a father. A husband. I'm not really me anymore, but then you aren't either.
It's been how long since we spoke?
The sky seems either blue or gray.
We're happy but we don't talk.
I send you a picture of my little man
and get a thumbs up in return.

And I remember bike rides and comic books.
I recall laughter and a world vivid beyond explanation.
I...
I remember when...
Apr 19 · 23
The modern myth.
I dream of walls of fire and ice.
I watch them clash and arrive awake drowning on acid in my throat.
I long for apotheosis
but just get ready for the fight.
We line up in neat rows
to take hit after hit
and smile gap-toothed grins
as we spit the blood on
the pavement at their feet.
Rubbing our gumlines
to feel for new absence we
move with practiced discipline
to the back of the line.
Maybe, just maybe,
if we sell more time we can
get struck once more today.
We cower and we wail
and every ******* morning
we're back in line for more.
We talk the talk about
using our sick and vacation days
and we aknowlede that he'll only
be this little once
and we sob and we break
and we queue so that we
can bleed.
During our freetime,
the great modern myth,
there are yards to mow
things to fix.
Here a new socket, spackle there
and so much shopping to do.
Errands before we can
finally get back in line
to fight.

On the horizon on some distant day
there will be death.
There will be sleep.
If we can find the time
to lay down.
If we can just survive long enough
to hear the bell.
To get to heaven, we're told
you gotta go through hell.
Apr 19 · 13
Heading somewhere.
Twenty miles outside nowhere
we finally broke down.
The engine had been knocking
but oh so **** faithful.
The last hundred or so miles
had been the worst.
The suspension was all but gone
and sharp turns were met
with fear and anger.
When the trip started we
were so **** happy.
The engine purred like
rolling laughter and our smiles
ticked off miles as we headed somewhere.
But we've totally broken down
and finding ourselves with
no power and still miles from nowhere
we finally begin to talk about it.
Apr 5 · 95
Travelers
We live and have built uncounted cultures
on a spinning, pilotless spaceship
made of molten metal
covered in dirt and atmosphere
that is moving at 1.3 million miles-an-hour
and riding the wave of an explosion
older than the universe.
There is no fiction weirder
than every single second
spent alive in this universe
and we only get to be travelers
on this ship
for such a finite
amount of time.
Thank you,
fellow travelers,
for being here with me.
Mar 28 · 25
Color me.
There was a time,
I am certain,
when food tasted better
and summer wasn't humid
and the truth was so convenient
we hardly needed lies.
Well, broadly speaking,
I suppose.
Because, not everyone here
was there, you see.
Not every voice made a sound.
The streets were quieter
but not everyone was around.
And sure, we think it was better.
Whose to say?
Whose allowed?

Open a window and
listen to the violence
the shouting
the generations of impotent rage.
Listen for the cries
of oppression voiced by the oppressors
listen for the center as it
fails to hold but
just gradually shifts right.
Listen and maybe hear
the terrifying sound of sirens
approaching in the cover of night.

We've not grown or moved the bar.
Because the really sticky issue
is that the way things were
isn't terribly different
than how things are.
Mar 25 · 34
The call
I sit and wait on the call.
Problem solving as a summons
lit high and bright in
dark nighttime skies.
I wait for the call.
For the pull in my blood
screaming toward labor
toward love or toward war.
I am consumed in patient hold.
Call me to action!
Drive me, like a weary stead
slathered in foam from effort,
into your biggest ******* mess!
Unleash me, like a hungry Karmen
starving and deep, on your worst foes.
I long for purpose.
I beg for need.
I don't know how to apologise.
I only know how to plead.
I don't know how to compromise.
I only know how to take wing.
I await your call.
But the phone sits still.
It just doesn't ring.
Mar 24 · 25
Bedtime with you.
You spin your cardboard doggie book
in slow circles while you scrutinise
The covers, front and back.
You puzzle over it like it was
some ancient relic
whose meaning,
if only you could learn it
might explain it all.
You say
DAWW GE!
Language still so new,
molded like earthenware into
rudimentary shapes.
A small but growing
library of sounds
that you've attached specific,
and not so specific,
meanings to.
I am Ah-da or Da or,
my personal favorite,
Da-ee.
Your mother is Bah.
Hey-o, Bah!
I notice the pale blue lattice
of veins, visible from under your skin,
that descend from your palm
toward the elbow and points beyond.
My god, you are a human,
little for sure,
but whole and complete.
A little person.
Made from a little of the
person I love and,
impossibly,
from a little of me.
Mar 15 · 195
Campfire
When we were young
I fell in your fire.
Your passion for life and love
kept me off balance and wild.

Sit back and marvel
as you spread your joy.
Your warmth
Correction:
You're warmth.

You are fire, my dearest.
Contained but beautiful.
I have always been cold
like the night sky
but you,
my great love,
you are the distant stars.
You burn light into my
frigid night sky.

You are a campfire, my dear
Filled with laughter and song.
I am old dry wood,
gathered to build you up.
You are vivid fire, my great love
And it has been
my pleasure to burn.
Mar 5 · 33
Timeline.
Tomorrow contains hundreds of thousands of choices.
Options galore.
Tomorrow could be anything.
Tomorrow could always be more.

Yesterday is all regret.
Oh the things we could see, say or do.
The hours spent in effort or whiled away with you.
It is always over.
Nothing is left to lose.

Today is the hardest thing we do.
Today is about making decisions.
Today decides yesterday's regrets.
Today is what builds you.
Feb 22 · 31
Old flames
Looking back on failures
in life and love, measured
in observed movie trailers,
push some away, others treasured.

We were distant stars in inky night
pulling apart even as we embraced.
We were not the type to hold on tight.
Our travel sacks worn and shoes laced.

We'd trace a path toward finished
and sing our songs about oblivion.
And of course our feelings would diminish
We didn't know the towns we were livin' in.

And so it goes with old flames
you'll always be a part of the story
always something sacred in our names
a faded american flag kinda glory.

We were part-time lovers
in full-time pain.
We were like old song covers
we just didn't sound the same.
Feb 20 · 31
Forever and ever.
If your name doesn't even
grace the leaderboard
who remembers you?
If you vanish in the night
who will confess they always knew?
Who mourns the fallen tree
no one was there to hear fall?
Who listens against the wind
for the strangled call?

Is immortality within our reach?
If not, who will be here when we're gone?
Listen, because the end is coming.
As sure as the coming dawn.

Can we fool the march of time?
Will a lick of paint make us new?
Will the wondering ever stop?
And if so, what then do we do?

Immaterial concerns, perhaps.
But who here can know forever and ever?
And, look: if we wanna survive this
we're gonna have to do it together.
Feb 17 · 19
Just us
Sometimes when I lay down my head
I'm sinking in oceans of neatly made bed.

I finally work out exactly what to say
and look to see you're a billion miles away.

Light dances delicate from pane to pane
in the apartment and between bouts of rain.

Heat spreads across my legs and chest
as I snuggle in and hope for the best.

And these are the whiled hours of our very own.
Not the hours bought and paid outside our home.
Flashes of smiles and visions of light
now and then interrupted by the odd fight.
And I'd trade it for nothing, we all always claim.
But we head in to work and trade it for money just the same.

I often wonder what life could really be,
If allowed to be just you and me.
When able we while away or moan and fuss.
It seem to be about currency and not just us.
Feb 10 · 38
Humidity.
We are ten thousand miles up
where the air is thin.
We're pushing against the fourth wall
begging just to be let in.
Our hope like giants humbled before
large and ancient gods.
Wishes lost in prayers or dismissed
with quick and somber nods.
Generations aching to wake
like a Phoenix and in fire be reborn.
American dreams cast like scattered light
or ripped hair and shirts torn.

The heat pushes down
the humidity will not break.

Fog rolls in off the bay.
In stagnant pools of cool salt water
the mermaids lay.
Children race down lamp lit streets,
they run and play.
And we pull and pull
but only push away.
We speak volumes of print
without anything to say.

Tomorrow calls for rain.
Tomorrow calls for rebirth.
I fear it will have little worth.
If we're only ever reborn in pain.
Feb 9 · 26
Unequal
I am overkill given voice and form.
Rubble as shelter against a storm.
A band saw used to slice morning toast.
Never the center, always a coast.
I am extreme opinion.
Crowned king with absent dominion.

I am extreme measures taken
with little reward.
Hours of banging for only one sword.
Hand squeezing oranges
for a single glass of juice.
I am always on but of little use.

You are magic and truth.
Honest and sincere proof.
You're a hiding place from thunder.
Something built that none can sunder.
A true shelter from storm.
Wonder given voice and form.

In some distant place,
some barren field,
We will meet once more.
You will be pleased,
We will smile and laugh.
I won't be such a ******* chore.

We are waiting on lightning,
so I might make glass.
We are wandering in search of hope
but find I am unequal to the task.
Nov 2020 · 35
Endless tomorrows.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2020
Somewhen I will know truth from lie.
I'll be forgotten. Somewhen I'll die.
We will burn the candle down to wick.
We'll smile as we know every single trick.

We are seed, tossed to birds.
We are empty hours and hollow words.
Without a purpose but filling a need.
Monitors left absent a scrawling digital feed.


Tomorrow the sun will burn
Our stomachs will move and churn
That angry old moon will rise.
And our lips will tell innocuous lies.

We'll scrape the bottom of every barrel
Our eyes always wise but also feral.

We will be small gods with small needs
Big on mood but lost for worthy deeds.

One day we will love without earthly fear,
With wild abandon and endless cheer.
We will release all that we've pent.
Now only embers. I am fires spent.
Nov 2020 · 34
Halloween.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2020
In the dark wood, where the stars
whisper stories to the fallen leaves,
we sit in robes of cobwebs and moonlight.
In search of lighted windows,
skeletons hanging from fire escapes,
perhaps punished mariners
caught by East India on open city seas.
Oh, we have our secrets
and they are kept.
Silence like mausoleums.
We cast will-o-wisp lights
from corpse candles and laugh
smoke into cold night air.
Walk inside the flashlight beams,
roaming ghoul haunted city streets.
We sit in gutters and divvy our spoil.
Yesterday's joyous revelry disappeared
in the digital blue light of tomorrow.
Oct 2020 · 30
Dad
Paul Glottaman Oct 2020
Dad
It's so strange how it changes scale.
See, my whole life I've been the star.
At the center of the tale,
head and chin over the bar.

The story is yours, now.
So casually it changed hands.
Started, with a sacred vow
two meaningful matching bands.

And you look a little like us
a little like them.
Borrowed expressions of fuss
on an unfinished gem.

My identity changed overnight
without the help of a phonebooth.
I'm become "Dad", my new birthright.
I was me until you altered my truth.

You amaze me, kid.
I watched you learn to smile.
Knocked me right off the lid
every loss just one more for the file.

And one day it'll be over and done.
One day you'll leave me. Get up and go.
When you're gone what do I become?
I'll be empty? Take of me for you to grow.
Oct 2020 · 28
Historical nonfiction
Paul Glottaman Oct 2020
The ghosts of
mothers and fathers
move in us all
still.
Unfinished
as the first draft of act three.

Listen: we are the heirs
of memories.
We are the inheritors
of bones and dust.
Ours is now monochrome
end of broadcast days.

The blue of
her eye.
The spiral in his
hair.
The toothy wide
smile.
The thousand yard
stare.

Shockwaves and echoes all.
Static on old television sets.
Guitars with repurposed frets.
Poetry borrowed from cemetery pall.

The aftereffects of
the dead, are we.
Bright sunny you,
big gloomy me.

Echoes calling through
the mists of time
with different words
But the mistakes?
The mistakes are the same.

Not repeat or homage
but with certainty
pastiche.

We are the shadows of
tombstones,
in many and
varied ways.
Built like roads on
these thousands and thousands
of graves.

Historical nonfiction
on endless
repeat.
Each of us a clip show,
nostalgic but
still,
obsolete.
Oct 2020 · 34
Still here.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2020
Between you sits a shared order of fries,
silence, anger, regret and of course, lies.
She licks your wet blood from her claws,
and glibly recites a litany of your flaws.

I'm right here.
******* it!
I'm still right here!

And you holler at the open night sky
clutching at your wounded inner eye
and the question shoots from your core:
"How much is enough?"
The answer, as always: More and more and more.

I mean, what the **** is personal privacy anymore?
We're splattered across digital realms like slasher movie gore.
Trying to communicate complex thoughts as sharp as swords,
using no more than one hundred and forty ******* words.

You don't have the means, your heart now a ******* wound,
to put a dent in the argument against you she's crooned.
It's like sitting before the cosmic mind for a game of chess.
It's like defending yourself when you've only ever been a ******* mess.

I am mountains of doubt and rivers of fear.
I haven't gone anywhere. I'm still right here
I just need you to see me, my love. My dear.
I'm still right ******* here.
Aug 2020 · 301
Seasonal.
Paul Glottaman Aug 2020
There is guarantee of neither
wisdom or age,
and to have either there's
a price must be paid.

Feelings are the ocean,
you may surrender or fight,
but they'll wash over you
regardless of might.

Speak softly,
the replacements are on the way.
They'll have our voices
and rob us our say.

One day we'll be Romans.
They'll trod the roads that we pave.
They will discover our ruins
and puzzle in the silence of our grave.

We're not eternal or immortal.
Perhaps we're a coded line of text?
Incomplete and unfinished
without the line that comes next.
Jun 2020 · 34
Alone.
Paul Glottaman Jun 2020
The Milky Way cuts the sky
straight down the middle.
A broken ribbon snaking like a river
through the purple swirled night.
A starlight highway looms overhead
as he stirs through
the remains of the fire.
White dust that once was love
spilled on the page
and glowing embers
that appear to mirror
the smothered rage that started them.
But when the adrenaline stopped
and the anger cooled
the regret arrived too late
to save your beautiful words.
On his knees in green, green grass
he can smell the dark musty
country night dirt and he can feel
the many cracks forming
inside him and he prays the center
will hold.
His center.
He hopes the stars will look down
on a man destroyed but unbroken.
Silent grief that is noble in some
ancient masculine way.
But his secret heart knows,
as you know,
they won't.
His friends will say he's
in bad shape but he'll recover.
But he won't.
His children will tell him
they understand that there are
no sides.
But they don't and there are.
He had hoped that now, at this age
his heart was beyond this
terrible ache.
He had thought wisdom
brought a kind of muteness
or numbness.
It doesn't.
He now wishes that it did.
Too old to find a better partner
Much too old to forgive in good faith.
He will face tomorrow when it comes.
And now, ashen hands
and green, green grass
and the infinity of the sprawling cosmos
on and around him he knows
that from here on out,
no matter who is there,
he's gonna face all his new tomorrows
Alone.
May 2020 · 110
The truth will out.
Paul Glottaman May 2020
There are secrets and distances
kept between us.
Small dark truths we dare not face.
Large scary facts left buried.
Yet...
There you stand, shovel in hand.
Prepared to uncover, unearth
and learn all about me
and us.
But, my love, word of warning:
you can never not know again
and once it's all been exposed
you'll have to face the future.

Here: Take my hand and walk awhile.
The future is scary.
It's full of uncertainty
even those of us that have found
the truth have not found the path.
And yes, now it's all out there,
a public manuscript of secrets
but look, love, I'm here beside you.
Sure the facts are now present
between us but absent is the distance.
I know the future is a scary thing to face
But you don't have to face it alone.
Apr 2020 · 68
On fire.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2020
You know what?
**** it.
Let's just be on fire.
Least we'll be clean.
Sterile or whatever.
Like ****.
Because God forbid we
live our lives behind masks
and doors.
We are more, oh so much more,
they claim,
than an estate.
This is not captivity
and we are not kept.
This is the contract we sign
when we agree to be a part
of a society.
We have to protect one another.
We have to put each other first
Because they are not other people's kids,
they are the future.
Our future.
So obvious we joked about it.
Called it a cliche.
How in hell did you forget that?
This short sighted nonsense...
It's for the birds.
Open the country
but close the boarders?
You want a police state?
Wait until the collapse.
Bad choices and hypocrites
Will have us there soon.
They've dismantled the programs
designed to save us
and whine about being stuck
in the flood.
You know what?
**** it.
Let's just be on fire.
Apr 2020 · 263
Now and then
Paul Glottaman Apr 2020
Every now and then
I get to dreaming.
I've found victory in defeat
seen a loser win.
Saw joy in the midst of sorrow
and seen sadness in the midst of sin.
I seen monsters with hearts of gold
and grown folk with feet of tin.
I reckon everything that breathes is dyin'
whether it got scale, feather, bark or skin.
And we talk a lot about where we're goin'
while tryin' to forget where we been.
Maybe that's the big secret to happiness
among temporary and mortal men.
I've gone on a while now about this an' that
and things beyond my own mortal kin.
I guess I just get to dreaming
but only every now and then.
Apr 2020 · 59
The heart of me.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2020
Try brevity, they tell me.
Short and concise.
The distance between points,
not stars.
Essential employee,
stressed out,
hurting financially,
most of the time I'm scared.
I'm also...
I dunno...blond?
I still don't really know
my father.
I guess that's now.

I'm a father. A millennial.
I've seen several epidemics,
I remember AIDS after school specials.
I remember the towers and the rash
of tragedy that followed.
I've survived two recessions,
a war and Y2K.
Hell, I remember where I was
when they killed Superman.
Is that enough, y'know?
Probably not.
Fill in the blanks for me.
History is in the books
But a man's life is in his hands.

I'm worried about now.
I'm terrified of what's next.
I held your tiny hand,
soft and new in my hard
calloused mitt, and watched
as you learned how to smile.
I quit smoking years ago.
Hardest thing I'd ever done.
This?
This'll rip out the heart of me.
Apr 2020 · 49
Uffda
Paul Glottaman Apr 2020
There are words laden with specialty or pop-cultural necessity.
They exist in this language or that and have meaning for the natives that the rest of us can't see or simply lack.
To give pause or to from front to back.
They add specificity to a subject to increase the clarity of communication to people of similar cultural heritage or proximity.
When we translate fictions that contain these linguistic marvels we get clever with syntax and verbage until the characters sound like they're speaking through marbles.
The words don't translate. The meanings are alien or insensate.
What need have I for a word that describes the particular movement of snow? For what purpose is that something I would ever need to know?

I think when I feel something emotional the exact same struggle to translate will invariably ensue.
How do I express my love or rage to someone that can't feel it
the way I do?
Does it feel like a switch or a crack?
Do you experience shock like a towel draped over your world or pulled taught for attack?

I am overcome with emotional schilderwald and left in bokketto.
A modicum of understanding, a lagom, if you will.
These words, alien and specific a keepsake for you. A momento.
No need to become so excited. Calm yourself; Chill.
But marvel with me at language and the tricks it can play.
And like battles or executions, like poker, this could be your moment to stand
or to stay.
Apr 2020 · 54
Fathers
Paul Glottaman Apr 2020
I want to tell you everything,
but I want it direct and true.
No sing song nonsense like I always do.
I want to tell you simply about where I've been, about what I've done.
I wanna tell you about what I've seen.

I don't know where to start.
Where to begin.
I want to trim the fat from
this cut of meat and leave
it serviceable, tender
and lean.

This place in my head where the story lives
is cluttered and filthy.
Slightly out of use.
I want to scrub and polish the dirt
from these floors until you can see
the notes of starlight glittering
in the reflection of its sparkling clean.

I want to wring the purple
from my prose.
And every sweet lie from my throat.
I wanna wipe the slate and speak
and for once say just
exactly
what I mean.

The truth is blunt.
Any attempt to sharpen it
turns it into a lie.
I watch tv relentlessly and the secret
is I do it to hide.
'Cause when the movie ends I'm terrified
that I'll see my stepfather
in my reflection
on the darkening screen.

And listen, I swear,
that's not what I am
or what I want to be.
Ripped from my bed at three am
all held breath and violence
and varied screams
taught in his bitter
drunkard's mean.

My own father loved me in absentia.
MIA, but through no fault of his own,
a tale as old as two Christmases
with the slight twist that extreme poverty gives.
Happiness did not shout in
my lifetime.
It was nearly extinct and
like any dying animal
it would just wail and keen.

I want to overcome and improve.
I try so hard.
I've tried on all these shoes
and found myself miles away in my efforts.
But the monster he made lives
just below my practiced and
patient lean.

I want to be honest.
I want the power to say these truths.
Because even though I live afraid
my heart explodes with love
for you, my littlest man,
my tiny king.
I'd die to make you smile,
my sweetest Bean.
Mar 2020 · 53
Sympathy for the devil.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
I will give you sweetest comfort and sweeter lies.
I'll tell you that everything will be alright. That everything is fine.
You're the best. You're so ******* great.
You'll be remembered. Laid in state.
People are trying to improve. I've seen it.
This is real. Big. Stand! We've no time to sit.

Sympathy for the devil is the order of the day.
Sit back and relax. I assure you it's well underway.
And listen, some people are wealthy and lucky and full of despair.
Some are in love but married into the wrong pair.
You wanna be happy? Grow up, kid.
Happy is cheap. Remembered is big.

And if it gets bad, dark and cold, no worries. I've got your back.
Sure you're running in a hamster wheel but on the wrong track.
And there is comfort to be found in living just to die.
But I'll always be there and love you. And why would I lie?
Mar 2020 · 63
Burn
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
I think I'll just stay here and burn awhile,
thinking about the match and the gas.
Remembering the smile on your perfect ******* face.
Yeah, I think I'll just burn here awhile more.
I got no place else to be. No one to love and nothing to see.
Waste your potential at my side a bit.
Get warm, love.
Settle in.
Feed the fire with you hopes and dreams,
fresh kindling as mine has begun to badly deplete.
Thank you for all you do to keep me going.
I love you more'n I know how to say.
But there ain't enough left of me now to save.
You should head to bed. Let the dreams begin, my love.
Go. Rest up.
You've much to do and tomorrow will bring new trial.
I think I'll just stay here and burn awhile.
Mar 2020 · 62
The words
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
I'm looking for artisanal  language.
Prose with a maker's mark.
Words that contain perfect imperfections,
evidence that a person first touched these letters and then my heart.
I need a personal touch to color the paragraphs that fill these pages.
I wanna see the hands that craft a stanza in the body of the text.
I want something real and alive.
I want these words to burn with the incurable human spark.
I'm on a quest to look at the tome and see the beating heart of the man.

I once read a note you left on the fridge and I could read in your word choice the shape of your smile.
My god! I would read volumes of your missives left throughout our life on CVS receipts.
They contain a warmth that I can feel even in memory of them.
I don't know if it is talent
or magic
or love.
Or all of the above.
My words...I guess, I fear that they're hollow.

Do they reach you through space? Is my pen alight with intelligence?
Does my writings evidence my soul?
I don't know that they do.
Certainly they do not seem to.
I've tried different theory, different pens.
I've written sonnets and songs with this and also the other hand.
The results are robotic.
Bland.

I want to explain you, my love...
I don't have the words.
Mar 2020 · 54
Stay
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
I've seen churches on fire and wondered what that meant.
Is God's judgement final? Is his wisdom all spent?
I saw the parishioners teary eyed, jaws muscles tightly knit.
But, like, how does this help me understand the world or where in it I fit?
I don't know if it's courage that you battle the darkness every day
Just because you know how much I want you to stay.

I gotta be honest, man.
I don't know how to be happy.
I don't know how other people do this ****.
I don't know much about life or happiness or love.
But I do know: it's gonna have to come from us.

Life can be dystopian. It's a long relationship with violence.
I've known it to be twisting pain and having to suffer in silence.
We are clenched little fingers, nails dug deep into the palms of our hands.
We are all odd, emotional nationals of strange and distant lands.
Sure, I mean, we were born and raised in the same places.
But we stare out from foreign countries behind the eyes in our faces.
What works for you, my old friend, will not work for me.
You bask in shining, brilliant light but I gotta squint just to see.

We'll lie and say we're happy.
Say we're just fine.
We try to believe it, too.
But we just feel like we were left behind.
Like, somehow we missed the day they taught this ****.
How is everyone smiling in timeline photos?

Everyone's got perfect teeth and an audience to keep.
A life of happiness, assuming we don't look too deep.
I wonder if the pervasive sadness is in the water or if it's just in me.
I hope for end of tunnel lights and locks to fit this ******* key.

Keep up the fight, my friend. Don't quit. Stay.
I know it's ******* hard. I know. Find a way.
I love you. I need you. Don't you dare leave me.
I'll fit the mold. I'll be what you need me to be.
Mar 2020 · 91
Another day
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
She wakes up alone, thunder roaring distant warnings and churning up her worst memories and instincts.
She is desperate in her need of comfort,
scared of her loneliness,
And ashamed of her fear.
And ******* the storm!
******* this hollow need!
I've paid for my sins
But never enough, it seems.
Never completely.

Nothing helps.

And she wants him to hold her
But the French death only brings him drowsy to sleep.
She touches his back with cold fingertips and ignores the gnawing sense that tomorrow is still on the way.
He snores and she wishes life had been, if not different at least, bearable.
And ******* these worthless men!
******* the empty!
It was full of you once.
Nothing else is enough.
Nothing helps.

In the evenings she stares at the wall above her desk.
At the place where it used to be.
At a future that was taken. Stolen away.
******* the silence.
******* the absence.
**** it.
******* it.

******* the last kiss.
The chances always missed.
The hope she watched die.
Tomorrow is on its way
and somehow, she knows,
she'll have to get through another
Vicious
Day.

Aside:
The sun sets and the moon grows bold.
People grow up, grow old.
And so what if every story's been told?
So what if the telling leaves you cold?
Still hurts for those to whom it will unfold.
End of aside.

Across the ocean, a world and a lifetime away, he stands.
A boy, perhaps only just a man.
There is in his heart a very similar hole.
And it eats him up and it leaves him broken.
Wanting.
Weeping.
Lost. And desperate.
And he hates his fear and his lonely.
He hates that he hates the pity in your eyes.
But it doesn't help and he can't explain why.
He doesn't know why.
He once knew love. He once felt whole and safe. He knew happy as well as he knew family.
He wishes now only for his promised other. His love is a bird with broken wings.
Sure, once he tasted the sky,
But crippled and low he can no longer fly.
Nothing seems to help.

Her words could help. If he could only hear them.
Because we suffer by ourselves
But we never suffer alone.
"I'm not sure if that helps."
We all say with words and eyes
And they smile, because the thought is what counts.
But inside they know a truth, tried to tell us all along.
They'll get better. Stronger. But that's just getting through another day.
Another day.
Another day.
Because we mean well, they love us, but the truth?
The truth is:
Nothing helps.
Mar 2020 · 47
Free association.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2020
What is this even?
He writes about writing
and the world is possibilities
Probabilities.
Maybes.
My god the maybes.
And I wonder all the time,
"Is this too much about me?"
Because I have no idea if it comes through.
****.
...pomp and circumstance is the measure of the day!
I know what's next
I'm destiny, made manifest.
Sheer will power capped by shear valves
and sure the plumbing works
But let's talk about the cost.
Brass tacks.
Numbers.
******* it all...
He writes about writing,
lacks understanding.
He has no clue what any of this is.
What any of it is about.
And, yeah, in our 30s we aren't...aren't...
We are no longer figs, Sylvia.
No longer plums.
Not yet prunes.
**** it.
Leave it.
Start fresh tomorrow.
With fresh eyes and...
He writes about writing.
Y'know?
Get it?
Do you get it?
Feb 2020 · 56
Judgement day
Paul Glottaman Feb 2020
Closer and closer still.
Boiled blood and ******* bones.
Hallowed out the marrow
hung on a string around your neck.
Crossed like salvation
But backed with trumpets like judgement day.
Knuckles pronounced like a second language
stand on cracked and stained hands but hold nothing.
And that old sun is setting
future, my love, the future is coming.
Bored like teenagers into the meat of our chests are messages cryptic and final.
Messages written about us and left by others, cross pollination.
Freeform Saturday shopping trips are become the air I live for.
You my raison de'tre.
Stand back and watch us bleed for the future.
His quiet breathing like music between us.
Bring on the judgement.
Welcome the night.
Stand.
Feb 2020 · 52
In memory.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2020
I'm remembering...

The chlorine damp of your hair.
I'd never seen you in a bathing suit before.
You saw me and bit half of your bottom lip.
It wasn't sultry, we weren't capable of that.
Not yet.
It was bashful. Age of innocence.
You were shy.
And ******* me for not noticing.
Failure to recognize.

I'm remembering...

Observing the grass stains on the back of my tee shirt.
I had lay down on freshly cut grass to take in the smell and the blue sky.
I wondered if grass could bleed. I hadn't rolled around.
I know grass doesn't bleed. I know.
Not yet.
Age of innocence. Season of ignorance.
******* all this knowing.
It's left me undone.

I'm remembering...

The bottom fell out of my stomach when you smiled at me.
When you laughed. I remember the weird mixture of fear and hope.
Two parts coward, two parts poet.
So many warring hormones. So much lost time.
Not yet.
I recall thinking.
Notice me. Notice me!
******* it! Notice me!
I've been here the whole time.

I'm remembering...
Long walks at night with holes in the bottoms of my sneakers.
The stale taste of cigarettes mixed with crisp night air.
I can hear you breathing, even now, on the other end of that digital tether I had in my left hand.
You were hundreds of miles away and falling asleep to the sound of my voice and I was young and so were you and we were alive!
I'd love you forever, I knew.
But Not yet.
Not yet.
******* we were so alive.
So far from the waiting pit, those days.

One day I'll look back on now and remember...

But not now.
I am undone with knowing.
With failure to recognize.
Age of ignorance.
Soon, the pit. Sooner every precious day.
Not yet.
******* it all, it'll come. And I'll be here.
I've been here the whole time.
Feb 2020 · 45
Lifeline.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2020
I drank all your poison, every drop.
didn't know to beg for help or to stop.
Surrendering to vengeance I've bought?
Suicidal intentions? Perish the thought.
I was born complete. Now I'm not.

Don' you forget me. Don't you dare. Please stay and love and care.
Come mornin' I sure wish I could be there.

'Fore I was rubble I was a man.
I'm not nothing, just nothing that can stand.
Can you fix this barren, empty land?
And create something else to spec? To plan?

Feed me sweet poison, if you think it'll help.
Treat me badly, like some churlish whelp.
But beware the skyline, my dearest friend
'Cause that sun is gonna set and this'll end.

An' listen, you're gonna remember me like the lingering taste of fruit.
I'll be seen in muddy footprints and a discarded roadside boot.
I'm gonna matter to you, I'll stick around like an elm and soon take root.

Don' you forget me. Don't you dare. Please stay and love and care.
Come mornin' I sure wish I could be there.


Build me like Lego.
Bake me like Eggo.
But don't forget to let go
before darkness falls and we go.

Forgotten as flowers on a grave plot.
Loved as long as unbraided hair.
I do care. I'll miss you a whole lot.
And come mournin' I'll be there.
Jan 2020 · 35
Rhyme scheme.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2020
I find it hard to say,
I say it's hard to find.
I'm over a bail of hay,
and broken of spirit and mind.

I'm lost in the woods in the dark.
I'm running out of time.
I struggle against pitch black and bark.
I want to be happy, but worry it's a crime.

And can we be real for a second?
'Cause every new day is a ******* chore,
and I am always tired and terrified
teetering on the precipice of a steep decline
in mental health or personal wealth
out of luck. Out of time.
There is no ******* context.
Only words.
Words that always have to rhyme.

Let's pretend we're happy. Let's dance.
You and I will keep perfect step, we two.
We can set the world alight given the chance.
Become us and not just me and not just you.

I need you to tell me that I'm not alone,
that others feel this from time to time.
I'm feet of clay and heart of stone.
I'm useless ******* meter and ******* rhyme.

I love you. I really do.
I need you.
Believe me when I write.
I wish it was easy to say. I wish I was better.
More.
I'm buried in style but wish the substance was there.
On better display.
I am a museum of hidden exhibits.
Tradition in the place of honesty.

I love you.
I really do.
I hope you love me, too.
But I honestly haven't got a clue.
Dec 2019 · 44
Storybook.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2019
Storybook ******* finds
a hero riding in on horseback
with grave purpose and noble intent.
Saving the day, or the damsel.
Kissing the problems awake,
rending the wolf's innards to find her.
Building the machine or spell that somehow fixes things.
Hard and dark, like burned wood,
are his eyes.
Broad and strong are his shoulders.
Trite and compromised are his deeds.
And so, in fiction we are saved.
In fiction we somehow still need saving.
Karma is a lie, kismit doubly so.
If there exists a path through the dark it is only because other damaged and broken people trod it there.
We don't have noble intent, we don't have hard eyes, but we occasionally accidentally build the mechanism that fixes things.
Not in whole.
Not completely.
And not even well.
Almost never is it perfect, occasionally it is better. But it is change, nonetheless.
It is change!
It is a start.
It is grave purpose.
Storybook ******* be ******.
Dec 2019 · 91
Potential.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2019
Behold a generation of wasted potential.
Earnest effort discarded
the waiting pit held out as sacred,
reverential.
Call it nihilism or laziness,
call it in condescending tones
the failures and flaws,
gaps and cracks,
that will always best us
and hold us back.
Nevermind that the hills are higher,
disregard that the times more complex.
We are, as you say, wasted youth on young flesh.
One more unwilling sacrifice before the alter, burning at the pyre.
We are thirty something, educated
or dropouts, breathing pollution
and struggling with impulse control.
We aren't more, we aren't less.
We are here to be emancipated,
relegated, blamed and hated.
We're still here, that's something, I guess.
Behold a generation of wasted potential.
Earnest effort discarded
the waiting pit held as sacred,
reverential.
And we're here now, ******* it!
Struggling beside you, fixing the world from the trenches.
Our hands are ***** from work,
our hopes forgotten,
We turn the gears with crescent wrenches,
fight the fear with sarcasm and
inclusion.
We know a debts coming due soon.
So do you.
Behold a generation of wasted potential.
Be in awe of their effort.
And maybe they aren't doing their best, but at least they continue to search for ways to make it better.
Nov 2019 · 43
Sail
Paul Glottaman Nov 2019
Waves crashed onto the shoreline
on the day I was born.
In future: Gone will be I
and the shoreline
and the day I was born.
But the Ocean will keep.
Nov 2019 · 52
Everything.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2019
Liars sit on gilded thrones barking orders into intangible every-*******-where and we plug our ears and we hum our throats hoarse but we still hear it.
We still hear it.
We hear everything.
You ran away and for office and I know what it meant and where it ends but I don't recall the lines of revolt forming like ants in formation against you. Neither do you, you *******. Doesn't matter. Never did.
We know everything.
I know late night talk radio vocabulary and I weild it like armor to protect me from the ******* conspiracy and the wild denials of things we've always known and I'm left cold and run-on.
I saw everything.
Inside the backrooms where the ******* deals get made there are secrets passed like currency and this gets exchanged for that and we're all smaller and less and our souls are laid bare before hungry jowls and damp fingers.
Everything is negotiable.
You want to stand, sycophantic, before me and prattle on about values? You value nothing. This is nothing. You cut up and sell the American dream to the highest bidder and sleep sound as houses while we burn with impotent rage and the gnawing feeling failure provides to giving up.
Everything is for sale.
And maybe, just maybe, we deserve you.
Nov 2019 · 83
Love(sic)song.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2019
Remember turning and churning and roiling like water the night before.
Recall the moist palmed, thick tongued, planned conversations in mirrors.
My god, the hair cuts, the clothes, the damnably dramatic second guessing.
"Just the right moment." As if such a thing existed.

I remember sitting on the table in your work area, because I wanted you to see me breaking school rules and thinking I was so ******* cool.
I would tell you jokes until the wrinkles on your nose scrunched up and your eyes glimmered.
Jokes, but not ***** jokes. I wanted you to think I was pure.
So ******* pure.
Truth is I was just ready for you. Thought I was.
Did you know I waited by the baseball diamond for you to run by? I did. Did I ever.
I didn't have club but I was always at school late, hoping you'd talk to me. Knowing if I could make you laugh the right amount of times in the right kind of way...maybe, just maybe, then you would love me.

I could see it. Crowded school hallways would part like seas before us and we would move to one another as magnets do. Drawn. And finally in the middle, met and smiling, we would kiss like consumation. The applause would fall and the strings would swell and the percussion would announce the emotive lyrics sung by the pop musician with the widest range available for the budget we have.
Silly boy.
Silly.
I loved you like reckless, feckless children do. With all the passion and none of the wit.
But wait! There's just this last bit:
I love you now. With ALL the passion and what wits I can muster.
Decades later and the smell of you on the pillow or the smile your genes have given our son and I'm that silly young man again. Weak in the knees and hoping...maybe, just maybe, then you would love me.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2019
I can feel his words
carve themselves into my skin.
Twisting in me always,
over and over
and one final time, again.

So tell me, baby, what're
we headed for?
You and me
and silence
and the old crimson door.

Several cycles of sun
and then moon,
twenty. Thirty-four.
I had fresh knees,
a strong breeze,
a straight back and more.
I had miles and miles of history,
headfuls of lore.

That was years ago, now.
More ghosts than memory
and sanity
will allow.
And even without
I'm still haunted,
by specters of fear and
shadows of doubt.

Right ******* now, I've got a fever boiling away at one 'o four.
I got salt and moisture bleeding from, it feels like, every last pore,
but I can't sweat you out
Not anymore.

Real talk:
I can't leave you behind me.
And I've tried.
I've burned the heart outta myself,
Buried me alive.
But this heartbeat, this cold sweat,
sweet memories and alchemies
All of these...
They survive.
Oct 2019 · 88
Geographically speaking.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2019
Now there is the sweet smell of love and the warmth of our home.
Now there is you and me and him.
You guys.
My loves.
However, long ago, in another lifetime, in my youth.
In the city.
Long, long way down the road.
Years ago now I met her.
Older than me, a few years.
Friend of a friend's cousin.
Tall, lean, smarter than me.
I was hurt on the day she brought me into her room.
It was noisome with the smell of ***
and I was just old enough to recognize the odor.
I remember now the strange sinking tug in my stomach.
This is what it feels like to have your opinion of someone change drastically.
Visceral.
My head was still filled with puritanical Catholic nonsense.
Dogmatic ******* held with firm resolve.
I limped into that room broken
and left much the same,
except everything about me was different.
Years and traveled roads later I found myself changed by another room.
Another girl.
Another stop along a road that would eventually lead me home.
We are roadmaps for each other.
Geography.
Charting routes over troubled seas and loyal earth.
Finding ourselves along the way and again when we arrive.
Once, years ago, I misjudged a girl because I was unfinished and young and her experience scared me.
I was cleaner, less road dust.
I wish I could tell her I was sorry, but honestly she may not even know.
May not even care.
I was wrong but I was still many miles from home.
Many miles from you.
Geographically speaking.
Oct 2019 · 43
You and I and this.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2019
I am seventy pounds of coffee and salt
trying my best to be good or at least understood.
You are promise and blueberries served chilled while in bed.
Dappled sunlight and smiles.

And what a bent and twisted world you'll come of age in.
Will you grow crooked among all the other imperfect reeds?
If there was time left to fix it...

Can I paint a perfect world over this canvas of broken promises?
I hope so.
I doubt it.
If possible I would leave you a perfect world.
But all I have is this.
I'm doing my best.

I am cracked leather features and water damaged paper.
I get the job done, I guess.
You are the lingering taste of sweet fruit and cream.
Pleasant travels and a good dream.
But we are moments from disaster.
You and I and this.
Oct 2019 · 34
Archeology.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2019
I don't know how to apologise.
Never got the hang of it.
Don't know how to be human around humans.
I'm worst when it matters.
I've a lifetime of dropped ***** surrounding me.
I'm suffocating.
(I digress)
McDonald's removed it's ball pits for that reason, I think.
(Do I ever?)

Here are the ten thousand examples of my absence!
Here the times it mattered when I couldn't live up to the set bar.
Dig deeper with me, oh archeologists, and find my failure after failure.
How did I measure up?
Did I even?

I'm forever enigmatic, barely in the pictures.
I wonder if they'll know I was here?
You probably didn't find me out in the field, under dusty rocks.
Future historians may puzzle over our ancient customs but I doubt any evidence of me will survive.
For the best really.
(I digress)
I suppose so. Do I even matter?
(Do I ever?)

For what it's worth, I am sorry.
Sep 2019 · 61
Cosmic radiation
Paul Glottaman Sep 2019
He fell on a bit of errant tile
in a hall made of echoing footfalls.
He felt his face break through to Neverland.
He ripped his head out and threw it back and with great peels of laughter announced he was at long last a Pan.
"Crow all you like." Say the old white men, "No one cares."
And they didn't.

We are the oppressed screaming obstructed behind dynamically lit monochrome Utopias.
We are the forgotten imperfect.
We stand in the cast shadows of those with great power and shoulder all of their discarded great responsibility.
Washed up heroes in this digital millennium.

Great Caesar's Ghost licks the blood from his chops and curls into a ball to watch the passing storm with lazy impassivity.
If this too passes, they thought, what becomes of us?

There stands a sun bleached flag on our satellite. It is bent to give the impression that it is waving.
Once it had so much meaning.
Once it had a pattern, in color.
All of that was washed away in a cosmic bath of radiation.
One of them played golf up there.

I wonder if they brought all the golf ***** back?
I don't know.
I never asked.
Sep 2019 · 61
Time and space and love.
Paul Glottaman Sep 2019
We are three years and six thousand miles
from sunburned kisses at midnight.
We're exploding somewhere out there
in the great somewhen.
***** of fire. Great is a coin flip.

I am sixteen hours worth of coffee
and who gives a ****.
I drag broken skin across dried Earth and scream at gods, old and new, that I miss them half as much as I miss you.
I've become an engine running on what could've been and what might still be.

Somewhen we're joining like atoms,
our collision giving startling birth to universes of maybes and an entire cosmos of prizes at rainbows end.
Crumbling into disinterested sentence fragments trying their best to contain sentiments of truth. My truth.

What are happy endings in all this ******* nonsense?
What matters anymore if nothing ever mattered at all?
Why does absence breed such boring ******* nihilist sentiment in me?
I'm fighting for better.
Cracked knuckles and sweat and blood given freely at the alter of hopefully.
Make me better.
Make me whole.

Somewhen we are a fire, burning together through the whole of time and space.
We were then.
We are now.
Always.
Love.
Always.
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