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May 2017 · 176
Paul Glottaman May 2017
Everything has strings attached.
We're all waiting for it to start,
for our lives to finally,
******* FINALLY,
kick into gear.
But we can hear it calling.
From a house, or a street
just a little further down.
And it chills to the quick,
to the bone,
one and all.
It calls us, friend, by name.
By our name.
How can we argue that?

I say we bleed out on filthy
tile floors in truck stop bathrooms.
The wound we walk through life with,
the one inside our hearts.
Let it bleed away.
Because, we are so ******* tired
of twin self destructive
thoughts chasing each other
through our minds.
Endless searching and finding,
for our trouble,
more trouble.

I will burn my heart out in the looking.
I will.
I will **** myself.
Shame myself.
I will lie to, twist up and hate myself
if it gets me where I need it to.
I am without hope or principle,
but I have a dog in this fight, friend.
You'd better believe it.

So shout it out.
Echo it down like mountain top hollering.
Make sure we all know.
We all hear it.
Make sure the whole world knows.
Remembers us.
We were here, future.
You don't scare us.
We were ******* here.

Be brave in the small hours.
We have it in us.
And time is tall, right now,
but as we move it grows so short.
We would **** and dishonor for tall time,
in only the space of a piece of lifetime.
We know it, and we know it well.

We get *******, though.
We move from place to place,
and from person to person.
We move, as best we can.
But the strings,
they bind us to earth and we sink.
Unable to drown, we breath in water.
And in the distance,
calling us by name:
Mar 2017 · 265
Command Prompt
Paul Glottaman Mar 2017

Question: Is this love?

Tearing pieces away so
the world can examine them.
Ripping apart the whole,
the soul,
for scrutiny.
Hoping with each lost,
shredded piece that value is
That redemption is given.
Ultimately, though, it is
Devalued and purposeless.
Still, the work must be finished.
Still, it must be given,
the words and the feelings
that are foreign,
to you.

Answer: This is incomplete.

Mar 2017 · 193
The worst.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2017
I'm going to hold my darkness over your head.
I'm going to make you feel small and stupid.
My history will become the mountain you must climb.
I don't wonder about it anymore:
I'm the worst.

Always you want two things; it's never enough.
Two things which can't be had at once.
Of course I'll ask you how.
Of course I will.
Two things. Always.

I've been ******* hunger desperate and shelter poor.
I've been a hard luck, street wise,
charity case with no coin freely given.
A mean little ****, tempered in tragedy and shame.
Most my time was spent in various
of decay.
In urban squalor and late night tattoo parlors.
Picking my monster up off the sticky barroom floors.
Returning to nothing and knowing,
all the knowing,
neglect measured in pounds of
what am I to do about food this week?
All that knowing and twice that knowledge of abuse.

You don't care.
This is about your precious ******* feelings.
This has little to do with plans.
Nothing to do with me.
Let them be your unremarkable guide.
Let them.

I'll hang my history over your head.
Every ******* time, I'll do it.
I know it's wrong.
How could you argue a point
that could possibly quell my fear?
Because I am afraid, you know, I am so afraid.
I am one bad week, one bad decision away.

I am within reach of returning.

Don't argue with me, love.
I don't wonder anymore:
I'm the worst.
Sep 2016 · 263
Paul Glottaman Sep 2016
I believe that I am capable of anything.
I believe I am great.
I know that greatness is a part of me.
I'm a ******* liar, is what I am.
Nearly thirty years I've done nothing
with all I've been given.
I'm overweight, I'm lost, I'm a giant of misplaced ego.
I am so ******* tired of being so ******* poor.
I am sick of living in a rut
and knowing--
In my ******* bones, knowing--
that I'm the only person who can pull me out.

I remember being young, sitting cross-legged
in your living room as you watched scary movies,
through your fingers as always.
I remember being brave and strong.
I cannot reconcile the me, sitting beside you,
trying to lend you my courage,
with me, balding and fat and constantly afraid of failure.

I recall my--
schoolboy flirtations with greatness.
I remember the adulation from my peers.
Liar, I remember the adulation from the peers
I picked.
The ones I decided to be around.

I am poor, and tired. I am beat down by the
riots and the killings
and the people running my country into the ground,
with my knowing--
in my bones, knowing--

I don't want to be great anymore.
I'd settle for good.
I could be good, I think.
I hope.
They aren't mutually exclusive,
like I thought they were,
sitting cross-legged in your living room.

I whisper a truth to myself, now,
across years, across my lifetime,
"You would trade good, you liar.
You would trade good for remembered.
You would trade good for Great. And you know it."

And ******* my lying eyes, I do know it.
In my ******* bones, I know it.
May 2015 · 263
Fix it.
Paul Glottaman May 2015
Tired and beaten.
Clothes ragged and moth eaten.
Trudging the last few sad and broken miles
crushing the disappointment of our lifetime of trials.
And a whole world for a bit of rest!
Bunched up sheets and pillows our nest.
Age may serve to wash away our rage...
But it's still a tear soaked journey to the grave.

She stands on mountain tops and old lofts
and buildings that reach steel toward the sky.
From here there is perspective,
if you want to call it that,
A certain willingness to fear.
And she soars on scary because
the butterflies feel like dying
and nothing has ever made her feel
more alive.

She packed a hundred regrets
into the lifetime of one.
And they ran from her then,
because they were new and grown.
She called after them as they flew.
She tried to run them down. But the clouds kept them.
And she was without.

She would trade the ******* world to fly.
And who wouldn't?

Where has the wonder gone? Where now is our youth?
She tried to trap it and keep it and learned the only truth.
She couldn't hold it any longer.
If only she were stronger.
But darkness doesn't need to blink.
All we do is wait and worry and think.

She tried, for a time, to sleep forever.
In dreams seeing things that awake she had missed.
She spun the clock hands backward
a hundred thousand times.
It never came back though.
She'd missed it and she cried.

She'd trade her ******* soul to make it right.
But she can't....

....Try as she might.
Apr 2015 · 337
Baltimore holds its breath.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2015
Baltimore holds its breath.
It's the morning after.
It's Day One.
We are brought curfews,
we are told that they wished to destroy us.
There are soldiers standing on our streets.
We are not sure if we're safe.
We're not sure if we'll ever live it down.

Baltimore: (Noun) 1. A city in Maryland.
                                 2. Slang for Riot.

We're anxious.
Because it's over(?)
We are proud.
Because it's all we have left.

We cannot let this be a sad chapter!
We have to make something good come from this!
We have to get up,
dust ourselves off
and stand up.
We have to finally embrace the conversation
that we refuse to have.

They burned us!
******* it! They burned us All!
The implications reach beyond
the city boundaries.
This can't end on Pratt or on Gay Street.
This can't end with barricaded Police stations
and tanks on our streets.

We need to discuss this.
People burned down their own home.
This is worth discussing.

Our lungs ache with effort.
Our minds race with possibility.
Our hearts long for hope.
Baltimore holds its breath.
Apr 2015 · 351
My City is on Fire.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2015
My City is on Fire.
What do I do?
It did not creep.
It did not descend.
It Erupted.

My City is on Fire.
Intersections are blocked and streets are closed.
Barricades of men and women behind shields
occupy my home.
City hall is silence as the panic spreads.
Spreads with the fire and the noise.
Because once the sun goes down...
******* it all! Once that sun goes down!

My City is on Fire!
Protest turned to looting,
looting, in turn, to riot.
Of course they riot. Of course.
We are disenfranchised, obfuscated, beaten down.
God, if only we were ignored...

My City is on Fire.
It is a war zone of forgotten intentions and over reactions.
Like calls to like.
And we are so ******* human
we know only to answer violence with more.
More and more and more.
And what does it solve?
Nothing! They shout.
Their limbs lick with flame and mouths full of blood,
of hate.
And they know, in that moment, Nothing.
My city is on fire
and they would have it be for nothing.
Mean nothing.

Listen!  A struggle is proud, noble.
A struggle is worth it
A struggle is NOT a fight.
Disown that idea. Throw it from you.
Do not join the fight.
Do not join the riot.

My City is on Fire.
But my words are a whisper
against the shouting.
They are nothing against the violence.
What do I do?
Turn your pleas for help on the world.
Shout for change as messages
carried as updates
Through Trending Hashtags,
and Status Updates.
What else can we do?

@Baltimore: Help is on the way! #Baltimoreburning

My City is on Fire.
Get the word out.
People should know.
Need to know.
The world needs to see it
if they're going to join us.
If they're going to help us fix it.
My city is Burning, world.
We can't let it be for Nothing.
May 2014 · 714
Paul Glottaman May 2014
I see my city from a distance,
small points of light inscribe
the shapes of it's skyline against
a dark blue and purple night
and I know I am near home.
I lead a tired life
in ratty sneakers
and find myself on Pratt Street
well after the bars have closed
but before the sun.
I walk these streets and think
about the years of pavement
under my feet and the
people who populate my memories
and my city.
There are lives, being lead
in the quiet and ignored way
that city lives are,
behind every lit window.
My city isn't defined by
the height of it's buildings
and there is little neon,
but if you are very silent,
and more than a little patient,
you can hear her breathe.
My city is a portrait,
from Monument to Key Highway
and all points around and between.
I stand, in the stillness of the
streets well after the bars close,
and know that my story
has been played at different
points throughout her heaving mass.
And it is played now, by me and
the many millions like me.
We are a city united in our mutual
distaste and love for the buildings
and lights and cross streets
that house us and are our
Apr 2014 · 1.7k
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
She would rub her feet,
in socks alone,
across the carpet.
She would carefully touch
nothing on her way out,
or at school.
Then she would reach out to him.

She had heard the myths
about love at first sight.
About a bolt of electricity
passing from one person
to another.
She tried so hard to recreate it.
To fake it.

Years later she would stare
out at the city from her
apartment and wonder
what tomorrow would bring.
She had become part
of a system that ignored her,
but she was used to that kind
of system.

At night she would write.
Fiction her plaything.
She would write stories
but she didn't let people
read them, because they
couldn't know that, this too,
was a part of who she was.

She had learned that
other people killed dreams.
With countless kindness.
They would talk about
how talented she was
until she felt confident.
But never confident enough
to show a publisher.
She liked her audience small
and appreciative.

Later still she would look
back on her life and wonder
what would happen if she
stood up and took the
Could she have moved,
with just her words,
other people to see her?

Could she have been
Her thoughts,
her words,
moving from her
to another,
like love.
Apr 2014 · 293
Just barely have a name.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
Push the ignition on
this endless waiting.
Find the purpose behind
hours of need
with zero payoff.
Find the taxes gone
and the bills paid
and the paycheck empty
and count it another in
a long line of the very
same day.

Post your feelings across
the void and hope
a voice calls back in text.
Because gone are the days
when we could stand
for things and let ourselves
cry out loud enough to be

Gone is the moment when
the method was undecided
and the purpose grand.
Oh, we know just how to do it,
but our causes have shrunk.
Rebuilding a word with lines
of code
and the promises stolen from us
by three generations
of people who meant well
but delivered chaos and grinning

We were great once,
I hear it all the time.
But with the buildings coming down
and the march of what
we can no longer call
I'm finding a disturbing lack
of evidence that
we were ever more than
what little we are.

Our voices have been caged
by the the things that were
meant to broadcast them.
We have been silenced by
the application of free thought.
Is there irony in that?
Or is it just another sad reminder
of how we destroy beautiful things
because we fail, time and again,
to recognize our potential?

It's the waiting that does me in.
It's this day by day
same old same old
that has it's hooks in me.
I'm a generation trained to
be delivered up what I need.
I want to call out a battle cry
and propel us toward the ill defined
"great" we could be.
But my generation doesn't have
a voice.
We only just barely have a name.
Apr 2014 · 404
Time to sleep.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
If there was time to sleep,
I would dream larger
than mountains.
My fingers would rake
the pale sky and leave
streaks of the cosmos
in their wake.
I would conquer fear,
and death.
I would laugh at entropy.
Heat death wouldn't harm me.
I would stand my ground
among the myriad humiliations
of endless days.
I would let out all
the things that I keep in
and no more would I stand
a monster, but become
free as a cleansed man.
Obstinate structures would
never stand in my path
to rewards earned.
I would force the *******
world to a halt to hear
my words and beat
the rhythm my world
moves to.
A billion what ifs
would stretch before me
as I plucked the strings
of maybe to arrange
a song that matches
the perfect version of my life
But of course,
there is no time to sleep.
There is only now
and what is waiting.
Apr 2014 · 299
Burning Bridges.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
We have burned the bridges. All.
We have lit the match.
We have watched it fall.
I no longer know the voice
when you call.

We are not friends or lovers.
We are now absentee voters.
We are nothing to each other.
Forget the times we were better,
like when we would dance,
remember nothing of us together.
We never had a chance.

When a thing is dead,
good and truly over,
Nothing more is said.
We move on in silence
and put the past to bed.

Don't look for me in torchlight,
on the other side of this chasm,
I am vanished into goodnight
with dreams of almost had it
and fresh wounds from the old bite.

We have burned the bridges. Every one.
And with the coming day
we squint into the sun.
We are heavy handed, cold
and in silence we are undone.
Apr 2014 · 829
Raised by TV
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
Cryptic warnings in
dusty old books.
Lose floorboards and
cuts from fishing hooks.
Memories that aren't mine,
transferred over airwaves
and across time.
Lifetimes of bitter motes
metered out and measured in
Television tropes.

Sam and Diane until Rebecca
moved in.
I recall Coach's signature move,
taking it on the chin.
Frank until Winchester,
Better or worse,
Hawkeye and Trapper/BJ
ever perverse.

It's not who I am.
Not steps I've taken.
I remember it crisp as
overcooked Bacon.
Apr 2014 · 317
Paul Glottaman Apr 2014
German/Irish as the rest of
White America,
with none of the German Efficiency
and less of the Irish Luck.

Tired and Twenty-Seven,
though some Forty years olds
think I'm their age,
and too overworked to see that
this is all building to something.

I hope it's building to something.

No tattoos and still loads of regrets,
a great wife,
a good life,
but no time to breathe when the
day ends.

My god I love her.
Does she know the things I do for her?
Does she notice that these
years I've added to my birth age
are in service of my feelings for her?

I hope it's building to something.

The second half of the eighties saw me enter.
How is it that less than thirty years on
I'm creaking when I stand and one night's missed
sleep ruins up to three weeks?

I hope it's building to something.
May 2013 · 490
Long Form Suicide
Paul Glottaman May 2013
Blinking back the bright,
arm as a shield against the light.
Lost in open spaces.
These free and empty places.
They shout it from rooftops
and bellow it at full stops,
"Run. Run and hide"
This is open forum, long form suicide.
Every verse a kind of hopeless rant,
from broken homes and men who can't.

Dreams are a curious thing...
Sheltered ears.
Scattered light.
Repressed fears.
Conquered might.
The ever present sting...

And y'know:
******* my eyes,
and sweetest lies.
******* these false starts,
and bitter hearts.
******* this fractured life,
and this endless strife.
******* my hell-bound pride,
and the day I'll have died.

Was it tough to live it all?
To build a cage and watch it fall?
Because, man, look at it...
Passionate anger and the waiting pit.
Look, it's all an excuse to grieve.
That said: How can we ever leave?
May 2013 · 343
Paul Glottaman May 2013
There is a darkness in you, Paul.
It races from the electric life
of your thoughts,
from your finger tips
and your deeds.
It pools on your heart,
like mercury.
It is a source of great,
and deeper sorrow.
Move with it,
but don't let it consume.
Keep this light,
that we've built from small
acts of kindness,
from the love that passes between
our eyes and our mouths.
Carry it,
like a torch,
and let it guide you
from that darkness.
But remember:
doesn't expel dark, love,
it only pushes it away awhile.
Apr 2013 · 405
Paul Glottaman Apr 2013
The Sky: Swollen and angry,
forces today into tonight.
It's going to open up.
Any minute now,
you can smell it already,
She cries: "Facebook me!"
Can you believe it?
Data, streaming endless,
from network to network.
P2P, not a single point of failure,
except this.
Except us.
Find me on the street,
Find me there.
Now: Never been so angry at youth,
or so scared of old age.
So young still,
but how my hair thins.
These bags under my eyes,
they won't go away,
these tired lines...
I suppose they  mean to stay.
Soon: Covered over in cinema fog,
haze to bleed the line away.
And so they go,
covered in clouds,
with the last remaining light
of today.
Mar 2013 · 2.3k
Tolstoy in passing
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
There is a mirror image
but does it still
look like you?
Do you stand before
the altar of your bathroom
sink and whisper,
but not yet"
There isn't time
to pause
to think
to wonder.
Is there a ghost in this machine?
Is there a need
to put a notion
behind the gears
of our universal,
cosmic meme?
And were we to drown,
weighed down by
hanging lines and
the thousand stupid ways
that we try to prove
our opinion matters,
*******! Hear me!
Look my way!
We fade to nothing,
ashes in pots
on mantle places,
dry bones in wet dirt.
We are all good people,
bound for modest graves.
Undone by ambition.
that is always the way"
We are small men,
good in our minutes a day.
We are Tolstoy in passing,
In a Gethsemane way.
Mar 2013 · 470
Kept in small places.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Kept in small places.
Inhale: Breathing in rain.
Leave this place to the winners
the sinners
the last people standing
when the rest fall.
Remember: That crystallizing moment,
at the eye of a raging storm
when everything made sense
at long last.
Turn away, retreat if there is time.
So little time.
(Receding hairline)
We have so much to do,
so much left to say
and so much to make up for.
So very much.
Atone: Do not repent.
Make up for the things
you have done.
Smells like sidewalks,
after a storm.
The very storm we
run from and we
run to.
Exhale: Visible breath
like winter.
Frozen rainbows,
light trapped by the cold.
And we wait for all of
this to thaw.
and those left standing.
Here in these lives,
these apartments
and homes.
These spaces
and people
where we are kept.
These small places.
Mar 2013 · 473
Too much said.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Picture a room
without a view.
A world where we do
what we ought to do.
She paused, because
******* this was hard to explain.
We don't live there,
in that soulless place,
where no one sees
the hands in front of them.
Where no one cares
because it'll be fine in the end.

He moved his arm,
sore from the arm rest.
He thought.
Perhaps it is,
but no.
It is not.
She spoke volumes
about very little,
on shaky ground
where she could not stand.
He listened,
she accused time and again,
but didn't hear.
Her conversation
didn't actually include him.
It was her's to steer.

There was a lightness
in the air.
When she got
around to her point,
the one she couldn't bare,
her weight shifted from
foot to foot,
floor to floor.
Like falling,
screaming out
and then
no more.

He stood before her,
an examined man.
She looked on her works,
as one does when
their works are short
and callow,
with a series of small crimes
and personality quirks.
She had said of him
that he was bright,
but no great sight
to look upon.
He had called her shallow,
and not quiet right.
Both were, as we all are,
very young
and very
Both were only a harmony,
not a verse,
in each other's

What they didn't know,
couldn't really,
was there was such
a thing
as too much
Words, as lovely as
they are
and can
Do little more than
buffer the blow
or render it
when the point is blunt.
Say enough,
which can be very little,
and watch as they
do not look,
yet somehow
Mar 2013 · 411
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Locked away
in tiny clenching fists
are the stories.
The ones we always meant to tell.
Without these parts,
you know the pieces,
we cannot seem to build
the plot and your story...
I mean, look how it falls apart.

Could there be a moment
(take your time, think)
when all of this *******
falls away and only
you and I and the truth
of you and now
and me and then
Like coffee grounds.

How many cigarettes
does a day take?
I mean, what really gets you?
What sets you on fire?
My god,
how we need to be
on fire!
We need the light,
because it is so ******* hard
to see in the dark
without it.

Color your language,
pepper it with purple prose
and profanity,
to tell the story that
sits like a stone
in your heart or your throat.
Because no one
(Seriously, believe me on this.)
can tell your story for you.
You have to take the pen,
look on your works,
and write it large
against the world.

Your story
(Beautiful as you are. Has to be.)
needs to be seen from the sky.
Open your mouth, love.
Mar 2013 · 364
Just words.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
But aren't they all just words?
Little fingers, smeared with
whatever lunch may have been.
Beady eyes and the judgement
that comes from knowing nothing.
It was hallways.
It was all hallways.

Because there is a kind
of silence
in the moments between
wake and sleep.
A still over
the keep.
There is a kind of noise,
if you tilt your head
just right,
in the moment between
your words.
Like a hiss.

These are sticks,
those there? Stones.
Your words have weight.
Deny it
as much as you want.
That's all it is.
This is rubber, I'm told.
Under here, glue.
Nothing sticks,
nothing wounds.

You give them the power,
if you really think about it.
Tell me another lie.
Whatever gets
you through the day, friend.
Lies, justifications
for monsters that look
like a little you.
They make you feel better,
But aren't they all just words?
Mar 2013 · 717
A wild thing.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Eat your fill from
the fat of my land.
Shackle my bone
break my hand.
Leave this place to me,
when you go.
You weren't there,
but I don't know.

In a forest
we two meet.
Stars ad nauseum,
but no sleep.
And here and there
go our feet.
No words
compromise this greet.

Lose yourself
in the music of now.
Pull on the ribbons,
make me bow.
But don't forget me
when you leave.
Broken man,
his heart on his sleeve.

Could you catch
a wild thing?
Could you tug
it's heart string?
Could you keep
a wild queen or king?
On our fingers,
bound by this ring.

Goose bump flesh
will be our warning.
Keep my soul
trapped in this morning.
And find me waiting
as I always do,
hoping the next person
to come along is you.

Reach for me
when I'm not there.
Feel my fingers
in you hair.
Step by step,
side by side we ascend a stair.
All these things, and more,
I cannot bear.
Mar 2013 · 296
Growing pains.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Who couldn't see that coming?
Veiled venom
and a world that is succumbing.
For this you shatter my good time.
How does it matter?
So ******* asinine.
You tell me how hard it is to get by.
Myriad reasons, I'm sure,
with infinite failures to try.

So, we're a material culture?
What a novel concept you've exposed.
Can you imagine?
How numb we'd be
if you hadn't disclosed?

Sell me a different song.
I know all the spots
you think we went wrong
Sing me a new pitch.
You've got options
but can't tell which is which.

Yes, living is hard.
We all come out a little beaten,
a little charred.
This I know, and a long while, too.
But that is why we do
all our living while we're alive.
Takes too much energy, otherwise.
Mar 2013 · 423
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
Restless/awake they live
in separation.

On his night stand there is a ring.
Thick and black and full of a promise.
Next to him, as he moves in his fitful sleep
there is only an empty half of the bed.
In dreams she's there
(all freckled kisses and soft hair.)
next to him.

Miles away she turns the ring on her finger.
Small and gold and half of a whole.
She smiles at the dark night sky,
knowing that somewhen he went to sleep
without her.
She knows he'll toss and turn
(his smoker's mouth like an urn)
and reach for her.

Love/longing they know
in isolation.
Mar 2013 · 735
One of these nights.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2013
One of these nights...

I will race through broken homes
and closed doors.
I will feel the driving rain
against cold momentum.
I will reach out into the darkness
and know that your hand
will meet my hand.

I will feel around in dust bins
and old insecurities.
I will climb over mountains
of stone and of doubt.
I will believe you when you tell me.
I will try to.
I swear I will.

One of these nights...

I will watch the tail lights fade
into memories we make.
I will force away the guilt
I will...

...One of these nights.
Feb 2013 · 913
Altar of Lies.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2013
Stone me on your Altar of Lies.
I am not scattered light upon the stair!
You're all stuffed mouths and hollow eyes,
Spun from whole cloth but left bare.

The ****** never stirred, but only watched me leave.
Where's the Watchmaker for his Meek?
Tell me, where's the freedom in your Mustard Seed?
How can this be the Love we're meant to seek?

I am no Lamb!
I won't have your Love!
I couldn't give a ****,
and you, sir, are no Dove!

All seen equal, except those You exclude.
Let's not tout the best of us?!
I can see the cunning, you are shrewd.
But that still just leaves the rest of us.

'Cause what're we but broken people?
Empty lives and Original Sin!
Gird your *****! Guard your Steeple!
This is a club I won't belong in.

*Don't you preach to me
with ***** ******* hands
Holy love and His truancy.
You issue His commands.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2013
Kicking out against the sheet,
trying hard to find sleep,
I wake and wonder why
when we fall we don't shy
our eyes against the sky.

The truth, if ever there was one,
is you find the ground when falling's done.
To feel the earth below your feet,
to wander empty city streets,
to keep from flying when complete.

But to reach out toward the sky and soar
imagine wanting that and nothing more.
When we are young we could trade it all to fly.
If asked the moon in return we would comply.
To see it all, our world, from on high.

Whatever happens to this urge?
Why dismiss it? Where is it's funeral dirge?
I think it comes back to us in dreams.
The little cracks in our lives between the seams.
(Maybe it returns in our winter.)
It lives on both ends of age's extremes.
(As our minds begin to splinter.)

I hope old age finds me thinking of flying.
Hoping to soar when I'm dying.
I have to try to find that place,
before I finish my solitary race,
where I can reach above and hope to touch space.
Feb 2013 · 519
Paul Glottaman Feb 2013
Staked to the ground we find ourselves at
the crossroads.
Though no deal is to be struck,
no bargain arranged
and no promises kept.
This is a place for looking
and, if we are all very lucky,
a place for seeing as well.

Stand here with me, in these chains,
and sing me the song that is
the night.
Breath this starlight and look out
on the expanse of our ever
expanding universe.

Do you see it yet?

Pinned though we are,
wondering though we might,
we have to find the single spark,
we have to see the light.

It is here, in the darkness that we revisit.
That we revise.
That we dig it all up and decide.
Because tomorrow, thankfully not today,
we grow toward the sunlight
more efficiently,
as the people we have to be.

We are staked here, at the crossroads,
but when these pins are drawn,
our chains lifted,
we will soar the skies above the crossroads.
We'll wonder, one has to hope,
as we look down on the trail that
had become our prison,
The path here is crooked,
so many obstructions
too many hazards.
The paths lead nowhere...
How did we ever get around?
Feb 2013 · 539
Paul Glottaman Feb 2013
Tripped on an errant root
in a tiled hall.
Took a dose of ******* silence
and slipped from it all.

Remember when true was truth
and love was bold?
Can't reconcile these lines with lies
Not still young, not yet old.

Don't know how to search inside and find
the mettle.
(Be a better man?)
Try to grip the flower, but tear out
the petal.
(Turn you to dust, to sand.)

Find her sat against a lower shelf
down on time and health.
Can't figure who to be from self,
hard to know coin from wealth.
Dec 2012 · 494
Things you can do.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
How do you not see the things you can do?
How can you see your life,
this thing you've built
by yourself and with your own power,
and not see the triumph within?
Because who cares if you're not
what we all thought we would be?
Fortune and fame are such
trivial things when compared
to having nothing, which
(To let slip a small secret of the universe)
is all we are ever given,
and making from it something.
What you do?
How the **** does that matter?
Why would it ever matter?
You are what you are,
my friend,
you are what you have become.
But, hold your breath this is a big one,
you have managed, somehow in spite
of all the **** this world has to offer,
all that is forced on you,
you became yourself.
How amazing an accomplishment is that?
You, sir/madam are an amazing,
an astounding,
a fantastic
How do you not see the things you can do?
Dec 2012 · 845
Red Flannel.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
I have these pieces,
remnants of you,
scattered through my life.
A jacket, red flannel,
which I am afraid to wear.
How do I measure up to it?
A series of cloth belts.
The rise of a man who
had, in a long ago,
in a far away,
mastered this art already.
Tucked in a box, a note in your
wife's handwriting,
like a treasure map,
laying out the path to take
to find the things
that are all I have you.
Because the photos aren't you.
You did not smile that way
in my memories.
The photos are a ******* lie
that tell the story of man
who grew old an abandoned
me on this **** planet
with these monsters shaped like men.
They are not you.

I look at my things,
my random crap...
What will I leave?
What of this crap, that I treasure,
will be me one day?

I can't find your voice.
Everything is disposable
all of a sudden
and I've come to find out
that we are too.
All of us.
We become the trash
that our children are afraid to
throw away.
The measure of our lives
a series of fuzzy memories,
photographs and knick knacks.
Possessions, sir.
That is what we become?

We are so much more.
Aren't we?
Of course we are.
I remember your hand on the
seat of my bike.
I remember the way that you
could laugh with your nose,
smile at us with your eyes.
Blue. They were so blue...
I think back on the lessons.
You taught me to love, sir.
Did I ever thank you for that?
Of course I didn't.
Of course.

You're a little wooden box
on the night stand next to my bed.
An envelope with my name on it,
the last of your handwriting I have.
You're an episode of the Power Rangers,
I know, I can't believe it either.
You're in the way I love, now.
The way I feel it, the way I show it.
The Experience that you taught me.
You're in the presence of a flannel jacket,
that I haven't earned the right to wear.
You're not in the photos,
you're not in the jacket;
Neither am I.
Dec 2012 · 564
Where it goes.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
In my wake are ruins
where wonderful flowers grow.
I will leave behind desolation,
but alive inside will be hope.
I will become Krishna,
if that's what it takes.
I will roll storm and fury,
across oceans, rivers. Across lakes.
Behind all my clouds,
to the observing eye,
you will find sunlight.
You will see the truth in the lie.

But kept in soft cages, where only grass grows,
the sounds of our heartbeats can deafen,
the plague can wind to a close.

And so it goes, where it goes.
Along mountains and inside homes.

We'll rise from the debris.
Singing songs as easy as leaning.
And terrible hope gives way
to wonderful damage and deep meaning.
In classrooms, where the calls are called,
we'll answer in ways too subtle to see.
Children, ostracized by accident of nature,
will finally not have to defend to just be.
I cannot say it'll be better.
I cannot say it'll be worse.
It will only have to be different.
Destruction as a cure for our curse.

Speak answer to riddle, at least as best you can.
Words can be poison, we learn much too young.
When we can't/won't help, can we call ourselves "man"?

And so it goes, where it goes.
A helping of heart with highs and lows.

And where it goes, when we find ourselves through,
is as much mystery to me,
as it's evident to you.
Dec 2012 · 219
Your way
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
Push this weight from your shoulders,
my friend, I know that you can.
Do not make the mistake of wallowing
in this despair.
You are so much bigger than it.
So much better.
Yes, I hear you, I know that
we are human.
That we doubt.
Doubt so much.
They stopped making boot straps,
you say,
How then are we meant to pull
ourselves up?
Reach, my friend. Reach!
Inside of you there is so
much that you can do.
So much that you are,
if only you can find it in yourself
to know it like I do.
I know you, my oldest friend,
I know you so much better than
anyone else possibly could.
You are amazing.
You are great.
You are the only person that
can hold the light to guide the way.
Only you.
You have to see.
You have the know.
You have to believe me.
I know.
Rise and be, old friend.
Rise and lead us through the dark.
In your presence, there is no dark.
There is only the way.
Your way.
Dec 2012 · 514
Everything Breaks!
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
Everything breaks.
Because porcelain isn't shatterproof.
Because glass can even chip.
Everything falls, everything breaks.
The truth, were words to be used
for things aside from lying,
is that while we remain strong
on whatever frontier we choose,
there is always the truth.
Everything fades.
Though, and lets be as honest as we can,
when the sweater turns from black
to gray, does it change
the thing?
My god,
Everything Breaks!
Could you imagine a world
where life isn't, day after day,
all this **** is the same?
Listen: Everything Breaks!
            Everything falls.
            Everything bristles.
Life isn't just short, lovers & friends.
Life is cruel, honest
Life is played in blue.
Could anything be...
Lose yourself in the light of
days without sun, dance for awhile.
Who the hell would run for fun?
Do all your vitamins protect you
from graying, fraying?
Interruption: Everything Breaks!
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
The feeling is catching.
Fire, from person to person,
life to life.
The soles of our shoes to
the meanings behind our
labored breaths.
In storm drains the
detritus gathers.
Kept, like secrets, from us.
Remnants of our wasted days;
our whispered nothings.
Our shouted everythings.

Fiding the purpose in these
things keeps us from looking
too deeply at what
really matters.
Because ******* these
age lines, these race differences.
******* what's trending on Twitter.
We are the ravings of a madman.
We are angry but we hope
so much for peace.

We find our message,
the one we're certain that
we were born with, and
we become fire so our
birthright might carry.
So that we might carry.
We are angry,
in the soaked detritus of
our storm drain.
We shout everything
in the sake of peace.
And the feeling is catching.
Dec 2012 · 485
Paul Glottaman Dec 2012
Help, we hear the scream.
The temple just does not last.
And in kitchens and cars,
in meadows and pools,
in various states of undress,
young and old
they will find us.
Spread out, our eyes,
sightless, tracing the clouds.
The words we meant cold on our lips.
In falls they hear the cries,
phone calls truncated by disaster
and lifetimes made out of moments
that hardly matter
in hindsight, were we gifted
enough to get that far.
But it's all dying tastes on the tips
of our tongues and memories
of math classes we likely slept through.
It's far from Autumn, and far from home;
snow isn't falling, but we're always alone
Oct 2012 · 502
I'd like to think.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2012
I'd like to think that Adam
would rake his fingers through Eve's hair.
Like a comb.
I'd like to think she would rest her shoulder,
his smile as infectious as her laugh,
against him as he brushed the day from her hair.

I'd like to think that Penelope,
brushing  her fingers on the nape of his neck,
would cradle Odysseus while he cried;
In the bed he had made,
but they shared.

I want to believe that, had things
gone another way, Romeo would
welcome Juliet home each day,
as the sea welcomes her storms.

I need to know that love
makes equals of us all.
That life grows inward
as well as outward
when two souls touch.

What are we?
If not two people engaged in
this single life we have made?
I don't know my way, my love.
I am lost
without your hand
gently squeezing my own.
Oct 2012 · 383
The Question.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2012
How does one begin to end?
Start from here and back again.
It seems we spend our lives trying to die,
yet each person's success makes another cry.

It's when all the hours and minutes are spent,
that they begin to seek atonement.
But if there was no purpose, would that be so bad?
Couldn't we find value in all we had?

From Rattle to Rattle, a human life.
Though it is not meant to live in strife.
While we can move from form to stance,
we should endeavor to make ourselves dance.

Why must we mourn the flame,
Do we believe death is a thing to tame?
If the goal is not to live well and die...
...Then, if not...why?
Oct 2012 · 419
The knowing road.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2012
Did you know your gums recede?
Or how you're never free?
The Endless march of yesterdays?
The difference a paycheck makes?
  It's so easy, it is, to lose a friend?
  How, in moments, you feel young again?
   Bruises form like rock under your skin?
   Having to buy your own recycle bin?
    When your spine cracks when you stand?
    How hard it becomes to walk on sand?
     Your muscle turns to dough?
     And no year ever goes by slow?

Did no one tell?
You're not walking hell.
Did you not know?
It's a Road we all must go.
Sep 2012 · 472
Broken things.
Paul Glottaman Sep 2012
Pour through me the magma
in your dreams.
I will feel as it burns me down,
cinder, bones and shattered screams.
Still my breath, scattered light,
Broken things,
Heart strings and moon beams.

Face my frigid air with your fire,
breath the light of our twinned
Beat the door of my house,
clinched little fist, reddened eyes,
far off cries and lover's tides.

With the elements, and a little glue,
these pieces come together,
beneath unsure hand and
eyes of green & blue.
This ****** thing is almost back to together,
bask in these broken things we do.
Sep 2012 · 349
Little death
Paul Glottaman Sep 2012
The sheets still warm with you and me,
I am overcome with the same old guilt.
A shame that whispers,
like a dark secret down cobwebbed allies,
my own hidden name.

How, I lay and wonder, as the
sweat cools on our skin,
did man ever grow if the result
is always this?

Obvious, though it is.
After all, here we sit.
Aug 2012 · 439
Paul Glottaman Aug 2012
My song is a lifetime,
wasted in triviality.
Crescendo close to daylight,
although the sky is ripped and torn.
The meaning of it,
if any can be found,
is vague and small,
the sound is all too loud.
My song is made for screaming,
from a higher vantage point.
Building tops and cigarette shops,
feature in the refrain.
And always, beating against the backdrop,
the steady sound of rain.
My song is a broken chain of failure,
and small independent success.
It is lifting to the ones who need it,
it takes little time to rest.
Aug 2012 · 634
Paul Glottaman Aug 2012
You will not find me
coward, pleading at your feet.
I'm searching through the heartbeats
of these breathing city streets.
My ear is to the grindstone,
my purpose, flight and free.

Ankle deep in rainwater,
as lightning tears apart the sky.
Pained breathing, bleeding, barely alive.
Skin feels like fire, struggle to survive.
I will grit my teeth,
and bare it.
Think before you act.

Jump to your conclusion,
pardon my intrusion.
They say multiple contusion.
Blood loss and confusion.

Scratch my fingers through this land.
Cough red spots toward the ground.
I will find the power in me.
Just watch. I will stand.

You will find me
complete through your pushing,
a little stretched after you pull.
Breathing ragged, and loud spoken.
You will find me
Jul 2012 · 427
The wedding rite.
Paul Glottaman Jul 2012
I'll follow, four steps behind, into hell fire.
I'd topple the champion of that dark place,
just to feel your hand, gentle on my face.

I struggle through the wound
of Earth's cracked crust,
to find the simple solitude of us.

Reborn again man, with cradled brow in hand,
I will force my way down the aisles
so that, together, we may stand.

I bow my head, and repeat all words,
I fight back my mind's latest coup,
so I may find the courage to utter, "I do."

In this world, all of it's sights and wonder,
I have found only peace, your hair pinned under,
my eyes focused, laser, as I watch you slumber.
Jun 2012 · 572
Paul Glottaman Jun 2012
Every fear I possess,
every lie I can attest,
and here I stand, head held low,
until I clutch my heart in death throe.

Alone in an empty room,
I can recover here,
heal as healing dictates.
But here, in this safe,
still place,
I can smell you.
I can always smell you.

But kept from the truth,
in these waning years of my youth,
I can reach past it, through it, and into you.
From there, I hope, you can feel me, too.

In life, we are told,
there is hope.
I would trade an
eye for half a chance
to see you.
My love,
these hours keep us,
alone and apart,
My love,
I know you,
my work of art.

How you thwart,
my cleverest, my sweetheart.
my attempts at recovery.
My love, how I envy.
Jun 2012 · 484
Four Limbs.
Paul Glottaman Jun 2012
I am tired flesh
and splintered bone.
Somehow I've lost my way,
but I'm not alone.

These four limbs,
that are my cage,
have become my home.
Buried with bottled rage.

Clip my smile,
so it can never widen.
Loose my mind,
and let it glide in.

Freed from bonds,
I move my feet.
Door to door,
until we meet.
Jun 2012 · 688
Rise up.
Paul Glottaman Jun 2012
Claw out your eyes,
bite your tongue.
The things I've done for you,
and you'd leave me here.
To die alone.

Sew your ears shut,
break your hands,
this is my life.
You have twisted me,
perverted me and made fetish of me.
To your purpose, and yours alone.

But here, in the still of this night,
the moon high in the sky
and this shaking in my bones.
I will call forth the rain,
because I alone know it's secret name.
I will make flesh your fear,
I will watch as you live it through.
Tonight is the night I leave you.

To die.
Apr 2012 · 305
Paul Glottaman Apr 2012
Because, he will not swoop from the open skies,
he will not gift crops on barren land.

Because, no one will lift you from the concrete,
carry you to your soft, clean bed.

Because, the plunge is the worst part of the fall,
and the landing the end of the fun.

Because, life is small and terrifying,
but long in it's sad short.

Because, with time we learn we are fragile,
and with love we learn we are not.

Because, there are no hand outs waiting,
nothing in this life is free.

Because, when the shadows dance across your eyes,
just for a moment, I can see forever.

Because, when my life ends, I will realize
how much time I wasted asking for more.

Because, one day the word of advice you need
will be the chain that holds you down.

Because, for a sudden moment I felt the sky,
and fooled myself with delight.

Because, what doesn't melt turns to dust,
and nothing else is solid.

Because, in time I will tell you all of my secrets,
and where will we be then?
Feb 2012 · 430
The keep.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2012
In the absence of hope they found this
dark, damp, ******, dreary place.
Where the music of the spheres
and the dream of what "might"
mingle, both together, in the dirt.
The cynic and his assertion of  the lives we lead,
his theories on those that seek it out.

Somewhere in the soil the tale is told.
The men who fought the snake, on both ends,
come out on top, only on top, but never
the victor.
In this place where light meets dark,
and grey prevails.

The Aching Question burns ever on.
Answered only by the cryptic riddles,
the matters of opinion.
They fight their very Nature.
Battle against the soul of the ****** thing.
Dreaming of a sunrise in these lands
where it only ever sets.

The message, writ on stone wall in cold blood,
rings of failure with a clarity and echoing presence.
Haunting the waking hours,
reverberating defeat in every small triumph.

A vigil was stood over the keep,
which in turn,
kept them all.
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