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Paul Glottaman Oct 2010
The gears have spun their
final rotation.
The beat of this place has
finally died down.
Now we dance.
There is a song that
shoots from our core.
A rhythm that we spend
our entire lives denying.

Step charts discarded, we
pave the world beneath our
unsure foot falls.
I swear to god that I lived once.
Now, if only for these moments,
these short and wonderful
seconds, I will push my face
through the obstinate surface
of this dying rock and
I will live again!

It is blue and here I am in
the middle of it.
Bleed your hues into me.
Free this romantic from the
tired bones of this warrior's flesh.
Pace before me, let the hunger
wash over you, let it come.
Rip from me the beating essence
of this song.

I will be yours forever in this
moment, if only you will
follow me. If only you will close
your eyes and put your hand in mine.
I can take you to the streets in
my head. To the heaving city
alive behind these green eyes.

Give me the chance. Forgive me
the past, the indecision, the
false steps, the wayward consequences
of my misspent life.
I will burn the world down,
leaving tinders in my wake,
blaze your name across the face
of our worthless world.

Dance with me.
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.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2011
When the last bell chimes.
Sordid tales in locked journals,
kept in places all too familiar.
There will be light to balance
the steady rain.

Chained to burning pyres,
echoes of long ago nights of fire.
Sing the song that you learned
from the dead.

Leave through the hidden door,
push out against the giants,
barely kept at bay,
because dreams are such fragile things.

But in your moment of greatest need,
when the dark surrounds you,
when crimson falls from the skies,
you may find the trick.

Spread your arms,
wide as you can,
tip forward against the wind,
and fly.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2010
I once reached into the skies
to pull down the light that
would serve to guide your way.
I was never asked.
I once tender hard labor,
and the lashings of crooked teeth
and stained shirts
to find for you the bauble
you so requested.
I grew old under your
careful tutelage,
until such an age I reached that
the hair grew thin and the
spittle became obvious.

O' the wonders you found in me.

I was such a shell
in the time before we fell,
cradling each other through the shakes
like new born babes,
to the Earth.
Together we found lost
realms which we would hide away
from keen eyes and pointed
Together we squandered our
time and our money on things
we called our adventures.
If only to smell the sweet
lavender and honeysuckle of
your skin, freshly bathed.

I once crossed a canyon on foot,
such days of thirsty work,
to bring you back the sunshine
we would rub into our smiles.
I was not asked.
I once learned the quick, dutiful
motions of a trained glassblower
so that I might make for you
a thing as beautiful and fragile
as yourself.

It is here, as the skies we once reached
grow dim that I find,
after all the effort and all the
painstaking labor that,
together as we promised,
our greatest work is rewarded.
Paul Glottaman Mar 2011
Love is a contradiction without terms.
It is often compared to music,
but that doesn’t sum it up.
It is thought to come from ***,
but that is less than a third of it.
It is said to come from the heart,
but it’s true location is only known to
the people suffering under it.

Love is not one thing or another.
It is not a thing that fills,
nor is it a thing that drives.
It is not freshly fallen snow,
or the first red leaf of Autumn.

It is pleasure, and it is pain
and it is both and neither and all.
It is not found in books,
or songs,
or contact
or smiles.

It does not live in a gentle embrace,
or a baby’s breath.
You can not spot it’s home
from the eyes.
It is not in these places,
it would be a fool’s errand to look for it there.

Love cannot be defined or quantified.
It cannot be discovered or hunted.
It does not just happen, although it
happens all the time.

If you are extremely lucky,
and profoundly doomed,
you will know it when you know it.
Do not cherish it, do not avoid it,
accept it.
That is all that can be done.
Paul Glottaman May 2019
Can you feel the heartbeat?
It's pounding on the door.
It's calling from the empty street.
Screaming for more and more and more.
Can you hear the fire?
It's ripping through my chest.
Branding my skin with the word, "liar".
Consuming the world with no pause, no rest.
Do you smell the rain, love?
Drumming a rhythm on loyal earth.
Beating on sidewalks. Falling from above.
Meeting out new growth and startling birth.
Can you feel my ache, dear?
Rattling injury through my bones,
telling me to rise up against my fear
and claim newly conquered thrones.
Can you hear my past?
It whispers swear words in deepest night.
It tells me I come last
try and try as I might.
Do you know my love, dear?
Dripping devotion saccharin in it's sincerity.
I'm going to try, love, I'll always try to be there.
I want you see my love, crystal in it's clarity.
Paul Glottaman Sep 2011
I remember gravel drive ways,
the smell of spaghetti sauce.
I remember a life filled with
cheap knick knacks and late night
television judgment.
My flash light would burn to life
across the winter landscape of
east coast forest.
You were waiting somewhere
within. Somewhere ahead.

I remember buildings scape the sky.
Paper, and the smell it only gets in stacks.
I remember potted plants on the balcony,
and sitting to watch the skyline
as the sun rose behind it.
I remember, my god I sill remember
in cold sweat, the noise Zelda makes
when the heart meter runs low.
You were there with me, or at least it feels
that way sometimes.

I remember you, but mostly I don't.
I try to joke and kid, because I don't
miss you. How could I miss anything?
Except that I do.
And somewhere in these half remembered
things I know that I will find you.
Strong and wonderful and prepared to
applaud when I take on the world.
You would wink.
You used to wink.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2018
I've unpacked the letters you wrote,
and read them word for word and aloud.
I read them for the fire and for the sea.
I read them under millions of stars.
And I read them for you, love.
I read them for me.

I buried the wreck in the ground and walked away.
I promised to forget the noise.
Forget the pain and pretend away the bitter.
I try so hard to fix.
I try so hard, darling.
I remember everything.

I am remorse in the shape of coffins.
I am waves crashing against a shore of fretting.
I am worried hands fidgeting with the buttons on my coat.
I am the beads of sweat running down your back.
I am regret in the shape of a man.
I am the hollow sound of distant bells.
I am spoken word prayers ending up nowhere.

These things that we built are meant for decay.
We are proudly bound for pyres.
Words burn across the night sky and illuminate.
They tell us what we are. What we could be.
What we are not and should be.
What we were supposed to be.

Whisper me your secrets, dear.
I'll keep them. Press them tight to me.
I'm all read letters and buried wrecks.
I'm unanswered prayers to nowhere.
I'm disposable.
Use me. Let me course through you.
Let me find your heart by travelling your arteries.
Let me be the sore, the ache that reaches your core.

I'm putting the letters away.
I  remember everything, love.
I do.
And you and me?
We have so much in common,
and that hurts worse than I can express.
I pack them away in the wreck and walk away.
I vow on the fire and on the sea.
And I vow on you, love.
I try to forget about me.
Paul Glottaman May 2011
There is sky stretched almost to break,
a countless number of stars breaking through
the ink of this soft night.
The moon, a lost child in a wood, his mother
long gone and him alone, is absent from
the sky. Absent from your eyes.
A streak of still white clouds glaze
through the iris to end in the pupil.
Your head so far back, taking it all in
with that senseless wonder of yours,
that your mouth hangs open.
As you tilt your head down to earth,
down to me and us and all that means
and all that once meant,
your gaze falls on me.
The same gaze that could behold the
entirety of the moonless sky.
A slow smile spreads your cheeks,
makes them gently touch your amazing eyes.
With a nod we leave.
Leave the night, leave the city, leave the state.
It is only us now.
Lost and alone like the moon.
Forever searching, forever leaving,
to find new distractions.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2011
The fear engendered by a righteous act
is called cowardice.
To preform a righteous act because,
or in spite of, this fear
is called courageous.
To allow this fear to prevent,
or delay, a righteous act
is nothing short of

How I long for a righteous act.
What is the mettle of this man?
In what shapes and colors
am I defined?
To what parts are derived my sum?

For so long I have waited.
There was a time when I could
see them.
When you could point them out
and I would know them by name.
That has changed.
Miracles don’t happen here.

Are the pious also righteous?
Are the sinners capable at all?
Can a man be just one?

For so long I have waited
for a miracle.
For a spark of the divine.
I have labored for this
harvest, but am forbidden to
partake of the fruit.
Is that not a righteous act?
Paul Glottaman Jan 2011
Place mats covered in doodles
have defined all of my outings with
friends and loved ones.
With pen and the blank spaces
around the adverts
I will push a new world into
this tired realm.
Here are people without
their hands chained to the
baggage of their lives.
Here are perfect people.
I wonder if they have belly buttons.
I wonder sometimes if I
have any control over them at all.
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.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2011
Tick. Tick. Tick.

We're moving, so much faster.
Push the stop, let us off,
condescend if you must. Go, scoff.
We're moving toward disaster.

This wasn't the plan, not the one I made.
I wasn't looking for love...
I'm so ******* sick of...
This is so little, this is so done. So staid.

Faster now. Faster.
Tick. Tick. Tick.

I don't want to see the finish line.
I want life, sweet and long.
This feels right, and that's so wrong.
It's okay. It's just *******... It's fine.

                         But speak soft words against the moonlight.
                         Because it's dark as pitch, and I'm your knight.
                         But when it falls, as it must, as it will, as it always does
                         And, sweet pea, I can see the end, but I can't save you because...

Tick. Tick. Tick.

These are the hours of my life.
Watch as they fly away, gone is the day,
when I held you and watch us sway.
Ring upon your finger. My little wife.

Tick. Tick. Tick.
Faster, ever faster.

And now, around the next bend,
Where our children will play,
and laugh away the lazy day,
Tell me you can't see the end.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2011
Every Empire falls.
Every reign ends.
Every time.
Every Time.

So tell me, whisper into
my ear if it makes you more
comfortable, my god the things
we do for comfort,
tell me, my friend:
How will this Empire end?

Will it be in fire?
A large bang, followed in course
by smaller ones into a
rubble and tear filled

I think it’ll be a whimper.
I think it will fall apart inside itself,
so slowly and so quietly
that when it’s over we’ll
wonder if it ever was to
begin with.

I’d like it to be a fire.
I’d like it to be a boom or a bang.
I’d like it to end in glory,
if possible.
I’d like it to end with you.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2011
Every year it gets farther away.
The cowardice, the jealousy,
the pain, the heartbreak,
the anger and the fear.
With time it seems so distant.
I don’t fall asleep facing the
door anymore.
I don’t dig inside myself
when trouble arrives,
or lament my station and it’s

It took so long to see
what this world could offer.
To find the wonder.
Now that I am here
I pride the ability to
wonder, to create, to think,
to dream and above all
else the power to endure.

Life is trial.
It is test and failure.
It is pain and affirmation.
Light is strong and good.
Wise and powerful.
But there is no teacher
as good as darkness.
This I know.

I find myself in search of
a mountain.
So I may preach my own
sermon on the mount.
To an audience of one.
I hope that if my words
carry the right gravity,
my volume high enough,
my content strong enough
that you will hear me.

My message would be clear:
Endure. Build this nest
inside, where no man can
reach, and hold it.
Each year past it will grow.
You will be so filled with hope,
so unafraid of the world
and the dark, ****** terrors
it has in store.
Endure, my friend.
There is so much to look
forward to.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2011
From every drop
springs just a little more.
An urgent pounding
against the bedroom door.
Because it's out with
the pilot light,
it's in with the
same old fight,
and it's back to work,
the same old way.
Every ******* day.

You say you believe
that love is the answer.
I don't know,
but hate is a cancer.
And it's miles and miles
to beat my retreat.
Some days it's  ******* the sound
of my own heartbeat.

I'm not another hack,
building out but holding back.
I live in the here in now, or so I say,
until the noise starts.
Rent's late.
Time to pay.
Every ******* day.

I would love, you must believe me,
to see peace.
I would love to lay my head down
and finally get sleep.
But there's work to be done,
there's hours and hours,
and so little ******* sun.
But if you stay with me,
hold hands and live with chance,
I might feel like I can be free.

But the knocking never goes.
We're not some dead beats,
though heaven only knows.
I'm spent from all my mediocre feats.
I can't find my bed and lay,
because the noise doesn't go away.
Every ******* day.
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.
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!
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
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.
Paul Glottaman Aug 2011
Find in those dark places
the spot of light.
The driest spot in a damp place.
The warmth inside this bleak cold.

Find in yourself the beauty I see.
How every freckle is a road map
for my mouth to yours.
How each white hair you find
is another moment I would never trade.

Find in me the purpose that I struggle with.
Take my hand and lead me
to the place atop that hill where
all the turmoil will finally be answers
to my endless questions.

Find me, if you are of a mind to look.
I have searched your eyes for
my own reflection, and on the
rarest and happiest moments,
I have even discovered me there.

If discovered, and one so hopes it will be,
I can promise you that I will in turn,
with every ounce within,
find you.
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.
Paul Glottaman May 2010
You'll never see this.
Jesus Christ, There is a finality in that.
I can't believe you're gone.
I can't believe you'll never see this.
I'm going to miss you.

I know it's flat sounding
but it's true.
You'll never know the impact
you had on my life,
how important it was
that I knew you.

You once said to me that
you were trying to build me
into something greater.
“A better Bonsai tree.”
I hated you more than I ever hated
anyone in that moment.
But the wisdom of your
words has shined through.

Though your hand was not there,
and was in fact joined by others,
my roots have been tended,
my branches bent in ways
subtle and amazing.
I stand this Earth as,
while not a lovely small tree,
a mature and compassionate man.

You will never know the
way you've crafted me.
You'll never know how I've
grown because of you.
You'll never see this.
There is such ******* finality in that.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2017
I will dream in technicolor failures!
I will pass time waiting on the lawn.
Bored and vapid and given pause to yawn.
I'll send my hopes in colored mailers.
Drowned in nostalgia and memory,
another 30-30 something casualty.
And together we chase the white picket,
acid washed American dream.
And with loaded backroom schemes
we seek to find and punch the given ticket.

Where there was two we invite three.
He'll have ten fingers and ten toes.
Wide masculine shouldered and elbows.
He'll be, I hope, a lot you and a very little me.
He'll have a chance, ******* it, he will.
He'll be alive and screaming and needing.
His mind and body young and always feeding
He will draw from this earth until his fill.

I hope for so much more than I have got.
We take on water so fast without balers.
I dream of tomorrow in technicolor failures.
Help me, love. I'm twisted into a knot.
I need so badly to understand these things we do.
Our rings and our tiny king's teething rings.
I need to be kind and true and bold.
I need so badly to have and to hold
him and you.

We left him so little and wished him so much.
Isn't it a sad twist of fate?
Isn't it just something you love to hate?
Ruins where buildings should be. Nice touch.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2010
Someday I will be a parent.
It isn't that I wouldn't like
to avoid it. I would.
Loving something so completely
is a scary prospect.

My mother, regardless of how
we feel when we flew the
nest, built a world for me.
She never cried when they
stole our money.
When the insurance wouldn't
cover her surgery.
When the world got so
hard to live in, that there didn't
seem to be a point.

She wept when the teacher
told her I had talent.
She held me close to her,
rocking gently and smiled
as the tears rolled down her lips.
You were always worth fighting
for, my little one. My little
boy blue.

I saw her spend what little money
she had, from waiting tables,
from nursing, from a million
jobs she worked.
She spent it, not on the shoes
that her co-workers said she
had to buy, because her ankles
looked so sore, her knees
felt so weak.
She bought me sketchbooks.
Hundreds of sketchbooks.
Never a regret. She smiled.
She was proud of my talents.

How can you love someone
so deeply?
How do you watch as your
own idea of who you
are is ripped away?
I don't know that I have
that kind of courage.

I will be a parent, perhaps not
young like my parents were, but
a parent nonetheless.
It is inevitable. I know this.
I hope, regardless of how
I felt when I flew the nest,
that I can be the kind of
parent that never cries, except
to acknowledge how important
his child is.

I want her to know, when
my own child comes to visit,
that it has talent. That I
support it.
I want her to know that
I'm proud of her.
Paul Glottaman Apr 2019
I want you to know how to like yourself,
because I never did and I've spent an unhappy lifetime
stuck with me.
I want you to be cautious where I was reckless.
I want you to understand the cost of your actions,
because I never cared for consequences and now...
consequences have become me.
I want you to learn to let people in all the way.
I want you to know how to be honest with yourself.
I've let no one in completely,
not even myself.
You can't be free if you can't be honest,
says the liar.
I want you to know your limits
and to approach them fairly.
I've spent 30 something years thinking
I was the exception to every rule
and now that they're all broken
I have no clue where to go.
I want more for you than I've allowed myself
because I love you
and I've never loved me.
You look at me to teach you these things
but I don't know.
I don't know how, buddy.
If there was a time I could've learned I let it pass.
My ambition, little one, has never equalled my potential.
Please, please if you learn anything from me
let it be from my mistakes.
However, if there was one thing I wish I could share with you,
one thing I think I do that you should,
it would be loving you.
Love you, buddy.
Paul Glottaman Oct 2017
I'm here to get broken,
to be torn into pieces.
Discarded on the floor.
I found you so I could be remade,
Built up from nothing,
so you could make me more.

Break my heart,
burn my soul,
scar my history
with yours.

Glass fragile and brittle.
Prone to watch you pout.
I want moth eaten dreamscapes,
but I just keep bleeding out.
I'm tied to this iron ball and chain,
drowning like you need me to.
Writhing here in pain.

Feed me your bitter poison, love.
Bleed me with your leeches.
Push me, dear. Push and shove.
I wash away like chalk,
Temporary and incomplete.
I need you, sweet Hemlock.

Don't ever leave.
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.
What is this even?
He writes about writing
and the world is possibilities
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.
******* 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.
Get it?
Do you get it?
Paul Glottaman Mar 2011
Kept in the plaza,
by the booth
we once laughed
away an evening,
(How does time get away from us?)
There is a locked box.

My heart is kept inside.
There is only one key.
Crafted by birth and
shaped by a fire inside.
(I have stoked that fire to keep us warm and alive.)
I don’t possess the key.
I never have.

Follow the twisting pathways,
fight through the crowd
and deep inside a dark room,
high on a shelf
(So high I can barely reach)
You will find the box.
Unlock it,
beautiful eyes and dark hair,
quick wit and wisdom.
Unlock it, My love.

Set me free.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2011
Fire lights the sky,
messages in flame
and human remains.
Blown out store fronts,
and the anguish writ
large on their faces.

"Who among you will save us?"

Hero is a broken word,
weighed down by the too tall
myth of song lyrics and
epic yarns.
There won't be a signal,
reaching toward the stars.
But attend this quiet vigil,
and weep for us all.

You don't brave fires,
or tough stinging barbs.
You don't fight hunger,
or exhaustion, or flesh wounds.
You smile, when it's called for,
you go a little out of your way.

No one is coming to save you.
There is no help on the way.
But be brave, my friend, because
the story isn't over.
When we die, we just become more odd.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2018
Let's talk, you and I,
let's talk about the end.
Discuss, with me, how it'll
conclude and where,
now that is,
we're meant to go.
Let's talk about growing up.
Growing old.
Let's talk about the light
and how it fades and bleeds.
Let's talk about the surprising,
and ever growing,
number of yesterdays behind us.
And the number still ahead of him,
because he hasn't even had one yet.

I want to find courage and depth.
I want the strength to face death.
I want you and I to believe we're not next.
I want to take this land with you,
length and breadth.

How we're still young,
but how that measure changes.
Falling sand, love.
You and I.
Falling sand in an ocean of sand.
I want the world for him,
and for you.
I wish, so often I wish,
that I could stop it briefly.
Just have this day for awhile.
But I understand.
I know what stopping looks like,
and I've seen so much of it.
Stopped and stopping.
Too much.
Falling sand.

I think, or I've heard,
that love will see us through.
I don't really believe that.
Do you?
I wish it could be true.

Let's visit this subject,
after perhaps a little time to think.
I don't know what waits,
and frankly,
I think it might be nothing.
But you know that, by now,
you know so much about me.
Let's talk, you and I,
about how we're closer now to the end
than the beginning.
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.
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.
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.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2018
Once a giant they fall through night skies
and into the empty loam where truth lies.
The greatest among them, coward now and small.
It wavers and wans where once it stood proud and tall.
All things, they are told, eventually fade and die.
All things retreat rather than give or try.

And so they crash through dim and distant tropospheres,
through fatally close and relevent new world fears.
They are trapped by binding digital text.
Caught forever in one server rack or the next.
They are ancient relics that once screamed hope at a void.
They are now cold, ignored and most of all annoyed.

Notice me, no one hears them cry into the intangible nothing.
Notice me! they keen and wail and empty makes the noise ring.
They are surrounded by their own unheard pleas.
They are bound to die forgotten and on their knees.
And what then becomes of us? You may ask.
Who, if not the giants and the old gods, will bring us to task?

There is no longer a force pushing us to crisis.
There is fear and there is cold and here is echoed lifeless.
And are we willing to reinvent the past? To pay these prices?
To walk with old giants and call them good and righteous.
If we were better we could fix this open blindness.
If only we weren't weak, tired and so bitterly indecisive.

If we only had one small chance. One good clue.
If only we could make manifest choice and brand new.
In glades we sip from blades of forest grass a rejuvenating dew.
If only we numbered in many and not in so damnably few.
If we could turn these broken gears and feel red rather than blue.
If we could be anything but ******* me and ******* you.
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.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2010
I am not little anymore.
I have learned many things,
none of them may be taken back,
or altered to lobotomize
me into the child you miss.

I am a man now.
Albeit not the best example
of the lot. Perhaps not
even the best example of
humanity in general.
But grown, nonetheless.

I cannot change this.
I don't want to.
I know it is difficult to
see that I'm angry often,
that I'm bitter,
and worst of all that I
often hate the things you love.

I am not little anymore.
I wouldn't want to be.
Better of worse;
This is who I am.
It is who I have to be.
Hate it if you must,
but it is also
What you made me.
Paul Glottaman Sep 2011
In the face of this wall we stand and laugh.
Not because it's funny,
anything but at times,
but because we just don't
know what else to do.

Had you stayed,
beyond your time
here and there,
there would have been so
much more for you to see.

I recall that the news broke,
and it rained.
Did it ever rain.
It rained as if in response.
I embraced a man in the street
and we felt something for someone
that wasn't ourselves for the first
time in our short lives.

Because you didn't stay,
we can't reflect on the power
of those odd days.
How they shaped us in ways
that we couldn't have predicted.
But you didn't stay,
so it fails, not falls,
on deaf ears.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2010
There was an old man,
who had a sinister plan.
To take his own life.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2011
Alone, you are but two.
Caged by bitter words,
and a history shared
with so precious few.

Together, you find yourselves one.
Free from bonds that chain you down.
Etched large against the bluest sky.
Your song sung full flush in the sun.

Each fractured piece of your hearts,
keep so high out of reach
in little boxes on tall shelves.
Chained like drowning to your arts.

When, on park benches and this cold street,
with the flicker of the reckless
and the knowledge of the very bold,
you find, now and always, your hands meet.
Paul Glottaman Jan 2011
I have walked these halls,
through eight nights and nine days,
I have waded through
the lies and false promises
of these tired days,
in this tired time.

There are no great men,
and if there were who would
even welcome them?
Who would match?
There may have never
been a time for great men.

I will find the door,
thousands of them, all
the same color,
all the same width,
they all open on the same
******* place.
Still I wander, still
I search.
Paul Glottaman Aug 2011
You'll always be twenty-three.
And that kills me.
You were older than me.

******* the futility of it all.
******* ******* it all!
I wish that I could punch a hole
in the world with my words and
find you.
I wish you knew.

I just wanted to tell you..
I just thought you needed to know,
at least once before everything is
broken headlights and crushed
Blood and pavement and a median.
Crushed glass and a world
standing hollow without you.
I wish you knew.

I think I loved you once.
I need to find you some days.
**** this tired world and it's
arbitrary thefts.

Your name should have a million hits a day.
You should have been...
My god how brilliant you were.
Like a jewel and like a genius.
You should have been forever.

I guess, in a way, you are.

You were a part of my life,
and a much bigger part than I ever would
have had you believe.
Did you know that? Had you figured it out?
Perhaps not.

A year since. Fifty-two weeks.
More in fact.
It was May.
Day after my brother's birthday.

******* it.

You were older than me.
October to my November.
One month that you lorded over me.
One month.

You'll always be twenty-three.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2018
All my little life I've been lonesome
waiting for permission to feel like someone.
I've taken late night cab rides to nowhere
looking for something I still can't describe and it's unfair.
Have you ever felt like life was living you?
Have your days felt forever rather than few?
Have you ever wondered when you'll find out?
Have you started as a song and ended as a shout?
And my ears are ringing with the clashes
of late night cigarette ashes.
I'm trying to look at my hobbys
as something that'll save me.
But I know it hasn't worked lately.
I'm writing discarded definitions
in tired lines of worthless ambition.
I've spent half my time in finding,
but came up empty in reason.
All the endless searching is hurting
and lack of cause is my demon.
I'm tired of waiting on sunrise
and I'm always finally belonging when I'm leaving.
Kismet is ******* and I'm wondering how long until I get it?
I got six puzzle pieces from the wrong set
and making them fit isn't making ends meet.
I'm trading mental health for gas receipts
and living just to be seen.
I'm trying not to think of hope in a vacuum,
but I'm lost for reasons why not to.
I'm not looking for favors,
or easy ways out for good behavior.
I just wanna put down this hammer
cause the noise is making me crazy.
Paul Glottaman Feb 2011
There is an art to saying,

It is a small and wonderful
Hard to learn.
Harder still to practice.

I’ve never learned the art

I’m a goodbye man.
Paul Glottaman Nov 2010
So there's this dark room, right?
When you walk in, there's this odd
warmth rising from the floor.
I know, crazy.
But here's the hitch:
The warmth isn't mechanical.
It doesn't have the familiar consistency
of Air Conditioned heat.
It feels like animal warmth.
Human warmth.
How weird is that?

Anyway, what happens next is the lights.
They go on like crazy, all over
the place. It's bright, is what I'm saying.
So you throw your hand up over
your eyes, who wouldn't yeah?
So while your hands are up,
and your blinking back those
bright-light style tears and everything
you feel something on the small
of your back.

Creepy. I know, I know.
What's going on, right?
That's the crazy part,
I have no idea either.
I guess I never will.
I changed the channel.
Paul Glottaman Dec 2011
I will live and die a man,
and that much I know is true.
But when the word is through,
will it say the same for you?

Because the message is clear,
if at times somewhat condescending,
that life matters more than it's ending.
It's purpose doesn't lay in it's rending.

And if honor isn't the purpose,
for which you struggle through this world,
how will you know when you become unfurled?
All this talk has my ******* toes all curled.

Love is not the answer,
but I believe it is a cause,
And when we stop to contemplate the flaws,
we are given to moments of real pause.

Because it's almost over,
and I stand before the hands of time.
You will kneel before, as I arise,
and stare in awe from your house of lies.
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.
Paul Glottaman May 2011
***** and giggles.
Thrills without frills.
My god, the things you consider

How have you become this
sad, blind, pathetic person?
Where is your animal force?
Your keenly tuned force of nature smile?
You never had a chance.

You scream in shades of
burning gasoline.
You cry in tuneless guitar strumming.
You move with mechanical imprecision .
The very soul of you is the very sole of you.
Was it always so?

You were never so repulsive as when
you begged me to stay.
You couldn’t keep the dawn lit,
and I refused to be your book of matches.
The things you said, the things you did.
Phone line regrets paid in full.

I know you have the strength, if only you
would bend without breaking.
If only you would dream without
having to borrow.
If only you could remove the sepia
tone from your expectations.

We were only children.
Kids playing pretend at happily ever after.
Now you’re gone.
I never told you that...

“If only” right?
Paul Glottaman Nov 2010
Fractured light cascades in.
                     Flowing, ever wider, ever wilder
          with each passing moment, leaving
great pools of heaving color on the desk by
the notebooks I refuse to keep.


There stands a building, overrun
by the very nature it once fought
so proudly to keep out.
It's walls hardly more than crumbled
stone, it's staircase, hard white concrete
interspersed with moss.
You keep a cozy home here.
Your beagles run about, guiding
lost or lonely travelers to your
warm and inviting den.


The hallway was long, dark and
under water. The people floated about
still trapped frozen in the moments
that must surly have been their last.
At it's greatest spots the roof is so
high, the tile so dense that it
seems like a subway, a train station.
The blue lips of the people around me
seem to whisper pleasant lies.
Seem to call me, as though a touch
could wake them from forever sleep.

The sun's rays do not touch these places.
                     They do not know my works.
         How could they? Why would they? They don't belong.
The light breaking in are from the passing ambulances, cabs
and cars. Sounds I have learned to ignore.


We are never more pathetic than when we
are swinging. Each time we hang back, we let
our heads dangle. It feels like that moment
when we lean our chairs back in class.
Proudly stride on two legs, and know
absolutely know that we are very near
to death. We reach through the world around
us, bending the color and light, forcing the
air from our skin and our bones and we hold
on to each other. We are so very near death.
We are so young, so close.
We swing on, and we open the same door,
again and again, only to find it still


My teeth are falling from my head.
They are healthy, they are wonderful
bright and shiny white, like they never
are, and they are falling from gums.
New ones grow in, without the irritating
itch that I remember from my youth,
but with bursting skin and a lack of blood.
They come in immediately. When I look up there is
food. So much food, the smell is so good.
But my teeth, my new teeth They are
too dull to chew. Soon they are falling out
as well. I shove them back in, pushing
them hard through the broken gums
but they won't stay. I don't know why
they won't stay.

When I open my eyes to the dull buzz of the alarm
                     My head swims, my brain reaches for the
         last few remaining images. It tries to put them in order,
tries to make sense of them. But nothing seems to fit.
There is only me, the light, and the desk. My works are in order.
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.
Paul Glottaman Jun 2010
I have seen a man saved by a secret
another destroyed by a truth.
I have heard the halted
whispers as they cascaded
down the hall.
I have heard the mournful
melodies, and I have sang
them all.

There is a scratching at the door.
Once, then twice.

There have been different fears
which have coddled and gripped
us all.
Consume our thoughts and
drive actions, we can't
believe we've done, or saw.

Once, twice, three times on the door.
I hear that ******* scratching. I wish
to hear no more.

They swore that the nervousness
would pass.
A weak, meager thing,
bested without much effort.
It is here still. I can feel it in my
bones, moving with my skin.
Seething in my mass.
Calling through
the walls.

One, two, three.
One, two, three.
Simply maddening.

I keep a truth at arms length,
and a secret to keep me safe.
I keep it in my vest pocket,
where no one dare disturb.
There are two things,
of which I know are fact:
Life is a love song,
moving with grace and tact.
And life is a funeral march,
all attention rapt.
Paul Glottaman Jun 2010
I do not envy the one that
must make the call.
The boy, whose words had always
been so soft and wonderful and funny,
but are now like warm razor
blades on the eardrum.
It doesn't hurt at first, it's too quick.

“Burn him.” The child said.
“Leave only the memory of his deeds.
Let them be, as they were, forever.”

There are no burials today.
No funerals, no dirges.
There is only hot flame licking
the gaping wound left on the
earth, there is only the sound
of the wind rushing past our ears,
and the comfort of forgetting.
But not the release of sleep.

I can smell the ocean, and feel the world
from this ******* apartment.
I see it now, as I must, as a place
that used to be filled with wonder,
with rebellion, with futures.
It has these things still, but they are
a pale interpretation of the place
they once knew. It has changed
for them. They must live each day
hoping that their deeds will leave
a legacy behind them.
Will leave a memory

In tossing and turning the realization
dawns that it is still not finished.
After what has happened, he will still
find his way back to the beat.
To the ever changing path.
To the slow march toward
the pyre. It is how it must be.

“Burn him.” The boy had said.
The men had listened.

They live with themselves only
holding onto the thought that
it will continue.
Only with the thought that somewhere
out there, even after they have
made the way to sleep,
the Boy Hero sits, awake,
hoping his words can one
day be filled with Laughter
The Boy Hero does not dream this night.
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