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Paul Jun 2020
orchids, three days in the vase,
bent-stemmed with droopy heads,
and their pollens falling onto the tabletop
like coughed-up ash through which
shadows, interrupted by light, stretch.
And above the vase  a craze of tiny flies hover,
like a troubled thought in a comic strip,.
impermanence
Paul Apr 2019
First, a tundra in stasis;
a white-*****, emptied book
whose unmade letters sleep:
icy, furled, and blank. Then,

breath; a near audible thawing
of unbridled shapes and mute fire;
now, the bright stampede of hooves
breaking into the field. Next,

words.
a poem about the process of conceiving and writing a poem. hope you like it.
Paul Apr 2019
coffee
acrid and black
i love you

struggle
unending
you school me

life
acrid and black
i love you
Paul Mar 2019
A weight bearing down
on the yellowed bed, in the used room
indelibly,

the way memory indelibly shapes
judgement and its content.
And by the bed, a yellow daisy

capturing sunlight, mourns
its brief and trembling time
as if its vase were an urn
and now, despite the brilliance, were ashes.
Paul Mar 2019
Over the bed a ceiling fan swings in
arrhythmic ellipses
pushing the hot air back onto a lone smoker from whose
yellowed fingers the snaking upward blue
smoke of burning
tobacco loops, widens and merges with the unseen
everything. What she said, what he’d done everything. all of it
replaying in a faltering loop of half truths
and deliberate deceptions
The grift finally worn through, the rubber shredded
the rim of the wheel titling on its axel and
scraping ruinously
to the this room yellowed by the by post-****** or solo smoke-filled
lungfuls of salesman, hookers, preachers, cheaters, the luckless
chancers, the gamblers, the grifters, the desperate, the deluded
the lost, the plummeting, itinerants of every stripe
lighting up with and breathing out with the narrow hope
of every fresh smoke archived on the wallpaper
To which he now adds, breath by breath,
thought by thought
Hope by hope. She has gone back to the world from which they’d run
A husband, a home, the wearying balm
of acceptable comfort
and now finds himself in an aftermath,
as in the denouement
of a minor character in a hero-free
subplot. Shaken
by his new status he turns on the rumpled mattress, stubs
out his smoke and tries to think of what comes next.
Tries to corals his possibilities, there was Tom with car yard
he’s give him work
there was Lucy, who once loved him, and single now
Instead, he light up again, sees the sheets strewn about his ankles
and warms recalling  how they'd named this the cellmate’s noose,
the way they roped around his legs during
their thrashings.
it was Funny because she'd done time, for years. And it showed,
in the way she assumed her role in the act,
face to the wall,
*** up, expressionless with silent jailbreak intensity.

He inhaled, and a ring of orange fire bloomed like some brief proclamation of hope or plenty. A short, bright clarion call
of a thought that stoops as soon as it stands.
He exhaled. The open window frames a field of empty blue sky from which frayed curtains, flap and seize with sudden and passing forms, pleasurably meaningless, and under the window
in a shadowless heat outside, a dog, limp with thirst, laps at the drips that drip from a pipe.
Paul May 2017
By Carrie Fountain


Just now it has come
to me again: the sudden
knowledge of everything
that remains to be done
though I worked my *** off
this week, doing things, doing
things. What is my style?
is a question I have never
asked until now, in the waiting
room at my dentist’s,
when this article in O Magazine
encouraged me so cunningly
to do so. Maybe it is not
my job to surprise you, not
anymore, says the spirit.
O.K., I say. O.K. But still,
I want one more crisp
image, just one, though I know
I don’t deserve it, I want it
to appear the way money once
or twice in my life has appeared
in my line of vision on
the street: some bill, nearly
alive, green god, its skin
giving off evergreen light,
unaccounted for and then
immediately mine, no
questions asked.
Paul Nov 2014
Not less because in purple I descended
The western day through what you called
The loneliest air, not less was I myself

What was the ointment sprinkled on my beard?
What were the hymns that buzzed beside my ears?
What was the sea whose tide swept through me there?

Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymns they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.
Wallace Stevens, Tea at the Palaz of Hoon first published in Harmonium (1921)
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