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Jun 9 · 127
blossoms
Pearson Bolt Jun 9
she sits sun-kissed by the window.
white rays burst around her head,
a halo refracting off her glasses.
a cigarette streams idly from one hand,
a purple highlighter is poised in her other. the cap
is ******* off and balanced between her teeth
as she runs the ink across the page,
murmuring along to the theoretical text
beneath her breath. Scottish highland green
eyes follow along, digesting,
questioning incessantly. she looks up at me,
an inquiry flowering on her lips. “don’t you think
we’ve outgrown birth metaphors?” she asks.
“why can’t we say the revolution ‘explodes’
or ‘blossoms?’” but just think:
the very pages of the books we read
are given to us by the Earth—
wood pulverized to parchment,
imparting hope, as if this very planet
is tattooing insurrection in its flesh.
Jun 6 · 155
capitol
Pearson Bolt Jun 6
i wish i could put my fist
through this wretched city,
march straight down Monroe
to the capitol building—
that flaccid, *******, hideous tower
looming like the tomb of god
over Tallahassee.

this bastion of neoliberalism
sits in the heart of a red state.
escalating rent and gentrification
go hand-in-hand on occupied Muskogee lands.
statues commemorating genocidal colonizers
defended by neo-Confederate bootlickers
keep watch over Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
everywhere you look in this college town
you’ll find indigeneity reduced to a mascot.

so let’s introduce a little anarchy.
we’ll clash with riot cops
armed with tire-irons and Molotovs.
occupy the academy, transform the cafeteria
into a people’s kitchen. teach freely
on Landis Green. come, dance
with abandon and reclaim these tired streets
from those beset on our alienation.
Jun 4 · 82
ebb
Pearson Bolt Jun 4
ebb
there’s a certain serenity to be found
standing on the precipice of a continent,
lost in the expanse of an ocean
unfurled like a map, extending out
to caress the earth’s curvature. the seas
sift as i stand on hourglass sand
and forget the seconds slipping
past, stuck in the liminal space
between the hour and minute hands
on the clock—if only for a moment. here,
i feel smaller than the grains that cling
like salt-and-pepper to my feet. peace
drifts in the ebb and flow, eroding
this old soil. wash away my cares
and let my soles sink deep.
Jun 3 · 228
pestilence
Pearson Bolt Jun 3
some days it seems sorrow
stems like thorns beneath
the leaves of intellect. sun-starved petals
wilt for want of water, desperate
to slake their thirst on summer-showers.
the process of photosynthesis forestalled
by the ambivalence of the heavens.
hedge rows turn to labyrinths in the mind,
droughts sap the vigor that bleeds
from trees we planted like solemn columns
in this temple we call the human psyche.
a pestilence has settled in, a dank fog
that rankles our resolve and strips bark
like armor from the human spirit.
weeds rose from fecund soil, strangling
all that once grew here.
Jun 2 · 150
sow
Pearson Bolt Jun 2
sow
plant a bullet like a seed
within the contours of my head
and witness all the carnage
that will flower in its stead.
i swear i’m fit to rupture
from all the sorrow in my skull.
hairline fractures spiderweb
across these brittle bones. rip apart
my rib cage and sow a garden
in my chest, let the buds blossom
as i’m finally laid to rest.
turn my flesh to compost
so something radiant
might grow, i’m sick to death
of soaking up the sun’s incessant glow.
forget me like wilted petals yearning
for a drink. don’t pretend to miss me
when i finally sink beneath.
Jun 1 · 86
weddings
Pearson Bolt Jun 1
every white wedding is exactly the same.
kitschy mason-jar centerpiece displays,
thirsty flowers in ornate vases,
lace-trimmed tablecloths and country-pop
songs blaring from the stereo.

welcome to cookie-cutter suburbia,
copy-and-pasted from half-a-hundred
Pinterest boards depicting
indistinguishable scenes
of smiles stretched paper-thin
on spray-tan painted faces.

my tongue is a skipping record,
regurgitating the same vapid
conversation ad nauseam,
stutter-stepping through
an indistinct refrain:
“how’s school going for you?”
“oh, really? an English degree?”
“and just what do you plan
to do with that, exactly?”

bourgeois blather follows flagrant patterns.
drunk uncles splutter racist rants
at this posh reception, but i’ve been told—
no matter what—don’t stir the ***.
avoid any and all discussion
of the current president’s
child concentration camps,
the war on immigrants,
or the escalating tensions
with Venezuela and Iran.

i am sick
to my stomach
of self-indulgence:
watered-down punch bowls, patriarchal
vows to god and government. “i do,”
an endless ******* feedback loop
droning tediously until my ears bleed.
sing the same hymns over acoustic guitars
while vocals peak in microphones.
reread 1 Corinthians 13:13, beg your deity
to bless the BBQ pork and beans.

dance along to the Cupid Shuffle
and be sure
to always follow the rules:
birth, youth,
college, marriage,
work, death.
consume.
May 31 · 119
courage
Pearson Bolt May 31
the first time i choked on tear-gas,
we were standing in the heart of the Empire.
the scent of capsaicin still smarted
as we fished our medic bags for water-bottles
to flush our comrades’ eyes. we did not weep
for the revolt. we were at peace even as we knew,
beyond a shadow of a doubt,
we were ******.

the black bloc, three thousand strong,
had raged through the streets of D.C.
overturning dumpsters, torching limos,
taking hammers and crowbars
to Bank of America windows
with gleeful abandon, a sense of endless,
militant joy. it would be
anarchy or annihilation.

the spontaneous insurrection
of the antifascist demonstration
was an inferno hotter than the dumpster-fires
we’d left like signal-flares in our wake.
for a moment, there, we could feel
the ******* quaking as our feet
shook the Earth, stepping
in-and-out of Lovecraftian shadows,
eldritch horrors of doom gloating over us.

but we’d been kettled,
cordoned by cops in riot gear,
cut-off from all possible routes of escape.
faceless phantoms clutching cudgels
to bludgeon our conflagration
into submission. and then
the call came. “this way! this way!
we found an exit!”

immediately, the cops swarmed in,
their momentarily vindictive arrogance
shattered by the freedom that rang
like church-bells in a half-a-hundred voices.
“this way! this way! we found an exit!”
motorcycles turned down the alleyway,
sirens screaming, echoing off the tenement halls
and only one of us possessed the sense to intervene.

for a moment, she stood alone.
a single figure, holding up her hands
and shaking her head, refusing to let
the ******* advance. but courage
is infectious. a moment later,
another joined her, then another,
until all of a sudden a half-a-dozen
of us stood shoulder-to-shoulder, shouting,

no pasaran! you shall not pass!”
we waited for the billy-clubs to rain
hell upon our shoulders, but still
we remained steadfast, anchored
by the weight of our conviction
and the hope that even if we fell
the rest of the bloc would escape
to wreak havoc another day.
May 30 · 52
cathedral
Pearson Bolt May 30
i know no bliss like getting lost within
the endless expanse of your genius.
trace the chasms of space-time
right to their origins: a big bang
rupturing split atoms, sending
every ounce of matter cascading
into the blossoming cosmos—
spiraling outward for all infinity,
unfurling like the petals
of some intergalactic carnation.
i cannot fathom a better metaphor
for the majesty of your psyche.
you are the monastery where i seek
solace from this miserable existence.
i could stand amidst these hallowed halls,
stretching out all around me,
admiring the stained-glass windows
set like so many precious stones
for all the days of my life
and still come away dumbstruck
by their effortless incandescence.
let me bend back the pages of your brain
like my favorite book: well-loved, highlighted,
and fit to burst with the scrawling pen
of my annotations. feed me, Dark Strider.
nourish the broken bits of my spirit.
wild and free, unbowed, unbent—
you answer to no one. you deserve
nothing more and nothing less
than a thousand-thousand poems
written to commemorate your existence.
you are an encyclopedic library displayed
in kaleidoscopic multicolor, i want to drop acid
and wander, psychedelic,
through your neurological pathways
from this day until my very last.
if i could, i would fold this world
like a map to bring me closer to you.
you incite deathless joy
and take away the pain.
your mind is the cathedral
where i finally find god.
Apr 13 · 155
showoff
Pearson Bolt Apr 13
i live to watch the words spill from you,
hot and sticky as your fingers work
their magic. slick from sweat,
frantically flicking, thrumming
out another string
of syllables,
eclipsing me with ellipses
blinking in the bottom
left corner of the screen
keying me in:
you’re still typing.

i am a ******,
afforded
a first-class seat
addicted to the way
you tease me
with your words:
gently.
slowly.
and also all at once.
i could hang
myself from the precipice
of your fingertips—
plying secret messages,
peep shows
for my eyes only.
you’re showing off,
and i can’t get enough.
Apr 11 · 165
mingle
Pearson Bolt Apr 11
tonight, the joy and
sorrow mingle, equal in
their tempered measure.
Apr 10 · 87
amethyst
Pearson Bolt Apr 10
they say lightning
never strikes
in the same place twice.
an energy
the best minds
could not tame—
electricity shattering
amethyst atoms,
violent and brilliant
and free.

purple is the color of our energy.
firework flowers detonating
magenta and blueberry
at the periphery of the pages
where you spilled
your lavender blood
for my eyes only—
a display of intimacy
breathed in the quiet
of the witching hour
the first night we spoke.

your voice
resurrects.
you slice through white space
like a warrior goddess,
deft and dexterous
acid rain chaos
ubiquitous vengeance
upon your enemies—
cloaked in the raven-feather
mantle of Morrigan,
a phantom queen.

you bring death
from a thousand cuts
of your ball-point pen.
Apr 9 · 73
weep
Pearson Bolt Apr 9
i nurse a cup of lukewarm coffee
as i sit on my front porch step
and watch the storm-clouds
close like fingers tightening
‘round open throats, strangling
sunny spring without so much
as a moment’s warning.
Florida rains
can come instantaneously—
blundering suddenly, unbidden
and entirely unwelcome.
the thunder sounds
of dolorous doom
as gloom returns to smother
the afternoon in its shadow.
lightning bolts jolt
me back to earth,
ripping me unceremoniously
from languid daydreams
of you and i camping
in the wilderness,
traveling cross-country
in a beatdown Jeep
with nothing but joy
to keep us company.
i empty the mug
in overgrown grass,
swiftly turn my back
on black clouds coalescing.
today, i fear i cannot bear
to watch the world weep.
Apr 8 · 78
iridescent
Pearson Bolt Apr 8
i have stood amidst the stacks
in the Library of Congress, stared
up at all the books flanking the walls.
i tried to count, once. too many,
the more’s the pity. still,
at least i found a metaphor
for the way your mind unfurls
like the pages of my favorite book—
spine cracked, annotated notes
crowding the margins, dog-eared
corners creased to mark
the contours where i stopped
to linger.

splay my gaze across the parchment,
chasing consonants left and right
and back again. encyclopedic psyche,
blossoming as i play my fingertips
across the periphery of your philosophy.
a hundred-hundred questions spill
from me like a Rube Goldberg Machine,
one inquiry triggering the other
in an endless cascade of mystery.

if i cannot shrink myself down
and lead your white blood cells
into the fray, i will remain
to stitch your battle-scars.
watch as i spin
words like thread
weaving polysyllabic,
kaleidoscopic tapestries
if only to grant you
some measure of comfort.
and if these lines
can make your heavy heart
light, then they will tumble
like waterfalls from my lips
buoy you in their expanse
until you float upon the surface
light as air, iridescent.
Apr 7 · 96
skyward
Pearson Bolt Apr 7
we exist in the liminal space
between super giants,
stretching
out between yawning suns
like rainbow ribbons—
constellations bridging
the gaps between who we are
and where we want to be.

cosmic dust
conspired to place us
on this pale blue dot
within two weeks
of one another.
we will persist
if only for the blink
of an eye.

stretched out
like an ellipsis...
a thousand miles
might as well
be a lightyear.
tell me, truly
do we trace
the same patterns
in the heavens
when we gaze
skyward?

plot a course,
trace the lines
between supernovas.
follow the star-map
to your front porch step,
hopping from one star
to another.
Apr 6 · 171
corpse flower
Pearson Bolt Apr 6
a corpse flower
blooms beneath
a blue moon.
stench of death
held aloft
right underneath
our noses.
once in a decade,
hang suspended—
stuck in the liminal space
between two moments.
for a hairsbreadth
we wait
on bated breath.
amorphophallus
titan arum
.
a reminder that joy
is fleeting, a rarity
eclipsed by twilight.
Apr 5 · 145
voice
Pearson Bolt Apr 5
if i should live
a hundred-hundred
lifetimes
i could die
ad infinitum
with no small
measure of joy
at a ripe old age
so long
as i never forget
your voice.

minor chords
in a haunting tone
purr from the car stereo—
late-night drive,
yellow glow
beneath interstate
street-lamps
interspersed
by passing headlights.

bound for a town
i hate, but carried
along by a firm, gentle
cadence. a vocal chord
melody coloring incessantly
outside the lines
of my psyche.

hydroplaning daydream
of kaleidoscopic color,
whispering insistently—
tempting me—to commune
with the gods and ****
the masters.
transport me
to your aurora
cosmic multicolor,
sonic wavelengths.
Apr 4 · 348
standby
Pearson Bolt Apr 4
i used to pray god
would let me die. now i just
watch the clock standby.
Apr 3 · 116
quirks
Pearson Bolt Apr 3
two quarks
oscillate in patterns—
trapped and bouncing
within the shared prison
cell of an atom.

stitch me into the contours
of your garments, play
my tongue across your eardrum
‘till you quake like earth undone,
morning dew dripping
down flower petals
in your botanical garden.

hang me in the closet
with all of my skeletons,
fit the noose over my head
and wobble beneath
the weight of gravity,
balancing precariously—
an unstoppable force orbiting
an immovable object.

“how often can you come
to the edge
before you fall down?”
draw near to me
and dare the whims
of infinity.
Apr 2 · 138
lighthouse
Pearson Bolt Apr 2
languid waves
lap at the shoreline
as the wind
scoops up handfuls
of sea foam
to scatter
across sun-baked sand,
rolling lazily along
before disintegrating
into open air.
the faint hum
of the breeze
is whipping
past our ears
and the yawning
breathing of the ocean’s
gentle sheen
refracts sunlight
across white-crested
saltwater.

i can feel callouses
forming on the soles
of my feet
as i make my way
barefoot across the boardwalk.
little reeds sway
in the sand
and salt-eroded shells
are tiny lumps,
half-buried treasure chests.
a storm is brewing
on the horizon,
but the dark clouds
can’t quite cut down
the sun
from the heavens.

i am wandering
back and forth,
tugged along
by the ebb and flow
of the ocean.
oscillating
between the highs
and lows.
look
and see
the old watchtower,
the lighthouse
fallen into disrepair,
standing silent,
a sentinel
securing the shore.
witness the erosion of water.
know that
for a time
the tower stood tall and proud
an insulting finger
stretching towards
an apathetic sky—
defiant, to the end.
Apr 1 · 184
drizzle
Pearson Bolt Apr 1
there is a pitter-patter
of witching hour
rainfall on the window
pane. a deep
and profound thunder,
the kind that made
our ancestors fear
the wrath
of imaginary gods,
resounds—
unfolding
across Tallahassee
hills, shaking
itself out of existence.

heat lightning
unfurls its tendrils
across a violent sky
illuminating
my bedroom
like a ******’s
spotlight. my dog
whimpers absently
in his sleep. i envy
him his nightmares.
what i wouldn’t give
to slip beneath.
Jan 2018 · 527
mirror
Pearson Bolt Jan 2018
i beat my knuckles white,
half-collapsed on the floor—
begging and pleading
with you to open the door.
you shook with sobs
and nursed the black and blue.
i held you while you bled,
pried free the scissors you’d used
and wept phoenix tears
over your self-inflicted wounds.
i pushed my lips against the stripes
and sat shiva through the deluge.
i fall in love with everyone
i meet, because in every human
being there’s a little
bit of you.
Jan 2018 · 384
fraud
Pearson Bolt Jan 2018
instagram-famous
action hero. lean back and
relax lay-z-boy.

armchair activist,
keep the sofa warm while you
raise a Twitter storm.

ivory tower
intellectual, trapped, a
tepid state-of-mind.

self-righteous ethos
sapped of the courage to join
us. predatory—

you‘re too obtuse to
realize your abuse has scarred
wrists and ruined lives.

we’ll leave you behind,
but not before i cut my
knuckles on your teeth.
For all my friends and comrades who’ve been abused by the tools who use radical politics as a way to prey on women.
Dec 2017 · 271
swallow
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
all my friends
wish they were dead.
how could we hope
to change the world
when we’re trapped
inside the labyrinths
that cage the brains
inside our heads?

i can’t seem to ****
the void that lives
in my chest—
leeching every instance
of happiness.

maggots feast
on the detritus,
feed the abyss
an avalanche
of all the drugs
suffocating us.

i miss the days
where my hatred
could swallow
my sorrow.
For those who hurt like me.
Dec 2017 · 360
permanence
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
i used to watch
the clock
tick-tock, rocking
me to sleep.
dreams these days
don’t come
so easily.
lay awake,
listen—
the fan hums
while i wait
for a song
that won’t slip free,
a treasure chest
opening just for me.
but i lost the melody
and can’t seem
to find the beat.
death is the promise
we cannot help
but keep.
loss is all
that’s permanent.
Dec 2017 · 400
teasing
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
hang in suspense,
breathless as you stretch
across the bed, resplendent.
you grasp the sheets, throw back
your head as bliss skips
like a rock across a pond—
a gasp
traipsing along.
watch your fingers dip
and play around
while i lick my lips
and beg to taste
you as you ***.
you grin, teasing—
hold the scent of ***
beneath my nose
and tell me to wait
my turn.
arms’ reach is too far
when i can’t slip
beyond voyeurism.
pleading, needing,
yearning for salted
caramel apple
to spurt
like honey
all across
my tongue.
Dec 2017 · 314
share
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
i have no idea how many hours she toiled
in the community kitchen before i arrived,
but she’d made a *** of tofu stew, a bowl
of rice and beans, some spinach lasagna
soaked in marinara, hummus
and daiya cheese sandwiches.
diligent and dutiful,
without question,
without expectation.

an hour later, we stood in Lykes Gaslight Park,
doling out food to the houseless folks
who’d lined up for a vegan meal
when, out of the blue, a well-dressed
college student swaggered up to us,
his smile shimmering, and asked
what we were doing.

she brushed a loose strand
of hair behind one ear,
smearing a bit of sauce
across her cheek,
and said, “we are here to live
as if we are already free.”

they were sharing food too,
he explained, which was all well
and good. but we couldn’t help but notice
they’d never set foot here in the past,
that they only came out
when the season
passed into the holidays.

“you know,” he told us,
“you might not realize,
but the Lord Jesus Christ
is using you for the gospel.”
which seemed rather strange,
given that he’d be back
in his sanctuary before the year
was out, raising his hands
and praising his dead god
instead of standing beside us
every Tuesday and Saturday,
sharing.

but we remember the legacy
of the radical Nazarene,
the anarchic revolutionary
who fed five thousand—
a conquest of bread
with nothing but a few loaves
and some fish.
if you listen closely,
you can still hear him whispering,
“take what you need,
give what you can.”

we carry a new world
in our hearts and heads.
we don’t feed the hungry
to win a one-way trip to heaven.  
so when you forget
about the poor you use as a prop,
we godless few will remain
in the streets until every belly’s full
and capitalism collapses—
risking arrest, fighting abuse,
addiction and empty stomachs.
Food Not Bombs
Dec 2017 · 279
spinning
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
i can’t spin
any of the records
we listened to
anymore—
you’re constantly
in the background,
singing along.
i feel your hand
brush mine
when the needle drops
on ****.
and 808’s pop off.
you infuse the tunes
that croon
like lullabies,
reminding me
that you’ll remain
forever in my
Peripheral Vision.
Dec 2017 · 310
sun-kissed
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
few sensations
are as serene
as the warm kiss
of the sun’s lips
on a cold day.
a gentle reminder
that even amidst
the bitterness
and suffering
there remain
rare moments
of joy.
Dec 2017 · 175
homesick
Pearson Bolt Dec 2017
have you ever
been homesick
for another
human being?
for the doors
that open
like her arms
to admit you,
for the secret place
where you alone play
between her legs?
what’s a man to do
when a house
is no longer
a home
and the pangs
remain the same?
Nov 2017 · 286
hurt
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
there are scars
that cut too deep
to stitch
back together,

hurts that dull,
but never
truly
lose the ache.

some wounds
never heal
and can only
be mourned

alone.
The hurt will go on, the end will never come.
Nov 2017 · 366
Tampa
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i hate this town
and all the memories
tied to it
like broken symmetry,
loose wires
misfiring
in a fragile mind.

flea markets
and dog parks,
the Orpheum
and Foundation,
every inch
of this
coastal city
whispers quietly
of you.

each moment spent
in this ******* apartment
is a constant reminder
that waking up
beside you
felt like coming home.
Nov 2017 · 222
diamond
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
there’s a gap on my bookshelf
where The Deathly Hallows used to sit.
i lent you the seventh text
when you left for rehab
and haven’t seen it since.
you’ve been holding on to it for me.

the absence reminds me fondly
of the way you used to etch the wand,
stone, and cloak into my skin
with your fingertips,
searching for the pulse
thundering in my wrist.

it’s been nearly a year since I held you
on the drive up to Gainesville.
you’ve been clean now
for over five months.
like coal, you weathered the furnace
and emerged priceless as diamond.
Nov 2017 · 378
miss
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i miss you like a thunderstorm
raging over an empty sea.
i miss you like morning dew
hiding in the shade of flower petals.
i miss you like old photographs
stored in dusty boxes
in forgotten corners of the attic.

i miss you like twilight
skipping quickly from dusk to evening.
i miss you like the swig of coffee
lingering, unloved, at the bottom of the mug.
i miss you like family movies,
glitchy home-videos Mom takes out
to soothe the passing tides of anxiety.

i miss you like lyrics
to a song i haven’t heard since i was fifteen.
i miss you like lemonade stands
in the midst of Florida summers, hot and sticky.
i miss you like the space suspended
between two seconds, trapped in a gap
to which i return infinitely.
I miss you.
Nov 2017 · 5.0k
teeth
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i want my poems to have teeth.  
i want my words to cut,
to maim, to bleed.
with verses, i will raze
empires. with stanzas,
i will turn thrones to dust.
with nothing but a bit
of silver on my tongue,
i will take the life of god.

i’ll ply that same *****
like honey, taste the sweet
nothings dripping
between knocking knees.
quake and quiver for me,
let me slip, furtive
as nightshade
to sate your curiosity.

feel the weight of veracity
in these fingers patiently
transcribing forgotten melodies,
compressing ivory keys
to sing of all that was lost
and what was gained
from the process.
An ode to words given form.
Nov 2017 · 304
warfare
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
there is no imaginary adversary
prowling like a lion, shooting arrows.
my only enemy is me. there may be a war
but it’s raging in my psyche—
it’s chemical, not spiritual.
you’re terrified i’ll rot in hell,
why can’t you see
that we’re already here?

dreams of eternal bliss
might bring you peace,
but i won’t swallow
another ******* lie
just so i can sleep at night.
i see no proof for your deity.
where was your Christ
when my best friend died
before his time?  

“if there was a god,
i would spit in his face
for subjecting me to this.”
i have no hope and i am free
to make this life whatever
i want it to be. my integrity
is the only thing that i have left.
i will anxiously wander this wasteland
and not spend another moment
trapped within your fiction religion.
Nov 2017 · 232
seasons
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i. spring
do you remember
the first time
you asked me to write you a poem?
you were nervous
and you blushed
when you finally
found the words.
little did you know,
i’d already penned several—
though, none i was happy with.
i started the first not long after we met.
it grew like a sapling,
burgeoning in dayspring.
there were so many times
i should’ve figured out
i was in over my head.
but i knew with some certainty
that i was doomed
when you graffitied anarchy
in the concrete
of D.C.
right then and there
i should’ve realized
i’d fall for you.

ii. summer
can you recall
the first time
we made love?
the window was open,
the curtains weren’t drawn.
but August air kissed our skin
and you had no patience.
you guided my head down  
and you bit your tongue
to keep from screaming out.
after you came thrice,
we collapsed in a heap
of sheets knotted  
from sweat and ***.
i read you Camus
while you lay your head
on my chest to tune-in
to the rhythm and blues
of a heart that beat
a melody for you.

iii. autumn
will you recollect
the first time
i broke down?
lost it on the drive home
from Goodwill
where we tried to find
Halloween costumes.
we were stuck in rush-hour traffic.
anxiety got the best of me—
had my skeleton rattling
beneath my skin,
hands trembling
on the steering wheel,
teeth chewing
off my tongue.
panic.
the sun was setting
and there wasn’t a ******* thing
i could do
to keep it floating
in the heavens.

iv. winter*
i can’t forget
the first time
you came to me with scars on your wrists.
i held you while you shook with sobs,
vomited in the toilet,
and cursed a non-existent god.
i danced with you in the living room,
sang to you on the way home from St. Pete,
and held your hand in the Dali exhibit.
i gave you every bit
of love i had left
but i was never enough.
November’s fraught with cold.
seasons slip and i am eclipsed
by your new fling.
i wish you nothing
but happiness,
Beloved. i still adore you
endlessly.
Nov 2017 · 341
measurements
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
your lipstick stains the mug
sitting in my kitchen sink.
it still smells faintly
of cheap red wine.
i can’t quite
find the heart
to wash it off
just yet.

i stutter, punch-drunk
and slurring syllables.
you left me
tongue-tied
in more ways than one.
i’d hoped to twist
disparate thoughts
like twine
to form a rope
to tether us
tightly together
but, instead,
i formed a noose
to fit over my head.

i knew
right from the start
that i could never
measure up,
but i brushed
the thought aside
when you quaked
with bliss
at the furtive slip
of my fingertips.
disbelief suspended,
if only temporarily.

somewhere
along the line
we lost touch.
infinitely returning
to snap-shot
memories—
reminding me
eternally
i will never
be enough.
Oct 2017 · 263
snake-oil
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
you seized on the opportunity
to tell me what i ought to believe
while my best friend
lay dead on a hospital bed.
pulled me aside, lead me into
a sterilized room,
asked if you could pray
for the both of us.

you told me you feared
for my immortal soul
while his body
was still growing cold.

later that week, at the funeral
you twisted his memory,
trying in vain
to manipulate me.
you said he prayed for me daily
but the god you share,
in his “perfect timing,”
took him far too ******* early.

you told me he feared
for my immortal soul
while the mortician
incinerated him whole.

no respite
from the fictions you spin.
no solace
in the arms of religion.
doomed to wander
a hollow shell,
you make this earth
an existential hell.

i have no fear
for my imaginary soul.
everything ends,
absorbed into a black-hole.

so many snake-oil peddlers—
bite back down
on your forked tongues,
shear them off
with vampiric teeth.
keep the name of my best friend
out of your poisoned mouths
so i can find some peace.
Oct 2017 · 281
dog-walk
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
the only thing
that got me
through the week
in one piece
was the thought
of who’d take my dog,
Albus,
for a walk
if i stopped
breathing.
Oct 2017 · 389
touch
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
i ruin everything i touch.

smother the flame
beneath an avalanche
of detritus.

i ruin everything i touch.

you are the neurons firing like mortars
in secret corners of my mind,
burning me alive.

i ruin everything i touch.

like a worn through t-shirt, blowing in the breeze
hang me out to dry, begging a god
i know doesn’t exist just to let me die.

i ruin everything i touch.
Oct 2017 · 318
evaporate
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
i tried to pray, but god left me to decay.
i watched your smile evaporate
with rain puddles on a sunny day.

wasting away, anxiety had its claws in me
and i dragged you underneath
depression’s crushing, tidal wave.

i think i finally realized:
this was all my mistake
but, by now, i’m afraid it’s far too late.
Oct 2017 · 572
Jakin
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
i wonder how many sons
and how many daughters
passed on
before the phrase,
“Only the good die young”
became cliché.

how many had to grieve
before the phrase
lost its sting?
surely, i still feel
the potent scream
of its veracity.

“only the good die young.”
like all axioms,
we could unpackage and dissect,
trim away the fat
and try to understand,
but at the end of the day
it seems to me that we’d only be
helplessly clutching at straws
in vain attempts to try and make sense
of a reality that our human brains—
try as they might—could never fathom.

i cannot say
if the aphorism is true,
if only the good die young,
but i know that Jakin Murray Foster,
beyond a shadow of a doubt,
was one of the good ones.

to try and select
a single story
as exemplary
of Jakin’s life
would be akin
to plucking a star
from a constellation.

surely, that story
would shine like a sun
unto itself.
people would rotate
about that story,
anchored like planets
by the gravitational force
of Jakin’s compassion.
but to do so,
to focus on solely one story,
would be a great disservice
to the cosmos of Jakin’s existence,
all the lives he’s touched
and changed over the years.

instead, i will try to tell you
about the man, my best friend,
my brother: Jakin Murray Foster.
i will try to capture a portrait,
one that will, admittedly,
be woefully incomplete.
i will leave you to fill in the blanks,
the empty spaces
between the disparate stars
of his constellation.
the gaps in my description
can be filled by the memories
of his cheer, his integrity,
his profound humanity,
solid as steel beams
buttressing and bracing
in these moments of grief.

so, let’s reminisce:

Jakin was stubborn as an ox.
this quality stands out to me
in perfect clarity
because he was one of the only people
who had the strength of personality
required to challenge me
to become a better human being.

to check me when i grew cruel or aggressive or inconsiderate.
to encourage me when i became callous and cynical and unkind.
to love me when my heart was hateful
and wanted nothing more than to spread my own misery like a poison
before putting a permanent end to everything.

Jakin was silly.
take a gander at any number of the photos collected in his memory.
they paint a clearer picture than i ever could
of a man who laughed loud and laughed often,
but never at the expense of others.
who could lift your spirits
like a steaming cup of coffee
in even the most frigid winters.

Jakin was a geek,
a home-school kid,
a Jesus freak.
his personality was refined
by the teachings of a radical rabbi
executed by the state
for standing in love and solidarity
with the weak,
a man who’d change the course of history.

in brief, Jakin gave a ****.
until the end, he stood up for what he believed in,
convinced by the clarity of his conscience
and the fire that burned like a burgeoning nebulae in his heart.
i can think of no better way to honor his memory
than to hate what is evil
and love what is good,
to fight for a world that is in such desperate need
of the grace, charity, and fraternity
Jakin exhibited every day.

Memento mori.
be mindful of death.
i think of the end of all things daily.
for many, the end of a life is the beginning of something new.
to me, death makes life invaluable.
death is choiceless.
death is a cruelty, an injustice no one should ever suffer.
like a mirror, death shows us our own fragility,
it gives truth to the reality that our time here is fleeting.
death makes life more precious than any commodity ever wrought by humanity.
death reminds us that we are owed nothing,
that all we can do is seize every moment of love and joy afforded us
and build a new world in the shell of the old.

i do not know if only the good die young.
i know that my best friend, my brother, is gone.
i know with certainty that I will never see him again.
we will never laugh together,
bicker over philosophy,
or drive around listening to music ever again.
that reality fills me with so much misery
i can hardly stand or breathe or even think.
but i will do all i can to be a good man
so that when i too meet Death like an old friend,
i can say, “i lived like Jakin.”
In memorial of Jakin Murray Foster.
8/6/1993--10/7/17
I miss you, brother.
Oct 2017 · 394
hemorrhage
Pearson Bolt Oct 2017
like the period at the conclusion
of a sentence, i just want to end.
hemorrhaging anxiety, bereft
of comfort’s tourniquet.
bend back my fingers till they snap
and distract me from the stress—
a constant threat
of white-hot pinched-nerves.

torch me alive like a burnt sacrifice.
sew my eyelids open so i never forget
perspectives that shift my world
like Atlas, adjusting his weary load.
grind down my bones, scatter me
to the furthest reaches of the cosmos.
i cannot bear another moment
in this lonely corner of the universe.

cut my throat, let me bleed out
and seep back into the dust
from whence i came. humor me:
we all nurse fantasies of death
from time to time. let me cope
in peace so i can make it
through another dead-end day
in one piece.
Sep 2017 · 227
oblivion
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
prisms breathe rainbows  
but i can only see in monochrome.
colorblind, i can’t grasp
much beyond shades of gray photographs,
chewing shards of broken glass
while i confine knife-sharp memories
in the fragile corners of my mind.

buried every evening in the sludge
of tedium, i trudge to the beat
of a broken drum, struck dumb
by the knowledge that all of this
is completely ******* meaningless.
too weak to pretend i possess
any semblance of control.

rise like the walking dead
from the open tomb
of a cold and empty bed.
yearning for the bliss of oblivion,
embrace the infinite abyss
of nothingness that awaits us all
just around the bend.
Sep 2017 · 212
ajar
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
a knotted rope
hangs like a halo
over my head.
hope inscribed
in fragile reveries misread.
phantom limbs entwined
inside this bed
are nothing
but a cancer that leave me
wishing i was dead.

sleeping on street-corners
awash in yellow light,
haunted by the ghosts
of twilight’s resurrected life.
pervasive city smog
smothers distant nebulae.
restless,
i claw at my own skin,
desperate for respite.

the door
is cracked and ajar,
but you don’t want me
anymore.
so sew my eyelids open,
dig your needle in my skull.
tattoo tattered fragments
of memories i can’t forget.
Sep 2017 · 206
cut
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
cut
sun-starved flowers sit on the windowsill,
yellow daffodils wilt. petals litter
the turntable—balanced precariously beneath,
needle tilted and askew. a record spinning out of tune.

repeat. repeat the same refrain, a lyric
trapped and contained within a cage.
a melody at once profound, but it’s grown
harder to find the harmony now.

breathe in the decay, a forgotten bouquet
left alone and in the shade. a gift
better left behind, “the patient, cut-flower sound
of a man who’s waiting to die.”
Sep 2017 · 340
fibs
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
we plant white lies like seeds in the fertile soil of stories—
perfect as a magic bean, we’ll climb skyscraper-high
to a world of gods and giants.

when reality sets in, cold as a vise and just as tight,
it’s unsurprising we cling desperately to soothing fictions.
given enough hope and rope, we’ll tie our own noose.

we’ve memorized the plot-lines,
can trace the hero’s journey
as the veins in our hands.

in fairy tales and holy texts, they say,
“love will save the day.” but i have never met
someone who can take the pain away.
Sep 2017 · 474
blossom
Pearson Bolt Sep 2017
at peace, you breathe
in somber cadence,
a masterpiece blossoming
as the sun wakes from sleep.

shaded in multicolor
like a painter’s palette,
wrapped serene
in a nest of sheets.

the natural *****
from your hip
to shoulder creates
a canopy,

a perfect spot
to rest. rise and shine,
Beloved,
there are better days ahead.
Aug 2017 · 302
concentric
Pearson Bolt Aug 2017
we spin concentric,
like a record on wax
and i feel the heat of analog.

you are the quiet harmony
hiding in the background
of my favorite song—

a melody
i couldn’t quite catch
until i turned the volume ****.

watch us turn
like twin suns
sustained in infinite orbit.

hydrogen-fusion
synthesis. combusting
like burgeoning nebulae—

a great osmosis
in our corner of the cosmos,
an ouroboros in lemniscate.
concentric
-adj.
1. having a common center, as circles or spheres.
Aug 2017 · 336
dizzy
Pearson Bolt Aug 2017
we slow-dance to Turnover in the living room
while cars roar past and ambulances wail.
backlit by the yellow glow of a dimmed lamp,
we whirl endlessly, choking back melancholy.

“would you come here and spin with me?”

visions of the past still haunt
our periphery, but we cling
to hope, enduring even at the end of a rope,
waiting for our chance to catch the next breath.

“i’ve been dying to get you dizzy.”

your tears collect, mourning dew,
slipping insistently down your cheeks.
i kiss the salt streams and sing quietly,
lips pressed like a seal against your ear.

“find my way up into your head...”

the needle scratches against the LP.
aimless, we twirl in unspoken rapture,
hearts thumping to the very beat
that sets our feet to turning.

“...so i can make you feel like new again.”

limbs taxed by atrophy, we collapse
once again into the bed, light-headed,
giddy. dazed with joyous, ephemeral bliss
to flit through another sensuous tryst.
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