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Dec 2012 · 798
When I Drift Off
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2012
Fingers on the back of my neck
Curl into my hair,
And a sigh whispers in my ear.
Like a cat drinking I have unraveled my muscles,
Condensed them loosely around my bones,
And he has condensed
Himself loosely around me.
The mute and immovable weight
Of his eyes laying themselves on mine
Flattens my lungs,
And ever eager to fix he fastens over me
And breathes .
Dec 2012 · 1.4k
Because You, if He
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2012
There isn't a He.

But if there was a He then
He made Everything perfect,
Which is to say
You, (if the world is You
And it is)
Then "just so and no better"
If there was a He to tell
I'd tell.

(You are so much blooming out of ***** streets
And camellia blossoms,
Everywhere I, there
The blinding You bursting out of
And flooding my blood with
And I am somehow Perfection's possession
Like a cutout pasted onto white
There are We and the faded world behind)

And if
He was then I'd tell him
He'd better give up now because nothing ever -

But You know I don't think
Any He could've thought up
(And the way Your cheeks fold when
Your teeth show and Your lips are
Just so and no better could ever)

Unthinkable thoughts
I've thought and never alone even alone
You were always somewhere thinking -
(Gods are not so clever
Or so kind)

Impossible for Him.
(But Beauty, You press
Words into me and I seize
Oh! fingers never gripped so
But clutching and You press and hold and
You are!

The birds in my chest are singing
The lightning in my muscles screaming
Love wears a face and it looks on me
And You are!

For all my pitching and whining
And still I open my eyes
And there is no Nothing there,
But You are, oh Love
You are.)

He never could,
But if He did I'd thank Him.
Oct 2012 · 920
A Walk at Night
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2012
All these people:
Paired off,
Complete -
Or streaking by
Brightly on bicycles,
Busily flying and still they
Manage a quick wave
And a smile...

All these people:
Paired off,
I weave among them;
I smile among them.

It's so much easier
To cry when you're alone;
It spoils you.
So then there's always that
One ******* tear,

And the getaway,
Not to disturb these people
Paired purposefully.
These people smiling,

And I
Oct 2012 · 1.3k
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2012
Accidentally locked out
Of my cavern,
With cold for company.
Cold, and thoughts
Kept hot in the thermos in my chest,
Kept sweet:
Borrowed juice of a ripe fruit -
A peach, do let's say a peach -
Uncold company,
And in loneliness
A warmth...

A neatlyfolded
Origami Man is going 'round
Cleverbuzzing and kindsmiling
At little sillyshining things
That sometimes climb Him,
With My name folded up inside
And warm in the thermos
In His paper chest -

The stem of a mouse wineglass
Is not so delicate
Nor is He any less
Solid than the granite
'Pon which I'm resting -
That something fragile should be
So arresting...

The thought pins me warmly
In place,
So what of a wait?
Inside or out, hot or cold,
Somehow somewhere He is
Impossibly folded up
Around Me.

I can wait.
For ***
Sep 2012 · 828
Fluorescent Sickness
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2012
My bed is full of crumbs:
It's odd how very very dire that is.

I'm surrounded by empty plastic

Containing the memories of food:
Traces, some crusty cheese, a last sip.
And my bed is full of sugary crumbs.
My hair clumps stickily to my neck.
The fluorescence of the room flickers -
(The fleeting worry of unfixable darkness)
How terrible it is to be sick in my bed
And sick of my bed.
Sick of nothing, nothing,
Nothing at all

And surrounded by
Hollowed, consumed, abandoned, desiccated,
Used-up, plastic
Sep 2012 · 1.0k
On a Kiss
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2012
It is not a taste,
Not precisely,
My tongue running over my lips…
It is not a taste you have left,
For I taste only myself again,
But I taste now also
The absence of your lips.

It is not a sound you have left,
But the silence remembers your laugh,
And the floor recalls your feet,
Marking itself not with footprints
But with an absence of footprints:
The cold of my side remembering
Your warmth against it.
Aug 2012 · 1.3k
Haley Hive
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2012
Honeybeehive buzzingbuzzing,
With bustling here to there and
Careful placement of this and that
Little detailed speck: this larva to feed,
That one to clean;
All quicklydeftly done - and yellow
Drips of sweet ideas a-thrum in the hard
Wax cells in rows in walls
Of a mind or several thousand -
Several thousand little slipperies slipping
There to here, upstream swimming
Crowded fishy river to mating grounds
For thoughts:
Piling on one another and asphixiating
In the thought-filled water there is not enough breath
Even the strongest swimming "whatifmaybe" drowns
Under a flopping swell of scaleslimy facts.
And there am I planktondrifting
Inside under; through water rushing,
Dashing on rocks and off of rocks,
Nearly into drowning mouths a-gaping
And then in the white rapidfoaming water
Aug 2012 · 452
The Thing With Feathers
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2012
Something flew away from the window.
The window is closed, and
Something flew when the sun rose
Behind a flappingwing;

A flappingthought flew from me:
Pitiful rising thought behind a shadow thrown
When Something flew away from the window -
But the window is closed and the sun rose
And Something flew away.
Aug 2012 · 667
Thank You, Happy Birthday
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2012
"My Pen is a Keyboard"
Was a ditty I did
When I was a kid
Feeling out the corners of my mind,
But there is a boy -
His Keyboard is a Pen -
And now I prefer to feel out the corners
Of his.

Sometimes he is Neruda:
He writes the saddest lines;
And sometimes Frost:
Penning a the sun on the back of the deer
As it splashes through grass dew;
Sometimes Eliot trudging through
The damp streets and
Sloughing off the day onto paper...

Sometimes Millay -
I think sometimes Millay -
I hope -
Forswearing death
And clinging to love, though
It rests on the point of
The second hand of God's clock -

But I am there.

And so long as I am there he is there
Writing his poetry without words
To be read without sight.
So long as he is there I am there
To be a reader with closed eyes,
And feel the corners of his tired mind;

And to say:
Love, it won't always be night.
We are here and I will sing you hope
As long as I can. It will be alright.
Love, it won't always be night.
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2012
the pianerpaintist
artist with a soft smile for sunwinged birds
even if he says they're duller than crows
ravens clamor in his desk drawers,
(but finches at the windows)
he knows

cliche or not there's beauty in a rose
or a skyscraperline on the horizon
something shiny and alive
and easy to keep eyes on
when you're sitting on a bathroom floor
with yourself
trying to be born with Eels in your ears
and all the world asleep or dying
or shuddering with you

i wish the world was girl+(boy+city)
no care of cliches or crows
but it can't be, he knows

i know
Jun 2012 · 659
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2012
You know, it's not nice
Being a fairytale with
A ***** little twist,
I mean, that chick thinks
Diamonds hurt falling from
Your lips.

She has no idea.
Jun 2012 · 1.5k
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2012
The kitchen is drowning.
Cereal reefs are jagged and submerged,
Perched on them is a hermit crab in a Campbell’s can.
Little bacon eels swim crackling by.
Toast flounders on the tile,
Half-buried in sandy crumbs.
And the mermaid swims through,
Her little stomach growling
For a peanut-butter-and-jellyfish sandwich.
Just a doodle.
May 2012 · 979
Blue by Blue
Sleepy Sigh May 2012
And now the light of the little globed sun
Guides my waking fingers over stiff keys,
(Stiff fingers over waking keys)
Now I begin the hellos and the wonderings
Each day brings - the bottom of my head
Reminding me "Ask him about his aunt,
His toothache, her boyfriend, her
Overdue college application."

Infinitesimal checklist of maintenance.
Though I don't know what the hell I'm maintaining,
I tiredlove it and work at it and maybe
I can get my 10000 hours from a screen -
Maybe I can be perfect from a screen,
And one day I'll open the door
For a stranger and see a keyboard...

Ridiculous. Room's a mess.
Room's dark except for the sunglobe,
My sun, my determiner of days
And with a click the ordainer of nights.
Ah, it's a tiny world, I can fit it all
In the bottom of my mind when  I sleep,
But I'd never tiredleave it,

I waking/sleepinglove it,
And if you'll just shut the door again
I can be tinyperfect.
May 2012 · 764
Chasing Foxes
Sleepy Sigh May 2012
What are we, my dear?
Two songbirds tightperched
On a branch, livening the day?
I could say yes to that.

But you want to live by the sea,
So seagulls we'll be:
Wheeling and honking and diving
And coming home to shore.

But then, I never learned to swim.
So maybe two little scuttlecrabs
In broken bottle shells,
Holding claws and bubbling nonsense.

Still I have grander thoughts than these,
You and I as brightshining dreamthings
Houring our whiles away with magic
That is coldest when warmed
And floats farthest when the tide is out.

(Perhaps it is risky to indulge in dreams,
The fickleness of seconds ticking makes them
Sand under one's feet; but I have walked on sand,
And I have dreamed you,

And here you are.)
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Pair of mad eyes under imposing brows;
Staring me down white and blue,
(And I can see the muscles in his neck
Straining under the power of his voice.)

Staring me down and singing
Three thousand hundred million ideas
Into my head with one defiant expression.

Two mad-wide eyes blue and white,
Mouth working ‘round words like
Projectiles aimed at my heart -
Striking down the walls Misunderstanding built
Over years and years and

His hands wrapped around the guitar
Years and years
So perfectly, striking it so lovingly -
Music staring into him staring into me
And me staring back.
Eugene Hutz
Apr 2012 · 634
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
I have been ill the way the sun is ill
In the black empty of nowhere
With a thousand fragments floating,
(Adoring in rings and ovals)
And no light but its own
Lonesick stare reflected from a thousand
Dull copying fragments; and it presumes
It is the loneliest of the universe's
Togetherlonely children.

I have been ill the way chalk is ill
On the blackboard staring out at
Uncomprehending faces, and then
In one let'smoveon wipe
Cleared from existence;
And some did not finish their notes.

I am ill with the grandiose
Ill-used illness, swirling my tongue
Against my own abscesses
And crying oh God it hurts
When they might have healed
But for my own foolish
Probing painful wanting.
Apr 2012 · 669
And Gone Toofast
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Never as much as before -
And clumsy fingers prove
What that curled thing in my chest
Knows is as little of love
As I am morning dew:

A night thing ill-suited,
And hard for daft old Cupid
To see (so dated his eyes
Fail him even in good light).

I would have said so many many things
More than simply goodbyegoodnight
But there isn't anything to anything -
Lost my turn, went back to start,
And you will oscillate forever
In some secret dewy part
Of the thing that curls in my chest.
Apr 2012 · 999
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Your mind is a heart-trembling sight,
And often as you flaunt it I know
I should never tell you it destrings me,
(Sets me wrong and then puts me in tune.)
I mustn't ever never
Say I wish to do the same to you.

(I would caress the insides of your bones,
Kiss your esophagus, clean your arteries;
I would eagerly sew myself inside you.)
I mustn't ever never
Anglerfish my way into saying
"I would be a limb on your body."
And yet "I love you" cannot possibly -

I would live in your synapses quietly
Never intruding, you wouldn't notice me,
Perhaps even forget me by and by;
But I would electric-think my way through
Your toomuchmind sofastly:

I would repair the gaps with
Scraps of myself torn off, I would
Maintain you invisibly with
My unvisible tools unsensed
And silentdense as an atom's center
Whose disvisible weight is universelifting.

I would lift worlds onto you
As though nothing ever sang sadness
And every(right)thing strongly whispering
Through your veins would know
"I want to pulse your blood and beat your heart."

So much more "love" cannot possibly
Desire, I desire (to make you) the
Overloved lover my domain over:
The king and the grass and the sky.
Apr 2012 · 652
Of Eliot and Alphabet Soup
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Man goes on his  mismatchmaking way
All befuddled and besillied
By the sullied streets trashseeded
And growing up skyscrapers
Like mammoth trees to eat up all the sun.

He wonders why the days get shorter,
Even the summersinging days get shorter;
And the sky gets duller all scraped clean
With clouds in the gutters hugging sparrows,
And crows learning every day to cross the street.

He walks his life away.
He wanders and wonders his life away -
Never reaching out of his compoundcomplex street,
Until some Eliot composes love poetry to him;
And even then he widewonders why.
Apr 2012 · 646
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
I thought to write of you,
But you are inexpressible.
I thought to write to you,
But I am a habitual liar
And I cannot be sure
My words would go without
A little extra sculpting
On their way to the keyboard.
So I have written an apology.

I will always be a little too
Undiluted. Strong coffee, maybe
Is a flattering comparison
But really it can be
So much like skunk spray.
Point is, I go too far
Often. (Constantly.)

When I am listing your virtues
And mooning on your beauty
This is a pardonable sin
But then... Pendulums must return.
And so for the nights I have cried
For no reason, or worse:
For stupid reasons,
I apologize.

Doubtless you will be hushing me
We all have our faults
And though not faultless I am
Beautiful in your eyes.

But still I must apologize.
I do not know if I can tame myself,
Or if I could,
How much melancholy
Would drag happiness with it.

I am afraid to try and see.

Balance is what I need to be
Calm, but passion breeds
The strongest beauty -
And if I am not unhappy,
Can I still be mad with joy?
I do not know, and I'm sorry,
But I cannot say I wish to see.
This is passable, but could use some tweaking.
Apr 2012 · 656
The where to be
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Up to our feet and let's leave the world:

My darling there are too many too much
And too few; my sweet, feet down
On the ground and let's go.

Into a cabin a fortress, into the whiling
Of quiet hours and smiling at
Birdsinging noise from the sun world
Through the window — into us, my love.

Into us and we and none else
(For a dreamtime if not forever)
Dipping our feet into no need no care;
And only no one shall find us there
When we retreat, the world out of our hair.
And we shall come back to dark outside
Sunshining and birdsinging.

We bracing us until rainclouds shout
"Downpour, deluge!" into our ears;
Then up to our feet, my darling my sweet,
And again into leaving.
Apr 2012 · 424
Nothing of Consequence
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
I am Merely
Walking the day out
On tired feet,
Merely smiling and laughing,
Merely a collection of
Bone, sinew, blood, flesh
And various small change.

I cannot rearrange myself,
For I am Merely
This or that.
Just a voice, just a pair of hands
Immutable and singular -
Just a pair of watchful eyes.

In my mind I am gold and silver,
But I met Midas beneath a still tree
On a patch of shining grass
And I was blinded.
He said to me,
"Merely skin and guts comprise us,
A pile of atoms, Merely,
And the dust we walk is only dust."

I could not believe as I was told.
Here lay the king who shone with golden glory
And unfolded such a hollow story
That it broke my heart
Merely beating.
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
I have fancied myself to be a china doll
Alone on a shelf,
And waiting for some caring hand
To open my eyes and clean my dress -
But this at best is merely fancy
And at worst passes into pain.
I was not made to sit lonely
With my brain. Nor am I patient.
To stall with no hope of restarting
Is an unbearable weight, and waiting
With such vague notions of the someday-to-be
Is a foolish self-inflicted fate.

Oh patience, you unremarkable trait.
You have no care when even-handed Fate
Valiantly bestows opportunity.
You sit unmoving and insensate,
And merely wait and wait and wait
For Time's inexorable pendulum to swing
And the boredom of an afternoon to bring
Some visitor's hands, and perhaps some care.
(Though not too much, a doll's only a plaything.)

So no, I am no china doll rejecting -
Stupidly - the passing glances
Of strangers given to wild dances
And children given to clumsy hands,
No, I am no longer a fragile waiting dream
Hoping to visit some loving mind
And fulfill myself in a single eve,
Only to trickle the rest of my nights
As a empty-laughing lifeless little stream.

Enough of this!
I move, I leap, I sit no more.
What lay on the mantle lay now on the floor.
(And perchance the fall has cracked my face
Warding away some unforeseen gentle embrace
But) I shall find my own way into some arms,
Into some wild dance.

My partner will see these cracks and be
Far less afraid to drop me, throw me,
Lift me high and let me fall,
(So I may see the world around me
And - electrified at the sight -
Thank myself for wanting more)
Than a china doll
(Could ever have hoped for.)
Apr 2012 · 943
Again, I Write of Roadkill
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
A cat, opened, on the roadside.
Poor machine,
Stuttering and shuddering to a halt,
Cogs and gears all spewed out behind it
Onto the fog-wet pavement.

This little failed venture into life
Lay and mewed its last
While I walked back to my car
And hoped to drive its guts off of my tires.
Apr 2012 · 723
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Paper folding, tearing, shaping -
Tie a strip in a knot,
Make a star.
So much simpler than writing,
So much less rewarding.
And just distracting enough
To forget I am disappointing myself.

Fill up a mason jar
Like a galaxy
And the screen is still blank
I am giving nothing
And expending energy
But it's such a marvelous way
To waste time.

Later I'll probably
Throw out the universe
Or maybe pour it on someone's desk
As a surprise.
It's a small inconvenience
But maybe they'll wonder
How long it took to put the stars together.
(And never know they hold
Little chunks of unsung songs
And unwritten poems.)
Apr 2012 · 532
Paint Me, That'll Help
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Before today I lived
Lukewarm and alone,
Softly sighing at broken bones
And bruised hopes.

Before today I was
The fallen horse
Screaming at legs
That wouldn't carry me.

Before now I drained slowly away
Like a punctured egg on Easter,
Until some smiling imbecile
Blew my guts out into a bowl
And that was that.

Before today I might have been better,
But I was not whole.
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
The first winter wind is early
Swirling 'gainst my cheek
Licking me
Like a popsicle
All the way down the street.

Better it would have been
To forgo my coat.
(Though the wind is bitter, I am too warm.)
But sequestered in one pocket

Is a case
That will fit in no other place,
Containing one hundred hand-written windows
Open to view the landscapes in my head.
(Hidden so as not to give away the surprise.)

And look, love, here have I placed
My feet beneath me on your doorstep,
Have rung the bell, have turned my face -
The porch captivates me; I look 'round the door.

Beneath my roving eyes,
My too warm pocket hides a prize.
It is yours.
Apr 2012 · 969
The Triolet Triplet
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my dim valleys hemmed with rivers.
The grand presence of your beauty overpowering,
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my valleys richly flowering,
And the sunbeams from your shoulders give me shivers.
Oh, my darling, you are a mountain towering
Over my dim valleys hemmed with rivers.

Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me
If not for your outstretched arms?
In this role that nature cast me,
Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me!
Mourning rivers would outlast me
With no haven for my fragile charms.
Oh, my dear, what winds might blast me,
If not for your outstretched arms.

Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
Why I look up as though you are a peak
So unreachable and distant from tiny me,
Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
(Though I think you still may not agree)
Without you bracing me, I am so weak.
Oh, my love, perhaps now you can see
Why I look up as though you are a peak.
Apr 2012 · 535
The Bridge at a Distance
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Cars are flung out over the black
Shining obsidian of the bay,
And the bridge is invisible under their invisible tires.
They fly like little search lights
Illuminating this patch of road and then that one,
With chunks of diamond dispensing white
Beneath the hood, and two red red eyes
Glaring from beside the trunk -
As though the past, soundless and distant,
Is somehow at fault for their little flight
Between the sky and the reflected night.
Apr 2012 · 506
Flights of Angels
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Oh love, lie down again. Stop
Sitting so it seems as though
The sky lies on your shoulders.
Do not stoop so, oh love,
Lie down again. I am here
To push stars from your back
And wipe the dust from your eyes.
Oh love, do let's not stay up tonight
Wondering over hows and whys,
Or whether the money is due
Thursday or Friday. Let's not cry
Against the wrongness you see
Under the streetlights.
Oh love, don't let's cry.
Lie in the silence.
Die with me a while,
I will kiss your arms
And promise not to smile.
But love, lie down and sigh,
Slip back to sleep with me.
Release the hopeless weight
Of the sky above your dreams.
Apr 2012 · 4.9k
Of Pineapples and Poetry
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
For years words have dropped
Into my head,

Like rain on the spikes of a bromeliad,
Single splashes forming trails
And trails and trails
Around the bud,
To fling themselves into the dirt
To splash the roots.
Then slowly up the roots they go
Into the bud.

It soaks them in and soaks them in,
It is patient patient patient,
Waiting too long,
Until I think it'll never open -
And then it

Apr 2012 · 798
Feeling Old-Fashioned
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
Said the bee to the blossom,
"Didst thou mark thy lonely days
Before my tender feet
Lit upon thy lovely face?"

Said the blossom to the bee,
"No, not me. I did but wait -
And in the truest truth,
I waited not for thee."

Cried the bee to the blossom,
"Wherefore were thy waiting
Worth the aching hours
If not for bees' promise to flowers?"

Soothingly the blossom whispered,
"No promise was ever held for me,
Nor made to me by thee. Thy respite
Is but perchance from the aching of thy feet,"

At this the bee, indignant, buzzed;
But blossom's discourse continued thus:
"No, never did I wait for thee,
To close my petals against all but one bee
Should be the death of my race.
Still may it be said, I waited for he
Who bore thy thought, and thy grace;
May it be said I waited for whomever should land,
Knowing thus that it must be thee."
Apr 2012 · 2.3k
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2012
My percussion teacher, fresh out of surgery:
Going down the line of kids at attention -
Checking the attention - my percussion teacher
In a wheelchair gliding down the line -
Fresh out of surgery - sliding down the line
Of kids at attention with heads bowed.
My percussion teacher with the aching back;

My percussion teacher, fresh out of surgery
(With the pill keeper on her keychain)
Wheeling down the line of insecure children -
Checking the attention - my percussion teacher
Calling "Chin up, chest out, back straight,"
(Fresh out of back surgery) going down the line,
"Don't lock your knees, be proud."

My percussion teacher weeks after surgery
With the back pain and the brave face,
At a Christmas parade
My percussion teacher gliding beside the drums
Chair whirring between beats, my teacher
Whispering, "roll step, back straight, chin up,
Be proud."

My teacher in her home at New Year's,
Recovered and childish, months after surgery
"Look, I'm taller now? Wanna see my scar?"
Yes I want to see it, yes of course - that scar,
That pride twisting pink across your chest, yes.
Yes, because your chin is up,
And your back is straight.
Aug 2011 · 783
Entreaty to the Deaf
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2011
Allow me for a moment to be selfish.
Though I ask much of you,
Still I ask this:
To whomever has the power,

Trade me for the world a trinket.
Trade me a life for every human soul.
Take every floating ship and sink it,
Break me into pieces or consume me whole.
Sweep up the universe like dust -
All the galaxies, black holes, nebulae.
Tear it down to a quivering mass of rust,
And if this is too low a price to pay,
I beg you tell me what monstrosity
Will earn the favor I request of you.
What black, loathsome atrocity
Need I commit? Whatever you ask, I’ll do

That she might breathe a minute longer
Than God saw fit to give her breath,
And now I make my final offer
To angels, demons, God, or Death:

Let her exist where I cannot touch her.
Let me know she lives.
If I shall never see her face
Or hear her laughter,
Let me be the one to suffer -
Take my offer -
Allow me for a moment to be selfish.
Though I ask much, still I ask this
To whomever has the power.
Aug 2011 · 675
Without the Excuse of Youth
Sleepy Sigh Aug 2011
High school was always mewing
Quietly at the window
As the window filled with rain;
High school had matted fur,
It purred and gazed attentively.

High school was constant prodding,
Poking, miniscule thefts of attention
Piled into mountains.
High school was false and sweet -
Saccharine and lemon-sour.

My friends:
The lost, the needy, the distressed,
The empty, the hungry
With open mouths stuttering
Repeatable predictable rhythms.

My friends:
The quiet, the wise, the brave,
The knights of an emaciated kingdom -
Boys with wooden swords
Defending me from the world.

High school was always shallow water,
Too loud laughter, music blasting:
A cacophony of nothing, three feet deep.
Dancing on the head of a drunken giant
Who for too long had been asleep.
Jul 2011 · 872
The Fisherman's Love Song
Sleepy Sigh Jul 2011
I do not know if it was the guarding beam
Of a lighthouse, roving 'cross my prow,
Or the glimmer of a mermaid's eye,
Or just the glancing of moonlight.

I do not know what flashed in the night
As I tended my nets blindly,
Only that for a moment I saw
Something all enmeshed and shining,
And it broke free.

I do not think I could've caught it
Or kept it even if I did
(It was too precious to sell or eat).

Still I will stay and tend my nets
Where silver fish are known to leap
And vanish. If it was a lighthouse beam
I shall know soon when it comes around -
A mermaid I should know by the sound
Of song (which I do not percieve),

And if it was the uncatchable moonlight
Winking at my swaying ship
Then I will sit and watch it dance for me -
Always reaching and just out of reach  -
Until necessity nags me back onto the beach.

I will return each night to fish and gaze,
Envious of the water so kissed with light
And the insensate sands that glimmer
White, stupidly unaware of sight.

Yet it is not my place to say what sand should think,
Nor water, nor fish, nor the imploring moon.
I cannot touch the improbably distant stars,
But I will stand with my hands stretched up
As far as they can go, even if it is futile.

Perhaps one will reach down.
Jun 2011 · 696
Eulogy for the Living
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
In the cold creek water, I dipped my feet.
Out past the pasture where the cows
Congregated in mooing groups,
Out in those woods behind the farmhouse,
I sat and dangled my feet in the stream.
Grandmother kept jars of peaches there;
Under the current, they were preserved
Better than in the old broken fridge.

One foot burrowed into the mud,
To the little stones below the bed.
The other came up to the bank,
Out of the water, so I could put my head
On my knee. Half-in and half-out,
I rested my eyes to the songbirds' cries.

That was not a poetic forest, surely:
Neither dark nor deep, and I
(As a child) had no promises to keep,
No miles between me and sleep.

Besides, there was a tractor in the lane,
The engine chatting with the morning
Like an old man (smoking like one, too).
The scent of manure was heavy - hardly
The romantic stuff of poetry.

Yet I tip my hat to the tractor and the creek,
With its load of peach preserves.
Yet I chose to write this poem -
Perhaps as thanks for the daydreams,
Perhaps as an early eulogy.

That farm has no place today,
My mother's wild and gentle home.
When the old guard have passed away,
Inter it with their gentle bones.
Jun 2011 · 4.7k
Direct Object
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
I'd like to catch a songbird when I visit.
One that only lives near your house,
One I've never heard.
I'd like to catch a songbird,
And have it sing for me
The songs you hear each morning.

I'd like to watch the moon when it rises.
Lifting itself over the earth, reflecting
As it passes my window.
I'd like to watch the moon,
The same white moon
That you might be watching tonight.

I'd like to hold the wind in a mason jar.
The warm little south wind
That chuckles and breezes northward.
I'd like to hold it down,
Whisper my hellos into its gales,
And let it go darting off northwards -
Whistling and running like a fugitive
To you.
Jun 2011 · 1.8k
Blue Shift
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
If the universe is expanding and
All is in flight from the center outwards,
If what is close soon shall be far;

If all is slowing by miniscule degrees
Until the whole **** lot is frozen;
If every thriving life will cool; if I am
Mistaken and you are not the fool
I hoped you were; if you are;

If, in the vast ending of this story,
It is not the plot but the syntax
That chafes against you;

If you are a mad creature,
A dissonance in the hum,
If you can be defined by your name,
And you think there is anything to be gained
In your coming to the front lines,

If you think you can slow the creeping cold
Of mumbled words and sideways glances,
If you will not be cowed or numbed -
Gather your things, say your goodbyes
And come.
Jun 2011 · 748
But What Do They Support?
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
The excavation of a dark cave
Revealed two jutting stones,
One hanging, one upward-bound,
That had merged together
In a pillar. Laughing, I turned to my friends
Who gazed lovingly at single gems -
Whose edges they could shear and dull,
Whose mass they yearned to strip away,
Lest the simple stone annul
The useless glimmer they coveted.
I turned from them and leaned against
The stalagmite and stalactite embracing,
And knew not to move or listen back
But rather stare in the direction I was facing.
In the joy and rush of claiming
The opulence they sought (to blind their friends)
They forgot me, and I let them go.
I have provisions enough to live until
They come to fetch me back,
And while I wait I'd like to be alone
With no company but these loving stones.
Jun 2011 · 793
War Games
Sleepy Sigh Jun 2011
Down in the forest,
Amid the creaking pines,
Are two rusty old silos.
We call them the tin cans.
A brave few will climb them
And balance on the walls
As sentries to those inside.
Encircled in old metal
There's a pow-wow going
Between the chieftan of North Can
And the princess of the South.
Bubbles drift as smoke from their mouths
And their round cheeks stretch in yawns
That betray the distant setting sun.
Our war is over, the chief declares,
But neither side has won.
That's true, the queen smirks back at him,
And neither ever can. What do we do?
He glistens with battle sweat and
His soldier's breath is heavy.
You and I will draw up a treaty,
He says, and war another day.
She acquiesces and signs her name
On a bit of leaf in invisible ink;
He does the same, and both recline
A moment against the flaking metal walls
While the topmost edge of the sun falls
Below the curve of the earth
And the dark branches of the trees
Cradle a baby night.
Up top a sentry calls dinnertime.
May 2011 · 675
We'll Laugh at that Sea
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
If all my words were mating calls,
And all my poems merely
The slapping of the waves by
A whale's fins to garner some attention,
If the purpose of all my work
Was only echolocation,
What answer can I make
When a listener surfaces
From the deep, calm and
Implacable, a beautiful inevitability?
What can I say when the man
I dove for comes to me
And says, Here I am,
You can stop calling now,
I will not leave.
What then, when I hold
Coleridge's flower in my hands?
What can I do now - I who have
Pressed my pen to the grindstone
For the purpose of finding him -
Now when all I know to do
Never needs doing again?
Coleridge's Flower comes from this quote: "What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if,when you awoke,you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?"
May 2011 · 526
Well, Why Did We Come Here?
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
We took a drive down to Arizona last summer -
I know, it was a terrible season to do it, but
We didn’t have enough time off while
She was in school, and I had just gotten
My vacation, so summer it had to be.

We were cruising down the road through the desert,
(And I know people say that deserts are full of cactuses,
But really they aren’t, I mean, I only saw like
Seven the whole trip and that was really disappointing
Because I was only really in it for the cactuses;
Oh, but I’m rambling) and she asked me
Why there even are roads in the middle of
What is basically an enormous sand dune,

So I said I guess there must be towns out here
In this enormous sand dune, places that need
Getting-to. She looked up at the empty shallow-water
Blue of the sky and said, well why would there be
Towns out here? Between the heat and the salt flats
And the lack of cacti (which she said for my benefit)
I don’t see why anyone would visit a desert,
Much less live in it. Which was something to think on,

So I did, and after considering the question, I said,
The pilgrims came to a land of harsh winters
And savage peoples (or so they thought) and
Hated the place, but hated it less than their home,
So they stayed. She seemed in wonder and a little
Sad, pondered this new information for a moment
And said, what they were running from must have been
Bad, and now it’s got them stuck out here

Even when it’s dead they can’t go back.
I knew she meant more than villages in the sand,
But I just said yeah and dipped my head.
May 2011 · 436
On a Bed Like an Ocean
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
Shipwrecked on the shores of your body,
I have forgotten how to count the hours in days,
Or the weeks in years; I have forgotten how to speak.
I crawled across your skin - like sand
Shifting under the rolling waves -
Onto the hard ground where you lay
And kissed it, and made of it my shelter.
Now I know only the language of the wind
That blows from your mouth
As laughter makes it into a sky.
Now I know only the light of the sun
That my sight makes of your eyes.
Lonely would I be if I remembered others
But I rest on you now with nothing in my mind,
Only the lullaby of your waves
And the breeze of your laughter.
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
Let’s not go chasing ants today.
The grass is gone
And dirt won’t burn anyway.
Why not get to work with me
And let your memory go out to the yard to play?

Let’s stay away from the familiar doors
And antique halls
Whose windows open only to walls, anyway.
Let’s ditch the dollhouse unopened,
Still in the box.
You and I have business in the life-sized world.

Bin the old plastic flags,
Still furled in bags, let them go to the ground
In triangles over G.I. Joe caskets.
Stuff your red lunchbox with as many
Kens and Barbies as you can
And let’s bury them in someone else’s playpen.

We should burn that old forest down
Where we used to do magic,
So no one can cut down the trees
And make planks or papers -
Because it would be a ***** to find them,
(Not to mention climb them) but
I suppose you can’t go torching forests.

Chuck that cigarette in the bushes.
Maybe something will catch.
May 2011 · 3.0k
Ore in the Veins
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
I haven’t got a heart of gold,
Gold is too soft and beautiful.
The world sinks its teeth into gold
And leaves a bite mark for every hungry mouth
And I haven’t enough surface area to accommodate them all.

I have a heart of silver.
Let the wolves bite into that,
Let it stick in their teeth.
They will not break the skin.
The don’t deserve to see my blood,

My silver dragon’s blood,
Running down my head and chest,
Dripping and pooling in the darkness,
Shining and reflective
Like a thousand little moons
And worlds made of moons.

No, let them trade in gold.
My heart is ugly enough to survive
And beautiful enough to live.
They will not steal my blood to spend,
The will let it pool and lie
As unattainable stars lay in the sky.

If any other silver bleeder comes to claim me,
Let me be his and he mine.
If any blue-veined miner puts away his pick
And loves me without claim,
Let him be mine, I will not hurt him.

But if, God forbid, there is yet a man
Who bleeds gold and loves me for my blood,
I will love him to the reaches of my sky -
I will spend myself on him to the last cent -
For that is a claim that cannot be paid,
It is a love that would destroy me.
May 2011 · 755
No Offense to Neil Young
Sleepy Sigh May 2011
There’s an old saying
From some song
About a heart of gold
And a man who mined for it,

But I’ve always wondered
Whose chest he carved up
To get that golden heart,
Whose veins he tapped like maple trees
For the molten yellow blood,
Whose scabs he picked
For the coagulated ore.

I think I’d rather have the mine
Than the man who wrote that song.
Even dug out and hollowed it was still
The home of a 24 karat heart, a hard metal heart,
Precious for its softness.
Yes, even emptied I would want the mine
And the miner be ******.
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
There's something in the face of a man
Who has spent his life doing
Not what was required of him,
Nor what he loved,
But what he felt forced to do
By some inexorable pressure inside his head and chest
That would splash him on the walls
If he did not bow to its will and power.

There is something that writers might call Beauty,
If they had to put a word to it,
But Beauty is present from the cradle,
Or it is a sudden bloom as a man matures.
It is handsomeness. It is a standard, accepted value.
No, there is a hardness around the eyes
Of a man who is determined to be
What he must be, or else die.
His eyes are not beautiful.

There is something attractive, though,
Something that must be watched -
Like a solar eclipse -
Because it is rare and pleasant
And unpleasant too.

There is something there that will not be ignored,
Planted firmly as if to say, "This is the face
Of not a person,
But a personality.
This is not a man,
This is the constant, untiring, unflinching
Action of a man."

It is a thing that shouts "I must!"
And at the same time echoes the pleasure of doing,
The joy of not straining under that maxim,
But thriving - it is enough to tide him over
When he is helpless and hopeless and old.
There is something in his face
That has done what it set out to do,
And everything else is just time ticking by
Until it can be done again.
Pick your preposition.
Apr 2011 · 3.2k
Generosity in Death
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
I never gave interviews
There was nothing to say,
No one needs to know
What I had for breakfast
The day I made my mark
On an impressionable city.

They don't need my opinion,
It would just be another color
On their palette, and
I can't have that.
I don't want to see myself
Painted on the homes and faces of strangers.

I have lived to prove my worth,
Not to have it affirmed -
Mirrors are not worth their reflections.
Mirrors can be vacant.
I know my selfishness prevails on them
Only while I live. I don't mind.

Perhaps when I am gone,
They'll look me up.
They'll forgive my stinginess
When they have me pinned up in a glass case.
They will thank Death for transparency,
But use my name to save face.

At least I will be spared the sight;
That's all I have come to expect.
I console myself that it won't quite
Be me those empty minds reflect.
Imagination travels miles with a breath,
For that I thank the generosity in Death.
Written for a prompt. I think The Fountainhead's Howard Roark might have snuck his voice in at the edges.
Apr 2011 · 1.7k
Street Vendors
Sleepy Sigh Apr 2011
Oh, these women
In their heels and mini-skirts
With their painted youth dripping from their faces;

Oh, these fruits of the city,
These sumptuous, soft, plump, self-destroying
Women that need devouring -

God, can't you help them?
You made them this way,
Hung them in your garden
From Eve's forbidden tree,
Gave them sweet juice and lust to be consumed;
Only to plant the seeds of knowledge
In the dumb beast who eats them.

Oh these damning fruits of the city,
Who bring forth generations of saccharine poison
By nature of their trade,

Oh, these women
In their heels and skirts,
They were born to be condemned.
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