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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.
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.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Here it is: a
Filthy carrion-mouthed creature.
I've found it. Bent and clutching
With cruel claws - it reaches
For one thing; one pure thing
It must never touch. A
Slimy skeletal monster.

I had rather die than give
Ground to it whatsoever - and yet
It only gains power as it weakens.
More of a ghoul, more of a goblin,
More fitting for some nightmare. It is
Cut from the white marble,
Cut from the loving stone.
It is a desire that even without
Action is still putrid sin alone.

Now I know what
The haunted sailor sees
(Who has through sea-soaked ears
Perceived a siren's song, even long
Ago.) I know what the great mountains
Know that have been split and
Carved and made to weep away
Beneath rivers. The creature is
Deep in me, I have found it -

I myself have seen the artist at work:
Carving it with my own hands,
Carving it of my own terrible heart.
Abomination though it is
It cannot be denied. Reaching for
One pure thing, I throw all else
Aside, clutching and grasping and stretching,
Why does the thought set me retching?
I have known what great mountains know:

That I am less than skin and bone,
That I am carved of sin alone.
No apology can be made, no
Forgiveness shown,
For I am a perfect hideous beast of
Marble precision - descending as a gargoyle -
Descending as an emissary of
Implacable, howling, roaring, screaming, hungry Love.

What foul God made man?
What terrible Adam has eaten of this fruit?
The juices of knowledge run down my throat.
The flavors of ripping
And slicing color my tongue. Man
Was meant to clutch and grasp -
To rasp from bleeding throats,
"One thing, that one pure thing!"

But hope is a fool's schematic,
And the true workman's tools are
A scalpel, a skillet, possession -
No, attainment - of that thing, that thing!
It drives me to become
Immortal terror wrapped in flight,
Immoral desire in a night blanket.

How many ribs can you count?
(You who I have chosen to show.)
I am growing thinner.
Not much longer until I have it,
(I'm sorry, so sorry.)
That thing, that perfect thing,
(But I must, I must, I must-)
Whose name is written in
Fire on my monstrous bones.

Comprehension dawns on your cheeks:
Rosy, like the sun behind a cloud.
Yes, yes, now you see: I will be your cloud!
Let me engulf you! Do not be afraid,
I am a fragment of Love.
I am lungs without your breath, empty
Veins without your death . I am eternity in
Silence - but together! Let us be so! Let me
Engulf you. (We will be the perfect creature.)

Please, do  not run. Stay and let
Us be bleeding, mangled memories together -
Let us rot together, let us fall
Into each other with the help of worms.
Do not run, you mustn't, you are half of
The pure thing. Oh my near-perfect love,
I must, I must.
Share, don't steal, blah blah

For some reason, I was extremely hesitant in posting this. It's not that I don't like it, I just, felt weird about sharing it. Hmm.
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
In a land of fools, I have walked
The halls of learning.
I have seen the brawny shoulders
Of boys with bulls' brains,
And the pixie-thin arms of
Girls who yield their value
With a cheap laugh and hungry teeth.

I have seen the mudcaked hands
Of striving, fighting fools.
I have seen the victory march
As it dissipates slowly into silence.
Yet it may be said that I know
Nothing of "life," for here is only
Pantomime - and poorly done.

For the fools and I are equals
In the pockets of the world.
Kept like a gold dollar to be
Spent on a child's trinket and
Forgotten in a merchant's purse.
We are like the apples in an orchard,
Waiting safe behind walls,
Only to fall and be eaten.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
For North,
Wake up at 12:00 to the smell
Of cheese frying in a pan of butter
And bread turning to toast,
Get out of bed. Go into the kitchen.
There's a broad, straight back
Drifting down from near-straight shoulders,
Burying itself in an apron around his waist.
Smile and hear the words "Good morning!"
Try to remember last night.
Try too hard and wake up.

The sun in the east has a message
And delivers it to the west,
But the North and South were burned
And never venture close enough
To read the words.

For South,
Wake up at 9:00 to the smell
Of salt and dust. Wake hungry.
Stare upwards at the ceiling stains,
Stare sideways at the peeling paper
On the walls. Remember how she hated it.
Sit up. Lay down. Breathe. Do not think.
Get up again. Take an aspirin for the headache.
Drink a beer for the headache.
Go to the filthy kitchen and try
Not to make a grilled cheese.
Hear a dog bark. Contemplate canine ******.

Long for her, long for him.
Long for the cruelest lingering touch.
Wish for her eyes; wish for his smile,
And languish in the arms of a dream.
Whisper to no one in the voice
Of the world's most beautiful folie à deux,
And shut your ears to all you cannot hear.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
I heard a woman today
Through her subtitles.
She was on a documentary
About the dangers of
Holy conflict.

She said to the world,
Eyes storming with warning paleness,
"If they" the selfish, unholy Palestines,
"Had taken my son,
I would have destroyed the world."
She was as old as my
(Frailer, softer)
(Who has never heard a gunshot
Or seen a temple burning
Or beheld a crushed glass message
On a cold German night.)

On an old porch she sat,
Wrapped in moth-worn
Fabric thinner than my shirt
Without a shiver of fear
Or doubt,
And stated this cold fact.
She would have destroyed the world.

Later in the thinly white day
Her son visits her, bringing cigarettes.
"For later," he insists, but
She makes use of one immediately,
Gripping with the firmness of
A woman who needs nothing more
Than a son and a cigarette.

His face and the tip light at the same time.
The fire (in his eyes) burns discordantly.
"You know I don't like the
Smell of your cigarettes."
He snatches it from her
And sends it to a dusty grave with his heel.

Ungrateful *******!
I was standing now,
Shouting him down through my
Emotionless flat-screen television.
A thousand miles away
And every heartbeat breaking with
That worn and aged face
That betrayed nothing.

What pain must contempt be
From one who is in her eyes
More precious than the world?
The stupid, unthinking, unwitting
Cruelty of it strangles me.

But then she smiles with knowing eyes,
And waits a few more heartbeats than I can bear,
To say,
"Just one more?"
The worthless (world-worthy?) son,
Prideful and ashamed,
Scratches his temple and
Shakes his head.
"No," he says,

And hands her another.
share, don't steal, etc.

This was my first genuine poem. It's here not because I think it's good, but because I will lose it if I don't put it with the others.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
Do you remember what it felt like
To be covered in mud; grime
Running down the sides of
Your grim face while you
Tried to hide,

(And you could hear them
Stomping around
Trying to find you
Trying to **** you
And you were so afraid)

Do you remember?
I was next to you,
And you said “Let me forget,
Let me forget” and I didn’t;
I couldn’t because
I’m selfish,
and I would be
Alone with these memories,
So I’m reminding you,
Please forgive me, I remember
All of it, all of it, all of it,

Your face twisted in
That terrified grimace of
Pain and fear and all
I could do was whisper
“I’m here, I’m here”
And now I’m the one
With flashbacks banging between my ears
And I can’t let you forget
That once upon a time,
I was a whole man,

I can’t let you forget that
I was strong once, (that
I’m ******* up now, but
Back then, I held you
And) I’m not worthless,
But that day is still bayoneting
Me, (and I need you.)

Please, tell me.
Do you remember?
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 Sep 2010
We dance in the wetlands:
Hopping tree to tree in galoshes,
In snake boots.
We can hear the rattlers and
Crying crocodiles over the
Buzz buzz buzzing of our chainsaws,
But the bossman says stay down.
So we wait and watch, and when
A snake snaps to bite, we touch it
Just so: on the back of the head
With our buzzing tools. Then
We go right back to dancing
Tree to tree and rock to rock.
Step in the water and scaly babies
Will cry out for mother,
But bossman will say to stay
And shoot the mama if she snaps to bite.
We drive them from their homes,
Scaly devils, with our buzz buzzing saws
And our snake boots. We clear the land.
Where they shall go, we shall follow,
Always there is more to clear
More to cut and haul away
But we must be prepared for
Attack, always awake,
Always ready to shoot and touch
The back of their heads, just so,
With our insistent buzzing saws.
share, don't steal, etc

Poetry is everywhere.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
It's an army I'm facing:
A hundred marker-wielding,
Bespectacled preacher-teachers
With a set process, a formula
Defined by science
And tried by no child
Without consequence. It's
A national army, banners waving.

I pledge each morning to my
Country. (Thank you, great army,
For my life as a free child!) Then I
Sit in my assigned seat; I finish my
Assigned work. When the lesson
Ends, my friends and I discuss
(Thank you for amendment two!)

Our distrust of double-meanings -
Our distrust of everything - too
Many contradictions in a day.
All this while the snipers aim, (like
Strikebreakers coming to claim
The rabble-rousers) (Thank you for our

Peaceful assembly rights!) they remind us
To work hard for faraway and free days,
College parties with dean( drill sergeant)'s
Iron eyes over our (soon-to-be) soldier
Shoulders. (Thank you for privacy rights!)
We are reminded to
Complete our assignments quietly.
(Thank you for free speech.)
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

Schools should not have Constitution Day. It just makes the rebel kids angry.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
We were June's children:
Lazing in our cottages
Of restful diversions,
Sleeping through sticky days.
We were the youth of July:
Strong-backed and surly,
Unafraid and eager.
We pined for a challenge.
Stiff-lipped and sunburnt,
Now we are August's boys:
Wet-mouthed and grass dewed,
We dance naked in the wheatfields.
We slide amongst the chaff.
Our strong backs brace
Against heavy furnace skies,
And we look to September
With summer in our eyes.
share, don't steal, etc

Winter always seems to skip Fall out of eagerness.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
It was quiet last night when
We handled it, Bo and me.
Jenny had risen late with a gun
And finally out and shot her
No good husband. We knew it was
Coming, Bo and me, (He was always running
Late with some glitter or make-up stain
On the white shirts she ironed for him
Every morning.)  like one of those
Summer storms that rumble
And shake and then arrive,
Sprinkle a moment and slip away
To intimidate some other town.
She was on her porch crying,
That once-used (overused) rifle clasped
In her slack grip. We knew she couldn't do it -
Couldn't pull the trigger twice in one day,
But she didn't know.
So we handled it, Bo and me. We
Reasoned that terrible gun away,
Reasoned that unspeakable emotion away,
The way we always have out here.
(With the town so far out and all.)
We dabbed her tears up with leftover
Lunch napkins and laid her down to sleep
(In my sister's bed, she's bloodstained the
Sheets.) and wait, and there she is now, officer.
Laying down.
(By the way, do you know what
Gets out bloodstains?)
share, don't steal, blah blah

Yay Hamlet quotes. I worked on this too long, I don't like it any more.
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.
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.)
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.
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2010
It would not be too hard to say
That all I lack, and feel, and hate
Should not be pressed onto my plate
At the end of a busy day.

It would be easy to insist
That I should never have to cry,
When crying is what gets me by.
It would be simple to resist.

But Auntie Ruth could smile and smile
With arms scraped up to blood by bark.
She stacked the odds and ends to spark
And burned nostalgia in a pile.

When the dark invades with its cold,
I think of Aunt Ruth's blazing yard:
Cooking all she could discard -
Her sadness that only the bonfires told.

So here I'll sit - and I might cry -
(Crying is what will get me by.)
And tear up tiny bits of leaf,
And clench my teeth to hold my grief.
With a warming bonfire smile,
I'll add my troubles to the pile.
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

Whew, I'm tired.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Dragon Boy is on stage again,
Roaring and crooning. His
Claws clutch, scratch and scrape
A hoard of glistening emotions.
His slick-sharp canines gleam
Between tight stretched lips;
Choppy, halting motions sway
His guitar-pent hips with the rhythm.
Leather wings beating and straining
Against the heavy wood stage -
He's gonna fly away at this rate.
He wrenches open iron jaws and
Suppressed fire screams from his
Throat, scorching his tongue,
Licking and charring the mic.
He'll take his usual tribute: untried,
Untested ears ringing in needy delight.
Then ache to his ancient diamond bones,
Slither fatly from an unruly stage,
And scuffle, sated, home.
share, don't steal, etc

Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to actually go to one of his concerts.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
You cried for a Sunday dress:
I confess, I was tempted -
Strongly so - to give in, and let you
Have it, let you go buy it.
But your crying became
Such an argument against
Your frilly cause that I
Found myself dragging you
Away from another store.
I expected this when you
Were young - when you knew nothing
Of manipulation or greed or
An acidic need to punish me
For some old wound or another -
Something you hate but
Have forgotten. No more now,
Girl, let's go home. You can
Date some bad boy tomorrow.
That'll show me.
share, don't steal, blah blah

Something good comes out of everything, I suppose.
Sleepy Sigh Jan 2011
Subway rides seem slower
When you're in love with someone
Who loves you back.
I know, because I missed my
Stop coming home today.
See, I thought it would take longer,
But I was wrong.

I can't help but think that
If we lined up all those rides
Back and forth from home to home,
It would stretch farther than
Shakespeare's plays lined up
From comedy to tragedy to history.

(An order we're suited to.) And if
We were a play, we would have
Been deadly. Tickets would be
One by one, "Are you in love?"
Mostly no, but sometimes yes,
Then, "Lord, don't see this show.

It'll **** your kind, you know."
Because it-- because we would.
Because who wants to think that
"I love you" means
"Until I'm bored" or that
"Please don't leave" could ever be
Met with an expressionless face?

Sometimes I wonder if you took
All the romantic comedies this year
And played them in alphabetical
Order, would they be longer than
My messages on your machine?
(Or the ten seconds of your voice
Laughing in my tape recorder?)

The train rocks softly as I write this.
The noisy crush of people around me
Makes it hard to think, but nothing
(No matter what I try)
Makes it hard to remember.
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.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
Dance me down to the railroad tracks
Where we used to walk at night and
Test God (or at least the trains) to prove
That we were young, strong, beautiful,
Alive and deserved to be so. We’d

Wait until the stars fled from our eyes
And the rickety planks under our feet
Quaked in fear of stronger demons.
Our ears pricked like risky rabbits,
Our feet stamping instinctively, wanting
To run, to burrow under, to be gone
From danger and the smell of smoke.

But we were no lapine cowards, we had
No fear of rattling tracks. Holding hands,
We’d stand our ground until the whistle
Screamed blood and fire and death at us.

We’d roar heart and lightning and life
Right back, blinded by that light on the
Black grill. Shining in our eyes, we’d
Realize that even immortal beasties
Can go blind looking at God’s face.

We pushed each other back beyond
The deadly track on either side. My
Eyes grew wide every time we tumbled
Backward onto safer things. Watching
Your fall was like sunrise, and I swear
When we tasted heaven, you had wings.
for a competition
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
"But he loves you!"
She counters with this.
"Remember when he drove
So far in that ***** car,
With no a/c to see you on
Father's Day?"

I did not send him far away;
He sent himself.
If he has to drive the distance
From his hermitage to my home
It is no service to me.

And I remember - in more
Recent times - I could not
Buy dinner, and he bragged
About his new volvo.
Mother's had no "a/c" for
Three years and he bought you,

His tidy little family, one of those
Sturdy residences in Tennessee.
Meanwhile, my patience is
Cracking and peeling, not

Unlike the century-old walls
Of Mother's Alabama house.
I sleep under worry and eat
Only the taste of my mouth,

While you are safe and loved
In his good graces. Do not try
To teach me the value of
His company. I sought it once,

And snapped back in pain.
I see the trap, I will not fall again.
Let him have his fun with you,
And leave me in peace. Come back

When he has bitten your soft hands
And left you naked in the October wind.
share, don't steal, etc.

Silly parents, silly children.
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."
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.
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
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
My mother paints the Tokyo cherry trees.
She sketches the butterflies  of Siam.
Some day, she'll bring my children
Their very own Indian elephants.

She wants to put an Asian painting
On every wall of her house,
But her African sculptures
Take up too much space.

I have never left my home, but she
Has been to the nooks and crannies
Of the pharoah's tombs in Giza,
And to the silver church of Kizhi island.

She brings them back to me
In pictures and words.
She holds Russia in her voice
When she tells me of a woman in a shawl
Who didn't smile for a picture,
Or a young couple on a moped
Who held a live chicken in their arms.

I shall never have to leave the safety
Of a warm sunday blanket,
When her arms are there to hold me
And sweep me to Arabia.
share, don't steal, blah blah

Photos are one of man's greatest inventions.
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
Knives are slippery things and
No matter what handle they bear,
They are sure to find themselves
In flesh sometimes, by mistake.

When a human hand is wounded,
And blood flows, and a voice cries
Out in pain from the whole body,
It is still the hand that must heal itself.
The valiant cells who die to bridge
The new rift must drift from their
Places near the cut. The brain can -
At first - do nothing but tell itself
How the hand suffers, but

Then comes the second reaction.
Then comes the instinct so buried
That it is not even a thought.
Blood is needed, so the marrow works
In the hands and the arms and
The chest and even as far as
The legs and feet. Infection will try
To sneak in - the brain knows this
The way canyons remember rivers.

So then come the blood cells,
Red and white, to defend their new
Homeland, (or their new home,
Since they are all of one being,
One great and unbroken body.)
Fever may come, or not; a scar
Might form that never fades, but
The hand never forgets that it is made
From the stitched skeletons of saviors.

And despite knives, the body prospers.
One hand bandages another, one foot
Bears the full weight while the other heals,
The body survives: not unchanged, but
So tempered and hardened in the changing
That it has no need for fear of knives.
Sleepy Sigh Oct 2010
From the first wet gasp of
My first hello, I have spoken
As they do. On similar slipping
Legs I have wandered as they have.
I cringed and leaped, and was afraid
And was not. (A time for both, a time
For all. For every question, an answering call.)
There was no surprise;
Everything was a shock.

They, too, drowned in ennui and
Buzzed with electricity. But the lines
Crossed somewhere between:
As they were I have not been,
As they move I have not moved
The record skips out of the groove.
And they press manicured nails
To feathery hair, irked - annoyed -
Blotting out the noise.

Who are they to float above,
To glide in mascara and gold?
What trails and wakes they leave -
All the time whispering dry and dustily.
It's strange, I've always heard
(From the hidden smiling lips of
Those ahead, and those above)
That dust is dull and bland and plain.
How strange that to me it tastes of
Pepper and echoing gilded names.

From some empty table, I have peered
Into open halls with chandeliers -
Plated in silver, glistening with crystal -
And wondered how they get so high
Without a tinkling, slicing word -
Without a glaring, threatening eye.
I know I have tried, first to be the
Waitress, tray in hand, who has her moment
With the table and her guests. Then
To earn my right, to earn their view,
To be a sparkling rarity, a delight.

No more. Adieu, goodbye, goodnight.
Whether you care for me or not,
I'll never mind. I'll find some room
You've left behind, and sleep
Until I want to rise.
share, don't steal, blah blah blah

What the title says.
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.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
Oh, my (yes) love,
The (hello) sun rising
In the tiniest square above
Sleepy us
Is (good morning) lovely;
Greeting your (kiss me) cheeks
In my (always) arms.

Your (just now) eyes
Were perfect lit in
Early yellow shine.
The (let me show you) sun is fine
On your (I need you) face.
In my holding place
I will fold and lock
Away this (one dawn) moment,
This (I love you dawning on me) trace.

Your (maybe?) hands quest
On my (definitely!) skin.
You take (closer?) breaths
To draw (yes, please) me in,
And my (here I am) sigh will
Fall on your (there you are) ears
Oh most always, my (yes!) love.
share, don't steal, etc

Just an experiment. Didn't go too badly, I suppose.
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
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
I like my headphones for the
Insulation. Sometimes my ears
Take in too much stray noise,
Dredge up too much disorienting
Mud from the depths of a TV
Screen or an iPod. Then I can
Always snuggle into my headphones
And be silent - and silence is a
Dear dear commodity, to be sure,
When every other scene-
Stealing, pudgy-mouthed buffoon
Has to put his ten cents in. So
Much sound should be a sin;
Background music, ambient noise,
Music for airports, and pubescent
Boys screeching from tinny silver
Speakers near the wall. I don't
Want it, not every bit, not all
The hate and the slippery tongues
That speak and salivate and don't
Say anything human. I want to reprimand,
To excommunicate them from
This Holy rite of sound. (And really,
I would be content to never hear
Music if I could block out the roundabout
Fights and the sultry nightlife descriptions
Gushing from my screen, if I could
Use my headphones to keep
That liquid crystal from pouring in
My too needfully silent ears.)
Maybe I'll follow a painter's path:
All visuals and open dripping wet
Wrath with a noisy race. I can be a
Terrifying girl. Cut off my ears and
Be deaf to the world. Wrap me in
Canvas and chase me back into the
Woods on a starry starry night.
you know the drill

Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
When I want to write
And the words are churlish and
Sluggishly slow in coming -
And even when they come
They linger at the door-frame
And rub their soft cheeks
Against the painted grain -

I read in a special voice.
Sometimes it's the voice
Of my English teacher from
Junior class. We didn't get along,
But not a word passed her
Lips that wasn't as gilded and
Mellifluous as edible gold-leaf
On a chocolate-chili sundae.

Or the voice belongs to
Rives, who plucks meaning
Out of words like candy
Out of an Easter egg.
He savors every syllable
Like it's an annual treat
And lines them up neatly
In his throat like some kind
Of spoken-word songbird,

But the things I write are
Least likely to be read aloud
By Rives and my English teacher.
(And reading in their voices
Seems too proud.) So I pen
The last of the stragglers down
And clear the alien voices out
Of my own (often sore) throat.

I enjoy my words, wallow in
Phrases, and praise lines of
Alliteration about as often as
A soldier runs past shelter
Helter-skelter and takes his
Chances with unfriendly crosshairs.
My voice quavers, quivers, shakes,
And shivers when I read my work.

I find every letter and line
And nuance absurd, but
I keep myself in check. Editing is
A controlled demolition of
Punctuation and capitalization;
Sometimes the "submit"
Button is hard to hit after
Splaying one more page of
Myself into crisp computer print.

But I breathe and repeat
The words that are lodged
Under my ribcage like a
Stray bullet: "You are not
Superlative; you are not
Fantastic; you will not be
Famous; you will not be
Any better for a long time
And even then you may be
Terrible, unbearable, and

But everyone is."

Brrr, my fingers are FREEZING
Sleepy Sigh Dec 2010
On cold-windowed nights after
A shy and unassuming rain
Has stumbled over slick fog
And brought the clouds to town,

The pine trees gossip over
Their new sky-bound neighbors
(And I didn't know that needles
Could rustle like voices)
Like dreary all-knowing mouths
Up on stilts - "Have you seen
That Cumulonimbus?
Who does he think he is?"

They know what clouds carry in:
The soothing dark after downpours,
(The shroud of water molecules that
Shields a sunburned world and
Reflects the cool pale shine of
Street lights over a drowsy town.)

They do not care. They are
Hard hearts in bark girdles.
They crack and creak
Sometimes, irked at their own
Swaying weight, and drip
Sly words to the heedless Earth,
Who needs no words
(Who is only dirt).
I love overcast days. ;D
Sleepy Sigh Mar 2011
The flash of our general’s bayonet
Is brighter than ours, the blade
More piercing, sharpened every day
With a worn out whetstone.

The general’s cry is fiercer than ours,
******* and ferocious. His eyes
Reflect green back to us, as though
No light can penetrate them.

In the charge, no man outstrips the general.
The bullets that fell his men only graze
His flanks, as though a common soldier’s shots
Dare not strike at a higher rank.

He is first to take the hill, first to raise
His battle-muddled head over the ridge.
It is he who first spies the other side
And calls victory while the last men fall.

There is no sorrow like our general’s,
Sorrow that follows each man to his grave
And climbs on those broad shoulders
When the rites are given and dirt thrown on.

And we, though we may know his worth,
Question him for all that dirt - could we not
Have moved less earth? Had so many to die?

Our general, beaten in victory, shuts his eyes.
His chest heaves, but he will not cry for fear
That we are right. He will not have it said
That great men were led to die by a coward
Who was afraid to shoot at death.

His breathing slows, his eyes open,
He orders us to march and not to shy
From death, for always some must die,
Though he cannot tell us why.
Sleepy Sigh Nov 2010
When I die, I hope they sing
The songs I would have sung:
Pop jams and rock ballads,
And soft-sweet lovely nonsense.
Just, please, not hymns. They always
Put me terribly on edge, and
If anything I want to leave you
Happy - all of you. So have a
Concert, shout and dance.
Anything but a solemn march.
I don't want your unshakable
Grief on my ghostly hands;
I refuse to be a brick in
Some grey cathedral's arch.
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
Sleepy Sigh Feb 2011
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Comes from Nigeria with a name like drums
Comes from Africa with the sun behind his back.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao,
Mr. Ibiyinka with a smile in his hands,
Mr. Ibiyinka with a girl's shoulders in his hands
Life, he says, she is alive
She dances.

Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Paints like the sun gilds hills and fields
Paints like the moon silvers water and thatched roofs.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao
Freezes music into colors that dance
Freezes drums in a quilt of art from every place.
Frozen, he says, like water
Like a heartbeat.

Djembe, Conga, Bongo
Coming from Africa with the skins of goats
Coming from the fields and the homes and the dirt roads
Medium, large, and small
Speaking every language.
Ibiyinka, Ibiyinka Alao -
Djembe, Conga, Bongo.
oh, please look him up if you don't know who he is. He's marvelous.
Sleepy Sigh Sep 2010
"Drip drip drip"
Like some kind of sick
Clock ticking the silence away:
The water in the sink.
The heater running on the brink
Reminds me to work
Harder. Tomorrow's another day.
"Drip drip drip"
Reminding me of your wet lips
That I can't kiss.
Like a butterfly that flies away
When it gets colder
And the sweet-smelling flowers fade.
I feel older,
But tomorrow's another day.
"Drip drip drip"
Gotta call the guy to fix it,
Slipping beyond repair.
Too many playful moments as a child,
The light's fading from my hair.
Lying on a mattress with
Springs digging in my back.
American water torture
"Drip drip drip"
I gotta pick up the slack tomorrow
Share it, don't steal it, etc.

This isn't my favorite poem, but it's alright.
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.)
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.
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