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 Aug 2020 So Jo
When I went out
The sun was hot
It shone upon
My flower ***.

And there I saw
A spike of green
That no one else
Had ever seen!

On other days
The things I see
Are mostly old
Except for me.

But this green spike
So new and small
Had never yet
Been seen at all!
Sweet chilli tea and Danish cookies.

Illegitimi non carborundum.
 Aug 2020 So Jo
Why do I live, why do I die?
Why do I live, why do I cry?
Here is the SOS of a man in distress:

I've never had both feet upon the ground.
I'd rather be a bird,
I don't fit into this skin.
I'd like to see the world turned upside down;
If ever it were beautiful -
It's lovelier from above, from above.

I've always confused life
with the comic strips,
Even wished I could transform.
I feel something -
That draws me
That draws me
That draws me up.
Into the great lotto of the universe,
I don't have the right numbers;
I don't fit into this skin.
I don't want to be a robot -
Eating, working, sleeping.
Why do I live, why do I die?
Why do I live, why do I cry?
I think I'm catching waves
From another world.

I've never had both feet upon the ground;
I'd rather be a bird.
I'd like to see the world turned upside down -
I'd rather be a bird.

Sleep, child, sleep.

"Turandot" by Giacomo Puccini

None shall sleep! None shall sleep!
Not even you, oh Princess,
in your cold bedroom,
watching the stars
that tremble with love, and with hope!

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me;
il nome mio nessun saprà!
No, No! Sulla tua bocca,
lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!

But my secret is hidden within me;
no one will know my name!
No, no! On your mouth,
I will say it when the light shines!

Ed il mio bacio scioglierà
il silenzio che ti fa mia!

And my kiss will dissolve
the silence that makes you mine!

 Jul 2017 So Jo
Knife dream
 Jul 2017 So Jo
When I am the guest of my brother
sleep watching shooting stars
in a black dog's eyes
asleep in a star drift, dreaming
of tides and spiral galaxies,
I am an ice sword dipped in wine,
death ringing in your ears
like the darkest shadow of night,
a lost sailor drifting through
the centuries in a black ship,
a man standing vigil over a grave
cleaning mud off of his boots
with a knife.
 May 2016 So Jo
 May 2016 So Jo
I've missed this soft hum of night
where passing cars blur indistinct
and I with them.
8:34pm, May 10th 2016

maybe i'll never come home
 Jan 2016 So Jo
Tom McCone
 Jan 2016 So Jo
Tom McCone
parts of me wound up real nice n tight, like
knots on the corners, some made-out mend;
you'd said
just enough to infer what had really happened,
as the days tousled past
in a blue haze.

and i wonder what had gone wrong, as
all of the possibilities writhe, in my own hands
(finer slice, never seen),
and drive me sick beyond any mineshaft
running down on through circles
of hell in my stomach:
little hot red streaks of
dulled-away panic, drizzling across my chest.
little sad indents, calloused bent-away
everyday musings: songs i won't
ever let ring.

couldn't hold it against you, though,
or hold anything at all. this isn't my game. not now.
terminally unsure, move or play to unmake.

or just wake up, another morning, dreamless and dry.

you were a shimmering blinding point in the
schemes of a brass-gleaming, **** ugly world. could
have sworn salvation was strikes of seconds on your
wrist-watch. could've felt beautiful under your gaze,
'nother moment. but beautiful me, in a clause you
spelled out
with eye-beats and the gnashing of calm,
was just rearrangement of belief. the world's so pretty, yeah,
you wouldn't believe. well, i couldn't see.

and finally i, truly, am shown **** ugly
me: the burning safety blanket,
the unwinding net, the snowblinding fisherman,
out on the lake.
sometimes just feel real alone.
 Jan 2016 So Jo
Jai Rho
it doesn't take much
to warm a planet
or raise the seas

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
to whip the winds
across the plains

or end a drought
with thirsty rain

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
to burn with passion
to laugh from joy
or cry from pain

just a few degrees

it doesn't take much
a hateful word
or a loving touch

to see the world
as round with hope
or flat with despair

it doesn't take much
just a few degrees
She looks
me in the eyes,
for just a moment,
as if it helped her to say
“I am only going to date you
if you just go to confession first.”
I think she wants me
to clean my soul
before I shave my chin
for her.

I unlatch
the wooden grate
and feel what it’s like
to look through the holes
of an Irish potato sack.
It’s the kind of guilt you feel
not having enough
******* for the recycling,

He accepts
my quiet words,
Metabolizing them,
into fuel to keep nodding,
and I think of that stolen ******
in the back pocket
of my Sunday best,
between the fabrics,
and pressed by the polished wood.

Back to the sack insides
still, he wants to know,
the anatomy of my soul.
He wants to trace the outlines
of my spiritual blood vessels
all the way to my spiritual
heart, tucked behind spiritual
lungs. So he asks,
when I’ll come again.
I’ll need another two dates,
for the three date rule, to apply,
I think.
 Jan 2016 So Jo
Jedd Ong
For volleyball games with our kids*

and the grit of dirt slipping through your teeth
like a pancaked hand flat on cement surface.
Ball. Court. It is a good morning and
the sunrise rises to give life to the game. This game:
ours. We run and jump and sing; old bones

made to jog its memory. Bounces the ball and we run
again. Laughing like children. Next to the children.
Leaping after them. Watch as the ball rises high
in the sky next as outstretched arms give chase
to them: its hands caked with dirt; gravel on nails
from the swept cement rock and line paint. This we

share like a communion, a church service. Young
and old, here and not here we rise and we
fall prostate next to the prayers of the net, the brush of fingertips
against fabric against rubber, each palm
of the ball a Sunday chorus stretching, congregation, religion,

swept from the sky and made to kiss ground where
the gods of our sweat and grit belong.
 Jan 2016 So Jo
the last time
 Jan 2016 So Jo
Nothing ventured
nothing gained

We'll feign the perfection
we never attained

Only memories ever can last
we'll postpone the future
to worship the past

Love me strong
in candle light

Pretend you do
stay tonight

The feeling I'll save
locked in my mind

Embrace me again
for the last time
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