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Simple songs, with aplomb
Sincere hardship, the tact of poised
Welcome and heroism, to know an avid come
With the silence of friends, comes a worlds choice

Taken hope, to a lip we approve
Since in every definable way...
The taste of catharsis, a host with energies to loose
Adage in the day, with a soul's moment to say:

Resolute, no, with a fidelity to youth
Sour old hysteria; with a mercy in mind...
To collect a troubles key, for beginnings become the couth
That has us, for a considered play of light, that is kind

Means to an end, from here to eternity
An evening hour, to compare the more, to a solemn wish
Wizening at the dour, even as we confirm integrity
Do you know the repose a harmony, a place of sense that insists?

A wish with a soul for method, but know no patience
Without the common to step forward, your denial
Is a lend to powers that question, the music for relation
Of a still coming and with want, need is ours to go all the while
Till the brief and the grief say hi, will a burden of deliberation sit in the push?
Tread the line between sea and sand
hold the wind, take its hand
let it out
anyway you choose
walk a mile in the ocean's shoes
Ash Aug 2023
I’ll always be in your rear view mirror
Even when I’ve left you in the dust
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2023
“catharsis, the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art. In criticism.  It is a metaphor used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of true tragedy on the spectator.”


composed many, months & many, many years ago, and hazily recalled, written in a moment of purification and purgation, petrified by aging and it’s companion, self-pity from fear of approaching death, sought purity by its very composition, when someone just recently poked my eyes with the word c a t h a r s i s, and this old poem resurfaced…no, no, it’s not my birthday anymore…


yesterday was my birthday.
you need two hands, two feet,
a multiplication table
to count my years,
each finger, worth a decade.
each toe, perhaps, a century.


a point of inflection,
a point of opportunity,
a present presents itself,
to rewrite history.

a second coat of paint,
gift-wrapped in weak excuses.
of how I lied, of how I ain't,
grimm-fated fairy tales
somebody created.

invisible suits of gold-cloth
worn to my party of
past rewritten and
future foretold.

one single thought,
a memory,
seizes my heart,
as I fall to my knees.
cracks my temperate ease,
renders open the
woof and weave
of recycled deceptions,
causing all to be revealed
and asking myself

what if the poetry ceases?

you know prostrate?
you have tasted grief?

have you not but
a singular pain,
one act,
one deed,
one memorization,
act of cowardice,
act of desertion,
mistake maden, taken,
for which
can never
be given,
be faked,

do, does, did.
did; does; do.

let me then this day,
win the birthday lottery,
let floods of relief from
daily chores drown me,
chauffeurs to drive,
masseurs to massage,
cooks to cook,
les délicieuses friandises to sweeten life,
please keep theologians, logicians,
philosophers on retainer,
even historians, those future fortune tellers,
if needed, for explanations -
or just satisfactory rationalizations.

none know,
or can provide,
still and yet,
a year round
priestly sacred chord,
to grant relief,
songs of hallelujah,
erasers of the ache of
perpetuity worry.

those ancient pains,
grow fresh daily,
the loss of one element
of my body,
prevents my primal knot
unreasonably to be untied,
everything should be permitted
on my birthday, no?

this day, these days
breathe through words,
molecules of vowels,
stem cells of consonants,
the fabric, the tissues of life,
veins are a dictionary
of corpuscles,
red blood cells are
mounds and nouns of nutrients.

this day, these days,
the infection of my soul
is tempered, kept at bay,
tamped down from the
full flowering
of white blood cells
of rhyme, verse,
and asking myself

what if the poetry ceases?

though the bones creak,
snap, crackle and pop,
the body they carry,
resurrected this day in white
for morning, afternoon
and evening prayers,
and the last one special,
spoken standing.

thrice daily poetry I recite,
roses red, violets blue,
my marrow transfused.

though my prayers likely refused,
the poetry act immolates
the fringes of my disease,
for which the common cure
is not currently invented....
so I ask myself

what if the poetry ceases?

be assured, I am told
scientists hard at work,
on the forgive n' forget drug.

take a bubble bath in
rosemary and mint,
trap and tap some words,
into your cell phone bone,
the poetry heat, scented waters,
provide aspirin relief.

through this poem,
on one day annual,
I am relieved, relived,
the muses, the Devils
all herein, feted, and sated

gone for few moments
concerns, worries of
exposure today,
the agnostic's foxhole of hell
is dis-remembered,
the gloss returns,
the faux dispatched,

ain't birthdays grand?

yet, I cannot help but ask

what if the poetry ceases?

what rhymes with


could it be

bath drains,
rosemary and mint odors dismissed,
the Argentine disparu,
the Spanish Medievalists,
the Neo-Raphaelites,
all dispatched,
didn't they have birthdays too?
didn't you know
the Renaissance has come
and gone,
but nobody tole ya?

t'is the day
my sweet city recorded my
naissance in the
Hospital of the Flowers
on the fifth Avenue.

the 'crats put the datum
in the bureau with the
night creams and
the statistics
as follows:

on this day + a few,
six or seven or decades ago,
perhaps even fourscore,
a few centuries,
a question was born,
and an ache that is
sometimes relieved,
by a poem~song.

though do not celebrate,
t'is a day to calibrate,
review, edit, tinker,
rewrite, often a stinker.

always one thought recycles:

what if the poetry ceases, how will I breathe*?
milk Nov 2022
I found a slip of paper with your address
It didn't hurt to see it, not like it did when I tore it out of my notepad
I've justified keeping it for "revenge"
on who? your mom? it's her house; she didn't do anything
But, it didn't hurt this time
I crumpled it up and took a breath and threw it in my trash can
It was gone but not really
I want it to be gone, I want to move on
I lit an almost-burned-out candle, the small flame grew taller as it enveloped the purple paper ball
A delicate stream of smoke rose; the smell of burnt paper filled my room
I watched the flame dance while it slowly turned the paper into ash
The candle, now liquefied and exhausted, begged to be put to rest
But the flame desperately clung to the worn out wick, anything to stay alive; almost screaming "what if" and "but"
pitifully attempting to justify its needless existence
I want to move on
Why am I grasping at anything to keep this memory relevant?
I want to move on
Why is it so hard?
But seeing the paper didn't hurt this time
The smoke, like a Phoenix of catharsis, rose from the ash and melted wax
I can finally put it out
I gently place the lid on the jar
The flame that had been so tall and alive became meek and helpless
It's gone now
I am moving on,
So mote it be
Asuzx Jan 2022
Portrayals of suffering -
Mine and everyone else’s -
What are your cravings for?
May you matter
Existing in this endless instant.

Voicings of my pain,
Do you matter if you save a life?
For a life is but a number.

Representations of my fears -
First aid or pitiful joke?
Sublime art or appalling misery?
Beauty or madness?
Tokens of life or death?
Pointful or pointless?

Does it even matter if it matters?
God doesn't either,
dead or alive,
in dreams or in nightmares,
Unless He makes you laugh.
Does God make you laugh, sometimes?
DeVaughn Station Feb 2021
Yes, revenge is sweet and the beauty of karma matches your face.
However, why would I get even with someone
who wasn’t on my level in the first place?
I really mean it in the worst way.
I’ve held the damage in for a while but now I’ll say
everything without regret because you made me feel this way.
I forget your name on purpose every time that I pray.
You caused cascading waves to flow down my face
after you entered the fray. My sweet wishes were slain
by your scorpion-like sting as you turned out to be a snake.

I see your weak speech filled with might and probably.
I thought I was safe, yet you didn’t even fret to try me
and I trusted that you were behind me.
So it’s shocking when I’m falling,
to see your arms not trying to stop me
when you’re so used to catching bodies.
February 3, 2021: This poem has had three different names, five tones, and seven topics so far. I think I finally figured it out though. Should we even the odds?
Jason Feb 2021
I am a reflection of
What should have been
The mirror darkened
Silver tarnished
Cracked in insouciance

I am the fallen fragments
Molecules devastated
Fractured facets of
Silicone sand
Meticulously separated

In scattered light
I am the shadow of
A jaded shade
An obscured apparition of
Abiding love

Framed in pain
I am the spaces between
The polished glass
The sharpened edges
The once-perfect dreams

I am the fist
Fear-enforced ferocity
I am the anger-driven
Hypervigilant philosophy
Responsible for each atrocity

I am the blood
Chasing each line
Filling each wrinkle
Draining reason
Never satiating time

I am the man
Left behind lies
Determined deficient
Dejected detritus
An unwanted prize

I am
I don't know who
I... don't know what to do
But since I don't know
I could be the superglue too
© 02/03/2021 Jason R. Michie All Rights Reserved
Jason Jan 2021
I am not inconstant,
But forever evolving,
Not closed off,
But not always open.
I expose my heart
Only when the sky darkens.

I build toothpick-towers,
Tantalizing torments
Taller than trees.
Chateaus of cards
Whose hallowed halls
Visitors seldom peruse,
And even more rarely see.

Young and foolish and bold,
Thoughts all over the place,
I spoke like a shotgun.
My opinions explosions
Verbal projectiles
Going off in your face.

I lived life by moments,
I existed only then,
Only there.
Motivated by love, yes,
But also by pain
And by fear.
Each memory
Of each moment
By each fallen tear.

Now older and wiser
-That's either a laugh or a sin
Haunted might be more apt-
I find I write
Too close to the skin.
A subtle blade,
Flirting, teasing,
Razors edge longing to dive in.
Vampiric voracity
Obscured by imperfect opacity,
Seeking the vitality within.

What ****** force
To unleash?
What uncouth beast
Would I be?
That which sustains me?

Better to starve,
To choke on dust,
Than to make that first ****.
Dooming myself
To an eternal enmity
Against my own will.

I've heard it said that
Wisdom is the product
Of suffering and time.
But what dear cost,
What dire punishment,
When youth is the crime?
So I'll try to balance the scales
With love and lessons learned,
And relinquish remorse to rhyme.
© 01/26/21, © 02/09/21 Jason R. Michie All Rights Reserved
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