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CK Baker Apr 2017
Sunday sermons are spilling on the inner city streets
through the green heaps and brown bags
through the downtown whisperers
and sage solitude souls

Army bands prepare for march
their trench members filling packs with canister and cane
the high command and tricked militia head pinned
quick on the look for splinter, lorry and skuttle

Traffic patterns change at the COP connect
camouflage bearers break formal stride
battle men slip between colorful floats
unsuspecting slumlords (vein pricked and weary)
grin in their second suite dying rooms

Twitching men and rubbernecks
sit discreetly on the corner wall
JJ and the chief revere a 21 gun salute
holy rollers raise cheer (in a moment of silence)
chess men hold steady
with ivory cues

Flames belt from the distant foundry
streets come alive with crackle and dust
members of the attic group glance down from a glorified perch
the elderly man in a straight jacket (happy in the now)
sits solemnly in a cold reflective stare

It’s not far from the steely mud holes
from the flying fragments and pierced broken dreams
from the arsenal digs and madmen (who quietly turned the *****)
the ivy trellis
and flowing white gown
is a nocturne fit
for this elevated rolling highland
Antino Art Aug 2018
maybe the buildings are hollow,
occupied only in facade on the first floor of storefronts

maybe this whole town is a hologram
of neon against puddles
on the pavement.

maybe the citizens are ghosts
floating by
in circles, or squares of city blocks,
around a routine,
or droning through on electric scooters
as if on muted theme park rides
to the next sensory diversion;
to the nearest gastronomical pleasure;
toward the weekend and its next party
celebrating the loss of time,
I see their tired faces

staring out from the glass
of coffeeshop windows
on every block.
I see their piles of beer cans
beside the trash chute.
I hear them singing
on *****-cruises to nowhere

What part of this cycle
that turns days into dust
moves us closer to heaven?

What feast from what new restaurant downtown
will feed our souls?

From which lonely night do we finally emerge
beside the one
whose presence fills
these hollow buildings
to the top-most floors?

Which of the empty lots
between us do we fill
with a conversation
about how this is all a dream,
or how we'll keep each other awake
on a bench
beneath a street lamp before dawn
waiting for the first bus to take us home.
Antino Art May 2018
The complexity of notes
Chet Baker hits
a rainy morning downtown with
match the rise and fall
of rooftops,
the streams created by gutters

He traces the city's architecture
against the grey sky
with the wind from his trumpet-
there, outside a corner cafe on Hargett and Wilmington,
trumpet case open,
playing for passerby.

I take my morning coffee
studying Chet,
him putting notes in my head
through wired earphones,
Me writing them all down.
Antino Art May 2018
There's hushed aesthetic
to store signs passed on sidewalks
Empty neon words.
Antino Art Apr 2018
We wear this city on our feet
Planting our roots with each step
Our shadows

cast shapes of ancient oak trees stretching out over Nash Square at daybreak
We grow here

with the spirit of buildings past,
present and rising like a staircase to heaven in the distance,
the plumes of white smoke from their rooftops as burnt offerings for incense,
spires for steeples,
the bundled masses of people moving beneath as the calloused soles
of our feet pounding the pavement,
Our congregation

seated in reverant silence on the R-Line hissing to a stop
Their hushed prayers filing out from within to bring the reclaimed sidewalks of Fayetville Street back to life to join this pilgramage
They march

downtown toward Capitol
holding signs for disarmament
They bar-hop through Glenwood toasting to deliverance
They sprint toward their cars on work week mornings in a blur of faces that become us,
Rush at all hours through our veins
Cross our hearts and keep us breathing
On the shoulders of this giant collective, we hold our heads high

to see that this is home now.
We cross into the unfamiliar
at the walk signal's cue,
breaking new ground, gazes meeting one another
as their counter-culture
coffee kicks in
to add this defiant bounce to each step
this rhythm to hop over puddles as they appear

We don't mind the way rain lands here
and its baptismal effect
We like how its capable of reinventing itself mid-fall into weightless snowflakes, then taking flight
We walk without umbrellas to see it

wearing the greyest pieces of their winter sky the way it caps the peaks of Mount PNC, BB&T and Wells Fargo like hoodies over our heads
We assume monk-like appearances
in robes color-coded by season- from blue collar sweaters to cold hard sweat
We'll wear their city until we're worn out and wet, mumbling last-mimute prayers for our salvation under our breath
We'll wear their dreams

at night, the moment the streetlights flicker on beneath wired telephone poles carrying conversations about each one as far south as Florida, fears unspoken, made visible
on iron park benches too cold to sit on at this hour
We'll keep walking

past the lights of apartment windows as they dim behind us
the doors storefronts closed for the day
the paid parking meters as they clock out and become free
We'll wear this city like backpacks over our shoulders and we'll walk while they sleep

under the watch of their heavens,
the skyline
a glowing testament
of every step taken
toward someplace higher.
Zero Nine Mar 2017
Believe in me
As I you
Find as our youth
Detaches further
It hurts

I go hard in the club
Double whiskey, that's my drink
I'll meet you in the bathroom
Wash my mouth in a ***** sink
Bus home, charging Love's busted energies
Where the days old dishes drip
with sludge and collect a days old stink
Wrap my head for the pain to come
Sleep ******* thumb, dreading
The numbers will repeat
And replete with melancholy
Accept the pattern will repeat

Believe in me
As I you
Find as our youth
Detaches further
It hurts
...
Brent Kincaid Jan 2017
One night in December,
The streets were army gray
And hurrying strangers
Rushed home for the day.
Nimble legged salesmen
Sold flowers by the street
And rhythm was the rumble
Of voices cars and feet.

The young were dressed for parties
Some sang with radios
And over-friendly women
Assumed their favorite pose.
Trashcan colored beggars
Searched gutters with their hands
While uniforms saved sinners
With sermons songs and bands.

Patrolmen sang the pop songs
From slowly cruising vans
As nighttime changes faces
Pushers change their plans.
The movie marquee lightning
Put movement to the sound
As nameless children squabbled
For pennies they had found.

Uptown they're making movies
For Hollywood L.A.
They listen to the sirens
Downtown far away.
The Civic Center phantoms
Are easy to forget.
Folks simply close their eyes
And they haven’t seen them yet.
They haven’t seen them yet.
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