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Whit Howland Sep 6
Twelve
end of summer
1982

mom dad
in
the background


I do all the talking
what I'm saying
is brief

an off-hand question
so to speak
on its face

the whole scene seems pedestrian
though it carries a bit
of restless magic

me fidgety  hard
nervous eyes
especially golden

when I turn sideways
and crack
a wry
smile for the camera

the videographer
summer camp buddy
a kid named Terry
from Pensacola

he's still around
though he might
not look the same

it's taken a while
and many carousel rides
to get around to saying


something
I thought I'd never say
to myself

I miss him
me

that kid
the one who had
yet to put a pet
to sleep

or got the news
about his brother
the merchant marine

© Whit Howland 2019
An artistic fusion of reality and fiction to create a word painting.
Whit Howland Jul 14
gentle water
lapping the hull

bossa nova
clinking glasses
a tickle
of the piano's ivory keys
and you're lost

in giant strawberries
of a daiquiri
dribbling down your chin
onto your palm frond top
and shorts while you

swing and sway
poolside

tomorrow Ocho Rios Jamaica
but today sun and sea

tonight the crown stars
and a ruby juicy
fingernail moon

Whit Howland © 2019
Akira Chinen Mar 2017
She wore her red shoes to Romeos funeral
and misssed the stale smell of his cheap cologne
and that his lips had always tasted of whiskey
she picked up a card and some flowers and a strange ballon
for $29 and some spare change from the drug store
on Kentucky Ave. where someone had stolen
her favorite alligator purse
somewhere in the distance a train pulling box cars
whistled to the magpies with their wings spread up above
just hanging there like kites
and she wore a pretty blue gun strapped to her thigh
right over where he had left his teeth marks on the forth of July
the one he had given her on the Valentine's day
he had spent in jail for attempting to rob the jewelry store
for the necklace she had wanted for Christmas
the December before
the same Christmas all he could give her
was his favorite skull and crossbones ring
tied around the broken piano string
he had once tried to wear as a tie  
they had meet the night he stole her record player
and she had happened to be on the wrong side of the road
as he made his way from the scene of the crime
completely unaware she would steal his heart
before he would see another sunrise
but that was all before he took a bullet to the chest
after avenging his brother that was left to die
without his knife
they had found his body in the theater
with his shoes full of blood and a smile on his face
and she knew as his body was lowered
into the cold cold ground her new favorite color was going
to be blue come next Valentine's day
It's dangerous when your biggest role models
spent their lives
drinking, smoking and gambling
but maybe it's worth it
if it inspires you to write
something
that is at least 1 % as great as their works
cause 1 % of their greatness
is ******* amazing
For my four favorite writers: Charles Bukowski, Dorothy Parker, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.
We blew the brains out
of midnight
under a root beer sky
and followed the tawny
streetlights like a spindle on a B-side.

Ever effervescent
we tango on piano-key pavements
dancing like febrile bacchants
under a tallow moon.

And we might amble into
crepuscular philosophy
whilst alley dwellers
Do their best to stem
the global water shortage
and graffiti artists
sharpen their spray cans.

Inevitably we perambulate in to lamentations
ruminations on *******
over those we loved from afar
like jackdaws gawking at carrion
we just don’t put it in so many words.

Later we get home and ****
because once you’ve murdered midnight
and the doves come up
and dawn is born
it’s the only thing left
to
    do.
Edward Coles Jun 2015
I tried to keep my focus on the out-breath,
to the things I can offer
rather than what I keep inside.
I have tried yoga poses
at the crack of dawn
with nothing but my underwear on;
I tried to drink eight pints
of water a day
to ensure that my veins do not rust away,
to fill myself with the basic essence of life-
but I could not handle the broken sleep
each time I woke, desperate for a ****
in the depths of the night.
I tried to blu-tac unfinished songs
to my wall, emulating product-placement
but with nothing left to sell.
I know I cannot keep smoking ****
to emulate a stalwart companion.
These broken streets
look more second-hand to me,
and I have tried to find
that sober sleep,
that wide-eyed wonder
outside of these stale, chemical dreams-
but all I get are cold sweats
and cold shoulders;
people growing all around me
like stalks in a cornfield,
blocking all but a circle of light
that hangs over my head;
the bottom of a well,
the bottom of the world.

I am doing my best to keep on top
of all the things
that threaten to bring me down.
(C) 04/06/2015
Edward Coles Apr 2015
****** in the afternoon,
Orphans brawling in stereo,
hometown ballads of unseen terraces,
bar stool swallowing peanuts, pretzels,
salted anti-depressant,
the foul smell of life amongst
folded towels, synthetic apple,
the Magna Carta of Suburbia.

The allotments buckle and spread,
fragile sexuality, the April sun;
quick to heat, quick to tears
after a long winter of recovery.
Grit in the carpet, art in the air,
it comes too thick to catch a breath,
too thin on the lungs
to turn it to a song, or prayer.

This G-dless drug,
hippie theories, old self-harm habits,
slanted handwriting to prove a point;
intelligible fears for acceptance
as words form like train tracks
in my disappearance from this:
the peak of the day,
at the bottom of the world.
C
Edward Coles Mar 2015
Train track sonnets, the drunk piano,
old trumpets and dreams of West Virginia;
gold tobacco in an antique pipe,
finding a new look in outdated surroundings.
Patients of self-hate stand in bandages,
long sleeves, and in brickwork formation,
all this to the beat of the white man blues,
a country guitar, harsh vocal, the sleepless smoker
on the bedside; new speakers for old tunes.
A new look amongst past disguises, ancient lies,
angry blisters on the road to recovery,
pathetic bottle of emptied red wine.
Tom still sings Hold On through bad hands and lotteries,
he will stay to drink with me, when on a winning streak.
C
Edward Coles Nov 2014
I need to clothe this manic obsession
for acceptance and digital affection.
The mornings turn to midnight
before I have started my day,
and the wind is blowing reminders of Newcastle;
the lack of warmth becoming prominent
in the absence of loving flesh.

There must be a better life somewhere,
beyond uncertainty and marketed freedoms.
Beyond where only question marks
punctuate endless months
of Novembers and displacement;
the chasm between who I am in the doorway,
and who I really mean to be.

I hear you are carving a living
out of the ways you almost died in the past.
You are signing forms for others,
you are making tea for trembling hands,
all the while wondering how it came to be you
sat on the right side of the table,
and away from the wrong side of the bar.

You told me an operator will find me,
a receptive ear to put me through
to someone who will know how to help.
In the meantime, you said, I should love music,
for when the shop-fronts have closed
and friends grow fat and indifferent,
Tom will sing Hold On until I can find sleep,

or at least a viable dream.
C

— The End —