I'm ashamed of my affliction
through no fault of my own.
My life's been lived in parts
watching from the dark alone.
Afflicted. Conflicted. Addicted.
Betrayal. Portrayal. Burial.
I want to write the poem
you always quote to impress
friends at Hampton parties
and read to your children
so they understand why this
whole mad spinning life is
worth the price of admission.
We might be born in a manger.
We might be Mary Magdalen.
We might be a million peasants.
Nobody will ever remember a
million peasants. We know Christ.
Everything makes sense. I love my life.
I'm a genius and perfect parent and a
motivational speaker and **** star.
I split atoms and human nature.
I paint you beautiful and real as
impossible as that might seem.
She was terrorized of heights.
I marveled at her bravery and
pain that put her on that cliff
she jumped and broke hearts
and more lives than she knew.
We gather mute to mourn.
3 am in a diner inside of Nowhere
we gather like the dead sipping coffee.
We're lost souls. We love bright light
flickering florescent and neon spelling
our message to the dark night. We are
nighthawks who travel your dreams.
Time is worth more than gold
on your deathbed being sold.
Expiration dates aren't legible.
Just ask a drowned 10 year old.
Cancer is the roulette wheel.
After chemo see how you feel.
Just sell my soul for morphine
with the pain in my machine.
it makes us better
never quit trying.
always on our backs
a time bomb to
keep us guessing
when when when
the answer is
too late to matter
too late to change.
I'm poor. All I have
is a bouquet of poems
I wrote for you that
won't die if neglected.
I hear your bones rattle in the attic
after midnight and my fear beats in
my ears. I know you'll come for me down
the stairs silently and do it all again.
Anybody ever understand me?
I try to make a point but silent
stares fill me with terror. Do they
hate me or am I on fire naked?
I have equations to prove my point.
Einstein agrees with my logic and
if the sun dies in the blink of an eye
we have 8 minutes to say goodbye.
The caged bird sings!
Such a wonderful song
to wake to begin the day.
She is screaming for her
freedom from the cage.
I scream from my perch
in this zoo of houses and
neighbors and weight on
me to provide and be king
with all the answers for you.
I know why the caged bird sings.
I was dragged to a whipping post
and ******* desperate naked angry.
Bring blood from lashes of a devil's
tongue until I'm moved to creation.
Writing poetry is a lonely effort
full of doubt. No one likes a word.
I drink me insane and set it on fire
I burn lines of smoldering emotion.
son of golden soil
consume your soul
Let's meet in a church basement on Sunday night with coffee and stale donuts and stories of lost souls writing our hearts out and pray to a higher power for one of us to be discovered on Public Radio
Most of us are dead. We never
saw it coming. We are wrinkled
and bald and smell like old people.
We're invisible. You visit us in our
old folks home on our birthdays
to celebrate another year survived.
Chess pieces off the board.
Playing in the park in shade
of oaks dropping Fall's leaves.
They lie stiff under sheets in
foreign fields loved ones won't
recognize in tears and sobs and
prayers of despair to a deaf God.
Death ends the games tonight.
I Love You! Every living one of
you. I think kindly of you all.
Come over for Sunday supper
and bring a dish and stories.
old soldiers sporting bravery's medals
then comes the blaring marching band
next are the clowns and the jugglers
children waving flags don't understand
still too young to know war's truth
soon enough it will be their turn
fresh young faces eager for glory
will march into their hell and burn.
He's broken and lame
played but lost the game
destroys himself in flame
sorry that he even came.
Bleeds to death at the pool
shot like a useless mule.
If only I'd known from the beginning
things would take an ugly turn.
While my well intentioned gift of love
played out too soon and burned.
You could have worked out nicely since
my mother would never approve.
I destroyed all your pictures, got new
bedding. All traces I will remove.
Tomorrow I'll find your replacement
and try once again to make it last
forever after. I keep trying to make
a Madonna from ash. Same old past.
The wind blew up her dress.
Those lips sang to me from
shore like sirens of Ulysses.
I was tangled in the sight
caught in a net of memory.
I was trapped in her riptide.
water drips. metal clangs.
The world swirls in floaters
in the edges of my eyes almost
visible like God but not quite.
I blink and write my soul down
word for word and try to be real.
All I ever am is almost a disease.
I love for moments but never more.
See Hear Speak nothing.
Let me ****** and drink
and watch comedy videos
and take Ambien to sleep
and Xanax to live a life
and die on time forgotten.
Leave the bleached bones
of freedom in our graves.
You're not there to
meet me anymore,
just a shadow left to
greet me like before.
I heard the news.
I know you died.
I tried to conjure
tears I couldn't cry.
I'm 70 and blush like a 10 year old
crushing on the girl with snake hair.
She's electric and boombox loud laughs
and shakes me from my very foundation.
I have my life packed into boxes ready
to sell for pennies at the yard sale.
I can't dance. Rhythm was never my thing.
I don't want to fall in love with you.
This valentine inside my chest betrays me.
I'm always ready to fall in love with trouble.
The ashes smoldered and now come alive and
We'll burn with lust in uncertain tomorrows.
My skin is plastic. My veins are rubber.
I might melt in the boiling summer heat.
Each day I grow weaker. I'm closer to corpse.
Let's move to the desert where death looms
in shower stalls with scorpions and coiled
snakes in rare shade just waiting for us.
There's an ounce of truth
in a landfill made of lies.
The best politicians money
can buy. They become rich
delivering milk to lobbyists.
USA sold off pennies on the $.
I gave you my heart but
knew you couldn't keep it.
I'm still expecting you to
hold on to Love to a finish
line that doesn't even exist.
I set fire again and never look
back. I smell the burning
flesh. I hear familiar screams.
The burning flesh is mine alone.
The screams are in my head.
Always self fulfilling fears of abandonment. I smell burning flesh at 3am when sleep will never save me.
Death is ill timed, never expected
and awkward for those left behind.
Funerals are Death's surreal plays.
Tears won't always come on cue.
It's bad luck to talk about death.
We speak kind of the dead. We don't
talk of their human frailties.
We deny our own sins and theirs.
We forgive the world for our sins.
If we never lived in your creation
with temptations forbidden we'd
never suffer birth and death.
Every color of the rainbow
shadow and nuance and love
eyes face hair and lips
your eyes thalo green
mixed with bits of sun
face ochre mixed with coffee
hair midnight black mixed with
beach breeze and *** perfume
lips rust lust in a hayloft
blush leaves a hint of crimson.
We never have enough to eat.
Winter is brutal up north and
we can't pay for heat huddled
around Dollar Store candles.
My Goldy is dead in morning.
Daddy can't keep a job anymore.
I look the same day to day like the
dogs and cat and cereal and toast.
I wake a stranger every day afraid
of different outcomes with unknown
villains plotting my demise. You are
the only constant in this universe.
You are my sword and armor and
resolve. You are my Bedlam with
restraints and pills and cruel men
with straitjackets for my comfort.
Strength is deep inside us all.
It's my ever present Hallelujah.
I'm waiting for my heart to
fall in love with you again
sitting in your backseat
trying to pick your locks to sin
I have a bag of seeds to sow
upon your fertile afterglow.
Wearing a top hat and a straight
jacket with a monocle and goatee.
He owns everything like God does.
Nobody will ever tell him different.
He'll silence you and disappear you.
He'll buy your friends and family.
He'll define what's real and false.
He's the man who bought the world.
Our lives are in his cattle cars on
our way to his indifferent endings.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
-- Joseph Goebbels
Memories like anorexic hangars
inside the closet out of sight.
The sun inside the Frigidaire
keeps my secrets in the dark.
I knew things changed when
the moon was gently rocking
in the breeze in a creek
since falling from the sky?
Now you know my frailties.
I'm insecure and eaten up
with doubts. I can't even
imagine happily ever after.
Every time I fell in love
my heart became more fragile.
The snow fell beautifully into
love's yawning massive grave
where all true loves go to die.
Tears of my soul drip upon pages
and I scratch my stories for you.
Read and understand my journey.
I pull the shade down and turn a blind eye
to the city's darkness. No one even cares.
It's hard to live in Baltimore anymore.
We can't buy our way out. We do best we can.
City's dying after all. Blood's everywhere
and death's smell corrupts every street.
Fools party in the harbor and pay a price
whitey never understands. Anger seethes
in ghettos like a garden party in Riverside
where they curse the help for warm Champagne.
Please don't save me from myself
I have my needs and want them.
My shaking hand will write my song
just a ***** with his sharp pen.
The needle holds the promise
of a heaven and an Amen.
Small men standing tall
wearing giant hats and
medals they can hardly
carry. They feed soldiers
to the war machine like
butchers making sausage.
I have a vampire cat
sleeps all day
up all night
I bet she has
a magic cape
I've never seen
her in a mirror.
I sleep with a cross.
I'll make my own God of split atoms.
The sun stares at Him and goes blind
leaving the world in total darkness.
It ends not with a whimper or a bang.
I still have a big bag of marbles.
I found one that looks like Earth.
I confessed my sin to my Priest.
10 Hail Mary's fix everything.
I have a bag of marbles. I found one that looks like Earth.
In my infancy
I still believed.
Nuns taught me truth.
Jesus died for our sins.
Drink His blood and
eat his body in wonder
of what? I'm old and wise.
Jesus is my gardener now.
Pills make me happy when I'm sad, and tired
so I can sleep, and wide awake in mornings.
Pills help me when anxiety steals my breath.
Pills save me from a cuckoo's nest lobotomy.
Pills make me feel normal like the rest of you.
Pills let me feel lust on our special date night.
Prescription pad addictions make doctors bootleggers?
Wage your wars with swords.
I'll defeat you with my pen.
The defeated are buried and
forgotten. Victors never forget
the horror of it. Madness lurks.
Answers lie on printed pages.
I was young and lost. I was
unable to keep up when he
went in the bank. I saw him
leaving across the street and
ran after him and a car hit me
and broke my heart and leg.
He was the god I disappointed.
He was the man I kept chasing.
There's always a train whistle
blowing in the distance and a dog
keeping me awake complaining.
I know my life is less than I want.
I start smoking. I write poetry and
send them to The New Yorker for
the rejection letters I treasure in
the drawer I open years later and
wonder why. I destroyed what I had
and rebuilt mile by mile to you.
I said, I love you.
Your silence was deafening.
I kept saying shh, shh, shh.
You can't make this promise,
you can't betray your heart.
I die that night. Shh.
Workers wait for the whistle anxious
to get on the clock making money. They
shuffle. Angry yellow eyes stare at
white keepers with guns and sneers.
They wait. They're strip searched at
end of shift checking for diamonds
smuggled out in *******. They wait.
They revolt and the white turns red.
We're angry angels
with broken wings
and tortured souls.
You think we'll save you?
I was conceived and 9 months later
was dragged from the womb to an
alien world of light and masked goons
in white gowns and tools and grinning
fools. Put me back in the world I know.
I grow up a stranger in a strange land.
I never was comfortable in this world.
Hanging on old bones
I'm parchment skin
my story tattooed
litanies of my sin.
I rattle when I breathe
and forget most things
except my lovers and
my wedding rings.