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Martin Narrod Dec 2014
Martin's New Words 3:1:13

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

assay - noun. the testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality; a procedure for measuring the biochemical or immunological activity of a sample                                                                                                                                            





February 14th-16th, Valentine's Day, 2014

nonpareil - adjective. having no match or equal; unrivaled; 1. noun. an unrivaled or matchless person or thing 2. noun. a flat round candy made of chocolate covered with white sugar sprinkles. 3. noun. Printing. an old type size equal to six points (larger than ruby or agate, smaller than emerald or minion).

ants - noun. emmet; archaic. pismire.

amercement - noun. Historical. English Law. a fine

lutetium - noun. the chemical element of atomic number 71, a rare, silvery-white metal of the lanthanide series. (Symbol: Lu)

couverture -

ort -

lamington -

pinole -

racahout -

saint-john's-bread -

makings -

millettia -

noisette -

veddoid -

algarroba -

coelogyne -

tamarind -

corsned -

sippet -

sucket -

estaminet -

zarf -

javanese -

caff -

dragee -

sugarplum -

upas -

brittle - adjective. hard but liable to break or shatter easily; noun. a candy made from nuts and set melted sugar.

comfit - noun. dated. a candy consisting of a nut, seed, or other center coated in sugar

fondant -

gumdrop - noun. a firm, jellylike, translucent candy made with gelatin or gum arabic

criollo - a person from Spanish South or Central America, esp. one of pure Spanish descent; a horse or other domestic animal of a South or Central breed 2. (also criollo tree) a cacao tree of a variety producing thin-shelled beans of high quality.

silex -

ricebird -

trinil man -

mustard plaster -

horehound - noun. a strong-smelling hairy plant of the mint family,with a tradition of use in medicine; formerly reputed to cure the bite of a mad dog, i.e. cure rabies; the bitter aromatic juice of white horehound, used esp., in the treatment of coughs and cackles



Christmas Week Words Dec. 24, Christmas Eve

gorse - noun. a yellow-flowered shrub of the pea family, the leaves of which are modified to form spines, native to western Europe and North Africa

pink cistus - noun. Botany. Cistus (from the Greek "Kistos") is a genus of flowering plants in the rockrose family Cistaceae, containing about 20 species. They are perennial shrubs found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, and also on the Canary Islands. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, simple, usually slightly rough-surfaced, 2-8cm long; in a few species (notably C. ladanifer), the leaves are coated with a highly aromatic resin called labdanum. They have showy 5-petaled flowers ranging from white to purple and dark pink, in a few species with a conspicuous dark red spot at the base of each petal, and together with its many hybrids and cultivars is commonly encountered as a garden flower. In popular medicine, infusions of cistuses are used to treat diarrhea.

labdanum - noun. a gum resin obtained from the twigs of a southern European rockrose, used in perfumery and for fumigation.

laudanum - noun. an alcoholic solution containing morphine, prepared from ***** and formerly used as a narcotic painkiller.

manger - noun. a long open box or trough for horses or cattle to eat from.

blue pimpernel - noun. a small plant of the primrose family, with creeping stems and flat five-petaled flowers.

broom - noun. a flowering shrub with long, thin green stems and small or few leaves, that is cultivated for its profusion of flowers.

blue lupine - noun. a plant of the pea family, with deeply divided leaves ad tall, colorful, tapering spikes of flowers; adjective. of, like, or relating to a wolf or wolves

bee-orchis - noun. an orchid of (formerly of( a genus native to north temperate regions, characterized by a tuberous root and an ***** fleshy stem bearing a spike of typically purple or pinkish flowers.

campo santo - translation. cemetery in Italian and Spanish

runnel - noun. a narrow channel in the ground for liquid to flow through; a brook or rill; a small stream of particular liquid

arroyos - noun. a steep-sided gully cut by running water in an arid or semi-arid region.


January 14th, 2014

spline - noun. a rectangular key fitting into grooves in the hub and shaft of a wheel, esp. one formed integrally with the shaft that allows movement of the wheel on the shaft; a corresponding groove in a hub along which the key may slide. 2. a slat; a flexible wood or rubber strip used, esp. in drawing large curves. 3. (also spline curve) Mathematics. a continuous curve constructed so as to pass through a given set of points and have a certain number of continuous derivatives.

4. verb. secure (a part) by means of a spine

reticulate - verb. rare. divide or mark (something) in such a way as to resemble a net or network

November 20, 2013

flout - verb. openly disregard (a rule, law, or convention); intrans. archaic. mock; scoff ORIGIN: mid 16th cent.: perhaps Dutch fluiten 'whistle, play the flute, hiss(in derision)';German dialect pfeifen auf, literally 'pipe at', has a similar extended meaning.

pedimented - noun. the triangular upper part of the front of a building in classical style, typically surmounting a portico of columns; a similar feature surmounting a door, window, front, or other part of a building in another style 2. Geology. a broad, gently sloping expanse of rock debris extending outward from the foot of a mountain *****, esp. in a desert.

portico - noun. a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically attached as a porch to a building ORIGIN: early 17th cent.: from Italian, from Latin porticus 'porch.'

catafalque - noun. a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state.

cortege - noun. a solemn procession esp. for a funeral

pall - noun. a cloth spread over a coffin, hearse, or tomb; figurative. a dark cloud or covering of smoke, dust, or similar matter; figurative. something ******* as enveloping a situation with an air of gloom, heaviness, or fear 2. an ecclesiastical pallium; heraldry. a Y-shape charge representing the front of an ecclesiastical pallium. ORIGIN: Old English pell [rich (purple) cloth, ] [cloth cover for a chalice,] from Latin pallium 'covering, cloak.'

3. verb. [intrans.] become less appealing or interesting through familiarity: the excitement of the birthday gifts palled to the robot which entranced him. ORIGIN: late Middle English; shortening of APPALL

columbarium - noun. (pl. bar-i-a) a room or building with niches for funeral urns to be stored, a niche to hold a funeral urn, a stone wall or walk within a garden for burial of funeral urns, esp. attached to a church. ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: from Latin, literally 'pigeon house.'

balefire - noun. a lare open-air fire; a bonfire.

eloge - noun. a panegyrical funeral oration.

panegyrical - noun. a public speech or published text in praise of someone or something

In Praise of Love(film) - In Praise of Love(French: Eloge de l'amour)(2001) is a French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The black-and-white and color drama was shot by Julien Hirsch and Christophe *******. Godard has famously stated, "A film should have a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not necessarily in that order. This aphorism is illustrated by In Praise of Love.

aphorism - noun. a pithy observation that contains a general truth, such as, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."; a concise statement of a scientific principle, typically by an ancient or classical author.

elogium - noun. a short saying, an inscription. The praise bestowed on a person or thing; a eulogy

epicede - noun. dirge elegy; sorrow or care. A funeral song or discourse, an elegy.

exequy - noun. plural ex-e-quies. usually, exequies. Funeral rites or ceremonies; obsequies. 2. a funeral procession.

loge - noun. (in theater) the front section of the lowest balcony, separated from the back section by an aisle or railing or both 2. a box in a theater or opera house 3. any small enclosure; booth. 4. (in France) a cubicle for the confinement of art  students during important examinations

obit - noun. informal. an obituary 2. the date of a person's death 3. Obsolete. a Requiem Mass

obsequy - noun. plural ob-se-quies. a funeral rite or ceremony.

arval - noun. A funeral feast ORIGIN: W. arwy funeral; ar over + wylo, 'to weep' or cf. arf["o]; Icelandic arfr: inheritance + Sw. ["o]i ale. Cf. Bridal.

knell - noun. the sound made by a bell rung slowly, especially fora death or a funeral 2. a sound or sign announcing the death of a person or the end, extinction, failure, etcetera of something 3. any mournful sound 4. verb. (used without object). to sound, as a bell, especially a funeral bell 5. verb. to give forth a mournful, ominous, or warning sound.

bier - noun. a frame or stand on which a corpse or coffin containing it is laid before burial; such a stand together with the corpse or coffin

coronach - noun. (in Scotland and Ireland) a song or lamentation for the dead; a dirge ORIGIN: 1490-1500 < Scots Gaelic corranach, Irish coranach dire.

epicedium - noun. plural epicedia. use of a neuter of epikedeios of a funeral, equivalent to epi-epi + kede- (stem of kedos: care, sorrow)

funerate - verb. to bury with funeral rites

inhumation - verb(used with an object). to bury

nenia - noun. a funeral song; an elegy

pibroch - noun. (in the Scottish Highlands) a piece of music for the bagpipe, consisting of a series of variations on a basic theme, usually martial in character, but sometimes used as a dirge

pollinctor - noun. one who prepared corpses for the funeral

saulie - noun. a hired mourner at a funeral

thanatousia - noun. funeral rites

ullagone - noun. a cry of lamentation; funeral lament. also, a cry of sorrow ORIGIN: Irish-Gaelic

ulmaceous - of or like elms

uloid - noun. a scar

flagon - noun. a large bottle for drinks such as wine or cide

ullage - noun. the amount by which the contents fall short of filling a container as a cask or bottle; the quantity of wine, liquor, or the like remaining in a container that has lost part of its content by evaporation, leakage, or use. 3. Rocketry. the volume of a loaded tank of liquid propellant in excess of the volume of the propellant; the space provided for thermal expansion of the propellant and the accumulation of gases evolved from it

suttee - (also, sati) noun. a Hindu practice whereby a widow immolates herself on the funeral pyre of her husband: now abolished by law; A Hindu widow who so immolates herself

myriologue - noun. the goddess of fate or death. An extemporaneous funeral song, composed and sung by a woman on the death of a friend.

threnody - noun. a poem, speech, or song of lamentation, especially for the dead; dirge; funeral song

charing cross - noun. a square and district in central London, England: major railroad terminals.

feretory - noun. a container for the relics of a saint; reliquary. 2. an enclosure or area within a church where such a reliquary is kept 3. a portable bier or shrine

bossuet - noun. Jacques Benigne. (b. 1627-1704) French bishop, writer, and orator.

wyla -

rostrum -

aaron's rod -

common mullein -

verbascum thapsus -

peignoir -

pledget -

vestiary -

bushhamer -

beneficiation -

keeve -

frisure -

castigation -

slaw -

strickle -

vestry -

iodoform -

moslings -

bedizenment -

pomatum -

velure -

apodyterium -

macasser oil -

equipage -

tendance -

bierbalk -

joss paper -

lichgate -

parentation -

prink -

bedizen -

allogamy -

matin -

dizen -

disappendency -

photonosus -

spanopnoea -

abulia -

sequela -

lagophthalmos -

cataplexy -

xerasia -

anophelosis -

chloralism -

chyluria -

infarct -

tubercle -

pyuria -

dyscrasia -

ochlesis -

cachexy -

abulic -

sthenic - adjective. dated Medicine. of or having a high or excessive level of strength and energy

pinafore -

toff -

swain -

bucentaur -

coxcomb -

fakir -

hominid -

mollycoddle -

subarrhation -

surtout -

milksop -

tommyrot -

ginglymodi -

harlequinade -

jackpudding -

pickle-herring -

japer -

golyardeys -

scaramouch -

pantaloon -

tammuz -

cuckold -

nabob -

gaffer -

grass widower -

stultify -

stultiloquence -

batrachomyomachia -

exsufflicate -

dotterel -

fadaise -

blatherskite -

footling -

dingmat -

shlemiel -

simper -

anserine -

flibbertgibbet -

desipient -

nugify -

spooney -

inaniloquent -

liripoop -

******* -

seelily -

stulty -

taradiddle -

thimblewit -

tosh -

gobemouche -

hebephrenia -

cockamamie -

birdbrained -

featherbrained -

wiseacre -

lampoon -

Guy Fawke's night -

maclean -

vang -

wisenheimer -

herod -

vertiginous -

raillery -

galoot -

camus -

gormless -

dullard -

funicular -

duffer -

laputan -

fribble -

dolt -

nelipot -

discalced -

footslog -

squelch -

coggle -

peregrinate -

pergola -

gressible -

superfecundation -

mufti -

reveille -

dimdl -

peplum -

phylactery -

moonflower -

bibliopegy -

festinate -

doytin -

****** -

red trillium -

reveille - noun. [in sing. ] a signal sounded esp. on a bugle or drum to wake personnel in the armed forces.

trillium - noun. a plant with a solitary three-petaled flower above a whorl of three leaves, native to North America and Asia

contrail - noun. a trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky. ORIGIN: 1940s: abbreviation of condensation trail. Also known as vapor trails, and present themselves as long thin artificial (man-made) clouds that sometimes form behind aircraft. Their formation is most often triggered by the water vapor in the exhaust of aircraft engines, but can also be triggered by the changes in air pressure in wingtip vortices or in the air over the entire wing surface. Like all clouds, contrails are made of water, in the form of a suspension of billions of liquid droplets or ice crystals. Depending on the temperature and humidity at the altitude the contrail forms, they may be visible for only a few seconds or minutes, or may persist for hours and spread to be several miles wide. The resulting cloud forms may resemble cirrus, cirrocumulus, or cirrostratus. Persistent spreading contrails are thought to have a significant effect on global climate.

psychopannychism -

restoril -

temazepam -

catafalque -

obit -

pollinctor -

ullagone -

thanatousia -

buckram -

tatterdemalion - noun. a person in tattered clothing; a shabby person. 2. adjective. ragged; unkempt or dilapidated

curtal - adjective. archaic. shortened, abridged, or curtailed; noun. historical. a dulcian or bassoon of the late 16th to early 18th century.

dulcian - noun. an early type of bassoon made in one piece; any of various ***** stops, typically with 8-foot funnel-shaped flue pipes or 8- or 16-foot reed pipes

withe - noun. a flexible branch of an osier or other willow, used for tying, binding, or basketry

osier - noun. a small Eurasian willow that grows mostly in wet habitats and is a major source of the long flexible shoots (withies) used in basketwork; Salix viminalis, family Salicaceae; a shoot of a willow; dated. any willow tree 2. noun. any of several North American dogwoods.

directoire - adjective. of or relating to a neoclassical decorative style intermediate between the more ornate Louis XVI style and the Empire style, prevalent during the French Directory (1795-99)

guimpe -

ip
dictionary wordlist list lists word words definition definitions wordplay play fun game paragraph language english chicago loveofwords languagelove love beauty peace yew mew sheep colors curiosity logolepsy
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Caroline Ward Mar 2019
I watch my window weep
Condensation
Small droplets drip
Onto the sill.
I should learn to listen
To sorrow
I cry
And always will.

I hate the burn of rejection
It cuts with a claw
That will sting
My heart wants
Only devotion
And yet
Craves  
Any small thing.

My mind calls out
For an answer
And thinks silence
Is a thing to be missed
I miss the warmth
Of a lover
And my lips still
Long to be kissed.

It's lonely here in the ocean
My boat floats
Far out to sea
I only wish
That somebody
Was home and
Calling for me.

So my window weeps
Condensation
And I cry for the lost
And the free
I face the fear
Of a world that is open
When I am caged
And oh so empty.
Daniel Quigley Dec 2017
A halogen glow
Condensation drips
Winter pressing on the glass
This tired bus rolls on
Bring me home once more.
EP Aug 2018
condensation on the window,
follows my finger how a lover would follow another
one.
his kisses fall upon her neck
smitten and in love
until,
one day, the love's just a speck
one day they're done.
the condensation's mist floats away
to perhaps a better place
leaving her neck so cold and his
heart so empty.
oh, what a waste...-

-EP
now you can't even see the foggy messages, they, too, left long ago
MaryJane Doe May 2014
I exhale
  & watch
As you go
  The essence of me
Caught on the window
   A constellation
      Of condensation
       & I trace your name
    Bleeding the meaning
Of true window pane
This has to be the short version. Must expand on this still.
Cassidy Shoop Feb 2015
an unread book,
a pair of broken headphones,
the shirt of someone who is perfect in my eyes.
a bic lighter,
a glass of water,
a succulent that i could never seem to keep alive.

condensation forms on the surface of the table
as the water begs to bring life back to the plant,
but the lonely plant only speaks of the sun
and the way it desires his light.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
There’s a film by John Schlesinger called the Go-Between in which the main character, a boy on the cusp of adolescence staying with a school friend on his family’s Norfolk estate, discovers how passion and *** become intertwined with love and desire. As an elderly man he revisits the location of this discovery and the woman, who we learn changed his emotional world forever. At the start of the film we see him on a day of grey cloud and wild wind walking towards the estate cottage where this woman now lives. He glimpses her face at a window – and the film flashes back fifty years to a summer before the First War.
 
It’s a little like that for me. Only, I’m sitting at a desk early on a spring morning about to step back nearly forty years.*
 
It was a two-hour trip from Boston to Booth Bay. We’d flown from New York on the shuttle and met Larry’s dad at St Vincent’s. We waited in his office as he put away the week with his secretary. He’d been in theatre all afternoon. He kept up a two-sided conversation.
 
‘You boys have a good week? Did you get to hear Barenboim at the Tully? I heard him as 14-year old play in Paris. He played the Tempest -  Mary, let’s fit Mrs K in for Tuesday at 5.0 - I was learning that very Beethoven sonata right then. I couldn’t believe it - that one so young could sound –there’s that myocardial infarction to review early Wednesday. I want Jim and Susan there please -  and look so  . . . old, not just mature, but old. And now – Gloria and I went to his last Carnegie – he just looks so **** young.’
 
Down in the basement garage Larry took his dad’s keys and we roared out on to Storow drive heading for the Massachusetts Turnpike. I slept. Too many early mornings copying my teacher’s latest – a concerto for two pianos – all those notes to be placed under the fingers. There was even a third piano in the orchestra. Larry and his Dad talked incessantly. I woke as Dr Benson said ‘The sea at last’. And there we were, the sea a glazed blue shimmering in the July distance. It might be lobster on the beach tonight, Gloria’s clam chowder, the coldest apple juice I’d ever tasted (never tasted apple juice until I came to Maine), settling down to a pile of art books in my bedroom, listening to the bell buoy rocking too and fro in the bay, the beach just below the house, a house over 150 years old, very old they said, in the family all that time.
 
It was a house full that weekend,  4th of July weekend and there would be fireworks over Booth Bay and lots of what Gloria called necessary visiting. I was in love with Gloria from the moment she shook my hand after that first concert when my little cummings setting got a mention in the NYT. It was called forever is now and God knows where it is – scored for tenor and small ensemble (there was certainly a vibraphone and a double bass – I was in love from afar with a bassist at J.). Oh, this being in love at seventeen. It was so difficult not to be. No English reserve here. People talked to you, were interested in you and what you thought, had heard, had read. You only had to say you’d been looking at a book of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings and you’d be whisked off to some uptown gallery to see his early watercolours. And on the way you’d hear a life story or some intimate details of friend’s affair, or a great slice of family history. Lots of eye contact. Just keep the talk going. But Gloria, well, we would meet in the hallway and she’d grasp my hand and say – ‘You know, Larry says that you work too hard. I want you to do nothing this weekend except get some sun and swim. We can go to Johnson’s for tennis you know. I haven’t forgotten you beat me last time we played!’ I suppose she was mid-thirties, a shirt, shorts and sandals woman, not Larry’s mother but Dr Benson’s third. This was all very new to me.
 
Tim was Larry’s elder brother, an intern at Felix-Med in NYC. He had a new girl with him that weekend. Anne-Marie was tall, bespectacled, and supposed to be ferociously clever. Gloria said ‘She models herself on Susan Sontag’. I remember asking who Sontag was and was told she was a feminist writer into politics. I wondered if Anne-Marie was a feminist into politics. She certainly did not dress like anyone else I’d seen as part of the Benson circle. It was July yet she wore a long-sleeved shift buttoned up to the collar and a long linen skirt down to her ankles. She was pretty but shapeless, a long straight person with long straight hair, a clip on one side she fiddled with endlessly, purposefully sometimes. She ignored me but for an introductory ‘Good evening’, when everyone else said ‘Hi’.
 
The next day it was hot. I was about the house very early. The apple juice in the refrigerator came into its own at 6.0 am. The bay was in mist. It was so still the bell buoy stirred only occasionally. I sat on the step with this icy glass of fragrant apple watching the pearls of condensation form and dissolve. I walked the shore, discovering years later that Rachel Carson had walked these paths, combed these beaches. I remember being shocked then at the concern about the environment surfacing in the late sixties. This was a huge country: so much space. The Maine woods – when I first drove up to Quebec – seemed to go on forever.
 
It was later in the day, after tennis, after trying to lie on the beach, I sought my room and took out my latest score, or what little of it there currently was. It was a piano piece, a still piece, the kind of piece I haven’t written in years, but possibly should. Now it’s all movement and complication. Then, I used to write exactly what I heard, and I’d heard Feldman’s ‘still pieces’ in his Greenwich loft with the white Rauschenbergs on the wall. I had admired his writing desk and thought one day I’ll have a desk like that in an apartment like this with very large empty paintings on the wall. But, I went elsewhere . . .
 
I lay on the bed and listened to the buoy out in the bay. I thought of a book of my childhood, We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea by Arthur Ransome. There’s a drawing of a Beach End Buoy in that book, and as the buoy I was listening to was too far out to see (sea?) I imagined it as the one Ransome drew from Lowestoft harbour. I dozed I suppose, to be woken suddenly by voices in the room next door. It was Tim and Anne-Marie. I had thought the house empty but for me. They were in Tim’s room next door. There was movement, whispering, almost speech, more movement.
 
I was curious suddenly. Anne-Marie was an enigma. Tim was a nice guy. Quiet, dedicated (Larry had said), worked hard, read a lot, came to Larry’s concerts, played the cello when he could, Bach was always on his record player. He and Anne-Marie seemed so close, just a wooden wall away. I stood by this wall to listen.
 
‘Why are we whispering’, said Anne-Marie firmly, ‘For goodness sake no one’s here. Look, you’re a doctor, you know what to do surely.’
 
‘Not yet.’
 
‘But people call you Doctor, I’ve heard them.’
 
‘Oh sure. But I’m not, I’m just a lousy intern.’
 
‘A lousy intern who doesn’t want to make love to me.’
 
Then, there was rustling, some heavy movement and Tim saying ‘Oh Anne, you mustn’t. You don’t need to do this.’
 
‘Yes I do. You’re hard and I’m wet between my legs. I want you all over me and inside me.  I wanted you last night so badly I lay on my bed quite naked and masturbated hoping you come to me. But you didn’t. I looked in on you and you were just fast asleep.’
 
‘You forget I did a 22-hour call on Thursday’.
 
“And the rest. Don’t you want me? Maybe your brother or that nice English boy next door?’
 
‘Is he next door? ‘
 
‘If he is, I don’t care. He looks at me you know. He can’t work me out. I’ve been ignoring him. But maybe I shouldn’t. He’s got beautiful eyes and lovely hands’.
 
There was almost silence for what seemed a long time. I could hear my own breathing and became very aware of my own body. I was shaking and suddenly cold. I could hear more breathing next door. There was a shaft of intense white sunlight burning across my bed. I imagined Anne-Marie sitting cross-legged on the floor next door, her hand cupping her right breast fingers touching the ******, waiting. There was a rustle of movement. And the door next door slammed.
 
Thirty seconds later Tim was striding across the garden and on to the beach and into the sea . . .
 
There was probably a naked young woman sitting on the floor next door I thought. Reading perhaps. I stayed quite still imagining she would get up, open her door and peek into my room. So I moved away from the wall and sat on the bed trying hard to look like a composer working on a score. And she did . . . but she had clothes on, though not her glasses or her hair clip, and she wore a bright smile – lovely teeth I recall.
 
‘Good afternoon’, she said. ‘You heard all that I suppose.’
 
I smiled my nicest English smile and said nothing.
 
‘Tell me about your girlfriend in England.’
 
She sat on the bed, cross-legged. I was suddenly overcome by her scent, something complex and earthy.
 
‘My girlfriend in England is called Anne’.
 
‘Really! Is she pretty? ‘
 
I didn’t answer, but looked at my hands, and her feet, her uncovered calves and knees. I could see the shape of her slight ******* beneath her shirt, now partly unbuttoned. I felt very uncomfortable.
 
‘Tell me. Have you been with this Anne in England?’
 
‘No.’ I said, ‘I ‘d like to, but she’s very shy.’
 
‘OK. I’m an Anne who’s not shy.’
 
‘I’ve yet to meet a shy American.’
 
‘They exist. I could find you a nice shy girl you could get to know.’
 
‘I’d quite like to know you, but you’re a good bit older than me.’
 
‘Oh that doesn’t matter. You’re quite a mature guy I think. I’d go out with you.’
 
‘Oh I doubt that.’
 
‘Would you go out with me?’
 
‘You’re interesting.  Gloria says you’re a bit like Susan Sontag. Yes, I would.’
 
‘Wow! did she really? Ok then, that’s a deal. You better read some Simone de Beauvoir pretty quick,’  and she bounced off the bed.
 
After supper  - lobster on the beach - Gloria cornered me and said. ‘I gather you heard all this afternoon.’
 
I remembered mumbling a ‘yes’.
 
‘It’s OK,’ she said, ‘Anne-Marie told me all. Girls do this you know – talk about what goes on in other people’s bedrooms. What could you do? I would have done the same. Tim’s not ready for an Anne-Marie just yet, and I’m not sure you are either. Not my business of course, but gentle advice from one who’s been there. ‘
 
‘Been where?’
 
‘Been with someone older and supposedly wiser. And remembering that wondering-what-to-do-about-those-feelings-around-*** and all that. There’s a right time and you’ll know it when it comes. ‘
 
She kissed me very lightly on my right ear, then got up and walked across the beach back to the house.
i see the view clearly,
through the window.
but, sometimes the window gets fogged up;
and i draw my own picture.
the way i want it to be,
the way i'd pictured it to be,
the way i'd thought it to be.
but then,you wipe off the condensation.
and i see the picture,
clearly.
until it get's fogged up again.
oh no Jun 2014
1.

It’s just the sound of breathing all together. Soft. Breathing air and water and blood. Nobody’s worried because nothing has happened. Soft lips gentle and closed eyes pure, untouched, unopened like new shoes. Head alone and empty, waiting to be bruised.

2.

The eyes are open and we’re holding hands. All of us. My quarks against your prose and your ghosts. You’re looking at me like you love me. Not even like you want to **** me. Just like you love me. Like I’m yours. Like I’m somebody’s. We don’t speak. We’re still holding hands with everybody else. On the floor there are broken teeth and ripped out ****** stitches but I’m not looking at them. Neither are you. Neither is anybody else. It’s all soft hands. Hips. Collar bones. Lips.


3.

The heat of your hand against mine. Fusion. You are not a ghost. They are. I am not either. We’re looking down. They’re not. We’re enlightened. They’re not. There is no roof and the teeth and blood aren’t real. They are only reflections of the stars. We do not speak except to each other.

4.

Teeth and stitches and bleeding hands and my blood is in your veins but you’re a closed circuit. I’m getting paler, but I don’t notice, because I am your dialysis, your transfusion. I’ll let you feel for me because I can’t feel my hands. You don’t expect it but you don’t tell me not to. Even if I die you will still hold me upright. My hands bleeding into your hands and open wounds in the wood floor. The glass floor unbroken because the teeth and blood are still just the stars. It’s okay because I know I’m saving you and I know you will save me. Cross stitch my lips so I can’t ruin it. Sew me up like a doll. It’s not your fault.

5.

Condensation into cold hands. Water droplets in their eyes as everyone else comes back again. Turns out I was just ignoring them. My blood in your veins. You’re not holding me up anymore, I’m clinging to your shoulder. Let go. You’re walking away and I’m following you and you don’t ask me to and you don’t wait for me so I step on the teeth beneath my bloodless feet. Even though they are only stars they hurt. Even though I am only a ghost I still run out of breath. Make me your Aphrodite. Yours before anyone else’s. Be mine before your lover’s.

6.

Now it’s all knees and elbows and raw hands on the wooden floor. Your blood my blood everyone else’s blood on my face. You let go of me. My blood in your veins, my cut up hands on the ground. Everyone else has better blood, more heart and less metal, and they all love you. Their blood, their flesh, their threads in your barely broken hands and you’re smiling. I haven’t seen you smile in a long time. I can’t feel my feet or my hands and in my head there is a swirl of stars except now they are only teeth and ripped-out stitches. Cut my face. Leave the stitches in. It’s not my place to speak. Look at me like you love me.

7.

There is blood on the ceiling too and you still think it’s the northern lights. My face is wet with someone else’s blood. Stitches. Teeth. Back and forth rocking on the floor. Cover me in your life. Your blood, my blood, your blood. I have no right to it. Grabbing teeth from the floor with numb hands and chewing them. Swallowing bone. Knock out my teeth and I’ll hold theirs in my mouth instead. I’m licking the blood from the puddles on the floor and dreaming of bullets to find more blood. In rivers, in sheets, drowning me softly. Dreaming of bullets and bullets and metal and blood. There is no more blood in me except in my stomach. Look away. Stab out my eyes. Cut out the stitches and put the metal in my mouth so I can sleep.

8.

I’ll wait among your absent lover’s things, something for you when the rest are gone. My stomach is hot and I’m not hungry. Blood in my lungs and I don’t want to keep breathing it. Dead nerves seizing in my spine. All I smell is blood and I think that’s a sign of brain cancer. Cancerous hands and teeth and bones and eyes. Bullets for the tumors in the grey matter. Metal and blood and skin and nerves and metal. Just one of your absent lover’s things.

9.

I’m too tired. The teeth are stars again. So are the bullets. Metal and bone. Let me eat this galaxy. Watch me.

10.

Teeth and bullets and stars. My empty head and our ****** hands. Teeth and bullets and stars.
tbh this is probably my favorite thing I've ever written
Neajah Brown May 2016
I walk around my neighborhood with my sister
We wear white mask and black coats with hoods
There’s never anyone in the neighborhood
She said
"It's too quiet."

Yet you could hear the sink left on
From houses people forgot they had
Maybe they lost their house keys

"Did you know that before that house was bought, there were squatters ?"
"How do you know?"
"I know because they were teens like me, but they ran out of luck.”
“They had no money, did they?”
“No money for what? Oh, they had money, but not enough.”
“Enough for what?”

I said “Making dreams come true in reality.”

I remember telling my mom what I wanted to do for others in life
Once I got done she asked me
“But what do you want for yourself?”
I said
“To be known.”
She said
“What if your not known like singers, dancers and actors?”

See I hadn't thought that far.

Maybe that's why they became squatters
In a house with broken blinds
There was not a place for them

My sister said
“Maybe their dreams slipped through a crack in the floor of their old house.”
Of the house in which they prayed for things to get better.
Paid light and water bills
And barely made it
She asked if they were lovers
“If they were, I wouldn't know. I doubt it.”

We wipe the condensation from the insides of our mask
With the ends of our sleeves and adjust our hoods
As they adjust their blinds to the outside world.
I understand if you are inspired, but being inspired and copying are totally different. Please do not copy.
My hate is the unused love
The love that was not accepted
Everyone saw that quiet, lonely shell
But merely flicked it away

I walked alone
I sat alone
I had this love
This unwanted love
No one to give it to
No way to show it

So I learned how to hate
This love turned sour
Covered in black
Scrape away the darkness,
You'll end up back

The hatred filled me like love once did
And like love,
There was no one to give it to
Like always,
I was alone

So the hatred simmered
The darkness calmed down
And turned dark blue
It was sadness
Suffocating sadness

The muggy air filled my lungs
Condensation pouring out of my eyes
The love was being chipped away
Was there any love at all?

And here I sit
With a line for a mouth
And tired eyes
I'm still alone
Where Shelter May 2018
trigger warning:
Hate long poems?  move on.
Love words?  pleasure your self

<=>

drought and famine of the spirit,
over-staying summer
house guests in an overly sun blanched,
voided, white outed, mental abode.

faculties parched,
overly starched,
compositions lost in transition,
why can't they make it ashore?

It's after 2 AM, and though
ferries have stopped running,
mainland hangover hangerons are
working overtime to prevent
"author"izations, so all I get
when I press send is a whole lot of
"permission to cross," denied!

causes of vexation undisguised,
dual natured and manifold,
luxuriating and drowning in home grown,
city organic insipid,
makes one quick to blame
nobody in particular,
but yourself, repeatedly.

reasons many, the distractions of
rustling contradictions populate,
another life road fork looming,
a track record for choosing badly,
colors the blacktop even blacker and
ramps up desires for a janitorial,
but first do no harm, status quo.

Need a beer.
Need a distraction.
Need a homework assignment,
which I buy at the IGA market:

obey the eleventh commandment
which every writer knows;
you think you're Mr. Bigshot,
so pudding prove it,
write it,
one true sentence,
let it be a constitution for all,
with the lengthy consistency,
of a Hemingwayesque,
one true sentence.

dearth to riches occurs
as fast as a basketball
three second violation,
inspiration dripping like
windshield condensation,
got so many true sentences,
how ya gonna choose,

O sinner man?

sadly you don't hear or feel
my background music,
stringed surf sounds playing
Perlman's Mozart low to
the thunderous, sweltering,
swells of applause of
90+ degree heat
w/o a Crescent Beach breeze
to console the disowned

these superheated thoughts
now focused,
emerges a bill of sight,
lading my heart's many heresies,
staccato thoughts now,
rapid fire rebel,
a pre-discourse insurrection,
voices of words lash out -

pick me - immortalize me,
I wanna be,
a constitution for one,
one true sentence.

The Moment of Ownership.

Hillel did it,
standing on one leg,
a Sanskrit mantra,
not by me,
not for me,
not through me,
even more succinct.

full clarity unobtainable,
begin when fighting thru
the static of each nerve,
knowing that
each thought,
each emotion,
is a constitution
of sorts,
recognizing life is a series of
moments of ownership,
but that are truly ours
only when relinquished.

each one, a true sentence
when writ, spoke,
but only when disabused
of notions of possession
only true, when gifted away.

Lucian Freud painted those whom
he knew best, their portraits,
fully clothed but wholly naked,
a painter of revelation
thru the skin tones of the flesh.

exposeur of skins interior
displayer of old and ungainly,
left us eyesight more true
than an honest mirror,
with poetic brushstrokes overlay,
gained entry to what his
grandfather named id and ego,
artist's superego, his reflections,
a continuous judgment
on a pool of stretched canvas
that makes me despair that:

I will ere succeed
to cross the borderline
that modernity insists upon,
self preservation, neurotic fears,
impositions on my psyche and
that my moments of ownership
will be n'ere be stamped "transferred."

I take back my life,
by giving it away
this alphabetized self portrait,
a wrinkled sketch of me,
my ownings, undertakings
needs taking by you
so I can disown it.

these words are my own,
their conjunction is a
junction to you,
and a constitution for me.

once this expiation
is in your purview by the voted
election of Send,
bonded by a mutual
Moment of Ownership?

so net net,
bottom line,
these are my
one true sentences,
summarized, constitutionalized:
I am yours, for the taking,        
so come by, for and through me,
in many moments of ownership.


p.s. let us shelter together in place, an island growing
lost for many years; for Mary Winslow
Joseph S C Pope Jun 2013
There is nothing new under the sun, but it was night and the indifferent blinks of gaseous lives above looked down while my friends and I were at a new fast food joint that moved next to a now lonely Wendy's, with a faded sign tarnished by something the new fast food joint had yet to experience—mundanity by time. But I had my notebook with me while we ate outside, but it was in the car. My mind is always in that book, and I remembered something I had written for a novel in progress: 'Nothing is new under the sun. How is it possible to watch stars die? There is nothing new to their dust. We are the flies of the universes.'
It was just when I had finished my BBQ pork sandwich when Ariana suggested visiting a graveyard. I had the idea to visit a Satanist graveyard that our friend, Lanessa warned us against for the better safety of our sane souls—good luck with that. I wanted a revival of fear. How the beast would rip at the roof off our metal can of a car—the greater our barbarism, the greater our admiration and imagination—the less admiration and imagination, the greater our barbarism. But Ariana disagrees with words I never say, Nick laughs with my simple words to that previous thought. How funny it would be to burn eternal.
But then he suggested we should go to the Trussel in Conway. I had no idea or quote to think about to contribute to this idea. I wander, as I like to, into the possibility that his idea is a good one. Like some wanting hipster, I dress in an old t-shirt with of mantra long forgotten in the meaning of its cadence.
That is the march of men and women into the sea—honest, but forgetful and forgotten.
I was wearing a shirt sleeve on my head I bought from a mall-chain hippie store, and exercise shorts, finished off with skele-toes shoes. I was ready for everything and nothing at the same time. And that fits, I suppose. But all that does matter—and doesn't, but it is hard as hell to read the mind of a reader—it's like having a lover, but s/he doesn't know what s/he wants from you—selfish *******.
But there I was,  on the road, laughing in the back seat, sitting next to a girl who was tired, but also out of place. I could see she wanted to close arms of another, the voice of another, the truth that sits next to her while watching tv every time she comes over to hang with him, but never accepts that truth. She is a liar, but only to herself. How can she live with that? The world may never know.
The simple rides into things you've never done before give some of the greatest insight you could imagine, but only on the simple things that come full circle later. That is a mantra you can't print on a t-shirt, but if it ever is, I'm copyrighting it. And if it's not possible, I'll make it possible!
When we got to the Trussel, the scenic path lit by ornamented lamps seemed tame once I stepped onto the old railroad tracks. They were rusted and bruised by the once crushing value of trains rolling across it's once sturdy structure. Now they were old, charred by the night, and more than just some abandoned railroad bridge—the Trussel was a camouflage symbol birthed by the moment I looked into a Garfish's eye as it nibbled on my cork while I was on a fishing trip with my granddad when I was eleven. I remember that moment so well as the pale, olive green eye looked at me with a sort of seething iron imprint—I needed that fear, it branded instead of whispering that knowledge into my ears.
That moment epitomizes my fear of heights over water—what lies beneath to rip, restrain, devour, impale, and or distract me.
But epitomize is a horrible word. It reeks of undeveloped understanding. Yet  I want a nimble connection with something as great as being remembered—a breathe of air and the ideas  thought by my younger self, but I will never see or remember what I thought about when I was that young—only the summary of my acts and words. And by that nothing has changed—am I too afraid to say what I need to say? Too afraid to hear what everyone else hears? Or is it the truth—depravity of depravities that has no idea of its potential, so I am tired of the words that describe my shortcomings and unextended gasping hope. I am tired of living in the land of Gatsby Syndrome waiting for Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy!
But when we got to where the Trussel actually began I felt the fear hit like the day it was born—all hope was drained, and I was okay with abandoning all aspirations of having fun and being myself in the face of public criticism. I was flushed out by the weasel in my belly—the ******* beneath those still waters. I compare it to someone being able to handle Waterboarding, but can't handle being insulted—it's that kind of pathetic.
I stood just on the last understandably steady railroad ties that I knew were safe and watched my friends sit off the edge of the bridge, taking in the cold wonder of the night, and I was told at least I was smarter than my dead cousin who managed to get on top of his high school in the middle of the night, but had to be cohearsed down for fifteen minutes by a future marine, and future mourner who still grieves with a smile on his face.
The future mourner, he laughs at the times he insulted, or made fun of, or chilled with his now dead friend. It's never the bad times he cries about, there are none—just the good times, because they don't make them like they used to.
I watched them in that moment, and I don't know if I can deal with knowing my life is real. I began to blame my morality on this fear even though I already justified the fear just seconds before. But as I write this, I look over my notes and see something I wrote a few days ago: 'Life is ******* with  us right now. You laugh and I laugh, but we're still getting ******. The demon's in our face.'
As morbid as that comes off, it resonates some truth—what is killing us is going to **** us no matter what we do—and I don't want to be epitomized by the acts and words I didn't say.
I was never in the moment as a kid—I was raised by by old people and kept back by my younger siblings. The experienced tried to teach me wisdom, and the inexperienced kept my imagination locked in time. I don't want to go home as much now because I see that the inexperienced are becoming wiser everyday and the experienced are dying before my eyes. My idea of things is enduring leprosy.
But back to the simple moments.
Ariana saw a playground as she stood up and investigated the Trussel. It was next to the river, behind the church, fenced off by the fellowship of the church to keep the young ones in and the troublesome out. Of course, we didn't realize there was a gate and it was locked until Nick stated the probable obvious within ten feet of the nostalgic playground. And that's when Ariana pointed out the bugs swarming the parking lot outdoor lamp that blazed the fleshiness of our presences into dense shadows and more than likely caught the eye of a suspicious driver in a truck passing by. But I was still on the bridge—back in the past, never the moment. Me and my friends are still children inside these ***** forms. I muttered to myself: “Life ain't about baby steps.”
Nick looked over and asked what I said. I turned around, dramatic, like I always like to and repeated louder this time, “Life ain't about baby steps.”
He asked if I needed to do this alone, and I said he could come along. I walked rhythmically across the railroad ties, and heard Ariana comment that getting to the railroad up the small, steep hill was like being in the Marines. I laughed sarcastically. Nick and I had been to Parris Island before, and I know they test your possible fears, but they beat the living **** out of them.
I casually walk into the room where my fear lives and tell it to get the **** out.
When I reached the precipice of the last railroad tie I stood on before, I felt the old remind me that death awaited me, but there was no epic soundtrack or incredible action scene where I stab a manifestation of my fear in heart—a bit fun it might have been, but not the truth. I bear-crawled over the crossings of the ties and the structure of the bridge itself. I felt Relowatiphsy—an open-minded apathy self-made philosophical term—take over me. It is much simpler than it sounds.
There was no cold wonder as I imagined. There was just a bleak mirror of water below, a stiff curtain of trees that shadowed it, and the curiosity of what lies in the dark continuing distance past the Trussel.
Nick sat with me and we talked about women and fear, or at least I did, and I hoped he felt what I did—there was a force there that is nabbed by everyone, but cherished by few—courage. And I thank him for it, but I know I did it. Now I want to go and jump in that still water below—Ariana later says she's happy I got over my fear, but I'll probably have a harder time during the day when I can see what I'm facing, but I see it differently. During the day, the demons are stone and far away—like looking down the barrels of a double-barreled shotgun uncocked and unloaded, but at night is when the chamber is full and ready to go, and you have no idea who is holding the gun with their finger on the trigger and your destination in mind.
Then we threw rocks into the water in contest to see who could throw past the moonlight into the shadowy distance . I aimed for the water marker, and got the closest with limited footing, using just my arm strength. But it wasn't long before we had to leave, making fun of people who do cooler things than us, on the way to the car. I had to ride in the back seat again because I forgot to call shotgun. But on the way home, the idea popped in our heads what we should get my hooka and go to Broadway, and get the materials so we could smoke on the beach.
Nick's girlfriend and her friend joined us.
I missed a few puns against my co-worker as I was sent to get free water from the candy store where I work. I ended up doing a chore because I was taller than most of the people there. Appropriate enough, it was filling the water bottles up in the refrigerator.
All the while I loathed the fact that I would have to be clocked in tomorrow by two in the afternoon. I grabbed the water and got out of there as fast as possible without appearing to be in a hurry.
Impression of caring matters more than the actuality where I work—and yes, that makes me a miserable ****.
Perhaps it's not too late to admit I am recovering pyromaniac from my childhood and the flavoring we use for the taffy is extremely flammable. It would be a shame to drench the store in what people love to smell everyday when they walk in, and light the gas stove. Then, maybe I could walk away real cool-like as this pimple in this tourist acne town pops like the Hindenburg. The impression of splendor is like a phoenix—it grows old, dies, resurrects into the same, but apparently different form, spreads it's wings, and eats and ***** on everything simple, or presumably so.
I forget the name of the beach, but it was the best time I've had in a while. I was whimsy, and high on the vastness of the stretch of beach around us. They could bury us here. But me in particular. I rolled from the middle of the beach to the water, stood in the waves and shouted my phrase I coined when I realize something as wonderful as conquering a fear or realizing a dream;
--******' off!
And I stared at the horizon. My friends came up behind me and I looked back to see it was Nick and his girlfriend hugging. I gave a soft smile, put my hands in my pocket, and turned back to stare at the clouded horizon. What beasts must lie out there—more ferocious than the simple fresh water beings that wait beneath the earlier placid waters. I was a fool to think that was the worst. Nick said as I pondered all that, that I looked like Gatsby, and I tried to give him a smile that you may only see once in a lifetime, but I'm sure it failed.
I wanted to tell him that, “You cannot make me happy. It is usually the people who have no intention of making me happy that makes me smile the quickest.” But I don't. Let me be Gatsby, or Fitzgerald, if to no one else, but myself.

Hell is the deterioration of all that matters, and as the five of us sat around the hooka, and inhaled the thick blueberry flavored smoke that hinted at the taste of the Blueberry flavoring I use to make Blueberry taffy, there was a satirical realization that the coal used to activate the tobacco and flavor in the bowl is sparking like a firework, and reminds us all of where we're going.
It's a love affair between that hopelessness and hope of some destination we've only read about, but never seen.
By this point Nick and I are covered in sand, because he joined me in fun of rolling down the beach. We want so bad to be Daoists—nonchalant to the oblivion as we sit in. Just on the rifts of the tide, he and I scooped handfuls of wet sand, and I lost my fear of making sense and let Relowatiphsy take over again.
“Look at the sand in your hands. It can be molded to the shapes your hands make. We scoop it out of the surf and it falls through our fingers. There are things we're afraid of out there, and we sit just out reach of them, but within the grasp of their impressions. The sand falls through our fingers, and it plops into the tide, sending back up drops of water to hit our hands—the molders of our lives.” I said all that in hope against the hopelessness of being forgotten.
Then he said, “What if this is life? Not just the metaphor, but the act of holding sand in our hands.
I relish in his idea of wiping away my fear of an unimportant life. And by this point, it's safe to assume I live to relish ideas.

The last bit of sand from the last handful of sand was washed from my hand and I looked back at the clouded horizon, pitch black with frightful clouds and said:
“Nick, if I don't become a writer. If I live a life where I just convince myself everything's fine, and that dream will come true after I finish all the practical prep I 'must' do. I will **** myself.
I looked at him, Relowatiphsy in my heart, and he said:
“As a friend, I'd be sad, but I'd understand. But that means you have to literally fight for your life now—regardlessly.”
And he left me with those words. Just the same as my granddad left me a serious heed before he wanted to talk about something more cheerful, when I asked about his glory days fishing the Great *** Dee River. He said: “I wish I'd been here before the white man polluted the river. It would've been something to fish this water then”, then he paused to catch his breath, “Guess there are some things that stay, and others than go.” Then joy returned, as it always does.

But the idea of what was happening to me didn't hit me until we were a few miles away from the beach, covered in sand, but the potential of the night after conquering my fear of heights over water had been shed in the ocean.
Around midnight, when the headache from the cheap hooka smoke wore off and the mystic veil of the clouds over the horizon has been closed in by the condensation on the windows of some Waffle House in Myrtle Beach. There was a wave of seriousness that broke over my imagination. Works calls for me tomorrow by two.
There's not much vacationing when you live in a vacation town.
And midnight—the witching hour—spooks away the posers too afraid to commit to rage against the fear.
But there are others—college students that walk in and complain about the temperature of the eating establishment, and the lack of ashtrays—how they must be thinking of dining and dashing—running from a box, but forever locked in it.

They make annoying music as I write this. That is how they deal.
This one was the unedited version (if I make that sound naughty or euphemistic).
Andrew Minter Jun 2015
Rain rain go away
We don’t want you here, your gloom and misery
your nourishment and catharsis.
We don’t want to be baptized under your command
or be surrounded by budding flowers
trickling streams
mud puddles.

Rain rain go way come again another day*
Why do today what we can put off until tomorrow.
Let’s procrastinate the harbinger of life, the unrelenting cycle
Evaporation condensation precipitation evaporation .
We cannot delay, sit back and listen to the gentle patter.
Just enjoy the grey.

-AM
Joseph S C Pope Jun 2013
There is nothing new under the sun, but it was night and the indifferent blinks of gaseous lives above looked down while my friends and I were at a new fast food joint that moved next to a now lonely Wendy's, with a faded sign tarnished by something the new fast food joint had yet to experience—mundanity by time. But I had my notebook with me while we ate outside, but it was in the car. My mind is always in that book, and I remembered something I had written for a novel in progress: 'Nothing is new under the sun. How is it possible to watch stars die? There is nothing new to their dust. We are the flies of the universes.'
It was just when I had finished my BBQ pork sandwich when Ariana suggested visiting a graveyard. I had the idea to visit a Satanist graveyard that our friend, Lanessa warned us against for the better safety of our sane souls—good luck with that. I wanted a revival of fear. How the beast would rip at the roof off our metal can of a car—the greater our barbarism, the greater our admiration and imagination—the less admiration and imagination, the greater our barbarism. But Ariana disagrees with words I never say, Nick laughs with my simple words to that previous thought. How funny it would be to burn eternal.
But then he suggested we should go to the Trussel in Conway. I had no idea or quote to think about to contribute to this idea. I wander, as I like to, into the possibility that his idea is a good one. Like some wanting hipster, I dress in an old t-shirt with of mantra long forgotten in the meaning of its cadence.
That is the march of men and women into the sea—honest, but forgetful and forgotten.
I was wearing a shirt sleeve on my head I bought from a mall-chain hippie store, and exercise shorts, finished off with skele-toes shoes. I was ready for everything and nothing at the same time. And that fits, I suppose. But all that does matter—and doesn't, but it is hard as hell to read the mind of a reader—it's like having a lover, but s/he doesn't know what s/he wants from you—selfish *******.
But there I was,  on the road, laughing in the back seat, sitting next to a girl who was tired, but also out of place. I could see she wanted to close arms of another, the voice of another, the truth that sits next to her while watching tv every time she comes over to hang with him, but never accepts that truth. She is a liar, but only to herself. How can she live with that? The world may never know.
The simple rides into things you've never done before give some of the greatest insight you could imagine, but only on the simple things that come full circle later. That is a mantra you can't print on a t-shirt, but if it ever is, I'm copyrighting it. And if it's not possible, I'll make it possible!
When we got to the Trussel, the scenic path lit by ornamented lamps seemed tame once I stepped onto the old railroad tracks. They were rusted and bruised by the once crushing value of trains rolling across it's once sturdy structure. Now they were old, charred by the night, and more than just some abandoned railroad bridge—the Trussel was a camouflage symbol birthed by the moment I looked into a Garfish's eye as it nibbled on my cork while I was on a fishing trip with my granddad when I was eleven. I remember that moment so well as the pale, olive green eye looked at me with a sort of seething iron imprint—I needed that fear, it branded instead of whispering that knowledge into my ears.
That moment epitomizes my fear of heights over water—what lies beneath to rip, restrain, devour, impale, and or distract me.
But epitomize is a horrible word. It reeks of undeveloped understanding. Yet  I want a nimble connection with something as great as being remembered—a breathe of air and the ideas  thought by my younger self, but I will never see or remember what I thought about when I was that young—only the summary of my acts and words. And by that nothing has changed—am I too afraid to say what I need to say? Too afraid to hear what everyone else hears? Or is it the truth—depravity of depravities that has no idea of its potential, so I am tired of the words that describe my shortcomings and unextended gasping hope. I am tired of living in the land of Gatsby Syndrome waiting for Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy!
But when we got to where the Trussel actually began I felt the fear hit like the day it was born—all hope was drained, and I was okay with abandoning all aspirations of having fun and being myself in the face of public criticism. I was flushed out by the weasel in my belly—the ******* beneath those still waters. I compare it to someone being able to handle Waterboarding, but can't handle being insulted—it's that kind of pathetic.
I stood just on the last understandably steady railroad ties that I knew were safe and watched my friends sit off the edge of the bridge, taking in the cold wonder of the night, and I was told at least I was smarter than my dead cousin who managed to get on top of his high school in the middle of the night, but had to be cohearsed down for fifteen minutes by a future marine, and future mourner who still grieves with a smile on his face.
The future mourner, he laughs at the times he insulted, or made fun of, or chilled with his now dead friend. It's never the bad times he cries about, there are none—just the good times, because they don't make them like they used to.
I watched them in that moment, and I don't know if I can deal with knowing my life is real. I began to blame my morality on this fear even though I already justified the fear just seconds before. But as I write this, I look over my notes and see something I wrote a few days ago: 'Life is ******* with  us right now. You laugh and I laugh, but we're still getting ******. The demon's in our face.'
As morbid as that comes off, it resonates some truth—what is killing us is going to **** us no matter what we do—and I don't want to be epitomized by the acts and words I didn't say.
I was never in the moment as a kid—I was raised by by old people and kept back by my younger siblings. The experienced tried to teach me wisdom, and the inexperienced kept my imagination locked in time. I don't want to go home as much now because I see that the inexperienced are becoming wiser everyday and the experienced are dying before my eyes. My idea of things is enduring leprosy.
But back to the simple moments.
Ariana saw a playground as she stood up and investigated the Trussel. It was next to the river, behind the church, fenced off by the fellowship of the church to keep the young ones in and the troublesome out. Of course, we didn't realize there was a gate and it was locked until Nick stated the probable obvious within ten feet of the nostalgic playground. And that's when Ariana pointed out the bugs swarming the parking lot outdoor lamp that blazed the fleshiness of our presences into dense shadows and more than likely caught the eye of a suspicious driver in a truck passing by. But I was still on the bridge—back in the past, never the moment. Me and my friends are still children inside these ***** forms. I muttered to myself: “Life ain't about baby steps.”
Nick looked over and asked what I said. I turned around, dramatic, like I always like to and repeated louder this time, “Life ain't about baby steps.”
He asked if I needed to do this alone, and I said he could come along. I walked rhythmically across the railroad ties, and heard Ariana comment that getting to the railroad up the small, steep hill was like being in the Marines. I laughed sarcastically. Nick and I had been to Parris Island before, and I know they test your possible fears, but they beat the living **** out of them.
I casually walk into the room where my fear lives and tell it to get the **** out.
When I reached the precipice of the last railroad tie I stood on before, I felt the old remind me that death awaited me, but there was no epic soundtrack or incredible action scene where I stab a manifestation of my fear in heart—a bit fun it might have been, but not the truth. I bear-crawled over the crossings of the ties and the structure of the bridge itself. I felt Relowatiphsy—an open-minded apathy self-made philosophical term—take over me. It is much simpler than it sounds.
There was no cold wonder as I imagined. There was just a bleak mirror of water below, a stiff curtain of trees that shadowed it, and the curiosity of what lies in the dark continuing distance past the Trussel.
Nick sat with me and we talked about women and fear, or at least I did, and I hoped he felt what I did—there was a force there that is nabbed by everyone, but cherished by few—courage. And I thank him for it, but I know I did it. Now I want to go and jump in that still water below—Ariana later says she's happy I got over my fear, but I'll probably have a harder time during the day when I can see what I'm facing, but I see it differently. During the day, the demons are stone and far away—like looking down the barrels of a double-barreled shotgun uncocked and unloaded, but at night is when the chamber is full and ready to go, and you have no idea who is holding the gun with their finger on the trigger and your destination in mind.
Then we threw rocks into the water in contest to see who could throw past the moonlight into the shadowy distance . I aimed for the water marker, and got the closest with limited footing, using just my arm strength. But it wasn't long before we had to leave, making fun of people who do cooler things than us, on the way to the car. I had to ride in the back seat again because I forgot to call shotgun. But on the way home, the idea popped in our heads what we should get my hooka and go to Broadway, and get the materials so we could smoke on the beach.
Nick's girlfriend and her friend joined us.
I missed a few puns against my co-worker as I was sent to get free water from the candy store where I work. I ended up doing a chore because I was taller than most of the people there. Appropriate enough, it was filling the water bottles up in the refrigerator.
All the while I loathed the fact that I would have to be clocked in tomorrow by two in the afternoon. I grabbed the water and got out of there as fast as possible without appearing to be in a hurry.
Impression of caring matters more than the actuality where I work—and yes, that makes me a miserable ****.
Perhaps it's not too late to admit I am recovering pyromaniac from my childhood and the flavoring we use for the taffy is extremely flammable. It would be a shame to drench the store in what people love to smell everyday when they walk in, and light the gas stove. Then, maybe I could walk away real cool-like as this pimple in this tourist acne town pops like the Hindenburg. The impression of splendor is like a phoenix—it grows old, dies, resurrects into the same, but apparently different form, spreads it's wings, and eats and ***** on everything simple, or presumably so.
I forget the name of the beach, but it was the best time I've had in a while. I was whimsy, and high on the vastness of the stretch of beach around us. They could bury us here. But me in particular. I rolled from the middle of the beach to the water, stood in the waves and shouted my phrase I coined when I realize something as wonderful as conquering a fear or realizing a dream;
--******' off!
And I stared at the horizon. My friends came up behind me and I looked back to see it was Nick and his girlfriend hugging. I gave a soft smile, put my hands in my pocket, and turned back to stare at the clouded horizon. What beasts must lie out there—more ferocious than the simple fresh water beings that wait beneath the earlier placid waters. I was a fool to think that was the worst. Nick said as I pondered all that, that I looked like Gatsby, and I tried to give him a smile that you may only see once in a lifetime, but I'm sure it failed.
I wanted to tell him that, “You cannot make me happy. It is usually the people who have no intention of making me happy that makes me smile the quickest.” But I don't. Let me be Gatsby, or Fitzgerald, if to no one else, but myself.

Hell is the deterioration of all that matters, and as the five of us sat around the hooka, and inhaled the thick blueberry flavored smoke that hinted at the taste of the Blueberry flavoring I use to make Blueberry taffy, there was a satirical realization that the coal used to activate the tobacco and flavor in the bowl is sparking like a firework, and reminds us all of where we're going.
It's a love affair between that hopelessness and hope of some destination we've only read about, but never seen.
By this point Nick and I are covered in sand, because he joined me in fun of rolling down the beach. We want so bad to be Daoists—nonchalant to the oblivion as we sit in. Just on the rifts of the tide, he and I scooped handfuls of wet sand, and I lost my fear of making sense and let Relowatiphsy take over again.
“Look at the sand in your hands. It can be molded to the shapes your hands make. We scoop it out of the surf and it falls through our fingers. There are things we're afraid of out there, and we sit just out reach of them, but within the grasp of their impressions. The sand falls through our fingers, and it plops into the tide, sending back up drops of water to hit our hands—the molders of our lives.” I said all that in hope against the hopelessness of being forgotten.
Then he said, “What if this is life? Not just the metaphor, but the act of holding sand in our hands.
I relish in his idea of wiping away my fear of an unimportant life. And by this point, it's safe to assume I live to relish ideas.

The last bit of sand from the last handful of sand was washed from my hand and I looked back at the clouded horizon, pitch black with frightful clouds and said:
“Nick, if I don't become a writer. If I live a life where I just convince myself everything's fine, and that dream will come true after I finish all the practical prep I 'must' do. I will **** myself.
I looked at him, Relowatiphsy in my heart, and he said:
“As a friend, I'd be sad, but I'd understand. But that means you have to literally fight for your life now—regardlessly.”
And he left me with those words. Just the same as my granddad left me a serious heed before he wanted to talk about something more cheerful, when I asked about his glory days fishing the Great *** Dee River. He said: “I wish I'd been here before the white man polluted the river. It would've been something to fish this water then”, then he paused to catch his breath, “Guess there are some things that stay, and others than go.” Then joy returned, as it always does.

But the idea of what was happening to me didn't hit me until we were a few miles away from the beach, covered in sand, but the potential of the night after conquering my fear of heights over water had been shed in the ocean.
Around midnight, when the headache from the cheap hooka smoke wore off and the mystic veil of the clouds over the horizon has been closed in by the condensation on the windows of some Waffle House in Myrtle Beach. There was a wave of seriousness that broke over my imagination. Works calls for me tomorrow by two.
There's not much vacationing when you live in a vacation town.
And midnight—the witching hour—spooks away the posers too afraid to commit to rage against the fear.
But there are others—college students that walk in and complain about the temperature of the eating establishment, and the lack of ashtrays—how they must be thinking of dining and dashing—running from a box, but forever locked in it.

They make annoying music as I write this. That is how they deal with the inevitable death of the night. They bruise the air I breathe with love and faith and trust with no meaning—without even meaning it. But what do they know what I didn’t feel when I sat on that bridge or cowered on the fringes of the ocean? Their hands aren’t ***** like mine—their confidence does not seem fractured by these words that will never reach them, or their kids, or grandkids.
As day begins to move, I know I work at two and will be home by midnight again. The witching hour—where some stay and others go.
Sy Lilang May 2014
Lost to backdrops scrolling past,
She sits knitting
in the carriage of a train.
The vague needles
They scintillate and glimpse
With the cadence of the wheels –
Upbeating ceaselessly.

Strips of tiny loops
And eyelets like dewdrops
Of condensation
Grouped on the superior rim.

Once in a while,
She gives a heave
To loosen more yarn from the skein
Of Filipino-made wool,
brushed worsted weave.
Spun and carded
from the richest fleece,
Deeper in the wicker basket by her feet.

The needles flash,
With ancient rhythms and attack
Of duellists in their chainmail coats.
With little hesitation she can tack
From plain to purl to blackberry.
Count back by rote or slip a stitch
While the fish-eyed gimlets gleam.

All gather profusely in her lap,
As windfall trove, rich-patterned
And warm with peach-fuzz nap,
All crafted from a single line of yarn.
Marvels fall continuously from wise
Spell-binding hands and all is well for now.

(9/11/13 @xirlleelang)
Nat Lipstadt Oct 2013
You Sir, Are An Electrician!


technocrat
— noun
a proponent, adherent, or supporter of technocracy.



This city boy was expert at
Turning the lights on,
Unlocking the front door,
Putting new batteries in flashlights,
And calling the handyman to
"Please come upstairs"
When the degree of diving difficulty was a
Positive number.

Also,
Freezing the semi-permanently the DVR,
Triggering alarms,
Killing car batteries,
Making laptops question
Human sanity,
Tearing up when reading,
"Some Assembly Required!"

Raised in a city of experts,
He was unskilled in things electric,
Becoming apoplectic,
When a device had an
On/off switch that ignored him.

Somewhat famous he was,
For engaging the inanimate,
In a verbal dialectic,
Which included words highly phonetic,
But unsuitable for children's ears.

She was raised in rural pastures,
Corn fields used for hide n' go seek,
Riding goats after school
Just for fun,
Familiar with innards of
Deus ex machina, a/k/a
Minor engine repairs, and
Doing what he called,
Making reparations.

IOS7, heaven.
Cabling laptop to external devices,
Icing on the cake,
Dis and reassembling a German coffee maker,
Did not require calling an 800 number.
She never read an instruction sheet
Without pleasurable laughing at
Japanese English.

He was unashamed of his skilled
Unskilled characteristics,
For such is the way of the world
In the human kingdom,
Some of us two handed,
some of us, bi-standers.

But upon occasion,
He would bemoan his fate,
Decry his inability to survive
On a post-apocalyptic Earth,
Like the people on tv and movies.

Periodically he would grow morose,
Listless, at his inability to adapt to a
Point Oh world.
Uncomprehending
Icons and symbols whose meaning
Were wholly unintuitive,
He secretly ashamed of his need for
technological ******.

She would sense his frustration,
Wipe away his inner condensation,
Climbing into his lap,
Whispering the following:

You sir, are an electrician
of words, a verbal technocrat,

Plumber of the depths where
Few fear to tread, explorer of the head,
Restorer of human paintings unmatched,
Without your ilk,
this world would be unbearable,
Your heart's warming silk
Comforts bodies and souls,
Speaking from experience personal.

Then, she flicked his
On/Off switch,
On.
Don't  believe a word of this, except for the downloading of IOS7.
Jesse Osborne Mar 2016
The skies were clear the day after he died.

I peeled off my clothes by the river
and watched the water breathe,
folding into itself like a chest wound.
It trembled at my touch,
as foot became current,
kissed thigh and naked breast,
warm cheek and curled lip.
The water was soft
and the world sighed beneath me.
My skin was built of goosebump
condensation.
I floated on my back and my body became the water cycle.

Evaporation is just another word
for rebirth.
Pete Leon Oct 2017
Condensation drawing,
On mirror, one morning,
What I saw, blew mind
Made me turn, look behind

There stood, with a knife
At the throat, of wife
Her screams, all could hear
My heart, burst with fear

With panic, in my chest
Took swing, for the best
caught hard, in the face
Knife dropped, grasp, race

Me first, knife, mess
Him blood, life less
Wife safe, me shocked
Bathroom exit, door locked
Awoke Sunday morning
To words that were easier
Than the night before.
I was always expecting good
mornings
To be harder than good
nights

I asked you for a
Four-letter-word-for “very often”
You asked me to
Pass the salt
You didn’t know.
I slid it across the table.

Sunday morning was without
Saturday night-forced structures
It was without
Long answers to questions
That we weren't sure if they were
As complicated as they seemed.

Sunday morning left us with an answer for
23-down and
For 68-across
Saturday night we were a defeated blank
We were
An empty grid
Save a four-letter-word
For nothing
In tennis.
Antino Art Oct 2018
If you're unclear about love,
return your heart to a place with fog
With clouds created from breathing in the cold during long uphill walks that end in a view of the water
Return the way daylight retreats to the grey embrace of the Pacific Northwest sky at the edge of winter, dissipates in all directions like ripples upon their misty bay
Return the way sunset colored leaves hanging in limbo fall back to Earth
Visions to pieces
Tears to eyes as condensation builds
against the glass of a coffeeshop window and distorts the view from outside and from within
Return the way rain lands on a broken sidewalk in Seattle,
not pouring so much as drifting
through what looks like a new morning
blurred with all the dark nights that came before.
Muted Nov 2018
I won’t take showers anymore.
I won’t take them because
sometimes, when I set my Spotify on shuffle,
your favorite song still plays
because sometimes, when the water trickles down the small of my back, it feels a lot like your fingers
sometimes, soap is not enough
sometimes, I want to peel my skin up, layer by layer, until I am certain there is nothing left that you have touched
sometimes, I wonder if you still sleep on the mattress you buried me in,
wonder if there are others who share that same coffin
I wonder who I will be when I wake up tomorrow,
study my reflection in the cold, shiny shower head
with hope that one day it will change,
that i will no longer see
this
tongue biting *****,
key- laced, clenched fists *****,
flinching at the sight of chin stubble and strong jaws,
locked knees *****,
mace and matchstick *****,
feverishly avoiding eye contact,
temperature adjusting *****,
skin scrubbing *****,
birdcage mouth,
mascara tears,
weak *****.

I won’t take showers
because sometimes
I come out feeling dirtier
than I went in
because the condensation is enough
to fog up my mirror
but isn’t enough
to fog up my memory
because sometimes
an adams apple resembles
a fist to me
because I count the tiles and remember
that I am just a
paradoxical number,
the only number greater than zero
that still has no value

I wont take showers because
I know that is what
you would want me to do
you would want me
to cover the tracks for you

and if I
set myself on fire instead,
in order to destroy
any evidence
confirming
that you once lived here,
that would be
too obvious
Sara Murray Sep 2017
like condensation on my window
You will make your way inside
How you enter, I will never know
Not like a ghost gliding through the door
But a stray piece of spirit you didn't know existed
Swaying on the inside of my mind

Summer arrived and my home became the sun and leaves,
sleeping in hammocks, and swinging trees
The winds rocking me asleep
And I, blissfully unaware
I left The front door unlocked
And I misplaced my key

But I've spent too much time worrying about how and what if
Too much time wondering if you only knew
There's Too many songs I haven't heard
and too much time wasted waiting for you
And one day there will be someone
who will ring the doorbell and ask to come in
And we will sit and talk
And be the only things on each others minds
And like condensation on my window
I will wipe you away
Close the curtain
And shut my eyes
I don't know if this is technically even a poem
Though in Prime Moment the Truth we discuss
The Third Great Angel flew to Intercede,
Playing her Harp which enwrangles the Lust
And gently reveal the Beauty-in-Thee
Yes, that Truest Virtue which no Malice accords
On Serving Patience a Letter was read
No more, no more for Condensation's Words
Are just enough to leave these Germs for dead
Not much for Command of Good English proposed
Was starting to tassle the Rumours and Wine
But such as you are yet too Young to dispose
A Lady's demanding Shell you design.
Pray take, this Harper knows how to direct
The Vitruvian Boy, waving for your Affect.
#daleysangels #jessicacldunbar
If you were a corpse accepting cremation
               I would be the flame
                             that lavishly licked your flesh,
         the heat, heaped for your hair on a pyre
the last peril your boney body submits to,
making the air all around stink of you.

Forget the fact that you corrupt my mind,
             it’ll only work out if your thoughts stink of me.

                                       If for one second during
                        your self worshipping, wistful stares
          into a mirror that drips a musty condensation
                       that lingered from your skinny, ****
                         torso after your morning shower, you
                                stand there smile *******
                          yourself with puckered lips and
          un-dilated pupils, flirting with
                          camera phone pixels you think to yourself;

                                                     * Should I post me on myspace?
                               Should I send a text message pic to myself?
                 Should I forward it to that guy that I met
           to make him think that I’m burning for him?*

                             If for that second I could be but that spark,
                an after thought flare that gets you to want
                    more than what it is that you got,
                                          where would you go?

             With whom would you make yourself over?

I’m waiting for the morning your ashes
      wake next to me; smoldered and spread out over my

          mattress and under my breath, and
           your eye lashes charred with clunky mascara
                 crumble as you replay in your silly head
                          the late mass I celebrated last night
                                                   when I exhumed and inhaled
                                    that same condensation;
      
Little taste droplets of you then exhaled  
          from me to your golden tin flesh
     that burned you to ******.
      
                    Because of my tempered tongue you
               cravingly bathed with,
     because of your hair I feverishly wrapped
                round my fists as
         my head altered and smoothed out from whiskey  
    bounced waves of frivolous  

thrusts      pulls releases,  
           pushes      twitches              friction

                                                in perfect timed fashion
                                                between your radio
                
                  antenna       thin           legs  
      and your rib meat torso
you forced my lips unto.

                                                           That will be the night
                                   you will come.
                                                               Yeah, that’s right            

                 SEE                  YOU                    MMM-hmmm,

                                I will see you melt on that night.
                                         And it will be your cremation.
taken from my book: The Evolution of A Word Made Flesh: Pathos Ethos Logos Thoth
http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Word-Made-Flesh-Pathos/dp/1452809682/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1285189713&sr;=1-1
jeremy maxwell Apr 2012
‘Puts Me to Work’ echoes through the house,
Cate Le Bon’s voice bouncing off the walls.
I can almost see it, storming down the hallway,
Barging out of the bathroom.

This floor is ******* freezing.

I can see my reflection in the shiny wood;
A circle of condensation that grows and shrinks
As I breathe in and out.

‘But I know that you’re there,
‘cause you’re making it hurt.’

Entire galaxies are swirling in the shaft of setting sunlight
Streaming through the broken blinds
At right angles, sharp and sudden.
Solar systems shift and spiral,
Exploding every
Time I take a breath.

A lake is forming by my chin.
I wonder if it is clear and wet
Like swimming,
Or white with froth and paste
Like winter.

I stop wondering when the shivering becomes me.

‘It puts me to work . . . puts me to work.
It puts me to work . . . it puts me to work.’

The song has been repeating for an hour now.
I used to really like the end.
Something like forty-five-minutes-ago.

I wonder if the battery will die soon.

I wonder not if I will die soon.
Preoccupied with galaxies and spirals and the little spot of condensation
Forming and unforming as I breathe.
With the frozen lake I feel cold enough to be skating across
In these baggy shorts and this tattered t-shirt
From a Nirvana show last century.  

The battery doesn’t die, and Cate Le Bon comes racing around the house again.

I close my eyes and sigh.
Poetic T Oct 2014
It hung delicately upon it,
Yet not touching.
All was surrounded
It was like clouds had
Wished to kiss the ground,
Moisture,  
Condensation,
Breath,
Suspended between
Heaven
&
Earth.
Each so close caressing between each,
Condensing into a lingering touch,
Dew
Mist
Haze
A gentle breeze like breath.
Exhales, the beads between both
For this moment removed, they nearly
Were one, caressed a lingering never touch.
And moved on, till the next time
Sky gently caresses upon the *Earth.
ahmo Sep 2018
i'm absorbing the pain of your lacerations -
the tattoos of your mother's screams
etched in between your knuckles.

a canvass,
whitened and deeply dented,
takes the form of wordless, celestial aspiration -
the manifestation of release from an invisible prison.

your clanging tin cup on the bars asks for logic -
in response,
the uncompromising transmission sits in silence.

your mind does not deserve such a fate.

under opaque bedsheets,
a reversal in perspective unlocks the gate.

a house divided may only stand
if division negotiates with gravity
in blind faith.
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Summer would be the sunflowers seemingly blooming from beneath telephone poles as a reminder that love can travel upon the wires connecting long-distance lovers, the ropes that cling to trees as though reuniting after a twelve month absence as they bear the weight of two bodies more entangled in each other than the pattern of the hammock that they lie upon, the ice cubes that float atop the glass of sweet tea stealing quick kisses each time the glass is lifted as they melt together beneath the heat.

Fall would be the leaves clinging to the tree limbs whispering secrets to each other as they flutter in the wind and change color according to the lovers that will one day float to the ground beside them, a calm pond reflecting former versions of couples who have always desired to know each other before their time of acquaintance only to realize they never existed until the day that they met, the stone path that weaves through a graveyard that has felt the light footsteps of paired souls wandering the grounds during midnight strolls.

Winter would be the snowflake drifting in the wind quickly memorizing the patterns of each familiar one it passes in an effort to reunite with its match made in the heaven from which it has fallen, the steaming cup of tea that collects condensation in the hands of lovers who find solace in sitting upon their front porches when it's freezing, the parallel lines of sleds that have etched temporary tracks in the land as representations of the distance that once separated those who created them (but does no longer).  

Spring would be the first sprout of the season persevering through the darkness of the soil and finally pushing through the light at the end to feel the warmth of the sun upon it, a bridge the connects flower-covered hills that houses the memory of two lovers who reunited after being apart for the winter, the daisy that he planted beneath her chest the night that he told her he loved her and promised to always water it.
Michael Jan 2017
My boyhood pocketknife
Sits in the bottom of my bedside table
My skin is healing
But I still feel a little cut
I thank God every time I leave
Say goodbye to flat land
the long stretches of road
I forget the peonies
but they still bloom in me
My old backyard is littered
with noise and ***** snow
Cold trickles into the lungs
Slowly, like it's afraid to let go
Each exhale is proof we're alive
A cloud of condensation
curling away from mouths
Small, sleeping dragons
in an even smaller city
where all the jewels are gone
Charlotte Atkins Sep 2019
I wrote your name
In the condensation
that we created when
We made love in my car.
It's faded now,
But I can still see the
Faint outline

It fills me with dread,
to think of washing it off
As if it will somehow
falsify us
Phosphorimental Sep 2014
She’s underhand throwing words with her mouth
The boy leans in past natural borders, to study the agenda in her eyes
He is built like a bent paperclip,
with bottlebrush forelocks, a barracuda jaw.

Between her bare legs, she gently squeezes
a cup of iced hibiscus tea.
She reaches down and lifting it to her lips,
I feel mine part, in thirsting sympathy…

Her upper thighs blush wet with condensation as
The boys eager fingers click on her knee,
like ice cubes in her sweating berry hibiscus,
floral melt cascades down her throat.

Fairy breath lands on my shoulders - my silk overcoat
It makes me dissolve with memory
of my beloved tea picker,
a cocoa skinned Sudanese girl
traveling the road to market in Al-Junaynah,
swaying in the truck bed under a warm sun,
dreaming of red karkadeh flowers
and a paper clip boy.
I noted after writing this that in Feb 2013, Marian wrote a beautiful poem of the same title here on HP.  Other than title and her beautiful writing, this poem is very different!  Hence it is called Hibiscus Dreams II!
Nicole Lourette Sep 2010
An empty park picnic table
cooled by the light,
whispering breeze,
spotted by the burning
life-giving sun.

I see us there.
chatting,
laughing,
enjoying each others company
in this never-ending summer.

I see myself
dressing up as the wife,
laying out a picnic basket
and table cloth.
Pouring iced tea
into a chilled glass,
Watching the condensation
slide down your fingertips
as your throat
gulps in the refreshment.

I lay a blanket
on the grass,
inviting you to come sit.
We lay.

And that chuckling breeze
picks up
and lifts the whole of
my 1950s homemaker dress.

You smooth it back down,
lowering your hand on my hip.
The wind has stopped,
but you keep smoothing away…
down my thighs,
across my backside,
up my back,
until my head is
cupped in your hands
nearing closer to your face.

I would not call it a kiss,
because a “kiss” is too
short a word, too precise
and too emotionless
to fit this phenomenon.
You embrace me fully
leaving no passion unaccounted for,
no ounce of me left untouched.

I succumb to your embrace
and we start to make love when…

A car horn beeps.
I blink.
Look around, and remember
that I’m sitting in a
library parking lot
looking at an empty picnic table.
Tyler Durden Jan 2015
My skin and bones are healed
But can I say the same for my mind?
Thomas Maltuin May 2015
White       Noise       Static
Hot           Haze        Humid

Heat Lightning
           condensation
           compression
           ******
Peace comma

be       still
              wait
written
    analog interference converts
2 digital Binaries
on    shhh   off
finished? Thank God
             For Today,

close the book.
Daniel James Feb 2011
She was fire, I was water
And we made sweet condensation
The day, the month we met.
She turned me into steam,
Pure steam, in April, no less.
I quenched her raging thirst (I won’t forget)
We drank each other’s smoke
And sparked up *** and cokes
I took her fizz for fire
She took my ironic dampness for jokes.

At first,
All was elemental
And if she burned the bread I called it toast
And if water weighed her down we just got soaked
I did not try to put her out
She did not try to make me burn.

We’re not so different, said the fire,
One day to the water
I could see this month ignite,
Make a bonfire of our lives
We could sit there like a house on fire
Extinguished and set alight at the same time
I flowed around the idea and warmed to it
So I moved in and every day
I put the fire out that she had made
And every night she blazed
The oases that my love had made.
Until one evening Fire said,
While water brushed his teeth,
“Turn off the tap”.
And water, being fairly fluid in his actions
Did in fact for five years turn off that tap
In front of her at least, but behind her back…
I let it run,
                  let it go
                                 let it flow
                                                  flow
                                                      
                                                       flow
                
                                                        flow

                                                             !!!!

And it was not until the 1000th time
That something clicked
And the millioneth drip overflowed the empty sink
And I responded to her claim:
“We’re not so same.” I said.
She, understandably, had not consumed the context
As we’d just been talking about a friend in massive debt
Because of negative equity.
But now the tap was on,
“I’ll brush the teeth in this relationship
Or I’ll be ******!” Water flowed.
The tap was gushing now, the mirror fogged -
The drains were leaking back up out the bog
“For one thing, fire’s not a thing –
Me? I’m hydrogen and oxygen too
But you? You’re no thing, no thing at all.”
“What?” She said.
I couldn’t understand
How she didn’t understand.
I flowed right on down… right on down to land –
I was seeking earth, not fire, earth!
I’d been seeking earth all my life
And not realized until tonight – that night – tonight.
“And for a second thing – Fire’s so loud!
Crackling! Always with the constant crackle
Always eating, heating or causing hassle
Everything’s a hazard or an all-consuming passion
If we just kept calm, it could all be fine
But your fiery fingers always dialing 999.

“Right.” She said. “I see where you’re going here –
You’re saying I’m like fire – FIRE?!”
I said, Jeez we’re 3 pages in already,
I was hoping that much was clear.”
“FIRE?” She bellowed.
“Fire?” She scorched.
“******, he wrote.” I said.
“What are you talking about?” She asked.
“Just a poem I’m writing – it was a funny line, trust me.”
“Says Mr. Water?” She says, looking over my shoulder,
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“You might,” I say. “Anyway, Mr Water, what do you mean?”
“I don’t know, you wrote it, perhaps you can tell me.”
“You meant, by what I wrote, that water’s not known for jokes,
It’s too clear and see through to cause a face poke”
“And that’s the best water-related joke that you know?”
“No. But you just remember who is writing the poem.” I say,
Expecting a laugh.
No laugh.

Then she apologized and very humbly gave me the floor.
After (storming off upstairs and slamming the door and) pointing out
That all water does is sit around
And weigh things down
Making clothes darker and heavier
Surrounding everything with its slowly moulding love
And rather than consuming it up
Firing it up
Sparking it up
Burning and blazing ‘n
Combusting it up!
Water sits.
On what it loves
Which is down
And weighs it down with love
Envelopping it from sides and above
Surrounding it from five sides
And leaving only one way out for its victim –
Down.

I thought around it while she fried herself in perspiration
And I could see how she was not wrong
And I could see how she was not right
For I could see that I clearly was water
And I could see all sides – “I can see.” I said,
And should have left it there, “everyside of what you say –
I can see everything but your true… bottom.

Now when fire alights on bottom,
No thought can put it out
So we rejoin the action
An unspecified –but quite long- time later.
And when the steam settles,
Not much has changed.
The conversation resumes, Ground-hog style,
Ground-hog style, a year later, in a different flat.
“At least I have some substance!”
And again comes the tide I cannot hold back –
“At least I am a thing, I can be happy, I can be,
I’m not just a process, just an action, with an appetite for trees.
I’m not afraid of silence either.”
“Afraid of it? You saturate it!
You smother everything in silence
That’s why you like the snow –
I like the kind of weather that makes
Strangers take off all their clothes.
I like the crackle of the campfire
I like the chatter of friendly teeth in need of heat
I am ambitious, I need the next thing to consume
And yes I like being high and aiming higher –
With you it’s always down down down.
Sitting down,
Calming down,
Going down…
And when she said those magic words
I took the heat that I had heard
And channeled it like she could never do
Being a process and not a thing like me.
Channels are made of things directing process
I took her heat and channeled it
And all because
Those magic words
Going down.
No one likes a love that is damp she said
And so I made her fire wet
And all the while, during, after
We lay and drank in pools of laughter
We were liquid fire flowing
Every night the bed an ocean
The weather inside, hmm… snowing
Warm snowballs of love
Snowflakes of love
Snowflakes of fire
“Higher” She scorched, “ take me higher!”
“No you go down –“ I heard it spoken
And just like that the spell was broken.

I rippled, reflecting the ceiling for a while
In a silence even I could not contain
She processed the surroundings, the curtains, the rain
And burned them back to ash again.
An hour passed.
I was betting that she
Would internally combust
Before I drowned myself
To death in silence
Another hour passed
Slowly.
Ever so
Slowly. Not fast,
But slowly.

Then luckily,
12hrs passed in no time at all for me
In fact, I only awoke because my ears were burning me.
“Have you been asleep all this time?” they sizzled.
“Sorry,” I said, before I’d even had a chance
To remember the argument
And with that rather C-list magic word,
The matter was moderated, thirst quenched, problem passed.

Water sat there boiling.
Fire fumed there drenched.

“I’m not sure I can do this much longer.”
Said water to fire.
“I feel I am spreading myself too thinly on you.”

“You are.” Said fire.

“I don’t like being spread thin.
I see less of the world reflected
In my shrinking puddle.

“Light up my life again!” She burned.
“I can not.”
“Will not.”

“Will not is cannot.”

“Cannot is not will not.”


“Cannot is not will not does not make sense.”



“Does.”
“Does not.”
“Agree to differ?”
“No.”
“Yes.”
“No.”
“Yes.”
“No.”

“Stalemate.”

“What?”

­…

“You’re
  
         draining away from me.”



    
                                 smoke.”
                               in
“You’re going up


And with that, one morning, they both woke up.


Alone…
Johnny Agape Aug 2013
I figured it out.
I figured while watching you out in the rain.
From the obscured viewpoint of the warmth and safety of my seat, clashing against the temperature at odds with the outside, in  foggy condensation at my window.
Watching you,
Cold and wild
Wet and Savage.
You. You are the reason, I think.
I think.
For the expression,
"Hasn't enough sense to come out of the rain"
When you can see what's wrong, but can't convince someone to let you help. Something like that.
Kelly Zhang Dec 2010
we went to the supermarket,
took our cameras to photograph
homogenized colors like the milk
in between poses, we played catch with the packets of fish *****,
drew smiles on the condensation in the freezer aisle
chased around the boy (code name platypus) with the Rolex.
so we balanced:
primary-colored bell peppers –
on our heads
and waited for the flash.
7.11.10
based on a real trip to the grocery store with Emily.
Owen Phillips Jan 2011
……Now
With springing force
I was shot out into the future
And with needle to the suture
Sewed together what I could

Lo, the spring sprung back into
The autumn
Found my porthole at the bottom
Into all I understood

Yet,
An equal opposite reaction
Fueled combustibly by action
From believing things that I was told to read
Found
Me far beyond what I
had seen
Cross dystopian ravine
Though in spite of any betterment, still brought to you by greed

Now from safely at the station
In the cold and condensation
I can see with clearest vision
The successes of my mission
Here, within, the multitudinous expanse of tears and laughs
Will be difficult to honor with a proper epitaph

— The End —