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Jeff Stier Jun 2016
My father died
from a gun shot wound
to the head

self-inflicted

Don't get all weird about it.

Fathers die
and their passing
though certain
is rarely easy.

So what can I say of this man
so many years
after his emphatic end?

I can say what Whitman said
of Lincoln:
"O Captain, my Captain.
Rise up and hear the bells."

But he will not.

He was ever-present
wise and alert
a boxer in life
a fighter in every way.

And I grew up with the gloves on
quick
elusive
and thanks to him
successful in every ring.  

He died
******* on a lit tobacco stick

Emphysema was gonna
take him down
so he pulled his own trigger
saved his family that way
though that's a longer tale

Therefore
and whereas
this is a belated requiem
for a man I loved.
My Captain.
Dear and departed
these many years
may he rest in peace
as he never rested
in life.
Now that people are becoming more aware of my poetic efforts, interests are being expressed regarding the background of my poetry - in addition, to my spiritual muse. In this installment, I share the background and poem "In Remembrance of Grandma".

I recognize that most of you reading this article will not know much about my maternal Grandmother, other than what you're able to glean from this page. However, there are universal lessons that need to be shared. This poem was originally written for her funeral.

For nearly forty years, I was blessed to have known my grandparents; blessed - because many people don't have the opportunity to know their family history personally from those who came before them. Within about one decade, mine were all gone - with my maternal grandmother being the last one to die. Of the four of them, I had spent the most time with her. My grandmother had moved to Portland, Maine; this came about as the result of two significant events in her life. First, her husband Al ***** died unexpectedly; second, her oldest daughter (and my mom) had gone through a divorce. So they decided to purchase a home jointly and move on with their lives. Also living with them was my aunt Tina, my mother's younger sister.

My grandmother was an intelligent woman; she was one of those people who completed the New York Times crossword puzzles - in ink and usually in under an hour. And she grew some of the most beautiful roses in her tiny backyard. It was wonderful to see the joy in her eyes when it came to her flowers. The problem was that she was heart-broken when Al passed away; for decades they would go dancing at night, just to hold one another more often. With him gone, she stopped living for herself. Less than a year from his retirement, her husband died on the picket line at work. Although I can only imagine her grief, it was difficult to see the affects of this tragedy slowly eat away at her soul. She rarely left her home, with the exception of going to Church, the grocery store or some of the neighbors' homes a few times during the month. She and Al were to go to Hawaii for a second honeymoon, but she could not bear to go there without him. In The Word, we are essentially reminded that "people without vision perish" (and yes, I know that there are variations of interpretation of this concept). Despite our ability to absorb pain, we must learn to move forward in life and not let the pain consume us.

For many years, she smoked cigarettes and was unwilling to give them up. She did so eventually; my mother moved out of their house, Tina got married; she and her husband lived with my grandma. Tina and husband Greg started their own family, raising three boys - thus giving her the incentive to quit. As most everyone knows, smoking increases one's risk of having cancer. My family were under the impression that she had managed to escape the misery of that disease. Less than two weeks from her death was when most of the family learned that she had contracted cancer and emphysema.

Although I understand and appreciate the need for privacy, it was selfish of my grandmother not to share the condition of her health. Her justification for not telling anyone, was that she had decided not to go through with the cancer treatment. By not telling us, she figured that no one would be given the opportunity to dissuade her from her decision. After all, it was her decision (and rightfully so). Before she died, Tina started quickly gathering information about cancer - to better learn about what to expect regarding the few remaining days of her mother's life. One cancer brochure shocked her; as a result of reading the material, she was now having to deal with guilt. This particular pamphlet laid out symptoms and patterns of human behavior of those suffering from this fatal disease - stuff that Tina had observed, but never realized the meaning of until it was too late. So in effect, my grandmother caused her family more pain by not sharing. In addition, not everyone who cared about her, had enough time to say good-bye (while she was alive).

Although I had time to compose this brief poem in her honor, I did not have enough time to process my grandmother's death fully (prior to the service). I was supposed to read the following poem and share a few words. To my surprise, I was choked up with immense grief, which kept me from delivering my eulogy; my wife kindly stepped in and presented the poem. One of my brothers was extremely upset for my inability to talk on behalf of my grandmother; so he spoke on my family's behalf. It's one of my few regrets in life; however, she was the only grandparent of mine that got to read my poetry manuscript. Less than two months before her death, she had taken time read my poetry and was pleasantly pleased with my efforts. During her appraisal of my work was the first time I learned that she wrote poetry - as of today, I've never gotten to read a line of poetry that she wrote. So it breaks my heart not to know what she composed, as well as not being able to share any more of my writing with her. And so here is my tribute for her...



 

In Remembrance of Grandma

A manicured garden
of colored, cultured roses
now goes untended.
For Marguerite has been freed
of all mortal constraint;
left behind
is a silver trowel
and dancing shoes,
as her spirit flies
to the Hawaiian shore
for pirouetting barefoot
on the seashell sand.

Goodbye Grandma *****; I miss you already.
(18 June 2006)
cd Oct 2012
i would have loved you forty-three and balding. sixty and sagging. lying in bed wheezing emphysema lullabies into my ear every night, sweeter than honey. but i choose to love myself instead. i will cocoon my own body asleep till my skin drips from my frame. interlock my own two hands under every dinner table. and if i find a hand that doesn’t mind fat knuckles and trembling palms, i will still hold my own. you taught me that. he will understand.
I need to know something. I don’t know if you want to tell me or not, but I really don’t care. You’re gonna tell me or you’re gonna find yourself in a world of trouble. I’m already ****** and it won’t take much to push me over the edge into dangerously angry territory.

No, **** it. Never mind. I’m ALREADY in “dangerously angry territory”. No, it wasn’t your fault. I was already close enough I could see the other side of reason before you came along.

But it would still be nice to know, if you’re willing to tell me. I mean, I’m not going to force it from you. That was the plan just a moment ago, but I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided that my bitterness is not your fault. I won’t make you pay for it.

Yet I do feel as if it would do me a world of good to know.

Where were you when I was falling in love?

Were you sitting in a back seat of a crowded subway train with a cup of Starbucks coffee in one hand and a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye” in the other, holding it in front of your face as if it’s pages were a fascinating mirror? Was there an old man sitting near who turned to look at you every so often to the point where it creeped you out? Maybe you eventually said something to him, like “Excuse me, but is there something you wanted to say to me?"

“Why would you get that idea?” he would ask, as if he were totally oblivious to his invasive nature.

“I don’t know…you just keep looking at me and I wondered if there were a reason for it.”

“Nope. Not that I can think of.”

Did you smack him real good right then? Did you draw blood? I hope you did. I hope the driver had to stop the train to come back and drag you off of him. It would have been a real drag if the police had to be summoned, but on the other hand, wow, how ****** the thought of you resisting arrest.

Or did you cower into your corner, turn a page in your book and let the lecherous ******* carry on? I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. I don’t think that’s the kind of girl you are. I think you’re a firecracker.

And I think that wherever you were when I was falling in love is not where I wanted you to be. Not where you should have been.

Because I fell in love with a robot. Who knows why I fell in love with an ottoman? I didn’t know she was one at the time. Do you really think I’m stupid enough to fall in love with a machine? No, she was flesh and bones when I met her. She seemed normal, like all the other women I’ve ever seen or known.

But then she started smoking cigarettes. She carried them around in a little soft leather pouch that could be mistaken for nothing else but a case for holding the little *******.

God I hate cigarettes. I hate the smell of them, whether they’re lit or not. I hate the dark tan color of their filters with the little white dots speckled randomly. I hate the cotton that stuffs their filters. I hate the white paper with the almost imperceptible stripes banding around their length. I hate how the brand is stamped close to the base of the filter. I hate the packages that they come in and the cellophane that wraps them. I hate how stray flecks of tobacco gather in the bottom of the boxes and the wrappers, too. I hate how they make a person’s breath stink. I hate how they make a person’s clothes reek. I hate the way they look in a shirt pocket. I hate the way they look between people’s fingers and in their mouths. I hate the way they burn down to the nub and the ash that they leave behind. I hate pitch black nicotine stains on ******* smokers’ hands. I hate the way some people put one between their ear and noggin and actually think it makes them look cool. I hate how smokers seem to have some code of sharing, how it’s always “Hey, can I *** a smoke from you?” and 99 times out of 100 the answer is “sure”. It’s never, “Okay, but you gotta pay me back.” Oh no, Smoker’s Karma is at work here. I hate the way too many people call ‘em “smokes”. “I’m off to get a pack of smokes.” Good God, I think that’s lame. “Smokes”. Ha. I hate the way smokers ***** about laws that prohibit them from smoking in public and how so many of them have absolutely no regard for non-smokers who not only can’t stand the smell of the ******* but would just as soon not chance even the most remote possibility of getting lung cancer caused by second hand smoke. I hate how smokers would tell that person, “Oh, don’t be ridiculous. The chances of that happening are one in a million.” So what? *******. ******* with your nasty cancer sticks and **** your tar-lined wheezing lungs, too. **** the death bed you will lie on when emphysema steals your last breath. **** the oxygen tanks that cost almost as much as all the cartons of cigarettes you have wasted your money on during the last who-knows-how-many years of your life. **** all your attempts to quit. **** the feeling of disappointment that overwhelms when you fail once again, as Mighty God Tobacco hugs you, strokes your wet hair, wipes the sweat from your forehead and the tears from your eyes. Sweet summer sweat. The tears of a clown.

You know what? She never smoked before. I never would have thought she would pick up that disgusting habit, but she sure as hell did. Picked it up like it was a twenty dollar bill someone lost that she found on the side of the road as she walked to the smoke shop to buy another pack of Marlboro Lights.

There’s another thing I hate about cigarettes. “Smoke Shops”. Where the value-minded smokers purchase their wares. Not “Cigarette Store”. Not “Tobacco Warehouse"…oh, no. It’s a SMOKE SHOP. You’re going to buy some smoke, brother Jim. You’re gonna spend too much money at the 7-11 and it’s all gonna go up in smoke, but by the grace of God you are gonna save a couple of bucks by purchasing them at the “Smoke Shop” instead of the convenience store. You complain until you’re blue in the face about how ridiculously high the ciggy prices are at normal retail outlets, but when you run out of ‘em and the God-blessed “Smoke Shop” is closed ‘cuz it’s Sunday you’ll drive like a madman to Love’s and blow ten bucks because there’s a “Buy Two Get One Free” special going on. What a ******* good deal that is, eh, mister?

Furthermore…CIGGYS??? I hate how people call ‘em “ciggys”. But not nearly as much as I hate the word “cigarette”. I cannot stand to speak the word. I hate the way it rolls of my tongue. I hate the way the word sounds like it means “little cigars”.

I hate the way some smokers empty out their car ashtrays in the parking lot. I hate the way all the butts look lying there in a heap, a pile of paper soaked with the spittle of a hundred different mouths. And yet the nicotine python grips some desperate smokers so tightly that they will pick them up and try to smoke the last tiny flecks of tobacco from their crushed and blackened ends. I’ve even seen people extract the remaining **** from several discarded butts, roll it all up in a Zig Zag paper and smoke it. Don’t these people even know what Zig Zag papers are for? They sure ain't for tobacco, Charter.

“Butts”. There’s another word in the smokers lexicon that just sounds silly. “Smoke ‘er down to the ****, Jack, we’ve got more!” “I don’t have an ash tray, Terry, so just put your BUTTS in that half empty soda can over there on the table”…never thinking that there might be someone else at the party who could very likely mistake that particular pop can for his own and take a mighty swig from it. Oh my God, the thought, it gags me. How nauseating it would be to feel one of those wretched things fall against your lips and…Egad…the flavor…and yet the cruel smoker will laugh at such misfortune.

****.

God help me.

She was not a robot when I met her. Oh, no, she was a beautiful, exciting, passionate loving woman with a heart of gold and a desire that was practically insatiable. Here…take a look, I have a photograph in my wallet. See what I mean? That’s right, daddy-O, she was a real dreamboat. I used to carry this picture with me wherever I went…I guess I still do, huh? But I don’t know why. I don’t know why I torture myself looking at it, remembering what was, all we had, our bright and glorious future wrecked and deserted by her newfound proclivity for smoking cigarettes. Yeah, my friend, she was a real keeper. But you know what? **** her now, y’know? Just turn her over and **** her.

But hey…perhaps I’ve been too harsh on the smoker in general (if not to her…no, not to her). Perhaps I have exaggerated a bit. After all, some of my best friends smoke. It’s their business, not mine. Never has been mine. I know that. If they knew how I felt about the whole thing, whose to say they wouldn’t tell me to ****** off and never come back? Then again, if they are so shallow as to take any of this as a personal insult, then maybe, just maybe they aren’t my friends after all. I doubt the robot would want anything more to do with me if she knew what a stalwart anti-smoker I am. But I thought she felt the same. She DID feel the same. She told me as much. Before she lost her soul. Before she started smoking cigarettes. Before she started bumming ciggys.

I got no time for changes in her life so now I ask you again…where were you when I was falling in love?

Were you sitting in a Pentecostal Holiness church on a hard pew early Sunday morning before the service began, thumbing through the hymnal, looking for one that best expressed your feelings of devotion at that point in your spiritual journey? And what would that hymn have been? “Onward Christian Soldiers”? “Peace in the Valley”? “In the Garden”? “Smoke on the Water”? “Hotel California”? Maybe some obscure Black Sabbath song tucked in at the end of the book, next to the Doxology?

Did your hair shimmer, reflected in the light that poured through the stained glass window directly behind you? Did you feel it’s heat on your neck? Did it draw out beads of perspiration there, glistening? Would you have let me lick them and taste their saltiness even in the sanctuary of the church building? Probably not. But I don’t think the idea would repulse you like it would some other bonnet headed midi-skirt wearing holy rollin’ *****.

Maybe I would have asked you outside so that you might feel a little more comfortable with what I’d had in mind.

And maybe you would have told me “no”. I couldn’t blame you for that. No, I wouldn’t. It’s only natural for a real woman to guard her integrity in situations such as this one. I could not hold that against you.

Is that where you were? I need to know. Where the hell were you when I was falling in love?
Michael Feb 2017
Your voice rises up like worms from the earth.

No matter how deep I bury it, it claws back out,
To think of its tenor brings me nothing but hurt.

Your voice rises up like worms from the earth;

To see its gaunt face, a fresh mound of doubt,
The day you left me you had no room for air.

Now it's me, who can't breathe, lungs filled with despair.
draft
Cody Edwards Apr 2010
Skeletons of shadow teach me anatomy from inside the ark.
Quiet. Old women at the double doors. So dark, the sanctum.
Heaven is stained glass. Fold your paper hands, your husband
Mumbles under the preacher's emphysema. On the mic,
Occasional screams of raspy black-and-white noise. Screams.
How He screams. Red-faced Church-parent. Little Easter bows,
The snarling bouquets who sting and follow the grass-green Moon.
Of the ten mounted fans, only one stays awake enough to listen,
Awake enough to hope to catch every particle of sleeping dust.
We were made from dust. The mountains too. I can't see.
The concrete days. Cinders and spiders and cracking tile.
Roaring, wailing, proliferating my thick umbra in the mesmer flask.

When the door opens, how will I feel? Glass and sandstone.
Will I have my face or someone else's? Eight faces by four.
How will I taste? Cinnamon and lapis.
Will I have angles or planes? Metric and function.

Little, silver words trail fingers through me, trace me, and cement me.
I glisten once and then am spent.
© Cody Edwards 2010
Astrid Ember Feb 2015
One of these
days I'll forget
how your name
numbs my tongue.

But not today.
Today your name
is hot poisonous
gas trapped in
my ribcage.
Today you
are steam burning
my throat
screaming
"Oh god!"
"Oh god!"
"Oh god!:
because you
are going to
be my
shadow again.

You are going to
be everywhere
again.

I keep
having these
flashbacks
of when I
was choking
on my words
as you held me
down.
Of when
he held up
the camera
and you bent
me over the
couch and
You both
laughed as
I giggled and
whispered "stop please"
instead of screaming
because my mother
was upstairs.
When me saying
"I'm done. No seriously
stop."
turning into your wicked
grins in your rotc
uniforms
pointing at your badges
"we're higher ranked
than you. You aren't
done yet." and that...
******* camera.

Always threatening
to **** yourself
when I did "wrong".
Always threatening-
Always
threatening me.

I was your puppet
and when
I spoke for myself.
another threat.
I got rid of you.
But you dug a hole
under my skin and
crawled right back in.
Shot me in the head
and like a maggot
crawled into my
Broca's area
controlling what I
said.

It got worse.
You were *******
other girls.
I got rid of
you again.
You acted like
we were wolves.
But I heard they
mate for life.
I heard they're loyal.

You my sweet,
are just a worm.

Saying you love me
promising you love
me.
And then texting another
girl the same thing
as you're whispering it
into my ear.

I pushed.
I pushed.
I pushed.
You were a
concrete wall.
A snapped spinal
cord between a
paralyzed man
and using his legs again.
The emphysema
that keeps a
person from breathing.
You were a disease.

And just like brain cancer
you deteriorated me
and controlled me.

For 2 months
you were everywhere.
For 2 months you
were always the
ghost around the
next corner.
You followed me...
Everywhere.
Showing up outside
my house to walk me
to school.
Showing up outside
my classes to tell me
you loved me and hated
me at the same time.

Every time I pushed,
you threatened.
Always another suicide
attempt as I tried to
get out of the grave
you put me in.
You kept throwing dirt
on me and saying "I can
finally breathe!"

I remember that one day,
your hands were ******.
Glass was everywhere.
Your pocket rattled.
My name engraved on
your thigh.
"Janna this blood
is your fault" as it
ran down your leg.
You stuffed pills
into your mouth,
pushed me away
as I screamed
and clawed at your
throat trying to
get them out.

Next time.
More blood,
less pills,
but you were
dizzy, delirious,
saying you love
me, saying goodbye,
throwing up, saying
goodbye, resisting my help,
your hands looked miles away
which is probably why
for once you didn't touch me.

It's taken me
2 months
to realize the
leaves moving
behind me weren't
you running for me.
2 months to realize
the person behind me
isn't going to capture
me and keep me locked up.

You're back from the
mental asylum.
And just the thought
of your brown eyes
breaks down what ever
recovery I built up.

You are an atomic bomb.
And I'm not sure there's
ever going to be a day
where I don't tremble
at the thought of you.
  And if there is, then
  it is not today.
Michael. ugh. it's so long,.
Warren-Johnson May 2017
How we sell ourselves short so often
We tell a fib or a little white lie
To avoid conflict
To save face
For a greater good

What a fallacy
A lie is a lie

How can one ignore the fact
We throw away our integrity
We don't show true to our character

Or is it that you are a liar ?
The deed itself is deceit
Double dealing
Trickery
Fraud
Underhandedness
Treachery

Oh but to say a few
When done to us we are hurt
Why not have that same integrity we wish be dealt our way?

Cause it's easier?
Is it?

If it's easier for you
Then you have no place near me!
I won't say I never lie!
Oh I have yes!

But it's taken it's toll on me!

I know integrity!
I know it's arch enemy too!

A white lie?
Really is that what we tell ourselves?
It's like getting leukemia
To cure  Emphysema!
Ridiculous yeah!

But I'll choose to rather be silent than lie!
I'll be the man I portray!
The man I want to look up to!

I have to try

Or I am just that same as that
diminutive little deed!
A LIE
William Lodge Oct 2016
They call it automatic
The doors to the market open
For you
Only for you
Not for me, automatic breath shuffles away

Part of my soul remains on watch
Blood does flow
Automatically so
But the engine of the body
Is lacking fuel today

I shouldn’t have to think about this
It should be there
But it’s morning
And yes, the birds sing
And I can’t take a deep breath
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
As he puffed his American Spirit, a handsome Asian business man said good morning. To the low hum of cars streaming by, I sang back, "Have a nice day!" We passed, two birds on their way to summer. I hope we don't get the emphysema.
Britney Kempker Jun 2014
1
Is that my name on your tongue?
***** I'm the smoke up in your lungs!
Got that 1930s aptness
crazy off that ****** madness.
These players whining, got emphysema
acting like ******* is the remedy--I
I got rhymes to define my time
ain't nobody expecting
a lyrical mastermind.
But I don't owe you **** and
I ain't got **** to prove
stand toe-to-toe with me
*****, I never lose.
I ain't going to beg for your approval
it's this confidence that keeps me youthful.
work in progress
Ben Sep 2012
call me the cancer fairy
i bring burnable gifts of
chronic emphysema and hopeless addiction
with death on your lips
i hope that you think of me
as the cherry ember glows low
and soft grey ash caresses
even softer fingertips
viva la cigarettes! a love story in smoke
don't be a square, smoke 'em!
kittykatnip Dec 2014
what is heaven to you?

heaven to me is a place your mind creates;
a place where you are happiest.

I imagine your heaven being a garden
with petunias and hydrangeas.
you are kneeling with a small shovel in your hand
digging little holes in a flower bed
to place the little flowers there to live.
your cancer is gone
and so is your emphysema.
your legs are perfect
and your arms don't have bruises on them. ((your skin was always so sensitive))
you've got on your green striped shirt
with the matching green pants.
your cigarettes are in your pocket
and you are humming and singing an old tune from 1951:
"Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin'? How's about cookin' somethin' up with me!"
you have that same front porch I remember
drinking the same Lipton cold brew sweet tea.

that's where I think your heaven is.

where is my heaven?

right next to you.
singing, planting flowers, and sipping sweet tea.
Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei*, Heraclitus

Home is overgrown upturned Skoda Larkman gardens,
t/ green fuse that drives t/ weeds thru t/ roached rust.
Home is an old stoner blazing up for 1st time in a wily,
Bach's Air on a Gstring rastabillyskank stylee.
& other stillborn whimsy in ascension daze
of velvet donuts & cobalt monoxide boas,
sinuously flailing to t/ top of mi old
pleasuredome (ex-ape apex I can't think off right now),
l/ my house clearance oeuvre casting about
f/ sickness footnote from a psychagogue
worth a deathbed namedrop.
But Afagdu beats Argus everytime, so before
pretty Paranoia flutters her abyss of eyes,
flyjars my headspace in a sparagmosphere
of cylindered sniggers & canned scopaesthesia,
this little poet went whitey whiney ennui
all t/ way... Back to life, well t/ past, home
to my 1st song:

'We are t/ ****** skyvers, we fly l/ t/ spiders
summer soughs walloped off gossamer homes.
Drugs  & jobs are much of a muchness,
you do both uptill t/ tomb strikes one.'

But that 1st broken home of teenage drossomer
was a paperhouse skinnedup by a long pig
& shrugged to t/ ground by  a sinkhole tonic solfa
rightoutta redlionlane of that deafdumblind
white dwarf wolf, Indifference.
Who blewout my lucky stars l/ emphysema,
t/ thunderthiever from Nietzsche memers
& wheezers who are dreamers of kneesers,
1 last memoryfoamparty in Ibiza.
Big bad meh
left my own homing howl hanging f/ all time,
was no more worthwhile wolf who windsheared
sheep of home off my loner's fallow.
No shadowy plot, just a plot of shadow, any
future
dream
home
razed far more fundamentally than simply at t/ foundations.
I am a walking long shadow, talking to t/ long shadows
of walking home late longago.
Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei:
"Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers."

Larkman = Norwich council estate
alexis hill Jan 2017
so- what you running from?
nah- those cats on the corner they
"hella" dumb

ok, lets slow down
you not prepared to hit the ground
don't let the beast run its mouth
when I moved west to east town

I used to cry out why
because unlike sunny skies
I could never open my eyes
everyone I know would die

if I opened my mouth
out would come lies

only used to snorting synthetic white
**** faced used to crashin at night
the outspoken type
who's a lost pathetic dreamer
the poetic artistic type, a day dweller

caught in "coffins" in between ya
I'm coughing emphysema
sky scrapers in between
with no one knowing Andre Nickatina

I trace icy window sills with ashy fingertips
surpassed by the New York hustle
but only by minutes

I do this for *** heads
and kids I kicked it with as a teen
and insomniacs who still
raises the lid to catch sleep

and without it?
yeah I'm crazy and you mental too
I rock spiritual without a break to breathe
stop or interval

I'm from the state
where sunshine will never stop
and transferred to the state
which perfected the "rock"
where liberals stand
and conservatives call themselves the man

I don't want to
but I'm willed though
the city's filled with every skin tone

if I ever dream I think
I'll try and let it slip
and let my fingertips
trickle till I catch it
Jerry Bolton Jan 2015
not content
to wander down to the park
with other old men
sit on the invariably gnarled benches
swap stories
from whatever past
they think they can remember
mostly all fabrications
and of course
they talk about me
shaking their heads and whisper
he thinks he’s a poet
they all have a subdued hearty laugh
because a real laugh
might cause some to choke up
it’s the emphysema
don’t you know
the thing is
old men’s gossip turns me off
while they think
I sit in The Hovel
and brood
I am constantly busy
writing
I have my poems
they help to sustain me
I just finished co-authoring a novel
"Magical"
I live in worlds they have
no notion of
true, they get to see more nature
than do I
but I get to see the world
through my dreams
I turn into the written word

©January 20, 2015 / Jerry Pat Bolton

Elin Saari has lived with terror no woman should ever have to endure. Devlin Grimm, the man she fell hard for turned out to be so cruel to her she began to silently call him Satan. The years spent with Satan were so severe she truly felt she had no mind of her own. Still, something inside of her made her make the break and she filed for divorce. Satan upped the ante and she had to run to get away from him. Wherever she went he would find her and harass her. She was at her wits end when something profound happened. Through the magic of a strange necklace she began to receive messages, until desperately she tried to summon whoever was trying to contact her. Touch Starlin' walked into her life and explained who he was and how closely connected they were. Touch took charge of trying to rid Satan – the name she had started calling him was closer to the truth that she could have ever known. Satan follows them wherever they go and Elin begins to doubt Touch's Powers.

PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER . . .

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kenz Aug 2014
maybe, i'll tattoo your lies across my skin just to say
'*******'
to everything i've ever believed in;
and with the boiling rage my heart pumps into my chest,
i'll force the blood of truth down your throat
until you ***** up reality,
but i've never had the heart to rip yours to shreds.

so maybe instead, i'll scratch your eyes out with my own ****** fingernails to shield you from the bruises painted up and down my battered body in all the colors you whispered in my ear while he touched your porcelain frame with the same hands that pulled apart the cage around my heart as you listened to it beat the rhythm of your name.

your broken promises added fuel to the flame rising up in my chest
until the wildfire burned me from the inside out,
and even then you held onto him as i writhed in pain,
just to keep yourself from tending the fire you ignited.

your hands pieced my broken heart into a home,
but you dragged him inside and ****** him in the room i first said
"i love you"
until the walls came crashing down
and my own veins turned in on themselves to keep from smothering the abyss of emphysema you call lungs.

i saved the butts from your last pack to burn my name into your arm,
but why waste a perfectly clean wrist
when i could instead burn off my scars into something empty,
                                 raw,        
                                              and vulnerable,                  
like you and i were before he brainwashed you with his eyes
                                                            ­                    and lips            
                                                ­                 and smile.                  

you built me off an empty promise where your hands were on me
instead of with him,
where your lips left a road map of untraceable patterns along my skin instead of kissing lies into every crevice of my body,
where you whispered that you loved me
instead of screaming his name into my tears.

you warned me you were trouble,
but before you, trouble never meant drunken breath slapping my cheeks until even my own lungs gave up on me,
or blue and purple thumb prints dancing on my throat.

somehow i still believed you when you screamed "i'm sorry" over the sirens carrying me off to a white room where they pumped so many drugs into me that i couldn't count my own fingers and men dressed in blue asked too many questions about bruises i didn't know i even had,
and i lied so well they let you take me home the next day;
i guess i learned from the best.

so maybe, i'll smash that glass doll you can't keep your fingers off of,
and choke you with the filters of an addiction i never asked for,
or drown you in the tears soaked into my pillow from the nights you never came home
and i didn't know if you were dead
or alive
or strung out behind that old club on bourbon street
or wrapped in the sheets with that ***** who fed you everything you thought you wanted until you forgot everything you had.

maybe, i'll kiss you until it hurts,
until you that *** toy you found in the street means nothing to you,
and you remember all the times
i forgave your hands around my throat
and your knuckles on my skin.

i could remind you what love feels like.

maybe, i'll force feed you the pills in my jewelry box all prescribed to cure your lies until i need a whole new round of medication that makes me forget my own name,
but all the drugs in this world couldn't save me from myself,
and even your needles in my veins won't take me back to the first touch the night you brought me home.

i'm not that girl you met under the light of the full moon anymore,
all smiles
               and laughs          
and dancing to music only i could hear,                      
                        now i'm just a reflection of your darkest days,
no wonder you threw me out.

but you can't run from yourself forever.

so maybe, just maybe,
i'll wrap my hands around your throat for a change,
and watch the light leave the most beautiful eyes the sun has ever seen.

maybe i'll bury you alone,
with nothing but the wilting petals of a decaying,
once-red        
                rose.                      

          
     *m.k.
C J Baxter Dec 2015
Fingers worked to the bone
drip blood onto the work they are crafting.
He slaves here alone,
but to the rest of the world is acting;
painting his life as one of absurd peaks
and bottomless, dark troughs;
he makes tumours out of modern migraines;
emphysema out of ordinary coughs.

"Play the part or it will play you."
The life of the private celebrity.
Do not wish for attention, I pray you,
for it holds within it no tortured sincerity.
Instead, it holds a hollow hatred
for everything you never did become;
And then your parade fades
and becomes your kingdom come.

There is no sweet swan song
to they who have fallen from the light.
No cry, no gasp, no bell, no gong.
Just like the day, they are consumed by the night.
It’s silent creeping, or it’s sudden fall
all but chokes them dead.
Then it ***** them where they lay.
Mouth gagged, legs willingly spread.  

Private People Should Not Seek Her Attention.
Zach Lubline Apr 2017
My mom asks me what I'm studying,
And I say The heart.
Her interests peaks,
Because she's always seen
The body as a work of art.
She wants to know more,
So I give her the brief about pumps,
What makes it faster or slower,
But I don't want to talk about this,
In truth, I haven't told my parents much since I started to go here.

We've studied anatomy,
And how bleeding works,
Biochemistry,
And why swollen red skin
Seems to always hurt.
But the more I've taken in,
The less I've given out.
As if being an expert for only you
Is what becoming a doctor is all about.

I tell my friends my grades are good,
Though I definitely study less than I could.
And after saying school is fine,
I skip to some other line
Of thought,
Like I suddenly don't have the time
To include my friends in this new life
Of mine.
It's not that they wouldn't understand,
Because these pals are smart as hell
And it's not that they wouldn't want
More details than "I'm doing well."
And it's not that to learn,
You have to forget,
About the people who matter,
Who got you where you needed to get.

It's that this world is skull-crushingly,
Mind-numbingly full
And at the end of the day,
Escape seems the goal.
But creating two worlds
Makes it easy to leave one behind.
And I wouldn't want to lose the rhythm
Of my values
Just to learn more medical rhymes.

So I need to work harder
To tell my mom about the heart.
To make these two lives
A little less apart.
How there're really two pumps,
No, really there're four,
And in some people's hearts,
You can hear a dull roar
Of a valve slamming shut
Or opening at the wrong time.
And if you've got pulses in your feet,
You're doing just fine.
To tell my friends the truth,
Instead of sloughing it off,
That asthma and emphysema
May have a similar cough.
Or that there are really two systems
That your body uses to clot.
And platelets aren't the only
Thing that you got.

To become a good doctor,
I have to become a good man.
And I thought until now
That was a simple enough plan.
But it might not just be about
Good bedside manner and empathy.
It might be more about how I treat
Those important to me.
If I can give everyone Zach
Without a dodge or excuse,
I'll become a doctor in training,
AND a doctor in truth.
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
My cigarettes are surrogate lovers.
Each with their own demands.
Lung cancer,
Birth defects,
Emphysema,
It's our imperfections that make us special.
toxic in large dose      
used to treat emphysema
invasive coltsfoot
Ryan O'Leary Oct 2019
.
                      


                       I was in Musee d'Orsay by
                   Daumier's interpretation of Don
                     Quixote finding a deceased
                                      donkey.

                      It reminds one of a cigarette
                      advertisement, the ***, with
                     his tongue out, gasping for a
                    breath of air with emphysema.
                     Marlboro Man comes to mind.

                  In silhouette, as Cervantes pair
                 this lonesome rider from the sun
                              made his arrival.

                   Smoke signals on yonder hill
                     a warning read, like some
                  unwanted poster 'Live or Dead.



ps.

Rosinante was a free spirit,
no reins, it is a metaphor
for Socialism
just jabbering gibberish (A - I)

Again, another awkward ambitious
arduous attempt at alphabetically
arranging atrociously ambiguously
absolutely asinine avoidable alliteration.

Because...? Basically bonafide belching,
bobbing, bumbling, bohemian beastie boy,
bereft ******, bleeds blasé blues, begetting
bloviated boilerplate bildungsroman,
boasting bougainvillea background.

Civil, clever clover chomping, cheap
chipper cool cutthroat clueless clodhopper,
chafed centenary, codifies communication
cryptically, challenging capable, certifiably
cheerful college coed.

Divine dapper daredevil, deft, destitute,
doddering, dorky dude, dummkopf Dagwood
descendent, dagnabbit, demands daring
dedicated doodling, dubious, dynamite,

deaf dwarf, diehard doppelganger, Doctor
Demento double, declaring depraved
daffy dis(pense)able dufus Donald Duck
derailed democracy devastatingly defunct.

Eccentric, edified English exile,
effervescent, elementary, echinoderm
eating egghead, Earthling, excretes,
etches, *******, effortless exceptional
emphatic effluvium enraging eminent,

eschatologically entranced, elongated
elasmobranchii, emerald eyed Ebenezer,
effectively experiments, emulates epochal
eczema epidemic, elevating, escalating,
exaggerating enmity, enduring exhausting
emphysema.

Freed fentanyl fueled, fickle figurative
flippant fiddler, fiendishly filmy, fishy,
fluke, flamboyantly frivolous, fictitious,
felonious, fallacious, fabulously fatalistic,
flabbergasted, fettered, flustered, facile,
faceless, feckless, financially forked,

foregone, forlorn futile fulsome, freckled
feverish, foo fighting, faulty, freezing,
fleeting famously failing forecaster, flubs
"FAKE" fundamental fibber fiat, fabricating
fiery fissile fractured fios faculties.

Gamesomeness goads gawky, gingerly,
goofily graceful, grandiloquent gent, gallant,
genteel, geico, guppy gecko, gabbling gaffes,
gagging, gamboling, gestating, gesticulating,
garlic, gnashing, gobbling, gyrating,

gruesomely grinning, grappling, gnomadic
giggly, grubby, gastrointestinally grumpy
gewgaw gazing guy, geographically germane,
gungho, grave gremlin, grumbling, guiding,
guaranteeing, guerilla gripped gatling guns
ginning gumpshun.

Hello! Herewith halfway harmless hazmat,
haphazard haggard, hectored, hastily,
hurriedly, harriedly hammered, handsomely
hackneyed, heady, hellbent hillbilly, hirsute,
hidden hippie, huffy humanoid, hexed, heady,
Hellenistic, holistic, hermetic, hedonistic
heterosexual **** sapiens historical heirloom,
homeless, hopeful, holy, hee haw heretical hobo.

Indefatigable, iconographic, iconic, idealistic,
idyllic, inimitable, idiosyncratic, ineffable,
irreverently issuing idiotic, indifferent, inert,
ineffectual, ingeniously iniquitous, immaterial,
insignificant, indubitable, inexplicable, ignoble
itches, ineffectually illustriously illuminating
immovable infused ichthyosaurus implanted
inside igneous intrusions immensely
imperturbable improbable.

— The End —