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Maxim Keyfman Nov 2018
gums gums oh they go
where go where run
I don't know about everything either

and all step and all run
where I run and again
gums gums oh they go

day after day like water
both in paint and turning
I don't know about everything either

what do I know about what I do
what about me to be after all
gums gums oh they go

where are we all going where we are
where are we going step
I don't know about everything either

but listen to me listen
I exist and everything is ahead
gums gums oh they go
I don't know about everything either

19.11.18
jack of spades Jun 2016
it’s the first day of a fresh new school year when
one of your teachers looks you dead in the eye and says,
“introduce yourself.”
your classmates,
familiar to you yet all somehow strangers,
scramble for some short snippet of a way to encompass everything they
have spent the past sixteen to eighteen years accumulating.
when it’s your turn and every eye turns upon you in anticipation for you to “introduce yourself,”
you taste iron in your gums and say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
and every last one of your peers agrees.
see, for the past three years every time someone asks me how old i am,
i start to tell them “fifteen”
and i don’t think that i’m the only one when it comes to this whole crisis of identity.
see, for the past three years i look back on who i used to be
and sneer at past versions of myself,
a babushka doll of self-loathing as i once saw it so eloquently put.
how am i supposed to introduce myself
if i’m going to hate what i see looking back in probably three months?

it’s some kind of family event or holiday when
one of your relatives, or friend of a parent, friend of a friend of a friend of a coworker,
looks you dead in the eye and asks,
“what are you doing with your life?”
your cousins are all too much older, family and yet strangers,
staring wide-eyed because they remember the horror of
getting asked this by every other adult in sight.
you take two short breaths and taste iron in your gums and you say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
and everyone rushes to assure you that it’s fine not to have decided yet,
as though anyone ever actually sticks to the career path they choose when they are just
eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen.
when i was thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten,
took every single interaction as an attack upon my person.
i was selfish and self-absorbed and, quite frankly,
one of the most problematic kids that i know.
not in the “scene kid who won’t stop talking about anime” kind of jokingly problematic
but the kind of problematic where i thought it was okay to
repeatedly ignore a gay friend’s request to stop throwing around the word “******.”
how am i supposed to tell you what i’m doing with my life
when less than a decade ago i was everything that i have now come to completely
and utterly hate?

it’s a social event full of friend-of-a-friends,
people who are complete and utter strangers,
meeting you for the first time so of course
they’ll look you dead in the eye and ask you,
“what’s your name?”
suddenly your heart is in your throat because there is power in names,
power that you will never shake,
and to be quite honest you have too many names to pick just one.
in a split second decision you have to assign this new person as a peer, an acquaintance,
figure out who you are mutually in contact with.
when the silence stretches a beat too long,
you taste iron in your gums and say,
“i’m not sure yet.”
maybe this time it’s not as appropriate of an answer,
and all your friends are looking at you strangely.
see, everyone i know has a different name to call me.
my best friend calls me ‘jack’ and my mother calls me ‘claire.’
my teachers struggle to figure out which one i prefer.
see, once upon a time i read an essay about how names have power.
you summon spirits by their names.
you control demons by knowing their names.
an angel’s song is its name.
i tried to divide myself into tiny pieces so that no one could ever have full control over me.
i have accepted a handful of aliases and nicknames that i respond to
sooner than the one on my birth certificate
so that no one may ever own me.

i write a lot of poetry about not knowing where i’m going.
the problem with dwelling on these things is that i am still going,
going,
going with still no destination determined.
how long can a train go in a straight line before it derails itself?
how far can a train go before it runs out of fuel?

hi, my name is jack. i like
outer space and poetry,
physics and creative writing.
hi, my name is jack. i am
not an earthling-- my home is in the stars,
somewhere far away for which i am still searching.
the marrow of my bones whispers for me to just go go go go go--
but i can’t drive on the highway without inducing anxiety,
and i don’t think i’m quite smart enough to become a rocket scientist.
i’ve just got to cross my fingers and pray
that somehow they’ll pick me to revisit the moon someday.
Lyra O Aug 2014
In
and
out
my mouth
you go

feeling every inch of my warm heat
with your inanimate cold
with a streak of burning mint
and brutally
like a finger made of plastic

scrubbing my teeth,
scraping my tongue,
sliding against my hollowed-out cheeks
mercilessly,

and my gums begin to bleed
and the mint is stained with blood
and the white has become pink
and it burns
it burns

but I guide you.
09 August 2013.
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!

being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on ******).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.

yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.

though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.

when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes  redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.

’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues.
while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.

whether heroes or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).

if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or ******* or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt’!

protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.

if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?

WE maintain many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns:
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.

OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.

down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).

politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!

ah! OUR wars are, well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (Armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.

useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.

as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.

yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.  
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.

WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).

but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that We cast to the sty.

though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.

yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).

while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
their own school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.

and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!

WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR throne...
whether diamonds or rubies... to gemstones WE’re prone) .
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em a bone.

now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions  and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagnes, ginger ales.
:-)
Big Virge Oct 2014
One ... Must show ...
.... " Composure " ....
when facing ... " Exposure " ...
to ... Ignorant Heads ... !!!!! ...
"Showing" ... Disrespect ... !!!!!!

Like those ...
QUICK to run ...
Their ... "jealous" ... gums ...
who ... ACT ... as though ...
They Fear ... NO FOE ... !!!!!!!

There's ... ALWAYS ONE ... !!!!!
who will ... succumb ...
to ... Provoking You ...
through ... " Shady Moves !!! " ...

The ... Type of Fool ...
who can't deal with ....

... " Truth " ... !?!

and runs ... A Show ...
that is .... " A Joke " ....
because their ... flow ...

..... Through .....
Speech ... or ... Prose
is ... Nothing More ...
than ... WEAK and Flawed ... !!!!!

The type ... who lick ...

******* ... ******* ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A **** Type ....
" Neo-Fascist " ....
who keeps ... His ...

.... " ******* " ....
CLOSE TO HIM .... !!!!!

Just like .... George ...
and .... Mr. Blair ....

These ... "Evil Types" ...
are ... " Everywhere " ... !!!!!

Offering ... Bribes ...
to ... Dummies Inclined ...
to ... " Towing Their Line ?!? " ...
of ... " Corrupted Designs ! " ...

They're ...

Greasy .... Slimy ....
Sneaky ... and ...  Grimy ... !!!!!

The type ... whose death ...
Won't Be ... " Untimely " ... !!!!!

" What's Wrong ... with them ?!? "

Well clearly, they ....
Have got ... PROBLEMS ... !!!!!

Some ...
Try To ... IMPRESS ...
through their  ....
Use of ..... Text .....
when they should ... accept ...

that their prose ... is ...

.... " Worthless " .... !!!!!

"Classic" .... FOOLS ....
who make ... Wrong Moves ... !!!!!

Just to ... make you ...
Lose your ... cool ... !!!!!

When ... dealing with them ...
" Composure's " ... The Tool ...
that makes them start to ...

..... " Hurl Abuse " ..... !!!!!

and ... continue ...
to break the ... RULES ... !!!

" The Rules " ... of ...
....... The Game .......

that ... CLEARLY ... State ... !!!

RESPECT ... is ... EARNED ... !!!!!
NOT ... Taken ... OKAY ... !!!!!!!!!!!

These FOOLS ... can't take ...

" Truthful Wordplay " ....

So they .....
Choose to display

" Aggressive Traits " ... !!!

when clearly ... They ...
should ... Know Their Place ... !!!!!

Watching those ....
who ... COMMAND ... The Stage ...
with ... Ease ... Composure ...
and .... Such Grace ...

That ...
WHATEVER ... They Say ... !!!?!!!
Leaves ... Them ...

..... Upstaged ..... !!!!!!

" Jealous Ingrates " ....

who think ... because ...
You've ... Walked ... AWAY ...
that ... You're ... AFRAID ...

which is .... Ofcourse ....
Their ... First Mistake ... !!!!!

There's .....
ALWAYS ONE ... !!!!
who is ... So Dumb ... !!!
that their own actions ...
Leave them .... STUNG .... !!!!!!!
and in .... The End ....
cause them ... Problems ... !!!!!!!!

If they were .... " Clever " ....
They'd use ... Their Heads ... !!!
and use ... Their Pens ...
to prove that they're ... " BETTER " ...
than ... " Butting Heads " ... !!!!!! ...

But .....
They choose to ... REJECT ...
Butting ... " Intellects " ...
cos' ... They KNOW ...
that's a ... " Test " ...
that's ... BEYOND ... Their Best ... !!!!!

That figures .......

" Oh Yes " ... !!!!!

because they're ... " INEPT " ...

So they ... Choose to ...
Make ... THREATS ... !!!!!
as well as ... " Disrespect " ... ?!!!?
... " Respected Poets ! " ...
who they know ... write poems ...

Waaaayyyy ABOVE ... !!!!!!

Their attempts .... !!!

They think that they ....
are ... WINNERS ... !!!!!!!!!

When ... CLEARLY ... they ...
are ... SINNERS ... !!!!!!
who are ... Absolute ...
....... BEGINNERS ....... !!!!!

Who ...
NEED to ... Learn ...

to ... SIMMER ... down ... !!!

It's Not ... Their fault ...
that they ... are ... " CLOWNS " ... !!!

But .....
Threats of .... ASSAULT ....
May ... bring them ... DOWN ... !!!!!!

So ....
REMEMBER ... These Words ... !!!!!

They're ... WELL OBSERVED ... !!!!!

Their ... IGNORANCE ...
has ... NO DEFENCE ...
and just ... CONFIRMS ...

Their Lack .....
of ... " Depth " ... !!!

Their ... ARROGANCE ...
Drowns ... " Common Sense " ...

which ... In the ... END ...
They may .... REGRET .... !!!!!

Their movements ...
....... " SMELL " ...... !!!!!!!!!!

of ..... " Jealousy " .....
because they ... write ...

" WEAK POETRY ! "

That ... SHUNS Truth ...
and ... " REALITY " ... ?!!!?

It seems ... " The Truth " ...
Hurts Fools ... like ... THEM ...

..... " Therefore " .....
... " Their School " ...

is one for people ...
with ... " PROBLEMS " ... !!!!!

So .....
Now ... This Piece ...
has reached ......

It's ... " Closure " ...

The Moral ... is ...

when dealing with ...

" Human Insects " ...

Don't get ... TENSE ... !!!

If they choose ta ...
... " Taunt Ya " ...

Ignore them ... YES ...

and show .....

.... " Composure " ....
I'd suggest, A PRICELESS ... commodity ...
Right about NOW !
Nikki Mar 2019
smile.
your aching gums would only want that.
flowers.
I bet your girl would adore them.
breathe...because I know you are dying to again.
Drifting Down Dec 2014
The stomach pain is horrendous
The taste of dessert coming back
The look of disaster
stab me, choke me, **** me
The disapproval upon the faces
The miserable sounds in the background
The insecurity peaking out
save me, help me, rescue me
The choke before the gag
The spit before the rest
The death in my stomach
take me, be me, please
The blood in my gums
The ache in my throat
It's over–
I'm alright again.
Repeat.
Kuzhur Wilson Sep 2013
My poetry, which knew it was
the cry of a lonely bird
on a solitary tree
in my village,
asked Spring its name.

Spring began to speak –

The fruit laden Vayyankatha, her thorny pangs, hijab-wearing  Guf, her minarets, Thondi  blushing red with kisses,  her moist lips, orphaned Adalodakam, Nellippuli in a polka dotted dress, Pulivakawaiting for the breeze, Anjili   head towards the south, yawning Cherupuuna, Pera with the names of grandmas scribbled on her leaves, Ilantha blowing into the hearth, Ilapongu rubbing his eyes, Irippa, Atha laughing noisily,Cholavenga in tattered clothes, Irumbakam, Padappa catching his breath after running, Pattipunna wagging his tail, bare footed Pattuthali, Thekku the noblest among them, Thekkotta, Neervalam  recollecting her last birth, Neeraal, sobbing Neelakkadambu, Pathimukam, lazy thanal murikku, Karimaruthu, Karinkura, Asttumayil, Velladevaram, Kattukadukka, the gluttonous Badam, amnesiac Vazhanna, boredVarachi, Nangmaila, Eucalyptuswith a sprained back, viscous red Rakthachandanam, saffron robed Rudraksham, Vakka, Vanchi,  Parangimaavu nostalgic of his ancestral home, Vari, Nedunaar, Marotti with a hundred offsprings, Malangara, Malampunna ,Nenmeni Vaka trying his luck in a lottery, Nelli with a sour smile.

Kadaplaavu doing sketches with leaves, Kari straying from the queue, Kattuthuvara buying things on credit, Kattutheyila boiling over, Kattupunna with a pus-oozing sore, Kumkumam putting a bindi on her forehead, starving Ventheku, Vellakadambu making a missed call, Kattadi standing aloof, her feeble hands,  flowering Ilanji, her fragrant trunk, sighing Aalmaram, Pachavattil, Pachilamaram  gossiping with the chameleon, Panachi,Pamparakumbil, Kadambu memories adorning her head, Kudamaram carrying provisions for the home,  Punnappa,Poongu, gray hairedChuruli, Chuvannakil  singing a folk song, dark skinned Vattil, Kulaku, Karinjaaval, sozzled Pamparam, Chorappayir, njama, Njaaval  tempting the birds, Njaara, Alasippooscratching his palm, Ashokam  humming a sad song.

Ezhilampala chewing on a masala paan, Peenaari wearing a tie, Peelivaka, Pulichakka with a broken leg, Pezhu demanding his wages, Kumbil, Kurangaadi, Kasukka with a dislocated elbow,Valiyakaara, Vallabham, Chavandi, stunning Chinnakil , Chittal with a failed brake, Vidana, Sheemappanji, the loan shark Odukku, Oda  on musth,fatherless Kadakonna, childlessShimshapa, Sindooram with a flushed face, Karinthakara singing the thannaaro, Vellappayir high on grass, Poothilanji showing off her blossoms, sour faced Kudampuli.

Wet in the rain Kulamaavu, Kudamaavu circling around himself, Pari from the netherworld,Poopathiri in a priest’s robe,  Poochakadambu on all fours, Kulappunna covered in a blanket, Kundalappala checking his astro forecast, Pachotti, ******* Perumaram, Perumbal  thinking of the sea, phlegm clogged Anathondi, Anakkotti, Cheruthuvara, Ilavangam, Thanni,naughty Thirukkalli,  Karappongu, embracing Kattadi, Thudali, Thelli, Kara, Malayathi,Malavirinji, shameless Kashumaavu,mud slinging Karuka, Vedinal, suicide prone Attumaruthu,Attuvanchi  who glides on the stream like a fallen shadow.

Mandaram  dressed in white, Vanna, brazen Mahagani, Karivelam doing the accounts,Jakarantha, Koombala, friendless Koovalam, Kattukamuku with his hands around friends, Kolli, Paruva,Krishnanaal with a crooked smile, Cocoa with no one to turn to, Cork,Palakapayyani, Pavizhamalli wearing necklace and bangles, a lonely Mazhamaram, Mangium, Mathalam exposing her *******, Chemmaram, Pashakottamaram, Malavembu, tearful Chamatha, Vatta, Vattakoombitired of running around, smoking Pine, Porippovanam, Kaaluvnthatherakam, Thembaavu, grinningDantaputri, Narivenga, Navathi, grumbling Mazhukkanjiram,Arayanjili,  Arayal playing a game with the wind.

Choola kissing the sizzling wind, Arinelli, Maavu reciting sadly the poem Mampazham,  Chandana vembu, Peraal stretching its back, Pulivaaka, Unnam, Naythanbakam,Karpooram in a slow glow, Naaykumbil, trumpeting Pongu, outcast Pottavaaka, bursting Poriyal, vagabond Ponthavaaka, Plaavu lost in some thought, Pootham  head covered , Ethappana  greening while yellowing, Manjadi, Mullanvenga, Mullilam lifting his dhoti to expose his genitals, Mullilavu hopping around, Moongappezhu, Neermaruthu saying enough is enough, withered Neermathalam ,Moottikkay, Ithi, Ithiyaal, Vella velam, Kalppayir, Kallar, Majakkadambu singing a lullaby, Choondappana wary of fish bones.

Stooping Punna, Matti scared of her big brother, Paarijaatham watching the midnight movie, Paalakal, Paali,Paarakam doing cartwheels, Viri, Athi showing off  her seeds,Ampazhammassaging his chest, Ayani inlove with her son, Manjakkonna, Manjamandaram in search of something, Chullithi with eyes closed, Kallilavu like an oozing rock, Malamandaram eyeing the vultures,Velleetti cursing the thunder, Venga,Veppu, Vraali, Akil, sighing Acacia,Balsa, Blanka, Beedimaram with a rattling cough,  Agasthi, Cherukonna with a sheepish smile, Kambali, woundedNagamaram.

Pathiri, touching his forehead to the ground, his eyes heavenward, Ankolam ruined by debts,Kattumarotti, Kundalappala, Aattumaruthu,Poovam, Erumanaakku, Karingotta, Vediplaavu his salary still unpaid, Venmurikku, Manjanaathi, Manimaruthu jolted awake, Mathagirivembu, Karaanjili  escorting his daughter, Karakongu,Karappongu, Ilippa on her way back, Ooravu half-awake after a dream and with a sucker smile, Ennappana about to immolate himself, fattened  Ennappine,Azhantha waiting for someone, Chorapatri with a cracked head,Sheemappoola,Poovankara, Malampuli, Puli with sharpened stakes.

Obese Theettipplaavu,Malambongu, Chorimathimurikku, Irippa bailing out his friend, Irumbakamwho lost his job, Kunkumappoo, Karinthaali, Scoot, Rose Kadambu, Aamathali, Aarampuli,Attilippucaught in the crowd, Irul  blessed by the elders, Vellavatti, whistling Mula, Kattukonna in a hat, Kaniiram learning the alphabets, broker Cheru,Kattuchembakam exposing his arm pit,Thandidiyan, Neeroli, Ezhachembakam waiting for her bus, Karimbana in a newly constructed house, Karivenga,Karivali writing a poem, Ungu in a baby frock, Udi, Plasha, Elamaruthupromising to meet later, Chembakam dying to hug.

Vellakil who bathes the kids, Vellavaaka who forgot his umbrella, Attuthekku who failed the exam, lustful Aattunochi,Malanthudali with her legs spread, Malanthengu with chest ****** up,Malamanchadi who is learning to count, Malambarathi exposing her *******, intoxicated Aval, Arana reciting the poem Karuna, insane Alakku who dashes off to the temple, Cheru who cannot stop washing clothes, Kudappana ready to elope, irreligious Jaathi, Silver Oak laughing boisterously, Kattuveppu waiting for the kids, Sumami ******* on a toffee, annoyed Parappoola,frightened Pinar, Ithi stopping her ears at swear words, Ithiyal with lots of smiles, Kovidaram with music in his mind, Ilakkali showing her belly, blossoming Ilavu, Chadachi who ***** sadistically, cool fingered Chandanam.

dominating Charakkonna, office going Cheelanthi, Gulgulu glued to Kochu channel, Gulmohur with dyed hair, Irul with a fuming face, early rising Kanikonna, Kanala who has a sound sleep, Karingali  who pees standing, Kambakam with an ***** *****, Kallavi  beseeching to stuff her up, Karanjili  quivering in lust, calm Karaal, Kaari who hums while *******, Kaavalam who naps after the toil,Thannimaram showing off her petals, Thambakam kissing the ****, Thellipayar savouring a *****,Neerkurunda in post-****** languor, Malaya breastfeeding her kid, bullying Kathi, mad hat Eetti,Cheeni  not remembering his mom,  Kunnivaka showing his gums, Kuppamanja who laughs in sleep, Othalanga swallowing poison, blooming Poovarasu.

Spring went on,
reeling off names to me.
The rain the sun the wind and the cold
Rolled in one after the other.
Spring kept pulling out
names from its memory.

People got scared of
my poetry gone wild.
They stopped passing that way.

A snake goes slithering away.
A hare finds its own path and dashes away.
A poothankiri, from a bush, flies away.



(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)
1.      Mampazham (Ripe Mango) is the title of a famouspoem by Vyloppilli.
2.      Karuna (Compassion) is the title of a long poemby Kumaran Asan.
3.      Poothankiri – A white headed babbler.
4.      Thanaaro - An obscene devotional song.
Naomi Sa'Rai Dec 2012
...
The body has spoken
The words it shall be
With a mind quiet
Limbs of peace
The ears have witnessed
The abdomen saw
With pointed hairs
Sticking straight foward
The legs have held
The feet kept still
With water as reflextion
Captured possession
Fishing net
Little boy
Man child
The body has spoken
The sunrise it shall see
With Earth quiet
Quiet as if free
The teeth have mentioned
The gums chattered ease
With phrases
Filled mazes
Circling round
Garden tiles
The body has spoken
The feet drifted miles
The ears whispered memories
With wind beating drums
The abdomen clinched
The legs trembled
The teeth strained
The gums
Gums
Gums
With numbing echoes
Waters reflection
Simple complextion
Love is possesion
Quiet
Free
Your body has spoken
Spoken
To me...
Something Simple Oct 2014
Her heart pounds, a thunder in he veins
Pulsing bright and red and deep within
Courage took farflung flight long ago
Before the journey was to be made

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


There was silence before this, quiet as a grave
And the streets were filled with happy feet
It slept alone then, on all it found to keep
No overlap or closeness to be feared.

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


And then life wasn't what she'd been promised
He threated a hell on earth should she think even of what she knew
Blows came when the words stopped coming
Maybe there wasn't anything in the big white clouds up there

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


So she left alone, running away from it all
Nowhere to go and none to care what happened out there
Feet chased a path along a clif's side
Found another path hidden inside

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Came upon the sleeping one
Belly deep in shining rings, golden plates, precious stones
All of the leavings of those that had gone before
It earned them all fairly

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Surely they wouldn't notice just one cup?
One cup for freedom, one cup for a new life
One for the time she spent running from no escape
So she took it and fled

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


A stirring spread thourgh that scaly pile
Orange orbs snapping open, knowing something was gone
That cup the mother'd drank from at the king's court
When magic was still thick and the world thought less of monsters

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Wings unfirled and death came that night on quiet wings
Fire broke the night, people died, fleeing anyway they could
Those earth riches where all that's left
Before men came and took what they thought they owned

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Day rose to a ruined place
Choacked grey black, shifting with winds
Villages left that day for the reasons where not known
But she knew and it did as well

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Journey came with baited breath
She knew it would come again with hot breath and burning eyes
Maybe there would be nothing left again
Death would come again

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Head raises, hissing scales of ash, long strong neck
Those eyes shine brighter now
Tips of wings touch staggered points of topside
Ready to reclaim a life

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Quick and slow she bends, quicker hands holding out
Uncurling fingers flex apart and the cup is placed
Once more in its rightful place
Them or her, chosen to make right

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Thin wings settle again to the strong sides
Ribs show their ridges against the jeweled belly
What's this human who would give back what it took?
Dangerous points part in black stone gums

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


You'd give thisss for them and what you ssstole?
Hissing air breath, a volcano's hiss
Wide eyes and hesitant hands reply
"Many more here that you don't deserve but they don't either."

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Slow shifting seething motion
Tail like rope unwinding from the center
Weak legs bend and don't break
Eggshells lay safe in the last grey curl

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


Small bones, little skull and empty eyes
Young mother happy once then
Men broke the home with sharp points
Young mother no longer

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


She sees broken bones, human heads burned
Nothing could bring the hatchling back, piece the pierced back
It had stayed to die in silence no reason left
No food to be found, no water to drink

Feet crushed the ashes spilled
When they fell in a spiral across the village
They left the buildings empty since
Fire takes all


The girl leaves and goes
A secret to keep for the old mother
Until the body lies forgotten and the earth takes back
No one to touch the shining seas
Dead Rose One Mar 2018
nobody gets the cancer twice.  
(a blues guitar riff)

blood in the stool
ain’t nobody’s fool,
whent to high school
did not graduate,
but know it wasn’t no thing I ate

scale greets me friendly like,
long lost buddy from yesterday morn,
‘let get right down to it,
let’s see how much less of you borne
leftover alive from the prior day’

spirit spit blood from my gums,
got me a woman, she’s way over town,
woman said I’m brushing with
too hard a brush, alright, alright,
make no fuss, she’s good to me

nobody’s fool whent to school,
though I did not graduate,
a mean riff is better than a
slow moving woman blues cry,
got the strings to do my screaming

doctor is a fan, name is Jimmy,
played music like last time round,
Jimmy-jamming, dancing in the waiting room,
“that cancer got kick, it’s gonna get ya,
think I told ya that about hunner times before”

‘nobody gets the cancer twice,’
an old wives tale for unlucky po’ somofabitches,
do you some tests, tell ya the specifics,
right now, lay, lay down them new tracks,
no quitting time less the good lord comes a-calling’

blues guitar makes a man
cry shiver scream and shake,
progressions licks and tricks,
so you can’t tell what’s making
a grownup man cry and laugh louder

bring me my medicine
bring me my guitar
all I know is how it makes me feel,
oh baby once a night it’s true,
nobody gets the cancer twice
Vicki Kralapp Oct 2018
From my earliest remembrance,
to this hour I have maintained,
I've never been contented
with a life of the mundane.

I’ve sought to spend each day in life
in search of curious things,
like art and education,
and the richness that they bring.

I hope to write more poetry
and share my verse in print,
and with my use of written word,
paint art with shades and tints.

I’ve been to many distant lands,
but yet my heart implores,
I seek out farther mysteries,
our planet has in store.

But now my body slows me down,
like most as we grow old,
and though I try, oft I fall short,
of plans I can control.

So, to keep myself companion,
while I will myself to heal,
I’ve formed all my ambitions,
which one day I plan to reach.

Since I was just a little child
I dreamt of life abroad,
in Kenya with the Maasai tribe,
I’ve always been enthralled.

I've fancied a safari,
where the famous five are found,
a land where great giraffes stand tall,
against the setting sun.

But, it is the Land Down Under,
that is first among my plans,
and one day soon I’ll see the coast,
of Sydney once again.

My friends will come to greet me,
though a lifetime I’ve been gone,
and united we’ll share memories,
for the present and beyond.

I’ll go for walks amidst the bush,
and hear the magpie’s tunes,
I’ll stroll beside the ghostly gums;
with nature grow attuned.

I’ll tour along the Southern Coast,
drive past Apostles tall,
and see the sites of Melbourne fair,
with all its cultured draw.

Then off to Kiwi’s northern isle,
with nature’s beauty rare,
fulfilling dreams so long desired,
to glimpse the Mauri’s there.

Waitomo, with its glow worm caves,
and Rotorua’s pools,
with geysers, Eco thermal parks,
and Bay of Islands too.

As I make my way back to the states,
I’ll stop along the way,
to visit Fiji’s turquoise coast,
and snorkel time away.

I’ll learn about the culture,
and partake of Fiji’s fare,
and when I go, I hope to leave,
a part of my heart there.

The coast of California,
on my list of sites to see;
from the Wharf in San Francisco,
to the vineyards by the sea.

I dream of redwoods sure and tall:
the parks and smell of pines,
and stand amid the ancient firs,
lest they pass for all of time.

I plan to visit Florence,
where master artists roamed;
the heart of Tuscan Renaissance,
where da Vinci made his home.

I hope to cruise Amalfi’s coast,
with others at the helm,
to view the brilliance of the sights,
and others in the realm.

While in the South of Italy,
I’ll cross the briny foam,
and walk the hills in Athens,
where ancient Grecians roamed.

I dream of Amazonia,
where man has not destroyed,
and natives live within the wild,
with harmony employed.

The last one on my bucket list,
is one I’d left undone,
when first I made my maiden trip,
and I was twenty-one.

I’d hoped to see the Emerald Isle,
and England’s castles old,
Duke’s palaces and British Tate,
are marvels to behold.

I’ll drive the ring of Kerry,
and the magic Isle of Skye,
to see its Fairy Pools of hues,
and Highland’s brilliance sights.

The lush green grass of Glen Coe,
the Scottish hills await,
would be a lifelong dream fulfilled
when all my trials abate.

With this, my final dream fulfilled,
I see my list complete,
full circle with this Commonwealth,
my restless feet at peace.

But ‘til that time when I am healed,
and I can travel far,
I’ll dream of lands beyond my reach,
and one day touch the stars.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
O, for that warning voice, which he, who saw
The Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be revenged on men,
Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warned
The coming of their secret foe, and ’scaped,
Haply so ’scaped his mortal snare:  For now
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell:
Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horrour and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place:  Now conscience wakes despair,
That slumbered; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view
Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad;
Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing sun,
Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began.
O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned,
Lookest from thy sole dominion like the God
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
Of Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down
Warring in Heaven against Heaven’s matchless King:
Ah, wherefore! he deserved no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
How due! yet all his good proved ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I sdeined subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe,
Forgetful what from him I still received,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharged; what burden then
O, had his powerful destiny ordained
Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition!  Yet why not some other Power
As great might have aspired, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations armed.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But Heaven’s free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent:  Is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the Spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent.  Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of Hell.
With diadem and scepter high advanced,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery:  Such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state; how soon
Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feigned submission swore?  Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep:
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall:  so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging, peace;
All hope excluded thus, behold, in stead
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell, hope; and with hope farewell, fear;
Farewell, remorse! all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with Heaven’s King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
Thus while he spake, each passion dimmed his face
Thrice changed with pale, ire, envy, and despair;
Which marred his borrowed visage, and betrayed
Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld.
For heavenly minds from such distempers foul
Are ever clear.  Whereof he soon aware,
Each perturbation smoothed with outward calm,
Artificer of fraud; and was the first
That practised falsehood under saintly show,
Deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge:
Yet not enough had practised to deceive
Uriel once warned; whose eye pursued him down
The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount
Saw him disfigured, more than could befall
Spirit of happy sort; his gestures fierce
He marked and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he supposed, all unobserved, unseen.
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champaign head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
Access denied; and overhead upgrew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene, and, as the ranks ascend,
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verdurous wall of Paradise upsprung;                        

Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighbouring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appeared, with gay enamelled colours mixed:
On which the sun more glad impressed his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath showered the earth; so lovely seemed
That landskip:  And of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair:  Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils.  As when to them who fail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambick, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest; with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
Cheered with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles:
So entertained those odorous sweets the Fiend,
Who came their bane; though with them better pleased
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse
Of Tobit’s son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journeyed on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwined,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplexed
All path of man or beast that passed that way.
One gate there only was, and that looked east
On the other side: which when the arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdained; and, in contempt,
At one flight bound high over-leaped all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet.  As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o’er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barred and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o’er the tiles:
So clomb this first grand thief into God’s fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regained, but sat devising death
To them who lived; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only used
For prospect, what well used had been the pledge
Of immortality.  So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views,
To all delight of human sense exposed,
In narrow room, Nature’s whole wealth, yea more,
A Heaven on Earth:  For blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted; Eden stretched her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Of where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar:  In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordained;
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,
Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
Passed underneath ingulfed; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden-mould high raised
Upon the rapid current, which, through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Watered the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now, divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy errour under pendant shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade
Imbrowned the noontide bowers:  Thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed,
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose:
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall
Down the ***** hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned
Her crystal mirrour holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring.  Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower by gloomy Dis
Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
Hid Amalthea, and her florid son
Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea’s eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some supposed
True Paradise under the Ethiop line
By Nilus’ head, enclosed with shining rock,
A whole day’s journey high, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the Fiend
Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind
Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange
Two of far nobler shape, ***** and tall,
Godlike *****, with native honour clad
In naked majesty seemed lords of all:
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their *** not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and valour formed;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature’s works, honour dishonourable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man’s life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence!
So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight
Of God or Angel; for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair,
That ever since in love’s embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade that on a green
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side
They sat them down; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labour than sufficed
To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damasked with flowers:
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream;
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
Fair couple, linked in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they.  About them frisking played
All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den;
Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw
Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambolled before them; the unwieldy elephant,
To make them mirth, used all his might, and wreathed
His?kithetmroboscis; close the serpent sly,
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
Couched, and now filled with pasture gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun,
Declined, was hasting now with prone career
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of Heaven the stars that usher evening rose:
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad.
O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferiour; whom my thoughts pursue
Robert Ronnow Sep 2015
Science can't save you, neither can religion,
at least Popper and Niebuhr, philosophers and poets,
are entertainers, which is why actors and athletes
are paid so much. Thanks for the summaries.
I was teaching Shakespeare's 92nd ridiculous sonnet
to my student who lays blacktop in the off season
Shakespeare bellyaching about dying without her love
a feeling foreign to a modern adolescent sensibility
although many teens are pretty far gone searching
for their mothers or fathers in their dazed lovers' eyes.
Which is why we call it "the wound that never heals."
Or the lesion that's always lengthening. And bleeding.

Muslim fundamentalists and their Christian counterparts
are a mystery to me. Pews and prayer rugs, the airless
indoor environment of religious worship, reading
scriptures, hypnotized by hymns and fainting from staring
at candles through stained glass windows, almost certain
the preacher is faking his certainty about the afterlife.
It's not my problem. A more immediate concern:
receding gums and tooth extractions, swollen joints,
poor lubrication and circulation, wave after wave
of viral infection, the occasional antibiotic-resistant
bacterial attack, usually urinary, and who knows
what internal organs are dividing and conquering
without mercy or cease, i.e. the wound that never heals.

It is wise not to overvalue your continued existence,
good not to be innumerate, unable to compare
a mere 80 years with say 6.0 x 109 or all of time
(to date) times the multiverse. Conversely,
it is interesting all of space and most of history is contained
in your little mind (realizing of course it's just a map
of the cosmos not the cosmos itself, or is it?). I'm
unable to wrestle free, tongue in that cavity
and locked in my memories, so separate and disparate
from the biomass in the crosswalks, even my spouse.
Alone, so alone, even your doctor can only devote
limited thought to your situational mortality through
the redress of poetry - also a wound that never heals.

Snow for eternity, that's what this February's been.
All to the good, for someone it's the final February
so enjoy it to the extent you can. By that I mean joy.
Joy at birth. Joy at death. All joy. All times. Anyway.
That was Shakespeare's message: even tragedies are comedies.
May, a Buddhist, chants each morning.
Her husband, Marc, who's Jewish, plays league tennis.
Their son, Aaron, will soon make Eagle scout.
How does it relate to your wound that never heals?
Luck runs out. For D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico
or Ulysses S. Grant in Ohio or Yasujiro Ozu in
Tokyo or Satyajit Ray in Bombay or Rabindranath
Tagore in Bangalore or at the Battle of the Atlantic in the Azores.

The night is a poultice, winter or summer solstice.
My anonymity will not affect the anomie ghettoside
seeing for myself how season by season
vacations and accomplishments accumulate, late in life
and early on, sunrise over mountains or moonrise over Bronx.
Masturbator, prisoner of war. Hospice of the Holy Roman Empire.
Numerous blue notes: the 3 flat, 7 flat, 5 flat,
the 6 flat and the 2 flat too. I don't get
what Wallace Stevens means by imagination.
When groundhog shows up as a totem, there is opportunity
to explore the mystery of death without dying.
This then is the purpose of purposelessness (and of eating less)!
Now what about that wound that never heals.

The Skeptical Observer column in Scientific American
was somewhat alarming when he accepted a paranormal
explanation for how his wife's grandfather's inoperable
transistor radio played music from its hiding spot
in his sock drawer on, and only on, their wedding day.
Now I'll have to believe my father (or mother!) is watching me
perform private ****** acts with (or without) partners
or that they could even know my thoughts. Or aliens
are attending our committee meetings and making
perfectly reasonable decisions given the available information
and the world is rotating just fine without humans.
These possibilities - angels, ghosts, aliens - are better
than holocaust and genocide. In this way,
and only in this way, does doom become endurable.
The wound that never heals in the end is all you'll feel.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Lawrence Hall Sep 2019
Beating the Gums of War

                   “Hell hath no fury like a non-combatant”

           -this phrase, attributed to many, dates back at least to the    
                                        American civil war

Channeling John Wayne, their semi-autos on show
Leather-boy bandoliers draped with lots of ammo

          Hell hath no fury like a deer-stand commando

Old men beating their gums for war; oh, yes, it’s so
Each wearing his made-in-China camouflage chapeau

          Hell hath no fury like a café commando

Idle hookah heroes in Houston, don’cha know
Want their country liberated but our children must go

          Hell hath no fury like a narghile commando

Studs at their ‘puter games, screens all aglow
There’s nothing about George Patton that they don’t know

          Hell hath no fury like a keyboard commando

And corpses for the lamps of China to make the oil flow
They want your child to die for profits – just tell ‘em to blow

          Hell hath no fury like a private-jet commando

None of them made the first day of boot camp, oh, no
Though their thousand-yard stares are perfected guano

           Hell hath no fury like a ‘way-back commando
And no one follows Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. C'mon, Congress, do your job instead of just bellyaching about each other.
Eli Za Sep 2016
So young He engraved the Law in your fledgling heart
Covering your mind with the depth of His wisdom
Tell no language exist that could translate its art
Hopeless to assess its perfect scale and freedom

The Law is His breast milk you sip fervently
Howl in agony, your stomach digest it not
Fathom submission, son of debauchery
To merely **** is short; apply what has been taught

Sets of teeth sprouted in your gums like white pebbles
Overdose with confidence, sleep without a sword
Stars in woods they seem, Alas! Wild, wild eyes of wolves!
Fight the fine fight of the faith, shine light of the world

A state of armed conflict, His Law against your Flaw
Just streak of insanity in the family
Epitome of cross swords yet who will win in awe?
Glitch in your body, vow in its supremacy
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn
From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seemed and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone?
So spake our father penitent; nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they, forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell
Before him reverent; and both confessed
Humbly their faults, and pardon begged; with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeigned, and humiliation meek.
Thus they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead; that sighs now breathed
Unutterable; which the Spirit of prayer
Inspired, and winged for Heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory:  Yet their port
Not of mean suitors; nor important less
Seemed their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drowned, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout.  To Heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they passed
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great intercessour, came in sight
Before the Father’s throne: them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.
See$ Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in Man; these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer mixed
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring;
Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallen
From innocence.  Now therefore, bend thine ear
To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him; me, his advocate
And propitiation; all his works on me,
Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me; and, in me, from these receive
The smell of peace toward mankind: let him live
Before thee reconciled, at least his days
Numbered, though sad; till death, his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)
To better life shall yield him: where with me
All my redeemed may dwell in joy and bliss;
Made one with me, as I with thee am one.
To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree:
But, longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements, that know,
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now; and purge him off,
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food; as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distempered all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted.  I, at first, with two fair gifts
Created him endowed; with happiness,
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other served but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death: so death becomes
His final remedy; and, after life,
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Waked in the renovation of the just,
Resigns him up with Heaven and Earth renewed.
But let us call to synod all the Blest,
Through Heaven’s wide bounds: from them I will not hide
My judgements; how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant Angels late they saw,
And in their state, though firm, stood more confirmed.
He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watched; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom.  The angelick blast
Filled all the regions: from their blisful bowers
Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where’er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high;
And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
The Almighty thus pronounced his sovran will.
O Sons, like one of us Man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier! had it sufficed him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him; longer than they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain,
Self-left.  Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the tree of life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.
Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee from among the Cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriours, lest the Fiend,
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise:
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair;
From hallowed ground the unholy; and denounce
To them, and to their progeny, from thence
Perpetual banishment.  Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urged,
(For I behold them softened, and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terrour hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My covenant in the Woman’s seed renewed;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubick watch; and of a sword the flame
Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life:
Lest Paradise a receptacle prove
To Spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;
With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude.
He ceased; and the arch-angelick Power prepared
For swift descent; with him the cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubim: four faces each
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse,
Charmed with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his ****** rod.  Mean while,
To re-salute the world with sacred light,
Leucothea waked; and with fresh dews imbalmed
The earth; when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above; new hope to spring
Out of despair; joy, but with fear yet linked;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewed.
Eve, easily my faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy from Heaven descends;
But, that from us aught should ascend to Heaven
So prevalent as to concern the mind
Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God.  For since I sought
By prayer the offended Deity to appease;
Kneeled, and before him humbled all my heart;
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace returned
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe;
Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death
Is past, and we shall live.  Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly called, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee
Man is to live; and all things live for Man.
To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
Ill-worthy I such title should belong
To me transgressour; who, for thee ordained
A help, became thy snare; to me reproach
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise:
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I, who first brought death on all, am graced
The source of life; next favourable thou,
Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsaf’st,
Far other name deserving.  But the field
To labour calls us, now with sweat imposed,
Though after sleepless night; for see!the morn,
All unconcerned with our unrest, begins
Her rosy progress smiling: let us forth;
I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Where’er our day’s work lies, though now enjoined
Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks?
Here let us live, though in fallen state, content.
So spake, so wished much humbled Eve; but Fate
Subscribed not:  Nature first gave signs, impressed
On bird, beast, air; air suddenly eclipsed,
After short blush of morn; nigh in her sight
The bird of Jove, stooped from his aery tour,
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove;
Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods,
First hunter then, pursued a gentle brace,
Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind;
Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight.
Adam observed, and with his eye the chase
Pursuing, not unmoved, to Eve thus spake.
O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh,
Which Heaven, by these mute signs in Nature, shows
Forerunners of his purpose; or to warn
Us, haply too secure, of our discharge
From penalty, because from death released
Some days: how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows? or more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return, and be no more?
Why else this double object in our sight
Of flight pursued in the air, and o’er the ground,
One way the self-same hour? why in the east
Darkness ere day’s mid-course, and morning-light
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws
O’er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends with something heavenly fraught?
He erred not; for by this the heavenly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;
A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear that day dimmed Adam’s eye.
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field pavilioned with his guardians bright;
Nor that, which on the flaming mount appeared
In Dothan, covered with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king, who to surprise
One man, assassin-like, had levied war,
War unproclaimed.  The princely Hierarch
In their bright stand there left his Powers, to seise
Possession of the garden; he alone,
To find where Adam sheltered, took his way,
Not unperceived of Adam; who to Eve,
While the great visitant approached, thus spake.
Eve$ now expect great tidings, which perhaps
Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observed; for I descry,
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heavenly host; and, by his gait,
None of the meanest; some great Potentate
Or of the Thrones above; such majesty
Invests him coming! yet not terrible,
That I should fear; nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should much confide;
But solemn and sublime; whom not to offend,
With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
He ended: and the Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
A military vest of purple flowed,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old
In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof;
His starry helm unbuckled showed him prime
In manhood where youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistering zodiack, hung the sword,
Satan’s dire dread; and in his hand the spear.
Adam bowed low; he, kingly, from his state
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.
Adam, Heaven’s high behest no preface needs:
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard; and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seisure many days
Given thee of grace; wherein thou mayest repent,
And one bad act with many deeds well done
Mayest cover:  Well may then thy Lord, appeased,
Redeem thee quite from Death’s rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not: to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil.
He added not; for Adam at the news
Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discovered soon the place of her retire.
O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death!
Must I thus leave thee$ Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both.  O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
;t even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names!
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorned
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world; to this obscure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustomed to immortal fruits?
Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild.
Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost, nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine:
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband; whom to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soil.
Adam, by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scattered spirits returned,
To Michael thus his humble words addressed.
Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or named
Of them the highest; for such of shape may seem
Prince above princes! gently hast thou told
Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
And in performing end us; what besides
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair,
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring,
Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left
Familiar to our eyes! all places else
Inhospitable appear, and desolate;
Nor knowing us, nor known:  And, if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries:
But prayer against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that, departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed countenance:  Here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsafed
Presence Divine; and to my sons relate,
‘On this mount he appeared; under this tree
‘Stood visible; among these pines his voice
‘I heard; here with him at this fountain talked:
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages; and theron
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers:
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet recalled
To life prolonged and promised race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory; and far off his steps adore.
To whom thus Michael with regard benign.
Adam, thou knowest Heaven his, and all the Earth;
Not this rock only; his Omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warmed:
All the earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise, or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations; and had hither come
From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons:
Yet doubt not but in valley, and in plain,
God is, as here; and will be found alike
Present; and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou mayest believe, and be confirmed
Ere t
Phoebe Seraphine Jan 2015
In the dream, I am Persephone
in the badlands. A cinnamon girl
standing where the Zephyr sways
sage and coral gullies gasp
for one more drop to drink.

I am plucking pizzicato
with saguaro needles
and ***** my fingertips.
Ten split figs
bleeding seeds
thicker than sap.

In the dream, you are with me
as Hades wearing a Zeppelin tee.
Your mouth opens
lips surround my slick fingers

sliding through the hollow of your breath.
My blood. A nightshade, a moon flower,
Toloache. You drink until you reach
the bedrock of my bones.

I crumble.

The desert is lonesome
now that I am gone
and you are delirium
with blood in your gums.

In the dream, the universe cracks
open like yolk from Cronus’ head.
Night spreads her dark cape
across the sky. Hades among the stars,
thin-hipped muses glittering like Aladdin Sane.

It is night and you are alone
in the badlands. Nothing to soothe
you but sonorous yips by coyotes
howling like Johnny Cash.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
A thousand peaks: no more birds in flight.
Ten thousand paths: all trace of people gone.

In a lone boat, rain cloak and hat of reeds.
An old man’s fishing the cold river snow.

I am alone in this mountain fastness, on a steep downward path in the deepest shadow. I play with the twelve characters of Lui Tsung-yaun’s poem. How few poems tell of the desolation of winter. The coming of Spring, the passing of Autumn? Yes. But the onset of Winter? Even my sharp memory only recalls a meagre handful of poems to this season: the time of the first snows. Against all good sense I set out from Stone Village too late in the year: now I search for comforting word images to accompany me on this journey. Just below the snowline I pass through a stunted forest of ancient walnut trees almost leafless; the unrelenting wind has dispatched them crinkled brown into the valley below. I see there a winding river. I see its distant lake. I think of this poem known since my teenage years, puzzled over that one could see in one sweep of the horizon a thousand peaks. Here are that thousand and more if the ranks of limestone pillars in these mountains can be counted as peaks. I count them as peaks. And those thousand paths? At every turn there is some fresh way falling into the valley, or a faint trail rising to the heights. But this path I tread asserts itself on the traveller. Its stones are worn and the excrement of passing pack animals sticks to my boots.

Last night a cave, tonight I will reach the village of Psnumako. My former guide provided its name with a disdain he could not hide. When questioned he warned me not to enter without a stout staff against the mastiffs that guard each house, supposedly ******* during the day but apt to break their bonds at the smell of a stranger.

The steep and ever steeper descent brings pain to my knees. At this hour of the day my body would prefer to climb to the heights, but descend I must. The cold, the damp cold begins to stiffen weary limbs. I am tired from a day’s travel, tired from three hard climbs, two descents and this, my third, to complete before nightfall. I enter a narrow gorge loud with clamour of running water, cascade upon cascade flowing from the heights, falling fast to the river soon to interrupt my path. I shall have to force a crossing. What passed for a bridge were two fallen pines lashed together.  Now they lie akimbo a little distant, thrown apart like sticks by the spring flood as the deep snows melt. I must divest myself of boots and lower garments and wade across, stumbling on stones up to my waist in swift waters, terrified under the weight of my pack that I will fall and be swept under and along. To travel alone at such moments is foolhardy, but on this cold afternoon I have no choice.

I am so intent on preparing for this crossing it is only when I reach the end of the path that I notice snow is falling, its flakes sharp and white against the dark-water flow. The whirl and turn of the water mesmerises. Fatigue, fatigue embraces me, a day’s fatigue holds me fast on the river’s stony side. I close my eyes and hear the water rush and place myself into the protection of a mountain charm learnt from a passing traveller. Dwarfed by the size of his burden I see him negotiate a narrow path high above a chasm; he walked trance-like to the intoning of this charm.

It is soon done, the cold crossing, and with a lighter step I walk the remaining leagues to the lake-side and sight of the village. There are the faintest sparks of light amongst the silhouettes of houses. Animals are being brought in from the home fields against the night. A sudden shout, the barking of dogs, and now the snow falls thick and fast.

The guttural dialect here is barely discernable as speech. We are from different worlds this shepherd and I who meet at the stupa guarding the village entrance. This is not a Buddhist shrine but an acknowledgement of some mountain giant of terrifying aspect. The shepherd sees my official insignia and nods, knowing I will require shelter. He utters what may be a welcome, but could be a warning, and leads me forth. The mastiffs leap and bay as I pass between the primitive two-storey houses, animals below, humankind above. He disappears. I stop and wait. He returns with a woman who beckons me to climb the ladder to what may be her home. A widow perhaps? She is alone unless the rank darkness hides a man or child. But there is none. I hear animals move and grunt under the floor, a mat of dirt and straw. There is a sleeping loft, a cooking corner. I can see little else. But I am out of the snow, the biting wind, the cold. She pulls at my cloak, wet and caked with ice. There is a bowl placed in my hands; a rough tea. I speak a greeting, but there is no reply just a rustle of straw as she moves across the room.

The stupor of a journey’s pause is upon me. After three days on the trail to the heights I am numb with fatigue. I need food and sleep. I need rest before a final trek into the wilderness. Beyond Psnumako Lake known paths end. Except for the tracks used by shepherds to move their flocks to different seasonal pastures, there is wilderness. I hope for guidance, for the whereabouts of the sages who, in the winter months I am told, leave their reed huts on the heights for caves in the lower valleys. I shall be patient, remain here a little while. I am now immune to the discomfort and dirt of travel. That is how it is. That is how is must be. I miss only the mental absorption of writing, the caress of the brush on a scroll. In my home in Louyang I keep brush and paper close to hand; wherever I may be I can write, even in, especially in, the privy. If a line comes to me I can write it down. Here there is only the comfort of memory.

To think that in the past I wrote of this mountain wilderness out of my imagination and the descriptions of others. I once thought of these remote places as havens of spiritual liberation.

In the hills there is the sound of zither.
White clouds stay over shaded peaks,
Red flowers shine in the sunlit woods
Rocks are washed in the stream like jade;

How very different is the reality of it all; in this emerging winter world of mist, where the sun rarely visits and most living things have departed, where wind colours silence and one’s footfall becomes consolation. The sound of stone rubbing stone on the path is the eternal present. There have been days when only a distant crow moves in the landscape. Lammergeyers are known in these parts, but I have yet to see one. If there are wild beasts, they shun me.

As this bowl of tea cools in my hands but warms my frozen fingers I form pictures of the past day on its dark surface. Before dawn from the mouth of a river cave I sensed changes in the qualities of darkness that have hidden the heights above me. Then a perceptible line appeared and divided the mountain from the sky. That line became variegated; there were trees bristling on the highest rocks. It appears that at this hour the prevalent mist settles in the valleys leaving the sky clear.

The woman comes to me. She kneels to untie my boots. She looks with a curious innocence at my strangeness, the distortion of my face, the cleft palette, the deformed upper lip, the squint of my left eye. She is kindly as I give her my best smile though my face seems frozen still. There is a whisper, a prayer of welcome possibly. Then she bows her head, unravels a long scarf to reveal a mane of oiled hair, and sets about removing my boots. I see only the top of her head, a severe parting, hair held tightly in wooden combs. I close my eyes to bring to mind the image of Xaoli, so slight in comparison, her butterfly hands flittering into and around my sleeves, her seeing touch mapping out the extent of me, each piece of clothing, only later my face.

My reverie is broken by the entrance of two men. They squat behind the woman and, after taking in my ugliness and my hairpins of office, patiently wait for her to finish and retire. We stand and bow, then sit again amongst the straw.

‘Honoured Lord, I am Yun. You have travelled from Stone Village? And beyond?’

I pass him the Emperor’s seal he cannot read, but remain silent.

‘You are seeking those who live in the heights? The village only sees their servants, young boys sent for a goat or flasks of barley spirit. They bring herbs our women favour. Some have seen their huts when seeking lost animals. Now it is said they are gathered in the caves like animals waiting for the spring moon.’

‘When was the village last visited by their kind?’

‘ Hanlu, my Lord, the time of cold dew, two boys appeared with a pony. There was trading. They brought Chrysanthemum flowers and herbs for two geese and wine. They left scrolls for passage to Stone Village. Now the snows fall we may not see them until the Spring’

‘How far are your summer pastures? Have you any who would guide me there ?’

‘We do not seek these places after the first snows. The sages haunt the region beyond Chang Mountain. Before the 11th moon you might pass into the valley of Lidong where it is believed their caves lie, but to return before the Spring will not be possible.’

‘How many days there?’

‘Allow four. A difficult way, unmarked, rarely trodden, much climbing. There is one here who we could send with you – part of the way, and at a price, My Lord. Dahan travelled two seasons since as groom to a party of six with ponies, but then in late Spring.’

‘I will stay three days.’

‘Just so My Lord. Xiu Li will see to your wishes.’

And they depart, Yun’s companion has remained silent throughout, though searched my face continually. By the door he places his hand against the stout bag that carries my lute. ‘Guqin’, he says tenderly.

This instrument is my pass to the community of the reclusive. I am renown for my songs and their singing. My third-best guqin has not left its bag since Stone Village and I fear damage despite all my care on the path.

Later, as the village mastiffs gradually cease their baying as the quarter moon rises I take this instrument and place it across my lap. Its seven silk strings I wipe with a cloth and gently tune with its tasselled pegs. I then prepare myself through meditation to avoid the intrusion of distracting thoughts. With my eyes closed I allow my hands to seek out and name each part of guqin: from the Forehead of the Top Board, to the String Eyes, the Dew Collector, The Mountain, Shoulder and Phoenix Wings, past the Waist, the Hat Lines and the Dragon’s Beard, to the Dragon’s Gums and thence to the Inner Top Board. I can feel the Pillar of Heaven – the sound post – has moved a little in my recent travels. So too the Pillar of Earth – but with care I move both to their rightful positions. And so on naming the inner and outer parts of each of the two boards that make up the guqin. I begin to regulate my breathing and allow the fingers of my left hand to stroke and touch, to press and oscillate in the manner of vibrato. Zhoa Wenji describes twenty-three kinds of vibrato. I feel in turn each of the hui, the thirteen gold studs that mark the harmonic nodes and allow me to play the guqin by touch alone. In these moments of preparation I hear the words of my teacher: a good player makes sounds that are plentiful but not confused. As the moon reflecting on water, so the sounds are together but not combined. Like wind in the pines, they are combined but also spread out. Such sounds are valued for their lightness. Avoid the addition of inappropriate  "guest" sounds. This is the refined theory of the guqin. To be knowledgeable about music, one must seek this, then one can realize its beauty.

I have tuned to the Huangzhong mode. The song *Amidst Mountains Thinking of an Old Friend
I have brought to mind. I recall the words of The Slender Hermit who says of this piece that its interest lies in holding cherished thoughts, but having no way to tell these to anyone. There are emotions about the present time, longings and laments for the past, but there is no way to express any of this. And so this piece.

In this poor reed hut the room is filled with mist and haze,
how far away are the things I love;
the old plum tree seems exhausted, its flowers about to die,
the mountains are lonely and I am nostalgic for past times.
The moon shines brightly on this lovely evening,
from this distance I think of my old friend and wonder where he is.
The green of the mountains never fades,
but before I know it my hair will turn white;
the moon is waning and flowers wither,
Old friend, I dream constantly of meeting you.
How hard it is to recall the joy of our last meeting!
With the many mountain ranges,
and its hidden tigers and coiled dragons,
I am unable return to you in Chang An.
The road is distant, the tall trees make the road dark,
and the world is vast.

I mourn Aquila and Lyra
separated by the Milky Way like the cowherd and weaving girl,
on the ground we are separated by 1,000 li
in the sky we are each in a separate place,
though our passions remain strong
There has been no warm correspondence,
there is restraint to the bright harmony,
and the flowing streams are swallowed by the setting sun.


The thought of this song of mid autumn touches me before its words have issued from my lips. I play the last two lines in harmonics and sing.
Zuo Si was the brother of the courtesan and poet Zuo Fen. This short story is based on a chapter from my novel Summoning the Recluse. The opening poem appears in a translation by David Hinton from his collection Mountain Home.
Morgan Feb 2014
he interrupted me
in the middle of
an earth shatteringly
pointless story
to tell me i had
a cute laugh,
in a smoke-filled
garage infront of
all of our friends.
i said,
"alright dude
*******"


that night
i slept in the fetal
position with four blankets
and craved his skin so
bad i didn't even notice
that i bit my lip
until the pool of blood
collecting inside the deep ditch
of my gums, began to taste
of hot metal

today he texted me
while i was at work
and asked if he could
bring me a coffee
i looked at myself
in the bathroom mirror,
sighed and told him
we were busy
then i bought a
coffee for myself,
let the bitter sweet
warm liquid
linger on my tongue
and pretended
it was his lips

alone is a state of being
and i have never been alone,
lonely is a state of mind
and i have never been anything but
lemons and rain Aug 2019
the space between my skin and my bone is where I keep my teeth.
I found my dad's old drill in the garage, growing dust like fur. it had made a home on a shelf, its neighbor a pair a rusty pliers. the drill told me to pick the pliers up and put the end into my mouth, like the barrel of a pistol with ******* on my pulse. the pliers decided to bite, teeth digging into teeth.
I was back in kindergarten, sitting in the nurse's office on a thin white sheet, trying to fit my whole hand in my mouth so I could get ahold of that tooth. nose scrunched up and eyebrows creased in effort, blood and saliva spilling out of my mouth and running down my wrist. the nurse tells me maybe it's not ready to come out, maybe I should try again later tonight. but I feel the roots coming up like an old tree after a storm; and my tongue is a worm washed up onto the pavement, bleeding from somewhere but no one really cares. I dig my grimy little kid fingernail under the bottom of my tooth, and pull like I'm at recess, playing tug of war with my gums. I unearth my treasure with a disgusting pop, and hold it up to the light for all to see. fingers and chin coated in spit and blood, the nurse hands me a paper cup to rinse my mouth. I go to the sink and watch the metallic taste of my victory swirl down the drain. the nurse gives me a little plastic treasure chest for my tooth. I tie it on a string and wear it like a trophy.
I looked down at my hands, griping the plier handles. I did not decide to play tug of war with my gums that day, but maybe I never had a choice. once again my fingers were red and my tongue was metal, but this time I was standing in the garage, air of oil instead of hand sanitizer. the pliers did not let go of my tooth, instead they yanked and twisted and my gums begged them to stop, but the pliers did not have ears. they only released once my tooth was cupped in my palm, permanently helpless like a fawn left in the road. instead of succumbing to the reality of what I had done, I listened to the drill when it told me to put the pliers back in my mouth. like traffic lights l repeated the same motions. tug of war with rusty pliers, restless hearts know no peace. cracked molars spit out onto the floor, mind dizzy with static from the pain. my eyes were never truly open until all my teeth were laid out on the ground in front of me. idle hands are the devil's playground, but these pliers were the devil's hands, not mine. cheeks swollen and gums bruised beyond repair, I thought that was where it ended; laid to rest on the garage floor, stained rag for a wreath.
but the drill spoke to me again, this time it wanted me to gather up my teeth and bring them to it. it wanted me to hold it, red palm print on the handle. it told me to drill holes through my teeth. the whine of the bit spinning in enamel reminded me of a baby's cry, innocent eyes unable to comprehend the scene laid out before them.
I went to the closet and grabbed your favorite t shirt. I cut it up and spun it into string. the drill told me how to thread it through each tooth, like a string of christmas lights. my hands did the devil's work while my eyes watched. I dug through the drawer and found a needle. attached to the end of the string of teeth, I pushed it into my skin, and pulled it back out the other side. like traffic lights I repeated the motions. if only the lights had stayed red. I sewed my christmas lights into my skin.
the space between my skin and my bone is where I keep my teeth. touch me and you will be bit, by pliers or by lights. my gums are pudding in my mouth, but my teeth are armor in my skin.
sitting on the red garage floor,
I realize the devil can do no harm.
don't really know where this one went
Felix Sladal Apr 2017
Yawning mouth of the city beckons
Glittering jagged teeth tearing into
Passing souls
Walking on slick black tounges
Sand beaten breath fogs windowed eyes
The beast we come to love
Even as we live incased in it's cavities
The plaque in the grime of eroding gums

When did you last brush your teeth
Your buildings, starting to turn gray
Your tongue a tad flavorless
Do you grow old, fat, and tired?
Or is that just us?

Changes float on the breeze so subtle
You'd never see them unless you left
People slowly turning to dust
Blowing away
But everything still stands
As if nothing ever happened
We live our lives in nooks and crannies
Ghosts pressed between the glass
Tiptoeing enamel streets

Plush gold chairs and minty fresh
Oh peppermint fresh
Rain trickled saliva slips over your
swinging silk face
Breath, taunting tints of lavender
Your back is straight
Stressed crowsfeet pupils shine
Wake up tomorrow to find today
Your eyes are brown but green
Your mouth is wide but tight
Your grin not as cheap as the others

Everyone starts to bleed together
All traits the same
So very different
You weren't drinking mint
Nor lavender
Freeze frame in memory
Pick and choose what we see today
Who to be yesterday
Next week pickle plum I'll jump through a fire just to feel me, feel you

We're running from something
Day to day
Feels like time, might be ourselves
Your shoulders are curved, the slightest of slouches
Your eyes are oh so green and teeth so straight
Thin lips and a long face
Once opon a time I almost knew you
But not today not ever
Self chained straining towards freedom
But happiness wrinkles you cheeks
Self imprisonment won't bruise the will
Don't listen to me, your far more free than I'll ever be
Whistle to the stars
Shrug your shoulder at life's questions
Look it in the eyes with your peridot irises, tell it you've got this
I wish I know what you were drinking
Rainwater and honey

Your eyes are weary brown
Rosy cheeks blush on bronze
Hair shifts to straw spun gold
You haven't aged but I feel so old
Going places while I stand still
Doesn't feel the reverse though that's the truth, if only in theory
You paint life, I paint paper
I maybe younger but I'm wilting faster.
Is it wrong that I wanted to kiss you
For a millisecond and no more
Atune to a time warp lost in free space

Green eyes Brown
Rigged lines graceful limbs
I'm a overcooked noodle
With a halfcooked plot
And everyone seem so put together
I'll poor the pesto on myself and call
me done.
Eugene OR some time near me birthday 2016
Natty Morrison Jan 2012
There are differences
in the weight of our bones
in the curve of our jaw lines
in the pattern of the skin’s stretch marks.
Rule: Everyone will laugh at your differences.

There are differences in how badly your gums bleed
and how they ricochet teeth ‘round the mouth.
between swallowing your tongue
and choking on it.
Rule: Differences are descendants of pain.

There are differences
in the heart’s traffic patterns
the way all your blood looks at a stand still
and how the flow can be a pile up
on Fridays at 5.
Rule: Differences can only be explained through **** metaphors.

There are differences
your hair stacks in one way, and gravity says you go you left
And that’s that.
Your feet and legs will be too scared to disobey
So they don’t.
Rule: Do not mistake differences for instinct.

There are differences
between a shoulder
and a knife.
One is a knife and
the other is a stab wound.
Rule: I didn’t say the differences would be labeled.

There are differences
between a feeling
feeling the feeling
and the feeling of feeling a feeling
And every single one that you have is wrong.
Rule: You should be ashamed of all your differences.

There are differences
that you think are unique and cute
But differences will make you
different
And everyone on the earth or in the ground is
different.
So everyone on the earth or in the ground is not
different.
Rule: Differences make no difference.
Matterhorn Dec 2018
He awoke.

His eyes opened slowly with a purposeful slowness; an action that for most people is the beginning of their life was, for him, a procrastination.

He arose.

The floor felt cold, unwelcoming as he stumbled reluctantly to the sink. The bristles rasped against his teeth, gums bleeding out of spite.

He entered.

Breakfast—a lonely egg, boring toast—entered his body; each bite was scooped with the utilitarian vigor of one who is no longer enchanted by food, yet the relationship must continue: a compulsory marriage without option for divorce. This discomfort washed down with lemon-water.

He contemplated.

Thoughts, those musings that are feared, condemned by most and yet became the greatest of comforts for him, reminded him that one day it all would end and he would be free.

He wasted.

He stretched out his hands, offering up his life force in the daily sacrifice to the eager god that, in return, lit up with the brightness of a thousand stars that blinded him from all that he wished not to see.

He showered.

Cold water ran down his soul, icing the most superficial inflammations while taunting the deepest wounds; no matter how long he remained behind the curtain, there would be no true respite.

He returned.

The blackness beckoned. He entered willingly, surrendering himself to the dark embrace of that demonic respite, his beloved above all others.

He died, once again.
© Ethan M. Pfahning 2018
Jules Nov 2017
“what are your special skills?”

well—
lately i have mastered the art
of silent tears
and wordless crying,
shuddering breaths
instead of wracking sobs.
my eyes don’t even get red.
if i do it right,
i have the exclusive ability
to break down in a full room
without anyone noticing.

also,
i can brush my weak gums in front of the mirror
and watch blood drip onto my uneven teeth
without flinching.

last,
i can give the best i have
every time
and still my brain can convince me—
worthless.
this poem is almost unbearably sad
JK Casilda Dec 2018
Being away from home makes me able to do anything I want without my parents having a panic.
I mean they don’t know that every morning I have my cup of coffee despite being told I’m acidic.
Or that at least every week I go try different coffee shops and order an espresso with less milk.
Really? Am I a coffee addict?

I mean…

Who can say no to the aroma soothing your nostrils   and leave you
                                                                ­                 craving
There in your table sits your very own cup, waiting
to be kissed from its very seductive rim, parting
            your thrilled lips, burning
            your yearning tongue, providing
your soul the bittersweet taste of the coffee you love
And as you sip that blessed liquid
                           Like lightning it electrifies you over your taste buds
                                                                ­                              to your throat
down
             to your chest then back up switching on every nerve in your brain.
You bathe in that wonderful kick of caffeine.
And you just can’t help but close your eyes and enjoy this hot bath from a long cold rainy day.
Listening to the every chemical reaction
feeling that sublime sensation
now creeping into every part of your body
telling you
                     that you are no longer your own property.
Then you suddenly get reminded of the last time you had your coffee.                               The abnormal beating of your heart
the fireworks in your head
           the ringing in your ears
                       the whispers of voices from your back
thezjdflksjcxkdjfghdisquiet of the night and
            how it left you gasping for breath
   drowning in the sea of your tears of regret.
It’s frightening.
But being scared makes you hear your present heartbeat, slowly, rushing
like it’s 8 in the morning
You’re alive.
It’s beating. You survived.
You savor this forbidden sensation for as long as it lasts.
                                                          ­               But nothing lasts forever.
When it starts to wear off, of course,
               it all comes back to the tongue.
Here comes “The Finish”.
Funny how acidity
is the strong point of coffee
but a weak point of you.
Cold sweat runs through your back
and a sharp burning feeling starts in your stomach.
Your tongue                      touching the ceiling of your mouth
                  is now starting to burn an unpleasant, undesirable sharpness,
over-fermented bitterness.
The bittersweet becomes            just the bitter.
You open your mouth like puffing out cigarette smoke
breathe out               deeply and slowly
your tongue searching every corner of your mouth
trace the lining of your gums
               desperate
for that elusive sweetness
that once filled you with     happiness.
In despair you’re left with nothing      but the bitter aftertaste.
Like a whistle of the kettle that tells you the water is boiling
The reminder that you had coffee.
Had.
For a moment you want to cry—why can’t you just cry—but if they tell you not to cry over spilled coffee then
         more reasons they’ll tell you not to cry from drinking coffee
Because who cries over coffee and why would you cry from drinking coffee?
You ask yourself
        left with two answers:
You’d cry because it’s bad,
           or you’d cry because you once had something so good.
Almost.
See even the most natural task on Earth like drinking coffee gives difficult life choices, too.
But before you lose your mind thinking about
The aftertaste,
        your breath,
        your heart,
        the whistle,
        the bittersweet,
the bitter,
               the sweet,
  the aftertaste,    the bitter,
the…
You feel the cup between your hands
            warm and welcoming.
A faint light from this darkness
has started to devour the blackness.
And you open your eyes.
You no longer hear the whistle of the kettle nor the rushed beat of your heart.
Even the bitter taste in your tongue felt like it’s been there right from the start
And you just no longer care of the aftertaste that takes ages to depart.
You look at your cup with your loving doe eyes.
You’re ready to take in another sip of your coffee
not minding the aftertaste                      of that same unrequited love.
This was originally performed as a spoken poetry, my first in that field.
Premji Dec 2011
Who cares for her shattered dreams when she is
Brutally ***** on the very first night?
Who cares for her preconception health when,
For him, the only activity is making her pregnant?

Who cares for her repeated abortions
Which results in cervical damage,
Which in turn makes her unable to carry
The weight of a later pregnancy?

Who cares for not to satiate his excessive lust
When she is pregnant, which can cause
Abortion and maternal mortality?

Who cares for prenatal care that can keep
Her unborn baby and herself
Healthy during pregnancy?

Who cares to relieve her excessive work load at home
And her ever expanding stress to provide
High-quality child care for her five or six other children,
From earlier pregnancies?

Who cares for her signs and symptoms of anemia,
Her fatigue, increased heart beat or palpitations
Paleness of inside of eyelids, gums and nail beds
Desire to eat indigestible or peculiar foods?

Who cares for her backache, increasing weight,
Change in her centre of gravity and powerlessness?

Who cares for her malnutrition, poor health,
Lack of education, overwork, mistreatment?

Who cares for her dental hygiene, her broken teeth,
For the baby grows within is another tyrant
Who grabs Calcium, even from her teeth and bones?

Who cares for her cramps and muscle spasm,
Heartburn and indigestion , insomnia?

Who cares for her needs to go to the toilet frequently,
As the growing baby reduces her bladder capacity?

Who cares her inability to get comfortable
When she has neither clean water nor safe sanitation,
And necessary support either from health services?

Who cares not to tense her,
Already she is suffering from all sort of
Tension and high blood pressure?
And her mother-in-law terrifies her again
The consequences if the newborn could be of a girl!
Sad, woman is the greatest enemy of
Another woman, in the most needed times!
If she dies, none is worried...
For he can marry once again!
More dowries, more *** and more kids!

Who cares for her post natal depression ,
As none to take care of the newborn and other kids,
She has to run for office and other workplaces
With heavy *******, pain and bladder infections?

Who cares that every pregnancy weakens her a lot
As she need some time to recover her health...
And on the very day she can spread her legs,
By force, he starts his activities again!
He knows how how to starve the newborn
Just by emptying her *******!

When things are like this,
Every religious clergy flays
The limiting of the family size by birth control!
Christians wish for a Christian world
Muslims dream for a new world under Islam
Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and
Every religious fanatic dreams of the same!
They offer gifts for women for bearing
More and more children
For more children is their cheapest weapon!

When will they dream for a HUMANE WORLD?

Healthy children need healthy mothers.
Healthy mothers need healthy food,
Loving husbands (optional!) and caring society
For true world is made of love!
Big Virge Dec 2016
These Days It's CLEAR .... !!!  
That Mind Control Is On A Roll ... !!!  

Because LOST Souls Now Live In ... "FEAR" ... !!!!!  

FEAR of THIS And ... FEAR of THAT ... !!!
FEAR of Thinking They've Been TRAPPED ... !!!

Most Minds Now Find Themselves In ... "Binds" ...  
That Are Designed To ... "KEEP Them BLIND" ... !!!!  
  
Blind To Thoughts EXPOSING FRAUDS ...  
Like Bogus Wars On Foreign Shores ...  
  
Most Minds It Seems Are Getting WEAK ... !!!  
And Choose To SLEEP ...
Like DORMANT Breeds of Human Beings ... !!!  
  
So The Question Is ...... ?  
  
... " What CONTROLS Yours " ... ???  
  
A Pair of Lips That OPENS Doors ...  
Or Those That SPLIT Because They're ****** ... ?!?  
  
See Many Slip Because They're QUICK ...  
To *** A Chick Who's QUICK To LICK ...  
ANY ***** Named **** And Have His Kid ... !?!  
  
Because They Know Their ***** Hole ...  
CANNOT Control The Mind of A Bloke Who CAN'T SAY No ... !!!
  
You See ... That's The Way The Story Goes ...  
When You LACK CONTROL Around PROFESSIONAL **'s ... !!!!!    
  
In Some It's The Past That's Marked Their Card ... !!!  
Because A Person They LOVED CLEARLY BROKE Their Heart ... !!!  
  
But ACTING TOUGH ...
Is NOT The Stuff That Helps You Grow ... !!!  
Beyond ............................................... What CONTROLS ... !!!!!  
  
It's Tough I Know To Let Things Go .............................................  
Things From The Past That Have HIT You HARD ... !!!!  
  
ESPECIALLY When You Tried Your BEST ...  
To Do What's Right And Be ... " DIGNIFIED " ...  
  
ANGER You Hold KEEPS You CONTROLLED ...  
And UNABLE To Then Pass GO And .... Old PAIN Road ... !!!!!  
  
FREE UP Yourself ... Otherwise GET HELP ... !!!!!  

Knowledge of Self And Cards You've Dealt ...  
  
IMPROVE Your Chance of Being SMART ...  
And Letting PAIN ... Just DRIFT AWAY ..................................  
  
It's A FOOL Who Displays IGNORANT Ways ... !!!  
Because of FEARS They KEEP Like EARS ...  !!!  
Next To Their Brain Driving Them INSANE ... !!!!!  
  
Because They Know When The TRUTH Unfolds .......................  
That Lies That HOLD Will BETRAY Their Soul ...  
Because They're Meek And CLEARLY Weak ... !!!!!  
Because of LIES ... They Choose To KEEP ... !!!  
  
FEAR It Seems ... of Being ALONE ...  
Also CONTROLS ... BOTH Young And Old ... !!!  
To The Point Where Some Choose To ... " Run Their Gums " ... !!!
  
About Men Like ME ...  
  
"You're MILITANT Virge, and you go too far !"  
  
Are Of Course The Words Some Choose To Impart ...  
Which I Guess Is Because I DON'T Dwell In The Past ... !!!  
  
Is It Me Whose Lost And CONTROLLED Like DARTH ... ?!?

Because of ANGER Felt From The Cards I've Dealt ... !!!  
... Well My Answer Is NO ... !!!  
  
I DON'T Do Coc' ... !!!  

So Am NOT Controlled By Chemical Dope ... !!!!  
Or Controlled By HATE Because of My Race ...
Or Because of My Weight So What Ya' Gonna Say ... ?  
  
... " What controls Big V !?! " ...
  
.... NOT A GOD ****** Thing .... !!!
But My Wish To Be FREE Like My Poetry ... !!!    
  
There Are A Few Controls That Are Now IMPOSED ...  
To Which I'll Abide But Here Is WHY ... !!!  
  
Because of PEOPLE LIKE YOU ...  
Who Choose To ABUSE ... The Rules of The Game ... !!!  
DON'T Apportion Blame And Then Aim It MY WAY ... !!!  
When What You Say ... PROVES You're NOT STRaigHt ... !!!!
  
STRAIGHT With YOURSELF ...  
About The Cards You've Dealt That Affect Your Health ... !!!!!  
  
I'm NOT The Type To Say ... " I Told You So " ... !!!
  
I'm The Type of Guy To Let You KNOW ...  
About How I Feel So I ... " Keep It REAL " ... !!!  
  
Well ....
REALER Than Fools Who Choose To ABUSE ... !!!
  
Those Dealing In TRUTH ... !!!!  
Because They REFUSE To Look In The MIRROR ...  

Like Michael Said ....  

Well When You Do You Should Just ... Simmer .....................  
And CONTROL Your Head ...  
  
NO Drugs Or Thugs or Thoughts of Love ...  
Or Being Alone Should EVER CONTROL ...  
  
CLEAR Thinking ..... NO ... !!!!!  
  
It's Worked For Me ...  
No Matter What I've Seen ... !!!  
  
IGNORANT Women ... IGNORANT Men ...  
Loss of Life And YES ... " Pain and Strife " ... !!!!!  
  
But Throughout These Times My STRENGTH of MIND ...  
Has Kept Me PRIMED To Do What's WISE ...  
And NOT ACCEPT New Laws That Want ...

..... " CONTROL of THOUGHT " ..... !!!
  
Because These Laws Are FLAWED .... !!!  
  
In This I Am ... QUITE SURE ... !!!!!!  
  
So The Question I Now ... " Court " ...  
  
Is .............  
  
... " What's Controlling YOURS ? " ...
So many controls and control freaks gaining power & influence, an old piece but pretty relevant right about now ....
Mel Harcum Jan 2015
There’s a certain disharmony in the way of things,
and how it turns humans into monsters. I saw a monster turn a girl
into a woman with her clothes on the floor,

and he carved ‘liar’ on her chapped lips. I reached out when
she stood before me, holding a razor in one hand and whiskey
in the other. She had dashed lines on her wrists

and shattered glass at her feet. I feel like screaming, but my gums bleed
from a mouth full of broken metal wire.
I cannot tell you the story that sits on my shoulders like a child,
too young to understand the weight of himself.

Now my eyelids have been peeled from my face and
I cannot look away from the girl when she comes home after school
and asks me for help with her homework
because the least I can do is solve a few math problems.
This poem contains a trigger warning for self-harm and ****, which I have tagged as well.
JJ Hutton Jan 2012
Lipstick cigarettes and the empty soul of modern rock n' roll
laid in ruin amongst my collection of black soul addictions and sultry benedictions.
MIDI saxophones and an ex-girlfriend on the telephone
directing me to find my home, to rebuild the comb, to banish the bartender and the Reverend ******.

Alamo idiot stand and a neon Jesus
waving newcomers into the whitewashed port town known as "Cuba North".
At the Caged Gorilla, Linda, the waitress,
laughs through yellowed teeth, while my bloodshot eyes crawl up her red gums.
Binge'd and my brain keeps parallel with the ceiling fan
while a plain clothes cop tries to give me the reprimand for nostalgic mischiefs.
Handcuffed and looking for that old fiend, Freedom,
while Miranda spews on the back of my skull, slides down my shoulders, dots the cement.
Out the door and tourists with cameras looking for evil behind my irises,
but I can assure my handshakes feel the same, I'm front pew tame, and I blend with the parade.
douglas chesa Feb 2012
I have been drinking wine
To douse the burning tip of my mind
Worries chewing at my nerves
Like the filter end of a rich Havana cigar
Woes of this world turn my whiskers
Into drab willows of misery
My nights into endless nightmares
And my thoughts rattling and jarring
Like the business end of a mechanical hammer.

Dreams clad in limp loincloth
Revisit me from the dark
Urns of history
The salad days of our beings
And their neauseating euphoria
When in drunken trance we siezed
Conscience by her arms
And threw her on her back
Splayed her legs
And smacked our lips
As blood spurt out...
I wipe my mind with the back of my hand
Trying
To brush away the dregs of the sordid rituals
We once enshrined.

A plump shiny green bottle
Buzzes around my mind irritating
Reminding me of Death
Hanging mockingly
Like a pendulum over my mind seducing
''O Sweet Carrion
You are food for the elders!''
And my sins in their hordes shimmer
A deathly pale round the nooze
Suspended from blushing heaven's bottom
My mind's eyes shed crystal tears
Giving away bucketfuls of Chiyadzwa diamonds to regain
Long gone and lost innocence.

I shared a bottle of wine
With my new-found friend, Today
Clinking glasses and minds
Then a greenbottle in full flight
Was caught between the grinding bellies
Of our glasses and minds
Bloodied fleshrot bespattered our intelligence
And our minds rushed to the wash basins retching
A brush with the fetid breath of the past
Left the gums of my mind barren and obscene
And together with newfound friend, Today
We covered our private parts with our hands
Ashamed
At the ****** of our thoughts.

She knocked at the door of my mind
Eyes shadowed in wet grey paint
Lips smudged in scarlet smiled at me
A Good Morning
My palm hiding the discoloured teeth
Of my inner-self
I muffled a Good Mourning to her, but
I felt a warmth spreading
At the base of my belly
Her milky-white mouthful was inviting
A milkyway blaze trailing into deep future
''I will flirt with her'' my mind whispered
But then the rasping sandpaper touch of her lips
Bruised and bloodied my thoughts
And I saw red at the future.

I must have swooned
From the First Lady's fistkisses of philanthropy
Doling out sweet nothings and promises
At a ceremony sheathed in royal pomp and dignity
Where the guests dressed like Harlequins
Mesmerised us with the crablike dance
And flummoxed O poor we
With democratic mumbo-jumbo and lingo
And the Povo touched with feeling
Donated oceanfuls of diamond tears
And their sincere prayers a mutter flutter
Into the heavens for beloved leaders.

I broke Biltong , my past, into the ***
To give life to ailing friend, Today
With my fingernail I peeled off
The tomatoe's tough ruddy jacket
To make sauce
And I heard a rumble of objection
From the August House
And the Mujibhas and Chimbwidos' angry yawn
Gave a chilli spice to the dish
And the food touching Today 's lips
He sneezed and broke wind
Startling ghosts of old nostalgic memories
That had took seats at the kitchen table
To wing away to the scrapyard
Their home beyond the rusting horizon.

Perched on the anthill of anticipation
I roll my thoughts
Into a big joint of mbanje
I **** and grey fading puffs
Of wishes spiral into the bored sky
Each a crippled dream
That was bulldozed at Churu Farm
An ambitious dream that was displaced
By the Operation Murambatsvina
A dream that lost an eye and limb in the food riots
A dream that lost its ***** at university
A dream that fell from the 11th floor at the Towers
Into the Taxman's hat
A dream that drowned in the opaque beer tank
At the Uhuru celebrations
A dream that lost its breath
On top of another man's wife in Mbare
A dream dumped and disowned
Only to find home at the bottom of the Blair toilet...
To find home in the sympathetic clicks
Of poets who have lost their voices.

The stub is burning my fingers
Minds run out of fuel and fire
The angry verbal lash
Of the emotionally wounded
Is a stub licking back at the wielder
To be snuffed out and discarded
On the ash tray of hopelessness
The grave yard that houses all
Once active minds.

-dougwa-
I tried
Slashing the wrists of poverty
With an EBT swipe
But he isn’t merely food stamps
He is needle
He is malt
Licker of oppressed *******
****** dreams
*******’d by sored gums
A snake came to my water-trough
On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat,
To drink there.
In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before
me.

He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom
And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of
the stone trough
And rested his throat upon the stone bottom,
And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness,
He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.

Someone was before me at my water-trough,
And I, like a second comer, waiting.

He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do,
And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do,
And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment,
And stooped and drank a little more,
Being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth
On the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me
He must be killed,
For in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous.

And voices in me said, If you were a man
You would take a stick and break him now, and finish him off.

But must I confess how I liked him,
How glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough
And depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless,
Into the burning bowels of this earth?

Was it cowardice, that I dared not **** him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honoured?
I felt so honoured.

And yet those voices:
If you were not afraid, you would **** him!

And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.

He drank enough
And lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken,
And flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black,
Seeming to lick his lips,
And looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air,
And slowly turned his head,
And slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream,
Proceeded to draw his slow length curving round
And climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.

And as he put his head into that dreadful hole,
And as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther,
A sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole,
Deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after,
Overcame me now his back was turned.

I looked round, I put down my pitcher,
I picked up a clumsy log
And threw it at the water-trough with a clatter.

I think it did not hit him,
But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste.
Writhed like lightning, and was gone
Into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front,
At which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.

And immediately I regretted it.
I thought how paltry, how ******, what a mean act!
I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education.

And I thought of the albatross
And I wished he would come back, my snake.

For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.

And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords
Of life.
And I have something to expiate:
A pettiness.

Taormina, 1923
Jessie Feb 2011
tongue traces teeth

pushing
pushing
pushing

is it moving?
it's moving!

wiggle wiggle
oh my God it's
MOVING

reach up
fingers touch the tooth
anxious like a child
with their first
loose tooth

teeth
teeth
teeth
teeth
nightmares:

gaps and spaces
sinks full of
blood
and
TEETH

push them back in!
--fall out again--
push them back in!
--blood on your fingers--

brushbrushbrushbrush
flossflossflossfloss

is it moving?
is it moving?

brush
floss
brush
floss
brush
floss
brush
floss

is it moving?
it can't be moving!

if pushed too hard,
could that make them
fall out?

gums sore
from over flossing
gums not growing
from toothbrush
abrasions

teeth,
not quite
pearly white
holding tight

teeth
teeth
teeth
a real phobia of mine.
The song is gone; the dance
is secret with the dancers in the earth,
the ritual useless, and the tribal story
lost in an alien tale.

Only the grass stands up
to mark the dancing-ring; the apple-gums
posture and mime a past corroboree,
murmur a broken chant.

The hunter is gone; the spear
is splintered underground; the painted bodies
a dream the world breathed sleeping and forgot.
The nomad feet are still.

Only the rider's heart
halts at a sightless shadow, an unsaid word
that fastens in the blood of the ancient curse,
the fear as old as Cain.
Mateuš Conrad Dec 2016
i write about these things,
because in all honesty?
they don't matter to me.

you can call it assimilation, then you'll call it
   i'm making a worded salad, so it doesn't really matter
whether i speak the language or not,
being native you'll tell me i have to be a diacritically
riddled over-laden version of you  nativeness...
you'll basically tell me i have to speak a worse-off
native than you didn't bother to grasp...
after that? i turn Sioux and scalp you.
  because that's what you deserve.
i could have come up against you
in the thick of night and turned you into a kebab,
and do you think anyone would have
cared? is it one thing to assimilate,
and another to assimilate into a skin-head culturalism
implosive that's brimming to the full with your patriotic
hopes as being acted upon? i can speak the perfect
English and still be more welcome in Scotland
than in Kent... but that will not not do,
not until i shave my hair off,
grow a beard, and runsack my skin
with quasi-Hindu ******* tilts...
           and when this foreign legion
of Swedish journalists bemoan why
their **** ain't where their heart is?
have you seen the *sienkiewicz"
trilogy of *potop
? you want history?
how about: in the beginning
there was an invading horde of Swedes
that tried to topple the proto-commonwealth
of Poland and Lithuania...
  even how much i cared to learn the tongue:
i'd be left belittled by ugly accenting
stereotypes...
                          i'd be Islam of drunk,
while the engineers would be left saying:
and unto us amphetamines,
and Mamelukes were never Egyptian...
because Egypt was what Egypt desired...
a quasi thingy... then i turned my ear
to Macbeth, and earned 70 years
and a Spartacus' worth of ears to my nearing 31...
                   i turned to Macbeth the theatricals
silences, and let, the music... play.
i can learn the language, but i am expected
to push the natives from a career of criminality,
i am expected to become the criminal,
i've learned the language beyond the natives,
what else?
   to learn the debasement of the natives akin to
every other culture? am i to become the
criminal statistic of the ruling political elite?
so they can "know" but that they merely quote?
   i owe my ode to Macbeth,
for Hamlet can become tiresome aligned with
Sisyphus in hell...
              we'll have builders by the end of
the debate...
     how much more do i have to learn?
is language not enough? then velkommen Syriac!
               is it not enough that i know the tongue?
must i be jeopardised by using it,
and say that universality is to be excluded,
simply because it does not abide by an utopian
ideal of pure English sprechen pure English?
         there are scapegoats to be festering upon
the spike that's readied to be fried...
but come on... is this deutschesprechen?
              it can't be! if i pretend to be Malcolm...
you pretend to be Duncan,
but nonetheless the speech makes us both truant
ghouls and guises receding
   into the demands of operatic - kindred to
Lady Macbeth (a protestant, or should she be
known catholic: McBeth) -
      as Glasgow religion of the coliseum of the times
testifies... celt and ranger... green & white vs. blue and
   black...
     lady mc.: what beast was 't thou,
        that make you break this enterprise with me?
(no matter if you killed a man, of whatever
stature he be worth, what beast are you to suddenly
cage my heart, when having agreed to make my heart
and feeling thus: storm the heights of Ben Nevis,
and descend as angrily as a woman might please,
  and with her whim, descend from the mountain
as if a mountain descends into desert?! what
courage, ye! to throw a woman into such woe
and leave a man's promise, the very least
a man can bestow upon this earth: but a woman
yet to come to correct!) so thus the elvish Anglican
was spoken, and thus continued:
- when you durst do it, then you were a man;
   and, to be more than what you were, you would
be so much more the man. nor time, nor place,
did then adhere, and yet you would make both...
  from his boneless gums...
nor have i understood Hamlet as the model student,
the puppet if not the mere mascot...
for the Freudian couch... then again i navigated
past Kant with Macbeth,
having yet to complete reading the critique...
       i took to maturity, and said
what others wished upon: there is true
adult agony in a well versed poetry...
       more so than adolescence in what's deemed
a maturation process...
             perhaps i should have served the concern
for Hamlet and laid bare upon the psychoanalytic
couch... but Macbeth: of said
sepia as copper, so said of woad as in aquamarine
surrender... led me to cite...
          for i was never bound to own the tongue
i would acquire... i was told:
   well, hello there, dishonourable squire...
ah... the queen's majestic airs...
    will make any Irishman desist from the republic's
gaze...
             and sloth in a respectably believed state
of consolidatory affairs under the kites of Yates...
   but never you mind the Silesian consumed
by former guardian of the coalmine...
or what L'vov wouldn't say in Ukrainian...
mind you Nevada and Lasso Vegan...
mind you that...  for that speaks biblical studies!
i will never assimilate, in that i will never be
allowed to own this tongue...
            and if i am allowed to own it...
i am but a furry-faced-bloat of faked pleasantries
   and closet nationalism...
        i wish i could own this language as if i
might own a typewriter... but i'm apparently
not welcome, by the pseudo-irish who
mediate the English assertion of the understanding
of the dover sieve...
                 ******* leprechaun mafia...
  paddy paddy oo too the butch-faced freckled girl...
   it's as if the Italians have Manhattan,
    and the Corke conglomerate prescribed
everyone a pint of Guinness rather than iron-pill
supplements...
                 well: and so the Titanic bellows
out an oceanic morse code of tantrums on
the accordions.
                      which sorta soothed the mermaids
digest contemplation for the vegan accomplishment
of shrimp... and over seafoods...
being digested.
         now i'm apparently not speaking English,
or i'm speaking English and i don't understand it,
or i'm understanding how i'm speaking English,
and how i'm supervising all things uranium
                               bound hallucinogenic...
or how, even though urbanity took off and
the countryside disappeared, you think you'll never
meet peasants in smirk attire to condescend you
gravity toward theatre or opera...
     but peasants are reall... you can recognise a peasant
the minute they don't recognise you insulting them;
it's a bit like telling a very witty joke...
         i don't get witty jokes because i tend to treat them
like a siegl heigl salutation...
   and i respect the memory of Octavian...
                                 it's the wittiness that comes into
contact with actually not telling a joke: and people
end up laughing... that's when you spot the peasants.
    so you see... i speak the ****** language,
but i'm sorta denied the access for drinking a cosmopolitan
at a Shoreditch pub...
                        which makes all arguments
for learning the language obsolete in terms of gaining
a "fair" advantage... and this is European to
European lingo...
        didn't i ask that Swedish journalist
ingrid carlqvist to watch the trilogy, including
potop about the war between Sweden and
the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, and ask her
about what's to be culturally inherited?
**** me... maybe i'm sleepwalking...
                     dodo zombified or something...
                                     oh wait...
                                         if ever there was a regressive
reparation policy in a country:
i'd hear: guilt from western countries taking the bribes
of the Marshall Plan...
      and overt pride from countries post-world-war ii
being prescribed communism, as a way to rebuild
their nations: for fear of having to commit to
hara kiri... or *******...
                                         as said: becoming
the easily bribed convenience...
                              the concept of assimilation
within the construct of selective migration has transcended
the mere acquisition of language...
  acquiring a language isn't enough...
         the reverse policy of colonialism is hushed-down
ethnic cleansing...
          which goes beyond language per se,
since it goes beyond dialect ex lingua...
              it is a necessitation of also acquiring
national stereotypes of unengaged in dialectics...
it is one thing to rhetorically assert a need to debate,
and another to understand that dialectics ≠ debate;
but rather a service to prompt and engage thinking,
rather than debating... dialectics is an art-form,
     it's intended to encourage thinking,
rather than the continuum of polarised / schizoid
debating: debates never accomplish a convergence...
whereas dialectics is intended to establish
a convergent pinpoint... as Socrates said unto the young,
so i find myself talking to old men and being
in accordance to have shared a park bench,
one sunny afternoon at the nadir of summer.
                why is it that acquiring language is not
enough these days?
       or why is it that a poor acquisition of a language,
or acquiring a language without correcting
accentuated stresses particular to a tongue
are given a freer access to labour, then
acquiring a language to a standardisation of
mimic localisation, and fence: a faking of
a faking (ad infinitum) or locality?
i.e. overly-successful assimilation?
             overly-successful assimilation is punished!
   it is punished by speaking as a fluent native
might... but having no discriminatory biases
that could enable one to be completely native...
and this is punishable!
             by a stance that it's a robotics project,
that one is nothing more than an a.i. enterprise...
even those dearest to me acknowledge me
as a robot... an a.i.,
           but they can't seem to understand that
artificial intelligence, and authentic intelligence
cannot be superficial intelligence of
natives... for the natives have a placebo
to what is otherwise a Pompeii resurrection
to the volcano-dynamic of analysing-ergo-synthesising
           ana ergo syn           which
constructs the opposite of thesis and antithesis,
given that the equation combines two adequate prefixes,
ana- and syn-...
                      "against" therefore "with".
isn't that how we cling to social pressures
or prejudices and still accumulate 8 billion examples
of a comparative e.g. that's a John Smith?
     i have yet to come across a contemporary that
might become as if fatherly...
   i just see opportunist buckling down the M25 of
encircling nothing more than a venture into
gaining a quick buck... and it could, it could
almost be sad... but it's not...
              it took me almost 13 years of synthesising
the English language: synthesising i.e.
mimicking - before i started analysing it...
      and when i say the groundwork for any
theory on the subconscious is to focus on grammar
and grammatical word interjections into
a Joycean stream-of-consciousness...
                              for that's worth the upper-tier
working from the sub-level...
                          of utilising language:
then the unconscious is far from dreaming...
it's equivalent in seeing how i acquired a language
at the age of 8 to synthesise / mimic what the children
around me were saying...
   but that it took me so long to analyse the language...
which the children around me acquired within
a reflexive bias to later strand such reflexiveness into
a divergence of calling their angular retraction
philosophy, linguistics, poetry, psychology...
whole all i had to do is to appropriate a reflective bias to
later strand such reflectiveness as to say:
of my mother i say polski, of my father i say:
             ojczym - and i can reflect upon him,
foremostly his diacritical lack of the wriggling-blagger's
economisation, when due coinage is needed.
Styles Jul 2019
I love the way you eat me,
treat yourself to my tasty *****.
The feel of your tongue,
as they lather my lips,
your ***** rubbing,
my gums against your lips
My head; dips.
your eyes; solar eclipse.
my fingers; tingling as I
tighten my grip.
with each slippery lick.
you lips start to stick --
tingle my nips --
both hard as bricks.
Using our thump,
******* my slit,
while ******* my ****,
your warm lips,
making me flip --
the suction,
your rhythm,
thick- long tongue,
beating it like a drum.
The finish  - a perfect fit.
He belches verses of prayer
from the acidity of his gut,
staggering upright
on two toddler feet,
he trails drunkenly
to the fridge,
scarce with only a few dented beers,
a bucketful of ice to feed him,
till the next scroungers pay-check is due.

Cracking open a frozen one,
it hisses a warrior's cry,
loud in the stillness
then dies swiftly,
as he raises the carcass to his split lip
swilling alcoholic entrails
round him gums.

Wincing slightly,
the beer half-empty in his hand,
he twitches a pink eye
in pain
as something rolls
around his jaw,
the made-of-man pinball stage
has begun a game
without him.


Gathering his saliva
into a hard bullet,
he spits the foreign object
onto splintered floorboards,
where his last tooth lands,
a final casualty
of his handsome youth.
Mouth opened to speak;
remembered that most don't care
    to listen to what needs saying;
closed mouth decisively,
smiling at the futility
of human endeavor
    blocking its own way.

Handcuffed to the bars
in prisons like "I've got to be me"
    and "I resent all inconvenience";
cosmopolitan effeteness
gums its own fleshy ****.
Watching in rapt silence
    this unendearing cacophony.

Imagining the vast toil
of this skeleton waste frontier,
    Mind disdains dead grasses
underfoot, burrs, spines,
fruit of the blasted heath
that grows wild in absence
    while cities chew our bones

A world full of lanterns
illuminates better-left-hiddens,
    the loudest of the best-unsaid;
Forgetting to listen closely
to the Moon's secrets, whispers
from star-lit skies, Today strives
    vainly in Yesterday's shadows.

— The End —