The broken bone branches hang heavy off knuckled tree. As cold and uninviting as wrapped meat in cellophane prison cells and those sweating milk bottles left on doorsteps. Women cry with the blackbirds as day breaks, rousing their reluctant nests.
As the shadows trawl in from chicken farms and slaughterhouses, across the squalid estates and past a debt collectors party. A tramp drinks his soot like coffee and waits for another years tide to retreat. Holding pith less ambitions and unmentionable qualifications, stewardess pass, uniformed thoughts and averting faces..
The rusty playgrounds sink into the fermenting wood chips, and a plastic bag runs through the scene; only to commit suicide in the oil ribbon canal. The chemical clouds thicken into a duvet of sky whilst arrows of a natural sun run home with tears of fear on their hot faces.
Down here the street lights flicker, and the patched uniforms drape off children sick with the flu that hit the school like a plague. Herding like cattle into the classrooms, to learn about the natural world
that is most unearthly to there reason.
Lunch bells ring from factories and the sky has drained to a sick -off white. The chip shop sells butties with no sauce nor bun, which machine like men guzzle and slurp.
The car parks lay stagnant in the distance and pigeons too fat to fly lay droppings on the bronze statue of a crying hero. As the roaring stops from the factories and high visibility coats are hung, the sky bruises and the men fill the pubs, until wives with children hung on washing lines drag there sweat soaked frames to the table, only to indulge them in a row.
Night creeps in, bringing with it the hooded figures that flutter along the streets. Music plays from a vacant building and seems to brighten the night.
A silhouette is seen standing on the edge, watching the busses bellow run like migrating snails, filled with the elderly and too young.
Cigarettes infest the streets creating a carpet of ash and litter. The city survives, remaining grey, never blinking, never heard.
i just need to sleep on this head
full of forgotten strengths and ever-present sorrows
and hope that the stale morning will come
within the blink of an eye
like thick steam
my thoughts will dissipate into the cold, dry air
and become nothing but a homogeneous mixture
of nitrogen and oxygen
into my waiting lungs
too damaged by smoke
to know the difference between clean air
or anything else
I'm a matchstick
With a sulfur head
Dying out quick as I'm lit
How bright I burn
For those few seconds in
A darkened mine
How I shine
Reflections in dirty eyes
And lantern light
How I singe the fingers
Of black lung victims
Lying underground like
He envisions the Machine as a large locomotive
Of a deep, tainted, black metal chugging down and infinite track
The eternally glowing red hot coals pushing the pistons
A giant crimson cowcatcher is fixed at the front
Scraping up followers; forcing them into the vehicle
Manipulating Its passengers to smash their heads into the Machine
Welding their minds into Its mysterious black metal walls
Stained with the blood of many who have tried to resist
Ultimately wounded, maimed, outcaste from society
Forever marked, branded by the scars of their attempt
When the Machine has used you and-or your mind to Its purose
It shoves you into Its furnace—keeping the pistons turning
The Machine cannot be stopped—always picking up followers
Forcing you into It; becoming one with the Machine
As He looks into the engine room, there is no conductor
A runaway locomotive chugging down the track with no end
Its only goal: gathering as many passengers as possible
Society, Washington, the Media built the machine
Their brainchild, but have long since become a part of It
Their minds welded the deepest—becoming the foundation of Its walls
Long ago abandoning their carcasses to fuel their mighty creation
She walks fast and breaths slow,
A fiddle player missing her index
She runs now, she was always running..
A side of a truth—her only ally
Her loins were burnt blue
with the Greek fire that tingles further with saliva.
But not hers they said, for she was stained
Damned to purification through pain.
Her pain was sheer existence.
Every breath hurting more and hurting less
Continual life leading to death.
She is the morality of lust,
the end of a beginning..
Little lung oyster all slimy and green.
In my chest resting quietly you have been.
Peacefully sleeping in your abode.
Disturbed by my coughing and up you rode.
projectile now free ascending my throat.
And into my mouth my tongue you did coat.
With your viscouse body spread all around.
A salty Taste I now have found.
Your texture, creamy and kinda stringy.
With parts of you thick and kinda clingy.
With my teeth, I scrape you off.
And swish you around into a froth.
Through my lips I let you fall.
And suck you back up, bubbles and all.
Oh little lung oyster you're a funny little thing.
Kinda like a slimy string.
Three more times I stretch you out.
And suck back into my mouth.
I then gather you on my tongue.
"P-too-ee!" From my mouth you are flung.
You speed away out of sight.
But not so far as I thought you might.
Your stringyness catches on my front teeth.
And you make a mess on me. "Oh good grief!"
The mess is far larger than I thought.
That something your size could possibly wrought.
You cover my chin and the front of my shirt.
And drip on my shoe. Like that's gonna hurt?
I look like I was run over by a fifty pound snail.
Or splashed with snot from a two gallon pail.
So I wiped what I could off my shirt and my chin.
And swore never to play with lung oysters again.
Your words crawled through my auditory cortex like caterpillars, preventing me from hearing anything other than the inflection in your deep voice. As your body inched closer to mine, they took residence in my chest cavity, building chrysali that hung off of my ribs making it more and more difficult to inflate my heavy lungs. They cocooned themselves as I too wrapped myself up in you. Suddenly, your lips were on mine and your hands were counting the vertebrae down my back, scaring the insects from their resting place, resulting in chills up my spine. The newly emerged butterflies flew out of my sternum and up into my throat, longing to be closer to you. But then you pulled away and they instantly died, leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
every breath you took.
Originating from your lungs.
But yet the one thing I cherished the most
Is what made you die.
The cancer disintegrated your lungs,
the organs that I used to thank everyday.
Yet, they were the ones who took you away.
They made it harder and harder to breathe
until God told you it was time to leave.
I know you had a heart of the sun
shining and beating until the day was done.
And when you left my sight,
you left your reflection on the moon so bright
Just to let us know that you're not gone,
you're just waiting to meet us after our dawn.
After the first sleep comes the second morning,
the realm of meditative calm,
gifts we forgot we left ourselves,
in the time that time forgot,
in the lands we left behind.
In Tibet, the most skilled monks cover
great distances using the mantra
of the Lung Gom, a rhythmic matrix
leap. i use a car or my
memory to achieve the same.
As a child i captured fireflies from
my grandmother's back yard,
holding them captive in a jar
until they proved themselves,
making me their Gom Jabbar.
Now later along i feel the vibration
of life in my car as i drive.
i have no wish to synchronize
with it. My rebellious days
are mostly over, or few in number.
My subconsciousness has accepted
my inevitable death. That is
alignment enough, nature's Gom
Jabbar to my neck, regardless
of what i prove before:
like the fireflies in the jar...
like the death rattle of my car...
like the memories i sought,
struggling against union,
fearing the Gom Jabbar,
mouthing the Lung Gom.
In memoriam Asher and Franklin
Farmers flocked to Blossburg's mines
willing their abandoned plows
to perpetual dust and rain.
Burrowing into the Tioga hills
with Keagle picks and sledges,
they filled their trams with rough cut coal.
Black diamonds - carved for waiting boilers
of New England mills and trains
and Pennsylvania's winter stoves.
Brothers, Frank and Asher swung their picks
in tunnels deep beneath the hills
and brushed away the clouds of soot.
Their coughs at first seemed harmless
enough as from nagging colds or flus -
but deepened as their lungs turned black.
Pain and choking drove them to their beds
where no medic's art could aid them.
Then the coroner came to seal their eyes.
A stonecutter's chisel marks their brevity
on an marble graveyard obelisk
that pays no homage to their sacrifice.
From the green of your lungs,
A new sound sends forth its shoots.
Roots down take time to grow,
But time is precious,
Time is fleeting.
A passing breath escapes,
“But I am not passive!” it warns.
And in the daytime’s chill,
Takes up a new, more solid shape.
Tendrils spring forward,
They were waiting,
Coiled within the lung until called to action.
And now in motion,
Attempting to bring your final breath home.
To the known,
To the comfort,
To the green of the lung,
Where safety abounds,
And no one shall be harmed.
Back home to the lung.