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Eryri Sep 2018
Thank you for the memories,
The unexpected, sudden hits of nostalgia
Taking me back to carefree days
Of playing football after a summer rainstorm,
Of laughing in woodwork class,
Of my grandmother's awesome cakes.

Like time travel on the cheap,
You weather away the years,
And the strata of cynicism and regret,
Momentarily eroding my reality,
Revealing the manchild at my core,
Allowing him the briefest chance to once again explore.

But these are unpredictable reveries,
Three dimensional snatches of memories.
It's time they developed some kind of smell recorder,
Just like sights and sounds can be held for posterity.
But such technology would not compare to my physiological wonder;
Magically transforming scent into vivid memories.
zebra Sep 2017
she was queen for a day
brought to you
by
the Red Cross
and
Freezone
to lift off
those painful foot corns
and lets not forget the good folks at
HEET
for those  aching back muscles
strong
yet doesn't burn
and comes with a handy dandy applicator

she could have anything she wanted
all she had to do
was ask for it on
TV
after becoming the winning contestant
for a life more tragic then all the others

the competition was stiff
who would break hearts the most
and get the biggest ovation
for all who came to see the suffering
and move the needle
on the
life ****-o-meter

which lady of endless sorrows
would be the gleeful queen
of white knuckle terrors
the winner
of the race to the bottom
circa 1958

and i was eleven years old

the winner was wrapped
by her very own glittery subjects
in a  plush royal queens cape
and placed upon her crown
a twinkling tiara
then enthroned
and bestowed a bouquet of flowers
from the magnificent
Carl's of Hollywood

she a mottled exhausted woman
withered by life's harrowing cruelties
hollowed by fear and heaping despair
flickered like staccato lighting
on black and white TV
for all of America to see

cause every
dinner cookin
vacuum cleanin
dish washin
bathroom scrubin
dirt sweepin
house wife goddess
of the vacuum cleaner and handy scrub
would flop herself on the couch
with a jin and tonic
put her feet up
hair in curlers
before dinner
and dishes
for the squabbling  brood
and her very own tyrannical
Ralph Cramden
huba huba hubby
king of her cracked castle
and
grab a pack of
Marlboro's.
Pall mall reds
Kent's
or
Chesterfield cigarettes
blow smoke
and watch
QUEEN FOR A DAY

today's
QUEEN FOR A DAY
Miss Clarice Williams
trembling almost to the point of tears
implored humbly for a gurney
so that her fifteen year old son
who was mentally slow and shot in the stomach
could be rolled outside on the porch
and feel the sunlight on his face
for the first time in years

they lavished her
with the Bomgardner Hydro-level cot
for the paralyzed
sure that it would do just the trick
plus
a miniature transistor ham radio
so you could even
hear what there sayin
all the way in Japan
plus
a Teltape tape recorder
and a brand new
automatic laundry machine and dryer
from the nice folks at Westinghouse

but thats not all

a star studded vacation
where the stars stay
at the deluxe knickerbocker hotel
where you can lounge at the pool
or your own royal suite
and have dinner
at the exotic
Polynesia Beach Combers
Wicki Wicki Room
all the way in the land
of the
hoochi coochi
shåi Apr 2015
this is the story of how i break free.

a bright white light
pours on my face
as i open my
eyes

i wake up
in a room
i hear faint voices
barely audible

i touch the
white walls and the soft
carpet floor

soundproof.

there are only
one thing here:
a recording turntable


this whispering sensation
continues
as i put the dial
on the vinyl

it buzzes
and cracks
and pops

then finally,
one whisper
emerges from the record

"im afraid to die"
"...my blood on such a *blank carpet
"
this piercing voice
only sounds once


faces emerge
like blankets of
empty white void
made known to the world

"im afraid to die"
the intensity grows
i scream and wail
mourning the lost souls

i turn off
the tape
recorder
thinking it
would all go away

i only wanted
it to go away
but wait, why
am i the one always
running?

running from who i am
what i want
what i love
gone.

piercing waves of
screaming
just constant screaming
in the dead silence

im afraid to die

i look
to the tape recorder
it was off

it had always been like this
all the time
i soon realize
that one voice
was always my mind

(b.d.s.)
1 year of reflection and now with 2k views strong i feel proud.. i wrote this poem in memory of the change i went through
Johnny Q Mar 2016
I scream and I dream
I frown and I drown
A sea of melancholy engulfs me
The wave caresses my cheek, then passes by
As I begin to make my way down
I remember what I 'd forgotten
And people appear, crystal clear
Faces I knew
Bodies I touched
Souls I explored
They silently muster what I've become
Hollow features and lifeless limbs
They look like dolls grown up
There are more and more, until I lose count
They encircle me, one desperately tries to speak
Only to be silenced by the sea
Now they grab me by my arms and carry me down
to the bottom of the sea, where my feet touch ice cold ground.

Surrounded by statues of sand
your face lights up this dark place
like it always used to.
A confident gaze, a wry smile
you haven't left for a while
You've been here and I've been somewhere else
we've been in the same state, but never the same place.
You open your mouth and words break out
They sound artificial, like they're from a tape recorder
They echo back at me from everywhere in the sea
“He who travels to the bottom of the sea
Has learned oh so many things
But if he ever goes back up again
all those things he will forget.”
And now here I am
Alive and awake
Pouring cold water over my face
Staring in my bathroom mirror
and it stares back.
Prathipa Nair May 2016
Kerala, with its blessed beauty of nature, long and silver-haired with colorful clips of fishes and a black mountain cap, standing in a green curly dress full of colorful butterflies and glowing flowers on it, mesmerizing eyes with calm and peaceful nature gifts us a pleasant world.

             In 1975, a new creation of God, his loving child came to this world. I cried as every child does but at the next moment I laughed because I have been born into God’s own country, The Paradise. Thanks to the Almighty for bringing me to this wonderful heaven. Oops! I forgot one special person. Slowly I turn towards that smiling face, the one who is holding me in her hands, my sweet Mother.

            Hi, I am Neha, the blessed child born into a loving and caring family. Our house too was not less than a paradise in a beautiful village which was full of greenery. It was a joint family with grandfather, grandmother, great grandmother, uncles, and aunts and especially with a dozen of cousins! After three years, being blessed with a younger sister.

          I was a shy and reserved character for strangers in the outer world but I was open with my family just because of the serenity they made me feel by giving the freedom to express my feelings and wishes. My childhood days gave me the most memorable and golden moments in my life. It was such great fun! In those days we used to play a lot of outdoor games, going for movies with our granny, fighting with brothers, walking on walls, sitting near the pond and chatting till our granny came running with a bamboo stick, competing with the cuckoo and making it angry and making fun of boys! My cousins and I never missed the regional movies on Doordharshan. I was passionate about listening to music on AIR, writing it down, memorizing it and singing along with the singer. When my mother finds me missing, she comes searching for me without a second thought to catch me red-handed with a radio.

         Then came the tape recorder which made it easier for me to listen to my favorite songs when I wish and record my own sweet voice... (giggling) Actually I love doing intoxicating things and have fun which I shouldn’t being doing! Isn’t it funny? But my grannies were too strict that I had to control all my mischievous behavior and be a very good girl. Got confused? Ha! Ha! There were about four grannies. There was always a unity in our family. I never had the feeling of being without a brother of my own as my cousins who were brothers always made me feel more like their own sister.

        One more thing about me friends, I am a great devotee of Lord Krishna, whom I believe is always with me as a friend, lover and well-wisher. Oh my God! I revealed the secret about my love and lover! Imagining Him as a lover, playing with Him, dancing with Him, enjoying happiness to the fullest with Him was my great dream. Please don’t shake with laughter but I really wish that to happen, a blessing to see the original form with His flute, the sky-blue colored Krishna and experience the love and lust transforming myself to Radha, making it a spiritual affair.

My father, who was a great artist, used to draw Krishna’s pictures especially for me, knowing my crazy love for Him.

            I did my schooling well as a normal child and scored average marks happily!

I felt that I was the luckiest person in this world. (smiling)

            Mmmm. Now it’s time for college. I got admission for BA English Literature, my favorite subject, my passion and one of my dreams.

            One of my cousins (sister) and I joined the college. We were in great excitement and were sure about having great fun because when we both were together, there was no doubt of pleasure and entertainment. Even though I was not so modern I was stylish and became a queen in everyone’s eyes!  We had a great time in college with our friends. There were boyfriends too.

One of our friends, a best friend, Nikhil was so special, caring and loving, always doing something exciting to make me fall hard into laughter.

         Hey! One more secret: I used to feel that I am playing with Krishna as a friend (Remember my wish?  ...LOL)

         Nikhil and I used to fight a lot on different topics but when it’s all over and we got tired, we were back together with more affection and fondness for each other. He was a very comfortable friend with whom I could share any of my feelings and viewpoints straight from the heart.

I was moving forward to the fourth month of my college, September, when the buds of beautiful flower forget-me-not blossom smiled at us.

       In this beautiful month, comes Onam, the day that welcomes the great King, Mahabali to Kerala. It was a month of celebration for me. A pookkalam would be drawn, decorated with different colorful flowers in front of each house till the day of Onam for ten days, which I really enjoyed during the festival.

       Knowing my wish to do this, permitting me to make pookkalam for those ten days.

      I got up early in the morning wandering everywhere to collect flowers from our house and of course our neighbor’s house (giggling).

       After making my art with flowers and admiring myself, I gave a pat on my back mentally as if I have won the first prize for pookkalam. The most interesting thing is, my cute great Grandmother joined me with a no tooth smile (imagine)

I enjoyed my holidays with my family in new clothes and Onam sadhya with my favorite Ada pradhaman ( payasam) ….yummy !!

       During those days there were only landline and it was strictly prohibited for us. Permitted to make only important calls if necessary and only girls could ring us, not boys (how sad, isn’t it?)


                        No mails! No Facebook! No Whatsapp!

      Still it was a great time because we were able to feel moment of celebrations, relationships and perceive the worth of feelings of our dear and near ones. Almost everyone was free of mental and emotional strain in our time. The only reason was many of them were able to solve the complications and pressure of their lives through direct communication, a joint family, a joint society. There was always a lot of helping hands.

         Children enjoyed each others company as they met daily by playing outdoor games, going to school by cycles, walking together and sharing their daily class sessions, their mischievous acts and how were they punished together by their teachers. They even shared their family issues and there was no need of counseling for children at that time.


         I was back to college after the Onam holidays and celebrations. You might be thinking why I didn’t mention about missing my friends and college.

Actually they were in my thoughts but I am the kind of person whose policy is to “Live in the Present” and not spoil the present happiness of oneself and others.


       I am sharing one more secret! I missed a special person among them. Guess who?

You were right! It’s none other than Nikhil, my Krishna.

       Reached college in my caravan, BSA SLR (my cycle) with my cousin sister. All our friends came running towards us and we contributed our love and affection for each other.

I lost my father when I was in college but my uncle never gave me a chance to mourn the loss and stood with me as a pillar filling absence of my father. I always believed that Krishna was with me in all my ups and downs in different forms to support me.

After my father’s death, I decided to take life in a methodical way with my credence in Krishna to overcome the trammels coming on my way.

I accomplished my graduation and joined for post-graduation. You might be wondering why I am not mentioning anything about Nikhil….hmmm….I read your mind….

The truth was that I was totally lost after the death of my father and my full concentration was to complete my graduation well.

        Hey! But his full support made me more ardent and to gain more will-power to face all ups and downs.

        Nikhil completed his B.com and then joined to do CA. As his father got transferred his family relocated to another state. That was a big shock for me but I consoled my mind and heart, requesting them not to make me weak.

Accomplished my post-graduation, did my Teachers Training and I am an English teacher now! Surprised? But happy for me, right?

       One thing friends, till now I have faith and belief in my Krishna.

I know what is going on in your mind. Did Nikhil and I communicate with each other after his father’s transfer? Did we meet again?

After leaving the city, we were in touch for few months till he flew to America.

Slowly I too stopped communicating with him and engaged myself in daily matters and family duties and took care of my mother and sister.

      All my cousins, one by one completed their academics, some got married and settled in their family life. But there was always a get together once in a month. Now my mother wanted me to get married and settled.

      Many alliances came and I was ready to shake my head like a goat to the one which my elders chose for me.

Ha! Ha! Just kidding…. They know what is good and bad for me. Actually that is what I believe.

Hmmm…. Anyway I made one promise to myself that if I give birth to a baby boy, I would surely name him “Nikhil”.

Now I am a wife and a mother of a one and a half-year old boy.

Excuse me, did you ask me something?

Oh! My son’s name?

One second please …. My baby is crying…

Nikhil…….

Please change the baby's diaper !
A short story of a girl who lived in Kerala in 80s and 90s.  Hope you all will enjoy it :-) Sorry, if it's too long.. Please take time and have patience to read it.. Read when you are completely free and mood off :-)
Steve Page Nov 2018
Dear Steve

I hope you are having a fantastic Advent.
Thank you for your letter.  I must say I have really taken a lot of pleasure reading your letters over the years and seeing the things you asked for. I got a real laugh from the one you sent last year about Kylie Minogue. Mrs Christmas said that you are obviously very mature for your years and that it wasn't appropriate for a 12 year old.

I've noticed that your lists have got shorter recently. That's okay as Mrs Christmas says its a sign of maturity. I'm not sure what that says about me, as my list is always long.

Anyhow, as one of my more loyal writers I'm writing a reply this year.  (Don't worry, you'll still get gifts from me as always. This is extra.)

Steve, I'm writing to say that I'm not able to give you what you've asked for. I know that this will be disappointing for you, but you'll agree that is not unprecedented - I refer you back to your earlier Kylie request and the petition you made for no more brussel sprouts. (I know you won't believe me, but trust me on this, they really aren't that bad and it's only once a year.)

But I'm referring here to this year's request about your granddad.

First can I say that your granddad and I have known each other for a very long time. His lists tend to be very short indeed and I've had the pleasure of replying on more than one occasion. I count him as a friend.  So it's no easy thing for me to write these words.

It is not within my gifts to hold back the wear of his many years and to prevent him from coming to the end of this life.

He has filled his life with significance and carefully considered kindness. I'm sure you'll agree that his has been a full life. You've only heard a fraction of his tales and those you have heard would be enough for any man to die happy. The painful truth is that he's now coming to the close of his earthly life with his family and friends.

One of the reasons I'm writing is to ask you to do something for him, something that will mean the world to him and will be of great value to you too.

Ask your dad to buy a simple voice recorder. One of those digital ones with a long memory. Tell him what it's for and he won't refuse you. Take it to your granddad and use it to record his stories; pepper him with questions, let him recount his tales.
You might even leave the recorder with him so he can continue after you've gone to bed - he doesn't sleep very much these days anyway.
You will create for yourself a treasure trove of his memories and give him the pleasure of saving the highlights (and perhaps the low points) of his long life.

Thank you. Stories are important, especially true stories.

Now before I sign off, Mrs Christmas asked me to tell you that with regard to this year's request concerning Beyonce, it's not going to happen. You'll just have to content yourself with your downloads.

Happy Christmas,
God Bless you,

Father Christmas.
Record conversations with your mum, your dad, your grandparents. You won't regret it.
William A Poppen Nov 2012
She heard that he’s a poet
and wondered if he would write a poem
about her.

A wave of her
shoulder length strands of pleasure
should flag down nearly any man
with an ounce of testosterone.
She wondered if she had a poem in her hair.

She spoke a few soft words
layered with one of her smiles,
the kind most guys adore
because they don’t know if it means
to come closer or to leave her alone.
Perhaps a poem rested in her smile.

If she had cleavage like Jayne Mansfield
surely he would
form lines about her in his mind
and feel compelled to tell the world
how she captured his lust.
She wished for ******* with a poem in her cleavage.

She touched him.
He seemed open to her arm around his waist.
A poet felt like any other man.
She pressed closer;
perhaps he sensed a poem
in the warmth of her lean figure.

Later in bed,
he stayed close, their legs entangled
unlike anything she could remember.
She wondered if there had been a poem
in her *****.

She wished she smoked
and noticed that he didn’t.
Perhaps if they shared a cigarette
he would be enticed by the drift of the smoke from her lips.
Was there a poem in her sensual exhaling?

He seems so Hemingway,
mysterious, yet open to each moment.
Her mind played his movements
like a video tape recorder.
She wondered if she should write a poem about him?
Was there a poem in this experience?
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
I can imagine her in Aarhus Kunstmuseum coming across this painting, adjusting her glasses, pursing her lips then breaking out into a big smile. The gallery is almost empty. It is early in the day for visitors, but she is a tourist so allowances are made. Her partner meanwhile is in the Sankt Markus Kirke playing the *****, a 3 manual tracker-action gem built in 1967 by Poul Gerhard Anderson. Sweelink then Bach (the trio sonatas written for his son Johann Christian) are on the menu this morning. In the afternoon she will take herself off to one of the sandy beaches a bus ride away and work on a poem or two. He has arranged to play the grand 83-voice Frobinus ***** in the Cathedral. And so, with a few variations, some illustrious fugues and medley of fine meals in interesting restaurants, their stay in Denmark’s second city will be predictably delightful.
       She is a poet ‘(and a philosopher’, she would say with a grin), a gardener, (old roses and a Jarman-blue shed), a musician, (a recorder player and singer), a mother (four girls and a holy example), but her forte is research. A topic will appear and relentlessly she’d pursue it through visits to favourite libraries in Cambridge and London. In this relentless pursuit she would invariably uncover a web of other topics. These would fill her ‘temporary’ bookcase, her notebooks and her conversation. Then, sometimes, a poem would appear, or not.
          The postcard from Aarhus Kunstmuseum had sat on her table for some weeks until one quiet morning she decided she must ‘research’ this Sosphus Claussen and his colleagues. The poem ‘Imperia’ intrigued her. She knew very little Danish literature. Who did for goodness sake! Hans Christian Anderson she dismissed, but Søren Kierkegaard she had read a little. When a student, her tutor had talked about this author’s use of the pseudonym, a very Socratic device, and one she too had played with as a poet. Claussen’s name was absent from any online lists (Were there really on 60 poets in Danish literature?). Roge appeared, and the painter Willumsen had a whole museum dedicated to his work; this went beyond his El Greco-like canvases into sculpture, graphics, architecture and photography. He looked an interesting character she thought as she browsed his archive. The one thing these three gentlemen held in common was an adherence to the symbolist aesthetic. They were symbolists.
         For her the symbolists were writers, playwrights, artists and composers who in the later years of the 19C wanted to capture absolute truth through indirect methods. They created work in a highly metaphorical and suggestive manner, endowing particular images or objects with symbolic meaning. Her studies in philosophy had brought her to Schopenhauer who considered Art to be ‘a contemplative refuge from the world of strife’. Wasn’t this what the symbolists were all about?
         Her former husband had introduced her to the world of Maurice Maeterlinck through Debussy’s Pelleas and those spare, intense, claustrophobic dramas like Le Malheure Passe. It was interesting how the discovery of the verse of the ancient Chinese had appeared at the time of the symbolist project, and so influenced it. Collections like The Jade Flute that, in speaking of the everyday and the natural world, held with such simplicity rich symbolic messages. Anyway, she didn’t do feelings in her poetry.
           When she phoned the composer who had fathered three of her children he said to her surprise ‘Delius’. He explained: C.F. Keary was the librettist for the two operas Delius composed. Keary wrote a novel called The Journalist (1898) based on Sosphus, a writer who wrote plays ‘heavily laced with symbolism’ and who had also studied art and painted in Paris. Keary knew Claussen, who he described as a poet, novelist, playwright, painter, journalist and eventually a newspaper owner. Claussen was a close friend of Verlaine and very much part of the Bohemian circle in Paris. Claussen and Delius’ circle intersected in the person of Herman Bang, a theatre director who produced Claussen’s Arbedjersken (The Factory Girl). Clauseen wrote an important poem on Bang’s demise, which Delius set to music.
          She was impressed. ‘How is it that you know so much about Delius?’, she asked. He was a modernist, on the experimental edge of contemporary music. ‘Ah’, he replied, ‘I once researched the background to Delius’ Requiem. I read the composer’s Collected Letters (he was a very serious letter writer – sometimes 10 a day), and got stuck into the letters of his Paris years when so many of his friends were Scandinavian émigrés. You once sent me a postcard of a painting by Wilhumsen. It was of Clauseen reading to two of his ‘symbolist’ colleagues. I think you’d picked it up in Denmark. You said, if I recall, that you’d found it ‘irresistible’’.
          And so it was, this painting. Irresistible. She decided that its irresistibility lay in the way the artist had caught the head and body positions of reader and listeners. The arrangement of legs, she thought, says so much about a man. Her husband had always sat with the care embedded in his training as a musician at an instrument. He could slouch like the rest of us, she thought, but when he sat properly, attentive to her words, or listening to their sweet children, he was beautiful. She still loved him, and remembered the many poems she had composed for him, poems he had never seen (she had instructed a daughter to ‘collect’ them for him on her passing). Now, it was he who wrote poetry, for another, for a significant other he had said was his Muse, his soul’s delight, his dearly beloved.
          The wicker chair Sophos Claussen is sitting in, she decided, she would like in her sitting room. It looked the perfect chair for giving a reading. She imagined reading one of her poems from such a chair . . .
 
If daydreams are wrecks of something divine
I’m amazed by the tediousness of mine.
I’m always the power behind throne.
I rescue princes to make my own.

 
‘And so it goes’, she thought, quoting that American author she could never remember. So it goes, this strange life, where it seems possible for the mind to enter an apartment in 19C København and call up the smell of brilliantined hair, cigar tobacco, and the samovar in the kitchen. This poem Imperia I shall probably never read, she thought, though there is some American poet on a Fulbright intent on translating Claussen’s work into English. In a flash of the mind’s miracle she travels to his tiny office in his Mid-West university, surrounded by the detritus of student tutorials. In blue jeans and cowboys boots Devon Whittall gazes out of his third storey window at the falling snow.
 
There is nothing in the world as quiet as snow,
when it gently descends through the air,
muffles your steps
hushes, gently hushes
the voices that speak too loud.
 
There is nothing in the world of a purity like snow's,
swan's down from the white wings of Heaven,
On your hand a flake
is like dew of tears,
White thoughts quietly tread in dance.
 
There is nothing in the world that can gentle like snow,
quietly you listen to the silent ringing.
Oh, so fine a sound,
peals of silver bells,
rings within your innermost heart.

 
And she imagines Helge Rode (his left arm still on his right shoulder) reading his poem Snow in the quiet of the winter afternoon at Ellehammersvej 20 Kastrup Copenhagen. ‘And so it goes,’ she thought, ‘this imagination, flowing on and on. When I am really old like my Grandmother (discharging herself from hospital at 103 because the food was so appalling) will my imagination continue to be as rich and capable as it is today?’
          Closing her notebook and shutting down her laptop, she removed her cat from its cushion on the table, and walked out into her garden, leaving three Danish Symbolists to their readings and deliberations.
Tyler Nicholas Mar 2011
Saw and bow.
Black keys and white keys.
The strings, oh the strings.

The sweetness
of a voice
floating over the sound
and giving birth to a melody.

The tape recorder between us.
Writeperformrecord.
J Arturo Nov 2012
in june I felt the project change
from trying charting all scenarios of your face
to looking to books to blacking out spontaneous lines in found papers
to clearly eventually
be a misneglected omen of your impending collapse.

"I would like to blame this on the weather,"
I said to the sky,
"I would like to stay."


I felt the camera flash stop taking
strobe light moments of our strobe light moments
instead slipped tape recorder in your cereal box
videotaped the tooth brush
ever scraping dead skin while you slept.

I said, "If you wake up I will know nothing."
if you call this a dream, I will shake
and shake.
I said "it is clear now that you are decomposing."
(there's only so much the heart can take.)


stopped thoughts about the bus would hit you
spent time watching the sun through your palm:
little bones will scatter light.
little scars on thumbs.
we are made up only of who puts us back together.
and I could smell the rain.

I said, "It is easier if you stay angry"
I said to the sky.
"I would like to stay."


I put the Starbucks mug on the radiator
ceased to chart your worried looks.
I knew your brow, heavy clouds as you'd undress
but made a scrapbook of frozen dinner clippings
drew a line through where you went that day.

I said, "I want to prove that you meant nothing"
I said to the sky.
"I would like to stay."
I said to the sky.


and then the rain.
Kim Davis Oct 2013
Once there was a girl
Who could feel
A young, playful, and truly memorable child
naturally born to lead, learn, and strive,
Jumped in front of any camera she saw,
because she wanted all eyes on her.
Yet that didn't prevent an inevitable day,
an insignificant, random day
when she was faced with her new reality.
An old lady took a fall,
an animal she'd grew with began its downward spiral towards death
a neighbor robbed of weapons,
and no more did the girl get attention,
but was rather brought to the attention that the world was cruel.
But attention was her drive, her motivation to live
and taken from her, she desperately tried to regain her spirit
but couldn't handle everything she'd ever known changing on her,
and a little girl, third grade, began a path of self destruction.
The natural leader now a follower,
The playful girl turned her interests into other people's pain,
She enjoyed that year the most she could,
secretly hating the old woman, mistreating her
saying her goodbyes to the dog that was there years before she was born,
grades turning from all A's, to B's, to C's, to D's and F's,  year by year.
getting rejected just a few times, but over-complicating it, as she would do everything later,  
taking it personal, letting it destroy her
and so the little girl grew,
first into an angry, manipulative version of herself,
she was no longer slender, pretty, or girly in any way.
She was a wreck. No care for herself anymore.
Sharpened her finger with a pencil sharpener.
When mad, would beat herself up.
Demented, but that was just covering a layer of desire for attention.
Something so simple, something everyone has to learn to live without, took such a toll on a little girl, because it was just cut off, one insignificant day.
But one day she got attention again, months after another
insignificant day.
This insignificant day, she remembers,
daddy standing by the mailbox
she was outside playing with neighbors
and she heard daddy talk funny.
A sliver in his voice, that was never there, was it?
and listening, she heard it again,
and she looked at dad, and in his eyes, he wasn't there.
his body, his face, his smile, but his eyes weren't there.
And the little girl ignored it.
But daddy was in pain for months. Didn't tell a soul.
and when that sliver in voice kept going, mom forced him to go to the doctor.
But the sliver wasn't it, there was blood, daddy was coughing blood.
And so the doctor diagnosed it as bronchitis.
But it was deeper than that, it was the big C,
and the little girl knew that daddy saw it coming
his smoking tripled
and he got a recorder so as to record what he was thinking
and there was that night, at her aunts, everyone in the kitchen,
the little girl heard it from a distance,
cancer,
but she wanted to be wrong, so bad.  
She gets in the car with her mom, and receives the news,
but upon seeing her mother crying, doesn't know what to do.
She was supposed to be strong for her mother, everyone expected that of her,
but everyone also expected her to be fragile, and wanted her to cry more than anyone about her dad.
But the conflicting emotions resulted in the girl, not so little anymore, to grow up.
To shut off all human emotion, to be a walking robot. To never cry, never feel.
That made everything pile up in her head.
Daddy had cancer.
Daddy was doing Radiology treatments.
Daddy's treatments were failing.
Daddy was getting skinnier.
Daddy was doing Chemo.
Daddy was trying to **** himself.
Daddy was in and out of the hospital.
Daddy wanted her there.
Daddy needed her there.
Daddy cried in front of her and asked, "Why don't you love me anymore?" because she showed her disinterest in tying his shoes for him since he couldnt.  
But there's nothing more terrifying, than seeing someone one genuinely cares about in the hospital.
Than being afraid to break the person one loves in half with just a hug.
Daddy was dying, and daddy wouldn't talk all day until she got home, even if it was just a hey and a smile.
To this day, she'd love to say now that she would go back, and do it all differently, show that she loved him, not that she was disgusted in what he'd become, but  she knows herself, and she'd shut herself down again in a heartbeat.  
Daddy died of three types of cancer,
and the little girl got the attention she'd longed for, but in the form of pity.
But she hated pity.
She stopped doing anything.
Couldn't go out with friends,  secluded herself in her mind.
Until she found a way to be herself and get attention, and became someone new.
Then someone else.
Then someone else.
And then the girl was no longer herself, she was someone who made an impact on people.
Someone who people were attracted to,
Someone who had friends,
Someone who had company who couldn't physically show her pity,
company that satisfied her romantic desires, and company that was there when she was down,
and who she could manipulate to her desire, to understand men and women on a deeper level.
And that sweet, playful, little girl, was a monster.
Divided in two, she emoted on a fake half of her, a half that wasn't her, a fake story personified,
what was left of that little girl was skinned, and buried in dirt.
So when the girl had had enough damage inflicted on the sane, but fake side of her,
and was unhappy regardless of who she was that day,  at that hour,
she would tell herself it was over, it was time, this should have ended a long time ago,
and her skinned corpse of a soul was trying to crawl out of its grave,
pulled back by the dark cloud it became, and buried again with the fake's love,
because that side of her, with skim, but human emotion,
couldn't bear to hurt people it'd already done enough damage to.
So one day, when she was found out, by best friend and an ex, it was a sigh of relief,
just to feel the air on that hand, reaching up to get out of her grave.
But she didn't know that what followed was losing half the people she loved,
most being the ones she loved most, the most active in her life at the given moment,
And even then, with the remaining few, she felt too awkward in that situation,
too conflicted, that she once again, turned off her emotions.
And now, what's left?
A broken little girl, in a big, damaged carcass, freezing in mud, staring down at her own grave, unable to find her skin.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2014
how many generations can
lay with you in your bed?

Matriarch Mama,
honorific due you,
title earned, not learned,
and now a teaching PhDs  of
Matriachal Science

let us have tea,
a tea party in you garden,
and the granddaughters
dressed in their church finest,
running noisy but that's ok,
mass is over, and the party
is now a backyard affair

me, a recorder,
standing in the corner,
invisible observing,
leaning on that old banyan tree,
smile playing on
my eyes,
counting
cousins daughters sisters,
and best of the best,
grand babies wilding in their Sunday finery,
even seeing
invisible fathers standing beside me,
but espy only one

Matriarch Mama,
sallying forth,
gunslinger of poetry,
nobody messes with Sally,
she is the brood defender,
poetess not
of the day

she is a
generational inscriber,
an author of a
gene pool of life's best,
her existence,
from heaven, sent a manna,
to feed-across-time
just one family,
an ordinary,
if such there was,

**Matriarch Mama
Look what I found in my files...
Lauren Marie Apr 2014
People choose to give their opinions
When you never asked for them
It’s hard to have compassion
When it feels like you never win
It’s hard to hold onto the good
When you hands are tied behind your back
And life refuses to cut you any slack.

I need to take a break
Just a moment to breathe
I’m trapped within these walls
With people who can’t be please
It seems like nothing is done with any urgency.

No one to count on
If you want the work done
Everyone looking to cut corners
Even in conversation.

As if you’re in the way of their agenda and tasks
The questions they ask
About your day
Only have to do with what they want to say.

Conversation can’t be completed
Because people are always competing
To have the last word,
To be heard,
Even filling up the air time with uhms and errs
Reserving their speech

All you can do is listen and wait
And you begin to remember
You called them first
Barely able to spit in just a few words
You were the initiator, when did this reverse?

Now you regret ever calling at all
Thinking you’d be happy with silence
Than little fillers and empty language.

I once told a boy, who didn’t stop talking the moment we met
“You have been talking this entire time.”
I felt awful, like I was a little out of line.
But you should have seen what happened to his eyes,
It was like he snapped back to reality
Then quickly apologized, not even having realized
It was twenty-five minutes of a personal monologue.

Now I give most people the benefit of the doubt,
If after ten minutes I have said not a word
I’ll interject, and I’ve learned
There is no polite way to interrupt
The experiences I have had thus far
People didn’t even know what they were doing
Which to me, seems frightening.
These are the same people we see driving or operating.

Then some,
Just like the sound of their own voice
In those cases, they are a lost case

As a practical joke,
By them a voice recorder
Once you give it to them and they look a little confused
It will be an inside joke between me and you.
I shouldn’t be drinking coffee.
I shouldn’t be reading the news.
It makes me anxious, and it’s not only the chemical interaction.
Somehow, I associate it with “adulthood”—reading the news,
Drinking coffee—I can’t tell you how many days of the last few
Years have been spent entirely in this fashion. The coffee
Growing cold and the news colder still. I don’t even taste the
black, fluid drops. I don’t hear the screams of people I read
about. I just want to hold on to something—so I raise the glass
to my lips. I can’t say

the shocking words when my mouth’s full; I can’t tell

about my experience, my privilege, when I’m drinking it.


The production of the commodity

creates a line from some equatorial region
to central America, and my mouth.
I think about the Autumn I worked in a corn-seed
sorting facility. What a short experience—
and yet,
something that weighs heavy on my imagination.
I was a temp worker.
I chose to work there out of shame and guilt for having
missed the deadline for college enrollment.
I could have done anything else; but there were people
there who wanted nothing more than a job. They needed
to be
there.
And I think of the people involved in producing coffee beans

in much the same way.
Removed
from the thing they’re making, as the raw materials are shipped
to places you pay workers more.
Why shouldn’t I swallow with difficulty when faced with the pro-
spect of a person supporting their entire family with the type
of work
I did
reflexively, as a choice?

Now I sit here, reading about North African riots,
a region, where coffee is produced—
ARABICA COFFEE— and I think about what’s sitting
in my cup, how I have
spent more money than they make in a day
to buy
one container

and sit here
for an afternoon
doing nothing but reading about their families’ misery.

I am a human parasite.

And like the bedbugs that have crawled meticulously
between my mattress and bedframe, hiding in a safe spot
until they can come out, undetected, and **** my potency.

I sit here, in the comfort of an apartment furnished
and paid for by my father who grows corn in a highly-
mechanized, agricultural society. I take more and more,
festering to the size of a blistering, red dot
blinking in the dark, in the form of the record light on
my voice recorder.
I expect so much more from myself, simply because of
this position of luxury.

But I don’t take time to think about my reaction to these
stories or how I am involved in them, in shaping their plots.
I’m even eating more now
as I’ve nearly lost my concern with avoiding certain super-
markets.
I smile at the greeters, make small talk with the cashiers
whom I am openly exploiting. But it’s ok, because
I worked for a month at a cornseed manufacturing
facility
and I read Marxist Ideology,
and I know about the Arab Spring
and I was against American intervention in Libya
and I disdain the air strikes from robotic planes
(unauthorized by congress)
and I disdain congress
and I support gay marriage
(I stopped eating chicken).
I don’t drive to the suburbs of my city.
I walk and ride my bicycle as much as I feel like.
I use public transportation at times.
I try to get to know women.
I practiced safe ***, once.
I write poetry.
I tell my mom I love her.
I bought my nieces birthday presents.
I’m not overly nice to people of different
ethnicities.
I voted for Obama.
I’m trying.
All these things make it seem less bad
to smile at the cashier.
But then I think about my black studies Professor
who used a walker to come to class
because she fell
and spelled the word Amendment “Admendment”
on the board when talking about Reconstruction.
I think about the war in Syria.
I think of people dying from cholera in Haiti, in 2012
A.D.
I think about fracking and oil spills and …
irrevocable damage to Indian reservations.
I think about football coaches molesting children
and people eating fried butter.
I read about people
upset
with a movie
who protest in the streets for days.

It makes me realize I shouldn’t smile at anyone.
I shouldn’t be drinking coffee.
I shouldn’t be reading the news.
Keith W Fletcher May 2017
I still have bad dreams
Each and every night
Don't know how to stop them
No matter how hard I try

I paused to smoke  a cigarette
Sat down on a bus stop bench
In my mind I watched the world go by
Some say just let go of it- like it's just a cinch

Keep the curtains drawn
Don't let in any light
Set the phone to messaging
Don't want to interact with anyone tonight
             With anyone tonight ...anyone tonight

But now I can't say what day it is
Cause I've lost all track of time
Wandering along the endless corridors
In the back pages of my mind

Keep on passing ancient shadows
As they keep going about their business
Of the one moment in the sun
When they were implanted with success

Like a tattood image planted
In that fatal garden of shame
When I think it's faded by familiarity
My mind drags me back like a moth to a flame

So please take me to the surface
Took all that I can take
Going round and round this maze I'm lost
Carrying this  weight is more than I can take

Nobody out there every time I look
But I feel like I'm not alone
That voice that rambles on inside my head
Like a broken tape recorder

          A broken tape recorder
          A broken tape recorder
          A broken tape recorder

       Can't bring my life in order !

That's what it says ...over and over ...over and over
Over and over ......over and over ....over and over
Over and over
Over and over
Over ..........................................................,
Jeff Stier Jun 2016
Dance is the devil's delight
as you well know.
Tis' often attended
by amorous smiles
unchaste kisses
wanton compliments
and lust-provoking attire.
This from the preacher William Prynne
a pure man and good.

Then comes one
Michael Praetorious
to celebrate this miasma
of corruption
this thing called dance
in the year of our Lord 1612

And to present a well-turned leg
as he lifts his partner's
slender hand
and gives us these joyous songs.

He brings us the recorder
Viola de gamba
tambourine and drum
to celebrate the pure
and frankly ******
pleasures of the dance.

As it happens
I am master of recorder
tambourine and drum.
Sadly born
in the wrong century
with my ears sewed on sideways.

It is strange to hear this world
through ears from the 17th century
to hold the thread of eternity
in one hand
while tapping four-four time
on a jangled skin drum
with the other.

Sometimes I wake in the night
and don't know where I am
in time.

Sometimes I put my lips
to a flute
and ancient airs whisper forth.

I dream of castellated cities
unknown to me
but eerily familiar.

Music is more ancient
than we are
it was here before us
and will be here
when humanity
has exhaled its last.
Of this much I'm certain.

So the music calls!
Dance to this joyous tune
heel and toe
heel and toe
step lightly on the boards!
anna Mar 2019
Raindrops splattered across the squeaky window as Lily slipped into a world entirely her own. She found out that the slightly dilapidated beige sofa can provide an alarmingly pacifying dark fortress.
It was the storm in her living room which led her to this point.

Her mother was a peculiar human in the aspect of coping methods. Most would turn to alcohol, but Lily's mother turned to books.

One would think a child of such age possessed great privilege, having such a mosaic of resources on literature, words, and literacy.

Every morning, Lily's mother would slip into a world entirely her own. Some days, her face would hold the cover of a Patrick O'Brian and other sleepy days would entail a bit of nineteenth-century British novels. Whatever the cover, the woman's disposition was also affected.

"Lily, listen to this- doesn't it sound blue?" The woman hoarded phrases from each book, and soon, Lily's mother was an endless world of words. Her mother's affinity for quotes turned into a tasteful obsession. Lily was naive to the abnormalities in associating words with colors; such as ‘nebulous' with orange, and 'surreptitious' with purple. To her, language was rich in color and feeling.

One might also surmise a girl with such enlightenment would take after her progenitor. Lily did not. Though, she was above her class in reading comprehension and competency, the very thought of books sent flashes of buried grudges.

"Everyone needs a therapist. The poor girl's been through so much," they say. 'They' being the individuals at church. After service, the doors would open. Lily would do everything in her power to weave around the sea of meaty vociferous faces. She didn't need their pity. Nothing happened.

'Nothing' meaning... perhaps a little something. Her father died. This, (Lily suspected) was the cause of her mother's book addiction. It must be peculiar for the spectator witnessing the situation from above. As we've stated before: most turn to alcohol.

Years elapsed in which an occurrence she termed, "The Rebellion," began her mother’s book exodus. She was never truly present and Lily desired for her to see the world as it was now- not in a novel or in the pages of fantasy.

The piano rang throughout the room every morning and every night for about an hour. Lily often turned to classical Vivaldi, Yiruma, or a dash of Paganini piano covers. She drank music like a shriveled sponge. Of course, her hobbies would be as far away from books as possible since she believed them to be an obligatory evil.

Tunes danced across her soul like the ghost of a memory almost arising. The voice of a piano carried bursts of purples, yellows, and reds. White and black keys proved unchanging and reliable. Lily latched to the idea.

"I'm going to play her out." The mourning doves cooed in the almost-vacant neighborhood, while two girls of the same height and age were ensconced under a magnolia tree near the street, their legs crisscrossed on grass.

"Too much piano?" Haley asked, plucking a dandelion from its roots while squeezing milky sap from the stalk with her fingernails.

"No, I want to." Lily answered.

A thought crossed her mind. Each book infested mother with unique feelings. Then, Lily deduced there is no such thing as too much piano.











It was quiet in the house as Lily had no siblings and the book-trace rendered mother speechless. Tape recorder near the piano, and fingers at the keys, she began playing au fait on her version of Vivaldi's Spring Season. She kept the imagery of wedding cake and rings in her mind. She introduced the song to her hands by means of segmented versions, leading towards the final masterpiece. Her aural senses acute, listening for the best complimentary notes. Soon, her fingers had written poetry. She liked to think that her left and right hand owned different stories to perform, yet once they met on-stage, they heightened the essence of each other's tales.

Lily played verses countless times until she was out of breath. If someone told her piano was a sport, Lily would concur.












The final piece was recorded on an 'old-fashioned' tape. Heart pounding, she tiptoed upstairs to her mother's hiding place.

"...a thin place where tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual.." the woman greeted Lily. She never looked up from her book.

"Listen, it's white,” the woman voiced hazily. Lily shoved the tape in her face. The mother’s hand reached out from behind the book, feeling the air before finally resting her hand on the plastic rectangle, sliding it into the player

and the music journeyed to her ears.

"Hmmm..." she said. And then all was quiet.










"I've got her." Lily declared in the convenience store on a rainy day.

"With a cake?"

"It was her wedding song. You know- the one playing while the bride walks in."

"What'd she say?"

"Nothing."

"Why can't you just wake her up with some coffee?" Haley suggested as a golden aurora arose from behind the clouds.

Most of Lily’s playing sessions caused her to neglect her own physical well-being. So she rinsed a dusty plastic cup from the cupboard and filled it with water. M&Ms were food Lily associated with her sessions and she couldn't play without developing that deep-rooted Pavlovian response. Finally, in an attempt to be healthier, a plastic water cup was to her right, and M&Ms in a bag were to her left on the piano seat.

But first, a small kick in her belly drove her to a slight guilt. See, she believed in music the way some do religion, and thus, she did what others do when confronted with a critical moment in life.

"I'll bring her out," she began, "and I'll play for the rest of my life. If I can't, I'll give up music forever." She placed her fingers on the keys, completing the oath. And this occurred only because she was twelve and incredulously naïve in the field of religious traditions, that she didn't know that most oaths offered to a deity of higher power involved some form of great sacrifice for a desired result. This meant that her risk was greater than others, as it meant winning or losing it all.

Lily drew a deep breath, filling her nose with the memories of coffee. She began playing. An odd little tune traveling from her brain to the keys before her.










"Remember me, when we lived far away, down in the lonely lighthouse..." her mother chanted and Lily only half listening as she painted the cover of a CD containing her finished piano piece: Coffee.

"The sea air- spill in that lighthouse. The comfort we felt in that lighthouse." Her mother continued absorbing the ink on the pages, "Remember me, when I flew away with that chilling, cold sea breeze..."

Lily clicked the clear cover shut, handing it to the "Collective Works of Julie G." Once again, a wandering hand shot out from behind the cover, searching for the CD. Her mother did not look up.

"Music or an experiment?" she asked

"We'll see." Lily answered.

Her mother raised the CD to her player and inserted the disk, pressing play. Her wandering hand felt a small cup of coffee and as the music played, she sipped it slowly- quite peculiar. Her eyes looking up from the pages as though she were staring at something far away and her face, rubescent.

"Where did you learn to play that?" she said, leaning back and closing her eyes.








Haley and Lily entered a quintessential music store. Guitars lined the walls and classic vinyls were stacked on shelves. Small sleek keyboards welcomed guests as they stepped inside, synchronous to the resonance of a sharp bell.

Lily sped towards the CD section nestled near the corner in the store, while Haley flipped through the pages of violin classics.

"Lily, you're missing something." Haley noted from across the room, flippantly exasperated.

"Coffee didn't work." Lily replied in despair. "I thought I had her, but I didn’t."

Haley walked back towards her friend, new sheet music in hand, "Everyone's heart breaks a little differently and that means every cure must be unique. But there's something we all need- to feel safe. You did that for her."

"Then why is she still gone?"

"Because In order to return, she needs to remember what she lost and she needs to want it again... hold on." Haley held out a piano book in her hands. It was a neat white book with dark blue ink. Lily furrowed her brows.

"Just read it, Lily." Haley urged in the most loving way possible.









She still refused to use the book, diverging more from Haley’s instruction, cajoling her mother by use of classical music, modern music, and healing music. But nothing resolved and it seemed as though her oath to the Greater Deity would not fall in her favor.


It took a graying day for Lily to dig in her backpack and pull out the vile book. Inside revealed crisp white music sheets.

She itched to throw it away, however, something caught her eyes:

Kiss the Rain.

Lily stopped and stared out the window, inhaling to smell petrichor.

"Well, okay then." she reasoned. She pulled out  the piano bench and began finding the first few notes. The rest fell into sight reading. Just as the rain trickled down the living room window, the music trickled into the home's inhabitants' ears. Rain engulfed her soul.

The piece finished with a light touch on the last note. It resounded through the cozy expanse.









"I have something for you, mom." Lily proclaimed, placing the CD in her mother's hand, which then traveled to the player.

The woman failed to look up from her book, only staring into the distant pages as the notes tapped inside her ears. Ever so slightly, her eyes began to close and Lily could see the notes dancing behind eyelids.

"It feels like... rain." she commented. And as the last tickling touch of the last raindrop echoed through the dark room, her mother looked up, smiling at the sound, and her eyes met her daughter's.

"Why, Lily," she said, her voice laced with surprise, "look how you've grown.”
Short story!!
Brandon Amberger Apr 2016
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
You may now want to take out the recorder
This world may label it as a weakness
But I’m quite fond that it gives me a type of uniqueness
Although my mind bounces around
Like a bouncy ball all over town
It sometimes allows me to be still
When I find something that gives me a thrill
Instead of giving me that medication
Allow my mind to experience that sensation
Of it’s ability to go full throttle top gear
It may seem irrational and unclear
But trust me the task assigned
Will be completed from a mastermind
Sean M O'Kane Nov 2018
When great aunt Maggie passed away years ago, the one thing I really missed was her angelic voice.
The swaggering, sing-song lilt of the mid-Derry accent was as sweet as the confections she used to pass out to us as kids:
The inflection, the intonation, and the slight lisp she brought to it was so gloriously unique but was never heard again.
I often wish I could go back with a tape recorder to capture it in all its glory and relive how wonderful she was.
Now all I have is a untranslatable memory that can't be brought back to even vaguely approximate what it meant to me.

And now here I am again with the same obstacle.
The same tones, the same inflections albeit through a different light have just been extinguished before me.
This time there was no digital device rushing in to capture our time before it ran out.
No instinct for preservation was forthcoming - we were too busy having fun & 'being here now'.
No, once again I am bereft:
All I I have is here (in my heart) and and here (in my head)
The loved sounds I miss will always resound there albeit without backup
Voices lost but not forgotten.
Pedro Tejada Apr 2010
I
It's quite the tragic statistic,
when the last thing on earth
that approaches your face
is a patch of brown grass,
pale and dry from age,
dead from poor nourishment,
just like your need for acceptance.

And it’s even more destructive
when the scarlet sentences
shrieking down your face
were pulled from your bone marrow,
all the way through your thick, coarse skin,
by the dense and moldy weapon
swung in the hands of the town’s valiant savior.

Yes, there are rapists and fascists
living in each corner of the street,
looting their families of their dignity,
******* on the very words they glorify,
but the crooked joints in your limp wrist
might as well be a bull’s eye on your forehead.

The tides of holy water did not burn off an inch,
did not smother your facet of human nature.
You did not blindly agree with our fright-ridden hatred,
so the only and easy way out
is to induct you into our slaughterhouse,
all because you loved.


Can love be executed so poorly
that it awaits a death penalty?
In a Utopian tyranny, anything can die.

And they wonder,
with our dying breath,
and the dirt being shoved
against our battered faces,
why we declare a riot call.

II
I have sent a request
to all the white cone clad
twiddling their thumbs with menace
and hunting for their latest scapegoat
to mask their feelings of inadequacy...

As the **** on my garage door
slithers your hatred along
in the form of the word "******"
and the last three men who shook me to the core
have been reduced to front page casualties,
I beg to finally join
this league of humankind.

Please, ladies and cavemen, do as I ask
or I might just lead myself
to break
your double standard necks into thousands
of desperate times that surpass desperate measures.

I will no longer be reduced
to another strange fruit hanging
on the ******* tree, for I've seen
the shards of glass showering
like hurricane rainfall
over your Stone Age architecture.

Preaching your "manhood", your "sanctity"
on your altars as the color
of your wife's eyes
seems to slip your busy mind,
as your first born
reiterates your perspective
with a tape recorder ribbon
composed of tangled heartstrings.

It must stop.
Those sounds of you slinging
your fists and your speech
towards all, including
your own flesh and blood.

Our palms can't stay nailed to the wooden floor,
our lips can't stay sewn shut anymore,
angels writhing in their graves,
your time has run out.

Here, my friend, is your riot call.
Blue Sweater Sep 2014
Rehashing the rare
Out with the new,
In with the old.
She's always had a thing
For the things that exude
A quirkiness and a bucolic charm
The smell of old books
The black and the white
Good ol' Chaplin, James Dean
And the Sound of Music
The Beatles, a tape recorder
High-waisted pants
And the gramophone
And a rustic old bar
With a gruff bartender
Who's off his rocker
But he'll double up as your therapist
And for the boy with the dark brown eyes
Who looks across the bar at her.
And smiles.
It's all black and white again
Except this time,
It isn't her favourite Casablanca scene
But a white screen
And a thousand particles
Microcosmic
A milieu of
Unfathomable numbers float
Through the atmosphere
Connecting her to him.
And she doesn't want that.
She's always had a thing for the old,
But he makes her doubt that.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2014
Reworked and resubmitted, and this time to stay.
Anything you say can and will be used...


excited utterances,
acerbic witticisms,
utter stupidities,
elegant inanities

can and most assuredly
will be used
evidentially, eventually,
about you
in the court of poetic
justice

as inspiration,
original source material,
proofs of our collaboration
with the enemy,
whom Pogo
fathomed long ago, is
us

a Vermeer-vectored light ray
will reveal with luminous clarity,
all that you have spoken,
been secret-thinking,
template of colors for
future etch-a-sketchers,
inspiration for future poets,
far, far better than
me

this dishonorable, low repute,
poetic eavesdropper,
poet-as-recorder:
revels in the smoke and ash of
absurd, common sensible
trash,

the trite and tragic,
the pith and prissy,
the calm and hissy

all your lovely revelations
of human frailty
and asininity,
most adorable,
(except for those scarface
treatises I despise as
never justified
self-pity)

that you n' I are blessed
to have combinated
in a manner most
curiously original,
now recorded in my
digital memory,
proving positive the unique,
discreet charmes de notre
humanité

Even your silences are
most curious fodder,  
the sighs you sigh
so hard
and yet again, even
harder

unfair game, mined as
veins of golden material
for my aquatic scribblings,
as I float downriver on
currents of compulsion
to promote vicariously,
our joint disjointedness,
our grade A, prime choice,
recombinant and genetically improved
absurdities

Rembrandt will honor us,
we as the Comedic Elders of the City,
paint us upright
avec expressions most suitably gravitas,
but see the poetic jester,
funning underneath the table,
in manner most levitas,
out-sticking his
protubered tongue,
like a common geni-***,
a la maniere de
Einsteiny
and he will be
the one
future generations recall

when I cross over the Styx,
limbs turned to
potash, dust and trash,
my blush transferred to earth,
to color the good earth red,
my body eradicated yet,
our body of work extant
a written record of us,
our very own
Dead See Scrolls,
shall be an amuse bouche
for our loyal satrapped
retainers

Let the scholars

dicker and obfusicate,
delve and explicate,
each turn of phrase

write tomes on the
catacombs, where in
jar and cracked vessel discarded,
these Poems and Catechisms,
the collected processes
of our mutualism,
your edicts,
pronouncements and verdicts
captured as
dots and dashes,
zeroes and ones,
wait most patiently
for shepard boys to find  
in the year 2300

you err most grievously,
if you relegate
this note
to the dustbin of
simple ditties.

take these words
at plain face,
and
look not askance
at this fair warning,
for I am
but a tragic,
empty vessel
for you to fill,
you are the raconteur,
me, just a  
poet poseur~extraordinaire,
street urchin,
word merchant,
all my verbally,
wordly goods expropriated
from the wind,  
where your scattered thoughts
lie about, carelessly
unattended

Mock me not,
for anything
you say to our chagrin,
will be fully attributed
and recorded on the Web
of long-lived
embarrassments

A fevered dream
you might say,
rumors and excuses of a
vision of drug induced haze?

a theorem most plausible,
but the redacted versions
will not conceal
that all my words
were Indo-rooted in
a dialect called
collaborative

this I pen
partly as apology,
partly thank you note,
written notice,
subpoena served,
for as long
as you emote,
my fingertips
will gleefully record
with love abundant
in their artful device,
your mutterings, putterings,
and in-cahooting

right here, shall be,
wrought and wrote,
treasured and kept
anything you say
that can and will be used...
to express our communitas

Written June 1, 2011
This is not to say I pulley you down
And spread your Level to consort with my Ague
Your Bones, better than mine, to my Nerves frown
This Season as a Misbegotten Plague
A Blessing ideal is; Though disappoint
That Everyday Recorder plays again
Of Busy Trough's Effort spares to anoint
The very Oil you inspired since then
Come to think - Oil - its property slips by
And hard it is to keep the Dirt in-check
Though by Creed to be Faithful still - then lie,
As a Well-Mannered Specimen in-wreck.
All-in-all, we only wish for your Youth
To one day Understand the Better Truth.
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
Lucas Jul 2015
I'm not a writer.
I'm a living recorder,
a grinding mechanism moving to sounds like rusty coils
and trapped hornets.
Sneezing and smoking
and grabbing another beer,
not to quench, but to cope.
Cope what?
Couldn't tell ya,
I'm not interested right now.
Now I just want to work and *****,
then say ***** work and drink and ****.
Who and what?
Doesn't matter,
they all moan and vibrate just the same.
They clinch my throat and choke my colors away,
filling my void with needles full of ******.
****** that I can't afford.
****** with a heartbeat.
****** that isn't ******,
but hits just the same.

And I'm not a turtle.
I don't have a shell.
I have *****,
I have friends
and I have ***.
It's ******;
the killer tar
is killer living.
And I'm colder with each rising sun,
colder with each woman
with each beer and each smoke and each hit and every shower and every shave.  
It's evermore a fading evergreen
dating back before I was born.
Dating to a time when I was an atom
in a bomb of a bang in God's right hand, right now, smacked by Satan into living,
into a circle of carbon,
dating away from divinity
and into humanity.

I am evermore not a writer,
but a recorder;
full of ****** and full of living deeply.
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2013
Dedicated to you.
Fair Warning: a long road ahead*

MAJOR WARNING: Anything you say can and will be used...


Excited utterances,
Acerbic witticisms,
Utter stupidities,
Elegant inanities,
Can and assuredly will be used
Evidentially, eventually,
about you in the court of poetic justice,
as inspiration, original source material,
proofs of our collaboration
with the enemy,
whom Pogo fathomed long ago,
is us

A Vermeer-vectored light ray
will reveal with luminous clarity,
all that you have spoken,
been secret-thinking,
template of colors for future sketchers,
inspiration for future poets,
far, far better than me

this dishonorable, low repute,
poetic eavesdropper, poet-as-recorder:
revels in the smoke and ash of
absurd, common sensible trash,
the trite and tragic,
the pith and prissy,
the calm and hissy,
all your lovely revelations
of human frailty and asininity, most
adorable

that you n' I are blessed
to have combinated
in a manner most
curiously original,
now recorded in my
digital memory,
proving positive the unique,
discreet charms de notre
humanity

Even your silences are
most curious fodder,  
the sighs you sigh so hard
and yet again, even harder,
unfair game, mined as
veins of golden material
for my aquatic scribblings,
as I float downriver on
currents of compulsion
to promote vicariously,
our joint disjointedness,
our grade A, prime choice,
recombinant genetic,
absurdities

Rembrandt will honor us,
we, the Comedic Elders of the City,
paint us upright avec expressions
most suitably gravitas,
but see the poetic jester,
find him underneath the table,
in manner most levitas,
out-sticking his protubered tongue,
like a common geni-***,
a la maniere de
Einsteiny

When I cross over the Styx,
limbs turned to
potash, dust and trash,
my blush transferred to earth,
to color the good earth red,
my body eradicated yet,
our body of work extant
a written record of us,
our very own
Dead See Scrolls,
shall be an amuse bouche
for our loyal satrapped
retainers

Let the scholars
dicker and obfusicate,
delve and explicate,
each turn of phrase,
write tomes on the catacombs,
where in jar and cracked vessel discarded,
these Poems and Catechisms,
the collected processes of our mutualism,
your edicts, pronouncements and verdicts
captured as
dots and dashes,
zeroes and ones,
wait most patiently
for shepard boys to find  

You err most grievously,
if you relegate this note
to the dustbin of simple ditties.

Take these words at plain face,
and look not askance
at this fair warning,
for I am but a tragic,
empty vessel for you to fill,
you are the raconteur,
me, just a  
poet *poseur
extraordinaire,
street urchin, word merchant,
all my verbally, wordly goods expropriated
from the wind,  where your scattered thoughts
lie about, carelessly,
unattended

Mock me not,
for anything you say to our chagrin,
will be fully attributed
and recorded on the Web
of long-lived embarrassments

A fevered dream you might say,
rumors and excuses of
visions of drug induced haze?
a theorem most plausible,
but the redacted versions will not conceal
that all my words were Indo-rooted in
a dialect called,
collaborative

This I pen
as apology, thank you note,
written notice, subpoena served,
for as long as you emote,
my fingertips will gleefully record
with love abundant in their artful device,
your mutterings, putterings,
and in cahooting,
right here, shall be,
wrought and wrote,
treasured and kept
Anything you say can and will be used...to express our community

Written June12011
JL Jan 2013
I was young foolish and just out of the cookie cutter medical school at the community college.
I work in the mortuary much better than watching the old women who die from cancer
I've spent hours pumping radiation into their frail bodies
"Fighting Cancer"
I watched some die with terrible gasps of blood in the emergency rooms during a long internship
A sheet thrown over
As if we are already trying to forget it happened
Death seemed to touch everything in my life
Regrettably, it has yet to touch my life itself
I am exhausted with the process of death
But... I was both discomposed and
...aroused by its product
The dead were just that
Silent cold white
And we covered their private areas with a white cloth
If not under examination
She was not dead though
The mortician
Warm with long black hair
But almost just as white
She leans over a cadaver before me
Her voice echoing in the sterile
Rubber scented universe of the examination rooms
Her voice settling into the running tape recorder on the table
I check off endless boxes on the clipboard I hold
Only half paying attention
Her scent lulls me
I swear I smell her hair
As if I were at the nape of her neck
Seeping through the pungent and intoxicating scent of formalin
A spark of life in the void
She seems to realize all at once
The gravity of my gazes
She chides
Please Stay Focused
Countless hours we work together beneath the bright examination lights
Sometimes working late into the night
If a terrible car accident were to happen on the interstate

Once
On a dark night on just such an occasion
She enters the examination room in a rush
Approaching a corpse I had already cleaned and undressed on the table
A male somewhere in his early twenties with an unnatural ark in a few of his ribs. I was looking forward to photographing the anomaly for my


Most secret collection

She holds a 20 gauge syringe prepare with an odd violet colored solution
She injects it into a dark black vein in the hand

I remain silent
She stares at the injection sight intently
Bead of crystal sweat falling down her forehead
"We are never to speak of what we may see her tonight."

Her hair pulled into a tight bun
A serious gaze in her dark eyes constrict me
Somewhere far in the dark basement in the back of my mind
A flare of something strange to my soul
fear
I am flooded with adrenaline and she seems satisfied with the dilation
of my pupils and a smile stretched across my face

The corpse
The skin begins to brighten
Oxygenated blood running through starving veins
Then
A sigh
A breath
My hand pressed to the neck
An arterial pulse
Weak beneath warm flesh
The thing breaths its breaths ragged at first
Then faster
She holds a cold stethoscope above the heart
Each beat of it seems to reverberate in her eyes
She stares at me
Both terror and elation on her face
She looked terrifying and beautiful
Her face seemed chiseled of marble
A shadow falling perfectly on her face
Beneath the fluorescent glow
It sits up at a back breaking speed
Its eyes shooting wide open revealing
A massive black pupil in a sea of jaundiced yellow eyes
It's mouth opens wide
And a deafening scream tears through his throat
Reverberating through the two of us for eternity
And echoing among the dull fluorescent halls of the mortuary only for a moment
It's final word
*fate
Nat Lipstadt Nov 2013
Men of few words are the best men
Shakespeare's Henry V
(Act 3 Scene 2. Line 41)


yet men still
pleasure themselves oft,
the music of their voices
soothes their conscience,
even as it irritates
those unchosen few
who must deign
to listen to the
ration of their excuses.

I fare not well
in this endeavor,
for as poet and
recorder of all that be
known as human folly,
more is always best
or at least, better!

for no man knows
the limits of his import,
his web of self-deception
cast far and wide,
for it must perforce
hold him aloft,
on all the tissued lies
he hath convinced himself
to be the absolute truth,
and nothing but...  

so let us ascribe
to those fools
who call themselves
mistakenly, men
a smokey, fleeting honour,
for many words
they do employ to
plead their case,
proving well in
a fashion most
contrary and contradictory
that their worth is
worst, when they speak
long and eloquent of their
vainglorious heroics and medals,
watch their words ascend,
and like smoke, forever disappear.

that is why, young reader,
heed the lesson of the
American cowboys
who say little,
but walk tall,
and sit straight
in the saddle,
and sing consoling songs of
lonesome love around the
dying fire.
Round and round the wheel’s spun
Here and there your time has come
In and out your lights have gone
Out and about to forget what’s going on
Scream and shout into the barrel of your gun
Come on you *****, you can’t do this wrong
Walkin out don’t seem so hard now

Easy going’s a myth that’s over preached, that’s my ******* problem...
Or maybe it’s that I depend on other people to solve them.

I’ve broken all the legs on which I used to stand
No more shoulders to cry on, and no one holding my hand
I fall, I cry, I swear, I’ve tried, no matter what I do, I’m just barely getting by.
I’m tired ofliving life one day at a time, fighting every day in order to survive.
I have to make it on my own.

Order’s tall, without law, just a lie.
Time just flies by, we fall in love alone and knock the hourglass on its side.


I’m staring down the medicine cabinet menu trying to pick the perfect dish.
I'm done playing dumb, matter of fact, I'm just plain done.
I’ve given you more chances than losing the lottery hon’
So zip your lips, you should be used to it, the silence is what tore us apart to begin with
Zip your lips, take your trip, and figure out how to make the pieces fit.

This guilt in my head and this weight on my back is making me crawl past the finish line and
Into another trap, Each time that I pass, I’m still behind another lap.

They say I think too much and then I lose touch.
It’s either stay on the couch or lean on a crutch.
My life revolves around daily brain damages.
They say the best things can only come out of the darkest passages.
Lather, rinse, repeat the cycle, I’d rather not cheat and compete with these savages.

You’re nothing I haven’t seen before, the fact of the matter is
We are all just someone else’s recycled garbage

I’m sick of livin’ every day with one foot bout to step into another’s grave.
I’m too tired to keep hold of these stagecoach reigns, how the hell am I to conduct 12 runaway trains?
Don’t tell me to watch out when you yourself don’t have an ounce of strength
Depending on pretending that tomorrow will be a brighter day
The grass is never greener, get off my ***, and stay out  my way
Head to head, face to face, fight and compete to defend your title belt of last place

I can’t wait for the day that nothing feels the same as every yesterday until then I’ll just repeat and repeat all the things that I hate. 

 
I am the angel and the devil atop your shoulders.
I give and I take in the eye of the beholder.
I bend and I shake, each breath, sharper and shorter.
No start, no stop, just endless disorder.


Growing up just means that you’re getting older
The dark is getting lighter, and each day is feeling colder.

How absurd are the streets of this wretched city?
Common sense is a rarity to those who beg all for their pity.
Mercy me, oh I admit defeat, I was born to fail at making ends meet.
The scraps and the bones, the trashed and the filthy.
I’ll live on the edge attempting to make this home a reality.
But there’s no room in any ******* realty
For a man who contributes nothing incessantly,
Yet, continues to **** dry every hand that tries to feed.

Maybe there's something in the medicine cabinet that can set me free
Oh, why do I turn to the medicine cabinet every time I want something to eat?

It’s kickin' in now, I’m seeing things a lot clearer now that it's just about over.
Stranded at the crossroads, I made a deal that cost me two souls, one of which, I am not responsible for.
So, still my flawed remains stand there with no closure,
I signed the line and sold my time.
Now the best thing I can do is become an ***** donor.

Lesson learned a bit late, a penny shy, now the world’s a buck shorter
All you’ve left behind are half-written songs full of spite on your Dad’s old tape recorder

From everyone here at the daily grind news team, to those who shout biased headlines with ******* Meanings, we hope you have fun while it lasts, your shows cancelled next quarter.
This concludes our report on young lives growing shorter.
Before we sign off, here’s the final say from our most admonishing reporter:

You have no idea what it means to have something to scream about.
You’ve spent your whole life never shutting your ******* mouth
Tell me what you think of me, don’t tell your friends on the internet
You’ve bitten more than you can chew this time, no more free rides, it's time that you pay your rent.
If you're not the lord of this land,  then I'll be the one to decide how the rest of your life is spent.

You can start by choking on your pride as you attempt to swallow all your miserable times and past Regrets. Pay close attention, this is the last warning you’ll get.
Thoughts swirling about the mind of a man who's been over-medicated, under-appreciated, and has taken his own strength away by blaming everyone else. Desperately, he attempts to re-gain control over his own life.
Kastoori Barua May 2016
As the last waltz playing in my jacket ceased,
Loneliness and longing spilled out,
Along with a few coins and a recorder
From my roomy coat pockets.

The phone booth stood there,
Frosted by icicles of promises
Never thawed to life,
Yet a haven from my impasse;
A womb for the stranded & unwanted.

I closed the door behind me,
And fed the phone a few coins,
Punched your number with numb fingers
And fogged up the insides of the glass,
As I waited to hear your voice.

“Hello?” You said, but where were my words?
I must have lost them on my way,
I must have fed them to the phone
Along with the paltry coins,
Could you hear what I wanted to say?

“Hello?” You repeated, a little alert,
I listened to your silence, trying to smile,
It sank like warm music on my heart,
Waltzes and sonatas were so cliché.

Where were my words? Just one would suffice,
Couldn’t I sum us up in a single word?
I couldn’t find the kigo to our season.
I had lost it, left it with you,
That and my voice
In the world I was forced to leave,
And all this while I was held,
Tenuously to you by this phone call,
Till I heard the strained dial tone again,
In this silent world I’ve come to inhabit.
Michael Hoffman Feb 2012
What you don’t know is
that I don’t know either.
What makes you stay inside on sunny days
has pestered me as well my whole life.
Shadows of things that would never happen
grew ominous, loomed over my cowering heart
so being a defensive, obsessive ruminator
my hope to make the leaves in my yard
stand still against gusts of wind –
become a psychotherapist
a posturing senex
trailing his wounded child behind
all made OK
with a license to insult you
pretending I know something
you don’t.

Will global warming disappear (?)
just because I know thousands of facts
about worms after rain
about how so many weeds pop up
in freshly-rained soil
underneath even dominating magnolias
and you pay me
to wizen you.
You stare like a mesmerized gazelle
counting the lions
a whole dozen of them
drawing a circle around your life in tall grass.

I want to tell you
run from the need for a resting place
from the pointless mobius strip
of therapy’s semantic banter.
I wish you would tell me
to just be quiet for once
invite me to hike a trail
protected by angels
with just so much sun
enough rain to nurture
and the lions yes
the lions like Fu Dogs
guard the entry to the hills.

I always forget
it isn’t my frustrated reverie
my angst about knowing
how important it is
not to need to know anything
this constant inability
not to daydream
that brought you here
to a leather throne
with an Olympus digital recorder
so you can capture every
single
word.
Uh, you think I'm frustrated with the mindfullessness of my work?  
Dr. Michael
Moonsocket Dec 2016
Scraped off glass like it never was

left sideways and forgotten

shrouded by shrub and pine

maybe it was merely nerves reacting

maybe it was never free will inclined

What decides I'm me and your the wings?

Why did my free will take me down this road?

Why did my car collide with your flight?

I keep driving

My momentum is now a distant hum for your ear

feathers plucked and scattered

I wish you knew my life
I wish I knew your best

It may seem trivial for some

This feeling of guilt for your departure

But when does haste conclude?

When does empathy begin?

With its potent sting and sensible view

easy for the outsider

I smile for you and your distant sighs

but here and now

With four doors and nothing but highway rhythm

I feel a slight panic

I keep it steady out of habit

my mind never needed this much free time

I think about that bird

I think about where it came from

I think about who may have seen it's flight that day

How many miles traversed?
How many clouds scattered?

I think
I think
I think
Azalea Banks Feb 2013
A body cradled in a nightly cocoon of blankets and self-loathing.

A contact list full of numbers in which calls go straight to voicemail.

An explosive cocktail of one part perfection and three parts depression, with an overdose of cheap coffee.

A personality of anti-anxiety pills and choked down insanity, with a side order of slit wrists.

An A+ on your history test, smudged with tears and smuggled *****.

A sleeping tablet.

A mind like a room with the blinds down for weeks, a smile like a gunshot in the darkness.

A broken tape recorder of one missed calls, of slammed doors, of smeared lipstick in front of a mirror sparking with tears.

A cigarette for every sin, a dollar for every broken dream.

A full wallet.

A brain like a twisted forest path, a sketchbook full of scratched pencil marks, a screaming teacher at the end of every class.

A daughter of the human manifestations of nine-to-five jobs with a pension scheme and insurance.

A carefully maintained vocabulary of whiplash sarcasm and blank stares.

A graduating member from a class of 'Congratulations on Getting the **** Over Yourself.'

*A bullet.
Mirlotta Dec 2015
Love, now, is considered 'cute'.
That's all there is to it.

It's not looking up at the stars and
wishing for that same blazing fire
inside yourself.

It isn't those long, after-dark
conversations we had when
the constellations sang us melodies
in Ursa Major and Ursa Minor until
we remembered that I could play the piano
and you were alright on the recorder
and we joined in.

Sometimes, you'd stroke your fingers
through my hair, and my tears would
stroke the piano keys at the beautiful
audacity of your perfection.

Our shadows would intertwine,
flecked with tiny shards of the moonlight
and its spittle,
and it would seem to us that all
the great expanses and extravagances
of our universe had aligned to give us
this moment.

I'm told that wasn't love either.
No. Love is cute.

Love, according to the here and now,
is not what Shakespeare promised me
it would be.

It is not speaking the sort of words
that have stretched from the dawn of
the dawn of time and have tangled and
coiled and wrapped us together
like words are ribbons and we're
a human maypole.

It isn't seeing the sun and thinking
of the way your eyes lit up when
you first read my poetry.

After, you'd rise from where you sat
to the right of me, the east
and whisper to me how
lucky you were, how lucky we were
to be here, in this world, together.

Our hands would clasp, my small fingers
warmed by the inexplicably intrinsic
sense of togetherness.
Of you. Of me.

The two words blended like
we were only colours and this
world our painted grey palette.

None of it mattered.
None of it mattered, because none of it was love.
'Love', according to the modern mind, is simply
Cute.

We were boiled down,
like we'd been pushed into a pan and
they couldn't understand why we wouldn't fit
even once they'd chopped us up.

Everything - because wasn't love everything? -
was just plagiarised love letters scribbled on the
dog-eared corners of textbooks.

And though to us we were Nut and Geb,
Gaia and Ouranos,
Romeo and Juliet, if Romeo had
had your freckles and Juliet had
had my temper and they'd had
love built on the transcendence
of time instead of party crashing.

Except, to everyone else in the here and now,
we weren't. We weren't *******
Nut and Geb.
We were cute.

Somehow, love seems to equate to
you carrying my books around for me
like you don't  have enough of your own to drag.

Love is suits and cravats and
prom dresses with stick on sparkles
because the night sky is no longer enough.

Love is kisses on the end of text messages
to replace the kisses in real life,
and pink and red heart emoticons to
pretend that we all still have hearts that are capable of
anything more than 'cute'.

And when I close my eyes and try to remember that it was real,
what we had, remember that it was the kind of untarnished love that
I could look in and see our reflection,
it's not your voice that I hear, but the words of 'love' in the here and now.

'You two are so cute together!'
'I wish I could have a relationship like yours. It's adorable.'
Quaint. Charming. Darling.
Cute.

Love, now, is considered 'cute'.
Even when it's not.

More than a myth than Nut and Geb ever were.

Even when it's real.
Especially when it's real.

That's all there is to it.
Nat Lipstadt Jan 2014
My Curator

I can't remember,
what I can't remember

new items arrive daily.
name of the restaurant,
where I ate dinner
last night

the name of the movie show
I saw last week,
the last place my glasses
went looking for me,
lucky me, only one key,
hanging around my neck,
easy peasy,
just trying to find which apartment
it's for

I can't remember,
what I can't remember

the first poem ever wrote,
the first poem ever loved,
written conceived while I ever wept,
cause
found some old ones and thought
hey, that kid is pretty good

I can't remember,
what I can't remember
when and how I knew,
what now you know
as well

what matters this, little

quote the kids,
last week is well,
so last week
or even better,
whatever...

yesterday, last week, last year
have all merged,
old men drivers, riding in the slow lane,
where the speed limit signs are reminders
go faster, keep up

the memory surplus, surfeit,
now purged, forfeit,
fear of droning,
my inspirations
grown decrepit,
forces desperate,
less than adequate creativity,  
trying to pour poems Beaujolais,
before they can age,
decant, evaporate,
poisoned by oxygenation
sour turning, stupid smiling,
cause I know you from someplace,
are you a clear and present danger?

I remember plenty
of glimpses and snatchery.,
but the incoming data flow
has strained my 50's circuitry.
these memories, onboarded
now a single product
of a mass hatchery,
all eggs are indistinguishable,
therefore they exist,
therefore I was once

electronic calendar
keeps my schedule,
thus my native personality
type A,
kept in line,
the pills work,
from time to time

so I am
where I was supposed to be,
a necessary
but insufficient conditionality,
pour justifier mon existence

the mission critical stuff,
the weave, the sensibility,
the collections of sensations
of another's hand
on my back as I write,
declining, felt their dying,
having arrived at the
skinny part of the tail
of the normal curve
of natural ability

alas,  alack,
too many poems dying stillborn

I have newly employed
a curator

sadly he (she?) will not
cure me,
nor save my soul,
tho he wears
a collar of white
around his neck,
and a stethoscope
over one wing,
a recorder on the other

his wage dear,
sold him my best jewels

Paying costly
for my Ponzi scheme
of reusing
words previously employed,
deeded ownership of the accidental newbies,
the old ones in the sewing box,
both now his property,
but at least, saved.

I cannot write
the name of what stands between  
you and I,
tween tip of tongue
and visions of past,
but future visions, pace taken,
they will survive
should they arrive again

you reader, you are
a familiar face

are you not my
savior,

My Curator?

10:45 AM
Sept. 3rd, 2012
Labor  Day
I hold in my hand a paper
It is blank, and dark
And shaped like a Sony voice recorder.

I tell it “I always wondered
when entering leaves
and leaving comes in—
where we go when we
begin,
and who says it’s over”


The little black box catches all of my thoughts
and stares blankly ahead
waiting for more.

“Why do we think it matters
that we suffer alone?
Beaches
cliffs
and valleys,
erode time and Other
forces.

Unread letters
dissent
to their homology
of patted matter
and solitary discomfort under
gravity.

Solace in solitude is wonderful.

Only I feel the weight of Earth’s atmosphere
in the sound of a dialtone—remember that?

Yes, the other side of the conversation
waits for connection—but you must choose
the coordinates.”

Hawaii is volcano islands,
but
Rock and sand
Air and breeze
Prairie and trees—
this is the Midwest.


I’m going to sit down
and envelop myself.

When I am done
The poem will have delivered me
to a place in the grass of a prairie
a cave on the side of a cliff
a beach it pebbles for sand
and a steep descent from the
volcano.

When this poem
is read with gathering perspiration
it will cool the still-flowing
lava of Hawaiian islands,
soften the edge
of each pebble;
this poem will hang a cloth in the opening
of mouths
caving in
to protect the traveler
from his shadow.

If you do not hear this poem
of the Earth escaping itself,
trees fighting their way into
its soil,
rocks being worn away to grains
of sand sifting through our fingers
and clouds taking moisture
to a more deserving place,
let the consolation be
a life
full of prosperity
and feigned kindness--
ready-mades,
hollow handshakes,
doors beaten
by little hands
asking about breakfast
on a Saturday
and
selling thin mints
to your neighbors.

I love you, sisters and brothers,
just weather our sod
and air
and water
and fire

--it will find you
when it is ready.
MMXII

— The End —