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Annabel Lee Apr 2012
I love
Empty rooms
Because empty rooms mean no locked doors
They mean no hidden screaming matches
No unquenchable tears, from those you never thought would cry
They mean no sister doing stupid things
Or stupid people
That will only hurt her later
No sister you wish you could protect, like she’s protected you
No sister you wish you could save from heart break
Or impart to all the wisdom she’s taught you
They mean no sister who will spew the venomous words
That hurt more than any blow
They mean no whispered voices
Validating all of your biggest insecurities
No hushed secrets denied to you
No closed doors, locked or otherwise
Or even slightly ajar doors—that are really closed to you
Even a door closed on an empty room is an open one
Empty rooms mean space
They are a place to breathe when everywhere else suffocates you
They are a place to run to when staying hurts
Empty rooms are a solace you weren’t sure you’d ever find
A break from cold reality
And a pause from the crushing weight of the world that constantly pounds against you
Empty rooms don’t make you cry
Or think of what it would be like to finally die
Empty rooms are peace unlike anywhere else
Yet empty rooms leave a bitter after taste of longing
Because for all of the gloriousness of blessed empty rooms
They are still lacking and they leave you hollow as ever
With no one to fill the void
Still I love empty rooms
Because hollowness doesn’t stab through your heart with sharp fiery pain
Preferring to remain a subtle manageable ache
Empty rooms.
Once occupied by those I love.
I grieve the loss.
I step in.
To face.
My fear.
Of the empty rooms.
But...
My Saviour,
my King,
the Lover of my soul.
Now embodies.
Now fills.
With His Spirit.
These empty rooms.

I open my hands.
I give Him the loss.
I let go of fear.
I lift my hands.
My voice.
My soul.
In praise.
I fill these empty rooms
with songs of praise.
With fervent prayers.
Where there has been tears of loss.

These empty rooms.
Are no longer empty.
They are filled.
With the Living God.

Here I live.
Here I abide.
With the Lover of my soul.
In rooms once empty.
But now...
Full.
Of the Presence.
Of Glory.
Sam Conrad Nov 2013
So imagine for a second,

Imagine we're in the same room.
No, not the same room.
Identical rooms, but still the same room.
Rooms next to each other.
Right next to each other but we can't hear each other.

You designed these rooms.
You designed them for you, and the walls are black, there are no windows
Only one uncomfortable stool, light bulb hanging from the ceiling, a single cup of water
You designed these rooms so that you could get away,
You got away from the words you couldn't handle, both truths and lies, to be alone.
And you included the cup of water, because you've become a cactus starving for water and
You included the water because it will last you until you've grown.

I got my own little room too, the one next to you.
You built these rooms to grow,
But your walls move out, as you find who you are, and you forgot my cup of water and
And you're growing yourself, the right way this time and
But I'm still a human being and I still have feelings and I'm not a cactus yet and still starving for water
But my walls close in, and I have no water, and the light bulb is a crayon drawing and I trip on the stool
Because of the crayon drawing you thought would make me feel better but I can't even see it in the dark

So imagine for a second,
These rooms.
Down the shabby hallway; dingy white wall hallway

Shuffling slippers march in order

March in order

To the day room; the steel case pill room

They all get a plastic cup with pills

green, pink, yellow...rainbow pills

Swallow with water...did you swallow?

Turn about to shuffle back

Down the hallway; shuffling hallway

Shuffling slippers, eyes blinking, throat drying

Each to a room or two to a room

Same rooms, blue rooms, barren rooms

Steel rail bed, hard bed, one dresser

Rooms of quiet despair, blue rooms

No books, no sharp implements, steel rooms

Sitting rooms, waiting rooms, waiting for the  buzzer

Then the march begins again...
KMCOLBy@2011
Matt May 2015
I'm going to the chat rooms again
Yes, this is my idea of company
After all, my friends don't live close

Isolated
In the chat rooms again

On my computer again
I spend many many hours
On this machine

I love all my internet friends
Wish they were here at times
But I am content
With online companionship
In the chat rooms

Have yahoo, skype, or gmail chat?
I'll see you in the chat rooms!
Kristen Moxley Jan 2010
It is four in the morning and I'm alone
It's dark out
The city lays quiet and sullen with sleep
I'm awake
Awake

Still awake
The sun has yet to rise and won't for another two hours
I move with such grace and ease that the grass doesn't have to strain against my weight
I hear a vehicle fast approaching
A shed to my right
Silently duck behind it
Security van passes by
My heart is pounding in my ears
My breath has never sounded so loud
So utterly loud
So ******* loud
Can't stand it
Security must have heard
But I really know they didn't

I fall to my hands and knees and crawl out from my temporary shelter
The morning dew stains my hands and pants
Don't notice
Don't think

There are bundles of old plywood tied with twine that border the asylum drive
Crawl behind them
Streetlights illuminate my way
They deliver a soft, humming sound that enters through every pore on my body
It's loud
So ******* loud
Hands to ears
Doesn't stop
Won't stop
Keeps ******* humming
Ignore it
I learn to ignore it
Don't hear
Don't think

I position myself in front of the plywood bundles
Asylum drive
Fifteen foot mesh link fence
It's 4 am
I know
I'm awake

Fifteen feet of fence
Steel mesh
Steel mesh so tight, I can barely stick my pinky finger through a hole
There are three horizontal metal bars placed at five foot intervals on the opposite side of the fence
No way up
No way down
The gate is locked and closed
No way in
No way out

I know better
There are a few sturdy looking metal hinges on the massive gate
My hands are laced with sweat
Start to shake
My limbs vibrate in rhythm with my heart
It's compulsive
Compulsive
I stand in front of the gate and look up
It reaches to the heavens
Too tall
Can't climb
The steel is cool and wet to the touch
Can't climb
The bottom of my shoes are slippery
Slippery on the metal
Can't climb
My left foot misses and finds air
I reach, straining myself
Expand
My mind is breaking, seeping strength
Sweat burns my eyes
It hurts
It ******* hurts
Twitch
Can't climb
Mind slips
Slips away
Blood
On
Me
Don't feel a thing
Can't

I'm straddling the top bar of the fence
Until now, I've never been afraid of heights
I stare at the ground, fifteen feet below me
My head is spinning
Look up
Spinning
Panic is settling inside of me
Paralyzed with fear
Paralyzed
Can't move
Breathe
Think
Feel
It's so slippery
Don't want to fall
Don't want to die
Scared
Can't go down
Can't

I let go
I slipped and fell
Falling
Fell
Hit
Ground
Face
First
I'm cold and numb
It hurts
It ******* hurts

My left eye is cold
My eyelashes have been ripped out
My eyelid is a ******, fleshy mess
Bleeding profusely
It's sticky
Wet
Gross
My mind is racing
I'm soaked
Soaked in sweat
Dew
Thoughts
Pain
Time
I'm gross
Awake

The facade of the building is straight ahead
I move numbly towards the entrance
The doorknob is lifeless and still in my grasp
It doesn't move or budge
Door is locked
Back away
Have to get in
Calling for me
Waiting for me
Beckoning
Persuading
Wanting me
Needing me
I must
No
I need to get in.

My mind snaps back to reality
There's an open basement window to my left
I climb in without any hesitation
Dark
Dank
Damp
I lean heavily against a firm wall
I cannot see my own hand in front of my face
Eyes don't adjust
Eyes close
Collapse
Asleep
Unconscious

Awake
Time passed
It's daylight
I've lost sense and track of time
I smell like my surroundings
I'm moldy
It's moldy
I'm damp
It's damp
Stand
Fall down
Stand again
Light pours through several basement windows
The room is empty
The light turns grey walls shades of the sun
It's bright
Awake

I begin to wander
I touch my face
Still here
My eye is still cold, but the bleeding has stopped
My eyelid is chunky with dried blood
It still ******* hurts
Scab picker
Pain oozes through my face
A couple flakes of skin float to the ground
Sickening
I can feel the dried blood on my fingers
Chapped
Pick more
Pick more
More pieces of blood-dried skin detach from the remainder of my eyelid and float to the ground
I step on them
Bury them into the dust
My hand is stained red
Blood red
My eye begins bleeding again
I tear a piece of my shirt and press it to my wound
Leave it there
Leave it to soak

I wander in a daze until I find a staircase
Ascend
Many flights of stairs
So it seems
Until I reach the second floor
My legs are weak and numb
Weak and numb
Mouth is dry
Tastes like sand
I move my tongue around and can't feel a thing
Mind is clear
I don't like it much
Search for thoughts
Any thoughts
Nothing comes
Don't think
Press on

What am I searching for
Can't answer
Don't know
Others have answered
I don't change
I'll know when it's found

Awake
I enter into a long hallway
On either side there are empty, window-lit rooms
Rooms that are filled with chairs
Rooms that are filled with desks
Rooms that are filled with papers
Files
Curtains
Shoes
Bed frames
Electric chairs
Operation tables
Iron lungs
Toilets
Sinks
Wheelchairs
Dust
Dust
Dust
Rooms that were once filled with love
Rooms that were once filled with hate
Rooms that were once filled with laughter
Tears
Pain
Prayer
Loss
Hope
Fear
Terror
Longing
Wonder
W­orry

I remember
Each room, a name
Each name, letters
An object of identity
Object of terror
Destruction
Hate

Awake
At the end of the hall, I face a door
An illegible name continues rusting
I don't care
A light is on
It's bright
Blinding
Coming for me
Coming to get me
Wraps itself around me
Can't breathe
Chokes me
Gag
*****
Stomach contents and blood escalate up my throat and onto the cracking tile
It hurts
It ******* hurts
My throat burns acid
Spit
Stays
I cry
It stings
Tears burn my face
My eyes
Sniffle
I wipe my mouth
Taste nothing
Feel nothing

Sick
The light brings me back
I let it
Eyes remain half closed
My sight skips around and lands on a waiting chair in the middle of the room
It looks so inviting
So ******* inviting
I don't trust it
Hates me
Wants me
Wants to feed off of me
Wants to be fulfilled
I don't trust it
My legs and body ache
Wobble

Sit
The room is bright and bare
Bare walls
Bare floors
Bare ceilings
Bare emptiness
This is my room
This is my name
Mine
Sit
Don't think
Don't move
I clutch my hands together
My palms are sweaty
My feet brush the floor
They swing
I lean my head back and stare at the ceiling
Damp
Sick
Don't see
Don't hear
Don't feel
Taste
Smell
I smile
Smile a true, deep, loving smile
A smile that generates warmth
A smile that knows where it belongs
I'm home now
Home
I'm alone
Awake
Alive

I'm alive.
Poetic T Mar 2014
the wind blows through my
doors an empty sound as it
travels the rooms but no one
is home anymore.

The rooms were once full
thoughts did play, each room,
was past, present and thoughts
of a future it couldn't yet see.

This mind had many thoughts
rooms so full you  couldn't
move the so many rooms once
full of thoughts now only dust
as the room now deserted no
ideas to see any more.

Now there are just empty rooms
where the winds do blow, no
longer remembering past,
present the future bleak for a
mind with no thought. One
day the door will shut and
that will be the end of me no
thoughts anymore.
What I feel a person with dementia must feel like
T E Pyrus Sep 2015
i love those
spacey rooms
where basketballs
echo like
an irregular
beating heart;

i love those
little rooms
with huge windows
and careful white
walls, that try
to make up
for narrow floorspace
with ventilated dreams;

i love those
vast rooms
with wooden floors,
and a mirror
that covers
an entire wall
along the length,
beside the
ballet bar,
and alternating
false pillars of
hollow wood
along the
lonely wall
that faces the mirror
so that music
echoes and
reverberates
to outweigh
the ghost footsteps
in pale satin
ballet shoes
that dance alone
through the night
in a resolute stupor,
occasionally peeking
through the
now-shut door,
awaiting the
gracefully grayed
shining eyes,
the off-white shawl
with tiny red
tulips like
summer theater,
and a walking stick
to waltz delicately in
at the break
of 8 o’clock tea.

i love those
cozy rooms
with an exquisite
mahogany coffee table
and a crystal swan
centerpiece,
the patterns on
the couch in a
range of shades
of coral to match
the snugly sized,
maroon, artificial
velvet cushions,
and a gray
stone fireplace
for when it snows,
a dimmed lamp
on the mantelpiece
beside the
mollified and dozing
black cat,
and the water-colour
painting on the wall
of a waterfall
with surreal
strokes of yellow,
lilac and rose,
a tiny framed
photograph of
a redheaded
young lady
with a green scarf,
her lover’s arm
around her shoulder,
their smiles, warm
enough to melt
the blowing blizzard
from the north;

i love those
overly spacious rooms
that come with
white carpets,
and white walls,
and white bedsheets,
and a brimming itinerary,
the glass window
that covers the wall
facing the miniature
open-kitchen,
a bright blue
coffee cup with
a tiny yellow
handprint rests
on the glass
center table,
and the faded
sound of pouring
rain and sleep
deprived keyboard taps,
the blankets in
the morning
smell of half-familiar
moisturizer;

i love those
smallish rooms
with a twin sized
bed in a corner
by the world map
on the wall,
the light gray
t-shirt from
the previous day’s
excursion with
uninteresting people
lies comfortably
on the chair,
a fumbling trigonometric
ratio beside the doodle
of a scratched out
name on the notebook
beside the headphones
on the floor,
an old piece of
ruled paper
sticks out from
in between the
yellowing pages
of the old dictionary,
that lies idle
amongst the
bizarrely ordered,
rewritten pages
with the ingredients
for that story,
with an old orange
crayon scribble saying
my brother
told me today
that dragons ar real,
and the dark
blue curtains
flutter only slightly
in the midsummer
night’s breeze
through the open
window, and the sound
of a far-fetched ‘perhaps’
in a psychedelic dream
that this was
the night when
the dragons
would return…
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
As a woman, and in the service of my Lord the Emperor Wu, my life is governed by his command. At twenty I was summoned to this life at court and have made of it what I can, within the limitations of the courtesan I am supposed to be, and the poet I have now become. Unlike my male counterparts, some of whom have lately found seclusion in the wilderness of rivers and mountains, I have only my personal court of three rooms and its tiny garden and ornamental pond. But I live close to the surrounding walls of the Zu-lin Gardens with its astronomical observatories and bold attempts at recreating illusions of celebrated locations in the Tai mountains. There, walking with my cat Xi-Lu in the afternoons, I imagine a solitary life, a life suffused with the emptiness I crave.
 
In the hot, dry summer days my maid Mei-Lim and I have sought a temporary retreat in the pine forests above Lingzhi. Carried in a litter up the mountain paths we are left in a commodious hut, its open walls making those simple pleasures of drinking, eating and sleeping more acute, intense. For a few precious days I rest and meditate, breathe the mountain air and the resinous scents of the trees. I escape the daily commerce of the court and belong to a world that for the rest of the year I have to imagine, the world of the recluse. To gain the status of the recluse, open to my male counterparts, is forbidden to women of the court. I am woman first, a poet and calligrapher second. My brother, should he so wish, could present a petition to revoke his position as a man of letters, an official commentator on the affairs of state. But he is not so inclined. He has already achieved notoriety and influence through his writing on the social conditions of town and city. He revels in a world of chatter, gossip and intrigue; he appears to fear the wilderness life.  
 
I must be thankful that my own life is maintained on the periphery. I am physically distant from the hub of daily ceremonial. I only participate at my Lord’s express command. I regularly feign illness and fatigue to avoid petty conflict and difficulty. Yet I receive commissions I cannot waver: to honour a departed official; to celebrate a son’s birth to the Second Wife; to fulfil in verse my Lord’s curious need to know about the intimate sorrows of his young concubines, their loneliness and heartache.
 
Occasionally a Rhapsody is requested for an important visitor. The Emperor Wu is proud to present as welcome gifts such poetic creations executed in fine calligraphy, and from a woman of his court. Surely a sign of enlightment and progress he boasts! Yet in these creations my observations are parochial: early morning frost on the cabbage leaves in my garden; the sound of geese on their late afternoon flight to Star Lake; the disposition of the heavens on an Autumn night. I live by the Tao of Lao-Tzu, perceiving the whole world from my doorstep.
 
But I long for the reclusive life, to leave this court for my family’s estate in the valley my peasant mother lived as a child. At fourteen she was chosen to sustain the Emperor’s annual wish for young girls to be groomed for concubinage. Like her daughter she is tall, though not as plain as I; she put her past behind her and conceded her adolescence to the training required by the court. At twenty she was recommended to my father, the court archivist, as second wife. When she first met this quiet, dedicated man on the day before her marriage she closed her eyes in blessing. My father taught her the arts of the library and schooled her well. From her I have received keen eyes of jade green and a prestigious memory, a memory developed she said from my father’s joy of reading to her in their private hours, and before she could read herself. Each morning he would examine her to discover what she had remembered of the text read the night before. When I was a little child she would quote to me the Confucian texts on which she had been ****** schooled, and she then would tell me of her childhood home. She primed my imagination and my poetic world with descriptions of a domestic rural life.
 
Sometimes in the arms of my Lord I have freely rhapsodized in chusi metre these delicate word paintings of my mother’s home. She would say ‘We will walk now to the ruined tower beside the lake. Listen to the carolling birds. As the sparse clouds move across the sky the warm sun strokes the winter grass. Across the deep lake the forests are empty. Now we are climbing the narrow steps to the platform from which you and I will look towards the sun setting in the west. See the shadows are lengthening and the air becomes colder. The blackbird’s solitary song heralds the evening.  Look, an owl glides silently beneath us.’
 
My Lord will then quote from Hsieh Ling-yun,.
 
‘I meet sky, unable to soar among clouds,
face a lake, call those depths beyond me.’
 
And I will match this quotation, as he will expect.
 
‘Too simple-minded to perfect Integrity,
and too feeble to plough fields in seclusion.’
 
He will then gaze into my eyes in wonder that this obscure poem rests in my memory and that I will decode the minimal grammar of these early characters with such poetry. His characters: Sky – Bird – Cloud – Lake – Depth. My characters: Fool – Truth – Child – Winter field – Isolation.
 
Our combined invention seems to take him out of his Emperor-self. He is for a while the poet-scholar-sage he imagines he would like to be, and I his foot-sore companion following his wilderness journey. And then we turn our attention to our bodies, and I surprise him with my admonitions to gentleness, to patience, to arousing my pleasure. After such poetry he is all pleasure, sensitive to the slightest touch, and I have my pleasure in knowing I can control this powerful man with words and the stroke of my fingertips rather than by delicate youthful beauty or the guile and perverse ingenuity of an ****** act. He is still learning to recognise the nature and particularness of my desires. I am not as his other women: who confuse pleasure with pain.
 
Thoughts of my mother. Without my dear father, dead ten years, she is a boat without a rudder sailing on a distant lake. She greets each day as a gift she must honour with good humour despite the pain of her limbs, the difficulty of walking, of sitting, of eating, even talking. Such is the hurt that governs her ageing. She has always understood that my position has forbidden marriage and children, though the latter might be a possibility I have not wished it and made it known to my Lord that it must not be. My mother remains in limbo, neither son or daughter seeking to further her lineage, she has returned to her sister’s home in the distant village of her birth, a thatched house of twenty rooms,
 
‘Elms and willows shading the eaves at the back,
and, in front,  peach and plum spread wide.
 
Villages lost across mist-haze distances,
Kitchen smoke drifting wide-open country,
 
Dogs bark deep among the back roads out here
And cockerels crow from mulberry treetops.
 
My esteemed colleague T’ao Ch’ien made this poetry. After a distinguished career in government service he returned to the life of a recluse-farmer on his family farm. Living alone in a three-roomed hut he lives out his life as a recluse and has endured considerable poverty. One poem I know tells of him begging for food. His world is fields-and-gardens in contrast to Hsieh Ling-yin who is rivers-and-mountains. Ch’ien’s commitment to the recluse life has brought forth words that confront death and the reality of human experience without delusion.
 
‘At home here in what lasts, I wait out life.’
 
Thus my mother waits out her life, frail, crumbling more with each turning year.
 
To live beyond the need to organise daily commitments due to others, to step out into my garden and only consider the dew glistening on the loropetalum. My mind is forever full of what is to be done, what must be completed, what has to be said to this visitor who will today come to my court at the Wu hour. Only at my desk does this incessant chattering in the mind cease, as I move my brush to shape a character, or as the needle enters the cloth, all is stilled, the world retreats; there is the inner silence I crave.
 
I long to see with my own eyes those scenes my mother painted for me with her words. I only know them in my mind’s eye having travelled so little these past fifteen years. I look out from this still dark room onto my small garden to see the morning gathering its light above the rooftops. My camellia bush is in flower though a thin frost covers the garden stones.
 
And so I must imagine how it might be, how I might live the recluse life. How much can I jettison? These fine clothes, this silken nightgown beneath the furs I wrap myself in against the early morning air. My maid is sleeping. Who will make my tea? Minister to me when I take to my bed? What would become of my cat, my books, the choice-haired brushes? Like T’ao Ch’ien could I leave the court wearing a single robe and with one bag over my shoulders? Could I walk for ten days into the mountains? I would disguise myself as a man perhaps. I am tall for a woman, and though my body flows in broad curves there are ways this might be assuaged, enough perhaps to survive unmolested on the road.
 
Such dreams! My Lord would see me returned within hours and send a servant to remain at my gate thereafter. I will compose a rhapsody about a concubine of standing, who has even occupied the purple chamber, but now seeks to relinquish her privileged life, who coverts the uncertainty of nature, who would endure pain and privation in a hut on some distant mountain, who will sleep on a mat on its earth floor. Perhaps this will excite my Lord, light a fire in his imagination. As though in preparation for this task I remove my furs, I loose the knot of my silk gown. Naked, I reach for an old under shift letting it fall around my still-slender body and imagine myself tying the lacings myself in the open air, imagine making my toilet alone as the sun appears from behind a distant mountain on a new day. My mind occupies itself with the tiny detail of living thus: bare feet on cold earth, a walk to nearby stream, the gathering of berries and mountain herbs, the making of fire, the washing of my few clothes, imagining. Imagining. To live alone will see every moment filled with the tasks of keeping alive. I will become in tune with my surroundings. I will take only what I need and rely on no one. Dreaming will end and reality will be the slug on my mat, the bone-chilling incessant mists of winter, the thorn in the foot, the wild winds of autumn. My hands will become stained and rough, my long limbs tanned and scratched, my delicate complexion freckled and wind-pocked, my hair tied roughly back. I will become an animal foraging on a dank hillside. Such thoughts fill me with deep longing and a ****** desire to be tzu-jan  - with what surrounds me, ablaze with ****** self.
 
It is not thought the custom of a woman to hold such desires. We are creatures of order and comfort. We do not live on the edge of things, but crave security and well-being. We learn to endure the privations of being at the behest of others. Husbands, children, lovers, our relatives take our bodies to them as places of comfort, rest and desire. We work at maintaining an ordered flow of existence. Whatever our station, mistress or servant we compliment, we keep things in order, whether that is the common hearth or the accounts of our husband’s court. Now my rhapsody begins:
 
A Rhapsody on a woman wishing to live as a recluse
 
As a lady of my Emperor’s court I am bound in service.
My court is not my own, I have the barest of means.
My rooms are full of gifts I am forced barter for bread.
Though the artefacts of my hands and mind
Are valued and widely renown,
Their commissioning is an expectation of my station,
With no direct reward attached.
To dress appropriately for my Lord’s convocations and assemblies
I am forced to negotiate with chamberlains and treasurers.
A bolt of silk, gold thread, the services of a needlewoman
Require formal entreaties and may lie dormant for weeks
Before acknowledgement and release.
 
I was chosen for my literary skills, my prestigious memory,
Not for my ****** beauty, though I have been called
‘Lady of the most gracious movement’ and
My speaking voice has clarity and is capable of many colours.
I sing, but plainly and without passion
Lest I interfere with the truth of music’s message.
 
Since I was a child in my father’s library
I have sought out the works of those whose words
Paint visions of a world that as a woman
I may never see, the world of the wilderness,
Of rivers and mountains,
Of fields and gardens.
Yet I am denied by my *** and my station
To experience passing amongst these wonders
Except as contrived imitations in the palace gardens.
 
Each day I struggle to tease from the small corner
Of my enclosed eye-space some enrichment
Some elemental thing to colour meaning:
To extend the bounds of my home
Across the walls of this palace
Into the world beyond.
 
I have let it be known that I welcome interviews
With officials from distant courts to hear of their journeying,
To gather word images if only at second-hand.
Only yesterday an emissary recounted
His travels to Stone Lake in the far South-West,
Beyond the gorges of the Yang-tze.
With his eyes I have seen the mountains of Suchan:
With his ears I have heard the oars crackling
Like shattering jade in the freezing water.
Images and sounds from a thousand miles
Of travel are extract from this man’s memory.
 
Such a sharing of experience leaves me
Excited but dismayed: that I shall never
Visit this vast expanse of water and hear
Its wild cranes sing from their floating nests
In the summer moonlight.
 
I seek to disappear into a distant landscape
Where the self and its constructions of the world may
Dissolve away until nothing remains but the no-mind.
My thoughts are full of the practicalities of journeying
Of an imagined location, that lonely place
Where I may be at one with myself.
Where I may delight in the everyday Way,
Myself among mist and vine, rock and cave.
Not this lady of many parts and purposes whose poems must
Speak of lives, sorrow and joy, pleasure and pain
Set amongst personal conflict and intrigue
That in containing these things, bring order to disorder;
Salve the conscience, bathe hurt, soothe sleight.
Milushka Oct 2010
Crowded rooms filled with all revealing
fluorescent light.
Patiently waiting faces of all colours,
painful bodies,
broken bones, damaged hearts,
crying babies in strollers.

Wheel chairs of the waiting rooms.

TV set announces bad weather,
and bad news in whispers.

GPs running the Marathon
of waiting rooms.

Next!
Ill-pronounced names by a nurse;
off to yet another chamber to wait.

Noon hour closed
for lunch.

Patiently waiting impatient,
and nervous patients
waiting endlessly
for the sentencing,
by the good doctors.

Appointments with death.

Out again
into rain
of the sick outside world,
last words of waiting rooms
wrapped up in pills.

(4-17-07)
~This is not my Poem; this belongs to me Lamushkia; (Milushka) who is no longer with us. Check out her other Poems in her collection here.
She deserves to be remembered.
~Anna
Either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you

when I was a young man
I felt these things were
dumb, unsophisticated.
I had bad blood, a twisted
mind, a precarious
upbringing.

I was hard as granite, I
leered at the
sun.
I trusted no man and
especially no
woman.

I was living a hell in
small rooms, I broke
things, smashed things,
walked through glass,
cursed.
I challenged everything,
was continually being
evicted, jailed, in and
out of fights, in and out
of my mind.
women were something
to ***** and rail
at, I had no male
friends,

I changed jobs and
cities, I hated holidays,
babies, history,
newspapers, museums,
grandmothers,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
english accents,spain,
france,italy,walnuts and
the color
orange.
algebra angred me,
opera sickened me,
charlie chaplin was a
fake
and flowers were for
pansies.

peace and happiness to me
were signs of
inferiority,
tenants of the weak
and
addled
mind.

but as I went on with
my alley fights,
my suicidal years,
my passage through
any number of
women-it gradually
began to occur to
me
that I wasn't different

from the
others, I was the same,

they were all fulsome
with hatred,
glossed over with petty
grievances,
the men I fought in
alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging,
inching, cheating for
some insignificant
advantage,
the lie was the
weapon and the
plot was
empty,
darkness was the
dictator.

cautiously, I allowed
myself to feel good
at times.
I found moments of
peace in cheap
rooms
just staring at the
knobs of some
dresser
or listening to the
rain in the
dark.
the less I needed
the better I
felt.

maybe the other life had worn me
down.
I no longer found
glamour
in topping somebody
in conversation.
or in mounting the
body of some poor
drunken female
whose life had
slipped away into
sorrow.

I could never accept
life as it was,
i could never gobble
down all its
poisons
but there were parts,
tenuous magic parts
open for the
asking.

I re formulated
I don't know when,
date, time, all
that
but the change
occurred.
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
out.
i no longer had to
prove that I was a
man,

I didn't have to prove
anything.

I began to see things:
coffee cups lined up
behind a counter in a
cafe.
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on my dresser top
stopped there
with its body,
its ears,
its nose,
it was fixed,
a bit of life
caught within itself
and its eyes looked
at me
and they were
beautiful.
then- it was
gone.

I began to feel good,
I began to feel good
in the worst situations
and there were plenty
of those.
like say, the boss
behind his desk,
he is going to have
to fire me.

I've missed too many
days.
he is dressed in a
suit, necktie, glasses,
he says, 'I am going
to have to let you go'

'it's all right' I tell
him.

He must do what he
must do, he has a
wife, a house, children,
expenses, most probably
a girlfriend.

I am sorry for him
he is caught.

I walk onto the blazing
sunshine.
the whole day is
mine
temporarily,
anyhow.

(the whole world is at the
throat of the world,
everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated,
everybody is despondent,
disillusioned)

I welcomed shots of
peace, tattered shards of
happiness.

I embraced that stuff
like the hottest number,
like high heels, *******,
singing,the
works.

(don't get me wrong,
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism
that overlooks all
basic problems just for
the sake of
itself-
this is a shield and a
sickness.)

The knife got near my
throat again,
I almost turned on the
gas
again
but when the good
moments arrived
again
I didn't fight them off
like an alley
adversary.
I let them take me,
I luxuriated in them,
I made them welcome
home.
I even looked into
the mirror
once having thought
myself to be
ugly,
I now liked what
I saw, almost
handsome, yes,
a bit ripped and
ragged,
scares, lumps,
odd turns,
but all in all,
not too bad,
almost handsome,
better at least than
some of those movie
star faces
like the cheeks of
a baby's
****.

and finally I discovered
real feelings of
others,
unheralded,
like lately,
like this morning,
as I was leaving,
for the track,
i saw my wife in bed,
just the
shape of
her head there
(not forgetting
centuries of the living
and the dead and
the dying,
the pyramids,
Mozart dead
but his music still
there in the
room, weeds growing,
the earth turning,
the tote board waiting for
me)
I saw the shape of my
wife's head,
she so still,
I ached for her life,
just being there
under the
covers.

I kissed her in the
forehead,
got down the stairway,
got outside,
got into my marvelous
car,
fixed the seatbelt,
backed out the
drive.
feeling warm to
the fingertips,
down to my
foot on the gas
pedal,
I entered the world
once
more,
drove down the
hill
past the houses
full and empty
of
people,
I saw the mailman,
honked,
he waved
back
at me.
Ryan P Kinney Dec 2015
The following is a very powerful dream I had the night of May 15th, 2009. I don’t often have dreams because my vivid imagination means I daydream a lot. I am seeking interpretations from anyone. Can you help me discover what it means…?

I am sitting in an auditorium. I am with my father, mother and brother, Shawn. The presenters are giving away tickets, one to a Cavs game, another to Cedar Point. I chose Cedar Point.
Instantly the environment changes. I am attending a huge social event party in a large multi-level office building. I am attending with 3 nameless, faceless friends. The party features 7 themed rooms. The first was an entry way similar to the one at my middle school. The second was a cross between the Cleveland Zoo (indoor parts) and an Indian bazaar market. There were tanks with lizards, salamanders, sharks, and sting rays. All had a price sticker on them. The third was a parlor with computers. I never discovered the other 4 rooms.
At this party, I knew Lisa was attending. I also knew she had a magical crystal that split her into 2 people. However, due to the 7 rooms she was accidentally split into 7. Each of the 7 Lisa’s was a different color (clothing), each representing a different personality characteristic.
The first Lisa I ran into was the black one in the entry way. When she saw me, she exclaimed, “Oh, ****!” and ran. It was shortly after that that I realized that she and the white one were evil. They were trying to **** me. I killed the white one. I do not remember how or why. Next I started running from the black one. I was sure that it had already killed my friends and I was next. She chased me into the parlor where I confronted her. When I turned around I realized this “Black Lisa” had turned into me. I killed it by slamming its head into a laptop screen.
I ran from the parlor into a stairwell. Here I encountered the red, purple, and yellow Lisa’s. These, I was sure were the good ones. I wanted to protect these 3 Lisa’s from the other 2 (colors unknown), that I was sure were trying to hurt us. I paid most attention to the red one. It was then, that my friends returned, coming down the hall with one slung over the shoulders of the other two. All three were alive and well.
Then I woke up…



Ryan’s Interpretation

The Dark Muse Dream

The following is a very powerful dream I had the night of May 15th, 2009. I don’t often have dreams because my vivid imagination means I daydream a lot. I am seeking interpretations from anyone. Can you help me discover what it means…?

I am sitting in an auditorium. The womb or an early family home.
I am with my father, mother and brother, Shawn. This scenario represents the beginning, my childhood and early family life before Lisa.  It also portrays quiet desperation.
The presenters are giving away tickets, one to a Cavs game, another to Cedar Point. Cedar Point is circumstantial.  I was going there later that month.
I chose Cedar Point.  The choice represents the choices I had to make in my life to go from child to man.
Instantly the environment changes. The 360 my life took after I met Lisa.
I am attending a huge social event party in a large multi-level office building.  Suddenly I had a social life and friends.  I was no longer an unknown and alone.  She brought me out of my shell.  The multi level building represents the complexity of my life with Lisa.
I am attending with 3 nameless, faceless friends. The party features 7 themed rooms. The first was an entry way similar to the one at my middle school. This was the familiar.
The second was a cross between the Cleveland Zoo (indoor parts) and an Indian bazaar market. This was the bizarre, strange, and new.  These first two rooms represented the outside world.
There were tanks with lizards, salamanders, sharks, and sting rays.   These creatures represent the untouchable, i.e. slimy.
All had a price sticker on them. They are for sale.  Nothing is sacred.
The third was a parlor with computers. The parlor represents my sanctuary, calming, and relaxing.  Yet the computer was one of many causes of my divorce.  To Lisa, me on the computer meant neglect.  The parlor also represented home with Lisa, hidden from the rest of the world.  This is where all the fighting and problems occurred.
I never discovered the other 4 rooms.  
At this party, I knew Lisa was attending. I also knew she had a magical crystal that split her into 2 people. Lisa was 2 completely different people.
However, due to the 7 rooms she was accidentally split into 7.  This represents the 7 deadly sins.
Each of the 7 Lisa’s was a different color (clothing), each representing a different personality characteristic. In my world, color represents emotion.
The first Lisa I ran into was the black one in the entry way. When she saw me, she exclaimed, “Oh, ****!” and ran. She is scared of me or ashamed.
It was shortly after that that I realized that she and the white one were evil.  White means my hidden anger towards Lisa while black is my guilt.
They were trying to **** me. Both my anger and guilt are killing me from the inside out.
I killed the white one. I do not remember how or why. Next I started running from the black one. I was sure that it had already killed my friends and I was next. The “Lisas” or more accurately, me destroyed all I had left (my friends).
She chased me into the parlor where I confronted her. When I turned around I realized this “Black Lisa” had turned into me. I was really running from and angry at myself.
I killed it by slamming its head into a laptop screen.  The act of slamming the head represents the violence I am guilty of and fear I am capable of.  Breaking the computer destroyed that which destroyed my happiness.
I ran from the parlor into a stairwell. The stairwell represents the path to my new life.
Here I encountered the red, purple, and yellow Lisa’s.   The good parts of Lisa I wanted to protect.
These, I was sure were the good ones. I wanted to protect these 3 Lisa’s from the other 2 (colors unknown), that I was sure were trying to hurt us.  I have an apprehension something else out there will hurt me again.
I paid most attention to the red one. Red means love.
It was then, that my friends returned, coming down the hall with one slung over the shoulders of the other two. Slung over the shoulders means a shoulder to lean on.
All three were alive and well. They were there, surprisingly, when I thought I was alone.
Then I woke up…
I hear the echo of my own voice.
In empty rooms.
Rooms once filled with the
tears and laughter of my children.
Rooms which once held the loving
arms of family.
A room which once held the intimate
love of a husband and wife.

I hear the echo.
I hear the echo of my own voice.
In empty rooms.
Among boxes packed.
Boxes awaiting the unfolding.
Of a new chapter in my life.

I hear the echo of my own voice.
In empty rooms.
I see the For Sale sign on the lawn.
I think of the memories.
In every room.
The memories.
Of our family.
Now broken.
And my heart breaks.
Again.

I hear the echoes.
Of a house haunted with memories.
Of both joy and pain.
I remember.
I smile. I grieve.
I ponder...
Then.
Let go.
And walk into the future.
With my hand in the Hand of God.

I hear the echo of my own voice.
I hear the echo of my own tears.
In empty rooms.
In this house full of memories.
I bind each moment to my heart.
And say.
Goodbye.
Cake Jazpick Jan 2013
We Haven't Found an Anchor Yet (But This'll Have to Do)



...

Tear the clock off the wall
We'll say we invented
A world where time passes
The way it was meant to


We'll build it out of bottlecaps
Or cadences of songs
That were sung a long long time ago
And will be sung long after
We're all gone

It was good to sing along

Or build it out of unmade beds
Or scratches on the walls
Or the things we said before
We went to bed and
All the parts we can't recall

I know I loved it all


Our hearts are still red
And the walls are still white
And we haven't got a map
But we've got all night

The sky may turn black
But the ocean's still blue
We haven't found an anchor yet
But this'll have to do


Tear the clock off the wall
We'll say we invented
A world where time passes
The way it was meant to

Throw yourself to the wind
Let it take us wherever it will
We've hours and pages
and glasses to fill



Art for Aeroplanes



It was something, it had to be
something about the sound
The wind chimes made
That reminded me

Below flickering shapes
of the last silhouettes of the leaves
in trees in autumn yards we
made our way through

The melody was
Aimless and the
Cadence never came
So much different than the
Saddest thing
A symphony could play

Like the sounds from our childhood
Resolved into a wordless hum
We understood


It was something, perhaps
A particular way that the light
Hit the street
That reminded me

Connecting the dots
On those stumbling walks between
Softer parts of mid December's
Muddy sting

It had rained and made those
multi coloured
columns on the ground
We went walking down the middle
there was
No one else around

I think I felt the way we did
In all our favorite hiding spots
When we were kids


It was gone in an instant
It was gone in an instant
And so were we
We had places to be


Afternoon's grid
Of jet trails overhead
Looked nothing like the lines we would've left
Had we spilled paint behind us
Everywhere we threw ourselves
When that high sun had set

Not sure what we're looking for
If anything at all

Something that we've seen before?
Something that we lost?

Or maybe this is it, for all we know

The light was bright, we turned away
And the bits of it that stayed
Looked something like the softly focused
Half remembered shape of things
From sun baked roads so long ago
On rainy days

Not sure what we're looking for
If anything at all

Something that we've seen before?
Something that we lost?

Maybe this is it, all I know is
If our faces showed a little of the lights inside our heads
We put on quite a show

And so
One more for the road



One Thousand Little Rooms



We've left our shoes
By the doors of a thousand places
Much like this one
Before

I've seen those colours
In the eyes of a thousand faces
Much like yours
And yours and yours and yours

Marilee is pounding the keys of
A piano all covered in ash
Below bottles in a row on a windowsill
With paint stains on the glass
Paint stains on the glass


I think we're made up of
Sparsely scattered instances
In places
In time

Like shapes of cities at night
Are but a million filaments
Of incandescent light

Marilee still pounding the keys of
A piano all covered in ash
Below bottles in a row on a windowsill
With paint stains on the glass

And our conversation fell
And our conversation rose
And our conversation fell
And our conversation rose
And all the things we had to say
Overlapped the notes to make a space
Your restless island souls could call a coast


One thousand little rooms
Where we light our little fires at night
Are like the places in our lives and inside our minds
The way the shape of the city is a million lights
From little rooms where we light our little fires at night
Are like the places in our lives and inside our minds
The way the shape of the city is a million lights
From little rooms where we light our little fires at night
Are like the places in our lives and inside our minds
The way the shape of the city is a million lights
The little rooms where we light our little fires

Are what we call our home tonight
Are what we call our home tonight
Are what we call our home tonight
Are what we call our home tonight



Farewell Fires & Flying Machines



That night you brought a camera
That night your hands shook, but
It was the closest that you ever came, I'd say
To how it really looked

That night you wore a sweater
You left it lying on the floor
The folds I traced with tired eyes like some old map with lines that led to
Places we'd forgotten things before

So throw your paint on every wall
Illustrate the cadences of our favorite songs
Give them a shape
They're prone to fade away

We still had lights behind our eyelids
Long after we'd all gone to bed
I'd love to save them but I've never been a painter
And so I write it down instead

And I'll fill one thousand pages
I'll write whatever comes to mind
And on the day I find myself one thousand miles away
Perhaps a part of me will still exist behind

So throw your paint on every wall
Illustrate the cadences of our favorite songs
While I'm describing fleeting dreams
Of faces, streets, and wine
We'll make them real

Oh, but what colour was that fire anyways, my dear?


When I leave I'm going very far away
When I leave I'm going very far away

When I leave I'm going very far away
I don't want to see your colours fade
When I leave I'm going very far away
I don't want to see your colours fade

I don't want to see you
Looking like those grey remains
Of last night's farewell fires
Waiting to be swept away

So throw your paint on every wall
Illustrate the cadence of our favorite song
Each and every brightly coloured, tired eye
We'll leave a mark at all
The highest spots we rise

There are things which have no shape



While We're All Still Here**



We hid away in places
No one else would ever think to look
Imagined that the things we said
Were inked and set in pages
Of some great book

Well in a way they were
I think
Although we'll never know
Quite how the whole thing ends

When the sun begins to rise
When all our lines are said
When, someday this moment's passed us by
The way we seem to pass our shadows
As we're passed by cars at night

Will we see pages?
Looking like familiar flags
Will we see them through Old Eyes?

It was hand on heart
It was heart on sleeve
Impossible to miss, but
It was hard to believe
It was staring at the sun
It was stumbling blind
It was a place
It was a time
It was hard to define
It was the sum of all our footprints
And the paint we may have spilled
It was a little like a blueprint
Of a thing we'd planned to build
It was the times we had to whisper
And the things we had to shout
It was the candle that we lit
To see the last one burning out
It was hazy
It was aimless
It was staying the course
It was a weighty affair
With direction and force
It was a world that we built
Out of bits of thin air
It was bent light in a parting glass we've yet to share

We're all still here


There will come a day
When the sky goes dark with
Aeroplanes, angels, and black clouds

But we're still here
For now

There will come a day
When the sky goes dark with
Aeroplanes, angels, and black clouds

But we're still here
For now

...
These are the lyrics for a five song mini-album I've been writing (obsessing over) for the past couple months.
Keith Collard Jan 2013
"Wow, what a mansion!"--Albert Wesker RE1


Gothic mansion, where every warrior lost it,
head, heart, and soul--as Faust did,
there walks a scientist who's blood is acid,
with glasses that turn to shade--death reactive.

" Who dares touch my holster" he says bombastic.
as walls evaginate victims, send out vines,
it is from Jesus' in the crowd--Mathew--his lines.
the sight of thorax, stinger and fang,
******* the slain,
do not phase him, for he is phase-less,
turn off receptors of pain, and all is pain-less.
A fallen teamate, still and a'swarm,
the black shades do not mourn,
as thorax crawls ontop of her
but laughs at the irony of a female,
impregnated with ovipositor.

He helped design those creatures,
and--he is her traitorous leader.

Howling night forest, awakens the staff,
as if they sleep facedown in saltwater tides,
shuffling and whale moaning, as if  harpooned--
going to lonely depths to die.
then there are the hunters, reptilian apes,
can open locked doors with skeleton claw,
move to quick in hallways,
why pump buttstock you saw.
Pepper the **** on the bed with full load,
with zombies fellating down to bone,
scream through your muzzle,
slide room apart in jigsaw puzzle.
then watch your six for the hunter,
it is stalking you, wants to put its foot on your face,
and dig in, then kick its leg--and rip off your skin.
retreat from hunters and faces bloated with cadaverine,
find a safe room to safely scream.
Sit down at the bar, pull scotch from its coffin,
on counter, rest pump and Colt python,
do not think of the things you will die from.
there are three darts in the bullseye,
in William Tell style,
but the board is in fashion of an atom,
with electrons in orbit,
the  numbers are the human genome,
and a surgical marksman has scored it.
He is Wesker, and this mansion is his tester,
blood and bone is both colors of his litmus,
horribles awaiting in dark room pay witness.
his muzzle flashlight's rooms with hot spark,
entry beats claw swing, shades now clear in dark.
they say in total black silence, one will go crazy,
from the sound of their heart.
but "My trigger that squeezes within,
charged from pupil's firing pin,
sweet semi-auto strokes of violin."
as he vaunts over dying beast,
and darkness returns to his shades,
from moon light through window,
reflecting knifes on wall from moon in wane.
he slicks back a loosed strand,
locks the door behind him, and continues with his plan.
" In my father's mansion are many rooms,
" I'll go prepare a room for you." he mocks, as he walks,
with parabellum hollow points and acid round glocks.
This is his mansion, he is Achilles loosing knees,
he is warrior and scholar, a student of Thucidydes.
team-mates--out air holes in jungle boot bleed,
blood seeping through pants--
olive drab uniform now fatigue.
rooms: blood grooves running down your bayonet--
traps-- channeling you to your death.
prop open  oaken door with knife, hope  it will hold,
walk to the far side of parlor,
the sound of medieval bolt.
door spits out knife,
just scream through keyhole.
The iron maiden taper is coming slowly,
do not let it go through non-vitals,
a slow way to die,
take it through frontal lobe behind eye.
alas a team-mate hears your screams,
in the sepulchal hall,
door swing, and out of deaths thrall.

Charley Mike: continue mission,
and paint the walls black,
with dead flesh backsplash,
gun or nerves jam, then die a ripping death,
smell a cannibals breath.
Be it known, the man in black and strap,
laughs off exposed rib cage slats,
with only a scrape to his pistol belt.

They rip, and stretch, and moan, half human half beast.
as the cook, in mansion kitchen, cooks his guts,
bowels on cutting board, butcher knife making cuts.
moaning, and crying, yet appetite never dying.
Enter the man in reactive shades,
Picture a alligator, calm, age old in the everglades.
One in the brain, and none in the chest,
those extra shots for rooks, without prowess.
" Wesker, you'll pay for this treachery," invoking Karma,
but the man in black measures her tears as he harms her.
So all that enter mansion portal,
and reach the basement, before becoming morsel,
finally catching up with Wesker,
no more trail of labotomized minds,
and jaws and eyes in epileptic shock,
from a calm trigger squeeze of glock.
Face to face with the master of the saxon race,
mastering gunpowder under the scope,
and you hear the hunters off distant,
primal howls and hissing.
Listen to what the man in black says,
the mortal contest is over,
and he has a virus to offer,
" Die here, and your death will be longer than your life,"
says the man, who's shooting hand is the reapers scythe.
" But live with this virus, and you will never die."
but watch the sun burn out in the sky."
You can refuse him, and face the nightmare creatures alone,
adding your skeleton to the calcium of mansion stone.
or take the virus that invaded the first cell,
invading mitochondria,
making 'other men' the meaning of hell.

" Come decide, lest I go prepare a room for you".--
From powder burns,  your tears are black,
eardrums ring from screaming contest:
chrome python against giant asp.
shoulder numb from combat loading shotgun,
thumbing shells straight to chamber--
almost cyclic.
blood in boots: not much fight left.
your friends are dead, and you answer,
" I rather die forever traitor, to rid the world of your cancer."

In my masters mansion, are many rooms,
dying, crying, moaning: eternal tombs.
how resident evil the movie should have felt.......I only cite the 96 video game, which only shared the setting with my poem.
CK Baker Jan 2017
Thank you ~
for a life not to trade
blessings, in spades
tight spaces
behind laundry doors
packed closets
and open drawers
gator tails, tarnished brass
cracks in kitchen sliding glass
wet towels, withering plants
foundation filled
with carpenter ants
buckets piled with
shoes and tags
village clothes
and saddlebags
peeling paint
and broken walls
****** seats
in bathroom stalls
clogged pantry
frigid rooms
table scribe
and carbon fumes
comfort capsules
empty tanks
broken limbs
from children’s pranks
**** finger
double tongue
long goodbyes
and sidewalk dung
cluster flies
chavie’ clique
accompanying
the hypocrite
cracked back
and hidden smiles
chalk on board
with mr miles
atomic wedgies
closing doors
wrotten eggs
and open sores
jaw jack
nasty folk
dinner calls
for pig in poke
penny pinchers
double dip
yellow mouth
and silver tip
brown nosers
thick red tape
paper cuts
and pimple nape
gallivants
so out of norm
the joy of life
in basic form
Dara Brown Jan 2017
The only walls I want are the ones separating the rooms in my house. You know, the ones that divide my rooms and let me know if I'm cooking here,  Netflix and chilling there or simply just sleeping undisturbed .

The only walls I'm interested in are the ones separating the rooms in my house. You know the ones that divide my rooms and let me know this is the space where my daughter plays, this is the space where my husband prays five times a day, this is the space where I wash the grit of the day from my ***** clothes.

The only walls I'm interested in are the ones separating the rooms in my house.  You know the ones that divide my rooms and let me know this is the space where I entertain my friends, the space where I try to Zumba and loose the college 10 that turned into the adult  30, the space where all the corners join and then disappear behind my Christmas tree, where those four corners blend to support the tired leanings of my immigrant family after stuffing their bellies full of my freshly made tamales and leftover pernil

So unless you're taking the tired, the poor, the hungry and building them a respite inside of walls that separate homes, inside of walls that gives shelter, that tell we belong and are safely home
then I have no interest in anymore walls
unless
the wall you build divides you from us the way bathroom walls should keep **** contained to keep your stench from poisoning U.S. and the rest of the house.

Now that is the only wall I can agree on.
Shailesh Otari Feb 2014
There is a jungle of rooms
in which we live,
breathe, eat, sleep,
see, observe, and feel.

Some rooms are clean
and many are *****,
some are filled,
while others are empty.

In some you find people,
warm and friendly,
In others you are alone,
Bored and lonely.

In a few, you make friends
have fun and make merry,
in others you toil
drudge and weary.

And to connect two rooms
there is a door,
through which you pass
from one place to another.

When you leave a room
you can’t but help,
taking memories you gathered
and your older self.

But you cannot go back to a room
once you leave, it is for good,
yet you take some people along
as long as they are in the mood.

This is how you spend your time
every so often opening a new door,
changing rooms and moving around
gathering experiences in store.

The jungle is called life
both start and end are yours,
all you have is your own journey,
and freedom to choose the doors.
Shailesh Otari
Feb 26th 2014, 11:17 AM
Hyderabad
You know it's not worth all the trouble
The stationary on the table
Open the doors to needy families
They need their ice machines
Need their locks and they need keys
And they need chairs and beds and ashtrays
The stationary on the table
Next to the television
I was in the shower
Looking for my soap
The doors were closed, I'm sure
No one knows I was there
Kept it well hidden, then I
Did what I had to do and then I
Walked away and I forgot this day ever happened
Ever happened
It's easy to walk away just turn your head
And forget this day ever happened
It's easy just to walk away, turn your head and forget
That this day ever happened
It's easy to forget, turn around and leave
Wrap it around your sleeve and forget
Forget this day, this day ever happened
Left the ice machine
I left my locks and keys
I left my luggage and my ***** magazines
I left my ashtrays
Left my bed and my buffet
Left my chairs and my keys and
Lord, I left my "Do Not Disturb"
Left my family, left the housekeeper
And I left the ice machine
Left the postcards of the pool
Left the restaurant, left the shower
And the rooms and the signs that say:
"Soap upstairs, stationary on the table
By the television."
I stole the towels and the TV guide
I got into my vehicle, I stole another ashtray
From the bar, by the bed, by the buffet
Sat in your electric chair and thought of children
I was a clerk, I had a "Do Nor Disturb" sign on my head
And the Doors were playing in the background
About the broken families
And the housekeeper at the ice machine
Where she lost her keys, but she never could find the locks
And her luggage and her magazines
Oh, she's on the phone too much, and the pool is warm but it's closed
She's got a postcard
There's a remote chance that the restaurant is still open
But we've got the keys to the rooms
We got showers, we've got signs that say:
"Soap can be found upstairs
By the stationary on the table
Sitting by the television."
Well, I brought back the towels but I kept the TV guide
My vehicle's in the shop and the ashtrays are filled
With roaches and roach clips
And the bar of soap that I stole from the hotel
That was by the beds that were never quite made right
And the buffet that didn't taste right
And we were sitting in the chairs
We were listening to your children
Oh, that purse does not seem to like me much
I said, "Do not disturb my meditations, if you please
Turn that Doors tape off, if you please."
Gotta get home, back home to my family
I once was a housekeeper, I once was a housekeeper
Yes, I was, do you remember when I was a housekeeper?
But I never knew my way to the ice machine
And they never gave me keys so I never knew where the locks were
And I never needed luggage because the only things I'd seen were in magazines
Heard about on the phone - spent some time by the pool
Writing on the backs of postcards, suicide notes
But it's remote- this restaurant will not be the place I do it
I know I need some rooms - rooms with showers
Need myself a sign that says "The soap can be found upstairs
Next to the stationary on the table by the television."
I need some towels but I don't need the TV guide
So I got the TV, yeah I put it in the vehicle outside
Along with a couple of ashtrays
And a bottle or two that I had ordered but never paid for at the bar
Well, the beds were made this time
But the buffet still didn't taste quite right
And the chairs they gave us were much too small
Like they were made for children
But the clerk was not responsive to my complaints
She kept on saying, "Do Not Disturb me
You know the way to the doors."
If I had a dollar for all the families who were expecting me to be a housekeeper
I'd go buy the ice machine
Empty the ice and find the keys
And then I'd go look for the locks
Take my luggage cram-packed with magazines
I've got some quarters for the phone
Brought my swimming trunks for the pool
Send a postcard
But there is a remote possibility
That I might never leave here
But stay here
Eating in the restaurant
Where the rooms are not too cozy
And the showers ain't got no running hot water
We need a sign, there were nothing but signs
I should have been paying attention to the signs
I should have brought my own soap
The thought occurred to me as I walked down the stairs
That's why I need some stationary
I'm gonna sit down at the table
Turn the television off, send back the towels
Open up the TV guide, think about the vehicle outside
Hannah Wild Jul 2011
I was four years old when I was *****.
I wore a pink jumper to my
first police investigation.
A skinny woman with a short
dark pixie cut showed me how to
make a paper airplane in a
room with a large mirror. You know,
the kind that the police have to
look in at the people in the
room without the people in the
room seeing them. After a while
I got used to police rooms, and
doctors’ rooms, and therapists’ rooms.
I was used to the same questions.
I never remembered though. I
didn’t have the answers that they
wanted. I didn’t remember
anything. All we had was the doctor’s proof
that it happened. I knew nothing.
We never found out who did it.
I’ll never know.
Kewayne Wadley Mar 2018
When I walked in I didn't know what to expect.
Each room highlighted in light.
A oral tradition. To make ourselves at home upon request.
In reciprocation we do.
The rooms we gather in, the ones we walk past.
The objects we fill to take up space.
The rooms a clear reflection of Spring.
The molding painted white.
I was told that some rooms are not to be visited.
Everything has it's season and this isn't one of them.
Placing blame on the rooms.
I want to explore them most I said.
The ones that go unseen.
The things we rarely shine light to.
The places films of dust continue to grow.
These are some of the best places to go.
The beauty of things we walk past day to day.
The smile unknown destinations can bring.
Cultivating the ideas we keep cluttered.
Gasping for air.
These are the rooms I want to explore most.
The parts of you that you strictly keep to yourself.
Only when you are comfortable to share these rooms with me.
To kiss the floor with our feet.
To dwell in the past staring into our future.
We are the pendulums trapped inside the clock
lowercasemmmmmm Jul 2014
tidy rooms and hopeful mess
uncluttered places and a fallen dress
clothes all folded to a heap expired
slotted in faces suspended on wires
allotted to spaces too defiant for moods
capricious traces lead to an unhappy gloom
when things are on your mind that tug and consume
you need the order of a tidy room

tidy rooms and a depressed mind
a love is lost and a friend despised
she took your man so you took hers
an unenviable task for both concerned
the phone wont ring or beep for a txt
you've got pmt and your vex perfumes
a voodoo curse, maybe you've been hexed
when you need the order of a tidy room
Closed windows, pretty flowers,
Beeping machines, no loose threads.
TVs running, nurses waiting,
Painted rooms, well-made beds.

The atmosphere is clean and open,
Yet stuffy and enclosed.
And the nurses here are smiling
While patients grasp their crosses close.

The temporary homes are painted
With animals and desert view.
Anxiously waiting to see if the
Person will go soon.

The hallways: long and deafening.
The rooms: screaming with fear.
The walls are closed in, watching firmly,
For miracles also happen here.

A child sees his first glimpse of the world;
A cancer survivor leaves happily after the fight;
A lucky person lies relieved after surgery;
A suffering man closes his eyes.

-

Artificial home-like furniture, hands sanitized.
A life is lost and tears appear from words they wish they'd said.
Luck or blessing, yours to name, and flower scent in the air.

But once a body leaves or fails to give away a breath,
Nothing is changed.
The life that lay upon the mattress now ceases to exist,
And the chamber stays a chamber;
For all they are are painted, lurking, killing, curing rooms
And tucked-in-well-made beds.
Robyn Kekacs Jan 2014
I think that you might notice
That I may have gone too soon
When you stumble upon houses with not enough doors
And too many empty rooms

I think it might hit you
When you walk past my swung open door
With no warmth to the core
With no bags on the floor
So I'm not the coldest thing that you knew

Honestly, it'll hit you
When the carpets unvacuumed for days
"It's so messy," you'll say
Like this is fixed with a broom
How's that house with no windows,
And too many rooms?

I don't fill my days with nothingness
I don't sleep until noon
For air, I crack the windows
And I rearrange the rooms

And it's fine by me
If you think
I can't leave a minute too soon
Someday I'll return, won't look through your windows,
Someday I won't want a room.
‘When the doors of perception are cleansed
Things will appear as they are:
Infinite.’

∞ William Blake



‘There are things known
and there are things unknown,
and in between are the doors.’

∞ Jim Morrison



Moment of inner freedom
when the mind is opened & the
infinite universe revealed
& the soul is left to wander
dazed & confus’d searching
here & there for teachers & friends.



People need Connectors
Writers, heroes, stars, leaders
To give life form.
A child’s sand boat facing
the sun.
Plastic soldiers in the miniature
dirt war. Forts.
Garage Rocket Ships

Ceremonies, theatre, dances
To reassert
Tribal needs and memories
a call to worship, uniting
above all, a reversion,
a longing for family and the
safety magic of childhood



A man rakes leaves into
a heap in his yard, a pile,
and leans on his rake and
burns them utterly.

The fragrance fills the forest
children pause and heed the
smell, which will become
nostalgia in several years.



An angel runs
Thru the sudden light
Thru the room
A ghost precedes us
A shadow follows us
And each time we stop
We fall



The Endless quest a vigil
of watchtowers and fortresses
against the sea and time.
Have they won? Perhaps.
They still stand and in
their silent rooms still wander
the souls of the dead,
who keep their watch on the living.
Soon enough we shall join them.
Soon enough we shall walk
the walls of time. We shall
miss nothing
except each other.



No one thought up being;
he who thinks he has
Step forward



The Crossroads
a place where ghosts
reside to whisper into
the ears of travelers &
interest them in their fate

Hitchhiker drinks:
“I call again on the dark
hidden gods of blood”

-Why do you call us?
You know our price. It
never changes. Death of
you will give you life
& free you from a vile
fate. But it is getting late.

-If I could see you again
& talk w/ you, & walk a
short while in your company,
& drink the heady brew
of your conversations,
I thought

-to rescue a soul already
ruined. To achieve respite.
To plunder green gold
on a pirate raid & bring
to camp the glory of old.

-As the capesman faces
poisoned horns & drinks
red victory; the soldier,
too, w/ his trophy, a
pierced helmet; & the
ledge-walker shuddering
his way into inward grace

-(laughter) Well, then. Would
you mock yourself?

-No.

-Soon our voices must become
one, or one must leave.



There was preserved

in her

The fresh miracle

of

surprise.



open

The Night is young
& full of rest
I can’t describe
the way she’s dress’d
She’ll pander to some strange
requests
Anything that you suggest
Anything to please her guest
Ken Pepiton May 2018
Sunday, May 06, 2018
4:51 PM

Failing for lack of power is a fear crop.
A fear crop.
An odd thought.

Not the seed nor spore, but the fruit.

And fruits have seeds in themselves,
All men, I say again,
wombed and un, should know that by now.

Freedom of information act fact, informed
men know when to fight and when to sow and when
to reap the crops we've sown
in our mortal moment
gone with the wind.

Not mine.
The wind is in my inheritance,
True proverb.
I troubled my own house, fouled my nest
with all the rest o' youse ab-users of life
ignoring forever like that could never happen here.

It did.
The voices in your head are never all evil
if they use words.
In the total accounting of idle words
some significant percentage
may
carry meaning forsaken.
Such may be redeemed
much as one would redeem the time.

One of us.  One of our mortal kind.

Dear reader, we say again, we ain't Legion nor his kin.

We are words once spoken in jest among fools who repeated us
meaninglessly, oh my God, you know. Per se. No ****. **** happens.
All the ****** time,
and **** and God, those two get overtime of idle utterance instances.
Though a statistically measurable deme
does redeem a significant some of those two
in true beliver
dying breath
honesty. God, they say, and die.

By my leave, I say,
I am the definition of a free entity accepted in these books.
We are voices. Messengers.
Some of us were wicked, twisted as wicker
or wire bundles. Some of us were true pass words.
Some were true rest words,
rest rooms were so named
for that wonderunful feeling we all get
when **** happens

at just the right moment

in the book. Great ideas gravitate to clean rest rooms.

this is a new book right, this reader is
whadayacallit

Vetted.
What does that mean. You know right idle heard words are
meaning less
power less.
Vet me. Am I one of those ideas, good to the core, caught up in fairy
tales fed the T.V. generation, the Boom beyond the bomb?
After school freedom and duck and cover drills,
we watched cartoons, aimed twenty short years earlier
at the wanters and wishers and workers and worriers
of the thirties, not at us. W


e Boomers, as the media hipsters have always known us,
the off-spring, often unwanted and ill-begotten, of the Greatest Generation,
the one that won the contracts to build all the bombs in the world,
tax-free.

Those cartoons from the thirties with Entertainment Tonight plots and cameos of
Hollywood stars who were Grandma's age,
that Cowboy Bob on the local VHF
(unaffiliated or independent, hard to tell a diff)
showed to us, the first middle class latch key kids in centuries,
those cartoons were meaningless, prewar propaganda
unless we match adult laughing recoging the exaggerations,
The Betty Davis eyes and Frankly M'Dear bigears
"Grandpa, who is that guy with big ears and a skinny mustache?"
Clark Gable, wow.
Who knew the "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a ****" guy had jug-handle ears?
It was diversity in the desert. My big ears no longer made me bully bait.
I have superior hearing and star power.
From my kindergarten years I have known.
I am included, my flaws are not flaws at all.
That don't give a **** guy
and I have big ears to hear better with, so
we know more. Good fathers teach their big eared sons such facts of Nature.

Take care. Don't get puffed up. Knowing too much
will fill a head with hydrogen and the brain in it rots,
intrixically.

Are we powerless? If you say so? No.
I am in control, graciously demands
no load un-bearable with Gen-you-wine Joy Juice,
Kick-a-poo Joy Juice.

(Note: not fire water white lightning. This is
Gen-you-wine Joy Juice,
Kick-a-poo Joy Juice. Al Capp's
Personal Stash of Greatest Gen Synthetic Absynthe.
Used to **** hippie wanna-bees in farm country,
Like DDT for apple worms and skeeters,
Atom bombs for all colors of thinkin' right (but white),
Gen-you-wine Joy Juice,
Kick-a-poo Joy Juice revived many a faintin' pilgrim
follerin' John Wayne down the dusty trail,

Play me one o' them somebody done somebody right
songs,
there must be a million lying idle in blue puddles o' all kinds
of imaginary
ref-use.

Referee.
Job's Daysman betwixt us, we win. His call, not mine. I thought I lost for sure.

I was powerless, let me testify.

No. We think different here. If you are not stupid,
you are not powerless. If you are stupid, then you are powerless,
but but but
If you think you are powerless, you are not stupid. God knows, right?
Stupid people seldom see themselves powerless past the standing
under peace that's beyond understanding meat-mind-wise.

Dunning-Krueger. Again.
Feedback please, this is one of many in the theme of redeeming idle words, for fun and profit.
1
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

2
Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with
perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the
distillation, it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath,
Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and
vine,
My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing
of blood and air through my lungs,
The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and
dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn,

The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of
the wind,
A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields
and hill-sides,
The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising
from bed and meeting the sun.

Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d the
earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look
through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in
books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

3
I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.

Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.

Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and
increase, always ***,
Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of
life.
To elaborate is no avail, learn’d and unlearn’d feel that it is so.

Sure as the most certain sure, plumb in the uprights, well
entretied, braced in the beams,
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical,
I and this mystery here we stand.

Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not
my soul.

Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen,
Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.

Showing the best and dividing it from the worst age vexes age,
Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they
discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.

Welcome is every ***** and attribute of me, and of any man hearty
and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be
less familiar than the rest.

I am satisfied - I see, dance, laugh, sing;
As the hugging and loving bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the
night, and withdraws at the peep of the day with stealthy
tread,
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels swelling the house with
their plenty,
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization and scream at my
eyes,
That they turn from gazing after and down the road,
And forthwith cipher and show me to a cent,
Exactly the value of one and exactly the value of two, and which is
ahead?

4
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and
city I live in, or the nation,
The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old
and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss
or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,
Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news,
the fitful events;
These come to me days and nights and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.

Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is *****, or bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.

Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.

5
I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to
you,
And you must not be abased to the other.

Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not
even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over
upon me,
And parted the shirt from my *****-bone, and plunged your tongue
to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my
feet.

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass
all the argument of the earth,
And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women
my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of the creation is love,
And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and
poke-****.

6
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the
vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I
receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the ******* of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them,
It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out
of their mothers’ laps,
And here you are the mothers’ laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues,
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for
nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and
women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring taken
soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

7
Has any one supposed it lucky to be born?
I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die, and I know
it.

I pass death with the dying and birth with the new-wash’d babe, and
am not contain’d between my hat and boots,
And peruse manifold objects, no two alike and every one good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their adjuncts all good.

I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all just as immortal and
fathomless as myself,
(They do not know how immortal, but I know.)

Every kind for itself and its own, for me mine male and female,
For me those that have been boys and that love women,
For me the man that is proud and feels how it stings to be slighted,
For me the sweet-heart and the old maid, for me mothers and the
mothers of mothers,
For me lips that have smiled, eyes that have shed tears,
For me children and the begetters of children.

Undrape! you are not guilty to me, nor stale nor discarded,
I see through the broadcloth and gingham whether or no,
And am around, tenacious, acquisitive, tireless, and cannot be
shaken away.

8
The little one sleeps in its cradle,
I lift the gauze and look a long time, and silently brush away flies
with my hand.

The youngster and the red-faced girl turn aside up the bushy hill,
I peeringly view them from the top.

The suicide sprawls on the ****** floor of the bedroom,
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol
has fallen.

The blab of the pave, tires of carts, sluff of boot-soles, talk of
the promenaders,
The heavy omnibus, the driver with his interrogating thumb, the
clank of the shod horses on the granite floor,
The snow-sleighs, clinking, shouted jokes, pelts of snow-*****,
The hurrahs for popular favorites, the fury of rous’d mobs,
The flap of the curtain’d litter, a sick man inside borne to the
hospital,
The meeting of enemies, the sudden oath, the blows and fall,
The excited crowd, the policeman with his star quickly working his
passage to the centre of the crowd,
The impassive stones that receive and return so many echoes,
What groans of over-fed or half-starv’d who fall sunstruck or in
fits,
What exclamations of women taken suddenly who hurry home and
give birth to babes,
What living and buried speech is always vibrating here, what howls
restrain’d by decorum,
Arrests of criminals, slights, adulterous offers made, acceptances,
rejections with convex lips,
I mind them or the show or resonance of them-I come and I depart.

9
The big doors of the country barn stand open and ready,
The dried grass of the harvest-time loads the slow-drawn wagon,
The clear light plays on the brown gray and green intertinged,
The armfuls are pack’d to the sagging mow.

I am there, I help, I came stretch’d atop of the load,
I felt its soft jolts, one leg reclined on the other,
I jump from the cross-beams and seize the clover and timothy,
And roll head over heels and tangle my hair full of wisps.

10
Alone far in the wilds and mountains I hunt,
Wandering amazed at my own lightness and glee,
In the late afternoon choosing a safe spot to pass the night,
Kindling a fire and broiling the fresh-****’d game,
Falling asleep on the gather’d leaves with my dog and gun by my
side.

The Yankee clipper is under her sky-sails, she cuts the sparkle
and scud,
My eyes settle the land, I bend at her prow or shout joyously from
the deck.

The boatmen and clam-diggers arose early and stopt for me,
I tuck’d my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time;
You should have been with us that day round the chowder-kettle.

I saw the marriage of the trapper in the open air in the far west,
the bride was a red girl,
Her father and his friends sat near cross-legged and dumbly smoking,
they had moccasins to their feet and large thick blankets
hanging from their shoulders,
On a bank lounged the trapper, he was drest mostly in skins, his
luxuriant beard and curls protected his neck, he held his bride
by the hand,
She had long eyelashes, her head was bare, her coarse straight locks
descended upon her voluptuous limbs and reach’d to her
feet.

The runaway slave came to my house and stopt outside,
I heard his motions crackling the twigs of the woodpile,
Through the swung half-door of the kitchen I saw him limpsy and
weak,
And went where he sat on a log and led him in and assured him,
And brought water and fill’d a tub for his sweated body and bruis’d
feet,
And gave him a room that enter’d from my own, and gave him some
coarse clean clothes,
And remember perfectly well his revolving eyes and his awkwardness,
And remember putting piasters on the galls of his neck and ankles;
He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and pass’d north,
I had him sit next me at table, my fire-lock lean’d in the corner.

11
Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore,
Twenty-eight young men and all so friendly;
Twenty-eight years of womanly life and all so lonesome.

She owns the fine house by the rise of the bank,
She hides handsome and richly drest aft the blinds of the window.

Which of the young men does she like the best?
Ah the homeliest of them is beautiful to her.

Where are you off to, lady? for I see you,
You splash in the water there, yet stay stock still in your room.

Dancing and laughing along the beach came the twenty-ninth
bather,
The rest did not see her, but she saw them and loved them.

The beards of the young men glisten’d with wet, it ran from their
long hair,
Little streams pass’d all over their bodies.

An unseen hand also pass’d over their bodies,
It descended tremblingly from their temples and ribs.

The young men float on their backs, their white bellies bulge to the
sun, they do not ask who seizes fast to them,
They do not know who puffs and declines with pendant and bending
arch,
They do not think whom they ***** with spray.

12
The butcher-boy puts off his killing-clothes, or sharpens his knife
at the stall in the market,
I loiter enjoying his repartee and his shuffle and break-down.

Blacksmiths with grimed and hairy chests environ the anvil,
Each has his main-sledge, they are all out, there is a great heat in
the fire.

From the cinder-strew’d threshold I follow their movements,
The lithe sheer of their waists plays even with their massive arms,
Overhand the hammers swing, overhand so slow, overhand so sure,
They do not hasten, each man hits in his place.

13
The ***** holds firmly the reins of his four horses, the block swags
underneath on its tied-over chain,
The ***** that drives the long dray of the stone-yard, steady and
tall he stands pois’d on one leg on the string-piece,
His blue shirt exposes his ample neck and breast and loosens over
his hip-band,
His glance is calm and commanding, he tosses the slouch of his hat
away from his forehead,
The sun falls on his crispy hair and mustache, falls on the black of
his polish’d and perfect limbs.

I behold the picturesque giant and love him, and I do not stop
there,
I go with the team also.

In me the caresser of life wherever moving, backward as well as
forward sluing,
To niches aside and junior bending, not a person or object missing,
Absorbing all to myself and for this song.

Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what
is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.

My tread scares the wood-drake and wood-duck on my distant and
day-long ramble,
They rise together, they slowly circle around.

I believe in those wing’d purposes,
And acknowledge red, yellow, white, playing within me,
And consider green and violet and the tufted crown i
Nigel Morgan Jan 2013
In the morning the wind is vicious, tossing vigorously the woodland on the heights above the village. The sky is a hanging of grey and charcoal black bands of cloud. On horseback and in her male attire Zuo Fen is led by the village guide up the steep forest path. She is already questioning the past, the accounts she’s read of the annual transhumance to this remote spot that give no answer to its sudden abandonment. It seems the Emperor made himself incommunicado for the latter part of the third season. The palace inventory shows local provisioning, and the most carefully chosen companions. They also describe how season-by-season the habitation was enlarged in order to accommodate further and different visitors. Poets and musicians were particularly favoured and would accompany the Emperor to select locations to add a delicate resonance of word and sound to the natural world.
​         As the travellers came out of the forest a wilderness of rock and moorland stretched before them, relentlessly upward. The path was now vague and Meng Ning was perplexed at how his guide had brought him across this terrain in the near darkness of the previous afternoon. The ponies often stumbled here and in the high wind he had to stop himself from looking behind to check his Lady’s progress. Eventually the ascent became less precipitous and a clearer path asserted itself, and in the near distance a pile of stones marked the summit. There, Meng Ning alighted to see Zuo Fen walking purposefully beside her horse leading her maid for whom this was an unaccustomed adventure. Together they approached him as he surveyed the panorama that to the west revealed Lake Psumano, a silver thread of water curled between the thick forests.
​        In silence Zuo Fen handed the reins of her pony to Meng Ning and with a signal to the village guide strode off on the descent to Eryi-lou.
 
‘We are to wait here until my Lady is out of sight,’ said Mei Lim’s smiling voice. ‘Then we may go forward.’
 
Mei Lim sat firmly in the saddle, as though assuming command of this small party. This now comprised herself, Meng,Ning and two rough-spoken men from the village each leading a pack-horse of luggage and provisions.  
 
‘You know I travelled as far as Stone Village on my Lady’s visit to the Tai Mountains. I would have gone further but she required me to stay. She is a woman who is in love with the wilderness, who will walk out in any weather to greet it lovingly. You should have no fear for her. She is a strong woman.’
​          Meng Ning nodded, declining to speak, afraid to disturb the rough music of the winds that seemed to press on them from all directions. Such is the journeying spirit, he thought, and looking into the distance realized Zuo Fen and her guide had disappeared from view.
          ​Soon the autumn forest had been regained and Zuo Fen and her guide began the descent to Eryi-lou. The path here was well made and marked at regularly distances with small stone columns. The whirlwind, that had buffeted the travellers since their departure, was now being played out in the highest treetops leaving ground level to echo like a large hall as the trees above swayed, groaned and cracked sharply in the heights. Soon vistas of the lake began to appear. They were still high above, the path frequently winding in steep loops across the hillside. Suddenly they found themselves looking down almost precipitously onto rooftops, a maze of buildings falling in tiers, joined together with walkways and terraces, many invaded now by trees and undergrowth: the Emperor’s summer palace of Eryi-lou.
​          Here, Zuo Fen bade her guide turn back. She would now imagine reclaiming this place of her waking dream, alone. When she felt confident her guide had retreated up the path she removed the pins from her hair, loosened her cloak, took off her stout boots of Yak leather. There would be more later.
 
​Barefoot, she began her descent to the palace eventually finding a staircase to one of the terraces from which she began to survey the palace. She found many of the rooms as she had dreamed them, small guest apartments with open spaces where doors and windows might have been, and hangings of the richest almost translucent silks, torn, faded, some covering the ground. The detritus of twenty autumns had blown through these spaces: plant material had taken root in between the planks of the raised wooden floors. Miraculously, there were rooms almost untouched by nature, just piles of leaves providing a matted covering.
         ​In one room somewhat larger than its surrounding structures Zuo Fen feels a special and continuing presence. A veranda-like structure occupied its lake-facing wall. This room, almost a hall, had been recently swept. There is a faint memory of incense as she comes close to the wooden walls. She paces the area until she feels guided to a spot where perhaps a formal chair has long ago been positioned. From there she can see the leaves but not the trunks of the trees as they swirl about in the continuing wind. A long vista of the silver lake spreads itself across the hall’s panorama. But the space enjoys shelter from the prevailing wind and has a stillness and silence all its own. Here, after removing her cloak, her thick riding trousers, the woolen garments that bound warmth to her, she kneels in her shift, closing her eyes to feel the room, the palace, its surroundings, come close to her all but naked body in its repose.
       ​Losing all sense of time it is only the gentle covering of her shoulders by Mei Lim that wakes her from her reverie.
 
‘Gracious Lady, we are installed in rooms kept for the use of official visitors. The guardian here is a young woman with a small child. She would like to welcome you when you are dressed and have eaten.’
 
And so, being led by her maid, Zuo Fen is taken to a distant suite of rooms suited to the autumn weather. There are recently lit braziers, and fitted doors and windows provide a little protection against the relentless wind and the damp cold. Mei Lim reassembles her lady’s wardrobe, and having dressed her, places a hot infusion into her cold hands. The afternoon light has barely a few hours left, but already the cold deepens. This will be a hard place to spend the night, a palace built for the third season – the summer of the solstice, a time of laughter and of fire, and the phoenix red.
 
Meng Ning is also imagining the palace in its summer dress when to wake at dawn would be witness to the sun flooding the partially cleared forest from its heights. The palace is lit up by vibrant reflections off the lake and the very roofs of the many buildings pulsate and shimmer with the heat of a cloudless day. The women of the palace are deep in slumber, their maids with silent tread reclaiming their ladies’ dignity after a night which may have seen much experimental congress of men and women amidst the subtle music of the qujin, the drinking of local wine, the close inspection and divination of the heavens reflected in the still lake, and the elaborate trading between memories of poetry and folk tale.  Even without such imaginings, to be here, and in the company of the illustrious Zuo Fen is the richest gift in a life otherwise stunted by ceremony and courtly intrigue. Zuo Fen has clearly taken Emperor Wu beyond custom and, though briefly, fashioned moments of love and friendship. To witness this woman at close quarters, this artist of the brush whose selection of characters holds both charm and innocence is wondrous. Even in these cold quarters he is warmed by the thought of her presence and the journey they will make tomorrow along the lake shore – to the Red Slate Path.

( to be continued )
Terry Collett Apr 2017
Millie stands by the wall staring at the coming and going of people along the passage where the grownups are. Her older twin sisters Anna and Bella stand together by the huge vases her father had brought back with him from one of his adventures. They hold hands dressed in the black and white pinafore dresses whispering to each other as they often did with their secrets and isolationism. Millie's younger sister Lisbet sits on the huge grey patterned carpet with her doll her long golden tresses over her shoulders. She too looks down the passage at the coming and going of the grown-up people their laughter and loud guffaws from the men. Millie has her hands behind her back fiddling with her white apron straps at the back. She is wearing the scarlet pinafore as her black one has become too small for her Nanny had said. The people along the passage have disappeared into the rooms and all is quiet again. Lisbet plays with her doll talking to it in her childish tones. Millie is glad the people have gone. She hates it when visitors come friends of her father's usually come to stay and talk and dine with the family downstairs while she and her sisters eat with Nanny in the nursery out of their sight. Anna and Bella giggle and walk off along the other passage towards the empty rooms where they can explore and pretend are rooms of magic. Lisbet gets up and walks off after them leaving Millie alone by the wall. She stares along the passage fearing one of the guests will venture down towards her and talk to her bending down to her as if they were giants or witches with their large faces painted with red lips and large eyes. She listens for them. She wishes her father never invited these people. She dislikes them being around as they disquiet her. A few months ago one of the guests a man tall and with dark piercing eyes and a close friend of her father's walked down to where she was and talked with her. Her sisters were elsewhere. Nanny was off for a few hours and in the nearby town. The man had offered Millie a selection of sweets and she had taken one shyly and unwrapped it and put it in her mouth. He seemed quite friendly and asked about the house and garden. She warmed to him as he seemed friendly and not snobbish like many of her father's friends. He asked if she could show him around the house and gardens. She said she would and felt important as if it was her house she was showing him. After a little while he went off and said thank you and went to his room along the guest's passage. Millie was just about to go along to the nursery when his door opened and he called her and asked if she would like to see his book of butterflies and also his case of butterflies he had caught. She smiled and said she would and entered his room. The room was larger than hers and her sisters' and had large window looking out on the gardens below. There were paintings on the walls of landscapes of places your father had been or wished to go some day. He closed the door after she had entered and went to get the book of butterflies and opened it for her and she sat on a two seater sofa by the wall. He spoke of the various butterflies and their colours and patterns. She listened willing to learn about them. Then he put a hand around her and drew her close to him. Her left arm was held between his body and hers. She felt bewildered. No one had embraced her like this before not even Nanny. He spoke on as if he was unaware of his actions unaware of her sense of unease. She wanted to get up and leave she couldn't his arms held her close to him. She lost interest in the butterflies. She just wanted to go. He looked at her and closed the book. He placed it by the side of the sofa. He said she was very pretty like a young princess and he kissed her cheek. She felt frightened now and wanted him to stop wanted for him to let her go. She stared ahead at the window opposite. Trees were waving in the afternoon breeze and birds flew across the sky. His hand had moved down her leg and his fingers touched her knees. Someone called her name. Millie the voice called. He removed his arm and hand and stood up and he smiled at her. She did not smile at him but searched him with her frightened eyes searching for words to say something but no words would come. He opened the door and put his head out of the doorway and called the maid who had been calling for Millie. The maid came and he talked to her and she curtsied and nodded her head and he told her he was showing Millie his book of butterflies which she had enjoyed. Millie said nothing. She left the room not looking back at him feeling undone feeling as if she had stepped into a dark place. The man left a few days later and Millie said nothing to anyone about him or what he had done. She couldn't sleep that night. She dreamed afterwards that he had come into her room and had touched her and she had screamed and Nanny came running in and had asked what was the matter. Millie said she had had a nightmare. She said nothing about the man. Anna and Bella come along the passage from the rooms hand in hand whispering and giggling. Lisbet follows dragging her doll by the arm along the floor and sits once more on the carpet playing and talking with the doll. Millie stares along the passage. The rooms are closed. The guests inside. Millie likes the silence. No one talks to her much now. She hasn't talked much since that day. She won't walk down the passage alone any more. She leans against the wall staring at the floor.
A GIRL AND THE UNWANTED INCIDENT IN 1900.
Butch Decatoria Dec 2015
Listening to the ***** din of Sin

City streets

inside the concrete weight of dark rooms

the window ajar

to let the outside air in

while chain smoking to the Metro sirens'

soundtrack

of harpies' in heels

clucking and squealing

(laughter as sharp as their stilettos)

this & midnight overshadowing

black rubber tires burning on black boulevards

vehicular collisions'

sounds stalagmite, metallic

crunch

against the hum of sleeping traffic

signals

hollow city like a wide amphitheater

with the occasional Harley motorcycle's

thunder

waking car alarms

               a choir of infants' high pitch wailing...


The desert night's sirocco hiss

outside my 2nd floor apt. window

in a dark room

where my silence is a deep listener

and my mind a curious wanderer,

where the walls

not only keep out

but carry every conversation.

in such a cryptic void

a spark is gleaned,

a firefly wisp of an epiphany :

we are not separate

you and I

        city and fly

        burrow and groundhog

        dam and ******


we are unread books in dark rooms

waiting for the absolute truth

we find

in one another

to be known

to be seen


as we recite the past horrors

of loud pains

from a city that strips us numb

our pages open like Window panes

ajar...


no matter how ugly the chapters

we will have known

joy being

held within your hands

the story with you

is also mine /

we are

north & southern

swamp & willow

breath

sultry kiss  

Arriving,

humidity on skin

Sweat the nights awake

Until we're dusk

And it drains the sinew

of screaming city

Steaming shadows

shattering length wise

On bright carpets made of morning

Green grass and still

our day yet written

new

Our flight is departing now...



once a firefly in a dark room

a simple story

                a night sky full of stories.


each light

our eyes touch



fireflies

in dark rooms...
zebra Sep 2018
have you ever seen beauty in a silky nightmare
have you  ever seen the monster of deprivation in heavens promise?

we speak of private things
we should never talk about
about vailed women
and their terrible secrets
and about myself who remains no longer a secret to myself

somewhere i went off the track
like a  daisy chain saw of honesty
to ensure you knew i was sick
a sick **** with a trick
as if i ate some ****** up hallucinogenic' s
making me spill my obsessions all over you
like some weird perfumed *****
down a swirling rainbow toilet
that turns out to be only jelly and whipped cream
wrapped in colored ribbons on cellophane tampons

i feel like  having *** or going to the toilet in public
while waving my hands up in the air
screaming yahoo i'm free
to blow to kingdom come
the temple of normalcy
you know
the church of rose gardens, cemeteries and deprivations
except of course for the sneers, smears
and self loathing vanilla demons
who wear long see through dresses and crosses
like dash board plastic virgins
with bobbing heads
that make hissing sounds about sin

i confess
i'm attracted to the darkest women
strange *******
and  ******
the stranger the better
who shake their butts
like hoodoo enchanted show girls
doing what they shouldn't do
crying and scrying like cooing moons calling
"drink me like ****** Mary
daddy **** lollypop"
all inky tats and razorblade ouchies

or
you can join those
covered in white collared black as death habits
begging the invisible *** cake in paradise
waiting for mercy and a little ****
that never comes
stuck in an empty
loveless bar of crucifixes that only serves up theology

oh baby
***** dreams do come true
pink ****** ***** gladly widen their haunches
like **** without boots
not caring if they go to hell
playin
like a joy ride of fiddle **** sticks
all freaky tongues and tingling licks
thick saliva multi lingual blow jobs
lathering flashing lipped saliva for the squirt  
with fiery wet hypodermic kisses
that make screams
like creamed upleaping lava and ash
for a million hungry sexed up twisting tongues
in occult ecstasy
fecundating shrouds of steamy clouds
in stained red black lighted rooms
with cherub crowned *****
and their drooling snatches buttered ****

eat quivering
like fowl mouthed piranhas
crying more raw meat please
while you drag your perfect person visage
into hollow caves of despair
cold and lonely

so you forlorn love struck weeping
horney pathetic scarecrow
socially engineered robots
if you want love
like heated buttery waffles with sweet jam
just give your self away like slutty putty
to lust criminals and *** addicted pervs  
until
you feel someone swallow you whole
soul and all
and lick their lips
like your their cherry pie

then look passed your
rats nest of pride and exhaustive approval list
and love them back
like free beer
bang their brains out
be their slave and make them yours
in the mad house of love
of warped shimmering mirrors, straight jackets, and squeezy insertions

and if one day they don't appreciate your imperfect perfection
if they weaponize like critic's
teach them respect
shove it where they breathe
lick your wounds
be brave
throw them in the trash bin of history
and move on

Eros and Venus
take a million forms

look around
your swimming in a giant bowl of broken hearts
hungry mouths, drenched ***** and hard *****

you whimpering little beasts
dress to ****
undress to live

its a movable feast
advice to the lovelorn young
thank you to Lora Lee for the line
" swirling toilet rainbows"
Elizabeth Jul 2018
This is my life. I have to be okay with the dark presence that looms over me, and I have to accept that I won’t be able to expel him for I must make friends with him to get my way. I have taught my self to just breathe every time I hear his loud footsteps coming up the stairs and not to duck underneath my covers or shout my mother's name. I learned to keep my distance, and In the darkest hour of the night even when he creeps through these halls, I must keep my composure and swallow my pills until the shaking has gone away. He goes by the name Dad, but he’s treated me unlike so, and now I don’t look him in the eye or laugh any longer than I should because one day I’m scared of what’ll happen if I do. I’m afraid of the day when I will lose to the darkness that creeps inside rooms once light and beautiful and changes the presence for good. Rooms once light now dark and dreary.
Rooms once light now dark and dreary
Tom Leveille Mar 2014
2002:
today i kicked the door
to history off it's hinges
my jealous frame:
still too proud to say a word
it seems my folks forgot
to pencil in growth marks
cause they thought their boy
would never grow out of small breath
******* dead, years now buried
and i bare his name
too many syllables
for my father to go back
fish & play football
to stand in the yard and play catch

1994:
my mom, the bombshell in retrospect
broke her back in her sleep
a thousand times
since the stairwell in 87'
she still sits for spills
post nuclear about settling
now from the couch
she's a weather report
spouting nonsense
that makes my father
grow grey, crack remotes
& slam doors to dark rooms
abandoning ship
for "cheers" & "scienfeld"
while my mother
sometimes forgets
and sets his place at the table
and my appetite is abducted
by family photos
my mother says things like
"go see your brother today"
-- Johnny's long gone
don't you remember?
we buried him
the day your smile died

2014:
you are inches from me
******* a stray hair
caught in the fabric of your coat
the last remnants of a dog
we laid to rest last week
and here we are
in the hospital again
people don't shake like dogs
finality is found
in the eyes of humans
passing archways
into shallow rooms
where plague and prayer
are the only songs sung
round the stagnant clocks
it makes me wonder
if the clipboards cry
over being the last thing
someone ever writes on
take a number, have a seat
stay a while
i am back, 7 years old
& there are different doors now
they buried the ones
you kicked in that night in '92
when my lungs
were filled with holy water
you never stopped smoking
*i never grew out of asthma
CK Baker Apr 2017
Sunday sermons are spilling on the inner city streets
through the green heaps and brown bags
through the downtown whisperers
and sage solitude souls

Army bands prepare for march
(their trench members filling packs with canister and cane)
the high command and tricked militia head pinned
quick on the look for splinter, lorry and skuttle

Traffic patterns change at the COP connect
camouflage bearers break formal stride
battle men slip between colorful floats
unsuspecting slumlords (vein pricked and weary)
grin in their second suite dying rooms

Twitching men and rubbernecks
sit discreetly on the corner wall
JJ and the chief revere a 21 gun salute
holy rollers raise cheer (in a moment of silence)
chess men hold steady
with ivory cues

Flames belt from the distant foundry
streets come alive with crackle and dust
members of the attic group glance down from their perch
an elderly man in a straight jacket (happy in the now)
sits solemnly with a cold reflective stare

It’s not far from the steely mud holes
from the flying fragments and sharp broken dreams
from the arsenal digs and madmen (who quietly turned the *****)
the ivy trellis
and flowing white gown
are a nocturne fit
for this elevated rolling highland
1.
From my
uneasy bed
at the L’Enfant,
a train's pensive
horn breaks the
sullen lullaby of
an HVAC’s hum;
interrupting the
mechanical
reverie of its
steadfast
night watch,
allowing my ear
to discern
the stampede
of marauding
corporate Visigoths
sacking the city.

The cacophony
of sloven gluttony,
the ***** songs of
unrequited privilege
and the unencumbered
clatter of radical
entitlement echoes
off the city’s cold
crumbling stones.

The unctuous
bellows of the
victorious pillagers
profanely feasting
pierces the
hanging chill
of the nations
black night.

Their hoots
deride the train
transporting
the defeated
ghosts of
Lincoln’s last
doomed regiments
dispatched in vain
to preserve a
peoples republic
in a futile last stand.

The rebels have
finally turned the tide,
T Boone Pickett’s
Charge succeeds,
sending the ravaged
Grand Army of the
Republic sliding
back to the Capitol,
in savage servility,
gliding on squeaky
ungreased wheels
ferrying the
Union’s dead
vanquished
defenders to
unmarked graves
on Potters Field.

The Rebels
joyous yell
bounces off
the inert granite
stones of the
soulless city.

The spittle
of salivating
vandals drips
over the
spoils of war
as they initiate the
disassemblage,
the leveling and
reapportionment
of the grand prize.

The clever
oligarchs
have laid claim
to a righteous
reparation
of the peoples
assets for
pennies on the
dollar.

Their wholly
bought politicos
move to transfer
distressed assets
into their just
stewardship
through the
holy justice
of privatization
and the sound
rationale of
free market
solutions.

In the land of the
pursuit of property,
nimble wolf PACs
of swift 527, LLCs
have fully
metastasized
into personhood;
ascending to
the top of the
food chain in
America’s
voracious
political culture;
bestriding
the nation to
compel the
national will
to genuflect
to the cool facility
of corporate
dominion.

As the
inertial ******
of the plaintive
locomotive
fades into
another old
morning of
recalcitrant
Reaganism,
it lugs its
ambivalent
middle class
baggage toward
it’s fast expiring
future.

I follow
the dirge
down to
the street
as the ebbing
sound fades
into the gloom
of the
burgeoning
morning,
slowly
replacing the
purple twilight
with a breaking
day of cold gray
clouds framing
silhouettes of
cranes busily
constructing
a new city.

The personhood of
corporations need
homes in our new
republic; carving
out new
neighborhoods
suitable for the
monied citizens
of our nation.

First amongst
equals, the best
corporate governance
charters form
the foundation of
the republic’s
new constitution.
Civil rights
are secondary
to the freedom
of markets; the
Bill of Rights
are economically
replaced by the
cool manifests
of Bills of Lading.

The agents of
laissez faire
capitalism
nibble away
at the city’s
neighborhoods
one block at a time;
while steady winds
blows dust off
the National Mall.

Layers of the
peoples plaza are
plained away with
each rising gust.  

History repeats
itself as the Joad’s
are routed from their
land once again.

A clever
mixed use
plan of
condos and
strip malls
is proposed
to finally help the
National Mall
unlock its true
profit potential.

As America’s
affection for
federalism fades
the water in
the reflection pool
is gracefully drained.

We the people
can no longer
see ourselves.

The profit
potential of
industry is
preferred over
the specious
metaphysical
benefits
of reflection.

The grand image,
the rich pastiche,
the quixotic aroma
of the national
melting ***
is reduced to the
sameness of the
black tar that lines
the pool and the
swirling eddies of
brown dust circling
the cracked indenture.

From his not so
distant vantage point,
Abe ponders the
empty pool wondering
if the cost of lives
paid was a worthy
endeavor of preserving
the ****** union?  
Has the dear prize
won perished from
this earth?

Was the illusive
article of liberty  
worth its weight in
the blood expended?

Did the people ever
fully realize the value
of government
by the people,
for the people?

Did citizens of
the republic
assume the
responsibilities to
protect and honor
the rights and privileges
of a representative
government?

Now our idea
and practice of
civil rights is measured
and promoted as far as
it can be justified by
a corporate ROI, a
shareholder dividend,
an earmark or a political
donation to a senators
unconnected PAC.

The divine celestial
ledgers balancing
the rights and
privilege of free people
drips with red ink.  

Liberty, equality
fraternity are bankrupt
secular notions
condemned as
expensive
liberal seditions;
hatched by
UnHoly Jacobins,
the atheist skeptics
during the dark times
of the Age of Enlightenment.

Abe ponders
the restoration
of Washington’s
obelisk, to
repair the cracks
suffered  from
last summer’s
freak earthquake.

I believe I detect
a tear in Abe’s
granite eye
saddened by the
corporate temblors
shaking the
foundations
of the city.

2.

The WWII Memorial
is America’s Parthenon
for a country's love
affair with the valor
and sacrifice of warfare.

WWII forms the
cornerstone of
understanding the
pathos of the
American Century.

During WWII
our greatest generation
rose as a nation to
defeat the menace of
global fascism and
indelibly mark the
power and virtue of
American democracy.

As Lincoln’s Army
saved federalism, FDR’s
Army kept the world safe
for democracy.

Both armies served
a nation that shared
the sacrifice and
burden of war to
preserve the grace of
a republican democracy.

Today federalism
crumbles as our
democracy withers.

The burden
of war is reserved
for a precious few
individuals while
its benefits
remain confined to
the corporate elite.

Our monuments
to war have become
commercial backdrops
for the hollow patriotism
of war profiteers.

We have mortgaged
our future to pay
for two criminal wars.

The spoils of
war flow into the
pockets of
corporate
shareholders
deeply invested
in the continuation
of pointless,
destructive
hostilities.

Our service
members who
selflessly served
their country come
home to a less free,
fear struck nation;
where economic
security and political
liberty erodes
each day while the
monied interests
continue to bless
the abundance
of freedom and riches
purchased with the
blood and sweat
of others.

America desperately
needs a new narrative.

The spirit of the
Greatest Generation
who sacrificed and met
the challenge of the 20th
Century must become
this generations spiritual
forebears.

The war on terror
neatly fits the
the corporate
pathos of
militarism,
surveillance
and the sacrifice
of civil liberties
to purchase
a daily measure
of fear and
economic
enslavement.

It must be rejected
by a people committed
to building secular
temples to pursue
peace, democracy,
economic empowerment,
civil liberties and tolerance
for all.

Yet this old city
and the democratic
temples it built
exulting a free people
anointed with the
grace of liberty
is being consumed
in a morass of
commercial
polyglot.

3.

During the
War of 1812
the British Army
burned the
Capitol Building
and the White House
to the ground.

Thank goodness
Dolly Madison saved
what she could.

The new marauders
are not subject to the
pull of nostalgia.  

They value nothing
save their
self enrichment.

They will spare nothing.

Our besieged Capitol
requires Lincoln’s troops
to be stationed along the
National Mall to defend
the republic.

The greatest peril
to our nation
is being directed
by well placed
Fifth Columnists.

From the safety
of underground bunkers,
in secure undisclosed
locations within the city’s
parameters, a well financed
confederacy employing  
K Street shenanigans
are busy selling off
the American Dream
one ear mark
at a time, one
huge corporate
welfare allotment
at a time.

The biggest prize
is looting the real
property of the people;
selling Utah,
auctioning off
the public schools,
water systems, post offices
and mineral rights
on the cheap
at an Uncle Sam
garage sale.  

The capitol is
indeed burning
again.

Looters are
running riot.

The flailing arms
of a dying empire
fire off cruise
missiles and drone
strikes; hitting the
target of habeas
corpus as it
shakes in its
final death rattle.
I make a pilgrimage
to the MLK Jr.
Monument.

Our cultural identity
is outsourced to
foreign contractors
paid to reinterpret
the American Dream
through the eyes
of a lowest bidder.

MLK has lost
his humanity.

He has been
reduced to a
a Chinese
superhuman
Mao like anime
busting loose from
a granite mountain while
geopolitical irony
compels him to watch
Tommy Jefferson
**** Sally Hemings
from across the tidal
basin for all eternity.  

MLK’s eyes fixed in
stern fascination,
forever enthralled
by the contradictions
of liberty and its
democratic excesses
of love in the willows
on golden pond.

Circling back to
Father Abraham’s
Monument,  I huddle
with a group of global
citizens listening
to an NPS Ranger
spinning four score
tales with the last full
measure of her devotion.

I look up into Abe’s
stone eyes as he
surveys platoons
of gray suited
Chinese Communist
envoys engaged
in Long Marches
through the National Mall;
dutifully encircling cabinet
buildings and recruiting
Tea Party congressmen
into their open party cells.

This confederacy
is ready to torch
the White House
again.

Congressmen and
the perfect patriots
from K Street slavishly
pull their paymasters
in gilded rickshaws to
golf outings at the Pentagon
and park at the preferred
spots reserved for
the luxury box holders
at Redskin Games.

They vow not to rest
until the house of the people
is fully mortgaged to the
People’s Republic of China’s
Sovereign Wealth Fund.

4.

A great
Son of Liberty like
Alan Greenspan
roundly rings
the bells of
free markets
as he inches
T Bill rates
forward a few
basis points
at a time; while
his dead mentor
Ayn Rand
lifts Paul Ryan
to her
Fountainhead teet.
He takes a long
draw as she
coos songs
from her primer
of Atlas Shrugged
Mother Goose tales
into his silky ears.

The construction
cranes swing
to the music
building new private
sector space with
the largess of
US taxpayers
money; or
more rightly
future generations
taxpayer debt.

Libertarians,
Tea Baggers, Blue Dogs
and GOP waterboys
eagerly light a
match to the
the crucifixes
bearing federal
social safety
net programs
to the delight
of NASDAQ
listed capitalists
on the come,
licking their chops
to land contracts
to administer
these programs
at a negotiated
cost plus
profit margin.

Citizens
dependent
on programs
are leery
shareholders
are ecstatic.

To be sure
our free
market rebels
don disguises
of red, white
and blue robes
but their objectives
fail to distinguish
their motives and
methods with
some of the finest
Klansman this
country has
ever produced.

5.

DC is a city
of joggers
and choppers.

Corporate
helicopters
wizz by the
Washington
Monument,
popping erections
for the erectors
inspecting the progress
of the cranes
commanding the
city skyline.

USMC drill team
out for a morning
run circles the Mall.

The commanding
cadence of the
DI keeps us
mindful of the
deepening
militarization of
our society.

A crowd  
rushes
to position
themselves,
genuflecting
to photograph
a platoon on
the move.

I try to consider
the defining
characteristics of
Washington DC.

DC is all surface.

It is full of walls
and mirrors.

Its primary hue
is obfuscation.

Open
communication
scripted from well
considered talking points
informs all dialog.

The city is thoroughly
enraptured in narcissism.

Thankfully, one can
always capture the
reflection of oneself in
the ubiquitous presence of
mirrors.  

Vanity imprisons
the city inhabitants.

Young joggers circle the
Mall and gerrymander
down every pathway
of the city.  

They are the clerks,
interns and staffers of
the judicial, executive
and legislative branches.

They are the children
of privilege.

They will never
alter their path.

You must cede the walk
to their entitlement
of a swift comportment
or risk injury of a
violent collision.

These young ones
portray a countenance  
of benevolent rulers.  

They seem to be learning
their trade craft well from
the senators and judges
whom they serve.

They appear confident
they know what's best
for the country and after
their one term of tireless
service to the republic
they look forward to
positions in the private
sector where they will
assist corporations
to extend their reach
into the pant pockets
worn by the body politic.

6.

Our nations mythic story
lies hidden deep in the
closed rooms of the
museums lining the
Mall.

I pause to consider
what a great nation
and its great people
once aspired to.

I spy the a
suspended
Space Shuttle
hanging in dry dock
at the air and
space museum.

Today America’s
astronauts hitch
rides on Russian
rockets.

America rents a
timeshare from
the European
space agency to
lift communication
satellites into orbit.

Across the Mall
I photograph
John Smithson’s
ashes in its columbarium.  

I fear it has become a
metaphor for America’s
future commitment
to scientific inquiry
and rational secular
thinking.

I am relieved to
discover a Smithsonian
exhibit that asks
“what does it mean
to be human?”

The Origins of Humans
exhibit carries a disclaimer
to satisfy creationists.

The exhibit timidly states
that science can coexist
with religious beliefs and
that the point of the exhibit is
not to inflame inflame religious
passions but to shed light on
scientific inquiry.

I imagine these exhibits
will inflame the passion of
the fundamentalist
American Taliban and
provide yet another
reason to dismantle
the Moloch of Federalism.

The pursuit of science
remains safe at the
Smithsonian for now.

7.

Near K Street at
McPherson Park
a posse of
well dressed
lobbyists, the
self anointed
uber patriots
doing the work
of the people
stroll through
the park
boasting a
healthy population
of bedraggled
homeless.

The homeless
occupy the benches
that have been
transformed into
pup tents.

Perhaps some of
the residents of this
mean estate were
made homeless by a
foreclosed mortgage.  

The K Street warriors
can be proud that their
work on behalf of the
banking industry has
forestalled financial market
reform.  

Through it exacerbates
the homeless problem it has
allowed these K Street titans to
profit from the distress of others.

Earlier in the day
I photographed
a homeless man
planted in front of
the Washington
Monument.

I wonder
if my political
voyeurism is
an exploitation of
this man’s condition?

I have more in common
then I probably wish to
admit with my K Street
antagonists.  

In another section
of the park the
remnants of a
distressed OWS
bivouac remain.

The legions of sunshine
patriots have melted away
as the interest of the
blogosphere has waned.

As the weather
improves Moveon.org
and democratic
party operatives
pitch tents in an
effort to resuscitate
the moribund
movement.

They hope
to coop any
remaining energy
to support their
stale deception,
a neoliberal vision
based solely on the
total capitulation
to the bankrupt
corporatocracy.

I heard someone say
a campaign lasts a
season; while a
movement for social
change takes decades.

If that metric proves
correct, and if the
powers don’t succeed
in compromising the
people’s movement
I’ll be three quarters
of a century old
before I see
justice flowing like
a river once again.

8.

I circle back to
the L’Enfant and
find myself
tramping amidst
the lost platoon
of Korean War
soldiers.

My feet drag
in the quagmire
of grass covering
the feet of this
ghostly troop.

My namesake
uncle was a
decorated
veteran of this
conflict and Im
sure I detect
his likeness
in one of the
statues.

The bleak call
of a distant train
sounds a revelry
and I imagine this
patrol springing
to life to answer
the call of their
beloved country
once again.

Yet they remain
inert.  

Stuck in a
place that the
nation finds
impossible to
leave.

The eyes of the
men stare into
an incomprehensible
fate.  

They see the swarms
of Red Army infantrymen
crossing the Yellow River
streaming toward
them in massive
human waves,
the tips of
sparkling bayonets
threatening to slash
the outmanned
contingent fighting
to bits.

They are the
first detachment
to bravely confront
the rising power
of China many
thousands of
miles away
from their homes.

America like
this lone company
is overwhelmed
and lost in the
confusion
that confronts
them.

Looking up
I perceive the
bewilderment
of my muddled image
reflected on the
marble walls
surrounding
the memorial.

I am a comrade-in-arms,
a fellow wanderer sojourning
with th

— The End —