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howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
shamamama May 2019
Some strong sensations on my ankle
Unravel me
Dissolve me

Remind me
When pain and suffering
Led the path

I thought it was real,
Was the only,
Was the only way--

And now I wake up to ten thousand
Hairs on the soles of my feet
Tugging me
Into the day
From starlight
And ancestors
Going my way

Remember, remember
I walk on these feet
With curiosity, flexibility,
Wonder and love

Grandmother Earth
Is right down below-- So
Today I can step on
The ground with pure joy,
Embracing this place by
Loving breath from my soles
A Long while ago I was challenged for a few weeks by my legs, I learned to approach life and "my doings" with reverence and love to ceremony, intention, and awareness.
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
island poet May 2018
“Moby ****,”  Herman Melville

<•>

~for the lost at sea~

after a year of saltwater absence and abstinence,
return to the island caught between two land forks
surrounded by river-heading flows
bound for the ocean great joining

the Atlantic welcomes the fresh water fools,
bringing with them hopefully, but hopeless gifts of obeisances,
peace-offerings endeavoring to keep their infinite souls

sea accepts them then drowns the
warm newcomers in the unaccustomed
deep cold salinity, which
sometimes erodes
sometimes preserving
their former freshwater cold originality

I’m called to depart my beach shoreline  unarmed,
no kayak, sunfish or glass bottomed boat needed,
walk on water and my toes, ten eyes to see the bottom,
no depth perception limitation,
reading the floor’s topography,
millions of minion’s stories infinite,
many Munch screaming

god’s foot, heavy upon my shoulders,
a daytime travel guide, hired for me,
not a friendly travel companion,  nope,
God a pusher showing off a drug called deep water salvation,
designated for the masses, can handle large parties

my in-camera brain  eyes,
record everything for playback -
the lost and unburied, bone crossword puzzles

walk shore to ship, on soles to souls,
is this my new-summer nature welcome back greeting?

puzzled at the awesomeness of vastness,
conclude this clarification for me of the occluded-deep,
is a stern reminder of my insignificant existence,
my requirement to walk humbly, spare my sin of vanity, and
forgive my trespasses upon the lives of others

perhaps then the infinite of my soul perchance restored,
older visions clarified and future poems
will write themselves
and sea to it my predecessors
be better remembered

Memorial Day 2018
I do not want a plain box, I want a sarcophagus
With tigery stripes, and a face on it
Round as the moon, to stare up.
I want to be looking at them when they come
Picking among the dumb minerals, the roots.
I see them already -- the pale, star-distance faces.
Now they are nothing, they are not even babies.
I imagine them without fathers or mothers, like the first gods.
They will wonder if I was important.
I should sugar and preserve my days like fruit!
My mirror is clouding over --
A few more breaths, and it will reflect nothing at all.
The flowers and the faces whiten to a sheet.

I do not trust the spirit. It escapes like steam
In dreams, through mouth-hole or eye-hole. I can't stop it.
One day it won't come back. Things aren't like that.
They stay, their little particular lusters
Warmed by much handling. They almost purr.
When the soles of my feet grow cold,
The blue eye of my tortoise will comfort me.
Let me have my copper cooking pots, let my rouge pots
Bloom about me like night flowers, with a good smell.
They will roll me up in bandages, they will store my heart
Under my feet in a neat parcel.
I shall hardly know myself. It will be dark,
And the shine of these small things sweeter than the face of Ishtar.
r Nov 2016
Love,  be gentle and kind,
take that rusty gun from under
my pillow and shoot me twice
in the heart so I can feel the hurt
from the first time and the pain
from the second again;
but don't bury me in the dirt
beneath your bare feet,
just burn me like the memory
of your brown soles I saw
running away, oh, so long
a time ago, I can't even remember.
Ivy Haegan Jul 2014
My father wears
leather work boots
they are tough and worn
with thick but thinning soles

My father has
calloused hands
they are thick and strong
from years of work and guitar

My father plays
an old guitar
it's beautiful and cracked
and comes to life at his touch

My father has
a big heart
as worn as his boots
strong as his hands
and more beautiful than his old guitar
Nothing Much Jan 2015
I've always had itchy feet
Never can sit still
Or let the soles of my shoes fuse to the ground

I keep my home around my neck
Wear it in a golden heart shaped locket
I misplaced my compass but never lost myself

I crave the ground passing beneath my feet
Beneath wheels and airplane shadows
I measure my age in miles acquired

I've seen the Milky Way from every angle
And swam in every sea
I keep going, going, going
And I never stop to wonder what I'm running from
Wrote this on a train!
LRB May 2013
Walk, walk, walking, step, step, pace pace
Shoes wear down, I'm wearing my shoes.
Soles are all gone, those soles of my soul I sold to the devil for love.
Love to hate, hate to love.
The circle
The shape of my heart, my heart hurts
No pain
Paint the window pane with a picture so familiar just to hide the unfamiliar
Faces
Face the reality, they think
Thinking wrong.

TV isn't a reality, the news isn't real, new news is never news.
Just **** i already knew.
I knew we should have handed the gift  to give a gift of hope
For the best
Hoping for the world, a chance to rest
Hoping for peace
Hoping for more hope to hope the things that need the most hope
Hope, for a new pair of shoes
Antino Art Apr 2018
We wear this city on our feet
Planting our roots with each step
Our shadows

cast shapes of ancient oak trees stretching out over old squares at daybreak
We grow here

with the spirit of buildings past,
present and rising like a staircase to heaven in the distance,
the plumes of white smoke from their rooftops as burnt offerings for incense,
spires for steeples,
the bundled masses of people moving beneath as the calloused soles
of our feet pounding the pavement,
Our congregation

seated in reverant silence on the R-Line hissing to a stop
Their hushed prayers filing out from within to bring the reclaimed sidewalks of Fayetville Street back to life to join this pilgramage
They march

downtown toward Capitol
holding signs for disarmament
They bar-hop through Glenwood toasting to deliverance
They move in a blur of faces that become us,
Rush at all hours through our veins
Cross our hearts and keep us breathing,
Moving
wearing the city on our minds
like the greyest pieces of their winter sky and the way it caps the peaks of Mount PNC, BB&T and Wells Fargo like hoodies over our heads
We assume monk-like appearances
in robes color-coded by season- from blue collar sweaters to cold hard sweat
We'll wear their city until we're worn out and wet,

We'll wear their dreams at night
like streetlamps flickering on beneath wired telephone poles carrying conversations about each one as far south as Florida, fears unspoken, made visible
on iron park benches too cold to sit on at this hour
We'll keep walking

and wear this city like backpacks over our shoulders

under the watch of their heavens,
the skyline
a glowing testament
of every step taken
toward someplace higher.
Colt Jul 2013
for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.*

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disillusionment,
lacking egotistical sold, dragging themselves through the hip streets at dawn
looking for a socially self-aggrandizing fix.
Poets, as they sit in desks and discuss discourse
about discourse about discourse about discourse,
who fear that thinking itself was buried with Vonnegut,
who are lost in forests of brick walls,
inviting, because they block the wind of dying fall,
who swim in cesspools filled with academic sewage, yearning for freedom,
for truth, as they always have,
mining their minds for images, and searching for words to describe
-a reality which is virtual at its core and each act, another chore./
-a scene of life which reflects all that is poignant and sacred.
Poets seek musicians while musicians seek poets.
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly

These poets who search aimlessly for the feeling of feeling,
who are overwhelmed with meaning to the point where meaning
has no meaning in itself.
Who claim this poem as their own and continuously write themselves into it.
It is those who suffer in truth that live the poetic.
Those who sit in front of space heaters eating peanut butter sandwiches in winter,
who sweat unknowingly in summer, comforted in each’s odor.
Those who open Macbooks while squatting in empty flats.
Signing up, logging in and zoning out, forever disengaged.
Those who type prophecy on keypads and let keyboards gather dust-
stratification, signs of long nights spent in century-old homes still not renovated,
ceilings sinking at the sides while those above pogo to punk rock long dead,
or grind genitals to old soul, simulating all that is sensual.
Those who play archaeologist to their own layers of makeup, grimed on the sink.
Those who share their food with the roaches and the mooches who all have keys,
who use the books as shelves to hold ceramic mugs, stained with a single drip-drop,
who, with arms crossed, watch bands in basements play noise.
Those who replaced their nu-metal records with folk but kept the unkempt beards.
Those who drink stale beer on stranger’s rooftops.
Those who live with bags under eyes, themselves asleep, lacking a body,
sleeping naked together to stay warm,
sleeping naked together to stay sane,
sleeping naked together to stay touched.

Those who leave coffee in unplugged automatic pots, decaying rapidly.
Those who eat pizza for breakfast, cold or microwaved, as an act of ultimate indulgence.
Those who prance about in un-matching socks
from hardwood floors to vinyl floors to tile floors, all under the same popcorn ceiling,
dancing to the sound of rhythmic silence.
Those who fight with lovers about acts, but never once mention the act of love itself.
Those who don flannel plaid in springtime color, constructing Williamsburg,
who consider gentrification a new form of landed gentry,
who live in poverty as if it were a novelty,
capitalist martyrs sacrificing employment to hide being non-hirable,
who shop in online surplus department stores for unique vintage.
Those who, who, who hoot like the owls framed on their walls, eyes wide but beaks small.
Those who are oppressed by nonexistent kings ruling in imaginary suits.
Those who crave something new, not tired-as the form of this very poem-
something which is not-yet auto-tuned.
Those who, faux-hawked and shredded, rock and bop to Bowie doing Lou
on Sunday Morning from Station to Station shooting ******,
who walk swiftly with denim skin on their legs and refuse socks.
Those who, in their rightest mind, are the wrongest-minded.
Those who can reject privilege only because they are privileged,
who, in their uniform whiteness, denounce racism,
who, in their uniform straightness, claim immune to homophobia
who, with their ***** ***** in a row, claim to be feminists.

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?
Vicki Kralapp Aug 2012
Life has run away from me as I play this game of chance.
One at a time you have fallen before me, you fabled soulmates.
The scars run deep, my heart crusted over with the soles of those
who have so carelessly trod on my lifeblood.

You who have made me, could you not have shown me the danger of a love untrue?
I have been chained to the players of hearts throughout all time.
You have been quiet for too long.  Can you not hear my call?
Why do you keep silent in my time of need? Why do I not hear your comfort, your voice?

My soul calls out to find a love that binds with more than a gilded ring,
created from a spirit so true, intertwining with mine and becoming my own.
I’ve searched my whole life through for such a love;
one who is drawn to the life and soul of the me within.
All poems are copy written and sole property of Vicki Kralapp.
Drowning inside hands.
A fluorescent chime.
Skin scrubbed radiation.
Force-feeding plastic and sugar and flesh.
Pushing and pulling until tendons flail weathered
Up. And. Down.
Up and down upanddown until the store of powders, prints, nails tumble out carmine and is sobbing
gagging on a high chair.
The candied calculator like heart-shaped pupils and sticky soles.  
Opaque ID’s and strands of you abandoned in navy sheets.
Shoulder tassels taught on Adam’s apple.

Love stitches bedding and hollows bodies.
Love lights the West and lines waste baskets wet.
Love is a little girl vomiting into a lion’s den.
Amanda Jean Jul 2018
They say deja vu is a glitch in the matrix
Repeating numbers is a sign from the universe
Angels scream my name from upside down on the ceiling telling me to quit looking at the clock maybe demons maybe I should pay the **** attention
222333444555666777whaaaaaat
That’s not a time
Time ain’t it
Time heals don’t it
But what is stagnant
Sometimes we’re dead
But we move fast
Together
In time
Travel
Through space
Through a line meet your soul face to mine
Hearts beat faster time moves with it that’s the reality so what are you doing
Taking it slow or fast it’s you or pass
Illuminati my life with your eye-seed to the sky can’t remember my thoughts don’t know why I even try
Try to finish a creation pieces of art are never finished close to what I think
Is completion I think I forget how to breathe I’ve got a blemish I cannot see I’m not sure what’s on my lenses sometimes i don’t speak please tell me what the bens is
Keep saying I’m haunted aight
Keep tellling em I’m doing fine
Life’s chaotic but that’s what it’s about
The blends of of the **** around
The hint hang ying yang huh
The freak shows births golds of stone (gh) yeah
But do you even know what the sheets is what if we really going to do da business man **** this **** I don’t know it I already told you I don’t know how to complete this I have no solutions I feel soulless and too much negative too much negative shitnitz my focus my pictures too big I don’t know how to control this I kept saying that I want to relinquish self but what I really need to do is help make a squeal tell em truly how I feel Queen lions roar from the jungles to the shores sideways animals judging their **** from the sidelines
Wasn’t the point making them feel the fire burning in mountain veins but what animals can you truly tame
Cavemen mocking snakes forming fires for the first time killing em with their own tricks man we keep repeating history with our imperialisthe ******* stupidest **** ever
Please excuse my individual
I’ve not much experience with taking over but with my experience we’ll have an experience we’ve never had before and from there our experience will be something to learn from we learn from experiences
I’m opening my mind and my forgiveness forget to forgive I’m all in forgetfulness can we speed to the completion of wishes I beg this from the bottom of my ***** soles to the top of my buzzed head I hear sobriety is the path to success but I can’t create in loneliness I bring pain and sorrow to the art party drown me out with ***** and bring me to my knees in grass prairies in heaven Reaching out for angels bind me in confusion it’s raining in my heart tea parties never breed working brains did they never tell you that in school? Keep teaching myself everyday yeah in the backs of tiny rooms on mountain peaks I breathe in tropical trees blurring all the lines that form all sorts of definition communication of my mind to yours, the shore at the end of the telephone game I lost the rhythm that goes to the flow I dropped the wand that brings flying wings I smacked the lips of the devil I kreeped in hell I’ve been told I’ve always been addicted to pain repeats repeats 444
Sid Lollan Aug 2017
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

(Authors of (obligatory)
Redemption: what is true genius if it ain’t dead yet?
Let you, who **** it, not be present for its resurrection.)

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

i had a nightmare:

i opened the door of my ranch-house in the boonies of
southern pa.
out-into the grasses of the old Congo;
There stood the Lion.
20 feet away
i, frozen in the magnitude of his vision;
spirit, dominated by his
completely;
Not even a growl.
i remained
paralyzed—he licked the backs of his paws
and combed a wiry mane...
…a halfa-second was a year if it was a halfa-second now...
but
somewhere in there
i regained my legs and without knowing
pivoted,
grabbed the doorknob. Twist. Open. Step inside.
turn to close the...doorway is gone, the house has vanished
And
HE WAS RIGHT ON TOP OF ME

i was nothing but-a body of plastic fear
molten,
melted and cast into mannequin limbs and head.
i could feel the Lion’s entire, real
spirit crushing spirt
on my hollow caste self.

his breathe stunk of blood that
forced my replicaego into infant curl…
…Finally, the beast roared a canyon
i shivered!
a shiver that shook inside my head
thru the spine to shake
my bones inside the bed.

Thru the constricting red curtain of bloodclot eye
spy the tiny eclipse
of the Black Crow inna massive sheet of african sun;
i must be dead already.
The Lion feels the Crow perched onna cape fig nearby
and his muscles tighten accordingly, his beastly hunger
displaced by boiled-blood anger.

Eye-to-Eye
with the beast
where Fear has reached saturation-point;
it is Nothing if it is Everything…
…the Crow lets out a hiss
like spikes of radio-static, interrupted by series
of whooping-caws…
…stomach vibrated by the Lion’s low,
almost internal growl. For the
first time, his tranquilizing orbs
divert from mine
to capture the Black Crow perched on the dying cape fig.
uncertainty taps my shoulder…then…i feel my body;
the weight releases
and as i motion to rise from the grass and dirt, the Congo dissolves and i’m
sitting up on my mattress with broken springs in the humid
summer slumber of southern pa.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

-What security?
programmed,
under deep-cover;
jungian re-uploads. Them. Resurrected witha blackmarket
medicine a Witch Doctor devolution;
Replicate, regenerate, forever
<01100101 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110100 01100001 01101001 01101100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100111 01110010 01101111 01110111 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101000 01100101 01100001 01100100>
Bottom feeding grave robbers and tomb vandals are all they are!-

-Better check what ya put down here…liable to shape a ghoul,
and you know this haunt is made-up of enough spooks-

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Professors of chaos preach:
O wanderers!
write me the manifesto
walking atop a line of hot coals
-I smell me some burning soles-

(They intend to:
Pour, pure from cold-clear spring-spout
      into muddy-brown-clay, dissolved,
rushing against dried-up bones of gully-walls…
…the Crow just sits above
         and laughs there

Don’t ya see it?)

History
is not about the past,
but
about what the present
can mold the past
into
for the future.
-the marble’s trajectory sure to
flip onnit’s axis d’pending on which record you dig-

(One mistake
can a coward make
or
one accident happen
up-on that a martyr stake’d.
etched in the rut of each separate fate;)


The lion
must roar for his P R I D E
        (or?)
lion wears his hide
as a mascot
Black Crow eats crow egg blues
        black crow spotted me yellow in the bushes
pants down, gun-in-hand
-send your prayers-

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
softcomponent May 2014
Find the lighter, use it as a lighthouse on a walk below the wall you watch along the wave-formations. Who Wants a Cold One? a Coors Light ad corrects.. When it comes to your home, the little things matter.. an insurance ad blares.. my computer is infected with 3rd party applications unremovable to my meagre tech-ability.. there is a hero as Joseph Campbell once theorized.. in myself like a sick bastardly virus waiting for moments to prove to me "I AM THE SAVIOR, I AM THE CHRIST, I AM THE WARLORD, MICE, MAN, AND VICE".. the windows of opportunity close, I am left waiting the door

& the elevator.

Thirty-thousand years ago, there was nothing but a breeze.. a viscous breeze across chill-spined pterodactyls.. warm-under-the-jungle-brush tyrannosaurus rex, and to think one day I will be just a legend in bone..
Charlotte said she thinks of death and so did Jen. They sat next to the all-you-can-eat and discussed the inevitable. I was sour and playful with no-will-to-understand, just reminding my hair of breezy summer days of 10, thinking of strangeness, of place I was in.

When it's quiet sometimes, I think of old dreams.. dreams I sunk below drown-level as a child in bed and belief. Both mommy and daddy were arguing in the kitchen, this was 7 or 8.. they argued so often one could hear mom begin to cry sometimes, and dad I could see in minds-eye with a grimace so closed and so creased he was hurt and yet honest.. I did not understand so I hid under-stood-silhouettes, oh adulthood..

once in dream I was in pulsing green graveyard like crayon realism strobe lights, tombstones all-round and faint-buzz of outside and one of those strange balded henchmen of badguy Jafar from Disney's Aladdin came peaking outta nowhere with curled eyebrow and baggy one-thousand-one Arabian nightlives parachute pants, curled toes brown-beige moccasins to.. he let out conniving 'HEUHEE!' and slapped me right-side cheek and I JOLTED up bedwise in real time to feel actual physical sting for a few lingered seconds then the sobs of poor mother outside.. I never remembered a dream so clearly again.. they all come, Pro-Found, and dizzy away after hour or two for rest of eternity or perhaps to Place I Can Visit at Death to Review Every Vision and I wonder... when your life flashes before your eyes and the light is encroaching, scenes of mother, brother, father, son, daughter, best-friend, party, break-up, heartbreak, slip-fall, first-sip, first-drag, last-leg, first-kiss, first-hit, first-game, fear, love,  HATE, wait.. do the Dreams come to? Are they all flesh-ed before your eyes as you pass into Light? Are they brought to direct remembrance as you cross the border with Passport of Gods and a Goddess (and which Picture appears on the Page)..?

I remember the old eczema taking bits of skin to carpets round-town and round-lower-mainland to disgust of friends old and new-- this was era where confidence ate itself in mirrors, the sober reality of ugly-ness chiseling away at my Goodness Attempts.. All That Pointless Pain was no Exception nor a Rule, it just **** Happens every once-and-again to the sound of life farting. I used to miss school for feet so impossible to walk on, pussing and bleeding and staining the sheets, shoe soles, carpets, and soul.. limp thru the hallways of Brooks Secondary feeling like bad flavor additive to multicultural Planet Earth-- sleeping 'til the bell rang drinking coffee singing songs I said '**** the ******* educational system and **** me I'm so flatlined..' someday I felt things would really get better and lucky young me I was right.

A half-decade later, I am 21 and hoping, floating, free in the breeze as the wings I have grown keep on wishing the subsistence down. The girl, whoever-she-might-as-well-be, sits immediately vertical chatting frantically to boy with a bit of a cowlick slouching on-up over a bundle of colored paperwork. It seems late in the season for homework, and assume they may have some affiliation with a crazy-hep computer design group in the tradition of Nouevau Silicon Valley.... I sit at my laptop, inching a word a million cubic millimeters closer to God or Divinity or Crescendo or A Bunch More ******* You'll End Up Ignoring---

It's a sunny day, the rain having slathered-off into obscurity somewhere with the Monsoons when the Sun gave the Moon a Soft Slap and the poor purity white-kid went off whimpering, bleeding nose-- I sat, the other night, playing another Grand Strategy game as Tom divided his time between a vaulted and damaged lover, his labor, and his life (friends, food, video-games, vice)... Chai, old Chai the Thai Guy mentioned past his nose in previous iterations of Depictions sat and described his pins-and-needles upset at his bosses at one his three many jobs.. desperately firing text-messages into receiving-space-panel and reflect and back unto Tom's smartphone dash asking him to order a six-pack from a local delivery service cuz his adrenal was giving him heartpain with hurt, and Tom being Busy as All-Ways Tom Is wasn't able to decipher the scramble in-time to make contact before closure of the liquor stores.. poor not-so-poor Chai at first felt castrated at realization he would miss the 11 PM dot-time, but didn't mind as he rendezvoused with Tom and I at Willows Beach where Tom reminded him of a whiskey he'd bought sitting counter-wise at his place.. we kissed a few Mary Janes rightsideup, dragging our butts in the sand to discuss what was wrong (each of us had a problem that night, save for perhaps a less-vocal Tom, I describing my annoyance that a lazy consensus had erupted in my sorry-hometown between my sorta-friends and friends-of-friends that my writing and sharing my writing was arrogant and I an arrogant *** for sharing and I just confounded that they would find my passions so trivial-- perhaps jealousy, perhaps complacency and judgement-for-lack-of-anything-better-to-do and ah **** em all if they think like that, I'll write and be the arrogant me they think I am and share 'til I'm blue in the face and dead perhaps for outspoken intellectualism in their autocratic pointless-waste worldviews.. sad that I dislike them only on the basis they disliked me first..)

I had planned to stay late and leave early-morn (5 or 6 AM) to catch a first-off morning bus back home and sleep, hoping for most part to avoid the shattered-***-mess of a home I was living in.
About 2 days ago, give or take, a water-line for the laundry machine had erupted to soak our entirely-carpeted basement suite, forcing the poor new landlord (a sweetheart of a man named Ron having just taken possession of the house from previous owner on May 1st and, it seems, left 'holding the bag' as they'd call it in day-trading-investment-lingo) to tear out the entirely-soaked carpet and replace it with sensible laminate flooring and rendering the entire suite virtually unlivable for indefinite-few-days and so for me work and friends and especially writing become a welcome reprieve to I, a first world Refu-Jeez.. us, so terribly-off I sip a latte near sunny panorama windows-so-clear-they're-not-there overlooking the crosses of Yates and Blanshard with European church of Gothic architectural style poking heedlessly into empty-open blue.. ironically and strangely there is a liquor store quite literally right next door, and's one I shop at often for its decent prices (God is Dead or Just Drinking to Cope with Sartre and Kierkegaard's Ultimate Thesis) (Kierkegaard especially '*** Kierkegaard seems a good and long friend of God the Almighty) (...I talk with such Judaeo-Christian Catholic rhetoric it never ceases to amaze myself as it bleeds to page..) (stranger thing is, tho, there is no beginning, no middle, no end.. you read or you are bored and either/or is just fine..)

There is some hypothesized crescendo-bliss Tech Singularity on the way in the try-dition of Ray Kurzweil and William Burroughs.. Oscar Wilde to.. (see The Soul of Man Under Socialism in essay-collect book De Profundis).. one day we will all be eternal happiness expressed in song and dance and LED erected-projections of Imperfect Universe (Our Imperfect Earth) with lives stuck on infinite repeat.. our idea of Paradise.. and for those with ability to remain rushed to cortisol (stress-the-best hormone) it will be Hell on Earth, so DRAB and THE SAME all the TIME and it's READ and it's WRITE and it's RIGHT.. the world runs faster with every passing day so desperate to discover the Globe is Flat so we can Hop Off the Other Side into what one might assume to be The Better Place.. elusively picking-up speed thinking 'closer now definitely closer now' unaware (or, secretly aware and unwilling to admit for what will one do when one cannot run?) they are Running in Circles Over and Over and Over and Over and Over Again... cannot take the hint in the fact the Pacific (same Pacific) has been crossed a hugeillion times, nor the same McDonald's in the Azores of Atlantic Portugal is the Same ******* McDonald's stopped-thru on the then-trillionth time last year... and all whilst the International Space Station remains muted up-above crossing 'round and 'round 'til the Jehovah'n Day of Judgement (Chris Hadfield now below with advice for how to run a little faster even blinded in one eye..) then there are the dying Prophets Predicting Industrial Collapse who preach upon the Mount of Internet Sinai Eternal and state "the world is now unsalvageable and we are all about to die.. if ever you wished to find Buddhistic Nirvanic Peace, now is the time so start meditating and imagine Death as New Life and Geopolitics as Game".. forever and ever and ever and ever.

It is only natural to find existence to be 'weird..' layered with Who's That's and giant What The ***** everywhichway you turn.. did it start in a Big Bang, will it end in a Big Crunch, Big Freeze, Big Bang.. ? all questions once ignored for certain ignorance and resurrected as questions concerning the Nature of the What The ***** (also known as 'Science').. and if it did start in a Big Bang, did I start in a Big Bang..? and if it does end in a Big Crunch, will I end in a Big Crunch..? am I a sudden flash of REAL in a Universe that isn't me..? or am I an entire Universe.. perhaps even more than that...? the questions pulse in youth like bad words or bullets. I once stayed up all-night thinking of infinity with my head soaring space-wise forever and ever and ever and I stopped in sudden panic thinking: I could lie here up all night and all day 'til the towered age of 37 (I was 14 at the time) and still be no further on the Universal Map than from thumb-tip-middle to thumb-nail so I wrapped up the attempt with a mix of fear and incredulity, went to school next-day exhausted and tried to explain it all to friends.. they got it, I suppose, but we were all 14 and played basketball instead (I imagined infinite-spinning-basketball on thumb of Michael Jordan).

It's always best describing life in form of Disembodied Poetics.. sure some Philistines won't understand '*** their minds are made of Clockwork, Digits, and Blockthought.. but the general psychic underly implied in all with human faculty will ring-a-ding-ding! and remember all such ancient thoughts and feels as forgotten as a child, locked away until the Spirit rose-up from a rosey thorn prickle to flower straight-up into a Rose! or so I hope as a one-of-many writers-- all of which will write so-as to speak on your behalf.. all floaty and marking a purpose.
Ian Cairns Jan 2014
I have these scars on my elbows
They're from a long time ago
And I never really appreciated their protrusion until now
Pretending to prefer unblemished skin
But when I was 10 and still believed in Superman
I had a tendency to ride my bike with stuntman speed
Forgetting about the frivolous concerns that consumed me
Hoping my kryptonite never crept up from underneath sidewalk bumps
Flipping my ambition over handlebars
Leaving the pieces of my reflections painted crimson along the asphalt
Scattered like hand-picked petals of an ill-advised ascetic
I am me, I am not, I am me, I am not
So I always wore my helmet as a precautionary measure
It contained my thoughts from running straight through my skull
And becoming neighbors with the pavement
But I never wore my elbow pads
They collected dust beside the waste bin
Replacing security for sincerity
I improved my flexibility while losing some skin
And that was a trade off I was willing to make at the time
I finally felt alive
I was invincible on my bicycle
The sidewalk my only bully
The summer breeze my only friend
And at the time I never realized what it meant to be vulnerable
But those bike rides were the closest I would get
I was fixated on fitting in around my classmates
Accumulating fake friends by
Ripping insincerities out of my esophagus
And stapling them to my forehead
I stole my own identity
Morphing my puzzle piece and jamming it into the jigsaw
Claiming to be the missing link everyone was searching for
But what am I searching for?

I was lost on my own yellow brick road
I had two left feet and no right way to go
I stopped dead in my tracks
Hoping the soles of my feet would soak in the golden stones while
Singing Dorothy's hymn like spoken sin
I just want to fit in
I just want to fit in
I just want to fit in

Wondering if that was loud enough for Oz to hear me
I didn't have any magic slippers
And this situation was twisting towards witchcraft
I'm not even sure Oz can help me
You see these requests were a tall order for a tiny man
Who wore masks just like me
Oz and I were anonymous
Oz and I were synonymous
Using smoke and mirror tactics to terrorize the innocent
When in reality we were only playing tricks on ourselves
Hiding behind perfectly sculpted ****** expressions
And make-believe manuscripts
Doing basic impressions of manufactured mannequins
Out in the real world
I really needed to speak with the Scarecrow
The Tinman, the Lion, and Dorothy too
And investigate their stresses with relentless pursuit

The Scarecrow would tell me
Wisdom is wasteful for those
Without a strong appetite for improvement
But sometimes common sense can lead
The most sensible person astray
The Tinman would tell me
Compassion is constructed for
Tender hands to hold
But sometimes empathy can leave
The most charitable person betrayed
The Lion would tell me
Courage can be critical in
Times of distress
But sometimes vulnerability can make
The most sensitive person brave
And Dorothy would tell me
Home is paradise
Wrapped in picket fences
But sometimes a terrifying trip can bring
The most wary person escape
And suddenly it would occur to me
That strengths are just solid scars
We have confidence to display on our sleeves
And perfection can only permeate the souls willing to recognize
That faults shine golden too
So from here on out I'm placing my masks alongside my elbow pads
Both collecting dust beside the waste bin
Replacing security for sincerity
Finally embracing the scars on my skin
Now that is a trade off I'm willing to make
Because I want to feel alive again
Mary Gay Kearns Jun 2018
I come from sunlight,
      The sweeping of leaves,
      South London streets,
      Lurburnum seeds;
      Hot semolina,
      A spoonful of jam,
      Hands full of gooseberries,
      That's who I am.

      I come from rose petals,
      The sound of the fairs,
      The smell of candyfloss
      Mist in the air;
      I come from warmth,
      My parents hands,
      Outings to parks,
      Both small and grand.

     I come from knowledge,
     True and false,
     From nursery rhymes,
     And stories and pictures of God;
     I come from gentleness,
     A quiet afternoon,
     From visions of loveliness,
     Sewn on a spool.

    I come from two worlds,
    With different ways,
    A threaded pearl necklace,
    And sensible soles
    A mother and father,
    I think I knew,
    I came and I wandered,
    I looked at the view.

       By Mary **
Poem inspired by the Slam poets on BBC
Rockie May 2015
Freckles on your face,
Sunshine in your smile,
Promises made on your pinkie,
Memories in your mind,
Steps taken with your soles,
Hands are being held,
Adoration gleaming in your eyes.
Lost soles .
       . . . never free . . .
Follow me . . . see . . . have no fear .
           But you have handed me  . . .
one left shoe and a-not- her .

Come old lady who lives in the shoe . . .
Where are your children ? ? ?
. . . a little unsteady ?

Lost soles to memory , like Kentucky lightning on a warm Alabama night .
All hail the underdog .
All hail  . . .

The first left one fits nicely
But the right foot has disagreement . . .
feeling he has been left out .
Amitav Radiance Oct 2014
Started walking along the path
Where life was leading me
Towards a destination chosen
Not chosen by me
But was willingly following
To a predefined destination
Then I came along a bench
Weary I was travelling
The bench gave me respite
From the grueling march
I inspected the torn soles
As the pebbles were hurting my feet
Bleeding profusely
I thanked the bench
Where I could now rest for the night
Lying on my back
I connected the dots on the night canopy
Slumber took over
Dreams of a new road, I could see
Sleeping off the weariness
I woke up to a new day
The bench which taught me to wait
Another destination chosen by me
Clouds have cleared away
I knew the path to walk along
I was a traveler with purpose
My destination, waiting for me
L Apr 2015
We tiptoe into the unknown
figuring out where to go
where our legs will take us
we walk slowly into the woods
we hike up to the hills the mountains
we walk briskly right by the ocean the sea
we cross rivers streams
we jump off a cliff a waterfall
we jump over boulders puddles holes and cracks
we run
we run swiftly to
where the roads meet
where the concrete ends
where the dirt begins
we run down the path without a path
we run into the horizon where the sun rises and sets
we run
we hold hands
we walk
we slow down
we stop
we stand there
we find
that place
that moment
it is where we're supposed to be
you
me
us.
Our rugged soles.
T R Jan 2019
Stripping You of Your Privilege
YOU!

Tall and lean and impossibly handsome
and Corporate

In your magnificent pinstriped business suit
and perfectly tied silk tie
and your hundred dollar haircut
your privileged male feet hidden
inside impeccably polished black
English dress shoes

Staring at me through your
designer sunglasses

Haughty, confident, insolent
Stepping out of your Porsche
before you enter your office building

So smooth, clean, assured and perfect
Maybe you are 35 years old, maybe 40
the world is yours


Transformation
I have news for you
The tables are turned

YOU have been the one in power.
The one in control.
So proud, so arrogant, so confident

Starting at me, a total stranger
Just part of your usual day
I am just an object to you
I am an OBJECT to you!

Your beautiful smooth shaven
face turns...
but wait...

Wait! No more

NO MORE!

The world has turned upside
down

Now YOU are the OBJECT

I have the POWER to make things happen

NOW LISTEN TO ME

You have a new future

LISTEN. OBEY
Quit your important executive job
Leave your successful corporate career

That's right – now
QUIT!
Call from your phone
Don't enter the
building
Tell them you’re quitting

You are stunned and repelled and horrified
You resist and argue
You refuse and try to leave
Your pride and anger rise
But there is no escaping your destiny

Your power is gone
You are helpless to resist

Forget your MBA
Forget you ever went to a university
Slide the business school ring off your
long finger

Give me the keys to that Porsche
And take your Rolex,
your gold wristwatch,
off your
wrist
You won't be needing a watch
I will tell you the time
We will sell your watch

You slide off your watch and surrender it

Get those fancy, expensive,
polished handmade shoes off
Your pampered, privileged male feet
Yes, your black dress socks too

YOU, barefoot on the sidewalk!

Leave the shoes right there on the
sidewalk, in front of your former
office building, shining in the sun.
Empty and crying for their former owner

Shocked, unable to resist,
you untie and remove your shoes,
peel off your long dress socks

Put your expensive socks inside the shoes
and drop the briefcase too

Now get back into the Porsche
you used to own
Yes, in your bare feet
Your smooth, clean size tens
No - NOT the driver's seat
Get in the passenger side
I am driving

I'm taking you to your own home
as my Trophy

How many times
have you
had a woman in your passenger seat?

You behind the wheel,
smiling your proud smile
your perfect white teeth gleaming

Straightening your necktie as
your bragged about your corporate successes
You and your car the proud conquerors
Your handmade black leather shoes pressing the pedal
of male power and privilege

Now you - just a passenger!
along for the ride in your own car
the rich carpet of your Porsche
under the smooth soles of your bare privileged feet

Now the plan!
We will marry
and you will clean and cook and look very beautiful

Now your LIFE LESSONS:
Dumb down your smug,
expensively high-class male executive
SPEECH.
More slang. Much less education in your voice
Don’t talk – just listen to ME

And you have to wipe off
That arrogant male grin
like you own the world.

Destroy that haughty attitude
of conquest - so much a part of you until today

Replace it with humble respect
And attitude of submission and obedience

Give me those sunglasses
You can't wear them anymore
Look at me
with submissive adoration in your clear, blue
eyes

No need to make decisions now
I will take care of that

I will take away your ambition
Your self-assertion
Your independent thinking

We'll take apart your self-confidence
and throw the pieces in the trash
All of your initiative and desire to succeed
will be replaced
by the desire to make me happy

I will change your prestigious upper class name
You will take MY last name now
Your identity will disappear
What is your first name? William?
You are Billy boy from now

Your male executive image and power clothes
No longer have
Any place
In your new existence

We'll pick up some nice tight cheap jeans and
some nice tight undershirts for your
new look - the one I choose
Show off your chest and your arms
Flip flops and work boots
and sweatshirts and flannel.
You will LOVE them!

I want you tougher, grizzled
Blue collarized
Working class male
You’re too clean, too smooth, too perfect
We’ll fix that...

And your clean-cut corporate haircut is
now forbidden
I hate it. Too perfect

Grow out your golden brown hair into
A scraggly ponytail
a beard too...
Put some dirt under those clean fingernails
Calluses on those smooth clean palms
An earring in your ear

And no more SUITS!
I hate suits
symbols of white male power and authority
and no more ties
those symbols of oppression
your neck and long male
throat will be open and exposed
for the world to see

No, that pinstriped suit you're wearing
that you had made for yourself in London
and the silk tie
and the starched white shirt
will all be sold to a second hand clothing shop

The monograms taken off your
cufflinks before they are sold
Your golf clubs – sold
Your tennis rackets and
sports equipment - sold

Your credit cards in my name
Your condo is now ours
Your Porsche is now mine
You will drive my beat-up old Ford

All of your fancy clothes will be sold off
That will be tomorrow



You're gonne be barefoot in my kitchen
You won't be needing shoes anymore
on your privileged, pampered feet


Now - your soles on your own kitchen floor
Making dinner for me
Alexis J Meighan Oct 2012
A dads uniform
                          (Now my own)


           On any given day I saw the many faces of a man.
I watch him play his roles like they were well rehearsed scenes.
He was a star in his own actions, drama, thrillers and romance.

         He wore his soldiers uniform on sunday, torn jeans, white T-shirt with no sleeves and abrasions and scrapes gave stripes to his big arms.
He had oil on his hands and grease on his chin, barking orders as he worked on the car.
" Hand me that 3/4 standard and torque it to the 5th notch"
"What!? What the **** language was that?" I thought to myself as I awkwardly reached for the 1st thing my eyes spotted and held it up.
"That's a hammer Alex!" He said shaking his head as he smiled and walked toward me. He rarely had a disappointing tone. Later he explain the workings of a standard torque wrench Vs a metric wrench with converter. 10 years later I used that wrench to change my Edelbrock Electronic Carburetor 400 series twin stoker all by myself.

    I once saw him defend his honor. That day he wore  his heroes uniform as he leaped from person to person striking, grabbing, kicking, and throwing the 3 large men who underestimated his ferociousness. His tank top was ****** from the wound on his nose. His hat fell to the dirt next to the beaten, unconscious, and humiliated foes that once stood before him.
I could see that he intended to continue his lesson in respect but as he glanced over to see my wide open mouth and unmoved stare he quickly contained his aggression. He picked up his hat and shook it a few time to knock the dirt off. In that moment was another unexpected act. He help the worst of the men to a sitting position and asked him if he was ok. He was genuine in his concern that he may have been excessive in his judgment.
Later that night he explain to me that violence should never be the 1st choice for a solution and our actions should reflect the person we want people to see.
I would remember this 15 years later when sitting with the man I just choked unconscious, letting him drink my gatorade and catch his breath moments after he attempted to robbed me at knife point. In that few minutes I learned his life story. My friends said my actions were foolish.

            Duct tape and crazy glue are the tools of every street born medic.
T-shirt gauzes and boiled stones often made his grace when he wore his First aid uniform.
      
        As a kid I did DUMB very well, from gun powder soup, to a game of dart board hands. One of the more gruesome moments was my apple cutting malfunction. I severed my finger at the base pretty good. I cut right through the knuckle at the base of the index finger. It was the 1st time I fainted. Its still a debate weather it was the loss of blood or sight of it. Like a seasoned veteran he jumped into action. While most doctors would  use a coagulant like Lanxess, iodine and 22 gauge suture for this injury but not this man. He opted for all purpose flour, beer and duct tape to disinfect and seal the wound. Even though it was 3 hours before the emergency room would clean and repair the damage, I didn't shed another drop of blood while his homemade fix was in place.
I learned a lot of (what his friends called Ni**a rigging) first aid tips from him.
12 years later, while on a training exercise with  my CCC group in the forrest, a grade worker suffered a compound fracture from a slip and fall while hiking. I used a heated licorice root as antiseptic and 2 flat rock, my shoe in soles and a belt to mend and set his arm well enough to hike 2 miles back through the trail till we found help.

          When I write my poetry I never know what it is people see or interpret from it. I know the workings of romance and I know the power of its application. The day he wore his Casanova uniform I witnessed 1st hand the great reward a little effort can bring 2 people in love.
         On a normal day in the park us kids ran around yelling and screaming while him and mom sat on the grass watching us play. In the moments of a physical dilemma I sat next to him to catch my breath as he talk to her about random things. I knew my presence was interfering with whatever moment him and my mom were having but I was too intrigued by the task he was performing on the side to care.
On the reverse of a box top he drew a picture of a monkey sitting on a tree in the middle of the water. It was handing a flower to a mermaid sitting on a rock. I never forgot the joy on my moms face when he handed it to her and said "this is us."
I saw that picture everyday displayed on her mirror. Here I am 25 years later looking at my own art and words displayed across the walls of my home. My wife often looks at her description in the words and her name in the titles. Our own son invades our personal space as we sneak kisses and exchange affection through his predictable intrusions.

        My own uniforms hang in my closet waiting for interpretation from onlookers.
Suit up and be seen, or close your eyes and remember his many suits. Your in my thoughts. I hope this finds its way to you.
        Love
              -Alex J Meighan-
Lizzy Love Oct 2015
On these frosty mornings,
I sip on black coffee
and gaze at the dawning.
Today's a new journey.

I take one more sip,
let the heat warm my digits.
Boots laced for a trip,
toes feeling less frigid.

Crunching blades of grass
sound like porcelain glass,
as shattered, frosty dew
covers the tops of my shoes.

I look back at my footprints,
tracing my chosen path.
And I realize, they're just hints
of the impact one does hath.

In that moment, I decided
that my path was quite misguided.
The pilot of my wanderings
was nothing but rubber and strings!

So I sat on the ground
and untied my laces.
My purpose newfound
with barefooted paces!

Yes, my toes were quite cold,
but I didn't care.
My feet no longer soled,
my mind's fully aware.

Now I choose my own way,
with no feelings of dismay.
My soles are a la carte,
and my soul is full of heart.
© Lizzy Collins
she dances on the soles of her exhausted feet
moving her arms with grace and femininity
she kept her balance as the beads of sweat ran down her forehead
with great posture she bowed and no one clapped, so she remained graceful and left the stage
I just love dance it keeps me sane
E Mar 2014
Sit in a crowded gymnasium
on a Thursday.
Basketball is not the point.

Stare at the orange speck anyway.
Silence your phone and his voice from before,
Still inside your head,
words the color of the burnt orange ball.

Find music in the squeak of the rubber soles,
Notice the referee's slanting stripes, and how they blur
when you stare, until even pictures inside your head blur.
Nod to the man wearing the red cap beside you,
whose words dribble across your mind,

They imprinting a message:
travel
next year
last year
time
killing
foul
out
losses
hope.

Maybe you miss that last word,
Or maybe you see the message graffitied on the score board.  
Maybe you close your eyes and open them again,
And notice the white jerseys gleaming in song with light,
The same light that slants up toward you,
Your shirt should also be white,
With the same light shining on those who travel
and on those who foul out.

Sit in the crowded gymnasium
on a Thursday,
and forget about what he told you last night.
I wrote this while observing other spectators at a State Basketball Tournament... It was interesting to speculate what was going on inside other people's heads in the crowd. This is not autobiographical.
Emma Sep 2016
I am sat
In a tight picnic circle
Laid on the grey sand

I am a crusted seashell,
I am the limpets which cling to my skin
Like a sunken chest

The waves and sea gulls call
For each other and the cold
In the distance. The swimmers. The Irish

Sea and the Irish cold
Whistling,
The sea and the clouds

You are the froth
Flowing through my lungs like a white
Feather fallen from the sky

Silent
And dry
The rock's green hair swaying

The wind strikes the eye
Like a splash
And decays with

The grace of a coffin
For me the reeds have born their fruit
They stab the naked

Skin, you are still
Sleeping on your side
In the tent

You are still beautiful
Within, soon the ***** will unfold
And we shall embrace
The sea and her sons
Thinking of You Aug 2015
She always had a way of standing above her circumstances.
Even in the way she dressed, it was like she was going somewhere better later. Yet above her logic and even above her poise she held within her a jar of emotion locked inside for the one worthy. The jar was hidden and no one knew just all that hid underneath the soles of her Jimmy Choo's. And my God she was brilliant, and my God she could make it on her own; but she didn't want to.
ruben rosen Mar 2010
The repetitive meowing of the scrawny cats,
the humming of the trains engine and the golden sun,
greet the starving musician that once lived.
Once lived a life of pleasure, sense and dreams,
In a world of music and soul.
Now he cleans the remains of squirrel bones,
His pants ripping at the seems.
Picking away at the meat with his long and
Grotesque fingers, as if every bite
Brought his closer and closer to the fame
He once indulged.

Dazzling white pants, are now black as night
his leather boots are nothing but tattered soles
which surround a foot plagued by age and disease.
While his body disintegrates as a banana peel in the summer,
The mind never rots, as it fights the daily battle of encroaching insanity.

His thin and blisted fingers reaches for his pipe,
which lays on a pile of hay and ***** soaked rags,
he strikes a match and ***** in his final breathe,
the blue tobacco cloud engulfs The Great Mr. West; King of Jazz
it shields him from the horrors beyond,
protecting him from the creatures of his imagination,
With a mighty exhale, he releases his smoke.
It bleeds out of the cavernous hole; a cloak of relief
with blinding flashing waves of heat, he finally rests in peace
drifting into eternal slumber among the yard cats and rats.
i
i am an animal— should I not delight in this?
Should I not celebrate
                                  bare skin and bared teeth?
Should I not
dance
barefoot in the light of the moon, jubilating in all that I am?

I praise this body that moves me— from the too rough soles of my feet, the hungry churn of my stomach, the burn between my legs. I give thanks to broken skim and bruises; these are the evidence of my life force.

I sit in a Labyrinth, a holy place where my brother & sister stones give me solemn council.
I feel life.
I smell it, I hear it, I taste it on cold air.
Life energies flitting all around me. I soak it up as my skin drinks the sun.

Am I thankful for life in this place?
                                                        No.
But I am happy to greet it. I accept its presence for another day and I move with it, dancing and contorting as I ought. I stretch my muscles and fill my lungs.
And in this moment I feel no fear.

When you do not fear Death how can you fear Life?
How can I fear anything in this life when death—full of the unknowing dark, full of the unblinking darkness, full of that which is unspoken— is known as a friend?

When you welcome death into yourself, you gain and lose life simultaneously.
While you see the day in a different light— more pure, calmer, brighter that you ever could have imagined— this light you are observing doesn’t really
reach you. It doesn’t
wash nor warm you as it
                                          once
                                                     did.
Everything
becomes Colder.
Everything becomes colder, but the cold doesn’t hurt
quite
          as
much.
It’s there, but distant— ebbing at the edges of my nerve endings, but my body doesn’t dispel it nor does it coil away, spitting. Rather, it embraces it. Grows little white flowers in its dark shade and growls merrily from the frozen ground.
        
Let Winter come
and let it awaken the dead-tree creature living within me, somewhere between my
spine
and
my
rib-bones.
Let the cold douse the fire and let that which is pale and hungry roam. Let it breathe its own fire amid the skeletons of Elms and Pine. Let this feverish animal breathe steam into the night air. Let it roam, choking and coughing on a too hot stomach {too much burbon and hot chemical fire}. Let it run itself back into the ground, squirming with the grubs and the centipedes, blind and snuffling, frantic.

You cannot cage your own animal nature.
It will only grow Wilder there. Wilder and hateful— it will turn on that which tried to lock it away. Let it live free, by Bone and by Fire, by Water and by Stone— let it come Alive.

Something made of teeth lives there, breathing shakily, bleeding and slithering in the dark we all try to put away from the light of social normality. Something anthropomorphic and angry. You can’t hide away that which is within you. Maybe it lives at the center of the Labyrinth, waiting on you to stumble upon it. Maybe it only lives at the Labyrinth’s edges— skittering around  outside walls, keeping you fighting within it.
You could drown this creature with bourbon and whiskey, but it will only laugh and dance out of your throat. You could stab this animal, but it will only bleed ink and raven feathers. Ink from words left unwritten and thoughts unsaid.
            I am the snake, the bird, the cat, the wasp, the human.
        The Animal.
I am the mother, the daughter, the grandmother.
                            I am Alive.
There is power in the bones.
May mine rattle in the hollow night, may mine howl, hungry at the moon. May I crave blood, may I hunger for its life as my body hungers for sustenance.
Cadence Musick Feb 2014
you screamed into the highway
tunnel
streets lined
with cracked glass
and broken people
without homes
said you wanted the dark
filled shame
in unwashed sheets-type-days
with dingy motel rooms
and coin laundry.
i don't want
the clean clipped sunday school
smiles
and the sunshine should be
a cold,
phosphorescent,
so i know
that i'm not
being lied to.
J Harris Jun 2015
The soil recognizes
the vibration of your
soft soul and soft soles
when you walk around
the garden's edge.

Grounds from every corner
of the world hasten
to be underneath your feet.

Twenty dignified, upright,
and humble footsteps
from the lilies
to carnations

and much of the earth
is covered.

— The End —