Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Antino Art Aug 2018
maybe the buildings are hollow,
occupied only in facade on the first floor of storefronts

maybe this whole town is a hologram
of neon against puddles
on the pavement.

maybe the citizens are ghosts
floating by
in circles, or squares of city blocks,
around a routine,
or droning through on electric scooters
as if on muted theme park rides
to the next sensory diversion;
to the nearest gastronomical pleasure;
toward the weekend and its next party
celebrating the loss of time,
I see their tired faces

staring out from the glass
of coffeeshop windows
on every block.
I see their piles of beer cans
beside the trash chute.
I hear them singing
on *****-cruises to nowhere

What part of this cycle
that turns days into dust
moves us closer to heaven?

What feast from what new restaurant downtown
will feed our souls?

From which lonely night do we finally emerge
beside the one
whose presence fills
these hollow buildings
to the top-most floors?

Which of the empty lots
between us do we fill
with a conversation
about how this is all a dream,
or how we'll keep each other awake
on a bench
beneath a street lamp before dawn
waiting for the first bus to take us home.
John Ryles Apr 2010
The two collieries where I was employed,
Houses now stand winders destroyed.
From a window where I controlled the flow,
I could see the horizon far and low.
I can also see sunrise and set,
Pictures past I won’t forget.
Through the shifts seasons would go,
From summer sun to winter snow.
To wake one morning already too late,
Decisions were made to close the gate.
Work was gone and mates were lost,
Ripped apart at great cost.
Left us with a grey slurry beach,
The nanny goat path we walked to reach.
Down to the coast a ***** line,
Carried shale from the mine.
Through our town they ran so fast,
To tip more waste upon the blast.
Now I sit where I want to be,
Looking out at the great North Sea.
From chemical beach to clean east shore,
The north east pits are no more.
From brownie box in old dark room,
To Digital with super zoom.
Memories fade but photos show,
All we really need to know.
St Marys church to Hawthorn hive,
These scenes of Seaham will survive.
Osiria Melody Mar 16
I. The Neighbor
Eyes, two immaculate, circular egg-whites
Donning uncanny egg yolks,
Captures a commotion like a camera from afar

II. The Parents
Indecipherable words blurred with alcohol’s embrace
Battered, ****** knuckles striking “I hate you”
against her–helpless
She strikes him back like a match set ablaze
Bird-like screeches pierce the air from the depths of his cruelty

III. The Parents’ Child
Tomato-red ball bounces like a rabbit, gliding across the grainy pavement
Young child, innocent and carefree, bolts toward the ball with thunderous feet
Suddenly, a shock of lightning, blinding like the sun,
Obscures the child's vision (a car)
Ear-splitting burst of impact interrupts the neighborhood
Time took off from the ground, sending the child forward like an airplane, limbs airborne
Not an emergency landing, but an imminent one
Her severed head rolls down the road like a bowling ball
Body splatters across the neighbor's yard, sprinkler watery guts

IV. The Father
His mash potato knuckles, battered, raises into the air as if in protest
A visage ridden with contrition, contorts
Tears stream down his face like missiles (his daughter just died)
An explosion of resentment overcomes him (shock, pure shock)

V. The Mother
She, bloodied by his knuckles
Yelps in determination (she blames her daughter’s death on him)
She slams him with all of her will, ensuring his impending death (he’s a goner for sure)

IV. The Father
Now in supine position, mutters an inaudible “sorry” to his wife with an imploring gaze, asking forgiveness
As she watches him expire, grotesquely smiles (he deserved this)

V. The Mother
Sprinting from the scene, red and blue sirens, whirl and whistle endlessly, audible torture
She loses touch with balance, falling head-first to the selfish ground, forcefully embracing her
Crown splits open like a watermelon, its juicy contents ingratiate
itself onto the neighbor's yard (the grass looks green and red like a watermelon now)

I. The Neighbor
Processing this ghastly ghastly scene, succumbs to Death’s embrace from shock

VI. The Family
A fatal and unforeseen tragedy
Broke the silence in this town of tranquility



Melody
3/16/19
I drew my inspiration from witnessing a happy family taking a stroll in a park.
Jamie Jan 5
I am being scratched from the inside out
My ribcage bares nail marks
Wings are pushing underneath my back

And before I know it,
Black feathers are falling to my feet

A blanket made of night swallows me whole
And I'm free
Jordan Rowan Apr 2016
I took apart the clock and set it on the floor
Where I'll be going I won't need it anymore
I'm going out
I'm going down
You'll find me in the sun with no one else around

I sang a little tune and tried to write it down
Doesn't matter if it slips it'll find its way around
I'm going out
I'm going down
You'll find me where only nature makes a sound

I've got a ringing telephone in the palm of my hand
I threw it in the water so I could truly breathe again
I'm going out
I'm going down
You'll find me with a smile somewhere out of town
patty m May 2018
Easy rider,
looking like a fighter,
someone put a foot in his face.
Small town Susie,
flirting like a ******,
dying to get out of this place.

In duo spin
two sheets to the wind,
ships that pass in the night,
they held on together,
dressed in jeans and leather
trying to make it all right.

They did Dallas
the pleasure palace,
slept out in a barn,
do-rag daddy's red-hot mama
going round the horn.

She got drunk and he got wasted
as they rode to New Orleans.
The food they bought, still untasted
as they danced like Cajun queens.

Hot jazz funnels,
the darkness tunnels,
white limbs twist in flight.
Hot sin city, cool lick ditty,
eighteen bars in sight

Blues at night,
fried notes on white,
hash browned and over easy,
grind and grit, wind and spit,
slide down the sax so greasy.

He rolled the throttle
she emptied her bottle
then did her beauty queen wave

they leapt the highway
and carved the canyon
spent the night inside a cave.

Big bear growling
wolves out howling
till morning lit the pass
they hopped the bike
and coasted downhill,
their hog was out of gas.

Now they''re hikin'
no more bikin'
the whiskey drank, now fumes

if they can't hitch
then life's a *****
and this ditch could be their tomb.

Red hot momma
always ready for a drama
sheds her clothes with certain flair,

the first truck passing
almost crashin'
as the driver slowed to stare.

Ring-a- Round Sally,
lollin' in an alley
two flyin' over the moon
they toured the world
until their long hair curled
and they came home
crazy as loons.

Patty M
Khoi-San Aug 2018
Filled to the brim
Pizza Huts
Burning rubber
Dj''s club'n pub
Dancing duel
Free spirits and
**** riddled
Irie cast Bob's Inn
The beat go's on
Bright lights
Stripped trousers
Men on bikes
Ladies sell flowers
Restaurant's cappuccino
Long street lives
Cosmopolitan heaven
Twenty four seven
Beneath Table Mountain Long Street
A must do for tourists
CK Baker Feb 2017
There’s an assembly in the making
and the suits are all shuffling in for the big event
making their way to the front row seats
****** in nose  
hanky in hand  
and all colorfully draped  
in those cuffed pin stripes
and Jerry Garcia ties

now what would the Grateful Dead
or any of their fine entourage
have to say about this foul routine?


Apropos of that
they’re talking in the 3rd person
with tight syllables
and wavy hands
and all taking a run
at the state of the union
there’s Valentino
and Freddie
and good old Sal
"look....their fiddling with their nuts!"
cries a layman from the balcony seats
the Yin and the Yang
have got even the most liberal minded
scratching their heads
as questions fly in from the field:

don’t you know the way it used to be?
have you no morals?
which way to the exit!?


These front row fanatics
have surely been scrimmaging
in the corn fields
all down in that classic 3 point
watching their weight
with sample selections from the
Spicy House and Yaas Bazaar
members of the congregation look on with (concerned) envy

pass the aperitif...the big ***** lady is on deck!

Union heads are running rogue
loading up on grievances
and lines
passing files at a make shift pew
jumping the bunkers
and stepping on clams
while the orderlies move in  
for governance

It’s a bewildered state  
and only for the mind of the rigorous
Jimmy D would say:
“it’s nothing you *****...to the victor goes the spoils!
everyone has a bit of good you know...
you just have to find it!"

Unrest is growing in the ranks
and the masses are unstable
Time to hammer down
with a formidable brace
and two tick play
Peter Garrett Aug 12
I crave for so much more
Than the boredom of this town
And its unparalleled ability
To remain the same…
Yet I'm afraid to leave...
thejohnags Aug 2018
you're no trouble, no goner,
you're just playing the wrong beat.
you're no elephant in the room,
you're just dancing the wrong move.  

they got your photo for display
they must've mistaken your face.
if you think you're dead today,
it's just the start of the race.  

so get up, get up, get up
no broken bones must stop you now.
heads up, heads up, heads up
it's time to press play again.  

go and wear your crown,
go and see the crowd,
let them know that you're around,
make them kneel to the ground,
you're the king of this town.

do they know the pearly whites hide underneath the yellow stains?
do they know that every villain is the star of his own **** play? 
do they even realize you fought your battles for them?
even realize they just sit when you stand up for them?
but they get the glory,
not even feeling sorry.  

it's funny how your story is getting out of control.
you think that you are winning, but then you lost your throne.
you congratulate them on your big, fake smile,
and then you comfort yourself when you sleep at night.

'*** for a second you thought you have everything:
got a pocket full of money, got the man of your dreams,
got a blanket for a cold, hard night, got the stars,
got the job that you want, got a seat in the park  

but then everything's gone when you wake up the next day
you're looking for a bed, but you have slept on the floor, hey,  
where are your clothes? why does your face wear blue?
there ain't no writings on the wall, but if there's one, it came true.  

there's a special place for the non-believers
i didn't say in hell, but you get the picture.
how are you gonna pull yourself together when the world pushes you down all the time?
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Your past, your romantic past, is a shadow. Like all towns, Port Angeles was a combination of rain and clouds, sun and mist, with a chamber of commerce, barrooms and boards of directors, the known and unknown. No one of course is completely unknown. I was known for my tragic love life. She had found another man, a backwoods man, living on the land but not above a night on the town, who according to her would wipe snot on his pants, a statement of poverty or thrift or anger against the niceties of society. All of us heated our hovels with wood but only the rich burned hardwoods, me and probably this guy were softwood gatherers.

            There were few aspects to my life. First, I can remember a nook in the kitchen of the house I shared with a beautiful faceless woman who wore a ring in her nose where I wrote and watched flocks of unidentified birds comb a tree for seeds. This particular day the sky was blue with clean pillowy cumulus clouds floating toward Puget Sound. I believe all the poems written in that nook have been forgotten by their author.

            Nights, for entertainment, I would wander the aisles of the supermarket, admiring everything and buying nothing. I had no money. The fluorescent lighting, clean straight neat shelving and floors, warmth and the fact I could identify nobody attracted me. I lived on cream cheese and honey sandwiches eating them leaning against the kitchen sink. Thinking go back to New York City which is what I ultimately did. Drove cross country nonstop three days and three nights seeing and feeling nothing.

           This was during the Reagan recession inherited from Carter. I'm unclear how presidents affect your life but good or bad, democrat or whig, alive or dead you've got to get a job, which I did. I supervised the living arrangements of developmentally disabled adults in what I thought were humorous contexts that gave no offense. They were beautiful and incorrigible having regular *** without protection. Normally harmless they'd sometimes have altercations with their neighbors. I balanced the checkbooks, paid the bills. Supposedly teaching living skills, I had few of my own as evidenced by my sleeping on the floor, I had no bed. One mature woman colleague judged me a short-timer living a useless fantasy about big cities. Still lost in my own history, still didn't know the calculus.

            I had a dog, Shade, black lab, leftover from my near-marriage until she realized I had no economic prospects, no interest in further *** or her logger boyfriend, and a complete inability to translate or imagine nesting and gestation. My homework comes to me in daily disconnected increments. Shade lived in my gray van, a Dodge slant six, which I could never afford to fix. Once the driveshaft disconnected from the rear axle and I tied it on with rope. Drove 60 miles on a knot. Shade was hyper and sad, both. He smelled bad but was a good dog with a lonely heart. When my wife who wasn't a wife finally found a boyfriend who wouldn't wipe snot on his pant leg they took Shade to British Columbia where I believe he runs free on a vast estate by the sea. I once beat Shade like a slave because he attacked a small dog out of frustration and loneliness and until I had kids and started saying and doing things just as bad to humans it was the lowest meanest moment of my life. The farmer who saw it will never forget or forgive it.

            Having confessed all this there's just one last fact to tell. The mountains were cold, the waters clear, deep snow and shadows.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Should we invite the neighbors over for dinner?
Their politics so different from ours.
All the more reason. Combat anomie!
He's worried the town's losing population
but opposes immigration. I like immigrants
but hate passing people on my morning walk.

The whole mountainous western region of the state
is losing population at a rate of 1% per annum.
The young move out, the old stay put but
young artists priced out of big cities move in
looking for affordable studio space. How low
can the population go as long as rents stay low?

We did agree about the fire department expansion
being premature (him) or unnecessary (me).
He argued we should renovate the high school first
the roof is caving in and walls crumbling.
But you can teach under a spreading chestnut tree
or baobab and science needs the world for a laboratory.

I teach at the old 2nd St. jail in Pittsfield
a town that doesn't know if it's coming up or going down.
A few shootings last month, no deaths.
They're holding their breath but also trying to attract life
science businesses to the industrial park. The local bank's
expanding, buying smaller banks in neighboring civilizations.

Eventually our fire department got the vote they wanted,
just called another meeting and packed the auditorium.
The final winning argument was we can do the school,
the fire house and the police station all at once.
Don't accept defeat, limitations. Defeat anomie!
Anomie means lawlessness and purposeless in Greek

so that's not exactly what we're trying to defeat.
It's the mismatch between our aspirations and resources,
no, the dissonance between our tribe and nation,
no, the individual as ****** animal and intellectual,
no, the farmer and the banker, the loved one and the litter,
no, whatever happens to you after you die and belief in reincarnation.

For me, it always boils down to mortality
every conversation, which is why no one comes to dinner.
Whether the fire department buys an exorbitant parcel
at the expense of a future school renovation
in a town slightly losing population but still viable
with a college, bank, artists and a few working farms

is everything and nothing, as Borges says.
Deutsch says death ought to be curable.
The new high school or fire station, conditions like anomie
v. democracy, new life forms, self-conscious species
from the laboratory or the biome. How de body?
Today ok. Tomorrow I don't know. Potential

energy, lover, killer, anomie. Karl Popper
had such faith in the rational whereas Niebuhr
acknowledged man's ego is uncontrollable except
by force. Conflict is inevitable. But at dinner
we agree it doesn't always have to be violent or terminal.
We can do the fire department, police station, the school and anomie.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
Tanya Feb 11
She had returned from her journey,
radiating bright, vivid
light.

Feeling better than ever.
Blooming.

Small minds
couldn’t handle
her flowers.
but the sun garden was hers to handle anyways .
em Jun 2015
I know the face
inside every car that
passes my bedroom window.

Why do I feel so ****



lonely?





I'm surrounded by these faces
of people who I have known since
pre-school.
Yet I don't think they have ever met me.

I am a piece of shrapnel,
pulled from the angry fist of an angel,
who spent a lot of her time watching cars crash.
Wondering what we've made of creation.
but the metalworker feel asleep.
before he could finish making
me into something,
beautiful.

And when he woke up it was too late.
I can't change.
I hardened perfectly into that mold
the one that society said would look good on me.
So those people took one look at me and then
cut out their eyes.
No longer able to see what else
I might have inside.



So I live in the dark.
The girl who I am when I am alone
is not ready to be seen from the road.

She's not strong.
She's not ready,
not ready to explain the light
streaming from the windows
of the big white house around the corner from
school and the ice cream place.

Maybe she's to afraid that her light,
isn't really there, just something made up,
to give her hope that she has something,
to help her escape this
town.

But maybe she's afraid that her light...
will be too much of a surprise for those
drivers drunk on dreams.
Because being herself,
shouldn't end with
angry angles.
gn, just some things that needed to be written down before i hit the hay. Its still a little rough so feel free to leave feedback :) AHHHHHH I HAVE MY POETRY SLAM TOMORROW AND **** AM I SCARED
Harry lights another cigarette
Amy's dog died at the vet
Peter made Amy upset
Paul wrote up another check
Yolanda made another bet

Amy slams Peter to the ground
Peter utters a horrifying sound
Riley drives out-of-town
Ingrid raids the lost-and-found
Larry wears Ingrid's stolen crown

Fabio plays a riff on the sax
Ophelia fails to pay her income tax
Oliver blurs the cold, hard facts
Larry has trouble trying to relax
Sergio takes a few steps back



Melody
4/1/19
If you read the initial letters of each line, you'll understand the point that I'm trying to make.
Andrew Maitland Oct 2018
I watched the water rise. Creeping down the muddy street. As if a divine force was attempting a stealthy act of insurrection. I didn't have the heart to fight it. Had I only known.

I watched Hell's Half Acre silently succumb to the whimsical (however so pleasantly devastating) path of Gaea. Through this empowering incident I felt redemption like I never had before.

I jumped down from the platform of the livestock pen to personally welcome the satisfying force of nature's purification. The water lashed out and grabbed my leg. At that moment my jubilate spirit spoiled to uncontaminated terror. It was not a redemptive Spirit winding its way through the rail tracks but the serpent Lucifer. Had I only known.

And so in the West Bottoms Tavern I found myself under the ***** shoe of The Machine. A wayward phantom rising from our precarious Kansas River. It drifts through the sweet Midwest like the coal black locomotive smoke that paints a suffocating thick haze above the Stockyards.

A welcome slate of provision. A shelter covering us from the racial tension and poverty smothering the outside world. To those in the Bottoms with unruly desires, a saviour. To those at City Hall with loose morals, the messiah.

And it was at 1908, I nervously pulled the covers over my vulnerable body and sealed Satan's foul kiss with a diabolical red scrawl. We skipped hand in hand through the freshly paved streets of our "wide open" town. I always tried my best to look the other way but I knew full well that I travelled with a gang of thieves.

Nonetheless, everyone votes in our town. A brutal party whip keeps the Jackson County Democrats in line and "Charlie the ***" prevents any Rabbits from multiplying.

But I've been working from within the belly of a "whale" for years and I fear we've now run out of ocean. Our arranged marriage has robbed my capacity for faithful navigation. I'm seeking a radical divorce from The Beast, the cost has become inconsequential to me.

So I found genuine redemption. Finally. I closed the driver side door to my sedan and walked out to the edge of the bridge. The water below seemed whimsical (and so pleasantly devastating) in nature, much the same as it had 36 years ago. I pinned this note to the window, and with a Ready-Mixed Concrete block tied around my waist I watched the water rise.
Sharon Talbot Sep 2018
At first the air seems too dry;
Then you see the mist --
A small town on the horizon;
You decide to ride on,
And give Father's headstone a last kiss.

You find yourself wondering why
Anyone would stay here.
Some of those who passed before
Left their mark on rotten doors
Memories strangely dear.

Love's a gamble in a ghostly town;
It could move you, swift or slow.
You unholster your heart,
Wonder when the shooting will start,
But you already know.

Dozens to go and only one down,
Riding through a town of slaughter,
You're both alive and dead,
Mute bullets whistle by your head:
Are you a killer or a daughter?

He was here once, before you knew
About the emptiness outside.
Still you followed him.
His face was harsh and grim.
And he told you to leave or hide.

Love that's cold, deadly and true
Is the easiest and hardest kind.
You can **** him or just love him;
You'll never know much else of him,
But he’ll never leave your mind.

Dawn bursts over the sharpest peak
And the town streets fill with gold;
It’s the only kind this place will ever see.
You know that soon, you and he
Will shoot each other or fold.

Yet, love in a ghost town always dies,
Killed before it can start.
Spanish ladies even now wear mourning veils
And the lovesick couples' faces pale
When you shoot each other through the heart.
Partly inspired by The Lady or Ellen of “The Quick and the Dead” and the violence of passion--especially that which happens internally.
Marigolds Fever Sep 2018
A Town
Short journey
To blue bird oasis
Sky and earth kiss
Whiskey distilled
Tasty brewed concoctions
Groovin' on a flip side
Village life resides
Divine estates
Pillars of beauty
Garden stroll
Delicate flowers seen
Fragrant herbs of green
Historic hall
Blue light
Glowing every night
Sunsets glimmer on water ways
They walk a trail
Near a bridge of history
And watch a step on a track
Paddle the moonlight
They come back
Tranquility or venture
Life’s thirst quencher
History in a town
Signs observed
To be found
All part of
Dynamic and preserved
Next page