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Nov 2019 · 134
choice, in essence
James R Nov 2019
i was told that every poem is about death,
***, and love,
never in that order.
that it's our job to organize
the chaos in a way that makes us feel
as though we won't be forgotten
when we're reduced to atoms and scraped,
bit by bit, from every etch
we've ever made
and the earth retakes our homes,
our names,
our loves,
lives, the lost.
but it's just a feeling.
what's important is embracing
every curve, every laugh,
every spat of anger. and learning.
that hurt won't always last unless we let it.
Oct 2019 · 242
poetry
James R Oct 2019
the truth, fettered and afraid,
hid behind pain and silence.
the poet, his eyes bagged and blurred,
tapped pen to page with ink-stained fingers.
per steady grip and endless drafting,
truth came out, and cried.
it didn't know why it hid
but teased the poet to try again.
as such, he rubbed his eyes once more,
his other hand caressing bourbon and ice.
I love this
Oct 2019 · 286
silence in scarcity
James R Oct 2019
smoke fills his lungs and clings
to his jacket, mixing scents--
his cologne, wet grass,
the lotion on her hands,
their hearts.
in an uneven dance, riddled
with missteps, miscommunication,
missed opportunity.
they can't bear to be bare,
but there they are.
Oct 2019 · 80
vie
James R Oct 2019
vie
it was plucked from his eyes, his heart,
and the sheer wonder that left them,
stunned.

some cacophonous reverie,
a discordant daydream, pure wants and hopes,
and loves and laughs-- all faded.

what eclectic energy there was in them,
some flicker of familiarity and warmth--
led to a slow, burning descent into some place
he might call home soon.
finally wrote another one, not sure how I feel about it.
James R Jun 2019
the hearth embraces truth,
and ends it.
searing corners, ashen smiles,
traversing time by burning
in the opposite direction.
slowly, at times, yet infinite.
we forget to preserve emotion,
as the rest of us are dead
or nearly there.
James R Jun 2019
hiding behind false bravado
and an epoch of shame
twists uncertainty,
anger, and stubbornness.
this wasn't going to be a long
one but it was there to say hello.
Jun 2019 · 256
poetry as a whole
James R Jun 2019
poems are my escape
into worlds where sense
is measured in meter and rhyme,
and the undercurrent of meaning.
i make regrettable decisions
and excise those
that meant me well
in exchange for a pain
less familiar.
i would apologize,
but pride dictates
i stand my ground
and put pen to paper
instead.
James R May 2019
Night stirs, stars surging
in the hushed & vigorous
darkness.
That void, ambient
in its design, holds artistry
and grace. Stars burst through veil
and shadow,
highlighting an ebony spire,
whose apex threatens
with beauty beyond
comprehension.
Their juxtaposition, a dance,
of heat and light and dark.
a poem inspired by Van Gogh's A Starry Night
May 2019 · 307
haiku 1
James R May 2019
My sunlight burgeons,
burns, brightens, sears, and sees all.
I'm the son of light.
Apr 2019 · 304
Wednesday Night
James R Apr 2019
I pick and poke
and **** for meaning
and find it on shelves,
in the broken dashboard
of my old car,
and in the pain of glaring
directly at the sun.
In doubling up on ramen packs
and drinking Corona past 10pm
because I’m drifting.
In swiping left and right
in search of something
I’m not sure I want or need.
In searching for meaning where, sometimes, there is none.
I pick and poke and ****
to find a reason to care.
I hid this one a long time ago but now I'm comfortable sharing it
Apr 2019 · 204
To Paraphrase Myself
James R Apr 2019
I refuse to let my artistry
be ignored,
broken, beaten,
bruised, or forgotten.
These words hold my truth,
deeper than any flagship
can carry.
I must be butter today, cuz I'm on a roll. I hope to continue to find inspiration in the words that surround us all.
Apr 2019 · 578
The Desk
James R Apr 2019
A water bottle perched
on a desk, cluttered
with papers. Old writing,
portfolios of work half-forgotten.
A hand grips the bottle,
untwists the cap,
sips. Right now,
her words
are her only friend.
Apr 2019 · 147
Brevity (original)
James R Apr 2019
The canister fell, its contents spilling.
Paint-infused water covered the floor,
permeating the cracks of the tile,
staining it.
Brushes lay wet and askew.
The artist stares blankly,
briefly.
He picks up the container
and carries it to the sink.
There is little water left,
and what is there, is quickly
poured.
He watches it swirl downward,
indiscriminately,
into the drain. A fleeting
spiral.
He is finding the beauty in small things.
This is a slightly reworked version of the poem that is much closer to the original in form and content. I couldn't bear to share the fully original version, as I really don't feel like it's aged well at all.
Apr 2019 · 223
Brevity (Reworked)
James R Apr 2019
The clay mug fell, shattering,
the water inside staining
the floor with its murky
paint-infused hues.
Brushes lay, wet and askew.
Blankly, the artist stares,
the sound of his breathing
emphasizing this moment.
There is beauty in small things.
A major rework of an older poem from my high school days. I will also upload the original
Apr 2019 · 1.4k
We Lined the Sand
James R Apr 2019
We, at various points in life,
draw a line
in the sand.
Marking where we've been,
where we stopped
to never venture forward.
Winds bring change no lines
can withstand. And we draw
them again in defiance.
We eke meaning from this sand
that would otherwise
mean nothing to us. Imparting
our own ideologies
onto an unresponsive medium
as a testament
to ourselves. Our independence.
The sand is most susceptible to change,
shifted constantly
by the sea, our feet,
the wind.
Still, we draw our lines anyway.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. :)
James R Apr 2019
Emeralds and diamonds,
Affairs of State.
We didn’t build our bridges
simply to avoid walking
on water.
A bridge is a meeting place.
Neutral, casual.
A bridge is a possibility,
a metaphor of chances.
For the traffix in whispered
goods, where else but a bridge
in the night?
A philosophical people,
conversant with greed and desire,
holding hands with the Devil and God.
This living bridge is tempting,
you may lose your soul
or find it here.

*an erasure poem
An erasure poem after a page from Jeanette Winteron's The Queen of Spades.
Apr 2019 · 47
Light
James R Apr 2019
Light in Latin is lumen--
It has many meanings,
the word, the idea.
Something or someone bright,
that brings clarity, clearness,
understanding.
Is it possible for people
to be lumen,
for others? I say yes.
Yes, because
my magistra taught
me that, through enthusiasm
and a language others thought to be dead.
In memory of Magistra Molly Higbee. Requiescat in Pace.
Apr 2019 · 124
In Bloom
James R Apr 2019
At times I feel lost, like I'm wandering
through lush forestry,
picking the pretty flowers
that probably don't belong here
because they look like they'd make the best
first impression, leaving the ugly, thorny weeds
and vines
alone.
But they spread,
by some innate instinct to fold,
pressurize,
concentrate,
& consume.
I take the flowers that I want to boast
and view them again,
hoping with each passing glance
that they'll grow
golden and refined.
Instead, they dim slightly,
petals pursing in rebuttal
of the light they once held.
The weeds and vines have staked their claim
amongst this density
and continue their expansion,
yet among them sprout more beautiful flowers--
gleaming despite the pain.
A rushed work, but the first real thing I've written in years. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

— The End —