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Accounting of FiguresMy mornings begin with a lost story
About dim rooms and loved ones, erratic, shifting
The timeline I know, sucking back their lips
And baring familiar teeth - it takes some minutes
Most days, it’s going forward - breathing
Through a wet rag, biting a spoon
With sore gums, eating little, old fires
Casting my shadow as a long spoken
Each step an act of fleeing.
Some days take less effort.
When I believe in my inertia - mark of forces
Withstood and trancelike obedience
To survival -
The fricative hope of yielding to every overdue
Experience - those long places far hoped for
Seem to match my stride.
I forgive the hard days. What they stole
And replaced, their forced winter
An act of healing, an important sidewalk
Waiting to be found by our feet - now,
Kneeling Glorydoesn’t matter anymore. There are two
Possible explanations for why this happened.
You were a traveling light from a kneeling morning -
Your fingers struck me, and a new man answered, rising,
Together setting out.
You were the hope of an answer,
Spirit painted in a tall mirror,
Lonely, waiting for my prayer,
Waiting to make me forgive myself
And, laughing, kiss you through
The glass, hoping that by some magic
To make it tremble and break
Deadly joy, not trembling, exploding,
A mist of wings scented and barbed
With what was dead, inhaled as a fever
And, afraid of the begging softness, afraid
Of their influence, I lowered the lights,
Rolled you into the shadows, until I learned
How to celebrate beauty.
Or, it was that cold Lacey sidewalk
Yelling, striking a familiar drum beat
In my chest, when the right man answered.
She is the kneeling glory, rising
With me in the dark of every personal
Morning, kneeling at my side again
Every night I dim the color of my body
And slip si
Accept That You Will Get WetCareless parents might tell their children
Not to go into the dark, inevitably
Make cowards - half a triumph.
Inert mass in a state
Dwell in your native lair, preserve
Those lawless impulses which find
Friendly footing in your heart.
That hydra-headed beast, secret
Affinity towards evil that sways
ComfortlessUndo this work of theirs,
Absorb them as lies -
Poisonous minerals providing
Doubtful relief, but we prefer
The unqualified possible.
Any wish to amend our faults is met
With an open violence, each individual
Discovery of a moral sense leaves us
Commonplace - actual motives
Are an obvious relief.
Our task is the cultivation of consequences.
That calculated friendship denied
Repeatedly, that wet rag smothering
The face of beauty, and our nature
Justifies such severity.
Self-regardIn any situation, it is unlikely there is a key -
Unreality favors the stage, that reflexive
Illusion of vain glory and servile rage
At whose feet we heap applause as tribute,
Refusing to acknowledge the painted wood
Of a well dressed puppet.
This position of limitless pretend, more real
Than looking into a mirror, finds ways to love
Itself too much, becoming a cypher
For our heart burnings - our desire
To feel what others are.
Avoiding villainy is an excuse,
That failure to love ourselves convincingly
Enough. Both hate morality for the same reason -
It is unlikely there is a key.
Limited Success Settles DeepOur old letters taste holy now,
Taped to the wall, always falling
Off with the photographs of my father
That never stuck.
Tuning the landscape to your specifications
Conflicted with my bandit’s life, repitition
Of desertion overtakes the death of light,
Versions of stowaways dragging stories
In shoe boxes.
Disappeared travelers know my name,
That cold steam vanished, those socks lost
And, kneeling, bargained for with the settled
Necessities and the sheltered can be brokens
What I Know About ClosureHours of light follow you,
Strangers with unfinished business.
As a scientist, I try to tighten down
Your stubborn fingers, promise
That the pilot holes won’t hurt,
Because the sway of “anything for you”
Makes my tongue slowdance with the letters
Lost in the fire.
Heavy miles prove the dirt appreciates the blues,
Barking dogs chasing the way home out of view.
Stowaways were meant to go missing, mistakes
Need pioneers to threaten what might
Be lost - far away street lights
Barely looking at you.
The Humble Escort Turning GreyI am vanquished -
Kneeling on the shore of a lost idol,
Acres of car bones hide a natural remedy,
Algorithms destined to dance,
And I am vanquished.
I am dead gears clacking,
Fish mouths draining acres of shadow
Coiled on the hot stones of a fleeting nighttime vault,
And I am vanquished.
I am tired gutters cradling rain and troubled moss,
Acres of sagging fingers worshiping apparitions
Beneath their nails, cadaverous streets dropping down,
And I am vanquished.
A Temporary CarnageThere is a sibilance between wind chimes -
A path for serpents through sharp
Prairie grass and down the runnels
Of martyred remains. Cinder slag
Left by the lions in the field,
Their many mauled femurs yawning
With the pleasure of being bodiless.
I am intimate with the discarnate,
Those unreflective bits of rust
Which burst flavorful on the tongue,
Like broken plates and red blooded
Just a rogue coin clanging in the wash,
Soon to be removed.
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
My School Says I'm Worthless (sort of a rant)I'm a criminal because my values aren't their values
And I'm scum to say the least
Because I'm not on their list
Ones who have their lives set out
And drink from molten glory raining down from
School top balconies...
And I have myself left to blame for all the non-attempts
And truancies; the bleak distractions
That help me escape the inviolable test-score stares
Of disapproval that I attract from their
And they're forced to ask me 'Why?
Why are you still here?'
And I can barely say
That I'm afraid to leave.
That I know that no-one knows
Or what they want to be
But unlike those
I gave up
A while ago
And they can't tell me to my face that I'm a failure so they heavily imply
That my lacking presence
And even less impressive
Tendency for slacking off is evidence
That I am stupid and a fool and nothing more than such a waste of resources
And it's a disappointment
That I don't hold their ideals
VesselYour heart is a compass.
Broken, perhaps, but I know
It’s always searching for the North Star.
Which way will your beard point tonight?
DanielYou are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium
that does not make you the lesser -
You’ve got the weight of the world
on one shoulder
sometimes you trip because of it -
you’re still walking
and if things fused wrong
post or anterior
and if things fused out in the interior
your circuits live on
and if your thoughts get circular
or so do your moods
and your mind blanks and you forget -
you’re nervous but strong -
then I’ll remind you.
Because you give me
the backbone required
you’re my Atlas, so I lift my head,
you’re my axis, so I can face the future
because you are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium.
You’re my inner strength.
FallingFailure after failure
A life not worth living
Lost in my misery
Long gone are the good moments
I keep falling
Nothing can save me now
Gone my hopes are
Because He'sHe’s listening
Millions of them.
A flash of red
And a navy hat
No warning – now motionless
With skin turned to shadows.
Words from Another RoomWooden dinosaurs can be coaxed
To follow, if they know you, whispering,
A voice of drapes gently shuffling,
"Be good, son," and they do
Tell my hostile nerves,
Swayed by a red and wintered wind,
Perfumed by the smell of old
Shirts, "Be good, son." Would you?
I heard you, when your light yawned
And limped down the horizon, descending,
Like a dull shadow over your bleached face,
Heavy on your wet eyes, fading, whispering,
"Be good, son."
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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