the sons of flint and pitchthe sons of flint and pitch
as i want to be remembered--
fallen down with the knee-tide
over my forelock, drowned in little water,
but mostly as a man
not afraid to die:
remember me my children
if you have ever remembered
tenor, if your voices have sung for me though you did not know
you sang for me:
remember, we struck a spark!
for such brittle foolish longing is not
what wets our torches or deadens our wood
but show me a good man, raise him up high on a pedestal,
and I will show you
something worth burning out for.
Chin UpAnd sometimes, coated and layeredChin Up4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with tens of scores of others' eyes
we forget the word 'lonely' -
so when it flings ashes
we blink, and are blinded.
HomeIn my head each moment from my past dies over and over again and I dream of everythingHome5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
When I reach home and the smell makes its way back to me
Kentucky coils up inside of my brain like coconut shavings
Burps of sadness
In the dew of the incurable day
Its hard to re-piece the things
Shaken from the nightmare of time
Visions leading to new visions
Always trailing away from
There is no way to cure
The disease of desire
We who are not starving
Are eating our own hunger
In search of new soil
Desperate to create new life
I have found my skin
Pulled up my skirt in the wind
Gave into the moon
I sat at the mouth
Of this great bird
As it cried and whined and screeched
And I prayed
And let go of the world
Heard tunnels of flame
In your dreams
Burning their way across the bed
hey boy your tight electric...hey boy your tight electric shoulders dohey boy your tight electric...9 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
not suit you- tailor-suited just to fly
like dust for dust we are and we Will too
watch church films Saturday and you and i
might laugh at inquisitions-
THAT will be
like dust in mouths and copper trophies love
is this too bold although you'll never see
the Kalamazoo of dreams and morning
my boy are you quite well your shoulders tense
forget about the lights of failure dear
dear boy forget for me-
When God Sleeps.I. So it comes to this: pangea tearing itself rawWhen God Sleeps.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
from our throats to pour into squares of newly open sky
where the stars grew aches and darkened lakewater
once bloomed into bruised winters. Somewhere
beyond the thick of snow, prayers are strung
on moon-rattled winds
and birds' teeth tear apart the poetry
of our hands. They will raise something beautiful
from these ruined words.
Continents shift slowly. They are
dirt-bound titans, these beasts;
rootless giants that mold themselves
to fit the vision we hold inside our heads. Oceans sigh
and their tides crawl ever upward.
II. Our shadows become umbilical
in certain light. Unknown children cast
dark shapes of water
to nourish the gardens springing forth
from the dirt's wrist like a eulogy for lost sky.
Morning doves sing because they see what we cannot:
the years between us laid out like miles and our feet
that never mark the reddened earth and
the passion-trees birthing flowers of such cold, untamed souls.
We are walking in the wombs of
.SetIt is Akhet, the season of sorrow and silt, and Set.Set4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
must tense his sandbreath against the slick of wet
once more. It's always the same: though he's unsure
who started the game, or whose face he wears,
he knows he must prepare for the beginning of the end,
the bite of night and all the slippages in the inbetween.
And he swore he'd bait their breath,
but they'd rather choose death than fear,
with their tombstone legs, arms pegged
in sockets and their locked ears,
burying themselves beneath blocks
built to the sun. They outrun him, every time.
It's a crime. He remembers what his mother said:
do what you're able to keep them faithful,
to keep them grateful under the table.
He wonders where it all went wrong.
So he must sink into the long light, fight wanderlust
for blighted floodplains, and try not to ask why.
There are no answers, only questions.
Even his name is disguised by the way they collide in the dust.
He won't look back to watch the waters rise,
or the blackening of the swallowed
Fifty-nineThunder crashes outside and I jump at the noise. I'm not scared of thunderstorms, but I hate seeing what they do to her. The fierce light that shines in her eyes as she talks about appeasing God's anger. The locals are all taken in by it. They listen in awe when she speaks of Him, they bestow her with honours and gifts, they hold her word above all others, they block out the unspeakable things she does in His name, believing that it's all for the Greater Good. They don't know, of course, as my wife doesn't know herself, of the role I play in all of this. They believe, as she does, that the poor creatures come to her willingly, guided by His hand to their own sacrifices.Fifty-nine4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When the storm ends my wife leaves the house, transformed from the sweet woman I agreed to spend the rest of my life with to a force of nature I don't dare reckon with. Her hair is loose and tangled, wild like her white-rimmed eyes. Her mouth is thinned with anger and disapproval as she imagines the atrocities that must
Winter.As he talks, I imagineWinter.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the words are tiny icicles,
falling from the awning
of a late afternoon
to pluck holes in my eyes
all over my retinas).
"All the better to smell you with, my dear,"
I'll say to the girl he's remembered
when he leads me to drink from
her trough of tears;
"All the better to hear how we harmonize."
No black lace or lillies
stargazing from the sidewalk
of her bedside, no books
enscribed in braile or the
bent knees of leaving;
just smoke and stale breadcrumbs,
guiding her frail understudy
through cold evening
Only as Old"Frail bones predict what fragile minds can't detect,"Only as Old4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
He trailed off slowly, "And my bones are achin'."
The air around me hung low and depressed,
Sticking to the back of my throat like a stormy syrup
I'd tried to swallow down.
I peered out the kitchen window
And caught an inklet of patched-over-grey sky;
I wondered what was in store for the day.
Impartial to the gloom outside, we stepped out onto the back porch;
Grandpa wobbled out with his cane in hand and we waited.
In the hushed stillness the trees traded birds
Robins, swallows, whippoorwills, and cardinals.
If you squinted hard enough at the sullen shrubbery,
You could spot the caterpillar creeping to the underside of the leaf.
That's when I looked at Grandpa,
And saw through his eyes nature receding
At his prescience of a storm.
"Grandpa, how do you always know?"
He chuckled and simply said: "The world tells me."
It was left at that, but years later I have found
That the world is only as old as the person to whom you speak.
I was Eros once.I stuffed my throat,I was Eros once.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and pockets full of roses.
I tied myself up with heartstrings.
I set myself on fire.
annabbelle(two ays, two enns, two bees, two ells, to ease)annabbelle4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i met a girl who wanted two
of everything, to
reach out for your hand, so she could have another one, too.
EulogyThe dream-catchers are handmadeEulogy4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but each bear the same mark of boredom.
On the reservation,
the dirt is red and separated from the turquoise on sale.
The tops of the mountains have been scraped off
like whipped cream from pudding cups
of beautiful alien rock.
"Plateau," my mother says.
I am not sure if it is a name
or a command.
The lightning storms are brighter in the desert.
I sit perched on the horizon,
the edge of one loss to another
given up my love, all my bottled water.
The mountains carry their own babies in the muddy puddles,
against the wind they huddle,
but their semi-circle somehow is just one great smile.
I let them tell me I walk over dinosaurs,
that their bones are beneath my feet.
earthy wire and string
these are the weapons I possess
to protect me from their ghosts.
The hollows are for imagination
and the web for night-terrors,
like a brain fraught with holes from pens
trying hard to fill a page,
when you've only got a page left.
She who destroys the lightfirst seedShe who destroys the light5 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
Darling, you and I both know
in a better world I could be your Lethe
wrap around you, drown you
that ever tried to bring your fate down on you.
Still if I picked up the pieces
I'd hear their soft hum
the one shells moan for the sea
for even then there would be places in you
still not free.
Surely women must have learned by now
never to trust fruit.
A garden is a prison earned
and there is nothing satanic, nothing sacred
Yet when your body curls in on itself
seduced by not-seeds that need only thirst to root
you find your lips wet
and what might be blood or juice
becomes the same as sweat.
Your skin is singing
I swear, hymns to the colors
the way the world's ringing hurts your ears
the salt of the Dead Sea come alive in your tears
the smell only in the sky as the rain clears
the poppy-eyed bud people who spend years
walking around, faces turned toward the light
thrusting pomegranate crown
Whiskey boy, ruby boy.1. It has been twenty seven days since I last let theWhiskey boy, ruby boy.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
hawk-eyed man into my head, ninety four hours
since I last drank myself to sleep, and thirty two
minutes since I last kept my mother from the truth.
Tonight, she still thinks I have hope, but it may be
the last time she believes I'm still whole.
i. Last night, I dreamt of the boy next door, the gun
in his drawer, the whiskey under his bed, the hate
in his eyes when he drags me out of bed to tell me
I've ruined another story, I've fanned another flame.
This boy does not know my mother, but I suspect
they would get along quite well.
2. The last time my father crossed the ocean, I explained
to my mother that the cogs ground too hard, that the
Outer SpaceI have constructed a canyon.Outer Space5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
( it will be an addendum to the dream )
Not a U.S.-Southwest-redrock-dayhike-national-park canyon.
(it's the sort of place you go to die
and so it is too tempting to pass up)
Before you go, I
will have to strip you of your juju.
Whatever it is.
Wherever you keep it.
I have constructed a canyon.
I dug long and through until the sharp point of my want for you
Orangesmorning lifts to the smellOranges9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he enters her eyes, a
stranger waving away
her dreams, which are thick and rough-skinned as the
carpet beneath her soles
she is getting up,
clinging to the up
is a quiet fruit that she'd
rather not peel
An Anatomy Lesson If I collected the lies I've been told I could make myself a skeleton. 206 hollow bones made of hollow words. The bigger lies are structural support, holding up the rest of me. 33 dishonest "I love yous" could be 33 intersecting vertebrae, composing my curving spine.An Anatomy Lesson4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I could gather shards of my 10 favorite broken promises to be my long, sharp finger nails. The 10 runner ups fit on the tips of my toes.
Spiderweb truths, theirs and mine, will weave my new skin. An average of 20 feet of sticky substance, easily torn and easily rewoven.
Words will circulate like blood through the 100,000 miles of my veins. Cynicism creates phagocytes, attacking all foreign bodies of hope.
2 hazel eyes are formed from memories. Green from springs come and gone. Brown from Autumns jus
snowbonesholding my hands over the kettlesnowbones4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the skin on my fingertips peels back,
like dated wallpaper,
like flowers blooming.
they're burning from the inside out,
nails turning to varnish, turning to steam,
bones click-clacking their way out;
spreading like wildfire.
the whistling stops, and
and my fingers are just fingers,
ink stained, bitten nails.
sunlight streams across the kitchen,
my fingers warm and
slightly damp, i trace patterns on
Mermaid SongI have tried to love you.Mermaid Song6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
But you have become
little more than an evening in pale watercolors
the shadow of Monet.
I have decided to leave the lilies as they are.
Perhaps in later years, with desperation,
fearing the thinness of my thin limbs,
the creaking of my spider fingers,
I will go to wander those gardens again,
hoping for the promise of Eden,
clutching beads in my weary fist.
For now, you are fleeting as mermaid song,
brief as tall spires in pink and green beneath the sea
I can never touch them.
Our connection fades,
a violet mirage
disappearing within the swells.
A wave breaks
the silver froth wipes the sand
clean and perfectly brown.
To Leave*To Leave4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am a lousy soap opera,
a dying monologue,
wolf boots and cricket hair,
full of questions and denial.
I throw postage on love letters
I duck under the kitchen table
all I'm hoping for is an explosion.
Maybe the letters could create a new solar system.
I would be the mini suns and moons
and you could be gravity
or lice or a Barret that was never worn,
really, I don't care, dress accordingly.
Oh I have a question:
Why do we always turn our backs away,
why are we consistently empty and aching,
when does the road end, and life begin?
The silence is a wrench stuck in my throat
I'll gladly choke on to avoid you.
The Opus Of The Everythingthe ocean floor, the twisted sea andThe Opus Of The Everything4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
all the flying jacket bees, and all
the flying birds and he, the one who
caught the glint of spring, who laid
it on the downy dew, the crispy green
of May fescue, who saw the plans of built
up lights that burn to light a thousand
pools of dripping rain and puddles lay
on any given night or day, the brick by
brick, the mortar spread, the snap of sugar
sweetly felt, the brine that made it
through the cloud, the opus of the
everything, the great and wide, the heat
of flame, the sun in cold but sunny sky,
the sound of when a child laughs,
the opus of the everything
if this world makes you crazy.Three days before his third birthday, my brother's computer started misbehaving.if this world makes you crazy.4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He was small at birth, our little illegal boy was, and ugly as day.
Although the world's resources crumbling to its knees, no one could have denied my mother of her "accidental" embryo, even while They broke into houses and took women to the quack doctor to eliminate any suspicious growths "in the name of the law". We went through geneticists and neurologists, trying to fit an old computer from Grandma's time into the next generation. We dug deep into emergency stashes and back-up loans and "30310's College Fund", and came up with just enough to satisfy one round of bribes to keep everything [just barely] under the wraps.
Newborns are pretty things, my mother had assured, eyes bright and half to herself. It'll be worth it in the end.
His name was Ray, a pretty all-letters name to make up for his physical disproportions. I held him on the first day of his life and the last day of my [only-]childhood freed
Quietly by the SinkQuietly by the sink she sang,Quietly by the Sink7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a knotted ribbon of apron ties
nested in the small of her back
with tendrils of long dark hair.
By itself this was an aria,
a duet of sky and sea,
a song performed in a dark universe
too frail for such light.
Love Isn't Chasing Rainbowswe wouldn't be dreamers, big schemers,Love Isn't Chasing Rainbows4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with go-nowhere jobs, nine-to-five.
no saving face, morning after regrets,
and what was his name agains.
we'd be euchre in the café
with men who had seen it all
before. salt plains, burma forests,
atoll islands and elephants at the zoo.
a car park wedding and a shotgun
house. make up chasers are
for the suburban dream
who wants kids anyway?
I'd finish my degree, want
to work far, far away and
you'd agree to follow me
to the edge of the world,
but no further because
heights still won't be your
thing. in lust for all days;
we would have the world.