CompresenceThe specter pivots
in the straight-jacket of an untempered wind.
My fingers trace the back of another hand
in half wakefullness;
the silence has grown a body
to lie beside me
in all of its moldy breath
as the house begins to breathe
from its fissures.
The leaves in the garden are a thousand pleading hands
running across the hem of some archangel's gown.
Street lights plunge from their posts
onto the asphalt.
I will remember tomorrow
as if it were a dream,
yet the ground will spill with it,
as if death entangled itself with life
in the confusion of a wind,
and I lie half submerged
between an eternity
In Search of an Old RecipeDown a wintry lane, where streetlampsIn Search of an Old Recipe8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
rise from dimly lit snow hills and the
town is lightly covered in frost,
I pass an old neighbors house and
a village café. The gurgling noises
of a brewing pot and the sugary smells
of rising dough
always met with long conversations
or quiet contemplations, an old friend
or a new friend and a hint of the past.
Something that started the day and
ended the day with company and
a dash of hope
that time can always be paused
and people can always gather.
And behind the rising steam of
tightly gripped mugs, you can always
find laughter, stirring its warmth around
tables as we reminisce.
And sugar is sprinkled over cookies
and pastries the way snow is over the world.
And no matter how far away,
I can always make it home
on nothing more than a memory.
Perhaps these are the ingredients to make peace,
down wintry lanes, where feuds are blanketed
and grudges melt away into cups of coffee.
Mural In The GlassFall once fell in colors here,Mural In The Glass5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you could hear the rust whistle
merry go rounds
still swinging from the hurried departure.
But they are sounds of another time.
is lost in the grey
as rain falls
a heavy patter, a baby's bare feet tapping--
I see the mud tracks fade on the kitchen floor.
I hear the door close in its hinges.
was once uncreased;
among gnawed pencils--
an attention deficit.
Later, the folds of my lids sunk deeper,
dusted with charcoal;
a sophisticated gaze hung on a wrist
ShadowsShadows8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Their lullaby is the guttered water
falling into sewer drains;
Their fragmented dreams are
of tumbling leaves and taillights,
disappearing into the nighttime hues.
They wake to the stampede of suits and briefcases,
Their blankets have blown away.
Drifting in the wind with yesterday's news.
Forever NightShe didn't look back, she couldn't bear to. Back there, there was too much pain, and hurt and hate. No, instead she looked forward, but there was nothing there either, just an endless stretch of road, ribboning on forever into the distance. Infront of her was her future, behind her, her past; she was torn between two worlds. But she couldn't go back, not now she knew what she did. She took one step out onto the road, out of the safety of the light, into the darkness and cold. The light behind her flickered out and the night engulfed her. She felt a breeze blow her hair, as if taunting her, reminding her of what she'd done. A scream sounded and she panicked stumbling along the road before tripping and falling. As she lay there she cried and an owl screeched, mocking her and shattering the void of silence. It was only now, as she struggled to find her footing, did she realise that the scream she heard was hers. Again, reminding her that she was truly alone with darkness as her only frienForever Night10 years ago in Mystery & Suspense More Like This
The woman with the garish...The slugs chewed jagged crownsThe woman with the garish...3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
out of brand new ecru tulips,
and the rain filled them up
until they drooped,
made lazy by the weather.
But Spring blew smoke
like the woman on the park bench
smoking a Pall Mall
and whispering into a black cell phone,
her bright red boots toe-deep in water.
Her umbrella, spine flicking drops
into the flower beds,
yet to bloom,
made the park look gothic
But when she left,
her breath steam
against the air,
boot heels clicking
against the stone
The flowers peered up,
Blinking against the rain.
BorderlineI dreamed once that I saw your face inBorderline3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my mirror, rippling prolifically like
water on glass on my face,
and then I was drowning, and I
too fast into your watery eyes.
Without imagination, prosaically as you
could, you told me you
loved me and hoped we'd meet again
soon. I smiled, propri
ScrutinyAnd when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,Scrutiny6 years ago in Open More Like This
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
~ T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
I am going through the keyless gate
to watch and wait,
to wander here and there among the proud,
among the white and old whose wisdom rots, repressed, untold:
the soporific royals wreathed in leaves of gold.
And to them I shall read aloud from the Book,
read of the sins their lips have took
and upon me they shall look and patiently reflect
I am lost in my own depth, I will say
in a slight, impartial way
(for I lack violets and an antic princes love)
and they, floating through their channels deep
dare to drown me in my sleep and in their orisons remember
So shall I be a queen bone and ash,
of crawling worms and sullied, melting flesh.
Kissed by death, I shall burn upon a pyre
knowing only distance and desire and, rising from the fire,
I shall step with soft, unfettered feet
The Opus Of The Everythingthe ocean floor, the twisted sea andThe Opus Of The Everything3 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
distinctionThis is what I cannot understand.distinction3 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
There is an understanding that nothing is ever black and white. Good can be achieved through bad means, what's wrong can sometimes be right, and if you turn right for long enough, you eventually go left. Boys can be girls who fall in love with girls who sometimes think they are boys and the lines between everything end up irreversibly blurred.
Or so I've always thought.
But this is a line that cannot be blurred. This is the only remaining clear-cut line that separates black from white as perfectly as a color wheel. And that is the fact that everything is until it isn't. We are until we aren't. We breathe until we don't. We live until we die. There is no gray area, no matter what the talk of doctors and comas and life support and brain death might say. Your heart beats until it doesn't.
This goes beyond just life and death. Emotions are until they aren't. As are moments, definitions, seasons. Two people falling in love, well, some of them inevitably cra
snowbonesholding my hands over the kettlesnowbones3 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
Meditation on ThoughtBegin the quiet storm of fidgeting,Meditation on Thought3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a drum, a drum:
fingers through hair,
the insides of my lids.
My mind grows scrublands.
"What do you mean?" and,
"What do I mean?"
I tend slowly toward the abstract.
Pine trees sprout from my hair,
a forest of church steeples.
Whippoorwill am I,
and my fingers stretch
to build me bridges of stone,
a whole cathedral of bone archways.
My Michelangelo eyes sit restless
in a face of white and green marble.
The smallest drop of rain
against the window
and my thoughts collapse
I must begin again.
There is a secret
as the drops of water
roll down the glass.
Why the Willow WeepsToday I asked a willowWhy the Willow Weeps7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The reason why she wept.
She spoke to me so mournfully:
'I weep because he left.'
I listened while she told her tale,
Her branches bent in woe.
She'd been the oak tree's bride-to-be;
The lovers were betrothed.
Willow was so devoted,
She stood up straight and tall,
Had eyes for him and he for her,
'Til Birch Tree came to call.
She was so slim and clothed in white,
She caught the oak tree's eye.
He left his willow lass behind
With no decent 'goodbye.'
Her true love left but she is strong,
And so she did not die,
But rather bent her head in pain,
All out of tears to cry.
~Alex Cherrysnot~ All Rights Reserved
this side up.i am sending youthis side up.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
an empty box.
please fill it
with all fifteen
pieces of my heart.
and i expect
all fifteen pieces.
i am sending you
five-sixths a sheet of paper.
on which i pretended to write
a letter about how i am not
a porcelain doll
that you may play with
whenever you please.
[and throw in the closet
whenever you don't.]
i am sending you
your kiss stains.
it took three bars of soap
and five hours
to scrub them all off
i am sending you
salvaged from the bridges
that i burned.
if you squint, it looks like
a pair of lips rolled around
the words "fuck you."
i am sending you
every song that reminds me
AngelicaAngelica (My Final Prayer)Angelica10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Darling jaded Angelica, can you hear me call?
Can you hear me from heaven; can you hear at all?
Is the sky blue life up there treating you so kind?
Sometimes I wish to join you and leave this world behind.
Oh Angelica, you cried so much before you had to leave
Was dying really the only way to save your sanity?
Angelica you'd died of a heartbreak I'll never understand.
You were already dead inside, though I was there to hold your hand.
Oh my stained Angelica, with your tainted soul,
Have angels bathed you tenderly and filled your growing hole?
In heaven do emotional wounds show like cuts then bleed?
And is anyone up there giving you the bandages you need?
Have they wiped the dirt of heartbreak yet so far away?
Are you beautiful again my love? Can you stay that way?
Has heaven purified you so that you'll never hurt again?
Is it really a new beginning, or…is it just the end?
Angelica, do you miss me, up in the sky so free?
When it rains down on the earth, is tha
OrchardYour fingers are guillotines,Orchard3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
purely purposeful machines.
You pluck the apple,
and carve it clean,
find the core,
suck out the seeds.
Take a life
and taste the power,
and sugar sweet.
You thank God and the devil
with a crooked smile
that the day is young,
and so are they,
and just ripe enough
for you to eat.
In case of emergencyI saw the roots of prairie grassesIn case of emergency6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Like carrion beetles in their yellowing shells
Nibbling angrily, at the concrete beneath my feet,
At wood sheared to fence posts near the road.
The very earth they rejected, drawing what peace they could.
When did stained glass become the standard?
I have forged narrow mountain paths and stumbled over
Bottle caps secreted between the mica flakes and quartz.
In this city, in the sectors most pregnant with age,
Trees testify shamelessly into the sky.
Clandestine, one coils his reach toward
A flimsy cable, twisted and strung precariously
From corpse to shabby corpse, on and on.
Graceful and altogether stoic, another refuses to wince
As the merciless force of a school bus violates its skirts.
All the monstrous lizards reduced to macabre exhibits,
I fault them for dying. With cold blooded savages
Of the biological nature, the world was better off.
Save the best for last is never the real philosophy.
Find me the soul that cares for what happens to its carca
HurakanThe television hisses in and out of consciousness, warningHurakan6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of the impending flood. We make ourselves safer still.
We hear him coming from many hundred kilometres
away in the distance, a deafening, thunderous boom
as the wind thrashes like serpents against
our thin windows and dark, glass mirrors.
He enters the room and turns
a full circle three times, showing
how well he is managing
with one leg still intact.
His voice roars as
loud as a tropical
storm whilst he
chants the words:
mondaymornings are importantmonday5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to the poem. sometimes it
has to struggle toward Monday
and the house has to be cleaned.
it hardly has time to think of you.
it needs bagels for strength
and caffeine for the tangled mess
of words, strewn about like cheese
doodles locked in battle position
on the floor. the air is stale.
it will unearth suitcases full
of past. read chapters of history
written on cracked luggage tags.
it will want to stop because its
allergies are flaring. the flotsam
and jetsam of the mess is getting
in the way of the poem. it becomes
impatient and contemplates whiskey
and a cigarette mid afternoon.
it will discover more crumpled
passports from missed flights;
pages of dark-marrowed words
pointing to the cellar of the travel
agency door. it wonders if it's still
asleep. it will not like this. it will
be indignant. angry. withdrawn.
the shattered syntax must be rebuilt
one word at a time. it feels betrayed
until it raids the cellar, emptying content
by the roots and finally dumps
Dogma: a sestinaDogma:Dogma: a sestina6 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
So we began, as was the world, from air,
So too, in the beginning, was the word.
We met as strangers, as in some ancient idyll,
Caught among an unexpected course:
Lives lighted with those soft, celestial rays
Our eyes, our lips, our tongues a hymn of praise.
And what cannot be thought enough in praise,
Those words oft-said, but spoken with an air
With which the mountains crumble; angels raise
Their voices from the veil, or Holy Word
Echoes from its pages, lauds its course
Unstable though it be, but seldom idle.
Then falling from your grace, my love, my idol
To whom this lonely soul kneels down and prays,
My soul, my heart for which the vessels course:
Vanish; water droplets to the air
Glimmering to the sky without a word
Forever lost among Apollos rays.
Thus night becomes my temple, mine to raise
A sanctuary, my self-serving idyll
Kept hidden from the sun, and every word
Locked safe inside my vault, for who can praise
Or worship great enough to fill the air,
To take the sp
Lobotomy for BeginnersIt wasnt the windowless room,Lobotomy for Beginners7 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the edges of the walls mixing with harsh light
while waiting for the doctors knock.
Or the sweat-leather straps and buckles braided into her hair.
It wasnt the operating utensils on the steel tray,
the scalpel that looked more like a butter knife
and the drill plugged in, lying on the floor.
Or even the way the doctor complimented her posture,
as if a stiff chin was more valuable than a working brain.
And it wasnt the taste of copper that filled her mouth
before she closed her eyes, not wanting to see
him squint at the black dot sketched
in the center of her forehead
before picking at it like a tender scab.
It was the way she sang My Country Tis of Thee,
forcing words out after each prod of the ice pick, soft lips flinching
until the tool garbled her song to silence
and the surgery finally stopped.
EulogyThe dream-catchers are handmadeEulogy3 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.
On Ariadnethe loom of lust:On Ariadne3 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
In the heart of your ears,
and till your outstretched feet
the spinner of mad red has corrupted,
her fingers like dragonflies threading
bark and twined grass into your hair
around your sure wrists, your angled feet
'this is love, my shining bride-to be,' you whisper,
and disappear with her among billowing black sails.
the abandonment of Ariadne:
He wooed you in a labyrinth of spinners,
and wed you in black sails, beneath jealous skies.
'Sleep and tomorrow you shall be Queen of Athens,'
Ariadne, sleep, tomorrow the sun will shine,
and the sea will ebb sympathetic away from
these deserted sands.
the death, or descent:
Spin, my hanging nymph,
sleep and let the dryad-tree's shadow
ease your descent.
The spinning nymph for our mad lord,
the gentleness for the grapes of wrath
and the delight for the madness,
come. Drink, be it ambrosia or wine,
be it mother and son, or nymph and lord.
Spin, lady, and drink, lord,
and I will breat
All His Milestones On FilmAll His Milestones On FilmAll His Milestones On Film5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Starring Sanjay Dutt as Sand and Shadow
Ta-da: his childhood came unwrapped
like his mothers parcel at the boarding school
set in hills far north of Dehli.
It has to be said he was brilliantly packaged
- in silver and stretched,
a song on religious ecstasy
played with a spoon on foil,
The projector's pur
grew coarser with each flicker.
In this cage, every feature
is a première to her, every detail
apprehended for the first time
Soot came up when the silk was torn,
up from thirteen streets in Bombay,
up like the sand when child's castle
is kicked down.
He became a creeping figure,
a shadow, a smudge,
grit on the reel.
If only she could restore him,
replace each shell on the battlements
but no. The boy is spread on celluloid like a sand angel.
Dust and a pistol are all his remains.
And in truth, she is dust,
billowing between frames.
Uncoordinated LongitudeWhen I picked up the phone she told me that she missed the trainsUncoordinated Longitude3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the way the rain smelled in the summer.
I scratched a pattern in the table with my thumbnail. I stretched
the phone cord between my fingers and said I was sorry.
She asked what I had to be sorry about and I told her I didn't know.
I twisted the cord into a clover shape while I remembered
her laugh when we picked up the penny off of the tracks, tossing it
back and forth, watching it catch the light and throw it back.
She asks me where I am and I know she does not ask where so much