7 Lovely SinsThe
The Book of
1 This is how you will know to mark the young among men,
for this is the prayer they pray, again and again.
2 It is these who should be marked and minted into lives worth being spent.
3 These are the words they speak in vain,
"Our father who art in us, tradition be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in me as it is in him.
Give us this day our lovely sins1—those of youth and innocence.
And forgive us our deviance, as we forgive those who differ from us.
And lead us not into similarity, but deliver us from the collective.
For thine is the prison, and the scorn, aimed at abnormal men."2
1:3 1 7 Lovely Sins, Quintessence 1, New Testament
1:3 2 Hope's Prayer, Quintessence 43, New Testament
The Book of
1 Behold, these are the sins
for which you shall be told to repent
drowning out westdrowning out west10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It has not been so bad here -- warmer than home and they call the place differently than we do. You know how we always said Mizzery?
They call it Mizzera.
Auntie J and Uncle Agner have made the attic comfortable for me. From my window I can see hills fattening in the distance and the river veins away from them -- winds right through the pasture.
Tell mother I wear the cardigan she crocheted and no one can tell yet. Auntie looks hard, cause she knows I should be blowing up, but she's disappointed. She tells me eat right cause she wants her new baby healthy and she heaps enough food for two grown-ups on my plate; I eat as much as I can, but it all comes up anyway.
Give everyone my love.
Mother is still too upset to write; I hope you understand. I'm glad you're settled in.
Agner only owns the pasture,
he hasn't a breath of livestock
His job is on the road,
so I'm alone with Auntie
and the boys most days.
The phone rings
q: how? a: romantic.if ever a bit discouragedq: how? a: romantic.9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we're all made with worlds inside
though often unavoidable
need not be unenjoyable
it's a matter-of-fact fiction:
wrapped up in
wrapped up in
how long can you
stay a stranger
when it all adds up
to two too tired of alone
and everything entailed
with haunting themes recurring
where our shouts should be
Stop Naming Bits of EarthStop Naming Bits of Earth11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Let them keep their slabs of fortune and safety-
there is fine reason
we listen to songs
that make us sad.
Flush and Pale in PamplonaFlush and Pale in Pamplona9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
We have never seen a dawn
that has not died within an hour.
But here's one now,
and, unsure if it has lied or not,
I check your eyes:
The sun's still struggling to get inside,
the small bright spots of fingertips
tugging lightly at your lids.
And I, from a family of cowards,
am hesitant to wake you,
though not so much as to stop my lowered hand
from moving upwards,
stilling only when you start to stir
and stretch; and then exhale
in a way that makes me flush,
then pale, as I, too,
drift back to sleep,
to wait until the midday sun
has come and gone
and left us one.
The moon is out
and so are we, sitting, nestled
in the busy market, free
from the deaths of bulls
and those who claim them.
A man, old, weighted
by a wedding ring,
sells flowers for the women
of men in love. I am,
he says, a king, and you agree,
with daffodils to please your smile.
And here, we have no fear,
just the whispers in our mouths and ears
in the way we drink each other's beer.
We pause, quiet, and know then
The Curse Of Formal VerseNothing is harder than writing formal verse;The Curse Of Formal Verse10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
We struggle and we try to wrack our heads,
But all words fail, our poems are a curse.
The creators of such forms were most perverse,
Taking pleasure from poets wishing they were dead.
Nothing is harder than writing formal verse.
A failed writer shakes his empty purse.
He is determined to, once more, be fed.
But all words fail, his poems are a curse
The Villanelle, The Sestina; a hearse
Waiting for that poet, writhing in his bed.
Nothing is harder than writing formal verse.
An inmate of an asylum calls the nurse
He tried to write a sonnet in his shed
But all his words failed, his poems are a curse
Do not laugh off these forms with words so terse;
Even the masters have been quoted to have said,
"Nothing is harder than writing formal verse.
When all words fail, our poems are a curse."
What Was Left of Joan MarieWhat Was Left of Joan Marie9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Her lashes cracked and barked like thunder,
but it was a mild summer -
a mild slumber
on her door step.
Her mouth slipped under stones
to dining rooms and
dinner parties but
her breath was raw and baited-
So she waited
by the back door.
The Dress She WearsThe Dress She WearsThe Dress She Wears8 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It rides the slow curve of her hips
pulls tight against them as she walks
her gait confined to conscious steps.
Not long enough to be lady-like,
too long to be whorish, it falls
heavily over tired thighs, licking
the tops of her knees. The neckline
plunges. A greedy vice, it squeezes
the bulk of her heavy breasts up
until they spill out for all to see.
Its coarse and jealous-green fabric
scratches her most delicate places
rubbing them raw, I know, until
her skin weeps a salty pink.
Made before we were born, it is
given us by our mothers and theirs
before. It suits us just the same.
The dress she wears is thin as skin
and frayed beyond repair. Lined
with fear and trimmed with guilt,
I put mine on each morning, as if
it were the only one I'll ever need.
HeldWe loved like arson:Held9 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
glow floats around like smoke, and distorts us,
restless, and tangles around the rafters,
the room imbued: remnants of star-fuelled lust.
We loved like fireworks, comets and fireflies.
We traced paths through constellations for hours,
across freckled skies, tasting the stars
with every kiss. The night went on for miles.
Now a cathartic still whispers, lingers
as the room burns orange in the morning's
luster. The carmine light bares a warning:
To keep my distance, or I'd clash with hers.
I leave her to draw the blinds, casting shad-
ows like prison-cell bars across the bed.
StorytimeStorytime12 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Scalding bathes for Lolita
shake her body up.
And arsenic drinks,
the coroner thinks,
were responsible for the scars.
Now little mother spanish
and stoic papa cry.
Mourning and lamenting,
sister Nola dies -
of suicide, they say.
Two children in a day.
Another wake, funeral cake,
now everyone\'s asking why.
A week goes by
and Lorelai, their sitter in arrears,
\"When those children called
I wished that they would die!
So I bathed the youngest quiet,
after tepid poisoned tea,
and strung her sister,
up on the willow tree.\"
Last Time in Strawberry FieldsLast Time in Strawberry Fields9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Under the shield of autumn gold leaves, she sang, knees
swaying. Sing for John, she told us. Sing for everyone.
Her purple shrouded arms waved, joining her knees
as though her dance alone would cure the country.
The candle's for you, she told a man beside her. From John.
She said she had a home, but we wondered where
and how. Her daily arrangement, when she arrived,
was laid around the circle, roses plump and crisp,
the candle blown out only when the park lamps lighted
at night. She told us of the police and her battle to keep John's
flowers from being swept away, of the dogs not on leashes
and the homeless man's harassments.
She cheered her hand radio, the firemen
refusing to leave. And she said to us, when the towers
fell, as though her roses compared to lives,
Welcome to my world, World.
The Travels of Mr. WalkerThe Travels of Mr. Walker9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Mr. Walker poses as derelict
against a bus stop pole under early November.
He's got headphones pushing drunkard's music
down his empty body
like caulk, popping out his toes
beat by beat into a rain puddle.
He likes to pretend it's a movie,
to pretend there's a cigarette in his mouth,
to pretend he has killed before.
The city just keeps on digesting him,
sloshing him around
past hospitals, agencies, brothels-turned-art stores,
until the rectum, the school--the library.
He'll have a coffee, watch the rain
start and stop again.
He likes to get lost wading amongst shit,
to pay too much for a croissant,
to act like he has time for little things.
He finds a payphone,
calls the busy signal at his home
just to check up on things. Tired-eyed,
Mr. Walker will find a seat in his favorite quiet room
and sigh a few times.
An old friend will come from nowhere,
ask him how or what he's doing.
He wants to say, "I once left my soul in this room
and I intend to get it back."
vanilla lattevanilla latte9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
woe is me
the blind man mumbles
as he cracks his cane
crisply on the concrete
the cane won't protect him from
the busy mack truck (crack crack)
the fervent cyclist (crack crack)
or even the zealous witness (crack crack
oh hello have you found your lord today?)
it will protect him from
the businessman, walking, dressed and thin
the blind man cracks him on the shin
Oh, pardon me.
(Fuckin' blind bast...) how u doin'
how u doin'
i'd like sum ov
that tasty vanilla latte
the blind man points in dim demand
to the latte in businessman's hand
What? Don't you have
somewhere to be?
wat's rong, sootman?
gotta git home
to the wife & kidz?
(stare stare stare!
The Weeds Of My SentimentsI figured that if I picked the dandelionThe Weeds Of My Sentiments8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
blossoming from the cavity of my heart
as I lay here a cadaver
in the body farm
harvesting the remnants
that if I let the wind catch the seeds
that I hold here in my skeletal hand
maybe as the wind relocates me
an oblivion just before Epiphany
A driftwood Essayforever and flawlessA driftwood Essay8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
those un-plucked flowers
pressed in poetry volumes
and the ocean.
oddities of memories
as river stones, well rounded
in their patient education;
as punctuated coffee stains,
those discarded sutras
by accidental monks,
who learned calligraphy from
what clever lines
the cipruss roots, embroidered
with lichen 'nd worm trails.
how fertile those monks are now,
as love is recorded
diligently, in chronicles
of a child stomping in
there’s a drawing room...there's a drawing room hidden insidethere’s a drawing room...10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my right pinky. I go there sometimes when I can't
sleep. I have found all I have to do is bring
some peaches and imagine I have a red hat on
and it will let me in. I realize that this is where I keep
my poetry, and where I kept that poem I wrote
in my dream, which I thought I had lost. It turns out
it was bad, anyway, but it was dripping with honey
so I licked it and stored it away under my left middle toe.
that is my storage closet.
my soul is located in the back of my right knee. I visit
when I can and talk to it through high frequency brain
waves when I can't sleep. it's nice, but very boring and sometimes
I don't like what it has to say. but it's my soul, and do your
brain and soul have to agree, really? God will meet me there
on occasion when I'm feeling lonely and
then he'll move and whisper into my left ear.
I can see things out of the palm of my hand.
I yell at it to start the show! Start the show! but it is limp
and can only show me a scrol
Myosotis SylvestrisMyosotis sylvestris (Forget Me Nots)Myosotis Sylvestris9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Knotted stems cling tightly
to the pole pushed, just yesterday,
into loamy garden soil,
flecked with bark and leaves.
Read the packets fine print:
water well in dry spells.
These arent the hardy daffodils
Im used to planting.
I finger each new bud gently;
picking them up, one by one,
and caressing them with a careful hand.
Each one lined with scratches
and creases marring the weave.
At last I dust my hands
on dirty jeans and turn towards
the cottage and the awaiting kettle.
But not before catching one last glimpse
of dusky fingers waving farewell
from the trellis.