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."
Our DutyWe swallowed the path homeOur Duty2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Because we were hungry,
Though starving is an ongoing
Story, an empty bag
Dancing in the streets,
Full of an unfastened voice
Walking through the house,
Wind unchained, heart admonished.
Heaven fills its eyes, crawls away,
That sleeping boat content to follow
The vacant waves, intervals
Of dying that we dare not interrupt,
And we watch the kind ear shrinking
From our charcoal docks; heaven
With a full stomach crawls away.
This is what we were put here for.
Ottumwa ShamanIn Iowa, weeping willows dream ofOttumwa Shaman5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Tigers, born in pagan fog, their
Coat of stripes singing shaman
Songs; shrill symphonies of grief.
Heaven tilts, crashes, and we race
The dirt to get away. We drink the
Earth with bullets of air and grow
Dizzy, light-headed from breathing
Some far off flame. Perhaps a poet
Who braved the fog of Ottumwa, and
Caught fire. Every cowboy has his
Six chances before high noon, before
The fog forms wispy jackals to take
Them home again. Every son inherits
An empty gun, six voids to fill with
Answers, skimmed and guessed from the
Covers of books their fathers used
To read. There is no other way.
In sleeping, I have been to Iowa,
And I learned where wiccans go
To make their bed. I do not know now
If I had dreamed the weeping willow,
Or if it had bent low to dream of me.
In Iowa, there is no such truth, only
Depth, and the shaman's song of grief.
My TempleI'm standing at the doorway to the world that's after next,My Temple7 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
With a numbness in my eyes and a pressure in my chest,
The thing I call my hand runs a finger down the door,
And a voice from somewhere else tells me that I want much more.
A mirror by the doorway lends to me a foreign face,
And through the eyes, a soul, that seems to have no place,
My fingers reach and touch it as I search for what it is,
But the reasons, they elude me, why this body is now his.
How sad when existence, has lost a reason to exist,
When life has died to silence, left the beating in his wrist,
Weak from sorrow's cruel disease, the loneliest embrace,
As he watches all the color slowly dissolving from his face.
God made him a temple, but He left it to itself,
Therefore this man then decorated, his temple by himself,
With demons that are hungry for the beauty that is life,
And black roses with their ugly thorns, ever always rife.
Suffocatingly cold, this temple now becomes,
Where feeling falters in and soon it does
Tippy ToesLet's string our veins togetherTippy Toes5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
So our blood becomes our art
And challenge old age thinking
With our new age artist's heart
Let's flush our faces laughing
Collapse our minds in tangled hair
We'll write our hands in poetry
And paint portraits for our air
Let's live like only artists can
In places no one goes
Like grass in cracks of concrete
Reaching up on tippy toes
Biography"What are you doing?"Biography1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Waiting for the lovely boy
Full of vitriol and godlike
Power to feed me happiness.
Wondering where I might encounter
The perfect opponent with a feline
Voice and red lips possessed
By divine intent.
Considering the wild potential
In the little used circuits,
Always, my fingers poised,
(How I want the dark
unknown, the starving
travels, but not the
I used to dream of lying
Down in the grass hoping
Vines would slowly grow
And bind me there - centuries
Of youth preserved.
That terrible weight removed.
Carrion Tallow ICarrion Tallow6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I pluck feathers from a felled sky,
tie them to the ends of my hair
to remind myself of all the innocent days
that lie suspended in cardboard boxes
because mothers can't bear to throw them away.
I pluck feathers from a felled sky,
deftly thread the wings of an angel fallen
to tie my awareness to a bird -
recalling 'bunny ear'd loops
held by my father's impossibly large hands
for his son to watch and learn -
pulled through the eye of golden hair laces.
I'm too poor to feel so middle class.My teeth still ache from the dentist,I'm too poor to feel so middle class.1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
but it doesn’t stop me from nibbling
the cheese danish I bought at Kroger
this morning, warmed by thirty
seconds in the microwave. My mug
of hot chocolate is too big, and I
drink it all. The washer is on its last
cycle; the cat is purring at my feet.
Netflix is background noise
to clacking keys, typing a transcript
of middle class morning that I’ll later
call a poem or a turning point,
wondering when I became such an adult.
StarsFat and fuzzy stars tonight, baby blue comfortStars4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Singing lullabies, soothing through the cold clear night
Promises of spring;
Windowpane lookers, abandon your sorrow
Wide-eyed children, believe that tomorrow
Unseen, the stars
The stars still sing
PetrichorI walk without an errand for the mind.Petrichor1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I must be homeless.
Neighboring enclaves separate our spaces,
belie their builders’ mirthless exhaustion.
Not even necessity can be blamed
for these mud-struck, brittle gourds,
these quick nests of vasculous organs
pulsing with their peculiar tyrannies,
briefly scuttling from their hovels
like sun refugees
darting into gleaming storefronts
waffled in concrete misery
all to forestall the end of their souls.
Where can we go when we only want to breathe?
Sitting in a park bench,
trillion-visioned, crowned with galaxies,
I can rest my weary invention.
I sense the weight of an unseen player,
a secret stratagem
as she moves her piece into the glade.
I’m set in place, yet unopposed.
Uncombined with lovers, children,
the slow parade of trees and heat,
I lay beside these stalwarts,
at once, still and hurtling
throughout the travesty of time.
I assemble a cumulus intelligence
near the playground,
threatening Summer with three days
pilgrimageif there had been a voicepilgrimage9 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
the quiet had burned it.
there is a distance to
be crossed behind your closed
eyes and no hands to guide
only a voicelessness.
somewhere a god is
longing to be heard
unseen and unlit
but for the temple
of your dark clasped hands
and you both long
for a wild beast
who walks to you
with aching feet
and who still
hazel eyes dreamed redcork the sun,hazel eyes dreamed red4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
imagine gutter light
washing the street -
the moon eating
a poster on my wall.
dirty songs, shirts hung to dry,
ghosts among the dead.
your hair smells like pages of the Bible.
child sciences, a beaten puppy
reciting weakness - these furious soldiers
waiting for music.
I tore from the flock.
periphrasiswhen he asked me how i wanted him to build the house,periphrasis11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
i answered him truthfully.
i said i wanted the pillars to be made
of pages from every book ever written,
curled in on themselves until
they could hold a roman arch.
pour words, strong and weak, into
the earth instead of cement-
let it be flexible to adapt
build the walls from the ground up
through prose supporting the bricks
layered by memories forged
along the path we took
to arrive at eden.
tilt poems into pyramids above
our heads, ceilings just high enough
to be within earshot of every
laugh we'll ever make.
empty emotions into a template
of a window and slide it into
place without a way to get it
after i was done, we stood on that
vacant lot, ambiguous thoughts
flitting across his face and down
into my fingertips.
he told me i was crazy.
he told me i was beautiful.
he told me he would build it.
EscapeI'm trying to escape,Escape10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
trying to get away,
trying to ignore what they do,
forget about what they say.
No move I ever make,
can ever be one right,
every simple thing I say,
always starts a fight.
I'm sorry I'm not perfect,
the way I'm supposed to be,
the thing is your slowly killing me,
why can't you see?
I'd really like to run away,
where someone would understand,
to someone who could see my pain,
and gently take my hand.
languageI see herlanguage4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
in the tiniest of things
I know the world
on her lips and cheeks -
a myriad of flights
with the artless peace
what she is
looking for -
in her eyes.
an irrevocable truthi.an irrevocable truth2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
snowflake child, you are a fine example
of the incandescence of a human light
even under innumerable umbras
i see you- ruby and blooming
ferociously fighting your way
out of a pile of rubble
my anemone, my halo
that comely wraps around my moon pith
do not fret if i self-stumble, fumble
with my fingers, and mumble to my toes
my center of gravity is oft frail and
meek to begin with
you are lead cause of the diamond flecks
scattering about the carbon of my pupils
you do not leave me
you teach me to be
snake-eyed yet shotgun-hearted-
a sapphire wanderlust livid
for life and star-gazing sights, you map
constellations on my freckles and fright
look now at how i'll find my lighthouse lover
then tend to some kids
and grow out of my gills and into grey hairs
then tend to some kids with their own kids
and reminisce about friends and phenomena
i signed my name on a patch of sky with
all on my own except
that your hand never left mine
that if i were to crumble
like the sandcastle
Old Men Raising Old Men.In my family, old men raise old men;Old Men Raising Old Men.5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Chippy Irish sprouts who would hug a
Mountain lion before their own dad,
And punch a flower just for wilting
In their direction.
Once my father tried,
And I bit his toes with my heel;
I was relieved to be thrown away.
But that's how it is for boys born
On a leap year, and those who come
Home to their mom coddling a knife
Where you once buried your face.
Here's hoping the night makes you mad,
and the guilt doesn't haunt you for long;
Your first mask will be cruelty.
The moonshine in the fridge will help
Kill and peel the skin; you need to
Hide the bruises, and learn to execute
A proper jab, nothing more.
Maybe you'll cry your first tear while
Your son is by your side for the last time;
Maybe he will raise a boy.
Let the Sparrows InI.Let the Sparrows In4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Blackbirds rest on the power lines,
their silhouettes form the notation
to a dawn song set on the sheet music
of telephone poles contrasted by the sun.
Curled leaves are land mines littered
on the lawn where imprints of twigs
and a nurturing robin's tracks collect.
Branchlets and leaflets stem from
porch step railings and mailboxes;
the numbers read odd on the east,
even on the west side of the asphalt:
The engraved letters on
the siding reads, "Davis."
This house is home to family
so let the sparrows in.
with its branching hallways
furniture rooted to the floor
family, friends, the occasional
out from home.
Let the sparrows in; let
Let the door's
loosen—let the door stand ajar
be let open
the night owls and
let the doves
in pairs in the iridescent
Let the sparrows in.
Framed on either side
(Last Night I Dreamed of) SnowFields of snow, vast expanse(Last Night I Dreamed of) Snow1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Hard-packed, baled and stacked for delivery
Like cold sparkling cotton
I try to limit the people I disappointempty movie drifting through wires in the trees,I try to limit the people I disappoint2 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and they took turns repeating:
they are small themselves.
splinters behind my eyes -
used a pocketknife without wondering how.
the whole world remembers nothing.
it wasn't my bodysay the name you knowit wasn't my body3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
won’t leave you. say the name
or say nothing - soon the living
can’t stay home. imagine saying
the name that can stop it.
imagine understanding it was right
dropping out of school
to see your father die
and sometimes it comes back
with a vision. imagine
if you really wanted out -
hear the grass dying
in the background.
and there is no someday hope
that you can remember,
that no one has died,
and now it owns you -
living as a punishment.
see how a long time
is only a thing in my pocket
a moment ago.
Morphine DaysSepia world, barnstorming, brainstorming, building up, looking outMorphine Days9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Of dusty cracked windows to see it all happen, now, again, bold
Into the empty yellowed skulls piled up around the old church
Only on morphine days, though, when we fall out of grace
God, look at the crows, how many pilot their way across the sky
Obscene noises through the dust, shitting on old rusted machinery
Abandoned throughout dried-up, smashed-down stalks of corn
Here, to the left, the foundation of a house that no longer exists
There were good days here, once, weren’t there? Maybe not…