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A Painter
She spoke and cast thin scars upon your hands--
scalding and marking--her voice--a blooming aster--
a laurel tree--scattering seedy strings of thought--
bequeathing her soil to us--shading and spoiling us--
sprouting and sheltering us from the ballasts of her song--
I should like to carve her lined face, around
her eyes, below her jaw, cutting each into
teemed rhyme. To feel the bridge of her nose,
smooth beneath my fingers and thin lips, parted,
and shaping, finally molding life into geometric form.
But no model rests so long for my hands
to brand them into beauty. Shall it always be I,
stunned with harmony and never I, Jovian
seducer of dreams to my sculpting grasp?
Shall I only ever have these letters to read?
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 4
Cut your sign language
upon my breast. I hear bark
split beneath your dress.
You wear torn tights - black -
an olive vest. I catch your
noise lilting on my breath.
Descend your rough branch.
Scale down for me. Sun shall
fail if we may - Sea
shall sing - just sweet - and
I hear high tide receding
where our hearts shall meet.
Can peppered ribbons
musk raw palms, burnt sea-grass?
Can they kill fresh night?
Will winds betray our
fragrant firmament? Our sky
so still, distilled, still
turning, turned gray, turned
lilac with sun-leaked light. Bulbs
bloom on hollow dunes.
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
The snow appeared
The snow appeared - Just, gradually -
As Dancers choose their Mate -
As angels turn - in lord's Black dell
And Sinners seal their fate.
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
The Joy of Life
I'm at the Barnes--the museum--Matisse's Le bonheur de vivre.
I'm overcome. Blood trembling and thick with a tremor, untuning me
wondrously. Must this revest my voice in a second abstruse tongue?
Not fair. How can this pen write something that cannot be written?
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
Mature content
First Date :iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
wet nightmare
this is mongoose.   this is mongoose alone.
this is divine heat in the pear tree.
this is mongoose in the pear tree.
this is earth wearied with weight.
this is moon-- watching.
this is empty hallway.
this is fleshy pink and wet.
this is an extreme case.
this can't recure itself.
this is snake.   this is me.
this, cobra; this, asp.
this cannot be pregnant.
this cannot fill
only poison.
this wraps me in coils.
this is harlotry.
this is snake in a pear tree.
this is mongoose hissing.
these are no smooth skin
these are no fine hair
these are no smooth lips
this is a dream.   this is me.
this is every night, inevitably.
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 1 2
Mature content
consummation :iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
it drags.   its teeth in ankles (mine)--
it really drags.   the people at the office stare,
they whisper.   (what?)   they see a bulge
beneath my skirt.   my belly feels
so full of blood.   i reach and touch
(to touch is wonderful)
my breasts; my hips--
what a burden.   what a weight.
i never knew i never knew
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
night   i'm home
empty house
but giggles
coming from the
walk-in closet where i
keep my mongoose   it is
looking at me (demigod)
hovel made of dresses   it uses them
as tunnels   (i pretend they're wombs
i could birth myself in again)   it's
squeezing into tight pencil skirts
its claws mark the floor
its feet are withered
it's been running in the closet
wall to wall to wall
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
only safe in shadows.
no more lights but golden eyes.   so
many eyes emasculating
me forever.   aching
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
mongoose round my neck.   it
hangs and hangs.   it
looks up at me.   it
tells me: transform mountains into marsh.   it
commands fear--   it
lets in girls from dreams--   my Gods
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
She sang, "Nightmares don't forget.
You turn my heart to wet concrete
and all I care to hear is you. Is that
lunar fever? Even so, I may only speak
to you, dirty old mirror. You mask
my face; you know it's me. You
recognize through your cracks.
You, fawn of man, you, taboo
shadow of myself.
                        I am older now.
I still come to you sometimes. I
still need you sometimes. You mouth
words at me. You twist the knife.
I don't see you anymore. Only ghosts.
I look to you for help--you only choke."
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 9
What kind of mannequin are you? You are
some burning child only I touch--(I only
scar my obsessions)--run hands over you
like two blind spiders. I could spin you up
in me, seek out some scent of impurity.
What kind of word are you? You are something
I've saved for my secret language. I can sense
you on the tip of my tongue--(I only name
my obsessions)--I can't help it. What kind
of curse are you? I only permutate my fears.
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
Tunica, Mississippi 1983
I was waiting for the clock,
stuck at that desk and sticky
like the rest of the kids,
all daydreaming of getting
home to pick the fields
with their daddies. I didn't have
a daddy. No old farmer in my house.
No labor lines to look up
to on his hands or worn
overalls that would be mine.
I had pruned fingers from washing
bedsheets in the backyard
and my mama's frilly apron.
The crows were squalling,
picking at each other for
kicks or maybe food, their
eyes hungry in the dry wind.
And every time, the teacher would
just wait for them to shut up,
watching them with scowls,
before going on about the Delta
and the tributaries and what not.
I remember looking out the window,
the highway wavering in the noon-
time heat, and I try to tone out
Miss Levine's old voice, croaking
about "the juice of puzzlement"
or something, and I let myself
out the window, wandering down
the rocks to the road, past the road
and through the corn crop to
your house--little tin and aluminum
shack-outpost on the skirtin
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
A Column
It stays, resting
where some drunk men
knocked it down, kicking and breaking
their feet on it, shattered in three
oblong ends. You can still see
the steel rod, jutting
from where it was anchored once,
a kind of leash, driven straight
through, split in the spill
of stones. The ants crawl over it,
picking the cloudy flutes
full of dirt for crumbs. An acorn
drops and black exoskeletons
scatter, startled into shadows.
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0
My Name
       I have four names. The first three were of my father's blood and were his doing too. When he walked out the front door of my first house and never came back, I was left uneven--three names, an odd number. The last of which would carry his empty legacy, that of a man who would not exist for me any more than as a vague image, shimmering in my thoughts.
       My mother did what she could. My mother usurped that legacy and replaced it with one of her own. I would be a Bartlett and traceable to Josiah's scrawled hand as he signed the Declaration miles from my dirty diapers in Delaware, and years behind me. I never knew what my names meant and they meant nothing to me. A distinction only, between my sisters' and my own.
       It wasn't until I was grown and questioning why I had to be the only man in a house full of women that I was given the details. I can still see mother's mou
:iconpunchdrunklover:PunchDrunkLover 0 0

Random Favourites

For Lauren
An unnaturally thorny rose
Tattooed across your flat belly--  
To protect you, you said.
Lauren- I wish I could see you only in that vague sense that I once did,
Seeing you, knowing you, only from a picture,
Fake black hair and ballet clothes,
Neither a smile nor a frown on your thin white face.
I am not to say which of your daily aches were real,
And which were manufactured like your leather-boots;
But you made sure the pain of each stomp was shared.  
Lauren- I wish I could talk to you like I imagined I might have, once
Before you hurt your leg and spoke only in commands,
Before you hurt your back and spoke only in pained tones,
Before your friend hurt himself and you spoke only in anger.
The night you slammed the door
And shook my bedposts loose,
I dreamt you ripped the last page out of all my books,
Leaving all conflicts unresolved.
:icongormanda:gormanda 1 0
Mature content
Exercise in Imitation :iconbigofficewindow:bigofficewindow 1 0
Divorce Haiku
My backlit shoulders
were massive in the shadow
on our bedroom wall.
:iconbigofficewindow:bigofficewindow 1 2
Mature content
Melvin the Pirate :iconpeechiz:Peechiz 1 1
Emotions Of Summer by zampedroni Emotions Of Summer :iconzampedroni:zampedroni 239 36
The Reconstruction
577.54- Desert Ecology
The mountains protect the city that I live in. They rise from the ground around every side, like natural walls to a castle, but the moat does not exist- we only get four inches of rain a year. The people live in the valley between the vast black mountains speckled with green cacti. It is barren, any shrubbery is brown and wilting- like overused coffee filters. There are no stoplights, only stop signs to control the minimal traffic. Along the streets there are signs warning people of horse drawn carriages and desert wildlife-deer, javelina, and coyotes. Up the hill of School House Road going north further from civilization, is the place I call my atypical second home: the Desert Foothills Library.
793.01- Indoor Games and Amusements
            My mom, immediately upon moving to the treeless land, began volunteering at the Desert Foothills Library. Images of my mom forever remain precious in my mind. She&
:iconblakshadowdmiror:blakshadowdmiror 1 0
Paper Heaven
The first time we kissed, it was as if all the legos fell into place. It was perfect.  We spent mornings staring at the ceiling together, brushing the night’s rest from our eyelids.  We went on long walks to anywhere, taking pictures as we went.  I giggled and told you that this particular sunset was better than the rest.  This one god made for you, personally.  That’s why the clouds were so white, and the sky was so orange-purple.  We traded chocolate chip kisses and secret handshakes, truth-or-dares and tickle fights.  We stayed up all night watching movies on mute, speaking as all of the characters.  I made you tea and wrapped you in blankets; it was my goal that you might never be cold again.
When I was with you, every care melted away into smiles.  And your smile was all I ever cared about.  We walked on railroad tracks and through secret places, had cheese and mulled wine
:iconpeechiz:Peechiz 1 0
Inside Out
I do cartwheels wherever I please.
I start food fights in retirement homes.
I block the Balantine staircase with caution tape,
And I honk my horn when I want to.
I grind every available object like Tony Hawk,
I roundhouse kick bad teachers like Chuck Norris
I set every BlueBook you ever wrote on fire
and I eat my lasagna without a spoon.
I hump inanimate objects
I yell during church
And I chase every squirrel on campus
I climb every fencepost, rooftop, and tree,
'cause I'm the Me that's inside of Me
Girls enter a jello wrestling tournament
just for the chance to go out with me
I travel to class in a Rocket-Powered Submarine
and I beat everyone's high score in Tetris
I walk between raindrops
I take frequent naps
I jump in deep puddles
And I never run laps
I dance on the ceiling
I roll in the snow
I run through fields barefoot
And I eat raw cookie dough
I smell every flowering rosebud I see,
‘cause I’m the Me that’s inside of me
If you rearrange the letters
In “cautio
:iconpeechiz:Peechiz 1 0
I become your Heloise...
In your home, I become your Heloise,
feeling at once:
low-class and enlightened
by your beautiful life and your beautiful spirit.
And your sweet and subtle kisses-
No I must never have kissed before!
Your soft, safe arms hold
me, like I am being rescued from the wild,
And oh, I am.
In this pitch-tar black bedroom
of your Virginia castle
We, as eager lovers, whisper:
to soothe each other
from this intimacy, so great and overwhelming,
as to not wake your parents.
:icongormanda:gormanda 1 7
Morning War
Morning war is the best kind of war there is.
You wake up with the other person's arms around
you and maybe he bombs you. Softly.
Your eyes flutter open and you see
all that makes him devastating. Maybe
he maliciously rolls onto you, and the
two of you fight in the glow of the morning.
And then he bombs you again. This time
it's a little more harmful, and you catch
a glint of something in his eyes. He wants
you. And you want him, too. He bombs
you more and it gradually gets harder,
more passionate.
Piece by piece, whatever clothing you
fell asleep in comes off and before you
know it, your naked bodies are basking in
the morning sun coming through the window.
It's passionate, but the mood is still harsh and
malicious, as only morning war can provide.
He pulls your hair and you scream as you fight.
In the morning sun, you can visualize each other's
demise in a way that the night (even with lights on)
can not allow. It's in the morning when you can see
why he's your enemy, why you hate hi
:iconachickpea:achickpea 2 0
Nascent Noyade
They thought he was an ashtray
   until he stood,
   grey and crumbling,
   denim clumped and cracking,
   paper clefts of skin
   worn from use.
His hair was wild dendrites
   wisping off his skins;
   his lips parted, dropping gravel,
   before they knew
   he was a man.
He'd been a swan, once;
   but his feathers were forgotten,
   even their memories pawned off
   to wet his lips:
   he breathed
   spit-flecks of gin.
Bloodshot and squeezed,
   his eyes leak sand,
   and it's like crying.
    They took pity
    until his plucked palm came down
    so as not to leave a mark.
He beat them bleeding
   while holes in his hands
:iconscarredsodeep:scarredsodeep 7 14
You would have kissed me here,
Just for the way the sun is glinting sharply in my eyes.
You’d wipe the pink sand from my legs,
You’d want to share in all my simple bliss,
And would attempt this by osmosis.
Yet this morning I alone dip my toes into this pool of salt,
Open-armed and ravenous to devour all the love in the world.
But from you, I want only to delight in the simple pleasures
Of the everyday timbre of your voice.
And If I’m not your pretty Aphrodite,
You’ll let me be your Rhea,
And I’ll love you like my child.
:icongormanda:gormanda 1 4
This is a letter
This is a letter
to the strange girl I saw downtown who
played opera from her boombox
while I nodded off against a trashcan.
I could've  crawled inside that strange smile
and slept for days.
This is a letter to the old man
who stumbled by my table
wearing someone elses dirty mustache,
as I smoked.
You spoke so sweetly to your pack of cigarettes,
I wonder what you said.
This is a letter to my dreams.
Dreams like coke bottles thrown from car windows.
Dreams like burning bags of dog shit
I remember when you used to whisper.
This is a letter to the bird I buried behind the library.
You were so beautiful
dying in my palm.
I dug your grave with a glass bottle.
I'm sorry it wasn't very deep.
This is a letter to a boy with black hair
and red roots who kept me alive in the desert.
You do not know what you have done.
This is a letter.
Thats all.
:iconstopdropandroll:stopdropandroll 1 0
In desperate search for inspiration,
I find my skin cold and transparent
In the red hot summer.
Humid air crawling into my lungs,
And I suffer from inhaling the water.
Now what is a poem but a scratch in a page?
The lines add, negate, neutralize;
You find nothing within yourself,
Nor within anyone else.
You waste the most brilliant things ever said.
And in this lack of inspiration,
I realize that I am incapable of dousing words in subtlety,
Drowning them in vagueness.
All I can do is carve blue eyes and raven hair into the page,
And carefully calculate the distance, in inches, between here and the farthest place you've ever been,
And how long it would take to escape to California.
Now the pen keeps coughing the words I dare not speak,
The ones I've held in my guts for the last five months.
It's the ebb and flow of everything,
A shining clock, eccentricity,
Knowing that we all are falling.
And to the pits of our souls, the bottom of the grave,
We will tumble, in sheep's clothing, until
:iconforximlovesick:forximlovesick 1 0
Grey Matters
Your myelin nylons
run slick down your legs:
Perfect   Plastic   Sheath.
The thing we can't bear,
from here, ear-to-ear,
gnaws nonetheless in your teeth.
Entry and exit.
Cold cobalt grin.
Barely-there lines bar Tallulah within.
Metabolic, your grave site
slides into the sea.
You press palms and whisper
the names that you'll need.
:iconscarredsodeep:scarredsodeep 2 2



United States
Current Residence: VA
And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
     And he answered, saying:
     Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
     But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
     You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
     You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

     And it is well you should.
     The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
     And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
     But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
     And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
     For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

. .

     Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
     Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
     For the soul walks upon all paths.
     The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
     The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.


An "I-thou" from an "I-it" as Buber will have us believe?
Deliver this unto me that I might make of us a temple with our words as prayer, our bodies as an altar, and our thoughts an illumination.

Enlighten my soul that she may find her life and joy in thee, until, transported out of herself by the excess of her happiness, she binds herself to thee with all her powers and in all her motions.
  • Listening to: Tegan and Sara
  • Reading: The Prophet, Markings, The Fire Next Time
  • Watching: Synecdoche, New York
  • Playing: Wittgenstein's games.
  • Eating: Popcorn
  • Drinking: Vanilla Coke


Add a Comment:
Memo213 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2016
b1gfan Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Student Writer
Happy Birthday :D
mariamism Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2010  Professional General Artist
dude, happy birthday! :)
deviantART muro drawingComment Drawing
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PunchDrunkLover Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010
Is this a comment, request or demand?
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PunchDrunkLover Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010
Well you'll have to wait for Calliope. No one commands the muse.
(1 Reply)
gormanda Featured By Owner May 24, 2010
Thanks for all the favoriting.
PunchDrunkLover Featured By Owner May 24, 2010
Thanks for posting all the good poems. It's a real change from the milieu.
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