POETRY


the flight of the grackle

Take flight, crass raven, and dare sing no more.
Leave me behind, you worn out metaphor,
You still-beating soul, your oil slicked treads give
Way to sullied earth, buried hope—no more.

Take flight, common bird; administer your
Provincial medicines and fly away.
Spread gauze underwing, wrap us and ensure
We take no harm. Numb us to our plague.

Leave me, Grackle! Why must you stay behind?
Beat off to the horizon, ignore me
While you can. For you, your interests maligned,
Have ample time to scheme, let yourself free.

Perhaps dearest bird, linger a moment;
What do you think? —The corpse chose to omit.

2016


Mourning Dove

Higher and higher the mourning dove flies,
Tearing past barren landscapes and wryly
Staring ahead to the horizon, why,
It never knows. It can't afford to look behind.

Fallow fields pass below, rusted stations
The bird can never know, missed elations
Of a time long past. A realization
Of necessity takes hold; it flies low.

Hollow peace resumes as it spirals down,
Two cheers and the cracking of beers allow
Brief respite, then the peace of reloading
Reminds the hunter of his foul deed done.

Bloodied bird meets bloodied hand; in union
Once more, never again—last communion.

 2016

sustenance

Erupt! Show me the fires of passion,
Smother me in the ashes of my past,
Choke me with your vapid hands, your ashen
Breath teaching me to live, breaking fast.

Beat down on me; cook me in your gold rays,
Give me that dreadful sustenance just sweat
And longing can give. Fill me with malaise;
Hate me while I love you, make me regret.

God, take me! My fire dwindles, ignite me
While I still can. I take last communion,
Set never to feast again, chastity
Lasting only until our reunion.

Give me a world in which I have control,
Not just this cycle of endless allure.

2016

my music

O muse, sing to me your beautiful song
So that I may pen that which no words can
Describe. For you are my music; I long
To feel your sway, slowing time's endless span.

Your lyrics stop it, still my heart's quick beat;
Dance with me until the night's fateful end.
Into the void we'll waltz, hand in hand we'll cheat,
Break the rules—kindred souls lost in the wind.

Time may not be ours, but chance surely is.
The wind blew me to you. Perhaps it will, 
As it has before, keep us as one; 'tis
All I can hope for: for us, for you, still.

We must always hope, or else all is lost;
My music still plays, no matter the cost.

2015

omniscience

The retrospective removes reality, rectifies reason,
Reminds me incessantly of all of my demons—
Yet what else do I have? Through all of my seasons
I fall back to winter, spring into summer,
Over and over in sickening number.

My days, oh, they're numbered;
I know all too well I've seen my last summer—
I've seen my first. What could be worse
Than unredemptive knowledge strapped in the hearse
Of an unrelenting mind trapped in reverse?

Good God, how I'm dearth!
Day by day I lumber this earth,
Face glued on backwards with hands stretched forwards
I wander and wonder over what has occurred
And trip on my feet and trip on my words
And the next thing I know I'm falling in mirth,
Laughing, and laughing, until face meets the earth,
Filling in lines cooked by years on the hearth,
Cracking wrought tears and the tears never hurt,
Only fall with me as I crawl through the dirt.

Fountains, oh fountains! Frozen over like mountains
Built heaven high so the summer sky can't melt off their masses,
Ducts so dry that the naked eye only wears a straight jacket
And leaves behind the starry night for a pair of air maxes—
Where on earth am I going?
 

 


2016

Naiveté

Eighteen years old—couldn't be naive if I tried
Jaded so long, it's been years since I tried
To regain that green garden—years ago it died
By my hand, my toil—oh Lord how I tried
To find truth, happiness, success—I arrogated
My soil to an arid plot of propagated mess,
Destructive ideas turned my shallow into fallow
And I quickly realized I had nothing left.

Sweat beading down my brow, Sun beating down my back,
Blood running from my hands without threat of attack
I look outwards: expanses of nothing ready to conquer
Me. Or me them? It's hard to say. With honor
Still I see the sun set, sealing another day.

To my home I retreat, cold setting in
So I sow coals, strike flint,
Settle down before flickering flame,
Choose to laugh when children call my name.
Cold comfort guides me through the night.

Morning. Clad in black I venture out,
Inviting the heat to overcome me,
Refusing to so much as think of succumbing.
My home and fields burn behind me, muffling shouts.
I set off for new lands, new impossible dreams.

Nineteen years old—couldn't be naive if I tried
Jaded so long, it's been years since I tried
To regain that green garden—how many times now it's died
By my hand, my toil—oh Lord how I tried
And again I realized I have nothing left.

2016

Whiskers

Cold, cold whiskers, fraying, falling, fragile
In the air, filtering our light like dust.
Time is over; it does not unravel,
Slow, stall, bend for men like us. It is up.

The golden light shears your graying features,
A glorious, glorious remembrance
Swells, beats away, collapses in seizures,
And leaves a husk, a broken resemblance.

A boy plays in the mud, jeans too new
To whisker away like us. Not yet.
His brother, in the river's soaking pew,
Holds a prize, new whiskers gleaming in sweat.

Together now the brothers rest, too grown,
Whiskers gone, whiskers growing, alone.










 

2017

suicide note

I usually only write when I forget how to feel,
When the world's weight crushes me,
And the pressure in my mind forces me to spill out—
Not all of me,
Just that which I can't stomach to see,
To let others see,
To let others know.

The world shakes from my fingers, word by word,
Ready to make me believe in what I am,
Though I lack conviction,
Having only the feigned permanence of ink
To back me through my days.

Each poem a faded mosaic
Of what I believed I once was,
A forecast of what I could once become,
A reminder of what I had once been;
Life by life, I wrote away my past
And fabricated my future.

Now I write this suicide note
As I have so many times before,
An homage to my past and an ode to my future.
Here's to those that made me realize
That there is more to myself than myself,
And that I have so much more to offer than that—
Thank you.

2015  

toothy

My smile can't be white like yours
I've earned these stains, damnit
My teeth gleam with shame
Gums red as my cheeks
My smile can't be white like yours
It's too proud and too afraid

 

2018

cruel and kind

Excitement's burning a hole through my chest
Blessings masquerade as chance
Cruel and kind
Cruel and kind

I can't stop shaking and there's fire under me
Like there hasn't been in months
Smoke's pluming out my mouth like a proud bird
Unrehearsed but all too prepared

My mask's slipping and the ball's halfway through
An open bar with a nice tender
Cruel and kind
Cruel and kind

The coal in my throat's under pressure and I can feel it hardening
Grinding it's way up like a tortilla chip after a long night out
And hell, it might just be a diamond
I'll find out when I clean up in the morning

My muscles are burning and I don't remember using them
Maybe I'll be stronger tomorrow
Cruel and kind
Cruel and kind

2018

 

 

A Raisin in fluorescent lights

My therapist told me to bite into a raisin and feel nothing else
Its wrinkles feel like chapped lips,
Its juice tastes like spit after a cheap flavored cigarillo
Without the nicotine or the regret
Or the potential

Mid raisin I realize I only use these similes as crutches
My experiences limping into themselves
In a crowded hallway
Like ghosts in a hospital with all of the lights on
Trembling in fear of pure raisin-ness

 

2018

 

If i die young

If I die young, 
Hang my Sunday's best on a mannequin
Lay me out nude,
Dagger in hand on a pagan altar,
Unseen tattoos carved deep, wide eyes asleep.

I pray there's stifled laughter,
Toed lines in the sand between reverence
And revelry,
Blood and wine heating our faces
I hope no one's shoes have laces.

My memory
Should be nothing more than one,
Please don't make me the martyrs that killed me
There's enough heroes in our world
Just let me die.

If I die young,
Just let me died.
I lived a life,
And it was mine,
And that's enough.

2018