haughty, hopeful, or ambitious

in an average day
an average woman will speak
20,000 words
an average man, 7,000 words
the balance, kept
drowned, while still kicking
in an average poem
and they are all
average
an average poet might pen 100 words
or maybe 300 hundred
on a haughty, hopeful, or ambitious day
the cool muzzle of a revolver
nestled in the divot of a temple
spares the travesties’ tragedy
for the wordless prophets
and after these decades
have ceased spinning
their amber-flicker strobe
which of us understands, fully
even a single thing
of any other?

tall canyons

I took a walk
through the bodies today
each and all
bathed in the gray of days
some still moaning
a few breathing
a last heavy sigh
and there beckoned
above the iniquitous din
a sparse-green hill
just ahead, tho soon crested
dipping next, into another shallow
another mud-bowl hollow
filled and writhing
with yet another, following
and another, after–
no majestic mountain peaks
piercing the horizon
and no tall canyons
in which to fall

ragged and frayed

it’ll happen
like it always does
like the hollow shine
in the frightened eyes
of the ragged and frayed
the silent moments
will become hours and days
the days will become weeks
the weeks, months
and one day
years from now
decades, perhaps
we’ll be living life
as much as life
ever lets us
live
and then something
will return
the memory
like a cursed gift
we’ll remember
that we’d once
loved someone
more than
we’d loved
ourselves
and a wind
will blow over
the dust of our years
a wicked, whistling breeze
that only we two
can hear

top-shelf dreams

We kept our dreams on the top shelf, with the good liquor, tucked to the back, out of reach, saved for a time to come, saved for someday– but we both knew; each of the days pulled over the shadowy edge, swimming into earth’s arched-spine spinning ecstasy, explodes into her moist middle, tho never impregnating the bitch, never creating more time. She takes, and takes, and takes, until we are wholly spent, until we see the glaring stare of infinity, until we feel its hungering abyss grasp us by the wrists. And I suppose you’d like it if I wrote you a love poem, like I used to do. And I suppose I’d write one, my love, if it’d do either of us any damned good.

perhaps, a poet

blood-fist anarchy
might serve us
more honestly
than love, children
than greedy gods
my progeny
je suis charlie
they chanted
and screamed
still, the names
the lonely stares
freed–
this spinning chalk-circle
riding stained-paper ships
on spilled-crimson rivers
among them
perhaps
a poet
aye, perhaps–
the last
perhaps
the best
perhaps
the only
among them
perhaps
a teacher
perhaps
a prophet
perhaps
a lover, true

briefly

they’d found a woman
tied, and burned
left, fetal, in the gravel
by the train tracks
north, a state or two
she used to live–
somewhere near here
in one of these
gray-shingle, red-brick towns
but I don’t remember
which town
she was from
and I don’t recall
her name
though I’d read it
in the inky-finger
newsprint
I’d known it, once–
briefly

beautiful fools

pale, under winter’s twilight
love’s lace-gown apparition, silent
tho, its flowing aura, glowing
blurred, at the edges
of blind-beggary’s
ivory-eyed sight
like a counterfeit memory
the hues, bleeding
into
each another
reaching out–
into
the cold evening
my fingers’ warm skin
passes through–
night’s frozen breath
where once we’d been
on the hillsides–
on the green knolls–
where two
beautiful fools
had passed
our days
dreaming
in summers’
sunshine

not everyone

It was an empty store, filled with empty souls, tho the shelves, stocked, and everyone’s arms, and minds, filled with the nothing of everything that doesn’t matter. I slipped around the side aisle, away from the anxious crowd. I poured a self-serve coffee, and took it all in, like breathing again after being drowned– hearing the clatter and murmuring sounds, and the silence in between– where the truth of all things resides. People came and went, well dressed or dressed down, snappy haircuts, flat tops, and bright colors, wrinkles, and youth’s hip condescension, tho none of them interesting enough to write about.

You know, instantly, after writing enough poems, and nearly every instant, as it arrives, a new disappointment.

To my left, he wobbled, speechless, breathing loudly, his sunglasses perched crookedly on his furrowed forehead, and he fiddled with his coffee for long moments, trying to focus his eyes as his head bobbed and rolled on his shoulders. I could smell the liquor, the musky scent of ancient pain. He wore work boots, oddly small, speckled with paint, frayed denim jeans, weighing heavily, grubby with the stains of regret which never fully wipe off the skin, and I knew, instantly. Tho I felt badly for the others; not everyone can be a poem.

simplicity

A mind grows weary of the rain’s falling assault, tho the sky never tires of its gray churn, and a mind starts to wonder– what is it under this spray-vandal’s heaven, that is real? Is any of this– sincerity, or is falsity the only sincerity which has ever been? Is there anyone– truthful, under this murky sky? Is there anyone smaller than themselves, would anyone dare become small enough to allow another to be, to just– be? Will the rain bring us flowers, lovers, will it gift us, with simplicity?