wringing meaning from white
fall to silence
NothingI used to be lightning.
Power surged beneath my skin,
and in the silence, I heard myself thrum.
I used to be fire.
I burned bright inside, stellar lungs,
and in the cold, I sang myself warm.
Still and dark.
My stone sinews crack.
I am vacuum, deep void of space.
Asteroid dust, floating.
KnifeRemember that little human
boy who couldn't read aloud -
who couldn't hold a pen
because his slick corn oil skin
kept sliding past itself?
Boy, oh, boy.
And he was born a hundred
years too late for his cowboy
dreams. He rides herd on the
maybes and the somedays.
He sang a knife song - one
that sliced up the rigid spines
of teachers and parents alike
and parted them before him
like God-spoken seas.
Deft elision somewhere between
his teeth and tongue, lyrical, his
words in other men's mouths.
Knife song honed with lime,
polished with manteca.
Mocking SkyThe Texas winter mocks
with dust instead of snow
and bare mesquite to testify with thorns
against a shred of weakness.
The Texas winter gusts
fiercely from the south -
grit on lips, in eyes, on tongues that wonder
where the deer drink.
The Texas winter sinks
in rust and blood and peaches
beneath the horizon. Sweetly, sweetly,
she sips the clouds.
The Texas winter clothes herself in cicada song,
and all the stars applaud.
When our wings intertwined
and I fell into your music –
(It flowed like a trance and
dampened my skin with droplets, pianissimo) –
I could have lost myself
in your sonata storm
and let my chitinous scales wash away.
I knew even then
those strings held you bound
in ways I never could.
Lest we forget
In Flanders' fields, the poppies blow,
and we who walk among them know
that here men fought, and bravely died
with equal courage, side by side;
the lark has overcome the crow.
We touch the Dead in memory –
embrace them through the century.
The earth enshrines their valiant hearts
in Flanders' fields.
The torch has guttered years ago;
the enemy has been laid low.
And though your names should slowly fade,
your blood a better world has made.
Rest you now where the poppies grow
in Flanders' fields.
Indian SummerThe Texas autumn froths
in shades of taupe and cinnamon
and lemon-scented yucca blooms -
waxen belles amid the spikes,
thickets of Jumano spears.
The Texas autumn ravages
the sunscorched clay with burning winds
that chew the live oaks all to shreds
and turn mesquites to kindling.
The Texas autumn ticks along
in desiccated deer
yearning for a sip of winter
to ease their cracking riverbeds.
The Texas autumn flows
in rivers of molten tar
along the curbs, beneath the cars,
The Texas autumn breathes hard
like a woman in labor
and clings to the sun
with gifts of fiery fiddle strings
and a prayer for rain.
ProclamationBeneath the spangled, auburn sky,
the silence of cathedrals swells where once
the vulgar shouts held sway, the profane
and the irreverent, the raucous, the bold.
A hush grows ever deeper in the mouths
and in the ears of the sharp-toothed
sycophant and the frog-mouthed boor,
and for once, this once, they listen.
A raffia-soled sandal shushes through the gloom,
bearing in bent shoulders beneath raglan sleeves
and a heavy brow. A confessor stands ready
in every alcove, in every ribs-bare window.
Ready are they to receive those who come.
In robes as black as searching pupils they have waited
for the sinner-supplicant to kneel amidst the standing
and proclaim the new amidst the old --
in a mighty voice of silence. An army of philosophers
can outgrow the need for shouting. Someday
their gaping mouths will heal and they will learn
the comfort of a prayer in the heart.
Even now, their clamorous psalms die
on their frigid lips, and sober thought lifts
Saltwater Burnsmend your brittle
poet fingers &
nurse your static head
cherry lips &
blue, blue fingernails
[girls like you are
.in the night
time you are
skin and stitches
you up with a
purer love, until
the morning comes,
the sun runs his
teeth through your
seams again, splits
The Boy With Oceans In His EyesThere was a time when she left
That everyone knew you still loved her,
because upon each word
Sat a pinched note of longing.
And though the memories skewed your face
Your eyes still sparkled
When you felt her name on your tongue,
and your hands still twitched
When you thought of her fingers within yours.
There was a time-
When you realized she was never coming back,
and everyone knew you were broken,
because tears gnawed on your voice,
When your words were not screams.
And the memories contorted your features
As your eyes filled with rage,
because her name brought nothing but hurt,
and your stomach ached
In the places her hands had once roamed.
There was a time when you stopped leaving home
When everyone knew you needed us,
but no one knew how to help,
because we never heard your voice anymore,
For you were tired of screaming.
And your eyes were dull and full of a hate that we hadn't realized was there;
Your skin was a fire on the bed you never left,
and at night
Heart CutoutI met loneliness on a desolate road
And I became the only friend I had.
I fell in love with noble words
And moonstruck dreams
And genius schemes
And flaky thoughts
And berserk quotes.
One day the hummingbirds
Laughed at me because my songs
Contain no music.
I shouted loud, "YOU BIRDS ARE WRONG!
My songs are poems and a poem is
An eerie song that plays alone.
I had a heart shaped cutout in my chest.
Sometimes it became a subway for fireflies
Sometimes a bridge for love and lies
Sometimes I hid there a pack of fries
And a coke with ice – extra large size
But most of all, I hid a secret –
A hope so deep it blurred my eyes.
I wish one day you'd read my songs
-and return my heart to where it belongs.
KelpieEastern bound we tread in youth,
To chase the break of day,
But in the moors so fogged in mourn,
The white horse blocks our way.
Approached the equines eyes I did,
In sleep they seemed to never sleep.
The pale eyed beauty posed with pride,
And us did to, in dream we were to ride.
But in a desperate turn of fate,
The sleepless eyes where now to sleep,
The bog moors then began to haze,
Turning the white one black.
And thus, the end of my dear friend,
But yet none did believe me,
For in my eyes,
Saw deathly skies,
That equine haunted be.
Through pouring rain,
I seek that beast,
To make the innocent see,
I take the branch to hand,
And sculpt that monster,
For you left me behind.
Grow UpSo what, she's gay
Just leave her alone
She is human
Like you and me
She is still the same person
You knew and spoke to before
She just told you a secret
She thought a friend should know
She trusted you
Well not anymore
When she got the courage to tell you
You let her down
And treat her as if she's nobody anymore
Why can't you just understand?
It's perfectly normal
And okay to be gay
It's not a disease
It's just a part of life
I hope she knows
I'm still by her side
And like her for who she is
She is my sister
That is all that matters
Dreamer UnawakenedIn a crowded room, filled with shallow souls,
Notebook and pen my company.
I sat alone, contently on my own
When a Dreamer sat beside me.
An artful mind, personal style, indifferent to the latest trends
That was the day, I had found a friend
And so began our story.
She didn't know she was a Dreamer.
You can tell that she was unaware,
By the way she asked about my thoughts,
When I had thought that no one cared.
She listened to my soft replies, wonder sparkling in her eyes
I pondered what she saw inside
A quiet mouse like me.
She always reminded me she was a Dreamer
Using a brush called "personality"
Painting through life, changing colors, with
Confidence and Bravery.
Splashing emotions onto canvas, she shares her world that I can't see
She put a pen into my hand one day,
And smiled, "Share yours with me?"
She showed me I'm a Dreamer
Unveiling my ability
To make rainbows out of black and white,
Breathing life into my fantasies.
The empty page that blankly stared, as bleak as my life used
Sleeping SongSometimes it's hard to fill the void
When my lips aren't pressed against your neck,
My arm not resting on your chest,
Rising and falling with each sleeping breath.
You'd mutter in your sleep,
Inaudible whispers sounding the sweetest melody.
I could listen every moment
To every sound you made silently on each breath.
Now the nights are too quiet.
My bed is a frozen lake
That used to move with the warmth of your sunshine,
And even the thousand times I take a breath,
I can no longer hear my lullaby.
I cannot fill this hole.
the unraveling tourniquet of anti- feeling.
Your skin was a dryer sheet and
I have long paid for smugly
forgetting to look both ways
before crossing you.
In one hour I will be that much older.
Eventually, this won't be true.
We dared each other to race trains. I don't
know whose tears cascaded from your eyes.
Bull shit rain.
This brand of bitter is hard to conjure
System of a Down playing at your open house. I still smelled like
graduation day. Your brother was using a turtle
as a soccer ball.
I was the bad guy for breaking his nose.
Never a hero.
Today I came close to burning down a church.
Signs of things to come.
3.When you asked me to strip,
we both had a different understanding
of what you meant.
See, I thought
you wanted me to peel away
the layers of who I was
so you could see what
As you watched,
I shed the confidence
that clung to me like a second
skin and showed you the insecurity
that was underneath.
I cut away my determination,
leaving in its place the self-doubt
that ate away at me everyday.
I ripped off the laughter
that covered my soul
in an effort to hide the
uncertainty of who I was.
I shrugged out of my ambition,
displaying for you the meekness
that was carved inside.
I stood in front of you then,
baring my soul and shivering
in my vulnerability.
I wasn't expecting you to love me--
no, I never wanted you to do that;
Instead, I only wanted you to hold me
and then show me who you really were inside.
But what did you do?
You turned around and walked away without
a second thought--or a glance back.
And here is where I still stand,
mounted on the asph
Knock Me DownKnock me down
But I will still rise
But my hope never dies
Tell me I 'can't do it'
But I will prove you wrong
Break me down into pieces
But inside I'll remain strong
A fiery passion burns within me
One that you will not take away
Forever I will stand freely
And my fears, I will slay
Circling the DrainThread the needle with disease
Incubate the hand that feeds
Sit on a park bench, watch the twilight
Hoard the memories 'til they're flat
Trade your Cubs cap for a black hat
Sit in the dark, watch cigarette tips
Green Jello, little white pills
Headache, backache, fever, chills
Circle the drain now, everyone must
and in so doing
you deign to make
some unknighted landfall
in a mime
of an irreversible
all this time
when we’ve gathered up the last
of roadworthy flowers,
touched our final
in the skull
on leaving . . .
we’re still together
hungering in underboards
dog-fed on blood slivers, whiplash and improvidence.
do we pick at moments
to unlock their gnashing
i have no reason for what i want
just . . . be my collaborateur
be everything that is outlying and forbidden
the cavus which cannot bear the weight of waterweeds
and i promise to keep you
ever since our funeral
in that godless hollow
of a mind
The Quiet FerlyThe ebb of my compassion:
A brimstone solstice.
Once upon a time is
a fanatical lie.
The only middle truth- A dog
is expected to maul the bone that
he was beaten with.
When did it morph into that kind of love?
We were all dripping with infection,
sitting in the shadows on sunny days,
shooting up with placebos
disguised as penicillin.
I was afraid of getting lost inside your mind.
I climbed along the edges but
it was such a good way to break them.
Yes, I let something out.
And how dare I use words like "love" and "lie"!
They lost their meaning on a Sunday in August.
Just like church bells and handshakes.
Is it my duty to throw the world into silence?
Let the only sound be that of
Neutrons celebrating our emptiness,
akin to mocking crows in our subatomic minds.
When you're not listening for the answers
to questions that shouldn't exist
Will you see me in your headlights?
When Music is forever dead,
Will you learn Apollo's notes
and strike his keys out of
Love HurtsHe had a smile on his lips
But embers burning in his eyes.
His razor-blade fingers
Would cut into her wrist.
He disguised his black heart
With whispers of sweet nothings
And hid his need for control
Beneath a veil of concern.
"Love hurts," he would say.
She would lay awake at night
"This pain I feel is a burden of love; at least I’m not alone."
And she would explain away the bruises
Until she had herself convinced
That the mark upon her face
Was from walking into a door
And the broken glass
Glittering red in her skin
Was the result of her own foolish mistake.
Even as her blood
Would sluggishly drip onto the floor,
His snarling face would soften.
He would gently take her
Into his arms
And whisper the words,
"I love you."
So she would forgive him
Because “love hurts.”
And she knew the hands
That had come crashing against her
Were also capable
Of wiping away her tears.
And the sharp words
That exited his mouth
Would be erased
By the press of his lips
Upon her t