the return of smoke and mirrors, we
bring in the libations, curl into a booth
and swoon toward each other to hear our words
behold the fluttering of my stomach
before the night begins, for once not due
to the presence of you alone
the measure of performance
not one like I have known
quite like this, a roll of the dice
into something nice and a chance to give
a song for bliss or recital
but never knowing the right way to finagle
butts out of seats and onto the dance floor
a perplexion I aim to take
Oh, everybody’s timepiece ain’t sweet
just caught screaming, making promise islands,
great soul feeling queen
or baby girl bliss, sweet “ooh ooh” driving one fantasy song’s days
like down care love,
doesn’t give teenage us
these teeth, jesus been
we’re what can’t these days.
Oh, now believe one dreaming angel-
give great buzz , see everybody’s one call
to give feeling, screaming grey world caught awake
let sit, run love
living okay, oh rule, wide royals
treat now like sweet side dreams
just maybe tonight
islands start making
every damn life wanna
*I used two Wordle
clouds to assist with the creation of this poem. It includes various song lyrics I am considering for karaoke. I dare you to guess which ones. 😀
Oh you, gentle drawer.
Caught with your pants down again, someone peering into your host
I’ve found the pile of photographs, each snippet of life
shaded with perfect light, or candid 5×7
waking the worst of sorrow and sleep and sweet painful singing
I’ve found the green notebook, giving life
of lingering wishes, and narrations of new
intimate declarations unpacked
in its spine.
Do you not see the undeveloped film? The wonders
in your cave?
Are the feelings found in the flurry of fever
at being discovered again?
Do not tempt me, gentle drawer,
Your wares are meant to be encased inside
Your ravages each their crystal showcase
unlocking my cry.
I’ve found her here, her jeweled necklace broken
at the clasp and unwearable
can’t materialize from your depths, dear drawer.
Let her rest.
Let her be.
Show how you can have pity on me
Oh you, gentle drawer.
We walk in stuttered strides. You the endless putterer, and I the parader. I want to feel the flux waters on my ankles, wading in the wake of evening. I want you to accompany me, your chatter easy and continuous, and bubbling like your laughter.
But your fingers find the sand, patting your palms on the grainy ground, and scooping cupfuls, captured in the rapture of your grin. Caught in the wrinkles of your knees as you sit and sieve and play.
You are no longer a child, but your words rip without warning. Your eyes glazed over in the furious patting of the sand, the slurpy lap of the tide inching closer to your back. The castle you are creating in your head keeps tumbling back into the earth as you desecrate each mound with your frustration.
You lose your ring as you finger the holes in the battlements, your castle creating shapes for the sea to swallow.
Your fingers disappear and quake as you work, the water walking faster, your creations bubbling forth like curses and you desecrate the sand again. You tantrum through the last round of building, your fingers clenched in reddened stumps, your bashing bringing forth tears from the sky, and soon high tide is washing around you, the sun dipping below the horizon.
I watch as the swallow of your sea takes you.
– for Rita
She loomed upon the darkened corner of dank
the office I inhabited was flooded
with lilac perfume and waves of spray
for the coif perched high on her head.
This menacing woman glided into my office
her eyes were bright and hard
her mouth was stretched into a smile
but my heart was immediately charred
Her voice was deceptively sweet,
though it betrayed her snobbiness soon
She looked down her nose at me
And yet my respect for her grew.
As the weeks passed, I found out her bluntness
didn’t mask any hatred for me
I found out her unabashed bluntness
Was actually honoring me.
She plucked out my strengths from my weakness
and held them before me on a platter
The platter she created from wisdom
And she thrust it at people who matter.
This hard-ass lady from my hometown
Somehow though I’ve moved across country
Still coiffed and cultivated as ever
Is the source of my greatest story.
There you sit on the windowsill,
the cold glass rubbing against your vase
as you stare through the pane to view
the waning sun.
You recall when the fog could be felt on your petals
the rain kissing your face like dew, the humid air
reaching into you from stem to tip
You recall the rush of growing, giving your petals to passerby
blending between the other flowers, bending to kiss the bee
before yawning at the end of day
and sleeping through the darkness sea.
You were plucked late enough in life
losing the length of roots outside
stuffing into the crannies of this cramped blue vase
and gazing upon the eyes of the one who plucked you.
Here you sit on the windowsill, no longer
sunning, no longer
singing, no longer
swaying in the summer spring.
You want to return to the other flowers
You want to be resown.
You want to wither, watching them,
the flowers you are no longer.
But you have something they don’t have
the strength to carry these long memories
the scope to know that strife
is necessary to each pretty white daisy
to survive through all this life.
Back to this ping-pong of argue again
Arrested through the silence of sound
Before I can get a handle on the underskirts of your words
You point your finger, and it lingers too close.
Stop this nonsense, this upheaval of my trust,
Tread lightly as I stack my thoughts on a table
Each word trembles further than the one before
Preparing for more, for the wind of you to gust
Sealing my fate and shutting the door.
Your face was aligned to my brain
I heard your voice falter and feign
We made this decision
To give up the vision
and end this journey’s sustain.
I feel you turn over in sleep
I wrinkle the bedding we keep
You stutter and snore
I look at the door,
my thoughts continue to steep.
We unrolled the truth of our end
We haven’t had courage to send
the final goodbye
its answering reply
or the lie that we will remain friends.