We Began Breaking Up Before We Even Met

Smokey dim lit pool hall–
Red lights making volcanic plumes
Of loneliness, desperation, and shame–
Next to a brittle brown pine tree
A quarter mile off the grey gravel road
In the shadow of Interstate Five

Rusted vomit-soaked jukebox
Softly singing Sgt Pepper and Imagine
To half empty dance floor of wallflowers,
Lost souls and broken hearts.
World weary alcohol-soaked Army veterans and
Naive intellectual freshman English majors
Cling to one another, boa constrictor grip: Afraid
Of solitude, depression and dying alone in an empty apartment.
Distorted delusional visions of idealized lovers:
Never changing, never disappointing, never existing.

Experimentation, shampoo lube and 3,000 miles later,
Living twin bed fucking in off-campus squalor.
Catholic Hare Krishna Taoist correcting
School newspaper editorial grammar.
Noahite Indiana Jones finding lost Ark,
Signing covenants with blood dripping from a bleeding penis.
A relationship as smooth as an infected diaper rash.

Bright clear sunlit college courtyard
Spring flowers bloom, feral cats in heat,
Gulf winds blow carefully chosen rational reasons
Putting a bullet in the head of a rabid dog.

Before the breeze could clear brimstone smaug
Soldier boots hit pavement,
Tactical retreat, regroup, prepare for next engagement.
His Sapphic poetess slightly disappointed that he left
Just like she told him to.

9/27/16

The Trans-Atlantic Brain Blown Blues

The Beatles opened my eyes
To a kaleidoscope of colors
Illuminating that frizzy haired
Ragamuffin on the corner
Of a Greenwich coffee house,
Who blew my mind
With laser guided metaphors and
The free-flowing phantom phrasing
Of that wild mercurial sound.

Frontal lobe dusted,
A cerebellum cloud
Ascending the heavens
On a westerly wind
Bursting with a hard rain
From which there is
No shelter.

12/22/19

I Lost My Voice

 

I lost my voice
In the fog,
Crushed by the darkness
On which it once fed.

I lost her
And my soul poured out,
Page after page,
Until every tear rhymed.

I lost him
And the well
Slowly dried up,
As I tumbled down
Like Alice,
Forever falling,
Never landing,
Tears streaming,
Silently screaming,
Until broken
At the bottom
I came to land.

I tried to cry,
But I couldn’t breathe.
I tried to die,
But I couldn’t leave

My boy, my light,
The only life I still had
To live for.

The air was
Oppressive and thick,
Like Tampa in August.
Barely breathing,
I couldn’t speak,
I had no voice at all.

I held my broken cup
And prayed for rain,
Soothing cool relief,
To let me sing again.

8/14/20

I’m Falling

The years go flying by
Like shooting stars,
A flash,
A motion in the sky,
And then they’re gone.

Yesterday,
I stood before you
And presented you
My soul.
Today I sit alone,
Broken and cold.

I never thought
To be here again,
But I should have known
It would happen.
It’s a familiar place
No one should visit:
The walls are drafty.
The mirrors broken,
The only reflection I see
Is my own.

I need your love
To make it through the night,
My ship would be
Stranded on the rocks
Without your light

I need you here
To hold my hand,
‘cos I’m falling
And I don’t know when
It’ll stop.

11/14-11/15/19

The Abyss

I look into the abyss
And the abyss looks away,
Frightened by what it sees.

I feel so empty,
So alone,
Even my demons
Have abandoned me.

The sharp sting
Of the claws fade
Into an unbearable
Dull throbbing
Numbness.

11/15-11/20/19

Am I Angry?

Inspired by Rachel “Quirky” Schenk

Living at the intersection
Of Delight and Delirium,
Immersed in disposable
Consumable media
Filled with bizarre images
Of singing cats shedding their skin
And Steven Moffat’s fever dreams
Of Dracula,
Trying to drown out
The intense sorrow
And existential dread
Of a world draped in darkness.

I crave the release
Of the Mighty Marvel
Morphine Drip™
To numb my mind
And help me
Momentarily forget
That a continent is burning
And seas will soon be boiling
Away to nothing
As oligarchs fiddle
With themselves,
Counting their money
While Gaia flatlines
On the table
(Her insurance wouldn’t
Cover the cure)

I need that Disney brand dopamine
To distract from the darkness
Threatening to drag us down
To the crossroads of
Despair and Death:
Children in cages
And coffins,
Kingdoms split apart.
Glaciers melting,
Forests burning.
People dying
On minimum wage.

Identity, humanity; agency: Denied!

Bigoted, racist,
antisemitic, Islamophobic,
Transphobic, homophobic,
Xenophobic domestic terrorists
Bathed in ignorance and self-righteousness,
Strings pulled by plutocrats
And war criminals
Profiteering off the proletariat’s
Blood, sweat, and tears,
Knowing that the divided
Can never band together
And guillotine the rich.

            But aren’t you angry?
            Why waste your time?

Am I angry?

Don’t mistake immersion
In immaterial flickering lights
For apathy
When it’s a bid
To save my sanity!

In this capitalistic dumpster fire
I need brightly colored flashes
Of insanity and stupidity
To keep me from madness!

Am I angry?
Here’s my secret:
I’m always angry.

1/22-1/23/20

This poem was inspired by several comments made by Rachel “Quirky” Schenk on Episode 68 of The Infinity Podcast (a podcast about Marvel movies).

 

Strings on Me – Free Verse Revolution

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My latest poem, Strings on Me, is now available on Free Verse Revolution:

Strings on Me

 

Old Ragged Suit

The threads are loose
And unravelling,
The seams have split,
Barely holding on.

The belt no longer
Holds up the trousers,
Even on the tightest notch.

Failure is inevitable,
The fraying will never stop.
No seamstress
Can repair the damage,
The whole suit is lost.

10-16-19

Flight – a Tanka

Floating free in fog
Enthralled by eternity
Unfocused; unbound
Enlightened and unattached
Fluttering, falling; failing

9/11-9/12/19

My response to Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 144 #SynonymsOnly

Colleens-Weekly-Poetry-Challenge

 

If you enjoy my work and would like to support my efforts beyond just being a reader, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. By doing so, depending on the level of support you pledge, you can have early access to content, exclusive “behind the scenes” content, and other bonuses:

 

Capture the Wind

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For Justine

A monstrous sail
On a 50 ft. mast
Can hang limp
Over a motionless ship
If not pointed
In the right direction.

A simple sail
On a 5 ft. mast
Can be stretched full,
If the Captain knows the wind.

But once caught
The wind can be lost,
The sail readjusted
To a new course,
Or the outboard engine
Fired up
To take you
To the port of your choice.

7/3/19-7/4/19

My new book The Darkness of His Dreams: Poetry is now available on Amazon.com. Visit the Books page for more information.

If you enjoy my work and would like to support my efforts beyond just being a reader, please consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. By doing so, depending on the level of support you pledge, you can have early access to content, exclusive “behind the scenes” content, and other bonuses: