Broken Bits

  
 Pain,
 A squeezing down
 Into nothingness,
 Into blackness,
 Into broken bits
 In the chest.
  
 Pain,
 A soreness remains after
 The squeezing fist
 Grinds down 
 These shards of glass,
 The broken bits,
 This blackness
 Into nothingness
 That began long ago. 
 A damage
 Left of childhood
 Whimpers.
  
 Pain,
 The squeezing down
 Of a nightmare
 And 
 The leaking valve
 Of this hole 
 In my chest.
   

Leaves

 What will be found 
 When all the words
 Needed are spoken
 Without broken tongues,
 Lisping fear filled air?
  
 What then? When,
 Soaked in sweat of honest prayer 
 After all the raking of words,
 Piled as autumn leaves 
 Between our feet, 
 We stand facing each other.
 What then?
 Bag the leaves,
 Clear away the broken stems 
 Between us?
 Or leave them piled
 To swirl up
 Around and between us,
 Ever present?
  
 But what would be the point
 Of letting words fall then?
 Surely nature, left to its devices, would
 Clear the pile away 
 In its own time and way.
 Then we would know a spring,
 Feeling the blood stir,
 Moving within our veins. 

Words in the Electronic Ages

  
 What we know of words upon a page
 Read, learned over again until sated
 In the richness found.
  
 Then turn to the electronic blue haze
 Where even words resonate, echoing fade.
  
 For the sweetest lies, a believer craves.
 Then scrolling over plastic flowers dancing,  
 The words of a lover’s refrain found
 Written once too often 
 In wooing others
 On the same blank cards
 With pictures of bears.
  
 The words like 
 Cheap plated jewelry’s shine 
 Turn black in the bitterness
 On the day some thought 
 Something pure, pristine was born.
  
 Then, finally, is it known the words
 Of the poetic, the romantic
 Are but rhetoric and lies
 Written and said  
 More than once
 But promised
 For one.
 
 The gravity, the gravity
 A black hole. 

SMOKE THE CRAVING

I debate:

Should I buy

That pack of cigarettes?

God knows I want too.

The store clerk

Stares at me

As if I’ve lost my mind.

I nearly answer—

Yes, I have and other things too.

Please, God.

I just want to feel the smoke

Rush through my lungs.

Skimming, skipping, speeding

The way pictures crash the dam of my heart.

I am flooded.

I’d rather be flooded with waves of nicotine.

Yes, it’d be a blessing to drown in nicotine.

Reveling in the stench of smoke

Would help dull this taste of bitterness,

Would dull this craving for a sweetness

I can no longer have.

And why not?

What’s it all matter now?

A slow roll kind of Catholic suicide.

How long could it take?

I mean, really, at this stage?

“Ma’am, can I help you with somethin’ else?”

Says the clerk behind the counter.

I am still standing there,

The crazy lady,

Trying to wring the water out

Of the water bottle I just bought.

“No, thank you,” as I walk away.

So, no slow roll Catholic suicide.

At least, starting not today.

But this patch of bitter taste,

This patch of craving for a sweetness,

Are sewn with double stitched seams

On the underside

Of my skin.

Tipping the Velvet

Originally Posted on https://braveandrecklessblog.com

Some character on a stage once said

She’d cut her lover out into little stars

To grace the face of heaven.

But no, I’d not cut you out in little stars

As someone writ of fictional lovers.

Though, yes, you would indeed refine

The face of any heaven.

Perhaps, I’d make of you

Velvet curtains

To shield me from the sun.

Yes, that would capture the softness

Of your skin.

The safety and protection

Wrapped up within you.

No, I think I’d rather make of you

a carving of wood,

Capturing the lines of you,

Smooth, curving to the touch.

The warmth of you glowing in the oiled grain.

Or perhaps, I’d make of you

A field of flowers,

Rich in hunger causing aromas and petal softness.

The balm of Gilead for a stricken soul.

No, no.  I know I’d make of you

The earth

So, you’d nourish

While I tended you

And so always

You would

Return to me

In the velvet

Of the soil.

The Well of Loneliness

Originally Posted on https://braveandrecklessblog.com

Searching for something

In this void

Of fatigue–

A tender touch

Or warm skin to lie against,

A hope to grasp

When against slick

Stone.

Hours pass.

Anger and sadness silently left

And closed the door.

But the heart is chambered

Like a shell,

Swirling down within itself

Until reaching a breaking point

Of being long overdrawn,

Overworked, over tired,

Over

Over

Over.

Still learning in the stillness

Of time mixed with languages

Neither known nor understood

At all.

When there be no common ground

To stand upon–

A start, a beginning is lost.

In the travels

To find new shores

In this age

Without directions

Or something resembling

The instruction manual.

Turn to ask a friend,

“How does that dialogue go again?”

But there is no answer

In the old cliché’ of “seek and ye shall find”

You’ve knocked upon the door

And no one answered.

Live days in monastic silence,

Find it difficult to voice an answer

To the Walmart clerk saying,

“Have a nice day!”

Every night

Crawl downward and in,

Say a small, silent fervent prayer—

“I will always miss you

And I will always love you.

May my soul find you.”

Waking in fragments

To find it is time

For glue and duct tape.

They fix anything

That needs to be held

Together

At the bottom

Of the well.

The Price Of Salt

Originally posted on https://braveandrecklessblog.com

I went to all my baskets of words

To find them emptied out.

In fact, it seems

Anger and sadness

Sandblasted holes

Clean through the dang baskets.

Then I went to all my junk drawers of words,

Pulled each open and found each empty.

Frustrated, I tugged them all the way out

To make sure no junk, trying to hide away,

had shimmied behind the drawers.

But my efforts were to no avail.

All my words were gone, stolen.

Even my most treasured one,

Used ever so rarely for food or wine,

Used just once, only once,

For a love. 

Is this the price?

The price I pay for salt?

But this isn’t essential

To human existence.

No, I should report a robbery.

Call the cops and say,

“Someone stole all my words

And my most treasured one.”

Then I could file an insurance claim.

Perhaps collect something incalculable

And patch those dang baskets.

But how would they calculate

The value of such a word?

Used so rarely for things

And only once, just once

For something, someone rare?

How to calculate exquisite?

Happy Endings Are All Alike

Originally posted on https://braveandrecklessblog.com

Or so they say.

Wish I may,

Wish I might,

Find one to curl up into tonight.

But it’s too late.

Far too late for that.

I can imagine what those endings are like.

I’ve read them in books.

I’ve seen them in movies.

I’ve even lived them for little while,

A season, maybe two,

A few years and played a fool

Because I wanted too

And didn’t want to see

A truth or two.

I have friends

Who model happy endings.

It’s really sickening

In the syrupy sweetness

Of it all.

Yes, they are all alike,

I do suppose.

Perhaps,

Unhappy endings are most interesting

Of all.

I don’t really know.

I’ll tell you at the end.