Wednesday, October 31, 2012

open book

All at once the open book your life was slams shut, no marker or memory set to tell you what it was. The pages thin enough to cut all flutter and fly, caught upon the next wind, the next weather up. The streets are swept with sirens and headlights, the tricks and treats now few and far between. The porch light swarms with spiders and moths, some small comfort left in these clear reasons. An owl pierces the sky, shrieking its signal unseen from above. Forget your place, or even trying to find it. No-one was ever going to read that thing anyway.

The details are slowly sloughed away. Forget your place, forget your wounds. The weather is all  they talk about. When the storm, then when the sun. The whole world written as flood or drought. The whole world  written off as conversation, a few words to ease the tragic gaps between. Settle in amongst your latest strangers. Settle down between the seasons and the signs. They paint all the trains, they call down the rain. They know you as the ground you stand on. They know you by what they can take away.

The road ahead is slick with rain. The road ahead is lit by the moon. There are always other stories unfolding. There are countless wishes wasted every living night. The stars are out, the clouds abound, all the shortcuts and collisions of the transit between tongues. You have run hot or cooled down, placed amid these uncertainties.  Nothing to know of the unwritten, nothing left to say save what you know. Open the book, some of it might as well ring true. Open the book, there are bound to be blank pages left. Feel it in your heart like god. Feel it on your face like rain.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

desperate

Summer goes just like the wind, autumn settles in your skin, the days just fall and fall. The shell game starts again, stops again, arcane rules for an ill-wished craft. You never guess what is inside. From photo to caption to another contested acre. From year to year, the same idle report. You spin what spell is left, a haggard magic, threadbare and writhing with root and worm. The storm warnings fresh on your breath, you dig up a cache and shuffle the map. All these bright and fading treasures. These desperate measures in sacred trusts.

You might be that rare cut above them, you might be a girls best friend. The shine gleaned from exchange rates and gaffed numbers. The rare air all that luck allowed. The muck and dreck make you think there was a way there.  The blood and thunder make you think you are blessed to still be standing. Then there is the rough and tumble, you with your sunny song and dance. The old ways and the deep trough never want to drown me. The stressed syllables of the invocation more poor etiquette than power play. You bare your teeth, I don't know whether to smile or bite. The day breaks upon our backs again.

The stories weep and fester, they rage against each stitch. It is the work of telling that holds them together, the business of life and belief that allow our ignorance. The world is never words, no matter what your grimoire tells you. The spell is not the incantation, any more than the constellation in any way contains the stars. Things come and go, with their own reasons, at their own rates. Talk to any god on duty. Talk to the birds on the wire. You mark the inclination like you would the high water. You bear the weight of the inundation like with any cross you carry. The stiffness of the ritual, the flex of the weather and the claim of climate. You are the magic in the counting, your number always lucky when you win. I am the dull remainder, the wreck that is left once all the counting is done.

Monday, October 29, 2012

come crow

Come crow, come black wing, just leave me my dreams. The day can only go on so long. There is no ghost on the radio. There are barely any gods in the wind. The kicked-up dust or the coming downpour, the work is all the same. Eat when hungry, sleep when worn. Such a stodgy old dharma beat down all these years. The promise all dried up, it still rains on my bones. Call down the day, cough up the dusk. Measure me a little treat, and I will cleave the time.

Sweep away the day with black wings and jagged songs, break everything down to shards and scraps. The full moon coughs up light enough for the journey. Everything wandering to every place that stays. We burn the day to bless tomorrow. Our crowded altars sizzle and drip. The stars slipped and slid, slim purchase upon the dizzy firmament. Fixed distance and broken cues. The clue of clock and calendar, the proof of leaf and cloud.

The cock crows thrice beneath a full moon, the spell is broken. The cock crows more, another spell is set. I keep the time, adrift upon this gentle tide. I watch the signs, turned yet again towards the coming day. The west obscures and the east reveals you. Sunlight kisses each forbidden limit, traffic stumbles down every avenue, cars seep out every street. There is a train at last in the distance. The whistle trails, it pitches and wails. Stretched against the world's sweet side you listen for these words I have left you. You read these words and you hear a crow.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

storm bringer

We look to the sky to find our future, we look to our feet and see the ruins. Missteps always steps just the same, the open door and the darkened stair well. I speak aloud just to set the record. I speak aloud just to settle the bet. The poem undone meant for the bowl on your dresser, the rain unspooled in the abyssal mirrors of your eyes. I crack my knuckles and the clock unhooks, the earth unfolds its faceless plan. I speak to your bones when I speak of the song. The rain the only gift the heavens will admit. I lean towards your dense confession, the breathless kiss, the ache inferred from such a distant sigh. The world weeps and trembles, reaching for your skirts.

All night my breath draws a bow across unseen strings, all that note saws on. The melody pulls its resonance from the certain sky. I taste you in the air around, a whisper almost manifest. Awake I reach for the bidden dream, asleep the dream eludes. My spine creaks and pops, daylight only another symptom. I see your face in the long dull empty, my blood just sings and sings. The earth shifts and rumbles, the ocean stalks each island and every coast. The season tugs at every seam, the fabric so lovely and worn. Daylight and my bed is still and unsettled. Daylight spills on your shoulders, bare and touched by light.

The world still works how it wants to. Life still is all break and beat. I spit out the sweet with the bitter, swallow the fire with the feast. The poem leaves my lips in little kisses. The window stays wide open all year. I blur the boundaries and wreck the clock keeping count. My fingers thread the words as if for each brush stroke. My fingers press the letters as if to touch your skin. Nobody is getting any better, no-one is getting fooled. There is no story, only detail. There is no seduction, only eyes and flesh. Press the petals between the pages,  fold this letter beneath your dreams. These are only idle appetites. The magic you inhabit in these darker stretches of earthly desire. The purchase you earn simply placing your feet upon the wreckage, and quietly walking away.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

night and day

This is how you find the poetry out here in the field. This is the tiger for its stripes, the forest for its trees. The words glide on that lovely tide of tongue and throat. The words settle into the skin of these unsettled thoughts, lithe and unrelenting. This trick of tenderness, the wind and water carving away the obligatory stones, the gentle and the calamitous sharing their shadows with the wall. This task of endurance, the sentiment sharing your flesh for as long as it is yours.  The moment might have just slipped by, it might be a thousand years buried, but it is alive in your blood and breath as soon as you take it in. The song changes partners, but it knows the dance is all there is. The poetry knows you by the names that never were. The poetry knows you when you see it.

The song spreads over the landscape. The song lights the inside of your skull. It knows the longing, it knows the lonely. The poetry pressed from that distant light, measuring the empty and the flow. The music written in some trembling hand, the words captured alive, so tender and true. The heavy footprints of these passing fancies, the deft brushwork of life feathering every art. The daft promise that dreaming brings, the furtive ache that ignites with every waking breath. Another time, another place. Another word let loose, hoping there is something to all that bible talk about reaping and sowing. The human heart the seed of all these native dreams and earthly hopes. The song runs along the surface of my blood, the poetry my chosen ghost. The song unseats every god and king, the world burning temples and trailing words.

Another time, another place. Cocktails and evening clothes, the sound of singing coming from the party inside. The changes made to the pronouns to protect the secrets of flesh and intention. All the pieces to the puzzle this map of hits and misses means I will never know. Weather shifts skins and changes neighbors, words carry their baggage across the sea of time, sleek and fearless and unyieldingly flexible. The brightest of the morning sun, the dazzling contrast between starlight and the night, this human burden the only blessing we enjoy. We are the rain drop and the deluge, the beauty and the beast. We are the devilish details and the sad refrain. I hear an old song sung with craft and art, and I am transported to another world, and am at once rooted to my own location. Wanting that one who will never know me. Wanting nothing but this ancient beauty, alive and free in the days and nights of this indifferent earth.

Friday, October 26, 2012

factory town

Take what you need down from the shelf. Take what you want right off the vine. They only keep the count to hold it against you. They know your numbers because they think it makes their case. When it comes to self-destruction, it's mostly a factory town. Pour the coffee, note the bubble on the surface. Watch the sun set, see all the stars in the sky. Someone says something, someone else says "it matters." Nothing is wrong strung with enough words to qualify. Everything is connected, the sentence eventually says.

The night waits out the stoney moment, it lingers gravel gray and blue. The wan horizon pressed between imagination and observation, the measurable spectrum rife with dirt and leaf. The moon gets out too early, lingering on rooftops, hiding in the trees. It swells and tempers, poems and prayers all flying loose to meet it. The words wait out the usual temptations, dark eyes and languid hips. They wait for the changes in the atmosphere, for the markers hurled to earth. They slumber in the blood, waiting for the spirit to lead the way. Sweetness and sorrow, they take the sky in flocks and storms.

The darkness seeps in through the windows. The darkness walks right through the door. The moon is out, the stars are loose, the count goes on and on. Every word comes like a pulled tooth. Every word and the cylinder spins, each empty chamber another ragged breath. Trigger and hammer, an end to all the ever afters. Despite what they tell you, nobody beats the odds. Even the best of souls may go astray, and you are far from the front of the pack. Someone nods and someone speaks, the movie starts all over. The streets empty and the skies alight. There is no inscription, but every ending knows your name by heart. There is nothing written. You already signed it all away.

Monday, October 22, 2012

contraction

All at once the lights go on, the story already started. All the sudden the phrase just turns, and leads the road away. Follow the smoke of burning bridges, the sooty trail of the star in falling. Ribbons tangle, ribbons untie, her hair is loosed and wild. Spilling down her shoulders, sliding around her neck, all slender care and suspect shine. The days flow like wine, pouring down the bottle, filling up our cups. The days burn, soft flames and tactful ashes. Some spill, some are sundered. The blessed wonder of the words undone. Imaginations run wild, the way they often do.


The night makes its case first to faces. Her hair spills free, her eyes are hidden by her halo, the weight of suggestion lit from behind. The catch of the camera, something is held back. An aspect the poorest eyes find evident, the least glimpse rife with proof. The lividity only speaking from the glass and chimes, witnesses left unstruck and ordinary, just the light as it leaves. The way shadows fill the windows, the night's only cloister at first glance inside. The way the door is left wide open, lost looking for keys and locks.

The sun sets on all sorts of business, the most always unfinished, the endings all start over again. Empire's reach exceeding freedom's grip, fragments stick and fester, the future read out in pus and blood. Each wound the beginning of a journey, every road unwinding in the breath and in the beating. The least of us abridgment, elliptic between the story's motions, the details best left to innuendo and the imagination. We say too much to not say less. We speak aloud to give the spirit to the spell. Letters sticking to every line, the vague suggestion all the rest. Letters written on torn time, her absence all they reveal.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

condense

Once you'd put your troubles in a bag, then smile all they way. The old songs did not get that way for nothing. We fight the world to change the lessons, but the world will only teach its way. We learn in by the replay, the ritual and rhyme. We learn it in our language, the root of breath and tongue. We learn to say in such a way that what matters comes undone. So comes the breadth of the proposition. So comes the con dug in deep and done long.

The oldest riddles all cast shadows. The truest words weigh heavy in the clear sunlight. The drift of debt and obligation, learned only by rote. Trials and trails of subjugation, the worse confirmed again and again. The sins cast against our blessings, the working of our blood spoken in a crowd aloud. These deft mistakes, these broad mistimings, scatter on down the long descent. All these traditions linger for some reason-- the surest benefit or the most forsaken proof. The most vacant lies stretch across all lines of caution, these flights of legend the only violation. It is the purpose, not the reason, says the word that stills the boat.

You catch the sound of a ringing chain, the steel resounding in rising waves. You catch a crow as it scrapes right over, some pursuit that entangles every tongue. The story must contain a lesson, not word or instruction, but an editing of event. The shadows cast by curse or by chance. The better angel of our cruel greedy existence, our inheritance much more breath than blood. The answer is the reason for these oldest stories. The punchlines leading the oldest jokes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

open book

Cover to cover, the book is finished. Page by page, the next one begun. The days start and stagger, the nights bleed and blend. These worlds are all rewritten, series and sequels, blank screens and palimpsest. Words recycled, meaning and motive always chasing tails. Alibi always the next confession, reason always stacked as the memoir is spent. Life is a mystery, dust and smoke, wet streets and days of rain. The movie playing with the sound turned down. The music always another soundtrack, a playlist of all the things you thought you'd never hear again. The songs you sing while the radio drones on and on.

Trains wailing and dogs barking. The weather leaves the atmosphere and lingers on your lips. Life is a mystery, lived in one direction, written in reverse. The butler's heated confession, the voice in the dark lit in silhouette. Time is a story we tell ourselves to believe in the numbers while the clock runs down. The metaphors meet up at the mixer and breed like wild. Kisses and gunshots and those plots fraught with comical mistakes. You watch what you say because you think someone is listening. You wait to speak while all the words exhaust. Write it down, sleep on it, read it out loud. The sense in the sentence is stitched to your heels. Running so hard it feels like flying. Flying so far, the fall is all that is left.

For awhile we will meet and measure. For awhile we will burn so bright. Alone at last we think and smolder. Alone at last the story seems clear. Road after road we miss our exits. Page after page our purpose obscures. The denouement a sad abstraction. The epilogue another shambling ghost. These lives of ours an open book. Remaindered long before it was ever written. That sound and fury the only signifier. Clues and characters and drawn out conclusions. Concussion and punctuation, and all that drowned romance. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, we tell on all our stories. We close the book on all our secrets. Life's a mystery the only thing we learn.

Friday, October 19, 2012

the price of the rose

The skin of dreams still warm beside you, you wake to the bustle and scuff of something other, everything in its place. The world in all its shiftless mystery, wine and blood, bread and flesh. The fierce leaning of each transformation, the shapes shifts, the shadows pull. Thousands of nights and mornings, countless columns of numbers that never add up quite the same. Your heart gasps and stumbles, your gait a hallway stuffed with dusk. Again to the lists and the longing. Again to the busy streets of emptiness.

You wonder as you work your tiny mercies. You wonder as you sift the details through your teeth, black coffee and brown dust. Will the wound ever close, will the mark ever fade? The labor of the unchosen all the more wearying when there is nowhere it begins or ends. The scars slowly seal the flesh, this incarnation so dull and painful. The stars tell their stories, their tongues still and deliberate, their tales lit by the burning breath of time. You are nothing but a flicker, a glimmer lit for an instant, then gone for the entirety of the show. You are always less, absent for most of forever, absent even in this livid skin.

The change is there, though seldom for the better. The change is there, the plastic bag dancing in the wind. It fills and exhales, rises and dashes and is sacrifices on some branch or thorn. Religion makes its claims, the gods cast their spells and tantrums, the world plies its familiar, brutal trade. You bleed in little measures, drops seeped and spattered, the lash of the razor, the price of the rose. Scratched and pierced and bled in flecks and sops. Wounded in these pitiful rituals, the shopping lists and greater goods. Murder comes in blue flashes for a handful, in slow portions for the rest. This is the day, the one that comes along once in a lifetime. This is the one day you always wake to, slipping quickly away.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

abound

The skies are written down in paces, the tightening horizon, the stir of scattered wanderers. The night fills in every crevice, every corner spark and stun. The clots of stars reveal the mystery, the story spread out in billions in all directions. From weary myth to dizzying theory. The aching span of sense and thought. Words come as riot, words come as consolation. Never enough breath to speak the truth.

Sleepless so long that sleep becomes the dream, dark eyes and pale tresses. The strange entanglement of stray implications conspire with the slipping of each sense. The world blurs as we revel in intentions. Distracted by these rituals we fashion absolutes. The birds all gather on branch and line, waiting out the storm and mitigating risk. The flock becomes another kind of faith, safety always coming there once the numbers grow too high to count. Eyes barely blink as the shadows gather. The darkness rises, eyes just there to stare.

So much for that one in a million. The odds lean long as these billions propagate. Pressed in against all this air and feathers. Held down by the sky and lifted by the trembling earth. The dull mind drags as the lexicon lingers. Something to say now that the prayers have ended. Something to say now that all the poetry has moved on. The wonder wanders on, farther than that muddied up horizon. All this ache and empty, the vast expansion abounds. All this want and hunger, the magic dying slow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

labyrinthine

The clock counts out the tedium-- hours spilled in fleet seconds and grim minutes. Machines light the room and stir the air. The tub fills with water, the mirror hides in steam. Nothing here that needs seeing, nothing here that needs saying. All these footnotes to the colloquial, all these margins smudged with grease and ink. The pretense of the lost is that there is a place to begin with. Claim the day as the night drags and draws. Write the words as you fail them one by one, then all together.

Yesterday it was a falling star. Yesterday it was a barn owl above, screeching unseen through the sky. Venus up there burning bright, the moon all but gone. The dawn shed for another day. A bottle of rum and a dead man's treasure. The clatter of glasses, coffee brewing scenting the air. The dull dispatch of daily complaints, the well slick with poison but never running dry. A sad passage, the ghost of a notion. Sleep a myth like the monsters on the map. The labyrinthine labor of a mind out of reason. The minotaur lost to the angles of the maze.

The night again, and again and again. This litany of vague motive and callow regret. Tense and meter, supplication to the false and the frightened. These aches that are life as it is, these words like life as wished after. Sorry lists and spent incantations. The troubled thoughts that make the flesh surrender. Appetite honed on bone and pavement. Stepping on lines and cracks, everywhere broken bottles and stray cats. The gaze swallows the lay of light and outline, headlights straining against the flat lines and painted posts. Stare and stare, there is no path you follow. The truth isn't out there, the facts elude the light.

Monday, October 15, 2012

fissure and fire

It is always right along the border, it always stalks the jagged edge. The moment broken off at the stitched on seconds. The day that won't come, the night that won't end. The stars all lost so long ago. The nightmare all the worse for each waking. The dream like fevers beaded on my brow, the yaw of ache, the pitch of blood. The hunt running outside the front door. It comes in heat, it comes in reasons. The dull abyss of this sudden never more.

The dawn might come if it had a reason. The sun might rise if it was asked just so. The roof hangs its head and watches the earth. Life all writhes between each mention. The world is swarms and hives and extinctions. It is steam and scars and fissure and fire. The heart steps out to take the air, beating its feet red against the floorboards. My eyes rub raw, just taking the measure of it all.

This is the hour of the last enchantment. This is the hole that never heals. Sleep is a spell from a once-was kingdom. The kindness ringing as the swiftest cut, a storm of bells, a riot of bones. The stars show their teeth to some former notion. The self as a certainty, the name as an oath. Never again the only true anthem. The empty air a tide arrows. Every step slips uncertain, every second the gears ground down. The work all passes to better heads and stronger hands. All else left watching the clock wear out.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

etude

The sun is out, so the birds will sing. They fly and fall as the sky expects. The bright and blue painted by the work of swift deft wings. These songs of flight written upon the empty air, the music of spring stitched upon the fall. My skin is warm here in this thin shade. The wind is gentle, feeling nothing but the change.

So like scales with words we practice. We speak aloud to conceal our thoughts. Secret songs and unsent letters. We fail our hearts for our naive statements. Falseness our duty before the law. The words stack up, hollow and pointed. The mood grows desolate despite the warmth and light. Like diagrams for grammar, or those shallow college papers, we bark and bray for the music we have lost.

Would that this were true there would be some small consolation. Would that it were so this obsolescence would wound a little less. We begin as dreams and end as erasure. The certainty measured only in the lapse it contains. Sometimes I lean on the bones of old love letters. Sometimes I lean out the window and gather up the wind. Some small grace the only thing I reach for, fingers straining through distance and depth. The empty air the most I ever capture. The words line up as the memory fades.

Friday, October 12, 2012

little red book

There was a time when things were put on paper. There was a time when our memories were mostly meat and ink. A list of names, featured phone numbers. Romance always written down. Columns like candles calling down the saints. Letters and phone calls and always another tomorrow. The days shed loved better because they would never be seen again. This lonesome a little purer because there was such a thing as alone.

I wouldn't call you, even if I had your number. I wouldn't call you, even if I had a little red book. There are no more converts, no more glad disciples. I am out of practice and have nothing left to preach. I know now I am not built to cherish. I curse and blaspheme and will mock my last gasp here. The days profaned by my bitter and my illness. Your absence that hole my heart could never mend. What is there to say that you wouldn't know already? This meter and this rhetoric, this timbre and this pitch. Singing to myself, to the stars that hide beyond me. The sky gone gray, the song kicking up the dust.

Again it is night, and I write as smoke is rising. Again I am outside, waiting on the rain. These cigars and this sadness among my prized addictions. A thumb smudged tablet glowing lonely in my hands. I could see your face, if I had a picture. I could say your name, with only dogs and trees to hear. I think of you still, having lost faith in tomorrow. I think of you like yesterday which I believe in even less. Happy or not, we at least all get our endings. I smoke this cigar as I punctuate this feeling. Dreams still cling, whatever I believe.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

another thunder

I weather the clock-- the rain falls down, I'm the light left on. Burning out a real place in real time.  The door is locked, the table's set with bitter draughts and worn regrets, smoothed by my touch over time. I spit fire, I eat crow, my words come back and I let them go. Sometimes it's only a song line by line. My cup is empty, my hands are full, autumn finally knocks the cobwebs off my concerns. The dry bed of dust turns to mud over time. The wings spread and lightning fills the sky.

The stars are sleeping in our graves, millions of years until our last mistakes arrive in the here and now to fill the night. The clouds all gather and abide by these odd fluidics of rising tides, the weather bends, we bow our heads as the wind slips by. The heavens stir, the storm relents, I spit ink and sacraments. The spell caught in my throat cut my breath and changed my tune. Now I am only that song sometimes. My hands fold when the beat's so bad but the bar's on time.

The streets are swept by wind and leaf, smoke trailing each sudden gust. Tires whisper, losing their grip on the real. Tensions waver and transitions occur. My skin is the stuff of ghosts and hauntings, the unrelenting sadness of a hopelessness that endures beyond all else. A single voice never meant for speaking. The windows rattle with some borrowed bass. Another time for another thunder. Another dawn comes wandering through these streets, and I am wide awake and restless. Burning long and low, out here as lonely as a star.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

strangers

You suppose it's human nature, this drift from blood to blood. The kindest cut so deep that stitches are a formality. The curtain falling fast and dark, the stage so swept with feet and intrigue no-one knows who to blame. You catch a glimpse, you turn too fast. You hear your heart go running down the street. The hour so long it may as well be day. The moment so cold you think it might always be this way. Footsteps and that sudden hunger. You remember who you really are, and all else is erased.

It's always just a stone's throw closer, a kiss missed by miles as the crow flies. The cryptic rhythm of breath  and air, the pump and power station. The form fills, the shape empties. Always some other story, the hidden signal, the letter in plain sight. This mystery of flesh and feeling.  This puzzle of time and tense. The lights go out and the hammer falls. There are no debates, no resolutions. Just one thing then the next. Conspiracy or happenstance, the world is what you wake with.

Every day you sort through faces, their grafted smiles, their shifting moods. Some names stick and others wander. Some stay close, some are never seen again. You keep your count, you cling to reasons. Explanations are the film played backwards. Motive the toast as the table is cleared. Speak your mind and hold your portion. Say your piece and watch the tide erase every last trace. Every smile conceals some stranger. The picture in the mirror another person you will never know. The sun goes down and the darkness walks the hallways. The night is here and every dream is gone.

Monday, October 8, 2012

posterity

Where in the heart do these wishes arise? Where in the sky do these prayers reside? What great abyss, what ever after? The rattle of trashcans as the raccoons arrive. The stars don't stir though the earth may tremble. The dead do not rest and seldom revive. Keep your faith wherever you might need it. Keep your secrets until they are yours no more.

The night conspires to reserve all judgement. The gutters whisper and the leaves give up. Traffic prowls and dashes and roars. Headlights cast shadows that dissolve and manifest. Ghosts in the windows, shapes in the yard. Eyes fail and vision falters. The flesh stretches towards the incredible, the mind already lost to its own devices.

Here it waits, this fleeting notion. Here it waits, this bereft thought. No ancestors, no progeny, no carved inscription marring stone or tree. The drawn blade sheathed without tasting blood, the pistol holstered still cool to the touch. No speeches, no struggle, no loyal opposition. Tomorrow unmarked by these roughs and rewrites. Tomorrow unbent by the weight of today. Reach for the stars from on top of something taller. Dig up the dirt that will bury your name.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the one I wound up

It must be the hour, all those green entreaties, all those bathwater babes. It must be the season, the chill in the air cloying with the vague memories of sweetness stirring the quilt. All these transitive clouds and obscured stars. The grey in my beard, the clock always counting out loud. I speak to myself, as if you could still hear me. I speak to myself, like I ever knew you at all.

If I ever made the list, just strike a line through my name. If you still remember, I would ask you to forget. We all know the words that spanned those distances. We all know how far I failed to measure. Strike a line through me in bright bolts and blue blazes. Strike a line through me, curses taking the place of my name. It is a conceit to think I could have counted, with what I ended up counting for. Those bruised shadows and sharp invocations. The way bare flesh never weathered those spells that well.

Once it would have been quaint to speak of curses. Once all the gods and monsters only worried the walls in the dark. Now the whole world folds into the firmament, the skies alight with might and blight and terror. Prying eyes and pealing paint. The foundation cracked and descending into the unknown depths. Better to have never been than to wind up so mistaken. Better to be forgotten as the promises I never kept than remembered as the one I wound up being. The sullen tongue, the empty eyes. Teeth too sharp and bones too hard. This graveyard of burnt faith and buried hatchets. The line gone dead, spitting static at so many gathered ghosts. The language of my heart only fragments of greed and betrayal. The one that got away always only the one that never was.

Friday, October 5, 2012

bloody anthem

There's no clock in sight when the counting begins. Just the usual confusion of sky and heaven. The cluttered coterie of memory and fantasy, old flames and movie stars. Faces like photos spent somewhere money doesn't know. Some simple phrase, some tiny spark. A moment only there between minds and eyes. A taste of luck that gave you the ability to believe. Dust sticks to the sputtering and the coughs. The wind just winging it out where the world runs down.

So much confidence in the clatter of brass. These coins minted of slag and theft. These bullets loosed like cats in a storm. The dumb trust in the strap and the steel-toe. Pained expressions and marching orders and the hymn of I've got mine. Would-be killers decrying murder. Faith only found in the filling of each grave. God not an oath but an epithet. The heart empties, the blood comes crowding in. This rhythm of wound and ache we paint on every wall.

This is the life allowed us. The warmth of lead, the comfort of granite. Some sad romance before the streets fill with metal and rain. Dust flavored kisses and cash money dreams. Broken teeth and open wounds, prophets always sounding some alarm. There is a train wailing to the distance. There is the brush strokes of an unseen star. Of all there is to see and do, hands to give and lips to taste, we choose the spell of slaughter. Of all the songs we sing aloud, we pick the ones that would eat our bones. A wide open world beneath a wandering sky, we only love what isn't.

October 5th

There is a moon out there somewhere. The wind is all rush and crawl. Gutters skitter with dead brown leaves. There are lights on in somebody's home. The skull splits, the night seethes. Every pin drops unheard. The whole day lost to the falling sky. The last good moment the sight of all the crows moving above, the season crumpled down below.

The air is piled into little boxes. Electric light paints the walls with tricks and shades. Breath draws and pushes, stirring the thin suspension. Dust and gloom and the bitterness of life entombed. The clock calls out its silent taunts and revisions, time pretending to doze in the glass. Each hour arrives with its lamentations. Each room drowns in these floods of regret.

The television just keeps talking. The captions read aloud like prophecy. These lovely dreams and painted on faces. These false figures bathed in unnatural light. Papers full of lists and reasons pile high and gather dust. Beneath each step the change of seasons tunes the skies to lost networks. Every ache and tear glisten silver, blurry eyes and salted flesh. The world away, just spinning and spinning. Life set on replay, knotted constellations and every star alone.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

sleeping beauty

At the start we know the kingdom is over. At the start we know how the story ends. The passive press of such stirring beauty. The tangled slab where the dreamer pauses, unchanging beneath all the wandering stars. A spell cast in spite and envy. A kiss the only wish left unmoved. So we wait for the ever after. The happy ending of that fade to black.

Oh sweet lie and fevered promise. Oh tomorrow come that at long last cure. The moon melts, the moon swells. The dry eyes and scratching limbs fiddle with the windows. The night paws and gropes its oaths, bared flesh and unfastened buttons. There is that radio that never rests, that doppler always driving through. Await each promise, ache for the letter. That one true thing that will pull you through. The calendar pontificates and the dashboard clock nags. The years unspool, rattling down the rails. Everything left just wishing once the numbers come home.

The story says she will awaken. The story says that prince will come. The reward due from so much stillness.  Beauty only true when it is silent as a stone. The cruel magics and foul deceits will fail, overwhelmed in the telling. All alarms sound and the castles crumble. Patience that virtue preached by each usurper and thief.  Dream on, though the day is waiting. Dream on, though your labor awaits. A proud white horse and our golden savior. Wait for that kiss while the whole world rots.