Death Rattle of an OG Poet

Have you ever opened you mouth
to speak and out came words
like graffiti by artists unknown?
Fat and colorful, perhaps,
yet thoughts and feelings
you hadn’t wished to express
when you pulled the trigger
on your misty exhalation.
I think I’ve forgotten the words
I should have told you, or maybe
I lost them in another’s fog.
Perhaps they were muddied
by the message of a shooter
who came before or after me.

Right now, all I can do
is rattle this can, its mixers
creating a racket thin and tinny.
I’ve nothing more than
a last gasp pssssh to offer until
I recharge this rusty husk,
this cylinder full of nothing but
noisy nothing, this handful
of potential wasted and
this wall full of promise still
only a promise. Until then,
hold onto what I painted when
you powered my words and
my desire was still three stories tall.

The Cost of Lying in the Land of the Free

I’m so tired of it all,
even to watch my ribs rise,
then watch them fall, only to rise again.
But any fool can make an exhalation,
even if only one more, and
if you need an explanation
then we’ve truly inhaled enough.
There’s no place left to rest my head,
one final time, one final bed.
not in any of those holes
where the blankets come by the rolls
of grass, and their headboards, you know it,
once were targets for the carver
and the poet. So if the dead
have overgrown this field’s weeds
leaving no dirt free upon which
to cast some seeds, I suppose
I can lie like one more supine shell,
push another aside, I’m sure
he won’t tell. And we’ll stare
at the sky unblinking, at moonrise
come as old Sol’s sinking.
Perhaps I’ll feel free at last
from so much of my worry,
just another of the numbered,
the unencumbered they’ve yet to bury.
I’m just so tired,
I’m broken and so damn uninspired,
lying here among the hallowed,
lying to myself, my breath
shallowed, until such time as
the upright folk so aggrieved
and the marks who so willingly believed,
unite again, all part of the soil,
united in this land of the free.
Pray not free of this mortal coil.

The Moon, In All Your Glory

Did we really once move
through the night,
our shadows holding hands
beneath a moon that could
read my mind the way I wished
I could intuit yours?
In those moonlit hours,
it cast shadows so dense
I tripped and fell over yours.
Its beams would cut ‘round you
like a silhouette artist
leaving me these shadowy memories.
We stand alone in the night,
eclipsing lunar light beneath
its face, once-radiant as yours.
Your face, how it gleamed
like alabaster, projecting
its own glow to my glib sincerity
and welcomed lies I always knew
could be final goodbyes.
Perhaps there will come
another tomorrow night when
these clouds will roll away
and the moon, in all your glory,
will extend its searchlight fingers
to fumble and find the missing
you never missed, the supine echo
of a man painted in light, and
a shadow of what he never heard.

Tripping the Tongue At A Target

And I’m forced back to rhymes
just like all those other times,
especially the most recent,
not like back when I was a decent
poet, one full of emotion,
but, like you, that ship’s sailed on an ocean
so rough, tough and wide
that now that ship’s sunk, like my pride,
and I no longer hide
what I feel inside
‘cause I admit I cried
so many times about the losses,
more than all the knots and crosses
I would write for you,
even though they could never be true.

Anyway, I guess here’s the drop,
I’d love to write something besides this glop,
but I can’t without a target
and that’s something no market
stocks, like bras, panties and socks.
See, there’s that sub rosa sex
you say I hide within my subtext.
I had to look up that definition
since idiot savant is my position
in a world so full of real writers,
the love igniters,
the fascist fighters,
who pull all those all-nighters
with real muses providing invention
while I fail without your kind attention.

I know, it’s sounds so damn dumb
to think one person can strike me mum.
But that’s really not true,
because there’s always been more of you
than meets a reader’s eye,
even one who will so closely spy
for what you find between the lines,
as if I was some teen who sits and pines
then struts his hour upon the stage,
or like an old loser who bangs bourbon for rage
but mostly I’m just the guy on the page
who longs to express simple, not sage,
somethings, my second toughest critic,
the one who’d always be so analytic,
as to gauge each poem’s level of misery
when really there’s no mystery
to what I used to do.
I just wrote them for,
not about, but more
like at,
you.

Yeah, I watched too much “Hamilton” this past weekend. So now I’m spitting rhymes in an effort to write anything at all. But maybe there’s something in here I don’t see. So if you do, and if it’s not too painful (I don’t bite and I’m too old and tired to care), let me know you’re there. Shit, another rhyme.

Wishful Thinking

Wistful thinking,
blissful blinking,
ignorant blissing,
like promiscuous kissing,
brings infectious diseasing
and needless deceasing.
So you do you, Tovarishch,
but right now there’s no bar which,
to the sound of glasses clinking,
you can do any wishful drinking.

So what shall we do
to survive, me and you?
Keeping hope and us alive
is a goal for which I strive.
But is it too much a task
won by merely donning a mask,
or cooping down in my cellar
keeping you distant from this feller?
I pray one day we’ll touch again,
I have no idea where or when,
but just like all the other lonely men
I live to make it to that unknown “then.”

I’m so down and F’d up by these days of sickness and strife, I can’t rub two words together that have any meaning. Not even, and most especially, to me. But if I don’t even try to do what somebody put me on earth to do, why bother leaving the basement for light and air? So here you are. One hundred or so unmasked words infecting one another and me. Now excuse me while I check the furnace filter again for the third time today.