High School Reunion

Everyone gathers to hear the poets preen

on the source of inspiration:

how the athletes ran into

glass cases;

how the singer overcame

dead man’s notes;

how the clown croaked

on a moped’s swerving laughter;

how the skin of truth

peeled from our bones

as the noise of the streets

drowned our jail cell march.

Huddled over coffee and secrets

we agree only those without

stand alone.

That their haikus

lack the character

of conviction.

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Anonymity

Searching for anonymity

is dancing nude along desire’s paths

white moon to black sun.

A month in the whole enterprise

drifts like paper cutouts

mad men strung between the rafters

leaving sadists to admire

photographs of life

and naming them poetic

for the exposure

it never gave them

the memory of heat on bare feet

as he submerges.

Tick-Tock Say the Eyes

Tawny pain erupts behind

clock-round pools ticking down the mind

to happiness on leather fields,

for grace and fashion yields

the morbid taste of bovine trance

fit for costumes in the sequined dance;

and men will know and beasts will cry

that all that lives must also lie

beside the shifting brook

bleeding fragrant fights into the nook

hidden from heart, hidden from sight

waiting for the peacock light

by which a hammer quakes

and restoration trembles where conscience wakes.

Early Morning

Outlines in memory foam lie

with tales of

nothing in common, no

communal tacks of occupation

to bridge the gaps between

one’s hatred of bouncing balls

or his miscomprehension of a muse—

traveling flames set fire

to the stability of solitude’s sanctuary;

coast by coast

they’re split down the middle

of history rounded out by

earth and water

the beating blood of birth—

and for all that

it’s we, it’s we, it’s we and

“Your child, your decision”

that hangs a rope about them.

Bare Foot Education

(Miss the good news? Be sure to check out my previous post for details on an upcoming poetry reading, award, and radio interview – it’s a busy couple months ahead!)

Exploited feet

diminished spirit

ashen world detritus

clogging pores and pouring

 

out live within

sanctuary of knowledge

fortress by education, maze-like

without the cheese, just history and

ink dripping from the binding—

 

not a prayer

nor a thought,

it’s the brick and mortar keeps me

it’s the paper worlds that defend me

it’s the flesh and bone that births me

 

beyond, the living

not made, clandestine

nights of exhaustion for figments

and apparitions—yet

no imagination save “away”.

 

Familiar is the chirp

of the restoration aria

gentle minds contemplate

as they dream bare foot dreams.

Live, Love – A Letter

In the words of sillier people than I: “Not my usual, but nice.”

I’ve been writing a lot, lately – and while that may be nothing extraordinary in and of itself, the nature of that writing has been beyond its usual course. For those waiting on the third (and final) book in my fantasy series, The Haunted Shadows, this will undoubtedly come as something of an annoyance (sorry, friends!), but sometimes the mind wanders, and something of the unexpected demands to be let out.

So what IS this? A letter. To friends. To family. To people I’ve never met. A letter to the world, as it were, for any that would listen. Spread it around if you like the message contained within – and don’t be afraid to hit that little like button therein. A transcription follows below that would prefer the read…

“If I have never told you these things when you looked me in the eye, know that it is not because I have not loved you. Whether I have met you or know you or ever for a fleeting instant passed you on the street, for all that I put forth to the world, I have loved you. There is no shame in saying it. There should be no fear. Life is too brief a thing upon this earth to be dragged down by the bitterness of blindness. I should know; I have admittedly at times been its greatest connoisseur.

But it is from experience that I tell you: sweet star child, do not let age descend upon you. It is a foolish path. There is much in this world that will grey you if you let it, leeching all of its lessons from the marrow of your bones. You have the power to resist. Too many say we are marching toward death; what they fail to realize is all too often we are marching away from life. Death is inevitable. Do not fear it. Life is, in every moment, a chance to smile, to positively impact another life, to together laugh in the face of the Devil and love, love, love with the light of the sun.

Keep that light, child. Let it flush beneath your skin, let it swell the tenor of your voice, and let it be a beacon for you even in darkest night, that you might always remember: you and you alone are your own true north. You know what needs to be done; the world is just the trail on which you wander to achieve it. What made possible the fires of this universe so also made you, and if they created starlight and planets and life as rich and vibrant as our own, think what just a fraction of their heat could achieve.

I am not blind. I could never tell you your journeys won’t hurt. Life is painful. It will break you, it will tear you open and beat you down. Do you remember the first time you fell? The first time you skinned your knee? Childhood made everything more acute; the tears, they fell like rain. You walked away with a scar, but the pain, for all that you dreaded it, faded with time. Everything heals. There will always be scars to remind us, but people will come to you and take your hand and offer to patch you up again with the fervor of their love and their devotion; never shut them out. You may wish to hide. You may wish to tough it out. But people are the salve as often as they are the poison; never let the one blind you to the other. Your flame will burn brighter with their fuel.

Oh, child, if only you could know what it is you are. Zeus, they said, had his thunderbolts, and Poseidon had his waves. Stories. We are the gods of this world, and I tell it true, when you were born there were waves that would drown us all in the moments of your tears, and the crackle of summer’s storms in every quiver and quake of your laughter.

You are a gift of creation. You are creation and destruction, and the marvelous structure of the universe: we may be motes, but we are motes of the infinite, and no one should ever make you feel small.

Hate will ever be in your sight; the road will grow muddy. If ever you doubt, just look to the sky and the myriad other stars still twinkling in that long night, and remember what it is to love. That the first people to ever hold you are in that sky, still watching, and waiting, and growing with the journey of the one they made. That friends, lovers, enemies, all revolve across the same sky, following their trails to the lightening of all others—wobbling, stumbling, falling the same as you.

Never forget them. Not once. For your heart will not. Your first love will be there beside you to your dying day. Your feet will still remember the contours of their first dance. These things do not die. For this form of living, and love, is unconditional—we are what we are, and may you never be ashamed of it.

Laugh. Love. Cry. Hate. Fall. Rise. Run. Learn.

Smile. All of existence is in your sight.”