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An Animal PlanetA shrewdness of apes
An unkindness of ravens
A kaleidoscope of butterflies
A parliament of owls
A pandemonium of parrots
A congregation of alligators
A conspiracy of lemurs
A cackle of hyenas
A prickle of porcupines
I wonder what a family of me might be
In a monestary
In the mountains
The idea struck him like a pebble
Might bounce off a bedroom window
If that ever actually happened.
It became a smooth stone
That skipped across his ribs,
Rippled his reflection,
Cloudied the calm waters in his head.
The stone grew into a geode,
Cracked open to reveal a crystal
Colored like pomegranate,
More porous than pumice.
Blasphemy, blowing bubbles in the blood of Christ
His breath produced a profane foam
From which he feared
Some pagan sex goddess might be born.
Badly shaken, the young monk
Put it back in the bottle
Stuck a cork in and forgot it.
Except in times of celebration
Or in silent meditation,
From time to time,
He could feel a fizz rise up.
Scratch and DentThis body’s no temple.
It is not my home,
But I still have to live there,
So I will drive it like the rental it is.
I will try not to total it,
But I do not want my deposit back.
No stranger to the scratch and dent section,
Some days my skin starts to feel
Like the plastic on old people’s furniture,
And I start to feel
Like the world’s finest dust collection.
Somebody call Guinness.
I’ve never taken ski lessons,
But I’ve been told
If you never fall down,
Then you’re not trying hard enough.
I don’t know how to play guitar,
But I know this:
If your fingers aren’t bleeding,
‘cause tattoos are so boring.
Good stories so rarely written in ink.
I’m not saying scars are sexy.
Scars are stories,
And like all stories,
Some are better than others.
It is not the scar itself.
It is not the story.
It is the portrait of the artist,
The sound and the fury.
It is so much better than scrapbooking.
Memoirs of mosh pits, food fight
Earthquake CafeIt’s hard to believe
It’s been six years since the Earthquake Café.
Since the Science Center froze our shadows on the wall.
I wonder if they’re still there.
Six years since we made people double-take,
Look crooked at us and issue back-hand compliments,
And I’d say, thanks? I think.
Since we were that pair of people.
Six years and still not comfortable
Calling it a couple, “it’s complicated”
That status on Facebook was made for us then.
Seventy-two moons since the solstice
Where you were the first
And the last
Person to ever make me blush.
You’ll have to forgive the nostalgia.
This is how I get closure,
And writing is so much cheaper than therapy.
A lost generation unto our selves,
Not quite Jay and Daisy
Maybe more F. Scott and Zelda
Maybe more than a little crazy,
And now you have this baby cutting teeth.
You have this something stable,
This foundation not built on fault lines.
This life not given to blackouts and tremors.
This Machine Kills FascistsHave you ever seen the movie
About the signing of the peace treaty?
So thank you, Mr. Reyes
For reminding us why in war
Drums and fifes always came before
Guns and knives
Because hearts and minds mattered in the days
Before drone strikes.
Because even weapons would rather not kill people.
Even guns would rather be guitars.
So gracias, Senor Reyes, for liberating the oppressors.
My friend is a French and Indian war re-enactor.
A few times a summer,
He and his friends dress up in period clothing,
Ride around on horses
And shoot muskets at each other.
Let’s be peace re-enactors,
And let’s make it authentic.
Let’s make music and remember
There will always be at least this one thing
We do better than machines.
Remember why every bomb whistles on its way to the ground.
Let’s remember that a song is a start,
That a call to arms is cool,
But a farewell to them is the real revolution.
Remember that all poems are petitions.
This one will not end the politicians
This Is Just A DrillWhen I called you a trick,
I meant you were magic.
Scarves up your sleeves
Pigeons in your pants,
I saw you in half.
I saw you.
Now I don’t.
We are some escape artists.
Handcuffs our canvas.
We keep applause in a can.
Keep our audience captive,
It’s obvious that
Some movies you see for the writing,
Some for the acting,
Some for the air conditioning.
I am that last class.
That forgettable feel good hit of the summer,
That Ebert and Roeper say the end was the best part.
I am that book that you don’t buy for its binding
The one that isn’t smart furniture.
I am no conversation piece.
I want you to crease my spine
To underline your favorite parts.
Our love would be like tourism in Pittsburgh.
Apparently it exists,
But I’ve never seen it.
Let me be your dress rehearsal,
Your penny dreadful,
That vacation where it rained the whole time
And you stayed inside.
DogstarI’m not one for writing hate-mail,
But I’m going to go postal
If one more person asks me
What I’m doing with my life.
I have aces and eights emblazed on my chest.
I have never worn a vest,
But if I did,
That’s where I would keep my cards.
Go ahead and tell me again
How smart I am,
How I can do anything.
That’s precisely the problem.
The reason I’ve spent two semesters at community college,
And changed my major four fucking times.
Ask me again,
Don’t you like math?
I’ll tell you again,
Yeah, I do, sometimes.
Know what else I like sometimes?
English, science, art, music, silence, business, pleasure, pain, the rain, the sun, the moon, the earth, helping people, hurting people, Buddhism, BDSM, feminism, comic books, poetry, punk rock, rock climbing, roller coasters, rocket science, astronomy, amateur phlebotomy, philosophy, psychology, psychopathy, serenity, cigarettes, chaos theory, coffee, canis vulpis, and carnivorous plants.
To the Poet Who's Always Angry:Please stop yelling.
Seriously, settle down.
I’m not saying you’re anger is unjustified.
I’m just saying that being justified
Does not make it healthy.
I’m worried about you, dude.
This is an intervention.
I know there’s a lot of social injustice.
I’ve heard it said if you’re not pissed off,
You’re not paying attention.
The Dalai Lama begs to differ,
And I’m inclined to agree with that guy.
He seems to know his shit.
I know that outrage is an aesthetic.
I know that red looks good on you.
I know your work sounds better louder,
But just hear me out.
Angry people die so much sooner.
Your blood pressure must be ridiculous.
What does your doctor say about that shit?
Also, I’d like to remind you
Angry people make more messes than they fix.
Angry people hurt people,
And hurt people hurt people.
And I heard something somewhere
About an eye for an eye.
I don’t quite remember how it goes,
But I don’t think it ends well.
Last LongerWe are all naked under our clothes,
And just below that
We are mostly meat and mucous.
A little ocean of iron and oxygen,
We are rusting.
We are bleach of bone and birds nests of raw nerve.
Nothing sexy about that.
So take lots of pictures,
Not too many x-rays.
There’s a story that says
The Buddha was tempted to walk away from the path
By these three pretty girls but
The Buddha remembered that
Soon they would be old
And not too long after that,
They would be fertilizer.
I don’t know if I share his restraint.
Yes, I know this will pass,
I just don’t know if I want it to.
I might want to feel this frustrated forever.
Make me immortal.
Embalm me in silver nitrate.
Fill my arms with ichor so when I bleed,
I bleed in sepia.
Just one thing.
I never liked pictures.
I roll my eyes when I pose for photos,
And I’m really bad at forcing smiles.
I have to force them less these days
With that Midwest way you turn your ohs into ahs.
And that face that you make when you’
One tear... dearly spent. (Act-I)
I see their faces, they, the unloved ones, dry eyes, no smiles, just a stark and desperate gaze, bereaved of care, hope, love.
Each little face gazing bleakly on through the fractured glass of a picture frame, but not at me...
I lay it down, gently. For I'll find no comfort in it, only remnant shards of a forgotten memory, one soon to pass with me long into the halls of eternity.
This the equal sum of all my years. One just memory, fare earned, bought at a fair price, one of ill deeds and a blackened soul.
I feel pain, for myself, for this world, for the last time. Also fear, so real to me now, that he, this dark loathsome one, would leave me behind.
Unwanted as unworthy, to remain here, a fool in purgatory.
The cold now grips me as if embraced by it, just as a mother would an inconsolable child.
I look into the deepest dark, and ask him. "What is Hell like?" He took no notice, and ask me for the time.
But his question went unanswered, for the
PetrichorI walk without an errand for the mind.
I must be homeless.
Neighboring enclaves separate our spaces,
belie their builders’ mirthless exhaustion.
Not even necessity can be blamed
for these mud-struck, brittle gourds,
these quick nests of vasculous organs
pulsing with their peculiar tyrannies,
briefly scuttling from their hovels
like sun refugees
darting into gleaming storefronts
waffled in concrete misery
all to forestall the end of their souls.
Where can we go when we only want to breathe?
Sitting in a park bench,
trillion-visioned, crowned with galaxies,
I can rest my weary invention.
I sense the weight of an unseen player,
a secret stratagem
as she moves her piece into the glade.
I’m set in place, yet unopposed.
Uncombined with lovers, children,
the slow parade of trees and heat,
I lay beside these stalwarts,
at once, still and hurtling
throughout the travesty of time.
I assemble a cumulus intelligence
near the playground,
threatening Summer with three days
She could have lived til 90Words spill so quickly from her lips
Wrapping around her pale throat like an intricate necklace
And as she rapidly-elegantly spits them- they squeeze her neck
At least no blood is being wasted as the words burn into her skin…
And she can’t breathe for a while now
While the magic is finishing up- taking some of her life as payment.
at lasti am terrified of death
the epithelia have been pierced
and eyelids rolled back
and i feel you.
two boys left crouching in an empty dressing room
after a scouring cold shower
face to face in opposing corners
EnchantedA golden apple tang
Heralds summer's brightest fire
But I prefer to amble in
In the darkest corners
There are no haunted whispers
And only caramel shadows
Transfer daylight's memories
For unto me the stars
Snapping leaves leading moonlight
Are not my coldest lonely hour
But a renewal of soul
Damaris: Foreign GodWhat is this message that you bring,
what is this "good news" that you preach?
Who is this strange God from afar -
and what should it matter to me?
We are Greeks - we have our gods,
more gods than you.
What's a foreign god to me?
Your story's nice -
but what's it to me?
But you say
was always there,
even when I did not see Him.
has always cared
for all the world
even though we did not know it -
for this God
is the creator
and all mankind is his -
is the sustainer,
who provides for all that is.
This is no foreign God
but the one true God of all -
and that's why it matters to me.
is the one who made me.
is the one who knew me
before I even knew myself.
cares not only for one people -
for all the peoples on earth are His.
In Him we live,
in Him we move,
in Him we have our being -
is the true God
RefugePlaces to go and places to see
Places to see and places to leave
Places that only last for a moment
Places that lasts for eternity
Places are hard to find now
Everything is stamped and yet hard to find
Hard to get in and hard to adapt
Try your best to fit in; join the crowd
Nothing but places for the world to blossom
Bars, clubs, and even cafes; need I go on?
Places to pay just to stay a moment
Places that calls themselves refuges
Places to just get away from all the chaos
All the chaos and imbalance of this world
Broken homes, broken dreams, broken hopes
A place just to get away from it all, all for your soul
Places that make you try hard to fit in
Places that have people armed to the teeth
Outsiders were never really welcomed here
Biting, clawing, and tearing down piece by piece
Need I go on? These places are not refuges
These places are chaotic as a broken home
Need I go on? I have all day
I know of a place; a place of true refuge
Down the road and past some trees
Every Thursday nig
Sweet JoyAll alone
Huddling in a prison cell
Made by self rejection
Afraid of what the world holds
Curled into a tight ball
Silently waiting for change
Light walks in
Stands her on her feet
"Let me romance you"
Takes her gently by the hand
Into the arms of Love
They waltz together
Creating a valley of peace
Beloved once again
Pray to the RainWe're exchanging goodbyes,
But we're still standing together.
And there's so much to say,
We still talk about the weather.
But the sky is really fascinating,
This silence incapacitating.
The windows down,
Wind drowns out our wishes.
I'd pray to a star,
But tonight they're non-existent
I'd pray to the moon,
But it's so damn inconsistent.
So I'll pray to the rain,
I trust things that fall.
I pray to the rain,
To break this brick wall.
I try to take away your pain,
But I'm no narcotic.
And I might be insane,
But I'm no damn psychotic.
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