poetry

Sour Mash Doubts

Doubts and guilt, doubts and will

I want a bout with honesty, but still

It ain’t right that I write only to share,

so I walk ‘til I’m naked, alone, and scared

 

Working on a world made up of lines

a jagged sawtooth, I am dusty hammer tines

aging slowly, rusting like nails in the times

relevance buried in the “who, what, where, why?”

 

I watch you succeed, I watch you spiral and fail

I watch you unbridled, through a window unveiled

This whole time, we thought our calling had sailed

It was tomorrow we were following, on road & on trail

 

Yesterdays poem becomes todays advice,

biting me in the ass, these words I read twice,

You counted the cards ‘n I loaded the dice

Who could expect an asshole to play nice?

 

Every bee stung me, walking to the hive

I can tell you that I’m lucky to be alive

Back on battlegrounds we strive to survive

Us crossing lines, so quick to chance lives

 

I chamber a round, ‘cus death shoots hollows

Most men just want a war drum to follow

To give them some honor, sacrifice, and bravado

warping the story ‘til each man is Picasso

 

The drones are marching through sweltering heat

While others dodge illusion and deceit

They see a carpet crawling, rats up to their knees

Fighting for a feast while spreading disease

 

One beer at a time, one breath at a time,

Wasting money, it’s peace I can’t buy-

Could you spare a little peace of mind?

Or else cut a line and pour me some wine

 

If you accept my conditions of suffering,

I’ll accept myself and everyone else

I am my own hostage, couldn’t you tell

Pay my ransom or throw me in the well!

 

Envious of those who grow rich beyond riches

knees grow weary, digging penniless ditches

Rolling the bowl, inhale both genie & wishes

Life is joke between three laughing witches

 

Mash in the chamber, I am the changer

my experiences distilled be the only remainder,

Gulping and splashing drops upon strange anger

sharing libation and handshakes with strangers

 

I walk in the woods to stalk a truth I can kill

I’ll beat it and twist ‘til it lies naked & still-

kill or be killed, fulfilling a beast of will

We’ve got a full bottle and I’m a-cooking still

 

My song is a fly humming through wide open blue

My darling is a harp, playing faithfully and true

My heart is a snake, made of flesh and sinew

We left the apple on the limb, and a new tree grew.

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Surrender to the Mystery

It’s hard when you live away from your home

Not the home where you’ve grown

But the one your heart knows

The places we’re born, some remain until death

 

But I know I will travel ‘til I find my rest

Expand all limits ‘til the final test

I don’t wanna catch the thing that I know lyin’

So I’ll chase that old dragon ‘til the end of crimes

For it’s not what you get at the end of your line

Nor the bait or the hooks or the length of the time

 

Most men know a relief from their defeat

And the bittersweet peace at the end of a feast

But that hunger will awake with the crow & the sun

As sure a some black hole is calling for everyone

 

Now I watch & wait & let the world come to me

I’ve got rot in my teeth and an ache in my knees

I ain’t crazy ‘cus I live with what I cannot see

And it takes all that I’ve got just to live peacefully

 

Beyond yesterday’s answer lies a deeper mystery

A body doesn’t have to move in order to be free

I surrender to the mystery so I can be free

I’ll surrender to the mystery so I can be free

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A Sheltered Heart

 

A sheltered heart lives

As an inmate of the chest

But through a slit comes light

For the songs of all things blessed

 

 

A sheltered heart is safe

From the ache of the outer call

Yet it knows not itself

Nor why it exists at all

 

 

A sheltered heart contemplates

And grows beyond all doubts

The space between walls shrinks

In joy, the heart cries out

 

 

A sheltered heart longs

For a world beyond the walls

But it knows not how to escape

Nor why they were built at all

 

 

A sheltered heart moans

And blames the other ones

Yet the etchings on the walls

Only this heart could’ve done

 

 

A sheltered heart learns

The origin of its pain:

The design for the cage

Were made in its own name

 

 

A liberated heart sacrifices

Protection to be free

A gift, well-deserved

And trusted unto thee

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Not today.

Teflon waves & sticky graves, 3 hots & a metal cot

not today, not today.

sometimes the fast life takes you places you don’t wanna go

playing with days, these are the matches of our lives

handcuffs are wristrockets for the record

shining light in shadows, bellowing from beneath the gallows

glass windows are shattered in holding tanks

retro convict-shique displayed from behind iron bars

criss-cross metal, holding cells together with shatterproof courage

My memories are plexiglass

carved over with momentary inspirations

Was it a toothbrush or a spoon?

don’t ask me any more questions

off the record- I paid up front & stunted like a drunk

showing out for the daytime hustle,

swaying by the jukebox to bland hangover blues 

hoping nobody could hear my fears

tucked between incoherent articulations

At least our institutions feed us…
silver linings- do our intuitions ever mislead us?

we’re free, right? Bears are scarier than aluminum barium, so kill ’em all California

metal shavings, starting from scratch- fevered perspective misleading prime directions

leadened nightmares, arrested dreams, litmus microscope & golden seams

Amnesia takes a while to forget

stains on my bedsheets or a stain on my record-

see the space between my fingernails?

I came this close.

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Vagabond Reflections

Another opinionated nobody

Living in the fringes of relative obscurity,

“I demand that I share perspective”

But whose here and where’s there?
Careful to explain the unexamined, 

Cautiously treading between sense & the other

A vagabond is nonchalantly policed by an American community, where common sense once met common unity
Shuffling streets compete for famine & feast 

backpacks & briefcases don’t mingle downtown,

Where gratuity is not included

Passing through is the only way out
In silk-lined suburbs,

trench coat lunatics show the whites of their eyes

carrying Louisville sluggers & guns beneath brown cloaks

a flask of clear liquor, containing blame for their fathers
The neighborhood is watching through windows & screens

Trying nightly to forget what they haven’t really seen

Evening news helps to process and relate

With routine commercials during evening debates
Without credentials, a citizen equals wasted potential,

Counterculture turncoats work graveyard shifts

Their idealism crumbled beneath them,

Swallowing their security with some avalanche drift
Cash stuck on the table, in a hand so stiff

From feeding crying mouths that can’t be bargained with

More than we planned, for the greater good 

In the moment, parenthood is rarely understood
A ragged finger is exposed to the bone,

All for the gold on another kings throne-

Tip of my hat to those who must grind,

ceasing their rest to work for their finds
In the eyes of the drunkard in the park,

I see familiar life with a faulty spark.

Somewhere I recognize someone I cannot deny

I watch myself in every drifter’s eyes.
It scares me to think about life on the lam,

Without a job & without a plan;

What will become of me if I remain aimless?

Will I have a legacy if I live a life blameless?
trees listen gladly,

rivers laugh madly,

rain weeps sadly,

There is plenty of humanity without humanity!

 

So shave my head & don me some robes,

Or I’ll eat from trash cans and live in a cardboard abode!

A student of the world, paying off endless loans,

I have nowhere to go while everywhere is my home.

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Green Mountain, Grey Mountain

Sparrows & jays eat scraps of seed, competing for little. 
So much space to contemplate, gazing through the chilly blue expanse, ducking & curling around fiery autumn hills.

Between birches & berry brambles, a voice calls & comforts me, 

pulling homeward and bound to nowhere. 

I’d like to sit here all day and count leaves.

Family trees, friend trees, lover trees, enemy trees,falling bodies enrich fallow gardens.

Icy winds rip through, 

leaves everything bare;

Nothing stands past death.
Smiling near while some are far,

Gladly talking, taking time to notice 

one another.

If I missed you, I miss you, 

We’ll use a leaf as a tissue.
Sappy as the sweet shit that flows through maple trees, 

cool as a spring trickle 

whispering soft & serene, 

selling us peace at the cost of time.

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Soggy Remembrances

Fancy fellows follow one another, loaning lends to fires

Trend-setting jet-flying media-spying buyers

Swipe past faces, judgement erases complacency

What else can you do when you won’t let anyone know you?

synchronistic synapses siphon subjects

Typhoons lampoon typewriters, crescendoing nonsense 

following short punchlines with long cigarettes

That ship called “Friend” has sailed

What can you do when all the drunken sailors sober up?

The captain has a cap in captions, shafting daily rations

“Wise cracks will be met with a blithe smack

until the quality of labor improves!”

Stowed away until further notice,

Can’t follow tracks left in murky waters

Trace nothing in the shallows, undulating wellness pervades

Salty suits soiled in semen sing of soggy remembrances

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Legal Hurdles

 Itchy scratches
Moldy straw hats, brown tea

Lemon zest bioavailability
I fell in love with a few alkaloids

courting drugs, now the state wants my urine-

lab analysis came up negative
Like something clever, forgotten

old payday new money

feed attorneys to please prosecutors
debts to settle  

going legal is not a choice 

with all these back taxes due 
Old cycles, new rhythm

Let the watermarked paper hit ’em

let’s make sun while the hay is shining

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Am I real yet?

In response to a post:

“There are many ways to fake authenticity but vibes don’t lie, habibi !!”
Sometimes, I say “have a nice day” but I don’t mean it. Sometimes I smile on the outside but I’m scowling inside. Why do I do this? Who does it help? 
When I act the way I feel, if it is coarse & negative, I find it to be passively injurious to others. So I mask my malaise & conceal my contempt in a vein effort to appeal to the senses & appear as though nothing is wrong. 
Sometimes I want to scream honesty in the face of lies but all I find is myself alone in the grocery store bathroom. Sometimes I think writing a shitty comment poem will resolve my dilemmas and make my strife appear to have purpose. 
Am I real yet?

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Alcoholism for Kids (A song about DIY Booze)

Here’s a children’s song I wrote.It’s about homemade booze:

My bottle is a hole in a bucket, a hole in a bucket

A hole in a bucket
When I plug the holes, my bucket overflows, 

my bucket overflows
If we don’t use the water, we’ll lose the water

we lose’ll the water, we’ll lose the water
California state is hella thirsty, 

hella thirsty, hella thirsty
So let’s make a gutter for all the water

put it in a barrel, put in a barrel
We can to the orchard, pick us some apples, 

pick us some apples, pick us some apples
In that water we’ll pour a little sugar,

Just a little dash, pour a little dash,
When that water starts a-bubbling, we add the apple mash, add the apple mash, add the apple mash
Wait three weeks and have yourself a drink, 

have yourself a drink, before you start to think
Man, with all this juice I could be making fuel,

Making a killing, breaking rules an’ making fuel
We gone to the junkyard to get some copper,

Get some copper, and look out for coppers
Then we cook the wine and sell it to the neighbors,

 sell it to the neighbors, and sell it to the neighbors
Now we got holes in our livers, 

holes in our kidneys, and holes in our heads, 

I fell down the ladder with a hole in my bladder, 

while my belly gettin’ fatter. 
Oh Daddy, my head don’t feel pain

burning high octane, 

no pain And big gains with high octane.

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