In the Still I Struggle

The crisp smell of Fall has long since wandered away.
And I just realized today, to my surprise,
that I miss it.

Crisp, earthy, experient, and contemplative things-
no forced refreshments.
This feeling of frustration, tightly coiled,
set to Spring
My wounds spoiled
Spring, Spring! Talk to me not of Spring,
for in the still I struggle.

I could break my teeth on unready apples.
We haven’t yet gotten rid of Winter;
had a funeral for the funeral of seasons
But I’m stranded back at the hospital room.
Rings of rust-color,
autumnal color,
on the walls.

They painted to cover one last time-
yes, I remember, it’s in my mind-
before falling victim to the brumal claim.
Everything is cyclical.
So sit a little.

Consider how
the Winter wind blew so cold and sharp
and carved out clear ideas from the vague ones in my head.
Consider how it’s been
a particularly bleak and overcast Winter,
and has kept me under a wonderfully oppressive low ceiling of
gray gloom,
forcing me to a frenzy of trying to make brilliance.

They say everything is bursting, sprouting, but it is not.
It is still.
And in Spring, there’s perhaps only one out there
commiserating with my dolefulness.
Though I don’t know if I can trust even her.

The weeping willow’s a widow,
yet she wears a veil of green.
This limbo’s so dense,
I cannot see the newly-foliated trees
for the forest.

Mainstay

What figure am I, to haunt your house of love?
I think I never held a pillar here.
But here you come,
To make another pilgrimage to this place.

The blindest birdies chatter the most,
And the loudest,
On my grounds.
And we, who are not blind, must distract ourselves
From the crumbs of truth they’ve failed to grasp.

Shall you and I break bread together?
I am not a good hostess;
I will not warm it for you.
And I insist on dining alfresco.

Fear not, I am the stature of Justice
Who wears a blindfold, but still sees.
And to my opinion,
In my most loving moments,
Everything you see is captured perfectly
With your sterling sight.

The rest might as well all have splinters in their eyes.
You and I can live in an orchard of cinderblocks,
For all I care.
And have contentment just in
Finding different ways to
Describe it to each other.

And I am confident we might someday build
A monument to our love.
Let me call you my turtledove.
Perch here on my shoulder.

Black Cherry Heart

Calm the hell down;
We lives without luster.
With the first whisper of sunlight, though,
I believe in something more.

Omymoron, whisper of a crescendo,
Speaking to my black cherry heart.
The anger is like ruching.
Pretty on clothes,
Not so pretty in me.

But I am so superficial today.
I’ve got a sucker
And a bridge to sell you.
The flavor is black cherry.
Dark like a haunted wood,
But sweet like the spectres will come kiss you on the lips.
It’s only faux bad-ass.

I see many here at the mall
Trying on the look.
Spikes on the bottom of shiny black boots;
frost-bitten feet with daggers of ice through them.
Is this supposed to express who I am?

My choices are:
Cheesy, cheese dripping off a pretzel
Cheesy freakin’ All American Kids
Cloaked in trends and being snide
And the kids, into eschewing labels and being spiked
are a label onto themselves, and
would like you to think they’re grinding up rocks in their teeth.
They’re eating Pop Rocks.

So this is me,
The mall when I’m fifteen.
Teenyboppers, with lollypops in the hall
Black cherry lollipop, shaped like like a heart
Black cherry heart in me.

Imagine

I lean my brow against
taut, woven rope.
Square board presses on
my thighs, flesh overflowing
from edges of a too
small swing.
I am riding bareback,
a roan beauty.

Stale wind whips
over my body.
I lean further
over iron water
sliding across the bottom
of a bloated canal.
I am hanging from a streaming star,
over the edge

I hear yelling across
vast expanse of graying grass
leading up to yellow brick house.
I hear the beetle black dog barking.
I am anywhere. Anywhere else.

Seasons

Stoically still. It towers.
The wind silently whips through its limbs
causing a sunset of colors to cascade down.
There is no rustling of leaves.
The ancient giant has been stripped
of its glorious display.

Shivering in the moonlight. It stands.
the way it has for generation after generation.
Naked and exposed for all the world to see.
Waiting for that first ray of light, that first beam
of hope to radiate from above.

Expectantly confident. It sways.
The warmth slowly returns to the earth.
The barren limbs sprout a myriad of green life.
The leaves rustle as spring clothes the beautiful
creation with splendor. Rejuvenated.
Revived. It lives.

Furious Scribbling

Pen meets paper; images take the form of
beautifully crafted words. I stare down at the
rhythmic pulsing of my heartbeat , a haunting
echo of my soul imprinted upon the page,
completely lost in this moment of pure beauty
knowing that all too soon the earth will spin
faster and faster until the towering trees are
a kaleidoscope of colors blurring together,
changing with the slightest gust of wind.
Streams of conversations will rush into
a steady river until the only sound that
can be heard is the clouds’ slow consistent
drip.

drip.

drip.
The cold piercing rain will splatter the pages,
leaving me with only the faint whisperings of a
heartbeat, the distant call of an echo.
Shreds of paper will clutter the tearstained ground
And I will cling to the memory
of the voice inside of me that wrote –
“Press in, my child, for I am
your sword and your shield.”

Hungover and Teething on a Hotel Pen

Naked between borrowed bed sheets, lower back an ice
cream scoop silhouetted by eggshell cotton. Is it Sunday or Tuesday?

I wear time on the bridge of my nose – oily, seared
raw to the salmon layer. A rooster waltzes across the pool deck;

Tiffany water, neatly arranged rows of deck chairs, drinks
with those glassy, doll-sized swords. My eyes blood-

shot with rum. Sweat ring on the pillow, a salty halo. How much
money is left? I could die this second and it wouldn’t be half bad.

Vicky

Says she would blow a guy
for a spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s.
Her skeletal frame slinking onto the dance floor
eyes sunken back, bloodshot
from her homemade prescriptions.

I tell her of times I blew guys for the prick of snow
until the time they rolled me back and opened
my only wound that can never be replaced again
with the safety of skin
then came for me in the dead of nights
demanding payments I couldn’t give without
new scars and tears.

She rolls it off as if there is nothing wrong with
being a little intoxicated
on weed and one night stands.

Cat Von Doll

Dresses in a purple wig that circles
plump cheek bones
and eyes shadowed dark for the nighttime show.

Cat Von Doll
wears ladies tights to make a buck
to be with men and
see what love is all about.

Father does not know
that at night his shortstop
stands at stop signs
hiking up a leather skirt.

Cat Von Doll clutches heels
walk of shame barefoot
on glass, make up
wearing thin.

Damp

Clouds cut
into grids

clouds broken
and made again

you tried to catch
thunder
with pool nets

moisture on my sternum
and grass between my toes

you cut
the buds I planted
they fell without announcing
their fall

softly, soundlessly
bodies scattered
I could taste them
long after they died—