Is poetry important?

28 Jul

Is poetry important?

Is poetry important?

Tell me – do you breathe air? Or if not air, do you breathe at all?

Do you carry within you the in and out, in and out rhyme

of a life still whispering small sounds keeping time?

Do you hold within you the cadence of sighs,

turning your very nostrils into music-making machines

and your lungs a chorus of singers

meting out your metered ties to existence?

Then I would say that poetry is important.

Is poetry important?

Tell me – do you push and pump a beat.beat.beat.

in an iambic muscle that measures your life

in a glorious kind of pentameter?

Have you ever fallen into step

or tapped your fingers to a pulsing summat

caught inside  your head?

Do you walk a certain way over sidewalk cracks?

Then poetry is important.

Is poetry important?

Tell me – do you ever look in a mirror?

Or wish it reflected a little something more?

Do you value possibility?

Do you value truth?

Do you ever yearn for a beautiful lie?

Or wish for something to make you cry?

Do you find assurance in a newborn’s breath?

Then poetry has not yet found its death.

Is poetry important?

I’d hazard yes.

Poem: Dark One

14 Jul

Dark One

I worry I am too much chaos. You stand there, in your sweet and indeterminable beauty, and you think I am frail because you see me cower. But I am only crouching, trying to hide from you my soul as it glowers.

I am a stormy soul, oh light one. I worry I might obliterate you if we were to crash together.

Insanity so easily swallows up naked possibility.

I’m worried we would go insane, if I tried to swallow you.

But you are so tempting, you over there with your soft breezes and gentle kisses blown at me with a wave. Your fingers chide my suspicion so cheerfully.

I am fearful to wave back; I do not trust my darkened sensibilities. They can so quickly snuff a greeting so bright as yours.

Ah, but you might taste so sweet, as I devoured you…

And the end of what you promised – well, death need not always be a wretched case.

But would it be so easy for me to say that then as I watched you limp away, wounded?

Poem: Penning

13 Jul

Penning

I don’t know how they do it,
those strangers who find my soul.
They do not know me.
They do not even write to me,
but there, somewhere in the echoes
of the story they were telling
or the thoughts they were thinking
or the love they were feeling slip from their bodies,
I find myself.
In the dust you only see in the streak of sun
from the skylight,
little ephemera dancing there in the silence
near your upper rafters,
little cosmic ballerinas you would not have noticed
if you hadn’t been bored and staring at nothing.
They find the rafters in me,
and strike an organ that resonates and shakes me a bit,
all that memory.
The words were not written for me.
But what’s written is me,
in a way.
I wonder how they do it,
the strangers that trace me with their pen
and yet do not even know that they’ve found my shadow.
I wish they perhaps knew what they’ve caught on their line,
though I am grateful -
I feel a might less invisible, otherwise.

Poem: The Anger of a Lamppost

8 Jul

Love’s a terrible thing
when you’ve been reduced to a scheduling item -
the emotional equivalent of a lamppost,
lovely and terribly convenient to have around,
but not exactly a high emotional investment.
Sometimes you don’t even notice
when the bulb’s gone out.
And then the stretch of putting it off and putting it off,
always meaning to attend to the deadness in your room,
but so much a second thought
that such a nonessential scheduling item
stays dead,
for months,
until finally you know you’ll never put a bulb back
and say fuck it,
then throw it in the trash
so you can get a different, shinier lamppost.
I did not like being that scheduling item.
My bulb left broken for much too long,
even though you kept saying that one day,
things would be brighter.

I need to write a story.

7 Jul

I need to write a story. I need to write a story where the characters don’t die, or wind up ground on the pavement in a bloody mass – literally or figuratively. I need to write a story where everything works out.

But I need to write a story that’s real.

I don’t know how to fit those last two sentences together.

My story has already seen its characters die, so many now that I’ve stopped ticking off the number of funerals I’ve attended and let the number stretch vaguely into oblivion. My story has characters ground up meatily on the pavement – though mostly figuratively, on that point.

I think I’m one of those characters.

Life is confusing to me. It’s perhaps why I’ve been having such a hard time writing stories, lately. Everything’s on hard mode, and I don’t understand why. I have tried. I have stayed. I have fought. I have pushed. I have kept going.

Why hasn’t it gotten any easier yet?

I see people – former classmates, neighbors, random interviewees on the news – who seem to have gotten the soft route. Yeah, everybody’s got shit to deal with. But these people, they seem to have gotten the milder, nicer-smelling brand of shit. They prance around in their pastel-colored world with high-end fabrics and bleached hair and sunglasses the size of mating saucers on their face, and… it’s not that I want their lives. I don’t. At all. But… they seem happy.

They have their success, their fame, their goddamn fucking fortune – and they are satisfied.

I want to be satisfied.

I have all this hard work, all this trying, all this hoping and hurting and hacking away at all the obstacles life’s chucked at my nose, and for it all, I have only…

loss.

The little bits of satisfaction I find slip away, taint with time or fade so that the blaring wrongness of this story is what comes out stronger than the former salve of the moment’s calm.

I don’t like this story anymore.

I’ve been trying to write a different one for such a long time.

I worry there isn’t any different story to write anymore.

Poem: At The Market

5 Jul

 

At The Market

Today while at the market I heard
a most skeptical remarking word
about the tattoo behind my ear -
“Do you know it’s there, my dear?”

The asker proved an elderly man
and I so young at twenty-three
could only smile and reply
“yes,” most delightful and politely.

“You were drunk that night?”
the old man asked, and I just laughed if off.
“No, I planned this pawprint,” I smiled,
But still the man, he scoffed.

“You volunteered?” he said incredulously
so I smiled and laughed again.
“Yes, it’s a memory,” I explained.
“Identity in my skin.”

Perhaps I am just an upstart
Or perhaps he is just rude,
But my appearance is not his call.
In the end, he’s just some dude.

Flash Fiction: The Kindle Crime Syndicate

3 Jul

I expressed envy at my friend’s recent acquisition of a Kindle Paperwhite. While I also am incredibly lucky enough to have a Kindle, it’s an older version with what’s basically a tablet screen, a.k.a. computer screen. So uh, ew. I mentioned that if I really want a Paperwhite, I should probably just social engineer a swap or work some kind of reduced payment scheme out. My friend, however, had other ideas…

“That,” he suggested, acknowledging my swap idea, “or become a master thief, steal one and relish in the joy that you were able to get one of your own. It never stops there though, does it?

You think, What harm will it do if I take this book? Suddenly, you find yourself stealing every once in a while – a book here, a top there, a cute pair of earrings; who will miss them, right?

Eventually it’s an unending thirst, a constant struggle to do moral good versus the unadulterated bliss you feel when you take something and make it your own. Your dark descent leads you to convince others to help you in your crimes. Your band of thieves grows and grows, until it’s no longer a band, it’s not even a network; it’s a criminal syndicate.

Your name, only known as ‘The Mice’Ala,’ is known to all in the underworld. Who is this figure? How can she manage to plunder everything within her grasp at a whim? Your thirst for lust and power grows unbounded – murder, human smuggling, these are all small and trivial steps you use to achieve your ultimate goal: complete and total domination over the human race.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’ll get a Kindle Paperwhite eventually, no worries.”

Well then.

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