Tag Archives: poetry

Totally Not The Season (i.e. “Christmas Monster”)

21 Sep

Today has been a day of adventure and art and literature and yearning ’round all three for me. I was in Santa Barabara, California as part of a spontaneous road trip with two of my best friends. It was incredibly sunny up in SB – so much so I was worried for a bit that I sunburned during our stop at a gloriously human-vacant beach – so it really didn’t even feel like fall, let alone fast-encroaching winter. But then my internet wanderings meandered me over to an illustration by the fantastic Eric Orchard that he called “Christmas Monster” (not currently featured here because of lack of explicit permission to do so). And the artwork – the storybook quality of the illustration, the whimsical subject matter, and the flat-out wintery snow – well, I ogled it all, and out popped a poem.

So, here you are. The totally unseasonal narrative, “The Christmas Monster.”

(Inspired by this illustration by Eric Orchard)

The Christmas Monster

There is a Christmas Monster in the sky
who once a year comes down the hill
and makes the fluffy white snow fly
and frost above the sill.

The Christmas Monster in the sky
bites his lip and sets to work
knowing soon the time is nigh
for the elven cirque.

The Christmas Monster ‘bove the hill,
if you ask a jolly ride
then in his sleigh he’ll with a thrill
tuck you by his side.

Then off the Christmas Monster flies,
sending all ‘round the snow
and a tinge of red on nose
and that glimmer, in the eyes.

Brain Drain

17 Sep

That point in the night

when you want to say something

right but you’re too tired.

A haiku’s too hard

when your brain’s got no more cards

to play but madness.

A frigid, simple

rhyme will take no more time than

deadened syllables.

Emptiness

11 Aug

I have a preference for emptiness.

Or rather, I have a preference for possibility. The blank space full of a thousand million hundred outcomes, undecided and bubbling with whispers of choices competing for resolution. A blank space is so many finished products, each one undone in perfect construction. No mistakes yet.

Emptiness has a cleanliness to it, a space to breathe with only the dust to tickle your lungs and make you cough, no memory yet to cause that other choking. “This space is yours,” an undressed room will croon. “Put the trappings of yourself here.” No procrastination or dirty laundry miring on the floor, no dividends or odds and ends of life you always meant to get around to. Only life with perfect space for itself there in that blank room, waiting.

Or the winking encouragement of unwritten lines on a notebook page. “What are your words?” the leaves rustle softly to you in invitation. “What murmurs do you hold for us?” Agency and empowerment, all in ink scratched onto blank piece of paper. Your creation. Your word. Your mind. Your world, there for the making.

Blank space in life is a canvas, after all.

I always fear to produce inadequate instruments. What if I pull the strings, tie up the package wrong?

I fear leaving the wrong kinds of cracks and creases.

There is something so sacred, in that first perfect line through emptiness.

Headaches

5 Aug

It’s too late a morning for what I’d planned,

hours of dream-thrashing that left me sweaty

what I wake up to, instead of the cool and metal sheen of dawn.

The shrunk-down woken-up figures of odd dreams and bad memories

wrestle round my neuron junctions, pulling at threads

and threatening connections that would sooner be left alone.

I re-heat the coffee and guzzle it down like magic,

hoping to thrust my mind through enough caffeination

to rid me of this rough-delivered headache

and release me, forgetting and free.

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: 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.

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.

Poem: Death’s Regret

22 Jun

Death’s Regret

I tire of this death,

I am weary of destruction.

I want nothing more

than to see the end of the day out.

 

I wish for nightfall

and yearn for explosion.

I ache for the cavernous

to hold me without doubt.

 

I cannot escape seconds

having none of my own,

and time is a cruel friend

as it only ever leaves me.

 

Constancy is frozen,

unchanged to the bone,

but I am infinite,

an in-understandable cruelty.

 

I give relief to the ones that are crying.

I take away the pain of your strife.

I am locked here, while you are escaping.

I am Death. I have no such life.

The Crushing Inevitability of Cakes

16 Jun

The Crushing Inevitability of Cakes*

There is a crumbiness to life,

a moist, dense sadness that dries out and falls apart

if you leave it alone on the counter for too long.

The icing crusting and rusting and rotting around the edges,

making you look at the slow decay of a sugary promise.

But then you laugh,

watching the calories subside into their own frivolity,

and you decide,

perhaps, I will have a piece anyway.

 

———

* No, I also have no fucking clue why I’m writing sad nihilist poems about cake.