Gone Off Alone

Here in the shadows of a Pennsylvania motel,
nothing near by a mile, and
red scratching the tile,
I think about a dog I knew so long ago
That felt its time was nigh
and, limping beneath the barn’s crawlspace
Curled up, alone, to die –
Maybe every beast should be noble
enough to hide its pain.
Maybe all these wicked thoughts
are just a sickness of the brain-
So I curl up beneath the clawing linens,
and wait for the sun to rise again.

Sick Day

Strange lures tug at idled hands:
a broken hourglass spilling sands,
Days long past, comfortable years,
The ones you’ve loved embalmed by tears,
Cold air twisting through the throat,
the mockingbird hitting a single note,
All of this, and what’s more
That paper-cut feeling of a nose gone sore.

Copestone

the husk behind the podium with the widow’s peak
motioned for silence and began to speak:
Employment is up, we’re flush with fresh clerks
The factories hum, the state is at work.
he beamed and huzzahed like many a fool
who couldn’t understand: unemployment’s the goal.

Cloudburst

The clouds have swallowed the mountains
And the road’s gone dangerous and dark.
In the shadows, tin looks just like gold,
And what is known will make us fools, and I know
Each step is heavier, each breath more ragged,
The path ahead seems ever more jagged, and
Nobody knows when the clouds will part, and
Nobody knows when the rain will fall-
But,
Know that somewhere, the sun still beams
Somewhere, someone’s grasped their dreams,
Somehow, someway, the clouds will burst
and the fallen rain will slake all thirst

River

Leave the secrets where they fell
I’m unstable – not unwell
The truth can break me for a spell,
but what was lost was never needed.

The rain has washed away the snow
the muddy river’s all we know
and when the knowledge overflows
a little drowning’s all we needed.

The Conquered

There are things that twist in love,
and things that bend to hate,
and I’ve learned a lot about both.

Pray for the awful beginning-
A bad date, a bad day,
Traffic jams on route eight or
screams from the neighbor’s house.
It is much better to take a bitter drink
and mix sweetness into it, than-
To watch promise wither on the vine;
To drink dust and dream of wine.
This is what can make us beasts
and turn the great into the least.

Some People

Some people are born to claw at the dirt
and some to wander through clouds.
Some people seek solace through heartache,
and some in the heat of the crowd,
and we were born of a different breed,
we have no want; we have no need;
no earthly friend or heavenly nemesis;
no knowledge gleaned since Genesis.
And
we are the space between the shadow and the wall,
The truth left in a tale grown tall,
The stinger crouching in a well-worn boot,
The plundering losers who scorn what they loot,
And all that we see, and all that we know
Will burn – will burn – will burn – just so,
until all the world’s as empty and free
as useless, as beautiful – as you; as me.

lead-eye

I’ve always been fascinated by things I don’t understand.
Stars, and lightning, and
You-
Staring at me with those sweet green eyes,
Lying to me softly about
telling no more lies
Then I realize:
Life’s a song and all is meter,
You may be sweet,
But I hear lead’s sweeter.

What I Thought When I

And there are no questions more painful to ask
Than the ones we know the answers to-
I felt them burning on my tongue so
I spat them out to you-

And now I remember the curls in your hair
And your eyes looking up at me.
There’s things that aren’t polite to talk about
when you’ve got someone on their knees,
But I could never quite focus on the moment,
always dancing away, maybe I’m anxious,
Maybe just hurting. I’ll never let one good thing in, and
If I thought about what you were doing,
I’d surely know catastrophe,
So I pushed it out away from me,
And tried not to twitch or scream,
And thought of-  and thought out-
Of your fingers slipping through my skin-
pushing past my ribs, reaching deep within,
and squeezing lightly on my heart,
Its racing as you finally start-
our minds conjoining with the beat,
we’d ease out of this dying meat-

And I hope something better’s waiting for us
I hope you’re singing about me as I’m
writing about you.
I hope I find something
Unhinged from instinct, because
A desire to breed isn’t much of a reason
to stay alive in this desolate season.