In this dark crowd,
Laughter, tears, all shared, all
Alone. No community more unknown,
No lovers match that silver face.
Feel the dulcet throb of speakers,
See the pores on the actor’s nose;
The laughter, the gun, the music sting,
The knife, held underhand, the terrible eye,
The gumshoe in the rain,
The moustache twitch during each new lie,
To spend a day, alive in a lonely,
the sand on the shore is red and gleaming,
My heart, in parts, lays still and steaming
With the beating surf erasing the trail
And each new step, a driven nail,
By expert hands sunk in the wood
That brought evil knowledge to the good.
Leave me where I lie, murdered under the stars,
Leave me lying, let me lie.
Spread your wings to the night,
Feel the stars on your back,
The wind whistling through your ears.
I won’t ask you to retutn,
You must have left for a good reason,
A need to be wild and free,
I just wish I could be there,
My feet off the ground,
Two more wings in the night.
They say that bats are blind,
I don’t think it’s true, but
common phrases have more buying power than truth,
so bats are blind.
I think we’re blind, as a bat could be,
never quite knowing where we are except
for the echoes of our voices, catching the sharp edges,
echoing back to us through gestures, friendly
faces, the flit of houseflies and
delicious moths, the needs we’ve satisfied,
the want, the greed, the flitting fancies,
the empty spaces between our now and our future,
filled with the terrible howls of owls,
and the hollows of our past, distant,
seen dimly, as bats would see,
if bats were blind,
as they say.
Every year they spring from root
The same bitter blossoms,
the same blessed fruit.
The frost comes,
the leaves drop free
I sit and dream of blossoms,
do they dream of me?
“It’s a waste of money”, he spits,
“Do you really need that coffee?”
Well. That’s a good question. Do I really need this coffee?
Do I really need to eat? Do I need to work,
or play, or know the names of rare birds? Do I need to hear a
song, and do I need to write these lines?
Do you need to own a boat? Do we need a boss, and does he
need a boss, and does that boss need workers? Why would
the workers need their jobs? What
does it mean to need? What does it mean to want?
Are we ready to learn
that we are anything more than overgrown carnivorous plants,
in need of anything more than meal, and water, and
a windowsill to rest on?
You can tell that they were born for this,
and they are accumulating evidence against you,
that they are watching how you
ply your secondhand expertise.
You can tell they’re looking at you like
you’ve stolen this life from a thrift shop;
how you aren’t standard issue, how
your past lingers like cheap cologne.
We are just factory rejects from the major
luxury lines; almost good enough if
the seams are tucked away, and we
can’t wash the soil off our hands,
and we can’t convince ourselves,
but still, we stay.
What’s it called when the days pass by
without much of note?
What’s it called when I expect to catch word
or sound or scent or
pick up your trail?
What’s it called when I’m waiting to
wait, when I’m yearning to
yearn, when I’m learning
to learn, or at least believe,
the things I’ve always known?
What’s it called when I’m calmly frustrated,
when I’m excited to be numb,
at last, our memories dismembered,
in a park somewhere, left behind?
What’s it called,
on the tip of my tongue,
it’s not quite your name,
but it certainly rhymes.
I have twenty flat nails,
And twenty seven sharp teeth,
A thousand miles of plumbing
‘Round a five-ten frame
And I can feel in my bones before it rains
A crack in the engine and no one to blame.
I have no feathers, I stand on two legs,
Built no states and earned no wage,
I want for everything but will not beg.
I have twenty flat nails
And twenty seven sharp teeth,
I’m the one who falls after all else fails
Fill me up with every lost treasured thing,
feed me every memory, squeeze out every
sorrow, scrounge up the loose pennies
from deep within. It is hard to understand,
at times, that the act of emptying one thing
is the act of filling another,
perhaps only a little.
It is hard to understand
that at times the only method to free
the heavy, jangling coins,
is to shatter the innocent piggy.