the hollowness coagulates

the mundane inserts itself and thickens
like phlegm clings inside my throat
before I can spit out my despair
without a center it entangles quickly
like tree roots entwine through rock
choking the earth into grey dust
the air I breathe cannot penetrate
the pudding-vat of my vacuity
pulsing within like fermenting cud
the slow bubbles pop and ooze
a dissonance around the edges
of all I can no longer keep alive
my truth my love my joy
the dead flowers of my heart

(January 17, 2016)

a hunger feeds upon the dead

this is what I’ve become
a remnant
a scrap of flesh
vomited to the grass
dark clouds swirl
above a dry earth
there was only
then not
ideals constrained
in ambition
or lust
became decorations
along a rope
used to tie my heart
to a dead tree
broken in wind’s indifference

(October 23, 2015)

The Weight

Despite how much I excavate,
I cannot remove the stone.
When I think it has gone,
the last sharp corners
extracted from my bones;
it returns again,
pervasive like dust:
a tight clot
replacing my heart
with despair.

(July 21, 2015)

abnegation

it’s easier to tear down
to niggle all my faults
until my muscles writhe
twisting bones like rags
wrung dry with anger
when did humility bend
into self-deprecation
caustic and snide
why do I silence my voice
with a bitter analysis
even now doubt’s evident
questions come with knives
not confidence to create solutions
unfolding within an easy smile

(July 15, 2015)

Cynic

I should spit out the bitterness,
instead of savoring as if
an unfolding flower;
but I don’t, and I do
until bile rises to coat
those I love with a patina
breathing death into the earth.
Yet, how does one decide
what’s bitter, what’s not needed
to carry the day forward?
We all cleave to what should be
cleaved away, out of habit,
out of nostalgia for memory
we are unsure occurred,
out of hope for a significance
sweeter than the life we live.

(July 14, 2015)

Anti-depressant

“It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.”
–John Steinbeck
as I wait on the slow drip
of the coffee in the urn
each morning lest I forget
I slip one finger inside
each bottle one by one
as if searching for a hold
along a cliff’s edge
so I can maintain my grip
on the day to day trivia
I follow this routine
one pill for cholesterol
one baby aspirin because
the stroke ten years ago
one for allergies
yet still I can’t breathe
and one because I tend
to come upon parts
of my life as they end
like growing up
I suddenly was
and I remember
I forgot somewhere
like a book I left
unfinished on a train
how to be happy

(July 3, 2015)

Tableau Vivant

Here is a madwoman, dancing, while she vaguely remembers something. She longs to possess it, grasping the air with hands broken like branches.  As she dances, naked, down the road, the memory tangles through her hair. Between her desire and memory, she can feel herself smudge into darkness.  It is something like the smoke that slid long ago through the hallways of the house she once lived in. They were all happy as time flowed around them. They danced to a music that passed between them like birds flitting through branches. He held her then as if she were as fragile as air. Her memory becomes her partner, but not the partner of her memory. He was as solid as stone on the day she first saw him. He arrived with spring’s flowers igniting the air with their passion; its echoes now flow thick like water and ash. Now everything’s cold and winter never ends. His hands were like fire caressing the kindling of her body. Time was eternal and demanded no penance.  Their laughter was joyous and private; the children all danced, giggling around them. When the last child died, she wept alone by the fire. Now children chase her and throw stones at her, as if she were a blackbird.
seed text: The Songs of Maldoror, by Le Comte de Lautrémont

(June 23, 2015)

A Slow Erosion

turn on the way to work
and another ten years pass
each day ground into meal
for a bread as dry as chaff
such sustenance to feed
a bitterness into a beast
gnawing with dull teeth
on the tidbits of my heart
until little remains for love
to do except stand stunned
at the bored horror of it all
like vacant eyed refugees
waiting for dust of a passing
army to settle to the earth

(April 15, 2015)

insomnia

Any movement in dream wakes;
tussled sleep and misery nestle
like cats unto my chest kneading
the tissue near the heart searching
for what scraps of love remain.

(February 15, 2015)

Losing My Balance

despair
tightens like ice
digs deeper
into the fractured
earth
into my fractured
heart
the ground’s instability
troubles my unease
in trembling caution
with each step
away I grasp
the air for balance
as I fall farther
away
from you

(January 8, 2015)