no dragons burn and pillage
even when lost in metaphorical
forests. the children’s screams
in the candy houses next door
are real enough not to be just
symbols in a jungian melodrama
analyzed casually over a cup of tea.
there are no stories to hide within.
the steel-eyed king and queen
handing down impartial justice
never existed anymore than the gods
who were used to justify raw power.
Whereas the black-helmed men
with polished shields and truncheons
still freely move down city streets
searching for someone else to kill.
(October 12, 2018)
While the mendacious moan
their pious exclamations
to smother any dissent,
a metaphor translates thought,
holds out the broken leaves
as an offering from the gods,
an opening to move through
to find a different bend
in the light you’ve come to know.
The ground, slightly uneven,
is common enough, a solid
base to build upon.
Simple words whispered
into temples and prisons.
(August 21, 2018)
the words were a way out
between the rigid definitions,
the expectations carved in cant
the words slipped along fault
line’s edges; the incongruous fissured
like water through the undefined
the words wore meaning there,
bare and taut, shrugging off
all social niceties for love
the words were love for the world:
the laughter of the sun rippling
the horizon further each day
words were a way to a salvation
from what I was not to become
(June 25, 2018)
Me, I’m much more mundane:
just piles of clutter collected over
meandering decades: associations
misconstrued; memories cast,
broken, reconfigured again
and then again into iteration
after iteration, before scattered
about the place so willy-nilly
one can barely move without
stumbling, causing stacks to collapse
onto stacks, shifting the only path
throughout this maze as if there
were ever one way to go,
as I was about to find out.
(June 21, 2018)
there is always that moment which arrives
when the conversation has abated
and all that must be said remains unsaid
and our minds’ sharp intimacies depart
amid insincere handshakes and chaste hugs
in a doorway and what occurred that night
vanishes into small talk’s silent wish
and this wish is somehow always the same
which is somehow that what one says matters
enough somehow to whomever may hear
that they will somehow respond in a way
which will somehow equate as well to your
first desire and yet still somehow both will
mange to survive your disparate lives
(January 31, 2018)
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself.”
||Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
I can lie to myself easily enough,
With small shifts in the story to adjust
The present view, to accommodate
a new façade on the old denouement.
Although, it is less work to accept
The dominant narrative; the mundane
Given, leading toward an obvious proof;
Someone else’s truth not your own.
I am so tired, and there are so many
Steps to manage the smallest crisis:
What to buy for dinner? Should I change
Lanes now, or wait a mile or two.
I simply rearrange the bread crumbs
I’ve dropped for you along the way.
(December 20, 2017)
They wait smugly to tell you
Who you are, who you’re allowed
To be; they speak your new name
Like Rumpelstiltskin to control
The way you see your own skin,
The way the story must end.
Each word that’s spoken provides
A direction, a tangent,
A torque to turn with finesse
The driest straw into gold:
The way the story must end,
The way you see your own skin.
We are no more who they say
We are, than who we say we
Are. We Cower in our caves
Trading tales like bits of flint.
The way the story becomes
Begins within our own skin.
(November 4, 2017)
Slip like ropes around my neck.
We are never free.
(October 31, 2017)
I write into myself
a space to survive
the expectations and lies
that have become my home.
This is no autobiography,
but a bald accusation,
of anyone who dares
arrive at a reading
and not see themselves
inscribed upon the page.
I have become myself,
naked and exposed,
formed in other’s woes.
(September 17, 2017)