Gretel Lost in the World

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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)

Our Words

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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 why I wrote when young

 

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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)

Macbeth had Scorpions in His Mind

 

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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)

the untold continues despite silence

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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)

Drawl

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A time to speak up

 

Think of it

Not

As punctuation,

But rather

Dialect, decorated

By accented diacritical marks.

 

If I speak in such

A manner that’s averse

To the way your words wander,

Perhaps you should listen

To how variations

Play across our story:

 

Resistance exists

Along the blade

Of consonant’s hiss and click.

As the oldest god

Has whispered before:

The word changes the world.

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(December 20, 2017)

Liar

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Above all, don’t lie to yourself.”

Fyodor DostoevskyThe 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)

 

 

Fairy Tales’ Charm

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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)

I am Not You

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,
despite interpretations
formed in other’s woes.

(September 17, 2017)