People Watchers

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No good deed goes unpaid,

so let me know when you’ve figured

out the going rate

for exposure.

We get that in spades

as the days go on,

and everyone talks, and talks.

“It’s none of my business,”

or so you say,

sitting on a bench

in a tumultuous place.

People going on and on

about their days, their weeks.

The meek will inherit the Earth,

but even they, sometimes,

are willing to bend the golden rule

for a laugh at other’s expense.

Moving along, moving along

we mustn’t dwell.

We’ve all got things to do today,

places to be,

stories to tell.


In the Flesh

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I wish the fire

in the pit of my stomach

would warm my heart

during cold nights,

but the heat

doesn’t quite

travel that far.

I belch up smoke,

because I am only skin and bones.

My Achilles’ tendon,

sore and raw

from javelin wounds

that won’t heal,

because I can’t stop

picking at the scabs.

I am only human.

If only I could

power wash

the spaces

between the folds in my brain.

Unravel it, rinse it off

and wring it out —

but it has to stay

in the case

because it doesn’t travel well.

I am the sum

of all my defective parts,

inextricably stitched together

with connective tissue,

take me or leave me.


Omissions

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Without “you,”

the phrase “you don’t talk to me anymore”

demands an entirely different kind

of response.

“All you can eat, kids free”

Lacks some needed nuance,

Without the comma.

Although synonymous

An “I don’t know,”

Can create a lot less drama,

Than a shrug and a grunt.

Just one tiny piece in a conversation

Is key

In understanding

Misinformation.

You may fill in the blanks,

With what you want to see,

Or miss the forest for the trees,

In making assumptions.

Sometimes you can say everything

You need to say

By not saying anything.

Nothing More, Nothing Less´╗┐

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Shannon and I

took a wrong turn

off the middle-path,

and found ourselves

outside our comfort zone.

The sign said,

“Welcome to the City of Hyperbole,

Population 400+,”

At our side were so many traffic cones,

workers were expanding the road 

from one lane to four.

When Shannon asked,

They told her “tourists keep rubbernecking to read the plaques.”

Every house displayed their own personal braggadocio,

The things about themselves they wanted everyone to know,

The first one on the right,

Had a sign out front that read,

“The world’s humblest home, made of the finest red brick,”

It seemed cozy enough.

The one across the way said,

“A lawn to rival Elysium,”

It was obsessively manicured, 

but no more so than the others for sure.

We came upon the town square,

Sky scrapers, fountains and memorials,

Commemorating the founders,

The newspapers were filled with highly-biased editorials.

“This place is creepy,” 

Shannon said under her breath,

The bystanders sitting on benches, walking by and paying no mind

In short order, went from sleepy,

To irate.

We were maligned,

And chased,

One woman shouted “watch what you say,”

A man with turtle-shell sunglasses screamed, “that’s the ugliest car I’ve ever seen,”

“This town is the only place I’ve ever found peace,”

“City, you mean,” one pedant corrected the other.

The amorphous crowd,

Destroyed itself,

Piece by piece,

Brother by brother,

While we made a quick get away.

Lichen

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Complementary cooperation,

is part and parcel,

with survival

in this world.

There is space for you here

with me,

even if we look different from each other,

and come from separate 

walks of life.

In times of strife,

Keep me company,

And give me cover,

So I can give unto you,

The bounty the Sun provides,

With no expectation

Of reciprocation.

From our closeness,

Comes sacred symbiosis,

So that,

In sum,

We are more

Than one another.

The Rumor Mill

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If someone told you something in a dream,

did you hear it from them?

It wasn’t the beating of my eardrums,

but the wind-chimes in my mind,

that really shook me.

As clearly as I heard that phrase,

Just like when I’m  awake,

I can’t quite place

a name to a face.

Some times my mind,

plays tricks on me,

some times,

it speaks outright lies.

To pursue,

embedded memories,

is not worth the energy.

Perusing,

confusing illusions,

only leads you back,

to the directory.

Distortion

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distortion

The well-timed,

precisely aligned,

Cathode ray tube display

found in old television sets,

is thrown into disarray,

with the pole of a strong enough magnet.

Perception becomes reality,

then misconceptions set-in,

which threaten the image.

You have to get in,

to reset

and rearrange things,

back to parity-

a return to clarity.

When you come to

and see the true view,

you’ll wonder how you

made due

with skewed hues.