Aftershocks

Standard

It comes in waves,

volleys.

You’d think you would

get acclimated,

eventually,

but it seems to catch you by surprise

every time,

how much more the arrowheads hurt

when you try to pull them out.

Brought together not through

serendipity,

but now you feel their absence

so deeply,

you can’t see yourself without

them now.

A sorrowful farewell,

and the stemmed bleeding continues.

Shining blade in hand,

what good does that do?

The air hisses with lethal

flying fangs.

We have courage,

and heart,

and every poet and biographer will give us

the glory if we win the day,

but they have the high ground.

Distracted by

the flight of fancy,

a familiar friend

embeds itself

in the soft part

between your clavicle,

and shoulder blade.

It’s time to get out

of harm’s way.


Complicity

Standard

You’re free to air out

your grievances as you see fit,

but all that means is that

every one gets a chance

to look them over.

The stain is plain as day

ingrained in the off-whites

of your eyes,

it permeates —

it’s in how you carry yourself,

how you react.

And you may try to hide

but the stench travels

for miles.

Don’t be surprised

when you get sniffed out,

it was bound to happen.

Your hands are dyed

and your hands are tied,

but fingerprints, every so often,

paint very clear pictures.

You didn’t start it,

but you didn’t end it,

and now the egg on your face

will not simply come off.

Eat the frog,

eat crow,

do what you have to now

to cleanse everyone’s

palates —

for your sake.


Bioluminescence

Standard

Signs of life

glint in the corners of

my eyes.

Only giants sleep at ease

in the inky depths,

but there’s always something bigger,

hungrier

on the lookout.

I stare into the abyss,

and realize,

I’m falling right into it’s

dilated pupil.

Hold your breath,

and try to withstand

the pressure.

Packs of spineless marauders

jet through the void

with prying eyes and dazzling light.

They’re gone in a flash,

and if you’re unlucky,

so are you.

Specters wait patiently,

their torch held

right above a mouthful

of crossed rapiers.

Some take a different approach,

gliding through pitch black,

cancelling out their shadows,

sniffing out anyone else

trying to be inconspicuous.

Beware of bright beacons

there isn’t always

someone you’d like to meet

on the other side.


Event Horizon

Standard

I feel it,

I feel it

as I play this game of chicken

inching up

to the point of no return.

I’m pulled closer and closer

yet the gravity of the situation

never quite dawns on me.

My vertebrae, adaptable and flexible

to a point,

find rest

tracing the shape of the pilot’s seat.

I’ve sat for too long,

and need to stretch my legs.

I’ve come all this way,

and, out of nowhere

I’ve crossed the threshold and

I’m in too deep.

Before anyone I’d ever heard of

was born,

a far-off star collapsed dead

and left a void of

crushing fury,

the wrath of a blind idiot God.

For the crime of intrusion

on His private domain,

I will be welcomed in

for eternity.

And I will be pulled even further

beyond my limits.

I’m just a wayward thread

yanked from its seam,

falling into

the great abyss

I feel it,

I feel it.

People Watchers

Standard

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.


Road Rash

Standard

As you approach

your personal best,

a classic fishtail

jettisons you to the ground

with a whipcrack.

Earth,

caught in the tangle

of opposing gravitational forces,

careens toward you

at hundreds of thousands

of miles an hour.

But you are going

slightly faster,

bouncing as you make impact,

you land on your back

and come to painful rest.

Abrasions on your

forearms, knees and shoulders

where the gravel

made contact.

Shirt torn and bloodied.

When you stand,

and dust yourself off,

you feel all the bruises

to your ego.

You want to tell yourself

good lies

like “I’m totally fine”

but must confess,

those never mend

broken skin.

It doesn’t look like it

but you know just

how lucky you are

to limp home.


Exploding Head Syndrome

Standard

I’d like to be at peace,

at least,

when I fall asleep.

Finally nodding off,

counting sheep,

I’m between my sheets

on a cloud

breathing at ease.

Thoughts begin to warp,

and cease

using normal logic,

and I’m far away from my body.

And then there was nothing

but empty space.

Something far-off

in the vast reaches

of a resting mind catches,

spontaneously combusting

the sawdust from

every stray thought I’ve ever had.

I’m pinching myself,

when I might be ablaze,

and feel nothing,

jolting me awake.

A surreal moment passes,

as I sit in the dark,

unharmed.

“Well, that was something.”


In the Flesh

Standard

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.


Generation Loss

Standard

Forgery begets forgery,

begets forgery,

to the point that

even the watchful eye begins

to doubt itself.

Infinite renewal is not

continuous preservation —

what we forget accrues

and crystallizes.

The patina looms

the colors wash-out

and dry-up,

leaving behind bleached bones

and shadows.

Gaps grow

into gorges,

cleaved apart by

refrozen murk.

Even garbled noise and static,

is buffed away

by graininess.

The record becomes the message.

If you wanted to see it so bad,

you should have been there

when it happened.

———————————-

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Obstructions

Standard

Sliding down the oil slick,

slaloming between caltrops,

backpedaling in vain.

Somehow, some way

we always find ourselves

in new gauntlets.

The labyrinth,

convoluted infinite fortress,

perfectly designed for long walks.

Follow the thread,

listen for the echos.

The more you pull away,

sometimes,

the more it drags you in.

You can’t fault the bull

for trying to exit

the China shop

according to his nature.

Let him blow off some steam,

if he needs —

then put it on his bill

later.

———————————-

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