Cliffs

Standard

Windswept, chiseled over millennia –

monolith, monument to forces far beyond

our domain.

Lonesome giant,

against the cavernous sky.

Outcropping to outcropping,

alongside trees gnarled in crevices,

I scale the sun-bleached walls.

The wind is at my back,

falling rubble

meets a fate only it can withstand

tumbling from near-heaven, careening against

the side of the cliffs.

Little stands between death and I,

turning back, is no longer an option.

Surefooted,

may my hands guide the way,

the sun beats down on my face.

To the sky I announce,

“I will meet you in the middle.”

The summit seemed impossible

until it was in my grasp.

Now, how to get

back down?


Wrung-Dry

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A little pressure with a twist,

might seem painful at first,

but maybe it will do my soul

some good.

What’s the worst that can happen?

The tension acts upon you more,

the longer you carry it.

And catharsis takes shape in many different ways,

but it’s never a walk in the park,

never a spring breeze.

It won’t come easily,

but if it did,

would it be worth it?

Only when empty

is the vessel most useful,

put down what you carry

if it has become too burdensome.

You are stronger than you know,

without what holds you back.

If it must hurt,

and sometimes this is so,

know that the pain is so much better,

than what preceded it.


Soft-shell

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I can’t take it anymore.

Sorry I just —

I need to move along now,

grown used to my surroundings

weary of my limitations.

I hold myself back more than I am comfortable admitting,

unfortunately,

this is self-evident.

I wish I had the luxury

of keeping my armor on,

alas, I must slip into something

more suitable.

Crack me open,

any other time that would prove fatal

but I am in transition.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Weakness is now my strength,

I flow as the currents do.

If you’re too comfortable in your own skin,

it becomes your coffin,

I must cast it aside.

I can’t take it anymore,

maybe the growing pains

are worth the suffering.


Counterproduction

Standard

I’ve got to get it in my head

that I can’t win a game of chicken

against myself.

It’s my cross to bear,

the sin of pride,

the bliss of ignorance.

I can handle it,

I can handle it.

The worst lies

are the ones you tell yourself —

the most convincing are

the ones by omission.

The writing on the wall,

is of no concern to me—

I painted myself into a corner,

but I’ll make it out,

I don’t need directions.

One step forward,

one step forward.

Please disregard the footprints.

I’d love to conquer myself,

but that guy’s a pretty good boxer.

I’ve got to get it in my head,

that I don’t need to be

my own worst enemy.


On Hope & On The Future

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Pandora’s box

did not

come with explicit enough

instructions.

Read it cover-to-cover:

three pages,

two words,

“hang on.”

Goddamn it.

I try – and fail – to not overthink it.

The sky is red again today.

But I know that

right as I’m about to crack,

I will break through.

Sure enough,

it all cleared up.

Time for a change in direction!

Cassandra pleads with me

not to go through with it.

Lays out every uncomfortable truth

about

what I’ve done and yet to do

in immaculate detail.

What is certain to

occur, in divine mathematically-precise

tea-leaf readings.

I can only doubt her.

Spent the next few days

on fool’s errands,

running directly into

the current,

asking every one going the opposite

way “how about that weather,”

and they smile and nod,

going about their day.

I never saw it coming.


Anyone

Standard

You were never the same after

any time we met

face to face.

Irreplaceable, you

nevertheless had a knack

for adaptation.

The pattern shifts,

fades to black,

and you vanish in the night sky.

Where are you?

Footsteps 20 paces away

have I gone —

I shouldn’t say.

There you are,

done something new

with your hair?

The more things change

the more they stay the same,

you hide in plain sight.

Can’t shake this feeling

that I’m being watched,

at least have the courtesy

to tell me whether fight or flight

are reasonable.

Unbelievable, you

the same acrid wine

with a new skin for every

day of the week.

On Trusting

Standard

You could, at any time,

crush me

inadvertently,

with a look

or a phrase.

Yet,

we find ourselves in this position

by way of

invitation.

Step right up,

take your coat off,

stay a while.

Unvarnished,

and in confidence,

our inner machinations

laid bare.

I could,

at any time,

disappear.

But there’s nothing to

run from.

I see the rust in your joints,

you ascertain that I

have bugs in my software.

It’s in our nature

to ask until we know,

but knowing isn’t understanding.

Trust cannot be simulated,

or substituted,

only experienced.

In so doing,

we could —

without realizing it —

lift each other up,

just by being ourselves.


Beelzebub

Standard

Air abuzz with whorls of

black fog, thick diesel smoke

composed entirely of

highly aggressive horseflies.

He has arrived,

the infestation.

Mandibles gnashing,

fitting perfectly,

purpose built like lock and key,

into exposed skin.

A manifestation

of discordance,

the smell of carrion.

They land in your hair,

flap beside your ears,

brush against your arms.

Their presence felt

even when you don’t feel them

somehow elusive,

and ever-present

at once.

The morning star looms

in the dawn.

I bat the flies away,

but that only seems

to anger them.

Chaos for the sake of it.

How do we know

when evil has lost,

when evil has no plan?


Creature of Habit

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Wake up,

and follow the rut downstairs.

Check the wall

of broken clocks,

and go to your favorite haunt

when the time is right.

It’s an acquired taste,

repeatedly smashing your head

into a brick wall,

but eventually you see

what the hubbub

was all about.

But you grow weary

in a moment of clarity,

and decide to spice things up.

You always do this.

Locals gather at the watering hole.

You take a big swig,

notes of minerals, calcium

and chlorine.

The bartender cuts you off

after 9 glasses

and an hour and a half

in the bathroom.

You spend half the night pacing,

reflecting on what you would have

done differently.

Wake up,

and follow the rut

downstairs.


Corruption

Standard

Cooked books adorn a silver platter,

brazen.

Watch for trap doors,

and red herrings

that lead you down spiraling pathways

to dead-ends.

Birds of a feather,

buzzards, stick together,

so long as they all

get a little piece

of the rot.

Charitable of them

to self-deal

with their cronies.

They all move

in the same circles,

overhead.

They let you navigate

their maze, sniffing,

dare you to chase them away,

then become untouchable,

chickenhawks.

A blurred face

need not be saved.

I cannot tell

whether they’re turning a blind eye,

or looking

right through you.