Glittering bodies draped across gilded thrones
Swallowing bulimic bites of saccharine cakes
Swishing gold champagne around their mouths
Splashing drunken slurs across each other’s chests
Whispering secrets into sour mouths and stain coated lips
Suckling the last dregs of spit and liquor from an empty breast
Suffocating in the crowded heat of clamoring beasts
Gasping and choking for a glance at the glowing screen
Bating breath as the numbers beat down
Pressing against strange lips as the cacophonous cry arises–
“Happy New Year!”
I used to color with crayons because I didn’t know how to write.
I used to draw my dreams and think these wax etchings were all the world was missing.
Where there wasn’t love I drew red hearts, the sun was captured with yellow crayon,
And I could make a spring day blossom in the middle of winter.
I grew up.
I learned to write.
I struggled to carve out the simple strokes of my name in pencil.
Words written in grey graphite supplanted the crayon drawings I was once so proud of.
I wrote letters, I wrote words, I wrote sentences and stories, and I was proud.
And I threw away those primitive drawings, ashamed that I ever took pride in them.
I grew up.
I read the words, the sentences, the stories, and the poems I had written and I hated them.
I wanted to rip them apart, tear them to pieces, never see them again.
I left them in the rain.
The rain washed away the ink, disintegrated the paper, and my shame came dripping off.
I didn’t understand how I could ever be so proud of those simple words.
I grew up.
I drew more pictures and tore them up.
I wrote more words and left them to crumble in the rain.
I drew and I destroyed,
I wrote and I ripped,
And the rain always came,
And I lost the sun, and the spring, and the love,
And I wanted to go back to those simple days
When I could be God with a box of crayons.
Breast and bone unbounded
Consumed by shadowed edges
Veneer ribs split wide open
Abdomen of dirt and moss
Lilacs bloom across the chest
Churning green and liberated
Vines climb across stone skin
Parasites flourish and devour
Layers of life upon decay
I’ll just lay here and die
Feasting flesh, don’t lie
You like it when I bleed
Crave it, feel the need
Holding down my head
Bullets, rain and lead
Nothing in my veins
Tearing out my brains
Skin torn to the bone
Feel it turn to stone
Twisting in my back
Burning red and black
Shiver, aching spine
Cling to what is mine
Helios climbs over plastic skylines
Suburban wastelands rot away
Sweating faces glare behind melting glass
Bodies pickled in stinking fluids
Drenched days ache out every orifice
The stench of summer clings to skin
Styx flows beneath, cool and sweet
Tempting a swim of eternal relief
Where bodies splash in the infinite flow
Fingertips stretch and scratch
Tears and sweat drip from fluid faces
Stomachs ache and wretch and spill
Idle smiles line vomit paved streets
Footsteps sink into the asphalt
Lowering lingering souls into Hades
The piper plays a sterile melody
Cacophonous crowds march ever on
Sugared and salted fingers intertwine
Venom clings to stolen tongues
The sweetest poison by which to die
Souls collected under a waning moon
Burnt red shadows parade away
Darkness settles on an infinite cycle
branches bend like the stems of champagne flutes
under the drunken weight of frost and bubbles
arms intertwine and stumble across sheets of marble
streets bathed in golden light reflect shining faces
winking and grinning at the echoes of fading memories
Within the beast and belly lay I,
Pray my soul with my flesh won’t die.
All misery must meet its death,
But still have I years to my last breath.
The seas have yet to split for me,
Nor has Judas been made my enemy.
Still I drink of water, not wine,
And must wait to call an empire mine.
Kings and queens lay at my feet,
But yet have I to taste bitter defeat.
No knife rests in my back tonight,
Still seek I legendary gates of white.
Make it come could I so quick,
Mortality lies within my tentative grip.
Greatness sought but not achieved,
One death vanquishes all my enemies.
While they rage on, above I laugh,
Eternal freedom captured in my grasp.
A rope, a knife, a sip, a shot,
My life a memory long since forgot.
Five feet apart, three strangers between us,
I feel so alone with your hands just inches from mine.
The cold kisses the district and thinks she might stay the winter,
But she feels so alone in this pastel city
With your skin shivering away from her icy grasp.
My hands red and reaching, but not quite daring to touch
Because this frigid air between us is fragile,
The glassy surface warps my face and the words I want to whisper
While you stand near the fire and tell me how alone you are.
This cold is suffocating, freezing lips and lungs together,
Her fingers stroking the Potomac, stirring dreams of California beaches
Beckoning for you, while I stand silent in the street,
Praying to a God I outgrew years ago
For you to stay.
Above the smoke of Babylon
White fence wars are raging on
Collared men face faithless wives
With red hands and kitchen knives
The children lie with haloed heads
Dressed in madras sheeted beds
A sphaira tucked in each tender fist
A gilded globe, a bleeding wrist
Voices shatter the red brick facade
Silhouettes in a shadowed mirage
Bodies thrust and bend and break
Quiet now, for the children’s sake
Letters written in the burning sands
Folded fingers, slipping hands
Grasping at the blackened edges
Crumbling dreams of privet hedges
Paradise lies beyond this failing world
Frail men in suits chasing frailer girls
Caught in the glow of orgastic eyes
Smiling wide through teeth and lies
Beyond Ishtah’s gaze in Nineveh
A watery rebirth, pure and raw
Children squealing out in heat
Seersucker skin, Lydia’s treat
Stretching limbs across a sandy lawn
Silly children, mother calls at dawn
The moon sucks away at the sea
Tearing wasps away from the beach
Bracing for dear August’s death
Cold is catching, it’s in his breath
Come now, come now, run away
Golden summers fade to grey.