Can I be your hero?

Spinning,
twirling,
I draw out
my terrycloth
crusaders cape,
capture him,
small and warm
into my arms.

Trapped by
my body,
I bend low,
press my lips
to his nape.
Whisper
“I love you”
and hope
he can hear
it echo in his skin.

This poem was written for my son Rowan December 8th 2005, and was published in a local Houston Poetry Mag called “The Panhandler” (http://www.thepanhandler.org/) around 6 months later. For some reason, I never did get around to putting it up on my blog till today.

 

 

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Chain Gang

Falling, soothingly falling
Making tracks of black mascara
Marring perfectly made up lips
Turning peach toned skin
Into a watery gray,
Now stripped as a chain gang,
Best suits,
She knells her head

(This was written sometime in the late 90s)

We watch you tick . . .

I’m interested in the way your mind ticks.
I want to disassemble you down to bare cogs.
Analyze depressions folded in shadows for the markings
That rendered the many succinct parts you.
Train my fingers along the contour of the frame that holds it all in.
Appreciate the beauty of how each portion works together,
The collection of experiences that turns and tunes your time piece

I want to know why each thought was created,
Where it traveled before it reached my ears
The rhythmic tattoo of your well cued words
Has me traversing spaces previously unknown
My body fades, surroundings slide into translucence
Yet I am only one of your many, and you’re not speaking to me

We are suspended waiting, hanging in the moment
Knowing there’s a punch line coming,
And it won’t be funny. It’ll slam into our core,
And I can almost sense you reel from across the room,
As you expel the last breath, the last tick,
The last syllable and it hits hard, sends us home,
Keeps us wondering, thinking, sometimes even yearning
Until the next time, the next line, we watch you tick.

She looked the same as she always had …

This is a major revision of one of my old poems. To give you a little background on it – basically the speaker is a man who is explaining both to himself and to stranger at a bar the unraveling of his marriage. It is told in a soliloquy form. The title will be changing probably, but for now it is

She looked the same as she always had …

“I looked at her,
she looked the same
as she always had”

What had changed?
Years of married suburban life,
at some point . . . someone,
for some reason . . .
I can’t understand,
stopped . . . touching.

How did it begin,
the beginning of the end?
I feel as though we’d been in the
dénouement for years.
Was it me . . . was it her?

The touching,
it’s one of those things
best remembered
when reciprocated.

Like a dime store romance,
“He grabbed her body, embraced her.
She raised her head,
brushed her fingertips across his lips.”

I can’t remember . . .
if she ever looked at me,
in that elemental way.

“With eyes half closed,
bodies steaming passion”

Really, it’s the words I missed most of all.
Those stupid endearments that disappear.

We had become one of “those” couples,
who in our hurry to the office,
only glanced at the park full of children,
dogs, happy families, lovesick picnicking.
If we thought of the honeymoon, it was only

fleetingly.

I, I worked too much,
paper piles grew
despite my diligent.
She flew often
to other countries,
gone for weeks,
hammer in hand
to break that glass ceiling,
on her way up up up . . .

I stayed glued to the ground, shrugging,
struggling to shuffling my feet.
Haunting happy hours, and after hours
where I knew I would not find happiness.
But I played the game, at some point
we all play the game. You would too,
If you were living the life of a lie,
All’s well, all’s well, alls’ well here in hell

Till one morning,
a rare hour when we awoke
still lying next to one another.
Separate cocoons in a bed unused to two.

She arose, completed her solitary routine,
carting her body in unassuming silence,
as if she was the only one.
My presence, simply a necessary invasion,
like a maid in a four star hotel.

At the breakfast table,
I sat clutching my coffee,
contemplating a bagel.
She grabbed dry toast,
prepackaged orange juice,
keys, rushing for the door,
as if she had some reason to run,
some awful thing to escape.
Maybe she just something better waiting?

I called out to her…
“So, Hon, how’s your week been?”
Two clipped word were all she answered,

“Fine, yours”

Without pausing for a response
she revved up the car,
peeling out of the driveway.

Well, I suppose, what can you expect?
To have called either of us a better half was ruse.
How can you be a better half without the other half?

Later on, at my lunch hour,
when a man approached me,
detachment silk screened across
his generic features,
I wish could say I was surprised.
I wish I claim I hadn’t been looking for him,
everyday as I ate my lunch,
chasing Alka Seltzer with whiskey,
for my diet of heartburn and hopelessness.

He handed me a cheap Bic pen,
oily with someone else sorrow and bitterness.
I had to hold on tight to keep it from slipping.
It’s funny, it only took moments to sign away
a façade we spent a decade building.

Back in my cubical, I sat solemnly,
Lacking tears may have been what
Saved me from emotional dehydration,
for despair had long since passed into numbness.

When I finally looked up from my desk
I saw her picture perched in the shrine
I had appointed to her and I wondered why?

Why she looked the same as she all ways had?

What had changed?

Bags drooped under my eyes,
my shoulders slumped, my feet stumbled
more than they ever had in the past.

Sitting beside the first picture was
another photo of her taken last summer.
She looked the same as she always had,
but something inside her had changed.
At first, I thought maybe it was
A little less luster to her hair,
Or a used spent look to her eyes.

No, she still looked the same as she always had.

There was neither a line, nor a fold on her body that wasn’t there before,
yet the person who spoke to me these last few years . . . was a stranger.

I still wonder . . . when it changed?
How she could look the same?

I am still searching for that moment,
when consummation turned to evasion,
when the we split into her and I,
when she stopped looking at me
and began looking through me.

Counting on us …

When we came together, collectively we owned . . .
3 bookcases, 1 discarded patio table, with matching chair
A coffee table, who having seen better days
Masqueraded as a headboard for the sheets & blankets
That composed our first tentative bed.
We spent those early autumn months
Softly cushioned by carpet and pillow
Our bodies sprawled out . . . harem style

Now, 3 couches and 2 children later
I still want you, like some people want yesterday
Thinking that rewind would somehow result
In a tummy tuck and a tight ass, today
They want to redo or undo . . .
I just want to do . . . you
Even though the bills are piling up
And sometimes I think the future won’t ever come

So, as we trade in diapers for pull ups
I know we own tomorrow, today
We have a family unmarked by hostility
Every smile, every sunlit laugh, every caress
Holds a value immeasurable . . .
You can’t buy what we have with soiled pennies

Unbroken piggy banks are rare, theses days.

The Rainbows End . . .

Knowing it had two different ends
We stood near the axis, for years . . .
Arguing . . . I chose a different path
I’m sorry . . . I truly hope
You’re not still seeking short cuts,
Back then you were convinced
It was the only way . . .
That would lead us to happiness
I hope by now you’ve realized
That beauty was false . . .
Shimmering like a promise
We were the rainbow
Attempting to sell our souls
For leprechaun love

Used (Redraft 34)

Frail, wasted . . . confusion consumes me
Damp gold outlines the fringes of my eyes
Staring out into the faint . . . nothing
Fear pours, hisses, as it trips on pavement
Squeezes between cracks, and fissures
Explodes on impact, a thousand fragments
Provoke elusive scents of motor oil, grass,
And some addictive poison . . . fragrance

You . . . smell of toothpaste and shaving cream
Of wet wilted sheets, creased by your body’s heat
Stains . . . ironed . . . deep

Miring this Monday night in emotions
Evoking thoughts too long suppressed
A clocks ticking, the window is open, again . . .
Wedged by my fingertips, stretched out trembling
Like graveyard talons grasping at elicit fumes

Half forgotten moments creep in our harbor
Dragging headstones, postcards, pillowcases
The minutes stink like mortuaries
Refusing to dissolve . . . acid washes skin casing
Weathered . . . does not equal purity

Languishing, I move to the den,
Disturbed, I rock my false icons
Frosted, my lips are, frigid, my body is,
Faltering, we are, fading, I am faint,
And still you’re vital pulse insists!
Seeks to make me, how you want me . . .

I fall, fall, fall, off of pedestals . . .
Cannot sustain the pose, the pristine picture
Slides out of focus, caught by the deceit
Reflect between our eyes . . .

Fiction, this fiction . . . it is written
By my weakness . . . the façade is shines,
Glares, burns, destroys photosensitive skin
A self-inflicted punishment . . . for the naive

There are many details, unspoken, unheard . . .
In silent spaces . . . between redundant words
The conversation loops, loops, loops
Varies only in tone, pitch, and Volume!
It imparts . . . no more certainty
Contains . . . no more conclusion
I’m not sure, how much more, I can take . . .
Before the reel snaps . . . slapping me

It seems as though our neighbors
Know us better than I do.
Speakers dangle, cling to plaster walls
Sends our confusion vibrating
Out into the ears of strangers

Do we keep them up with us till dawn?
We lay in bed, late, reiterating, everything
Unattainable, the truth sticks to my lips
Tongues move murmuring gray noise

We are not a public thing . . .
To be used and seen and known!

Like filthy bus station urinal
That carts disease . . .

I want to wash my hands clean,
Sanctify and sanitize my soul
But flies still hover near,
Like vultures, or buzzards,
Memories . . . the mind’s maggots
Burrow deeper devouring . . . me

Portrait Poem

This is a poem that started from a writing prompt on wild poetry forum. The idea was to write a portrait poem. I didn’t really follow the guide lines, but I kind of like the out come anyways. As of now it’s still untitled.

You evolve your features with the flip of a hat
As if some one pulled your cord and beard grew . . . most magically
Yet I know this is based upon illusion
Underneath there is still a musicians cleft in your chin

Beneath the ink and metal that adorns you now
Your skin still crawls with words
Claws scratching at your wounds
Ready to burst the scabs of time

I can hear the tick tick tick of your time bomb mind
Aching artist trapped inside . . . it’s not too late
You don’t need to pretend that you can’t feel
Your eyes tell the truth, they always have

Fathoms deep, they attempt to sell your soul

I guess I can quit bitching for awhile . . .

I went down to Helios (the cafe/bar formerly known as The Mausoleum) tonight kinda expecting the same old crap . . . I have never been very impressed with the selection of poetry presented there. Some of it is great, most however has been crap.

Tonight however was very satisfying. I went expecting to listen, write, and just kinda chill . . . really not intending to read. I actually never, or rarely intend to read. But you know how it is, either it seems like a good idea after a few beers or the mike just seems to draw me in. Well I guess tonight was a bit of both. But anyway thats not what I’m going on about. The first poet up was amazing. I mean that girl really does have some talent. Pretty much everything was solid. And of course there were the obligatory “poets” I didn’t care too much for, but you will get those where ever you go. Over all though there was a lot of passion and verse and humor on the stage tonight.

The host was very laid back and friendly, very passionate about the promotion of poetry as an art form. Something I really admire. He is also apparently a friend of an old friend of mine, which was cool. I ran into my friend unexpectedly right as I arrived, which was nice, cause I had someone to sit with. I hate sitting at a table alone, and staying at the bar is too noisy & your seat gets stolen easily!

So eventually I read too! I selected As The Story Goes and It Could Have Been Different because I was trying to stay away from reading divorce poetry, or old love poetry. I really am more diverse (I think) than that, but generally what I have that I am 1/2 way satisfied with tends to lean towards those to topics. However tonight I focused on memories. I stuck with just 2 cause the 2nd is so long that it just can’t really be followed by anything else and still kept in a reasonable time frame. It was only the second time for me to read that one, and of course as always I blundered it, but not too noticeably I hope. I had a few people come up to me afterwards to tell me they liked it so I guess I did well. Doesn’t really matter . . . I like them so thats all that truly counts. Enough rambling for now . . . . .

Note to self- I need to up date my blogger with some new audio blogs & email Sir Melancholy

The Mold

Long hair
Long nails
Tight skirt
Tight shirt
Pink hearts
Purple stars
Plastered on
With glitter
Teetering in
My high heels
I feel . . .
Disgraced

Aged sandals,
Short hair,
Chipped nails
Stained dirty jeans
And dreams
Faded tank top,
Passive hues adorn me
I am comfortable
In a thrift store hat
This is me

Clumsily I cringe,
Claustrophobic,
I can’t cram
Your mold is unpadded
I am short
My feelings are delicate
You need to know now
I fear stepping inside,
I refuse to be refitted
I won’t suffer it,
My pride would not
Endure the battering


This is another piece written back in “those days”
(written & 1st edited aug 7 2001, major redraft Aug 15 2001)

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