I’m trying something new with how I present my poetry. Feedback is appreciated.
Tidal waves of images and memories
Drown me suddenly, and I’m confronted by
Her, out of nowhere - unbidden, unwanted.
She’s just a memory, a ghoul banished to
Deepest chasms of the war torn trenches in
The gray area I call my painted mind.
I guess sometimes I just can’t avoid, when my
Loneliness bears down hard enough to crush the
Small reserves of air I hoarded for myself,
Hearing distorted what-ifs floating up on
Brain waves of what’s left of her name, recoiling
Away from her fingers tracing novels on
My palms and poems on the backs of my hands.
Streams and rivers iced over - cold apathy,
Pushed away until pain gave way to mourning
Gave way to despondency gave way to hate.
She exists only in the graveyard of my
Mind, kicked out of my heart, dredged up only when
Late nights, fear, or confusion remind me, that
I bitterly regret ever learning her name.
Without you the voices are back,
Telling me about things I’d rather not see,
Forcing my mind back into apathy,
Where caring is deadly, and painful.
I choose not to feel not because I am strong.
I am weak, naught but sand on the beach,
Soft spoken yet coarse and abrasive.
I whip with the wind, stinging, and
I’m sorry, for getting in your shoes.
I’m not the boulder I wish to be,
Sitting tall on a mountain,
Weathering weather and time itself.
No, without you,
I am not me.
I feel smaller and smaller
But these walls still grow tall, so
I can’t break them down.
I can hop on one leg but I can’t run to you
So I’ll stand on one hand for attention.
Till then I’ll write and I’ll scream,
Escape to feverish dreams, maybe
Mercifully there we’re united.
Without you I’m five fingers short, and
Barely breaking five feet I need
All the help I can get.
I’m a volcano. Vesuvius awaiting
Eruption. I probably should warn you,
Give you time to run, even though we both know
My only hope, then, is to subject you,
Little by little, to my pent up rage,
My impending insanity.
Praying that somehow, if and when
That fatal explosion occurs -
Instead of cowering, running,
Crumbling to ash,
You’ll look up.
And you’ll watch as I shatter
And you’ll see as I scorch
All in my path,
And you’ll hear as I rend
The sky in half,
And unable to control myself,
I’ll look at you, and hope beyond hope
That instead of burn you,
You’ll barely break a sweat and say,
History is written by the victors.
What are we then?
What have we written?
A country responsible for
Trails of Tears that run deeper
Than it’s rivers, criss-crossing
Continents where the sounds of Democracy
Coincide with explosions, weeping, and despondency.
Our Great Depression didn’t end in a World War,
We just made it larger. And this Depression
Persisted, permeating a population that
Pushes more and more pills at the problem,
Hoping it’ll just disappear, while
Suicide rates soar higher than the stock exchange.
A country that wages wars with impunity,
Costing lives but making money as its
Brainwashed soldiers fight on believing
They’re better than the children they bomb,
Claiming they’re helping the women they rape
As slowly but surely the world learns to hate
"Supporting our troops" to the chant of U.S.A.
Back at home We the People are bullied,
Coerced and intimidated by our own
Boys in Blue who swear to serve and protect.
(Their own interests)
They riot against peaceful protestors and
Fear seven-year-old girls and dogs so much
Killing them is only a matter of self-defense.
A war on drugs that puts thousands
Behind bars, in some cases simply for overzealous snacking -
While the people who trade, sell, and buy human beings
Like helpless cattle,
While the people who cause high speed car crashes,
Beat the ones they swore to protect, and
Break the hearts of those they swore to love,
Are shrugged off as inevitable occurrences that
Can’t be helped.
A war that says passing around a rolled up plant
Is more reprehensible than passing around
People or bottles of broken spirits.
A country where telling the truth,
No longer a virtue, is a cardinal vice
Voiced by vicious and violent revolutionists,
Where steadily feeding on a diet of
Lies and buzzwords has made us so sick
That the truth makes us vomit.
Where we ignore other people around the world,
Fighting for their freedom as they’re
Beaten down by oversized bullies, and news networks
Continue informing us on things that matter,
FIve-year-olds in pageant shows,
The score of last night’s Heat game,
A celebrity’s new baby’s name.
A story of skewed perspectives,
Where violence is celebrated with
The advent of Texas’ 500th execution,
Where nine-year-olds are allowed to
Pull triggers and bomb brown people,
Decapitate and pulverize and annihilate,
Answering their calls to duty so young so that
Once they turn eighteen, they can put those skills into practice.
But they can’t see a naked body,
Can’t view two people making love,
Because our bodies have become so hypersexualized and so
Under-appreciated that one sex scene,
Or “graphic” painting hung in an art gallery,
Is enough for parents to cover their childrens’ eyes,
Storming out in outrage.
How dare someone promote the glorification
Of a human body, (before it’s blown to pieces)?
We have written ourselves into a sad corner of history,
Where arbitrary acronyms take precedence
Over the people that should be holding them responsible
For their crimes.
FBI, CIA, NSA, USA.
We didn’t make them answer,
So soon we’ll have to answer for them.
But I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free.
A bushel of roses, arranged in a vase.
She gets home from work, greeted by
Velvet petals and elated kisses.
He made everything perfect, put in its place.
(They lasted about a week before drying out.)
A dozen roses, lying on the table.
She’s home late again, greeted by
Dinner neatly arranged, ready to be microwaved.
He waited up, but fell asleep reading a book.
(They were thrown away the next morning in frustration.)
A single rose, falling to the ground.
He’s home early, greeted by
Stunned silence and a stranger in his bed.
She broke him with carelessness.
(It was crushed under his foot as he turned away.)
Scattered lilies were left on his grave.
She was on a beach, tanning, greeted by
The news two weeks later.
(They withered and dried, but remained.)
The roses died from love.
He died from sadness.