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In the QuietWhat am I to do
when every day is Sunday morning?
My eyelids droop into a slumber
I once knew all too well
and the sun outside screams cold and pain.
Where am I to go from here?
When I was a child,
the cold was a symbol of the things
I could never quite hold on to.
The snow always came too early.
I would catch it as it left through the back
door, creeping slowly as through hiding
from the sun, bitter in its nighttime failings.
I stood tall in my winter clothes,
begging for that blanket white and soft
and biting but in a way that makes you feel
Mouth shut tight, eyes bright and
burning with hope
that tomorrow would bring something
I forgot. It happened slowly, first with
to awaken to the light reflecting
bright and proud off the frozen ground,
then with apathy for the school delays
(it was always hard to find
and then finally with the understanding
that nothing could last forever,
not even the silent pl
Who WasIn early summer days Katherine would walk along the pier,
gazing down at dainty feet burnt black and tar.
No light to it.
Fishermen would watch her swaying in the seabreeze like tattered silk
flimsy on the gale,
whistling in tones low and reverent those tunes of yesterday
they knew she once loved.
They had hoped to be graced once more with that smile so radiant
and shining like a star-system born of her own
lips, blazing beacon-like.
Fishermen remember what no other men do: the softness
and beauty of girls grown old before their time,
the fragile recklessness grown gray and foolish and false.
Katherine, fifteen years in the making. She claimed to remember
her infant years, her mother would muse
over coffee, Kahlua-infused,
to a room as empty as her daughter’s own self.
Stupid girl, dangerous and beautiful
beyond measure. Devil child, sent to rid the verdant earth
of all that makes it.
Suitors came and went in lines of fire:
Adam, Jacob, Edward, John… all as uninspired
... and Other FolliesThere will be time in the morning for regret.
“We have entered the age of recklessness
if only for tonight.
Feel my bones as they move against yours.
Clattering under the weight of the bulwark
suspended above our heads,
and the ancient whine of steel
on glass, and the glaring truth reflected from within
of a million foiled mirrors. Feel me as I move
inside you, filling in the lonely spaces.
And all the words you know as
meaningless, and the subtle way I brush the hair
from your face, tendrils of light and silk and soft.
The unexpected tenderness of my hands,
rough like frayed rope and brittle brown.
The insatiable bitterness of my tongue
as it glides along yours.
Taste of this forbidden fruit and you will know
the value of waiting,
of keeping. Anticipate my every touch.
There will be time in the morning for disgust.
Follow yourself back in time
as the dead earth revives itself,
hacking and coughing through dusty morning
AnalyticsThere are parts of me that do believe
Your knuckles swollen and cracked
and gnarled like ancient roots,
calloused and rough
and ever growing.
Accumulating Life like arcade tokens,
building up to disappointment.
And the way you swagger in becoming
twice your age,
and the haunted-ness of your eyes
blue and gray and clouded.
The arch of your spine like a ladder to Dali’s Heaven.
Twisted, impossible angles.
Artist’s angles, sharp and reverent like
new age symphonies.
There are parts of me that do believe
shedding the bounded chains of solitude.
Parts that believe in you,
the easy laughter and aching truth in the way
you say my name,
bare-boned and unadorned.
The way you look at me with eyes like
illuminating every reflection, every
The simple truth is that I have loved you
in a thousand
different ways before breakfast,
and will love you in a thousand more.
Let me count them,
each by each.
Who Is and Always WasJacob thinks there is a certain romance to
silver-smooth like satin on his skin.
Velvet-touch animal furs like old Hollywood glamour
as he remembers it,
draped about feminine shoulders
perfect and white as new milk.
He inhales and chemical smoke fills his lungs,
thick and yielding like liquid metal.
It yields to him, slender fingers leaving
patterns on his skin: feather-light,
Jacob spends his nights in dive bars
and dingy coffee houses, the walls yellowing and thick
He orders grand parades of bitter drinks,
IPAs and Columbian brews
kept coming until dawn breaks, the sun peeking out
from behind the clouds blown black,
He stares at crinkled notebook pages,
pen poised awkwardly in bony fingers like daggers
in a dead man’s spine.
His nails are bitten to the quick, leaving little
to the imagination.
His skin like opals shining through clouded windows
thick with shame,
stale sweat reeking.
Jacob once loved a girl who was the World,
The HuntedIt is a place of mystery, of men
who reek of destruction and earth and
broiling sweat. Dark-eyed and leather-skinned,
crouching in the trees like cat-beasts,
coiled up in serpentine patterns.
Danger weighs heavy in the air, growing
with each silent breath.
In the distance, the open sea calls them
to freedom, crashing on the jagged shore littered
with shards of glassy rock, glittering like gemstones.
It is a song they know by heart.
Voices drowned and gargled, icy fingers
They remain among the leaf-stuff, the living moss
that takes them, one by one. Meaningless words
etched into their minds, insidious lies.
They remain crouched and coiled as the green
spreading spores into their crevices.
Far off, the ocean beats pitifully on the trapdoor
of the gods, begging for these souls
to be spared.
Its cries grow fainter as the men become harder,
statues of plant-life dreams.
Covered head to toe in grisly roots,
black and charred like death. Pride still burns
in their co
I Remember Your Breath on the Wedding Day MirrorD,
My earliest memories are of you. Organza and taffeta, snow-white Sunday shoes. The word they use is “family” but I am too young and too confused to understand. Thrown into a world you weren’t ready to belong in. I remember. They think I’ve forgotten, but I remember. I remember the vows, echoing. Empty. Colorless. I am the only one who seems to notice.
The menorah, glowing red-gold. The greatest warmth I’ve ever felt. Small hands rip apart newspaper-wrapping, exposing the treasure inside. I hold it up. A toddler’s book, carboard-bound pages. I frown, unsurprised. Mumble a thank you and chalk it up to another day of disappointment, hidden behind pretty, petty words. Promises echoing through an empty room.
He is gone much of the time, off to fantasy worlds of sand and sun. I am doing the best I can, you say and no one questions it. The screaming starts and I learn quickly to keep tears quiet, do my best to soak up the pools of Spaghetti-o sick seepin
Hum(an)Shut it out. Danger breeds outside
the box, pressed up against blackboard
chalk lines. Palms out, legs spread.
Anatomical, building block logic. Approach emotion
like you would science, draw up graphs,
color them in blue-gray ribbon.
Observe how the great lovers always die young
from the passion, the vodka and Powder that burns
their throats, burns their blood.
Fucked-up, coked-up sex, sweat like velvet
droplets beading on the skin.
Sex like that is never loving, never gentle
or kind. If you wanted to be fucked like
the animal you are,
should have stayed when you had the chance.
To be human is to be
safe, in bed by twelve,
debating threadcount and planning,
The slut in you will always seek
simple chaos, nothing more. Mouth to mouth,
skin to skin, bone
to shattered, bloodied bone. Teeth filed down to rip
and tear, consumption to satisfaction.
All speech is superfluous, replaced by
feeling: blood pounding gritty in the ears,
sparks spitting needle-fire in the abdom
Song of the Sea-GodsAbove all else, I remember the singing.
Cruel, pretty sounds
deflected off tongues, flecks of spittle decorating
the air in rainbow hues: bruised-ego blue,
They painted you life-like, filled in your
with collagen paint, acrylic humanity.
I never understood the appeal of being
empty, in some way incomplete.
You said nothing when the singers came
to make you whole,
remained silent as they fixed your blown-glass eyes
and airbrushed over the cracks
in your skin. I thought, if only we could all be
so lucky, so blessed
as to have an artist’s interest taken in us,
every last one.
I thought, I would cry tears of flawless joy if I could be made
so beautiful, so painterly-perfect.
But you looked on, and looked on some more
standing stone-strong as the song touched your lips.
The music of mermen, terrible and great.
I thought that I should speak to you.
I thought that I should know your mind, this one
so mighty as to face the sea
...Tension, is building between
our bones; cracking
these boundaries that bind
[lets not get lost in the moment
In TimeI wait:
underneath my thoughts,
through its riverbeds.
tears fall into dry banks
memories fill them.
Our Wayward Starsguide the specimen
through the maze
and through the rain
rinsing our clothes
like they're still on fire
and somewhere, well
they probably are
and you pray
like tomorrow itself
is the fuel
that empties our dark places
like what lives there
goes away at dawn
but it doesn't
and i pray
like tonight itself
is the dark
that fuels our light
like what lives in each
feeds the ugly other
and it might
but, we're all prey
and the dream itself
is the place where
our chemical flames
hit the surface
flailing as we sink
in panicked clothes
from a distance
we must look like
lost, accepting the
drowning slow burn
of our descent
we look like what we are
I bet she smells of laurel and pineI've made a career of
standing on the back porch -
calling your name into
the wide-open ears of
You step from the house
to beckon me inside
but I swear a piece of you
is missing; escaped
into wilder arms years ago.
Asabikeshiinh (Filter)Asabikeshiinh (Filter)
I wear the dream snare like a chain.
The willow hoop filled with spider thread,
sway loose as the aves feathers
and the spun yarn traps the fallen.
I tread subconsciousness
like salmon swim
in the falls of Williamette.
And watch the net
take hold of chimera,
a phantasm of phenomena
as I greet the cousin of death
with a firm shake of the hand
and respectful grin.
But wisps of spirits tempestuous
reverberate throughout the lace,
as the new day slowly begins to take shape.
Light returns to Earth as my eyes open.
Conceptions' theories last so long
before absoluteness' presence grabs hold.
I'd rather immerse myself in abstractions.
Big BadI wanted to conquer the whole world, but
all I got was a dark room
and a fistful of dimes.
I remember being sixteen, an
American Spirit burning near my lips,
head out the passenger window
as we sped on like triumph...
You can laugh at the stars
for being so far
away, and it won't cost you
You can blow ash on the grass
and burn holes in the sole
of your shoes,
and it won't cost you
anything but time.
It was those nights
with the cigarettes
and the stars, there was
no promise in it,
no hope either. A big joke
we can all point at, we can
tilt the bottle and laugh.
The yellow half moon
half smiled with us.
The sun those nights
held its head with us.
Life without promise,
one big bad joke
and we were
the god damn punchline.
OriginsFrom salt and sweat we are born,
edges crumbling, tumbling into the sea.
From the day we come, we leave through tubes,
bit by bit
the desert forms from flakes
of sandstone skin.
We are the dunes, velvet grains sifting,
shifting. We are the air,
deathly dry, dying. Parts of us are washed away.
We ebb and flow. The sand is our ocean;
it covers our tears.
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
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