national poetry month: overwrought rails

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so, it’s National Poetry Month. admittedly, while i’ve been writing
poems, it hasn’t been every day as in the past. i’ve had to deal with
growing work piles, a quickie health situation that meant an ER
visit out of precaution and other stuff. but over the past couple of
days, i’ve found that the words were waiting for me. waiting to
step forth into the sunlight. so, here’s one entry. to those taking
part in the festivities, may your pen flow as free as your heart.

8/30

copper and iron
knit electricity above
a doctor once told me to think of
the heart as a railway junction
words that skip rope from a far off room
as i try to sleep
connected to a monitor
that speaks in medical morse code
a woman next to me
cries out the “Our Father”
as nurses try to comfort her
my eyes flicker
and see another train disruption
on the battered TV above
and i think of those words again
and also
some old myth
of dictators making trains run on time
while sowing death and doubt
maybe what’s wrong with us all
is that we tend to forget
trains don’t always run on time
and hearts do earn their cracks and splits
just like overwrought rails

the standing eight count

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the eyes
can’t make the lines sharp
you feel your blood trying to speak certain words
that you can’t at the moment
a frantic conversation that makes your heart
an interpreter who’s about to lose their sense of speech

the blow
comes to your abdomen
frenzied but deliberate; the skin snaps
you gasp and find your legs have become blades of grass
in the midst of a sudden breeze
and it is all you can do to not fall

that was the dark hours of Tuesday
that was the hours of government gone reality show
that was the uppercut
they waited for for eight years
and so we are here
bruised battered and listing

the standing eight count
is the time where one either fights like hell
or sleeps and comes out of the other side
not the same – maybe never
the standing eight count
is blood for the ravenous

the standing eight count
is where the only refuge
is the corner or through your opponent
and it is where one has to say
to tyranny, bigotry, and all of the other demons
“you can’t hit for shit.”

a line through fire

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drawing a line
is like taking broken bits of your past
and pushing them together
molding like a child does hardscrabble clay
hoping you’ll finally be that vessel
to hold the waters you will need

drawing that line
is like seeing safety
through billow clouds of smoke
feeling fire lick your skin and scrape with pain
as you escape through a window aflame
fueled by combustible anger and regrets like rags in a corner

drawing a line
is like setting that fire
hoping you have enough in you
to leave the flames
and let time snuff things out
leaving what isn’t needed among the ashes

youth of thirteen

*note – this was written upon hearing of the murder of
Tyree King, of Columbus, Ohio which took place last night.

 

beer swillers
who invoke the name of football Jesus
tithing with assorted barbecue
and pray to a flat screen

those who cry patriotism
like trivia answers to game show hosts
who can’t hear them
do not give one care to why Black mothers tend to scream

they tell you racism is done
because they can quote your dead leaders to you
wondering why we march
why we speak out loud and yell – what does it mean?

we turn to you
eyes weary from mourning heart weary from evenings
where we bite cop bullets for fitting a description
mirroring systemic evil unseen

and ask:

what use is standing to pointlessly cherish a flag
when you use that flag
to insist we don’t belong – though we do, more than you
to even slaughter a youth of thirteen?

the floorboards’ chatter

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when there are quiet moments
floorboards
are the interpreters
for the heart’s voice we clothe from the world
save for a few

i think of you
or rather, think of being with you
barefoot and swaying in each other’s arms
wearing t-shirts, the golden apple glow of autumn
and no regrets

the floorboards
creaking slightly beneath us, sighing
as another story writes itself in gentle steps
from rug to rug and from easy smile to easy smile
they hold fast and give

much like i imagine
we would
and so i hear my own floorboards
echo this hidden talk from my heart
as i grab coffee and write what i have yet to say

to you

Labor Day ’16 Sale!!!

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What’s happening readers?

I’m here to announce that there’s now currently a sale
going on in my webstore for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
From now until September 6th, ALL of my books are on
sale for $4 dollars. That’s right, four bucks. No codes are
necessary. For those of you who haven’t purchased any of
my books previously, this is your chance to grab them at
a good rate. For those who have, this is a great way to get
a gift of words for your loved ones. As always, if you spread
the word and/or make a purchase it is greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much!!!

 

 

waiting on rain

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waiting for rain
is a tension felt upon the tongue
is inhaling copper, water and softness
donated by a flower

waiting for rain
the dance steps between admirers
in measured, looming sentences
horizon rumbling as a band’s opening chorus

waiting for rain
swollen, waiting
wanting what could be
wanting the electricity to soothe the skin

waiting for rain
the first staccato of relief
then the rush of blessed water
making the music we know how to sing

it is why the drops are welcome.