night shift

dogs barking at the neighbor's neighbor
children bicker behind rice paper walls
the doorbell rings, the toilet seat bangs
the air in the room is loud

she tries to quiet them.
it doesn't work.
the steady spinning electricity
of the DVD player on standby
the space heater that powers a locomotive

the little one coughs. tension. listening
until he hears her voice again
footsteps on the floors above
she's ok. go back to - can't - sleep



huddled in the dingy basement
flask drained to its last; sticky, bitter,
burning like scorched licorice
last cigarette before payday
only a morning away but wonders
if and how to survive the night

tries to sleep but cannot escape
his own voice in his head
not many, just one, it teases it taunts
he squeezes his skull as if somehow
If he squeezes hard enough
silence will come
the voice continues.

mocking. judging. condemning.
tears fall, a wail escapes
ashamed of his own weakness
he made the bed in which he cannot lie
it's all lies.
chasing shadows in the fog

despair overwhelms. institution beckons
we are what we are and so must be
thoughts of the childhood escape plan
the rusty blade. the crimson tears.
please god just make the voices stop.

gods voice stopped. the taunts continue.
silver screen, unwritten dreams.
what is to be will be.
how many before he can take no more.
wanting not to live but to be alive
where did the dreams lay down to die



take my eyes, make me blind
no longer jealous of the passers by
holding hands they walk together
share a bond that lasts forever
go ahead and cast your spell
take me out of my own hell
a prisoner of my own desire
soul scorched black in lonely fire
can't make me yours, can't make me whole
no respite for the wanting soul
letters written never sent
after all it wasn't meant
silence is not understanding
still I think back to the branding
lips to neck, take the life you give
don't want forgiveness for my sins
still you leave me here to lie
drain the blood please let me die
light the candle, cast the spell
escort me from this lyric hell
happiness not mine to wish
only silence from the bliss
no more lovers songs to play
a dirge will end the poets day


song without music

I only wanted to be wanted
But when I was I pushed you away
Them away. All away.
Left myself alone to wander
Left myself alone to wonder
Why it hurts

Inside the darkness grows
Confessions to the muse
And tears begin to flow
The fool who played the lovers game
You should have stayed alone and sane
Love is not for the likes of you
Ask the muse she'll tell you too
You cannot be without suffering
It's who you're born to be

Your bottle isn't deep enough
The waves have barely gotten rough
Kiss the children say goodbye
Go wander in your moonlit sky
Now laughing mad at your own tears
Wishing back those early years
And all you threw away

Left yourself alone to wander
Left yourself alone to wonder
Why you hurt the ones you love

i have a picture

in my mind I have a photograph
it's black and white,
taken in the fall
you gaze softly on the distance
either to Camelot or just the geese beyond
your hair is blowing back over your shoulder
and have just taken notice of the camera behind you
i don't know where the black and white comes from
innocent snapshot of a moment that never was


scotch started in anger but
serendipity brought me to solace
a collection of poems,
20 years behind me.
puerile and naive but the sights
and even smells all came back.
names long forgotten remembered
dreams and traumas relived
beaches buried
typewritten pages
the bottle at the bottom
dimensions of self forgotten
i miss poetry

writing it
living it
breathing it
being it

untitled (#3)

two minutes past the witch's hour
he wonders will she come.
he does not summon.
he invites.
the muse creeps in behind him
from neuron raging skylines,
against the bar she spies him
and in the dream he is alive.
ghostly in her elegance
a puppet in her presence,
she lives where dreams meet the dawn.
a quaking in his chest
his heart a frantic menace,
she that brings him the words yet he cannot speak
should not speak, would not speak
but writes.
his fire bright on through the nite
she leaves his pen quaking,
with her calm she saves him.

empty dreams

if I could control my dreams
you would be beside me
not always, but forever
as never to forget the rush
of seeing you when I hadn't
being near to you when I couldn't
smelling the chance of love so close
and then to wake
cruelness of the dawn
chasing god to the horizon



he reaches, gasps,
then sucked beneath
the cold blue, blackness
a grasp, a stolen breath
then sucked below
fluids saturate the lungs
a last
arm reaching like the lady du lac
rope coarse against his palm