#2: The Study of Poetry

I would rather love great poets
And instead study my lovers.
I’ll misunderstand them with my eyes–
Brushing my fingerprints down their spines,
Tasting their words upon my tongue
–And then close read every line with aching, educated lips.

 

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Salt Water

The vision of him appeared like the maybe
of drowning, to a soul in the shocking embrace of an undertow and
I broke the surface of the dream in a gasp of being lost,
wretching, that traitor pumping salt water, not blood.

Fathoms deep,
beyond splintered shipwrecks, in ink-pitch chasms,
lurking with spinal taps of teeth and pinpricks of phantom light
which writhe and glide on nothing, as nightmares do,
there, I knew then that 
hope was cradled in the sunken caverns of my skull

Pandora’s prize as a chest,
In veins, 
In lips pooled like neon bright reflections in seaside rain puddles
In the rusted copper piping of my waterlogged guts
–It all leads back to the ocean.

Hope.

Hope that someone will succeed in the 
bathtub drowning domestic that he didn’t
because I’ll be damned to live like this
scared to swim, 
and coughing up salt water. 

Sonnet #2

An insult, feeling life a spill
To hearts which sang but lungs that never gasped
The belly of Earth turns, though some, consistent still
A locket ultrasound unclasped

And Roman strength, here her tender surplus thrives
We struggle, three, over rust hued stone
Wondering if I’m more or less limbs of wasted lives
Each exhale mine, thine, belongs not to me alone

A debt owed, uncollected
Fixed betwixt my beloved gemini stars
And though we will never meet, we are connected
Despairing at life, these short cut memories mars.

Brothers, sisters, if your silent selves I have betrayed
Know that my soul will carry on, loud, in this charade.

Poppies

Bury me on the poppy blanketed hill they used to call Makeout Point
where they do the same honours to the liquorice twisted steel car wrecks
of teeny boppers who died at the wheel.

Since my heart no longer beats, no longer roars like engines, no longer kicks up daybreak’s dust no longer races for rebellious honour no longer slams on ribcage dashboard no longer carries snapshots of James Dean–

That Cinderella hour, there will still be orange-red lens flares off the farewell-ing blooms,
Your senses wading in sangria shallows,
Blistering in the air before your doe eyes, sleep heavy lids.

Pleading irises like the old creek, mirror slick.
Comb teeth through sticky sweet pomade slick.
Arm around her shoulders, black and white drive-in, celluloid slick.

We were this beautiful once, when the good ol’ boys came back with scars
But before they had trench mazes for minds–
In the rolling slope of summer’s lower back
With the tire swing promise ring and tangled fingers like boy scout knots.

Crossing your heart,
Stand, motorcycle boots planted on my new sky and drink up the city lights in survivor’s gulps.
See the sun lie down with the horizon through a glass bottle
Sprinkle my ashes on a soda fountain sundae afternoon
Spill honours with your tongue.

Swallow to the memory of our blueprint clubhouse,
And plant a climbing tree over me
To look after those lonely poppies.

Don’t Study This

A quick scribble I put together while I was busy not studying for my poetry exam (in 20 minutes).
————————–
DON’T STUDY THIS
For fucksake–

Back away from the textbook.

This is not a memorization exercise. This is not a dissection.
This is not something to be quantified by tallying the vowels and  the bearing that a well penned metaphor has on your–

This is a poem.
This is a poem, it’s written in the blood of your ancestors, the ink of your redwood veins
On the mausoleum of your heart, murals of the walls of your history, your thoughts
A reunion of words, some that you’ve known from the time your toes learned the living room carpet
Some who you only met yesterday, but schooled you in love on sight–

But don’t study this.

The cracking glass cores of poets
From centuries in the past are fury filled
I bet you William Blake would be annoyed to know we value experience
The swooning for the flawless surface of his work destroyed, innocence be damned

To know we fret upon each phrase
Struggle to memorize titles
That the life of the student
Hunts that of the artist, a tiger with an “i”
And not a “Y.”

Don’t study this.
Live this.

Sonnet #1

Shots cracked the marble night
Flint scrape, and muzzle spark
The resistance wasted to dirt, not flight
Eyes of dawn, set in faces of the dark.

The captain checked his cold timepiece
The squad, shaken, ambered brandy poured
And marked the second the romantics ceased
For bullet holes in flesh, they had seared and scored.

The squad, fresh trigger fingers trembling,
Hearing last words which could have been their own
Memories as tattoos for many nights fought, battles unending
When a war is civil, is it not fought alone?

They buried the rebels in their colours, the end of a new start
And spent the night regaling, battle of the Mind and Heart.