About the second whiskey in
my guards depart on midnight trains,
and fell the station of refrain,
wherein, wherein, wherein
I start to clamber back to tracks,
where sleepers step with railed regret,
and for a moment I forget
the lack, the lack, the lack
of fastened steel that’s tried and true;
it courses in pursuit of bends
that buckle at the force you send
into, into, into
my wheels-for-feet that grip the turn,
knock loose the rusted threads and heads,
chase down the straights for those who fled;
Return! Return! Return!
Some nights when the air was warm and calm
we’d set up chairs, angled to the gap in the trees,
peeking at the bay, the moon, the port, the city,
from the balcony of our Jack London Square apartment;
two transplant wanderers, far from friends, family, and home,
gambling on the good nature of strangers,
and too proud of our independence to consider
that we might actually need each other.
You, packing some exotic tobacco
into an ornate, wooden pipe.
Me, making a mess of the shoulder of a BevMo cigar.
We toasted with scotch, spoke slow, traded wisdoms,
subdued the moment like blowing smoke into bee hives,
and surmised who we would marry.
A quick thought…
There’s a vacuum left by softer thoughts;
these spaces made by stepping back
invite the very worst we’ve fought
to descend upon and pull the slack.
I miss the way it bites and slaps;
my lover now is far too smooth.
I miss all the colors and tastes of its traps,
where now their intentions are only to soothe.
I daydreamed its danger, bit my lip at the thought,
bared all the abuse for the bliss that it brought,
made my peace with the fire, howled wild at the moon,
always woke with a promise; always broke it too soon.
Now she’s calming, and caring, and charming, and kind,
puts a stopper in pain, moves my mind to unwind,
picks me up from the downs many lovers infused,
but leaves me wanting for whiplash,
for my skin to be bruised.
Dabble in the dark, and close
Fumbling at buttons, and fall
Reaching out for faces;
Breathing into spaces; bent, she braces
Clawing walls for switches, to see
Counting the stitches she must
It’s not often I write a disclaimer, but here it is. I did not know where this poem was going, and it is not based on any life event I’ve witnessed or been told. Sometimes the words just kinda happen. I was hesitant to post, but it made me more nervous to keep it hidden.
It dares to be ignited.
It coils and cocks its springs.
It bares, to be united.
It toils and flocks to things
that dare to be divisive,
that coil at thoughts of flings,
that bare themselves, invited,
that toil in souls, and sing
with dares that you incited,
with coils you helped to wring,
with bare intent, requited.
With toil, you stoop to swing.
A friend asked this question in an Instagram post.
This was my response.
Creativity is therapy,
a way to reduce your thoughts like a sauce in a pan,
till all you’re left with is a concentrated, thick syrup,
preserved and bottled, but on canvases, notebooks,
and diner napkins.
The greatest effect that creativity has on my life
is not in its existence,
but in its dire absence;
my heart and mind speaks to me in riddles
that only creativity can help decipher,
so without it, I am awash with tangles and short tempers,
until at last the tantrums drive me to write, play, sing,
or simply express aloud,
my volcanic eruption of unsolidified self
careening down my cheeks, leaving scars on my face,
and grey hairs on my head.
Better that I indulge the creativity,
more for what it helps relieve,
than for what it helps provide.