Share This Silence

we never speak and i like it that way

we can read each other

between the lines

the subtext of body language

hanging on every word left

unspoken

so many people

say so much

and so little at

the same time

filling the space between with vapid small talk

insipid ideas

leaching our intellect

making us numb and

responsive

no sense of direction

so little purpose or meaning in the words of so many

and

i must admit

i too am guilty in this way

i have spent months with men and women

speaking at great length

enjoying their company

and know them less for it

when speaking of ideologies

perceptions

emotions

ambition and dreams

i find even the closest companion slinking

back

to that warm pillowy bosom of familiarity

irreverence

empty words

hollow interactions

junk food of the soul

tiding us over

in the absence of a meal

let’s speak the uncomfortable words

unveil the things we hide

engage in discourse which challenges us

alters our perspective and

causes us to seek

more questions

let’s argue

so that we know we still have passion

remind ourselves to give a fuck

until then

let’s just share this silence

Life on the Low Road

old man spoke with tears in his eyes

telling tales of better days

about seasons which bled into each other

like paint

how colors seemed to fade a little each passing year

he remembered his childhood home

how he left it

went to new york one eve on a departing train

refusing to look back

until he learned

his parents died

he bought a ticket and rode the rails back

the house had burnt

along with ma and pa

he’d attended their service

avoiding contact with relatives as well as

members of the community

family friends

didn’t share any words

just

sat in a corner sipping wine

not feeling at all

walked out into the night amidst the fire fly glow of street lamps and

vaporous wisps of vent steam

wandered for awhile

never staying any one place too long

made many acquaintances

yet few friends

held many positions

yet never a career

moonlighting in maine

a fisherman on a rusting vessel

stint in san antonio

a night guard on the grave shift

passed time in Iowa

washing dishes for less than minimum wage

slept on park benches when times got tough

washed himself in public restrooms with bits of paper towels and antibacterial soap

surrounded himself with fringe society delegates

whores dealers thieves drunks junkies

people just as lost and

unsure as himself

it was a beautiful trip

he said

and i wouldn’t change it for the world

Light the Way

she held a candle in her hand at night because

it was the only light she had and she

watched it whip and flicker

behind the door she kept locked and

wouldn’t answer

even when they knocked

she’d sit staring at that candle

holding it close til it almost burned her face

whispering incandescence

dreamt of a field of flowers burnt to ash

candelabras

sprouting through loose soil sterling silver stems

phallic paraffin blooms

pollinated as passing fireflies propped themselves

upon eager wicks

dousing them in flame

in her mind the field erupted

a brilliant spectacle multicolored light-show

fire she wished to be

consumed by

wax turning flesh

melting

she had wings

crafted from the wax she saved melted down

covered her arms layered with down from her cot

set off in night to kiss the sun

but she

hasn’t found it yet

Off the Beaten Path

i’m writing poetry through jaded eyes

sitting on the floor staring at a dimmed down screen

on a broken down computer that

reminds me of one of those

as-is cars you find in a lot

i’m propped against the wall

naked

ass digging into the beige shag carpeting

in a town that belongs to the old

i’ve slept most all day

recuperating from a week that never seemed to end

living on hope which

i assure others had long ago taken flight

i got an email when i awoke

from one of the many applications i’d been sending out

informing me they’re appreciative of my interest but

they’ve decided to go in another direction

i contemplate the merits of just quitting and

living on the streets

become another millenial beat down

kerouac proxy

maybe then i’d find my tristessa

sprawled out in butterfly beauty

aching for love

in a new mexico rest stop

maybe howl in madness

as ginsberg did

angry and distressed at

the world and its inconsistencies

or burrow into isolation

become a junky

shedding light on the industry

while dining on naked lunch

moreso though

i want to be me

i want my voice to be heard above the cacophony

i want it to be heard in the minds of readers

who felt alone

discarded

i want them to find something positive

through my negative words and experiences

knowing they

will make it through

i want to be honest

like the beats

exposing truth as i see it

conveyed through my words

maybe we don’t all need to hop a train

binge drugs sex and alcohol

plant ourselves in a city far from home

to find it

maybe

simply

what we need is time for ourselves

to seek what we’re missing

and

find it

Drowning in Puddles

friend speaks

fails

to listen

tells me i should look on the bright side

peering

down from a high rise

obscured by the sun

words

soft as his sensibilities

unscathed

unmarred

unscarred

shudders at the the shallow burs

barely digging at his heels

they nag

occasionally

but his feet don’t bleed

look friend

at those puddles behind

beneath

my ragged shoes

leaking through holes formed from wear

turning black

drying with age

when i speak

it flows from these wounds

i’ve bore witness and

been subject to

the cruelty of friends and strangers

been injured by family

taken advantage of in youthful naivety and good nature

slept on peoples’ couches when i was driven from home

passed out in a line when i barely had money for food

never had the advantages and been sheltered from the harshness as you have

you stumble over bumps in your path and call them mountains

you have been told nothing

but sweet nothings

and it has made you weak