Sample Poems

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Without Poetry

 

we are delusions

we are vipers

we are menacing paupers

 

crawling with shadows

shameless with street

 

our torches scream louder than our lungs,

everything but the world in our eyes

 

we will eat our own hearts first,

toss the static in the gutters

 

no song can make us remember      or forget

 

our skies are made of steel,

yet they hold nothing in

 

without our rage          we have no will to speak

 

our deaths pass by like flickering gasps of night

and the flowers are always wilted

 

on our graves

 

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Little Punk

  

The wrathful kid with the fierce fingers

and a penchant for torturing ants won’t

stop breaking eggs on the sidewalk, won’t

respond to the vigilant old lady shouting

from across the street in the kooky green

house with lace for blinds. He splatters the

eggs like a delirious Picasso from four or five

cartons I’m sure his mother will miss. I think

his father works twelve hours a day, six days

a week, in some nearly-extinct job better left

to computers who don’t have two mortgages

out on some disfigured dark eyesore with a

leaf-choked lawn and a tornado-prone roof

that blocks out the sunrise. I think his mother

cleans the kitchen counter twenty times a day.

The trampoline sags like a heartless sonnet.

The basketball net unthreads in self-pity.

Splat! Now there are no more eggs to scramble

in silent, screaming testaments, and the kid

heads home for another sapless sandwich

of a supper.

 

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Addictions

 

there is a murderess on the loose

no asylum could hold her lightning

 

her beauty is so beyond repair

she will catch fire in the rain

 

her spirit cannot seem to stay inside the lines

 

one side of her is a queen

on her way to execution,

unable to believe that nothing can save her:

not her jewels, not her king

 

the other side does not exist. it is not there anymore

 

her rage has silenced moonlight,

painted over forests and fathers,

filled the earth with glass and bone

 

when she smiles,

flowers learn to speak

 

she promises nothing

 

while war swells in the blistering streets,

we bury our dead without bitterness,

promise ourselves that nothing is in vain,

scream and scream in whispers

 

she laughs herself apart

 

you will never find her again,

though she will be everywhere

 

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Distance

  

I allowed you

to sail me over lake beds,

pull me up cliffs,

across broken bridges.

But I could not kiss you

with any trace of thunder,

even when the sun was

sinking into so many oceans.

You told me once

that there would never be

enough sky, but always,

always too many stars.

You wished you could

count them with your heart.

Love was the sacks

of luminous, worthless stones

you made me carry

up and down

blue mountains.

 

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A Faith, Rotting

 

 She wore the kind of cross necklace

you would find in a bargain box,

the holy rejects of sacrilegious sales girls,

their pearls undulating, effulgent.

She didn’t care that the gold shed

itself into a bastard green, branded

and belligerent against her pale

butterfly of a throat. To her, there

was a beautiful irony in the decay

of something so consecrated with

sadness. To her, there was no

religion without the ululation

of a mother’s lamentation, rotting

into romance, idolatry in the

immaculate inferiority–a necklace

losing sight of heaven faster than

she did the night God weighed

her losses, wrote them into being.

 

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Ode to Anonymous Annulment

  

nothing more to unearth

by the boroughs of Mexico City

Tolsa bronze, Rufio Tomayo, Reforma Avenue

the onslaught of star-strung shores

shipwrecked in the azure breeze

 

nothing more to retract

by the thirsty plains of Peru

Colca Canyon, triple-tiered waterfalls

the grape grappa’s stinging bite

pottery porn, Chicha in the shantytowns

 

no more to seek

with fuming fever

by the indigenous lace

of erogenous Paraguay

 

parted paths

along the Pocosol River

exacting Costa Rica’s coral kiss

 

those Ultimate Lights of Havana

rectifying all renunciation

 

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Whitechapel

  

Mary Jane rang an Irish refrain,

drunk on Ten Bells whiskey.

Her unpolluted apron ablaze,

she surrendered a scarlet shawl

and her weary wildgrass heart

to the rogue incubus cloaked

in the serrated fog, haunting

every step of squalid streets,

preying on its darkest shadows.

 

She placed the native beauty berries

upon her wooden churchyard grave,

marked with the Unfortunate’s brand

she seared upon her own scars

when she abandoned everywhere

that could tie her to anyone.

 

In the end, there was nothing

she would not do

for a fire.

 

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Cave Art

  

the runes remembered

this cliff face charnel house

harboring celibate snakes

feral pirates eroded by waterfalls

a porous pottery tomb

enameled with windows and reflection

arsenical bronze atonement

work-weary malachite odes

paleolithic princes chiseled

and chiding in charcoal

red ochre epochs outlined

with torch marks and eventide

megafauna manganese

bellowings of bison bones

whittled wartimes and reindeer relics

embroidered clashes with the sea

hematite harlots inciting

horseback holocausts

the extinction of aweless echoes

within this null necropolis

within this elegiac eve

 

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Ode to Jezebel

  

Jezebel was a seditious sibyl

all vivified brass and saucy jazz

blue moon blaspheming

igniting feral sanguine lips

 

Transliterated a vulturine jade

recast carnivorous consort

to trembling anemic despot

she purloined pastorals

defied providence in the name

of grandstanding gravity

vivacious vanity wars

 

That piratic provocateur

marauded as seraphic lodestar

rimming callous melancholy

with lewd ink, debauched kohl

garnishing garnet plaits

with flashes of jacinth and beryl

damning her unswayable sinew

to the massacre of mythology

the desecration of fabrication

the exoneration of violation

 

She tarried boldly at the lunette

awaiting her vindictive victor

his crowing chrysolite caravan

sanctified with rabid spite

beseeching decaying demons

for lucent wings

of dauntless might

alighting her curse

to some clashing paradise

redeeming the rectitude

of her carnal curtainfall

 

For just a histrionic heartbeat

Jezebel flew with falling angels

 

 

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Koi Pond

 

finished cursory cerulean

ornamental coquelicot quivers

in the unuttered deep carmine gloss

 

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Before the Beginning 

 

God without Eve:

watercolor wanderlust

a blizzard stoked with stones

 

She smoothed in

vicious strokes of sea

lit reclusive hillsides

with bellflowers and begonias

etched herself at awestruck angles

tangled Adam’s warring bones

climbed and climbed forbidden skies

slept forgotten in the mosses

 

Serpents sweetened and riddled

deafening star-stunned sparrows

left unfeathered, undefined

 

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Unmapping

 

 we finished in callous calligraphy

what we never felt the need to do

heart to heart

fire to frenzy to fracture

there were vast, luscious moments

we will remember in

agave Antigua whispers

Bavarian bread crumbs

winter-capped Norse summits

bleeding blue lyrics on Baltic beaches

crawling through granite and Greenland

deflowering Irish violet lullabies and

English rose sonnets in our shrieking wake

you manifested the anonymous almond shores

where I will one day overture my soul

these posturing postcards

will be our postscripts

those Nova Scotia steamship whitetips

our final coup de grâce

 

 

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