Day 30 – This Poem is not a Poem

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Image source: Unsplash.com

This Poem is not a Poem

This stanza’s not a masterpiece

This stanza’s not a golden fleece

This verse is not a tribute to dead parents who raised me

This verse cannot contribute to treaded paths dreamt amazing

 

This stanza won’t shake Mt. Olympus from its mythos

This stanza won’t make an ambitious bum less vicious

This verse won’t disperse the curses from my broken heart

This verse won’t traverse the forces forcing us apart

 

This stanza’s not a blueprint for earning Osiris’ favor

This stanza’s not a movement for learning from misbehavior

This verse was the penultimate one, earning no solace

This verse is an obstructionist, returning to lawless

 

This stanza is the end of a missive with no fulfillment

Bonanza of fool’s gold, omissive in truth’s distilment

This verse is the penultimate, returned to souls porous

Reversing the discourse can’t be earned with no chorus.

** *

Thanks for hanging with me through this year’s NaPoWriMo. See you next year, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

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Day 22 – The Trouble with Meditation

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Image source: Google

The Trouble with Meditation

Harmony eludes me

tranquility and calming sea

“come”

opaque at the surface,

questing,

staring through shallow

into cavernous shadow

pulling the soul

from white meat

toppling temporal balance,

body teeters into terror

jerking me back into

here and now,

“forth!”

shaken and sullen, I

sit, gasping in wonder

at what softly,

firmly

pulled at my mitochondria

could be possibly made of

other than filaments of

pattern-recognizing, bias-confirming

imagination

and not the gentle whispers

of the depths chanting

a single phrase until

my subconscious soul

heard and almost complied

with the amorphous command

“come forth!”

***

via Daily Prompt: Harmony

Day 11 – Pills

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Pills

I’m sitting in your bathroom with a bottle of your pills. I fished them from your medicine cabinet. I didn’t read the bottle. It’s the only way I know how to get your attention. I am desperate to win you back from him. I don’t care if he’s smarter than me or better looking. I don’t care that he’s on-track to become our high school valedictorian. It doesn’t matter that he can discuss the finer points of Germany’s unification with your mom while I sit silently, thinking about Optimus Prime dunking on Megatron. I don’t even care that he’s your ex-boyfriend and you think your feelings have reawakened. I don’t give a shit about any of that. He can’t possibly love you like I do. No fucking way. That’s why I’m sitting on the windowsill in your bathroom, waiting for you to come in here to witness how much more I love you than he does. I probably won’t take them, but you need to see that my life isn’t worth living if you’re not with me.

 

soft amber streetlight

wash out most of the starlight

man’s constellations

 

I’m startled as you throw open the bathroom door. I search your eyes for any sign of warmth, fishing for any semblance of our summer of holding hands and making out; of dreamy I-love-you’s or nothing-can-come-between-us’. I find nothing but midnight frost in them. You demand the pills, and I give them to you, still mining your eyes for the heart that once beat for me. Those eyes I quested were examining the pill bottle like a scientist coldly working a math formula in her head. You deduce out-loud to no one in particular that no more than seven pills should kill an adult male. When you tossed the pills back to me, I barely had time to catch them before hearing the door close behind you. And I’m alone again with the pills.

 

crisp, windy twilight

litter twirls and loops the night

I watch it falling

 

I stand, facing the bathroom mirror, trying and failing to fully contemplate my insignificance, not just in your world, but within my own. I had never actually considered taking the pills at first, but the way you coolly dismissed me shook me; had me looking at our universe – and my place in it – differently. I stared at myself, wondering what a fish saw when staring up at its own reflection instead of the planets, stars, and galaxies I saw when I stared up at the night sky. I was a small, pointless fish in an infinite pond with a vial of pills.

 

Venus outshines man

piercing our light pollution

curved in crescent form

 

A fish’s perception of reality is bound. Unlike a fish, my view is unbound. But in that bathroom, I was a fish, crippled by my own vision, staring at myself, failing to see our future together when the future valedictorian would dump you for a second time, compelling you to crawl back to me, compelling me to gladly take you back due to my poor self-esteem, leading to our ill-advised marriage and our dysfunctional decade-long dance of codependence that would end with me refusing to heed your pleas to hold our sham together a moment longer, leading me to love, loss, and mending in the arms of others until I would finally meet a woman willing to sit with me and stare up at the night sky together in wonder.

Like a fish, I am limited by my reality and cannot see my future, but I also couldn’t see any future in those pills. I place the pills on the sink and walk out of your bathroom, past your indifferent eyes, out of your door, leaving you to call our future valedictorian. Leaving you to our past. Leaving you to our future.

 

vapor clouds forming

crystalizing my exhales

chill cuts through my bones

** *

You’re not alone. Confidential help is available for free.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

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Day 9 – Fear and Longing in Darkness

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Fear and Longing in Darkness

Night comes

again.

I welcome and fear it

for its embrace

protects me not

from unknown specters

and she will

leave me barren

at sunrise

again.

 

Night, day;

irrelevant.

Terror slinks in gloom

but agony bites blindly,

my heart

seized by dark claws

till I plead for night’s

sweet release.

 

Yeah but

with a flick of my finger

billions of subatomic particles

will rush to banish the dark

maybe it is the night

who should fear me.

** *

Written for imaginary garden with real toads Twitter Me a Gothic Poem, imagined By Magaly Guerrero. We were challenged to write a poem with three stanzas, each stanza not to exceed 140 characters (a basic tweet, if you will). The first two stanzas, or “tweets” would be in the voice of one of the thirteen selected gothic writers, as if they’re having a twitter conversation. The third stanza was to be my reply or commentary to thr first two. The catch is that the whole thing is supposed to read as one piece.

I chose Edgar Allen Poe (1st stanza) because his work influences me quite a bit, and I chose Sylvia Plath (2nd stanza) because I identify with how she described her lifelong battle with depression.

I gotta say, this was one heck of a prompt! It was more challenging than I anticipated, but I greatly enjoyed this one. Real Toads is quietly becoming the front page of my window to the internet. Thanks for all the wonderful prompts, and keep em coming!

Day 7 – untitled

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hazy shades of gray

lazily blurring the lines

I exist, but not

 

my blood rushes to color

the margins clutching my soul

***

A storm is brewing. We may lose power. I’m tired. I’m cold. I’m also grey. 

Meh. Have a tanka. It’s all I got. 

Day 4 – Bitter Fruit

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Bitter Fruit

Back off, weekend daddy

Crawl back to the lies from where you came

Foolish journey

You can’t love her part-time all the same

Ruled by convenient choices

You run away when realness makes you feel

Beggars can’t be choosers

You can’t have the nectar without the peel

 

I feel like you should know

That the seeds you sow

In the garden will grow

Even if you don’t show

You can say what you want

Empty words ring hollow

Like the life that you flaunt

Your substance falls below

 

Beat it, winter loser

Slink back to the fires that kept you warm

Spineless coward

Couldn’t brace to fight against her storm

Tread through that least resistance

Your privilege paved a way I couldn’t follow

No man is an island

You left me alone; alone you’ll know sorrow

 

Could you recognize me?

Would my eyes be the key?

Like yours they show misery

At what you’ve stolen from we

I know that you must hurt too

Withered possibility

I cannot grow into you

Cause you weren’t there for me.

** *

I followed NaPoWriMo’s day 4 enigma prompt somewhat. And now, I could use a drink. Sweet dreams, everyone.

Day 1 – Scaring Me

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Image source: Pintrest.com

Scaring Me

Ever avoid

your own reflection,

ever annoyed

by introspection

scared and annoyed

by imperfections

far closer than

they appear to be?

 

Your poor solution

seems uncaring,

unmoored pollution,

thoughts unsparing,

forgone conclusion,

my truth you’re wearing

I’m your illusion

and you’re scaring me.

** *

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(Video probably NSFW. Your mileage may vary.)

And we’re off! NaPoWriMo has officially started. I was going to do some type of theme, but I changed my mind and decided to keep it breezy and use whatever prompt I found interesting. Today I used NaPoWriMo.net’s (optional) daily prompt and tried my hand at a “Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, etc…” I didn’t follow the prompt completely, but I’m pretty chill with the result.

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Company Time

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Image source: Google

Company Time

Morning alarm pierced my skull.

 

As I groaned to silence it,

I locked eyes with Wifey.

 

Words needn’t pass between us,

but they did, as microbursts

of shorthand dialog tends to form

invisible webs between vessels.

 

“I think I’m staying home,”

my mouth and eyes said.

My head pounding,

the weight of my own body

collapsing my bones

into the lush comfort of our bed,

the covers embracing me,

bracing me for non-stop cartoons

and marathon Texas hold ‘em drawls.

 

Wifey peered through my marrow,

doing the math in her head.

“You had too much Irish Death last night,”

she deduced,

“and now you’re waiting to die.”

 

I am wounded,

but I never shy away

from a game of cat

and also-cat.

 

I pivot and counter, declaring,

“Theoretically speaking,

we’re all waiting to die.

It’s all a matter of degrees.”

 

Score one point for the good guys.

 

I elucidate some concessions,

hoping to persuade her to my side.

“But my head is pounding,

possibly from too much Irish Death

I suppose,

but mainly from spring allergies,”

 

I sniffle unnecessarily,

 

“and I didn’t drink enough water last night,”

because I’m no lush with self-control issues;

this is biology’s fault, dammit!

 

“And my body aches from

too much young man work,”

c’mon and pity my

alcohol-soaked marrow;

I know you’ve seen it!

 

“And I’m depressed,”

-heart-string-pluck!

“and so yes, I am lying here, waiting to die,”

which was the truth; I mean I was lying there,

right?

 

Wifey’s eyes smiled

the way they did

when we use to play Texas hold ‘em together

before I gave up on playing with her

because it was no fun

playing against someone

who didn’t have a poker-face.

 

Then she began;

“Well while you’re lying there waiting to die,

take a look at our bank statement

and weigh it against our mortgage,

our utility bills, and our

ballooning credit card statement, including,

yes darling,

the very comfortable bed

you hide from the world in

as you lie there waiting for death;

 

“Yes, please lie in your holy sanctuary

that we have yet to pay for.”

 

Our bed

wasn’t quite as comfy as it was earlier,

but I still had the river card to turn.

 

“One day of my waiting to die won’t kill us!”

I counter, in vain.

 

Suddenly, my day of rehydrating while

binge-watching cartoons

feels further from my grasp.

 

Her smile widens. I can hear

the poker analyst in my head yelling,

“No help on the river for this groggy

hungover desperado!”

 

She gloats,

her pair of aces

staring daggers through

my sob-story.

 

“True, I cannot refute that,” she begins,

“but while you lie there waiting to die,

consider my role in management.”

 

Uh-oh.

 

“I would love to curl up next to you

and wait for you to… well, not die…

I kinda like having you around…”

 

She’s setting me up…

 

“…but I cannot indulge my wants…”

 I don’t like where this is going…  

 

“…because I need to go to the place

that pays me to make decisions…”

IT’S A GODDAMNED GUILT-TRIP!

GROAN! PLAY DEAD! DO ANYTHING!

 

“…like the ones I have to make today

to set the apparatus in motion to sanction

a few troublemakers

for not being team-players

and setting all I built aflame

just so they can rule over the ashes.

I guess in their own way,

they’re waiting for death too.

Sadly, I don’t have that luxury.”

 

The poker analyst in my head bellows,

“He’ll be spending the next few hours

on the bus

wondering where it all went wrong…”

 

With the microburst of

unspoken conversation ended,

where seconds felt like minutes,

I drag my undead carcass

from the world’s most comfortable

unpaid mattress

and shuffle to the bathroom

to brush my teeth.

 

That foolish woman!

 

She actually thought she’d bested me,

but unknown to her,

I can still lie and wait to die,

even on company time.

** *

Written for dVerse’ Meeting the Bar: Irony hosted by Frank Hubeny. I’m a sarcastic a-hole by nature, but irony is a wee bit subtler than that. Still, get me started on irony and suddenly I need an editor. I know it’s a long one, and I’m sorry. Hopefully, you were entertained by it a bit.

And since you’ve made it this far, why not head over and read other poets’ contributions to this prompt.  

Hazy Sanctuary

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Image source: Colour My World

Hazy Sanctuary

Sheltered within the embrace of gentle mist,

climbing the thickest, soft mossy bough,

thinning amongst higher branches,

lost among fractured paisley pink blossoms,

I am born, a balmy parting from swollen bud,

among a cosmos of bursting buds.

 

I am born a specter, breathing ethereal dew,

fated to travel the world

perpetually displaced from it,

questing for my place in the cosmos,

infinitesimal in my insignificance, yet unique

in beauty as the double-helixed molecular barcode.

 

I am born, sheltered within nursery of thought

on reprieve from long winters of barren greys

where the mist bubbles, yielding space to sprinkle

light touches of pastel ideas that dare to open,

revealing flowering layers of imagination

efflorescence in portrait form.

 

I am born in whispers, neck craning to reach

higher in muted sky, patiently smiling

through the blended fragrance of renewal,

with birdsongs reminding me that it is OK

to raise my head and breathe.