Daily Archives: December 12, 2010


“No Big Deal, This Sleeping” by John Grey

You have so many variations on the dark.
Your bedroom at night is nothing compared
to the cave in Kent where the guide turned
all the lights out or the elevator down the mineshaft
where they made you wear a helmet on your head.

And what about that MRI, the time some doctors
locked you in a shell with barely room between
lip and steel for breath, and certainly your eyes
as useless as an emu’s wings, just voices far off
reassuring you, voices that could see.

When you lie on the sheets, there's street lamps
to fulfill you and a moon to remind, and stars
who shed enough light to suggest they enjoy
your company and, if worse comes to worse,
there's always the switch, a hand stretch above your head.

It's not the hardness of the heart but the give of the mattress.
And thoughts don’t smother because dreams won't let them.
And it's not blindness, your sight just goes native.
So set death aside, for you've sleep in your nature.
In the morning, you'll wake. Brightness couldn't do it better.

“Imagined Memory” by Weijie Lin

My memories are tied
In bundles short and thick
And slotted up in shelves of stone
Too difficult to fix

I pick them out
To twirl through my head
They dart and swoop like soulless birds
Or silver fish in their stead

Accompanied by the tap of rain
The gray sheen of winter sky
Sharpened by petals of the white rose
On the tip of my finger fly

Take me back to freshly mowed snow
And scents of childhood smiles
The taste of pain, the scrape of gravel
On the road that stretched for miles

“Vagabond Heart” by Ron Koppelberger

The bond of nights and shaggy parades of poverty, hungry wanting desires of exclamation, "Scratch a patch, scratch a patch," he whispered in energetic need. "Scratch a patch, scratch a patch,” he hissed in sibilant excitement.

Welcome savory smells and tender roast beef perfumes drifted in waves from the interior of the metal box. The trash can stood five feet high on the sides and he peered on tiptoe into the green battered box. The visible remains of a take-out box lay beneath the shredded remains of several garbage bags. Hanging over the edge of the dumpster he stretched his arm out as far as it would reach, just barely touching the white styrofoam box. "Damn scratch, scratch that dog," he grumbled. His legs rocked out behind him as he balanced against his stomach, reaching forward with both hands. His balancing act paid him the take-out box, his fingers found purchase on the styrofoam box as he leaned farther forward. "Arrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhaaaa," he grunted as the air was forced from his midsection. In awkward momentum he propelled himself backward with his left palm against the lip of the can and his other clutching the white chunk of plastic foam. He landed on his heals and pin wheeled for a moment, finally falling square on his rump. He grimaced in a bruised expression of pain and hungry acceptance.

He layed the box in his lap and opened the lid. Smiling, his belly grumbled, a quarter section of corned beef between wheat, it even had a toothpick in it, a pickle and six fat fries with a dollop of partially dried catsup. Written in cross catch salvation he thought as he devoured the plate of food.

He had found his patch, the dusty shadow of a dream, a wish in starving distinctions of taste. "What’s this?" he mumbled through bits of corned beef. The bottom of the box had an inscription written in azure ink.

“VAGABOND HEART,” it read. He thought for a moment and tore the edges of the styrofoam leaving out the script. He placed the piece of lunch box in to one of his backpacks and made his way home. Home was a cardboard box on Cannon Street.

He lay there, twilight illuminating the edges of the opening to the cardboard house. The smell of cardboard filled his nostrils with its bouquet and dry warm essences. His eyes flittered and finally he slept. The remnants of a struggle and a day of wandering purposeful foraging behind him. The rubble of nearly a dozen broken boulders lay scattered before him in his dream, in a fog enshrouded circle, filling his subconscious; bones and blood covered the dusty Taboo. He backed away smelling wheat, sweet saffron seed, amber rows of grain and moist fertile earth. Turning he saw the endless wheat fields in saffron glory. Beautiful embracing waves of glowing grain. The sky was a deep flowing ember of twilight fire and ebbing sunshine alliance with the seeping indigo skyline. Looking down he saw the piece of styrofoam, "VAGABOND HEART." Picking it up he remembered the trash box and the scraps of food.

He stood still for a moment before he realized he was really there. He knew he should have been waking up in his cardboard house, the sound of car engines maybe even an ambulance in the distant city street, yet here he was in fields of sanctified virgin wheat, in fields of grain perfected, blessed wheat. He felt the cool summer tide of air against his skin, touching his cheeks and brow. Looking to the west to unbidden mysteries of spirit, west to the silhouette of nightfall bloom, he sighed and found the passion to move forward from the spot.

Somewhere in the distance a wolf cried to the moon and the wild loves of adventure and desire called to the east.

“The Light in Snake Fuss” by Ron Koppelberger

She wriggled and questioned the deft snakeskin bond, the ceremony in sated beliefs, the belief that the viper would mind the miracle in course. She charmed and prayed. She committed her half-blood desires to the suspicions of an insatiable thirst, thirst for control over the cool, sleek craft of her performance and measure of passion.

The silence of her wild inborn assumptions weighed in equal parts lust and need. The snake shadowed the silhouette of ash and the woman waved the mists of perfected art with nimble hands, just a touch of blood and the serum of saints, she thought. The snake fell into a listless sleepy subjugation and the woman, in sanguine appetites of affection, danced and gestured in gleeful commune with the souls of those akin to the snake. Her fangs shimmered and the snake submitted its wrath to the devotion of a charm.

In assurances of divine resolute will, she sunk her fangs into the pliant flesh of the snake and sipped, just a bit, just the briefest reprieve in the mystical arena, the sure shed skins of existence. In the nature of creatures we wish, she grinned in triumph and slaked admittance. The portion of the snake that laid hold to the nether realms of whim and fancy completed the woman's wish as she spun in circles of delight. The sweet nectar of the apple, the taste of blessings in snake fuss. In a moment of reflection she questioned the difference between apples and snakes blood, nevertheless the moment was flittering in distant thought as she thought of nothing but the gain of her appetites.

“The Taste of Pleasure” by Ron Koppelberger

The woman abandoned the white liquid reflection of what seemed to be a dream, a dream of youth and beauty, for the advance of time and age, lines and wear. She separated the pale brown eggs and mixed the yellow yolks into the cake mix. A rush to the abandon of another year, another way to the end of her hidden, secret stay on planes of what is and what has been. She whipped the answer to her birth and homespun, silky trappings of sugar storm brewed in the eye of desire. "A cake for my birthday, a cake for the tide of leather skin and ancient eyes alight," she sang in rhythm to the gentle stirring of the cake mix.

She greased the cake pan liberally as she poured the mix into its tin confederate. All ovens and frosting, cooking and curing what will be a ripe wine and a moment of sweet assured joy. A birthday to remember. She thought as she waited in ageless entitlement. The old wife of a constant destiny and chaste pleasures, the purest of ascensions, attired in firefly candles and heightened pallets. The taste, the breath of another love, the love of confection in creamy crumbling slices of cake.

She opened the oven door after an hour had passed and heat raged in aromatic waves of mist. "Done," she said with a touch of glee, "done."

She withdrew the cake from the oven and luxuriated in the warm sensation that poured through the oven mitts. She surrendered to the urge, the primal instinct in wild loves and unwavering passion as she cut herself a piece and devoured it. "For my birthday in silent old pleasures of divine flavor," she sang, "Like the hourglass and a taste of wine ever so sweet."

“Another Day” by Rex Sexton

Why?
I am. Do I need another reason?
Does anyone?
The steps go up.
The steps go down.
The spiral staircase
goes round and round...
But wait.
Linger for a moment on that
staircase. Listen to the wails of
sorrow, the laughter of children.
Imagine the journey of life
from birth to death – joy, love,
heartbreak, despair, passion,
tribulation, loss, grief, triumph,
celebration, loneliness, expectation.
Quiet thoughts, blue skies, dream...

“Carousel” by Rex Sexton

I get up at noon, come here,
sit in my corner, drink beer,
eat lunch, scan the scratch
sheet for a score, call my bookie,
drink more, nail a winner, stay
for dinner, chat with the regulars,
all of us stuck in life's rut hoping
for some luck, work out the kinks
in my system, recording odds,
jockeys, track conditions, linger
through the evening, bolt down a
stiff one before leaving, go home,
go to bed, dream about horses,
wild, free, furious horses, like
storm clouds driven by the wind
as they race down the track
never looking back.

“Silhouettes” by Rex Sexton

Drifter digs —
you open the door and flop into bed.
A single naked light bulb
hangs from a ceiling chain.
Devil shapes toss the room,
as its harsh light swings
with the window's wind.
Each night I hear the exiles
doing pratfalls in the dark.
They stagger back and forth
to the washroom down the hall;
or try to maneuver through their
tiny flops.
Across the alley a back street lounge
sleep streams until dawn.
Jazz and blues fill the night
with saxophones and wailing songs.
Silhouettes slow dance in the windows.
The music wraps the night in dream.
I hold you in a memory, while the
demons toss and the night's
ghosts scream.

“In the Candle Light Hours” by Barry Brown

In the candle light hours
when pinwheel stars flash
like hot piano fingers racing
across the electric keyboard of the sky
I wander through midnight's captive forest
a seeker, teacher, preacher, celebrant, penitent
mendicant and street beggar in the art of love
the love of art.

In those nightingale hours
when murderous memories return
to tell all of how my once glorious swimming
among the muses
became a desperate drowning in a caldron of ridicule
and poverty
and how I wanted to die and let die
smothering every song the sacred voices of ages
sang to me from inside rock fiddles,
fireplace orchestras
and the crooning of the dark city rain.
Better to throw myself beneath the giant wheels of
God's Juggernaut chariot
than live as a wanderer without lamp or star,
misunderstood, alone
just another fiery fugitive from life's
cold river fingers
as they grasp at the knife
of cash-strating commerce
order my command performance
rule on community standards
assign the collective guilt
hire the inner cop
and nail up lists of conventional wisdom
on the waterfall of sound around us.

And in those moments when the vacuum sky
collapses into the sound for eternal ears
that no one hears
I remember the prayer of gratitude
that unwinds the Kelvin temperature of lonely space
into the simple sunshine
that is the tropical bongo beat of life
and the spirit blessing
of lovers and artists
to never be alone.

“You are a 1940s Movie” by Barry Brown

You are a 1940s movie
when God played Spencer Tracy
and saw you smoothing your silk stocking
as your legs hung over the editor's desk

and then he took you to a ball game
where you rooted for the sacred Giants
and the children of the world

and while the crowd roared and cheered at balls and strikes
the sun poured its golden blood on your wide brimmed hat
and no one saw the game but you

but you and the holy spirit
of Spencer Tracy

“The Darkness of Desolation” by Mike Cowie

Alone,
In Pain
I am here
And You
My Love,
My Life
In far away
Lisboa

How empty
Life seems
An aching, dark Void
Only You can fill!

Days of Darkness,
Grey Winter
(Even in Summer!)
Reigning in my Heart
Longing for Messages,
To
Hear your Voice
On the phone

Only you
Can dispel
My Darkness
If only I could
See that light
And
Know that
You
Ache for me
As
I for you!

Please don’t leave Me
In this Dark, Deep
Pain
The Downpour
Of my Tears
Cried
Invisibly and Silently
In the Depths of my Heart
A life
So cold
Without
Your Warmth

What do I do?
Where do I go?

My local Portuguese Café?
Immerse myself in Fado
So beloved of your Country?
But even that
Can Torment,
Accentuating
Your Absence
From a world
Almost become,
At times,
Dark and Alien!

You
Pervade my Existence!
A reason
To go on
Hoping!

In the Turmoil
Of my Mind
I see and hear you,
Reliving,
Endlessly,
Beautiful
Moments shared
Just
Walking and
Talking!

The Ache and
The Black
Hollow
That is
my Heart
Just grows and
Oppresses me!
So intense!
Such Pain
As I have never experienced!
At times
Too deeply Unhappy
Even to cry!

Please don’t forsake me
My Precious, Darling
Portuguese Girl!
Please find
In your Heart
A Space for Me!

I would cross the World
If only you
Would Call!
I just don’t know
How long I can
Bear
The dreadful
Emptiness
Of Separation!
Please rescue me
From this
Bleak and Miserable
Existence
Life has become!




Author's Note: Inspired by Fado and Heartache

“Untwine” by Barry Brown

Untwine the bonds
of winter
the cast of white ice
so long a haze
a sarcophagus on my heart
now melts to the flutter
of warm wings
and Brazilian songs
lilting into an illuminated
night
when hemp returns
to plant
healing to surf
and waves that massage
like fingers
the old bottle
full of frantic warnings
blaring loud as city sirens
on St. Violence Day
now seems an antique message
as it drifts like Munch
to far continents
I am free
and she
and we
become me
you across a room
of multi-dimensions
envelop me in
the living colors of precious stones
now rubbed warm with breath and sweat
and you give yourself to me
glinting a silvery vine winding through me
and here
in the shade of miracles where hues
parade larger than eyes can see and we
slippery slide into and out of
new skins singing with strings and sighs
tints and textures
we wade waving into cascades
shimmering
through memories born beyond our grasp
yet to be remembered
all this I do
for the future love of you.

“Goodbye for Now” by Amye Nicole Bird

Yesterday I loved you with all that I was,
Today I will love you with all that I am,
Tomorrow I will still love you with all just because,
And in a moment I'd do it all over again.

My aim was to give you the whole of my life,
To give you every measured beat of my heart,
To house you in every square corner of my mind,
And to keep safe our hands from ever splitting apart.

Your laughter flows like the crimson wine in my veins,
Those eyes haunt my days, float above me at night,
My unburdened arms miss you so much they are pained,
As once again I lay alone under this moon's solemn light.

Under the stars I will weep 'till I exshaust into sleep,
I'll clutch tightly my pillow and pretend that it's you.
I'm sure to drown fast in this loss, so frigid, so deep,
How I'll go on in this new mutated world, I've lost any clue.

This leftover life is no more than a pitiful mess,
Yet I pray because I know you can still hear me.
Was this really our fate or just another cruel test,
From which neither of us can ever be freed?

Time will not be as tender as I'll walk alone through the days,
Just know that I will see you again when out my time has run,
My soul longs to be with you, but it's here my body must stay,
So for now, goodbye and sweet dreams to my love of all loves.

“The One Who Returns” by Amye Nicole Bird

It is a quarter past ten
And I'm still wide awake,
As I creek slow in the rocker
Penning a poem
To my lover
My friend.

He is the one who comes forth,
Returns to me always,
Body weary from toil,
Hands blistered,
Mind worn,
At the end of days course.

You'd think me a queen
Dressed up in my bed gown,
Lacy and white,
Long and devine,
Softly coming alive
Beneath the lamps dimming gleam.

Then I hear his footfalls outside,
My waiting heart quickens
As the lock turns with a key.
He's home safe and sound,
And can't be quick enough
To be again at my side.

Alas, in the doorway he stands,
A husband with smile
And a gentleness saved,
To again take us back
To our own quiet place
To lay side by side, hand in hand.

“Sister Mine” by Amye Nicole Bird

How good does it feel
When you sink that needle deep?
Does it make you forget
All those you have left?
And the life that you sold for damn cheap?

How good does it taste
When the fire goes down?
Does it make you forget
The lies that you have lived?
And the sister you once slapped to the ground?

How good does it work
When the pills shoot through your blood stream?
Does it ever just make you sit down and cry?
To realize the beauty of the world you've missed out on?
I know it makes me want to shake you and scream.

How good does it feel to know I don't hate you?
But I'm done with the mess of whats left of your mind
And to you all I hope for the most
Is that all those demons will finally be shackled,
And your self torture will stop and peace you will find.

“Pairing” by Amye Nicole Bird

Together
Bodies quake,
Beating hearts crest,
Souls shutter
As electric current
Spirits through.
Together
Palm against palm,
Fingers laced,
Whispered breaths
Come in gasps
As they quiver
From your lips.
Beads of sweat drip
Onto trembleing skin
The room comes alive
With the sounds of two
Together.
Emotion so pure,
Devotion so clear
Tangled, completely unaware
Of the sleeping
World outside the door.