Daily Archives: November 2, 2010

30 posts

“August Nights – Paths Between the Waters” by Doug Miller

I've earned this sadness, with a hide hardened and tanned,
With ancient sins committed, but never truly paid for,
With trails of betrayal and flippant wounds delivered,
To ones loved and left behind, some dead, some dead enough,
To embittered souls who still damn me
With their evening prayers (does God, that mischievous player, goad or comfort them?).

"Fie, fie... a soldier and yet afeared..."
This hidden beneath a physical belligerence,
Offhanded arrogance, casually delivered,
Cloaks of deceit, pockmarked harbors full of battered ships,
The pretense of we fragile fools…

(The still building heat of an early summer evening
Is unabated by alcohol or regret).

Wounded hearts, Orphaned beauties
(They were all beautiful then, 'round the bed
With tight asses and undisclosed needs...)
Some pretended to accept me, hear me out,
Mirror the longing and the lack
But lord, long ago,
In the dawn
Of what has devolved to this.

Self pity, that scab upon the soul,
Holds that the core of Hell may be made
Of evenings like this, begrudging nightfall,
Or cooling of any kind.

Before dawn, I'll run the path that separates
The canal from the river,
Waning days from the old and broken,
And with shortened stride, and dwindled pace,
Will mark other paths taken to this place.
Most assuredly, of strides taken toward this place...
Scraping shoes against cinder, shoes over stone.
Songs of the Cromlech and ancient faiths...

Songs of mourning/morning between the waters.

“Ocean of Anguish” by Kathryn Warrender

Breathe in,
Breathe out,
The tide is washing away memories.
Forget and forgive,
The waves are thrashing around.
One, two, three, my heart slowly beats,
Slowly, roughly.
Everything needs to empty.
Hear the water,
It beckons.
Come, come closer,
Everything will be fine.
The water, it's cold,
It hurts,
It's like fire,
The shock, the pain, the epiphany!
Hold your breath,
Feel the rush,
The silence is good enough.

“The Black Kiss” by Marla

You want it more than you know,
You've craved it, thirst it, and hungered,
For it you've cheated, for the ecstasy,
You've lied, for the satisfaction you've

It's the pleasure in your dreams,
You've cried out loud in the darkness,

Many times when you cried aloud,
For ultimate carnality, to be released,
The pleasurable love you seek,
Is as innocent as the rush,
The rush to cool the flames,
The touch to cool the fire,

It is sweeter than the baby's kiss,
It's as rich as the pots of gold,
You'll find at the end of each rainbow,
While love has been,
Deep and intense, in the absence of sin,
It was the black kiss,
The sweetness of livid bliss,
Much, much, more than a crush,
Still, in love, oh the rush, the rush,
While I may be the guilty one,
I plan to recover, for my fall from grace,
Let's me know no one could take the place,
Of the black kiss,

My thirst quenched when your is,
My desire fulfilled when telepathically,
We conclude the search to be complete,
I feel you as I share your bed,
My taste buds are delighted,
My mouth waters as I survive the flames,
Of my desire,
My eyes sore from the darkness,
Love draws me to the flesh,
We kiss as we sweetly reminisce,

Our bodies heal and submit to the flesh,
We recover from the absence of it's warmth,
Our souls are bathed and drenched,
In the essence of perfection,
Our spirit and souls collide,
The walls I'll climb as I reach,
For my release from the passion of,
The black kiss...

“There’s a Reason” by Tejas Ranade

A man lies against the sewer of the town -
He's throwing up his tears on the fluid
pavement, saying how he's fallen down
the drain, down like the rain, and found
there a penny to sustain him again,
as metallic as the

clicking ticking of time bomb boots
against the river of concrete flowing
like bare bones finger of a maestro,
his cataract movements slowing down
the tubas and trombones
like the rain, and found
a penny to frame on his wall,

look what I've done, Ma,
brand new coin, enveloped in
a membrane of oxygen, sealed off
so it can barely breathe against
the asphalt grinding closer and closer
to it, infinite loop spurred on by
the instruments clambering onto
one another, the epicenter of
Nero's fur as he lights on fire
and tells the violins to keep playing
until the sun won't shine again.

There will be a mumbling tonight
amid the peasants, their backs parallel
to the clouds on which angels roll
lazily like waves bobbing against
a burgeoning ocean; it is foretold
by the skies darkening in anger
and foreboding once more.

Too much wind blotting against
the sky and making room for the moon -
"make way!" the chariot screams,
recklessly snapping forward the grizzled
horses as they thunder their hooves
toward a lightning rod in the sky,
golden and torpid, sluggishly
staying in place, while

we turn and we flow like so much
sidewalk drizzled on by the tears
of happiness of those above, so
joyous they'd drown us all like so
many thrall chained to the natural father -
and farther they flee,
and farther from sight,

There will be a revolt tonight.

“Omnibeast” by Tejas Ranade

The eyes.

Gleaming like apples unpicked
but by a friend who simply slithered
across, crying out so that the
farmers will see them and at least
bereave for them if nothing else.

The jaws.

Licking his own tail
in an effort to stir his frenzied
tongue. Licking his nails, short
and to-the-point as they are, curled
up against his claws as his body curls
up against the windowpane.

The nosebrainearschest,

Brahman has come in the form of a
fighting for survival as it gyrates
in the air, searching for a lover,
a companion, a friend, an acquaintance,
a bag of electrified organs.

Brahman has come in the form of a -

it does not matter, for later
the best beast of them all will
stop scratching away its itches
on the glass and forgetting the
way it once slunk past, tail wrapped
around itself like a poised whip as
it placed paw
after paw
on the grass.

And now only words, and wars, and
wise jesters smiling so often
at the ventures of the beast
that it rolls for a quick snack
and shelter at least
and its role in the feast
of Brahman's disappointed
molds like avatars,
nine children in a circle
whispering in each others'
eyes, words too fast
for their ears, mumbling,

GIVE me back the Whorl of Babylon he shouts
as his words mix with his footsteps
like mud upon the boots of soldiers GIVE me
back the time when a mother would cradle
her babe and pray that it lived to twenty-one
and drink away its woes, circular
GIVE me back the spiraling way of the war -
dancers deaf and blinded by the rapaciousness
of a mad violin who stopped and stared as
I veered away, casting eyes like a sin
like mud upon the boots of doomed soldiers.
Dimmed sojourns they were, one by one
and two by two
as they walk past his open yawn, teeth
scraping against the windowsill
as the lighting
flashes past like a refugee
fleeing from the battlefield -
all is dark in the distance.

And back into the doghouse he goes,
filthy but familiar,

should've fled earlier.


“A Seasonal Answer” by Tejas Ranade

I look to Death
and ask her why,
she replies that by the sky
her mandarin flares like
nightborn scorns, mourn
'till mourning peeks up
through the rice paddies
and morning peeks down
into the cavern, little
eyes rushing like flies
of golden spittle from
some rabid deity ready to
try to eat the sky.

I ask her again during
the solstice, when the daydead
fen grows as the muscles of its worshipers,
pleasing her to
no end (is in sight as the glades
wilt into the wilderness of the
stem of the tree of life that mortal
strife knows not a trifle of
the broadening leaves) so that she
dances like a child in the middle
of the dawnsleep, wakening
a peasant from the village below

as he grumbles to his children
get up get up get
up into the air as the Mother of All
blows upon the sunflower seeds, guiding
like a gilded horse striding toward
its manna destination and plans
her next move,

She's an eveningsprint girl,
a miss who would rather watch
the folk go about their business
and hatch a plot to hatch an egg
of hell roosters upon the earth,
clarion calls of an underworld
passage into Asgard that trumpets
forth the noonrest of the farmers
as they scramble to their spades,
brambles in their way and
the land growing gray as they
fearfully hold sway over the fruits
of a millisecond, taking quick glances
(but never for too long!)
and the Mother of All and
listening to her sleeptime song,

and how do I know? I asked her about it
and she told me so,
and I asked her about her and
she told me no.

“Sahara” by Tejas Ranade

Here's a good one:
A man walks into a bar,
says how far do I need to go
to store this beat in an icebox?
I stole it from the heat of its master,
Main Street, sailing the winds on a fleet
of ships as it pounds in my hands, insect buzzing
on a foreign desert stripped of clothes, left to
freeze in its own sleet, night by night. Oh believe me,
I've tried to stuff it down my throat, scratchy and cold
(as it's always been foretold) and wrapped it up in my dreams
to keep it warm as it slid down into my stomach, resting there
as I sit through the windmill of Orpheus on Earth, never thinking
about it so lonely and stifled down there in my abdomen - ready for rebirth.

But I'm too smart for that,
he says, grinning, beer dripping off
the sinning lips as they curl like
vipers burned by each other as they twist
around one another medically. I'm too
witty and wise, yes sir, I'm too used to it.
The beat of the streets keeps chugging away
at my skin, tearing it thin and begging me for
a drop of air, but no sir, no sir,
I will win, I will win and dine on its bones

as it pulses within my mind, having traveled
so far up there that its hard to pull out,
the stout melancholy of angels gathering
like children at play around a familiar face
etched into the surface of a sidewalk, pale
concrete reflecting against paler faces. It
pulses again and I can feel the dualism this time
as I sit at the desk and pull my necktie and wonder
how it would feel to wrap it around a pole and
just fly
just fall
just fry myself in the sun
as the ground takes the plunge
and kisses my face
with such intensity as only
lovers can embrace,

says he,
at the brink of sanity,
and takes another drink,
vanity purple in the steam
as it lets out from a glassy
edge to the bartender's eyes -
old man, ancient man, content
to sit and listen as every drunkard
from the land trails the sand
of the Sahara to his doorstep,
having boasted about crossing
the desert like Agamemmnon on
a sea of ships. Young man,
spry man, orders another beer
and rubs his grumbling chest,
fingers clutching onto fabric
like the dirt clinging to the
back of a camel.

And it's funny
because there is no punchline
to a hoofbeat's rigor stalking,
like a leopard,
bartender's vigor.

“Yesterday Is Here” by Tejas Ranade

Wait a second.

For a minute, I thought
that the hours had passed
like people,
to celebrate a day of mourning
from the seven years that we prayed
around the shores to find the parade,
curled around itself through centuries
of cavalcades to hope millennium would
bring it a balloon sinking into
the dawn sky. There was a newborn once
who raised a finger of sand into the

dirt and clawed his way out of the
wombtomb, soon to be the righteous
among the sumptuous who feast their
lungs upon the merrymaking and instruments,
piping along the cobbledstreet as heat
of the journey begins to sweat the brow.
("Were we?" the statesman asks, hobbles
into the empty room and waits for applause,
audience with hands folded like napkins,
as surly as the gash on his arm,
clots swirling through the opening of fabric
from the time Ramses defeated the legions
of Sea People and ascended
to the moon on Horus' back.)

The party's growing now.
He can reach out and touch the bristles
on the back of a dancer's neck, drenched
with soot as sweat pours out of the smokestack
from the skyscraper above, rapier pointed to
the reddened clouds (embarrassed as they are,
for they could not fly through the fog of rain
as fast as Mother Unnatural and her brood.)

We all have headaches now. We can reach out,
wrest the hairy skin of the cave-dwellers as they
dipped their fingers in smoke and swept them
across damp walls, charcoal burning like
tears and through the stone. We rush into the
cavern, jesters gambling and juggling their
minds as the lion tamers' whips unwind and
the sign of the times is buried beneath
the minefield of drunken shouts and whispers;

("Are we?" the politician asks, his hair
on edge like a wild animal as he stumbles
into the room of poachers and priests,
stony silence covered with fingerprints from
the firstborn and soot from their veins.)
I have waited millenia for the centurion to
storm the battlements and declare the reign
of himself over all, but years passing into
days passing into the flutes and clicking
of rum-fired heels in stooping dance make
me pass the hours away, the minutes
slow with intoxication. I have been patient;
I can wait one
second more.

“This, Eileen” by Emmanuel Jakpa

This, Eileen

Clean as
stainless steel,

heavy as metal,

sink deep
to the bottom

of the heart.
Your words glare,

like a brandished
knife. Eileen,

look, these alignments,
zip hooks,

busy points,


the needle's eye.

for Eileen Sheehan

There are some things
we could better see
or hear at night,

and others, when attuned
to the violent rhythm
of the day.

“Strong?” by Amanda DiDonna

All they see is a happy girl
A happy girl in this fucked up world
They see her fake smile that she puts on everyday
They don't know this pain that doesn't go away
They don't see her break down and cry
They don't know that at one point all she wanted was to die
They don't know the cut after cut that helps her
They don't know that to her this is a curse
And see, you don't know who she is or what she has to go though every single day
She has to get up and go to school and be who everyone wants her to be
She has to put on that fake smile so people think she's okay
Those fake clothes to hide her cuts from that night that will happen again during the day
and the nightmares that will come during the night and the depression that is happening daily
that family doesn't help with so she knows that those coaches were right
A team is a family, they're all she has
but if she goes to them she feels bad
because then they gotta worry about this and it's not fair
Not fair to her, not fair to anyone
they all gotta deal with this, all of them, her friends, her family, the people who kinda know her
and the thing is that she just doesn't know what to do
she's crying she's hurting
she knows a cut will hurt everyone
a bullet will hurt her friends
and this pencil will send her deeper and deeper into that depression
because this is the only way she can speak
the only way she can think
with all this shit she has to deal with she can't tell anyone or else she's no longer strong she's broken
and a DiDonna can't be broken they're to good for that
well I can't take it, I am weak, I am hurting, and this can't be right that this is the only way I can say it
I can't take it
because she is me
I'm hurting, I have all of this happening that won't stop to let me breathe
I'm outta breath, I gotta choke down my life cause it sucks
I can't breathe anymore I'm dying without doing anything but trying to get better
yes she is trying but nothing works
her friends try to help but she doesn't want to go to them when she's hurting
because a DiDonna can't let people see her break and bust
and she is a DiDonna so she's gotta pull it together but every time she tries by herself
she breaks even more
she doesn't want to be weak and she knows
the only way it'll get better is with help from her friends
but no matter how hard they try they'll never know what's happening in her head
so the nights almost done
she's holding that gun
before she goes to bed
she places it to her head
and says I love my friends
and that's why I won't let this end
as she throws the gun aside
and again she's not strong enough
not strong enough to say goodbye.

“Love Is…” by Lisa Cappiello

Love is...
An unquenchable addiction
The sole purpose of existence

Love is...
Patiently revealing
An exceedingly rewarding reciprocation

Love is...
Heart pounding serenity
Rule breaking
An unmistakable force

Love is...
Magnetic energy
A balanced pendulum
Sacred and forgiving

Love is...
Breaking down walls and building bridges
An eternal adventure

“Tango” by Lisa Cappiello

His lips say one thing, but his eyes say something else
He justifies his actions
Perhaps more to himself
She takes it in
And offers to let him be
With out saying much, it's clear that's not what he wants

His words replay in her head still, she longs to be near him
The room is crowded but they somehow find each other
His lips say one thing, but his actions say something else
She tries to leave but he finds a way for her to stay
A little longer
Eventually, she gives in

His lips say one thing, but his touch says something else
Sheltered from the outside world, they surrender
To the force that pulls them together
After their bodies untangle, she distances herself
But he pulls her close
And embraces her in a familiar way
Time passes
They stand still

Temporarily, they slip back into their routine
But it's hard to ignore reality when the sun rises
His lips say one thing, but there's so much more that's left unsaid
They part ways
Their own agendas intact
Not knowing when they will dance again

“Gardens of Baroque” by Rob Van de Zande

Above the world's half-veiled eye,
With every stain or silver note,
We saw a mist curling around the throat
Of storms deep and cypress high.

She! In starry flowered tread
Wretched the soul to doom and dust,
As the garden that once healed the lust
But sunk in flames of the lily-bed.

And the choir will gleam
On a twinkling moonlit stream,
Around cypress high and storms of deep,

Yes, it is her pleasure and will,
The voice of jade on a shepherd's hill
That veiled the world for the world to sleep.

“The South – 1960” by James C Brown

A step back to a time gone by, a place that never changes
In mind a place of mansions white and black slaves humming Dixie.

In fact a place of stillborn dreams, of jobs they'll get to one day
Of hatred clothed in worn out words that speak of "busing safety."

Oh may I never live so long, become so set and sated
To sit upon a rotting stoop and praise magnolias faded.

“Dog Paddle” by Kimberly Domian

My mind is swimming
     With your poem
Marco, quarter diving,
     treading water, Polo
Drown Me
     Seth me to death
Beep, beep, beep
     Backing up
Catch and keep me.