The Insidiousness of Life


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The insidiousness of life is that it constantly presses upon you;
it is unrelenting in its demands that you nurture and refine it.
It evolves, with or without your consent, so there is no rest,
to simply put it on cruise control and enjoy the passing of time.
For me, every breath is a nuisance; every step is a cursed journey
saddled with failed expectations and societal derision.

I never belonged to this world, nor has it offered itself to me,
and the contempt with which I hold its false promises
eats at my guts like ravens nibbling away at my meaning.
Where others are guided by the soft-bent wings of angels,
I am weighed down by the relentless nagging of demons;
wicked little imps who mock my waking hours and torment my sleep.

There is not a grave dug deep enough to bury my sorrows,
nor do I seek any forgiveness for my sorry state.
I will wash away the stench of my miserable existence
with endless cups of liquid absolution, and in my drunken state,
I will stumble through somehow.

Tomorrow’s sunrise may warmly embrace the multitudes;
each with their cheerful dispositions and infernal optimism.
I, on the other hand, will wither beneath the heat,
thirsting constantly for the darkness beneath a waning moon,
for it is in darkness that my soul finds its true voice.

Secrets


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My shadow falls away –
no sun will touch this truth.
Wandering cold and revealed;
almost naked in my sin,
for I have squandered the best of me,
despair descends upon what’s left of me!

Secrets eat at my guts
and I am consumed completely.
Would that my lips could part
and exorcise that which I dare not speak.
I am taunted by courage beyond reach.

My body is cleaved in two:
one side dead
while the other exists in fear of living.
I am betrayed by my own hand
and I shall not sleep eternal.

The truth is an acid
eating away any hope of resurrection.
I am undone, yet left standing.
I am buried alive beneath my secrets.

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The Tortured Scribe


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Delusions scatter, inspiration dwindles;
how then shall I progress?
The world revolves on a shaky spindle
and the heart barely beats in my chest.

Having given so much to this wretched life,
I fear I’ve gone insane.
I awake at night with a sudden fright
and a fever in my brain.
I reach into descending light –
a trembling hand extends;
my fingers white, with no insight,
I grip the writer’s pen.

Words drip onto a page uncurled,
a scattering of thoughts still burning –
my soul calls out, “God, let me out!”
and speaks of desperate yearning.
Like splattered pools of fallen rain
that swallow my reflection,
I’m lost again and deep within
the fog of introspection.

And still no words to rise within
my consciousness this day –
expressions of this tortured scribe
Must find another way.

 

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We Shall Remember: Ode to a Dying Poet


moon words

Your night has fallen;
the brilliant light
of the new moon
filtering through the
broken mass of clouds,
a brilliant ray reflecting
upon your tongue-kissed works.
Your verse remains standing,
redeeming the world from darkness:
they seem to move and
we are filled with awe.

Your words were mountains;
iron-like masses thrown heavily
against the somber sky –
and as the dark blue deepens
into purple and purple-black
we reflect upon your poems,
which were gurgling streams
of naked visceral truth
cutting through our consciousness.

One never thinks of velvet
when the light is cold and thin;
when snow lies deep
and the intense light dazzles the eye.
But your lines were velvet in their
silver light and inky blackness
and we shall remember.

Beyond the Blackened Veil


The long days, the forgotten nights
have left me scarred and depleted;
I’d consumed my fill of sour cabbage and
cheap whiskey and slept on damp piles
of rotting leaves, wrapping myself in
regret and self pity.

There were, of course,
lucid moments when the wind would
caress my cheek softly, like the touch of
an angel, and in those moments, I made
vows not meant for keeping.

My coat, now threadbare and reeking
of last night’s vomit and rain, has been my home;
I dwell deep within its folds, seeking
some comfort there and finding none,
toss it to young mulatto boy, who will be
dead before winter finishes lashing his
heroin scabbed flesh.

But listen, my friend, I have known joy and love,
and those in copious measure, when I was young
and foolish enough to believe that even the
wilted rose retained her charm. I have lain with
princesses and chambermaids with equal
passion, the rusty moon of autumn casting
night shadows upon our secrets.

I once handed out ten dollar bills because
the roll in my pocket was so big it chaffed my thigh.
Now, the cold jingling of pennies and a nickel
mark the cadence of my stumbling gait.

In my youth, and folly, I read Yeats and Eliot
and took solace in their pretty tomes; they
hung bejeweled words around my neck and filled
my boyish mind with infinite possibilities. They
lied, of course, but still I welcomed the deceit
and even scribbled a few haughty poems on
love and other falsehoods myself.

Don’t misunderstand…I do not rail against the
imbalance of life. Some ride the festooned
dragon across velvet skies, while others bathe
in the shit and piss of their miserable existence;
and certainly we will all go down together beneath
the broken sod.

Today, I just look for a patch of yellow grass
upon which to lie down, close my blood stained
eyes, to catch my final breath and let this
bitterness go. I have no fight left for this life

 

(Sketch by Josef Rocha)

Love’s Transforming Hand


I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand,
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see –
Loving you is changing me.

As a child walking on the shore
I saw the ocean…nothing more.
I cried, “Oh God – what senseless waste,
This vast expanse of liquid space.”

Yet now, with Love’s hand touching me
I cherish the life within the sea!

I built myself a one room home
And dared to live there all alone;
It wasn’t that I did not care –
Just felt I had not much to share.

But now, beneath Love’s soft caress
I simply have to give my best.

I once viewed stars as nothing much –
Cold, distant worlds beyond my touch.
I had no need for cheap sensations
Built on simple constellations.

Then Love’s hand touched me through your kiss
And I knew that stars were more than this.

No, I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand,
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see –
Loving you is changing me.