So you broke down,
trying to find peace.
I know you don’t know
me. it happens you see,
you never see my yard,
weeds have taken over,
take cover I am dying.
Keep me somewhere in a pocket,
my family’s not on the docket
you say sardonic taste in my ears.
Go home little one, place my face
in a drawer, in an attic. I’ll see to it
you have part of me for Ash Wednesday.
I found you dead on page six
obituaries. I knew those eyes.
I stared longingly many times
as my breath caught in conflict.
I loved you but I didn’t, not really.
Eighteen, dumb, no grasp on aging,
maturing, war was waiting, and loving
you was a leisure I couldn’t pay so I left you
in a storm, dirty pool, wrong headed.
I’m sorry. You’re dead, I am spirituality
gone, stone drop from sanity. I am gone.
Each morning it’s “off to work love.”
Each time I am lost, never could live without you,
pity me Lord, my body now frail
without a will to continue this trip
across the Milky Way, it’s just too much.
I can’t bear this loneliness, lungs struggling,
this heart’s dragging me here and there.
“Doing good Arty,” the nurse says somberly.
“You’ll be running about in no time.”
Where too, I wonder and to whom or what,
a gurney maybe rolling slowly to man’s self built hell,
sifting sands of my time on earth?
A hole no doubt, a wooden box where it’s ‘off to work love.”
You gave nothing back in your departure.
I wanted, needed words of comfort, love, wisdom.
I wanted you to use the word “love” just once
in our seventeen years of war, violence, scatless romance.
What a flat rock we created through the winds of nihility.
We germinated from different plants, different cracks you see.
I left it all behind garnering dreams, wishes, hopes. I made my way
back to reality and the cold steel of truth, painful, unhealing.
So have a great afterthought, afterlife, or afterbirth. It’s your call.
Nothing crystal in Altoona’s
railroad shops, I tried
to grow a flower there
but the bud blossomed inward
for no one’s eyes
an implosion of beauty.
Just now in afterthought
do I see the petals
and from whence they came?
Locomotives came and went
black dinosaurs feeding
on strength only men could give.
I’ve often wondered
about man’s power,
the power of rivets and hot flesh
wrapped in greasy denim
where flowers dare to grow.
The caustic bites of railroaders
exploding in sweat and fumes
but for just a moment you see
in retrospect no time was given
for healing balms,
just time for slinging spit and tales
of whores and pimps of yesteryear.
So how this flower grew
I’ll never know except
perhaps its roots ran deeper
than dust and acid smoke
down deep where dinosaurs
could never reach.
A silent part of me where maybe
not even I could reach.
Black night snow licking
at my toes,
The trees bend in reverence
for his passing soul.
His corpse still haunts me
quiet and still like a Quaker’s prayer.
I watched six men labor at his coffin
tugging him to an empty mouth
of dirt and snow
I still cry today for my naiveté.
I did not know the man
my creator and chief.
I bow now in reverence of his dream
mine to keep like a flower
in an ancient bible.
Welcome to the hemisphere
twenty bullets will take your cell phone
black twisted licorice as far as the eye can see
triple K brothers and sisters sit where they want
fuck where they want, and shit where they want
God bless each and every one.
“If you aint white you aint right,” comes the thunderous
Alabamian crowd tramping on the holiest bridge in the world.
“Aint nothin’ a good AR Fifteen can’t fix in seconds flat.”
The K boys don’t care about an Alabama minute or a dead boy
only took twenty bullets to drop his cell phone.
It’s hard to bear the memories,
those aqua crystal moments
time lapsed inside my mind.
Your suitcase packed, unpacked,
then packed again
you were never here for more than a breath.
I guess the sheets need washed,
folded to forget you,
to forget the exotic fragrance
you left behind.
Left arm jiving
motel swinging sign
fingers popcorn poppin’
feet sliding doors dancing
to a tune in my head.
Rhythm ruckus like mob love
sixth avenue never gave a hoot
about singing my heartache.
In the cellar of my thoughts
you come creeping up the stairs
like nausea to surface
on my tongue, wagging farewells
behind you, those goodbyes
that hang like shingles
hinged to my lips
each time you walk away.