Midnight Visit

It’s after midnight this old house creaks with years of standing on joints

not massaged and unattended by anyone living.

The street outside is black

with only an orange streetlight silently casting shadows of loneliness.

You enter my thoughts without notice,

without my permission.

You’re here just a whisper of your breath

at my back raising hair in places unvisited

The music enters through my ears and exit

my fingers crookedly on rattling car keys.

there’s nothing more to say

You are a quiet bat lightly gliding

like heaven in somebody’s book,

a life I once knew

but never cried because you are gone.

Fly away old friend one last time,

blow me a kiss and a sweet goodbye.

Arty’s Story

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.”

One Night

One night

I remember sitting on my bunk

polishing my belt buckle

whispers of war filled the barracks air,

not your normal whispers mind you.

They were quiet and edgy like a shadow

scrambling on the back streets of Chicago.

The hushed bullets of fear made me nauseas.

Holding my stomach I willed the sickness away,

readied my uniform for revelry and another day of war games.

I turned my covers just as lights-out

echoed through electric tin speakers.

The hushed whispers became softer yet

more urgent in my mind.

I lay listening to tanks and rapid fire weapons

playing their chorus meant just for rookies like me.

My eyelids felt a need to close

my mind thought about jungles,

bullets whistling through rice paddies

hitting random targets

screaming in the wetness of the jungle.

My eyes moistened when I wondered

why I left you so many thousands of years ago

I promised I would back to love you

but I never did. The end of my youthful war arrived

as I curled up in a ball of emotional isolation.

It was over. Adulthood crushed me like a wrecking ball.

Gray Clouds

Last time I spoke to my mirror

things were good and safe.

It’s been awhile since then

so today I decided to have a look,

change has come.

Gray clouds engulf my face

I think I’m about to rain.

The world rains around me,

social distance for this world is eternal.

A Vinyl Night

You and I sat cold by the tent

you were stoned

I didn’t know

California nights

could be so bone cracking cold.

We watched campers

moving in and out like ants

on a drop of sweet

it was a vinyl gypsy night

as campfires curled snake smoke

against a carbon ink sky.

The beach was stark empty

you needed friendship

I offered only silence

silence and a beer

you wanted neither.

We smiled as laughter

rolled from nearby tents,

love laughter, bare skin giggles.

No stars shined in a bleak darkness

just a gnawing void never leaving.

God I feel it again today.

Broadway Sorrow

Rain smothered my windshield as I turned on

Broadway heading west for no reason

just my mind wasting time in darkness.

Carole and James sang, quietly telling me

maybe you wouldn’t love me tomorrow,

maybe god is skipping this year’s festival.

Potholes vibrating my steering wheel and reminding me

my money is gone, six cigarettes waiting for a shaking hand.

Loneliness has never felt so sorrowful.

Windshield wipers streaking my life with each splash of light

cast by godawful sulfur leached yellow lamps.

I truly am the man of constant misery, stay your distance.

You said goodbye, but I didn’t hear.

I heard only what I wished for, what drove me.

You never complained until our pot boiled over.

Swish another splash of life pushed me away, far away.

I wish there was a wand to wave to bring you back,

back into my arms, but rain keeps falling and never calling.

Guilt

The old man slept

through the rattling,

unsettling

of abandonment

gnawing at him

rat in a cage.

After the wine

was pissed into the winter wind,

he sleeps.

The barn rattles its distaste

for his trespassing,

for such rudeness by the man.

He sleeps with words

and a child’s face,

bouncing rubber balls,

catcher’s mitts,

 words,

God awful words

like batwing whispering

in his liquored fuddle,

but they are as putrid

as the heave lying next to him.

The word goodbye

is forgotten in stench,

stench of another drunken night.

 

Ron

Alone for too long

lost in the middle of myself

I wish you were here

to show me how to smile,

laugh, laugh at ourselves.

It’s what brothers do you know.

We flirted with the girls,

testosterone

ruled our minds,

defined the lines of social morality.

I miss you my friend

I will shed my tears alone

in my midnight neighborhood of gloom.

Rain You Silence Me

Rain you silence me,

touching places

no one else has ever touched.

You silence me in shadows

in caverns, deep

where once a flower grew.

But now the silent

syllables of rain drop

like letters from the sky

into me, rain

you silence me.

Maybe Tomorrow

Sitting alone on a gray cat morning

my disease needling quietly a deep desire

to open the brown bottle, white (child proof of course) lid.

Two or twenty pills, what’s the difference?

No one’s home here.  My fingers blue

like a dark and blistered sky waiting

for an oncoming storm.  My head begs for reprieve.

Tomorrow is a different ache, a different death awaits.