Monday, January 30, 2017

Ladders of Vainglory

At the ground level
debris builds around a ladder
with unsated rungs
of vainglory.
These are the bars that lead to proprium.
Ostentation supposedly misguided
as friendly conversation.

I lay back and look to the sky
numbering the bars of this estimation.
How far will I go to win your friendship?
My dignity was a cheap thrill to gasconade. 
A slight brush of hand directing movement
that I regrettably followed forward,
but only as a means to please you, vainglory. 

Your ladder is much like a see-saw
creaking and swaying
from the applause
to your disdain.  
Take my words
and use them to your liking.
Cut and sand
splintered steps
because it's only an illusion. 
A way conciet offers a favor
then becomes a victim
because I took advantage of
irresolute kindness. 

My mistakes take note of your ego. 
I can't really rise above
on this broken ladder that you provided. 
Vainglory loves to see me fail. 
When I do
expect to know
through my exploitation. 
She is only happy
if she can look down on me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


warm my heart
as if you are my cup
in the morning,
pressed against my chest
as I stare at shimmering, damp leaves.
They lay on the ground,
not urbane
or with your type of certain appeal.
Listless, and unappreciated for the season of death.

I marvel at such beauty;
Rays of sun between branches of trees....
It has since been raining,
and the aesthetic influence
of afflicted eyes and a drawn, aging face
said there was nothing warm
or comforting
about Autumn...
or how I choose to state an
out of context arrangement of words
piled on each other
as the leaves compacted under my heavy, awkward rain boots every day.

Under is all,
I know there's something inspiring.
An aesthetically proven chance
to mention a refrain.
The calmer, clearer meaning
to my heartfelt behavior.
Something lovely, without annoyance.

He asked if there was something I was sad about this October.
I can finally give an absolutely breath taking answer:
You my dear.  Only you.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Silver Hair

The singular silver hair
on his head
was what I counted
instead of sheep 
every night
 just around 2 a.m.
But it's only one,
and I lay awake
 with these lists of my personal
insolence and temperamental 

I can only estimate how many times he 
had to smooth
and comb over 
from the ruffling breezes of
exhaled sunshine
now saturated with rain,
or maybe tears...
I can't tell. 
I am focusing on making lists.
Many lists. 
Lists to keep myself distracted.
Like the full head of hair he has
tucked under a hat. 
These are just lucid accounts where 
 I should beg to brush my fingers across his head
as mine
 has not been comfortable for hours.
Actually, days.
 Some of which he knew I hadn't slept.
I try to close my eyes.
I will keep quiet.
Whatever makes you happy.

The lists stay awake
breathing heavily at dawn.
His hair, the clock.
My hands.
The pain in my feet.
Cobwebs in the corners
where the ceiling meets the wall...
The wall.  
The one I put back up.
I see that it's raining again.
How many other worries can I jot
down tonight?
I stopped counting after one.

Sister's wedding.
Train whistles that sound
 just like everywhere else. 
 I used to think that it was romantic.
I'm not feeling well.

 My torn clothes.
 Inadequate heat.
Spider bites.
Broken down cars.
Too much coffee.
 An entire 6 pack of beer....
The concerns about lies.
Who is lying to me? 
Someone... I just know it.
All of the groceries are laying out on the counter.
 Rotten, because no one put anything away.
There was a woman on the bus that told 
everyone to read the Bible.
 I don't think there's ever going to be
an end in sight for me.
No rest for the wicked.
That's what they say about me you know,
and Jesus Christ, I sure am an asshole.

Father, or that other one.
Absentee Mothers.
Alcoholic stepfather.
 Award winning, timely exits.
He said I didn't leave a moment too soon.
I usually know when I should,
except that one time...

What about...
 half lit cigarettes
 strewn across a porch.
 Homeless men throwing 
 beer cans at you as you try
to cross the street.
What's my problem anyway?
She said I was fucking stupid.
He was livid when I wondered why 
 there wasn't a trace of a smile on his face.
I don't have the right to ask questions anymore.
Don't care. 
 Just don't give a shit.
Let go!

I dressed up very pretty 
 last week to find a little confidence,
but the man laying on the sidewalk 
 said my true colors weren't shining that day.
He was right.
I am not going to ask why.

Back to counting.
It's getting very late.
Don't rip your clothes.
You don't need another cigarette.
Calmly now,
try to get some rest.
Think happy thoughts....

There's only one silver hair on his head.

It's my favorite.


Thursday, August 4, 2016


If the sun in the sky
should set the past in
clouds that brim the morning;
Turbulent in the middle of yesterday
and usually gone by afternoon.....
Then the sky was blue
as the color of your eyes
tangible in my refinement.
Stay strick.
It's always as unpredictable as the weather.

Come day, go day
as there seems to be nothing new,
but it's a whistle in the air that blew
quite loudly enough
to draw all the foggy dew;
trembling in steamy tea leaves
and those who
know you.
Can you predict the future?
But trust as those bright horizons will ensue
as a bolt of lightning
or hurried engagements brought forth who
will celebrate your new day
and said they will see you through.
Trust is a prediction.
I spend much time betting it all
on everything uncertain.

My dear weatherman,
I said it's been storming
and you replied with half of a forecast.
I am clearly waiting to step outside
to hear engaging silence,
and a warm breeze to wrap my head around.
I'd settle just for an overcast
 so I can be the one
dared to stand against
 a force of nature...
 Be sure to tell me if there seems to be a storm up ahead.
Take cover and shield me when I can't get out of my head,
and we will be fine.
Just never,
and I mean ever
lie about weather.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Sleepy and Hollow

I had a hope once.
A thought that kept returning
long after I left a haunted town.
They say it's a paranormal wrath.
A curse.
A karmic reason why these spirits stick around.
They cannot see the light,
and they do not know that they are dead.

I am the Sleepy Hollow;
without a head
this dream doesn't think.
It's all heart
riding without direction,
as long as I am far away from you.
This heart has led me astray
in a dream that I knew would never last.
We're just stories written before I sleep.

That apparition in my mind
was one I never justified.
I failed to say what needed to be said.
You see,
I had a hope once,
but I killed that thought many times.
Now I believe in ghosts,
because I am one.

Alone I ride
faster, wiser, with awakened heart.
I ride past vampires with crooked teeth
for I am steel.
The werewolves howl,
for my love runs much wilder than them.

Some days I still long for the sleepy and hollow.
The lazy drunks that seemed to not have anything beating in their chests.
The thoughtless whims of the headless stumbling,
speaking of some fictitious folklore.
Especially the tales where they said they were in love.

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Masquerade

As read on 40 Story Radio Tower, Episode 28.

In the shadows of the morning, Loretta puts on her masks, caring for her pale young skin.  She should age, but no, that's the time for reflection.  She can't handle seeing her knowledge.
She was a caring girl behind all of her tough behavior. Magnificent with beauty.  Some days she would try to understand why the men with wives would follow her. Why she frequently had to run home frightened late at night.   Her face would itch and swell with welts.  Yet everyday, the mask was fitted on so very tightly.  By her family, by her lover, by the people she thought cared.

Think about how sad it is for the masquerade to never be able to feel what it meant to be loved. It's a fight never won.
 Loretta became just as fake as her mask. Waxy, and with a head full of hair that wasn't her own.  Was it her heart beating, or just the water dripping into the eroded metal sink?  You couldn't even tell if she was breathing. Air so shallowly moving her belly, which was bloated from not eating for days.  She just forgot.

She used the masks to get what she wanted.  She used the masks to signify trust.  Masks for friendship.  Masks for lust.  They are all there.  Created in her likeness, but also out of sheer greed and narcissism.  If she didn't wear one, no one paid attention.  It became a daily crutch.
"Who am I?", Loretta asked the brightly lit silver bathroom mirror.  "Mirror, oh Mirror.... the falseness falls off every night as I bash my sobbing face off of these faded, half painted walls."
These masks, they are always in front of me, waiting for who I need to be today.
How did this happen?

Loretta stood in the street as the sun rose in the cloudy sky, threatening an annoying spritz.  "I renounce these addictions!" she wailed as the pavement under her feet grew cold.
Time for a new plan.  "I will be a story teller, just like them...pretending that my every surly heart cry is nothing but poetry hanging in my fine lace dress."  It is so splattered and stained, much like my face.  I've had to hide behind my false truth.  It seems like I'm covered in lies.  My fault for being so proud.
I'll figure out what it's like to be an Artist, or a Writer, maybe I'll be a Musician.  I hear they get a lot of attention....but only if you're good.  Maybe I can fake that too.  Oh shit!  Shit, I can't be false.  I can't be a fraud.
So how do you do this?

She spent the entire day in bed, contemplating a fresh look.  A new day.  Somewhere, something, someone that is real.  The times before the masks and the people who remembered her.  The real Loretta.  A beautiful mess full of warmth.  A compassionate soul who never meant any harm.  A thankful person who wanted to believe there is good in the world.  It was surely just a broken heart that made her run so cold.

You should see her now.  After she hid all of the masquerader's confessions, and the empty grumbles they spewed at her weary, porcelain cracks, her face had fallen down into nothing but that mask.  The one they had gazed so deeply on, sinking down into the shame.  The one they kissed and pretended it meant nothing, over, and over, and over again.  There became so many layers of masks just so she could look at them.  Finally she realized, "I thought they loved me, but it's as false as this face."  As she spoke, the mask she fixated on wilted, and gave away through her pallid, spindle fingers as she traced the floorboards in flaying swoop.

Today, the same town she has lived in for many years, doesn't recognize Loretta.  The masquerade never sends an invitation.  She doesn't have an appearance worth noting, or knowing....except for some.  The ones who greet her in the morning.  The ones that ask her how her day was.  The few, proud and true, who kiss her cheek and tell her how lovely it is to see the person she promised to be.  Loretta is loved by all the right people.

They are not the sun,
They are in the shadows
wearing a mask.
When they choose to know me,
be with all certainty
that I am not the one they can hide behind.
Not the one you can use and abuse,
or the one who agrees on your lies.
I am the brilliant light,
and a wrinkled face
because I have learned
what it's like to dance in the masquerade.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sad Clown

Afternoons at the Bigtop.
Around town stupidity,
and stale old popcorn.
An old dancer balances
on a tired elephant.
I too
should be afraid of
imminent knowledge.

The sad clown doesn't wear a frown.
She can make you laugh.
She can make you smile.

Calming melodies drift late
one night
outside of the constant show.
She cried because it was lyrics
of truth muddled
in basic lessons
of all of these crowded streets
filled with people
who need to be entertained.

She remembers colored balloons
and performers
who brought an overcoming joy
even when the circus was cancelled.

Her heart reminds her
late at night
what isn't funny

Pale, comical...
snarky, and offensive.
Sunshine burns her skin
just so she can feel
something else.
She is dim.
Rising the curtain
just so you can watch her
fall down.
Slap your knee.
Isn't this grief hilarious?