spectrum

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in the absence of thought or action
exists a coefficient of friction
from unforced crash landings
inside a badly lit cosmic fit of
comic misunderstanding
why they follow a fool
like lemmings to a pool of misguided
judgement is not beyond me
i, too, kept my head above that water
while staring at the other
before i understood what i had to do
what comes next in the palindrome
of two thousand two?
surely it must connect the dots of
this madness that splattered
across two thousand one
with random serendipity
forgotten puzzle pieces and rising suns
broken hearts, lost hope, collapsed dreams
restored friendships, savory kisses, synchronicity themes
color-by-number with missing crayons
only forces us to play on
the spectrum of what we’re given,
less the things that have not been forgiven

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unearthly things

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the clouds are screaming past the
skyscrapers at lightning speed
like nothing i’ve seen before
the low-flying lengths of them
speed out and through while
the highers ones just sorta sit there
and watch them fly by
the buildings and people
on the ground ignore them
with unending passivity
caught up with the inner workings
of earthly things that keep them so busy
the clouds pass me by barely
noticing me watching them
cruise through on their search
for the next big skyline to grace
peetering out to sea before they ever
make it there
i wonder where i want to be
here on earth, up there with them
or higher still, hanging motionless
watching with pleasant aloofness
as it all happens too fast
good wine would be sipped
not slugged back like whiskey
and booze but you know what
it still makes you drunk
if you’ve had enough
i’ve had enough, enough of screaming
past people and buildings on a
quest for the next big thing
to grace my unearthly presence with
but i don’t want to float so far away
that i can’t touch it and be it
when i want to
nor do i want to find myself
so caught up in these earthly things
that i can’t think anymore to stop
and watch the clouds flee the city
so i guess i’ll just stand here and
think about clouds and very bad things
and wait for the next big thing
to scream for me

and original storypoem in its truest form

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act one and one only
showing one night only

the moment that caught me off-guard was right after i stumbled out of the corner deli with a fresh pack of cigarettes, bellowing out that i was now ready to continue on this group’s merry holiday journey to the next bar. what was it about that instance? i had been frantic when i thought we has lost that one section of us but then i turned and was locked in place, i couldn’t move. you stood off to the side watching me make lassos around them all and drag them on to the next big thing and in this moment you lassoed me with blue eyes i could spot from twenty feet away, hiding in the shadow of the awning, maybe you saw the predator in me and knew i would be up to no good before long. but i caught you too, i know it, we knew each other, our eyes were open in the short distance and a flood of memories we never shared washed me towards you. you seemed frightened and intrigued as i approached, bringing you out, had you been watching my cowboy antics all night? i was drawn into you with a fierce and passionate determination and though you were terrified, you couldn’t help yourself. ice was broken to reveal that we did know each other, we had met though ones and zeroes and depressing exchanges about expense reports and health benefits then finally laughter over obscure literary passions shared two years past. it’s the way you slipped your arm around me, the way it felt so real and as though it belonged nowhere else besides resting on my hipbone that makes my eyes press closed long than they should. your arm doesn’t belong around me, that’s the problem, but the way i knew it was you behind me glancing your hands across my hips: i knew you and you knew me. you’re still terrified of me i think and the potential i carry around with me everyday, will anyone ever find out? not until my memoirs are published, my dear. then they’ll all know that for one night and one night only i was in love with you and you were happily trapped inside my pursuit but as much as i cornered you, it was really your blue eyes that captured me first. i swear to you, at one point i tried to stop, i did, i pulled that dangling red handle on the train that everyone eyes but no one dares. in the screeching silence of that moment inside my head there was no indication that i should not be moving forward with this breaking of promises made to self and others to commit that sin. i saw no signal ahead until i turned and caught you again, you who i know did not want to be staring at me but you just couldn’t help yourself. it seemed there was a connection, a line drawn between us and i pushed forward in crossing it. yes, i remember that you tried to stop it but i also remember how desperate you were to please me and i responded with my own desperate need to have you, knowing that i would never have you again and feeling eerie relief in that thought. needing to seize that moment that you were rubbing the shaved part of the back of my head, i was practically purring at your touch and i tried again to make myself get up and leave, i did, really, i did, i swear i did. but you tossed my bag aside and pulled me on top of you, there was no turning back after that, no return once you were reaching for places inside and out, real and imaginary that needed you this once in a lifetime. why did you want me to stay after we were finished? was it because you didn’t want to face the demons that the morning would bring alone? or were you in love with me for a night, too, not wanting to the morning to come and wake you from this, this thing we created? maybe both? there was no way that i could stay and sleep too soundly next to you and you knew that, because i knew you and you knew me.

guilt by association

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“you seem so happy”
what an ambiguous phrase for
one to say to another when the
conversation falls short of meaning
we shift back and forth on shy feet
and refuse to capture any other moment
but i heard you chuckle when i
looked down to intently stir my drink
was that a chuckle of resignation?
i missed the body cue
were you asking me to end this
uncomfortable guilt by association?
or were you instigating, conspiring
to commit another act of treason?
someone else thankfully caught my
span of attention and i was released
from the tension ties that bind us

you know, there was a time where
we were thankfully wrapped up inside
those ties, bound but certainly
not gagged, were we?
we were sunken inside of each other
swimming, drowning in guilty pleasure
but that has long since past, years now
and here we are face to face
guilty by association
shifting on shy feet
inundated with those flashbulb memories
poof pop i was on top
blink squint the chill of the wind
light flash how long did we last

so you stir your drink intently now
i dig in my pocket for a lighter
and walk away before this non-conversation
puts me on trial yet again
but not without feeling the twinge and shiver
of the lustful look you threw my way

release

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the details are fading fast
from the impressions in my mind.
i remember how you went down
on me, but i can’t seem to
figure out what the hell we were
talking about for the five hours before.
if i was only a fuck you’d never
have to see again, a pretty little
punk girl from new york city,
why did you ask me over and over
how i wanted it and lay my
clothes out on the bed when i
decided to leave?
this is madness that i am even
considering any of this, since the
truth is that i’m sure you’ve forgotten
your infidelity already, except
to tell your raquetball buddy
what good lays new york city
village girls make after you’ve had a few.
i’m glad i’ll never have to see you
again, since there’s no way i’m
about to become your poet-whore.
but this no-follow-up business is
eating away at my brain–
at least with the others there was
always a way for me to get scoop
without ever having to confront,
to open up, spit out, and swallow down.
yes, the others, i could watch and
listen to their faithless unions from
a safe distance, no involvement.
but you have left me blindfolded and bound,
having only blurry visions of night then morning,
until the next one comes along
and i fool myself into thinking that
this will be the one who will release me.

wine and roses

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what were we saving ourselves from, i ask you?
we didn’t know enough of each other to understand
the mechanism of the rescue.
your miserable marriage, perhaps.
my unrequited longing for another, maybe.
i’d like to think that you went home to her with
fresh, clear eyes and a new determination to
repair the vows you took, that you were a noble but
fallen knight who kneeled before his beautiful princess
upon his return and begged for her to give it one more try.
i pray for you to be treating her like the queen you
treated me as that night.
i hope you’ve taken those romantic notions and
simple hand squeezes to the woman who deserves them.
i wish that you’d think of me as the one who showed you the way,
and i dream that such a knight as you will come prancing
through my real life someday
when the nights of wine and roses are far long gone.

exit, stage left

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the glaring red glow of the exit sign
beats down on my brow, practically
yelling at me to follow its instruction
the tone of this place has become
oppressive as the wrong people
make the right moves and
the right people are just wrong
i want to tell you that you should
know better than to fuck with
people like me at your age, but
instead i hope you can read it
on my face while i stare at
that damn exit sign over the door
that never closes, yes, opportunities
are omnipresent in this place
i’m sorry for the torment i didn’t
put you though and i’m admitting that
the card i thought was up my sleeve
was not an ace after all, or even a joker’s wild
no, it turns out it was that card in the deck that
had the instructions on it all along and
according to my hand and the exit sign,
i’m told to fold and lose whatever
investment i’ve made thus far
you marked the cards and even though
i knew it, i thought i could read
the cryptic code you scrawled on
my back and neck and face
except i was reading sanskrit
and you were writing hieroglyphics
and neither one of us has the rosetta stone
so i’m finishing my water and tossing
down my dues and following the
lead of so many who’ve passed before me
under the exit sign that you only see
after you’ve come here for a while