my one and only love poem

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for you and only you will my
wandering eye, my wandering
whatever come back into the
fold i know so well
in the darkness you hold me,
caress the wounds inflicted by
so many others onto my weak
but willing flesh and mind
we don’t speak of them fully
and though i hint at my indiscretion
you know my choice was made
so long ago and though i sway
back and forth, batted around
by tides of time and hormones
you know in the goodness of your
simple pure heart that
you hold me
and i humbly let myself be captured
inside your breath
always welcome back am i
with the wholeness of your lips
on my forehead right before
i surrender to slumber

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remember

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do you remember a time
when you felt impassioned?
having nothing to do
with another’s own passion?
having nothing to do
with true love of another
having only to do
with yourself, not others?

do you remember what it was like
when you were young?
you wanted to play,
just to play and have fun
there was no scale at all
for you to measure
whether fun was correct
or business was pleasure

do you remember freedom,
not justice and liberty
free as in free
unbound from misery
which has no meaning
in the concept of freedom
if you choose to let go
of your concept of kingdom

do you remember innocence?
no, not like first kisses
not like first touches
or tense near-misses
those things are all
too far far along
already caught up
in right, good and wrong

do you remember the free flow
of thought in your head?
a moment when no one
kept making their bed
out of folds and creases
that make up your brain
the free flow was yours
without any shame

do you imagine like me that
this all could exist
that it could be more than a whim
more than a tryst
in philosophical endeavours
and late-night pursuits
that it could only mean pleasure
to be accepting of you
to forsake the glass shell
that’s been built since birth
to dive deep in your well
your essence your earth

there’s a moment in time
right before sleep
when all is forgotten
and surrender complete
look for that moment
with wide passionate eyes
in each beating moment
lies exalted surprise

tuna

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i cut sliced and diced my thumb on
a soup can about five minutes after
realizing that my wallet was vacationing
in upstate new york

rich red blood paraded around kitchen
into my tuna white trash noodles and
i screamed obscenities i never knew i knew
how amazing, in an instant a world so small
can seem so large as it comes whirling
down dancing into the bathroom
still screaming and my life seems
ridiculous and impossible as i hold my
tattered weak little thumb under cold water
made weak, diluted
as i pine for the wallet that left me and for
the love that chose not me and for the spattered
tuna on the stove and the movie i’ll never make and
the world i’ll never save and for the life i can’t afford to live
and for the inhumanity of it all
in my tiny swirling world caught in a
sink of pink dilution

how quickly it all stops spinning
and the tears dry and the sniffling
stops whimpering when a friend calls
to say he’s on his way to bring me
some money to last till my wallet
decides it’s time to come home
and that a cup of coffee is in order
and that yes, it does all suck right now,
but he’s on his way so it’s okay
and i remember that i’m hungry
and my apartment is still mine
and love’s choices are not
to question sometimes

definition

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when does charm metamorphose into
manipulation? it’s a question that’s
plagued me for weeks now
and even in the clarity of a bright
february afternoon i see only
milky faded photograph memories
of moments considered charming
then manipulative then charming again
and it’s not like this time i can
ask anyone what they think
because a million people will see it a
million ways and none of it is mine
i force my head into a linear expression
to be confined by language, to
give concrete evidence to what i
witnessed, what i participated in,
in the hope that definition will
come, but it only allows me to
interpret every look, every word
a different way, every time
i envy those who can be satisfied
with the assurance that a
situation would have turned
out in their favor had the cards
fallen slightly different, because
i will never be satisfied with pure
knowledge of a situation, i will
always seek out definition and
evidence and cold hard facts
(which sometimes most times
are not so very cold at all)
even though definition never comes
to me and i am swirled deeper
inside the mess i leave my brain in daily
left to dreams and conjured images
of what had happened between
two people breathless fierce tender
passion waves of recognition forced
over my empty stomach and
throbbing head as i awake
sweating twisted drooling wide-eyed
and pain in my back
this is what definition with no
answer provides me, this is the
melodramatic misery that tastes
so sweet on a warm winter’s day

if you know what i mean

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the cab driver held up a pack of dunhills
and asked if i minded
i didn’t because i did too and we lit up
smoked together through the ensuing
enveloping deepening canyon of first avenue
the sun faded further away as the buildings
loomed larger and he asked what i would
be doing tonight for valentine’s day
“nothing” i said “except throwin’ back a
couple of cold ones with my girls”
he said “that’s not the spirit” and i almost
retorted “mistresses don’t get flowers
from sugar daddies on valentine’s day
if you know what i mean” but i didn’t
because he wouldn’t and i didn’t have
the energy at eight a.m. to explain this
affair of the mind i have in the comfy
interior of my brain with a sugar daddy
who isn’t even real if you know what i mean

i wondered up the escalator if i was
the only one on it who was having dirty thoughts
about someone who i shouldn’t even be
having clean thoughts about and i smiled
at my own mischievous naughtiness and
winked at the security guard at the top
because she seemed to know
if you know what i mean
i fantasize about pageantry and melodrama
to make the database days go a little faster
and hopefully the object of my discreet
infractions will feel a twinge of me behind
his left ear as i whisper in it that i’m waiting
here for the next time to come
if you know what i mean

west twenty-first street

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the streets howled with me as i screamed
on the phone across the hi-tech stream
bits and bytes, mouth to rae’s ear
“it’s over it’s done now get me a beer”

broken glass somewhere on ninth avenue
cut my boot while familiar buildings on macdougal
made my insanity worse than usual

i replayed over and over the scene of my demise
watching it again inside your eyes
those eyes that lied to me in the darkness of unfamiliar sounds
your voice rang through straight to my swelled
sense of me came crashing down
all around me shards of my shattered ego cut into my gut
kissed my heart shut
with my ego fell long held theories
that people like you
would always seek out
people like me
in dreams of sweet taste, free

and still your eyes continued to betray you
and the thoughts your lips had forbade you
an abyss of anguish spilled out in that look
it broke me down, so for my turn i took
the chance to show what you had blown in me
some smoldering frenzy you left alone in me
out from darkened room into the darker street
my cheeks flushed with rage my head flushed with need

away from the cab away from your lies, your eyes
that said your desire for me was overwhelming
and your lips that said you would not surrender
to it or to me
you would not resume the misery
that always followed us again
no instead
you’ll transport that anguish over to me
and think comfortably
that i’ll be okay with it since i was the one
who’d walked away first from what we’d begun

i only did so to respect the limits
of desire and passion versus commitments
limits you so clearly marked with your phrase
and so fiercely blurred inside your gaze

i won’t see you next time as you suggested
because i won’t have the courage to be twice rejected
i won’t let your words shatter my gut
and closed it shall be, the door that you shut

free choice

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my friend told me that in
his part of ireland when
someone gives you something
for free like when someone
buys you a round of drinks they say
you get it for choice because
choice is free

if i walked by you on the street
and didn’t see you would you
stop me yell my name say
hey it’s me?
you probably wouldn’t, no,
because you don’t even have
the balls to tell me when
you’ll be around and for that
i sort of admire you
and yet still feel sad at the
choice you’ve made
you had your getoutofjailfree
card with me and still you
chose to pretend it wasn’t there

i can read between the lines
of your eeeee-mails and i can feel
what you really want to say
i know that you know that i know
that you’re here,
not so far away now compared to
sixty-nine minutes twenty-four
seconds and a few millis
at least i chose truth, i say

i told my friend that told me
about free choice that if
a belief system is killing him
more than helping him then
get rid of it because martyrs
are only bunch of people, dead
i don’t want to die this way or your way
so i chose living freely
bound only by my own thoughts

my friend said, “i let his words
control me and i was weak”
and i understood oh so well
you were squeezing my brain
and i don’t even think you knew it
with every brain squeeze brain freeze
i remember better the squeeze of my hip
against yours and how you pressed
me for more information than i
was willing to give
then you left you came back
you left back came

it’s easier to think of you as
a mindless philandering bastard
but i know in my gut this
isn’t you, it’s only a choice i
make freely to stop myself
from wondering if i walked by
you would you stop grab my arm
and say it’s me?