To the Birds outside my window,
This morning of June, hour’d four thirty-three,
While I love thy chipper tunes
As my romanticized, rose-blind view of the sea,
Thy song hath boiled the morn to bubble, and steep
A black-leaf tea, surging caffeine,
When I really fuckin’ need to sleep.
And now Time has trickled to quarter’till,
Thoughts start dissecting immortality,
As I’m devoid of any control or will,
Snagged on a sleep-ridden congeniality.
O, Birds! Ye with feathers white and red and umber,
The Bell tolls five now, and echoes o’er the bay,
And thou hast snatched my soft, sappy slumber,
Thus, I can tell, from ante-dawn,
It’s bound to be a long-ass day.
So, fuck it! Birds! Chirp on!
The door to the dank, dark wine cellar
Flung open as space split wide,
Bled more a stank so rank and stellar,
An embrace – a hit – of something that had died.
Still I stepped down atop that creaking stair
– ‘Twas so warped by moldy dew –
And as a new-leapt bird streaking through the air
The rot uncorked – I hacked – and instinct told me what to do.
Every clenching inch of my revolted body
Then struck me with a crippling spasm;
For that wrenching stench unbolted, and did embody
A fluid muck, a fetor rippling, oozing from that chasm.
So, with a sense of urgency, I pivoted a full one-eighty
And tried to make my way back from the top-most stair –
But the stink so dense gave no clemency, it riveted so greatly,
Just as the nether-slide I took that day, ‘twas impossible to forbear.
For the pine beneath my tattered-boot cracked,
And fell I with such a sudden drop,
So direct a line, a straight-down chute, to be attacked
By a stinking shine, a coughing clutch, I fell with a putrid plop.
I tumbled down like a sack of guts,
Sloshing and flopping whole my fall,
I rumbled – splattered – back slashed by cuts,
Blood-shower washing, flesh-scraps dropping, crying my sad call.
Then o’er echoed such a sound, one never to be forgotten
One which resonates, reverberates, and ricochets in my ears;
A thud I can’t let go – head hitting the ground – soaked in the rotten
Stench – that perforates; sound – that retaliates; stays throughout my years.
My neck then popped and shook when I lifted my head,
As if a newborn child, clawing from the womb;
I was a wreck, my heart stopped, when I took a look at the dead
Thrashed, and torn – as if by something wild, gnawing – body in that tomb.
There, perched above the spoiled flesh, like a feasting, feral hound,
There sat and sipped, bit and nipped the master of the homestead.
I lurched, recoiled -sharp as a bee sting – and upward did I bound;
Again, I slipped, on skin like dampened plaster, which from the corpse did shed.
The master, in his dining clothes, chuckled, glugged, and grinned
As he took another bite from the mushy, rotting muscle;
Then, even faster, chomped three toes, and swigged some blood like wind;
And I so shook ‘pon seeing that his slushie was made of my friend Russel.
But my employer then called to me “Come now, Butler, see!
I have a plate set for you, and some cutlery!
I know he was your dearest friend, but I beg you to dine
Upon his flesh, and sip his blood which I’ve fermented into wine!”
I met a gal with a clit like a bean
Which was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.
And I wanted to fuck her
Right in her tight pucker
‘Till I found out she was only sixteen.
I sit upon a throne of wine glasses
That bobs, a cork, through seas of sweet Merlot;
And as I sail, the ghost of time passes
Right by my purple’d lips as on I go.
The bottom of the bottle’s an anchor
That sinks me to a dreadful, drunkless muck;
When ruby’s devoid, in flushes rancor
That grips me when there’s nigh a drop to suck.
So please, my sweet and sleepy grape-born juice,
I’ll write to thee, much like the odes of Horace,
Until thou snip my dry lethargy loose
And wrap me in thy silken, velvet chorus.
And not again ’till then shall I feel fine
When I doth fill myself with thee, red wine.
When wind first kissed thy golden fields of grass,
It touched thine silken hair in such a way
Thou danced, a tempest, a storm through mountain pass,
That Colorado, without thee, would decay.
Thou art a statue, a sculpture of pain –
Alas, those fields of grass are also such
A pillow ‘pon which I can rest my brain
When all the weary world befalls too much.
Thou art a whirlwind, wrapped within thyself,
And such a sight as thee should ne’er be named
For that would cheapen thy ethereal wealth,
The treasure for which I wish I had remained.
Regret and love together so collide
When think I of those fields in which thou Hyde.
‘Hind the back of unsuspecting midnight,
Down roads of forged, feigned light,
The limbs which dash across the watches land
– With their razor’d jolts to the right –
Cut ‘round the face, bound by but a band,
To a wrist that holds my writing hand.
Time, everlasting, creeps as if on natures power
– A concept man tries to understand –
Right up the walls of dim night’s garden bower;
Like vines blessed with constant shower,
So quickly grows the witching flower –
Thy black and blooming rose, my dear First Hour.
How hopelessly had I tried to quantify,
To capture, breed, and multiply
Every dwindling, irreplaceable second
Carelessly spent while waiting to die.
Until thee, First Hour, who with bleakness beckoned
That my lost time must neither be tallied, nor reckoned.
Thou said, “Only by deeds and words does repetition
– Ne’er time – come back ‘round again, repeat a second.”
So, it is to thee do I fold submission –
Damn the break of day! First Hour, give me new tradition;
Help me speak without such hazed omission,
Explain thy beaming lack of light – O, juxtaposition!
With thee, would I so comfortably dwell
In such thy silent stillness of post-midnights bell
Though my watch tells me to leave thee, Hour of the First.
Drink I’ll another teacup from thy eternal well,
Until this Lethe gin has me coerced
To stay with thee forever, perpetuate my thirst.
I would entomb myself within this fleeting flicker,
Beneath thy constellations: distance songs, well versed.
And the stars, as if a berry picker
I’d pluck from the thy void, the sky-branched wicker
Which only in thy hour grows deeper, thicker,
Enough to birth the Junipers of such a sparse and potent liquor.
I would abandon all I lack and have, live a life both poor and low,
Forsake my human right to see Aurora’s Northern glow
If I could, with thee, my stumbling days out draw;
I would throw myself to the riptides relentless undertow,
Indenture myself to agony of liver-vultures gnaw.
I’d give anything for thee, ‘tis indeed my tragic flaw.
For I, a fool, with open arms, would embrace this boozen blight!
For to be in the darkness of thy hour, untouched, pure, and raw
Prompts me to abandon my book-stack blinded sight;
Remove myself from mimicry, and phrases ever trite.
And unlike those before me, ‘pon wings of Dawn, ne’er take flight,
Instead, stay rooted with thee, eternally, First Hour after midnight.
The dock had been dismantled
Flesh ripped away
Now all that’s left are the bones
Aged wooden legs
Rebellious. Resilient. Resistant to decay
They’ve stomped the tests of time
Straddled sprinting waters of the bay
Hurtled over highs and lows
Ran with the Mariner’s Rime
Undressed to the ebbs and flows
Tap-danced a pantomime
So you’d be right in assuming
The notion that’s been looming
For only the legs of the Dock knows
How in the end – the depth always grows
But how could legs so devout, Dedicated
Have fallen in love with the waves so fickle
Why would ocean return, just to be subjugated
By the legs that slash him like a sickle
Perhaps it’s why they were both created
To fall in love with what they should have hated
But still, once again, up the legs like a trickle
Over where the deck would’ve been
The sea returned and held her whole
Flooding himself through her marrow
Embracing all that did reside within
For the day apart had took its toll
And until the first cry of Dawn’s sparrow
The Tides and the legs of the dock
As if shot through them both, an arrow
Will, in an embrace, roll
Like quelling storm within a soul
Then peeps a little whisper , faint as a feather
That perplexes, yet soothes them with a shock
Two endless mates, the tides, the dock
Could through any hardship weather
And until ’till times final tock
Would be forever alone
For a mere quarter hour
I fell deeply in love with a French girl
Black hair, pale skin, seat one, Table 207
Beet salad and an order of calamari
She ordered a Cherry Coke
I whispered “I’m sorry
We don’t have that”
That’s a lie.
Added it for the drama
She had a pint glass of water
Then she paid in cash and left
She didn’t technically work on Colfax Avenue,
Because she thought that would be too suspicious;
And unlike the other gals, she didn’t dress in black or blue
Because she wanted to stand out, to be auspicious.
But it didn’t really matter, because the johns didn’t care,
The only thing they wanted was a little lower fare,
And so hope got in the way for pink-dressed Claire.
She had arrived in Denver about a month back,
Thought that going out West would be a change of pace
From the grimy East Coast streets, allies of the back
That had always held her down, and spat in her face.
But to leave New York, she’d have to sell her body like before
As means and methods to get her foot in the door
To move out West, go to school, and not be ashamed anymore.
But that didn’t happen for Claire, not in any shape or form.
Upon landing in the Mountain State, she was struck
By a stalking, a creeping, a back-of-the-neck breathing, damp and warm
Social construct, a necessity saying “Girl, you gotta’ fuck”.
For a single drop of downtrodden dejection spreads like a rash,
And it’s only cured by a surplus of, but also caused by the lack of cash.
It’s a self-perpetuating system that turns people into ash.
Now, I hope you don’t think poorly of her choices,
Because she tried, once in Denver, to set her life straight.
But restaurants don’t want waitresses with scars and charred voices,
And Claire’s constantly baggy eyes suggested she stayed up too late.
So she was forced, by her circumstances, to go back to the streets;
Those long and hollow hallways, which shamefully defeats
The bright eyes of gals like Claire, and slows their heartbeats.
Now even to this day, well, at lease I hope (should I?) that she’s still alive,
You can catch her in her pink dress on a side-street called North Ogden.
If you ever happen to be in Denver, and down East Colfax drive,
Do me a favor; if you see her, and what she’s been bogged in
Don’t pull over and try to pick her up, or “cure” her with a prayer;
Don’t give her pity-pennies, or what shallow gestures you can “spare”.
Instead, simply just to remind her that she’s still human, please smile at Claire.
O, Originality! Art thou as real as thee may seem?
Or doth thou lie only ‘twixt a hope, and a dreary dream?
Hold I the skill to crack thy shell, coddle so soft a yoke?
Or will my blunder’ng pen pierce thee once thy chest hath broke?
How I desire to swaddle thee, despite my mind so clogged
As rambling rivers dammed, and laced by a fog like smoke;
For my poetic streams flow from mountain tops of stammer’ng lips
Down tight canyons, through writer’s bog, forming lines: waterlogged.
Could such a rare treasure e’er found be on canoeing trips?
Or art thou only at roaring sea, which strips planked ribs of ships?
If so, I’d beg phonetic wind to speak unto my paper sails
A heaving breath as mighty as those of ancient, great blue whales.
Tell me, Originality! Has what I’m writing, in the past, been said?
For I so dread to repeat already told tall tales.
Repetition swells a fear, so crippling, halting, stagnant,
Hindering what I wish to write – thus sink my poems like lead.
Alas, perhaps, with a drop of luck, while lost at sea or River bent
Thou’ll speak to me, Originality, and leave me with a fragment;
And that mere splash, grain of sea born salt, ‘twould be enough to gloss
What e’er I wish to write, and give my hand a map when at a loss.
With such a chart, and clear a line of sight to the North Star,
I could find my way through woeful water, until met by thee, an Albatross.
And upon my chapped and breathless chest, thou would leave to lie
So sweet an egg – Originality – for which I’ve searched so far.
O, what I’d do for thee, Originality! If for but mere the chance to hear thy lullaby –
To prompt a thought, one new and taut, with which to write a poem, before I die.