Verse Versus

Thank you, to whomever it is
that anonymous thanks belong,
for making the scratching of pen on paper
sound productive by default
so I can look like I am working when I am really
indulging last night’s thoughts and leftover bits of song;
of elbow patches on worn professor jackets
made of woolen tweed.

Lecherous, indeed.

Thanks to you for useless business meetings
that would be a waste of time except for
this sacred stolen opportunity
to withdraw, to leave my body here
and scratch my way back to lasers dancing
on layers of oak branches and their leaves.

Now back, I am relieved.

Thank you for the Mason-Dixon line that separates
the frosty numbness of my unprotected spine
from the golden-hazed warmth of the fire on my legs,
and thank you for the bodies sitting close
and leaning in,
for the words said under breath
to light my ears and incite sin.

Thanks for the ability to lay back
my head in solemn ecstasy,
my every breath a prayer wrapped in grins
and soaked in guitar necks next to me-
thanks for what this might begin.

I will not thank you, however,
for another entry into the annals of the bittersweet,
as if I needed more disdain for desks.
I already knew that elsewhere there are wooden decks
that lead to marshy water streets -
you didn’t need to rub it in.

You really didn’t need to remind me
of art farms and babies sleeping wrapped up in our poetry
with lumbering canines drinking sips of stolen wine
choosing my feet to slumber under – mine.

But thanks nonetheless for name-dropping peers
and multi-colored mason jars hued by Belgian beer.
Thank you for a row of twenty-somethings children
dangling drunken feet from docks
too skinny for things like mortality
or ticking hands on time bomb clocks.



I don’t know why I weave the webs I do - for sport or perhaps
some greater desperation bubbling up from oceans deep
where demons pace prisons and dead things sleep.

So where do you come in?
Are you among my demons now, rattling bars and hoping to run free?
I listen close for loose chains and faulty locks...
...or do you hold the key?

When you growl low and close it grows hard to tell
if it’s demons or sirens I hear -
it grows hard to tell if I hear demons or if I am one.

Or maybe the panther slinking
through the night has golden eyes like mine
simmering with words of caution
as the thoughts of a predator run rampant
through the dark jungles of my mind.

Each toss of my hair is a flick of a tail,
flirtatious and devastating, inviting and deadly...
but you creep closer anyway, with muted murmurs
and calm stealth, trying not to scare me
with slow hands moving sure and steady.

Is it demons, or just the impressions
of your feet on the sidewalk behind me?
I turn to see, meeting eyes clouded over
with lust and uncertainty - eyes that want it all -
to grab with both hands this mystery
and shake free all of the secrets that you have for me. 


Just like the water

I become something different in the water. 

My arms are stronger, capable of pulling the combined weight of me and my watercraft. 
My senses are sharper, tuned in to the sights and sounds around me.

My soul becomes visible again- if only slightly discernible through drops of water falling from my paddle.

And as the flask of whiskey is passed around, 
followed by the heady scent of earthy smoke,
my body warms and whirs to back life.


On my mind

 - the bass line before the drum kicks in

 - the crack in the sidewalk with the green grass splitting the concrete

 - the compilation of loops on a page that you call words

 - primal urge in its finest, most basic element

 - indecision at the XXX adult store

 - a red cup filled with intoxicants

 - an enlightened theory, scoffed at by all

 - a retro junkie at its most literal

 - the kings of civilizations and empires past, who names you don’t recall

 - a hushed whisper, right next to your ear

 - the head you clutch to your chest




Acrid smoke sneaks through the vents into my lungs,
vapor leaking out from under the hood.
You said you'd fix it but I got that feeling you never would.

And the barriers shatter silently in anticlimax,
I doff my hats at invisible lines marred by soft soled shoes.

I knew it'd be me. I called it, me not you.
Words from the macabre, a tryst or two-
I knew it'd be me. Not you.