Featured Poems

***Warning: Some Material May Not Be Appropriate For Children***

 

 

To Feel Alive

No pistol tastes the same.

             Mine

is a bourbon-muzzled truth maker;

as bitter

as those night terrors

of a columned world around me

            exploding;

as real as self-inflicted regret;

so familiar in my hand,

            and cold on my tongue;

It burns

            on the way down.

 

 

Dog Barking at 4 a.m. on a Wednesday Morning

What stirs us from these warm shallows

where daily thoughts and worries trickle

into visions of melting faces and debt-be-

gone solutions?

 

Intruder? Cat burglar? Here to steal away

the cat hair and still lingering smell of cat

piss left on this football armchair, from a

time when I couldn’t tell Kirstin no?

 

No. This house is silent of cat burglars and

thieves out to meet their rapture. But Keela’s

muffled, halfhearted calls into the night do

not fall upon deaf ears.

 

Does she know that I’m awake? Would my

dog child even care? Would she nuzzle my

tired hand if I were to stumble out into the

darkness and ask ‘what’s the matter?’

 

Perhaps she is having the same dreams as

me; free on the path that leads up through

the field where we walk for the view of

passing cars and ripe rolling hills. Free from

the debts of life, where slavery is an empty

dog dish and a sharp pile of unpaid bills.

 

**Selected as a Finalist in the 43rd New Millennium Awards for Poetry and Published by New Millennium Writings

 

 

Humanity

How could you not see

that I was dying;

 

stumbling by with a

loaded bottle to my brain,

 

speaking to you in whispers,

about me in tongues,

 

dragging my anger behind

me like a dead dog on a leash?

 

I was tall when I was crawling,

but you stepped right over me

 

like a crack in the sidewalk.

 

 

Dying in the Light

The shadows here are tall and mean.

 

A darker version of myself, armed and just

as dirty; stretching out towards home, or

freedom, or forgiveness; only to fall short

of that salvation.

 

A dark angel beside me, who looks like me,

who moves like me, but is able to bend along

these desert walls, hugging to the cover of

concrete and marble, if it wants to;

 

or fearless, poking out into the open streets;

daring poor bastards to fire, to expose their

hidden intentions, to invite in that kind of

death and destruction.

 

My shadow is a cold-blooded warrior;

faceless and stern. But in the heat of a flaring

sun, he still catches me when I fall.

 

**Published by Veterans Writing Project in 0-Dark-Thirty Vol. 4 No. 4

 

 

To be the Westward Sky at Sunset

I want to be

the westward sky

at sunset, when

blues melt and trickle,

drip into fire, burn red

and glow orange;

warming to the eyes,

like wool mittens

in Montana’s winter,

when frost nipped

fingers go numb, tingle,

and turn pale white;

white as the sun streams

that break free from

the covering grey clouds,

when thunderheads build

over prairie-dog plains

and rocket through the sky

a web of busted dreams;

 

like when she twisted

this ring from her finger

and set it down on white paper,

as empty as the six syllables

that filled it:

 

“I have to find myself,” it said.

And just as frankly, off she went

into the west fading sun.

 

**Published by GFT Press in GFT Presents: One in Four Vol. 1 Issue 2

 

 

The Pistol on My Nightstand

I wake, fist clenched and damp.

The reflection of headlights, like flares

across my room, catch the fading words

of some lost sentence. Such a strange voice,

scared and mean; I haven’t heard it’s tone

in years.

 

But now, eyes blinking and confused; there is

no sand, no sun, no warm wind stinging at my

cheeks. In the mixed glow of a quarter moon

and red alarm, I search the corners of my room.

But I see no threat, no danger; only a ceiling fan

buzzing low and sheets heavy, binding at my ankles.

 

To my left, mounted to the wall, my gun rack,

made of oak and cherry when I was a boy. The

different calibers make shadows like fingers

reaching out for me.

 

Under my mattress sticks a blade fixed to a

wooden handle. And at times I test its angle,

try its slicing steel; I feel for it before I sleep.

 

But on these nights, when thunder creeps in

from the West and shakes these walls, pulling

me from my past, I reach for the pistol on my

nightstand, feel its weight, its power, its comfort.

 

I pull the slide to the rear, let it go, hear the

clink of metal on brass and chamber a round.

I imagine the cavity in your chest; blood and

flesh burnt; pearl shards of bone; life smoking

from your holes; death; justice.

 

Then, barefoot and shirtless, I walk this house

armed until the morning sun.

 

**Published by Shipwreckt Books in Lost Lake Folk Opera Vol. 4 No. 1

 

 

Tequila by Ten

It’s no surprise that we didn’t

bother getting dressed;

 

we are more alive when we are

uncovered.

And how wild we are drunk dancing

to the rhythm of deep laughter.

 

Your bare breasts tango in the

morning light.

I simply cannot get enough of

the woman that you are.

 

Body shots of a tequila

sunrise;

and in my eyes, you are

everything.

 

 

Shadows in the Lamplight

The night is nothing more than

bad imagery and perspective:

 

Beer bottles loom like tombstones,

marking where dead worries lie.

 

Their shadows lean crooked and

bent by the dim lamplight. A heavy

 

head to a dirty pillow on a dog

haired couch; what cares have I?

 

And if it wasn’t so damned cliché, I’d

admit that she broke my humbled heart.

 

But in this moment of stale air and hatred,

the truth is easier to see; I broke it myself.

 

**Published online by The American Journal of Poetry Vol. 2

 

 

How to Hold Your Head Up

Stop watching where your feet go.

 

Aimless steps into the shadows

of a burnt out hallway light,

too high to reach,

too high to care,

tripping over angled hurdles placed there

by a careless moon; gilded

in the darkness

for the lost to find;

armored, and shinning for your curses

and flying stones.

 

Aim high when you’re desperate.

 

Pot shots at the moon, at the sun,

both too bright for your dark thoughts.

Angry haymakers wild at a wall

that is there

to hold up

the shell that you are.

And now you swing holes into it,

like a lunatic

aiming to break,

you shatter.

 

Cold on the dark floor, you look up for help.

 

**Published by Edify Publications in Edify Fiction Vol. 1 Issue 2

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