She left you a letter
outwitting at last the greatest.
A photograph, filched;
a King’s humiliation.
In your eyes she
holds the highest.
Twenty Ten FourWe never notice.
Our alarm doesn't ring, it sings
Pharell beating our mornings
till we remove from our snooze. We
forgot the tink-tinker or
and emerge the same.
The same commute to work:
Heads sunk, tired eyes drunk by
thumb movements. Our ears dumb
locked into a Will-I-Am trance. Not
a glance of the changing scenes;
the only birds we see are angry.
The same office echoes with
of emails blaming others and smack-talking.
instead of actual talking. We fall for
the hype of Skype and only Siri’s
voice drones narrow answers
we accept as truth.
The same playground, huddled corners;
Children pick a blackberry instead of
picking blackberries, for their late-night
Facebook fights. Words will always hurt see:
no kids to hit with sticks and stones. Unless
there’s an ap for it.
What do we do when stop?
Orwell you're too late
took thirty years to demonstrate your
doublethink and we all cling to
The Beard of intrigueHis beard was fascinating.
It was a loom, woven with intricate detail and so long it would put any wizard to shame. Each pattern in the coarse mound of hair seemed to share a secret. Perhaps they were memories- I’d heard others collect memories in such ways- etchings on their bodies, collecting objects and even journal writing. Maybe this man was his own journal.
The rest of him seemed positively ordinary. He rested in his chair in a blue business suit- albeit a little outdated for fashion, but suited the character I had begun to form in my head for him. His sorrowful eyes narrowed on a frustrated brow of greying features, illuminating a sense of tiredness. Perhaps the beard in all its might was weighting down. His skin was as rough as sandpaper, blotches and scars etching his hands and face with no revelation to the puzzle of his beard.
I wanted to move closer, debating whether it was rude to ask. The very notion excited me as I built up theories as to why his beard had the
Shopping and Wizards.A thousand bags
shuffle down the high street between
clasped hands, scrunched with new purchase.
They’re buggy-dodging the determined mothers,
the rushed businessmen-- a pinball
machine shopping centre.
A green-robed man, tall with wand and hood
must be a wizard. He’s happily
procuring sushi and sparkling water
whilst his companion;
short with her piercings and jeans treats him
as if he wore the same.
Down the high street,
two track-suited parents
zoom past on their children’s scooters—
half-smoked fags between fingers yell
how fucking amazing this is.
spotted teen raps
his love for Jesus on a muffled
He raps for the Father,
He raps for the Son
and Holy Spirit.
He raps for peace, for hope, for you.
In a corner,
Brown eyes, hefty tears,
a snot-ridden face--
four years old.
A train runs through the mall toot-tooting
as grumpy shoppers move out of the way.
Napo 8- SusanWhy did you lock her out of heaven
and throw the key
into the lions land?
A beautiful girl enjoying
a new fantasy to live.
She'd stopped believing, but
faith stays in a heart longer
than a head.
"She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now,
and she'll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age"
Napo 7- Teen of the 90'sI wanted to be Posh Spice because my
hair was brown bobbed and she dated David
Beckham; I wanted to marry him. I
had no internet and recorded songs
on the radio to tape, daring to
pause and knock out the DJ’s droll. I sang
to S Club and thought I was the coolest
in my smiley faced top and my yingyang
friendship necklaces. You had to know the
Macarena not just for weddings but
school discos too and then every steps routine
to fit in. Slow dances with boys made me
wish again that they were David Beckham
and not greasy teens with bad curtains for
hair. They pressed themselves against you before
travelling to the next girl in leopard
print skirt. Viva forever was merely
a fantasy ; one I’d dream the whole of
the nineties, hoping my teenage self could
find her inner strength, her true girl power.
Napo 4- Warrior with painted faceThere’s a warrior with a painted face
and streaks of black across his chest; he stands
wild with pride. His merciless eyes ignited by the
echoes of fallen enemies. He slew
two hundred men and just scars mark their defence.
There’s a warrior with a painted face
who prays to gods mightier than he; he kneels
arms open to implore. He calls upon his army
to pray with him; equals once more. He watches
embers burn before retiring to his tent.
There’s a warrior with a painted face
and inside his heart rests a son and daughter
sleeping. There is a reason he is
Napo 3- Leaving the Train Station
Leaving the train station
alone I watch strangers head home.
The waves for yellow cabs and
stench of fresh-lit cigarettes, I let
the cold cloud white breath.
Even at midnight, a long-coated businessman
hurries past with laptop bag bulging and blackberry to ear. Behind me,
a clip-clack of heels and giggles-
their night hasn’t ended.
Across the road, three youths in hooded
tops kick a can whilst eating chips only stopping
as clip-clacks pass them and swoon
immaturity. Swear words exchange.
In the ice-wind rubbish travels as if taking
a commute, tapa-tapping the concrete.
Exhausted I can only wait with
white breath etching blue hands desperate to be
warmed. Eyes fight; tired and
Napo 2- Zombie ApocolypseTurn, turn, slow turn. Twist bones
broke but drag drag behind, pull
tug flesh ripped. Shuffle, groan desire
only for blood brains.
Undead, unliving, unknown.
To survive a zombie apocalypse don’t be
a hero. Do not fight marauders without
necessity. Attrition; gnawing for bare
minimal (lest you be gnawed upon!). To
survive ravenous army equip your
your wits and an axe.
Moan as much as they moan- both sides are hungry.
there's something fatal about coughing up verse.i got written up for writing poetry on the desks
i don't think they liked the language i used
when i wrote how my heart was beating
like headboards against the walls of people fucking
at 3 am to the sounds of joy division
whenever you read me paintings at dawn.
they were going to send me to the counselor,
but i said my therapist probably wouldn't like that,
so they just let me go.
but this saturday, when i'm cleaning lives off of every desk in school,
i'll just be thinking how much i'd rather be sitting on your roof
and laughing when we argue about rimbaud
and sighing as we start to die.
ElenaElena followed me home
from work one night
and stayed for tea and eggs,
and all that minimum wage
and wars between the sheets
She said she was a goddess,
daughter of a carpenter
with her long red, red hair
and eyes as warm as hazel nuts
on Christmas morning.
Her hands spoke braille
across my back
and made the silence
of Sunday into a prophecy.
She left one October
just like she said she would
when the fireflies
had turned their wings to ash.
And I found revelation
in red, red wine
and cheap red, red fabric
that came off in my hands
WineHead on a patisserie table
with a wine-scented napkin
that I scrawled your name all over
in the hopes it might necromance
or just romance you
to this place, at this time,
so we could be together again
and although the guitarist knows
that I'm broken beyond blue
I keep reaching for the bottle
in the hopes it might recreate
or just replicate
short history of the universe(what it's like is anne sexton quoting van gogh about sometimes having a terrible need for religion)
A lake slams into a bus and a city is unborn.
Enter an ocean of fog and then desert after desert stacked above the hills.
Then you get drunk as fuck near the tumbling skyline,
and this god damned room burns like prayer in your chest.
Then many missing scientists reappear in your brittle beach,
and your satellites in relapse all bending,
and what it's like is some kind of disaster, honestly;
the arms and the aerosol and the linen and the light.
And the rumble forwarding the sovereign wreck saying
survive yourself like you've survived me;
saying the game-changing theory was that everything is always moving,
and same for the carousal shadow bleeding through the mountain in your dream,
same for your silence and the sudden red rain of witnesses.
And then what unconquerable continents,
what strange forecast occupied via gate via wind and wave-
multitudes of sick yellow branch
to the ghosts with you, my deari came not to be kissed,
or to have myself cradled
in the curve of a throat,
but to be broken,
to be diminished
by your lack of affection
& over indulgence of sexualization.
uneducated in your intent,
found myself left entirely whole
& incapable of the fury
i had sought to sow between the
ridges of my aching ribs.
the polar opposite of translucencycradled in the echo
of a cloudburst,
the earth curls invisible fingers
about my achilles' tendon
she cries that i am not
intended for the clouds,
that my mind must not wander
between their susurrous concaves
furious with her insistence,
untether myself from the soft,
diaphonous comfort of the heavens
down into the weight of gravity.
listless green blades welcome my soles,
stimulating a tickle,
a sneeze; i never have done well
she is calling for me,
soft-tongued and crisp in her
& i am sorely tempted
i am not for the soil.
she becomes my inhale;
my alveoli shudder
beneath her force--
i am not for the air, either.
i stand beneath her onslaught
until she tires,
her molten heart beating beneath my toes;
unable to woo me with her facets,
cloaking me in one last attempt,
a final shadow.
my pores bloom
& i r
muddy waterthe sun rises late now. or hardly ever.
or belligerent carmine on the underbellies of plants.
a shot of sleep to the head, a boxing glove punch.
the metaphorical rooster crows with the awful clamour of its lonely breath.
the thing is, i can substitute the body.
the thing is, the slit
is a fantastic shade of orange
i saw god but he says you still need to get a fucking job
the thing is, i am bathtub water and rotten leaves.
and the taste of power on the morning wind,
a wet newspaper
with the headlines of a presidential divorce.
there is power in the young eagle
hissing at passersby from its trashcan throne.
i know one thing:
I'm too poor to feel so middle class.My teeth still ache from the dentist,
but it doesn’t stop me from nibbling
the cheese danish I bought at Kroger
this morning, warmed by thirty
seconds in the microwave. My mug
of hot chocolate is too big, and I
drink it all. The washer is on its last
cycle; the cat is purring at my feet.
Netflix is background noise
to clacking keys, typing a transcript
of middle class morning that I’ll later
call a poem or a turning point,
wondering when I became such an adult.