. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Your Brush Beside the Sink

You send my skin away
Wrap it around your long finger
High-dive off of your painted fingernail
Slalom ski the rivulets of my joints
Moles like lily-pads float along the surface of my back
But part as you wade through the reeds there
Call my sins from the depths
Red rich water of my soul
Count for me the times I’ve said I’d miss you
But never really did
Toss your head back and scream my name
Put your weight on my chest
Empty your lungs
Leave your heart on the stand beside the bed
Where the yellow light falls
And the empty pages of your leather book lie rusting and asleep
Take your brush from beside the sink
Find your panties on the floor
And get the hell out


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day Time Talk

Phil held the steady gaze he was known for,
his instruments choppy in the darkness under his eyebrows,
his upper lip twitching in anticipation
but its movements covered by the broom of his thick mustache.

Jimmy held the gates as long as he could,
and in a ceremony his effort would be commended,
his own eyes were shifty and betrayed him,
despite his resolve a single tear ran for freedom down his cheek.

The doctor bellowed for what he called justice
to an audience that was hungry to see blood spilled.
The doctor had caressed reality
but danced his way into a knot no one could untie.

They loved him for it,
following him like the Piper
because he looked them in the eyes and told them what to think,
that they should trust him without knowing him
and hide in the grey patches of hair above his ears.

Where are we? thought Jimmy's mind
in a world that breathed disaster from a con man's lungs.
He could not stop the rebellious tear,
he protested but his eyes were ready to give up,
his idea of what makes sense
was rewritten on a band wagon driven hard by
a mad scientist in a sharp shouldered suit
carrying an audience with a single ignorant mind.

Jimmy became a new man
worse than the man the doctor accused him of being.
Jimmy stopped believing
because Phil was heavy set, tailored, commanding,
and because the audience cheered for him,
not for Jimmy.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nakupenda, Sikupendi

A tale written in my second language, Swahili...

Wewe muziki ni muziki wangu si,
Mnashughulika sana wakati wa
       majira ya joto,
Wewe ni baridi mno wakati ni moto nje,
Wewe ni pia safi kwa radi na umeme,
Wewe ni pia msukumo kwa ajili ya safari
       ya polepole ya gari,
Wewe ni pia usafi wakati i am hisia mchafu,
Wewe ni pia chafu ya kunawa nje
       ya nywele zangu,
Unasikitika sana ya kunawa nje
       ya nywele zangu,
Una sana roho juu ya usiku ya upweke,

Lakini, malaika,

Sijawahi waliona ngozi laini kama
       yako wakati wewe ni kusonga chini yangu,
Wakati wewe kupumua kwamba
       moshi fedha ndani ya mapafu yangu,
Na kuondoka ladha ya damu juu ya ulimi wangu,
Kabla walikuwa hapa sijawahi kelele kama
       mtoto mchanga kwa ajili ya kugusa ya mwanamke,
Machozi yangu yalikuwa na maana
       kwa kaburi maiti ya,
Lakini wewe kukamata wale wenye midomo yako,
Gugumia yao,
Na kutumia machozi yangu kukua busara.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Itch

Once you bit your dotted skin with canine fangs
       sunk behind lips black,
Where it rippled and burned you snipped
       to sooth the itch,
Through your thick fur you left a trail of saliva
       and the hair matted betwixt,
Whimpering and chasing rabbits but never sound enough
       to chase them far,
The red flesh below your jowls,
Dew claws like Egyptian earrings,
A wet nose at my elbow waiting for your cue to
       accompany Dylan’s sad reprise,
As if his voice were a full moon,
And a freight train was pulling into the stock yard,

But look, ho,
Now I am the madman uncontrolled,
My skin a thatch work of red runways for the
       talons dull beyond my cuticles,
Never a moment in peace,
A mountain range of red whelps, hills and valleys
       along the land mass of my flesh,
When one is satisfied another cries for relief,
Where I cannot reach they cry the loudest,
This body possessed with a devil on fire,
Oceans of insanity breed like rabbits in
       the confines of my skull,
They’ll find me howling at the moon,
And pulling the skin from my bones,

Yet look there,
You’re sleeping so peacefully tonight,
Dreaming away the mysteries of your love and loyalty,
Breathing softly and for the first time,

I have to wonder if for some reason
       God lifted that curse of endless itching
              from your black and white shoulders,
And placed it upon mine,
This misery,
This mania,
This delirium,
But there you are next to me,
Curled against my ribs,
I reach to scratch behind my knee
       raw from relentless fingernails,
And I think,
I will itch for a thousand years
       if I have to
              to enjoy this moment with you.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Blue Moon Interlude

His was the touch of satin,
soft starling’s wings fluttering on my shoulder,
that brash rogue’s face suddenly towering over me,
each gentle eye a window to the
       penthouse suite of his soul,
an obelisk of light against a low sky
       sprinkling mist and ruddy orange,
Chicago’s son,
the back porch tickler.

He caught me immersed in my texts,
salacious conversations to someone far away,
inconsequential texts,
absorbing and private nonetheless,
purposefully alone at the garden table
       distanced from crowds of drinkers,
projecting a No Vacancy sign in the ether
       above my head.

Still the starling fell from air to dance
       along my bent shoulder,
and there he was,
asking inopportune questions I could hardly hear,
holding his beer in the space between us,
always the glowing clouds above him,
salt and pepper rain drops in my eyes,
his droning meaningless banter,
such tragic dialogue lost on whatever intentions
       he accosted me with.

The ongoing incoming texts began to equal to
       the amount of my building frustration,
this friendly banality,
these pointless words,
o’ dragon from the dark depths of back yard azaleas,
your purpose and significance are together in question,
starling’s warble,
I caught myself thinking that life would get better
       when he returned to Chicago,
that one and only fact about him that I remember now.