Somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
Don't touch it. Don't say it. Don't do it. Don't doubt it. Don't think.
Somebody handcuffs my steps. Somebody determines my boundaries.
Before I fully understand free will, there is a slap on my head
and phosphenes like stars that command my orbit.
Before I can recognize differences, there is a slap on my hand
right hand, not left hand...never ambidextrous;
and time out is isolation without a trial...and I learn
the fear of wrongdoing
remote-controlling my existence,
conditional on demand, predesigned
An aborted freedom escaping into the sewer
trying not to get it on the seat
I'm the observer of other lives, not mine
tied up and chained, in captivity
attempting to prove an alibi
for being alive.
No one cares
not even myself
Somebody pulls on the rope to swing the bells
It's dirty. It's ugly. It's bad. It's poo. It's sin.
commitments, commandments... Commandments, Commitments
Sometimes deception makes them ring in a low tone. Sometimes
I do what they say, and not what they do, and not what I want, and not what I think.
Through fragments of this duplicity,
and this duplicity,
I would be able to rebuild myself,
and Myself, into another hypocritical being;
and the intentional perversion of the self proclaimed truth,
or the liar paradox,
will be sovereign
leading to the use of tricks and cotton swabs.
When the remorseless hours run counterclockwise,
I would be happy through imaginary experiences,
consistently believed to be true.
Would I dare to examine the society in which I've been educated and raised?
Would I dare rip my skin...my flesh off of my bones?
How could I blame them? How could I possibly judge them?
Order and obedience in confabulation...in conspiracy...in complicity
If somebody keeps pulling on the rope to swing the bells
If I'm the only one guarding my own cell
If I'm the jailer, and the convict, and the crime.
He reads voraciously
to his young children,
beholden and somewhat bewildered
by sweet progeny
their relentless leaching of his words
hungry baby birds, small peep teachings
He reads sporadically
to his father, articles from the paper,
headlines and bylines,
for his dad has cataracts, now, and velum hands
shake newsprint, making a rattling sound
too like the quiver of their cloistered skeletons,
all those remains, all those remains
There is wisdom in comics, he has found,
bucolic rings so like old church bells
tutoring fields through fog
He still tries to read
shared history in eyes,
the geography of long sighs, that topography of belly,
yes, yes, a theology that spills from parted lips
bless each rumpled sheet, that chemistry
which repeats poetry, spoken in a dialect, so rare
He remembers reading an encyclopedia
in the face of a beggar, once,
the prophetical sparking from high brows
which seemed to be only crossed currents,
a lifetime recorded, an unbound edition, A through Z
but when he turned carefully to C,
he'd found a full entry on compassion
Soon, he'll no longer read music notes
through a soft blur, playing guitar for one
a thousand times more educated then he,
this twelve year old girl, her heart
an open lecture hall,
that smile of pure academia,
may she ever be an opus angelorum,
that reaches, will ever reach,
far past mere hospice walls.
dadgum doctors, heads up their butts
poking, prodding, pricking skin
neurologist a psychopath
gets pleasure as electric volts pass through my body
family doctor showed little concern
made me paranoid about irregular heartbeat
EKG failed to determine cause
left me more in doubt than at ease
dentist like a character from Dustin Hoffman’s “Marathon Man”
the more pain inflicted
the more he rejoiced
deep root cleaning caused severe infection
bloodwork done by Vampira clones
labs filled with tubes and needles
results not shared with me
yet I footed the bill
optometrist an Oriental who moved so fast
didn’t care if the prescribed glasses worked
boo on you, dang aristocrats
waving your credentials
nurses so slow to respond
MRI promised on CD, but couldn’t be obtained
just like the blood tests, needed a “report”
doctors driving me insane
each should share my mental hospital bills
*Based on ongoing health tests and written for PD’s contest. Assignment Free Verse, 25 lines, category slam, sad and educational, title: Mental Hospital Bills
Authored by Chuck Keys
It had no color,
Lacking shape, size and dimension.
It wasn't moving or breathing.
There was neither aroma nor taste, not here or there.
Touching was useless because it wasn't physical.
It was indistinct and limitless.
Multi-sensually and multi-psychologically
It wasn't here or there and it was.
With no distinction,
It looked like everything else,
Or it could not have looked like everything else.
It never made me feel good nor bad,
Nor happy nor sad
Nor quite nor trite.
In our world of joy and destroy, we sort and distort,
Looking more on the surface and less on the inside,
Ready to judge and be judged from outside in.
The "oneness" of mankind stretches beyond definitions and limits,
From outside to inside and from inside to outside.
We are one distinct and alike world of "oneness."
Differences exist for differences,
Therefore, differences don't exist.
Only "oneness" exists.
This poem is dedicated to Dr. Clayborne Carson and The Gandhi-King Community,
For Global Peace with Social Justice in a Sustainable Environment.
Some people are voices
On the edge of rocks
With steep slopes and cliffs.
Some people are echoes
At the bottom of walls
Carved by rushing waters.
Resounding echoes awaken the child
demons in the attic beckon unto him
stark fear grips his Vick's laden chest
shivers vibrate rusty springs of down
footsteps creak closer upon loose floorboards
while steamed filled pipes play taps
a somber teddybear snarls
causing the world to be still
foolish nuns, God doesn't want to "get me"
the sting of a ruler splinters a left hand
blood spurts upon faces of laughter
evil little boy too wicked for a mother
affliction runs in the family
Florence became flop because she always fell
polio never whipped her ass
just abused her now and then
she healed with a smile
Even humility has its price
Jimmy Dean wore sunglasses
maybe his eyes were bloodshot
or maybe he was a child of an alcoholic
and they became part of his attire
degenerate eye disease, masturbation
spattering or battering
does it really matter when you can't see
or understand the difference between ADD and ADHD
Psych 101: Crack can be Prozac
Iron gates surround a new residence
protecting the innocent who peer from outside
rehabilitation means refining bad habits
like those on the outside who have mastered them
twelve years of bars and games people play
provide an education unto itself
seclusion can be the deciding factor
between murder or suicide
self righteous judges choose life
recidivism is a revolving door
of vicious cycles with no engines
only propellers called co-dependants
or co-defendants, take your pick
life repeats itself over and over
only the circumstances change
yet the merry-go-round stops
when the flowers are arranged
Why are most tombstones gray
scared, afraid to die
are you saved?
from what, ourselves
you can't hurt me
Bob Shank-Nov. 30th, 2006
I suck at dying poems
Chemo poems, Metastatic Cancer poems,
Hair falling out in the shower poems
And I told a half truth
When I told you I could write you one
In less than six months (It's been eight)
I apologize for being so late
I wanted your poem to be pink and graceful
Like those ribbons
I see all over the internet
Filled with cheesy generic rhymes
That read like a Hallmark audition
But already my metaphors are melting
And my similes are getting soft
I guarantee you the rhyme meter will be off
When I went to Google
And the typed in the word 'happy'
Three billion links came up
Not a single inference to
Breast cancer, hair loss
No redirects to mastectomies
Yahoo wasn't any kinder
The only thing research could teach me
Is that a good day on chemo
Is when your stool doesn't come out tar Black
And has no blood in it
Or when your urine
Smells better on Wednesday
Than it did on Tuesday
Sleeping less than 12 hours
When 24 would be better
America has more poets
Than it does alcoholics
And Pot smokers combined
And you chose me to be
Your Breast Cancer
Trusting me to write a poem
About the biggest battle in your life
So I refuse to finish this poem
Without something bright and hopeful
And don't think
I didn't notice your Facebook activity
Had decreased by 88%
In the last three months
And you aren't really
Coming to any more of my poetry shows
Ever again. Are you??
But we still have March, April
But even if you had one breast
Or no breast
Or if you had less hair than I do
I promise to look only in your eyes
And never ever even notice
Or even think about it
And never for a moment
Would I feel sorry for you
Yes I suck at lying too...
But I don't suck at loving you
Or at hoping you wake up tomorrow morning
With no Cancer at all
And that The Eiffel Tower will be right outside
Your bedroom window...
And I would be right there with you
Holding your hand while we look down on Paris
And you can impress me with your French again
And if I ever make it
To the Pulitzer Poetry board
I might lose a thousand points
Just for this poem alone
And my hopes for the prize will be smitten
And some old person
With white hair will say
That was the worst love poem ever written
I could care less about the four
corners of insults,
That intelligence invites;
It is always the first straw of
grass that’s grows,
which reveals the popular outcast;
As a youth, I found my image cut down
into this manufactured silhouette.
Drenched in social rain, my peers
had never found me more alienated,
Then when I spoke fluently of diverse
They did everything in their power to provide
a verbal umbrella,
However, the texture remains weak and
This stormy parade that remains’ dripping is
indeed an afterthought,
For within this cranial mansion resides
For the more abstract and surreal
elements of life;
It is that secluded gland which reveals
the renaissance of men, who wear
Now wearing the shoes of a young
A taste of charisma resides in my
However this slight addiction to external
Comes in second to my first drug of
Membership into this fraternity may take a lifetime;
So don’t be surprised when resistance
knocks at your door,
Intimidated by the lion that dwells within
Indeed intellect is the misunderstood
That blossoms sweeter when accepted.
Primose path leads to the slaughter of American
dream delete pause proficiency with internetty
webbegone after thoughts of yahoo googleyed
interred intracacises that shed benign capsules of
mom entary apple pie delquiences cooling
the soul shopping for the next alias avenue of
pointless me procurement mauling an ongoing
onerous dildodate vis a vie meme.com/me in
an engaging omnipresence of sextext no tact
spell ckeck chicshicshakplak no sense tic tac.
Talk? Walk? Balk? Chalk? Sue? Sulk?
Dinosaur diligence posse with the senior
gestages gestulating, we r forevre 21 and ying yang
dung. Yes, good f ing luck with that!! Look at your
petridish parents and see what box u check to lid close
and abscond with the lost liberal leftovers. That
is you in reverse in a few carnal years after Hilter youth
children decide to screw us as the new
generation which skewer post present parental postulates
to the oldster outhouse outlets so u can be "youf" free. Little
do they notknow as they cumulatively co opulate
that they set the stooge stage for no thanx ahole actions.
The DOS does'nt fall from the Apple tree. Leave it,
love it, learn it while ye may, the kid crisp cosmos of
offspring social dicktates are biting at your heartbeatbit
empty elmo enterprises. Pause parenatal prenatal
preferences prepearing perinatal persons pretasking
postnatal practices, in which you have veno papa preparation.
Think before you For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Analyze
your ass-incarnate initiate. Borrow berofe u basterdize,
condomize before u copu culminate, decide before
u dicktate, envision before u envy, fail before u foil,
grasp before u germinate, halt before u hinder,
illuminate before u illerate, jump before u jinx,
kill before u keep, love before u lay, meaning before
moaning, neutralize before u now, obilerate before
u ooops! presence before predicament, quit before
quake, resilience before ridiculous, sanity before
sexusensuality, thinkth before u thumpth, utilize
before u unionize, victory before victimization, we
before want, xx nor xy, zen before zeal. Pocket
passion files fly in the face of ruined reason residules
to the point of pronounced perplextion plagued
prominantly with no recall references to problematic
protocals for near north normalicies in my buckeye
life measures of simpatico silly symbiosis sublime
of mini me monophile mucous made misdemeanor
milktoast memories. Pass go, collect $200.
this is true;
you and I
who was I,
and now this crutch
just past mine age,
for I have passed on knowledge;
"I will discover grace"
her soft kiss
letting me in