Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Stephen Kilmer Poems

Below are the all-time best Stephen Kilmer poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

View ALL Stephen Kilmer Poems

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Tattoo of a Broken Heart

It’s raining in the corner
Stripes upon the floor
Bloody knife in a barroom door
Drinking whiskey
From a hollowed out gourd
Full of wasps
That rage in my core
Old man Mason
Got a smile upon his face
He knows the fire
And now I got a taste
Can’t stand up
Can’t lie down
Spinning room 
Going round and round
Lipstick so red and thick
Devils eyes are on my hip
Right hand of the devil
Is a handgun son
I’m shooting dice
I’m shooting everyone
Woke up in a Philippine jail
I’ll sail for Hong Kong
Once I make my bail
They’ll never find me
The only evidence to tell 
Is a tattoo of a broken heart
And a rusty nail

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem


Inhale My friend has prepared me For the final moments She sits beside me calm A woman not scared Or so she says… But I see the fear In her eyes For she is not prepared For this eventuality I pass the pipe Medicinal purposes I tell her It’s what keeps me hanging on. She takes a puff And coughs up a storm I laugh and cry at her tears For I will soon be home She falls back against the chair Holding her breath for all she’s worth Then slowly an exhale She now knows the truth For I am dead and gone I cross the river And sit under a tree And watch her from beyond As she begins to see That death is in my eyes My chest it’s final heave For we exhaled together The only difference between Life and death Was that final breath A second between life and death That separates us all. Exhale

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Pointe Coupee Parish

The last living light
Twinkles in his dead eyes
Alive a moment ago but now gone
Someone should shut them
A stare so lonely
Into a place that only he knew
He’s lying there on the floor 
Bleeding hard from the head
Police don’t even bother
Just pay him his respects
It’s cold and lonely down there
Watching life go on
Knowing your no long part of it
Just a passenger who had made the final stop
It may not be where you are going 
But it’s definitely where you will be

Somewhere down the line.
As he bled out no one stopped to care
He was nobody to them just a drifter
But even a drifter has a mother somewhere
His mother would have cared
Take him sweet Jesus and show him the way
He hath walked with the devil and a sawed off shotgun
Wrecked the lives of plenty a poor boy
Down on the wharf along the shore
Somebody cover him till darkness falls
Then we will carry him to Pointe Coupee parish
Across the river
And find his next of kin
Put him deep in that black gumbo
And let the devil do his work
For John Batiste was a man
Who needed no help
They’ll be frying up cracklin’s 
At JP’s on Saturday night
Someone will crumble a beer can 
And cuss John Batiste.

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Yellow King

The Yellow King
Flies at night
Never looking down
His gift is the moon
Buttery like a cue ball
He follows it round and round
Takes a bite of the evening night
A crumbling journey to the ground
That follows the stars and uses Mars
As a triangle to the earth
The Yellow King is not of this world
Yet gambles with our lives
For he is just a satellite 
Revolving around our lives
And when his cycle ends
He falls to the ground
But the cycle begins anew
And he will rule the night 
For his life is death
And death is life
That's why he circles the the moon
For he is the Yellow King
The King of the night.

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Broken Trombones

Dark and lonely
A cave in my soul
Dripping with emotion
A tidal flood
Encrypted in my heart
An arrow through a lark
Broken trombones
And old sousaphones
Honk into the night
I'm a rain dog that bites
I am a rattle snake 
That wants to fight
There’s no love here
There never has been
You ask me for my hand
It’s a shaker and a tam
No thank you ma’am
I'll take my chances 
On snake eyes
And remove the scales
That tie
So don’t come looking
For sunlight
It’s damp and dreary here
For a heart that is closed
This is no place for you dear

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

December in Mexico

It’s mid-winter here in Quintana-Ro
Tonight the rain has come
It is not unusual 
But the tourists are not happy
I am here to write and sleep
Mostly to sleep
The rain upon the thick leaves of the jungle
Sound like small drops of blood
Hitting my boots
Memories of Asian nights
As I sleep those drops 
Bring back the dead
And I wake.
And then I write.
These are not good stories
They are nightmares 
They are things I wish to forget
I write them and then I try to sleep again
Ambien the devils aspirin
Keeps me asleep until
Reality comes back
The jungle never sleeps
It holds on to dreams
And men.

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

To Everyone A Goodnight

Well they are here again
Knocking on my door
Monopolizing my television
Decorating my neighbors homes
Blitzing me at every store 
And corner in every city and hamlet
Between here and Buzzard Beak, Idaho.
It’s like a virus
A pandemic
Santa Claus is coming to town
Well I’ve been bad, very bad
And if that bastard shows up at my house
He ain’t getting cookies and milk
I’m been talking to Jesus and he tells me
That Santa is a fake, a sham, a trick on the poor people
He’s just a way to make the rich richer and poor poorer
So I ask Jesus “Why do you let this happen?”
And he smiles and tells me a long story about faith and forgotten dreams.
Then he fades back into the egg nog and I sleep with the devil.
Fitful dreams and reindeer back strap for breakfast
I eat the fake snow and regurgitate the Christmas balls
Burn the tree and bury the trimmings
The fat man can’t intimidate me.

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Coyote Tears

It’s cold here in Central Texas
Winter has laid its hand upon us
The night is clean and pure
With just a whisper of oak and mesquite fires
Burning on the hilltops 
And villages of old German hopes
The coyotes are calling
Packs move in the night
Instinctive without knowing the reason
They find their way into town
Old men with rifles sit on porches waiting
But nearly always miss
For winter is the friend of the coyote
And the bones of men
Are appendages meant for warmer climates
Civilized cravings or hunger drives them here
Or maybe it’s just an Comanche tear
That fell in this place 
And stained the ground forever
What ever it is I welcome them here
For they are clean and pure
Of what burdens men

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Is it Going to Rain

The wind calls your name
Dark clouds on the plain
Gusty wind in my heart
Blowing us apart

Is it going to rain?
Can you feel my pain?
Is it going to rain?
I think I’m going insane?
Tell me is it going rain?

Calm before the storm
Chance upon a breeze
Whisper in the night
I want to hold you tight?

I can feel the weather 
In my bones
It’s telling me 
I’ll be alone 

Tell me is it going to rain?
Tell me can you feel my pain?

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Let Me Be

Left here on the right 
All alone on the left
Stuck somewhere in the middle
How can I get on
This world is passing me by
I can’t live in it
I can’t even think in it
A cacophony of sound from every corner
Sterilizing my brain waves
Flat lining my senses
Slow down
For Christ’s sake
Let me breath
Let me think 
Let me be