Long poem by
Gregory R Barden | Details
The tears flowed and I still smiled,
My body and spirit and mind,
Were still in that state of residual bliss,
Soaking in your sweet smile,
And savoring the moonlit skin before me,
But my soul was being torn asunder,
And shaken to the core of its core.
I knew soon my face would
Betray me if I couldn't shake it off somehow,
But it was overtaking me, and while
My face was hidden in shadow,
My back to the moonlight from the window,
I knew the wet from my face
Was now moistening my chest and arm.
As I sat sideways on the bed,
Looking down at you in repose, your face was
Changing ... the smile was leaving it slowly,
And in its place something unusual ...
A look of questioning and doubt,
And I knew you knew, could tell somehow
That my emotions were overflowing,
And you reached out tentatively
And touched my chest, tracing your finger
On the path of my tears, down to my arm
And back up slowly to my face,
Where the wet was far too plain to hide.
Oh, how I wished then I could
Find a way, a lie, an excuse, an alibi to get
Out of this, because I knew that this truth would
Change you irrevocably, as it had already
Profoundly changed me ...
But my tears were flowing, streaking me,
Little wet, random, epidermal excursions,
And I could not control it.
I wasn't sobbing or crying, at least
Not as I had ever known crying to be prior.
But I had also never before had water streaming
So steadily down my face just SO ...
Like a faucet, but still the smile frozen on my face,
The rest of me, physically, was still frozen in that
Amazing moment, but my soul had let loose
This infernal fountain, straight from my eyes
And down, and I was doomed to the truth ...
Doomed because it WAS the truth,
And because I knew you enough
To know you would never let this go ...
You had never seen me like this -
Didn't know I was capable -
Even I had never seen me like this,
And ONLY truth would serve to remedy and explain
The strange dichotomy now known to us both.
Do you remember? I'm sure of it ...
And even though I didn't understand it,
Or know why it was so starkly plain to me,
Or know why I could even speak the words to come,
Or have any idea why it was hitting me NOW,
Still it came forth like some horrid doctrine
That had been handed down to me from the crown
Of the fates themselves ... an overwhelmingly
Inescapable truth that no matter
What else came to be,
Or what would happen between now and then,
Or how much we worked to make it otherwise,
Or how terrified I was at even the thought,
Or how silly and absurd it may seem,
Or how awfully contrary it was to this amazingly
Beautiful night that we had just shared,
And this incredibly romantic moment that
I was about to destroy ...
That despite all these things that normally would
Have chased it away, I KNEW, without a breath of question,
Without the tiniest sliver of a doubt, I knew this truth that
(Remember that word? "Someday"? ...
The word that we cherished so when we were
Both in places that made being together
And sharing what we now did impossible?
That word that meant our hope and our
Future and our everything?
That word that finally had become reality and happiness?
That word that now came back to destroy me?)
I knew that SOMEDAY, no matter what,
You would be here on this bed, in the warm glow
Of moonlight, with your skin gleaming porcelain,
And your mind winding down to sleep ...
Your body weary from the busy day ...
And you would be ALONE.
Not alone as in the regular occurrences that
Separate lovers once-in-a-while, not alone as in
The finality of death, but alone as in without ME ...
Alone as in one day would come when I
Would never, ever, again be sitting here adoring you,
Washed in moonlight and love ...
Alone as in the inescapable, dire reality that
No matter how in love and joined and perfectly made
For each other we were,
It would STILL not be enough to save us ...
Alone as in that though we were soul-mates,
Soul-mates as surely bound to each other as any
Two people ever have been, it was still not destined to last.
Alone as in though our hands fit together as tightly
And surely as though one had been formed in clay
Around the other, though our bodies had been
Pre-determined eons ago to be forms that would
Fit to perfection, though we almost
Always knew what the other was thinking or feeling,
Though we loved all the same things in life -
The same joys, the same music,
The same affectionate behavior,
The same foods and movies and walks and people,
Though we knew from the first moment we ever
Talked on the phone that THIS was the ONE -
The person we had been destined for,
The person we had dreamed about as a child,
The person who would define our journey,
The person who defined our other half,
The person who was our kindred heart and split-apart ...
Alone as in ALL of these amazingly perfect
Reasons would still NOT be enough to hold us.
Alone as in I would be elsewhere, living MY life,
And you would be here, living yours,
And we would both be only a
Memory for the other, and a fading memory of
All that was right and all that SHOULD have been eternal,
But for some ugly, inequitable twist of the stars,
Could NOT be, and WOULD not be,
No matter what.
Do you remember? I know you do ...
Sadly, I'm sure you do.
I told you, straight out ... just like that ...
It was something that I normally would never
Have even uttered, but something,
In its purity and inescapable truth,
That I HAD to speak, and with no reserve.
As soon as I had told you
The tears stopped, as if their only purpose was
To force this cruel hand ... to make sure we
Both knew that it was real ...
To be the wet arbiter of a truth
Otherwise avoided or marginalized.
I remember the look in your eyes,
The look that said what your voice did not,
That YOU knew with certainty, via the way this
Horrid knowledge came about, that it was something
Inescapable also ... that it was not coming from ME,
But rather from a place beyond us both ...
A place unknown, but also undeniable.
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2017
Long poem by
Gregory R Barden | Details
Do you remember?
We lay in the moonlight, exhausted and content,
Moments from perfection, skin glistening with moisture,
Salty and sweet from love - love so amazing
That it stunned us every time ...
Always better than before, and always perfect.
Even from the very first, always different and new,
Yet always the same - perfect and lost and ONE.
Feeling so entwined that we forgot
Where you ended and I began.
So incredibly mingled and joined and blended
And mixed and combined, that for an incredible moment,
A moment that always seemed to stretch to infinitude,
For that eternal moment we were no longer "we" ...
Our spirits were so completely interlaced,
That we almost felt ... alone. Lonely. As us.
But then always, somehow, enough of the world
Would slow down and let our breath
And minds catch up to our souls,
And we knew it was that amazing "we"
That had brought us here a thousand times before,
Focused to a point of energy so perfect
And loving and all-encompassing -
A kinetic rush that felt like being caught in
The thunderous curl of an ocean wave,
A wave that crashed us to shore and slowly
Rolled us over and over in the fading wash,
That ever more gently pulled us back
From the shore of ecstasy and joy,
With it's energy flowing out to the calm,
And the gentle swells reminding us
That "we" were you and I once more,
Wasted and wet and wonderfully blissful.
Do you remember? Do you?
That sexy song from Quincy's Jook Joint
Played on endless repeat, so perfectly matching
The mood and the moonlight and the glow
Of your perfect, porcelain skin.
That amazing soft blue, moonlit skin
That I could not keep from touching,
Brushing the tips of my fingers so gently
That you almost didn't know they were there ...
So softly that they were like a dance of the breeze,
And the energy between the tips of my fingers
And the electric surface of your skin,
Would give you little shivers of pleasure.
Those spots that only I knew, but knew so well ...
The soft indent behind your knee,
The palm of your hand, the underside
Of your gently outstretched arm,
The small of your back where the dimples are,
The space from inside your ankle to your arch,
(Oh, how I delighted in your feet,
Those adorable little feet),
The delicate slope at the nape of your neck,
Those amazing lines on your lower-to-mid torso,
That drew routes from your sides to your sublime,
The gentle, curved pocket
Inside your upper thigh, and the luscious,
Creamy places they all led to.
Just the tips of my fingers like warm rain,
And your skin reacting like the drops splattering -
Little quivers of dermal arousal
That would make your breath catch in your throat,
Then release in a sigh that slayed me,
Sword-through-heart, and quietly sent me
Out of my conscious mind, urging me to repeat
The exploration of your skin, and seek out
Those silky, sultry spots once more,
But this time with the warm brush of my mouth.
Ubiquitous and thorough, everywhere ...
Slowly, softly, with the tip of my tongue
To sweeten the journey, but hungrily, too,
Like my lips had never tasted sugar,
Yet now they knew honey, nectarous and syrupy-sweet.
I'd alter between that tender touch of electricity,
(Like your skin was truly a porcelain shell,
So thin that the slightest pressure
Might crumble it's surface),
And the gentle but keen press
Of unsated hunger, adoring every inch -
Tasting the salty sweet of you.
Like butterflies alight, your shudders
Would quicken, and your sighs would increase
In their intensity, my mind and body losing their grip
On the discipline that I employed to tease you
The way you desired ... with my hands, touch,
Mouth, breath, tongue, kiss.
Then the quest to lose ourselves
In each other would start all over again, and again,
It would be pure, and again, it would take us
To "that place", the place of endless time
And bliss and passion, swimming up each other
Like rivers, and washing back to the sea of reality.
Do you remember? Tell me you do ...
It was one of those perfect moments,
And you lay in the moonlight, looking at me
Like I was everything ... like your hunger
And longings and dreams and joy and contentment
And triumphs and pleasures and hopes
Were all complete, fulfilled, sated ... by ME.
Like I was the ONE, the only ..
Like I was the rest of your life,
And your eternity to come.
The tiny spot of moonlight glinting in your eye,
Focused on me, searching my form
And back to lock eyes ... and that smile ...
Oh, that little smile that told me everything
I ever needed to know,
That was more moonlight and starlight
And sunshine, than the heavenly objects themselves ...
That smile that wrapped my heart in it's iron grasp
The very first time I saw you,
And still has not left me to this day.
Though it's visage has been gone from me
For years, I still feel it's warmth on my skin,
I still shine it into my dark soul
When it seems the black there will never be gone.
Just the MEMORY of that smile saves my
Worthless soul from the nightmares that
Losing you has wrought the ebb of my dreams.
Do you remember? I know you do ...
You were lying there, adoring ME, (wow),
As I was adoring you,
And we both smiled at each other,
That knowing smile that proved we had just
Visited again that place so many never will,
And were now basking in the serenity
That only such a night, and such an experience,
And such music, and such love,
Could create for two people.
And as I smiled with immense joy ...
As I smiled with love and fullness ...
As I smiled with complete contentment ...
As I smiled at my soul mate ...
Tears began to stream down my face ...
And a certainty I had never before known in my life,
Struck me with the weight
Of it's horrid truth - reached deep into my being,
Warm from love, and ripped my heart into shreds.
I know not where it came from or why,
But it was the deepest truth I had ever
Experienced, and it was too much for me to bear.
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2017
Long poem by
Gregory R Barden | Details
I went again today ... to that place, the allurement overwhelming ... the one we called "ours" so tritely,
"Mine" before you, "mine" again now, (tho' others have doubtless staked claimed - ages before and since).
I went there to "forget" you ... to put life in perspective again -
To feel the awe of all creation and my insignificance amidst it ... yours ... ours.
Just one of the endless ways I forget you each day.
My essence is there ... an open-air cathedral for the melancholy,
(And I one of its honored caretakers and most stolid gargoyles, cold as granite).
The redolent brine ... laughing gulls ... clang of a buoy ... hypnotic wave wash,
Like it's lulling the day to slumber, or heartening me to listen ...
Listen to the rhythmic music of nature's capricious breath.
I walked to the end, where the ledges meet the sand, (the way we always did),
A bit of a hike, more than three miles down and back, I think,
But it seems as near as ever when I'm so enthralled with what my senses drown me in.
It's always there, (waiting for me, I like to think) ... "Our" rock ... hours spent there ...
Talking deep, talking nothing ... kissing, arguing, ruminating, dreaming, being silent, being loud ...
(Minds at one moment as if one, the next, eons apart ... our own worlds).
That rock, though molded and shaped by centuries of water and wind,
Fit us perfectly ... as if all those years of endless pounding of surf and gale,
Was a premonition for our special moments ... was a monotonous preparation,
For romantic fools like me who find fate inescapable ... who find happenstance hard to accept,
And who believe that this rock was placed here for our purposes alone ... (foolish).
Imagine the stories that rock has absorbed ... not just mine, but endless others,
Who have found that place as special and receptive for love and melancholy as we.
I wonder, when others are there alone, if they do as I do -
I talk out loud to no one - out into the ether - sometimes from the deepest part of my being,
Things I would or could never speak to another human ... but that spot ...
It coaxes them out ... the salt air and sounds of the shore, reach their fingers into my being,
And grasp things there I didn't know existed ... and I'm obliged to turn them to sound,
To give substance of voice to validate their importance ...
Not importance to me or my loves or any human or nature or even God ...
But importance to the moment ... to existence and its divine principles.
(These are the precise things this place stirs within me each time I'm here ... but always mixed with you).
There have been times ... times when I went in winter, during stormy weather ...
I love the ocean then the most ... it's personality is at its most basic ... it's most visceral:
It's strength, it's anger, it's exuberance, it's joy, it's indifference to humanity,
Is at its most obvious ... and my significance to myself is never more potent.
There are usually no people there then, and it's as if it's been placed there for me alone to appreciate.
At those times, when there are no others, and the surf is pounding ... the waves raging against sand and stone,
And the gulls are fighting the winds off-shore, the bell-buoys arguing with the swells, and the fog-horns warning ...
I walk to the end ... to our rock, and I stand up on it, and without thinking of anything but you,
And your eyes, the way they betrayed your soul the first time they met mine,
Your hands, the way God made the spaces between your fingers fit mine so perfectly ...
Your smile, that makes those "light up a room" clichés seem so inadequate,
That incredible tiny electrical vibration I felt when I touched your skin, (like no other),
And your voice, that never stopped making my heart flip whenever you'd speak my name,
Your sigh, a music so sweet and forbidden ... a melody for me alone, that held me prisoner ...
Thinking on all that defines what you are and were and meant, (and the void left behind) ...
I reach down into my soul, to that place that terrifies me, where I'd never go at any other time,
(The place I refuse to see when I consider the mirror each day ... the place I will always deny),
I saturate myself with that dark place and all that it holds ... all that it hides,
And with all my might I tear it from my gut in a single yell ... a sound as primal as my surroundings.
Not a scream of terror, but one of release ... a release of contrition and self-awareness ...
A purging of pain and joy and fear and passion ... loss and love and anger and insignificance ...
Hatred and jealousy ... exuberance and relief ... the longing to feel, and the desire to never feel again ...
All my emotion - negative, positive, ambiguous - the multitude of things I feel that are beyond expression...
I scrape them from my being with all the force I can ... completely, without regret or wonder,
Face skyward, I return them to the places they belong ... carried to nothingness on the ocean winds, (like the dust I someday will become).
No one can hear ... no thing can hear ... even to me the sound is swallowed by the surf.
The gulls and sandpipers go about their business, (I could be another of these rocks,
And it would matter not to them) ... my loud proclamations to the sky unrecognized.
But to me this little ritual is priceless, this place as precious as any ...
My soul renewed as my breath is spent, (at least temporarily), my mind as clear as the cloudless sky.
My thoughts are still of you ... us ... there ... magical ... sun dancing as a million jewels on the waves.
Or moonlight hypnotizing us to dream and believe and feel sure it would never end ...
Moments so precious ... so bathed in romance that they were eternal ... captured in time,
Beyond the sobering brush of reality ... and at those moments, all that mattered ...
No thought or feeling or emotion or thing that wasn't US ... alone but not alone.
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2017
Long poem by
Victoria Anderson-Throop | Details
SEX ON A CLOUD
She grabbed his voice
Through conference din
Sought to win his gaze--
But crowds of gabbers tottered in...
He missed the sexy nod she sent his way--
Distracted by a phone call--
faded from his day.
But oh his face....
Would not be gone....
of passion's eyes--
Fate teased in him
Brash Upward Plans--
Such a heart must be attached--
Her stubborn mind
holds fast to dreams,
bows to Fate--
but loathe to schemes....
She stalked his dreams
The night is theirs
Palm to Palm--
All answered Prayers.
Besieged by bliss--
becalmed by thoughts
of moonlit kiss
she Owns his Face
sweet charmed caressing
that leaves no trace
but silent blessing
Over a shoulder
behind a pole
he saw a face
that grabbed his soul
wild hair so red
his heart caught fire
hands of grace
could capture choirs
Laugh of bells
tolled 'cross the hall
he moved toward her,
then had a call--
stepped out in search of quiet space,
cut short his call--
yet lost her face.
She was gone...
a f_cking awful
He's lost his chance,
Her essence brands,
Flays bare his heart--
But business tugs him
tho hard to place--
She's the tune he can't erase.
a love so fierce
Each night they tryst,
shake clouds above
grant them every lover's wish
She nuzzles love
and slips o-er him--
encased and blessed
in Passion's Glove.
Copyright © Victoria Anderson-Throop | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
cassie hellberg | Details
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
Copyright © cassie hellberg | Year Posted 2013
Long poem by
T Wignesan | Details
Prizes for Ultimate Sacrifices
prizes for the abstemious for abstinence chastity ?
the countless occasions for love you let slip
prizes for stopping
smoking by yourself
drinking even Bordeaux
munching on the meat of beasts
crustacean flesh fish fowl or eggs
for honesty with oneself
for commitment to lost causes
the ability to see through their deviousnesses
and refraining to do anything about it at all
for helping them at one’s own peril
for giving away what you direly need for yourself and your dependents
for not thinking of your own future just to bolster someone else’s
for depriving yourself of the pleasures of the day
when you can go out and buy them with what you got and still have enough leftover
for spending hours and hours every so often just listening to those who need to unburden themselves on you while you serve them aperitifs then coffee/tea and finally end up cooking dinner and bedding them down in your only bedroom while you may hardly stretch yourself out in amongst the books and things and boxes of files of unread drafts and such and wake in the middle of the night because the suffering soul behind the wall is moaning and tossing and apostrophising aloud in your bed calling your name out at every fiery phrase for all you know accusing you for all his troubles plus those of his friends near ones dear ones and/or dependents
prizes for doing everything by yourself
looking after yourself cleaning the kitchen washing the clothes by hand doing the dishes in cold water showering cold to save on hot water repairing the car with spare unfit parts from the breakers learning languages all by yourself typing your own manuscripts and those of others starting your own journal and publishing others typing writing setting up photocopying designing printing binding marketing writing letters and posting them after long waits at queues attending to the plumbing redoing the parquet papering and/or painting your own but rented walls shopping on the cheap after hours and hours of comparing prices at different places keeping tabs on your dependents defending yourself against marauding civil servants politicos fighting your own legal battles after reading up on difficult incomprehensible legal texts writing dozens and dozens of letters before you take them to court and lose because the blasted bugger who represents you in the civil case makes it a point of holding back the essential documents which you know were never submitted to the judge although the list of documents exchanged lists them and you can’t check on the judge’s file because you are not a lawyer or solicitor legally constituted in the case and you need a lawyer to represent you in a civil case
prizes for putting up with women
who tell you they love you to distraction and would rather die than be parted from you even during the live-long day who vow by suttee but who use you make you marry them by piling lie upon lie present you with a baby not your own while they get pumped by others and let you share the slime the spittal and the shit in their system and the syphilitic rot that will gnaw at your spine years and years hence and leave you with the baby to bring up while they harrass you with complaints and cases about how you may be bringing him/her up with right of access charges rights which they never really exercise themselves and when the baby is no more a baby come around to collect the lad or lass as a crutch for their old age by telling him/her all the lies about how you let them down how you tortured and beat them up how you shat upon them how you made them slave day in and day out and to top it all didn’t bother even to shag them
prizes for keeping quiet and taking it all
in without riposte without carping without being even rude in return
for bearing with all the slithering over crimes they rob you cheat you shit with your wives twist your children’s minds up into a multiple Turk’s head commit missed murders against you and when you discover their intentions the criminals commit more crimes to cover it all up use misinformation as a superpanacea to lull themselves into believing they are innocent dogooders after all doing it for the patrie for the defence of their nation the raison d’Etat without making it known how you the victim without a proper background without a useful education without friends who would swear by you without the citizenship bestowing rights without the State any state on your side without the passport to secrete yourself away without a job without the money put away for the purpose of facing up to them these the faceless cowards hiding behind their secret societies their secret services their secret cabals their secret clubs schools lodges cafés cabinets centres yachts arts and crafts academies royal this and royal that my foot college unions parties and programmes
(Continued in Part Two: owing to length restrictions)
April 2, 1997 –From the collection : longhand notes (1999)
© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2016
Copyright © T Wignesan | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
James Inman | Details
We sat at the end of the bar in a seedy place on Seventh street.
Nursing our drinks, we both had a bit too much that night.
My Whiskey Sour, you could tell everything about me by my drink,
always a Whiskey Sour, no mystery here, was still about half full.
Her's, this time a Strawberry Daiquiri, she drained with ease.
"Set her up another Bar Keep," I sad to the burly tattooed man behind the counter.
She quickly responded with slightly slurred speech, "No, make it a Frozen Margarita!"
She had been mixing her drinks all night. The bar man grabbed her glass and placed
it in a small sink full of sudsy water. "I told you, two drinks ago, last call, now dude drink up
so I can get out of here. For Christ sake its 2:38, I should have left 30 minutes ago."
The bar's last patrons had indeed left much earlier leaving only the two of us.
I touched Sarah's, or was it Sandy's, hand. What difference does it make?
She looked at me trying to focus her eyes, her expression bland. Eyes roaming
unabashedly from face to groan and back again. She sighed heavily and turned
back to the bar tender and pleaded for one more drink. "Anything she said,"
trying to steel herself for the inevitable culmination of our evening,
as if one more drink would make a difference. The only response she got was
a short firm, "No!" Grinding my teeth, I threw two twenties on the bar and grabbed her, not so gently, by the arm. She half slid, half fell off of the bar stool she was sitting on. "Lets go I said," leaving my half empty glass on the bar. She stumbled across the floor towards the door leaning heavily against me. She was tall and beautiful in a slightly used sort of way. Not young but not old enough for wrinkles, just a few laugh lines around her eyes and forehead. As we reached the door I thought I heard her mumble something about getting this over. I didn't care. I knew she should have been going home with someone a lot better then me.
As we stepped into the damp, cool morning breeze, head free of the stagnate dead air of the bar, my senses cleared slightly. Still, when I heard the sound of the vibration in my pocket it took a moment to register what was happening. Stephanie(?), giggling beside me pressed herself against my pocket letting out a low, playful, "MMmmmm," making it impossible for me to get to my phone. I pushed her away and she giggled some more as I fumbled for it. Pressing the button on the screen my ex-girlfriends disheveled face appeared. She had been texting me all evening, most of which I ignored. Why I answered her call this time I don't know. Deep purple and black bruises ran the length of the right side of her face and she seemed to have a chunk of hair missing from a red spot on her temple. She halfheartedly tried to cover it with a wispy lock she pulled down over it. "What?" I said gruffly. The phone was set to speaker. Tears running down her face, she said, "I love you." My response was quick and indifferent, "Yeah, tell it to someone who cares. Like maybe your new boyfriend."
She dumped me for a new guy weeks before but kept calling me and telling me how much she still loved me. She said she wouldn't have thrown me out if I had shown some feelings toward her. She said he was sensitive and emotional and cried in her arms. Yeah, he cried all right just before he beat the hell out of her. I should have known when she started coming home with the bruises on her body. He was careful at first not to hit her in the face. I looked up and reflectively glanced down the street. You couldn't see her apartment from where I stood but it was just a block down the road off Seventh on Stanton Ave. I came home early one afternoon and found them there. She was lying on the floor with blood trickling from her lip. He was standing naked over her, hands curled in fists.
I lost it. I beat him until you couldn't recognize his pretty little face, all the time hearing her screaming stop and trying to push me away. When I finally stopped he was lying motionless on the floor and she was hitting me on my arm yelling foul expletives at me. I looked into her eyes and realized I felt nothing for her at that moment. I remember saying just before I left, "Baby, you've just missed your last call to wake up." I never went back. I understand he spent several days in the hospital.
Looking at her on that small screen with tears in her eyes and scared, sad look on her face I wanted to feel something for her. I didn't. We had a good thing and she threw it away for some psycho. Now she'll just have to live with her decision. As I looked at her pleading face I heard a angry voice in the back ground, "Who are you talking to!" She glanced in the direction of the voice and turned back to me. I watched as her helpless look became determined and she leaned over and picked up something from the table beside her bed. Her sweet, tear filled blue eyes looked directly at me as she raised her hand. "I love you," she said. In an instant, before my inebriated mind could fathom what happened, I heard a loud bang reverberate down the street from the direction of her apartment and there before my eyes I saw her head explode like the pumpkins we used to throw from the roof tops after Halloween. Beside me, Sherry (shit, it started with an S), who ever, let out a gasp. A moment passed and I grabbed her by the hand. We started off in the direction of my dumpy apartment. I couldn't help but to think at that moment, that's the last call she'll ever make.
Triple Prompt- Hear the Calling: 3rd Place
Copyright © James Inman | Year Posted 2015
Long poem by
Gary Bateman | Details
Poetic Encryption Like Ancient Egyptian
This terror and threat to poetic clarity,
Becomes a pet rock for some poets.
Words do count for sure, but so does
Clarity unless poets put a mask on.
Encryption can be used to mask
Certain vatic pretensions that poets
Harbor, at times, when waxing eloquently
About some trendy theme or some idea
Or notion deemed as avant-garde.
If hieroglyphics were to be readily used
In our now advanced world of modernity,
Would they be viewed as:
A rifacimento? A renaissance? A code?
It all could be plain nonsense too!
Or maybe not . . .
In T. S. Eliot’s, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,”
He enchants and captivates his readers to a rare and
Flavorful taste of vers libre, if one might be so bold,
That is selectively sparing, and yet, well-calibrated,
With intermittent sprinklings of superbly crafted
Visual imagery and eloquent tonal alliteration—
And varied meter, rhythm, and rhyme.
“Prufrock” is palpable with emotion and metaphor, yet—
Detached from a ready explanation of the delicious
Power of the words with which Eliot mesmerizes his
Readers with the devout cleverness of a Pied Piper.
One could see the eternal Footman
And hear his snicker—and be afraid;
One could roll one’s trousers;
One could dare to eat a peach;
One could walk upon the beach;
One could hear the mermaids sing;
But will the mermaids sing to him?
Only Eliot really truly knows . . .
The real Prufrockian mien here.
Are not such metaphors there . . .
To make us think?
To enchant our senses?
To play on our fears?
To be emotive?
And, yes . . .
To tantalize our passions?
And, yes . . .
To excite our psychic yearnings?
Yes . . . Contemplation is always vital!
Some poets speak in a self-tribal code.
Sometimes artful obfuscation is the real goal,
And sometimes—maybe not.
A cacophonic scramble of
Demonstrative and passionate
Words, thoughts, emotions.
All so pure and all so real,
And all in the poet’s mind!
All so exact and all so real!
Some, like the legendary Sylvia Plath,
Bring the reader to a forlorn world of
Lost faith, utter despair, and loneliness
In the midst of such a sad dream world.
Plath’s lyric poem — “Edge”
Summons readers to the brink;
Occurring one week before her
The power and symbolism
Resident in this, her final poem,
Point toward . . .
A perfection, A completion,
A tragic tribalism.
Plath’s symbology is both
Intense and compelling;
Forming its own sense of
Encryption while embellishing
A supernatural aura of immortality.
The redoubtable Ezra Pound in his
“Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” and in
Many other of his complex poems,
Personifies a certain form of encryption
With his use of symbols and metaphors,
A mix of foreign languages, and a definite
Convulsion of syntax which makes for an
Intellectual “Rite of Passage” defying, at times,
A clear analysis and ready understanding.
Pound in “Mauberley,” writes on various
Levels begging much pre-knowledge from
Each reader while amply teasing us with:
His gnomic predilection for novel themes;
His thirst for the unexpected and unusual;
His formidable knowledge and language forte;
His array of uniquely woven word tapestries;
And his referential flair for striking aphorisms.
Pound does all of this so magnificently . . .
All the while forming imagery challenging
A reader’s sense of understanding:
Leaving a sense of syntactical encryption Writ Large!
Always challenging and never ever dull!
That is, if one’s cup of tea is reveling in the complex!
There is a profound literary sense to what some may say
Is Pound’s Janus-faced proclivity for genius and madness.
Pound will not disappoint you regardless of which bipolar
Face you ascribe to him.
Although, contrast and comparison are very important . . .
Yet, I proffer that deep thinking and sometimes actually
Being confused at times . . .
May result ultimately in a true epiphany,
Leading each of us to a spirit of greater understanding!
I end with John Keats, who has left all of us, as poets,
With his immeasurable sense of naturalistic Humanism.
Keats’ pursuit of metaphor, nuance, descriptive imagery,
And sagacious symbology reflect the highest degree of
Poetic mastery and a strong sense of perspicacity obvious
In all of his works!
Keats also uses a type of poetic encryption—
With his diction, imagery, thoughts, and verse syncopation;
He’s quite elegant with his varied and fluent thematic reveries.
They’re always a joy to decipher, while leaving us to bask in
Their powerful sense of clarity and persuasive meaning!
Many of Keats’ works reflect this form of encryption . . .
“La Belle Dame Sans Merci”
Particularly comes to mind in this instance,
As well as his famous “Ode” narratives;
And his superb Grecian epic fragment: “The Fall of Hyperion,”
Presents the reader with a veritable smorgasbord of contrasts
And imagery, and an imaginative view of the classical conflict
Between the Olympians and the Titans!
Divining the complex, chaotic, and unpredictable
In our world of arcane symbolism and imagery,
Reflect the modern world we live in today.
Poetic Encryption is indeed . . .
So like Ancient Egyptian!
Hieroglyphics, after all, form their own
Sense of imagery and word pictures . . .
Analogous to what we do today with the
Words, images, metaphors, emotions, and
Symbols in our poetry!
Poetic Encryption is so like Ancient Egyptian!
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Gary Bateman, Copyright © All Rights Reserved,
April 25, 2016 (Narrative)
Copyright © Gary Bateman | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Gerald Dillenbeck | Details
"...making this shift [from ego to Authentic ecoSelf] usually requires inspired [inductive Right to Left +health-reiterative messages] intention and consistent, diligent effort [and a supportive vocational and residential and eco-logically balanced environment.]"
"And the way this is achieved is through using the greatest gift that evolution has given us: the power of [polyculturally healthy or monoculturally pathological] choice [for ourselves as for our potential future regenerators]." Andrew Cohen, "Evolutionary Enlightenment", 2011.
PermaCultural HumanNaturalOnly Choice:
ReGenerative Health/EcoTherapy for all
or degeneration of Earth's bio- and eco-caregiving systems,
including political and eco-not-so-normic deductive-competitive,
enculturation system dominance.
Free Choice to intend and will Exterior Landscape behavior
confluent or dissonant with
metaphysical language enculturing ecosystemic iconically
exegetical rich-resonant normative strings
of historic WinWin "Yes" polycultural choices of genetics,
DoubleNegative FoldFunction and FlowTrend memory,
regenerative (RNA/DNA) iconic syntax,
in either PresentAptic Polycultural tense and ionic-elational distension (concaving),
or PastAnger SynAptic Predicates FutureFear avoidance,
cognitive-affective personal and cultural dissonance.
FutureFear Choice Corollary:
Monocultural Lose-Lose decay
and decompositional preparation
for composting future natural health/ecotherapy
co-arising regenerativity of time's incarnation into space;
reverse-temporal-neural double-dimensioned (bilateral-linear)
therapy WinWin clockwise self-perpetuating polynomial health-coarising rationality
egoLeftYin/ecoRightYin chronic cognitive-affective stress
of trying to find regenerative health
swimming through a sea of mediated and immediate
dissonance-pathology hell through routine depressing disinvested boredom.
Present CoPresence as DiPolar Bicameral Basic Attendance Corollary:
Positive DiPolar Meets and Greets and WinWin intends
as AngerPast Teaches FutureFear
how and why and when to co-arise
(-,-) Double-Negative LoseLose
equals Double-Positive PolyNomial-PolyReGeneration
WinWin as YinYin Balancing DoubleNegative
PositiveYang Politically EcoNormic.InFormating
SelfOptimizing CoGravitational SpaceAsTime 4D Systems.
The logical conclusion of overpopulating
overly-competitive and aggressive human natural dominant trends,
of suicide and other irrationalities
and errors in self-enculturation
through evolutionary cooperative multisensory sciences and arts and history
and myth and logos-icons of symmetric rhythmic exegetical (0)
CoPresent Soul of ReGenerative
Balanced CoGravitational Time,
deciding to head toward hell of anger and fear anyway,
not taking time to recall these are Angry Prophets of Past Sins,
predicting lack of even hellfire's last flame of Fear's SelfHatred,
awash in self-perpetuating not-not reiterations
of disbicamerolling negentropic chaos.
you still empathically elate positive nutrients,
all heading in a more cooperatively polycultural direction
appositional nondual dipolar bilateral-linear
reversed wu wei Tipping Point
of an endosymbiotically positive-positive CoPresence
ReVolutionary inhale with exhale economics.
If you are still breathing
you have already begun this practice
of absorbing both positive nutrition and toxins,
co-arising collateral negatives, fear and anger,
teaching your oppositional anti-death MidWay WinWin,
while those FearAnger Twins inevitably follow
planned or unplanned
eitherway increasing consistently aggressive Yang ballistic Way,
toward Ego's ever-faster inevitable demise.
Ego without EcoRight CoPresence
always loses playing by Ego's own Win-Lose dominating expectations.
Incarnations die to fuel further regeneratively healthy incarnations.
This ecology of diastatically rational life
predicts continuing BusinessAsUsual,
breathing positive self-dominance
while intentionally absorbing more anger-fear fighting nutrients
than love-peace synchronously-flying empathic menu choices,
and to thereby emerge
ecopathologically even further anthro-centric,
hypnotized by our own fear of fear of ego's death,
absorbing further toxins and collateral corporate insult,
self-abuse and other-neglect,
violence and "what's the use?" cognitive-affective dissonance,
addiction to possession and dispossession
of ego's increasingly constipated
with negatively unresolved,
unacceptable Loser messages.
WinWin cooperative co-regeneration optimization
would be just the opposite of competitive monocultural supremacy,
ecosystemic political and economic
private and familial
BusinessAsUsual double-binding negativity.
Our ecological and economic cooperative project
of natural regenerativity
as also spiritual ecoconsciousness
basking in love of health and timeless co-relational security,
empathically and deeply nondual attends,
sitting within LoseLose competitive decomposition, as therapeutically necessary,
embracing our shared BusinessAsUsual predative/co-messianic
dis-assembling each dominating seasonal stage
of LeftEgo's struggle with RightEco's Present CoPresence
Love of Harmonic TrustBalance,
Septum DiPolar Yang/Yin Dynamics of Time as Nutritional Breath.
Copyright © Gerald Dillenbeck | Year Posted 2016
Long poem by
Gregory R Barden | Details
Your silken skin gleams opaline,
Bathed in Luna's soft wash of azure ...
Like a porcelain Madonna by Michelangelo
Conjured to life by the magic of moonlight,
Your eyes open just long enough to affix mine
And affirm I'm in a mode of veneration, (you're casting the line).
The soft details of your visage above me
Are close enough to occupy my entire gaze,
But far enough that I can interpret your every expression,
And you're well aware of it, (setting the hook).
As your gentle sway attends the cadence of my heart and core,
You teasingly open your eyes just far enough
To let me know they're rolled back in an aspect of rapture,
And by seductive design
You nip your lower lip with your teeth and hold it there,
(Reeling me in, your carnal captive).
The beating catches in my chest and takes my breath with it,
Heaving up and arching you with it's wake.
As you take advantage of my movement,
My breath finally returns in a guttural sigh,
And as if trading an erotic dialogue,
Your supple chili pepper lips curve into a gentle smile,
Born of the knowledge that I'm now completely at your mercy.
The spice in your smile freezes my gaze to your mouth,
And my mind's eye conjures up fresh, plump raspberries
And whipped cream,
Making me thirst for the nectar-sweet taste of what's inside.
As if my thoughts were your own,
Your smile relaxes and parts just enough to tempt me
With the fleshy fruit of your tongue,
And I reach up with my right hand to the back of your head,
(My left hand has it's own quarry).
Weaving my fingertips through your hair,
I pull your head downward as you relax,
Until your face is just close enough to be out of reach of mine,
And you turn it quickly to the side
So it's completely bathed in moonlight,
(You know well how that slays me - the moon painting your skin).
Eyes still closed,
The sexy smirk returns to your face
With the confirmation, (via my sighs),
That your seductive game is having it's desired affect.
Repeating the process, you turn your face back toward me
And play peek-a-boo with your tongue,
Opening your smile just enough to torment me with it's moist gleam,
Bouncing playfully just inside your mouth,
As if waiting for it's first taste of ice cream.
You relax your neck
And I pull your head gently but firmly down again toward mine,
But as before you turn your face at the last moment,
Smile sensuously, and taunt me with your parted lips,
Your sugary tongue making more of an appearance each time.
After tempting me with this ritual, 'juste assez' ,
You stop one more time short of my face,
But this time it's MY mouth that stays closed.
You softly brush my lips with the tip of your tongue and wait,
As I continue my role now of the reluctant lover,
Turning the tables of this tease, (if only in my mind).
We both know it's all for show, however,
And that you're in complete control of the game,
Holding all the carnal cards, as it were.
Very slowly and deliberately,
Your eyes finally open and hook with mine,
The reflected light of the moon just enough
To sparkle life Into that gaze that RUINS me -
Sullen and vulnerable and YOURS -
Yours, to the depths of my bare soul, where I can't run or hide
Or escape the grasp of your heart on my very being,
Where love's visceral truth cries out for it's own knowledge,
Where it longs to be consumed by it's own passionate hatred
For anything that isn't US.
My breath is gone again,
And this time it keeps catching in my gut,
And I keep gasping for it's return,
But that LOOK holds me boundless,
As my body holds yours.
Our spirits are melded so completely
That I almost feel ALONE,
We are so much one element that "we" feels like "I",
And it terrifies me.
How can I be looking into your eyes
And feel so completely taken by you
That I AM you, and you I?
I have to close my eyes for an instant,
Just long enough to remember where I am and WHO I am,
And when I open them again yours are closed, (thank god),
And my breath finally returns in a massive surge of adrenaline,
My dopamine-filled blood rushing throughout,
My skin awakening to your touch.
I look up at you
And the sexy, knowing smile is still warming your face,
(My reward is close now).
My hand is still on the back of your head,
And I relax my grip just enough to let your hair fall,
And you shake it gently so it now hangs about your face,
Framing it like an angel's halo.
I very softly pull your face down toward mine one more time,
(Still smiling, I'm helpless before you),
And just before your nose touches mine
You twist your head slightly to match me,
And your hair falls thickly between our mouths.
At last I am rewarded for my patience,
At last you reel in your helpless catch ...
Having driven me to the brink,
You finally take pity on me.
With your mouth open, I drink you in
Like a man who has crossed a desert without water -
Spicy smile, raspberry lips, creamy tongue, angel hair,
A salty tinge from your glistening skin -
All are a honey tangle in our mouths,
Stirred by a love, passion, and closeness unimaginable.
I close my eyes and give in to it ALL,
Letting you take me ...
Willing to do all you wish ...
I am home, I am complete,
I am fulfilled and nourished and quenched ...
I am a fool for your kiss ...
I am YOURS.
** TENTH PLACE in the "Help Me Fall In Love" Poetry Contest, Mystic Rose, Sponsor. **
** FIRST PLACE in the "Your Best Free Verse Love Poem Poetry Contest", John Hamilton, Sponsor. **
Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2016