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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

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013

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

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013

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.

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

December in Mexico

It’s mid-winter here in Quintana-Roo
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.

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Too Much Time Alone

If you come to find me 
Look no further than you must
For I will be burning effigies
A conspiracy is afoot
Some might say I spend too much time alone
Too much time in the attic of my brain
I have fake conversations with myself
Some might say I spend too much time alone
I think they don’t understand me well enough to know
So call me a mad man. 

The axe is buried deep and falls again and again
Wood chips fly as I hew the tree of death
I am working on commission
That’s right the agents are paying me
A coup d’état
To overthrow loneliness
I burn effigies of myself
Some might say I spend too much time alone 

Ask me if I care.
Ask me if I can find my way home.
Ask me if the sewage is raw in my veins.
Ask me if I can crack the code of loneliness.
I dare you to ask me.

Some might say I spend too much time alone.
I can never have enough time alone.
It spares me the spirit of life with society.
I burn effigies.
Let the flags and cannonballs fly.
A war upon my soul will not stop me.
I'll ride a pack of dogs into the teeth of the storm
And rain down pain upon your shores
A coup d’état
A coup d’état  

Will you finally come and spare me?
I doubt it.
I am not an anomaly 
I am free to ramble in loneliness
It burns my flesh, flesh that is hard as gasoline
Underneath the muscle is sinuous and built for pain
Come save me if you must
I am not an anomaly
I just spend too much time alone…

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2015

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

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2014

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

Leaves of Autumn

The streets are gold and red with leaves 
From the autumnal rains
Rain on windows glistens and returns
I wipe the fog from the glass
To see people with broken umbrellas
Walking towards a downtown train
Buses hiss and roar as they stop to pick up passengers
It is a hullabaloo. 
Monet paintings reflect my emotions
Eyelids wide shut.
Can a moth make you insane?
It flutters around the flame.
It has a purpose.
Like the people on the street
We are all destined to end.
Yet we keep on going.
Knowing there is an end.
The droplets slowly make there way down
Inklings of death
The truth is not known
But the end is clear
I watch the leaves swirl
They are already dead
A season pasted
A season too early to have ended.
What is it that makes us tick?
The leaves move in slow motion
Lifting up towards the heavens and then….

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2015

Details | Stephen Kilmer Poem

No Parents

I got a freeway view
Behind the curtains 
Pianos sound like broken glass
I can see the darkness from the bed
They keep banging away at the door
But I won't let them in
What I am is what I am
They want philosophy

Out by the freeway we drink beer
Under the halogen lights
Watching the trucks roll by
Wishing we could be Bobby McGee
Bandana and all
But we're just kids
Chucked in too deep
No place to sleep.

No parents.
No life.
Just in life too deep.

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2015

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.

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013

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

Copyright © Stephen Kilmer | Year Posted 2013