Night driving

Driving in the dark, the curves are quicker, pregnant, and more dangerous. Over a rise, the road necks, perilous at this speed, as naked tires grip and dig into unfamiliar roads.  All the windows are open. The air tastes new; nature’s perfume is fresh, but older, like a spring gushing over smoothed stones. Sharp edges protude at the shoulders, cut by the road, and tear like teeth at the machine, still accelerating.  Or, is the road slipping beneath and around me? I cannot tell. Each curve catches a new light, a different angle. Each ramp and descent falls away as if the whole experience is one of melting. The road breathes sleep and I also fall away into a trance of lines, trembling waves long after a storm has quelled, still searching for home.


Gladiator

The gladiator is accustomed
to that peculiar circumstance,
knowing the time and place,
feet turning excited circles
in the sand,
posing behind the gate of
heavy timber and iron,
thrill, fear, and an oddly situated
peace
circulating through figity limbs
and a steel mind,
not knowing if lions or
knives await his entrance,
nor caring,
he’s walking into
the dire stadium nonetheless.


Tea time

A mystery shaved off the block,
splinters, shivers, and only she
knows the thoughts inside
her headspace,
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Flow

The pen doesn’t release
what the mind has abandoned,
the spirit forsaken.
Forcing the hand to speak
injects unearned value,
unwanted importance.
I might be tempted to
dam the natural
flow simply because I crave
the depth of a lake,
had I the malice or
hubris to do so.
I am not tempted to build
an empty lake today.


Week old thorns

Week-old thorns
stab eyes with crimson
and still turn a smile,
curling the icing on
cookies, proud and
still beating,
telling a fable of magi,
spinning from a marble counter top
their excuse against a
a quick visit in search
of ink and the closing of
a window.
They laugh with me at the
game, and warn me
against listening to
whatever weak old thorns
might have to say.


Echoes

Echoes, dulled, waterlogged;
gyroscopes, kaleidoscopes,
and a simmering pot stop.
Kettle whistle no longer breaking
reaction, start, or pulse; nor
follicle rising, blood-pump racing,
nor exiling sleep, nor cerebral knot.

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Handshake

Strong handshakes
Both a show and a challenge
In the construction trailer
Ego and eager fueled
Masculine pride and setting
the stage for discourse
Though my hand burns
from too many, too frequent
hours in the glove and
impacts against the canvas
I hold my grimace to a grin
fix my eyes on my adversary’s
smile wide
while I make my wrist steel
push my hand farther foward
and tighten my grip.


Caustic

Intoxication as toxification,
fixation,
poison or worse, venom;
a bitter sip of hemlock
to judgement or acumen;
a lick of botulinum against modesty,
and a slippery pulse of mercury set
arace through ego to burst
into a million glistening fisheyes
reflecting in vectors wildways,
diversion by division, to
slake thirsts on every
chemo kick drooling from
pressed belladonna,
the deceitful ink of words and
smiles and charm,
so willingly, we gleefully die
as we live, loving, lying, seeding, staying,
needing our close pusher dose,
a call to keep breathing our own
kerosene.


It was fire

My image of her is a flame.

It was this since I first sketched a moving box in dim light of a candle. In the center of the flame, a dancer formed in the heart of it.

I know this flame in forms both comforting and dangerous. It runs through my every nerve when our bodies are coupled, her legs tying mine. I see it in her cheeks when she elevates in frustration, resolve, or curiosity. It crackles in her laugh just before sparking and throwing sharp bits of wit. It is a flame that is fueled by intelligence, wisdom, passion, and sometimes dread.

Today, I read it in her words. Not political mechanics, but a call from somewhere deeper, closer to the core of the issue – all issues – a place within the flame: our ownership, our right to ownership, of this place, and the need more than ever to set fuel to the idea of movement. And the prose was fuel; it was not convoluded, prosaic, or ordinary. It was fire.


Language

Gifted ink dries as it thins
and bleeds through fibrous skin,
staining the page with a most
magnificent abstraction