mis-step, father

i was a mis-step father
just another mistake
losing the footing
and why are you putting
any of this there?
sending up a flare
amidst some kind of mid-life scare

men are the broken wombs of their thoughts
holding silence around a still-birth
and wondering about the magic of women
in some tragic substitute way
which never says anything more than
i want to hold something i created
hold it near
hold it dear
trapped in the amber of fear

i wanted to frankenstein myself a child
to not reach death and be decompiled
to live this life not reviled
only to, as a skull, have smiled

i am sorry to those i let down
dreaming of some future disconnected
hoping the broken frame got corrected
no lens, we are not friends
i am not sure what kind of memory i am
trying to escape the sense of self as sham

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my ace, sir, lapped op, crashes

you crashed again
i have too much open
i hit restore
and just like nothing happened
the words reappear

unconscious black
amnesiac white
feels like an attack
on the things i write
scuffed chrome

try to take it home
i only drink coffee
trying to keep those tabs open
i pay a price for it

blind, never thaw it

i would build you up again
because when you break it down
something in me fell apart
when you dropped through the cracks
there are subtle attacks
he loves, he lacks

i rarely look in the mirror
except to shave my head
except to shave my face
i used to live in comparison
but death took that mask
and unmade my likeness

i am not like you
this misguided pride
but i offer some gifts
differently wrapped
have to stop telling myself i’m crap
nothing ever dropped into my lap

i offer help so my heart can be stolen
i break bread so you can walk my spine
i’m the ladder for you
i’ll be sadder for you
because you don’t want me happy, do you?
i never saw it
bury it under ice and never thaw it

dreadbare

sometimes I feel threadbare
we bury our dead there
lay down your head where
under weeping willow
taking a makeshift pillow
we come to rest

there is a stone in my chest
there is a cocoon in my mouth
and there’s salt in my hands
to remind the stigmata
these soft foreign lands
apres moi de deluge, the drowth
and i feel momentum arrest

are you sad to see the flowers bloom?
rising like a ghost in the tomb
some kind of shady after-womb
cat’s cradle on a dreaming loom

never make giants small

i don’t want to see your autopsy table
don’t turn giants into cadavers
there is none of the spirit there
i hear no words that speak of nobility
i see a man reduced to an exit wound
and you build a picture around this
that seeks to destroy the beauty

i remember the hurt when i saw kurt
and knew the policeman somehow profited
from that invasion of privacy
for what was the man to him
but part of a procedure

we have constructed a mythical architecture
around a theft summed up with “back and to the left”
assassination tries to rob us of more than the man malcom x
it is the thing of him that was larger than a man
that had a limitless span
there was nothing esoteric about martin’s dream
why does medgar evers ever need bob to speak for him?

respect should be built
before bodies topple
and if bodies fall
we carry them high
and we avert our gaze
we do not turn the angels
into broken stone statues
we do not force them into ugly jigsaws
peace not pieces of something greedy and vile
how can you look at these things and smile?

warming forming

when your trade is words
and you twist your tongue
around excuses and reasons
and other little treasons
you feel something break away inside
there is an ice shelf shearing away

love isn’t broken wings
but listen when it sings
observe the clues it brings

passageways
as much as a passage weighs
you have to walk
and you have to talk

listen
as leaves turn over
you knew how to read the scene
but you’ve been dumb
schroedinger’s cat got your tongue
and all those songs you would’ve sung
are in a cat’s cradle strung

they are just effects

i listen to the list of side effects
side effects don’t exist
there are just effects

if i shit easier
but piss razor blades
they are just effects

if i stop shaking
but feel suicidal
they are just effects

i think you get my point
if you love this poem; if you hate this poem
they are just effects

some syntax or semiotic dodge
these are just euphemisms
they don’t change the meaning

this month comes after may

try to unbreak it with a vote
a sore throat feeling of shouting to long
try to find treasure under the x
truth and its divorce from the polling booth
politicians, statisticians and bullshit artists
some seem to know what the part is
what the art is, where the heart is
pumping the heart despite rigor mortis
do we think a vote will sort this?

burning flags and plastic bags full of election promises
or a hasty push for something else
trying to hide your monster self
trying to lie abut the hate you feel
for poor people, who have little appeal
your seething cartoon rage, your caricature face
your desire to put people in their place
you won’t disappear without a trace
but you’re not adding much to the human race

how does it feel to spend your life
pretending to be human while being a knife?
all of you is about cuts
as one door opens another shuts
punch the beggar in the guts
burn the witches and shame the sluts
tear down the edifice, no ifs or buts

getting on the good foot

down town listening to james brown
trying to build the lyric out
and remember the way the fluid used to flow
i was “the machine”, ya know?
born under a sad sign
digging blues out of the imagined river
speaking in tongues, these bronchial lungs
this bullshit-itus you didn’t invite us
forced us to surrender; didn’t fight us

do i think of myself as old now?
as broken apart and sold now?
like parts of an estate? a human being in a state
a state of flux
being driven through by articulated trucks
not articulate fucks that have anything to say
is this how we play now? is this how we pay now?
stagnant, fermenting in the souring juices
sat here nursing imaginary bruises
the illusion sometimes confuses, blows the fuses
starts a war and breaks the truces
wondering about boundaries and iron foundries
and how loose loose is?

we want to emerge and make our own rules
we were failed by schools
and we’re saving ourselves and our kids
turning into the skids, placing new bids
developing new paths, and new maths
like a resting state gathering mass
as we pass through a double slot experiment
and our probability wave collapses thanks to some observer
pays to be a quick learner
early adopter; good earner
putting nothing on the back burner

the profit of the dirt in the mix

just because you walk the same corridor
tread the same floor
they make the mistake
and you have to break
eye contact, because their lens is cracked
and this isn’t their music
they hear it and they confuse it

you’ll listen, but they squawk
impersonating talk
a radio that’ll walk
as your bass buzzes through it
they tried to squash it, you grew it

blank verse for a blank curse
a revised god, with quill wings
no room here for ill things
here in this sunshine
an aquarius, an undine
polishing the won shine
you have to crawl back to stand up
and remember your the mountain they’re trying to move
building a mountain of sound up out of the groove
pitching it high
a singular voice
they think you have a choice
to be emotive and expressive
while they’re tutting and being repressive
you’re strutting and climbing
cutting and rhyming
with exquisite timing
you barely have to think
and no longer have to drug and drink to do it
tune that head in
and pull that thread in
stitched
and switched
and glitched if you need it
prophet of the dirt in the mix
fixed to never need a fix