VERBALLISTICS:

Showing all posts tagged as poetry:



Spin the bottle

When the bottle points in your direction
I will lick my lips
anticipation pricking my hips and thighs
quiet reminder of hasty handprints
and you will rise to your feet,
unsteady and eager
sweaty palms a dead giveaway
virgin nervousness.
We meet in the middle -
nose to nose,
toe the line
and the dream stops.

I wake to view the body
of a middle-aged man
who snores with abandonment -
who drinks the same way.
And I fuck like he drinks
but I don't ever feel terrible
in the morning.
I'll leave
before he joins the living.

He won't remember me.

You are the only one
who does.
When you ask why
I don't come
why
I refuse -
I will not point to you,
but this is the truth:

The bottle always points
in your direction. I lock my lips
when I realize
I love you too much
to rub two addictions together
just to see what sparks.
I know
what smolders in me already.
You are a molotov cocktail,
doused and unlit - glass still intact
but just barely.
My thighs and these flames,
left unstoked
will burn down to quiet
by morning.

When the bottle tips -
I will not sip. I'll settle
for smoking coals.

You'll wake
to view good intentions
snoring beside you. Trust, crumpled
and tossed to the floor.
You'll rise
unsteady and blinking and eager
to pass on the crown of blame,
your throbbing head, waypoint
to last night's transgression -
and I'll remain woke.

I will regret everything
you can't remember
handful of ashes, sifting for treasure -
wait for the story's spin -
one more cycle
to this revolution.

Just meet me
in the middle, please
next time.

Realignment

It starts
with snapping the bone
into the right position.
Abrupt reintroduction
of blunt breakage
and sinew.
Soft tissue
reknitting itself, now
to swaddle the vulnerable -
calcium and phosphorus
swarming
to bring reinforcements,
fortifying
the breach points.
New layers
of fossilized mineral -
sifting sediment shifting
to ossein form,
skeletal plaster
which hardens
in time
to supportive frame -
old injuries become
something new,
stronger than ever
before.


The TSA line

We queue for the next opportunity
to sacrifice
pay alms to the small gods
of false security
offering benefaction of pocket knives
and lithium batteries -
travel-sized spray cans
of dry shampoo
and bottled rage
laying our laptops and rights down, neatly
zakat for the widow's mite of security
endless oblation on the rumbling conveyor belt
of the American dream,
of freedom and fortune,
and all this
to protect us from harm
from the trauma of extremism
and/or the burden of differing perspectives
from the shock of being blown into the unknown
or lying,
restless
in a new time zone
asking
if all this sublimation
is worth it.


Definition

Aerie:
habitation at high altitude
lofty ambition of flocking birds
home of raptor,
abode to wise bird of prey
breezy shelter, crafted of kindling
twig, paperwhite feather
drifting down -
subtle pinnacle of this homecoming
rising aria
of flight.

Aer, she said
the Latin root, meaning
Of the air
when what she meant
was
your love.

Orange You Glad

You can take the time
to peel the rind from it, but
underneath is still
the same damn fruit -
sweet or bitter
ripe or sour
segmented center,
firm or foul
cannot be fathomed
til you bite -
so open wide
and taste
the pithy insight.

The Performer

They told her she could be a real hit
hard hitter
in the scene
strut the stage
like she means business

The Benjamins
would unfold themselves
to find her
be with her
burrow their way into her pockets

and she could have everything
if she agreed
donned the meat dress
built the persona
put on a good show

Misunderstanding the novelty
of this
missing the whole point, actually
that she has been playing a role
all her life

that’s how she got good at it
in the first place
became shining star against dark backdrop
became anything necessary
to survive

and now she spends all her time
backstage of fluttering lashes
unbecoming perfection
ripping costume seams
and removing makeup

Stripping poise and promise
to stand naked and writhing
with purpose
to withstand empty scrutiny
something more rare than stardom

something human
something
you can see yourself in
something
you can see right through


FOMO

No matter the words spoken,
this is just another California commitment -
another casual "let's do coffee"
tossed over one shoulder.
Your smile, sunshine on pristine sand -
still, the eyes tell the tale - scudding clouds
always searching the next horizon,
never resting
on the shore of now and then.
Presence eludes you.
Circumspect authenticity
your preferred oxymoron - a conundrum
to those seeking true connection.
You
are an insincere stranger
at an endless cocktail party,
faking eye contact and sipping mimosas
while the sun sets on the Western world,
always staring beyond,
chattering aimlessly about changing the future
whilst gazing over the naked shoulder
of that which stands plainly before you.
You'll hold out, endlessly
for something better than this reality -
sweltering honesty laid on heaving dune,
unfeigned sweat of brow
over beckoning palms.

The Family Paradox

What dwells on either end of the extreme
becomes
one whole
when born
under the same roof -

in the same way
one sheds tears of joy
or resents a work of art
for being too admirable
or loves
all of the worst parts of themselves
too intensely
for change

this is the conundrum
blood ties - which are both
gift bow and binding -
unexpected sweepstakes
and taxed burden
which follows
is that really winning?
The discovery
that loving and loathing
sound very similar
when one speaks them quickly -
without thought
to consequential enunciation -

and, isn't it strange, that
one home
might shelter so many
strangers
still call them relative -

Elegant, this
remiss tug of war
just the tautness of heart strings.

Barflies and Bedtime Stories


#throwback

Insecurity

Insecurity lives two doors down from Love - wants to adopt a pet, so she won’t feel so lonely - so she can feel someone’s loyal devotion. Insecurity does not like open spaces; is good at taking up less space - diminishes herself to make others more comfortable. Insecurity spends too many nights dressed to expectation - can’t meet her own eyes in the mirror. Spends too much time in front of it, anyway. She is always becoming something other. Molding herself to fit into the moment - into the desires of the present. Into the waiting hands of entitlement. She is not the kind of girl who walks home alone after the party. She does not believe in her own strength in the face of darkness - in the bright light at the end of the tunnel.

She is slow to smile - often awkward. Covers her mouth when she laughs hard. Holds her breath more than is healthy. Doesn't believe she is lovely. She needs to compete - needs to win - will still not feel worthy of the prize. She will still flinch at the flicker of their eyes as she walks by - never believing her stance is inspiring. Insecurity is not the type to ask for what she wants - only questions the sound of her own voice - echoing, reflective. She is all swagger and high heels and hip sway - only stumbles when Love is near. Insecurity grapples with pale fear, and her own sharp teeth.

Love wants to rest quietly in bed - still hears Insecurity’s heels clicking, a slow stroll down a nightmarish hallway. Love prays for the white noise camouflage of the heater - for endless compassion, and patience. For a generous slice of kindness, and clear communication - but Insecurity wields a sharp knife, hands shaking; waiting to slide it between Love’s soft ribs -

still, Love is not a victim. Love is no sleeping fool. Love is a five-alarm house fire, flashing a winning smile. All sirens ringing, blazing the way with no fire escapes - razing the walls to lick at her insides, resolved to burn them both down to the ground… only Love will rise, whole - from all of this ash.

m(V)k