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you're just lost

In the woods,
children leave breadcrumbs. They know
no better approach.

stormy weather

Weather makes sense
of shelter. If your refuge
is good, so the rain.



Harken, here

the unsteady keening of an unstable soul -
brain stretching its atrophied muscle
to screaming edge;
we witness this snapshot of pain,
searching for a focus -
wailing invitation to misery's misstep.
It inspires our hands to reach for feeble reassurance,
each witness fumbling
for a cigarette, twisting their fingers
into nervous steeples,
hastily reaffirming their own connection
to God.

We shuffle our feet
and contemplate the cliffs edge
from a safe distance,
each grasping our own line of reasoning;
seeking safety in separation -
stroking sanity's thin thread
while we repeat our Sunday morning mantras
the bead-clicking Hail Mary of repetition,
cracking jokes while we tell ourselves stories
with tidy morals; singing hymnal the vast refrain
There, but for grace, go I...

Discombobulated

Say you were a fisherman's float.
Not a pro-topper -
more like the plastic Snoopy
that comes with a trainer's pole.

Say you're dangling a line,
bogged down with a pewter pear
and one too many soft lead shot
and the waters are choppy in the wake of a passing boat.

Let's say
you haven't swallowed the wave, yet -
but you're feeling disoriented.
You're taking in air like it means something
to you.

You're tossing your head, trying
to tread water smoothly,
pacing your breath
while you search the green depths for perspective -

tasting the blue sky in sips,
swallowing tides of surprise
while you’re surfing each crest.
When the trout bites,
it draws the line tight, and you brace for the tension.

It might drag you under.
It might leave you reeling.

sallow

Passive-aggression
is the new black. I must say -
it’s not my color.

conversations over coffee

You ask me for candid dialogue,
but I am guarding my thoughts, these days.
When you ask what's on my mind, I say
I've been considering taking a break
from drinking coffee.
But, I mean
you. Always, you.
I mean - noticing your soft aroma
meets my nose 6.8 inches ahead of the rest of you -
I mean, pretending not to notice
your natural color is best - a light latte
that sets off your eyes - I mean
constantly calculating median distance
between your smile, and this space between us
as if there is a chance it will change -

See, I’m catching the craving, again -
it's a habit I need to break.
I'm still dragging brown slurries for sugar,
trailing adrenaline wake
and it keeps me up at night, wondering
casting my gaze towards the ground-filled mug
hoping the dark dregs
don't predict the future.

I’ll set this mug down, now -
sit taller and hold my own posture
I'm good at straightening myself out, these days -
expert at setting my spine.

When the waitress approaches, this time
I am determined to fend her off
turn down her offer to refill, to top-off
dedicated to nodding my head
to her casual inquiry -
Have you had enough yet?

Because, yes - I have.
I am already filled to the brim
overflowing in two conversations,
one running under the surface, and

Yes -
I have had enough.
Yes -
I am full to bursting
fed up with your constant thirst
for affection, delicious and fleeting
for both buzz and rush
sated - no more
saccharine sweet turns of phrase, please

I'm full.

So, forgive me, this time
if I leave you to pick up the check.
I'll just watch you finish, in silence
while you polish your silver tongue
I mean, spoon -
I mean, polish your smile
and tuck truth away, neatly
in the creased space of your folded napkin
mouthing these platitudes
while you pick your teeth.

I will take one, for the team
if you'll just clear your plate, please

we can do this another time, I say
when I really mean
yes -
it's cold turkey for me.

I prefer to just tally the balance,
and settle our differences,
later.

Dilate

The moon pushes his nosy face
through the sky’s drawn curtains
and insists on following me home.


I ask him to leave, politely - but he still slips across
this threshold - throws his cloak casually over the easy chair,
light-hearted invasion of this black space.


He can’t stop casting his own shine
on everything. Can’t just mind his own dim business.
Wants to paint a tidy silver lining on these bones -


while I prefer to let my eyes adjust
to darkness
on their own.








Snell, and Descartes



They say
there's a law
that maps the lay of it - makes sense
of the way light falls
in the face of boundaries,
scattering glitter behind it.

This space between us
though ordered and meaningful
remains innately opaque
despite both our genius
and efforts to calculate
these precise angles
of incidence.

They say the rules of refraction
should govern this strange behavior -
make math of the way brightness shatters
commit pathways of light
to protracted lines
while
all the time, you say friendship
and I know your fondness for rainbows and physics - still
can't help noticing we never touch, now
why is this?

I fear we are predestined
for failure - for refractive error
which leaves us both blind
we fail to see
eye to eye
though I try to show
I am no transparent thing.
No passing reflection.

I’m simply one ray of illumination,
destined to bend in your general direction
no unwavering slave
to wavelength or fission
unbound by science or fractal restriction
though

you should know
even I have my limits

and
I've always known
just when to bounce.

reset

sometimes it is not quite as simple
as flicking the switch
back towards off

it is more like the click of hard bone
long misplaced - painful, abrupt
but essential to healing

and sometimes, it’s exacting improvement
a careful removal of gemstone
from tarnished findings or band

in hopes of creating
a setting which reflects the sparkle
of this flawed, jeweled thing.