Smoke

Sometimes I peel my skin to see which parts hurt. Pull up scabs and ruin their healing; because you always thought I’d look better in scars and now, I hate to admit, so do I.

You’d balm your skin while passing torch that burned you, left hand betraying the right; crackling of its molten anger only drowned out by the volume of the lessons between your words.

You taught me to measure my masculinity in empty liquor bottles and full perscriptions; your lesson that real men only dull their pain when they pretend it’s for fun.

That service was inseperable from suffering, that goodness exists only to spite the dents in the same vessel and that as such it must be dented.

You taught of obedience through fear, holding your doctrine to be as genuine as it is just; building paper walls for us to keep the world from the wood.

Your claim of course not to be mistaken, that you love me and that I am doomed. Yet fear was never a virtue, and your tradition cannot be my truth.

You taught that only love was set in stone; as if proof of rock’s mortality was not sewn across the beaches or blown in the wind.

Perhaps I kicked drugs to become addicted to tattoos when they let me feel pain, and build to something that might be permanent, or because they make my scars look like something I could love.

You think I hate you, I wish I did. Pictures are so much more complicated than paintings, and conversations so much harder than poems. Burning your flag kept it off my shoulders, yet the memory of its embers brings more remorse than thrill.

And as such, I think of you when I smell smoke in my clothes. Nose filled with the rustic guilt of what I’ve done to keep myself warm. The loud blank memories that could fall anywhere between bonfires and funeral pyres.

Broken Throne

When I decline their offer of cheer
I always wonder if they see the fear

A kindly gesture met with refusal
Chilled bomb within grasp
My very own Mozel Tov cocktail
Terror clawing at sanity’s clasp

Do they see me wrestle the wheel
Take the right turn on the wrong street
Committing a sin against my song
Trying to resist my own beat

Craving the sweet taste of submission
Wash of failure drowning out that fight
Momentary charade of peace in the land
Shield blinding from the reality of blight

When guards are down sleeping shallow
Silent invaders seize their opportunity
Disguising themselves as if they should be
Uniting all of me in peaceful toxic unity

A silent war hid snuggly beneath gaze
Carried on the back for all else to know
Yet we find the truth of our betrayal in our folly
Naming our enemy for a chance to grow

At the end of the road is recovery
Yet the journey stands hollow and alone
A civil war raging for a new king
To hope the close lends no broken throne

Still I wonder what people think
When I tell them I don’t drink

Lions

We never asked for the screaming
It just busted the windows and came in

A burglar stealing our thoughts
Leaving us with gaps on shelves
A broken mural of men
Trying to paint ourselves

As if that weren’t enough
Those walls, they’ll close in
The people that don’t understand
Will treat it like it’s our own sin

They’ll build up crashing waves
Then bring ‘en down on our clout
Villafy us in their village
And wonder why we don’t come out

They’ll claim we’re the bullet
From their tragedy’s gun
They forget who pulled the trigger
As if their works could be undone

And yet their stance is fatally firm
Our illness is the matter
They climb up like King Kong
Standing high atop their tatters

Oh but they’ll pretend to care
Without action to match word
Turning us into rhetoric
Silencing a voice to be heard

So instead we cling to our pride
Nursing the pain that leaves us crying
But if you took the splinters from our paws
You’d see us stand as lions

The Wick

I feel like a candle
Lit from within the wick

You’ll find my fire reaching out
Clawing against a waxy shell
Looking for room to breathe
And to dance upon a timely day

I often envy those whom quickly burn
From their heads and their feet
Both ends is a pretty effective way
If you’re hoping for people to see

But for all candles it ends the same;
The curse of fire will never fail
However bright we’ll just fall.
One puddle, made of wax

And just before that you find
As it breaks through its casing
That these flickers were practice
Learning to burn what I’m facing

You’ll behold grandiose performance
Built with fire, intrigue and woe
Maybe you’ll figure out why I did it
Or maybe I’m telling you now

Through that wax you can’t hear much
But -I- hear the flickers, all at once
And sometimes – they find voice

I feel like a candle
lit from within the wick
Until you come find me melting
You wouldn’t even know I’m sick



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This one is intended to be somewhat experimental from me because as anyone who’s read the rest of these posts so far know, I really like rhyming conventions – so I tried to break away from that, not completely divorce myself from it as can be seen, but just try to structure the rhythm a little differently.