Posts Tagged ‘Cigarette’

I.
There was a woman
Who I loved with all my heart.
It’s the only way
I know how
to love.
The problem I have
With falling in love
Is that I just keep falling
And falling on through.
It’s a perpetual autumn;
Storming leaves of memories,
Possibilities,
Skeletal trees.
And turning my collar up
Against the cold of this world.
Holding my hands out
To the warmth of the fire
That we had kindled
To keep the darkness at bay.
Every time these things end
I look up from the glow
Of the smolder, the embers,
For the ignition of a smile,
That familiar, beloved synching
Eyes to eyes:
It’s just understood
We’ll revel in the work
To pile on more fuel
From our common woodpile.
But nobody is there
Across the coals from me;
I’ve fallen through
The bottleneck of the hourglass
Along with all these ashes.

II.
Songs get tied
Like complicated knots
Around my feelings;
They remind me of how
I used to think about forever.
Some are bright blossoms
Stolen from yards
On the way to your window
In the middle of the night
To kneel and present you
With a moonlit bouquet,
My Juliet.
Another is the crosshatching
Of spray painted poetry
Hanging in midair
Amongst the tree branches
Between the shadows
Of the stars that were ours;
Witchcraft and wizardry
For an unrelenting passion.
Tapestries of smoke
And of tie-dyed freedom;
Soft paws of haloed kittens,
The chocolate and the champagne
Of the once in a lifetime.
Threads on a magick loom
Synchronicity unparalleled,
Spiderwebs like a hammock,
An embrace as if I was coming home;
Touch burning like the fire of a faerie,
Or the resurrection of the phoenix,
Tracing sigils in the sky,
Re-ignition of belief
Like a firestarter
Or finding a soulmate.
I am haunted
By the breadth of my music
And the depth of my commitment.
The failure
of my eyesight.

III.
The carnage is absolute;
A battlefield strewn with my corpses,
Beer cans and shrieks and cigarette butts,
The best of intentions and
The stench of taking things for granted.
These raw wounds
I have sustained over my lifetime
Of loving how I should have been loved
Never seem to heal;
They just ooze and pulse
Making heartbeats painful;
A crazy accumulation of luggage
Like owning an airport carousel
Of baggage you can’t strip off.
It just grows with you,
Older and less attractive,
Smelling faintly of urine and gangrene
When you can’t bear
To perform the required surgery.
It hurts too much;
I’ll excise memories I want to keep
Along with the decaying flesh.
Retrospective or post-mortem;
It’s still the death of a relationship
That I thought would live forever
As if I had infinite chances,
Infinite quarters.

IV.
I was pinned to a mortarboard
Like a butterfly from a caterpillar,
When I had to eulogize my friend;
My brother, my partner-in-crime,
Someone who understood
By the merit of not being female
The depth of love and an enduring relationship.
I don’t ever want to do that again.
It is the same with love;
I know I can, and it will be better,
But the pain of losing someone to provoke that work
Is too much to accept;
Besides, who the fuck will do that for me?
The answer is as clear as hindsight:
20-20.
I listened to my voice echo hollow through a church
That he wouldn’t have appreciated
To the people who were left behind,
And became even more haunted.
I did my best to represent,
Tell tales, romanticize, believe
And I went home with ashes in my mouth
To cry, cry out, want to evaporate,
Disappear, erase myself from existing
Because I had lost something precious:
A true friend.
It’s a lot like losing your love
Because you have lost a friend.

V.
The light switch is off.
This is the eye of the storm for me.
Now I deal with the still shatter of leaves,
The cold of being alone,
And shoving my hands into the campfire.
There is no warmth.
This destroys the fabric of memories
That took deep commitment
And sweat equity;
Deeper resources than I had without you.
And I see them all retreat,
As if they never existed;
Vanish into the thin, thin air
That I breathe.
Flatlined.

VI.
To move along,
Because there is nothing to see here;
It’s a pretty penance,
My cross to bear;
One that gets weightier
The more years I carry forward,
This boulder I am pushing uphill.
It’s that lost luggage from the carousel;
It’s those old wounds from the battlefield;
It’s those lyrics of happier times
When I would write, compose, sing
Of how I loved being in love
And how I expected forever
But you only had right now to give.

VII.
Perspective is a function of wisdom,
Which is a byproduct of experience,
That is what happens when you live and die
Through these things.
Perhaps they build character;
Actually, they create defense mechanisms
To try to prevent this from happening again
And again.
Expectations collapse
And you lay bricks and mortar in the fortress
That you think will keep you safe
But not sound;
You all are quite persuasive.
Certainly isolated
In the aftermath
Of bequeathing your everything —
Heart, mind, soul —
To your everything
Around that campfire
And you look up and discover
That she is long gone.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, don’t stop on account of me. Obviously you’re reading this and so I thought I would take this time to explain that I have had this expression itch and so help me fuck it I’m going to pause here to have a cigarette in the office against the New Year’s resolution that I am really trying to stick to. BRB.
I once started a poem with the two-letter word “so” because it just seemed so fitting to catch your attention and make you pause, waiting for whatever came after so is always loaded like a stakebed truck. I hope my children read this someday and understand that I am twenty-five years old and my left wrist feels like it is full of street goo but I suspect it is carpal tunnel syndrome, the same thing that cursed my bro Alex Kohrt and made him give up playing guitar, the instrument upon which he was the BEST.
My cigarette in here tastes delicious but I hope that I quit soon (sense the weight of my priorities and the power of my will) and I am listening to “Psychotrance 3” and when you read this, children, I am drinking, too.
Something has broken, and the curse that has wracked my brain since I am no longer able to depend on everything being done by Mom (that creature eating the 10 minute pasta I made her because she made a polite request on her late way home from her job selling what she called me on: Sprint PCS digital wireless phones (say cellular and die). I have been reading Charles Bukowski and he just seems to sit at his beaten typewriter and write and the thoughts that he transcribes to the written medium are good enough for me, good enough for publication, and the only audience that I really care about are those persons like you, my poor Byronic blood, that somehow seem to love me.

In a dream that plucked me
From the couch that I slept on,
I walked, ant sized, through the growth
In my garden,
Shaking nasturtium stems
To feel the dewdrops like rain,
And climbing mountains
And ferns
Like a child with no friends.

Reminiscing like a fool,
These dreams torment like reminders;
Gleans of silver behind the tarnish,
Cigarette smoke fanned out the window.

When waking I walk
Through the garden I planted,
I can hear, I can see, I can smell
But not understand
Like I was able to way back when
In the gloaming of orange street lights,
Summer solstice and heat lightning.

Love is the drug
that opiates me nowadays
to fend through this morass
of doing what’s to do.

Love and Nicotine,
not pen and paper,
heart and dreams
laid out, a mindsong
to read.

a cling-to-my-sanity Love,
no Woodstock peace and
fuck-your-neighbor crap.
“She’s an Angel
of the first degree…”

And while I grip my head
to quell my own rising laughter
at my inability
to find a self-esteem,

I pray to the mirrors
of other people
who find worth in me.

Devils

Posted: January 24, 1994 in Poetry
Tags: , , ,

they’re the cries of burning cities,
cities burning now,
cities that have burned before,
and cities that will burn again
or are waiting to burn.
No one sees the twisted faces
in the smoke from the corner store
that neighbors used to frequent
for cigarettes and milk;
we’ll all walk past the couple
sifting through the hot ashes
that evaporate their tears
before they disturb the soot.

The Question

Posted: November 27, 1993 in Poetry
Tags: ,

Twin rivers of sweat
trickling from my armpits,
tickling down my sides
and a quaver in my voice,
dying for a cigarette,
a script, a wish, or that
I’d rehearsed more.

I’m looking at myself
in the mirror and wondering
who the fuck I am –
wire-rim glasses, two day old growth of beard;
cigarette dangling from my lower lip.
FUCKING POETRY – I’ve been gone so long,
writing to myself, watching
my pen bleed from word to word
across the page,
tasting every letter,
thinking every penstroke: the speed of poetry.
And fuck it if it’s not – it’s mine:
my thoughts, my wisdom, my reminders, and my beliefs.
Soon, the anger manifests in obscenity
and thinking of destruction and Godzilla,
not caring, not feeling anything but
pinpricks in my feet from stepping on rooftop antennae.
Flying like a bird, a beast, a leap
from a cliff, to die, to live, to believe
in myself and my vomit, my eyes,
my power to change myself, thus the world.
My wildfire magick of angels and cataclysm,
comedy, tragedy, hope, lightning flying
from fingertips and pen nibs.
It’s all the beauty of the plumbing behind the sink.