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Graves of our Fathers

we'd drink around fires that burned between pillars
of the ruins and dreams of the town's founders.
gaze out at the wastelands as smoke
hovered over the treeline.
if someone was looking for action
that place was a gold mine.
it was the graves of our fathers
that brought us together
where kids would grow up
and only-children found brothers
in the glow of fire pits
that lit up their bottles of liquor.

they'd talk about leaving
but they all end up settling
they'll long for the city
but die old in the country
they'll never know how perfect they have it
in that burial ground
where they learn their bad habits

a cold roast dinner

we will walk slightly further ahead and behind of each other
until people wonder whether we’re together at all.
i will hate you and you will hate me for that.
one dinner i will say ‘pass the salt’ and you will pause,
pass the salt and then complain at how i always say ‘pass the salt’
and never ‘please’. then, how i never appreciate the effort you make,
how you feel like there’s an ocean between us.
i will stand up, knock over my water and the glass will break.
you will scream, i will ignore you and leave.
i will walk down our street and through the park alone,
looking at leaves on the path
and pushing away tears because everything looks ugly.
everything looks like wasted opportunities,
wasted words, wasted life.
with trembling fingertips i will trace the lines on my face,
chest slowly pulling tighter under wasted skin.
my knees will hit the pavement first,
then my palms, flesh tearing like paper.
my breath will slow, becoming shallower and more desperate.
as my face presses into the concrete,
i will see my high-school graduation;
me sitting in the toilet cupping my face with my hands,
thinking of how to say, ‘i love you -
it doesn’t matter if you don’t love me...just let me love you.’
then i will see myself five years later
pushing through theatre doors,
struggling for air and fumbling for a cigarette,
loathing myself for not being able to move on,
loathing you for being who i have to drive home to.
i will close my eyes and feel the asphalt pressing into my pores,
feel you stroking my cheek on a Wisconsin beach.
blood will pulse through my head
and you will be standing beside our bed
with a hot water bottle and paracetamol
asking me if i need anything else.
everything will go dark slowly, like i’m falling asleep.
i will say, ‘there’s nothing’, and ask you to leave.
i will die alone, nauseous and cold,
knowing that my last breath won’t find your ears
to speak of what i will have just figured out.

i am somebody/i am some body

a monument is constructed in memory of a mundane moon,
in lieu of an aptly delusional dirge;
whose carved-over descriptions would dress the headstone,
as ivy would drape across the ivory-towered mourners,
who repudiate the fact or lie of life after death.

so instead of those words,
they'll fashion a tarnished crucifix
from broken twigs mixed with mud.
face it towards a dust-stained wall,
and claim it's ashamed, or abandoning us all.

while we'd wade through this distraught town,
we'd attempt to embrace the statue-esque crowds
after we've buried ourselves underneath
anything that'd make us feel better.

and the deconstruction of these masses
is overbearing and the heavens fall.
but this funeral is postponed,
as ashen snow dances with the clouds.

and it's something beautiful that we just don't quite understand,
but we'll all rejoice and imagine what life will be like after we finally can.
until then we'll bound ourselves to prayer and attempt to transcend;
the ones who've given up on sleep.
the ones who've given up on each other.
the ones who've given up on themselves.
the ones who've given up only in the end.

but never once before, because there always seemed to be something worth fighting for.
there was always something worse fighting towards.

thoughts on poetry and it's critique

Try telling the thousands
all around the world
that 'I have a dream' wouldn't be
a poetic symphony
if the sounds of the vowels didn't drop
on each second syllable
and take the proverbial step-back
letting the concept take the forefront
of the phrase

Try telling the ex-slave traders
that that single wave of thought
skipping silently
into the mind of their society
wasn't scary
because it lacked a bastard 'b'
to blacken the occasion

And try telling me this
without a hint of poetic integrity-
no assonance with i's and e's intertwining
on the page
and the writer stepping back surprised
at the shocking twists of phrase,
the form and rhyme within the lines
that connotate and connotate

Or give me a just phrase
of nonsense poetry
that is beautiful purely
because of the writers sonical
and lyrical ability
skipping between the Tumtum trees
with no cognitive responsibility.

Please, just give me language,
a tool to connect minds.
Allow the words to breathe
and you might find
within them, a dream
of truth and rhyme combined.