Who, if Not You?

Who, if not you, will recognize the
silent unease that plagues my heart?
Like a ghost of grace, the silence roams
the depths of my tortured chamber and
compels my devotion and my doubt.

Like you, I have practiced absence and
come to worship at the altar of its great
sorrow; may I say artfully so, designed
by the finest artistic intent only to be
betrayed by its kiss.

This silence, however, demands my life
and like a hesitant petal, perhaps fearful
of the possibility of such light, I close my
eyes and plead blindness. The darkness is
familiar and allows my hands to feel the way.

The tide of these withering hours is pushing
me further away from the shore and yet I
continue to walk on water, as if I’ve forgotten
that only by drowning will I finally be forgiven
and given the gift of an untethered silence.

Will I find you there?

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The Prophet of Poems

The prophet is handing out poems to the dead
hoping to inspire the next great resurrection.
The dead are showing no interest and the poems
lie scattered in the graveyard like torn leaves.

He’s always been known for putting band aids
on broken arms and making lemonade from limes.
The Bible he reads from is full of blank pages and
he’s changed the names to protect the innocent.

As a last resort he built an altar to the art of sorrow
from the stones of his silent heart. Only crows attend
services anymore, putting his words in their beaks
and feeding them to their young.

The paradox of prayer is that it flies on only one wing.

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A Brief History of My People, part ii

You’ve all seen the photographs—my grandfather being swallowed by a whale as he swam off the coast of Nearly Certain, only to emerge three days later with a baby, a bird’s nest and several copies of Whitman’s, Leaves of Grass.

My grandfather was a self-made man who hatched from the egg of that rare species of bird, Delusions of Grandeur. These birds are never seen in this part of the universe anymore. [Note: Da Vinci has some beautiful sketches of these illustrious creatures in his little known book, I See What I Draw Doesn’t Amuse You Anymore]

[Question] Why must all of our life-lessons come from near-death experiences?

He grew-up among princes, danced before Napoleon (about 100 years before Napoleon) and studied the art of silence with Marcel Marceau. In feat of cunning and daring he rescued my grandmother from the circus strongman. To escape they had to cross over the high wire and eventually were shot out of the cannon and landed in the next town. They never spent another day apart from one another.

[For their honeymoon they walked to Hell and back]

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Cold Failed Stars

Did she really exist or are the photographs
reflections of my imagination? My eye for
detail is amazing. I can see things that
never happened.

Like that barrage of comets that fell from her
eyes like cold failed stars, littering her pupils.
It’s all space and distance, light years that
only the rarest of love can cover.

Those electrified kites that we flew in
the charging sky, among the slightly
inebriated clouds. The tails lit the night’s
darkness like confetti from falling angels.

Yes, angels fall too, like minor suns that
rust among the ruins of the galaxy. Their
aching wings flicker and flutter before they
spiral down the axis of our little souls.

We got lost on the porch while crows
filled their beaks with fireflies, like tiny
lanterns. I wrote you a note on a torn
piece of your paper dress before I sailed.

When I awoke among the waves, I found your
memory in a stolen book of photographs and
constellations. Painted stars lined the dusty
pages while your image faded into a black hole
that no heart can ever fill.

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Once Upon Waking

She sleeps with her weary ghosts
too tired to make them believe that
there is a better place for haunting,
a place beyond the immeasurable
sleepy self where dark dreams conspire
to pull them all beneath the surface
where life lingers alone…

…and what of these sad skulls that
lay like ruins among the dust of this
grand illusion named love—she calls
it one of sorrows great mysteries.

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A Brief History of My People

In the world of spoon bending it is the thought that counts.

These hand crafted illusions have been passed down from generation to generation and we are still doing them wrong after all these years. Wearing blinders helps us see our folly more clearly.

[One would hope that we would have found new ways to fail—insert photograph here]

Just like ghosts, failure is in the lineage, in the blood and bone. Our people were always showing up late for the battles and eventually we stopped being invited to the wars.

We walk on water but we can’t swim. We turn water into wine but we don’t drink.

I’ve spurned offers for the rights to our life history—who can write about something that never happened? Who can speak of things that have not yet occurred? My memory is incredible; I can recall things that never happened.

We will be remembered by no one.

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The Museum of Suffering

They’re burying the dead again; as if they won’t simply
rise from their graves at the next opportunity given them.

What the grave diggers of the world fail to realize is that
we are all unfolding, primordial particles to the development
of life and refuse to be buried by such small hands.

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