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Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

They say it never sleeps—(who’s “they”?)

They have a reason.

People on the streets no matter what the season,

Phrases scrawled with haste, spray-painted face—

This city is a bear, but it don’t hibernate.

 

And this is where you were born—

In the back of a taxi cab,

But you don’t know who’s your dad.

That guy in the suit and tie, he’s got your eyes,

Wall-Street-bound, Prada briefcase at his side.

 

Follow him a while, just to play pretend.

He’s got your laughter—

Sudden benefactor?

It’s a free nation, but this ain’t no Great Expectations.

Not cut for Wall Street, you head for Grand Central Station.

 

Play a few songs with your beat-up guitar,

Sing a few verses,

Families watching you closely, better leave out the curses.

Quarters and dimes, “thank you for your time,”

But time’s all you got, you left nothing behind.

 

Watch your brother board the seven-twenty train,

He asks you to join, but why would you leave?

You fell in love with the concrete.

The rhythm and the blues light your heart like a fuse;

This city—it kills you, but it’s still your muse.

 

I’ll ask you one thing,

From Brooklyn and Queens,

Every borough in between,

The art on the streets, the man with the beat—

Take it all in from your head to your feet.

 

This city is sparkling—not sparkling clean,

It’s sparking, sparking electricity.

Every person, every sound with unique energy—

I’ll ask you one thing:

Can you feel it?

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meet me in October,

and we can relive

that moment when

the focus of my life

 

became trying to get

outside of this fence that

chains me in—

holds me in—

and into your heart,

into your mind,

never regretting a thing.

 

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Thoughtful onlooker—

The world is alive; you watch,

Petrified in stone.

 

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You are my color—

Every hue, every tint is part of a masterpiece,

Which only now has been unveiled to me:

A work of swirling shades and dizzying tinges,

Of impeccable details woven together into a vision

That makes the onlooker gasp and the artist beam with pride.

You are the sky after the storm,

When the rain turns into drops of the sun

And the flashes of lighting surrender to your fireworks,

Whose crashes and booms will away the song of thunder.

Your eyes are blind, you cannot see what I behold,

But your words are art; you are my color—

The only splash of paint in a world of charcoal.

 

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Throwing pebbles that skim the surface—

The water’s depths will always remain a mystery.

If you spoke to the fish, they would tell you

That I’m wading in my mind’s shallow sea

And glimpsing at you through the waves—

You, the moon who quietly ebbs the tides.

 

A self-absorbed onlooker is all I am.

You are the only one who can pull me away

From my own mind, from my own surface.

 

All the world’s wonders combined, I see in you;

The Great Pyramid a mere pile of blocks

And the Taj Mahal a tombstone—

New York City a small town, if you’ve never been there,

And if you have, a world in and of itself.

 

We step in the same circles and lines.

Your air is mine, and the wind that caresses your face

Is the wind that tangles my hair and whispers to me

Things of the past, things beyond this wretched present,

 

Where we are unchained bandits and uncensored gamblers

Who put our money on the things we tell others

And choke on words left unsaid face-to-face.

Others forget, we never forget—

We never learn, we never try.

 

And so I wonder if silence is truly golden,

Lips glued shut, tongue dry,

My eyes cast down and yours like they were that October day

When all this started.

Yet—this is nothing, nothing at all on the surface.

 

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The day came upon us like Indian rain,

And with it, our fruits of labor grew,

Seeds that we’d been planting for months now,

All twenty-six of us, savages,

Nestled halfway between the Florida sun

And the storm steadily brewing in the distance.

 

When we danced, we sounded like a thunderclap,

Our feet ferociously pounding upon the pavement.

The beads on the hems of our T-shirts

Swung like pendulums,

And our painted faces gleamed with sweat.

The sound of the beating drum,

Thump thump, thump thump,

Woven together with the lonesome melody of a flute—

That was our heartbeat, that was the sound of the spirits

Watching us as we twirled in the midst of crystal droplets.

 

I still remember his clammy hand in mine,

The broken savage with the big brown eyes—

Two stars about to blink away before the dawn—

He and I.

I slipped off my feather earrings and

Stepped into the storm.

Thump thump, thump thump.

My beating heart willing me to look back.

But I never did, I never did.

 

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It’s funny how faulty faultlessness is

Compared to your eyes under these

Fluorescent ceiling lights.

I don’t know the color of those eyes,

Even though I’ve stared at your pictures

For hours on end—pixelated masterpieces

That put the work of Da Vinci to shame.

 

For there is no muse more worthy than you,

But perhaps it is all in vain

Since when I paint you into my memory.

I get so breathless I forget the details,

And I forget where I started, and where I should end,

And my train of thought screeches in its tracks—

Crash—what color are your eyes?

 

The half-light is streaming in through the window;

It was sunny today—it wasn’t supposed to be,

But it was.

Now the sun is gone—

Welcome to the city of gloom,

Where I never have seen more light,

Especially radiating from you.

 

I just hope you remember the girl

With the half-pretty face

And the smile half as bright as yours,

For you are wholly perfection—

Holy perfection—

The only being I could ever truly worship,

But you never look down when I kiss your feet.

 

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Fallen stars are all we are,

Alighting with a pitch black silence

Into this void we call a city—

A city filled with celestial things,

Things from the heavens,

Fallen stars gone astray—

They have fallen into hell.

Do they know? Do we know?

All we are is falling,

Falling with a heavenly grace

Into this extravagant underworld.

 

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From here, I can see the world.

The ocean blues of the sky and the sky blues of the ocean,

The milky dawn and the purple twilight acting as bookends

For the expanse of time in which the sun’s rays shine.

And then the stars—oh how the stars blink into existence

As the moon rises gracefully into its own perch—

But not as splendid a perch as mine.

From here, I watch the people.

They act as if they are alone, not watched by even God,

And it is endearing to see them—

To see them dancing when the rain drizzles,

The light of the street lamps making halos around them.

To hear them singing under their breath, whistling, humming,

Throwing their head back as they laugh.

I watch them as they fall in love and fall in despair

And hug their arms around them when it’s cold,

And in the heat, their faces turn shiny—they feel it all.

I feel it all.

But they don’t even think to look up.

I watch them in silence, always watching

From this magnificent, isolated perch I found.

 

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There is someone standing on the corner of

Upside-Down and

Right-Side-Up.

He is silhouetted against the backdrop of Night;

He is silhouetted by the light of Day.

He is lost to those who know him,

He has been found by those who don’t.

He is happy and sad

And pleased and mad and

Every feeling, every color in between.

His life is red and blue,

Wine and water

Spilled onto the floor

And seeping into the carpet.

Lights turned on again and off again,

Indecisive and certain of his purpose.

Wait—

What purpose?

Would he,

Could he,

Should he,

Fit into the circle when he is a square?

The beginning has wound to an end;

The end is only beginning.

Waiting for nothing;

Waiting for absolutely

Without a doubt

Possibly

Perhaps

Everything.

At the corner of Right-Side-Up

And Upside-Down.

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