Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Poems from Our Inspired Word Poets

Compilation Of A Heartbreak

this bone machine is broken
last night i broke my jaw in two places to
spit blood and conversation out because

reinvention is a beautiful thing
the morning after you die

letting go is the equivalent to dying
and I’ve never had a fear of death
but for my sons and daughters i do

I woke up numb from neck down
laid, frozen wondering what was wrong,
whispered for help but my lips never opened

my eyes wide
shot from gin and whiskey
with skin that keeps evenings & whispers
tighter than secrets and lies

this is not fiction there will be blood if i am cut
there is no magic here
no sprouting bouquets of desire from my hands

take these ripped veins
and hang the history you want
carry this weight into the deep water of your decision
breathe the guilt of these shadows you created in your ribs

you are not a metaphor
you are life threatening

gash my head on the concrete of your feet
watch your face disintegrate in my hands
the stain of your kiss still scented on my neck
and even after i rip the skin off my body
i can smell you in my blood

the song of your name is a death crawl
and regardless of who wears it, they becomes you

give to me all the secrets
you kept under your tongue
that you wanted me to eat

give to me the questions you never asked
the ones that would save us from becoming
the inevitable piece of art that we now are

there is no last goodbye in heartbreak
just the silence that is deafening

this is for release
an opening sentence
in a conversation of self preservation

i am not a victim
but does that mean i don't need help

i speak of reinvention
because it has saved me
more than once

so now
i stand in the same room
we've made love in
and i burn it all

everything is in flames
and it looks beautiful
all the blues and oranges tangled together
dancing as the smoke rises
burn away the memories for tomorrow
for tomorrow is prepared for new ones
and yesterday is gone
a slowed down scene of black and white
caught in the fire

this heart is not broken anymore but it still bleeds
these hands still write your name unconsciously
my eyes have been taught not to search for you in the crowd
these feet watch where they walk because your feet were there an hour before
this love is mine once more
once yours but no more

I used to speak about
how utterly blinding our love is
told everyone in the world that
we were ours and we would never correct them
but eventually I would have too

i see you in moments we called ours without me
are you replacing them with new ones?

i wanted us to search for intangible objects like hope
grab the wind and put it in a jar
destroy a beautiful piece of art
get so drunk we forget our purpose
jump in a pool of impulse
write words on passing trains
wave goodbye to animosity
steal rare books
draw our love on the promenade
but you didn’t want that did you

you used to be light like water until i was drowned out
from the cracked bulbs and got pushed out your desire

i never claimed to be anything except
a bearer of fruits called affection, effort and reciprocation
but did they taste like overbearingness and neediness

no one will look at you like i did
in sunlight
in red
in brooklyn summer
in yellow
in january crisp
in boogie down spring

Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" is playing through the speakers
i don’t think she wants to lay here anymore, Bob
even though her head is still imprinted on the mattress

and it's getting dark again
and nothing is ever darker than being alone
when you don't want it

i take my skin outside to dry
my hands are guilty of still wanting to touch you
but i have to go back inside and rebuild everything

all you ever wanted were things i knew nothing of
kept me in the dark hoping the last remaining light
would be the epiphany you hoped for
but my life is more complicated than it seems

beware because your heart will never replace me
regardless how hard you try

i will always be the borough you try to avoid
the poem you never finished painting
the painting you never read
the song you didn’t frame
the book you never listened to correctly

so here i stand
unedited, unframed, unfinished
the most incomplete man you'll ever see

and tonight,
i cherish that title
more than you'll ever know.

- Bonafide Rojas

5891 Faces


i scream out
clenching my fists,
flinging my voice like a discus towards God
hoping its sound will boom
back, echo under his fleeing shoe leather,
that it will collapse on him like dark walls.

i return to my building,
where my neighbor Holli waits for me,

like a mother in the middle of the night,
she eyes me through the glass
of the security door, ushers me in.
she is pained, disapproving,
mostly full of fear herself.

at the police precinct, i crack jokes with
the dough-faced cops, study their exotic long island
accents, one instructs the other on the proper way
to file his taxes.
th older cop with the grey eyes is on the phone
with the A.D.A. he tosses a third black plastic
binder in front of me:

“while it’s still fresh in your mind,” he says.

i lift each photocopied page with the broad side
of my right hand: thumbprint-sized faces
of teenage boys, with hunger in their eyes,
not their cheeks, not like the man i met on the street.

“it’s none of them,” i say. “he was older.
in his early 40’s. i dunno, kinda crackish.”

the officer with the grey eyes types these new
coordinates into his computer. pulls a chair
up for me. its glowing screen reads:

5891 Matches | 33,220,909 Universe | Page 1

i scroll through each page, six faces at a time,
an endless parade of scowling husbands, sullen brothers,
shocked fathers, defeated cousins, defiant sons.

one man’s photo is inexplicably the same three times
over. another is badly beaten, eye drooping and bloody.
one could have been posing for a prom photo. one
with his eyes completely averted. one, a dirty blank wall.

the tv above me buzzes with the smiles of a circle of African
children graciously thanking Kiefer Sutherland for saving them
from terrorists, briefly interrupted by flashes of newscasts
about Barack Obama’s historic inauguration.

by page 149, i lack the heart to continue on. instead,
i do an inventory of my own.

the contents of my bag (physical):

1 poetry journal from the last four months
1 personal journal from the last 3 weeks
1 Gao Xingjian’s The Case for Literature (heavily annotated)
1 Palm Centro – Electric Blue in a battered leather case
1 iPod with a pair of bad headphones
1 grey wallet with drivers’ license, debit card, credit card, social security card
and 20 cents
1 used-up tube of Burt’s Beeswax lipbalm,
1 new tube of Carol’s Daughter Very Sexy lipgloss,
1 black and grey shoulder bag
1 NYC water bottle

all easily replaceable
if not
for the poems.

- Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai


She says,
"Ya know, if you had all your teeth
I'd fuck you"

laughter falls on my shoulders
like a bucket of blood noosed
to the rope of her smile, streams
my face with leagues
of embarrassment,

is when I generously offer
my water-balloon-heart
to a razor-fingered woman,
convince her that I am more,
apologize for being too small
to reach her expectations,

It should have hurt, but
I've learned to expect
nothing less from most people,
I surrender to the fact

we are all two cups of murder
from becoming serial killers,

funny, smart, loyal
are only seen on men
worth looking at, just accessories
on good-looking men,

I covered my mouth like shame, one hand
to keep cracked enamel from criticism,
and the stones on my tongue
from cracking her skull while
gripping my drink,

with a closed-lip smile, I nodded, thought
hard about the words, revealed my teeth
and responded,

I have known more lovers
than your pretty, little mind
could fathom, thrown out
more poems than you have read,
and shed more tears over coffins
than you've pissed after bar-hopping,

I have a fourteen-hundred chess-rating,
once played naked-chess in a six-million-dollar living room
while sipping red Burgundy with a vintage older than you,

been sung to sleep in Oakland, California by the kindest
heart, the most precious eyes and an acoustic guitar
with the curves you're still waiting to get,
had four hands massage my back, simultaneously, thanking me
for being more than looks,

gone to war and filled shallow ground
with more stories than your ears are ready for,
and made sure I survived the flock of bullets,

I lost these teeth in a twenty-five year fight at home
with heroin, others lost their lives, me,
I lost teeth,

I'm grateful
to share this with you, see
I really shouldn't be here,
should be in prison, should be
resting my bones in a morgue, should be
wishing for a woman's touch, serving
a prison sentence this world knows
I got coming, should be riding lightning
in a psyche ward for some of the shit
I have swallowed, shot, snorted, and sucked in
all to keep from feeling feelings you almost
had me feeling just now,

but I'm not,

I'm here, smiling not-so-pretty,
a mouthful of living years beyond
your sheltered perceptions,
teaching a slightly-overweight,
badly-dyed, ice-encrusted heart,
the art of diplomacy, hoping

she will now ask herself
what ever made her think
she had a chance
to fuck me in the first place?

- John Survivor Blake

To the man who finds my face beautiful tonight,

To the Man Who Finds My Face Beautiful Tonight,

I cannot tell you that I am clean.
Wist swims my belly, but if you must know,
yes, this body still opens. Makes room. Shifts
when you have not asked it to. Aches against
will, finds tide in the pelvis and the chest and
eyes, too, my dear, I cannot tell you I am not in love
with the world. That there are not offerings
I wouldn’t take if pressed against my thirsty lips
like a stranger’s sharp blade, begging
for something dangerous, something painful,
daunting, that I do not hunger and burn
like a dying animal. I have not understood
the word home in years and this is a confession.
There is an ocean I have not crossed.
There is a mountain I have not sang upon.
There is a feeling I long for that I have not
touched, has not touched my under sides raw,
most unholy and full of God, this is not that
which cannot be defined, though I am not sure
I care to know a thing but where your dirt lies,
what will be put to rest and what will rise, I
cannot tell you I am not afraid to die or live
but the night finds me often, achy, blue and this,
too, is our secret. The one we share with each being
bearing a pulse and a past of swollen. The bird’s
wing found the moon again. There are a million
sad tunes to revel in. I am nude rubbing the skin
of my legs smooth, having memory of a beginning
that hasn’t even started yet. So if you are to tell me
anything, make it urgent. Make it fast. I am not
easily deceived nor blind to possibility. The lullaby
rings like this: when did you last tell your mother
you loved her. What made you cry when you were
five. When did you first feel your toes on the bottom
of a river. Tell me what of which you fear, and if it
hurts, we can start from

- Caitlin Meissner

Bookmark and Share

No comments: