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Pitiful Wight

O what a luxury it was to be awoken by the sound of silence
Long ago when silence was anywhere
Its hollow ring soothed my lids ajar
Released the dew from my lashes
I wipe away a tear
My HVAC has forgotten which season it is

Shrieking tinny cacophony
Aggravates me away from sleep
O what a luxury it was to be awoken by the sound of silence
Long ago

wood and road

I rise
Which only serves to prove that I have fallen
Too late to make fresh coffee
It is man’s lot to toil
Live by the sweat of his brow
But I do not sweat
Nor am I man
And yet I toil

O pitiful wight
Sad and woeful spirit
I once subsisted off the land
The Earth herself
But man has bought the land
Sealed in contracts
Magick of judicial grimoires
And I who is faerie folk and of the land
Must produce on behalf of the land
Tentative tenancy, I labor
That I may stay beside my mother’s breast

My kind was caught surprised
By their spells
And their force
And their cunning hypnotic feature films
Elders evicted
And the boohag fined for disturbing the peace

Wrapped in slave linens of poly-cotton
I garb myself for today’s tortures
O fragile nymph whose skin is in bondage
To at least be leashed by a tie less ugly
Or shackled by whole socks
Socks would never tatter in elfin shoes
Nor would my ankles blister

Cursed cursed fate
O cruel and monstrous circumstance
Have I forgotten it is Friday
And my report is due
Damn the gods
Particularly the young gods
Of networks and social media
They laugh from their cloud
Count my wasted hours scrolling, my interrupted Wi-Fi

My eyes and ears crepuscular
Suffer the din of mankind’s world
Trains and planes
Iron replicas of dead dragons
Shuttling empty souls each Morrow
Midday devoid of frivolity, and only 45 minutes to eat my sushi
Damn them and their world
Even-time with no fire no song
Only toil from sun rise to fall
To earn the space
Upon the land
Their magick stole

I forgot my airpods
Damn this world

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Completely wrapped in your embrace
A substance just as subtle as a bubble’s empty space
Felt but never seen like an emotion
In your ocean I am drowning
As you take me on your journey aloft.

You always push and seldom pull
And carry all the landscape but your arms are never full
If in the lull I breathe your ether
Deeper in my lungs
Could I hold you on your journey aloft?

Your howling crashes in my ear
I can’t measure if for pleasure or aggression I should fear
But unadulterated awe
Is all I fall in as you’re calling
So I join you on your journey aloft.

This destruction is your gift
Descended from the heavens and benevolently swift
And lifting less than what you level
As I revel in your play
While I’m carried on your journey aloft.

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Ever Dystopian

Rainy Window

A privilege of prosperity
In a model of supply and demand
In which we all demand to live
But we all can’t stand to give
There just isn’t enough life to share
So we must choose who dies
When before we chose who lived
A decision we forgive
When the dying were forgotten to begin with

Is it Freedom if you choose your prison
If you were given full reign of your four walls
It is no longer safe to walk the streets
Even in the good neighborhoods
It is an enforceable infraction
It would be safer to protest it
Through self-immolation
Than peaceful assembly
And I yearn for touch

The pursuit of happiness
I wish to forge my livelihood
To seek my fortune
Through gainful labor
But I must Drudge
For I am essential
I am needed, the highest honor
The greatest utility
Like the feed to the cattle
Or the cattle to the butcher
Or the meat to the meal
Or the coal to the fire

The free market is free like the house slave
Mercantile medicine
Where wealth buys health
And work is paid for an illness
And borders are outlined not by fences but by offenses
Our dystopia was a leg that had fallen asleep
And we stopped noticing until we shifted our position a little
Put weight on it, walk away, you were always just going to fall down
Keep sitting
Stay right there
You were never going anywhere

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Avoid the Meadow

You must never rush out on the meadow
Where new hunters hunt with new rifles
Rifle through paper and plot schemes
Plots to be purchased for building schematics
Not for meat, nor pelt, no sport do they take aim
But for the wood itself
And there can be no wildlife without the wild

There might be danger
From blades that cut
No, not through the body
But through the oaks
And into the Earth
That cut us off from hedge and growth
But never cut into profits

deer in a meadow

Out there, we’re unprotected
No shade from heat
Nor break from wind
Neither does the water slow
We are visible and naked
Subjected to laws we never crafted
Laws of nature and of the state

The meadow is wide and open
Clear cut and level
Nigh onto dead
Home is extinguished
There is no safety
This is no longer ours

There are no trees or bushes to hide us
From harm or from elements
Privacy is stolen away
Where scaffolds formed from our trees
Support walls holding open windows
Which peer out over our lost kingdom

So, we have to be very careful
Lest we like the land become conquered
Colonized and gentrified and homogenized
Our home has become the gun
From which bricks fire like bullets
To strike us down
You must never rush out on the meadow, Bambi

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National Poetry Month 2020

It’s a worldwide pandemic. All events and physical social interactions have been canceled. The world, in a mighty collaborative sacrifice, has wandered into our collective tombs after bearing our cross of isolation to save the world, and despite what the President would have wished, we will not be emerging by Easter Sunday. All that is left is silence and stillness with no interruption to be found. For the first time in human history since the dawn of the printing press, the writer is now the most evolutionary fit human organism on the planet. This is our time.

Today is the first day of National Poetry Writing Month, also affectionately called #NaPoWriMo, and I am eager to make my yearly contribution. I, as always, invite you, dear reader, to join along. Share your poems and comment with submissions and links. In this time of distance, let’s build bridges. Nay, let us write bridges! Inscribing community through experiences syllabically captured and spread across the presently crumbling internet. As it was last year, all styles of poetry are valid and welcome, though I will once focus on narrative, lyric, and imagery.

30 Poems for 30 Days, Again

  • Avoid the Meadow (4/1/2020) - So, we have to be very careful Lest we like the land become conquered Colonized and gentrified and homogenized Our home has become the gun From which bricks fire like bullets To strike us down You must never rush out on the meadow, Bambi
  • Ever Dystopian (4/2/2020) - Life A privilege of prosperity In a model of supply and demand In which we all demand to live But we all can't stand to give There just isn't enough life to share
  • Aloft (4/3/2020) - Completely wrapped in your embrace A substance just as subtle as a bubble’s empty space Felt but never seen like an emotion In your ocean I am drowning As you take me on your journey aloft.
  • Pitiful Wight (4/4/2020) - O what a luxury it was to be awoken by the sound of silence Long ago when silence was anywhere Its hollow ring soothed my lids ajar Released the dew from my lashes
  • I Knew I Couldn’t Turn Back (4/5/2020) - I knew I couldn’t turn back when the people I harmed on the way weren’t healed yet I knew I couldn’t turn back when the secrets I held weren’t revealed yet I knew I couldn’t turn back when the visions I saw weren’t real yet I knew I couldn’t turn back when the obstacles didn’t make me yield yet
  • Atmosphere (4/6/2020) - The chatter, the gossip, the silent and deafening thoughts The din which became hush As I walked into rooms The change in mood in tone in pressure In atmosphere
  • And Then it Happened (4/7/2020) - And then it happened Like a thief in the night Responding to his early invitation Prophesied to non-believers and their talking-head idols
  • Flock (4/8/2020) - I am not you Nor you I No matter where you fly My flap is mine own
  • Dawn (4/9/2020) - Golden orb of Helios Fire burning furious Cross celestial ledge Horizon edge The Earth is slowly warmed
  • Wounded (4/10/2020) - “Sorry” Is the worst witch doctor remedy Snake oil dripped from forked tongues And venomous fangs It’s a token subtle serpents hiss to women they betray
It will be like this, expect typed and not nearly as elegant

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Oh, and if you want to read last year’s submissions, you can follow the link right over here. See you over the next 30 days!

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    I'm a Poet For Hire

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    Millennia ago, agriculture and horticulture allowed humans to pull themselves out of abject scarcity and into the abundance that gave us modern societies. Today the same tools can provide abundance for communities experiencing inequality. Community gardens and food co-ops offer opportunities for production and service in the most fundamental ways. These as a result return ownership of a community to itself by strengthening the relationship between a neighborhood, its residents, and its surrounding areas.

    “Perhaps the brightest light on BUGs’ horizon is developing a food cooperative for Homewood. Bey has teamed up with several economic development organizations in Pittsburgh to secure a building and parking lot for the facility, which could radically improve residents’ access to food as well as keep money within the community.”

    Food and wealth are tied to one another at the core, and even share a prefix in the words ecology and economy. Besides what services are provided to communities, however, there are massive takeaways for individuals involved in regards to the skills take home.

    “perhaps the real value comes from the case studies they provide, which teach important business skills.”

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    Abagail on Absolute Authority

    Abigail knew very well what she had done. It lied somewhere in the thin line between intention and reaction. She knew he deserves to be hurt but didn’t realize until it had been done but she was going to be the agent of that pain. Regardless, it had happened. That meant, at least to Abigail, that it was meant to happen.

    Abigail was an extremely interesting woman. For one, she had never met another Abigail. Secondly, she was a practitioner of a nameless faith. she didn’t believe that her faith needed a name or needed any named deities. She prayed and when she did she spoke to “the Universe” and it was certain that it listened. It was her absolute authority.

    Authority was immensely important. Without a standing authority, phrases like “everything happens for a reason” didn’t stand stiffly enough. Authority needed to be in place to assign these good reasons. A decider. She wasn’t a woman without trauma, and this design helped her to be at peace with the life she received. It wasn’t arbitrary, neither was it cruel. She also wasn’t cruel for what she had just done. It was an act of cosmic necessity.

    His nose was still bleeding even while Abigail walked away. Incredulous profanity poured from his face far faster than the blood. She paid no mind to it. Actually, in her heart, she even said a blessing to him. Wishing him peace. Wishing that he’d come to know better. Abigail abhors violence and harm of any sort. As a practitioner of yoga, she follows a concept called ahimsa, which means not to harm. That’s why she absolutely had to do what she did.

    She was walking past the City Market, just a few minutes away from the college. She wore a Bohemian skirt and carried a book against her chest with her arms across it. It was an international studies textbook. She was a student at the college at the time. It was both her favorite and least favorite series of courses. She loved the idea of being a global citizen but hated the politics of war and killing that surrounded global awareness.

    “What the fuck is this ugly bug?”

    The man had yelled at the sight of a wheel bug crawling from some brush on the sidewalk. A few steps ahead of him. She turned with her brow raised at the sound of the exclamation to see him step on the bug with a stomp. She asked herself what drove him to kill. “Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you? Why did you do that?!” Abagail screamed, her stance stern, almost maternal. Disciplinary. That should have been his first warning.

    “Because it was an ugly ass bug,” the man started. He didn’t get to finish. The answer was enough for Abigail. He didn’t have a reason. He saw something he didn’t like and so he killed it. He’s just like a war monger. The kind she couldn’t forgive. That’s when she threw the book at him. It hit him squarely in the nose with the force 75 years of geo-political strife.

    She never minded the disciplinary follow-through. She knew she was validated and that what that man did was wrong. That was 16 years ago. She’d nearly forgotten it, honestly. There was a dead bug on the ground in front of the City Market again. The sight filled her with a sense of sorrow. Mid-stride, she reflected. It is sad, but it will be okay. Because karma is justice. And everything happens for a reason.

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    I never seem to catch you at the right time
    You’re the cup of coffee that I only sip when hot enough to burn my tongue
    Or cold enough to put me off to the habit all together
    Yet still I am an addict for the alertness you bring me each dawn
    And despite that you are my morning ritual
    You are also the cause of my headaches
    My jitters
    My bitter attraction

    So what if your touch burns my lips
    Or if I find you sour when cool
    Let me have my drug by any means
    Or dare abstain altogether

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    Elegance comes at a price. It is the training of the being from a trauma that has been. The smoothest surfaces are friction conquests of sandpaper onslaughts. The much less graceful yet equally admirable effort of the sander.

    It comes at a steep price. Steep as the majestic slopes of country mountains, risen from earth by fire and worn by water from air. All of the ancient elements are expended of centuries to produce the solemn silence of the hiker in its view.

    The clinking of delicate porcelain cups sound like civilization to me. Beyond the whirring of machines and buzzing of electricity, tea sets offer a sense that we have dominion over the world and that society can work. Industrial engines command the planet’s surface. Computers eliminate the span of miles between cultures. Yet to slowly brew water and leaves, to look another in the eye as you sip staring over delicate porcelain edges, taking time for soft words all while aware that the universe is designed to destroy is. This is civilization. This is Elegance.

    You brought the tray my way and invited me to sip and speak as your poured my share. Your motions were calculated years in advance. Eyes followed fingers, which moved as if they stroked a harp. Arms kept near as your waist turned to extend reach. Slowly, of course. I watched found the same mountain edges. From a distance I could traverse with a fore-finger you cast a shadow on the horizon. And I was a weary hiker in my most solemn moment.

    What trade did you make to move as you did? And with whom did the transaction take place? How were you ever so wealthy as to afford being as elegant as you were the moments I fell in love?

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    I spoke my soul into being

    I spoke my soul into being with sealed lips
    With words as loud as the hush of cool earth
    commanded my name to be pronounced by the sunset
    And it screamed shimmering syllables across a countryside where I lay

    Sovereignty over all things was granted to me by the blades of grass
    The true kings of the world
    And the wildfire curtsied before me and asked to be my bride

    Before a court of stars we wed and consecrated our love
    And they twinkled

    I have never said a word that wasn’t also at least two
    Nor a sentence that was any more than silence
    My secrets are vaulted in my heart’s womb
    So that when I lay myself down upon the sky
    I shall not betray our relations