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August’s Journey

Dear August Journey,

Things have become rather difficult on your behalf now. The quarter moon has gently risen from above freshly-planted cornflower fields, and the way it illuminated the stalk of wheat stuck in between your taut scowl somehow reminded me of a vagrant angel I once saw in passing; perhaps in my most violent fever dreams, perhaps in the periphery of a forgotten childhood memory. Though, pray was I wrong about my prior assumptions?

I see that the jingling change in your pockets has been growing lighter with every dead-end town you pass by; your phantom presence barely rustles past rickety wooden establishments and suspicious-eyed locals like lost tumbleweeds and chasing dust by your worn-out rawhide boots, as you search for something that adamantly refuses to be found. The other shoe has dropped, all your horses have long-ago died of exhaustion when the heat rang high and clean water was scarce, and what you wouldn’t have given God’s mercy for just a little more time. But, isn’t that what you were running away from in the first place?

Your lover’s hands have slowly become loveless and the cobweb cracks are beginning to rapidly spread beyond your glazed eyes onto your craggy cheeks; and when you point your rusty revolver at an awaiting glass bottle, you always seem to target tattered fences and yonder valleys instead of hitting the mark dead-on, like you once always used to. And you grieve—oh, how much I have seen you grieve—but that’s just life. The prowling wolves have not ran for your bones yet; but with the way you refuse to interfere with your intrepid fears, they may as well already have stripped off your aged soul from the very edges of your sunbeaten hat and devoured the rest of you whole with a final triumphant flourish. And you let it be—and you sit on the initials of your name like a half-boiled eulogy—and you simply wait for the end—but won’t you try to shake off the ghosts stowing away and going in circles on your bloodstained coattails?

The ashes of the past shall surely fall, and fall in relentless mayday storms it shall; though it will not dwell any longer than a sluggish summer’s day if you bravely shut your eyes and hold your breath for just a minute…inhale not a speck and you may just come out the other end and weep in relief. The devil may arrive horns akimbo to take us both in our sleep, but please keep faith in me when I tell you that the journey is still far from over. It is embedded in your fate, in your veins, within your very namesake itself. I know your mama taught you from the very beginning to carry yourself ablaze and go out nobly, as rightfully as that may sound—yes indeed, she is your lifegiver, but she is not your sole devotion to life. Now come ye, renegade riders, hold out your pains and set them forth beneath the river of obscure sorrows, where every prayer and worry and promise shall all be washed downstream, away from goldmines and cardboard towns and shaky bodies without nerves—come ye, and hold out to me—hold out for me—

For you are you, August Journey. You are snapping tongues and bloody wit and resisting restlessness, you are the last stubborn leaf on a wilted elm branch still resolutely hanging on amid the very cusp of winter’s solemn death, you are the weary travellers you crossed and the sweetest damsels’ hearts your broke, you are the raucous enemies you peppered with cordite and the allies you shook callused hands with over a quiet pint, you are the mistakes you made peace with and the aimless footsteps you trekked all over your stolen frontier map—you are you and more than you, more than you could ever be. So, what do you say? Ready for one more hell on high water, or will your yellowed sheets hang short on the bedframe tonight?

The canaries chirping their royal codas, and the towering citadels built of crushed diamonds, and the coiling canyons without coal dust and cold nights, they all beckon you on. And I am me, and so must I be. Dear August Journey, I surely wish things would not be difficult for you any longer. The full moon shall rise once again from above unharvested fields and illuminate the crooked dagger’s glint in between your cunning grin; the vagrant angel they spoke of in hushed tones and classic legends is finally coming home. Ride on, August Journey.

Heaven awaits you, and so do I.

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Filed under Prose

Saudade

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my source of discomfort stems from sweeter apathy,

the one that subtly shifts behind frayed sweaters and

bubbles up from under clogged drains; the kitchen sink

is stained with petrified rose petals, your disinfectant love

creeps like cold chlorine under my tongue, and your kisses

taste like taking a deep breath under a swimming pool

but i don’t know why i cough up sea salt in my lungs

and the sand gets in my eyes and my fingernails, the

irritating grit keeps me vainly scratching all throughout

the night. you don’t seem to mind, for you have the covers

wrapped tightly around your body like a quilted cocoon, and

there’s a steady rhythm humming beneath the sweaty pillows;

of oxygen, and slowing pulse, and being unable to dream

while i dream up enough nightmares for the both of us

and the noisy skeletons in our padlocked closet. nobody’s

around to witness me jumping to conclusions, just an

inch of mattress that translates to transcontinental throes

you are so impossibly distant, whilst i quietly sit in the same

chair by the jammed window for hours and let myself wander—

perhaps i might chance upon a fairy tale place where home

feels like home, and not simply another temporary kingdom to lose

your keys; and where you are no longer a strange extraordinary metaphor

but rather, just a tiring contrary cliché that i’ll be more than glad to call my own.

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Filed under Poetry

high beams

the traffic lights

look far different

.

when i walk alone

a tempting waltz

.

dandelions burn

beneath my knees

.

and the crosswalk

blurs my eyesight

.

heading back home to

where grief tastes okay

.

but if the sunset asked

me to leave with it now

.

to paint my hands with

orange and abendrot

.

like stars and headlamps

shimmering before me

.

and all the colours i lost

in my travels around town

.

would i answer quickly

would i simply tell it yes?

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Filed under Poetry

Okinawa (Taking The Long Way Home)

Hopeless; soft sigh of my shamelessness

Almost anechoic now, rather hurting your

Perfect prelude as you cross nocturnes into

Plaques of deception, I crave the vicious way

You crept under my closed eyelids and let my

.

Bloodstream clog up with letters of your name

Infected and depleted, frantic and lovesick like

Redbones and restless sentiments as I befall back

To the insomniac midnight runs that broke in my

Head like it was just another swollen, gaping scab

Daring me to pick at it, to pick it up, to pick you out

And spill my thoughts all over the ceiling’s leaky holes

Yes, you are and will be the only one, begotten wonderer

.

Arrogances forsaken—! I vehemently collide directly into

Never, never again, never yours, never there, never more

Distal anoxia, stiffly reaching out, these hands—fractured

Your staccato rings out to alarm the wolves, for I am to your

.

Carrion as you are to my crudely-preserved trophy head displayed

Iridescent phantom may you be yet afterlife barely transpired, just a

Zeitgeist fleeing the tides under the midst of November’s temper bloom

Enamoured harshly to your facsimiles and facades and fastidious blues

Keeping worn-down stars in my pocket for another year lost again to you.

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Filed under Poetry

Still. Alive.

We are made of confused atoms and endless fathoms

And falling in love, in the wrong place at the wrong time

Chasing cigarettes on sixth street astride a flock of pigeons

On a sombre wedding day, runaway like the cotton-lily bride

But her wrists are coated with bright red lipstick she wiped off

After she found out that happily ever after didn’t really exist, train

Dragging along the sidewalk, scraped skateboards and wet chalk

And grinding teeth and damp laundry scattered by grumpy landlords

Perfect enemies knocking down old drywall while the rats complain

And the best friend you haven’t talked to in decades just showed up

At your doorstep dead 2 AM, mostly drunk sometimes troubled to crash

In your couch, grin that familiar grin and ask you how you’re doing

Pretend that the medication in the bathroom cabinet’s only Ambien

And quietly sneak out the morning barelaced and shamefaced so

You’re all alone again, tapping to the faded songs you never recorded

Right by the dusty windowsill as elusive spiders build their homes in

The flat you can’t quite call your home, haunted by strangers’ past bodies

And his awful-scented aftershave of coriander that seems to linger forever

And an uprising in every locked closet hiding identities and mothballs and

Childhood VHS tapes and taped-up mystery boxes containing what might

Just be forgotten yellowing letters and cheesy postcards from every state, or

The very key to unlocking the ultimate truth of the entire universe itself…

But we’re all too busy losing our phases and being torn back to ashes to ever find out.

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Filed under Poetry

Solus

i miss the solitude of comfort

the breathless etudes that waltzed

around my bruised wrists and

made me think of distal vagaries—

beyond the thought of epiphany

none so vague, fallen anechoic sigh

brackish, your ocean salt, i elude

without objection, spinning starlings

and maxims that barely touched

the very tip of your aquiline outlines

nostalgia for months long passed

though, it seems centuries, impaling

my wit’s ends and ensconcing me

in linen funeral wear; wary sunshine

stains the blinds as my lungs take

a convulsive hiatus, scheming against

better company, scant afterglows

and that abstract sensation of leaving

the confines of my home after all

the stars had long burned out and the

city has long moved away from me,

from beckoning me, call my siren song

my swan song, epoch of resolution…

breathing, i miss the comfort of solitude.

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Filed under Poetry

Hierarchical Absolution

Just get me out of this damned place

Where the thieves and parasites all replace

The sanity and morals’ common sense

And jesters jeer at their own complacence

.

Where money doesn’t simply talk, but instead

It fucks with pleasant tongues and leaves them dead

And the messy viscera of every carved-out pawn

Is strewn to hide the sheer filth of pride overgrown

.

Expected to stand up and expected to bleed

Displayed high on the shelves like a trophy kid

Make them all happy, at the cost of your own

Suck up the complaints right down to the bone

.

And I just can’t run away from this cultural poison

Finding heaven in suicide and hell right back home

Please get me out before the familiar slaves drag me back

To a place where I’ll be forced to toil until I self-destruct.

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Filed under Poetry

Cityscape

“You take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” –Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities


cities crawl with small plastic cars

and termites heading home after a long day

nevermores cast off to sycamore roots

with the darling of knowing nothing else

only the headlights in front of them

transient light guiding wornout concrete

in this merciless grid stuffed with shadows

they crawl without knowing why

and the city skin is beginning to itch

with the burden of perhaps one too many

small feet pitter pattering on their veins

right into the chambers of an ancient heart

that’s starting to slow down

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Filed under Poetry

intricate

You misunderstood the gravity
As the weight falls apart
You’ll watch me walk away
I walk away, calm as the wind
You’ll watch me go…

~*~

you’ll keep

me broken

hold notches

in my bones

.

leaving me

black and blue

before then i’d

call you home

.

lips red on a

blunt head

brimmed with

singularity

.

shed cold light

on unmade beds

didn’t know this

would unmake me.

~*~

I’m here tonight
Underneath the influence
And why can’t I find a way out?
It’s calling me tonight
This secret I have become
At the edge of the earth…

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Filed under Poetry