Questions for Evangelicals (Pence Poem)

will you murder me?
swing, swing, from the Maple tree.
I married a man
will he swing next to me?
we said I do – in Iowa
will our ashes be spread there
is that a courtesy you offer?
thoughts and prayers for our hell bound souls

Will you murder me?
Like you allow black men to be murdered?
will there be words like, “If they just changed,”
in the debates on social media
hashtag say their name?
hashtag they were to blame
hashtag Leviticus, faggot

Will you murder me?
Will Fox News and MSNBC differ
will Rachel Maddow lament
no wait – they’ll kill her too
Will Sean Hannity be the apologist
as he tosses a football off screen

Will you murder me?
I’m ready. It’s like a slow boil
I’m ready to rock steady
but do me a favor
roll me in a grave with my brothers
when we haunt history’s pages
I want there to be a family portrait

Call yourselves what you want
spin this however you want
praise the Lord, and get the rope
regardless of rank and station
Evangelical dissertations in front of the Hague
when America is Liberated by some country
with more empathy than the geriatric voting base that voted you in
to them, and me, you’ll be nothing but killers

Fall from Grace (poem)

 

karl-fredrickson-222730

 

all at once I was fifteen feet below
kicking, flailing, lungs on fire
I was dropped in the middle of the ocean
after I fell to my humanity from heaven
lead weights of betrayal around my ankles
black water all around me
I could see the sunlight just beyond the surface
turning the water above my head green

Deals with God, please don’t let me die
Deals with Devil, please don’t send me back
I found pockets of oxygen
in the beds of other men, begging them
please don’t send me away
then, I would depart on my walk of shame
down their driveway
kicking my way up

I’d used my youth, and my youth was used
and my face, and my dreams, and my body
as I discovered the truth about me
I was needy, and hungry, and lonely
and terribly insecure
I accepted these things
and the shackles one by one, broke

I kicked hard, to the surface
black spots dancing before my eyes
brain screaming at me to take a lungful
of water
the familiar taste of salt from the sea
my heart beat, thumped, railed, against
it’s steel cage – a lone drummer’s insurrection

freedom was inches from my face
until finally I crashed through that membrane
and all at once, I was free
sweet air, lungfuls, belly breaths
til all at once i came back to me
there I was floating on my back
face skyward – all alone on the sea

Betrayal (poem)

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betrayal
the big billboard
lit up brightly
on the highway
of my mind 
and morning song
that rouses
me from my sleep
forces my hand
to steer the car
over to the side
of the road.
There, in bold
red letters scrawled
my redrum
twenty feet high
thirty five feet across
illuminated by glaringly
bright white light
I feel the first
of the emotions
associated with the word

Embarrassment
the sticky heavy thick feeling
like it isn’t dark
like the freeway isn’t mine
like someone
could drive by any moment
and see me sitting
on the hood of the car
knees tucked
under my chin
and see me
with the radio in the car
blaring out
with open doors
and the dome light on
the song crescendos
and falls silent
leaving nothing else
to play but the
wind, the crickets,
and the rattle of an engine

It all comes
down to this one thing
the heart of it all
the epicenter
the truth that I
didn’t factor at all
in their equations
forgotten and willfully so
I become see through
on the hood
why, when, how, who, what
all cease to matter
paling to the red letters
a ghost
I take them into me
mercilessly
giving me substance
forcing upon me
unnecessary courage
under the early
October sky

Tis the Season for Rock and Roll (poem)

 

neonbrand-265876 (1)

 

dance in the morning
when it’s seven a.m
and the dog is on the leash
with sleep still slowing my limbs

Then the percussion kicks in
and a smile slides onto my face
as i hum along and my stride lengthens
and my blood begins to wake my stiff sore legs

it’s October now and like the change
in the seasons
my taste in music alters as the summer
wind cools
and the shadows lengthen
I need something more dynamic
to reach me where the sunlight wanes

Rock and Roll
with Tina’s steely voice and Janis’
raw sexuality
and Bob Seger’s Night moves ready me
for the season of cold nights
and lovemaking

Before my first cup of coffee
I’ve danced to Boston
lip synced to Steve Perry
and was your private dancer
in this sick cycle carousel
this record player we call life

Coming To (poem)

Coming To

An F.e.Feeley Jr / Dan Stone poem

Him:

I’m giving back the ring.
It’s the last “no” to the questions
we could never answer,
the ones we never asked.
The last step outside
the circle we could
never really manage
to complete.
It’s our fade to black,
our exit stage left and right.
Consider it a token
of regret, a not so
fond farewell,
my “J’ai fini.”

Me:

How were we strangers?
When I know you down
to the scar on your hip
and your cool gray eyes
when i got down on one knee
I tasted the salt on your mouth
and now this ring, a token not of
regret but all that was broken
between two men
How did this happen?
This Au Revior
but there is no good in goodbye
J’en ai fini avec toi

Him:

You would go there,
bring your lips to my ear
and whisper what I’ll miss,
make this ache even more,
remembering how you kissed
that scar, convinced me
it would heal
when all we did
was tear the tender pieces
of our faith apart,
demonstrate how much
we both misunderstood.
I can’t forget your hand
resting on my heart,
your sighs in your sleep,
your feet warming mine,
but I’ll still make that claim
and wish I could.

Me:

I see,
I saw what you did there,
took what I said what I felt
and made it into war
this isn’t about disunity
this is about fear
of letting go of what you were
before we met
of what that braided claddah white gold ring meant
we joined more than nethers to nethers
we became a consecrated union of souls
where I must die and you must die
to birth something new and you now
circumspect, suspicious, and beautiful
still
blame me if you must and lie to yourself
but there is no forgetting as there is no unloving,
no unwinding of what we’ve done

Him:

What would you have me do?
If our scaffolding
still stands,
our bridges haven’t burned
why are you just
standing there,
me over here
both lobbing
weightless words
and turning phrases,
talking what we
cannot hear
or find a way
to wander through?
Where was your certainty
when I needed you
to hold it—me—close,
to bend so we don’t break?
Could it be
we only comprehend
the fear, the grip
and gasp of death
the mess we make
and not the labor,
not the long deep breath
needed after birth?

Me:

put my ring on
is what I’d have you do
as the bow has broken
and the cradle has shattered
on the floor
our masks are stripped away
leaving us more naked
in each other’s eyes than
the bed we’ve shared
I do hold you
as I’ve held you
as I’ll always hold you
I know no certainty, no vow,
no prayer
and without you no pride of place
except for the burning in my gut
and the wretched wraiths of loneliness
howling between my ears , now
I know. I know!
Curse you and damn you!
What would I have you do?
Love me and live and die for me
and kiss and cry and bleed for me
and let us breathe only the air
that exists between us
And the mess we’ve made

Him:

Is this the truth
we’ve wrung from
both our hands,
dug up from our
trench of frowns
our balled up fists?
Could we just now
be coming to?
Are you just now
seeing me unclothed,
unarmed, unbound
by all I hoped
you’d never see,
and are you telling me
it’s what you’ve waited for?
I never knew.
I never even dreamed
this nakedness
could be enough.
I hope this hope,
this match we’ve struck
is all it seems, more
than everything
I’ve been afraid to want,
the blood the sweat
the sweet the salt
the flesh and bone,
a love that rockets
through the midnight sky,
this sun and moon
rising, setting
in our eyes,
this ring back on,
this making up.

Me:

Yes

Autumn solemnity (poem)

mikhail-elfimov-320056

 

 

 

Mikhail Elfimov

My body knows fall is coming
my eyes can see the difference in the sunlight
and my soul longs for the smell of burning leaves
and long nights sitting on a porch
with an Irish Coffee

Blue jeans, sweatshirts, and book in my hand
the porch light on casting illumination on my comfort
the air is cool but the hot liquor warms me
as melancholy music whispers in my head
the coffee isn’t the only Irish thing about me

It’s a time for magic, and spirits
as my eyes dart from the page and into the yard
and long lengths of deep shadows
was that a ghost? Maybe so. Probably so.
and somehow i am okay with that
as I return to the words on the page
of a book written by Fessenden

It’s silent, save for the occasional car
and the wind passing through the trees over head
the pages in my hand as sacred as rosary beads
and my prayer to God is for the night to slow
for time to be suspended as a spider descends
on a single silk thread just to the right of me

all is equal on nights like this
no revulsion, no spite, or fear
only a mutual understanding
as the creature makes it’s way across the porch
and down into the darkness on the otherside
we are simply two beasts enjoying the starry starry night
preparing ourselves for the inevitable onset of winter

 

Street Preacher (poem)

 

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Alex Hockett

 

I am the street preacher
saint and sinner
dancing along that fine line
and eternal circle
of life and repentance 
When I dare speak in exclamation points

Loving the in between
like grass that grows in busted concrete
pushing upward to heaven
flat broke, I feel like a million bucks
when it rains upon my brow

There are no pamphlets
no special prayer to yank you out of the world
but there is a dirty hand
that points you to where the food is
where the hope is
where eternity is

Touched in the head
touched on the heart
I stumble around just as blind
as the rest of the self appointed saints
and maybe I am a fool for thinking so
but radical equality is the song i sing

Amazing Grace
has a history as sordid as those it saves
and church can be a canopy of stars
as I open my shirt to show you my scars
that make me bitter and afraid and hopeful
knowing you can’t be found unless you’re willing
to get real good and lost

Damnation is only reserved for empire
and cruelty, and hate
and for those who need to be punished
for crimes, for failings,
for the inability to forgive and be forgiven
those flames also familiar to me

But I wander and wonder
and stare at the magnolia tree
and the big fat bees that bumble along
flower to flower with impossibly large bodies
and no sense of urgency

With a shot of whiskey in my system
and a grin upon my face
a hurt in my heart
and a little room where I lay my head at night
with a penchant for storytelling
I wander
a preacher of the streets
professing a gospel of life

 

Amber Colored (poem)

 

amber color

(Some Random picture I saw)

In looking for my rest
I found a bottle of amber colored joy
as I sipped – I let it burn my throat
as the fire cascaded down into my heart
upon a gut made of stone
There are a million miles
in the tattoos that I wear
and ten thousand memories with each
passing of the needle over my skin
as I proudly display each step I’ve taken in life
I hum dixie melodies
when I go looking for my soul
gospel songs and blues
when I’m lonesome and flesh upon flesh
doesn’t do what I desperately need it to
My church is a rusty and dusty bar
when I’m in the faith having way
Otis Redding the reverend
playing on a Wurlitzer Bubbler made in 1950
just one amber glass at a time

The Lighthouse (poem)

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In the midst of tempest raging
When the wind and waves crash constant
And the night is filled with flashing lights and rolls of thunder
When the rain lashes a thousand needles agaisnt the skin
A proud lighthouse stands in the midst of it all
Even when the world trembles
From the celestial cannon fire sounding
And the periods between electric light are as dark and deep as the ocean
And the sailor has lost his way
A proud lighthouse stands in the midst of it all
With yellow lights beaming, round and round it’s promise goes
Warning sailors of imminent danger while at the same time guiding them home
Though the waves may hide jagged rocks jutting upward
Ready to take apart ship and limb and life
The steady knowledge of someone watching, always vigilant , always ready
Encouraged the sailor to keep on fighting till the wind gives up the ghost
That’s how I felt the day I found you and i knew to come and speak to you
When life’s cruel waves did force me from a life id always known
And as that cannon fire through the night did rumble
Blinded by the lightnings angry forked limitations
Though hot as the sun’s surface, was too brief to guide me home
But those days tempest tossed are far behind me
And even though the wind and waves grow higher
The fear of going under or dashing against the unyielding rocky shore
Isnt Much of a worry for me these days
For I’ve given up my ship, now Harbored just inside the bay
And now I bathe in the glow of the lighthouse which has now become my home

Lonely Boy (poem)

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The fan whirls above me
It’s fast rotating blade cools
The body rush
I taste chocolate
On my mouth
Cool cotton sheets underneath my body
My lovers deep slow inhale
Lower back twinges
Reminding me of my ageing
Enthusiasm

It’s thirty minutes after midnight
And the endorphins and the sex
Nor the chocolate and cool sheets
Succeed in piercing into this macrabe
Mind

I’m in a desert
And it’s late and the winds buffet
Relentlessly against me
I’m in a tower in Kuwait
Rest assured that all will be okay
Even as I sit alone
Twelve hours peering into
The deep dark nothing
Of my twenty first year

I was lonely then
Sure the sunrise would alleviate that
When I climbed into the five ton
But fourteen years later
After I said his name amidst the rustle
Of bed clothes and sound of metal springs
I’m none the more accompanied

For who but I can hear the thoughts
Between the ears of a boy so very very
Far from home