The Last of ’15 Poems: III

16 Jan

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fifteen line jesus

 

few people manage to eat well on camera

it’s mostly a self-conscious nibbling

until someone makes an entrance

 

pity the weeping man

as he nestles his head into your lap

a sweat through his earth of hair

a sweat like victimhood; a swarming freedom

they keep the laundromats open all night long

for the drugs and the spare change

to keep the lightbulb hanging from the ceiling

lit

pretending that this isn’t all scripted

pretending that this isn’t the place

where the saints get stoned

where the puppets get their strings tangled

where the naked bodies throw themselves against the wall

as he tells you,

“stay here, brother. i’ll be right back.” 

 

few people manage to get eaten well on camera

it’s mostly a self-annulling feast

before a break for advertisement

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The Last of ’15 Poems: II

05 Jan

————–

————–

asleep in the sepulcher
 
asleep in the sepulcher
like teenage fantasy
I fancy myself a monolith
of obsolete quixotic or poetic notions
imagined up by romantic mercenaries
who smoked like alchemists
and dressed like they fucked for free
every climactic second a salvo in a virgin war
we’re killers now it seems
and we once used to be oh so inspiring
surrounded by beautiful things like empty pens
souls with long, pale or hairy faces
cut up into pages vocationally destined to become flyswatters
midnight stomach aches, hospital blood tests
cigarettes in adolescent hands, hallway whispers
park concerts like trips around the world from a burgundy afghan
stars like hickeys in the sky made by lecherous gods
big loveless eyes that command oceans and lose travelers
early morning phonecalls that screech with the bombast of backseat harlots
the voice that returns
touches
barely, but I can feel its fingers
it tugs at me like I was a naughty child, by ear tip
it tells me, like a handshake I respect
that all the strong men
are already waking up
because we’ve lost our time for dreaming

————–

The Last of ’15 Poems: I

01 Jan

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————–

in the trees

 

the caution tape caught the tree branches
taken off an apartment boarded up
upstairs, 6C, across from where the councilman grew up
and though the family who lived there was evicted
the apartment is currently occupied
a rent-free trap where they move the runners through
and when papa doc saw beige by baby’s nose
he wiped the whiskey off his lip
and slapped the boy across the face
he took a breath and cussed
baby hit the wall
where the credenza kept a yellow shadow
disappeared
like the figurines auntie thelma used to keep atop
each one bought on the day
each of her eight grandchildren
ate their first communion wafer and got themselves some jesus
and now papa doc stands here
tall, looking over another fallen boy
and he whispers like an eclipse
“buried for being loyal ain’t no crime
loyalty deserves a coffin
paid, and space enough to rest”
and the room changes
and the world changes
and it always seems like it happened
because someone else said it should
and the winds sing caution from the trees

————–

I’m Back

31 Dec

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————

After a brief hiatus, I’m back with three new pieces for the New Year.

All of them will be published to the site at 00:12am on the following days:

in the trees1/1

asleep in the sepulcher1/5

fifteen line jesus1/10

Also the poem, the joe torre years,will be published to the literary blog Babbling of the Irrational on 3/14.

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vigilance, i guess, one eye closes

12 Dec

————

————

divinities

even in their silences she had to nurture them
it was the way he thought a mother ought to be
the milk warmed for the babies
the sweet delay in life becoming alabaster hiss
she shushes, soft
the voice mellifluent, crafted in succor
the children dream
the mother lays awake
and even in these silences she has to nurture them
because she knows
that monsters truly do exist
and they surround you all the time

(twelve lines for TM)

————

lifted, not far off the ground

01 Dec

—————-

—————-

purple drapery
 
as much as i want to be surrounded by nothing but your underwear
like the rob gordon line
evening blouses, lacey garments, indie fashionista smocks, demonstration commemoration tops
anything and everything disrobed
keeping the apartment messy to stay in bed as long as possible like a lazy bohemian motif
as titillating as all of this might be
colors molted new by each attaching memory
new skin to smell and to remember
new ways to feel your nudity
based on what you’ve left behind along our floor
as proud as i would be to hold such honor
to play footsoldier guarding your place of pardons and reprieve
where you sleep as though the world did not require your full attention
i would drift inside this duty granted
favoring the responsibility to guide any errant follicle of hair
fastidiously grazing over the pathway to your gaze
away from where your dreams may be prevented their foolhardy rushing in
as much as all of this is my ambition, truthfully
i fear i don’t have strength more today than to get stoned
step out onto my balcony
or maybe even to my building’s steps
(no further though, oblomov kush keeping the man grounded to the courtyard)
to whimper just a bit
you were the winter baby to my fever
and it’s too cold outside for me…
… for me to be melting quite this much
i don’t have strength enough right now to get all back together
and they don’t like giving credit out to humpty dumptys anymore
no matter how sweet they deign to sound
like trumpets undistinguished from other metal squalls of night
—————-

dust

25 Nov

————

————

pick up
 
if we were to meet today as strangers
and I tried to pick you up with a line conjured on the spot,
“if life is but a lonely dream for those like us
we might as well just go to bed together”,
do you think you would come home with me?
————

mermaid with messy penmanship

23 Nov

————–

————–

mermaid with messy penmanship

 

in your last letter
you told me how you undressed for other men
now that I’m here
standing in your doorway
i want you to undress for me
touch yourself
so i can see
what it is that turns you on
drink it in
like solomon
wine dripping off your thighs
past the branding ink
i’ll drink it up, all of it, baby
just like a dirty old testament scholar
waiting on his life to finally begin

————–

any day

20 Nov

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————-

ode to the lost, lost

 

there’s a place on a man’s back
a thin strip between the shoulder blades
where if the knife goes in
the arms have no longer a way to reach it
pull it out
the muscles and nerves contract
tense then sting, tense then sting, with each attempt
to ease the pain
save oneself from the heart flooding through its own backdoor
at least that’s the way I was explained it
by my people out in Oakland
when I asked ‘em whatever came of J

 

I ain’t seen him in four years
inquired about him since he left to check DC
like some junkie Mr. Smith in some morbid parody
apparently the scene didn’t work out the way he hoped
and he made a couple bus connections to the West
traded up powder for the tar
and six months ago, apparently, homey tried a grab
heard he made it out the crib with three grand and half a key
tried to barter some off for some action, then some affection
took the blonde and she took him
put the name out to the street
while I couldn’t even remember whether J was James or Jeremiah anymore

 

they say his mama buried him herself
while I assume she used a service
after all, only rumor you can trust
has to be verified in blood
when I found out, six months too late
I asked about the funeral
they told me an odd number of bereaved is thought to be bad luck
maybe that’s why the coffin cracked as it was lowered
but I don’t think so
no bad luck befalls the dead
it’s a ticket that pays out true each time
each time
again
until the next time I make a phone call
inquiring about a ghost, the past
all those things that become meaningless
within a single moment
resting

————-

some of that yeehaw shit

16 Nov

————–

————–

coaching the cowboy

 

there was a last day sometime
not long from now
it passed already
like ink that made the word
it was that day
when the writer sat
and attempted to write the piece
that he fumbled over like a bluffing hand
inside a mind self-impugned as amateurish
he put new ashes in the urn
because his cigarette grew short
and because he knew there was no practical reason to respect the dead
and he began his thought
– why do we all assume
that the good guys need to win?
like the hortatory season when one would keep his holster by the saddle
underneath country of blood and open sky
this is a world for villains and charlatans to claim
all else is delusive affectation
someone to tell you “no dice, kid, not this time” behind a glass partitioning
it’s become too big
new ashes in an old urn
a serum always out of reach because of who put it there
so, is it this quodlibetal struggle that captivates
allures us, the sort of heroes?
that was the thought, at least
and as the writer began his final piece
on this last day
the one that passed by some time ago
like ink that made the word
with the anticipation of one
who had waited far too long
nothing grew along the page
the emptiness maturing into settling accommodation
this was the sky across montana
this was reminder
of what was and has always been
this was no more
and nothing more to come

————-

going through the alphabet

05 Nov

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——————–

e on avenue b

 

she wrapped the guilt around her
even though it wasn’t hers
even though it was given to her
she accepted it
acquiesced it as one might a thoughtless gift one gets stuck paying for
she wrapped it around as though it was a grandmother’s quilt
as though it warmed her like folklore
as though her skirt was lifted by the wind
she covered herself
and aged
and years indeed seemed to pass
and she maintained her look
the one that made the people say she knew
the one that made them know that she survived
the difficulties therein incurred
a keeping out of the cold

——————–

 

2d (an existential cheese sandwich and a reference getting less obscure)

26 Oct

————

————

2d

 
it’d be nice if I could rest
inside your head for just a while
volatility immaterial, I just need a change of quarter
it’s like the need one might find
walking down the street
and somewhere right before the dead end strip churns the promenade
and you feel still and stuck inside the humid vagaries of choicelessness
you see the dilapidated vacation cave you need
rain damaged gruff exterior to match your shave
and you buy it on the spot
bearish merchant of real estate, scratch under the chin, money quickly in escrow
you’ve got to buy it on the spot
because no one else will
because no one else will appreciate the elbowroom
space for at least three dozen book stacks
to be alphabetized on our own time
space where we both discovered as we were meant to
exactly then, when it needed to happen
that neither of us want to be me
and one of us
only want the dead writer we admired
to send us a package in the mail
a left leather shoe we left on their floor
a crawl of empty sound
moving, it never aged, the floor; the dead do though
you see them all the time, I hear
at least that’s what you told me
asleep, eyes closed, we could both peer in something new
you, my envy – me, your soonest disappointment
brilliant, so brilliant, both of us
running backwards from accomplishment

.
or, was that the point to make?
———–

 

Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings


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