The Backside of Fear

Phase I

My sign reads, “Closed for business.”

I will reopen after I fight this lineage curse.

If you saw me today, you’d see

worry lines

transposed from paper to palm

dressed in unwritten ink

pressed down on a clean slate and

moving words from wrist to skinny branches.

I have been shutdown. In lockdown

hiding (protecting) creative fears

from a catastrophic letdown.

If you saw me at thirteen, you’d see

passive explosions falling from palm to

paper

blue ink covering black letters.

Soot on a blackboard covering white chalk.

I have been snuffed

by the fingertips of my own fears,

Goals repeat themselves on papers stashed all over –

I am wanting and waiting

to reopen,

to release my fear.

Phase II

I cut carefully along the lines

running parallel to my spine.

At night, I let the pieces mend

without any glue or tape.

When I wake, they fall a part

and lay to the sides

parallel to my vertebra –

child’s play –

those white ivory keys

I cannot touch.

Have I mentioned the wings

I tried to insert inside the space

I cut?

At night, the incision closes around the blades on my back –

in the morning I wake and stand, let the weight sink in –

Wings tucked tight,

White and light.

Yes, wings can look proud and earned.

Only sometimes, the weight of the day is something that must

be learned.

Phase III

Wings. Held in my hands, you are the backbone, the backside of fear.

The longer I hold you, the more I feel

with my muscle

memory.

My voice repeats itself, becomes a shadow

(flying wings) on dry garden dirt,

dead kale capillaries and withered bean skins.

Muscle memory. Theirs too,

Repeats itself,

folds in for the long shadow of winter.

To be afraid of dying, or the leash of fear

(don’t be) is not trusting your sown seeds.

Spread them far.

Come in…open your hand.

I see wings

the backside of fear.

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Fragile Freight

Her mouth flickered, sharp as razors

across the glass window

clouds rolled in in victory.

Snowy rooftops filtered past and

chimneys coughed a stormy blast.

Simple folk dwell within

golden shadows hide their sin.

The panic in the city lights

sweep her eyes at the fringe of night.

Red ribbons run through her pupils,

it’s alright – the moisture on her cheek

doesn’t mean she’s weak.

She feels dizzy in the moving cabin.

The conductor and she are alone,

staring out at the city’s bones.

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End of Day

Your feet are tired, rough and bruised at the stern

Blue nail polish flakes into the bow of your socks,

you are like a snake shedding skin so you can heal.

Your shoulders ache, pinch at your neck

and squeeze your tendons

like jellyfish tentacles injecting poison.

All this time, the day moves

forward                   forward

swings back

like a pendulum.

I thought you wanted to start new.

Hop off here, pull that pendulum

forward,

feel no reverb.

After all this time, the day stains yellow.

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Towers

A dark stream spills snake-wise over the streets’ hissing hot

pavement.

The noon light reflects optical illusions,

like piano key towers,

ivory skyscrapers

and tall men with powers.

Most of the smokestacks

protrude from their and the city’s mouth

streaming with a harmony

hollowed of energy.

That dark stream sweeps the feet clean

and the men run faster

staring down at the hissing pavement

looking up at the black and white glass.

The noon light transfigures their image;

city and men.

They are shorter by dusk

and gone in the dark stream of night.

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Awning

She still carries the old awning from territory to new territory.

Originally, the salt-sprinkled awning

brightened her face

when the sea sun glowed orange and splashed the canvas.

Now, the soot-covered awning

dims her olive skin, casts shadows

during the day.

At first sight, you would fold away

abashed

by her striking

candles

under a flammable movable roof.

Second glances prevail and

reveal surprised, flared smiles.

The blackened awning drifts

with homemade electricity

sideways over her tarry hair

lingers for a while, as if delivering rain

like a cloud-

then, it stretches wide and blossoms

toward the sky to be refilled.

Wallpapers 1366x768Image: https://w-dog.net/wallpaper/rain-light-candle-light-drops-silhouettes-sky-rain-mood/id/349900/

It Stings and it Heals

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Abalone, starfish, Rain –

I suppose I will permit them into the waves.

 

Before concrete arteries, oceans substituted in one large jar, the preserved animals

now kept under microscopes    decayed

smelling like pickles and chlorophyll.

From the backyard of Western Biological,

bookcases store vegetables in filing cabinets

under the Pacific saliva.

As many as 100 encyclopedias attempt to

combine and separate

worms, urchins, nudibranchs,

snails

to make a Picasso into a sensical Dali,

but we all know boxes don’t make sense

in a fluid body.

Cell walls are permeable,

rooms you can enter, float to and fro

exchange energy that is needed. Whenever you please.

Sit on a bench and ponder how the ocean spray

covers barnacles, seals, and humans

when dissection rips and fragments lives

“telling them very profound words to understand.”

Salty saliva drips from our eyes and their slippery pores.

It stings and it heals.

Hell in a Theater Attic

Flee to the attic, meet Anne Frank, scrawl your diary

day by day or minute by minute with a marker in hand

marking the peeling wallpaper.

158 killed

18 is the magical slope (if you’re into math).

Meanwhile, theater balconies terrorize the back of our heads.

Bullets push for center stage

“Look at me! Stop your folly.

Here I am. Look at me.

Look at my

hot metal skin

silver armor

swim

through red, white and blue

blood (sells).

Flee to the attic, I will not follow

there are no eyes to witness

up there.”

Hand-held hearts, unpinned and thrown

into faces – above the cellar.

 

How can I sit here in my bathrobe

watching funny TV

while the City of Lights is snuffed by grenades,

gun powder, bombs?

An entrepreneur enters the Shark Tank,

a terrorist targets a cafe.

Death tolls rise.

A soccer game hears booms (just the ball, right?)

Stitch the borders, close the Metro.

No one gets out alive.

“This is Hell.”