Throw down a little Salt

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I cannot imagine new tenants walking backwards up the stairs,
Throwing down a little salt because they read it in a book.
They must not check over their shoulders,
Nor hunch their shoulders up around their necks for protection.
Poor dark things, menacing an empty room,
I worry for you.
Who feeds you now?
Do you skitter amid the boxes, looking for me and my vivid imagination?
Do you still dance as I imagined?
Not that I could bear to witness.
I could not stand the darkness.
Perhaps now…but would you want me now, full of worldly fears?
Or would I taste too leathery, to tough even for your needle teeth?
Check on them, if you would.
Under the stairs, behind the boxes of forgotten books, or in shadows of the old art projects.
Throw down a little salt.
For my lonely living shadows.

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Three minutes, forty-six seconds

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“Would you like to go out tonight? Said Tristan to Isolde…”
I am sitting in a corner, writing
Looking at an old cranberry couch with two brightly striped pillows
Fiesta-ware fabric resting after the festivities
A dining table covered in bottles
“God I love you, but you trouble me…”
Two dingy socked feet, sticking out from under a cream-colored blanket
A beautiful, untouchable arm grazing the floor
And a poor girl, unable to do more than gaze and write
“It’s ok I guess, but that story’s pretty old…”
Sitting wistful in a sunny patch of a small room
Afraid of time
The perfect length of a self-preserving memory
A curio-cabinet feature in the making
To be dusted off for future cherishing
This memory should not last longer than a song
“Said Tristan to Isolde…”

Walls and Otherwise

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Walls and Otherwise

An edifice of sandstone, smooth and windswept.
One would think it was a cliff face
For all its length and height.
It is imposing.
It suggests impenetrability.
I walk to it, taking in the immense flatness of it.
My fingers press on its sun-warmed surface and am surprised to feel small, red granules roll away under my fingers and fall to my feet.
Hesitantly, I scratch the wall, watch flakes fall
and turn to dust.
I tap, grind, dig, emboldened.
The seemingly solid mass gives way begrudgingly
My hands will hurt tomorrow.
It would be easier to stop, but I’m insatiable.
Finally, a hand pops through the other side
The wall is not thick.
Simply a grand facade.
I reach through and there on the other side I can feel them brushing against my hands.
My words.

A Jazzy tune for Trudging

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A Jazzy Tune for Trudging

Under the soles of my feet
These Yokohama streets roll by and by
Ants in a rat race
Rats in a shark tank
Watching all the people scurry by
Pressing, pressing,
Onward and ever upward and outward
Pressing, pressing,
Onward and upward and outward
And sky high

Through the souls of the streets
A hundred thousand feet walk by
Goodbye
Jumping for the brass rings
Jostling in the straightaways
Eyes never looking to the sky
Pressing, pressing,
Forward and up toward with eyes cast downward
Pressing, pressing
Working till the bones run dry

Under the soles of my feet
These Yokohama streets pass by
Goodbye

Jinxed

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Jinxed

The day when door handles have malice
Is the day to stay very still.
Be mindful of stacks, for they will fall off even the most stable of surfaces.
You will find you are out of everything you need in the moment.
A day when Headphones fritz and bluetooth fails.
When you walk to buy groceries, walk back for forgotten bread,
And walk back again for the forgotten umbrella
(The umbrella thanks you by folding repeatedly in the wind)
The day when the noise is too loud, the sky too grey
Is the day to sit in one place.
Wet spaces are treacherous.
Voices are grating.
Doublespeak and double meaning are doubly amplified
In ears that are incapable of hearing melodies.
The day when the oranges belie their color,
The day when shoes untie themselves ad nauseam,
These are the days of sprites and revenge,
Days to avoid scales, avoid lovers, avoid pens,
And huddle quietly for tomorrow.

Doki Doki

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Doki Doki

Mock poetry at you own risk.
Poetry proves that in words
We see the souls of others
Ripped free of constraint.
This may lead to violence, broken bones,
And out of focus eyes that shine a bit too brightly
In sunlit classrooms.

Poetry, oft-maligned, self-aware poetry
Is emotion deflected with cute words that wrap around and protect us
In soft, soft, crushingly soft language, muffling our voices till they are only unintelligible sounds and gasps for air.

We cannot look at poetry breaking down
Without seeing the person breaking down in tandem
This is horrifying.
Self-reflexive preservation pushes us back
From meters that make no sense, sentence fragments, bits of math tumbling from a demented mouth.

And all those short skirts, bright hair, scripted sighs
Won’t save you from the poetry.
Beautiful, broken poetry that daintily reels you in and snaps your neck
With the efficiency of a full stop.

Mock poetry at your own risk.
Learn the lessons of language young.
Save yourself.

***

I did not play through “Doki Doki Literature Club.” I watched a GameGrumps let’s play, so I got to watch this unnerving game from a distance. Even that was not enough to save me from being affected. So, if you like games that will make you uncomfortable, go check it out. I guess, for the rest of us, there is poetry to save us.

Awareness

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Awareness

By and large, our bodies are neutral.
Diligent, methodical, invisible.
We know we have joints, muscles, tendons, bones.
Until we look in a mirror we forget about the whole
Because it is not critical, not present.
Impact and illness are rebukes.
We do not feel our feet until they strike the ground.
We are not aware of our skin until it is hot, cold, or being caressed.
My throat sits silently under my chin, until it is in pain.
Then I am made fully aware of a tube in my body pushing air painfully in and out.
I hear you body.
I have made contact.
Fingers to throat, tender and aware,
Suddenly finding thin skin and gentle bends
How long have you been this way?
And how do I make you invisible again?
That is the goal – to keep the whole from fragmenting.