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.

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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.

Creeping Fear

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“Creeping Fear”

Women sit in the padded beige chairs, glued to phones.
There is no eye contact.
There is no fear to match possibility.
Nurses in pale pink uniforms sing out surnames
And whisper “this way” in the necessary languages
To assuage the tightness in our shoulders.
Fear makes my answers sound hopelessly dumb
I am suddenly ignorant, thick-tongued, and demure.
I settle in and strap down into fear.
Let it stretch my stomach lining,
Poke my kidneys,
Cramp my guts,
Tingle the part of my spine in my neck,
Until I cannot see anything except possibilities,
Looming, turning into solid, horrible, truths.

Sounds I have not heard

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Sounds I have not heard
 
In stillness my ears fill
With all the sounds I have not heard.
The tree falling,
The waterfall crashing,
The whale singing,
A silence so profound
I cannot hope to quiet it.
Perhaps this is why in stillness
I must shift and pace –
So that I may not hear
All that I have yet to hear.
I take the sound waves passing through me
And translate them to keyboard clicks,
Stovetop fans, and loud swallowing.
Anything to contribute
To the cacophonous silence around me.

My Name

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My Name

My name is proficient, businesslike.
It has the ability to be punctual.
It requires little effort.
Yet when sighed in pleasure, or called in happiness,
My ears gloss over the familiar corners of my identity
And turn my name into a new conglomeration
Composed of unfamiliar vowels and consonants.
I cannot hear my name spoken in joy.
It sounds foreign, a strange sound of exaltation.
That surely cannot be my name.
You cannot be referring to me.
That would mean that my name has other capabilities
Beyond my standard identifiers.
Who is this person you speak of?