In Exile

Here, in exile.
A place less wanted
But there is a kind of wan peace—
A sameness of days and nights
That become the next
And the next
As I sit and drink in the dark,
Waiting for the nothing that comes next.
There is some peace. Much sadness
But some peace.
Music. Poetry.
A soliloquy before the mirror
Or an ee cummings recitation.
Alone here in the closed shades of
The afternoon. Always closed.

On the brink,
The precipice of madness.
A sleepless madness joined together
By paranoid fantasy,
Dark reality,
A journal humming desolately in my head.

I see my face
And everyone else is so damn pretty.
It’s the same everywhere.
I will never row home from my Elba.
I remember us:
Our love, our electricity,
How we crackled like fresh cellophane
Over a loudspeaker.
Reticent angel, sex fueled firecracker,
Igniting at the tip of my tongue.

She used to whisper into my ear
About the satin of my fat little fingers
On the velvet of her shapely little body
But now the cutting open and the wrestling with boxes and seals
And the life of hauling
Has created a landscape of cracks upon my index fingers.
There are little red cuts and the dirt seeps into every hardened
Horny crack.
Dirty. Ugly. Raw. Me.
Barefoot in this room,
The dust on the floor largely made of
My own skin.
Careful to leave no footprints.

Dirty dishes in the sink.
A bad light peeking through the dank of broken blinds,
Wild hair.
The birds dive and fall
Just like always.
Here I am
On Island Green—
Not green, not an island
But only a place
Where I can drink the blue to green
And pretend that yesterday
Is something happening now.

With them and with her,
I dance alone—
Giving the kitty cat a scritch on the ear
As my babies snore and my love waits,
Arms and legs alive and open,
For my return
To the place
Where we sleep.

I never revive from Elba—
My army sleeps—
My babies grow to avoid my love,
The love of my life,
She finds other passions.
I hate the heat here.
It is hell.
This world is hell.
I survive in hell,
The flesh disintegrating
From these
Homely bones,
By lack of love.

I am burning.

Play Solitaire

I sit and play solitaire,
Listening to the ocean
Even though it’s two miles

There’s nothing else to do.

I drink water,
Scratch my back
And wait to die.

Queen of Diamonds
Under the King of Clubs;
Nine of Diamonds
Behind the Eight of Spades.

The wind rustles the blades of grass
That lie yellow and nearly flat.
I drink coffee,
Change my shirt
And wait for heaven,
Or nothing at all.

The Two of Clubs
Covers up the Ace…

The Side of the Road

I see the tremble in your eyes.
I see the sun setting in your smile.
I feel the hesitation in your hands.
There is a tic in your kiss.
There is a sadness tinged in all your words.
It was inevitable
That it would come to this.
It always has and
It always will.
You can wish me well
And leave me a memory
Of your beauty
And time will continue
As I stand still.
I don’t even try to stop
What always happens anymore.

I will still find a hair on my pillow
And a note you’ve written to me
And stuck to my bathroom mirror
When I was worth a small love letter.
It ends. It ends. Everything dies
With a sickening whimper
Of fatigued surrender.
I can’t hold fast anymore.
I won’t.

There is no more fight in me.
The light grows dimmer in my eyes
And I can hardly see the road before me anymore.
I move off to the side of the road
So others can go by,
Wiping my tears that hardly fall.
I think I’m just going to sit here
And rest a while
As I try to put my heart
Back in its dark little
Iron box
For good.