Find something people will worship.
For a living,
Find something people will pay for.
Find something people need.
Learning to art
Is like tending a thistled field.
Until you plow, it chokes its fruit.
But thorns scratch
So be scratched,
Lest the field dry up
And naught but dust remains.
An oak looms in the garden,
My effigy of pain,
I’ve not climbed since May’s rain,
When soaked hands slipped, bones broke, skin ripped,
And I ran inside, alone.
Friends on the oak’s limbs beckon,
Enticing me outside.
In my kitchen, I’ll hide.
Wood can’t harass me through paned glass,
Crouched, back to the door, alone.
If I could see the arm that reached to stand me up again
To climb the oak, to rest upon not ground, not under limbs;
If I could see the tree anew,
Not sharp as black but multihued,
With eyes not mine to recognize
Insects and birds, the clouds and sky.
The oak waits in the garden.
I climb its trunk again.
Scent of rain, shouting wind—
Rustling leaves can’t hinder me
From escaping my prison.
Blackbeard in an Armani
His cross-bone skibbies ride over a sharkskin belt
A white-and-red mint hides his Gehenna breath
Clean-shaven scars swath his cheeks and chin
And his sword arm waves against the sky
That I would row! row! row!
Scurvy Dog in a suit
A ribeye of wagyu
Over applewood embers
On the grill of Hephaestus, himself
But under the char
And gnaw its rot
And smear their feces
Along its marbled halls
Gallumpher peaves upon his perch
He breathes harumphs with eyes alight
With haunches coiled to frackalurch
In holes of rabbits white
And once unleashed he prangs a-fro
Upon scents of his tarrid prey
Who’s fickened to its hides below
From my Gallumpher’s bray
A first door, third door, fifth door, tenth
His bearage folls on flanks of wrath
Into the welks, the Labyrinth
To flesh its bony path
Trophizing with his cartographs
He whimsies me under the world
Thence through the Fae with ember laughs
Ho! Nightwing! Be defurled!
over ship and sky
he caught Chewy and Han and Lando and Luke and Leia
in chains and cables and carbonite
untethered by gadgets
a giant groundbound mouth
how does it taste
you thousand year old belch
you gastric juice of
you unflappable merc you
Fett ends up escaping the sarlacc in the wider Star Wars lore. I intended this poem to be read from an Episode V-VI perspective.
This is a poem to Jon, my true friend,
To a vagrant like me, a road on which to end,
A beachfront retreat without fence or police.
Against my gusts and drops and shouting hail,
He stood, anchored, like a bastion, laughing—
Silent, shoulders bobbing, drool slathering his chin;
His stomach, eyes, face, and dignity all puckered.
And when my rains battered his laugh, he guffawed,
Until my winds died down and my own shoulders bobbed.
When, as it does, the tide pulled him to sea,
I wandered a year until home returned,
Not Jon but Jon infixed with an ‘h,’ with a different voice and face—
Perhaps different in form but with the same frame.
Wide windows replaced the self-portraits I hang
(I threw a few out because of mustaches he’d paint),
Adorning the air with pine forests, salt, and waves,
Until he left again, as before.
But a model had been made from his frame, which became
Mysti, my wife, my home until hospice,
Not the first Jon or the second John but the last.
Prior to this, I hadn’t attempted poetry in years. And unlike wine, my craft has not aged well. It’s more like this morning’s coffee. In an earlier draft, the succubuses (I have heard “subbubi” is outdated) Rhyme and Rhythm seduced me. But for lack of mastery, I sacrificed English to please them. Only after some pointed, but appropriate, criticism, did I realize my mistake. I have since removed those lines, which seems to have helped.