Quietly

There are places we go
That forever stay
There are feelings
That leave with no goodbye
And it’s in the midst of these
Indefinable points of
.     latitude and longitude
We grieve
.     quietly.

In the smallest smiles
And words unsaid
Lie the broken chords
That will never be tuned
And in the discordance
The sustained hum of harmonies
.     straining for resolution
We thrum
.     quietly.

So step beyond the pale
And drink to the moon
Toast the holy, silent night
With unsung screams of
.     fractured dreams
And listen
As the universe leans in
And sings with you
.     quietly.
-ijs

***
author’s note: Forgive the weird formatting with the floating periods. I couldn’t figure out how to indent single lines without indenting the entire paragraph, and when I tried to “space-bar in” a blank space instead, the lines just ended up going back to left-justified. So if anyone out there knows how to indent single lines, I’d love to learn some WordPress magic.
Thanks!

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Black Hole

black hole

Covalent bonds
All based on
The trajectory we were on
You broke them
Ripped them
Stripped them of positives I needed
I pleaded
For
Left me reeling
Searching
For
A spark in the dark
But now beyond
The groaning throng
Of
(light)
Years
Empty space yawns
And calls
An opaque pall
Sucking me back into the void
Promising joy
(lying)
Cataclysmic fruit
Ripe for the taking
Beyond the hearts you’re breaking
Scything wheat
(souls)
Chaff left like bleating sheep
Charnel houses reeking
Of sulphur and flame
Guts flash burned with shame
You’re a black hole
And I don’t know if my soul
Will ever be the same.
-ijs

White Flag

white flag

I churned through dreams
(sleep’s viscous veil)
Of a haunted hill
In a frozen gale
Where we left that white flag
To tell the tale of
Two hearts broken
(to no avail)
In weeping winters both impaled
Years of wandering
Nights in hell
Backed away
Maimed and broken
Swore we’d never again hold on to tokens
Clasped in battered hands
Now only bands
Of iron
Bands of iron
On which we carve the nights
The memories
The gasps of reveries
Euphoric lovers
Now punch-drunk rovers
If only I could find the time to borrow
I’d go back and fight
(kill)
Those dragons that stole tomorrows
That should have been ours
Eyes wide shut to shifting sands
Eroding years and passionate plans
Left in the wilderness
For jackal packs
Now gutted carrion
Rotten
Black
So I’ll turn away
Watch my futures fly free
And know when you wake by him
You’re only half without me.
-ijs

Pieces

puzzle pieces

I looked into your eyes
As we delved
Placing those pieces together
Pulling from ourselves
Making something more than
One plus one
A whole beyond the quantitative sum
Breaking universal laws
Until you decided it was over
Shredding the fabric
Warp and woof left jagged
You take yours
I’ll take mine
It’s all a game
Taking your toys
Fading away
(what are we, eight?)
Redirecting fate
But somewhere in the mess
I’ve gotta confess
You left part of you
And took part of me.

I’ve tried to get rid of it
That part of you
Burned it
Buried it
Started over new
But every once in a while
A laugh
A smell
And the way the wind blows through my car windows at night
(I can’t even tell)
That miserable piece shows back up
A virgin razor blade
Echoing you.

I’ve searched–
All the nights
Stuppored riots
Self-chastising violence
Love, lust, and biblical silence
Still can’t find
The answer to that void ripping free
So I’ll upend the box again
And look for that last piece of me.
-ijs

So I’ll Sit Here and Drink without You

alone with the waves

You lied to me today
Held my hand while you kissed me and
Tied the ends of your story
In tangled webs
Around me
The glow of your phone in the middle of the night
Telling a bedtime story
I wasn’t ready for
Emotions eviscerated by winking emoticons
Deception shredding the fabric of trust
Our fairy tale collapsing in rust
Eaten
Hollowed
Savaged
And left for dust
While each touch
Left me marooned
Cocooned
Isolated
From the heart you’d been silently burying
Behind your perfect smile
And the laughing eyes
Your perfect disguise
For the new life you’d already begun
While our bridges burned
And rivers turned
With blood and the carcasses of our dreams
Phantasmic scrawls etched on diary pages
Blurred with the shuddering rages
My soul can only scream
So I’ll walk alone tonight
To prove I can
Take down that perfect bottle
Disregarding the plan
I had to surprise you
Because you beat me to
The punch
Shoulda checked my blindspot
Listened to the hunch
I knew
And so I’ll sit here and drink without you.
-ijs

You Leaned on Me

 

couple-at-night

Scars I wear
Memories I swear
I’d someday forget
Jarred loose
In that breeze
I caught you through the open door
Walking ‘cross the same lot where
We used to lie
Watched sun die
Floating on asphalt
In the billowing night
Twinkling lights
Dancing supergiants
Laughing one last dance
Tossing fractal radiance
Carelessly
You leaned on me
While I held you free
And close
Intoxication, almost
Seemed to be
Perfection
Stop, time, please
But the sand kept running
Mocking
Whooping
Eroding
While crystalline points of ice
Flurried snowflake sketches in the sky
Cassiopeia, Orion, Taurus
Danced above us
Tangled lovers
Too young perhaps
A happenstance
Victims of chance
I’d hold you now if I could just awake
But I’m Rip Van Winkle
A hundred years too late.
-ijs

 

Straightjacket

straightjacket

Wore you like a straightjacket
Swore you’d stay, made love to me, broke me
Muffled mordant laughs buried me, rode off and left me
Thrashing
Crashing
Clawing free through the ashes
Of a burning shell I call a soul
I’ll dig the dirt from under my nails
Ripped to the quick
Bleeding, raw, aching
Slip my arms back into your ghost’s embrace, shaking
And wear you like a straightjacket
Flaking buckles rusted, crusted, cracking
Leather straps I’m wrapping
Tighter
Suffocating the brackish vibration
The syncopated circulation I call life
Because in the dark hollows
That swallow
My screams
My only safety, my siren
You’re a fire in
My bones I can’t put out
Someone go on, shout
Wrap him in a straightjacket.
– ijs

*Thanks to my friends Seth Nathan Green and Kris Wente for getting the idea of a straightjacket stuck in my head.