The Garden of Peace

Carved away, in the midst of the city
There’s a garden as calm and lush as Greece.
A memorial to murder, watered by tears of pity:
Boston’s Garden of Peace.

Daisies push up rounded stones,
Each bearing an engraved name, and date;
But they’re not grave marks covering bones,
They’re pebble-reminders of violent fate.

While the garden itself is a thing of beauty,
Looping pathways, and well-kept trees,
It makes you think “Someone might shoot me,
And I’ll be nothing more than a stone like these.”

Though I doubt the garden is to warn us of crime,
Or to remind us that our lives, we merely lease,
Perhaps it’s to inspire us to live with desire
Before a dagger, bullet, or piano wire
Snips our time
And carves our names in the Garden of Peace.

But as I sit and think of how these souls decay,
Another truth burns, and fuck, it’s a seether;
Though the dead can’t hear us, it’s a lie to say
That we can’t hear them either.



Corner of Cambridge and New Chardon

When you think of an old man on a park bench,
One is wont to imagine him feeding a pigeon;
Not lying on his side in a sickened wrench,
Begging for kindness in a cent or smidgen.

You imagine his beard to be trimmed and white,
Not stained a ghoulish green-sick brown;
And you assume he didn’t have to spend the night
Alone, fetal and feeble on a bench downtown.

Alas, his movements are staggered and strained,
His “God bless” cries are hollow and raspy.
He calls the names of children, long grown estranged;
How deep his suffering has grasped me!

He hopes: “Crystal?! Laura?!” and “Thomas?!”
And he takes off his mildew’d cap;
He voice falters to a soft, calm hiss,
And his weathered face has wrinkles like a map.

But then his voice rises, and loses its calm;
He’s shook by past traumas which he can’t hide.
He screams “I didn’t fucking like Vietnam!”
And it tears me apart inside.

I finish a stanza, and approach the man,
And hand him a two-bite–missing muffin,
He smiles at me with what teeth he can,
Then says “Now listen, I ain’t bluffin’ –

Let me teach you a lesson,
Paint’ya a pict’chya;
If you ain’t got God’s bless, son,
Then the Devil’s bound to get’chya.”

Jealousy (Revised)

Jealousy! Thou green-eyed fiend,
Why dost thou so love me?
Slowly, as away I’m gleaned,
I see the sadistic joy of thee.

Polished to a little pebble,
Bit by jealous bit,
Jealousy! Oh how thee revel,
And, Jealousy, take delight in it.

Thy tiniest little nothings
Bleed thick clouds of Jealousy,
Attracting Jealous sharks
To Jealous stuffings
Sinking to the darks
Of the Jealous sea.

But first, the bubbles break:
“Oh, Jealousy! Cry Jealousy!
I’ll cry thy name one last time – by three!
Damn Jealousy! Sweet Jealousy!
Thy Jealous gangreen has gotten me!”


To escape the hail
I hid beneath a lonely bridge
Where I heard an owl,
It’s wise tune,
In solitude, cooing;
I hiked the trail
Of an abandoned ridge
Where a wolf bled a howl
To misanthropic moon:
The symphony of my undoing,

via Daily Prompt: Symphony


“Where’ve you been?” – The pinprick soliloquy.
It reached out, and grabbed me.
And it was cold and damp and wiggly
But after a while it stabbed me;
And the blood lost
Left the bartop glossed,
A silhouette mirror that entrenches me
Within those 28 lying inches
Of imitation mahogany.

“I’ve been writing.” – The unspoken apology.
Betwixt the burns, it escaped me,
And through the bits of broken honesty
The burn that burnt, it raped me;
But then, in slides another glass
And after a goodtime pass
With a playful pep, it pinches me
Beneath those 28 cheating inches
Of imitation mahogany.

“No you haven’t.” – The choric comedy.
Then, another round, it told me
To the bourbon-tempo prosody
That its wood would always hold me;
So warm the nook,
So sharp the hook,
In a fluid snag it winches me
Across those 28 slippery inches
Of imitation mahogany.

“You’re right.” – The abandoned odyssey.
Another round to light the black I see,
Another round, repeated commonly,
Another round, and it came back to me;
“Another round?” – As if prophetic,
“Another round.” – Forlorn, pathetic,
Another round and then it clenches me,
Another round, it flays and lynches me
Atop those 28 fucking inches
Of imitation mahogany.


Jealousy, thou green-eyed fiend,
Why dost thou so love me?
Slowly, as away I’m gleaned,
I see the sadistic joy of thee.

Polished to a pebble
Bit by little bit,
Jealousy, oh how thou revel
And – Jealousy – take delight in it.

Jealousy, the burn of thy speech
Crawls – Jealousy – down my neck,
While the treacheries thou preach
– Jealousy – Spiral out of check.

The smallest, little nothings
Bleed thick clouds of Jealousy,
This attracts covetous sharks to the stuffings
That sink to bottom of the Jealous sea.
The bubbles break “Jealousy, say Jealousy,
Say it thrice more times by three;
And thou will doubt Jealousy
As If Jealousy did doubt thee.”


The Rowboat (Revised)

He built himself a rowboat,
Pulled his cap over his eyes,
Loosed the collar ’round his throat,
And left
With pockets full of goodbyes.

He dragged his vessel out to sea
Where the waters foamed a torrent black;
The riptide whispered
“You belong to me”
And he thought that he’d never go back.

For in his little rowboat,
The only things he possessed
(with the exception of the poem she wrote
and the barnacle-heart
that he repressed)
Were, as follows:
The abandonment of art,
(the return of the hollows),
An ink-drawn compass
(but without a chart),
And light, that screamed Apollo’s.

He had the currents and the zephyr true,
The greedy pull of the water;
And for when the sun had cooked him through,
He snuck some whiskey to make it burn hotter.

Up his sleeve, was a rather dull knife
For when he felt befell the time,
And the songs of sleep, lullabies old,
Began to cool him with her rhyme;
But right before falling to the cold,
He’d jump-start his own putrefaction.
In other words,
He’d snip his own damn life
Just to deny Death the satisfaction.

At least,
That was his plan in the long run
(as long as plans like these can go).
The East,
Behind him, still rising with the sun
Cast upon the hungry ocean
A frail and famished shadow.

The rowboat atop wave over wave
Simply kept on rowboating.
And now, to get used to his grave
In whiskey he was floating.

Halfway through the bottle,
He nearly sweated to a sleep
Where he’d soak in the amber coddle
Until that sleep got a little too deep.

But then nightmare shook him for a spell;
His sleep had turned his mouth to sand;
Head pounded like a drum of Hell;
Neither wake nor sleep could he stand.
So, he started drinking seawater
Hand by shaking hand,
Hand by shaking hand.

Until splashed was he by a playful tail,
One of a mermaid beauty,
Who warned him of an incoming gale
Even though his life was not her duty.

She helped him maneuver
Through waves of grand imagination;
Until he saw how that mermaid
Looked just like her,
And he knew he was played
By a saltwater hallucination.

So, he looked behind him, to the coast,
And lamented his decision,
For it was her, and their life
That he wanted the most.
Thus, with his knife,
He made an incision.

He peeled away his pale white skin,
And used his blood to write
Upon the scrap, a letter
Beneath the moon of lonely night:


“I’m doing what I can”.


He poured out the rest of the whiskey
And folded up his flesh-born note,
Tucked it into the bottle,
Tossed it to the sea,
And hoped it would float.

Once again, he used his hands
As a form of desperate paddle,
And turned the rowboat ‘round,
Paddled to the rhythm sound
Of his fluttering death-rattle.

And though his heart pushed him on,
He feared his home: he couldn’t go there.
For he was 33,000 leagues gone
Off the western coast of nowhere.

He paddled with what strength he had,
But he couldn’t gain a heading,
And his failure made him seething mad,
Though that was soon replaced with dreading.

He feared that he would soon succumb,
And give up on his declaration;
So the rowboat boy then bit his thumb,
And gave a roar of determination.

He took his knife once again,
Chomped his arm to dull the pain,
For he then sawed off both his legs
To use as oars for distance-gain.

He ripped apart his flowing shirt,
And cut his hair to fashion rope,
He rigged some sails
Through all the hurt,
Because his Love had given him hope.

To the Birds Outside My Window

To the Birds outside my window,
This morning of June, hour’d four thirty-three,
While I love thy chipper tunes
As my romanticized, rose-blind view of the sea,
Thy song hath boiled the morn to bubble, and steep
A black-leaf tea, surging caffeine,
When I really fuckin’ need to sleep.

And now Time has trickled to quarter’till,
Thoughts start dissecting immortality,
As I’m devoid of any control or will,
Snagged on a sleep-ridden congeniality.
O, Birds! Ye with feathers white and red and umber,
The Bell tolls five now, and echoes o’er the bay,
And thou hast snatched my soft, sappy slumber,
Thus, I can tell, from ante-dawn,
It’s bound to be a long-ass day.
So, fuck it! Birds! Chirp on!

The Cellar

The door to the dank, dark wine cellar
Flung open as space split wide,
Bled more a stank so rank and stellar,
An embrace – a hit – of something that had died.

Still I stepped down atop that creaking stair
– ‘Twas so warped by moldy dew –
And as a new-leapt bird streaking through the air
The rot uncorked – I hacked – and instinct told me what to do.

Every clenching inch of my revolted body
Then struck me with a crippling spasm;
For that wrenching stench unbolted, and did embody
A fluid muck, a fetor rippling, oozing from that chasm.

So, with a sense of urgency, I pivoted a full one-eighty
And tried to make my way back from the top-most stair –
But the stink so dense gave no clemency, it riveted so greatly,
Just as the nether-slide I took that day, ‘twas impossible to forbear.

For the pine beneath my tattered-boot cracked,
And fell I with such a sudden drop,
So direct a line, a straight-down chute, to be attacked
By a stinking shine, a coughing clutch, I fell with a putrid plop.

I tumbled down like a sack of guts,
Sloshing and flopping whole my fall,
I rumbled – splattered – back slashed by cuts,
Blood-shower washing, flesh-scraps dropping, crying my sad call.

Then o’er echoed such a sound, one never to be forgotten
One which resonates, reverberates, and ricochets in my ears;
A thud I can’t let go – head hitting the ground –  soaked in the rotten
Stench – that perforates; sound – that retaliates; stays throughout my years.

My neck then popped and shook when I lifted my head,
As if a newborn child, clawing from the womb;
I was a wreck, my heart stopped, when I took a look at the dead
Thrashed, and torn – as if by something wild, gnawing – body in that tomb.

There, perched above the spoiled flesh, like a feasting, feral hound,
There sat and sipped, bit and nipped the master of the homestead.
I lurched, recoiled -sharp as a bee sting – and upward did I bound;
Again, I slipped, on skin like dampened plaster, which from the corpse did shed.

The master, in his dining clothes, chuckled, glugged, and grinned
As he took another bite from the mushy, rotting muscle;
Then, even faster, chomped three toes, and swigged some blood like wind;
And I so shook ‘pon seeing that his slushie was made of my friend Russel.

But my employer then called to me “Come now, Butler, see!
I have a plate set for you, and some cutlery!
I know he was your dearest friend, but I beg you to dine
Upon his flesh, and sip his blood which I’ve fermented into wine!”