Sonnet #9

The great, and deeply beloved Queen Dido
Of ancient Carthage grand in cultured wealth
Had felt as if she already died, so
She wrote a letter to her future self.
A lone prose line,  little riddle saying,
Engraved with haste in massive slabs of stone
That could withstand the weather’s long fading:
Remind her future self she’s not alone.
Alas, reborn as Cleopatra queen
When Romans had returned, her royal bed
Was shrouded, lustful fog, and thus not seen
Was Dido’s tablet that she should have read.
She too was lost, and thus age never sings
Her warning words: “We’re not the things of Kings”.

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Now hush, my sweet sorrow sparrow –
And hark, my lovely lark;
In a cave of rocks,
There is a fox
With a bite-worse-bark
And strange pleasures in the dark.

Be very wary, humming hen –
Yet don’t be shy, dear darling dove;
Though he often bites,
After a few nights
He may fall in love.
Then you’ll have (almost) noting to be afraid of.

To Her Other Lovers 

My mind is clouded blank 

When I read these lines of yours.

And how my heart has sank 

Knowing that you once held hers. 

And off the page, your words leapt;

Thus, I do not wonder why

This book of your poems she kept – 

You are a better poet than I. 

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It’s blunt and bludgeoning 

Like a concrete boot,

When it trips you down

And kicks you.  

It’s a half-hearted mad

Hand that’s bundled up in apathy. 

But believe me, kid,

When it hits you –

Doesn’t matter what words you

Try to stutter in short lines you

Wrote,  or hidden little tricks you

Have tucked up in your sleeve

Where, by your liar sweat, it sticks to

Your pale skin when she says 

“I’m sorry, 

 But I can’t fix you”

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I submitted my poetry, and short stories, too 

With desire to spread my creativity,

And my lines were met by glowing review 

Of brightlyburning negativity. 

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A simply splendid shade of red
Has been spotted dead ahead
Despite how hardly it breaks through
The bottomless, crumpling blue
Into which you’ve now sunk
By all the weighted iron drunk
While washing down the plates of lead
That you ate to crush your dread.

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A flickering florescent light
So bodes my short longevity;
It prances through this fearful night
With such a bitter brevity.

But if it dances through my dreams
And sinks me with its gravity
I swear, I’ll let fly all my screams
Until my wails shake lose this cavity.

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.