Words outlined a space,
almost erased, in the shape of her body.
Letters dangled—L, C, B, then Z, S, D—
showing where her ears might be.
Periods were only symbols of her eyes.
Time, like music, flowed
and shapes grew. Then ebbed.
Then staffs struggled to hold the dotted notes
of her form in empty longitude. Coves vanish,
harbors expand. Her beauty only
swells and too eager words
cannot plot her place on a chart.
I wake to the blank page
of empty sheets, scentless.
I wait—not patiently—for her
to travel home across
that flat, unfolded map.
The lucky ones who can afford homes
old beats and hippies
who bought when this
was a hip bohemian Valhalla,
in the 50’s & 60’s.
Now minimum wage workers
pay exorbitant rent
for postage stamp apartments,
enrich slum landlords
who refuse to maintain
The homeless panhandle at stoplights,
seek shelter in public library,
post office, under store marquees.
They sprawl upon margins of beach,
greet tourists entering Fisherman’s Wharf,
squat on land they will never own,
sleep exposed to frost, wind and rain.
nibbling at the hothouse horizon
creeping into the day-moon’s shade
a vinyl disc warps over my head
as I pedal harder through bricolage to reach
the inevitable endless end
(picture if you can)
then realise I am not alone
we are all on bicycles
standard as icicles
or cloudy crescents of
processed algae on a fork
immortal day, ale-pure, found in the faraway,
like grist sprouting under a mill-stone,
revive us, sweating all a-lemony
for a timeless lifetime of eternal work
Footprints in sands lead into the sea
careless whispers ignored or disregarded
desperation dance whilst reaching bottom
salt water screams are muffled but heard.
Kicking swiftly and grasping at the clouds
waves roll on towards a nervous beach
seeking an inhale, gasping on seaweed
Irrational babbling in breathless chants
foggy dreams awakened within a lifeboat
voice declares, “just lost in the undertow.”
Squeaking of oar locks rowing to shore
flyover by seagulls, a innocent curiosity
squealing children play on the beach
as saltwater flows slowly from my lips.
I have wanted this for so very long,
finally opportunity raised up
its pretty little head tonight.
A bedroom would have been nice,
a settee at a friend’s place
or even a walk into secluded woods
on a warm summer’s day.
But, that was not meant to be
and this is as romantic as it gets.
We have a 35 minute window
before she’s missed and looked for.
Both drunk, she’s thrown up twice
on the short stumbling swagger
from the tavern clearing out last orders.
She’s wearing my long winter overcoat,
one broken heel and ladders in her tights
which I’m not going to climb
but, completely eat my way through.
It’s pissing down with rain
as she falls backwards against
the cold aluminium of the bus stop.
I half tumble clumsily down onto my knees
between her swaying, shaking legs.
I hear footsteps upon the road behind,
but, she digs her fingernails
into the back of my head
holding me tightly in place.
So I leave her to steer our topsy-turvy ship
as I work away down in the engine room,
digging her scent… forever into my memory.
end of the world theories,
millennium apocalypse in
sixteen ounce shaker glasses,
crystal chasers and dime bags
of uncut dreams of hard rock
cafes three subway stops
past the end of the night,
Cyrillic alphabet cities and
rock candy mountains,
places even your local crips
and bloods wouldn’t collect
bounty on what’s sold over
the counter as a cure all
for what ails dead headed
street thugs and minor movie
stars so far over the rainbow
the tied-off sky has bled out
all its color.
I don’t know if it was speed
but he looked bad
the old Irish queer
could dance though
and would grab a handful
of whatever crackhead
was glued to the bar
do the tango
His shop was failing
but when he died
after selling antiques
for fifty years
he found a place
in a very
Did Proust visit antique shops
in Vienna? Blowing that tuba
of a question at me, you glowed
at me with the sapphires you held.
Pipe smoke fogged my praises
of your damp hair, and you stumbled
into the yellow bed sheets, naked, barefoot.
Happy. Drew a cartoon for the lonely
mailman who had informed you about frost
near the prison river at dawn. Feverish
and crawling from the captain’s chair
to pop my pill, I swallowed a beer.
The moon swelled, a white spider
without legs, without a worry in the world.
Douse our tail end in hot water.
Slurp off bed. Tied to the sentence-track,
semicolon wins. Extra tail owning.
Etch-A-Sketch hands go forth.
Be the creator you are to be.
Those talons, you ignore
I want to light your darkness.
I’ll be your candle in the wind.
I’ll always be there to guard you.
When the walls start closing in.
When life gets way too hard to handle.
I’ll be your mental punching bag.
You can hold me up by my ankles.
Until my knuckles start to drag.
When circumstances start to push you around.
I’ll be in your corner to knock them out.
All you’ve got to do is try to hunker down.
I’ll take all your bullets in this battleground.
On those days when you feel like you are drowning.
I’ll lead you to safety at the top of the mountain.
From down in the valley you can hear the wolves howling.
They put on a smiling face but underneath they are scowling.
If your pleasure is measured by your own success.
Then you’ll always be fishing for another compliment.
If you learn to help others dig out of their pits.
You’ll find that in life that’s as good as it gets.
My name is Michael Joseph Patton. I am a 55-year-old divorced father of three lovely daughters.I work as a cook and like to spend my free time writing poetry, spending time with family and friends, walking in the woods or the beach and reading other poets.I am very new to the poetry world, having only written for less than 2 years, but look forward to many years of writing left in me.