The Young Man Judges Paris and Paris Judges Back

You were always the best at convincing me of my best,

confining me to the dictionary definition of “naïve,”

putting my picture to be read by the watchers.

The wind carries their words on and about

until the bricks in the alleyways are singing the gossip.

It took a while to realize the funny trick you had;

their lips move but it’s your voice they sing out,

reverberating off the architecture you pinned me down in,

so systematically inclining me to lose to your march,

devoted to the steady beat of your footsteps.

It took a while to realize what you could inflict upon

when I gave you the power to inflict it all on me.

I found it poetry when you met our mouths in misdirection

and flooded my lungs with your ocean.

I spent too long inhaling,

turning drowning water into your sweet wine.

( ❤ Mitch)

Score One for the Away Team

So tragic how the body flaps in the wind.

Stretched along the mast,

made a tool of direction,

the gang who holds the helm wills reaction.

A foul front blows through the corridors of the sanctum,

hallways now marred by irrevocable verse and violation.

Steer clear,

grip the walls tightly.

Bet plywood against a hammer’s strike

and the result is another blow to the temple,

a shatter of past ordinary,

a reversal of variable.

Tragic now how it lies in snapped sinew

declared self-inflicted by the glove of the master

for an attempt to arrest confidence,

array it in monuments,

swept clean off the mantle in a careless shove.

Dissected for replacement.

Biology learns to face a new measure

until the tempo loses its satisfaction in inevitable decline.

The ordinary is past,

a change in the wind,

and the body is left to hang low.

The body is hung far.

The body hangs low.


( ❤ Mitch)

A Room Made Quiet

Nearer enough to catch a brew’s scent

dripping off of morning lips

as I’m mourning the value of less

than a drop of this attention’s lack.

It’s unusual in that the worth of nothing expands

in proportion to how the nothing is defined.

Portrayed in flowing gowns,

staged in Broadway colors,

intangible is palpable to a point of feeling

close enough to catch a fleeting touch.

It’s unusual that by noting a crushing sensation,

course is never abandoned rapidly;

that I’d vow cold turkey in bathroom mirrors

before a distorted vision of you reappears,

and I can taste caffeinated scandal

without understanding its meaning.

( ❤ Mitch)

Everyone’s Invited

Stop the vagrant irises that glide across my body.

Forget the number you puncture in the twilight.

Leave alone the strung-up emblem of derision.

Be honest in this presence:

I appear golden only if you’re rusting.

Cast out the thought that transitory equals substance.

Retreat to barstools you sit by in crowded solitude.

No more are you to force company out of your inaction.

Be honest, if only once:

I’m only special when you’re not sober.

( ❤ Mitch)

A Circle of Foxes, a Staggering Rabbit

I’ll die however you see fit.

The tools are yours to choose.

By the libel of a tongue turned guillotine blade,

I’ll die however you see fit.

On a sidewalk cracked by karma’s gaze,

ensnaring tired feet onto unforgiving ground,

my steps are given a weight

like wading through the hardened concrete of mistakes.

Snapped in the jaws of a misplaced ladder,

fate will find me in the narrative you spin,

dribbling poison over a golden cup for the loyal to choke on,

hypnotized by headlines without perceiving what lies in its shadow.

My collapse is an exaggerated storybook told cross-continental.

My obituary is a Vegas bet,

the house aiming rifles to deter the unfavorable favorable outcome.

Enemies are getting paid tonight,

and I’ll die however it is deemed necessary for profit.

Transfigured into a standing, talking corpse,

I see stares that declare the dead walk the earth,

demise foretold in backroom gossip,

tucked behind makeup smiles and snake-spoken assurances,

two meanings out of one mouth uttering one sentence.

With a voice robbed of me,

I scream noiselessly against roaring crowds.

With the control evading me,

I grasp at receding figures that pivot towards the mob.

In a flurry of fiction,

I will accept death however it may come.

The choice was never mine to make.

( ❤ Mitch)

Her Life Coach Was William Hearst

Reeling as if struck,

but no punches have been thrown.

Laced up gloves for a fight that’s splattering black and blue paint,

but the only strike felt is a stray word’s spike,

jutting out as the javelin to secure the prize.

Take the triumph now that’s been sold to the forked tongue hibernating in your mouth.

Indulge the treasure trove of adulation when the crowd buys the first print.

Tuck that Pulitzer plan proudly under your arm.

No bout was ever won fair without a yellow dress to spare.

To the ball gown,

racing down now,

looking to rend that which cheated me away.

Spin around then

at the neon clouds

flashing the repeated beats fit to bury a man’s grave.

Frantically flip the panic switch and abort all control.

There’s no room for change when each change is seen as a same shade of black or white.

Where then to place in this ring?

There’s no stable footing wrapped into a web of tightening cords,

bent round the jugular ripe for a Tyson’s kiss.

Heroes of our fables struck with precision,

decisive in their action, on target in their game.

Sketched out thusly as the dart magnet for sharpened spear phrases,

no conclusion comes sooner than being a victim of a gold medal marauder,

shedding skin to integrate into a pyrite shell.

To the old face,

twisting dials round,

pretending shouting makes a point to a brick wall.

Turn around and see

the neon clouds

flashing repeated beats burying a self-portrait’s grave.

Never has a fair fight been without one willing to flip it over.

Upside-down, numbness rushing to the eyelids,

and closing shut only shows black and blue.

( ❤ Mitch)

Spitting Venom Through a Revolving Door

Steady sits the firing squad.

Limbs rest primed for motion.

An array of trigger fingered opportunists.

An itching desire craving a name to stand and aim for.

Send the shackled judged down the factory line,

churning out excuses to wave away porcelain cracks.

There’s always a chance the seams may break.

There’s a chance the wandering eye may catch a weakness in the design.

Let scissor blades cut picture frames.

Fold corners over the wrong parts.

Tear paper into the perfect words.

Make flawless out of flaws.

Play camouflage with origami

and pray the lying world will stay tucked inside.

Dressed up puppet master when working at the strings,

yet bleeding softly through irises when no other gaze can see.

Commanding pawns from the crack of the dawn.

Leaking precious misdirection to satisfy the hypocrite’s diet.

Blink once shifting pieces and the guns are reversed.

Pursuing prey to pronounce the blame on the targets.

Hastily taping over holes in parchment that emerge in vulnerability.

Blink once shifting pieces and the guns are reversed.

Hear the call from the choir: Liar.

Here comes the call from the choir: Liar.

The prize is yours to keep as only backs are visible now.

News travels fast if there’s a trace of blood to gnaw at.

Shot across the bow and out come the paper scars.

Shot down by your own gun who took you for a target.

Unchained watch idly by.

You burned down every bridge you could’ve run down.

Ready, at attention, accept the newfound burden.

No contours to disguise the deceiver exposed.

That which acts with abandon always swings back in time.

Attenborough Watches with Pride in His Eyes

Circle about the brickwork.

Dart through the alleys to close in on the prey.

Vibrant eyes are a violent girl’s prize.

That pulse is quaking the frame and quickening feet.

“Oh, I’ll get what I want out of you.”

Deconstruct the soul for timber and tinker about the blood,

crafting a refuge to sail above the flood.

It’s a personal ark odyssey, take two of every part of this.

No protest from those lips so push past the reservation.

Go ahead and come on, pounce on this.

I am a fading flower thirsting for a lie.

Go on and use me.

Voice is stripped away; promise I will not sway.

My skin is a flourishing forest to tend to all the need.

Sink into as I sink without a sail to lead.

Fingers flail about for reciprocation hanging in perpetual limbo.

Her smile’s twisting in those rare brushes of acting out.

Scratches sign a map on the small of the back:

The blueprints of desire laid bare for excavation.

It’s shaking my vessel dry, it’s sucking out the air.

Sink into as I sink without and I love the feeling.

That pulse pounds just for me, a cheater girl’s fantasy.

“Oh, I’ll get what I want out of you.”

So go ahead now, claw at me.

I am the loyal pawn, obey everything.

Go on and use me.

I am a starved heart, I’ll cherish anything.

Now there’s a note to nothing left to gather dust.

There sits a lasting message to testify to never meaning.

Peeling away the covers on my faded geography,

scarification mountains a dull red memory,

a deserted boy’s deluded harmony.

Was I too much if I asked for too much?

Was I used up and measured empty?

You liar, don’t pretend it failed everything.

You liar, you remember everything.

Running now just to recall the chase.

Fighting an urge by replacing an urge to replace the streaks.

Slicing at roots for the love of a purpose.

Adhere to the passion never felt because no matter how far you get

it’s the best possible love you cannot forget.

( ❤ Mitch)

In on the Target

Come to find an encroaching storm with vultures in the wake.

Come to find a caved-in complex, left to tend to future injury.

As the thunder rains down beaks to pick and chew,

I smell a rat

somewhere festering amidst the ruin.

Bring down a hammer on the character I play.

Say the phrases so painstakingly chosen to say.

Slither forth, bark your independence, but it won’t own you.

Blank home faces are all we are and we are carried all the same.

Come to find our carcasses enshrined in eager wings.

Come to find an abandoned ship left to aimlessly sink itself.

The water runs from a man-made breach,

and I smell a rat,

somewhere keeping my head low.

Try to run but I’ve got claws buried in sidewalk cracks.

Those phrases so painstakingly chosen to say

will whistle through consciousness in each strained step.

Shift in time but the character you play won’t age a day.

Not in my eyes.

Come to find bones bled to dry and shine in perfect white.

All the same it is ended to be with no regard to betrayal.

Passing through halls, catching a glance,

and I smell a rat

entrenched in the hollow of your chest.

I see a rat

crawling wreckage to wreckage.

Wave your hammer round and round but I won’t collapse.

Wield the weight of vitriol but I don’t shatter.

Lightning bellows from the marching clouds gathering ever closer.

In one strike the vultures spiral thousand at a time.

Shout above the whirl of wings but recognize this:

Push me under, I’ll drag you down.

Push me under, we’re bled empty either way.

(<3 Mitch)

Shake Me, Ms. Apocalypse

There is a sharp drop straight off into the ocean

with one little stone to play against the waves,

and there’s only room for one to hold their stance,

so naturally we’re both clinging on the fringes.

All it takes is a shake at the waist.

Just extend a hand.

Animal instinct takes root at our bases:

Feast or fuck—the fight-or-flight dilemma,

and our wings got in a twist,

clipped by Dante’s wrist to a lower level.

There’s more value in the soil for scorched earth tactics.

Consider us the first casualties of concerted nonaggression,

the tops of these pots and pans boiling over the edges.

All it takes is a shake at the waist.

Just extend a hand.

What’s it matter when there’s nothing to lose and nothing to gain?

Sink in your teeth,

claw on the wrists,

struggle for moments of breath above the surface.

A shallow sand grave follows inside each mark that’s made,

so a fleeting grace is worth the cost.

Leave the world in pain—unloved.

We choose distress, we’re electing defeat.

Leave the world in pain—unloved.

We choose death, we’re injecting disease.

Leave the world in pain—unloved.

We choose no more, we never left that fucking rock.

( ❤ Mitch)