Misc. Poems (2021-2022)

These poems were written throughout my fall semester at UNT in 2021. To a slight extent, a couple incorporate elements/snippets from older poems I’d written years before, but for the most part these are new works.

the mirror is rorrim

the mirror is rorrim
and in so doing maintains decorum
it jointly tolls and extols youth
and never answers with the whole truth
how, it’s enlightened
averse to Y
because it knows you would prefer a lie

vainest is merest, oft ovoid
the self shattered or merely annoyed
demanding your portrayal’s polite

but your double is a parasite.

you notice Its slip above the sink
first you receive an unbidden wink
then suspect subtle delay in the zone
and realize your mirage makes you hardly alone


In the haunted house

behind the door colored fuschia
the arpeggiating minutiae
the loyalty surrounding betrayal
then confession — spiteful — in minute detail
when everyone was a little too steeped in the bizarre
where everyone — licentious — was never disbarred
the house always too given to refuge
the golden days too washed into ecru
the mind’s eye shoegazed the nadir
the Ōṁ too far away to hear

the haunting, the friendships’ encroaching dusk
the rust, you, me, eroding us
discourse: then apostrophe
counsel: opacity
concern: a paucity
trust: apostasy
paradise: retreat: then parody

but now remembrance, a psychic mélange
that ménage ever there for the writer’s séance
the curmudgeon’s pen — quagmired in drear
oft elides joys in Gothic veneer.

Because amidst all of the id unbound,
the earthly cloud nine and egos’ comedown,
the noontime porch front bacchanals,
the ensemble cast of the streets’ renown,
we also threw potlucks in secret springs,
teased sotto voce — eve’s kindling,
mattresses in the den for a movie shown —
Hayao Miyazaki, Alfonso Cuarón
— the house’s motley feng shui, a tableau
of our rapscallion selves, then nouveau,
in all small moments, little highs, repose,
joyrides, tagging trains in depots.

Some bridges are scarcely seen through smoke.
The lease expires and doors close,
but memory provides windows.


Tin Cup

I can taste the tin of the sky —- the real tin thing.
Winter dawn is the color of metal,
The trees stiffen into place like burnt nerves.

—Sylvia Plath, “Waking In Winter”

The tin cup solicits water without a jangle.
Oily oceans lap up curdled coasts, seep in scrap houses,
dye the coral poplars and pines—themselves unrequited.

The Cuyahoga: anti-primordial-soup.
The information highway: an acned tarmac turnpike.
Viral suburbia: nylon turf checkerboards.
The great shopping mall, the vast parking lot, destiny manifest.

The lawmakers’ mealy-mouthed pieties
offer prayer to our soles in cement jungles.
Their moneytheism,
their bleached Croesus Christ,
their tumbledown pyramid scheme,
their record jobs growth—three per person,
their cardiac arrested development.

Gaia’s perspiring befogged the Overton window.
The omens placed their onus on us.
“Recycle! Reuse! Head inland, north!”
But there the bourgeois Scylla ruled
with her industrial complexes feeding the maelstrom.


Many Times Over, Many Years Later

Sam’s fraternity mucking about his château,
fingers wagging, cocktails clacking.
A zoologic house
a show Manchin
a curséd Sinema
hullabaloo, theater.
The ceiling is thin air
so the roof cannot catch fire.
But here there a glance upward

Sam “borrows” money with a pistol in-hand.
He has 800 offices in 70 countries
and 330 million orphaned children.
He is a firm, firm believer in democracy
one way or another.
He helped a buddy of his get a cushy government job in South America.
His buddy took out several loans and went on vacation
but the debt still must be paid.
Many times over
many years later.

Debt, numbers, zeroes
paperless trails sprawled like epochal genealogies
designs to make full payment a fiction.
Shoes of cement, compounded.
Pesticides beveraged to farmers in India.
Pensions clicked past barbed wired borders.
Windows of mom-pop stores shuttered.

The intercontinental breakfast buttered.

When Greek socialists came to power
the people called for Jubilee.
Euro judges gaveled with Mjölnir
and demanded the Parthenon.


The Sweetness, Saccharin

If we’d debonair lycanthropy
If our time was kitschy gramarye
If we’d divined the moments that remained
If we’d quit drowning sorrows in champagne

But the sweetness, saccharin
Hearts’ desires vacuumed in
Painted plaster skies falling
Spiteful vict’ry laps crawling
Pledges of allegiance spat
Quaich of love, a tepid vat
Pantomime and placebos
Love language like runny nose

If ev’ry dénouement was ante bellum
If ev’ry fuss forked like a candelabrum
If we were pariahs we were paragons
If we were pedestals putting ourselves on
If we’d found Shangri-La we’d be zingare
If the horizon stole our sayonara
If we’d righted our ship inside a bottle
If the season of us weren’t autumnal