I thought it was about time I posted something, so here is a poem I wrote that was published in “Hearing Voices,” an anthology of poetry released by Bareback Press.
When we were young
we scraped our knees
and it felt good.
We looked to the street
lamps like golden lanterns
to light our way home,
as luminaries with promises
of warm blankets
and sweet delights,
and for that, we knew
when the day had ended,
when our breath finally
caught up with us,
for we were certainly
more inclined to hold
warm hands and
turn over our beds
while our hair clung
to sheets of perfumed lilac,
the last trace of warm weather,
and covering our eyes to
hide from the harvest moon,
we laughed ourselves
to sleep through thin walls
of in-jokes and outcomes.
Do I look upon a wintry night?
From a window with a view?
From a frosty ledge with chattering teeth,
All snuggled up in wool, and wear?
Or do I look upon a wintry night
From a rooftop high in the city’s core?
Leaning against a chimney with sniffles
Of ice, dripping from my frosty nose?
Surely I am bound to see more stars
With the sky as my canvasing frame
rather than if I were looking through layers
of glass and window pane,
for what is a perfect night
behind a wall?
Nothing but vicarious meandering
And wishful thinking,
No frosty breaths or rosy cheeks
To conjure the season’s spirits,
What a shame to let the
frost dissipate in that way.
The True Love Café stood out. Though I had never been inside, it seemed to capture my attention. It was not particularly attractive on the outside, painted a deep shade of purple, with a giant heart scaling the front of its building. The inside, which I could only gather from looking through the windows, was just the same. Unattractive under dim lights (and probably more so amidst bright lights), chairs and tables could be seen in the presence of tall plants, sad looking palm leaves and house shrubbery. Not as appealing to the eye as one would think or hope for a place with “love” in its name. Only the outlines of figures could be seen, like shadows blurred in the background. A man behind a counter, a few people spread among eight or so tables, moving slowly, making their time last in beats. It seemed quiet to me, as though anyone on the inside could be sheltered from the city sounds, from the noises of streetcars rolling along the tracks, people trudging down sidewalks, bikes, cars, trucks, horns honking, dogs barking, hollering for apologies and yelling for the sake of yelling. It just seemed as though time stood still here, and that it stood quietly with a grin of contentment. I had never seen anyone enter the café, nor had I ever seen anyone exit. Yet whenever I passed by there were always people inside, perhaps just a coincidence of timing, or perhaps not. Though I admired the pace that seemed to be present among them, the folks inside always seemed quite unwell from where I stood. Why were they able to be so still, so present in their moment? Were they not flooded with the commotion on the outside? How could they not see or hear the masses that passed them by beyond the walls of the café? What content they must have. T. DM
Does it feel like punishment
when you keep your eyes wide
till the early morning?
though the dawn singes them closed
and adheres them to one another
you still put up a front
with seething, gloating
cornerstones of whatever you expect
to come around,
really, it should always feel like
when you keep your eyes wide
or when you submit them to shut out
the day like you have always done
how can you be so impossible?