Setting Fire to the Scenery

Convulsing in the grip of something greater than an urge,

writhing behind the wheel,

turning serpentine in an open field,

burning tire marks on a path well worn by engrained skid marks.

Diagnosed, taped to a board under labels

that claim to have an inside story,

scooping out the grey matter,

picking at the crevices to measure a tree’s age in pain.

Each indent comes from when a hand was sneaking in,

leaving ink blot maps on the canvas of the hippocampus,

adjusting blocking for a reel starring only us,

slicing through facial masks and tacking on a moment never found,

yet placed on repeat as a figment of reality.

Each indent is a different string with ill intent,

rolling out from another puppet player’s spool,

commanding the Nutcracker on an unending show,

no curtain call salvation to be brought from tugging the rope,

for the allure of a fable whirls through seasons of shine and snow,

ignoring the when and where of staging,

turning serpentine in an open field,

burning tire marks where several ventures have spun out into the wall,

knocking down oaks in a row,

their insides made of foam,

a hardened skin belying a vulnerable fabric.

The temperature is blazing in the midst

as the smoke lingers for days, unchecked by observation.

Wrap the fires up in a blanket of oranges

and try to beckon an urge to sleep with words chosen to believe.

Pluck from the white house another several labels

until one is found that falsely satisfies enough,

shifting a spotlight’s stare into an opaque perception,

an army of clouds billowing out of discarded exhaust pipes,

marching out of time to a cause changing on the daily.

A single stray breath blows them all away,

yet their scent instills a sense of solution,

praising eureka for emerging from the bedroom,

managing to rise to a distant sun overbearing in its meaning,

to be found in the night drained of theater and collapsing.

It’s written with the pen that soaks its lifeblood from remembrance,

drawing collisions in Carthage on torched fields,

replacing blood with salt to spur all to wither:

The weeds, the roots, the cast of the game,

emptying a dais for a lone speaker to remain at the helm,

no audience in sight beyond a glass frame

shining back a picture of barren highways lined up with abandonment.

Miles along and miles further,

an end never appears to the processional.

Miles along and miles further,

I’ve yet to get past the curve.

I’m always behind the curve.

Miles along and miles further,

I’m the first call of a wayward urge

unloading shotgun shells in a glass cathedral.

Miles along and miles further,

I’m never past the limits imposed by my wrists

and the thoughts that slumber on entrenched dead skin.

Miles along and miles further,

The stumble and the struggle are stalwart:

Always in front of me, pushing me back to where I started.

Miles along and miles further,

I’m never past a plunge.

The height serves an unwanted urge.

( ❤ Mitch)

Found, Lost, Still Searching

The house glowed

like the passing light of a phantom.

We blinked and lost the coordinates,

but the flashing memory lingers.

Is it still within our grasp?

Left stripped of rope and tools,

the climb back to beginnings seems to perpetually end.

Left stranded without a guiding hand,

certain knowledge is better kept out of mind.

Spare the Theatrics

Breaking bones for a cause that never earned an ounce of sweat.

Following blindly along because purpose comes attached.

Sell off ambition for the cheap price of a seat in the front row of the ladder’s base,

where the climb is the dream that’s always a rung too far.

Leaping out of bounds earns a slap back in the processional

when a spark incites a reversal in the machine.

Every cough of smoke is another misunderstanding face barking:

“Stay in the lane provided from the conception to the collapse.”

Never mind if the mind was ever ready to comprehend the place it was forced to.

The decision is taken out of grasp, imposed as a foregone conclusion.

It may take time, but don’t submit to the crime of the wicked hands

tugging away at whatever fantasy you spin.

If there’s a chance then it may be worth the fight.

Feast on the nectar of dreams before it starts to run dry.

Not everyone plays sides.

The game is never fair.

Call it rigged or a skyscraper high deck that rockets to the sky.

And along the way it may twist and turn and reveal what you never knew

about the soul itself and comrades it collided with.

Take part to internalize this:

No absolutes dominate the relationship between friend to friend,

or the connection of a paper and a pencil;

the corporate call or the will to strike.

But there’s always time, so don’t fail before you try.

A chance is waiting, distant as it appears.

Tame the fear swelling below and march to close the gap.

Bring a vision to a color you can touch and feel the passion inside

as the chains relax on what holds the spark from flying off.

Bid farewell to that machinery and coast away on an odyssey.

There are many lessons to be taught on who you are and who you should not.

Transition from then into a new now

and play at a coming soon that’s outside the bounds,

several steps from the ladder base,

digging new footprints towards a different lane.

( ❤ Mitch)

Where the Minds Sits, as it Always Has and Always Will

As of now,

nothing possesses purpose.

As of then,

it will become reduced to less.

A conclusion in obscurity is foreknown.

As of now,

its presence weighs as everything that never meant.

I only long for the finality of it all.


A past echo reads the eulogy,

traced backed two years to hope’s precipice,

convinced of the promise offered by a faulty parachute.

The pilot threw their hands up at the wheel,

led the crew off at the boarding dock,

watching at a distance debris cannot reach.

Ask any beating heart and the story’s all the same:

human nature is a tainted garden we pretend to never pick from,

trusting the next passenger to properly tend to their duties

until all responsibility has sailed off any reason.

I read the cues set up on every mask,

flashing disappointment over the closest faces,

tipping over any support I had like dominoes off a mountain top,

the pieces slipping through my fingers as I dive to save a voice

before my anchors drift too far below,

and only ripples resonate when I start floating away.

Trust any history and the fables play on repeat:

Blame and fault wrote the books that consider our condition,

penned by the hands that warn others not to trust

but to trust in phrases set from a detached high-above.

The words on every page form a shovel in my grip,

fingers digging as drills to unearth departed friends,

yelling at the relics of past lives.

If our troubles were predetermined and not all of us see the obstacle,

did you leave an echo behind knowing I’d never belay without losing slack?

If we’ve been cursed since molded by the fabric of predisposition,

did you identify faulty machinery and let me sort myself out

when the only tools I had were a hammer and a fistful of nails?

And if our every story was written by the same nature we’re taught to mistrust,

who’s to say it’s not my fault for not seeing signs clear enough,

sucking dry the lighthouse light to secure my wayward drifting

off into the dark,

stubbornly afloat,

but not a single lantern to embrace.

Drifting aimlessly in a perpetual calm

softly spoken in tones of palpable unease.

Judas coasts by on a battered raft, the wooden planks creaking out an obituary.

Ask a traitor’s heart and the answer is unwavering:

whoever’s on the losing end is the one to forever bend,

acceding to the beck and call of the victor,

and no further phrase is written,

the subtle splash of a collapsing vessel a lackluster eulogy.

In the reflection of the surface, I see disciples and outcasts

bleeding into gray,

shifting when I blink,

morphing again if I look away,

and I am just like them.

Deposit my debris as the Roman turncoat,

for whatever footprint is left in the headstone relies on your nature.

I lie at the mercy of those at a distance,

but never knowing if I pushed them away or they shoved me from the dock.

( ❤ Mitch)

They’re Playing Kaufman at the Theater

Behind the camera’s eye I’m

writhing in this capsule I’ve twisted shut and

trying to sprout by hanging on the memory on the edge of your lips,

pretending a lingering taste means more than waste

and not just the bitter candy written off as remedy.

The sourness is a familiar legacy that

splashes over rays of sunshine, but

never pierces past a barrier of clouds,

reverberating off of the raining troubles while I’m already a foot under,

breathing in water for air,

drinking up defeat to weigh my bones down to sea.

Reflecting off the tomb of this pool I see

locks of hair arranged for a movie scene,

illuminated by that star I appointed to you

that you never really earned.

In depths below, twenty-three fathoms or so,

the warmth of this image survives any effort to replace.

I call it comfort but end up waking up shivering

in the cold knowledge of your touch

and the lies inside of your fingernails.

Called again

the room inside my head

where I know

you are wide awake.

Mine the mascara dry and I

am unsteady on hands and knees when

I mistook happiness in a counterattack over the counter,

whispering convincing untruths to bluff sadness,

and hope the scars don’t shine on film.

Tally marks remain lined up

to be the sentries that are

circling the thought of you,

their razor fangs barred to preserve a rotted fruit.

Teething on a numbed joint and

I swear it looks like rays of sunshine

pouring from the torpedo hole launched into the boat’s belly.

Gave Carey a thought and drew concept,

but came away empty when

reality and fiction ceased to blur in the family photo.

There’s still a clementine rooted in the pit of my stomach,

leaking a sourness into my senses.

I call it comfort but always rise while shuddering,

having felt the electric charge of your touch

and the lies inside of your mouth.

Called again

the room inside my head

where I know

you are wide awake.

Stuck again

dwelling next to your bed

where I know

I can never leave.

Try or fail

I am always drifting

straight into those rays of sunshine.

Snagged in the tendrils spread out from the image

as what I am and what I claim to be never intersect,

lost in translation in antipathetic arms.

I’ll turn to stone in your portrayal of my self-worth,

having never been good enough,

and now never good enough for myself.

Watching the waves wash in and out of the room inside my head,

hoping for a high watermark to take it away.

In any ending, I’m always up at night,


( ❤ Mitch)

By the Numbers

Flirting with idea of it.

Conversation to consider it.

Sketching out the aftermath,

making judgement calls with long-term division.

Adding the right components to comprehend the feeling,

playing chicken with an urge that has its gaping maw open,

whispering sweet promises with its rotting teeth.

The mailbox is hosting dust in a forgotten corner.

No one purchases tickets to a sinking ship.

Wanting to love a soul daring to approach,

but the sea floor has been cleared for the collapsing.

Approving the ending.

Accepting the isolation.

Memorizing the phrases

to line up the expected paper trail.

It will be a logical loss for me to bear,

but I swear I’ve done the numbers and there’s no need to care.

There’s only one man that needs to step over the edge,

and down with him goes the baggage you’ve all tried to carry.

At the bottom of every rift the memories will sag under the plates of being,

as the fabric of every life transforms,

ending up in a place they weren’t at before.

I was the flaw in nature’s plan,

sticking my wrist into the wheel to grind future to a halt.

I’ve gotten tangled up and used the pain as a crutch to justify my self-abuse.

If the edge is near and the mast is dipping below the surface,

it’s the only answer that makes a shred of sense:

Subtract that which holds you back and become greater than you were before.

Trust in the soundless slip to silence.

Eyes are never upon me.

Keep their stare on a future.

Trust in the soundless slip to silence.

Eyes are darting away.

Avoid the perpetual drama.

Trust in my soundless slip to silence.

Eyes are



as it slips

to silence.

( ❤ Mitch)

The Water Rushes In

In what view will you be seeing me in today?

The lens cycled through place the saint and its rival in the same space,

but in any fixture, I’m always one and the same behind the glass.

Against any better thought, I chase your lure around the bed,

tracing the tail of sin some nights before you put me in a different light,

injecting blame or hope when I’m wanting nothing more than to comfort your worries

or caress the hand of another.

I’d yearn to be glamorous,

but I’m stuck in another man’s glow

making me appear like secondhand clothes

passed down to you damaged and torn.

There’s a perfect heart-shaped hole in the breast of my shirt,

and I’m filling it up with the glass shards you handed to me from your mess

after falling too hard for the urge of a familiar venom.

A jagged piece tinges my insecurities every time I reach out,

for whenever you brush against me, I’m feeling everything,

but you’re only feeling like it’s him.

A single collision of fleeing bodies discovering a kiss in a car crash:

It feels like a world to me in all its hurt and all its triumph,

for I was able to take part in it all,

but I watched with glass shards in my hand as you went back to remember him.

Please leave me out of your sight if you don’t intend to take any of mine.

This calls from the precipice your finger points me down

as quickly as it beckons me to run back to your den.

Knowing no better, I leave an apartment open in my head,

knowing you’ve already made that bed as he’s knocking on the door.

No fee is needed for I know your lure will stay its place,

for I always knew the love I had for only you.

I was concentrated on a better part of you that wasn’t poking holes in my chest.

Had any care been given to assess the scene,

see a sight that wouldn’t ever find a level ground,

a daring ship captain would never flail about in danger,

seeing an iceberg approaching yet believing it to be only a papercut on the horizon.

I wasn’t ever looking clear.

I was yearning to be glamorous.

But you’ve traded me down like secondhand clothes,

set to rest on a shelf damaged and torn,

always in the range of your apathetic gaze.

( ❤ 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)

As Justified by Fallacy

Spare a moment.

Stay sleepless this eve for one time.

I’ve exhausted all recommended remedies

and any cent that could be dropped for a call.

Have a second aside.

If for a passing space in the progression of our trajectories we may cross,

I’ll complete any labor to secure your forgiveness.

Made driven by a lingering madness,

the innocence that buoyed my ankle to Earth was severed,

and the simple truth of another’s gravity was pulled away:

a tug at the cloth that kept me composed,

now spilling over the fabric as shards and fluid illuminate the split-brain life,

never properly in sync without a sun to dance for.

Spare a moment.

Hang on the wires for the siren scream.

I faced the prospect of emptiness and not a laugh emerged from the tapestry of lights.

No consent or contest was challenged as an undeniable absolute dared to be questioned.

Shivering in this cold leaves me begging for smiles that aren’t there.

Faces that swim in and out on a whim,

never present in a room present with me,

lacking form and emotion to provide any sort of knot to ground me.

Spare a moment.

This is when I need the you of the now,

not the you that’s already past when you come around for me.

Pry me off of the sidewalk.

I’m just dreaming again.

Body is resting on industrial soil.

Brain is stuck climbing several feet higher.

Peel me off the walls,

I’m just wishing again.

I flick drama at a canvas and damn it to silence,

kindling a hope that you’ll peek.

But you’re concentrating on blinking.

Each eye and ear are shut.

I’ve lost the signal from my interstellar radio

as I’m drifting off to a supernova star.

Is it purely mathematical to depart from a ship that sinks on any blueprint,

or did you spare a moment and simply find me lacking?

( ❤ Mitch)