Plain as the Eye Can(not) See

Side by side yet viewing the same things differently.

The portrait suppresses changing though eyes dress up static in costumes.

Be it poor luck or Pollock,

black splashes or testament,

perception is what we ourselves will make of it,

and what we ourselves make is a bridge lined with kerosene.


Staring into painted faces,

I don’t know what I seek for in them,

sending wayward glances to neighboring papers,

copying off reality to merge with the imaginary.


When you transformed your hand into a fist,

crumpled up a ragged piece of parchment,

could it be read as a sign that I’m left out of sight?

I don’t see loss in receding numbers or the observation of a wreck.

I see descending scraps that need but tape and patience.

A small idea sent to spiral out can be reeled in,

or I’m left weary in the gaze of a painted face’s musings,

or the words in my ear are only there when made to appear.


The comfort that I feel is the embers of a severed connection,

for I’ve learned to construct meaning out of the fleeting,

gathering ashes in buckets and making castles out of the remains,

fortifying memory against the grain.

What burns now is the warmth of guessing games,

for I’ve learned to dream away fears by repressing them with escapes,

plunging deep into infinity where realities diverge,

life plays by multiple choice and all answers are checked green.

It replaces you and we and our.


I am the product of the blueprint unintended.

I am sustained off of what could have happened if you didn’t shake your head.

( ❤ Mitch)

It Was What Wasn’t, and is What it is Not

Fleeing light darts out of a moment.

A flash instantly integrates into history,

having captured shifting time on memory’s copper plate.


I rush to seize what attempts to disappear.

I stab at seconds with ink,

fervently hoping the emotion will dry,

for the sun will never hit your eyes as it did then,

and I cannot bear to lose more of what you were.


Clock hands chirp out desperation.

Once a grand plain of all things possible spanned from minute to second,

now minimized to the reality of brevity,

a dull tone the closing call at a shaded corner.

The chairs will never find the same position.


The conversation is a dance where steps are improvised,

the blocking an investigation into the meaning of touch

and the feeling of the sound of delicate phrases;

that which fiction have imbued with the weight of affirmation.


Evenings alone in the mirror’s glow helped rehearse the perfect lines,

straightening speech to match the idyllic view of youth,

marching into cold lakes and skipping trespassing signs as a birthright,

the consequence inconsequential.


Evenings alone erected a tall figure luminous with confidence.

Trading the reflection for the affection of a spirit that recedes into collapsing seconds,

I’m hunched over,

my arms to myself,

pressing organs together as if to squeeze out the thoughts

or to hold them in,

using fragility as a collaged solution to insecurity.

Alone in togetherness,

I’m laden with thundering nerves,

and practiced poetry lacks lips to leap from.


I will to motion but find no movement to inspire,

my fingers drumming incessantly at my sides,

hoping that anxiety will learn morse code and tap out what I can never say;

that if I could articulate my thoughts this day,

I know your flickering hair will fade,

and never again will this room see it as it were,

and never again will I know it as it were,

for a breath is ever and always temporary as time,

making the fluctuation of emotion a foregone finale.


I could confess it now,

knowing all too well how interior design functions,

though when challenged with cue cards on blank expressions,

the uneasy mind is quick to retreat to the cold it dwells in.


I travel in new steps through days,

through months,

through years,

in different ways and places,

yet I wear the shoes that stood in a quiet second.

I stab at the surface with ink.

I want what I leave behind to mean something in time.

( ❤ Mitch)

Congratulations

The recognition is distant,

yet I can promise I am reaching.

Awareness of a lack of faults that I claimed ownership for,

though never being involved.


It’s a span measured in years,

the rings on skin the marks of age

and brushes against the monsters in mirrors,

tiptoeing specters in the hallways

with cold fingers exploiting insecurity.


It’s a span still to be finalized,

though it’s in the process I find the strange truth

that the hatred I’ve felt was never of me,

but a construct of mine.

It’s in the process I find

there was love, after all.

( ❤ 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)

The Artist Against the Observer

I see elegant swipes,

dances in moonlight

across empty landscapes

filled with only tangled bodies

enjoying a private canvas

of intertwined starlight:

A mirror of imagery I pull from the romantics.


You see the blankness

without its name.

You’re drawing conclusions

while I’m scratching in annotations.

You enjoy a private canvas

as the sum of its parts:

The product of the romantics detached from our age.

( ❤ Mitch)

Austrian Love Story

Tell me that it takes the clock’s hands.

Tell me that it needs days to grow.

Pouring decaying thoughts to flowers as they morph into weeds,

could it bring to life what was said to not begin?


And I think I might have failed as I reached,

but a stray sway of mind sent my heart reeling.

Separated from reality in the synecdoche of imagination,

skyscrapers rise taller to be the walls of isolation,

since I knew I stumbled when I struggled with my throat

and out came phrases that should have stayed voiceless.


Is it you I see?

Is it you I place into nonexistent photographs?

Am I losing time sorting through imagery

when the actors have stormed off the stage?

Is it you or is it a passing phantom?

Have I gone to replace in order to repeat?


Struck silent in lessons that were never connected to life,

yet the blurring dimension of fiction spills over from its art,

damning ourselves to parallels that ever will describe shortcomings.

Tearing through notebooks,

digging through the pages,

mining the handwriting dry for relief,

and I see us standing there in between the curving pen lines

where Klimt laid us down in golden robes,

and it was sworn to be elegance.


Was he wondering about what he saw and did he know when it’d arrive?

The most empty hope hangs itself on a wire hoping for response,

but the air runs thin higher up in the atmosphere of sinking dreams.

Did he doll us up in grace?

Did he know what he had made?

Or am I picturing you again where we never could begin?


Ours is a history of mistrust.

Ours is the dried ink rubbed off on a wrist.

Washed dry at the end of a night.

It may not have ever been there.

( ❤ Mitch)

Yelling “Timber!” at a Dying Tree

The house has yet to change its shape.

Vines bide their time as the roots of recollection weasel under the floors.

Painted over in a future will never erase passion.

There was handiwork in basement fantasies.


In being careless with time and the fleeting strength of youth,

I tripped along the planks and a drop of blood was anchored;

what was spent cannot then be purchased back.


We hid our best selves under the stairs in the cupboard.

“Don’t let us out, we’re too scared.”

For if they creep out under the crack in the door,

we may be forced to recognize our collision

and the fire toyed with in the fragile fingers of innocence.

It balances on a cliff’s edge in dagger eyes.

Jump off the fear and plunge inside.

Unearth the thoughts so tightly buried.


Do you reconcile now or shall it fester in the hours burning twilight down?

With a fading vinyl record scratching itself to razor marks.

the groaning of the turning reads out a forlorn letter.

Do you face it down now or shall it wait for meetings you promise to make?

But they never wander into a calendar’s page.


Carved in triptych it can’t be seen from an outside view;

a single blemish in a valley

where the rain never touched the yellowing plain.

Caught in details I always know,

where my imperfections lie on top and below of skin.


As if a continent split itself across oceans while burning life,

I see parts of assurances drift to turbulent waves.

Go bravely into the Atlantic to chase them,

but I’m always drowning in the meaning without ever clearing from theory:

the concept of math that we shattered to bits when our whole was in negative.


Do you reconcile now or do you let it sit as dust on a window’s ledge?

Never wiped clean of footprints from testing the height.

You won’t be sleeping soundly tonight.

Do you face it down now or claim awareness of fault when the faults are repeating?

The reel never closes its lens.

Shows that stop somehow never really end.

( ❤ Mitch)

Whereto Are We Met, if not Here?

I’ll never know who you were

and the concepts consigned to motionlessness.

Left in scattered pieces are a series of vacant sheets,

lines cleaned off ink’s touch.


What you’d write is unknown to me,

and the way a story could transition out of air.

Through wandering am I reunited with the nonexistent,

wondering how long it can survive.


No matter the chapter, it ceases.

Regardless of cover, there’s an end.

Detached from notes and the guidelines of reality,

I wonder how long it can survive

as hearts run out of time.

( ❤ Mitch)

A Passion for Demolition

Proudly do we stand on defeated ground,

waving around battle flags under a blanket of white,

settling a settled score as if we could settle for less.

These boards could be stripped of all nailed down to them

until mist-laden remembrances are the enduring remnants

to testify to the ruin of bodies deemed crippled by inadequacy.


A hammer to the trusses for mistrust turned fatal.

A blow to the basement where innocence once so lovingly bowed.

A blaze for artifacts dated by faded meaning

until we are all that’s left

before our temples are laid to rest.

( ❤ Mitch)

Closed-Heart Ventriloquism

We stopped talking about the blaze.

Kicking about in the ashes,

scattering remnants of once-proud timber,

we eliminated all mention about it.

It tracked on the carpet.

Soot stained the sheets.

A day’s shine could clean for a time,

but the thought proved braver than ignorance.

We stopped talking about it,

yet we know it will never leave.