One two three, and you’re just a memory.
Passed through me like a breath rushing to escape
these layered days bookended in
a haze of smoke disguised as ethics.
Eyes don’t perceive the depth of field in this
panorama of you. Fingers reach out but can’t touch
a thought. With sense of smell improved, less
no longer desperately
swim through seas of philosophy.
anthems of a conversation only one of us
will willingly remember. do you hear my smile?
lips so far from taste.
I’ll keep this road well-lit if you choose to
take another stroll. I’ll keep your reflection in
my eyes in case you look back. I’ll keep these
fragile things safe. your voice.
unrecorded. your face.
pictureless. this t’me.
now it’s. getting. h rder
to r m mb r details
clouded morals become dimples
but between blinks of busy bliss
the last seconds of you exhale:
One two three and you’re just a memory.
When I got the idea for blinks of awe earlier this year, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to push what modern technology can do for an artform as old as poetry. I’m excited by what I’ve come up with and I’m sure you’ll be excited too (as soon as I get Apple’s approval). While I’m waiting, I’ve been looking at what other poetry books have done to push the boundaries of the expected. Unfortunately, most moden poetry books are still left-aligned, black text on a white page. Most poetry ebooks shun the power of the devices they run on and are essentially exact replicas of their print versions.
The first really standout example I’ve found is Between Page and Screen by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse. Now this is what I was talking about when I wrote about creating a poetry experience! The book is both physical and digital, requiring a physical copy and a visit to the book’s web site to be read. The site uses your computer’s webcam to show you what neither the printed page nor the digital screen can. I am eagerly awaiting for my copy to arrive. I’ll post a review as soon as I can!
In the mean time, please feel free to suggest unusual poetry books in the comments! I’m sure there are others pushing the boundaries of verse.
you light up late at night, indulging my
it’s just before you have to leave but
the orange breaths of gray help you stay a moment… longer-
your smoke fills my bubble and hugs me
with thoughts i never thought ideal
ideas taking inappropriate shape between
quick and quiet looks punctuated by smiles and puffs
Breathe, i tell myself. But there you are
lungs and logic tell me to inch away, rebel
drift into the darkness of tomorrow
but tonight, basking in an orange glow that’s
barely there i bare this moment.
turn off everything but heart and combustible bits of
nicotine. let’s dream just a little… longer-
Breathe, you remind yourself. But there i am
seconds turn to ash before it hits the ground
the darkness finds us like we never will ourselves
embracing thoughts both cute and wicked.
i whisper stay. hold on. even if it hurts.
we can share that burn too.
but the moment turns
black orange gray and black again.
Breathe, i tell myself. But the air is clean
i. clutch. the. showerhead, drowning
in the afternoon of sound, shrieking
lyrics of your December song on final repeat – but why end?
headBANGING! in the bathtub, almost slipping
on the words of agony, they fill his heart like
tear droplets and I spew them out. neighbors worry as
i stomp with bass until marble cracks, curtain
ripping as he holds on, still singing
naked body thrown against the wall
fists pounding bricks, skull throbbing fierce
but no inch of him is listening
I’m on my knees and pull the faucet out like
a stubborn cord, pipes escape their prison of decades
and thank him with a hiss
the water gives me goosebumps before it melts
my hair and begins to clog
toes drowning in a violent pool of me
nails detach as lyrics still drool out of
melting mouth and closed-eye visions dance around
red droplets sprinkled all about like morning dew
sounds punching at the ceiling until
eclipse invades, all sanity escapes
a brilliant bathtub shatters, no more
container for the ecstasy of melody or madness
he’s nothing but a violent nude,
wet fragments of a soul
that can’t bear to sing along
when every untouched inch of you is gone
let’s lose our minds and morals and ourselves.
shed integrity and enemies, friends and figureheads, the future us,
the trusted parts, the known and certain patterns of the heart.
forget described disguise, the honest lies, the dreams inside,
the thoughts we hide from light.
take off this skin with all of it’s experience and all it knows,
take certainty and joy and the way we woe.
strip us of all these emotional clothes and
barb wire blankets that poke til we explode.
peel away layer after prayer to get at the heart of consciousness,
at desires innocent and not, at profound lust and loneliness,
at every fiber of humanity and breath and obvious.
e x h a l e every idea ever known until there’s only a you
so gorgeously unknown
Haikubes are a small collection of blocks you can use to write haiku. You can roll two inspiration dice and write on that theme. My friend Jay Marie and I recently played around with these. Here’s what I came up with when I rolled [ die 1 ] and [ die 2 ]:
Dusk devours the hills into the belly of night.
Tree tops beheaded in the fog.
The sky an inverse sea, drowning the idea of low tide.
The light diminishes and solemnly divides until all that’s left is the flicker of headlights reflected in dark windows.
I let the time extinguish bright until I’m just another empty window,
watching this gentle feast like the last of my species,
meditating through the battle of the unknown alone,
like a Tasmanian Tiger succumbing to the inevitable night.