Thursday, October 1, 2015



Listen as old men speak
through faces wrinkled as newsprint.
Obituaries written petite on their
few remaining tombstone teeth even
though they smile having forgotten
more than they've ever mourned.

Oddities comfort me--
cigarette smoke scented sweetly blue
on nicotine plumes hazily distant
in the carnival atmosphere
mixed with wild animal dung,
cotton candy and sausage onions
where fresh menstrual red neon
glows and turns ferris wheel slow
inside memories not my own.

Grown steadfast in fictions
spilled from my eyes and hands
attached to experiences and pens
scribbling a fiercely wild Roman
a clef tribute disguised as an
"I" splintered into myriad pieces
irretrievable as a schizophrenic's
identity caught in shattered mirrors.

Weird mimesis of absences
learned long ago in preschool
and before when a woman unknown
loaned me some mitochondrial
DNA then walked away
into my Oedipal fantasies.

There goes Pinocchio past the brown
house where he bent over a disarrayed
bed as one who genuflects in prayer
while anticipating the sacramental
phallus eased into make-believe
where I'm strung out as a puppet
whose pupils dilate with poppies
vibrant as virgin blood.

Ironic that I do not wish
to become a real live boy
rather clouds billowed gray
with lachrymose rain.

Evaporate into the sun
because I will it done.

So few words left compared
to the vast parsec spaces
innate to this empty cosmos
--enough though for epitaphs
gouged deep in proleptic stones
for each one of my deaths.

Dirges lilting light on the treble clef
high above with boy voices angelic
--castrati that counterbalance
the remains of a manly baritone
requiem mass yet quilled.

Seated anonymously on a bench
scarred with vandelized lover's names
writ as if they were permanent.

Muttering drug induced nonsense
windward west because no one listens,
not even myself--a stranger
unto "I" whose coffee stained
canines are sharpened on
the oldest fellow's scythe.

Phillip Matthew Roberts

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