raoin: (i want to believe)
Narrow, Honest is the Dawn

Keep laying that brick and mortar lover;
You’re so consumed with your failures
I want to let you succeed at something,
Even if it’s just blocking me out.

In the quelling darkness of our room
In the warm togetherness of the early morning
Before the sun has knifed its way into the sky
With all our mazy corners hidden
Your tender skin along mine is all I can feel.
In the soft shifting of breath in your chest
I hear only the assurances that we are whole.
All the words and walls have been put away.
To share a blanket is to share the soul.
And my goodbye kisses are all you desire from me -
Assurances that I shall return at sunset,
Bringing with me all the good and needful things of life
Bringing home to you my self, desiring only you.

Awake, if I could soften your hard eyes
when I return; if I could build windows into your walls
I would give you more than the moon
More than the food my hours earn.

In the Oven

Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:33 pm
raoin: (little me)
In the Oven

I suspect,
yes, suspect is a good word,
as I push the dates around on the calendar,
eye-balling them, daring them to differ with me.
A staring match with a calendar is a loosing proposition;
may as well bite my lip now and declare defeat.
I let my finger slide down the page in surrender.
I can feed myself a line of bullshit
but time, and its passage, could care less how I feel.

It’s a hunch;
like those furtive notes passed with boxes, requesting check marks:
Do you ask because you know or do you know because you ask?
Sure as rain and spring yield bud and seed,
some things are true before you know them
and will be true no matter when you know them.
But some things, like a pie, aren’t really pie until they’re done.
Before that its all parts of a whole, pieces juxtaposed but not united;
not yet imbued with the suchness of themselves.

I can page forward through the calendar,
but I wont find any answers there, just more indifferent time.
A day is just a placeholder for something bigger,
even if it’s the day I’m on right now.

I can make pie after pie,
but I cannot resurrect fresh cherries from the cooked whole.
Its not that I’m cooked or uncooked,
its that I may be cooking.

in point of fact, i am not.
i waited to post this until i knew for sure.
raoin: (water snakes)
tell me, darling, is there still a spark?
or only lonely ashes of the flames we knew?
should i go on whistling in the dark, serenade in blue?

- Serenade in Blue, (1942) Harry Warren and Mack Gordon
(made popular by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra featuring vocalist Ray Eberle with backing vocals by The Modernaires)

Become a Sigh

she sighs and i think perhaps
today is the day

i have contented myself as best i can
i have 'made do' as they say
with television and books and the gossip of friends
emotion and passion and the intimate touch of another
all by proxy
an echo of the real thing

i can touch myself
and imagine that you are touching me
i can be vivid and graphic
but it will always fall achingly short

in my own head all things may be perfect
detailed jewels; intricate patterns of actions
and perhaps that is the failing of my own fantasy
i cannot believe myself

it is the flaws which make the truth more real
the imperfections; the mistakes
they lend credence that reality surrounds my senses

she sighs and looks at me with soft eyes
and i remind myself that she is a reflection
of a reflection, of a reflection
all burning whirring digital transmittal
and faulty sluggish organics
a copy

through one lens, once recorded
paired down to frame rates and pixels
bit codes
forced through void-cold satellites, miles of wires, and endless splicing

the gentle tug of a smile creeping onto her face
at 28 frames per second
and reflecting through the lenses of my eyes
while my optic nerves chitter and jibe to my brain
in the strange language that only synapses speak

i gaze longingly all the same
and find myself bitter all over again
as the tips of my fingers brush the impassively smooth screen
to say nothing of the sonic imperfections inflicted upon me
by ears and equipment that will always
be a subpar offering of fading feedback and static

she is shyly smiling at me and i return her smile
i sigh and ask after her activities, her family, her plans
i would rather ask if the stars glitter to her the same way
does the air smell salty or tangy or smoggy
but i would never get any satisfying answers
and i cannot begin to voice how i wonder
if i were, where she is, would it be the same
or would that too, for its observation, and all my trouble
be changed so radically that i could not recognize my dream within it

she sighs again
we are silent
and the image degrades


Oct. 1st, 2010 03:50 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
the distant but grinding crash of a wave on a beach

the skurl and scar of chisel against wood

beginnings are so easy:
you take the edge between both hands,
you hope that by the time you come to the end,
that you got your line straight.

examine these ragged ends,
these loose fibers and filaments:
they form an alien landscape
hills and valleys; a distant horizon.

is that not, more or less, half?
and gently, so gently, i pull again.

a second's sound bite of a rocket launching from canaveral

the deep churning of ancient engines through water

destruction and hope -
half, fourth, eighth, sixteenth.
sooner or later i'll have confetti.
what will i celebrate?
each moment, each action is shorter than the last.

a thirty-second and now the whole is smaller than the palm of my hand.
what once was larger than my own head,
at sixty-fourths is too thick to go all at once.

rending is not always such an exact business.
i guess that these are more or less rectangles -
along the line of best fit all things may be made more exact.

i have destroyed a page,
i may yet destroy the world.

hey look, new poetry.
this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.


Oct. 1st, 2010 03:46 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
you are a dozen rich lines of ink on the page
and i think, half-heartedly, disparagingly,
that i will never finish.

in the thickness, the lines between such things,
i find myself reduced to a haiku
and none the richer for my condensation.

who wants to fold a saga of autumns
into the stark movements of the new Rome.

i seem to be of this aim.
two lines away and i find myself
with nothing to say.

my y's are right rich loopholes;
handholds of prophecy.

so seldom would you have to reach out;
bridge the drift between letters -
only one reason
among many.

smell this ink.
it is the product of this time:
disposable, disreputable; indispensable.
common and by its commonness
if not loved, or otherwise held in high regard,

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Untitled 3

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:39 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Untitled 3
If i had a gun,
with sixty silver wishes,
i would spend them all on this.
the certainty would deafen the world.

we would all know that secret.

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.
raoin: (on the rail)
Heavy in My Hands
torn between the dailiness of living
and the mantra which says life is adventure and action -
small reptitive actions.
are they really any action at all?
are they change, like magma creeping up through fissures?

i wanted to be and do so many things
but life was a stone in my hands:
a stone in my hands and i could not skip it across the lake.
one chance to see how far my stone would go
and i could not.

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.


Oct. 1st, 2010 03:27 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
my toes part the grass
the dew and grit
and the cool slickness
the tickling of bending blades against my arches and ankels
the steady thrum of cicadas and crickets


noise against my ear drums, drowning,
my ears ring with the rush of the blood in my veins,
the pounding rythm of my stride,
the overarching crash and rasp
of lung and heart.

i reach the stream.
i feel the pull and suck of mud,
thick and oozing between my toes,
and i step into the water and feel my feet go numb with cold
the water acting like a cool silver sock.

i wade in further, up to my knees
and splash through to the other side.

down by the river where its warm and green
down by the cool cool river
i would have been a pair of ragged claws;
i would have been slender legs slung deep in mud;
i would have been a slick and leathery pipe organ.

in the joy and noise and tumult of a summer night

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Untitled 2

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:19 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Untitled 2
At the ragged edged of this page

i think that's us

why would i want to go back

everything since those first months
has been a culmination of this
a culmination of wishing to stay, asking to go,
and taking without giving.
why then do i yearn for so short a period of time.

court me, damn it,
i just want to believe
that you still think i'm worth striving for.

no longer a lover
you offer me no petals, no grace
you do not seek to impress me

with smooth hard eyes, i am a closed column of granite.
i am a solid foundation
upon which all else is built;
all else seen and heard and used.

and i wonder why -
no i do not wonder.

act like you've only known me a week
and you're hoping against hope
that i'll let you kiss me.

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.

Bone Digger

Oct. 1st, 2010 03:13 pm
raoin: (on the rail)
Bone Digger
deep down
beneath the leaves and soil
through clay and rock
a muted kaleidoscope made of browns and grays and blacks

deep down
you know
beyond the roots
beyond where up means air
all things are pressure and time

grind against me

bury these moments in layers

you, with your pick and shovel
i'll fight you tooth and nail

this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.
raoin: (on the rail)
White Noise on the Wire

I am sitting on the far end of the couch from you.
i am not looking at you,
but i am paying full attention.
Silent; i am stripped down to myself.

you fiddle and fuss
with the gadgetry inherent to your existence
in this, the modern era, all your tech clamours for attention:
needy children
with nothing to say
and nothing to do but take.

you acuse and i have no response.
i am mute.
i am blind.
all my words and understanding are stoppered up.

Like a hose with a kink,
my emotions leak,
infecting our day to day.

and you snap back at my silence
this alien sensation, this space where substance should be,
like you could never have caused any of what i am feeling;
any of what you are feeling.
distracted you coset and jiggle the children:
remotes - they are.

are we?
i feel taken for granted.
i feel like i might be taking your for granted.

i assume that there must be something wrong with me
for you to react to me the way you do,
for you to live as you do.

hold me, see me.

be here, be real.

even if you dont like what you hear
and dont want to talk about it.
and a little voice,
from far back within me,
struggles to form the words
and failing, falls silent, ashamed.

so i am sitting, silent, at the other end of the couch
and i shrug at your accusations and try again.
you believe i have just ignored you
although i am paying attention, complete and full attention, to you
and you are still grappling with the digital menagerie of your life.
a snake handler, a lion tamer.
they will eat you, lover.

you begin to make up fantastical reasons
and i shake my head in silence with each one.

behind layers of passive observations
i scrape and burrow, lost;
looking for my words
and wonder if i imagined you feeling angry
a hot memory of your annoyance flashes
and as i push it back at you
you confirm that i imagined it all.

hey look, new poetry.
this, and all the ones for October that follow, are parts of pages i resurrected recently.
stuff i scribbled but found no use for.
i'm putting it up in the hopes of reigniting a spark.


Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:05 pm
raoin: (water snakes)
Not much fits at the bottom of a glass.
A world full of portholes.
It's like only ever seeing yourself from the waist up in a mirror,
reflections are all smooth and blurry lying bastards,
but then you go and find a full length mirror
so there's nothing to hide behind.
I couldn’t identify who that was if I had all night and pile of flashcards.

Light gets sharp, brightness cuts and shatters.
Peering into a mug
the world is a vibrating haze of pilsner and lager.
Through the glass you could say everything you always wanted to say
Being here is like forgetting to breathe.
You ask yourself how hard can it be, I almost never think about it
Should be easy to forget the things you never think about
Like the rest of the soft-edged person frowning into the mirror;
the rest of the person not enveloped in currents of stout and pale.
It’s the portions you never let yourself think about
Always there – they are the hardest thing to forget.
raoin: (i want to believe)
by Elton Glaser

I like the cool and heft of it, dull metal on the palm,
And the click, the hiss, the spark fuming into flame,
Boldface of fire, the rage and sway of it, raw blue at the base
And a slope of gold, a touch to the packed tobacco, the tip
Turned red as a warning light, blown brighter by the breath,
The pull and the pump of it, and the paper's white
Smoothed now to ash as the smoke draws back, drawn down
To the black crust of lungs, tar and poisons in the pink,
And the blood sorting it out, veins tight and the heart slow,
The push and wheeze of it, a sweep of plumes in the air
Like a shako of horses dragging a hearse through the late centennium,
London, at the end of December, in the dark and fog.

from Winter Amnesties
Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, IL

commenters on this poem remark that it includes in its subtext a caution against smoking.
i like this poem because it is a person alone with themselves,
enjoying the moments in their life as exactly as they can.
its a love poem to something banal, ordinary, to something that will one day kill them
- although human life is short and anything could kill you - it doesnt have to be the cigarettes.
raoin: (across the universe)
Across Velvet

Like sliding bodily through deep pile carpet;
gazing through the thick rain of a summer storm;
the blurry breath against a winter window:
sit still and look.

A momentum not of my making moves me forward
and i am afloat - detritus on a stream.
Or more so,
it is the water
coursing to the lowest point, the farthest point we can reach.

Distant, i reach back, cast back
- find only myself -
slick to the touch and i cannot hold on.
i go because i go.
irreducable, i dream:
shadows could pass me, lift me, pull me.
beyond, this sum of our parts
echoes all around me
create ripples in the water.

I cannot ever wholly know, cannot taste
yet you flow into the sea with me
what choice do you have
those who have been, those who will be
many parts, one, acting.

if i had a wish: cast me up into the spray.
If i land on the bank, on the shore
i have been there, will be there -
have never been there, could never be there.

Hold the breath you are not breathing -
pass through.

written in response to the art theme for April 26th through May 3rd.

(an excerpt from )
Hand Shadows
by Mary Cornish


"beneath a star that died a little every day/...new stars were born/... linked
by a thumb, they flew one following the other..."

i know i was really late responding to this one.
i just had a bunch of shit going on and sometimes my headspace doesnt mesh up with poetry.
i dont know if i'm wholly satisfied with this one, not like Lost in the Orchard which i liked a great deal.
when i get into the brass tacks of talking about how i feel about time, metaphysics, and relating to others, i sometimes get tangled up in the ineffable qualities i ascribe to some of those problems.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
this week's art theme:

(an excerpt from )
Hand Shadows
by Mary Cornish

"beneath a star that died a little every day,
and from a nebula of light diffused
inside Orion's sword, new stars were born.
My father's hands became two birds, linked
by a thumb, they flew one following the other."

from Red Studio, 2007
Oberlin College Press

feel free to look up the rest of the poem if you want.
as per usual, anyone can join in and you dont have to post your results.
although i will say, i love to see the results of others.
any kind of creative output is acceptable.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
Tidal Breath

I look through slots -
chubby, overexposed rectangles of green and yellow
lead up to angles of blue matted with white.
Increase the saturation - small spots flash and sparkle
and back in the grayscale dimness I ponder:

What if our ceilings were floors?
What if you had to actively climb into rooms?
Would the passing of our lives hold more meaning
if our light came from below, not above?

I spend fifths of a minute, indefinitely, just tracing
the dry rot of mini-blinds and household mold -
those sporangia look like trees to me;
deep within the canyons of these cracks.

the high tide and low tide compresses a sigh;
I shut the blinds.
raoin: (Default)
The Pendulum Swings

A shot rings out
the sound decays to meaningless echo
the remains are a sudden silence
we all breath in
till there's nothing left to hold

you'll wake
in the soft darkness of a city pre-dawn
in the warmth of your soft bed
amid the scents and sounds of secure slumber
hear the rise and fall of the sleeper next to you

romance the clean silence
the pureness of a field with new-fallen snow
forget the violence that got us here
forget the degradation thereafter
we all breath out
till there's nothing left to give

startled from sleep
in the pregnant velvet darkness you'll perceive hidden dangers
in the smothering tangle of damp sheets and icy air of your room
amid the sweaty fear of uncontrollable dreams
hear the name you once uttered ring through your ears

i'm not as satisfied with this one as i have been with some others.
i think that of the last eleven written, this one needs the most work.
(forget that whole one about procrastination, its embarrassing and ugly)
i dont know if i want to refine this one here though
i think i might use it as meditation for another one to write for this month

i miss having an entire poetry class to workshop my shit for me
its not the same as having others who happen to like poetry read and make comments
when its a crowd of a dozen or so other would-be poets who all have a vested interest in making your work better in exchange for you making their work better
there was a sense of collective fate, not kismet or destiny
both of which are cliche, but a tying together of interests
as Simon and Garfunkel were wont to say, "lets marry out futures together"
like that.

overall, i want to say that many of my best poems, most spontaneous least forced,
were written because i was assigned to write them for a grade
and i wrote them, like i wrote my master's thesis,
by sitting around doing other things, like making money to pay bills, and let ideas stew
and then at some point grabbed some scratch paper and scribbled something passable down
everything after that was polished through the help and effort of others.
raoin: (watch the garden grow)
go back and read this

i'm hoping to get a chance to meditate on this today.
raoin: (water snakes)
with acknowledgements to Stephenson's Cryptonomicon

What Keeps Me Up At Night

The soft pressure of your hands in my hands.
My pulse quickens as if I am running as fast as I can towards the horizon.
My thoughts flash to the shoots of bulbs pushing through soil,
Vines climbing up against the sky,
Bright green buds emerging from the bough.
You seem a long way off, my heart is pounding.
The entire world seems bright and sharp.
I wonder if my pupils are pinpricks in a sea of hazel and gray.
And I lean towards you, for I am certain no words could bridge this distance.
My hands within your hands,
As if my every ridge and whorl is interlacing with your every arch and curl.
Your hands are warm and i feel a steady pulse push back at me from your wrists.
As I focus the edges crumple grey and foggy.
My teeth seem to be vibrating in their sockets,
I have had three cups of coffee and nineteen cigarettes.
I have had half a bottle of Benzedrine.
I have been strapped to the nose of a V-1 rocket.
I lean towards you, my lungs might burst from the exertion.
Your hands in my hands,
And closer now, still closer,
the flecks of gold in your green irises are stones among the lilies in this country,
your pupils are the clear stratosphere of a chill October night,
the light around us casts alien constellations against those impenetrable concavities.

Your mouth is smooth like fresh fallen leaves,
I am interred in the wet warm reality of tongue and teeth.
Your lips crinkle as lush grass under my feet as I come running back
And I feel as though I have been swallowed whole into the vastness of space.
raoin: (crossroads)
Fiona Apple's "Never is a Promise" and "Slow Like Honey" and John Doe's "The Golden State"

The Hole in My Head

There are voices calling you
- the washing stumble of rain against the windows.
Just another herald.
Just another moment prolonged – over-extended.

Look to the too-brief too gentle kisses
You drop them subtly into my pond, they barely ripple the surface
They raise my water level and I lie there still and unrumpled, unknowing.
Look to the familiarity of small phrases,
I’m going, I’m going
Temperate calls - the clock chiming the hours - regular and unregarded.
But would you hear me.
Would you see me.

I am losing you in the toothpaste, the grocery lists, the mopping of the floor.
I am losing me among the detergent and the laundry and the recycling.

I do not want our life to be the played out rehashing of chicken leftovers;
The repeated betrayal of day-old steamed vegetables and unimaginative gravies.

Be my cliché.
I am yet still aware of what might be.

Look to the scent of rotting leaves and recent rain,
that chill in the air should mean autumn
but your hands were always warm and sure.
Don’t let them go cold with doubt.
Don’t let routine box you away from me -
we are not Christmas ornaments, pretty paper and wrappings taken out once a year.

My everyday jolt of lightening, stark against the stars of my life and dreams,
I would burn you deep into my retinas, scratch you daily into my skin.
Remind me.

Worn ragged and faint,
beneath deadlines and bills,
amid meeting ends, we have courted finality and let it end us
and the selfishness of separate worries is merely the consequence.

Your blood, my blood.
Your name, my name.
Count, breathe, and jump with me
that fire, this broom.
Let us be always each instant
Wholly ourselves together.
Be with me
full and flowing.
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