*Insert Propaganda Here*

Walking Home From Meadowview Station

I ain’t got enough fight
to fend off the swarms
of sweat beads tangling on my forehead.
I’ll be fine once I stop swearing.
Just trust me, I’ll be fine.
Between the hemispheres,
there’s an ever diminishing line…
No place like home, eh?
Well, what is home anyway?
A four letter word
that never served me all that well.
I’ve swerved through my share
of hell in uncomfortable kicks,
sick with shattered apogees
annexed to time.
Clever rhymes provide
a meaning to the last few
dreadful steps that lead
to the destination.
Consternation and jump starts
drift their way to the heart of it all.
Apart from that,
it’s all sunshine and mucous,
and I find myself squarely fixed
upon the structure of doubt,
without which no other structure
would have the fortitude to stand.
And therein exists
my understanding of the issue,
the issue of doubt.
Tenuous, but still understanding
as we understand the term.
Whatever else feels itself fit
to worm its way into my bones
is welcome to do so.
I still have the moans
of the empty street
to carry me home.

-r. miller

We’re Your Worse Side

The persistent breakage in lace
curtains is the dawn that you seek.
“Come here, receive your blows pipsqueak.”
Blood, like light, collects on your face.

Turning against this frigid lust,
you’ve inspired our derision.
We, in turn, make an incision
in the withering skin of trust,

and all at once, a rush of flies
pours like water from a fountain.
Of this blight, you’ve made a mountain
from whose peak is heard anguished cries.

It’s childhood trauma once again,
a drama whose worn out welcome
plumbs your spirit’s murkiest slum
where this entire time, we’ve been.

-r. miller

The Spirit of Seriousness

When the cooling glow ceases
doing what it does, what then?
What then? As we passively
observed the nightmare
of a skyline dribble into night,
the profundity we sought
to force onto every last
little thing that we did -
this suddenly dropped
like a cocktail glass
from the skittish grip
of a plastered socialite.
And I saw the same humor
in both circumstances,
She, too, wanted
to be taken seriously…

-r. miller

Flogging a Dead Horse

The abstract sky we’ve torn away
like so many festering scabs
reveals another shade of gray
swarmed with wrinkles and dusty crabs.

“It’s all fucked up,” I say to you
as I study this wretched sight.
From within me, a burning blue
drowns quietly in its own light,

and I feel too deep its dying.
“Well, what more can we do?” you ask
“The horizon’s filled with drying
weeds, blemishes, and brittle masks.”

Sighing, I face the lucid grass
where lie the remnants of our years.
It seems that we have grown too crass
to just leave them collecting here.

-r. miller

Scene With a Sunrise and a Revelation

From the north, a desolate glow
overthrows the general placement
of silhouettes of buildings,
and suddenly, instills a mass
of disconcerted energy.

Our hero forages for fortitude
atop the crystal casement
of his rooftop, the rooftop where he idles
within the Molotov Cocktail of his past.

Stealthily, he deliberates
the meaning of this peculiar development.

What could it mean after all?

The dwindling traffic below offers no clues,
nor does the array of voices
from the same place, starting softly
cresting to the center,
and gradually fading
as the downtown wanderers
arrive at the right.

He’s alone – he knows it,
more so now than ever before.

He paces the roof
as if retracing his footsteps -
perhaps he’s misplaced something
and he can’t figure out what
he’s misplaced exactly
so he simply keeps pacing.

He observes the quivering firmament
in front of him, taking half-hearted drags
of a cigarette, engaged in his reverie.

What is the meaning?

The ever burning question churning his brain.
He resolves at all costs to find the answer,
even if the cancer of his knowing
will devour his each and every cell.

Perhaps this is a foreshadowing,
some furious hell on the horizon
fixed to besiege the city, the landscape,
the place he now generously
ascribes the name “home.”

Or maybe a vicious diatribe inscribed
on the status of things.
Whatever torture it brings,
he’s resolved to oppose.
All possibility of repose is abandoned
with this resolution.

He knows what he sees
in a most precise way -

the sinister harbinger of day,
minister of flayed sacrament,
to whom all human existence
is a certifiable detriment.

Undefined, he pauses, licks the cracks
of his lips, and lets fall the cigarette
from his fingertips, and the fall
appears in slow motion, like a leaf
lethargically tumbling
through an autumn breeze.

His knees rattle with consequence.
Tremulous overflow.
Six weeks out of bed,
and what has he got to show for it?

He sidesteps his conclusions
regarding the matter, having forgotten
the alien glow and its implications.
His thoughts have steered him
to frightening negations,
the fabrications of his solitude
and unfriendly terrain.

And the muddle of clouds -
he’s failed to take note of this new omen.
Failed to take note of their clustering,
opening, and the grayness of rain.

Thoughts mount to anticlimax.
Relativity prospers.

Thirst accelerates him furiously
into the grayness and the clouds,
and the ashes of his being scatter -
somber remnants in an even more somber air.

-r. miller

When I Can’t Think

When I can’t think
of what to write,
I think of sex.

When I can’t think
of sex, I drive my fist
into the nearest wall

and scream into the world’s
tired eyes.

Autobiography in 7 Parts

What happens to a poem
when you take away
the biographical elements?
I think about fucking too often, and it shows
in my poems. It shows in the lines:
“Two chicks on my big feral fruit”
“Sustained on your ripening clit”
“Shit, this isn’t what I expected” 

I also smoke too much weed
(3 times this
and I don’t mind.
It helps to connect the dots of my ideas
into a disorderly portrait of myself
if I were a dragon.
Since I breathe an awful lot of fire,
I guess I am. 

I would love to drop acid again soon,
I don’t want to eat mushrooms,
the kind that make you
get lost in a forest full of singing trees
and swinging pendulums of raindrops
that remind you
“It’s your 25th birthday.
Now, the world expects results.
So go out and produce results.”
It’s no fun to be lost
in the forest
with a joint in your jacket pocket,
afraid of park rangers
on horseback
who just know you’re out of your mind. 

It is fun, however, to tour the country
in a rickety van from 1984 named Orwell
with your band wishing
you could do this forever.
But then you run out of good songs, 

so you take to
writing poetry and wishing
you could have dinner with Frank O’Hara.
But he’s dead, and so is William Burroughs.
Ted Berrigan is also dead,
and Gregory Corso, and Amiri Baraka,
but John Ashbery isn’t.
So there’s still time for me!

Thank God.
Scratch that.
Atheists can’t thank God
or Brahman or Allah or whatever you call it.
So who do I thank? Darwin?
For what?  I like his theory,
but it doesn’t do me any good now.
Richard Dawkins?
I hear he’s a prick,
and besides,
he turns Atheism into a religion,
which defeats the purpose.

I’ll thank Nietzsche instead
for filling my head
with grand delusions
about becoming an Ubermensch,
restoring faith in the Earth,
even though all I do
is smoke weed, fuck, and read.

-r. miller


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