Rondeau II

In simple times, we play with doubt
to chase our sobbing phantoms out.
With harnessed backs and tied-up knees,
we guard our gardens ‘gainst the bees
that swarm and seethe like saints devout
whose faith creates a waterspout.
The faith we have has failed to sprout,
all putrefied and sick with sleaze
in simple times.
But we are hardy. We are stout.
We’ve patched our souls with grief and grout.
The seas are shaking – quelle surprise!
So ill-informed! So ill-at-ease!
Still clinging to the rules we flout
in simple times.


-r. miller


He grasps his grieving grapes
with gentle fingers.
His flesh turns papery
in the moonlight,
but his thoughts
contort and comfort
his blistered mind.
Blind rhymes turn corners, tricks.
He nicks a peach.
Who could possibly
conceivably reach
these wretched shores?
Is love a battery
or merely a storehouse
of complex disfigurements?
He doesn’t trouble himself
with such questions,
just keeps on creeping
and peeping shadows,
pulling up teeth
and crooning.
He has a fist
made of shifting swag.
His death is limitless.

-r. miller


Muscle memory, its folds and flows,
wraps me in a billowing cloud.

The snow has shrouded every path,
every avenue and road.

Whereas before the stars showed only
reflections of what was already there,

they now reveal new entities and shapes.
The drapes are duly drawn.

On the lawn, whispers
put forth a cryptic inquiry.

Tomorrow is an unconquerable vastness.
Today is merely steam.

Party Etiquette

By the gates await the martyr’s brood
listless faces gone crisp in heat,
manacled hands and withered feet.
They’ve come to seek a fairer mood.

And without scorn they range their crude
depictions of the royal suite
on each and every bloodied street.
They do their shopping in the nude.

Yet all in all, the more refined
among them seethe with principles,
seethe with virtue, seethe with love.

The sound of their collective mind
augments its righteous decibel,
and surges like a flaming dove.

-r. miller

Le Petit Bourgeoisie

Tell me again
how the faithless shimmied
up the flagpole of belief
with only their wits to guide them
and the skin on their backs.

There was another errorist attack
in the congressional district today.
They say it isn’t as bad
as it had been planned to be,
but they have their reasons
for wanting that to be the accepted story.

Otherwise, it’s hunky dory in the provinces.

Care for a lozenge?
Or perhaps a nightcap?
I know it’s only midday, but I find it’s best
to get an early start on such things.
Each day brings thicker rains
than the day before
and more confusion
than we’re fit to deal with.

-r. miller


Heavy gazes tend to crush
all they fall upon into a powder.

From memory’s clothesline
hang the lacey wraiths of doubt.

Is it really time
to go out in the world?

Have the stars unfurled
their withered longings?

And what about these people
thronging at the center of town?

The moon lays down
a fine film upon the avenue

and my nervousness
leaps into fifth gear.

Sheer panic, but
what else can I depend on?

-r. miller