Only the Prodding

We could probably stand
to de-stress a little, fuck off
to some gem-encrusted island
just beyond the Pacific sun,
dipping into the ocean
like it was a great blazing
punch bowl or something.
After all, this town full
of dust mites and fried blood
don’t care about us.
Me, I mean.

Tie me down so I stop jittering,
fidgeting with my keys.
One of which unlocks
the luminous door in back of my skull,
so you can see the hectic
inside business going on.
Yeah, that’s the stuff.

I don’t like how the scenery
is playing out. I don’t see the point.
Only the prodding.
Have I been absolutely clear?
And here I was only looking
to feel mildly astonished.

-r. miller


I can’t tell of the lack of sleep
that fits over me like a glove
made from porcupine quills.
Of all the ills of this here island,
this one is the biggest.
Sometimes a home is the wrong foot.
And a house…

We’ll calculate that later,
for the swarms of dizzy insects
that are part and parcel
of our end days prophesying
have finally arrived by moonbeam
to eat up our entrails.
Please understand that
I’m only nauseated because
it’s my default mode.

I don’t want to play these games any longer,
the ones played with pins and needles
and deepening ennui
the color of a winter storm.
The violence just looks
too good on me.

-r. miller

Your Move

Donning such fishy skins,
we are duly, dully impressed.
New capacities are gearing up
for what is sure to be a hootenanny.
Sometimes, whispers smear the walls.
Slurp the decade through interchangeable lips,
and don’t forget to gild your tongues, O my lovelies.
Nothing quite like passing a fancy
through the mesh of sensitive hearts.
Hear me out – I am not a part of anything,
nor brought to heel by broadbacked suitors
‘neath a lavender moon.
All this caterwauling has me in a fix.
I tell you and then fold myself into the telling,
its frosty embrace burrowing
through my pores and into warm bone.
Like anyone would understand,
approve, or approximate.
Your move, syntax.
Just take care to keep these fetters tight.

-r. miller

On Empty

Drive me down
gently with discretion.
Dislocation is everything.
I’ve made a graphic mistake.
A big ol’ kick to legibility.
Marginalize me daddy.
Transitioning from verb to noun,
shaking hands and everything.
The weight of disgrace
contained within the pen.
Forget it, I’d save the fire from you.
Pull the snooze alarm.
No is a complete sentence.
Have you ever found yourself
struggling with, suffering from
the limitations of grammar?
These words were shaped
according to principles.
Sleep deprivation headache
and high blood pressure.
An opening is revealed in the syntax.
Sunday drivers need not apply.

-r. miller

Spring Fragment

Now in the valley,
we can have it nice.
Finally emerging
from the afterthought
into absolute sunrise,
feeling the glorious heft
of footsteps as they sink
into the warm clay,
renaissance approaching
and accelerating with fervor.
“Down with curfews!”
it seems to be shouting,
almost an incantation.

Things are improving of course.

Those sullen structures
whose mere appearance
seemed an act of oppression
have been given a fresh coat of paint
to match the season
that surrounds us like a wilderness
full of sprightly, bounding energies,
under whose lascivious gaze
we wholeheartedly liquefy.
Suddenly, the fact of being here
is not only tolerable,

but a miracle.

-r. miller


So much of what was said
was unready at the time of inspection.
I’d come to upon further reflection.
Smoothing over the withdrawal,
my livid hands touch upon new schema.

The recurring dreams we stitch together
to create what’s called life
are less numerous than what was once assumed.
Look at us, frantically collecting,
compartmentalizing our baggage.
All with great sagging knees and loose teeth.
I mount the daily grind in fever
but for how much longer?

Surely, there’s a protective aura ’round here,
somewhere we haven’t searched.
Even then, the odds will never favor us.
Blanched and thoroughly de-boned,
we’re only fit for consumption.

-r. miller


Commence the countdown
to slappy hour.
Give it six or seven weeks,
and whatever promise it held
will be jettisoned
across the lapping waters
to another disconsolate coast.
Is this the most agonizing dialogue
or what?
The acrid smell of each word,
how they feel in the mouth.
I hear they’re cooking up
a new debacle down south.
Whatever keeps the populace fed.

-r. miller

Seems Like a Given

The pulsations haven’t stopped.
Something tremendous is on the way.
By any measure, we are all somebody’s someone,
wouldn’t you agree?
Consider more thoughtfully
the concept of a skinned knee.
Interconnectivity. Harrowing activity.
No thought but in sequence.

We admit that context counts.
Certain solutions possess a gravitational pull.
He admits to merely
mimicking those with power.
Perhaps try stumbling. Left is right.
After many sleepless nights
carving voices from thin air,
we managed to over-correct ourselves,
careening helplessly to bed.
Still the matter of weighing.
Sheepishly delighted.
Kindly direct your attention.

Admittedly, not all variables were accounted for,
given due process.
Heaven suspended from corroded hooks.
Seems like a given, but then again.

-r. miller


First off, let me just say
that I understand you, on a cellular level.

And for once, our disorganized revel
has achieved staying power.

Anyone who’s ever accused us
of becoming more fastidious

in our old age can, to put this politely,
take the long way home.

Feel free to roam my unspoiled frontier
at any time you find convenient.

If for no other reason
than to upset the neighbors.

-r. miller

Who’s Listening?

Through apricot-colored clouds,
a drizzle of whispers, unintelligible,
drives the out-of-style indoors.

Forecast this, ye cretins.
Those who can’t keep time
with the junkyard hustle
have no right to complain.
Favorable shock and duress
have their place in our improvised schema,
yet who’s listening?

I’ve got the old randomness itch it seems,
and I’m no longer afraid to use it.
So sick of these anodyne tropes
dotting the textual landscape.
Ditto the nostalgia circuit, its listless current.
I’ve got an ample supply of boiled blood
to last until the next doomsday,
and more than enough nerve heat
to curry fever with the corybantic muses

whose fury moves through me.

-r. miller