There’s a strangeness
singing the hills,
lines of insect trill
like ropes of taffy in the air.

So this is where it all goes down,
like a frown or a raindrop.
The way everything
slops about so soddenly, well –

let’s just say
that I’ve seen
more aesthetic value
in tooth decay.

Cumbersome day
is coming to a crest,
and a westbound wind
is spitting in my hair.

-r. miller

The Aristocrat

Fluttering teacups. Caustic uppers.
Supper in the flaccid clouds.
How can one endowed with such elastic sinews
bear to stew in such formality?

He turned to brutality
as a way to exorcise those old,
unwanted feelings bundled in his skull
like sheaves of wheat. A harsh rain
was beating against the exterior of the house
which held evidence of his wicked crime.
He bided his time by the mantle,
its burnished surface reflecting expertly
the delirium writhing in his eyes.
He bit into his tongue
until the taste of blood became
too much to bear. Candles ranged
along the walls flared up in livid,
accusatory poses. And he –

he dropped like the petals
of so many roses
from his menacing poise
into cold oblivion,

the beating heart contained
within the floor. He reached for a door
where there was no door.
The room contorted to reflect
the shape of his soul,
the whole disordered despair.
He bared his teeth. Thin laughter
trickled from his vibrating lips,
as he steadily loosened his grip
on the rope which kept him
tethered to his dream.

-r. miller

After All These Years

Crazy to see you
after all these years, and still,
the same fears, despairs,
and excesses excite your temper.
And me, with my wrinkles
all out of whack.

Do you still hack xylophones
from whale bones
and igneous rock?
Your antique clock,
does it still churn eternally
its dyspeptic dirge?

And are you still telling
the same version
of your excursion into outer dark,
or has the truth finally
“set you free?”
This could be the last chance

we have to speak
to one another for an eon or so,
so why don’t you stick around
for one more drink?
I think you’ll be plenty satisfied.
I think you’ll die of lust.

-r. miller


Our shadows are falling.
This time for good.
We enter from stage left into a wood
darkened by nervous delusions.
Illusions of trust pace along the perimeter
wringing their hands. We’ve come
seeking an understanding, some form
of deliverance from what fate
has lately been demanding of us,
demands we’ve decided are unreasonable.
October breathes unseasonable cold
through the old, balding branches
of the surrounding trees.
I toy with the notion of freezing to death,
that breath cloaking me like a pall,
and you in a panic, calling for help
as the dull wilderness averts its ears
and goes about its business
of being indifferent to human affairs.
Such thoughts would scare you
if I said them aloud, endowed as you are
with a decidedly inhuman capacity
for compassion. So I keep quiet.
A riot of feeling commences
as our pensive search begins
asserting its futility.
Vicious and malignant, the moon
exposes our fragility –

-r. miller

Theory of Poetics

in my life’s peculiar arrangement,
there exists a syntax so unsettling
you’d have to shut your eyes
to its existence.
But no matter how persistent
your resistance to it,
it will always insist on your attention.

Bedecked in cigarette burns,
Tension wears a scarlet crown.

Due to my obsession with continuity,
I’ve placed the contents
of my consciousness
in the perfect narrative order.
Such behavior borders on deranged
in a context such as ours,
but in the coming hours,
I hope to affirm
that my feeble grasp of this reality
isn’t quite as feeble as it appears.

Brace yourself, my dear.
This plane is going down.

-r. miller


My swells with running water,
burst veins and stained glass.

Thoughts congeal
to an herbaceous mass in the center.

There’s a side door
through which I can enter

and nestle comfortably
in the aromatic compactness,

cast off wakefulness
and slip into a dream.

-r. miller

When It Comes…

When it comes, you’ll know it.
You will. It may come in the form
of a sledgehammer hurled
through a stained glass window.
It may come in the form
of a sparrow’s song.
It may come as a lot of things,
so it won’t do any good
to specify the forms it may or may not take.
What’s important is the feeling
evoked when it finally strikes.
This, I can’t put into words.

-r. miller