The New Patriotism

Cluster of fucks
fickle numerals
naming only themselves
and the selves that surround them daily
this is a race
this is human society
fidgeting against the glow of history
where will our story lead us
when the cold wind blows
our hair away into a folded field of debris
the books have all been duly torched
to promote our scorched earth outlook
crooks mistaken for saviors
waver in the water
the water of life
the water of desire
they’re the same goddamn waters
and you won’t get very far
if you forget how to swim

-r. miller


The freezing rain outside
has upset the spring decor.

There’s a note tacked
to the door scribbled
in sleepy runes.
It’s meaning will never be known.

Wind has blown the yard to bits.

A fitting end to an unfit day.

-r. miller

The World Swerved

Everywhere you go the same mass
of particles assaults you.
Same mass, different names,
different ways of seeing.
I know only a single way of being.
It’s mine, and it probably isn’t yours.
It’s boring to think about, isn’t it?
Almost as boring as a power drill.
I heard once that where there’s a will,
there’s a way, but who has a say
in the way that they take?
I also heard once that we have
to find our way, and finding
isn’t the same as willing.
There were people milling
about the public fountain when I arrived.
They were disinterested and stamped
with smiles, but inauthentic ones
that hurt the eyes to behold.
It was cold, and there were clouds
that looked like handguns, hashtags,
and their varied associations.
A nation had been kicked in the shins.
Coming to grips with this truth
resulted in a metaphysical toothache.
I’d reached a breaking point,
joints and all, and knowing a fall
was inevitable, I shrunk back
from my duties which until then
I had never observed.
The world swerved to meet me,
and it met me in a 100mph
head on collision.

-r. miller

Cognitive Dissonance

The bullet whizzing past your head
is in actuality only a metaphorical bullet
whizzing past your actual head.

The dead yawn in the streets
while the haggard sun glazes their bones.
You’re alone, really alone, I mean REALLY alone,

for the eighth time in your life,
and since it’s the eighth time,
it’s practically home.

It’s practically the gut-busting punchline
that makes up for the tedious set up.
Where was I going with this?

It’s hard to think with a layer of silt
laid on your brain, and even harder to think
when you think not to think.

One of these days, the shit fence
you call a worldview is going to be
swallowed up by the ground. Then what?

Then business as usual will continue as usual,
only in a different key. You’ll see a great sign
in the sky, a frenzy of burning gold.

You’ll feel older, and you’ll look the part.

-r. miller

La Liberté

What is it that we were doing
these past several lives?
that we’ve somehow arrived
on the diving board of cosmic failure,
peering down into ourselves
from too great a height?

You were right –
I’m neither the lighthouse,
nor the ship being guided through
the churning sea to the bosom
of the shore. I was on the floor
of your sparsely furnished kitchen

when you implored me
to reveal the core of things
as they are, and so far,
I’ve made no progress.
Am I less because of this?
Am I a cracked lens?

Regardless of the outcome,
I’m sending you my love
in a bundle of nervous energy,
and the gentle fervor
of these possibilities
which belong equally to you and me

as the sky, the sky adorned
with wet rags.

-r. miller


I’m looking for you with a heart
frozen in broken glass,
passing like a storm
over every place wherein I think you’ll be.

These days I don’t see
quite as well as I used to see,
but they’ve made great strides
in optometry since I first cut my way into life.

I was a knife you know.
You made me, so of course you know,
and I know what I know is hardly sufficient
enough to be called knowing.

One minute, it’s snowing,
the next, all of creation
is swallowed up in flame.
One minute, this is all a game,

the next, the heavy hand
of gravity lands square on your jaw.

-r. miller