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Prayers mark the way backward.
They thrust silvery lights
up out of the parched soil,
and the light lingers like poison.
It’s time for a change of clothes.
The hierarchies are disfiguring.
There’s chance in the chants
of the children and it’s reacting
strangely with the tumid heat here.
I only wanted mercurial tears.
But that’s beside the point.
The wind hurls me against
clarity’s burnished wall.
I wither on impact – a second rate ecstasy.

-r. miller

In Our Heads

Your daily dalliances
have grown tiresome, trite.

So has your overbite.
Time to right the ship as they say,

get on with living with loathing.
The bloated barrier ahead

is clothed in new romantic terms.
We have the technology

to rip it to shreds,
but it’s all in our heads.

-r. miller

Play It Again

Pulling pulchritude from pistols,
his eyes widen and redden
what they chance upon.

He was a pontoon captain
in capital letters, fettered to freedom
like a bike to a bike rack.

We’d always try to wrack his brain.
Then one day a drain pipe opened
and that was it.

The song he’d been hiding
finally spewed forth into
the consciousness of the skalds.

In scalding tones, they sung
of our latent vegetable dreams.
His ears dropped out.

All he hears now are screams.

-r. miller

Decadence

Sleepless and slobbering.
The cobblestone clutch
of the Victorian era.
Putrefaction is the rule.
Cooks a thin gruel.
Squishy innards to sate lust.
Blustery Baudelaire bleeding on bibles.
Rimbaud riding night’s heavy member.
The ecstasy of murder.
Reckless, deranged.
Strange fruit to suck on.
An exquisite carcass.

-r. miller

We Were Sages Once

Your generation doesn’t have the propensity
to figure out light

-John Ashbery

The vicissitudes of our life
here in the coal-colored hills
bear down on us with a cynical sneer.
We’ve been weary
with wishy-washy superficiality.

It shows in our walk.
All this talk about preening…
I’ve stopped gleaning doubts
from the gout-riddled texts
we once both abhorred and adored.

The floor of our historical sense
has finally caved. I managed to save
a handful of artifacts from certain doom;
primarily grooming implements
from a more primitive age.

We were sages once, remember?
The embers of memory don’t burn
quite as bright as they used to.
The light they give is that
of the gauze covered sun on a winter’s day.

To Arms

Limitations and expectations
flood the ragged plain. We scan
the membrane of a thought,
a thought which burst unannounced
through the celestial door
separating the physical
from the rational.
Now’s the time for war,
for motion, for velocity.
Pretty words dot the landscape
that unfolds before our eyes
like a tattered flag.

-r. miller

Pretty Girl in Boundary Avenue Park

She sits upon a park bench
Eyes pouring through the dusky silence
Auburn hair cropped
At the shoulders, grazing
The nape of her neck.
She nurses a small notebook,
Impregnated with thought,
In her milky arms
And every now and again
She retrieves a pen, scarred
With the indents of her teeth,
From behind her ear
And scribbles fluidly across
A blank page.
Though occasionally stirred
By an emerging whir
From the motor of a car
Passing in the distance
She is mostly devoted to her reverie
Crossing and uncrossing her legs
Lustrous in the dwindling light.

-r. miller