Apophenia

Everywhere and all at once.
Something wonderful
to wonder at. Bleeding, bilked.
Milked derangement
and estrangement of sense perception.
Your tongue is gibberish.
Pollen, pills, and postcards.

Memories arrive in shards
on the doorstep of consciousness.
Be my blanket. My mesmerizing moor.
We float on filibustered rustic roots.
Overhand undermining.
The wetness shining on leathery leaves.
Saves me from falling.

-r. miller

February Drizzle

Wintry pulp of palpitating ions!
I wrecked the tableau.
Murder disguised as a balustrade
prays to the peephole
and when the scolders simmer
they shine like species memory
in the murmuring marsh gas,
miasma of draconian measures.
This and a treasure break the beacon.
Hold it! Snap creation,
punch the patriot in his plums!
Sugar and gum shock!
Yonder socks hold a host of pleasantries –
cut them to the course.

-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

The Privilege of Knowing

Unwashed hands cupping
broken bands of light,
the subtle interplay of color
against this swollen backdrop.

The blacktop extends farther
than the eyes can reach,
the beach dips silently
beneath the sea.

None so cautious as we,
tethered to these nether-
regions with the tenacity
of a splinter of wood

nestled under the initial layer of skin.
The players are all useless,
wiped out and anxious,
wringing blue from tonight’s damp fabric.

The fabricated friction warms
only the slightest of heads,
and where the street dead ends,
we’ll get our answer there.

We came armed with a burning air,
chests up, raging
against social hierarchies
and the concept of disease.

And when these failed
to garner any appeal,
the game rearranged.
The changes, marginal,

hoisted like dusty pennants
upon the mast of our dissatisfaction.
The sense of my shoes
losing traction, and inaction

smoldering in the sheets.
And of course, the rain became sleet
in the bitterness. Whatever
is left over is ours to keep,

and we keep what distracts us.
Compilations of facts,
picture pop stars,
anecdotes and allegories,

the histories of lost cultures.
A coven of vultures hovers above
the carrion field, hunger tinting
their feathers, and now

we’re unsure on whether or not
to proceed. What happens
when the strength of the need

outweighs simple logic?
Will we be given the privilege of knowing?

-r. miller

Our Duty

The fiction presents its otherness,
an oppressive regimen.
Gestures, exhausted of potency,
point to newer states of indecision.
And therein rests the failure

of the transition, but we can’t
even think to mobilize against it.
Such is our way.
As the points of origin,
our duty is to the fiction,

to preserve it at all costs,
and ensure its flourishing,
even at the expense
of our own flourishing,
which is now the case.

This electrical current will slowly
erase all traces of a good time.
Did we have a good time?
The blue of a flowering sky
didn’t seem to provide one,

but that’s just how it goes.
As for the little bunches of weeds
you left on the door step,
these have gone sour
in the even sourer light

of September. I don’t think
they’ll be appreciated.
Our new sensibility was
an indecency that churned
within, the chopping block

set out in the village square
as if to impose the will
of those all seeing others
we learn to adore.
The more we see,

the less we are seen.
But here’s where it gets
interesting – every stumble,
every faux-pas in your life
has molded your perception

in profound yet imperceptible ways.
The unshakable allure
of errors and glitches
stuck to your eyelids
like exit wounds.

And what was that tune we used to sing
when things bubbled to a climax?
Our stage is set for newer acts,
newer scenarios to burn through
this stockpile of moments.

-r. miller

-r. miller

The Catch

Provisional revision
of revisited histories
tangles with
the mystery
of bread breakers
head bakers
earth quakers
flakes of truth
amass like ashes
on a killing field
yielding zero crops
stop pop and lock
stocks and bonds
bonding over mimosas
and scrambled eggs
my legs are wobbly
pillars of ego
blows blisters
and twisting neon
signs confined
in a space
too small to mention
my detention
will be avenged

-r. miller

Glad to Know That You Have My Back

So much so – memory becomes an implosion.

The tangle of murmurs
creeping through the air
like some punk kid out past curfew.
The tension, coiling like a fist,
until the uproar stored in the palm
could no longer be contained.
and when the tantrum let up,
it was a travesty of aesthetics.

Yeah, there was discourse,
theories, postulates, all concerning
the relation of body to politic,
and grandstanding,
and gasping, and passionate throes.
For all anyone knows,
it was an upheaval.
There was a certainty though,
a gleam in the eye of the hurricane.

I made a point to point it out.
Naturally, nobody cared.

And where were you exactly
when all of this was happening,
erupting as weeds
through cracks in the sidewalk?

Anywhere? Nowhere?

That was where I found myself anyway,
after the fallout, heaviness
strumming my tired head
with a hurt the size of a crater.

There’s an art to patience I guess,
but what’s patience really worth
when you end up waiting for nothing?

-r. miller

“Never Get Yr Hopes Up” Is My Rallying Cry

A spark or two of purity
cracking in the baffling glare
of hindsight – by rights,
this is what is due to me.
Or rather, some fragile vacancy.
The shifting blather banging
in my brain’s feeble helm
cements my dislocation,
and I arrive where expectation

burns out in a shouting match.
I’ve latched on to a few
too many expectations,
and the result is always the same.
Now, I have no one to blame
but myself. Pursuits
are drained with a strangling
purpose, so it goes.
So it goes, et cetera.

-r. miller

The Contrarian

The silhouette of a bottle fills
the wall with its anguish,

a syrupy shadow that wriggles
into the framework forged

by a continuous argument –
the flagellation of for and against.

I’ve never been for
anything as I stand firm against

almost everything – except for
the assembly of stars

that linger above the pursed lips
of the water stained

with the shivering images of ghost ships.
Nor do I stand against

my own iconoclast tendencies,
which I savor for their expediency.

I mouth a dialogue of storms
and with the bliss of my breath

make a fantastic escape
into the burning curtain of dawn.

-r. miller