a distinct aversion
to blank we in
absolving backlash
dismantled crux
absorbing the thoroughfare
for want must
needs impertinence
of gesture web
though altogether
signed off
on the negation
so it came by cutting
insofar as rut befits
the tender equipage
of what lust permits
in my palm the sighs

-r. miller

Rondeau (The Brazen Beard)

The brazen beard that lurks in here
instills in us a profound fear.
We shake and swoon and shit our pants,
a graceless and most awkward dance
‘neath the o’erbearing chandelier.

What I would give for just a beer!
This room is now in ruins, dear,
and all because of that knave, Chance,
the brazen beard.

Have you e’er seen a scene so queer?
So crooked and devoid of cheer?
A hapless, hellish circumstance
we now are in. Fate’s wicked lance
has speared we two, such wretched drear,
the brazen beard!

-r. miller

Thee Anxiety Bell

Allow me to arrange all this
so that it defies comprehension.
We come unto apprehension
with a plate of cold.
Heartbeats melting, discrete
and excreting a liquid hum.
And then I shouted “Crab feathers!”
into the tether ball court of a bandaged lampoon.
Sliding spoons. Up the walkers!
Up the fantastique! Them guts
get guzzled. Before you can deconstruct
an oppressive structure, you must first
deconstruct the language that upholds it.
I threw a noose and she half-assed it.
Took the trash to the talk box.
And… And… Cokes the joke,
smallpox on the horizon.
A mercurial purgatory.

-r. miller

Proper Sowing

Some things are meant to be.
We planted trees of robust frustration
in the fallow shaded in evening light.
We resolved to keep tight lipped
about the business. After all,
nobody else would be affected,
and the less anyone knew, the better.
The wetter season arrived
like the chime of an antique clock,
echoing through the dim corridors
of a château given wholly
to being forgotten. We had a lot more
to worry about in those days.
The haze of poorly phrased platitudes
created a nauseous curtain around us,
and we couldn’t decide whether to puke
or tough it out like the soldiers
we envisioned ourselves to be.
When the trees finally erupted
from the sleepy ground,
I could make out, faintly, the sound
of diamonds breaking.
There was a quaking in my heart,
and no part of me was fit to stop it.

-r. miller


It’s the image warped
in stained glass.
Warmth you’ve cast
from some deranged height.

In spite of obstacles.
In spite of everything.
You crawl on your belly,
singing of the anxiety,
the vexing worms
that gnaw your insides.

Someone close has died,
or is going to, and
a snowstorm screams
behind your eyes.

-r. miller


Garbled green
steams from the head,
the head broken
by summer rains.
The picture pertains
to malice or
to hunger or
to some uintelligible perversity
we dare not fathom.
Silently roar the phantoms
in the hourglass.
Asses smeared
with fecal residue.
What terror brewing
in the recesses of the boonies!
I told you so. I told you.
Our skins go greasy
in the heat,
breathless heaps.

-r. miller