String of Lights

Night dark… wine dark…
negligent breeze billowing uptown
atonal hymns swim
in the dimly lit square
“caring is killing”
and other such bilge spilling
this way                that way

I button my coat my trap
my happening mask
evident only eventually

preventative medicine aka Dutch Treat
lingers as a sweet smelling haze
a vapor to savor
the flavor of fir trees
is what’s on my tongue

and what’s on my brain
is a sugarcane crook.

-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

The Boiling Point

We’ve arrived at the boiling point.
And thus ends this effort
to mend the cracks
in the earth’s greasy forehead.

You told me I’d end up dead
for this, and you were half-right,
as these bright and sterile
infirmary walls can attest.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little rest,
and I’m convinced
I’ll be at my best in no time flat.
You can put away your gat now…

-r. miller

Birthday Party

The master plan unfolded like a bedroll
over the holy floor of our lives,
a new goal worth striving toward.
With glee, we marked the lord
of the manor with sharpie inscriptions
of genitals and unsavory phrases,
glazed the lady’s hair while she slept
her drunken sleep.
Before we knew it, we were knee deep
in rusty waters, green webs of insight.
We took to the night breeze
like kites ripped from their spools.
Ferocious and foolish we were,
but also gifted and free.
Storm clouds answering
the treacherous sea.

-r. miller

Bad Faith

Helter-skelter in the woolen piles
placed precariously
on his heat
contextual evidence
this may have arisen
from a desire to be
other than himself
and from himself
he fled
with an acute resolve
swamps of hand lotion
what grows in this soil
but the bitter herbs
of discouragement
crisis averred
the word
and the voice
the voice
and the ever turning wheel

-r. miller

Threads of Cigarette Smoke

This is not a cut up
so cut it out
linden trees at dusk
a musky odor of the groin
from sweetness
and humility
the emergency tangent
typecast and bleeding
on the script
quick wit with a slit throat
her was problematic
her was a guidepost
or was her a radon flare
her was a supernova
that’s it
and her got to the edge
of the portrait
with only a little divination
desperation claims
calm favor
of the wayward prince
and pile drivers

-r. miller

Minutes to Go

Rust particles – slave
to sinking sands
the hands watch themselves
become pasty
in the clay baked air
afterward – stillness
afterward – the poem of today
is a drooping eyelid
listlessly wishing
I didn’t have to be here
but here is where I’ll be
soldering irons
fusing a ring around
the rosy alarm
unarming and swarming
the nest – blessed elegies
strung along
the window sill

-r. miller


I hate everything which
is coming from my head.
Nothing is connecting
the way that I want it to.
What’s happening to me?
I’ve been off all week.
Nothing is connecting.
Everything is disordered.
I can’t seem to get a firm grasp
on my ideas. I just want to
lay down somewhere
and sleep until I’ve come up
with something worth
putting into words.

-r. miller

The Day the Halfway House By the Library Burned Down

Free association is the key,
but a key without a door.
OH WELL. So is my brain.
And so is the big dumb Cosmos
breathing down my neck
like the manic beast that it is.
And what a wretched day it’s been,
all full of summer rain, burning buildings
and new traffic routes.
Why must everything always be
so fucking violent? It keeps things
engaging I guess, but then again,
so does smoking pot,
drinking too much coffee,
and reading Ted Berrigan
as the aquarium drones on.

-r. miller


Trees and things resembling
trees ease through the thinly
misted dark. A thought
which carries no spark spins
away like a wheel upon
a rusted axel. I’ve only enough
factual information to get me
through a conversation,
but conversation’s not my game.
It inflames me to the point
of incapacity, and in these parts,
veracity is no virtue anyway.
So I’ve learned not
to say much –

-r. miller