Somewhere in the flood
lies the substance of our striving.
I never rested content
in driving it home. Getting
to the meat of the poem,
one finds it just a bit spoiled.
Too accurate. I too
have toiled among torpid tongues.
This may be the last time
I assume this vivisectionist’s
cloak and dagger. I’ve paid
too greatly for this swagger you see.
Only now does my heart unfold
to reveal its truer nature,
the one the tavern clatter
confirms. From his mirror,
my polar opposite affirms
his commitment to keeping
the game rigged in his favor.
The flavor of the week is burnt retinas.

-r. miller


The patsy raid went better than expected.

Every principle rejected was replaced
with a pillar of colored sand.
You know exactly where I stand:
this land is mine, so sayeth the fine print.
In the end, it adds up to pocket lint.
A mandate straight from the mouths of moths.
So what if I’m soft?
held aloft by simple kite strings
and rings from archaic telephones?
The cronies have their bones to pick,
and the sickening texture of their moral “codes.”
In their frenzy, they’ve overloaded the wagons
with flagons of gut-rupturing wine.
Circumstances never align
the way they’re supposed to,
but with a closed fist and determination,
what compunction you’ll inspire!
It’s astonishing, really,
how easy it is to survive
the dive bomb logic of an apology.
One minute, you’re in it.
The next, you’re flexing.

-r. miller

Placid Cast of Beauty

I created the following poem using the words of Edgar Allan Poe from the story “Ligeia” 

I cannot for my soul,
long through much suffering,
bring these points to mind.
Her singular yet placid cast of beauty.

Eloquence. Her low… musical.
My heart steadily and stealthily…
I believe that I first met her: old, decaying city.
I have surely heard her speak…

Ligeia buried impressions.
I bring before my eyes in fancy, Her
who is no more a recollection. Never known.
Who became a playful charge.

Or was it a test of my strength of affection?
Or was it rather… Offering on the shrine
of most passionate devotion.
The fact itself… what wonder the circumstances.

Spirit which is entitled Romance,
the wan and misty-eyed,
presided over… Surely she presided.
My memory fails me…

She was her latter days. To portray
the majesty, the quiet ease,
the incomprehensible lightness and elasticity.
She came and departed as shadow.

-r. miller


The repressed boys in the gaslight
all have vegetable fetishes.
Mangled trunks and members
upsetting the fabulous decor.
They pimp meat to emasculated princes
with peppered thighs. Two steps away
from immaculate catastrophe.
Someone marks his sex with an apostrophe.
Reckless feeding. Orange wrists.
Wonder who gave him a random fuck-
wound in the mouth.
The power of pulchritude
burnishes his suck suck,
his sock all gummied up,
thumbs up in the wind,
hidden in the hills.
He’s got a real will on him, don’t he?
But him don’t talk like us,
him don’t puke the way we puke,
him don’t have a flag to hoist
above his ravaged, rancid paysage.
They took him by his visage
and pumped him full of fetid fruit,
then left the brute in tatters
by the accidental grave.
“Save him for the worms,” they said.

-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


Fullness in the way
the light moves the clouds.
Had I words to describe…
Your brain, a rancid sponge.

My vanity plunged me
into the asphalt garden, assaulted me
with multi-colored steel beams.
Then the cream of evening…
rising like a measured breath
from the tops of monuments
erected to celebrate failed divinity…
sat in the sky and curdled there.

We bitched for an hour
over lukewarm beer.
Dour diagnoses sang we.
The words were like stains.
Tumid sat we in the rain and in the heat.
“A heap of broken images”

-r. miller

Bad Thoughts

I dragged fatigue through rivers we made,
it was tears, black tears and fetid tears.

It was gross out at night, all the time
constantly bearing blear in lumps.

Galvanized (not) instead etherized.
Greasy limp and waddling.

Following the exits to the spare room
of my life… all mess.

Weekend glowering.
You a quivering wreck.

-r. miller


Stomachaches stun the metropole.
Politicking and grumbling
all the way to the accident marsh.
And the steel wool
they pull out of the brain
is just delighting in detritus.

We give mush to the groomsmen in paper hats,
travelling along the cables
in the afternoon sweet.
Your heartbeat and my flushed interior.
Crab festoons. The moniker.
He went feeding.

-r. miller