12.28.18

Standard

By turns savory and sour,
the implications of the purge
spread a menace through December.
A fragrance we remember

fitfully, when circumstances align.
We invite decline
among the ranks and refine
our tastes accordingly. Of course,

it could have gone differently.
When certain segments of reality
bite down, others diminish in intensity,

and you go to bed wondering,
true colors blundering
across your meager dreams.

-r. miller

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12.5.18

Standard

Something about you blossoms,
all joyous and pink, frothing
around the edges of my brain.
There I go again, getting tumultuous
and fatally distracted
by the idea of you achieving
density and definite form,
by the idea of you touching
me in (once again) a literal way.
O! love, your lips would burn me
with tenderness, and the feel of you
beneath me would charge each nerve
with so much light that night itself
would tremble at my coming.

-r. miller

11.12.18

Standard

Beneath the blood pact,
sizzling, somewhere is established
in full-swing. We get by on rudeness,
ruthlessness, and malignance.

The long suffering doesn’t disembark.
Anyway, here is my wherefore.
Always we’re eaten by the rules we enact
to placate peace in its sanctimonious dorm.

In a perfect world, I worm patiently,
discreetly, my way into the pulp of its chaos.
The stuff that dreams are made of.

Yet through the screams
blusters a bungled tune from youth,
and all come to rest in its crescendo.

-r. miller

8.31.18

Standard

Come close and quibble
for a moment, for both our sakes,
and maybe I’ll learn something.
Like how to keep my dreams

from evaporating at the first
strained rays of sun, or how
not to lose my mind
when crisis comes to call.

Of course, all the pain,
radiant in my ribs,
is basically here to stay.

There’s much fault to contend
(and be content) with
on an average day.

-r. miller

Have you met my friend, Molly?

Standard

Baby’s swallowed the birthday tonic.
The light, evenly distributed
throughout the chamber, shifts
from orange to green back to orange
and warms the insincere hearts resting in rows.
We braved blinding snows
and comfort to be with you this evening.
It was only much later that we paid our dues.
And the timing is wrong somehow,
just ever so slightly,
a strange off-putting rhythm
that leaves its mark in your gut.
Anything but intoxicating.
All signs point to a grating comedown.

-r. miller

Insta-Regret

Standard

What spectral shape has come to spread its shade
upon the sheets? Some buttered ghost which knows
its feelings from its form, a ghost who grows
in increments, who makes the morning fade.

A jaded song has wrecked the great charade
with arms of bitter frost. My evening slows
itself to drool but still outpaces prose,
and paling clouds have stormed the barricade.

For all of this, there’s still the peace which fights
to feast on graves. Its tender mouth will turn
my sleepless thoughts to wine. My pining lights,

frail sentinels, how soulfully you shine!
This line of text I’ve written, let it burn,
and come the sunrise, nothingness be mine.

-r. miller

Party Etiquette

Standard

By the gates await the martyr’s brood
listless faces gone crisp in heat,
manacled hands and withered feet.
They’ve come to seek a fairer mood.

And without scorn they range their crude
depictions of the royal suite
on each and every bloodied street.
They do their shopping in the nude.

Yet all in all, the more refined
among them seethe with principles,
seethe with virtue, seethe with love.

The sound of their collective mind
augments its righteous decibel,
and surges like a flaming dove.

-r. miller