Into the Doze

A defenseless luster lies upon
this endless-seeming surface.
All-in-all and out-of-place
but for a moment. Then, suddenly, gone.

Studious, you divide
your breathing into careful portions
as impeccable visual distortions
take your tired gaze for a ride.

The abstract fingers of the hour
(their touch so soft you go insane)
peel away the layers of your brain

like the petals of a brittle flower
and Thought steadily disintegrates
as Perception’s surly storm abates.

-r. miller

New Year, New Me?

Found sound asleep on the sulfur,
I was indeed a native son,
and layer after layer of superimposed fog
was peeled back to reveal the daylight rumpus.

Put oblivion on the backburner,
backtrack to the tack strewn floors
of your fifth run through adolescence.
This is what we like when we like.

How long has my psyche
been rubberized like this,
and was anyone going to point it out
to the wasted titans who “rule” this space?

Suck my béchamel.
Not too long now before we all get the creeps.

-r. miller


What are we, or what is left
after all the impulse buys
and gentle ruffling of evening’s veil
have had their way with us, doubled down
on us, chewed our extremities
down to cumbersome nubs? Why,
I say then, mon cher,
mon frere, that we’ll have
only just begun to right
our course and sail further
into the open-ended question
which moments ago swallowed whole
the picturesque horizon
barring our way to weirder seas.

-r. miller


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


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


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


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?

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


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

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