So now that we’ve chastised
and chased out our remaining hangups,
can we fantasize finally
without further interruption?
I hadn’t expected the corruption
to be so pronounced,
nor the elongated shadows
shimmying up the staircase.
Even at our basest, our crudest,
we’re still considered prudes.
I can’t help but scoff at the attitudes
that give birth to such beliefs,
at the narcissistic gimme-gimmes
who adopt them, the grief they inflict
on unsuspecting passersby.
It’s always been my opinion
that if you haven’t got wings,
you maybe shouldn’t try to fly.

-r. miller

Rondeau II

In simple times, we play with doubt
to chase our sobbing phantoms out.
With harnessed backs and tied-up knees,
we guard our gardens ‘gainst the bees
that swarm and seethe like saints devout
whose faith creates a waterspout.
The faith we have has failed to sprout,
all putrefied and sick with sleaze
in simple times.
But we are hardy. We are stout.
We’ve patched our souls with grief and grout.
The seas are shaking – quelle surprise!
So ill-informed! So ill-at-ease!
Still clinging to the rules we flout
in simple times.


-r. miller

Early Graves

It’s time again to cull the herd.
A lullaby swept over this meadow,
leaving quartz dust behind.
The kind of lust we are capable of forgiving,
provided the axioms we adhere to
pull over to the shoulder.
In our satisfaction,
we were left to smolder.
Now that we’re older, we ought
to really give credit to whom it is due.
On to the next clue. Was it you
who molded these columns
from the piles of solemn clay
left over from when the river deserted us?
The whole damn town almost up
and fled as well, but in this circle of Hell,
you stick it out
until the bills are paid.

-r. miller

A Quick Sonnet

The feeling is fractioned.
No one ever gains traction
in this weather. Strange
rumblings from the nether
regions and an ever deepening sky.
They called us the creeps of conscience,
but never asked for our names,
never endeavored to understand our aims.
The air is stacked with moot points
and refuted claims.
There’s the fountainhead, teeming
with dead ecstasies, its surface murky.
So this is what we’ve been
working toward?

-r. miller

Drinking Game

A conundrum drums its way
through the rum-tinted air,

flaring up intermittently
in riotous tantrums.

So I turn to my phantom limbs.
The salted rim of my glass.

It seems that somehow
I’ve fallen ass-backwards

into a mountain of tears,
bruised by the sheer intensity

of its grief. Had only I been born
an autumn leaf, I’ve not have to

cope with such injury.
Hopeless happenstance.

The dance of desert winds
in the sullen eye of time.

-r. miller

One Piece

I am but one piece of a faltering era,
which each day inches closer
to total collapse.
A lapse in my lineage
would account for this unbalanced state.

Floodgates break,
spilling unfair assumptions
on an unsuspecting plain.
I should readjust my frame of reference,
find new methods of social engagement,

but given my shitty placement
on the cosmic scale,
I’m bound to failure
like a train to rails.
Convictions sail blindly

through measureless space,
and I trace their movements
on the wall of my brain,
which explains practically nothing.
Practically nothing at all –

-r. miller

Damage Control

Something significant broke
apart my heart’s feeble altar.
The will and the way are not
one and the same.

So I chose to blame my idiocy
on the syntax of the moment
and drafted a new set
of governing principles.

Truth at all costs seemed
outmoded at best.
An unwelcome guest sent
to upset the festivities.

My natural proclivities
were gaining strength, biding time.
All signs pointed to watch for more signs.
I had to establish well-defined

lines of demarcation.
Justification was merely
an afterthought, though
it brought me respect.

And in retrospect, that
was my sole demand. Still –
the hand that moves the world
has other things in mind…

-r. miller