Life Picked Clean

I’m no longer certain
that the ground will hold.

Evidence flocks.
Sunken perimeter.

I swallow biography whole,
life picked clean by gut flora.

In this instance,
we are but incidents.

This isn’t a test,
but a trap.

Clap once for yes,
twice for help.

Gaze thwarted by cold introspection,
colder snows.

What if the mind
is merely a function?

Adjunct disjunct.
Connective tissue.

The reissue comes at first in waves
before tapering to a ripple.

One good pogrom
deserves another.

-r. miller

Thanks

Have we a hunger worth keeping?
The reddest eye
contains such hideous sensations,
feels such fleshy images.

I walk new against the languor of sun.
Late November, always walking.
Against the nearness,
against life and limitless.
Limitless entangling, the frail despondent sun.

As I was speaking of a hunger,
somewhere a grayness overstepped.
There we were steeped in coldest rain.
What shot up, a pain
so big and mesmerizing,
it left me drooling transfixed but unfocused
and the the landscape cut to dirty ribbons.

We echoed down road,
through sickness and white.
By now, the hungers kept.
And we were set on losing.

-r. miller

So it is…

Their laughter chases us.

The dark sings playfully,
a tune spun viciously
from suicide and from shame.
What’s the name of that tune again?

Though our blood burns,
though our bodies weep,
we keep pace without ceasing.

Though the lengths we run
seem to consume us,
we keep pace without ceasing.

The beating of our feet
batters and bruises the floor,
for we keep pace without ceasing.

And still, their laughter chases us,
steadily gaining.

-r. miller

In the Works

We’re on the giving end of the spectrum.
You can tell by the way
my gaze unravels
that something interesting is in the works.
Garlands of pure light,
wintry lips and extremities,
a night composed strictly of blue notes.
Eternity leans in for a slow kiss.

Ultimately, whatever satisfaction we’re capable of
hinges on a deeper understanding
of the holiday machinery.
I’ve learned, perhaps too late,
how to keep myself at arm’s length.
Put some distance in the portrait.
The further down we delve,
the higher we become.

Going green never tasted this sweet.
Meet me in the middle
for some gut-wrenching fun.
Until the next revelation.

-r. miller

Fucking Hell

This isn’t the paradigm shift
that I signed up for.
Sitting up the whole night,
over-caffeinated and underfed,
we stretch our already tenuous positions
so thin they go translucent.
The air has the autumnal smell, you know?

Sometimes, all you need is a whisper.
Rumination does a body good.
I’m not necessarily proud
of what happened back there, but
I was so unsubstantial in the moment.
I’ve reached more than several breaking points by now.

Count this only with the left side of your brain.
Come to find that great personal trauma
was carrying us the entire time.
Lick it or ticket. Allow me to veto that for you.
Have enough guns and drum circles?
As if these predilections
were merely skin deep.

-r. miller

Not to be Seen

Something seen not to be seen,
the voice drying on the rocks
or our cold autumnal heritage,
verbiage of bone or loneliness
swimming against the crowd.

We, we are endowed
with a brightness not to be seen
through cluttered eyes, reprise the roles
that once we stumbled into
when emotions went uncategorized,

uncatalogued, and a single moment
occupied miles. We renew our smiles
by degrees, before heaving them,
sufficiently fat, into the hot cauldron of desire
to simmer slow and impart their savor.

Let us not waver in our daylong stride.
Let us glide freely over feral waters.
Let our love sharpen,
our will not darken,
as we pursue our urgent course.

-r. miller

Vaguer

The compulsion to disappear
weighs heavily.
For one burning instant,
the light comes undone, scatters is threads
from horizon to horizon.

We have these ashes, you see.

Something in her voice suggests a reticence.
What is concealed there?
Flowers, discarded, left to dry
by the path toward forgetting.
The vapors quickly fatten in the throat,
stinging the soft tissue,
but hesitantly.

Something in her touch suggests a reticence.
This testimony will be stricken
with plague or madness.
The cold breath of twilight
leaves all that I am
in so many words,
and I grow vaguer in the stillness.

-r. miller

The Body’s Cravings

Strike a postwar pose, and let
lavish light lubricate those curves.
One eye swerves to greet you,
the other stutters with delight.

Something tells me that we
might make delicious company,
slow explosions of touch
and delirious kisses.

I can’t decide which lovelorn
muscle misses you more. My,
how the body’s cravings
consistently amaze.

-r. miller

Tell

What is it that these wounds can tell?
What words, what songs
emerge from blood and bone?
We come together or we come alone

to raise dull pennants on gray evenings,
buzzing lips and suttering eyes,
abstracted in the afterglow.
Some other significance is wanting,

and we move with purpose
through ravenous gloom.
What is it that these wounds can tell?
Something untranslatable.

-r. miller

A Durable Duress

Bleeding from the edges,
the instant intensifies.
Descriptions of a durable duress
intrude from somewhere out of favor.
There’s something off about the flavor,
the way it slides so easily off the tongue
and seeps into the corners of the mouth.

We won’t be flying south this winter,
but this no longer needs to be said.

This half-dead enterprise will chide us
into becoming our worst interpretations.
Tonight we will feed upon the cold.

-r. miller