Monday, September 5, 2016

4 poems || Philip Byron Oakes

Dressing No No Up to Say

In time dying down to a murmur only a
parrot could love. A virtual standstill over
in a twinkle goading stars to shine. Quiver
like a tremble within parentheses. In a
language not of your choosing. Inviting a
counterpoint out for a taste of what broke
the man in the pants, when the moment
found its destiny in the funny papers. As
the oligarchs chuckle over nothing, the
parchment having its day in court of little
consolation. Awaiting a surety the rain will
fall from grace. When it comes down to
tiddlywinks in the tale of how the great
dam was built. The breezes wrapped
around your head like a turban. How a
shorthand grew up splashing like a
fiend in the waters off the coast
of reality.

Incidental Staccato

Stumping through the glare that cost god the election.
Downstream of conscious efforts to leapfrog the fatigue.
To expose ground down to the bone. Taking shape to
extremes, best fettered in hopes of blurring the distinctions.
Escorting a teeter to the dance. A prosecutorial headspin
woven into a waltz. To puff the hope chest out of sorts with
the air we breathe. Leaving little choice with all the others. A
stigma shy of escape. A casual way of saying in a Sanskrit of
the peepers. Making the turn into something demonstrable
by degree. As the tronies take their poses to heart. Putting
acoustics to the test of a verdict to be read basso profundo.
Steering a barge of belief knowing too well the weight
wielded as part and parcel of the prize. Implicit commentary
taking the air out for a stroll. Protocol of the wild weaning
the weak of will woven into trauma’s crusade. Embracing
freedoms of the time that’s come to its own conclusion.
Teaching old dogs the music interwoven into pouring their
little hearts out of respect for the dead and the dying to

First of All

Calibrated adding up to a precipice from
which to better see the world. Fitting a
scenario to the nth of one leaves one to
wonder. The homestretch to the great
awakening. A perpetual seep, seeking a
surface from which to ooze to the
attention. Balancing hope with
expectation, on the pinhead of a
moment both dwindling and bursting at
the seams. A grammar of twinkle toes in
the mud. Down a gnarled stretch of
hyperbole. A frail escapee of a silence at
the core to the roar of modern living.
Cloaking a fashion haunting venues
beyond the words. The poverty of a
buffer cordoning off an incipient rage,
of the dispossessed by the hallowed
falling hollow into place. An embryonic
fait accompli. Under the feeble arc of 
homage to a leitmotif breaking ground
in a manner contingent upon the bite
of the libretto.                                           

Consuming Time

Naked as trees walking winter back
in real time. Autumn in the fig leaf
forest. Presumptions of symmetry
giving wing a leg up on lightening
the load. Bivouacked on mirage.
Knitting here with where you find
it, a step past knowing where you
are. Mired in sequence. Captured
in acts of come and gone. Present,
from a distance imposing its will.
Obscuring the irrelevant at the
peak of its importance. So kilter
takes akimbo by the hand. Gilding
retrospectives. Putting ephemerae
at great risk of overstaying their
welcome. As an adjunct spicing up
the little things that make the
world go round the bend. Leading
consequence in circles drawn
from time’s irrevocable stagger
filling out the numbers a to z.


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