Tuesday, March 10, 2015

4 poems || Philip Byron Oakes

Wait and Sea

Putting a brave face on layaway of living. Running
gamuts of the unspoken for hints of what it might
mean in the language for which it was intended.
Fresh from the heartland of a steady beat to the
requiem, by rote of recurrence until it’s fresh as
the deep blue of ancient seas. The lights that go
out on their limbs. The heart of darkness cordoned
off for surgery. Putting a little backbone up front
of the rabble. A bartered craving for order to the
sorrow, creeping into the lexicon of the admiralty’s
last chance to float their ideas into friendly harbors,
before seas freeze over tariffs on the trade winds
helping turn mud into gold. The years that strangle
the frozen moments to life. Grooming the
consequences for acceptance. All that’s missing
from the wholeness of a long way to go.  Emotive
clusters dangled from an aura filling the pauses
with fertility. Whittled to a heartbeating of the
odds. Amputations streamlining innuendo into a
traffic of ideas within limits, chasing after the fact
through the bedlam of a house on fire.  


Detritus serving as furniture for the war imputing
a measure of loss in numbers given their cumulative
due. A harsh light provoking high noon to glow.
Illuminating a trek down craving’s canyon to the
center of the earth, in pantomime on the slippery
slope burning with an urge to run the gauntlet. To
see the cure in the quivering redeemed from the
nagging denouement of a melodrama. A migration
of inklings towards an elusive belief. To leave the
nooks painfully exposed as just another facet of the
vast expanse stretching the truth, until it snaps into
nuggets recited in the cold sheen of no place to run.
To navigate to the betterment of the pieces come to
collect their nimbus at the end of the road. A peek
past incubating the cold of wounded feelings
leading the charge, as if the motion made the
movement stick to a turf worn bare by a traffic of
rationales after the reasons have lost their way.
Looming in confluence with something lessened the
more you stare it down to earth. The what’s next as
answer to what’s missing when it’s there. Assuming
the day has come to rescue the night from itself.
More easily confounded upon a premise putting
both come and go at risk of finding peace, with
nowhere to put it in the hour to which it

Just When You Thought

And, as if that wasn’t enough, the slicker side of the
even moreso becomes increasingly apparent, without
any need for the use of old eyes, seeing the arc of the
changeling into what it has now so clearly become.
A pragmatic gentility to the weight of the wondering
the whys into whens, which the wheres meekly follow
into place. An adversarial intimacy, no less weighty for
the barbed caress of insights fostered by the takeaway,
at full gallop towards meaning this or that, as if it
mattered beyond the ticklish touch of little mercies
drifting off target towards the center of the earth.
Down alleys incorrigibly winding into avenues poised
as platforms, promoting thoughts too swollen for heads
to hold in safekeeping the balance in check. Casting a
silhouette overboard in a flurry of transparencies
returning fire to place of purchase, complementing the
sense of having put it all together in a blur. Quoting the
well suited to bleeding something more than water into
the general tenor. A contagion catching an utterance by
the whispery tail, wagging a confession into play the
linchpin pulled to make it seem as if.


Subliminal donuts stuffing cheeks turned
cattywampus for chewing the truth till it
settles for second place. Consuming circles
by degrees twisting fate in an arc the
covenant calls its own. A pliable infinity
made to fit small minds. A cyanide
swagger to queasyville brewing pirouettes
from wobbles, and the will chasing its echo
through a palsy in the fabric thinning the
ice to a slip the slide might fall for. To 
wriggle in the physics of nuance flexing
shades to support the weight of perception.
A practiced blur providing cover for fine
points to cluster, in a broadside sweeping
scintallae into play for a spark. When
asked to face the walls closing in to form
a home. Piecing the scenery together
with a feeling fostered by the shadow’s
spent limp to the rescue.

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