it is not a straight line

I went
as far as the road
would take me

then continued on

I followed
the wind
as far as it did blow

then went beyond

I walked
to the peak
of the mountain

then reached up and touched the sky

I dropped
to the bottom
of the ocean

then dug down to the center of the earth

seen the sights
rode the rides
had loves
and losses

watched the line between
the beginnings and endings
blur
then bend

into a circle

and I can either
go round with it

or waste time
fighting against the flow

(D James)

cream of the crop or scum

we are now all
self-promoters

trillions of trilling shouts
hoping for a moment of attention
before dying out in the next roar
of the billion millions

no longer restrained
by the gatekeepers
we have run amok

in the greatest free-form
distribution experiment
known to mankind

as the vast melting pot
comes to a boil
we’ll have to wait and see
what rises to the top

(D. James)

to sleep no more

staying up late
to watch the moon
crawl across the sky

the darkness
filled with possibilities
that the sun washes away in the morning

makes me want to hold on to this moment
embracing the night and never letting go

I don’t want
to go to sleep
tonight

but there’s no way
to hold back the sun
or stop the coming day

so for now
I’ll rest a few hours
then wrestle with the demons
in the daylight

until the sun goes down
and another moon comes up
when the possibilities arise
in the shadows of night

(D. James)

getting lost with intent

it has been too long
between here and there

and always
it seems
there is further to go

the stops
along the way
are but brief

and though I grow weary at times
the movement remains constant
if not consistent

each day does not feel new
but merely another in a string
from sunset to sunset

blurring together
until it’s time to sleep again

finally something bursts
like the sun on the horizon
a bright warm day ahead

then nothing seems like it was
and I forget my name

(D. James)

this can’t be it, can it?

and this is not
my life,
is it?

worrying about goals
and hitting targets
making my numbers
for the month

this can’t be
why I’m here

this isn’t my life
being in debt
and fretting
over back taxes

my life
is about art
and culture
and friends
and family
and love
mostly love

my life
is for fun
and adventure
and taking big risks

my life
is to be used up
so that I don’t die
leaving behind
just debt and struggle
but something
of greater value
than that

something
much more lasting
or at least more fun

(D James)

silly tired

not enough
sleep tired

too many
cigarettes tired

tired all the
time tired

two in the morning
writing
poetry tired

brain tired
road tired
time for bed tired

over-tired

wishing I didn’t
have to get up
and go to
work tired

nodding off
with my fingers
on the
keyboard tired

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(D. James)

urban scrawl

this thing strung together making no sense yet kept writing these words and not even thinking letting them flow and trying to keep up like in life when everything moves at the speed of sound and people keep moving and I seem to be in the way, slower than everyone else feeling tired and left behind it all seems a bit too much maybe I’m still on west coast time or it could be that I’m no longer interested in the rushing and running, the pushing and shoving, shouldering my way through life trying to get in front of the person in front of me assholes behind me kicking at the backs of my shoes, knocking them off skittering across the platform as the E train rushes out of the station and the next group of followers gathers in the station, and on to the next thing, the one after the one right before this one, how can anyone make sense of the world anymore when people start conversations in e-mail and end them in text, and no one, no one, answers the phone any longer, why can’t this rant end? because there are no endings and no beginnings, there’s just all this rushing around in the middle and when I go, and when you go, there will still be 6 billion and more on the planet to take up where we left off, and there is no reason for it, no meaning – it all is and it all isn’t and we’re here to sort out what it means to us now, and then we’re gone. And the sun will rise and the sun will set, and the sun will rise and the sun will set …

(D. James)

thinking thoughts of shouldn’t sayings on Sundays

whispers
of things
I meant to
say

when long ago
I watched
the sun rise

now the moon
is full

and my heart
sinks

the demons
smoke cigarettes
behind the gate

waiting
in darkness
to be let out

(D. James)

whatever you do … don’t

don’t take this
away

it’s the last
small joy
we have

like a slender shaft
of sunlight
through the basement
window

don’t take it
away

we won’t
know what
to do then

waiting,
like refugees
under a rain-soaked
tarp

hoping,
for what was
what might be

so please
don’t take it
away

they’ll be
nothing left
to say

(D. James)

before it’s too late

let’s run away
she’d say

find
a place
where they
can’t find us

let’s run away
someplace warm
where the sun
always shines

find
that spot
where time
stands still

let’s run away
before we’re too old

let’s run away
before this life
kills us

let’s run away
let’s run away
let’s run away

at least until
the morning comes

(D. James)

after the end

the power of night
the black and white

lithe and still
darkness falls

bringing the final
moment

nowhere to go
from here
but to the end

fast and painless
eyes open
but the light gone
out

those years
gathered up
then scattered
by the wind

a billion specks
of light and sound
swallowed
by darkness

then nothing

not even
the black

(D. James)

caught on a thought

like bits of paper
blown by the wind

which ones will I catch
in the net of my mind
hold onto for dear life

which ones will I let fly
laughing at what nonsense
I can come up with

what if they were all
just passing

like a small spark
or bolt of lightning

electric and fleeting
shinning a momentary light
then gone

instead of being turned
into the truth

(D. James)

over before you know it

where does it
go
the time

seems like it
used to crawl

now I lose
track
of the days

and memories
are like stories
someone once told

I’m not even
certain
I’ve not written

this poem
before

(D James)

life in the city of cities

the subway rises
from the mouth
of darkness

pulling cars across
metal track

to the top
of the mountain

the skyline
like a picture
postcard
at sunset

a symphony
at full tilt

a mass of steel
and glass
thousands
of lighted squares
and twinkling
red lights

reminds you
that this city
in its ebb and flow
was here before you arrived

and will remain long
after you are gone

(D James)

climbing the mountain

the blank page
stares back at me

silently mocking
my attempts
to scribble
something

of weight

the blank page
like a snow-covered
mountain

challenges my ability
to communicate
and whisper-laughs
at my thoughts of words

until I say
to the blank page
“ok, you write something”

then there is silence
and I can finally settle down
to begin the work of stringing words
together into something that makes sense

to someone
somewhere

(D. James)

more questions than you know what to do with

white sheet
blank paper

and the
screen in your head
goes black

who ever said
you can’t get there from here

didn’t know where you were
to begin with

so how did they know
where you’d end up

(D. James)

wandering through to the end

lost under a sea
of unfocused thoughts
mind-numbing wandering
through disconnected
days of fear and self-loathing

wondering
where it went wrong
where I went wrong

feeling out of place
out of time
out of my mind

like a character
in an unfinished
Beckett play

waiting for something
like life
to begin
unable to go on
with no choice
but to go on

immobile
immovable
immature

with all the courage
of a well-fed
old house cat

wanting to know
how it all ends
when I should be thinking
where to beginĀ 

(D James)