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)

left behind

I remember
the past
as if it were
some one else’s
story

as if I
were some one
other than me

those days
and days
of years
the many nights
the horrible “mornings”
of the afternoon

washed clean away
by different thoughts
other actions

I remember a time
when I was
some one else
when I told
a different story

I remember as if
read in a novel
or seen in a film

I remember
so as not to forget
so as not to become
what I’ve been
what was left behind

(D. James)

dust

to dance
like the bones
don’t ache

to run
with the speed
of a panther

to laugh
with the abandon
of a child

to work
and play
and love
as if
I cannot fail

to sleep
like the dead
and dream
as the mystics do

this is how I wish
to spend
the days and nights
before returning to dust

(D. James)

train of thought

thinking thoughts on
trains in tunnels
that take us to
toiling tasks like tinker toys
trudging to their terminus

can we keep
clear of calamity and
concious of creation or

will we wile awhile then
whip ourselves or

take the time
to think thoughts on
trains

while wishing
we weren’t wending our
way to work

(D. James)

confused? me too

up all night
looking
for something
that doesn’t exist

something
I don’t want
to see in me

avoiding
myself
by looking
everywhere
other than here

trying to get
out of my head
when I should
be in bed

another late
night

another wasted
morning

couldn’t I get
the same result
in another way

or another result
in the same way

it’s all the same
in the end

(D. James)

calling

phone calls
text messages

and no one
gets back

what to do

feeling disconnected
feeling like no one’s
out there
feeling like no one
wants me

it’s only a thought
they’re all just busy
right now

in an hour
everyone
will call back
at once

and I’ll have
3 voice mails
and 5 text
messages

while trying
to get through
to my sister
in Tucson
to say
I love you

(D. James)

life may be empty and meaningless, but don’t tell that to my heart

don’t know what
to do
with these feelings

when the woman
you love says
it doesn’t mean anything

like your love
doesn’t matter
like you
don’t
matter

it isn’t what she means
it’s just how it sounds
to you
in the moment
as she says goodbye
for the last time

what do you do
knowing she’s already
calling another man
lover

do you give in
to the rage
let it consume you
or can you find a way
to let it all go

as if it really
doesn’t matter

(D. James)

it’s all in how you say it

summon the gods
even though you know
they cannot save you

let them rain down pain
like warriors at the front

bring the slaughter
leave nothing
in your wake

full of force
shallow power
that cannot last

this is what
you can do
with words

(D. James)

quietly approaching

there is something
and yet … and yet

a look
in the eye

something
or something
I made up

how
do you know

ten thousand
subtle seconds

and you only have
a moment to act

am I
the only one
who notices this

(D. James)

storm clouds passing

what do you
say

when it doesn’t
go your way

you fight
to make
a pointless
point

then you
feel bad
about
the things
you said

finally
you let it go
or
you let it
destroy you

the choice
is yours

(D. James)

tusnami soul

alone
in a room

darkness
of your soul

moment
of madness

you rage
and cry out

“what does
it all mean?”

like a wave
it crashes
over you

washes
everything
away

then subsides

you are left
standing
with nothing

and now
you can begin

(D. James)

expression for a new way of being

Doing
what needs
doing

being
right where
you are

Nothing broken
nothing to fix

even when
the world
seemingly tells
you so

Just remember
that everything
everything
changes

(D. James)

wonky compass

you head north
I follow

then east
and I follow

to the west
then south
north again
and I follow

your shifts
of whim

until
my bearings
are lost

and I am
swallowed
in a sea
of emotion

you go on
leaving behind this
reckless wreckage

now
there is
nowhere
to go
but
down

(D. James)

Christmas for Atheists

what can we
give

on this day

that can truly
be called a gift

not something
bought

or even made

but something
of ourselves

to look someone
in the eye
and let them
know

they are loved
and appreciated

to leave
them
feeling
as if you know
exactly who they are

not who you
think they are
or need them
to be

but truly
who they are

(D. James)

pressure

Filled
with fear

not knowing
what the future
holds

worried
I can’t
won’t
make it

That somehow
after all this
time

I’ve finally come
to the end

no more
tricks
up my
sleeve

time to pay
the piper

feeling terribly
inadequate

needing to
reinvent
rethink
shift

(D. James)

This is what you don’t see because I don’t show it

I fret
am filled
with fear

as if
poured
into me

an endless pitcher
overflowing
into my mouth

filling me from
toes to teeth

I choke
cannot breathe

Am I doing
the right thing

should I have done
this or that
before or after
with her or him or it

should I not have

will there be enough
money
time
love
friendship
sex

What will become
of me
in time

before I turn
to dust

(D. James)

Rain New York City

The rain falls
like anger

fierce thunder
barks

the air
thick and wet

Black streets
reflect lamplight

hard sound
of water falling
from a long way up

Tortured soul
of weather
wrestling
with the city
tonight

as if the sky
hurt and afraid
needs to be heard

wants its wrath
to be known
exerting some
momentary sense of control

only to lose
against the granite
and steel
blacktop and brick

The hard city
that falters in flood

but never ever
gives in
never loses
the war

(D. James)