walking through it

nervous
pressure

feelings
running rampant

wanting
it all
to go
away

moments
of clarity
fogged
by anger

wanting to
give this
pain
away

yet

knowing
there is
something
on the other
side of it

something
I need
to see

another way
to be

(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)

wish I was there

Waking
only a few hours
after falling asleep

I think
it’s 5
in the morning
where she is

she’s still asleep
I see her
face

quiet
beautiful
that mouth

later
on a bus
cold December sunlight

and I think
6:30 where she is

still asleep

Through the window
the Manhattan skyline
from the Jersey side

majestic
moves me
like no other place

yet I’d trade
it all
for another
chance

(D. James)

nothing more than love

waiting
for the call
which never comes

the one
where she says
all is forgiven
I love you

she says
please come home
we can work it all out

she says
come to me

and I do
and we do

but the phone
doesn’t ring

and everything
reminds me
of her

cup of tea
a bed
laughter
dark hair
sunlight
dogs
tears
children
laundry

I think
what should I do
with all these thoughts
in my head

afraid to let go
that that
would be
the end

and I keep
wanting
another outcome

the one where
the phone rings

and she says …

(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)

the last poet

When the night
is over

and the final
cigarette
has been smoked

what will
the last poet
say

After all
the evoked emotion
failed relationships
dead boyfriends
abortions
abusive parents
drugs and alcohol

laughter
and pain

have been spilled
out
in some cases
artfully vomited

what could
this last poet
have to say

How to summarize
this night
these words
life sentences
bad grammar

poetic license
driven to excess

How to follow
the girl who told
of losing all her hair

the guy who
crashed his car

the gay biker
who longs
to be dominated
by a she-wolf
of the SS

the boy
who lost
his virginity
so late

the girl
who lost hers
so early

the words
of so many
who want change
yet stay
right where they are

What can this last
motherfucker
have to say
that can top the
triumphs
tragedies
surprises
sorrows

What will
the last poet
leave us with

as we file
out of this
basement grotto
into the light
of dawn

Do we expect
too much
as he steps to the microphone

the crowd
too drunk
to hush

even the white
of the spot light
seems a bit dingy
as he steps into it’s shaft

The last poet
will speak the
last poem

and we will leave
to sleep it off

Whatever he says
will be the final word
so our expectations
are far too high

The last poet
poor fucker
has nowhere to go
but down

unless he’s more genius
than genius itself
more brilliant
than all of us

The last poet
clears his throat
touches his lips
to the mic

the wait
has us spellbound
and half-hopeful

Even so
when we wake
in the afternoon
hungover and
full of piss

will we remember
any of this

(D. James)

pretty girl moves a room

she notices
the men who
turn their heads
just in time

the ones who look
but don’t want
to be obvious

trying to be
cool
but she
catches them
anyway

often sees
heads moving
to the left
or right

as if
they were
only observing
the room

the one
they’ve been
sitting in
for hours now

funny
how that
keeps happening

(D. James)

it all amounts to nothing in the end

when we were young
we talked, naively
about being older
because that’s
all we wanted

when we were older
we talked, longingly
about being young
because that’s
all we wanted

when we’re
dead
will we talk, knowingly
about being alive?

or will we finally
be content
with where we are?

(D. James)