until the dawn

it is the nights
that are most difficult

waiting
wanting

for the morning
that brings your voice

it is the nights
that are long

sleepless
restless​

hoping for a world
where 1+1=1

it is the nights
it is the nights
it is the nights

when darkness
grips my heart

renders me incapable

until the dawn
returns you to me

d. james

learning to ride a bicycle

a man lay in bed

last days
he knows

dying from the struggle
to live

the nurse
does what she can
to make it easier

through the morphine
induced fog
a moment of clarity

he says

“I never learned
to ride a bike”

too late now
she knows

too late now

(D James)

suite for frustration in D minor

stuck
in a one horse town
that is the dark matter
of the mind

worrying the night
like an old string of beads

cold wind
blows darkness around

til the dawn
which
brings no warmth
or understanding

just another prelude
to another night

and on and on
until the ride stops

(D James)

it cannot be new and improved

rummaging around the ruins
of a failed system
with nothing left to buy
and even less to sell

worrying about the weather
and the dow jones industrial index
as if it matters to our souls
and whether they can still be saved

these fallible indicators
are not merely implausible
but are “out of time”

when false gods
ruled through commerce
and promises of a better life
the buying and selling
of currencies currency

ultimately believing in a technology
that would deliver us from evil

we can only hope
there be nothing left
after the final fall

giving us a clean slate
like a blackboard
with the remnants of the old methods
and now dead ideas
floating
as chalk dust in sunlight

then
finally
we can begin
as sentient beings
neither to be bought or sold
but simply to be
in the world

(D James)

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)

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)

a fight is a fight and nothing more

today
everyone has a cause

they want us to
sign their petition
vote for their candidate
pray to their god
click to donate

“buy my book”
“see my movie”
“watch me shout
at someone on TV”

everyone thinks
they fight
for what’s right

but in the end
a fight is just a fight
and nothing more

and we
we are no longer
individuals
but demographics
grouped by

geographic location
browsing preferences
tweets and posts

tracked
analyzed
followed
“liked”
and “shared”

in the midst
of all this noise
and data
the bits
and gigs
the shouting
and being right

it is all too easy
to get lost in the created confusion

so we must remember
to look another in the eye
and say hello
share something genuine

and let go
for a moment
of the crush of
information

and be human

(D James)

for Joe Cap

the rate of interest is at an all time low

always too loud
always too much

often out-of-place
often out of time

never doing
what I’m supposed to

saying the wrong thing

frustrated
living someone else’s life

unsure of the next move
the right move

going back to where
it started
where I started

always too loud
always too much

out of money
out of time
out on a limb

out of my mind
out of patience
out of sight

some day
this will all end
and I’ll surely miss it

(D James)

the write time

waiting
for silence
to rise

for words
to pour out
like water from a pitcher

stopping
then typing
wanting
then trying

failing
then beginning
again

the dam breaks
when the thoughts
of can’t
and not good enough

are abandoned
ignored
left to die
of starvation

or simply put aside
while the typing
becomes writing

and hours
go by
unnoticed

(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)

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)

JFK – 7 am

unfinished sentences
all these things
left unsaid

a hundred words
stale phrases
none of them
enough

talk all damn day
and I’d still
never get
to what it is
that pulls at me
makes me want to stay

should have tried
should have missed that flight
should be there with you now
should stop trying to make sense
of any of this

because all I want
is to be
where I’m not

all I want
is to be
where
I am
not

(D. James)

old flame same heat

a cold wind
comes through
like longing

how many years
before we’ll be together
my love

will death
take me
before I see
your eyes
once more

feel your skin
breathe you in

is there no
relief from this
yearning

is this to be
yet another
unfinished story

all those miles
all those years
all these trials
all these tears

don’t we deserve
a break in this life
or do we have to wait
until the next one

(D. James)

you could call it that … yeah

can’t eat
can’t sleep
can’t stop thinking
of you

waiting for a call
e-mail
chat
text

something
to let me know
you’re thinking
of me
when I’m thinking
of you

knowing
it’s no good
being like this

but doing it
anyway

’cause there are
no answers
only questions

so why not ask
the same one
over and over

(D. James)

this is this

this is bad
this desire
this wanting

this is not me
this is not you
this isn’t even who we think
this is

this is some evil
this
this twist
this pain

this feeling
this ache for you

this is just a dream
this nightmare
this remembrance of you
this haunting

this stillness of still wanting
this with you

this ending that never ends because I don’t want
this to ever end never wanted
this to end always wondered why
this did end
this always ending
this

(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)

blap

there are
all these words
and feelings
and messy things

spilled out
on the floor
like blood

seems there’s
no place
to put them all

can’t swallow them

try stuffing them
back into your gut

but they
no longer fit

feels like
you’ll die without
them

seems like
you’ll die with
them

where will you …
how will you …
what will you …
why would you …

go on?

(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)