should have been over awhile ago

here’s where
we get to that part
of the night

closer to dawn
than dusk

when the cars
rubber by
less frequently

and your
eyelids
will not
cooperate

everyone else
is long down

nothing
but the hum
of the refrigerator
to keep you company

and that last car
rolling past your window

won’t be another till dawn

best to wait for it
under the covers

if you’re lucky
it’ll go by
unnoticed

if you’re not
it won’t

(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)

wanting more than the gods will allow

waiting
the night out

feeling
my way
in the dark

hoping
the morning
won’t come
this one time

keeping
the fantasy
of being with you
longer than just tonight
alive for one more hour

as light
lines
the horizon

I take
one last look
and like Eurydice
you vanish before my eyes

(D. James)

you deal with it or it will deal with you

you know
what I mean

when we talk
about the pain

how it keeps
you up
at night

and all the talk
doesn’t help

there is no cure
for being human

we either
feel it
or resist

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)

what will I do tomorrow without you tonight

haven’t slept
in my own bed
all week

now it’s later
than late
and I’m faced
with the aloneness
of being alone
in this bed
that’s just
a mattress
on the floor

I miss
your green
eyes
your red
hair
your pale
skin
your
attitude

the way you look
straight at me
in the morning
like a child
who has yet
to learn fear
or know the difference
between themself
and another

and your laugh
pure abandon
in that ha ha ha
the complete unbridled
expression of joy

how will I make it
through the night
and worse
what will I look forward to
in the morning

(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)

nothing between us

in the silence
before dawn
I breath in
the scent of skin

rub the nape
of your neck

run my hand
along
your waist
to the pale belly

you roll over
stare straight
into me

seeing
who I really am

not who I project
to keep the world
at bay

but who
I want to be

who I am
when it’s safe

you smile,
revealing
your true self

I don’t know
if you do that
with others

but to me
you are always
an open door

inviting me
to step through

and I’m curious
what, if anything,
I do for you

(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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

stubborn lazy do-nothing fucker

like a dog
that won’t come

a bird
that refuses
to sing

or a cat
that won’t hunt

what if
I just sat here
all damn day

listening to Nina

the sound
of all that pain
washing over me
like rain

(D. James)