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 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)

everything in the moment of nothing

each morning
the task
is to get present

the day cannot really begin
without being present
to this very moment

I’m aware of being present
when a smile
stretches across my face
for no reason at all

though there are plenty of reasons
to smile
there are equally enough invented reasons
to frown

the smile I wait for
is the smile for no reason at all
the smile for this very moment in time
when I am connected to being alive

not the world
and my place in it
but all life
yours
mine
the 6 billion others
the trees
the bees
every blade of grass

as well as
the life we can’t see
underneath this one
the cells
and their nuclei

and who knows
perhaps even life
on another planet
in another vast galaxy
far beyond our imagination
or the reach of current technology

this is what happens
when I get present

life expands beyond comprehension
and my worries, fears, judgements, and opinions
all fall away

and I am left with nothing

a blank canvas
to create anything I want
in this very moment

(D. James)

back and here again

going through
the days
of process
and habit

feeling like
a reflection
of myself
in chrome

buried under a sea
of fear
and fretting

my conscious self
sleeps the sleep
of the walking
talking
dead

until
stopping
on a street corner

I look up
at a brilliant
blue sky
dotted with bright
white
clouds

suddenly
awake
to the possibility
called life

not just mine
but all of it
swirling
buzzing
humming

from here
to every corner
of the earth
and back
again

(D. James)

identity

man
son
brother
friend
boyfriend
lover

funny
generous
temperamental
lazy
aloof
afraid

writer
novelist
poet
reader
seeker
blogger

student
bartender
bouncer
technologist
manager
real estate agent
coach

white
tall
thin
bald

agnostic
socialist
biker
smoker
aries

negative
positive

everything
nothing

(D. James)

where is the living

wake up
into patterns
of unconsciousness

go through the day
asleep with eyes open

and react
react
react

taking direction
from the small mind
playing safe
surviving

the true self
buried
under all the thinking
thinking
thinking
and the doing
and the waiting

then
for a moment
looking up
past the tall buildings
at a sliver of blue sky
life opens up

now I’m awake

(D. James)

the infinity of one

quiet now
in the small hours
of the morning

with the heart
and mind
aligned

peaceful now
as the new day
dawns

and everything
seems as one
in the vast expanse

is it a straight line
from our ancestors
to now

or is there a circle
that completes each moment

are we really alone
in this world

or surrounded
by the billions
who came before
and since

(D James)

life in 75 words

waiting
for something
to happen

like life
or something similar

wanting
to be free
from fear

or at least
push through

needing
to take action

but bored with
the supposed options

stifled
by the thoughts
of past failures

though there’s nothing
to be done about them now

avoiding
hard work
and difficult
conversations

instead
I’ll write
and smoke cigarettes
make a life
out of words

because in the end
that’s all any of us
really have

(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)

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)

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)

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)

somebody to love

wanting
someone
who gets the feeling

of all those words
in all those songs
like I do

someone fearless

who knows
the difference
between
pain and suffering

creating or courting
neither

but knowing
what it means
to feel deeply

to ache

to revel
in the glory
of being known
by another
like no other

to miss
the one you love

(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)

searching for dreams (don’t do no good in the real world)

in bed
curled around
her sleeping self

I think
this is what
I’ve always
wanted

to whisper
in an ear

that she’s
my one
and only one

but I don’t
realizing
that’s not me
that’s not her

it’s just an idea
in my head
from a song
Taupin wrote
about one of his
ex-wives

and what
does that
tell you

(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)