Up All Night Waiting For Something That Never Comes

it’s not that I can’t sleep
it’s that I don’t want to

an old habit
one that’s returned
with age

like a child
overtired
afraid I might
miss something

the city at rest
a cloud moving across the night sky
a song on the radio
or mother’s return

I stay up
waiting for the sun
waiting for something
to happen

until I’m too tired
to be tired

then I’ll go to sleep

(D. James)

morning luck

long shadows
rush around
in straight lines

bundled against
the early morning sun
that gives off light
but little heat

another day
for the many lucky enough
to have made it through the night

yet who among us
thinks of the new day that way
before the first cup of coffee
if at all

(D. James)

day’s end

buildings so high
they reach
beyond the sky

and everywhere are sounds
and smells
and crowds

densely packed trains
rumble the ground
carrying the millions
under the river

then
suddenly
bursting from the depths
on the other side

the blinding sun
sinking behind the skyline

there is nowhere quite like here
though some people will tell you otherwise

but this city can crush you
or make you
like no other

and once you’ve experienced it
whether for a day
or the rest of your life

you can never
forget it

(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)

thinking thoughts of shouldn’t sayings on Sundays

whispers
of things
I meant to
say

when long ago
I watched
the sun rise

now the moon
is full

and my heart
sinks

the demons
smoke cigarettes
behind the gate

waiting
in darkness
to be let out

(D. James)

whatever you do … don’t

don’t take this
away

it’s the last
small joy
we have

like a slender shaft
of sunlight
through the basement
window

don’t take it
away

we won’t
know what
to do then

waiting,
like refugees
under a rain-soaked
tarp

hoping,
for what was
what might be

so please
don’t take it
away

they’ll be
nothing left
to say

(D. James)

defenses down

come to me now
in the dead
of night

so that I might
hold you tight

come to me now
let me whisper
in your ear

and feel you near
knowing no fear

come to me now
so I can touch
your skin

let me drink
you in like raw gin

make me believe
in a god
and heaven
and all the angels
who sing

crush me
with your look
silence me
in a kiss

hold me
until the sun rises
and tomorrow comes
like sweet pain

(D. James)

LA in the rain

dirty white t-shirt
watching out
the monday morning
window

the rain reigns
comes down
as if trying
to snuff out
the fires of hell

damp chill
numbing
chapped digits

waiting for something
like the sun to appear
let us know
the world
will be alright

(D. James)

talk about the weather

The sunlight blinds
but you look anyway

reflecting
off the tabletops

creating an illusion
the gentlest
of winter afternoons

the violent dying light
pierces your eye
as a reminder
of summer

yet no matter
how hard you stare
you cannot make
the season change
nor the sun
shine less

(D. James)

the four corners of love and belonging

See the tall girl
standing on the corner
a cell phone to her ear

Oblivious to the traffic
rushing by
a boy
talking in her ear

He tells her
“I love you”
but she doesn’t
believe it

She turns west
and hears him say
he can’t live without her

She turns east
and he says
please don’t leave

When she looks down
at the ground
is that south?

Up at the sky
north?

He keeps talking
pleading
wheedling
whining
but she stopped listening
long ago

Behind dark sunglasses
she quints at the bright sunlight
of a Los Angeles afternoon

It’s after she throws the phone
as it skips along the hot tar
and is run over a few times

she realizes
her mistake all along
has been looking for love
from without instead of
from within

(D. James)