sentinel III

Lately I have noticed
how people place sentinels in front of their words.

Many do not move themselves
to regard your unpopular view,
but rather, fix their sights on words
Suddenly unguarded.

Loose threads hang off my own,
Offending threads on unfinished edges
that require urgent pruning before I may clear my name.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Strange, though,
That I should need to measure my words, daily, with the greatest precision,
Percolate them until no more coarseness exists,
Without further hint of ambiguity,
To keep alive some popular refrain.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Truth moves stagnantly,
amid a virulence of lies
It’s never as interesting, is it?

How is it,
that without these sentinels I keep,
my words might be commandeered
and bent to win a different game?

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

Evening and I’m home, alone, unheard, the sentries dismissed
I’m patrolling the words I shaped that day
Some made unrecognizable
superimposed onto pain.

(Why are things not more True?
Correct and True are not the same.)

See the sentinels guarding others’ words
See how you, too, might’ve made them
your own.

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raising poems

I do not claim to write poems
I raise them.

Sometimes, I haul poems from rocky places,
pulling them
like stubborn tubers from the dirt
peeling them
until I see the glistening flesh.

If poems are seeded,
I need only water them
and hope they don’t turn out poisonous.

(I have already raised
a sprawling poison garden of poems.
that I lost control of years ago.)

Some poems are bricks that I lay, one by one
until a wall is built
And then I try to climb it.

There are poems that I rip like old paper
from walls I thought were strong
to expose other poems underneath.
Sometimes I want to paint over these.

Other poems I pull at, like feral threads
unraveling my imitations and the lies I tell myself
unraveling the comfort-truths I weave.

Some poems I raise from wells.
Dipping my bucket into depths I cannot measure,
giving and taking and giving,
until it gets at something
It plunges into water that I cannot see,
but I draw it anyway,
Bringing it up to daylight
and hoping
that I can drink what’s there,
that it quenches me.

A poem is the divining rod that directs me
to water
to bewitch it.

A poem is the germ that leavens the bread of my discontent
so that it may swell and become something I can cut open
even eat.

I raise poems.

Each poem that I raise, in turn
raises me.

-jules

Sonnet 5 | The events in a single literary day

(Written October 21, 2016)

  1. Lotus-eaters on Instagram.
  2. Ampersands in restaurant names.
  3. Indicators at traffic roundabouts.
  4. The events in a single literary day.
  5. The nostalgia of Christmas beetles.
  6. A touch of Google Translate between friends.
  7. A lock of hair affixed.
  8. Cheap wine & chopsticks
  9. Too much feeling all around.
  10. The scramble to reach higher ground.
  11. A sleeping totem above my head.
  12. Imitators under my bed.
  13. Speaking a far more dangerous dialect.
  14. Say with your mouth what is in your heart.

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Sonnet 2 | Distort the Truth Like a Pretzel

(Written October 2, 2016)

  1. ‘In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.’ And a crop of many one-eyed agents does not make for two-eyed kings.
  2. The making and staging of victimhood.
  3. I always knew Brangelina was a farce! I was never once taken in by their impossible beauty, humanitarianism and multiracial brood!
  4. Places that sell mature, expensive cheese wheels seem kinda boring inside.
  5. Can I feed that Woodstock sourdough to the ducks, please?
  6. My leather ballet slippers molded to my feet after I washed them. They were so intimate with me.
  7.  I am an amateur at pretty much everything.
  8. Hydroponics is another thing I’m amateur at. Since most people make things in jars a lot these days, like beer, and, well, beer, I decided to grow something that was not so yeasty.
  9. When you Google hydroponics, it becomes pretty clear that you can also grow your weed in there.
  10. I was talking about basil, by the way.
  11. Equivocation, doublespeak, triplespeak, circumspeak. Go on! distort the truth like a pretzel.
  12. Like some Illuminati mess.
  13. And that low, low sarcasm.
  14. Deep breath before the plunge.