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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Sofa That Prayed


It was the seclusion
of your parents rec room
that we sought,
not the board games or TV.
The moans and gasps
that escaped your lips
echoed with pleasure
over the furnace
and washer/dryer combo.

It was so damned easy
to be hard
when you nibbled
on my earlobe
and kissed my neck.
I was astounded then,
and I still am today,
that so much bliss
was free for the taking.

I took a fiendish delight
in watching your long
impossibly smooth legs
extend straight upward,
like antennae that
were receiving
the signals I was sending.

You tried to be quiet,
it was your parents house,
but your passions
carried with your voice
and the Lord was called for
over and over again.
The sofa springs
on that tired piece
that was likely part
of a nice set, once,
were the only things
that were less quiet
than the hundred times
you screamed, “Oh God!”

I am quite certain
that if your parents knew
how religious you were
while on that sofa,
they would have assumed
you would be a saint by now.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Will Linger


I will linger
for longer than a taste
- or two,
I will linger;
Lips against lips,
softly against soft.

I will linger

In eyes,
- my prison,
visions of sweetness,
of sweat, of lust;
promisings of ecstasy’s sin
to flower upon my decadent hunger.

Dance soft
- circles across my tongue,
around, across,
awakening and arousing whispers auctioned
in the throes of passions;
drink until my appetite is laid bare
for a moment or two.

Command my civility
- my shadow, my touch,
- my every secret;
into words spoken as prayer,
into words cried
in breaths of consummation.

- as my own is wondered well,
countless times stabs and penetrates
the beast beyond the shatterings of humanity descent
into the salvation of the truth of desire.

© Christopher Reilley 3/13/09

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Monday, June 23, 2014

What You Do To Me


I watch you crawl towards me
with heavy lidded eyes, languid
susurrus of your breath hot on my thigh,
tickling like dragonfly’s wings.

You smile, and it translates to a trillion tickles,
that liberate muscles from torpor.
Words have no meaning now,
except to still my heart with the sound.

Mundane concerns splinter and drift,
forgotten in the warmth of brown eyed bliss.
I am a castle of concerns, besieged by your armies
of laughter, kisses and happiness.

And with the barest of whispers, a sound
too tender to capture, you break me,
and in a rush of heady desire
I am whole again, refreshed.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Guilty Party

Another true tale from the Grand Café.

“I’m telling you, I bashed his freakin’ head in!” Phil Reagan said, for perhaps the fiftieth time since he had entered the Grand Café. He was on his third Rock and Rye, had yet to take his coat off, and he was sweating profusely.

“I heard you,” Bernie said as she refilled the coolers under the bar with bottles of beer. “He was a perv, huh?”

“He has his pants down around his ankles, you’ll excuse me for sayin’, and his helmeted avenger was at full attention, if you get what I mean. I had no idea when he rolled down his window and asked for directions what he was gonna do. He wanted to get from Green Street up to the expressway, he says, so I started giving him directions.” He drained his glass, washing it down with a third of his beer.

“I gets halfway through and I got too close to the car, the guy reaches out and grabs me by my future dynasties, you hear me? Right through the car window!” His hands unconsciously gravitate toward his crotch. “He grabs my belt and tries to pull me in through the freaking car window!”

“Perhaps he wanted you to drive.” This was from David Gray, known to the patrons as Wavy Davy. He loved a good argument, almost as much as he loved scotch, but there was nothing he loved more than scotch.

“That’s just pure bull, he wanted somethin’ else!” Phil was not to be denied. “He was jacking his jukebox and tried t’get at mine, so I opened the car door and then slammed the rat fink in the face with it. He let go for a sec and then I grabbed a brick, and I smashed him with it, right in the face!”

“Your mother must be so proud.” Wavy Dave said with his usual sardonic sneer. “And did you then call an ambulance for the now-bleeding cur?”

“Ambulance, why would I call an ambu…” As the realization of what might happen to him should the pervert with his khakis around his hush puppies end up croaked for real. Prison meant gang rape, he knew, the thought now crossed his mind that he may have prevented one unwanted homoerotic advance only to put himself at the mercy of dozens of them. “Oh, sweet mother of mine.”

What if he died? The truth of the matter was that Phil had hit the guy four or five times with the brick, he was really grossed out. The guy was maybe croaked for sure. Phil drained his glass and went for the pay phone. “I better call now.”

“I wouldn’t if I were you.” Wavy Dave said. You never know, maybe they could trace the call back to here, and come around asking questions. They might ask around if anyone was tellin’ stories about cracking some pole-smoker upside the head with a brick, which you probably left lying on the street right next to the corpse, right?” The look on Phil’s face told Davy all he need to know. “So they got the physical evidence right there, all they need is a guy to pin it on.”

He looked at Phil. “If they ask, no way could I lie about it.” He drank his scotch.

Phil looked at Wavy Davy like he was a rattlesnake. “You can’t say nothin’ Davy, you can’t! I gotta wife, and kids…” He looked at Bernie, who just shook her head and went back to polishing the bottles behind the bar.

“Only way was if I wasn’t here, then I would not have to lie, so the whole distasteful moral peccadillo could be easily avoided. Regrettably, I cannot take any vacation this year; my financial situation is untenable at best.” He raised a finger to Phil. “That’s is not to say I seek any sort of bribe, that would be a sin even worse than lying to the authorities, which I simply will not do.”

“C’mon, Davy, please, I’ll do anything!”

“Anything, you say?” David Gray, former Roman Catholic priest, Doctor of Philosophy from Holy Cross, rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “I’m sure we can come to some sort of accommodation.”

And that is how Phil Reagan came to be the not so proud owner of a 1953 Chevy Bel-Air Power-glide with a loose transmission, four bald tires and a very leaky oil pan, and Wavy Davy Gray came to send a lovely postcard of a red and yellow sunset to his friends at the bar from his Florida vacation.

Funny thing is, nobody ever came around to ask about a guy with no pants knocked out cold in on the side of the road.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Gypsy Violinist

The Gypsy Violinist

The crowd is held, entranced
by the music that flies
from beneath his callouses,
ironic and bitter trills
that speak of hate, and freedom,
lust and theft. He is a pro.

One of his line, a girl of twelve,
forgets for a moment the infant
slung low upon her hip, forgets
to wander from mark to mark
wheedling coins. Instead she
sways, caught up in the melodies
than swam her to sleep
so many nights, the rhythms of
Roma and the rhythm of the wagon
combining into a traveler’s lullaby.

He wings a rhapsody, culling cruelty
from a life of barred doors
and open sky, the music shining
like the gold in his smile.
His music is the gift of kings,
soaring spirit wrung from catgut
and misery, dancing in broken shoes,
singing into the face of the east wind
with a defiant howl.

The song he plays is written in roma,
as obscure as the fear they all face.
He had been taught that lesson
by life on the road until
he could play this particular score
with the broken hand of a captured thief.

But the tune brings to mind
his mother’s face, the glissando
a caress, the tempo the same one
he learned at her breast, the touch
first a caress, then a slap,
until it ended in a Gestapo grip.
And as he plays, the glittering tear
that tracks his cheek shines bright
in the midday sun, rivaling
the coins at his feet.

© Christopher Reilley 10/10

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Monday, June 16, 2014

World Without End


I love you
longer than a city block
where children skip and play
until the street lights
call them home
where supper
and comfort awaits.

I love you
bigger than a breadbasket
filled with freshly baked joy
crunchy and flaky outside,
soft and warm inside,
served with honey
at midnight.

You are “My Sunshine”
played on an old upright piano
on an empty stage
in an empty
gilded hall,
for the empty, velour seats.

You are the deluxe assortment
of crayons, with gold and silver
and six shades of green
in the box
with the built-in sharpener,
a wealth of possibilities.

Together we are the
welcoming committee
at the landing
when the train that is one of us
enters the station that is the other
and we finally embrace.

© Chris Reilley 12/20/10

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tears That Came Too Late

For almost forty years, I hated you,
blamed you,
Tried to be nothing like you.

I patterned my life
to be everything you were not.
I learned to suppress
the parts of me that came
from you.

Every time she cried
it was your doing.
Every time I lied,
it was your doing.

You were everything
that I despised,
never more so,
than when I
saw it in the mirror.

So why -
fifteen years
after you drank
yourself to death -
when I saw your picture
on Father’s Day,
I cried for you,


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The Last Vestige


At the moment of Death,
Your worldview,
As complex and fragile as it was -
A unique thing
In all the universe -
A pricked water balloon.

Little remains
But shreds of you,
Left behind in the memories
Of others.
You are defined
By the shadow cast
Of your stories
And their sorrow.

And then those stories -

The last to go
Are those memories
Held close to the heart
By those who loved you

And then they are gone,
And it is only
The grand-children
Who recall
A fraction
Of the fullness
Of your life.

On a day
And in a moment
That nobody knows,
The last vestige
Of you winks out
With the death
Of the last person
Who knew your name.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

What I Want For Father's Day

Hello my darling children! If you are reading this, then you are at least marginally interested in learning what you can do for me to make me feel like a successful father on Father’s Day. I appreciate your interest, and in order to make your life a little bit easier, I thought I would make my wants and desires clear, for this year and the rest of the years we have together.

1. I want you to be a good person. Remain honest, compassionate, kind and decent. You already have it in you, just nourish it.

2. I want you to be able to rely on yourself before relying on someone else. Be able to fix a flat tire, stop a leaky pipe, re-set the wireless network, or cook a meal – you will be very glad of it one day.

3. I want you to not be afraid to ask for help when you someday need it. And you will need it someday. Don’t let pride or fear keep you from getting assistance.

4. As a corollary to the above, I want you to offer your help to someone else who needs it. There is nothing in this world that can make you feel better than helping someone else out of a jam.

5. When you make a mistake, which you most certainly will – own it. It is your mistake to make. Every time you screw up is one more thing you have learned not to do, so do not avoid your errors.

6. I want you to find something in this world that you are fiercely passionate about, and then pursue that thing with everything you have. Do not ever give less than 110%.

7. I want you to know that even if you are really mad at me, or if you screw up in a really, really big way, I will never love you even a smidgen less. Those times when you are least lovable are the times when I will work to show you how much I love you.

8. I want you to have some appreciation in your life. Either be thankful for the things you have, or be grateful for the things you avoided, but take a moment to recognize how many folks in this world have it a lot worse than you.

9. I want you to be brave enough to fall in love, even though you are certain to get hurt. Trust me when I say that the joys of love are worth every bit of the miseries of being in love.

10. And lastly, I want you to know that your happiness is in your hands, and nobody else’s. You can choose to be happy, you can choose to be mad, or hurt, or afraid. Nothing in this world is good or bad except in how you think of it, how you choose to feel about it.

This is what I want for Father’s Day. But if you made me something with your own two hands, that comes from your heart, that would be pretty cool too.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Your Last Goodnight Kiss

This poem is from my first chapbook "Grief Tattoos" from Big Table Publishing.


I stumbled into the alley on purpose,
preferring the darkness.
Knuckles bleeding,
incisor loose under my lip.
The stranger I damaged
deserved your thanks,
having taken your lumps for you.

Littered among the trash,
the detritus of the lives
of others,
lay my dreams,
the future I had planned for us both,
our children’s hopes for a nuclear family,
and the shards of trust
you spit in my face
with every lie.

You made the mistake
of using someone
for whom computers
hold no mysteries;
your methods of operating
open to scrutiny,
reported by keyloggers,
revealing multiple identities,
yielding every password,
disclosing your cyber-sexual exploits
and proofs of your perfidy.

Yet in the world of meat and pain
I hold back,  unable to strike a woman,
taking my anger to drunken extremes
on the person of a stranger,
instead of the source and cause.
Consider this unknown’s gift –
His lips smashed and bleeding upon my fist,
instead of your lying ones,
the last kiss you will ever get from me.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Conjugal Thoughts


Old men fixed their words in yellowed pages
bound in leather
with gilt end-papers,
but my words are digital,
carved of 1’s and 0’s,
ephemeral and transcendent.

You do not know me, and likely never will,
but in this instant we are connected
as close as lovers,
creating something alive
and growing,
giving life to concepts,
animating ideas
and breathing life into words.

The blood of life is not sex,
it is knowledge.
growing with each generation,
building bridges to both the past
and the far flung future.

Now that we have shared this notion,
had a Conjugal moment
birthing this idea together,
you will never be able to unthink it.
There is no such thing
as an abortion for thought.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

You Are Mine


Let me tell my love of the secret,
It may well cost my life to keep.
I once whispered it to a little bird
One night while fast asleep.

The bird had hopped up on the sill,
And looked into my window-pane.
He flicked his wings free of the wet
He had got from far-blown rain.

I whispered the three words softly,
Softer than spring winds blow,
So when summer skies call all the birds
Then only my thrush will know.

Of course she holds my secret close,
As she swims in blue so deep,
When winter bends above my heart,
And finds me fast asleep.

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