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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nantasket in Winter


NANTASKET IN WINTER

The untidiness of desires flutter along the boardwalk,
chasing seagulls chasing french fries,
bringing summer sounds to a deep winter's night.
It is almost dark, the fractured surf
demands every scrap of light in order to glint
a sullen creature of vastness and pride.

A hardy fisherman, New Englander to his boots,
watches headlights cruise slowly to the point, and back
with nowhere else to go, hauling wet nets from leeward side.
There in the spindrift he sees it,
just for an instant, then it is gone once more.

Paragon Park was shuttered and torn down
over thirty years ago. Nothing remains
save the carousel, now boarded against February's bite.
Still, the ghostly Tilt-A-Whirl mocks the silence
of the now-black sky, tossing constellations like confetti,
whispering of the ungainly joy long past.

Squalls of winter waste run pell-mell across the sand,
the sounds of the Blue Note the only life in the chilled air.
Trash pickers and drunken customers outside the Red Parrot
vie for the attention of the last free spirit left on the peninsula.


©2008 Christopher Reilley

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Madam, I'm Adam



MADAM, I'M ADAM


The creature’s name was Adam, you see,
he was brought to life by electricity.

He got a real charge from the bolts on his neck,
you could say he was born from early high-tech.

His body was scrounged up from spare parts
like criminal’s brains and miser’s hearts.

His hands were sewn right onto the wrist,
he could carry a small girl curled up in his fist,

He wore a size forty-three shoe, which are hard to find,
but despite all of this he really did not mind.

He just wanted to exist, was that really so wrong?
but with torches and pitchforks he did not get along.

Kill one small child and folks get really pissed,
they say they can’t live with a monster in their midst.

So he ran up north, where it was really quite cold,
in the hopes that villagers he would no more behold.

He walked the ice by day and by frosty cold night
until his creator found him and took pity on his plight.

The man who toyed with Nature by bringing him to life
promised him deliverance, promised him a wife.

So he returned to the lab, allowed the doctor to tinker,
he could not be blamed, he was really not a thinker.

The doc whipped him up a girl, one with really cool hair,
but when she saw him the first time, he gave her a scare.

She refused his advances, would give him no lovin’
so he burned down the lab, cooked her just like an oven.

And the doc, well, he was getting married, or so he thought,
but Adam broke her neck, now the doc was distraught.

The doc tried to help the villagers kill Adam that day,
but he was built tough, and of course he got away.

He still roams the night, just trying to get by,
if you see him, don’t be scared, look him in the eye.

He was not malignant by purpose or design,
just merely a hobby for Doctor Frankenstein.




©2008 Christopher Reilley

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Friday, October 24, 2014

I Sail Alone



I SAIL ALONE


Perhaps we will meet once more
beneath the waves, among the ruins,
beyond the horizon.
With compass in hand I have set course
knowing that my happiness is out there,
certain in the knowledge
that I will not find it
with you by my side.

When once we walked together
boardwalks gave splinters,
oceans churned in choppy dispute
and sharks swam
among the broken crockery.
Let Davy Jones keep what we had
locked tight in his cold embrace,
I no longer need it.

As whales sing a dirge
straining through baleen
and trillions of specks
of splintered trust,
I will master my skiff,
alone,




©2009 Christopher Reilley




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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Width of Belief



WIDTH OF BELIEF

The length of yearning
is two oceans and a continent wide.
I measure its dewy breadth
in hothouse nights,
stained with salt and tears.

The height of loneliness
is a round trip to heaven and back
leaving me breathless
and hollow, sounding only of echo -
answering myself.

The duration of pain is the time it takes
no more and no less,
Each grief tattoo fading at its own pace
from purple to yellow to pink
from hurt to health, eventually.

The size of love is infinite,
of course, because of its miracle.
The more you give away
the more you have.
In my greed I offer you all I have.




This poem is in the collection Breathing for Clouds, you can get a copy HERE.




©2009 Christopher Reilley

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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Young Man's Introduction to Spanish Dance



A YOUNG MAN'S INTRODUCTION TO SPANISH DANCE

Flamenco guitars thrilled the air
playing traveling magic
as she sang for him,
in a language he could not recall from school.
She spun, flowing through the air,
her oil-black hair spinning circles,
wrapping him in a cloud of Latina brunette.

She moved for him alone,
as he etched her grace into his mind.
Holding ruffled edges that flashed color,
she whipped her skirt into a frenzy,
flashing the blade in her garter
against a thigh thick and hard
that he longed to taste.

His heart paced the music, tempo rising,
the tapping of her feet tympanic in his head
with the sound of hard rain on tombstones,
filling his being faster than the tequila.
He felt love, and other parts, swell past purity.
She felt passion, and power mixed with pride
as they made love with nothing but their eyes.




This poem is in the collection Breathing for Clouds, you can get a copy HERE.




©2010 Christopher Reilley

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Solving the Puzzle of Her



SOLVING THE PUZZLE OF HER

She sits idly by you once more
with the warmth of spiced rum,
her tastable smell, fecund and close,
enveloping you in possibilities.

Quietly, she watches you
when you bite at yourself -
the teeth of worry and regret
leaving marks upon your soul.

Yearning to comfort her
you do the one and only thing
she would never expect -
allow her to comfort you.

You kiss her lips, those lips -
so close to the moon of your heart,
that sunny, sighing mouth
that smiles at you from around your heat.

She allows you to open her, a juicy peach,
greedily you prise the seed from within her
moistened flesh, salted soul, now
in order to be whole, she needs you.

You watch her sleep, silent and awed,
the rise and fall of her heart moving yours
in the rhythm of a dance older than words
in the deep dark of when you were found.




©2014 Christopher Reilley

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Couple of Grams of Heart



A COUPLE OF GRAMS OF HEART


Step right up,
See the man, the man with a heart,
weighs no more than an ounce or two.
Broken in all the wrong places,
but there are no right places to be broken, apart.
Watch him dance, try him at cards
see if he is not just as much man as you -

with only a couple of grams of heart.

Love has torn him apart
this man with so little heart,
ripped him a-shred and asunder.
He knew right from the start
if he'd just acted his part
the part where he gave up all
the truth in his heart -

there would be lightning to pay for the thunder.

He'd be brave if he could,
put on a big show, a show to end them all.
But he just does not have enough in his shirt
to stand up in spite of the fear and the hurt,
and dare to look out over the wall,
to risk the question that makes him so small -

will you love me, just as I am, after all?







©2010 Christopher Reilley

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Neo Nativity



NEO NATIVITY


Metal ghosts of Detroits best;
held together by rust and secrets,
stacked five high, squashed and bent,
each holds memories-
good times in their back seats,
family trips to the shore,
drive-in movies,
kids sleeping in the back
on the ride home from Christmas.

They may not be pretty
but they do provide shelter.
They cut the wind
and block the rain,
so she cowered beneath a wall of them.
Face illuminated by lightning
and pain
she pulled him close;
this man, Jose, who agreed,
she clutches at him
and wears his strength.

No scratch for a motel,
no rooms to be had anyway,
and the Mustang died
a couple of miles outside of town.
The walk here in the rain
was the least fun she could recall,
until her water broke,
joining the squalor at her feet
and the labor began in earnest.

The moment is real
and as near as her next breath,
the pain that grips her
steals that breath,
then gives it back in a rushing whoosh.
She births, as women have done
for millennia,
but she does it
in this mechanical graveyard.

A few moments of agony later,
Maria was a mother,
and her life had now taken a new direction.
When the sky finally cleared
she rocked her new son,
wrapped in a polyvinyl tarp,
and watched a single brilliant star
flare to life over her head.




©2010 Christopher Reilley

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Remnants of Happy



REMNANTS OF HAPPY


They are everywhere,
Shattered fragments,
broken pieces,
jeweled splinters.
The remnants of Happy
littering the sidewalks,
clogging the sewers.

They dart from our grasp;
silverfish on speed,
reflecting back at us
what we thought,
how we felt,
the way we kissed.

With the strength of our hearts
we pick at them,
clutch them in bloodied fingers
and lose them again,
only to catch another
in the sparkle of our eye.

Precious few we save,
making for ourselves
a mosaic.
A good time here,
joyous moment there,
held together with
the glue of our Hope.

©2010 Christopher Reilley

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Monday, October 13, 2014

A Beat of Eternity



A BEAT OF ETERNITY


I lay awake, the ceiling fan lifting
the heat from my body.
Swelter generated by our sliding skin,
tangling flesh,
over-riding compulsions
to feed upon each other.

The sweetness of your salt
lies upon my tongue.
Recalling the fire with which
I consumed your dew
warms my heart,
which beats louder in my core.

Show me the power
of your desire.
Wake within me the capacity
of my own.
Bring me to life.

My hands find your curves
aching to know their secrets.
I explore, as you sleep,
my caresses mere ghost-touches
willing your warmth to respond.

The rhythm of our bodies
in perpetual motion
drums a beat of eternity
throbbing into the room's air,
singing of our love,
softly,
but I hear it even now.




©2014 Christopher Reilley

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Holy Infatuation



HOLY INFATUATION


I know that you love me
but that is not the burning point
at the moment.

Not while the winter sun
is filtering through
church windows,
spilling its second-hand warmth
across my dozing
and dreaming face.

Not while the moral lecture
from the pulpit
catches and releases
my attention
like a cat with mouse-for-lunch.

Subdued by my mesmeric want,
my lower-belly need
to explore you,
I decide that all of you
is too much for this moment,
so for today,
just for this moment,
I focus on your right ankle,
that arched and curved
stretch of softness
between the piano's pedal
and the strappy enclosure
of your shiny black pumps.

I can envision my hand there -
thumb pressed into the hollow
beneath the bone,
sliding slowly upward
into your mysteries.

For this moment,
this moment alone,
God is with me,
complicit in my admiration
of your flesh.







©2010 Christopher Reilley
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Looking for Mr. Wright

I have always been a big fan of Stephen Wright, the master of deadpan comedy. The fact that he and I share the same birthday is just another reason to pay attention, as his being a local guy from Massachusetts, but his dry and droll observational style has always made me laugh.

So when working a poetry prompt that suggested making a poem from a list of items, I chose to try rhyming a list of one-liners and observations from my favorite comic, Stephen Wright





LOOKING FOR MR. WRIGHT


The modern man is full of confusions
The sort who is honest about all of his lies.
The kind of fellow who believes his delusions,
The type who would kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Scruples are useless when viewed against tomorrow,
Mores are constantly under vicious attack.
The modern man only asks the pessimist to borrow,
He knows the fellow expects to not be paid back.

Mankind today dodges all responsibility,
We constantly seek to divert all the blame.
A clear conscience is a sign of the onset of senility,
And the majority of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

Torturing ourselves with questions is no walk in the park.
We live in a state of constant existential pain.
Trying in vain to calculate the speed of dark,
Or trying to enjoy a rainbow while avoiding the rain.

There are questions without answers, which is all well and nice.
And things that bump against the inside of your head.
Like what happens if you are scared half to death twice?
And why the harder the butter, the softer the bread?

You can call below average half of the people you might get,
Like the kid who uses flat dishes to serve clam chowder.
You almost loved a psychic but she left before you met,
They cannot fix your brakes and so now the horn is louder.

Your conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good,
Because we forget the simple power of thanks or please.
If all is going well you did not see something that you should.
Early birds get worms but the second mouse gets cheese.

Depression is just anger without enthusiasm, for the sane,
The conclusion is simply where you no longer think.
If things are coming your way, you are in the wrong lane,
And how can you tell when there’s no invisible ink?

Ambition is a poor excuse for not being smart enough to shirk.
The sooner you fall behind the more time to make amends.
At the speed of light will your car headlights work?
And if Barbie is so cool, why must we buy her friends?

Photographic memories are all quite the same,
But most folks don’t have film like they should,
And why do psychics need to ask you for your name?
Well, I plan on living forever… so far, so good.

Those are my questions for now; I do not think there is a lot,
But my mind has become both brittle and fried.
Thinking that 82% of all statistic are created on the spot
So if you do not succeed, hide the fact that you tried!




©2014 Christopher Reilley

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fowl Play



FOWL PLAY


The hen fluffs tail feathers, hoping for a glance,
from the cock of the walk, a cackle and dance.

Scratching so gentle amongst the hay,
with dreams of her cock coming to play.

Alas! She sees the one of her desiring,
mounted atop another, in the process of siring.

This fowl wench will not be left out in the cold,
she strolls over to them, so quick and so bold.

Flipping her feathers just under his beak.
thinking to herself, "I shall have what I seek."

The hen whispers low, with barely a care
in the ear of the cock, "Her eggs come out square."



This poem is in the collection Breathing for Clouds, you can get a copy HERE.

©2014 Christopher Reilley 
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Lottery of Random Collisions



THE LOTTERY OF RANDOM COLLISIONS

Leaving for work, I trace the bite marks
you have left upon my skin.
They will fade, but invisibility
does not demand evidence, does it?
I watch the hesitating rain;
thunder distances the moment
from the routine.
The electricity between us -
once touched, proves to be Life.

Sure, swans mate for life,
but we are rarely so lucky
that we meet the right match;
fit the key in the lock,
solve the puzzle at the heart of it,
succeeded in the lottery
of random collisions.

And so your kisses touch me,
collecting my tears
as spoils of war, or trophies,
Nibbling your way along my inner arms
until your tongue finds my silvered spot.
Am I more than a man in love,
a wretch lying shivering in want of touch?
How did you know to do that to me?

My motives are salvation enough,
your comfort is worth all to me.
I would drink of love's wine
and worry about the worms another time.

After all, bite marks fade.




©2010 Christopher Reilley
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Monday, October 6, 2014

At the Coffee Shop



AT THE COFFEE SHOP


Her lip quivers,
shivering at the injustice
he threw her a few minutes ago.

I stand quietly beside
the red chair
watching crystalline people,
pretending I am not waiting for you.

Back to her he went
like a child to a favorite toy,
forgetting how many broken toys
are in his past.

I watch him as he uses her,
a weapon against any kind of love.

I see her, flaring tender jealousies,
willing herself to love harder.

I want to gather her,
hug her like a child,
ask her why he captivates her.

And then I remember,
being fourteen.



This poem is in the collection Breathing for Clouds, you can get a copy HERE

©2014 Christopher Reilley

I would love to know what you thought about this piece. Please consider leaving a comment.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Authors of Pain


AUTHORS OF PAIN

Long, drawn-out sighs
loop our lives together.
Moments of despair,
thoughts of tired anguish,
indifference,
condensing the air between us.

It is in the shadows of a darkened room
that I find the differences
between who you believe yourself to be
and who I know I am.

You are the quill pen, green and gray ink,
who scratches out harsh thoughts
between your thighs and across my back.
Your nib places your words
into flesh and composing sweat.

I smudge single syllables
in the language of loins
and sobbing mouths
across my face for all to see,
using fingertips
and my own blood.

It is only those repeated moments
those fleeting seconds
that our far flung sentences find each other.
We become the same writer
with different diction
writing on a snow bank
waiting for Spring.










©2014 Christopher Reilley

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rage



RAGE

You think that you know rage,
the hammered thumb,
the slow clerks,
a snarky boss,
the wife and the best buddy
tangled and tongue wrestling
on the family sofa.
Most folks think
that they have seen red.
My friend, they have not even seen pink.

But I myself, ah, well,
I have seen scarlet,
deepest burgundy,
vermillion,
magenta,
oxblood, on a really bad day.

And it pains me to say it,
but I let a woman do it to me,
turn me into something bestial,
make me drop the reins and bite.

What can you do
for bilious hatred
so vitriolic
that it would burn through decks
like sci-fi monster blood,
so thick with wheal
that it seeps from your pores
like garlic and vodka?

I talk about it to a willing stranger
whom I employ for this very purpose.
He is very receptive,
but I get the feeling,
he is churning,
watching me for signs
of impromptu behavior.

My experience
has so far
been latticed and curlicued
with difficulties.
But under the open sky
I spit my ANGER,
my HATE,
and my FURY
into the wind,
and still walk away
with rage on my breath.

------------------


This poem appeared in the chapbook "Grief Tattoos" - get it for the Kindle HERE

©2014 Christopher Reilley
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