Sunday, February 6, 2011

Train Wreck

Like a train with one car, you’re going, going, getting somewhere,
But it’s no good, it’s no good.

Maybe this winter was just a little too cold,
A little too much to be so alone.

You’re playing the same note over every time,
And wondering why it sounds so similar.

Oh, that guitar on your back and the poison in your hand
Is your ticket out of this gray town, there’s nothing here for you.

But you’re still sitting on this porch swing at the house
Where you grew up.

You aren’t getting out,
You aren’t going South.

On the bottom of three bottles, you’re just searching, seeking,
Where is the truth, you ask, where is the Truth?

Another cold winter, maybe start a fire,
And the trees are naked, oh, your soul.

You’re running in circles and you’re so mistaken--
There are no round trips in this one-way life.


The Mystery of the Carnival

I am a bag of bones on a carousel,
Spinning around, around, left for dead.
Horses painted gentle colors, eternally confined,
Float up with ease, hopes dreams,
Then sink, surrounded by laughter.

I travel hundreds of miles every day,
I go nowhere, I reach nothing.
Lights twinkle, blues, golds, reds,
Disturbing my rest, my thoughts, my travel.

A soft song trickles into my ears as I spin,
Not loudly, inviting—a lullaby, a sweet serenade.
It drains wattage from the light bulbs;
It drowns out the giggles that feed me truth.
The song coaxes me back to sleep, guides me to slumber.

I almost made it off this ceramic cycle,
But it chews me up and won’t spit me out.
That song in my ears is the only voice I hear,
And though it makes them bleed, it is easier to stay.

So I am a bag of bones on a carousel,
Spinning around, around, left for dead.


A Single Sip

Although it had been eight months in the heat
of July I finally realized he was dead.

The fireworks illuminated a hidden corner of my brain,
and I saw for the first time the cup’s warm brim
approaching his pink lips, and the he dumped
the toxic cocktail on his tongue ,
like happy hour in Cabo,
changing so many futures by drinking
a single sip.

I saw her heart shatter, unbeknownst to her in that moment
Because her whole world just shifted beneath her two small feet.
I saw her laugh and flip her hair and rest
her tongue behind a smile so alive you couldn’t help but think
She’s got it all.

But somewhere she wasn’t, it was turning his veins to ice.
And she laughed her last laugh before her Earth collapsed,
before she discovered what he’d done,
and all things hidden were revealed.

I saw the wet streaks on her face
where tears were removing makeup and
replacing it with black stripes like tire marks
on an abused parking lot.

I saw her in that dress, vulnerable,
wearing her heart on the bottom of everyone else’s shoes.
I saw her mouth moving in the form of
expressions of gratitude.
And her eyes blinked shut longer than typical.

I saw the already wilting flowers placed delicately on the floor
as if the ground was made of tissue paper
and any sudden movements might bust a hole
through the floor and gobble us all up.

Then the grand finale began—two big sunbursts
of blue and a huge firework that lit up the pond below.
And I saw her sitting on my lap
in the fanciest dress she’d ever worn.

And I thought--
Maybe people do get second chances.


Almond Buttered Whore

A light right danced gently towards the earth
so softly that the lilies were laughing and
butterflies were flapping merrily,
receiving long-awaited showers.

The scent of Breakfast snuck quietly down the hall,
its back pressed against the wall as it slid
around corners and doorways,
hoping to catch me off guard and hear my stomach groan.

Moments later, I was admiring my neatly arranged plate,
boasting colors of fall--

An artichoke quiche with a clipping of parsley,
(not to be eaten, but merely appreciated, of course.)
A medley of fruits so unusually beautiful, despite recent death,
and an almond buttered scone, warm and inviting.

The scone sat there between his neighbors, Fruit and Quiche,
luring me, enticing me, flaunting his thin flecks
of almond placed so randomly on his top
like the first snow of winter that forgot where to go
after a long spring and summer and fall.

I watched lustfully as ghosts of heat swirled up,
aiming for the heavens,
but somehow couldn’t seem to make it.

I lifted the precious scone to my mouth so reluctantly,
not wanting to extinguish its elegance.
Before the first bite, the scent of Breakfast sprinted into the room,
catching me in the act.
He crept up my nose before I noticed his presence.

Then I bit into the scone, crumbs raining onto the plate,
some sticking to my lips
like hopefuls clinging to the vertically bobbing Titanic.

My taste buds became suddenly overwhelmed
with the unknown, unfamiliar tastes
there were confusing my palette.

And that’s when I heard it--
the Scone was laughing at me,
at my increasing disorientation with every movement of my jaw,
every time my teeth met.

The Scone had played me like a sexy topless dancer
taken home and given the benefit of the doubt.

And just like the discovery about the “adult entertainer,”
the Scone set me back four dollars and fifty-two cents
and tasted like a crowded department store.

Thinking Things

Certain thoughts are like those rare worms
that burrow inside apples,
infecting them all the way to the tiny seeds.

Or like a child permitted to rummage
through an attic full of treasures,
rearranging it into a chaotic junk drawer.

But what makes us so sick is that
they’re also like twinkling police cars
that force everyone in their path to step aside,
chasing the evil that they labeled so.


Imaginary Rebel

I gaze in awe at phenomenal monuments--
Big Ben, for one--
and internally inquire how the structure might appear
as it is detonated at the ankles and
crumbles away from the heavens.

Would bits of gold soar into the river
and be consumed by confused fish?
Might the face leap from the neck and
flatten a group of pedestrian tourists below
before they finish saying cheese?

What a marvelous scene to witness
as the whole world would pause and
release their troubles
to remember Ben’s height.

Ashley Doty