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Submitted on
May 22
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                     Graveyards on the Road

          I drive a street pot-hole paved the lightest grey;
tired eyes coupled with the pitch stained tracks of a younger man
guide me back, the press of tires into the rough, grained
          surface of days long past that never lasted
                              and never last.
 
          It’s funny how soft skin can feel to fingertips
so used to cigarette burns, see-saw doorknobs, a nibbling mind,
                    and everything but feeling.
 
          It’s funny how often I find my hands so close
          to my face, posing the question, ‘Are you real?’
          then allowing my questions to leave me behind -
          as much unanswered as they are unanswerable,
tires skidmarking on 'initial here' spaces before we let off the breaks -
as coffee burns the tip of my tongue and, at least for the moment,
I can forget there is a world around me and that I chose this,
          a street where I’m gridlocked and stagnant.
 
          Though I’m older now, the roads stay the same,
                              (in a relative sort of way)
          freshly lined with glittering new cars – wrecks
                    – yet I often find myself jadedly mesmerized,
          unable to look away, captivated; desperately
adjusting mirrors to continue viewing the gaping jaws of life

          casually close to bite into another body of work,
                    and I wonder why we work anymore
                              (or, even, at all).
 

                                    ‘We do not.’
I realize at a yellow light [red eye] st-st-stutter, stop.
 
          We stopped working. The tickings of an engine,
                    we overheated, we stopped.
           
 

                           Wet Floor
 
Your tongue tastes of postage, and I begin to wonder
          if you too are writing letters with another:
                    signing a new name.
 
The nearly negligible trace of faded ink nestled in the
bottom corner of the ‘lifeline’ vein in your palm, an answer
to a silent prayer I never actually wanted a response to.
 
“It’s funny, isn’t it?” I ask, “When you receive all the right answers
                              to all the wrong questions.”
 
 
          –         You have a beautiful way
            of putting one foot in front of the other       –
 
 
“What is the question?” you ask, with
          almost a slip of geniality before noticing,
 
                       “That is the question.”
 
 

                     The Dying Season
 
There is so much pressure to just keep breathing
but this world is too beautiful: I’ll hold my breath,
                    I’ll hold my breath in your hand.
 
Planting seeds in tiled dirt, I tuck them carefully
beneath lukewarm, death laden, and nightmare free soils,
check the closet for UV night lights, patricides and pesticides:
                    celebrate these graves that we stand upon:
     
          In a world of breeding pairs, you have to have desire-
                                                able traits.
 
Staring into a mirror at the intricacies in my eyes,
          hoping to find untuned skies in these
          iris rimmed plots reminiscing about days
          I was felled by the stride of an angel...
          but the wings were just an artistic licensing –
                    a vision we could never afford.
 
          Surrealism is a common complaint amongst
                                    normalcy,
crowds clamoring for the “I could have done that!”s
                    and the “I don’t get it.”s.
 
 
                   A criminal needs a heaven tonight,
          but I’ve got nothing to give, and no matter how
                     very hard I try, I can’t forget
                                  until my mind dies.
 
 

                              Microscope Mind
 
          This morning I came to the realization that
I’ve lost count of the number of collisions – head on
– and that detours are just another notice on a broken window,
          blinds and all, shuddering in the wake of a ‘Warning!’
                              ‘Do Not Enter’
                    wrapped around my throat.
 
          I’ve lost count of talking head decisions; gone
is the alternate way of living, gluten free with a mouth full of gravel
                    – mumbling something about the end
          is nearest right before the break of dawn, but then
it breaks – and it dawns on me that this is only the beginning,
                                    but it was also the end.
               
 

         The Pain of Being Pure at Heart
 
          I am shipwrecked among you,
black eyeing a chipped spy-glass bottle
that I have not yet accepted as empty;
 
                        ‘Indeed, I know I am.’
 
A brook of babel flowing forth from out my soul,
          cascading over shards of glass,
broken bottles dancing with my feet –
                    always being stepped on
–  a jig, a jaunty, a jive, a jacket straight:
          aces high and deuces wild.
 
I will never lose more than I lost the night
          that I had nothing to lose;
 
          I learned that nothing is no one’s to lose.
I am not a lucky man. I’m neither a joker, nor the joke.
 

 
                           Desiderate
 
It was considerably more difficult than I thought it would be
          to plan my own burial. Shovel dirt over my name.
                    Shovel dirt over my bed.
 
Some people are wise, they spend their whole lives
          digging for themselves a hole to lie in,
but me, I am too far behind; I am the grave-digger
mugged by an angel fallen of a cherub that was never mine.

                     I am the grave-digger
                              who was struck blind.
           
          I died in the meeting of an eye for an eye,
 
                     because you were too beautiful,
                              and I was a lie.

"I'll meet you where the moonlight falls,
    I'll meet you where the statues stand.
    I'll meet you beneath the fallen walls,
    As we await the reveal of God's hand.


    Here amongst these ruins,
    Here, knee deep in these sands,
    I'll shed tears for you, my love,
    But you shall never see them,
      shall never see of me again."

                      -The Mariner to His Mistress



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:iconxxboneless:
xxBoneless Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is wonderful.
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
Thank you, good miss, That means the world to hear as both 'wonder' and 'full' are two things I strive for in all I do, but rarely imagine I could possibly attain. :thanks:
Reply
:iconxxboneless:
xxBoneless Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
In that case, congratulations. :)
Reply
:iconamour-raven:
amour-raven Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Student Writer
You, my friend, are absolutely amazing.
I apologize for not finding and loving your work sooner.
You construct wonderful imagery; I am able to get lost in your words.
I'd have to say that Graveyards on Roads is my favorite -
 It’s funny how soft skin can feel to fingertips
so used to cigarette burns, see-saw doorknobs, a nibbling mind,
                    and everything but feeling.

The Pain of Being Pure at Heart quickly snags a close second, in my book.
To say the least, I love what you write; your craft is impeccable.
A brook of babel flowing forth from out my soul,
          cascading over shards of glass,
broken bottles dancing with my feet –
                    always being stepped on
–  a jig, a jaunty, a jive, a jacket straight:
          aces high and deuces wild.

Much love,
Sam <3
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
You, my friend, are absolutely too kind, and I am quite humbled by it.
No apologies necessary, I'm not much of one to have my writings out and about much, so I think you did much better better than you give yourself credit for.

I'm elated to hear that you got so much out of those sections, it's always interesting when people are all connecting with different parts of a piece (as well as hopefully the piece itself).

It means a lot that you went out of your way to convey such kind words, I'm so honored, thank you, kind miss.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Dear Alain,

Congratulations, you are the first recipient of critique from me during my Ladies of Lit tour this month. Please find my comments below.

Firstly, here are a few possible edits. This may be more of a style thing, so you can take or leave whatever you want. :) Now you can see my style when doing my editing work.

posing the question 'Are you real?'
: posing the question, "Are you real?"

let of the breaks
: Did you mean "off?"

You ask, with
: De-capitalize "you"

crowds clamoring for the “I could have done that!”s
                    and the “I don’t get it.”s.
: "I could have done that's" and "I don't get it's"? Then again, I kind of like the inflection that comes with the punctuation, even if it places those plurals outside of the quotes. Up to you.

I think you performed two hard returns after the title of the first section, but the titles of following sections seem to be flush with their respective stanzas. Make this uniform, possibly? I think hard returns for all might help communicate the separateness of them (though they are also obviously meant to be chained together). Maybe that'd be different from a visual perspective, but this is mine, listening to it.

          blinds and all, shuddering in the wake of a ‘Warning!’
                              ‘Do Not Enter’
: "Warning!
Do Not Enter!"

Personal comments:

I love your imagery, occasional inter-rhyme, and wordplay. Here are a few favorites:

Your tongue tastes of postage, and I begin to wonder
          if you too are writing letters with another


You have a beautiful way
            of putting one foot in front of the other


                    – mumbling something about the end
          is nearest right before the break of dawn, but then
it breaks – and it dawns on me that this is only the beginning,
                                    but it was also the end.


The entire "Pure at Heart" section

I'm curious, what is the thought process behind the formatting here, particularly the indentions and the hyphens that seem to sit in the margins? It's harder for me to register this one than it was with "Ghosts and Magnetic Tape," simply because with that one, my screenreader vocalized the different heading levels and alerted me to the logic of them. This isn't a problem; just interested to know your process behind this one.

So, the vehicle is where the speaker is going, or feels this relationship is going? Am I reading right here? That image/symbol really struck me in particular. Also, I like that you kind of come back to it later in the poem.

Your writing strikes me as good spoken word material. Do you perform it or have you thought of doing so?

I've enjoyed critiquing this poem. I hope my comments are helpful or at least enjoyable to read! :huggle:
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014
I've finally finished applying most of your edits, they were extremely helpful! I'm a meticulous editor of everything I write, and usually go through multiple drafts, so I'm always embarrassed when things inevitably slip through the seams, so it makes me feel so much more comfortable knowing that you helped me address (hopefully) the last of them.

One of the suggestions was completely intentional (the pluralizations outside of the quotes), but you are a phenomenal eye (ear!), and I'm very humbled and thankful.

I think the formatting is more simple from a visual point of reference than an audio one. Generally, my use of formatting has to do with steering the reader through changes, or trying to smooth transitions (depending on what's needed). I'm not sure when I started writing it that way, but I know I did it because it seemed to fit the style of free verse that appealed to my writing aesthetic. I'm not sure if that answers your question, but I'm unsure there is an answer outside of myself, so it's difficult, haha. ;p

I would say the metaphor is less the vehicle, and more the journey; though, the vehicle does provide a tangible metaphor to what's inside the mind and outside of it, hopefully. That was my intention, at least, so I'm glad that as much as it did got through to you.

There have been a couple deviants here who have tried to convince me of the spoken word nature of my works, but I have yet to heed their calls. I don't know, I'm just not sure my works allude themselves to the medium. They are so long and dense and often have multiple sections with large transitions that I think would be so difficult to convey dictatorially without a visual aid. I don't know, it would take a very dedicated person to push me to do so, I think.

You're the best Mel - as if you didn't already know (I figure it can't hurt to be reminded, yeah?) - thank you so much.
:iconbowplz:
Reply
:iconhopeburnsblue:
hopeburnsblue Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Seams-slippage happens even to me ... no worries. :XD:

I really do think your work could be spoken. A lot of spoken word pieces I've heard are longer anyway.

Hahah you're sweet ... but I'm glad to help! :)
Reply
:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014
If I ever do read one of my pieces, I'm sure dA would be the first place (outside the immediate venue) to know how horrible it went. ;p
Reply
:iconglametalove:
Glametalove Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Rien dire, c'est magnifique ! 
Keep up the good work Thumbs Up 
Reply
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