Old Shoes for Stranded Soles

by Darryl Price

There are stranded people just like us, that's

Not necessarily what I'm looking for.

Negativity won't pull us through the

Barbed-wire halls of hate. And even if I

Was the only one, I wouldn't want you

To look any different in the mirror. I'm older

Now, no one invites me up to their moons

Any more for a peek at their special stars. That's about as deep as it gets.

I don't feel all that good about getting

The ghost vote from you now and not then. It would


Have been so nice to know you cared when I

Was freezing in the loveless city corners and

All my straggled about books were crammed onto the

Crude visionary shelves like lost toy soldiers

Acting out some crazed uninvited scene

Of feverish battle to the death. It was bad enough

Without your sewn up sort of love, to keep me thinking I was

Warm, to walk me to the bus stop, to keep

Me from going to trial in my own head. The

Wildflower scene I was interested


In was the one we were good at making up for ourselves. There are

Clear enough people I'm guessing like us

Out there walking around, but they have gone

Through so many gravity punching jealous

Changes by now they only half resemble

Themselves inside quiet mistaken gestures. Wouldn't call

Them out because no one needs to take my

Place in line. Let them have their exhausted peace in

The big goodbye mirror of life's endless pageantry. I'm still looking

Outside the gates for more than I ever


Bargained for. Oh shit they're telling me all

They really want from me now is more free entertainment,

Less trains, no conversation. Well I'd rather

See you naked again. I'd rather get

Closer to you. That's as much as I know, as

much as I want to know. The battle of 

the books was just a metaphor, a kind 

of staged plea for some sanity against 

all the stacked loneliness in this cold cold world, a

last attempt at finding one's true presence among so much shadow to come.  

   Bonus poems:

I Don't Know Where the Buried Lantern Goes to Sleep When It's Hungry


When your steaming dragon like hand has so

casually dropped the treasured pine cone

of our hearts from its celestial stitch

like a too hot to handle glowing star.

I'm not even sure it is up to me to

name such altogether pedestrian

phenomenon, taking the risk as it

were for generations after that, i.e.


we would always know such rich witness and

cry out on your behalf like any group

of trained to please acrobatic bears for

a few sad hours of cramped sleeping together and something

indistinguishable to eat. No, I

fear this time you've missed your practiced mark, and the moon

long ago rose up and gave its greatest

single performance to a bunch of wild


dogs pouring themselves up and down the soft

heavenly hills like a warm pungent syrup. But

that is of no real consequence to our

little circle of flaming tigers is it, and

poorly painted ponies, is it? We are

after all still in the midst of this small

folding poem of ours, thrashing through the

many fake paper drums like disturbed birds


but finding no exits, when with all our

broken heads we believe the end of the

performance is a foregone conclusion to anyone with a brain.

I wonder who gets the satisfaction

out of seeing the lights come on again inside?

Yeah, now I see where I'm going again.

These spelling footprints a misplaced refrain.  

You've squeezed your last song out of my throat I swear. 


by Darryl Price


You don't understand. I wasn't standing anywhere but

In my own moment in the burning sky. You


Don't understand. You weren't the only person suddenly

Flying apart. I could still see you. This was


A comfort for me. If you understood your

Radio would have been tuned into something much


More like runaway moonlight than the oceans of

Your need to know more and more about


Those cold, cold stars that gave us the

Sad frozen news over and over like a


Crazy slap in the face. Look at me.

I don't know what we were, but we


Saw no beautiful angels coming. Those who sensed us

Thought they were no longer alone in the


Wonderment of a truly unfeeling universe. I couldn't

Bear to be that kind of hope for


Any one. It just didn't seem fair. You

Made your choice right then and I made


Mine by a single thread. I still think you

Were wrong. The trouble with love is that


The days change.  People change into different versions

Of themselves and you never know whom you

Are going to get. The snowflakes pile up.


The snail sun eventually gets up and grabs  


His shovel and goes about his ancient work


Ethic like an old pro.  You don't understand I

Guess. Your expectations lowered my head to such


A degree that there was no way to

Look you in the eye without burning up


And turning to ash. You weren't ringing a

Bell unless it summoned you to your own dinner. That's


Just not something I can believe in for that long.

Wild Geranium (Crane's-Bill)

by Darryl Price

I don't want to be the guy
sneaking like a thief who says
words don't mean we care. I don't
want to be the one cutting
like a throat who says our ghost

is lifting out of this life. Don't
want to be the one who says
all talk's another flight risk.
The one like a cop saying
look away close your eyes that

swan's trumpet is too scared to
sound off. I don't want to be
the one who bets gravity
is a grandfather clock thrown
in the ocean. I don't want

to be the one shrinking like
a vampire who shouts stars are
nothing but holes cut out of
the fabric of our dreams, who
states, I'll never give my heart

a melody of its own
to sway with, says our chance
is a folding campfire, the
one who like a barfing moon
says this is the last best dance.