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One Gulp per Magic Fish


by Darryl Price


This is the hole I fell in. I can crawl 
out of it now, but I must have fallen fast
asleep. Does it matter if it was for 
a long or a short time? Everyone is 
gone like a smile and replaced lately by 
sadly different versions of themselves. 
When I saw you again I thought at last 
one of my old friends has made it back out 
of the damnable hole, too. But your face 
was not carrying that kind of bright torch 
exactly. It said part of you is still 
in there and always will be mad. This is 

the hole where I tripped and discovered the 
beautiful earth in your dreams is flat if 
you want it to be and invisible 
at the strangest of times, made of countless 
intelligent plants and animals. The 
unnecessary animals eating 
some unnecessary plants. Plants eating 
animals. Large terrified animals 
eating small terrified animals. Plants 
eating plants. And no one else in the whole 
universe paying any attention 
whatsoever to our growing feeling 

of absolute loneliness. This is the 
hole where I crashed into the obvious 
everything.This is the hole where I wrote 
you a love letter made out of days and 
nights and clouds and rain. It wasn't my best 
work, but it was organic in the sense 
that it was all I had to speak to you 
through. This is the hole where I planted a 
small faraway tree for John Lennon. This 
is the hole where I played my guitar to 
a room full of strangers I forgot were 
even there. That's when the music's really
 
working its magic through you to them. I 
almost thought I had made it home, but it 
soon enough became clear to me that I'd 
feel that loneliness again and for my 
entire life. This is the hole like quicksand. 
This is the hole in the ocean. I'm sure 
you've heard it all before. The orbiting 
bullet hole in my third eye. This is the 
time ruptured hole like a bomb in my heart. 
The hole in my dorsal fin. This is the 
hole where I went around and around for 
what seemed like a very long time. I hit 

the cold dirt. I hit the indifferent 
sleeping trees or was it the overflow 
of summer's naked flowers bathing in 
the dripping dew? Something there stopped me from 
breaking all my bones. This is the hole that 
started out as a perfect day with you
in it. But then you decided to give 
your skin like sun to someone else. I was 
left with a loose handful of stardust and 
a broken moon for a compass. This is
the hole I carved out of old railroad tracks 
for myself. Now that light is coming down.  



Bonus poems:



Blossoming by Darryl Price

The quick getaway is almost always open for business. It
requires no self discipline. All you have to do is
run and keep running. By the time you get to 
where you are going the movie in your head will 

have switched directions any way giving you a fifty fifty
chance of survival for another day. You might be one 
of those people who pull their cars into the garage 
backwards-- what else is it for? Do you really think 

you can outrun their helicopters? Look, there are more important 
things in the world than your fear of the man. 
They are coming after us all-- one way or the 
other. Let them come. We know they are already here. 

Listening to our poetry. Trying to figure out if we 
are dangerous or not. Civil or not. That's their gig. 
Ours is to figure out if we are boring or 
not, authentic or not, caring enough or just going through 

the motions. We are all wounded. We are all afraid 
to be loved, flying again. No one wants the possibility 
of that pain on purpose again. It's our only hope. 
They are betting on us nailing our own feet to 

the haunted floorboard, howling at the moon, waiting like a 
penny under the stars on the railroad tracks of life's 
massive indifferent onslaught. But that is an illusion. One that 
casts at them just as much, right between the eyes. 

We are all time bombs, we are all suicides, but 
that's just a bit of what stirs up our dust. 
The stars made us and now we are their children 
for better or for worse. And the Earth is the 

sacrificing angel we never knew, who fed us even if 
it meant going without herself, who keeps looking for us,
who knows the one song that will stop our lonely 
self hatred long enough for us to pull out of 

our fever and survive to live another day. That's where 
all poetry comes from. That's the passageway to freedom. It's
inside the sound of the human heart beating, the flower 
blossoming, the rain pounding on the door, let me in, 

let me in, or come out and meet me if 
you dare. And dare we must. In spite of the 
present danger. Because it is our time. There is nobody 
else to do the dirty work . Bring out the joy.




Surprise

by Darryl Price


This is our garden. You are the elevated trespasser who made it more about yourself than the sun. Playing with every rose as if they knew what they were doing, blooming out of the precious earth and sky in your face like that. But it's an

old story. You were just a confused boy. Just an obedient son. Just a connect the dots obese teacher. Preaching a new propaganda. Making a living. Following orders.Someone didn't bother to love you for being you. You took offense for a

long lifetime and began to wage a hidden sour campaign against anything that didn't feel good enough to your own puppet-like insecurities. You can call it holy putty in your hands, but holy fuck you were wrong to harm them for feeling so

young and lost around you. They were only growing kids trying to figure out the elephant-shaped surprise in the center of the universal room. It was too big to see around, too big to duck under for safety. It might not mean to, but it could crush

you against a wall in an instant. All we had were our brave toys and our unconditional pets and brand new imaginations. But you had actual power, power that might have been shared as in used to protect and defend the new journey

outward. Instead you cast a silent dark spell of mistrust from the back of your most comfortable smile. And the sudden air filled with the silent screams of tumbling seeds not attuned to your private preferences. Frightened faces of impossible hopes

all drifting off toward somewhere you weren't ever going to be. How could I not hate you for that? You chose to use your privilege like a privilege. This is our garden. We were here first. Does this surprise you? Look back at the faces of the

flowers you so badly wanted to be truthful mirrors. Our garden. Our love. You saw me fall and you walked away, pretending I was the one. But first you made sure to hit me in the trustful heart with your barbarous anger. You wanted to be left alone

with all those pretty flowers. Turns out I was the one who didn't lose heart after all. You can only find shelter in the third eye dark if you know what you are looking for. And believe it. And thank it. For all the mistakes. For all the misunderstanding.     








Perfumes by Darryl Price



There are enough love songs
left out in the open
to rot away. This is
one more. You and I know

nothing lasts, not even
absolute forever
things. They grow into their
own deaths. We all do. But

as I'm still here I'd like
to present you with this
cool flower. I somehow
grew it myself, picked it

out just for you. It was
already perfectly
perfect for you. Perhaps
you would gift it one last

soaking drink in a clear
pretty vase with a near
view of your sky? I don't
know. I never know. I

just believe. Believe in
a flower that only
I can grow. I see them
come up, speak their colors.

Watch their heads bow down, drip
their glittering beauty
over the land; winds dust
them, precious as perfumes.

   




    
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