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Sprouts


by Darryl Price


I feel more like sprouts than cucumbers. Oh, hey. I
came here to tell you something you already know, but
maybe can't remember. Or maybe it's me who is remembering
something I meant to say, but didn't. Oh, hey. There's 
alphalfa and mung bean. I love these skinny little vegetables. 
Snow pea. Oh, hey. I hear thunder, but I don't 
hear rain. That's just the way it goes, sometimes. The 
sun was out not too long ago. I feel more 
like moon than stars today. Oh, hey. Strange times or 
not, I'm glad I feel something more than just anything

with you. Why does it have to be so sad? 
Oh, hey. I know they want me to be silent, 
but I couldn't choose to be that boring, would you? 
I'm not in my cage carefully practicing my most inoffensive 
words to spill before them. I'd rather shine a light. 
Oh, hey. I'm in the middle of doing something here. 
Another artpiece or something quite like it. Yeah. Don't get 
too excited. It's not about you. At least, not on purpose.
I feel more like Cranberries than Wilco, like tomato soup 
than salad. Oh, hey. I feel more like the wind 

blowing the leaves at the tops of trees than the 
bird calling for a game of catch the seedpod with 
his sunny forest friends. I'm not planning on leaving, but 
it's still a wild world out there. And many good 
hearts get stolen from us all the time. Oh, hey.  
I feel more like wearing my baseball cap than an 
appropriate hat. I've walked in these same comfortable shoes everyday  
over a year now. Please don't go away. When you 
do I can't see out of my left eye for 
shit. That's a metaphor I guess for something larger than 

sea or sky. I don't live with regret. But I 
do wish I could hear your voice. It's a good 
voice. You could say something, anything and I would come
to look in upon you. Oh, hey. We are but 
instantaneous sparks, set up by the larger flame. Oh, hey.
I guess by now you're wondering what the point of 
all this wringing of the clouds might be. I think 
you know. You've always known. But we are afraid. I
feel more like peanut butter than a jellyfish. Just wanted 
to see if you are still paying attention. Oh, hey. 

It's always been nice to know you are there. And 
now I must pack up my belongings and be out 
of here. I appreciate the shelter. I hope you appreciate 
the song. Oh, and hey. Eat some sprouts for me,
will you? Goes good with grilled cheese. Thought I had 
more to say, but maybe next time. These letters do 
more than keep themselves seated in envelopes. They also wait 
to hug you with words. Oh, hey. I've run out 
of sentences to say to you. But it's okay. We'll 
always have this one time and that one time, too. 



Bonus poems:





Ship Beneath a Rug

by Darryl Price


It's only me and it's only you. The rest is just history 
sitting on somebody's library shelf waiting to be discovered and rehashed. With 
a drink and a pipe. Until we learn to laugh again that 
is. It's your stolen childhood they are talking about in hushed whispers 
above your sleeping head. They don't really care about us. And on 
and on it goes. It's only me. I'm sorry that they did

this to you and I couldn't stop them. Forced you into their 
menacing kitchens. Forced you to eat the raw open wounds with them 
over silly songs and stupid prayers. They did this to me, too. 
Only I was pretending not to notice the blood on the family 
shawl. You'd have to be an idiot not to notice the size 
of those dark shoes sticking out of the corner by the oven. 

That's where the fear of clowns comes in. It's always just some 
sinister people in different disguises. Standing in places where they don't really
belong. Much too close to certain people's ankles. John knew this much 
to be true but it made him bitter. I don't want to 
be a bitter man. Takes up way too much of your 
valuable and limited time. And leaves a bad taste in your mouth besides. 

Sorrow shouldn't always poison you in the heart forever. Pull the damned  
arrow out and get on with your life. There are things in 
you that you do not need. That you never asked for. That 
need to be emptied from your head right now. Stop waiting around. 
We're already in it. It's only me and I am no good 
at pretending to be someone else. That's what I tried telling them 

at school, and at home, but they beat me to pieces anyway. 
Hey. Don't worry. It's only me. Your friend. And we are somehow 
still in the world's filthy greedy grasp. But. I've heard of the 
brightness of the light that sits at the center of the seven 
celestial walls. One second of looking upon it, just one and you 
are completely blinded for several days. But afterwards you cannot live a 

cowardly lie. And that's only the beginning of the next amazing voyage
out. You'll get there. We all will. It's only me. Only you.
We don't have to prove anything to anyone. I know they hurt 
you with their fear and ignorance of Atlantis. It doesn't matter what 
you call it. It's just another word for home. For soul. For
the love that is the essence of all beings. For sailing ships.  



(People Walk By) Spewing the Seeds of Love

by Darryl Price


"I am not a gun."--The Iron Giant/Ted Hughes

Hate makes a pretty picture, 
but it's not telling 
you the truth. All the free
stuff in the world isn't
going to make you happy.
Hate makes a pretty

offer, but it's holding
back on the down side of
its town. All the free sex
in the world isn't going 
to make you a real
man. Because in spite of

your lust for power and 
money you need to learn 
how to give in order 
to truly be happy.
Hate makes a pretty good 
pitch, but the hole in its 

heart isn't worth the hole
in the head you'll be receiving 
with its cold handshake. 
All the free gasoline
is going to appear 
on the final bill

with a neatly typed skull 
and crossbones to boot. Hate
sounds good until you listen 
to the lyrics. All
the free weed in the world
isn't going to take 

you far enough away
from yourself to ever 
forget the faces of 
those you've harmed. Hate makes you
stupid and petty. Only
love adds the right amount

of everything to 
everything else. Listen. 
We're in this together. 
That's just a biological fact.
Hate makes smog
instead of oxygen. 

Hate fires the gun out of 
fear, not out of hope for 
something better for the 
ones we love.Only love
remembers why we are 
each doing all of this.



With Your Eyes Closed

by Darryl Price


you won't see the sky falling down. With 
your eyes closed you will forget her different 
face ever existed. With your eyes closed  
the ground beneath your feet will feel eternal and 
much softer than sleep. With your eyes closed 
you won't notice the rope tied around their 
feet in that otherwise sweet pastoral painting. 
With your eyes closed that fact alone might cheer 
you up.Your eyelids soak up some rays. 
Your eyes don't do the heavy breathing. Eyes 
don't need to know who cares. With your 
eyes closed you can veto every new suggestion 
for change for the  better. With your eyes
closed you can listen to the wind without 
listening to the words. Your eyes closed have 
nothing to lose. With your eyes closed you 
can order more wine and never have to 
get up and go meet with someone  
to talk about the ones who are gone. Closed 
eyes look completely empty. With your eyes closed 
the world can melt itself off each and 
every map up until now. With your eyes 
closed you make your own plastic sins come 
true without grace or truth to get in 
the way. With your mindless eyes closed love
is quickly ripped open. With your eyes closed
nothing will grow, except apart. Nothing will remember 
how to fly. With eyes closed we break
down and are lost. With your eyes closed 
you'll never be who you wanted. Food and 
a comfortable bed are nice, but you need 
a hug from a friend, not incompatible lies.   


Animals in Cages

by Darryl Price


I used to work in bookstores. 
Those days are over for me 
now. I used to work in 
great independent bookshops. The world has 
mostly changed a lot since. It 
has lessoned the amount of mysterious 

and deeply profound bookstore experiences. The  
criminals behind this change have come 
pouring out of the back rooms 
crawling  more like ants than flies. 
Do we really need the sacred 
image of a child's fallen and 

abandoned icecream cone to begin to 
care?You don't get out of 
this life without making enemies. What 
a shame. I used to work 
in bookstores. Why couldn't you let 
me have it when I needed 

it? Why? I'm talking to you. 
I used to work in bookstores. 
What's that Donovan used to say, 
Beatniks are out to make it 
rich? I still hold the occasional 
book in my hand. The thrill 

is not gone. Last night I 
saw a whale turn into a 
swimming milkyway. Does it really matter 
where? And back into a boy 
again. And back into a girl 
washed up on the shore somewhere. 

Not lost, but almost found. Give 
her time. It will dawn on 
her. This is our chance for 
love. This amazing everything. It begins 
right where you are. Over and 
over. Sea and sky. Star and

planet. Atom and atom. Molecule and 
molecule. Sand and sand. Rain and 
rain. Hand and hand. I used 
to work in bookstores. Now I 
don't. Unless you count the whole 
world as one bookstore. Welcome in.

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