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Stranded People


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

Barb-wired halls of hate. And even if I

Was the only one, I wouldn't want you

To look any different. I'm older

Now, no one invites me up to their moons

Any more. That's about as deep as it gets.

I don't feel all that good about getting

The ghost vote from you now and then. It would

 

Have been so nice to know you cared when I

Was freezing in the loveless city and

All my straggled books were crammed onto the

Crude visionary shelves like toy soldiers

Acting out some crazed invented scene

Of fevered battle. It was bad enough

Without your sewn sort of love, to keep me

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

Me from going to trial in my head. The

Wallflower scene I was interested

 

In was the one we were making. 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 resemble

Themselves in mistaken gestures. Wouldn't call

Them out because no one needs to take my

Place. Let them have their exhausted peace in

The big goodbye mirror. I'm still looking

Outside the gates for more than I ever

 

Bargained for. Oh shit they're telling me all

They want from me is more entertainment,

Less train conversation. Well I'd rather

See you naked again. I'd rather get

Close 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 the world, a

last attempt at finding one's true presence.  




   Bonus poems:




I Don't Know Where the Buried Lantern Goes

 

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 sleep and something

indistinguishable to eat. No, I


fear this time you've missed your 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 syrup. But


that is of no real consequence to our

little circle of flaming tigers 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.

I wonder who gets the satisfaction


out of seeing the lights come on 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. 



Ash


by Darryl Price



 

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

In my own moment in the sky. You

 

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

Flying. 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 to the face. Look at me.

I don't know what we were, but we

 

Saw no beautiful angels. 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 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 a 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 your own dinner. That's

 

Just not something I can believe for 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.

     

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