I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: subconscious

Gray rhythms unjustified

Context — It’s winter.


My daily life won’t anger me to fumes.
I’m traffic-immunized, at work I’m thanked,
with modest budget can most things consume,
not bound by orthodoxies sacrosanct.
So how then can I justify the trough
I go through when the planets line up wrong?
Affecting all, these doldrums’ throes strip off
quotidian sheen gratefulness, prolong
tectonic grinding gray ambivalence
that every day throws modest glimmers of,
but when of sound mind dam with commonsense,
the knowledge life deserves no dimmer love.
In weeks when mindful light’s gone dark, the gray
dissolves the prided parts of me away.

Squelch my senses, darkening days

Context — Winter arriveth.


The thermonuclear creation eight
and one-half minutes sprint of light away
breathes warmth with which our acids replicate,
but drives off muse with brightness too passé.
Its rise is celebrated with birds’ song,
its set with colors ochre, mauve, and peach,
its entry and egress oft hourlong
to honor switch from darkness caused by breach.
We honor insufficiently the night
and lack of optic brilliances it brings,
which, mixed with actions drunken and contrite
leave scaffolds onto which emotion clings.
The blind can hear with keenness that’s unmatched,
just as heart amplifies when sun’s dispatched.

Respectful disagreement with the chorus

Context — It is pleasing that so many voices are trying to work out The Good Life.


A Rolling Stone says live to truly rock,
GQ attests that life’s pursuit is class,
the pastor asks you shepherd family flock
as Jesus would with love that’s unsurpassed.
Your teacher says it’s diligence that’s key,
your coach proclaimed that sweat is all that counts,
The Prince would posit ruthlessness decreed
and rule through power’s how you life surmount.
Our heroes, saints, and stars, our parents, kin,
and friends and guides and authors’ deadened prints
proclaim the good life’s reachable therein,
if we’re to acts advice they give imprint.
With chorus’ clamor voice here disagrees:
go follow none. Just BE authentically.

People in shells are still people

Context — I can find it difficult to recall that I am fond of humans when I get distracted by startup roulette wealth.


Soles standing on cracked asphalt, corner light
turns flashing yellow, white man pops to sign
when blitzkrieg roar of Porsche urbanite
whips up my toxic envy at goldmine
of winnings startup-starting youth had won.
My marched attention migrates inwardly,
from there I search for how to have outdone
my salary’s shackles. Thoughts therein blurred “free”
with jealousy and judgment, vice ascribed,
attached to spoiler matte Carrera choice
that there on pavement rubber burns inscribed.
His car was as a braggart’s pleading voice.
Distaste dissolved now, realize the fault
was mine allowing baseless mental vault.

Standing upright under a newfound doubled gravity

Context — we grow into each other, like topiaries into their molding.


He knew himself as simply part of her.
She knew herself as simply part of him.
Extenuating circumstance recurred
until their intertwining lights went dim.
She turned to ritual to fill the gap.
He turned to cigarettes and whisky glass.
Identity to both was still entrapped,
assimilated parts of joint morass.
The watch dial’s turn brought purgatory pain
laced hourly with monsoon rush of doubt,
uncertainty as selves they’d overlain
the things interred they’d once seen other sprout.
In time’s avoidance dance they tipped and tapped,
and fell. And fell again, limb with crutch snapped.

The sprinter is forever out of time

Context — I know a lot of driven people. Time passes quickly for them.


High lactic acid’s now become her base,
exertion past the point she recognized.
Her muscle equilibrium’s replaced
rejuvenating oxygen. Disguised
as daily dulling pain, she feels her neck
begin to stiffen, and her head to ache.
Her office now in ergonomics decked,
though yet can’t body’s healthful thirst quite slake.
She knows it not, but others quickly see
she’s running ever-faster in slight curve.
she misperceives as straight and leading to marquee,
her name lit up for colleagues to observe.
In churning, there’s a key thing she forgot
it takes some time to have reflective thought.

Teach me the skill to recognize I am an experiment

Context — I navigate life using an endless series of small tests.


I run experiments to go without:
to stay awake, to forego meat, to stop
bad speech about a person, to not pout,
to keep a month of temperance, to swap
my thoughts of future for the thoughts of now,
or to compare myself to only me,
instead of others, or to disavow
my inner critic, or go gluten-free,
to radically decrease sweets and caffeine,
to ignore what my mind suggests for guts
and instinct. As result, my life careens,
its definition’s ever-shifting gluts.
Instead of all the facts they teach in school,
why not make self reflection Golden Rule?

The anticipation of a correspondence

Context — #51. Partly the compunction of missing a hello, partly the joy of sleep, partly the anticipation of renewed engagement.


a purity of company amidst,
i’m basking in the humor of the crowd,
unconscious till departures that I missed
the message that your prior had avowed:
a wednesday’s sleep, a midweek gift of peace
recharging juices brackish, stale, and sour
had promised to your cortisol decrease,
your mood improve and appetite empower.
tis bliss for me your hunger is to say,
in clearest ways that “say” translates to “write,”
emerging from our evening soiree,
exchange beyond the wedding’s simple rite.
so I, in moments quiet, dark, and late,
await your brain’s debut of words ornate.

Binge, binge, binge, binge, purge

Context — Today you are given chances to live as did the richest of historical empresses. Yesterday, you were also given that option. And will be tomorrow. Purchasing culture is almost as ingrained as the habits I chide below.


Two dozen binges and their matched-up purge
were marketed to modern me today.
Buy kicks, style bangs, drink upper shelf, the urge
to purchase more was everywhere purveyed.
In decade past, I’ve cycled nearly through
the glitter given gaudily by each,
got guilt from the impermanence, eschewed
reactively the advertised life preached.
In purges, though, I see philosophy:
the habits of our daily lives are hid
in cloaks mundane. Restart! If lost, if freed
is test for substance, ego, thought, and id.
With nine and twenty years of grime, machine
I live in might need periodic clean.

The days in which I am an ice core

Context — Some days are just different.


Today I’m flypaper without its stick,
attracting all the ice without recourse,
I’m tiny trace of apple arsenic
in skin beside the sugar flesh, perforce.
Today I’m penguin puffed into balloon
who’s waddling away from warmth of peers.
I’m unassailable silken cocoon
that guards as soul itself reengineers.
Today I’m frozen like a fish filet
left ugly when it thawed and then re-iced.
I’m holy wall with cracks from root decay,
chipped barrier to endless poltergeists.
Today I woke up cold inside but sought
not single pleasure heat could me have brought.

Enveloping stillness stills cerebral time

Context — Sometimes we sit still.


The air was frozen in a temperate
sensationless enveloping. It left
no sound of sound, its silence’s cassette
subsonic, undetectable in heft.
That purity like vacuum cut the wave
of thought that trickled endlessly to mind.
It left a space like empty pre-dawn nave
where prostrate souls arrive, each undefined.
The unawareness of my body made
such perfect sense in retrospect: become
aware of masks to ruin masquerade,
or words to deconstruct an idiom.
My mind so quiet that I couldn’t know
from where next thought could possibly have flowed.

Thanksgiving Oolong Divination

Context — One Thanksgiving we tried to divine our futures using tea leaves. Sonnet 29, 11/26/09


When Giving Thanks, tradition to the wind!
A gathering of family from afar
surrounded saucer, cameras and grins
alight as tea is spooned to cup from jar.
The zodiac is banded ’round the rim
inside the teacup, fortunes each have space
that’s told when design is obscured, made dim
by laggard tea leaves floating off the base.
My christening attempt blacked moon and glove,
tarot holdovers kept for modern sage,
which foretold lack of passion, worthless love
and search for justice–challenge of my age.
Enjoying thoughts steeped in this platitude,
we’ve jumbled hopes and fears with gratitude.

Directive ghosts of individuation

Context — for all souls who have ever felt different.


The fire started burning round age eight
as if he meant to strike a different path.
It popped to flame from ember when sedate
as if aloneness solely solved the math.
He walked among the others, just like them
in thought and insecurity, in deed,
aware in no true way his forked brain stem
would from his wanted world make him recede.
For, louder than his voice there was a roar,
subsonic yet perceptible. Its slant
an influential contra-sweep of oar
against the river’s customary cant.
The years would force him soon enough enquire
if he could salamander be, not pyre.


Context — …


The dead in deadline lines your mind, the grave
gargantuan and ghastly, grizzled ghoul
from filter fog advances, face concave
and cut with foolish failures, ridicule.
Approaching closer still, you see beyond
the caverns carved in look, and breath aborts–
you’re frozen, yearning, cannot correspond.
You see it’s you before you who reports.
“The grind,” your future past coughs out,
exhaustedly. Her crater cataracts
tell quietly of how she’s been devout
to work. Once prose, whose words her work redacts.
As minionlike to work you yourself veil,
life catalytic cortisol curtails.

shackled to the untethered spelunker

Context — how I perceive the turmoil that starts and ends in the very first flash of morning consciousness.


A thought unwelcomed, grounding, stirs me from
cerebral puddle brimming with bizzare,
where straightened course adhering to a rhum
has altered angles, mangled meaning, marred
to point beyond confusion. Because when
consumed by vignette oddities, segues
are lost, no overlaps in circles Venn.
Your reinless self at sprint, you beg the sleigh
decelerate and resolutely halt
to let your reason interfere and fix
the patchwork nonsense figures call your fault.
Control is useless here. Blot what’s affixed
to inner consciousness–what boils your sleep–
as these are qualms that into daytime seep.

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