Hello Old Poetry

I see them when I watch my children play outside
(children who will forget you existed)
I glance at them when I walk into the room
(to create things you’ll never see again)
They hang upside down in my front window
(where I had put them, to save them forever)
You, you in your Tiffany Blue
(someday time will remind you what love really was)
The grief in me will never feel like shame
( I love too deeply to decay like a rose)
It wasn’t wholly you that was woven into me forever
(you took them all away from me)
I watch the corpse of the flowers hang
(I think about burning them)
I watch the dead flowers
(I should bury them)
Withered flowers
(the sun bleached our rainbow)
Cracked broken shriveled bouquet
(someday they will be dust)
When I reach up and crush them
(into nothing)

The Maddening Season
This is the Maddening Season
another acrid pill to swallow
line them up in a row, my bloody soldiers
they bleed for me inside my veins each day
tempt the devil to submit one more time
without annihilating my soul
add the bottle to the box
there is nothing more malicious than myself
I am dangerous now
I have been driven to my knees
then tore my way back through, teeth bared
It is the Maddening Season
beat back the pain, small round wonder
then curdle my insides with disease
trade one life for another
burn up my brain for asylum
unfurl my pain for you to see
the grit of my salvation I count into my hand
In my Maddening Season

I created souls in my womb
They sighed their heavens first breath
while doctors sculpted me anew
A scar over a scar, a body triumphant
I weep to my lover about my unworthiness
to stand before the fantastic conceived from our love
my broken mind named Chaos whispering false rot
He speaks to me about the stars, radiant through the storm
How the light of me twines to the heart of them
A brilliant gossamer labyrinth of eternal love
Our souls forming a beatific galaxy
Though damned for my fleeting eternity
to writhe against the shackles
of an illness lacking pity
the hot lifeblood inside me still churns with passion
He and I and they, a tale of immortality

Oh, Christmas Tree!
I am pestered by the indignity
of our almost naked Christmas tree
Just colored lights strung up in rows
no fancy bulbs, ribbons or bows
It’s almost Grinch-like over there
I can feel its bushy stare
I’m trying to protect its fluffy greenery
but that stupid tree stares grumpily at me
I should unleash the kittens
wee kittens with no mittens
just sharp pointed claws
and those little clamping jaws
Oh how they love to scatter
up the branches with a pitter and a patter
They peek at me from the nooks
how does it feel, dug in with tiny hooks?
So Mr. Grumpy Christmas Tree
you better start thanking me
I’m all that stands between you
and beasties that mew meow mew
Merry Christmas over there
I like your new happy, smiley stare!

10 Word’s, 3 M’s
I like it murky
fuck the morning stars
and moonbeams.

Soft and supple
ready to glide out smoothly
admire my colors on your palette
cover your brush with me
paint me slowly, slowly across your canvas
bring me to life with the sweet sigh of the flow
Mix me, mix me, make me shades of blue
stroke your brush across while I quiver
step back and look at all the angles of my heart
watch the hues happily mingle
Put down your brush, wipe down your palette
select a new canvas, pristine and unsullied
but still you come back, always come back
when you miss my varnished love
One day you will return
and you will see
I am a dried out tube of paint
you can squeeze me all you want, nothing is coming out

My Brother’s Haiku
jump off the bunkbeds
sometimes he let me fall down
hero and asshole

20151216_101507 (1)

Sugar Rush
Adoration swirls off my skin and it smells of almost
Burnt sugar that has been left to
Cook too long with the temperature so high it
Does nothing but heat itself while
Everything starts to break down, turn bitter and
Find itself stuck to the pan
Going nowhere but still
Hungry to be made
Into a sweet confection that would make you
Jelly at the
Knees when your eyes caught mine one
Last time, so you get caught off guard and
Miss a step because
No one has eyes like the
Ones that swirled with the careless caramel
Passion that knocked into a nightmare and makes you
Quake with misery because you
Remember the scent of vanilla and cinnamon, and candy so
Sweet how my love was always
True and we laughed and we laughed and we were
Unstuck from the pan that burnt so
Very cruelly and you know and I know my
Worshiping at your feet was too much for your
Xenophobic ego and that
You are forever going to
Zigzag through the land of sugar dreams with the flames set to ruin

 Every Morning Before My Coffee

My friend lost her friend today
And I looked up at my wall
and just like that
just like every morning when I wake up
and I walk into this room
and I see all the faces hung in frames
Just like the unconscious moments
when I rub my arm where my tattoo lives
my tattoo of shining stars
that guide me through this broken life
and I remember
My friend lost her friend today
and just like that
just like every morning when I wake up
you die again

Kiss Me Again Like You Did That Day
Through the infinite serpentine labyrinth of love
Beyond any sane moments of twining hearts
Amid these flowery words strung together…
I’d rather recall
Your hand resting on my foot
And the moment
That one moment when something happened
For just a sweet second
And you couldn’t contain whatever it was
Whatever made that innocent happiness stoke inside you
That made you smile that contented smile
A smile that propelled you across the couch
You crashed into me
And made our lips smack together
In innocent bliss
And the laughter from knowing it was right
Time didn’t exist then
I can weave magic together about love and light
Use words and phrases to twist it into a fairy tale
Or I can simply remember the weight of your hand on my foot
And recall my tingly lips

I think I saw you on the news once or twice
with jet black sunglasses and a blank poker face
she teeters about
wearing an obscenely scummy cloak
its fetid cloth chafing her shoulders
knitted from lifetimes of broken promises
a rancid crown tilts a head heavy with lies
plopped atop a pitiful queen’s hair
she merrily fucks up lives
while feigning ignorance
at the caustic tarnish
bouncing on her filthy broken perch
but for the low low price
of a drink and a wink
you can come up to the stage
and you can unlock the not so secret secrets
of a clearance bin monstrosity

One, two, three
three plucked from me
and just to keep score
he took one to make four
Like leaves on a tree
fall, fall, away from thee
and just like a whore
he loved me, he swore

Pancake Breakfast
Deep in the trenches of my sloppy sanity
I cobble together stories of drivel
a carnival of fantastic bullshit and reverie
there is another world right next to mine
a quick flit of my eyes and I can see the shift
I wonder in that fairy realm if my head is filled with mud
do I have to squint my eyes
squint them so hard they pour hot blood
seeking those who have forsaken me
let them come and wipe my tears if they dare
I rise in the morning like the princess and the pea
never rested because I cannot get high enough off the ground
to hide from the slavering monster
who slithers from between the mattresses
and wriggles his slimy tongue into my ear
while his maw screams open distending the jaw
that spews the ooze of horror of unspeakable nightmares
straight into my crippled brain and weary heart
I just add it to the pile of ridiculous
another piece of rot for sale in my fucking hideous bazaar
Never ask the diseased for a bedtime story
Would you like me to sing you a lullaby?

I will slam this door in anger
I will slam this door insane
I will laugh hysterically
While I run away again
I have swallowed all the pills
I have razored away the blame
I have punched through the glass
While I scream away the pain
I feel my hips swaying
I feel my heart insane
I see my life without you
While I dance away the shame
You see my eyes triumphant
You see your life in flames
Call yourself a goddamn fool
To come looking for a crying game

imagejpeg_0 (1)

Toni Carr Photography

20 Minutes From Her Home
Am I like the trees
tall and beautiful
swaying with the wind
drinking in the rain
proud and strong
bent and fallen
ancient and seedling
branching off into the world
a knotwork of identity
tangling with others
seasons of my life
falling like the leaves
rings of my autobiography
hidden inside me
Am I like the rocks
laying where I please
jagged and raw
slippery and unforgiving
tumble without thinking
scrape your bodies on me
flip me where i’m smooth
see the vitality I sustain
a secret world no one sees
I stay steady while life
churns constantly
endlessly moves around me
use me as a stepping stone
learn my fractures and planes
I will forever
be your constant
Am I like the water
rippling to and fro
slowly cutting caverns
without mercy
soft as silk
murky and muddy
come play in me
watch me hold up ships
slide through your fingers
run me down your arms
without me you cannot live
wash yourself in me
every color in the rainbow
the loudest roar
the softest sigh
running wild through the world
filling up your eyes
Am I like the bridge
put together by men
bolted and tightened
my pieces carefully chosen
sketched out
measured beforehand
tested for durability
stomped on for fun
a spider’s favorite canvas
dead trees and metal legs
stained and ugly
help along the path
the only way through
the only way over
your only way back home

Last Supper
when the tears come
put a pan in your lap
fill it to the brim
put it on the stove
turn the burner on high
add nothing to it
boil your tears
vapors will come
sadness rises
spit at the steam
let it evaporate
leave it on high
the pan will scorch
it will catch fire
open the window
grab the white-hot handles
feel your hands burn
throw the pan out the window
slam the window shut
tend to your wounds
your wounds heal
the pan is useless
draw a blank
there is no pan

I remember wishing for snow
how romantic to catch flakes on our tongue
and dance in a blizzard of innocence
but instead came rain
rain is good luck, they said
so I invoked a monsoon
to drench us in benediction
23, veiled in white
deep in your forever eyes
I do, I do too
our transition from I to we
unlike the two-headed god
our future is never ours to see
Our love collided with fortune
In a body that wasn’t meant to bear
You are the beginning of our children
I am what made them whole
Together we give them happiness
their faces our lovely totality
You are my unflinching warrior
I am your eternal wanderer
You are my soldier of strength
I am your laughter in the dark
You are simply the one who knows my soul
your hands are my divinity
nothing can calm the storms that lay waste to my brain
except your gentle touch
I know why the old man and his wife
wrapped their arms around each other
on that unsinkable ship
I know why they laid down together
and let the world end
I would lock my arms around you
and make you promise to never let go
I would sink to the depths forever in your embrace
my soul has already flowed into the heart of our evermore
I am yours

Sooner or Later, Saltwater
You will carefully take off your socks and shoes
and finally step onto the sand
the echo of my voice in your ears, the cajoling, the blind certainty when I told you one day your bare feet would be sinking into the beginning of time
I told you there would be rainbows
Take my hand
Step into the surf
the gift saltiness it bestows, a secret without name with every drop upon your lips
the sensation around your ankles when you feel the pull of the alchemistic blue
You never realized how windy it is, you will tell me while we laugh and catch my sunhat
I lead you into ocean with my endless briny kisses
I told you everything
how to point your flashlight at the crabs
that your hair and your skin always feel desert baked
sand constantly falls around you, the grit even finding home in the ice cream
napping in the afternoon and waking slowly to the sound of rushing water is womb sleep, safe and restful
With grain covered toes it startles you that I secreted away
for you to discover
how astonishingly loud it is
that your heart starts to beat in time with the waves
and when the storms come they make you weep from the beauty of their rage
I never told you the ocean is so deafening and the prisms of light so beautiful that you will rip off your socks and run straight for the water without thought
That the slamming and the roaring mutes the ache
I never told you
because your story isn’t my story
and you have already forgotten me in waves
My job was only to tell you to how get there

Unjustified Cold
When I get to the tree
I will beg for a simple embrace
expose my blizzard heart
frantic with winter deathless
A tree with no leaves
has nothing for the mangled
but will eagerly accept your hot tears
as fuel for the fever freeze
When I get to the tree
slump my arctic ache against the barren hardness
I will caress its branches
unthaw my snowy love
while it burns itself useless into Spring

Silent Season
On winter’s breath no birds fleeing
through snowy looking glass to baptize
now solid ice immortal seeing
No leaves to bend against it’s will
sorrow fairy garden blighted no repast
all but gasps keep frozen still
Supple new birth hidden deep
seeks no benefit amongst the faded tame
opportunity tells whether languish or leap

Beacon of Sleep
Light my Love
find the path in the velvety heaven
step on the crack
let eternity spill down my back
Light the Fires
on the way back home
clamber up my bones
sing yourself out of my mouth
dribble your grave down my chin
Light the Signals
but it’s a spark predestined
my soul knows no chime of peace
dripping tar in my ferocious wake
Light the Way
this blackness muddies my soul
grip your bony hand in mine
twirl me in your sleeping dance
point me in the direction of where you wait
Light my Love
the exodus of forever haunts a still beating heart
technicolor grief muddies a crypt dirtied dress
wind your way from Gone into my veins
until the primeval seam is forever woven
take rest in the shade of eternal

IMG_7305111Goodbye Hearts
…and that is when you tell them that there are people who are born without Goodbye Hearts. You point at your thick socks and long dresses, sweaters and blankets that drag around you when you walk through the house. It’s to keep out the cold from the Love Ghosts, you say. You lean down and whisper that new Love Ghosts will try to slip in and make homes in your bones, but you don’t have any room left so you have to keep watch and stay inside.
I have an Always Heart, you explain, and people with an Always Heart are only allowed to be forsaken so many times until they are taken and hidden away. When you don’t have a Goodbye Heart your curse is to carry everyone you have ever loved with you forever. One day you are in the world, the next you are masked and are hoping to be forgotten. You must hide, you continue to explain, because you no longer are Here nor There. What the People you gave yourself to took from you died but never left your body, so you carry your love and their dishonor.
Listen to me, you say, please listen when I tell you to look for the people who hurt you quickly or make false promises: they have Goodbye Hearts. They do not have to be protected from anyone, they are the ones who you must be protected from. Look for a Goodbye Heart in the way they leave you. Someone who never looks back in regret is tainted and their Goodbye Heart is a dark and dirty place to lay your love. You will bear that all your days, so choose wisely to stay or to go. I have loved too many Goodbye Hearts and now my Always Heart beats crooked. Feel my heart, you tell them, feel through the layers how strongly it forever beats for all the Love Ghosts who have broken it. Feel it, then run…

Stomach pain doubles me over
I gag I gag
nothing ever comes up but hoarse screams
tears dribbling
picking my skin and pulling at my hair
Johnny says you are about the same today
Sunday you gripped my face
over and over
clutching me and looking
what were you searching for
I rubbed the bony part of your wrist
hours and hours
my thumb on your bone
fingertips on your fingertips
my friend my friend
your eyes are leaving
tell me all the things you see
I count the colors in your beard
I count your heartbeats
your throat rattles and rattles
the same the same
forehead to forehead
air to air
I miss you I miss you
that is what you tell me when I leave
you whisper you whisper
I miss you
I whisper I miss you too
I miss you too
I miss you too
I miss you too
Neither of us meant then
we meant forever
I’ll miss you forever
the core of me dissolves
every bone in my body cracks
muscles tear apart
veins bleed
my heart doesn’t break
I have no heart right now
it’s laying in that hospital bed beside you

The Sinner
Bless me Father for I have sinned
enfolded in coarsened skin
buried passion in the backyard
I can count the steps to my eradication
Bless me Father for I have sinned
the figments aren’t from my imagination
whispers no favor from providence
scaffolding broke during mind construction
they call it my condition
Bless me Father for I have sinned
dank memories banish me from the gates
his eyes abolished my salvation
revoked the everlasting accord of devotion
hellfire’s phantasm exaltation of love

lay wildfire stones down your spine
weave lavender around your neck
pull faces at the mailman
drink honey whiskey to forget
the dance of love will never leave you
no matter how long you hold your breath
in the kitchen in the sunlight
with coffee that tastes of regret
likely love is in the learning
what it means to lose it all
while you’re stuck in plops of sizzling sorrow tar
baring teeth to prove there’s no threat
perhaps love is in the leaving
like winter clouds to spring
and you need to replace these burnt out blackened shoes
but you can’t let go of the old ones yet

Radiant Cain
I wail at the witch’s knee
make him unsee my soul
these knots I’ve bound so tightly
what is left of me at all?
There is no me, or thee, or thine
gave my pound of flesh
for my baby valentine
make my eyes shine pretty for you
it’s my makeup not my tears
I grind into my face
it hides all my broken years
The witch and I sway in the pale
I constantly beg but she never will
undo them like buttons on his shirt
undo the knots until nothing hurts
The witch and I sway in the pale
I constantly beg but she never will

and you named me Bastille
I opened at once the day we met
I crash into you like a tidal wave
my rain pours down on empty days
it washes away ichor from your wounds
Do not deny that I love you
it is you who rips away at my enfolded wings
the world teaches that protection means prison
what words exist for too much caring
except fear of exposure and vulnerability
The back I arch to soften your landing
knits itself when I look into your eyes
it is true that I love too hard
I cannot apologize for seeing your beauty
for caressing your darkness
There is only one set of footprints running away
I accept this burden for what it is
losing people in the fire of my devotion
My heart will always beat in time with yours
when you miss me touch your chest
flutter, fire, rain, I will catch you when you fall

Whiskey Cinch
Soaring tower and I’m compelled to the top
Body suffocated with bricks and blue dreams
Recite all the lessons I’ve learned from my follies
Remember hope rises when lightening steams
You cannot skip backward to untangle violent eyes
Lighting candles won’t make midnight stop grinning
Freezing wishes for laughing memories won’t cease
Caught in the crown of losing in the winning
Your hair will get weak and brittle from the sting
Red lipstick will bleed when you kiss the tall boy
Bury your silver and gold from those devouring
Perfumed pained tears of desire will streak writing’s joy
The people who love you will remember to miss you
A flit of hummingbird’s wings whirs the passage of time
Sunlight will always fight through what you cover
I muffle the enemy’s melody but still hear its chime.

Bowie Eyes
we were there
where it’s always winter
I went again to remember
when you kissed me down the steps
my friend kissed my fragmentary heart
my friend kissed my wildfire mouth
I held his hand and your hand
blowing winds cut me both ways
this phoenix won’t rise
you are the match
come back and set me on fire

Toni Carr Photography






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s