My Muse Is Gone

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My muse has gone
Alone, I cradle souvenirs
Her phantom dances in the songs
That haunt my ever-waking dreams
Against the vacant beckoning
I hold a tired candle light
A vigil of my sanity
For memories
Of fantasies
And better things

My muse has gone
And, in the absence of my tears
The shadows, in a desperate throng
Are clinging tight beneath my eyes
I harbor them–my dark disguise
A mask across my empty face
Expressionless
Impressions of
This cold embrace

Of Those Who Were

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Walls–they tell of those who were
The visage, faded, once was clear
Oh where have you then disappeared?

Into the night? Across the sea?
Or do those jaded memories
Still haunt your halls, as they do me?

Foregone–the night so cleverly
With darkness swallows every tear
A soundless cry on soundless ears

But walls–they loath forgetfulness
And not as I do they so turn
Their stories are not fast unlearned

In somber unrelenting tones
A chorus of distress is sung
For spirits absent far too long

T’would be such bliss to quell their taunt
But as I seek I find you not
And feel at last I am forgot

Mimic

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You lie
You lie
You evil thing
You look so much like one I love
But you are only pixels made to mimic what I crave

You lie
You lie
You wicked light
A mockery of smiles and life
You useless substitution for the things I fight to save

You lie
To me
So bold, you do
And I, too desperate to see
Am taken in your faking like a starving little wretch

You lie
You give
Me plastic food
But still I grasp it hungrily
This tiny morsel of the thought–the last of what is left

Migratory

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So delicate against my palm
My pretty bird
I held you close
And cradled you when you would come
To call upon me

With every note your precious song
Awakened love
Inside my heart
A symphony of open sky
And clouds below me

I curse the cold that drove you out
A banished form
A faded tune
To come no more against my ears
Or cheer the lonely

And pray someday you may return
My migratory
Little bird
I paid your passage with my tears
And miss you always

No Reply

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I found the tears
They were waiting for me
In the driver’s seat
On an empty street
Parked over the line
Where no one cared
Jill Phillips told me
“If we danced like this everyday”
But I cannot breathe
And just barely move
Enough to push it out
All of it out
This God-awful pain
But I don’t complain
I can be civil and sweet
Faceless and obsolete
I just wish that life
Could go away
Stop nursing me back to health
Just leave me here
To slip into the dark
In the car
With a guitar and a bleeding heart
Beneath blinking red lights
Can I come home tonight?
“I want to go home tonight”
I. Want. To. Go. Home.
But there is no reply

Healer

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Down is not where you belong
A creature of such grace
Should never need a cage

Though your body is not strong
And sometimes misbehaves
The molecules betray you

I would take the very breath out of my lungs
To give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would break the hands of death to keep you warm
And give you one more moment
If I could be your healer

I would siphon off the blood
And steal the beats from my own heart
If I could save the ones I love
Is it too late to wake them up?

I would trade my fading pulse
And break my hourglass apart
If I could give the grains to you
If there was something I could do

I would forfeit all the smiles that I am losing anyway
To put the stars back in your sky and for a moment make you safe
Do we have to be so helpless? Does this distance have to be?
I wish I could be your healer

How I miss you here with me

Passing Notes

Scratching away
Marks for the days
Etched in stone
Along these walls
Ear to the ground
Praying for sound
To let me know
That all is well

Fighting for air
Cracks in the wall
Passing notes
Clasping hope
Justice will come
Love will prevail
To shake these bars
And break these cells

All At Once

Strickened by a thought I lost the focus for
Like a dream that drains away before your eyes are wide
Overtures of other days and other words

But I’m not quite sure
How the lines are connected

And I’m not quite pure
But I fought these infections

It’s the lives we make
Out of wakened affections

It’s the chances left
For a place imperfected

All at once
I see you
As you always were
In the corners of my mind

All at once
I see you
And I don’t deserve
How the love you gave was blind

336 Hours

These hands are holding me back
These hands they can’t even feel
Time has no mind to understand
How well it’s hands can heal
Or how slow it’s hands can go
When I am trying to get home
When I’m driving in the dark
Or at altitude alone

These feet are holding me back
These feet they don’t even move
Miles have no mind to understand
How many feet that I drove
Or how many more I must go
When I want to be with you
When I’m running open roads
Oh the miles never knew

But I am only three hundred thirty-six hours out from the end of this journey I’m making

Every hour three thousand seconds reminding me painfully how long it’s taking

Just to get home to the place I began to the place I left and left you standing

I hope you know every minute I’m gone is a minute I spend desperately planning

How I can get back to you

Bland

Nothing tastes as something should
I wish to have no drink or food
For nothing seems to fill my need
And nothing suits me half as good
Or satisfies me quite as well
As being with someone I love
So nothing sounds like something good
Though everything seems like it should
The only cause that I conclude
Could cause me not to wish for food
Is that I’m hungry this is true
But maybe it’s from missing you
And nothing else has quite the taste
To fill the hunger or replace
The smiles that you provided me
Or comfort felt in your embrace
Nothing tastes as something can
When all is well and right again
Perhaps the mind is meant to sense
A better flavor with a friend
So nothing tastes like something should
For nothing could be quite as good
As being with someone you love
And suddenly I wish I could

String In My Chest

There’s a string in my chest
Attached to the mess
We left unswept
The day you left

And I keep it all in
Away from the friends
And prying eyes
That ask me why

There’s a string in my chest
That will sometimes catch
On certain songs
Or random thoughts

And unravel the seams
That spill all the things
I try to keep
So nice and neat

And the string in my chest
Is hanging from my heart

It’s a dangerous game
I’m sure it’s not too smart

For a valuable thing
To be so quickly torn

But it wasn’t my plan
It’s just how I was born

There’s a string in my chest
That sometimes comes undone

When the threads are snagged
On fragments of my love

There’s a string in my chest
That makes me think of you

It’s a beautiful mess
We got ourselves into

Speaking To An Empty Room

It’s like a surgical procedure as I separate the sound
From the things I feel inside of me and how it all turned out
As I tear a little piece of me from underneath my skin
It becomes a rough translation of the state that I am in

Unintentionally
I opened my mouth
And the sound that came out was “I miss you”
But there was nothing to say
The room was empty
And it echoed it back to me “I miss you”

What happened
I’m talking to myself again
I must be crazy

It’s not that I
Don’t know how to live
It’s just that lately

Nothing feels
Like reality
It’s all a little strange

I guess that I
Have a lot to live for
But I just need to say

I miss you
Sometimes I just smile pretending you are there
I miss you
Sometimes I just cry for no reason at all
I miss you
I would not trade any moment I have had
I miss you
In the end I know it’s really not so bad

No one knows the way I feel
Except for you and this empty room
No one hears these little words
But it’s the least that I could do

Unintentionally
I opened my mouth
And the sound that came out was “I miss you”
But there was nothing to say
The room was empty
And it echoed it back to me “I miss you”

And I could almost hear your voice…

If Sleep Were A Flavor Of Tea

If sleep were a flavor of tea
The heart of the leaves like a drug
When taken in warm in the eve
Would dispatch the wakeful at length

If sleep were a color of paint
It’s qualities captured in brush
When spread on the canvas and seen
Would lull any eye into dreams

If sleep were a note on the scale
The sound like an ambient hum
When struck in the silence and heard
Could seduce and subdue with its verse

If sleep were a kind of perfume
A subtle narcotic of scent
When tested and taken in breath
Could trigger the symptoms of death

If sleep were a texture of skin
A soothing serene sort of touch
When pressed against lips and returned
Could quiet the senses and calm

Then I should be perfect at rest
Asleep as the sleep of the dead
If sleep were as simple as this
And the senses alive in my head

But sleep is a shadow that fades
In the light of my wishes and pleas
Alone without sense and in wishing I wish
That sleep were a flavor of tea

But I have no tea and no paint
No music nor scent to imbibe
No kisses to take me to comfort
No help for exhaustion tonight

And so I have nothing to dream
And nothing in which to recline
No sense of the senses to sense
No picture for my frame of mind

Alone in the quiet I write
And wait for the final repose
Till near me you’re able to be
Or sleep is a flavor of tea

Tear Myself Apart

Can you hear the threads explode
As I rip a hole through this open wound
I tried to heal but it won’t stay closed
And the stitches snap like a heart attack

When I tear myself apart
To expose my beating heart
For a lost and lonely world
Let the pain become my art
With the blood my ink to write
As I tear myself apart

Every sinew is woven wrong
Let me shred this tissue and break these bones
Call me human but I’m so much more
You can burn my skin but I’m deep within

And I tear myself apart
To expose this broken heart
For a lost and lonely girl
Let the pain become my art
We will paint our love in blood
As we tear ourselves apart

Reach your hand down farther and feel
There is passion burning there still
From this gash carved here in my chest
Till they dress me and lay me to rest

I will tear myself apart
Take the last of my beating heart
It’s a black and broken world
But the pain is my purest art
And I love you whatever the cost
I would tear myself apart

When Away

Taken for the thought of being far
Still asleep beneath the stars
Earth is not so very large
Not as big as, say, my heart

Spoken in the darkness for a thought
How my love for you is not
Regulated by the mile
But is free within my heart

They could fire you away into orbit
They could send you out beyond the galaxy
That could never ever change for a moment
That my love for you is bigger than these

When away
I will keep you here with me
In a way
You can never truly leave
When I say
That my love for you is strong
What I mean
Is that it’s everywhere you go

And I know that you can’t hear the things I say
Or see the lines I’m writing on this page
I know that you may wonder if I’ve changed
But I will always love you when away

Parasite

Cocooned within beneath the skin
With tentacles like vices closing
Ever tighter underneath
They tear at me until exposing

How I suffer
Though I try to exercise these demons
I thought I had the strength to face this in your absence

How I suffer
Though I try injecting all of these reasons
But I’m host to all the faceless empty caverns

Wake up screaming am I dreaming
I think it’s eating me alive on the inside
You can’t see it on the surface
But I think it’s eating me alive on the inside

Oh God it’s the parasite
I think I’ve given it a name
Oh God please be here tonight
Before I drive myself insane
We all are an entity
I cannot separate
These open wounds brought the parasite
I cannot amputate

I think it’s eating me alive on the inside
I only want to see your eyes for a while
I think it’s eating me alive on the inside
Theres no resistance for the vacancy you left

Happy Face

I think I need time or space
Maybe just a bit of both
To bring back a smiling face
Tonight it’s out on loan
Not that I’m all that sad
I think it’s the aftermath
Of crying too hard too much
And they don’t make pills for that

The pillows I sleep with know
Oh when it rains it pours
I turned all my insides out
There’s nothing to say anymore
But I’ll get along just fine
And soon I will find a place
To translate these tears of mine
And put on a happy face

Trouble has come and gone
Maybe it hangs around
I don’t feel like checking tonight
It’s late and I need to lay down
The world is an awkward place
For being a sensitive type
There’s too many ways to fall
And not enough help to rise

But I’ve got a drink beside
The bed stand where I will sleep
The headache will fade by then
Along with the rest of me
I do what I can to believe
The choices we make will count
For something beyond these dreams
It’s all worth the cost for now

It could be worse I suppose
And that’s what I tell myself
We have to keep feeding our hope
We have to keep up our health
When all of these tragic times
Have turned into history
I’ll look back and say it’s alright
It’s still worth it all to me