At Night I Throw Words at Street Lamps For the Echoes They Make (Bone Poem)

I have so many poems growing inside me

My blood type is B for bombastic

I wake up everyday hoping one of these poems will grow tall enough to see what God sees in me

But now I’m thinking maybe they should be growing in and not up

That maybe God isn’t looking down on us

He’s looking into us

Maybe that’s why people aren’t seeing what I’m seeing

Too busy looking to the clouds for a miracle

When they should be looking here [hands], here [eyes] and here [heart]

I carved myself empty just to make room for the reams of poems I have collected

I emptied out my stomach first, lined it with big oak shelves thick and strong

Bound poems in leather, left them to grow old for that old book smell before skipping my fingers through them daily hoping the sound of my pages will tell me something

Next I shovelled words into my lungs like coal

Burned them with smoke and sent the resulting signals through my throat and out of my mouth

And it’s always the same

“send more words, I’m as hungry as an empty dictionary in a silent film”

I hollowed out my heart

Upturned it like a watering can catching raindrops

To catch the sentences dripping like honey and whisky from the top of my skull

I’m starting to miss the time I didn’t have words overflowing from my ventricals

It was easier to ignore back then

When a set of eyes found their way into my soul

It was easier when I didn’t know how heavy the word love was

I turned my spine into a railroad to carry all of these creations between one another

If you hold an ear to my back at night

You’ll hear the rattling of my sleepers singing homecoming songs for the thoughts that transition around my body like a metal snake or a dancer in a suit of armour

There is a delicacy in this indelicate body

This is honesty

Fuck yous made of silk

Flowers blooming where ever they plant themselves

Orchards of fists ripe and ready to smash their knuckles into the dirt

Revolutions of kissing strangers

All this was born in the year of the pen

The year of the broken sentence and the half finished truth

Next year I will tell you everything I haven’t written down

Maybe by then I will understand where these poems came from

But until I do

Every time we speak

I will make boats out of your syllables

And decorate my life with things that refuse to drown.


Dear People…

When I look at you

I see hands

They’re pretty small when you put them against the universe

But they’re big enough to hold the world

So hold it

Like a bear holds his dreams for hibernation

Surprisingly delicate

But still he wakes up every day knowing that he is the badass of the forest

And if he isn’t, well it’s a safe bet that mama bear is picking up the slack

As easily as she picks up salmon

I reckon if a bear could actually talk it would probably tell us to slow down

Take time out of every season to dream.

When I look at you

I see feet

And they could be dancing on mountains

Or curled up in a bed

Either way they’re going to take you places

An avalanche is just a collection of snowflakes seeing how far a single step will take them

So imagine what would happen if you just decided to walk.

When I look at you

I see eyes

And they may be as green as a forest or as blue as the ocean

It doesn’t really matter

But while we’re talking about the ocean, do you know about the mantis shrimp?!

I’ve heard they can see things we can’t even imagine

Which means there are colours in our world

Right now

That we will never be able to describe

And that may sound depressing at first

But it just means that everything around you got a little more magic

Because everything, from sunflowers to train tracks to old people in rocking chairs,

Has a whole host of secret lives and they could be anything to the right person

Or creature.

But when I look at you

I hear a voice

It was small at first but it keeps building

All the while telling me stories like:

I looked up at the sky today

The clouds looked like herds of bison

John Wayne was inside each one of them making them bold

At least he was

Until smokestack cigarettes pushed him out of the picture and into storm grey mornings mourning the time he could make stars disappear

We live like patchwork people

Our stories stitching limbs onto the places we call home

Daring us to recall a time the street lamps didn’t hand out halos for the trees

And like those electric wooden saints it’s time to grow

Time to stretch out every fingertip reaching for that better tomorrow

I swear when I look at you sometimes you’ve already made it

But it’s ok to slow down

To breathe

Let the world catch up

She’s been holding you a long time

Making sure you lived long enough to return the favour

So it’s about time you held her

You’d be surprised how easy it is.