Tag Archives: poetry

Two of a kind

Some people say
I’m a little bit crazy
Some people say
I’m a little bit strange
But that don’t bother
me none, baby
With you beside me
I got all that I need

‘Cause we got
wind at our backs
We got sun on our faces
We got the waves
to wash the sand off our feet
They’re holdin’ jacks
but we’re holdin’ aces
When the cards are down,
you’re all that I need

Don’t need a ring
to know that I love you
No precious metal,
no sparkling gemstone
can hold a candle
to the fire inside me
that keeps us warm
on the coldest nights

‘Cause we got
wind at our backs
We got sun on our faces
We got the waves
to wash the sand off our feet
They’re holdin’ jacks
but we’re holdin’ aces
When the cards are down,
you’re all that I need

– Chris Miller

Maya

This morning, a goddess
stepped down from heaven,
just upstream of the river bend
where eddies twirl cosmic
visions with solar rays,

dug her heels into the muddy bank.

Lavender scented curls,
long as winter nights,
spilled from the crown of her head,
flowed across bewitching shoulders
against her marigold aura.

I was void cast in shadow.

– Chris Miller

Some of my favorite slap tags*: Ode to #sadsackscribbles

Stickers on road signs and backs of park benches

Long star-eyed faces, psychedelic doe kitskas

Sad sacks are frowning and shit’s free all day

A little adhesive sure goes a long way

Scribbles on postcards and ATM cameras

3D illusions outline fickle chimeras

Dash of bright color to outshine the gray

A little adhesive sure goes a long way

Hearts dripping rainbows melt into a puddle

Gestalt images that leave you befuddled

Laugh, sing, and dance; they are given to play

A little adhesive sure goes a long way

  • Chris Miller

*Slap tagging is the art of placing stickers on various public surfaces such as road signs, building walls, benches, and so on.

Cardboard for nothing

I want my,

I want my,

I want my accessories.

We’re still movin’

refrigerators.

Cash and carry

4K HD TVs.

Throw out your old one.

It needs replacin’.

Garbage men’ll toss it

for a minimal fee.

Oh, the pollution?

It’s deregulated

since they shut down

governmental entities.

Naw, they ain’t workin’.

Our hazards are excluded.

Let me tell ya.

No guidelines, son.

EPA can’t touch me with their

little finger.

Oversight has dwindled down to none.

We pack and ship your living room plug-ins

in less than two days–we do it for free.

Now, we include these neat packin’ peanuts.

We include this cardboard you don’t need.

Look here.

If you’re concerned, get EnergyStar.

If you’re concerned, unplug when done.

Look at that washer–

got a super-silent spin cycle, man.

Plays chimes when it’s done.

Look up there. Like that? Plastic cake-mixers!

The Garbage Patch is open for disposals, you see.

No, yours ain’t workin’. Buy yourself a new one.

Get your receipt at checkout and bisphenol for free.

We pack and ship your kitchenette plug-ins

in less than two days–we do it for free.

Now we include these neat packing peanuts.

We include this cardboard you don’t need.

I want my,

I want my,

I want my accessories.

  • Chris Miller

Daily Fortune

Monday’s child watches football at night

Tuesday’s child eats tacos done right

Wednesday’s child has Pugsly for an uncle

Thursday’s child is thirsty for trouble

Fridays child likes to party and dance

Saturday’s child wants to give peace a chance

As for the child that is born on a Sunday

They won’t be delivered ’til two o’clock Monday

Southbound

Spring, spring.

Like fools we do sing?

Like Dionysus Zagreus,[i]

from the heart do we sing?

Nay, that four-chambered war drum

is too dark to let sing.

A heart like Persephone’s

six months before spring.[ii]

“The horror, the horror,”[iii]

the forlornness in spring.

The despair of Theseus

amidst a labyrinth of string[iv]

while the minotaur keeps charging,

charging…

its smart phone,

of all things.[v]


[i] Mark Morford and Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999), 223-224. Hera, out of jealousy, convinces the Titans to devour the child born to Zeus and Persephone, and save the heart which is secretly returned. Zeus swallows this heart and Dionysus is reborn. Zeus then hurls a lightning bolt at the Titans, turning them to ash. Humans are said to have originated from this evil ash.

[ii] Ovid, Metamorphoses, translated by Mary M. Innes, (London, England: Penguin Group, 1955), 127-131. Persephone (Proserpine) is condemned to spend 6 months of the year, starting in Autumn, in the underworld with Hades. Logically, Persephone’s heart would be the saddest/darkest once autumn arrives, 6 months before spring.

[iii] Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness. (Kindle Edition, 2012). Kurtz utters this as his last earthly phrase which is rumored to represent Kurtz’s acquired disdain for and perceived meaninglessness of life. The utterance may also be viewed as a condemnation of the pure evil that lurks within the hearts of humanity.

[iv] Ovid, “The Cretan Labyrinth,” Metamorphoses. 183. Theseus uses a spool of string to mark the way to the labyrinth’s exit. Consider the frustration and confusion one might feel when trying to find the way out of a maze in which one’s line to the outside world blends together with the walls of the maze. Such a situation might leave one to feel unable to ‘pull the right strings’ – a trope that refers to being able to exert one’s influence for a beneficial gain – and make an exit.

[v] Albert Camus. The Myth of Sisyphus and other essays. Translated by Justin O’Brian. (New York, NY: Vintage Int’l, 1991), 157. Camus begins his essay “The Minotaur”: “There are no more deserts. There are no more islands. Yet there is a need for them…in order to serve [folks] better, one has to hold them at a distance for a time.” Smartphones, social media, and instant news access have given humanity the ability to, seemingly, hold one another at bay. Will this result in the betterment of humanity or an increase in social isolation and depression?

Allure

Sunday afternoon in the garden
I am graced by your presence
a dozen paces before me.

Your hips are a metronome,
sin in their sway.
Hypnotic. Left, right, left, right.

Orange tiger lilies
watch in envy. Your approach
intended just for me.

Floral patterned, sheer
pastel yellow sundress
hem flutters about your knees.

Polished pink toes,
faux leather sandals.
Footfalls pace my heartbeat.

Beneath dogwood branches,
I am planted, watching you.
My dear, you are hypnotic. Left, right, left right.

Black hair mingles
with gentle fingers of the breeze.
Sunlight is your halo.

Smokey saucers of mocha
beam through clear lenses
and twinkle with a grin.

Butterfly wings tickle
my insides. Breath pauses
in my throat.

Rubenesque curves
strum nature’s melody-
a lust-filled bassline

that brings me to life.
Anticipating your touch,
my temperature spikes.

Wind-swept ember,
you glide into my arms.
We spark. We kindle.

We kiss.
Toe tip to toe tip,
enveloped, both burning.

Collapsed in the grass,
flames lick our skin,
searing green blades beneath us.

– Christopher Miller

Train of thought

At dusk, I open the door, step outside, down the brick steps
To my right, just above the muggy tree-lined horizon,
a waxing crescent moon dipped in crimson hangs
in the evening October sky, soaks up the last rays of natural light
A flickering neon sign of a lone star forces itself into existence

In the distance, a rider winds back on the throttle
The motorcycle engine responds with a throaty gurgle,
bounces sharp crackles off home fronts, propels its rider up the two-lane highway
I dig the lighter out of my front pocket, thumb the flint wheel, and light up a smoke–
a dirty habit that I should probably quit

But quitters never win, I think to myself as the headlight of the growling cyclopean machine illuminates the northern side of our warped mailbox
Angry pistons rock back and forth, expel snarls and snorts, pierce the silence
As the two-wheeled beast careens past our driveway, a tune, faint at first, oscillates toward me

“Hey… ye…eh…”
grows more distinct
“I said hey! What’s going on?”
I take another drag, exhale. Piston beats dance against my skin
“And I try, oh my god do I try”
A steam engine rumbles, disrupts my thoughts, knocks the Fourth Volume of Musical Knowledge from my mental library shelf
“I try all the time, in this institution”
I dig through its overturned contents, look for the chords that tie the song to its artist
“And I pray, oh my god do I pray”
Rock, 90s Alternative
“I pray every single day”
Bands with numbers in their name
“For a revolution”

The taillight spills its faint auburn glow over the white and yellow-lined pavement where it is consumed by the stillness
I extinguish my cigarette, turn, climb the steps
4 Non Blondes continues to sing along the country stretch of 421 South
where pine trees and cotton fields wait their turn to listen

– Christopher Miller