Now

She begged me not to throw the key away
if only I’d listened there’d be a tomorrow;
now, in the dead of night, it’s clear what must be,
hiding in this dank, musty cave, this is what they call victory?

Cheap ketchup drowning powdered scrambled eggs,
cheap ketchup stains on this ragged t-shirt,
skirt the issues, hide the truth behind a sly, wry smile;
suck down those eggs,
wipe the shirt clean,
now get off your ass and walk that long, lonely mile…

- Kurt Poleet

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“I hope that Dorian Gray will make this woman his wife, passionately adore her for six months, and then suddenly become fascinated by someone else. He would be a wonderful study.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

There comes once in the distance

There comes once in the distance
a tearful drizzle, a grey rain, a bleak sorrow;
love, once a magical dance, now a stinging memory.

There comes once in the distance
a mournful yellow street light
pointing toward no particular destination;
no salvation path,
no final-reel dénouement,
no slow-motion lover’s embrace.

There comes once in the distance
only a failing electric heater in frozen February,
only molded cheese, stale coffee, a sinkful of yesterday’s dishes,
only the slow, inevitable descent into sleep…

- Kurt Poleet

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“Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones but you still have to choose.” Doctor Who, Mummy on the Orient Express

Tweed Jacket

Doctor Apothecary, carry me away,
‘cross the moon-mirrored lake,
the taxman just takes and takes and takes,
while the Holy Mother knows, but won’t dare say,
like the cold, gray bars of Oz,
because we all know you got flaws,
Doctor Apothecary, carry me away…

- Kurt Poleet

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“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” – H. L. Mencken

Of course not

Too much time swimming ’round my big empty brain,
ripe, red corpuscles bleating like sheep on a train
to nowhere, unaware of the scythes and sickles
choking on that sickly hospital death-smell,
still thinking all’s well, well, think again,
those corpuscles scratching and screaming for a way out,
out of luck
out of your mind
out of touch
out of smokes
out of sleepy Midwestern towns where taxes are low
and all the fair-haired schoolchildren grow up to be
fair-haired grownups raising their own fair-haired schoolchildren,
a dream to some, a nightmare to others,
and the end of the road for all,
fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers,
the end of the road for all…

- Kurt Poleet

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“Some things in this world just ain’t mean to be, not in the times we want ‘em to, and the heart has to hold it in this world as a remembrance, a promise for the world that’s to come. There’s a prize at the end of all of it, but still, that’s a heavy load to bear.” – James McBride, The Good Lord Bird

There’s no such thing as a shortcut

Over, ever going over the tracks,
back and forth we go,
like a Dippy Bird toy putting on a show.

Ever going over the tracks,
well-worn; beaten, even,
by the careless, callous soles
of those in search,
yes, blessed, holy search,
of long-forgotten nightmare happy endings.

Ever going over the tracks,
tracks vultures track night and day
in hopes of catching a wayward soul,
consumed by delicious hate,
lost and blind and heartless,
yes, a murderer in the making,
ever going over the tracks…

- Kurt Poleet

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“But if without enmity someone suddenly pushes another or throws something at them unintentionally or, without seeing them, drops on them a stone heavy enough to kill them, and they die, then since that other person was not an enemy and no harm was intended, the assembly must judge between the accused and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send the accused back to the city of refuge to which they fled. The accused must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.

But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which they fled and the avenger of blood finds them outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder. The accused must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may they return to their own property.” – Numbers 35:22-28

I don’t know

I don’t know
who blows the wind or spins the earth
or tickles a baby till it makes the cutest cackling laugh,

I don’t know
who put wings on an eagle or flippers on a whale or horns on a bull or breasts on a woman,

I don’t know
who made the stars shine so amazingly in the night sky
or who gave such wondrous gifts to artists and authors and architects and actors and Bach and Beethoven and Brahms and the Beatles and Beyoncé
or who made the hearts of so many so conniving and callous and cold and cruel,

I don’t know
who fills the summer with salty sea-breeze air, kids splashing in the pool, young lovers in sensuous embrace
or who fills the summer with bomb blasts, AK47s, IEDs, and the shrieks and cries of fathers or mothers who’ve just seen their daughter’s or son’s face blown into a thousand bloody bits of flesh and brain and tongue and skin and teeth and skull and eyes,

I don’t know
who wrote all the cryptic secrets in a book no one can really understand
or who decides who should be a billionaire and who should starve in Darfur
or who should be a Caesar and who should be gassed to death at Auschwitz,

I don’t know
if God is the Wizard of Oz fumbling around behind a big red curtain
or Charles Manson making his Helter Skelter followers kill and kill and kill and kill in His Holy Name
or the Godfather blessing those who kiss His ass and putting a bloody horse’s head next to some poor sleeping schmuck whose only sin was not showing the Big Man all due respect,

I don’t know,
I just don’t know…

- Kurt Poleet

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“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool..” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Donning’s Bridge

Donning’s Bridge in the distance,
less and less invisible
with each step we take through the moor.

This morning is too quiet for September,
too quiet to ease this melancholy,
this unsubstantial doubt,
this listless uneasiness,
growing greater and greater
with each step we take through the moor.

Instinct bades our hands hold tight,
two sets of eyes become one in the hunt,
nothing but emptiness barricades us from the treasure we seek,
this dream, this hope we share,
falling further and further into the great unknown
with each step we take through the moor…

- Kurt Poleet

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Travis Bickle: I’ll tell you why. I think you’re a lonely person. I drive by this place a lot and I see you here. I see a lot of people around you. And I see all these phones and all this stuff on your desk. It means nothing. Then when I came inside and I met you, I saw in your eyes and I saw the way you carried yourself that you’re not a happy person. And I think you need something. And if you want to call it a friend, you can call it a friend.

Betsy: Are you gonna be my friend?

Travis Bickle: Yeah. - Taxi Driver