Entries in Caviar (Poetry) (66)
We met in a train wreck: her car blocked the tracks.
She stood there and smoked and watched as it burned, licked her fingers and forked tongue and grinned at my sin while the barbs in my flesh stood in defense.
I offered her whiskey; she offered her bed, so I laughed at my fate while I drank from the stars and ate of the Earth while Mercury rises and falls to the wind.
Visions of fireflies in rusted out cars cold sleeping in hayfields still flickered and flashed with the words that she said.
She paused and she screamed, two fists full of hair, and dropped to her knees as the blood she still wept on ochre stained lips showed how I lost her embrace.
Her eyes were long dead before I flew to the sun, molten wax searing flesh as I stared at the passed and forgotten forlorn who sang us the songs of rebellion and scorn.
The leaders of violence sent wolves to our lair while she rose with the ashes and I gave in to rust for Gabriel’s cries kept the sirens cold silent.
The felons and jokers all trembled and wept for her laughter and malice were all we had left as she fell to the earth when my dried blood displayed: The deal had been done.
I rock on my heels and curse at the sun for it lashes so cruelly at all I have done; the last of her screams still run down my back, her fingernail traces still glistening red.
The scars of my scars pretend a defense and begin to shut down the feelings I’ve left while the time ran the night all blistered and burned and full of hindsight.
I cradle her hands as her bones turn to dust and the flames in her eyes burn the cities all down as black holes turn to devils and God trades the phoenix for whiskey and wine.
Cigarettes are burning regrets of a life that’s fading faster than my memory, and these blue and fading tears will wash away dead flowers and the Ferryman.
She tattoos her soul on the back of my neck with her spike in my arm and her rope at my throat and her lust in my heart and her death on my mind: remorse swallows guilt as I chase down the dragon.
The pinch and the press are forgiving and patient, one at a time the fireflies die and clovers cast off their seeds to the wind where the children are eaten by butterflies creeping.
She climbs back to her feet and looks down at my grave, then smiles and whispers:
“I told you I saved.”
I am a caffeine junky
My mind is in the gutter;
there with lipstick-ringed cigarettes butts,
withering leaves and discarded parking tickets.
It rests where it does,
soaking up the murky runoff
of rain water, spit and wind- (and tire-) deposited dirt.
Those grounds are lower
than the desperation of a man
whose celibacy was thrust upon him.
coupled with the lingering sensation of his last sexual encounter,
has become his Sisyphean burden.
I look around to see where she is,
but where she is
is not within my sight.
The streets are cold and vacant
(where it matters most);
there are people, but they still feel empty.
I start to walk,
in search of my destiny,
in search of the fabled “her”.
I end up at a crossroads
where existential doldrums
I stand there
©2011 José-Ariel Cuevas
I stare at the mirror,
for a solid thirty minutes,
I have the slightest idea,
yet, my eyes are transfixed.
Maybe I see
time passing me by
with each new grey hair,
or with the bags
under each one of my eyes
(darker, more sunk in.)
The reflection is growing duller,
I splash water on my face,
brush my teeth
and shave my alleged beard
(minus the goatee
it is my signifier.)
It is time to step out
and tenuously hold on
to my ever-fleeting life.
I stare once again,
a quick glance;
my reflection is now sepia-drenched.
©2011 José-Ariel Cuevas
It is another restless evening,
my body jerks here and there,
struggling underneath loose covers.
My eyes are closed, I am asleep,
but tonight seems like a torture party for one.
I sleep on a hand-me-down twin-sized bed
that has seen better days,
but hasn’t had any action in quite a spell,
to the point where fact becomes fiction,
a wishful fantasy.
Nostalgia is something I am trying to avoid,
but all roads tend to converge
in its desolate thoroughfare.
It’s like the main street of a ghost town
where the windows are nothing more than funhouse mirrors.
Each distorted image takes me back
to where love was born, to where it died,
to where lust never made it past
the morning after,
to where sex seemed like mercy-fucking.
Maybe my sub-conscience
is catering to my current, cynical disposition;
a cruel trick of the mind
obscuring the moment when love was real,
but the timing was off.
At that point, I woke up,
put on my charcoal grey Converse One Stars
and gingerly stepped out of the house
to have a smoke and listen to some pop music
(the cause of and solution to what ails the heart).
In a faded, bad light,
pop music can be the clown
laughing behind the funhouse mirror
as one stares at a distorted image
pop music can be a shoulder to lean on,
the sympathetic ear that listens,
the friend who knows what you’re feeling, saying,
“that happened to me once”.
I stare at the empty street
as I extinguish my 3:00 a.m. cigarette with my foot.
I know what is waiting for me inside-
the same bed and the same covers-
but I have enough Bee Gees to last me through the night.
©2011 José-Ariel Cuevas
Sometimes, streams of raw, unfiltered thoughts
flow through my mind,
crashing into each other like errant bumper cars,
or like strangers going in opposite directions,
violently pushing their way through.
Caffeine-tainted blood courses through my veins,
my body writhes in an amphetamine-like trip,
my forehead glistens with a greasy film,
my mouth moves faster than
the words that flow through it.
People whiz past me,
as the minutes bleed into the hours, hours into days,
and the days fall off the calendar.
Time is of no consequence,
as I have nowhere to be;
It’s all about me; me, me, motherfucking me!
It’s about the book I am reading,
the music I am listening to
and of thoughts (vacant, or otherwise) that, at times,
are occupied by exes and the sex we’ve had.
(To that, I blame the song “Heaven”
by the Psychedelic Furs.
It was a cathartic burst,
leaving me with a bit of nostalgia
and a sense of sexual urgency.)
There is a certain method to this chaos,
a “why” to this train of thought
that seems, at the surface, to be aimless.
Whatever the reasons may be,
they lead me to where I am now…
thinking, wanting, lusting…
I have consumed more than the usual amount
of coffee and cigarettes
as the minutes bleed into the hours…
maybe time IS consequential.
©2011 José-Ariel Cuevas
I lay my head on my hands,
my fingers tracing the contours
of the throbbing veins of my temples.
consequences of the night before,
or the ramifications of choices (foolish in nature)
that were made years ago.
The burden seems heavy,
enough to tear Atlas’ shoulders
from their sockets.
My body is spread across
an unmade, twin-sized bed.
The wrinkled linen
of how messy things are
deep inside my rapidly-fraying core.
There is a flickering light that is on;
I wonder if redemption is on the other side,
or if I forgot to turn off the switch?
I haven’t felt this way
since the last woman I genuinely loved
This feeling… it’s like the consoler
in search of a sympathetic ear that is not his own.
Yet, the world seems to be feigning deafness,
or, one voice loudly talking over another—
loud enough to drown me out.
The sun is breaking, the light is still flickering
I have been at this for a while…
If there is an upside to my internal angst,
it’s in my ability to telegraph
the personal tribulations of others.
Maybe the answers I have for them
are perfectly suited for me as well.
We all have our moments as prophets
so that we may be absolved
from our moments as fools.
Time will tell if that is so,
or if the flickering light leads me down another rabbit hole.
©2011 José-Ariel Cuevas
Did they roll up all the sidewalks?
Asked the child at my feet.
Did they burn down all the buildings,
When they tore up all the streets?
No, my son, it was not as fast
As a matchbook shines its light.
It happened over some time
Not throughout a single night.
First they locked away the junkies
Then the pushers, pimps, and queers.
They made the good men step aside
By preying on their fears.
They silenced all the speakers
That used to keep the beat,
Then they banned the beverages
That swept us off our feet.
First it was the men in blue
Who lead it with their fierce attack.
They locked up all the brown skinned men
Then the yellows, reds, and blacks.
After that the walls were built
To protect us from the others.
Not to only keep them out,
But to keep us like our brothers.
Soon they turned upon themselves
But so few were left to fight.
They said it wasn’t just our duty
But it was our God-given right.
Men were killed for being fat
Or having eyes too green.
Some were killed for being short
Some just for being seen.
They tore and raged and burned and hate
‘Til none were left to continue.
And those of us who had survived
Knew there was just one thing true:
If our silence had been speech
We would not walk empty streets
And listen only to the leaves
That crumble dead beneath our feet.
You were the guest of honor on that holiest of days,
And I, the envy of many, just for being in that room.
None knew just what you had in mind,
And I only have one question…
So now tell me the truth
As I trace out these smoke trails.
Only our nation dividing us
And nothing can sell that.
A porcelain doll talked to me one night
When he and I knew it was wrong,
But my drinks were so weak
That she took the shot for me.
Now I only have one question…
You remind me of my Russian Princess
Who was just paying back a promise
By helping me chase the Pariah
Before leaving me in a bottle bet.
So now tell me the truth:
Can you answer me this
While we chase our own tails?
I only have one question.