After School Pub Crawl

Four suits walked out the tavern door
Four smiles stuttered and sang to each other
Fine polished shoes scuffed themselves against the sidewalk
Laughter was their king, and they bowed to her
Now there is a man hyperventilating in the kitchen
and someone else is trying to shush him.
There are sobs pounding on the back of their teeth.
Their eyes dissolve into the salt water.
I myself can no longer see where they are:
My feet are stuck on a carousel in the foyer.
I cannot but shuffle forward and cry.
All I know how to do is walk in circles and scribble lines.

Here’s a late post in celebration of World Poetry Day, which was yesterday. This was originally published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Case Reserve Review and later republished on my now-defunct tumblr. Photo is from my semester abroad in Cardiff. 

A Recipe

Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye
and the writhing, sick body of a copperhead snake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

Give me the secrets of a man who has died
and the kerchief of one who has cried at the wake.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.

Seek out the market of the goblins and buy
the legs of a spider and the fangs of a drake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

Show me, when the moon has dispensed with the tide,
the treasures that lie in the heart of the lake.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.

Tell me the things you are trying to hide,
the words that will have them burn you at the stake.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

For nothing is spared when one’s wants must die,
and all flesh will suffer and all bones will break.
Bring me the pupil of a dead lover’s eye.
Through this I shall give you the power to lie.

This post was salvaged from an old tumblr of mine that I really should get around to deleting. I liked this poem though. The photo is from my semester abroad in Wales. I thought it fit the mood of the poem. 

 

A Poem About Anxieties

Conversations made of words I’ve never said,
lifetimes made of paths I’ve never walked,
thoughts that form a churning maelstrom in my head,

painful moments that I’ve spent with loved ones dead,
quotes from all the ghosts and wisps with whom I’ve talked,
conversations made of words I’ve never said,

fearful nightmare things that fill my heart with dread,
all the open doors upon which I have knocked,
thoughts that form a churning maelstrom in my head,

pissed off members of the groups that I have lead,
retribution from the people I have mocked,
conversations made of words I’ve never said,

razors, knives, and scissors dipped in bloody red,
blows and blows and blows, but none that I have blocked,
thoughts that form a churning maelstrom in my head,

worlds that I have thought up, lying in my bed,
all the doors I’ve passed by, thinking they were locked,
conversations made of words I’ve never said,
thoughts that form a churning maelstrom in my head…

The Wall, Bisecting

Someone has been building a wall
down the center of the city. Pulleys
move bricks and tools up to the workers
on either side. I climbed
up the scaffolding, following the pulleys
to a worker laying bricks.
I asked why he was building
the wall. He sighed and said,

“We don’t know.” So I climbed back down
and packed my bag. At dawn, I left the city
by car, following the wall by way of the Westward
road alongside it. When I reached the edge of town

the wall did not stop.

It continued down the highway, bisecting
towns and villages. And always there were workers
on either side, building it up.

I ceased following the wall when
I came to the coast and the road
stopped.

The wall didn’t.

It is bisecting the sea.

Copyright 2014, Alex Aloi.