so simple. so brilliant.
i tried to write about your eyes
but i ran out of cliches
i tried to say you plainly
but there wasn’t enough truth
whoever invented this language
didn’t anticipate you
(I don’t miss him.
I miss our what-would’ve-beens, the
future I don’t get to have. The shoebox
apartment in Asheville, a tiny book-record-coffeshop-club beneath,
sitting on the drumset during a concert, kisses
between songs, the snow melting
between his blonde eyelashes, his nose nestled into the
crook of my neck while we lay,
entangled, on the hardwood floor in
only our socks. The lakehouse
in New York, morning serenades on a wooden dock
with black coffee, him taking Auden out on a little
canoe with his guitar. Three children.
Mountains and valleys and
making them toys and never not having a hand to hold
and fucking in the bathroom of that amusement park,
and crying into his salty shoulder and
him plucking the stars out of the sky for me.
Is it possible to miss
a life I never
I tried to call your name, but
my voice was carried on by
the wind. I cried out for you,
but perhaps it was just a
gentle whisper. Here I wait,
and to you I’m just a ghost.
I’m the girl who waited by
the window late each night.
I’m the girl who was comforted
not by your loving embrace,
but by the worn blankets
sewn from generations past.
The deceased members of
my family are those now that
warm my blood. Your hot
kisses have grown cold from
last night’s cool air, your hands
thirsty for unscented lotion.
The couch I live on each
night is worn and tired of
my perch. My nose and
cheeks are red from the
constant press of the glass
between you and me.
The glass, forever our
barrier. The glass, the cold
wretched glass, forever,
forever our lives, the
barrier, the wretched barrier.
Glass, forever our barrier.
Love is a brittle, brittle beast
within our means to kill
Love is the dead one at the end of the
with a brain like Lear
a gentile, dressed in rags.
Every page has two sides
and every bird has two tones
and to every tone, a pitch
Bones crack and air is wasted
Love is fair and cruel
the asp of youth, of beauty
and of apples that fall not far just to
Sugar is too often doomed to be wasted
and poison is it’s loveliest
when married to the sharp
and hereto used,
forming the last words of a prince
the birttle, brittle beast.
The blood we draw
and do not use
The tears we show
but do not savor
Inside the broken jaw
of a man
what red pools in his ears
Love is the sound that went unheard
love is the broken toy
love is matter
matter is common and easy to replace.
I can feel it when I’m away from you,
separated by this island’s length. I can
see you in my dreams and yet when I
reach out my hand, it swipes through
thin air. I hear you laugh or someone
will call your name and I’ll react. Such
a blatant move to see if you are stood
behind me somewhere in the crowd… but
you never are. You are still miles away
and out of reach. Come back and heal me.
I’ve had enough of this sickness, I need
to find home. Find where you are.
Here, while you’re with me all alone in this place,
take these bitter roots,
these bitter roots, shoots, gnarled twigs, leaves and berries..
they will heal it or make it taste sweeter for a at least a moment.
Our father’s fathers and theirs too drank the sap and inhaled deep the scent, while
our mothers also found their relief in these roots.
Take them up into your bosom or swallow the bitterness of them gratefully.
These are kind, gentle, giving roots.
I knew nothing of these roots till ate them. I ate them from straight from the pot
without hesitation. I was so hungry for satiety
and these bitter roots were sweet for days upon days. Even now it is still sweet,
but the roots are here for you, too to take.
Natalie’s note: One of my favourite poets here. Vivid and daring.
the nightmares are a daft ruse
he will return to his berth, to the gremlins
wrestling his restless limbs
there is no silence, under the covers
ceaseless prickling, the mighty army
abrades the skin, digging fathomless burrows
scratching is no use if
the mines are buried too deeply
underneath, the deaf man follows
his own rhythms, feeling the throb
fumbling, soon the mattress will flip
and all hope will be smothered
the clock insists he is still alive
while the bottle pours a new floor
the coat is slipping to the floor
its sleeves straining to conduct a requiem
an absurd moonlight sweeps the walls
the shadows offering hope, from loneliness
come the echoes of clacking teeth
peeking through the slackened mouth
of old men, no longer real
the doors creaking shut, leave a message
everything is a hallucination, only
the furthest fires have learned to breathe
laid to rest in a clown suit, someone
dressed like Death, attending the funeral
one last prank, when the last light is snuffed
the laughter should still be heard
of a pilgrimage,
an apocalyptic Travel Lodge,
looking for the land between the rivers,
Tigris and Euphrates.
Crippled oil war draftees,
haunted by Paradise,
and dreams of ever more,
we’re slinking toward Babylon
abandoned in desert wars,
past slot machines
and moneyed whores.
We’re the nerve gas warriors
guarding stainless steel kitchens,
ending gas price bitchin’,
sending the sand men twitchin’,
to keep Vegas twinklin’.
We’ll rout the rag,
protect our swag,
and that’s no brag.
See our flag.
© Jude Dippold, 2013
‘Tales,’ Green eyes
Whisper, elusive in
The fog that dresses
The trees in milk gowns.
‘The endless tales I could
I let a woman go
ahead in line at
the grocery store
I could picture
my portrait hanging
in a cathedral with
that radiant halo
turning my skull
I saw myself locked
inside stained glass
and not complaining
my lady lashes out
in her sleep as if
that man from eight
years ago is coming back
I was inhaled as
second hand smoke
I get so little credit
for your troubles
buzzcock bebop was
playing when our hands locked
in that pocket of air that
must have came from Mars
charmed, I’m sure
harmed, for sure
raise churches, raise Hell