There’s a blue ball in the gutter
The willows weep amidst the oaks
Drunk street sweepers spreading trash in the air
Abandoned porch swings on hundred year old houses
Blackstrap molasses dripping from that window seal

The Post office is flooded with lost letters of love
The PTA is full of divorced housewives giving the acronym new meaning
The cathedral on 2nd street has been empty
for a decade
The minister can only preach on Sunday’s playing poker sipping on whiskey

Faded hopscotch in rundown school yards
Old man Beetle dressed to the nines for a walk to the donut shop
Laughing girls in pigtails tossing a coin in the fountain
That woman there sneaking a smoke behind the doctors office
What is that strange smell in the air

The asphalt has pot holes screaming murder
Stop signs blushing like lovers on the beach
57’ Chevy is chasing the rabid dog around the square
Rhinestone glasses waitress wins lottery goes broke in sixty seconds
And the pond on Summersby Lane has fish crooning Dean Martin

A police chase down Main st
Same story same time last week
Dirty little secrets of hit it and quit it
Who’s that the preachers wife driving on the wrong side of the street
It’s poison from the power plant on the edge of town

The crab apple tree has leaked mystique
On the bottom of Lake Plateau lives six dead men
And Butchers Field has dancing scarecrows
And the Barber Shop on 3rd Street has chatter that never ends

Peculiar feeling here
The sign at the homeless shelter has been blinking less for years
That house on the corner a double murder suicide
Swept under the rug in the police chiefs house
Don’t mind me I’m just the messenger

Crime rates doubled downtown
Not a dime or a fade penny on the streets
Too many ex lovers chugging medicine at Stella’s Bar
Not enough landscapes or rivers on this side of town
No one here sits on a porch gazing at the stars
Too many staring at the end of a bottle


Braeden – Italics

Stella – Non Italics

This was a fun collaboration with Stella! Check out her blog if you haven’t!

Somewhere east along Highway 37
A neon sign flashes intermittently vacancy
The Scarecrow Hotel remains alone
Stained threadbare carpets muffle TVs
And tearful phone conversations
Sixteen parking spaces yet only four filled
Warm shower and a sagging bed for the night

The ancient bricks lure the demented and sick
Vultures eying through the windows
Black and blue clouds crying endlessly
Wooden floors feeling troubled feet
Surrounded by ravens and blackbirds
Five miles east of the bloodhound river

She threw her suitcase on the queen
Predictably it flew wide open
The latches never held right, just like her heart
Two changes of clothing to cover her bruises
He’ll never touch her again but
Wrinkled clothing and a wad of cash
Don’t heal scarred faces

The letter “E” is barely visible in the sign
Voices humming a overture in the cellar
Last names engraved on walls by spirits
Doorknobs hanging by three threaded bolts
Driveway gravel is black as night
Welcome mat covered in red ants

He stares into the chipped mirror
Five o’clock shadow daily dulls razor blades
Just like the rings that dull his once bright eyes
The phone bill shows her increasing texts
Every time he travels to pay for her wants
More hours, more money, more fancy things
Less of him with less of her, he looks away

Dark stories unfolding in the rooms
Sheets covered in lies and betrayal
Cigarette smoke stirring up shadows
Tiny cracks in every bathroom’s mirror
Brown mustard dripping from faucets
Stained tears found in the corners of closets

She hears voices not her own
Listens every day upon a rented bed
One weekend she opened her eyes
Bloody hands and a very dull knife beside her
Finally a quiet clean house
Ever since then she lives with a smile
Mama taught her little girl don’t take no shit

Storytellers, dreamers, and howlers visit
Intending to sleep but fall in the depths
Replaying memories of the past
Cynics and liars raise a toast at the bar
Tipping the bartender bullets instead of dollars
Quarrels served at the table tops

He loosens a tie used as a tourniquet
Money well spent on the tricks of a whore
Last Friday he played two gigs stacked
Brain damage found in riding a white horse
Picks up his guitar and hums a few chords
Remembers the eyes of a lover
It’s another night, another hotel, another road

A neon sign flashes vacancy nonstop
Full of headaches, screams, and lost souls
Built on a cemetery of the Crowe family
Generations of terror between 6am and midnight
Sleep is just a word inside these haunted walls
Stories never die…


Braeden – non italic

Tara – Italics


This was a fun collaboration! I enjoyed it. Check out her blog if you haven’t.

I’ve walked in the house of 10,000 socks

Right in the center of the room was

a checkerboard clock

From zig zag, polka dots, solid and all the colors from the rainbow

I couldn’t believe what I saw and had no where to go

Piles and piles, stacked up next to the walls

Socks everywhere and down the hall

When the clock struck nine it made a rambunctious noise

From the very top bursted 10,000 tiny toys

The socks begin to move and out came the Zentals

I couldn’t believe what I saw, they seemed very kind and all very gentle

They played and played until it was dark

They were very nice and had big hearts

The Zentals were giving and very caring

They had wonderful manners and understood sharing

They crawled back into the socks and turned off the lights

You could hear 10,000 Zentals saying good night!

Smiles turn frail and sapphire

Grins carrying cobalt bullets

Wrestling with a pocket of change

Standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from truth

Love took a freight train to misery

No emergency brake on this passage

Faster than a speed of light

Lost in all of the choices and indecision

Eight hundred miles away from lies

Wearing a royal trench coat of pain

Feeling like a thousand pounds

Too frozen and solid to remove

Still standing in front of a phone booth

Eight hundred miles away from her

Debating and contemplating

Fumbling with the quarters

Should I call her from Indigo

Gliding into a smog

Pouring firewater into a shot glass

Exchanging gossip over

mixed drinks wrapped around

a mesmerizing saxophone

Overheating remarks on Socrates

Reciting lines from the book of Proverbs

Observing the couple in the

deep chocolate booth sipping

on luscious martinis and chain smoke

to the sound of the rhapsody

Entwined notes and soulful galore

Hypnotized to his shuffling feet

As he sways back and forth

Nicknaming him Jazz Brown

A entertainer in the center of the heart

Playing for thousands over decades

Married to his sweet saxophone

I hold the most intimate

possessions

I hold your “personal” items

I hold your fixes and thoughts

I hold your chocolate

at the crack of midnight

I hold your lip gloss and chapstick

I hold the second volume

of your cherished diary

I hold items that give you something

that your husband can’t

Rotten and spoiled

Under a behemoth sun

Thick as molasses

Bubbling and boiling

Covered in a thousand ants

Wretched and horrid

Even the dog whimpers

from gory stench

Earth worms screaming

A ruthless sight

Accidentally generated

Even the stars hide

behind the glossy clouds

Ground breaking substance

A couple created

living off the land

No animal will consume

Forever rancid

Woke up in the pitch black
Staring at the reality
Shackled with no hope
Barely crawling
Trying to move my tired body

Sounds of the sizzle
Shuffling of feet
Jameson walked down stairs
Scrambled eggs and bacon
glancing at my swollen eyes

“I’m sorry to hear about your father.”
A phrase that swam in my mind
over and over as I scarfed down grub
No time for drops of tears
No time for sadness
“I can’t stay in these clothes.”

Jameson paced like a rat
Imprints in his rattled mind
Struck a lonely frozen nerve
Nervousness and sweat blend
“I will get you clothes.”

Forgotten details befuddled him
Inside of me snickered
Ignited a circle of thoughts
Finally seeing a shadow
Outsmart the predator

Hello All,

I would like to issue a challenge to my readers. I would like my readers to give me a creative name for a made up city. Just like the challenge for the roads, your poem will be featured in a book. The category for these poems will be in “Borough Verses.” Dripping Insomnia is the first poem for this category.

Please have fun with it and looking forward to hearing your titles!

~ Braeden Michaels

Destroyed trust smeared on shingles

Ruins spread out over the dismantled carpet

Locked up gates surrounding decrepit doors

Components of ancient clocks in disgust

Splinters in necks of apathetic voices

Arms folding like a hand of cards

Negligence lingers in the crisp air

Carelessness hobbling on a narrow path

Monotony standing tall and shrewd

Incuriosity bounces like a dodgeball

Separation is coughed up like phlegm

Alienation is the divine appetite

Four mile road of still emptiness

Unfortunately many reside in a glance of reality

She toyed with my emotions
She told me I was cute
She played with my mind
She crawled inside my head

And she spit me out

She craved what she didn’t get
She held the fairy dust
She was bold and controlling
She gripped onto the wicked fire

And she spit me out

She let go once she saw the steam
She used and abused me
She was manipulative and coy
She slithered too far in

And she spit me out

She swallowed too much
She took what she wanted
She was relentless and fierce
She was materialistic and vain

And she spit me out

She was a sensual liquid
She sprinkled lust over my head
She was a dripping eclipse
She opened up the obscene book

And she spit me out

I miss my boyfriend
I miss his hands and lips
I miss his comfort
I miss his warmth

I miss everything I had
I don’t see a way out
All I see is dark and no hope
I miss my life so much

Huffing and puffing
A shadow of a rectangle
Carrying down a mattress
“You will need your rest.”

Tosses blankets on me
Moves the mattress toward me
“Shackles should reach”
I lay on the mattress in distress

He shuffles through boxes
As if he was browsing through
lost and faded memories
“You look like her”

Wiped off the dust of the frame
Handed me the photograph
A woman standing outside this house
“Who is this?”

No response
Words escaped him
Tired and Distraught
Something clicked

“Aren’t you Jameson?”
He turned his head at me
“Yes I am.”
“So you destroyed my parents marriage?”

Nobody told your father to gamble
Nobody told your mom to be a slut
Nobody told your father to throw away money
Nobody told your mom to be easy
Nobody told your father to borrow money
Nobody told your mom to stay married to a liar
Nobody told your father to stay out at all hours
Nobody told your mom to be in a fake marriage
Nobody told your father to stop paying me

Be careful what you say
Be careful what you accuse
Be careful what you imply
Be careful what you ask

Shivering thru the animosity
Like a dungeon with a stench
A fourteen inch rustic door
No remorse or guilt resides
Disappeared in the thick of the night
Tip toeing in the burning fog
Covering her tiny mouth
Eyes wide as tears flood in fear
Disturbed by her resentment
A creeping shadow stands callous

Locking her in the musky trunk
Mystic drive to Blackout Hill
A lost and unknown address
Between crumbled mountains
Surrounded by jagged and lonely trees
A splash of maroon stains
As she attempts to claw away
Carried like a new born baby
in a pitch black bag
Throwing her down like a sack

Gazing up at the scene
Fumbling thru the grudge
Licking a sense of familiarity
Slightly a recognizable face
Face peeks out of the hole
Replaying the anxiety
Cold sweat drips on her frigid skin
Confused in a cellar
Trapped in a vault
Laying on the frozen bedrock