Grappling with a toxic incubus
Static tangled up in hallucinations
A diabolical perpetrator is lurking
Dabbling with molecules and carbons
And I sleep with annihilation

Memorizing the periodic table of elements
Sinister mind combining mercury and lead
A splash of chromium, pinch of caesium
Blending a explosion in a wicked bottle
And I sleep with obliteration

Ensuring a plague like disease spreads wide
A blackhearted voice speaks with a chuckle
Corrupted hands, apocalyptic intentions
Selfishness wrapping around throats
And I sleep with termination

Belligerent critters stalking the lands
Referencing the last chapter of the divine
Symbolic torture rest within the dollars
Greed softens up the lips and tongue
And I sleep with eradication

A clash of reasons, brawl between sins
Fears sobbing until the break of dawn
Scent of misery swarmed the dirt
End of virtues, end of light
And I sleep with a contagious virus

I drank rain from a malevolent cup
and I couldn’t touch the terror in the wind
I distinctly felt the extinction in the air
and the intruders inside me left fingerprints
I anticipated the rumblings, jitters, and
the despair to rest in my esophagus

I stood in the fog seven miles away from
the shadows and the vile from the hill
I swallowed ignorance with a blend of
dismay, concern and suspicion
I fell before the behemoth’s sins and
I stared at the tarnished wisdom

I inhaled the scent of darkness
and I could feel the breeze of agony
I witnessed my logic, quirks, and talking
Skeleton disappear into the clouds
I was consumed by crisis oriented faith,
misplaced psychology, and charades

I stared at the dementia with my lip
quivering and with the aftertaste of sorrow
I stood six feet apart from the quicksand
and the rattle swimming in the sea of chaos
I severed the gospel from my identity
and I muttered words of inadequacy

I stepped on the carousel of deception
and shrugged off human decency
I became one with the vile from the hill
and detested the color of my pupils
I was obsessed by the anxiety and the
venom in my stomach turned into stone

I was crushed by my weaknesses
and the stench of loneliness dispersed
I devoured the indecisions, complexity,
and the tears in my eyes evaporated
I despised the grave of my haunting past
and ignored the road to the sunrise

Antidotes tasting like black coffee
A chalk outline of Patterson’s grumbles
China dolls parade 13th street with
residue on the corners of their mouths
Adversaries hack up off colored jokes
under a jagged and teary eyed sun
whispering forgotten fairy tales
“I can’t shine, I don’t have time,
I’m lost and forgotten in these rhymes”

And the ghost of Patterson counts his secrets
Smears his name at the gates for attention
Picking the lock, shouting at the kingdom

Romantics playing hopscotch on
cracked and overused sidewalks
Protagonists and thieves banter
in the smog at Jameson’s bar on Kingsman
Cynics and skeptics erasing evidence
of hope on belligerent walls
Butterflies flying over restless Samaritan’s
chained to oxidized dumpsters
Walker struts with a nervous alibi

And the ghost of Patterson counts the bullets
painting his name on the golden walls
Crouched down, yelling at the kingdom

Walker stalks the neighbors, wrestles with friction, and turns into a killjoy
Leaking out minor details and spilling of a lethal homicide filled with inquiries
Butterflies swarm the garden, surrounding a sealed box
Sounds of an ax break the venerable crate
Intriguing signatures, bag of money, and a letter from Patterson to a world class criminal
Conviction and Walker go hand in hand

And the ghost of Patterson sheds its feathers
Staring up at a dot of light,
Staring down at a dot of black,
Cemented in a glass underworld

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

She slips on theological rhetoric
She hides behind the voodoo stuck to her silent tongue
Wearing her vixen like dress
She acquired accolades and accommodations from the saliva of the burnt orange wolf
She spoke the language of love in riddles and teenage rhymes
Wearing her Madusa like pearls
She mishandled truth and washed down a liter of half bitten lies
She threw away fortunes and laughed at others misfortunes
Wearing her witchcraft perfume
She roared liked the bitch she was and ignored the crowd who carried her on a Persian rug
Wearing her battle ax over her shoulder

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!