For I am the gust in this brilliant joy
For I am the hope in these disorientated chapters
For I am the trembling suspicion in the corner
For I am the optimism in your stained pupils

And the fascination pierces in the burgundy sky

For I am the prosperity in this shattered mirror
For I am the wisdom you have never heard
For I am the glare in the whispering blur
For I am the salt in your four seasons

And the enchantment glows in the burgundy sky

For I am the zest in your shaky bridges
For I am the rainbow in your weeping azure
For I am the shine in your rusty screams
For I am the fear in your gripping wishes

And the artistry blooms in the burgundy sky

For I am the peace in your self destruction
For I am the grit in your sandcastle
For I am the treasure you haven’t touched
For I am the daydream in your hallucinations

And the elegance radiates in the burgundy sky

Love me father for I have sinned
Love me for my teary eyed tragedies
Love me mother for I have misrepresented
Love me for my emerald skin

Drowning in my identity

Love me fireflies for I have wept in the dark
Love me for I have crippled my vitality
Love me acquaintances for my tainted tongue
Love me for my abandoned flames

Soaking in a lost curse

Love me companion for I have misplaced love
Love me for I have spoken to my villain
Love me obscurity for I have been misguided
Love me for I have crawled in my dismay

Drenched on my knees praying to god “Fix me”

That’s the way the addiction grumbles
That’s the way the drunk stumbles
That’s the way the moon serenades
That’s the way the elephants walk in the parade
That’s the way the politicians talk
That’s the way the predators gawk

That’s the way the innocent dream
That’s the way the raped scream
That’s the way the fears surrender
That’s the way the cold remembers
That’s the way the lost are found
That’s the way the veterans weep to the sounds

That’s the way the truth should be told
That’s the way the lies are bitten and sold
That’s the way the victim cries
That’s the way the quiet feel inside
That’s the way the impregnator stares
That’s the way the son of a bitch cares

That’s the way the glass is poured
That’s the way the children are ignored
That’s the way the perception is skewed
That’s the way the label is crude
That’s the way the society thinks
That’s the way the one percent drink

That’s the way the air becomes stale
That’s the way the skin becomes pale
That’s the way the poets write
That’s the way the day turns into night
That’s the way the heart breaks into bits
That’s the way the last puzzle piece fits

That’s the way the thunder growls
That’s the way the thieves prowl
That’s the way the light disappear
That’s the way the dark becomes crystal clear
That’s the way the luck falls
That’s the way the anger crawls

That’s the way the perpetrators finger points
That’s the way the hippies smoke a joint
That’s the way the teacher dresses
That’s the way the students make messes
That’s the way the winners gloat
That’s the way the captain steers the boats

That’s the way the rich treat the poor
That’s the way the small companies closes its doors
That’s the way the snake rattles
That’s the way the beast fights in battle
That’s the way the cookie crumbles
That’s the way the insider fumbles

That’s the way the performers act
That’s the way the sky becomes black
That’s the way the song is heard
That’s the way the villains see the words
That’s the way the view turns into stone
That’s the way the virtuous become alone

That’s the way the branch breaks
That’s the way the dealers make mistakes
That’s the way the world divides
That’s the way the humans collide
That’s the way the people see
That’s the way the universe will be

my ice skates on a wall
lustre of stumps washes his lavander horizon
he’s got a handsome face of a lousy kid
rooming-houses dirty fingers
whistled in the shadow
“Wait for me at the detour.”
river… snow… some one vague faded in a mirror
filigree of trade winds
clouds white as lace circling the pepper trees
the film is finished
memory died when their photos weather-worn points of
polluted water under the trees in the mist shadow of
boys by the daybreak in the peony fields cold lost
marbles in the room carnations three ampoules of
morphine little blue-eyes-twilight grins between his
legs yellow fingers blue stars erect boys of sleep
have frozen dreams for I am a teenager pass it on
flesh and bones withheld too long yes sir oui oui
Crapps’ last map… lake… a canoe… rose tornado in
the harvest brass echo tropical jeers from Panama
City night fences dead fingers you are in your own body
around and maybe a boy skin spreads to something
else on Long Island the dogs are quiet.

My sun has set, I dwell
In darkness as a dead man out of sight;
And none remains, not one, that I should tell
To him mine evil plight
This bitter night.
I will make fast my door
That hollow friends may trouble me no more.

‘Friend, open to Me.’—Who is this that calls?
Nay, I am deaf as are my walls:
Cease crying, for I will not hear
Thy cry of hope or fear.
Others were dear,
Others forsook me: what art thou indeed
That I should heed
Thy lamentable need?
Hungry should feed,
Or stranger lodge thee here?

‘Friend, My Feet bleed.
Open thy door to Me and comfort Me.’
I will not open, trouble me no more.
Go on thy way footsore,
I will not rise and open unto thee.

‘Then is it nothing to thee? Open, see
Who stands to plead with thee.
Open, lest I should pass thee by, and thou
One day entreat My Face
And howl for grace,
And I be deaf as thou art now.
Open to Me.’

Then I cried out upon him: Cease,
Leave me in peace:
Fear not that I should crave
Aught thou mayst have.
Leave me in peace, yea trouble me no more,
Lest I arise and chase thee from my door.
What, shall I not be let
Alone, that thou dost vex me yet?

But all night long that voice spake urgently:
‘Open to Me.’
Still harping in mine ears:
‘Rise, let Me in.’
Pleading with tears:
‘Open to Me that I may come to thee.’
While the dew dropped, while the dark hours were cold:
‘My Feet bleed, see My Face,
See My Hands bleed that bring thee grace,
My Heart doth bleed for thee,
Open to Me.’

So till the break of day:
Then died away
That voice, in silence as of sorrow;
Then footsteps echoing like a sigh
Passed me by,
Lingering footsteps slow to pass.
On the morrow
I saw upon the grass
Each footprint marked in blood, and on my door
The mark of blood for evermore.

She’s exhausted from spilling ink
She’s uncertain with her fingertips
She’s wobbly and shaking on the inside
She’s powerless from the past
She’s flimsy as a thin piece of paper
Sing me a song for wide hope
Sing me a song for stretched out faith

She’s frail within her bones
She’s isolated from the rattle
She’s licking her wounds quietly
She’s aching for companionship
She’s comfortless and abandoned
Sing me a song for freedom
Sing me a song without chains

She’s tangled up in desolation
She’s withdrawn and torn down
She’s a tragedy without a witness
She’s reclusive and friendless
She’s a sky without any clouds
Sing me a song for change
Sing me a song for healing

She disguises herself with prescriptions
and 1970 cliches. More often she sleeps in black leaves and clenches to the whispers of the blizzard. She prays to the secondhand lions and searches for forgotten riddles. She laughs at horror films and weeps at the comedy classics. She’s never used the word forgiven.

She wrestles with the fears in the morning and drowns in the insomnia at night. She speaks in a language without discretion. She plays with her skeletons in the closet. She ignores the left side of her imagination. She dances to jazz and dips her fingers into white pages to write enigmatic poetry.

She expresses affection with amber kisses and her fingertips. She said goodbye to her fireflies. She built walls with quicksand and tears. She stares at her right side of her imagination. She pleads with the stone truth. She’s witnessed more endings than beginnings.

She circles her anger like a hawk. She’s deprived of human decency. She loves with a small percent of her tattered heart. The rest is locked in a music box surrounded by caution tape. She sings to her frustrations to soothe the madness. She’s in love with only parts of her identity.

Sweet little darling
Sipping tea from her cup
Deep thoughts on her rocking chair
Nose stuck in a Dickinson book
Style in her fingertips
Turning page after page
Wrapped up in forever
Coddling lukewarm memories
Counting grandchildren and lost ones
Guided by an inward candle
Unforgettable and refreshing

I read this book in paperback. This is a unsolicited review.

What I Loved:
Braeden Michaels is another one of my favorite poets. He is a master at creating imagery with his varied and vivid lines. Somehow he combines these images to create a scene and that scene, if we allow it, gives us a view deeper into our own humanity.

He writes with such depth and his lines make you really think about who we are as humans and our place in this world, our emotions, and our different perspectives. I find that I can read nearly every piece over and over, each time walking away with more meaning than the time before.

I also appreciate his creativity and his titles are dynamite. Things like “Coughing Up a Smirk”, “Psychobabble”, “Tangled Snowflake”, “Marmalade Boots”, and “The Blush Vertebrae”… how does he come up with these names??

I didn’t find a single grammatical error or misspelling and that made me very happy (because if you know me at all, it is that those are pet-peeves of mine). Also, the paperback quality was very good. A nice size in your hand, great overall length, and the front cover art for me was great.

What I Didn’t:
I honestly have nothing negative to say about this book. It now happily sits on my shelf to be read again and again.

My Overall Score:
5 stars – This book is exactly what I want from a book of poetry. Excellent length, quality writing, professional and engaging cover. Worth every penny and minute invested.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy unique modern poetry that makes you think and feel.

Check out where “The Raven’s Poison” is available! The review can be found on Amazon.

A part of me is mangled
A part of me is incarcerated
A part of me has no meaning

A part of me is ruptured
A part of me is poisonous
A part of me has fragments

A part of me is dismembered
A part of me is misrepresented
A part of me has a disease

A part of me is severed
A part of me is slivered
A part of me has lived in a smog

A part of me is a siren
A part of me is annilihated
A part of me has lost color

A part of me is ruptured
A part of me is an invisible soul
A part of me has died on Mangled Iron Lane

I know it’s Thursday when the nurse brings the little paper cup with five pills instead of three. A sip of tepid water and I go back to staring out the window. I can’t abide small talk. Never could. Better to observe my surroundings than spin idle words. My wife understood that, why don’t these young kids get that? Always on about the weather and am I comfortable and did I sleep well. Of course I didn’t sleep well. I haven’t slept well since I was brought to this place. I keep quiet, I know when to keep my mouth shut. It’s Thursday and she always made meatloaf with gravy and fresh baked rolls on Thursdays.

I constantly see him gazing. I can see memories crawling up and down a mammoth hill in his mind. I can see his mind slowly deteriorating as the seconds go by on our grandfather clock. I often glare at the Roman numerals on it and think of the precious years our love glowed. It breaks every piece of my heart to see him in a hospital bed. I thought I have embraced every minute with him. The last few years we have gone through the motions and hate the tears that fall into my lap. I’ve thrown away countless hours giving him the bare necessities and nothing more because of the silence that pierces through the friction of our marriage.

As soon as I close my eyes, I open them again to the sounds of a young woman opening the curtain. It’s no longer dark outside and I remember Sarah rose early during the week but slept in an extra hour on Saturdays. The nurse smiles at me and asks how I slept. She knows I haven’t slept but a moment yet her mundane prattling eases the sting of being away from my wife at least for a few minutes. I wonder when I saw her last. I miss her hand in mine. How her eyes sparkled as she laughed and smiled. Saturday mornings were made just for her and me.

He gawks at that nurse like he used to at me. I gave all of myself to a man that knew how to take but struggled to give. Parts of me cry like a baby. He never raised a hand or cheated on me. More often it felt like he was going through the motions. Parts of me are frozen. I often watch him sleep and watch his favorite television show. He was enthralled with details, crime, investigations, interrogation, lines of questioning, and trying to figure out the culprit. Benjamin Matlock was his companion more than I was at times. Parts of me chuckle saying that. Sometimes I even stare at that young nurse.

I remember this one evening, this evening when my wife, Sarah, was so upset with me because she had asked me to fix the sink in the kitchen, we were always having problems in the old house with it and she asked as soon as I got home please fix the sink but I was tired from work and I just wanted dinner and to watch the television, my favorite show came on right after dinner and I was so fascinated with the characters and the mystery and I was tired and I ended up falling asleep in my chair and when my wife woke me up she was so cross with me because I didn’t do as she asked and I remember I always liked to guess the ending of the show before they solved the mystery.

As much as I love him, too many times it came across in our marriage he was consumed by things that weren’t real. It was almost as if he was engrossed by make believe to avoid the realities going on in our marriage. He neglected confrontation and was absorbed by the simplicities of life (sex, television and food). I was marveled by his ability of not needing anyone. The appearance of being fulfilled by “things” fascinated me. I know there is more going on underneath but was never one to display that.

She sits and waits for me to say something. Anything. I know it. I can’t say a thing. What will she think? I was five when I learned my lesson well. Danny was eight. Daddy beat him until he fell off his chair, beat him until he couldn’t get up off the floor. Daddy said he’d learn his lesson. Daddy lifted the iron from the hearth and burned the sin from Danny’s hand that evening. I begged him to stop. Surely Danny would be good now! Daddy turned with dark, dark eyes and asked if my tongue needed the sin burned from it too. I closed my mouth and stopped my crying. I didn’t need the glowing red iron to brand his rules into my mind. I learned my lesson that day. Keep quiet and never get caught stealing. I never could say a word. How would Sarah look at me, knowing she married a coward. I stole the candy that day.

Danny hugged me tight. The tears were endless. William passed away at 67 years old and have been married for 41 years. Just like any other marriage we had our ups and down.

He was slowly decaying for the last 15 years of them. Our love was like rain – it poured, drizzled and sometimes it was dry. I can’t say he or even myself showed love consistently. I loved our memories but as the years went on both of us were going through the motions. Here I am sobbing creating more rain – the love we should have made. Perhaps it wasn’t just him falling apart in the last 15 years, it was myself. I took him for granted. I walked away with my hands clenched trying to be strong. Everyone stared at me. I needed a breath of fresh air and all I could see is rain. William loved the sound of the rain.


Check out Tara’s blog if you haven’t! This was a fun collaboration.