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Poetry from Joshua Carnes



A frown upon a face,
A mask,
A plague,
A plaque that plagues the veins and watched the world corrode around us screamed a callous act.
A fib, a falsity
A lie of measures and beats the Hippocratic oath that mends the woe and grieves the ends of empathy because there's nothing left to feel.
Because they've said there's nothing left to feel.
Or they've said there's nothing left to feel and in actuality they've forgotten how to feel.
A breath,
A breeze,
A waste of seasons,
The meaning and all of its exterior ripped from the face by the seams of less and odious.
An emptiness,
A void,
In the ground a hole,
The consumption of and justification of and all of it seemed unreal because the Earth didn't matter and humanity wore a shroud.



Awake and alive with nerves inside surreal cerebral halls pages scripted seep with memories that some how gapes a trickling tear.
I remember, but vaguely.
Germane to the setting suns of an ever-changing time, those days now gone.
What pain and suffering and broken boned and forgotten means fade into the obvious oblivion causing me grief stricken distraught.
What constellations forgotten resurface like resurrected phantoms wailing sad songs once sung by dead poets.
What walls surround this heart shattering into thousand fractions scattered across the seas and through the sod-a cell?
What ferocity incubates insidious insurrection?
In ghetto, in dream, in forgotten means,
drugged and hallucinating and unlikely surroundings,
The polar regions of one's mind now the cities of chattering teeth and frozen meat on the sides of asphalt streets quivering beneath bridges steel and concrete sheltering the poor from unusual circumstance.
A boy's consumed within the now --
Within what is forgets his means.
What rhythms pound B-bop deep within dark silhouettes dancing in corners of closets, of chasms, of ebon abyss and are confined to shadowed fables of virtuous distortion.
What details shine in such an old oak chest carved from ancient enigmas puzzling me with ambiguous discontent?
What materialism's gone necessity's an infectious disease and some how gapes a trickling tear down the rough of masculine cheeks.
In a gray room, on a concrete floor within the far right hand grasp sits an old oak chest with carved oracles on hinged passageway, opening a narrow straight that's depth's unknown.
A secret dream's embroidered.
Its songs haunt disfigures reflections rippling inside puddled tears of discontent and is forgotten
like the waning crescents of an ever-changing sky.
Those days now gone.
I remember but vaguely.
Innocence is forgotten and consumed and blended in within the every day mundane life of repetition.
Over and over again what reasons keep my breath?
My breath being the mid-eastern winds blowing remnants of yesterday across the earth and through the crevices, of canyons, of caverns, of cancerous cyst scything docile tones of sound and bleeding inside bronchial tubes.
The reasons being inside pages scripted within reminiscent text and dialect in syntax its word whizzed by without notice.
The reasons being inside a trembling voice shrieking out through all of this and even now no one's listening --
What reasons kept my breath through all of this?
What flickering flames and gossamer threads faintly sway back and forth in fleeting winds illuminating a 3x6 cast iron cell?
What weathering rains tumbling down creased soil age like oceans vapid and gone.
What seasons brought change?
What pictures blemished and blurred in its mist?
It revolts.
In grottoes, in visions, in reasons under influence and persuaded in an unlikely place,
The cities of chattering teeth and frozen meat now cease and are forgotten with breezes
blown across the seas underneath awnings of cafés where poets speak and plead.
A child's absorbed in what he speaks.
What sound sway in melodious waves balanced going round and round on an old phonograph soothing souls and glistening in black vinyl?
What life's brought change now fades within what is?
What use to be cry's out loud and is no longer heard.
On vinyl forty-five a single rhyme and Langston recites.
And a child's reached.
His hands clasped stories of many misfortunes beneath steel beam and welded rafter.
His innocence seeps where none know beauty.


Without Filth

What seems pornographic may be lust and I surrounded by filth have found my place among the cock that crows and pussy that meows.
I engrossed know that sin makes a better man.
And without, I having nothing enjoy the mounds of flesh laid out before indulgence and erotic thought prohibited and not allowed.
I lick and suck and simply fuck all holes vacant and available for fulfillment of wondering fingers and probing muscles yearning for place to fit in.
Amongst the outcast sweltering in massive myriad bent and twisted and tangled arms and legs and bodies dripping in salty juice.
Moist and hot and on the tip of my tongue I taste the immoral and question it without regret.
What seems unethical may be instinct.
To touch with soft embrace,
I having nothing have found my place among the filth and cock and pussy.
Engulfed, absorbed and swallowed up deep within the mouths of canals knows sin is disagreeable, but does not care.
Submerged in wicked movement pulsating and ready to burst.
I know without filth there would be no beauty.


The Wicked Flower

Genitalia and Iris,
Soft and suede,
Penetrating through weed and winds to burn.
It's not aloud, but silent.
You see the words --
The words make no sense.
Aren't spoken,
But rarely make any sense.
Aren't spoken and often repeat again and again.
It could be said,
"The Iris and its genitalia sway back and forth in breeze beneath broken oak and by the sea."
It burns.
I awake --
I know it makes no sense.
You'll see through pollen covered streets it's obscene in its implications.
Misunderstood in its reproduction.
You see the words make no sense now, but aren't spoken.
Its actions repeat.
Thrust, thrust,
Conceived and pushed and pushed out beneath
Waning crescent and cold night's gentle embrace.
It's birthed --
It's born by broken oak and disheveled seas.
A child in the orchards obscene,
The forbidden fruit,
It's not aloud, but silent.
You see the words are obscene,
Make no sense,
Aren't spoken and often repeat themselves.

About the Author (click here) Poems © 2002 Joshua Carnes, all rights reserved
 appear here by permission

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