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Assorted Pieces – Ink

The First of Far too Many

I lost my first
staring contest
with a roach

Neither of us

it turned away.

It had
better things
to do.

Another Lost Staring Contest

This chair by the window
and I
have been scowling at each other
for an hour and a half –
raising our brows
to track each pair of approaching headlights
and letting our faces boil
in red auras beaming from receding taillights
swallowed down the starless throat
of the frowning asphalt horizon.
I have known for an hour and fifteen minutes
the chair across from me
would win.
This café closes at midnight,
and cars kept passing my window
at forty miles per hour
with no break lights lit.
Forty cars were at least an hour away,
with all their windows open –
your idiolectic giggle
mingling in the breeze.

Still Frame

Potential energy of stationary objects endows them with vivacious beauty.

Self-studied leaves
boast about being subjects of conversation,
while their trees,
who've survived generations of such propaganda,
listen to each new budding breed
with firmly planted roots.

Aluminum ladders are safest,
or oak reinforced with steel,
but those of rope and wire
should be condemned
by the Roman Catholic church
for their gratuitous wiggling.

But everything moves at some pace,
even when not of its own.

Barnacles collect gracefully,
hold silent cheers under their breath
until restless boats and whales sleep in calmer waters,
unaware even those seas
are cradled in a sphere
swept up in the twirl of galaxies.

When you sleep,
groping through a world of intangibility,
your chest betrays your stillness
even as your eyelids try to conceal
their eyes' nauseating somnambulism.

But when you fall silent in thought,
chasing, retracing the intangible,
breath inches from your mouth, a cautious burglar,
your eyes lock onto a distant spec.

And even though your mind is reeling,
it's taken you 30 minutes
to take a first sip of now-cold coffee,
which sits just as still,
patiently cradling your reflection.

About the Author:

With a fiendish addiction to all things caffeinated and a thorough knowledge of how to waste time, Ink disrupts his neighbors’ dreams by taking recycling out at odd times and singing along too loudly with whatever song fits his mood. He has one self-published poetry collection (Miserable with Fire) and one book published by Piscataway House Publications: Death Loves a Drinking Game. Ink’s most recent chapbook, 61 Central, is available from Finishing Line Press. He is the founder and EIC of the Stanza Cannon zine — a quarterly publication for audio poetry submissions.

These pieces are a part of Issue Two: CHRONOS. Read more like it here.

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