I dreamed a car crash (Sketch)

i dreamed a car crash,
and my fingers burned with the sensate nothing
that seared over me

i could not scream because i had lost the right,
and as the world melted around me
torn and shorn in glass, metal, rubber
burning in black flame and circling overhead
then into my lungs

i thought
for just a moment
of my childhood

and then it was gone
as was the dream
and i was left in the quiet of my bed

— ptkh 080617

sometimes

sometimes
i feel like
tearing my chest
wiiiiiide open

because
that way
you could see my soul
gasping
in the great expanse

sometimes
i feel like
staring into
the sun

and speaking out
in the tongue
in which it speaks to me

sometimes
i want to scream
until i cough up blood
and phlegm

so that
for a moment
you would all
understand

and then
the feeling subsides
and i return back to me

— ptkh 072917

A Writer

A writer writes: That’s what writers do
If you’re writing something, then you’re a writer too
Whether it’s a fiction, biography, or poem
Or just a love note meant for a partner back at home

Sometimes we overthink things, and sink inside our gloom
That to be a proper writer, we’re locked inside a room
Devoid of human contact, filling reams with stoic prose
Dripping with treacle and ennui lachrymose

But that can lead to silence, a mental block, and worse
Until we’re tripped up tripping through convoluted verse
Remember that a writer writes: That’s what writers do
If you’re writing something, then you’re a writer too

— ptkh 061417

My story began before I did

My story began before I did,
Written on leather and linen,
Papyrus and stone.

I was born in the taint of the oppressor
Stained white with a fabricated purity
Invented by men
Then forced into the mouth of God

My story was hammered into drying clay
Like pigeons’ feet
Dancing
Across the centuries.

My myths were chanted
Around snow-ringed fire pits
And quilled onto leaves of hemp.

I cannot deny what has been braided
Into the sinews of my skeleton.

My story began years before I did:

This skin I wear was stitched
From killers of witches
And slayers of Indians
And enslavers of Africans.

This sin was born of the false piety
Of misguided faith.

O, that I could peel this skin like a snake!
But the venom that poisons this blood
Is not drained so easily as that.

My story began years before I did
But it does not end until my final breath.

— ptkh 051517

Another page

i did not dream so deeply as i did that night,
when beneath the cloudless sky,
the moon perched within the chill of air,
an ocean dotted with infinities of stars

sleep came ragged, but
the dreams washed over me
and pulled me deep into their undercurrent

dreams of my childhood,
drenched in clarity,
picked like fresh berries from the mulberry bush:
purple, succulent, sweet

dreams of adulthood,
willow trees weighed heavy
with tears of fallen angels:
green, insolent, bitter

dreams of visions yet to come,
dark chasms of loneliness
embraced by fetid vines and belladonna

behind the mire,
the glimmer and glitter of nevermind
slithered from my fingers
to remind me
that tomorrow would be

another page

ptkh 040117

Factorial

I
am yet over rocky cliffs,
briefly divining strengths —
reluctance devouring
temporal madness
amidst hours with the id:
I.

— ptkh 011217

The Rusted Locket

the smell of salt in the air
the creaking of the rope as it’s stretched taut
the burn of it cutting into the hands
the rocking of the ship
the sound of seagulls in the distance
the heat of the sun on the skin
the slapping of the water on the side
there in the distance…
is there something there?

Meanwhile, in the real world, he screams and covers his head as it all comes crashing down on him, like a barrage of hailstones, like a photograph found in the clutches of a dead man in a trench during World War I.

And then:

— ptkh 101516

Fuseli’s Favorite Fantasm

my friend is back
sitting on my shoulder
whispering in my ear
telling me how pointless it all is
how i’m talking to an empty room
singing with a vacant orchestra
shouting across the chasm
at nobody
 
when i turn to tell him
to shut his mouth
he disappears
and i am
at last
alone
 
ptkh 092716

claustrophobia

i am
overwhelmed

by the wall
by the river
by the stream of

gogogodododostopstopstopnownownow

until
i am left
breathless
suffocated
by another day

of
doing
nothing

— ptkh 06.11.16

Thirty-two years later

We are the sum of our pieces
Meshed together
Hammered into place
Until the overlapping bits are crushed
And the gaps are filled
With hubris and bile

We are lost in the labyrinth
Sitting alone
In the darkness
Three twists from the end
Four twists from the start
Incoherent, inchoate, inching
Nowhere

We are fingertips
Measuring alcohol
Like the quicksands of time
Measuring out the steady rhythm
Of our lifesong

And we would scream
But who would come?

— ptkh 051416