poetry by michael fink

In this place, the heart leads the mind. Enjoy your trespasses upon my soul, laid bare here for those bold enough to venture forth.

The Universe Eternal

We are the children of a universe
Whose very existence has evoked life
Grandfathered in the hearts of stars
Who, in passing, transcend one existence
In favor of another, you are the light
You seek to understand when gazing upwards
The passionate and the mathematical
The unspent energy of an infinite symphony
Wagering on phases, in absence of understanding
The whole of your beauty
Our eloquence, our thousand languages
Formed first upon the wordless lips
Of nature, whispered into our thoughts
As quiet reminders, each measured second
Or millenia, a blink of the eye to our greatest
Truths, each memory, our history
Travels the cyclical path of our core elements
A universe who taught us to orchestrate
Our own rise and fall, our tumultuous and fragile
Dreams, our hundred thousand
Emotions, quiet shifts upon the surface of
The macrocosm, or roiling currents beneath it
We are the children of nature, and our nature
Our systems and symptoms, our predilections
And prescience, are but fractions and fragments
Of the rhythms of an eternal river
Whose ebbs and flows serve to erode
The callouses upon our own hearts
In understanding this, seeing more than
Merely the curtain of our own atmosphere
All conflict becomes a civil war, every clash
And crash, a collision with ourselves
Bred by the misplaced fear of insignificance
And all anger is directed upon mirrors
Where we foolishly come to rest upon
The err of the reflection, and our own misinterpretation
Of differences, even as the logic of the universe
Lay open for investigation, and swiftly shares her secrets
For those willing to listen, we, born of those same stars
Crafted by those same elements, are no different
We, drafted in such extraordinary conditions
Are one and the same, a truth which leaves room
For no more than love in our hearts
As the stars might dictate, through their basest atoms
And impulses, our highest purposes
Our greatest successes, become one amidst
The unflinching observation of the matter
Which has formed us
We are the children of our own hearts
For whom passion is a product of knowledge
Is a product of passion, and thus drink
From the same well, to return to that which
Our existence is best suited
To love, to place our fingerprints, and thus
Our own existence, within each other’s souls
To understand that the storms and swords
Which pierce our greatest intentions
Are no antagonists, that we are not united through fear
Or common enemy, but by the sheer persistence
Of the endlessly immaculate universe
And that when I take your hand
And look in your eyes, I see more than just a person
More than just the collection of experiences
Prejudices, conditions, measurements, regrets and
Pleasant thoughts both distant and present
I see all of you, all of us, all of
Everything, from the nucleus to the effortless complexities
Of your movements, that I stand in awe
Of the beauty of your universe, and wish you to know
That this is, in all of us, represented
And that the smile worn by my lips
Is reflected in the furthest reaches of the cosmos
When presented by such a simply stunning presentation
Of life, encapsulated in something as simple as the grace
By which your lips form each word that passes
A revelation so profound, I am left as speechless
As the universe that gifted this singular moment.

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So I’ve been off writing a book, and finding my way back to my muse.

So here’s a little taste of where I’ve been, it’s been a journey through the brightest days and darkest nights, and she finally gave me the ending.

His fingers rummaged for loose change in his pocket, drew it up past a crumpled receipt from when he’d paid his tab. Her face echoed across his thoughts, these days, she was all that dared trespass among them. He fumbled through a quietly shelved collection of memories, a shoe box of art and lyrics that he kept in the back of his head. There was her song, waiting, as she had for so long. A slight stumble as he made his way to the jukebox, the bartender was the only one who noticed. A dollar in, and moments later, the music spilled out over the bar. He racked up a set on the pool table, and twisted a kiss of chalk onto the cue. “This one’s for you, love, I’ll be there soon.” They broke with a satisfying crash, an explosion of color across green felt dulled by ash. Each step carefully measured, each shot aligned with the pockets, who diligently awaited the sacrifice. And when he missed, he’d play her part. He’d seen her shoot enough that he knew just where she’d leave her mark.

A thousand miles away, she dug through the same memories. A day spent in paint and reverie. A night soaked in liquor and blissful ignorance of reality. The song on the radio stitched together a serenade, one of being alone and wondering when he’d come home, followed by a chorus of he’s never really gone. As her crystalline fingers ran across lines spilt in ink, and her thoughts transcribed the words that had been blurred so long, she gazed longingly at the door. Calculated the seconds between that dark place and the heavens he promised. “How many footsteps between now and then?” The only thing that answered these days was silence, but she didn’t need to hear his voice to know where his heart lived. She found the words he’d written last, a poem that dove through flowered fields and dusted roads before finally settling in on the last verse, “I’ll be back.” A lover’s promise, one that refused to age through the years that had since passed.

We dream of days that may never come to pass. We hold onto weights in the hopes that we might forget the distance between now and then. Someday, my love, the light will have no choice but to come shining in. The night will back out of its trenches, raise a white flag to the sun cresting the horizon. Someday, my love, there will be more than an old picture for you to caress, more than a handful of notes and a well-worn pool stick to remind him what he has. And when that day comes, there will be no shadows left, save those that we cast. He will trade the fire on his tongue for the one you lit in his chest. You will betray those well-kept words, just to feel his breath on your neck. Someday, my love, I will be back.

He sets the cue back in the rack as the song fades out to some slow country tune. There’s a hardness to the lights here, an unforgiving brightness that betrays the sins of even the purest of men, though he’s never been in danger of resembling that. He throws an old jacket over his shoulder and steps outside for a cigarette. Watching cars and stars, the way they did when they were still young and foolish. His eyes scanned the lot while he took a slow drag. And he said to the whole world, “I’m coming home, my love.” And the whole world held its breath, and watched him take that first step.

Purity in the Fire

Curtains drawn in mist over the empty-eyed sunrise
Where we lie in poison swells, where our frantic breaths are stilled
Lazy saltwater sheets erase every trace of our existence
Even as the moon struggles for relevance
Against the blinding eye of heaven’s favorite
We dressed in pestilence and destruction before this
And manifested our dreams in prescient castles
Who crumble before the dauntless tides
Who stumble before the unblinking mind
A future by the fading firelight
Who twists and turns and shrinks to her embers
And blisters and burns ev’ry fool who dares touch her
I live in the fire, I love her
As she wraps those restless fingers ’round me
Spills out her passions, swarms to the source of my heat
She can dress in me, impress upon me her quivering art
And I will let flow all I know, ev’ry word I’ve composed
Just to watch her petals unfold, feel her blossom against the cold
Be the fuel to her growth, a god deposed who
Upon returning to her throne, would burn all I’ve known
Just to watch this expose the strength of our souls
To those who don’t know, those who won’t show
When we gather close atop the children of mountains
To watch the world explode
Curtains drawn in smoke over the rubble of the apocalypse
Where we lie in the grasp of nothingness, where these tantric eternities climax
Beholden molecules crash into the skin so graceless
Leaving no trace of the faces behind them
In their ache to bind themselves to the heavens
We dress in infernal enchantment amidst the wreckage
And manifest our reality in sacred texts
Who burn at the eyes of the uninitiated
And spurn the weakness of lesser beings
A flame that draws upon the flesh, leaves not pain, but bliss
That sifts through all these tiresome trivialities
To paint in oil that begs ignition, a masterpiece with this inscription
Here, a dream is merely a truth, yet to be undressed.

Return

We don’t die whole
Or collected
With our thoughts
And dreams
Bound neatly within
Our heads, no
We decompose slowly
Over a lifetime
Of chisels and scratches
Like leaves passing
One by one from the fingertips
Of ancient oaks
‘Til what’s left
Is willing to accept
The end 

We don’t die bold
And bright
With all our memories
Gathered
Like firewood, no
It’s after the warmth we pass
Ashes scattered
Over a thousand fires’ corpses
We exit quietly
Stage left, long after
The applause and the audience
Are gone
‘Til naught’s left
But killing the lights
On our last show

But oh, how we live
In the spaces given
Before lying in our earthen
Confines
How we share our thoughts
And dreams
Free beyond our wildest
Expectations
How we compose poetry
Of our sentence
Hammer and shape existence
With sculptor’s hands
‘Til what’s left
Might outlast
Our impermanence

Oh, how we unfold
The unfathomable
Into the intricate imaginings
Of each brushstroke
How we echo, as light
Bouncing from the clouds
And streams
Of consciousness
How we seed anew
Fledgling oaks
Who might someday shade
The weary
Whose weathered flesh
Might someday see carved
Another’s name

For our swift-seeming journey
Is a circumnavigation
Of the heart
A passage ’round the Earth
By her stars
And just as we adjourn
For the evening
Someday she shall return
I believe
Just as fresh leaves conceived
To hold the hands
Of their beloved trees
In the spring
Oh, if ever we are to come home
Someday, we must leave.

Goodnight, Goodbye

A soft-spoken breeze
Carries leaves across the shaded grass
Whispers along blades
Fragile as the words
That hung lifeless
On our lips
The sun filtered through
Cloud strands brushed to match
Her onyx hair and
The bony fingers of
Sleeping trees gnarled by
Memories of life

She echoed the soft light of evening
Eyes sparkling with a false smile
Worn by overuse
These days
She swallowed her wine with all the bravado
Of a woman who knew
Just where the sun collapses
These days

And God knows, where the story goes
From here
All hope dead on the riverbeds of long
Dried tears
But I’ll remember the unspoken
And the cry of the ravens
The scratch of the leaves along
My throat
I’ll remember how my world hung
In the balance
I’ll remember the moment our hearts cried out
In horror

She revoked the smile from my own lips
An instant, bloodless and swift
Shorn as if it had never
Existed
She exposed to me my only weakness
That I dared love the treacherous
Preferred it even, to any other that
Existed

We’ve all got our demons
And I’ve still got my drinking
And what I can’t forget tonight
Will be gone before the bottle
Is empty.

The Sordid Tale of my Unexplained Absence (Not Really)

     So, as I’m sure a few of you have noticed, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. It’s been a very busy time, and a lot has happened, but I’m looking forward to getting back to reading and posting regularly again. I’ve got quite a backlog of reading to catch up on, I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you have posted in the interim. Thank you for reading, and inspiring, I’m off to get started on catching up. 

Dysphoria

Holding on to the weak smile
Of the streetlight, she stutters
And fades, I wonder what fate
Might befall me
These dark days
Call to me, what malady has
Swallowed me
How swiftly does a star turn
To hungry shadow, and
How long must I fight
To find my way home
I don’t even know
Where that is anymore
Where I’ve been since the door
Closed, and the coals expired
To a thin spire of smoke
I’m holding on because
Fighting’s all I know
Because I was given a lover’s heart
Trapped in a warrior’s bones
Wrapped in leather and scars
And left to wander this place alone
And each sultry smile
Each passing light
Is a ticking time bomb
Before they’re gone for the night
I’ve never felt so alone
I’ve never felt so woefully alive
As I am here
Reading the years from gravestones
In silence, made heavy
By the weight of all
I hold back
I scream to the black
Dream of the day
Cry at the back
Of my own grave
I just want to find my way
Away
I just want all that I’ve given
To find its place
The price I’ve paid
For having the strength
To stand through the pain
To free a smile
From my own face
The toxins in my blood
Once trickled, now flood
The senses, I want to see
The light again, to feel I’ve done
What’s right in this
When the blood-soaked sun
Hangs accusing
And the clouds no longer offer
Protection
From this predilection for
Isolation, some subconscious endeavor
To keep my arms readied, emptied
For all that I might carry
For all that I might bury
Deep, what wears my fingers
To the bone
Is knowing I’ll never be whole
That this void rests in my soul
An eternity
It seems, or maybe it’s
Just me
And they’re right
I’ll be fine
Someday
But tonight, I bear the full weight
Of the spaces this world has carved
In me
Holding on to the weak smile
Of the streetlight
I wonder what these skies
Have cost me
I ponder where life
Might have crossed me
And will I ever feel
At peace
Along these empty city streets
Where so many have called my name
And yet
I cast my voice into these hollows and know
No one else can hear me
I am the lonely one who spares the dream
For you, that in turn
Such nightmares haunt me
That these streetlights dare
To taunt me
That I suffer
So you might
Sleep
And I’m left wondering if
My soul will ever know
That the muse dies alone
Known only in fragments and paintings
In poems and arrangements
Left upon the grave
Where I and my love sit
So enraptured by the fires we set
That we never slowed
Til all that was left of our hope
Was ashes.

One Last Drink

Her lips pressed ‘gainst my ear
She whispered
Have you seen the devil
And I know I am him, and she is
And tonight we’ll live cause
Tomorrow we’re dyin’
But good lord, don’t give in yet
We’ve got hours ’til day breaks the will
Of the night we’re hiding in
So I took her hand in mine
And we closed our eyes and jumped
Fell, or flew, depends on your perspective
I say, it’s all the same if you can stick the landing
Hearts swelled, lungs bloomed
A rush of cool air to the flesh
And we were saved, or doomed
One last dance ‘fore the moon
Laid her head on that sweet-shouldered horizon
Lazily drifted off to bed and
We kissed, swore we’d remember
To forget this by morning
‘Cause love must be a drinker
I’ve never known her to sleep without
A little regret on her lips.

One Lovely Blog Award

To begin with, I would like to thank Mum C at amoafowaa.wordpress.com for the nomination, I am truly honored.

 

wpid-one-blog-lovely-award

     I must also thank the many bloggers who continue to inspire me, by the beauty of their words, photography, and design, as well as through the many words of encouragement I have received since starting my blog a few weeks ago. Thank you all, you have been wonderful, and I look forward to reading more of your work, as well as your insights into my own. Onward, now, to the rules.

How One Lovely Blog Award works:
1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
2. You must list the rules and display the award.
3. You must list 7 facts about yourself.
4. You must nominate 15 other bloggers, and comment on 1 of their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated.
5. You must display the logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

 

7 facts about me:

1.) I write every day, I fear I’d quickly lose my sanity if I didn’t.

2.) Due to a chemical imbalance, I lack a self preservation instinct, and I am supposed to take numerous precautions to avoid serious injuries. (I don’t, and the outcomes have ranged from hilarious to life-threatening.)

3.) I overcome my social anxiety by singing, poetry readings, and spinning fire in front of audiences.

4.) I believe in love above all else, though I have paid dearly for it, I could not imagine changing that.

5.) My favorite evenings usually end up an hours-long discussion of life and philosophy with close friends, much of my writing stems from that.

6.) No matter how much knowledge I might acquire in my life, I believe everyone still has something to teach me

7.) I’ve never kissed a girl I didn’t love, but I’ve loved a girl I didn’t kiss, and that’s how I learned what regret is.

 

And now, my nominations:

http://moonlightsonata1990.wordpress.com

http://seshatwuji.wordpress.com

http://shawnbird.wordpress.com

http://blancosirena.wordpress.com

http://personallydisordered.wordpress.com

http://resonantbellworld.wordpress.com

http://retconpoet.wordpress.com

http://redgladiola.wordpress.com

http://poesypluspolemics.wordpress.com

http://theadventuresofrosebud.wordpress.com

http://poeticallyspoken.wordpress.com

http://zar4h.wordpress.com

http://natalieslovelyblog.wordpress.com

http://creativestoryline.wordpress.com

http://astairwaytofashion.com

I appreciate you all, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have read and seen the works of each and every one of you. Thank you, and be sure to check these blogs out if you haven’t already. Take care, and again, I appreciate the honor.

 

Live

Dream big enough that you need only succeed once
And all your failures will be trivial in comparison
Do not ignore the low road, but pay attention
To the destination at the end of every road
Remember, fear is not the absence of courage
But the recognition of risk, use it to temper your decisions
But ignore it when the time comes to take action
It is not unpatriotic to be disappointed in your country
To challenge even the highest authority, patriotism is
A willingness to do just that, even if you are the only voice
Speaking out, speak louder, ensure that you are heard
And accept that many may disagree
Love deep enough that you leave yourself vulnerable
And love deeper still, that it reminds you that you’re invincible
Do not ignore the consequences of your actions
But weigh them fairly against the benefits
Remember, strength is not the absence of weakness
But the ability to overcome it when needed
Do not underestimate your capabilities, but do not
Overestimate them either, draw a fine line between
Reality and fantasy, then cross it as often as you can
Do not avoid anger, nor regret it
Do make sure it is well-spent, and do not dwell on it
Be confident in yourself, but never to the point of complacency
Or arrogance, the simple recognition of your potential
Is enough to move mountains
Live well, and leave behind all that made you
When you die, that you will be remembered
For who you were, rather than what you did
It is better to be remembered in a diary
Than a history book, no matter how great the deed
It simply cannot compare to the lives you touched
Personally, rage against the dying of the light
If only to accomplish one more great thing
That you never thought you could
Live enough, that you need only live once
And your death will merely be a footnote
To the life you’ve led.