Sunday 5 May 2019

5 Poems by James Diaz

Then She says

i'll be the floor
you be the keeper

remember how young we were
and never will be again

this happy

i dream some nights
that there are no scores to settle here
and the flame under the bed
has no name, but you hear it calling out
heart songs in the dark

coulda shoulda but you didn't
the story is only ever beautiful because it ends


I wish i never opened my mouth

to speak
there's clearly so little in there
thought I knew enough to paint
just this tiny square
but the wall had been laughing the whole time
my heart became timid, then fierce
then not big enough

i thought love
was the bite but clearly it was the swallow
a whole ocean of island
and broken boats

i wish i lived with no experience at all
never shook near the drain ditch
or cried from feeling so small
it was just my size
to be so nothing at all.

You Break but You Don't Mend

place my wishes
in your star-jar
come crash a while
under dome light blue
see me twirl into you
with this in-some-other-life-smile
wrapped round the broken fence
called; shadow boxing is your only option
and it's fixed from the start
who you get and who you don't
the falling into place too late
the long drive into walls
off beds hollowed like trees
not even a younger you dared to climb
drunk or sober
you are getting older
you are getting over the light breaking
into you, fix me, you cry in the night
but no one ever will
they don't know how.

I need to write the poem in its worst light

these are sacred things
that I have to tell you
your eyes only, read the pain-poem
it took me years to bottle into a jar
to know what needed to be said
and what did not
yet it was silence all along
the kind that sits at the back of cupboards
that light never reaches
I wanted to touch deeper than I was able
every pain is unnecessary
and I may have broken more promises than bones
but my body-burning was its own beauty
a face that I knew was mine
but couldn't feel, see - this cut called what happened was
you move like a winding path down the spine of a lost, broken boy
who earned what little illumination he has
and it has become like love to him, like light.

Untitled Psalm 

I am a pale saint
hanging from a door frame
say, in late fall
all the names here are changing
all the names
but not us

no, we stay right where circumstance put us
stray dogs in the crutch of time
stretched and aching
lowlife lullabies
passed out on the lawn again
like how many prayers
can you fit into one bucket

I know what you lose
has no conceivable form
that you can't put your arms around what's been missing
since you got born

all the light is lifting
but we're dancing
beautifully here
in the dark of the driveway
broken and not caring
how badly.


James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018) and founding Editor of the Literary Arts & Music mag Anti-Heroin Chic. His work can be found in Occulum, Bone & Ink Press, Moonchild Magazine and Philosophical Idiot. He lives in upstate New York.

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