Behind Closed Doors

It’s a main squeezer, tense-bellied teaser
Pushing the tainted pleasure-receiver;
Curl your toes, you white-eyed believer,
And widen your stance: this one’s a heaver.

You issue a gasp, or maybe a sigh–
A moaning reminder why you’re tense-thighed–
Or maybe a groan, a prayer to the sky:
A mantra in tongues, in curses and cries.

It’s starting to surface, rumbling within,
A sign that something is coming again.
Abdomen-tensing, the room starts to spin;
Chin up and tensed up, release can begin.

It’s a main-squeezer, and surely a rush,
Lacking all lust but still bringing a blush;
Some easy breathing should bring down face-flush,
So pull up your pants. Remember to flush.

~Michael Danger Caskey

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Hashtagging

Hashtagging

I must have been cross-eyed and unsatisfied
When I was born: an outlier, but I’ve tried
To Like the Facebook posts that fill my feed
With endless lists—ten things that I can’t miss,
A video who’s end I have to see,
Another puppy pic, go team, click this,
Click that, and Like this thing if you agree—
But selfie pictures only make me wish
That I was living in their background space:
Pastoral fields passed over for a face.

Among those meadows made of grass and muck,
I’d leave behind my high-top Converse Chucks
To feel the brush across my tender soles.
I’d pull the earbud plugs from either ear
So i could hear the wind across the knoll
Whose bushes’ foliage sings ever-clear
That leafy crackle: knowledge true, but old.
I’d pick a fruit from branch-bred chandeliers
Whose taste would be too good for one; I’d share,
But by my side, I’d find no others there.

So those discarded shoes would clasp my feet
Like black-thread mourning garb, or funeral sheet,
And I would turn back on my darkened phone
To check the texts I’d never seen, but missed,
And see the friends I’d gained while so alone.
I’d take its camera with an angled wrist,
Positioning the wold behind just so,
And capture it in picture form to list
Top ten Edenic places one must go:
Hashtag blackberrying, hashtag Thoreau.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Without a Filter

I’m tired of your wine-and-dine parade of foods,
Unfiltered for the full effect and captioned too:
It’s “just a little snack” or “dinner made for two;”
I know you say you’re thinking of dear you-know-who,
But keep your kale and eat the lamb,
Just Instagram your love.

I’m sick of selfies, forty-five degrees of space,
The half-seen arm, the posing preen and angled face,
And all the friends who fit into a tight embrace—
I do not care about the sight-seen background place,
Just please adjust your camera-hand
And Instagram your love.

I see your pictures of a dress, but I confess
I want to see that wrinkled wrap you had post-rest
That time I captured something that your eyes expressed
But you detested, discarded with “I look a mess!”
Forget about your filter-tan:
Dear, all it needs is love.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on November 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bouldering

I’m merging with the wall;
I’m ivy-climbing up the stone,
And every pull is one more push; a groan
Of fissure-falls, the backward skies, the tooth-strained calls
That cry back “next time, next time, one more try!”
If bones are whole and joints are spry,
I’ll face off with the problem-stone;
Its face will be my own.

However, hours hence,
I’ve fallen down, since up an inch
From where I was, there is a finger pinch
That makes me flinch; a move I haven’t managed since
The flatrock flayed my fraying fingertips
From every time I’ve tried to grip—
My joints and bones are both still whole,
But health is not my goal.

I’m waking up to walls
Of sterile, flat, and smoothed with white;
They say that I have been there for the night,
Alright, but downright lucky for the speedy call
By hikers—those who heard my painful cry—
Yet thanking these kind passerby’s,
I have to ask, as far as they could tell,
Was it a victory yell?

~Michael Danger Caskey

The Burn

You try to clench your teeth and steel your cheek,
You’ll brace your bones and fortify your feet,
But when the tempers spark and fighting starts,
There’s no defense against the punctuation mark.

Of course, you’ll shield yourself with clever words,
Riposting well, but nothing goes unheard.
Your wit’s deferred what since has left its mark:
There’s no defense against its punctuation mark,

And just as new brands have a phantom burn,
Alone and late at night you’ll toss and turn
And squirming, find that something found your heart
With no defense against a punctuation mark.

It’s singed its symbol that you still can feel,
Since burns are scars that only time can heal,
Although it leaves a hard and calloused part
That may fend off another punctuation mark

That shares its shape, but bear this well in mind:
A brand may never show a second time,
But it still burns, a permanent remark
That there’s no pain like punctuation marks.

 

~Michael Danger Caskey

Something

“There are no greener pastures, gents: this here is all there is,”
He said addressed to us, but to the wind he turned a cheek–
A wet-streaked shield against the rain, his ox-eyed gaze amiss
And out of focus: Atlas bound by worldly critique.

We looked above us, from the field and to the folds of sky,
To rolling clouds, arranged like one hand clasped around its mate
And squeezing out the drops of life: the heaven’s falling brine
That sometimes graces grasses growing on the hardened slate

Which bears the carvings of our time. Yet as we turned to him,
I half suspected something more beyond the misty shores
Of grey above dear Cain’s rejected grain, and on a whim,
I checked again, around his constant-cawing Nevermores

And saw
We walked once more beneath the stars.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on March 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Amaryllis

How can you be so tense and serious,
Dear Amaryllis; don’t you know the only way to bloom
Is not with shoulders up, hands balled, arms trussed,
But through two far-flung arms like sunlight’s starry plumes?

Just as a flower may reveal its face
And spreads its light into a soul-lit place,
It opens in a field of blackened space
To wrap it all into a bright embrace–

All but the bud. No light can reach inside
A fist of folded arms and face cast into stone
And overcast with shade, as if to hide
The very thing that should be shown and should have shone–

Oh Amaryllis! much have you abused:
Aurora’s gift of beauty never used,
Prometheus’ sacrifice refused,
Apollo abandoned–you stand accused

Of killing off the very thing you are,
Like weeds that choke the life from their own sprouting seeds;
Some suicide, self-fratricide, bizarre
Oblivion, the price of which is paid by me,

The one who wished to witness that beauty,
The one who always dreamed what it would be,
The one who only just wanted to see
Your flower blooming, petals light and free.

~Michael Danger Caskey

The Lightning is a Strobe and the Thunder is a Bass

Born from weakness, shaped in heat,
The Golden Calves appeared to him.
Their altar was beneath his feet,
And so he danced in praise of them.

Some others joined him for the feast,
And two by two more came as well,
Each worshiping their separate beast,
But all beneath a single spell;

The women bent into a bow
In praise of great fermented grain,
And close behind to praise the plow,
The men, stiff-chained, all bowed the same.

And when the sacred spell had passed,
And all the grain had turned to chaff,
From Sinai Moses came at last,
But found no altar, dance, nor calf.

~Michael Danger Caskey

She Could Peel an Apple–In One Long, Curly Strip

Forever is always a moment away,
As if ‘twixt the tick and the tock of the clock,
There’s a moment it skips, that you miss as it stops,
And she was between that, but she never stays.

Forever is only a hair-breadth ahead
On the edge of the world–horizon met plains–
And one step from “never was heard from again,”
But beckoning me to her nowhere-shaped bed.

Listen! She’s muttering something obscene,
Between the swift censor of celibate time,
Its second-hand breaking her promising lines,
As if warning me what infinity means.

But she is infinitely calling me near,
And constantly tempting me walk towards the ledge
To hang on the side along Damocles’ edge;
Forever’s no friend, but she’s calling me dear.

She’s promised that she will be kind through the years,
She’s promising me of a love with no end,
She’ll promise no price on affairs we’ll begin;
She feels I’m her lover, so why feel I fear?

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence, pockets full of rye,
Johnny with your sixpence, bellyfull of wine,
Pulling down the drink since there’s something on your mind,
Quit searching for that sixth sense, the other five are fine,
But you’re not one to think when you’re looking for a sign.

Jenny with some rue seeds, better take some rye:
Pockets full of wishes never gonna shine,
If you get your sixpence, give it to the grind;
Money where your mouth is, bread is close behind,
But Johnny’s got your sixpence, and Johnny’s doing time.

Johnny’s on the down-low, Jenny’s on the climb,
He’s looking for his chance, but the stars won’t quite align,
She’s taking what she can, but the can won’t ever chime,
So sing a song of sixpence, sing a song of rye:
Songs with happy endings always cost a dime.

~Michael Danger Caskey