On Work

I work too much, I think. My nine-to-five
Seems sometimes like nine-to-infinity,
And time off-clock is eat-some-sleep-some-drive,
Then walk-in, clock-in, productivity.

I even dream of being on the job:
An endless stream of “hey do that, do this,”
Subconscious tasks impossible to solve,
Self-employment impossible to quit.

But sometimes friends invite me Friday nights
To live a bit, sit barstool for a few,
And I just might, though always to my right
I hear “what’s up”–“not much”–repeat ’til two.

Dull? Sure, but I’ve had dreams of work before
While unemployed, and woke to wish for more.

~Michael Danger Caskey


Graduating from Sewanee

This inland-isle of Innisfree, for but a fee could be
A resting place of carefree dreams and rocky mountain streams
That bubble in-between a probable infinity
And down into the sacred river Alph, or so it seems,

But this is not for some: I see the waters tugging on the rocks
And wind against the leaves, but seeing these, think “why not me?”
And maybe soon that stream will carry me past inland lochs,
Those nine beanstalks, Past Alph, toward sunsets and the sublime sea,

And when I leave this Innisfree to wine-dark briny folds,
A wish will raft me, goodwill waft me wind to guide me home,
For here, I thrive, but my heart lies past these pastoral wolds,
So staying here but one more year, I may forever roam.

The clouds colliding show no sky above this troubled tide,
But even with the stars obscured, a friend’s a better guide.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Amaryllis, the Nightly Amaranth

I never knew my Amaryllis well
Until she turned full bloom to Amaranth
Beneath the moon, and underneath that spell
Her petals fell, while mine were deviant.

She once was the white of innocent eyes,
The ones well-rested still unstained by red,
And I–yes I, the devil in disguise–
Spotted her in that sacred flower bed,

But in another light, by that dark sky
Her color bled, but fed on purple stain,
She bloomed again, her face unchanging dye,
While I was left behind–her red remained.

Her love lies bleeding now, and feeding on;
But truth be told, she feasted all along.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Yours

There is a place in distant Aberdeen,
Unseen between the gravel esplanade
And golden sand; not quite a place of Dreams,
But where they visit reveling abroad.

Within this sacred seaside hideaway,
There somehow stays, imprinted in the sand,
A pair of prints around the ocean spray
That mark the steps of woman and a man,

Who, side by side then turning face to face,
Must have become reflections of the dreams
That danced, clasped hands, and reveled in this place,
But never stayed; not in fleeting Aberdeen.

I tried to stay as well, but not for long,
For there’s a different shore where I belong:

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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That Missing Song

That Missing Song

I came from the lip of the waning moon,
That snipped the night of starless, dark, and free,
And dipped me down through glowing white pontoons:
Reflections on the waves of troubled seas.

I went to where the cracks of sunbeams stray
Through seams of tree-lined dusk and dawn,
To cast their strings and play those golden rays,
But found it quiet: that old song had gone.

I came before the steadfast face of time,
That showed more rocky wrinkles than before;
I asked him when the missing sun would shine,
But that old man’s not speaking anymore.

I looked up, longing for the backlit moon,
But there was Venus–and her glowing tune.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on September 9, 2012 at 9:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Food in the Hand, and One from the Bush

I wonder what goes through the squirrel’s mind
When it approaches, from its hiding-spot,
Her feeding hand and boyfriend close behind,
Behind his camera, waiting for a shot.

She says beneath her breath “it’s fine, it’s fine,”
As if this madly grinning giant child
Defines how fine it is when she inclines,
Staring with wild eyes and wilder smiles,

Yet nonetheless it nears her step by step,
Each in between a cautious thoughtful pause,
Considering if altruism’s kept
In such a mousetrap-hand and open claws.

It takes the food and flees somewhere discreet;
I wonder if it thought the taste was sweet.

~Michael Danger Caskey

£3.50 More

I overheard them talking at the pub:
Two working men who sat down at the bar,
Pulled out their pocket-change and ticket-stubs,
And ordered for a pint of something hard.

“I read they’re taking out our pensions now,”
The first one told the second with a sip,
“They’d take the very air if they knew how,”
The second person answered with a quip,

“It really costs too much to live these days,
Without more taxes for the government:
They’re raising eight pounds more per year, they say.”
“The nerve!” said one, who saw his pint was spent;

He found his wallet, paid £3.50 more,
And asked the barback for another pour.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on April 16, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Overheard on Bus 10 to King’s Cross

“She’s like, my friend, but like, I just don’t know:
You know how there’s a reason that you’re friends
With anyone that makes you want to go
Wherever doing whatever with them?

“Well now (and I feel awful saying this),
I’m not, like, getting anything from her,
You know? Yeah no, but really, I just wish
I got some sort of insight or whatever

“When I hang with her. I just don’t get that,
And so I think I shouldn’t anymore;
Besides, sometimes she’s like, a total twat,
You know–she’s been that way since we were four.”

So someone said, not word-for-word as such,
But she said just as little with as much.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on April 14, 2012 at 5:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Clockwork Breakup

For those of you who haven’t read or seen The Clockwork Orange: here’s what I’m referencing.

Clockwork Breakup

Reject me, will you? Well if I’m repulsed by you,
I’ll be repulsed by you in every other way:
I’ll think of you when coupled with the worst abuse,
And so, Ludovico your every memory away:

When I’m hungover from a wild night,
I’ll view your pictures with my throbbing head,
And when I think of that drunken barfight,
I’ll think those fists looked like your face instead,

And when I get another blackened eye
If one more husband finds me in his home,
You’ll come to mind beside my bruising side
And broken thigh and tired, tender stones.

Reject me will you? If you knew my plan,
You would regret you ever dumped this man!

The Actress Complains

You’ve said he’s undeserving and obtuse,
A social stick you never want to see,
He’s unreliable (save for abuse),
And always drains the room of energy;

Like how, as you explained to me before,
He shows up late for warm-up every time,
And when he does, he always looks so bored
Indifference which is a personal crime–

And how you caught him staring at your chest
(Not even through the corner of his eye)
And then you heard him mumbling “nice breasts,”
Oh what a wretched man–you could just die!

“I want nothing to do with him,” you shout,
But lately he’s been all you’ve talked about.

~Michael Danger Caskey

Published in: on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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