No Oasis For Old Orchids

Our relationship was like the orchids I forgot to water for months.

So beautiful and full of color and life and potential for growth in the beginning; but I forgot to water you.

And like my orchids the sun took you away.

Burnt up and burnt out.

I stayed inside for weeks at a time after that.

Watering my liver down with an endless stream of alcohol, while I talked with my shadow about how badly it wished to be cast at my feet in the sun once more.

To run through the sprinklers and shower storms.

I finally made it outside again, but I sit in the shade.

I sit and smoke

and tremble.

I am not a religious man but for some reason I found myself in a prayer position.

My hands pressed flatly together against my lips, pointed towards the sky, dissecting my face in a vertical fashion.

My thumbs pushing into my lymph nodes.

Staring at the garden as I ponder if this was a taught position or instinct.

Somehow it felt right.

Like biting your nails before a job interview, or pacing in the waiting room of a hospital.

I play in the dirt in hopes to dig up some pieces of me that got burnt up in our drought.

I shook.

My DTs were acting up again.

Better get something to water them down.

I pushed my lips to the soft tops of my knuckles on my now balled fists.

Like at least I won’t let go of me. But I would.

I then pulled my head back and separated my fused fingers.

Even I let go of me.


We grew & loved within a carnal connection;

until the weather changed for the worse and withered.

My heart. My art. My blind and trusting romanticism.

Everything I worked for


I was doing alright before I met you,

and now even I let go of me.


“Skin Graft”

I saw a window.

It was of the inhabitants of our nocturnal natures.

I kissed your hand in this mirror and you kissed my forehead back.

We wore matching outfits like a fucking Gap commercial.

It was solid baby blue sweaters with paisley under button-ups.

I loved it.

And than the house caught fire with flames like we had burned for each other.

The firefighters started blasting their green phallic water “whatevers” onto the flames as the smoke rose and the window broke.

My mirror is gone.

I only look at a soggy ember memory.

I saw myself try to jump out of that window for self preservation.

But I never quite reached the guts.

Now I have a chard face that no-one, not even I, had the stomach to look at.

So maybe its good the window broke…

But the memory remains.

You were burned into it, as I tried to douse the passion with my own salty watery eye drop “whatevers” onto it.

I go back to that house from time to time.

Luckily there is still not a mirror to reflect my unrecognizable face, but your memory still lives in those blackend walls.

I mostly sit there and think…

And weep for our perfect mirror.

If only I had enough water to lend, we could still reflect in that nightly window.

Exposed and perfect.

Next time I will…

I will put you first out of the mirror and use my water to save our window.

-Chronicles Of A Flame

-Joshua Tool 06/14/17

“This Sugar Is Eating My Bones” (A Crevasse With A Veiw)

Stainless skin moves round in clockwise circles of ink.

Pacing the cemented down stainless steel oval of tables that have worn too many men’s impressions to go unmarked. 
I sit.
Cold in my oversized orange dress & watch these callused conferences carrying into cackles & I forget. 
Where I am. 
I shit in front of peers & we all wore the same sin. 
I did my hair in the scratched piece of metal called a mirror and brushed my teeth next to those you would not associate with or sit next to on the bus. 
I haven’t slept. 
I wrote this with my back turned & haven’t flinched.
These are not monsters.
These are just men. Artists. Poets. 
Made to wear the wrong skin. 
-Joshua Tool 05/25/17


When My Hands Stop Shaking, I Will Paint You In The Dark

This is not a protest song. 
This is an unstated pledge of allegiance. 
I know my cogs have followed a different sun than we had originally walked under. 
But I am exactly who Ive always been. 
I riot for misunderstood peoples. 
I bury my head for the same kin. 
I have washed my hands in truck stop bathrooms. 
I have showered in Seattle’s finest hotels. 
I am all of these things. 
I am a god dam artist with too many colors to choose from. 
I will not be diluted, though I can be mixed in. 
I am a god damn artist. 
I will die happy starving in your lap, because you will then cherish my art and my sin. 
-Joshua Tool 05/21/17


“My Blood Is Gasoline”

I was born into arson.

I was bred into flames.

Ive walked into the hot embers bare foot.

Ive felt the heat on my toes and ankles; on my thighs and stomach.

I have buried a lot of futures in these smoldering wonders.

I was made to set the world on fire.

Though I changed my hunger to set hearts on fire instead.

Sometimes lips and finger tips as well.

To rise from ash is to become the true sense of one with the vibrant vibrations that these fires have condensed into a different note.

From lighter. to bon fire to fire barrel.  I have walked every rise and fall that is flammable.

And I will always burn.

I will always burn for anything flammable.

I will always burn for you.

To rise.

From the ashes.

To light your lips, your home or to just keep you warm wherever you land.

I will never stop burning.

I was born into a chemical exchange that kills, yet man is still obsessed with it to this day.

I am fear and curiosity.

I am love and generosity.

I am death and I am life.

I am no different than you.

I just combust under a different temperature.

I was born an arsonist.

And I will never stop rising from the ash.

-Joshua Tool 05/21/17



“Patients Is A Virtue” 

In the waiting room

As I watched the hands of the clock on the wall overlap into another day

The moon pulled tides through my eyes

I washed my face in the tope hospital bathroom

What a mundane tone to clean yourself in

I carried myself heavier than usual

I looked for five familiar things

I paced

I felt four sinking pits in my chest, head, heart and stomach

I heard three intertwining voices resonating over the beeping of the heart monitors

I paced

A cluttered dichotomy of cologne and sterile hallways consumed my nose as I tasted the tinny blood of my tongue as I bit down to distract myself from all my sinking pits.

I sat

I stretched my limbs and cracked my knuckles

Folding my palms over my face

The clock hands now vertically aligned

I was silent

In the waiting room

The doctor came out

“Sir?” She firmly questioned

“Yes?” I stuttered, shaking as I rose from my cold seat

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes, I just came to let you know that everything went great” She affirmed with a boisterous smile

“OH, THAT’S AMAZING! So it’s going to be alright?”

“Yes, your love is going to be just fine. Just take good care of it and it should live to see a long and happy life.” She stated with an informative and stately exuberance.

“Thank You Thank You! Yes, yes of coarse, I will never let my love slip again. I will take the very best care of it from here on out.” I promised with true conviction

Leaving the waiting room

The sun piercing through the blue morning dew

From that day on

My love has never left me

As I shared it with you

Our love has never left us.


-Joshua Tool 05/10/17


“A Bowl Of Cherry Pits”

I painted you a cherry tree on an old white stretched out t-shirt.

I chose the colors from your personal pallet.

In the midst of my masterpiece, I plucked the fresh drupes from the still wet oil on the canvas and placed them into a plastic bowl.

I know they are your favorite.

Afterwards I made sure my brush strokes portrayed the tree strong & sturdy.

If to chop it down, it’s rings of life would be suitable for your finger.

I splattered blue over the leaves to insure rain will keep it healthy to blossom again.

The thing about oil, is that it doesn’t mix well with water and when it dries, the colors change.

The green turned a brownish yellow and the paint began to separate.

The grass shifted and the tree’s roots began to push through the cracked dry paint.

The exposed roots proved to be twisted.

As hard as I tried to paint over these roots, the paint would dry and crack again.

How could something so sweet have such ugly roots.

And then I realized, these roots are the source that feeds the tree and allows the cherries to flourish.

So I left them naked.

I couldn’t ignore what is not seen and only focus on the product of its labors.

I decided the painting was finished.

The tree in all of it’s entirety.

The sweet fleshy fruit and the undesirable roots in which they came from.

As a whole, what was once buried below the surface is now above ground, yet it still produces such a delicious pitted treat.

Maybe I’ll just paint with water colors next time.

-Joshua Tool 04/28/17


“Taken To Dinner In A Tree Of Then”

With a sigh of being quite cantankerous and the breath of the open windows spilling lilacs, I am contently quiet. To hear the stars wash the sky and share with tress how to move in such cool winds; massaging my skin and mind. To reminisce. To feel again what is family and the blunder of scent to take me there.


-Joshua Tool 04/27/12


“A Bone To Pick, A Word To Memorize”

I sharpened my teeth on the steel of your tongue.

As the sparks flew, they grazed and burned our cheeks, yet I still felt truly numb.

A firework show on forgotten faces.

How could your words still taste so cold in the heat of these metal embers scorching our skin.

I know that you despise my burning belly, but my heart is warmer than this collide of bone and metal.

I sharpened my tongue on the steel bars of this jail cell I have found myself in.

Words fell into my mattress as I stared at the wall and picked at the chipping paint.

Carving invisible promises into the solitude of my memories.

That is that my belly burns no longer.

My heart burns twice as hot and my teeth are softening from grinding them down through the nightmares I walk through every night without you.

I don’t need my moon to shine. I need my sun to kiss my back the way you had nightly before I started sharpening my tongue and teeth.

I don’t want to build weapons out of my bones, I want to make love with my skin and words.

I want to be the one that makes your moon shine and to kiss your freckles the way your sun has.

I care nothing for the battle nor the war.

I care only for the repair of skin, hearts, teeth and tongues.

If somehow we could exchange lukewarm words and exist in the comfort of our repaired persons.

I would meet you, white flag waving, and kiss all the sharp parts of you until we no longer need weapons to sleep.

To love.

To Be.


-Joshua Tool 04/27/17


“My Frozen Lake”

I had cold sweats in a fetal position dream of our perennial passion:

As each bead burst and absorbed into my shirt, a piece of potential grew.

I was sweating out the bad parts of me for the good parts of you…

In my dream we chapped our faces in the arctic winter, walking into the wind.

We held hands through barriers of cloth that promised warmer sin.

Take my blood, take my heart and I will walk with you again.

I shook in the night for it not a fair fight, a climate comprimising your skin.

In the end of my dream, I woke in a scream and stared at the ceiling of blue.

I was sleeping outside as I swallowed my pride, to rest from the absence of you.

I will sweat every night, I will fight the good fight, for our beads and our love will be true.

|You are my frozen lake|

Though cracked in places, I will never ever fall through.

-Joshua Tool 04/22/17