“Pocket Watched”

They are painting the streets again

Pot holed, bumper cobble stone

High noon & moons reflect the invisible lines like cataracts

Gauche is bearded men in neons

A cigarette for lunch

A sun-beaten man plays harmonica sloppy down the road

Metronomes like meteor crash

stomping the earth

Hair peppered with Memphis smoke

He never asks for the time

He too of cataract maps

Despondent yet diligent

Water cracking in his cup

A cigarette for lunch

Besotted, I stare

The orchestral hymns of garbage trucks guffawing through the slender side-streets

Fusty, foul fragrance

Yesterday now spoiled and forgotten

Church is letting out

Brilliant colours of the congregation doled from the pews to drab sidewalks

Gray women in bright wicker hats

The best saved for the seventh day

Sartorially suave And scrumptiously sweet

Like ripe cherries would share to greener the leaves

They are painting the streets again

Emphatically bleak

Bleached on fault lines

Crooked as teeth

I stepped on wet asphalt

I fled to the tracks

To balance the map

of who is staying

And who’s not coming back

-Joshua Tool 05/25/18


“Tumulus Nimbus”

My Headstone

Moss ridden and wormy writhed

A chisel misquoted my demeanor

A forgotten face like analog

They hover with nosegay

To pet and pray, my marrow-less shell

Entombed in a echo chamber

An ever lasting anatomy

of a decomposing time

To stretch like my once plump fleshy rolls

Cats claw pink down my sides

Crinkled corners passed down to type

They have misquoted my demeanor

Lost in the swell of cicada song

Shed thin as light

A rapture of the rising tide

Complaisant, emaciated bellow the shrine

Warbles and willows

As the graveyard groundsman mows the lawn

They misquoted my time

-Joshua Tool 05/24/18

“Troubadour “

Monochromatic morals

Preambling pious plight

Oysters sheen and coral

Our worlds not black & white


Ambiguous by moniker

Rebuke such tasteless trite

Love is simply conqueror

Resplendent through the night


Colors of the troubadour

Sing songs of endless might

The beauty in the boudoir

Ineffable sound and sight


Clandestine to the churchy folk

A universal light

For I am the troubadour

My worlds not black, it’s bright

-Joshua Tool 05/16/18


Loitering the weekly chess match

A park and a landfill betwixt

Chrysalis complimented flight the insects coaxed the breeze into kaleidoscope melodies, like frogs in bogs

My moor of peaty wanderlust with a lowbrow stagnancy of wasted earth catty-corner my serene solace land

My famished furver found facet of a dream

We are left here without boxes

Without circles

Though we are birthed ear-marked for an inexorably nostalgic future

To be remembered only by our online presence and digital love

Lamenting for simpler times

Stead the over-saturated air waves

A trite & tousled trap

Hexed in bewildering and tenuous thought

The malleable make good cities as the myriad of martyrs build better jails

A forced hand in the farce of society

Inured ingrates mocked the sun

The icebergs

The flood

The round earth as it spins on its axis

No poker face bled your physiognomy

A lier to himself

It was time to chose a forfeit or slow passing


And the clouds did shed their acid tongues


-Joshua Tool 05/12/18

“I Don’t Clean Myself For Me”

My face, blanched and cut with rose

Niacin flush, naive as prose

Chattered teeth bequeathing cold

Spiting my face, I cut my nose.

Orange aura with palpable pulp

Belly burnt like gizzards gulp

Pathos purge and pencils dull

Writhing hearts swallowed whole.

Golden guillotine, ring my neck

Picking your brain up off my bed

Pillow talk with musky breath

Salted skin pressed on my chest.

Your voice carried between my sheets

Robbing river banks for free

Murders flock and black the sea

I do not clean myself for me

-Joshua Tool 05/06/18

“ If These Walls Could Talk”


An old house

Do not feel lived in

I’ve been painted 100 times

Made it through two fires, a home birth, four pet deaths and a suicide

Yet I do not feel lived in

My pipes are rusted

I spit mud from the sink

I have seen 200 Christmas mornings, 938 birthday parties & 7 wakes

My walls have rattled with storms and basement parties; stained with smoke and smiles

Though I do not feel lived in

From spinsters to cowboy spitters

I have watch generations of toy trains get put into boxes

Young married couples come inspect me and plan a nursery in my vacant spaces

I’ve watched them grow old as their children leave for college

I’ve been handed down 15 times

Now they are making room for some condos

A bulldozer sits in my fields and I where a flag of foreclosure

I never quite felt lived in

But this is my burial ground

I will still listen under the packed dirt for happy tenants playing

For those Christmas mornings & birthday parties

For those college students smoking on the balconies of my successor

You may break me to pieces but my walls will stand posthumously through the wreckage


An old house

Have seen it all

Or at least thats what I thought

Maybe I have always been a home

Without the sense to let go

-Joshua Tool 05/05/18


I am thirty one

I am 31 and still can’t grow a proper beard

I have three chest hairs and I am watching the clock count down to midnight

I do this every night

I do this to ensure that I miss the liquor store before closing

What a glorious routine

Every night

Every night I stay up til’ 3 or 4 thinking about how I let the liquor store close

Thinking how easily I could sleep had I not watched the clock count down

I sit and listen to sad songs that make me happy

I read and write and then stare at my computer for the rest of the night

I am surrounded by beautiful things but all I can see is the clock

Its almost here again

Another battle with sleep

Another war won with the liquor store

And now it is time to stare at my computer screen

I am thirty one

I am 31 and I am barely sure who I am

I am thirty one

It is now twelve O’won

I am thirty won

-Joshua Tool 05/02/18

“Writers Block”

I slept with the windows open

The humidity stood still as my pencil slipped between my fingers

My neighbors apartment smelled of curry

My cat danced on the thin of the balcony as I pushed the sheets down with my feet and began to sweat

The air conditioner was broken

And I had writers block…

-Joshua Tool 04/11/18

“There Is No One At The Kids Table”

Time is no longer linear

It mocks the stretching of teeth and mashes together like the food on my plate that I no longer separate into sections

I allow everything to touch

Time is a construct of our adolescence

Taught to plan for the future

Now told to live in the present because you can’t change the past

Yet if you aren’t careful the past will catch up

I shoveled the cold mush of food I had been pushing together for 20 minutes as I thought about when I would sit at the kids table, separating each item on my plate

Like I could compartmentalize each flavor

My pallet has now grown dull and stained with vodka and beer

No taste, just as if I could compartmentalize my thoughts

As if I could separate time in black outs and hang overs

Some twisted sense of control

They say your cells replace themselves every seven years

And your skeleton every ten

But my tooth enamel is never coming back and my memories will never leave

I reached my hand to my wine glass and left to the other room

I stared at the black screen of the tv and sipped on my Pinot

I stared for so long that I became everything I have ever been

Every memory in the grasp of my being

I know who I am

Because I will always be more than time

-Joshua Tool 03/26/18