“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

“To The Top Of The Turret Shell”

Manically myopic I have found myself in black opal

In the glean of your gaze

A constellation of cygnets danced in the mood of onyx

A salsa on the sand

One thousand miles and counting

In our amorous abode of the rising sun

I picked the carrion pith from my teeth

A chagrin in my carry

But not need for the sullen, the heart bleeds and pumps

A lurid language of lust and persnickety restlessness

My moon, your moon, theirs as well

Careening our carnal deeds, the current pulled in

I hung my hat and flag

You lay with moxie, me and him

Compelled in our quandary to find the centaur in the sky

Flaming arrows to light the streets

1,000 miles and counting

To drive or retreat

-Joshua Tool 05/15/18

“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


Brazen, brash, clickity-clack

Your mouth ornamented, unsavory ash

To speak with flames that follow paths

Of future me, unlike my past

A bruised drupe, strung through your teeth

I pick my pride up from your feet

I find my fork and start to eat

All those flames from hearts that beat

To share the dark would tickle me

To light a spark and finally see

The finished you that will not speak

Of devils spit that burns your cheek

Brazen, brash, clickity-clack

Your mirror ornamented, infinite lapse

When waves follow through, the flames become rasp

I’m leaving tomorrow and not coming back

Brazen, brash, clickity-clack


-Joshua Tool 05/04/18

“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

“ Letter Opener “

It starts with fingerprints

I try to leave them everywhere

I was doing something important in the rain

Guess it doesn’t count

It was washed away

It starts with the taste of sweat that beaded and now cascades my lips

Naivety was were I slept before casts were my only friend

It starts with blind love

It’s a feeling that brings braces and bikes back

When you thought I was everything and I thought you to be magical

It all starts somewhere ……..

-Joshua Tool 02/11/18

“Black Mold”

I am always uncomfortable

Like my anxious husk is ready to peel

But instead

Just dies and dries and could blow away in the lightest breeze

Like there are boulders in my throat with nowhere to go

Like a lover always pushing too hard on my sternum

A tensing tongue and ground up gums

It’s brushing your teeth to blood and falling asleep just to numb

It’s a constant hangover without the hooch

So I drink

Cause it doesn’t seem to matter if I do

And then it does

I am always uncomfortable

-Joshua Tool 02/05/18