“Implied Shapes”

The lamp

Tall, brass, bent, dusty, discarded

Sitting nervously & disheveled underneath the staircase

Bowing in the crawl space where I’d kept my musty middle school journals

Rested against recycled vintage apple boxes

Somewhere in the absence of light bore a figure of a single limbed creature

The burnt, brown suspended bulb dangling and clinging against its pull chain

An old red shag rug rolled vertically into the corner

I forced the door against the clutter and squeezed into the piled up past

I sat atop a filled crate and paged through journal entries from a time I didn’t have spell check

I became half of a shadow as my eyes tried to adjust to the lack of light

Implied shapes made monsters out of old mops

I wiped the cobwebs from my hair and smeared them on my pant legs

Almost forgetting the film on my hands I licked my fingers and continued through my entries

Implied shapes

The absence of light left my mind to wander

In the shadows

Where I have always painted my best pictures

The lamp still rested

Tall, brass, bent, dusty, discarded

As I painted

As I implied shapes on pages

-Joshua Tool 12/08/17


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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.


To be clear and unclear at the same time 

I created you in my basement. 
I made your hair out of recycled violin strings. 
I made you breathe with what is left of my screams. 
I made your hands out of old wooden things… 
I found them on the street.
I made your face. Your identity; with broken shards of glass from a mirror I broke when I was 17. 
I made your eyes out of marbles that looked like the oceans southern beach in a hurricane. 
I made your tongue out of the words that I drooled on my pillow whilst sleeping in a dream. 
I made out with you. 
I made you.
I made you up. 
-Joshua Tool 07/07/17


The click of the burner raised my ears.

Smelling the sizzle of browning butter.
Coloring each slender bead of rice with a spice that only the South knows as home.
More splash and turning with a wooden spoon.
How can I remember things that I haven’t experienced with this array of sensations?
Nothing like a home cooked meal.
Our memories retract as our stomachs fill.
You taught me soul:
That a family meal wasn’t just something to pass the time.
That it is re-energizing.
A social phenomenon.
As we taste together.
As we share our days.
We are one.
We are love.
I sparked the second burner.
And asked you for the salt.
This is everything.
I love you.
-Joshua Tool 06/27/17

“It’s Kind Of Like Drowning, Only To Know You Will Be Resuscitated” 

Do you remember the first time we saw each other outside of work? 

I brought you to the everlasting DIY venue, The Flux Capacitor.

You wore a green belly shirt and black puffy oversized parka.

I was so scared to touch your hand but I wanted make sure you were safe next to the pit. 

I failed. 

The tide pushed the bodies and you were slammed into the wall. 

I felt so bad.

But you took it like a champ.

That’s the first time I knew I loved you, yet was still scared to touch your hand.

This was the purest form of how we were or knew each other. 

Now we hate each other.

Well, I assume you hate me.

It’s hard to find hate in my memories. 

Yet I try to wash your name out of my mouth.

I will probably be losing moments of my life very soon. 

Like trying to write on a blackboard with a pen. 

Soon I will find myself doing push-ups as I think about this moment. 

Where have we come.

I am still a creator.

I am still to overcome a task of the relentless daytime tv of prison. 

And I will.

And I don’t care where you wind up, as long as you are happy and the kids are safe. 

I will keep this with me as something to pass the time and smile.

And cry.

If only words were made of clay, I would smash the mold and reform where we have come.

Mabye they’ll have clay in jail. 

-Joshua Tool 06/16/17

R & R

There is a rocky road to your rounded ruins. There are ropes shaped like rants. There’s a restful rhythm in your raging rivers. A resonating rap. There’s a revolution in your wrenching ribs. Where resolution reaps. There’s a REM in remembering. There’s a rain that roars and weeps. There are rights in wrongs and wrongs that write. Rails rest on tracks of rust. There are rhymes in my reasoning but none of which I trust. There’s a red ragged hobo bag on the stick I rightly clutch. There are raspy rounds of traveling songs.This war is just too much.

All aboard!

Joshua Tool – 08/10/13

It Was All A Dream [Your Subconscious Is An Unsung Hero]

A wrenching squeal from the rusted clock’s cogs that turn in my stomach woke me from a dream I had about nothing

I say nothing because it is the only way for me to enunciate everything that it was

From the moment my eyes began to fight their sleepy maker to the breath clutching gasps of realizing it was all a dream

You wore sequin skin, scaled and reflective of the moon that splashed through the glass ceiling of the elegant ballroom that we had found ourselves in. I mean REALLY found ourselves

Before we had made the motion to dance, I washed your legs in whiskey and suckled at the tips of your record players needle

As we had both waited with bated breath we commenced our waltz to songs from the future

Foreplay WAS the sex here, for the river of rhythm took us downstream to a place you can only imagine yourself in a dream. To a place that sex in trumped by the touch of trumpets, love triangles and tambourines

We had been on this rocky river at a previous time, I knew it from before, yet this time it’s currents seem to be currently curving into the casualty called chaos

Circling and spinning like a toilet bowl flushing into the septic tank of sanity and sense

The whirlpool pulled us into a black hole of violent cycles

This dance is also known as thought

I was already thinking of you, even though you hadn’t even stopped dancing through the water

“My love”, you screamed over the crashing waves

“Take my children to find god and I shall meet you when your clock finds
that he has already flushed”

And then black silence

I woke in a dream on a beach

My face buried in your wet hair like seaweed

You were humming a high pitched hymn under your breath as you stoked the fire made from driftwood and stroked my back in the sand

“Had we lost him?” I murmured staring out into a brand new completely unseen world

“No” you replied contently

“We are him”

“We are home now lover…we are home”

And my eyes sprang open like a bird in a coo-coo clock as I woke into reality

I rolled over and felt your hair in my face

You shifted your weight into me and pulled my arm over you as the sun rolled into the blinds

You asked me what I was thinking

“We are home now lover”

“We are home”