“A Pound Of Flesh”

A teaspoon of honey

Glazed in gold, fruits of flower

Snails to the end of the silver spoon

Steamed milk in lavender cups made in China

Bovine and lattice mingle in the dour of day

It looks like rain

Belladonna is calling from the shade

A whimper

The stale of subtle plague

To have my cake

A pound of carrot

To eat my cake

A pound of flesh

To lay in dewy grass of double chin

Sated in scone and tea, I sing as the merry martyr kisses the garden

To channel the soil and inherit the soul

To give up Arcadia and rest in the mud

To bury ones pride to colour the bloom

Grass is greener equated with blood

A pound of flesh for an ounce of love.

-Joshua Tool 05/26/18


“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

“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

“Scotch Bonnet For The Masochistic Mother Earth”

Tumultuous thick white-noise tapped and slapped my pane and sill

In the liminal ebony and bright of flustered flash

My teeth ground to beetroot and flesh of goose

Not for fear, for elated eyes to be encompassed with the songs of wan whirring whirls of wind

The background copse correcting their cast

I think of the juniper wind in late July

The lilac and aster thatched for the cellar door

My nest for next of kin to name

Honeysuckle lapping up the force fed feast

The secret stones and cool of underground gardens

The sconce impervious to fizzle, but to burn a path like a scotch bonnet to the tongue

Will you meet me in the woodbine?

To taste the frozen sky and warm in the whispering dim

I think of subtle sweet on your lips

The safety of the vines

The knavish blight on skyline lain

Could never fast our fiendish fain

-Joshua Tool 05/13/18


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

“Nocuous By Nature”

Cryptic flowers;

Chartreuse , Lavender, Cerulean, Blush

Bloom & pilfer the sun

Boasting proud necks and handsome colours

Black permeates the eclipsing clouds

They march closer in timpani rolls

as flash-bangs light their way

A late afternoon without sun or moon

Forlorn in the ether

Such affluent clusters of corrupted colour

A conduit to qualm

I strung my nihilism into a daisy chain

I drove my feet through the rhododendrons until morose became moot

I cyphered your colour wheel

The nascent of my afterthoughts

A beginning to and end

-Joshua Tool 05/11/18

“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


It was summer

The night, dark blue and stark naked

It was a traveling festival of sorts that smelled of smoked meats and petrichor

I pet the dew with the under of my forearms as I lay beneath the view

The drunks began to seep from the woodworks as the children went home

I too, basking in the brine

My nomadic bones pulled me into a poorly lit tent with a muddy grass floor

There, a wrinkled old woman sat silently in a Romanian tongue

She reached for my hand and began to scan the whorls of my grip

The hair on my neck rose as she said no words

Just kept brushing the curved path of my future apex and wains

She looked at me dead in the eyes

Staring into my sole

Somehow I understood Romanian is the glint of her gaze

We both stared silently within the flicker of flame

She then slowly let my hand down and blew out the one candle that would illuminate this make-shift tent

I wanted to ask so many questions

She just nodded and smiled out of the corner of her mouth

I then kindly paid her and quietly left

My friends still at the beer stand, I joined them as they punched each other’s arms and called each other pussies

They asked me were I had been and I told them I had went to a fortune teller

They laughed and asked what my fortune was

I replied,

“I don’t know”

They went back to their drunken pissing contests and I just stared at the stars

I had another beer and went home

I suppose the fortune is in my own silence

In my gratitude

From time to time I will think of her and stop to look around myself to see my fortune

I still see her eyes in the stars

-Joshua Tool 05/03/18

“My Drive With The Magpie”

As oily rainbow puddles rippled under my tires, a pair of off-white teenage Converse hung, swinging from the power lines

The clouds smirked down so drably, dreary and dour

The eager sheen of traffic lights painted the black asphalt as the car lot flags danced in the slant of mist

A haven for me and the magpie

Contently chatting through the squeak and grunt of old windshield wipers

He was almost as ostentatious as an owl but with great wit that dripped from his wings

He mostly spoke in riddles

Puzzles for me to solve

A black bird with a sharp tongue

The ground gurgled with each passing car

and the A/C pushed my cigarette smoke through the small pinch of window

This was quite easily my perfect memory

I still recite his riddles in the rain

My world became different with a birds eye view

Learning what to spit out and what to chew

Forever to cherish, share & memorize

My experience and conversations

My drive;

with the magpie

-Joshua Tool 05/02/18