“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

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“Zugzwang”

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

Zugzwang

And the clouds did shed their acid tongues

Checkmate

-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

“ If These Walls Could Talk”

I,

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

I,

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

“Ouroboros

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

“Crabapple Pie”

The sour of Spring

Failing the fight of suspended life

I pick the ripest from the orchard

And return with a full basket to bake down

Thrown dough dusting the dim

with a floury flame

My knuckles carve the skin

as I pour the restless reduction in

Topping the the sharp steam

I stab the delicate surface

To the fiery black

To rise

a resurrected death

To top with cream

and indulge in the emerald tart of Spring’s release

Somethings are meant to die

To make anew

Crabapple Pie

-Joshua Tool 04/30/18

“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

“Will You Sign My Cast?”

Love is like a broken bone, once it breaks it never heals quite the same

Love is buckled knees

It’s untied shoes

It’s the bar of soap with yesterdays dirt on it

It’s driving a brand new car with unpaid parking tickets

It’s wet concrete

It’s your favorite song before it hits the radio

It’s double sided tape

It’s a bandaid in the swimming pool

It’s checkmate in a game of go fish

It’s a house fire

It’s letting go

Love is pain

And pain is art

And art is life

And I am starving

Yet my cup runneth over with paint

And today I get my cast taken off

-Joshua Tool 03/26/18

“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

“Involuntary Mandible Meandering”

When your skin touches your teeth

A kaleidoscopic of hot and cold

A prism and prison

Of love and lonely

Peeling back dry flakes of skin on your dehydrated lips

Like a grape to a raisin stead a bottle of nice wine

When your teeth touch your lips

Biting down to contemplate where to begin and when does it end

I cleaned everything but my mind

-Joshua Tool 03/22/18