My pen pal “Conway”, who is serving 25-to-life in California state prison for receiving stolen goods, returns this month with a revised version of “Trapdoor” and other new poems. I’m enjoying the surreal turn that his work has taken, as he feels a greater freedom to make associative leaps and use imagery rather than explanation to convey emotions.
All the eyes that have groped–
invoked, these melted sands,
us trees in the snow, reaching out
for warm lights brightness
instead, suffocated by whiteness.
The Sun only dissolved the black asphalt
melted its pain, in vain
reflecting on this concrete
crumbling, like stale crackers.
All these faces tied together on the same chain
vacantly staring out
of a teasing television’s lens
A world of opportunity offered, taunted
without scents, glints
but never relents.
A cliche “so close yet so far away”;
This distant world’s condemned
by icy wind, forgetting its place
in the prison’s pecking order;
Seasons listening for prompts.
Still, the only real sounds offered
will turn into useless static
untuneable noise we avoid.
Paranoid, of a despicable crowd’s opinion,
wonder, about thunder’s irrelevance.
When the Earth falls open
to swallow your soul;
Then, like a trapdoor spider
closes back up
to hide the hole…
This nostalgic promise retraced
is still yours, till the end of time
yours was, to always be mine
those cold feet at night
disturbing our warm bed so fine
recollect the crash
shielding your face with mine
reminisce, we missed a sign
I won’t forget my distress
watching you bringing
our bonded blood into this world
howling–kicking & screaming
make note: who made you a mother
we awoke in love with each other.
Now summon the silence: (when I fell)
when I landed in jail
this slow dragging Hell.
I carry you still, I always will
that crept up on me
like a whisper instead
I conceived my widow, before I was dead
memorizing it all, I had no one to call
no one to talk with, cushion this fall
the stillness complied too
it almost implied nothing of you
A tragedy like that
has not happened yet
I’m still alive, besides so are you
these shackles they try to disguise
just might catch our lords eyes
then trust the true light to come shining on through.
still, I can promise you this
we will never regret a kiss
your name on my breath, forget
my voice as it dies in the wind
an authentic heart
can never pretend, or
dishonor fate’s dividend…
A Guitar string breaks
slakes away the note
Picks this translation
weak inspiration coils up like a snake
ready to strike out
fangs on the concertina
slice razor sharp through the flesh
this song being sung
on those broken dreams
hungry schemes of fate
shake off the silver strands empty music
surrounds the silence
counting another approach
when wounded strings fail to sing…