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Joseph Sulier

Ten Poems

Ten Poems

He asked me
if I ever missed "the noise"
and I struggled to recall
what the noise ever was

I did the dishes
this morning
and fed the cats
I read the paper
and that was that

I never thought to scream
I never thought to rant
the only noise
was passing cars
and even those 
were scant

I used to mistake flattery
with what I thought was fact
how far away the stage becomes
whilst in the second act

The forgotten Catholic 
in me
mouthing the Lord's Prayer
by rote
at your deathbed

The longing Catholic
in me
praising confession
at the coke party

How do we become
what we've become?
why am I all lousy
at the altar?

I watched the man dissolve
in fear
his pleadings
so sincere
he loved you
he was near
it was clear

I just
am never sure
of where I stand
I'm always waiting
at the call
of your command

The flickering lights
of night

The golden hours
of een
when the owl
sees right through you

There are so many trees
turning slowly
in the earth
so many seeds
churning lowly
into birth

Its ok
that you kept the ring
but to tell me its fake
was cruel

All those years
as your mediocre troubador
clawing up
for a spot in the light
knowing all the while
that my ilk
was sensitive to sun

Its different now
in a way
I am surely me
with something else to be
every river waded in
is always different water

I don't mind you kept the ring
you didn't have to tell me it was fake

I have watched the rose
bend in death
the wilting
of a weary thing

Music isn't art
just the clamoring hands
of sycophants
black & white

Did you know
that dead men
still get mail?

I brush the snow
from the blade
the shift
can only last for so long

The wheel sits dead
on the roof
no longer spinning
with the inertia
of memory
old lovers
posed in ecstasy
frozen in time

Drowning in a Rothko
the weight of time
in waves
the clouds break
for moments only

I used to watch the road
race by
through the window
hoping different places
made different people

I used to be
quite young

I am masking my nature
with perfumes
distinctly withdrawing
though subtle
respecting the shit
on the walls
hiding my breath
with a smile

creating the conflict
for provocation
making you uncomfortable

I was
what you thought
at one point
I changed
as you departed

Check out
your checking account
the deliberate rate
at which
you waste away
yet still excel
in keeping up appearances

The curb is just
a dead machine
another poor decision
in your vision

A futile life
of blood and sweat
did you beget

Bored by the sun
I have slept too much
losing all the hours
I'd have squandered anyway

Sing to me
the virtues of the dawn
and I will yawn
professing in the paper
that the world is yet to wake
my eyes are rolling
under covers

The cone flowers
are grey
the garden, too
is grey
as "When will it be cold again?"
I say

I am cursing on the ice
in idle play

I smeared away the past
at last
and now
nothing is working
the stench, a task
to waft away

Welcome back
to the blow by blow
the weight
your lungs will struggle against
KMOX carries the Cardinals
the length of 64
from Kentucky
through Indiana
straight back to Busch
you CAN go home again
but should you?

Drugged and panicked
I think
"I might be a bad person
I am probably a bad person
what makes a bad person?
what makes a GOOD person?
who decides these things?
surely not I..."

The cat
takes subtle blows
and moans
in solidarity

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Joseph Sulier is interested in the pursuit of survival. He is currently practicing it in St.Louis, Missouri.

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