oxidia

your love is like sniffing glue in abandoned playgrounds
your love is like running thru hell with
		naked feet
your love is solving complicated math with broken fingers
		and broken toes 
400 million trillion blackholes in this universe
all of them in denver 
		all your accidents end
in denver, you’ve got asphalt and postcards in your pocket
you’ve got lilacs in your hair 
your love is playing with snakes 
you burn your candle from both ends and the middle 
you burn your candle like you hate candles 
		your love is like a puddle of gasoline
you can swallow your heart and start over  
your bullet holes are filled with black noise 
you can play a blue guitar
a heartbeat and a bruise, a heartbeat and a bruise  
                you can play a green tambourine 
you can play a goddess in a tight sweater and jeans on a mission
from heaven to find reason and ruin in a single drop of rain 
                you can play dumb 
heartbeat and a bruise, heartbeat and a bruise
love is a blue guitar you drag around by the neck
400 million trillion broken hearts in denver
                all of them yours 
you play dirty pool and you’ve got dice up your sleave
your laughter is clattering and witchy and itching all the right spots 
                but your soup is cold 
no one knows where you came from
your star name is papier-mache angel
your earth name is catastrophe spiral 
fate is a chimera 
		you are prodigy of chimera   
your eyes are haunted gloomy kamikazes
you drink kamikazes
you throw kamikazes at everything that gives you pain
your love is throwing side-eye at the world
                your love is a one-eyed horse in a snowstorm 
your love is like rust falling off a truck parked on the side of the road
		next to a junkyard
your love is like looking for a black cat in a dark room that
ran away years ago chasing blackbirds into blackholes in the
		darkness of denver
you love is something
		unspeakable
mythological 
		non-sequitur   
	more than
		and less than
	and other than
		true

posted for shay’s word garden word list

posted for the sunday muse

Published by

phillip woodruff

i live in colorado, i love poetry and fishing, i've never been to kentucky, i own 5 pairs of shoes, sometimes i drive too fast, i like craft beer, i own 37 fishing poles, i've never been to iceland, sometimes i drive too slow, right now there is a black bird outside my window, i stare at him and he stares at me

25 thoughts on “oxidia”

  1. Hokey damn smokes, Bullwinkle. This is a tour de force. There are SO MANY amazing lines. “You burn your candle like you hate candles.” “Your love is a one-eyed horse in a snowstorm.” And about five thousand others. Wow. It’s a genius move, what you did with “all of them in Denver.” Having lived in Denver for 6 weeks when I was 20, it just made it very immediate for me. I want to roll this poem up and stab a particular person through the heart with it and see if it starts smoking. I step aside for this poem. I want to scream this poem. I want to marry it and then leave it. Lord, mister, i want to go read it again.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I would die happy if I could write just one line of the caliber of every line in this, phillip. I can’t even begin to count the times you knocked me over with your metaphors, cut into my complacency and everydayness with the broken glass of these devastating comparisons from the first line on straight through. “you burn your candle like you hate candles” (!!) And you wrap it up around a steel fist at the end for that final hit. Not just one of your best, but one of *the* best poems I’ve read in a long time. And now I don’t ever want to go to Denver again.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Nah, I’m thinking Denver is just a metaphor, one you’ve used to devastating effect, a big city with arid landscapes, a modern industrial wasteland as parts of all big cities are. Oxidia, not Olympia. But cities are how most of us live, and all of them have redeeming qualities. I was just speaking rhetorically. I never want to go back to Chicago, either, tho I miss the Art Institute. ;_)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. so true. i knew what you meant, i just feel like i sometimes only show the negative side of denver, i’m working on an aurora (next door to denver) poem right now, aurora really needs some love

        Like

    1. “Is she really worth it?”, well i guess that depends on how long and how well you’ve known her, also, she isn’t real, she’s a character from a wallace stevens poem and i thought i’d flesh her out a little bit. glad you enjoyed this

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love her so much and want her number for a play date. 🙂

    I giggled through the whole thing. What a masterwork. I don’t believe for a second she doesn’t love you though. That head? Good Lord. Of course she does. I love movies like this—about some crazy smart woman “playing dirty pool,” whatever that might be a metaphor for.

    I might sling you some favorite lines later, but I’d probably have to quote most everything. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that this could be about you talking to yourself in a mirror, a parent, a sibling, your city itself, basically any character from Shameless—my point being, on the surface it’s about a girl who’s done some damage, but it’s also so much more than that.

        Like

  4. Hot damn, this is great. “your love is like sniffing glue in abandoned playgrounds” goes in the lexicon of best all-time first lines. And I’d have to quote the rest of it too. Maybe with you there, Denver is less lonely for its heroes. As to the 400 million trillion blackholes, I think just push that manhole cover back in place at the corner of Colfax and Logan, and you should be OK, at least for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, indeed, denver is lonesome for her heroes, so good of you to remember. and that manhole of colfax and logan has always been a problem, but if you plug it up, blackholes just bust up again one block over, its like playing whack-a-mole. thank qbit, glad you enjoyed this

      Liked by 1 person

  5. STUNNING write, Phillip.
    “you burn your candle like you hate candles ”
    “a heartbeat and a bruise, a heartbeat and a bruise ”
    “your laughter is clattering and witchy and itching all the right spots ”
    Too many good lines to quote. A pleasure to read.

    Like

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