Philip Byron Oakes

Pie on Earring

Minervas of steel bulking up on brain food, thoughts
the thinking leaves behind. An honest glimmer of
perjured light obscuring faces to resemble. A little alot
drawn to look like naught all over. Rote spontaneity
making majesty of moments squirreled for treasure’s
posture in a contour of sands. The old saccharine and
out. A stipend droning truisms in faux complicity with
the music that was to be. A flagrant tenor pushing ears
to the wall. A blemished sensation, riddled with oaths
to perpetuity. As the bellicose mount whispers in the
morning do and don’ts wearing thin slippers on the
hardwood floor. Bound to be held captive to the
spectacle, the play of light and love to the rhythms
of an apologia explaining it all away. An old favorite
making sense of the disparate as they want to be
or not. A part of. Those cravings taking the elastic
approach to telling time it’s time after all. One more
alligator beating the crocodile to tears for the
willies and the wee.

Rut Jump

Squabble legs churning butter buns to march
for antiseptic pauses in the minuet. Lacunae
in the fibrous wall of sound housing pockets
of the quiet not sold in stores of acorns for the
winter. Vials of nostrum falling for the joke off
the shelf, preserving the horizontal for future
generations. Limpid coteries of transparent
motives bound by the resultant confusion
breaking glass of old habits putting the point
of view on trial. A break from thinking what’s
thought to be an answer, to the way the
question leans like a promontory over plateaus
in the commonality of the sense of touch. The
shimmy before the shakedown to constituent
pieces of the puzzle, to the pain with humble
origins of pleasures lost looking out the window.
At the stop and start march of the band into
the unwritten history, of what’s never heard
until it’s too late to hear anything but what
the litany habitually ordains.

As to the Horizon

Sampling pains to juggle feathers foiled in flying right
to where it happens with a thud. Who’d athunk it the
norm. One taste past delicious surrendering hostages,
to loopholes strangling what essence the perfume
retains. Standards set reeling in fish of a different
color me the shade of the old oak tree. The blue
whales through the eye of the needle, pinning hopes
on the random’s sense of order taking hold. Back to
what brung ya. The same flavor of mascara the clowns
prefer, dissembling the sensical with primetime eyes.
An errant protocol adjusting for missteps with a
blanket of sunny sprawl without a leash. The root
cause of dead trees never getting the headlines,
deferring to the big talk of small people in the mirror.
Bloody red noses for trouble brewing coffee to
awaken the body masses to footsteps fast
approaching the walking speed of sound.

And Milk

Primal apathy fed cupcakes over the middle
of the plate cleaned as a whisker in a close
shave with the bus. An expiration dated letter
smuggled under breath retained for questioning
the rumpus in the room to breathe. A tussle in
the struggle to be heard crying help, in keys to
doors found unhinged as open minds on the
courtyards of easy calls. Polite interruptions
noticed stealing away into the presence. The
new here that’s there is where the caring ends
its threat to knowing why. The music falters
when the bugler intones the affirmative void,
relapsing into what’s lost in the scrabble. The
amended by being forgotten, at the moment
of truth that never comes to senses of the
lingering primacy of stillness cutting its
losses in the air of regret.

Belonging Here

A sprained fog of feet taking steps dissecting
a stupor, for insights allowed in looking the
other way. The ineluctable still having holes
in its socks. The sneakier ones passing muster
bold as brass beds in the oven as the bugler
plays taps to death. The carpet reddened
with blood the dreams make run the gamut.
An ellipsis escorting the immobile off the
lawn. A ballyhoo are you in the dark. The
footprints of loyal subjects of investigation
dictating the pace of discovery in the closets
of the lush. The cubic feet per second
lieutenants rifling through their favorite
salutes to the gravity. The yawn into the fray
of hours framing scurries as the run
for their lives.

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in numerous journals including E•ratio, Moria, Hamilton Stone Review, Otoliths, et al. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters) 2009 and Sard (Otoliths) 2010.
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