Philip Byron Oakes

Bottom of It

Whisper’s headstart. Ghost written
biopsies of ingenues in the blood.
Salvaged from innuendo well placed
among the peerage of shadows,
looming as circumstance with pomp
to follow. Criminal twitches among
the statuesque, causing a ripple to
crack through a guise of well being
where it hurts. A guest in the
continuum sorting the forgotten
from the few. The veils worn to
confession. Joining a chorus
smothered in a jewelry of letters,
dangling with threats to make
perfect sense. Urging a third leg
into the race to be understood, as
separate from the cluttered limp to
attention. Sneaking up from the
laplands of nighty-night. The feeling
for one’s glasses, to aid in the probe
to see it for what it is before it’s
irrevocably gone. The stone simple
silence counterbalancing the clarion
to a stalemate, that waxes even as
it wanes into the tremulous
twilight of foreverland.

Back to It

Per consensus gained in retreat from paradigms,
to hawk a view of the valley from the depths.
Cutting fissures so the guises might fall by the
wayside. To a low water mark of the ebbing via
default of floors, to catch the falls through inner
space providing room to grow accustomed.
Routine of the random taking chances to the
brink. Migrant ecstasies left to wrestle the
tantamount for what it means to be real. Inured
to the tangles in a beeline brokered by c, from a
to b so an alphabet might grow to spread the
word. Provide the terminus for a sensation, in a
belief the end is near its day in court of cracking
up to be. An edginess as the carpet unfurls for
the heads to roll to the gravity of the
effervescent beat.

Ghost World

Retired into hyperbole as measure
of gobbets mulled over in memory,
joining a taste left in the mouth.
Obscured by controversy of
privileged peeks beneath covers of
convenience. Spaces past filling to
prosper in time to settle the here
into now. Swaggers to the swoon
in swearing allegiance to a will to
unravel, indulge a flair for prickling
the diminutives, stirring the
mannequins to juxtapose, upon their
arrivals directly stemming from the
urge to shy away. Ulterior
passageways under warranty of
water brimming along the
battlements of a brave face.
Perfuming the scent trail. The web
of the past on which to cushion a
slow slump into the chair as the
glass crackles, with a music of
dissolution into fodder for
conceptual faces in the window,
ominously looking in to see
the monkey.

Getting Hungry Straight

A loan of credence to pain’s
prerogatives, to grow panoramic
when the quandary hits the
milquetoast in the morning.
Choosing gray over grayer yet.
Anticipating the clockwork
winding down to revelation for
lack of alternatives. A ricochet
of goodwill caroming for show
and tell. Lazy river of mentions
lending accent to authority in
the timbre of being. Breaking
with the glass for the door at
the sound that made
Milwaukee famous. Estranger
than ever. Rife with perennial
persuasions. Captions on
standby at roll call of the feral
to the fold. The short list of
crannies keeping the echoes
sweet to the touch. Mitigating
the pain of one with that of
the other, assuaged only to
recur in a tense past all

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, gobbet, Cordite Poetry Review, among other journals. His third volume of poetry, ptyx and stone, (white sky ebooks) was released in December.
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