Philip Byron Oakes

The Who That’s There

Anonymizing in the mirror. Stiffs in the
fluid adrift on the labors of welcomes
stunted at birth. A creature’s comforts
in blind spots wandering over the
scenery. Privy with a wink as portal. A
poof that sticks to its story. Shambles
from the ground up to something.
Getting past getting through the worst
of it, better off than ever as never
would have it. Twisting cringes into
postures perfuming character rolls over
the precipice of memories on the hunt.
Twinges in the garbage playing
favorites with aromas rising from the
dead. Losing face for a head in the
game, connecting dots to whom
no one ever quite is.

Planted Obsolescence

Veritable by degrees composing inner
circles excluding all that falls outside.
Miracle tiffs in torrents of the inexplicable
explaining it away. A good wind’s fall from
grace to earth. Margin’s error confined,
edging closer to center’s evening mass. An
echo to resemble a voice putting a choir to
the test of remembering why they came.
To whom they owe a chorus both chapter
and worse. The atmosphere’s say in selling
the heat as adjunct to warm the hearts
stitching time to sequence. A titan of the
torpor underwriting sweet dreams. Bearing
the scars of sobriety fueling the sense of
self submerged, within the limits of a
thought’s wandering through the liturgy
unscathed. Settling into the nocturne’s
prima facie case for relevance. Pushing
dusk and dawn around the clock. To
assimilate into the magnum opus. Setting
broken bones to music conspiring in the
symmetry, balanced on odds of amending
the history of the world to suit a piece

Talk’s Walk to School

Bytes bitten off center leaning
towards saying in knots binding
image to source. Fiction to
filament knitting context for
delusions, to grow that
pioneering spirit down under
the grief and anxious skin.
Figuratively monstrous crippled
for consumption on the bland
playing fields of vacuous
thought. Scorning the prognosis
of a rejuvenative day on the
merry-go-round of heads
spinning blankets for the night.
Twirling the indigenous to a
sense of having traveled a great
distance, between the plummet
and the pillow in the competitive
sport of absolution. Giving the
fatuous teeth to gnaw on the
heresy of how things get done
splicing the hysteria to the
dead cool calm of the light.


A well dressed iota flexing specks. Ephemeral reclusion
in eyes full circle to the seer. Putting a knot in the ravine
of a run of luck, streaming thoughts into a circle of wagons
around the point of it all. Reality’s divorce etiquette with
discounts at fantastic rates. What’s up down south of
feeling integral. Ill conceived as an epiphany mired in the
same old stories, buttering stale bread for battle. Pushing
the envelope’s cause for delivery of goodbyes in greetings,
the persuasions less the stuff in which to believe. Crawling
up a leg in the race to shrink at the sight. Battening the
hatch of an egg. A fictional option to stretch a budget of
brittle bones. Coddling the mollies for every willie weaned
of the right to prey upon the fear of feeling alone. The
signature anonymity ascribed the bellicose from within a
bubble, refracting the light into playthings for the distance
allotted the grasp of come and go. Toasting a fantasia of
certainties witnessed protruding, from stray elements
divided as to how best to coalesce. Planting seed
between ears for an aria of the season’s change in pitch
of products through the wall. Making the changes feign
a difference in the precious little made whole.

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, E ratio, Cordite Poetry Review, among other journals. His third volume of poetry, ptyx and stone, (white sky ebooks) was released in December 2013.
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