Philip Byron Oakes


In a fugitive word or two to the wise
if not wizened at having heard
Edgewise, over a pitfall in the language,
using silence as a goad to those who
speak freely of having nothing to
say Foregoing a word to the mum
as to a code unwritten for anyone
to read Between the roots of words
the soil of meaning, obscured
by the verdure of lips parsing
winds of hints distilled in
an aphorism of sand

Nearly Afar

The failings of March, accruing into April, breaking ice of its habit of melting at the sight of the homecoming queen. Subsequently, at random by shrinkwrapping Christmas, stretching outer limits to allow inner spaces their chance to fill the void. The dietary losing weight in forgetting how the story goes. A salty serendipity unearthing mummy dearest. A floral display of reckless conformism punctuating the language of the primal with the tenuous pink. The elements, but bit players in the antics of the cavalier, slowly leading to starring roles in the importance of being earnest. In counterpoint to the pulse at the root of arrhythmia. Converging harmonically at the dinner tabling of discussion, of what lies and lies beneath the surface to casualties of conversation. The pigeon toed transience of thoughts in dirty clothes, lending color to the graffiti fleshing out those imperious vacancies in solitude.

Atta Boy

Gangrened superlatives sending Junior out
to play himself, in a melodrama yearning
for the tragedy of a life worn like a coat.
A question to be answered in cameo, at
the ironic distance of the falsely bereaved,
over a someone who never surfaced in
the mix. A rounded off to one. Avenues of
excess seeking out their tributaries in flooding
the market for a dry spot. A well defined
ambiguity of winks and nods, as the charades
chase strangers from the bushes, and into
the nests of perfect angels suckling on
the electric buzz in the air. Shadowmen
playing the poof card with an incendiary
gesture culled from the archives, as Rome
burns with desire for the day to end in the
happy rags of stillness. Grays fainting on the
canvas. A surfeit of glum candor, with a
limber alacrity, provided the gifted with
no one to judge, the weight of a whisper
in the burly dawn.

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Cricket Online Review, Otoliths, Moria, E ratio and Blue & Yellow Dog. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters) and Sard (Otoliths). http://philipbyronoakes.blogspot.com/
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