Philip Byron Oakes

Chasing the View

Filtering fantasia through contusions color coding
the poppycock, to blend into creeds numbing
extremities for the storm. Sing song prison holding
rhythm to a promise to repeat after do re mi.
The road that never stops for strangers. A sleight
the hand can’t grasp as its own. Down the winding
till woozy way of winnowing, carrying the water
into battle with the word. Invoking rights to karma’s
alliance with the rub. Goading the intransigent with
a light step to assume the burdens of the invisible,
to be viewed as integral to the hole in the story.
Baiting phrases for the catch in the chorus
rubberstamping feet on the floor. Lending substance
to the vacuum after the dust clears the mind, bent
on remembering in ways easiest to forget empty’s
incongruous flavor undone. Chasing perspective
to the point of vanishing down trails intrepidly
leading even as they follow form.

Sad Bubbles

Grief as commodity crashing parties of ruins dictating
the course of dust, in the wheelhouse of a sharp eye
for mutant flavors of sunlight. Juggling war and piece
of the action in one tasty, nutritious meal. Letting ho
hum a little tune you might have heard before. A
lullaby the time you see this the sandman’s had his ax
to grind. Dotting the therefore i am in the world.
Gouging out eyes kept on a pedestal overseeing blind
spots from which it all begins. Cutting a figure fine
tuned to thin air leaving crumbs in a bed of perspective.
Woof in an asocial fabric, ballast for the warp to rise.
Pointing out shortcomings to the altar, a sacrifice we all
have to make, from whatever’s handy when time comes
claiming victory. Doting on breaches etiquette lives for,
as an exception making the rule obsolete. Yet tenable
for relapses into being ordered this way and that out of
habit’s reach, for leverage in choosing the battlefield
one step over the headline mourning the loss of balance
along the way. Through purpose to depletion. Putting it
down to not what you think when the hour ripens, in a
business that never comes clean enough to feed a
multitude in the grip of what you make of it. A handle
held in suspense. Stroking the mania to a fine flurry of
blushes at the sorrow coming to the rescue of the
fatal flaw to it all.


A puddle of propaganda getting feet wet for the slog,
through reasons to kill time belonging to others.
Reckless the more merrier brings to bare foible’s fetish
for the norm. A slant given latitude to square the
gumption with the gall, the hesitance with a lasting gasp
holding breath to a promise of phantoms put right to the
test. Of what when answered sounds full to the brimming.
Sure to confuse the best left out the worse it gets for those
and them that’s not. Opening the muddied water’s way to
flavor communion with an edge icing over the rainbow.
Boundaries drawn to resemble not a whit but where it
hurts most the least afforded the chances bound to occur.
Depriving the conundrum of an audience afloat on the
sureties of this is that and none other than what’s needed
to fill coffers with hope of renderings come due. By
nebulous storm of detail lost upon a crucial stretch of
nonsense. An opacity given the illusion of clarity in a
sheen, reflecting back upon that something drawn into
complicity via a promise falling flat upon the ear for
the duration.


Gathering motes into yet another stopgap in a stir of
dust bowls putting a guise into play, to the flip side’s
fear of losing face in a crowd of expressions. Down the
rabbit’s black hole in the story. A colloquial investment
in universality brought to bear upon the cogs in a
greater lack of purpose, to a whistling in an ear for the
pull of strings. Making short work of the cogent,
patrolling the vagaries of outlooks inward to the melted
core. The memory of the metamorphosis challenging
the memory itself. Staining a glance past what happens
when it rains. A subtle crinkling at the edges of a favorite
foretelling, after a melange has been parceled into
gradations of confusion, upon which adamancy is built
to last till darkness falls heavy as air is light with the
palpable. To dot the bull’s eye on the bilge, coming
straight home to a sixth sense of passage. Bleeding
through the fabric till a tapestry forms, its variegated
nod to the torturous weight of an incredulous reach
for more.

Older Now

Symbiosis slanted to catch a view
off the record siding with one as if
the other was sleeping. Filial
consolation demurring to orphans
holding cold hands in the muddle
of summer. As the word turns,
settling nerves upon a spit of land
to frazzle. Buoyed into meaning
steered clear of finding the hole
in which the vapors hide. A hat to
put on daddy’s little nothing
whispered far and wide. To the
letter of the lisp bringing
phonemes home to sound as if
for all the world to hear. A dance
around the time of the dinosaurs.
Making sense stand up to
reason’s walk the talk around the
sticks and stones the bones keep
bumping into.

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His third volume of poetry, ptyx and stone, (white sky ebooks) was released in 2013.

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