Philip Byron Oakes

Sparing Change

Pontiffs, ands and buts. Nudging vantage in to view the
spectacle performing cartwheels in the dark. Gathering
thoughts to die a hero’s death. To shoulder the weight
of the subterranean roar. Factored from a perspective
diminished with years, plodding into a past tense and
irritable till vanished as the day is long. A seizure of
assets in intangibles. The secret virtually untouched by
the unfolding, even as if before your very eyes a
dawning of such radiance feeding the fire’s hubris.
Breathe in breathe out of accordance, stirring ripples
in a mesh of the continuum. Figured prominently in
stratagems numbing the conscience, with the id and
itty bitties of a soulful longing for distance from deeds
of a proprietary mind. The on and on. Fattening
fallacies for figment’s feast. A stunning collection of
traumas made good in forming an outlook. Sneaking
peeks out of prison. Through a cumulative layering
dulling the sense of a homestretch, to the human
race for tidbits to deflect the gaudy weight of an
existence breaking mirrors all over the world.

House Rules

Viaducts abridging a coven of concerns, on
either side of a rift between peoples pushed
into pulling for the home side of the river.
Microcosmic tenets fitting neatly into a
slump at the sight, without a vision to keep it
real. Pointed along the seemingly through the
maybe’s, into the clear blue push of the empty
into place of choosing shape and size. Slippery
mnemonics. A vitriol stewed to credo, spooned
as plumage on a tongue translating sterility
into verbs. Dimensions numbered from a grab
bag of digits randomly foisted, to account for
the missing portions arithmetic can’t reach.
Add up to the sum of suspicions irrevocably
diluted, by the mere act of counting upon
fingers to lend a hand where once there was
nothing. Walking back a gaudy stride into the
ethereal. A regalia of the void posed as
freedom to meander, aimlessly to the point
of no place to return. Or emerge from fully
accoutred for the silence’s take on prattle, in
waves of nothing ventured making the
difference crawl its way back home. Feeding
twinkles of evil I not u-turn of seasons
flavored in passage of enigma into liturgy.
Missives weaned of message. Massage of
directions. Petite emblems of infinity
bandied about in small talk of that
which knows no bounds.

Grossing the Net

Vigorously fluffy around edges wrought from iron willies,
wavering wistfully wan as snow blown into facing fears
of the cold. Mitigants putting the cure to bed with a story
killing the symptoms with kindness. Crying timbre in a
forest of fallen trees. Left footed dances around the navel
to a boreal breeze, sneaking up the skirt around issues
that die of their own accord. Suborning proof of what’s
knot when asked to unravel. Eke out of order. Taking
pride in one’s disappearance, when the going gets going
round and round. A shadow’s trek up the spine
sidesaddling a tingle. Propping a grimace up to the task.
A peep with pull sneaking out for a night of dark
undertones. Through stages randomly impressed upon
as templates redeemed in reflection. The best of what
remains of a delphic hint of myrrh, wafting with the
cadence keeping time a thing of the past. To help the
hurt make sense. Complement the trappings borne by
neighbors of the haunting, of habitable façades
nurturing blind spots till you blink and then
they’re gone.

Downed Beat

Arrhythmically flummoxed goading feet into steps
taken off and out of room to run. Inverting entrails
to the top of the list that fails to mention. A purr in
a dog’s mouth reciting the gist of a mumble.
By degrees of guilt sustained over the course of a
limbo, filling in the gaps between tit and tat.
Figuratively accessible via detours to, not from the
heart. A nodding off of noggins into the dark age
of night makes right where you live. Popularly
misspeaking of little but in lieu. Chiming in rare
accordance with musical backdrops melding trolls
and daisies. Lack with luster. Conglomerates and
single digits wafting heavy on the pipe organs,
holding precariously to those precepts without
their usual place into which to fall. Easing the
azimuth a little closer to the truth. Through and
throughout the years as steps are prone to lead
misconceptions to a seat at the table. A rounded
aft and fore you know it a conundrum built to

Degree of Angle

Diametrically reposed for battle of the sort left waiting
in the lobby for god. Frisking pleasantries of the sort it
out yourself to blame. Mealymouthing dialogue in
pursuit of soliloquies, dueling for what’s left of dead
echoes in the wind. Laced with rumors putting the bone
orchard in grave danger, as the kookaburra cries out for
justice in the lonesome hollows of embryonic regret.
Tutored sympathies shedding a tear like a nightgown in
the much vaunted heat of summer. Composing a crowd
of the roar. The good done cracking whispers open for
their marrow. Nips in the bud abloom, catering rituals
of the fractured horde. Scooping credence from a
shadow stalking every word. Over the verdant plateaus
of denial. Down amnesia lane into a vision of tunnels,
towards light’s favorite flicker in the end. The cringe of
night the great unknown applauds. The fever’s fight to
rise above. No more nor less for being buried in hopes.
Nothing quite like light as air is light itself through which
to see the shimmer’s side of the story. Goading the
intrinsic to come out and play till it whispers no more.
Of the hay in a stack of needles getting to a point that
begs blood of the question before the court.

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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