Philip Byron Oakes

If Nothing Else

Virtual without verging out of perspective's reach. Trivia
with fangs taking a bite out of the leviathan, little known
by little known to be. The penalty for perjury in the mirror
varying from state to state of mind. Driving a sweepstake
through the heart given to beating the drum for subliminal
disparities come to save the day. The hit and miss of being
human. Rummage of enlightenment, sold on an industrial
scale weighing pros with cons, as equals in the search for
a tangy sauce to smother the taste of antiquity. Adding up
the tics and fidgets to put a face together. Diluting
epiphanies to small talk. Stunting the gestalt's fade into
the forest. Getting fresh air to behave within the rules in
utero, to be birthed in the new sacristy of a freedom to
breathe. A cumulative accretion to realizing a deficit
from which to glean repositories, holding the great
nothingness to something that isn't and always will be.
Getting even with the odds. Getting lucky to confess
its role. At the intersections of fate and probability
convening, to host a spate of genuflect and jump
till the hurdles take the low road to the high
time in getting over that which never
goes away.

The Odds on Yang

ABC for yourself. Even factotums with two broken arms
stand to gain an epistle or two for their efforts. Wilting into
character. Untenable postures bronzed for safekeeping.
Featuring the erstwhile as the great whale sleeps. On
behalf of hopes half bitten off at the knees. Tangible as a
proverb in the mind of a maniac. Reupholstering sentiments
to infer a theatre in the surround. A simple trick learned in the
army of a greater love. Bowing to shadow of self. A purr of
time fencing off a lull in the mirror. As the clock strikes and
leaves a bruise. Chasing repercussions to their loss of origins
in the fog. The terrible tenderness loosed weaving velvet into
the recollections. Parsed out in tokens of affection for the
distance twixt here and there, then and again, presuming
without resuming from the spot last wandered off the
fringe of the slippery trail. Leaving loop de to loop in the
tortuous tradition of vicious circles, barrelling their way
to the finish line under the vaunted auspices of the
freckled moon.

Knot to Be

Danger's concession to togetherness ceding solo flights
to the way it is in a crowd. Tit tattling on tweedle.
Compiling a glossary of oohs and aahs. Strolling the verge.
The gratuitous on the pay as you go plan, to subvert the odds
of evening the keel for the tightrope's day to shine.
Doctoring scars with context. Stitching time to shrunken
spaces, catching glimpses and holding them tight. Upstream
of consciousness where the real work is done. Shaking a
pause loose from the continuum. Opening a window on a
mirror looking in to look out, for a future caught from
behind in a race for the reposes in the end. A vacancy kept
company in the dark. Sailing the cusp into port. Experience,
outside the rules of evidence, as to the existence of ether
worth flattering with light prone to flickering in the pain.
A tangle of rights wronged looting the conscience of more
rhyme than reason, more contortion than contusion
lending color to the texture hawking baubles in the
market for meat. Wielding personae through the
panorama passing time in the homestretch,
having its day and eating it too.

Buried in the Text

Superficially at the center of what can only if even then.
Stuffing condolences with placebos to ease the pain of
true believers. A time captured malingering beneath a
suspicion of slipping away. Till the quiet swoops in like
the end of the world. Seeds into pockets of resistance, of
speculation as to the pain of the pending squeeze into form.
An iota's coming of age amidst giants, giving elbows room
to swing with the tick's tock of the town. To nudge
precursors to the back of the omnibus. To quote the
breezes as they feel upon skin exposed to the change from
leaps to bounds. The vanishing point up in the air of
importance. Inaccessible to the feeling of trust in the floor,
to bear the weight of the immaculate convolution. The
palatable pause picking fights with guardians of the
naked truth, shivering in the cold of their flicker to fade
remembrance. The whoosh at varying speeds towards
the door. Hinging on and on till closed to the prospect,
even as the walls come tumbling down.


The me that is wasn't what could have been
if it weren't a long way towards knowing the
fluidity of consequence stuffing this into that
as it were or as if it were just what the doctor
ordered off the shelf of a time long since
passed over as relevant to what got the ball
rolling through the troubles as license to

Catching a glimpse midstream of conscious
efforts to quell the cacophony welling up in
a motion from the floor to dig into what
stands to reason beneath the surface little
more than a veneer concealing a vast body
lost to the climb toward perspectives from
which to launch a look out below the
threshold for feeling what couldn't possibly
yet simply is at the center of what keeps
slipping away yet held with the bidden to
surrender to the gravity inexorably looking
to determine the weight of the world

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