Philip Byron Oakes


Prig's epiphany pinching the hours to flavor the years left behind
the curtain. Pieces to broken as much too much. Where the magic
takes its chances with the rest of us. Taking charge of appearances
before falling out of sight. Posited for company to mind a view
with reflections, upon an erosion into the presence bared for the
struggle. An egg's pass on the scramble stirring the votive to melt
into compliance. Muddled in the evolution of context, indirectly
connecting the indemnity to the limp. Never quite capturing
the cluster of essences vying for attention, having undergone to
overcome. Lifelines tossed in arbitrary directions. Wrinkles in a
spatial fabric giving the here and now its chance to rest. A rock
from which with little further ado. Scuttling the margins of a pause.
One foot aping the other in steps taken unawares. An all but dead
ringer chiming to flesh out the chorus cheering our hero on.
Teasing horses down the homestretch to compromise with forces
giving life its oomph. A preponderance the evidence gels around
to feign a context. Hard laboring to explain what makes the rule
a key to every door but one. Cutting into the chaos of where to
stand when the earth shakes loose of its promise. A purpose
presumed as more than enough to clear the clutter. To polish the
impressions left to find their way in a world of the myriad
mutations to moments wandering offstage. Between the
occasions erected as milestones in the journey to get a fix on
one's location. The every bit as likely as knot unraveling to bring
both a and b into the play the venue. To grieve the loss of both
here and there in the interim, the time lost losing count. Of
languages to drown in the immensities of the unspeakable,
but loud. To see space beyond the words as we know
them to exist in absentia.

Taken Together

Encompassing rationale for sleep at the wheel,
turned stretching the truth until it wraps around
the world. Shepherding aegis to humility under
auspices forming a swarm to create a buzz you
can believe in. The surety of tit for tat's day in
the sun. Parallels conjoining on the horizon,
drawing a line between the lines recited in a
language shared by all. Whipping nuance into
fashion. The humus of tomorrow. Anointing
the aroma. To lure a nod from a wobble.
Absolving fictions in the fabric of here and
soon to be. Planting poppies in every step
towards the answer as beacon in the raw.
Catching wind in its infancy. Heads lost to
the cause. Slathered into form to fit the
calling to the cry. Keeping the static at peace
with the promise of a greater chaos to come.
A divergence of opinions blossoming in an
array of tender spots to probe, for evidence
of allegiance to the gravity of the choice if
not the chosen. The best kept free from
thinking lest means either or a chance made
good with the arbiter of reasons to confess
the heebies before the geebies come to play.

Shift of Fortune

Protean irony shifting shape serving as norm for tasteless
foods and tickles that don't. Touch deep enough to feel more
than numbness at the litany. Congenitally conspiring to freshen
up a flavor left to linger as an afterthought, harbored in the
arrears of a strategy to behave as if, for as long as you can. A
time off the wall in a room without windows from which to
catch the drift of the conversation. Turn of a phrase into
something more than a caption. A residuum of presence
framing minds at a tilt. In and out of vogue knickers for the
squeeze into character, flocking round a faint hint of fire in
the distance where disparity finds its place but not a home.
A chance to take ownership of the gulf, between the fat and
skinny halves of tall orders at the behest from within.
Without hope of ever bridging the chasm of elephants in
the room with a view of the yearning for perspective.
An immovable feast for the inner eye upon the wisp
of a feeling that parity finds its balance in the wash.

About Time

Splice skating at random putting worlds
together without regard or gentle transitions.
Cutting people off the record, spinning tall
yarns into sweaters for walk-ons thinning ice like
a crowd of fires in the rain. A little which way or
whatever then they're off. Penalty phrasing from
memory. Saving grace from drowning in the facts.
A nod riding a wink to inevitable conclusions,
drawn in pencil for the faint of heart. Little
variances allotted room to squirm. Baring essence,
sparing no one shelter, from walking knock kneed
down the aisle between worlds. To fit a perception
of having been there, all along, the lonesome trail
come fresh from the blue. Hard as diamonds to
mistake for anything other than a final answer,
living amidst the shrugs, just bob-bob-bobbing
along. An invitation to the question that never
comes, so as to be seen coming, a mile away or
so of bristling desert, intervening on behalf of a
littered agenda to learn the power of the mind in
matter's making mountains from the miasma
below. Bolted and locked into the perception of
a cause beyond cause to grieve. What's said in
less than so many words. Registered in a gaze,
consuming with a glimpse past the curtain of
knowing why you're here. A dizzying array
wrapped round a single thread stringing the
piper along. Sporting a predator's skulk for
the camera. Snapshots round the world
resounding without a peep to persuade the
passing to slow their quest kept close and
even closer to the vest of all possible

Philip Byron Oakes is the author of three collections of poetry, the most recent being ptyx and stone (white sky ebooks, 2013). His fourth collection, Rubato, is in the process of being floated about for consideration.
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