Philip Byron Oakes

Making History Mean Something

Prince valium keeping sleepy safe from warring tribes within
the walls. Tunbelly humpties making wisecracks. Peremptorily
surly for snapshots kept as relics tempering the time it takes, to
take a peek to its wilderness of sentiment, circling the brain stem
in a melange of inklings making like fireflies in the yo-yo of fate.
An inalienable quotient tending to a mix of emotions haunting
the antisepsis of a simple mind. In simple terms endearing to
those who listen through the cracks in what's being said. Quietly
pleasing veterans of the roar. Growing deaf to a sssh in the
woods. Anomie and mine. For the better things worse off than
when...then again you'll see them coming without a thing to
wear. Veritably immune to the cascade of wishes welling
upwards, towards a prescience no matter how late. Gelling into
a symmetry of disparate motives for gathering round and round.
A religion of habit exposed to the sunlight. Putting risk to the
test till the ceiling falls into a new way of looking at the stars.
All in time with little space to spare the elephants a room. The
step not taken all the rage in retrospect. The saving grace was
built for. An eventual surrender to the insinuous. Having seen
the glow's last chance to get right with the law. Bobbing feet
crossing legs on the front stoop of an awakening, keeping the
sun in good stead with the moon. Of all the tangents long
ignored, woven into a thread streaming news unable to support
the weight of so many people, left to rot in the hammock of a
failing memory stalking the perverse to its origins in the
rhetoric of light.

Dance of the Crux

Break fast don't stop keep walking the gamut. Episodic
contusions bracing for a splash of color, from the illusion
the war is won or lost in black and white. Whacking the
daylights to illuminate the question. Arching over insults
to flavor left waiting in the foyer. Stewing in a frugal magic
perpetually slipping into something comfortable. To assuage
plangent intangibles. A slow slide of imperatives into
amalgams of normalcy. Multiples of a glance to parse.
Clearing up and up till out of sight of the average joe, to
make amends from scratch on the back of the blue yonder's
reach into the heart of the fire within. Having seen what the
rain can do if left to fall. The future of sitting still for the
indignities to come. Beneath the skin peeled back to reveal
riddles ridden home in the daze. The end of the beginning
where the beginning to end meet in a muddle of middles
that go on forever. A scar led immanence of clarities put
to collage, steadying the experience of come and gone but
never leaving without leaving a mark. Breaching the
secrets of those caught genuflecting in the end. Memory's
stake in the war to forget. In parody of plans to escape
the gyric path to fruition. Just out of reach of everyday
howdoyoudo's with ease and grace till the edge
sets into stone like a knife through butter and the
walking finds a life of its own.

In C Minor

Caustic enthusiasts etching the basics into a face one
can't leave behind. Smacking dab in the middle. Pointed
fingers taking the plunge. Where time and space part
ways in the weather. Shepherding poses into sequence.
Transient eras of operable room by which the game is
won or lost in the trenches of an inch. The mere weight
of knowing. Malleable as moiety splintered. Figuratively
failing a change of mind, surfacing at a threshold pain
keeps pushing aside. The struggle to avoid toppling the
totems of a simple life. A stupor not a choice to gaze
upon a time once thought impenetrably your own. To
breathe a little deeper into the piggy bank of love and
loss. Compounding consequence of purveying a sense
of calm. A crowded lapse, fundamentally full of tangents,
snaking under the rock holding space to its promise of
resolve. Migratory quivers, chill's thrill to offer rhythm
its reprieve, from circadian cruelties making the world
go round. Fostering an aegis of remembrance,
compounding a wilt into compliance with the static
qualities of quo. Heads spun to wool for eyes on the
weight of worlds aplenty. Straining the silt for golden
years. Homestretching the truth to comfort levels fit
for perching, above the heart of the matter beating
wildly on the gates of subliminally open doors.
Sending a shiver into play center field as the music
takes its place in line leading all the way back to the
chirruping in a tree on the edge of the savannah
in question after question gone to sleep.

Sadly, Philip Byron Oakes, a regular contributor to Otoliths, died shortly after the poems above had been accepted for publication. He authored three collections of poetry, the most recent being ptyx and stone (white sky ebooks, 2013). His fourth collection, Rubato, was in the process of being floated about for consideration. Hopefully it will find a home.
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