Friday, March 3, 2017

The Fox’s Feast: Post-famine

The Fox’s Feast: Post-famine

Devoured by ballrooms of the arrogant machine
Clocks count the fox in time to a rhythm 
Systemic suicide that sets the alarm for a common thief 
to make her grand entrance,
resistance is key.

The minutes watch the seconds as they creep
upon the hours of gravity, owned 
towers that chime through grit and bone
We unfortunately are not alone.

The coat, a pocket for our bodies, 
the gates that take our young
the stolen mechanics, wandering concepts
impatient hands folded for unrelenting death.

I will march for my brood, sly, through the jaws 
of a union so broken and fragile.
Dirty and abused. I flinch, still I fight
I am lost and found and gone again
Fastened tightly to a wrist, my fist twists through 
the angry detours of the rabbit’s hole.

You are my enemy as I am yours.
Hatred burns with poetic inversions of inflexible proportions

I will devour you and all that you are.


"If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared." -- Niccolo Machiavelli

Friday, August 14, 2015

Letters from an American Soldier

Letters from an American Soldier
by Jesse Payne

Mother, father, sister, brother:
My will has been broken.
I sit nestled in leaves
branching over blood and field.
This sunset ridicules the decay
of my country’s remains.

On mountains once shared, and breakfast tables
Will we ever mend these disconnected cables?
Tents fill bottles and eyes with liquid compromise
as I’m left to read about days of old
and dream of coming home.

I’m thankful you all stayed on the family farm.

A friend of mine watched
as his brother died
On the far side 
of enemy lines.

How could the conversation stop in order for towns to burn?

War is hell and I’m faced to bring it
in bags and drop it on the doorsteps
of a backwards society.
My clothes are torn with ragged sweat and the blood of my friends.
I wish that I could go back to childhood
and start my life again.

With a form of innocence that no longer resides within me
I’m broken but held together by curse and scorn. Born
is the man who cannot forget.

Above these hills are visions of freedom
but if I jump, I will not land on my feet
nor on my knees but in a sea full of dreams
that will never be seen.

Keep my place at the table warm
for I will return someday 
in some kind of form.
I hope I can hold you all before I die
in these arms that time has denied
my enemy.

I’m thankful you all stayed on the family farm.


"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time." 
-- Leo Tolstoy

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Biting the Towel

"Biting the Towel"

Grinding teeth becomes sandpaper
ripping the surface from the tops of piano keys.
Dissonant in nature, but in music
dissonance is beauty.

Cold blooded dogs slithering down
the back alleys of a city abandoned by the righteous.
Fangs suspended in air with foam and fear
understate the ribs and the fur that shines.

I remember when I’m in front of my mirror,
an heirloom draped over shoulder blades.
A face pressed between metal and clamp,
a Mona Lisa smile beneath historical eyes.

I can see the tears that once fell
from her chin, so fragile.
Lost in a time when no one was found,
my lungs tremble with her fragrance 

I have lost more than my life.

In a dream I was dancing on counter tops,
my toes reaching for the stove.
Courage doesn’t matter to the ill-informed,
It’s naive.

Wisdom withdraws from the kitchen, 
elegant in its transmission.
The years of a moment that will not end.
Nothing else can matter if you could never begin.

I’ll keep biting the towel
until I’m relieved

of my responsibilities.

JP 2015

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop"

Monday, November 4, 2013

Broken Palette

"Broken Palette"

I tried to leave a painted picture
without destruction
I loved the imagery and context
but without the frame
there is no security

I combed my hair the way you said
without questions
I tucked in my shirt and counted my blessings
without fear
there can be no love.

JP 2013

“Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defense”
--Saint John Chrysostom

Thursday, August 1, 2013



Time catches 
us all
in a fist
of rage
a graph 
designed for 
its prey.

veins that twist 
like oak trees
shackled beneath 
laundry and dirt
Parallels of action 
separated from thought
nothing falls that isn’t forced

Blessed are the eardrums, 
they’ve been through hell
material comforts
shoulders for shelter
and moments of triumph
until the mind sinks from the weight
of knowledge and space
wormholes and a hefty court case

Time catches 
us all
in a deep 
a graph 
designed for 
its prey.


"In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same." -- Albert Einstein

Friday, June 21, 2013

Scales of Obstruction

Scales of Obstruction

I forgive the death of those we bury
curses are the shovel, cruel and twisting
behind the walls of swollen words
like investments, handmade and worthless
a wicked black downfall
taking control of our central trees
Threatening our way of life
hands of the owner
messages deceive
when written from beneath
I hesitate before I breathe

Loneliness, the whiskey of defeat
tears from the ashes of tyranny
the lawless violently aiming
with crooked souls
Condemn the scales of obstruction
and tell the stitches to project

We can criticize leverage
of autographs and crevices
while surveys search the random wire
creating sparks
Threatening our way of life
hands of the owner
messages deceive
when written from beneath
I hesitate before I breathe
and the lawless violently aiming
with crooked souls


"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time" - Thomas Edison

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Innocence is Forever Fleeting

Innocence is Forever Fleeting

My beautiful son, 
I wish I could view the world through your eyes
Innocence is forever fleeting
all day, everyday
May love be your anchor.

The perfect storm has taken me
but provided the waters for you to be 
My tears cannot wash away your troubles
nor will they erase my faults
but let them fill your well
so they may cushion your fall
let them hydrate your strength
my beautiful son.

I wish I could see the world through your eyes
Whatever was good in me now is with you
True gifts cannot be wrapped
nor purchased with gold
They stem from hearts, spreading through souls
but innocence is forever fleeting
all day, everyday
May love be your contribution, my beautiful son.

I bear the blame for the burdens you will carry
Treat the world with kindness
regardless its rotation
Never lose sight of your most precious dreams
be the change you want to see
Tolerate with the knowledge, evil exists
resist it with your entire existence
and may you carry on
my beautiful son.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards"
---Soren Kierkegaard