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Category Archives: Poetry

out in the world
there’s nothing to do except for maybe
absent-mindedly trace a heart on her kneecap
with my fingers
while taking in the remaining vestiges
of the summer’s warm kiss with a cup of coffee
and the radio playing just slightly not loud
enough to drown out the ringing in my ears
and the constant fears and night terrors
of all this progress falling apart.

and while our hearts are there, our
conversation lies elsewhere, leaving only static and
white noise to fill out the colours in
the void between
fully bloomed trees and the great expanse of mountains
and city lights as they clash together
in a surreal display
of the closest mirage of tranquility
i have ever known.
so when we open our mouths briefly
before closing them and looking away
we see a brief flicker in each other’s eyes
before running even further in opposite directions.

and so i take the words i meant to say
and forge a collection of them haphazardly
to represent a misshapen view of how
my heart resides in more than a deck of cards
or too many cigarettes
while standing on a porch
that overlooks the crescent of eternity.
i take these words and
fasten them together to the tune of
an unnecessary rum-soaked apology
and maybe when the songs cease playing
i could speak a word or two
about how beautiful you looked
as the sun rose over the background hillside
and as the lake
swallowed me whole.

– r.f.g.


the apollo landed in
my back yard once when
i was eight
and then again
when i was sixteen. the
second time i
got really drunk
and passed out
in the cockpit and
pushed buttons
as my body sprawled
across the dashboard.
when i emerged
and exited
the shuttle
i fell from space back to earth
just landed
in my back yard
and to this day
no one believes
me when i said that
on the way down i died.


she spilled her drink
atop the marble stone universe
and sighed, a heavy
sigh. winds bellowed in it’s
after math; the earth quaked
and suddenly there were
tears streaming across her
beautiful, war-torn face.

a little boy with a gun
in his hands held firm
the notion that the world
was going to end
and indeed,
his childhood
fantasies would soon appear
and dance amongst the living.



woke up hungover, my head is a trainwreck in motion
a million times crashing over and over and over
until the sun rises and sets all cyclical and mocking.
and these days all blend together
chasing each other’s skirts and licking each other’s lips
until they catch up and explode, their parts and functions
spilling all over themselves;
a case of mistaken identity. i’ve forgotten who they are
until she reminded me: “days only have names
because we gave them names”.
and then i named them after stars.

woke up tired and afraid. afraid of the sidewalk
afraid of the monuments
afraid of the silly way your eyes
divert from mine
while i’m shuffling down the
alley way, to the taverns, the campus grounds,
the workplace boxcars searching for a fix.
and i know that it seems strange but i’ve
come to love my new found vices like a dear
friend i’ve discarded and then picked up again when
no one was looking.

time moves in patterns, the same kind of patterns
that you make with your fingers across my back
and you set me on fire
so i purge the flame.


My Friend, Chuck B

i’m losing myself
to pornography.
sometimes i think
its to make
bukowski proud.
i wish i didn’t
know better.


i woke up this morning and
set my hand on fire again
for a moment
then put it out
before i went
about my day.

by lunch time i’m drunk
and singing loudly
to myself
about the time
i fought a schoolyard bully.
I lost, but it was my
only true moment
of glory.

cigarette smoke
escapes the confines
of my jaw and i punch
myself in the head
again for not keeping guard.

“so it goes.”

– r.o.a

Listening to: Blacklisted – Everything In My Life Is For Sale [Album: No One Deserves To Be Here More Then Me]

take my hand and walk with me
through these burning streets of athens,
this labyrinth of hazy dreams
and misinformed circumstance.
lets shake off the dust and dizzy this planet
until we are spinning.
lets pull back the covers and chains until
we’ve exposed this world for all it’s wondrous malfunctions
and we will sparkle.
lets run
faster, farther anywhere until
we fall off the earth and into the universe,

floating among ten thousand suns and stars that glare like sparta.

we can fight them all
one by one
two by two
and blank the pages of history
with our pens, turn space into a vast ocean of ink
and rewrite constellations into paragraphs,
manifestos and songs to sing at the top of
our wheezing lungs.
and then
we kiss, we embrace, we light fires and torch
this city in jubilation. we dance and find the rhythms
confusing, slightly off beat but we
step to the music, feet first, tripping on
our sentences.
we’re drunk off this madness
but we will sparkle.

your voice is as loud as a passing meteor
rushing by my head, ringing my senses
like church bells
and its choir of echoes
leaves ghosts in my wake;
slowly waltzing behind me.

– r.o.a

Listening to: Neko Case – Polar Nettles [album: middle cyclone]

sometimes, i’ve
been known to sit
and stare at the ashtray
as it stares back
at me, like we’re waging
our own silent war.

i feel bold and patriotic,
staring at the smug, self-satisfied
nazi bastard as it stares back at me,
coughing, ejaculating black ash
whenever the wind hikes up it’s
teasing skirt and bares its gustly fruit.
i swear to you, the couch, the front porch,
even the goddamn balcony becomes stalingrad
when this happens.
the lines are dyed in red paint and we touch
our toes on the other side
with machineguns in hand, maybe a few granades;
chomping on cigarettes, swallowing the nicotine
like gin, always staring each other down
with that menecing, hate filled
stare. it knows too much
and i have been ordered to kill it,
for the good of the fucking world, i need to end it,
make it bleed in eternity,
make it fear me for all the times i have been told to fear it.

the war is fought, bullets are spread,
the war is mine,
but it shot me in the leg,
looked me deep in the eyes
and punctured my lung with no remorse, laughing.

no, cackling.
it fucking cackled madly before it perished
into nothingness.

– r.o.a

Listening to: Cave In – Big Riff [Album: Jupiter]

The world is smoldering
the heavens lay gently
beneath my worn feet
and I am still walking.
My diary has been exposed
in the form of tears and
distant cries for help,
but I’m fine with that.

I’m also fine with these
words and what they do
to me, what they turn
me into: hugging tearful,
rage-soaked syllables
in the middle of three am;
softly carving lines of
poetry into my arms with ink
trying to fine meaning in
such a romantic fashion.

And yet everything continues
to burn like a forgotten
cigarette during a drunken
meeting between
mournful third-world

This place remains ugly
and callous;
young hearts are trampled
upon and discarded
with the passing winds

Sinners, I guess. Religious
zealots, Nazis, Saints,
they’re all the same: they
all believe in God.
I don’t, but maybe
that’s because I’m too
afraid it will send me to hell.

– r.o.a

Listening to: As Friends Rust – Home is Where the Heart Aches [album: the Fists of Time]

and three am again, but we’re here
talking about poetry, language, love, passion
as if we were one and the same, not
seperated by the distance of minds shackled
to our dictatorial pens and papers
who scream in esctacy; wetting themselves in
spasmatic glee in antcipation for us
to take that one, deep plunge
and let the words flow out from
within us
planting themselves
in dirt and soul and grass
and growing like a tree
of adjectives jutting out
from branches of misplaced
sentences and leaves
of puncuation.
its roots hold the grammar
together, tightly knoting
around its thighs
and we shout

” timber! ”

(and it echoes)

as we axe that
tree to start over anew
for we are the ones who extinguish life
from this forest
with brutal tongues
and quickly scribed words
before trashing them
in search for
a better discriptive
language. one where i could say
“i love you” with out the words
mishapen, appearing contrived
and useless as
my every poem before,
or “my madness becomes me”
before i fear that
it is all so true.

” timber! ”

(and the echoes wane)

and we strip the bark for its better parts
to find the words to print onto landscapes
and mountain summits
to shout beside the face of god
be cause we
laugh at the sides of other poets
who think they
own their pens and their hearts
and their minds
when it is they who
become slaves to the words
shackled by an
evergrowing need
to flourish and bloom
so that when the time comes
they may sign their names
into the oaks
and redwoods of history.

” timber ”

– r.o.a

Listening to: Forfeit – Something Against Me [album: the lower depths]

he looked at me and he said

“you know what you need?
you need a hooker.
a dirty, cheap

and you know what else you need?
you need wine.
dirty, cheap, red rotgut wine.

but you know what you don’t need?
love, because love will
leave you both

i nodded, then offered him a cigarette

he declined, as always.

i took one, lit it up,



it looked to be a long night.

– r.o.a

Listening to: La Dispute – five [album: here, hear II]

the weight of the world
feels heavy on my chest
and i can feel the stars exploding
like cigarettes tossed
aside in the rain.
this empty hole to the left
of my heart
casts a shadow
across my barren flesh
and i said to him
“i know, man and it hurts.
love can tear you apart limb from limb
with no remorse, laughing.”
while thinking the
same about myself.
and she said to me
“poets are too breakable”,
such wisdom from someone
so young.

dear god, this feels like a song
played on repeat
forever more. this
stings like poison in my
gut, for the wine has vacated
the premesis long ago.
where have all the women gone?
why did they leave without
a kiss goodnight?
my garden is nurtured in pestillance,
the flowers it grows mocks
me in the springtime.

– r.o.a

Listening to: Jena Berlin – I Swear We’re Leaving [Album: Quo Vadimus] (One of my favourite records.)

these glances are flashes
and then pause
as if time needs
to take a moment to etch
the look in your eyes
in still frame
to fully allow me to grasp
what it is i’m
about to say
and how i can apologize
to you. but they burn
holes into my retinas
and i’m stumbling for answers
as you’re walking away.

the words that slip
from my mouth unattended
leave scars across my chest
and i am alone again.

– r.o.a

Listening to: Screeching Weasel – Every night [album: Anthems for a New Tomorrow]

this light bulb hanging from
the ceiling is cracked and corrupted
with all of the dreams i let escape
me at night. all of the fears
i’ve left dangling on my conscious
free themselves and dance
upon my weary head during the
worst parts of the morning.
all of this dawn and dusk,
daybreak and nightfall,
sun and moon
all of this dew and frost,
the seasons mocking each other
at backwards glance,
it destroys the better half of me,
leaving the weak to fester
throughout my dormant hours.
they abuse me like i abuse
commas and


and metaphors and money.
like i abuse cigarettes and lists
like i abuse the ones i love
for the sake of my acting career.

i wanted
to be pure
i got this unending sense
that this winter
will be just as long
as the ones prior.

– r.o.a

Listening to: the carrier – no. 51 [album: No Love Can Save Me 7″]