by ~Econokryst (aka Rev. Michael James Sherlock)
Alright, so I've been signed on to Capital of Nasty for about a day and a half. I just finished reading my first issue (which I enjoyed very much, thank you). So, I figured I'd send one of my poems for possible publication (criticism is always accepted). This one is called "Choke", and it is, admittedly, not one of my favorites. However, this piece is usually more widely accepted than my others. So here's the background on this one: I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in one of "those" middle class areas which is quickly becoming extinct. My home, of 22 years, is crowded in among many many other people's homes on a typical city block. And, I couldn't name more than 5 people out of the hundreds who live in my neighborhood. I'm a bit of a loner, you could say. There are also about 2 dozen bars within walking distance of my house. After all, this is a Catholic/Irish area(or at least it used to be). So one particular night, I was feeling particularly low because I knew I didn't deserve the wonderful woman I was dating at the time (I broke up with her soon after). And I felt very inhibited by my surroundings (including my immediate family), so I walked to my favorite watering hole 2 blocks away. It was raining. I got soaked. Of course I brought my note book with me. It also got soaked. I sat down at the bar, ordered a Southern Comfort on the rocks(we call it SoCo around here), and began to scratch out "Choke". It is basically what I saw, and what was bouncing around my head as I walked to the bar, where I knew I was sure to get heavily intoxicated. Hope you enjoy it, I'll be sure to send some others.
I struggled free of a choking grasp as I left my house that evening. I strolled right by the passers-by and never my eyes went blinking. I burned my path with X-Ray sight into the sidewalk cracking. The rain that fell was just for me as it went on attacking.
I view the ground, my eyes don't raise to see my urban setting. Desirous angels kick and scream caught in their nylon netting. Rook takes queen, a casualty, a winner takes victory laughing. Gears still turn and bones still snap as minds continue crafting.
When we make love, do you feel stained? My thoughts they strike stampeding. A heart that pumps, a mind that thinks, they leave my tear ducts bleeding. A three day wait, so I was told, so I don't lash out provoking. And on the third day, I'll rise again, and free myself from choking.
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