Catching Yourself

A syrupy palaver left over schmoozy moon,
shedding honey on what’s said in jest. Deep
in the mystery of what it means to be reluctant
when asking, for just enough air to breathe a
word in support, of the nearly voided in the
grander scheme, enveloping qualms and
quibbles like clouds a head, lost looking for
equivalents to what it’s never felt. Coated with
entendre saved for later. Incensed by the smell
cloying perfume’s inroads. Keeping the sugar
bowl full of little inquisitions of the sour, for
having puckered lips renouncing the saccharine
coattails of a ghost. Never thought of, in passing
over rivers caught up in a lazy rush to the sea,
not even when the rains come knocking down
doors to perception, of plain ground as paradise,
to see the sun break through a plot line of floods
to come with many fingers grasping at the land,
until it’s slowly swallowed, whole like a biscuit
feeding the fury by which it’s consumed and
having chosen not to breathe, a faint memory
of the taste escorts hunger to preeminence in
the hierarchy of breathe or don’t eat too much
before dinner.



Alibis secreted from testimony to the effects
of living largely inured to the whereabouts of
yin and yang. The one stride made to believe
in the other enough to say, that who was where
when all but nothing happened, but a shadow
stalking proceedings unseen and only barely felt
putting feet to the floor. Substance to the
buoyancy of our being caught somewhere in
between, being victim and witness to the
everyday, wearing a blur to disguise its insidious
proclivities, for breaking the wills of even the
most stalwart sojourners on their ambles into
the mystic. Detours into the aplomb of being
who only they can be and even then but for


What Will It Be?

What’s what falls flat for what’s not but what’s
lacking, when asked what’s more or less whenever
you want. A river of what’s been missed, cutting
through if not one promised land, then another.
The world is littered with them. Antique ambitions
drawn in forgetful sand. Pockmarked musings
glossing a hilly terrain, buffering horizons that end
in water if chased far enough, until the bubbles
rise with answers from the depths to say beware
of the behemoths in dreams. Who’s who behind
the cheesecloth. What’s what as it’s always been. 


As the Words are Discounted

it’s not what but rather what’s not asked
between lines already explicitly written
to say the very opposite of what’s implied
to make a difference meld into trends
once thought unconscionable but now
merely gruff around the edges wrought
from a template of cadavers kept like a
sacred truth on ice until the time is right
to unveil what’s been a long time coming
to the last realization allowed the living
culled from memory in the form of a
shrinking sensation as the world balloons
to both surround and contain all within
reach of being bargained for by simply
being there or no 




[Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in numerous journals including  E ratio, Moria, gobbet, zafusy, Otoliths to name a few. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters, 2009) and Sard (Otoliths, 2010). Blog spot: http://philipbyronoakes.blogspot.com/]

Copyright © 2012 by Philip Byron Oakes, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.