RP Verlaine



Old Dogs At Play


Each third or fourth week, the two of us meet
always for food and drinks with loud gossip
of characters called friends who seem to age
poorly compared to us, our shared conceit.
Over fine craft beers- all too exquisite
with ample whiskey shots to stoke our rage
on politics or man's long, sad decline.
His hope defied and the future threatened
until a joke or prank lightens the mood
or saucy tales of loves who were too kind.
Till the toll of drink and curfew beckons
us both to leave, surfeit of booze and food
Till we wake up with our heads in our hands
hangover cure waiting on the nightstand.



a black line


Flux of cycles on hold


We disengage
return repeat
the process
of leaving with
no intention to
go anywhere
we can swear
we’ve been

You stalk your prey
to music dancing solo
with backward steps.
Till I’m caught
with desires for others
extinguished/ defenseless
handcuffed to our sins
with everything on hold
but the next embrace.

Thus it begins
return/ repeat
the blueprint.
No intention to
Deviate/ improvise
Analyze/ speculate
Past this temporary
we stay on course
crashing cars we
walk away from.

Dry void of sweat
We’re always safe
just a phase these risks
this life this love
Its ending a detour
we’ll never find
This much in love.



a black line


Jesse 5


If I write you a poem, should it rhyme
or be clever with words, so seldom used
a dictionary must be near to help?
If I write you a poem, with what design?
Will it be so profound as to confuse?
Would you prefer that I do something else?
Music's not my style and neither is dance
without touching once or moving as one.
Were I a jazz soloist, I'd bend notes
to shake the heavens, if given a chance.
But no, it seems that poetry's won
and this sonnet will do or so I hope.
But wait, sweet darling, I've run out of lines
I must start again, I hope you don't mind...



a black line


Cruise Ship Entertainment


She never sweats
tied to a spinning wheel
in glistening spandex.

He does not miss
as far as I see
the knife thrower- an artist.

Much later
I dream of her spinning
while I throw kisses.

Wishing I was young enough
for dangerous games
outside any rules.

To unduly excite her
not that anyone would know
smiling like she does.

During each performance
a fatal mistake
awaits its chance.

To bow to fate
awaiting her blood
to claim victory.



a black line


Kinder Ballets


I haven't forgotten
anything she said,
not a thing

In particular
except it always
came back to

leaving. Losing
and kinder ballets
of betrayal.

I listened
didn't as she
claimed I did
most of the time.


About one thing.
That I'd be back
or regret.

Consequences adrift
in losing her left
a reality separate

from vision
as if the real victim
was truth.

Yet to remove
its blindfold
I say your name.

Asking the same

Inviting chaos
you answer only
in paintings and poems.


a black line


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