Bartholomew Barker

Early Birds

How I hate those poets who rise at dawn
to write a couple hours before work—
Wallace Stevens especially, Emperor of Ice-Cream,
my ass! You’re not the only one with a day job.

And don’t get me started on Ted Kooser,
who should be staying up late in the flatlands
to watch the milky way flow instead of drinking dawn
from a bucket some early bird probably pooped in.

My muse sleeps in a bottle and does not awake
until neon lights buzz. She inspires the moon
and I do her bidding beneath flickering televisions,
whipping a ballpoint to get every last drop.

The only time you’ll see me in the stark morning light
is if I’ve had to walk home drunk and forgotten the way.

Holding On

As the soft skin of your leg
conceals the strength of your thigh,
I lean in close to hear your voice—
quiet as dandelion seeds in autumn
with words powerful as a storm.

Hand in hand, enjoying your perfume,
your mouth and eyes straighten,
no longer curved like the rest of you.
I don’t want to relax my grip
but know I can’t clutch onto my desire
without losing that which I hold most dear.

Yes Man

I was the teacher’s pet
not because of my smarts
but because of my charm,
smooth chocolate compliments
and precision tattling.

I knew which bully to befriend
for much-needed protection
and when to stab him in the back
then upgrade to a bigger model.

There will always be men
who think they’re great
and need little guys,
like me, to confirm
their awesomeness.

~~~

Bartholomew Barker is an organizer of Living Poetry, a collection of poets in the Triangle region of North Carolina. His first poetry collection, Wednesday Night Regular, written in strip clubs, was published in 2013. His second, Milkshakes and Chilidogs, a chapbook of food-inspired poetry was served in 2017. www.bartbarkerpoet.com

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To Each Their Own

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Do you…

save meaningful mementos from the people and things you love
or hoard objects that may eventually become useful

widen your mouth into a smile when you see your joy
or walk right on by, indifferent

thoughtfully phrase your worries
or blurt out your hurts

dance in the grocery aisles
or remain stoic doing the mundane

laugh unabashedly
or throttle it down, embarrassed

let the dust pile on while you enjoy life
or frantically control your environment

get wounded easily
or have a breastplate made of steel

shamelessly sing loudly
or slowly build into your confident voice

delicately and carefully plod through life unnoticed
or pronounce yourself a bull in the china shop

take a hard hit in times of crisis
or get surrounded by those looking up at you when they do

share the coolest, latest things with friends
or find yourself at a loss when life changes

understand you can’t know everything
or act the fool who thinks they do

think all the time
or feeling blank most of the time

just hate some people
or only love all

Just a few things I was wondering…

Reblog – I am an illusion by David Guerrieri

What’s your take-away? This piece struck a chord for me but I was wondering if you felt the same. Please comment!

Words Of An Average White Male

It took losing

everything,

to come to the conclusion

that I am an illusion

and we’ve always had

— from the beginning —

everything

to gain.

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Matt Snyder

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Male Persona

By definition
Way above neanderthal
Refined, caring, sweet

Work Persona 

His face a facade
A work ethic to behold
Inside a failure

 Artist Persona 

A Prolific Man
He can be misunderstood
Never giving up

~~~

Matt Snyder is a Northeastern Pennsylvanian multidisciplined artist/writer that has been in the game since 1988. He can be found blogging art at  A Prolific Potpourri, photography at 365 SCBW and as arts editor at The Finest Example of…

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Enervated

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this need for silence
where solace is found
oft leads to introspection
and homeostasis

a select few
can pass the walls
which protect
the emerging strength

when charged and available again
the world a playground
selecting longevity
in a world designed to ambush

but when it’s all too much
i’ll retreat again
to the cocoon
of my salvation

Wanton

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I dive deep to know who I am.
It’s a loyal act of self-discovery and acceptance.
It’s never a bad thing.

I embrace who I am, sexually or otherwise.
I have a good opinion of myself!
I’m ok with me.

Being wanton is the opposite of humility,
just another word for immodesty.
Seems it truly is a good description of me.

Face On

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Confessions of a young woman

Sometimes I look at myself through the eyes of a stranger. Who I see is not the person I am. Merely a representation of all that other people want me to be. I try to make the world around me believe a different reality, the self-deception is excruciating sometimes, and exhausting. The real me is revolting just under the surface, but to the world around me, all is calm. What keeps this façade in place is the fact that no one cares about me. I know that for a fact. Sometimes I don’t even want to know who I am. It’s bad enough having to live with myself every day. Experiencing the joy of discovery and understanding real joy is a momentary feeling. There are hiccups of excitement coming from my stomach up into my throat when I allow myself to have that sensation of everything’s all right, and I’m all good with me. Sadly, it fades quickly. Who is allowed to entitle themselves to a speck of happiness?  Nah, that’s just something you’re not allowed to experience, I say to myself.

Will it always be like this?