Flightless Birds & Fireballs

I am not love, and
lust is no object I possess;
attention is a cardboard city
strung with garish Xmas

I am not man or woman—
my present state attained by
psychosomatic chromosomal

I am not indulgence or delight;
the food I chew is cold and
bland, plucked from a gaunt
metal grid under the pale
light of a wheezing

I am not corporeal, my
two-dimensioned body
won’t be discovered in
sunshine or by dark,
for I have sidled
into a realm of gray
on gray—an endless
archipelago of mist-clung

I am not the skeleton key to
your locked strongbox of
happiness or despair—
not the kindling or the
matchhead to strike
sparks upon your dry

I am not genius, nor am I
revolution at the tip of
a sword, the end of a
gun, or in the gleaning of
catchphrase words on a picket

I am but moth wings,
passed through the slits of
too many fingers—my flight
powder dispersed among the
unstill bodies in a ceaseless side-
walk shoulder rub; wiped
like chalk off a board by
a populous that I can’t call

Earthbound, I sit on a slab—
legs crossed and parted, a
silhouetted jet plane, grounded
on the tarmac by
an inclemency of

I have picked a perch from
which to watch the dusking of
our kind—I bathe in the holy
heat and glow of come-and-go
wildfires, punctuated by the
distant ripples of exploding

And this is how we
end—slathered with
napalm gel, lit on fire in
a frenzied dance of hugs and
handshakes, setting all the
other people ablaze in a
brief, impersonal

But, remember, I am nothing and
I am no one; so, I resign to
watch and wait, and
wonder, before I curl
fetal, drifting into dream,
as one by one, our once-
flames flicker, smolder, and


45 thoughts on “Flightless Birds & Fireballs”

    1. Thanks, OP! That’s pretty much the central theme—that, coupled with existing as a person who experiences the prevailing shallowness and apathy, but who is left without a place and invariably falls through the cracks. If I had to boil it down, yeah. I tend to avoid openly analyzing my own writing for several reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your words never fail to give me pause. To ruminate on that which I perhaps most fear. For this, I must thank you. I feel deeply connected to your words. And through them, to you. Your pain has a home within my heart.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Max, your words are always appreciated. It’s interesting how we’ve forged a connection through mutual expression of our individual pain. Given the choice, I would write exclusively about the positive and the peaceful. As you noted, the pain exists, and it warrants examination. Sometimes, you have to turn around and face the bear that’s chasing you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if it’s a gladness or a sadness I feel when I hear how others are moved and can identify with my writing. Although, it does make the whole undertaking feel more worthwhile when I know these words can reach people on more than a superficial level.

      Thank you so much. And don’t worry, I am completely ill-equipped to deal with any kind of positive feedback! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Most definitely worthwhile when you can inject the subject matter straight into the heart like that. Gosh WP has truly enriched my life and now I’ve found another gorgeous corner 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure where anyone else stands, but I believe writing (or any expressive medium) is meant to be shared. If an individual chooses to share a piece I’ve written, without any salesmanship or advertising on my part, it’s a good day. I’m a terrible salesman. 🙂

        Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the comments here and the emotions you evoke, the varied responses are fascinating and inspiring. Your flight powder laying on the sidewalk being trampled on… reminiscent to me of the occasional utter disalussionment of my own cause some days… like watching yourself slowly die (just like, not actually). That feeling in a story when you know exactly the moment when the protagonists mission will fail with the mere unraveling of their fundamental purpose… the single thread that has gone awry but there is no going back, it is lost, like that powder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jesus Christ Nick! This is the most powerful and poignant thing I have read. It’s in its own realm of resonance. This is so masterfully written and perfectly expressed. I’m in awe of your talent. In life, there are times when we come across art that redefines what we love about a given thing. This functions on such a level in a multitude of ways. Epic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t feel so bad now, as your reading list appears to be about as long as mine. I honestly can’t keep up with even the SD posts. Thanks for finding your way here, though, and I thank you for the praise. Don’t lavish it too thoroughly—my head is already big enough. I mean that literally. I have a large cranium.

      I’ve been writing substantially less lately—maybe you’ve noticed. I want what I do write to be potent. You seem to have found this poem to be incredibly potent, which is flattering coming from you, Max.

      Let’s not hyperbolize too much. I’m just a dude with some words who occasionally hits the right note on the xylophone at the right time to match whatever piece of music is playing. Any amount of talent I may have doesn’t even begin to touch the level I’ve seen from you and others on our Sudden Denouement.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sir Nicholas, you always bring a smile to my face. I genuinely appreciate your manner of expression. You display a true love for the beauty and intrigue of language in all its boundless nuance. And believe me, you are at home among the denizens of SD. It is I who is the phantom interloper. You always inspire me. Thank you for being so kind to me.

        Liked by 1 person

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