Wake Me When It’s Over

A link to my latest poem, published on Sudden Denouement. If you aren’t familiar with the poets on their site, please take the time to get to know them—they are some of the most talented and beautiful people I’ve come across.

“Wake Me When It’s Over” – Nicholas Osborne

-Nick

Thoughts 1/7/2017

Friends, Enemies, Frenemies,

I’ve been a little backed up lately—speaking metaphorically, not literally. While settling into my new role as a member of Sudden DenouementI’ve taken on (what seems to me like) a massive amount of community involvement. I’m rather unaccustomed to it. If I’ve appeared quieter than usual, the former accounts for a large part of the reason. It’s fantastic to interact with so many like minds on a regular basis; I’m still figuring out how to assimilate this new interaction into my routine so’s I can get back to writing, which is why I’m ultimately here.

My depression is another titanic contributor. Now, I’m well-versed in the prose of depression and I don’t use that word lightly, or to describe anything other that what it actually means. Depression isn’t sadness, general malaise, or listlessness—those things are side-effects of a greater condition. Depression is a galloping lava floe—one that we all must ride when it comes for us. We have to float it, kayak it, and keep from being burnt and utterly encased until it gets to where it’s going, cools, solidifies, and allows us to dismount so we may return to our regular lives. I would say that I’m about three-fourths of the way through this one.

Well, that’s it. I just wanted to tune in with anyone who might be listening on the same frequency and apprise you of my situation. You’ve probably seen more social media links appearing on my page, which I encourage you to follow if you enjoy anything my blog has to offer. I’m working on new poems and developing fresh outlets, which I hope will manifest themselves in time.

Loving you all. I wish you the best year ever… in the entire plane of the history of mankind. I mean it.

-Nick

Plucking Strings

This is the first in a series of misplaced poems I’ve recently rediscovered. I wrote this one on March 13, 2011, while hung over on my friend’s couch, waiting to forget the day…


lithe, we play
that banjo

twang-twing as
night echoes of semi-
unfulfilled lovemaking
perpetuate our sweatlets—
blood-warm breezes
rake the deep ravines
craters and sinkholes of
your tree-bark skin

sing loud your
thick waves of
margarine, while we
churn, in turn—
a slick-cheeked commingling
born of striped beer
cans, dead music, and
fancy pressed-collar
shirts

a voice of clobbering
wagon wheels on your
prairie plain—rotating
in rivulets, down your
corridors, flesh walls, and
plush cotton fibers—soft
hot, electrostatic pops

I taste the way you
travel, dull bird
and I know better
because they believe you
a brilliant pink flamingo—
more pigeonlike
to me

so, I will carry
your secret, as I
would an ugly babe

even as your breasts
deflate like holey
innertubes—flat flaps
that could potentiate
to plump casks ripe
with fertile milk

twing-twang
the banjo plays
with noxious verve

then falls
mute

Thoughts 1/1/2016

The year ends, and so also ends this black-checkered composition book I’ve been scribbling in. Coincidence that the final page is filled on the last evening? Maybe my subconscious drove me to it.

Either way, I am still here—still writing, though you may not know it. I hope that what I have produced is meaningful and satisfying for you. I write for me, but also for you.

I want to thank you all for bearing with me this year. It’s a doozy for the record books, I think. Your readership, love, and support has gotten me through many more difficult days and nights than you will ever know. You have given me a reason. For that, I thank you.

Here’s to fresh starts and bold undertakings.

 

-Nick

Death Before Coffee

I murdered you today—in the morning, after picking
out a pair of navy wool socks from my dresser drawer;
I trundled down the varnished steps and
padded across the fitted oak-slat floor
into the open living area with the stained-glass
windows that texture all the ambiance,
where we had built your sickbed out of
rumpled ivory linens, washed daily.

Your body lay in the perfect center: a paperweight,
enhaloed by a broad wet bleed of fever sweat,
hands crossed neatly on your chest, wearing the
death-edge look that plumbs reality’s cracks.

We joined our minds a time and smiled, before I
pressed my palm over those sallow, upturned lips—
the ones that used to be so blush—continuing,
the fingers on my left pinching tight your nose,
sealing with force your breathing holes,
until your skin went pressure white.

I watched the inner electric arc through your
skull orbs; it crackled and snuffed, as you complied
so politely—first tensing, then limping,
and departing then forever.

I rose and walked into the kitchen
to put on a pot of first-wake coffee,
silted with beams from the slanting sun and
a lingering fug of death and roasted beans.

________

Of course, you know that you were far
too pristine and pretty to continue.
We could no longer accommodate your
airy grace and big, bursting heart—
which is why I killed you before breakfast,
my bright and frightful dead one.

You ended for the Family, because of that
stranger you so openly invited
to dinner in our home, the one who
used our same language and wore the
shirt and pants of kindred laughter.

Broke bread, we all, with your extra one, until
we filled ourselves hot with food and after-wine—
leaned back in our chairs and enjoyed each other,
as you cleared the stoneware from our table,
turned and dumped it in the wash sink.

That’s when you felt the bread knife enter you;
it split the bowing between-ribs skin of
your back like yielding cheesecloth,
where its slim, serrated plane felt its way
into your kidney with a thoughtful twist.

And you refused a fight then, like now, as
your guest spun on heel with a short
courtesy and “goodbye,” wiping
clean the corners of her mouth
with a maroon dinner napkin.

She straightened her chair, excused herself, and
slow-pace ambled to and out the front door,
shutting it with care behind, where she left you
stuck and bleeding on the kitchen tile.

________

I let you go frigid on those damp sheets—
left for the better part of the day; you’d
passed through rigor and relaxation, when your
sky eyes glazed overcast with opaque white clouds—
and dammit if you weren’t still the
most gorgeous creature I have seen—
I rolled your empty vessel in clean cloth, and
wheeled you to the back yard.

I buried you in our vegetable patch,
so that you could sleep with folded arms and
delicate hands under the ongoing over-life of
our full yellow squash, ripe red
tomatoes, and deep green cucumbers.

The memory of you will never fully burn,
because you will daily be kneaded into me—
through the harvest, you’ll sustain my body,
becoming one, as we should have been
from the start.

And I hope that you remind me to
be beautiful too, from time to time.