Horns Blast Down the Walls

I slithered to this swivel chair by means forgotten—
the one with the flattened padding, fatigued
like a smooshed Atlas, muscles turned to jam under the
near-constant weight of my ass and my troubles—its
patterned pleather armrests, cracked and peeling in broad
strips, like elastic, translucent skin, dead shedding
from too long spent in the sun—eroded by years of my sharp
cogitating elbows, that nursed my bulging brow more often
than not, during mystical solstices of intuition and
nameless mundane mornings, when the remnant booze
steamed out of my pores through sweat-stiff denim,
as I would attempt a ritual self-resurrection, praying to a
miracle carafe of black coffee and one too many cigarettes—
the casters at its five-pronged base, like a star, still wound with
fur from at least three housedogs, old-age dead a while ago—
yet I have had a constant companion in the inanimate, as I sit
and sit, and still time creeps away in lurching tectonic slips—
my brain gone water-mad from too long spent staring into
life’s funhouse mirrors, lost in hallucinogenic nostalgias,
and my heart is parched and porous from this unending
drought, where the only nourishment is the white-hot
bead of the eternal star above and the dust of undertowing dunes
that shift beneath all things I have shaped, swallowing whole
the hollow pumice casts of every gemmed soul who’s drifted
through me, like an instantaneous disintegrate, cascading
down the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, leaving desiccated soup bones
of my many-peopled life—the buildings, art, gardens, stories, and
music now a skeleton village of ghastly reminiscence, frozen
in the instant I lost my population—so I kick their skulls down
its narrow streets of harsh abandon, poking my head
into the open-air houses and greeting the stillborn
figures of my friends, left standing upright, stuffed
and mounted by the divine taxidermist—and of course
I slump into a chair that’s just about ready to gasp its last and
give up the ghost, and I wonder if that might not also be
the most humane tack to set for my own internal fission—
to fling myself into the out-back dumpster and sledge
down the ruins of this decaying urb, clearing ground for
a new developer who’ll lift up some high-rise apartments—
this seat and I (and the universe) think it probably for the best


Some stream-of-consciousness trash for you. I was apparently too lazy to punctuate.

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

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

A Book for David

the line of a well-worn
book strap, twisting like
a taut gallows rope
slaps against my denimed
knee and thigh, as I
locomote—bound around
a hardcover, without a sleeve
that needs returning to
the drop-slot abyss
at the library
door

let its pages go
to moisture-rot and
death, as I slide into the
too well-lit gallery
centered on your
pedestaled statue-
self

perched on soapbox
you run me down with
cunning marble globes and
adjudicating brow,
worn slightly furrowed
paste-face and smug
like you’ve just slain
every Philistine and you
aim to sling a final
stone

of course, you witness all
indeed, the clockwork
tocks that churn within
my heart-bound multiverse
a knowing vicariously
absorbed from what issues
out between the flapping
anemic gums of those
who come to sometimes
denigrate your lofty
aspirations to Michelangelic
perfection and fluidic
symmetry

around your chiseled lobes
the murmurs resonate
from within the walls
like the rustling cockroach
noise of insect legs
in friction, making full
the silence of your
chamber

a fleet of jackdaws
claim land on your
shoulders, tweeting
tidings of things unseen
making sure to leave behind
their shit that beads like
white paint down
the curve of your
chest—as a parting
consideration

but what of lips that
move when curled
tight behind the
vaulted corners of
this museum? concealed
in lampshade obscurity
beyond the arc of
your knowing?
the muffled criticisms
slander that your
cemented skeletal frame
cannot shift to
confirm

they are in permanence
on the pages of this
hanged-man book
strung by its neck and
revolting—the one that
needs returning
its density is draining and
I begin to sense the
offal waft of cadaverine
decay from its uncured
vellum—you may
own it, if you
like

read the real that
rests inside: the sounds
that you and neither
I were ever
meant to know, but
have been horsewhipped
by necessity into
unearthing

we were friends
I would sit and give
you company—
keep you from
crumbling apart at
the wrists—before
you latched yourself
inside that shell
of thick, chrysalid
marble

I arrive open, warm
for reparation, with
naked face and name
in honest presence, to
return an overdue book
to an erstwhile
friend