there’s nothing better in this world
than afternoon mornings with you
our feet together on shared footstool
coffee at 4 pm and a lazy smile
eyes still warm in the afterglow
of late night coital bliss
sheer curtains keep us
secreted away from the world
from all its worries and pains
everything else ceases to exist
when we are here

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.

“The Devil’s Mercy”

Ginsberg in the afternoon
hot summer day, but chills feast on your gentle flesh
shallow breaths from a once-strong chest
to me, you are yet Man, immortal, and beautiful
I read your favorite pieces and watched
as your body betrayed your spirit
my wretched, loving fingers brushed the sick-sweat from your brow
never have I felt so helpless, useless
in the face of your need
for all my preening, my hollow prayers
who would listen to the cries of one corrupt soul
who would hear my selfish need to keep you
to hold you here, with me
the Devil Himself laughs at my attempts
my begging and bargaining
that your lungs would fill with ease
that you live
wicked I, am reminded of every cry I’ve uttered, every curse, every hope
my pride
that such a worthless life, such squandered chances
could be worthy of exchange
to seek your salvation through my sacrifice
oh, if only I believed in reincarnation of self
that I could sell a thousand lifetimes
to bring health to your frail form
but if I lived a thousand lifetimes
I would not have enough to offer
and so I sit, and read to you
as I beg the Devil’s mercy

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.

*Note by the author: This is one of the most personal pieces I’ve ever written.  It came from the very depths of me, and I hope that not only do you enjoy the read, but if you should be so fortunate to love another, I beg you, never let them forget it.  May we live with the understanding that every moment could be our last.  May we love as if there is no tomorrow, and may you have no regrets.

“Among Liars and Thieves”

Sometimes I ask myself what it’s all for
the struggle, expenditure and toil
existence is a lonely game
filled with misunderstood souls, each seeking
some glimpse of familiarity, of approval
we blind ourselves to obscure the truth
tamper with our own experiments
to feed our desire for results
when being right is more important than being accurate
but alas
that same humanity which gives us the ability to create
to discern beauty
to feel the very depths of emotion
also makes us fallible
oh artists, poets, visionaries
we are all but liars and thieves

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.

“Carefree in a Careless World”

there is a cicada in the corner
one of god’s creatures
otherwise annoying poetic device
it sings, as we would say
as if the poor beast is unaware
or perhaps uncaring
that it has found residence inside my own
I am, at once struck by its volume
immense for its stature
and its shamelessness

for all of my want
to locate and destroy the insectoid invader
I find myself torn
between laziness, irritation, and wonder
this pitiful creature
lost in my climate controlled paradise
his alien landscape
of entirely unnatural symmetry
yet despite his surroundings, he sings
despite the hum of my refrigerator,
the rattle of my AC, he sings

we should all be so carefree
as the cicada
to exist as if we were not observed
to sing without audience
to be, as we are, without fear of reproach
confident in self, as self is
unmodified, unedited
to perform our intended purpose

I envy the cicada
and if he cared to notice
he would certainly pity me

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.


insomnia finds me well, just past 1 a.m.
wellness is a state of being
not a safe haven
it is not held in secret in some trove of wonders
protected by ancient guardians of immeasurable wisdom
it exists only within
and can be found as easily as lost

this town was once familiar
it should be, as I’ve spent the majority of my years
watching from behind my curtained window
as it grew, changed, evolved
such is the manner of things
they grow
or fail and are soon forgotten
much like the youths I see
laughing loudly, as observed by others who
must be lead to believe that they are missing something
some joke, some bit of fun
some rung of social hierarchy to which they must aspire

though they would not believe it to be true
my dreams
like theirs now
were once so small
my fears, then
would not be unknown to them, now
as with all things
I grew

I became
more unlike them, and thus isolated
loneliness is not harmful, lest you allow it to haunt you
solace can be found in the quiet of loneliness
as can truth

it will be some time
until these young minds free themselves to imagine
that which exists beyond
for now, they ride, immortals
in the backs of pickup truck chariots
dashing shadows beneath a summer moon
racing to glory, to conquest, to bad decisions
champions of eternal youth
for now

but in time
the streetlights will watch them grow
they will move on
for career, for love, for worse decisions, or better
and the moon will watch
as each year brings to this town
a new crop of immortal youths
ready to seek their misfortunes
on these old, tired streets

as for me, I’ll allow the curtains to fall
and document my findings
to no one in particular
for posterity
for purpose
for the lack thereof
for I have grown, yes
but I am, beneath the stars, beneath even this young oak
quite small

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.


one seeks
that which cannot be compelled
nor purchased
nor gained by ill pursuit
one seeks
that which is
beyond all else

the warmth of flesh to flesh
a kindness offered with only hope
for mutual reciprocation
when hands touch mine and I am lost
lost to whims of fantastic notion, I am whole
complete as physical melds seamlessly
mind, bursting with creativity
an eruption of idea, limited not by tangibility
nor by expectance, nor fear
but free

this is your gift
and mine, to you
that we may
ease the wounds wrought by societal banality
that we may
laugh until we’ve forgotten tears of sorrow
that we may love


© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.


this is the most uncomfortable of chairs
poorly crafted, with a protruding knob that somehow
always seems to find the tailbone
cat scratches mark the varnish
the back leans at unexpected angle,
and yet
for twenty years I’ve toted this chair
from state to state and house to house
acquiring new dings and other scrapes
‘personality’ some would call it
‘ruined’ would say others
I’ve difficulty letting go
of this wooden torture device
not because my great-grandfather crafted it
nor because my grandmother would be dismayed
to hear of its abandonment
but because it makes me think
and after this many years
so few people have offered the same courtesy
but been permitted acceptance for far longer
sometimes I think this chair,
this ill-conceived, well-intended bit of construction
must have more understanding of things
than most people I will ever meet
perhaps if I sit, and suffer silently
it will whisper secrets to me
and we will smile together, knowing
that both of us serve little purpose
and we often fail to serve that purpose well
but we know something great and terrible
useful is a relative word
I’m certain my chiropractor would agree

© M. Black, 2017 All rights reserved.