Poems written by B. Andrew Kelly
i hope you enjoy
Christmas Poem for my Family
a fabulous fir, balsam fingers fit to grasp
my humble hearth, glowing earnestly
melding the smoky cherry wood snaps
to exhausted dancing souls of the merry
caressing warmth like a lullaby tune
yuletide sweets, melting peppermint bark
no there's no warmth quite like this in June
there's a quilted comfort in singing Hark
ornaments adorn the green noble fingers
as i accept a fresh cotton embrace
ill stare at the fire as it whimpers to a cinder
basking in the season’s velveteen grace
Ode to Mr. Cothran
It was a victimless crime, the scene
a North Carolina motel room so clean
one could not hear the sounds of a guitar
rotting through the cursed riddled radio
upon the wall, a portrait of a swan
whose neck was wrapped around a sword, laughing
blood dripped from tip into pondscum water
veins once virgin, a gimp wing shriveling
light of the moon shone through the room
it smells like love in here, i swore i saw
your soul ascend towards a memory
i know exists, but just cannot recall
again, you are simply out of my reach
a chariot with an engine running
weak, chattering like winter-worn teeth
i will eat what reeks, what makes the vultures wretch
while i wait to drown in your wondrous sound
hymn the refrain 'peace on earth, peace on earth.'
i locked myself out like a cat in the cold
walked like a dog for miles in the dark
down the route of infinite loops i carved
on the days upon days where i hummed my hymn
you'll never grow old you’ll never grow old
twigs scrape against the stars shaping wooden silhouettes
their shadows spell out in doom metal text
this is the best it gets, this is the best it gets
before the horizon is a horizontal street
an asphalt line in the mud that separates the meadow from me
it has legs like a marathon runner hairless and earth toned
a choir of field mice congregate and sing their song,
dont you jaywalk to a place you dont belong
turn back and go home, turn back and go home
in a hazel periphery to my side i see
a house looking like a puppy with comforting smells
i want a warm welcome but i swallowed my keys
there was a snake bathing in the sunset
draped around the veins, the dead branches
winter never welcomes reptiles
but it wore twilight like a heatlamp jacket
back flat, tobacco treat burning sweet
the switchgrass swayed like waves in wind
the blades carried my wading body as it bobbed
and swayed to the scent of serenity
lavender and apricot bled in the sky
a marriage of pastels to perfect this pastiche
this is art incarnate none could ever reach
so please dont let me wake from this tranquil dream
I had a staring contest with the stag on the wall
He gave me a dirty look with that funny face
After losing, I couldn’t stand the sight of him
But at the end of the day, he can't stand at all.
Blank Slate Man
A room's whites cry loud
Still sound fills it with endless echo
No thought, no audible breath, no
This view too is
Outside perceivable depth
Only a snowy canvas
Full of emptiness to reveal
Grab a roller
Pour the can, and
Paint myself eggshell
Now I am the blank slate
under sterile light
atop sheets beyond stained
a certain wail of an almost mother
of a new hollow husk
this birthed a pain that is
unlike any other
what she held was fleeting warm
but he is no longer there
and all i did was stand there
"I could not know this despair."
Keratin cutters slice, directionless
a lone zipper. Unforgiving and
digging, scraping at burgeoning boils
aborting healing scabs
there will be no comfort in this state
in this suit that no longer fits.
Watermelon juice cascades
from your tear ducts. It hard
to squeeze some love out of
Your champagne colored soul
covers that black hole that sucks
the life out of everyone.
It gets hard to breathe in the
powdered sugar clouds of mustard
gas that you call perfume.
I sense a deluge of delusion washing
I can make this work with empathy
I can cure someone’s sweet apathy.
Summer soil melded between bloodied feet. There is
gravel stuck between bone and soul in their arch. A
curve, a signature that belongs to an individual, it is
yours and only yours. It leaves a mark on that cliff where
children beat the heat and feel gravity’s sobering
pull. Water is the safety net, we simply wish to go from
60 to 100 percent. Maybe then there is freedom.
I think I know how it felt when he left scuffed marks
and solemn remarks. There was only shoeprints and
concrete. But there was also a cracking of a shell,
and water flowed from it’s dam.
Who am I to blame a man that wished to feel
Which Direction Does a Balloon Float?
Easily deceived? No, I am an expert in the
science of self delusion. It takes a true savant
to see himself floating between the ceiling and
the mattress. Between the swaying sweating
sack of flesh, like some sort of blossoming tree.
It reeks of desperation here.
I don’t know where to look in these situations,
sex. I would like to know what direction I
am headed. Towards pleasure that only
leads to where I was once before?
Where else will I go? I just wish
to be tethered. I am a man with
rubber organs, lungs full of nitrous.
In the Breeze
This bubble called the atmosphere always
seems so empty at first glance. The starkness
of landscape and sky. It ignores everything that
lies in between.
But then I see the snowfall in late January, and
leaves zig zag gracefully in the autumn. Spring
drizzles sprinkle the budding dandelions that
float away as a child blows a wish
into the wind.
What once seemed so stark carries our
desires, and is full of our lifeline. Oxygen
and a lingering hope.
You lot wove a thousand lies in the
fabric. Between the sweet sounds that
slithered between “sheep’s teeth” and
the cotton that was red before it was sewn.
The shining city on a hill was carried
on the backs of the ugliest ink spills of history.
To Prime a Generation
1959, Rio Bravo.
saddle up and ride into town. Blow some
dynamite and get the girl.
A happy ending for all.
A bloodthirsty beast, a money hungry
man in a tacky anchor patterned suit
Who is the real enemy? I guess all
that matters is the heroes swim to shore.
1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Indie is a whip thrashing, wise cracking
archaeologist wet dream. He punches
Nazis. Clear cut, no ifs or buts.
Goosestepping bad, no Ubermensch today bucko.
1993, The Super Mario Bros Movie.
Dennis Hopper plays King Koopa, who
lives in a tower, has a ridiculous haircut,
displays predatory behavior towards women.
A clear cut antagonist. I am sure that
this isn’t based off of anyone in particular.
1991-1994, Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs.
Earl is a working man making ends meet,
working for B.P. Richfield CEO of “WeSaySo”
under Richfield’s behest Earl poisons all
plant life, and brings extinction to his species.
Weird, B.P. likes to say “You’re fired” and
hates regulation on corporations.
I'm sure this isn’t about someone in particular.
2012. The movie and the year.
The world is ending. It's a cinematic shitshow.
Water levels rising, wildfires and earthquakes
If only this could have been prevented somehow.
2015. Mockingjay Part 2.
Dystopian films are all the rage these days,
Old white man named Snow bad, his rival
President Coin is less bad. But she still
likes the Hunger Games. She dislikes the
young revolutionary that wants real change.
We have been primed from a young age
to desire change, but to also relish in
the fetishization of the world ending.
Too late for anything to change until the
damage is done. Well with things the way they are,
can we even do anything?
Yes, our lives are not movies.
Tear apart the script and take action.
Charli worked down at the small town grocery.
She sold life, she sold liquid stolen rights, she
granted keys to personal opium dens. A box of cereal
for every brawl in the nearby alley, a failing marriage
for every squeaky shopping cart wheel.
There’s a waterfall in the breakroom made of tears
and it rains oxidized pennies. Storm clouds of pity
rain in this animal cracker kingdom.
One of Charli’s greatest fears, the dreaded utterances of,
“Hey.. do you work here?”
The newborn dawn caresses
outstretched arms of cattails
surrounding the circumference
of a tranquil pond. Before breakfast
the reed maces say grace, and
beckon for warmth on an April day.
The spring peepers sing their
morning melodies, to serenade the
incoming day. Tiny ripples disrupt
the water’s peace. Above those tiny
waves two shining dragonflies kissed,
erratically swayed, and kissed again
before their golden flakes fell,
and gave the reflecting sun
a blushing face.
A Tunnel Called Dusk
fascinated by the things
hovering in the punishing
sky. both the wicked and winged,
or the bare and featureless. pulled
along in a conveyor belt parade,
a silent march in the stratosphere.
floating forward to the place called
jagged horns pop the
clouds like balloons, withering skin
grazes the twilight. the softest
sky being cut into ribbons as
if it was a present that was
meant to be ripped open all along.
those foggy phantoms following
along. reaping the seeds they
sowed when they were more than
what a wonderful gift it must be
to hover over this hollow place.
Do you feel the chaotic concerto?
The cloaked and clandestine composer
Plucking at the ivory keys, exactly eighty eight
With even more ways to tangle those
Countless red strings of taut linear fate.
To be a being, we first must begin
To begin, we must be born, then torn
From the lively, slick, loud, and slimy link
Of mother’s umbilical cord, now
Cartwheel your baby body from the delivery room
To sitting criss cross applesauce atop a cedar stool
It’s snack time at age four,
Celery sticks, peanut butter, milk in a plastic cup
Chug whatever lies before your youthful eyes-
Slam the glass down, now look at you, twenty two
Disillusioned with the notes you hear, but cannot play
Plucking the strings, now we all sing to the song
Of a puppet on a string dancing, dancing
To the melody that is tied to us as we trudge along.
“And now here we are at eighty eight,
Did you think you would make it to the retirement home?
The fuzzy television screens, the dementia, the barely palatable
Food that nearly slides itself off your plate, look at you
Still slimy, still newly born.
Let me cut your cord
You made it, this is your reward.
Is this all that you have hoped for?
Well it better be, for this is the sound
Of your string’s final, echoing chord”
Break your celery stick betwixt
The anger you feel, your fear,
And the peanut buttery memories
That stick to the roof of your mouth,
The ones you hold so dear.
Oh Dear Hoodlumry
Over there the
people’s fun that is
never really lost, quite
rarely forgot. Kicking and
splashing puddles that
hug against the pissy pub.
Lots of sloshing and bottles
clocking heads of dim
dullards. A symphony strange
enough that we are all
too familiar of it. Or…
have you not heard
all the sounds
that could be sung?
Ah, that crushing
blow. Enough to make your
broken brain smash against
your skull. Like frantic
double bass blast beats!
Memories of… of throwing
bricks at passers by! Bashing
bloodied bones into
Oh how it was, how
it used to be.
Now we clack our
heels to the bubbles
rumbling in the cooler,
and discuss hollow pleasantries.
I blow my ego
from bubble gum
to balloon. It
floats up and up
shattering the rock
It rise above
My ego will
I will never
I shot the swan
that swam atop
that rancid pond of
oil, and nuclear waste.
Just before I pulled
the twelve gauge trigger,
its fifth eye stared me
dead in the face.
What beautiful plumage,
it fell like bloodied snow.
to what light
we have left,
let it harden
in the summer
it becomes a
door we have
to walk through
I think I am going to
smash my knuckles
into a jam,
Horse bones, human bones
does it really matter?
There is a funky flesh
rhythm splashing against
the smooth wooden grain.
Yea baby, jam to
that thump thump crack
'n crash melody!
The bassline is smooth like slime
its hard enough to stay on
two feet, to tap, to keep time.
Time to dance!
Swing to the slip ups,
your puddle of muck!
Maybe you will crack
your neck, and finally
I Need To Take More Pictures
There are few photos of me
you see, I have uncertain hands.
Memories are my most
cherished of entities.
Entering and exiting existence
for did it truly happen
if we cannot remember?
Waves subjected to many a
moon's malicious tides.
I fear of growing old,
to risk of dementia.
Yet I am addicted to wading
in a pool of nostalgia.
What unforeseen actions await
at that riptide? at
Only time shall truthfully tell.
I Took My Lamictal Late Today
Theres a gong
Rippling in a pool of
Waves widen like smokey O's
cereal ringing in
a porcelain bowl,
milk swirls like a cyclone,
or spiraling shoe-prints
in the acidic snow.
Day 2 Without Nicotine
It's hard y'know? To
kick the consistent comfort.
you're playing catch with paw
you kick a soccer ball
born of barbed wire.
Wet red laces
rosy red cheeks
crimson red flags.
Coughing- no more like dry heaving
at this point, this precipice.
Another day, another ghostly glitch
The catholic church stained glass
shouldn’t be as grey as it was today.
More and more the molding frays
I can hear the coffins softy coughing
There are more and more mourning days
Whether or not there was better days,
“Back when there was no such a glitch”
there were still plagues, there was still coughing,
common enough, blood from esophagus glass
Our flesh still frays, it decays over time,
I forgot to take my Lamictal today,
It is my second time forgetting, third day
without taking it. A ball of yarn beginning to fray,
my brain begins to glare and glitch.
Is there a hemorrhage born of broken glass?
Maybe I inhaled it in mass? I did a lot of coughing.
The psalms usually calming, all I heard was coughing
this morning. Something seems off today…
I stared at my reflection for too long, the looking glass
has sassed me back for many mourning days.
It’s not a glitch,
the flesh is flayed, the noose is frayed.
Always unsuccessful, its stressful, hair is frayed
into my hands. The same hands that caught me coughing
blood in the hospital in Philadelphia. It can’t be a glitch,
this has always been my reality, suffering is my software today.
It's a countdown, it's a matter of days
Until I am immortalized in pink and yellow glass.
It will say, “Here lies the Saint of Smoking Glass”,
I have tried to recover, but my brain stem was frayed,
and it snapped under pressure. No more mourning days!
No more pre funeral cigarettes! Interrupting eulogies, coughing
like it was some sort of awkward option! It’s not your time today!
You will feel it when you can feel the glitch.
Eye twitch, there's the glitch! I smoked too much glass…
It’s my last day today and I lived partially flayed
I can finally stop coughing. I’ll see you on my mourning day.
The Haunting Ghost of Mr. Jon Jameson
Woolen clouds, giant sheep float around
where the echelon fray.
Its like tv static, the VHS kind, where the
ghostly hand socks your fingers.
Shake his hand, maybe he's
the ghost of some salesman
stuck inside a Sisyphean snow-globe,
a gargantuan glass house,
an office, a
daily commute, his
golden travel mug,
(coffee, cream, makers mark).
The glitching gale killed his reception
he died in his favorite chair.
my roomate, the fucking slob
he piles up trash
he hordes dirty dishes
his critters smell
he doesn't change their bedding
i know he must be trying
as best as he can
but if he refuses
to clean up his act
i'll broil his guinea pigs
and refuse to scrub the pan
Shriveling (the tongue surfer)
Sliding upon winding waves,
sledding with my tongue, the size
of stretched out bubblegum
grazing the rising crest's precipice.
the salt splits it pieces disproportionate
and stains the ocean red.
All my blood that runs from heart to brain
leaks to the sun dried tomato that is
my rusted silver tongue
For all the things that I have said,
the few simple truths to
the tenacious, treacherous lies
will spill into an ocean. Staining
the brine the grimiest crimson.
More permanent ink for those
who wish to bleed you dry,
to no longer hear you lie.
Soiled shoes crushing spines,
shattering stems. Brittle blades
break apart, another annual end.
Nature's clock strikes ten,
bell chimes breeze between
Summer's skin is flayed,
and finally fades.
We walk atop withered bones
to welcome autumn home.
Tiny Leather Guitar
I hear bustling cries
"City market souvenirs!"
"The best prices around!"
They are drowned by rattling keys
Surrounding the instrument's soul
No strings shall ever echo
in the city of Durango where
the scorpion lies
Neatly placed between
sun faded hide
with a name inscribed.
burned on its back.
The only note it could ever cry.
Trip to the Candystore
The chain, a symbol of bondage.
Not for me! Not for me!
For I see a childhood homage
Wind brisk between flowing folds
of novelty clothes
Gears click and clack
rubber grinds on gravel
sugar maples sway
stoney streams babble away.
Through an alameda,
the cresting pathway
You may hear faint echoes,
"What do we do later today?"
"Who cares, it's Saturday!"
Selected by the swift sound of hand to shoulder blade,
The bells upon their ankles sounded like seven trumpets
to me. I had been a chosen sheep among the Shepherd’s flock.
Lead me my Pharisees, I wish to see feel the glee in following
the Lamb within me.
The weight of my new necklace, crudely crafted of twine and timber,
swayed in a schism'd rhythm between my shins
bruises born from my steadfast faith. For I have never fasted
Before, all there was in my Ziploc bag was a single raw egg,
Two slices of wonderbread, three matches with no book.
I heard fireflies bounce in the air between my ears,
I could not see, you see I was blindfolded, but I felt no fear.
The marching sounds stopped, balsam trees surrounded me
and the rest of the chosen tribe.
Night befell the evening, the stars jumped and danced for me
For the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, His strength
flowed like the river Jordan in my veins. I had no chains.
Never had I felt grace like this before.
We awoke with gnats in our nose, centipedes between our toes
We arose, and our trials we must undergo.
Silence is the sound of our worship, broken by the
wood bashing between our bitten legs.
The kindling was wet, the bread was stale,
forging for food in the raspberry bushes, hunger flashed
in front of my eager eyes.
Memorize second Corinthians, some stories
I no longer care to remember. I felt the splinters
in my shins, the twine singed the hairs of my neck.
The breeze swung between the leaves and sung chants
that worshipped the King among kings.
The counselor crept out of the brush, and with
immense embarrassment I flushed
any of the chances of becoming one of the chosen few.
I could not immerse myself within the verses.
His eyes struck disappointment deep into my gut,
his knife drawn I knew I was cut.
The log crashed to the ground like lightning, the
twine left my skin red and raw. It felt like the
sting of a thousand roses thrust upon my nape.
My cross was no longer mine to bear, it was the end
I didn’t care.
I didn’t care.
I didn’t care.
I descended from the shining hill, back to
the cabins and basketball nets. I had failed.
There is a creek I will never wade, never cross,
I drowned in my disdain, my faith may be lost.
Another camper, another kid, lost in the flock
of the Shepherd’s failed kin.
The Process of Introspection
I found envy
in the windswept field
filled with bright buttercups
and pollen laced gusts
Tall grass thrashed
where the angels flashed
and flaunted silver wings
Made of faith,
I found rage.
Eyes tied to weights, awake
laying next to carrion
a convulsing vulture ripped away.
Her white dress, caked in gore
The bald bird always needed more
I sat silent in the grass,
moping. Hoping it would pass.
Needing something to be the bolt
To shock some sense into me.
Lone atop the hill,
it was just my luck.
An Ode to Shiki
The cuckoo coughed blood
Fluttering in wintered wind
He lost his way home
Hedge trimmer engines
Rumble and degrade,
Spinning its grinding teeth
Akin to a hornet's nest rage
Dear God get me off this treadmill,
This all encompassing cage.
There's nothing to say
There's nothing to say
The boss-man's limp handshake,
An eternal uncaring embrace...
You'll get paid
You'll get paid
In exchange for your precious time,
In exchange for your able bodied age...
I Want to Wrestle the Sun
Twilight waltzes through the silken willow hair
Cicadas, spring peepers, song sparrows
Carol summer’s tranquil chorus
And the lightest, bravest pollen breeze
Whisps by my ears, and whispers to me
“In time this beautiful tree
Will wither to an ashen infinity
For nothing can run from the roast
We are all browning bread turning toast
For everything will wilt in the heat”
Could I manifest into a cosmic combatant,
And wield the stars as nuclear knuckles?
To wrestle the sun to stay in its place
"Say uncle! Say uncle! Forsake your biding dawn!"
So I can stop time to feel its warmth on my face
And float in the forever flowing eventide.
Yuki no Ite
Hark to winter’s withered bow
Frostbitten hands clench the fate
Of the frigid razor blade snow
Once its loose, it falls slow, like leaves
Dancing in the fluttering decay.
This Empty Tree
I can kick thoughts around, like an empty tin can
Rolling, spinning, more rolling
Until its empty echoes fill my hollowed head
The sounds of dying bark, it cracks and creaks
Under the slightest of pressures.
And yet it is still plenty bountiful
Cropping an abundance of snake shaped fruit
An Ouroboros is what the farmers call them
So delicious they cannot help but eat themselves
What a strange fruit, to hang off a dying tree
Pluck it if you wish, but its best to be wary
It will chase you down the hill you once called home
A tiny tin can, a hollowed tree, the infinite impotent thoughts
That flops around in my concave cromagnon dome
Are you comfortable
In the space you made your claim?
It is an arching portal, a gateway
Between all the hearsay and my brain.
Within your gentle whispers
My head begins to sway,
To the song I hope to wake up to
Every single day.
The Lonely Behemoth
A room, a cube isolated in space
It free falls nowhere, suspended in place.
Limbo is the roost of some beast that
Isolation likes to occasionally unleash.
Sound cannot travel without the aid of air
Yet I can still hear its thundering blare.
I know it is near, Behemoth is prowling
Nebulas quake at the grotesque growling.
The ceiling crashed and I saw its face
Regal, contorted, ugly, and echoing grace
This entity was ancient, time had no claim
To its existence, laws no place in its domain
Calloused, gnarled fingers grasped what was once my home
And it began to collapse under its horrific, ambient drone.
Musty grey fur donned this mammalian cur
Bipedal and hunched, its head lunged in a blur
Remnants of the invasion made my cosmic speck a wreck
As I felt blood trickle down my neck
It had slammed its once gaping maw
Into my favorite artery, placed right beneath my jaw
I became enveloped by a warm crimson quilt
And then rushed a sudden frigid wave of guilt
I had embraced this beast, whatever it may be
Into to my home and I must confess,
Its fur gave me comfort, and kept me warm
In the vacuous space I float in eternally
Beyond the Glass
I gazed across the bedroom
Towards the chestnut desk where
I kept my childhood broods
Among the mess you will find
An orange bottle
Filled with many little white pills
All wilted like trees on wintered hills
That rolled into the hourglass dunes
The sands of time are apathetic
To whatever wanders through
What will it take to erase the footsteps
Made wandering through this perennial Hell?
The glass encases me, like a snow globe
I want to go,
I want to go bottle myself
Where the pills won't wilt
Where the dust drifts in the wind
You carried my column in your mouth
Like a dog and its favorite chew toy
From the nape of my neck, you liberated
All of my discs and vertebrae.
Your molars clamped down, a judge's gavel
And snapped my spine like a baby carrot.
Chew on my nerves like toddlers chomp on gravel.
A Tragically Minor Inconvenience
The dishwasher hums at night
Soapy tsunamis rip and roar
Within the stainless steel corridor
As I awoke I was greeted with the horrific sight,
A sud infested puddle sprawled out on the floor
sunbeams, ice cream
in the barn turned snack bar,
i scraped the face of my big toe
ascending the stairs. i didn’t care.
sucrose sweets, summertime treats
belonged between my loosening teeth
rotting wood, bumblebees
yellow plastic baseball bats
rolling hills flowed in the break of trees
God was shaking the dust out of his mats
at the time He appealed to me, ‘cause
sunbeams were his means to call us home,
his warm tender tractor beam
pulling souls wherever they shone
harpoon me my Lord, God of Light
pull me in, im a prize of a catch
every day that i stay here, a chipwich
becomes a less appealing snack
my face is an arid field of fears
drown it with a hose
from my childhood home