Fill the world with pictures
Painted on the silence
Of a line break.
Learn the taste of every syllable,
Learn to discern the
Sweet undertone of “pale”
From the bitter aftertaste of “ashen”
Learn how polysyllables like “beloved”
Must be dusted rather than poured
To avoid insipidity;
But how the simple pronoun “She”
Can still scald your tongue
After a thousand invocations.
Inhale the aromas of utterance,
And do not recoil from them,
The heady flavors of sweet nothings
Are no more valid
Than the pungent whiffs of rejection
Or the acrid stench of preemptive farewells.
Feel the textures of layered meanings,
Notice how the slippery sheen of metaphor,
Helps smooth out sandpaper truth
Hear the colors of the human heart,
The stark white of any empty bed,
The emerald glare of unjust absence,
Listen to the pallid gray at the bottom
Of every bottle
Until you can notice again,
The sparkling blue of early morning
Seek the pain that others shun
And shape it until it's beautiful.
Find the symmetry in a broken heart,
Hear the resonance in every tirade,
Bask in the heat of burning bridges,
And forge tears into glittering pools.
Live your life in second person,
“I” cuts too close to marrow now
So use “You” in its place,
The space this shift affords,
Will sharpen your perception,
And let you see every thread
In the tapestry behind the moment.
Speak until the words
come more naturally than breath.
Until they form a rushing channel
Between soul and page
Blur the lines between work and self
Until the very thought of a you
Without the words is blasphemy.
Pay your tithes
To the bitch goddess of verse
Sacrifice Love and Limb
In her name.
You may have been something before her
But now you will be nothing without her.
Experience the consumptive power of obsession.
No food tastes as sweet as a perfect line,
So starve yourself looking for it.
Friends words will fall flat compared to the music
You've grown accustomed to
So ignore them for it.
Squander your given gifts
You could use your verse
To heal and inspire
Learn to use them
To carve out petty vengeance.
Forget any name but poet
Break down those
Who dare get close
Until they are no more
Than source material.
Realize too late
That your words suffer
As a result of your relationship with them
Realize you have consumed all within you
And are finally out of kindling
Try to mend mortal wounds with band-aids
Spin weak stories of your perceived innocence
Use your words to reveal truth no more
But to mask it instead
And learn your lessons a week too late
After you have become no more too them
Than the man on the stage
You will learn that that is not enough
And empty yourself
Purge the words,
And burn the pages
Erase every sign
Of what you've been
And when you have done that
And learn the verse again.