The clouds run the gamut from end to end, but are no less imprisoned than you or I. This I know above all else as I watch the morning storm roar its waking breath. The slowly sinking lump in my throat is on a destructive downward sojourn and I seem rather helpless to halt its sluggish advance. It will find a comfortable resting place in the chest region, no doubt. There it will weigh down heavily, laying motionless upon a blanket of flesh and sentiment, a crushing monument.

We are all so much more than we allow ourselves to be. Shrouded in loudness, burdened by wooden veneers, angry and so goddamn terrified. We tone down the luminosity within with parlor tricks and blind reliance on obtuse interaction to shepherd us from one meaningless encounter to the next. Growth is a destabilizing, dangerous transgression against the flow of the norm. Ascendancy is an act requiring feet firmly planted as the endless gray sky spreads its jaw above, so wherever shelter can be found, it will already be full of cowering weaklings. The fear of the colors fading will turn us all into a rainbow of grays.

I say this with no blameful finger erect; I admit this with a shameful nod and a baneful prod to the chest of the man in the mirror. For I am no better; perhaps even worse upon closer inspection.

Whitman wrote of your very flesh as a great poem. I feel those words in every step that vibrates and reverberates through my spine and soul as the streetlight paves the concrete with golden hues, ushering me to another secret world. Yet I can't take you along, no matter how much I dream of it. I taste hidden pearls in your breath as lips stretch and teeth flash at the apex of florescence under bleeding light. Yet I can't cultivate or even convey a single echoing glimmer in return.

Wretched and supreme beyond comparison, to inhale through the heart and exhale through inspiration, torn gloriously asunder by all that ravages this twisted world. To be nestled by the womb most inviting and stumble with curious, gated gasps through rooms upon rooms of carousel passageways and shadowed marvels. But there is no one to share this with. No one to take along. So I close the curtains, pry open the roof and carve these little stories into the canvas of stars. The blood on my fingers may be dry, but potent none the less. How about yours?

A strange existence indeed. Horrid and beautiful in equal degree. Darkness is a fickle mistress, yet infinitely more engaging and intriguing than all those gray, cold eyes that meet my curious gaze in the night, reflecting little else than worry, frailty and dissatisfaction. Autumn is a cold shoulder to rest upon, yet its warmth is unmatched by any vivacious vessel of flesh and skin oozing indifference and perspirating distrust. A poet scavenging the junkyard is a fool on a fool's errand, especially after one can no longer bullshit the poor brain into thinking this thankless job is but a grimy alternative to pearl diving. People are so tough, so hard, so bitter and so brittle. Try as I might to avoid it, it's taking its toll while rubbing off on me. Can't say I'm enjoying the drop in climate.

To partake in the march of the ants offers the safety of the mass; the welcoming arms of acquittal and disappearance. I am growing tired of hunting for miracles in the eyes of others and finding nothing but the charred remains of unfulfilled dreams. The pyres burn so bright against the black milk of midnight that only blinding contrast is left to reign. The wind spirits the violent, unrelenting screams through bone and conciousness, but I can't help anyone find deliverance or retribution in the wake of this massacre. I can't even find reason within myself.

I am once again falling deeper into the stormy seas behind my eyes; flowing rapidly into rivers of formless inspiration so grandiose, so rich with fever and rage. But at what cost? I am falling back on palindromes and thinly-veiled mystique to safeguard others from the recesses of this hungry, ferocious fire I harbor. My tongue grows dry and stale with hollow words concocted to disorient and distract. An illusionist stands before an audience starving for magic yet offered but a rabbit from a hat, but what can you expect in this theater where magic is no longer welcome?

The noise of the world drowns in the distance as the door closes behind me. The action is sound and fluid: arm stretches, fist tightens, fingers grip, wrist turns. Click. The motive, however? Clandestine. Obscured and in endless flux, ensnared by the ceaseless whirlwind of metamorphosis. I can't subject others to this no matter how amicable my motivation, so the lid stays shut. The can will continue to roll downhill with equal if not exceeding velocity, regardless of the ever-growing pressure within.

At least there's momentum.