What voice
Could I leave behind
If silence
Is all I seek –
Writing alone
Besides this lamp
Left dark?

Afraid how light
Might bleed
Across these pages
Where spaces
Drained and waiting
Just lay like puddles
Flat –

Each margin
Holding rain
Thick as phrases
Feeling empty
From that storm cloud
Called resistance
To exposure
Of old mud

When my soil
Catches truth
Beneath gray
Yet spilling vapors
Among climates
Better suited
For bad weather
I confess

Is my talent
Speaking best
Still believing
Easy answers
Offer solace
Not redemption
Finding pleasure
Often fades,

Though its demons
May remain
Despite fearing
At the hands
Of God neglected
Amid lines
I keep inside

Like my calling
Toward unknowns
Wedged between
These tired eyelids
Of a book
Whose tattered cover
Houses secrets
Under wear

That no verse
Can hardly share
If the motive
Falls afflicted
To such dimness
Bearing torrents
Without sunshine
On this desk.

– J. Pigno

No authority
In this world
To the power
Of fiction

Maybe God’s
Own will
Whose pen
Is writing it all

Where stories
Built from realms
We’d dare
To dub

Old shelves
Inside us
Collecting dust
With fate

When genres
Bent from time
Sell plots
Some call

While others
Seeking miracles
Find dreams
They’d wished

Each binding
Showing seams
Of such pain
Through flesh

And that hurt
Thematic evidence
How our love
May conquer

Across pages
Neatly tied
Beyond volumes
But heavy

Within margins
Housing spaces
Holding secrets
As script

Amid mirrors
Speaking tongues
Though reflections
By phrases –

Every tale
Another lifetime
For this cast
We name

– J. Pigno

These hours
Drenched in sleep
Are the eyes’
Most sad reflection
Of days spent
Dreaming nothing
Behind what door
Stays closed

As if such sheets
Could speak
From tears absorbed
Within them
By memories
Losing sequence
Between old pillows

Across this mattress
Where years
Through fading sunlight
Form pools
To dangle respite
Simply passing
Time not had

Like hope sought
Fairly close
Beneath our lives
Still resting
Without answers
Losing meaning
Though we gasp

For breath held
Long at night
During comas
God intended
Spell depression
While resisting
Waking soundly
Come each dawn

Finding slumber
Has its price
Choosing leisure
Over pleasure
Taking solace
Killing purpose
Upon learning
Work is death

With little reason
To dwell among
Those ruins
Seeing action
Hinder progress
As we conjure
Idle threats

Snoozing late
Like quiet bombs
Lazy soldiers
Making exits
Facing failure
All too easy
If that triumph
Means we nap.

– J. Pigno

Burns like hell
On the branded
Ass of cowards
Whose recompense
Is herding
These gains of pastures

By farmers
Peddling grass
Where cattle old
And weakened
Show sores
Across their bellies
Thick with flies
Which fester close

To remind them
Riches bleed
Running red
By show of nothing
But successes
Oozing trauma
Leaking hurt
Like open wounds

When what’s right
Is not a gift
But an entitled
Sense of fortune
Stealing futures
Without answers
Leaving lies
Behind as threats

As some legacy
Fallen ill
To which fate
It cannot bargain
After planting
Faulty reasons
Within seeds
Of empty souls

Across soil
Tainted well
Among debts
And arid ruins
No one person
Could establish
Is worth planting
Second hand.

– J. Pigno

Tag this poem
Fatal –

My stunned
And mortal rhythm

From a heart
Which spoke
In tandem
With raw verse
So short
Of breath.

Each day
These final words

Sought relief

By telling

Thinking minds
Should grow

To one cause
I’ve deemed


This lethal dream
Called art,

Or that lie
We pray

Such love
Too unrequited
For real
It should exist.

Believing now
I’m sick

While ignoring
Every answer
As some monster
Fear created
Deep within
My swollen

How aches
May never
When their pulse
So damn

Throbs distinctly
Within tempo
Of this cadence

For death.

Each vein
Blue and pronounced

Like bold phrases
I might suffer

Protrudes out
Above both

Letting doctors
At truth.

They never
Could agree
On what symptom
Was authentic,

Which pain
Was more than

Of that song
I played


And yet
Their diagnosis
Falters hard

Where music

Though I contest
Barely matters

Knowing fate
Had other plans.

Stuck souls
Will go and read
These old ravings
As pure gospel-

All my suffering
As their bible
Of lost

With that
I can agree
Is a suited end


No rebel
From trying.

I always

– J. Pigno

Rest now,
Little bird.

Such pain
Goes not

As I find you
On the sidewalk
Chirping aloud
For my help –

Besides that curb
So rough
With rigid lines
Which manage
Those cars too large
To notice
What life
Is struggling

How streets
Have claimed your wings,
And passersby neglected
This tiny heartbeat


Still fallen
Off old trees.

Where nature
Has no place

And bloodied beaks
Are common

From careless men
Whose passage
Tear nests
Like wind.

These final cries
You speak
Must prove
There is some

Of meaning
Within anguish

By tiny noise.

In contrast
To those roads
Through crosswalks
Ever teeming

With crowds
Of huddled masses

Whose ears
Just cannot

– J. Pigno

What Dante
Didn’t realize
Is that hell falls
Where we stand
As a place
Which turns all children
Into men
Who burn their toys

And trade such games
For knives
At request
Of the aging furnace
With need
To fuel some meaning
Among what flames
Will rage

On smolders
Made from dolls
Like blazes
Eating trinkets
Inhaling dreams
Left swallowed
By tongues
Of fiery beasts

Called progress
Or due time
Beyond this day
We’ve wasted
Abiding heat
Through money
Amassing wealth
In death

While paints
And colored tales
Speak heavens
Out of waiting
When art remains
Our faith
Keep cooler hopes

Expressing play
As God
Still innocent
Though abating
These sparks
Which stifle memories
With resistance
Held in prose –

This cross
I long to seek
Despite how tinder
And ruins words
By torment
Of young virtue
Growing old,

My past
That’s nearly lost
Every moment
Reason suffers
Knowing hope
Is giving purpose
Through each final
Act of fun.

– J. Pigno