I haven’t
Earned my time
Or anything
Else
For that matter

From defining fate
As an asset
Of success
That’s built
On belief

Like gifts
Which only appear
If God
Himself
Has to offer

What riches
Spoil our answer
Through faith
Not gained
In advance

While damages
Ready their grief
And determine
Pain
Is the payoff

Of a trade
Withstood
Feeling guilty
Sitting idle now
As I must

And dream
No fortune awaits
But an apathy
Learned
Per complacence

Preparing life
For rejection
As these words
Lose pulse
With my heart

Pounding beats
Out of sync
And assuming
Death
Is their privilege

When my mind
Spills truth
Over anguish
Sitting still like rain
Beneath clouds

Stealing breaths
So real
They are deep
As a phrase
Of brief becond chances

Near pools of waste
Growing thickened
By a verse
I’ve shitted
In fear

Along this road
Called relief
Or perhaps
Just fair
Compensation

Where hurt
Unpaid
Keeps insisting
Such terms
Are a valueless debt.

– J. Pigno

I used to think
My words
Were a way of
Keeping healthy

Ignoring the fact
Each poem
Was some problem
Unresolved

Or an ailment
Trailing death
By that leash
Of bare expression

Like some virus
Bound to damage
With a syndrome
Unexplained

Seeping through
These veins
Of a fractured verse
So desperate

No author
Worth their sentence
Could just bear
To hold them back

As this blood
Soon trickled down
Upon pages
Meant for ripping

Like thick waves
Of crimson letters
Begging truth
In open script

Where my body
Decomposed
Was that wound
Of gaping wisdoms

Telling lies
Which offered secrets
If you read
Between each hole

When such flesh
Had fallen ill
And this heart
Had suffered rhythms

Out of sequence
With these phrases
Though my sickness
Was that chance

To prove hurt
Had summoned fears
Seizing guilt
Without my notice

Drawing strength
From shattered faces
Missing eyes
Which never seen

What this rot
Left in my grave
As that gift
Of empty spaces

Like a limb
Detached while waiting
For its whole
To fall apart

Knowing bone
Can only stay
If belief
Had any vestige

Within texts
Of dreaming corpses
Living each day
As their last.

– J. Pigno

There is no
Perfect fit
For a ring
Which has us binded
And assumes
This show of promise
Is best said
On our hands

But instead
Just dangles close
To the finger
Of its bearer
Reminding them
How distance
Allows for
Sudden change

And assumes
All needed growth
Has gifts
To keep things special
Like diamonds
Shining brighter
In light
We don’t expect

With faith
Still left to spare
Where space
Just doesn’t matter
Between those
Silver linings
Or gold
If you’d prefer,

Spinning
While we pace
On this axis
Of our measure
Loose
As hope intended
For life to swell
Like flesh

Retracting
From old age
But clinging
To our knuckle
Reminding us
That symbol
Endures
No matter what.

– J. Pigno

I’ll waste my second chances
Before this tide can pass
Wading in deepest waters
Above what fear may drown

As truth in never guessing
How fate just won’t relinquish
All these spoils left with shipwrecks
Stowing treasures lost and found

Like riches seized from age
And forevers raised by dreaming
When our oceans house no pleasure
But that answer swallowed whole

Into brines of murky depths
Or thick swells with muddled reasons
Turning God into that vessel
Now consumed by growing seas

Hiding meaning within sand
Losing hope through every relic
Sorting gold from drifting ruins
Proving life is sinking fast

If tomorrow begs our wave
For some peace or certain knowing
That such faith can conquer surges
Hiding secrets dense as foam

During nights the surf is thickest
Where each shore erodes from waiting
Under moons of missing pieces
Scattered far across this beach

Near old glass that broke apart
Beneath stars of fallen heavens
Resting somewhere underwater
Like these risks I wouldn’t take.

– J. Pigno

What hurt it is
To sleep
When fear
Is the dream which lasts
And continues well
Into daylight
Chasing each dawn
I’ve sought

As these headaches
Stunt my words
Through this night
Of throbbing penance
While my memory
Often fails me
In the sense
No morning comes

But continues
Waking death
For all pain
Remains unconscious
At that core
Of resting demons
Between bedsheets
Housing grief

Missing voice
But nothing more
Finding silence
Has its reasons
If our souls
Remaining quiet
Learn their place
Beneath that weight

Telling truths
No man admits
Till they break
With stuttered speeches
Tearing stars
Right out of orbit
Pulling moons
Into our midst

From those comets
Raining down
Speaking gifts
Of scattered heavens
Fallen skies
And distant planets
Proving fate
Is in their heads

Deep within
Each sullied mind
Begging dusk
Reveal some secrets
Though they turn
And shudder weakly
Just as darkness
Steals their breath

Like I’ve sworn
To always seize
If my phrase
Should surely linger
Beyond shadows
On these ceilings
Where this evening
Never ends.

– J. Pigno

Our mind
Is the terminal illness
In a system
Which wants us
Dead

Believing aches
Are an answer
To explain
Such bleeding’s
Cause

With guilt
That drives us mad
And its need
For empty
Spaces

Leaving holes
Which beg fulfillment
At the cost
Of absent
Faith

Like wounds
From lack of dreams
Or a time
When hope
Had reason

For excusing
Veins left open
Whose tears
Would close
With age

And begin
Their healing late
Before God
Himself
Could notice

And muster
Courage willing
To redeem
His children’s
Chance

Exploiting
Chosen grace
As the leverage
Once deemed
Human

Now destined
For long penance
At the hands
Of meaning
Lost

Where blood
Is running tabs
On the debts
Of weak
Genetics

Taking gambles
With our faces
Every instance
Love
Is made

Within bedrooms
Guarding threats
Telling tales
Through sex
Indignant

Turning lies
Like spinning spiders
Caught in webs
No heart
Escapes

Among dangers
Woven thick
Threading knots
Which capture
Secrets

Hanging gossip
Beneath ledges
Dangling names
Whose sin
Is known

As we all
Reveal our end
By the silk
Of mortal
Needles

Gauging egos
As our compass
For the fact
There is
No cloth

Though these bodies
Fade so slow
And decay
Without much
Effort

While we choose
To cut our fabric
From the cure
Which rips
Too fast

Praying hate
And money spent
Tighten seams
Of seeping
Crimson

Pouring scarlet
From their stitches
Proving life
Is damaged
Goods

Stacking crates
Of ugly souls
Mangled flesh
And missing
Purpose

Yielding truth
To filthy numbers
From a math
Less cruel
Than fate.

– J. Pigno

What’s
The right word
I’m looking for?

Oh yes
I think that’s
Artist.

Not a lawyer
Cop
Or doctor.

A teacher
Priest
Or fool.

See those people
Thrive
On neediness

In the sense
Their jobs
Are casted

For societies
Built
To linger

At these hands
Of lies
In charge.

But artists
They just
Last

And pitch
Their darkest
Shadows

With questions
Some
Can answer

Finding truth
Where none
Exists –

Exploring
Faith as
Doubt,

Holding dear
What pain
Expresses,

Agreeing
Life bears
Meaning

If the reason
Means
To live.

To love
And lose
Intensely,

To conquer
Fate
By dreaming

And attain
That near
Forever

When its far
For those
Who choose

Their role
Which follows
Suit

Every breath
That’s passed
Before them

From the lips
Of lives
Examined

Only for
What cash
They claim

Is safety
Built
To last

As it fades
Without
Their measure

Of smiles
Held
By children

But the cost
Of bills
They paid.

No narrative
Left
To ponder

Or mystery
Bound
To savor,

Just lines
In local
Papers

Telling goals
They couldn’t
Reach

As death
Assumes
That chance

From the time
Our heart
Is beating

And evil
Speaks of
Pleasure

Which requires
Work
As God.

So seize
This fleeting
Chance

And let artists
Just be
Artists.

Or become one
If you
Aren’t.

Otherwise
I say
Boo hoo.

– J. Pigno