I will not
Button my shirt
And resign to means
More formal

Gaining strength
By appearance
To prove this dream
Unkempt

Or groom
Such jagged hairs
Of my faith
That’s growing wild

Which believes
In small defiance
As new paths
Toward coming change

From ends
I cannot tame
With distinction
Made to envy

Where I dare
To clash with color
And remove
Each matching piece

That assumes
An outward look
Is real proof
Of living beauty

When all death
Can be predicted
Like a sale
On boring clothes

And pain
Its static effort
Without style
Left to cherish

As we pass
Beyond this moment
Like that fashion
Showing age

While boldness
Offers grace
Taking risks
Which flatter greatly

If the wearer
Cares so little
Till irreverence
Sells their look

Letting locks
Fall where they may
Tearing jeans
Through daily usage

Ripping holes
Some call disaster
Though that neatness
Speaks of fear

Hiding lines
Which God has traced
To denote
Our inner canvas

Finding souls
Without transgression
But their palette
Unexpressed.

– J. Pigno

These symbols
I’ve known to weave
Are omens
In boldface type
Allowing me fate
Where descriptive
To wander each page
As a dream

When text
Exclusive to hurt
Proves letters
Fail at description
But become instead
Sudden marvels
While joined through sound
As a word

Or stains
Deliberately placed
Among new lines
Spurting madness
On margins
Begging for chances
To tell their lies
Bleeding red,

Not black
But particular ink
Which bodes
As prophecies written
Within old souls
Growing tattered
Much like rags
Given voice –

These sheets
We humbly express
By the scripted wish
Of our questions
Are confessions
Tragically wasted
And spoiled quick
Between breaths

For escaping lungs
Without death
Yet stealing air
As it passes
Speaking truth
For the restless
Who’ve fallen ill
Making sense

As this web
Decidedly ends
To convey what God
Has encrypted
Beyond my last
Written sentence
Typed in font
That is code.

– J. Pigno

I’m reminded
By this ice
How such white
Is pure distraction
From all dirt
Which hides below it
Faking still
That empty slate

When there’s fear
Concealed by dust
With our bias
Safely hidden
Upon streets
Which crack in winter
Where true hatred
Thrives on cold

Drawing lines
Through powdered roads
Leaving prints
Of fallen victims
While attentions
Barely notice
How this snow
Is always deep

So these hearts
Remain unchanged
Hoping now
This frosted city
Will relieve them
Of their conscience
Missing somewhere
Near that slush

Building banks
Between those curbs
Lacking color
Losing feeling
Keeping frigid
Without knowing
How each crystal
Fosters drifts

Making sure
Of separate paths
Though each sidewalk
Is one passage
Among shelters
From that evil
Killing virtue
With each freeze.

– J. Pigno

There was a time
I’d wake
For reasons
Other than
Sharing

This experience
Partially wasted
On the fact
Its already
Gone

Or caring
As we insist
For moments
Passed
Without notice

Telling us
Joy is fleeting
And pain
That lingering
Ghost

Of memories
Sorely missed
Like forevers
Lost
In an instant

When presence
Eludes our senses
For the sake
Such days
Stay put

Along measures
Written by men
And the lives
They build
Growing desperate

Seizing
Their pictures perfect
Expressed
As years
Through a phrase

As I write
Each dream
That remains
Upon finding clues
Which are missing

Between clouds
And scattered sunlight
Among heavens
Gray
From ash

That demands
These words
Burn fast
So my verse
Is always threatened

By the fact
Such smoke
Is shadows
Of an end
Which cannot wait

For terms
To take my place
As this fate
Of mere
Expression

Knowing
I hardly harbor
Any poetry
Left
To spare

Speaking
Counted breaths
If my heart
Which beats
Should manage

To seize
Just one more second
Of a date
That’s made
With verse.

– J. Pigno

Dense
Are the thoughts
Which strangle
Like vines
On a fallen branch

Near roadways
Wet with rainfall
Whose puddles
House
Such lies

When pools
Of muddied faces
Bear reflections
Dark
And secret

Drowned
In nature’s mirrors
From a storm
Where twigs
Will fall

Among leaves
Or scattered stones
Upturned
By winds
Less scathing

Than sediments
Weighing heaviest
On minds
That seek
Their chance

To expel
Such sullied fates
Like debris
Of blowing
Pieces

From trees
And broken timber
Upon asphalt
Coarse
Yet damp

Soaked
With running fears
And their doubts
Cascading
Gently

Like streets
Of streaming moments
Beneath heavens
Bathed
In clouds

And tears
Their sudden threat
From the sun
Which follows
Grayness

Between past
And coming daylight
For this memory
Trapped
As wood.

– J. Pigno

This house
Is always warmest
Just before
Our fire
Starts

And burns
At life unnoticed
During nighttime
When we
Sleep

As we take
That greatest risk
For the sake
Of keeping
Comfort

By assuming
Every corner
Is a cold
And empty
Space

Which needs
A touch of heat
Even if
This building
Suffers

By a kindled
Smoke and mirrors
That is deadly
As it
Sounds –

Each bedroom
Scorched in truth
And hallway
Lined
With ashes

For believing
Easy labels
Which claim
To keep us
Safe.

– J. Pigno

I’m jealous of my own
Defeat
At the hands of such
Written fury
Which scares me enough
To fester
That these words
Are a passing phase –

A maelstrom
Not contained
For those times
I beckon thunder
And seize
What random lightning
Can charge
This clouded soul

With fear
There is no chance
For a second rain
Which follows
On winds
Of raw emotion
Which carry
Fleeting thoughts

And enable
Sudden grace
From a God
Whose lies are shelter
Through verbs
I dare not question
Are His gospel
Making sense

During seasons
Barely caught
Between moments
Fleeting quickly
As verses
Catch those glimpses
Of my feelings
Changing fast

Telling truths
Like peering light
Among heavens
Prone to weeping
Their climates
Missing sunshine
Where grey
Is fallen bliss,

Spoken
As their gift
Of unfair
And dreary weather
By a soul
Accessing comfort
In embracing
Darkened skies

When sadness
Is that gift
And uncertainty
His measure
Of the fog
No man can handle
Unless
He tells it straight

So I steal
Each coming mist
And such threat
Of looming madness
Damp
Beyond description
As this hurt
Spills through my pen

Raw
And vaguely wet
With a voice
I cannot master
But seize
For brief expressions
Across verses
Barely read

Conjured
Without choice
As they tell
Of bleakest burdens
Which break
A back less hardened
To fall flat now
On my face

Mocked
For past attempts
At revealing
Something special
Though creation
Hardly matters
Since exposure
Is my curse.

– J. Pigno