I’d not trust
Chronic liars
Called men
Who say they know
Like a soul
Whose diagnosis
Is based upon
Ignorant flesh

From claims
Which lay their waste
Atop backs
Of society’s faithless
Whose struggle
Is trumped by waiting
For relief
That never comes

While doctors
Say they heal
By pushing pills
More dangerous
Than illness
God delivers
As escape
When answers fail

Or jail
Still ruining lives
Where men inside
Grow restless
To commit these crimes
Unknowing
Like revenge
They wouldn’t choose

If human will
Was good
And jobs just
Weren’t pressures
Weighing shoulders
Always caving
Praying somehow
Soon may end

During eras
Paved with hate
Proving leaders
Aren’t heroes
But our death knell
Voicing speeches
Playing politics
Dressed in suits

Making light
Of others’ grief
Telling stories
Few acknowledge
Are less truthful
Than their platform
Selling safety
Shot through guns

Leaving wounds
Time cannot fix
Just prolonging
Our extinction
At the hands
We title progress
Forging proof
Without one fact.

– J. Pigno

Remember
Easy days
When you’d never
Have to leave?

Those evenings
In my basement
Where we’d talk
Until I laughed?

Out of fearing
What would come
When that silence
Grew abruptly

By the time
Each spoken grievance
Proved how sad
Such quiet was?

As the world
Which always begged
For attentions
Never wasted

On these proper
Ways of living
We’d neglected
Until now

Kept insisting
Someone leave
At request
Of having futures

Where their meaning
Offered nothing
But redundancy
Until death?

You said
That’d be some wish
Last night
Per our discussion

Telling lies
Not worth investing
Many years
Into their end,

Between
Two honest friends
Spilling truths
Not often mentioned

During moments
Tense from waiting
For each person
To object –

Knowing art
And other dreams
Have been buried
Since those evenings

Losing worth
Among the stillness
Fostered shyly
Through our speech.

Pretty soon
You had hung up
Once again
Bearing my question

Why the man
Who lost so little
Couldn’t feel
That I still cared?

– J. Pigno

There was never
A line so straight
That man could agree
Set the standard
For his gauge
Of imagined perfection
Which barely
Comes close
To this fact

How curves
Determine our shape
No matter what form
We establish
When the course
Ideally realized
Has revealed
Such flaws
On its own

With deliberate lies
Made flesh
By defining twists
Along edges
And bending rules
Uncertain
Through repeating
Turns
Towards death

While we veer
Too far off-road
Where our failure
Sits like treasure
Taking detours
Through these circles
Which establish
Bumps
As fate

That trail each wreck
Left crashed
Along those paths
Unsteady
From wayward tracks
Imprinted
Long before
All lives
Had wheels.

– J. Pigno

Every time
There’s doubt
If I want you
Really close
Just picture me
Defeated
In this kitchen
Pacing still

Even when
You aren’t there
Through an interim
Always waiting
For assurance
From your presence
That our distance
Narrows soon

And duration
Shortens fast
So my torture
Ends abruptly
By that entrance
Swinging open
Where your face
Gleams bright as day

Like one lamp
I long to burn
With our sun
Strong at its center
Lit from matches
Called devotion
Or some faith
Of feelings pure

Shining rays
On lowest points
Warming rooms
Which lack affection
Proving ghosts
Are living partners
Standing silent
Though they’re cold

Praying hands
Not being held
Are soon grazed
From lover’s fingers
Reaching out
Against that quiet
Breaking glass
They cannot see

Shattered whole
But finally free
Leaving confines
Of such pressures
During moments
There is nothing
Except wishing
You are here –

There with me
Inside our house
Knowing work
Could offer nothing
Since existence
Suffers greatly
Lacking reasons
Meaning us.

– J. Pigno

I’ll admit that death
Is scary
In the sense
It serves some purpose
And confess
My limited knowledge
Assumes these words
Hold weight

When their answer
Does insist
Paper lasts
Where meaning doesn’t
And procedure
Offers little
But our standard
Rate of loss

By defining fate
Through terms
Soon expired
When explaining
How these legacies
Gain exposure
While revealing
Nothing waits

For this author
Bound and gagged
From deciding
He’s expended
Too much effort
Seeking solace
Between verses
Left behind

Learning fast
No poem written
Could deliver him
Such interest
Keeping faith
If God extended
Shorter lifespans
Through that work –

Now a fear
Become routine
Understated
Since resisting
All these phrases
Coming closer
To what dream
I did expect

Was the choice
Which nearly robs
Every memory
From existence
Seizing lines
As pure potential
Trading moments
For each verse

Digging graves
I pray will speak
Without telling
Empty secrets
Just their truth
Which isn’t special
Running willing
Towards my end.

– J. Pigno

I can get my
Point across
By enabling
Bad intentions
From reminders
Of certain memories
Which have paved
Their own defeat

Across tracks
Where failure sits
Like steel
With binding motion
Towards moments lost
So distant
Near stations old
And passed

When change
Is getting close
Beyond this point
Established
As a fixture
Traveling forward
In pursuit
Of sudden relief

Escaping
Who might stay
While journeying far
Into madness
By avoiding love
Intended
As remedy
To that stretch

Abandoning
Houses built
Through lives not made
But waiting
For opportunities
Always sitting
At the end of rails
Left long

On pathways
Built of strength
And the hope now gone
Since dreaming
Of seasons felt
Still turning
Finding destiny
Missed its place

Along what route
Is nailed
Grounded hard
From learning switches
Alter courses
Once determined
Against dying
Fairly young

Too sure
This train will stop
Without crashing
As God watches
Laughing wryly
Though I suffer
For the interim
Of my trip.

– J. Pigno

I couldn’t tell you
About success
Because its highs
Are insincere
As they manage
To belittle
What gifts failure
Really brings

In the agony
Of my phrase
When each word
Is often fatal
To what life
Still had potential
Before earning
This disease –

Simply wishing
There was choice
Over feelings
Inconvenienced
By what dayjob
Hardly matters
Or an insult
Often said

From the mouths
Of those who love
Via hate
They claim assistance
To produce
Some other meaning
Where their money
Offers peace,

Knowing art
Just isn’t right
As this sickness
Meant for speaking
With expressions
Through surrender
While the gun
Comes out my throat

Shooting blanks
At empty space
Thinking pages
Hide some answers
Always missing
If I seek them
Aiming closely
Though inept

When attempting
Worthy dreams
Chasing fate
God calls disaster
Going crazy
On this mission
Dropping verses
Slipping hard

Losing minds
And last respects
No one has
For stubborn writers
I assure you
Aren’t changing
To accomplish
Normal feats.

– J. Pigno