There is no poetry at the end of days.

Just whimpers of unwanted prose amid dialogues we can’t seem to process or shake – dreams which stand in the way of once clearer words, and tomorrow’s sad paraphrasing of a life that could have been promised if not for the lies of sin which always win their moral gamble.

You see, bad men build worlds out of clever turns of phrase. They erect verbal monuments to everything but the meaning we seek, the flesh which speaks as a testimony to the God we can no longer interpret after years of talking too fast.

Then they tear them down by the end of a twisted, arduous sentence – every bit as painful as their colorful terms make it sound.

I should know. I moved their period where it didn’t belong almost every single minute of my life, fighting below thick rubble of that spiritual weight to make art which sought air beneath what evil had been imposed during years of heavy conditioning.

The truth is, I was not valued much by those who wished money were my muse, nor was my futile crusade to cure fire with ashes whose sparks were just not bright enough for any significant change.

Perhaps my talents were less.

Maybe I just didn’t try hard enough (after all, they love to call you lazy when the plot of their mortal narrative seems all but worth a minute of your effort).

Most likely, it was my off-the-cuff rebellion which persisted long into adulthood that pitted every person I love against me – this bizarre imperative which leaves me seeking tie-dye journeys and idle afternoons for a glimpse of peace where creativity grieves its own shadow.

Yet, above that silhouette is a sun growing tired of laws. Of injustice. Hate.

Sickness, madness, and destruction.

Exploitation from every which angle, and a virus that may just be divine intervention if not for the fact it is killing the most innocent among us.

Yes, in the sense that it persists to remove us from one another, this beast IS manufactured . Not in a lab per se, but from ethical abandon so widespread that not even Christ himself could redeem this mess on a cross of some burning skyscraper’s heated steel.

I remember being scared of new mornings, of worrying whether or not my emerging consciousness would be met with constant yelling or a barrage of insidious news stories echoing the tumult of my home’s broken dynamics. Hell, I’d still get out of bed even with a rapid heartbeat and chronic pain beyond the diagnosis of any such “heroic” physician who claimed it was the raging of an unsettled mind rattling the cage of its own imposed prison.

But never to the point of yielding. Not to the extent of defeat.

Now you’re seeing me break and I believe these cracks are real.

I question if I’m even whole anymore, a person with a soul whose exposure to such insanity can endure further traumas expected to be met with vapid smiles on my aging face – if I can somehow stand the fact progress has come to a permanent halt and everyone around me pretends like normal exists just beyond this daily precipice of extinction.

I’m convinced we are witnessing Armageddon, that the final round of judgment isn’t some biblical gauntlet of obvious plagues, but a far more subtle culmination of chronic failures manifesting as death itself.

Death as bigoted murder by the state, death as invisible illness, death as the incarnation of the very myth I always said would steal my faith and expect me to get a job for the sake of finding out one day Satan digs his claws by virtue of sheer societal denial – a pressure so intense that few even have the luxury to say no and choose this aimless glory of heaven’s last artists condemned to suffer as wandering lunatics.

I’m unashamed to confess that this is me. And I’ll take that honor to my grave, knowing dignity outweighs whatever purposeless successes those who said they cared peddled as bargaining chips for their empty affections.

Today is the last of hope’s appearance. From this moment forward, the hours are a dangerous wager against what house will eventually fall.

Correction – has already fallen.

No amount of pretending, stalling, or act of desperate safeties can secure that kingdom teetering near the edge of blankness.

Again – there is no poetry at the end of days.

Just the grim, solemn expression of what blackness awaits in our sleep.

It’s time we yawn in unison.

Let’s pray we never wake up.

– J. Pigno

Where does
The manual state
How being paid
For help
Is courageous?

Such bad advice
Has potential
At exalting
Men
Who are dolls –

Defective toys
Become gallant
By virtue of gifts
They can
Leverage

Through instructions
Pushed as agendas
To approve
Their marketed
Face.

No glue
Can repair our cracks
Anymore
Than lies
Sell plastic

While parading
Treacherous glories
Behind masks
Whose figures
Grin

At a point
All models break
Thinking parts
Get swapped
With reason

Learning figures
Considered better
Claim dibs
On remaining
Whole.

Last time I checked
We were flesh
Not pressed
In factories
Tested

Like effigies
Far from humble
Telling kids
Some dreams
Mean less,

If success
Expresses truth
Which expose
False idols
Fearless

Owning roles
That question heroes
Whose feat
Was collecting
Checks.

– J. Pigno

I am no longer
Your son

Because guilt
Is not my birthright

Like the money
Which still can’t answer

What questions
Your soul won’t ask –

As an incapable feat
For rage

Whose flame knows
Only matches

When experience yields
These passions

While igniting God
In hand,

For the lie that
Bears me grief

Within flesh
Whose silence lingers

Presuming
My spirit missing

At the tip of a tongue
You’d burned.

This body
Just can’t speak

Anymore than words
Could flourish

Where fires dance
Through kingdoms

Of dreams
You’d had me torch.

My phrase
Can’t offer cash,

My pen bring much
But solace

Condemned as faith
Unworthy

For the man whose life
Meant less

Than the joy
You’d wish I earned

While pursuing jobs
So pointless

And convinced
Such work held purpose

Beyond building ash
On lungs –

Like collected smoke
Thought breath

Within mouths
Whose air went missing

So the fire spread
From neighbors

Bragged its brilliant light
That glows.

Now forever
I’ll spend each day

Flooding waters
Upon sore voices

Quelling damages
Pouring phrases

Spilling verse
Amid embers learned.

– J. Pigno

I’ve done little
With my time
And perhaps
That’s now
Okay,

Considering
Nothing matters
In a world
Where life
Means shit –

Even still
Despite our tries
Or the pleas
Young souls
Keep chanting

Across streets
While bigots listen
Tightening cuffs
On innocent
Hands,

Wielding sticks
Like phallic threats
Threatening rape
Of minds
Unyielding

Twisting lines
Good gospel peddles
Watching despots
Claim
Those words.

How can justice
Even risk
Finding hope
Among these
Devils

Stealing faith
As freedom settles
Into fear
Once thought
Long dead,

Only answered
For such days
If each victim’s
Screams
Get angry

Growing worse
Until they notice
We will not
Accept
Such hate,

But yet somehow
Soon forget
Over decades
Filled
With excess

Blinding rebels
Behind paychecks
Thinking cash
Can cure
Old sins –

Which is why
I’ll never work
Or hold jobs
Beyond
This writing

Bleeding ink
For sticking fingers
Up at racists
Called
Rich men.

Don’t assume
We have some chance
Ending bias
Through their
System,

For true evil
Dwells eternal
Within actions
Laws
Can’t change –

Even God
Remains perplexed
By His Earth
Turned Hell
Incarnate,

So forget
Your fucking day job
And make art
Worth fighting
Back.

– J. Pigno

Mortal hearts
Are its actual
Cause

But cooked
By pride
So easy

Thinking cupboards
Bare
Have utensils

Or ingredients
Bad
Sitting low

Could inspire chefs
Who play
God

Yielding dishes
Grand
Beyond saving

Growing ripe
Through tainted
Promise

Eating fruit
Sharing sin
Thought prayer,

Wielding wealth
On privileged
Spoons

Within palms
Whose fists
Bear weapons

Chewing whole
While mouths
Hang open

Begging food
Though forks
Point back –

Worried sick
True hunger
Is judged

Making meals
Much more
Disgusting

From the fact
Such lives
Should perish

Still begging
Those hands
For a piece.

Though they tighten
Around
Each neck

Choking throats
With freedoms
Rancid,

Revealed
As gluttonous
Hatreds

All monsters
Believe
Keep fresh

Since agreeing
Flesh
Left raw

Tastes better
Only
When hurting

If based
Upon recipes
Biased

Now stirring
Rage
In this pot –

Served hot
On plates
Absurd

Knowing fear
Holds their daily
Menu

Which proves
How heroes
Hungry

Wish villains
Would hurl
That feast.

– J. Pigno

We are all
Terrible dreams
As far my eyes
Can tell –

At least
From a backwards
Glance
Where life
Appears so long,

But never
In media res
Upon this proof
Conceding

To minds
Whose fearful
Sleeping
Deludes each sense
When woke.

Valueless
Though we believe
Our gifts make
Appropriate burdens

Like feelings
Expressed intently
Through an image
Etched
On flesh-

Our bodies
Masked with stone
Broken
By God’s great chisel,

Hammering tales
Off faces
Fixed
For forever
At last.

Those cracked
And colorless skins
Hold truths
Unsaid between us

Through statues
Stoically crafted
Made calm
While modeling
Death –

Beautiful art
Untouched
If assessed
Without that knowledge

How time
Apparently dawdles
Inside
These nightmare
Shells.

– J. Pigno

People
Jumping off bridges
Seem to be
All the rage,

Lacking
Need for explaining
As times like these
Prove hard

Where death
Is a basic statement
Of life which
Falls so easy

Since fear
Has offered freedoms
From heights
No man should plunge.

Yet I wonder
If God will judge
Those souls
Who bravely plummet,

Daring hell
Despite knowing
Such sin might
Break their leap –

Worried how
Faith confirms
Why conviction
Remains an answer

Toward humans
Facing disaster
Each day
We’re gifted breath.

Isn’t sickness
Penance enough
Or experience
Torture already,

Watching friends
And our families
Suffering pain
Without cause?

But cowardice
Never endures
Beyond moments
Rashly ventured

Garnering blame
Deemed sufficient
In eyes whose love
Loss hurts –

Spoiling
Beautiful ends
On chances
Apparently wasted,

Stealing
Memories cherished
Then sullied fast
After grief.

Even though
Flesh decays,
Tempting fate
Every second,

What minutes
Elapse with meaning
Far outweigh
Quick relief.

– J. Pigno

Sleep
Is appropriate language
In which God
Can tell us
Stories

From the world
Outside each window
Now that home
Has become
Our bed

Where life
Provides long rest
Yet clings
To sobering
Daylight

Reminding us
Time still passes
Even if
Such sun
Seems strange

During hours
Meant for work
Now a theater
Ripe
With leisure

Letting fear
Project its pictures
Under blankets
Pulled
On heads

Over eyes
Who grow concerned
Watching nights
Just entertain
Worries

Seeing stars
Across skies too vivid
Crystal clear
From worlds
At pause

Before films
Behind closed veils
Prove hits
While indulging
Solace

Upon screens
Viewing classics
Routinely
Most souls would agree
Should distract

Since images
Take their stage
And reveal
Sacred insights
Begging

To explain
How destinies
Tethered
Will collectively
Dream their fate

Performing
One-act plays
When an audience
Thrilled
Yet captive

Believes
These narratives
Witnessed
Replace moments
Actually seized.

– J. Pigno

These cinders
Coat my throat
As the pain
Goes down
Real easy

Mistaking air
For fire
While both lungs
Expel
Clear smoke

From a furnace
Burning steam
Within
This chest
Left begging

Between
What breaths
I swallow
To assume there is
Still hope

When gagging
On tiny coals
Too small
For life
Extinguished

By flames
Not fearing water
Since that ash
Will fill
Each hole

And line
Exploding veins
Through our mouths
Hung open
Daily

In disbelief
Now common
How those embers
Fuel
Such thoughts

Near death
At simple coughs
Wishing God
Was always
Greater

Than His heat
Which passes judgment
Upon sickness
Earned
With sin.

– J. Pigno

The road
On which we tread
Isn’t dirt
But ash between us

Amid trails
Of growing distance
Our new world
Can’t seem to grasp

Like one fate
That travels wide
Beyond making
Any difference

Besides leaving
Open stretches
Where dead men
Now matter less

Bending bridges
From their weight
Beneath bodies
Piled daily

Under sunshine
Falling golden
Upon faces
Blind from rage

Shining wrongly
Through this scourge
Sitting heavy
Where we dawdle

Watching Spring
Appear through windows
Mocking hours
With its warmth

Banging loudly
While each lung
Mourns fresh air
Becoming rarer

Than distinction
Among houses
Sporting rainbows
Between bars

Behind glass
Now battered steel
Begging insight
Into purpose

Spying neighbors
Carry sadness
Through those doors
They call their own

Pacing rooms
While taking calls
Wandering halls
Left unattended

Sharing nothing
But dead silence
So unsettling
Though at peace

Now suggesting
God has split
Altogether
Since that moment

Earth had sighed
Such tired judgment
Making yawns
We finally heard.

– J. Pigno