I think
We finally know
What that song
Had meant
To you,

Crying
In my sleep
And hearing it
Play
Once more –

Unconsciously
Though I loathe
Living something
Missed
Through memories

When hearts
Still always question
Whether love
Feels real
Or not.

Was I ever
Good enough
As a friend
Worth calling
Family,

Like cousins
Cut from pictures
Where intentions
Failed
At best?

Perhaps
This melody burned
Inside souls
Whose ears
Keep ringing

Plays viciously
Ever angered
Fueled by fires
Lit
Long past –

Warm smiles
During car rides
Finding cities
We’d never
Visit

Again
Since trusting silence
Fanning embers
Hot
From blood.

Some people’s faith
Will burn
Chasing guilt
Towards far
Tomorrows –

But me,
I blame those closest
For infernos
Sparked
Near home.

  • J. Pigno

I’m alive now
More in my dreams
Than this slog
During daylight hours
When waking up
Just for nothing
Provides failure
Slowly achieved

As morning death
Appears real
Since accomplishment
Hinges on pushing
While triumphs pass
Between heartbeats
Skipping often
From facing defeat

Beating drums
Whose war was waged
With poetic words
Interrupted
Amid battlefields
Relishing bloodshed
Choosing images thick
Running red

Like rivers poured
Behind eyes
Gushing crimson truth
Spouting lyrics
Riding scarlet waves
Skirting beachfronts
Near shores gone dark
Losing minds

Pacing memories
Patiently waiting
Underneath thick skin
Building boundaries
Between what lines
Provide meaning
Found below that wish
Overdue

Still expressing hope
Remains left
Finding tears themselves
Become vessels
Where pure cascades
Relieve longing
Through drops so clear
They’re unseen

Spilling forth
When veils should lift
Only sleeping now
Fearing rhythms
Broken soon
By sunshine‘s arrival
Here to kill
All cadence believed

How spoken knives
Conquer beasts
Deep inside these pains
Never silent
Wielding weapons
So openly scathing
Tomorrow can hear
Every thought.

  • J. Pigno

We’re taught
To withhold our truths
Like a dam
For their finite wisdoms
By minds
Which rear exclusions
Through what fears
These words become

And built from scratch
Since school
Or that day
When scolding parents
Remind us
Honest feelings
Should be hidden well
Till death

While expressions
Go unsung
As all childhoods
Will perish
Without laughs
But spoken wishes
Only nurtured
If they’re hushed

Thinking frailties
Dreams reveal
Can exist
Beyond this sentence
Of long lifetimes
Hiding failures
Behind safeties
Silence molds

Into shapes
Still lacking mouths
So each voice
Containing secrets
Stays repressed
Beneath obsessions
Pride convinces
Wards off threats

Hiding passions
Once proclaimed
Now protected
Though uncertain
Full disclosure
Offers solace
Besides sharing
Open grief

During muted years
Imposed
Watching distant stars
Fade slowly
Streaking light
Across those heavens
Bursting bright
Before night ends

Proving time
Between lost souls
Means exploding
Amid darkness
Glitter always
Makes much better
Along empty space
Grown cold

Sighting colors
Within reach
Yet inspired
Falling neutral
Among palettes
Most pedestrian
Finding hues
Emerging new

Under blankness
Quiet veils
Drawing lines
Connection beckons
Soon embellished
Trading poems
Loudly said
Exploring skies.

  • J. Pigno

Our struggle is not against words,

But the lies and misunderstandings of a world whose fear kills freedoms in the pulse of hearts who speak-

The ones which dare obsess and defy that erroneous cadence at the core of bodies tethered by what strings our art can snap.

Their continuous, maddening rhythms pulsing still with beats expressive are indicative of sheer
potential that will prove our masters wrong.

Amiss, much like our roles inside vacuums called existence,

Playing jobs unlike our forebears working hard by embracing life.

This joy seems out of touch, vaguely sick and strangely nauseous, as our poems grow redundant seeking paths towards shedding shame

How such pleasures could endure within spaces man inherits where our loss itself feels welcome as each term inspires death.

Torn, from limb to phrase –

But ignored, as every sentence misses marks of punctuation hanging corpses margins pose.

Though I’m privy to such ends, its perhaps the other doorway swinging open out of blankness which appeals to fading breath –

Empty slates that just appear during memories least expected since unlocking shuttered portals hinged on moments gone too soon.

Feelings almost find me warm beneath prose I’ve sewn like blankets, fighting frigid air exclusive to an atmosphere so cold –

My page, a fallen tent,

Among lines of ruins scattered

Where the snow of dreams writes wishes between trees of forests thick.

Some men build camps for fire.

I destroy them without question

After spending nights enduring every thought that shows me home,

Far away, beyond these fears made of saddest whites encountered any winter’s touch should sully raining soot upon those drifts.

For Bohemia, my sun, melts this path which morning beckons and tomorrow’s gift of promise slowly guides through trusting faith –

Believing God has plans better loved than daily torment of our middle roads we travel from complacent hopes they mark.

What war we wage with beauty is that battle for transcendence, fought by idle prophets begging and impoverished saints who sleep –

Who fuck, who eat, who dance,
who in laziness bear wisdoms,

And by victory usher daylight

Bringing dawn upon their gifts.

  • J. Pigno

Never tell me
The night is young
As its wisdoms
Prove seniority
Lighting smokestacks
Much like cob pipes
Sticking out
From the mouth of sprawls

Lined with cities
Sharing dust
Breathing waste
And factory ashes
Over alleyways
Cast in shadows
Where these bandits
Stash their risks

Under awnings
Behind bars
Chasing cats whose tails
Curl backwards
Stalking vagrants
Fate encounters
Wishing streets
Were home at last

Having dreams
Upon that bench
Huddled still
Beneath old blankets
Watching figures
Break through storefronts
Grabbing hope
For paper bags

As this shift
Turns easy cash
Robbing graves
Some call fair living
Wasting daytime
Working harder
Since nocturnal beasts
Roam free

Knowing crime
Though often wrong
Defeats morning’s
Tampered sunshine
Playing odds
All jobs amount to
Missing masks
Or angry means.

  • J. Pigno

I spot dirt
In my contact lens

Through which
My world appears
Clouded

As a strain
Of peripheral errors,

Distorted
From seeing
Too much –

And looking close
Though we mustn’t

At what blatant
Specks
Provide reason

For rejecting sight
Like sensation

Not worth
Our trust
It assumes.

Such evidence
Painted by hues
Find life
Often muddles
These visions

By chance
When discovering freedoms

While restoring
Some monochrome
Scene –

Inspiring roles
Never played

Merely felt
Or observed
Over decades

Accepting
Blemishes brazen
Enough that
Truth
Becomes blurred.

Color escapes
Blinded eyes

But meaning
Remains
Vivid pictures,

Only bright
If perceived beyond limits –

Perpetual
Though sadly
Obscured.

  • J. Pigno

I’m a prop
For the theater of man
In which my role
Remains little

As its tool
Of impeccable sadness
Once thought to be
Something of use –

Whose mask
Remains terribly flawed
While each hole
Shows struggling morals
At performing acts
Most egregious
Like appearing sane
Before crowds,

Since an audience
Perceives only flesh

Rather than tears
Along edges

Sporting that half
Still accepted
But ignoring marks
Well obscured

Leaving honesty
Trailing behind

Along tired scenes
They will rotate

Thinking memories
Performed by actors
Are valid dreams
We uphold.

What monsters
Believe this play
Are desperate fools
Selling tickets
Wasting their lives
Turning profits
On agony caused
Every night,

Peddling freedoms
Drama demands
Players wish
Was improvisation

Telling jokes
Only pain finds funny

Having hope fall flat
Across stage.

No laugh
Should successfully land
If humor itself
Assumes hatred
Will inherently bring
Little chuckles
From imposing lives
So obscene,

Exploiting lines
Being read
Proving stooges pure
Can fall victim –

Like me
God’s glorious instrument

Who disrupts
Through behaving
Off-script.

  • J. Pigno

There was never
A brighter sunshine
Than the days when
God seemed close
Between each cloud
On mornings
Where that light above
Felt free

Which peeked
An incredible glimpse
Through His candid skies
Unveiling
What blue proved dreams
Lay waiting
Beyond these signs
Hung low

In relative terms
By sight
Looking out upon
Motel cities
Like blemishes
Glowing with neon
Obscuring stars
Come dusk

After asphalt
Grew too hot
And then burned our feet
While playing
Lost among those cars
Left idle
Sporting plates
From states so far

Leaving honest tips
Near tables
Atop dressers
Counting scratches
Behind TV sets
Still broken
Telling news
Without its sound

Under lamps
My mom had fixed
Housing crumbs
Or wrappers crumpled
Grabbing cookies
For some dinner
Within alcoves
Humming noise

Saying junk food
Nourished souls
Passing quarters
If she made them
Often waiting
For new tourists
Rarely willing
To share change

Since they noticed
Empty rooms
Curtains drawn
And working parents
Only seeing
Swaying palm trees
Not how desperate
Dawn appeared.

  • J. Pigno

I’m forever
Breaking a promise
That day
On the old white porch
Atop sagging boards
Which splinter
Creaking loudly
While we speak

Since reflection
Proves unsure
Your are even there
In spirit
After waking soon
From dreaming
Where that farm
And sunset waits

Looming shyly
Behind veils
Tinged with orange clouds
Still standing
Somehow drifting
Throughout memory
Turning dark
Before they pass

Though our shadows
Lightly singed
By long fingers
Flames can mimic
Clasp at specters
Slowly fading
Cracked like hands
Whose art is touch

Expressed only
If they split
Showing cracks
Have certain beauty
Spelling wisdoms
Sharing secrets
Only shattered hearts
Will tell

Once inspired
Without cause
Now assuming
Time has stolen
Every meaning
Visions carry
Losing subtext
Moments gain

Seeking hindsight
Via death
Or perhaps
Fate’s other poem
Turning phrases
Between blessings
Wasting lifetimes
Novels gain

Trading glares
As we had wished
Would insist
God’s magnum opus
Wasn’t swearing
Magic answers
Made success
Of failure‘s prose –

This belief
I hoped came true
Found disdain
Behind your smile
Knowing damn well
Writers struggle
Just to claim
Their final say

Buried deep
Beneath old graves
Lining driveways
Outside homesteads
Deceased idols
Long inhabit
Mocking passions
Digging graves.

  • J. Pigno

My sleep
Is the change
In cadence
I fear will invite
Its dance

By a heart
Whose beat
Seeks rhythms
Which believe
Each nightmare song

Holds tempos
Screams can’t break
Even when
These eyes
Should open

Still closed
After suffering
Silence
Upon mornings
Come too late

Between concerts
Death will play
Within chests
Like tambourines
Banging

Hitting drums
Through skeletons
Rattled
Thinking flesh
May soften blows

While this brow
Bleeds angry sweat
Beneath bedsheets
Warm
From turning

Switching sides
As harmonies
Shatter
Left disturbed
Since ears who ring

Always hear
Such roaring veins
Hoping noise
Should claim
That body

Now enduring
Palpitations
Choosing rest
For practiced
Tunes.

  • J. Pigno