I saw her face
In the paper
And immediately
Thought of you –

Wondering
If I’d became something
More than a man
Unknown,

Tracing days
Which lost their voice
During times
Much better valued
Than what way
This feeling lingers
Reading names
I can’t forget.

But still won’t
Though moments try
Passing judgments
Years keep making –

Thinking back
While looking forward,

Wishing sadly
We had worked.

Yet despite
How long I cried
There was always
Room for leaving

Once explained
In daily poems,

Now neglected
Held inside –

Hardly truths
Worth selling news
Keeping papers
Printing headlines
Bound to praising
Local heroes
Saving lives
Though earning cash.

See real dreamers
Missing marks,

Every addict
Beating demons,

All those artists
Chasing muses

Aren’t stories
People tell –

Swearing egos
Wearing thin
Showing proof
That life is worthy
Blessing some
Through failing others
Almost flawless
By design.

Though our fate
Means dying out,
All these writings
Offer chances

Left behind
Since silence lingers
Among souls
Who read as hope –

Unlike me
So awfully jaded,

Fairly certain
She’s remembered

Finding relics
Far from funny
Beneath captions
Laughing hard.

  • J. Pigno

Today I’m suddenly
Silent
Since my phrase
Won’t follow suit
Far behind
What lines enchanted
Spin like spiders
In these dreams

Making webs
From daily pain
After fighting sleep
Come morning
Weaving words
Across those ceilings
Tired eyes
May only see

If they open
Seeking threads
Chasing dust
Along each corner
Watching insects
Turn their magic
Once thought scary
Now enjoyed

Hanging fears
Above this head
Learning fibers mesh
Through instinct
Much how genius
Dangles gently
Off of nightmares
Once awake

Still life’s menace
Anguish sells
But relieves
By solemn memory
Speaking madness
Almost focused
Across film reels
Eyelids show

Left projecting
Empty frames
Knowing time itself
Should perish
Within movies
Minds will feature
Always yearning
For that day

Where existence
Purely raged
Felt inspired
Outside coffins
Soft as bedsheets
Begging slumber
Where experience
Goes to die

While deception
Proves them real
Scuttling slyly
Never noticed
Dancing poems
Upon fixtures
Darkness welcomes
Surely missed.

  • J. Pigno

Raise those kids
Like wolves
Who growl at the sight
Of weakness
To excuse what hate
Your privilege
Has reared alongside
That pack

As hunger
Becomes their excuse
For behaviors
Based on distinction
Where predators
Execute prejudice
Declaring
Difference is prey,

Never questioning
Evident fears
Or perhaps this
Negative instinct
From assuming
Otherness dangerous
Since beasts
Engage ignorant thoughts

Slaying nests
Hunting animals young
Finding bloodshed
Beyond satisfaction
Telling children
Murdering innocents
Should accompany
Natural success –

Such forests
Are filled with deaths
Inexcusable
Though they continue
Choosing greed
Over true coexistence
Seeking peace
Among dangers unseen

Beneath trees
And branches more thick
Learning bias
Leaves trails only witnessed
Below pathways
Paws always shuffle
Barely noticed
But knowing its there,

Unless traced
Between places obscure
Near emptied bones
Amid thickets
Piecing lives
Around artifacts gathered
Housing flesh
Whose failure insists

Triumphs empathy
Pouncing in groups
Upon creatures pure
Without motive
Eating berries
Carnivores damage
Simply begging peace
Among fiends.

  • J. Pigno

I am equally
Too rebellious
And anxious for existing
Outside of words
Indignant
Every open mouth
Should bleed

Or wound speak
Gaping truths
Like these tears
Our lies have mended
Over holes that
Preach poetics
Where most stitches
Bind our dreams

When damage
Means release
But forced healing
Keeps on closing
Weeping veins
Which build connection
Through what gore
Contains this gift

By it spilling
Mutual faith
From such flesh
That fragile vessel
Harboring feelings
All inclusive
Across peoples
Willingly scathed

Sharing rawness
Pleasantly real
Besides scars
Already fading
Between years
Their injured wisdoms
Find distraction
Worth belief

Trading God
For wasted breath
Chasing papers
Pressed obscenely
Counting souls
Amid disasters
With intentions
Green as sin

Unlike crimson
Bearing strength
Shedding evils
Being punctured
Atop crosses
Called existence
Every moment
We forget

How deep red
Reminds us life
Flows forever
Within humans
Fallen angry
Though together
Raising voices
Staying hurt.

  • J. Pigno

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

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