This mirror
Shows no man
But the foggy face
He exhibits
As a suffering form
That is empty
Like one plume of smoke
Taking shape

Where fear
Assumes its place
Dispersed
Through widening distance
Between
Such dark reflections
Within his image
Vast

Containing
Missing links
Across each chain
Now loosened
From feelings
Effectively handled
By inflicting pain
On himself

So existence
Surely rigged
Wields expression
Hardly noticed
When controlling
These emotions
Barely veiling
Naked threats

Called resistance
Begging change
Failing hard
At making struggles
Even different
In the slightest
Knowing trying
Wasn’t hard

While ignoring
Broken masks
Splitting smiles
Into pieces
Like each shard
Another grimace
Left confessing
Their defense

Against wrongs
They can’t admit
Are demanding
Worthy penance
Over decades
Spanning moments
Waiting madly
For their breath

Beyond clouds
Or vapid mists
Puffing lifetimes
Out of vapors
Proving lungs
Are holding nothing
But thin air
Which never lasts.

– J. Pigno

It’s time I do
Confess
How confined
My thoughts
Remain

To the point
Where words tell
Little
Like syllables
Strung like stones

Around
This neck
Submerged
Beneath what life
Still struggles

Below
Such depths
Apparent
To swallow waves
In gulps

While losing air
So fast
There is no
Chance
For breathing

Beyond
Some uttered
Finish
Of a protest
Made from sound

Or death
Considered fair
When noise
Has zero
Meaning

As purpose
Loses semblance
Through phrases
Said
Too much

Which speak
One final claim
Convinced
No point
Is proven

Since endings
Writing volumes
Exceed
Those broken
Means

Defeating
Poems lost
Before
My pen
Can finish

The dream
I never started
Staying idle
All these
Years

Becoming
Numb as hands
Whose fingers
Long
For movement

As this silence
Begs for mercy
Now demanding
I stay
Heard

If admitting
True defeat
At the hands
Of staunch
Expression

Leading men
So fucking desperate
Down her pathways
Laced
With guilt

By this muse
Who always hurts
Just enough
To foster
Vision

Using tension
As that leverage
Having madness
Be my
Noose

Above wishes
Unfulfilled
Like such tight
And winded
Cable

Swinging heavy
Over mornings
Lacking courage
To stand
Tall

Knowing day
Resembles pain
Within verse
So damn
Inspired

Growing lethal
Before stealing
What small hope
I may have
Left.

– J. Pigno

If in fact
There’s black
At the end
Of what we
Suffer

I’ll gladly
Paint my absence
Where life
Did once
Take shape

And assume
No plan exists
Even though
Some traces
Linger

Within spaces
Losing meaning
Like these feelings
Vast
And gray

Simply called
Our colored dream
Which allows
Each mind
Assurance

How those perfect lines
Incarnate
Should reveal
This canvas
Bare

Just waiting
For its shade
Of thick darkness
Come
With brushes

Held intently
Drawing figures
By old hands
Whose faith
Is pale

Without semblance
Or strong grip
Making pictures
Out of
Nothing

While instead
Revealing shadows
As the fate
I’ve always
Known

Hiding God
Beneath their smudge
Between hues
He calls
Division

Fallen victim
To that spectrum
Proving brightness
Is not
Real

But inspired
Using love
As excuses
We can’t
Picture

Like religion
If assuming
There are tints
Beyond
This death.

– J. Pigno

Before
You mock that man
Whose canvas
Is his hatred
Assess those paints
Of kindness
On your palette
Left untouched

To cure
Such jagged lines
Drawing madness
Losing vision
Lacking shape
From understanding
Missing clearly
Within frame

Blending colors
Hiding flaws
Dabbing softly
Over blotches
Far too bold
For mere corrections
Gently smudging
Mingled woes

Where our rage
Becomes consistent
When resembling
Their frustrations
Like each need
Without compassion
Showing signs
Of human ills

Tossing glitter
Among stains
Building quickly
Off these brushes
Caking dyes
In gruesome excess
Across portraits
Truly dark

Tinted plainly
By expression
Bearing nothing
But exclusion
And what lies
Our hope encounters
If ignoring
Withered souls

Sporting shades
Of lonely penchants
Amid spectrums
Brightly biased
Finding smiles
Mask their image
And reluctance
Obscures pain

Blurring fact
With slathered faith
Covered wholly
From obsession
Thickened daily
Gaining varnish
While we pity
Through neglect.

– J. Pigno

We watch these
Bloody films
Since our world
Is much more
Frightening

Though that’s hardly
Reassurance
All their nightmares
Won’t come
True

Cause perhaps
It’s even worse
Than each mind
Could ever
Conjure

How all sin
Committed daily
Seems benign
If kept
Onscreen

While such gore
Still has us
Flinch
Knowing terror
Isn’t fiction

But a staple
Of existence
Hidden clearly
In plain
Sight.

– J. Pigno

I can’t catch
My breath
Stumbling through
This nightmare
Where heartbeats
So irregular
Prove escape
Is too far gone

From that end
Which couldn’t wait
Just beyond
Their waking prison
Finding air
But never resting
In that anxious
State of grace

Like new daylight
Which remains
Come each morning
Losing semblance
Of what safeties
Reassuring
Have chased death
Into our world

Falling down
While racing fast
During errands
Feeling empty
Wasting hours
Pleasing others
Out of fear
They leave us soon

Learning love
Was playing God
Knowing loss
Can be eternal
As one judgment
Among many
Getting hurt
When being close

Tripping up
Where fate divides
Between lifetimes
Begging marriage
Over roots
Which grow unruly
Though we plant them
Seeking fruit

Praying meaning
Just might thrive
At the feet
Of forests gleaming
Watching sunshine
Beam forgiveness
Warming branches
Sitting bare

After seasons
Missing hope
Stealing gasps
I often suffer
Failing dreams
With subtle changes
Missing faith
That staggers blind.

– J. Pigno

In my sleep
I drill holes in walls
To snake these wires
Desperate
For an outlet
Made of meaning
And a purpose
Worth their length

When power
Is something earned
Through force
Of sheer obsession
To relieve
Such darkened corners
By fear whose light
Gets plugged

Like brightness
Now contrived
Where pathways
Housing currents
Conduct what hope
Is missing
From each plate
That bears its name

Convinced
This dream will end
If strands
Become inactive
While pulling lines
Past sheetrock
Building circuits
Barely stretched

Beyond
Those tangled means
Gaining access
Without limits
Along cables
Seeking exit
Among spaces
I can’t reach

Confined
Inside my mind
Staying live
Though going missing
Getting lost
Behind old panels
With long webs
As spiders crawl

Amid dangers
Facing cracks
Watching coils
Wiggle past them
Scuttling shyly
Between nightmares
Hidden wisely
So they wait

For my wild hand
Which grips
Praying answers
Being threaded
Offer solace
Per electric
Chasing dimness
Soon to bite.

– J. Pigno