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