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’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

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

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