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

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
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
Upon mornings
Come too late

Between concerts
Death will play
Within chests
Like tambourines

Hitting drums
Through skeletons
Thinking flesh
May soften blows

While this brow
Bleeds angry sweat
Beneath bedsheets
From turning

Switching sides
As harmonies
Left disturbed
Since ears who ring

Always hear
Such roaring veins
Hoping noise
Should claim
That body

Now enduring
Choosing rest
For practiced

  • J. Pigno

Some families
Beg for

While others
As teachers

Though most
These children

Should exert
Their efforts

Being raised
Beneath those

Failing still
Yet gaining

Carried once
That blanket

Swearing safeties
Such dues

Never paid
Before they

Freedom means
That broken

Speaking out
Against our

Never asked
When soon

Now enforced
Beyond such

Art agrees
Is worth
Detaching –

Mom or dad
May always
Love you

But no parent
A scribe.

  • J. Pigno

That booth
In the far left
Corner –

It’s where
I last felt

Amid days
You’d take me
And buy us
For two.

Back then
There were no

Or lies
Of gifts
Which spoiled,

Just dialogues
Sharing existence
To narrate
They implied.

But, mom,
I’m an old man
Whose prose
Means less
Than silence
Between these lies
We’ve fashioned
If fantasies
Could talk –

Soon imagining
Death can’t come

And joy once lost
Should linger

Among those
Memories cherished
Where sunshine
Still seems

Coming through
Such windows clear
Looking out upon
Parking lots

In brightness
Showering strangers

That walked
With bags
Towards home.

My mind since
Seems so full

Obscured too much
By answers

While your smile
Holds questions
Like sun
During times
Long gone.

Only age
Proves solace
Within tears
Wrinkled eyes
Might glimmer
Apparent divinity
Inside souls
Youth stays
Left behind.

I’m your little boy
Who sits

Eating fries
Yet savoring

On forever
Our afternoon

At a mall
How heaven
Will look.

  • J. Pigno

I discovered him
Up and walking
After dusk
On the beach
Among stars

Wandering paths
Below moonlight
As he followed
That beacon
Back home

These eyes of God
Were watching
At ends
Of those breakers

Where waves
Crested gently
Their peace
Between rocks

On unknown sands
From currents
Now missing

Beneath skies
So darkly mysterious
Each wind
Meant losing
Our way –

The midnight hymns
Of angels
To silence

As we ran
Through trails
Amidst quiet
Of a blackness
Thicker than death

With heaviness
Choking us fast
Upon hearts
Like weight
Of assurance

How divinity
Our presence
That evening
We traveled alone

Into woods
Behind stores
Far enough still
To shine dimly

Obscuring the face
Of those figures
He swore
Were then saving
His life.

To this day
Sometimes I think
Had called him

Leaving his room
For our journey
Which lead us
To that shore

And the forest
Yet clear
Brimming with voice
Lacking witness –

No evidence
Of whispers or miracles
But the impact
They had
On our lives.

– J. Pigno


What nature
Doesn’t realize
Is that kindness
Matters less
To the proud
And winning people
Whose triumph
Offers more

When playing fate
For freedom
Of its context
With wars
Made of decisions
By declaring
Bets are off

Now choosing
Bigger dreams
Over gains
Both small and waning
From their prisons
As wishes
Built on chance

Still meaning
To proceed
Despite those odds
Against them
Beyond all worth
Or measure
Of the hope
Which conquers death

Not of their loss
But a God
That means conceding
To the vagueness
Of forgiveness
Like evidence
Showing grief

As hurt
Which must propel
And drive their marches
In a wave
Of frenzied masses
Who claim each battle

That they’re wrong
And proving
Games are vile
While swearing
Something special
Is deserved
For those engaged.

– J. Pigno