Category Archives: Musings

Introducing Gut Punch Poetry

Hey Friends!

I started a YouTube channel for my poetry! It’s called Gut Punch Poetry.

I’ll still be posting here, but if you want to hear me read my work, please subscribe!

You can like, share, comment, and ask questions! It will feel more engaging and personal.

I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t feel I had the right setup (the right camera and audio equipment, the right space, the right lighting, etc…) BUT I just needed to BEGIN.

I figure I can make improvements over time, and I’m sure I’ll look back on my early videos with shame and embarrassment, but I had to start somewhere!

Welcome!

Falling

Parrish Broady—
a boy who hadn’t reached out
to grab my memory
in a long damn time.
But driving fast down 46
I see a truck waiting for its turn
to pull into traffic.
Broady Electric.
Blue letters.
The association begins.
A middle aged man
behind the wheel.
Middle age
never grayed the hair
of Parrish Broady.
Never calloused his soft hands.
Middle age didn’t arrive
with a birthday cake blazing
or a crisis of identity loitering
in his high school yearbooks.
Parrish Broady—
the boy with the strange name—
more haunting
now that he’s gone—
now that I have lived
more than double his short life.
Parrish Broady—
the boy
who must have climbed that tree
a hundred times—
that tree that was finally able
to reach its branches
into the powerlines
like fingers searching blindly
for the switch in a dark room.
And he perished—
the young boy
the son
the little brother
the friend
the beloved and adventurous kid
who must have mistaken
that dark limb for the one
that would keep him
from falling.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-7-18

Fairy Tale

The atheist pretends
for a moment
that he has a soul
shaped like a heart
given to him before birth
by Yahweh or Zeus or Baal—
it doesn’t matter
who is responsible
for this flat Valentine—
it’s his to keep
or give away
or cut into pieces like confetti
falling from grace,
which seems to him to be
the best way to celebrate this life
which has no one to thank for it
but the two people
who believed his birth
was a blessing
from their favorite god.

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-27-18

 

 

God Talk

Of all places, a bar
the week after Easter
six women, six men
talking God, talking Jesus
recapping the resurrection
one of the men, of course,
doing most of the talking
and I was so close
I could reach out
and touch his clothes
if I wanted to,
if I wanted to
challenge that faith of his
if I wanted to
ask a few questions
about the mission
god had chosen for him
which was to spread
the Good News like butter
onto this bread of mine
to make sure every unbeliever
knew that an afterlife
was an option
in exchange for reason
in exchange for the kind of
common sense that says
you need to seek forgiveness
from whoever it was
you hurt, injured, or wronged
instead of from a man
who lived and died
fourteen hundred years
before the invention
of the printing press.
So instead of begging
for anyone’s pardon
I head for the door
that leads to a light so bright
it took ten million years more
than just one day to be created
and no one in the world
has ever existed
who I’d ask to pick up
and carry all my burdens
and while they’re at it
pay for my tab.

 

 

 

DeMaris
4-10-18

Where No One Can Follow

Rain all morning
nowhere to go
but inward
where the memories
are stored
where the only thing
that can reach me
is music—
a guitar
and a couple of voices
in harmony
that seem to be saying
all the things I can’t.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-19-18

“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather” by T.C. Steele, 1887

Suicide Attempt 

Mine
will start
in the car
and take me
to the edge
of California
because
that’s
the kind
of beauty
I want
to end up in
and
on the way
I’ll have time
to think
about
why
and why not
and I’ll stop
only
for fuel
and food
to keep
me alive
until I get
to the
redwoods
which
I’ll need
to see first
before
I go black
and it’s a
small hope
that they
will remind me
I have options
and to
go back
where
I came from
because
they know
what’s it’s like
to feel stuck
in one place
for so long
and still
grow.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-13-17

Filter

The filter is on
and love is squirming
twisting
trying to say
what it feels
like it needs to say
but I am the gatekeeper
who decides
how much
should be revealed
and I have one finger
on the trigger
one foot on the gas
another finger
over the barrel
and one heel
about to catch fire
from all this friction
all this dragging
all this restraint
that is supposed
to save me
from embarrassment
and the sudden
doe-eyed expression
on my face
that contains
every truth I can
never say.

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-2-17

Painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi, public domain