Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"folk song"

"folk song"
written to put off sleep by jake kilroy.

we traded steamboat shanty sing-a-longs
somewhere between the lines and the drawls,
back when my mouth knew no boundaries
and you carried your debutante heart in a basket
woven with feathers from birds that wailed
like banshees in the sunlight of your skin.

i drew roadmaps home in your freckles,
just like every poet fuck of a man claims
when he wants to seem deep.

sailing, driving, boarding, leaving,
said every twenty-something songwriter
who couldn't shake his own tongue.

this smile is a trashcan at best.
white papers in the red mash of gums,
sparkling because breaths are hotter
than any love notes done on a typewriter
that was purchased at a garage sale
that was found on a laptop.

my barely beating heart started a post-hardcore band
when you left because it could no longer stand folk.
it just wanted nonsense that sounded like guts,
so it went to the city instead of the country,
and it slept on the couch in a former flame's loft.

it gambled away its earnings there,
and it sold all its vests and wide-brimmed hats,
because it wanted to play real music.
my heart had enough of the barley wine,
and it wanted to make my vocal chords bleed
from rotten drink and coke drips aplenty.

so i spent years tasting my own blood
and cutting open my fingers on strings,
huffing metaphors to stay young and free
instead of old and wise and saturated.

but i'll never forget when i dressed well
and posed as a pioneer on the railroad,
all while my fugazi poster sighed, smiled
and told me that every man's renaissance is fleeting.

tucked away there in a bed made of straw,
where my head will forever lay in wheat,
there is you
in your lace dress as white as dirty snow,
twirling in the fields that break open every lover
and let the syrup seep into the soil for a good harvest.

you wanted white porches and fresh fruit,
and i had enough of the twilight brink,
when i knew there was sweat to be had
in the dive bars with rusty knuckles,
where a man could die like a magician,
no faith, no social circle,
just a grin and a wink.

still, as i took in the smoke of the city on a rooftop
and heard a captain call his crew in the harbor,
i thought of what i wanted to see in my crimson eyes
that hadn't been able to place a strong sunset for years.
i wanted to see you.
i wanted my eyes to swallow you whole.
i wanted to wake up one morning
and find you swimming nude in the milk of my sockets.
but the trouble is you'd know how good you'd look,
cause even though you were always the curve of the road
that i thanked god for letting me speed recklessly upon,
you, like a folk song, always thought yourself the perfect melody.

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