Poetry Drawer: Dirty Devil Soul: The Freedom of Dreams: So Cold Here and There: Your Flanks by John Tustin

Dirty Devil Soul

I called you angel
Almost from the beginning.
You were
No angel,
The winds through the trees
Have whispered to me,
Dirty devil soul
Driving me to the brink
Of abdicating
Some of
My most tender dreams.

I try to think of the
Possibilities of the new her
And smile
But I can’t because
You stole that ability
Along with my dignity
And the bulk of my faith,
My heart

And now bloodless,
Sitting slumped
At the foot of
What was once
Our bed.

I will go home tonight,
Her voice on the phone
So fleet, so tender and so weary
Of the world.
Her cadence
Still in my mind,
I will

Open bottle after bottle
And imagine her body pressed to mine,
Her lips pursed and thirsty for mine,
Her ears opened and hungry
For the aural dance of my words.
I won’t think of you for more than a dry rustling

Her eyes are there when I close them
And I suffer knowing I am
Without much hope,
Admitting my meritless existence
Would only erode her heart
Like water on a stone
But maybe
Just maybe it’s different
This time.

Different than every

I contemplate that
And I pretend her
And I smile
But because of you
It’s a smaller smile
And when I see it in the mirror
I call myself
A no good

The Freedom of Dreams

Just in from the rain,
Hair dripping down,
Popping open a beer
And sitting in front of the window,
The darkened sky staring back,
Wet and tired
In a home that does not belong to me.

Beard wet with rain and sadness,
The night stalks on.
I close the blinds
And turn on the music,
Hoping the room will vibrate
With the clicking of the keyboard,
The filling of the virtual page
On the computer screen,
Knowing it probably won’t
But hoping anyway.

Begging for your love
Like a beggar begs for coins,
A waif begs for bread,
A homeless cur begs
To see another sun
As he shivers through another night
On the street.

Your love is a viola
From the hallway.
Your love is vines of crisp black hair
Pulling me toward the light.
Your love is tears on the page,
Blood on the cage,
The freedom of dreams,
The vast expanse of fantastical imagining.
Your love is your legs stretched out along the bed
As I caress them from top to bottom,
Knowing I have wanted them before I knew
You existed.

My heart bursts in the air
In spirals of sparks and colours
When you love me.
When you love me.
But now I am alone.

The rain picks up as the night carries on.
The beer is gone.
I fall naked to the bed
With my snarling mind
And my broken feet,
My hair dry now,
No music in my ears,
The words unwritten

As I wait for your eyes to meet my eyes
When I close them
Until the morning.

I am only free
In the dreams I make
But cannot remember.
Somehow I know
You are there
In these unremembered dreams
And you are holding me
And we are safe and home
And that is why
I am free there
And want to stay there
Even when another morning

So Cold Here and There

It’s so cold here
And I cannot afford to turn up the heat
So I shiver and open another bottle of beer
While listening to Caruso sing Je Crois Entendre Encore
in Italian then in French
And thinking about your own loneliness
And how cold you must be
Huddled in your bed with small dogs and your
Casual loneliness
As a wind so much colder
Than the wind that freezes my feet hits you
As I drink and type,
Not knowing what Caruso is singing
But liking it as much
As I like imagining
Your open legs
And open smile
Even though you’re so cold right now
Where you are,
Without me.

Your Flanks

Now you are here
With your flanks in my bed
I imagine
While William Bell sings
“You Don’t Miss Your Water”.
I listen while I vomit,
Waiting to finish so I can drink a little bit more.

All this American music coming from the church
Or from avoiding church
And the Louvin Brothers might have thought
That Satan is real
But I know better

As I hang upside down
Listening to The Christian Life
And knowing that, at most,
Jesus was a good guy

And I imagine that you are here,
Naked and wonderful,
Your flanks in my bed
And half as beautiful as Parsons and McGuinn harmonizing

In a mere moment
Before life does not matter much again
For 8 hours

Or more.

John Tustin Poetry

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