Friday Night Shivoo

Whether he had been awakened in the predawn hours by the distant crowing sounds of a chanticleer
Or
The remnants of drunken gatherers’ voices in the streets exiting their Friday night shivoo,
He was awake now
And
Alone with his notebook and his pen
Ready to seize upon the phantasmagorical essences of the big old empty house,
For
Fulminating in him always were the words and ideas and memories and emotion
Ready to explode like the chemicals he used to work with in the lab
Into ink upon a page, art in motion,
On
Days like this he wished he could stay home in his tobacco-brown study
Doing work as a literary intrapreneur
Funded by the burnings off of tiny savings
Allowing his soul’s essence to express itself on parchment
Taking breaks for coffee or to play with le petit chat gris,
Alas,
While reading aloud the words on work of Breton, he was
Met with the froideur reactions of his own ajdaN
Feeling
Like his ungloved hands felt on the grey wintry bark of elders on another early morning on a walk through
Les Jardin du Luxembourg,

These two so far removed so long from simpatico
In their separate tiny dreams
Of
Escaping somnambulistic tendencies

Until (and when) (and then)

The medals of St. Christopher and the Claddagh rings they shared with each other so long ago reminded them
Of promises made to be kept,
Of promises meant to be spent
One with another:
These talismans of truth
They sang
And sang
And sang

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017

Dad

On entering his writer’s study
As the gargoyles fell off the shadowy sinews of his mind
Like fish scales
One
by
One
by
One

He heard that voice again
From deep in the earth
Beneath the ancient oaks
Amidst the ghosts of the Confederacy

Surrounded by groves
Of freshly peeled tangerines
The juice so sweet
Effusing orange aromas
Like the memories of walking down to Hancock Lake
Smelling the dirt beneath our feet
Sharing sacred family histories

That voice again
Now lucid
Now as luminous as this morning’s monster moon
Echoes out of a makeshift wooden box
So long underneath the earth without a marker
Carry on,
Son,
Carry on

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017
Happy Birthday Dad

Lost in Paris: A Flaneur’s Tale

Now his soul floats along the Rue des Vie
Laterigrade
Like a crustaceous little crab
Who’s lost his way
Down the Champs-Élysées
Without an Arc de Triomphe
In his future
Or a new love to behold

For her memory towers over him like the Eiffel
Inflated beyond measure
To unapproachable heights
Making les Jardin du Luxembourg feel like a willowwacks
Staring at blank faces as if they were empty letters without words postmarked from some sort of
Neverland

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017, Paris FR

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Nameless

‪Her igneous eyes pierced his soul with a gaping ‬
‪Longing for the fire once felt between her legs‬
For they were once long ago rapt
In the heat of each others company
Such that everything their senses touched together
Caught flame
and turned to
Ashes of memory

Now his soul floats along the Rue des Vie
Laterigrade
Like a crustaceous little crab
Who’s lost his way
Down the Champs-Élysées
Without an Arc de Triomphe
In his future
Or a new love to behold

For her memory towers over him like the Eiffel
Inflated beyond measure
To unapproachable heights
Making les Jardin du Luxembourg feel like a willowwacks
Staring at blank faces as if they were empty letters without words postmarked from some sort of
Neverland

His words and thoughts now jumbled
Once an artist of the spoken word
His creations reduced to the crambos
Of illiteracy
Her memory a myrmidon
His soul bent to its knees
In crushing obedience to the
Power it struck
A gong in the moonless night

Until (and when) (and then)

He posted a declaration of his love
Like some sort of bohemian flackery
On the Pont des Arts
The predawn snow and ice of the wooden bridge crepitating under his feet
As he raised the hammer
To beat the nail
Into the tiny parchment
And closed the coffin on her memory.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017, Paris, FR

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Parisian Virginity

A morning march down
Rue de Rivoli
Marching to
Drumbeat rhythms of pigeon wings
Arrondissement No. 1

A Morning reveille of
Trumpets announcing
Wintery foggy browns of
Le jardin des Tuileries

O’ Paris

Sun peaking through
Creme brûlée clouds
Surrounding all at once

Watching her steps on slippery wood
Cross stitch patched with pieces of ice
Pathway uncertain
Across the Seine

Velvet sunset
Backdrops brushed by solemn gods
Gothic buttresses painted with
Soft strokes of light

Resting by the Seine
In a cafe of typical fashion
Rapt in the energy of the City

Until

Pain, fear, despair, motionless grief
Begin making their bold
Escape
Like the smoke from train stacks
In paintings at the Louvre

And then,

For the first time,

Finally

Tasting Paris
Smelling Paris
Hearing Paris
Feeling Paris
Seeing Paris

O’ Paris
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Parisian virginity
Washed into the bloody
Brown waters of
The Seine

Baptismal blessings of
A Great Awakening
Lighting candles and crossing
Herself in the holy sanctuary of
Le Basilique de
Sacre Coure de Montmartre

Scents of papal incense infusing smoky
Hellish memories
As the gargoyles fall off her soul
like fish scales
One by one by one

Birth of New Year morning
Whispering prayers to
Mary, Mother of God
No more mourning over loss

Her lungs pinched
Her breath drenched
Her Lusts quenched
The Noose now tightly cinched

(Around a former life)

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, December 31, 2016, Paris, France

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