Testosterone and Poetry

1.) The first rule of poetry club is you spend a shit-ton of time talking about poetry club.

2.) Original work only.

3.) Poems can be published already, as long as it’s your content, no sharing other authors to clutter this up.

4.) Song lyrics and rapping count as poetry.

5.) Anything between microfiction and epics qualifies.

6.) No prose. Beat poetry is welcome.

7.) Give out writing prompts for other writers.

8.) Revisions and reinterpretations are encouraged.

9.) Only one poem per post.

10.) If this is your first comment on this thread, you have to post your work.

@jshaving @bauber @anna_5588



A midnight walk together for a long, long time, without any companion except the stars and our burning thoughts and words

Black thorns, white shattered shells, our scarlet yearning

Cirse laughs and beckoning her fingers to a fallen forest by the sea

Picking poisoned stars from the dark waters

The infatuation the drowned bark and sharp sands see, find the moonlit shadows and the broken sea glass

A human sunrise, lightning and burnt purple glass

Bare feet through night flowers, so dance in what used to be, fall in the water, and show yourself to me.


Right-hand full of burning leaves; fire from your veins

Joy and rage thrown and grasped in the same fistful of earth

A planet in your garden, the future in your fingerprints

Deep and deeper - a silent echo, a dark eruption. Then your smile ignites the sun and the flowers that rise to meet it.

The Storm in the Morning

Sharp cold, metal and hands and wind

Violent roses and climbing ivy that twinned

Star-blind and stone-blind,

Fire lined and flatlined,

Our arrows and dreams will be a storm on the earth.

Remember, the softest laugh is stronger.

I’m sure I might have posted these before, just wanted to get the ball rolling.

finished 8/29/23:

The Surface

The morgue holds my remains
Of a former me that wouldn’t stay the same
Six feet under the earth and the rain, locked in a coffin with my tears and my pain
A shell of myself who died and who I’ll keep in the grave
I eulogize my corpse as the tears flowed from my mourners’ eyes
As I spoke at my funeral and gave the promise of life.
Different from the start from everyone else and all of humanity
Not the same as them in my brain and my feelings
And I’m learning that’s a good thing
If I let that help me to be me
If I can only communicate well the contents of those two things–
Which hasn’t always been easy…
It’s hard when you see normality in the ways you think
And then the rude awakening when others don’t see it like you see
And yet one of those others is also me:
Since I’m different from everyone else, including a former personality
That existed previously:
Not who I was, no longer the same
I’m happy to be me, no matter what they say
What they see and what others assume they know or think
I know that I’m not a mistake.
And to the masses of humanity–
I wish you could see what I see:
Difference beneath the surface
Because I look back and see a difference in person and purpose
Weird in my own way, different but…
As I give the eulogy for another, older me
I can now see that the current me is

The present:
Standing on the rocks, waiting for the ocean waves and the salty spray
These are the innocent days
I know I’m the last of the runaways
Dreaming and living in silence
And thriving just below the surface
Past and present shows a real difference
As the seasons change throughout the circumstance
So much changes and yet so much still remains the same
The ghost of the present is always here through summer, wind, and rain
It’s a constant reminder of the importance of always thriving and growing
In the

The surface comprised of sunshines and shadows
The light of the ray-filled valleys
Contrasted by the dark caves, absent of color and rainbows
Sometimes I default to old ways
And I sink down again to dark places
When I embrace again the pain inside me
That no one sees, that puts chains on my ability to be free
When the pain I hide behind is all I know–
That’s when I sink below
To the darkness and the depths
To the bottomless mess of a dark mental abyss
When you see the quiet expression beneath
Only a few see and know that subtly betrays me
If you hear me defend too much or become too hard on me
Or when I revert back to those other old tendencies
Or when the pain I hide behind is all I know
Then you know that’s when I’m sinking

The surface
“What you see us all there is”–
“What is, is”–and yet:
That’s not always the truth…
Diseased or different
Dishonored or distant and yet
Just below the surface: an emotion ocean, an abyss
That reveals the dissonance and yet the heart of conscience
And gives way to the depths’ existence.
Prince or pariah, a product of past pain
Ghosts that haunt since the beginning and then through the years
Yet pride redeemed to purpose, I was born in the rain
Tears give way to overcoming obstacles and my own inner fears
Sleep to dream, dream to grow:
The debt that all men owe
But not a debt that all men pay
Some have not the humility to lend credibility to the empty words they say
Some talk cheaply and forever stay the same
Eventually revealing their efforts to be fake
But that’s not my value or my way:
The debt that I owe and pay
Keeps me from sleep at night as I stay awake
I only have nightmares with my eyes wide open
The cursed blessing of self awareness and the will to move ahead no matter what it may take
Gives way to faithful progress and blessed assurance of His hand each time I wake
As I live inside my mind, hiding in plain sight just below the surface
All these things conspire with my permission to keep me from sleep
Who are you below the surface?
Who am I beneath the surface?
You can’t see beneath the surface
Unless I let you see past the reflections
“Still waters run deep” and hear the truth in what that means:
Never assume that only the ripples showcase the real me
Like a drop of water underneath a water strider
Surface tension hides far greater mysteries
The depth isn’t so easily seen: and yet it exists
At levels some haven’t seen yet
Faith is the evidence of things not yet seen
That can be found in the depths of me
Beneath the surface lies hope and the evidence of a pruned tree
My faith inside me is the bird that sings even before it is free
It’s the shadow that lights up the night while the cave is still dark
It’s the thoughts that can name the feelings before I feel them fully in my heart
Distinctly whole and free–
Content with myself and knowing I can be me
Different now as I thrive outside the public eye
Knowing myself and who I am and seeing my reality
Becoming and being a better me:
Different and
The surface

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Crawling in the essence of your life
Agony that won’t let go
Suffering slowly, no burial
A faceless enemy of pain

Please let me go
Blue and cold
Black skies are burning
Love pulls me further down

I can’t turn around

There is nothing left
Somewhere far beyond this world
It feels nothing anymore
I can’t stay long in this trembling melody

Void-less dead eyes stealing life
Dancing with prayer
Dreams of pregnant agony coalesce
Birthed nightmares never rest

Music in her eyes, a silver screen
I will never mend
Ignorance is kind, a movie
Knows of tears, reality
Knows of a screaming, bleeding soul

Draws rasping ragged breaths

Uncle Willabee’s Rose Garden

I look over at the small
Woman, who resembles my mother.
She offers me a dark red
Flower, I grasp the smooth stem,
Bringing the dying plant closer.
The smell of a rose
Evokes the past to memory.
I am five years old,
In the rose garden
Tended by Uncle Willabee.
I watch him bury rose bulbs,
Shaped like my mother’s face.
He waters the newly planted life
With tears – claiming that is how
It is always done.
He places a bulb in my small hands
Guiding me towards a plot
Picked and dug by a patient man.
My body quivers as the seedling is planted.
I look to him for guidance – he smiles.
My tears refuse to come.
I am too young to comprehend.
He says in time I will understand.
Uncle Willabee gets upon his
Knees, and cries for me. He says it must be done.
Especially for the first planting by kin.
The world moves on around me.
Few taking time to notice,
The grown man standing with a single wilted rose,
Stretched above his drooping head.
Sobbing without remorse and never shame.
I finally understand every rose
And the tears that nourish them.

Uncle Willabee’s Rose Garden (Revision - different take)

I watch Uncle Willabee plant rose bulbs,
Shaped like my mother’s face.
Bulbs too young to endure,
And too pretty to forget.

I am five years old,
He places a bulb in my small hands,
Guiding me towards a plot
Picked and dug by a patient man.
My body quivers as the seedling is planted.
I look to him for guidance - he smiles.

My tears refuse to come.
I am too young to comprehend,
He says in time I will understand.

Uncle Willabee kneels
And cries for me. He says it must be done.
Especially for the first planting by kin.

The world moves on around me,
The grown man standing.

Chuckie Cheese (Revision: New poem replacing Perpetual Philosophical Matinee)

As an adult I remember the
Colors, sounds, tastes and smells,
All seem to be ringing bells
Attire, red shirt and blue
Jean shorts, grimy tennis shoes splattered
With the pib, much too old to be wearing a bib
Eyes dart left and right
Perfect timing for a sacrifice.

Standing on the bottom of a table
With one token left in my pocket.
Dance, dance its the last game
Spike your pizza, give yourself a name
Look out, here it comes, a big fur-ball
Covered in scum, strange hat and ears
To boot, all covered in children’s soot
Too late, bluffs have been called.

Grey paws, like London sky, grab
For small ones, scream and head to knee
Adults notice but don’t seen to see
Closer yet to that vile face, squirming
In suspended space, rendering is soft
Trepidation eases with sudden loft, a friend
Have I found? I will Come back some day
And look around.

If I Could Again, I would. (Revision of Contribution of Resemblance)

I look at the small child.
She is in a fight of circling,
And she displays a special beauty.
Her face smiles despite impossible
Ideals, sad and cruel fates surround.

A doctor enters and checks her charts.
He adds her to the statistics,
And calls the morgue.
Clipping his pen to a faded
Jacket of undiscernable color,
Like a sheet in the dim light
Of a mortuary with death menues
In the form of tags tied to ankles.

As the doctor leaves another
To die alone in an unknown bed,
I quickly take the fading child
Into my arms, wishing to pluck
The cancer from her emaciated body.
Pale, thin, and unwanted,
She lays in a bed that
Will be her casket.

She clings to me.
Wanton for affection even from
A stranger, the young girl groans
And her eyes glaze over in pain.
No one answers her desperate
Pleas for life as she smiles
Through obvious pain.

“Thank you”, she whispers
Before dying in the arms
Of a stranger and becoming
A beautiful girl of four years old.

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Her Essence (Revision)

She was so sweet, so young,
That evening I awoke
Inhaling the scent of innocence,
A smell of roasting beans.
A lump on her cheek
Puts the rhythm in
My hands, a life within
The grasp of a monster.

I laugh at her misfortune
And cries for help as
Her guards falter into
Half-sized stumps of
Humanity, almost alive
She is beaten and bloody.

I run to the window to see
The red lights, struggling
To make it through the
New thick cotton curtains.

Morning never came for her,
I almost reached feminine touch.
Now, I enjoy the ride and
The smell of coffee.

Paper Memories (Revision)

I take a note from the
Long dead refrigerator.
As I read, the paper
Crackles in my grasp.
Auburn light comes
Through the window
To rest upon the paper,
Describing why she
Left in such a hurry.
The kitchen is cold,
The paper brittle,
Like the woman,
That left it behind.
Brittle paper digs
Into my palm,
As I rip the
Pressed pulp to
Tiny pieces
That scatter the

Smoldering Society (Revision)

I blink once and then twice
To know the extent of the fog,
That blocks the view of
The road stretching out before me.
Politicians say “Happiness is there
Travel a bit farther down the
Twisting road of tomarrow’s today.”

In the tallness that guides my hands,
I have come this far just
To receive a few handshakes
And fake smiles.
Washington is trying to escape
The rabbit hole to avoid
Being bagged and sent to join
The jews of a lost generation
In concentration camp.

There, among trash and angry
Peoples, The descended legislators
Will be unable to pick sides
As stones are cast, They will hop
And the victim shall be their fate.

Politics no longer offer
Affirmative action served
In a happy meal filled
With smiling death.

Last night I dreamt I sailed to Cayo Hueso

Following a bleached white spine, the remnants of a different man’s dream.

South! To the cheerfully crowded cemeteries and breezily empty churches

To dissolve in the ocean, we descendants of petrified warriors, whose pink bones

Form the sand our fingers worm through down, down into the ball-sockets of coral corpses who

Atlas-like, shoulder the rainbowed-black shells we trample, painted with battleship-grey mud

As we eat sea urchins, chase parrots and hunt bonefish,

Modern day primitives, flush with the joyous abandon of sun-drenched drunks

Watched over by the ghosts of our saints, the bullfighter and the playwright.

Women wear golden fishhooks in their ears “In case we are ever lost at sea,”

they explain, while the men drink rum and gunpowder

“Because,” they laugh, “We are stranded on land!”

When the eventide rolls in, all the children of Flagler’s Folly

Crowd together on a pier made of new salt and young coconuts to fare-thee-well the sun

As the end of the world shone its luminescence and we all came alive on the Island of Bones.

Who Could Know

I pull the sheet down from my mother
As the sun fades behind the white mounds.
The day begins like any other.

Tired and wrinkled face of her lover
Beneath the anguished lasting sounds.
I pull the sheet down from my mother.

She swore her affection, nothing rougher
Something shiny, shimmers beside her mounds.
The day begins like any other.

No one knows, not even my father
For his naivety abounds.
I pull the sheet down from my mother.

The family has grown, opposite of tougher
Due to the steps outside marital bounds.
The day begins like any other.

I confide in no one, no other
As my tear falls and drowns.
I pull the sheet down from my mother.
The day begins like any other.

Graceland’s Fake Emporers

I feel his talented present, alive
Among the empty hallways.
The voiceless musicians wander
As ghosts in the pictures
Beginning to show sings of wear.

I pick a number and wade into
The crowd containing mostly outsiders,
Past the hallstand and swinging
Hat-brush coming to a great expanse
A bohemoth, domino-colored couch.
No longer are visitors allowed to see
The great white porcelain beauty, a toilet
Where the health of a great icon was
Lost. Refusing to wear the headphones
That deafen the first time visitors to the
Sensory experience of a great musician’s
House, I construct the early days of Elvis.

She brushes that jet black hair,
Makes it shine, her beauty never
Fades even with time. Things seem
A bit out of place. Now, silver tea sets
And flowered vases lay scattered on the
marble floors collecting dust from every
Corner of the world. He prays to the
Soft curves of her neck, filling the mansion
With sparkling discs, far too many for one room.

The crowd disperses, but not
Before toasting to a dwindling drink,
The magic that is Graceland.
The crowd is beautifully boring as their
Camera flashes collide off pictures, playing
Notes from decaying speakers past their prime.
Traveling slobs, the crowd wears their crowns,
Heads up, backs weary from lugging
Merchandise. From around the world
Fake emperors come and linger.

My godmother at the window

The first day I met her
Coincides with my first gulp of apple cider.
She owned a large farm with a miniscule portion
Devoted to growing her favorite fruit.
I would watch her feed apples
Into her hand press, anticipating
The flow of fresh juice yet to be made
Into a throat-soothing liquid.

Eventually she became senile, unaware
Of where she was. Her orchards withered, died.
Her farm in shambles, she refused help.
Her land, owned for decades, was sold
Against her will she was put into a nursing home
And forgotten by most. She still had the mind to cry
Hearing what had become of her orchard. Her house
And farm were burned along with the remaining apple trees.
She sits at the window of her small room, refusing
To eat or speak unless her trees are replanted.

I only catch a glimpse as I drive by
Wondering if I ever saw her at all.
I know she is waiting for the passing
Of a smiling idiot, one too slow to capture reality.
An old woman, a bundle of memories fading
With the repeated rhythmic sound of tires
With tread wearing thin, crunching gravel.

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Okay last one for tonight. I have hundreds.

A cold day at a nameless lake

The sun sinks low,
Behind the tree-line
Beyond the far side of a frozen lake.
Snow gathers on the thick ice
Trying to erase the lake’s existence.

I do not know any names
Assigned to this frozen
Body of water or what types
Of fish swim beneath the surface.

I place my right hand
On the head of my retriever.
His golden tail wags, creating
Disfigured snow angel wings.
I feel the cold pricks of snowflakes
As my hands runs over his damp fur.

The snow beings to fall, harder
Blurring the trees into
A gray mass, extinguishing
Sun’s bright brilliance, in favor
of a cold darkening evening.

The wind tugs at my jacket,
Whistling through pines, stinging
My face and hands with swirling
Flakes. I tighten my jacket, pulling
The strings to tighten my hood.
The storm begins with darkness.
I have no way to stop it.

My dog whines, nudging at
My hand, now in my pocket.
I look at his large brown eyes, realizing
It is time to go home.

I will come back to name this lake
Under more favorable circumstances.


This is something I rewrote, which I think this thread should encourage.

The subtleness in every perfect detail: the curves and hair and voice and glance.

Delicate yet so strong.

If God made man in his image, he made woman from all of his mistakes.

Perfection does exist. But it will never be recreated.

Perfection is in perception.

In seeing and appreciating the beauty of all that is right in front of you.

A strand of hair fallen casually over an exposed shoulder. The way she dances through the world as opposed to marching directly. Graceful under all circumstance.

An arch is one of the strongest structures. And it’s curves some of the most beautiful. It’s not a mistake she was created this way.

I always thought “if looks could kill” meant looking good. Tonight I learned it’s the eye contact. Literally looking. The moment a hunter knows when to release the arrow. The kill shot. That perfect glance. It can cripple and kill a man in an instance. Everything he thought and knew and believed about himself, gone in a single moment.

Left scared and wondering what’s next. Clinging to life and hope and just trying to breathe. The excitement and unknown has made men out of boys and pushed us beyond our greatest expectations.

We owe everything to want.

I don’t know you,

But I want you.

I’ll create a world for you.

Ill be God for you.

My version.

Your half-broken white wing and joyful black wing spread from your rotating bones like a seraphim guiding your steps

You were created to be beautiful and lost, Lillith

To be threatening, inviting, smouldering, dangerous, soft, enchanting

God made man in his image, and ripped our bones out to fix his mistakes

To make you

I see you when you are trying to be invisible, casual and effortless

I see you in your comfortable shadow that is in your public space, where a smile is held in the left hand and a weapon in your right. Lipstick is your sword, teeth are your shield. Your curves are the flying buttresses of your cathedral.

Your joy, your scorn, your despair, your feircerocity, makes me want, and want and want.

We owe everything to want.

To be soft and un-rip with you.

You’ve created a world for me, beautiful and full of vibrant blues and verdant darkness,

I’ll be God for you

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Wrote this today.

My teeth hurt, being sharp and wanting
My muscle chains hurt, being tense and unused
My bloody footsteps hurts the people around me when it is found on the floor
I’m not Jesus with my crown of barbed wire

Time is either a sledgehammer, or a rough-barked tree you’re bound naked to and the insects drain you

They felt your everything was that unimportant
Have you ever felt your heart?

That black paw with gold claws that reaches up and can squeeze you breathless, or offer you up to someone else on a platter with old blood and new bones.

The sideways thump in your teeth is a warning.
The longing in your tension is a promise
You can be wounded and throw it back


Hold it

Take your teeth and chains and sledgehammer and gold claws,

Take them far, far from longing,

Use them.

It was about an argument today, but my wife said it had werewolf vibes. Might be a good title.

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From Millhouse, to Maxwell House, to ‘full house’! I have patiently gathered
Planting seeds of my strength that have helped me me less madder
From the depths of hell I have climbed and, at times I’ve had to improvise a ladder
For the toils of today is a whisper of what tomorrow may reap and that makes me gladder!


Rewrite of the original

A Lake on a Nameless Day

What would the sky be without our sun?
Trees made of icicles and dirt
Wild horns and black eyes lurk
The soft, the gentle, the kind snow
Trying to erase the lake’s existence.

I should not discover this
Assigned to this frozen paradise
It’s not a body of water any more
Could I hack through the ice and find the creatures whose scales reflect me?

The hand acts before and after thought
After the ice and frozen fingertips

To caress

My golden guardian

Teaches me what snow angel wings actually look like
Like trying to touch sunlight behind a cloud

When the sky crashes into the Earth
SIlent notes we played fall everywhere
Overwriting a different song with fierery choruses

I don’t need to be part of the apocalypse.

This is my lake. Unnamed, it and I.

Sometimes nature tries to undress you. Sometimes it succeeds.
A wild tone through the trees that makes you look at the sky
My hands and face need to be navy blue. Don’t ask.
I’m the monster and the creator.

I suture my feet by tying my boots.

I cauterize my ribs and thighs with zippers from jackets and jeans and jewelry I don’t need.
The strings around my neck keep me warm, but these sutures I can’t decipher are in a darker language then I can speak.
The storm begins with darkness.
I have no way to stop it.

It feels so, so, so, wonderful to build yourself.

The spirit of joy shines through in the best places
I can use my hands
The eyes are an invitation, not a threat like mine
Come back to me - there is a wonderful place.

I dove deep into this lake.
I’m not sure I found anything beneath the surface.

I’ll name it when I’m ready.