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the defense rests

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

The Defense Rests

Exhibit 1 – Bell Jar

I am alone, and I am waiting, the world around me turning,
And I’ve sealed my heart inside me in an apothecary jar.
There is peace inside this stillness, in the endless day’s unwindings,
For even though I know you’re out there I still don’t know who you are.

Exhibit 2 – Wind Chime

The chimes are ringing and you stand there. Your hands are brushing snow off.
The glass inside me is exploding with apocalyptic force.
And you’re smiling and you’re speaking while my knees beneath me shaking
For in the face of my denial I now know it’s you, of course.

Exhibit 3 – Soap

There is fear in this, and loathing, despite the torrid hope that’s building,
And with soap I want to wash this clean and make it whole and pure.
But your eyes have now misread me. You misunderstood the trembling
And we crossed the line unheeding that, for this, there is no cure.

Exhibit 4 – Willow Tree

I am alone, and I am trying to make sense of all this crying,
And to live with your denial while I sit beneath our tree.
For your face keeps reappearing, and the world around me bending,
For as much as I keep leaving something leads you back to me.

Exhibit 5 – Stones

We have talked all night. It’s morning, and I watch you while you’re sleeping,
While the pain of our forgiveness collects inside me like a cairn.
For although we spoke of loving, of compassion and of learning,
Something deep inside us both knows that these empty fields are barren.

Exhibit 6 – Ring

With this ring I to you promise that this hope is not for nothing,
That one day we’ll rise above this and our hearts and souls fly free.
But although we are together, I just cannot see forever
In your eyes, and this is binding me to something that can’t be.

Exhibit 7 – Box

I am alone, and I am empty. The box beside me now is waiting
For the things that once meant us to us, the objects we adored.
We made promises, and broke them, and both love and hate were spoken.
My defense, sir, is this token. I cannot love you anymore.

l.t. dougherty 1999

untitled

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

I could bring down the sun
to burn by your bed
I could hollow a hole in the sea
I could build you a castle
of ribbons and shells
but I cannot make you love me.

I could carry your children
I could carry your debts
I could carry your grief and your pain
I could carry the wind
in a brown paper bag
but I cannot carry my shame.

I could tear down these buildings
and carve out a pond
I could fill in the space with my tears
I could weave you a garden
with the length of my hair
but I can’t live without you there.

I could fill you with stories
to make Schezerade weep
I could sing them all down on my knees
I could tie all the stars
in a knot for your wrist
but I cannot make you love me.

l.t. dougherty 1998

epitaph

this work is from the collection of poems called “living in epiphany” ©2000. to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

Epitaph

I place flowers on the grave of you
most every single day
even though I know you live
but half a mile away.

l.t. dougherty 1998

the spaceman’s last question

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

The Spaceman’s Last Question

Do we dream in the icy stasis-state?
Do we dream when the heart beats hours apart?
When we close our eyes in cryonic sleep
do the images still float and flow?

Do we dream as the years go floating by,
do the landscapes unfold to the mind’s frozen eye?
Do we picture our loved ones, our hated ones, those
who indifferently wander around in our sky?

Is it like sleeping or is it like death,
or is it the shadowland hung in between?
As we float between stars in our small metal barge,
do we dream, and when woken remember those dreams?

l.t. dougherty 1997

 

a simple explanation

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

A Simple Explanation

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

a little angst for breakfast
and a coat around my soul
i wrote you poems in the bathtub
and i carved a little hell
in the back of the big mirror
that i hung beneath your sigh
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
this lie

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

you called yourself an angel
and i met you in the sky
i held you up against the sun
and melted you in rhyme
is poetry the end of reason?
let’s be practical, we said
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
what we read

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

now i hate you, no i love you
you’re a band-aid on my heart
you’re a coda, you’re a symbol
you’re a shaped and subtle art
of the retelling of my secrets
into something huge and fake
but it was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
sometimes it could be anything
a mistake

it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…

doff my hat and seal the box
buy another deadbolt lock
wrap it up in masking tape
call it just a willing rape
tell the world it wasn’t you
deny, destroy, rebuild anew
fuck you all and jesus too

but…

It was never more than nothing
it was never more than something
it was a simple explanation
that i never could explain…
It was never more than nothing
but sometimes it felt like everything
like the world upon my shoulders
like an ancient chinese secret
like a rocket, like a hammer
like an angel in the rain.

l.t. dougherty 1996

old lover

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

Old Lover

his face
crossed the room
like a curse.

my cigarette bound me
to this small section of
space
and i tried to remember
frantic
how to leave inconspicuously
and failed.

wearing my best face,
i could only wait for his greeting
hoping i did not appear
dressed in bedsheets
and welcoming.

l.t. dougherty 1996

bad karma

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

Bad Karma

how do i hate thee?
let me count the ways…
i hate you like oil hates water
like acid hates bleach
like a really really really bad virus.

i hate you from the
deepest
blackest
festering
pits
of my soul,
from the places where i grow
gangrene
pus
warts
and hangnails.

i hate you
with every atomic fiber
of my body;
my teeth
my hair
my bones
wish for your destruction
with every breath
that fills my lungs
i ache for your undoing.

my children would hate you
were they more than unconcieved ideas;
my ancestors curse your living flesh
with their dusty jealous lips;
i have trained my cat
to pee on the clothes
you left on the bathroom floor,
and i re-routed your mail to tasmania
yesterday.

i hate you so much
if you stood on my doorstep
and cried
for your wrongs
and begged for me
to take you back,
i would.

l.t. dougherty  1996

this mourning

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

 

This Mourning

This mourning
wears me
like a blanket,
stretched i am
around my grief;
this mourning
wears your name
like twilight
wears the day gone by.

This mourning
is a box that closes
a puzzle-box
of endless latches,
this mourning
gives me small surprises
wrapped in chains of tiny lies.

This mourning
is the sun not shining,
your eyes not shining like the sun;
this mourning
is the lying down of two
who wake as one.

l.t. dougherty  1997

angels song

this is from the collection of poems called “blood sex water wind” copyright 1998.
to purchase a copy of the book, contact me by email.

Angels Song

In the ivy cloaked quiet
the grey will close around me
and you may never find me again
here
I will curl against the leaden hart
and rest beneath his belly
sleep upon his shoulders.

No, the wind did not speak
of your coming
Stone voices silence,
blindness is no stranger.
I would lie amid the freesia with you
but fear your rennaissance noise.

Still,
we shall speak no more of this;
I will bury my heart
beneath the rosebushes
and cry in the pool
beneath the trees.
Turn left,
because the hart turns left,
and I will sleep beneath the lichen
my face against the clouds.

You may search
at the hospital for wounded angels
where I’ll be trying on
new wings.

l.t. dougherty  1990

the secret heart

All writing on this page is copyrighted by the author, and may not be used in part or whole without permission of the author.

This work is from the collection of short stories called “The Secret Heart”, ©1995, published by HMS Press.

THE SECRET HEART

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wasn’t born a boy. She did not know why She wasn’t born a boy, because this seemed like what everyone wanted Her to be. So She tried to be a boy, but She was a girl. So She tried to be a girl, but she didn’t know what a girl was. So She grew up and became an artist.

She decided to be an artist because nobody listened to Her when She spoke the truth. But She found that when She took the truth and built around it so it looked like a lie, people looked at it alot, and paid her money for it. She got so good at this that it became much easier for Her to talk in pictures, so She forgot how to do this in words.

She had a Special Friend when She was small, one who would do anything for Her, and gave Her everything She needed. She loved him more than anything, and gave him Her Secret Heart, the one that all the lies were built around, because he could see through them to the real Heart. Then one day he bit someone, and was killed by someone She trusted. She tried to discover what She had done wrong.

She lived in a beautiful house by a river. One day there was a big storm and it swept Her away to a place She could not recognize. She found Her way back to Her house, but it was so wrecked by lightning it wasn’t recognizable either. So She went to look for Her home. She never found it.

She went back to the unrecognizable place, and worked on building Her lies so more people would buy them. She made alot of Her lies transparent so that She hoped someone would see through them. She knew that once someone saw the Secret Heart, they were Her Special Friend come back to Her. But no one saw it.

Then one day She met a girl. At first, when She met her, the girl didn’t look like anyone She’d want to know. But they started to get along, and they became friends. But She was still looking for Her Special Friend, and when the girl told Her that she loved Her, and the she was Her best friend, She thought the girl had seen her Secret Heart, and that this was Her friend. Her Special Friend. Then the girl left for awhile.

She was upset, and went and found new friends. But She always thought the girl was Her Special Friend, so She never forgot her. Then She met another one who She thought was her Special Friend, and She was confused. Then one day this friend was taken from her and killed. She tried to figure out what She had done wrong. And Her lies became a little less transparent, as She decided She didn’t want anyone to see Her Secret Heart but Her Special friend. Because it had started to hurt.

She went to the Big City where the girl lived, and they became friends again. The girl gave Her lots of pretty things to wear, and She wore them, because She thought that if She did, Her friend would love Her and it would make Her more like Her friend. She was also very poor, and Her friend was rich. She thought Her friend was amazing, because she was always discovering new things. She thought the girl could find her Secret Heart. So She made Her lies transparent again. Then She met a boy.

This boy thought he loved Her, and She fell in love with him, even though he couldn’t see Her Secret Heart. They loved each other so much, She wanted to share this with the girl. The girl thought this was wonderful, but was jealous, because She was wearing his clothes instead of hers. Now the girl had discovered a crystal ball, and she showed it to Her. She discovered that She could make this crystal ball work, so She started to play with it. This also made the girl jealous, as She was better at making the ball work than the girl was. So one day the girl used the crystal ball to cast a spell over the boy to make him love her, and he ran away from Her thinking he loved Her friend. She was heartbroken, but decided the She loved them both so much She would forgive them if they came back. And they did, and everything was fine.

She married the boy, and they moved away, but She was still in love with Her friend, and missed her very much. So when the girl met different boy, She was angry. Her friend had always told Her that if She was a boy, the girl would have married Her. But the girl was lying.

So one day, She went to the girl and She gave her Her Secret Heart. But the girl was not Her Special Friend, and could not see the Secret Heart, and she gave it back. The girl was laughing, but she pitied Her, because she had a boy who loved her now, so the girl didn’t need Her anymore. She learned She was replaceable. But She had never figured out how to replace friends that way. So She cut out Her Secret Heart and She buried it under a tree in a black forest.
The tree grew leaves, and had a nest in the top branches where a bird came and laid three eggs. But the eggs would never hatch because they were made of stone. She would never know this, because only Her Special Friend could show Her how to make stone grow, and She still hasn’t found him yet.

THE END

 

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