Stephen XT

Minor notes play the silence,
While I willfully walk a fantasy-
My eyes by strange shadows full,
Dim from the world outside, lowered
In some old cathedral’s calm
Where all dreams have been,
Where no human heart breaks.
From a heaven attending there comes
Catharsis, the cleansing waters of
Separation, my sorrow bow’d beneath some
God. Forgive me as I do feel you
While I languish in a pew’s peace, but I
Neither worship, nor do I foster
Festering faith.

© SXT 2022

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Old rotting outside walls,
And behind it all, the fields.
Too many afternoons, in
Cigarette fogs, on old carpet.
Some lost days, some mornings
Alone, I could be mistaken
For that crumbling structure, aging,
While inside memories shelter, each
Of us still sturdy and persisting,
As the clock and weather usher
Our continued march, toward the final
Pinfall, pencil, scoresheet.

© SXT 2022

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Away messages and e-mail
Were just a distraction.
We rode in old cars,
With no destination, too
Fast and sometimes, too
Slow. I reach back on
Purpose and feel the
Plush 1980s upholstery,
In a station wagon of
No particular make, wide awake with
A small fire burning between
My knuckles, and a shit-eating
Grin — everything and nothing,
Was welcome sin

© SXT 2022

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Chaos reigns,
On every field.
There is no greater plan,
No credible conclusions known-
Today the sky is blue,
Tomorrow red.
You take the week off,
To relax, unwind
And die instead.
Coat, umbrella, it’s all the
Same, here
We’re all soaking, in
Chaos rains

© SXT 2022

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Old station wagon, once tan now
Dying in the driveway,
Color lighter from bleaching sun
No driver, no motor running and two
Decades gone, no plan for use, none to
Fix, days and clocks spin by, no
Change but seasonal decays: wind
Snow, rain and hail, never
A change to the tail, just
The burn and
A return

© SXT 2022

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Long low whistle
Train far away,
Windows cracked, overcast
Thunderstorm days.
Birds chirp faster,
In the sunshine, wet
Old here, crumbling and
Reasons to fret, but
Hanging on in the change
Each day gives away, and
They aren’t dead yet.
They aren’t dead yet.

© SXT 2022

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They say it’s weird, quite strange
Each day to think on that you’ll die
And ponder if it was today, what
You would change about the hours
So you’d be remembered well,
Gone on to heaven, or to hell
Or other places, other graces,
Far from all familiar faces.
Would a stronger kindness swell,
Knowing toning was your knell?

SXT 2022

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We burned out a felled tree,
Joey, Matt and myself, and
Made an ashtray in the hollow.
It was deep in the brush, where
Leaves obscured those truant moments:
Thieves with stolen cigarettes
Lit by stolen fire and inhaled deep. And
Sometimes still, when I fall asleep
And memories flood the gap between
I smell forest and Kents, or
The rank pungent scent, of Dad’s
True-blue 100s.

© SXT 2022

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Sometimes it was nothing
Save stress on the way, a cigar
And those long rides alone.
Two, three hours one way
Each eight hour day,
Though sometimes for my lunch
I would roam, and
Steal back some time, then lie on the sheets-
It’s quite sweet, dopamine on the loan.
Still I never found peace, on highways and streets
Unless they were pointing me home.
It always felt good coming home.

© SXT 2022

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This is not the time
There was a moment
I was working, toward something
Just a few short months ago, but
No, this is not the time.
Perhaps tomorrow I will persevere,
I will build new thoughts and
My breathing in and out will
Make allowances for great light, but
For now a little further behind,
A little less bright

© SXT 2022

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Stephen XT

Stephen XT

I write stuff when something begs to me to write. The goal is to write ten-thousand things before I die. I tend to be morbid, reflective and personal.