reading poetry at shantytown pub 5​/​17​/​16

by charlie shuck

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released May 31, 2016



all rights reserved


charlie shuck Jacksonville, Florida

a poet and songwriter from jacksonville, florida.

listen with your eyes
shut or looking at the stars.


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Track Name: Conversations
My roses think it’s spring,
the few that I have left.
The sun has fooled them, as I
was fooled by myself. Bereft,
Oh, I wish I could sing
soft, with the lonesome bird’s sigh.

Soiling approaches
at conclusions of bonds,
with petrifying glances,
your eyes, two sorrowful wands.
As morning encroaches,
I'm glad I took my chances.

Sour, not, shall grow the fruit,
this coming spring, of our
friendship, nor does this mean good
Bye. Trimmed, as by a tailor
with his scissors --acute--
Gently, roses understood.
Track Name: (I Had a Holy Thought) it Vanished with the Day
My sense of wonder dissolves
as reality falls into place,
slaps me in the face,
laughs at my sleeping instinct
and skips merrily about my bed,
juggling circumstance and outcomes.

Chance. Fatigue. Broadened
highways slither through Spanish moss
covered trees, in swamps of
my unconscious, wavering pen, producing
all but my own self-esteem,
which was tossed to the thing,
was devoured and left as waste
on the soggy earth.

I shall take refuge in my room,
sanctum of inherited quietness.
Forbidden truths eclipse the Moon,
and tenderize my heart.
My flesh is a lousy friend.
Track Name: Transitions
moment's fleeting.
two more, please?
or however many you can spare.
your faces flash before me.
both of them, love.

why do you hide?
is your past too harsh to bare?
who are you, stranger?
i know your name.

-i like the misfit on your chest.
--i made it myself.
---do you have another cigarette?
-only when i'm at my best.

the overlapping images
do not match.
both show kindness.
one shows hope.
one is weary of me.
Track Name: Circulation
bordering on love and
loneliness, my heart,
a cluster of unmotivated
connections and
clogged arteries, yearns.

no comfort.
no assurance.
"one more beer should do it."

loneliness begets loneliness,
and my gut is twisting, and
confused. empty. hollow.

hallowed be my love?
and squandered,
and wasted.
completely in vain?
i cried today, but not
for you.

man the borders!
Track Name: Projections
All alone out here, I exist. My homeland seems a misty corner in my mind — and far away and long ago it rambled off and faded out (somewhere toward the sunset, I think).
Of course most, when they hear, think it just smoke and mirrors, but I swear it happened as I stand before you today!
Miles and miles up, upon a little bramble of extra polymorphic potential, we sat with hands clasped, listening… my god, what we heard!.. was it music of some ancient, rhythmic past, or some poetry of the wind, hailing the majesty of the mountains?..

To this day I can not say, and as my memory grows dim, I can’t help but think we heard nothing. Perhaps the rumblings of my own mind, calling out to me over distances unimaginable, and from a time out of sync. Or, perhaps, it was my stomach.
The air exploded into a mighty thrust, knocking me over, and we laughed — Luis, Mary and I. We stuck out our thumbs to the world, for its wonders. We were alive! How could it be? We were alive, and together. Somehow, in this wide world, we had found each other — people we could care about and love, and who gave as much back.
The alien music in my ears, ancient beyond measure, (and only comprehensible in the state of mind in which I, and I assume Mary and Luis as well, now found ourselves inhabiting at that moment) grew dimmer, but was always present. The sun rose over the mountains, cascading yellows and oranges and...

… Luis jumped up with a cry like a wild beast, and roared around the cliff, disturbing the green moss which covered the rock. He got on all fours, and Mary and I guffawed at the silly act he put on. Mary sat up and looked at Luis, and I saw the sunbeams pierce her hair and caress the contours of her silhouette, and she smiled at me, though I could only tell by the way her cheeks puffed out.
She got to her feet and a flood of light assaulted my pupils, and all went white. I tried to maneuver, and when I found my sight, Mary was laughing and holding my hands. She kissed me sweetly on the mouth, and brushed the hair from my face with her right hand, and brought me over to Luis with her left.
We stood, all three souls, and held hands and took in the air, and closed our eyes and heard the music, and transcended the universe together.

I (as I assume they did, as well) watched the fractal images flow behind my lids. The sun shining through the skin made them even more intense, more beautiful. These projections seemed to morph and change and play with the steady pulse of my breath.
The ground fell from our feet. Our bodies were stretched and mingled and unformulated in a majestic river of energy, surging. Monumental moments were seconds of flashes of insight — a blink in the mind, shutting down our frontal lobes so we could be completely improvised.
The pattern was a wall, but not impenetrable. A web. Dark matter. Grey matter. Potential energy.

And on the other side…

… Luis smelled the smoke first. He told us to open our eyes. The forest below us was burning. The flames reached magnificent, terrifying proportions.
Our journey had to come to an abrupt end. The effects, still fighting for our attention, had to be overcome if we were to get out of this alive.
Luis sat down, cross-legged. He looked out over the fire for a moment, and then closed his eyes. Mary looked at me, and I at her, and she kissed me again on the mouth, more sweetly than ever, and she sat on the cliff's edge next to Luis.
A sudden coolness came over me. A calm. Then a mist. I stood there, and as the flames took the trees I realized we were beyond their reach. They could only lick our toes.