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All Too CloseHe stared at the weightless pills in his hand, each Prozac enveloping the surface of his skin in a deathly white.
They called to him, the alluring voices seemingly to reverberate out of the glass of dirty tap water in his other, trembling hand.
This is the choice he made, the decision that he’s become.
Do it. Let it go. Let it all die.
The voices boomed, penetrating every corner of his mind.
That’s when the memories ensued, a landslide of pain.
“You’ll never change!” said the voice of his lover. “I can’t take it anymore; your emotions, your breakdowns, the holes in your apologies!”
It was daylight. The air was all too crisp, the clouds all too clear.
He stood there, motionless, submitting to his lover’s wrath.
“Just come in, please, and let’s talk about thi---“ he started in response.
“No! Absolutely not! Something has to give
Minuscule RemainsCede the nescience you hold
Favoring me through a black crystal ball
A grin as wide as an ocean crevice
Casted down by the shortest stick
Bitterly tasting its end
Linked is this heart
Loop and chain
That I wear so proudly
Ready to pass the torch
Of my fiery dedication
And my restless dreams
Edging to the surface
Anxiously in need
I hunger for a chance
A speck of regard
To cease these floodgates of doubt
From succumbing to the pressure
Of tides turned
And frustration seethed
This clawing conscience
To stay afloat
On miniscule remains
2014 Vincent Cuccolo
The Call Saunders nervously fiddled with his hands, staring down at the hardwood floor before him. Nearby, an ebony grandfather clock sounded gently, its pendulum swinging back and forth in perpetuity; the time read 11:59 PM.
“It’s alright, Mr. Saunders, you just have to give yourself some time…” said Saunders’ therapist.
Saunders, a mid-40’s man, lifted his head weakly in response.
“I don’t know if I can do this…” said Saunders, his voice shied, running his fingers through his graying hair. He shifted uncomfortably in the sofa he sat on. “The pain is too real, too close to the touch…” he added.
The doctor gazed at Saunders curiously, a notepad and pen resting on his lap. He was perhaps a decade younger, dressed in a blackish-gray suit complemented with a black tie, and was sat on an armchair.
“I understand the ordeal you must be going
The bitterness sticks like glue,
Sews on to the better halves of ourselves;
Vessels to misery,
An eerie entertainment;
Riding out dark acts until it becomes the death of us.
How we are the weavers of our own fate,
A delicate gold string,
Yet we choose to hang each another with it,
WE ARE OUR OWN EXCECUTIONERS
Adding insult to injury.
I pine to break this sentence,
To chop it into hideous remains;
Oh, the lengths I'll go for you
To get back where we so righteously belong.
I'll forsake the very ground,
Relinquish my boundless pride.
The virus of complication grows nearer
With every day we lay to waste.
This isn't a game anymore;
Love as we know it is endangered,
A species that deserves to thrive.
What say you?
Shall we dissipate disappointment?
Loosen the noose of our mistakes?
Or forever remain idle
In this roaring realm of the broken and ashamed?
2012 Vincent Cuccolo
ExhumeYour arms still clutch onto this heart
You've left your bed unmade
Inside my soul
As I feel your footprints
Move within these veins
Until you make yourself comfortable
Inside my mind
Holding the keys to my very being
Memories awaken like land mines
And I'm not sure where to step
Because I'm stripped of my armor
With every thought
And every glance the other way
These bones radiate reason
Bleed common sense
That I should be done with this
But your face is buried
Within the folds of my skin
And I'm all too eager to dig it up
Exhume the corpse of our love
As if it would make any difference
This hold that you have on me
But it's also unjust
To not have your touch at all
And though the nights
Take advantage of me
And hold open my eyes
I rest easy knowing
That once upon a time
You did love me
2014 Vincent Cuccolo
Intermission 911Your surgical steel digs in my chest
How can I sleep?
How can I rest?
When the thought of you brings
And I find myself
Drowning in your tears
Somehow I can hear him cry
Over the earthquakes of the world
A waiting cloud
Just a grey mass
His eyes shifting
In need of society’s fix
The bandage of community
Though the knot comes undone
With every head turned the other way
A world fabricated by labels
These are the hands that we hold him with
The bulletin we pierce on his heart
The tramp-stamp tattooed on his soul
What of him?
What of we?
The tires screech in the distance
The sirens blare
The lights bleed onto the pavement…
Shortness of breath
A draining pulse
His life is what you made it…
What we made it
A slamming door
A white figure graces to his side…
Put the paddles to his chest
My WaltzOne is good.
Two is evil.
Three is in-between.
One is sad.
Two is angry.
Three just wants to leave.
One is crying.
Two is yelling.
Three is out the door.
One is drowning.
Two is dying.
Three is simply torn.
One is this.
Two is that.
Three just doesn't know.
One is leaving.
Two is staying.
Three is all alone...
One is good.
Two is evil.
Broken ToyI fell with a clink,
And a crack;
Paint chipped off my body,
And you never looked back.
My gears stopped working,
The batteries died.
You never looked back.
FatherFather, forgive me my transgressions
Against thy infallible will;
To thee I offer this last confession,
So that my penitence I may fulfill.
Father, remember our sacred unity,
Bear it in your mind well,
Bless me once more with your impunity,
Or send me to the darkest hell,
Where from the fires I shall beg for immunity
And hopelessly wonder whence I fell.
Father, thy tainted memory remains,
Imbued within my fading recollections;
Your heartfelt smile which pains
And your empty vows to make inflections.
Father, the trauma you inflicted lives,
Embedded deep beneath this unbroken flesh;
To these eyes a funereal gleam it gives
And with your static image it does mesh.
Father, your words did not fall on turned ears,
But fell instead on a heart of porcelain,
And your threats still are sonorous after all these years,
Like broken records piercing naked skin;
Your name alone gives rise to a surfeit of fears,
Haunting forever the dreams of your kin;
That grand dissipation replenishes dried tears;
The Oldest FearMy mother once said, "You aren't afraid of needles, you’re afraid of pain. You aren't afraid of exploring, you’re afraid of getting lost. You aren't afraid of heights, you’re afraid of falling. You aren't afraid of flying, you’re afraid of crashing."
I conquered all my fears but one:
My fear of the dark
The oldest fear mankind has known.
One night, I told my mother about my only fear. She stopped rocking in her chair and knelt down in front of me. She smiled sweetly and replied,
“My child, you aren't afraid of the dark, you’re afraid of what’s in it.”
I looked into her bright golden eyes before she hugged me tightly.
Funny, I thought Mother’s eyes were blue.
Sonnet to a FatherSonnet to a Father
Fifty summers could not soften your face,
Nor the bitter frost of winter break it.
For deep in your eyes an eternal grace
Churns slowly, though it is lost I'll admit.
Impossible for any man to see,
You will hide it from us all forever.
Seeking the cold comfort of a banshee,
Instead of your family; however,
Because of your distance, hatred and lies,
I've grown as a person, stronger inside.
Hope and devotion shine bright from my eyes,
And from conflict I'll never have to hide.
For you were my Father only in name.
Without you to hate, I'd not be the same.
CrimesIs it all right
If I break down tonight
Is it all right
Hold your hand
Until we drift
Into the smoke of the sun
Because the day is now done
Is that all right
It’s the wrong time
The wrong time
It’s the wrong kind of words
I won’t use them on you
No I won’t use them this time
It’s the crimes I’ve committed against people like you
I can’t stay here for the fear that I will commit them against you
Is it all right if I
Pull the trigger on myself?
And I won’t have you
And I won’t let you
Make me want you anymore than I do
I’ll leave in the night
So you don’t have to cry
Is that all right?
Is it all right if I walk away from this?
It’s your choice if I live or I die
I swear I’ll try
But not this time
Because it’s the wrong time
Is it all right if I point the gun at my head?
Is it all right if I whisper my crimes to the dead?
Is it all right if I ask if it’s all right?
Just whisper and I
Bad HabitI think I was your drink of fine wine,
only used when needed from time to time
I'd get you tipsy, as stars collide
Your drunk, slurred words
blending in with mine
(I couldn't even comprehend
when you said it wouldn't happen again)
I think I was your cigarette break
when anxiety filled,
from me, you'd take
One puff here, and one puff there
(I could barely hear
when you said, "I'm sorry, dear")
I think I was your line of cocaine,
thinking I'd be there to ease your pain
I'd bring you higher,
head suspended in clouds
(So I knew it was fake,
when you said, "It was my mistake")
I think I was your bad habit,
and ignorantly, you were mine
You continue to relapse, my dear
But rest assured:
I won't this time.
I Am ManI am human, I am man,
I was made shepherd to guard the lamb
I am lost, I am found,
my essence born from solid ground
I am calloused, I am soft,
I'm the greatest creation held aloft
I am a witness, I am a sign,
I am to be the truth of our Divine
I am still, I shall wait,
for I am patience, for I am fate
I have purpose, I have skill
I am to carry out his Majesty's will
I turned my head, to cast away,
I wished for greed, I didn't obey
I longed to conquer and I was crowned,
a tyrant who wanted all creatures bound
I killed my brothers, I was the pyre,
for this is the truth forged in fire
I am human, I am man,
I am the shepherd who slaughtered the lamb
DisarraysSelflessness is a muted destruction
That thrives in my crackling chest
When you push me away from your crying arms
Harboring a mansion of guilt
With beds unmade
And rooms unclean
The disarrays of your past
Pleading for restoration
Come to me
As you are
When the falling skies are big and red
Bleeding the pains of life
Hear the melodies of my regard
And love for you
Take it all out on me
Leave a thousand marks if you have to
Take me under
Push me down
Because I’ll push you harder
Only to fall right on top of you
Anything to kiss the silk lining of your lips
And every single piece of worth that you are
2014 Vincent Cuccolo
Poetic PsychosisIn thirty seconds, the next shell would fall. Every night was the same, but every night Lorenzo experienced it as if it were the first time. His throat felt swollen; breathing was hard. He glanced around at the others; young men like him who had been shipped out in the name of honour and freedom. There was no honour in this, no freedom. Only death behind your eyelids, and a fear so gutting, that it carved out your innards and left you a hollow husk. Lorenzo tried to breathe, tried to assure himself that he was still whole, still made of flesh. They had lied when they told him he was ready.
Matteo ran towards him, arms out, rifle swinging uselessly at his side. He shouted for him to run, but Lorenzo remained motionless, unable to move as his friend’s warning was lost in the constant blare of gunfire. None of them were ready.
“The cycle is repeating. It is not safe.” The voice was soft and weak, yet it carried over the gunfire and battle cries without impediment.
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