Joseph A. Pinto

barflypoet & author of dark fiction

 

asomatous

 

beset by shapes of smoke i drift through, above, beyond. twisted such as rope my hands, knots. all i touch, drifts, drifting. inside out i, open, spills, spilling backward to self. secrets like dogs e’er faithful waiting for walk, and walked, ne’er collared. sshh, angels talk, where, where trumpets blare in quiescent hearts of which no such beats ears know. grand void beckons, beckoning while apparitions of sham turn heads

oh, was he ne’er e’er there?

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© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

dishwasher

 

some things require a sponge, some elbow grease and a good scrubbing. some things just find a way to pile up. take the dishes in this sink, for example. crusted over by food i never tasted. isn’t it a shame you took all that time to prepare a meal but not the care to season? presentation like a pageant queen but a poison pill upon the table. sure the meat is the perfect temperature but my flesh is still raw. you deny wrongdoing yet the well laid track of my shoes out the door says otherwise. and that’s the kicker. cheap food i buy on the run tastes like a temple’s bounty while what you cook from the heart eviscerates mine. we share trivialities before the hanging god into whom i place devout attention. reward for my conviction the napkins into which i wipe clean our discord. i suppose it’s not so bad. i’ve a roof over my head, calories in my stomach and a knife i’ve been sharpening. understand, mind you, i dutifully say thank you for dinner but require the honed blade to scrape the bullshit from the surface. i know i chew every morsel like it’s my last but i push the essence of you to the side. ninety-eight cents short of a happy meal, i force a smile and say that’s delicious as the basin overflows with chipped disks ready to topple.

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#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

abscond

 

before your eyes, a snifter, a bottle, long draw from the neck, disparaging swallows so the expenditure of your vowels won’t dry your throat as bad, i’ve beat you to the punch, turned my insides inside out, you’ve nothing to invade but the invasion of self and know that violent clash within the recycling bin won’t carry my resonance, shatter like that of halloween bones and tricked twice as bad but the mask deflects the shards and yet leaves a sliver slit for further ingestion.

listen to this poem

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© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

 

golgotha

 

i knew you came to slay me. my tarot spoke such. across my altar i fanned your volatile air but my guides would not yet snuff our death. there, across our timeline, i finally recognized my flogging, the crown of dissolution upon my brow. stripped of all sincerity i once bestowed you, we marched parade to illusive golgotha. you hung me there between your present and past chimeras, denied me grief wetting wine. broke not legs but my chest. callous to nails, i endured only the betrayment of the reed. your final spear of silence did not matter then. already had i awoken. risen with blood eyes. and now you gaze sideways not to notice but i am there.

 

when your lids blink in seismic misconjecture.

 

listen to this poem

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#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

 

ledge

 

like a cool glass of water providing relief from the bowels of august, i can never get enough of that breeze bathing my skin so intimately unlike the callousness of your hands. throw up the sash and it’s all right there beyond me. the escape, the relief, the utter end. my father once scaled a step stool with such a haunted look in his eyes. four feet to the floor but he teetered changing that lightbulb as if standing tippytoed in the teeth of everest’s upper troposphere. i get it now. he didn’t fear the height or looking down. he regretted the lack of elevation to drop. i see your palms in my mind as your mouth drones on and on. i see the air between them filling the space my body never touched. the density of my feet snaps me back around. and the breath of the wind across my cheek, beckoning me forward, a mistress of wisp with stolen hours cradled in her arms. throw up the sash and it’s all right there beyond me. narrow precipice dividing the veil between this life and where i belong. i never saw my father change another lightbulb. much like him now, i keep my eyes hidden in the dark.

listen to this poem

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

clothespin

 they’d dangle like tragic tightrope walkers, splintery legs hooked onto the line, random breeze adding decadence to the danger before my eyes. would they drop and fall, these solitaire risk-takers, for what else destined would be their way? with knobby knuckles grandma added to the heart-stopping spectacle, digging deep into a stained cloth pouch, adding in number the precarious daredevils. held always captive their show mesmerized, though it meant the small wooden graveyard scattered beneath the smoldering august grass would grow by one, perhaps another more. i loved when grandma did and aired the wash. i loved inhaling the sheets and clothes even more, the redolence of sky so rich up into my nose that i ignored the death zest crawling like awful spiders up toward the windows whenever grandpa mowed the lawn.

listen to this poem

 

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

 

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

control

 

squeeze squeeze a little tighter, so the collar constricts and so do we without tender. what swells beneath skin, a rhythmic denial in need of appeasement and release, so what wounds deeper, the vessel or the tongue. the safe word, we are one, but are we

 

really

 

squeeze squeeze a little further, so the trust turns blood-eyed and so do we without splendor. what tears paper-thin, the liberation from judgment and dark alleyed enclosure, so what exhausts quicker, the carousel or the collapsed lung.  the fail word, we have this, but do we

 

ever..

 

listen to this poem

 

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

 

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

gasoline

 

 the hard stuff will of course power your throat but strip your gut. you think i joke until you meet the burly irish lads with bludgeoned noses where the red rivers run through and laughter chokes the horse. pressed against momma’s teat, they surely didn’t believe life finds a way of circling back again. but it does. from swollen nipples to the neck of a leaking vice, no matter race or creed, what you draw between lips manifests to source and so chased thereafter. don’t judge the hilarity until you realize we are all born to die and how else can we applaud the effort of trying aside from cauterizing all which will eventually escape from us anyway.

 

listen to this poem

 

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

 

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

 

susurrus

 

that’s the rub, i hear nothing of you inside this cacophony head. a coward would ask where have you gone but a valiant knight would fall upon his sword. there you go eviscerating my heart before it tastes blade. somewhere in town the 6:30 train gallops without its mount but that was nineteen minutes ago. i’d have paid attention had i not been stemming the blood from my chest. i stink of charred sausage from a nearby grill while licking the remnants of a healthier diet from my fingertips. luckily cheap booze cauterizes all wounds but turns the stomach inside out. you’re down my shirt and in my mind and only one washes easier than the other. my neighbors enjoy the music i play when i’m outside but not the sounds i retch. it’s easier to apologize than tell them i’m waiting upon a voice from the dead. is there anyone aboard that train missing their station, poised to celebrate the whoosh of fresh air? i’m asked if i need food while politely stumbling away, declining my neighbor’s suggestion i might need more than the vacant stare upon which i fill myself while drinking on my patio.

listen to this poem

 

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

 

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms

 

feast

 

the plates have more space at the table now, the bellies more food to be fed. take the extra chair back to the basement. i filled it with air anyhow. my absence will be spoken of now until christmas but i gave the early gift of self back and the easy truth is i love me more than you. this hurt has been aging unlike the depth of wine you drink. you skimped the wallet while i nurtured the vine and now that i’ve grown to season i’ll never allow you to take my vintage away. you’ve the cushion of elbow room but i’ve the expansion to grow. i’m grateful for every one of you, don’t take this the wrong way, no matter how truthful the anger sounds. but when the beacon beckons one must go. the soul has transitioned and it’s only a matter of time until my body finds home. slather the white meat with gravy so it won’t stick in your throat. this thanksgiving alone i’ll swallow the clear of my booze with ease.

 

listen to this poem

 

#barflypoet

#josephapinto

© Copyright Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

 

From My Front Steps,’ ‘Scotch and Scars’ and ‘A Distilled Spirit’ in paperback and Kindle ebook at Amazon.

subscribe to the audio barflypoet YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/y2stm5ms