The Life of Words
(Previously published in the University of Madrid’s Journal, The Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research)
“A poem for Lynsey”
I write to captivate!
I write to set free, the captives held hostage within your mind.
As if these verbs and adjectives are just merely an objective,
to conceive beauty without any comparison.
They say that words can change a person’s life.
It can ultimately tear you down to an even lower basement of Hell,
or build you up to a complete believable sky-scraping walk into the heavens.
Words have a way of changing the outlook of one’s inner appearance.
I write words, so they may live.
So they can breathe through the lungs of imagery and symbolistic idolization.
I write words to crumble your sense of security,
while counteractively assembling a sense of protection.
I write to unwrite the written.
To contort the sense of safety within the parameters of meter.
I write as if making love on a piece of paper.
Tracing the curves of my mind and spilling them out onto the canvas of creativity.
While caressing the embodiment of fantasy and truly becoming one with ecstasy.
I write like I’m tomorrow’s last breath.
I write as if mankind’s fate is dangling from a string
and my pen is the blade that holds existence to a standstill.
To write is to breathe the breath of syntax.
To live in the element of words.
and to ultimately change the way we live with our thoughts.
Writing is what brings us closer to the reality of a fantasy.
Only achievable through the blood of our ink and the stains creativity leaves behind.
Anything is possible my friend!
You just have to know where to bleed.
A Love Story
(Previously published in Nowhere Poetry Journal and forthcoming in Eunioa Review)
Be calm— don’t panic?
Well, remember the Copenhagen stain on your skorts I left.
The coat of faux fox fur freedom I bought you—
and you became a queen’s ego for a Wednesday.
Remember the comatose sidewalk you remembered tripping on— falling for,
as if embracing your downside, as if
forgetting your loyalty to me.
Stay calm— don’t panic you said.
As if love were a replacement for a plaything.
As if acorn squash with brown sugar and a glass of red Chateau wasn’t your favorite meal.
As if our first kiss meant as much to you as—
the passing of leaves,
a portrait of a stranger,
the cabby forgetting his fare.
Keep calm— don’t panic you said.
Because love is a camel toe— an intriguing pocket of desire.
Look but don’t touch you said.
Smell don’t taste you said.
But a plump apple will always look delectable.
I remember the fog that day,
as thick as the water,
as coarse as latex paint,
as smooth to breathe as your hair after you’ve been jogging.
But there was no fog in the air—
only the blink pink of midnight sonnets,
the spice of decompressing poetry,
If the bible were our sex book—
God would forgive me of sins and of my reproductive democracy.
Spit on me and I’ll bleed,
kill me and I’ll forget your laughter,
fuck me one more time—
and I’ll never speak of this again.
Be calm— don’t panic you said.
Be calm— don’t panic?
Remember that the fog is forever in my favor.
And our love story is forever a fairytale never read.
Be calm don’t panic I say…
(Previously published in Apricity Magazine)
Dedicated to the shooting in North Carolina. 9/28/2016
“This poem is not written based on this true event”
I want to tell you a story.
One that doesn’t start with once upon a timed sequence.
One that doesn’t end with a happily ever aftermath.
It’s 7:52 a.m.
Two children walk side by side into a public school.
One child is known by almost everybody.
The other one sometimes gets remembered.
One has a motive and both have a mission.
The boy on the left wants to just pass history without falling asleep.
He wants to watch the seconds fall from the clock
like the blue bullets from master chiefs gun,
so he can go home to his real mission-
The boy on the right has lost all hope in video games,
all hope in saving lives,
all hope in enjoyment.
All of his master chiefs have abandoned him.
He’s left standing alone in the middle of the battle field of life with no one left to save.
No one left to save him.
He packs a backpack on his shoulder.
The holder of destruction, without repercussions –
because he’ll go out the way he wants to.
He justifies justice with the injustices he’s been served.
He swerves into the bathroom right before the bell rings.
His knees clanking like bolts in an old soup can.
His palms trying to grasp his father’s glock–
but keeps slipping as if he were grabbing a stick of butter.
Butterflies flutter in his stomach along with a hollowed hunger
because breakfast wasn’t served to him that morning.
No kiss on the cheek and a pleasant ride with mom in a minivan.
He left for school with a mission as his mother was on a mission for a needle.
His father on a mission for the next time slot in a federal prison –
He is the garbage pail child,
society has marked him because of who his family is.
He sticks a filled magazine in the handle
and calks his piece.
He takes a deep breath and then a release.
What are we to do with that?
How are we to handle it?
A child loaded with hate is even scarier sometimes than the loaded gun he or she is wielding.
The empty feeling that fills your soul with abandonment as a child whose brain is underdeveloped,
is like sending a newborn to kindergarten.
It’s like putting a kindergartener behind the wheel of a car and saying,
you need to drive yourself to school today.
We place principles in the hands of children who receive no principles at home,
no principles with their friends.
There’s no stable routine in their psyche that tells them they are redeemable humans –
No matter their background, no matter their current situation
they have worth.
But once you pull that trigger,
once you swerve that knife,
once you detonate that device,
there is no going back –
Two boys walked into a school that day.
Both with a mission.
One with a motive.
Both never again walked out.
(Previously published in Dead Snakes)
I didn’t acquire righteousness from a bible
or a preacher
or from the shallow glare into heaven.
My righteousness came from a bottle or two
poured holy over ice and tonic.
And my sins,
my sins that needed forgiveness were of a woman.
A woman who sinned over no man,
yet carried hell like a handgun to all the men in her wake.
I needed no help to fall in love, to fall into possession
but I needed an exorcism from Jose, or Jack, or captain Morgan to get me out.
Who knew I would have gotten so close to righteousness.
All it took was a piece of hell severed to me on a shiny plate.
And a bottle or two severed over some ice and tonic.
Redemption is near!
Levi J. Mericle is a poet/spoken-word artist, lyricist and fiction writer from Tucumcari, N.M. Currently he is associated with the New Mexico State Poetry Society and gives readings from his work. His work has appeared in multiple anthologies and can be seen in many lit magazines and journals from over half a dozen countries such as, Black Heart Magazine, Apricity Magazine, Mused, Flash Fiction Magazine, eFiction India, Awakenings Review, University of Madrid’s literary magazine and more. He is an advocate for the anti bullying movement as well as an advocate for the LGBTQ community.