Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Nolan O'Malley
  1. Athletic Strain

    fit enough for the elites
    in one realm
    and bruising the
    preschoolers or mother’s petite.
    Grown men making
    words that have meaning
    demeaning without words.
    both strong and fit,
    and unfit for family life,
    unable to shed anger like
    a block or a pick or new layer
    from trash talk.
    No they are the waste speaking,
    wasting air with cutting tongues
    sly on the woman they so choose
    to pursue in an unknown primitive dance
    for unknown pregnancy to occur, or
    even willingly placing a child in the womb
    to spook when they arrive,
    to display dominance and intimidate the enemy,
    their own self doubt in what it takes to be a man

  2. It’s the thought of being sick that makes most ill.

  3. Tag-line

    A hard fought glance to the ticker wristed
    gentleman glaring at the fog coated sidelines
    memorizing each square foot of distance,
    happily exhausting each moment that
    brings him closer to the mechanical voice
    speaking his destination.

    Nervously pilling over pages like prescriptions,
    never reading a page,
    feeling the dampness of the fall,
    sweat collections into pit of stomach.
    Swallowing shallow to avoid choking
    from milliseconds of cart off track.

    A woman, compelled to assist,
    gathers a hankered breath,
    slowly exhaling into the mans shoulder,
    saddling an excuse to calm the salesman.
    She tries to close the deal, but he is fragranced
    with pity.

    A small bump. A hiccup. Rich man grips his briefcase.
    Brief discomfort, but the train settles.

    A larger slip of the wheel. A deep swallow.
    Swallowing winds reverse the train,
    sending the frightened man outward,
    slamming into treeline and cable wraps.
    She, as calmly as could be, walks off.
    Calming the man, she kneels down to his ear.
    "Tag, you’re it," she says to him.

    Something similar to be said to me.

  4. We float compliments on beauty
    like they had a choice.
    We also dig graves with our detective
    work as “flaw finders”.

  5. Axed

    A branch with braces
    abrasive and abandoned,
    debarking the tree trunk
    to reveal the ancient pine,
    flesh to fill and nourish
    with sappy disdain
    on the thin side of a blade.
    A slight breeze
    could snap feeble body to the ground
    and make me a twig for
    small campfires,
    a wand of smoky play,
    youthful elegance and
    teenage abuse.
    Believing a treehouse could work here
    if only the tree wasn’t killing itself
    from the inside out.

  6. A killer’s speech
    in thought bubbles
    above the body,
    ready to pop.

  7. Your eyes are mirrors
    but not for me,
    pointed inward,
    your focus on beauty.

  8. Forecast the forefront 
    and outlast at the door fronts 
    live like a thief and take what you need 
    give the rest away on gesture of ease 
    joke around like the jester to please 
    gave a rib up to have the lovers’ disease 
    coughing up blood from a heart that needs 
    a creed written intravenously.