Poem: Poison

Here is a quote from the short story Goodbye, My Brother, by John Cheever.

“Oh, what can you do with a man like that? What can you do? How can you dissuade his eye in a crowd from seeking out the cheek with acne, the infirm hand; how can you teach him to respond to the inestimable greatness of the race, the harsh surface beauty of life; how can you put his finger for him on the obdurate truths before which fear and horror are powerless?”

Let me tell you what kind of man I never want to be. A man like THAT. I believe in beauty. I believe that all cheeks bear spots without blemish that demand admiration. No matter how hideous the world, your family, your best friends, and sometimes even your own head tells you something is, admire beauty.

I want to risk saying something that needs a daring amount of explanation. Maybe someday I will get I will do that; write my full reasons for saying what I believe is the process for determination, but for now I want to leave it hidden in an image.

This is what I believe about love. It is less a decision than it is more a determination; determination to maintain belief, hope, and faith in another person. I wish I could take the time to explain what exactly that means to me, but I would like to at least show you what determination is.

Burning bridges. To determine to love is to never go back. The only way to never go back is to set ablaze the trail that brought you where you are, making forward the only way to go. This is what I have determined to do. Love contains the power to change lives. Everything behind me, I am burning.

I think of poison. Maybe that is what love is like. A poison that you drink that has no antidote. Once you drink it you can never can undo the death you have caused yourself. Love to the death…NO…To the pain.



       By Paul Tomes


I tried for a moment to abandon verse.

I came up with this as my fist

Choked the smooth neck of a pen.

Fuck metaphor,

Poems, and paintings.

I am hurt.


Nothing more

Except—more of the same

Hope that has always been

My favorite poison,

I ask,


Why let one moment

Bleed into the rest?

Instead, let it stipple,

Stand out like a freckle,

Never distract

From the beauty

That was every other moment

I spent with you.


Our lives mixed like drinks:


One part Happy

One part Hope

One part Sad

Served on the rocks.


It always tastes sweet when we are drunk.

Then Closed flickers

On a neon sign in a window.

Poison fully sets in,

Ending nights, usually, void of meaning.

We go home, wake up with stale tongues—

Awake nonetheless.


welcome your comments.


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