Hand In The Hallway

by Corey King

At 20, 30, 40, etc.
That black hole in your belly
Doesn’t go away
It can shrink
It will expand
But it’s permanent

Sometimes you can feel
The pull of its vacuum
That turns you inside out
And turns breathing
Into something
You need to think about
Rather than just do

I know your neck hurts
From trying to maintain that skyward look
Looking forward

‘Cause it’s easy to feel the gravity of the day
Gravity is always yanking on you
It’s OK, my neck hurts, too

Sometimes the stable soil
We’re lucky enough to walk on
Turns to mud
And while mud can technically
Suffocate you
Chances are
It won’t

And the scattered (elusive)
Flashes of light
We try to capture
To shine on that black hole
Will often remain just that
Short (elusive)
Flashes of light

You have them
Then they disappear

Have you ever tried to capture light?

We’re all filled with some kind of
Strange light
But we only glow
For those who see it

If you find
Who embodies that light
Recognize it

But know they are not purely light
Nothing tangible is

Know that they’ll dim, too
And you’ll have to be the hand
In the hallway
Turning their dimmer dial clockwise
While gravity
Is turning the dial
The opposite way

Don’t let their lights go out
And let them be the hand in your hallway

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Funeral Caboose

by Corey King

Today I was the accidental caboose to a stranger’s funeral procession
I was minding my own, windows down
I was singing along to the song I had playin’
Sunglassed and all

My usual routine path
Was interrupted
By a stranger’s funeral procession

I saw the red and blue lights of the highway patrol just before the hill
Just before I cleared the hill
I assumed there was a criminal ahead, not a dead man
Or woman
I kicked my newly self-installed brakes
They’re good now
They used to grind
Sounded terrible
But they’re good now

I came to a halt
A dead stop
Pardon the pun

On the occasion other than a man’s (or woman’s) last ride
I’d build with road rage
Slowin’ me down

I’ve got that unnecessary disease
Road rage
But I cooled it out of respect
I let the hearse and its train pass me by
I turned my speakers to zero and let myself think
About the man’s (or woman’s) last ride

Everyone with purple funeral flags sticking from their window
Has lost someone today
Today was the day, the last day
I had class today
That was my day
Today was someone’s last day
Above ground
Where the Sun could shine upon their body
The physical body
After this day, today
The Sun will only shine on the dirt
The dirt lain upon the casket that holds
The body covered in skin
Once kissed by the Sun
Will now only be warmed by the dirt
That is shone upon by that same Sun

I was the accidental caboose to a stranger’s funeral procession today
But someday, I’ll be the train’s engine
I’ll be leadin’ the pack.

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by Corey King

I feel as drained as a junkie
Who’s jonesin’
I feel as rotten as abandoned fruit
In the dead of summer
I can’t think when I want to
I’m deprived of sleep
I’m tired under the Sun
I forget to brush my teeth
My words and song is ugly
I mope to the beat of lethargy

But it stops
When I realize
That the last
I got it
Is bad.
Then I feel fine
It’s cyclical.

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If I Wake Up

by Corey King

I know what time
I’ll wake up tomorrow
If I wake up

When Thursday night hits
I’m not so sure
What time I’ll wake up
Friday morning
If I wake up

While on uncertainty,
I’m not so sure
Why she adds makeup to her eyebrows
Or wears fingernails that aren’t her own
She was pretty enough
And charming enough
Before all that

She’s evolved into a canvas
An autobiographical illustrator
Except of who she longs to be
And not who she really is

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Gas Station Love

by Corey King

By the skin of my teeth
The deadline was made
While I met with a man
Good with numbers

On the big screen
I watched a fella with a beard and glasses
Read satanic scripture
From a book bound with human skin
What was at first just violent withdrawal
Was actually the antichrist

The gas station entrance
Served as the stage where two lovebirds
Aged and affectionate
Shared tongues.
I didn’t know that lady had the ability to smile.
As her man exited with backwards steps
He flickered a light on his key chain
“Maybe tonight I’ll bring my clothes over and
instead of showering at my place,
I can shower at yours.”

I put twenty bucks worth
Into the tank
On pump number four.

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by Corey King

The length of your hair
The color
Is it grey from stress
Or black like your blood
The air you breathe
The smoke in your lungs
In my lungs
Lungs are for breathing
Not for smoking
The skin your tongue has ridden
What have you become

The neglect
Has taken over you
I feel good
That’s how I feel sometimes
I feel and I can’t help
How I feel
Can you help
How you feel
Or feel how you help
But you don’t help
You don’t understand
A spine you’ve lost
You never had it
You can’t lose
What you never had
You’re lost
I don’t ask for much
It ain’t much I ask for
What have you become

The chemicals in your brain
Swirling, blood
It’s cold then warm
Swirling temperature
The arrogance and
My back, you had
Past tense
What have you become

I’m not surprised
Five dollars
That’s all your
Word is worth
And that’s being generous
Very generous
A wound a wound
A wound is all it is
Wounds heal
Salt in the wound
You’re the salt in my wound
What have you become

Ride the bus
Like I ride the bus
Taking me somewhere
I don’t want to be
I spend my money
The money I earned from a job
On things I want and not on you
Blonde, red, brown, grey, black
Black like your blood
Explore the dirt
You are dirt
Learn from mud
What have you become

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Without Seeing My Breath

by Corey King

Not one snowflake looks like the other
Not one snowflake stabs my face like the other
Unique little needles
Clouds of my bronchial exhaust
Floating off somewhere
Maybe into someone else’s lungs
How would I know

Today came knocking
With warning and didn’t hit us hard
But it hit us good
The first day in many
I could breathe
Without seeing my breath

Sweatshirted as I was
Hesitant to invest all my faith
Into the Sun
I should have never doubted
Her warmth today
Even though she’s done me wrong
In the past
Fooled me
I keep a hidden admiration
For her

The first day of many
I could breath without seeing my breath
I was thankful for the wind
As opposed to cursing its existence
And bad mouthing it
Futile under-breathed murmur
The wind doesn’t give a damn about
What I say
It’s wind.

I couldn’t see my breath today
But I saw beads of sweat
Pulled from my face
By the hand of gravity
Gravitational pull
But heat rises
As did my temperature

It was the first day
Of many
I could breathe
Without seeing my breath.

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Tennessee Mountain Water

by Corey King

I can only imagine
Where this water in this
Assembly line bottle
Came from

From a mountain source
In Tennessee apparently

Does Crystal Geyser
Expect me to believe
That someone hiked
To and up a mountain
In Tennessee
To suck
Natural alpine spring water
Mother Nature’s tears
Or piss or whatever
Into containers
To sell at Aldi

Enough containers to run a business
To generate not only revenue
But profit

Tennessee mountain water
At an Aldi
In Ohio

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Epoxy Teeth

by Corey King

Chain-smoking slender little thing
Rode the camel throughout our whole
Her middle name was made famous
By someone you can probably sing along to

Her lips were either red from lipstick
Or from the soreness
Of smoking cigarettes

Out rather
Walked a man
Central incisors
Ready for prom
High rollin’ baby
Got diamonds
Where his teeth were

No dentist necessary
Professions are overrated anyway
Got the goddamn epoxy glue out
To adhere that cubic zirconia

He went on to recognize
The man in the blue coat
Who coincidentally
Had lost
One of his
Central incisors
He hugged me hard
Moved his hands in a motion
Similar to drinking
He’s deaf and thirsty
The man with sparkling whites
Well, golds
Was classmates with the thirsty
Deaf man in a blue coat
They’ve gone and grown up now
But you’re never too old to buy
Your friend a drink

Shine on, epoxy teeth
Drink up, blue coat

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Kiss Her In The Corner

by Corey King

Kiss her in the corner
The music man is screamin’
Get her neck
Because she rolled it

Sorry I’m watching
I can’t help it
You’re kissing her
In my corner

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel
That’s what I’m kissin’
All these pretty girls
Going to waste
Wearing the least
Amount of clothing
That’s legal

That’s fine
But we’re strikin’ out
The music man
Kept singing

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