POETRY BY JOSHUA DILIBERTO


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MY AWAKENING


WORK WAS KILLING MY SPIRIT
BUT IT FURTHER ENRICHED MY IDEA OF FREEDOM
THE MORE I WORKED
THE STRONGER MY IMPULSE TO BE FREE
WORKING, I BEGAN TO FADE FROM MY TRUE SELF
AND THAT WAS WHAT I WAS PAID TO DO

I WONDERED WHY I FELT SO ALONE
THEN I REALIZED THAT MANY PEOPLE DO
MANY PEOPLE ARE TRAPPED IN THEIR SET OF IDEAS
FROM THE DAY THEY WERE BORN
I CHOSE NOT TO BE THIS WAY
SOMETHING GREAT HAPPENED

I UNDERSTOOD FREEDOM
BEYOND THIS AMERICA
I BECAME AWARE OF MY HATES AND BIAS
I BECAME AWARE OF PEOPLE
THAT WANTED TO FORCE THEIR BIAS ON ME
I WISH MORE THAT ANYTHING NEVER TO BE LIKE THEM

WORK HAS BEEN BUT AN EXPERIENCE FOR ME
IT HAS BEEN PRESSURED UPON ME
IT IS MY DIFFICULTY, MY SELF CONFLICT
LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR MATTERS OF INDIFFERENCE
LIFE AWAITS MY NEXT MOVE
I DO NOT AWAIT ITS

WHAT IS LEFT FOR MY FUTURE?
WORK LIKE THIS IS NOT WORTHY OF ME ANYMORE
WILL THERE BE ANOTHER AWAKENING FOR ME?
AM I HERE TO SURVIVE, OR REACH A HIGHER LEVEL?
PEOPLE LIKE TO THINK THEY CONTROL ME
BUT THEIR CONFLICT WILL COME WHEN THEY SEE WHO I AM.


AN OCEAN OF CHAOS


BETTER THAT I THROW MYSELF INTO AN OCEAN OF CHAOS THAN TO LIVE IN THE DELUSION THAT I CAN SOMEHOW WORK MY WAY THROUGH, AND ARRIVE IN SOME KIND OF IMAGINARY WORLD OF HAPPINESS. TO ACTUALLY THINK THAT I CAN CONTROL THE MAJORITY OF OUTCOMES IN MY LIFE IS LUDICROUS. THE ONE THING I CONTROL ALL THE TIME IS WHETHER OR NOT I TRY TO CONTROL ANYTHING AT ALL.


CANCER


I KNEW THAT IF I DRIFTED FAR ENOUGH INTO THE DEPTHS OF TRAGEDY
THAT THERE WOULD, EVENTUALLY GROW, THIS EMPTY CANCER INSIDE OF ME
AND IF I NURCHURED IT PROPERLY,
IT WOULD CONSUME ME AND LEAD ME TO WHAT I CONCEIVE IS DEATH
AND DEATH GREETS ME INEVITABLY
NEVER IS MY CREATIVITY AT MORE AWESOME LEVELS
AS WHEN I ACHE WITH THE INFINITY AROUND ME
FROM THE SADNESS COMES PASSION AND DEDICATION AND DEVOTION
I AM WRAPPED IN THE CANCER AND THE CHAOS NOW
IT IS A PART OF ME AND I AM A PART OF IT
I HAVE NO DESIRE TO STOP THE CANCER THAT BEGAN 2/28/77


LIFE AND LOVE


LIFE IS LOVE
LIFE IS OUR TEST
LOVE THE TEST
ALL OF MY LIFE I HAVE FELT POINTLESS
CHAOS SEEMED TO COME TOO EASY
IT STILL DOES
BUT YOU GAVE ME REASON
YOU GAVE ME SPACE AND A VULNERABLE POSITION
IN THE SEQUENCE THAT I EXIST
YOUR STEADY HAND HAS CALMED ME
IN ALL MY FRUSTRATIONS


WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LISTEN


IT WAS STILL NIGHT WHEN THE MUSIC CAME
YOU OPENED YOUR EYES
AND SAT UP
YOU DITCHED YOUR RESIDING FEAR
AND DISSOLVED
AMONG STRANGE WONDERS
PERHAPS NEVER WAS FINITE
ALL THE WAY DOWN IN THE SPACE
WHERE YOU REMEMBER
COUNTLESS IMAGES
SCATTERED ACROSS SPACE AND TIME

COLDNESS RIPPED THROUGH YOU
THINGS BECAME
SKETCHY AND SCRAMBLED
A STICKY FILM FORMED ACROSS YOUR LIPS
WITH YOUR FINGER, YOU COLLECTED IT
BEHIND YOU
THROUGH YOUR SUGGESTION
IMAGES CONTEMPLATED DECEIT
IF ONLY YOU COULD SLUMP FOREVER
AND HIDE FROM THE MINDLESS MATTER
THAT PENETRATED YOUR PERCEPTION

THE CURVE OF YOUR SPINE QUICKENED
THROUGH AN OPENING
A NAKED WOMAN
LOOKED IN ON YOU AND FONDLED HERSELF
THIS SUBTLE ENGROSSING HASTE
HAD A SMELL
AND YOU REALIZED
FIRE COULD VAPORIZE FLESH
CERTAINLY POTENT ODORS WOULD RISE
BUT THE MIND WOULD ENDURE
THE FAMILIAR WAS SO... PREDICTABLE

THROUGH DARKNESS A GLOW LINGERED
AT ROD’S END
DEEP IN THOUGHT
YOU WERE CONVINCED “TWO PLUS ONE WAS THREE”
BUT YOU STILL HAD THE UNKNOWN TO FEAR
YOUR EYES DROOLED PLASMA
SUCH HAVOC
TRANSCENDED GROGGY NORMALITIES
AND SEEMED TO ENTHRALL IDLE PEOPLE
LOOKING BACK
THERE WAS NO GRIMACE
DESPITE THAT LOOK ON YOUR FACE

IT WAS ALREADY GETTING LIGHT OUT
A DAY WHICH
YOU NEVER FORESAW
SMALL TEARS FELL FROM BURNT AND VOID VISION
THIS TIME YOU HEARD THE MUSIC IN IMAGES
AND YOU KNEW
THIS MUST BE
WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LISTEN
LATER THE NAKED WOMAN PUT YOU TO SLEEP
AND FATHER PULLED OUT
THIS WAS THE LAST FEELING YOU WOULD EVER KNOW


BESTREWN


YOU AND ME WERE TOGETHER
BUT NOW THAT'S GONE
YOU'VE BESTREWN WHAT WAS LEFT
IT'S ALL OVER AND IN RUIN
NOW THERE IS NOTHINGNESS
WILL IT EVER COME AGAIN
THE GREAT NEVER ENDING LOVE
WITHOUT DOUBT


BLOOM


I COULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT MANY THINGS
AND MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN
BUT I'M JUST A LEAF
CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF

AND NOW YOU'RE BLOOMING
ZOOMING BEYOND ANYTHING I WILL EVER BE
DID I LACK LOVE RECEIVED
LIKE I ALWAYS BELIEVED


BROOKE


SOMETIMES I GET TOO CLOSE
AND I KNOW HE KNOWS
HE’LL BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
SELLING THEIR POSSESSION
SELLING ME
JUST LIKE MY FATHER
SELLING ME
JUST LIKE MY MOTHER
THROWING ME AWAY
GIVE ME PEACE
AND OVER STIMULATION
THAT’S WHAT HE’S GOOD FOR
BEAT HIM
AND SINK THE KNIFE INTO HIS CHEST
THEN WE CAN START FUCKING
I KNOW HE’S IN TEARS
BUT I HAVE NOTHING LEFT FOR HIM
I CAN’T GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS
IT’S ALL BEEN TAKEN FROM ME
IF I COULD I WOULD ASK HIM TO STAY
I WILL NEVER BE WEAK AGAIN


CHAIN LINKED FLOWER


IT IS SAID THAT WHERE THE DAYS ARE UNMEASURED BY TIME
THERE LIES A FLOWER STAINED WITH RUST, EMBEDDED IN THE SAND
FROM WHENCE IT GREW, NO ONE KNOWS...

THEY CALL YOU A CHAIN LINKED FLOWER
ON A FORSAKEN DESERT
ARMS IN A V
YOU AND ME


LEFT IN THE REAR VIEW


I COULD HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE YESTERDAY. THE SUN WAS IN MY CAR AND I WAS THE CENTER OF IT ALL. A GIRL WALKED TORN IN THE INTERSECTION. SHE WORE ENTROPY ON HER COAT. HER SKIN WAS PALE SHORT, BUT HER PRESENCE WAS FULL. LOOKING TO CATCH HER ATTENTION, I TURNED UP THE MUSIC AND ROLLED DOWN THE WINDOW. SHE WALKED ON. HER EYES STAYED FIXED ON THE GROUND AND SHE CONTEMPLATED SOME WORTHY THOUGHT. THE SIGNAL TURNED GREEN AND I HELD HER IN MY SIGHT. I ALWAYS LIKED THE GIRLS WHO SLEPT ON THE DARK SIDE. I RESERVED A RESPECT FOR THEM, UNLIKE THE PRIM AND PROPER PRISSIES ON ROUTE TO CANDY LAND. I IMAGINED MYSELF PULLING OVER. I IMAGINED MYSELF SAYING, “HERE TAKE HOLD OF MY HAND.” PERHAPS WE WOULD WALK TO A PLACE WHERE WE COULD BE REAL AGAIN. ALL I WANTED WAS TO LISTEN TO HER CONSTRUCT IMAGES AND FEELINGS AND PUT ON THE SHOW THAT WAS HER LIFE EXPERIENCE. NOTHING COULD BE GREATER. NOTHING WAS. I COULD HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE YESTERDAY, BUT I CHOSE LIFE INSTEAD. AND LIFE HAD BEEN NO GREAT THING. SHE TURNED, LOOKED AT ME AND READ THE MAN WHO PLAYED THE LOVELY MUSIC. HE, WHO LOVED TO LISTEN BUT WOULD NEVER SING. I ACHE FOR THE GIRL AND OUR LOST DESTINY. SHE GAVE ME A CHOICE... AND I WAS THE FOOL THAT DROVE AWAY – FURTHER FROM MYSELF.


LUCID ENDEAVOR


I WANT TO TEAR THE FLESH FROM OFF YOUR FACE
IF ONLY I COULD POUND YOU WITH TUMULTUOUS RHYTHM
AND ENTHRALL YOU FOR MAKING ME WAIT
YOU SHOULD LIVE AND LOVE IN CHAOS BECAUSE I WASN'T ENOUGH
I COULD NEVER BE SATISFIED UNTIL YOU DROWN IN STILL WATER
I WANT YOU TO REMEMBER THAT I WILL ALWAYS ADORE YOU
AS I SHOVE MY FIST DOWN YOUR THROAT
AND TAKE BACK ALL THAT IS MINE
I CURSE THE SEQUENCE IN WHICH YOU EXIST
YOU WERE CAST IN A MOLD
POURED WITH A SHAKY HAND
YOU ARE A CANCER OF NOTHINGNESS
AND I AM THE DEPTHS OF TRAGEDY GATHERING
THERE COULD NEVER BE ANY OTHER WAY


ON BLACK


HOW I LOVE THOSE DELICIOUS AWAKENINGS OF THE HIGHER POWERS
HOW I LOVE THOSE LONG NIGHTS LOST IN ANOTHER WORLD
RESTING BY MUSHROOMS ON BLACK

HOW I LOVE TO GET CLOSE TO THE GIRL ON THE HILL
INSIDE ME, SHE DOES NOT SPEAK
HER THOUGHTS DO NOT COMMAND ME

I DO NOT FEAR THE GIRL
HER ACTIONS DO NOT FREE ME
HER LOVE DEMANDS NOTHING IN RETURN

DRAIN YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE FIRE
FLY OFF THE END OF THE PIER
AND LET GO AT YOUR OWN PACE


THE GIRL ON THE HILL


WITHOUT THOUGHT OR QUESTION WHY
I WALKED A PATH OF DISORDER
LEFT IGNORED, SILENT
I THOUGHT TO BE ONE WITH YOU
BUT TRUTH WAS ABSENT BEYOND THE HORIZON
CONFUSION LEAD ME THERE

PEOPLE OF THE NIGHT RAPED ME OF INNOCENCE
TO BE CLEANSED, I LAID ARMS OUTSTRETCHED, FEET APART
THOUGHTS WERE DRAINED AND GIVEN TO THE KEEPER
AND LIKE THE REAPER ON THE STILL WATER
CONFUSION LEAD ME THERE

BY THE HAND, UP A FORGOTTEN TRAIL
DEATH LEAD THEM BY CANDLELIGHT
ALL DECEIVED BY LIES, AND FALSE CONFIDENCE
THEY SAID THEY WERE CONTENT, AND HE LAUGHED
ALL THIS WHILE SHE SAT ON THE HILL
CONFUSION LEAD ME THERE

MY LOVE, SHE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND
AND THE REST, THEY HAD NO IDEA
LIFE COULD BE BEAUTIFUL
CONCENTRATION FLEW WITH THE BIRDS
THE FOOLS REACHED FOR IT WHILE SHE SAT ON THE HILL
CONFUSION LEAD ME THERE

I KNEW NOTHING WHEN I SAT BESIDE HER
AND SHE KNEW THE SAME
EVERY NOW AND THEN I VISIT WITH THE GIRL ON THE HILL
HOW I WILL LOVE TO LIVE THERE WHEN I AM FREE
WHERE FLOWERS GROW BETWEEN ROCKS
CONFUSION LEAD ME THERE


YOUR LIFE WILL AVAIL


YOUR LIFE WILL AVAIL
THE MACHINE CAN'T PREVAIL
IT LEAKS TOO MUCH OIL
ON YOUR LIFE AND ON THIS SOIL

FROM THE SELF CHOSEN SLAVE
TO THE ILL PAID
WHY CAN'T YOU DO
WHAT EVER IT TAKES