Blackbox manifold

Issue 14: Philip Byron Oakes

Swinging Gait

Salient sway to the march putting a lean into

play the stagger homeward bound. Balancing

a hop with a skip over a gruesome gloss on

the mirage of amenities. Checking under

auspices to see where the giving shrivels and

the grasp begins warding off a slippery

insurgency of gleanings off the top. The

doctrine of missteps lauding the fullness of

circles, come clean in the roundabout half

past here we aren’t. Very well able to say in

so many stumbles taken towards in retreat.

The commute to principles relied upon in

ignoring the jaggedly obvious. Pulling the

hastily sketched from the shadows for an

exercise in incompletion, filling the room with

spare parts assembling a mystique, of which

ghosts make the most of holes in the story

shading the ruthless from the rue. Putting the

turn on a dime at risk of inflation, bloating the

sense of a candidacy for here and now. In real

time only slightly ajar of the calendar, doting

on dates in red letters calling Lassie home.

Leaving footprints without a trace to follow

protocol to what made it all worthwhile.

Leading questions to the brink of being asked

to serve a greater purpose. Campaigning for

nightfall in the sturdy rhetoric of an

always uncertain time of day.

Heir to Breathe

Waiting to die only gets you so far. Round the need

from which the wants emerge. The swoon into facsimile.

Where malleable meets immutable, mesmerizing the

pensive at the paradox breathing easy when all is said

and done. The party line straight home, to faraway places

in a haze of familiar surroundings. Tempering the

trajectory slowly shaping the thaw, running rings around

the passion’s play on words to the effect. Dissolving in the

warm ilk of a distance fashioned from all that comes too

close. A soft touch of places hard to describe. Stalking the

merge into walls crawling with people you know. Calling

the febrile to the frolic of night sweats. The plummet

from perch to ravine winding its way to deeper waters. 

A last dance with redundancy carving out its frontier, in

the slow drone of happiness on celluloid mountains of

faith that one more time will do it. Sporting euphemisms

to fend off an uptick, conflating voices as a consensus

only silence shares with the nearness of

its dearest friends.

Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His third volume of poetry, ptyx and stone, (white sky ebooks) was released in 2013. For more, see