five-syllable sonnets
2007 - 2014
by josh belville


I - XXV | XXVI - L | LI - LXXV | LXXVI - C
CI - CXXV | CXXVI - CL | CLI - CLXXV | CLXXVI - CC
CCI - CCXXII

back to home

I
consequently i
rested on the ground,
face against the grass,
waiting for you to
get here. keep me sane.
take my bags. suffo-
cate me with sex. find
my bones and startle
them. make them jump to
attention.
           instead.
i. waited. here. for.
nothing. except the
sunset and the grass.
II
shirts are pouring out
of my guitar case.
i keep them here. i
try to keep them from
wrinkling, but they
are resistant to
my charms. they love to
find a way to make
me look homeless. one
day i will surprise
them. they will sit there,
unknowing, when i
take them to the laun-
dromat. then i win.
III
she said she wanted
to fuck, but she was
lying. my room, four
in the morning, us
two, naked, moonlight
through venetian blinds.
her lust turns into
terror in the blink
of my eyes. "wasn't
me," she said. was her.
she grabbed her panties
and i took one last
longing glance at the
curve of her ass. fuck!
IV
my hair. my hair is
falling out, strand by
strand. i don't pull, i
just comb, and it, like
moon-pulled ocean tides,
descends from my scalp
onto the carpet.
soon i will be bald.
like my father, i
gain wisdom through lack
of follicles. each
hair represents child-
hood naivety
sloughed off forever.
V
guitar strings twang when
they break. a thin piece
of metal flies at
breakneck speeds toward your
head, your eyes, threaten-
ing to slice your brain
in two. from such a
beautiful piece of
machinery comes
the tension of art.
when i play, i fear
for the safety of
my face, hoping that
i won't be blinded.
VI
do you like to think
i'm obsessed with this
sex thing? do you think
i spend every wak-
ing moment thinking
of how to get a
piece of ass? cause. well.
sometimes i do. but
not every time! i
spend a lot of my
day thinking of how
to write about my
lack of "game." ladies
tend to walk away.
VII
i lay with my head
tilted downwards, my
neck elongated,
my thoughts siphoning
through my spinal cord
and down into the
base of my pelvis.
i talk about me
a lot. i watch you
glancing at the door
with impatient eyes.
you would leave, but my
pitiable life
keeps you stuck with me.
VIII
the ugly brown door
was open wide. no
floor, only shit strewn
everywhere; an old
yearbook showed his face,
his face from the sev-
enties. shirts covered
in decades of dust.
ten year old postcards.
you lived here for that
long? your memories
adrift in the tool
shed. water heaters
rise up like pillars.
IX
when you make me speak
these words, i choke on
diction and syntax.
when i speak, i speak
of earth-ending love
and you laugh and i
sit and simmer. these
words, these stupid fuck-
ing words. when you make
me speak these words, i
stutter. i lie here,
lax from talking, down
and out and killing
myself on the floor.
X
in the basement we
found a dead body,
stuck awkwardly in
the crawl space. cobwebs
adorned the concrete
foundation. his shoes
were pristine, untouched
by the collecting
dust. we pulled him out
and lay him on the
ground. on his face was
the biggest smile. we
didn't move for the
longest time that night.
XI
in the autumn, we
spend hours among
the leaves, and nature
pulls us into its
ever-changing grasp.
we leap in piles. i
wrap you in my arms.
we kiss. we hold hands.
this touch, fingers on
fingers, palm to palm,
is more electri-
fying than most things
i touch. your lips are
all that's on my mind.
XII
darkness in the bed-
room. two bodies in
heavenly embrace,
hot under covers
and in passion so
pure it makes mother
nature smile. sweat slick
on the brow, writhing,
my hands moving down,
lightly up, kissing
the small of your back.
after sex, we talk
of everything we
can get our minds on.
XIII
when
     do
        we
           ever
stop? i am
           dying.
i can't
        control my
breath. these hands are
                        suf-
fo-
    cat-
         ing me
                now.
XIV
when do we ever
stop? i am dying.
i wade through every-
thing just to see you.
i can't control my
breath. i don't know the
ocean from the tub
anymore. i am
dying, my hands are
wrinkled, my voice says
nothing but i still
talk. these hands are suf-
focating me now
that you have left me.
XV
radiohead is
the best band ever.
i could listen to
them forever and
still not get sick of
them.






      i guess that's all
i have to say, dude.
XVI
i wish that you would
stop nagging at my
insides. we are done,
that period of
my life is over,
and yet no matter
what i try to do,
there you are, haunting
me ... i don't want to
see your face, or hear
your voice, but there.
you. are. when i sleep
the sheep i count have
your laugh. i hate it.
XVII
optimus prime, you
are my savior. i
spent countless days as
a child playing with
you, contorting the
joints on your die
cast metal frame, and
wishing i could change
into something diff-
erent, something
special and unique.
that never happened,
but a man can still
keep a dream, can't he?
XVIII
thirty minutes 'til
i see you again.
the clock turns into
molasses as i
wait with bated breath
for another mom-
ent with my arms wrapped
around your arms. my
sleep is labored, i
toss and turn, but i
toss and turn beside
you, and each movement
is punctuated
by your lovely scent.
XIX
in the night i ride
my bike across the
city, enveloped
by incandescent
bulbs and neon signs
and young men walking
out of bars. i make
the shadows my home.
i find refuge in
the silence of night.
i wait and watch the
earth fall into its
slumber, and wonder
if it will stay cold.
XX
these help  don't words five
five  these help  don't words
words five  these help  don't
don't words five  these help
help  don't words five  these

i    you  for  lost am
am   i    you  for  lost
lost am    i   you  for
for  lost am     i  you
you  for  lost am     i

make end  the  this make
this make end  the  this
the  this make end  the
end  the  this make end      .
XXI
i know where it ends
and begins. i watch
it swivel, trying
to catch it off guard.
when i move, it moves
after me, as though
alive, a being
of technology
and patience. sometimes
it moves without me,
seeking me out. on
those occasions i
lie flat against the
floor, to not be seen.
XXII
is white a neutral
stance for art? or is
it, rather, as brash
and controversial
as black or red or
neon green against
a multicolored
background? is gaudy
as gaudy as it
should be? who decides
these things? is it me?
cause if so, i want
everyone to wear
garbage on their heads.
XXIII - pre-listen
damn this fucking bright
eyes! why does every-
one love him? with his
stupid songs--it's like
an epidemic!
i just want one day
where someone doesn't
mention bright eyes! damn
conor oberst, you
son of a bitch, i
am through with you and
your pretentious bull-
shit. goddamn it all!
XXIV - post-listen
okay, dipshit, you're
not as bad as i
had hoped. i still think
your voice sounds silly,
but this is coming
from a guy who loves
colin meloy's voice,
so i can over-
look it. for now, okay?
i stil heard that you're
a jerk, though. but who
isn't these days, you
know? so ... whatever.
XXV
pitch black when i feel
we are entangled
in this sepulchre
with hands and thighs to
kiss and lick tonight
this skin to skin em
brace this wonder of
passion this this this
oh god........our bodies
in rhythm our minds
together the night
protruding as moon
beams illuminat
ing against our skin
XXVI - L