by C.M. Moorhead

If I were to write the lyrics
                        to your melody
I wonder what that would sound like

            Would I sing along absently
                        in the car
                                    as if it had played in my head a thousand times                       

over and over

I hum the tune
           it gets stuck in my head
                        so much so I cannot rid myself of it

I scream the words as if to exercise them clear of me
                        permanently abolish the collaboration

the sound of you

But there it stays
                        burrowed in behind my ear
            whispering potential
                                                of a song I know all the words to
yet cannot think of how it goes.



by C.M. Moorhead

I hide myself inside the search,
the meaning easily found.
Towards you, always towards you.
You bind me and I’m bound.

Do you see me in the light?
Is my voice the only sound?
I close my door against your storm.
You bind me and I’m bound.

We hit the waves and do not float,
there is no shore, there is no ground.
Adrift and sinking in my reflections.
You bind me and I’m bound.

I wonder if you associate us with metaphor,
in my absent longing I am drowned.
You’ll never know the whole of me, yet,
you bind me and I’m bound.

A Happy poem for Zen

by C.M. Moorhead

Bottle the soul through waters unknown— still carrying the message untold,
neatly written on a piece of parchment.
Lined and ready for the scribing.
Undisturbed. Unchallenged. Unused.
But with potential.

Yet seas are treacherous,
nature fickle in its unrelenting indifference.
It could easily wreck the ship; slosh it about in storm-riddled skies.

Or simply drown it.

Yet tranquil trips are unadventurous, lessoning the value of what
will be said.
How does one poeticize about smooth sailing?

Dear Life,
Living is swell and everything is well.

If the epistle leaks into the vast blue,
will it be heard?
Or saturated as if salt,
to be later sprinkled on some portion of spicy chicken curry,
savored and swallowed;
only to then cause slight indigestion.
Begging the question as to whether it’s worth the sending.

But maybe,

just maybe,

it could one day drift to some distant shore, washing up on the sandaled soles of the masses,
murky and confused, until uncorked.
For most are curious as to the origin and nature of such an enigma.

More likely the bottle breaks on some sharp stone and shatters—
saying to that note, “I shall offer you no more hiding space. No more safe harbor.”
Fearing this is the same as fearing fate.
Wishing not to happen what is supposed to.
Destined to desire, relishing the discontent.

But there is no need for the vessel to crack and scatter, bury
its pieces in the sand, letting the tide eventually wear smooth
what was roughly said.

Though it is brave in the sailing, the immerging from its submergence
is what truly daunts, the landing is what sticks,
but there is no need to dread the
waves that go bump in the night.



Risk the getting wet.


by C.M. Moorhead

I want you to know that it’s okay you’ll never know this…

that you’ll never find this poem crumpled in your pants pocket

while in search for loose change.


But if I were to write this

long letter to you,

it would be on a short piece of paper…


I want in a way that is so consuming it stifles

            it is of my own making

                        my own creation

                                    my own mixed tape I made for you

                                    so you would know the soundtrack of us.

I want you to play it.

I want all the old possibilities of you:

            you as you are

                        you as you were

                                    you as I want you to be.

I want you to look at me as I looked at you,

            become my reflection

                        and not have it break like water

                                    refracted at the slightest pebble toss.


Even as I write this I want this poem to be a conversation we had

            years ago and for us to laugh at all the futility of it now.

I want to turn all our t-shirts into a patchwork quilt to keep you warm,

            to wrap us in the memories we will never share.

I want to always feel your hand on my lower back and not just its phantom pain.

I want you to always be in contact with me,

            even if it’s a mundane detail

or the most important things you never said.


If you ever were to one day get the inkling that I had once

            written a poem about you,

                        and after a mighty search,

                                    discovered this weathered piece,

I want you to think that it didn’t mean that much to me.

            But I want it to mean everything to you.

I want to live with you in cliché scenes from movies so the next scene is easy to predict—I want a life in montage:

I dramatically run away, you give chase, catch me and grab me… most likely in the rain.

            I squish ice cream in your face and then kiss it off to make amends.

            We fail at putting a piece of furniture together, then laugh and laugh.

I rest my head on your chest while you read something from a Chuck Palahniuk novel to me under a weeping willow tree in Central Park.

            You watch me sleep and it gives you peace.

I want you to be annoyed and not know why,

            I want it to be because I’m not there.

I want your thoughts to be mine.

I want you to be sitting in your room right now writing a poem about your

unrequited love for me.

I want you to feel me slipping away

and have it fill you with a sense of urgency to act.

I want the next sunrise to come, and have had slept before it,

            no thoughts of you,

                        but when I dream, I want only to see you.

When I get the urge to nuzzle the crook of your neck,

            I want to be able to follow it.

I want to fight you,

            shake you until I’m the abusive parent who wants nothing but to

                        teach you through tough love lessons until you learn

                                    what is truly best for you.

I want you to realize it’s me without me having to do anything.

I want to be able to tell you

            I love you.

                        and not be afraid

                                    and know that it’s returned without second thought,

                                    rather second nature, the words are so worn that they

                                    are our hello, they are our farewell.

I want to tell you that I’m moving far away just to gage your reaction.

I want it to be raging sadness mixed with intense fear.

I want to be who I was before I met you.

I want to discover this poem and have it be by another author

            so I can mock it openly over it’s pathetic yearnings,

                        and pity the person who was ever so invisible

                                    to herself.

I want to be able to hear a Foreigner or White Snake song and not find them deep.

            Because I do want to know what love is,

                        I’m tired of asking is this love?

I want to not be leaning towards no.

I want you to get sick with fever just so I can tend to you.

            make you soup

            brew you herbal tea

            feed you as many grapefruit seed extract vitamins as you can handle

I never want anything bad to happen to you.

I want to hold you and protect you and keep you from harming yourself,

            even if it comes to the point of you resenting me.

I want nothing more than for you to be happy.

I want that so much I’m willing to accept your happiness doesn’t involve me.

I want the love that I now have all to myself to be unselfish.

I want my love to be

            bigger than you

                        bigger than me.

I want to be strong enough to handle it.

I want to not be alone with my thoughts                       

I want a reenactment of our greatest hits

            our great conversations

                        our things we’ve never told anyone else, to exist

                                    for more than the reason of a character building exercise

I want to realize that this is all nonsense,

            and remember that I don’t really believe in this stuff,


                                    not really, really anyway.

I want to not have the proof of us, so I can once again mean that.

I want to be not able to tell you the exact amount of time

 it’s been since we last talked.

I want to not talk to you anymore because I can feel me becoming

            more and more false.

I want our love to be true.

            But you can’t be in love with someone just by saying that you love him.

                        It must be mutual, otherwise it’s a crush…

                                    some high school note passed between desks in

                                                social studies class.

I want this poem,

            this letter,

                        this note to be my goodbye to you.

I want not to want you anymore.


by C.M. Moorhead

You are not nearly as oblivious as you like to

                                          pretend to be

and that my friend ends

up meaning

I can be engaged but not nearly as brave


A stagnant dynamic is created yet

                                           words build up

unheard and the absurdity

of it all trips

inside my head to foil the fall


You limping there, boy with the clockwise eyes

and nauseating height   

causing me to evaluate or

speculate as to

whether it was me or my odd analogies


 Cracking the skull open to feed you hidden

                                           thoughts only

to be sought out for peace

of mind which

sours as the misinterpretation of silence devours


Why can’t I say what you cannot see and

                                           obfuscate my meaning

with a perilous state

                         of tedious normality

                         while today blends into the infinity of all days


This letter belongs in a catch all drawer

                                           scattered and buried

amongst the matter you never

                         search for and leave unread

remaining written on hidden scraps crumpled under things of use