Friday, November 7, 2008

Somber yeoman, standing,
sows seeds; yields them to the wind.
His fields are worried and worn
by the winding ways of air--
arrogant antagonism incorporeal.
Gift-giver to fate, he wastes
and fallows;
somber-standing skeleton farming for famine.


Monday, August 25, 2008

//The Pariah and The Parasol//

//The Pariah and The Parasol//

I’d rather speak without sugar on my lips
but again and again

Life is played precisely like bingo
like a sin begot.

Sometimes, it drinks to spring
under a green parasol,
and leers at the servitrisse
…like a pariah,
…stinking of perfume.
How meaningless the mist is
In the face of life’s only truth
tucked away
in the darkness.

In little and in large,
Now you see him

Left standing
in the sun

Love and destruction, life’s dear tax:
((i mpl ac abl e )),
outside his breast
gleaming scarlet
without tongue
without lung
Shame is shone As
Life and Death
as life’s only truth, going together hand in hand.

The spacing is quite strange and there's supposed to be an effect at the end in which the lines can be lined up in such a way that it's read in two complimentary ways.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I am the millionare
I am the maker of explosives
I am the monster
the ringmaster who calls
cleft lip and bloody teeth
to frighten mothers
into one more child
with husbands
who take no interest
in the twirling circus.
I inflict the locked door
and neighborhood watch
I steal into children’s lives
and force them back inside
from a day at play.
I force the sun to speed
and end all days early,
all games unfinished.
With me, no more.

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile-my computer's hard drive went kablooie, so I lost virtually all of my work from the last 4 years...this is something new, written this summer. Hope you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

July 1

So this is pilgrimage. A can of coke.
Some crisps. Cigarette butts. the smell of fried
Chicken. The sun behind a cloud. The light
Turns red. I cross. A girl my age touches
Her face and looks away. An older man
Kisses his girlfriend while she's on the phone.
The brick is black. Alone. Guitar. The sun
Blinks down. It's afternoon. A father has
No patience. For a moment there's a man
With coffee contemplating sitting down.
He looks at me. A smile. He walks on.
A language I don't speak. The sun again.
Unless I raise my head I can't be seen.
A woman leaves the city council library.
Tourettes. She shakes her head. Again. She takes
The corner. Ducks into a run. The wind
Blows trash and leaves. A car horn blows. I look.

Monday, August 4, 2008

June 19

Earth fills her lap with pleasure and yearning;
I'm above them both,
Staring into world's end.
There is no smell here, no sound,
The taste only of teeth,
Two-day-old coffee burn.

The orphan ascends again:
The crown of stone bears up –
Each step reveals another half-mile,
It seems – fighting the clouds, glorious
And terrible, borne on the wind,
Which enfold and blur me;
Rough turning hands to face the descent, to tell me
Here is a temporary heaven.

Mist lingers behind the gale
To hold me in her long arms;
She chills me,
Evaporates on the backs of my hands –
Now she's in my capillaries,
Tracing her way back to the source.

I won't say I love her,
But I keep her in my heart,
Which is how love works anyway
The way I learned it.

It's not in my mouth,
The tips of my fingers,
But the occasional heartbeat –
Once every couple hundred, I guess –
That takes the taste from my tongue
Twice as well as any cup of coffee.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

June 16

the Orphan, ascending – abandoned for
hundreds of years, left to his own devices –
the devices left to him, packaged

and mailed across the ocean – the Orphan
today was reunited with the makers,
lifted up, replaced atop the crown

that still adorns his fair ancestry (not really,
not even his people's, but human –
so his) to find not some reflection to

reveal truer self in waters foreign –
anyway, the orphan feels too old
to reinvent – but anonymity

instead, and strange comfort therein; knowledge
that great men walked these giant stones and stumbled
not, but shook them into place, to fashion this

expanse by noble molds their own; and hope,
that he'll be one to shake these stones – or stones
back home – to recreate the world to
himself, if not to anybody else.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

June 26

Fell Asleep Hard
by 215 Woke Up
Harder by 730
Hot Brick Heavy
in the Head I
Pulled It Together
in a Cold Shower
Hit Whitby Sour
and a Bit
Cramped North
Sea Air Sucker
Punched Back
Almost Knocked
Out and I
Descended into
the Village Like
a Fog for Coffee
and Fried Fish as
a Gull I Circled
but I'd Seen It
Already Bored I
Waited for the
Others and
Together We
Ascended to the
Abbey Past
Cheese Stands
and Street
Guitarists Up the
Steps Halfway
Until We Turned
Around and
Whitby Fell
Apart Soft like
an Onion

Monday, July 28, 2008

sonnet - June 28

The late Mrs. Fitzgibbon would have turned
Sixty-eight this year, if I heard right.
Your way of life changes, Fitz says, not lightly
But with life, as someone who has heard
The still, sad music of humanity
And greets the day with hale voice – and they
Would have been wed forty-four years today.
That song grows soft in age, the melody
Is stretched to fill the lonely twilight hours.
The choice presents itself: to brave or cower
From that music, which is itself the choice
To live or not, and Fitz raises his voice
Over the howl of mountain wind, back bent,
And breathes deep, ready for the long ascent.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I fall by night,
following the foul fragrances of embered-irises and
a certain kind of stone (brimming with odious omens);
pursue patios,
gardens of shards,
hard-smashed cement,
and open-window victims.

I, trap-setter, chase roots flayed and spread like limbs; leave petals and faces
poised and posed for the mortician.
He takes the pictures home for his children, the sons
of the obituaries who are never mortified by
the thin, morbid monuments; trite
documents of death.

They're the ones I have a little trouble
washing down the garbage disposal;
they make it sound like Satan's seeping up
from Hell.

Just a pointless practice piece, albeit demented. I used James' poem of a similar name as a skewed sort of source material.

Check the comments two posts down for a slight update on expansion/new website ordeal, if you will.

I filled my tires with air today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Fell at Night

You Fell at Night,

and by the time i found you
the sun had dried up everything
but your soft petals
in a heap on the patio
with the broken glass

no one heard,
no one must have looked
out the window to you
or else you would have been
swept up and thrown out
or recollected and replaced
on display, and i would
never notice until someone came home
from work to tell me
what i'd missed

but i found you, and came to you
and in the chill air the sun
felt good on my goosebumps

while i gathered you into my hand
and shook the glass from your stems
and carried you in while you cried
petals all over the carpet,
all the way to the sink
where i put you in
a tall glass of water

and when i carried you back
to your place on the patio
careful not to spill
and gathered up your petals
from the floor to the sink
i only had a little trouble
washing them down
the garbage disposal

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sorry to post another non-verse block of text, and my apologies to James for bumping his poem down.

This is just a bit of an addendum to the previous 'house-cleaning/keeping' post, where I mentioned something about us trying to expand and whatnot. We've been offered a domain name and free hosting from Horatio, the founder and head honcho of the Rampage Network (, a growing webcomics community. Horatio's interested in digital publishing in general (unless I'm mistaken), so it's not as awkward a fit as it may appear.

Bottom line, someone's offering to host Pedestrian Protection and more or less give it the royal treatment. Right now, we'd be the first of our kind over 'there' (the Rampage Network), but with a decent chance to gather more of our ilk as time goes on (again, unless I'm mistaken). Excellent chance for some more exposure/recruitment, and I don't see anything wrong with escaping the mire of Blogspot's multitude of blogs.

I'm for the move. What do you guys think?

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Caps (The Firefighter)



you want trifles? i got trifles. i don't think i dare put this one on my personal site for fear of lucy (aka YOU) reading and recognizing her boyfriend's name/occupation, but it's something i wrote that i didn't hate immediately, so in the name of fertility it's up for grabs.

Spring cleaning.

Just a couple of 'housekeeping' things.

First, welcome to Matt (is it?). His arrival makes us four strong... provided James ever comes back.

Secondly, Chris is going to be putting up some guidelines for a project we'd like to get working on, a collaboration/compilation of sorts. Non-internet publishing might be involved. He'll have something up eventually.

Also, since we're growing in number, we might want to consider expanding in purpose and presentation. Right now, Pedestrian Protection is just a typical, obscure garage band (of poetry), but would you guys be interested in approaching rock star, record label-mode? That is, trying to gain some sort of readership, finding means of exposure, etc., etc.. Or should we stay as we are?

Finally, update. Post. Create. Comment. Twice-monthly sucks. Chris wants a weekly schedule, and I'd push for something even more frequent than that. Anything is good, so long as we're fertile longer than we're fallow.

That's all from me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Singular Self

the room is a husk
insides dried up
there is no one here
but a man’s straight thin line
which in the evening, so frequently
leads off to
the dark

it leads him to run
far across corn fields
away from anyone and
anything at all
to strip off clothes and
run naked, to peel away into the dark
where no one can find a man
who wants to be found but
has no way to be visible

the clearing of throats and rolled eyes
the clicked tongues of conversation

he will instead run into the pale places
the poor places
piss-poor, no accomplice
but humility in the face of
the single self

the single self

singluar self

Monday, May 5, 2008

//Exquisite Corpse//

//Exquisite Corpse//

If only your veins were filled with oil and your skin were paraffin
people would rush to your rescue,

If only your mind were made of wax.
If only your soul burned absolutely clear,
absolutely efficiently.

If only we weren’t forced to leave something behind

What an elegant, absent apparition you are.

Filled my car with gas today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sweet scents betweens strangers--
no knowledge past smell and intimate odors.
An affair of the nostril; an early-morning
endeavour of the eye to expand lust's perception.
They know their places--
fifth seat in from the rear of the
second car from the front of the
6:15 express--
and everything is right,
but will never be anything more.

Just something from this morning since I haven't posted in many a year. Nothing good.

Almost every time I take the 6:15 train to Philadelphia, the same moderately-young woman takes the seat next to me. We never speak, but it still feels like we're familiar with each other. Comfort in consistency, pattern, and routine, perhaps.

She smells really good. Or her perfume does.

I guess I'm a creep for thinking about it, but, being stuck next to someone--for an hour and a half-- who doesn't reek versus someone who does often makes or breaks my day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Gobbledygook (Protest Poem)
for Professor Price

where I come from the plant is growing

I see it

at night
from my bedroom window
burning the sky's red glow

I inhale black smoke hot
like a cigarette and hack
caffeine arrogance
streetlight poetry


when I walk by they all flicker
like birthday candles: how I know
this is my neighborhood
my town
my polluted sky


my friends and me
we sip beers in basements
we cliff sit and smoke dope
we watch the clouds


we drive 95 and 202

'this is romance,'
we think but don't say
over homecoming shakes
at the Charcoal Pit


in time
the creek will lead to the ocean

for now
I catch tadpoles in the slime


gobbledygook wins every time


where I come from
I am the power plant
this is my polluted sky

with thanks for the sweet comments on my last submission, i offer up this up. wrote it yesterday, tweaked it this morning. professor price teaches my poetry in performance class - which is not a writing workshop, mind you - and is the man who circled my poem (specifically What's More Important) and wrote 'no,' as well as other helpful comments like "prosy" and "distant" and "gobbledygook." and no, these aren't fragments of comments, they're the comments in their entirety. he's a self-professed "blues" poet, so i tried to do him some "homage."

in the end, he's a guest lecturer, so i really don't give a damn. i just needed to respond to the outrageousness of his critique and out came this.

besides, now i'm really good at spelling gobbledygook.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

March Morning

Tonight I dream I'm lying down in a field
and she's there, and everything is the most beautiful green
and she tells me it's ok to be sad again. When I wake

I go out, past the room, past the relatives
waiting for the wake, sleeping on our living room couches,
out the front door to the driveway,
to the car under the morning sky where I sit
and try not to wake anyone when I scream.

In my old room, my brother's room,
I can still feel the folding metal chair
at my granny's bedside where I sat and listened
while wheezing she tried to tell me something
I forget now, even if it was important.

Nobody walks past that room – nobody but me,
to get to my room.

When death arrives gradual there's nobody to blame,
so when blame comes and drowns the house by inches
outside the real world feels continuing and harsh
like March wind coming in under the front door,
snow held in bare hand, the telephone at night.

The sun still does rise on that lacquered wooden cross
she hung on the wall above her bed, but
we moved the bed after a couple weeks,
my brother moved his baseball cards in and that was that.
The room is still empty somehow, but with the months that passed
it's easy to forget she died here.

My mind's learned now
how to walk past the room without thinking of her
but my heart beats slower when I do,
and seeing the sun rise makes me sad,
and when I stick my hand in the snow I don't feel much.

i'm looking for some critical feedback.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A dirge for Doomsday, and for Brutus.

I know we work primarily with poetry, so if either of you are against me displaying it here, just let me know and I'll remove it. It's a short story I wrote for a creative writing class I'm unfortunately taking this semester; composed one night under the duress of it being due the following morning.

To say the least, it really rubbed my professor the wrong way. A couple choice phrases I picked up during her critique would include "If you put shit in a bucket and call it cake, no one's going to eat it, and that applies here", "[This is] like a one-way fuck", and "It's not even a story". Hilarious, inappropriate, and hardly helpful.

So, I'm putting it up for professional review.


Friday, February 1, 2008

In escaped vernacular
Odysseus rides the train; wonders what it's like
to live in a place he can see.
The king takes the train to Ithaca;
commands no men;
wonders what it's like.

Suggested by my train ride in to school each morning, past decadent homes and deceivingly-ruined neighborhoods, wondering whether Odysseus would trade ten unsure years on the sea for ten certain ones in the slums of Chester or Eddystone.

It's a simple thought, and the Ithacan king has always been rendered in heroic verse, so I tried to make it as plain and quiet as possible. While the train is far for being a sanctuary for silence, it's still a place where subtle reflection is possible.

I'm unsatisfied with the punctuation/flow towards the end; wasn't sure if I should have used "The king tries to take the train to Icatha" or if I should have left that absurdity unemphasized; or how I should arrange things so that the last "wonders what it's like" clearly applies to the two lines before it. Finally, any suggestions for a replacement for 'place' in the second line?

//Winter Solstice/The Halcyon Days//

//Winter Solstice/The Halcyon Days//

Car-casses of rust
Salt-stained windows
Cream spread softly in the skies
Her hand stretching into the shade,
Asleep on the passenger side door.

These are The Halcyon Days.

Along the same lines as the last one. Thought to call it "Winter Solstice" in connection with the mythological "Halcyon kingfisher" bird, said to quiet the seas at the winter solstice and, but that might be a bit much and a bit too obscure and utterly lost on people as nothing more than self-absorbed bullshittery...which it kind of is really, I guess.

//Prefaces and preambles//

//Prefaces and preambles//

January fading in silence
Fading in fanfare
Half-thawed frost
A sad-slow-lowly-silent-sound.

This time tomorrow I’ll have shaken off these words
Embraced a beer

Back to a new
cowardly world

Heard from the second stall,
Looking for a balance of
sweet smelling sheets and sweat-stains

The prefaces to weekends
beyond reach,
beyond hope
The preambles to the weeks,

With my dreams inbetween:
A cottage in the countryside,
suckling tonic and anise.
Fairs and festivals in the evenings on the grange

And my aching waking reality:
A degree at the bottom of a bottle,
To pay for car-troubles, and collared shirts

But for now it’s a tango
three sheets to the wind
doing the dance of The Diapered Nihilists.

Either way between the desperate heartbeats
it’s ultimately a long slow sad lonely

My university has a 4-1-4 system which roughly means I can do whatever I like for the month of January. For the past month we've spent our days skiing or on short jaunts, watching films, making meals, working on the side and generally lazing about and now it's coming to an end. I've realized that I probably won't get another opportunity like this, perhaps in my lifetime while so youthful, or at least for quite some time. This is a contemplation on those Halcyon Days on the university dole.

Forgive the redundancies, thought maybe you gents could advise me there, hadn't yet figure out where to eliminate them so I just jotted them down. Seems a bit long-winded too, but then January's a long month so I'm not sure. Have at it.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter (Safekeeping)

Winter (Safekeeping)

these days you leave your warmth at the door

the careless take it with them,
arrive stripped and breathless and blowing it
into their hands

you know it's worse
to have something stolen than to give it up willingly
which must be why last night
before you left you pressed it into my lips
full and quick
a parting gift

for all the moments we wanted to and couldn't
outside in the cold when you invited me in
but i, in my skin stretched so tight
couldn't move for shaking and excused myself,
embarrassed, left you wondering
was it something you'd done wrong

for safekeeping
for when the time comes to brave the cold
and we'll lock the doors

valentine's day comes early. enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

//Ill Arrows All Awry//

//Ill Arrows All Awry//
A rose cigar end between his fingers and a thought blossoming into the brain:
“The death of a cigarette proceeds you”.
A man smokes putting his ashes into his wife’s urn,
at around one in the afternoon and
an irremissible crescent of sun shines on the horizon.

“How tragic that love between two people can never be anything more than folie à deux, déjà vu? …quelquechose, comme un trou dans le vent.

Taught nothing but enough
There’s nothing to say.”

Will never reach nearly the right shade of yellow
reaching through his ears like pollen kisses on his rosy way.

Ill arrows,
all awry

Something I've been milling away at based on an as yet incomplete rather post-apocalyptic short story I was working on about nuclear winter in England. These are just my thoughts on an allegory of a man that the main character encounters at some point on his way across part of the country. The tone's rather noir. The last bit came to me just now after talking to James a bit about the absurdity of Valentine's day even when you're with someone.

French traduction:
'folie à deux, déjà vu? …quelquechose, comme un trou dans le vent.' = 'a madness shared by two (rare psychological condition), already seen (self-explanatory)...something (an implacable intangible something), like a hole in the wind'

Friday, January 18, 2008

A classifaction of circumlocution to a point of location. That being:


We hunt and forgather at the capital of ceramic.

It is jealous and lost.

But we have our vases.

The street is the horse,

and it runs. Red.

Clay, we coagulate; a need for succession?

Perdition? Prevention?

No. We have our paper cliche.

Shelved heads.

They are lost and jealous.

The vases: "Spurn enervation."

A streak-- Spanish horseflesh-breeze on the gritted streets.

Compounded existence (that is, Santiago–- Ed.).

My love, unknown greets, bemoaned, these fleets (that is, of foot-- Ed.).

Those, of the capital of ceramic (that is, conventional-- Ed.).

In light of James' nostalgia, I dug up one of my own poems of the past. Back when I had the confidence to write, when I (blessedly) didn't consider, couldn't conceive or perceive the notion that anyone could write better than I could, or that they did. I was a huge fan of using the thesaurus and unearthing exotic words, the type that you could drop in a sentence and create an area of ambiguity and uncertainty (there's a certain term that Wordsworth used for it, but I can't remember what it is). On top of that, I was also rabid about (and still am) creating one-shot locations and characters (in this case, 'Santiago', despite it being a real name/place) that produced more mystery than definition or something definitive, that would give the reader (hopefully) so much more to think about than the actual words on the page. A lack of finality, a prolonged existence for the poem, etc.. I don't know.

In short, but not really in summary, it's an approximate opposite to James' most recent post ("What's More Important").

Despite possibly being premature, how would you guys feel about compiling some sort of sampler (themed, maybe?) to publish in print. Something to get ourselves out there, as the adage goes, or something to get Pedestrian Protection some publicity (equating to an audience/readership). Thoughts?

I ask because the group that inspired this one, Mediocre Militia, is releasing their own sampler of art and comics this month.

Gunter, post something.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's More Important

What's More Important

is the kind of honesty where
I'm able for a fleeting moment to return
to the truth that lines and gives shape to the days
that make up the months that make up my life
as I live it.

what I want is to bypass entirely
the insignificancies that have attached themselves
to me with the passing years,
to know what changed within
the scrawny, rubbery figure

who watched television and, inspired,
told his mother that if He were to play football
that after every down He would get up
and hand the ball back to the official.

has He forgotten that dream of kindness?
so soon, has He popped the balloon
that was only just tied to his wrist?
what does He need to accomplish
before He arrives at that place
He knows exists (or at least used to),

that place that He can only glimpse and find
reflected in so-called trivial moments? that place
he knows is a little closer when He stands up
too fast

and for half a second
gravity forgets to breathe
and the horizon and He lock eyes,

or lies bed-bound all day
following the ceiling fan, thinking helplessly
about Blair C; of how she disappeared
because her mom got fed up
with just about everything;

of her hair, and the way she always smelled
like watercolors, and the valentines she sent
carelessly to fragile hearts,
never meaning to break them,
never knowing she could;

of how He had loved her,
and what He’d try to say if He saw her again,
and those stupid, aching motions of the heart.

the last submission was an old one, but this is comparatively ancient. still a few people tell me it's one of my better creative farts. yes of course that's how i think of them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Liberal & Complicated

getting by these days, glad you asked
but not ecstatic, see I’m self-sufficient

digesting the latest Radiohead album
and my upped dosage of Wellbutrin

it’s empowering not to care about the gov’t,
old friends, new friends, whomever
stands on two legs; they all exhaust me

it cost too much to run away, in many ways, and
I thought about ending it but
in the end it was easier to just check out

show up to class, find a routine
watch TV with a friend or two

ridicule commercials for not getting me
say I Do to five miles twice a week

maintaining distaste for the status quo
still acquiescing, getting by

swearing, if I can’t do something with this life
I won’t try

Saturday, January 5, 2008


The queen quakes.
She slumbers, unencumbered by callous thoughts
or splintered, shredding worries.
Her bed is soft, but bears my
blistered hand by her side; a
bold brandisher of battle-blade
and blood-bludgeoner.
It trembles amidst comfort, laid
in domesticity.

Nothing to say about this one. Just a return to the eponymous 'Plain Praetorian' poem.

Expect more, for better or for worse.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Mary loves everyone

to the radio

doesn't mind

likes knowing
somebody's there

loves to

guards her heart with an
infinite kindness

sleeps in

asks the ceiling: "have I not been
Good enough?"

waits for answers

has doubts

pounds the wheel
at night in her driveway

takes a
deep breath

turns on the radio

loves everyone

i have a mild fascination with the name mary, as gunter knows. he put it better himself than i could: "on one hand, mary the mother of christ, on the other mary magdaline, the prostitute. every man's ideal."

this doesn't deal with that at all, but it's a fun way to judge anybody you know named mary.

i'm james by the way! howdy! harass me at