Monday, October 27, 2008

Free Verse: Lonely Roads

Lonely Roads

There is something to be said

For driving down roads at night alone,
Just you and the sky,
Noticing the changes in color around cities,
The puffs of smoke and clouds
Condensing and pulling apart
Through the lens of your windshield.

There is something to the sleek, cold pavement
Rubbing up against your tires,
Warming for just that moment,
One second of passion shared
With every grain of asphalt.

There is something to be said for
Heat gently blowing on your feet
And the broken silence of the air,
Engine purring contentedly at being put to use,
The wind whipping into your ears
From cracked windows—

There is something to putting cigarettes to my lips
In place of you,
In the stead of your skin.
What eerie feelings befall me as I drive,
Drive, smoking these feelings out,
Releasing thick gusts from
Trembling lungs.

There is something about driving down roads at night
That has always boiled my blood
And caught my breath,
But I can't help but wish this road
Would curve around and bring me back to your bed.

Justine Bienkowski

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free Verse: Untitled

How did I get here?
Bushwacking through the tangled jungle of rebellious youth,
I begin to question my compass and map.
Noticing the same dangling trees, dangling
down like the arms of embittered mothers.
The same rocks, blankly staring, hypnotized
the same dancing yellow eyes that I could feel
Over my shoulder.
I realize it is
the same
Finally, breaking through into a clearing, I--
I am at a fork, confronting
Robert Frost,
with my small
Looking at me quizzically--

Do I belong here?
I am overcome by the feeling that
I am wasting time.
Licking sweet powdered sugar off my papers.
While contemplating the trails before me,
I look at my Charon
and can only conclude from the
in his eyes
that concrete is unforgiving.

Justine Bienkowski

Friday, October 17, 2008

Feminine Endings Poem: In Your Eyes

In Your Eyes

He said—oh look!—miles and
Miles of orange groves in
Your eyes. I see sweat and
Ripeness, rounds of sun in

Your whites. Florida! And
Gushing foam from spouts in
Your lashes. Cold song and
Heat from breath, from sky. In

Your eyes, a pair—gems and
Gold at once: a green in
A forest lain, fire and
Orange tucked in night, in

Your pupils. Such shining
Seas on shores, waiting.

Justine Bienkowski

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Free Verse: Hide-and-Go-Seek


I search for you within the sheets
And check every forlorn corner.
I examine the pillows,
And lift up blankets,
Heart quickening a few beats
At every lingering whiff of you.

I lift up the mattress,
Wondering if maybe
We are playing hide-and-go-seek.

Your tea cup sits on the desk
With a tiny puddle of liquid
Staring up at me from the bottom,
Just a few drops,
Too small to scrape out with
A tongue.

I flip the pillows over to the cool side,
Only to quickly switch back,
Realizing I have lost your scent.

I sit back against the wall,
Nervously twiddling thumbs,
Watching the door,
Simultaneously smoothing down
Wrinkles in the empty bed.

Justine Bienkowski

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Verse: Untitled


The humming of lights at night
Brings me to a place
Where the sky is dark for once.

I cannot remember the last time
An evening scape enlivened in me
A shuddering gut-

And so I must content myself
With the murmuring of lamps
That buzz together
Harmonizing to the beat of
Placid, bland sky
And quiet wings clamped tight
Against feathered breasts.

It seems that even the tiny
Buds on trees shrivel
In annoyance and tuck
Themselves away.

A trap created by smirking clouds
And puffs.
A trap with no tangible cage,
Just an expanse of mockery.

Justine Bienkowski

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Epigram: The Kiss

The Kiss

From two lips combined
Protrudes thick smoke, aligned.
Spilling out excited breath
Painting out an early death.

Justine Bienkowski

Sunday, October 5, 2008

English Sonnet: Chestnuts


The smell of evening fires remind my heart
Of tasting roasted nuts on streets. The taste
Is sweet or sour or bitter life, a hard
And crispy outer shell. It tastes of waste,
Of rain: the drops remember acid. Smoking
Inside, a lingering of wisps that smell
Like Winter, snow and even soot. I cling
To curls of smoke around my fingers, swells
Of ghosts, a white the shade of stained sheets.
I realize lights on streets remind the air
Of ragged trees and restless branches. Beats
And rocks come in my mind, a love affair
Of crumbling and walls--this wall will fall.
Perhaps I have forgotten tastes after all.

Justine Bienkowski

Dimeter: Leaves in Fall

Leaves in Fall

In the clutches of night,
It is fall who appears:
With a tiny bellow
And a pack full of fears--
He has come to affirm
That my end is quite near!

I succumb to the wind,
And begin to grow sheer:
I am scarlet at first
But I see with a tear--
It is brown I now turn!
But the fall...he just leers...

Now I know what it means
To be mortal, and here.

Justine Bienkowski

Free Verse in Quatrains: The Universe is an Etchisketch

The universe is an etchisketch

The universe is an etchisketch
With which I can draw things
And even though the knobs they go
My picture looks insane!

The universe is an etchisketch
Or at least I wish it was
So that I could just shake it
And draw some clearer dreams.

Justine Bienkowski

Free Verse: Untitled


I seem to find myself in the same position
Everytime splayed out on the front lawn,
Fists grabbing at the grass around me, trying
To hold onto the Earth while it spins faster,
A sickening carnival ride, Space Odyssey 2000,
Ants crawling all over, in my hair, on my lips.

He looked down at me, searching for my eyes,
Trying frantically to communicate his own dead ends
Except he did not know how.
Only excuses: this is what he knows.
Only accusing: this is what I know.

I sit on the lawn and tug blindly
At grass, at weeds, at the dead and the alive.
I am at once reminded of the past,
Of a similar day, except it was
My mother begging in front of me
Instead of my father. It does not matter.

It still feels the same. I still rip the lawn to shreds.

Once, I found a nest of baby rabbits
In a hole in the lawn: fragile, unaware.
I remember the lawn mower on that day,
Shiny and dangerous, slicing calmly over the nest.
I remember beating the ground with my fists.
This is how I still feel.

I want to give him my heart, but I do not remember empathy.
I look at my hands, two squishy objects,
Vestigial, not belonging to my body.
My flesh is soft, pliable, but refusing.
How is it that it always ends the same?

Accusing, excuses, still holding onto grass for dear life.

Justine Bienkowski

Free Verse: Humans are Not Like Wolves

humans are not like wolves

humans are not like wolves
in that there is gentleness
to our pause
that is matched
by the strained beating
in our chests

a wolf may thrust itself into a field
and live for years among
the dancing pollen
by i -- i would yearn
too much for hands

yet there is fierceness too
that simmers beneath the surface
beneath fur, beneath skin
we hide the blood of war

while wolves may sink teeth
a man may sink spears

i am convinced that we humans
are just the same as wolves
we kill, we love, we mate, we fall
but it seems that wolves have a bit more heart
since once they lose a beloved mate
they continue their treks alone.

Justine Bienkowski