Many Shades of Nothing




Title art by Alicia Savage. Click image to visit her studio.



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Exotique “Soul Ballet”






It has nothing to do with control
Nothing to do with misplacing our voices
Nothing to do with replacing our choices with dead-ends that lend us no safe place to go
Nothing to do with sudden twists and near misses
Nothing to do with the fallout from thermonuclear kisses
Nothing to with the art of castration
Nothing to do with persuasion
Or assimilation
Nothing to do with a nation of millions all willing us on just to fail
Nothing to do with the dreams that we chase
The ones we keep pinned to our tails
Nothing to do with the trail of remains or the blood on our masts every time we set sail
Nothing to do with the storms overhead as they brew up a forecast of frenzy
Nothing to do with beginning from scratch as we dial ourselves back to make ends meet
Nothing to do with retreat or surrender
Nothing to do with the bilge cynics tender
Nothing to do with offending the gods
Everything to do with upsetting the odds
Nothing left to lose which we would not choose to discard
Nothing left to dress our wounds unless we kiss each blistered scar
Pick the scab and hail a cab for all those who propose we’ve gone too far
Take it further, further still
Squeeze the trigger, make that kill
Don’t let hard knocks break our will
Don’t forget to take deep breaths and then, very simply, feel
Nothing to do with the time that we serve or the mercy on show as we get what it is we deserve
Nothing to do with the vehicles we swerve or the fenders we bend as we dodge every curve ball life has in reserve
Nothing to do with the chapter or verse
As they read us our rights and proceed to indite us
Nothing to do with typhoid or hepatitis
Nothing to do with incurable blues
Nothing to do with the ash on our shoes or the blinkers declining us view
Nothing to do with the lines we see blurring
Concurring the slur in our voices
Replacing our choices with prospects of vermin
Nothing to do with behaving, obeying
Nothing to do with say taken away as we burn out, eventually fading away
Nothing to do with the narrowing view that the world’s getting smaller everyday
Nothing to do with too little, too late
Fears that came true as we veered towards fates pre-destined, suggesting it best to get out-of-the-way
None of these things
Hold weight or ring true
When waiting in the wings to watch the girl in my dream come true
Everything to do with setting an alarm to wake up in her arms as sunspots cast glare in her eyes
Everything to do with the fact I no longer forget I’m alive
Everything to do with fucking in the fire as we spread all the ashes around
Everything to do with peeling off our former skin and burning what we were to the ground
Nothing to do with the rest of what’s left
Yet, everything to do with the best
And, when everything else is said and done
We shall dance in the moon and stare into the sun
With nothing but skin on our teeth and dried blood on our gums
Come undone for the cause as we grace the platform
In endorsement of almost too perfect a day
Everything to do with the rise of the steam above treetops that glisten
Baby, listen
Hear the train?




Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill



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