Philip Byron Oakes – 3 poems


Ascetic Text

Micromanaging to survive on a tofu of simple yearnings.
A projected pause wearing a carrot for courage, in being
beaten with a stick impaling the future on a twig of wiggle
room. The gateway to a nod condoning a clarity of strides,
made from the nuances of stumbling into the hazy on good
days. The big wave beneath the breath cresting in a muffled
roar. The awkwardly steep in salvaging a step up on, then
over the long courses of the bad nipping at the heels of
every tomorrow thereafter.  A stooge on a payroll of cooings
heralding the arrival, on the flipside of an epiphany coming
to conclusions of its own sterile blend of wisp and image. A
clearing of the forest at the back of the throat, destined to
grow golden with the years.


And They’re Off

Ready, dulcet, go slow through the first turn
of the cheek into a cockroach and be glad it
happened only to you. The secret army has
every reason to be antsy in the sturgeon laden
streams of thoughtlessness, holding the empire
to its promise to be dull. Daft for delicious as
the crow flies, in the face of all we stand still
for on the dance floor. Remote, at moments
of climactic intimacy, performed in a proxy of
translatable souls bartering for time, in a slang
of equations adding up to please not here, not
now. Mooting primal concerns. The welfare of
ineffable hearts taunting the plastique of ruddy
cheeks. The rancid liturgies of vanity providing
the compost, to imaginable gardens producing
harvests of chubby jowls and thin excuses.
Damnable submersions beneath a façade of
skin, still tingling as if with what the ersatz
offers us all. A respite put to test the will of
time to falter. Riot torn feelings for the music
tearing into the fabric of a simple tune, still
squatting sotto voce as the world drones and
the cases of dengue fever multiply in the hearts
of those who know it’s true.


One Quarter Master

Pliable inventories shrinking to suit that empty feeling
for the light switch in the middle of the day. The being
regurgitated into a world of new sensations. A measure
of boldness to the headlines, in the fullness of circles
holding karma to the geometry of its youth. A standard
hyperbole. That implicit festoonery to the air freshened
by the rubble of failed superlatives. Ever more decorative
statuary, plugging holes in all that won’t stand still. For all
a warehouse holds against its walls. Monotony as an
industry unto itself. A sea of slosh and slither, through
cracks in the argument for head over arse in walking out
the door. Adding up to who knows what might come
crawling out of order. Traversing a long stretch of
threshold to finding firm footing the bill. The door ajar.
Livening up a dull lullaby with a surly dream that can’t
wait to go to sleep.


Philip Byron Oakes is a poet living in Austin, Texas. His work has appeared in numerous journals including  E ratio, Moria, Blue & Yellow Dog,  Otoliths,  et al. He is the author of two volumes of poetry,  Cactus Land (77 Rogue Letters) 2009 and Sard (Otoliths) 2010.

About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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