Rhythms: For R Rated Audience Only

by LJ Frank

I’m not sure when the change within began

perhaps it was during my youth

the first book that ever impressed

was it Ecclesiastes or Song of Solomon?

after Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

or the Old Man and the Sea

and then my Expectations were not so Great,

except for a few unrated foreign films

I snuck in the theater on a Saturday afternoon

for a viewing

with my moustache in place

the director’s cut of a Luis Buñuel’ film,

and later visited the downtown bookstore

witness to Henry Miller’s Tropical books

seductive prospects of a loss

the misplaced virginity of my mind

never the serpentine towards poetic rhyme.


So whatever happened to

the Shrew’s Taming?

or EE Cummings let alone the Road Not Taken

and Catch 22 was already public

Heller’s mind revealed;

endless impassioned pleas

love even as a social construct,

enamored with an illusion

when an inner voice murmured wait

passion wounded, hurt and dying misplaced

loathing eats away at the soul

becoming friends passé

a soup spilling over the rim

a bitter taste

the spices of narcissism, arrogance and greed

leaving much unsavory relish on the plate

a desert grows amid the garden

to exist

the spirit of truth remains a spirit.


Reincarnation to return in a different form

or resurrection of a mist


just step up to the curtain and pull it back

a doubt scrawled next to a symbol

X marks the spot

an acupunctured vision.


The untimely passing of intimates

a reminder of what I am

to embrace, feel, touch and be humble

self-awareness hauntingly remains.