Foggy Lilac Windows by Matthew Milia

The holes of highway bones are filled
But the tolls of highway loans are billed
To the board of directors of boredom, here

So I slept outside the worried exit
And hurried to avoid the decrepit
Hordes of fallen Lords, I can’t afford’em, dear

But overwhelmed is a laughing word
To say you’ve taken for granted stillness
On an ever-moving planet

Was the glacier’s falling heard
Was the crumbling porch’s utter realness
Made of ash or made of granite?

Oh, I’m so longing for my mama’s kiss
And scratching my old lifetime’s back
That simpleminded tenderness
Is a pity that my searches lack

The graveyard breathes reality
But reality’s blurred outside my gate
No matter if I hesitate
The foggy lilac windows come
And dumb my number one ambition
And it’s too much repetition

The south was knee-deep in the weeds
And I was in a plank-wood parlor
Every flame from every mouth was only worth a dime

Feeling easier to move than shifting reeds
I was wearing my times on my collar
But my colors don’t get bright in season’s time

Your biggest grid did shrink and sink
In one night’s walk of blindness
To foreign sites where bright lights find you out

When evolution is extinct
And lurking is a fossil’s kindness
And there’s no one left under our sun to sign you out

And the piano strings are damp and deep
And the honky-tonk is breaking free
And the second-grader that you keep
Beneath your skin is next to me

Ah, who likes, who plays these games
And who is clutching to the reins
‘Cause I scurried open plains
And the foggy lilac windows come
And dumb my number one ambition
And it’s too much competition

And that bleached canal was rare
And ma was there
And no one dared to care about tomorrow
The road is bare
I go nowhere
And all the joy that I’m aware is food for sorrow
The loft upstairs is unprepared
The billboard fields are stoned in pairs
The gravel layers and river dares
And the air is very weary

Bethlehem by Matthew Milia

Bethlehem is my kind of town
No matter what is born there
Most men find their knees on the ground
Most men find their knees on the ground

And Bethany’s a pilgrim
She’s there by daylight
I thought she was one of the children
But now she’s the mother of dreams I can’t wake from
Now she’s the mother of night

The night lulls in
On Biblical Lands
And it stands for all I’m missing
And it steals my mind with a half-smile
And it deals the North out in black piles
And it reels me hard ’round the past while
I think maybe I could belong there, too

In Bethlehem, it’s my kind of town
With rooftops where the tar is warm
Where I’m so lonesome I could drown
And no one would kneel themselves down
To fish me
Save maybe Bethany

The Blood by Matthew Milia

The black figure of my body above your window as you’re dreaming
I came to wake you and take you up north
The yard was wet, the heavens forget the way things are seeming
For us who must stumble in yards dark as horses

Your dream went like this, John the Baptist came back vapor-veiled
With grand expectations for what he had started
And you couldn’t resist, you gave him the gist about how things failed
And how all but one fire-heart had departed

And that you were her, and you were sure
That you had the Blood, that you had the Blood
That all is made of
And that is alright, that is alright
I can’t think of a better dove
To carry the Blood

The canal was bright, its innards ignite when moon stretches tight
To show the cargo the floating is gliding
The edges are dark, it’s channeled by bark, it carries the mark
Of every speckle of guilt I was hiding

The bathroom does taste of menstruation chasing night-musk through window screen
Like wounded doves all pretty things bleed
Like my highway dream, Judas redeemed for the one kiss he rode on
Our spirits ride canals and never in deeds

Deeds do go, and deeds do not
Carry the Blood, carry the Blood
That all is made of
Carry it right, all through the night
Till you see what we are of
A dove that carries the Blood

Mount Marcy by Matthew Milia

Mount Marcy is growing sparse
She is the farce that I would like to tell
From the bottom of your well

Feel the bushes, brambles rambling
Ample sapling, suckling all the air
And the north from Marcy’s hair

When my death-day comes
When my death-day numbs me
I shall become one
I shall become nothing
And something
Something is the heaven-king for me

Your crucifixion-three-large-hills are
Shadow-making over stilts we built
On the mountain’s silt

Marcy, you’re my favorite love
Seventeen and freckled like a soul
To forget you would be so
Hard on me
Hard on me to cut you from my dream-range

But we shall become one
We shall become nothing
And something
That something is the heaven-king for me

Birds are chirping, you’re usurping
Things that I would never want to tell
From the top of your landfill

Workers smoking, all evoking
Western counties, full of filth and love
To which you’re bound above

When my death-day comes
For certain, I’ll be sorry
For all that I have done indoors
When outside sons were shining
They are blinding, binding
Reminding me the heaven-king is one

Appears on The Orion Songbook

Dark Autumn Hour by Matthew Milia

Anne, let’s die in some dim town
My brown eyes wait to weigh us down
The candles around the tub will drown
In our afternoons

Music from our evening parlor
Darker than the autumn hour
I gave my child twenty dollars
For tearing at our moons

Dark damp men muddied our house
In my dreams to bleed your blouse
I smiled from my sleep to douse
The horror of this hour

Our boy on dark hills blurry crawling
His rain-glazed shaking porches falling
The homes of all his friends just sprawling
Withering like flowers

Anne, I’ve loved you from a boy
No other autumn could destroy
The town our winds fused to enjoy
Whispering dark farmlands

Tearing moons, these moons are tearing
Swearing terror inside their daring
Crumbling prayers, dark autumns faring
Straight out of our hands

What You Are by Matthew Milia

You are growing cold and lonely
If only you knew what you are
Our grandfather was a soldier
Now I am older, I know what homes are for

Worried homes have walls
They absorb old phone calls
They spit warm laundry smoke to the cold
Backyards

But to be a father I must
Take my life and solder
All my neighborhoods of night
To you

You were born into
A pitch-black-nighttime-window-view
The brightest blinding moon came through
A-shining

That old moon had the cold feet
Over long-gone lawns and streets
But none of those better days do need
Reminding

You are growing cold and lonely
If only you knew what you are

The Latter Days by Matthew Milia

My family does own some land where the river is wide
At night I see my memories dimly dying on the other side
I know that I am now all bitterness and tart
Anatomy to me is a homesick stomach and a broken heart

You rest-stops in the midnight are like friends I’ve worn to bone
I only notice that you’re glowing when I’m feeling so ever alone
Drunken with the children now too many times to complain
Trustful was the mouth I turned into a lustful sopping hole and
Now it’s nothing but a bathtub drain

The Latter Days are harder than I ever could’ve known
Come back to retrieve me sometime soon
If the Latter Days are ending then I hope I’m ending too
And buried someplace where your breath tastes new to me and
Always blowing, so my body’s bent and bowing
Deep into the day’s ending in summer
The Latter Days are always panting like a
Second-Comer

All the fleshy statues of the city-square goodbyes
Are flinging smooth-skin trinities and nakedness
Up into my eyes
Naked swan-necked girls, your arching backs into the sun
The highway ditch’s black clouds split the median and
Breathing-in of all the ribs of every bathing one

And in those trash-pit-ponds you bathe and
Oh, how you all gleam
Mindlessly bright where you’re wet in
Your eye-lashing, fluid-splashing, rapid-flashing
Canal-bleaching dream
For me

Animals Need Animals by Matthew Milia

The teeth of your black ditch are sweet like the rest
Of the thin-lipped, sharp-hipped
Fierce things that animals show
White like the laughter of smoke in the chest
Long after
The brightness of the fields’ teeth go
The child-mother yells in violent madness
But your tight skin confessed not a vein in your chest
And the way that your breast did hang low

Animals need animals before the winter comes
The metal air swarms across those plains
My long-necked, freckle-specked, heavy-chested, trust-invested
Sows her breath into my chest and hums
Now what kind of county line
Holds her remains

Your gray frame in winter is delicately hued
The eyes are so wearisome
The greens have all blued
And what could it mean
That they once were so green
And now they’re just starving for food?
And I am hungry too

Appears on The Orion Songbook