My post “Tempus fugit” originally posted at Sudden Denouement, A Global Divergent Literary Collective

I imagined walking across the ocean floor The immortal lobsters and jellyfish my friends I said, “I wish I didn’t have to breathe.” I thought of wasted time and dreams deferred Of taking this split life and making it whole I said, “I wish I didn’t need to sleep.” I thought of money wasted, as […]

via Tempus fugit-Erich Michaels — A Global Divergent Literary Collective


Idle hands


It was a warm summer night

We meandered along

Down familiar streets

Finally lying in a field of grass

A small park amidst a quiet neighborhood

We were restless as teen boys usually are

Itchy skin ready to slough off

To begin anew as men

We sat in a circle, cross legged

Joe pulling out his homemade pipe

Made from brass plumbing components

He said the strain was called Buddha

It was one hit shit

Five minutes later

I’m marveling at how hands are constructed

Opposable thumbs are the shit

Joe said he wanted to guide us

To open us up as conduits

For inhabitation

He had the three of us lie on our backs

Arms out at our sides

In a velvety, therapist monotone he said:

You are completely relaxed

You are a pathway

Let the demons enter your right hand

Travel through your body

Exiting from your left foot

He repeated this over and over

I stifled my laughter

Opening my eyes just a sliver

I watched the new kid in our group

He started off twitching almost imperceptibly

In the matter of about five minutes

He looked like he was having a seizure

I glanced over at Mike, Joe’s brother

He had that shit-eating grin of his

Later me and Mikey lied

Saying we felt an almost electrical current

Running through our veins

Continuing on with our walk

Jonesing for a smoke

We’d all rifled through every pocket

Coming up short for the $1.25

Joe says how great a smoke would be

A few steps further

He stops in his tracks

Eyelids fluttering

Mouthing words from an unknown language

A smile creeps across his face

He slips his hand into the pocket of his jeans

He pulls out a five dollar bill

Praise be to Bael

We start walking

Joe in the lead, as usual

I look over to Mike

He rolls his eyes



A flash of lightning

In a state of entropy

The mind digs

It cradles the amber

Boring to the center

The rock candy blood

Of a cobwebbed understanding

Mixed with cerebrospinal fluid

Spun around the mind

With centrifugal force

The DNA mapped

An intersection of similarity

A ‘what if?’ moment

A graft taken hold

A tree of 40 fruit grows

The lightening is gone

Thunder rattles the windows

Wires crossed


There was a time

A time when hearing your name

As spoken to you by your mother

Made you taste her sweet milk In your mouth

A time when the words in a Dr. Seuss book

Shimmered, flashed and danced about

A time when your father

Played peekaboo with you

And as you watched him hide

His hands pressed against his face

You could feel the pressure

Against your own face

Though nothing touched you

A time when the radio didn’t just play music

But made rainbows

Pulsing from the speakers

Unfortunately that time has passed

Crossed wires uncross

Just like with a lazy eye

One eye will dominate

The brain ignoring the other

And a single, more useful image is presented

Its a matter of survival

Your parents talked of the psychic powers

That young children have

Of seeing guardian angels or spirits

But you we’re just watching

The velvety, pastel blue sound

That trailed out of your grandma’s mouth

As she sang long forgotten folk songs

For most of us

The only synesthesia we carry with us

Beyond the uncrossing

Beyond childhood amnesia

Is sympathy

Where facial expression and body language

Elicit emotional reactions

These crossed wires make us social

Make us human

Make us beautiful

Aurora Phoenix pulls no punches in this piece on Sudden Denouement!

he is sleeping fetally curled as the narrow bench allows hairily bedraggled a forlorn green bean hopelessly lost in a crisper corner. insensible to the hubbub lurch oblivious sea legs unconscious. his story has uncracked bindings though I inescapably draft this chapter unimaginatively entitled “homeless” subtitled survival strategies for bitter blustery days they wear their […]

via Subterranean Novellas – Aurora Phoenix — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

All in


Going to the casino for the first time?

Make your way to the buffet and indulge

Fill your belly with comfort food and carbs

And in that warm, contented afterglow

Give your money to the next stranger you see

This is the surest wager you’ll ever make

I guarantee it

You’ll feel good having made someone happy

And you’ll have saved yourself great torment

The worst thing that could’ve happened to you

Believe it or not

Would’ve been for you to win

The surge of adrenaline

The release of endorphins

You will be chasing that feeling

For the rest of your life

Let me be your cautionary tale

Here is the twist

My first casino

Was a writing contest in 4th grade

My essay on why a kid shouldn’t be president

Beat out the whole school

5th and 6th graders included

To this day I remember how to spell

The word ‘assassin’ because of it

I was paid in pens, pencils and erasers

I was led into a room, as best I can remember

That had a mountain of textbooks

I was king of the hill

A landslide of knowledge shifting beneath me

I slid my hands along the cool, hard surfaces

Looking for something

Something special

To commemorate my victory

I climbed down that mountain

An astronomy text tucked under my arm

My head in the clouds

The loudspeaker announcement

My name echoing down the locker-lined hall

I have been chasing that dragon ever since

Looking for the next mountain to climb

With my eyes towards the stars



Maybe I’m part moth

Maybe I’ve watched too much film noir

Maybe I see it as a tempting, empty throne

But when I’m driving at night

On some state route

Houses thinning out

The glow of the next city

Backlighting the tree line

And I see a streetlight

On some deserted corner

I get the overwhelming urge

This visceral need

To go there

And just stand

Beneath its light



I am content

For I know there is another me

On another Earth just like this

A verse slightly different from the first

Where being a writer or a poet

Is like being a rock star or a pro athlete

Where I’ve seen the world

Welcomed in ghetto and mansion alike

Where a signed haiku gets me dinner

A signed sonnet is a CEOs annual salary

You want a personalized poem for your love?

You’ll take me into your home for a fortnight

A guest, an observer who spins tales

Recounting adventures and always listening

I can make you feel again, is what I tell them

I’ve learned to listen to divine your tale

So when it’s finally presented I’ll show you

Beautiful parts of you having never seen light

You’ll weep for a love of moments long forgot

My words bringing you closer than ever

I’ll take memories of you to keep me warm

As I sail off into new horizons

Avoiding love’s dearth

Paying my way with ink and vellum

I’ll make you feel again


The first one is tangible

But severed as soon as it hits light

After that, it is invisible

For most it thrums in the key of love

For others, the invisible umbilical is cut

You feel the weight of it

Trailing out behind you

The rest of your life

This is true with all primary connections

Whether lost by choice or by death

The next are, hopefully, tenderly constructed

These strings, along with the first

Make the power chords

The yardstick for all future connections

Some can be slack from uncaring

These don’t thrum at all

Brought up with these types of umbilicals

You’ll fear the sound of real connection

Alien…a trap, you’ll think

You’ll create your own slack

Some are too tight from authoritarian control

It’s a garrote of discordance

You associate it’s tight embrace with love

You strangle everyone you care about

Trying to keep them close

The tension is too great

The snap will be a reoccurring theme

Sometimes we overcompensate

Brought up with slack, we seek the tight

Brought up tight, we seek the slack

But when faced with purity of tone

We shed misconceptions like too tight skin

Sloughing off our callous nature

We stretch ourselves from spiritual growth

When we neglect spiritual growth

We create holes in our range

Like Hunter’s Syndrome we become deaf

Certain frequencies are lost to us

In desperation we fill this hole with objects

One way connections that drain us of energy

Wasting time amusing ourselves

With smartphones, PCs, or 4K televisions

It’s time wasted, because it takes us away

Away from the symphony

We form connections with friends

They give us range and depth of tonal grasp

We sometimes find a place in worship

Here we learn chords beyond understanding

At school we learn our spot in the symphony

With a good partner we resonate harmony

Each time we gain another umbilical

We place gentle fingertips on these strings

Quickly assessing their health and vitality

If we don’t continually tune our connections

We’ll find them either tightening, slackening

Or breaking altogether

It’s up to us which we strengthen or neglect

We are spiders at the center of our webs

Our webs interconnect with individuals

Our webs interconnect with institutions

At the same time we monitor our harp-webs

We, too, are being monitored

Do you color in between the lines?

Do you learn the latest dance moves?

Do you read the right books?

Some would be happier if you didn’t read

Will you turn a knob on your machine head?

Or allow someone else to tune you?

Will you become institutionalized?

There’s strength in numbers

We are creatures of habit

Did someone have to show you?

That Twinkle Twinkle is the ABC song?

You were too close to notice

Like not seeing your child grow

Not until you step back and borrow eyes

Before you know it they’re your eyes


Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten

To gently lay your fingertips on the web

Someone is always doing it for you

Welcome to the panopticon