Pull the Trigger

Yea, I can’t quite shake the dreams that haunt me
those images that play out slowly drag on
black and white as if from another time
another sliver between now and then
a wedge between the past and the present
moving forward is a monumental task
and I’m spent man worn to the bone
sitting at a bar lifting a shot bartender’s special poison
like a gun to my head a little voice is whispering
pull the trigger
pull the trigger
but instead I wipe the sweat from my brow
hesitantly thankful for the distraction this time
it’s too warm in here the fan is stuck in repeat mode circulating a stale breeze and thoughts that don’t drift
hover like a helium balloon without the party high
they remain hyper focused details small minute
details – smell, senses, hot, cold, wet, dry, etc, etc…
old song mist the street I used to live on, lived on
searching for salvation self forgiveness God
and failing continually failing
shuffle buzzed stepping down a boardwalk
roaming around pinball wizard arcade
lights flash and maybe just maybe
I can call this hole in the wall, home.

©2017 TrilbyYates


Berklee Story

A moment a shuffle throw one back
gently put that baby down
every musician has a Berklee story
none as poignant as mine
and you spin storytelling to a new high
I can’t recall the last time I laughed so hard
the last time I laughed…the last time

Memory lane dims and time fades
agony adds humor to anecdotal flamboyance
yes color sound sit back close your eyes
it’s all in the details not weighed down by accuracy
arbitrary facts and truth stretches
morphing into a piece of history – unlike yours and mine
hard times weave in and out of love hope
and death spirals 180 degrees slam on the breaks spin out

Back to my story mine not yours
you had your turn as the door opened
the sun hit your face you pulled your shades down
covering the clarity in your eyes and walked
kicking up some dust as a smoke screen
to what you were leaving behind…

Guitar in hand notes float nerves are razor sharp
slice a vein left wrist I can play that tune
six string benders sit high imperial wizards
academia brain teasers lost faith
when the gigs were few and far between
ivy halls Berklee stories credence to their talents
play three songs comfort zone lost in a jazz piece
too many bars long gone the acrobat
the riff moves on a fine wire tear drop
perfection to the bleeding hearts
unplug sit back and listen as vibrations continue to hum
lingering in the air paying its dues to the faithful
and words drop like petals from a lovers bouquet
clearing his throat he comments on three notes
that sound reminiscent of another day
and the great influencers carry no weight
in the grand audition halls of Berklee

©2017 TrilbyYates

Black Balloon

I fill my room with black balloons
helium high keeps me up at night
but that’s the least of my worries
and I have few in comparison
to years ago when I dreaded
the rise of the sun…or its setting

The clouds hang low every now and then
And off in the distance there is a haze
that can’t or won’t burn off for days and days
My personal prison wistfully floating
…and self-imposed
Familiar or not – it’s just my way
…reluctantly, I suppose
and I’m not sure how I ended black balloons shadows blended

The days slip by; the weekends turn around so fast
its remnants never leave they always stay
and wont resolve themselves until it’s far too late
so I continue to sleep walk night into day
I never see the sun set on the horizon anymore
because I can’t find the time to sit…or wait

Dreams fall short when purpose and angst
have met their match twisted ribbons I do adore
black balloons begin to fall leaving nothing
but latex shadows on the floor

Point of contention I do recall
this was never about you at all
This was never about you
and the dragons that you have slain
or the demons that sleep comfortably in my bed
and childhood pranksters do remain
…and black balloons shimmer in the night
drifting gently sweet-one as they dance with delight

©2017 TrilbyYates

First Snow In The City

She stood still, cold wind blows, bare hands shaking eyes wide as the news translates from doom and gloom to Christmas cheer; she would sing if she could. Tangled web of high ratings money flows in an upward motion…there is no downward trickle in her neighborhood.

A few blocks tourists know a magical place to let reality go – peering through the windows Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Henri Bendel, Barneys New York, Lincoln Center and Bryant Park a kiss waiting under the mistletoe!

Large glistening silver balls hanging in the windows and when the sun shines through a subtle spark of blinding light is carefully aimed at me and you. Perfection in a repetitive pattern behind every shade of red and blue the ultimate psychologically calculated marketing plan – reach into your wallet Mr. & Mrs. Who knows Who.

The ice meticulous zamboni stroll caretaker Rockefeller Center shave and sweep imperfections away there is nothing beneath the surface. The holiday songs are a familiar call ice skating within the directed safe boundaries of a well choreographed holiday dance for all.

West side 79th Street boat basin dock leads out into the frozen waters of the river tide. The Henry Hudson is bitter cold yet allows the imagination to float to a space and time of simplicity as history is told. A tale of harder days with ribbons and bows. Memories fill the mind, eyes close wishing for peaceful revery as a warm blanket falls within the purity of the first city’s winter snow.

© 2016 TrilbyYates

Blank Slate #2

Deep breath, deep painfully deep – I inhale, count 1,2,3,4,5…5,5,5 chest aches holding more than oxygen in; exhale blowing out nothing more than possibilities for a better day, a bettter sense of wellness, a suitcase full of angst

Memories are tiny clips, images wrapped within emotional set backs, images – a glimpse of things never forgotten, there is nothing lost in the details; texture, scent, gut reaction – fear escapes in illusions; fear an escape hatch with wisdom and for the wise, a camouflaged lifestyle always in disguise

A child, time stands still, new and fresh – old and stale crystal clear foggy storyline has all been told before, nothing new on the home front, nothing new as time slips away – 20,30,40,50 so many years ago, still, time is motionless as if yesterday

Questions never answered; they have shifted with time from why, to when – when will it not matter any longer; when will the jagged edges become smooth, when will fading away into the darkness of someone else’s life…become a release and not a failure, the path chosen cosmic shift twist of fate – a blank slate, a blank slate…

© TrilbyYates 2016


Sound down images skip back and forth
across the stage
life isn’t always a vibe high
fresh face light up the sky quick fisted
moments linger daydreams give pause
a glimpse of hope and bewilderment
yet we remain
we continue on
and if we choose to cut our loses and bag it
consequences loom clouded fate begs
for a sliver of lighthearted rhetoric
to and fro back and forth
caught off guard kiss with impulse
and abandon nothing
lose nothing
take a chance risk factor hell bent
on keeping the line straight
although the fork is more often than not
a low road bend
and how does love remain
when you’ve been gone so long
…it’s an oxymoron

© TrilbyYates 2016


I listen compassionately to young poets; exposing their soul with naïveté unobstructed passion struggling to keep their words and truth pure, clear, coherent; and I think to myself, silent within my own insecurities, my own private courtroom – judge and jury, these are the facts, objection, overruled…I recall my own journey; my own learning curve. So many words to string together, to sort through with precision and care, applying my unique finger print to each key stroke; my personalized one of a kind signature – ultimate uniqueness. A puzzle with too many pieces, round peg in a square hole, tangled massive hand wringing knuckle cracking twisted maze expressing my aspirations, lack of – or fullness of love, fears, shame, blame and unapologetic notion that “I” as a human being have an innate gift to express without boundaries. Maybe, just maybe I’ve lost my place in the poets line, my seat on the creative roller coaster ride, my worthiness to continue to string words together – age factor relevance? Words that will reach out beyond my person into another – regardless; into an abyss of desperation or tap into a pulse rhythm line keeping the beat with a racing heart; giving it reason to pause, skip or stop for a moment – pondering. To capture a reluctant nod of affirmation; a nod of discomfort, yet, relief at the uncovering we have all experienced…being a creative or not is ageless.

My mantra, a reminder in those too frequent times when the bottom falls out from beneath me or the proverbial rug slips away, free falling panic attack, darkness is a warm blanket suffocating at times – “I’m not good enough, I’m not enough…”, turning it backwards inside out with a whisper between myself and God...”I’m OK, I’ll be OK…”

The stringing of words has been a burden and a blessing. It is like a child learning how to tie a knot with tiny fingers bound by a lacking of coordination and youth, but the lyrics continue in sweet methodical persuasion; “Bunny ears, bunny ears, playing by a tree. Cris-crossed the tree, trying to catch me. Bunny ears, bunny ears, jumped into the hole, popped out the other side beautiful and bold.” And never ever knowing if it will stay tight, knotted or come undone at first fight or self sabotage; yet attempting to keep the insecurities a distant bay knowing full well with age and wisdom nothing ever remains the same.

© TrilbyYates 2016


A rush, adrenaline high – his hands shake walking away back stab left over son of a bitch silence engulfs the space on the floor, simplistic empty hole in the wall; questions follow and wounds never heal they go underground waiting for another day to step out and sabotage what tiny thread of hope that may linger or psychological therapy dredged banter that fills the medicine cabinet cocktail blend fix for another shade drawn melancholy pseudo way of life. Another day in the sun.

From the look on his face, the way he carries his body weight, he has no recollection, no inkling, or a nagging – maybe…grainy image illuminating sequence film, black and white flip book play back – a trigger to that one single flash in time when the earth ruptured and hand to head cracked, a sound enveloped in bubble wrapped packing. A moment of hardcore mind bending assault slips deeply into the cranial cavity, tucked away like a souvenir, a memento – cherished.

Déjà vu is an expression that taps into something that feels familiar, “I’ve been here before…”, a taunting recollection, a chill up the spine; but he is a flat line, a jab in the chest – a twisted bend with a sense of entitlement. It was never about how she looked or what she wore, the way she spoke. It was always unequivocally without bias, about “she“.  She the gender, she the girl, she the woman.

A society of fame and fortune protected perpetrator with deep pockets and words that torment and fingers that don’t reach out they tare inward at humanity; taking a stab at what is owned and inherited by gender and gender-less complications of societal norms when one steps up the pace and the other sets the standard –

© 2016 TrilbyYates

Unawakened Knowledge

Is this life set in stone?
A book or song with words
events that take twists and turns
allowing fleeting moments of joy
to tempt the stars – fate
Yet to slip from sweet lips to tears
of sorrow…
When did life become less
than something to cherish
but rather dread…
When did the light of another day
take a turn from a blessing to a curse
carrying with it the weight of the world?
Somehow, someway born into an un-awakened
knowledge yet to learn, to experience…
Wishing to be born in another era;
a flapper girl with feathers and wings
that would sustain silver dreams on moon beams
to places yet to be discovered…
When music was coming of age
and notes had not yet been played
that followed one another
a brilliant vibration on spaces in between
held with anticipation bated breath
and whispering humbleness (Shakespeare)
What was new
What was next
Oh yes such sweet silence…
The power of song
The power of words
Creative imaginations burst into flames
– of purest delight
Stones un-turned
Flowers, anticipation to be inhaled
looked upon in awe!
The first kiss on the cheek of a new child,
life with its ephemeral glimpses of joy…

…when did I come to know that this is not where I should be?
And yet here I am again and again – a continuous loop.

© 2016 TrilbyYates