5 poems from David L O’Nan from the Cartoon Diaries book of poetry

Wild Hearts


Finally, your wild heart has escaped
Dug out of the tombstones and pistols
Finally, breathing
Lost your flannel scars
Anxious
Overly cautious needletail flight
into a coal burnt sun
Finally, your wild heart has escaped
Fireflies surrounding us
In smithereens we are now static
The last prayer to a Bonnie and Clyde tragedy
We are puffing cigarettes like a royal snob.
Invisible now
A parade for the burning winds
He, the jealous king
Makes love fraudulent
Finally, your wild heart has escaped
Dynamite sticks replace a brain
He, lives as the artist wrapped in heartbeats
Ideally, he pretends his golden crown was light
Foggy to everyone else
Your wild daring heart escaped
From razors to scissors
From cuts to blisters
I have never felt the chills like that
in your shaking hand
Your love, facade
But you sleep well in the lilies
Looking at deformed clouds
Destructing the milky way


Taking-pictures in-Dark LAUNDROMATS

He’s always spinning, spinning in dim lights
Eyes follow the floor
The circling of the karmic wheel teeters
A window shaking, the peering out
Foreshadows laughter
Winking eyes and love we’re after
Doubt licks through
the mind is juice and fragments
Comical ears hear nothing but sadness
And Winter months are cold and bent
The wind will blow under the clutching arms of snow
And still the comfort is broken into bits of matter
What is this filth we’re bathing in?
Lint, heat, wet claustrophobic skin
Smiles that look over the ocean’s shores
Where another smile emits from nothing before
Then we rumble, crumbled into aisles of dust
Those who try to save,
their need for lust
Praying hands unite in burning churches
They hope, they grieve, they live for the spin
All the while predicting the evolution of God
Then there are the moments
in which love was spit out of you;
the adoring one
-has been shot with the thoughts of the heart
The heart is left bruised, beaten,
no longer caressing the bleeding
As coarse as sackcloth
As those eyes lift a little
Another light bulb fades
Exit signs flicker
As you remember those rented sighs
Whispers crying “don’t pay for lust”
Then midnight’s bonfire became this morning’s generic toil, dribbled flame
And you’re exhausted, no patience
Cycles ending
You’re a tired feather for the unconscious
And that once bright hammer over your skull,
is now fading
A true carbon copy of the mundane, ill sunlight
Once you step outside, cheers can now erupt
You can be the hero for today
But you still have one sock left missing
Until the next person walks in
and discovers your ghost

Miracle White


Gloves warming,
melting away the little ice crystals
My bones also warming,
beginning to feel my skin again
The doves, the loving birds
Frozen together on bending trees
Electrical wires connected by icicles,
energy trapped
I’m walking over my thoughts,
barefoot and bruised
I grab at the invisible dream that linger in the air
I need that feeling to be real
I need dreams
to feel like an emotional human,
instead I’m this brick connecting to other bricks.
Bricks that want to fall away from me
You swore me a raging river
That my eyes were your jewels
Somehow, becoming solid like concrete
Your heart pumping poison throughout
All the leaves have collapsed
into a pile of wet mucus
underneath the shadow snow
They are no longer the headliner
that they were just a few short weeks before.
Winter arrived so quickly this year
Seems like moments ago
I was warm in your arms
from the last Winter’s death
The unhinging of eyelids across a paste of light
Sleeping inside your mind, tight and coiled
Our bruising hands
holding together the pinching nerves,
daring the bones to unlock them.
Bones that morphed
into plastic through years of loneliness
The heart can breathe hidden,
I can love like an army tank

Our pores ingesting each other,
convulsing, we shiver
Warming each other with a nuclear climax
Succumbing to the wind,
insert dynamite
The black clouds
are injected the liquid of white light
The sunshine broke away into tiny fireflies
Doesn’t need a morning to cradle into sleep
The miracles are never explained
A new day vanished, becoming dusty
Nocturnally brushed into natural.

Popping with the same germs,
hiding oxygen in your panic room.
Crushing muscles that do not hurt, but fading
Will I touch you inside that cloud again,
or just wilt inside it?
My eyes are a miracle white,
and a mind full of toxins
The gonging toll of the blizzard signals,
the chariots buzzing by bleeding
The Winter’s fusion lays
inside my cold purging soul
I can wail into the tunnels,
knife at the feelings that drink like the mud.
I can become a pipe bomb,
I can spin around madly
‘Til beauty spins back into my bait
So, the twinkles of fusion
have torn apart, receded
Blossomed like a duckling,
then flew off with grace
Turning the flies into sunshine panorama,
and swine into star.

A Centipede in a Blizzard

Paralyzing tracks in the stacks of snow
A centipede in a blizzard
Dragging broken legs, frozen and falling off
As the wind is full of laughter
These shadows have sucked up the kill,
my venom
Now, the picnics are a funeral
My dreamscape is now a graveyard
In which you stare to the heavens
Sitting by my tombstone
You watched me wither like melting butter
I am not a saint, but I was washed into purity
Yet, you sit as an eternal witch
Can you take the falling of the black rubies?
Can you drink the toxins from the fruit?
Do you feel the long breaths begin to putt… putt…putter?
Are friends beginning to suspect you of all these fires, baby?
You wake up to a crawling, cold spider dragging to the floor
The phone keeps ringing
like a haunting stain of air
In ways I have always been your skeleton
A Strong, calcified soul
that you could always see thru
Forget your infamous night
The prayer for a rebirth
A limping leg and a heartbreak of whistling wind
The clearing is nearby
Forgiveness to pale fires
Is rebirth the cure?
Evict the liars bell-toll
No soul, a rebirth of a savage
Watch for the tumbleweed


The War is like Honey in Holiday Lights

In this Christmas,
we are in these smoking lights
In our poverty,
In our never-ending wars
Like every Christmas it seems,
Ever since I became a young man
They forced me into these hate battles
Fighting “enemies ” whose faces –
Are in family photos,
Just like mine.
The government has tried to white-out my mind
Many years ago,
Blank me out,
a dot to be eaten by the machine
Replaced me into the sticky,
Fill in the wounds with the honey,
In stitches
Cohesive, bare boned and breathing in
Last heartbeats.
There are the memories,
Pretty voices humming
In hope,
I pray to a sky
That I cannot fathom all the angels
The angels,
That supposed to be cradling us all.

As these nightmares burn in our skin,
Layer me in towers upon towers of fears.
I try to imagine,
A boyhood love of bells ringing,
Instead of missile sirens purging –
the pure from the air.

I will always have my mother’s voice
She will sing to me from the haunts
Sing to me,
In hope
As more of my brother’s fall.
I cradle in this sticky dirt in my cuts,
And hold it up,
So my angels can cradle me

Twitter @davidlonan1 @feversof

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books on Amazon: the Cartoon Diaries, New Disease Streets, Lost Reflections, Taking Pictures in the Dark, the Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers, Our Fears in Tunnels

Anthologies on Amazon: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest Vol 1 June 2019, Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest In Memoriam August 2019, Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 3 the Darkness & the Light, Avalanches in Poetry: Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen, Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

3 poems by David L O’Nan from the Cartoon Diaries

Come Possess Me in the Rain

The conduits all say that I invented myth
And magic all in one breath.
There is a mist in the cold air
On a Greenwich Village Halloween night
I can not feel the electricity
Only the forceful druids, and the chanting wish of death

They hold me up and say
Come Possess me in the rain
Licks the cold steel to my skull
Possess me, with me
Real and muted by the shame
In an execution style parade
What is the impression of a concrete stain?

They are practicing Shakespeare
They are faux Warholas and Bohemians in sunglasses
Without a notion of care

And I’m in this shadow that you feel at the River
Cold to the touch, blood like paste
The arrows kill the stars in the nuclear waste
In the air, decaying the ground

Now I’m expected to love all
As I’m pierced to these skyscrapers
Bound and bullied
My hands shaking off frost
It takes every breath in my lungs to
Release all my cowardice and all the vapors

Like this militant view of my skewering
They drop me off like unused flesh
Love was only the invention
Off the roots of an untimely reptilian dream
And hate grew in the garden
And shook the city lights to the seas
There isn’t a Picasso left

Digging up from the cracks
I crawl up through Cherry Lane
And I watch all the faints
And my nerves constantly dance an alarm
I am rushed in my steps
I am hushed in the slivers of my brain

In my mind that never sleeps
In my possession they fed off for years
I can only find truth and humanity
And live like I’m the Palomino
Dodging in and out of the hustling of fear

Sleight of Hand

My blood is an old soul
That should be pumping through a robotic poet from classic times
If I’m breathing, you will hear me
When I’m not, you may hear me more
How else can you see these supposed fast-moving clouds dream –
As slow motion tantras through a heartless sky?
This current world is too loud for me,
Yet it isn’t nearly loud enough
The art is secluded
The arteries are clogged,
Filled with supernovas and suffering
And they call this a sleight of hand


In The Palms of Schizophrenia

(first published in 3 Moon Publishing)

I’m a runaway from
The colours of my aura
Slithering like worms across the cracks of sidewalks

My palms have lines that are geometrically wrong,
Where do the nails go?
When they capture me
To evict me, to a death.

When they mark me like all of Christianity,
Rising above the rest.
I live with nature, everchanging repetition.
No one else hears,
My cries in the night
Like wolves, like all of my fears

How are screams so fluent?
In an echo, a breath
In Convulsion, still so fluent?
Everyone has deep eyes
Congruent to my ruin.

I remember love
And the mystery of bells
The ringing of heartaches
And the burning of hell

Inside my palms
I always know my passions
Only I, and my ghosts of mind can imagine.
And in this world

Even levitation leads to a drowning.

feature photo by Janine Robinson (unsplash)

Poetry : I Tremble Like Dying Flowers by David L O’Nan

previously published in Royal Rose Magazine and in my book the Cartoon Diaries

I wrote you this ballad this morning
As your brown eyes slept away yesterday’s stress
Can I present you rich daisies and oils?
When Our minds can never really rest,
Of Course, I can write of the past
And all the crumbling rocks that cut like a good-bye.

But I want to be your strength
Instead of your fog in peril build,
A trembling dying daffodil
I want to wipe away a tear with confidence
And bring you the hands of Jesus in this fence.

We must break through
To touch the skins of heaven.

I want to swim,
I want to wipe these oceans over
This sadness, this anger
Drown those greedy seeds of cities.

They continue to grow that oppressive dirt
And I whisper words of I love yous
As you continue to sleep like a peaceful baby bird
And no Winter withering, of flowers
Impervious to the narcotic chills

And flowers dress out of its manic swaying,
All my crutches and bandages hold them up like a miracle for you.

The best I am, and can ever be
Is your damaged masterpiece.

Don’t throw this one out.

photo by Silvestri Matteo (unsplash)

Writing Suicide Notes in the Bluebird by David L O’Nan poetry

(this version orginally published in Elephants Never December 2019) and also available in the Cartoon Diaries book

I was writing on notebook paper
Red-bumped tongue sticking like glue to the roof of a dry mouth
December weakens me
My bones and all my thoughts
Can’t dream in the pillars of orgasms
When our ecosystems begin crashing in declining health

I freeze to your scars
And grew hungry in all of your fears
The stairs and the elevators
The storms and the sun

While around me walks all the men in current disguise
They seem to have decided to join the Ted Bundy billionaire boys club
Suave and sadistic, leave women puking or pouting
I stand upon a damnation hill
Watching the moon fail me, to bring a slight light to the loneliness
As my pen weakens in ink.
Thoughts begin to melt over the table like a shot snowman onto the windshield
Of frosted over flash,
Streetlamps coughed dim light over white pruned-in roads
Mushed in and slick

While the feeling of we all die dance like a parade
That is not a lie as we hold the umbrella and march
Sometimes, we can cartoon our own demise
We can shovel the dirt
Missile into our lungs the cold breath
The air of an avalanche lingers over our heads

All of the loves I’ve had
Are banshees of screams
That are cynical in their echoes
The beauties, the art, the maniacal inkblots
The dresses always sway off into the wind
Becoming bare skeletons that merged into a God-claw cloud
Away from me at least,
In their own heaven
In their own world wherever that could be
With other voices that know more poetry than I
That sing sweeter than the last drop of red wine
It’ll hit the glass

I would kneel these weak legs down to prayer
Only to feel the spikes
And God was left baffled by the shaky knees
As you try to lead love back to a lie
Your bravery feels lost
And look at the cost
Now look whose skeleton is beginning to show through
Your bare soul, do you have a claw to reach for?

I look down to the letter
It is empty of content
And the body is hungry
Stomach feels crippled
Order the special
Worry about the demise on
A different lunch hour.

photo by R Mac Wheeler on Unsplash.com

4 poems from David L O’Nan in the Cartoon Diaries : Summer Fatigue (I’m Tired of July’s Fireworks), I’m Still This Memory, Emotionless Void, & Malvina (for Malvina Reynolds)

Summer Fatigue: I’m Tired of July’s Fireworks

Every land has a burn
The sad, scarification of the scorned
The motorheart
A spiritual loss
Sex shielded by the master’s cost
Here’s the pretentious in biblical eyes
Lit my flame with damnation disguise
Envision the sheath on my heart
Haptic touch of needles start
The hammer hits, the hammer glides
Blue, mellow rapacious minds
Secrets are pure
But also, blind
Gods, Angels, the saviour,
holy ghost intertwined
Sudden loss of beauty, the trepidation
My spine tickles in mortification
Is this my motherland, my mossy adobe?

Saluting patriots and freedom,
burning the world through me
The advantage went from solace to blood money
Collision of an Earth’s palpitation

I’m Still This Memory

I’m incapable of sin
Sitting breathless
In an abandoned auditorium
I feel the beauty of mind, erased
Dreaming in the rust of a tin can
I have everything,
I’ve ever needed
The love of the occluding touch
Of rose,
With sparking fingers
In smoke,
My home
Forget me as I rest in these chairs
I am that ghost,
Watching rain droplets
Drown in the night,

Fireflies murdered in this dry wind
In this abandonment
In this reality –
That only a medium in a ceremony can feel

Emotionless Void

It was a morning in knots
Listening to the kitchen sink drip,
They drip over the glasses of last night’s mistakes
I continue crashing everytime
When I become an emotionless void

And the coffee hits my stomach
Like volcanic ash
All the drugs can’t cool me down,
Or make me identifiable
So just separate me from my monsters
That turns this home to hell

In my mirrors I search for my lost loves
And try to pinch my lips to mumbles
I just feel all the old hate breathe down – my neck

Now you know when you look at that last
Suds of beer in the bottle
That you don’t belong in this town
You feel severed from all humanity

Segregated from the rest of these tickets,
To this outlaw train
Like a frightened chill

You see all the bullet faces,
In every passing window
As the train feels flat

While going up hills,
But never climbing mountains
You’re alcohol sick
And biting off the top of your coat buttons

And you just want to live on that floor
And watch that rat slide around in a rectangle shifting.
All that neglect,
Finally has eaten away your brain

And all those torn blankets from –
Childhood ran off,
With your mom’s rebel flag hat wearing boyfriend,
And his damn rottweilers that smelled of shit and blood.
And ate all the deviled ham
While you lived on stale mini marshmallows

Now, emotionless is what they think of you
But maybe you were just beaten inside –
Continuously by those words of stone
You will be rebirthed by the river
And live with a semi-kind woman

Who will at least wipe away your tears.


Malvina (for Malvina Reynolds)

All of the gypsies danced in the graveyards,
and sung protest songs to the daisies.
The petals chanting Malvina
“Revolt in Folk, Malvina”
Your White hair has lived many seasons,
a woman of many wars, seen many deaths
Like the Winter warning the evils of March.
To a street you sing to the homeless, to the sad
You run out the ruin of brainwash propaganda
send the pimps crying over their lost moneys
you sing sweetly to a hobo’s heart.
to all the broken spirits drowning in the strangers of night.
in infected light.
May the blessed be in this pine box of feathers.
In these cyanide apples we reach for you, Malvina.
Tell us which trenches we can hide, to crawl away from the soot.
In the dynasty of coalmines.
Our clothes of rosy mud with breath of the crawdaddies,
whispering in army camouflage.
They love their kisses of the bullet winds,
that blow through this Vietnam.
We are all digging in the dirt,
and can’t wash the death from our fingernails.
Clouds that grow inside of them,
and sing one of your famous canary hymns.
mmmm…mmmm….mmmm…Malvina
Watch the snow pepper down,
and burn at our tear ducts
Our clarity whips and watch –
these devils preside in the caves
And they talk like a symphonic Nazi
Dragging freedom on the skin of his calloused feet.
In the cocaine webs pricking at the veins in his eyes.
they will hemorrhage at the stroke of your violin.
Let’s wash out this internal sepsis.
These war crime Valentine’s days.
Watching hippies falling to the sun.
Our heroes are the songs in your voice.
Washed out our glory…
They washed out our glory.
Can we grow as humans while crackling in the campfires?
The hum
the hums of your wonder
the hums of the caged birds
Many years sitting in depression’s wings
You finally learned to fly,
as you taught the progressions of Eve.
We discovered each raindrop could be your own.
Malvina, we failed your years
You were misplaced in a world that needed your transitions.

feature photo by Leon Contreras