Sunburnt meadows stretch
their golden tendrils and
wrap me in their mystery.
Cattails whisper soft secrets,
beckoning me into their
infectious oblivion.
I keep walking.

Sepia filters discard
harsh hues and grey thoughts.
Monochrome memories
trapped in a tinted vial.
Forgotten footage
flies off a film roll.
I keep walking.

No tangible destination.
Just a sedated vagrant
basking in dreary comfort.
Solar nostalgia prickles
my blunted follicles.
A distant summer is relived.
I keep walking.


NPC With An Agenda

Analog by birth and digital in name.
A neurochemical slave programmed
to indulge my reward centers
with swift avarice.

Data analysis indicates
sensory overload.
Cannot compute or compete with
the Human race.

I am recycled carbon,
the most recent ancestor of
my amino acid overlords.
I disappoint them daily.

Charitable fascists are the
champion of the people.
Dioxide gases choke
the hopeless throats
of the lower classes.

High definition contact lenses
melt into my corneas.
I cannot un-see 1080p.
Surround sound cochlear receivers
tune into a washed up primadonna
belting distress signals
through invisible radio waves.

Is this a cry for help?
A desperate ten-cent phone call
as she teeters on the edge of obscurity?
Or is she content writing predictable hits
while the flame simmers quietly?
Her passion bloomed and went with her youth,
the embers no longer immune to suffocation.

Buddha doesn’t believe in God,
and God doesn’t believe in you.
Neither of them could cope with
the Human condition.

Deprivation is unrealistic
when you’re designed to consume.
I say let them have their cake
and their cocaine.

Worthless pig-bellied skanks trample undesirables in Walmart.
Black Friday bastards push and shove ‘til they burst.
Their thirst for blood will be suppressed no longer.
The animal in them drills to the surface
and overrides the desensitized compassion centers
that reside in their neglected cerebrum.
Empathy eroded from years of mistreatment,
misdeeds, misunderstandings and mistresses.

Napoleon didn’t know how to party.
For all the shit and grit we sustain,
we still find solace in self-expression
and we fill our bottles with celebration.
The patient cheese at the end of the maze
is replaced on a regular basis,
but when we reach the prize
we reset and forget.


Experience Tranquility

I was introduced to you by myself.
I cherished your pungent aroma,
held you dear as your terpenes
persuaded my impressionable psyche.
You realized you weren’t enough,
so you began to take on alternate forms.
Some of them brooding intellectuals,
others just a cheap fuck that
left me high and dry.
You changed.
So did I.

You placated my incessant greed.
My recklessness occasionally produced
unintentional transcendence.
For every ethereal taste test,
there was a midnight plunge
into unsavory graveyards.

You purged me of my identity
and ripped me a new one.
My scars are maps that
point to the same
tainted destination.

I’m now starved for your affection.
The best you can offer me is used goods.
I overcome the diminishing returns by
requesting more of you.
I want to see you all the time,
but you’ve grown distant.

You haven’t surprised me in months.
Your presence is a staple,
singing that tired old tune
we used to enjoy.

I love for you all that you’ve shown me,
but I must close my eyes again
and face the machine.
I’ll see you Friday.


Conklin Ave

Dying streetlamps drone faintly as I
turn the corner, scraping along
in an unsteady gait.
A straight shot.

My tunnel vision pinpoints
the church parking lot’s effigy.
Under the moon, Jesus is lit,
and so am I.

Although I walk alone,
the spirits of friends join me,
as they did so many times
in a purposeful stupor.

I pass the former antique shop,
cruelly abandoned, now
conveniently repurposed
as a sanctuary for our
hidden indulgences.

Rows of small, identical evergreens
ensure protection from
nosy onlookers.

Undisturbed suburbia at this hour,
aside from the homeless felines
that prowl the grounds
they’ve claimed.

The monotony is palpable,
but the residents are content.
Mowing their lawns,
walking their dogs,
and raising their children,
who will eventually become
old like me.


Opiate Pipe Dream

A squished entrance
to a familiar place
that seemed so real.

A trail to a swamp
where there are no mud people
and the flora flourishes,
while the fauna retreats.

A human presence is detected,
and the sweet private escape
eludes me too well.

I’ve tried to get to
this place before.
It seemed so real.
You could pinpoint its location
in a black hole vortex.

A tainted mirage
only the thirstiest travelers can see,
but when they get there it’s dry.
Only when they close their eyes
can they taste it.

Blistering blue trees
caught in the dead of winter,
not a trace of autumn about them.
Their veins bleed lifeless sap.
My pulse thickens.


About the poet:

Eric Fulgione was a student in the class of poetry editor Emily Vogel, professor at State University of New York, Oneonta.