of escapades
want to do
the moves scene
on film

dark rooms
tunnel trains of
wrecked negative
develop this

a bar fight
with spirited

clear the air
with righteous

positions awkward
disruptions aplenty

attitude stroke
bright smile
brought down
to debilitating


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.


Twisted Vines, Simpler Times

Twisted vines wrap ’round simpler times
vines finding way through dense soil
wrap way up, chains within, throughout
’round through, chains to spirit’s tine
simpler, dense – within, spirit’s beacon shines
times soil throughout, tine shines ever


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub’s Square Poem prompt.

Fine My Happiness

Sharpen my rusty blade
on your sun
these rain-soaked ways
need rays

put my peace
in check
when something inside
just wants to check out

want to hold a fire
to these

want to take
a straight edge
to this
stubborn stubble

want to take
my chips
and settle
all bets

no effort

paint a pretty
free of charge

but someone’s
got to
fine my happiness

why do I
got to fine
my own god
damn good times?

smile. with. no effort.
something in me
strangles ease
& stokes a struggle

that’s the way
my chips fall
that’s the way
my cookie turns
to crumbs

and I am
for your
tall glass
of milk


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.

Samsara Wicker Basket

Looking for corners
in this mandala labyrinth
lactose intolerant
looking for a wheel of cheese
looking for linear answers
in a samsara wicker basket
flatlining beneath floorboards
cobwebs in thought trains
keychains and souvenir shot glasses
from teardrop oases
bar charts stale from cigar smoke
scurry to the next bear trap
elastic lifelines snapping
from spilled açaí berries
colons cleansed yet mind
still peeps through locker rooms

this dirt is innate
this dirt is not meant to wash
away down holy drains


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.


Arguing over lines crossed and drawn
like who’s right to bare arms
don’t want to be seated
at your over-analyzing tea party

eye candy turns sour in mouth
spitting out
expired jawbreaker

oh how I missed your old-fashioned
your conspiratorial debut
but I had to sell that broken record
for something I’d rather listen to
more than once

I light this incense in remembrance
of that which I aim to forget
your poisoned offering is fading from my altar
face down & scathing

your truth is a bad tab on my tongue
a trip from which I’m dying to return home
seconds shed like rattlesnake skin

seeping through my dreams
like walks through high school halls
where I thought I’d built walls

why did you taint my goodwill offering
your scaled fingerprints are in the ashes
a holy water riptide, a reptile in white cloaks


© Copyright Steve Shultz. All rights reserved.