meaningless (a surplus)


a surplus of insufferable somethings

business cards, stubs of nicotine

a dented penny, a flask of whiskey

phone numbers shitfaced scribbled

on cocktail napkins and folded

like pornographic origami

like a bra made of onyx lace

placed in the sagging back pocket

of some random man’s parachute pants

with a faux peridot rosary

and a bent barbers comb

could-be’s condensed

like milk

like ivory keys

affections defeated by the voyeur of morning

reckless / unrequited / menial / meaningless

prone to the drones of synthetic opium

as he scuffs the concrete platform

with the dragging steps

of disintegrating combat boots

ferries his marginally inked exoskeleton

onto a subway train in Brooklyn

the capital of epidemiological doom

deserving of the full eight syllables

alcatraz of the east

citadel of sardonic illusionists

where the buildings shield

the insomniac graffiti artists

and wall street wallflowers

from sunlight and consequence

someone at a dive bar said uv rays

are the same thing as existential dread

so he stands crooked jaw’d in tunnels

dispensing unsolicited wisdom

on unsuspecting individuals

he plans a low budget wedding

as I laugh from the mast of a war ship

built from a surplus

of intellect and popsicle sticks

having forgotten how to forgive

the little white lies

that lead straight to the hem

of that hideous plus-size bridal dress

but April—

love is patient

love is kind

and love is blind like Helen Keller

in a power outage

and love hides like Ann (with an e)

the diarist straddling a germanic rafter

I fought so many wars on behalf

of other people

I stopped caring who won

a. duncan, 2020


the lion’s outside of your door
the wolf’s in your bed
the lion’s claws are sharpened for war
the wolf’s teeth are red

both the wolf and lion crave
the same thing in the end

video featured track: ‘a moment of fire’ by lo-fi beats and chillhop chancellor

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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

33 thoughts on “meaningless (a surplus)

    1. Thank you I’m honored!!! Thats so unfortunate about the video. Perhaps because it’s a personal upload from my media…? In either case, I am so grateful for your feedback and for sharing something special to me. ❤


  1. Oh my goodness, I don’t know which line I love more! I thought for sure it was,

    “built from a surplus

    of intellect and popsicle sticks”

    until I got to the end. April, your last lines hit me like a sucker punch completely unexpectedly. It makes me want to sob. Maybe because I just finished having a profound conversation with my sister about the merits and demerits of loving deeply and how in that love, we sometimes, inadvertently, become vulnerable to abuse. And oddly enough, sometimes we have to remove ourselves from that kind of love even though we will still go to war on their behalf, and yet have no choice but to keep them at arms length at the end of the day because they simply cannot understand our depths and end up drowning in them and bringing us down with them.

    Wow. How timely was your poem. I am lost for words.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Larisa. I am in tears.

        You have written me some truly beautiful, outrageously complimentary messages and each time it feels like a pretty, ornate gift (topped with jewel toned velvet ribbon) that I find and unwrap with frantic excitement. Only to sit dizzy and blissful at the thoughtful, gorgeous things awaiting me within.

        But this time. This comment. This hit me like a 24 carrot gold flaming arrow. The ways my poem pierced you – is the way your response pierced me. Straight through the heart. In the best way possible.

        Your comment consumed me with feelings of innate recognition ….. it is so special, and so emotional, to read that you experienced awe from this piece and/or felt I was speaking to/from your life. I’d like to believe I was on some level.

        You and I connect in such an incredible, unspoken way when it comes to passion. We both house a kind of passion/conviction in such an powerful, unfiltered form. To the point it’s often poisonous to others… There is a pain born from that kind of loyalty and intensity, that most don’t understand.

        There are no words. Nor enough words in existence. To convey how meaningful your response to this is – to me. I cherish this kind of artistic/emotional echolocation. It’s rare and incredible in it’s depth.

        I want you to know that your intuition, your intelligence and your PASSION… is both seen and treasured.

        Our unique connection never cease to me humble and inspire me. And I thank you for that. From my arrow pierced heart. To yours. From my battle scarred smile. To yours. From my throne of uncompromising love. To yours. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What a magnificent thing this was to have the pleasure of reading..

        “To the point it’s often poisonous to others… There is a pain born from that kind of loyalty and intensity, that most don’t understand.” I resonate with this so much and am awed to find you familiar with that same intense struggle that, by nature, suffers silently and away from the spotlight.

        I shouldn’t be so surprised, however, as usually the best writers are the ones who have had to undertake personal journeys into the deepest depths of heartbreak and disillusionment and choose to fight their way out of its grip. Then, poetry and blood become synonymous in the marks they leave behind like trail markers for others making that same journey.

        You are a brilliant, multifaceted jewel, April, and the different ways in which you shine will never cease to amaze me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Another masterpiece, April. My gosh, every line is phenomenal! The whole wedding part was so powerful. My other favorite lines were:

    “affections defeated by the voyeur of morning
    reckless / unrequited / menial / meaningless
    prone to the drones of synthetic opium”

    “and love is blind like Helen Keller”

    Also loved the shifaced scribbled origami part.
    It’s a genius work 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Purrrrrr… Katy!! Sincerely, darling, thank you. I am utterly delighted by your words. You are by far one of my favorite readers/commenters. While I am nowhere near worthy of the genius/masterpiece labels you bestow upon me, I’ll be damned if you don’t make me feel special. It’s lovely how you gravitate to lines and words that hold special meaning for me. So thank you, again, for being such an amazing and talented peer.


    1. I got actual goosebumps reading this Drew. Thank you is insufficient. I’m intoxicated with the fact the ending was unexpected as your read/listened. Because it was a surprise to *me* as I wrote it. It was the core, the soul of the metaphors, but it didn’t have a name. I wasn’t even fully aware of it myself until I got to those last few lines. When it poured out – it was if it declared itself to me. Having been there the whole time.

      The fact it translated that way – somehow – to my audience as well…? that’s… that’s what art actually is. That unspoken connection? Is the reason. ❤ Thank you beyond thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t it wonderful when we write a piece and that us places we never expected. That is where art comes from. This really was a great piece.

        You are welcome. Looking forward to your next post.🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your words, voice, and music choice are eloquently triumphant
    and you dig deeper into our emotional connections.
    You speak for everyone who is in your shoes or generally.

    The musically aspect, I pictured you collaborating with ‘Portishead’…
    Giving your words and spoken word a musical collaboration of trip-hop energy
    and the fuel that binds the world together.

    My favorite poem of yours but, I can’t choose one because every poem you produce is my favorite
    and belongs in my heart. Bless you so much, April. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Charlie ❤ I absolutely adore Portishead and squealed happily when I read these oh so flattering and oh so humbling observations / comparisons. Trip hop energy. That's so amazing to me and exactly how I experience the composition on this piece. What would I do without you, Charlie??? Thank you. I mean it. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “I fought so many wars on behalf

    of other people

    I stopped caring who won”

    I wish I had written that! It’s a brilliant summation of futility and fatigue. You write from a perspective that I haven’t seen myself but I see through your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some reason I was certain I had replied to this comment, Tim. But it isn’t here. I’m so sorry! Suffice to say your remarks are absolutely charming. I loved how you described it as “futility and fatigue”… so true. It’s humbling to know that you not only read my poems, but experience them. That means a lot to me. You, too, are brilliant my friend and I so enjoy your work. Xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I needed some time off too. I’m working on a post now and hope to have it done tomorrow. A little fire was lit under my ass and I’ll be paying it forward. It was a good fire, kinda like a campfire, not a forest fire. I’ll send you a toasted marshmallow!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Where am I…? Only but in a dream within dream, my love! 😉 I just needed a break from WordPress. The pseudo friends, lukewarm poets and lurking plagiarists were making me dizzy. Some slight turmoil offline. That being said I will return soon, I promise. I miss amazing people such as yourself! And, oh, thank you!! I had no idea you were so fond of collages 😘 xoxo soon

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here’s the marshmallow I promised. I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! I was surprised by a nomination from QueridaJ and wanted to pass it on to you. I don’t know if you have ever been nominated or if you participate in awards, some people don’t. I won’t be offended if you pass on it. I just wanted to let you know that I think a lot of your work and value you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an extra tasty marshmallow! ▫️

      Tim, I am beyond honored by the nomination! I have to be honest that I don’t participate in the awards. But please know that the sentiment is what means the most. The gift in this is knowing you appreciate me and my art. And I want to formally extend that this feeling is entirely mutual. You are a rare find my friend. Thank you for making my afternoon. 🥳


      1. Wait, I think I just had a warm and fuzzy! Yeah, it was! Thank you for that. I had fun doing it but damn, it was a lot of work! It was worth it though. I don’t know if I would do this again anytime soon, it’s a little chain mail-ish but it was my first time so what the heck. The main reward to blogging is being able to express myself as an independent, thinking, feeling person, and finding others like you who understand what I’m saying without me having to explain or justify myself. Whew, my texting finger hurts after that!
        I’m happy to have made you happy 🤓

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I left some comments over on your post but I will echo those sentiments here as well. Your answers were charming and impressive in their candor and depth. I appreciated them and getting to know you better through them.

        I do love the idea, the concept of the awards. But they somehow end up making me feel…. pressured? Not by the act of being nominated or the lovely people doing the nominating. I suppose it’s in the chain-mail undercurrent you mentioned, or the vague sense of advertising.

        Again I couldn’t be more grateful that you thought to include/nominate me and ultimately I am pleased as punch that the exercise allowed your audience more into your being! That’s the part I enjoy.

        Marshmallows are always welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

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