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No Safety

T.G. Martin

OWS Ink Press

(A division of OWS Ink, LLC)

No Safety

Copyright © 2017 by T. G. Martin.

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For information contact :


1603 Capitol Ave.

Cheyenne, WY 82001


Cover design by Travis Martin/Binding Principles

Internal Formatting by Stephanie Ayers

ISBN: 978-1-946382-08-5

First Edition: July 2017

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

No Safety

T. G. Martin


For Logan,

my North star

Part 1

Briar Rose

She is tragic, O sweet calamity.
Murders her days with lifted Prosecco,
Corrosively gifted with lethal sensuality.

She claims her love with thick profanity,
Fends off men with her stiletto.
She is tragic, O sweet calamity.

Erects her tower of unfettered Vanity
With the bones of every foolish fellow,
Corrosively gifted with lethal sensuality.

She, with waterworks, provokes raw insanity,
Refusing to resign her false, false woe.
She is tragic, O sweet calamity.

Yet affects a decadent ethereal tonality, (and)
Sashays like a tongue of smoke across ground zero,
Corrosively gifted with lethal sensuality.

I kiss my beloved briar rose, falling into her great gravity.
Stand tall behind our lies despite the truths we know.
She is tragic, O sweet calamity,
Corrosively gifted with lethal sensuality.

Ode to a Bounce

“My heart is less

A part

Of this marriage

Than the magistrate


We should start

With getting that straight.

Will you divorce me?”

There's a kind



When the music ends

And your

Buds still hum

In the distance

And someone says

Your name

So you unplug them

Alone in a strange place

And you realize

You were wrong

It's just a poor


And you play

A loud, familiar


Sweet Adaline

She had a broad smile. The kind of expanse that fills you with ease. I never got that. Those rich heart rich expressions. Annie only ever gave me glimpses. She used to smile that way when she was younger, before I met her. When she was soft and naive.

I wanted to let my head hang. To give up into the drunk, but I guess I suddenly had company. So I drew back, dragged my acoustic into my lap and poured my soul over it. I picked out a melody that ran on and multiplied. She poured herself something and came back with a mason jar.

She used the canvas of her bag to draw her nails across like a brushed snare, and the matted carpet like a Tom-Tom. She found the heartbeat to suit the life blood of this semi-lucid melody.

We toyed with it for a minute, until she left it to plug my Strat into the box. From it she pealed out a somber phrase of notes and trepidation. The humanity of the song came alive without the taint of lyricism.

We played on until the door was rattled by the neighbor I'd as of yet not seen.

Then, we sat. She snickered, and I cast a disapproving eye. But right she was, and I fell into it. We laughed too hard. It was wonderful. There wasn't anything wonderful anymore, and it was like virgin candy.

When everything diffused, the nervous humor and carefree surrender, we sat like old loves in a cool park after the sun had fallen.

"I should take off," she said at last and threw her last ounce back. I could feel the hot flavor rushing back into her young belly and I wished I was young again. She closed her eyes and let the hard burn take effect, and I longed for the days of simply enjoying the pain. Back when I was human and that splash wasn't just a meal.

She pulled her black hair back over her dark printed shoulder, that dense violet Locke doing what it chose, rose up and assessed. "So, I'm gonna bounce outta here. You're good though?"

"Adaline?" I responded. "This is me at my best."

"Ok. A little depressing, but I can accept that."

She took up her bag and was out the door as swiftly as she came, and I was again at rest.


Her sanguine complexion,

Freckled gently to perfect flaw.

Royal red translucent satin

Stained her careful alabaster.

Jade toned rune stone emerald iris,

Speckled rust and gold dust.

Bangs like flames burning furious against winter,

Descended jaggedly as canopies of fire.

She hunts my affection with a leopard’s curiosity.

A blood framed ivory spectacle.

A Presumption

A poem

Is a Peregrine.

It wakes

At any hour it necessitates

When it hungers to 


And soar. 

Like the deep, intimate thrum

Of the first phrasing.

The beats of pulse,

So rises the tempo of progression, 

Like the puns of the heart.


builds to the crescendo.


a long decadent drift,

Cadence to comfort

Syllabic symbolism.

The song so comfortable;


Drifting with the winds of familiar thought:

The drift of the Peregrine's aggress,

Verbiage amplifies the danger

Of her imminence to strike,

Complex violently piercing lyricism,

Punches through the ribcage

With precision and plot

Piercing weak, inferior philosophies.

The Peregrine feasts.

A Girl Alone

She felt she was


Impervious to words

His were


And witty

And immersed

In what he felt.

No quarter

But hers…

For one night.

She raced

She rushed

To the finish to find


American God.

He sweat,

He swore,

He struggled inside…


American God.

Everybody doesn't need

The sinner redeemed.

Something about the clicks

Of heels,

And dreams,

By the tempo of a digital clock…

Reliance is the currency

Of violent means.

Something about the aftertaste

Of pride

And purity.

O,How She Fights to Keep A Thing Like Me

As my love defends me

To her father

Who to her

Stands the ageless

Incoherent, ever absent

Standard of a man

And I,

A decade

Well beyond,

And perhaps a few behind

I wonder,

Sitting in my pickup with

Sabrina on her phone.

She keeps the keyboard 

Sounds on 'cause

The noise of their clatter

Makes her feel empowered,

She said once,

Whatever that means.

The text tirade continues

Well into an hour

Where I pull into 

The liquor lot

The movie lot

And pry her from the cab.

Three missed calls.

Emphatic curses. 

She professed so hard

Deflecting my questions

"He likes you,"

She says and caresses.

"He's just, 

He doesn't want to

Accept that I'm a woman."

None of it hurts

It's unconvincing 

Inconvenient at best.

We catch the Pixar flick

My hand down her pants 

Before that damn lamp

Does its thing.

I never wanted this

Conversation to commence

But it is what it is.

I can't pry myself 

From my

Trailer park princess

Nor will I evade 

My bill of goods.

She tastes like honey

And cream, 

Sounds rash, 

A smoky symphony…

Eyes fall to black

In movie lamplight

And are deep chocolate

Against the sun.

Her hands shiver

But are ever so hot.

Another Relapse

The chill of spirit's fire gasping.

Foil tang of will collapsing.

Happens swiftly,

Sinking simply,

Doctoring divergent motivations,

Vivisecting fact.

What happens in sickness

Sticks through time.

What's sick

Becomes the natural act

Of cogent

Self discovery.

Angel Dust

Over the strikes of my father

Across my fucking head

“Disrespecting whore”

He took more than he had to

And I took what he gave me.

Unrestrained and thundering.

My virgin tears that fell like heavy dust

At first, but became magic lenses in my eyes

Lifting me away into the dream, in the distance.

Sixteen was enlightening

I discovered my refusal was

The food of

At least

One man’s hungerlust.

Bite Love

Be not beloved

Bite love

With consonants

And vowels. Hard

Cunts and cocks

And bile

Let not it

But more than

Writhe and foul

Let not it


Devour it.

Be love’s derivative

Be not beloved

Be above it


Fuckin Politics

A simple-minded narcissist-

“Rides this golden surfboard over

Rolling waves of ignorance,

Vomiting chaos and cross thoughts

And sickening vitriol,”

He shifts his tie into casual business,

Which my grandfather taught me,


Everyone’s fucked at this point.


A sycophantic head case that insists

The system’s rigged

Against him and only him

And we, on geriatric Ikea furniture,

Home and always hungry,

Swallow this nonsense.

Cause if there's anyone the system

Was never rigged against

It's the white old man in the castle on

Fifth Avenue

The Floor Stands Still with Natural Friends

A friend is a


Where I stay on


And weeks

Are the roses where

I sit through the hours,

And my head is a vacuum

That swallows up the hope

For tomorrow.

My Heart

Is broken, when I'm


I'll drive all over the town

On my feet

Smile without teeth

While I chew on this


Take all my troubles

And cut them into

Tiny pieces

Of flesh

And feel the blood

Run through my fingertips

And be like the hunter

Hide in the brush

With ill intent

As a viper

Or a pair of shaded eyes

Going Down

She touched his hand the way

Angels touch men;

With foreboding purpose.

As though she were beyond him.

They walked; her heels struck gently,

Six to four of his.

Her hips swayed as gently as

Stubborn was his swagger.

They passed by side glances,

Looks that lingered,

Jilted and knowing as ever,

Growing with every step to gilded cage door.

The boy in costume

Perfumed his expression with

A saccharin smile

As he opened the door.

Soft clacks of seven inch heels

Cracked against marble

Tile like steel.

A few


Steps to the elevator,

He thought,

As she marked them.

Them; the steps,

Them; the pair,

Them; the honest women in

Animal skins of laborer’s care.

Her flower,

Still as sweet as ever,

She told herself.

She swore to herself.

The bronze jaws responded,


They stepped in

To scarlet red.

Carpet on the walls.

Tile above their heads.

Kara felt at home in elevators.

She liked knives.

She reflected on their comfort,

The way they passed

From floor to floor without wear,

Without the ruckus of effort.

He spoke awkwardly,



Men explode at "what" and "I'm sorry".

She knew what men want,

Men like this man.

Dulcet reassurances.

Famished foreplay.

He told her he'd never done this before.

She told him she was new.

He didn't force a story, but simply pressed the button.

Going down.


I found that flawless kiss

At seventeen.

Timid fingertips


Soft angelic

cornsilk hair.

I fell into her willingness,

Her doorstep,

Her satin bubble yum lips,

And found purpose…

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