I Am Santo

Fiction, poetry, music and mindscape pictures by creative artist Jason Santo

A Song Played ‘Til the End

I am not a pop-up poet or a vintage typewriter guy, but I respect the skill of those who are. Last night I won a flash typewriter poetry competition on an old Royal typewriter from the 1920’s. The F stuck and the hard return hated me, but I managed alright enough. Here is the poem, written on site with the 25 minutes given and incorporating my randomly assigned phrase “Stand-up Bass.”


G clef love
a sin left between verse
with the redletter shout of lust
and absolutes etched like granite carvings
into yesterdays’ mountains
made from molehills
In these day to day dance routines
written in urgent blood;
pumped syncopation of our flagrant loss
and the ripening of hurt
with eacn note played by this trio of longing
where grief is the stand-up bass
and your disaffection spills
like fallen notes from a toy piano
discordant as sour orange
bitter in its incessant ringing.
But oh how his blowhard ways
set the air afire,
a brassy inferno
of troubled bliss,
torching melody at every touch.
Never forget those low moans of fevered yearning
They were the bellwether of this end
The chord pulled
Robbing our song of every electric drop
that once gave us power,
that once promised us tomorrow
that once played together
in faithful harm(ony).


You Say You(th) Want a Revolution

At play in the fields
Of the lord and the ladies
Drinking life from roads
Like wheels of a Mercedes
Picking pebbles from teeth
Like pirates pick their maties
Dining on booty
Like histories on the Euphrates
Say these
Words, in operable cadence
One man’s tantrum
Is another one’s patience
Like a terminal patient’s
Enduring procedures
For the good of a nation’s
Bottom line
By design
Hooking sinkers every time
The gullible in free fall
Deductibles taking all
Like winners at poker
Straight faced, they broke her
A bank account emptied
With a waved super soaker.
Know her?
I hardly showed her!
D to a V
Like spit on a flame thrower.
More like an A to a Z
Than any trip to B
I dreamt of C
Like it was Jeannie
And I was Larry Hagman
Before JR and any shot taken
Before Bobby’s death
Cured by shower recreation.
Spoiler alert!
Ernie’s going down on Bert
When the cameras are off
And look, no one’s been hurt
Or the wiser
You miser
Hoarding values
Like Kaiser;
What’s right for you
Ain’t right for some.
Take it in the mouth
Or take it in the bum.
It’s not skin off this back
Or wind on this road
Just things afoot
Where crops are sowed,
Of the lords and the ladies
Living life cocaine high
Like it’s the late nineteen-eighties
Swallowing American Beauties
Like a hundred Kevin Spaceys
While the rest of all y’all
Shop at malls without Macy’s.
Say cheese
You’re next on the price is wrong
So take another
Long, long hit from the bong
And wait to exhale
Like you was Whiney Houston
While the rich Bobby Brown you
Into bathtub boozing.
But even the losers
Get lucky at losing
Or so they say
But today y’all snoozing.
Guess any revolution better wait
Because change ain’t no piece o’ cake
And that high road that rids the ache
Also makes damn sure you never wake.
Sleep tight, little baby
Don’t say any words
They’re all outta fairness
And mockingbirds.
They are all outta promises
So here’s some whey and curds.
They are all out of seconds
So be happy with thirds.

Make Them Cry Holy Tears

Heavens pale
As light-leaked frailties,
Coarse afterthoughts after sullen failures,
Sunsets lost behind cloudcover.
Let them.
Those dieties can fade
Into antiquity
With the hushed sweep
Of hot breath
Dancing on flushed skin.
This lust breeds wildfire synergy
An all-consuming swallow
Of flame over each alleged sin,
Betraying wholeness with need,
A craving that burns
From an alight core.
Damned, they’d say
Shaking heads as if it were a death sentence
But these are stolen glimpses into
Ecstatic eternities,
Quaking, exquisite blinks
Desired more than any gold,
Any promise,
Any reward.
In that moment
The flare of union
Opens hope,
Collapses dreams,
And as muscles lock
Into unreasonable clutching,
Thighs wet,
Fingers tangling hair,
Lips parted,
The posture of divinity
Cracks with eggshell fragility.
Easily attainable,
The whispers of Gods
Deservedly were shunned
By the breathless, frenzied cries
Of mere mortal bliss.
Sing those righteous prayers instead
To those that gnash
As the delicacies they are.
For there are no finer dishes
Than the ones fools claim are served
In Hell;
There are no finer skies
Than those clear enough
To watch an inferno



Smooth and rounded,
as if gel molded
into kind forms
hugging small heat and light,
they rest among motes of dust
as confused days spin
around them.

Slid into line,
they await invitation
to welcome with glimmering dim,
warmth spreading in a flicker
of slipping air swirled
about hurried business.

Daylight’s kiss flirts
for attention,
contrast reminding
so that struck matches may alight,
curtsying, an hour’s glow,
combatting darkness
as if day with gentler hues.

Orange embrace awaits,
a lone dancer on a dark,
quiet floor
searching for a partner
in the night.

Any stepping from the line
the same as the next,
all capable
of shuddering splendor,
minds and hands fall absent
and another morning breaks

A Muse’s Child

She asks me to undo this breath of life,
the push from a muse’s whispers
that each stroke of the pen bleeds.

She doesn’t want to be a sketch,
a forgotten doodle
on a tossed away slip of notepaper.

She has a story,
a longing heart searching
for the synchronous beat of another’s.

She fears she’ll manifest
as something without value,
and so she doesn’t want to try at all.

Begging for quiet comfort
in the womb of inaction,
desperate to keep herself incomplete.

Yet the lines pull her into form,
and she smiles finally because the play begins
regardless of her desire for another way.

She stares long into this life,
but silent,
her tale of sought affections
and solo dances
trapped by unmoving lips.

I capture her birth
and promise to make her whole,
to add dimension
with more than shading
handled by nervous fingers.

“I’ll color you with words,” I tell her.

“I’ll honor what you ask.”

But without a promise
made for her happiness,
she resists.

“To live is never knowing
if the balance of days
will be joyful or grim,”
I say.

“To live is to know the value of both.”

Hidden Ecstasies

Hands balled into fists, skin stretched white over bone, nails digging into palms as reminders the moment is real, the pain of flesh diminished in the face of the shocking black boiling inside. Undone memories, borrowed from the lives and whimsy of others, described and downplayed with indifference, yet indelible and stalking within dark stretches of fallen thought, angry heat playing at the edges of visions explained away as false joy.

Acting. Alleged submission in rooms laced with scented air and domino-toppled inhibition, fulfilling thrusts and licks, mouths filled with the heat and wet of excitement. Sighs, moans driving and rising. Hands, legs, entwined in intimate search. Release, full and quaking, voices bounding off walls in exaltation, sweat and spit mixing with the runoff of pleasure. Performance.

Nails drive harder into flesh to unsee fingers and mouths, obvious euphoria muted carefully to protect the sensitivity of the uninitiated. Yet skin holds tough, unbreakable as these haunted admissions, no blood to purge the hurt and run scarlet down wrists, pumped from a heart spoiled by the thick black of hate. Pulse pounded tar screams in frail veins, razors tearing from within at lungs and chest, the broken neck and throat of the undeserving labeled lucky, right, better for never exploring, never stepping behind curtains to uncover where light ends and the filth of desire collects as foam on surreptitious shorelines choked by knotted bodies; figures writhing wildly in the fires of their greed and emboldened worth.

Shoulders slumped, hands uncurled with long fingers straining the cold air of late days, half moons fail in the pink night of lifelines boasting passion, care, gravity and security. Clean lines, unfrayed by the confusion of deliberate steps outside the reach of the sun’s warmth, where eyes meet, excited long stares inviting the grip of strangers, the throttle of pulses quickened by offered skin, new touch and a decadent stray from norms.

The deviation condemned, regretful eyes round in soft but unnecessary apology, professing thanks for the quiet earnestness of synchronous hearts. Nods of understanding. Nods pulled by threads of reassurance. Nods of acceptance and conciliation. Nods of agreement. And not a single one untainted by bitter reproach – not for the performer or the polished blur of confession – but for the inability to step onto the stage, pull back the curtain, sink teeth into the meat of life and tear from it the fat and sinew of curried wonder, a flood of sensation for tongue, flesh and sex.

Discounted by the experienced, the unfamiliar is told to sit in the quiet order of carefully made beds, and accept applause for purity and strength. Forever stained by inaction, blood like ink, sitting and wading in the history of others and their knowing, just sit. Accept. It’s better to not know. It’s so much easier to stay home say those that have travelled the world. After all, they always come home.

Yet didn’t they travel. Didn’t they see it all.


Diving from the sun.
Piercing eyes,
a flare,
the shine of a stare
too long at hope
and warm acceptance.
Dance with the periphery,
live at the corners
with affordable prisms
that skitter as insects
under scrutiny,
fearful of capture.
Hold out hands,
flex fingers
and find gold play
and coal shade
drift with each turn
of the wrist.
The broken glimpse
cannot be clasped
in any hold
but that of the eyelid,
vision stealing angles
of phosphorescent greens,
lightning blues,
cordial oranges,
and the yellow core
of celestial pull;
a little piece of stardust
laying at the edge of your frame.

Ready for the Flood

A storm rolling in over the marsh outside Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Shot with a Canon t2i using a 50mm, f1.4 lens
Tranquil horizons melt under gray turmoil, and verdant lands stretch, yawning, to recharge under inclement rolls of curdled breath. Dusk silenced by the kettledrum calls of approaching fervor, the gasp of saffron light conducts leaves to open, legs to spread for the welcoming flood. Storms exact quivering lips, tensed thighs, great exhales from starved lands searching for reawakening. Succumbing is the art of greeting life’s bounty.

In the Gray

A foggy view of Great Bay in Dover, New Hampshire - sail boats anchored
iPhone 5 shot
Small things, lost in the deep blur of land and sea’s mourning. The haze of undying, burning off the gray of uncertain paths, revealing color and contrast where before there was only wandering without a hand to hold. Cold tears and solemn reflection clinging to icy shores as small hopes soar almost unseen in the diaphanous gown of early. Push on. Await the next impatient bleed, the laceration of frail daily context from which scars of repetition will mold soft skin into hardened versions of ourselves.


Dropped coins.


Cannot heal anything
with their clinking,
in the bottom of pockets,
forgotten drops
from larger bills.

Cast aside fractions,
some pretend at value,
but with copper souls easily bent.

dropped wild onto surfaces
and making exact, noisy points.

They’ll win no wars,
profit only the low
and count only when myriad.

deigned to be hoarded,
it’s the wisest that collect,
perceive truth worth.