Albatross

The albatross, she hangs desperately about his neck; delighting and smothering his senses

The weight of her coercion pulls him ever downward, into the depths of her eternal sky

He can’t bear to look away, for fear of forgetting; he won’t dare hold her gaze, for fear of forever

Choked by the thought of her, the strength of her grip, and bearing the rictus of delusional peace

His flesh rots, weaving through her skin and time and memory, as if to remake her with his sacrifice

She sings so only he can hear, a siren for the shoal; providence for his madness, damnation for his soul

The albatross, she won’t release him; the albatross, he can’t set her free

art: (untitled) by Zdzisław Beksiński

Fellow Man Not

Alone, but for the innumerable, in a cacophony of pandemonic howls; he weeps inconsolably, an outpouring for the downpouring

Hollow and immovable, akin to those withered rampikes propinquitously poised; one within a wilderness of wails, yet never felled

Tremulous and numb, as the thunderous wrath disturbs the brume that consumes him, assaults the superego that subsumes him; a fellow man, not

A beggar bound in mute torpidity by their vanishing touch; the maggots feed and the leeches bleed, for mere nourishment, is he, beneath the boots atop his shoulders

Their discordant gnawing – picking and clawing – strips the dignity from he they tread; a destructive perturbation of diminishing identity

An ever-growing grove of rotting madness remains; greying roots and spraying splinters, tearing limb from desperate limb; if only, to be seen

art: (untitled) by Zdzisław Beksiński

Broken Does as Broken Is

Watching noir in the cracked rearview / petrol pools beneath moonlit dew

A fire’s rage berates his prayer / too late to save, too lost to care

Carnage lies in forward cast eyes / ever drawn whither madness cries

Afraid to live, but scared to death / a swell of questions, yet naught to quethe

A siren’s wail then splits the night / enticing hope, and horror’s bite

She proffers hand, the offer lingers / ‘fore kindness turns to dagger fingers

His broken head can’t bear the bait / as justice deems, just blood will sate

So pressing hard, his essence low / for all a broken gift bestow

To swallow smoke and ash and ember / to spare the world, who’ll not remember

art: psychodelicious by Peterio

The Deadening

Memory is the bane of impermanence, and impermanence, the enemy of memory

His salivating eyes dine on the beforeward and afterward, hungry for what was, never was, and shan’t be

Straining against the current, he’s awash with sins of the past, for to take away the pain, would be to suffocate

Survivor’s guilt for this one, who undeservedly exists; while the living embrace the breadth of his present wasted

His bridges adust, trembled under the weightlessness of quotidian, phatic chatter; threatening, promising, a benighted isolation

Thus, overmorrow or what then follows, he awaits the numb of decay and sublime windchimes to perturb his silence

When finally, behindhand, whithersoever he lies, he shall relent

art: (untitled) by Zdzisław Beksiński

Trying, very trying

Very hard, I’m trying, very trying; apologies drip from my every pore; unbalanced, I can only clumsily trip over the mystifying vomit of images and words

These eulogies for mere existence, I offer from abbey to abattoir, as they paradoxically dam my mind, yet let the rivers run rapid and true

My fleeing footfalls disturb the understory, leaving a flutterance of palliative epistles flowing behind, in corkscrew exclamations and damnations

They borrow time, while sorrow convalesces in its private, cordate suite; evagations that stay the journey to barathrum from a double-knotted swing

Very trying, I am, for the exiguity of patience in the kindest of hearts; for the plaintive howls of distress that demand an absent shoulder

For comforting the crying wolf in its death throes, innocently suffering the sufferer; for slapping the palmate that bears empathy and camaraderie

The guilt gives chase and the corkscrews pierce; guiding a circuitous flight to the end of beginning, to the beginning of end; all the while, I’m trying, very trying

art: (untitled) by Zdzisław Beksiński