Mad Kate

A severe widow’s peak favoring aquilinity,
nested over a murder of crow’s feet clawing
at her eye’s marge, with fresh, lunatically
hewn laugh lines creasing her etiolated

countenance, these lineaments on her face
presaged those on the page; her fingers vomited
words in widow speak, while anoesis urged the
violence in her closing strokes and the antre-

expelled extempore leading her to destiny;
dolorous and dour, like the oceanside plinth
upon which she was wont to perch, where
wicked waves maieutically persuaded her

already splintered intellect through orphic
repetition, to quash the squawking squall that
drew her nigh, as she craved the embrace of a
kindred spirit; she lost her love to the jealous

sea, but in losing her mind she’d found her apogee;
all that was left behind were the echoes of sanity
that reinforced her descent into madness and the
final wild-eyed dive into providential infamy

art: Mad Kate by Henry Fuseli

Obtusion

Obreptitious obtusion, a brume
blurring periphery, turbid blinders
marshaling the focus of roaming
attentions; phosphenes dancing for

distraction, a seductive temptation
to engage mental vacuity; his defense
mechanism hiding horrors and masking
merriment – horrors in their own right;

zoomorphologically thrusting his head
into the sands of time, waiting for
the remains of his body to join; an
evolutionary dereliction of societal

participation, insouciance learned
a posteriori; life is a merciless pedagogue,
rapping the knuckles of its insubordinates,
the recalcitrants of its self-proclaimed

preciousness…

art: Masterstudy 39 by Christian Klute

Notorious

Hers was a notorious disease, crippling. The lamb’s slaughter for most, the lion’s share for those whose madness was brought to bear; until they too were brought to slaughter. An existential blemish, she found nary equipoise nor heartsease in her quotidian quiescence.

An only child sans a brother’s stillbirth, whom she always supposed was the more sagacious; privvy to ominous knowledge that escaped her – about the world or big sister, she was keen to know. His brief presence, inhered in her an avant-garde avarice to quell this question.

Left pacing outside the cages, the lioness concluded that the best source for the answer she sought, must be those who have yet embraced that fate. Fortunately, she found accomplices in her patients, who supported the quest, albeit unknowingly.

She trusted her intuition after their office visits, a sense for which little ones were conflicted. They number six now, those she’s asked, after the mothers were lured to her clean room. It was the only way to question their unborns.

Often the last word she’d hear was “why,” which was a gratifying confirmation of her purpose. They, too, wanted to know in their final breath. Why their baby? Well, why hers… Or was it brother? It was confusing, her mutinous muddlement.

The gorging predator rarely thinks clearly beyond the carcass, unsatisfying though it may be. She’d found no answers yet to assuage her torment. So she’ll rouge her skin instinctually, on the hunt for her share of the truth, until to her slaughter she’s drawn.

art: The Night-Hag Visiting Lapland Witches by Henry Fuseli

Epiphany

An ineluctable epiphany taints the morning
air breathability, a noxious duality bearing
curiosity and causality; too inquisitive to mould
his nascent suitability, too unmoulded to warrant

the necessity of equanimity; a purgatory of
instability, his isolation and its unsustainability,
embrace taciturnity or be silenced for all eternity;
a boiling proclivity perturbs the surface of

morality, if there exists such a commodity, when
alternatively an eventuality unfolds… unbridled
machinations smear his sanity with self-directed
profanity of an apparent lack of humanity; one

plumbum at high velocity could cure the
abnormality, or candy red fountains of sanguinity
might disenthrall the infirmity, or would liberating
his sole suspendedly alleviate his mental disability;

perhaps a contraption of ingenuity to net all three,
in a long-coming cacophony of certainty & finality;
engenderment of vacuity, tranquility in the writhe-
free, wight-free, write-free intractability of reality

art: by Zdzisław Beksiński

Zugzwang

Turbid sludge coerced through ever
constricting jugulars, thickening
with peculiar particulates; a
dreamcatcher gallows whereby

esperance was strung until still,
whose relics there yet hang in
derision of their host; spectres of
malcontent haunting in compunctious

preoccupation, an arterial ossuary
of sacramental wolfsbane coagulated
in bloodwine; a straitjacket of
skin taut to tearing, confining the

restless bedlam of torpor through
indecision; the hurled rubble and
obfusation of unfurled divergent
journeys, zugzwang in disasterous

perpetuity; whyfor a heart circulate
such malicious discontent; what then
betides a soul upon releasing the
consanguineous slithering serpents

art: Burned III by carlosgarijo

Thin

It’s thin. The paper lying before
him, and the paperweight’s skin
resting upon it; the depth of the
graphite pressed into the albus

page with the apathetic exigency
of have-tos and owe-it-to-thems;
the kerning and strokes of the
languid letters barely scoring its

surface; the flimsy wording and
porous reasoning behind a veil
of half-hearted half-truths; the
syncopated lips in imperceptible

recitation to the mindless thrall;
the slits wherefrom lacteolus orbs
peer thru the erubescent scarring
of fatigue; the breathing of shallow

waves slowly floating to the shores
of expiry, and receding weaker on
return; the connections tethering
him to consciousness and binding

him to corporeality; the pavlovial
response to a delicate tap on the
door by a deserves-better; the guilt
deliquescing in the darkness, and

evanesce of light into absolution

art: by Christophe Hohler

Autumnal eternity

Taught she was beautiful before humility could root
Indoctrinated by her birth on a pedestal too high
She was an innocent sapling set on a dying course

Abscission befell her heart to protect the whole
As people shed from her life, more then pruned away
Sacrificing her sanity in autothysic carnage

All that endures is marcescent hope without the will
A tenuous attachment in her everlasting autumn
Rattling the bars of its cage with each suspiration

In acts of dehiscence, she releases scarlet leaves
Then waters them in their descent from her boughs
Ever casting umbrageous gazes upon those beneath her

Alone in accelerated deciduosity, an autumnal eternity
Too small to touch the sky, too tall to touch the ground
She curses time in her turbulent fall before wintertide

art: Portrait Practice by Mandy Jurgens