Dead canary

Stepping over innumerable dead canaries who bear my likeness strikingly, I embark once again on a perlous path thinking it my first bravery

As I approach a complex nexus of that which connects us to each other, I hear echoes from a voice redolent of mine, yet a mouth, I remember not

Chills consume me as I witness in the distant, stygian soot, hands holding, smiles growing, joy sowing, and life flowing; an eye witness to this, and to this, witless am I

The outline of a doorway burns through the ancient granite before my searing eyes; a load bearing wall shouldering the world, denying me a rapturous escape

I raise a hand toward the glowing brand and feel the warmth disabuse the darkness; a slideshow of impossibilities and impracticalities ensues

A bird man who flits and weaves through impotent masters and in-born disasters; a corruption of humanity who alights to the earth, in a cave, as a slave, to a grave

When only then I see my downy skin turning lemons and daffodils; I feel lightheaded, and fall toward the floor amidst the din of my tentative footsteps drawing nigh

art: by Zao Wou-Ki

The ring

The ring, everlasting; sometimes, unbidden, he can feel its annulus metallic chill, the phantom sensation and horripilation of an infinitely symbolic, twisted lemniscate; an unraveling thereof, which is no less forever

When möbius memories turn aback, he’ll depress the hoop seeking an idyllic, rockwellian innocence, one that he was never comfortable wearing; a pressing reminder of what has always escaped his grasp

Finitely symbiotic, the ring preys at the temple amidst the hoar, the seventh circle’s center, and he hears the clamor approaching nigh; gorging upon one another, the ring and he, teasing the hitherto elusive climax

Once removed, the cyclic debossment scars him for moments thereafter, before fading into numbed cowardice; an instant would change everything, a simpleton’s squeeze would repair the wayward id’s indiscriminate carnage

It is flattery of the sincerest form; for with every rosy impression it leaves, each blandishment it seethes from its cold, steel mouth, it draws heavy lids and heavier focus, though hasn’t yet the strength to draw a single finger

Scoring a merry-go-round imprint, a revolving rapture he ever bears, it extols echoes of peace through temerity and quells maudlin madness through casuistrous clarity; portentously, a searing ring for the ages, once thereupon the hammer falls

art: Q34 by Eric Lacombe

Swaddle me, Suffer

Swallow me, Sorrow
That I may choke on the rotten soil in vivisepulture; fodder for the screwworms, fare for the dermestids, swell the bellies of carrion with the fattened tormentors, yet spare me the escape of peaceful death

Punish me, Misery
Bruise and abuse me in my isolated tenebrosity; give no quarter, spare no skin of your facinorous mark; let fly fingernail and nine tail, stripe my body, lash and hash, tally my elder iniquities with meticulous fervor

Shatter me, Agony
Rend my mind, tear my flesh, leave lying a coquelicot congery of sinew and marrow; flay soul from sanity, into shards of havoc and mayhem, loosing hope and forgiveness into the vacuous abyss of contrition

Remind me, Penitence
Save me from disremembering the reasons, the failures, the wasted time, and eudæmonic opportunities; shame my sensibilities, blame my inadequacies, name my fallibilities, and enflame my indignities

Silence me, Unquiet
As my pleas for mercy would surely sway; grant no tongue to overcome, let no silver fly, lest it hew my ribs asunder, stealing breath; allow no howl to pierce an ear, nor invite a hand of ephemeral kindness

Swaddle me, Suffer
Dry my eyes, tend my wounds, whisper tauntingly of impending doom; fortify my resolve until then by rote, I want, I need, I deserve; let not a doubt dissuade my function, as now and forever Sorrow awaits

art: suffering by Peterio

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

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

Zombie

a destructive maelstrom of sudden revelation,
cast her into disarray
centrifugal reactions over violent questions
of her love, recherché

irrational repudiation of secret somethings,
a cognitive decomposition
taciturn demeanour of nods and nothings,
left cause as pretermission

confiding in no one, granting no absolution,
thus rendered dead inside
chaotic incredulity, marked mental devolution,
unliving thus zombified

beside herself, having endless disputes,
nourished relentless exasperation
a zealous need to set free hateful refutes,
resulted in her laceration

coursing within, poison pervading the veins,
an overwhelming pestilence
unwilling to die, desired retribution reigns,
thereby forcing her reticence

fissures agape, exposed the untended torment
of her feral corruption
savage dissection of answers left dormant,
then led to familial abruption

cordoned away behind razor wire, her dearest
imposed the coventry
alone she hungers, rapacious psychosis begets
this desperate gluttony

for others living, fury and cruelty conflating,
forever contemptuous
her lashing unbridled, for wardens not abating,
she’s ever tempestuous

naught will remedy the blinding insanity,
of this ravaging affliction
contained and restrained, abandoned by family,
she can spit only malediction

art: by Margarita Georgiadis

 

She’ll never know

Wonderstruck, she beheld her kingdom
Incomprehensible, the path of her ascendancy
In the sempiternal pause of a heartbeat
A king’s inscrutable command for his princess, or a father’s incoherent rhapsody for his daughter

She’ll never know

Her two greatest loves vanquished in a breath, and now she looks out upon the other
A commoner, no one suspected for it was unimaginable
He stands stoic, his gaze lifted toward his queen
Yielding not to the jubilation around him
Yielding not to welling springs
He knew they would be untogether hereafter
What of a man who swells her heart with venom for the country she must now care
Is it possible to love too deeply

She’ll never know

Now the queen, she must uphold the law of her forebears
Anachronistic they may be, she must put first that which binds the lands built by her ancestors
Perhaps she can change them, she is, of course, now the queen
What of a man who beguiles her avarice to seek desires over the sine qua nons of rule
Is she so arrogant to think she can bend the will of the gods

She’ll never know

It felt like an age ago when he grabbed her attention
Even now, his distant presence takes her breath away
He has unapologetically stolen her heart
And the only thing he yet holds as his own, is her hand
If only now, it was his to take
What of a man who would thieve the world, and lay it at her feet
Is she courageous enough to be the queen of only one

She’ll never know

art: by Aaron Griffin