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

Heartland

He breaststrokes through the bogland, with a mind, twilight-kissed, thoughts too heavy to keep him adrift

So succumbs to algedonic toxicities, of wayward desperate diversions, yea, sly reality perversions

Breathing retribution when his face embraces the mire, beclouded, befuddled, malicious memories afire

A pyre, now his form, drawn to depths by the quag, his ensuant joy obscene, and then hope intervenes

The unwelcome host, turns his body afloat, treading conscious morass, he questions the violation, that it would harass

Then poses dead man in the heartland, with a mind in stark reverie, a nepenthean reprieve, ever destined for brevity

art: days by Peterio

Blooderfly eyry

Palms to the sky, he questions and suffers ex animo; his ullage ever deepening, as cerise streaks escape his stretch, assoiling torturous trespasses

Disdainful dissatisfaction flutters from the alabaster perches, offering a brilliant contrast to the cerulean above and cimmerian within

A blooderfly eyry where he stands, while he withers, sins taking flight from grieving scars and open wounds, on the gale of his penances and profanities

This moribund monstrosity – a manic, maudlin menagerie – seeks forgiveness in his own infandous sacrifice, with pillars of rust and moons of salt

He melts into the earth, a deliquescing denouement, bathed in ignominy, wallowed in repentance, and forgotten by memory and futurity

art: by Zao Wou-Ki

Guilty

He marvels before the irony, feeling
guilty for the guilt; he knows, surely,
that it is the guilt keeping him alive,
an aphrodisiac and a bane staying
his executioner’s hand

Warning of the wreckage wrought,
aware of the afterthought, that this
poison in its wake would spread plague-
like through the innocent veins of the
hitherto guiltless

So he can only wait and anticipate, for
the saprogenic day when he will no
longer feel that which drives him, when
the hangman no longer need stand as
vigilant crier and heroic tear drier

What a cruel and fantastic guardian
he’s found in this towering killer,
this friend and wish fulfiller, this
fiend and turmoil tiller, a beast –
logical, paradoxical, and defeatable

Because he knows well the irony here,
too, the axiomatic twist of this dark
tale, for he could stop the guilt at any
time and would have never of ever and
ever of naught to feel its iron clutch

art: 60588 by Jarek Kubicki

The gambler

Gimme your damn wallet

Said the middle-aged pyknic, in a slow and deep cadence. A clearly edacious black man, with an air of dumbfounded innocence. His pinguid complexion bled rancid stains beneath rolls and rotund. While a mayfly’s attention echoed in his cleanly shaven dome.

Gimme your damn wallet

A macilent, black youth wearing a white, tank-top and a minacious gaze. The gold-toothed bruxist, seethed the words with venomous bravado. He was a sheep in wolf’s clothing, surrendering to a survival instinct that perhaps worked better in darkness, than a well lit room.

Gimme your damn wallet

The hoary, flocculent patches of his otherwise dark hair, betrayed his age; as much as the tired wisdom reflected in his watery, bloodshot eyes. His measured, nonchalant delivery, showed he’d been here before; he knew the routine. A gelid, gliding stream hidden within a sinewy, ebony derma.

Gimme your damn wallet

An obviously hispanic accent, flourished each syllable with susurrus threats. He had coriaceous skin, covered in a black, hirsute down almost as thick as the monochrome tattoos constellated across his aggressive frame. His bandoline hair, was pulled back into a ponytail that hung away from his heavily inked neck, as his jaw protruded forward in defiance.

Gimme your damn wallet

Chittered the glaucope, in a rapid, pauseless utterance. His cyanic eyes darted vagariously around the room, from above rubicund, haughty cheeks. Nervous, but in an unperturbed way. Like a confident gambler betting on a sure thing, but harboring a morsel of realistic doubt. An anxious excitement anticipating a favourable outcome.

Do any of these voices sound like the man who killed your wife? asked the detective standing to his right in front of the 2-way, almost guarding the token white.

The old man wonders if they are aware of this gradience of guilt. Is this layered lineup learned after years in law enforcement, or is it bred into them at the academy? It could simply be a coincidence. Or it could be a bad seed.

He knew he was wasting time, but they all sounded the same to him. He didn’t see the perpetrator, and only heard – or only remembered hearing – that phrase.

Gimme your damn wallet

He deeply wanted justice, but would justice return his wife? His breathing had become operose. The detective looked at him with impatience, but otherwise little concern.

The old man didn’t know who it was, but the police surely must. This was just a formality, right? Everyone here is guilty of something. Did it really matter? He just wanted this to be over, so he could grieve.

Finally, he concluded that he had no choice but to gamble, too. So with a tearful gesture, and his voice caught in a viscous, bubbling tar, he noncommittally waved his trembling hand leftward, and muttered

It was him.

Mentor

We hide in their minds and look thru their eyes
Falsely accuse them with each new disguise
Ones tempered and steadfast, you’ll find on the way
But they fall the hardest and then longer they stay

They’ll try to find ways to set themselves free
To the light in the tunnel is where they will flee
Fret not when they pass since ever we’ll find
New darkness to hover, again making them blind

You’ll swell, little one, to ominous proportions
Be true to the lessons, shape their will in contortions
The faster you swarm their positive reflections
The sooner you’ll make the dark course corrections

Use hate and deceit to your heart’s desire
Throw fear and paranoia onto the burgeoned pyre
Shroud light that they see ‘hind shadows and guilts
And again their strength crumbles, decomposes, or wilts

Then sadness looked up to his mentor depression
And knew that one day there’d be total succession
New angles he’d find, which is always the key
To invent pristine shackles, so they’ll never be free