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

Vehemently

The ghosts insist, in the vilest
vehemence, that he lay down
his arms in obeisant fealty;

the spirits spin the marionette,
until he’s bound by his own sinew,
in the edge of their favorite room;

the spectres spread the pall
in a sinister flourish, over the
tremor in his deadened eyes;

the past whispers heart-halting
fairy tales of twisted truths
and manic manipulations;

the phantom pains remind him,
with a tick upon his psyche, that
he yet lives in this nightmare;

pandemonium unbeknownst, mutes
his tongue, lest others discover it
hiding in a corner within his head

art: serenity by pekthong

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

*originally posted as part of a 26 word 26 day challenge

 

Ophilia

Cecilia paused. She could never remember their names. Perhaps she is never told; perhaps she is made to forget. Briefly wondering how many have come and gone, she then decides that names are ultimately inconsequential, before lamenting sotto voce, “What’s in a name…”

They are only labels. She’d been given many labels by the therapists, in their vain attempts to understand her. Sufferer of pictophilia or metrophilia or autagonistophilia or whatever ~ilia sprang into their desperate minds. It never occurred to Cecilia, though, that her concupiscence was “suffering.”

Just a harmless fetish or two, not madness. There is surely a difference. Not all ~ilias are dangerous, after all. So what, if she was drawn to artists. So what, if she was excited by the intensity of their piercing gaze, as they painted her portrait. They’d proclaim it was amore a prima vista, amidst their subtle seductions.

She felt like they bore into her soul; the only ones who could see her, see her secrets, see her desires. She supposed, none truly ever could. Although, the best of them could capture something in the portraits; in her eyes. Something thrilling, yet unfamiliar, someone deep inside whom she longed to know.

Cecilia stroked a finger across the clotting rue. She’d let them paint her, then she’d let them paint her. She was in control, the seducer; she was the power, and she was powerless.

While massaging the ruby rue between her thumb and forefinger, she turned away pococurante, wondering why Ophilia loved it so. It was one of her fetishes, she assumed. The aroma, or the texture…

Ophilia only visited after Cecilia fell asleep on nights like the last. From what she gathered, for she could never remember waking during the night, Ophilia had her own pruriences. Not the least of which, the therapists would no doubt label erotophonophilia.

It confused and frightened Cecilia, at first. She soon rationalized, however, that it was none of her business how Ophilia spent her evenings. “Come Dio comanda,” she’d think. Ophilia made her whole, so she learned to turn a blind eye to these “cries for help,” as the doctor’s would say.

Ophilia would also let the artist paint her, surely waking him from contented slumber in a boon to his ego, but afterwards, she’d paint with him. She, too, is an artist, it seems. Cecilia’s portraits always bore a more scarlet hue, the mornings after. Sometimes still wet, and flecked with the telltale rue.

After cleaning herself, Cecilia began to dress. She could never stay long in the mornings; it became habit to muse to herself, “Tanto va la gatta al lardo che ci lascia lo zampino.” She knew Ophilia made it more challenging, but they worked so well together; feeding each other, supporting each other…

The last thing Cecilia would do before leaving, almost reverently, was remove her portrait from the easel. Kleptophilia? Is it really stealing, since Ophilia contributed to the final masterpiece? For they each were masterpieces, regardless of talent. She always kept the paintings to add to their oeuvre. A magnificent gallery of themselves.

Deep in thought after leaving the flat, while neatly rolling the canvas, Cecilia bumped into him outside the door. Upon dropping his paintbox and portfolio, he began profusely apologizing. They always apologized first. She had come to expect it, and found it endearingly opportunistic.

After gathering himself, he saw her for the first time. “E tu come ti chiami, bella?” he put suavely, suddenly envincing machismo. Cecilia smiled, taking him in, as she absentmindedly, elegantly tapped at the ends of the phallic, portrait scroll to straighten the curl.

She then coquettishly replied, “Sei un’artista?”

art: Portrait study #2 by Jeremy Mann

Quiet

it is the quiet, and how it smothers
internal voices, there are no others

its probing tendrils, explore the spaces
between the screaming, ‘fore it debases

in a reminder, through its oppression
he’d be alone if, not for obsession

so in the silence, when hearing echoes
of voices screaming, their final death throes

he curses quiet, and how it smothers
his only comfort, his restless brothers

to stay unlonely, he’ll lead the flurry
of other voices, in righteous fury

and bring an end to, quiet’s aggression
using their chorus, of vocal repression

art: by Antoine Stevens

*originally posted as part of a 26 word 26 day challenge