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

Lost memories

He was once a boy, too,
Although I didn’t know him then
He was never one to share
His how, his why, or when

He grew
He loved
He lost,
He reared
He lived
He died.

Scattered in the mountains,
On an autumn’s austral breeze
What then became the resting place,
For his lifelong memories

His first scraped knee
His first real kiss,
His first broken heart
His dearest bliss,
His deepest passion
His darkest abyss.

I’ll never know of his best day,
Or if he recalls when last he cried
I’ll never know what he thought of me,
Or hear of the childhood he hid inside

I only have my own memories,
Which is half our story’s tale
Perhaps one day we’ll catch up,
In an austral mountain gale

art: Autumn Descends by Tracy Webb

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

The box

Dust in a box, uninteresting save
its progenitor; in truth, a mere
pacifier for those grieved souls

Redwood blonde, lined by age, once
a titan of might, now molded into
an honorable death, at Its behest

Lifeless plaques, shiny tchotchkes
of distraction, adornments scarred
by dates past and words empty;

Human constructs, ill-befitting records
and sentiments, impossible attempts
to define worth and pure happiness

Descriptions of the nondescript, a
paling comparison, an appalling emb-
arrassment, inadequate and iniquitous

A wooden coffer subduing a life any-
thing but wooden; ash of a bridge to
goodness burned, of inimitable affection,

of contagious élan, and forevermore
unattainable humanity, an uninteresting,
eternized box of dust; priceless

art: Sorrow Floats by Susan Hutchinson

Void a void

The stalwart walking chalk outline,
a bone-white sillage swirling behind,
in a dramatic paisley murmur of aloof
pursuit; his barely throbbing corsage

sheds its wet petals for a burgandy-
pasted path of disenchantment; my
steps slow in the crimson sludge, as
I desperately grasp at the beckoning

cloud; chasing Plutonic perfection,
what I was meant to be, always one
step ahead of me; a void to fill a void,
a voice to fill an echo, a fate feigning

fulfillment, in the unbroken dust of
an unlined palm; each day brings
hope of reconciliation, each mourn
welcomes his ruby breadcrumb trail

art: Portrait of a weary ghost by M Tumulty

Needlestack

Overwhelmed in a subsumption
of rapier steel, a slender stalk
of hay in the needlestack, every
eye encircling him in judgement;

each piercing their displeasure
in a mental bloodlet, no hand
would brave the chromium cage
that traps his bridled rage, lest

they too be lashed; no way to
thread an escape, he sets to gaze
in perpetuity upon the pleasance
at his reality’s edge; self-inflicted

destruction would surely end the
improbity that surrounds him,
presses upon him, crucifies his
every pore; yet he yields in

torpidity beneath the wake of
life’s defining failures and the
weight of obstinate oppression
that steels his own imagination

art: Idle Hands by Will Barnet