Three Poems

Cataclysmic Sunset
The flaring fray at the end of day
flings its fluorescent wings above the earth,
carrion angels angling for radiant prey
and the darkening, hearkening surf;
like seagulls swarming a dying whale
having stranded itself betwixt land and sea,
decaying in the froth of the swell
while a half-sunken sun’s shadows stretch over me.

Uncelebrated Banquet
No one cares for poetry
lost among common dross
like half-chewed debris
all along discarded floss.
Poetry is the sticking bits
of Literature, and its centuries-old meal,
and though novels can give the shits
it is of poetry they have had their fill.

Gross Anatomy
The East Coast is the pushy, commandeering cock
of America, New York the tip at the end of the stalk
distended and fidgeting like the restless dowsing stick,
heady with its own swollen selfhood, the overladen prick;
and Washington DC is the painful, pulsating prostate—
dysfunctional, corrupt, cancerous at an alarming rate
while the Midwest is the crop-pubed balls,
funny-looking in their denim coveralls
and swollen with a cornucopia bounty
from each cornpone, slow-sperm county,
and the West Coast, or suggestive mons pubis,
is inclined with the grandeur of its belying hubris,
extending out from the gut, with its navel, an outy,
weird, bold in the sun, yet somehow pouty,
while Texas is…only Texas, a fatly puckered wart
that seems to bleed, occasionally, if only for sport,
whereas the South is the pale, hairy, atrophied,
scab-bitten ass of America, flatulent with the need
of an outhouse for its shames, its secrets, its guilt
that its old pride celebrates in the stinker it has built.

And Kentucky, you are the sweat-marshy taint,
I’ve lived in my whole life—don’t tell me you ain’t.

Ascension

20181201_203326-1

 

The hymnal song throbs against the vault
of my bonework cathedral, my flesh,
and I feel the quake of hunger along the fault
of my enshrouding bestial mesh.

I have seen those mushroom-minded men
in their chthonic, labyrinthine lairs,
their minds sprouting fungus, aglow, and lichen
as they clutch phantasms and mutter prayers.

The Eldritch Truth costs too high a price
and when I see them, I see not divine grace,
so I will choose not virtue, but so-called vice
and find sacred rapture in the beast’s embrace.

I feel the centipede coiled in my throat
chittering and twisting in want of blood,
my mouth a ravening vermilion moat
that beckons the onrushing flood.

Why would I wish to be other than I am?
Why be as them, as an entombed scion,
neutered and docile, a sacrificial lamb,
when I can hunt and feed, instead, like a lion?

Better a lycan-hearted beast beneath the moon
than a lichen-brained imbecile, however wise;
better to drink blood to slake a crescent rune
than sprout a Lumenwood’s cosmic eyes.

 

20181122_094744-1

 

I am currently still writing and illustrating the Bloodborne short novella (?) and just wrote and illustrated these pieces to motivate myself toward the completion of the novella. My primary concern is consistency of quality in the illustrations and the prose, as well compatibility between the two methods of storytelling. I don’t know why I am sinking so much time into it when I still have other novels/short stories/poems to finish (and I am not even certain anybody except myself will care for it at all). Perhaps it is just a mania whose prognosis is terminal. Then again, all Art is something of a mania. It is obsession and possession. It is the irrational, futile scream into the abyss.  On the other hand, very little of my work has ever been for anyone except myself.  If anyone else happened to care about it, cheers; if not, I would still be compelled to pursue it.  It is my one neurosis; well, it and my affection for foxes.

13 Ways Of Looking At Bourbon

As a short life
that bites and quickens the blood
before swirling the drain,
he downed the shot in one go.

The bottle of bourbon
was his djinni demon,
granting his most beloved dream
in the black-out oblivion
of inebriation.
Silence.

So much that was hard to swallow
in life
he washed down
with firewater burning
at 180 proof.

He cut his worries
like he cut his bourbon—
with chunks of ice-cold indifference.

The angels drank their
inspiriting share
and in return
blackened the world
with their drunken hymns.

Sour mash teemed,
life becoming death
as bacteria ate themselves
toward extinction—
Man likewise.

The golden amber liquid
sloshed inside the glittering glass,
a magical potion dispelling illusions
and opening portals
toward the truer realms of
personality.

The bottle,
like his patience,
had been depleted,
shattering over the
skull
of the belligerent country bumpkin.

They lubed the wheels
of their lovemaking
with bourbon foreplay,
only for the wheels to slide
right off the tracks.

Barrel-chested
and full of himself,
his blood burned hot as bourbon
until the day
a bullet
un-bunged his heart.

They distilled their culture
using corn, rye, malt,
limestone springwater,
coal, lime, salt,
and plenty of caustic.

White Dog so pure
it brought tears to their eyes,
and helped them breathe fire
to burn crosses.

The rackhouse collapsed,
spilling its barrels outward
like a dying sow
birthing a fat farrow of piglets.

Southern Gothic

The field spread, wan and wilted, wallowing
like a pale corpse before the front porch,
beneath a gloomy gray sky, swallowing
the sun like a fog-shrouded torch.

The old man sat in his rocking chair,
grinding the planks with a scraping screech
and his wife sat on the steps, hands in hair,
plaiting it as she ignored his speech.

“Don’t go runnin’ ‘round no more,”
he said, the rifle loaded in his lap,
“‘cause I won’t be married to no whore.
I’d rather be a widower than a sorry sap.”

The woman only giggled, and continued braiding
while he upbraided her with his threats—
at her back the house paint was chipped and fading,
the windows cobwebbed with dead insects and regrets.

The second storey window was dark, the kid’s room
empty, ever empty, since they were married—
and in the haunted silence of that gloom
all of the past and future and hope were buried.

With a sigh she said, “Nothing ever grows here.
None of my vegetables and none of my flowers.”
She blinked away a single bitter tear
and sighed again. “Ain’t nothin’ here really ours.”

“I’ve got some good roots here,” he said,
“and they got a taproot to our hearts.”
She scoffed. “But the flowers are all dead,
so who cares about the other parts?”

“You just think you’ll be happy flyin’ free,”
he said, “like a seed on the sinful wind,
or you think someone will pluck you from me—
maybe a rich fool wanting a cozy friend.”

He lifted the cold-barreled rifle in each hand
and felt the reassuring heft of the stock
and, with a curdling frown toward his wedding band,
he aimed it toward her, listening to her talk.

“Your gun don’t work no more,” she said,
“no more than the one between your legs.
Go ahead and shoot me in the head—
your gun ain’t nowhere near big as Greg’s.”

“Woman, you are tempting the Devil,”
he said, his voice as a whetstone on a blade.
She stood up, smirking, ready to revel
in the roughspun hatred they had both made.

Her dress was white as dandelion seeds
and clung to her body loose, a dress
hinting at the yet-youthful curves, and lewd deeds,
of a breeze fluttering higher at that airy access.

“Should have known you were a dead end,”
she said lightly, patting down her skirt—
she was a lithe flower, but she would not bend.
“You’d think after all this time it wouldn’t hurt.”

He smiled sourly and the porch’s light
drew a shadow mask down to his jaw line.
“All I gave you was cleaning vinegar, right?
And all you ever wanted was fancy wine.”

A cow lowed in the distance, a moan
carrying on for a long time, as if to splurge
upon the wide-mouthed vowel, maudlin, lone
as a farewell song, a Southern Gothic dirge.

“Think you can bolt from me?” he growled.
“I got your number, Missy, with this Winchester.”
“All you ever had were guns.” She scowled
and thought of the first time he had undressed her.

He could smell honeysuckle in the air
and it stayed in his mind, for a time,
but he also smelled lavender in her hair
and on her neck, soon to be a kissing crime.

His finger gradually weighed upon the trigger,
the muscles and sinew tightening with death.
“You think you can just leave me for some nigger,
but you ain’t.” The rifle exploded its gunpowder breath.

The world was deafened, silenced, slain,
and her eyes closed to utter void,
yet she did not blossom from her brain
and instead saw a doe, far afield, destroyed.

She watched in horror, and in relief,
as the doe collapsed, rose and fell and rose,
scrambling and moaning in its grief
before bleeding out among the fallow wheat rows.

“Go on, get,” the old man said. “Go to your buck.”
Wide-eyed as a doe, she hurried toward her car
hoping she would start a new life, with a little luck—
but she did not get very far.

He aimed the rifle and fired again,
a grin spreading across his empty-eyed face.
He said, “I wanted you to see how I’d win.
Did you honestly think you’d ever leave this place?”

He watched her crawl, her dainty daisy dress
now a crimson-and-white tie-dye,
and when she stopped moving he said, “God bless”,
lipped his rifle and kissed the world goodbye.

The True Spirit Of Christmas

When they think of their holly-jolly season
have they not the wherewithal of reckoning or reason
to think of the jolly fat man with his rosy-cheeked smile
but an avatar of delusion, an effigy of denial?
Think back to our ancestors and their bitter winters
that bit with winds and snows, the icy splinters
of that fanged desolation with its arctic blasts
and the famine and the silence, the starvation that lasts
much overlong, as a cruel-clawed hag of want
whose every kiss leaves us shivering and gaunt;
and so do not deceive yourself with dazzling lights
or warm fireside carols, or candied chocolate bites,
nor smile in cheer of a frosty-bearded elf—
rather, see it from the distant ancestral self;
look back through the cold and the darkness
to see black and white, life and death, in all its starkness:
see this wendigo calamity of each passing year
returning round again with the gift of fear,
and humility, and the keen awareness of Death
as they huddled in huts together, their communal breath
heavy with cold, an apparition of prayer
frosting upon our lips, stillborn upon the air,
and recall, too, the jolly saint withered, frost-bitten,
his fingers fallen off after he has eaten each mitten
and his red suit now white with the furious blizzard
while he wanders, snowblind, like a deranged wizard.
See him burn down a whole forest of Christmas trees
to raise his body temperature by a few degrees,
and now he calls out to children, shakes his sleigh bells,
and hungers for youthful meat while the wind wails.
His reindeer shun him, for they all wisely know
not to trust a starving man, or his laughing “Ho ho ho…”
I suppose we ought feel merry for a bellyful of Christmas hog
rather than long-pig roasting over the cruel yuletide log.

Stampede On The 1%

How easy it is for a pride of lions
to divide and conquer
a herd of cape buffalo,
corralling them with fear
until their united stride dissolves
and they scatter, their power and
momentum disorganized, chaotic,
a buffalo by itself tackled, wrestled
to the ground, torn apart,
and ultimately forgotten by
the grateful survivors
until the pride inevitably hungers again.
There may be safety in numbers,
and the odds may seem in your favor
as you look among the dull-eyed creatures
among which you count yourself,
but how much better it would be
if the herd rallied together
and stampeded into the pride,
trammeling them under hoof, goring
with their hundred-horned fury
the predators that have hunted and
haunted them for generations
just along the peripheries
rather than fleeing for a time
and then settling down again,
often within sight of the pride
as if almost in chummy camaraderie;
as if the crimson-stained snouts
did not hint at the true nature
of our sharp-toothed masters.

And our own culling complicity.

Regarding T.S. Eliot

His work is as
skein and needle,
his muse a Frankenstein butcher
applying with a nib
the stitches whereby
a plagiarist’s poem is composed
with the tattered scraps of other works,
words stolen straight from the tongues
of antiquity’s ghosts
and constructed into a
shambling,
clumsy,
graceless
monster;
his work is a mass grave
of decomposing
corpuses,
once beautiful and alive,
now a smorgasbord buffet
without choice, each leftover
shoveled down the intrepid throat
with a gravedigger’s workaday
carelessness.
Kitsch mish-mash and mush-minded
nonsense,
as wayward as a daughter running away from home
and as indulgent as the pimp letting a
hung jury of 12 men
sentence her to death by bukkake,
those 12 hollow men being
12 APOSTLES
whose magi-moneyshot
attempts catharsis by
ego-masturbation,
each in need of an exorcism
via oni-onanism,
ejaculating a pretentious
binding agent
for the quiltwork “masterpiece”,
the magnum opus
laundered from a sundered sundry of
less schizophrenic minds.
Nor am I merely
a rabid attack dog
shredding his pedantic homework apart
so he can stop showing it to the
misguided English professors
with whom he has engaged
in an unhealthy
brownnosing symbiosis.
How can anyone shred
what is, by its nature, piecemeal plagiarism?
It is like smashing sand.
He sought to concoct a
totemic golem
from a hundred other heads
and brought the misbegotten thing to life
by slipping his own renowned name
into its mouth.
Take one of his chimeric works
and unstitch the borrowed parts:
you will find,
at its naked core,
vacuous space.
“Shantih, shantih, shant…”
No! I shall not make peace
except over his anonymous grave.
Yet, how can I obliterate a tombstone
of hundreds of thousands of hearts?
The poems of this
shrike
have been inscribed voluntarily,
merrily,
by hundreds of thousands of people
with a masochist pen.
And though his works are as idiotic as a
Jub-Jub bird
lost in the arid
wastelands,
they persist
like a meandering lovesong
sung by a deaf goat
fed to surfeit
on a library’s worth of books.
Yet, to me,
his poetry will never be
anything other than
a sprawling, fetid plate of tangled
haggis
with the shit left in.
So dig in,
April fools,
if it makes you feel smarter
with a mouth full of
sheepshit;
to swallow it down with a smile
is nothing short of a
triumph.