Archive for mortality

Terrible Instruments

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2017 by beautifulimposter

The sunlight today is an act of violence,
Arrows slicing the clouds to ribbons
Such awesome and terrible storms of light,
Bright and ragged banners streaming
Battle cries thundering along the channels
Of the raging winds.

I once laid in a fever, between dream and vision
The roof above my head ripped away
The vaults of the night sky split
As overripe fruit, edges ragged as wounds
The pulp and pith of the heavens
A yawning, hungry, pure flame.

Angels peered over the edges,
Mouths bloody, teeth wicked and sharp
Wings of blackened, pitted iron spreading
A rustling of edges and rust
Hungry, feral, carrion birds eying their feast
Beautiful the way a naked blade is still lovely.

Frozen to the sweat soaked sheets
Bones the kindling for the fire set in my flesh
Unmoving, tears burning canyons into my cheeks
For the first time feeling the death in me,
Printed upon each cell as blackletter,
A whispering mirrored by the watchers’ lips,
As threads sewn beneath the skin,
Tied and knotted, a skein, a tapestry.

The fever broke, yet still I feel the tugging,
Still out of the corner of my eye
Wings beat at the shadows
Pinned beneath all my words,
All the brutal blood and sex and mortality
Tainting blue skies and sunlight
So that I will never not see the tooth marks left
By God’s terrible instruments.


Running Out Of Time

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , on August 4, 2015 by beautifulimposter

How many pages could be filled
With all of the silences?
The words that could have been said
Is there enough ink
Would an ocean suffice
If all the rain were gathered
To anoint every pen
So that nothing remained unsaid.

Tomorrow never comes
No next time
See you later becomes never
Getting around to it
Is not on the bus driver’s route
A wave goodbye the final gesture
Goodnight with no mornings ever after
Every second may never know
The one to follow.

There is only now
That’s the only guarantee we get
Every chance is the last one
They need to be taken
The world full of sudden cacophony
As every voice rings
So that nothing remains unsaid
All the knots tied
For good or ill.

By Inches

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Watching shadows cross the street
Growing from hovels clustering about
The brick and mortar feet
Of the shops and cafes
Soon to become towers themselves
Castles, forth floor twilight walk-ups
Apartments for stick people
Caricatures, emblems,
All lines and angles, now scrap of meat or bone
Without dimension, pasteboard placard flat
Penumbral cityscape silhouette
Painted across the pavement.

Everything in marginal increments
Sundials keep time in inches
Revolving around cupola and steeple gnomons
Emanating from bars playing out on bar at a time
Measure for measure
Cavern door mouth yawning sleepy wide
Opening at day’s close
Watching the sun drooping
A great eye sinking inexorably lower
Fighting a losing battle against slumber
Bright child laying her weary head
To dream beneath the counterpane
Distant purple hills.

Children sleep and dream comfortably
Now it’s the grown-ups time to play
Or rather perhaps just bigger kids
Clinging grubby fingered to memories
Of passion, wild freedom, or maybe just fucking
Furtive sticky fumbling a barely hidden
In the not quite shadows of alleys
Illuminated by heated liquor glow,
The cool blue, red, yellow buzz
Of neon beer signs
Washing over just enough bare skin.

Saturday nights always hum
Electric wordless vibrations of desperation
Urgencies, haste, all the rictus smile
“Are we having fun or else” faces
Eyes fever bright glossy
Flush cheeked, panting, guzzling
Bodies whirling in peculiar Brownian fashion
Clustering, breaking, hurled from doorway to doorway
Governed by laws of appetite
How much make believe merriment
Can be sucked from bones long dry
Before the dusty grey mortuary return
Of Monday’s work, bills, kids, real life imprisonment shackles.

It’s all just illusion, mass market media massage fabrication
Inhabiting pop culture movie sit com canned laughter
Versions of reality, buying in
To the need, to the plastic
“Your life can be better for only $19.95”
Or the price of one night’s competitive drinking
Mad dash finish line scrambling to fill
Empty beds or empty hearts with The One
Prophesied by the people who brought you “Friends”
Or “When Harry Met Sally”

The thing is, it all breaks down
Before the last reel
Just ash encrusted hair and clothes
Taut flatline hangover migraine
Mouthful of morning breath after vomit flavor
Over churning belly full of regret
Walk of shame zombie two step weary shuffle
Stretched thin and blank as paper,
Just stick figure semblances, cartoons
Running mad dash out if frame
Dwindling into the rising dawn by inches.


Dark Strange Love

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2015 by beautifulimposter

My mind is set upon midnight
Amidst row upon row of old headstones
Chill, grinning, broken teeth
White marble no less smooth and fair
As your skin gleaming
In the glow of candles adorned
Reclining on a blanket of claret velvet
Clad in gossamer webs of purple and black.

No bright summer fields for us
Nay, nor sun dappled streams
We lay out our picnic
Betwixt the aisles of this bone orchard
Oh morbid spirits we
Drinking current wine rich as blood
Your fine carven hand a drip with juices
As we sup upon pomegranates full and fine
Beneath cold, distant stars,
The fat moon old ivory high above.

Come dance macabre with me
Let us two lonely ghosts
Make merry as we may
Treading lightly upon such reminders
Of our frail mortality
Let lips taste such sweetness
As they can before our hour is struck
Drink of one another deep
A love as dark and strange as ours
Tis one will surely keep.


A Room and A Chair

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2015 by beautifulimposter

There is no conceivable measurement
Of the distance between where I am
From where I saw myself
A gulf of time and regret
Bad decisions and inaction
Old ghosts and fading memories
A scattering of busted toys
Tumbled about my feet, littering the floor
Around my chair.

Music plays faint and scratchy
Popping and hissing through the dusty silence
Voices that never fade out
Crackling reminders spinning out and on
Needle cutting tracks out of my fingerprints
Smudging bloody over skin
Smears of bright color across sepia
Twisting smokey though amber whiskey lense
Choking down fire to bitter ashes
We all do fall down…don’t we?

Rags and feathers
These instruments of faith and sex and God
Right, isn’t that how the line goes?
I was beautiful in my brokeness
But you twist yourself into those shapes of damage
And it sticks, limbs twisted
Into driftwood gnarled water carvings
Bones have memory and are hard to untangle
Too brittle, snapping under the weight of scrutiny.

Time passes like a razor
Slicing paper thin, peeling a rind
Of blank tape, spooling out
In meaningless ribbons just waiting
For a random spark
Something hungry to move from me to nothing
Faintly flickering orange greedy tongues
Leaving an empty chair
In a dusty room
With a scattering of busted toys at its feet.


Black Water

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2014 by beautifulimposter

In the still, silent watches of the night
When the quiet is so complete
All you hear is the blood
Ringing in your ears
When you are empty and so utterly alone
That’s the moment.

You can feel it
Laying in bed, the cold, black water
Rising dark tides
Lapping around the foundations
Worm gnawing the buttresses and bulwarks
Freezing marrow, so cold
Nothing left, not even breath
You can’t breathe, can’t even remember
What to breathe is.

Rusty trap fingers of pitted iron
Snap tight around your heart
You swear you can feel your pulse flutter
Struggling like a pigeon in a snare
Pounding, any second to leap
In bloody shreds from your groaning ribs
But you can’t move
Because you’re not there
No body, just horrible consciousness
Being swallowed screaming into
The big empty.

It’s only then, when you are almost gone
And you’re sure they will find
Your cold corpse screaming silent forever
In those last few moments before your mind
Is blown out and smothered
The silence is pierced
Low, mournful, desolate
A train howls out and you snap back
Knuckles aching, sucking air into fossilized lungs
Every nerve and fiber singing hot
Live wires twisting beneath the skin
Forcing your failing limbs
Churning upwards through grave dirt
Or maybe just cold black water
With the lingering fear
One night you won’t breach the surface.



Posted in Journal, Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by beautifulimposter

This poem has been a long time in the making.  It has taken shape slowly in my mind and I have written it at least half a dozen times without being satisfied that it captured exactly what I wanted, which in this case was so very important as this poem tries to say something about someone real, which I very rarely have set out to do.  I am still not sure if it really says all that it has to, but it is the closest I have felt yet to having a complete shape for the words I wanted to say.  It is about a man, a man that sadly I knew only slightly despite having grown up in his presence every weekend for as long as I could remember.  He was a hard man to know, although to this day I regret not taking the effort, but I didn’t know until far too late that he would not be there forever.  As a child, he seemed permanent, a fixture of the world, not so much a person as a part of the landscape of my world.  I don’t think I know of anyone that gave me the same sense of enduring, who could be more permanently fixed to the world of things.  Anyway, enough of this, I shall let the poem speak for itself, and me, and maybe in some way him as well.


A pair of hands,

Thick fingered, sure

Defining the shape of things

Drawing disparate parts together

Giving them form and purpose.



These hands, they could do anything

Build a home, provide in abundance,

Design wondrous machines,

Discover the shapes hidden in wood,

Make motors run and fix broken Tonka trucks.



I remember the man

For me forever old, slightly rumpled, young only in pictures

Looking out with firm glance in black and white uniform,

A mysterious figure, remote, full of history

Voice a low gravel gruff

Explaining the world one short sentence at the time, irrefutable

Between vast silences as hands put the world together.



I knew the hands so well

Shook them every Sunday

While he chuckled and I never got the joke,

Shook them for the last time, sitting beside a vast white bed

Looking at him so much more small, fragile in the center of it

Not the towering figure that had lynch pinned my childhood, but so very mortal

Except for the hands, still the same

Powerful, grip strong, as if they had taken on the nature of all that they had wrought.



There is so much I will never know

What stood behind the eyes rimmed with a subtle mirth,

Witness to eight decades on this earth,

Who he really was beneath the old sweatshirts and glue spotted trousers,

Forever in the dusty solemnity of his workshop

Cloistered in the scent of sawdust and machine oil,

A figure of awe, respect and even childish fear.



One image will remain

A pair of hands, so very real because they could make real

Confident, capable of any task their master could put them to

Slowly and surely filling the nothing with something

To me, nothing could ever be outside the grasp

Of my grandfather’s hands.



For Harry Brewes, my grandfather who in silence taught me purpose