No longer can the horror of heart and of mind
find a voice as the noir of the putrid
generates revolting theatrics,
leaving devastation in the wake.
Oh weary the soul with repugnance
as the macabre cirque enlists the frowning clowns,
demonic ballerinas, and blood sucking contortionists
lost in the cages of a psychotic illusionist.
The out of tune violins screech a medley so deadly
that the audience's ears drip blood
from their now deafened ear drums.
The tigers drool red and stalk the crowds untethered
as the lights of the ringmaster follow the predators.
Their revolting, blood thirsty attacks
are deemed nostalgic highlights
while painted as illusions and fictional hallucinations.
The crowds scream into fits of hysterics
and emotional tantrums
as the blood rushes with the thrill
inciting further madness.
The ring master's whip cuts sharp through the air,
barbed tip at the end from which innocents are snared.
Screams light up the fog that sits heavy on the rings,
hiding more monsters that snap hungrily.
And the lone child sits on a chair in the third ring,
dressed in a frilly ensemble with her hair shiny and clean.
She plays with her doll, unaware of the madness,
brushing its hair and playing real quiet.
No one seems to notice the tray of assorted goodies
all shiny metal, and sharp, looking dangerous.
Slowly a white coated stranger approaches
warping in and out of view, a demon that's haunting;
eyes blackened and mouth sewn shut,
though the rest of its figure is perfectly cut.
And in a singular blink,
the girl lies silently bleeding in his arms,
as he sits and now plays with his doll,
cutting and slicing.
Her hair falls in long curls to be lost in the fog,
her body turns pale as he works hard on his art.
His white coat is now red
and he tosses the carcass from the ring.
And the crowd cries in remorse as he silently walks away.
Sister Scholastica left the refectory after lunch; made her way to the grounds for the twice-daily recreation period. She had been one of the twelve nuns to be chosen to have their feet washed by the abbess later that day. Some were too old, some too young, she imagined, looking for a quiet spot to wander; take in the scenery; meditate on her day and the following days to come of Easter. A chaffinch flew near by; a blackbird alighted on the ground and then flew off again. She paused. Maundy Thursday. Her sister Margaret had died on a Thursday. She remembered the day her sister was found in her cot by her mother; heard the screams; the rushing of both about her; her father’s harsh words; both shouting; her being pushed aside; wondering what had happened; no one saying until the small coffin was taken out of the house for the funeral and off to the church which she was not allowed to attend. Mother was never the same afterwards. The days of lucidity grew less and less; madness crept over her like a dark spider spinning its web tightly. She sighed. Walked on through the grounds passed the stature of Our Lady green with moss and neglect. The sun warmed. Say your prayers, mother had said, always say your prayers. Mother’s dark eyes lined with bags through lack of sleep, peered at her especially when the madness held her like a bewitched lover. Poor Margaret, poor sister, only said baby sounds, off into the night. One of the nuns passed her with a gentle nod and a smile. Sister Mary. She saw her once holding the hand of another sister, late evening after Compline, along the cloister in the shadows. Father fumed at the creeping madness; Mother’s spewing words; the language foul. She stopped; looked at the apple orchard. Le repas saint: le corps et le sang de Christ, Sister Catherine said to her that morning after mass, the holy meal, the body and blood of Christ, Sister Scholastica translated in her mind as she paused by the old summerhouse. Francis, who once claimed to have loved her, wanted only to copulate; left her for some other a year later. A bell rang from the church. Sighed, Time not hers. She fingered her rosary, a thousand prayers on each bead, each bead through her finger and thumb. Her father beat her when her mother’s rosary broke in her hands; the room was cold and dark. Pray often, Mother said, in moments of lucidity. Time to return. The voice of God in the bells. She turned; walked back towards the convent, her rosary swinging gently in her hand, her eyes taking in the church tower high above the trees; a soft cool breeze kissing her cheek like Francis did once, long long ago before Christ called and made her a bride; clothed her in black as if in mourning for the sinful world she’d left behind.
It begins in earnest now
the part I play as poet
soon quick atones me
an impatient fool like me
Breaking the barriers
so wanting to feel
inside my barren mind
full of so many lies
This insecure madness
a million miles from reality
this snot monster
from the edge of time
Watch my self destruction
as I try to help myself
in the monuments of time
where real justice gives credence
By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
My mind drifts off into
another world whenever I sleep.
I dream of what will happen and
what has happened,
hoping it will change the present.
My present is just as irrelevant
as my past,
but both of these time periods
seem to be haunting me.
I need to stop this madness in my head
and slowly dream on,
in my bed.
My addiction is spelled out in iron:
Words have been stomped into my fate by elegantly gargantuan feet of Greek goddesses and
in the metal lies every pretentious metaphor and ink-soul-splatter that will define the rest of my existence.
There is no going back
The poetry is here to stay.
the changes the letters have wrought are now normal.
I have become used to looking in the mirror and seeing none of my features for the quotes clumped across my forehead
knotted around the contours of my cheekbones.
My morning coffee will never again just be caffeine and warmth,
but a complex metaphor for love-("being burnt by what you also cannot live without").
Now, I only know what my soul looks like
after it has been typed into pretentious metaphors
and ever since that shivering Thursday afternoon I first picked up a pen-
I look at the whiteboard and cannot absorb the continuing inadequacies of various white men because the stanzas are scattered too thickly across my vision.
But I have adjusted.
I accept that every chemical reaction my brain sets off will have words, a story, line breaks, and lonely Friday nights spent editing my soul into prettier pieces
Working on poems and homework will forever struggle against each other on my priority list
And there is simply no denying the fact that behind everything is words and in front and after there are letters and when glancing sideways and upside down you will find quotes and little sayings and poems,
but it is all perfectly fine.
I will breath in each linguistically-caused tragedy with grace and gentleness
because words are the only way I feel at home in this madly spinning world.
I have never felt cozier snuggled with any human or bed than when I am nestled in the dips and dots and curves of language.
"So," you ask, "what seems to be the downside?"
well, dear reader;
if we are being honest poems aren't real therapists.
and they lend themselves well to madness and isolation
But I cannot bring myself to care...
If words were alcohol I would be that horrible mother they whisper about at the PTA meetings who comes home after work and chugs biccardi on the couch, ignoring her children as she runs around the house screaming and throwing things descending into a state of such lovely and intoxicating madness that she cannot resist another page, another pen, another shot.
If words were meth instead of meth sores I have little holes all over my organs where I have drilled down as deeply as possible, hunting for even the smallest hint of feeling just so I can lovingly string letters together like pearls and polish them until they shine with the brilliant lights of tragedy and love and hate and sadness and nostalgia and anger and lust and frustration-
all of these chemicals we fuel our pens with
because numbness is not an option.
I engage in this substance abuse because I am bloated with so much longing, filled with a desperate ache for all the beautiful things I have not yet experienced,
for those brightly lit 2ams and screaming laughter and being drunk and high and kissing and yelling and the because in this moment we are young and alive and breathing and crossing lines and who gives a shit about anything else?
I write in half-crazed scribbles, wondering,
"Maybe writing about friends and laughter at 1 in the morning as I am surrounded by only netflix and tumblr will make me feel better?"
I am always wrong.
It only makes it worse.
My words are glorious escape and icy blades of stark reality.
Clarity and obfuscation.
Pancreas-cracking pain and model-tall joy.
So if words cause me to ache, beat the world into pieces, sob, and ignore my responsibilities,
why am I so goddamn in love with them?
Because my words are mad
but people are too-
so one cannot look down their poorly-described noses at poems and smugly snort that it "doesn't make any sense"
as if they have brilliantly solved and debunked an art form.
They would be quite wrong.
The words are just a reaction and reflection of the world their letters were conceived in-
and so this fevered world and the expression of its insanity are inextricably linked.
(at least for poets).
the difference between poems and people is that humans are
in addition to the insanity,
horribly unreliable and capricious creatures.
They never stay.
They never stay
But metaphors will always be there to cuddle me in their warm arms on lonely weekend nights
Why writing? you ask?
Because when everyone is gone, annoyed, asleep, or dead and the whole earth has been blown apart;
every city destroyed and great moment reduced to nothingness,
I can still trace poems in the ashes.
through flesh to concrete
slit wrists painting walls
visions of madness
on the floor
(through the door)
slices so clean
such a shame to see
a sacrifice of life to the gods of the knife
To observe surroundings
Often results in the discovery
Of a momental occurrence - marvelously unique
Never replicated in both past and future
Dullness to the glistening radiance of these everyday singularities
Hidden irretrievably in moments quickly passed.
When the last of the daylight kisses the feet of the moon and night becomes the dawn of the rising,surprised I awake on the lakeside of sorrow where tomorrow sheds tears for the time allows nothing to stand,
I obey laws of physics though consult with the mystics and the doyens of the beer hall only watch as I call to my maker, thief taker,partaker in murder,to kill dead the silence that roars in my ears.
At the bottom of this glass sits the truth that I search for,but as I reach the finale I find only the floor,it's like the dawn of the rising and no less surprising to me.
If I talk with the shadows that shiver in the doorway,they only say to me, 'spare some change for a cup of tea?'
questions that bother me bitterly, I so agree with the Government policy to ignore everything that doesn't look right to me,
and night even more looks surprisingly, like something I wore once on Wednesday.
They say that this madness creeps up on you and the way it attacks is like it's fukin you,as I've never looked back at my retinue I can't tell if the last statement is true or not,
but you've got what I consider to be the utter truth, as I fly downwards and climb to the slate grey roof where the owls there will greet me with beaks set to eat me,
I wake and sleeps beats me again.
The priest thumbed ash on Sister Scholastica’s forehead, his thumb firm like that of Francis whom she thought she loved once. Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris, the priest whispered. Her mind translated the words her father use to relate often in his foul moods, remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return; then he’d beat her for some misdemeanour she’d forgotten from days before. The dirty ash made her feel as if she was marked out again, that her father would come rushing through the church doors, grab her with his mighty arm and beat, and beat. The priest had a lean face; eyes deep as if they had been set back too far. His lips slits in his paleness. She moved back to her place in the choir stalls; knelt down sensing the first day of Lent biting at her stomach already; the days ahead and hunger; the mark seemed to burn; she wanted to rub it off as she did as a child once and her mother said she would be damned. Her mother used charcoal to draw; once drew the Crucified in such detail that it made her cry. In her lucid days, she would paint for hours, before the madness swung her back and forth in and out of sanity like a pendulum. Through the slits of her fingers, she watched Sister Cecilia kneel as if stabbed in the back; the eyes glaring at the cross; the hands tight together in tormented praise. She’d seen her once, kiss the statue of the Virgin in the cloister, and whisper words. Faith in words; faith in words. Sister Scholastica heard the bell sound, rose, and stared at the priest at the altar. Mass. Bread and wine. Body and blood. Broken and spilt. Francis had not loved her as he said, just in it for the copulation and the image of her on his arms to impress his friends. Wednesday. It had been a Wednesday when they copulated the first time back in her youth; the grimy bed, which she remembered, had the smell of cigarettes and beer and days of being unmade. She lifted her eyes to the Crucified. His arms outstretched to embrace the world; his head to one side as if listening to her every thought and whispered word. Repentez-vous et le péché pas plus, Sister Gabrielle had said once when she was a girl at school, regret and sin no more, she’d repeated to them in her broken English. Innocent days. Mother swinging from lucidity to madness like the censer boat the altar boy swung at mass. Sister Scholastica closed her eyes. Her father raged in her memory at her mother’s growing madness; her mother painting red across the bedroom door; cursing her husband in French at the top of her voice. Peace now. Lent has begun. Sackcloth and ashes. Sin on sin. Washed away with the blood. Monthly bleeds; the blood of the Lamb. Requiem in pace.
I knew Pearl, comely, calm Pearl
eyes as blue as the skies
that warmed her sands
where we walked and talked
dreamed the days away
her voice so sweet on the Pacific winds
it made me forget about home
I was breaking daily bread
dipping it in the
yellow yolk promise of eggs
when little gunner Joe
said come down below
to see the kitty he found
crouched in the shadowed corner
no bigger than the rivets
get her some milk he said
when we placed the offering in front of her
she roared a lion’s roar…
and the roar kept coming
and the young living
disappeared into the darkness...
the stench of smoke
the screeching screams
the fierce rocking of the hull
which came too fast to touch
all spoke with equal madness
telling us doom
can come on a sunny Sunday morn
in Pearl’s land
is something we all know
in the flat land of dreams
in the lucky light of day, and
on that Sunday morn,
in the boiling bowels of our ship
with some giant hand in command
the water, the water,
the water we all had grown to love
now taunting our feet,
then our knees
the pounding began
the eternal pounding
the pounding of the hopeful
in Pearl’s blue skies
and our pounding,
the pounding of the damned,
without any eyes
now at our waists
now at our chests
and then only our frozen faces
against the hard steel that had been our home
had the last few breaths of air to breathe
heard the last few gasps of desperation
and the feeble futile pounding
of those in Pearl’s darkened sun…
now we rest in this sunken tomb
the guests roaming above
with cameras and tearless eyes
for they were not
the ones who heard our cries
those who did, do not return
for Pearl is no longer a sunny beach
and a stroll in a dream
but a place where the pounding started
and never stopped
and where the world changed forever
when the first bomb was dropped