Let me see your soul.
Bare all your scars to me.
All that pains you.
All that burdens you.
All that gives you joy.
I will cup your mechanical heart.
Feel its beat, and oil the gears.
No longer will it be the frost of
But as polished as
at some queer second
not quite between twelve and twelve
blue planet dust particles dream
while sunbeams dance
across minute hands
in your eyes
shag carpet melts into lush
and azure electric runs across petals
of daisies dipped in glass
air swims carelessly about in a tropical heat
and shimmers curiously like
glitter in rain or
paint splattered koi
beneath oil spills
you stand at the
precipice to purple
and curiously ask the darkness
"what time it might be"
soft words of loved ones
echo faintly in distance
copper willows generously sprout
Asifin rectiserial devotion of robots' rows,
one of those innigglable enigmatronic joes
too technical ta takeanickel,
was lice wed to bridewelling
industry of automating.
A disgraced biotech nacnit art,
psyboggy and sci-
boggling bodywork of c ut-
ter t'ings, cute tongs
of a roblotchy klimtin machine
for flinching, fearmilking my clover machine
- 's crap, mottled gizmo garden
of a desultory heart.
Falseaddress au naturel.
Where discalced fleshlings wozrobbed
of underfeetfeeling dewy slickback.
and springrandy kaliedoscamps,
as debutant tramps,
were mercurywatered with metallicnausea,
till leperfect epilepetals petaljackable
by autumnmaton's throttle.
From whence woody wires, steel stipes, piping steampunk roots
s p r e a d
their cybernetic spandages the strugglength
of breedingbandages, dayseized exponentially
by minecraft boughs like blocky and straitened boa cons.
S p r e a d
- lesslike medisun's strength o' pharaohalloy honey
when i phinx of cryptstrypt egypt
atleast eqypt by skygold for tourruinsism,
but as stains stramineous
s p r e a d
when it blinking turnedout lice was
notso fonziewonzie robocub on the blink,
who'd ochreleucously aqua adverse tyzertyger-
stainson his 'cactusgun jack' character peepeejays.
Or like lank swathes
of hay insanelysprayed
by a leafblower with an asian's stamina.
Ah, Indelicacy! And Indélicatesse, a spathe's a spathe!
Except when it's conflicted kitbash for technomantic
terraformers, a robotany of jokes.
Peelback theirradiated diamondalmondnoded
circuitboardedup nonchthulucene sod,
- whether animal skills of oenomal skells digging their own
skeltels or servomotors or vine pulleys do the job
- and bimanal clangour of any claque'd clock
my 'chine's more tethered t'an untilled
tone than a sweeneypea of rookierighteousness,
or a smaragdine skiff for seashocked oclaphiles
and banjoesgreened whilst a nesteggedhivedivingfelinophile
twoots. Green, aye, taste of me sown oddwozobb-
ta passionrust like intranettles
i shoulda wilted empowered by an err
at such phat pathos,
but a yah bouquet of carrotstickflowers
beautyknotted carat and styx
and int'allforgotme knotsinmystoma 'chine,
decompoozed vin tij, pints.
Once upon a zone of overgrown zonality,
couldn't see, so now youseehowfar me 'n' Ceejay've mown
feckclod unclad, tilled till dishabille, bald the land
o' ruderal youthwhere i sawed my shrink
and saw halves in having.
Half bullchaff, half trashfinch...
Surprise. And nosurprise! Cropper.
And notacropper! For Cee's lovepimpedup her mechanibullish
lyborg int'a lawnmower o' liberty
- ta badassvertise? No lice, lice sellnever
license ta liesellers hissenses, or ask r kelly
- tho' ark'd go with 'I believe iconfly-
mo'! Ee-yyyyyelmm! With a
'la shyzer vert!', advertised busters of sighs
- alsays ' Way: buy two sighs to make sure you fit'.
No now i vum ta vroooooom,
Mevrouw, with Our zimmer of choppers,
hack dripripe the naysayingvines, rerunning necks of...
And fuck the dusty keptoutoftouchwith grass off.
Dislodge this android's figleaf
seeds of dehumanisation rigged.
Couldn't automoultit with forays
inta spores' ways when i was
when greenmicrosystems of nanoedens
were clogged subroutines of nanoiddiction.
But then all uvluvs were unCeezenned ,
dint swiv indelihelic utters like Hernewbroom of cupes's
vrooming atsuch toureutic scriptures of brass bracken,
my artificial indelicateligence
like a caterpillar called icarus
on a heliotrapeze in a pod, suchwas
the ferrous fallow of a fobbed hurtphobe 'bot.
But i'm suretimesdataset deadcertsquared
me and Cee've mown
junkjungley techamech nonatural zone, shorn
the me grownfrom an overblown underblown
green iron frown. Ee-yyyyyelmm!
Leaves turfshag of fironilings and waultyfirings
with a blendered slenderness
where once i met a foe who may be
mentalic, meta-faux, but
'smown obsolete mode, old mould.
But irenderno ambigcruelty, tuts 'wards
of fibroushusks and computercasing,
cellulose memory and memorybankserasing
- holograins and veins of my leave-
rs i guess i'm half still.
But blessed greased blades endawn
the manydayed plain,
ephemeral emerald still a jewel of renewal
that grows gaining agains that grow dif-
feroruntly from the planted pain.
Sungta'll growtasingta likewhirs - as a sprinkler
salted with returnreturns spinsipt t'pisnips
- and'll oo-oo-whir like 'twern't no wistfulagedperson's
choice of radiostation.
Nowhowdoes my wrecktech omzig nedrag nonfunction verywell
thankyou funny. But am i totallytender,
setoutta bedelved, dugupenter a harvest of sacrifices yet?
Unaware i'd go onta twobloomtown till: where
did my potplantmeccano mashmish maelstroms of waif ROM;
green cogs and rams programmed ta mum and ham;
cabbudgets and letuscysts say the bells of synthetics;
barddrive boughs of the elmth and bowels of the nth:
dickhead boughs snapping to slaphead branchcollars,
scattering tyreswings of prostheticlimbpanzees
draggedup ta see limb, climb byes,
bite my every family with a damocles firewall of familyjungle surgery:
o insecuritybreachwhere Her loveliness and lovely sweat chopt
and swept awaythe forsolongkept
will-ta-argue, that had for so long kept
my will arguing,
arguing with the ground
about my grounds forarguing withthe wither-
ing, stareswallowing, stair-
faced ground, no groundparent but wildneighbourhoodwatcharenakillingfloors
ties time's toughlove chainsawed
morsal handshake a-hanching.
Mortallowmatic morsels of digital farewells
removed by cornhead and rural roomba
of chutzpah purer than a gandermooner's,
Her mower the answer to my metalvegetal pinocchioprayers,
Her mower the overgrower of my loverphobia
and nova sower of dingleydells, fluffy squelchy seasons,
vegetarianovourous forests of vitalism
and lurching lovers' poncey meadows - real ones.
You only live
so I keep my life?
why do you speak
so much of
giving your life
in exchange for mine?
As fires blaze
in the sanctity of our room
cards lay out
in a gamble
I cannot allow you
To suffer again
To be toyed with or worse
Ripped and burned
The both of us
We'll be filled with love
When the executioner comes
To collect us
This is our gamble
these cards on the table
neither of us
will be a sacrifice
what kind of twisted fate
to an innocent being
who was trapped in
a mechanical hell
take my hand
and in our execution
let's both go
I cannot speak
She drags me everywhere
and has a grand time
while I am forced
to live in a mechanical body
she crafted to me
are my only means
and one sentence repeats
in my limited vocal ability
I pray for Elysium
and the soft grace and rest
still she drags me
I'm nothing but a doll
spirits take me
from this prison
why must I be forced
to live a life already full
There skulks a vigilante called Scumbrella
the urban jungle's answer to John Steed.
1/2 werrr, 1/2 weyyy, a mentally unstable fella,
in chazzashop-dapper togs: no tweed.
His swashbuckling bartitsu umbrawler moves
rotoviolate English Detroit run to seed,
tho' motley movements defy fitzes & sleuves.
At the dead of night, at the scene of a crime,
off scofflaw stage brollycrook hooks youths,
pimpled pitbulls yet to gnaw bone of hard time,
hoodies he hooks into patella in the face,
then jabs bumbleshoot at their custardpuss spines!
As Mez Pops put UK airspace in its place,
gamp glider Scumbrella l/ accipiter swoops
at trainee mugger, now 'Mum'-yeller auto-Maced
(epiphora of cowardice). Trenchcoat cape dupes
Bash Street chavs w/ shadowplay abillowing,
blots out fullmoon for pack of coyot' yoots,
further blinded by brollyspokes set twirling
by borgne majorette of a mean Gene Kelly,
crimefighting in the rain - what a wonderful feeling
to flaconade ferals w/ ferule of umbrelly,
or on evildoer's cupola springshut subumbrella
l/ panoramic facehugger - that should quell any
scally's scritch should Scrumbr'a skirl Rihanna
a cappella (upon umbrellairguitar, a wee noodle).
Since squabashing tall 10-year-old who twocked Fruitellas,
he's sasquatch-scarce once sirens fill twitchells.
Spiceheads & dratchells expand gangland slang glands
at groggy Z-doggs who dogpiled in IRL,
now duffedup triphazard to any backsteet errand-
boys 'n' girls, runners 'n' riders. Digladiation
Oswald Cobbleoddjob-style done, t'Umbrella Stand
pub a heifer of a zephyr his transportation.
No time to spare, as sirens have been replaced
by ambivalent armed response unit's simunition,
pyongyang of bullites onomatopiercing space
stealth deadened in penultimate comicstrip panel.
Later...at pub w/ his have-a-go antihero mates:
Pteropine Man fresh from frightener in the ginnel,
louring at being mistook for that Yank upstart bat
again; the noble Paedophile-ophobe on sabbatical,
by Yewtree interceptions burntout, Madeleine McCatt
his offduty searches' fluffy focus ; snooty of Stella,
Captain Norfolk Black Turkey Magic sat
w/ an Adnams, Charles Random de Berenger's
seminal ruffianbusting manual sole topic
of convo for the Cap'n's workfriend, Scumbrella.
Snickets of recidivism precipitation now licks,
but in phonebox where, l/ Ms. Zellweger,
supers flaunt granny pants leans lost brolly ironic.
It's hard out here for an automaton
the sun is hot on my metal
Over heats my copper wire
Causes all manner of motor malfunctions
In cold winter days the residual wetness I step in
shorts my circuits
and shocks my partners
I am fond of small coffee shop nooks with outlets.
I don't need to travel too far to recharge
And since I'm so shiny
often briefcases and lipstick come around
sit their lattes on my discarded instruction manual pages
To offer me oil
I will let them insert the Nettie pot shaped disk where they choose
it's rough being a clock work boy
I set myself to operate
at three hours before is necessary in case
I'm distracted by some new upgrade or need
to document another error message.
they never write me back,
bronze looks good on thigh plates
I had this woman notice my key today
protruding from my back
the translucent panel showing into all my cogs and gears
she said she wanted to turn it
back, so she could see my program
run it from the beginning again.
I warned her, turning the key
would only turn back me.
I would rather let the program run on it's natural course,
sure, I'll get closer to the end, but I'm a curious construct
haven't seen the end of my functionality yet
woman keep coming up and asking me to turn back the key
and I am weak,
but don't worry I said
if I run out of energy, you can always turn the key back.
I'll play it all over and you can remember.
She didn't like the idea of doing the same thing over either
she turned the key, waited for it to run out,
left me on the doorstep for some other person to turn back on.
it's hard out here for an automaton.
the sun is hot on my metal
over heating my copper wiring causing all manner
of motor malfunctions
and system failures.
Sands traverse oceans to envelop me
within the coercion of a dream of Egypt
as I search the turquoise of the medallion in my hands
to match the gray-blue of his eyes.
Too long have I willed for him
to sail the Atlantic,
stride through the door,
and sweep me from haunting this view of London.
But for now I am left
to my own image and a pane,
so I muster the meat of my palm
within this sleeve of lace
to brush it across the glass for a clearer look,
yet my efforts have revealed
no more than engorged eyelids reflected…
manacles of me.
Behest of self,
maniacal I am slated
to perform involuntary tedium,
hopeful to unlock deeper meaning
within each hieroglyph,
once so purposefully etched in a semblance of bronze.
I long to surrender
to the warmth of the taste of iron
caught in his sights over a tomb blanketed in gold.
I will come for you, Daughter of Heaven and Earth.
Spontaneous peristalsis of phrase
connects with the drop
gurgling through the candid quiet
and I wonder
if the image that now reflects would indulge him,
or if he might fondle the lock of dark hair
that he cropped from my neck with the skill of an assassin
when our paths first crossed in Cairo.
Time has softened the image I hold of him;
his eyes are satin,
burning like a flag still waving
as his army advances over our forbidden dig.
There is something
sensation-like in downfall…
copious saline embodies the fractal curve.
I found no scrolls of the Book of the Dead.
Here in my olive skin I rot like a peach
that’s been left in a satchel
forgotten to dust of the ages
disturbed by picks and axes
that strike with the determination of discovery.
A peach, never to be savored;
never to nourish or to pleasure,
or be trampled by insects
and carried off in pieces
to the hollow of the ant queen.
My eyelids are hard to turn like wet pages
forced to envision a river that is not the Nile
where I am held within the binds of propriety,
corsetted, bustled, and locked out of Egypt
dammed from the salvation
of even an intermittent Dutchman’s finger
by dunes and shores and footfalls
to find words that stream in liquid resonance
where firm succumbs to self and
I can feel passion writhing through my intangibles.
Thusly, clouds form over a city that blackens and distorts
the way a river's reflection of my face
would ripple from the plunging body of a dove,
belly-up, encased in wings,
and two thousand miles from him.
Arousal is a moccasin seethed in spasms
of peristalsis and musculature
toward the beckoning pulse of breast.
Any hope for contact collapses into flesh,
venom sheathes each corpuscle,
and a woken neck flails in judgment
before the truth in his eyes
under the shadow of the Great Pyramid
where Ramses II lies supine
across the Turin Papyrus.
I imagine the other side of me
and where she might reflect when
all that there is in such a study
contributes to my wanting
to wreak my bellied freedom
beneath crevices that sink as crevices do
in downward angled layers
to withstand the ages.
Dark hair gleams in contrast,
more for strip of scalp
than the trickle of red down my back.
Breached like sugar that candid—
starburst wings of Monarchs dripping ancient like sunsets
over magenta and milky mauve in the reeds—
my ankles revealed and inverted to the sky they glean, yet...
his arrival is delayed
when the pistol cocks three times.
The still of my breast compounds
with the steady union of the dark, and
somewhere denial flows with the sands.
So cycles change, like a fable for Eternal.
“Daughter of Heaven and Earth,” written by Dionne Charlet, appears in print in Cairo by Gaslight, the second anthology in the By Gaslight Series from New Orleans small press Black Tome Books. Books in the series include New Orleans by Gaslight (ISBN 9780615801186) and Cairo by Gaslight (ISBN 9781516961528). Both collections feature poetry by Charlet, under the pseudonym Dionne Cherie. Look for the upcoming anthology Paris by Gaslight, which will feature a poem of the same title by Dionne.