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Oculi Sep 2022


Suppose to me for a second that you ignore the cultural barrier between the man standing in front of you and yourself. This man was raised in a far away land, whose people are PECULIAR in many ways, not quite fitting into any group you have heard of. He has, in the past been referred to, sometimes affectionately and sometimes derogatorily, as an alien. He is PONDERING. You can see it on the blank, nearly expressionless face that he posits towards this unblinking world he considers void of redeeming qualities. In his land, there is a PECULIAR saying, that he keeps repeating to himself, as though it was a mantra that could somehow save him from what seems, at this point, impending. He is PONDERING this saying. The way he recites it, sometimes quietly within his mind's eye and sometimes out loud, much to the dismay of those hearing him, is "Acting with the peace of the dead." which is an approximation of the way he heard it once, when his father said it to him as a child. He is unsure what this PECULIAR phrase has been doing in his mind for the last week. He is in a tall building, on the top floor, and he considers jumping out of a window every free moment he allows himself. He has, on occasion, realized his consciousness left him during the day, only to be roused back from his PONDERINGS by the sounds of objects and people that no longer exist. He hears the voice of Him, the man who swam before him, despite not knowing how to swim. He fears that his knowledge of swimming forbids him from joining Him. He does on occasion realize that his fear of not being able to swim with Him is what some would call PECULIAR. Some would explain that he needs to let go of these foolish endeavors and let the 4514 swim along the coast, soundly. His father would have told him about the days he PONDERED the window of his tenth floor apartment as well.
He deems long enough has passed. He opens the window, and manifest before him is a bridge of RAINBOW. He steps onto the bridge and loses control of his conscious mind.

Swallowed by the dread
Swimming with the dead
The station is unmanned
The operator's ******

Let they who art one with the endless ocean
The black and glintingly specked sea of tar
Encroach you and grasp at what you hold

Let them hold you down, down under
Suffocating the life out of you
Holding your throat until you drown

Let ye, fettered traveler, join us
We are a merry lot down here
This void, this black space we inhabit
It really isn't as scary as it sounds
There is love and joy and celebration
There is camaraderie, feasts
There are memories, in many which ways
There are dreams, and no nightmares
Let ye, shackled traveler, join us
For we have sang of your exploits
For we have cried for your sorrows
For we so desire to meet with you (again)
Let ye, battered traveler, join us
We miss you.
Your hugs felt nice.
We miss seeing you grow up by our side.
Even when far apart, we would always think of you.
We love you, and we wish you were here with me.

Suppose to me for a second that you ignore the difference of corporeal worlds between the woman standing in front of you and yourself. She inhabits a world of very little LIGHT. (Though there is some.) It is the middle of the night, which she is able to infer because even though her eyesight is as SHARP as ever, there is still absolutely nothing visible in this world. Though her other senses are, for lack of a better expression, quite attuned to this world, and therefore she can easily sense her way through the room she usually wakes up in. This, however, is not that room. She stumbles immediately, and falls, to a floor that feels much different, courser to the touch. The feeling of her heart welling up the usual anxious thoughts is not as LIGHT as it was a moment ago. She is in a deep state of panic. Of paranoia. Of fright. Of terror. The darkness feels all the more encroaching, all the more terrifying, in this new, unexplored room. White specks begin to cloud her vision as she stumbles around, wounding herself constantly. Bruises, cuts, trauma. She stays down, this time. There is a distinct coldness to the floor where she lay. She gropes around, and yelps in pain. SHARP. It's a knife! She grabs the handle of it. Quite LIGHT. She decides to test out the SHARPness of this knife and stabs at the floor. Nothing happens. Her heightened feelings of panic bring back memories, unpleasant memories, similarly involving darkness, knives and unfamiliarity. She can only see one possible way out, and concurs she'd like to see LIGHT at least one more time. She falls into a deep sleep, clutching her knife at her chest and dreaming of those folks of merriment.
She wakes, still as panicked as before, but sees that specks of brightness now form around the horizon far outside her room. They don't bring any joy to her, she just wanted to see them one last time.
She deems long enough has passed. She cuts into the flesh of her body that, through the darkness, she has never seen before, and manifest before her is blood. It is a stark, crimson color, a shade she has never once beheld. Then, as her senses begin to faulter, she looks again and sees more shades, all those of a RAINBOW. She brought herself joy by managing to create color in a world with none before her. She lets herself lose control of her conscious mind.

The woman and the man meet
A clashing of two different worlds
Two different times, yet at once the same
They both open their mouths to each other
No sound comes, they stand silent


They stand together in the space that the choir mentioned in passing previously. Waves crash against them both, yet they stand unflinching, trying and failing to scream, yell, shout, anything that would make the other one understand. Their duality frightens them both, as though they know something the other doesn't. Finally, a voice booms, it is both of theirs and yet it is not. It asks the question that they both mean to phrase:
"I'm very happy to finally be here, but... where is everyone?"
Oculi Jul 2022
No tomb like the present
A suffocating fact
I shan't see the crescent
A summer with no tact

There is a distinct, quiet suffering
That plagues the air every which summer
Though out there, the world is rapidly expanding
The smell of rot is the one that catches my nostril
As for what rots, I am not sure
Perhaps the trouble lies within myself
But in these days, I am slower, less responsive
And my conversations get more unhinged
With the entities in my living space
As for whether they are hallucinated
Or it's me yelling at bugs that have entered
I honestly would not be able to say

The air is thick, thicker than milky fog
And this thickness hurts the purity
Pure, white snow falls from my eyes
And cold, piercing winds from my throat
Icicles grow upon my fingertips
And my hair is made of frozen grass
I am the late autumn and early winter, I am
My stark and hailing demeanor freezes the weak
I am the very definition of an ice queen
Or at the very least I definitely pretend to be
Even though it's a charade everyone ignores

Have you ever sat in the back seat, while a parent drove?
You might even feel a bit of affection from them
So it is not so bad, not quite as impersonable
Not as horrifying as the passenger's seat
You are at risk but you are not the operative word
I am currently in the passenger's seat of my life
Have you ever felt similarly? Like you lost control?
My interactions are pure instincts and pheromones
My preferences are base level urges in all cases
Even the music I so enjoy, I entrust not to myself
But to the almighty, for their hand is far more sturdy
I shake, like an autumn leaf in a hurricane
Barely holding on the driver, which is always them
I will never learn how to drive a car

I often get called an adept storyteller
Some people call me vivid or imaginative, even
So I suppose I might as well ask the people in my head
To help me conjure up some short tales for you;
This one is of a young girl, dreaming

In some dreams she finds herself in a rancid, green room
There with her is another girl, a cynical kind
The two of them may have loved each other once, but
That time has long since passed
Acts of carnal urges and violence come to pass
Mold grows on the walls and ceilings
The camera slowly pans away from them, *******
To show the director and the audience

In some dreams, she finds herself in a small Japanese home
Discussing the fate of that infamous 100 ryo
"You'll never get it back" says the cynical girl
She vows to get it back and leaves the room
Most of the scene is silent, save for cicadas
In the night she returns, scars all over her face
She brutally dismembers the cynical girl
She simply was not meant to be a ronin

In some dreams she finds herself in a police station
The cynical woman is on the other ends of the desk
"We've got you by the *****, ****" she says
The girl answers only with a scoff and a crooked smile
"If you had me by the *****, this would be more enjoyable"
The cynical girl seems embarrassed, upset
The director shouts "More emotion, you dimwits, more!"
The camera zooms in, with shaking motion, towards the girl

In some dreams she finds herself alone, it's snowing inside
The cynical girl left. Surely something far more important.
She begins to draw a mural, in the style of Basquiat
A funky little guy, baby blue, bright orange, neon pink lines
Once done, she hears a voice: "It's been a while, babes"
Finally, he was back! It was the mural, speaking
Or in some sense, the very walls of the room spoke to her
"What's groovy, baby?" he asks, with his usual cheer

There's many more dreams to share, like the one where they reminisce
Or the one where they're janissaries, stationed in Serbia
Or the one where they're communists, in a bar during the Great War
Or the one where space has been conquered and they stayed back at home
Or the one where the mural learns to play drums, and the shadowy figure joins
I didn't even talk about the shadowy figure, even though he's a major character!
I mean hell, even I joined them occasionally, once they asked
They figured out I didn't know everything, and talked to me, what a lovely bunch
But obviously at one point, spunky little girls have to wake up

In this dream, she finds herself alone again, in a regular room
The heat of the scorching sun has been illuminating her abode all day
She remembers that in this reality, she plays improvised music
And yet, in such horrid weather, it'd be suicide to go play right now
She is sluggish, unconcerned, seemingly in another world already
No tomb like the present, she thinks and repeats, like a mantric chant
"No time! You keep saying the phrase all wrong!" a voice reprimands her
She knows and she deems it an unfit day to have yet more drama
"I know... I just thought the pun was amusing..."
She says in retort to herself, in order to pass the time.
Oculi Jul 2022
There's comfort in discomfort
And love in being lost
There's thinking and there's knowing
There's fire in the frost

I find myself at the end of a short journey
Most everyday, these days, if I'm honest
And I find I don't remember the journey
Soon, I won't remember it happened
Even forgetting the ending to it
A journey to my friend's house or the store
It's all sand that was washed away
By the ever-forming tides in my brain

I wish the tides were more effective, obviously
Wash me away as a whole entity, cleanse the world
They say there's pain in forgetting
Which I guess would explain why I'm like this
I have a friend who used to say they were a cancer
It was when we were younger and I didn't get it
Maybe it was because of their zodiac, I thought
But now I'm older and now I get it

After about a week of deliberation, I see it now
This, in a sense, is a song or a tale
That, if you look closely, debates the ocean
A frightening and dark depth of immeasurability
Would it be a pop culture reference now;
If I were to say I'd see for myself
Or would it simply be a pretentious reiteration
Made in the poorest of tastes?

My best years are behind me, I tell myself always
Thinking "oh, how I've wasted my time upon time"
But I've been telling myself this for my whole life
So when the **** were my best years, really?
I am perhaps the most attuned I have ever been
Rather than a teen singing opera in the streets
I am an adult screaming into metal tubes
Pretending that one day it will make me a living
Stretching my body thin and disappearing under pools
Pools of sweat, blood and tears, in a manner of dramaticness
The sun burns my skin off and the salt in the waves irritates the exposed muscle

That previous line was too long and it didn't fit the scheme
But I think that sort of helps with the deranged nature of the prose I present
I say to myself as I keep writing lines that are almost as long as that one

What the **** is rock music?
People tell me "oh I don't follow what goes on with rock music"
Or they ask me "what kind of rock music do you enjoy?"
But then we're counting Elvis Presley and Les Rallizes Dénudés as the same genre

Rambling on as usual, which presents a conundrum, do I finish the poem yet?
Or do I expose more of the thoughts with no connection?
I guess the connection is these are the things that keep me awake in the dead of night
And these are also the ones that I wake up for
Here's another one: Why do I love?
It comes so quick and stays so long and pains me to say that it churns my stomach
It makes no sense and though it's an impulse I cannot control I wish I had some modicum of understanding
And there's an even longer line, to show how strongly I feel about this!

You know, the reason I switched subject materials (or maybe I didn't even do so)
is partially because I forgot I was writing this, which fits in with the subject to begin with
It comes and goes in waves and threes, triumvirates of pathetic hasty fugazi deliberation
Ill-considered and hazardously conceived, murdered at birth
In a video game, that'd be called "spawn camping", and I for some reason felt the need to point this out

The time I tried killing myself (or succumbing to these waves, if you will)
It was the very waves that prevented me from it
I stood, perched, completely naked but for a pair of underwear, on my desk, looking out my open window
I felt the need to jump and I didn't even think about who might miss me on that day, I could think of no one
But then I kept thinking and things came up, musical concepts or scenes from films or random thoughts about historical figures
And before I knew it, I was sitting.
And though I'd felt it just as strongly as before, I could somehow even procrastinate suicide
Now if that isn't a superpower, I don't know what is!

The waves, they crashed against my open skull and my exposed brain matter
And before I knew it, I faced both the predicament of pebbles and skin
My amygdala and hippocampus were both as flat and smooth as the skin of a newborn
And yet as wrinkly and terrifying as Willem Dafoe in the Lighthouse
And there I was, a trembling infant, wracked with grief, paranoia and the shivers
And there I was still yet, I was Methuselah and I forgot what made me so

If I have to be honest with you, frank and earnest, as vulnerable as I always am...
I forgot why I wrote this by the time it was completed
But that is not the only thing I've lost
I look in the mirror and I see an ocean, formless, unending, ceaseless, hurdling ever toward
Toward, toward, toward
What is your identity, oh great one of the waves?
Jude Quinn Jun 2022
When this room disappears,
you'll be gone.
You may excuse me then,
if I stay for another drink.

////This is my emotional growth now////

I tried to deconstruct my self,
but I found so little,
it was easier
to start from the ground-up.

I'm building
the end of the world,
one mistake
at a time.
(The plastic pleasures
never much appealed to me.)

Tomorrow, I'll talk to God.
Tonight, I only wish to feel your skin.
Oculi May 2022
I want to be part of the industry
To those in the know
This may come off as a confession
Of my ineptitude in joining music
Yes, Music, with a capital M
The industry of music
Holed off from the world
This however, is not the case
I am fawning over the Industry
A world of hard workers
A world of early deaths
And one where there is no satisfaction

I want to be part of the industry
I am deeply and utterly heartbroken
At my love of the arts and avant-garde
I want to be like the old man
From the bus station that one time prior
He was wearing a tattered hat
His coat was torn in places
His shoes were discolored from glue
His face was dark as soot from dirt
His beard was patchy, and greyish
Yet through his eyes, I saw a flash
A flash of a diamond nature
His veins bled gold and his brow, well
His sweat was pure *******
And even thusly so, he held something
That I could never even begin to touch
He held in himself no hostility
No morosity or animosity
He was a happy man and nothing more
And though I may live for far longer
I wish to trade places yet still

I want to be part of the industry
I want my body to be battered
I want my will to be shattered
If I were to wish for something
It would be to become a machine
In a factory, operated by a ******
Functioning in perfect unison
With my focused master
I want to be a slave to the industry
I want to be destroyed for a good reason
Rather than the war of attrition
That I've been fighting for 20 something years now

I want to be part of the industry
The *** industry
No, I am not professing that I would enjoy being on call
I want to be ***** by the evil that man wills
By the willing and heretical deities of this land

I dreamed of being cannibalized
A man of gigantic proportions stood above me
He had a tail, and a horse's face
His voice was the sound of charcoal burning
He whispered to me with malevolence
"You will never be who you desire to be"
I knew in my heart of hearts that he was right
He took all of his clothes off, slowly
In order to allow me a view of his many scars
Burns, stab wounds, scratches
All over his brown leather skin
His face changed into something else
It was my face, as a man
He ****** me, against my will
And after he had had his way with me
He began to tear me apart with his hands
Slowly ripping off my flesh, bit by bit
I could not move against his immense force
But I felt every single minutia of pain
I became nothing, and I was now one with him
I will never be a woman again

I want to be part of the industry
I want to be one of the many robots
That are tearing jobs away from good-willed working men
Or so I hear they are, anyway

I want to be part of the soil
I want you to walk over me
Maybe this way I would assist you in something
I would help you reach your goal at the ends of this earth
I want to be dirt, sand and soft rock
To be malleable by hand and to be useful in some way
I want to know why the Greater Will cursed me this way
Why I must see the earth in such a Wretched form
Why where others see color, I see monochrome
Why where others see camaraderie, I see crushing solitude
My becoming an Artist was a great mistake
I've always wanted to be nothing more than a machine

I want you to understand
You, You, You, with a capital Y, the divine You
That I do love you, if somewhat differently than they do
And I apologize for not showing it while I had the chance
I will miss the days when we walked this earth together
We were Wretched together, unlike the others
I hope in your sleep, your eternal and infinite sleep
You find the wisdom that I denied you
I will miss you like you were a brother to me, because you were
I am lonely without you
But so it goes, or at least that's what they tell me
Oculi May 2022
There was a dead horse on my way to work today
The horse had been there a while
I do not know why or how it was left there
But I certainly felt a kinship towards it
I'm a doer, not a waiter, I swear
I only ever wait for impossible things
Sort of like I'm waiting for Godot, in a way
Or like waiting for the dead horse to come alive
Why did it die, anyway? Who left it there?
I heard it beckon to me, softly, quietly
It told me about its pain and it felt mine
It related itself to me, singing sweetly
I could not relate mine to it
But I felt slowly but surely my drifting
We switched places, the dead horse and I
I was the horse, on the side of the road
Down by the railway, dead
And the horse was the one that went to work today
I spent my day, baking in the sun
My odor becoming more and more pungent
And the horse worked tirelessly at the workshop

I'm waiting for the dead horse to come alive
Why was it left out in the sun to die?
Why did nobody care for it in its time of need?
Now it's growing more and more rancid
**** all around its feet and face
And the other horses are all gone
No funeral was held, no ceremony
Just the sweet, inviting smell of death
Quite a squalid state of affairs
How I long to understand how he feels right now

I'm waiting for my dead friend to come alive
Why was he left in the hospital to die?
Why could I not care for him in his time of need?
Now he's growing further and further
Water all around his feet and face
And the other friends are all gone
How I wish I could hear him just once more
Or see the phone ring and know it's him
How I wish he'd ask me how the music is going
Or lecture me about the futility again

I'm waiting for my broken heart to heal
This one really needs no explanation, does it?
All those with broken hearts deserve it
Or at least that's what they keep telling me

I'm waiting for the dead horse to speak to me
A lonely, rotting bovine on the side of the road
Maggots live as kings tonight
"Horses aren't bovines"
I yell at myself in reprimand
"I know, but I forgot the categorization"
I respond in a slightly altered intonation

I'm waiting for Godot today
I like waiting for impossible things
It fills me with purpose, and prolongs the inevitable
As long as I wait and do there is no death
I have long since ceased the doing, but waiting is fine
This bus stop sure is lonely, save for the old man
The old man keeps asking for cigarettes
I reach into my pockets to see
There is a decade-old pack of cigarettes
He takes one and thanks me with a slur
"Did you know I used to smoke, too?"
I ask with a childish naiveté
"Of course, I was there."
He answers as though it's second nature to him

I'm waiting to grow young again
I'm sick of being the old man in the bus stop
I'm sick of the decade old cigarettes from the young man
He is always late and he never buys me a fresh pack

I'm waiting to **** myself
"I'm thinking of ending things" as some might say
In some ways I'm quite like Charlie Kaufman
I also have trouble finishing my work
And my work also makes very little sense to others
But where he is original, I'm ripping him off
And so I'm waiting to **** myself
In a sense though, I'm already dead, baking in the sun
Because remember, I am the dead horse
Quite fond of beating the dead horse in this poem, too
I wonder what my family would say about that analogy
"That's very funny" they might say "you should be a philosopher"
I wonder what my psychologist would say about that analogy
"That's completely normal" she might say
"Everybody relates to dead horses and fantasizes"
"You're just like all the others"
I wonder if she's correct again

I'm waiting to become the John Fahey of the clarinet
In a sense I already am that
Because like Fahey, nobody listens to what I do
But where he is original, I'm ripping him off
And so I'm waiting to become the John Fahey
Of the clarinet
I already said that before, didn't I?

I'm waiting for this season of Better Call Saul to end
While it's airing I cannot **** myself
I am far too invested in it to **** myself
And surely enough these weeks get longer and longer
So I'm alive more and more each week

On my way home from work, I pass the same road again
The horse is alive, and seems happy to see me again
I wonder what caused the anomalous behavior
Perhaps it was sick? But how did it get better so fast?
The ideal time to end it has passed
Because remember, I am the dead horse
And if the horse is alive, I am alive also
And so, I think you've already guessed what I'm going to say
I'm waiting to **** myself again


I wrote mine without even knowing that you had posted.
Everything that I do is so that ones like you  can finally
have a chance to feel the Beautiful dream

    firsthand..  on the inside.

So, in truth.. you can truly say within your war-torn heart,
that every thing I do,  is for you.
It was an honor to go to your wall after I posted
and see what your heart and spirit had revealed  just
a few hours earlier.

Love is a funny thing. You are worth every moment  
of the pain that has come from the years of trying.
Hope..  and a deep understanding;  
and view of your own, tremendous Love-worthiness  
is what it is all about.

It is for that reason, solely..  
that Poetry ever came into being in the first place

    ..You are beginning to feel Everything.

Long afloat on shipless oceans
I did all my best to smile
'Til your singing eyes and fingers
Drew me loving,  to your isle
And you sang
Sail to me
Sail to me
Let me enfold you
Here I am
Here I am
Waiting to hold you

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning
Broken lovelorn on your rocks,
For you sing,
"Touch me not,
touch me not,
come back tomorrow:
O my heart,
O my heart
shies from the sorrow"

I am puzzled as the newborn child
I am troubled at the tide:
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Should I lie with Death my bride?
Hear me sing,
"Swim to me,
Swim to me,
Let me enfold you:
Here I am,
Here I am,

Waiting to hold you"
~Jeff's Dad xox
Ellis Oct 2021
It’s a perfectly dreamy day to disappear
The streets are quiet, and the sky’s cloudy
No one’s around, but that doesn’t mean it’s empty
There’s light in the air, just enough of it
Concrete ground scrapes the bareness of feets
A mirror pool reflects an image of self
At least what appears to be a self
Different but still very familiar
Backlit by the grey clouds
Pierced by this slender monolith
Broken by these glassy ripples
Dark silhouettes dance on black canvases
The dry wind mimics them but stumbles through hair
Who said anything about being outside?
The ceiling filters light through a window
Dim metallic light which hugs the body
Into a feeling of half-closed eyelids and irreality
There are human-sized holes in the walls next to the black paintings
leading into dark deep caverns
Where the air runs like stale sandpaper against the gums of my teeth
And the animal scampering echos off invisible walls
The blackness slurs its static noise
A cold command forces obedience
Look back at the holes.
Look at how they change every time eyes blink
Look through the shadows which curtains the door
Look and tell them what you see
Charles Vorpal Oct 2021
Suddenly, I was a unicorn
With silver fur and eyes
My mane and tail bright blue
And of course, an ivory horn

Then, I was entrusted a duty
Of the greatest significance
I must officiate the wedding
Between twilight and sunset

Under cheering delighted stars
The lovers' carriage descended
With orchestral accompaniment
By the winds and the waters

A giant, fluffy purple puppy
Guided the wonderful brides
Towards my podium of petals
In this iridescent cathedral

Before this divine couple
I was so small, and so short
Yet, they are not intimidating
I felt bliss, and very blessed

With the help of a blue cloud
I gently crowned the goddesses
Deepest pride swelled within me
I proclaimed their eternal bond

Fireworks shimmered and sparkled
As they fed each other honey cake
Seeing them kissing passionately
Is truly the most touching scene

An elven queen suddenly kissed me
And now I am a shark-tailed merman
Getting ready for a new nuptials
Between adventure and mystery
Based on the Inktober prompt: KNOT
Charles Vorpal Oct 2021
My mind has left the building
I enter into uneasy dreams
From a cage of flesh and bone.
My vessel, now a turtle

My shell, so nigh impenetrable
Yet lighter beyond imagination
A breeze with scent of lavender
Helps me escape this senseless rock

No direction, without destination,
I float, I fly, I spin around,
Through incomprehensible cosmos
I surf and sleep on icy comets

Strangely, I did not stop thinking
I pondered, I imagined, I wondered
I even dreamed, of platinum unicorns.

What is this, I ask the black holes
Are we all but nightmares and visions
Of some ******, hallucinating gods?
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