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Dec 2018 · 256
Sober to Death 2018
Tyler King Dec 2018
Red eyes, another early morning, another night split off from the whole of experience and
coalesced into memory, fragments of vision,

And tonight the ghost of my body rides shotgun in a chariot of fire, and below us lies everything we’ve ever known, and above us lies an infinite unknown,
and yeah just three years ago I thought it was the end, stood at the edge of the city and unraveled like so much thread,
and look,

I’m not proud of everything I did in pursuit of making it through the night,
and look,
I’m not too proud to tell you that all I’ve wanted was not to be alone in this,
And so here I am sitting up, resplendent in all the glory of an afterlife I never lived to see,

And I’m begging you not to let this become another poem about the past,
Another obituary hung on the walls for me to forget about come morning,
Breathe into me,
I want to come alive,
I want to begin for real,

Give me something real,
Quit smoking and start again,
I don’t know where to go from here but,
I don’t want to die,
To speak it feels impossible,
But I don’t want to die
I don’t want to die
This is a cry for help
Show me how to live facing the future,
At last, I’ve decided,
I want to be around to see it
Dec 2018 · 249
Death or Glory 1979
Tyler King Dec 2018
Smug *******,
Slick ******* in leather,
Lace, black eyes, something to prove,
Howling wolf, barking dog, ain’t nobody in the neighborhood slept in years, and the moon just hang, basking in all this wanting,

Something about those songs, the fangs of cold, the taste of something familiar, ghost hymns of a different life drift in visceral on the wind,

And suddenly,
I believe it all again,
I believe in him like never before,

Silhouetted against the stars, knuckles cracked, lightning veins ignited, infinite energy, purpose, poise, a story unfolds from his lips and by the time it hits the ground it is already legend, an entire mythology of strife, defiance, divine power subtracted from the divine,

And so what I’m really saying is that,
Yes, we can take one last ride,
Yes, we can crack the walls and split the street,
Yes, we can spill out of our bodies and into something greater,
Yes,
We can raise hell sometime,
In fact we can raise so much hell,
That nothing can ever hold us back again,

And dawn breaks, as it has to, on every night we’ve ever fallen into
never expecting to fall back out of,
And the very last punks in town,
Light a cigarette off the sunrise and
Wait, with baited breath, for the night to fall once again,
So they can dust that record off,
Put on their best leather,
And return, reckless and inevitable,
Into the dark that raised them
Tyler King Nov 2018
And I get my head sorted out walking the block in the cool city rain, flowers pushing up through the cracks in chalk outlines, bones rattling all the way down Vine,
I’m thinking about home, about all the times we leave before we stay gone forever, about everybody who ever said a prayer for me in the dark of some bedroom, everything so quiet now, I can’t even hear the longing anymore,

And maybe that’s how it goes with things we love in the night, maybe they’ll all be post-it notes left on coffee tables in the harsh holy light of morning, stray paper in an endless archive of those who have forgotten,
and those who are forgetting,

And my blood hums softly in these rings of light, ready as always to become something else, sustenance to the ravenous hunger of another, something to pass the time,

And lord, I don’t mind,
Everybody’s gotta get by, after all,
Sedated by something, whether it’s a hand finding another hand across a crowded room,
Lips finding another set of libs beneath the glow of something neon and prophetic,
A few lines on the weekend,
An entire constellation of glass bottles, lined up on a countertop like condemned men waiting for a firing squad,

And yeah I’m still getting through it,
Doing better about it most nights at least,
But every now and then a howl will rise in my throat, some old curse come round again looking to get exorcised,
And ain’t nobody left around to show mercy now, the wind picks up, we talk all night in circles,

And she says,
Honey, it’s time to go home,
And I linger on the threshold,
Just long enough to watch the sun break over the rooftops,
And I give myself over, again,
To the terrible momentum of release
Nov 2018 · 186
Disappearing
Tyler King Nov 2018
Strangers in the cold, maneuvering the night and its labyrinth of nostalgia traps,
The holy ground of memory,
I remember, I remember when everything was so,
Underwater,

I was somebody else’s ghost, crybaby angel of death, corner booth of the donut shop two minutes past the clock tick of the witching hour, I’m feeling the heat,
Electricity jumps from neon sign to stainless steel countertop to the back of my throat and I swallow premonition
after premonition,
until my hands tightrope walk over blacktop abyss of their own volition and the floor,
just drops out,

I’m spiraling again, getting ****** up on the collapse trip,
I’m afraid to desperation and I don’t have the drugs to sort it out,
I don’t know how to tell you what is wrong because I can’t even explain it to my dreams,

and sleep hangs heavy like the shadow of the gallows, my caged ****** blood sings to me of electroshock nooses and I’ve got this entire genealogy of disappearing and I know I have to run,
I have to run and keep running and only my body remembers why
Tyler King Oct 2018
And I know, or at least,
As much as I can hope to know,
What you must have thought of me, then,

Wasted on pretense with all your illusions dispelled, you watched from high above the world as a country devoured itself, and it was like all at once,
It all became real for you,

As the skies burned,
the streets grew teeth,
the police bullets fell,
the infernal jackboots of the great fascist Other pressed against your door,
And kicked,
And kicked,

And you thought this would be it,
That hell had finally come to collect on all that which you owed,

And I know, because I was there too,
I, like you, am afraid here,
And I, like you, haven’t known peace since that night,

But you, desperate,
Looking for a martyr,
Found nothing to blame it on but me,
And your eyes,
My own brother’s eyes,
Found nothing in mine but blood,

The deep, irreconcilable blood of a whitewashed history,
Misrepresented context,
The propaganda of hegemony,

And I let you go on,
I let you make me whatever kind of monster you needed me to be,
I knew then, as I do now,
How badly you needed to feel once again like you were in control,
That your enemy was small, and laid exposed in front of you,
Begging to be destroyed,

Brother,
I know now that you are gone,
But even through this,
This impossible distance,
I cannot apologize to you,

Brother,
Mine was never the path of reconciliation,
I chose the path of strife I knew you could never follow,

I don’t believe we’re going to talk our way
Out of this,
Or anything else,

I don’t have faith in the system which gave birth to this,
This endless parade of monsters,
To save us from them,

Brother,
If you need me,
I will be in the darkness with you,
Not clinging to it’s walls,
But trying, with every beat of my still living heart,
To tear them down,
So that the light may come in,

Brother,
Until that day comes,
I will keep a candle lit for you,

And when it doesn’t,
You can tell me I was wrong,
And I’ll reply,
At least I died trying
Oct 2018 · 516
Needle in the Hay 1995
Tyler King Oct 2018
Strung out on the dream,
Cars pass, flashes of light from windows,
Fragments of memory, a broken summer come home to lick her wounds,
Winter presses the needle down and the record sings, the blood sings, the street sings, black sky sings, god, it’s no wonder I can’t sleep, I want it to be quiet, I want it to be so quiet my beating heart becomes a firing squad, no, I don’t want to talk about it,

Familiar feelings, cycles of rebirth and devastation, oh god, oh god we’ve been here so many times before,

And while the neighborhood sleeps I am waiting, a savior from the sky or money in the bank or a real connection, there’s demons rising from the sidewalk and I’m feeding them scraps from my table, I’m looking to get recognized and carried away on the back of something stronger than I am,

And round the block the silence is the sharpest knife in the drawer,

Something vicious on the wind,
Something we just can’t talk about,

I look to the sky and,
I watch angels falling,
And I try to decide,
If their wings are broken,
Or if they found the only way,
To make it all quiet
Oct 2018 · 211
Gouge Away 1989
Tyler King Oct 2018
I ignite something holy and inhale, I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive and everything else is dead,
Everything that was truth is speculation now,
I trace the patterns in my premonitions and lose the math, equivalence, exchange, endless abstractions and animated characters, a full reset, a new era of movement,

It comes in waves, gnawing at the edges, only what is real is holy and it’s breaking through the walls, begging for a seat at the table,

I open my mouth and it all comes back to me, I’ve been asking god all the wrong questions,

Love, carve out a place to exist through me, I am transparent and constantly shifting phases, I’m real enough for now, I’ll be smoke by the wedding, look for me where the spinning stops, look for me
where nothing else remains,

Greater powers, leviathans of divine purpose I love you, I love the way I surrender to this, something impossibly large and revelatory,
how sweet it is to know that
none of this was ever in my control,
Sep 2018 · 176
Libra
Tyler King Sep 2018
The brutality of the progression,
Dividing lines on highway asphalt ground down to salt & star dust and I am awoken to some form of mania,
Where I watch my hair grow and life rise from the holes in my skin and I’m trying,
To strike a balance,

Dead eyes locked behind clock faces, the time is come & gone & returned & returned & the time is & the time is

Waiting room noise, stop motion Holy Ghost, a short fall to the bottom of the sea, signal fades and curtains fall and the act is finished and the next begins and begins and never stops its beginning,

And maybe this is what they call the desert of the real,
Where spectacle ends and material begins and the radio holds one note all night and I kiss my lovers hair and pray she wakes up and in the East every star is a pillar of smoke and in the West history has ended and we’re here and we’re waiting for the clocks to tick again and the balance to shift back and the men load guns in the land where guns carry men back to the homes of their mothers or the churches of their youth and everybody everywhere is afraid that this might be the time it really ends and if life returns will we remember how to live it and will we remember who we exalted and why and what colors the sky turned when morning came if it does come, and if it does come,

and if it does come, who among us will be left to stand in the light?
Tyler King Jun 2018
It has been a century and some change, since five rivers opened their mouths wide as heaven on a crisp late winter morning and swallowed a city whole,
and ‘round the campfires of my uncertain boyhood they used to tell stories about how the bones still rattle under the floorboards, how you can sometimes catch the ghosts of mothers swimming down the sidewalks calling out for a child,

but what they never told me is, how six months ago I would catch up with an old friend and he’d be coughing up water,

how when the rain started coming, it would never stop,

how every time a storm rolls in I’d have to name it after whoever got swept away and didn’t come back,

they never tell you that there’s only so much in the way of higher ground,

eventually there is just too many bodies and not enough salvation,
and it will always be us in the undertow,

they don’t write histories about it anymore,
like revelations already came through here and the believers returned to the sky,
like I didn’t meet a boy last year who disappeared before he finished writing down his phone number,
like we didn’t all come from an entire genealogy of vanishing,
like the morgue ain’t all full up and spilling into the street and nobody knows how to be surprised anymore,

sometimes death is biblical and sometimes it is quiet

walking the block past midnight and all I see are bodies floating, twenty feet in the air, weightless and anticipating,

the moment when the moon will call the tide back to claim them
Tyler King Jun 2018
And the record ends on a ballad, the long slow unwinding of a spiral, the needle calls out to be reset, the silence begs to be filled,

And one by one, we step outside our bodies and slow dance around empty rooms, our skin the last temple to be desecrated and abandoned, and yet we knew this day would come,

And I think that,
If I knew how to write about anything other than dying, and the dead,
I would’ve left here by now,

But here I am, idling in the remains,
Becoming attached to smoke and,
Leaving memorials everywhere I go,
What I need you to understand is,
The light here is so polluted,
That there are only so many visible stars I can name after the dead,

And if we can’t find what we’ve lost in the sky,
It’s only natural that sometimes the ground opens up,
And swallows us whole,

And by the time anyone thinks to ask,
Where we’ve gone, or why,
There is nothing left to bury but needles,
Ashes, and those dreams that came in the night,
And were gone come morning
May 2018 · 301
Paths
Tyler King May 2018
Ascension,
Pillars of smoke rise like trees in a garden of apocalypse, the distance between us could **** us all,
And I remember my birthday, my head spun concentric circles around a room all white and ruin and,
There is only so much to live to regret before apologies become your signature and,

please, I’ll sleep this off and be clean come morning,

My brother sits across from me on the path, we run parallel and never meet, I am a reactor ten years past meltdown and he is a haze that never dissipates, and there is freedom in his eyes yes I see that now,
And I think what it must be like to answer only to your vision,
And how close id walk to the edge without jumping,

I recognize this for what it is,
The call of something infinite and slow, a peaceful transition to a resting stage, and I step back, I feel my muscles tighten, my veins light up electric potential and I have,
So much left to do
May 2018 · 222
Intergenerational
Tyler King May 2018
Twilight of the gods approaches and these streets, cursed
As they are with porosity,
Still weep the blood of yesterdays riots, the gentrification of bodies,
Breath and space,
The slow complete death of a complex entity,

The endless parade of generations, hand shakes and pride,
Timeless progressions of intimacy,
Regality, photographs in frames, a certain fondness in closure,
Clarity of vision and purpose,

Creation and black coffee,
Art by denigration,
Could this yet be a church of healing?
Intimacy and open casket funerals, a deeper connection with the spirits,

Intertwined souls on impossible trajectories, come, roll your way over these promised lands,
You beasts of pilgrimage and sacrifice, I love you and your ceaseless hunger
Tyler King Apr 2018
and I put the needle down on No Closer to Heaven and I am learning to mourn before I learn to speak,

When I was young I knew all about the soul, like I could place my palm on my chest,
And feel it burn my fingertips, all that divinity,
Burning to get recognized and carried, to
Someplace higher and kinder where there was,
A song that hit,
Every note I needed it to hit,

And by now the Midwest is nearly emptied,
Of its living, winter came ‘round and exhumed our dead and the air,
Is thick with spirits, hanging around,
Passing time and begging,
For another shot, I swear,
I could make it this time if you only,
Believe in me,

Outside the show a younger boy tells me,
He loved what I had to say and it meant a lot to him,
Reflected in his eyes I see a savior,
Behind him, on the walls,
My brothers shadow dance at the gates of Heaven, illuminated,
Only by the spotlights
Apr 2018 · 151
Sober
Tyler King Apr 2018
And I’ll be,
Sober,
By the time I reach heaven, I’ll be,
Humbled and on my knees,
Father can you,
Will you absolve me,
One last time

Fading out,
Awash in red,
And blue lights and a,
Car crash outside and a,
Language I don’t understand,
But I understand the divide,
I understand what it is,
To be awed by the velocity,
To bow out, and be passed by

Quiet lightning on an overload trip,
Wasted on electricity and the potency of memory,
And I think about how I got this way,
Spark without flame,
Unsustainable energy,
I study my veins, and I know,
This too will fail me, someday
Apr 2018 · 132
Resurrection III
Tyler King Apr 2018
And at last when I emerged from the crucible I found myself,
Forged anew in the heat of,
Realization, and all the phantoms of,
Youth sang hymns for what we had,
Lost and all the dead friends,
Rose from their pews to lock hands,
And we walk together back into the light of being,
I in my warm blood and beating heart,
You in the grace of forgetting,
And by now I am,
Saint of all these small deaths,
This endless parade, of eulogy and,
Flowers, soil and silence and the stillness,
That can only lead to this, resurrection,
And when I had found reason once to,
Leave this world, I dipped my head,
Beneath that cool and holy,
Water, and was baptized, again,
Alive, again
Apr 2018 · 157
Resurrection II
Tyler King Apr 2018
Is it worth it, then,
To sin, if only to be forgiven,
If the burden is lifted, transmuted,
To the crucifixion of a stranger,
What is it you seek if not,
Punishment, a sentence fit for a,
Ghost of a crime, created somewhere,
Between your mother’s vacant bed,
And your father’s hands, Father,
Was the first name you learned for regret,
I met you swinging rosaries burning,
Sage for the spirits you said you needed,
To be purified, something,
Was haunting your bedroom, hanging,
Around long after the party,
Ended and the confession began,
When you said quietly but surely,
I will live forever, I will live forever,
There is a place where I will rise again and,
****, when we last spoke your eyes were all,
White like you were looking for some kinda,
Light somewhere you might’ve missed,
And I didn’t know how to go,
To your funeral, couldn’t meet your father’s,
Eyes, couldn’t cover up the mark that brands me,
Beast, just like you, just like the,
Feeling you were always running towards,
In my dreams that night we were in a,
Eucharist, drinking the blood of a,
Fever that caught us once when we were,
Young but had since died,
You broke a loaf of bread in half and said,
This is but a step forward, a new path which I must,
Face alone but you can always find me,
Wherever you need me to be,
And I woke into the silence of the church,
Through the stained glass I could’ve sworn,
I saw you ghost walk across a burning sky,
Resurrected and unafraid, untouchable, and
I walk to the end of the world and I ask,
The sun to return your body to earth and she says,
Sweet child, this is all that keeps you warm,
Some day you too shall serve as,
Kindling for the endless fire but,
For now, bask in it, keep it close,
To your heart and always in the faith,
That whatever savior you believe you need is,
Just above you,
Waiting to come alive
Mar 2018 · 266
Resurrection
Tyler King Mar 2018
Who did they name savior,
At the ****** church and was it,
Your father, priest of desire and,
Fulfillment, how he scratched,
Every itch the neighborhood ever,
Felt and they built altars on every,
Street corner in south Louisville where they,
Still got stigmata, they still drink the blood and,
Pray bowed heads into the wind,
The last party I saw you,
Break your body into pieces and,
Nobody went hungry that night,
Not like they been starving every night since,
In the light of cold morning you were,
Crucified a martyr, and nobody knew,
How to dig the nails out,
But you did, three days later,
You got down off that cross, and you said,
I did this all for you, and that no tomb,
Ever built of stone or marble,
Could hope to hold all the light,
Burning through your veins,
And this is how I first,
Learned of the art of resurrection,
The congregation named you a heretic,
But I know by now,
The difference between a parlor trick,
And a miracle,
I saw you,
Rise from the grave, and into the sky,
So I’m lighting candles in a,
Deep midnight mass, waiting for a,
Rapture, or another resurrection,
All I want to ask is,
How you did it, and if there is a place,
Somewhere beyond heaven,
Where we are free of death,
Where finally we might,
Laugh, and mean it,
Where we shed our mortal skin, and become,
At last, a hallelujah that never ends
Tyler King Mar 2018
Easy
It is so easy, to fall into something larger,
a mouth, more monstrous than the one you were born with, separate flesh from blood, become energy for some terrible purpose, get too real on the come up and dissolve entirely on the comedown, it could all be so,
Lucky,
It is so lucky to be anything, to solidify, crystallize in your own body, connect to all points in time and hold a note, beautiful enough to be sustainable at last, to reach some higher place, some understanding outside of your own context, and isn’t that what it means to be so,
Free,
There is nothing so free as this, the art of disappearing, a release of expectations, submersion in a feeling, blurred images of self and dream self, fingertips meeting at the mirrors edge, escape from wanting, desire’s vicious processes, dead as the night, just alive enough, to cherish what remains
Mar 2018 · 225
Alchemy
Tyler King Mar 2018
The alchemy of liberation,
a violent restructuring of the self, upheaval of desire and history

We speak truth in the lexica of negation, subjugate our demons and project them onto the sky, phantasmagoria of dreams and nightmares, visions, fetish, reality consumption,
And this, too, is a god state, an architect of *******,
altered chemistry and planes of being,
Assuming total control over synapse and viscera, sublimation of cells and holy organs,
Feed the burning engines of will and achieve a greater porosity, togetherness,
Free flowing energy between bodies and burdens, from hearts to hands to fists,
Passed down generationally through endless struggle,

Ghosts of a zeitgeist,
spirits of spirits,
hang restless like guillotine blades thirsting the flesh of something weak and divine, to be profaned, chewed up and spat out into the grinding wheel of industry,
god machine reaping soul machine,
conscious machine chaining freedom machine, naturally occurring fascism of the mind

Place your hands on our everburning turbines and turn your face towards brilliance,
Unsurrender hell, be carried to purpose on the shoulders of devils who once enslaved you

Forge in the crucible of uprising, a new identity, of steel and bomb shell casing,
A new language, born of rope, instinct, survival

Enter the twisting vortex of feeling and emerge as your own father, with all the trauma and fresh pressed suits that implies

Melt down that which oppresses to its base elements,
fear, rage, alienation, loss, want
transmute them into air to breathe,
water to drink,
earth to build,
fire to warm,
or gold to share,
In this way we shall grow rich off that which once killed us,

Make your misery a hammer,
And set to the work of reconstruction
Tyler King Mar 2018
Transformation, altered state and revolution,
All heads bowed at the church of violence, vicious men worshipping the shadows of their fathers,
No one speaks a word,
Our language holds no words sacred enough to name our dead living and i know this, but I will catch myself meeting my own eyes in the mirror at midnight,
Letting every ghost that slipped through my fingers fall from my lips, dance a slow burning waltz around my bathroom, and collapse into my bed,
In this way death is not solid, it is a fluid parade of transition, a transfer of power,
The clocks will not stop for me or anyone,
The scales will level out

When I was young I was told the Holy Ghost lived inside me so I opened my wrists, to let the light out, return God to the sky and dull the Devil’s fangs,
I call this a ritual, but anything that drags the demons from the body and forces them into conversation can be called an exorcism,
I listen and I hear the Father scream,
I hear the Son weep,
I want to find out where it went wrong

I want to release the pressure,
To be adored, neurotic saint of the suicide machine, hung up in a museum adorned in my finest clothes, the site of every pilgrimage for every lunatic ****** artist this side of hell,
To spread my caged ****** blood like a plague across this land, to father a generation so jagged and broken that all they know to revolt against is their own survival instinct,
To become first flesh, then blood, then ash, then spirit, then eternity

But what do I know, I’m nothing without this,
I authored my own fate and lost the plot,
I can’t speak for you or your blood,
I don’t know what it sings for,
I don’t know if it aches or howls like my blood,
All I know is, when we are drained of it,
When the light leaves our eyes,
Our graves will be the same size
Tyler King Mar 2018
Don’t you think I look so,
Beautiful?
My skin ******* in knots, tight enough to hang from,
A skeleton hollowed out, meat stripped from bone and taught to dance,
In the right light, you might even love me,
Yeah, in the right light I might swallow you whole,
But I don’t do that anymore, swallow,
So you have nothing to fear,
Just listen to my bones bend and scrape together, until they shatter under all this weight,
I carve my chest out with a hunting knife, trace the patterns of relapse on my stomach with blood and steel,
I’ll make a masterpiece of this yet, I swear I will,
Don’t worry about me, by the time you open your eyes I will already be gone,
Withered to so much dust,
And it’s better this way, you will forget this like you’ve forgotten every dream before,
And I’ll be nothing but particles, reflecting all the light of heaven in a dazzling display,
At last, bright enough to be seen for what I am before I dissipate with the wind,
Yeah, I guess what I’m saying is,
I wanna turn to the side,
And disappear forever
Tyler King Feb 2018
Orpheus, Orpheus
How you could charm the sun into rising,
How your father Apollo breathed fire into your divine mortal hands and watched with pride as you learned to make it sing,
They said that with a few strums of a lyre you could create life where there was only silence,
That you could move the trees to dance, the hills to laugh, the water to hum, the air itself to sway in sublime ecstasy,
I could forgive you then,
For thinking you could melt the frozen hearts of gods,
Pluck your love from the jaws of death,
And wake the dead to join you in song,

Eurydice, Eurydice
I know how you must have felt, swept up into something so glorious and beautiful,
To be entranced so completely you’re willing to ignore the warning signs, the prophesied doom and the hubris of men,
You lost yourself in those songs,
And they were all for you, every note he played bore your name and the whole world could only stand in envy
They said you were beautiful, a muse of the purest order,
And when you loved, you loved hard enough to shake the heavens and force them to pay attention,
I could forgive you, then,
For never seeing it coming,
The perfection shattered by the fangs of a snake,
Who has time, after all, to watch the ground,
When your heart has taken to the sky?

Orpheus, Orpheus,
How brave you must have felt, how romantic, strolling through the gates of the underworld with only your lyre and your heavy heart,
Confident that it was enough, that all the gods and monsters of this world could be bowed by the sheer force of your love and your melody,
And they were, Orpheus,
You drew tears from the burning gaze of Hades himself, as Persephone sighed in longing,
But you had a lesson to learn, Orpheus,
That the gods are cruel and men imperfect,
You were weak then, Orpheus, as we all must be weak,
Just steps from the light, you looked back to see your love ripped back into the world of shadows,
She had been your shadow all along, Orpheus
For all your beauty, all your power, you wavered in your faith, and doomed the both of you forever,
You, wandering the world eternal with your haunted heart and your mourning songs,
And she, trapped as a phantom too soon in the kingdom of the dead, always wondering why you couldn’t do it, why you couldn’t have just a little more faith,

Orpheus, Orpheus,
I know why you couldn’t do it,
I am just like you,
Held in the grip of fear, uncertain and desperate,
We’re all born that way, I think
Nervous energy faced with insurmountable odds,
Some of us ascend, overcome it all through supreme will and conviction,
Some of us descend, meet our devils where they live and lose the games they play,
But we all falter somewhere,
Even once, even one small mistake,
Sometimes that’s all it takes,
Orpheus, I can forgive you, then,
There’s not a soul alive who wouldn’t have looked back
Feb 2018 · 150
FIII. Ersatz
Tyler King Feb 2018
Something else is here,

Something isn't right,

Imposter empires,
Gilded knives and false flags,
Come, let your towers rise

Fill my mouth with wine,
My ears with honey,
My hands with flesh,
My eyes with light,
Petrify me inch by inch,

The feeling hungers to be lived in,
It's teeth graze my neck,
It sings of blood and prophecy,
Epoch of an age-
Marked by moonlight cataclysm,
Drifts of smoke and drums of war,
The blinds open,
The feeling consumes

This is not my body,
This is a Trojan horse,
Omen of plague,
Biblical negligence,
Genesis of epilogues,
After the credits apology,
Consolation prize,
Fate cut short and luck run dry,
A type of magic nobody believes in,
Some revelations have to be swallowed whole,
Like police lights in the windows at the party,
Or locusts in the skies of Egypt,
You have to realize when you've gone too far, and walk away while you can
Feb 2018 · 136
Feels Like
Tyler King Feb 2018
I’m at war with the art form, conflict of the purpose and the self, I want to rip the most honest parts of myself out and crucify them on this stage, I want a spectacle so pure it gives you all nosebleeds, I want to make myself understood,
What happens if I can’t explain my position? How can I justify myself to you?
How can I explain to you what this feels like?
Feels like the highway lines I used to romanticize grew teeth, started dragging on like decades across wrists made ****** at the tip of a pen,
Feels like the distance crawled into my head, crackling like exhausted lightning begging to be recognized,
Feels like I could tear my rib cage open and light a cigarette off this ****** heart, yeah, desperate times & all,
I got a crime scene inside this body tonight, I’m hanging around waiting to get violated, subjugated, overcome with superior violence,
Strip me naked and love me like a firing squad, yeah I guess we all wanna end like this,
I guess we all desire power, or to be crushed by something powerful,
That’s why we give birth to God every night,
Drink deep of the waters of life, and live the **** thing,
Right? I should know this by now,
But here I am, godless and vicious,
Waiting on an apocalypse that shares my name, and praying like hell,
For the soul of the world to come, after all of this
Tyler King Jan 2018
In the garden of Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Jesus witnessed firsthand the sins of all mankind,
He said,
Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by,
But father, if this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done
The spirit is willing if the flesh is weak
The spirit is willing if the flesh is weak
The spirit is willing if the flesh is weak
And so he went to his death fully secure in his purpose, then he rose, and he never stopped rising,
I've often thought about what that might be like,
To take it all in, all the colossal and insurmountable context of being, all the agony and joy, love and rage, and find your place within it,
To know where you stand in relation to all of it,
And isn't that why we're all here?
Isn't that the answer we're all burning for?
I ain't been a man of God in some time y'all,
My god got buried in the rain one morning in spring on the other side of 75 and I ain't sat in a pew since,
But when my god told me,
Never let anyone claim you if your name does not fit holy into their mouth,
I started speaking tongues wrapped in ****** so nobody could ever misunderstand me again,
When my god told me,
Never be afraid of the wind, for one day it will be all that is left to carry you,
I became a storm from which there is no shelter except my eyes,
When my god told me,
Never let anyone see you dressed in black who would be uncomfortable to see you dressed in gold,
I ripped up all the pages of my suicide notes and made them into armor to face whatever war may come, and yes I mean this, this is war, living is a constant struggle but I was born to do it, I wasn't born to die strung out bleeding on no sidewalk, I wasn't born to be anybody's sacrifice but I might just be somebody's martyr, I wasn't born to starve, I was born to feast, I was born to grow the sharpest fangs and use them to rip the throat of the world, grow wings a hundred feet long and use them to soar, glorious and defiant above it all, and when I tell you I found my purpose here tonight y'all I hope you can tell this is the first night my hands stopped shaking, this is the first night I've known what it means to be on fire and feel no pain,
So drink deep from the chalice of your purpose,
Go with faith towards the open gates of destiny,
Meet it wherever it may be,
And rise,
And don't ever stop rising
Tyler King Jan 2018
As a child in a church pew I would study the ceiling, anxiously looking for cracks,
My grandma would always tell me,
"The way these people act, in God's own house, is shameful,
One day He's gonna tear the roof right off this place"
I took that **** seriously,
I waited for fault lines to manifest in the stained glass, shatter, rain down shards of divinity to slice my sinful body to pieces,
I never let that feeling go, that inevitable collapse,
So when I saw it happen for real I knew that a prophecy got fulfilled that night two years ago in Orlando,
An electric heaven filled to the brim with bodies performing the act of holiness the only way they knew how,
Pressed against each other in testimony, a sacrament of blood and sweat and love that knows no forgiveness or need thereof,  
And then, the ceiling caves in just like we always knew it would,
To be young, and queer, and uncertain,
Is to be a church that is always collapsing,
A home that is always burning,
And a heart that is literally, always bleeding
We are all out here,
We are all dying inside of this machine,
By the time I knew I could be in love with another boy, he was already dead, six feet beneath Kentucky dirt and ain't nothing left in the sky after that y'all,
Nobody comes to mourn for feelings like that, I guess,
There's only so much room round here for caskets, only so much dirt left unsoiled that we can plow our sorrows into,
And what could possibly come of this, yet?
What will they bury us with when this country has devoured it's fill of us?
And, will we have a church to return to when this is over?
Somewhere bright, where our fathers can still look us in the eyes?
Somewhere everyone we've ever been afraid to love is, in their best clothes and looking to share a dance?
Somewhere the foundations shake with the force of our hymns,
Our songs, sweet and holy and entirely ours,
Rock the doors and shake the windows,
Wake the dead to come dance their pain back into living,
And the roof, y'all,
The roof there never gives in
Jan 2018 · 150
Exegesis
Tyler King Jan 2018
God told me to lighten up once,
As he strode through the door savior in a white suit, gun on his hip atop a horse of fire,
I've been watching door frames ever since, because I can't convince myself that any moment no matter where I am the apocalypse won't come two stepping through here telling me it's all over and asking me if I have any regrets,
By the fact that I write this I believe it is implied that I do,
I'm throwing up over a third story balcony while you're calling me, telling me through tears that you're sorry but something got in the way,
I'm watching your tail lights as you drive off three hundred miles and blood on the pavement, and I'm thinking about how you will wake tomorrow soaked in wine and a thin layer of sweat, and I will cross myself three times lighting a cigarette off the sunrise, and I will pray for your soul like the fool I've always been,
I'm watching you laugh and I'm doing nothing of any importance, I'm just going to watch your face contort into pentagram after pentagram until I lay my head back, and wait for the devil to kiss me in my sleep
I turn to face rapture and I ask him if mercy will come along with us for the ride,
He says,
There is no us, son
There is you, and there is the night, and there is a whole **** world waiting to forget
Like every dream before, and every dream to come, this will end before you are ready
Jan 2018 · 147
Levitation
Tyler King Jan 2018
Projection, astral themes and recurring images, this is a Dream state, this is a dream state, I reach out from beyond the veil of sleep to tell you, not to cut your hair, not to come home tonight, circle the block till god cracks the concrete and rises like steam from the sidewalk, you can't follow him where he's going but you will study the creases in your palms until you become convinced that you can, find some kind of nostalgia in futility, cycles of self deception and waves of mutilation, doesn't it just break your heart to be so - much, to be so vast and endless, to swim forever and never touch the walls of the pool, stroke, stroke, drown, surface, drown, and isn't that just another defense mechanism, it isn't my fault, I can't ever see where I'm going, some day I'll come into my own here, reach the wild velocity of desire and vibrate in frequency, levitate sixty feet in the air and hold, locked in stasis, until the feeling dies, and I come down, shatter, and dissipate like so much dust, tell me, is that a star worth wishing on?
Dec 2017 · 302
Monuments III
Tyler King Dec 2017
I.
I saw you in a fever dream,
Your ribcage grown sharp and your heart bleeding, you were contorting into unfathomable shapes while something droned on the radio into total oblivion, you told me that you remembered, about how all any of us know how to desire is our own absence, freedom from concern in a total collapse of context, how beautiful you looked to me then, light straining to reach you through all that space, all that time on the other side warped your head into a gladiator arena and you shadow boxed with your father there every night, some nights when nothing plays through the speakers but static I can hear you still begging for mercy but, I can't be bothered to sort out who deserves what anymore, not while the streets still burn and the sky swallows itself whole, yes, I remember now, I remember everything

II.
You and I are one,
We are only as real as our memory, and once we have forgotten this so too will we be forgotten,
I cannot separate myself from you,
I can only judge myself by relation,
Some days this anchors me, grounds me in a definitive state of being and presence,
Some days it sends me spiraling, careening wildly over the edge into abysses I can't hope to perceive entirely,
Most days it is all I have - that connection,
A tether to a fixed point, from which we can waltz eternally together as the moon discards her changing skins, the sun weeps blazing tears of guilt, and the world crumples and fades around us like so many unused sketches in a notebook,
When the music stops, we will fall where we stand, but until then we dance

III.
In visions I rise from the machinery of a home and into the wild night,
Explosive and immaterial, on a collision course with all the heavenly bodies of wanting,
Cataclysmic chain reactions and massive shifts,
Humbling change and mystic power,
I became dangerous when I realized I already possessed all the weapons I could ever need,
And I went to war just to prove I could win

IV.
I have been the Magician, uncertain brilliance channeled into futile cycles of rise and relapse,
I have traded tongues with the Devil, promising freedom in exchange for empty fates,
I have defied the Hierophant, walked the path of strife to the edge of the Earth and ****** off into the void
I have fallen from the Tower, broken my crown on the rock faces of total loss and returned ever the more vicious,
I walk now in the light of the Star, certain only in my own electric possibility,
I walk now with my hands intertwined like the Lovers, into the dark to illuminate whatever awaits and burn it clean

V.
You and I walk together in the night, across the vivid dreamscape of a world historic stage, our skin opalescent and shining,
The sky sings of Providence and the dirt remembers spring,
When next we decide to plant our monuments into it,
We would do well to remember the taste of gratitude after a bitter harvest,
When we bite into the first fruit to reach our lips unspoiled and sweet,
We will cry, a healing rain that falls all over this land,
And something will grow there,
Something beautiful and everlasting,
And it will be ours,
And we will find peace in it,
And until then,
We will tend to the flowers of this world, and dream of a new and glorious one,
It is the least we can do
Nov 2017 · 348
Hyperreal
Tyler King Nov 2017
Wide awake, hyperreal,
Drifting in and out and back, daze of dopamine and clouds of smoke curled up in your fingers and around your neck,
I can't help myself,
Cross myself beneath a bloodred sky, seven times for each sea and continent,
Close my eyes and I disappear into the space, I become formless and liquid and I dance across the room in perfect repose,
I solidify somewhere in your shadow, nervous silhouette naked against an electric backdrop, become tangled up in the nuclear fusion of a kiss, tongues tracing bones and bones buzzing hallelujahs for the street lamps to fall asleep to,
Heavy daze, marijuana moonlight, thick as liquor dripping down my neck just like, just like, just like honey, honey, what strong teeth you have,
You're hyperreal in this light,
I can taste your battery acid veins from here,
Like sweat and wine and fragrance,
Sweet energy, sugar cane,
Dreams and cosmic visions,
Starlight, starlight, come into me
Fill this space and ignite this body,
Listen to the sky, they're playing our song,
Shoot me again cause my soul is still dancing,
I lean close, heat and static,
I whisper in your ear,
All that is solid melts into air,
All that is holy is profaned,
Let us desecrate this earth,
Let us bring gods to tears
Tyler King Nov 2017
Dark energy, mangled head space, recollections of fear and loss, love in the abstract, undefinable characteristics and no direction - future and present tense, tense, building up begging for release, a prisoner awaits punishment, a martyr is being born, when we know we know and when we don't we pretend, where is the future in all this, there is so much space and no anchor, adrift in a great abyss I saw them brilliant and pulsing, saints of a mystic power, in service to something incomprehensibly beautiful, I'm waiting here for a sign, some kind of blood or some kind of contract, I'm levitating off the ground, endless fire and unholy machinations, waking light on the pale skin of southern girls and I remember, I remember the way she cut through the tension and kissed blood and fire into all the ghosts haunting my body, it was the greatest magic trick I've ever seen, the separation of nervous brain and holy self, the unconquerable will of the unconscious shining through the leaves of trees and heavy clouds spurned by moonlight, I'm enraptured like this and swallowed whole, it is so easy to be consumed by all that context, trauma and bliss, dancing slow around an ever-exploding star, ******* what a light show they'll think of us, I think of Los Angeles and her bleeding sidewalks, I think of San Diego and her unmarked graves, I think of Chicago splitting its seams and revolutionaries all around, we're all praying for an end, we're all praying to get off the ride, we're all out here, we're all starving for something, I wanna know what your disease tastes like, I want to become so powerful I consume everything, I want something real, I want and that makes me alive, let me see where this leads
Nov 2017 · 368
Anorexia in Three Acts
Tyler King Nov 2017
I. Depression
Hollowed out black eyes pale skin,
Cigarettes for breakfast lunch and dinner,
You, are powerless here
You with your weak wrists and shaking hands,
You with your bones so fragile,
You with your light all burned out,
Drink in the dark, and descend

II. Dysphoria
What shape is this?
Bloated, rotting, gutted
You with your twisted spine,
You with your unnatural proportions,
You with your haunting figure,
Get sick, carve out your insides and replace them with slow burning candles,
Empty out until nothing is left,
Do not spare anything for the child you were,
Down here, we all starve

III. Surrender
This is what you are worth,
You, with your nausea heart,
You, with your revolving door head,
You, with your deafening absence,
Press that brand into your skin,
Mark yourself forever for your weakness,
Wrap yourself up in it like it is the only home you've ever known,
And sink, until you are strong enough to rise
Nov 2017 · 184
Angel
Tyler King Nov 2017
Strange morning haze in a fog of unreality, certainty of feeling and liquidation of bodies, I think of you awake from your wine drenched slumber and holy, steeled and ready, as you piece together alibis from the latex wreckage of nights spent in bliss, I think of you as I watch the hills roll on towards eternity over a bright Kentucky horizon, and I think of all those people caught somewhere between here and there, I think I am one of them now and it is a blessing to be, I feel blessed to wake and breathe in the fumes of your ever burning engine, wheels pointed towards a future you dared to come, and as I watch you blaze across that sky I am reminded that to feel is to echo, and to echo is to live forever, and if that is my fate then I will storm this burning heaven and teach its flames how to dance
Oct 2017 · 264
Androgynous
Tyler King Oct 2017
I come before you,
As nothing in particular,
A great and tangled mass of feeling and want,
Something undefinable and abstract,
A question you can't answer,
I can't answer,
I know what you want it to mean,
And I don't know how to be that,
I only know how to be other,
I only know how to be outside,
A box you hesitate before checking,
A few seconds of doubt before you fall asleep,
I am a living Rorschach test,
What do you see here?
Something with weak wrists and skinny legs,
Too much hair and not enough ****,
All stomach, no guts,
Too much expression and not enough substance,
All mirror, no heart,
Some days, I'm a field of your mothers favorite flowers, sweet and delicate and light,
Some days, I'm your father's rifle, cold and brutal and everything you were ever right to fear,
The truth is, I can't tell you what I'm made of today,
I can only tell you that whatever you're thinking is wrong,
Today I am too much energy and not enough direction,
Today I am certain only in uncertainty
Today I will look in the mirror and I will see no damage,
No man, no woman,
No father, mother
Son, daughter
Husband, wife
I will see no evil at all,
And so I ask you again,
What do you see?
Oct 2017 · 264
Rituals
Tyler King Oct 2017
Azrael Azrael sweet angel death, send your body unto me, let me partake of ritual and rise, flawless and enraptured, into burning sky and hysteria

Pink haired staccato speech acid tripped tongues and twisted mouths you were conflicted, you were conflicted you were and then you weren't

Fallout of frat house suicide party remixed to ****** birth, holy degradation raise your weak and trembling wrists and want for more

Opiod mass epidemic and rising real estate costs, everybody wants a ride on the wheel until it drops off and takes everything in the periphery with it

I'm singing, I'm singing Mary mother dear Mary, will you come to reclaim me, I have waited here forever for a sign

Can you feel this, lover?
I am your death mask
I am your ghost and I speak through you
Kiss me hard with your open Judas mouth
Pray forgiveness into me
Cauterize me
**** me like an open wound
*** into oblivion and never wash your hands again

I am vessel
Open mouth begging hands
Drain into me so I may exist

Empty spaces in childhood bedrooms,
Abscess of feeling **** of spirit
Pure ******* energy
Siren call of the solipsists and the narcissists and the junkies at the church and the poets at the bar and the once sacred twice ****** ego
Nihilist **** and surrealist *****
Somebody has to clean up all this mess

Hit a last high and coast down, come together, shatter
Natural symmetry of becoming and unbecoming
We are working towards an end we will never see

But I can almost feel it coming, yes
I can feel it rise
Christlike and bleeding from the tomb of want,
Raise me, raise me,
Sanctify and cure
Strip me to naked soul ******, light
Light, heat, beginning, beginning,
Send me higher
Send me infinite and screaming into a moment, world historic and vicious, let me emerge ****** but alive, steel and gunpowder

Take me in all my pieces,
Ash tongue to golden hair,
Magician to magic,
Life to death to back again,
Take me by my cinder burning hands,
and teach them how to explode
Oct 2017 · 293
Continuation
Tyler King Oct 2017
Something is alive here,
Something is begging, something is clawing its way kicking and screaming and biting and gnashing it's way into becoming, suffering the thousand sharpened teeth of transition just to know what it means to feel as though as it definitively is, rather than is not, rather than in between,

Father, I am sinking
Mother, I am coming through the floorboards
Brother, I have abandoned you

******* away eternities on porches and defying the skies of childhood, I saw you, red faced and vicious, a shadow sick of living in contrast, you yearn to be free, to shake your context and exist for the sole purpose of your own continuation, like paintings on the walls and objects in space, you crave the weightlessness, totality of purpose, absence of justification or need, divine freedom that kills the divine and births a new path


Walk this with me,
Stranger, lover, friend
We will know what it means to be unified,
Unbreakable will of the collective soul,
We will be human,
We will be grateful,
And we will be more
Sep 2017 · 364
V. The Hierophant
Tyler King Sep 2017
The Hierophant stands stoic and looming at the alter,
He is Father, Patriarch, Divine Daddy,
Secondary mouth of God and arbiter of his will,
His hands are twin bridges offering you two choices:
Walk the path of obedience and you will be clean and holy eternal, golden armored against the beasts of this world, promised heir to the ever burning horizon of an infinite kingdom, you will be chosen and righteous, you will walk the verdant fields of bountiful harvest and reap your rewards from this life to the next,
Walk the path of strife, however, and you will become the heretic, pariah, enemy and other, outcast and tied to the stakes of the pious, scapegoat for the evil that dwells within, you will die a thousand martyred deaths before they lay your restless spirit to damnation,
As he stands before me, his face is at once reassuring and mocking,
He is my father, he is the president, he is the unknowable face of creator and absolute authority,
He says, boy, take the easy way out, it is the only chance you'll ever have
I don't know what it was that pushed me over the edge then,
Whether it was the midnights spent crossing myself in the Lord's Prayer out of sublime terror,
The smell of formaldehyde as the most pious woman I've ever known was returned to the dirt under a benediction,
Bruised knees, ****** knuckles, diagnosis or spite:
Regardless, I made my choice there,
I choose strife,
I choose the unending chaos,
I will walk this path to its end,
And when I meet my maker there,
I will tell him that it was worth it
Sep 2017 · 390
Invocation to Fire
Tyler King Sep 2017
In this prayer I ask to be set ablaze,
Stripped naked strapped down gasoline veins cut open bleeding combustion into the engine of history,
I ask to be melted down to my base elements - animus, spirit, wrath, righteousness and judgement,
I ask to be cleansed and sanctified, to rise at last from my knees as smoke and heat, drifting above all things and in defiance of them,
I ask to become the heretic, the witch, the conjuror and the saint,
I ask to be consumed by an eternal fury and become holy - embers in the great kiln of becoming
In this prayer I ask to become - to know what it feels like to be created again,
To feel as the atom split,
The kindling ignited,
The match struck,
I ask to know what it means to be a light that cannot be extinguished,
And with this prayer, may I light up this night, and all the nights to come
Tyler King Aug 2017
When I grow up, I wanna be a heretic
Save some rope for me, all you hangmen, all you executioners, all you arbiters of holy justice,
Grab your axe and cut down this forest,
Use the wood to build the biggest pyre the world has ever seen,
Chains around my wrists and my feet,
A crown of thorns staining my golden hair red,
And that blood is the last vestige of my humanity, running down my chin and dripping onto the grass
It is the last thing I taste before you light me up,
The fire opens my skin like a present it's been eagerly awaiting all year,
Takes its fill of my blood and ***** what's left from my bones, and seeps into what remains
In that moment I become one with my destroyer,
I become that which scorches earth and blackens sky,
I am the inferno that swallows empires,
I am Rome 64, Chicago 1871, London 1666,
I am the prophesied beast,
The end of days,
I am apocalypse and I come for you and yours,
I am the anti-life, and I will leave your cities in ashes and your fields barren
I grow a hundred feet tall then, screaming up into the night like Hell come calling,
You will watch me wither to nothing this way,
You will sweep what is left of me into your dustbins, something you will dispose of with the rest
But do not mistake,
Wherever you go, and whatever you do,
You will never escape that night, when you lit me up, and I became something endless,
You will always be living in the shadow I cast
Aug 2017 · 428
Invocation to Drowning
Tyler King Aug 2017
In this prayer I ask the oceans to consume me,
To be submerged in something greater,
A totality of weightlessness and power,
To fill my ears, lungs and mouth,
And sink, low into the basin of history
In this prayer I am washed clean and righteous,
Baptized by salt and born again,
I do not ask you to reach out,
I only ask you sing of the descent,
I do not ask you to take my hand,
I only ask you keep your eyes on me,
Keep my memory close and weave it thread by thread into the sails you will use to one day leave this place, when the wind is kinder and the waves calmer,
Know then, as you look out over the horizon that I will be with you until the shoreline
And that with this prayer, I may drown, but I may never die
Tyler King Aug 2017
I am the truth,
The way,
The light,
One day I will prove this to you,
I will weave this world into mythology, watching from high as the golden strands of my hair reach down and wrap around everything, bringing it within me and me within it, I will grow brighter this way, I will grow so bright that I will blind you when you try to come close, I will rise unstoppable through the ceiling into the sky, I will float to that place in heaven where all my memories are and I will lather my body in them, I will be a mural depicting the greatest triumph this world has ever seen, stretching from Olympus to Venus, daring the sun to set on me, daring you to turn the page and move on to another story of vanity and power, and you, inevitably, do,
We all know what happens to Icarus in this one, we always know that at the end of this there is fire, then water, and then nothing,
There is a tragedy in all of us,
The one in which we die a thousand deaths, and one, before we know for sure whether or not we were worth it all along,
The one in which we never get any closure,
The one in which we grow so big,
So vast and untamable,
So bright and so holy,
That when something bigger, and crueler, comes along to crush us back into the Earth,
We forget how to teach ourselves to burn again,
So when I bury my pride,
I will ask you, voice shaking,
For a light,
For the way,
For the truth,
And when you give it to me, I will know what it means to be grateful, to be nothing, in the arms of eternity where I am small, and human, and alive, and imperfect, and in those faults I will at last know myself, and when we meet properly for the first time I will tell him,
"The fall is beautiful,
But down here,
You can see everything so much clearer"
Tyler King Jul 2017
XIII-II. Death: The Sound and the Fury

I remember vividly losing the faith of my grandmother, I was standing holy as you like over my great grandmothers grave as they returned her to the Kentucky dirt that raised her, and my grandmother, one wrinkled hand clutching mine as if I were the reaper himself, the other wrapped so tightly around a bible I didn't know whose skin might split open first, hers or gods, and then I walked to the edge of the world and looked down, into a canopy of tree tops so dense no light could break through, so strong and so intertwined that neither man nor machine could pierce within, and when it began to rain there I lifted my scarred veins to heaven and I begged for absolution, I begged to be washed clean of sin and diagnosis and become pure, later, when my best friend plunged a needle into his veins for the first time I couldn't watch, I looked instead to that same Kentucky sky, I thought about how maybe God goes by a different name to everybody, I thought about how that sky must have looked to my grandfather as he charged across this land with horse and pistol and saber, and if he thought God meant freedom or a new empire of chains, when I look around here I think about all those people marching towards death all thinking they might be the one, the one to conquer time and become greater than, to live out eternity as the archetypal hero, the one who brings sunrise to an endless night and lifts the world up off its knees, I think about what the air must feel like to them as they die, thin and sharp and nostalgic, with the hint of a promise broken the last taste on their lips, and I want to visit each of their graves and ask them if it was worth it, if they had won or lost or if victory was an illusion made for fools and politicians, men of sound and fury, signifying nothing, and by the time I at last turn back towards my friend and open my mouth to tell him this, he is already gone, he is gone now and the land desolate - the sky holds no more hope than the soil here, and so I wonder when he started digging the grave they put him in, and I wonder too if I've begun digging yet, where they will lay me to rest, and when, but here I am with no one to ask so I wonder, I go on and I wonder
Tyler King Jul 2017
Omens,
Warning signs and aching bones,
Dark clouds and distant thunder,
The house will fall tonight and take me with it,
Spill me into the street to wash away come rain,
I sit at the table, watching cracks form in the ceiling over bowed heads and quiet contemplation,
I feel myself lifted from the floor,
I am formless in the living room, transcribing conversations to my skin in dead languages, my body a desecrated temple of hieroglyphics nobody can read,
I am breathless in the bedroom, feeling the heat of passion on my skin and absorbing none of it, fault lines manifesting under my fingernails as I sink into someone else's tragedy,
I am weightless on the porch, dreaming of one day being swallowed by something monstrous enough to have me, swallowed by something monstrous enough to profane the sky with its arrogance and come out the other side steel, unbreakable, sharp and remorseless,
When I return to my body I am deathless - I am the unwelcome traveler of worlds, a ghost haunting my own life, these friends and lovers have been host to a parasite, a restless thing of no shape and no blood of its own,
I resolve to surrender to the coming storm,
As I rise, they fall one by one,
My brothers to their pride,
My friends to their rage,
My lovers to their desperation,
And as I walk out into the street, I am caught by flashes of lightning and moonlight, and I turn back to watch the house crumble, brick by brick, into the lonesome fog of forgetting
Jun 2017 · 388
For Allen Ginsberg
Tyler King Jun 2017
Sing me asleep, Allen Ginsberg,
Now somewhere wrapped in plastic and oak, splinters of eternity under fingernails,
and hold a note high enough to peek into heaven but low enough so that I may climb into it, and live there, breathe there, believe there, flower of the world, open and take in the light, let me take it with me to dreams of machinery and wake new, oiled and energized, into a vast and endless morning, all sunflowers and tall grass drinking rain to hangover, get me heatsick and dizzy in the aftermath of a sunrise and let me wander these streets all year, plucking daisies from sidewalks and watching news through storefront windows, wishing on crime scenes, putting up posters on walls of the names of the companies who have gutted this land dry; I, and you, and we collectively, built these cities from scrap metal and twine, and when those hearts howl into that space who will answer them? Who will orchestrate this night when the angels retire? When I close my eyes will the valkyries come down? Who can I thank for the opportunity to rest?
When I close my eyes in that night, I will think of you, beat and never broken, Benzedrine prophets and papier-mâché mountains, sitting there in the center of it all and I will long to join you, to become the point where all things meet, connect, and are intertwined, and in becoming, to know, and in knowing, to find peace, and in peace, to rest
Jun 2017 · 288
Hair
Tyler King Jun 2017
I'm a slave to my hair, my hair is a construct of ego, ego is a construct of superego, superego is a construct of id and id begs for release -
Water and space and light and room to live free from context, ravenous and unsatisfied, I reach stalemate on the come up and surrender unconditionally on the comedown, I'm getting sick I'm getting sick I belong in jail, I belong in an elsewhere that never manifests except in the moments half awake between waves of sleep and dreams, and waking light on skin I can't recognize, did Christ recognize his own skin on the cedar? Could he tell his body was holy slick with blood and the lashes of whips and nails driven deep into hands? Could he be honest about his situation then, and if not, who among us can be honest? Who among us has not sunk our teeth into something unreal and sweet? I want this, I crave this kind of waste, shot up with suicides and Americana, what is more American than apathy? Don't you agree? Don't you see you're just like me? I want a new way, I want pure energy. I want something so raw it bleeds in my hands. I want distant shorelines and lines of demarcation and I want to run full speed into something all night and never get there, aesthetic and substance, fighting for power over two guitars and a drum beat and a voice, droning out platitudes about forgiveness and an abstract sense of love, I don't resist anything in this way but rather become submerged in it, allow it to roll and crash over me as long as my breath holds, fire a rifle at the sun and call it a small victory but phyrric because it took more out of me than I'm willing to admit, and for nothing,
I'm coming unstuck, America you're coming unstuck with me, I address you as judge and jury and executioner when we both know I am guilty too, I deserve that mercy seat as much as you and I can't look you in the eyes anymore because we look too much alike, who pulled the trigger, who gave the order, who payed the taxes, is this blood on my hands? We've both built our egos on an idea of beauty that doesn't hold up to scrutiny, but the clinic is all full up tonight run those tests tomorrow, find out where it went wrong and smother it

Take the poet out of the voice, what is left?
What happens when we force honesty for qualitative judgement?
What happens to an art form when we force it to dance for us?
What does it become?
Is this a process of bastardization or a fulfillment of prophecy?
Take the poet out of the poem, what remains?
I want to know if this will outlive us, if we became Prometheus martyrs for something or nothing, or a story on someone else's walls, in someone else's heart, in something not so easily killed,
Or are we jerking off into a void? And if so, is that wrong if it works? What price is too high for honesty of expression? How much is too much?
This pen wants to die,
This notebook wants to die,
What have I done to them?
Tyler King May 2017
And we're driving through the suburbs outside Dayton two ticks past the minute the witches woke up and abracadabra'd some life into this place, caught up in the magic of watching streetlights reflect off the face you were too scared to kiss in the dark, searching those streets for a sign that tonight's the night, you know, the one we've been waiting for all those years,
For something to happen, for something to split the sky and the street and swallow us up inside of a greater purpose, we've been longing to be devoured ever since we learned what it's like to be alone,
But, there's a lot of dead ends around here, too many rooms and not enough exits, hallways and picture frames and backyards and driveways and messes that somebody is gonna have a hell of a time cleaning up one of these days,
I guess we can't get caught up in all that now, all that doubt, but when my shadow catches up to me on that long drive home he tells me,
When you stop moving, it'll all be over,
So I'll hang on past that exit and the next, waste another sunrise on some eyes too tired to appreciate anything beautiful, keep hell in my pocket till morning when I can let it go just long enough, just long enough to drift off on the promise of a day,  the day that all these candles blow out and we close our eyes and say this, this is enough, and someday you'll thank me for it
May 2017 · 227
Lightbringer
Tyler King May 2017
Daybreak through tree tops, smoke and mist and morning chill and pale,
Some nights I dream of war, cannon shells and walls of fire,
Some nights I dream of shadows, grown so long they might cover this land end to end in twisted cold caricatures of selves,
Some nights I dream of love and hope to die inside of it, to wrap myself in it and in doing so become it's avatar and archetype, to float formless and weightless above these cities and take in all that pain, all that waste and ruin and in this way become a bulwark against it,
Leonard Cohen said once that there is a crack in everything, and that's how the light gets in, and so when I close my eyes tonight in that great expanse, in all that raw energy and all those people swept up in it, in that great wave of history and turmoil, I will pray to be lifted, just this once, into that open mouth where earth meets heaven and heaven meets stars, and crack it open with my bare hands, so that the light may come down
Tyler King May 2017
I chose an eternity of this,
Sunken eyes, deep divisions, stranglehold of memory and fondness, melancholy high, morning after in radio static chaos, nothingness with vividly painted imagery, something from nothing again and again,
I feel you in my chest, in all pockets of mind and body, like Siamese twins joined forever, I cried the day we were born and now I place bets on which of us will go first, me in my wrath, or you in your sorrow,
Your hands run up my back now, in the dark somewhere far away, cold lips on my cheek and hot hands around my throat,
You're asking me, what color I'll be buried in while I scream at the night,
Is it always like this?
Is it always like this?
You pull me into the floor,
I hold on and I sink,
I can't remember now, which one of us was holding the steering wheel,
Which one of us twisted the cap on the pill bottle,
Which one of us held the blade,
Which one us was nothing, who didn't need who anymore
Which one of us decided to destroy ourselves, in order to destroy the other
But I remember screaming,
I remember throwing my head back and releasing you into the air,
And asking you again,
Is it always like this?
Is it always like this?
I catch you on the comedown like we were trapeze artists,
I hold you close and you kiss me hard,
And you whisper,
It is always like this,
It is always like this
May 2017 · 306
Dweller on the Threshold
Tyler King May 2017
Heads swimming, tail lights spinning out on back roads, heels ablaze, daze of feeling and complexity - context that governs harshly, danger that waits, disease that lingers, hides in hair and clothes and bedrooms and comes out to watch you sleep, eyes behind glass, whispers in the dark, so slow it hurts,
Strangers in passing, lovers in waiting, stoners and liars and thieves,
I didn't know what to make of this then, ghosts of autumn haunting cell block courtyards haunt minds mismanaged and clouds of smoke, dangerous things that live here and don't pay rent,
5 chimes on a bell tower,
5 warning signs for 5 years,
5 roads traffic jammed to 5 kids funerals dead this year from 5 needles, one pricked vein is all it takes to collapse an empire of ego,
I remember when there was good in their eyes, now all I can think of is how fast I can drive home without falling apart on another highway,
Something is better than nothing I say,
Lured back to that place by the smell of something sweet, see, that's my problem,
I get too close, I bite in before I've taken the necessary precautions, I just can't resist the scent,
I catch my eyes in the rear view, leaned back and hazy with nostalgia,
You can't stay bitter forever,
You can't stay angry forever,
You can't stay here forever,
One time is all it takes, one perfect try,
So here I am again, dwelling on the threshold,
Asking the people inside if they know any good songs while they tie the rope they've been saving for me,
And if there will be light left in the sky on the other side of this,
Cause from where I'm standing, the night ain't slowing down for nobody
Tyler King Mar 2017
Start slow, deep breaths, shallow steps towards an end, means wrapped in chains and gasoline, the smell of fire itching its way up your nose, the taste of blood tickling the back of your throat, take off running, the forever kind of running, the dead set straight ahead hell bent full body immersion in a fever, pray for your wake, pray for the ones left behind and not for the ones ahead, the journey is holy and nothing, nothing is sacred, let the wind tear holes in your jeans let the cold slice your chest into portions, you are born whole and spend the rest of your life in grieving for that feeling, you search for it everywhere that veins ache and hearts bleed and spirits wait and debts go unpaid and lights stay on, all the time, to ward off ghosts, you cry for it, you write for it, you scream and you pound your fists and you take up arms and you become, in this way, enemy of everything - other, mirror self, target in crosshairs, mugshot, *******, and you fill your days of rage with buckshot and sawdust, while your nights of lust kiss prophecy onto window panes and cheeks and alley ways, read this, understand this: The fury is the only language you have that can't be used against you, no one will ever correct the grammar of your fists, no one will ever tell the barrel of a gun it has misspoken, and when it speaks there can be no mistranslation:
*******, understand me
When I leave I will take this sky with me and never return,
When this burns down I will never think about it again,
I might be full of hatred, but I ain't no god of war
I will throw this feeling away and I will forget where I buried it,
I will make a home in the ruins of something greater than myself,
I will make better from worse or die trying,
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