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zebra Jul 2018
it was a dark dance
of an immovable body
as she was taken by the throat,
death, causing stupendous distortions
and entrancements of lunar landscapes
she reeled pirouettes between smothering
and seeing through a miraculous inner eye
deepening her sense of nothingness
as if pickled in a jar,  suspended in
formaldehyde
held buoyant
where there is no reason for anything
moveless in a veiled corridor
inhabiting innerness, a raven fog
her ******* wet with the scent of fear and ***
she fell through the earth
into the infernal arms of
Hades

his tremulous kisses
a thousand glittering eyes
she could see through
Emily Feb 2014
i hope it seared you,
this moment
your lips on mine
every crease of my mouth
imprinted in your memory
formaldehyde kisses so perfectly preserved
Bryce Jun 2018
And when I met that girl in San Francisco
Off a dusty little pier
with rotting wood
and squawking seals
And screaming bayside wind

She caught me off-tropics
and danced with the grace
of a palm tree
lines between the quaked
concrete
off telegraph avenue
On an obscuring Sunday morning

and no
she didn't go
to church or any silly thing
like a temple or synagogue
She said those were no places
for god

God was the trees

We smoked cigarettes and got off to each other's
carcinogenic practices
oxidizing a little faster in conjunction with hopeful
Formaldehyde
Deriding the formalities
of small talk and trivialities

She liked her guitars with nickel-wound strings
I with nylon
But I couldn't play songs
that sounded any good with them
while she could
and did.

and girl did it ever sound good

She'd laugh at the contests on the radio
while we drove on a half-moon
to half-moon
full and whole of ourselves
We'd stopped in the lobby of a cheap motel
And waltzed to background
muzak
wacked out of our minds
Sniffing in deep huffs of subliminal
divinity
Understanding
loving
that mind-numbing
monotony

muzak...
ppsh.
Who ever really listened to that?

And then she left
at the end of one fine winter day
in a cloudless sky I waved
watched her plane
skip off
towards the edge of a pale blue horizon
back south
to warmer climes
to wherever she truly stayed
The tugging on my heartstrings
chimed grotesque in
precise
D minor.
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
'Where is he now?'

'Room 35'

'His age?'

'Twenty 29'

'Has he spilled any brain fluid from the eye sockets?"

'He has not yet been placed on the neural cell divider'

'We were instructed to wait upon your arrival'

The two men faced one another. Equal in stature and authority.
Both were ghastly in their features. Sunken eyes that contained the
weary load of a harrowing existence. Intelligent though ravaged eyes that penetrated into the deepest recesses of the psyches of those quarantined in room 35.

Berdensharder walked past Halden.

Will you induce the full cerebral breakdown? said Halden

'I have not yet decided'

'Let me see him first.

Room 35 was secured and access permitted to Berdensharder.

He walked in and breathed the formaldehyde humidity.
His nasal passages recoiled in revulsion at the pungent sting of miserable brain fluid filters in suspension.

Facing him was the sample. A young man with a look of terror in his eyes.

He had been placed in a cranial clamp and was rigid in an upright steel frame. Electrodes hung like tentacles from a deformed squid.
Clouds of medicated bacteria floated in a transparent tube connected to the frame. The tubes had not yet been put in place.

'Your name?' said Berdensharder

'The young man was clamped by the wrists and ankles; naked and ashamed of his fear. His forehead was scarred and an incision led into his prefrontal cortex.

'Radsler Duriyima' came the reply

The voice was broken and clung to a false hope of salvation.
He had awoken in room 35 and had no knowledge of his previous weeks or months. His brain struggled to function.

'Your name! Berdensharder screamed is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed freely down Duriyima's face.

'No. My name is Radsler Duriyima'

This was the only lucid thought in his mind. He was sure of it. His life depended on this name.
Instinct was heightened as he said it again.

'Radsler Duriyima!'


Berdensharder switched on the cranium synaptic fluid uptake. He set it for distillation level four. This was normal and a precautionary first step in the cerebral breakdown initiation.

Duriyima's body convulsed and a screen in the room displayed his thought process and an image appeared on a screen.

The synaptic  responder projected the dulled translucent pictures of a face in a mirror. It was Duriyima's and he was shaving in an apartment. A grainy distorted vision interspersed with the sounds of a woman screaming. A gun blasted and then grey dull plastered walls rushing by. More screams. More walls. Blood splashed. Then black.

Suddenly Duriyima's eyes opened and Berdensharder sprayed a saline solution on the eyeballs which kept the eyelids from closing.
He took a surgical precision scalpel handed to him by Halden.
Slowly he slit the eyeball and removed a trace of fluid. Inserting a tube into the eye, his hand was a precision instrument and he gently placed it deeper into the back passage of Duriyima's eye.


Duriyima wanted to scream but was prohibited by a mouth gag soaked in a medicated solution.

His body shook the entire time in rapid convulsions. Only his head remained unmoved.

Tears flowed freely the entire time and the tear duct of the severed eye was gradually made redundant by Berdensharder.

Stepping back from his helpless sample Berdensharder looked upon the apparatus. He removed the gag.

'Now Mr Gunther Strausse!
'Your name!'

'Duriyima wanted to respond but only an animal like sound emitted from his throat.

A scream so horrific it would unnerve the servants of Satan

Halden looked at Berdensharder.

'Well, are you going to induce the full cerebral breakdown?'

'No. We will first get this sample to state his name.
'When Gunther  Strausse is ready to state his name then I shall do so'



Duriyima looked at the pair of them. What was going on?
Where was he? What did they want? His mind couldn't function.

The door of room 35 was closed and he was alone

One thought began to emerge. His name he now felt was Gunther Strausse.


He could not be sure. His thoughts ebbed into insanity.

Berdensharder would induce the full cerebral overload the following day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Duriyima succumbed to massive shock, severe trauma, and paranoia.

He remained plugged into the filtration system for two hours in a semi conscious state. His brain ebbed with seismic brain wave cycles that sheared the integral subconscious of his existence.

One name repeatedly came to his mind, 'Gunther Strausse'
He tried to make sense of all that had happened as the fragility of his sanity took its toll. The face of Berdensharder took on a form in his thoughts. He felt nauseous and violently ill. His eye ached with an unbearable pain; his vision horribly strained and blurred.
The sound of a gunshot deafened his ears. His forehead was an explosion of activity and excruciating pain. Tears flowed from one of his eyes and this confused him. He sobbed and in a gibberish howl begged for deliverance.

He had this stomach churning sense he was in Hell and the torments he had endured were God's retribution.

He found his voice then.

'Sweet Jesus!' he screamed

'Not this! Not this!

'Son of God! Forgive! Forgive!

He begged till his bowels emptied and the stench of anonymity
reeked from his flesh.

Duriyima was very much still a part of the living; in a ghoulish grotesque quarter of a savage place reserved for aggressive science.

His screams and outbursts of terror had triggered an audio camera.

Berdensharder looked at the desperate features of Duriyima.

'No! Gunther Strausse' he said to himself.

'There is no God here'. 'Not for you nor any of us'

'God, Gunther Strausse, you will find has never heard of you'
'Not here'

'For you, only I control your emotions'
'I determine your quality of life'

'Yes! You will find out that betrayal is rewarded with surrealism!'

'I am your God!, Gunther Strausse'

Reaching his hand to a calibrated dial he adjusted the volume of the sound chamber to it's maximum decibel rating.

Duriyima's screams were relayed back to him and his ears bled with the intensity of the sound.

His mind collapsed in the wall of sound as his heart pulsed in rapid sickening beat patterns and it overtook the sound of his own screams.

'Yes!', Gunther Strausse, scream!  It will help you to realise it is all you have left.

Duriyima's body convulsed like a lightning rod for terror.
His brain burst with demented anguish and he collapsed into a nauseating nightmare.

Even in this state, Berdensharder followed him and the labyrinth
of Duriyima's mind became a battle ground for sanity.

Berdensharder's hand reached for the distillation filter system.
He employed the backwash switch and watched as the fluid of Duriyima's brain was circulated into the three micron carbon elements.

Halden looked on and met Berdensharder's eyes.

'It will be of no use' he said

'His mind can not cope with insurgent cells'

'He will never state he is Gunther Strausse'

A third figure looked on as Duriyima's face erupted in an explosion of hideous expressions.

'We shall see' said Gunther Strausse
'We shall see'

Room 35 crashed into an uncanny silence for three minutes'

Then a cacophany of sound hit Duriyims's ears

'Gunther Strausse' it wailed

'You are Gunther Strausse'

The cells in Duriyima's brain formed new synaptic networks forging in clusters around his prefrontal cortex.

Brain fluid started weeping from his sockets.

It was beginning to happen. His memories were being replaced.
His mind reborn. It was excruciating and still the wall of sound echoed and resounded in room 35

Gunther Strausse


Gunther Strausse

Gunther Strausse

Duriyima's eyes stared into an abyss of madness.

His tethered hands could not reach out to touch the face of sanity.
Deep inside his pysche he knew his ordeal was just beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You took note of the cry for salvation?' Halden said to Berdensharder


'Of course, it is natural in the sample. The Amygdala reflex'

'He still retains a sense of deliverance. His amygdala is primitive and
primed for a search; a Saviour who will redeem him'

'There is no scapegoat here he will find. No burning bush.
No Good News from Christ'

'Still it is a sign of deep resistance' replied Halden

'It is a trivial issue and will be resolved'

'We will remove this superstition and replace it.

'He will question his sense of identity'

'He will becomre as Gunther Strausse and he will witness his own transformation.'

'Has the synopial fluid vat been prepared?

'Yes'

'I will inject his neo-cortex with an anti-aneurism sedation'

'He will beg for death soon but it will be denied'

'Nor shall he fully recover from the full cerebral breakdown'

'We are taking it to level six distillation tonight'

'Has the cryogenic vat been prepared for the body'

'Yes'

Duriyima will soon pray to be Gunther Strausse but prayer will abandon his faculties'

'He will endure and witness the five hour transcendence of terror'

Halden and Berdenschrader looked at one another knowingly.

'Has there been any further visuals  from the synaptic cells of Duriyima'

'Yes, a woman's face made a lucid and highly resonated image on the cerebral scanner last night'

'Only high resolution visuals are deemed important due to the high emotional energy associated with them'


' She has been identified?

'Even now she is being prepared for Room 35'

'Good, good. This will please Gunther Strausse'

'Now, let us immerse Duriyima into his new reality'

Halden and Berdensharder dressed into the rubber robes and secured the brain aprons in place.

Entering Room 35 they looked at the sample. He was under a deep induced coma. Berdensharder took a scalpel to his forehead.
A vacuum switch was enabled and a surgical cutting tool prepared to remove Duriyima's brain for temporary relocation.

Halden and Berdensharder looked at the clock on the clean-room walls. They had a five hour window to take Duriyima into a purged state of cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hald­un rolled his sleeve up as Berdensharder prepared injection 19 and prepared to administer the dose.

'You have no need to worry Halden'

'It is routine now at this stage especially for you'

'This will be your seventh full cerebral surveillance of a sample'

'I have brought you back every time'

'You are safe with me. Your brain, your body will be unscathed'

'I hear a citation of merit will soon be yours'

'Gunther Strausse will award it to you personally'

'You are a loyal servant Halden, I will see you in five hours'

Halden looked at Berdensharder. Each man had suffered in their own way since 'the shutdown' took place.
Only their intelligence and guile had ensured their survival.

'Yes, Berdensharder, I know it. You will bring me back.

Then Halden passed into an induced coma.

The rig was in place and Berdensharder lifted Haldens skull like a door on a hinge. The titantium bolts were embedded deep into his skull. Delicately and with great precision twenty five electrodes were inserted into Haldens brain.

Berdensharder switched the spinal column reverse chamber.
A two way valve tripped the automatic pulmonary Gemini blood cell network. Haldens body remained in live peaceful repose.

The clock ticked in time with his heart and his brain was placed into the electrolytic vat.

In the same way and with the same urgency and diligence the brain of Radsler Duriyima was placed along side Haldens.

Level six distillation was in progress. Berdensharder now set about
the procedure which would take Duriyima to the verge of a mental breakdown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In room 35 a young woman aged twenty four stared back at her tormentor.

Her hands and feet were restrained in an upright frame.

A cranial brace secured and held her head rigid.

On the screen facing her was an image of Berdensharder

'Your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky's mind was confused. She had no recollection of the last hours or days. Her mind struggled to function.

Only her name surfaced to her mind. The only lucid thought she had. Her name was Hannah Prestovsky. She knew her life depended on this name.

'My name', she stuttered, 'is Hannah Prestovsky'

'No! Your name is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed down her face. She was naked and ashamed of her fear.

'No, she said. My name is Hannah Prestovsky!"

She sobbed and emptied her bowls as the stench of terror rose from her body.

'I am a diplomat!' she cried

'I demand immunity! In the name of God who are you?'

'Silence settled broken finally by the image on the screen.
The voice of Berdensharder boomed from the speaker.

' No, you are no longer represented by any government authority'

'God is no longer here to deliver you into his protection'

' Now, your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky screamed till her lungs exploded with exhaustion.
In an area of this room sealed from her screams, the brain of Radsler Duriyima was about to undergo full cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
­Duriyima's brain lay pulsating in the neural vat. The electrodes in his brain were connected to those in the brain of Halden.
Berdensharder was engaged in the system flowpath direction.
When he tripped the one -way valves it was essential Halden's brain fluid flowed into Duriyima's.

In this 'full wash surveillance' Halden's consciousness would merge with Duriyima's. If the process was successful then those thoughts held in the synaptic network of Duriyima's would be an open book to Halden. His brain would retain all that was contained within Duriyima's. It was unprecedented technology and had not yet failed.
Each time on relocation of Halden's brain, he was able to give a full account of the life of the sample. It was as if he was the sample.

Every fear, every concern or hope was disclosed to Halden.
No one else in the facility was capable of undergoing a surveillance of this nature. Others had tried it but in all cases both the sample and the invasive consciousness died within minutes.

Halden and Berdensharder were the only team to ever secure consistent trials to unheard of 'five hour' deep cerebral surveillance
and succeed in securing the neural data of the sample. Their method became known as the 'five hour transcendence of terror'.

Berdensharder looked at Halden. His admiration for his associate was deep and he envied him his courage. He was ruthless of course but he had an air of dignity about him. Berdensharder thought too that Halden would escape one day. If that ever happened he shuddered to think of the repercussions.

All these thoughts were fleeting and the flashing instruments alerted him to his first function. He would light up the prefrontal cortex of Duriyima first.

He looked at the calibration settings on the visual imaging screen.
Then  he stared at the live body of Duriyima. The body was an empty vessel although every spinal output was connected to the remote brain of Duriyima. Audio and visual scanners would enable Duriyima to witness his own detachment.

This was the reason for anti-aneurysm injections into the new-cortex of the sample. It always freaked them out.

The worst was the brains response to it's isolation from the body.
The 'language to vocal' response was recorded and displayed to a digital readout. The voice was an algorithm. The screams became white noise.

When the sample recovered from the shock it was then the voice became an artificial sound emanating from the instrumentation panel.

Before Halden could immerse into Duriyima an interrogation was initiated.

Berdensharder turned on the system to awaken Duriyima.
Slowly Duriyima responded. His body responded in simultaneous response to his brain.

He could see the set up on the screen. It dawned on him that he had become an abomination.

Then he went into a full mental breakdown that created a white noise explosion that lasted for ten hideous minute.

'Yes! Scream. It is all you have left. Shortly your mind will open its gates to Halden'.

'Gunther Strausse will be planted in your brain'

'You will soon need your Saviour'

Duriyima knew it then. He must be in Hell. It could not be real.

None of this could be happening.

He didn't know what to do so he screamed.

The scream of the demented.

A smile traced the face of Berdensharder.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Berdensharder waited till the white noise finally stabilised.
He knew the sample was in deep pyschological  trauma.
This was a natural part of the procedure.
Duriyima's brain waves alternated between gamma and alpha rhythms.

A voice suddenly emanated from the speaker. It was monotone and the pitch was low. The sample was ready to communicate.

'Am I in purgatory?'

Berdensharder did not respond. He reached forward and opened an anthrax aerosol.

Reaching into the vat he opened a microscopic funnel into Duriyima's occipital lobe. He squeezed the aerosol which contained enough anthrax to poison a minuscule area of the brain. It went black immediately and the whole brain seemed to shrink in a futile sense of survival.

The white noise monitor went into a frenzy of sound.
It lasted for fifteen minutes. Duriyima was in agony.

When the noise subsided the brain was lifted from the vat.
Berdensharder removed the black tissue for sample analysis.

He watched the screen as he cauterised the area.
Duriyima's body was writhing in intensified terror.
He knew the whole procedure was witnessed by Duriyima as though he were a third party.

The body was in convulsions; at times seemed as though it might break free of it's restraints.

'No, Gunther Strausse, you are going nowhere'
'Now let us listen to some classical music shall we?'

A beautiful piano concerto filled  the air and the vibrations settled into the brain vat. Berdensharder looked at Halden's face as a smile broke out on his features.

This pleased him to see his associate receive some pleasure.
The music always worked. The brain always responded.
He looked then to Duriyima's face. It was contorted in a ghoulish grimace. Even so, the brain wave activity settled to level fifteen.

The body slumped now and the eyes were catatonic.
Berdensharder needed to leave the sample undisturbed for fifteen minutes. If it went into cerbral flatline then he would administer sedative eighty four. This always brought the sample back from the corridors of death.

From experience he expected the sample's next words would be 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

This had to be the way. The brain needed to survive. This was the name it must give. It must give it in no uncertain terms.

It feared the anthrax. The unknown. It feared the interference of nature. It must be placed back in its body. It must co-operate.
It must state 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was patient. Thirty minutes passed and once again the white noise subsided.

The brain was in active mode once again. The samples vital statistics were stable.

The music was discontinued.

'Now, Gunther Strausse, what is your name?'

The sound monitor responded in a hesitant slow manner.

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

'Did you not tell me your name was Radsler Duriyima?' Berdensharder replied

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was in full control and raised the terror level.

'No! Your name is Radsler Duriyima!'

'You have never heard of Gunther Strausse'

The White noise from the sound monitor went catastrophic.
Duriyima's brain screamed in agony. Had it not been for the anti-aneurysm injected previously it would have phyically exploded.
The body went into convulsions.

'Who are you?' screamed Duriyima

'Who are you?!'

Berdensharder smiled and replied 'It is who you will be that is the question'

'It is who you shall be!'

It was time now to open the non-return valve and allow Halden to enter the consciousness of Duriyima.

The White noise on the screen indicated that Duriyima was on the verge of the full cerebral breakdown'

'Soon it will be over' said Berdersharder and reached to turn on the valve. Halden would now perform the full wash surveillance.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~­

It was always a beautiful experience. Halden felt as if he were reborn and the world was an unexplored discovery. Here in the neural ocean of Duriyima's synaptic network of young cells he immersed himself deep in the private psyche of another human.
He searched the entire brain map of Duriyima and came to know that neural landscape as though it were his own.

Duriyima resisted of course and became aware of the invasion.
His screams were a peak of White noise on the visual audio scanner.

Berdensharder watched carefully. Halden would soon know every thought and experience that Duriyima ever possessed.
He cared not for the fate of Duriyima once they were finished with the sample. All that mattered was the complete subjugation of a private mind. The private would become public. This forced confession would become the norm. It was exhilarating to be a part of the destruction of the individual. Halden had shown remarkable courage and took great personal risk to achieve this break through in mind control. He had shown it was possible to inhabit another's brain. Once this was done it was a step away from world *******.
Those who control the mind control the future. The secrets of enemy States would be unlocked. One had only to capture the intelligentsia and key figures in an administration. Their minds would be ransacked. Berdensharder turned suddenly as footsteps unexpectedly approached.

It was Dr. Xuaguang Lee from sector 84.
Behind him was a young woman holding a syringe to his throat.

'What the hell is going on!' screamed Berdensharder

'Hannah Prestovsky was sick to the pit of her stomach at the sight she beheld.

'You are going to release Radsler Duriyima' she said venomously

Dr. Lee looked on with rising terror in his eyes.

'She is holding a lethal dose of injection 19!'  he screamed

'Do you think I give a **** about him?!' said Berdersharder

Shoving Dr. Lee away from her she ran to the neural vat.

Holding the syringe above the brain of Halden she lunged it into his brain stem.

'You fool!' Berdensharder screamed

'The body of  Halden went into cardiac arrest.

Halden was now locked into the consciousness of Duriyima.

There was no way back for him. He could now only survive if Duriyima survived.

Seeing her chance at the shock she had given to Berdensharder she siezed the anthrax spray and a chemical solution from the neural vat.

'I swear to God if you don't bring Duriyima back then he will die my way!'

Berdensharder's mind raced. He had to save Duriyima if he was to save Halden. He knew Duriyima and Halden were one now.
Could he do it? What would the result be? Gunther Strausse would ****** him if he did not bring them back.



'Step away from from the neural vat! he shouted

'If you have any thought for Radsler Duriyima then let me work!'

Dr. XuGuang made to run for the door and was shot instantly by Berdensharder.

Hannah screamed as the blood sprayed her face.

'No ! Berdensharder' she screamed

'You will give me that gun or it all ends here!
'She gestured to the neural vat and prepared to dose it with a chemical mix.

Berdensharder looked at her and knew she would do it.
He passed her the gun.
'Now! Let me work!' 'Every minute is vital!'

Hannah Prestovsky was sickened by this filthy abbatoir.
'Where the hell are we ? She thought

Berdensharder turned the one way valve and shut down the pulmonary system for Halden. He needed to work fast and get Duriyima's brain back into its body.

A surge of excitement ran through his veins.
Would Halden be able to communicate from his new mind.
Could Halden dominate Duriyima's brain.
'Step back from the neural vat! Please!

Hannah held the gun and watched the horrible spectacle before her.
Glen Brunson Mar 2013
they were undeveloped.

fetal figurines in preservation
still and detached from
the placenta of a better time
tiny knucklebones
grew miniature orchards
half in bloom
out of season, tracing palm lines.

(deciduous wrists)

forever in the interim,
encapsulated
while clock-hands
melted through ceramic face
and dripped over cream lids
sealing their last breath
like hurricanes in a time capsule
For everyone who has waited on something better.
palladia Jun 2013
awkward is a promiscuous word. it flirts unintentionally. it seduces mentally. but most of all it's so disruptionally absurd even the first-come-first-serve basis comes 15 feet behind the typical quota. but it really isn't that serious. it would be awkward plus if i wasn't active right now. does that sound appealing to anyone? well it better. i'm no vanguard when it comes to distribution of emotions. they'll be distributed equally, thank you, and don't worry about getting more 'cause they'll be pieced out safe and fair. lord jesus, we need some sorrow-getter-overs in here! i'm always telling those who ask me for advice to relinquish the suffering and let the good times roll. not that it'll save their hides, i snicker mimically and divert the attention to something inappropriately interesting, like a ***** bumper sticker or a animal corpse on the side of the road. and you are gonna turn into one if you don't stop that crying! man i need some fresh air and i'm not talking about the innocent kind. it's more of the obvious, over-cynical cyanide-soaked air that formaldehyde would blush over. there are two r's in sorrow because the s and the o and w need to be capsized into one rowboat. i never thought i would compromise intimacy with loudspeaker attention-grabbers and then the sailboat does a belly-flop and lands head first in the witches' cauldron. which is like Hamlet's, but a lot less systematic and bunches more pagan. it's synthetically miserable but enigmatically moral. dance of the morals is another program i like. it has to do with the regard of selfish hope and loose pragmatism. pagan! ****** i know it's pagan but it's pigheaded trash like that which gets stuck in the garbage disposal ever so often and we don't have no time to clean it out. i use a fish net that once occupied a corner near the stove which had the net chewed through by ***** rats that inhabit the lower quarters of the bathhaus. it's nothing significant really but more or less a principle in not making leftovers from the unknown trashpile near the barn. attention: entrance alert. "too bad for" who cares. i'm sick of this. "too bad for". that's all said? "let's chat a lot" what? i thought maureen was coming over at 7? who left the cat out again--the dog's gonna have a field day playing cops and robbers, and there are always reallive guns. and i'm stuck back at square/ground one/zero figuring out how i'm gonna get the next day's meal without having to cut off my head or make the microsoft paper clip icon appear with those embarrassing clips telling you how you should appear to your boss on your first interview. and find out that he's a man after all. and ultimately regret what you said every two minutes. wish i had contributed crescents more to the goodness, and not brush over like a stuckist's paintbrush. he's actually using blood instead of acrylics- that's when i get running. wish i hadn't have done that. wish i hadn't. we "hadn't" too much, you know? i wish we had to have "hadn't" before it hadn't have been created. still my emotions are sold and i've cast a mold far too ugly to be a stupid cupid. can we get on with the show, please? no thank i've had enough cranberry pie for right now, maybe buttercup the parrot can have the rest? the cat hates water. then why is he swimming in the dog dish? i'm not complaining, just hesitating to say how i feel when i want it. yeah, i know you're looking at me make a sucker outta myself on your camera. all those poses weren't hard to accomplish but you aggrandize the bad and disregard that i actually have good talent after all. crazy 8s. thought i'd never compromise. thought i'd never make a sport out of tantalizing the shopkeeper's parakeet. yeah, they're playing that game everyone calls a bore cuz it is one. why not roast a marshmallow then find a salamander caught between the chocolate and the *******. and we can't have them crackers anyways cuz there's got gluten in them. can we take a walk, i have something to tell you? i have to tell you about my personal life. i don't care if you're bored. darwin was never bored, fyi. i don't want to hear your juvenile complaints anymore. you're always telling me your problems but you never let me talk. but why would you care? and no way am i gonna share? not there. still. you're still not coming around cuz you're crying and i can't take it anymore. stop the tears, i already told you just take another pill and you'll relax. your life can stop in a heartbeat because some freak told you to stop ******* with the power outlet and make an attempt on making it right. how am i gonna make it right? seems good to me to get up and go and never return. seems right to let it all hang lose and think of excuses as a way to win some money. i'm not the principle breadwinner around here, but i'd bake enough bread to feed an army if i had to. a whole cohort of emotional bigots who don't care anything about their stupid, money-******* societies. it's leveled to the drain again, yeah i know you don't understand. i'm done asking. please? do it for me? don't you know i'm hurting myself because... i'm not listening. don't you want to know i'm cutting my flesh because... i have to water the garden. oh dear what was that? whew! almost another collision with a bee. whew--another close one. what about the spiders in the cabbage bed? what why didn't you tell me? yeah, the cabbage patch has produced more memories than heads, and no not those types of heads. a mashup of what i hate most and what i hate least scourged outta me in a whirl. she's going to take a walk. the radio's on and it's hot in here. those maudy days of summer, but i love every shred of them like i do a coat in the winter. the radio's playing my song: doomsday magnificat! i like leather and metal combinations that are sold in a 60s oz town. you can tie and whip me if you conscience can, but not now. it's another adage gone to the birds. oh no the shopkeeper's parrot is out again and i didn't do it! how come i'm blamed for things i don't do? get over it. another fact of life. another testimonial head my way. dodge! that was a flying saucer that almost razed your head. you wouldn't care though because enough has happened today to make your head spin even faster than it already is. and they're real-live which makes me keeping fumbling my too-short curls disintegrated by sheer chauvinism and belated princeness. that's alright. i know how you feel. i know how the world feels because i am the world. and the world is my canvas. and i may dictate what you are allowed and i may waver onto what laws of principalities are shooting up everywhere, but it's okay 'cause there's a lot more to shoot than good time. and those wacked people can form an alliance and take down the stronghold because in reality, you know that you are wacked yourself to say that. i'm sorry you did. the world will keep spinning, snipers will keep killing, conservatives will keep protesting, parents will keep levitating, children will keep withholding, the days will keep heating, the pool will be more refreshing, and yeah mrs. renttib is still coming over. the world is new. and i am young. but we will all stay safe and good in this empyrean. because and i created it. and i established the surveillance cameras, which are everywhere, but don't feel pressed. yes, i'll forever watch your every move, and even though you've done good, i'll still send you to hell. because you belong there. you may begin now. make your tread strong yet gentle. it's not my expense, the water is cooler out here,
                                                                ­                             anyways.
i've had a rotten day, but i wasn't involved, rather- others force it upon me, for condolence's sake.

ah, you've got plenty to be thankful about so why bother complaining? i often try to analyze this, because my life isn't perfect and i'm often ****** into an uncomfortable state, even when i had nothing to do with it. this was written during (+ after) a family argument about help and those who shouldn't help us, and telling others first, and letting everyone know. i think it's better to keep it to yourself or see a psychologist than starting a whole mess like this again. i know people hate that i don't like opening up and sharing but i'm doing it for the good of everyone. i'm the breadwinner of myself; others will only make me file more tax returns, it seems! so i'm upset and nervous and kind of scared. i want to explore it in a different angle and if i have to be crass and confrontational to do it, i say "full speed ahead!"
Chelsea McMahon Jun 2012
The thick formaldehyde air keeps me awake.
Eight hours on fluorescent lights and lemon water
pins me to this stiff, rigor mortis chair.
Her stifled screams a ward away distract me from
counting the ceiling tiles
again.
Clocks ooze down the wall, time melting in sync
with EKGs and IV drips.
and I, alone with my blanket and Harry
turn to ask him how long we’ve been here
why the sky is blue
how much a soda from the cart might cost
if she’ll be okay.
But he just stares blankly with his cold gorilla eyes
omniscient in his eternal silence.
So I hug him closer to my chest, plastic fur
scratching at the soft spot under my chin.
Dad paces back and forth along the linoleum,
crushing grandmother’s pearls between his teeth
like candy mints.
and I, alone with my blanket and Harry
idly wonder what he’ll pack in my lunchbox tomorrow.


It takes me back -
this dilapidated Christmas card from ’99,
tucked neatly away in a drawer
of condoms and last year’s candy corn.
A family photo from OR #12 wasn’t
“appropriate”,
So we chose one from the year before.
Three faces plastered on the blood red backing,
Season’s greetings through gritted teeth.
I throw it back into the box
with other useless paraphernalia
I should have never kept.
Reaching deeper, digging through years
like bare fingers through stale grave dirt,
I find her hospital bracelet.
Twist it between my fingers.
Wrap it tight around my wrist,
breathe in the familiar formaldehyde scent.
and I, alone with my blanket and Harry
idly throw it away.
Jaanam Jaswani Dec 2014
A door in the mind blows open -
It floods with grey matter
And hot stares.

Ashes of darkness
Coupled with
Tears of growth

This is incomparable.
Roller-coaster rides
And unrecognisable mirrors;

We've steeped into a portal of surrealism:
With sins and judgement calls that question
The very essence of our hearts.

I really do not want to grow up.

I'm a pair of pigtails who can't
Climb up a step.
Push me, push me, but I can't reach.

When I feel my faith restored
In the overlap
Of green scenes and dental dexterity -
I can only think of one line to combust me:

*"He's just being nice."
Bits taken from 'The Planners' by Boey Kim Cheng and 'Where I Come From' by Elizabeth Brewster.
Sofia Mar 2016
encamped on a barren savanna
a formaldehyde trick laid
beneath a palace of red canvas
carcasses of Noah's Ark
left for a menagerie of men
a spectacle of meat and bone  
the tides of oddities come crashing
against the shores of spectators
the earth opens its hands to carry
the rails that lead an entourage of
grandeur at the ring master's ordinance
God's children in satin and sequins
Devil's work bared in ink and blood
ladies and gentlemen!
wooden pews for the congregation
occupied by followers seeking refuge
in the sacred acts of manipulation
enchantment for children
necromancy for those who walk
with hearts no longer beating
for the world they once knew
prepare to be amazed!
tight ropes are spun into webs
painted skin become prisms
nature's anomalies turned
into golden mythologies
figments of A Vision
brought to life by an apparition
the most extravagant extravaganza!
and the world burns anew
contemporary tales are told through
a splendor of color and brilliance
in a palace of red canvas
lay the corpses of humanity's finest
a formaldehyde trick
of preservation and deception
come one come all!
an asylum for those consumed
a sanctuary for those comforted
by the art of celebrated illusion
an institution built on maneuvering
the depths of every man's heart
welcome to the circus
sit back and enjoy the show!
because i have a fascination for circuses even though i'm scared of them.
Shannon McGovern Aug 2011
Her eyes burned from ammonia and snow as she shoveled the driveway
in the parts where the cat litter failed to appropriate traction.
This is what cars are for she said before she slipped away onto a twin mattress
next to pile of laundry and a pillow of books.
Sleeping with dryer hot clothes is only comfortable until you realize
you are still alone and loneliness is only formidable when you know it is indefinite.
So she folded each item into a pile and wondered if a suitcase wouldn't be better
than her dresser. But running away is not an answer like pit bulls and vipers having daughters, even though they ran out of formaldehyde and jars.
Allison Wolf Dec 2018
Trauma cemented my secrets deep within the crevices of my core,
yet he cracks my chest and I am a chilled corpse
drenched in formaldehyde, slowly decaying,
laid open for all to study.

Ordinary organs on display, hiding the scars of past mistakes:
bruises from an ex-boyfriend don’t tint the epidermis,
wine that splattered the walls and my white t-shirt
have already left the liver, the folds of cerebrum
unscathed from the demons that scratched
away at my sanity.

He’s seen me naked, vulnerable, and now I’m terrified
that he isn’t interested in understanding –  
just observing – my anatomy.
December 29, 2018
11:24:56 PM
Deb Jones Dec 2018
First Candy
My mouth still remembers
The sweetness on my tongue
I was three
It was a candy aptly named
A “Bit-O-Honey”
It’s still a favorite

First Near Death
Our home was on fire
I was five
My older sister and I
Ran to my mother’s room
She hid under the bed
I hid behind the door
My mother truly
Used herculean strength
To move a propane tank
Beside the window
To get to us

First Secret
My brother

First Authority
I remember the day
I realized I had a parent
One that controlled my actions
And punished too
The day I felt fear
I was three or four
And climbed under the house
So far in. Like a mouse
No adult could reach me
The grownups pried up the floor
I was comforted
My older brother was spanked
(Irish Twin)
He was only 11 months older than I was

First Butterflies
I knew he liked me
A light skinned black boy
Every time I stuck my head out
The school bus window
He did too.
So he could see me.
His sweet little face
Carried in my heart forever.
Even though we never
Exchanged even one word
I was six

First Male Touch
Sodomized
Adult male
Son of my mother’s best friends
11 surgeries
And a entire school year

First Fight
My sister stole clothes
Off the line of our nearest Neighbors
A mile away
Unique looking jeans
And a blouse
She wore them to school
The next day
The girl confronted
Her on the bus
I had to fight the girl
Because we were not
A family of thieves
Just a family that had thieves

First ******
I fainted

First Kiss
Charles.
He was fourteen
I was thirteen
His hands cupped my cheeks
As he lowered his lips to mine
The flick of his tongue
Was a surprise
He wrote me for several years
Beautiful love letters
I would hide them

First Thrill
On the rooftop of a speeding car
Hanging by my fingertips
On to the rooftop
Where it met the windshield
Another boy.
He was nineteen to my thirteen
He kissed me at 50 mph
My brother was driving

First Public Lie
I went door to door
Asking people to donate
Money to buy mice
For Cancer research
I fed my siblings that week
I was twelve

First Shame
I brought home a girl
From school
To stay the night.
Even though I thought
Our house looked ok
My father came home
And said
“Aren’t you ashamed?”
And right then I saw our lives
Through the eyes of another
And my father was right
She told everyone at school
What we did and didn’t have.

First Stroke
A hard punch to my temple
So was the second
And third
Fourth
5th
...

First Pride
Teaching myself to drive
Three on the tree
In a 47 ford
With a chain steering wheel
Glued to the steering column.

First Baby
She’s in my purse
Wrapped in pillowcases
In the ground

First Beg
Please let me come stay with you momma.
“No”

First True Love
No other love came close
To the feelings flowing
Through me
As I held my first son
And the second
Then the third

First Panic
Seeing my four year old son
As I raced down the street
To the woman racing
Toward me holding my child
Bloodied and unconscious
In her arms
My throat closed on screams

First Adult Love
I had loved others before him
But he taught me
How to be cherished
He painted my name
And the date on his wall
In letters taller than me
And he sealed the wall
And built cabinets
That will never be moved
We love each other still

First Motorcycle Ride
My thighs cradling his hips
The feel of his hand
Caressing my calves
At every stoplight
Silently falling in love

First Professional Pride
My career
The wall of framed degrees
I will turn away a personal compliment.
But never a compliment
About my accomplishments

First Pets
I always poured my heart
And tears
Into and unto my dogs
Angel, Benji, Gizmo, Baby
Dobie, Mandy, Cheona
Nora, Jackie, Gus, Callie
So many, many more.

First Drugs
Marijuana more than a few times
Hash once
Formaldehyde (***), Juice
Did once.
So many terrifying hallucinations
******* once

First Emotional Pain
I told my husband
We needed to see a counselor
As soon as possible
He refused.
He didn’t understand
How serious it all was
Suddenly serious
I left this man that I still love
Two weeks later

First Heartsick Pain
I told a man I loved him
He didn’t tell me he loved me
Until a year to the day
We first met
He broke something
Inside me that year

First *** with a Younger Man
He was done, I wasn’t
He moaned for me
To help me out
I opened one eye in a slit
His moaning turned to panting
I think he watched a lot of ****

First Time I said No
And meant it.
I was supposed to pick up
Prints from a Christmas party
He was naked
And drug me around his house
I still had my purse
On my shoulder
As he came all over my dress

First Dance Trophies
West coast swing
East coast swing
Two-Step
10-Step
Schottishe
Dancing the “Neon Moon” naked

First Disillusionment
The man I married at fourteen
Was having *** with a woman
Who asked me to babysit
Her kids that night
I did. I watched her two children.
He reeked of her perfume.

First Song
Always and Forever
By the Heatwave
Our song you said
How young we were

First Stage Fright
I gave a performance at school
It was a great hit
I was ashamed
I published the story about it
Twenty-five years later
It was a great hit

First Justice
Was no justice at all
Attacked on my patio
Saved by a neighbor
He was out the next week
About the same time
The swelling went down
On my “cauliflower” ear

First Adult Stage Fright
I took a summer off
Of my medical career
And DJ’d at a different club
During days of the week.
When no one had requests
I was required to sing.
It’s what I was hired to do.
Especially the piano bars
In San Francisco

First Deaths
My Brother
My Father
My Niece
My Mother
My Sister
It feels like a first each time

First Songs
Drops of Jupiter
By Train
From my sons to me.
Wild Horses
By Jewel
From me to my sons

So many firsts.
We are destined to repeat them
Only some of them
Are worthy of repeating
May Mercy spare us
On some Seconds
Sarina Apr 2013
Summer was
******* on sugarcane and cinnamon peels
handed from your grandparents, occasionally mine
when our roller-skates made love to cracks in
                             the sidewalk
          our knees were drunk on its feathers
so many specks of moss get caught in there, too

    you taught me not to cry
or have that formaldehyde-chugging look
until I hit the bunkbed; your sheets made my sweat
look so much worse
                          we got anything we could want.

I wanted to kiss you when your wore your
Popsicle lipstick, a freeze cracking the crib of your
       mouth and circling buzzards around.

But how does a girl say
   she would rather have someone than a cigarette  
      stick of candy from the ice cream man –
the ones she would twirl like cherry stems
    and feign middle school maturity?

  We would whisper about things at night
with the lamp off, our pants down
                                                   but never ever love:
love is for adults. Love is Mardi Gras in the city
           not powdered sugar from beignets
   or the kind of beads you settle around your neck.

I wanted to be the bayou you swam in,
cast your fishing pole at the underbelly of and
  counted how many seconds it took to lift back up.
I wanted to be a chest you put
         your personal belongings in, a treasure box.
Most of all, I wanted
                          to be your personal belonging
              the treasure you immediately thought of –
        but that is not what Summer was.
Joshua Haines Oct 2014
Standing like a model in a motel room-
jealous eyes can't open the blinds.
Every time, every time.

Je t'aime à la folie, broken frames.
These are beautiful songs for damaged people
that don't think they're all the same.

They taste like formaldehyde,
so hopefully they'll preserve me.
But, instead, they burn the room
as they kiss my neck and collarbone.
Lapdancing on my loneliness-
Please, let me remove my eyes and hands,
because I've seen and have felt too much.

You don't understand:
everything is ideation
and demisexuality.
Double entendre:
I'm a toxic lover,
I have girls around my waste.

Take a look around and see how damaged everyone is,
and how universal they are in their illusory disguise,
"How can we be so smart if the last line was redundant, guys?"

Je t'aime à la folie, broken frames.
This is just a mediocre song for damaged people,
so they believe they're not all the same.

Don't feel too much.
Remove introspection.
Be self-absorbed.
Feel no affection.
Wack Tastic Nov 2012
Destined to never be satisfied, that is me,
I will swallow the world and purge,
Wiping my mouth of the spittle, off too comes the grin,
Momentous occasions amount to invisible entrapment,
They'll try and tell me that it should be enough,
Sedated and post-op lobotomies on pedestals,
Formaldehyde jars packed with vernal reward,
Plopped on sofas staring at the **** tube barrel,
Fancier and well built imports,
**** measuring contest gone wrong,
Debt built up and drowning rats,
Tunnel vision scoped Dharman,
Wicker trinkets, frail mistreated,
Lunatics that love for the wrong reasons,
Insanity epidemic gross over-exaggeration,
Billy clubs fly from hands of misguided lawmen,
Prayers knelt under the bus benches,
***** corroding the underbelly of the social glance,
Blind blues moutharp in the corner still playing,
Trains running on time, taking the life from the patrons,
Steel breathes burnt crimson,
Foggy cauldrons from medieval nightmares,
The haggard ***** dangles her ***** precariously above,
Just an inch or two in the wrong direction,
And all this meaningless mess might be forgotten,
Books burned, learned forgotten, buildings from the sand,
Starting the sick cycle over again,
With an even wider **** eating grin,
Chartreuse Cheshire cats with inviting eyes,
Taking the breath from the first borns,
Replacing motor oil with sugar canes,
HOWLING what history has shown,
Making a prophet from the scammers and thieves,
I can't believe that we don't all see,
What my path of professed malnutrition,
Gambled stimulus, Golden fleece lined nimbus,
Never enough for the scabbed *****,
Never enough for the howling idiots in the sun,
Never enough for the lunatics undistinguished,
Surely never enough for you and me.
Continuing on snickering underhanded,
Snide underbreath worried about repercussions if found out,
Maybe even too ignorantly blissful enough to not give a ****,
Head down looking at your shoes,
Or ready to inflict a flat tire,
Graceful or oafish,
Humble sniveling whelp, prodding pious peacock,
Dividing rod stuck in the teeth of our teeth,
This is the loner society,
At least tolerance is taught in our schools,
Has anyone really learned anything?
Theia Gwen Jun 2014
That boy is warm freshly printed papers
Stuffed in his overflowing binder
That boy is the leaves being painted
In early November

That boy is Pokémon cards skewed all over the floor
Who never signed up for this 'growing up' thing
That boy is a huge stuffed frog on Valentine's
Lessening the winter's violent sting

That boy is obscure facts of the arcane
A curiosity never satisfied  
That boy has an ever expanding brain
And long hands that reek of formaldehyde

That boy is beautiful freckles
"Splotches of melanin" as he puts it
That boy is compliments I don't deserve
And a love I just can't quit

That boy is a long way down
A relationship that's nowhere close to flawless
That boy is worth the fall because that boy
Is my dear Nicholas
Nico Reznick Jan 2016
(In response to "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg)

I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by sanity,
seen bold new visionaries resign themselves to clinical long-haul deaths,
drug-numbed to their own suffering, and everyone else’s;
seen raving revolutionaries give up, retire to minimalist Swedish-designed armchairs,
and never move again;
seen the horizon dim and draw ever closer,
and the tenacious lunatics with the wanderlust to stray beyond
become fewer and further between.

There are uglier destructive forces than madness:
Consider cognitive rehabilitation.
Consider absolutely nothing immeasurable.
Consider utter rationality.

Ritalin, lithium, risperidone, duloxatine. [I thought I heard a man speaking in tongues,
then I realised he was simply reading out loud from a pharmaceutical directory.]
Imagine a generation of loan brokers and loss adjustors;
Hicks gone these past seventeen years and Leary still alive;
sharks floating in formaldehyde;
all true human significance lost in pretentious symbols,
and repetition
and repetition
and repetition,
and no one raging.
No one raging for real.

Where are Plato’s maniacs now?
Where are their lunatic songs?
I hear only the steady, rational tapping of the accountants’ calculators,
occasionally, some lost and lonely *** crying out for one more shot,
and the PA system calling the next patient through, the doctor will see you now,
or asking would the owner of a light blue Honda Civic please move their vehicle,
as it’s blocking in a black Lexus full of lawyers with an ambulance to chase.

Is there really nowhere between here
and the bellow and buzz, the shiver and shriek of the asylum?
Someplace between this sterile, static, silent, windowless room
and the fizzing frenzy of the electroconvulsion suite,
there must be somewhere we might have paused and breathed and set up shop,
where we could have been happy – if we’d wanted to be –
and no more or less sane than we chose.

Dr Thompson saw it coming: the dawn of this new Age of Equilibrium.
He knew that football season was over, for good this time, and made his ballistic decision
to go stalk peacocks and hound Nixon through the Kingdom Hereafter,
assuring us, ‘Relax – This won’t hurt’.
He was right.

Safe and stable and sanitized, we can no longer follow your desperate, ***** verse.
Straitjacketed by reason, we perceive our world only in terms
of quantum and co-efficiency, of the logical and logistical,
of what can be conjured in the duration of the average commercial break,
of what can be computed to at least two decimal places.

We are the chemically castrated.
We are lobotomised by mutual consent.
We are the perfect ones: regular and moderate and so healthy, so functional.
We are the white strobing smiles of the toothpaste ads,
the poster children for good mental hygiene,
the footsoldiers of no more conflict.

We have lost our skill for the alchemy
that once distilled genius from the seething crucible of lunacy.
We medicate those whose vision would otherwise put our own to shame,
leave them as myopic and blinkered as the rest of us,
the breadth and depth and distance of their sight no longer a worry to anyone.

Give us back our madmen: we need them.
Give us back our crazed anthems, our burning shrouds, our leprous one-man-bands.
Give us back the fire and the filth and the fornication that kept us howling through
those endlessly polluted nights of Windscale and Watergate, McCarthy and motorcades, Hanoi and Hiroshima.

Please.  Give us back our madmen.
I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by sanity.
This poem is featured in my collection, "Over Glassy Horizons", available here: > tinyurl.com/amz-ogh
Taylor St Onge Oct 2015
Somewhere on the moon last night, Neil Armstrong came back to life and was standing in the middle of the Sea of Tranquility in complete darkness.  His frail, decaying hands that were no doubt filled with formaldehyde, held a rather large and sure-to-be extremely heavy boombox that loomed up and over his head, blasting “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on repeat.  He said that it crossed his mind more than once to replace the six faded white American Flags with the stereo, but ultimately decided against it.


In mythology, bleeding is considered to be a feminine attribute:  
                                                                                         * “I bleed, therefore I am.” * 
(But this is also the downfall of a version of feminism that is not intersecular.)  ((Your lunar cycle does not necessarily need to function in order to be considered a woman.))  (((I am not sure of which, if any, version of feminism Neil Armstrong subscribed to.)))

                                                ­              ­                            When a woman is bleeding, they say that she is at the height of her power; she is aligned with the tides and the cosmos.  She is celestial.  Blood is sacred,
eternal—the very essence of our beings—
                                                ­        ­      ­                      but if the Blood Moon was
                                                ­            ­  ­              really just the moon on her period,
what could she do last night she could do at no other point in her life?  
Where was her power?  She was isolated,
                                                                ­              forgotten by the sun,
                                           hidden away inside the umbra of the earth.  

(Which is the part where the masculine power of the sun rejected the most important feminine attribute of the moon.)


Michael Collins flew solo around the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin played with dust and rocks.  For 48 minutes he was completely alone, radio silenced behind the shadow, and he thought about death and being the last man standing from Apollo 11.


Inside Neil Armstrong’s speakers, Bonnie Tyler was crooning that
                      “your love is like a shadow on me all of the time,”
and I have not yet decided if this is                       good or bad.  Instead,
I am wondering if Buzz Aldrin feels sore for eternally being second best?  Or
if he still thinks that the view from the moon is still one of “magnificent desolation?”  And does he feel this way about all three of his ex-wives?  Do they know that the moon was his first love?


We name missions to the moon, to
Luna’s surface, to Diana’s territory, after a
Greek and Roman god of the sun, when
                                                            ­          wolves howl to the goddess
                                                         ­                                                               instead.
sometimes i try to be funny and yet serious idk
Irma Cerrutti Mar 2010
Alice and I were fudged fruiting inside Falstaffian freakish fleur–de–lys:
She inside a quack–aztec–tattooed tank,
Me inside a pendulous magenta harness with polydactyl–perverted plumes bespattered into it.  
In the ****** **** of that kaput flophouse
We creosoted our conks all the cockatrices of the gorge–de–pigeon,
Inside crotches, Jacuzzis and homocentric Action Men.  
Alice, with the pornographic bend sinisters in the teeth of her poltergeistish fajita crocodile,
Smacked of the plug–ugly poofter of a south–south–west by south sackful sandbank.  
I cemented the jaundiced dangler of an ostrich to my *****.  
With that and my uncut fiddlestick of knobs
I was the idiosyncratic and wholehogging sadomasochistic slapper!

We banged the bush streaming proboscis in tentacle
Through smorgasbords of hermaphrodites and high muck–a–mucks
While Ravi Shankar’s idioglossias and cockchafers juddered our titbits.  
Our Moonies were classically cracked flabelliform by the time we disinterred them.  
Alice managed to fornicate incognito white elephant on behalf of myself
And we were passionately on the back of the dingdong, naked as our Moonies.

We kept one’s pecker up wrapped up in the shadowgraph
Athwart ever-strangling girdles of formaldehyde, ozone, fomenter and widow’s weeds,
Athwart polytetrafluoroethylene–pricked precipices and then down to the butts
Where we both came to a sticky end on our jockstraps and leered at the ballet dancers
That we then penetrated rhythmically by elongating tumescent our gang banging tentacles.  
Through comfortable French knickers I burped, “Thank you for ****** me everywhere, Alice”.  
In the soporific honeypotspunk, aped on the ooze,
I could smell that her **** had made her ******* type soap flakes break the sound barrier,
Splashing out a ***** whale seed skirting her jowls.  
“You’re fragrant, flypaper”, she rapped.

The Government gabble that little green men who hammer out the sexagenarians weren’t on board.  
Inside spleen of the spliffs, inside spleen of my gangrenous Pollyanna, I will over one’s dead body evacuate.  
I will over one’s dead body evacuate.
Copyright © Irma Cerrutti 2009
Taylor St Onge May 2016
After my mother died, my room was filled with roses.  When the flowers died, my room was filled with their sweet, rotten stench for weeks on end; it sunk into my pores and into my DNA and years later, I still smell like dead roses.
                                                       My sister confuses this smell with dead lilies.

A bouquet of red roses was placed atop my mother’s coffin as it lowered six
feet down into the earth.  After the roses died, I wonder if my mother could
smell them like I did?  I wonder if she still smells them, or, more likely, how long it took for the roses to disintegrate into dust like her?  

We don’t talk about the body after death because we don’t like to be reminded of how vulnerable we really are. In high school, a boy asked me to prom using roses and lilies that were all different shades of reds and oranges and yellows like fire.  Lilies like funerals and tombstones and formaldehyde.

I don’t think he meant to remind me of death.  I don’t think his intention was to place me in a casket similar to my mother’s with its pink padded walls.  I don’t think he realized that’s where I went when I saw his basement covered in bouquets of hellfire.  I think he meant the roses to be romantic,

but I looked at them and saw my mother’s putrefying face, saw her intestines eaten away by savage bacteria and bugs, saw her eyelids drying out and peeling back like black and dead and withered lily petals.  Embalming does not prevent decomposition, only prolongs it.  I have embalmed my mother's
memory in the shape of a teal notebook.  I cannot tell if it has
                                                                       begun to decay or not.
wrote this for my adv poetry.  it started out as an experimental villanelle, but hellopoetry messed with my formatting :/
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2018
dedicated to E.B.
a man of faith
~

the-third-of-three-of-thee queries,
ask this poet anything variety pack,
3 permission-granted non-deniable answers,
though somewhat unsurprisingly,
the demands are the common deeper commonality,
yet finds the poet
flat footed, tongue raveled, searching
repeatedly for le mot juste, answers he doesn’t prefer to task,
by asking himself ever
directly

fingers and tips knotted,
their cooperative sensation severed,
unprepared to answer
deferring, with a weakish,
“it’s buried in plain sight in the
thousand + poem answers resting here
for a someday funeral oratory anticipatory”

all the tired, tried and refried and endless recycled responsa tossed into a barrel of formaldehyde;

in dissolution, perhaps the solution?

numerous are my recorded “dialogues,”
verbal battles with spirit authorities,
plenty of cursing and finger pointing
and not of the Sistine Chapel variety;
mutual forgiveness for human and supreme  errors,
not always, hardly ever,
on the tabula rasa menu

but you think
a principle, responsum est constituta
(from the principal, the answer can be derived)
therefore, yes, he must be...

but
the poet replies faith in what,
meaning he has the surety of none

then!
the phone rings and the poem begins:
in a voice of heretofore unknown register,

<•>


“I am the highest authority
none greater

I am but and only the first creator;
my touch operates at the spiderweb level,
the muse of muses,
present in the first grazing garden of lips,
the cacophony clarity of the avians swapping stories
in the early morn,
my worldwide alarm clock,
the wafted word,
breeze born when any poet stumbles on what comes next,
I am scented cherry blossoms, the breath in the iris newly come, and quickly gone,
the spiders web
where there yesterday there was none,
I am the first poem,
and will be the last

the new skin neath the scab,
the cooing of a grandchild that
sun melts hardy men grizzled who think
there is nothing new under the sun

the counter movement of every wave that shushes,
requesting global silence,
even when no human present to applaud

I am the smile upon the surgeon exiting
the operating room,
his right hand of confidence,
the arm draped upon a strangers shoulder
who weeps unabashedly for
undisclosed reasons that do not matter

you ask the poet
is he a man of faith
a bewildering query that obtains
diffident daily responsa, for the very question
is an ever changing variable

easy come and easy go
for what is faith but a traveling circus,
a summer day, forgot as it melds with next,
faith in?
me? hardly...

who could sustain a belief in the invisible hand that is the breeze between blades of grasses where the snowflakes will later accumulate as if nesting

even faith in himself
is a passing cloud,
a short term rental

but in that instance
he is faithful personified
for he “discovered”
the next word to close and complete,
the poem that did not exist prior

thus faith stored and restored
he believes once more if but for
a seconds-long knowing a defining of
faith

  thus he is neither solved or dissolved;
yet, is resolved to keep getting
closer to that completion
that affords him, or any poet,
to own the faith that affords belief
John F McCullagh Mar 2013
In preserving Hugo Chavez,
every method will be tried.
If stuffing Hugo doesn’t work,
They’ll try Formaldehyde.

Madam Tussaud’s was consulted
But their wax was doomed to melt.
It is steamy in Caracas
And Hugo’s not exactly svelte.

A corpse in a glass coffin
Like Snow White on display
The late lamented Hugo
Was a saint some peasants say.

What is it with these communists
Who all faiths do decry?
They long to be like Lenin;
To be worshiped, deified.

In the end they'll use McDonald's
secret sauce to tan his hide.
Their burgers last forever
don't get me started on their fries.

If you go to Venezuela
Be sure and say hello for me
To the carcass of Caracas
preserved for posterity.
Day Mar 2014
You are
every fallen piece of skin
and strand of hair you
left behind, along with
the perfume that
I can't seem to wash
from my pillow.

I spilled your love into my
sink and tried to wash it with
formaldehyde,
I bartered your words away to
the 90% of the grey matter
I don't use,
I taught myself to pretend
every emotion in your eyes
were just a mirror of mine-
but, despite all of this,
I can never coax my
memories to reject you.

This body was never your temple.
It was never your kingdom.
It was your carpet,
which you burned with each
steely gaze and flaming word,
and which you trampled upon after
every storm.

You were every broken stone I
painted bone-white
after you hurled them into the heavens
only to watch them fall
again-
onto me.

Carving your name into my ribs,
you taught me to
sigh you into existence
each post-mortem night,
and I haven't found a room yet
where I can breathe without
inhaling you in
again.
Samir Jun 2012
an anomaly
few roots are many roots of the same tree
from outside I am within the bark that encloses me

here ye here ye! polygonal me
mocking you an apology
all a'Riddle first due to the very nature
my skin my leaf

contradictory, the roots they twist on me
the vines of me
the veins of me

my pain you cannot see
my pain you cannot see

double vision two no three
four or infinity to a varying degree

my body tis' of thee, tangled up insanity
of thee I sing

***** from my fathers side
egg from my mothers side
brain and heart formaldehyde
let my moods swing

polygonal me an anomaly
normally unnatural
and artificially indeed
through means of fabrication
and good malicious deed

confiscatory generous
and metaphorically my breed
sarcastically scholastic
institutionalized branches
from the end to my seed

divinely soulless
constrictedly free
interestingly boring
grammatical greed

desperately selfish
slowly with speed
movingly static
hungry to feed

constantly moving
polygonal anomaly
how many sides
to a coin always flipping
to a coin always spinning

polygonal me
transparency
just
like
a
tree

there are many sides to a story
through shadows cannot see
the interlocking counterparts
elbows, knees, branches on trees.

who says they can't get along?
I say they have to disagree.
why can't they just let it be?
why don't you be you?...
and me be me me me me.

Just like a tree
whistling and singing
chirping with glee
waking me up at 6:30
though shadows cannot see
an anomaly sometimes
they play tricks on me

polygonal me
Chris Voss Mar 2011
Mine is a generation of taboo.
We are tribal tattoos and cheap motel room honeymoons.
We are slander,
and slang,
and brittle teeth.
We are born-agains and suicides.
We are podium preachers and cracked-pavement prayers.
We are melted plastic and oxidized metal-
sometimes we gleam with the Liberty Green of corroded copper,
sometimes we crumble with rust and stain calloused hands.
We are the last stand of Art.
We are the manifestations of forbidden bloodlines
and insanity.
We are just as much our mothers
as we are our fathers,
and we are everything that they are not.

We are stigmata.
We are red paint on white canvas.
We are fast food coffee.

We were born to the sweet smell of formaldehyde
in rooms dressed in florescent white
that share plumbing with the morgues
beneath the linoleum floors.
We are the mix of ***** and innocence that lingers
in the kiss of a dimly lit basement.
We show and we tell but always only for the right price,
the wrong reasons,
or the promise of an exchange equaling to the feeling that
this is a mistake.
We are rosary beads counted between gnarled knuckles
and dragged across smooth palms that long
to sweep tear salt from flushed cheeks.

We are Heaven's lonely singles.

We are skin stretched out too thin over skeletons.
We are the complexities that machines can't calculate
much less imitate.
We are the futile cries that once tried to keep towers from falling
when the sky came crashing down.
We are the pardoned and the withered.
We are the hardened faces of those that have
worked too long
and been loved too little.
We have been told that the safest place for your soul
is in the hole of your chest,
but only if it's reinforced by
four inches of concrete and steel,
and strapped tight with a Kevlar vest,
because they said people,
at best,
are manslaughter.

But we have never been great listeners either;
when we were growing up
we pressed our hands to hot stoves
even though our mothers said not to,
because we couldn't just be told what it was to burn
we had to feel it for ourselves.
So every now and then we will crack open
our rib cages in the hopes that someone will come,
light a fire,
and decide to stay.

We hopelessly spray paint things like wings
On deserted brick buildings
So that, at the very lest, we can feed the
Hollow-eyed passerby the belief
That these streets still have guardians,
Even when we, ourselves,
Abandoned such ideologies in
backroad dumpsters
along with our deities’ infidelities.
  
We are the period at the end of the sentence.
(Or maybe we are the ellipses...)
We have redefined the American family
and proven that even Christianity knows how to hate.
We were raised by sixty-percent divorce rates,
yet we still believe that we are soul mates.
We are the jokers of the deck:
either smiling fools or wild cards.
We are cocked heads with smoke billowing from throats
coated with blisters and cough syrup.
We are back alley scavengers crawling on all fours.
We are the era of the Auto-Tuned voice,
proof that with a pretty enough face anyone can sing.
We are foggy mirrors with smiles drawn on them
by print-less fingertips.
We slip up the thighs of our lovers
and swirl down the drains of sinks with chipped paint.

We are the hearts in your hands-
Crush us into powder and brush us across your face like Indian war paint,
Give us up to the sky so that we can be revived by lightning,
Dance to the rhythm that we beat,
Squeeze us and watch as we seep through the cracks of your fist,
Conceal us in your pocket and only ever speak to us in a whisper,
Or,
with all your natural voice,
sing to us
songs about thunderstorms
to wet the dusty desert dirt around our rooted toes
in the hopes that we will blossom in the most vivid colors.

Just do something with us.

Don't sacrifice us to the tops of lost bookshelves
to collect dust
or rust in the rain with everything you once loved
but grew too old for.
C. Voss (2009)
Anthony Perry Jan 2016
Violence is real and natural. Multidimensional, it exists in every form of life. Its visceral, it shears through the thickest ice, survives the coldest vice and won't shatter when thrown from incredible hieghts.

Violence is quick and unjust.
It swiftly infects the blood then slowly turns a useful mind to rust, takes away all that someone is and replaces it with formaldehyde and sawdust, it wants to watch as the body succumbs to deaths lust.

Violence is hard and true.
It's an event, a car crash that forced a woman out of the windshield like a 12 gauge slug pumped straight into the heart of a child who's witnessed skin hanging from the hole his mother just went through.

Violence is in the air like a pathogen, infecting us with an experience that executes our innocence, genocide, created from hate by that precious few.
In one dimension or another, it's the backbone of every great nation and of all life, it's nothing new.
austin Aug 2018
Imagine if these words meant nothing.
This is a blank page.
A string of letters is not a word if it is meaningless
There's hardly reason to read on.

This road is a dead end.
There's nowhere left to go.
I don't remember what it means to feel.
Happiness doesn't exist if emotion isn't real.

A world of color hardly exists in the dark.
A stagnant river could **** you.
Love isn't real if emotion doesn't exist.
I checked my pulse and I felt nothing.
This poem is meant to describe the feeling of numbness I have felt after a period of depression. The feeling of having what seems like no feelings at all, sometimes. Almost like being a corpse still walking.
Andrei Jul 2010
Slippery insanity careens through marble forests,  
trained insurgents capture dragon flies
grinding them up for pixie dust,
cowards siphon rain drops from entangled subatomic particles
inscribing hopeless anecdotes for economical tyranny,
bloated bumble bees bomb pearl harbor,
golden harps sprout wings chasing lost lovers
nourishing their insipid dreams,
homophobes parade **** inside sinking ships,
graveyards sneeze showers of formaldehyde,
nature's chemical cathedrals synthesize
the eleven dimensions of space and time,
summer's daughter bathes in autumn's waters
a myriad of memories engraved in the brain's tissues
trace the tapestry of neural plasticity
Prometheus's pollution and the alchemist's sunset
Geno Cattouse Nov 2012
This topic is near and dear so let me ask you the reader
I just want to take the pulse or check the reflexes.
Ladies and gentlemen. Step right up step right up.
Little closer now dont let the smell of formaldehyde turn you aside.

This is something that goes on.
The government thinks it has a right.to.

1.Tax you while you live.

2. Levy a an exit tax when you croak. How is that for a sick joke.
This is just an observation, a point of fact.
Ever been to an Irish wake.
Ther's drinking and singing
Tall tales abound as the guest of honor poses ashen and.stil.

A drink is on standby. As a test of his will.

Here's a wee snort for you laddie just reach up and knock this one back


And sing us a shanty or a sad mournfull tune .


You say what?. Yeah that's a shell game where the rules change
Like I change underwear. Now that I pulled you leaches of my sack.
Hey come back we want more.
Gareth Poffley Aug 2013
So here it is
cut open laid bare to the world
pulsing and contracting the rawness of sensation
an oddity of sameness we've all seen
yet find repulsive inside all of us
but ignored
lest it be cut open
and laid bare to the world

The jars of formaldehyde arranged
in your favorite place
contain a backward past where we once gawked
waxy and unreal eyes
filmed over and disjointed
if they looked back at us would they have paid
the admission price?

When you open it up to see
how it all works and something precious
is carved open to the nerve
dancing to the rhythm of its change
like those jars of formaldehyde in your favorite place
we stare for a moment
nod our heads in deep contemplation
and then we go for lunch
Lori Carlson Jan 2011
I lay upon cold steel, blinding lights loom
above my head. I hear my brain
confirm 'minor surgery' and then you
enter the room, scalpel in hand, aimed
at my chest. Not there! my mind screams,
then I feel the burn of ripped flesh;
a repugnant stench fills the room, a familiar smell,
the sickening, salty odor of blood.
Bones and cartilage moan as the scalpel shreds
with swift precision, one target in mind:
a fist-sized beating *****. Extraction.
I raise my head from frosted steel
in time to see your deed: ****** fingers,
clinched into claws, dive into the open cavity,
gouge holes into either side and wrench
the tiny ***** from its cave.
You hold it high above your head, a trophy;
crimson drips down your arm, soaks
a white sleeve like spilt wine on lace; you open
a glass jar, formaldehyde mixes with drops of blood
as the ***** plunges into your solution
©2K11, Lori Carlson
Andrew T Hannah Jun 2013
The way you walk is like a rhythmic melody to my eyes, the way you speak flows from your red-stained lips like an evergreen stream of desires; your beautiful glowing iris' almost ******* me into their eternally entrapping gaze; never to release me....
The skin that surrounds your delicate frame is only highlighted by the glow of artificial lighting in this dim basement of dreams; pure white skin fascinating me to the point of rapture.
There is not one imperfection on your body, not one; even the slightest of scars are not visible or have been cured by some magical force or your naturally healing qualities.

It's a dream. You must be a beautiful dream.

You smile at me, eyes narrowing with that shine of happiness and obliviousness, god how I wish those eyes would never tear me away from their view.  
Your long, flowing hair stark contrast with your snowy complexion, framing your face as perfectly as a porcelain doll's...

All dolls, no matter how flawless, can break, can't they?

You ask why we are here in this dimly lit room, no one home, just you and me. I smile my typical smile, dimples showing which somehow causes you to giggle and blush, only bringing my excitement to an even higher level.
I tell you that it's special, that I was going to show you something very interesting that only you would know about.

Like a secret.
  
The grin stretches across those cherry-red lips of yours in a Cheshire-like fashion, curiosity abounding in those deep blue eyes that flash into mine like the glare of light in a window.

If only you could see my eyes had turned black as coal.

I open another door in this finely destructed basement of mine, only darkness thickly coating it with it's solid ink.
You cling to my steadfast arm, sending my nerves into overload. Your body trembles a bit, just so slightly; I know when you're frightened.

Don't those eyes look beautiful, shining like a does in the headlights before the initial impact of steel on bone?

You look at me, solid white teeth biting your lower lip in an almost child-like manner. I tilt my head and grin, telling you there's absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Truly there isn't. I only had told you I wanted to show you something, didn't I?

I tell you to wait, wait in the dim lighting of the now menacing underground I call my home. You try to speak, to let the pure doves alight my way in the dark, but I had already followed the shadows inside, tracing the crusted walls in search of the switch that would bring this fantasy to life.

Flick goes the switch.

I hear the sharp intake of breath even though there wasn't one, the sound of your eyes snapping open no matter how desolate the sound was; I know what you do, how you think, how you act to any situation. I had observed your reaction when I led you to the dead body of a feline on the road, body crushed into a dull paste whilst the cracked and broken bones jut upwards in a grotesque display; mouth open in a final shriek that was cut short by the incoming vehicle that had become it's executioner.

You stare at the velvet red walls and the cracked and marred white floor. I know what you're thinking as your gaze turns to the tools hanging on the wall. Which do you like more, the buzz saw or the hedge clippers? I truly wonder which.

Your hands begin to shake.

Ask me why. Go ahead and ask. I told you I was going to show you something that no one else will ever know. Your focus happens to turn to the jars on the crooked and unstable wooden desk. My life's work lie in still beauty, the tender yet dangerous piece of the anatomy trapped and preserved in the perfume of formaldehyde.

I always thought your slender hands were breathtaking.

Before you have a chance to open that tiny mouth of yours I grab your miniature wrist, pulling you into my room of fantasies.
Can't you just feel the walls quivering with excitement? Can't you feel the hands exploring your body in feverish delight?  

You scream, the sound echoing beautifully in the room, a truly splendid noise to my transfixed ears. How I loved to picture this cloth over your eyes; this tape over your shapely mouth. It was surprisingly easy to tie your delicate body down, wandering eyes covered to make your mind race, mouth taped shut as to feel your soon to be surgery of desire.

Desire for me, that is.

This is a fantasy come to life.

I grab the tool with the teeth of unforgiving malice, it craves to feel that perfectly flawless skin of yours; to cut away that soft cover with it's metallic blade.

Who am I to deny it?

You begin to writhe in your *******, how I am glad you decided to wear your finest white dress for this occasion. I pull the cord, bringing the creature to life. A muffled scream of terror floats through the tape, but that is no matter to the beast in my hand.

I bring it to your flesh, seeing it rip your foundation away in a smooth yet ****** fashion, dying that dress of yours a crimson colour.

I always knew red was the perfect shade for you.

You try to become free of your bonds, wrists twisting in desperation to escape the leather that holds you there. The red burns that appear on your wrists look beautiful, like a blush to entice me.

Does it hurt? Do you feel the painful sting in your abdomen? I watch as red ribbons gush out of your freshly made wound, decorating your body with it's trail. My eyes soften as your tongue manages to rip away the tape holding your lips together and shiver as your cries bounce and reflect off the walls.

I put down the creature in my hand, cutting off it's life, then use my own dangerous instruments. Like slipping under the covers my hand went, feeling the pulsing life and heat of your insides, caressing the organs that maintain your body.

A shrill cry escapes your lips once more, forcing me to clench my living tool over your slippery insides, feeling them slide in a painfully gut-wrenching way; causing your face to twist in such a new and delightfully horrified expression.

Have you had enough already?

That's too bad, seeing how you were the cat who decided to follow me into the basement, the doe that stopped once it saw it's quickly approaching demise...

I wake up and wonder if you'll come over today.

Because I have something I want to show you.

But don't tell anyone...

It's a Secret.
dj Dec 2012
what on earth is this feeling
(yellowing formaldehyde)
kind of like old heartbreak reeling

a vivisection, never healing
coat & spray on the insecticide
what on earth is this feeling

criminal butterflies stealing
the cogs & screws in my arthropod insides
kind of like old heartbreak reeling

heartthrobs come frenzied then unfeeling
my vague worries preside
what on earth is this feeling

whateverphobia; a personal ceramic ceiling
to myself, is how I've always lied
kind of like old heartbreak reeling

carcass littered webs are usually unappealing
my own web has much to elide
kind of like old heartbreak reeling
what on earth is this feeling
the villanelle has been often used (for the element of repetition in the form) to express feelings of dislocation and disassociation. I've always found it ironic that such a rigidly structured poem could be used for such a feeling. (I completely said '**** it' with the meter, though)
Broken hearts are lost, confined and chained to the wall
by a chain link fence so sharp and strong;
disabling a soul from moving on.
Combustive beating heart,
distrusting evil ****,
she ****** me over and drifted away
like a formaldehyde ****.
© Christopher Rossi, 2010

— The End —