Tag Archives: Weird Poetry

THE MIRROR LASTING

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When I look in the mirror lasting, I see a landscape,

Where death has not walked and sanity leaves no footprint.

Stars cut the mountains and the horizon bleeds.

So shines the mirror lasting,

Through which the dark things feed.

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STRANGE CONVERSATIONS

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Please be quiet,

I am trying to speak with my feet.

They don’t have ears and don’t hear so well,

So I have to shout.

THE LAMIA

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Night is a woman
With fist-sized breasts
And bronze skin,
That’s soft like dusk’s lavender wine.
Her polished-bone eyes
Are the white halos
That encircle the moon.

Her fingers,
Strong and fierce,
Web across the sky
Like the bleak, barren limbs
Of a wintered tree,
Enclosing everything,
Locking it in her touch.

Smooth, milk thighs
Lengthen into rounded calves
As her back arches.
She Leans against the horizon
Tossing her thick, auburn hair backward,
So that it shimmers across the ocean,
Tickling the somber water into gentle fury.

She drips lazily across the treetops,
The stars balanced on her fingertips
Like a thousand silver razors.
Her tight, velvet skirt
Blushes the black mountains in liquid crimson,
As her arms, like a noose of ice,
Slip around my neck.

And I dream.

INTO THE DREAMTIME

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INTO THE DREAMTIME

Kneeling on the edge of some shameful dream,
The sky lingers on the verge of twilight,
Neither day nor night, but in-between,
As the lulling clouds roll overtop,
Like an ocean inverted above our heads,
That leaves the stars to drown,
In twilight’s speckled spider’s web.
The birds fly backward,
Painting the mountains purple
With their gentle, black wingtips,
While the first lights of the waking sun
Swirl into puddles of orange and red,
And for a moment, Time is forgotten,
As if it had never been.

LOVE AND HATE

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Love and Hate

 

Love doesn’t rhyme with fate;

She doesn’t pine away in pigtails,

In her little pink room, dissecting daisies.

 

And she doesn’t write poetry;

She doesn’t sop up syrupy words,

With blank squares of paper.

 

Love’s the one waiting in the alley,

With the brass knuckles.

THE WOLF AT THE ATTIC DOOR

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With October’s chills and strange things lurking just around the corner, I thought I’d post a story I wrote a few year ago. Parts of the story later grew into scenes of the novel I’m working on now.

THE WOLF AT THE ATTIC DOOR

“There’s a wolf at the attic door. It’s growlin’ in the dark and waitin’…” My father’s voice is the biggest part of him. It booms through the church sanctuary and worms its way up into the attic. It’s what wakes me up.

“… clawin’ and scratchin’… dark things don’t want in, ya see. Dark things are always a-wantin’ out—”

The dark is nice. I can feel it around me and I want to go back to sleep, to slip back to where I was before. Warmth, that’s what I want. But I’m not going to find it in the attic while I’m sprawled on the old sanctuary table. This do, in remembrance of me. As my hands slip down, I can feel the words etched into the side and I remember how I used to play under it while my father wandered through the empty pews on Monday mornings, meticulously checking the hymnals for pencil marks and torn pages.

Churches are different on Mondays. here are no amens and no music. No singing. They’re silent and hollow.

“… each of us got that hungry part that tries to fill us up … “

My father smiles sometimes. Mainly when he’s putting on his show in the pulpit as he calls it. You have to make a show or no one listens. At home, he’s always different—like a church on Mondays. Every time he talks to me, it’s like he’s reading a eulogy for someone he never really liked.

My mother tried to cover the old sanctuary table with a fancy tablecloth when it broke the first time. I was seven back then and I’d play under it and feel the cloth tickle against my arm. It was a whispery kind of touch.

“… that thing lurkin’ under our skins, it’s in anybody. Any man can give into that wolf …”

Sitting up on the table, I notice the jack-o-lantern next to me. It’s one of the few things I ever did with my father. It’s our ritual. Yellow candlelight fills its triangle eyes and leaks out its jagged mouth.

“… once you open that door … once you give into that hunger . . . “

The girl tonight was nineteen and a year older than me. She fought and she cried.

“… hunger … in the end, we got to remember that everything’s hungry.”

She was beautiful and I used to watch her when she’d swim down by the river after dark. Someone else did more than watch. He cut her. And she fought him. I couldn’t move. The man with the knife carved a jack-o-lantern’s zigzag smile across her perfect throat. And I was too late to save her, but I saw his face. I knew him and he knew me.

“… and we’re always too scared to call that wolf by name, to throw open that door and call him out …”

I wasn’t. Not by the river. I said, “Dad.”

You’ve stepped into the grown up world, Levi, the hungry world, he said yesterday by the river. He hit me in the face until the world became blurry and then held my head under the water. But drowning takes a long time.

“… hunger …”

Water’s always hungry. It sucks you down and doesn’t want to give you back. But my father brought me back here after I died. He tucked me away in his attic. Everyone thinks I killed that girl and the others. What he’s saying down there is an apology and that I ran off.

My father used to say that superstitions are just insurance against dark things.

“… in the old days, they carved pumpkins to keep evil away … when the veil between the living and the dead is thin like …”

It is tonight.

“A face to frighten and a candle to hold the dark things at bay … “

But there are other voices now and they’re louder than my father’s. I can hear them—the girl my father killed tonight and all the others. Their bodies left down by the river. Their voices are so soft, so cold. Like the water. And I can understand the one word that they whisper–hungry.

“… as long as we’ve got that light burnin’, that bit of good, we can keep that ole wolf away. He can try to scratch and paw and claw … But as long as we have that light, he’s locked in that attic … we’re safe … “

And I think about the girls and feeling their icy hands on my shoulders. And feeling their wonderful cold sinking into my skin. They are just voices, but I want to feel the girl’s wet hair against the side of my face. She’s beautiful with her rotting skin and the branches tangled in her clothes. They’re all beautiful. Waiting here for a night like tonight. For someone like me.

“Hungry,” they whisper, soft like old fabric.

And my father’s voice makes me smile now. “… you see the dark it’s got teeth and nails and it’s … “

Hungry.

The little flame in the jack-o-lantern flickers. When I peer in through the eye, I can see the simple white candle and the pools of wax it’s floating in. Just a little insurance against the dark, my father used to say. Something to keep the hungry dark away. To keep us safe.

I lean over to the jack-o-lantern and blow out the candle. Then I reach for the door.

I’m so very, very hungry.

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF CARVER STREET

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This is a poem that I wrote sometime ago and published.  The poem stuck into my head and I ended up writing a novel, Lott’s Mountain,  in which the secrets of 210 Carver street are revealed.   Check out the poem and the book, too, once it’s released:

 

There’s a house at the end of Carver Street–
All broken windows and boarded-up doors.
An old, rusted van sulks in the driveway,
With its small, black windows all covered in tape,
To hide things.

There’s a chimney on the house at the end of Carver Street–
A few of the bricks have fallen out,
So that it looks like it’s smiling through rotten teeth;
But the backyard is nice and has lots of trees and little white flowers,
And bones sticking up through the grass.

It’s not like all the other houses;
No, something lives in that house–
It creeps behind the curtains,
Remembering and watching,
And it’s lonely.

They get worse after dark–the noises–
Because the little white fence can’t keep them in,
Not the crying,
Not the whispers,
Not the cutting sounds.

We all remember Carver Street,
And that house.

Yes, we’ve all been there before–
Down the rotten stairs,
Through the cobwebs with the fat, black spiders,
In the very, very dark room in the basement,
With all of the knives and sharp things.

And in the backyard.

We all know that house at the end of Carver Street,
Because we’re the ones who have never left.

Teddy Bear Heads

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Here’s a poem a published a bit ago. I read it out loud at a poetry ready once … Geez, you write one poem about Teddy Bear Heads and you’re marked for life.

Teddy Bear Heads

I love teddy bear heads,
With their cute little glass eyes.
I know they watch me when I’m sleeping;
They think I don’t know, but I do.

And I really like their fluffy fur,
Their fuzzy, round ears,
And the little stump of stuffing,
Where their necks should be.

I whisper my special secrets to them,
Because I know they won’t tell anyone.
I love teddy bear heads,
Especially when they start talking back to me.