Thursday, February 3, 2011

death is not the end, it is the afterglow, life-hater (a collection of 19 poems)

i. purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening

it never ends
eye dilations eye bursting through the colour
looking like gutted rabbits on the plate of a giant
don't look don't look don't look
behind just run
with breath too stagnant in the bottom of lungs
fingers twitch twitch twitching peeling skin off bone
teeth rotted with wheel grinding and white crystals that
shoot through a piece of paper green like bullets from a gun
just don't look behind you think of the
and the blood trickling down your nose


ii. depression

in this cage
the seventeen birds guarding my heart
desperately beat their wings trying to escape
the stench of rotting flesh permeating their nostrils
the copper blood turned black bubbling in their throats
all the lifewill oozing out their pores
dreams dripping off inky claws
that scrape the walls of this sinking ship
whose captain has locked the door and destroyed the key
left the lights off and turned the stove on
lain down while humming
if you want to sing out, sing out
and if you want to be free, be free
the notebook paper on the nightstand with the scrawled words
            FLY AWAY

iii. between the click of the light and the start of the dream

between the click of the light and the start of the dream
the electrocution we undergo is astounding
the spark of energy coursing through our veins
crackling in our bones
bending our spines and tongues so far
the marrow turns to ash
the blood boils over our seams
and the threads that puppet our eyelids
start to dance
as we close our pandora's box of waking consciousness
and descend into the layers of morpheus' realm...

iv. and the angels shook their chains and cried 'turn back'

 sign over heaven reads:

would you rather have nothing to lose
or know everything there is to know

would you be wise, yet hated and feared
or be unknown, insignificant, living in misery and grime
able to feel the purest emotions

would you like to be perfect and cold dead
or terminally flawed and a heart bearing warm blooded animal

do you want to play god
or be human

somewhere, there is freedom
but it cannot be found here

v. i am the lizard king

i am the sun burning holes in the eyes of those
who have forgotten that my light will destroy them

i am the leaf on the ground, engulfed in sun
my veins and skeleton transparent through my pale green skin

i am the soul outside of the body
looking down at myself acting&reacting to life while on autopilot

i am the smoke curling out from my mouth
the sparks shooting through my body start the fire

i am lost in reality where real is not what you think real is
and everything i hold dear fades into the background as unimportant

i am god

i am life


the root of all things good and evil

i am it all.

vi. life after death

spread the ashes of the colours over this heart of mine
bury me in white satin under the peach trees, the same place
where my mother entered into this world, screaming and free
damned into this life by generations of women selfish enough
not to ask their developing fetuses if they wanted to be pushed
and cursed out into blinding cold light and air

carry me to the dried-up river and lay me down in its folds
stroke my hard, pale cheek and brush my dry hair from my face
reform my lips from their grimace to an expression of peace
breathe into me your life, your soul
so that i can cross the styx safely and arrive at the gates of hades
without the sightless stares of the bloodless rending me blind

dress me in white, the colour of innocence and purity
two things i never was, not even in my earliest days out of the womb
humans can never be innocent or pure once they taste
the unforgivable breath of terre or once they swallow the dirt
of life, their lungs heaving
their bones aching with the knowledge of the world

do not forget me yet, grave-digger
keep me in your memory, in one of the unused rooms in your mind
and once in a while, cross the dried-up river and the long horsetail grass
kneel under the peach trees and place a flower on my tombstone
send me hope in the form of a sparrow, to help me cross
the darkness to elysium.

vii. the death

i stare at this button on the sofa
stare at it until all meaning of fabric and bone goes away
and the only thought running through my mind is

why must i die?

why must i endure this pain
this slow, agonizing, creeping pain
hour after hour, day after day
three months of spreading pain
drilling through the cores of my bones
a dull poignant ache that never diminishes
never grows, is simply there
there in the early hours of the morning
at three o'clock when i gasp out in fear
there in the afternoon when the slow lull
of the curtains mocks my position, still on the couch
there in the evening when the callers come
to play bridge and drink coffee

oh god what did i ever do to deserve this pain
didn't i live according to your plan
well and pleasantly with no conflict
conveniently and quietly, in my world
of cheap antiques and wailing relatives
my smirking acquaintances colleagues
my hacking wife and my whorish daughter
i lived with ease and well so why must you punish me so
with this pain this pain this pain

always there, always gnawing at me
wanting my body, my soul

take my body, take my soul
take them take them take them
cursed pain, take them
give me death, give me anything else except this

no! i see its face looming towards me
eyes glittering in the back of its head
chuckling and sharpening its claws that plunge
into the human's treasure and take out his prized possession
in bloody tatters while he screams in horror

my cracked dry mouth opens and my throat swells
my tongue hangs limply with my teeth and the dark abyss
of my body shows through and death comes with its silken grimy paws
smiles its cheshire cat smile and whispers in my ear

i have come for you

get off, demon! take your filthy body off my chest
your stinking breath of fear and hopelessness
i cannot bear you and this pain both within my frail mind
do not touch me with your curse, i have still yet to live

to live, to live, let me still live, i have done no wrong
i have done no wrong so why must i die, i am not like everyone else
i have lived according to plan, this cannot be my end,
bitter and unfulfilled, staring at a bone button on a sofa
you have no right to take this away from me
selfish god, you have no reason to snuff me out like this

yet i cannot remember the last time i smiled
nor the last time i felt truly good
save my childhood memories, those few snapshots
of nostalgia that flicker in my memory sometimes
yet i lived well and pleasantly, i cannot remember
the last time i was quite happy
not ambitious nor self-satisfied, but truly simply happy
my life, a sham nicely covered by the veil of attempted richness
those around me, deceitful liars, constantly saying that i'll get better
that i am not dying, that i will live longer

no, i am dying
i have not lived the way i should have lived
and now i must pay the price and die

but what if i can still make amends
and live in these last moments, these last hours
i scream my pain three days
i scream my anguish and my hatred for my wife
for the specialist doctors who told me to keep taking my pills
for my daughter who cannot understand my pain
i scream my pity for my son, too young to realize his father's death
i scream my useless life away

and finally, i scream for joy
because i have finally lived and been pressed down by death
so far and so deep that it has lost sight of me
it cannot find me here, bathed in light

oh god, i have conquered it
death is finished
it is no more

viii. ecstasy

if you see a shadow there's something there
between the ceiling and the dark spots of the room
under the bed and behind the wires of the tv
lodged between the cracks of walls and squeezed
through the floorboards and windows

i lift my head and the world whooshes in and out
my stomach turns over and my flesh burns to the touch
my heart's beating three times faster than usual
and in my mind the question am i going to die creaks
like a broken record

am i going to die

am i

am i going to

i am going to die




no, baby, you're not going to die
not now not yet
god doesn't let young fools like you off so easily
he's a sadistic bastard who jacks off to the idea
of bringing us to heaven once
letting us taste that indescribable joy
then plunging us back down again to earth
parched mouth, rolling eyes, crying throat

so hard and so fast
that we look around us in the morning when we wake
and instead of fearing death
we yearn for it with all of our being
because life is not enough

it is not enough

ix. how phobias start

you gotta give it time
she says, as she locks me in her owl eyes
opens her cherry lips slightly
as her snake tongue darts out
and barely touches the tips of my fingers
managing only to get the nails wet

you'll get used to it soon
she smiles as her hands curl behind my neck
and my hair parts like the red sea
as everything else in my body splits into the ocean
and her breath floods into my mouth
to the back of my throat, coats my lungs
and infiltrates my heart

long after she leaves, my skin still tastes like her
and she's left her temptress imprint on me
my sheets and my brain

i've washed these damn hands until they're raw and bloody
but i still can't get the smell of weed and cum off

x. theodora

in those days their blood was still warm
before i began to learn
how to mould them into perfect beings
devoid of all the traits
that had made their predecessors burn&crash

in those days their tongues were still alive
before i began to learn
that love begets jealousy begets hate begets pity begets
all that i had sworn myself to cast away
into the deep ends of the earth

in those days their eyes were still filled with fire
before i began to learn
that those bridges called beauty would erode
that the purest of all can crumple into the twisted of all
in one simple second

in those days i was truly happy
before i began to learn
that i was making an image of myself
looked into the mirror and realized
i had not met up to my own creation's standards.

xi. obsession ii

i've been learning how to know you
truly know you without touching you
without even looking at you
i can simply close my eyes and feel you
radiating before me, your body pulsating
across from mine and the distance between our flesh
thick with impenetrable electricity

i've tattooed your form on the inside of my eyelids
your autumn hair cascading down your curved shoulders
your green eyes taking ahold of me and drowning me
in the ocean of your enlarged pupils
your skin, white from years of sitting inside
and naming the sun your worst enemy

your fingers, long and fragile, quick and flexible from a lifetime
of piano and woman loving
your legs, stretched out before you, the feet pointed towards the floor
thighs open, pale neck stretched so your head lolls backwards

you are a goddess and i cannot help but worship you
i cannot help my eager and clumsy attempts to make love to you
true love to you and for you, and maybe you can love me too
maybe if i make you breathe fast enough
or maybe if i make the sweat pour down your breasts
maybe if i can get you to say my name or to say
'babe you were good' with that smirk that barely shows your wolf teeth

and maybe if i could become the best lover you ever had and ever will have
if i could have access to those lips
oh god, those lips that part ever so slightly
as the smoke that comes out curls over your chin and cheeks
and reaches my mouth and enters my throat and lungs
to coat my organs with tar and sex appeal

if i could swim in that smoke, if i could just conquer that mouth of yours
i could catch you, beautiful bird, and cage you in my heart
keep you there until you cried out that you'd had enough, but i would not let you out
because don't you know, when you love someone, they belong completely to you
and only to you

i swear that tonight i will make you mine
you will not escape until i consume you
eat you, drink you, and our bodies interweave
until i become you and you become me
and we burn up in flames as we consummate our love.

xii. once a groupie, always a groupie

keep the car running
and the windows rolled up
the cigarette butts in the empty coke can
and the key in the ignition
let the thick smoke clog up the stale air
and the syringes in the glove compartment sit

flaming pink fingernails obsessively tapping the wheel
while long, pale legs cross over each other
black, translucent dress beckoning a closer look
spoilt cherry lips popping piercing mint gum

break through the neon yellow barricade
watch the crack spread like spiderweb 'cross the windshield
say goodbye to this cruel, unforgiving world
pray to jesus that he'll make your body look sexy even in death
as the blood drips off the dashboard

for several seconds you are a bird
wind under feathers lifting you towards the sun
until you feel your stomach drop sickeningly
and you force out a laugh that sounds like a strangled cat
instead of a proud, fierce goddess

you crashed and burned, alright
but you're not a phoenix and you won't rise from the ashes to the papers
only because you're dead doesn't mean you're redeemed
it just means you're dead

you're still the crack whore your mother said you'd become
blowing talent, hoping something else besides stds would rub off
but only because you wore jesus on your necklace
doesn't mean he didn't think you were a poser anyway

xiii. if the neon bible is true

*for all those who have been discriminated against because of their sexual preferences or gender identity

if the neon bible is true
then let me breathe my last breath
and let me join the others below

let me stare down into the murky waters
feel my body plummeting into liquid concrete
if the neon bible is true

let me be left bloody and torn on the grimy sidewalk
in front of the flickering multi-coloured sign
and let me join the others below

mould me into clay and do with me as you will
for i am yours to take and destroy i am not human
if the neon bible is true

don't let my body be eaten by nature, for i am not worthy
proclaim to the heavens that i have damned a nation
and let me join the others below

tear off my clothes and consume me fully with your body
for in between my screams i will be grateful to you
if the neon bible is true
then let me join the others below

xiv. don't blink.

the sound is not asleep, it's moving under my feet
not a shout, but a whisper, hardly heard by the dreaming
it creeps on wispy heels, its fingers lacing 'round the earth
and appears in the shady corners of our trembling nerves

it inches slowly up our bodies, starting at our soles
shallowly breathing all the secrets of the world
speaking to us in the night, leading us through the maze
filled of dead ends and nightmares with sharp-toothed eyes

licking our bellies, it burrows into our soft moonlit skin
biting the ends of our flowing arteries and veins
feasting on our hearts, the blood giving concreteness to its form
stealing our sunken eyes and swollen eyes for its own

it seeps into our slumbering, unguarded minds
its fingertips bloodying the creatures it finds
its body swaying to the rhythm of dance of death
asphyxiating all that it steps underneath

it lays waste to what was before, quietly, unseen
and settles itself on the throne of our subconscious as king
gazing towards the rising sun and waits motionless, as stone,
and smiles as we wake to realize that we are weeping angels also.

xv. the end of the world

the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
though it's falling dusk and the fireflies are flicking their lights
on and off, signalling the return of night

this is their territory now, no one else has the right to be here
you predators and prey, you have already had your chance
in daylight, you have staked your births and deaths
now it is time for you to sleep

the nighttime holds the space for the peace-bringers
the owls and bats, navigating through black limbs of trees
echo their news across the landscape
wings whistling sonar

the nighttime is when the cowards creep from under their burrows
the hyenas scavenge on the rotting carcass of antelope
the maggots and moss already breaking down life to continue life

yet the lions and lambs ain't sleeping yet
they howl their discord into the dark
opening their throats to wail out their dominance

and the creatures who own this territory now
look upon the scene that unfolds
with eyes full of the fear only animals can produce

the chase, over before the blink of an eye
shutter goes down click shutter goes up
and the squeals of defeat tremble in the air

we are not done yet we still have lives and lives to go
after what you did to us and our ancestors
we will cordially return the favour

said the lamb as he killed the lion and dug its teeth into the wet hide
blood boiling over white wool as the herbivores thirsted for flesh

your era is over
king of the jungle
and now we, the meek
rule this earth
xvi. salvation by death
we're still screaming
traumatized by our sudden change of environment
dripping in placenta and blood
we expand our lungs to take our first breath
of that sky earth life
that we will take for granted until we die
still screaming
dripping in cum and blood
the thoughts running like mice on a wheel
why didn't we take another look
why the fuck didn't we take another look
at the grass
at her eyes
at ourselves
we take our shrunken wrinkled souls in our hands
the souls that look just like we used to when we were born
the souls that we ignored for years because we thought
we could always use them later
now, we take them into our hands
we hold them carefully like something precious about to die
and we wait for the explosion to come and take us
we wait for the fire to restore us

xvii. morning glory
now i'm ready
to enter the space-time continuum
to be sucked into the whirl of ice-blue
and creeping velvet carpets

i'm floating
climbing towards myself
i am god
six arms outstretched
i am shiva
scaly, red, barely born
like a baby screaming out of its mother's placenta

and the blood red vines stealthily crawling up my legs
my arms, and the icy water hitting my bones repeatedly
like rain drip
creating a ripple effect
through my bones, flowing through my veins

i cannot move
yet i am already there

xviii. the best day of your life
i'm a modern man
i wake up in the morning at eight
bleary eyed, i stare at the ceiling and remember
that my wife has left me because she said
i was too boring

i look down underneath my sheets
and decide my erection is not that important
so i turn and set my feet on the floor
stand up and make my way to the door

i piss shower shave brush my teeth
put on boxers pants belt socks
undershirt buttondown and knot my tie
in a windsor

head to the kitchen where i make coffee
black coffee
and toast, only slightly burnt
look at my watch
leisurely eat my breakfast
while leisurely looking out the window
at the fluffy clouds and bright searing blue sky
that seem to say good morning you're awake live life today

i fumble to find my keys in my briefcase
open the car door
turn on the engine and back out of the garage

driving down the road, i clear my mind of all negative thoughts
remember my childhood my wife my aborted child
my parents who think i'm good for nothing
my boss who fired me for not responding to her come ons
my friends probably still unconscious at the bar

i close my eyes
take a deep breath
exhale and smile

it's going to be a beautiful day
the best goddamn day ever

and run that red light right into the line of traffic.

xix. 05.04.1970
we are not listening, we are on the streets
walking barefoot on the pavement
watching the smoke curl from our lips
and laughing in the face of the jealous sun

we are still here, filled to the brim with love and acid
even with all the war and destruction in this world
and we will open the doors to your mind
and protest your way of harsh thinking

we will sing for you and we will make love to you
we will evoke the most intense passions
out of that shriveled soul you keep in a jar by your bed
and it will fill and grow and you will become human once again

we are a new generation
our parents, cowards to the marrow of their bones
afraid to live, selfish in their protection of our best interests
warning us not to try the things that would make us the happiest

we are the age of youth
and we shall carry on in the hearts of the next children
the petals of our hearts living in the souls of others
their skin pigmented by the guitar chords and the voices of greatness
their eyes bottomless with colours and visions and sounds

we are the music makers, we are the dreamer of dreams*

we will always be alive even when we are dead

we will live on forever, but you are only mortal

we will truly live, while you will simply exist

i saw hundreds of them coming at me with their long hair and coloured clothes. singing. swaying. holding hands. obviously intoxicated with drugs.

she came towards me out of the crowd, appearing like a ghost. she floated out in her dress and fixed her eyes on me. those eyes. even in my dreams, i can still remember those deep, bottomless, brown eyes. if i looked in them too long, i was afraid i wouldn't be able to climb out, drowning in thick chocolate. losing myself in all the pleasures of the universe. i could crawl into them and feel what she had felt, make love with all the men she had made love, hallucinated what she had hallucinated. i could share her dreams and her memories. i could be her lover. but that mouth. those full lips, curled up at the ends in a childish smile.  she must have been a child, seventeen at most. her hair, reaching down to her calves, wheat swishing in wind. so young, so careless, so free.
nothing to lose.
only death could touch her and i wasn't too sure about that either.

she reached me and slowly held up a chamomile. a weed. she smiled fully, showing her bright, straight teeth. looking into me, through me, as though i didn't exist, as though none of us existed, only she did, she put her flower in the barrel of my gun.

i still wake in the middle of the night, gasping in fear and sweat drenching my brow. my wife sleeping soundly by my side and the moon creeping onto the floorboards.

i still wake with the sound of the guns going off, a magnificent blast. i see the crowd in slow-motion, opening their mouths and moving their limbs, their animal instinct to turn and run, but their human mind telling them to stand their ground. they are conflicted, i see that. i see their doubt and weakness in their minds. i see their fear. i am blinded by spray of blood and the stench hits me. god, it's glorious.

i still wake with the remnants of the chamomile petals ingrained in my mind, falling leisurely to the ground. i still wake remembering that through all of the confusion, i could hear an airy voice whispering death is not the end, it is the afterglow, life-hater.

* from Music and Moonlight by Arthur O'Shaugnessy

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