Aftershock

And the aftershock of grief sends you reeling into
patterns of world destruction, you have a razor
carving red canyons into your skin and chopping lines
of coke that you snort until your nose bleeds, I see
you and feel you and become your junkie manic rage
through symbiosis of the soul, and your parasitic
connections makes me feel the scorch marks on my
nasal membranes and a high like diving off Icarus’
cliff, there you are your snake black smoke hair
writhing and strangling me in your embrace, you
turn the faucets on weeping and roaring, your trench
marks of cuts and lacerations and bruises joining us
in the Unholy Passion of the Devil’s self-harm, you
sink into alizarin waters as your juices soak up
all the light, and it is swirling onyx and rubies
as you become a sea serpent biting its own tail,
Jesus Christ, it hurts, you drowning yourself but
your lungs don’t need oxygen and so you turn the
bathroom into an ocean of acid void, sizzling
pantomimes of what was once flesh, now bone, and
with your scythe in hand, the sulfur having eaten
your flesh, you reap and carve out drunken universes,
whole galaxies fall to your blade, you laugh maniacally,
still riding the drugs and endorphin buzz, exerting
your death grip manhood to assert dominance over
the innocents, this is the Plague of Egypts overcoming
burgeoning civilizations, yet you spare the Milky Way
because lo and behold, your Horcrux Girl lives there,
and then you are punching my guts and butchering my
lungs, be careful my darling, be careful what it takes,
from what it seems so far all the good ones seem to
break.

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I Came Out of the Woods By Choice

Driving down the highway to renew my Planet Fitness membership,
I was confronted by the whiplash of memories – there towering in
the distance was the castle of my captivity, Dominion Psychiatric,
where I was institutionalized by my will after setting fire to my
room, delusional and paranoid and hallucinating, casting spells with
trash, throwing all my belongings out the window to return them to
nature, I would have jumped if my mom hadn’t pulled me back from the
windowsill screaming, then I cycled through my personalities and became
Puck, speaking in rhyming Iambic pentameter, holding court for Oberon
as I was packed into an ambulance and buzzed away on tides of psychosis.
Committed to the psych ward, I was not allowed shoelaces, for I could
strangle myself on them, so all of us depressed and deluded chainsmoking
masses shuffled around in oversized hospital socks. Group therapy ensued,
I forged friendships with kindred souls, pagan wild and Arabian and Eastern
Orthodox and Buddhist monk trained by Japanese masters to paint cherry
blossom trees alike. Sometimes the madness (there was always madness
in a mental ward) would grip a 6’5 built like a brick man and he would try
to snap my neck, and the hospital staff would call security and we would
be on lockdown as the ape of a violent manic tried to kill us, the lumbering
security guards would taser this victim of a cruel mind and wrestle him to
the ground and into a straitjacket, I was not myself, I thought my parents
demons from Hell and the nurses angels, check under your tongue to see if
you swallowed the pills, they had been pumping me full of poisonous meds to
my disorder for a month, I hallucinated as a waitstaff at a wedding, I almost
electrocuted myself playing with wires, trying to send messages to God by
a volt box, in the asylum, I had to learn how to human again, I stayed in there
over a month, my parents would bring me Subway sandwiches and I would rail
incoherently about my delusions and the voices and demons I saw. At night,
I dreamt of a valley of blood and flesh, and I climbed the spine of a hellish
giant and went into a castle of putrid pinions of rotting necrosis, I swam in
maggots, I was rotting away, my brain on fire. My brain is always on fire.
The diagnosis came in two days from my saint of a psychiatrist who is the reason
I am still alive today: bipolar type 1 with psychotic tendencies, anxiety, OCD.
Unlike most patients that resist, I accepted this, for I was still high off my
own brain, speaking in tongues, swimming through the dark night of the soul.
Every day since has been a clawing back to sanity, sanity I have never known.
When you run insane through life for nineteen years only to crash into the pit
there is no return to innocence, not that my diseases ever left me an innocent.
Wash it away in blood and wine, wash it away in standing back from the subway
train so you don’t jump, hide all the razors, lock the knife drawers, bite down
to guard your tongue from gnashing teeth, have the urge to cut off your toes
and gouge out your eyes, you’re afraid of pencils now, sometimes you think of
biting into the flesh of eyeballs and eating someone, other times there is this
profane, unholy voice in your head of intrusive thoughts, committing and saying
unspeakable atrocities, fuck, I should be able to renew a fucking Planet Fitness
membership without being subject to these recollections, there is so much pain
in this world, in my soul, and I am weary, and I am battered and a wreckage of
what I once was, what I never was, that golden idol of a girl. That witch who
would drag men to the woods to devour them and divine with their entrails. There
is no escape from memory, that beast of time and sensation, but we are nothing
without our histories, and mine is tarred and feather, set alight and pushed off
a cliff, the fool plunging, there is nothing left to tell, just that, I survived.

I survived.

It’s All A Mindfuck

There’s blood and bandages in the prison cell, swirling ruby sparks and filth where rats feast.  Through the cell window the moon cuts the night until it howls in pain, and you’re chained to the wall, shackles on your neck and limbs, and you’re done up in linen bandages like a corpse, gore and claret red clinging to your bindings.  I stand outside the gate with an oil lamp, meeting the Devil at midnight to raise the dead.  You are writhing and roaring, the poisonous zuhama that flows through your veins a raging fire of wine.  Lanterns leak oily light of goblin green-white fire onto the cell walls, all granite and smeared with ichor, and you are speaking in tongues demonic and dreadful.  I take out a corpse key and unlock the door, and the floor is slick with your stains.  Your Cabernet eyes simmer like a witch on a pyre, and as I approach, I take a twisted delight in your suffering.  This is where you belong, caged in my mind, lunatic mad, my beast, my delightful toy.  We take turns tying each other up in bear traps and guillotines and rusty iron bindings, we are each other’s sacrifice, and whore ourselves out for the quickest fix.  Isn’t that how it is with demons?  As you are prowling, growling, licking your wounds with a tongue that would drive saints to sin (don’t you know the Devil gives the best head, I mean come on, look at how he sings), I sit cross legged and hold a staring contest with your mercurial acid pupils.  I flick my fingers through your blood pooled beneath me and my white cloak and white gown are stained.  I take out a pen and bid you near me, and then I write out the names of God on your soiled bandages, and you are shivering and crying, and I am triumphant over Satan.  There’s your wreckage of a heart, embodied in the form of a girl, and a weeping black void that holds the keys to eternity in your chest.  You are too far gone, eyes swirling with insanity, and you tear off my clothes as I raze my nails down your back and pick at your wounds.  We are bleeding together, the razors our hands, and we kiss with coppery mouths as we bite at each other’s lips.

To know God is to eat God, but at the end of the day, it’s you dead with your demons, in your own Hell for eternity, so why not make it fun?

 

The Bone Zone

There’s a haunting in the graveyard, where bats flock to higher ground when the dam flows over and coffins float to the surface.  I can smell the rot on my tongue and see the decaying rose petals adrift in this land spill of toxic waste and wonderlands.  I take a coffin, kick out the corpse, and row with a femur to your mausoleum as I navigate delta waters to the hell mouth.  Your edifice, Crypt Keeper, is tainted with ivy and is the only thing left above surface in this lake of the dead, a stone angel spreading her acid rain-washed wings to the glory of some decrepit heaven.  There is a black mist fine and pungent, fresh from the kill and bloated with pussy gases.  The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.  The ones that crawl out are fat and stout, and they are feasting on the engorged limbs that have detached from their bodies, and there is a rat king, triple tails entwined, nibbling the corpse of some lawyer dressed up in his Sunday best, only it’s his Sunday worst, because he is filthy with the diseases of waste and ruin, slandered by Father Time, and honey, death is hell on the body.  Your loved ones will lose their teeth, grow out their hair, yellow their nails, mummify or dissolve, but when the waters come to take us home, we all end up in the sea.  That’s the truth of these matters – we are mostly water, and to liquid and stardust we return.  So I’m rowing my coffin through the remnants of your Grim Reaper’s harvest, all to find you, sweet cadaver.  Death smells like old garbage and sulfur and roadkill.  But sometimes, he smells like roses.  The crypt is tall and Roman styled, with the gloriana angel dolorosa, tears in grime on her eyes, and I tie my coffin to the angel with a bit of floating cloth, and scale the mausoleum.  Inside is an ossuary – the bone zone.  Huh, punny, that.  Inside you lay resplendent amidst bejeweled saint skeletons and artifacts of another time – holy relics, a pinky from St. Catherine, a liver from St. Pancras, oh, don’t forget that lock of hair from St. Teresa, my favorite.

Bones are sharp, they can cut, but words are just as much like razors, and I’m praying for a beastly tongue, an empty gun.  Death looks like someone you love, don’t you know?  He can mask himself in darkness and equally in light, in the wolves and crows and snakes, but now he is redeemer, savior, my unholy temple.  I climb inside his coffin and we entwine, and the black stretches out like a womb, and the silence of the deep is all-knowing.  Death, omniscient.  Death, omnipotent.  Death, omnipresent.

There is not much difference between Death and God, and many of us worship false idols, but the truth is, is that endings are painful, and the dearly departed haunt us.  But what to be haunted by Death himself?  Thorns and broken glass to puncture your fingers and feet, stanzas of poetry and prose that are like caged madrigal nightingales in your brain, and you crack your head open on a cliff to see the blood diamonds he planted inside you.

I am one with Death, we are Death and the Maiden, and as he raises his scythe, I know my tithe is the dearest thing to me: the lie of separation.

That I am anything more than Death.

For to write is to make love to the self, after all, and morbid curiosities become terminal in time.

So I kiss myself, and kill myself, and my corpse joins a million other lost girls.

Lost girls that dreamed they were part of some great narrative, when really, this is the world of ghosts, and it is only in dreams we are alive.

Bride of Christ

And I am cloaked in clouds and the sun’s beaten gold,
radiant in redemption, but under my gown, scars feast
I am the battered soul on the path to Christ, woman
of seven devils who sold herself for cheap beer and
the spark of a stranger’s touch, whoring out all my
compassion until I was a waterless well, and Satan
made his nest in my soul, from sphincter to sphincter
a serpent twined through my guts – but the Savior does
not care about Brazen Serpents – He reached into my
lonely hell and burned away the black, now I am a star
shining above silver seas and walking stairways to
heaven, to those pearly gates where the Bridegroom
awaits, He who washes away sins in Seas of Galilee,
I Migdal Eder, Watchtower of Women, scout, watchman,
when we kiss at the altar after vows of eternity,
green returns to the barren land of my mind, He is
balm to cracked hands dry from working as a slave,
a salve to the sacrificial soul, all my travails
brought me to this one clarion moment – forgiveness
I am unworthy, yet He loves me, so in His arms, I am.

To Fade and Wither

I was a beautiful monster, a blonde madrigal,
with ripe pert breasts and hips to slay men.
Inside me was a mind like thin ice over lava,
the fury of nature, black hurricane wolves,
when I was skinny and model beautiful, the
epitome of the American Sweetheart, sick
and mad, pained and dying, I was a 120
pound poem on bad choices,on bleeding ink
into fallacies and shit metaphors, I was
a witch the men said, in my high school
where the wind opened classroom doors,
and on the bus I danced with demons, and
my best friends knew I was wed to Death,
when I was my most beautiful, I was my
most haunted. Yes, I was a jewel, with
buttercup blonde hair – that’s what they
callled me, Princess Buttercup, and I was
a Rapunzel with long blonde locks to chain
my devils to pad and paper, I drew night
terrors that left me sleepless and numb,
the harrows of hell. I was beautiful, I
was skinny, yet ripe of curves, dainty,
yet too wild to be contained by motion,
so I shook my hips and loosed monsters.
They said I was a huldra that ate her
lovers, dragged men to my wooden hollow
to devour their flesh, they said I was
going to be a famous artist and die in
a gutter in NYC, they said I was burning
the candle at both ends, and I knew I
would die by 25. Now, freshly 25, I
am not sure what to do. I am not pretty,
not nearly the flower of teen pageants,
the medicine made me gain seventy pounds
in six years, I am overflowing with curves
now and look more like Venus of Willendorf
than the Aphrodite I used to be, but I
am happy, I suppose. I was always vain,
and the men still flock to me, still give
me sweet words and fall in love, invite me
across the waters to private vacations and
flirt excessively – tell me Lucifer fell out
of love for a perfect night of sex with Her,
the idealized image of femininity, and won’t
your ample Virginian ham hips wrap around my
hands like honey, maybe I shouldn’t call my
hips a ham, no matter, I would be happy
as a size 12 for the rest of my life, and
I am finally stable (sort of), working on
a PhD, studying the science of our words,
writing these stories of myths that love me
no matter what weight I am – I am training
for a 5k this summer, and I have lost ten
pounds over the last month through diet
and the sheer bliss of physical exertion –
I used to bike 50 miles and lift weights
two years ago, but I had an eating disorder
and severe body dysmorphia – I just want
my strength back, and to be healthy, not
skinny. I will always curve like a violin,
and I still believe I am beautiful, just
more.

Tom Frost

 

Operator, can you thread electricity to find
my old sweetheart, weaving numbers to Martha,
who I left by a sunny seaside and sand castles
whose towers were not firm enough for princesses,
for clay and shells crumble, and the tide washes
away youth, leaving us bent and aching, there was
no tomorrow, we packed away our sorrows and saved
them for a rainy day, when the moon would sail
high above the decades, stitching together the
night of our lives, those were the days of roses,
poetry and prose, and Martha all I had was you
and all you had was me, there was no tomorrow,
we packed away our sorrows and we saved them for
a rainy day, well darling, the midnight storm
has come, and the twilight years are at my door,
but you are the madrigal of my youth, immortal
despite the tissue paper kisses on your skin,
Martha, I love you can’t you see? Those were the
days of roses, poetry and prose, all I had was
you and all you had was me, there was no tommorow,
we packed away our sorrows and we saved them
for a rainy day, and I remember quiet evenings
trembling close to you…