Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Extent of My Thanks

Photo credit: Keira Bishop
The Extent of My Thanks
The table's belabored array
laced our thankfulness with raised flags.
Cinnamon and squash,
a panoply of wafting herbs
and crispened turkey skin
courting tides behind our teeth,
tongues whetted for that perfect brown
as if nothing squirmed behind its ebon apex of thanks…

as if soil never shattered 'neath conquistador prows,
wastes unspooled of cranberry-red roots
by brutes beautified on colonial quills.
As if tradition didn't hide profligates and genocide,
banquets in the place of lethiferous blankets.
So easily immured, these truths,
like spoons plunged into pillowy hillocks
as if my gratitude wasn't another one's grief.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sabbat Manifesto

I've become aware of the fact that when I drink, I write about the devil. I don't know if that's a coincidence, but here's another fall-fueled poem thanks to the still-gorgeous Oregonian autumn we're being treated to. Sometimes you just have to look at fall nature and think about 17th century witches. Oh, am I the only one who does that?

Sabbat Manifesto 

I am as the dawn unsleeved of its burning weight,
the trees' increase beneath my sheen and my slithered gait.
Whisper I through autumn's palms that insensate tongue
trained to taste the haughty oak upon its lowest rung.
Cursed to soil, blessed to breathe such a pungent tryst
as sighs betwixt this woody rot and dusk-transfigured mist,
dilates every englaimed cleft before the horns I ply
toward that singing murk where virtues buck the sham├Ęd sky…

Greater loved than grace, the haven 'tween my cloven hooves
in which these pilgrimesses shed their wool to marry wolves,
heave beneath a name the scriptured stricture in their flock
has taught taut lips to long to swathe as freer than the stock
brandished by their pious band. So, the ring of twining hands!
Each inviting hollow I ingrave like stone-commands,
I, lubricious linchpin in this Mass of flesh and spruce,
despite my firelit shadow, cast a sprawled and nearing noose.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Happy...November? That doesn't feel right, as I distinctly remember it JUST being last November... Time. Oy.

Anyway, I wrote a thing! The world may be diving headlong into the Christmas season (and I love me some Chri'muh), but I'm just not wholly ready to give up autumn just yet. So, I have another autumn poem for you. Hope you like it, and feel free to tell me I'm a seasonal killjoy. I can take it (I think... *preemptive sniffle*).

Photo credit: Ariel


Last week's horror now slumps a mushy countenance,
the triangular pupils and fangs that had cast the e'en in evil
now haunted by the beast of foul impermanence.

Leaves so quick to skitter through each graveyard and dark alley,
to tease demonic footfalls over ears inclined for dread,
exorcised and left a rain-wet tally

while we, for whom the hallowed eve came as an excuse
to court our morbid comforts – all too ghastly to be real –
don instead the horror our mad empires induce:

the undead heart believed to beat, the gaze with inhuman slits denied,
the smile made of fang and fork we feel no need to hide.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Virtues of Dirt and Pine (Happy Halloween!)

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen!

I hope you've all had a great October and are currently in the midst of pumpkin-slicked, candy-fueled revelry.

If you're familiar with my writing, you probably can tell dark romanticism is a haunt I circle time and time again. In that vein, I have a new poem for you, titled 'The Virtues of Dirt and Pine.' Love, horror, and grief...my favorite Halloween sentiments all in one ugly li'l package.

Enjoy, and I hope you all have a bloody-good Samhain...

Photo credit: Mateusz Stachowski

The Virtues of Dirt and Pine 

The moon sits
a cataract in autumn's pillaged limbs, the heavens
spared what sights its vigilance may grace
in the croaking murk below,
in the cities' chitter-haunted husks
and their shifting, claret-hemmed outskirts.

But not here,

where the moon scrapes taloned shadows
across mementos of marble and lime.
There is no life here, no organs for this blight
to metastasize its impulses through,
no living tissue to blacken dried-apricot-taut
across the shards of new and thirsty fangs.

Just coffin-moss and quiet,

the quiet of a cleaner sorrow than that
caterwauling in the distance.
And I'm reminded of you,
autumn-swept and mine, eyes
not yet the nacreous fires burning
under my throat.

I'm reminded

how I'd rather you lie
with azaleas withering at your feet
than crawl between shadows like the parasites
commandeering your skin,
dragging a banshee's foreboding
over folds I still hold dulcet in reveries

of you,

in every off-guard heartstring plucked
by a statue or the moon or the way the wind outside
kicks through fallen leaves even though your feet
fled bruise-dressed and cloven months ago…
An ellipsis inescapable as the ice-pick-shriek
night whispers through window and dream

when I sleep.

I'd rather have buried you here.
I'd rather have lost you to the craving of dirt and pine
than the one keeping blood between your teeth.
Every wail drifting in on the mists is a misericorde
twisting toward its target, my heart
rent still as these tenanted mounds to fathom
the stake in my one hand…
...and my preciousmost woe in the other.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On Becoming Autumn

The first poem of fall! Maybe it's just the breeze soundtracking this poem with rustling leaves and such, but I'm more than a little ready for all the macabre, gothy goodness that fall always promises. Anyone else planning out their autumn yet? I plan on watching a Blockbuster's wealth of horror movies (a plan I've already started in earnest!) as well as tromping through all the pumpkin patches in my vicinity. Ah, fall! You're my favorite!

*ahem* Pardon my waxing romantic... Anyway, on to the poem! Hope you all enjoy it, and may it give you a seasonal chill or two... (and if you're familiar with my poems and think Abigail sounds familiar, that's because yes, this is the same Abigail from 'The Lover's Return'...connect those dots, y'all.)

Photo credit: Peter Hellebrand

On Becoming Autumn 

We had always wished for autumn. Too weaned on tempest
and raven to sate with summer's array, my Abigail and I
lived for the gloom of fall. Even as summer crawled a goldenrod affront
across the floor of thickets better tended by autumn,
our hearts would swell for the ash-backed horizon,
the breeze too wet with rain and rotting auburn
to be anything but the flame-fingered flourish
we spent every summer looking forward to.
Beneath October's bruising sky, Abigail
glowed a moon azure-eyed and waxen,
the rain-bowed crescents of her gaze
a sight I came to carry under mine,
reminding from the dark of sleep
how we always wished for
always wanted this decay.
But when something gan to creep
sable tendrils underneath her breasts,
gave their feebled rise and fall a tinge
like fall's putrescent plumage, I clasped
to myself she more precious than a season.
Abigail, what comfort these vermilion boughs
without you, without the hands grasped beneath
their shade? We always prayed for autumn but God,
spare me the cruelty of so tangibly granting our wishes…
my Abigail, collecting that bruise-dappled sky under skin
the weeks have whittled to something wont of fallen foliage.
Tell me you'll never leave me, that you'll be here when I wake.
Tell me this sleeping autumn isn't all I ever wished for.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Moving Day (Last So(SO)PP Poem of the Year!)

Fall isn't here yet, but I'm already feeling its Halloween-tinged breeze blowing through my bones. The urge to watch horror movies and do spooky things is increasing by the day, and aside from implying that my body will be 50% pumpkin from now 'til December, all this means that it's time for me to wrap up my summer poetry project: the Summer of (Sometimes Otaku) Persona Poetry.

I've had an amazingly productive summer, but I'm feeling like it's time to transition to other things. I'll still be writing of course, but I want to open myself up to the other muses that come with the season. Read some (and by some I mean more than will ever be possible), write some horror, just break out of the structure I've been holding myself to all summer.

So, with all that said, I thank you for following me on my nerdventures these past few months. Thanks for reading and responding, and I promise the coming months will have plenty more to enjoy (just of a different color...and appendage-count...).

With no further ado, I give you the last poem of So(SO)PP: 'Moving Day', a poem paying ode to my absolute favorite comic book pair, momentarily brought to life in the '90s with an MTV cartoon called 'The Maxx'...Maxx and Julie Winters.

Moving Day 

Julie's collection of dead ferns rustles in the box between my claws.
Her car is a menagerie of pots and wrong-size snowshoes,
folds of mildewy cardboard that shout how she can't throw anything away
but me.

She calls today moving day,
talks about leaving the way some people mention breakfast,
tries to smile a solace wide and white, like some dream
I can feel drifting further from my fingertips,
and I just hope it every bit as much a mask as the jutting ivory of mine.
Because there's no hiding the way my hook-clawed grip screams
where I stay silent, leaves lacerations usually reserved for isz
in these cardboard-colored goodbyes.
Because, what is there for me without Julie?
The city was always a sticky-wet miasma of violence and pee-smell,
but at least I had Julie!
She, the lighthouse of a Leopard Queen
giving me someone to fight for, someone to ply every claw
and corded muscle for…
But without her, without this strength-clad huntress, what's left?
She's leaving and taking my world with her.
She's leaving.
I would have loped our Outback's dicant-scattered plains until my bones
shone a toothy tombstone from the dirt at the trunk of her throne,
would have popped every rapist, mugger, or isz,
plunged my claws into the lava in their bellies just to know Julie was safe.
But she's leaving,
my white-hot sun withdrawing behind air whales
and ecliptic mountains of steel, retreating with the beam-like fingers
whose warmth always reminded me who I was, filled
this mask and suit with something more
than the grimy, headlit alley screeching underneath my dreams.
What is there for me without Julie?

There are no more boxes to load, the stoop
exhumed like a nightmare from 'neath the only things keeping her here,
my Leopard Queen…Julie, the only place I've ever felt free,
promising I will be freer without her.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The God Who Stared into Darkness

My break from So(SO)PP continues this week, as the poem for today is a response to the ongoing ISIS news coming out of Iraq. A quick Google search can tell you more than I ever could.

It gets me thinking about our whole history of cruelty, injustice, and sin (to call it what it is), and how that registers in the grand scheme of our relationship with God. Gets me thinking.

The God Who Stared into Darkness

Iraq busies itself with the canine pastime of chewing off its limbs,
preferring its faith-made proponents of peace
as pixels grislying YouTube.

The blood that must have baked like heliotrope and glass,
something in it reminds me of the garden
whose loss we grieved with murder,

and the God who stared into darkness and loved the thing
it gave Him the urge to birth before breath,
or soil, or light.

In that darkness, this God knew every tendril it would weave
through the life poised on the tip of His tongue:
every sharpened rock and jawbone, every

chambered round no more free of Cain's fratricidal thumbprint
than that morning star of a precedent our hands
were all-too-glad to inherit.

Before any holocaustic Auschwitz or Levant-possessing successor,
before any injustice paid for in the pain and mosaic
immortalizing Golgotha,

this God loved the idea of us enough to endure the infinite
forms of heartbreak we'd most certainly return Him.
What unfathomable joy, then,

are we capable of creating? Our very existence is proof of the promise
God saw in the shapeless rags given light
and soil and breath.

The rivers that ululate to Heaven with tongues of bloodstone and ash
are more famished now than when spouted
from Abel's prostrate sorrow,

but the promise that saw the sculpt of hand and face is not
our burden to keep, but our hope, our reminder
that eventually the tunnel

so easily forgotten for a gun
will shed its lachrymose trappings and we, free at last
of this sulfur-rich darkness, will know fully what was always promised.