I No Longer Scream

You can test for the depth of my fat
With your sharpest dagger available
Neither one of us will know when you hit bone
Because I no longer scream
I no longer scream

You can watch my fingerskin stick
To the cold metal of whatever

If I touch
I rip
My smile a riot
But I no longer scream
I no longer scream

Vox frozen
Soul numbed whole
No worries here
I’m the guinea pig standard
But I no longer scream
I no longer scream

I’m a crash test dummy
Built for endurance
Wired for sound
I’m a pin cushion for
wannabe phlebotomists

But silence only
Screeching electric rawness
I no longer scream
I no longer scream

Go for the kill
Or leave me half measured
Nothing here even resembles life
I am numb
And insane now
Afraid of the sound I can’t make
Afraid of the screams I can’t hear

I no longer scream
I no longer scream

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City of Love

The city of love
is a city of trash
and le Chat Noir
is le warning NO, a big bash in the paranoid head
Le Metro teems with possible threat
and everyone’s face is frightened and dead

Jet lag has taken away my ability
to know whether I’m just sick or depressed
the heart of gold, she hides in plain site
the heart of gold, how nobody figured that one out, what a blight.

Must I spell it out, that I tried
that I tried to be the shimmering light
that in order to shine I need to be seen
it’s quantum physics, that’s what I mean

Not a fraidy chat noir, NO
that kind of courage sparked an open passage
I went to the depths of love and found only skulls
and le warning NO, shhhh, and quiet
fragility lives here, hush or crush the cavern
moves true or false have power here
the choice: bury yourself alive
or crawl to the surface and flee
remember who you are, golden heart, heart of gold
remember who you are.

I cannot be dissolved in patterns
confused by mazes
I cannot fall again, knees cracked
fingers broken
I cannot fall again

It’s never a good sign to write poetry in one’s sleep
to wake up at 3, burning with ash in the throat
fending off sadness
never a good sign to cough up old bones, dust
never good to pull the skeletons of other bodies out of one’s own skin

time to yank on ye olde faithful switch of numbness
much like the emergency brake on Le Metro
stop this train
stop this pattern
stop this hopelessness
let the golden heart rise
let her rise up and be

All I want to do is give love and receive it
Is that too much to ask?
Must there always be such high stakes
must the payment always be compounded death?
I don’t want these skulls!
I don’t want this job!
I’m not the cemetery caretaker!
I’m the heart of gold, can’t you see it in my name?

Mean Stick

Tonight’s ceremonial master
will be bringing you freaks
darker delights than expected
an auction of inhibition
a circus run by a hawker so smooth
you’ll beg to be slipped in
through a latched door
in a dark alley
if his eye snares you up

He comes with a mean stick
but he holds it close
sharpening it, sometimes
sometimes nicking himself good
the circus keeper likes to flaunt and disregard
fairy dust under a top hat
to let us know it’s all a show

With a brooding face
it hurt so bad
it hurt so good
side show trunk
open it
NOW
get in

Black like a trap
a hidden cell
the air removed
come come
come come

The circus freak
is now management here
sometimes he is all mean stick
and sometimes he’s just mist and material

Dandy’s Odd Shoppe

No amount of velvety stealth or hopper-like hopping up is going to get you a peak of me beneath this mask, my dear, so please relegate your stare to the items on display.

Perchance you came to my humble shop in search of crickety cures, of which I can show you many. I’m usually quite skilled at guessing the needs of my visitorians, and by the dead copper clang of the green-patina’d bell, I can tell that you, my friend, are in the market for something that will remove all traces of DNA from a crime scene. Am I right?

No? Then have a petit-fours, they’re scrumptious. Don’t soil the doilie. Marzipan scarab — the real thing. Anyone? Leave a token in the box.

Let us peruse together, young ones. I’ll have my chap strap on his accordion and he’ll play us a grand tune as we climb my ladder to sniff for goodies upon the shelves on high. After you.

No? Then hold my hand, don’t mind my glove, don’t wriggle so hard, don’t sweat so sweetly, don’t dare, don’t dare.

Is it hair in a jar, is that why you’re here? Teeth needled with holes, strung upon a wire of hardened hemp? Is that why you’re here? Beneath a bell jar, I’ve got just what you want — a child, half frog, half humanoid, basted in formaldehyde — pickled, if you will, with eggs au gratin, yes?

FICKLE FUCKING CUSTOMER, but oh, the customer’s always right, isn’t that right, customer? Can I tempt you with a delectable hemlock and peppermint acid bath for that weekend “me time” you so crave? P’raps some poison for your uncle? Looking for spiders in XXX-large? Those are in the lower level with all the bargains, come.

COME, I said. Put that monkey skull down and let’s descend together, yes?

You and those fumbling hands of yours. Do you really want to see what’s beneath my mask? I have a room for the granting of that wish, just this way. I am but a humble servant, duly providing what little I can to placate the mob. Unmask me, I submit!

However, there is a price.

You know your money’s no good here. But your eyes, they do have value, do they not?

I Am a Cadaver

I am a cadaver
Quickened by hope
A windstorm of love
Rattles my bone cage
Jolts me alive – happy, alive
Almost human
So much to give
I am a blazing beam of loving light
One chance, one lightning bolt
Hit or miss
Hit, and I live forever
Miss, and all hope disperses
Like scattered blackbirds
Whose caws fade away
Forgotten
A cadaver no more
Can mist be quickened?
Can hope form me into love?
Will I ever know what it’s like
To be made real?

A Wee Fire

A wee fire
A green fire
But what’s it’s burn
To a devlin spire?
I’ve got 17 geists
Afraid of my name
And oh the shine in their eyes
How they back away broken
When I toss them my token
They slink away slunken
Dull witted, shrunken
Back to the floorboards
Closed in the closet
Teeth in a jam jar
Stitch me a sad scar
Rip at the ridges
And pour me another
For all that you do to me
Tis all in yer mind
Blacken my vision
And find yourself blind
Surviving is what I do
It’s my job, we dead are true
And besides I have uses for you.

Quicksand

Quicksand takes my love
Descending with one finger up
A little flag says, “I’m OK!”
I reach to touch, but it goes away

A month ago or was it two?
Perhaps three months ago with you
Your every thought was love and lust
For me, before it turned to dust

I know you’re in there, I won’t let go
This is such a mindfuck, such a blow
Hang on my dear, I’ve got the rope
There’s nothing worse than the death of hope

I think you’re letting go of me
You’ll never say, “l set you free!”
You’ll let me watch you fade away
And I’ll keep believing to my dying day

I’ll keep believing that you’ll return
That your passion once again will burn
For me, as it came from your soul
Before the quicksand swallowed you whole.