The First Snow

The first snow
A chaotic
hungry wind snakes its tendrils into my sweater

A greedy wind
that would eat every calorie of my tropical body
And having consumed every BTU i have to offer
it’d continue on
just a hungry as ever

In its windy voice
telling me a Fahrenheit tale
An intemperant little free verse whisper
Wherein i have utterly failed to slake its thirst
That my puny offering hasn’t made a degree of difference

It hurls wet leaves at my feet and pants legs
Rusty insults that can’t sick to wool

I pull my sweater closer
Fuck you old man
Not today

Demon Lovers and Other Damned Things – very dark

Thea – Tracker Demon
Emma Gorgo – A young woman
Adrien Mathews – A young man who was maybe once an angel

Thea’s Lament

We do our job
He takes all the credit
He makes a mess with his little creations
and we clean it up

I’m not proud of my skills
Not happy about my. . . tasks
But the only way I will ever be released from this torment
is to do my job

We do our job
He makes all the rules
He takes everything and. . .
And I am ugly
That’s why he’ll never want me
for anything more than a fixer
A cleaning mechanism
and fire can be so purifying


Theatrical Credo

All who love are damned
All who love Actors, doubly so

Settings

They have that theater thing down in the park
Kinda nice
Lots of landscaping
and there is that sideways bridge

A stone oval with decking
(Adrien Mathews built the decking
He was the Technical Director for several years)

I’ve talked with the guy
who designed and tends the hardscapes and such
He sees the grounds as Art
and I totally agree with him

There is the problem of the lawn part
The part where the lawn chairs hold
elderly people drinking wine
The grass is usually worn a bit thin
They overseed the dickens out of it
but it might be best not to wear your best shoes

Lessons Learned

Adrien wanted to be a lifeguard
Went through all the training
And had a rather uneventful season

Till that time he forgot the first rule
“Never approach someone in trouble from the front.
Drowning people will climb on top of you
while you try to save them.”

Yeah
He was coughing up pool water for the rest of the day
Almost died in the ‘deep end’
Most of hid life flashed before his eyes
but he was too busy to watch
and a teenager saved him and the drowning girl

The girl said she was just playing
and that he almost killed her
by trying to save her

Adrien turned in his resignation later that week

The Minor Gods of Make Believe

Poets and writer’ believe they are gods
Making all those universes
So beautiful and bitter
Then shoving words down the throats of innocent characters

Tragedies and comedies
Brutal love in beautiful words
In Shakespear’s comedies everyone gets married at the end
In the tragedies, everyone dies in madness
and the real question in all those dark tales is:
Did anyone
at any time
have any real choice?

Or are they all just wet flesh robots
spouting their lines?
Faking their hits and misses
for the entertainment of some unknown gods
just beyond the lights. . .

Thea and Emma, Kinda

So. . . once there was this woman
Emma Gorgo
She didn’t want to believe in demons
but had it beat into her as the child of a fundamentalist family
Now, she sees people with demons hanging off their backs
looking like backpacks of darkness
and the world is some kind of macabre circus. . .

And Thea. . . something
Emma didn’t want anything to do with that woman
That woman commanded the demons
Besides Emma didn’t like the way their eyes met
Thea had empty eyes
Like warning signs on a road out of town
and you could tell she had nothing nice to say

The Play is the Thing

She heard about this original play
The Songs of January at one of those local venues
Kinda sounded like it had been written for her

She arrived early
The author was there
Adrien Mathews
Nice guy
Kinda thin

He was helping a small girl learn to draw apples when Emma found him
There were no demons on his back
In fact he kinda smelled demon free

When he faced Emma
it was like he was only his eyes
and they were vast
And his smile
The way her name sounded in his mouth

She feared his attention
even though she flitted around him
She refused his hand
She was afraid that anyone touching her
would find out that she is only half alive

The play was so real it hurt her
and she never talked about it with anyone
She never saw the author again

Emma did not see Thea
watching form the back of the house

Thea’s Opinion of Actors

Plays are such stupid things written by insane poets
Kings and rings and crazy things
Running higgilty-piggilty all over the place
It’s embarrassing

And then that part at the end
Where the actors come out
and you just know they’re no-one special
Just a bunch of meat puppets in makeup

I feel so awkward
Like I’ve been some kid of creepy voyeur
watching them squiggle and squirm
They have no idea what they were saying
and now they are up there with the house lights up
Pretending they’ve done something cool
and we are not the gods beyond the lights
We are just a bunch of perverts who like to watch

It’s all a trick
Like pulling a bunny out of a hat
Killing the little bunny
Then pretending to resurrect it
by substituting a hidden living bunny
just in time for Easter
(Careful to dump the dead bunny body in the trash)

So fake

The Dress

Emma got a part in a play
(Well, a part was given to her
She didn’t actually audition)
All she had to do was get into costume
(Some kind of old woman dress)
Dance with the hero
and then shriek when he pretended to die

Simple

They let her keep the dress

The Cast Party

She drank
and everyone knows she shouldn’t drink
because she gets a bit. . . slushy
and she can see the demons slithering around

The woman who was the lead in this play
was all leopard spotted
The better to hide behind the chocolate chip cookies
Her friend beside her
A soap carving of a vestal virgin
A finely graven sculpture from a bar of ivory soap

The hunter man was crouching on the couch
Muscles clenched
Casting nets
Fishing the deep waters under the ripples of conversation and debate

His rival
the man of strong arms who laughs thunderously
has forgotten to zip his pants

Adrien was not there
She decided she’d see him again
(bad decisions can be a side effect of drinking
when you are one of those people
who should never drink)

Vellichor and Other Vague Sorrows

At the used book store, down by the Forest Hill North Cemetery
Thea (demon at large) welcomed the aspiring writers and authors
into the veranda room

Emma and Adrien were there

It started out with wistful conversations
filled with the scent of aged volumes
Tomes and magazines like Life, Saturday Evening Post
and Greenbook

Authorial aspirations filled the room
like the pipe smoke of Sir Cannon Doyle
but through clever innuendo and authoritative gestures
Thea managed to subvert, destroy or otherwise cripple
the creative energies of the collected neophytes

Using that most hideous ‘How To’ book
“UnWriting Yourself’ by Trevor Queen
the she-demon twisted and tortured those gathered
until they were unable to construct a complete sentence
much less and entire story

To her immeasurable delight
Emma and Adrien had disappeared
somewhere around chapter 7

Beside the Undulating River

Emma always felt better under a night sky
and she was amazed at his agile mind

As they meandered the trails beside the river
they discussed the meaning of the darkness between the stars
the way that electrons never managed to fall into the nucleus of atoms
and the arcane mysteries such as the enigmatic Nazca Lines of Peru
the Derinkuyu in Cappadocia
and the unknown burial place of Alexander the Great

His heart and mind seemed to be one thing
and his humor was light and wistful

She made him promise
they’d have many more walks before winter

She did not hug him
because she feared what he might feel

Nightmares and Demons

Emma could always tell when she was about to crash
and tonight felt like a grand finale

Though she was asleep in her bed
Emma was beside a deep green pool of. . . something indescrible
Murk waters glowing with a sick phosphorescence
frothy waters that would not stay still

Demon spiders tried to gain footing on the lip of the pool
and strange children of Maben screeched overhead
in the dark pewter fogs

From behind her a demon appeared in her dream
and sought to hire her for a task
The demon’s name was Thea

Emma refused the she-demon’s bargain
but the cretin told Emma that with help help she might catch
the young man

Emma freaked
How could Adrien love a half woman?
She wanted it and feared it

The demon told her the man who was doing great harm
He was giving people hope in a dark time
so that their hearts would be crushed when they realized
how pointless life truly is
He was convincing people that if they released their fears
that they might grow strong
when in truth
if people release their fears
they will become too light to remain on earth
and they will float away leaving those that love them behind

Poor Emma
left behind on the earth
Too heavy to ever float away

He would go to play with the Moon
and she would be alone

A Walk in the Park

Adrien called Emma and she didn’t answer
He texted her and she ignored him
She ran into him at the coffee shop
and spent an hour trying to drive him away
which bound him to her all the more

Everyone in the shop had demon backpacks
and they were stirring

Emma ran from the shop toward the river
He was chasing her
and to her horror she saw that somehow he was tangled in her

Emma was thrilled and afraid
She stopped and watched in terror as the darkness demons touched him
bit him
consumed him
binding him in filth and mire
They had him and it was her fault

Things of Hell and Disease dragged him toward the river
making sounds of pure evil
The over-demon
Thea
watched

When Demons Die

They hid his soul in churning water
and thanked her for her assistance

But not Thea
Thea berated Emma
Reviled her
Emma was confused

The little demons were starting to eat Thea
like little spiders eat their mother
(who at their dad)
Thea explained that if Adrien died
She would as well
A balancing of Angels and Demons

Thea shrieked and cursed Emma
for letting her do the demonic work she had to do

Thea screamed
“I loved the man
That’s why he had to be destroyed.”

Emma said
“Don’t all demons seek their own death?”
Thea said
“Doesn’t mean I have to like it!”

Anyway
The demons slithered into the earth
dragging Thea with them

Emma spent the rest of the evening
throwing rocks into the river

Thank You

Oh and one last thing
before the event horizon completely forms
I have a message for you
from somewhere inside . . .

“Thank you.
The creature known to you as Adrien
has been returned to his chaos box.
We never could have entrapped him without your help.
After all he was going too far
we all know this.

The part where you let him think
he was making progress . . .
and then when he had dropped his defenses
smacking him in the face,
now that was inspired.
Several of our number have expressed a desire
to study any notes on technique
that you might care to forward.

We couldn’t have done better ourselves.
Your services in this respect
will be compensated with thirty pieces of silver
delivered to your doorstep sometime around midnight.

We are so pleased with your services
that we may contact you in the future
if the need arises.
Again thanks.”

Resurrection

Two disembodied spirits drift down the gritty hallway
In Life they may have sported names
but for the moment let’s refer to them as Morecambe and Wise

Morecambe asks, “What is that noise?
It’s him . . . what is he doing?
Wise says, “Praying.”
“Praying?”
“Praying.”
Morecambe scratches an itch ages old
“What’s he praying for?”
Wise says. “Who knows?
This one. . . yeah he’s the one.
You know he never was one for kneeling and wailing and such.
Often talked about how God refuses to be manipulated by prayers.
He sees praying not so much as a question of cause and effect
but more as a reflex of action and reaction.”

They hover amidst the bedlam
without speaking

Morecambe syas, “You know it sounds like he’s in a lot of pain.”
Wise turns to leave
Says over his shoulder, “Well if that’s the case
then it must be a resurrection prayer.
Those are the most painful.”

Morecambe follows

Grandmother Spider and the Chasm

 

It was sunset and
I had just noticed that the trees were swaying
but I couldn’t feel any wind through the car
Suddenly the road just wasn’t there
I fought to lock the antilock brakes
Coming to rest inches from the Abyss
I mean inches

I got out of the car
There was no bridge
no sign that there had ever been one
It looked like miles to the bottom
The pavement just ended
and I turned from the ledge
because the wind was roaring in the trees

When I turned back
the front of the car was over the edge
I grabbed the back bumper
Like I could have done anything
Inch by inch
the Beamer crept over the brink
Taking me with it

“Let it go.”
There was this little voice in my ear
just loud enough in the howling
“NO!”
“You must let it go.”
“I need it.”
“You don’t need to die.”
And suddenly it was gone
It fell forever
in slow motion
Exploded on impact
just like in the movies

Suddenly
Something grabbed at my coat
A gnarled tree limb had somehow snagged my sleeve
Another had the back
The thrashing trees had been no where near the road
when I stopped
They ripped off my coat
pants
glasses
Everything
And then they stopped
just like that

Figure this
Here I am on top of a mountain
Naked
no car
On a road into the biggest freakin chasm
since the quake
Yet somehow it didn’t really matter

“Be patient
the moon will be up soon.”
I looked down and there was this spider
Now I have never been one of those guys
who hates spiders
In fact I kinda like em
But this one had just spoken to me
“What’s the moon got to do with it?”
“Be patient.”

And so we waited
It was like the sky was full of stars
and there were millions of tiny
whisper sounds
The dew gathered on the grass
but I was not chilled
“Am I dead?” I asked
“Oh, hardly that.
You are alive, perhaps for the first time.”
And I noticed in the gathering moon light
A web
gossamer threads spanning the abyss
Glimmering in the pale light

“Can I cross now?”
“I think so.”
I started to grab my coat
and the trees went wild again
“Let it go.” came the whisper
I shrugged

I put my bare foot on the cable
It wasn’t the least bit sticky
“You’re not gonna eat me are you?”
The spider made this hiss clicking sound
that could have been laughter
“You’re not my type.”
“I’m afraid.”
“Don’t be. Let it go.”

Now I’ve never been one for balancing acts
But on that night
I was magnificent

In the Rain

He smiles
sky tears running the wrinkles in his warm
smiling face
 
Drenched
he waits for me to speak
 
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“My thoughts were a bit dry
Needed a little watering.”
 
“Aren’t you guys supposed to wear a pointed hat?”
He says
“I doubt it would do much in this deluge.”
 
A time passes
 
He says
“You are walking in a darkness
and though you can’t see it now
You are not alone.”
 
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“A dear friend is standing in the rain
and she looks so lost and alone.”
 
“Maybe your friend is cursed
Has no right to happiness
Has no need for society.”
 
And he laughs
(might be a cough)
“Not this one, she lives on the edge
She is spirited and gifted
She is a swan raised by ducks. . .
Indignant, resourceless ducks with really bad attitudes
but she is not cursed.”
 
“Old man
get in out of the rain.”
He says
“I’m am far too old to do as I’m told
Never done it before
Not gonna start now
 
Gentle one, your soul, your heart are not dead.
Love never dies
Even if you resign
it will not leave you.”
 
And just like that the old fool starts dancing
Dancing in the rain

The Portable Electric Poet

 

Your portable cordless electric poet
is made with maximum materials
to the highest specifications of oral hygiene

Please be certain to rinse your poet after every use
to keep your poet fresh and prevent mold

Please be certain to store your electric poet
in a cool dry place when not in use

You can tell all your friends about the way
your electric poet pleases you and helps you smile

With proper care your purchase will give you years of pleasure
and very nice teeth