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“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.
Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.
Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.
These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”
And he to me, as guy with a shrewd core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.
We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.
And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.
There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.
Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite
Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.
And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.
And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.
Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.
Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.
And I: “Master, what is so hardly fell
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.
For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain.
Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.
And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;
And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.
After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.
At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.
These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.
So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.
And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat
So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”
And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.
With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.
And came us towards of a boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!
You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.
And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,
Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.
My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”
After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.
But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter
When heard the meaning of words so askew.
Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.
They then all joined and came compelled to cede,
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.
Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.
As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall
So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.
So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.
“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;
The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.
Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.
And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.
The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;
And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.
I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
It is a terrible thing
To be so open: it is as if my heart
Put on a face and walked into the world.
Sylvia Plath, Three Women, 1962
Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque,
an incongruity, a clever imbalance
that spins collections her hounds facilitate.
Failures and fractures she bravely lanced
with noncompliance. Reader, rebuff collars
labeled as forewords, smug introductions,
for Plath’s voice is tenfold more a scholar
than those receiving undue benedictions.
Lofty beggars seek to bookend her words
and that empty space she instinctively refills
with her universe, a mayhem that girds,
unapologetic. Mirror images spill
over margins, searching for identity,
negating preamble, snubbing apathy.
Negating preamble, snubbing apathy
with language that flickers, catches, combusts,
her volumes of wicks, her lit soliloquies,
glint behind the stained-glass of trust.
There are those who are not really here,
they wander fault lines then crisscross chasms,
lost pilgrims who easily commandeer
unwary emotions. Some hearts just spasm,
pulled by their own nature, their delicacy,
for poetry is a weakness; poets die
between verses. Odes can become elegies.
The thin-skinned hear a snared rabbit cry,
and pray for the moonflower, always closing,
while cursing that page, unmoved and dozing.
While cursing that page, unmoved and dozing,
she corners rigid guides, keeps fingers poised,
synchronicity goes, the flow of typing
disappears, mislaid, that perfect noise
of a carriage return, a sound exclamation.
Joy is inspiration making its way home,
her Olivetti forages like a raven,
gifting found nouns, verbs that glare like chrome,
but love still flits, turns from hoarse requests,
and she longs for more than any man can give
for what snags worn ribbons will not rest,
it emits a strong beat, throbs as it loves.
Bless the bitter of life, all wisdom owing,
curse the open heart, its shadows showing.
Curse the open heart, its shadows showing,
for worldly delights take full advantage
of the wounded, their brokenness growing.
Everyday beauty wrings arteries, dredges
chambers with barbs, a prompt disobedient.
Fact, there’s no folder large enough to hold
elation’s girth, no ink conveniently
on hand to black out depression. So, scold
the yew, its roots and branches reaching,
then poke at petals for being complacent,
when all the while a candle is preaching
of give and take, surrender, luminance,
So, carefully archive apprehension,
revealing blue veins to tender lesions.
Revealing blue veins to tender lesions
requires much more than a room of one's own,
hours do dissolve, days lack cohesion
when milk sours and tantrums are thrown.
Solitude is in short supply, loneliness,
however, is overstocked; her mind tugs
at busy hands for attention, such darkness
contrasts to jammy smiles and sleepy hugs.
Elusive titles whimper each morning,
and short stanzas steep, so desperately,
all the while a manuscript is scorning
her swipes at dry crumbs, cold pots of tea.
A life sheds its months, gallows take delight
as sundials atrophy in the arms of night.
As sundials atrophy in the arms of night.
the moon blanches tidepools, suckles sand,
even the face of the clock is pulled too tight
and the new calendar can not understand
that writing is sex, is fresh bread, is air,
that time is a brute, quick fisted, rough,
that weeks come and go without a care
that a marriage vow is never enough
to mend adoration, repossess bliss.
Words make better lovers, rarely stray,
upon her lips, the impression of a kiss
feels as cold as sheets then melts away.
Paper sops afterbirth, accepts her all:
fossil and seed, shackles and free falls.
Fossil and seed, shackles and free falls,
unlocking visions, defying any cage,
art resists validity, upsets stone walls
to scale the scarlet heights of a rampage,
to breach the barricades to euphoria.
She excavates id, bares teeth at ego,
plays the parts of illusion and phobia
then infuses rhyme with soft indigo.
Colossus begins to shrivel as Ariel
unmans him, riding hard upon metaphors,
and will remain strong, constant, ethereal.
but curtailed are epics that still implore
like the cusp of dream long after you wake
Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque.
* For Craig Cornish, whose contest inspired this piece. Thank you, Daddy-O.
About this poem
This is my first crown of sonnets. It took over 25 hours to write, a full week of me-time!
These are modern sonnets and the syllable count is extremely loose, intentionally, as it would seem odd to keep things too tight when writing of Sylvia. If anything, I regret not being even looser, altering syllable counts DRAMATICALLY. Also, I used a great deal of slant rhyme for the same reason.
I really wanted to capture Sylvia Plath with this poem, and it was a real struggle. Her language is so precise, and I wanted to do her justice. I had wanted to feel, upon its completion, that Sylvia would have said, "Well, it isn't quite horrible. Not bad for a novice. And there are parts of me there, but only the smallest bits." I do not feel I did this. I feel like I didn't even TOUCH her mastery of language. But, it is good enough for now.. one day, who knows?
Oh, Sylvia's typewriter was a Olivetti Lettera 22. It was portable!
Can you hear me now? Good!
I can't seem to forget you
I love what you do for me
It must be love
between love and madness lies obsession
Like always. Like never before
At the sign of the cat
have a break, have a Kit-Kat
Tastes so good cats ask for it by name
Schhhh ... You-know-who
I'd rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity
Perfect to you
There's a smile in every Bar
Obey your thirst
This Bud's for you
One a day helps you work, rest, and play
More fun than rum
Heineken open your world
... nobody can say no to the honey nut O
a bowl a day keeps the bullies away
Our plans are based on yours
You have my word on it
Be the first to know
Who we are
The "no problem" people
Only smarties have the answer
Making it all make sense
Because that's the kind of mom you are
Sometimes you've got to break the rules
Blow your own bubble
Catch our smile?
Everything we do is driven by you
Driven by what's inside
We'll take more care of you
You asked for it. You got it
We know what it means to serve
On your side
Allied on your side
You're in good hands
We make it happen
We'll be there
Get the feeling
Im lovin' it
You are the controller
Only on Playstation
You are now free to move
Unleash the beast
Is it in you?
Do you dare?
About this poem:
Inspired by Sheri Fresonke Harper's Contest:"Danger: I'm creative"
To "write" this poem, I used slogans, short and often memorable phrases
used in advertising campaigns. Below you can find the name of the product
(or the company) in order of appearance.
-Verizon Wireless; Wind Song; Toyota; Honda; Calvin Klein; Saturn
-Mercury; Kit Kat; Meow Mix; Schweppes
-Stella Artois; Wella; Dell; Hershey's; Sprite; Budweiser; Mars; Malibu;
Captain Morgan; Heineken; Rice Krispies; Cheerios; Applejacks Cereal
-Assurant; Isuzu; CNN; Guardian Life Ins; Auto-owners Ins;
-Captain Morgan; Rice Krispies; Buger King; Bubble Yum; Red Hills Inn;
Pacific Southwest Airlines; Ford; Subaru; British Airways; Toyota; USSA;
Nationwide Mutual Ins; Allied Ins
-Allstate; IBM; Chevrolet; Toyota; Mc Donalds; Microsoft Kinect; PS3;
Southwest Airlines; Monster Energy; Gatorade; Curious.
Phantom Journal Entry 1
Wednesday 8:03 A.M.
I found Jesus at a bus stop this morning. He recommended that I comb my hair. I told him if I had any nails I would hand them over. Monty found a shoe full of vomit by a dumpster. Someone had an interesting night. This apartment smells like stale french fries. Frank is still sleeping on the counter next to Mr. Coffee. There is a stray cat clawing at the windowpane. The town is gradually waking up. The park across the street is filled with shirkers. My mind is still living in last night’s conversation. But I don’t remember it very well. Shit, I’m going to be late for
Phantom Journal Entry 2
Wednesday 11:13 P.M.
Work sucked. I think the bartender is an alcoholic. She hides a flask in her bra. It fell out when we were in the stall together. Frank is sprawled across the kitchen floor. Monty steps over him to grab a beer. The stray cat is now sleeping on the windowpane. Nothing ever changes from morning to night. Except Monty is drinking coffee and not beer.
Phantom Journal Entry 3
Good Friday 9:47 P.M.
The ocean left the brine. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their dreams are living in my beer. The worms are drunk on the stove. Frank passed out hugging the toilet. Monty takes a piss right next to his face. Some girl just asked me what I was writing. I told her that I was rewriting the Bible. She seemed confused. Her hair wasn’t combed either. The guy at the bus stop would be ashamed. I can’t remember his name though. The television can’t stop spewing poorly scripted ‘reality’ shows. This Friday isn’t very Good.
Phantom Journal Entry 4
Monday 3:12 A.M.
My eyes are broken garage doors off the tracks. I’ve drank too much Red Bull. She keeps waking up and asking me for water. Apparently her mouth is in a drought. A dead soldier lays between her breasts. Frank keeps drooling on the carpet. My favorite ash tray is tipped over next to Mr. Coffee. This desk keeps hiding words from me. Monty wonders how much a plane ticket to Hell costs. He never sleeps.
Phantom Journal Entry 5
Thursday 12:31 A.M.
It smells of raw fish and bleach in here. My palms are sore. Monty told me to stab myself with pencils to make sure I could still bleed. So I did. That girl ordered me a pizza. But I forgot it under the couch. The medicine chest is nearly empty. When Frank wakes up he is taking a trip to 5th Street to get more. I wonder if they sell bandages there? Will Mr. Coffee brew marijuana for us? My brain is starting to throw up.
Phantom Journal Entry 6
Thursday 12:38 A.M.
This desk keeps mocking me. I offered it to the guy at the bus stop, but he said he didn’t want anymore wood. The dishes are now a chemistry project. But Mr. Coffee is always clean. I can’t get this girl to stop showing me her tattoos. I miss the bartender at work. She got fired tomorrow. So I bought her a new bra. The medicine chest is empty now. Frank is never awake when I write.
Phantom Journal Entry 7
Thursday 4:30 P.M.
I finally got the garage doors fixed. I guess they weren’t closed enough. There is a ghost that keeps haunting the hallway in my dreams. She is pretty hot. Except she keeps tilting the pictures on the wall.
The thirsty girl still won’t leave. Neither will the cat. We may have found the cure for cancer in our dishes. But probably not. Frank is talking in his sleep about stepping on rats. Monty is listening to Beethoven while he attempts to write poetry. He is an awful writer.
Phantom Journal Entry 8
Monday 1:49 A.M.
The guy at the bus stop asked me if I wanted to drink his blood. I told him I wasn’t thirsty. The water was running from the shower. Frank was dreaming in the tub. Monty ate chicken wings with the tattooed girl. I can’t remember her name. I think that cat is hungry too. Mr. Coffee wants to go to sleep. There is broken glass sticking out of my feet. The sky is bleeding white. My mind begins to masturbate.
Phantom Journal Entry 9
Sunday 3:33 A.M.
The brine is looking for the ocean. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their realities are dead on the floor. This desk is growing a face. The medicine chest is full. Monty picks up a filthy habit from the black lake. I haven’t seen Frank for a few days. He must be under the couch. I robbed the guy at the bus stop. Turns out he didn’t really save much. The thirsty tattooed girl shattered Mr. Coffee last night. I will miss him dearly. Now my shot glass is spawning worms.
Phantom Journal Entry 10
Tuesday and I don’t know what time it is
It’s been 369 days since I last wrote an entry. I’ve simply had nothing to say. Monty is living in the streets somewhere. I think of him every time I buy a loaf of bread. I wonder if he found out how much tickets cost? That cat finally starved a few weeks ago. I married that thirsty tattooed girl. I still don’t remember her name though. Frank went to sleep in someone elses apartment. Never did talk to him much. The worms are all marching in a line. Someone stole my medicine chest. I think it was Monty. The guy at the bus stop was thrown into an asylum. But somehow vanished one day. The garage doors are now closed on a regular basis. That ghost finally straightened out the tilted pictures. I think I’ve been combing my hair a lot better lately. I am still a phantom to society. But that’s okay. Nobody knows my name.
By the lamppost at night
with the pale moon shining bright
but obscured by the fog
I saw her in the harbor
standing where my boat lay moored
but she knew that
her azure eyes beckoned me to come
smoke from the cigarette in her hand
trailing upward and blending with the mist
and the gold braid around her wrist
I remembered my gift
I stood transfixed
if only for a moment
then I walked to her slowly
and tipped my fedora
and the little joke we shared in love
I asked,"Where have you been all my life?"
Waiting for you, she said
I laughed at her resentfully and said
You left me here from this place
without a note, without a trace
I scoured old haunts, you weren't there
you left as if you didn't care
Remember our walks along the shore
your favorite drink,that special place
in the cafe by the window
where the sun would shine on your hair
and leaving a golden glint
like it did on my boat
when it was in full sail
Then one day you went away
our love became a mystery
that was never solved
now your'e here and I ask you why
There was a war, she said
I lost this guy and you came along
to fill the void and share my sorrow
I loved you, Jake, your silly hat
the way you tipped it, the boat , the cat
who begged for fish after each catch
she paused and lit another smoke .
took a puff and exhaled and said
Then one day , he showed up , his name was Clive
the guy I mentioned had survived
and left his tags with a guy who died
and he became an MIA
he was hiding out in Mandalay
involved in something, he wouldn't say
but he wanted me there, he promised me fame
I was a singer, you know
and all the dough that I could want
or all I could take
I just had to know how to play the game
Then I thought of you Jake
and what we had
and I told him , No
He got mean, Jake
and threatened to expose me
for what I really was
and I couldn't bear for you to hear
my sordid past, my constant fear
we're both alike, you and me, he said
We'll take what the world has to give
and grab it by the throat
or I’ll destroy you if you don’t
As time went by,it didn't take long
to see he was singing a different song
His lies and schemes, the other dolls
I lost my respect and I didn't care
I had to get out, I needed a plan
to rid myself of this rotten man
There was this guy, Buck
who ran the bar, he pitied the plight
that I was in, he hated Clive as much as I
I told him I watched Clive at the end of each night
the cash he hid in a special place
no doubt to leave in a hurry in case things got hot
he would check to see how much was stashed
if it was worth the dare, we would split down the middle
and make our departure at the crack of dawn
I knew a Burmese captain who owned a scow
who asked no questions for a fee
he'd have some cabins for you and me
Just before closing , I feigned getting ill
and called for Clive to aid me somehow
to stay awhile and give me a pill
and while he was there, Buck went to that spot
took the cash and lit out that night to wait for me.
at a pre destined place
My bag was packed in another room
I told Clive I would rest and join him soon
But as soon as he left, I slipped out
to the back, grabbed a cab
headed for freedom away from that man
thinking of you and to make things right
She paused for a moment and put out her smoke
and I thought I saw a drop of blood
form on the corner of her mouth
she quickly wiped her hand across her face
and continued her story at a slower pace
I arrived at the pier where the scow lay docked
took one look behind me and looked at the clock
of the building where we were to meet
checked my watch that matched the time
I saw a jeep pull up and he saw me
two grips in his hand and a smile on his face
he said, I got his dough, I'll leave his jeep
It's the least I can do for that miserable creep
I said there's no time to waste
just show me the dough
we'll split down the middle and get ready to go
he said, "Oh"
I'm ready to go but my plans have changed
I'm traveling alone
but I'll leave just enough to change your luck
this one's for you and this one's for Buck
I suspected as much and I scowled as he grinned
but his mouth shaped an O as he looked down below
the knife in his stomach pulsed blood from his guts
too late I saw his gun come up as he fell
I fell a pain in my side and clutched my coat
I picked up the bags
and summoned up strength to get onto the boat
I looked at the captain and said
There's double the price
if we can get away soon
get up some steam
and head for Rangoon
the captain patched me up
as good as he could
with the aid of some rum and a smoldering wood
to cauterize the wound
I knew it was wrong to take his life
but I was prepared to kill him
to end this strife
as a precaution, I took the knife
that we used to cut bait with
a long time ago
the knife stirred up memories
that you and I had
that pressed my decision to leave that cad
but the wound didn't heal, the lead lay impacted
I was resigned to my fate to see you once more
before it's too late... and here you are
She collapsed in my arms and I held her tight
with tears in my eyes , her audible sighs
gasping for breath and leaning toward death
And before she expired, her hand on my face
Where have you been all life, babe
waiting for you, I cried
waiting for you
A tribute to the black and white movies and dialogue of the late 30’s and 40’s
© Ralph Sergi
A Bluto is not that Disney dog
It was when a mewling
that I would scream
Should they wet my body
And then apply cream
Ablutophobia – fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning
Achluo the demon that lurks
In darkened corners
The long toothed life suckers realm
I am scared as the sun dims
It seems to bare my soul
Achluophobia – fear of darkness
Acro what did they do
They called me acrobat
This will not do
I get giddy standing on a matchbox
Please get a net to see me through
Acrophobia – fear of heights
Agora just shut that door
I am staying here forever more
Bring me food put it on the floor
The letter box is just for you
Don’t, Don’t, try to get through
Agoraphobia, Fear of open spaces or of being in public places. Fear of leaving a safe place
Agrap stole my feelings
He caught me unaware
I am now afraid of sex
don’t ask me anymore
It frightens me that’s for sure
Agraphobia – fear of sexual abuse
Agrizoo an angry gorilla I knew
Wild as hell was kept in a cell
As all his kind, even a timid Hind
They scare the crap out of me
Please let them run free
Agrizoophobia – fear of wild animals
A gyro is just what I need
I will fit it to my trusty stead
He will fly straight across that band
A tarmac nasty throughout the land
I cannot face the walk you see
Agyrophobia –fear of crossing the road
Aichmohe got in a hell of a fight
They killed him with a pointed knife
It will come for me just you see
I cannot even mend his cloth
Won’t touch a needle at any cost
Aichmophobia – fear of sharp or pointed objects (such as a needle or knife)
Ailuro he lived next door
The bastard sits on the fence
To me he snarls not a purr
A Persian he is supposed to be
Frightens the *****out of me
Ailurophobia – fear of cats
Algo, Away, I am pain free
This morphine is the best
First day of pain free rest
Been told that it will return
Got some gas, peace I yearn
Algophobia - fear of pain
Andro I’d rather be (android)
I am metal and plastic you see
Electric person not man or woman
That would be so sad
If just a man I would go mad
Androphobia – fear of men
Antho the pologist got the plan
He put concrete throughout the land.
Not one shrub or flower seen
Not one blade of grass green
A flower would make me scream
Anthophobia – fear of flowers
Anthropo was a lonely man
Wouldn’t mix with others so
He lived in a cave, well just a hole
You would see his eyes peeping out
A shaking frame if people were about
Anthropophobia – fear of people or the company of people, a form of social phobia.
Aqua marine or even the wet stuff
Is enough to drive me mad
I stay in when there is rain
Just wait for the sun to shine again
A damp tissue that’s quite enough
Aquaphobia – fear of water. Distinct from Hydrophobia, a scientific property that makes chemicals averse to interaction with water, as well as an archaic name for rabies
Arach no, and know the score
Those creepy creatures on the wall
Send shivers up and down my spine
Six legs and venom to drive you mad
I am running already it is sad.
Arachnophobia – fear of spiders
Astra my name you would think of the stars
My gaze goes up but not that far
To the first cloud there in the sky
If it’s the shape of an anvil I will fly
Fear grips me and I don’t know why
Astraphobia – fear of thunder and lightning
Atychi that was about the size of me
The others would just make fun
I was no good to anyone
A failure of the first degree
Nothing my goal, was all I could see
Atychiphobia – fear of failure
Auto matic I will seek people out
To touch to play as long as they are near
Don’t leave me in this place alone
A singularity is my biggest fear
I will hold anyone you see I care
Autophobia – fear of being alone or isolated
Automat o no it’s not true how could you
An advert that’s telling just lies
Don’t all the others realize
What you say is not true, put it right
It will drive me crazy I’ll keep out of sight
Automatonophobia – fear of anything that falsely represents a sentient being
Aviat o if you think I am going in that
No I am not a scared ***** cat
If we were meant to go fly
Wings we would have from him on high
Fold your machine and put it just so.
Aviophobia, Aviatophobia – fear of flying
Chaeto he was a Greek of old
Bald as a badger so the story is told
But why you say is there no cure
For him to grow some lovely hair
For him it would give such a scare
Chaetophobia – fear of hair
Chemo therapy keep away from me
Chemicals scare me I know they are free
But to have them coursing through my veins
No matter how good they are, and that jar
The fear of everything for what they are
Chemophobia – fear of chemicals
Chirop to or not too so I am told
They stick in your hair best to be bald
Now I find that my nails are made of hair
Chirop is what I fear not chiropodist is that clear!!
Just shave my head and cut my nails dear
Chiroptophobia – fear of bats
Chromo shines bright in my eyes
The fear of all colours I realise
Now I am safe from a troubled day
Into my dark room, I have found my way
Knock when that sun has met its demise
Chromophobia - fear of bright colors
It is so hard to let go of love,
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
the startled brake lets go.
It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
at end of end of rope -
Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy,
and waiting . . .
. . .waiting for adrenaline:
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!
It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.
crinkled all about.
Million mile amnesia.
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .
. . . as if the fish had never been.
-the fisher wonders:
The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.
A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time,
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
breaks air an instant.
The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Air turns to air once more,
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
one slender monofilament insisting: no!
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
subtle and so gossamer.
There, it glinted,
there! So very real.
Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger,
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife,
the knife . . .
. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers
waiting for their sister to come home.
The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.
She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-
but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
toward the bottom of the boat.
The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.
The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.
Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
She’s turned to meat.
He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.
The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.
Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.
The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . .
I’ve lost her. There she is.
The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.
Scent Of Paddy Flower
By Goutam Hazra
My father told me
I was just a boy then,
“Follow the scent of paddy flower
move with the wind it carries,
surely you will go to heaven.”
he would catch
fistful of wind
bring near to my face
“Isn’t it godly!”
Magically, opened his hand
but I never felt
what scent he meant.
Days of kind rain
“Son, see the misty wind
rushing all over the paddy field
comes every year
to drink the scent of paddy flower.”
Mere as a boy
I could see only
tides of a green plane
touching my little finger
and racing far… too far.
I would ask
“Where have they gone?”
Smiled my father
“Did not you listen,
they are going to heaven,
call the goddess then,
‘come goddess dear’
we all are ready with paddy flower.”
Curious was my face,
“Goddess will arrive smiling
her feet will be here
Seeing a pot in her hand
all those paddy flowers
delighted, will open their mouth more wider
and life will be poured…”
“Where these flowers come from?”
Remained my father smiling
speaking all his mind
looking high at sky
asked me to see there
spoke he again.
“Rain, rain, kind monsoon rain
on the first day of its shower
kind rain would ask me to come here
with bagful of paddy seeds,
‘let seeds be spread all over,
let its eternal relation with soil
be the fertilizer’
when all said is done
starts showering its kind
make visible hiding life in the abyss of seed.
Happy wind changes color
being green all around
waits for the day
when the wind would smell the scent of paddy flower.”
Days passed by,
kind rain was still in waiting
sometimes hidden beyond horizon
or simply making sun blind with its smoky face
and whenever wind said,
‘Dry I’m now’
quenched the thirst.
Someday wind played naughty with sun
asked kind rain to make it misty
and with brushes of sun rays
painted a rainbow on the face of east sky.
Wait was over
green field blossomed with flowers
and wind said,
“Fill in my heart
with scent of flower
I shall bring life…”
Happy was my father’s voice
“Rain, rain, kind monsoon rain
green wind brining life
scent of paddy flower
is made so.
Bare footed be here
print your soul
in the dust of this soil
kind rain will come
green wind being there
life will be yours
with the scent of paddy flower.”
How old was I then
nine or ten
my father looked up
up to the sky
again and again
for a month long
only to see
change of sky’s color
from the color of a summer day to a long humid night.
Dry wind cried at last
over my father’s sweating body
“Rain, rain O kind rain, where have you gone.”
One day sudden
kind rain came again.
Cried to my father
“Why no green wind came this year
to bring me here.
Desert wind why
dry my breath
seeds you have sown
how could I then
enliven with my rain.”
my father had asked the rain.
Short-lived, hurried rain could spell its last breath,
“I am not that rain
as was your friend,
I am the curse of dying forest
I am the ghost of all pollution
I am born out of acid weather…”
Who knew, it left for where?
My father cried
As kind rain left him alone
hiding in a dry wind’s bone.
My father was still
going every morning
asking the soil
if soil could alone
make the paddy flowers to be born.
Year passed by,
came back the time,
for green wind to bring kind rain.
Rain came one day.
as a cloudburst
like an unkind monster
in the life of a simple farmer?
Dumb remained my father
for days together
sad was his voice at last,
“Run away, son, run away from here,
sky rain wind
river village land;
thread of this garland
who cuts it
go, stop now there hand.”
Draught and flood,
uncertainty of life
changed my mind
as of a farmer’s son.
Books, studies and education
reasons, truth and compassion
might have had fulfilled my father’s mission.
Does not this civilization
as the products to do more production.
Run, run and run
run ahead of time
let be it, at the cost of inhaling killer tension,
stress taking over your life.
Insomnia, cholesterol or cynicism
is our success’s companion?
‘A’ is shaped as ‘B’
and ‘B’ is sold as ‘C’.
but I found the basic
what it remain
as life’s supreme conviction
‘simply a fist full of paddy
and its grain’.
Scent of life
So here, I am again
standing in front of this green plane
searching for the shadow of my father.
Green wind surrounds my existence
I can see the dance of those bunches.
My mind whispers to my ear
echoes those words of my father,
“Bare footed be here
print your soul
in the dust of this soil
rain will come
green wind being there
life will be yours
with the scent of paddy flower.”
I never felt so,
what I smell now
is the scent of paddy flower.