knotted hands grasping
at the sinewed cord
into a tentacle as you haul
the bucket up from the cistern,
a severed head bobbing
in the rancid water,
one eye plucked
by the hooked beak of a seabird.
drunken bell tolls
a hundred headaches,
clanging in the blood
muscles stiff, water
up to the ankles. tasks
pile up in heaps
like the salt-crusted debris
in the kitchen, stains
seeping down between
the unrepaired shingles.
through the night,
black as ink,
a blinding blade slicing
the rain apart and singing
deep within the ear, dull
as it is from the klaxon.
vise blares around your skull—
the shriek from the beach that echoes
throughout your dampest caverns,
consuming, confusing the senses—
seaweed, slime, the black rocks
slick with it, groping for a handhold.
the mind softens when trapped, isolated—
moreso in conjunction with astute manipulation.
soon there is no difference between the self,
the other, the nightmare, the fantasy.
wind gnashes its teeth
against the windowpane.
it still carries traces
of the inhuman scream that burst forth
from your mouth when
the radiance touched you,
melding with the voices
of the other departed,
their flesh having long been swallowed by the dirt.
they chorus when the wind changes,
the sudden absence of gulls
signaling the approaching storm.
Spore is an accurate simulation of the evolutionary process
earth shatters around me and I go on watching
my fragmented memories spin before my eyes like
an extra-large laundromat dryer. I call this one
the trauma cycle. it’s where the machine eats
your credit card and the centrifuge never stops spinning.
with each psychic impact I crawl further, more desperately,
away from my body, dissociation a phallic instrument
that cleaves my amygdala. fear now looks
as strange as I do; it is transformed into a cardboard cutout
of a feeling, just as my heart is now an urn filled with ash.
why ask to be lifted from this abyss—what is there
left to save. I become the martyr I have always imitated,
crucified at last. free. then the pin drops and I am
beaten back into myself, peering out from behind
the veil of madness with needles on my tongue. all this
and more just to climb out of the water
starting at the forehead i skin myself inch
by inch as one might peel an orange.
the agony is unimaginable but at the end
of it i am free
raw, naked, and clean.
all the evil in my heart escapes in
a blinding exodus of a thousand golden shafts.
next i take the bonesaw to my cranium and carve
a trap door into my skull so i
can pluck my brain from within
as if it was an umeboshi plum bobbing in a pool of LCL.
It is bedraggled and gray, a caricature
of a stray dog, a beaten and shriveled runt.
thetic. deplorable. a rotting flesh odor rises
from the exposed and now empty vessel
that once was my head. “let us drink
the sarcophagus juice”
the petition read. but when confronted
with its approximation you find the taste
is a bludgeon to your tongue,
greasy as vinegar.
i run the brain under the water to wash
the poison out and after a moment it begins to ooze
a substance the color and consistency of motor oil.
i fight with an urge more ancient than thought,
to twist the right and left brains like the
of a rotten peach and tear the infernal organ apart
in favor of the conscious hallucination
inside my fantasy i can manipulate men without consequences.
there is no physical presence with which to threaten me—
therefore hearts and minds become more malleable than clay.
the dough of them seeps through my fingers as i knead,
reminiscent of some erotic gesture of hands pressing furrows
into luminous skin. inside i am more
than just the residue of a complete person which clings
to the walls like the smear of bloody fingerprints.
my inherent fever and earned wisdom need not
be mutually exclusive. i wield my trauma in my own defense—
freddie’s claws reach tenderly for the cunt—i did not consent
to have my body weaponized—but at the end of this
false flag is a cruelly-pointed spear. like dogs they line up
on all fours to slobber over my deformed hands.
they are penned in by the walls those hands erected,
sealed with a mortar of spit and ashes, but they don’t know
i am also trapped here, if only so that the beast inside i’ve hidden
will never tear itself out.