Cathedral of Shame


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It was never my intent to return to this place
dark halls of betrayal, and lacking in grace
Lustful intentions, like geysers of steam
sex memories ‘neath mahogany beams

Yet I come on this day to recapture my soul
To quiet the screams now three decades old
Black flowing robes with collars of white
Incensed chambers to the left and the right

The bones of saints litter this brothel of sin
While confessions absolve the evils of men
The innocent novice here silently cries
Behind red velvet ropes of cardinal lies

Like lambs sacrificial to the altar are led
While the pure hearts of angels are quietly bled
I kneel before God, but my prayers silent fall
In the shadow of Christ in this candlelit hall

The peace that I seek here doesn’t exist
Where the holiest men refuse to resist
Hail Virgin Mary, full of sweet grace
Help me to rise and get out of this place

 

Father’s Day


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He pillaged the title the day I was born
and like most thieves, he took for granted that which he stole.
Being a “father” meant no more to him than taking the trash out
the only difference being, he preferred to bring the trash in.
Each night, drunk and puffed full of false bravado, he would
return home from the bar twenty minutes after closing
with some strange woman who was half his age
who still managed to look twice as old as he was.
They all smoked and smelled of cheap perfume and beer,
and as he pushed by my mother with
with a violence that seemed to rattle her bones,
he would look at me, a frightened five year old
with no understanding of what this all meant,
and flip me the finger.

Every day was “father’s day”..
his to do with as he willed.
They took their sins into
my mother’s bedroom and slammed the door behind them.
I feared my father, but hated my mother
for not taking us out of this broken house and into
the world where somewhere, someone could love us.
That’s all I wanted…love. What I got was limitless contempt
for complicating their lives.
She just sat in the living room before the television, defeated
and sipping her gin, counting the years down until she might
find the courage to cut her wrists,
leaving us to…him.

A Midnight Violation


fear

Bathed in an ethereal light
this child has no skin in the game
yet her trust holds demands
she cannot bear.

The creak of her bedroom door
snatches the sleep from her eyes
and in the darkness, horror descends;
her pillow, once soft and warm,
betrays her and once under, now over
muffles her surprise.

Beneath his weight, she dissipates
her cries muffled in the night.
Her fright smothers – she gasps for air
and he’s still there, grinding her
fragile hips into dust.

God looks on, and in His fashion
does nothing to intervene;
a celestial voyeur.

Stuffed animals bolt to the floor
one after the other, and with them
descends lost innocence; her
face laced in spittle, and she’s so little.

He rolls over, spent and condemned
as blackness descends to fill her.
Nothing is as it seems, but not a dream.
Tears wash away the vision of
this violation.

He rises as she plummets;
this child painted with the smell of
cigarettes and cheap liquor.
Morning filters through frosted panes
but she finds no warmth in the rising sun.

They’ll be no accounting for this sin
and no childhood left within this shattered
shell of a child. A darkness, deeper than sleep,
envelopes her lost innocence, and the
night’s breeze carries the cry of angels.

 

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Cut Gently


cut-gently

 

Be gentle with your words
they cut like knives and twice as deep
if you’ve hatred to spew, just keep
searching for a way to express yourself
without completely diminishing
everyone else around you.
On more than one occasion
You’ve carved me up until I had
nothing left inside to support me;
Loving you isn’t hard, it’s the most
natural thing I do,
but listening to you sometimes
takes such masochistic effort.
That said, we all need to express
those emotions that bind us up;
in those moments, cut gently
and give me some time to heal.

 

Cathedral of Shame


It was never my intent to return to this place
dark halls of betrayal, and lacking in grace
Lustful intentions, like geysers of steam
scald memories ‘neath mahogany beams

Yet I come on this day to recapture my soul
To quiet the screams now three decades old
Black flowing robes with collars of white
Incensed chambers to the left and the right

The bones of saints litter this brothel of sin
While confessions absolve the evils of men
The innocent novice here silently cries
Behind red velvet ropes of cardinal lies

Like lambs sacrificial to the altar are led
While the pure hearts of angels are quietly bled
I kneel before God, but my prayers silent fall
In the shadow of Christ in this candlelit hall

The peace that I seek here doesn’t exist
Where the holiest men refuse to resist
Hail Virgin Mary, full of sweet grace
Help me to rise and get out of this place

 

My Father’s Gift


My father was a gifted man,
if by gifted you mean having the ability
to take a perfectly good family and
fuck it up beyond all recognition.

I often wonder what his childhood
was like – did he lay awake at night
anxiously awaiting that condemning
sliver of light from a cracked bedroom
door? Did he endure the midnight
smell of rum and coke that announced
another night of abuse? Did he whisper
to himself, “this is what I want to do
when I grow up?”

He had a gift for loving his children,
much like a pimp has the gift of loving
his whores.

For the Child


Who will love for the child when the child can’t love?
When the trust that he seeks is so needlessly shattered,
And he’s come to believe that his love doesn’t matter.
Who will love for the loveless child?

Who will cry for the child when the child can’t cry?
When his innocence, like his toys, lay broken,
And his spirit is crushed with a harsh word spoken.
Who will cry for the tearless child?

Who will laugh for the child when the child can’t laugh?
When the laughter he craves turns quickly to fear,
And his smile fades, and his voice disappears.
Who will laugh for the laugh-less child?

Who will care for the child when the child doesn’t care?
When his needs are ignored and his tears fall most freely,
And he shivers when held and clings oh so dearly.
Who will care for the care-less child?

Who will do all of this when the child isn’t able?
Who will offer him love and a place at the table -
To feed and to clothe and to offer him love,
To stand by his side when push comes to shove?
Who will do all of this with a slow, healing hand?
If you’re willing and able….perhaps you can.

We Write What We Know


I had lived one life with my face turned from the sun,
breathing icy winds and my father’s sin.
He is gone now but his fingerprints
remain a stain upon my broken bones.
My sister traded his midnight hugs for an opium exit;
her ashes instead of his lashes.
I took my refuge in dark shadows and withered.

I told…once.
Was rewarded with a year sabbatical in a red brick asylum,
bought and paid for with my mother’s silence.
She collected her ransom daily/offered up her womb’s fruit
to feed him like grapes to Caesar’s gaping maw.
She furnished her home with lost innocence
and found comfort in our cries.
She is buried now and I am robbed of my mourning.

Unearth me when tomorrow comes.
Set my broken feet upon polished stones;
let ascending steps carry me home.
My screams no longer echo from the mountaintops
My dreams no longer tether my pain.
I am not healed, but I feel, and my words anoint
my open wounds.

The Sacrificial Child



Let not secrets fall outside these walls;
Ignore this child’s anguished call -
Don’t trouble me none, with your tellin’ tongue,
May a silenced voice save us all.

Oh, sweet child of mine, now is not the time
to be breakin’ down in tears.
Your father’s touch didn’ hurt you much,
and he’s gettin’ on in years.

I’m your mother son, and it troubles me some,
this fear you’ve seem to got.
I may turn away when ya’ll come to say,
“oh, Momma, make him stop”

Yes it grieves me some, that you’ve come undone,
jus’ keep it in your chest!
I know how you feel, just give it time to heal
And we’ll put it all to rest.

Got a call, my boy, from your school, my joy,
sayin’ you broke down in tears.
Don’t you know, my love, that come push to shove,
I’ll deny your tender fears.

You took your life my sweet, now the secret sleeps,
Let death now set you free.
Find your peace, my love, in the stars above,
and say a prayer for me.

I’ve five more to raise, and a thousand ways,
to keep it’ all within.
Please don’t blame me, sweetness, for my incompleteness,
And my part in this sin.

Descent into Silence


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caught in a flame, and scorched by fire
The searing heat of dark desire
A life for most part innocent
Now lay shattered, scorched, and rent
And on this day to never set
The Sun reveals what she can’t forget
There are no tears still yet to fall
For in this act, she lost it all
What still constricts this child’s laughter
What further harm awaits hereafter
Horrors endured in silent fear
One day stretched out into a year
A year to ten, and now a life
Lies severed by one day of strife
And now confined behind a wall
In silent screams, we watch her fall
Into a pit of pain and bile
All to whet a taste most vile
Malevolent and deadly sour
Another child lost to baseless power