Diagnosis


Image

moments of crazy
little peeks behind the sanity curtain
screaming like a banshee
binge drink-eat-screw
before being declared unsound
living under a microscope
then come the drugs
take the pills, follow the rules, and play nice
cue the side effects
a good doctor, a good therapist, and the right meds
the holy trinity of madness
find the knots that need untying and
the pathways that need re-wiring
navigate this world in different ways
or spiral into despair
a misshapen version of a human
a different way of seeing
easily wounded, and easily elated
weird, misaligned
lacking the candle needed
to get out of the dark

 

Beneath These Stairs


Imagehttp://alastairsphotofiction.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/photo-fiction-sunday-june-16th-2013/

photo by Alastair

These are the back alleys
where destitute meets despair
and this is my journey.
The stairs call me from the bowels
of my misfortunes, beckoning me
onward and up…I shall not go.
At the top of these stairs
humanity stirs, and I am long
since far removed…my face
cannot bear the light, my fate
lies in the shadows of this alley.

I fell from these stairs years ago,
awash in drink and drug…I found
my refuge in this shaded vale
beneath the mortal blow,
below the pain and affliction
stirring far above.
My world is diminished,
as am I,
though the day will come when
when my tired bones ascend,
when my body fades upon these
cold stone steps.
Then, and only then,
shall my soul ascend,
Then, and only then.
shall I find my peace.

Father’s Day


Image

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 Godly Silence


 

silent god

I speak to God in silent phrase
And offer up my heartfelt praise
Yet silence is His voice to me
He shows no earthly empathy

My prayers are but a silent wind
And I a storm that’s lost within
A body crushed beneath the weight
Of loss, regret, and certain fate

In slow descent, the spirit ebbs
Entombed within this mortal dread
Yet silent still His saving grace
A void I feel within this place

No comfort shall I know this day
My God has simply slipped away
And in His place a dark despair
Hot ashes flowing everywhere

The pain increases even still
All that’s left is my free will
And so, I chose another path
Turning from His vengeful wrath

His Son was slowly crucified
So He might feel more sanctified
Though in the hour of my need
His sacrifice is lost on me

 

 

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Secrets


Image

My shadow falls away -
no sun will touch this truth.
Wandering cold and revealed;
almost naked in my sin,
for I have squandered the best of me,
despair descends upon what’s left of me!

Secrets eat at my guts
and I am consumed completely.
Would that my lips could part
and exorcise that which I dare not speak.
I am taunted by courage beyond reach.

My body is cleaved in two:
one side dead
while the other exists in fear of living.
I am betrayed by my own hand
and I shall not sleep eternal.

The truth is an acid
eating away any hope of resurrection.
I am undone, yet left standing.
I am buried alive beneath my secrets.

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If Just Once More…


alone 4

A heart divided cannot beat for long
An unsung note cannot be called a song
The dancer spins a lonely pirouette
Who dances only with her silhouette

The un-prayed prayer on deaf ears fall
Despite the soul’s relentless call
This crowded world is such an empty place
When from heaven, too, angels fall from grace

The flames of love that burn so bright
Without lips to kiss becomes a dying light
The promise of love that is unreturned
Is the loneliest truth for man to learn

The sun may rise, but each day descends
Like a long, dark night that will never end
The longest path for he who walks alone
Each shuffled step toward an empty home

In winter’s grip, luscious gardens shorn
Though the wilted rose still bears its thorns
Yet all these sorrows I would dare embrace
If just once more I could see your face

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i never had a plan for you


3

you push and pull, like wolves at the door,
and all i hear is this discordant humming.
you play only the black keys, the sharp keys,
and your music screams of pain.
but isn’t that the choice?

we’ve come a long and lonely way
to owe ourselves to wolves
each howl a dying little light of the soul
i don’t remember, did we take this road together?
did you see our wings fold together?

you have a wanderlust growing in your soul
and live where ashes take the form of houses
all around the grounds we see a flashlight metronome,
that skips to sleep in leaps, lock and key, or latchkey…
a house you tricked empty because
you knew they would take it back, piece by piece.

who do we let it in? do we have a choice?
you said you don’t even like to be seen
in the parking lot, beneath the moon
and the drinking of the glass…
whatever the hell that means

i’m sorry again for everything i’ve been
and all the things i wasn’t
i’d sink to your city streets if i wasn’t buried in your hands
there is nothing out there; i do not hear what you hear
regardless of everything, i came to know you as a relic
you are ashes falling between my burnt fingers

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The Visitation


rose

 

Gray shadows fall upon my face
Here within this sacred place;
The stone so cold, and roughly hewn
Beneath this waning winter moon

The air is thin and so am I
My heart is heavy, I start to cry
Each letter of her chiseled name
Is lit as though with golden flame

My fingers trace the shallow grooves
As though with touch I could disprove
She is no more, and I am less
Without her voice and soft caress

Bereft and full of memories
I rise up from on bended knee
I place a rose upon her grave
Each petal but a kiss I’ve saved

Now, slowly do I turn for home
Only now, I walk alone.

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A Godly Silence


silent-god

 

I speak to God in silent phrase
And offer up my heartfelt praise
Yet silence is His voice to me
He shows no earthly empathy

My prayers are but a silent wind
And I a storm that’s lost within
A body crushed beneath the weight
Of loss, regret, and certain fate

In slow descent, the spirit ebbs
Dead within this mortal dread
Yet silent still His saving grace
A void I feel within this place

No comfort shall I know this day
My God has simply slipped away
And in his place a dark despair
Hot ashes flowing everywhere

The pain increases even still
All that’s left is my free will
And so, I chose another path
Turning from His vengeful wrath

His Son was slowly crucified
So He might feel more sanctified
Though in the hour of my need
His sacrifice is lost on me.

 

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The Night She Called


alone-in-bed1

 

I was so drunk
the night she called
I thought the phone ringing
was a song in my brain -
I hummed along
and laughed that empty laugh
that is found at the bottom
of well drunk bottles.

Later, she came to the door
and knocked, knocked, knocked
while I stared
at the crack spreading
up the wall,
reminding me of her varicose veins.
I tapped my foot in time.

I will most certainly die
on this side of the door one night,
and all the ringing and knocking
won’t bring me back to life.

 

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Half-Measures


razor cuts

I watch in morbid fascination
the quickening pulse of the vein
on the soft underside of my forearm;
each throbbing beat a silent protest
for the living of life, the loss of love,
the failure of faith in the future.

Warm blood trickles
slowly down my naked wrist
and into my loosely cupped open palm;
rivulets of life’s sweet essence
spreading out like the night-seeking
roots of a moon-flower plant.

I am amused that the heart beats unaware
of its complicity in this life-ending act,
this betrayal of self-contempt
and abject surrender.
Blood meanders across the slightly raised
scars from last year’s failed attempt,
and in that moment, I finally realize
what my father meant about the
importance of half-measures,
of keeping commitments.

So, I cut a little deeper.

Dreams


dreams

Dreams infused with wild abandon
Dancing naked in the midnight rain
‘Neath Cupid’s bow I drift below
Pierced with joy and free from pain
I’d rather feel what isn’t real
Than the waking loneliness I bear
When I’m awake all but dead
Alone and frigid in my bed

Each night I seek within my sleep
A bright and burning sexual flame
To find perfection in sleep’s deception
Stark-naked passion…so sweet insane!
These lovely dreams may be so fleeting
Behind clenched eyes two lovers meeting
But morning thrusts a waking sorrow
So from these dreams my pleasure’s borrowed

Perhaps one day, when daylight rises
I’ll share a real and lasting love
She’ll lay and rest upon my breast
While songs of angels I’ll sing thereof
But ‘till that day, like roses bloom
I’ll toss and turn from night to noon
For fools like me, or so it seems
Can only love within our dreams.

Solitude


alone_in_the_dark

Back then, before
The moon sunk low and lower still
Pushed down by the foggy fingers
Of morning’s misty gray light
The city slept its restless sleep
Caressed by the icy winds of winter,
Wrapped in the shadowed shroud
Of indifference and indignation

Existing here in my cobwebbed corner
Alone among the distant many,
Isolated and detached from life
The door to my heart soundly latched
Behind the four walls of my existence
Love, Hope, Joy, and Promise
Cracked and crumbling into dust
Beneath my naked and bruised feet.

Laying there listless but listening still
To the hustle and bustle outside
Buzzing like bees, swarming in my head
I cried out, but none heard or came
I lifted my eyes toward the rising sun
But they were burned and blinded
By the intense vision of my failure
My tears salting my solitude
Nothingness replacing the light
Resignation, this cowards flight

I swore and cursed the fates
but in the end, I had to let go

I Live Here All Alone


alone

 

I will not die for lack of love,
though greater seems the fate,
Nor shall I pray for tenderness,
or seek my soul to mate.

No kiss for me do lips desire,
nor arms round me entwine;
A soft caress or heart possessed,
I am not so inclined.

This rhapsody that others seek
I will look for in tomorrow.
With so much pain, I’m now within
A great and binding sorrow.

The emptiness I live within
has always been my home -
So do not seek my company,
I live here all alone.

 

The Absence of You


Yesterday was full of temptation
And I too weak to resist
This morning I’m starved for salvation
But contrition just doesn’t exist

I’m lost in a sweet reverie
Of perfume and a burgundy kiss
And the lure of a cheap memory
From a night entangled in bliss

We shared everything but our names
And the promise to meet come tomorrow
I’m undone and no longer the same
Except for shame and the sorrow

In the cool light of day I reflect
Was it all but a passionate dream?
Shall I remember or shall I regret?
Was it loving or was it just mean?

I’m left where I started…alone
And I guess that will always be true
Emptiness can’t fill a man’s home
Except with the absence of you.

I Live Here All Alone


I will not die for lack of love,
though greater seems the fate,
Nor shall I pray for tenderness,
or seek my soul to mate.

No kiss for me do lips desire,
nor arms round me entwine;
A soft caress or heart possessed,
I am not so inclined.

This rhapsody that others seek
I will look for in tomorrow.
With so much pain, I’m now within
A great and binding sorrow.

The emptiness I live within
has always been my home -
So do not seek my company,
I live here all alone.

A Godly Silence


I speak to God in silent phrase
And offer up my heartfelt praise
Yet silence is His voice to me
He shows no earthly empathy

My prayers are but a silent wind
And I a storm that’s lost within
A body crushed beneath the weight
Of loss, regret, and certain fate

In slow descent, the spirit ebbs
Dead within this mortal dread
Yet silent still His saving grace
A void I feel within this place

No comfort shall I know this day
My God has simply slipped away
And in his place a dark despair
Hot ashes flowing everywhere

The pain increases even still
All that’s left is my free will
And so, I chose another path
Turning from His vengeful wrath

His Son was slowly crucified
So He might feel more sanctified
Though in the hour of my need
His sacrifice is lost on me.

House of Pain


Go into the house of pain,
and dwell there one full, dark night;
say nothing which would reveal
your despair and look to no man
with aching desperation.

Sit there, alone
and consider how this anguish
causes the gentle evolution of
your weak and pitiful human spirit.

Note how little by little
time eats away at you like
razor-toothed slum rats,
feasting upon the sinew of
your pitiful soul.

One full dark and lonely night.
Reflect and know the meaning
of being banished to this
accursed piece of hell
we so lovingly call earth.

Wrap your arms around your
feeble and trembling knees;
rock to and fro, gently, while
the knowledge of what it truly means
to be separated from God
comes washing over you
like molten lava;
burning past flesh to thought.

Just one cold and empty,
dark and dreadful night.
If you then have either the desire
or the strength remaining
rise to your pathetic ape-like stance
and step forward once more
into another day of this
charade we call life.

Walking Alone


 

 

 

 

Walking alone in the cool gray light of morning,
silently stalking my elusive thoughts
and not quite caring should I find them or not,
it suddenly occurs to me that
morning is not a time for thoughts,
but rather a time for feeling.

Walking alone in the cool gray light of morning,
silently stalking my elusive feelings
and not quite caring should I find them or not,
it suddenly occurs to me that
morning is not a time for feeling,
but rather a time for sleeping.

Sleep-walking alone in the cool gray light of morning,
silently stalking neither my thoughts or my feelings,
and not quite caring should I ever
think or feel again,
it suddenly occurs to me that
it’s not morning at all,
and this cool gray light is but an illusion,
keeping me away from my thoughts and feelings.