Living Horrors

Do not shower me with your adulations;
They are acrimony to mine ears.
Your effete efforts to boost my ego
Only serve as japes to remind me of what I am in your eyes:
Nothing real
Nothing worth giving yourself to,
Only a caste to fill with catastrophe and dejection.

Were I robbed of innocence—
Debauchery transmuting your living horrors
And unscrupulous scandal—
Would you have me then?
Hollow are the words I speak
To the conformation of your solace,
Elsewise you would have me mute,
For the truth is a dagger to your ears.

I am your dutiful mannequin;
Project the terrors of your existence onto me,
Won’t you?
Plastic and armless I am,
With no defense but a look and impassivity:
Your wondrous work of art.

Blind you would have me
To the iniquity of your darkest hours,
To shield me from the sin I know too much of,
Or to eschew a judging eye?
But I know all, like an oracle of tragedy,
Each omission from your darkest hours;
And an eye doth I possess, to see all,
Even that which shames you the most.


Of Earth and Judges

You bear my criticisms against the way you live,
The choices you make,
For your failure to let go of that which is already lost.
Your back is scourged by my vituperations,
Striking like a whip on flesh,
Ripping, tearing with each lash,
Merciless and unyielding.

Exulting myself a god to adjudicate,
I hurl castigations like the lightning bolts of Zeus,
As though striking the Earth enough times will alter its rotation.
You are as the Earth:
Immune to my strikes, ever running your course;
And though locked in the monotony of revolution,
Freer still than this spirit,
Embittered and jaded.

I offer no justification for my hypocrisy;
Irony is to lie with a harpy,
And I am damned for it;
Yet its unequivocal slave I remain,
Gnashing my teeth in obsequious throes,
And incited with jealousy over those with more.

For that reason I condemn you,
Flame your name with aspersions and disrepute,
And feign myself the wiser for eschewing your imprudence;
Yet when all is said and done, you remain as the Earth:
Trapped in gravity, obeisant to your sun,
But a sun you have,
And fearsome Mars and beautiful Venus your fellowship,
And at day’s end I find myself alone,
For my success in letting go of that which I believed was already lost.

A Sentiment Like Hephaestus


Welcome to the world of the forsaken,
Where the pretty people are too cachet to look at me,
And the ugly people are too indie to converse to converse with me.

Now left to my own quandaries I lose this effete grip on sanity,
Forgetting the status quo of human behavior,
Unable to cope with the pallid comfort of faith
Or the dissatisfaction of the secular.

I palpitate as I’m placed on this pedestal,
Not for repute or veneration,
But for the sake of this derisive cruciation—
This emasculating mockery—
Which satiates your masochistic cravings so fully.

Inebriate yourselves to the dance of my throes,
And partake of my elegiac pageant—
The constitution of which you are incognizant—
And declare your camaraderie with your back turned.

The veracity remains stolid despite the attempts of this whimsy:The gelid soul feigns compassion he craves to experience,
But there is no love to pump the heart to life,
And so nothing to give, nothing to offer,
And nothing to receive.

The Beauty in All Things

There’s beauty in all things.

I remembered those words as I stared into the eyes of the woman at my feet, opulent jades bearing out a soul in its most desperate moment. She wasn’t the most comely woman by any means; her stringy hair and blanched skin did her no favors, though in truth her stark complexion could be attributed to fear. After all, who wasn’t afraid of death?

I found myself entranced by those eyes. No matter what flaws or imperfections could be found in this woman, there was no denying she wielded beauty. And I was to vanquish that beauty and bleed the life from those emeralds bearing into my spirit, revealing the sanguinary, murderous rotter I was.

But we all have our duties, to realm and king and country. Who am I to disrepute the crown? No, I could not. Not even for her. Tightening a gloved hand around the black hilt of my glistening sword—an executioner’s weapon—I poised to strike. She closed eyes tight, the last sheen of hope disappearing beneath lids of dismay as he bowed her head. I raised blade to sky, a marriage adulterated and profane, the sun’s light gleaming off steel . . . and faltered.

Stepping back, the sword fell from my hand as though too weighty and ponderous to hold. I dropped to my knees, as the woman was, tears wetting my cold, grey eyes. “Forgive me.” It was nothing more than a whisper, a quiescent plea borne of grief and guilt.

The lady was stronger than I. “In this realm of wickedness and villainy,” she said, placing a warm, angelic hand on my cheek, “we all do what we must.”

“And our characters are written by our actions. Mine is written with a blade, I fear.”

“But the blood that stains said blade is not on your hands.”

Would that were true! She was truly an angel, sent from the heavens to placate the hearts of curs like me. From this close I could smell her hair, a sweetness I had never known, nor would ever know. I touched the soft strands as though they were my own. Her eyes, at once despondent, irradiated hope yet again, and I smiled.

Grabbing her head, I pulled her in close. It would be a kiss for this woman, for that is what angels deserve. And as for the blade? She would receive that, too. A quick thrust, a twist of the knife, and I felt the air escape her lungs as she balked. Inquisitive eyes searched the dark recesses of mine—for truth, for understanding, for culpability? I could not say.

I slid the knife deeper into her stomach, lamenting the pain I saw wrenching her. So stunned she was, she could not even cry out . . . but I had offered her that final grain of hope, a quondam, fleeting moment of solace in a world embittered and tarnished.

There’s beauty in all things. And I had given her the most beautiful thing of all.