…Aut Versus Facit

I used to have a straight path to the kind

of simple happiness one can only find

in the most pernicious form of amber-coated nostalgia.

Faded memories of daydreams are all they are.

They persist like hard-dying parasites

living just beneath almost-faded scars

until they stir and drive one to scratching.

Then the membrane tears open.

The subjunctive pus of Maybe comes

oozing out in creeps of nauseating regret

with an asynchronous undertone of

total misunderstanding.

You fucking wretch. Why

couldn’t you have waited just

a year or two more?

I’m walking down some long-forgotten corridor

when I’m confronted by that tapestry

of Love Thy Father and Honor Thy Mother

and my balance tips so close to the spilling point

that I get left adrift in a brackish ocean.

Caul or not I’m drowning fast.

Gravity’s no friend of mine.

The brine etches away my defenses.

Bravado and Nonchalance go the way

of so much flotsam, and I am naked

at the bottom of the world.

This kind of fallout

makes Hiroshima look like

Dresden in February.

I’m praying to phoenix myself into

oblivion but the sun’s too far away to reignite

and my green-glowing radar will not stop picking up

those past-tense blips at seven and thirteen –

at everything before twenty-one.

Dark thoughts are riding the impulse wave.

My only solace is tintype fairytales

worn thin by too much scrutiny

and too little sun kissed faith

that used to play innocent inside

the green plastic turtles of summertime.

I swear to God

I used to have a suntan.

Don’t know where it went.

Wilkommen to the gutmechanic clockwork

of my psyche. We have postcards,

but no umbrellas, I’m afraid,

and it’s due to start raining ten minutes ago

so I really must insist that you stay

seated at all times with your arms and hands

tied up with outside engagements.

On your left, you will see the sobbing reaction

to the Fear of the Factory-Forged Hand.

To the right we have the

Surfboard Daddy in chlorinated disinfection

scuttling crabwise to the metronome

of Lost Chances and Empty Promises.

Oh, there’s the rain.

The Crow says it

can’t rain all the time. But I’ve

found that it damn well tries.

Nevertheless, it’s not fair to blame the pot

when the kettle is screaming for attention

with a frostbitten checkbook.

But wasn’t she always there with a gingerbread stand-in

to dull the absence? Something called stable.

Something called something answered.

Gone, gone all away and nothing here will

make it stay. Not tears or tears or screams or

fears or rants on infidelity.

No.

But I’m a big boy now with bills, and bad credit,

and deadlines and a fiancé

and there’s no reason we can’t just smile,

can’t pretend that his new woman’s voice doesn’t

scrape your spine with the sandpaper tongue

of a cat chewing on tinfoil. Enemies are for boys.

Real men lose contact and mire in denial.

Yeah, I’m a big boy.

Gonna bottle it up and

give myself cancer.

But in my wanderings of the valves and

ventricles of the world I’ve found all manner

of rare sprites and flowers – but just one cat with wings

that’s more of a bat who fluttermauses her

way around ye olde attic of my

hypersomniac’s brain, swiping away the

cobwebs, playing the part of tourniquet

to stop those rivers of time depositing the alluvium

that likes to clog my pores

with chivalric nonsense and tongue-biting.

With Erotic precision

she cuts through

those guilt-filled corpuscles.

She can evacuate the rich creamery sebum

that would otherwise have blocked off any

passages of comprehension. But to

slough away those solecisms she’s all

Ludovico’d Alex tolchoked into a starry soomka,

Bog as my witness.

No, to get real horrorshow you can’t use

babysoft kisses and pillowtalk.

These tattoos need the kind of pumice

you can only glean from letters from ex-girlfriends

and the cold shoulders of feminists who

can open the door just fine by themselves, thanks.

Yeah, last year, back before the spiders came in

and took over, I learned how to make a basilisk blink.

My chrysalis cracked

and showed me

a new tomorrowland.

See, the hermit’s life just wasn’t for me.

Too much dissolved coagulation.

Sebastian lied. It’s not that great living

at the bottom of the sea.

So I’ve just gotta float.

Float on. Float on and up,

even if I’ve gotta share company

with all the other shit that’s bobbing along

in this grand failed septic tank.

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