Inferno

your world is ablaze

 

you guarded those smoldering coals

\steaming hurts and smoking resentments\

convinced yourself

you were the watchman

lest a conflagration rise.

 

you stood in the gusts

\intrusions and degradations\

eyes shuttered

as if stinging sparks

were of no concern.

 

you felt the bonfire billow

\swallowed bile now volcanic\

while Hestia whispered

power surge sweet nothings

that brought your blood to boil.

 

you exhaled as a dragon

\savored the bite of rage\

dripped fuel from mangled fingers

threw that Molotov

just to watch it burn.

Phoenix Promenade

I traipse these forsaken streets

where the detritus

of the maelstrom

lies powdered in the sidewalk

cracks, smothering the industry

of ants’ ancient machinations.

 

I was birthed in destruction

spewed forth

from the ravaged womb

\of she who was\

I flew

where others dare

not tread

 

and the blood of Athena

thunders

in my veins

Funny, or Forever

it’s a funny thing

how forever

is impenetrable

the iceberg that slashed –

pierced Titanic

with a mortal gash.

until distress

in the shape of global warming

meets judgment

in the form of Mach 5

and time is awash

in an icy deluge

of fragility.

 

it’s a funny thing

how forever

is shrink-wrapped

in glimmery cellophane

presented by bunnies

riding aback pirouetting unicorns

wreathed in butterfly smiles.

until missteps

shred glittery wrapping

to shit stained ribbons

while apprehension

fattens the teeming nits

that gorge as medieval knights

on the clotting gore

of slaughtered hope.

 

it’s a funny thing

about forever

friends

Unseen

 

do you not see her?

the cowering fawn

peering cautious and doe eyed

behind flippant bang flips

biting back her fears

with her insolent lip.

 

she watches you

ancient soul

reading your exigencies

with survivor fluency

belied by halting

rhetorical cadence

 

do you not know her?

the ravenous infant

who suckles greedily

at the toxic teat

of counterfeit conceit

bloating on the surfeit

distended lies and

dismembered truth.

she masters you

the precocious conjurer

who spins chimerical yarns

as Van Gogh paints Poe

renders you heroine

victim of self-inflicted villainy

sutures your hara-kiri wounds

 

do you not hear her?

the rhythmic rocking

to her heartsick keening

the illegible lamentation

scrawled in bloodied

chicken scratch

writ literary boldface

in every listless shrug

and hangdog

‘I don’t care’

 

she echoes you

parroting perverse

perseverations

preening for the

mirror, mirror

who’s the mommy dearest

hanging malignant mercury

poisoning her future

MALEVOLENT MELODY- Blood Into Ink Curator Collaboration

(Aurora Phoenix)

Your Urgency Pierced My Marrow

 

with vanilla milquetoast

pleadings

you spun a web

the envy of Arachne

smeared in syrupy cajolery –

I supped on hand-dipped flattery

 

your urgency pierced my marrow with flim flam

 

(Kindra)

Dilly Dalliance Bound Me

 

Lavender dipped

indulgent tongue

dripped incantations,

salacious songs—

your abuse was tender

 

dilly dalliance bound me with feathers

 

(Sarah)

The Honey You Gave

Those words were sweet as honey and I drank them down like they were all for me. I fell for each one. But slowly, beneath my rose-covered eyes, they soured.
And, piece by piece, you took all you wanted from me. 

 

(My Valiant Soul)

Your Hands Are Stiff Wire

 

Cinnamon sticks plummeting

screeching lullaby with love and hunger,

A spasm spews on the back of an ant

The circle of disgust and disgust

My legs are broken, my arms are missing

yellow stingy archaic cry

Ruffling touch,

You disappear like a swollen pollen grain

As I chop my hair, chop the hideous you.

 

 

(1WiseWoman)

Lies and Propaganda

 

Anything goes, according to your arrogant agenda

Gaslight fueled, devotion fooled

Poisonous thirst for possession

And domination obsession

Believing exemption from

Sugar coated sin

As long as you win

 

Sticks and stones broke my bones, your lies and propaganda broke my spirit

 

 

(Christine)

No Longer Your Canvas

 

I throw out the bouquet of violets, salvia, red roses

you lay in empty contrition on our sheets of white linen

where I nurse the most recent bruises you have drawn with your fists

once you are gone, I adorn myself in essential oils

bittersweet for truth

thyme for strength

rosemary for remembrance

though my left eye may be swollen shut

I have never seen more clearly

than I do as I walk out the door, hidden suitcases in hand

 

I will no longer be the canvas for your unholy rage

Mammarian Herstory

 

remember those days of cocksure adolescence?

drawn on drawling

rowdy Maybelline insouciance

when we guzzled from the trough

of soured milk cooption.

we tugged clingy dress outrage

o’er demure plaid skirted unease

spouting misogynist invectives

in misbegotten self-defense

“suck my left tit!”

as if sacrificing the sanctity

of one safeguarded

the other from prying

eyes or sticky fingers.

 

how had the left

offended

to be lamb led

slaughter side?

as we harnessed

encephalitic fevers

hormone jittery fed

and strutted, teetering

in our stiletto’d nonchalance

incapable of appreciative

mirror self-study.

 

these mammaries

they have nourished

hungry babes

soothed broken hearts

and fired thirsty fantasies.

what they may lack

in perk they heft

in earned respect.

 

trust, today

if I offer

left OR right

in comfort, tear-absorbing

or for quenching

alternate blazes

I expect dignity

commensurate

with venerated

herstory.

Unshackling the Aftermath

those steel cages

they lowered the bar

along with the boom

now I limbo under

sub-basement expectations

while my anticipations –

once tenacious

if not effervescent –

sink

in their cement shoes.

 

those concertina’d fences

they sliced the ligaments

tethering light under my feet

now I stoop under

chains draped across

crumpled wings

while aspirations fizzle,

fireworks damped

in grey drizzling doubt.

 

“you will never…”

they swore under oath

razing fledgling sprouts of inspiration

straining toward Siberian sun

ad absurdum.

now I excavate cremated élan

sifting through visions in ruins

while I put the lie

to their premature obituary

stargaze with impunity

 

dare to dream again.

Tarry and Feather

I hit send

and perch on pins

determined not to linger

in the knotted shoulder interval

between my accelerated pulses.

through the fissures in cyberspace

I smell the acrid plumes

  • your smoke signals

fuming in fumes.

you fan them furiously

horrified that I may hear

that detector blast –

its caustic accusatory bleat.

 

I hit send

and tuck my limbs

careening o’er rollercoaster descent

braiding lost stanzas

of breath between

wind-torn tresses

as they lash

my puckered cheeks.

beyond the shuttered sash

of the hurricane’s eye

I glimpse the tiger claws

  • unsheathed sentinels

steeling your heart.

you pounce and pad

lest I palpate the panic

as it lacerates

peels the sclera from

mis ojos llorando.

 

I hit send

and pluck an achromatic dirge

from the frayed threads

of our woven unravelling.

yanked through thirsty tears

in the fabric of spacetime

I echo within the repercussions

  • your tortoise shelled saturninity

a caterwauling sonic boom.

you beat a phantom retreat

the envy of Custer’s cavalry

while I reel, Virginia like

across the dust marbled pages,

script unscripted.

 

I hit send

Bitch, You’re In Prison

they said

bitch, you’re in prison

as if

this most salient of facts

jump-suited in sallowing orange

had, even for a moment

escaped my attention

in situation inescapable,

conferring status inhuman.

 

they snarled

bitch, you’re in prison

when I dared suggest,

with temerity

unbefitting caged station,

conversational decorum

contravening jailhouse crudity,

because after all

what do you expect here?

 

they scoffed

bitch, you’re in prison

when I longed

for scintillating discourse

or cerebral stimulation

in lieu of

drama-mongering gossip

and mind-numbing TV,

indicative that jello-brain

is indeed the goal.

 

they guffawed

bitch, you’re in prison

when I scribbled

angsted dreams

upon torn paper scraps

quilled with the clots

of my spurting soul,

mocking the futility

of artistic aspirations.

 

they assert

bitch, you’re in prison

social stratus

lower than dirt

on a slithering snake belly,

cessation of upward mobility

death of a worthwhile future

deadpanned fait accompli

This is Jail

“this is jail”

oft-repeated poisonous mantra

“if you don’t like it, don’t come to jail”

officer excusing institutional dehumanization

“we’re in jail”

flawed logic condoning

crude, rude sewer mouth

gratuitous graphic expletives

“i’m in jail”

faulty rationale promoting

senseless corrosive pejoratives

perpetually derogatory interactions

“you’re in jail”

invalidation levied rataliatorily

accusation of assured corruption

expectations of decency DENIED

“this is jail”

flashing neon sign

advertising internalized self-denigration

all-pervading loss of dignity