Mistaken Identity

Schizophrenia

untreated stares

coalesce in cattails

men raked over Spanish moss

hoping for salvation

finding only thistles in the flesh

occasionally mistaken for

identity

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Aerials

Bombastic given

bombardment by the grace of God

relent, rely, realize

the fire’s breeding spaces

but only by a history of shrieking faces.

 

Somewhere, waiting, with Names on a list

He’s waiting

for a soul or indifferent ravens

ours is but to do or die

barbaric bearing on the graceless lover–

just a click and all will sever.

Please Remove Your Cap When It Rains

English: This is one of the digitized images o...

English: This is one of the digitized images of the original painting American Gothic that Grant DeVolson Wood, a master artist of the twentieth century, created in 1930. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Were rain to fall in a Postmodern way

I suppose the pitchfork between Mother and Father America

should be the show

twisted, for all that, in the goatee planets

toes tucked under art’s carpet

with the Old World smokers,

awaiting translators with the appropriate hat

to drum up a cordial place

to set the feathered caps of preconceived seeing,

in preparation for a swim.

From the Dreamscape

Veiled dancer. Terracotta figurine from Myrina...

Veiled dancer. Terracotta figurine from Myrina, ca. 150 BC–100 BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The final chapter, as continued from part 1 and part 2:

Disconnect. Static ambience…a one, two, three stumble into disarray. Everything cuts out as the dark one crosses the threshold, and the world spins around him.

The floor is on his back–or is his back on the floor?

To the sharp, drawn-out shrill of a woodwind, the portal closes behind him and vanishes entirely–shutting out all shreds of light beyond. Hands stretch along the stone, but there is nothing. He rolls and presses, scrambling for the escape, but nothing remains.

Only the overwhelming presence of absolute silence. Like a tomb, but without even the flies to keep him company.

One foot after the other, he steps toward the wide plaza at the building’s center, visions of a duel and of roses bloomed beneath bursting galaxies moshing through his head.

Candlelit flickers make dancers of the shadows. They take an altar for their stage, and at first there is nothing but the shrine. It is vacant, its only markers the plain red cloth draped across its barren surface, and the mountainous mass of beaded necklaces, their shattered loops forming the colorful peaks of devastation.

Nevertheless, the light strikes it remarkably, pouring down in vibrant beams of sapphire and emerald as cast by the stain glass sky hovering just above it. Depicted therein, a blasted and burning ship sinks into a storm-tossed sea, a sanctuary island of vibrant life settled just out of reach.

All hands will go down with the ship.

He steps forward into the room and his boots clap loudly against the stone, echoing between the pillars and the rocks that hold the building aloft. An equally brisk “shh” reverberates in response.

Spinning on his heels, an explosion of reality greets: the light enraptures him, smothering the expanse of the room and blinding him in liquid absence. Blobs of color dancing through burned eyes take the shape of familiar faces, and the room is populated at last–the die cast to the gentle swell of the drums. There is thunder in the tuba of the earth’s fair roar–and he cannot but consider that he has been here before, and this world, and this room, and all before him is nothing but the end of time.

Purgatory, perhaps? Or the dream of living?

Dozens of identities bow to the rhythm and the roar, and as their hands fold across the seams of shadow-licked robes, the rumbles of the earth settle into dust beside. Only one of them looks up, watching with eyes long-struck. They are the ocean, and the sky–the ripple of all, clouds and waves and passion long contained. He is bared to her. He is speared before her.

The dancer.

A smile crooks her head into the bow, and with the fading of her eyes, so too fades the light of the flames.

He finds his feet. There is only forward, or there is nothing–he is weighed, faltering beneath the heavy hand of shadows lurking, but he throws himself against their walls, bloodies himself on the strain of his own momentum. His hand is in the air. His hand is air. His hand is in her hair and he throws back the cowl that would hide the light itself.

Heads move to the motion, all masks and eyes. There is no retreat. Her skin, porcelain beneath the light. Sad light. Mournful light. Her slender neck is bared, and the breath of music itself holds to the touch upon her skin.

He cannot feel.

And the masks smile.

Death of a Muse

Tender touches

twilight now

when you would walk through moon beams

silver youth, in my mind,

your long-tossed hair that fleeting glimpse

unworthy hands would never know.

A dream-wrought kiss

for all sensation’s cheer—

a note to set the pen to dance

beneath your light.

What is your name?

Reality, but a longing and a life

no bearing on the yearning—

the dreamer’s supple realm.

A thousand ships would sail for you,

in mind, while your eyes turned—

it wasn’t till the flesh took my hand,

crowned in cruel identity

cast me out to sea

that all those ships were set to burning.

* My latest contribution to One Shot Poetry Wednesday. This piece was essentially the second part to the post I made yesterday, on muses and their very real, physical departure, in the form of people. Yesterday I gave other people’s thoughts on muses, but today I put forth my own thoughts on the muse’s withdrawal. For those with a physical embodiment to their own creative drive…

For the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Portrait of MLK Jr, by Betsy Reyneau, care of Wikimedia Commons.

I’ve been bad. I know I have. You see that “Quote of the Week” section on the blog and you think, “Hey, that Chris guy, he gives us great quotes each week…” But I’ve not been keeping up. The poems have been flowing, but each week when the time comes around to drop the weekly quotes, they seem to slip right out of my remembering. Bad Chris.

Well this week I’m getting back into the habit, and what better day to do that with than Martin Luther King Day?

MLK is a tragic and inspirational tale for us all – a man that pushed society to the brink, moved a nation with his words, and gave hope where before there had been little. He was but one face and voice in a movement crowded with them, but his is the one we most often hear echoing through the halls of time – reminding, humbling. A clergyman, activist, and leader in the stylings of Mahatma Gandhi, King was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Born on January 15, 1929, he energized the civil rights movement both before and after his assassination on April 4, 1968, at just 39-years-old. He was a Christian man, and a colorblind one; he opposed war, and fought to end poverty.

The man, the inspiration, the paragon of peace and advancement that was Martin Luther King Jr. was a master orator, and writer, and so today, I would like to share with you a few of his words. At the bottom you will also find a video of his legendary speech: “I have a Dream,” as well as the news broadcast from CBS’s Walter Cronkite that aired on the night of his murder. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be sitting there that night and suddenly be greeted with such a thing…even if King himself had predicted it. Even if he’d known.

So please, as this day passes you by, take some time to reflect on what this man once said, and on the messages he preached, which still ring as true today as they ever did, and ever shall, so long as man draws breath upon this earth.

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars…Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”