Three Rejected Poems

Slipping into Strange

The nightbird knows me, retrieving this my heart,
clutched in sticky talons like a piece of suet cake.

I am slipping into strange.

As imperceptible ice rims the bird-feeder, and
the squirrels plan miracles of strategy, their busy
paws mauling ferreted seeds.

I am dwindling into frost.

As oaks in agony splay
their winter nudity, ghosts tugging on the
dark, bare branches
that stain the russet sun, guiding down the gods.

I am become
an arrow of bone
pierced through my perfect blood.

An Architect of Ruins

What empires of old dragged you to their
dungeons, clasped you in their crocodile tombs,
Thomas De Quincey?

With your pen dipped in tincture, the doom-cats
hunch your pillow, mighty architect of ruins.

Even now, a parallelogram of light
arises from your grave with a whiskey mustache
to funereal strains, parsed by dawn’s aurora
(a feline spine arched
across that article in Blackwood’s Magazine)

What care you took with your grammar of tears, sighs and night,
sisters of quotidian plague, clad in tattered garments damp and dim
                                            suckling the infancy of opium.

The Craving

Your eyes are blotted out, your hands
tense against the ropes, white eras of punishment
erasing a calendar of
                                 sobs and pleas
                                 crossed, days lost, months
                                 curled and fading.

Your craving like that of all the coffin-bound
buried six feet in securities of bliss, a glass of
cooling drink forbidden parched lips, a muffled sigh
escaping.

Your mask is the mirror of my suffering.
Your body’s wet, the jewels of my tears.
Your ache a
                 musky
                 perfume, the
darkest wine.

Then comes the whip again.

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