No Exits

Jackal-lipped lovers line up to see my life on the silver screen

a broken reel waxes poetic, clippings of tattered newspaper

writhe across the empty theater, borne by a wind of regret-

it slips through the cracked open door like the impression of

something creaking on broken ankles.


My sigh fills the room, and the ghosts of my past are trolleys

into a void, one-way ticket, no refunds.

Pay the conductor a tip, and remember,

no exits are here.


Mother Months

She fed ashes of Sunday to the children,

giving them holy dreams pilfered from pews.

In their sickened sleep, they heard poet’s prayers

and the cries of sages gliding up to the belfry.

It meant nothing, as ashes do, was insubstantial.

Still, new fires burned.


Holy men came looking for God on the stoop

of her salon.  She dusted them with Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, in his coat of royal purple, took up with the

gentlemen, told them God had retired, that Father Time

had replaced Him.


The priests played craps with destiny

and bet away their faith.  Being men of the book no

longer had meaning, so wine, women, and song replaced

the crosses etched on their hearts.  (All it took was a

whisper to shake their faith like leaves from a tree.)


She found her name in a brook by the moonlight

Mother Months, the Keeper of Time.

She sang little ditties from a childhood spent adrift

rootless time, like a spindle-shaft whirring,

she breezed through the streets to her favorite cafe,

scouring cracks in the pavement for deeper meaning.

All she found were dust motes on the wind.


I heard tell of an abandoned hotel

in a bone-shattering terror of dreams

a fallen angel resides there

voice like dust across the

bounties of time.


She came to me in the twilight

in a necklace of coral and bone

heady death dressed in gauzes and furs

her skin like cracked marble or snow.


I ached for a sickening union

to breach my mortal caul

on claret lips I perished-

sweet seductress clad in cloying rose.


They say she divines her lovers

and reads entrails under honeyed moons

on blue marble floors shot with quartz,

laced white with the rime of our sorrow.


She is snowdrops dipped in liquid nitrogen

smashed against a wall

fragility shredded to razors

beauty scrapmetal,

blood under nails.


Torn lace dresses floating

suggesting a violin’s curve

strung together by iron corsets

and demon claws rooted

in marrow.


Hollow-backed, her wings knife-like fans

she waltzes with the guts of her victims

weaving skeins of fate on her altar

Catherine wheels of innards and spice.


Votives line the wall of her chapel

incense lighting a milky ballroom

sconces on skulls, sofa pews

she sings and paints gore on her throne


A gold knight came to slay her-

woe to those that resist her call.

His soul rests heavy inside her

a light in the maw of Hell.


Dance with her, perhaps, do not linger

eat no pomegranates, for the night road

is long.


Her lodgings are bitter, bed barren

I speak from her belly, I know.


Upon the wicker boat I lie

Allow my blood to petrify

I caterwaul as graves pass by-

They’re cracked to dust by time.


I float down rivers thick with dreams

The waters black with dead mens’ schemes

Fish of legends swim between

My feet, and I am drowning.


The petriglass beneath my toes

Reveals murky depths and flows

Of sifting sands and sunken woes,

I walk the plank of mourning.


It is a tattered wooden thing

Sanded down by sighs and screams

In waters below, a treasure gleams-


I plunge below.


Below, below, the petriglass

My ankles twine with nacreous grass

Mother-of-pearl, it holds me fast

Twenty thousand leagues, I’m sinking.