26 – Ouroboros

More poetry from Elie Nine, our insect priestess. I really need to get on the Shadowplay rewrite so you can meet her. She’s a profoundly weird person. Sometimes she feels like the clearest expression of me I’ve ever made – she speaks in the unfiltered voice of my brain, without any effort made to organize the thoughts to communicate with another person. It’s weirdly restful writing her. I kind of get why Joyce wrote “Finnegan’s Wake” after spending so long on Ulysses – he was exhausted, so he just opened up his brain and let the babble run out, unfiltered. If you’re famous enough, they call it genius. I shall have to work on cobbling together a legacy so as to retroactively justify my endless blithering.

downhill slide the sunwise eye to roll up
we feel her thumping feet upon our spine
we limn her in our limbs, a vague outline
makes a messiah out of this trollop

Her scourging tongue will fall, fall, fall again
your Lady eats your heart and drinks your breath
may you be in tatters before your death
may there be a crater left where you’d been

an eye you gave for Her and called it good
we gave two eyes and two blind oracles
the monk with eight legs gave his Lady two
two thousand homeless spirits gave their wood
our priest nourished Her with his miracles
what will you offer when She comes to you?

Check out the rest of the 100 Sonnets

17 – Eat Your Heart Out

We haven’t quite gotten there yet, but there are bug-people in Shadowplay, one in particular whom we’ll be spending a lot of time with. She’s got a human boyfriend, whose family is very worried about him ever since he ran off to live in the woods with a giant bug. This is a love poem, then, for the insect priestess Elie Nine, from Cannan Calidus. We can only imagine he read it to her; she certainly can’t read.

They say that all men love a pretty girl:
the sweetness of her laugh, her gentle grace,
the youthful softness of her hands and face,
the sparkle of her eyes, her golden curls.

But my love’s eyes are darker than the sea –
she has a dozen, varying in size,
deeper and more liquid than a maiden’s eyes,
eight above and four below the knee.

My love can capture the world in her claws
My love is always singing in my head.
She devours every skin I shed,
she liberates me from the old world’s laws.
My love will eat my body when I’m dead…
one last time, I’ll go to heaven in her jaws.

Check out the rest of the 100 Sonnets

8 – Scarmaker

And today’s is done in twenty minutes. Obviously I need to stop forcing myself to stay on topic. I can’t write poetry on-topic. I just need to free associate with the rhymes and rhythm until something cool floats up, and figure out what it all MEANS later. Or make y’all figure out what it means. What’s my cult for if not to wildly interpret my incoherent gospel?

This one is about that bad love. It’s not about any one person in particular; there’s imagery from a few relationships I’ve been in that were bent in one way or another. Here’s the thing about that… people tell you that you “have to learn to love yourself before you love someone else.” And I think that’s bullshit. I think you love other people BEST when you love yourself, but if we all waited till that day to love someone, a lot of us would be alone forever.

“Anfini’s Beast,” June 2006

You don’t learn to love other people well by sitting alone. You will make mistakes, you will have relationships that are kind of fucked-up, sometimes YOU will be the one who is fucked-up, and all of that will teach you a great deal about how to love and be loved. The bad love you’ve had is not worthless. That time was not wasted. It made you who you are, it taught you what you want and what you sure as fuck don’t want, and it taught you some things about dealing with another human that you can try on the next human you meet. Maybe they’re into it, maybe they’re not. You keep trying, keep loving. You’ll never do it perfectly, but I promise you, doing it badly will be part of how you learn to do it well.

So this one’s for Procell and Macha, Pearle and Elie, Haven and Adsartha. It’s for Brock and Jeremy and my mom. I love the scars you gave me.

At first I saw you in the finger-hooks,
and took their plaster kisses for your love.
I let you tell me what you’re guilty of,
and I assiduously read your books.

I did your will without daring to look
(Avoid the pinning eyes, avoid the shove)
I learned to dodge ballistics from above,
and let you call me “monster,” call me “crook.”

I carried messages between your eyes,
I let you carve your words into my skin
and read them back to tell you where you’d been,
became habituated to your cries
and as I closed the box and sealed you in,
I whispered that I loved you for your lies.

Check out the rest of the 100 Sonnets