Heeding Haiku with HA: To Feel the Night

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Alexander Fedosov

The moon is a bier

A demented virago

Pleading in the dark

*

When I am out looking at the moon I always make up stories about her (I see the moon as female). There is a character in Planescape Torment Deionarra who even in death remains enamored and obsessed with the main character. Her appearance makes me think of the moon and so I just tied them together. The image is an artists interpretation of Deionarra.

Submission for

Heeding Haiku with HA

Photo Challenge #4 “Figments of Inertia”

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Tom Bagshaw

I cannot grant them life, these figments

They congeal as an unturned stew

I am not God I haven’t any use to pretend

They will destroy me, these poems

For they are not satisfied to remain in transit

They want to loved, to be worn especially

But outside of me they are unwanted

Redundant in the way very curious things are

 

I do not go outside enough to be modern

I steep in the same mephitic broth day after day

Rotten in the belly as in the temperament

These figments are gleaned of instability

Of sternal shavings and heart threads

I am hopeless and that too shall pass

Wordle #4 “Abolish”

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My soul as aluminium foil seams

A hateful sphere, a crushed mirror

Held together with blood and plaque

 

Your existential fist tightens

All is fair in pursuit and all consumed

I ignored the usual warnings

The steam rising from your teeth

As if the smile were straining

Against congenital malediction

You who are so much like your father

The same salivary love for poisons

The same furrow in a brow too heathen

To articulate tenderness

It is as if your lips were a bellows

Feeding the great furnace beyond

With accusations too cruel to snuff

 

Love is a stairwell, an empty avenue

Brimming with ghastly pink lights

Like the vacant eyes of albino rabbits

Alone more now than ever I was before

You have made it so, taken the self

From within my private identity

I have nothing now but lyrics

Rainless storms disjointing dwindling seas

I have no tears left to abolish

I have spent them all and still I am not free

 

Prompt 51 Complete Bafflement “Extinction”

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Tom Bagshaw

There are miracles that only the extinct know

Armageddon will never reveal wholly its formula

Did you see it? The great white ball of light

Hurtling like the head of a slain Olympian?

Did you see it? The filthy black curtain

Snapping closed over a life-affirming sun

Indeed you did see but how would you define the terms?

 

Were you relieved dear one?

The chance to return home, to the womb

To be complete after existing so long a fissure?

Were your thoughts inarticulate or portent?

Perhaps you never saw it coming at all

Perhaps you died knowing everything

There’d be no way to convey such profundity

Even if you could would I understand it?

Or would I liken it to an inflated fish

That’s all well and good but it can’t possibly be true

 

What of the face of God did you behold it?

Would you describe it for me in 7 syllables or less

I have a very short attention span you see

So long as I’m employed in the business of survival

Objectivity would be wholly unprofessional of me

I have a grave to dig and I am ahead of schedule

 

One more thing before you go did you

Contribute to the demise of your species?

Was it doing or not doing that proved the most fatal?

I doubt I should alter my present course

Coincidences aside we are not the same you and I

What are the odds that I should suffer a comparable fate?

*

I chose this for the prompt because humans as a species seem utterly incapable of understanding how things are interconnected. No matter how glaring the warnings we continue to struggle on in ignorance.

TALE WEAVER’S PROMPT #3 “VURT” The Eye of Midas (language)

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The satiny feather presses against my uvula, the threat of my stomach repeating an unpalatable version of lunch subsides moments after arrival. I am aware of the fingers clutching my jaw, the green eyes that incarcerate my shrinking visual field. He won’t come with me, not this time, this time it’s a right of passage.

 

Today I become a man. It’s yellow baby, all the way.

Chorus x Infinity

Leaves and slicks of mud slow my trespass. The air is full of bone fragments, each inhale is pitiless. I drop my nose inside the collar of my leather trench drawing in snatches of moist breath. The sky is split like an oyster, specks of pearl dust igniting within a haunting procession of chaste grays. The traffic lights read as eyeless sockets, there are no cars only paper cranes skittering across the tarmac like disembodied teeth.

 

I turn into a coffee shop to avoid confrontation I can hear carnival music gearing up in the distance. Any minute the clowns will take to the streets. I fucking hate clowns.

The barista is a heavyset man in his late 40s with an unfolding lotus tattooed on the crest of his meaty scalp. The delicate pinks don’t suit his mystique. He has no tongue so no words present themselves but he hands me a mug and points to an alcove rimmed with books. There is an old couple in the cafe but they are immersed in conversation or the woman is, the man hasn’t spoken a word. Never will if he’s careful.

 

The titles twist beneath my gaze like amputated lizard tails. I pluck a book from the frame and behind it bobs a gold eye, I put the book back but its too late I am aware of his presence. One by one the books retreat until there is a space only slightly larger than a human head.

 

A cane emerges, a heavy black boot, a trousered leg, a black t-shirt that reads “Don’t eat the meatloaf” and a head of immaculate silver hair. All 7ft of a not quite human male from a space adequate only for a newborn. He steps down onto the bench and takes a seat across from me. I can see the mechanics in his left eye but the right is a perfect halo of gold. He points at the jukebox with a slim finger. “It’s your turn…” We’ve done this half a dozen times no matter what I pick it’s always Rachmaninoff. I put in my copper coin. Rachmaninoff ”The Isle the of Dead” starts in sinister as hell. I return to the booth.

 

He pulls out a toaster (from God knows where) and polishes the silver surface until I can see my reflection. I stare at the face which is presumably mine. I am missing an eye. I look terrible. The image before me swirls until I am looking at a room with a CRT television and an old recliner. I’ve been in that room. Skin vacuumed to the leather upholstery watching reruns of the Twilight Zone with a blue-haired birched-faced crone. She’s got a beak like a magpie and irises the color of curdled milk. She wears a yellow-tinted wedding dress that sags on her fleshless bones. My right eye aches. The memory of her talon screwing through the pupil. The sick wet pop, the severance of the optic with a grubby fingernail, the vomit-inducing pain.

 

I turn away from the makeshift theater. “Why do you keep showing me this….” I hide my nerves in my mug of coffee. I know the answer already. “Which will it be the right or the left?” He asks pulling the ceramic cup from my lips. “What’s the difference?” I’ve altered the script and he’s quiet for a moment. “The left eye can see the future…the right can see the good in any person…” I pretend to consider his response but I already have my next question. “Can I alter the future?” He leans back in his seat long legs caging mine. “All but death…” To know when everyone would die and be powerless to alter the course sounds like a mental breakdown waiting to happen.

 

Answer me something else…what did the hag want with my eye?” I ask bowels cringing. “She wanted to watch television…” Was that an answer or a suggestion? “She stole my eye to watch freaking Nick at Nite?” Was he screwing with me? “Her world consists of a series of small rooms…each room contains two items…a television and a recliner…” He answers and I suppose the explanation makes sense. If all I had was a TV I’d want at least one working eye. “Why the wedding dress?” His gold eye darkens until it’s the color of honey. “She killed her husband…too much television not enough love…” He answers his eye returning to its original luminosity. 

 

I’ll take the right one…” I turn away to avoid witnessing the extraction.

 

He places the eye in my empty socket it assimilates rapidly, like a virus. My brain itches I settle with tugging on my hair. I open my new eye blinking cautiously. I expect the alien to have an empty socket but he has a brown eye, a brown eye that looks unnervingly familiar.

 

“That’s my eye bastard…” My indignation does nothing to dislodge his smile. “A gift this eye….I released her from prison….a lifetime given for a lifetime taken…she’s served…” He says and I resume stirring my coffee though it has neither sugar nor cream. “Then why didn’t you give me back my own bloody eye…” I sit down my spoon with a little too much drama. “You didn’t ask…besides it’s no good to you this eye…” I look more closely at the eye in question its cloudy and textured like a discarded snake skin. 

Next I study the alien hoping to find “the good” but in him I see nothing but infinite soul-expanding space. 

Am I free to go?” I ask the scene peeling away all but his serrated smile and the credits. I wipe a single bloody tear from my cheek.

*

I decided to write a dream this isn’t a dream I have had which makes it more peculiar I suppose. The alien is a character from an actual dream so in a weird way the alien in the only real element in this story lol In my dream though he wasn’t interested in swapping eyes but he did want to show me the future.

Until

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Elle Moss

Teeth and cuticles cracked

I clutch my journal

As if a delivery notice

Free me this state of being

These imperfect nooses

That subdue without collapse

 

At what point does the graphite

Fade from venal sapphire to necrotic ash?

I am only audible when I write

Otherwise the heart in my mouth

Serves a distinctive gag.

Lips hugging pillars of ivory

A mute martyred tongue defaming

I don’t have enough saliva

To exonerate my shame

 

There is blood beneath my nails

From tasting too much of your flesh

Anger is a luxury not afforded in exile

The brass latch is soft and intractable

Face down in a pile of newspaper clippings

I applaud only my anonymity

There is freedom in “no one”

That “some one” cannot gather

An audience changes everything

Even gestation

 

Opportunity is not bred in isolation

A handful of pomegranate seeds

Will assure safe passage

If I seek oneness in matrimony

How long death!

Death accepts me as no other

Whether rich or poor

Whether beautiful or curious

He shall wait a lifetime

To embrace my strangeness

For I will not surrender until

*

Yesterday I had writer’s block and I felt today would be the same because I feel exactly the same as I did yesterday physically, mentally in every conceivable way but I was able to create something longer and more sensible and it just happened to be relevant to prompt

Tale Weaver’s Prompt #2 Guessing Game

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I taste of the earth

Of damp root cellars

And obsolete wombs

Petrified and crisp

My juice wilts the palate

I appear bedeviled

As a shrunken head

With tufts of red-ribboned leaves

And a root that looks

Like a proboscis

I am hard and maternal

Like the cast of a woman’s breast

I am as common as wine

And can be used to make

A spirit comparable to port

I am a gem in vagabond stitch

Staining fingers and lips claret

As if the aftermath

Of a carnvirous feast

I can summon

Love from hearts

As bitter and laminate

As an unripened pomelo

I am a Goddess

A poor man’s dinner

A selection of mummified testicles

An asymmetrical top

That wobbles and rolls

But cannot fluently spin

I am a crouching Buddha

A farmer’s oyster

A clod of dirt best served

With ham and Dijon mustard

I am the neglected fountain

Of a poorly-expressed youth

I am a runner’s anodyne

I am the celestial pulse

Of a poetical sphere

I am the mighty,

I am the beet

*

I have never written a poem about a vegetable before lol I fear I’ve not done a very good job of it either. Could you guess which vegetable I was referring too? I refereed to beets as the poor man’s oyster because they also effect the libido and are said to work like Viagra. Beets improve stamina and reduce blood pressure hence the reference to the runner. There is also a myth that says if a man and woman share the same beet they will fall in love. I think I was supposed to write a tale but I wrote a poem. This is not part of the 33 autobiographical poems I wish to write beets do not figure that strongly into my life lol

 

This was written for

Tale Weaver’s Prompt