Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Poetry Today 15: Trends & Traditions
Compiled by Anthony Servante

Welcome poetry aficionados to the September column, our fifteenth venture into the prose of the Twenty-Tens. This month we asked our guest poets to select works by their favorite classic poets to follow their works. Don Falcone picked John Ashbery, Andrew Blacet decided on Wilfred Owen, Kim Acrylic went with Jim Morrison (of The Doors), D.S. Scott chose Edgar Allan Poe, and Jaye Tomas selected Wallace Stevens and William Blake. So, we have yesterday's renowned wordsmiths accompanying today's prose maestros.

We begin with Don Falcone, our guest celebrity, leader of the band Spirits Burning. And we welcome Karen Anderson who adds her creative graphics to Don's poetry

Don Falcone


Don Falcone is an American musician and producer. Originally a poet-performer in Pennsylvania, he relocated to San Francisco at the beginning of the 1980s. He was a member of Thessalonians and the original Melting Euphoria, had a solo project called Spaceship Eyes, and since 1996 has led the Spirits Burning space rock collective with Bridget Wishart. He is also the co-founder of Noh Poetry Records, a California-based independent record label specializing in electronic music, experimental music, space rock and psychedelic music (Wiki).

The Poems:

"St. Aidan's Journey" by Karen Anderson

One Block From Poetry
(dedicated to Marino Falcone)
(by Don Falcone, completed August, 2014, 25 years after the event on which it is based)

i see poets simmer on the corner 
sipping whiskey from a paper bag 
with their backs to the store 
they mumble beneath the flicker 
paint chipping in the weight 
of a tempting night 

  my father 
  my father from a small town 
  investigates my city  
  he is staying in a hotel 
  one block from poetry 

and when the sun gets its turn 
he wraps the dreamy stares 
these voices wake for money 
these stomachs wake for food 

i see poets stand with schoolbook hands 
tint with treasure, they barely touch 
i see poets, eyes slide in sockets 
searching for a home
in footsteps that pass 

so much good lip to go around 
you can hear the skin and bone 

 my father 
 my father from a small town 
 puts on socks, and then buttons his story 
 he is heading for the talk 
 — (at) the heart of poetry 

   “let me not be condescending” 
   he says so from the start, 
   and he goes into his pocket 
   he pulls out what he knows 

i see poets simmer on the corner 
sipping whiskey from a paper bag
slight of hand drawing 
one crouches, one leans 
and for my father, now gone
they still reek of poetry     

"Stigmatica" by Karen Anderson

For Protection (Graffiti Mix)
(by Don Falcone, conceived in the 1980s, and weaved into the Spaceship Eyes song “OCR” for the 2000 CD “Of Cosmic Repercussions”)

low riders
casual riders
street racers
riders rule
don’t                    kill my bruth
                                                          low riders
casual riders
                                                          street racers
don’t                    kill my bruth
er                                                       disco

                             lowri asual street erru
                             lowri asual el lobo
                             lowri asual street erru

kill my low diab
el diab kill my
pover my dog so sigh
my lobo el diab

el pover el tea
kill my low diab
el diab
kill my
pover my dog
my knee

a thor el lobo
a questi own diab
kill my a thor el lobo
kill my low el diab kill my
                                                          low riders
casual riders
                                                          street racers
                             riders rule

                             lowri asual street erru
                             lowri asual el lobo
                             lowri asual street erru

"Fatima" by Karen Anderson

This Year’s Alchemy
(by Don Falcone, updated August, 2014)

the poet drinks
drinks the poet
drinks the gasoline revenue
it belongs the gasoline belongs it belongs
to the patron the poet drinks
the gasoline it belongs
to the patron the poet feeds
the poet feeds on matchstick scraps
they come from matchstick scraps they come
from vending machines the poet drinks
the gasoline revenue it belongs
to the patron the poet feeds
on matchstick scraps they come
from vending machines the poet waits
until the poet feeds
the poet waits to become far from thieves
they turn the poet
turn the stone fragments
to gold the poet drinks
the poet feels the gold
feels the poet furnace
stir the leaves
the furnace leaves
it leaves a cold steel frame
the poet waits to become far from thieves
turn the stone fragments
to gold the poet feels the furnace
frame the poet
who drinks

Don's Classic: John Ashbery  


John Lawrence Ashbery is an American poet. He has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.

And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name
You can’t say it that way any more.   
Bothered about beauty you have to   
Come out into the open, into a clearing,
And rest. Certainly whatever funny happens to you
Is OK. To demand more than this would be strange
Of you, you who have so many lovers,   
People who look up to you and are willing   
To do things for you, but you think
It’s not right, that if they really knew you . . .
So much for self-analysis. Now,
About what to put in your poem-painting:   
Flowers are always nice, particularly delphinium.   
Names of boys you once knew and their sleds,   
Skyrockets are good—do they still exist?
There are a lot of other things of the same quality   
As those I’ve mentioned. Now one must
Find a few important words, and a lot of low-keyed,
Dull-sounding ones. She approached me
About buying her desk. Suddenly the street was   
Bananas and the clangor of Japanese instruments.   
Humdrum testaments were scattered around. His head
Locked into mine. We were a seesaw. Something   
Ought to be written about how this affects   
You when you write poetry:
The extreme austerity of an almost empty mind
Colliding with the lush, Rousseau-like foliage of its desire to communicate   
Something between breaths, if only for the sake   
Of others and their desire to understand you and desert you
For other centers of communication, so that understanding
May begin, and in doing so be undone.
John Ashbery, “And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name” from Houseboat Days. Copyright ©
1987, 1979 by John Ashbery.

The Instruction Manual
As I sit looking out of a window of the building
I wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.
I look down into the street and see people, each walking with an inner peace,   
And envy them—they are so far away from me!
Not one of them has to worry about getting out this manual on schedule.   
And, as my way is, I begin to dream, resting my elbows on the desk and leaning out of the window a little,
Of dim Guadalajara! City of rose-colored flowers!
City I wanted most to see, and most did not see, in Mexico!
But I fancy I see, under the press of having to write the instruction manual,   
Your public square, city, with its elaborate little bandstand!
The band is playing Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Around stand the flower girls, handing out rose- and lemon-colored flowers,   
Each attractive in her rose-and-blue striped dress (Oh! such shades of rose and blue),
And nearby is the little white booth where women in green serve you green and yellow fruit.
The couples are parading; everyone is in a holiday mood.
First, leading the parade, is a dapper fellow
Clothed in deep blue. On his head sits a white hat
And he wears a mustache, which has been trimmed for the occasion.
His dear one, his wife, is young and pretty; her shawl is rose, pink, and white.   
Her slippers are patent leather, in the American fashion,
And she carries a fan, for she is modest, and does not want the crowd to see her face too often.
But everybody is so busy with his wife or loved one
I doubt they would notice the mustachioed man’s wife.
Here come the boys! They are skipping and throwing little things on the sidewalk
Which is made of gray tile. One of them, a little older, has a toothpick in his teeth.
He is silenter than the rest, and affects not to notice the pretty young girls in white.
But his friends notice them, and shout their jeers at the laughing girls.   
Yet soon all this will cease, with the deepening of their years,
And love bring each to the parade grounds for another reason.
But I have lost sight of the young fellow with the toothpick.
Wait—there he is—on the other side of the bandstand,
Secluded from his friends, in earnest talk with a young girl
Of fourteen or fifteen. I try to hear what they are saying
But it seems they are just mumbling something—shy words of love, probably.
She is slightly taller than he, and looks quietly down into his sincere eyes.   
She is wearing white. The breeze ruffles her long fine black hair against her olive cheek.
Obviously she is in love. The boy, the young boy with the toothpick, he is in love too;
His eyes show it. Turning from this couple,
I see there is an intermission in the concert.
The paraders are resting and sipping drinks through straws
(The drinks are dispensed from a large glass crock by a lady in dark blue),   
And the musicians mingle among them, in their creamy white uniforms, and talk
About the weather, perhaps, or how their kids are doing at school.

Let us take this opportunity to tiptoe into one of the side streets.   
Here you may see one of those white houses with green trim   
That are so popular here. Look—I told you!
It is cool and dim inside, but the patio is sunny.
An old woman in gray sits there, fanning herself with a palm leaf fan.   
She welcomes us to her patio, and offers us a cooling drink.   
“My son is in Mexico City,” she says. “He would welcome you too   
If he were here. But his job is with a bank there.
Look, here is a photograph of him.”
And a dark-skinned lad with pearly teeth grins out at us from the worn leather frame.
We thank her for her hospitality, for it is getting late
And we must catch a view of the city, before we leave, from a good high place.
That church tower will do—the faded pink one, there against the fierce blue of the sky. Slowly we enter.
The caretaker, an old man dressed in brown and gray, asks us how long we have been in the city, and how we like it here.
His daughter is scrubbing the steps—she nods to us as we pass into the tower.
Soon we have reached the top, and the whole network of the city extends before us.
There is the rich quarter, with its houses of pink and white, and its crumbling, leafy terraces.
There is the poorer quarter, its homes a deep blue.
There is the market, where men are selling hats and swatting flies
And there is the public library, painted several shades of pale green and beige.
Look! There is the square we just came from, with the promenaders.   
There are fewer of them, now that the heat of the day has increased,   
But the young boy and girl still lurk in the shadows of the bandstand.   
And there is the home of the little old lady—
She is still sitting in the patio, fanning herself.
How limited, but how complete withal, has been our experience of Guadalajara!
We have seen young love, married love, and the love of an aged mother for her son.
We have heard the music, tasted the drinks, and looked at colored houses.   
What more is there to do, except stay? And that we cannot do.
And as a last breeze freshens the top of the weathered old tower, I turn my
Back to the instruction manual which has made me dream of Guadalajara.

John Ashbery, “The Instruction Manual” from Some Trees. Copyright © 1956 by John Ashbery.


Andrew Blacet


Andrew D. Blacet lives with his family in San Jose, California, where he is now gainfully employed in the Health Care field, having managed to survive the major shakeouts of economic boom-and-bust that have so far defined the new century in America. In his spare time Andrew continues to produce a substantial output of poetry and stories of the surreal, the strange and the grotesque, and is currently working on a novel of ecological horror. Over the years he has worked patiently to refine his skills and find his voice among the echoes of a fractured and increasingly divided and irrational world. He is apt to believe skepticism is a virtue, and pessimism a positive driving force. Don’t ask him about unicorns. You can purchase his new book of poetry, "Occupant of the Ditch And Other Poems" by AD Blacet by clicking here.

The Poetry:


The mirror, shattered, erupted into chaos; a bedlam of glass and foil, together we watched in awe our pieces swimming, the delicate
skins of dragons tunneling swollen seas. The sun’s longest rays smashed through earthen panes, fossil light leaping like fresh blood,
our bodies entwined in a black sand beach, both our wrecks divulged by storm, seashells spat from sand to be discovered. Our
precious coins, tested by teeth, show the dents that prove our worth.

Blogger Note: There is something about Mr. Blacet's poetry that makes me want to stand up and cheer, but it is an elusive "something", a Thing worth looking for in his works. The above poem is stream of consciousness writing by Andrew Blacet. As you can see, he thinks in poetry. It captures him as he captures it. When asked about line breaks for this work, Andrew and I had the following conversation about poetry:

  • Andrew D. Blacet

    Frankly I don't need line breaks. I like as is.
  • Anthony Servante

    You got it. Thanks.
  • Andrew D. Blacet

    Thank you!

    I just find that I don't really understand formatting, so I just spill over from line to line. Suits me fine for free verse.
  • Anthony Servante

    I like short line breaks. But that's me. I have lines with one word in them. Personal aesthetics. Free verse prose works for you. I have to make sure I keep that spirit when I transfer it to the blog. You wouldn't believe how many poets tell me to insert the breaks as I see fit. It's not my poem, mon.
  • Andrew D. Blacet

    I'm just one long ass run on sentence!

    Really, I found that I spent way more time formatting than writing and that is what I reject. My time is valuable, and I just print it as I think it.
  • Anthony Servante

    That's Romantic poetry for you. Content over structure. Think William Carlos Williams versus William Wordsworth.
  • Andrew D. Blacet

    Interesting..that's why I am no professor!

    Have you read Wilfred Owen? WWI poet of renown. His entire corpus was built during a six month period. Than he died. He is great!

  • And here we transition to Wilfred Owen, of course.

Andrew's Classic: Wilfred Owen


Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918) was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend and mentor Siegfried Sassoon, and stood in stark contrast both to the public perception of war at the time (Wiki).

"Youth Marching to their Death"

Mental Cases
Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jays that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,- but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands' palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men's extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
-Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
-Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness. 
Wilfred Owen

"Wilfred Owen's Regiment"

Strange Meeting

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
'Strange, friend,' I said, 'Here is no cause to mourn.'
'None,' said the other, 'Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now ... 


Kim Acrylic


Kim Acrylic, from Seattle Washington is a Poet/ Recording Artist/indie Music Journalist, who dedicated her life to poetry at age 15. Since then she has published four volumes of poetry and finally an anthology of everything she has written in the book "The Myth Behind All Truth" She has worked for several online music and poetry magazines including Punk Globe, The Battered Suitcase and the Reviewer Magazine.She has been published in several anthologies and Blogs including Little Episode's first volume of poetry "Back In 5 Minutes" Along side the likes of Sadie Frost, Clint Catalyst , Lucy Barat, Charlie Sheen and Michael Madsen. She also collaborated post-death with Andy Warhol for the New Britain Museum Of Modern Art by writing a poem inspired by his painting of Manray for the book "Visions, Voices, and verses" As of to date, Kim has two CDs out "Fan Fare Melt Down" and an E.P "Techno Eyes" She continues to collaborate to this day with artists all over the world and has finished her first Novella "Rock 'N' Roll Melancholy"

The Poem:

"Fallen Darling"

Fallen darling of left over love frolics in mysterious skin.

I will forever be the same, as soon as yesterday forgives.

Death in a sultry summer afternoon, ended life as we know it.

I'm left to choke on rotten vomit, and be teased in my slumbering thoughts of you.

Blessed be the man who sees your magic, and echoes your truths.

Complex girlfriend with fearsome eyes, awakens your resurrection in prose.

Lost yet found, I play tug of war with imaginary friends that scar my knowledge.

Engaged in my plastic delights, I'm worn and jaded.

In lust with a ghostly being, I kiss you in ecstasy with nightmares full of of lies.

Parallel with my life, I end all truth and affairs.

There is only one who knows just how much I truly fall in love.

I've given you my soul's soulless abyss.

When will we dance to loudly played silent music under the stars?

Paper cuts from love letters sent to your after world bleed out my sorrows.

I sing in the wind you send my way each night , but do you want me when I'm not sure?

My lovely rock n roll romance, you'll find me whenever you're ready.

Kim's Classic: Jim Morrison


James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer-songwriter and poet, thelead singer of Los Angeles rock band The Doors and one of the 1960's most famous stars in pop/rock music.[1] From a young age, Morrison became infatuated with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud, Jack Kerouac, and William Blake, often incorporating their work into his lyrics. In his later life, Morrison developed an alcohol dependency which led to his death at the age of 27 in Paris (Wiki).

An American Prayer

Do you know the warm progress
under the stars?
Do you know we exist?

Have you forgotten the keys
to the kingdom
Have you been borne yet
& are you alive?

Let's reinvent the gods, all teh myths
of the ages
Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests
[Have you forgotten the lessons
of the ancient war]

We need great golden copulations
The fathers are cackling in trees
of the forest
Our mother is dead in the sea

Do you know we are being led to
slaughters by placid admirals

& that fat slow generals are getting
obscene on young blood
Do you know we are ruled by T.V.
The moon is dry blood beast

Guerrilla bands are rolling numbers
in the next block of green vine
amassing for warfare on innocent
herdsman who are just dying .

O great creator of being
grant us one more hour to
perform our art
and perfect our lives

The moths and atheists are doubly divine
and dying
We live, we die
and death not ends it
Journey we more into the
Cling to life

Our passion'd flower
Cling to cunts and cocks
of despair
We got our final vision
by clap

Columbus' groin got
filled with green death
(I touched her thigh
and death smiled)

We have assembled inside this ancient
and insane theatre
To propogate our lust for life
and flee the swarming wisdom
of the streets

The barns are stormed
The windows kept
And only one of all the rest
To dance and save us
With divine mockery
of words

Music inflames temperament
(When the true King's murderers
are allowed to run free
a thousand Magicians arise
in the land)

Where are the feasts we were promised
Where is the wine
The New Wine
(dying on the vine)- Jim Morrison


D.S. Scott


When D. S. Scott was fourteen, a friend suggested he write a short story. He began writing and immediately took an interest in it. A couple weeks later he finished and was surprised to find how much he enjoyed writing it. In the years since, Scott has written in several genres but has found a particular interest in horror and suspense. He enjoys writing poetry, short stories and has started on a novel. Finding writing to be a creative outlet, he kept with it and followed his goal to publish.
He currently lives in North Carolina with his dog, Bandit

The Poems: 

Not Quite Dead
By D. S. Scott

Deep within me I have this feeling
I want my brains to kiss the ceiling
Why don’t I just blow off my head?
Wouldn’t I be better off dead?
Curl right up in such a tight ball
Say “fuck you” to one and all
Put the gun under my chin
Please let me do this one last sin
Feel no pain
Nothing to gain
So I choose
Nothing to lose
Against God’s law
Pieces of jaw
Bits of teeth
Lie beneath
Capillaries, bones and veins
Body’s gone, soul remains
Just what is this that I have done?
I cannot hide, I cannot run
What is this I have become?
My plan backfired, I am not numb
After all of this that I’ve said
Still alive, not quite dead

We Are …
By D. S. Scott

We are the ones who paint things red
We are the ones who want you dead
We are the ones trapped in your mind
We are the ones you can’t leave behind
We are the ones you want to leave
We are the ones who will deceive
We are the ones who don’t exist
We are the ones the doctors missed
We are the ones who you hate
We are the ones who you debate
We are the ones who always fight
We are the ones out of sight
We are the ones in your mind’s view
We are the ones who are not few
We are the ones you damn to hell
We are the ones who like to yell
We are the ones who give you pain
We are the ones who leave a stain
We are the ones who cause you harm
We are the ones who raise alarm
We are the ones who you fear
We are the ones with no cure
We are the ones who make you want to die
We are the ones who make you ask why
We are the ones you don’t want to live for
We are the ones who shake you to the core
We are the ones you hate yourself because of
We are the ones who make you doubt the one above
We are the ones who know your secret
We are the ones who will never keep it
We are the ones who say you have no worth
We are the ones not of this earth
We are the ones the devil sent
We are the ones who came but never went
We are the ones who will always stay
We are the ones you try to keep at bay
We are the ones only you know
We are the ones who won’t ever go
We are the ones who put the gun in your hand
We are the ones … and …
We are the bastards who killed you
We are the monsters who took your soul too
We are the liars who have always said
We are only voices in your head

Death, Will You Come?
By D. S. Scott

Death, will you come?
Please just end my pain
I feel so damn numb
It’s driving me insane

Death, won’t you take me?
I need to get away
Can you not see?
My feelings do not sway

Death, why not?
This is what I choose
This is what I’ve sought
I have nothing to lose

Death, will you visit?
Come see me please
It’s a joke now is it?
Please no longer tease

Death, take my life
Cast it away
Gun or knife
I have nothing else to say

Death, won’t you listen?
Do you not understand?
The reasons, must I list them?
Just a touch of your hand

Death, you do ignore
You won’t listen to my plea
My throat grows sore
Screaming and begging is not the key

Death, I do pray
I pray you are pleased
Because on this day
I have become diseased

Death, you are cruel
You lead me on
You think me a fool
And you con

Death, you can’t win
I won’t live forever
A pleasure it’s been
You’ve played so clever

Death, you lose
Today I died
I’m sure you’ve heard the news
I tried to hide

Death, I feared
And I lied
The pain may have seared
But in the end I cried

Death, you finally called my bluff
I think that I am done
I’ve had plenty enough
Death, it’s been fun

D.S. Scott's Classic: Edgar Allan Poe


Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

"Monk by the Sea" by Caspar David Friedrich 

To --
Edgar Allan Poe

I heed not that my earthly lot
Hath--little of Earth in it --
That years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute:--
I mourn not that desolate
Are happier, sweet, than I,
But that you sorrow for my fate
Who am a passer-by

Blogger Note:  D.S. Scott, like the classic poet he chose, Edgar Allan Poe, had a fascination with DEATH. He personifies it, defies it, even flirts with it, but ultimately accepts it by living a life to it. Most people think of death as an ending; for Scott, it is his reason for writing, and his poetry reflects that. I added the painting "Monk by the Sea" by Caspar David Friedrich to echo Scott's morbid sentiment. In the painting, a lone tiny figure is nearly invisible against the massive sea, sky, and shore. Yet the monk walks on. In D.S. Scott's work, he, too, walks on, and I look forward to the next steps he takes in his poetic evolution. 


Jaye Tomas


Jaye Tomas has been a "scribbler" all of her life, but the Internet provided a way to more easily share it. Creating Chimera Poetry (blog & facebook page) has been an incredible experience. The fact that anyone reads what she writes is a constant source of amazement and gratitude to her. Her biggest obsession is books, and her reading tastes are eclectic to say the least: Tolkien, Lovecraft, Gaiman, Plath, Ellison, Christie, Aaronovitch, Yeats, Blake, King, Barker, Straub, Lopez, Maugham, Poznansky .....to name a very few. Originally from the windy suburbs of Chicago she now resides in the UK. Lately she has been casting her eyes in the direction of Italy, but hasn't completely settled on that.....yet. It may be back to the USA, it may be Edinburgh, it may be Gallifrey..... the beauty of the story is in the journey, not the arrival.
http://chimerapoetry.wordpress.com/ (blog)
https://www.facebook.com/jaye.tomas.7 (Jaye Tomas on facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/chimerapoet (Chimera Poetry on facebook)

The Poems: 

The Approach of Night ~

It’s not a warm hand to hold or

a mortal mans kiss I crave

I seek the deep unseen

the darkness

under my skin I have made a place where the blood and yearning can embrace

and I raise my arms wide and offer up into the night

my plea

my offer

to whoever


may hear me and come

drawn by the beating life

the salt and fat and sweetness of me

to fill that empty space

I wait for the approach of the night

the cold intoxication of oblivion

I long for icesharp lips against mine

and the spreading of the frost into thewinedark river of my veins

take me as I wait willingly

a priestess of midnight with ardent heart chilled and quiescent

ready to abandon the light

take me

I am here

© jayetomas2014

*inspired by the artwork of Lente Scura *


Jezebel ~

I see the sideways glances

the curling lip as it twitches into a knowing smirk which makes you feel pure and above

all the depravity you see in my swaying hips

but the bottom of your feet and mine share the same packed dirt

and your man

yes yours

knows exactly where to find me

I have long memorized the list of vices the nuns railed against with slaps and exhortations to heaven

and I wear them like plumage

like an artists pose

I lie and I cheat and I steal and laugh with the serpent

I will wear any costume and paint any face upon mine

and kiss their fears away with a stolen lipstick

while you speak of judgement and of pride and the fallen

reserve your scorn for one who can still be touched

I have taken what even your nightmares couldn’t and lived

not to tell

for my tales are all my own and kept in a deep place your surface digs could never reach

however cold and crowded my secret self may be

it softens nothing

only fuels the fire I need to move among the living and use what I can

what is so freely given

draining the cup so dry even the gilt fades

tossed into the corner when I take my leave

bound again for a new name and new city

with new parts to play even if the lines are always the same

another audience to assemble with customers who will pay the highest price

for the lowest lies

almost too easy a dance

with wiles and smiles and trailing fingertips and a crimson apple to match my lips

for the ones who mutter harshly on the street at noon with your kind on their starched and proper arm

are the same who will knock softly


at midnight.

© jayetomas2014


Fall Just A Little ~

The bride and groom looked at each other
and her voice broke when she said the words
and she fell just a little
against him
because the do us part was already so near
already in the high grass stalking
gathering force
there is no way to stop a hurricane once it starts
and all the lilac flowers and cake and cards and golden bubbles cannot hold the destruction back
promises made in the dark sometimes only bloom there
a kiss to seal the promise
a promise for all time
but time itself is a thief and steals the moment
steals the roses from her cheeks
leaving lines carved in a face the color of dirty dishwater
and when a fist and cry is raised to heaven
there is only the startling of the birds as reply
and we fall just a little
against each other
and try to gather the crusts and crumbs of the wedding feast
roll them up in linen coverings with spilled champagne and sad confetti birds nests
to bring out as tribute
as a shield proffered to carry out this broken doll
her strings snipped
too soon we cry
but the abhorred shears flashed
and the strings fell
just a little
against each other


Jaye's Classics: Wallace Stevens & William Blake


Wallace Stevens was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut (Wiki).

The Emperor of Ice Cream

by Wallace Stevens ~

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.


William Blake was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age (Wiki).

Auguries of Innocence by William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day.


Thank you, poets and readers, for joining us today and everyday you visit. We had a little new and a little old, and, as usual, we brought you the trends and traditions of poetry at its darkest by some of today's brightest talents. We'll return in October, when we'll be hosting the poetry of Horror. If you would like to submit a poem or two, graphics, or pictures for our Halloween column, send me some Horror themed poetry or some scary artwork or photography. I can be reached at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com. Mention "Halloween Submissions" in the subject line. This has been your host, Anthony Servante. See you in the Darkness next month.

Fine Art America
Where You Can Find the Artwork
Brande Barrett

For the finest in artwork, visit Brande Barrett - Fine Art America fineartamerica.com
Surreal Digital Photography Landscapes Seascapes and Sky


Andrew D. Blacet (Words) Brande Barrett (Art)

Buy this fantastic poetic journey here.

Description: Here are poems for those who prefer to linger among the ruins, to listen for ghosts in leaning doorways or the driplines of caves; for those who appreciate the incipient dread of long shadows, the dark flourish of root and branch, the reflections of stars in wet sand. These are poems for the reader who does not require every puzzle to be solved, every monster to be dragged from its well and thrust into withering light. For those seeking reassurance from the familiar or mundane, look elsewhere. These are the thud of moist earth on the lid of a casket, the suggestion of half-formed faces budding in the boulders of a cliff – these are the occupants of the ditch.


For information on how you can place your ad here on Poetry Today or on the column or interview of your choice, contact Anthony Servante at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. Very enjoyable! Well done, everyone! A terrific blend of modern and classic poems. Great choices of accompanying art and verse. :)