Nothing Changed – Chris Nelson

Nothing really changed at all,

The mark still stayed upon the wall,

And as we looked for something new,

Behind our backs it grew and grew.

Though we thought that we’d moved on,

The chains that held us were not gone,

And darkness clouded all our arts,

And spread its blackness through our hearts.

Things we thought that we had tamed,

Clung to our shadows hurting, maimed,

To heal themselves when night took hold,

Our sweetest dreams to then enfold.

In the light it brought its gloom,

In every corner, every room,

The stain it grew with fitful glee,

To pin us here and make us see.

Every footstep brought us here,

But never freed us from our fear,

Hung heavy over every head,

And coloured every word we said.

Dreamed we’d come so very far,

Our feet stuck fast in blackened tar,

We felt we had so much to prove,

Only to find we couldn’t move.

And nothing really changed at all,

The mark still stayed upon the wall,

And as we looked for something new,

Behind our backs it ever grew.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

 

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Introducing The Used Life ~ Rain Buzz

rainbuzz

There will have been a night
that sat on a house
with no fence
where the stars came in

A night made of lightning, like a flash
that tore from between two legs,
switched off the lights,
and crowded the walls
with neighbors like a speakeasy,
a room with a shot glass for an eye,
two wooden arms and a stump,
a night like house, a house like a body,
a sky like two clouds trapped in a wine bottle,
a pop in a cork where the moon came in

There will have been a man with big dreams
and woman who only wanted flowers,
a waiter and a pool boy
and a cluster of mothers comparing jeans
and Napa Valley Chardonnays

And there will have been children
who curled up with their babysitters
and slept to the buzz of the gnats
and the beat of the fireflies
that never stopped dancing
while their parents went down to the carpets,
down to the knees of the house,
down to the mats made of silk
and the smell of the wood and
they flung their bras against the naked walls
and traded bourbon with their friends
and husbands with their wives
and ate cake out of each other’s hands
while no one else was watching

And there will have been an uncertain ending
involving a man who bailed a boat
as big as a foot and sailed
as if from a distant island
to the storm of storms,
to the source of the lightning,
and clasped the hand
of all things unafraid, and built
the dam that stopped the flood
that saved the fence
that surrounded the yard
of the little white house made of stars


You can read more of The Used Life here

Guest Feature – A Dim View of the Hippie Movement ~ Chris Rodriguez

At the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
Strawberry Alarm Clock awakens a
stream of consciousness,
artificial spirituality laced with LSD.
Transformed Beatniks don beads, become hip in
bell-bottomed hip-huggers encountering
their id at a Human Be-In.
Back to the land communes in Strawberry Fields
support organic humanure-spiked food
free for sexual favors at local markets.
Nature Boys in old timey clothes fertilize
filth-crusted bodies with free love,
In a Gadda da Vida, honey!
Urbanization spurned, freaks still choose
Frisco as their center of (de)light.

Free press rings in news,
Feed My Headlines proclaim –
Dr. Strange and Jefferson Airplane attend an
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test at a Grateful Dead revival,
the church of drug induced Nirvana.
Liquid Light Shows draw tie-dyed run-away teens,
down the rabbit hole of
wide-eyed, White Rabbit wonder.
At the Height of Haight Happening,
Hare Krishna chants induce superficial
infatuation with Asian etiology.
‘Keeping it Real’ gets Gays
out of the closet (Far out!),
riding a rainbow of psychedelic ribbons
of Pride to The Castro district.
Hirsute Flower Children with lice, but nice
bare-breasted chicks making love
in patchouli-scented crash pads singing
“love the one you’re with,” oblivious
ball and chain toking through hours
and daze hazy nights.
The free-love train is not a smooth ride.
Stick it to The Man – the mantra in a man’s world.
The Bearded Curtain lacks money,
root of all Establishment evil.
Women serve as replacement currency
coerced to entice new males’ members to enter
the communal state of orgiastic bliss.
Babies abused in false belief,
“It’s alright, it’s his bag. All love is beautiful.”
Magical Mystery Tour, Woodstock,

Summer of Love sexual stew of STD’s
spawns a free clinic that treats
Joplin’s botched abortion.
By all means do your own thing,
tune in, drop out, turn on – blow your mind as
Manson’s musical of murderous missions
taunts L.A. Elysian Park love-ins.
Tricky (Sock it to me?) Dick, with a double (under)handed flash of the peace sign,
tries to send Jo-Yo packing back to Nutopia.
The “Death of Hippies Funeral” buries the
counterculture movement, but uptight,
hung-up, assertive feminists
rise like the Phoenix
from the ashes of burned bras,
born of the so-called age of enlightenment
which kept girls prone,
minds closed
legs open
to Masters and Johnson’s post-revolution probe.
Ouch!


Chris Rodriguez has retired from the horrors of conventional life.  She
now lives on the brink of inspiration in a 100-year-old cottage in
Pocatello, Idaho. Her works have appeared in various themed anthologies
including Rhetoric Askew, Kelly Jacobson’s, The Way to My Heart: An
Anthology of Food-Related Romance, Anchala Press’s Flash Fiction for
Flash Memories and several by Horrified Press/Thirteen O’Clock and
coming soon to Left Hand Publisher’s, Mindscapes Unimagined.  You can
find her latest at https://www.chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.com or
https://www.amazon.com/author/chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.

Dreams Fall Down – Chris Nelson

Dreams fall down like shadows slow

Can’t stop them now, can’t even try,

I feel them shroud me like a curse

Can’t see behind a clouded eye.

 

These tremors take my sweated hand

Can’t shake them off, can’t cut them loose,

I feel them chill my aching bones

Can’t rid myself, a waiting noose.

 

They drag me through mistakes I’ve made

Can’t justify, or reason why,

They show me futures drowned in pain

Can’t close my ears to other’s sighs.

 

Devils dance and duel within

Can’t stop the tune, can’t still the sound

A masquerade, no end in sight

Can’t hide my face or go to ground.

 

Voices call inside me now

Can’t make my own be heard instead,

They pull me into depths unknown

Can’t heal the scars inside my head.

 

Dogs are barking at the walls

Can’t silence them or stop their call,

They speak to me my greatest fears

Can’t hide from them, can’t hide at all.

 

And dreams fall down like shadows still

Can’t stop them now, can’t ask for more,

I feel them shroud me like a curse

Can’t see beyond the gaping door.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

 

If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61

Frankenstein’s Bastard – A.G. Diedericks

Richard Rothwell’s portrait of Mary Shelley ~ 1840
Frankenstein’s Bastard

I malformed
from aborted bloodbaths
to bite the hands
of a kleptomaniac midwife

Dear Frankenstein

Do I,
embolden your bestial apathy
with my woes?
Am I,
merely a pantomime
for the parochial aristocracy?

fated to this warped pestilence — the stench of patricide gestates in my throat

My heart is a contaminant; an abberation that anchors the intonation of a lover’s gaze

felicity dwindles in my wake,
it dare not breach
the elongated visage of my
consumption

I am shrouded
by an opulent darkness
that fosters the penury of my soul

there’s no alienist for what lives inside of me

My bones scythe a fissure in empiric science

I am the reification of death:
cobbled by inviolable skin
with ears to inoculate the
incantation of an exorcist
My iris blackens the convex of your erstwhile sun

Halcyon birds

Plummets where i walk

. . .

Dear Frankenstein

You, who molded me from madness;
map me a path to digress from this
metastasized matter
place me in an era,
where the kinship of poetry
have not forsaken me
Where even I,
tread with shadows bereft

Glitter to Rust – Chris Nelson

We dance and dance to jingle’s tune

And eager swallow every lie,

The promise of the silver moon

To hang ourselves in crystal sky.

We offer up each golden prayer

To mark our lives like none before,

And drape ourselves in jewels so rare

Like none but us can read the score.

And on our faces painted clear

Desire and lust out stripping need,

The thought of less our only fear

To justify our burning greed.

Our eyes fixed firm towards the light

That guides us to the good and true,

Expectance lingers in our sight

At offerings for the chosen few.

We grasp at gold within our reach

As fortune smiles her twisted grin,

To claim the riches that we seek

She offers us a way to win.

But what is it we find we hold

When all the glitter turns to rust,

And we are weakened, frail and old

And all our futures turned to dust?

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61

It Never Rains Where I Stand – A.G. Diedericks

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It never rains where I stand.

Cape Town’s water drought is rapidly approaching level zero, the city needs it more than I do. You died and I’m still waiting for that tantalizing storm they warned me about.

Your family wept for you and chose to utilize me as their scapegoat, waiting for me to immolate my emotions with looks that showed why I’m at home with foreigners and a foreigner when I’m at home.

Maybe it’s ’cause I don’t remember the memories; and I’ve foraged… all through our black & white photo albums. All I saw was anger, mirrored in the glass I removed from her hair after you couldn’t find your direction in life. And how my contempt for you was only eclipsed with self-denigration for not doing anything about it when I was still a kid.

You took me to the shop and littered my pockets with Molly candy hearts whilst my hands were tucked underneath gun control; you always knew how to circumvent the blue man group. Days spent dreaming of a dreamless sleep, breathing in asbestos and secondhand crack. Wasting away any potential we had.

I don’t want to denounce you, though. Only a coward would tell this true story and not let you to defend yourself and it’s not all your fault. I made a promise long ago to never turn out like you; I’ve kept that promise, ’cause I’m worse.

I know that I could have made more of an effort, or any effort for that matter to help improve our relationship. I know you’re still looking down on me, thinking, “he’s so full of shit!” and the worst part is, you’re not wrong.

There’s so much more that I need to say, so much more that I could do; I want to pour it out, all over this city where I rummage in desperation for the greyest cloud, waiting for the shudder of your lightning, waiting for some semblance of my elusive humanity, waiting to tell you that I became a writer…

But it won’t rain. It never rains… not where I stand.

Notes On A Suicide by Hemingway – A.G. Diedericks

The cosmos misplaced me
left me to meteor into this zeitgeist
of insipid distractions
Where i roam as an anachronism
under the city of lights
in pursuit of remnants from Lutetia
with nothing but a pen & piece
of paper to live on

Problem is I’m not a poet
Let me tell you how i know it:
I kill a reader
every time i get published
I drag ’em out
to the Battle of Normandy
and en garde my quill
up against their arsenal;
I tread belligerently
over land mines, unarmored
until there’s nothing left
of me to spill

Because who am i
without these lacerations
cut on truth
cut to the left
cut with avant garde

I look on as they flee for shelter
in colloquial boats
Washed up on the shores
of contrived obeisance

I write myself out
and into pastiche
Here..
Where i can marvel at all the
artifacts
that has since been decimated
by phosphorescent eyes

In this solitary hamlet
away from the hullabaloo
of small voices;
I swim naked in a cesspool
of regret & excuses;
The past is a rope that pulls me up
from the quagmire of my present;
The ghost of Hemingway smirks
at my attempted suicide
as he steals all the bullets from
my plagiarized shotgun

Leaving me tied to the
dénouement
of his sagacious notes,

“Your abstract is redundant. The expatriates weren’t lost in an archaic era. We Roared the 20’s with the clamour of our own literature. How is the reader supposed to find any emotive resonance in this? Your soul is still buried underneath the words, and it will only come to life once you’ve unearthed your own voice. I suggest you go and pick a fight with a bull in the streets of Pamplona; You’ll find everything you need there.”