caliban and the pockmarked kid


Exiles In the Land of Kakistocracy


I.  A Conversation in the Time of Galamatias:

Our salad days are filled with bitter herbs and intractable roots —

Not so much a salad, but a melange

Of weeds and thistles —

Indelicate things in our mouths.

Every bite a mouthful of rot and offal —

Awful offal.

The kakistocracy is installed in the cupboards 

The cups are off on a two week vacation in Mosul.

We are mystified and malnourished.

Now I’ve had my wine…

And you look better than you did twenty minutes ago.

And you say:

The sky is a massive hole tonight —

My precious lucida is eating the universe:


I can lay down and go to sleep.

The lights are receding

And the darkness is strangely pleasing.


II.  The Death of Tane:

Then there was the sickness —

So hot.

The vault of heaven darker —

Then darker — 

A black sun —

At end.

It was succeeded by the shadow 

Of the shadow —

Spreading —

Nearer and nearer to the pin prick 

Of light —


To the west—


A white effluent

Soft and yielding

Bounds off.


III.  Passage:

Crossing guards cane a woman.

She stopped traffic —

She wore a mask stocking

She needed a cuddle —

She shook —

She hollered:

“You there, take this…”

Her eyes closed.

The wind appeared pink.

“Your mother buggered 

little boys and girls!”

“She’s a ghost,”

My mother said —

“Alone —“

As she squeezed my neck.

“Goodbye,” I cried.


IV.  Coulrophobia In The Land Kakistocracy:

Clowns are spotted in the Carolina gloaming —

Clowns with knives at the edges

Of dark woods.

I met an old man who loved

A woman who —

In whispers — 

Had recently died.

He recounted his harrowing nights

Raising his hands at

An unfamiliar country.

Without spotting an actual person — 

He spent lonely days

Encircled by clowns — 

And a stranger…

We can not discuss.

Painful moments in our pockets.

I saw groups staring up —

Untethered —

Lost —


They looked small in comparison with 

This Curious Refraction.


V.  A Violent Force:

Corybantic priests run —

Amuck through prickly weeds —

Bloody hands full of entrails

Chased by their sacrificial lambs and

Headless corpses — 

With empty chest cavities — 

Whose names were not happily chosen.

Among the monticules of ashes —

Lie dismembered heads

Mouths stuffed with testicles.

And the stranger —

Bright and Barren — 

Grows stronger —



About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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