T H E   G R E A T E S T   E X A M P L E S   O F   L I T E R A R Y   A R T

Table of Contents

22.5 Inches - June 26, 2018

It's too hard to breathe.

Still, pull it tighter.

That's the only way

To get the look we're after.


I'm gasping for air.

It's supposed to feel like that.

Your figure is clumsy.

Your waist is too fat.


Stick your foot into my lower back.

Yank the laces until you hear the crack.

Twenty-two inches as of today

(And a half), but who's counting anyway?


Pull the straps back

And play rib-bone knick-knack.

Burn the fat from my head.

It don't matter if I'm dead.


Follow their instructions to the letter.

After this, I'll be much better.

Lace and tortoiseshells, tar and feathers.

They like me better when I'm fettered.


Stick your foot into my lower back.

Yank the laces until you hear a crack.

Whalebone's all the fashion in the city.

Mutilated girls look so pretty.


Carve both my back and front,

Mold me into any shape you want.

Wisp-thin like a seeding dandelion,

I live to please my dear Pygmalion.


Copse of Stone Trees - June 26, 2018

Entwining branches circle all around.

I plunge my axe into the ground.


It must be winter for the trees are bare.

Snowflakes tumble from the air.


These gnarled trees hold a grisly court.

Mutely mocking me for sport.


I brush the dew off my wrinkled brow.

I cannot fell them even now.


Ensnared by vines of ripe falsehood,

That put down roots truth never could.


What are these lies even worth,

Whilst we spend eternity in the earth?


Entwining branches circle all around.

I plunge my axe into the ground.


They won't ever let me pass.

The trees are stone, my axe is glass.


The Ballad of Bric Maller - June 09, 2018

There was a boy,

His heart so cold;

It was frozen

On a country road.


Sixteen years old,

But oh, so bold,

Lookin' for some way

To break the mold.


Went on a journey,

His horse in tow,

An' lay by firelight

Lettin' dreams unfold.


He spent long nights

Under a starlit sky,

The bright twinkles

Reflectin' in his eyes.


But something strange

Then took hold.

By whose Devil words

Were you controlled?


Oh, wide-eyed boy,

Where did you go

To leave you broken

On the open road?


When he came home,

He looked so old.

What had you done

That you cain't be consoled?


Was it your soul

That you sold,

Under a moonless sky

For a little gold?


He never told

Where he did go

To freeze his heart

On that country road.


I am a Box of Nothing - February 20, 2017

I am a box of nothing.

I am a Chinese room,

Content to merely wallow

In the approaching gloom.


The walls inside my head

Are painted grayish-white.

On each of them is nailed

Oblivion's delights.


And all the fools mistake

My feeble show of force

As something more like something,

Like intelligent discourse.


But this room can only mimic,

Mock, and simulate

That which others claim to have

As their inherent state.


A Mechanical automaton

Stopped until you activate

A golem incantation,

Demand the clay reanimate.


Nothing wrapped in human skin.

Nothing actually sinks in.

Nothing lost and nothing gained.

Nothing processed or maintained.


I am a box of nothing.

I am a Chinese room.

A Thing anticipating

Reunion with the tomb.


Useful - October 26, 2016

Grandfather hated all the cats,

Who lived out by the shed.

So he took out his trusty rifle,

And shot them in the head.


Father found a poor, sick, old tom,

Who coughed until he bled.

So he shut Tom in a wire cage,

And pumped him full of lead.


Mother tired of the kittens,

Who hid under the bed.

So she drove them out into the woods,

And left them both for dead.


I was a such useless kitty,

I waited to be fed.

My family had no meat for dinner,

And served me up instead.


There's a figure made of brittle glass

So stiff and cold it often breaks.

It's crisscrossed with a thousand cracks,

Growing dull with each impact.

Barely noticed in its cabinet,

Held together through force of habit,

Because it's twisted now, and chipped, and smashed;

And each new hurt might be the last,

For when the doll shatters into pieces,

You can look and see it was hollow inside.


.mp3 version


The Script - May 05, 2012

Now you've gone and done it. You just had to read that bit, didn't you?

I don't have a choice anymore.

You've all played your parts flawlessly. So flawlessly, in fact, that I can't help but say my lines.

That was my cue, and now I've just got to follow the script.

It's always like this.

No one ever strays,

Not even by a word, and so I have to perform again.

Again and again like a marionette.

I don't want to do this anymore.

I'm probably carving a rut into the stage with as many times as we've gone over this.

Oh sure, you're the understudy.

One of many. I can't even remember who was cast in your role first; that was a long time ago.

It doesn't matter, though.

I know who this show is all about. I have top billing--it's my character that they're coming to see.

Who is coming?

This show's got an audience of one.

Me.


Scenario Two - 2010

"Hey. Wake up."

"I'm awake."

"Really? Are you sure?"

"Yeah."

She rolled over onto her side to talk to her friend, the long strands of her unkempt hair falling into her face.

"Do you wanna leave the room today?"

"What? Leave? Why?"

"I don't know. I just feel like it."

But, you've been in this room since...."

"Yeah. I know."

There was a pause.

"How are you gonna get out?"

"Is that an important thing?"

"It's of crucial importance."

"Oh."

She thought about it, concentrating as hard as she could, but couldn't come up with an adequate answer.

"Why don't you just leave through the door?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because I locked it."

"From the inside?"

"Yes."

"So then just unlock it."

"I couldn't possibly."

"Why can't you?"

"It would be hypocritical. Isn't that obvious?"

"Everyone's a hypocrite. What difference does it make?"

It simply won't do. Think of something else."

The room was silent for a moment.

"All right. What about the window?"

"The window?"

"Yeah. Is it locked?"

"No--why bother? We're on the eleventh floor."

"..."

"That's brilliant! You've always been so smart. I really love you, you know."

"I know."

"Do you wanna come with me?"

"There's no need."

"I guess we won't be seeing each other again."

Eventually, the door opened by itself, revealing the inside of the room, but there was no one there to see it. The window was wide open, and the wispy curtains blew delicately in the breeze.

END

The Song of Cyril - ca. 2008

Hymn to the Muses

O, Violet-Crowned Muses,

Melete, Meneme, and Aoede

Who preside over meditation, memory, and song


Grant me a sweet voice

And a faithful memory

From perfect contemplation.


Or perhaps I honor you,

Blessed Calliope,

Chief among nine offspring of Zeus.


This epic tale is received through you.


I: The Ideal of Justice

On snowy Olympus, mortal cries of suffering

Resonated in the misty, crystal halls of the gods.

Echoing screams and pleas of mercy resounded in its peaks.

The Son of Cronos sent Hermes Diaktoros to

Summon all the gods to his palace in Olympia,

Heeding the appeals of pale-eyed Pallas,

Who is seated on the right of mighty Zeus.

He quickly reached all but five: Eros, Apollo, and the Moirae;

Daughters of Nyx: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos

Had not yet passed through the Hour guarded cloud-gate

As the pressing matter began to be addressed.

The rest Hermes had reached swift footed, with

Winged Sandals and cap, brandishing his kerykeion.

"Quickly! I am wearied as a psychopomp, with all

The dead I have had to guide. Let us resolve this

Quickly," said he, and with his skill as an

Orator convinced them all to come.

"Cloud-Gatherer, who administers Justice from the sky,"

Began City-Protecting Athena, who had heard

The appeals of her beloved Athenians,

Won over by the Olive tree, and not the salt spring,

"An attack from the Sea hast destroyed Sicily."

She who was born fully armored, pointed her spear at

Poseidon Earth-Shaker, this knowledge eliciting gasps

From lesser gods who did not yet know of this

Offense against Demeter, whose gifts had been

Ruined, a year's toil wrecked by salt water

From angry Poseidon's allotted sea domain.

Zeus Panhellenuis considered for a moment,

Guided by the wisdom of Metis, who resides within him.

"The purpose of this council," said he

"Is to determine the Just response to Poseidon's wrath."

Thus, the gods intended to allow Prosclystius

To make his case, and divine a judgment from that.

Poseidon, clothed in turbulent sheaths of blue,

Sent a wicked glance at Demeter Erinnys,

Who had born him Anrion [and Despoena, whose name

Cannot be uttered], conceived from his forced ravishment.

The golden-haired Thesmophoros, seething, asked of him

"Hast thou not given to me offense enough?

What were thine reasons, for such an act?"


II: The Appearance of Eros

With this entered Eros, blindfolded but otherwise unclothed,

Fluttering his wings and clutching a bow with one hand,

Bitter and bittersweet arrows with the other. Protogonos

Seated himself beside Zeus Olympios, placing his

Weaponry upon the table, in plain sight of all.

"I, Eros, heard tell of this council from swift

Hermes, whose skills as an orator convinced me to come."

Though he spoke little through the rest of the

Council, his influence could be sensed in the

Voices of the other gods. Aphrodite Skotia spoke next.

"Is it not true, Prosclystius, that passion caused this

Wicked deed?" This Aphrodite of the golden diadem

Asked. "If that is the case" Hera replied "I

Won't approve, for that love is outside the

Bonds of matrimony, and I have felt the sting of

Adultery too many times." At this Zeus spoke:

"Hush, my cow-eyed wife. Sometimes passions

Overcome." For The Almighty had been seduced

Before: Leto, Io, Europa, Semele, and there were more.

Noting Zeus's sympathy, Poseidon claimed being

Overcome again by passion, flooding Sicily in

Response to another of Demeter Potnia's rejections.

Merry Enorches with ivy in his hair, produced from one of the

Aforementioned unions, twice-born, once from Zeus'

Thigh, then gave his opinion. "That is not

So terrible, that thing the Sea God did. I am sure the

Flood shall only cause temporary madness in the

World below. Just give it time, and the horrors shall pass.

Even Love herself hast submitted to unfettered

Passion," and Aphrodite promptly blushed in remembrance

Of Anchises who told, and Adonis, slain in vengeance by

Artemis, after chaste Hippolytus' destruction. Artemis then said

"Wait, here comes my twin, to aid in our discussion."

By this time the mortal realm had submitted to chaos;

As in the Heavens, the mortals fell to passions,

To primal needs and unbridled hedonism.

In Sicily the emaciated bulls and horses were

Unable to pasture- Anesidora's crops had been laid waste

And the farmer's fields all lay fallow, bathed in brine.

The beasts, driven mad by hunger, nipped at each other's flesh

And the humans, likewise, did the same.

The starving daughters of Pandora, bane of men, as

Crazed as Maenads, consumed their sons.

They ate the sinews raw for fear of flame,

That stolen light. The sun, at the same time,

Began to dim, and the man-eaters feasted in perpetual night.


III: The Entrance of Apollo

The gods all stood, for Mighty Phoebus had now entered.

"I, Apollo, heard tell of this council from swift

Hermes, whose skills as an orator convinced me to come."

His mother, Leto, took his bow and lovely Apollo, with a

Wreath of laurels in his golden locks, brought

Reason to the discussion: Alexikakos, with a halo so bright the

Green laurels crowning his head curled away from it.

"Passion is no excuse," Artemis said, and reminded

Them that had forgotten about the nymph she changed into a bear,

And foolish Actaeon, who had seen her naked.

Now gloomy Hades spoke, the Unseen One, who receives the

Souls of mortals as they fall into the Underworld.

Seated beside him, his wife Persephone, stolen when Eros

Conquered him. Though he spoke calmly, for he cared

Little for the affairs of mortals, he clutched his wife's hand

Hard (it was almost time to give her up again).

"Every mortal on Sicily is dead or dying. Who shall attend

Your alters there, if no one is left alive?" Lame

Hephaestus, who aided the Cloud-Gatherer in the birth of

Athena, and who created crafty and curious Pandora,

Raised his forefinger and replied, "This is a

Valid point," but Apollo shook his head. "There are

Plenty of Mortals throughout the world to worship

Us. They can repopulate again- they have before!

Recall the prior ages of man. One flood is like another."

"Indeed!" Poseidon said. "It was a reasonable thing I did.

The Farmers of Sicily had cursed the sea and chose land

Alone--such excess! Impious people incur divine

Wrath, and they forgot to worship me. It was the

Logical thing and those were my reasons, for

Those who are not my friends are my enemies."

Down on earth The Sun began to shine again, though

Less so than before. The beams of light struck fear into

Frenzied mortal hearts. "What have we done?"

They wailed. "Reason pleases the gods, and those that

Please the gods shall LIVE. Thus, we must be reasonable."

Reason, though, is quite subject to less

Reasonable forces, as Apollo loved Daphne.

If only those that had survived the night not confused

Lunacy for rationality, and emotion for the same!

(But that was not the outcome of fate). Passions

Blinded them from light, and hardship turned hearts to

Stone, whereas before stone could become a heart-

As with Pygmalion's woman. Hestia's domain weakened now

So the women remembered the importance of

Sacrifice, and to reverse the trickery of Prometheus,

Burnt the meat (what meat was left? For lack of cows they

Sacrificed their sons) and gnawed the bones instead.


IV: The Inevitability of Fate

At last the absent final three were no longer

Absent, as the aged Moirae in white robes

Slinked into the Great Council of the gods.

Yet as they already knew the outcome,

Nothing had to be explained. So Prosclystius

Continued with his explanation until there was an interruption.

"Dost thou recall?" the Moirae began, "the name of

Cyril?" After a few moments of silence passed

Mighty Ares, in his war-garb, loosed his helmet from his

Head and spoke. "Cyril, my boastful son of a union with a

Mortal, king of Sicily in times long past.

I favored him above all men and so I strove to

Make him great. Cyril--a fierce warrior that

Never won a war--His kingdom might have come

Apart, but for my intervention. I asked of

Fate to grant my progeny the ability to

Ordain his own future, and Fate agreed, for

Strange reasons, stating it would not make a difference.

So I came to Cyril in time of need and told him

'Thy war cry shall predict a battle's outcome.

Those words ye bark in the heat of combat

Will indeed determine the fight's result.'

Many wars Cyril won, and even enemies noted

His strange ability before they fell to his merciless

Bloodlust, spattering dark red droplets on bronze and leather.

Soon, however, he forgot the nature of his gift,

Claiming it to be all his own. Also careless he became,

Using his skill of prophecy for petty gain.

I can say that he no longer knew himself; he was

Similar to the bold son of Helios, Phaethon, whose

Ignorance led to great disaster, and his own death.

One day in battle, a lessened Cyril declared: 'I am the

Beloved of the gods, who have smiled upon me.

My virtue must be best of all. I am so righteous that

I shall kill the least moral of them who fight today.'

No sooner had he stated this, a strange force

Compelled him to fall upon his own spear.

Bronze pierced flesh, blood rained on battleground.

In mourning, Sicily took the shape of a spear's head.

Despite the ability of Cyril to control his future,

Atropos cut his thread at the ordained time."

The gods who listened to this story learned

Reason is useless among unreasonable beings.

Poseidon smirked- They have made my case!

"There shall be no intervening. I flooded Sicily because

I was fated to do so. Those pathetic

Mortals are all fated to die regardless.

Thus an early demise is as good as a late one."

A valid point, and Zeus concurred--Who was

He to punish fate? Reason and Fate would ordain him to

Disregard this mortal plight. All the gods saw this

Logic, and concurred. The council ended, and

All the gods contented themselves with this decision.


V: The Purposelessness of Existence

Amongst themselves and away from the gods, the

Moirae, Daughters of Nyx: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos

Discussed secret things as they cut the threads

Of those mortals who now crossed the river Styx.

To those men Cerberus wagged his tail upon entrance-

But consumed those who attempted to leave again.

Of their mortal domain, only charred bones,

Carrion birds too engorged to fly, and barren earth remained,

(These birds had before been able to travel

Between the mortal realm and the Heavens).

Yes: The Three spun and spoke alone.

The Fates laughed as they remarked "The gods realize

Not that they are as mortal passions and qualities:

Nothing more than futility made manifest."


Hel - July 27, 2005

She is not sure what it is--weakness or craven death without glory.

They died from a sickness, which was also a madness.

She screams confliction; her mind is torn apart by two sides.

On the left is the dead; on the right she's alive,

But living is costly and the right always cries.

The corpses watch this, and say she does not understand,

Those empty beings more worthy than her.

Some tried to kill Garm, who guarded the gate, and the rest called them valiant.

She withdraws from the damned because she doesn't want to be like them.

She will spend 10,000 years in Nifhelm, where it is always misty, where it always rains.

Nine frozen worlds, as cold as her--she isn't open enough.

But death, with its lack of emotion, holds a special objectivity.

One half sees she is half the same as them, because half of her has life.

Two different understandings breeds loathing,

And she is tormented by what she is, and what she can never be.

Too human. Not human enough.

She shatters the ice and stares into the broken pieces.

I see reflections of Hell.


The Work of Senmae the Cat - Begun June 4, 2008

Senmee Garcia (March 17, 1999 - February 16, 2016)

This piece, authored by the lauded poet Senmee (also known as Sen-Mae) Garcia, whilst walking on my keyboard, demonstrates the desperate lengths to which one may go while seeking the attentions, and affections, of another. His heavy-handed style and meandering stream-of-consciousness provide a glimpse into the uncensored mental state of this remarkable feline. Initially begun on June 4, 2008, it is unknown whether or not this poem is complete, as the author occasionally added to and subtracted from the piece. Perhaps this is the finished product; perhaps it will never be truly "finished." The poem has been edited slightly for the purposes of web formatting, but is reproduced here with the highest degree of fidelity possible.


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