the titles reached up high,
the mountains of fantasy
dominating the upper reaches
in long stretches of hard-to-say
names and strange england-like
lands, then came the crime
in black-and-white city streets
and men with eyes too haggard,
then bright-souled coming of age
novels, asking for optimism and love.

at the bottom sat the poems
tucked into notebooks.

“The Valley Fled”

the valley fled from the thought of us
unimpeded by the wind or rocks,
axes brought to bear against trunks
and arrows notched at old souls,
curious in their repose at new faces
contorted with emotions they couldn’t
understand or know – the rage
of an unenlightened world.


scent sweeping outward
emblazoned by dimness

deep inward breaths breath
all the life out of this little cup
drawing souls of tiny purple plants
into my dragon-starved stomach
gold lined and treasure hungry.

steaming tea like smoke curls
upward past my flaring nostrils
and beast-like pointed teeth.


delving sideways along a desk of maimed nature
through notes of crushed-stabbed papers scrawled
with arcane, ill-thought, ill-felt runic ramblings
damning some and soul-saving others
making exceptions without feeling-thinking
who goes ahead and who is left behind
to bleed-black on volcanic dead-rock.

“Pick Apart”

these thoughts’ll drag along
the lost tomb of all I am
to drop beneath a silent glen
buried in your scripted name.

the names all swirl
pulling away at pieces
of a soul once known
now broken and unheeded.

they’ll pick me apart
flying it all away to drape
across your bed and throne
with battle-won processions.

“The Lost Souls Clamber”

All the lost souls clamber,
begging to cross the river
and forget all the lives
they’ve known and lived
since the dawn of time.

Some say our world-entering
was more a dusk than dawn
and on nights like these
where everything tastes wrong
i’m inclined to agree.

Sometimes we have to pay
to ride the Styx home,
and what other chance do we have
to forget all these fucking scars
and all the loves that caused them?