Desert Soul

No Eyelids


Only death, he thinks. Only death shrouds.


He cradles the bones of his beloved

in his lean arms, tanned by the travelling

through desert mountains. Nothingness.

He steps meticulously with sandals

upon multicolored jagged rocks of earth

and finds a cave in the starving night.

The howling wind haunts him, percieving

a great ghost echoing frightful presence.


He huddles and hugs them white bones,

which glow in the entering moonlight of

the grim cavemouth, whispering things.

Soon slumbering, thunder and lightning

shake him awake. The dear bones do go

rattling from his clutching care, because

he had em like a child with a teddy bear.


A rainstorm pours a billion bullets now.

The sheets of sleet beat. Ethereal dream.

Sky rivers flooding fluorescent streams.


He sheds a shawl wrapped nicely about

and joins the shower naked. Opportunity

for ablution. Wash clean. Energy please.


The water is thunderstorm warm. Drink.

Fetching the remnants of absolute love,

utilizing the skull as a gourd, he savors

the freshness, finishing with a grimace.

The sensation of wet skin, pitter patter,

the tingling triumph, all spark reflections 

and memories and neverending treasure.

Oh decaying romance, what will be left

for this reality? We have always known a

different dimension perpetuates us, but

the thought of transcending the wicked

world of ceaseless scientific speculation

carries creation. Only through time can we

discover new destiny. Our every loveliest

dance, every kiss we shared the bliss of

our experience. Now the cells of my lover

just float away from me. My screaming

vibrates emptiness, juxtaposes lightning,

then dissipates as if it never even exists.


What seems is only for a time. The man

forgets the philosophical frenzy forever.


He stands strong and stiff as the storm

rages, divining the wretched turmoil and

gaunt grace. Awaiting the new day, goes

into the cave and relaxes to meditation.


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J9thxciv's picture

Just read the updated

Just read the updated version' that last stanza really packs a punch.  The setting and symbolism remind me of Bierce's very short, and very disturbing, short story, "An Inhabitant Of Carcosa."  (I mentioned to you several other poets, in this comment and at least one other, because I was taught, by scholars influenced by the New Criticism school, that finding connection points between different authors and different writings helps to place a poem not only in the canon, but also to bring out the greatnesses it contains by finding similar examples among other works.)  I like your poem better than Bierce's story, because your poem has a much more headlong sense of motion forward, where Bierce's somewhat stuffy prose seems, to this reader, to be more of a drawing back.

  And your poem has done what, in my mind, only the finest poems have done; and what I have seen little of, in the last few years at postpoems----I want to know more about the backstory, the background, and where this is going.  Now, it may not be part of your artistic design to share that with your readers:  it is, after all, your creation and you have the absolute right to share, or not share, whatever information you please.  But the very effect of making me want to read more, and know more, tells me this is one fine poem.  I am very glad that random browsing first broiught me to your poetry, and I am very happy to be one of your fans.


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J9thxciv's picture

The whole poem is beautifully

The whole poem is beautifully horrific, but that final line really clenches the whole experience, so that the poem keeps resonating even after the reading it finished!  Fantastic wrting!  Bravo!


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Dalton's picture

I wanna write more, intending

I wanna write more, intending to continue. ts in my mind that this is a work in progress. I axtually suddenly have the desire to create an epic. The title "can't create" is because I find myself lacking the necessary imaginitve force to satisfy myself with a poem. Do you thinm that this little piece could potentially become an epic. I dont know.

J9thxciv's picture

Oh, I think it should

Oh, I think it should definitely be expanded.  Take a look at Eliot's Death By Water poem in the Transcript; or, beyond that, look at the Coleridge's extensive poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner (although I do not recommend the eighteenth century style; your own style is very eloquent and should be retained exactly as is for an expansion).  Again let me offer my applause for what you have already done, and that I look forward with great anticipation to an expansion on this poem.  

And if I may be a bit contrary here, I think the title is not accurate, and that you do NOT lack the neccesary imaginative force---for this poem, or for its expansion; or, for that matter, to produce any poem to which you set your talent.  You are not one of the prose-posing wannabees; you are a real poet, and even this short poem manifests that quite obviously.  Creating a horrific atmostphere, especially with an implied backstory, is very difficult.  I have read how Coleridge sweated over the Mariner; and if I may mentioned my favorite Stephen King novel, Salem's Lot, his concept required several preliminary chapters to establish the eerie atmosphere.  You have done so in a few very adroit lines.

So, no, my friend, you do not lack any imaginary force.  Unlike some of our neighbors on postpoems, who throw a splatter of words upon the screen and call it a poem because they want it to be so (and think that some amoung of wishful thinking will prevail to make it so), you are a real poet, with a REAL TALENT, and I think you can make this poem, in its expansion, a tremendous and unforgettable reading experience.


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Dalton's picture

You're truly a grand

You're truly the best audience. I wish you knew what a pleasure it is to write for you. Your comments bring incredible joy. Thank you

J9thxciv's picture

I am very flattered by your

I am very flattered by your reply; and, I assure you, I count it a high privilege, indeed, to read your poetry.  Although I have not looked at this one for a couple of hours, I think, it is still thrumming inside of my head; and very few poets have that effect on me.  You are one of the most talented few on postpoems.


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