Cardamax

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Cardamax

 

Cardamax, with his thin strands

of gross, greasy and black hair, hooded,

lingers in the shadows of alleys,

wearing a raincoat with a tail,

clutching a stave of brittle bones.

He bashes rats as his mouth slobbers

from his dirty unshaven face

with bloodshot bulging eyeballs.

A rodent slain, Cardamax grabs

some tinder from his pocket

and summons the lightning to strike,

thus creating a fire to cook his food.

He has matches, but would rather

practice his supernatural powers

which he inherited from his time

commingling with the demons in his mind.

Squatting hunched, mumbling much,

"No lunch but this is a bunch of meat –

enough to feast at least."

Cardamax, our villain Cardamax!

He skins and guts the little beast,

using the concrete as his cutting board,

and cooks the flesh crispy as he pleases.

This meal gives him energy

to start stalking the ladies of the city.

He searches for a choice young damsel – his dream –

to bust her jaw with a knockout punch

because he knows she would otherwise scream;

then drag her unconscious body back

to sacrifice her in his dark lair.

Cardamax is a cannibal.

Cardamax is a necrophiliac.

Cardamax is a true hell-boy.

We won't delve into the dread details;

but the city lamplights even flicker

as he stumbles thru sinister streets.

 

Cardamax is meditating on the corpse

of a delicate damsel that he killed

and has been snacking on for awhile –

whose jet-black hair was caught alluring,

draped back and down to her skinny shoulders,

as she gazed in awe at the bright skyscrapers

and the shining moon (her eyes shone too!).

Cardamax is like a slime creature,

born from freaks living in the gutters.

He had a needle full of certain drugs

and approached the soon unfortunate girl

with his cloak spread into wings,

hiding his weapon, and then

pierced her in her lovely neck.

An easy target in such a circumstance.

 

Cardamax smirks as he reminisces on the murder.

Cardamax is disturbed when he hears

the whining of a baby crawling through the muck

of the cutting ground, the slaughtering station.

The boy happens to wrap himself in fresh intestines.

The Invisible Umbilical has drawn him hither.

And yes, it is the boy's own mother, the lovely lady

with the abyssal charcoal hair who sprawls there.

The boy now sobs uncontrollably, rolling

through the evening puddles of her crimson, shimmering blood

Cardamax freezes then ignites into a blazing passion.

"What a story – what a truly brilliant story!"

Cardamax chants. "What I do next will certainly be gory!"

 

Cardamax is wandering through the city desolation,

because he so chooses the darkest hour

to express his infinite power and dominion.

It is fair to say that Cardamax is a vampire,

alive for eternity, with a feverish bloodlust.

The violent snapping and crunching of bones

and sputter of sizzling human skin

are the most charming, beautiful things to him.

Cardamax is the author of shooting stars,

the man who commands them to fly through the sky

because he manipulates reality with his mind.

His history contains an allegiance to a savage god

to whom his ancestors have devoted themselves.

This is his family tree. Also in his history remains

the vow of a good generation, ere not to hearken

else corrupt the brilliant soul with hell-bound ways.

It is fair to say that Cardamax is a vampire,

kissing the gorgeous trees only for a moment,

then returning dismally as a shadow to his lair.

 

The once beautiful woman is rotting with worms

and her child is completely devoured. Hunger turns.

The screaming bones are crammed in a corner.

"Heck, the worms could nourish me, but

they are not as appetizing as the fresh meat.

Plus I am so lonely. Let me dance now

with this dead darling who has so far satisfied."

Cardamax carries the sallow bride, hand in hand,

clutching her body tightly, and twirls giddily.

He quickly becomes tired, and then he plucks

her eyeball, throws it into the air like popcorn and

catches it in his mouth to chew a true delicacy.

 

It is a damp day, caught in winter.

The wind howls a tremendous sound,

echoing through the narrow alleyway.

A famine came. Skeletons lay in waste

for the vicious sake of a new cult of pilgrims

who come from far islands via ship.

Now Cardamax isn't the only savage.

He shivers in a blanket of skin

that he has so thoroughly stitched for the season.

Huddled among a plethora of scattered bones,

sitting lotus on the dry-blood concrete,

he thinks, “There ought be someplace warm.

Yes, a dilapidated tent with a tavern

where the newcomers often will commune."

Cardamax doesn't hesitate to venture thither.

During the little travelling he considers

trying to acquire a partner in crime, knowing

that these people are likeminded in their evil aims.

But that would mean he must convince

a member of the tribe to convert.

So Cardamax enchants a spell,

giving himself an authoritative, superior glow

of bright red radiation, and then

he enters through the door-flaps and orders

a crystal cup of good virgin blood.

 

So the story begins to spin.

We have told of the tribe of settlers

and how we are starting to imbibe

on the steady pour of the divine wine.

A golden toothed gangster grins next to him,

admitting to a certain level of vulnerability.

"I know I am young and naive," Damien speaks.

But the different dimension interests me

and seems to be streaming in philosophy.

The natural cycle of humankind unrelentingly

spirals into the psychotic future."

Cardamax empathetically embraces the stranger,

sensing the brotherly bloom

of the bestowal and manifestation of his prayers.

 

Cardamax and Damien now both brood

with their blood-bloated bellies at the bar,

each pontificating on the breath and perfection

of newfound friendship and its potential.

Cardamax burps and they share a laugh,

then they sip their chalices again

and return to thinking in silence.

Excitement enticed, with childlike faces alight

by emotion and the flame of the night,

they cheers their glasses with a splash and

glug the elixir of a mix of victims.

Meanwhile, the drunk and dancing souls

sing like crazies, and someone smashes

a supreme shrill on a muddy piano;

but a battered banjo, which once

struck skulls, overtakes the sensitive brains

for the following few days as the scene

doesn't change and we unveil

the prominent characters of the people present

in this dilapidated tent of a place.

 

Damien is captivated by Cardamax’s energy

and their sudden synergy together.

The red glow palpitates, pulls and tempts.

Damien finds it a fine idea

to invite a few of his dearest kin

to celebrate this unexpected communion

of entities so alike from distant worlds.

The evening whirls in a euphoria of drunkenness.

Damien goes to a standing group,

all of whom are pretty much nude,

revealing tan, brawny skin,

which even makes Cardamax lick his lips

and causes his tummy to grumble

because he is hollow and very hungry.

How a hint of rage takes the stage

in the brains of Cardamax

(remember these are the people

who have slaughtered and eaten his city meat)

but for now he refrains from any conflict

and instead continues his scheming efforts

in trying to sway Damien with easy enchantments.

The plan is flowing quite nicely.

 

The reason that Cardamax was not

greeted with the hostility one would expect

from a multitude of crazy cannibals

is because there is still maintained

a level of formality – believe it or not –

when such peoples are not actively on the hunt.

So instead they enjoy what they have

and revel as hospitable friends,

chatting and dancing and drinking

and relaxing together. They depend, too,

on social situations to balance the truth.

Plus, Cardamax was acceptd as kin

for the subliminal messages

of the chaotic crimson fog of specters

pulsating round his presence in a whirlwind

like a frenzy of surreal, vicious bats

battling to bite the soul-stuff in electric air.

 

Presently Damien leads his fellows

over to the sleek, black bar. Everyone sits and stares

with the wide grins of intoxication.

“This here is the lovely Cardamax!” Damien booms.

“He’s come to simply commune with us.”

The rainstorm thumps the tent dramatically

and drums in everyone’s ears like a melody.

“Yes. I was rather cold. This is certainly luxurious,”

Cardamax compliments, then continues.

“I’ve been preying on this land for centuries.

Anyways, what is your business here?

One with dreadlocks to the knees replies, “In truth,

our island is scarce with food, so we decided to move.

Cardamax: “Why don’t you eat your brothers then?

That’s precisely what I plan to do.

It will compensate for your belligerent attitude

in sweeping through my dear homeland

and stealing every soul and drop of bright red blood.”

As Cardamax speaks this, the strangers become silent.

He finishes his cup with confidence,

takes Damien by the arm, digging sharp nails into flesh,

and strolls away with this despairing man,

disappearing into the gloom of the downpour.

Those at the bar remain like statues

and don't know exactly what to do

as the hundreds of others still continue

dancing and prancing as thunder booms.

 

Now as the pair hastily sneak away,

avoiding the potential turmoil caused

by such a foreboding, abrupt revelation,

Damien too doesn't quite know how to act.

He’s always been apt to go with the flow;

so he quiets his panic and endures anxiety

by trusting the tide and gliding one foot

in front of the other. Once he reaches calm,

capable of logical thought, young Damien

whispers to himself, crooning,

“There’s something magnificent about him

(Cardamax); and judging by this,

I don’t doubt he can win vs. a million

of my kin. Therefore I relinquish

the instilments and past principles

in living with my familiar family of brutes

I reckon we shall survive just fine

and I am excited to know how this unwinds."

 

The rain changes into pebbles of hail

which glimmer dazzling in the evening gloom.

They cease escaping neath a wood-bridge

where the sullen moon fails to shine,

enwrapping into grim abyss invisible hid

except for the now faint flaring of that amazing red glow.

Cardamax releases his claws

from the tingling grasp on Damien’s veiny arm.

"Look," says Cardamax. "I'll cut

straight to it. I want you to be my partner.

My spirits can teach you great power."

Damien eagerly agrees to this journey.

The storm eventually passes and they wander out

into the surreal night with its sparkling street

of fresh gems layering the ground.

A crunching sound as they stride in dull daytime.

 

As the thick gray clouds dissipate

and the sunbeams pierce the earth,

the ice melts. Cardamax reckons

that there will be a little cold stream flowing,

so they can bathe and rejuvinate,

during their passage to the ruins of a castle.

Wash away the grime. Wash away the nasty.

It's time to be serious. Wash away the waste.

Cardamax looks much better, clean now

and with a certain worthy appearance of wisdom.

Continuing, the castle straddles a grassy hill.

Murders of crows caw constantly,

like the wrathful bells of a doomsday church.

The pathway presents a rusty unhinged gate

fashioned with spikes and despairing figures

straining. They enter through the gate.

The crows swoop away.

It's days like this that Cardamax comes here

to meditate and worship the void.

There is a mound of ashes and a statue,

within the ruins of the rock crumbles,

residing as the shrine of our Cardamax.

 

The statue is a dark, glossy reptilian with a dagger,

scales carved extremely intricate by Cardamax himself

during his tremendous vocations in these wild hills.

He bows and prays, seeming to be

in sweet conversation with the deity, mumbling.

Then he arises and saunters over to his new friend.

"Do not assume this is the image of God," he says

to Damien who is sitting exhausted on a flat rock,

who is even yet alert and interested in the sermon.

"It is merely a foundation, a mundane manifestation,

in our corporeal universe, with small meaning;

something enticing enough to admire for a moment

and prove allegiance and praise on this plane.

It resembles our current reality and that is its significance.

We must surpass our states and circumstances

through allegiance and prayer to an idol indeed.

Illusion is eternally benign, until met with our creator's mind."

 

They spend some time there in the grassy hills,

resting in a kind of spiritual reprieve

from the utter madness of such hellish lifestyles.

They find that they come to enjoy themselves

together in a simple fashion and peace of being –

isn't that the reason this shambled sanctuary exists?

Cardamax begins his lessons on sorcery, instructing

and explaining to Damien how to kill pigs

in the neighboring woods, utilizing the method

of summoning a purple portal by fanning a hand,

hopping through with a spear from the fence and

pouncing the creature who is in a shock of fright.

Purple is Cardamax's favorite color and

he would have no other for his brilliant portals.

Thus they go through the afternoon, practicing

master and disciple, attacking scores of scared swine.

"You must trust in devils to have this ability,"

Cardamax elaborates. "No heavenly god grants it.

Contrary, you must believe in eternal darkness.

The demons love people like us, neither

to be taken advantage of: it is a way of sharing

our world with the void erupting with eager evil."

Damien asks if there is a way to slay the birds

perched way up in the branches of trees.

Cardamax immediately forces a dozen to drop.

The birds thud on the forest floor round the sorcerer.

He simply chants to the electricity which surges

through everything, and essentially pulls a fuse,

causing a rapid reaction of system failure

in the dainty little things. With stronger creatures

he cannot yet do the same, but there is a great

variety of spells otherwise that work just as well.

 

Meanwhile in the great savage tavern

there is a frenzy of commotion and conundrum.

The tribe of mad monkeys are all sober now,

chanting frantically and flailing their limbs

like newborn butterflies with awkward wings.

Dreadlock settles the chaos. He hops

onto a tree-trunk pedestal and silences

the excited crowd with a strong "Aye!"

He says, "I done seen the man. He glowed red.

Ere here is cartainly chance we got war."

His dreadlocks swing like ropes as he gestures

and speaks. He is making himself to be

the unofficial leader of the terrible tribe.

 

Cardamax drinks coffee and smokes some tobacco.

He gazes grimly into the forest. He can hear

crows shout a haunting din in the distant trees.

"Damn devils," Cardamax mumbles. "Oh black birds."

He says this with a happy hint of romance,

grunting the words in a friendly, whimsical way.

 

Damien is asleep within the withered sanctuary.

He is dreaming of a sun betwixt his ribs

rather than a heart, pulsing and surging angel waves

through the soul (not the body). This vision

is given to him by a protective seraphim.

She vibrates, flutters away and glides into the future,

guiding Damien through what will become

a strange adventure of sudden symbolic sprees.

Damien awakens to the shuffling footsteps

of Cardamax returning from his solitary self.

Dust and ash rises and settles on Damien's face.

He sits upright and glances oddly around.

Cardamax notices a peculiar glimmer

in Damien's entranced eyeballs, which appear

to be looking profoundly at nothing particular.

Damien has met a real angel, a guiding light.

He ponders a moment about that odd shrine.

And what was it that Cardamax was preaching?

A new reality, and interdimensional voyage,

following the blur of angels and demons, together?

 

"Don't sleep, boy," Cardamax commands.

"We must meditate ceaselessly, even when

we are sleepy. Otherwise we fumble dumbly

through the wonderful waking whisper like zombies."

Damien stares and blinks blankly.

"Look." Cardamax contorts his own hand,

making his fingers crooked like haunted tree branches,

and twitches out a licking flame

which ignites and bursts into a divine candle.

The palms that cradle the candle are speckled

with hieroglyphic shadows flickering omens.

Cardamax delicately pushes the floating flame

to hover in the black circle of charcoal and ash.

"It requires nothing but concentration

to keep alive, and a hush of thought,

only acquired through the deprivation of disciples."

 

Since the taste of swine no longer satisfies,

and Damien is gaining much skill in sorcery,

the two sorcerers are looking to leave.

They wish to further fulfill their cravings

for a savory steak of desirable man-flesh.

As the two sorcerers walk to the stream

for another revitalizing ablution,

the others – the enemies – also pack away

and choose to establish a better inhabitation,

hurrying into an abandoned luxury hotel.

The streets have proved a gluttonous feast,

and there is a tremendous forlorn feeling

mingling with implications of war and rage.

 

As the freezing stream harmoniously flows,

and small waterfalls splash on polished stone,

Cardamax is in a passionate prayer,

dipping his bare feet in the cold water.

He rejoices with ecstatic emotion.

He is pretty damn happy to have a friend.

Altering circumstances change us much.

Doesn't the sunshine pierce through a veil?

 

There is a cobblestone library with gargoyles

who roar in the courtyard to protect ancient texts.

Dusty spell books are stacked on the shelves.

Cardamax intends to conduct a deeper lesson

studying the darkest wisdom for what's to come.

He dips his finger in a gourd of pig's blood

and fingerpaints a simple map on a black rock,

then they hurry there to the cobblestone library.

 

The two sorcerers enter the library courtyard.

Maple leaves abundantly cover the graveyard grounds.

The spirits who dwell there rustle the red leaves

and come alive to twirl in a pleasant whirlwind.

"I know most these ghosts," Cardamax says calmly.

 

The giant arched doors are slightly ajar.

There is a pure black shadow in the crevice

of the passage and they push it open.

The prolonged echo of the creak pleasures

their senses like a grand symphony.

Sun spears break through and illuminate the room.

The librarian is deep asleep in a chair

among sprawled books and toppled shelves.

Cardamax picks up a book from the floor.

He shuts it, dusts it and looks at the cover:

Necromancy. He strolls over to a table.

The frayed fabric of his cloak graces the ground.

He pounds the book three times against the table.

The librarian is startled awake and says, "Well hello."

He squints and locates his spectacles.

"It's strange to have guests in such like times.

What in the hell is it that brings ya here?

Searching for something special, perhaps?"

 

The new luxury home of the terrible tribe

is on a beautiful beach dune.

The various members of them bicker

over whose room is whose. Dreadlock

claims residency in the penthouse suite

which looks over their fleet of canoes

brought in and carried onto the shore;

and their incredibly sublime ship is anchored

and gently rocking with the whitecaps.

Suddenly there is a knock on the door.

"Come in!" Dreadlock yells from gazing out the window.

A tan old man enters the suite

holding a tumbler of whiskey in each hand

brought from the fountain of perfect providence.

(He had set one of the glasses on the floor

in the hallway in order so that he may knock.)

He presents the drink as offering to his captain –

Captain Dreadlock – and proposes a quick toast.

"Ere we sailed strong to arrive here, Sir.

And not to think somepins wrong

but this little obstacle in our reign be nothing

and shall surely perish in a deserving death."

 

The distance between the library and hotel

is a fair day of steady walking. The hotel

is on the cool coast, while the lovely library

is farther inland on a nice hill with a good view

of the dense parts of the now sunny city.

The terrible tribe is beginning to fish for food,

freely enjoying what luxury has to offer,

like the fully stocked bar, cozy leather chairs

and ornate crystalline chandeliers, lounging.

The crew of Cardamax busy themselves

pretty wisely with study sessions and fasting.

"Because fasting, friends," Cardamax says,

"is a sure way to enhance the supernatural,

gain great insight and ability, and ultimately

realize the eternal powers of our subtle universe."

 

There's been a stretch of serenity awhile.

There are gorgeous roses and plump figs

blossoming in the library gardens.

"Oh, those roses," the librarian says,

"to experience the warmth of nature's heartbeat,

bring such pretty petals year to year!"

Cardamax is around. He plugs a nostril

and shoots a stream of snot into the soil

and walks away laughing like a lunatic.

 

Damien is sitting with his legs relaxed

on a footstool of books he's completed.

Cardamax stomps inside, breathing like a bull.

"What's a matter master?" Damien asks.

Cardamax: "I'm simply sick of starving like this.

Ah, the sentimentalist is proving plenty ripe.

He annoys me but will be nice sliced rare

with some roasted figs and blood as wine."

 

Cardamax suffocates the librarian tonight

with a pillow. Wolves howl to the white moon

while Cardamax butchers the poor fellow.

Damien watches and then goes to gather figs.

Cardamax hums as he cuts and guts.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

I decided to repost this with reasons too elaborate to summarize. 

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Starward's picture

I know of no other poems to

I know of no other poems to which I can compare yours, which means it is very unique, and strands alone on its own merit, and on your authority as a Poet with a capital P.  That final stanza, and that final line, are exceedingly chilling.


Starward

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