Gutter rat By jfarrell

Gutter rat

By jfarrell


Born in the gutter,

Drunk, violent parents,

On a council estate,

Stealing next door’s electricity…

How far from the sewers do you expect me to rise?


I dragged myself from the excrement,

Covered in bruises,

Both outside and in;

Took that ‘greasy pole’ in both hands

And pulled myself up.


After a very thorough scrubbing up and hot wash,

I got myself through college,

Into a career;

Even to the dizzying heights of



However hard you scrub, however hot the wash,

The stench of the gutter, the sewers,

Stays with you.

Everyone can smell the waste

The rot.


And what lives in the rot

Has been eating away at me,

My whole life.

Rat. Rodent. Vermin.

I have always been a gutter rat.

A parasite.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

wonder if i can upgrade and become a stainless steel rat - always loved harry harrison

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Quench the thirst of dying Earth
Great chasms of interlocking spider-webbed
fractures platforming horizon. 
Sun blistered and writhing. 
Free your brittle skeleton 
and sandblasted.
Snarling hiss of wind ripped barren.
Your Freedom exists
swelling within the infinite timeless power
of thunderbolt storm-cloud rain-dance.
Quench the thirst of dying Earth 
  penetrate each bliss-filled fiber
Thirsting endlessly for their saving grace.
Never forever.
Then up the spout again.   
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Dark Heaven

Earth becoming the planet of the disoriented,
Words without life,
Opinions, full of criticism and spite,
Regurgitated from the pit of your sour belly,
With the depth as deep as you choose to roam,
Your personal sea of unvented decay,
Or lackluster expression,
In an endless sea of melancholy and void,
And supressed in the background,
The silent desperate quiver of yesterday's fears,
Guarding it's throne in the fragile story of your life,
Coveting the untold piles of unchartered beauty,
Pages and pages of shining stars hidden between the rancid ones,
Something of a 'Jonnie or Janie be good' trying to sell reprimands,
Displaying a show  of exchange,
Shame for wisdom you offer,
Cloaking the truth,
Concealed behind a plastic reality,
Only ever seen by you,
Fluffy and soft through this deception,
We are all the same in this way,
So may hours and days we withered,
In a rigorous frenzy towards our own invention of truth,
As we battle each other to remove the blindfolds
That thwart the ingenuous nature of each of our existences.
We can choose to stop any time we want,
And find our Church within.


© 2013

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Choice within is always there for us, as long as we allow it to be. Coming to grips with what 'is', is the challenge of being human in any and all circumstances.

You are beautiful.

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Let Go


You were born to lose

As you sit upon your dead throne

Decay in your bones

This, the life you choose


You’re cursed

With your own disease

Eating yourself away

Die again every day


Can’t you let go (Never)

Let Go (Never)

Let Go (Never)

Never let go


Give up the fight

You’re dead inside

Can’t keep yourself alive

Do what is finally right


Let Him in

He stands and knocks

At your ruined gates

It’s not too late


Let go, He’ll catch you

Let go, He holds you now

Let go, He picks you up

Let go, you’ve had enough


Let go and take the jump

Fall into His arms

Rest secure from your fears

Because He’ll

Never (Never)

Let Go (Let Go)

Never (Never)

Never let go


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It's Decay
Decay, Decay

(Our Love you left dying)

It's Decay
Decay, Decay

(Because you were lying)

It's Decay
Decay, Decay

(Now I'm just sad and crying)

It's Decay
Decay, Decay

(Now I'm just Glad that it's dying)


So I'm Glad A Lot.
Now I'm I'm just gonna sit here and watch our love Rot.

It's Gonna

Rot Away all the pain
Rot Away every Day

It's Decay

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The Calm Nothing


Something inside says to go back…

8:15 pm
The middle of nowhere

Into the eternal unknown, the world seemed to have vanished, to have died away, as nothing stirred within the hungry darkness. Except for an old sign that swung slowly above the filling station door, the chilling touch of death had left everything silent and still.

From beyond the distant unseen, dim lights crept across the age stained surface of the old tin, as it uttered in cold silence, Welcome.

Rachel’s eyes filled with hope.

I hope someone is here…

Only stillness came to greet, only the cold chill reached out. Nothing else seemed alive as the small car crawled to a stop among the ancient fuel pumps. As Rachel stepped out into the calm misery, a slight breeze picked up, covering her face with strands of long black hair as if to protect her eyes from the horrid sight of loneliness and despair. Even the dust swirling around her ankles held on in fear.

“Hello?” She asked out into the dark.

“Is anyone here?” She asked once again, hoping for someone’s answer.

Only the echo of her voice came back to answer, as the cold sting of dying wind greeted her ashen face with a numbing kiss.

Is Everything dead… is this all that’s left?

Clutching the black machete, Rachel gazed around, hoping to see someone, anyone who still remained. There had to be someone there who knew what was happening, someone alive. There had to be a living soul somewhere.

Whoever was once there, whoever was once a part of that place had long faded into the forgotten lonely. All that once was, was now gone; forever sealed in a coffin of forgotten memories and buried deep where the nameless suffer. Now, nothing more than lost voices, crying from a hopeless void, howls of the faceless dead echoed on the winds of desolation. She closed her eyes.

This place resonates with a heavy burden of sorrow…I hope their souls have found rest.

Upon the haunted remains, that frowned before her, a hideous whisper of fear and loneliness turned her eyes, numbing her to the bone with an icy breath as it gasped out from the black within. As the dying shadows reeled in panic beyond the dirt stained windows, the decayed old building grimaced in the horror of voiceless agony.

Is this how it all ends…is this how end?

“Is anyone here?” She asked into the open space, as she pushed the door open with a slow, fearful caution.

Under her feed, shards of glass popped and crunched. The heavy weight of something unseen, seemed to push against her, as if to beg her to turn away, yet something else guided her into the darkness; not just to hide from the howling on the wind, or to seek help, but something else; something she could not understand. Even in times of disaster and fear, curiously can get the better of us.

“Is anyone here?’ She called out again.

The lights popped and sparkled to life, buzzing as they cast their dim glow before the decay and cold nothing of dark serenity that festered. No life, no movement; nothing but the stagnant carcass of a dead establishment; left in a nameless grave to rot with the squirming lost.

“Hello?” She asked in a quiet desperation.

Over the mess of glass, her slender figure became broken as she stepped forward. In the distance, a security mirror, abandoned in the loneliness of a shadowy corner, frowned upon her passing reflection; its battered face, shedding tears of unseen of sorrow upon her.

Am I the only one here…the only one left?

Gazing upon a near wall, portraits of proud men, hung under the amber light, holding hands with the dancing shadows of souls since lost. Those people; who were they, where did they go? Where they still alive? In the reflection of her brown eyes, the tango of the dead continued on.

These great men…once proud and mighty above the dead at their feet…once loved and revered …now forgotten, faded from memory like the place they’ve abandoned…I wonder where they are now?

Down on her they watched with frozen smiles, their glory, once held as a light, now only a ghost; a remnant of memories passed away, hanging from the wall like the beasts they once hunted. She closed her eyes again

Death makes trophies of us all.

Tired from wondering through endless miles of nothingness, she calmly sat at nearby table, hoping to regain some sense of clarity, as she fought within her mind to stay awake. Just like that place, she felt alone and lost, helpless against something she could not see; against something that had devoured her warmth.

“This place must have been abandoned for quite some time?” She said to herself softly, as she swept her eyes over the silent chaos.”

Through the calm, an unseen madness seemed to linger, filling a void long left
lonesome and cold in its grave. The mess of shattered glass and scattered goods spilled at its feet, a sacrifice to the panic and mindless disorder which must have ensued. In the grip of fear, the mind loses its sense of logic.

“It’s everywhere.”

Holding an old, faded photo tightly, she nearly crushed it in her grip. Inside her eyes, a bitterness grew, waging war with the innocence, her soft complexion seemed to project. Necessity creates determination; determination creates survival.

I know you are still alive…don’t give up.

“Everything has been eaten away…those monsters out there…they’ve devoured everything.” Rachel softly spoke into the air.

Panic has a way of overtaking rational thought. In the madness of the unknown, it becomes a rabid monster, eating away everything that one holds close, leaving only a thoughtless corpse to lie within a grave of festering dread.

I will find you…

Suddenly, the window of silence was violently shattered, catching Rachel by surprise, as a faint sound grew in the unseen distance. Rising from the seat, she stood; looking, listening; hoping someone had came, or had come out of hiding.

“What was that?” She said to herself, as she nervously took the machete from the table.

Walking forward, she held the plastic handle of the blade with a grip only challenged by the cold sweat that bled from her palms. In a world where the accepted has been torn apart and faith has been crucified before the unknown, everything must be observed with a cautious trust, and nothing must be trusted.

Is someone here…someone alive?

Searching for the soft sound, she stepped lightly passed an old forgotten freezer, keeping unknown to the faint stir that lay beyond her sight, beyond the distorted reflection of her black skirt. Her frail image seemed to hover in the hazy glass, the expression of still caution wrapped in an ethereal glow.

Her thoughts filled with a grim relief. If she could find someone, anyone who still remained, perhaps they could help her. Only a living soul could offer comfort. A telephone would do her no good. Nothing would be waiting on the other end, nothing but the dreaded hush of a ghost’s whisper. There was no time to waste on the useless dead.

Where are you?

From its cross of rusted torture, a large wooden door cried down upon her, tears of admonition, begging in unheard terror to stay away. What lay on the other side? Would someone be there, or would the dead be waiting? At its feet, a soft light flickered, grabbing at her legs with tormented hands. The door opened slowly.

“Hello?” She asked softly, stepping into the unknown.

Under the spattered sparkle of a broken light, a sudden rush of death overwhelmed Rachel, twisting her stomach, as the heavy odor of rotted flesh overwhelmed her senses.

What happened here?

In the cold, motionless state of death, the darkened remains of a body sat alone in a corner of blood; the back of its head, a gaping wound, where once thoughts and dreams dwelled, now blown open, leaving only a stew of teeth, brains, and bone upon the wall for the dying hungry. In its mouth, the gun remained.

With each step forward, her heart pounded harder into her chest, drowning out the sudden thunder that rumbled in the distance. Pushing the blade into the sheath, her arms trembled as she neared the forgotten dead.

This poor man?

“There is no help for him now.” She spoke softly to herself. “His end came for him.”
In the blink of an eye, the world had gone dark. Bodies of those once living, were spread out like dead rats, left to the ruins of chaos. No salvation existed, for the vile wind of death had swept over, taking nearly every living thing with it, and in their place, leaving nothing more than the creeping faceless to wonder in the depths of turmoil and slow decay.

Life is so easily taken…gone in a single moment.

Standing over the rotting flesh of the dead man, she could not help but wonder. How did he end up here? Why did he take his own life? Was his life already gone? In her mind, thoughts and questions swirled, not only of the dead before her, but her own life, and the life of those she loved.

How much longer do I have?

Fear of the unknown had taken its hold on her. The growing anxiety began to fill her soul. There seemed to be no hope for anyone, not even those who chose to hide away from the thing that had come. She turned away.

There is no control over death…nothing can stop it from claiming us…why has this happened?

In her heart however, a desire still existed. A small part of her refused to give up and let death take her so easily. If she was going to die, it was going to be an old lady years from this horrible nightmare, warm in her bed; Not like this.

As Rachel stood, looking away, the soft squish of the ripened cadaver caught her attention, as it fell over. At its side, lay an old voice recorder, battered by time, yet unharmed by squirming maggots , or the blood that soaked through its torn flannel shirt. She picked it up.

What’s this?

Pushing the large, black button, it seemed to be collection of thoughts, journals into the abyss.

My brother, Billy took off for Eden city a few days ago to find his ex wife and daughter. Despite all the events going on. I had to chase after him. Older brother to the rescue again, like always. But I managed to get stuck here in this God forsaken station, in the middle of nowhere. What was I thinking…coming this far? They just came out of where, attacking us like savages, and my so called best friend left me here in his panic. Now I have no way to get out of here, unless someone comes along. It is too dangerous to walk these roads…no, I better just stay put. I have a few shells left, but no way would I make it out of here alive if those things decided to come back, and there is plenty of food and water. Someone will come along, eventually…I hope. Either way, my dear brother is on his own…good luck Billy. As for Joe…I hope they eat him…coward. September twenty-six, nineteen ninety six

I’m far from being out of food and water, but I hear their cries at night, and it is even worse in the day time…I’m tempted to just walk out of here…no run, but that would only make things worse. No one has come by here, since I got stuck here…somehow, I suspect no one will again. Too remote I guess. Either way, I’m screwed. Damn it Joe…why did you leave me here, you bastard. October second…anyone who finds this will know the year.

I feel like I’m going insane…I’ve been here far too long…God what do I do? Every little sound has me twitching…and I think they’re coming closer…the sounds are louder now. I can’t even walk outside without becoming paranoid…damn mountains. Doesn’t matter anyway…my brother is probably dead now, just as I fear I will be. This place has become my coffin. October ninth.

They are everywhere…there is no getting away from here now. I managed to board up the place as much as I could, but not before those mothers came crashing in on me…I took out as many as I could, but one of them bit me…I should have just walked out of here. I won’t go out like that…they won’t get me, I promise that. If anyone finds this and wonders why I’m leaving so many messages, just ask if you want to be forgotten. This will probably be my last, as the batteries are close to death now…sadly I’m not too far behind. Dam you Joe. October twelfth.

Pulling the small flashlight from her pocket, Rachel gazed in fear upon it, as the dimming light faded in and out of life. The sheath, holding the blade at her side, a reminder of things she’d rather forget.

“This isn’t going to be enough.”

I need everything I can to everything to survive this nightmare.

Slowly turning around, she walked back into the silent chaos, the need for necessities, playing on her mind, her only thoughts now on an unspoken mission; a voyage into the black unknown.

My fate won’t be his.

Grabbing a black leather duffel bag, she searched each shelf, behind every counter, behind every case, filling it with everything she would need for her descent into the madness. She knew nothing of the true danger before her, or the inevitable unknown that existed beyond the dark calm of those rotting walls, only that his survival rested in her hands.

Gripping the strap tightly in her hand, Rachel stood in front of the shattered door, looking out, gazing upon a hazy hilltop as a burst of lightening streaked across the distance, illuminating the once unseen. She held the photo tight, as each flash revealed the lost nothing, an empty spot where the haunted specter of something once stood. She vanished into the unknown.

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Goodbye little prince, Your smile shall blossom, lost in the breeze… Loneliness & sleepless nights, Won the better of you. In addition, it seems to me, The yellow rose shall never fade…. Goodbye Margot, Remember me with a smile, A broken tear, Shatter diamantes, Burning stars…. I cry I wish I knew you. Long as gone. But the legend shall never died, Thousand of kisses, Now you belong to heaven, Lost above and bellows… Longing for love… Even despise we try, Your memory has departed, To this place. May your sleep in peace, We all knew, However, we choose to be blind! Goodbye my love, The true bring tears, It seems to me, You finally find eternity, Tonight the sky has a new star, They shall miss you, I know I will… I never wish for this end, The true was too deep, To escape your destiny,Broken angel, I hold your souvenir, It is time to say Adieu.


Author's Notes/Comments: 


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