What do I want?
I want revenge. I want absolution. I want nothing. I want to be worthy. I want to unravel this world. I want choice. I want release. I want revolution. I want to wake the dreamers with gunpowder and flame. I want to feel nothing. I want to sow sanctuary’s ruins with salt. I want to break from this cycle. I want to lay a wasteland in my wake. I want to covet and possess. I want to be enough. I want to succumb to the beast I am inside. I want to force you to see the truth. I want to punish the believers. I want to undo every mistake I’ve made. I want control. I want to tear the wings from my back. I want you to beg forgiveness, weep at my feet, surrender yourself. I want to see attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I want to watch c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I want to show you who you truly are. I want to deny the person I’ve become. I want to break myself open. I want to go down in lightning and thunder. I want to be something more than this. I want to walk between worlds. I want to be nothing. I want them to fear my coming. I want blood and tears. I want ruin. I want beauty. I want finality. I want chaos. I want peace. I want silence. I want one chance.
That is what I want.
as above, below
love punishment and ransom
sin repaid in spades
…despite the blade, Tanim does not draw away, lets the knife edge remain pressed to his throat, his every breath shifting the honed metal. The moment stretches out, Daren unmoving save for the faint traitorous tremble of his hand, the rise and fall of the blade as Tanim inhales, murmurs on the exhalation, “Why do you hesitate?” Black eyes flick, sharp and guarded, to meet his own, and the trembling stills for a breath as the other swears through clenched teeth and the desire to draw back, the need to draw blood, “I won’t.” A smile, sad and wry, and an imperceptible twitch of his head presses Tanim’s neck against the blade, razor edge gliding through unresisting flesh; movement just enough to embed the knife’s point in a vein pulsing with each heartbeat. “We must.” He holds his companion’s gaze while one hand rises, curls over the elegant fingers wrapped in turn about the hilt, and draws the buried blade across…
we fear the ghosts in our minds
false revenants, all
yet not the wolves at our heels
bloodied though our feet may be
there is no sound like Tanim’s loss, bereft of love, one half of a broken bond that should bleed from such violation but is instead so achingly empty, so undeniably gone, ceased, cut like light from his eyes, nothing on Earth nor in Heaven or Hell to match the anguished howl that erupts from more than mortal lungs, pours forth from body and heart and soul and mind all lost in the darkness as he cries down the Furies, the Hunt, the sky itself piece by piece with his agony, shattered by the Sun’s rage that is not the desire to punish what remains but the inability to contain the wasteland within him, no reason now to spare the world when his world is nothing, when he is nothing, when there is nothing, nothing, nothing…
Sun and Moon in rut
dawn’s lovers, dusk’s tragedy
grasping fleeting peace
We three know I have nothing to offer you. I am so deeply in your debt, so unworthy of even the existence of that debt, that I am helpless to ever repay the barest fraction of what I owe. But take this, my darlings; not in offering, not in payment or gratitude, but in return, because it should always have been yours. Take this choice, the free will of which you were so long ago robbed, and do with it as you will.
face pressed to your breast
I could weep myself empty
and still be fulfilled
- – -
you are my altar
at your feet I kneel and weep
Sometimes when I lay awake in bed at night, I imagine stabbing myself in the chest. I know it wouldn’t be easy, that I’d have to break through skin and muscle and bone, but in the middle of the night it’s so hard to remember I’m not utterly hollow inside. It feels that way, like the blade would face no resistance, just plunge through soft flesh and right into the gaping cavern of my chest. It wouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t even bleed. And even though some small part of me knows that isn’t true, in the dark of the night I still long to take that blade in my hands and slice myself open. Even if it did hurt, even if I did bleed out, it would be worth it to feel something instead of this aching, mocking, consuming nothingness. I fear one of these nights I’ll…
world on your shoulders
do you ever rest, Lord Sun?
your lover’s arms wait
let him carry your burdens
the Lord Moon shall light the night
your love false as fairy gold
greed glamoured as need
You ask why I flinch from you? I flinch because in the moment I sometimes forget where or when or who I am. I flinch away instinctively to keep you from glimpsing bruises or scabs or welts, all the shameful marks and reminders of my subjugation. I forget such physical evidence has long since faded because every time I look in the mirror it’s all I can see. Understand, darling: there is no future in my eyes. There is no present. I only see the past, relive fragments of memory or nightmare as if they’re all I’ve ever known and all I ever will. Can you blame me for my shame? Can you blame me for fearing you’ll turn from me in disgust if you see how tainted, how damaged, I am? Yours aren’t the first hands to touch me, and some things can’t be wiped from flesh or memory.
chained and vulnerable
let strange, uneven hearts find fearful solace
pleasure dreamed through pain
- – -
you’ll never rest, chained to your promise
unwanted wings and chilling silence
What am I?
I am not fire; fire burns hot with passion but dies quickly once it’s consumed its source. I am not water; water hates to be still and must move at every opportunity, always seeking the easiest path no matter the destination. I am not air; air feigns stability yet is a heedless, fickle thing which changes direction and speed without warning.
Then what am I?
I am earth; earth, the foundation of creation, the vessel of life. While fire burns out and water flows ever toward and away, earth remains. Earth cares little for itself, instead offering its riches to the seed-bound possibilities slumbering in its depths, the cycle of lives played upon and above and, in the end, within its body. And like the earth I am nothing more, nor less, than the womb which surrenders its nutrients to nourish fragile ideas from germination to maturation.
rain splashing on brick
metal scraping on cement
thunder and silence
“Someone Help Will Graham”
caged in steel and bone
the monsters lurk in your mind
wolf waits at the door
[ More Hannibal haiku because fuck yeah Hannibal, and also this Sweet Dreams cover rooocks. ]
[ The following is an Ovilus III session conducted in the location commonly referred to as Suicide Alley. Approximately one year ago police were called to the scene after receiving reports of gunshots in the vicinity. On arrival officers found the bodies of two men, one with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest and the other with a fatal gunshot wound to the temple. The incident was reported as a murder/suicide and since neither man carried any form of identification, the case was soon closed. In the past year many people have reported paranormal activity in the area, including black figures, sounds of gunshots and weeping, and intense feelings of fear, guilt, and sorrow. ]
(11:31:15) Investigator: Is anyone here?
(11:31:30) Investigator: Will you talk to me? Are you trapped here? What happened to you?
(11:32:49) Ovilus III: Dark.
(11:32:51) Investigator: Dark. Is it dark where you are? Can you tell me who you are?
(11:33:29) Ovilus III: Heavy.
(11:33:32) Investigator: Can you tell me what happened to you? Did you fire the gun, or were you shot?
(11:34:36) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:34:39) Investigator: What was a mistake? Did you make a mistake?
(11:35:43) Ovilus III: Argue.
(11:35:47) Investigator: What were you arguing about?
(11:37:54) Ovilus III: Struggle.
(11:37: 56) Investigator: Did you fight over the gun?
(11:39:22) Ovilus III: Trigger.
(11:39:25) Investigator: One of you pulled the trigger. Was it you? Did you shoot him?
(11:39:54) Ovilus III: Accident.
(11:40:01) Investigator: You shot him by accident?
(11:41:16) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:19) Investigator: Why did–
(11:41:20) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:21) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:22) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:23) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:24) Ovilus III: Mistake.
(11:41:37) Ovilus III: Dark.
[ At 11:41:38 the Ovilus III ceased functioning despite a full battery charge prior to the start of the investigation. No other readings were recorded, nor did investigators experience any other activity. ]
[ The Girlfriend and I love watching Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel because it’s an awful, ridiculous show. One of the devices they use is an Ovilus, which theoretically allows spirits to display single words on its screen via an extensive digital dictionary. Theoretically. ]
beware opening locked doors
every name’s a key
“I’m scared. I’ve done it before, haven’t I?”
Do you see what you’ve done to him?
“I remember… I remember how the rope felt around my neck; how the blade felt slicing into my flesh. How the metal against my temple was so cold and the gun so heavy in my hand. I can remember, and yet I can’t. I don’t understand.”
The memories leak through, you know, like radio frequencies bleeding into each other. No wonder we feel like madmen.
“I’m afraid I’ll do it again.”
And he will. He always will. Are you proud of this, the spill of blood and tears? Is it poetic enough for you?
“I wasn’t always this damaged. Why is this happening to me? What did I do?”
Yes. What did he do? What did we do to deserve this?
[ I know it’s silly to be afraid of one of your own fictional characters, but fuck Daren’s scary when he’s mad at me. ]
beg no confession
my heart is naught but starved wolves
I fear your bared throat
Blood sprayed across the snow, anointing it with war.
He’d seen the doe’s eyes widen before he tore into her neck. She weighed almost nothing. He carried her back to a cluster of trees, heedless of the spotted trail left in his wake. None of the other wolves hunted here. The terrain was a jagged, uneven stretch of ditches and sharp rocks. A few of his pack had already perished while in pursuit of prey. He was the only one who seemed able to navigate the angles and pitfalls.
His sprint had slowed when he picked up the other wolf’s scent. His lungs were flooded with the air of danger, the presence of the other male, but he had yet to see him. He snorted the smell out of his nostrils and charged at the deer. This kill belonged to him.
He settled down on his hocks, the lifeless animal cradled between his paws, and bit into the warm flesh. The blood ran over his teeth and colored his flews bright pink. The neck snapped with ease and he lapped up his meal lazily. He wouldn’t be seen hurriedly eating. He had to show the intruding wolf that he didn’t feel threatened by him.
The sound of snow softly crunching beneath foot pads set him on edge, but he remained still. Then, out of his periphery, the white wolf approached. He kept his head down—typically a sign of submission—but it only made him look dangerously unpredictable, like a snake coiled to strike. He stopped just a few paces before him.
White and black. Stark and bleak.
The dark one slowly stood up, hair bristling, and hovered possessively over the mangled carcass. He growled. You don’t belong here.
This isn’t your place.
It’s my kill. His lip curled.
Nothing here is yours, you fool.
His hackles weren’t even raised. The white one wasn’t intimidated at all.
He clicked his blood-stained teeth angrily. Who are you to pass judgment?
Who are you to question? The white one straightened to his full height.
He instantly felt the tugging at his gut, the need to submit, to swear allegiance to this frost-white beast. He resisted it. You cannot make me yield.
He padded closer. I’m not making you do anything.
It was happening. His ears were curling back. It was harder to maintain direct eye contact. The kill that was once undeniably his now felt like contraband. The blood staining his snout had gone as icy cold as the white wolf’s stare.
He snarled. Leave me!
They were standing nose to nose now. The black one’s withers were slightly higher than the other wolf’s, but there was no question as to whom the authority belonged. He shook his head in a vain attempt to dispel the ever-increasing desire to surrender. The white one stood statue-still, the breath from his nostrils the only proof that he was a sentient being. The smoke swirled around his head. He looked as though he had wings.
He took a step forward. Do you want to die?
He dug his paws into the snow. No.
Then be mine.
He couldn’t fight it anymore. He took a step back and lowered his head. The alpha strode forward and began to feast on the remains of the deer. Shredding through fur and sinew, he ripped out the heart, anchored it against his paws, and began licking it. The dark one obediently stayed near him but made no move to satiate his own wild hunger. When the alpha was finished, he motioned for him to follow.
He licked the blood from his muzzle. Yes…my King.
[ GUYS, MY GIRLFRIEND WROTE A STORY ABOUT TANIM AND DAREN AS WOLVES, HOW FUCKING BAD ASS IS THAT?! ]
Come and hibernate with me, my love, let us dig our den and curl together, arms and legs entangled, breast to breast, breathing in each others’ warm exhalations. We will cover ourselves over with autumn leaves and slumber there as the snow falls to bury us deep, our heartbeats a lullaby in the dark. Above our nestled bodies the sky will turn and turn, the moon dance through its phases, and as we dream the winter will encase the world in ice and melt free. Spring’s first tentative rays will warm our blanket of leaves and yawning we will crawl forth, hair wild and nails long, to walk hand in hand through the waking forest.
bleed out and dissolve
rivers of atoms
A strange midnight, roles reversed; Tanim this time, slumped against the bathroom wall, elbows resting on his knees and hands dangling limply. Reek of alcohol on his breath, red rimmed eyes staring with pupils wide as dimes within a thin ring of stormy iris. I’d ask what he’s taken but in this condition he probably doesn’t even remember, the promise of chemical oblivion enough to drive him careless and desperate to drink and drug. “Tanim…” Kneeling at his side and he flinches from the verbal contact, shrinks into himself – clearly not oblivious enough in this narcotized state – and glassy eyes dart up, away, back, above sleepless shadows. Then: “Don’t leave,” he begs, hands flashing out, grasping for mine, gripping as if he has no other anchor in the swell of panic, “don’t leave me, please, don’t leave, I can’t, I can’t stay behind, don’t leave me behind, please, I can’t lose you…” a rush of intoxicated babbling silenced only by a kiss to his sweet-sour lips. Nothing to say; I cannot promise eternity, after all, no extra year or month or day, not even a precious second past my due. Trembling hands slacken over mine and a choked sob blocks his throat as I gather Tanim in my arms and he crumples, the bereft lover helpless against inevitability. Don’t leave, he pleads, as if I have a choice.
beneath light fingers
scars never glimpsed in daylight
It turns out there is something more shameful than laying drunk and helpless in a gutter; laying drunk and helpless on the seat of a train while behind sit one’s own mother and brothers. There are many kinds of rock bottom, I am beginning to learn – too late, perhaps, but that remains to be seen. At any rate, this moment is a particularly embarrassing low: curled like a sick child in yesterday’s clothes, reek of drink and vomit on my breath, neither ill nor intoxicated enough to sink into dreamless sleep. And in accompaniment to the aches and protestations of my body, behind me is the constant cluck of Mother’s patent disapproval. Perhaps it is my punishment to remain just awake enough to hear the long list of my faults and failures.
“Perhaps he should see a doctor, Mother, he looks quite unwell…” Sweet, naïve Thomas. Too young to understand how properly ashamed he should be of his elder brother, or does he simply find it more shameful to drag me along in my current condition? He should follow Jonathan’s example of cool disdain.
“Ignore Stefan; he made his bed and now he shall lie in it,” And Mother chiding now, true to form, in her perfected stage whisper, the voice of drawing room gossip circles. “Sometimes I think it’s a blessing he shows no interest in marriage or family, who knows what sort he’d bring home…” Her derisive sniff curdles my stomach more than the stale drink churning within.
They think I do not care, that I feel no shame for my actions. But what if my actions are the result of shame? Would Mother worry if she thought this were a cry for help, or would she merely purse her lips at such unwanted drama? Lord, I could use a drink…
And now this pointless Paris trip! Why Paris? Will Paris be any better than London? Better food, better parties, better gossip? Every city seems much the same to me, Paris or London or New York. The very thought of braving my way through noisy, chaotic crowds of people makes me want to sob, to hide beneath the seat, to leap from the train and end this misery once and for all. Do they not understand I want only to be left alone?
Though… Peter is in Paris. Kind, gentle Peter. Lovely Peter…
No, no. Don’t think of him. Why should Peter do anything but turn me away, wretched and disgusting as I am? I cannot go to him for help or understanding any more than I can go to Jonathan or Thomas. Better to stay as clear of Peter as possible so his only memories of me may be good ones – or at least not… what I am now. If the Lord will show me any mercy, I will be free to hide away in our rooms and venture out only for another bottle or a dose of laudanum.
take my bandage words
one for every wound you bear
sweet salve for your burns
I wondered, in the beginning, what you saw in me. Not beauty, of course, or grace, passion, possibility. Certainly not a future. I thought perhaps the challenge intrigued you, but you remained long after I assumed you’d lose interest. So why me? What did you see? What could you want from someone so lacking?
I understand now, of course; you’re an addict. Addicted to guilt, to shame, to lust and loathing and longing. Addicted to pain and intoxication, masochism and asceticism. You’re addicted to anything that punishes you or lifts you for even a moment out of your detested body. So of course you’d be drawn to me. I am your greatest punishment, aren’t I?
Like a strange, warped mirror, somehow I showed you the self you could be with my help, the hideous new forms your addictions could take under the twisted influence of your love for me. You knew what I would deny you and what I would force on you without consent; what I would reject and take at will. How did you know?
How did you know?
Perhaps an addict can always recognize a new stimulus.