To make you see
So patiently
I thus removed my eyes

And with the guise
Of each sunrise
I worked to still my tongue

To keep among
The steepest rung
I thus removed my heart

So we could part
I had to start
To learn to kill the me



I saw the empty space
As clearly as I saw your face
A precipice of havoc
And how could I but place
My hands into the lace
Like fingers playing in the rushing traffic

I found a distant land
It echoed songs of beauty grand
Imbued with luring magic
It held me in command
And how could I withstand
The tune of you without it seeming tragic

I stared into the screen
And watched the falling snow, serene
A symphony of static
I held it as a dream
More real than any seen
My figure idle in a dance erratic

I peered into your eyes
Of satin dreams and morning skies
And held you like a habit
I saw your fingers glide
Into the hat of whys
Magician that you are, and I the rabbit


The gently opened door
To give a glance and so explain
Not a word that came before
And seeing that it’s still securely chained

The acquiescing nod
To tell the leper that he’s real
And forgiven by a god
With the condition that the room be sealed

The crocodile’s tear
For all the woes that live behind
But never really disappeared
I can’t tell if they’re yours or if they’re mine

The keyhole that remains
To see a sliver of a view
Waiting just to hear the chain
Disconnect and slip away
So I can open up the door for you


I lost the wind
I tried so hard to find
I clutched the sin
And lost what made me kind
I sold my grin
And crawled within my mind

And now it seems an effigy
Is truly all that’s left of me
A soul made out gears, I have to wind

I lost the glow
I used to have within
I settled low
And gave up on the win
I learned to know
But lost the why and when

And now it seems an effort bleak
To think my hill could be a peak
While holding to the now as if it’s then


A coin upon the scale
Price made
Twice paid
Swapping anchors for a sail
Thrice weighed

A needle through the veil
Like blades
Sights fade
Bloody lips to you regale
White plagues

A finger on the bell
Strike plays
Nice days
While the rhythm would assail:
Pride stays

Obessession has a tell
Like praise
Dyed gray
When fanatically we fell

Coal – pt. 6


Previously: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

Chapter 6: The Details in the Devil

He walked from the dark perimeter of the Citadel walls that night with a moon that hung low, held in stillness, a silver token locked in place where the pendulum of life no longer offered momentum. The sounds of movement below the ashen sands spoke of the dangers that long ago had pressed so much of existence to cling tight to the very rafts of salvation that were left burning in the seas of betrayal.

It was the failure of humanity that it found itself comforted as a mob holding tightly together as the ship went down. Every hand and foot fearful to move that they might make it sink all the faster. No one thinking for a moment that everyone should be bailing water.

In the Valley of the Gods, he looked upon the remains of those great deities that had long ago fallen. Their bodies locked in place with spears and blades marking their bodies like the growth of odd thorns or twisted calcifications. Their odd, rigid entrails left dangling like an army of octopi had begun crawling from within in some feeble attempt to escape – left frozen in place as though their last meal was medusa’s glare.

Rust and sand, time and decay mounted against them in their massive graveyard that stretched for miles. A sacred place. A doomed place. A place that reminded everyone that everything fails. Even gods.

In the outskirts of Temurin, he could already hear the chaos. The waves of anger and fury that roiled within. He saw the friction of old decisions that had been dragged upon the gravel road of ineptitude and callous grandeur for too long. He heard the sound of when those who thirst too deeply have finally realized that the wine they stole would not last forever.

But they had set their arrows in place so long ago. They had pushed the rafts of men with gentle hands and pleasant smiles while the oil-soaked wood was set ablaze. All for a few steps of ascention.

He recalled the frantic screams in the streets of his youth when life had turned like a moon left facing a capricious sun. When chaos spread because what had been before had suddenly shifted by the actions of traitors and liars. Because the world of men was weak and frightened. Because those who tried to keep that ship floating were no more prepared for the task than a child is to rule a kingdom.

This was a different form of fury.

It was not the irrational anger of loss and worry. It was not the frantic lunacy of those who grabbed what they could for fear that they would soon have nothing left to grab, and possibly no fingers left to grab them. This was the storm of simple men made savage by the sins of those who wore the caps and crowns of saints upon their spurious certitude.

It was the sort of storm that made whispers of those who would yell. The sort of storm that washed the detail of trees in a land of forests and fires.

He pulled the slip of paper from his shoe before he moved through the crowd that rose and fell, pushed and pulled, ebbed and flowed like a raging current of livestock set upon a landscape of torrential tides. Others seemed locked in the mechanical force of it like a note held in position by its stem, resting as an ornament upon the scale of some twisted elegy. He slid through them with ease, feeling the pulse of the crowd, deaf to the roaring din that swelled like tornado feasting on the broken buffet of an earthquakes final meal.

Pressed to the walls that rose up like titans before the herd, he slid by on the perimeter to find the point of weakness.

Training had taught him much and more of the failures of men.

Only the foolish thought to fight through stone, march through fire, sail through monsoons. It was true that most men took shelter from storms. It was true that foolish men ran into them.

He had no intention of doing either.

The weakest point of men was, and always will be, other men.

It took little time to find the right man to kill. Less time still to take his garb. From there it had fallen into place with all the smooth alacrity of sand within an hourglass. He moved like some odd harbinger, breaking easily the teacups in the storm before he took their chipped veneer and moved to whoever was next.

With slow and deliberate action, he found himself at last beyond the wall with the guise of a guard who had held access to the opposing side by a secret door held in a barren room that held the look that nothing but detritus and death would dare inhabit such a place of squalor.

Men are, and would always be, the failing of other men.

He lay in wait as he moved through the vast courtyards. Patience a greater weapon than any knife could ever be. Waited until, at last, he saw the moment of deliverance.

When the night came upon him, he ran. Ran until fire bloomed in his chest and his heart heaved so terribly that he thought it might escape from him in one massive, terrible beat. He ran through dark corridors and through a hall lined with faces that stared with a mixture of fear and tenacity, of courage and cowardice.

He took to his knee with his breath rushing, the blood pumping in his ears so hard that he could barely hear the storm of the uprising that raged without.

He held the piece of paper up to the man who approached. He waited until he’d taken it and read the words. Let them sink in. Strike like an arrow to his chest before he rose and ran from where he came.

It had given him the view he’d needed. The intended blockade to keep the room sealed. The failure to do so perfectly. It had likely been done by those who believed in paranoia a great deal more than they believed in a world that would see titans pulled down by the strike of a single stone. A world where some forces are too big to fail.

He moved through the castle that felt the rage beyond like waves buffeting the flat face of a cliff. The very force of it made it feel as though some slumbering giant slept below, its heaving chest making all the earth shift and shudder while its breath pressed so hard that one could hear it crawling through the stone walkways like an army of phantoms on the march.

He slid through the cracks, broke boards and bent nails. He moved slowly into position and lingered to watch as his prey fell into the mercy of a guilt-ridden sleep with a liar’s revelation left hanging on his lips as he wondered…

“Maybe we deserve this…after everything…”

He would not let the man leave the world in slumber. A kind death that would not make him face the world he’d help create.

He waited until he saw the flutter of the man’s eyes. Noticed the tension pulse in his worn and weary body that had spent too long running from an end he knew had to come.

“…h…” he began to say, like a man who did not realize that you do not greet your executioner.

“Yes,” Adam said.

The man tried to call for his guards who stood in the hallway, not a hundred feet from where he found his lung failing.

“Yes,” Adam said again, “you do…”

He had known what it was to have security seem a thing that waited in earshot from his voice. He’d known a world of trial that had turned into a world of torment and eventually one of tragedy by the teachings of those who had long since came to understand that sometimes the devils of this world can only be removed by something of equal measure.

He pulled another piece of paper from his shoe and unfolded it.

He looked over the list of names.

Ryman had been the first. This charlatan, Eldmoor was his second.

He still had so much work to do.



In time you may decide to ask
How long we dare to hold
To all the things we never held
Before we finally see the toll
Unworth the task

Where all the words we ever said
But only to ourselves
And, even then, beneath our breath
Were ornaments upon the shelves
To mourn the dead

To decorate the moments missed
Or simply gave away
The step we always failed to take
The hours lost. The yesterdays.
The wasted wish.

And maybe we’ll an answer find
To ease our mounting woes
But sadly, now is not the time
As swiftly my collection grows
Of thee and thine

100 Words – pt. 7


Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Words slip away in moments of frustration. They escape in single syllables marked with exclamation points. They come out most frequently as little four-lettered devils.

One imagines those moments where they leave their job. They quit with a diatribe of chaos pouring from their lips so that those around them can finally hear the truth of how you feel.

There’s the poetic notion that we will die a Hollywood death, a meaningful sentence gifted to the world. Some great revelation. Some poignant detail. Everyone believes they will offer something greater than “Rosebud” as they slide into oblivion.

For myself, I held even more tightly to such an idea because I knew my final words would bring my death, not the other way around.

Again…I get ahead of myself.

A name like Carol Rose Nichols does not inspire fear. I don’t say this as some preface to insinuate that such a theory is incorrect. She did not somersault from her front door with two automatic guns firing while a contingent of skilled ninja ran out from behind her.

There are times that one such as myself begins to wonder where the natural order of life ends and the intentional punishment of hell begins. The line is faint, ever moving, and difficult to accurately discern.

Unlike my previous statement, this is a preface to the events that followed after I knocked on the front door of 5191 87th Street.

When the door opened, I was met by an older lady. The type of woman you look at and immediately assume she must be somebody’s aunt. You imagine she has pictures of her nieces and nephews in her purse and is planning to make some of that potato salad that Dave loves so much for the family get together on Sunday after church.

Logic failed me, of course. What was I going to say? Would saying anything be worth the cost? I pulled the gun from where I’d had it poorly hidden, tucked into the back of my trousers. I held it with trembling fingers. The selfishness of my condition meant I couldn’t even say I was sorry, which is as tragic as it is heartless, as cold as it is pointless.

I want to explain what fear is.

Fear is the feeling of a gun pressed to the back of your head threatening to shoot if you don’t pull the trigger that you’re pressing to the back of someone else’s head.

It’s being chased at high speed on the highway while you barrel down the lane going the wrong direction.

Fear is knowing that you’re fucked because you’re playing a losing game, and you have to start measuring victory on how much pain you can avoid in the process of losing.

I want to tell you that I’ll never forget the face she made. That her words were deep and meaningful. That she said something poignant. That she made me see…something…

She just stuttered over the word “I” but never figured out what sentence she was reaching for. I finished it for her. Put a period at the end of it. It looked exactly like a bullet hole.

But that’s when I hear the crash from inside like a fucking rhino had just crashed through a china shop. I heard the thunder of feet. I heard a shotgun cocking. Before I could register the sounds, I heard the gun firing.

I felt the sting, the blazing heat that met with the fury inside my own brain as I said, “Fuck!” and moved to the side of the doorway, watching as neighbors cracked open doors and peeked through venetian blinds and flower-pattern curtains.

Inside, I heard a voice that shook with sorrow while knees struck the floor beneath. I heard the crying while he said her name.

No words she could’ve said could have been as painful to hear as the sound of that man crying and saying her name as if his breaking heart could pull her from death.

All I saw was my window of escape, one that grew more perilous as I heard the voice inside say, “Go! Go around the back!”

I had the immediate sinking feeling that he wasn’t talking to me in an attempt to hasten my escape.

I stood and ran, fearful less of the police who were likely en route than I was of the man inside and whomever he’d told to go around the back.

Passing the edge of the house I was struck with a burning pain in my side. The pain hit before the sound even registered. My peripheral told me it was a boy, couldn’t have been more than fourteen.

I kept running, blood pouring warm down my side, the sound of the boy’s feet racing behind me. A car came through, swerving as it almost hit me; I angled hard sending a new wave of pain through my body that felt like lightning that was only intensified as I mumbled “Shit!” to myself and again woke the angry swarm that writhed within my brain.

I heard the boy catching up as he let another bullet fly, it struck the now stopped car mere inches from landing in my back. I made a frantic move to shoot behind me, not wanting to look and make a misstep.

Cars were coming from the upcoming intersection, I could hear the sirens closing in. I felt like a wild animal on the highway, frantic. Like a squirrel that’s trying to go both left and right because it doesn’t understand that your car is a fucking dragon, with teeth of steel and a breath of billowing smoke.

“Eshera alth dret ereht” the grinding noise in my voice said, though it at least said it without the sharp razors of pain digging into my brain.

I raised my hand and shot at one of the cars heading toward the intersection. It swerved hard, the car before it had already begun to turn. The two collided while I veered away from both. The car coming from the other direction came forward with a screech of brakes that strained to slow its momentum as it fishtailed wildly.

I heard another shot from the boy behind him and then the sound of something being hit hard.

Car doors slammed. Voices overlapped with each other. The song of confusion sung by a choir of the wounded. I stopped for only a moment, doubled over to catch my breath.

I looked back and saw as the drivers and passengers scrambled to their cars or the place where all three had met. All of them working together to separate from the crushed body that was pinned between that newborn casket of metal and fiberglass.

“Leseth ekta hereh” the static said to me.

I never ran so hard in my entire life.


In response to the questions asked by Tokens of Expression in her “Awesome Blogger Award” post.

While I’m not taking this as a nomination, I decided to at least answer the questions that she’s asked of all her followers via her post.

My Questions:

Describe yourself in one word:


Do you think an illiterate person could be more intelligent than an educated one?

In a way, sure. Intellect takes many forms. Take, for example, the fact that, out in wilderness, I would be largely helpless. Direction sense? Nope. Hunting skills? Nope. Can make a fire without lighter or matches? Nope. So lets say I run into someone who can’t read, can’t write, and things that the entire span of the world is no larger than a seven mile radius from where they live. One could say that this person is not intelligent, but if that person can survive in the wilderness, they are smarter than I am in that regard. They would live, and I would die because knowing math and computers doesn’t really help when you’re dying of starvation and dehydration. But put both of us in a room with academics and it shifts again. So intellect is, in a way, situational. It’s not a singular element, it’s multifaceted.

Which book are you currently reading and what are your current opinions of it?

I’m currently reading “Oathbringer”, the third book in The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson. I like it quite a lot. Sanderson is a good writer.

Write a message for someone who you know will never read it on your blog.

I’d rather not.

Talk about your biggest privacy concern on the internet.

Probably the fear of people getting information about my finances. I also get messages from numbers at random times asking me why I called them, when I didn’t, which means that people are “spoofing” other people’s phone numbers for…who knows what. That not so much a concern as it is just annoying.

Is there any blogger here who you’d like to meet in real life? Tag them!

Nope. I’m a hermit. I don’t generally have a desire to meet new people, and I’m hesitant to put any names in here for people I already know in real life because I would say that I’ve already “met them”, and while one could posit that “meet” could also mean “meet with” which can be done even with someone you already know, I take this question to mean: is there someone who you do not already know in real life that you would like to meet in real life. And to that, I would say…no. It’s not personal. It’s not you, it’s me.

Which is your most memorable experience on WordPress?

Probably when I made my 411th post. Never thought I’d write that much. Especially not poetry, considering that prior to joining WordPress, I’d written two poems in the last dozen or so years.

What kind of things make you cringe / uneasy?

Terrible grammar. Animal cruelty. The sound of styrofoam on a balloon. Realizing that I made a mistake. Typographical errors.

Do you believe in forevers?


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