Text

Text

by Cam M. Roberts

 

when
ever
this
body
left
womb
half
that
mind
stay
hung
back
like
bats
lurk
amid
cold
dark
deep
cave
away
from
sun’s
fire
ball
beam
rays
burn
only
love
noct
urne
with
soft
full
moon
glow
long
till
dawn
come
then
turn
back
exit
sky’s
vast
spew
sunk
into
dirt
down
hole
like
coal
mine
then
zone
goes
side
ways
hide
seek
find
done
been
said
done
been
read
gone
over
this
none
left
told
late
news
like
echo
echo
echo
goon
fail
once
gain
soon
loss
rise
over
runs
take
nice
easy
slow
pace
don’t
want
hurt
your
self
roll
rock
high
upon
hill
when
atop
apex
it’ll
ouch
slip
from
hand
gets
dumb
mass
can’t
feel
grip
numb
lets
drop
then
fall
back
down
ward
onto
flat
base
game
over
fail
hard
ain’t
that
some
lame
duck
shit
fuck
duck
same
shit
ever
more
flip
side
dumb
luck
tale
flip
coin
call
head
gets
tail
thus
epic
fail
what
next
toil
best
exit
void
feel
safe
haha
more
like
fail
safe
none
ever
full
born
else
more
area
sore
room
feel
wall
ache
just
some
cage
with
shut
door
lock
turn
dead
bolt
keys
lost
torn
knob
won’t
open
push
pull
yell
help
till
dead
very
long
stay
wipe
down
rust
from
iron
bars
fall
self
ward
keep
away
till
last
fail
unto
tomb
same
cage
bite
dust
hand
coil
into
crab
claw
dead
grip
alas
turn
over
last
page
book
worm
eats
word
just
like
worm
eats
body
shit
all’s
down
hill
from
here
long
skid
mark
from
bald
tire
spin
burn
road
kill
time
wait
wish
stay
coma
tose
some
joke
keep
life
give
love
take
self
hood
lift
your
veil
know
what
your
face
mean
bare
mask
soul
born
from
open
lids
then
eyes
make
self
home
thou
rave
good
lord
best
stay
calm
what
god’s
name
sake

 
 

© CMR, 2014
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Coda

Coda

by Cam M. Roberts

 

I.
Hold me indefinitely as an article of clothing
or show me love or the meaning of:
Fermata.
 
I’m already worn, broken in
by the form of another.
 
How can indeterminate eyes assert
such an intransigent inference, then turn
it into a lifelong belief? Why does the soul cling
with vehemence to a horde of erroneous sentiments?
Is the mind prone to its own proclivities?
 
The visible
world is an intermittent
hell, the sublimated animal is man.
 
 
II.
I think death is a brief obstruction, a scintilla
of interference, a wrinkle which seems to iron itself out
if allowed. I think our tears must be steam to prevent scorching
the heart to nothing but charred flesh and scar tissue, phantom limbs
needn’t be cauterized.
 
Condone you alone shall muster
the will to go on, let your voids
last as long as they please, then
by inchmeal be replenished with
a newness that is nameless —
 
I’d like to think that we don’t die every second,
but that Time does — perhaps Time is the lexicon
of less: ruthless, merciless, heartless, fatherless.
It’s his loss. Don’t give it a second thought.
Often times, less is more.
 
 
III.
I am always stumbling
half-fall
half-recover
 
I am full of contemplation
 
On the whole I am nothing
but a walking-talking 
hormonal machine
with mechanisms of membrane
 
Somehow
I am learning
to accept a few substitutions
from which I custodian the bereft dominions
and salvage the now vacant vaults by endowing words
[as if cenotaphs] with the corporeal memory of a disembodied meaning
 
I hope
to soon restore
my faith in this torn
language by which is meant: my voice
 
 
IV.
I was an honorary outlaw as a boy,
I was blown away by the song “Highwayman” —
many a time within cathexis I listened
so involved in reverie it appeared
I was put under an otherworldly trance,
an oracle ruminating and chewing
on that episodic ballad like cud
with such memorable lyrics, and
phlegmatic tempo-rhythms — mostly stolid
in tone — wherein a quartet of wayward men
[archetypal trailblazers in the American sense]
form a collective first-person narrative sequence
comprised of elegiac solos with gruff and rustic voices
as nuanced in each spectral man’s
temporality, occupational hazard, and fatal circumstance,
but nevertheless were they all kindred in personae as revolving ghosts
in the transcendental spirit of each story told:
And I’ll be back again
and again
and again
and again
and again
 
Comfort came from those clear and twangling echoes,
stoic reverberations of falling chains
like: Once upon a time I had a sullen soul
now under a most redemptive rain
I don’t.

 
 

© CMR, 2014
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Abattoir

Abattoir

by Cam M. Roberts

 

(for Gordon Ramsay)

 

Bit strange me thinks, for I see nearly half an hour’s passed since dinner service commenced,
and we’ve like saints waited for your stubborn herb-crusted rack of lamb.  So… have you wasted
our time and negated our efforts (once again)?  Are you slow on the uptake by your own volition,
or are you glacial by nature?  Dead air determines our answers.  I await your retort, it’s not
a dissertation. Your attention please, hello, answer much?  Bollocks, I implore you, dead weight,
cinder blocks, bobble-head dumber than a bucket of rocks, quit sandbagging me laddy, he listens
not.  Yonder bowed up plank of wood — plump knot filibustering the saw-tooth blade —
wary despondent lumberjack, go fetch my axe. [The Lambs called, they want the Silence back.]
Unfathomable discordant encumbrance. Go to then, move it — already I’ve a splitting headache
from the general idiocy of the mundane, so don’t couple it with your being an unnecessary pain
in my arse.  Thus, I beseech you: Swiftly, swiftly — Yes?  This should be interpreted as:
Better make haste!”  Good lord, where’s a goddamn sheepdog when you need one?  
We go through this every single week, excruciating tedium, now I’m having to spoon feed you
Gerber as if you’re an imbecilic infant who’s refused his puréed fava beans.  Just make some progress,
since this is imperative to the idea of apprenticeship, thus be it deemed essential to your pensum.
I swears, it’s as if you’re some highly meticulous, overly cautious three-toed Sloth —
you’re neither old nor obese, but you are painstakingly slow nonetheless: If I told you to “haul ass”
you’d take two maybe three round-trips using the longest route possible whilst making frequent
pit-stops to devoid your bladder and bowels, and lest not forget those gratuitous cigarette breaks.
Extraordinarily worthless lollygagger!

 

O’ blast it to bloody hell and back — Hey, Donkey!  Yes, you, the only one in the stable.  Come hither,
daft prat with withers!  Not only is the Ba-Ba-Black Sheep still as stone-cold as a wetted slab of slate
in shadows at daybreak, but alas remains a visceral bloodbath spreadeagled perpetuum immobile
upon the algid iron of your purgatorial skillet, undoubtedly raw flanks of vapid carcass not-prepared
but poked, prodded, and played with more than a pornographic film star’s twat.  As if your burner
were actually on — Pathetic!  Terrible slobbering toddler behavior! Give me the spatula, hand it over,
you might hurt yourself or someone else or do something as equally dreadful.  Pah!  Ridiculous!
Rife in a profusion of inadequacies.  I am flabbergasted beyond all reckoning — Tell me,
how could I take you seriously?  An overdose of Delirium.  You must be joking, poor bastard.
You’re not even an amateur, you are (at best) an unintelligible novice: a horrendous facsimile,
a runt court-jester, a torpid worm, a grunting poser, a syndicated dumb-show, a peddler of lesser
counterfeit things, a bootleg-alabaster statue manufactured out of styrofoam and plaster,
a sullied shard of paraphernalia, a quagmire of coagulated bong-water, a vinegary overripe
shitty Merlot, a rancid pong of rotten lobster bisque souring in a saucepan then poured into
a copper pot of lardy broth, a throngless vomiting albatross, a carrion hybrid of charlatan
and harlot, an obtrusive vulture gobbling up the roadkill of global culture: conclusion,
a microwave can-opener cook. By all means persuade me otherwise to look upon you more favorably,
you’re a miserable monstrosity.  Sorry I’m not sorry, because I mean it, why else.  Such a piss-pot 
slipshod chef as ever I’ve seen, for the love of god can’t you feel exothermic heat, you’re searing chops 
of meat for Christ’s sake.  I’ve seen a Parisian Octogenarian Street Mime with a bad case of the shakes cook a meal with five times more grace, dexterity, and overall skill than this half-ass shit you’ve so
poorly engendered: accursed concoction — Mercy, you’ve taken more piss out of me than a catheter.
Hark, the sniveling wanker!

 

Go down and withdraw —
persona non grata:
Exit the clown.
Fuck off!

 
 

© CMR, 2014
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Crux

Crux

by Cam M. Roberts

 

Behind every kind smile and nod of assent
lies an impasse viler than words can mend —

 

 

© CMR, 2014
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Ghost Olive

Ghost Olive

by Cam M. Roberts

 

Dear seldom elsewhere Eucharist — Eldest Presbyter,

 

Who forgives?  What gives?
When shiver?  Where liver?
Why live?  How deliver?

 

Sincerely,
Apéritif [Posthumous Emeritus]

 
 

© CMR, 2014
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Love in Abandoned Places

Love in Abandoned Places

by Cam M. Roberts

 

These wind-torn fences
and wrought-iron gates
surround the whole of this
sloven estate —
Several disheveled lawns all-encompass this derelict mansion
where stone-masonry and monoliths have gone to desolation.
Voraciously, I look at you, and give you my rapture:
Those feelings of love as repressed passion
which have burned in me for years on end
are strained through voice, spoken in torrents —
I’ve resorted to packaging my pathos in words.
In silence
we walk three miles
amid an agoraphobic field,
then through foothills within the forest.
We follow along a sinusoidal stream,
until finally you look up and smile at me,
but you warble all over as if on the verge
of a strange and tragic weeping —
A ravenous starling starts to sing of squalor.
In our unkempt garden
we stroll
under a maudlin moon
that moves us closer:
Your head now on my shoulder.
We walk on nocturne air —
The trees take note
and soon turn
their vast canopies
into a tarpaulin overcast
of cumulonimbus clouds.
The temperature drops drastically
as night-storms advance on us.
High winds begin to pick up.
Your darkening chaos of hair is as furious
as the sea inside us both — a tempestuous mane.
An assortment of veils billowing in the bluster:
As nylon ribbons, silk-lace, and black velvet
on my nape gone pale and trembling neck.
This makeshift scarf
coils taut round my throat
and shrouds half my face
like an eye-patch and bandanna.
From the chest up
I could be a buccaneer pirate.
Or, say from the sternum up
I resemble Jolly Roger.
You could be Medusa, but
you’re too damn beautiful.
To myself, I muse:
In this tableau
you could choke
me to death
and I wouldn’t protest.
Then the miracle happens —
You assail me on all sides.
Your breath anoints my skin, absorbs under,
splays me, body and soul, asunder —
running along my collarbone
then near my jawline onward.
And I hear your galvanic voice
in my ear as lifted wings,
your austere whispering:
Nothing else.
No other.
This.

 
 

© CMR, 2014
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