Eurydice

Eurydice

                by Cam M. Roberts
(for Brook Davis)

What words
are you learning
in the world
underneath
the feet of Orpheus?

You mark the sheet of his bed
like a footnote,
Interesting & starry-eyed
as an asterisk
adjacent his John Hancock.
As of late, more (un)referenced
than an orphan – For souls bereft of prospects,
see bottom of page.

Isn’t that sloven bastard Hades a belligerent despot, full of a somber bombast and macabre ass-hole-ism? Aren’t his notoriously horrid aphorisms woven into his every breath just enough to harden the liver to stone, blacken the bile to bulemia, curdle one’s blood into clotted viscosities, and plague the fresh & clear-eyed clout back into the dark fog of doubt? whiplashed off his cloven tongue?  lowdown nasty
still an old stick-in-the-mud teaching you
the ways of the Dead
while chowing down on biting bones
like some dog salivating
to the sound of your body,
the beckoning felt from the mouth
shaping the visage of your voice.
The divulging of a letter,
and another sort of wetness meeting your ear.
strings of better worlds spun within time,
then strung the bow, taut & flexed
into a room larger & emptier
than a tundra –

Knowledge lathers memory
over your name
in hopes to clean
your mouth out with soap,
while you were teething
on forgotten words
or ones that simply never existed.
The Stones:
Release them and not yourself
Into the river Styx.
Yes, you must let them go,
Then you must learn how to forget them:
You are neither Ophelia nor Woolf –
You are but a Myth.

Charon tunnels the ferry
With coins plucked like worn buttons
Sewn with wax and wick
From blackened candles pulled
From distant eyes once lit with fire,
Unearthed and polished tokens
with antiquity comprised of sand
in hourglasses mixing the self-effacing tide-pools –
Echoes through dead space, at an end, warbling
in oral resonances: the tip of the tongue, the teeth, the lips…

Sound out your name – It is the house
wherein you once lived, a former hostess
in a domestic space of sticks & stones,
but this, you say, is not your home.

The world has fallen away from you –

 

© CMR, 2012
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Walter

Walter

by Cam M. Roberts

I remember Walter Harrelson –
The wisest man ever to grace me with the sound of his voice –
Yes, he was a retired divinity scholar
with the fiery language of antiquity,
but what’s more were those lovely brief moments
wherein Walter would pause, the sanctity of silence
felt like a salute before the taking of communion
where I barely dared breathe from anticipation
at his oncoming revelation, precise selections
of the correct words as ordained by the mandates of heaven,
full of grace, and at times his youthful candor
spoken in nods and smiles of foresight – the superlative wisdom
was a mere perk if you allowed your ears to listen
to the entire tradition of man
radiate out of him like a warmth,
quite familiar, and yet nuanced
just enough to resemble
the dry white seasons of the esoteric –

I held questions inside of me like holy sacraments,
and, at last, here was my chance to lay them at his feet.
He peppered his orations with some sly but sincere aphorisms –
I could not for the life of me disagree
in the slightest with a single one –
They carried with them their own natural devoutness
as if it were a credence I’d one day inherit.

I’ll never forget hearing him say:

1.  God reserved eternal life for himself, and decreed death to mortals.
2.  God marked Cain to punish his sin, but also to protect him from being murdered
by his fellow man, because that would’ve been a miscarriage of justice.
3.  Macular Degeneration has slowly stolen my sight, but I can nevertheless still see the light –

 

© CMR, 2012

Off

Off

by Cam M. Roberts

I spoke you the idiomatic bullshit,
and you wrote it down to a poem.
My vernacular is about how I
hear your face through my eyes.
Can I still speak some dialectic
of idiocy, without you breathing
down my neck, braying like a
jackass, or barking like a bitch?
It all brings you to me, and this
loud peace where I sit.
I changed everything to tolerate myself
when you’re with me, can you
hold on to the times when I don’t remember
the falling pit of my gut? When I’ve
gone too far to try to forget you –

This thought brought out a string of pain
and a dull blade of the tongue
weathered by all the blood,
by being locked out and left
to exposure, those elements of
disclosure that are your heart’s
heavy burden, a place
I’ve tried to learn to love
as a minorly flawed paradise
which would only highlight
Your myriads upon galleons of virtues –
By now, I’ve like whetstone been worn
Worthless as a fucking rag,
Slices of my soul, your ghosts
grinding all the vapid words I could never
put into wrote or much less
compose from a spoken
language where this mouth opens
and the silence is far from relief –

If I can’t help you save yourself
From destroying me,
Then I’ll lock you out forever –
Even as your screams sharpen:
Deafening.

 

© CMR, 2012

End of Days

End of Days

by Cam M. Roberts

I
Onwards I ride nearing the western
Skyline, hanging low to squat
In the time-still constipation, the red
Clouds scanter wildly in their rash
While the crows gambling further
Hang ‘round, inflamed are they,
Wherein an unrelenting tempest commences
to scratch the puffing fester of day –

II
It geysers out suddenly burning the outer
Rim of the horizon, screaming holiest of holy hymns;
bleeding its darkness onto the ground.  It drabbles
The cracked earth to sleep as your slowing breath
catches up, along with the horse’s clacketing requiem –

III
The sun comes like a dream, soft – A scarlet broth.
Then like wisdom, retreats behind the nimbus’
Thunderheads, a wolf salivating and foaming
Quiet-like behind its keystone prey:
This is the sacrifice of survival.
The faint rays nevertheless tighten
like derelict and tarnished Teeth,
polished up for use, a gaudy solipsism.
A Nightmare – It is Here.
But it soon ends, just as it begins,
Again –

IV
The silhouette glows amid the murder of crows
While the haze of a sheer soul dissipates, faded
fragments that strike the whites from eyes, then
like the struggle of an unforeseen curse resurrected
from whence it fell to its end – Flickers on the iris rings
the wrought lightning’s purr, the electric claws nurse you
into paranoia until you seize up and behold it
through listening to its song.
A swearing off of peace, all Hell to be broken loose
Upon the return, where they shall not only inherit the earth,
But declare your light theirs as they swallow you up
and spew you out on all four stomachs of the cow.
And so, the sterile voice you hear dims, at last, the silenced evening.
This fear departs, and you go on doing as you had done,
You are not ignorant of it, it was a choice,
To go on, to go on living, fissuring the shades
on your way going out –
Whenever that is
To be.

 

© CMR, 2012

Meditation X

Meditation X

by Cam M. Roberts

This history written in me
on scrolls longer than miles of veins
from body and blemished soul
to health; the breathing, the sharp pains

of each heartache beating deeper
onto constant rhythms like clocks,
a metronome of suffering
the wounds, and healing when she mocks

my smile, my stare fixed on nothing,
but that laugh; has she read the book
of mysteries scribbled on fibers
within me?  Lo and behold:  look

to queries which memory brings
to you, the burning eyes of day.
Where are you going in darkness?
Into the pulse of night, the way

towards what’s yet to come.  Ink soaked
spaces reflect deaths of the pen,
their blood marking all they touch
like living in blank verse with men –

I could unravel my own life
and hang for all to mark or judge
with holy ink water and words.
Exorcisms of me, that smudge

across poetry, confessions
wildly compelled, yet out of reach, splotched
sheets mark the wordless entropy –
Thus, each word inserted seems botched.

 

© CMR, 2012

Until Time Breaks

Until Time Breaks

by Cam M. Roberts

Time drools out of the hourglass
like gritty spit stuck
with stubbornness, a disrespect
of one’s misery.
I felt this way soon after
Reading All That Fall,
a Beckettian radio-play.

These hands dig for morning
While my mind still dwells
In Gerontion and No Man’s Land
I now bear down and plunge
The pipe dreams of the happily ever after.
My private utopia is the quintessence of copper –
The wet dream world of a wishing well –

Here lies my reality as of late:
A cauldron of macabre mornings,
thickening their viscosity
in a stagnancy of myopia and catatonic stares
like the purgatorial Endgame negated of its ending.

There is such a thing as
Being too sober to think without feeling –
A hangover for instance, the departure
of not knowing the difference
while watching the perpetual travesty
that is the news media.
Imagine the first few verses
of “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
A washed-up zone more volatile than nostalgia –
It’s like a liquid metal:
Mercury, its commonplace, Quick Silver –
Or the Messenger who hesitates.

 

© CMR, 2012

Regarding Easiness

Regarding Easiness

by Cam Roberts

(For Rodney Jones)

After the passing storm unbuckled it gluttonous gut,
There remained a rotund slackened void of chaotic screaming
That my family would sit back and unfold chairs
And watch the whirlwind masticate their work,

Although the spectacle had bored into the visions
Of incalculable masses spreading their fat cadavers like butter
Over charred emaciation while scholars and prophets waved
To warn of the immensity just as I waved my written musings

Like flags of which blew to shreds, the ink splotched
Blurring whirred down drains of ignorance and forgetfulness,
The colors bleeding through the tighter stitch, the written
Words engraved deeper – Sacrificed still to the elements

Of rain and wind, a slurred speech with volatile breath
And rancid spit flying in the wake, all of which solidifies
The existence of narrow stripes and faded starlets
Still pluming nigh – Plath suffered the atrocities of sunsets,
Invaded by scarlet glares of tulips, felt the brutish boots –

Caused not from the insecurity of beauty, nor from vanity
In observing the sublime delicacy of nature, nor from dreams
Of domestic fortresses by Man, but sparked from the anguish
At the cold hard fact that all this suffering was not a necessity,
so why should it determine our destiny?

With a particular setting in my mind stopped & clogged
from progressing forth, now discouraged to describe
Its eternal stagnancy by means of representing it
On written patriotic fabrics blowing in the bluster;
Like my family’s resting places, you can tell because
It left one feeling curious at the contentment of strife

To plague their beds and easy chairs with infections,
Lying in leisurely filth and soiled cushions weathered worn.
It appeared the hurricane’s lazy eye of calm vacancy
Pierced the scene’s wreckage in a viscosity of hollowness.
Ms. Frasier declared that having Merrill’s lines in mind
Is that unique thing, a voice that says somebody was here before –

The scholars and prophets,
some of them, I’ve learned
are in fact my kinfolk, and I see it
in heavy evidence in their quietness,
They’ve unbeknownst to me prepared the meticulous
Path of which resulted, even now, in my long-winded meditations
where from I create worlds with words, while at the same time
they deny their very existence,
no, not with words, but with something more real and absolute than words,
whether written or spoken…

It’s my inheritance, flowing through these veins,
and it’ll follow my heirs over the widest
generational gaps ever God created
and it abides in the inner scream:
A massacre of silence –

 

© CMR, 2012