Darker Nights

I know this night, I know its call.
Agony wears a harpy's grin
to tempt the lungs to drown within.
The bedfellow of cortisol;
this life raft needs prescription scrawl
before we're buried in its skin.
I know this night.

A panic button protocol
shotgunned with cheap raspberry gin.
Hope: the very first deadly sin
that chokes us all against the wall
I know this night.

Pink Gin Ballet

Am I to be poured of cold glass
and dance with death in soft pink gin?
We'll spin upon a tailor's pin
wearing the tarnish of brass.

Bewitched in gaze, sunk in morass,
I tread both lines in mortal skin.
Am I to be poured of smashed glass
and dance soft with death in pink gin?

Reaper smiles sickeningly crass
rapping bone on pondering chin
with a heavy sigh of chagrin.
This moment of visit must pass.
I am poured out of cold smashed glass
while death dances soft in pink gin.

Thames Gin Headache

Chipped polish on keratin
Formed instruments of misery
Against the carved ivory candlestick,
But played in time and one half
Between clicked wooden heels
And shuffle scuffed leather toes. 
Shrieking warped wood boards
Bemoaned the restless pacing
Until eased by the storm’s drippings
Rolled from the oversaturated linen.

Youth kept the nightdress white,
Precisely creased on double pleat
Perfumed in almond and rice starch.
The insipidness of immaturity
Creeped up the ironed dart lines
To satiate the linen’s thirst for spoil,
And seeped into the recurring path
In a bogged mix of clay and blood.
The sludge had smudged the vows
Between the ruby and diamond ring.

Lightning had taken exception,
Or so it would have seemed,
To the metal cockerel above the well.
It’s striking boldly lit the sodden grass
To illuminate a solitary jacquard spat
Encased, leather, side button boot.
He’d sworn himself inconspicuous once,
Yet adorned himself so pretentiously
For the eyes of the unwed maidens
On the night he was intended to wed.

The dusty manor house windows
Did not hide the ostentatious footwear
From the overwhelmed on looker
As she bit her nails cuticle bare.
Had he simply fallen, she’d be asleep
For the drunkard had overindulged
On pints of overtaxed Thames Gin.
But he cracked his crown on limestone
Before his legs lost the ability to hold
His brainless form to full attention.

Inebriation settled most heavily
In the bones of his shaking wheeze.
Had not the split of his mindless skull
Incapacitated his conscious movement,
His well wished departure would be,
To the greatest of detest and chagrin,
Replaced by opiate coma numbing
As his bride rode Peeler’s prize
In a carted cage of lucid lunacy
And cursed language of wicked folk.

Luck had been her bedfellow,
Strength her mightiest gift giver,
And determination: her kind muse.
No sooner could he groan in ache
Than his moaning was quick silenced 
In the crunch of crumbled spine
That met with a barren dark age well.
Her hand warmed by the liquid wax,
She stopped pacing to reflect with joy
At the sickening sound of lifelessness.

75ml Measures

We got plastered on the mezzanine.
Giving even less shits than before
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

Splitting prescription amphetamine
Into servings of six, eight or four,
We got plastered on the mezzanine.

Supplementing lacking dopamine
Pretending we wanted to feel more
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

On the childlike side of something-teen
With store rooms of baggage to ignore
We got plastered on the mezzanine.

Steadily making more of a scene
Baiting ourselves to even the score
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

These moments dipped light in sertraline
Revisited in flashbacks galore
We got plastered on the mezzanine.
With cheap shots that burnt like kerosene

Gunpowder and Whiskey

A crystalized lowball glass sways; 
Jigging the rocks around the whiskey.
Holding the glass is an aged hand, 
Belonging to an aged man 
Just threatening to tell a story. 
The bar listens with tense ears 
And choked breaths.

"She was my first wife; 
June, beautiful, bewitching, bodacious; 
Too much so at times. 
She wore her hair pinned 
At the crook of her neck 
With a single silver barrette. 
It softened her harsh features 
Just a little you see. 
I came home one day 
To discover her on the floor, 
Deceased, 
With a single silver barrette 
Plunged deep in her eye socket. 
But nobody knew a damned thing!"

The lowball swayed mores
And the tavern slouches listened on.

"Next there was my second wife, 
Anna-Marie. 
She was a pious woman, 
And her slight figure would pray 
Before performing any activity 
And i mean any, before the Lord. 
She tied the waist of her dress
With a bright green ribbon; 
it was so tiny that waist of hers. 
Shame I found the ribbon 
Around that pretty porcelain neck. 
And for some reason, 
Everyone thought nothing of it!"

The lowball was empty.
Once the bartender topped it up 
The man continued.

"Finally there is my beloved Jessie. 
Far too pretty and young 
Especially for this old ruffian, 
But she would ignite the fire 
To warm any man's soul. 
Now she's still alive. 
But that there stiff 
That got my gun going 
He's the bastard
Snatched her from me. 
And with God as my witness, 
She remains my wife, 
So she belongs to me."

And with one long final sip,
He left the bar without his gun;
High off of gunpowder and whiskey.

The Woman Wore Purple

​I had spent many hours with her,
​Both young and grown.
I had grown beside her kin,
With a mother who shared her blood.
 
She was reckless in my mother’s eyes,
Wild as the wind that she flew on.
A woman who lived by no law,
But by principle of her own heart.
 
She near always smiled at me,
And she laughed at my cynicisms.
We drank several nights away,
At the bar, or on the step of a shop door.
 
Like many young, I fled the nest,
Spread my wings for lands afar,
Leaving them all behind me,
But visiting with growing infrequency.
 
On my return there would be happy reunion,
Drinks, songs, smokes, smiles, laughs.
Gatherings of the now grown and their young,
Besides our elders now older once more.
 
But time did fly by quicker,
And 15 months seems to blink fast.
And soon I am beckoned back,
Returning to see her again.
 
My mother, as always,
Holding the hands of my family,
As a means to hold their souls, their bodies,
And their strength, in an upwards fashion.
 
Me, smiling through, as taught,
Showing that the living are not afraid.
I hold her hair 'twix my fingers,
And braid in flowers as we laugh.
 
I roll her smokes, before my own,
The legality of them questionable,
As she waves between here and there,
Jittery with fear of being wedded.
 
I paint over the hollowing skin,
Lighten her sunken eyes,
With a mixture of tones, pigments,
Creams and powders, brushes and sponges.
 
The clocks strikes and the camera clicks,
She grins as she is wheeled along,
I press the button as she makes vows,
Promises to be short lived and kept.
 
We drank, we smoked, we laughed,
I sang, for she couldn’t any longer,
I walked for her, towing the chair,
And navigated with care and fear.
 
Family gathered, united, strong again,
Smiling at the simple pictures I captured,
Wondering at the beauty of her,
Of her soul, of her love.
 
The woman wore purple,
As a bride, draped in purple and white,
As a mother, through waking night,
As my aunt, when hugging me tight.
 
The woman wore purple,
And when I saw her last, she wore it still.
Though I’ll never see her again,
I know the woman wears purple.

Coping

Goodbye bottle number one,
You were not full enough,
My glass sat half empty,
My mind still half full.
Bottle one, you were sweet,
You were smooth.
A hint of cinnamon,
A calmed anger,
A giggly outlook,
For a moment.

Well hello bottle number two,
And bottle three.
Bottle two not even half full,
Bottle three not barely touched.
Let's share stories,
Laugh, cry, shout, scream.
I don't like your flavour
Bottle three,
But bottle two is lacking.

Which mixer now?
Eenie, meenie - this, that,
Why choose, I'll swap,
I'll change it up,
That bottle isn't important,
Two and three are!
I might sleep tonight,
Or I might wake up
Over and over,
Just like last night.

Can I spend every night here?
Numb enough to smile,
Broken enough to cry.

Another

Glass in hand,
Tongue in mouth,
A poor excuse for an escape.


Glass in hand,
Liquor in mouth,
One fine way to drown it out.


Glass in hand,
Mind still thinks,
Maybe a bit faster will help.

​
Glass in hand,
Eyes glaze out,
More is needed to settle.


Glass in hand,
Thoughts command,
Just swallow pride before this one.
Glass on lip,
Eyes closed,
One more breath to swallow.


Glass on deck,
Another in mind,
Perhaps the thought will stop.


Glass on lip,
Liquor tips,
The heart begins to race


​​Glass on deck,
Burning neck,
Just one more to ease the pain.


​Glass on lip,
Feelings split.
It's time. To have another.