Monday, March 17, 2014


I'm king now

this was a kingdom once
living and ruled
sent men to die in war
made peasants grow the gruel
to feed the war machine
and bury bodies

this was a keep once
kept warm the lords and ladies
kept out the rabble
it's rubble now
troubled by usurpers and crown-thiefs
and the great malady
that wiped out the world

rest well, m'lord and m'lady
the danse macabre dances with us all
royal blood served you no better
than the dirt-veined serfs
who carried your body out on a tide
of unsaddened, unwashed faces

how comfortably do you live now
in the afterlife?
what check did Charon cash
after ferrying you across the river
where souls clash

I wonder
if there's such a toll to enter Ostrapalis?
a tax of gold, or stories told
blood and men murdered
gruel grown
and served
what cost to clear the mind?

I'm in the throne room now
take the throne and ponder
whether I should plunder
or continue to wander

I'm king now
I keep an empty, meandering court

Friday, March 14, 2014


Possessions don't mean much to me
nothing at all, anymore, in fact
there was a time when I was always wanting
what the next man had
a woman, a finer meal, a better horse

but now I can't seem to be bothered
now that I've left it all behind
I can't seem to remember
why it all meant so very much

will healing mean filling up my life with
wants again
swarming over everything
like insects over a piece of rotted fruit
always hungering
am I going to cure myself
or be all the more damned?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


can't be plagued

mother sees me with my pristine skin
and she sees hope, not flesh on my bones
mirth in her eyes
(been so long since they've been dry)
so used to seeing the dead unburied in
mass graves
forgot the living walked the earth

can't be bothered
by her joy

she's got a boy and a man
down below
with Charon and Hades and Satan
wants me to meet them all
thinks I can't be plagued
can't be bothered
to die

she just needs me to fall
down below
and say

mother's worried sick
but she's not ill
wants you to know how much she cares
that you're gone
carry on, my wayward son
carry on, my lover fair

the Lord works in mysterious ways
through undead mists I'm working
to mysterious leys

carry on, carry on
can't be bothered

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Memories of my family
have begun to peel
slivers of colors fading
in my mind
fractured pieces surface
and in with the tide
washes the dreadful feeling
that these memories are more
dream than reality
but then it seems kinder really
that I'm not sure these memories are
if they're not real
I don't have to think about
where those dream-people
are buried.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I remember when the roads
were dangerous

bandits begging me now
offering me all their stolen goods
as indulgences
to buy their souls passage to heaven

passage along dangerous roads

but I'm not headed to heaven
I'm leaving my body behind
for Ostrapalis
let it rot
let them rot

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Footfalls on untended paths
I pass through like a specter
I couldn't tell you
if I really passed by at all

If this road really exists
or if I'm lying in a stupor somewhere
imagining my journey
past corpse towns and screaming mothers
who have no one left to mother
maybe I never even left
perhaps I'm waiting to be buried
could be I'm a poor dumb bastard
too stupid to realize
he's already dead

But I keep walking
the landscape never changes
I walk anyhow
past different towns
that are exactly the same
united in the same bleak stink.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


has the king come?

is this man
who speaks of Ostrapalis
Christ come back

was this wanderer
is this man's pristine flesh

they want to nail him again
say he is a cursed Midas, afflicted
no messiah
brings instead of redemption or gold
bold black boils and pheromones
fleas and plague

he's the reason
hang him
hang the harbinger
hang the man from nails
he's the reason you're all dying
why the world wails
bringer of fleas and plague and pain

they're afraid to touch him

they say there's something wrong with his head
but I see gold

I will follow him, step for step
in the dance of death
take hands with the dead
and pave the sick streets with gold
a path to Ostrapalis
no better a way to go

Monday, March 3, 2014


No matter how many times they ask
I'm never closer to an answer
The hate that ravages their faces
more savagely than the worst onslaught
of the affliction
follows me from town to village to city back to town again
a silent jury
raging at me from the halls of memory
always asking why why why you why you why you
why do you live while my son died
why do you breathe when my beloved drowned in her own blood
why do you walk when our leaders fell to a man

Every town brings new accusers
soon I'll have an army
I can't share my immunity
but I give them life anyhow
anyone blessed enough to meet me in these damned towns
will walk with me forever
I couldn't leave them behind
not even if I tried
and truth be told I truly can't
bring myself to try.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


where have I wandered?
what wayward route have I taken
out of the city?

stay off
the broken pathways
of my mind

the Romans never realized
they were laying roads to ruin
what a waste

I have always heard to not look back
but I stop to gape at the plague
heaped over the city
like a host of ethereal rats
black-furred angels bringing judgment
rustling through refuse

a hail of fleas
dropping yersina pestis
down the chimneys and the throats
of the citizenry

what a waste

I wonder where I'm wandering

Friday, February 28, 2014


I pity my flesh
contaminated with this broken mind
would that I could set it free
send it on to run and laugh and drink and fuck
while my mind gasps its last putrid breaths alone

But my flesh is doomed to walk with this burden
my body a slave to this endeavor
this journey that lies ahead
we must both seek out together

Could it be too much to hope
that my body might some day forgive
the sins my mind commits against it
could they which have grown
into such cold strangers
find forgiveness in healing

Or, when body and mind
have finally joined once more
perhaps my flesh will seek revenge
and slay me on the very eve of my salvation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


found the meat-man's cleaver

the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker
one of them lives on
in the left-handed
devil's grasp
of the branded man

something wrong with his head

the butcher, the baker, the hounds, the blade-seeker
one of them's gonna get out of here

he needs a name for his axe
he's got a feast to carve

I found the meat-man's cleaver
his hand has become mine


The dogs are looking fatter these days
softer hearts might wonder where those firm, furry bellies
find enough to stretch the skin taught
there's no heels of bread to scrounge since the baker took ill
no urchins slipping spare treats into warm sloppy grateful mouths
since all the urchins went to sleep
the butcher's door was bolted weeks ago
but the dogs never seem to want for bones to worry

They watch the corpse carts with glassy eyes
fallen masters receive no hound's loyalty when
the baker and the butcher ceased their labors so long ago
the doctors and mercy givers haven't the spirit left
to banish the lupine beggars
their raids remain unrouted
and their bellies grow fuller
as the streets grow emptier

Sometimes all that keeps me going
is the thought that there will be no god damned dogs
anywhere to be found on the streets of Ostrapalis
and for brief spells I think
nothing shall cure me more readily
than the promise
of a whole city devoid of the endless crunching chewing licking
treason that lurks in every blackened alley and shadowed stoop
of these afflicted towns

Please just tell me
they don't let dogs in that hallowed city

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


there's a baby in the streets
I'm trying to flee
but he's talking to me

there's a kid at a dead end
just past infancy in the street
I'm trying to leave
but he's wrapped up in the rotting arms of a thief
calling to me
deceased flesh blanket keeping him warm
in this time of need

this child's diseased
chewing on his boils
uneasy mouth full of black
he's starving
bunch of stolen bread around him
but won't eat

O God why do you spite your creations
he's laying in a purloined bread basket
poisoned sirloin weeping
I can hear him talking
O God why did you smite me with these
reverberations of a child's voice
in my head

Oh god, he'll keep the maggots company
lay down beside them
like bread in a basket spilled and stale
crib-mates amongst crumbs
making crumbling crypts for sanity

Oh god, he's talking to me
"Sir please, I implore thee
I hear you're seeking Ostrapalis
I warn thee

My parents lived in larceny
but I can't steal away my fate
God's will be done and I obey
but you, you'll need a blade
to reach the city of the mind
you, you'll need to slice and flay"

kid, stop talking to me
you should be dreaming about shining things
and abundant days, teeming teats and lively ways
you'll never have
not prophecies, teething prophet
too young to walk, but wise enough to die

bounty-hounds baying
they're coming for me
he's right
I'm trying to flee but
I'll need a blade

still talking as I evade
hungry hunters and greedy knaves
"my parents were thieves
but only death can lift life
from the pockets of God"

Oh god

Monday, February 24, 2014


the rot
inside never seen
bloodless wounds untouchable
by any mortal hand

a stench too foul
for mortal senses sends
them into a dirty rage

they sense
they sense it
they send me away

awakening a longing
for respite
i'll spite them all
if i can find it

can it pluck out
maggots writhing
in my head
when they aren't even there
can it leech putrid blood
that's already clean
can it mend a tattered mind
whose fibers remain untorn

i fear that it is just a myth
a place that can't be found
but just perhaps
an unreal place
may salve a wound that isn't really there

Sunday, February 23, 2014



there's something wrong with my head
they're trying to throw me in with all the dead
under the claws
of bird-faced doctors with their scented beaks

awful maws of the passed-away, released
open and begging

walk by the monks who used to call up Gregor's chants
now they're coughing up Gregorian lungs into their hands

skeletons dancing
round kings and round queens
something wrong with my head
all the dead dancing round the royalty
noble enough to tell me
there's something wrong

they're saying I'm plagued
but my skin's clean
my brain fell into one of the graves
rolled around in the bile and the pain
of the wretched and the thrashing
gotta get out

there's a place called
city where the mind and body split
gotta find it

something wrong
danse macabre, dancing along
following me
to Ostrapalis