Afterthought 910—Sonnet -5

Posted in nothing special, sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2016/02/17
His mourning by the night's black prison walled
with complications, over which scars traced
the days of years authorities erased
from ghosts of former prisoners, forestalled
just long enough to crack into, he crawled
on hands and knees through poisoned blood encased
in scab.  His goddess crept inside him, chaste
as moonlight, cold as beds where they fell sprawled.

No mention of him made it to the news,
no recognition of the wave of grief,
depression, pain and shame in which he drowned
his solitude. His child was never found.
Such miracles are killed by unbelief
conceived in doubt. Whom he loves, he must lose.

Afterthought 908—Sonnet -4

Posted in nothing special, sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2016/02/16
The hell of every death she claims: she died
inside her mother's void, then died at birth 
without a cry, then every step on earth
died yet again. She took vows as a bride
and died. She died in every move she tried
to make. Be it deluge, be it dearth,
she died. She died until it wasn't worth
her dying further, death to her denied.
No autopsy was sought, no inquest called.
No funeral rites were held. No gravestone marks
the hillside where her body last was placed
facedown, a scrap of fast-decaying waste.
Run away, far off her dog still barks
his mourning, by the night's black prison walled.
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Opening Gesture

Posted in sonnet, sonnet cycle by maggie on 2014/04/01

Wrapped in last night's visions, I set out
to find the one who'll choose to be my child,
for I have seen him, icy eyes as wild
as winter's passion, dark breath hot as drought
as if created in love's fiercest shout
before the moment died. From dream exiled
to settle for this morning's work beguiled,
I let cold winds this mother's prayers reroute.
I don't believe some casual accident
would have imagination strange enough
to fool some god at lending me his seed
for nothing more than someone who could bleed
as much as I can bleed. Let's call his bluff,
see what gets said against what's said gets meant.
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Protected: Overheard 58—When You Die Again

Posted in sapphics by maggie on 2013/10/15

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Protected: Overdraft 48—Knocked Down

Posted in crown of sonnets, curtal sonnet by maggie on 2013/02/26

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An Hour Unwound

Posted in quatorzain by maggie on 2012/04/03
Casual Convo

Casual Convo
   "Et cetera."   "Et cetera?  The end
   is rarely that expected."   "Which is why
   one says so after."   "'Too late,' you imply?"
   "'Assume' is what, but since I'm still your friend
   in Facebook terms, we play nice, right?"   "Depend
   on it."   "I used to. I might even try
   to once again."   "Oh?"   "Yeah, or not."   "No lie,
   that's what makes it so easy to pretend."
   "'Whatever,' right?"   "'Whatever.' Choose your word.
   I'm not responsible."   "By that you mean
   you'll hold against me what you think gets heard
   or doesn't get that close."   "Don't make a scene."
   "A scene? A life was more what I'd preferred,
   as if one word made sense beyond this screen."

Just Visiting
Just Visiting
   As if one word made sense.   Beyond this screen
   perhaps.   Across that threshold yes.   As though
   one promise could have been accepted.   Oh
   inside those walls for sure.   No guards between
   the two of us of course there then.   Routine
   as a good morning kiss as if you know
   I pose no threat.   As though I choose to go
   or stay with no missteps to intervene.
   Like this were home.   Like you knew I'd been meant
   to be a part.   No stranger.   Family.
   Except I'm not.   You'll not know where I went
   tomorrow morning.   I won't ever see
   you waking.   This will mark the best extent
   my time with you might offer guarantee.

No Excuses
No Excuses
   My time with you might offer guarantee
   of nothing more than somewhat shared pretense
   by which I'm not thought worthy your defence
   so shrug it off or claim the fault's with me,
   whereas with my best acting I can't be
   near good enough to earn love's recompense.
   We're sorry we're not sorry.   In a sense,
   we're both and neither due apology.
   Would anything be different?   We can blame
   me all we want, and I could even do
   what you make like I should've.   All the same
   I'd owe you, right?   No chance of something new.
   Forgiveness has no meaning, no real aim
   when what I'm really bad at's loving you.

100% = X / X
100% = X / X
   When what I'm really bad at's loving you,
   the best I do just makes me all the worse
   the upside down and inside out reverse
   what you expect of me.   Sad déjà vu
   how we're divided by ourselves, into
   each other one on one, our mirror's curse
   as absolute as math.   I can't coerce
   more truth of it than what you think most true.
   And so we've nothing left.   Completely done.
   Undone's more like it.   No more to have shared,
   since giving all's the same as having none
   and we've already taken all we'd dared.
   Consider me love's void.   I'm not the one
   against whom all your loves should be compared.

Throwback Ancient History
Throwback Ancient History
   Against whom?   All your loves should be compared
   against which holy saint?   Upon whose best
   must all our worst improve?   Each passion's quest
   must measure up to whose high standard?   Spared
   no mercy by whose precedent?   Declared
   unworthy on whose sayso?   Second-guessed
   by whose presumptions?   By whose litmus test
   selected?   For whom confidences bared?
   It's over!   done with!   settled!   obsolete!
   irrelevant!   before our time!   old news!
   as dead as you'd desired!   deadweight!   deadbeat!
   deadwood!   dead end!   It's dead!   It's ended.   Choose
   to live our love in our own day, complete
   in our own moment, free of yester's views.

A girL's Monolith
A Girl's Monolith
   In our own moment free of yester's views
   secret braids of color bind a tight
   threesome together bathed in blinding light
   in our own dances hand in hand with who's
   lonesome enough embraced enough to lose
   love in life and life in love to write
   abandoned stillborn touches of goodnight
   dreams we'd scarred thick dark as one'd abuse
   open face into fierce firestorm to share
   reality intended opportune
   except will I go? can't he? where?
   you're seeing hearing cutting coming soon?
   over the bed made home to our affair -
   us three yet there beneath a rising moon.

   Us three:  Yet there beneath a rising moon
              inside another's shadow made to fit
              through hungry thighs, through open heaven split,
              yet have we not the voice of ancient rune
              within us?
                          Their own one:   What you impugn
              creates your only truth.   What you permit
              destroys your freedom.   What you've made of it
              will lose by midnight all you'd gained past noon.
   We never heard a word of it.   They hadn't let
   their silent moments break into our peace
   so they we three quite easily forget
   as we them can ignore.   So does love cease
   in voided lives born empty, breathless, yet
   their one must keep what we three can't release.

Rejection Accepted
Rejection Accepted
   Their one must keep.   What we three can't release
   their one must hold.   What we three won't adjourn
   their one must take.   What we would not unlearn
   they must pay homage to.   Too strict police
   to run their's street.   Not shamelessly caprice
   enough.   Not thought that much of.   Taciturn
   in tune.   What's too unwanted.   No concern
   for either our decline or their's increase.
   Discarded objects' shadows do impose,
   don't they, on territories newly claimed
   so need must be put down.   Rejected.   Those
   get left no chance of honor being named
   except to gauge what comes against what goes
   in terms of whose gets credit for whom's blamed.

Love's Occultation
Love's Occultation
   In terms of whose gets credit for whom's blamed
   our bed lies at the eye of the eclipse,
   with moonlight at her darkest in your hips
   on me left blinded by his circles flamed.
   For whom's intents whose purpose dies defamed,
   our dance composes swirls on glides in flips
   through open space.   Raw unveiled passion slips
   along deep crevices on satin framed.
   Oh wait.   No, my mistake.   That's just a cloud
   and one I should've known's not come as mine,
   yet looking up to you's as disallowed
   as much as if our orbits stood in line,
   so I'll fall to the shadows of the crowd
   without the silhouette of your design.

A Sapling's Sonnet
A Sapling's Sonnet
   Without the silhouette of your design
   extending through the dark across the lake
   to take his shore as yours, he'd never make
   your branches to his stormy skies incline.
   Without the potion of your root and vine
   imbuing wind and soil, he'd never wake
   beneath your canopy, but rather take
   his place beneath your quiet forest shrine.
   I see my way.   Both in and through.   And out.
   What's unknown grows to what we will believe
   as sure as oaks from smallest acorns sprout,
   tomorrow with today's past lives to weave.
   To weave.   Yes, that I'll also see about
   to give breath to all earth and sky conceive.

Spring's Offspring
Spring's Offspring
   To give breath to all earth and sky conceive,
   to bring light to all corners on the day,
   to spread peace to each word bold visions say,
   to reclaim hopes that fears and ignorance thieve,
   to comfort ghosts of all who cannot grieve,
   to reinvent all garbage and sewage and decay,
   to color in the drab and the dim and the gray,
   to make true love the promise all achieve,
   may she who turns her circle round to spring
   and he whose fertile seed mates true and sure
   fill we who dance and they of whom we sing
   with life reborn in innocence right pure
   to melt through bitter winter's icy sting,
   for death itself to offer certain cure.

Something Apotropaic
Something Apotropaic
   For death itself to offer certain cure
   against contagious love's dissembled smile
   so as with something sure to reconcile,
   one's resurrection can't be premature
   else one's again exposed to the allure
   and tempting eye and captivating wile
   at risk of falling victim to love's guile
   against which no believer can endure.
   Say, tell me where to find that silver charm
   you always wore around your neck?   Your heart
   is naked, open to harsh hurt and harm.
   You sacrificed it?   God, that wasn't smart.
   Let's look see if we've something to disarm
   the threat to life of love's capricious dart.

Friday, the 13th
Friday, the 13th
   The threat to life (of love's capricious dart,
   its poison proving meant's not good enough
   unless both think so) is (not up to snuff
   no matter how much sacrificed) to start
   (there was a job, there was a place) to chart
   a course (and all the other legal stuff
   required of him to immigrate) to tough
   it out together, then fall far apart.
   It kills a man.   Then kills him back to back
   again until the man's past all unknown
   and yet again until the man's lost track
   and even yet again damned to his own
   dark hell.   All voided out.   All lost.   All black.
   Unwanted.   Turned away from.   That alone.

Or Something Worse

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2012/02/22

So what's with the ER bracelet, sir?
You're no longer under threat of curse
from having made it so close to her,
like a roadside bomb or something worse. 

I heard about the four friends you lost
and thank your God you weren't one of them
for the chance they took, for the line they crossed,
for the grave reserved for the crème de la crème. 

A few cracked ribs? I bet every breath
must send the needle off the chart
as though you'd felt the pain of death
known only to a discarded heart.

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About That Mortality Business

Posted in quatorzain by maggie on 2011/03/15
About That Mortality Business

What god would bury me in his good earth
once I've lost interest, headed off his stage
out into darkened streets? I've nothing worth
him saving from my sin's perfunctory wage.

What priest would write my eulogy? What church
would hear my requiem? What page would post
obituary news of me? What search
would find me on the web once I'm a ghost?

What work would miss the absence of the dead
from its equation? What companion would
give up? What love would kick me from his bed?
Last rites are meant for people who've been good.

But you. You've known me in my foulest breath.
To keep that yours, you need not keep my death.

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Lost Exhaust

Posted in crown of sonnets, quatorzain by maggie on 2010/04/18

—— a personal corona


Personal Deadline

I'll give myself until thirty, then I'm done.
I don't need being told my cause is lost:
moonlight's fascination can't be crossed
with darkness down an alley sought by none.

I'll use that time to end what I've begun,
at least to make it worth the time it cost
with nothing left to breathe but its exhaust
and even that some fantasy's rerun.

If that's the schedule, I've got things to do
that don't involve new love, new work, new friends,
old debts, old scores and other odds and ends,
assorted writing scraps, a child, or you.
I know you think I'm running.  I don't care
as long as time stops running once I'm there.

Personal Demise

As long as time stops running once I'm there,
the rest of it can go to bloody hell
along with all I've done, and me as well —
Avoiding death's not how I've aimed my prayer.

I'll do the act myself, you know I dare!
I've watched it being done, so know too well
control's the only trip life's got to sell.
As long as I keep that, I've seen my share.

Fiction?  No, nor is this metaphor
unless I've been illusion all along.
And don't try saving me, I know I'm wrong —
which only makes me want death all the more.

I seek no heaven nor some earthly prize
— I'm only here to do this exercise.

Personal Dissection

I'm only here to do this exercise —
Procedure:  First, prepare the specimen
            by flushing all its poisons out, and then
            submerge in alcohol to sterilize.

            Next make a small incision in its eyes
            and where it starts to bleed, insert a pen,
            begin an ink transfusion, count to ten,
            stitch up, repeat a million random tries.

            (DSM IV suggests the proper code
            for observations taken by such means.
            Automate the process with machines
            that open up its brain in read-write mode.)

Result:     A poem should pop out where you've clicked.
The outcome one expects, one would predict.

Personal Dickinson

The outcome one expects one would — predict
the Hope that hides — one makes up at her door
all skewed, intent on morbid dreads.  Before
they made her words exact, her Fancy tricked

out sounds — not aimed to discharge nor convict,
beyond the Self's demands.  The words she wore
wore thin and frail, left hidden in her drawer —
when she's gone off we'll have them all, unpicked

by Pleasure's cure.  So Death becomes no sport
nor jest — nor was our Love the same.  We grudge
the privacies most missed, then read and judge
and damn.  So she'll have been my last resort.

I'm neither yours nor hers.  I trace her scars
to find her Heart — rewritten in your stars.

Personal Dilemma

To find her heart rewritten in your stars
would drag her legend light years back through space
through escapades all through New Chelsea Place
stretched past the dawn through countless seedy bars

to tricks on backseat sets in Jersey cars
with nothing worthwhile on you just in case,
then up as quickly back into the chase
comparing notes on battered up guitars

— light from universes long burned out
as empty as the poems she never wrote
until your voice goes silent, still, remote,
forgetting all but what we sang about.

     Though I can touch her love by reaching back,
     I reach you when I fade into her black.

Personal Decomposition

I reach you when I fade into her black
creations, vertigo through swirling dearth
of substance, mud collapsing on its birth
into what word you took from her, attack

down to the core, with all the force you pack
into the slightest touch, its weight, its worth,
the life she buried, love your breaths unearth.
Along a fault line in my rock, a crack!

Yet never breaking through, you choose to hurt
as though still buried in your unmarked grave
with spaces of you there, a hollow cave
where rotting dreams push roots through clotted dirt.

    Her ashes, your contaminates, my dust?
    I'll make our world of nothing, if I must!

Personal Discontinuity

I'll make our world of nothing. If I must
be nothing to you, so be it, I guess.
It's nothing, I've been made to live on less
then learned to show it off and act nonplussed.

Besides, I'm nearly finished here.  There's just
this final exhale, then let's go undress
and sleep it off, dream nothing of it.  Yes,
where nothing true's been real, one has to trust.

So mouth to mouth, then, take on my exhaust
and fire it up like it's creation's gas.
I've had enough, you too, but that will pass
and we'll recover every word we lost.

    Then kiss me one more time like it's been fun
    — I'll give myself until thirty, then I'm done.


[background notes: exhausted loss]