Out in the early morning tangles of the fortress of my soul,

I wander blithely in the search of something out of my control,

and loyalty lies in the east,

betrayal west, hard as a priest,

but I don’t dare look to the sun, for fear I rile the cunning Beast.


So downward long, my gaze is pressed, ’til I can see only the walls,

which keep me buried in this flesh, which keep you from hearing my calls,

and they are grown with razor vines,

with porcelain and cornsilk twine,

so I can scarcely tell what’s yours, or even recognize what’s mine.


I pause, as stepping on a twig has formed an echo in the air,

I turn around expecting Beast, but just see juniper and pear,

and ripened sage covered with paint,

and Queen Anne’s lace about to faint,

and hyssop pushing through its stems with nothing left of real restraint.


So I must go, continue on, to find your patience wrapped in thyme,

I knock on every single door, and the reply is but a chime,

“No one is here, no, not today,

we cannot talk, we cannot play,

and what you’re looking for cannot be found with fingers, anyway.”


But still, my fingers grip a sword, I know, I took it, yes, it’s yours,

I’m just so desperate, can’t you tell? to find what I am looking for,

I will prove I am your true wealth,

use magic potions on myself,

and temper balance ’til I’m placed, a dusty coffin, on your shelf.


It must be wiser, yes, you see, to pain myself, instead of them,

it must be wiser, now, to slowly die, a rotten, empty stem,

to sit down like a potted plant,

to stop my effervescent rants —

I’m running straight toward the cliff, with merry leaps and poison pants,


for she is coming, Wicked Beast in all her gaudy jewels and glory,

with her dripping teeth and goddess eyes, she’ll tell me awful stories,

for her pleasure is to take,

to unhinge sanity and rake

her talons right across my ribcage; she’ll say, “Now you are awake.”


And then she’ll drag me ‘cross the courtyards back into the darkened towers,

and her fur will stand on end as she descends and she devours,

’til she creates something new,

with every crack and every chew,

and I will be reborn with marvelous obsessions to pursue.


“It is the Fates,” she whispers, hisses really, lips like a sharp knife;

at this I tremble at the Truth that I have run from all my life:

unopened vaults and catacombs,

nonstop horizons still to roam,

and nowhere but my lonely soul to ever really call my home.

45 thoughts on “The Beast

  1. The beauty of your work never ceases to amaze me. My day is not complete until I read something from you.

  2. You are so fucking brilliant.

    “It is the Fates,” she whispers, hisses really, lips like a sharp knife;

    at this I tremble at the Truth that I have run from all my life”

    Quote of my life.

  3. Chilling. I envy the way you close poems – the way you always find the perfect line to place there. I’m still searching for my own ability to do that. Great job.

  4. I find it interesting that you mix bird imagery (“talons”) with cat like imagery (fur and teeth). Ironic in that cats eat birds but I’m sure I’m reading into it. Love your beginning “blithely”, and ending of non-stop horizons still to roam, only perhaps not so blithely after the encounter with the beast!

  5. Wow, shrinks, I like this. Like the pattern of the rhymes, as well. The way i tell a rhymed poem is good is the way I ignore form until the second stanza, at which point I realize it is a rhymed poem, and am doubly delighted. Awful nightmarish person you are describing here.

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