Saturday, August 22, 2015

Allison Grayhurst Knows That History Is A Hyena Locked In Spiraling Aberrations, Making Patterns On The Naked Land

Desires Traversed 

There are lines that frame me in negative expectations.
There are sweet tufts of weeds I would like to pet like a kitten. And
eyelashes that spark a gentle nostalgia. There are too many eras
walked through, never to be re-entered, and remnants of lore and legends
like pigeon droppings on pavement, washed away by storm.
I have grown too used to the drapes being closed,
to all mannerisms of my fugitive vitality being ignored. Saturn is a vacuum,
galactic in its weighty substance and in its cold temperature push -
condensing my liquid garden into impenetrable ice.
A tightening in my intestines. Shoelaces undone and left.
I eat the seeds I am supposed to discard. I am beyond knowing if
I am broken. And oh the circle of things! Up the escalator.
Colour-coded stars. A dermal abrasion.
Things conspire like sunken feet in the mire
unwinding of doom. Archaeology I cannot speak of,
guaranteeing a false result. Straining to sound a faith that will cleanse.
Distances crossed, to point to and witness
the handicap of being a single being
amongst a kaleidoscope of organic tapestry.
Shifting to let go, to imagine archangel
power and not have it substituted with
a neutralizing force. Force that immunizes
growth from the throes of artful transformation.
There are hills and hallways that draw me to their altars.
Little did I know that dreams too long waited on become waterlogged,
that suffering is not a stigma or a banner to flaunt, and love
is mostly about honouring inner limitations,
challenging them to consolidate, regain momentum then
unequivocally be breached or be immutably restored.
I am dissolved into this squeezing, into denying
the little that I know that quivers precise, deconstructing the intricate
solidity of greed and hard resilient walls.
Orbits are barb-wired.
Countdowns counting, dictating short spurt breaths. As my tendons stretch
only in my imagination. And these doorways become
sunsets I stand straddled across.
History is a hyena, grotesquely curved,
pulling down royal constellations. I have learned that peace can be a pyre
were loins burn exquisite, can also be a dishonest maturing,
where desires are reduced to fruit flies annoyances,
where coming to terms with reality is a step toward
Little did I know that bodies melt with their spirits –
more than dead houses or gloves, defining one tick, one
conjoining of fibres, pulsing a fingerprint, pulsing one lifetime


I will stay with you,
acknowledging the four factors that create warriors, faces
of ceramic gods. Taking in these four tides - erratic electrical fumes;
unarguable weight; ripe stiffening; charitable manoeuvring -
this potently controlled receiving, snapping us into a place
where we are never betrayed by our mutual craving for equal depth and ideals.
The way you look when my eyes are closed. I see a visceral chemistry
copulating in your vascular system, changing the consistency of your skin,
showering you with oil. These pressure points owned, wrapped in dark honey -
a sticky rich worship and weeping - myself, dripping against you, inside
a red whirlwind of our joined imaginations.
We have walked rooftops, looked down and felt at home.
We worked many nights on forgiveness, smashing snowglobe sceneries,
defusing any fantastical expectation just to be honest
when we finally awoke, to take each other blatantly,
communing as soulmates should - peeled of barriers, wrapped freely
in fundamental urges and a desperation
for speed.
Pliant movement - karma or coincidence? It matters little, for it is
gathering storm. It reminds me of an unkempt appearance, appearing
weak, watery, but is really like the hollow delicate bone of every bird
built for flight - an aimed and painted arrow, capable of penetrating a crust of sky.
This is our alchemy stripped of ethics. This is us as a curry powder-
and-turmeric mix, mixed, we enhance one another’s scent and tone. Yes,
I will stay with you, stay with our patterns locked
in perfect spiraling aberration, stay on side streets, on wet park floors,
under our green roof, stay with you, holding with solidarity our sunken joys,
precarious compulsions, dandelions or maggots, holding
a constant means of God-given restoration.

My Place

At one end are the setting shapes
of friendships left behind
like the breaking of a mug
or a foggy window.
I leave that end and hold no other.
I stand on the crust of a sandy shore.
Together I swam through the salty flavour
with a dolphin by my side. Alone,
I leave my companion and the waves that serve me no more.
There are things I wish for like
pineapple and starfish fruit. There are
times I believe in the hot sands, believe
in the beautiful face of loneliness. I wave
at the birds and they follow me. I lay still
and the air has filled my thirst. On the
grassy green beyond I know one day I will
move. I know of proud children smiling at the
stars. I know there is nothing that can kill
the large immaculate Love. I died with my flesh.
I am born a new way, cut off from last-year's persona.
I look to the water - its depths
no longer take me in, its blue is but a shallow tone. I close my eyes
and rains descend like an artist's stroke,
making patterns on the naked land.

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 625 poems published in more than 300 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published eleven other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press in December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series in October 2014. More recently, she has a chapbook Currents pending publication this August with Pink.Girl.Ink. Press. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

Some of places my work has appeared in include Parabola (Alone & Together print issue summer 2012); Literary Orphans; Blue Fifth Review; The American Aesthetic; Agave Magazine; South Florida Arts Journal; Gris-Gris; The Muse – An International Journal of Poetry, Storm Cellar, New Binary Press Anthology; The Brooklyn Voice; Straylight Literary Magazine (print); The Milo Review; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; The Antigonish Review; Dalhousie Review; The New Quarterly; Wascana Review; Poetry Nottingham International; The Cape Rock; Ayris; Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry; The Toronto Quarterly; Fogged Clarity, Boston Poetry Magazine; Decanto; White Wall Review. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Scott Thomas Outlar and the Entropy of the Harbinger's Cackle

Bloody on Both Ends

I fell in love with a future
that didn’t quite make it out of the womb;

scissors went straight to the throat
like the dagger placed in my side.

She said it’d be easier this way
as I stumbled to the edge of the pier;

I fell deep into the clear blue
just looking for somewhere to come clean.

Private Viewing

They tied me here
and rode away
that I may waste alone
at the edge of world’s abyss
to watch the coming storm
as gray clouds ominously merge
to form a blackness as dark as the reaper’s cloak
Zigzag bolts of electric anger
singe the evening air
with crackling anticipation
of a flood, a fire, a tragedy, a miracle

My eyes close briefly
as exhaustion sets in –
my body worn down
my mind a puddle of mush –
but shots of roaring thunder
jerk me back awake
that I may serve my sentenced fate
and watch the approaching storm
as it gathers ghastly momentum
Rushing forward with swift precision
the hammer of karma is being delivered
with a shot, a shout, a scream,
a maniacal laugh, a harbinger’s cackle
The final respite draws near

The calm is eerie
in the eye of the storm
The devastation on the front end
left the world in bloody ruins
though I know
a fate much worse still lies ahead
With every agonizing breath
I’m forced to anticipate
the hellish violence
that will soon be unleashed
by the horsemen and angels of death
who tied me here
to force this wretched catastrophic viewing

If this is Revelation
then I don’t want any part of it
I witness the heavens crack open
but no savior rides in
to stop the carnage being wrought
It’s all the Devil’s due being taken this day
raped and torn and twisted
back to ash and dirt and dust
If this is the Second Coming
the picture is certainly not as pretty
as we’d been led to believe in the pews
No pearly gates, no gold paved streets,
no family reunion, no crown, no throne
It’s all brimstone charcoal chaos
from where I’m sitting

Finally let loose in the wasteland
as my binds are removed
by the same crows
that plucked my eyes out earlier
after they’d seen the final moments
of a once great creation fall in ruins
The arid earth is smoldering and sizzling
beneath my charred bare skin
My flesh melts in agony as I crawl
along toward nowhere and nothing
A nomad in the furnace with
no water, no well, not even a mirage
I’ve seen my last vision, it would seem

Mr. Rosy

Every clever turn of phrase,
every perfect point of view,
every lesson learned in time,
every hardship overcome through will,
every snapshot picture captured,
every first kiss goose bump fever,
every sweet dream lullaby,
every test aced,
every challenge bested,
every urge toward evolution,
every ancestral DNA passed forward,
every mountain scaled,
every ocean swam across,
every rise from the ashes,
every new vintage of wine bottled,
every cycle around the sun,
every burst womb with crying babe,
every close embrace on the dance floor,
every pillow talk session that heals a soul,
every sunrise,
every solar eclipse,
every full moon,
every flower that grows up from the soil…
will all one day wither and return to the same dirt,
to the same plot,
to the same grave,
to the same entropy,
to the same final resting place –

Scott Thomas Outlar survived both the fire and the flood...barely. Now he dances with celebratory fervor while waiting on the next round of chaos to commence, spending the hours flowing and fluxing with the tide of the Tao River while laughing at and/or weeping over the existential nature of life. Links to his chapbook and other published work can be found at 17numa.wordpress.com.