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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

At the Threshold of Carnal Anxiety


by Z.M. Wise

Falling through broken trapdoors,
this oubliette lets me glimpse at
the light that was promised centuries ago.

Tapestries of nobility hung over the
clouds of dust in an attempt to understand nix.
I have no one to disagree with except
the cellar rats getting lost in the
endless mazes of their minds.

Dreams of Mt. Fuji in the spring,
apple blossoms falling gently to the ground.
The orchard smells ripe with passion…
splits open the first half of the fruit.
One side: seedless and abysmal…
the other, sweet with pod children.
For consumption, the juice mixes well with
uneven chunks of wildness.

Troubadour wakes to find himself behind
great stone walls with Aramaic rough drafts,
mumbling monologues that no one will understand.
No one is here to understand.
No one bothers to understand.
No one tries to understand.

He is the missing link between
using love as his highlight and
abusing rations of sadness cravings,
rushes at a rave, adrenaline junkies.
Party with pheromone groupies,
pheromoaning at lustful mistakes.

If he does not give in,
he will never conform.
If he conforms,
a piece for everyone!
The only tail he chases is his own.

Breaking heartthrobs in two for recreation,
a sudden reaction to chemical imbalance.
His fatal fix takes its toll.
Spinning rooms, elation to gloom.

Playing the hand he was dealt,
he is a natural born joker,
laughing hysterically at something that never was.

What he was melts like new love.
What he is stiffens like forbidden love.
Sledgehammer intervening, cracking sculpture.
Time to end his ale-addled association!
Rings like an alarm clock that will
never explain the correct time.
It was always two minutes early.

He chants in the blood-caked corner,
and repetition,
and repetition,
and repetition,
and mantra,
and mantra,
and mantra.

Closing his eyes to hear the
sound of dreaming and moonlight people,
they create at the crack of dawn and
falter before the crack of the cat of nine tails.

Marking his calendar days to the last tremor,
Xs on every day he spent unraveling
conquests in incoherent bouts of tears.
Os on the few orgasmic occasions he spent
with lukewarm liquid on his hand.

He releases on no one but himself.
To slumber soundly, he comes.
Then, he dreams some.

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey

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