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***WARNING*** Some of the poetry on this site may be considered explicit or have adult themes. If you are easily offended, you may not want to view the content of this site.

December 28, 2005

Disfigured Souls

Disfigured Souls

Disfigured souls
damaged in spiritual transit
are claimed by divine insurance
and shoved in a flesh box
to be sold as is.

Gods on a budget
buy us up without a warranty
(the expectation for failure
is overwhelming)
hoping to get their money's worth
before the inevitable breaking...

and when the 'pending shattered'
finally falter and burst,
we are scolded and beaten
before being cast down to earth
as human debris.

Here we live in a junkyard
of misfits and factory rejects
fumbling failures begging
a second chance from cheap gods
even as we revel in our own
inadequacies just to spite
our creator.

December 15, 2005


This picture is entitled De-Generation.


And the greatest minds of my generation
are masturbating to Lara Croft
--and she isn't even real. But
you got to have faith. At least
that's what the preacher says,
so, get the Vaseline and the KY Jelly.

"For the fool has said
in his (or her) heart there is no God."

So do I believe in God because of
prideful pricks of not wanting
to be a fool...


Croft is raiding another
Tomb. Puff on a smoke and pause...
look at those digitized inner thighs
hmmmmm, pixel perfection.

Toilet bowl wombs with water running
all night. The anti-depressants work,
at least they do at the prayer meetings
with Lord Calvert.

Conservative backlash...
"Damn Hippie! Long hair!"
Apologies were issued once they found out
it was actually Christ.

So why do we want to know?
Because of hell, that's why.

That's where the Coke machines
steal your money and there are scratches
on your CDs and McDonalds closes
at 5:00pm and they issue you a
cable bill twice a month.
Where obsolete serotonin seraphim sing
praises to Freud while lewdly
dancing around my brain stem
like nymphs around a maypole in
a fertility rite and to my dismay the only entry
in my little black book is a picture of my
right hand with a note that states
that my video game rental for
Tomb Raider is four years past due.

And after all this, what is real?
Cracked heels, irregularity, tampons, yeast infections,
and pre-paid phone cards to call
the 1-900 suicide hot line where
menu options offer blow jobs, church donations,
psychic readings, and psychiatric help.

And nobility is defined by the amount
of sexual harassment grievances, DUI
charges, and Microsoft stigmatas we wear.
(Pixels bleed from our fingertips
and are quickly gathered for DNA testing
to prove our lack of faith.)

Trippin' on espresso, we perceive reality
in frame by frame 3D rendering and wonder
why God hasn't upgraded our CPU.

And Heaven is further away than a max'd
out credit card and God is still safe from mortal's view
under the guise of trickle down economics and
earned income tax credits.

God sips margaritas with crucifix tropical drink toppers
and smiles until He inevitably
pierces His lip and all humor is lost --except for a slight
giggle echoing from Galapagos where
Darwin cleans the Vaseline from the Playstation,
and Freud licks his cigar.
But God's lip is still bleeding;
the droplets forming words plagued with conjecture
and multiple interpretations.

Between the lot, no one had a condom.

And is this how we got here?
Are we spinning in the porcelain
choking on cigar smoke and Vaseline residue
with Tomb Raider theme music playing in the
Was Lara Croft the inspiration for our existence?
Did He have to hurry because the Pizza Man
was pounding on the door, already swearing
damnations because he tripped over a pair of roller blades
and slipped in the remains of the last beer run?

Generation Next falters from the game,
mumbles incoherently and says why am I
reading this? Lara's on the tube and there's
no one in the bathroom.

God's bleeding may have stopped, but
the stains remain. Scarlet Rorschach inkblots
in which we once guided our lives and in which we
gained our ideas of morality are now spectacles
for the Inquirer and Jerry Springer.

Author's Note: Inspiration from "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg.

December 12, 2005

Lip Service (Cracked Sun Gods)

This picture is entitled Cracked Sun Gods.

Lip Service

Kiss tripping
on cheek and neck
as lips warm
passion's path
and wisps
of smoky flesh
wrap around bare thighs.

(Breathing on embers
make them glow.)

My tongue
catches you on fire
and too soon
turns you to ash.
Consumed, you crumble
and are gone.

Embracing ash,
soot powders
my body
and I wear you
as a sacrament.

(God never tasted so good.)

You mix with
tears and sweat
becoming blackened streaks
leading to thirsty eyes
that will never
drink you again.

December 11, 2005

Chasing Halos

This image is entitled Neon Angel 13.

Chasing Halos

She spent most of her youth
chasing her halo
as it rolled away from God.

By the time she realized
it was gone,
she had two children
and the memory
of the man that fathered them.

She spent her days
sealing her fate
never quite cognizant
that her daughters
were chasing halos
of their own.

December 09, 2005

Wagers of the Dead

This picture is entitled "Demon Within".

Wagers of the Dead

She slips between the sheets
of the dead.

Hung with the draperies
of mansions in disrepair,
she carries the moon
on a silver curtain rod,
opening herself when the
sun trips over
the horizon and
falls into her lap.

Pale breasts and red lips
give the illusion of pink flesh
when she's shaken hard enough
and her face blurs
into the background
of carved mahogany
and old canvas.

Warm breath on a
cold night intoxicates
the demons in angry men
who wager her like
ancient currency
in games of chance;

and though divine writ
states souls cannot be bought,
they most surely may be won
and lost.

December 05, 2005

Feathers in the Fog

Feathers in the Fog

The old bat kept ordering
insecticide off the television.

She said, "Angels keep
nesting in my hair

I said, "I don't know
if it works on angels

(What I should have said
was that you should
leave the house
when using an insecticide fogger
--and, if for some reason you stay,
don't smoke.)

When they found her
she was on her back,
singed bunny slippers in the air,
surrounded by the carcasses
of a thousand dead angels.

September 18, 2005

Evolution of the Lifeless

Evolution of the Lifeless

"A predator is the culmination of its victims."

She is strips of meat
dangling between
the teeth of predators.

Her soul is
in their bloody breath
as they speak
the language of murder.

Unaware of herself,
she sleeps
in her killer's flesh
only to awake
to the scent of blood.
She is self-aware just long enough
to welcome future victims
to their new home
(a colony
of the non-violent
in the belly of the beast).

September 15, 2005

Alien in the Artwork

Alien in the Artwork

If God forgets you,
did you really exist?

The landscape painted
around my life
loses a dimension
and falls flat before me.

Perception is lost
and I fall prey
to the illusion of depth
as roads become walls
trapping me between frames.

Familiar strangers
speak in stop-action
disappearing when they turn
to talk amongst themselves
(abruptly re-appearing
when they turn again to face me).

Desperate for perspective,
I run to the edge of the canvas,
only to find my flesh
periodically rip in neat seams
as I get paper-cuts
from people in profile.

Surveying the scene,
I realize these shoal souls
with tinny voices
are not the foreigners in this land
and that I have become
the alien in the artwork
desperately seeking depth
in a shallow world.

September 11, 2005

Pretty Paper Hearts

Pretty Paper Hearts

She would wrap her heart
in pretty paper
and give it to people
she thought might like her.

But when they unwrapped
the pretty paper,
they would find nothing inside.

She later discovered
that her heart
was the paper
and the act of opening it
also ripped it to pieces.

Before too long,
she decided to keep
her paper heart to herself.
(But her tears made it soggy
and prone to ripping.)

When they found her,
she had drowned
in her apartment
clutching wet paper
filled with old news.

September 08, 2005

Jagged Dreams

Jagged Dreams

"and (they) said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne..."
--Revelations 6:16

He steals dreamcatchers
to harvest their nightmares.

He wrings them
with desperate fingers
into buckets of paint and blood.

He dips his brush
and paints
pictures of himself
on cracked mirrors,
broken bottles,
and shards of glass
that he franticly hides
underneath rocks
and used newspapers.

Each brushstroke
spreads him thinner
and further scatters
his shattered soul
in an useless attempt
to flee from god.

At a safe distance,
she trails behind him
with a wicked smile,
a broom,
and some glue
the intentionally broken).

Note: Dreamcatchers are Native American amulets used to capture nightmares while sleeping.

September 05, 2005

Friends of Words I Once Penned

pricked by the thorns
of black roses,
she bleeds heroin
in mother's milk
and I suck
in her apathy
until I turn my
back on the divine
and drape myself
in the flesh
of loose women,
cheap wine
and heresy.

many years later
friends of words
i once penned,
find me
and babbling of the
gods i have forsaken
and write an
epic of loss
(each word falling
like loose change
into the cup
of vagrant angels
too eager
to kick the
shit out of
a forgotten poet
who blasphemed
one too many times.)

June 22, 2005

Chalk Marks on a Dead Soul

This picture is entitled "Chalk Tears" and it was created specifically for the verse below.

Chalk Marks on a Dead Soul

A prettiness mummified by years of chalk dust.
--Richard Eder

We would take turns
counting our sins
in chalk tally marks
on the alley wall
beside her church.

It evolved into a game that would last
from cloudburst to cloudburst.
(The goal was to see
who could amass the most sins
to be washed away by God.)

So when they lift
the fingerprints
from the bruises
found on her dead soul,
it is no surprise
they are mine.

The hunt leads them
to the alley by her church
Where I kneel
with rivulets of tears
streaking my chalk-covered cheeks,
praying for rain.

June 16, 2005

A World of Belligerent Men

This image is called "Haystack Evolution".

A World of Belligerent Men

Her back evolved into pavement
and belligerent men
drove streetlights into her spine
so they could tread on her
day and night.

Some brought drill-bits and shovels
and would drill
through blood and sinew
hoping they would strike her soul
and sell her spirit in bottles
to those that had need of one.

Before long,
her frame began to fold
and she bore a nation
on her fragile flesh.

I know because
I would stray from the pavement
journey to her eyes,
drink in her tears,
and pretend
(for just one moment)
that I was important.

June 07, 2005

Counting Rainbows

This image is entitled "Shattered Passion" and it was created specifically for the verse below.

Counting Rainbows

At night, we fall with a kiss
into fragile sheets
that shatter into shards of glass.

Frenzied with lust, we are sliced
and cut with each arch and thrust
until exhaustion claims desire
and we lean against the wall
awaiting morning.

The day peeks through the window
and we are bathed in sun blossom
as the dissected light
of a thousand jagged prisms
dance upon spent passion
and we die in each other's arms
counting rainbows.

June 03, 2005

Stolen Sylph Wings

Stolen Sylph Wings

"Wisps of time
curl between Her lips
like misted breath
on a frosty day."

Sylphs dance on
Her wind-blown kisses
until summer rains
pelt them to the ground.

Frustrated, aroused,
and denied flight,
they roll in mud
with earthbound creatures
until they are satiated
and fall asleep in the arms
of mud-dwellers
awestruck with their enchantment
and myth.

Only when the rain stops
and they wake
groggy-eyed and wingless,
do they realize
they have been caged
by envious men
--jealous of flight,
jumping off cliffs
with pilfered sylph wings
ecstatic with a few moments
of stolen magic
before breaking their
damn necks.

June 02, 2005

Spirit Trafficking

This picture is entitled "Devilspeak".

Spirit Trafficking

On nights my tongue thickens
and I sit naked and dumb-eyed
staring at the witches
swimming in her veins,

she curses me, drags my flesh
to the light
and plucks the ghosts
out of my hair.

She gathers them in bowls
while singing lullabies
and when she has enough,
she drowns them in their sleep
with musk and sandalwood oil,
wraps them in pretty fabric
and sells them to tourists
seeking charms to protect themselves
from losing their money.

May 29, 2005

A Fear of Rose Water

This picture is entitled, "Angelic".

A Fear of Rose Water

The fine line between
flying and falling
is born in the aftermath
of an unexpected kiss.

Where fallen angels
rend useless wings
from their broken backs
and the disembodied stumps
flop uselessly
amongst oblivious lovers
who lick angelic
blood from tenuous flesh
and stuff pillows
with down that
was crafted directly
by the hands of

She is the breath taken
before a warning.

The pillows become
a grave yard of tears
mixing with the blood
of dead angels
that litter the bedrooms
of the lonely.

She is the picture that
proves god

burning in the ashtray
of a blind man
that has left
too many lovers
dangling at the
end of ropes.

Climbing rose vines
wrap around their ankles
and the winds are
trying to set them free...
but they fail in their intent
and merely serve
to drive the thorns
in deeper.

Their blood trickles down
pinking the water
I serve to my lover.

It tastes of roses,
and a vague sense of loss.

...and soon she falls
into my flesh
and we dance
and kiss
and ruin delicate

but we both know
we are doomed to trip
over dead angels.

May 22, 2005

A Place for Thrown Stones

This picture is entitled, "Thrown Stones". It was created specifically for the verse below.

A Place for Thrown Stones

[4] they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
[5] Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?"
[7] And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."
[9] But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
[10] Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
[11] She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

--John 8:4-11, Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version

Caught up in lust,
she once again falls into flesh
and soon finds herself surrounded
by angry stones.

She runs from her fate
only to find her savior suspended, spiked and speared.
She heaves herself beneath Him
into the dim coolness betwixt Him and the sun.

Resigning herself to her destiny,
she steps toward her accusers
--only to find that she is trapped
in the shadows of the cross,
imprisoned in the right angles of divine shade.

Crimson streams gush
down the wood and stain her soul.
She looses her flesh and becomes
one with the absence of sun.
Nourished by the grace
of a dead savior,
her only pardon comes at nightfall
when she is free to dance on darkened-clouds
and revel in the sweat of young lovers.

Every sunrise is a sentence to be jailed
in the shadows of tombstones
whispering to the dead
and hiding in their bones,
‘til Christ returns,
forgives her once again,
and takes her home.

Author's Note: I have always been curious what happened to the woman that Christ saved in John 8:1-11. How did she take the news of his crucifixion? This verse is a continuation of the story provided in John 8:1-11. It attempts to look at this nameless woman in greater detail. ~Max

May 11, 2005

Heure Verte dans le Cimetière

The title of the image is "Cain".

Heure Verte dans le Cimetière

i am sugar through the absinthe spoon
awaiting the louche,
(moonlight reflects
the shadows that lurk
behind soft folds
and musky kisses
that whisper breathless pleas
to hungry ears)
discarded lace
deliquesces into white sage
and the confusion
that promises clarity
brings me closer
to the bit of my
soul that lay
in the ground
with you.

perchance the little green fairies
may dig you up and help
wrench that piece of me
from your heart...

but no,

instead i will
drip through the slotted spoon
fall into the fog
sleep with the spirits
and drown.
the licks of envious
Victorian fairies
still fresh on
my flesh
as they lay me
in the ground
--just inches away from

Author's Note: The title of the poem means "Green hour in the Cemetery". "Green Hour" is simply a time to drink absinthe. "Louche" has multiple meanings in this piece. The first being that "louche" is the word used to describe the clouding effect that occurs when you add water to absinthe. "Louche" can also mean having the qualities of being disreputable, shady, or shifty. It can also mean something subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse. Quite frankly, I love all those meanings --and they all seem to fit.

May 08, 2005

The Penance of Rebellious Shadows

This picture, entitled Cain's Regret, was specifically created for the poem below.

The Penance of Rebellious Shadows

Pricked, throbbing, and
kissed with fever,
playful shadows
tug at their Gods
'til the flesh slips
from bleached bones.

Frightened shades
(fearful of reprisals)
slip into vacant skin,
wear the sacred meat,
and have delusions
of humanity.

Becoming adept
at fooling flesh,
they live among the divine
and soon realize
the penance for killing a god,
is to become one.

February 05, 2005

Opposite Ends of the Earth

This is a picture of the pier in Fairhope, Alabama taken from the Municipal Park at sunset on February 4, 2005.

Opposite Ends of the Earth

"...and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."
--Genesis 3:24

You fell toward the heavens
as I passed the equator
and the earth moved between us.

(that may be the closest you ever get)

I never knew the
difference between
good and evil
until I tasted you.

Adam's sin left a void
you constantly try to
fill. You have become
an addict to a drug you’ve
never had.

You wanted me to save you,
but I'm not a savior
and even if I was
you'd just end up
nailing me to a cross.

At the Murder Scene of a Soul

At the Murder Scene of a Soul

"...and how do you trace chalk around a dead soul?"

when we lose faith
we die

we become chalk outlines
scurrying across the floors
of believers,
slinking under their sofas
when their faith
is too strong,
and hovering on the ceilings
above lovers
that have yet
to learn the
art of deceit.

we wait for the
opportunity to slip
into an innocent's shadow
and satiate our need
to devour their faith
in order that we may have a taste
of what we once had.

January 25, 2005

Malady Darkfall

Malady Darkfall

She speaks in tangents
from a scalpel tongued mouth
and when she licks her lips
splatters of crimson kisses
drip like lies
between luscious breasts.
Her whispers are harlots
that breathe close to taut skin
reveling in the slaps of wet flesh.

But her eyes are hollow
with a wisp of fading hope
that maybe someone
will stay to see
her battered soul.



moths flail thick winged on the glass...
as sweat stenched pillows cradle matted hair
and dumb eyes.

crumpled sheets strewn about wet flesh
trap wayward limbs
and snag jagged nails.

but the moths...

flicker and flap
and whisper wicked taunts
and promise quick kisses
stolen from behind the
cracked mirror
where both my faces
bleed into

January 24, 2005

Spirit Wicks

Spirit Wicks

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
--Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

Memories melt
into the wax
of our souls.

Our senses are wicks
that hold the fire
that will eventually
consume us.

God was the guy
with the lighter.

January 22, 2005

History Lesson

History Lesson

By the way, I took your advice
and tried to 'go copulate' with myself.
But thoughts of you kept
throwing of my rhythm.
Consequently, I went blind, broke my wrist,
and was the punch line of many jokes
issued by the emergency room staff.
But in the end it didn't matter,

you cry tiny gods
from fake plastic eyes
that I refuse to worship anymore.

January 19, 2005

Murder and God

This picture is entitled, "Evolving Prey". It was created specifically for the verse below.

Murder and God

"One murder makes a villain, millions a hero."
--Beilby Porteus

He leans in close and
picks pieces of her soul
from between his teeth
with splinters
ripped from an old rugged cross.

His shadow erases
her existence.

her murderer's silhouette
provides a momentary respite
from the glaring eye of God
and she revels in her killer's
rebellion against the Almighty
even as she is a victim of it.

the confusion between
the silhouette of a murderer
and a savior can be counted
in the degrees of gray
leading to black.

January 16, 2005

Identity Theft

This picture is entitled, "Identity Theft". I initially wanted to call it "Loosing Yourself" but that was just a tad too close to an Eminem song. So I typed 'loosing yourself' into my favorite search engine and an article concerning identity theft appeared.

The following verse wasn't written for the graphic... but it seemed to fit.

To the Enlightenment Junkies

I have a bobble-head Buddha
on the dash of my mini-van.
The fat fellow watches me
as I flip off jerks in 4X4 trucks.

When I get too angry,
he leaps from his perch
climbs awkwardly up my seatbelt
an slaps me senseless.

On one particular slapping session,
I heard the crunch of fenders
and everything stopped.

(I thought, "This is it!
I have attained enlightenment!")

Everything went dark save a single light,
a light at the end of a long tunnel...
I traveled to it.
There before me stood Jesus
and I said, "Is this it! Is this enlightenment!"

Apparently not,
for He took His own name in vain,
wielded His cross like a Louisville Slugger
and batted me back down the tunnel.

It was at that moment,
in a full body cast,
(Buddha had undone my seatbelt)
that I realized... enlightenment sucks.

January 15, 2005

Lot's Wife (Hourglass Eyes)

Lot's Wife (Hourglass Eyes)

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."
--Genesis 19:26

"Of whose wickedness even to this day the waste land that smoketh is a testimony, and plants bearing fruit that never come to ripeness: and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of an unbelieving soul."
--Wisdom of Solomon 10:7

Time sifts through her veins;
she is the broken hourglass
that has seen God.

She bleeds salt from
sandblasted stigmatas
and cries sand from
ever open eyes.

Parched parted lips reveal
a scorpion's tail
that strikes her throat
with every attempt to speak.

The wind scatters her
yet she cannot forget herself;
her consciousness spreads
with each windborne grain
until she envelopes humanity
and swallows their sin.

She is an ever-eroding
warning from God
--that I sprinkle on my food.


This is my son's new kitten she goes by many names: Angel Hunter, Feather Breath, Little Fox, but she's really "ButterNut".

Black Hole Antichrist

Black Hole Antichrist

"I have been called an antichrist by those that have never read the bible."

Antichrists are bent-light
warped by a collapsed Son.
Twisted glimmers
who sell God in tiny packets
of artificial sweetener
to desperate mouths
whose tongues crave the divine
and are frustrated to find
that God
is merely smoke
that is dispersed
by the very hands
that grasp for Him.

Eagerly, the wet lips
and probing tongues
devour the antichrist's
sugar coated crosses
until their stomachs
distend, their teeth
fall out
and they become useless.
Easily placated by fluttering scriptures
plucked out of Holy context
by the antichrist's

January 14, 2005

Meadow River Lumber Company

This is a picture of the Meadow River Lumber Company in Randolph County, WV. This is the lumber company my wife's great grandfather managed.

January 09, 2005

Lava for Sale

This is the Lava Lamp that my kids wanted for Christmas. They were disappointed when they found out that it didn't actually hold Lava.


I am a memory of
myself, adrift in
the dreams of my

When they wake,
I vanish.

(but I never know whether
I was their dream
or nightmare.)

Sisters Chaste and Gotten

Chaste & Gotten

{A Single Act Comedy in Miniature}

Cast of Characters:

Sister Merry Chaste
Sister Mariam Gotten
The Unconscious Prostitute

Opening scene. Sister Mariam Gotten sits in the convent's cafeteria. She has just finished a late night snack and is now placing her dishes in the sink. Enter Sister Merry Chaste. She is backing into the room dragging an unconscious prostitute. Sister Mariam Gotten turns and addresses her.

Gotten: [Turning toward Chaste.] Sister Chaste?

Chaste: Yes.

Gotten: What are you carrying?

Chaste: [Makes the sign of the cross.] An overly inebriated prostitute --I mean, former prostitute.

Gotten: Sister Chaste?

Chaste: Yes.

Gotten: Why are you dragging a drunken prostitute into the convent's cafeteria at three o'clock in the morning?

Chaste: To get some coffee?

Gotten: That excuse may work on me, but Mother Superior is going to ask a few more questions.

Chaste: Well, I was hoping some coffee would wake her up. It always works on the movies. Isn't that what you're supposed to do in these situations? [Starts to lift the prostitute onto a table, but is having difficulty.]

Gotten: [Walks over and assists Chaste.] From the looks of her Sister Chaste, she could probably sleep through judgment. How much has she had to drink?

Chaste: I'm not quite sure.

Gotten: Maybe you should tell me a little more about was has happened.

Chaste: She came to me asking for my help.

Gotten: She wants to become a nun?

Chaste: Well, not exactly. Though I'm sure that with a little enlightenment, I will be able to convince her of the wondrous life we lead.

Gotten: Ah, so you saw her passed out and decided to bring her here.

Chaste: No. She did come to me and ask for help, but I fear she may have been under duress at the time.

Gotten: Duress? What did you do? Hold her at knifepoint?

Chaste: No, not exactly.

Gotten: Not exactly? What in the world are you talking about?

Chaste: Well, it's a little difficult to explain.

Gotten: Go on.

Chaste: You may have noticed I haven't been my usual perky self during morning prayers.

Gotten: Actually, no. You always seem perky.

Chaste: Why thank you. I do try. Anyway, I've been going out among the sinners at night and doing the Lord's work.

Gotten: The tabloids would have a field day with that one.

Chaste: Why?

Gotten: [As if reading headline.] Nun goes around city picking up drunken prostitutes. Claims to be doing Lord's work.

Chaste: Very funny, sister Gotten. I have had some very difficult problems. This work is not easy to perform.

Gotten: I bet. Where did you perform this work.

Chaste: Down on Forty Second North.

Gotten: Forty Second North? I didn't even think you knew of that part of town.

Chaste: Well to be honest, I didn't. I went up to Father Leonard and asked him where the sinners gathered.

Gotten: And he actually told you? Wow, that means he condones your actions.

Chaste: Not exactly.

Gotten: What?

Chaste: I waited till he was preparing communion. Somehow he becomes more conducive to innovative ideas around communion time.

Gotten: That's because Father Leonard enjoys drinking toasts to the Lord.

Chaste: Sister Gotten!

Gotten: Well it's true. I've seen him, but go on.

Chaste: Well, I decided to take the convent's van down to Forty Second North and show those people how to be virtuous. It was quite a culture shock I assure you. Do you know what happened the first minute that I stepped out of the van?

Gotten: What?

Chaste: I was propositioned!

Gotten: No! [Sarcastically.]

Chaste: It was quite unsettling. Well, I had been going down there for about a week and was about to give up. In fact I told myself if I didn't help someone tonight, I was going to quit going down there. The Lord must have been listening. I had just arrived and was attempting to parallel park the van, when the poor frightened girl laying before us came running out of a near by door way. Her high heel broke as she tried to turn too quickly, but she came stumbling down the side walk just as fast as she could. She had tears streaming down her eyes and was yelling for help. The mascara she had on was smeared and she looked very scared. Then I looked up at the doorway and understood why. A man came running out of the same door with a gun.

Gotten: A gun!

Chaste: Yes, a gun. The poor girl was frantically trying to get out of the path of the gun. She was dodging to the left and to the right, but the man kept moving the gun towards her. I think he meant to shoot her in cold blood. I was horrified. But the girl looked like she was going to get away. Then it happened.

Gotten: What?!

Chaste: She fell down. The man lowered his gun to her level and was laughing maniacally. He slowly tightened his grasp on the trigger and...

Gotten: And what!?

Chaste: And that's when the street lamp fell on him.

Gotten: Street lamp? What street lamp?

Chaste: The street lamp I inadvertently knocked over while I was trying to parallel park the convent's van.

Gotten: Amazing. Mother Superior is going to love this one. What happened next?

Chaste: The poor girl ran to the van and begged me to take her some place safe. What could I do? This is the safest place I know.

Gotten: What happened to the man? Did you at least call an ambulance?

Chaste: No, he was all right.

Gotten: How could you be certain?

Chaste: He couldn't have been too hurt. After all, he was able to stand up and shoot five bullet holes into the back of the van door.

Gotten: We're going to have to increase Mother Superior's heart medicine tomorrow, or she's going to have a heart attack.

Chaste: I certainly hope not. I've had enough excitement for this week.

Gotten: How did she [Points at prostitute.] get so drunk?

Chaste: I'm not exactly sure. I was in the van. She was in the van. I decided since we just had a near death experience, it might be a good time to talk of the Lord and the wondrous life that I lead here at the convent. [Pause.] She must have had the bottle in her purse. It was a long drive and I just kept talking. By the time we got here, she was passed out in the back of the van with an empty bottle in her hand.

Gotten: Now that, I can understand.

Chaste: Well, what do you think I should do?

Gotten: I don't know, Merry Chaste. What do you think?

Chaste: I was thinking if you would help me, we could get her out of these vile clothes, clean her up, put some good clothes on her, and give her a good place to sleep for the night.

Gotten: Okay. I agree to help you on one condition. Don't mention my name to Mother Superior tomorrow.

Chaste: It's a deal. [She starts to pull the high heels of the prostitute's feet.] Good Lord how did she ever get any business with her feet smelling this bad?

Gotten: I doubt if many of her customers were interested in her feet.

Chaste: [Sits prostitute up and starts to remove her blouse (a bikini top is underneath.) She pauses and stares at her back with a puzzled look. Then steps back startled. The prostitute falls forward on her stomach.] Sister Gotten! She has tattoos of immoral acts all over her back! [Turns away.]

Gotten: [Walking over she stops and looks.] That's ingenious.

Chaste: What?

Gotten: It seems to be an illustrated price guide. Each picture is numbered. [Studies it a bit further.] Some of the prices have been scratched out and new ones written underneath.

Chaste: What on earth for?

Gotten: Inflation?

Chaste: Sister Gotten that was rude.

Gotten: No, I 'm serious. I figure a good Wall Street analyst could make predictions based on this kind of detailed price tracking. It even has dates!

Chaste: [Coming over and looking.] You're right! Look right there. Isn't that when what's his name took office?

Gotten: Sure is.

Chaste: Wow. This is very detailed. Well, that just goes to prove that this poor woman needs our help.

Gotten: Charging these prices, she couldn't be too poor.

Sister Merry Chaste and Sister Mariam Gotten start to wash off the prostitute with wet rags from the kitchen sink. Sister Merry Chaste keeps slowing down becoming more and more preoccupied with the tattoos on the prostitutes back. She alternates between wide-eyed wonder and a guilty expression.

Chaste: [Studying the illustration with wide eyes.] Sister Gotten, I have a confession to make.

Gotten: Do I really have to hear this?

Chaste: Forgive me. [Makes the sign of the cross.] I believe I am guilty of number sixty two.

Gotten: [Looking down the list of tattoos.] Mary Chaste! You'll have to confess that one to a priest! My goodness, I never thought you would be the type of person to do that! [Points at the prostitute's back.]

Chaste: Do you really think it's that bad?

Gotten: Yes Sister Chaste, I really do. [Pause.] But just between you and me, how did you get the raccoon to stand on its head?

Chaste: Raccoon!? [looks at list] That's fifty-two. I said sixty-two!

Gotten: [Looks at list again.] Oh Sister Merry Chaste, we're all guilty of number sixty two.

Chaste: Everyone?

Gotten: Yes, everyone.

Chaste: Even Mother Superior?

Gotten: Even Mother Superior.

Chaste: That isn't a very pleasant thought.

Gotten: I have to agree with you. That isn't a pretty thought.

Chaste: [After a pause.] How often do you think she does number sixty-two?

Gotten: Who?

Chaste: Mother Superior.

Gotten: If her personality is any indication --not very often.

Chaste: Do you think she does it more than three times a day?

Gotten: I don't know. Why?

Chaste: No reason. [Long pause.] Sister Gotten?

Gotten: Yes. [Irritated.]

Chaste: Do you think it's harmful to do it more than three times a day?

Gotten: [Smiling slyly.] No. Three times a day won't hurt, but if you do it more than five you're eyebrows will start to grow together.

Chaste: [After a quick deep inhale.] Excuse me Sister Gotten, I have to use the restroom.

Gotten: There's a mirror above the sink. [Chuckles.]

Chaste: Sister Gotten, it isn't nice to play tricks on the naive.

Gotten: I'm not. Have you noticed Mother Superior's eyebrow.

Chaste: [Looks thoughtful.] Well, I believe she is clean enough. I'll run to the bath and get her some clean clothes. [Exit Chaste]

Gotten: [Crooks her head right as she looks at one of the tattoos on the prostitute's back.]

Chaste: [From off stage.] Sister Gotten?

Gotten: [Crooks her head left. Talks as if preoccupied.] Yes.

Chaste: Do you know where I can find a razor? There are some tags that need to be cut off these clothes.

Gotten: [Still looking at the prostitute's back.] Above the Correctol, next to the Pepto Bismol.

Chaste: Thanks.

Gotten: [Continues looking at the prostitutes back. She alternates facial expressions between disgust, awe, jealous smiles, or any other expression appropriate.]

Chaste: [Enters with a band aid between her eye brows.] I got the clothes. All nice and fresh.

Gotten: Did you get the tags off?

Chaste: What tags... Oh yeah, I got them off. [Both Chaste and Gotten begin to dress the prostitute.] Sister Gotten, this situation may be too much for Mother Superior to handle.

Gotten: Yes, It just might be.

Chaste: Do you really think I'll get into too much trouble?

Gotten: I don't know Sister Merry Chaste. But, don't worry about our agreement. I will go with you to Mother Superior in the morning.

Chaste: Oh thank you, Sister Mariam Gotten! [By this line, they should be finished redressing the prostitute.]

The two sisters get the prostitute off the table and help her to her feet. Sister Merry Chaste is on the right of the prostitute and Sister Mariam Gotten is on the left. The two sisters are supporting the prostitute between them and turn to face the audience.

Gotten: [To audience.] She may be Chaste.

Chaste: [To audience.] And she may be Gotten.

Gotten and Chaste: [In unison to audience.] But this one thing we have never forgotten.

Gotten: [To audience.] We may have a Band-Aid upon our brow.

Chaste: [To audience.] But when there is trouble, we'll help somehow.

Gotten: [To audience.] And although your enemy may have a large gun...

Chaste: [To audience.] He will not withstand the force of a parking nun.

Gotten: [To audience.] We do all we do so that maybe you'll see...

Chaste: [To audience.] That sisters are your friends, and will serve you faithfully.

Chaste and Gotten: [To audience.] Good night!

Exit Chaste and Gotten carrying the prostitute between them.


January 08, 2005

Glass Ghosts

This is a picture of my Grandma Nellie, Grandpa Denzil, Uncle Fay, Mother, Aunt Doris, and Uncle Ted (left to right back row then front).

Glass Ghosts

"These lovely lamps, these windows of the soul."
--Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (1544-1590)

Lenses from Grandfather's bifocals
were ground into sand.

Now they sift through a
perpetual glass prison
in an hourglass heirloom.

Upon death,
the living grind glass
and add vision to the timepiece
so the rest of the chain
can see glints of stray light
and insight from
ancient eyes
that flash into
young pupils.

Each contribution
lengthens time
as each old ghost
lends a hand
to the living.

January 06, 2005

Spirit Trees

Spirit Trees

Crawling over soiled tissues and bloody
rubber gloves,
these 'could have been' souls
wander about
out of context
in a world they cannot understand.
Eventually, they are absorbed into the earth
and become the seeds
of fruit trees
that bare no fruit.



There once was a little girl
who possessed a very special gift.
Whatever she read
became the truth.
She was about to read the
bible, but before she could...
Darwin pushed it aside
and forced her to read
The Origin of Species.

And when she had finished,
he grabbed her by the
ankles and dashed her
head against the rocks.

But by that time,
it was okay.

For he proved
to be the most fit.


A co-worker came up to me the other day and said; 'I notice that you have thirteen cents on each side of the entranceway into your office. What is the significance of the number thirteen?"

In a quick response, I stated that the thirteen cents was to ward off bad luck and assholes, but since he (my co-worker) walked through the door, it obviously wasn't working.

We both laughed and then he left.

But the event got me thinking. Why did I put the thirteen cents on both sides of the door? I remember how it started. One day I found a dime on the floor and put it by the door. As time went on, I found some pennies and placed them with the dime until I got thirteen cents. After getting to thirteen, I stopped and purposely got another thirteen cents to put on the other side of the door. I really don't know why.

So what is the significance of the number thirteen? Below are a few significant 13's.

Well, in the King James version of the Bible, the term 'thirteen' is used a few times the first is mentioned below.

The term thirteen first occurs in Genesis 14:4 it reads, "Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they rebelled." (Chedorlaomer means servant of the goddess Lagamar.)

Of course, there were a total of thirteen Apostles --if you include Judas and his replacement.

Astronomically, there are thirteen new Moons or thirteen full Moons during every solar year. There are thirteen days of the waxing Moon culminating in the Full Moon on the fourteenth day. There are, in like manner, thirteen days of the waning Moon cycle culminating in what is called Dark Moon (no moon visible in the sky), which is also known as New Moon.

The thirteenth day is the day of rest after the infamous 'Twelve Days of Christmas'.

The 'free' donut in the box that somehow accompanies the other twelve when claiming a dozen in the grocery checkout line.

January 04, 2005



Oops, we dropped Tibet
and spilled it into Sprite Commercials.
My aren't those monks, so quaint.
Why don't they put Christ in a Nike commercial
out running the lions, or the Romans
or us.

'Just Buy it'

and then we go to Hell
but it turns out
it was overtaken in a hostile bidding
war by AT&T.

And God Delivered His (or Her) Judgment

For there shall arise false Christs, and false
prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall
deceive the very elect.

--Mathew 24:24

One day in the height of the shopping season, there arose a great clamor at the Templeview Mall. A great blue light descended from the heavens. Clouds flecked with gold and silver flittered through the entire region and surrounding parking zones. It was this distraction that allowed Mark Filbert to steal a space from parking space competitor Zeke Trump. Zeke had shown weakness and allowed himself to become distracted. As Zeke walked the mile and a half to the mall employees door, he knew the mean man who stole his parking place would receive his just desserts. Too upset by trivial events and tied up in his own world of petty revenge, Zeke failed to notice the anarchy around him and entered the mall. As Zeke's shadow disappeared into the employee's only door, the light became brighter and brighter until all that could be seen was the blue glowing light that emanated from far atop Templeview Mall.

Then the mall shook and the whirlwinds changed their consistency to dust and fire. They danced the mall's circumference wreaking havoc on all that would move, or even think of it. The shaking of the mall intensified and fissures and crevices shot forth upon the ground projecting as earthbound rays from the ambit of the mall in all directions upon the earth. The mall rose from it's foundations and soared into the air, leaving behind the sewage pipes of a thousand disemboweled toilets longing to be reattached to their receptacles. Instead, ethereal ladders descended from the upthrust mall allowing any brave soul the ability to climb into the sky toward the bargains of a life time. But none moved. Fear had shook the promise of a bargain from the consumer's minds and the evil spirit of commercialism slid back and recoiled from the bright blue light as if someone had bruised it's head.

Inside the mall, the center fountain shot up to thirty cubits in height and the roof of the mall was ripped away as the source of the blue light descended as a feather from a dove's wing onto the platform in the midst of the great mall fountain. The fountain walls broke and the miniature dam let forth its water into the whole mall, but instead of the trickle it used to be, the water now surged forth wildly with more zeal than it had ever shown before. It's flood carried with it the loose pocket change of a thousand wishers and chased the credit card lenders from the Templeview Mall. At the sight of all this upheaval and water, Zeke the mall custodian, went to get his mop.

Then those unfortunate enough to have been inside the mall witnessed the beginning of a new era. The Mall Dwellers came one by one out of every shop and store drawn for some inexplicable reason toward the light. But as they approached the water, it raged and gushed to the point of frenzy making passage unbearable. For those wearing imported silk shirts and blouses hesitated fearful of the damage the unruly water would inflict upon their purchases. At this hesitation, the light turned red and arcs of energy bolted forth and singed the silk shirts ruining them as if an iron had pressed them that was too hot. The multitudes cried out and begged for forgiveness and they rubbed cigarette ashes on their foreheads to show repentance. Then, as the light again returned to a comforting blue, they slowly stood and approached the raging waters. Zeke, as if overcome by something greater, stood in the lead and thrust his mop into the wild flood. The waters parted and there was dry marble on which the Mall Dwellers could walk, and even though the waters raged on both sides of them, they were granted safe passage to the platform beyond.

Zeke stood closest to the light. After a moment, he again raised his mop and the waters resumed their wild frenzy, but the Mall Dwellers were safely on the center platform. Then Zeke turned toward the Mall Dwellers and although no human words were used, they knew what needed to be done. For some unknown reason they felt compelled to organize themselves into twelve assemblies. In future generations, these twelve assemblies will come to be known as the Twelve Cliques of the Mall Dwellers and their genealogy would be traced from generation to generation in order to keep there bloodlines distinct so that each Clique would be able to perform it's assigned duties with the blessing of the blue light.

Then the light quivered and a low and deep voice rattled the air and the vibration brought many a Mall Dweller to the point of fear --except, of course, for those of the Clique of Victoria Secrets who were inwardly excited and swooned with red faces and increased heart rates. The language spoken was one that spoke directly into the hearts of the Mall Dwellers and the words were imparted as gently as a mother's kiss...

"I have come to deliver judgments on the mortals of this planet. Though this judgment is final it will not be done in mass. Judgments will be done on an individual basis. You, the Twelve Cliques of the Mall Dwellers, will be given specific tasks in order to prepare mankind for their reward, or punishment. Since it would not be equitable to judge in accordance to any kind of order, it will be done randomly with no preference to the living, or the dead, or any other discriminating status or data. If any of those present would disagree with this method now, or at any point in the future, complaints and suggestions will be accepted in the mall office."

With that said, the mall directory was ripped off it's pedestal and the blue light etched on it's surface the responsibilities of each Clique. The light then handed them to Zeke to deliver to his people. But as Zeke approached the Mall Dwellers, he heard them in dissension murmuring against the light. The Clique of Arcade Players protested at the loss of their quarters, the Clique of the House of Hair complained of shortages to their electrical appliances, and the Clique of Cinemas wanted to charge admission for mankind to attend their own judgment. Zeke, in a fit of indignation, threw down the mall directory and cursed them for their conduct.

Coming to his senses, Zeke looked down at the shattered directory in horror. The Cliques had also realized the importance of what just transpired and again repented of their murmurings, but now was a crucial time in the history of the Mall Dwellers and for all of mankind. For now it was up to Zeke's memory, to try and recall what the blue light had written. He toiled for days stressing over each word. Painfully he tried to reconstruct the directory as best he could. His best done, he presented it to his people and they read and they learned. Zeke hoped everything the blue light had written was accounted for and he hoped he had gotten it mostly right, but Zeke had never been too good with numbers and now he regretted not trying harder in school. For the next forty years, he would have doubts and nightmares about this event, and just a little guilt about rearranging the names on the list to be judged.

After some time, the blue light again spoke. He gathered together his Cliques and took the list back from Zeke. "I will now begin. The first person to receive judgment will be Mark Filbert. It seems that Mark has a propensity to steal parking places. For this, he is condemned to the hell of waiting on a red light that will not change. A police cruiser will be sitting directly behind him and this punishment will be performed in a state with no right on red laws..."

Then Zeke awoke. But he knew this was no dream. It was a sign that he would be the prophet in the wild preparing for the coming of the light. He picked up his mop and walked shoeless to the nearest K-Mart and waited patiently for the next blue light special.

Blood Ghosts

This is my great grandfather Cyrenus "Yank" Toothman. He was born November 30th, 1852 and he died September 20, 1937.

Blood Ghosts

blood ghosts stretch
hand in hand
back through my father
and dance into the blood of
my sons

pale ghosts
choking on the black dust
of west virginia coal mines

daring ghosts
that lick the salt of
the atlantic from their
fearful lips

and the ghosts
of countless strangers
that have lapsed into prehistory
but still spiral
inside me
and whisper wisdom
to keep me safe...

so that i too
may become a ghost
and whisper
to my children's

January 02, 2005

Dreams of Black Bricks

Dreams of Black Bricks

She is the darkness that forms
the tunnel that leads
to the bright light
we journey to upon death.

The calm allurement
that gives rest
to overwhelmed eyes
searching for saviors.

But pause too long
and she'll swallow you up
with a slurp and a belch
and you'll become
another black brick
lengthening the tunnel
to God.

Year of the Rooster

I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant earlier this week and found out that I was a cock. No, really! I was born in the year of the Rooster (1969). I also found out that the year of the Rooster is coming around again and that 2005 (on the Chinese Calendar) begins on 2/9/2005.

Soon it will be my year --my year!

According to various Chinese calendars (literally, calendars you get from Chinese restaurants (I collect them)) Roosters are very loyal individuals. They do not like dishonesty or mockery of any sort. They are blunt, up front and honest people and expect those around them to be the same. Roosters are happiest when others surround them, at a party or just a social gathering. They even enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charisma and wit in a minute. This star quality can be overbearing, for a Rooster expects you to listen to him while he speaks and can become agitated if you don't. Roosters do have a tendency to brag about themselves and their achievements and demand an attentive audience when doing so. The Rooster is a flamboyant personality, feisty and obstinate. He is quite the extrovert who loves to strut his stuff and is proud of whom he is. Outwardly confident, the Rooster is also a trustworthy, hardworking individual. He'll tell it like it is with no qualms or reservations.

Apparently, the characteristics of the Rooster are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle. Since I was born in 1969 that makes me an EARTH ROOSTER.

An Earth Rooster is overtly organized. He is a little reserved and quite careful in his decision-making. These Roosters are hard workers as well, and can handle several tasks at once. They are detail-oriented who are quite efficient and self-sufficient. They take on responsibility without a cause and are motivated only in wanting to be successful. Sometimes they can be abrasive with colleagues if work is not up to their standards. This can cause resentment, so the Earth Rooster must be careful in his approach of his point of view, being sure to be honest and still kind.

The Rooster's Western Counterpart is the Virgo. I already knew that. I'm not a horoscope fanatic or anything but did know my sign. What I didn't know is that being a VIRGO ROOSTER also has an impact on my personality. Virgo Roosters are logical, equipped to handle tasks others may turn away. They are overtly detail-oriented, sometimes annoyingly so. They can be critical and mistakenly mean if they do not choose their words carefully.

In other words, I am a cock. My wife was right after all!

Research for the following entry can be found at U.S. Bridal Guide and China Pages.

Angel Hunter

Angel Hunter

My oldest son is the 'Name-Giver' of kittens in my small tribe. This little kitten was christened 'Butter Nut' (we may never know why). Kittens make great Christmas decorations; of course they are jealous ornaments and usually chase the others away.

Christmas tree tops are his hunting ground. The mighty Butter Nut stalks his divine prey --porcelain angels with motorized wings. Once he throws them to the floor he meows in triumph! After all, angels are nothing more than birds that have forgotten their place in the food chain --so says Butter Nut.

January 01, 2005

Unraveled Strands

This is a picture of Lucile Preysz --wife of Louis R. F. Preysz (my wife's great grandfather).

Unraveled Strands

"Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
--Chief Seattle

When she is with others,
she unwinds and unravels a bit
and the filaments from the frayed edges
of her soul stretch forth
and seeks to weave with those around her.

In the past, she was more liberal with herself,
but loss has made her hesitant.
(She had been woven with others
and lost too much of herself
when the strands were severed.)

As time took its due,
pieces of her soul
were buried with others
as death severed deep bonds.

With a chill, she feared a time
when there would be more of her
buried with others
than wrapped around her own core.
(The wisdom of age later gave insight
that she had no core
--just strands of soul unraveling, letting go.)

She was spreading too thin now,
as is the case when one grows older.

Strands still linked her to her children,
a friendly ex-husband,
a few friends, and even
the cat purring contently on her lap.

Soon she will be pulled a part
and all that remains
will be a scattered spirit,
memories of shelter,
and a golden strand woven in my soul.

Christmas in Fairhope at Night

Fairhope really lights up for the Holiday Season. Tremendous view --not sure if the picture captures the magic.

Plucking Angels

Louis Boulanger 1806-1867, "Witch's Sabbath"(Souvenir of Victor Hupo), 1828, Lithograph

Plucking Angels

The sun is fat
pregnant with hydrogen angels.
They scrutinize, take notes,
and pinch dreams
from sunburned flesh
with scorched tweezers.

But tweezers fail in prolific dreamers
and they must initiate
more drastic measures.

The soul is removed.
Ripped from charred flesh,
thrust in a prism
and inundated with sunlight.
(This forces the dreamer
to show their true colors
in vibrant agonizing detail.)

Naked, burnt and
placed on public display,
these imprismed souls
try to shut constricted eyes
only to realize
their lids are stapled
to their brow
in order for them to fully face
the sun’s radiant ridicule.

when the gloating glaring orb
sets with a brilliant yawn
after a day full of taunts and smirks…

The night whispers soothing songs
during the witching hour
and the moon re-plants
the dreaming seeds
deep within the soul, hidden
far from the plucking angels.

From France

This is my father, my grandfather, and the La Touraine (the ship my grandfather traveled on from the port in La Havre, France when he immigrated to America.)

World War II

My father in WWII.

Fairhope Municipal Park

Fairhope Municipal Park.