Dead Poems

by G. O. Clark


From The Hand Of

The artist
slumps in his chair,
sketchpad in lap,
gnarled fingers holding
the sharpened charcoal
pencil, creating a darkly
erotic portrait of his
favorite lady,

half flesh, half
machine, the smile
on her face exposing
steel incisors below her
black-hole eyes, that will
rip apart your body with
cool detachment.

Chair and artist
are one, his body fused
with fabric and frame, from
his double chin down, sagging,
pallid flesh over aged bone,
ending in swollen feet
grown numb from
lack of use.

His mind
pays no attention to
the realities of the flesh,
his good hand responding
to the commands from his gut,
the lurid nightmares leaping
off the page and straight
at your throat.

 

Grand Guignol

The dead
are strolling among
the jagged rocks
beneath black umbrellas,
marking the desert landscape
like inky black dots upon
old parchment.

They have
no plan apparent,
wandering like old testament
extras through some
god-of-wrath’s barren movie set,
the sun harshly lighting
each scene.

The director
sits upon his dais just
out of the shot,
his directions falling upon
deaf ears, his leading man
and lady practicing their lines
in an air-conditioned trailer,
prophets on call.

Eventually his
vision will fall into place,
final credits rolling,
the critics sharpening
their carving knifes, fans
declaring it another classic,
the public deciding its fate
at the box office.

In the end
the dead won’t give
a damn, just keep wandering
like they always have
to nowhere specific, their
black umbrellas becoming
tattered with age, their souls
still under contract.

 

Voices In The Rain

She hears
the voices of the dead
when it rains,

each rain drop
another cursed soul,
forced to return during
stormy weather,

each man, woman,
and child calling out
to her ghost-sensitive
ears, pleading

to be heard,
to be understood,
trapped in the chaos
of the storm,

desperately seeking
empathy from the living
before pooling upon the
ground en masse,

no longer unique,
and evaporating in the
heat of the sun to repeat
the cycle again.

She hears
the voices of the dead,
first one, than another and
another until

the gravity of their
sadness and confusion
nearly drives her insane,
each rain drop

weighted down
with death, a clearing sky
her only salvation.

 

The Last Star Show

We gather near the still wildly
swaying pendulum and observe our solar
system, ungracefully fallen;

Earth and Moon
tossed into a far corner, mighty Jupiter
cracked open like an egg;

Mercury and Venus broken into
pieces, Saturn resting upon its crushed outer
rings by a gushing water fountain;

Mars balanced upon a scale –
temporarily out of order – that shows one’s
relative weight upon each planet;

Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune
mysteriously disappeared down a darkened
hallway, and the Sun gone rogue,

shattering a glass display case filled
with antique clocks and watches, their hands
frozen by the tectonic event.

The dreamscape shifts now, and we’re
inside the darkened ruins of the planetarium,
its great projector crashed to the floor

like a praying mantis swatted by a
giant hand, pieces of the white dome fallen
to the cracked floor letting the

true moon and stars within,
obscured by fingers of smoke-tinged fog,
which turn into sweat as I jolt

awake in the dead of the night along
the fault line, upon this ever shifting orb
we ironically call terra firma.

 


G. O. Clark is the author of 13 poetry, and 2 short story collections. His writing has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog, Daily SF, and other publications. Retired, and lives in Davis, CA.

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