Saturday, August 27, 2011

Danse Macabre






Danse Macabre


It’s quiet in the lab; the outside sky
is Maya blue, impending prophecy ignored
by silent shadows ceaselessly pumping
black caustics into a dead beast’s heart.

Across the world more Hekate’s cauldroned
chaos soup is boiling in a row of cookfires
stretching to a cemeterial horizon, steaming,
roiling up the blistered bones of zombies’ dreams.

Somewhere these butchers' laboratories mate
precise, unholy at a viceblown intersect, palsied
cannibal hand of intent and scalding stew of storm,
centrifugalized to flense a fresh-flayed numen.

Where their crookblade cross comes down
the tiny cells explode, jet beads hot arterial splatter,
maroon buckshot birthing flying screams, monsters,
lost causes in the burning dead of shuttered night.

The beast jumps up, the blood of its tormentors
silversweet in a short unlife that mocks the gods;
cracking tarmack, the plague cart calls at every house,
as the briefly interrupted dance of death resumes.



August, 2011

Posted for  Poetics  at  dVerse Poets Pub

Todays host for the prompt is the inimitable Brian Miller, asking us to see what's really there, if we can stand it.



Image, detail from The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
1562, oil on panel

Optional Musical Accompaniment





46 comments:

  1. goodness hedge...i start to look over my shoulder and brush bri's magic powder from my face...afraid to see what you see...smiles
    good stuff...gave me the chills...

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  2. your words force the eye open....brilliant :)

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  3. goodness...rob zombie will be calling for tips on his next movie...pustulated is such a nasty word...haha....bring out yer dead....bring out yer dead...for they sup on yer brainz....the exploding cells makes for some intense visuals...ack...smiles. wonderfully spun...

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  4. Now you know why I keep my third eye shut. ;-)

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  5. The man asked for macabre and he got macabre.......so well done, Hedge. Quite frightening. Must go out and look at some nice puffy clouds for a while after this! hee hee.

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  6. there were many, many strong word combinations. i liked prophecy ignored in the first graph, really liked that introduction. that tells me trouble is coming, in an ancient way. i liked blistered bones of zombies' dreams in the next graph. if you can hit me twice like that in the first two graphs, i'll read the rest and believe anything you say:)
    'monsters' in an independent clause summed it all up for me. very cool.

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  7. Now what's a poem for, if not to goose Sir Death with a silver bullet like this? What a hoot. The Welsh modernist poet wrote a poem called "The Anathemata" about how things sometimes inverse in meaning over time, so that old Death is the Afterlife's Reaper, become the new Death's plowshare, saving us from Heaven by furrowing new ground in an old concept. Tropes are like that, too, turning things over to discover the silver meanings under broken leaden surfaces. Nuff said, but I loved the Zombie's revenge here, spilling the plague cart if only for a song. If I'm way elsewhere, so sorry; reading poems in the middle of the day is trope on the noirdance itself. - Brendan

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  8. Maybe sometimes there's too much to see.

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  9. Thanks all for reading my insanity today.

    @EP:Glad you liked. I really enjoyed your take on Summer, extremely fun to read.

    @B: I seem to have gone over the top with this one, every horror movie mad scientist motif in play, so I can definitely agree this is a goose, (or maybe a goose egg)to Mr. D, but of course, uber serious witch that I am, I also meant every word quite literally, as truly opening the eyes these days without the gossamer protective veil of poetics chills me through and through. I think I'll cut the pustules part out. Something about those 'p' words...:P

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  10. Macabre, indeed and replete to references such as the Mayan prediction fo 2012, the Black Death. Yikes. I do believe I saw this painting at an exhibit of the Dutch Masters in Phoenix. Kind of haunting, heh?

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  11. Hedge - you own this subject - as if you speak of something you know up close - that makes all the difference - makes it real - makes it good and great to read

    best wishes

    FatJaques - part time chef/supplier

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  12. Your words project an image that is very profound. My heart actually starting pumping faster the faster I read. Great Job!

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  13. Thanks, CIIM.

    @Arron: Merci FatJaques--I feel I can only respond as Madame DeFarge, but I am one abysmal knitter.

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  14. Dear Hedge: A chill ran through my dead bones today! Felt macabre; barely alive with "fresh-flayed numen"...seeping from the corpulent corpse's corpuscles! Soap mummy-ish!

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  15. Luv Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting, the Triumph of Death. It's contents give me chills, but I like the art. Your poem is chilling, but you bring on the chill so well. Very well presented and writen.

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  16. The language here is exquisite it alone could inspire belief in poetry! I needed to take my veil of glorias with me on this trip. You are one sharp, fantastic poet. In the comments you mention not opening your third eye (or lifting the veil) which reminded me of Monet. Monet went myopic over a long period of time and finally was given glasses. He put them on and exclaimed if that's what the world looked like in all its hideous clarity he'd prefer not to see it. He never wore his glasses in his old age and led the world toward abstraction through his increasingly 'out of focus' view. This is my elaborate way of saying that sometimes great beauty is created through the veil so I see why you often retain it. However, even your cold clarity is gorgeously played.

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  17. A moment of silence...seriously, for every dark, unseen fear you brought forth with this wicked, cutting write. Goosebumps, me lady...I see that wagon rolling, I smell it before I see it, and I fear the unseen perhaps now more than ever! I just mentioned over at Claudia's that sometimes ignorance is bliss...no taking this one back! Fantastic, Joy!

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  18. Speechless to a great extent BUT... a fabulous tour d'force of language and image-- I think I see a bit of Brendan influence in your diction, the consonance and assonance playing off each other-- I loved

    Somewhere these butchers' laboratories mate
    precise, unholy at a viceblown intersect, palsied
    cannibal hand of intent and scalding stew of storm,
    centrifugalized to flense a fresh-flayed numen.

    Hope you don't have nightmares..xxxj

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  19. You do Bruegel proud.

    "flense" - such a simple word, how come I didn't know it! Thanks for that.

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  20. All of those things and legends and myths and horrors imaged -- you mean they're real?

    Good poem.

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  21. This is the most incredibly dead-on description of a postal managers' service meeting that I have ever seen.

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  22. Thanks all, I am about to go make the rounds.

    @Mark : My vocabulary is a side product of reading bad serial killer novels in my off hours. You probably have better taste.

    @FB: See, I told you I was with you in spirit.

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  23. "Somewhere these butchers' laboratories mate
    precise, unholy at a viceblown intersect, palsied
    cannibal hand of intent and scalding stew of storm,
    centrifugalized to flense a fresh-flayed numen."

    So, have you heard back about that job with Hallmark, yet?

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  24. @MZ ROFLMAO They won't even let me sweep the floor in the paper-cutting division.

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  25. @Anna--I was married very briefly to a man who was legally blind. Life was always tremendously cheerful for him in the fact that so much was unrevealed. One day after a year of living together I preceded him up the stairs and he said in a tone of wonder I'll never forget "Joy--you have a big ass!" It was such a discovery for him, I didn't have the heart to knock him down the two flights. :P

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  26. You gave me the chills; I thought I was watching a horror movie.... To see with the third eye is both a blessing and a curse (as you see too much too.

    Enjoyed your tale tonight. Happy day ~

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  27. And so the plague begins - riding on with the rest of the apocalypse. I think it may have begun .. dire times indeed. Heat and Perry for President. This is not nearly so threatening!

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  28. I know Gay. It was 108 here today--just punishing--it hurts to breathe. I ran sprinklers all day long. And Perry--that's so scary even zombies won't go there, or maybe that's who's supporting him?

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  29. There is a definite dark side that relishes in your mind's eye... seeing beyond the midnight skies and into the realms of other worlds. Wonderful take on the prompt.

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  30. centrifugalized to flense a fresh-flayed numen- eeeew! Suddenly I am so in the mood for Halloween. Great one hedge. You def had your witchy hat on when you wrote this.

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  31. Thanks all. Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.

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  32. Powerful visceral response to this...i'm the first to squeal at a horror movie...great word combinations, such as 'flense a fresh-flayed numen' and the image of 'blistered bones of zombies' dreams' just makes me want to hide under the duvet.. 'the dance of death resumes'

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  33. that's one horrid tale, and way to tell it with some very powerful words,
    the dance of death and all that led to it, sure you have used your third eye to full potential.

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  34. i'm going to come back for the music ~ just heading to bed now and i think i have more than enough for my nightmares. did you have to be so darn vivid and write so well? i got shivers down my spine. if no one hears from me by Tuesday, you'll know i'm trapped ~ dancing with death.

    truly amazing, Joy! ♥

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  35. This is a vision of Hell second to none. I love the word combos you have used, the silversweet, the cemeterial horizon, and a whole host of other images which have kind of been burned onto my brain in a mist disturbingly surreal way.

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  36. Thanks all.

    @VP: Yes, I've seen way too many B horror movies. Thanks for your input. Your own poem to this prompt was incredible.

    @dani; Glad you liked. Thanks--and the music is strictly optional, just seemed to go with my mood yesterday. I know you know how that goes.

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  37. Thanks Kerry. Much appreciate that you liked the cemeterial line--like parents we aren't supposed to have favorites, but I liked that one. And re: the burning,hopefully it's only a flesh wound. ;-)

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  38. Very cinematic imagery and a great windup stanza. A strange and powerful piece.

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  39. I am keeping my 3rd eye in repression now. Geez I am with Claudia and they should consult you for some movie scripts. Your site is full of 'em. I am smiling. Good 'ghastly' write.

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  40. Totally creepy, hedgewitch...but this is truly a fine compliment :)

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  41. Great imagery and easy flow. I admit I had to read it three times to feel that I was "getting it," which is subjective, of course, and one of the reasons poetry rocks.

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  42. Glug, glug . . .

    I agree with Mark! You do this Brugel proud.

    BTW, the word verification: meriglug. :-)

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  43. Merry Glug, indeed. I hope that wasn't embalming fluid. ;-)

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  44. Such portents of darkness here, more than an underbelly, a veritable inferno. I loved the macabre aspects, the continuous exposure to unnerving images. Quite riveting piece, and the accompanying painting was just perfect.
    Gene

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg