Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Unnaturalist






The Unnaturalist



Come to me, my spider-snake
my locust-worm, my vulture-hawk
my hyena-wolf, my caliban-mars.
The experiment ends in the killing jar.

Come to me, my spider-snake;
inside my lab where no lights leak
come close enough so I can crush
your twisting spine, your cambered cheek.

Come to me, my vulture-hawk
to feed on meat already killed
so long ago, so rank, so soft;
duplicity damning as it distills.

Come hyena-wolf, with your needle teeth.
I'll stroke your narrow jewel-eyed head
before I lift my other hand to
stop the pant of your opium breath.

Come locust-worm and build your nest
so near my fever that you grow warm;
starve in the twiggy bed of my breast
stripped by the multitudes of your swarm.

Come my caliban creations all
to the place I've built beneath the earth
where all lies end and none embrace,
where crippled mouths are filled with dirt.

July 2012








Posted for    OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub



If you'd like to hear the poem read by the author, click below:







Header Image: The Crying Spider, by Odilon Redon, 1881
Footer Image: Caliban on a branch, by Odilon Redon, 1881
Public Domain, via Wikipaintings.org

57 comments:

  1. *shudders* Another great poem...dark, disturbing & brilliant! Enjoyed your reading very much, too...this has a Tolkien feel to me...an ageless darkness that lurks beneath...great stuff!

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  2. Shivvery stuff, in a very good way, Hedge! Full of fantasy that I can see, hear, smell and feel.

    Speaking of hear, VERY cool reading! Chills! :) xo

    ~ j

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  3. Dances with mad scientists, brilliant! The reading softly wended its way under my skin and chilled from the inside.

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  4. This is off the hook! Conjured up for me some twisted imagery from a very dak place- almost biblical (but the cool parts apart the devil and the end if the world)?....hedge, this is like the best kind of folklore poem best told around a fire or at Samhain. You've created some monsters here! And I love it!

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  5. good night hedge...this is gritty and scary....disturbing...but also in a very good way...effective visuals and great use of language...my own creations, the is the cinch point for me...in all the little things we create without thought...shivers...

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    1. Or even with thought, but not wisdom. Thanks, bri.

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  6. Wonderfully written, love the rhyme and meter......as always, new words and fantastic images.

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  7. Oohhh Joy - this is really creepy. I can see Brian is trying to justify it all--not sure myself! (I'm laughing.) And you read it so well too - incantation.

    I don't know. I'm thinking of "real" Caliban, who I find really a poignant creature, though I'm really not terribly familiar with the play. I saw a great opera of it - The Enchanted Isle -where he was really the tragic hero - and I think of Caliban as cannibal too--

    Hmmm.... and then come back to Brian's point of view -- and the all lies ending - the trying to dress things up -as there's a fair amount of deception here - the stroking of the head before the opium - and the whole luring rhythm--so interesting and bold - I find that niceness is my biggest trap (and justification.) You are not bothering with all that -

    Anyway, cool poem. k.

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    1. No--nice is not in this one. Thanks, k. Caliban is often played sympathetically, but he is evil and mad anyway, I think, even though it really isn't his fault and he doesn't want to be. (And I ruthlessly hyphenated everything, too, you'll notice. ;_))

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  8. Wow, that put me of my breakfast. Ha ha. The way you wrote the fifth stanza brought it too close, invaded my personal space and gave me the eebie jeebies. Well done.

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  9. oh heck..this gave me shivers... dangerous verse here..scary, creepy imagery that end with a big bang...crippled mouths are filled with dirt...heck...and love the title as well..very surreal feel to this..

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  10. Very gruesome and creepy (in a talented and well crafted way!), almost like you were evoking evil spirits or something.

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  11. This is making me think unnatural thoughts.

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  12. Goodness! This is a beautifully crafted poem that leaves me with a feeling of guilt & resignation. It made me think along the lines of dispassionate & thoughtless human interference in the natural world & of our (humans) eventual, inevitable come-uppance ...

    'where all lies end and none embrace,
    where crippled mouths are filled with dirt.'

    Such impaction ~ a really powerful write ~*

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    1. Thank you Peter--your poem was just excellent.

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  13. Very dark, but it's all compost making.

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  14. Beautifully dark, and beautifully read... I was lost in some dark place...quite scary but kinda glad I went...loved it!

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  15. Wow, Hedge haunting and dark!! I love the cadence and this part really is striking for me:

    "Come hyena-wolf, with your needle teeth.
    I'll stroke your narrow jewel-eyed head"

    Love that!! Great images you've found to suit also!!

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  16. i feel like i've fallen into a dark void yet i like it and re-read your verse once and once again..you and your poetry are magic.

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  17. This is extremely well written. The voice is perfect. And I hope you do not confuse me for any of the creatures mentioned. ;-)

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    1. No worries, Matt, as long as you are not a figment of my imagination--you're not, right?

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  18. Words from a dark space, dark and lonesome, suppurating with bile and despair. I can only compare this to tales of bkack wtiches and the types of spawn they might invoke in a hellish incantation. There's a scene in Blair Witch Project, as horrible a film as it was, which is truly horrifying, bringing clear the reality that witchcraft turned demonic can involve. This has the feel and horror of that scene. I think this poem, in its depths, speaks of deepest sorrow and human alienation, a world cut off from communicating, resorting to those beings whose mission or purpose seems meant simply for vengeance and torture. Having said that, I'd say this poem reflects perfectly the soullessnes of a torturer. This really describes horror in a way that Lovecraft barely touched, at least of what I've read of him.

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    1. Well, that's scarier than the poem. This is actually about the things my mind creates that torture *me* and how I want to(but am not always able)to lay them to rest. Thanks for reading and getting into it, Charles.

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  20. This is the real deal hedge - the spectre-bomb burrowing
    flesh and mind... the gaps in the reading break the fear
    fuzz just enough for it to hurt with every re-entry...
    spasms and thrills... Francis Bacon (painter) said that
    he aimed for his art to communicate directly with the audiences
    nervous systems and bypass what he termed,
    "The boreom of conveyence" ... easy for him to say being a master an' all but i see his point and try my best to seek and tap the same communicational undercurrent... with this reading you do it! it talks to my nerves - i live for that hit!!!...

    awesome! the words - the reading - the essense ad sense of it...

    I saw Macbeth for the 1st time (it was outstanding of course)
    but i must of thought of you about 8 times... every time those 'weird sister's' spun there brain bending rap...

    thanks hedge
    a visit here invigorates my mainframe...

    even a bit of the floyd as a bonus!!!

    HELL YEAH!!!

    i was so excited i had to re-post this once id edited out the typos :D

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  21. Someone has to bring all things unnatural under one roof, and who better...? This is rich with strong pictures that challenge our conventions and our comfort--and so compact and forceful. All the others have said this, but I want to go somewhere else with it. Listening to the audio, there's no doubt in my mind that the best poetry is meant to be spoken. Voice provides an easy rhythm quality to this work. An unrelenting pace. What a great complement to what it is the eye perceives one the page. It gives the artist the definitive tool of communication. I hope this doesn't come across as pretentious or 'learned'. The vocal is a real plus.

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    1. Not at all, Steve. Thanks so much for going into depth and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.

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  22. i see i still missed some mistakes -
    i hope it makes some sense - lol

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    1. Makes perfect sense, and I appreciate every word, Arron. Especially that Macbeth reminded you of me and my witch thing.

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  23. I'm liking the coy reference to Marvell's famous lines in your penultimate one. This series of better-declined invitations issued to an array of very questionable characters is creepy, but also empowering in a weird way. These boogy men can't harm you if you are busy extinguishing *them*, can they?

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    1. HA! I was wondering if anyone would catch that one. Of course, it's the always erudite Fireblossom.

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  24. This is freakin fantastic - it made me cringe and it made me laugh. (And I don't usually go for rhyming poetry.)

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  25. Dark ...gave me shivers ..another excellent write!

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  26. Dark and disturbing, yes. And chillingly read.

    Thought for a moment that I had stubbled into the Monsanto labs, where they were now "improving" nature again.

    Especially when "crippled mouths are filled with dirt."

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  27. This sent a shiver through my whole body - so disturbing, nightmarish - brilliant!!!!

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  28. This is crazy good - really spooky. And your reading is amazing - brings everything to life (death?) really well. I love hearing poets read their own work. Just great.

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  29. Honestly, you are amazing. Your poetry is the kind I love. Such intelligent and talented writing. I revel in the repetitive device "Come" you use at the beginning of each stanza. It establishes rhythm and keeps the stanzas connected and in harmony from one to the other. I am your fan, don't ever forget it. -:))

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  30. Oh my!
    Why didnt I read this when it was still light outside? :-)
    This is wonderfully scary and makes me feel completely on edge -- love it.

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  31. It seemed like a ballad of the underworld, crossbred creatures that claw at consciousness and drain you dry. A little draught of the macabre and bizarre, a poetic waking nightmare, I think. Masterful, as always!

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  32. Ooh, deep, dark and spine-tingling, laced with depth and truth and that last line... crippled mouths, indeed!
    The first image alone gave me the shivers... a very fantastical, nightmarish masterpiece!

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  33. "Come my caliban creations all"

    What a temptation to kill what we create, but I cannot imagine how. Here the creator does so in a Gorey-like glee. How to be sure, though, that the killing does not go too far?

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  34. Great write Joy! Gets me some creepy feel. Shows how real the rendition is. Your reading makes it equally real.

    Hank

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  35. Fabulous creation! Love the reference to Caliban.

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  36. Dark and lovely. Incredible read, too. ♥

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  37. Wow! Deep, dark and very disturbing ....I like the rhythm, very poetic.....

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  38. Jo Ann, what a dark and disturbing write. Excellent. Only you can write like this, and make someone want to be there. Listening to you read it was an added bonus. I hope all is well with you.

    Pamela

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  39. Very cool. Brought me right back to thoughts of Moreau. Unnatural combinations, almost feasible, yet destined for destruction, simply, if not entirely, out of genetics alone. Whenever I think about things like this I always get to a 3 pronged resolve. A. The being will not survive, due to each form vying for dominance within B. The being will not last because it is a monstrosity that should not be, natural order of things sort of deal. C . The being evolves and moves from beast to predominant species in no time at all.

    Just where my mind went. But I really like the notion you present of creator/destroyer. That rang strong for me, as did the brilliant flow you created within each stanza and then throughout the piece itself. Fantastic piece. Thanks

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  40. Dark, disturbing ... and so well written.

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  41. There goes my Ariel mood...killed by the Caliban images..Yikes...this is creepy, Hedge, but utterly fascinating...as you only you can do creepy! Horrible/beautiful!!

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  42. Okay, now I have to be still for a moment, make sure there are no unwanted little creatures around.

    Though creepy, I loved reading this. Very artfully done.

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  43. This is ominous - a creation that scuttles, like the creatures of which it speaks, from the dusty recesses of the imagination - and yet hauntingly beautiful.

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  44. If I assume the narrator is a human, maybe a scientist...maybe not, it makes humans the most vile and creepy and dangerous of all. Very fitting, methinks.

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