An older piece, first published by Shoots and Vines lit blog (before they went exclusively POD). I have a soft spot for this one because it’s all about the hidden war, quiet and subdued, that characterizes the artist.  A private war, a contained frenzy, like a muffled dance floor in the next room. The blood is as real as you make it.



“Cry Havoc! Let slip the dogs of war!”

Bath-robed, teacup-clad, puffing
on interminable Camels,
he’s hidden inside himself.
War is Hell.

In the foggy labyrinth of his mind
words curl around slippery meaning
groping blind
like a fisherman’s calloused fingers.

In another place ant-like
alphabetic architects construct
sky-scraping sentences
in a vain attempt to blueprint
the ever elusive truth…

Like sand in a fist.

All the while, at the heart of the Maze
the Conquistador of unwritten writings
(quill in hand, heart pumping ink)
battles the bath-robed, teacup-clad coward:
his Nemesis.

Words are fished,
ants build, battles rage
and suddenly—

A peace treaty is signed.

Tea-less, craving Camels,
he leaves himself and lives
to fight another day.


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