When the canvas is as a mirror,
leave the war behind in a ballad.
Words to forewarn those who hear, written
confessions of sins forgiven lived
again when listeners’ warm whispers
worsen with wear their murmured rumours’
repetition, diminishing my
brand of rebellion’s underhanded
legend. In what weakened, severer
misinformation have we freaks been
investing? Telling, telling, then, your
religion’s cinematic fiction.
This is me with nothing, then. One prayer
blown into folded palms none hears when
wearing mistreatment the way one nears
a stranger’s bed. Naked and bored, bared
and bardic in cathartic northern
climates, Nordic desolate places
where heroic shades anticipate
it always being evening. Here where
blindness is always getting even,
near to there have I crept, the world’s dead
end, never forgetful of bonfire
torch songs wept by my forlorn brethren
troubadours over our worn former
appearances forever gone, thrown.
This is me with nothing, then. Hands doors
opening to show love’s wounds yours mends.
Masks foregone for better ones, fetters
and chains, crowns and rings gilding in fugue
dawns feuding intensities golden
with emboldened rage fuel to fullest
blaze until eyes, not unlike mine turned
against the burn of theirs toward yours,
despise lines no lyrics can limn. Lone
sentiments no editor can get
me to trim, blistering shout-out bursts
of resentful little bons mots, those
subliminal hints of old guitars
on fire, funeral pyres of wit spent.
This is me with nothing, then. Bearer
of yesterday’s nudes, with you smitten.
cremations none can extinguish, flames
around which my pain’s worst frostbitten
enemy envies circle, livid.
Each forsaking hope, waking demons
evoking notions of no, no more
tomorrows, no sir, no-ing even
my now. Scourge of the earth work for its
death, gather together doubts and fears
discouraging my wealthy worldly
memory unworthy, but I hear
your voice rise somehow over their din.
This is me with nothing, then. Better
for having listened to my conscience.
And noise, I remember and I scorn
my silent return, collateral
envy of misfortune for which, since
tortured by what jealousy my guilt
annoys, I mourn. Saturnine, spurning
in song what others offer, what hurt
others demand needs to be done, this
moving on from what was expected,
from who I was then, who I am for
now, to whom I must become. A man
whose emptiness follows his hunger
and him to the edge, contradicting.
This is me with nothing, then. Braver
for never taking for granted men
attentive and benevolent. For
accepting them accepting me, kings
extending for this one’s more certain
benefit their favour’s hands to grip
and shake from me my contradictions.
Angelic guardians gifting their
swift guidance against my resentment’s
own devilish intentions, damaged.
Whisking from the precipice ledge near
which is this cup’s brim, this cliff echoes
of what I was fills, never fails, hears
every time he falls, this victim.
This is me with nothing, then. Flicker
of forged pictures of mine unhidden,
how his portrait for all intents, for
all purposes, works more like a dimmed
mirage than an imposter. Visions
promoting my vanishing instead
of vanity, young unformed versions
resurfacing to purge of endeared
innocence experience endured
to forge new injuries. When what gift
I seem to be flees obscene from reared
view of those absurd few whose pursuit
of me my true ugliness its veer
wishes them to see clearer, sudden
and unsubtle, reappears to bleed.
This is me with nothing, now. Soul freed!