Turned to Ash (Burned Alive)/In the Soft Light of the Flesh

But I have been familiar with ruins too long to dislike desolation.


Don’t give me authenticity,
give me personality. Don’t
be mistaken, be by
design. It must be
art because it isn’t
entertaining, this life of
mine you find so
fascinating you find it
necessary, apparently, to invade
with your eyes. Those
blinking knives twisting their
way inside behind boundary
lines laid as defenses
against false friendships and
hands digging gold instead
of keeping for all
time this heart seekers
of thrills cheapen when
mined. Twinned carried on
the wind by thieves.


Skies were blue cellophane,
clear as tears wrapping
until strained around breath
day lit the way
sighs fill cavernous what-ifs
instead of paying no
mind to what gets
overblown by self-doubt. Reflecting
as raindrops did into
shadows that silence might
float across fears and
hope would grow. Bubble
out in the soft
light of the flesh
your whispers inhabit. Go
toward being known for
more than words, for
being more toward than
others unheard of before.
When torn clouds pour.


Torment torrents expiating currents,
appreciates the wreckage of
my past, moments into
meaning monumental beefs being
at peace with being
defeated lean on in
endings beginnings need. Freed,
how seemingly meaningless these
battles with seeming someone
else this cycle of
catastrophes deceived me as
being even possibly necessary.
In its amethyst fugue,
always attuned to seeming
subdued, we who confuse
drunkenness of mood for
truth are fools whose
illusions come to rule
us. Loss of control
sobers as betrayal does.


Turned to ash, burned
alive, in the soft
light of the flesh,
trash until annihilation flaws
this touch of ours.
Claws until raw this
canvas my art crawls
across. Talking skin flicked
by cigarette kisses, ink
dripped in excessive increments,
maxims maximizing permissive flex.
Abuse of sentiment, let’s
express transgression without reason.
In my needing, stick
to threading through wounds
breath bleeding sutures of
rumours whispered to suit
your narrative fantasies potential
abandons. Nothing to prove,
two versions pervert truth.

1Lord Byron, letter to Thomas Moore, from Venice, November 17th, 1816, in Leslie A. Marchand’s Byron’s Letters and Journals, Volume V: ‘So late into the night,’ 1816–1817, published at Cambridge, Massachusetts by Harvard University Press in 1976; page 129.