a place not here

in the chilly mists of morning
every day
reluctantly they go away
hair hangs in eyes
heads hang at half mast
steps are slow
expressions downcast

weather is no deterrent
sun or snow
quietly determined off they go
to do silent battle
with grim reality
while the clock ticks down
until the moment they’re set free

copyright © 2014 KPM

aplacenothere pic

the Strathmore Hotel

on the edge of the town centre
in a tiny Scottish town
lies a derelict hotel
of battered stone all mossy brown

a once grand place
central to the town’s life
now sad and neglected
with ghostly squatters it is rife

people hurry past the place
it seems to fill them with dread
when you ask about its history
everyone averts their head

no records of these walls exist
in town hall or ancient book
so armed with pen and camera
I entered alone to have a look

the faded foyer was resplendent
with a dusty chandelier
the fireplace mantle bore a statue
of a Venetian gondolier

toward a spiral staircase
my eager footsteps were spurred
seeking the owners of the voices
whose tearful whispers I’d just heard

80 steps I climbed
rotting handrail cautiously grasped
and at the top I saw a sight
so frightening that I gasped

a seemingly endless corridor
with 10 doors on each side
in the middle of the hall
stood what was surely Satan’s bride

her body was built for seduction
dark eyes and hair aflame
nude and rotting she strode toward me
without any fear or shame

“Greetings,” the apparition said
“We’ve had nae visitors for many a year
I’d be delighted if you stayed,
but others may not want you here.”

“What is this place?” I asked her
“What life did you forsake?
“I must be going crazy –
Is this a dream? Am I awake?”

“No dream is this,” she cackled
“You’re in the home of those who fell
“Too wicked are we for heaven,
too evil are we for hell.”

then the doors which lined the hallway
opened wide with rusty shrieks
spilling forth the damned and fallen
all blank eyes and decayed cheeks

“Ahhhhh!” they cried as they capered
“Fresh meat for the hotel grinder!
“So much for curiosity –
no one will ever find her!”

on my knees I cried and swore
that their secret I’d never tell
but they believed me not:
now I call home the Strathmore Hotel

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

strathmore hotel pic

the boy with red laces

I saw a boy this morning
he had red laces in his shoes
his hair was lank & greasy
his right eye had a bruise

he wore a dirty sweatshirt
his jeans had a hole at the knee
& he shivered with the cold
as he shyly glanced at me

though the morning air was chilly
his forehead shone with sweat
as he timidly enquired
if I had a cigarette

I took out my menthol Sterlings
I placed them in his grimy hand
saying, “you can keep ‘em, dude,
‘s okay – I understand.”

he thanked me then he hurried off
this boy with red laces in his shoes
just another fragile human
with a face full of the blues

copyright © 2008-2014 KPM

red laces pic

3:40

in da record shop
is where ah wait
chillin’ wit Ricky
near da heatin’ grate
illuminated by
a florescent light
on a cold C-town
winter night
ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

ah’m trippin’out
on Ricky’s dirty hair
as discordant music
fouls da air
playin’ Tempest,
a borin’ arcade game
while Ricky cracks
his jokes so lame
an’ ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

Ricky acks me
do ah want some crack
an’ ah say
“naw, my old man’ll be back”
so he goes on an’
fires up dat pipe
its smelly smoke
makes a thin white stripe
meanwhile ah’m doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ here waitin’ fo’ you
jes’ waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

at long las’ yo’ ass
breezes thru da door
yo’ imitation Timbalands
pissin’ snow on da floor
kissin’ me ‘fore you drag me
outa da shop
an’ Ricky yells “y’all wait up!”
but we don’ stop
cuz ah’m done doin’ what
ah always do:
sittin’ ‘round waitin’ fo’ you
waitin’ waitin’ fo’ you

copyright © 2010-2014 KPM

340 pic

Narcissus

lemme say a few words
about Narcissus
legend has it he’d live long
if he took no missus
he had a massive mirror
that he kept on a shelf
‘n the townspeople reckoned
dude was in love with hisself

behind his house was a
big ol’ heart-shaped pool
where he’d stare at his
reflection like a dreamy fool
he was plagued by many suitors
of both sexes every day
but he hated their attentions
‘n sent everyone away

folks said he was conceited
everyone thought him vain
never occurred to anyone
that dude might be in pain
Narcissus didn’t love hisself
that really wasn’t the deal
he kept starin’ at hisself
to prove that he was real

Narcissus doubted everything:
people, time ‘n space
this constant sense of unreality
caused him to focus on his face
he heard voices in his head
“you’re not real,” they would insist
so he gazed upon hisself
as reassurance he did exist

‘twas a lonely life
‘n this is how he lived for years
seeking proof of his existence
to the echo of his neighbors’ jeers
unconvinced of his substance
at last the voices led him astray
‘n he drowned in his reflection
there to fade away

copyright © 2014 KPM

narcissus pic

does everyone stare?

big & brown
never are they cast down
they stare at me
but what’s to see?

blue & bleary
the wind makes them teary
they stare at me
what do they see?

summer leaf green
some kind, some mean
staring at me
what is it they see?

gray & grim
a small army of them
always starin’ at me
what in hell do they see?

bold & black
their gaze like an attack
just starin’ at me
wish I knew what they see

copyright © 2014 KPM

does everyone stare pic

beam me up, Scotty!

jacked-up junkies
dirty drunkies
colleagues that’re ass-lickin’ flunkies

gutted cars
sleazy strip bars
stoners who claim they’ve come from Mars

steamin’ dog shit
damp blobs of spit
men who claim to love you before they hit

beam me up, Scotty
cuz planet Earth is whack
beam me up, Scotty
I’ll never ask you to come back

welfare mommas
baby daddy dramas
kids wanderin’ the streets in threadbare pajamas

teens in detention
workers on suspension
news headlines too awful to mention

street musicians
corrupt politicians
ordinary folk on desperate missions

beam me up, Scotty
I’m drownin’ in fear
beam me up, Scotty
cause I don’t like it here

copyright © 2014 KPM

beammeupscotty pic

dark wonder

a dark wonder
manifest in verse
love as a blessing
life as a curse
hopes that curdle
like spoiled cream
depression devours
every dream
lawless / legless
tortured thoughts shifting
vainly seeking
light uplifting
a buzzing noise
a heart like stone
sweaty / sleepless
nights alone

copyright © 2014 KPM

dark wonder pic

symphony for sin in seven parts

a soul as old as the sands of time
owner of a house without reason or rhyme
only infidels are invited in
to partake all the delights of sin

thus the doors are opened wide
welcome to the darker side

Livia, Delilah and Jezebel
grin as they greet you at the gates of hell
keepers of the eternal fires
grantors of your darkest desires

thus the doors are opened wide
celebrate the darker side

a room full of mirrors crack’d and stained
sad souls dance before them ‘til they’re drained
down vanity’s slope these souls did slide
into the valley known as Pride

thus the doors are opened wide
take a look at the darker side

for those who Envy there’s a special hoard
of lovely things they could never afford
items they wish they could’ve bought
baubles for which they bitterly fought

thus the doors are opened wide
rejoice in the darker side

there’s a massive kitchen for Gluttony
in here you can eat everything you can see
smack your lips and watch your belly swell
then waddle thru the halls of hell

thus the doors are opened wide
drink deep of the darker side

the cellar holds a diabolical jury
for those who spent their lives in fury
follow a steep and spirally path
to cavort with the demon Wrath

thus the doors are opened wide
gambol in the darker side

we’ve not left out a room for Greed
so satisfy your every need
money and sex, or jewels and power
you’ll never have an idle hour

thus the doors are opened wide
delight in the darker side
lazy souls can pledge their troth
to the slovenly spirit Sloth
a simpering and mindless jerk
with him you’ll never have to work

thus the doors are opened wide
all hail the darker side

our favourite room was saved ‘til last
for boasters of their sexual past
the attic holds the incubus Lust
come copulate amidst the dust

thus the doors are opened wide
learn to love your darker side

copyright © 2014 KPM

symphony for sin pic

before I die

gradually,
beauty departs
in erratic fits & starts:
hair becomes thinner,
dirty dishwater gray
lower is the ass
that once had a sexy sway
breasts that drew men’s eyes
are no longer firm
the first varicose vein appears
like some malevolent worm
if you’re lucky, you grow old
though this process one may hate
she views it amusement
continuing to celebrate

copyright © 2014 KPM

before I die pic