The Washtub Demon

Small faces through eyelids fall in filed rows.
A thumping of ghosts: oval mouthed–tall hungry sockets–
gaunt skin suits draped limp–eight unwelcome appendages, clawing forth.
Pale bright, loud and berserker.
With breath held they are raging.
My body here floating like a raft observing those
creatures of the bath deep.
The faucet pound, it holler, coyotes humming,
holler like ice breaking.

All here has been rising


I am neck deep in darkness.

Boom goes the washtub
as all the nether gates spew open
and all the devils beneath the world
rush out in droves.
My wrist, long ruptured upon the porcelain;
the blood is falling out in dredging drivers,
screwing tight into atoms,
scrubbing everything into red.

A dog screamed once, and that was all it took
for black baboons of Babylon to screech wild
and wreckage me by wretched name.
Each syllable was a razor, that ravage at each ear.
Each cut memory prone, the barking barking barking shining
cold gears of the mind left for dead.
Each limb that sink deeper
castrate each pain, them croaking as frogs
do in a dank hollow, waning with the light.

Wet, foaming from lips and tethered to this white room
I am hindered in anti-time. The soft fluorescent
beam up ahead; pupils silting as sand-flakes
slowly backward to a wall
with bloody stamp upon it.
Snapping teeth clops
galloping galloping
in body gone mad fit
like my mother had at the sunrises. Silent, and trapped,
stuffed in a kitchen window that kept out the night.

Blue is a clear color without some sky.
All becomes quite noticeable, as black stars
eek from out me
dispelling my sunken insides. It is a
dust cloud that buries
in a cosmos of drifting horrors.
Earthly colors blur and choke ghouls below
remaking them of stretched, dancing, banshee shapes,
and I am left warbling in waters of
bloodshot clay.
Never had my eyes seen such demons in swell,
Swallowing me.







From the washtub
I have climbed.
Smeared upon the tile, the little handprints of
my youth are there—slack charcoaled and sullen
wrapped in that poisoning noose
of quietude.
They fill and slash across every doorway:

every clockface,

every mirror,

every portrait,




and hanging peg

that spun me down to the unimaginable.
All there in this body, long squelched, husked and of
boney pieces, uninhabitable.
What good can unclean fingers do? I can think of one,

“Do they still have strength to squeeze?”

All fear rakes like irons, residing in the ankles.
Elbows smudge fogged tiles,
bandaged in wet.
I have not the strength to squeeze,

not yet.

I sit upon the couch menstruating freely
into the textile drape, and I have but one thought
as all I bleed out runs down my left leg
in tiny dreams aborting from the dark:
What hour is it?

Buzzing foibles all attempts to shut out.

Blinking dozes my sensory organs snuffed.

Blowing brains are but a thing of the past as

I twitch lung-cramped in spasm-eyes and legs

wandering against the far wall.

I can smell the cat.

The summit reached, the peak departed,
all is calmer now.

What mess, what hazard confusion I have left in my wake.
Twice failed, twice succeeded;
the episode receding all things do clear and reorganize.

I hear the bathroom roaring. The faucet has been
left running and the washtub is overflowing.
A slither mark upon the carpet of brown and vermillion
kinks about the room as a fine square maze.
I am here at the end,
slicked like a newly born babe but silent as a crone.
Nude and on my back I clutch papers scabbed in
body fluids and demon ichor.
I now just realize I have written all my sickness,


it is strangely beautiful.

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