The Masque of Misrule

 

“You are a cruel mistress of misrule,
a leech, a blind machine, a useful tool.”
– Charles Baudelaire

Saurian eyes look out of the green lime hedge
Beyond the portico, her stone intelligence
Misprisions me within this opium maze:

Swift laughter’s heart betrays its skill,
As shadows prey and whispered feline wiles
Quicken an eagle’s pyre on a black sun’s dial, 

While an owl’s new moon slow musings slay the night in twain;
An entangling web, her dark embrace, white teeth –
Her clasping claws – a metronome, time’s silver prophecy;

Her jeweled basilisk eyes, marking each beat that lasts –
The masquerade, the dancers in the bronzed cage:
And, I, her cloven lover succor her within this singular hell –

A beast depraved by her magic touch, dammed by
Her kisses, the metal pigments jutting out – black remembrances
Shading us from the bright life outside this red circle;

A darkening confederacy of love wreaks havoc
On the eclipsed stars, while we fall gracefully

Among these scarlet sheets so smooth and silky;

The embroidered ecstasy that is her fatal bite
Pricks the tempered steel that is my mind;
And, I, like an entombed archaeologist of corruption

Wander the mausoleum ruins of her ivory flesh
Like some vast and empty temple of lost time,
And in its frozen precincts I discover a blue stone afire:

It is her volcanic core – the extended screech across the void –
A fetid imbroglio hangs between us, and a delicate cord of ebony
That binds us thickly concludes this fatal tryst in a darker circle of love:

Connoisseur of forbidden pleasures I sculpt her life beyond this fabricated semblance:
                                                         A golden mask of joyous pain to the Lord of Misrule.

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

*Note: this is more of a study in decadence, using the elements from Gautier, Baudelaire, the de Goncourt brothers and other infamous denizens of the Opium tribes who experimented with the lurid dreams of the great Parisian opium dens and forms of decadent closure manifested in the flaneur, Poe, the vampire legends, etc. I’ve often toyed with the notion of writing a decadent mystery novel with Baudelaire and Gautier as the Holmes and Watson of the era… of course Baudelaire as dandy and flaneur was perfect as a observer but in actual life was so hooked and depleted by Opium that it like Thomas De Quincey’s The Confessions of an Opium Eater and the many and various biographies from Gautier’s onward.

The Black Prince (Satire)

It’s true I complain too much and loudly,
but even Emily Post had an unkind word or two;
while you… you say nada, nada, nada –
as if nothingness was a word for true love.

Maybe I’m wrong for hounding you, dog of my bone:
you prance around, pout and pounce;
yes, yes,
I know the truth, I’m an overbearing louse:

a slovenly god of trucks and motor oil,
a grim knight of beer and whiskey: of late, your spouse!

But what would you have me be?
Oh, forget it,
I know already:
you’d have me dressed in white,
a shiny knight with the midas touch,

a singing jester, or Fred Astaire –
dancing till Midnight;

you’d have me bare and prim,
mated to leather chains by Armani.

Well you can have your Prince in  fetish leathers now,
I’m through with this minstrelsy of slights and spites;
I’ll be the Black Prince of Shadows —a lover’s curse:
plunderer of far kingdoms, despair’s dark brother,
till you relent this silly game of tease —
kiss me quickly fool, before I fall down and beg you, too!

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

 

Leavetaking

What is loss but a leavetaking:
a slow sailing across white seas,

a severing that will never bid goodbye;
even those leaves that fall, attach themselves

to other leaves, windblown gatherings:
motions on the dark horizon, floating, challenging:

a smile more frightening than life itself;
and, we, the breathing go on down this lonely road,

our lives like winter foals upon an open field;
snow laden and innocent, unshorn by thoughts

that cleave us to this burden, this daily tribulation:
that sparks us to action till we grow young in her arms again

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

 

 

Mandolin Lady

She’s a country girl
no doubt can sway you:

her smile, sweet freckles,
the grace that has no need to tell;

she’ll call you where you stand
and break you of that wildness;

and in that moment she picks the mandolin
a spell commences, another world arises
:

a fire out some old Irish by and by,
her fingers dancing on taut wires:

melodies of enchantment or doom,
blazings lighting a fierce day –

of lovers and warriors,
moon reed twining’s:

once we were stones crossing just there –
weavings inextricably meshed in this green destiny

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Relations

“Shine here to us, and thou art every where;
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy spheare.”

   – John Donne

In the meeting of our eyes
we knew it,
this other we’ve become:

this separate more inclusive one –
a relation larger more expansive,
speaking to us inside this sphere;

disconnected from our former lives
we link each to the other in this sensual realm,
touching what cannot be touched, withdrawn;

yet, touching us by other means
than these soft caressing’s that ensnare us

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Open the Dark

goth

We never really see
what’s there in the dark

but if we try real hard
it will see us

and in that seeing
there is a knowing beyond telling

one that stays us
even when we cannot see

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Honky Tonk Dreamer

There was no sadness
no laughter
no light

she’d long given way
to that myth:

night in, night out

she waltzed in that dream
the one that held
her to this thin scarlet world

lost in the maze
passing other shadows,
other lover’s – indifferent

to their charms, wiles, and lies 

till she found me warm
against the dark

 

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

The Lover’s Pact

Even now you can find it
where the old oak still stands
down by the river,
by the muddy bottoms,
where the brown flows on –

carrying us away

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.