Archive for Poem

The Poetics of May

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by Rathan Krueger


At the start of last month, I started a new creative exercise. The day before, I write three words, all stream-of-consciousness. The next day, I force myself to write a poem about them, then leave three new words for the morrow. It’s been an interesting and challenging thing that I’m continuing this month. Keeps me creatively fit as well as prepares me for the day a decade or so from now when I add being a musician to my renaissance list. I was also inspired slightly by Emily Dickinson and her absurd pile of poetry. Here are some of my favorites.

May 6th, 2017 (mistreatment, locomotive, stars)

The engine grinds them
Sinews and gristle snag and snap twixt the gears
Atomized blood a steady cloud
The squeal comes from voices, not brakes
The flames of combustion
Fanned by adoring hearts
All for a magazine cover

May 8th, 2017 (tape, repetition, clouds)

Rhapsody on strips
Unbelievably high on currents
Noticed only by aviary beasts
Rooted in their confusion
Utmost and plentiful
Nature despises the laboratory
Rushing past abominations
Undulating through condensations
Nary one makes it alive

May 11th, 2017 (breasts, graphite, Spain)

Nights of nuclear paint under ultraviolet light
Swimming with sweat, sex, and sounds of the vox populi
Ibiza reigns and rains with no trace of soudade
Her endowments glow bare and bright, and I am grateful
I woke to her number near a pencil, not the stairs

May 20th, 2017 (blood, clay, apathy)

As you mold coldly twixt my fingertips
I notice you are the only feeling
That exists about me
The sanguine flow within
Stiff as you in contradiction
If only it went beyond hyperbole
I finish and we look the clown

May 22nd, 2017 (upside-down, clitoris, jagged line)

A thousand threads
Pierce through the dark
Suspending barriers
Decorated with chevrons
A giggle of wind
Makes millions of threads soar inverted
Lighting the way for a break in time
To your tangled plain
And tender hill

May 24th, 2017 (fire, disappointment, sane)

You may take purchase
Of finer banalities
But make no mistake
You play in a holocaust of vanity
Each singeing lick
A memento of mischance and apathy
As you make your bedlam
As you fade away

May 25th, 2017 (silence, wires, grain)

The world is chaos and phlem
Tangled in pulsing currents of now
Sent to the mill to be pulverized into acceptance
‘Til the quietness of your still heart reigns

May 28th, 2017 (addiction, chainsaw, well)

Screeching down mildewed walls of stone
Brick by brick, descending into cylindrical darkness
But for the sparking interruptions
Deeper and deeper I sink
Regretfully… greedily
‘Til the water blankets me
However, serenity loves a taunt
Thus I’m denied my final splash
Still I fall, still I reach, still I fall

May 31st, 2017 (Pocky, slide, thunderstorm)

The tumultuous sky spits upon us
And lashes out with forked tongues
Onto those conductors electric
Some unfortunate ones are planted in playgrounds
Ladders attached for clamoring hands
Leading to plummeting surfaces
And woodchips crackling undertow
A sated child watches
As they nibble on Japanese delights


The Royal Nothing

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

The court is dead
It lies to itself as well as us
Says that it is merely dying
Few things are as pathetic
As unaccepting corpses
The court is dead
And we accept its lies

Yearning is childish fancy
A wish is a desolate prayer to illusion
Hopes are for the broken
While you sleep, dreams are the poison-drip into your ear

Orgies swirl in the town square of abberation
For there is comfort in letting go
Of all responsibility to the future
And laying blame on The Other

“Their fault, never mine. Never mind”

As an outlier, I only hear the moans
Catch the scent on the wind
I have wanted neither to glimpse or participate
Yet that does not mean
The bacchanalia has no sway

I have my distractions
Staying me from my rusted crown
Though I approach it head held high
My eyes are my great betrayer
Yet I need them, lest I walk in bigger circles

Trinkets my almost-kingdom could afford by the moundful
I desperately clamor for enough to barely fit in my palm
A junkie to its fix
Out of space, out of taste
Ardor that will flow like the treacherous hurricane
I look for in swamps
The drought-stricken lovefool
In an unworthy place for either them or their intended

They aren’t enough to destroy me
But they do make the crowned road longer
And corrosion loves time
Still, one could wipe the grime away
If they quicken their pace
Or, let the deceitful, rotting court
Take it all, kingdom and square

Varnish or vanish
Such is life


The Sullen Doll

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

It dangles
From the ceiling, the sky… from underneath
Its strings sing nervously
From flesh, sanguine-stained
Memories of red gave way to caked blackness
The once-turgid strings are brittle due to the arid nature of neglect
Yet they still hold, yet they still sing
The body is still warm, you see

Agony and despair… that is their melody
Played in time with the distant clock
Fading more with each titillated breath
A melody she taught herself to play

Her clock has almost forgotten how to chime
Though it is almost midnight
She does not lament, no
This has all been her choice
Each nick, bruise, and lash
If she has one regret
In her life abruptly lush with ecstasy and torment
It is that she never learned moderation
Lucretia, the patron saint of overindulgence

I believe it began with a kiss
As all worthwhile things should
His fingers were lost, entangled in my hair
And I liked it
They pulled, his strength made the gesture a dull ache
And I liked it
The familiar roughness made its way to every part of me
And I Loved It
My adamantine heart was melted by an exceptional sensuality
He warned me to nurse my endeavor, lest it became my addiction
“Watch it close, let it brew.”
But I yearned too hastily for so much more
The path to sainthood begins with death
Though I had no interest in piety
My hurried lust brought me to the Reaper, just the same

Lucretia eventually found
That there is a place in this world for everyone
No matter how deranged their desire
Even if it is to become the dangling woman
A gruesome plaything to her impatient appetite
A puppet… a doll

One last tickling shiver
And her fallow clock wafts finally into entropy

The dead are breathless
Yet there is an intimate truth on the wind
From their rictus grin
To your unwilling ear
“I’ll see you soon. Bound and able.”


Miseria Sanguinis

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

Bliss is in the foolish hearts that still throb
Dull drums suspended in wet cages
Baiting those anarchic to nature’s demands
To slumber
To wane
To hunger for normalcy

I was such as them once… the blissful
Before my Day of Dying
Death implies finality
And I madly dance on its cusp
Serenaded by fleshy percussions
Rhythms I cannot ignore or enjoy
All I can do is listen

As my fingers trace the Dying Marks upon my neck
While I soar above mortality, above morality
And below the billowing vapor
My mind wanders
Like the vulture lustful for carrion
To when I was a desperate bride
When I was loved
And so full of bliss
I expect the halcyon-stained vision
To bring warmth from inside
Stillness.. shivers… sorrow
I want to rend the hail within me
But that would bring finality
I spitefully tear at the sacs on my chest
Those relics of femininity
I can hear the red slivers slap sickly miles below
Soon, my relics erupt from me
Snapshots before my Day of Dying
My weakness churns my abstract hunger
My fangs thirst eagerly
Children are oh, so blissful
And all are slumbering unprotected

Do not hate me for this
Do not love or pity me
Emotions make the drums tremble louder
You might find me dancing at your window


Music Box

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

I could let it die
As the music crawls to deafness
I could let it die
My fingertips, calloused from refrains, hover over the key
It knows my touch so well
Polished by hope and disappointments
I could let it die
Before I can stop myself, I twist the brass
Before I can hate myself, the melody ensnares me

The machinations start their heartache routine
And the tin figure moves down the twisted, turning track
It always begins with a bow towards me
To acknowledge that I’m here?
Or to greet my shame?
It never waits for me to return the gesture
To see how foolish I can be
Instead, the gears of longing work their magic
Sending it down a pristine, familiar road
Its tiny feet dangle helplessly

Which will it take?
The path will soon split into many branches
Like a tree waiting with disillusionment
The melody is sweet
I can almost taste the promises waiting to be broken
About me
About “you”
Click, click, click, click
The tin figure chooses the second one from the left
As always, I see my reflection in the dome

An automaton raises portenteously
As my avatar approaches without a choice
Its branchmates admire the show
With cotton popcorn and waxen tea
This is when they meet, when the branches begin to bud
This is when I fall, when the branches begin to bloom
This is when they kiss, when the blooms begin to rot
This is when tragedy returns, when the rot begins to choke
This is when tragedy remains, when the world begins to fade
The automaton stabs what could be me
And stabs, and stabs, and stabs, and stabs
The heart, the head, repeat, ad nauseum
Blood was spent years ago
What lurches out is a stream of consciousness
Onto pages with penstrokes
The tin figure returns to its home
As I wait for the music to end
But then, it’s all in my mind

But First…

Posted in Blog, Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

    I’m glad so many people liked the bit of erotica poetry I wrote Wednesday. Back when I decided to create stories that weren’t typical and to focus on female characters, I didn’t want to restrict myself in any way. My creative urges veer towards the dark, but one thing I always wanted to make sure of was that whenever I chose to use sex, it would mostly be in a positive way. There’s enough stuff out there shaming people out of sex (while at the same time throwing as much sex as possible at people [psychiatrists wonder why Americans have problems…]), I didn’t feel the need to add to that pile. Celebrate sex, damnit. Responsibly. And although I don’t mind writing sex, I can’t write something that’s purely sexual. By that, I mean that I can’t write just a sex act. There has to be more going on. One of the things I’m proudest of about THE GRAVE OF LINDA SEWARD is that there’s a story along with fucking. Well… not so much a story as it is character stuff. But it’s great character stuff, I feel. I didn’t give them names, but I’d like to think that you know the couple well enough. Another of my prouder achievements is not making the couple typically romantic.

“I love you.” “I love you, too.” “This moment is so special to me.” “I know, it’s the same for me.” “Don’t let go.” “I’ll never let go, Darling. I’ll never, ever let go.”

    Fucking shoot me. That amorous interplay might’ve been fine last century, last millennium, but love evolves. It’s not just about being lovers anymore. The person you’re with has to also be your friend. Otherwise, why bother potentially spending the rest of your life with them? You should be able to have passionate sex with them as well as have fun. Be their shoulder to cry on and be their enabler. As I was writing the poem, I got the sense that the couple really liked each other as lovers and friends (I’m not nearly as “conscious” when writing poetry as I am when screenwriting, so lots of things surprise me) and that kept me interested. I wasn’t in the room with the people who’ve enjoyed it, but I’d like to think that it was a reason they were interested, too. That and the oral.

    But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. Things are still on-track this year to make the film that I wrote, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about, either. I told myself to not talk about a project until I was knee-deep in it. Eating crow is a terrible thing. I won’t be directing the film that’s a-coming, but I wanted to stay productive until I write my opportunity to direct. So I decided to write a book of women-centric short stories. Some dark, some funny, some sexy, some philosophical, but always entertaining. The format of the short stories will jump all over the place, too. Some will be written normally, but I plan on doing other things like writing some as if they were letters. And writing some like epic poems like THE ILLIAD. Which brings me to something I’d like to present to you.

    I love time-travel stories (at least one reader knows how deep I am into all things DOCTOR WHO), but I feel that the potential for them hasn’t been realized yet. I have a few ideas and I felt that it was time to put my money where my mouth was. THE PAIN OF BEING MAN (a barely modified Hunter S. Thompson quote) is turning out to be an awesome behemoth. My intention was to write a seven-part poem over the course of seven pages. Well. The part I’m about to share with you (3) ends midway on the eighth page. So, yeah, you’re in for a long read (sorry?). I think the only thing you need to know before reading is that the time-traveler’s name is Melody and that the time-travel device is a horn. Oh, and that I definitely wore my dark hat as I wrote it.

   Thanks for reading.


The charred live upon Gallows Hill
Still choke the throats of those who linger
Stroking an axe named “Regress”
On the grindstone called “Life”
History claims that The Trials hung their prey
Yet there is fiction in this truth
Nineteen twigs were snapped
But Salem’s most wretched blights
Are smears on antiquity’s chalkboard
For shared belief can build worlds
And shared denial can will anything to entropy
What tastes more bitter than a lynch mob?
What makes the prideful give pause
Seeing the step too far behind them
Footprints in the ashes of those they have damned
In the delirium of their prudish blazes

The brandy of power
Flowed down the throats of Salem’s bureaucracy
As Sarah and Alice, Susannah and Mary
As Elizabeth swung from their “charity”
The collective subconscious of the bureaucracy
Drunkenly proclaimed
Women should know their place
On their backs, knees, or last nerves
At the whims of their husbands… their masters
The male gaze guided this purpose
But the execution was far more androgynous
Sisterhood served the mushroomhead
Legs spread and self-worth in absentia
The merest hint of dissent
Was banished to a hole under Gallows Hill
Twice as deep as the grave
But the grave was more inviting

Women dug the hole
Women filled the hole
Women’s cries slapped the dirt
…and some women preferred things this way
The hole began to fill and fill
But the drunkards couldn’t decide
If it was a means or an end
Demeter’s sadness made their choice
As her tears gave Charon a new harvest
Culling the women in the hole
Making them victims no longer
Yet the bureaucracy was still at a loss
Even as the man-made mire dried
Even as the carrion invited pestilence
Until, one night
A prudish blaze made the issue extinct
Lit by friend or foe
Covered by time and shame

In the pandemonium
(Milton’s or Webster’s)
Some women fled to sanity
Tide and plain alike
Caitrin, of the O’Days, found regretful peace
Conceived an expected brood
And died typically
Her mother and sister, however
Were spared such mediocrity
Denied such splendor
Mother, Margaret
Daughter, Fainche
Father, Struthers
All dancers in the Chauvinism Party Line

Once upon an evening dreary
A grievous Struthers took stock of his life
His life left lacking Caitrin
She was his favorite
Daughter, female figure, whatever
For weeks, she’s been gone
His agony caused frenzies and ulcers
He hid his apoplectic nature
For fear of ending up on or under Gallows Hill
But on this evening, he achieved lucidity
A crooked truth erected itself
As he made answers for himself
Its bricks were selfish
And perversions its mortar
Alas, humanity could not be found
Only Fainche, idle sans protection

The salty air, Neptune’s breath
Is a constant presence in this coastal colony
Margaret feels a sting she cannot shake
Malaise ensnares her
Like the day’s take upon the pier
Mother’s intuition or puritanical paranoia
Whichever magnetic plight you choose
Pulls her from her wifely duties
To her idle Fainche

Passing through the doorway
Margaret wades through her dread
She knows they are inside
Yet she cannot place where
She wants to call out to them
Though she fears the potential truth
Her creaking steps reek of warning
Or laughter
But the stinging remains the same
Her failures of domestic exploration
Lead to one last room
Her quivering hand opens
The cellar door

What tender touches reserved for Margaret
Roam over Fainche
Gagged and tearful
Struthers explains himself
Without a hint of hubris or shame
And endeavors Margaret’s understanding
While casting out the absent Caitrin
Father knows best
Murmurs of the bureaucracy
Birthmarks on Margaret’s memory
Another voice she also hears
And mistakes for her conscience
She offers it the same obedience
Whilst snatching Fainche from the queer setting

Struthers commands
With the fury of a broken man
As Fainche clings to her mother’s chest
That his wife return his child to him
Lest he beat them both
And leave them to ruin
Father knows best
But Margaret can’t abandon Fainche
Loyalty to two masters
Takes its toll on her heart
The stinging in her breast
Is like a drill to her core
Her core drills back
A horn through time
…and through dear Fainche

“M-mother? It hurts so.”

Melody is again thrust into horrors
And a year she has never known
As a terrified man stands before her
As a dying girl is wrapped around her
As she still does not understand the spell

“I-I grow cold, Mother, but it’s n-not yet Winter.”

What gnarled thing passes for Struthers’ heart
Gives out first
Then his knees
His shoulders
His head
And Fainche’s tiny hands
Begin to let go of life

“Will I s-see Kitty, Mother? Y-you said that…”

When this happens next
Melody will know why
But until then
She can only bask in the death
And cry herself to sleep

The Grave of Linda Seward

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

It began as a dare of the midnight variety
Twixt a guy, his girl, and the gate behind her
She dares him to hop it
He tells her she’s crazy
She then dares herself
She lands on her ass
And, though it hurt, she’s glad
Her skirt didn’t get caught on a spike
There were better ways to end their anniversary
She tells him to join her
Who knows what’s on the other side
It’s too late to be a hero, he thinks
But he caught a glimpse of her full-bottoms
She made sure
His favorite pair
She also made sure of that
He didn’t make it as cleanly over the gate
Though he managed to land on his feet
She thanks him with a kiss
He tastes like their dessert
Her tongue ring rolls in his mouth
A birthday present
He pulls her close
But she presses closer
They can feel each other’s heat from below
She taught him well
Before, he used to go straight for her bra
Now, he makes her anxious
A hand placed behind her neck
Another on her back
Where the line of her spine ends
His fingertips stroke there
Like the soft head of a kitten
Which makes her other feline
More than a little wet
An idea comes to her before she does
And she breaks away from him
She demands that it’s time to play Hide and Seek
Then runs away before he has a chance to stop her
Before she has a chance to reconsider
He sets out to find her
Though it’s too dark to see clearly
Such is nighttime in a cemetary

He walks carefully in her general direction
One minute, two
Not really sure how to find her
Or even if she’ll play fair
The big reason why they can’t play video games
Whenever she was about to lose
She’d flash him
She also got offended when it stopped working
Even without the bra
That was on their couch
So who knows what she’ll do if he fails
In this final resting place
Just as he’s about to take out his phone
And use the flashlight app to find her
He hears something faint in the distance
Like a whisper without words
It’s definitely her voice, though
He stalks his way closer
Not sure if this is part of the game
Until her consideration is in full view

When she realized that she couldn’t see him
She worried if he’d ever find her
But she didn’t want to stop playing
Didn’t want the night to end
Not tonight
So she found what turned out to be a gravestone
And sat astride it, deep in thought
The night was cool
As was the stone
Thus her wetness from earlier
Gave her quite the shock
She covered her mouth as she gasped
Then figured out how to lure him
Like a moth to a flame
Or a hunter to its prey
She began to grind herself against the stone
The situation did more for her than she assumed
Her lips made wet clicks under the fabric
And the chilly grave turned warm
And the warmth made her moan
And her moans brought him near

She could hardly see him
But she knew he was admiring her
And couldn’t help but smile
It was like the sun to him
His being there made her motions
He affected her moans
She was losing herself to the moment
And out of fear, out of yearning
He sealed her lips with a kiss
Lust made her hungry for him
Her tongue ring danced wildly in his mouth
He was also starved
But what he wanted to taste
Was tucked away behind his favorite pair
Made the gravestone shimmer

He lifts her high
Then bends her over
She lets out a giggle
Then rests her arms on the stone
And, looking at him from behind
Waves hers playfully
If she has one regret about their relationship
It’s that she can’t share a talent
She spent her party years perfecting
In a New Age sex cult
She’d be praised as the Goddess “Fellatio”
Some women don’t like the act
And she understands their reasons
But it was always fun for her
A game she played from the tip of her tongue
To the back of her throat
She could make them last hours or seconds
Such was her skill
She didn’t even mind the taste
(on a more personal note
(she’s particularly proud of lacking cold sores)
Yet, for all her moaning and demands
Her mouth was tiny
Try as she might
And she tried plenty
She couldn’t make him fit
Thoughts like these always pop in her mind
When his mouth praises her
As his tongue flits and swirls
As his lips earn their place
Her scruples melt away
And she embraces the grave

The sweet sound of her joy fills the air
But not for the first time this night
They have many more positions to try
And no one to tell them to stop
The dead are too ashamed to rise and be
Of how her hips sway atop him
Of how he makes her feel
When the lovers eventually finish
As the sun turns the sky purple
She looks at the carnal disasterpiece they made
And sees where they spent their night
The grave of Linda Seward