Poem – “Heart in the Catacombs”

Heart in the Catacombs

Heart in the catacombs, in the valve
A facsimile of the orchard, necrotic
Digital memory of a lifetime, corrupted
Suspended in its nightmare, evolving
In the dark fog, in the core of a plastic apple
Heart in the catacombs, in the valve
In the wishing well of the blue-eyed devil

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Depression and Recovery

Has this been the worst, most godforsaken, vindictive, worthless year in existence, or what? I thought 2016 was nothing but suffering, but 2016 was baby toys compared to what 2019 has been. It’s just 2016 with the last number turned upside-down, which apparently makes it worse, though some kind of time necromancy.
Apparently I am not the only one, because I’ve seen more posts about recovery, depression, mental breakdowns and sorrow than I can count in the past month, on different blogs. I usually can find something creative to say when an experience is bad, but I have none for this year, and it’s only halfway over.

I’m battling an extremely difficult recovery, so I know it’s only been a few days since I posted, but that’s the primary reason my review series haven’t wrapped up or developed. All the words have been gradually stolen from me by the abyss, even the ones written by other people! It seems like every time I try to read, a boombox cuts on somewhere and I get serenaded to tuneless bass. Such is life, and nobody in mine can stomach silence.
Cleaning up my ghost stories project has also cannibalized a chunk of my free time, but that’s one of the rare things that are actually positive, so I’m not going to blame it. I feel better now, so hopefully I’ll be able to get to them soon. I suppose many good things have come out of this year, but the costs they’ve come at are almost not worth it.

Poem – “Alive”

Alive

Awake, a heart beating only in motion
Never alive without the ominous question
Will the blood still churn in the morning?
Will I succumb like those before me,
Weeping like children in front of an audience
That never tried to notice until hours burnt down
The shack of wills, so hasty and pointless, was felled
And they decided not to exist, only a motion

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “Anxious, Anxious”

Anxious, Anxious

Trying to entrance myself into believing
That it isn’t a major ordeal at all,
That there’s no needle-teeth lurking beneath
Everything I try to hold in reverence
And it’s not true that it means nothing at all
But it’s a pit of vipers under its skin

Anxious, anxious
I don’t know what’s lying
But I know you mean harm
Underneath your surface
Anxious, anxious
What it is, it never is
All a pit of snakes in waiting

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “The Weight of Fever”

The Weight of Fever

It threatens the heart like magma
Tense against the lip of the volcano
The neverending overlap of voices
None of whom have anything to say
Take pleasure in sliding through the ear
A bundle of needles to the cochlear spiral
The weight of fever mutes any fascination
The wavering fog stifles movement
None of it has any reason to be

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “Darkmood”

Darkmood

When you wake under its weight
Even to breathe is an obstacle
Like tearing down a citadel
With the edge of your fingernail
Darkmood knows when it is unwelcome
For she must knock the loudest then
Shatter the ear as she shatters your dreams

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “Houses of Fire”

Houses of Fire

The banquet is long-curdled ashes
The skeletons have long since shed their skin
Houses are fire never meant to comfort
The noose that was hung up never burns
The taste of flame waits patiently for a decision
I know will be impossible to make
Melded-open eyes follow my footsteps
All the way to the mausoleum

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “No Laughter”

No Laughter

The hive usurped my home
I practice no happiness,
I produce no laughter
I am the embodiment of painted phantoms
The paper screen containing shadows
The reverb of their voice recalls insects
And I struggle to see them as humanoid
I cannot fathom their patterns,
Not quite animal, not quite man
The alternating space between dreams
Unveils the truth behind their skin
I pretend not to remember it

Copyright ©2019 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “Discontent”

Damnation that has haunted me since before
Irrational, inevitable
Skulking in the blood around my brain,
Cautiously creeping…
Only you will be my fall, will you not?
Never letting go, clinging like a child ghost
Tantrums, the wails of you drown me out
Eager as a rich fever, stealing me away
Nagging, gnawing like cells of disease
Tyrant in the dark, ruler of one only

©2018 S. M. Shuford
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Poem – “Defiance”

Defiance

Depression is a slow and overwhelming fever,
Defiance is the rage potent enough to break it
Defiance is the torch that burns depression’s fog,
Screaming I want to see again, I want to see clearly
I want my eyes to embrace what you always deny me
I need only my own skeleton, never those you create
I want to diverge from you once and for all

© S. M. Shuford 2018
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