Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dominick Montalto is a freelance copy editor/proofreader pursuing full-time work in the editorial division of the publishing industry. His educational background is in Literature, Art History, Philosophy, and Religion. He is a poet and critical prose essayist, with several publishing credits in both genres in print and on the web. His literary field specialization is the long 19th century from the French Revolution through the early Modern novel, with particular focus on the evolutionary changes of the Gothic, Romanticism, Decadence and Aestheticism, and Orientalism. His religious and philosophical interests focus on the various sects of mysticism, as well as Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Overall, he continues to hold a strong interest in and love for the different aspects of the arts and humanities.

Glut Myself with Blood

Where do I have left to go?
Is there anything that remains to be known?
Have I seen all things,
tasted of all flesh?

Teeth sunk,
anchored deep into bone,
my lips adrift
in the sea-bliss of blood
that spastically rises
to the surface
of your milk-washed skin
as I inter myself
in the rapture of your sex.

Teeth entombed beneath
the river-blue veins
and smooth,
cream-colored valleys
that compose your naked,
winter-stained flesh,
restless and ravished,
and entwined in waves
of black satin
and my own pale skin.

Are there dreams that have yet
to be dreamt
and nightmares
in the classic gothic tradition
still to be struck by in terror?
Are there fears
still unconquered
or sins that I have forgotten
to commit
that I passed over
like the Angel of Death
over the houses
of the pardoned Hebrew exiles?

If I have lived through all of this,
then let me go.
I will carry off
the scars that I wear
that won’t heal
and some way, somehow,
I will sift through
the golden grains
of hourglass sand
that pour
from the displaced monument
of Ozymandias,
toppled and demolished
by the eroding swamps
of Nile silt
and the seizures of war,
to find where it is
that I belong,
where I am meant to go,
to live and make my home.

I AM the prophet
of the end
that has no new beginning.
I am an eternal body
with no soul.
I am vacant and alone
without your feverish fluid
foaming furiously
within me.

I AM nothing
without your blood
coursing
and channeling through me.
I must feast upon your sex;
I must glut the tremors
of my fetish
on your pearly neck.

A Nightmare in the Gothic Tradition

I woke up in the night
and heard the shaggy,
burnt-orange leaves swiping
at the rusty, iron bars
on the windows.
The cypresses howled
at the scything wind,
its wings clipping
their prostration
in a quiver of torrid ecstasy
reminiscent
of the little death of Zeus
pinning Leda down
on the stagnant and silent waves.

I perceived Darkness visible
before me
and from this impenetrable
blackness
two queues of pallid faces
appeared, marching
and chanting
in a monotonous voice
like the unbroken caw
of vultures
violently murdered
in the silver-blue scales of Death.

I started to hasten through
the subdued corridors
opening into vaulted courts
where glistening armor hung
against a host of backdrops;
medieval tapestries
depicting the seduction
of the decaying flesh
and withering spirits
of saints and martyrs
anesthetized
by the choking smoke
from the flames
burning them at the stake,
and these halls
echoed with the panting cries
of their unheeded mantra:
“I am nothing, only the messenger!”

Stunted by these terrified voices
ravishing my body
with their sirens’ song,
I ran to nowhere
for nowhere was to be found.
Haunted
by this strained symphony
from the lips
of these charred mystics
and prophetic choir-boys
flaming in the crumbling light
of these holocaust skies
I screamed
as if I was being torn to shreds
like the purple veil
of the Ark of the Covenant
in the hands of infidels.

In the midst of this hallucination
I was restrained
and raped
on my own martyr’s pyre
as the livid faces
of these nameless beings
leered at me
in this masque
of cloaked passion.

But by the miraculous turning
of the face of God
towards the tragedy
of this fragmented romance,
or by the acknowledged beads
of prayer
whispered by the Virgin
in intercession
before the golden throne
of the milk-fed Christ,
I was uprooted
from beneath the cold, red hands
and filthy, flirtatious breath
of these mundane masochists
and drawn to
the incandescent beauty
radiating from the unraveling
revelation
before my tearing eyes.
I was embraced by this vision
and given sanctuary
buried
in the arms of a man
with luminous youth,
but as I looked up
at his chiseled features
and glowing green eyes
he disappeared,
leaving me naked and alone,
freezing
in the arms of emptiness—
Darkness visible.

Tempestuous Gothic cum Romantic
You take winged flight
back into the severed echoes
of the silent past
to which you’d love to take a torch to
but don’t
for fear you’ll be a fire-starter
and the light that flares
and breathes
inside the decaying moisture
of this blood-saturated mausoleum
against the dust and soot
that coats your flesh
thicker each moment
masquerades the dizzying stir
of these engulfing halls
of reverberating reminiscence
with a hallowed nature
in the language of myth
for which I have resuscitated
your empty organ donor of a body.
I have given you new life
and simultaneously
stamped my own to dust.

Hush!
I am composed of no sound
but pierce
the stagnant air
of night
with a sharpness no voice
or vibration can dull.

I am made broken beneath
the footfalls
of the stranger
trammeling the dust.

I am the ding and the dong
of the antique clock
that chimes no more.

I am in the guilty,
haunted murderer’s mind—
the illusion
of the tell-tale, beating heart.
I am the mouthed scream
gone unheard,
stifled
by fear and terror.

I am fair Philomel.
I am the Rapist
that goes about
in the mask
of solitude and isolation.

I am the noise of Desolation.
I speak naught,
but presage ‘the end is nigh!’

I have no language,
no accent,
yet I am a foreigner
to the escape artist Man
suffering
from the poisonous pangs
of the human condition.
I never talk
but say more than
any word or speech can tell.

I am the mantle
of pale and sickly Death.
I am the coffin
in which you will be laid to rest.

I beckon
to all humanity
in breaking darkness,
to sinner
and saint alike.
I look upon the living,
sight unseen.

I am your companion
through the portal
of the forgiven
and through the savage,
gruesome circles
of the forsaken and the damned.

I am Virgil in abstract
to your prophetic pilgrim Dante,
sentenced
to pass Eternity
here in hell
on Earth
and never cease to be—
I am the punishment of vain mortality.
I am silence: sshh!


Who is It?

At the door
there was a figure
arrayed
in a dark-gray cloak.
He was standing out
against the saturating
white light
of the morning sun
with his hood
draped over his head.

The hood
lay on his head
fitting cleanly
against the features
of his remarkable face.
His broad, softly chiseled
cheekbones
were blushed
from the mercilessly
whipping winds
beating
on the house.

Tired, pale blue eyes
stared at me
with a handsome,
vanishing smile
on his tightly-closed lips
as he lifted his thin,
sun-browned hands
out of the seamless pockets
of his shroud
and with them he reached for me,
but did not move.
The little he had to do
was done
and now it was up to me
to do the rest.