Tuesday, April 20, 2010


a poem by JOHN RACHEL

I can smell life
It is a chemical
Ozone and bleach
It burns the eyes
Catches in the throat
Like a hot acidic mung
It blurs my mission
And slurs my speech

People pass
And I gasp for breath
Can’t they bathe
In some solvent
Made of truth and hope?
A temporary reduction
In the fetid stink
That fills my nostrils

Baptize them I say
Drown their visceral fear
Dissolve their primitive anger
Lather them in dreams
Wash away the sins of history

Let the drooling stench of folly
Fill the nostrils of demons
And leave the air clear
For me to breathe again
To live again

The Secret of Death

a poem by JOHN RACHEL

No blindfold
I want to see my assassins
And feel their emptiness
Hear their obscene gurgling
Smell their pristine fear
Know their wasted humanity
They were my friends
They are in the end
All I have

The Holy Trinity
I hear snickering
As irony licks
His pus-filled lips
And blood dries
As history’s ink

Are you the angel of death?
So centered and self-assured
A gyroscope
A Zen master
What is completed
Completing this cycle?
What is achieved
Achieving the inevitable?
I say it's a done deal

So I don’t laugh
And I don’t cry
It is finished
Before it begins
An infant’s first gasping cry
But a death rattle and a sigh
And what of it?
The village idiots
The comatose
The dead on arrival
The missing in action
The paint-by-number stoics
Who vanish at conception
Gone gone gone gone
Our little secret

The Messenger Deranged

a poem by JOHN RACHEL

A face emerges from the wind
Like a ghost from history
His sluggish luminous lips
Form words but there is silence

A distant gasp punctures my fascination
The messenger deranged has arrived
His mocking smile and fearsome leer
Scatters the cringing angels in my soul

I don’t need to hear his words
They are already in my heart
Strapped like dynamite
Across the heaving breast of my hopes

Is it awe or terror that I feel?
Anxiety or long awaited relief?
Tragedy? Comedy?
Hope? Disenchantment?
Do I really have a choice?

The twisting screaming guttural cry
Of the bludgeoning of dreams
Plays like a melody of spring
And now the parade begins

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