Author Archives: stupendousstories

Reign XII

The world was ending, but we were dancing
Our merry little jig, two fisting beers,
Smoking “don’t worry about it,” asking
Questions about LD50s and fear.
The day I traded my brain for a chip,
Nothing changed. I was born of Rage and Love
To begin with, was sick of the world’s shit
By seventeen, but not in the sense of
Eating a bullet. No, I was aggrieved.
I wanted only to dance and sing, suck down
Cherry vitriol and spit fire (believe
Me, I have enough hate to go around.)
I will not be silenced, will not be shamed.
With pen and ink, blood and bone, I proclaim.


Reign XI

Every night spent beating back entropy
Was a night we spent in glorious vain,
Conducting our bodies passionately,
Musica humanis, rhythm, refrain.
We movers got older, became less prime,
But the movements became more glorious,
Layered and nuanced, polished, refined with time
(We trained like artists, drilled like warriors)
(Film finds the best way to do a thing once;
Theater strives for perfection each night,
And so did we, animals on the hunt,
Tongues tasting the air, ready for a fight.
Night became day and time kept advancing
(The world was ending, but we were dancing)


Reign X

We preached our creed with every breath we took,
So how’s that for a bold, subversive style?
We wear suits with that assassin look,
Dress like a princess but not a damsel
Distressed. We inscribe our skin with ink and
Metal like every body’s a book of
Blood, like by living we’re making art hand-
In-hand, like acts of rebellion are love.
We preach with the certainty of zealots,
Confident that we know the future, know
How to plot a moral arc, develop
A better world, put on a better show.
We moved our bodies like a symphony,
Every night spent beating back entropy.


Reign IX

“No gods. No masters. Every man a king.”
How’s that for a nice creed, a glory be,
An invitation to keep your fucking
Hands off other people’s shit and just leave
Well enough alone? Do you really think
Your god has called you to not let bodies
Be bawdy, to forge the chains that will link
Us together in oppression? Bitch, please.
Christ would never consent to this charade,
To rule by Keebler elves and slovenly
Con men, money changers who would parade
Their wealth and demand more. You’ll never see
What it really means to be of the book.
(We preached our creed with every breath we took.)


Reign VIII

Only in blindly insisting you weren’t
A sellout did you give up and proclaim
Your turning, your protean self, about-
Faced, crippled and lame, broken and shamed.
For every starving artist, I have known
One well-fed: a singer-psychologist,
A poet-professor, people who owned
It, blending their art and artifice
In equal measure. Poor as I am, I
Do not starve, for I am rich in spirits.
Narcissism and rage are my bread, my
Water my own voice and all who hear it.
Even if I starve, my muse will still sing:
“No gods, no masters, every man a king.”


Reign VII

The shame was never in going naked,
In stalking the streets like an animal
Seeking shelter in all the right places
(Bumping bars, smoky backyards, cannibal
Churches where blood is drunk and flesh consumed,
Where eager adherents display their sins
In holy communion in darkened rooms.)
The shame was in shedding animal skin,
In trading butterfly for chrysalis,
Chrysalis for worm, in sitting up and
Begging greedy con men to christen us,
In learning to eat from a begloved hand.
Finally, it wasn’t in being turned;
Only in blindly insisting you weren’t


Reign VI

But in your hands, they are greater than gold,
What would be platitudes in other paws
Maybe that’s bias, storge turning old
Saws into shiny chestnuts, giving claws
To clauses grown stale and trite from misuse.
But I’ve never claimed to be impartial.
I’ve spent years learning on your lap, tissue
Teaching lessons about life, love, martial
Law and its romantic applications,
When to bite and kick, overthrowing tin-
Pot dictators, how to lift up nations.
(“The emperor’s sin was in delusion.
See, he lacked the wit to embrace his id;
The shame was never in going naked.”)


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