Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Creature by David Frazier

It weighed eight pounds had eight tails
Eight rows of sharp teeth
Eight red eyes
Face and body pile of goop
Shades of green, black, and blue

Hairy creature
Moved silently, on eight legs, blinding streak
Ran under a table
Zipped under a sofa
It ran up

Under my bed
Eyes looking back
From the dark abyss
Teeth gnashing
Little buzz saws

Whirring, buzzing, moving through wood
Stuck in a broom handle
Poking the creature
Drew back a wood stub
Ground down pencil
Pointed end dulled

Still red eyes stare
Time for bed, do I dare?
He'll not stir
Let me sleep

I mounted bed
Turned off lights
No bounce, nor rolling
Slow movements
Breathing slowly, each breath

Water I crave
Across the room
Red eyes staring
Teeth grinding begins
Grunting terrible sounds
Do I put my feet on the floor?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Sea of Truth by Pierce Dawson Henderson

The desire to see the other side overwhelms
I would due to the same reason some captains leave their own helms
For were will a ship sail without her skipper?
Into the nearest shore or beyond the great dipper
My philosophical thirst is just as well my cancer
Life is full of questions without an answer
My mind is swamped by this urge to take my own life
Answers to my questions, “Is God real” engraved into my knife
This disease has infected every fiber of my being
The line between life and death I know is worth seeing
The reality is I don’t think anything really matters
Our minds are so fragile, I fear that mine shatters
If all that’s real are these, yours, our, and my bitter memories…
Then those whom I’ve forgot about are simply dead-to-me?
My brain; an lonely abandoned asylum, blood stains on every wall
I sleep in a bed drenched with my tears that still fall
Where I sleep is where dozens began their sleep forever
Souls long gone with no one left to remember
These dead lives have never lived, never existed
Because their life stories and memories never persisted
My heart is rusting, all affiliated concepts, aspirations, and dreams are corrosive
The soul’s internal structure eroding, ending result is more than explosive
Flaming shrapnel and glass ripping, burning the fabric of mind
At least compared to the fire, the pain is quick-therefor kind
My soul is weak and in pain, now the body is relapsing
Washed by the waves of addiction, the minds tower of guilt is collapsing
As a child I fell into the terribly truthful ocean, the unforgiving sea
The same waves that the enlightened men and women wade slowly into to feel free
Into the water that is meant to be drank and felt slowly, I fell
The sea of truth did this to my mind and heart, now I reside my own creation, this personal hell.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thing by Fletcher Young

It’s a new generation. 
Not one of people
or of events, but of things. 
Kind of like the thing
from the swamp, but uglier. 
This generation has no filter. 
The water it drinks
is of the sewer,
but the sewer system drains
into the brains
of the young, the feeble. 

The impressionable nothing. 
It’s really something!

If you were to ask me how
this happened I would tell you
to hold your tongue
under the pipe
and try to understand
what you taste
when it drips.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Facebook Page

If you have submitted a work to us, know someone who has submitted a work to us, or God forbid are actually a reader of ours...feel free to visit us at our new facebook page. Give us a like. It won't hurt you.

Most likely.

The Circus of the Damned's Facebook Page of Damnation~

Darkling Sleepmud by Stephan McQuiggan

This body cannot last for long.

And if I ever need a reminder I need only look at the corpse of the moon, burnt out with greed. But I don’t stare at its ghost light so much anymore; I find myself drawn to the ocean.

The carnival rages around me. I push my way through the clamour of the steel bands, the ribbons and streamers clutching at this face. I am surrounded by flesh. I breathe deep of their sweat, listening to the demonic maracas of their bones shaking beneath their garish costumes. I wander through the chaotic flashes of a nightmare in a costume of my own.

And everywhere the colours; swirls of orange and blue and the red of my dreams. Colours so bright, shouting, slicing into one another, sending up coruscating shards that hang like stars in the night’s black maw.

I have to find him soon.

The swarm of people itches as it jostles. I could cut a swathe in the blink of an eye if I wished, but I keep these eyes lowered. I don’t let them see these eyes.

When the streets are empty I miss them, the echo of their footsteps dripping like patient water. I hear their laughter in the bowels of the rock. It gives me something to think about when I’m awake, and I’ve been awake for such a long time now. I never speak to them, although I’ve often wanted to. My language goes beyond time. They would not understand. I’d like to think when this is over, they will not understand.

I run through the procession, pass a dragon float, as paranoia circles my mind searching for a weak spot. What if he is not there? But already I hear his song, a lullaby to calm these nerves. I hear it over the incessant drums that urge this heart to gallop. I fall to these knees, gasping, at the dock; the sea mocks the tiny storm on shore. The water, thick and dark, pulls the night over it as if to warm itself. I see myself rippling on its surface but I quickly look away. I can’t bear it. It’s the eyes; I never get the eyes right.

Move. I love this freedom to move, to cut the air, to have a destination instead of being one. I remember how much I used to love this; this fluid rush, this novel haste. I feel dizzy as I move, everything is a blur. To live at this pace is so tempting.

Somewhere the power lines are down. I hear them snoring on this skin, feel it crackle with conversation. I can smell their danger and it makes me feel alive, a rush that is part joy, part madness, the way it should be. The way it used to be.

‘I felt it before I ever knew you,’ I tell the water. I know he is out there listening. I feel his presence of absence like a hole in the night.

And there, drifting idly on the gentle wave of his song, is his ramshackle boat. I wait a lifetime for it to draw near, but what is another lifetime to me after all. I climb aboard, knock on the cabin door. I know he senses me, is laughing at my politeness even now.

‘Come in.’ His voice as playful as I remember. He is sitting at a table, the light lapping at his ebony skin as vainly as the water laps his crusty boat; his obsidian flesh eats the shadows, permits no light to touch it and live. He regards me awhile, as if he is unsure why I’m here, as if he doesn’t know what I crave. It has become a ritual between us. He smiles at me, as bald as the moon he murdered.

‘You look haggard my friend,’ he says. ‘How long has it been?’

I shrug. ‘Eighty years or so.’ It’s a guess; I’ve lost all track of time since last we met.

He laughs at my attempt at accuracy. ‘You swore last time, never again.’

Why must we play this game? ‘You knew I was lying.’ The dark man could always read my thoughts.

He rocks his head back and forth, keeping rhythm with the tide. His eyes, sometimes white, sometimes yellow, flicker with the heat of an internal fire. ‘They always come back to me,’ he says. ‘When the blood runs thin and the heart grows cold, I sing to them and they come. They clamber aboard my little boat, wherever I may be docked, for one last time. Always one last time. But still they come back to me and they always look like you. Hungry.’

‘It’s the best body I could get at short notice.’

I’m wearing a homeless man, near death. I can never bear to house myself within one with a future; it feels like such a waste, and besides, there is more room in the old; vast derelict mansions, stretched by the knowledge and experience that has blown through them leaving the accumulated dust of memory. Youth is too constricting and too hard to steer.

‘Ah my friend, you forget, I see you as you really are.’ He is holding the bottle.

‘Darkling Sleepmud,’ I whisper. I am almost weeping as I see it undulating, hissing inside its glass prison.

‘Do you think you make it safer by calling it by that childish name?’ he asks, but his voice is kind and soothing, a sonorous rumble that promises rest.

I want to strike him, snatch the bottle; but this body is already crumbling. This voice stumbles with emotion, with obscenities that burn. I swallow them; I have to play his game.

‘You never told me its real name.’

‘You know its name.’ He smiles, his teeth as jagged as the rocks on the harbour wall. He likes to act the enigmatic stranger, as if I do not know him. I have known him from the depths of time; it was his song that first awoke me.

‘I’m afraid the price has risen since our last transaction.’

‘Anything, ‘ I say. ‘I’ll give you anything.’

He laughs, drowning out the roar of the drums on the shore. ‘Four hundred and sixty three.’

I think about the teeming masses dancing on the streets. I can afford this.

‘Soon you’ll be looking more,’ he says. ‘Stronger, longer.’

But I can only think of now. He hands me the bottle; it burns and sparkles in this hand. I feel this skeleton shudder under the force of my desire. But I hang on, just a moment longer.

‘So what is it?’ I ask. He looks at me quizzically, but this time it is no act. ‘Its real name?’

He grins, as if I’ve bought his disdain as well. ‘Peace. It’s an expensive luxury in these dark times.’

I down the bottle’s contents, feel its blessed fire course through me as flesh and bone explode, and I float away amongst the fireworks back to the land, and into the land, to sleep once more and dream. And in my dream I raise great buildings upon myself, sprout forth roads and trees and lakes. All manner of clever diversions for my children; and my children call me CITY.

Once I was able to sleep. The cars running through my veins, the bustle of the streetwalkers and traders, would lull me deep into the soil. But now my veins are congested and the traffic crawls over me like carrion ants. I bathe in the acrid smoke I cough into the chemical sky. Industry pierces my hide, becomes my armour and my downfall. I choke on my own breath. They say the city never sleeps, but sometimes I do; permanent reality can drive you insane.

Once, before I was shorn and concreted over, I was happy; happy in my innocence. But the long, long years exact a heavy toll. It is hard to fight with nothing in your belly, and I am a glutton for what will destroy me.

There is only one thing that can smother this pain, that can help me sleep for a while. If you follow the treeless track marks they will lead you to the sea, and there, like a distant siren, you can hear the dark man’s song.

I met him when I walked the earth. He told me of my family, grown so large, and of the price they paid for their strength. My brothers in the east, so restless they pay their debts to him in daily instalments; debts they’ve been paying for thousands of years and will never clear.

And he showed me my hunger.

My hunger infects my children too; drives them to carnage and bloodshed in the name of their gods; howling to the sky for mercy. But my sister Sky is empty, a vacuous beauty borrowed from the sea she gazes on, the sea he crosses, carrying it to me.


His voice follows me down into the earth; four hundred and sixty three. I want to sleep, rest in granite reverie, sink into molten slumber. But he will sing to me if I do not pay, sing a song that that will split me asunder, uproot my avenues and buckle my streets. I have heard tremors throughout the world; rumours of bad debts and fault lines.

Once I asked him his name. He told me he was born before form sculpted the void, when darkness was mother of the deep. He said his name was conscience.

I feel my children dance upon me as the carnival blazes on. It is all just a carnival, this brief mess of noise and pain they call their lives. What do they know of time; what do they know of merciless unforgiving eons. They have no conception of eternity or its cost. Their span is but the lapping of a wave, the dropping of a leaf on my gentle sigh. Their kingdoms rise and fall in the time I take to smooth a stone, raise a hill and cry a river. But still, I love them.

If they knew…

But I don’t want them to understand.

I watch the sky and wait. A steel bird passes high above me catching my attention. I pluck it down with a thought, send it plummeting onto my concrete chest, onto my dancing children. I take care to kill four hundred and sixty three, and four hundred and sixty three exactly.

This proves that even at the zenith of my bliss I am in control. I am not a junkie. I am merely weary. There are prices all cities must pay for piece of mind.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Metzy's Choice Updated

As the title of this post implies, I have updated the section "Metzy's Choice" to include my choices for February and March's submissions. Congratulations to the authors involved.

Existential Suicide by A.J. Huffman

In the center of the painting --
on the center of the painting --
she is kneeling.
As she searches
for her own image.
But her eyes are useless.
And her hands
are pulling at her skin instead.
Splitting her spine
like a seam.
She is turning herself
inside out.
Shedding her shell.
Trading it
for a different image.
A bloodier collage.
until they devour
the canvas fails to show.