The Lament’s Reply

Posted: May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

You dropped your face
into my wet milky hair
trying to smell my soul,
Only to cut me with your hail.

My sticky whiplash braid
unfurled on the spring wind.
And you followed me home,
As you always did.

You dropped your palm
on the gold wool of my coat.
Drawing thin cuts of ownership,
in the cradle of my throat.

With your olive tree talons,
you scraped, screamed  and wrote.
love letters in violent ink,
inside my bones that you broke.

I will offer you no comfort Angel.
This is your lament’s reply.
I will watch you crumble,
Under my blinding white sky.

For I have unraveled  your DNA,
on the shores of your dead sea.
As long I exist,
You can only exist for me.
And I care not.

So know this demon,
When the moment moves you,
and you perch on my night.
Walking my witch paths
Chasing after my light.
You can follow my scent,
on the primeval trails
To find I will laugh at your shadow,
And never lift my veil,
So you can gaze upon heaven,
Ever again.


Belial’s Spring Lament

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

He sticks a long sharp fingernail between his lips.

“I get the wrong idea when you are kind to me.”

He whispers and tugs the sheets off my hips.

“I start imagining the ways you could desire me.”



He sighs,
running his tongue over needle point teeth.



“I would have ways to cut you open,

And make you my own.

Consuming your heart,

While god leaves you all alone…”



He looks up,

Cocks an eyebrow and spreads a holocaust grin.

“C’mon Gabe, come and get me then….” He laughs,

And drops his black eyes

back on me.



He’s the snarling spidergeist

Of my underground.



The grandfather clock stops at 1:37.

He slides into my sleigh bed

Hungry with anticipation,

Collapsing his body into my breathing

He brushes a curl from my face

Silently grieving.



“You make my hatred weak.

I don’t know why?

You are just another dumb animal.”

He sniffs the air……

“But, I know you.”

He lets out a heavy sigh.

Gently, brushing

All five frosty fingertips down my chest.



“I have to have you.”

“I am trying to sleep,” I whisper to the dark.









I sit up.

Rub my eyes.



“This is always so much more fun when you are awake.” he snaps.



His long ebony coat throws back,

curling in the wind from my window.

The two am train slaps against the spring night.

And my hair cascades onto the pillow.



He looks like an angel,

The holy horror white,

all wings and hornet stings.

Buried in the belly of night.

Perching on my headboard.

He is grinning.

Silk spinning.

Spade dealing.

Night twisting

White knuckle fists to deliver the reaping.



He looks at His watch,

And speaks,



“Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck dead,
The mouse bled out,
Hickory Dickory Dock.”


Posted: April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I was just another gun.
To Cock,
Roll in the chamber ………………………………..
slam down your glock,
“Put four on the clock!”

ONE. Clickback.

TWO. Bangarang.

THREE. Triggerfinger.

FOUR. Bloodrain.

You were the lost boy who blocked your own shot
with my heart.

You were the lost boy who kicked my soul
scattering me apart.

“It’s almost two a.m. on an idle Tuesday.
Do you know where your children are?”

I ride out into the dark,
on an ink splattered mare
across the valley of  death
headlong into night terrors.

I sit under a tree to catch my breath.

My hands are empty.
The moon rises over me.
And wonder,
“Why you couldn’t you………..keep me………………………. safe.”


I am ashamed of my  heart.
I am ashamed I am barely human.

I make a break for the fingers of god,
and trip in smoking fears.
I chase myself  through carbon bogs,
only to slip in Dante’s tears.

I find my way to the river Styx,
and stand tippy toed
latern in hand,
for the boatman’s final kiss.

He takes my hand
and rows me across the swarming Abyss.
He sweeps me across a threshold,
into a hell where you can’t possibly exist.

His pale, thin, smoke fingers

stroke my cheeks

and dock my heart.

He arrives at two am,

Abaft the beam,

cape fall to the dark.


“You, my sailing wraith,

Are your riggings and spars asleep?

Are you adrift alone on an endless sea?

Are you lost this time “for keeps?”


I remember how

You caromed gently into me.

We locked bones, bodies and saliva salt.

Rocked in the waves,

until our fires were stomped out.

We had tamed our dark beasts

and licked the blood from our teeth

and rolled into sleep

I was safe for a night.



My gray, war born, bullet eyes

contract until they torch blue.

I whisper to a violent ocean

stolen prayers,

and lofty cries for you.



I chose you as my secret keeper.
I made you a bracelet.
We picked out our nick names.
And drew plans for adventures.
I wrote down the measurements of my heart,
And whispered them through a soup can to your ear.
The fort we built together
Should have lasted the long years.
East of Atlantis,
Ten steps from your dad’s garage,
Screaming at the rain,
“We are the thunder gods!”

I am a girl on fire.
A blow torch kid.
A phoenix adult,
the “Hey Jupiter” wind.
I am Doc Holliday,
the northern Sun,
the black edge of the thunder
a misfit on the run.

“And I loved you.”
I whisper through the wind on my guns.
And I jumped from the swings,
landing bloodied kneed just for fun.

“One for the the MONEY!”

I chose you as my friend.
I chose you as the one.

“Two for the Show!”

Come under the blankets with your flashlight.
“I have something to show you.”

Your eyes widen.

“I have never seen scars like those before.” You whisper.

“The closet monster,
chases me down every night.
I am scared as hell
but I put up a fight.”

“What does the closet monster look like?”

“You don’t really want to know…” I say, touching my fingertips
together in sequence, afraid……

“No I do, tell me about it, I am your friend.”

We lock pinkies,
You promise until the end.

I put my soft lips on yours.

He walks down the beach. Black Suit and tie, winged tip feet. Long walk spider on slender thighs, white faced and perfect, skipping stoned burning tides. His lips pull back, the edges of  knives. Was it your scream, or was it just mine? When he pulled back his face, and dropped his jelly eyes?

You pull back.


Throw off the blanket.
and grasp
your shoes

And run home.
I am stiff as a stone.
Shivering bones.

And the closet monster sticks a few skinny fingers out the door.
And begins to cackle,
I am alone once more.

“Three to get Ready!”

I grow up.

I wear a black suit,
white shirt,
pants and
black tie.
I walk the monster right.
A blue heart around my neck,
to remind me
of your eyes.

I wonder about you, my secret keeper.
Are you safe in the night?
Will you ever forget,
the shadows you saw in my sight?

“Four to Go.”


Everything screams in my dreams at night.

I have the ashes of so many experiences on my shoes.
The reaping and the wailing,
the surrender of troops
the sonic booms!
Hung heads,
and praying hands.

find myself shivering
In the shower shine
of hospitals,
and remake rooms.
Wondering  when and what will break me?
and why I still think about you.

I am a girl on fire.
A blow torch kid.
A phoenix adult,
the “Hey Jupiter” wind.
I am Doc Holliday,
the northern Sun,
the black edge of the thunder
a misfit on the run.

Maddie Holliday Von Stark

The Miles Davis Lullaby

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

I will become a star,

as you turn off your lights.

After you fix yourself a drink

and wade out into the night.


You won’t need a chart,

just the curve of your hands

to reach out and touch me

in the roof’s cobweb strands.


You will know me.

Cast down by the moon,

snapping back glowing lures,

catching heat lightning blooms.


You will love me

in copper penny wishes,

as Miles Davis plays
on the AM in the kitchen.

And the coyotes of summer

pitch all up in unison,

for the cogs of god stick,

locked in the whimsy of motion.


And from where you are standing,

on the porch of heaven’s shade,

I will implode super nova,

and take light years to fade.

I wake up at exactly 3:31a.m. in full panic, sitting pencil straight up in bed gasping for air. The ceiling fan slows to a near audible pause and my eyes dilate. “FUCK!” the slur escapes my lips with a spider web string of spit sailing across my bed sheets. My hands grasp for my throat. “I CAN’T BREATHE!” I screetch at the darkness.  My brain takes 1.678 seconds to register that, I am in fact, not in a hospital dying equipped with a breathing tube, but am sitting in my own bed, next to MR. WU, my fearless dog, who has already covered his eyes with a sleepy paw. He frowns absently, annoyed with my nightmarish outburst. “Awwwe Wu, how I love youuu,” I coo and rub his belly…he smiles and growls a bit, “you love me….I just know it!”

My bike pedals thread into my boots. The drizzle is warm considering it is the first week of March in northern Wisconsin. I can honestly say I sound like an old timer, but the weather sure has changed in the course of my short life time. The ides of March used to be a lot more frozen tundra and ice castles than kind drizzle and glossy grass patches. I won’t complain about global warming and the four horsemen of the apocalypse, coming by December, “by god, this weather ain’t right!” Ha!, I laugh it off on my slick doc martins, scars and constant smiles born only in brief affections given to rains that might have ulterior motives. Tonight, I am alive.

I chase the street lights to the train track crossing on Main Street accompanied by AWOLNATION, blasting through my earbuds on my iPod.  The railroad ties have a gravitational pull to my spirit that I haven’t quite figured out. There is something beautiful about gliding through the night next to a speeding metal monster. Like a steaming caterpillar sidekick that could take out any dark ghost with a slight flick of a leg, or a wheel in this case. There are also raven spirits of the SOO Line I always seek. They are molten hobos of the universe, jacking up on some speed, as lights, buildings and civilizations dim in and out of their sight.  And as the town I live in, slumbers in heavy quilts and fading night lights and dreams, I carve out a path not taken by anyone but me.

Tonight, I am alive.

That breathing tube can kiss my ass.

Peyton recognizes me right away and pulls her backpack over her bony right shoulder. She steps sideways and puts her palm up to her forehead in effort to shade the bright winter sun from her eyes. We both squint at each other when she briefly trips and drops her starbucks thermos on the ice. The silver container rolls directly onto my right steel toed boot. I pick it up with a quick flick of my foot and swipe of my hand. Peyton flinches and steps back. Her eyes become saucers.


“You must be Peyton?” I ask with a smile, trying to make eye contact.


“I am,” she replies quietly and  rolls back on her heels.


“I am Maddie,” I say reaching out toward her and holding the thermos.


“Yeah,” she says snatching the thermos back, “… you wanted to talk to me about Mr. Preston?” She wrinkles her nose.


We squint at each other again.


“Yeah, he was your softball coach right,” I ask putting my hands in my wool pockets trying to avoid looking threatning.


She takes another step back.


I was wrong about my initial impression of Peyton. There is no doubt she had used her girlish ways to get away with god knows what. But this girl, was high on only one thing; anti-predator adaptations. “Trust me, it takes one to know one.” I am an expert in the subtle methods of human interactions. Many predatory humans sadly find themselves preyed upon. In their defense, they often evolve into magnificent creatures.


Adaptation One: Avoid Detection; camouflage. For a predator to locate a victim, it must first identify an organism. Peyton tries to disappear into the scene completely. She consistently moves back one step with every step I take forward.


Adaptation Two: Avoid Attack; mimicry.  After being detected by a predator, the victim attempts to signal to the predator they are not worth eating or destroying. Animals use sounds, colors and smells to advertise they are poisonous, rancid or dangerous. Peyton has clearly not showered in days. Her hair was greasy and hanging in clumps in front of her face. She also wore no makeup or perfume of any kind. The jacket that looks so lavish from a distance now engulfs her malnourished form.


Adaptation Three: Avoid Capture; hypervigilance. Victims develop heightened senses of sight, smell and hearing so they can detect danger and escape routes. By frequently scanning and monitoring their surroundings, especially when out in the open, they can avoid attack before the predator reaches critical distance. I know this adaptation first hand. After a brain tumor and four years of chemotherapy, coma and death, I became the happy owner of PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “Panic attack what? That is just a heightened sense of awareness child!” Peyton may not have done time in Iraq or cancer, but her eyes told a different kind of story.


 Adaptation Four: Avoiding Consumption; armor up. Victims that have been captured will prevent predators from killing or eating them by any means necessary. These tactics can be visual, such as misdirecting sounds or feigning injury. They maybe chemical, like the production of ink clouds by squids. PEPPERSPRAY ANYONE? And finally armor up, spines and clothing that protect vital areas for survival and reproduction. Peyton carried a jack knife in her jeans. What seventh grade girl does that? She already looks like a walking zombie.  Playing dead would be a piece of cake for her.


I take a step forward.


She takes a step back.


“He was my softball coach,” she says looking down, rubbing a nail bitten fingernail across the worn area of her jean pocket holding the knife. 


I take a step back.


She doesn’t move.


“I have a feeling, Peyton,” I said taking a step back to give her space, “He was more than that.”

My TA, Miss Abby Graves, sits and waits for me in her idling red VW bug. The windows on both her driver and passenger sides are cracked open an inch. This is less for Abby’s need of fresh air and more for her grand delusion that other people like secondhand Justin Bieber. She is the perfect portrait of the zeros teenage pop culture; boasting a neon plaid yellow shirt and baby blue wayfarers. She is aware of nothing as she sings along with her ipod fueled stereo, eyes closed, head back, blond bangs swinging as her thumbs tap the steering wheel.  I lift up on the passenger handle and she yelps, snapping out of her biebercoma. She instantly looks like Mr. Wu after I bust him for eating the neighbor’s suet ball, all wide eyed and grinning.  


“Sorry to interrupt you and the Biebs having a special moment,” I say and pull out my seatbelt.  

“Don’t be a hater Miss Stark,” she says pushing her sunglasses from its place as a temporary headband to her stubby cute nose. “The Biebs is going to fall in love with me someday.”


“Wow, keep living the dream BAbbs,” I reply and quickly pop in a tablet of nicotine gum. “Can’t wait to see you on the cover of People magazine.”


“Can I have a piece?” she says and sticks out her small palm.


“No,” I reply and shove the pseudo tin gum container back into my wool coat pocket.


“Cranky today, eh?” she says with a fake pout and turns the Bieber song back up.


I haven’t driven a car since my brain surgery. Today, I was suffering battle fatigue from my long mid winter student launched plague. I couldn’t have peddled my bike home, much less 5 miles across town to the Ladysmith Junior High School. Claudia had insisted that I meet with her daughter personally. And picking her up from school and taking her home was a fair option.


“So do I get extra points for helping you babysit?” Abby asks and takes a slug from her BIG GULP Fanta bottle.


“HA!” I reply, “You still owe me for an all-nighter of hand stitching new seams on your badly botched Prom dress last year.”


“I can’t help it my mom doesn’t know how to use a ruler,” she exclaims, “She is from Ireland, they run on a different system!”


“Don’t spill your Fanta,” I reply nodding to her over expressive hand gestures.


“SO does that mean I have to take you everywhere, like driving Miss Daisy? Driving Miss STARK,” she says in her best attempt Morgan Freeman voice.


 “Abby, keep your eyes on the road please.” I plead slowly.


Over my lunch period Claudia had advised me to text Peyton with a description of Abby’s car. The only detail I  had failed to mention the VW’s Justin Bieber soundtrack. FAIL. I spot her immediatly as we pull up behind the convoy of soccer moms. She is tall for her age and has the curves of a Victoria’s Secret Model. When did seventh graders get so old?  Her long black hair fans across her white suede and rabbit trimmed coat. I wonder if Claudia had actually killed the beasts that fashioned Peyton’s jacket. She was a hunter alright, “Claudia fucking Witch Crocket.“  Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have the money, she’s got the blood magic. Sacrificed animals not included. All major credit cards and Paypal accepted.


Her daughter on the other hand,  doth practice the keenest form of manipulation, the dimwitted naive little girl that doesn’t know how to lie, LIAR. “Bet your bottom dollar by tomorrow, you’ll be fucked!”  Her eyes are the instant tell, plain chunks of coal being slowly devoured by a melting snowman. Her forehead creases exposes careful calculating in her “I don’t give two shits about anything”  posture against the bike rack. The other school girls choose to orbit around her within a notable safe distance, like habitual planets to the sun. She hides something within her smile that I can’t quite determine yet; a smirk frozen like a stray dog from heaven, slapped by the gods and ready to bite.


“Well Miss Von Stark, we are here,” Abby says and drops the gear in park. “Should I get out and open the door for you as well?” (back to the Freeman voice again) ARGH.


“I see her over there,” I point toward the solitary girl, “I will go get her, you wait here.”


“Well I got your back,” Abby says and turns up the music, which has now switched over to Kesha.


“Kesha, really?” I say and close the door behind me. “and here I thought things couldn’t get worse.”

I am a soaked thin                            natural cottont-shirt
LOST in a restless, reckless, endless dream.

AWAKEN the princess with a kiss.

the true M E

With ONE, open mouthed shriek
…….reaching TWO,
Long white arms
across polaroid pictures
floating OVERhead,
across the miles,
                                                        S    L    O   W   S                         

                                                                                T   O             a            S   T   O   P .
the needle jumps the record.
THREE JERKS to spine straight up,
Fingers toward the light
Melting prints,
Through the black holes
of plastic
lining the gutters of my
Raining flash bulb television SNOW 
my walls
me motionless.

Open arms to the strobe light sea.
Knowing your hands
could hurt me
love me,
save me,
or set me free.

If it were only up to me?

what about me about me,
i whisper to the dark…………………………………………………………“There is no going back.”