Pale Rider

the lamp flint
sparking colours
of methane plumes
and stars
exploding tiny trinkets
down from the breathless
vacuum above
falling, cascading
sheets of golden
dust
layer on the hardened
scabs of cupboards
and the clap-laden
covered wagon hovel

the wooden wheels
and rick-rack
bump and creak
to the rhythm
of shod shoes
as the driver screams
a mind beyond words
singing madness
to the storm rushing
on thistle winds
as his tawny hands
clasp at that
earthen jug
he curses

1.
damned am I, aimless
riches
damn what luck or lady
had left me
had I never
laid eyes in wanting
against that red velvet
hotel parlour
as my head
had swung with verses
as something foreign
from the piano man
brought the devil
into my accent

in my wildest dreams
I’d never
thought to capture
how she bled me
sweet and softly
as a songbird
while my coins
raked through her fingers

even as I bent her
in my hands
she squealed to please me over
though her mind was set
to that bed of snares
her perfumed skin
devoured

all in all,
as in age reminder
looking now on
evenly
from the whip driven
mules of mine
to the sunrise at my back
riven in blue gold
and weary sky

strength in earnest
memories of virtue
chasing her up stairwells
adventurer, I was
in woven fingers
may she bind these
bones of pain

I loved her deeply
to hell I chased her
when at first my anger
tossed the room
my song had turned
spiked with cruelty
to stab her heart
for my broken gain

packed and armed,
marched to exile
I tried my damnedest
to replace
those nightmare rooms
that kept her hungry smile
wet against
a stone embrace

in cheaper company I found
a sour satisfaction
that never fully met
or matched
that poison of her skin
lost, I was
had never been
a better man
now curse that witch
by vengeance I will
break that easy smirk
she wears to
open up my burdens
that she lay in me a thirst

sick as a storm
on a dark horizon
flashing retribution
with white teeth
slurred
at evil words

2.
I turned my thought
to have her
first in startled
jump to see me
loud and painted kisses
on her smile
by those eyes
she wears to twist me in
to the broken
part she feeds

my aim was set
and I was there determined
to tell her
how she moved me
how I had grown
to a taller man
of distinguished means to give

little in the way of fortune
flakes in a copper pan
there at that I wore a smile
and a dandy pate
as I collected myself
from the long road
torn of pockets

there was a glow
that hung in there
under the lanterns
like a pungent sweat
that beads on liquored lips
all sung on sinking tongues
a murky vapour
silvered
as it fell and clung
to sticky skin
haloed, warmed by the brush
and heave of
tops of breasts
quickened at the fantasies
of hard ribbed men
gallantly lying about
their misadventures
as though their gold
were slower spent

3.
I; a standing anachronism
in a hungry room
and a bright white rectangle
of day shining open
at my back
squinting into the drek
and back at me
come now, close the door
they hissed
women
den of vipers

she sees me then
staring wide and
calculating problem
hushing whispers
to the coin groom
in her claws
then she led me
by the hand, up
the perfumed stair, up
to her room
of pain and memory
I weakly let her though I
follow knowing
the flowery lies
she will plant to
send me off with
empty-hearted

not this time, no,
I will be heard, I will
insist that she
be made to know
I could have her scream
my name, have her
bleed and break
tears and all
I can’t protect her
anymore
my angry pride
is too much for us both
as I wrapped my
calloused hands around
her neck
buttons fell to the floor
with the tearing sound
of dress
and choking cries

purple with bruises, fighting
to scratch me, set her free
I enjoy her ripping
at my skin, relish
in the fear
and begging
of her eyes
she belongs to me
as her body slumps
the excreta pools
I kiss her death
and hold her skin
to mine

pale and clammy
on the old oak timber
her expressionless dead gaze
taunting
with that familiar curl
and wry light

4.
she will not best
a fool as I
to allow this discovery
to ruin my right to chase
the open sky

her body
heft over shoulder
and thieving flight
out second story window
with a pulse thick in my neck
in seconds
I’ve laid her under blankets
in our homely wagon

hands dusted
and fit to erase suspicion
stepping back through
the hotel doors
for the bar
and a pint of absolution
for the victorious
I lift my glass
with glee

raise your whiskey roots
and drenched beards
in the pallid halls
of young kings
roust we holler
at the daughters
of easily kept women
save us; may you warm
our cold coal hearts
from the dampened black
of winter
in a long and distant stare
as an old man fitted neatly
to a driftwood box

5.
with smokey mind
and the trail ahead
into the pall and drear
ferryman
and princess passenger

whip the yawning mules
to drive us
out to the length of dismal weal
and damnation’s complicated
torture
married to her cursed stench
and she, to mine

we never sleep a night
alone again
and by day we sing
beneath
the bump and scratch
of wagon track, and
laughing
conversation.

© Emerys Watchel 2015, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Blue

in
flies
fire-butter
tizzy and stir
my feels

high
on
medicine cabinet
miscellany

neck
and torso
vomited up
this empty head
ringing hollow

flighty
stings me
in purgatory
void above one
crazy dream

i live
to eat you
night and day
crying into
blankets

hair barrettes &
polka dot panties
every boy wants
a
skinny girl

truly
shallow
creature
,i

mister
Blue
wristcutter anonymous

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

February Snow

covered school
yard where the kids search
for their snow tracks
from yesterday

the community store
proprietor shovels and salts
for the ease of foot traffic,
and neon vigil

the City dragged the beaver dams
from Wakamow
River snaking up through the
valley under a white blanket

a man sits alone
on an upturned twenty gallon bucket
line dropped down ice hole
searching the un-fishable muddy water

thistle carcasses
and fronds dried
by the roadside, husks frozen
straw-stiff in marsh mud

train whistle black smoke
rolling graffiti, a hundred cars long
past the refinery
under white grey sky

sun pierced clouds over
Crescent Park duck water, an old couple
arm in arm, trudge on ice-melt path
exhausting breath mist below the Library

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Downtown Thursday

Machine
do you not know
that your Inventor is You?
self-taught self behaviour
by instruction
the sinister irony of
learn by doing

Today
i saw the people-suits
propelling workforce
influence
through their week-long
monotony
“…some of them want to use you
some of them
want to get used by
you, Some of them want to
abuse you,
Some of them want to be abused…” *

Radio up
to suffuse the illusory
through
vehicular formation
downtown
listening numbly to
the Radio commercial announcer
sexing-up the new Lexus sales prices
+ 10,000 Aeroplan miles
to Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual
16,000 xxdollar investment
for something i could get cheaper
from a used car salesman
(but) “then they sent me away
taught me how to be
sensible
logical, respectable-practical,
and they showed me a world
where I could be
dependable,
clinical,
intellectual-cynical…” *
immediately I,
without a further thought,
accused
the station personalities
of accidental genius

then looked to my right
to see, unmissably,
gunmetal grey-blue
half rusted dirt box 2-door
driver’s side window down
single occupant male
thirty-something white
shaved head
dark sports sunglasses blaring
Pantera
with a perma-frown goatee
and wondered
How
does an individual grow
to become, so exactly,
a typified personality
symbol?

next thought: is it possible
that we are; all of us,
ideas of ourselves
populating (our) immediate space
with symbolic manifestations
of said ideas?

pre-packaged,
salable notions of a singular
vision (?)
“…Hey teacher,
leave us kids alone…” *

be still perilous intellect,
dream only dreams of forgetting,
live only lives of surrender
“…All in all
you’re just a-
‘nother brick in
the
wall…” *
reflecting ego-approved image/ideas
applied to
the Self manifest construct personality
projecting reflected projection
…”When you’re strange
faces come out of the rain
-when you’re strange…” *
convinced of self-believed spectral reality
…”coloured lights can hypnotize
sparkle someone elses eyes, ‘mera-woman,
said get away-ay…” *
Cuba
I weep for you in 1898
weep
for your natural history
soon to be raped for American Sugar Co.
oh Cuba,
seduced into capitalist bondage
can you hear their fat parasite shoes
clip-clopping
to shopping Malls
with murderous minds?
…”I undress
in seven steps
like your camera’s watching me
I suppose
I’ll strike a pose
-but that’s so predictable…” *

Teach me something New
to reject
Rip my awe open
insert
the soft-tissue flesh of idea
in the throbbing cavity -I,
grow
a seed root
from which to dangle
slow-dance my puppet
eye to eye,
mouth to mouth,
inhale my Liberty
destroy my identity and replace it
with commercial-jingle memory
“…I’m on my way
from misery to happiness
today
I’m on my way
to what I want from this world
And years from now
you’ll make it to the next world,
and everything that you receive up yonder
is what you gave to me
the day I wandered…” *

*Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams,
Supertramp – The Logical Song,
Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall,
The Doors – People Are Strange,
The Guess Who – American Woman,
July Talk – Picturing Love,
The Proclaimers – I’m On My Way

The preceding was edited from notes
hastily scribbled on a semi-stained napkin
procured from a passenger-seat wastebin/
glovebox
this poet’s mind raced to keep step
as the ironies arrived
with impossible celerity

attempting to acquire the moment.

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

Impermanent: For Dylan Thomas

tickled by the rub of love
men shave their years
scraping
thread golden chocolate boxes
for the light
of green girl faces

daring fates and
fanciful jest
to sweep and be swept
by pink plump traps, fairer
than soap soft hair
torments

for chance to awe at
perfumed legs, slendered
on silk sheet dreams of sex
for games we play at toys as these
when the devil drives
necessity compels best

tickled by the rub of love
women wear their braids
as bangles, bouncing
diaphanous
as lace lined satin
lips and painted dress

fragility portrayed to conceal
that tempestuous,
un-allayable hunger, screaming mad
behind storm-stung fears
of alone
on Valentine’s Day each year

for the crazy mix
of need and want, we fall
and pray to be wholly consumed
in the finite fire
of a lover’s jaws, tickled
by the cruelest rub of all

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

A Panorama in Monochrome

the prairie winter moon-
scape
spotted and scarred
with hot aluminium
silos, glowing
in the high-white day

snowdust blowing up
between black
shock of knotty trees
leafless
trembling in
the desert dry air

scrabbly rows
along
tractor-trailer grid
chapped lip
blister dead wind whistling
over bumpy scabs of settlement

a howl of dogs
and barn door bang
heavy as timber plank
amid the scuttle of shod hooves
beneath
the musk sweet hayloft

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.

beauty in futility

dust
our human legacy
proof that we were here

that indisputable footprint
indicator
of our collective presences

what else do we leave behind,
to what else do we reduce
our endeavors?

to what do we aspire
staring into space
at forgotten histories

with no claim to the cosmos
yet
the cosmos made us

our dreams
and our varied complications
from so little

© Emerys Watchel, 2017 All rights reserved.