Fresh Poetry ~ “The Potency of Matter”

Edmund J. Sullivan - PotencyMasking the serpent of Gnosticism
& on occasion, warrior monks,
vacant as ciphers—disciples
of careful confession
spanning to create a new frontier;
the pavement of retreat
defining some ludicrous homeland where
magic is the latent power
to extinguish pathetic narcissism.
All the famous garbage could mean any god:
with the use of effective & powerful drugs
life becomes a series of decisions—knowledge of the rebirths is
nostalgia & idealism. Every rejection
proof of
the western inability to manage

Small talk is fake,
something normal & fashionable.
Clairvoyance lacks efficiency so attach significance to
Phenomenon. Allow happy demons
to overcome
the agony of shame;
take revenge—truth used like a shovel,
to push delusion & vanity, all
unnecessary fear
into a roaring fire
to burn.

What else to do with the flame:
Eat it? Perhaps
steal it?
Are you Prometheus
or Icarus, who’s freedom has roiled appetites?
Where is the collection of correspondences
intended to counter-balance
occult mischief?
The supernatural remains insolate until it has
been sufficiently catalogued by
astral eyes wide to the horror
that has no voice
in Malkuth.

Where is the stable

*in a rather mocking spirit*

New perspectives are challenging
to maintain but
crisis caught us prepared
to teach the language of symbol.
To notice your earlier metaphor—how
dare the lamb complain of it’s fate?
Beyond the circle of revenge,
leaving no audible memory,
confluence rests;
seen as the defeater of the serpent yet
the agony of being ripped from the foundation
of tradition,
untraceable in this hall of mirrors,
this psychology bullshit—it was soon found
to be more than this.

*rushing toward a conclusion*

The Mysterious is never boring, all that
association versus thought:
those old patterns dissolve under
on the chessboard of strategies.
Magic appears:
closing the loop of this process.



{Illustration by Edmund J. Sullivan}


Quotation from Gabor Mate

“What a wonderful world it would be if the simplistic views were accurate.”

~ Dr. Gabor Mate

Gabor Gastonyi

{Photograoh by Gabor Gastonyi}



Maggie ~ Part Two of Three


Edgar Degas

Men like Leonard always know the rules, the real rules—how cards should be played and how a life should be lived. Leonard was one of those men who was also privileged to know the ‘truth.’ Truth with a hard, capital ‘t’ — truth meant to correct, meant to straighten and I accepted this unconditionally. Everything my husband said was an explanation. I never knew how to do things properly and his approval meant a great deal to me so I allowed myself to become completely devoted to a bad-tempered man. I had been raised devoutly Catholic and my family attended mass dutifully but once we were married — hardly went to church again. Leonard demanded all my faith. Demanded it and then mocked it by saying it wasn’t enough. Is it love that makes one hold all that down? All that pain and humiliation from boiling a heart in the anger one calls injustice? Rage: hot and fierce. It needs to come out but when it does tends to make a mess. In time, I learned to see the violence as renewal. Fresh vows would always fall after the worst attacks and restored faith would erase all doubt. ‘Don’t get yourself so worked up,’ he’d say. ‘Think of the baby,’ he’d say when I would cry after a beating.

(Maggie pauses.)

My daughter — she’s a good girl.

(Maggie takes a picture from her breast pocket and passes it to an audience member.)

That’s her on her wedding day — Emily is her name. Looks beautiful, doesn’t she in her off-white dress? Beautiful but afraid to think for herself. It’s hard to tell from that photograph that she is slipping on a banana peel — a fool in flight. She married a splinter of a man but she has always been eager to learn the hard way. Her demons sent the first husband packing and I felt sorry for him. I truly did. He was a good dancer but it drove Leonard crazy and he was hard on her. Mistakes are the landmines of any adolescence but each one Emily made blew Leonard’s confidence in her more and more apart. She was even too frightened to tell her father to go to hell and he deserved it, he really did that pushy bastard — with his fear and the flimsy nightgown he thought would make a good wedding present. It made her sick when she unwrapped it, the poor child. May I have the picture back, please?

(Maggie smiles weakly and replaces the photo into her pocket.)

That’s one daughter. She is remarried now and the new one barely says two words. My other daughter was never the same after she discovered there was no Santa Claus. I’m serious — she never trusted Leonard or I again once she figured out we were the ones putting the gifts under the tree and got out of the house as fast as she could and married a man completely supportive of her flat, embittered personality. She believed we only loved a part of her and I don’t know about Leonard or if he was even capable of loving but I loved her. Still do but she doesn’t believe that. She went off to school and became the first in the family to graduate from college. The only one to win anything, much less a scholarship to study chemistry. It was there she found the man she believes could give her the love we couldn’t. Perhaps one day she will see differently, but for now at least, she has made enough peace with me to open the path to my first grandchild.

(Maggie holds up a photo of her granddaughter.)

I was occasionally allowed to go for visits and help take care of that precious child. It was like an oasis in the desert of a barren marriage.

(Maggie kisses the photo, replaces it and removes another photo. She holds it for the audience to see.)

A picture of Leonard relaxing on a break from work. He enjoyed his job at the psychiatric hospital and I believe from the little he told me he was good at his work. Being an orderly is no cakewalk but a real man should be self-employed, Leonard always said and when he was laid-off from his job at the hospital, I agreed with him. That’s when the shed went up in the backyard. The shed — the head quarters of what was to be his ‘industry.’ He would go back to his shed to create what was going to be the source of our bread and butter once the unemployment cheques ran out and run out they did. ‘So what’s the business?’ I’d ask him after he come inside from hours of ‘meditating’ in the shed and he’d growl it was beyond my understanding and demand his dinner. You see, the shed was off-limits. No one was ever allowed inside and the girls were, naturally curious but he defended his selfish stand with anger that was like a sledgehammer.

(Maggie put the picture of Leonard away.)

Year after year I waited in the darkness, believing in his dreams. ‘Where is thy faith?’ Leonard would demand and to that cupboard in my mind I’d go, one more time to pour another cup. Faith — I’d write the word, then finger the paper raw. It is difficult to count the years that were chewed through by the weight of regular disappointment but I aimed to show him I was loyal. I met his violence with an open heart. ‘It’s what Mother did,’ I’d remind myself, while the pillow soaked with buried tears. I learned the rules soon after the wedding. ‘You’re the wife. You do as I say.’ ‘Who says?’ I challenged back. Oh — you’d have been proud of me. In those days, I still felt entitled to an explanation. ‘It says so in the bible!’ Out it would come from its place on the shelf, thick and dusty. On the inside cover, written in shaky hand was where it all began: ‘To Effie, Love Grandmother Phelps. Christmas Day, 1923.’ The dawn of time as far as Leonard was concerned and who could argue with great grandmother Effie? Over the years the bible came out more and more. Leonard would make the girls swear before God, with their hands flat on the cover when he wished to test their truth. I would object and Leonard would lash-out. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.’ Job’s lot, too. Poor Job. I used to pronounce his name like the place you go to work. ‘It’s Job!’ Leonard shouted from the dining room table. He and some friends were having a poker night. ‘What an idiot! Calls him job. Can you believe how ignorant she is?’ They laughed at that — Leonard liked to have a good time and we had a terrible fight about it afterwards. I was proud for a long while after that evening because it was the last time he ever hit me in front of his friends.

(Maggie draws out a crucifix from the inside of her blouse.)

Christ said to turn the other cheek when someone strikes out but what if that cheek is still stinging from an earlier slap? It confused me terribly, and in this violent climate, I built a home plagued by paralysis and fear — paralysis that wove it’s way through the minds of my children, binding us like an invisible elastic of terror. Brutality is a hammer, anger the leveller, the bulldozer of emotions but that was Leonard’s way. Once he got sick though — once he got sick, I started remembering. Then he got sick. It was just a bruise or so he kept saying and he refused to mention it to the doctor when I urged him to. That time, his arrogance got the better of him and that blemish became the site of a long-suffering, devastating illness. When did he start getting sick? When did weakness and depression take possession of his heart?
{Painting by Edgar Degas}




Fresh Poetry ~ “The Terrifying Beauty of the Rib”

The Terrifying Beauty of the Rib - Goya

establishing a subjective life-myth
inside this Luciferian structure,
the following is essential:
We must find a rose,
the one with casino eyes, spinning fierce for
truth & breath;
capable of being
glamourous, gratuitous &
Modified; in need of calibration;
able to create universes
[for better flow,]
applied literally since
there never was a Plan B.

In light of recent competition,
anomalies proliferate: for all the tea
in China,
what is there but to deepen charm & drama?

Transference is complete; settle in.

Planning to bite
the naughty apple & stay
in the glorious garden?
A matriarch with scattered clan — we all have
our temptations but where to start with this precious
pool of Ætheric warriors?
Taking notes?
Speaking in tongues?
Float the howler that
witches have power over the weak; her loyal
clan. A thing can only exist through its opposite so
neutralize calmly:
Super-normal powers & magical abilities,
vibrational compatibility;
secondary chaos
in the sphere of Operation.
It all reminds me of how in the movies people
come together to get things done, in name
under the carrot & some slick
innovative teaching methods which fall
like a psychic hammer
creepy, weepy & exactly
where the partygoers are drinking & dancing
inside the hidden ballroom of
a mysterious castle,
glowing like Brahmin; all
controlled demolition concealed.

Trace a myth: Does it help to stay
in the Holy Garden if you
peel the apple
before biting it?

Understanding comes from
a rapid interchange of symbol;
the different ways women give birth.
Soon we learn the price of disposable friends:
shake the kaleidoscope of a shared past;
delete the perfectly dystopian text message.
Every line read esoterically
why not account for it?

How could this be hero worship? There isn’t
a single heroic thing
about her.

*the vigil candle flickers.*

She’s still on the bale
that slippery witch,
exploiting all notions of loyalty &
slyly reminding us that rich men
eat soft clit.

You wanted someone who would give it
uncensored, right?

*shuffle, shuffle, shuffle*

In the dream she stands — that man is naked:
the whole school jumps
to their feet
applauding her bravery; for openly sharing
information pertaining to the nitty-gritty on power,
all for the benefit of instruction,
for a safe mental space
the stuff of urban legends.
When knowing the outline of history,
all the alphabet soup
from succulent streams; anticipated & annexed,
enormous, bloated senses
the cold, kerosene smell.

Answers to time & space come from nowhere:
There is room to explore
in the world of the Gods but a
native converted
is a native
banished & returning with a need for
re-introduction & re-consideration
she was not always a weedy neurotic,
this former child of my heart,
like a privileged tenant
under the sway of karmic law;
attachment versus disavowal.
We can’t be impatient either way,
to lust for conversion,
to see the fruits,
eat the apple,
stay in the garden.

The trophy fish swim by:
Faith hangs withered
like a winter apple on a tree,
it is time for conclusion in the form of lyrical prophecy
dipped in blue, rising strong,
let resentment congeal & dissipate.
Allow cruelty to devour Memory, leaving only
shame & this lonely greed
for bitterness
free from that.
Liberated by tolerant television & the sweetest songs of love;
back to the natural state of calm & serenity;
before the fire.
Can you smell the freedom
through silent consensus?

Our circle is complete.

{Painting by Francisco Goya}



Quotation from Margaret Drabble

Francis King“I feel about them as I feel about the people I know. I like them, and they irritate me, as I irritate myself. This is the life we lead. Sometimes it feels good, sometimes bad. Sometimes people annoy me, sometimes they seem wonderful, spirited and brave.”

~ Margaret Drabble


{Photograph by Francis King}