Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 09/17/21

Downward Dichotomy

What the drugs do
is render you hopeless
then helpless till you
spell nihilism and ennui
backwards in your sleep.
When your real thoughts
come primal as beatings
in high school or at home,
where the drugs render
you numb enough to
stumble through the
lost and preconceived
until bloodied fists in
a botched drug mugging
go worse than sideways.
Sirens swallowing your
Fate while guilty and unclean
you watch the ambulance
cart your victim to hospital.
The cop says get in the car,
headed to lockup straight
wishing you were high or
could afford a good lawyer,
but you’d buy your high first
and save your life second.
It’s what the drugs do.

From Lower Depths

Too many ways
to drown with
someone you can’t save.

Wearing as much
sadness as any
beautifully masked face.

While getting high
in alleys with others who’ll fall
as hard from the lower depths.

Yet with each
unwrapping she still remained
outside the box.

Her bordello smile
welcoming me to lies
I preferred to truth.

Until she stole from me
precipitous amounts too often
not to be for narcotics.

I left her to memory
unable to forget
all she wanted me to.
I stay now in shadows
dreams telling me I’m closer
to finding a new lost cause.

Of Joyrides

Her loud carpenter, with hammer
driving nails tells me
the sex will be hot.

She takes her shirt off
slower than most strippers do
With the same junkie marks.

Pierced in more places
than the slain matador’s bull
before the dying red sun..

Her conversation
excoriates ex-husband
who stole her car.

For a meth fueled joyride
ending in a crash without
insurance or a driver’s license.

Her lips do their worst
and me no good,
as much as I like it.

No preliminaries
like we’re used
to avoiding.

She wipes black
lipsticked lips with
back of her hand.

After swallowing
there’s enough truth between us
for a false confession.

Count my twenties,
like a pit boss,
says “later baby.”

When she leaves
I can only think
later will be soon.

©2021 Rp Verlaine All rights reserved.

Rp Verlaine

Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught English in New York public schools until he retired. He has several collections of poetry including Damaged by Dames & Drinking (2017), Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018), and Lies From The Autobiography: Vol 1 Seany, Vol 2 Natalie, & Vol 3 Dawn (2018-2020).

Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 07/16/21

Introduction To Apocalyptic Fiction

Violence is the bloody afterbirth of an ubiquitous
they. It hasn’t the slightest idea how to dream

nor begin anything new except maybe logic’s next
beating. It locks Empathy behind closed doors

where it can be heard scratching and whimpering
with its weaker sister Compassion in nothing more

than a liars’ game waiting out that gas-filled hose
of loathing threading its way through the keyhole

to kill them both off before they can rise up and
find the guts to fight their way back to us. The they

are we and we are truly out of luck if we don’t crack
through that truth soon. What waits grinning for us

on the other side is so horrific to think about that
it petrifies all our shimmering tomorrows when the shit

will really hit the fan and we might just come to forget
what all this self-vindicating justification was all about.

©2021 Michael Thomas Ellis All rights reserved.

Michael Thomas Ellis

The author has been published in The Talking Stick, Open Arts Forum, New Verse News, Waymark, Tuck Magazine, Dark Sire, the anthology Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Film, upcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, and frequently in his favorite daily breakfast treat, The Drabble.