width=61 height=87> Varied Voices 2003


Scott Malby
When Dreams Go Bad

(for J and J Lawson)


A Ghostly Confessional 

This is not about unraveling the beautiful as it 
presents itself. My god, we get so much of that!
Itís about the unbeautiful unraveling of ourselves.
It's about us all like eggs cracking out and open 
into the cavernous mysterioso delirium of our 
universal natures spinning out of control beyond
the viper sharp spider pit of being, glossed with 
bright wet pain, as we break through and beyond 
the tentative slender gelatinous musical sheen 
of our yolk into the forgetfulness of the cosmos itself. 

But, in being only human, we never really leave
the bloody slime of our human consciousness 
behind, somehow always returning back as if 
that taint is a part of resurrection itself and no 
soul flies without its own placental constraining 
memory of flesh reminding us where we came from 
and will end when we discover that the body was no 
prison at all but a series of small explosions waking 
us up to the passionate fluency of everything we left


God, are you listening?
"chicago poets do not understand my poetry" 
d.a. Levy 

There is no accounting. 
The numberless phone calls, 
the messages sent and no response. 
God, are you listening? 
My soul pounds the pavement

of seedy nights plunging into 
the grit of all night cafes.
God, are you listening? 

I curse as I cringe 
at your perpetual winking 
like Iím one of your freaky jokes. 
Are you listening? 

Drinking in my own confusion
the truth of myself slurs with
conjugations as these words
collide with this drunken world. 

Iím scraped everywhere at once.
Iím uncalmed and ablaze. Lost. 
God, are you listening? 

Depression is a .22 bullet 
burrowing into the flesh of my brain, 
I want to put You out of my misery,
God, are you listening? 

E. Judas Wagtailís Party

They bring a table in. Bread and wine 
come next. Thirteen chairs are filled. 

Virtuous men pass by. They frown, 
I sneer back, plotting my revenge. 

Wagtail, they say, give up the booze. 
Hell! I love to drink, to rock and roll 

and if I hurt others I canít help myself. 
You do too but wonít admit it. 

Why be shocked? The word is out. 
Havenít you heard? A dog is roaring. 

Howling at your gate. A razor tongued, 
son of a bitch, out to get you good! 

My eyes spit fire as my throat curls 
into an ash can cacophony of spite 

but the kiss I give is all tenderness, 
understanding more than I know. 

© 2003 Scott Malby   e-mail the author