Monday 15 March 2021

Five Fabulous Poems by Peter Magliocco


The Mortician of Love


Where is the dappled rose within flesh dismaying?

the mortician asked himself.

Still young & alive, despite their arguing

death was usually outside them when together

motoring on the mountainous entrails of space.


Atmospheric accidents have a way of altering

the perception of mortality's proximity

to the slow fire burning within you.

Dents in metallic flesh-bodies

collide with our own sometimes,


such as when riding next to you

in this diaphanous infinity

somehow imploding love

via force & fusion

produces the ultimate moment


of comets passing. Then yourself,

wearing the airs of crystal beatitude,

to paint the stardust in nature's dour dustbin

overwhelmed by the flood of ages

lacerating your last sweet smile.


Now what's left of you saddens

on my stellar examining table, a rapture

of fully decomposed petals

my instruments probing expose

your center of gravity at last



I See the Harlequin


The harlequin cometh, his face

impaled by a boy's slingshot rock

from the mountains of bygone Rushmore

nubile clowns wait to embrace his clown nose

with the pastiche of invisible innocence

winding through the myriad of city lights

the harlequin still patrols with wand

& magic forceps

looking for a proselyte

other than himself. His uniform is sold

by the dollar store of insidious elves

where your credit is always good

(even in bitcoins & barleycorn!)

for the true light of an artist inhabits

garments spun from the closets

of misty monks floating

in aisles of the fashionable demimonde

you'll proudly wear every sabbath.

The harlequin must convert

the mundane into the glittering,

his mind blurred by sunspots of time

winnowing the vision of his duties.

I too am a harlequin, hiding behind

the circus beams of immortality,

disguised as your next holy redeemer

wearing my android eyes above

the heart of a photoshopped horizon.



The Landscape Where Love Once Was


Were we born yesterday under calamitous skies

heavy with clouds of nature's deception

fooling us to believe in rain, only rain.

Where the precipice of your kingdom

was sullied by the tongues of fire

distant dragons spit forth?

Over plants too your handmaidens

nurtured daily with loving eyes,

watering the aegis of ages

as their tears dripped down on leaves

slowly besotted into brown decay


& damp with the rich smells

an undercurrent of pooling mud brings.

It was this awful sight you pictured a savior

being buried under, for a painting

where the master's colors blended

into dark deception


transplanting our eyes to believe something

freeing us was just beneath 

his black strokes


where the canvas gesso

kept hiding

its innocent whiteness.



One Night Awakening, To Bear the Onus of History

    (after William Hope Hodgson)


It settles on his shoulders to bow him

yet he bears it through the morning's coming,

as any leader does when time announces

its burgeoning wisp of transcendence.

In the next room the mid-wife witnesses

the birth of an evanescent being:

something like a ghostly wend

of Shangri-La City

rekindling itself again for all


to silently acknowledge & marvel at.

The man, now fully awake, dusts time off

sharp edges of unbroken valleys

as hungry wolves watch him.

From outside the cabin shapeshifters

of new-born Shambala wait

to impregnate dawn with splintered sounds

of ancient voices calling.

Spirits that will take the living back


into those chiaroscuro interstices where

he must go again:

to keep keen forces moored between

this life & the next

stepping into the black hole of space,

far from any terrestrial trivialities

into deepening shade he becomes

a born-again nova 

ghostly flesh will worship



Simply Desolate Ocean-less Forfeits in Space

    (after a line by Laura Kasischke)


Now to all those who are jaded young I salute you

while doffing a cap monogrammed by fairies wearing boots.

Now to the swimming beaver I marvel tonight

at the efficacy of nature in full force

from great beings to the smaller one,

where the genome's watch ticks away

in the heart of any gnome

like a literary clock without hands

sentencing noble chapters to our existence

inside the pristine void.


While touching the nape of necks

with an unfurling tongue

your candle burns too

enlightening skeletons of the drowned

should they awaken, spit out saltwater 

to stop the wax embalming you with its joy

the bog will still welcome us to its depths

where the secrets impenetrable lurk in evil

complicity with fate's inexplicable waves.



Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he's been active for several years as writer, editor, and artist. His work has appeared in various online and print poetry publications such as Scars, Harbinger Asylum, Bluepepper, Unlikely Stories, Taj Mahal Review, and elsewhere. His latest poetry books are Go to the Pain Lovers (Duck Lake Books) and The Underground Movie Poems (Horror Sleaze Trash).



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