"Gristle, or the graffiti meant for me"
Peculiar graffiti you've put up there on the wall.
Almost like it's directed against me.
But then you know my idea of being "up on high;"
You've known that since the beginning.
I've aspired to an attic alla Razkolnikov's.
Maybe from there I can catch a glimpse of you
Chalk drawing on the pavement your angels
I can watch you try to play prophet as I sip
Tea and sneer.
Don't get me wrong, sir, since I have sought a raw,
Of-the-morning real deity.
Why am I still searching?
Does God love a good game of hide-and-seek?
Yeah!- I realize what I want is a raw god, fresh from
The butcher's shop.
I can't say the rest of my life mirrors a cleaver;
But I wonder when I cannot sleep if on its blooded
Edge there is the grace you and I parted
Ways in chasing.
Parted: you, sir, the choice cut there on the board;
Me, the gristle inconveniently on the floor.
Was that same grace on the claws of the lions
Loosed on the sewer believers to the amusement
Of Romans, who were chalked on stone by Jupiter? I
What a fine example of graffiti can one's life be!
Chalk your angels, you asshole.
My religion is only what lies under the street.
-Where Are the Returns?-
Night shift- ya know, where the employee goes
For the industrious second death.
Come each morning after knocking off I'd hurry
To the tracks to listen to the rumbling of the railcars
Because: a.) I needed to hear the corrugation and rail
squeal to stay awake. Coffee ain't always enough.
b.) I was dying, not just from the 10-7 shift, but of
A want for magic in the world.
My daddy had introduced me to that magic when I was a kid.
He'd say the rails were 'where the world converged;'
It was the steel that made 'the rest of the world feel closer.'
That was all the magic a small town in Nowhere Near
Could hope for.
Work. Church. Pray. Work. Drink. Mom. Work. Die. Eulogy.
Thirty years working night shift, and Dad would ask in not so
Many words, 'Where are the returns?'
'Returns,' ya know? Rewards.
Then Mom asked that too, staring silently out the window,
She went from the kitchen to night shift, working till her nerves
Me, I've been working night shift for fifteen years now.
My vacation is my morning coffee during the stroll home.
Thank God for diners, at least.
And I don't ask that question, ya know?
'Where are the returns?'
I've already gotten that answer from tracks- the
'There aren't any.'
Dennis Villelmi (Williamson)is the former co-editor of The Bees Are Dead webzine where he also interviewed authors and celebrities in the film industry. His poems have been featured in such publications as DEAD SNAKES, Peeking Cat Poetry, Duane’s Poe Tree, and Horror Sleaze Trash, to name a few. Mr. Villelmi lives in the state of Virginia.