Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: All Hallow's Write 2014 - Horrid Little Nocturnes

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

All Hallow's Write 2014 - Horrid Little Nocturnes

So this year I thought I'd try something different for All Hallow's Write. I didn't have anything long and harrowing, like What Lies in Darkness, in me again, for a variety of reasons. Once you read the end of Soulwoven: Exile, you might understand why. I'm also in the middle of a campaign of Getting Enough Sleep that has done wonders for my mental health, and I judged that staying on that horse was more important than staying up all night tonight.

So, something different.

I haven't written poetry with the intent of sharing it since college, and I'm not much of a poet. I've got a vague idea of what the tools are, but little worked out in terms of how to use them.

Nevertheless, I have an imagination, and it can be wicked, and I have done my best to let it loose tonight.

So enjoy. Here are several short poems, some horrid little nocturnes, the result of my All Hallow's Write 2014.

Night Terrors

They come at night.
All these little horrors.
Broken-glass knives peeling
open my scalp, coercing my mind.

I shiver, scratch
and wait and wake
and toss and turn
and flail and gnash
while the darkness grows deeper
and the turn-bottle nasties turn over the graves
of dead dreads
and birth them anew.

In the morning they’re gone.

But each leaves new scars.

Deeper.
And deeper.

Like dead flesh on a stained-purple heart
after cardiac arrest.

The Blue People

They say it’s cold after death, but
the blue people know they’re wrong.
It’s not your warmth they want.

It’s breath they need, vitality,
and so they choose to stay.
Hover over you dreamers,
suck life from your lips,
eyes shut in ecstatic aspiration.

You never see them.
But when you wake, they scream.

Under the Ice

There are things (they are waiting)
Down under the ice.
Goggle-eyed
Frog-toed.

While you slide along they float,
suspended in timeless misery,
aching for a moment’s touch.

Their fingers track you, carefully,
slip along the too-smooth ceiling of their world.
One crack, dear child, one crack.
And you’ll be down to join them.

Behind the Stars

There are watchers out behind the stars.
And not the ones you’d think.
No green men in shining ships,
with beams or rays or probes.

These are much worse.

The things out there are eldritch terrors
hid beyond the sky.
That dome of black is paper-thin.
Beyond it? Crawling, awful things.

The stars their eyes,
their grasping fingers made of gravitons.
And the dark sky-shards
that burn between the clouds?

Slivers of their fingernails,
breaking as they claw the night.

At the Heart of the Machine

No one knows what lies
at the heart of the machine.
We make our theorems, call them true,
but truth lies out of reach.

A misplaced variable.

One coefficient, slightly warped.

In these things lives the machine’s soul,
a broke-faced golem, shattered eyeballs of black
gaping nothing.

And inside the heart of that machine?

We run, little rats on moebius treadmills.
Devils behind us, urging.
Whipping.
Flaying our backs if we fall.

Imagine now.

One slip.

One trip.

And the cat o’ nine tails rips your back
with long-stick needles of rusted-nail teeth.

Leaving you,
bleeding,
at the heart of the machine.

--

Happy Halloween, everybody!

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