Jeff Foster: A Poem





Part 1

My parents dabbled in para-psychology
Giving me ghosts
That cast my behavior
As unexplained phenomena
Their operose marriage erotic
With mystery and silence
Ending in divorce

Divorce's rococo freedom
Dithers me
All swart and godiva-like
Ballooning as canon
Every conceivable reason
With no mention
Of a price to pay

Temptations cramming me
Like porn on the internet
Though I removed my idols
I still burn incense
Naked among the ruins
By the altar
Where the harlots sacrifice
Ducking in and out
Of salt and light
Walking outside of god
And fearing death

Occasional unctuous moments
When I wasn't Janus or Orphelia
Pharmaceutically strange
In a place I've never been before
The strobe of depression
Still playing the pornstar
Lewd with the familiar

Her bare ass in revival
Bible thumping
Dry and dusty christians
With fluted souls
Oblivious to their own emptiness

Turning my Christianity Marion
Co-redeemer with Jesus
The queen of heaven
A pilgrimage apparition
Mummers in shadows
Dancing novenas rosaries and statues

Having still the plash of unbelief
Touchstones flagging the capstans
Heaving of the past
From the depths
Channeling devils
Disguised as loved ones

Part 2

I remember listening to the psychiatry
Of Pink Floyd's "Animals"
As I sat in my room
At the sharecropper's shack on Mulberry
My emotion in nothing but braids and ennui
Stippled by the stratus of my addiction's
Just beginning ataxia gait

I go back
Layer by layer
Exposing the past
Just beneath the surface
All malleable and pristine
Suicidal at being rediscovered
And made to feel again

Scissoring images
From a manic camera
Replaying the yaw of my mother's
Hypochondria and shoplifting
Of my dad's climbing a power pole
Trying to get free cable

Psychotic episodes
Fucking the years to a blur
Taking on the characteristics
Of locust trees
Prone to losing limbs
And smothering the ground
With leaves and shade

My parents not knowing
What they gave me
Or what was given them
An algebra
Down the family line
And smelling of intercourse

Trying to make my own serenity
By fantasies of women
Muted by their strangeness
Sexed by the vacant look in their eyes

Taken by the trauma of their trying to find
Just the right anti-depressant
Wanting to know their silence
And taste the wicca of their anxiety

Keeping my memories
Like divorce rouges a child's perception
Of an absent parent
The years flatulent with dreams
Looking for new ways to mate

Running down a road without a shoulder
No center stripe or speed limit
Maintenance or law enforcement
Weeds marling the ditches
With dead animals and trash
The woods and barbwire leading
Just outside the city limits

Part 3

I no longer feel God's love
Or sense his presence
The things
That used to keep me
From taking my own life
Now no longer matter

All I feel is indifference
The urge to masturbate
To self medicate myself
Restoring the primitive art
Of my past
And pretending I'm a woman

I don't feel saved
My emotions need disciplining
My attempts at living sober and expectant
Stones are thrown at
Sharing the gospel plods
And rebellion is witchcraft
The fear of death stronger
Than the power of god
And even in the face of death
Sex seems even stronger

I've considered Electrical Convulsive Therapy
Lugeing a new medicine
And a new doctor
A fertility rite
Of the disting moon's
Ash and cinquefoil
Trying to keep all the seasons
Like a redbird

The smell of love
On the tips of my fingers
From places on my body
That rarely see light
A caudal hue
Deciduously sexed
Writing my life in runes

The juju of percale breasts
Sweating the color of burnt sienna
Smelling of lemon and vinegar
Seasoned with the second death
That separates from God

My anger niggardly scrawling profanity
My dissonance and negativity
Craving light S and M
Fantasies as any Trinity Broadcasting Network evangelist
Fitting nicely on Fox
My appetite decreasing
And desiring sleep to escape

It's getting to the point
Where I don't ask for forgiveness
My porn addiction a pied
Cindery frieze of lewd images
Using my wife
As a dumping ground for guilt
A policeman to shadow my moves

Part 4

There is a great fixed gulf
Two separate chambers
The soul apart from the body
Eternal conscious torment
Degrees of punishment
Suffering even now
The sea death and Hades
Giving up their dead
A place prepared for the devil
No thought can fathom
The soul rejoining the body
Wailing and gnashing of teeth
Smoke rising forever
From loved ones among the lost
Not knowing who of family
And friends are there

I can't trust myself
Walking into another foot fetish porn site
Spraying the crime scene with luminal
To track the spatter of homicide

Licking the dust of abandoned buildings
Attempting to be a branch snatched from the fire
Erotic with the smell of cigarettes and old clothes
Pinging the ferro of mold, mildew and basement drains
Making love drenched in the sweat
Of a good run
Healed by trapped moistures' aromatherapy


JEFF FOSTER is a writer/photographer who lives in Missouri. His work has appeared in :Sabine, Outsider, Kerosene and Empyrios. A contributing writer for the hold ezine, his influences are Theodore Roethke and Joni Mitchell.

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