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Breathing Shadows

Updated on August 6, 2012

From the Beginning


A Genesis filtered with potent male force,

disheveled Eve, and the universe is born

with one more push.

Moist greenery droops as rabbits scurry

spraying water against the supple earth.

My toes squeeze mud, a reaction to their furtive motions.

My clothes

all gone

shredded long ago, shackles to an infinite loop

I draw a new line and the circle of sacrifice is unwound.


            Dance, damn you, dance! I am the puppeteer

hiding behind the stage

peeking through a hole in the sheet.

My guests chuckle and laugh at another viewing of Punch and Judy.

Mock violence medicating the questions of right and wrong,

I dance away in irony pissing on their shoes

nothing is sacred anymore.


            The showers begin, forcing the thinking man inside

while screaming high heels tries to keep her other face.

A gutterpunk grabs more newspaper to cover her dirty feet

an opened burger wrapper rolls and floats

down the roadside.

The dominant sterility finally splattered with mud.


            Resentment is here with alcoholic tremors and empty pockets,

Bald, droop eyed

she sold her golden locks.

A skeletal snaggle toothed demon thrusting her arm forward

with distinguished care, shaking more prominently as I near.

I walk across the street; I don’t want to deal,

I must say I’ve heard it all before.


            Without repose the skies pound the asphalt obliterating sight and smell.

Only the slapping rap tap tapping, and I’ve found a door.

Light huddles underneath with echoes of laughter.

No bell announces me as I enter.

The Hidden Party


            A midnight masquerade and I am without a facade.

White porcelain perfection mixed

With the scent of sweat and dog,

they are more beastly then they pretend,

undulating and writhing against each other

a menagerie of disgusting creatures

and I am the madman.

Light falls on one lonely face

where blood mixes with already dripping tears

an attempt to remove sight with jagged hoops.

I tear off masks in a flurry of rage

staring at mirrors of each other,

shocked remembrance of lost loves, life.

A champagne bottle, currently discarded

empties across the floor,

I slip and fall down some stairs

the boiler room’s below.


The constant hum of machinery, the whine of belts and gears

block out their cries

alone at last, distant, disinterested,

sheltered in the darkness below.

A child’s toy is here, lying on its side.

It’s a wooden dog with wheels for feet and a string attached to its nose.

One of the eyes has been scratched out

way before its abandonment by the little boy

who used to hide in the dark recesses, dreaming of greatness.

The Child and the Prophet


I drag the wooden dog out the back

A blanket of purity has fallen, concealing the garbage and mud,

but it will soon be gray with dirty coughs of motion.

Maybe I’ll save a snowball

keep it in my fridge.

A dirty child sits

with a diabolic grin

splitting his face by the gap in his teeth.

I ask him where his parents are

and he gives me the finger,

running off in his designer shoes.

I try to throw some sort of symbolic gesture together,

but he is already gone.

Lying in the gutter catching some warm sewer steam,

A drunkard sings into his shirt, mumbling something

About a girl and a shroud.

His hand still grips the empty paper bagged bottle,

by his feet a painted pen case.

A burst of laughter and his eyes rip open, giggles still tremble his lips.

“I know you boy.  You think it’s so complex.  Life, death, we are all

transitory.  So much time spent gatherin stuff, getting told what to wear

and how to act by your TV.  A mass brain death, and you judge me.

The puppet on your left says blah, blah, blah, and the puppet on your right says wah, wah, wah.  What are you looking at?”


            He covers his head in newspapers,

my dirty unknown prophet.

I keep going because

never look back is the motto for today

besides, I wasn’t really listening anyway.

Kicking a faded beer can down the recently plowed street

I scare a cat hidden under a dumpster

where twelve glittering eyes stare transfixed.

The can hops and bounces

until it tumbles through a gutted concrete giant

New Site 2006

the waiting darkness.



I wedge myself between tarnished monoliths,

slinking through shadows of near dawn

in my search for closure.

A siren echoes in the distance

slicing through my head down, hunched back brooding.

Where am I?

Crumbled decay and insomniac rust surround me.

A rat perching on a burger wrapper

twitches in agitated defiance

my uninvited intrusion.

Somehow, he seems familiar

a chunk of bun clutched in his tiny hands.


            My thoughts dance away from this motion

trying to pull some sort of greater meaning

out of my rambles, something to give me purpose, definition.

The fetid stink of garbage is retarded by salty bay breeze,

silence broken by the heraldic cries of seagulls

and I know I can go no further.

Broken shafts of wood reach out of the swaying waters

ending abruptly in jagged emptiness.

I drop to the ground

wrapping my arms around my legs.

In the east a glimmer of light claws its way to the surface

smoke stacks exhale their first breath of the day.

I toss the wooden dog,

my curiosity sated,

my attachment broken.

It skips across the water

winks at me one last time

before sinking below the rolling turmoil

out of sight.


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    • mrpotavin profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Looking for an artist who is willing to collaborate on turning this into a book. Comment if interested.


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