Saturday, August 1, 2015



Selected entries from a street journal
kept by an anonymous vagrant discovered
among refuse and abandoned drug paraphernalia
when I lived through a prolonged delusional
state among recently released criminals
and barefoot saints as a homeless
man in an ongoing, extemporaneous
work of fiction while following
my fugue-state doppelgänger

Admittedly I'm apathetic…
Growling unkempt canine ferocity
chanting madman make-believe
or seething voodoo curses
at well attired, glib faced passersby
who ignore us--we of the ill street ilk
--the mentally unstable… the wrathful
remains wraith-made from childhoods
mourned when demised our tiny innocence
consumed: sweet meat beaded sweat undressed
--small pastry delicacies sucked and swined
our truffle-glut snouted bare rump fundaments
worshiped beneath Satanic and Christian
roofs alike with commensurate delight
via every secret means in beds and sheds
after the lights went out and now as men
who've inherited meaningless pity
and malignant misinterpretations
of religion and well intended promises
worth less than the vile spit
that lubricates their lies
we attend our own services,
a communion of booze and drugs
your status quo despises.

A daily ruse for daily bread…
Standing in gruff-grumble stench lines
among the unwashed downtrodden
beneath the rigid spire-shadows
at the Third Street church
begging for our curmudgeon's meal
made from eleemosynary crusts
of hard bread three days old
dipped in hot-broth soup
like the calloused words
savored in my acerbic mouth
contemptible toward all injustices
old as mankind's sentience.

Utopias no longer merely dreamt
when the fresh needle stings the vein
with blossom songs red as bouquets
echoed with blood-rhyme symmetry
inside Hypnos' hypodermic…

Secret landscapes hung
in the afar dream horizons
--tapestries made with synesthesia
and fresh plucked poppies
brighter than Dorthy Gale's
Technicolor ruby slippers…

The nuns who fondly quote Assisi
ogled while in my rarely sober throes
I marvel at the warmth untouched
beneath their halloween habits--
imagined sacrifices ancient
on hewn, blood-stained stones
with bleating lambs or screaming virgins
I must acknowledge as vengeance
wished--spawned from my own
often mourned  "unknown soldier"
blood-spilled battlefield rebellious
youth sacrificed by my well spoken,
college educated oppressors.

As a boy I watched fire
drip gem-bright from Father's eyes
after unthreading his hot entrails
into a feces-foul slop pile
after he supped for the last time
on my submissive innocence…

Carried mother's cover-up reticence
back into the blackest silence
where birth and death commingle--
notes upon staves for a requiem
yet played among apathetic bystanders
one refers to as the masses.

Delusional and dangerous at times
the raw, mercurial potency of my mind
turns away from your rationale discourse,
polite table manners and silly prayers
made with the aplomb of political speeches
until my stoned eyes find the stars
once more to enclose my sorrow
ecce homo until the ecumenical
hush unheard among the faithless
returns for my grateful slumber eternal.

Too boyishly sensitive for the world
I am bequeathed to these scribbled lines
(that account for my earthly trespass
among those who shunned pariahs)
on scraps of paper worn as mendicant
garbs torn and tatter-fetid,
the gauze wrapped
about my rose-wounds
unhealed as true stigmata.

Phillip Matthew Roberts

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