New Blog Series: Original Haiku

So, all of you who keep up with this blog know that I’ve started posting original poetry on here. I’ve been writing poetry for years and have even had a few pieces published, but it took a lot of soul-searching for me to just start dropping new work on here. That said, a few months ago I went through a period where I wrote a bunch of haiku. After reading through them, I decided I’d like to share them here. Here’s the first one. Please go easy on me.

Haiku I by Fred Slusher

Blood martyr sing-song 
Slow whistling tunes of bones
Bring me a new war

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

© 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Original Poem: Last Night I Dreamed of Snakes

Last Night I Dreamed of Snakes by Fred Slusher

Some people believe the only way you can

know God is to prove to him that you’re not

afraid to die.

They were writhing, 

wriggling their way through

darkened halls & hidden

crevices. I am a small world

made large every night.

And the guns, they don’t work.

My great-grandfather held snakes

in church, offered them up to God.

My, how they danced together.

Strange language, dancing to the beat

of impending eternity, to a sound only

they could hear. Holding death that close

just has to be holy—a desecrated lullaby.

Some people believe the only way you can

know God is to prove to him that you’re not

afraid to die. In the dream, I’m going under

once again. Silence is an art of the most

hallowed & hollow solemnity. Oh faithless

love, oh desert, oh fracture, oh quake, please

caress the fear from my windows where

layers of shadows ensconce me in

false protections, mirages & mists & secret

songs taught only in the dark. There is this fear,

this shroud covering me. There is this sway,

this truth. There is this serpent slivering its

way out of reach. There is this enormity.

There is this heresy. There is this

sorrow. There is this cataclysm

raining on the living. There is this

violence that lives in the soul & chokes it

just so. There is this madness flickering

like a lit match in a dry barn. There is this

burning. There is this roof that’s corpsing

itself into a glorious & effervescent ruin.

There is this scream that imbibes blood like

water.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

© 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Original Poem: Arms of the Deep

Love is not a cat chasing shadows on the floor.

Fred Slusher, “Arms of the Deep”
Lull me into oblivion. My attention span 
is limited. Infinity, space, time—
your voice in my ear, bottom lip on my lobe—
turning love into cherries into wine.
Creamsicle daylight is wasting away
while we wait for the song to finish playing.
When you were mine life was always
a game sweetly played, vollied to & fro like
the king’s severed head; no throne.
Fade to black. Next reel, please.
Pleas to be real with me remain ignored.
Love is not a cat chasing shadows on the floor.
I feel you watching me caressing my own crooks
in the dark. Elbows, not thieves, though
everything of value has been stolen at one time or
another. Dear lover, take this rambling lullaby
& pitch it into the sea where memory goes to
sleep in the steadfast arms of the
deep.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

© 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Original Poem: Flesh Theater

Flesh Theater by Fred Slusher

The cliff’s edge,
a salty drink;
cerulean & white foam;
home, love, & road all have four letters.
Home, love, and road all have four letters &
I tore me apart:
limbs, cells, sinew; all held together by so little,
a little blood, oil, & water.
Every scrap of paper shredded,
every thread unraveled.
Living in the empty
in-between is easy when
you’re unsure of your own tepid
existence. How can you tell someone
the truth which is that you feel nothing &
everything at once?; a whole cosmos
made corporeal, flesh theater. Applause,
applause! Exeunt all. There was a summer
I became obsessed with fragmentation,
fading into the woods of autumn where
I discovered restoration & took a job
selling bundles of violets by the
old movie house on the corner of 9th & Vine.
All the customers were wine-drunk & in love;
not necessarily with each other but with the idea
of love itself, the feeling of a mouth & a neck &
decades-old spit on celluloid.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

© 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Original Poem: bluster & melodrama

bluster & melodrama by Fred Slusher

You’re all bluster & melodrama 
Empire State of Eden’s
Rejects, Mama
You can still be a racist even though
You voted for Obama (Twice)

And I take meds to be a little
Less me in melancholia
Debutante in repose,
Rhinoplastied nose your dad
Bought you in Santa Fe but

I had to keep my ugly
And my secrets and my sighs tucked
Like a melody on a dusty piano
While you were in Reno
Getting turnt & twisted on the boulevard of broken dreams

You told me in aught three my
Songs were poorly written but I kept
Sparring with my demons & writ
My lonesomeness into dust & made myself free

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Copyright © 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Original Poem: Holding Onto a Reason by Fred Slusher

This is the first time I’ve posted my own poetry on my blog so naturally I’m terrified. Here you go.

Holding Onto a Reason by Fred Slusher

i write memoirs of crushed rose petals and 

poetry aided by artificially

-intelligent algorithms predicting

what it is my thumbs want to say

next but sometimes a different agenda

takes root. on an island of one, there is

no need for a king or a dream because

in the world of the self, there is only

the now — no need for dreams or sleep or

dreams or dreams or dreams or the sound of

rain slapping the truth out of the earth. the

closest i ever came to nirvana was the first

time i saw lady gaga perform yoü and i

bearing down on a baby grand in heels higher

than heaven studded in leather and the

glimmer of the stage lights brighter than

broadway than all the stars in the sky.

somethin’ ‘bout lonely nights and my lipstick

on your face
. i swam through a river of my own

blood to wash up on another unforgiving

shore. i clutched years like shards of glass

in my clenched fists and decided to keep

holding onto a reason.

Note: The phrase “somethin’ ‘bout lonely nights and my lipstick on your face” is borrowed from “Yoü and I” by Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) who also wrote the lyrics. © 2014 Interscope Records.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

© 2021 Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.