Eternal Summer

Eternal Summer by Fred Slusher

they only know what they have been given, which is a land maligned, a land deprived of its beasts of change.

sometimes i can just feel it:
warmth & all the other things
i’ve never asked for seeping
into me, a violation to the x
degree. what is wrong in a
world where one can’t shed
the shackles of summer &
sink into the blissful autumn
like a child into a mountain of
leaves? these children don’t
know the seasons. they only
know what they have been
given, which is a land maligned,
a land deprived of its beasts of
change. if i had been told i’d
be forced to live in an eternal
summer, i would have remained
in embryo, in ectoplasm, in
a dream had right before waking.
when i see someone wearing a
coat it pisses me off. i want to
ask them what it is that chills
them in a world on fire? i want to
slap their smug self-satisfied grins
until their ears ring. is speaking
the truth now an act of unspeakable
violence?

Haiku season is (temporarily) over, so I’m back to posting original non-haiku poetry on here. I wrote Eternal Summer in a fit of rage. I was sitting in my living room reading reports of the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida alongside reports about record-breaking temperatures on the West Coast and the increasing likelihood of more wildfires. We are seeing the first waves of the effects of climate change on our ecosystems, and some days I can’t help but feel a sense of utter despair over it.

We are seeing the first waves of the effects of climate change on our ecosystems, and some days I can’t help but feel a sense of utter despair over it.

Rather than acting expeditiously to help the world reach net zero carbon emissions, most governments, municipalities, and MNCs seem content to pay lip service to sustainability and clean energy initiatives while acting as if they have decades to figure this out—they don’t. Others seem to be banking on nascent carbon capture technologies to act as their get out of jail free card when what we really need is aggressive action now. Not tomorrow. Not in the next decade. Now. Our lives quite literally depend on it.

Wow, so this post is a prime example of how my ADHD brain works. I started off sharing a poem and ended on an urgent call-to-action on curbing the effects of climate change. All in a day’s work, my reader-friends.

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

Eternal Summer © 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: 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.