Poetry and Rants by DC McKenzie

Posts tagged “survivor

Walk or Perish

18 November 2k18

“The Day the Flesh shapes and the Flesh the Day shapes.”  — Frank Herbert

 

Greetings, Dear Reader,
on 16 November I once again celebrated Life after Brain Surgery.
Twelve years: Feels like a lifetime crammed inside a hot-minute.
I adapted to being broken. Then something changed. It always does, nu?
I moved to an Oasis in Spenard; whilst through the blessing of CBD,
the seizures that plagued me for years were finally reined in. Sort of…
Blessings Uncounted.
So…I kicked that Wheelchair to the curb. And haven’t been in it since last Spring.

Eleven years is a long damn time to go on Wheels. I am still shaky, still sketchy.
But I have learned that with each step I grow Stronger…and Stranger.

 

 

Blackstar icon

 

Secondhand Scarecrow

 

I must go on walking.

Choices                                         are for those

   who have such luxuries.

We shall not speak of them.                    No, not here:

 

One step.         Crutch-step.       Two step.

Crutch-step

Back step.

S   t a    gg    e    r
-step.

 

Aluminum sticks                         splayed, guarding

against capricious                       Gravity, Her cruel insouciance.

 

Pain is no paltry obstacle

It is a taskmaster: the Instructor of Survivors.

Pain is a goad.

 

i.
Walk then.                                                       Walk

lest I become                                                   rooted where I stand.

 

Ah! But the temptation                                 …it is terrible.

To embrace the Winter                               of permanent Wheels, at last.

 

To become twisted—bone, tendon, gristle

into a secondhand scarecrow.

 

That boneskin-stickman

misshapen oak-man

of my unremitting dreams:

 

gnarled branches I would grow

to crook into puzzle shadows upon snow

to croon with ravens roosting

as Williwaw winds keen raw

 

frost-finger limbs I would form

to drum rattle-a-tattle rhythms

aside raise the dead

sky swept flurries

 

Guttural—my song                                                           to ice crystals

bitterly encrusting                                                            twig, bough, and burl

alike during fathomless                                                    auroral nights

grown like brutish spurs of bone

on the sockets of worn, arthritic joints

will echo the baying                                                          of outcast wolves. Caught

therein, under the spell                                                    of loneliness and moonlight

 

ii.
A taproot I would send                                                      down to Queen Persephone

on Her throne                                                                    in darkness built;

there to beg an Indulgence

for a small measure of Spring

come lavish, come too soon.

 

The weight of sunrise

on hoarfrost

burgeoning nacreous, lushly white

when land and sky appear as one

shall incite                                                                              sleeping sap to flow

amongst fellow                                                                       trees. Transformed

into rime-laden                                                                      soaring sunsparkler cathedrals.

Standing sentinel                                                                    in clouds of our own breath.

 

Ever so,                                greenleaf sweet

or

grueling snow

I must go on walking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstar icon
DC McKenzie
16 November 2k18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

::End Transmission::

 

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Red Feathers

14 November 2k18

 

Greetings, Dear Reader. ‘Tis an entry full of frayed ends, of uneven odds.
Low cards again. Guess I just call ’em as I see ’em…
What could I possibly say this time? Should I speak of my father?
Well, seems I already have. But I left out one of his critical lessons: The Gambler’s Fallacy
Much has been said of it, and you’re welcome to draw your own conclusions.

But, while watching a herd of sheep all running one stupid way,
Pops said to me of the Fallacy, “Never fall for it, kid.”
He pointed at one old goat doing his own thing,
“See. Mind your own cards. You must learn to trust Instinct.” 

Oi! Go ahead, flip a Fair Coin,
a full score of timesand you tell me, nu?
Did’ya fall for it?
Against Lady Luck, did’ya Count Coup?

 

Blackstar icon

 

 

 

Red Feathers

 

Screaming
Lung Gasoline

Heroin
Cocaine
Violation
Heroin
Alcohol
Empty Sex
Rage
Tyranny
Gabapentin
Oxycontin
Seroquel
Screaming
Fentanyl
Grief
Depakote
Vicodin
Hate

 

:such is the tale of my Coup Stick.

One wing dipped in blood.

 

i.
Hard to explain

Why?

what has not killed me                              served only to teach

my yet fragile soul                                     how to survive.

 

I can’t put it down                                       to Junkiedom, USA;

for of the score,                    Ah!                 So many…we were

blood enemies                                             at first sight.

 

ii.
Now, my father was a consummate Gambler.

An archetype of the Old School.

A man for whom defunct notions like: honor, trust, respect

meant that line so thin twixt

Life                                      Death

 

And taught me                   in his own methods: the Way of the Gambler

He said,                               “Never welsh.                    Rake the table

   take what you will           and pay for it.”

 

It took all                             of my cards                     : nearly a lifetime

to understand that              a jackpot                        can reap a heavy loss

 

that so often                        winning                           is turned on its gilded head

that what is lost                  is never a loss.                 If you learn the lesson.

 

iii.
Count Coup                         upon your foes                  come away bloodied

and you learn                      Living                                 is the gamble: even odds

 

Pops said,                            “Draw low cards                 and you play ’em

             Play ’em like they’re royal.”

 

I have learned                     believe me…

when

Counting Coup                    against a Devil

it is best

to dance

on a river.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstar icon

DC McKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

::End Transmission::


How Not to Kill yourSelf: gambit no.13

6 November 2k18

“Suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.”     ~Anne Sexton

“You want it Darker. We kill the flame.” ~Leonard Cohen

 

Greetings, Dear Reader. There is nothing easy about this post. The last one was simple.
Rage always is; ’tis Empathy that requires work. Venting is easy. Living is difficult.
And while I freely admit to some cathartic venting in my last post, nevertheless—it needed to be said: Screamed.
However, I have recently learned that a Human I care deeply for made that Choice.
There is such profound suffering in this Life that some flounder beneath towering waves.
Please remember, swimming so far from land, that You. Are. Never. Alone.

L’amour soit avec toi, mon ami.

 

I have been asked, enough times to lace cracks in my heart,
“How do you survive!? How? With all of this…how is it that you survive?”

I could never answer.
I never knew how. Still don’t…not really.
It is just what I do.

I think that I am not special, in this regard.
There is no adversity I have endured
that you too cannot survive.
You must remind your battered Self

—It is not over…I am not Done.

 

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Flare Gun

 

i.

Heels to haunch

in the mental whiteout

of a breakdown blizzard.

 

I cradle a flare gun

unsure whether to fire.

For every blind S.O.S.

carries a heavy measure

of uncertainty:

It is said that freezing to death

bleeding out

is like going to sleep.

 

It is not.

 

There is more icicle

than dreamsicle

in the reality of such a slumber.

 

Passing this skin-searing

metal chunk of grip

trigger

barrel

from cold hand to clumsy hand:

 

despite any resolve to soar away

there is no freedom

in a transition to fleshberg.

rather they will find a broken bird

lying on pitiless tundra.

 

ii.

Williwaw winds

Depression

are ruthless when wrathful;

cruelty matched only

by sheer indifference.

 

A whore-frost gargoyle, Winter

Suicide

broods insistently,

skulking on your back.

 

Ah, the treacherous

lies

it whispers

will undo

all that you

know of you.

 

Wishing to die, you wane;

a winter scarecrow of fallow field,

shriveled remnant of the Self

 

facing emptiness, you perilously

resort to stuffing in fistfuls

of moldering bracken, sour grass

 

wrenched by the roots

out of abject fear.

Being a Scarecrow,

 

the Ravens will help you

disastrously discover

what you are made of.

 

Yanked apart at the seams

by rending talons, by bitter beak

to find what is good in you.

 

iii.

Raising the flare gun’s weight

up to an opaque vault of sky,

vexed by snow-borne wind into a fury:

fingers ice-gnawed into claws

I fumble in the maelstrom

—slip but for a moment

and pull the trigger.

 

About Suicide.

Just between us

||who tread that bone-strewn path

as only the Suicidal can.

 

Among the ten thousand

useless ways to die

there is always a choice

to die well.

 

Especially when

you do not see it coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackstar icon

DC McKenzie

 

 

 

::End Transmission::

 

 


ME TOO: Poem for a Monster

1 November 2k18

“That is not how to Love me.” ~ Fever Ray [Karin Dreijer]

 

Me Too.
By now that statement is enough to inform you that I have been sexually assaulted, harassed, violated…You know this from those two words due to the immense courage of women from every walk of life. Women, nay Humans, who have stood and added their voices to the clarion chorus of Survivors. Humans who are calling for an end to the grotesque culture of abuse and rape in our society.
Though it matters not, my gender is male (mostly). I am the 1 in 20.
Male Survivors, I beg you, join your Sisters. Raise your voices against the Monsters.

We accept atrocities.
They have become so ingrained, so prevalent, that as a society we add it to the statistics of annual horrors in apparent apathy.
Statistics that are tracked and charted: they grab, they grope, they nestle next to the unspeakable as if we cannot change.
Yet, we can.
WE can change this sick paradigm.
We can drag it into the light. We can watch it burn.
Individuals know how to change. Often, we just collectively don’t know how to stoke an ember into a conflagration.

Me Too is a collective social outcry.
It is the thunder that incites lightning.
I pray it cracks the world.

 

 

Feast for a Monster

Oh, how you must feast.
Gorging on a memory banquet
my child hands on your flesh: unwilling.

Suck marrow from husks of vile memory
the way you sucked your lips then:
all venom and petulance.

Torpid. Sprawled on a ratty couch.
Warning me, “Don’t you dare throw up.”
—just as I see you in nightmares:

Massive and fearful
the way only a child
could remember.

Lick hoarded reminiscence
from your fingers,
Monster.

Let it drip down your elbows:
wring, throttle, squeeze
those final drops
out of the places
you ripped open
inside of me.

Scars grow upon scars.
Such wounds never heal clean.
You shall never know that
healing
has served to make me formidable.

Yet, you own nothing of my survival.
For that emerged from within,
where your maggot fingers
could not dig deep to reach.

Whilst you grow evermore frail
I banish you to the Past.
A predator become vulnerable:
choke now on your last sustenance
of corpse-liquor remembrance.

Monster,
how will you possibly
crave anything wholesome again
when you have supped at such a table?

 

DC McKenzie

 

::End Transmission::

 

 


I Scream Like This

31 October 2k18
Good Hallows’ Eve, Dear Reader. This day the Veil is thin.
Go to the Crossroads, tear the Veil away:
The first step is the hardest of all.

Blackstar icon

Night Prayer post

 

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DC McKenzie

::End Transmission::


The Dandelion Heresy

9 June 2k18
Greetings Dear Reader, I’m experimenting with a new platform style.
Dig it.
Happy Summer!

Dandelion Heresy

~ ★ ~

Dandelion Jailed.PS.02.

 

DC McKenzie

:: End Transmission ::

 


Extrusion Ex Machina

31 July 2016
UPDATE: This poem was selected for publication! Please see the details below…

11 July 2k15
Greetings, Dear Reader. It seems my earlier optimism regarding signal reacquisition was…a bit hasty. Nevertheless, I am still writing; still nurturing that sacred ember of creative flame which came so perilously close to dying in a cruel wind. And with that thought, I offer you a new poem. This one I dedicate to everyone…for each of us deals with our own measure of misery. And comparing them does a disservice to us all.

It is in the empathy we bring to the suffering of other living beings which is the true measure of our own humanity.


Extrusion

Little mottled lizard in the yard
has become permanently entangled
in a gnarled chunk of six-pack plastic;
and like a tree grown around a nail
it is now an inherent part of him.

His left hind leg has become hobbled,
but he frenetically scoots around still,
flicking his tongue past a rotten knot
of the stuff that has grown monstrous
into the right side of his throat, and down to stomach.

Clearly, he has bitten off more than he can chew.
Leaving little doubt the little lizard’s days are numbered too.
For at bugs, he is too slow to catch more than a few,
Of the lady lizard, he will certainly never woo.

I want to catch him and pickpeel the plastic,
so like a tumorous growth, from his invaded body.
My fingers itch to tweeze the brittle, no-morsel of it from his throat.
However, he is still much faster than the fumbling likes of me.

I remember—
surprising itchy pain, then instant fresh-skin relief
as a child. When a doctor once scrape-pulled
a knuckle of brownish, lumpy wax
right out of my ear, like a magician’s trick.

Of course, I did not even know it was there;
but once the awful waxy scab had gone,
that liberated patch of skin was all I could feel.

For days, that tactile memory
of its dislodging stayed with me,
at once delicious
yet shudderingly abhorrent.

And that Yard Lizard, scratch skittering
his burden across the savanna of grass,
he haunts my dreams.
…I can never catch him,
nor fix what has gone so badly astray.

 

 

DC McKenzie

Please go to:
Cirque: A Literary Journal of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to find this poem in full glory.
Merci!

 

 

 

 

—end transmission—