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No Quarter-Forthcoming!

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

I wrote a thing recently that was simultaneously praised and rejected. I'm making a few changes and sending it to some more presses. If it isn't accepted before Halloween, I will publish it then.

Halloween is a special day for me-it's the day I lost my mom to cancer.

While some in my family choose to dread its approach, I remember it as the only thing capable of taking her. I think of the peace it gave her. I envision Death of the Endless taking her away to slumber undisturbed.

There is power on October 31st, if only because I will there to be power.

To celebrate this ambitious new project, I thought I'd post one of the poems-it functions as a chapter of sorts, and is part of a greater narrative structure.

Read. Enjoy. Await the larger work. It comes from somewhere deep within me.


When the Trees were Felled

She sent her voice down

To the very roots of her

Resonant and deep as God

On that December morning

And as bits of bark littered where she stood

She never knew who her words reached

Perhaps they, like her,

Were simply reduced

Until no trace was left

In the atmosphere

…For there was no answer.

One thing was clear as the blade sank deep

Drank the sap that seeped from some nameless wound:

Their life was her death.

The men showed no restraint as she bled

She weakened beneath their hands

And as the brain fog set in

She longed only to sleep -

An impossible feat in the din of their machines.

The neuropathy snaked through her veins like lightning

Violent and silent

To those who don’t know how to see

Once, she thought she heard a response

But it was only an echo

Empty and broken

Just a sullen token of moments before

When chaos felled order

Where from her core she’d spoken

Five words into the deep.

Defenses Up. Give no Quarter.


When at last she slept

She was a wooden plank

What remained of her body had been made smooth and flat

Her sisters were arranged around her

Together, they created a kind of structure

An emptiness in which others might live

For that is all space is-


A void to fill

With the insubstantialness

Of our lives.

She could not see

Living specimens of her kind

But she knew they were there,

Those sentinels that still thrived in this strange new land.

Their branches towered over

The place where she lay condemned

To a life of support

Bearing the weight so that

Others might have peace.

No, she could not see the girl

Who crafted her stories

Beneath the canopy of the willow

Who wept constantly

The Willow, I mean

But the girl cried too

They both wept constantly.

She could not see them from where she lay

But they were there just the same

The girl and the tree that kept her company.

The tree is long dead

The girl too for that matter

And neither of them is resting easily

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