Viperidae – Howl Davies

You are a dangerous game,
my paralyzed portrait of sweet disposition,
my little nest of vipers,
painted arsenic like sugar,
I don’t want to shoot up –
crack the ribs,
defile the prison,
defile the sanctuary
and drive it straight to the heart,
pump, pump, burst,
make me worthy,
make me a martyr in my own right,
string up and collapse my lungs,
my depleting feeble lungs, rot,
paint over the coarse black taint
coated fumes of my
first home burning,
your transgressions,
your violence,
your horror,
your paperclip demonology circle
of office rituals and nameless memos
oh, how I obsess over you,
the caress of your venomous words,
the way I picture you;
your depriving cobalt eyes,
hunchbacked over a cat-skull-lantern,
obsolete as the nuclear gods,
are you satisfied?
never
have I come so close to
being paralyzed,
stone breath vision,
gorgon Viperidae, succulent
sidewinder black lies, I can taste
you on my teeth,
my dear,
turn me to stone,
make a saint out of me.


[Howl Davies is the groundskeeper of The Sounds Inside. Also? “Cat-skull-lantern” is one of the coolest fucking things I’ve ever heard. – Sam L.]

He films the clouds in two parts – Howl Davies

I

you spend the day
balancing on piano wire,
romancing with holy fathers,
convicts, and harlot martyrs draped
in derelict scarlet, feeling alive in
the war-torn breach,
you, the survivor,
of life and death, of hunger, strife,
I embed you
in this rendered skin of mine,
you preach and I obey, there
isn’t a night I don’t feel alone,
nor a day I don’t feel anger,
but you atone for me, ringing
brass on the shifting plates,
sifting the off-tune singing
in the base of my skull to a drone,
I always admired you,
always aspired to spread your word,
I have lost my way,
I am just so tired,
this dried blood creeping down
my brow makes this all so unfamiliar,
the gore has no source, and its
destination – unclear, it lingers,
like the ghost of a marriage, mingling,
biding time to gnaw on the stitches,
you taught me to keep myself humble,
digging ink into my fingers
for the switchblade mistress I admire
so fondly, the silent claim, the sister of mercy
I’m sure I will see her soon,
and from there, who knows?
maybe I’ll look to salvage myself,
kiss this unbuttoned pattern of my neck,
is that what you would have done?
you always had a plan,
even when the doctors pulled back your chest,
startled by your marble heart
you always had a plan.

II

you took the reckoning out of the end-game,
and as you waved goodbye,
showing the world up with a smile
you threw the fight,
we knew you were far from done,
we buried you with your camera at your breast,
you always wanted to spend your days
filming the clouds,
we left you with a dozen reels,
I hope they didn’t weigh you down,
my friend, your repast awaits you,
capture the clouds as they languish,
a backdrop for the labyrinthine streets
we paint ruby and sapphire in your image,
and coax the hinges of the boulevard,
we all miss you,
the rag-tag gathering of singed daydreams,
the ruthless and the sweet, igniting
crushed velvet, the scent of freedom,
we were so foolish,
enduring in hushed nonchalance till
we see what you captured, unfurling what
you distorted, the fly-trap paintings stained
in the vapours, double-sighted passion
in the remnants of engagement, with you
this collateral disfigurement was a delight,
no matter how my casing crept and shifted,
we couldn’t both make it out alive, time to collect, time
to set you free, set you back, set you out of the hive,
the forefront for the wretched,
don’t forget me, please,
as you bring colour to the
autopsy of saint Sebastian,
as you kick a hole in the sky,
fasting amongst seraphs,
catching your Serbian montage
in the heart of the tempest.


[Howl Davies is the spectral puppet master crawling in The Sounds inside.]