my words

Month: May, 2014


She took the smallest of things, mere words,
And made them a big enough sky that all could fly in.
Now she has passed the final illusion.
Shed her name,
And entered eternity.

(c) 5-28-2014
Shawn D. Allen.


Only In Silence

I want to give you words
But have none
To speak of what I feel:
Those words do not exist.
Our language is far too feeble a thing
For the truth of what I feel,
For the glory I see with these eyes,
The beauty that is you.
How do I describe a star
Without being blinded?
How can I explain the eternal
With temporary sounds?
This tongue, these lips –
They are merely human
And cannot speak of the divine
Without being destroyed.
This flesh is incapable
of expression;
It would burn away
were I to make the attempt.
When held against the fusion of spirits
The stuff of which the world is made
is fragile as any words
I could form.
I want to give you words.
Yet only in silence
Can I adore you.

(c) 5-27-2014
Shawn D. Allen.

We Rise

The time has come to paint the clouds
as we sail toward realization
of our own true apotheosis
on wings we, ourselves, fashioned
from screaming glory and heartbreak,
from hours of passion 
and momentary decades of pain,
from illusions of loss and separateness
and honest convergence of souls.
From all of this and all of life
these wings are made,
and with our hero’s hearts to guide
and give them flight, we rise!

(c) 05-17-2014
Shawn D. Allen,

Zuni Smile

She turned and smiled at him. Something in her seemingly loving gaze made Trevor feel sick; it was a sensation he’d been feeling for a while now. There was something familiar about that look. It pulled at a memory just below the surface of becoming conscious.

He smiled weakly back, intent on keeping up the appearance of normalcy. Most of the gathering was unaware of the problems between he and Amelia, and Thanksgiving was not the time to let on.

The table was set with the usual variety of foods: mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and the turkey. Around the table sat the usual people – in-laws, siblings and children; three generations gathered in gratitude.

‘Well, to eat, anyway,’ Trevor thought.

He looked at them. The teenage kids were openly texting, his brother-in-law had already refilled his bourbon twice, the empty chair where his father would sit if they could pry him away from the football game… and the rest. He realized nothing had much changed over the twenty-one years of their marriage.

Without looking he could see Amelia, sitting to his right with the smugly superior look he’d grown to dislike on her face. That look, too, was almost the same. Almost.

After saying grace and a half-hearted toast to health and family, it was time to carve the turkey. Turning, he met Amelia’s gaze as she held out the carving knife out to him.

Suddenly Trevor realized where he’s seen that smile before. It was Karen Black’s smile from the end of Trilogy of Terror. The one after she’d been possessed by the spirit in the Zuni doll.

ToT Amelia 2

(c) 05-11 2014
Shawn D. Allen

Murphy Thinks She Owns The Block

With all ten pounds of her straining at the end of the leash, Murphy is convinced she’s pulling me down the sidewalk. Puffing and sneezing her excitement, she bounds along as if she were a puppy. You’d never know she just turned twenty years old at the end of last month.
She has her sniffing spots: the tree on the devil-strip, the telephone poles and the wall on the corner. Sometimes she comes across a new scent and stops, nose in the grass, joyously sniffing a bit of poo, a bread crust, or piece of trash. Otherwise she bounds along without a care.
That is, unless a stray human invades her space. You see, Murphy thinks she owns the entire route she travels. Any human but me is some sort of existential threat.
Understand, she is a Tibetan Spaniel and the litter runt — maybe eight inches tall and a bit over fifteen inches long. They were bred to be alarm dogs, barking at anything that moves. At the Buddhist temples they are used to alert the Tibetan Mastiffs; much larger dogs and the real threat.
Murphy, however, did not get that memo. She is the bravest little dog God put on this earth: I’ve watched her back down dogs many times her size. The truth is, she might be a danger to ankles everywhere if she had many teeth, which she no longer does.
None of this stops her from barking furiously at anyone that dares to cross her path. No one really takes her high-pitched, cartoonish barking seriously; it’s just too funny. Regardless, I pull her lead in close, because she has no clue how silly she looks and would snap her gums shut on any offered finger if I let her. Once the offending human moves on, she goes back to her explorations, satisfied in her superiority.
It only takes ten minutes of this — five out, five back — before I pick her up and carry her inside. I have to do this because she can’t go down the steps without tumbling down most of them. (My building is old and the stairs are steep.) Once inside she gets a drink and heads for the bedroom. Using the stack of boxes I have at the end of my low-profile bed, she jumps up and is quickly asleep, dreaming of how gangsta she is, and shit…

(c) 05-09-2014
Shawn D. Allen.

The Book Girl

“I think it’s sweet,” Jessica said, “comparing you to a book that’s still being written.”
Around the small table, Margret watched her friends nod agreement.
“Well I don’t. I know he wanted it to be clever and romantic. It really isn’t.
“Think about it: what sort of book does he think I am? A dusty old classic? A romance? Maybe a young adult story, maybe that’s how he sees me. Perhaps all I am to him is a single volume of Victorian erotica.”
She paused to take a sip of her espresso.
Susan, sitting across the table, said, “Well, when you put it that way…”
“It’s not just that! I’m so much more than a book; more than one story. I’m a whole library of books, whole worlds and lives and foreign countries. I’m a mystery, a travelogue, a story of great love and a tragedy. I am an entire history and a possible future. I can be a dancer, a poet, an embattled queen or a harlot. I might run a huge corporation. I could live in a trailer, or a mansion.
“There’s no telling who — or what — I might be today, and how that could change tomorrow.
“How dare he limit me to only one book for him to check out. What gives him the right to define me?”
Having made her point, Margret took another sip.
“So, will you see him again?” Jessica asked.
“Probably, but that little boy will have to earn his library card, now.”

(c) 05-07-2014
Shawn D. Allen.

The Meeting Place

“Where’d the two of you meet?”

For the rest of their lives together, that question was the one that Eric never knew how to answer – especially to his guy friends or, to be honest, himself.
In many ways there were three answers to the question. There was the place and time he’d first seen her (which was not the same for her). There was also the party where they’d first spoken. Finally, there was the first date which, okay technically wasn’t a first meeting, but was a turning point.
However Eric knew, deep inside, that none of those was really the answer. The truth was not something he could put into words. He spent the first few years trying to find, then create, the right words to make sense of it. The closest he ever came were the words he had read once on a college frat-house bathroom wall. Amid all the usual sophomore humor and limericks there was this one quote at his eye level. It was something about meeting in a field beyond understanding or explanations, or something like that. He’d been pretty drunk and wasn’t able to remember it exactly later, but the gist of it never left him.
Making it all more confusing to Eric was that she did have an answer, of sorts. When asked, she would always do and say the same thing. She would cover her eyes with one hand and gently stroke her cheek with the fingers of the other.
“Here,” she would say.

(c) 05-06-2014
Shawn D. Allen.

Vampire City

This city is not-dead,
It sustains itself on the life
It drains from the lost ones
Walking its night-black streets.
All that contains it –
The running water of the twisted river.
Everything it contains,
Fodder for its corrupt spirit.
There are no trees;
nothing that can be broken off and sharpened.
The soil is pale
With sparse patches of umber weeds
Like hair on an old man’s scalp.
The wind tastes of ashes
And lingering damnation; 
It howls like wolves.
Only the condemned and the mad
Come over the bridges
Or through the gates.
The city whispers to them,
“I love you.”
They can’t see that they are prey.
This place does not know love,
Nor art, nor does it have a reflection.
Her shadows move like predators
With life of their own
And never sleep.
It tears away slivers of soul
And sucks the life from everything
In tiny drops and moments
that are never missed.
There’s not enough holy rain to cleanse
All the stained souls within its borders.
This is a part of me
That should remain buried,
Yet rises from my past
Again and again.
It is time to pull up my stakes 
And put them in the heart 
Of this necropolis;
To take up the torch 
And set fire to the river as I leave.

(c) 05-05-2014
Shawn D. Allen.


There a bad juju out tonight.
Darkman walk the streets;
Got sickness in him teeth,
And lies coat his tongue.
His palehead rub the sky
‘Cause them clouds so low.
Hims black leperfeet make the grass
In the sidewalk crack to die.
Dogs howl at the no-moon,
Lips all covered with foam
Kitty-cat hissing and spit.
Everything smells mean and dirty,
The fog taste like alleywhore sex.
The wind, she full of razors
She whisper filthy things.
Darkman prowl the feversweat street
Looking in windows
And rattle the panes;
Trying the doors.
Looking for cracks to slide
Him stinkfingers in, to spread his pollution
Payphone ring at the liquor store;
Ain’t nobody answer that call.
No nobody on these street
‘Cause there bad juju out tonight
Darkman stalk these streets
Lookin’ him for love,
For something to destroy.

(c) 05-01-2014
Shawn D. Allen.