April 6: Stairs, Taped Lips, Other Tortures and Torturers

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,

As if they led to sophistication:

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.

 

When young we’re climbers, happy hopping hares,

Impregnable to most perturbation.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,

 

As near the top, you were caught unawares

By views majestic, God’s visitation—

They lift you to platforms where no one cares,

 

But recall those glimpses, those eye affairs

That to ascend make folk keep their station.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,

 

Which made me complicit and made me theirs,

Those who take pain and go on vacation.

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.

 

You reach the top step, and everyone stares.

They laugh to see your crushed expectation.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs;

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.

 

Tape up those lips, boy—you’ve said far too much.

You’re too hot to listen, too cold to touch.

We can’t even take your poison in sips

Or anything else from your mouth that drips.

You’d kill the mood in a youth rabbit’s hutch.

 

You go on about politics and such.

Who cares about which party rules the Dutch?

Newspaper’s best feature is that it rips:

Tape up those lips.

 

We think your vitriol is a mere crutch.

You like to have a debate you can clutch

So when the old record of your life skips

You can complain with your hands on your hips

The jump was symptom of a greater botch.

Tape up those lips.

 

Some cold instruments, they like to squeeze you;

Some hot instruments, they thrive to tease you;

Some sharp instruments, they would disease you;

All these instruments mean to displease you.

 

I’ve been cut open while I was asleep.

I saw little knives that made the cuts deep.

Technically, I saw all but didn’t keep

Memories of visits in my gut-heap.

 

Torture and medicine, lots of fine lines—

Time is the best of them, as it defines

Methods as monstrous or the best of finds,

And both work best when used by masterminds.

 

Let’s put this clamp onto someone’s digits.

I must find medicine’s outer limits.

 

When your skin crawls, but that’s not yet it quite—

You’ll mistake a shadow for them at night—

You know how it feels, and it isn’t right,

Tickling legs, millions, even in daylight.

 

When experiencing formication

You’d best seek quickest stabilization,

For if the sensation has duration

It can lead to bad self-mutilation.

 

Then again, ants as hallucination

Aren’t the worst possible degradation.

They could be of the flatworm persuasion—

Perhaps you’ll pray for an ant invasion!

 

At least an ant isn’t a contagion

And works in ways that earn admiration.

 

The glass has frozen my face in a shout,

I see reflections, comic, distorted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.

 

I’ve screamed for help—I hope help is about—

I hope somehow my screams get reported.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout.

 

A-plus for survival; I’m glad to tout

That with self-help skills I wasn’t shorted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.

 

This glass exit, secure, lovely for clout

Shows me my face as escape’s aborted.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout,

 

Except it’s bending, rolling, stern and stout,

Aghast as if blood I’d sought and courted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.

 

Maybe the glass is here for me to flout

This blood’s not mine, and it won’t be sorted.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.

 

He’s rolling on in, taking the wide road,

Bringing damp dark to those foolish who owed

And didn’t know that he slips in the cracks,

In neglected places, your slightest lacks,

With help from seeds you didn’t know you sowed.

 

He colludes with nature, the mother-load?

He’s one of her freaks, a vague mist-borne toad,

Who gets mixed up with places filled with quacks—

He’s rolling on in?

 

Make light if you dare: he follows a code.

You may find yourself lost in his abode,

Knowing you can’t take a breath or relax,

Checking each shoulder for his next attacks,

As no one escapes once he’s in his mode:

He’s rolling on in.

 

Will someone please tell me whom I should thank

For the lovely view I have from this tank?

I have to admit the water is cold

And suffocation has gotten quite old,

But my eyes stay open to sights top-rank!

 

I’m not really sure what it was I drank—

At first I thought of it all as a prank—

But then they stripped me—it was rather bold—

Will someone please tell me?

 

The strange irony that should turn your crank

Is I’m not sure if I’m dead. I just sank.

I need air real soon, or truth is all told,

But should I struggle, or am I annulled?

I’ve got so much more for the question bank.

Will someone please tell me?

 

I’ve been in prisons, and I’ve been in halls.

Fear is not finite: infinity calls.

When prison’s empty and the halls lack walls,

You go on forever ’til your heart stalls.

 

Fear’s hall leads nowhere; it goes for hours.

It sucks energy with magic powers

And includes ladders so you climb towers

Full of more hallways: each one devours.

 

Everything shines in here. Everything’s bright.

Everything promises endings with light.

Everything covers the hall’s appetite,

The fact it imprisons you with no fight.

 

Nothing looks real here, and nothing may be.

The hall of terror is nothing you’d see.

Talking to you is way more interesting than talking to myself. What do you think?