David Winfield Norman a writer based in the Chicago area, and caught somewhere between New Orleans and Reykjavík. He won 2nd place for fiction in a UW-Whitewater contest and plans to study writing.
The cold and barren
in its ink. Sterile and removed.
I have had need
for a hail storm.
There has been an insane asylum here.
I know because the voices
are tubed and bottled inside the trees,
spilling out their mad, mad cloisonné designs.
They have made me lose my English.
I wander through the forest of dead
wood, creaking sounds, hollow viral little sounds,
stuck in an agravic fog, graying.
The sun is stupid and sedentary,
a bloated, flatulent head
that is covered slowly
by millions of gnat clouds. Water bags,
bulbous pouches that feed
the fattening trees that abound.
The sun fades away like a baby ignored.
The drips are coming now,
rippling through paper leaves
and into tableaux of branches
and purple spines, lying tortured
in the trenches.
Ice eats down in its cold,
spoke drop. It slices
itself, shatters from its own velocity.
It spreads over the asphalt,
tiny lice boils. I repel
into the melodramatic trees,
knocking on door hollows.
There is no answer. Ice
storms against me power-mad
I go to the pipes aside the road,
and lie bone-white as a yarrow sprig
with my exoskeleton of boiled wax
tossed away. The cold and quiet
shrivels it. I lie, sigh,
with lactating worms at my side.
The hole I have dug into
is filled with shit, big composting
body, stuffed bird to the world.
In air the cold drives
at me, it drives in a chisel-wedge,
pulls my face taut.
It peels back my eyes,
fermenting them to cauterized
grapes, light and solemn
with a clean white pain
that senses wraiths.
It taps and taps
Holding itself against an ocean
In a curtain, torn and tittering.
It maps me, and multiplies
Like a hideous crystal.
Talons, they look at me.
I may want them to think
That I have something to hide,
These angering spectral things,
Poking from beneath hats.
The noses, aquiline in their spearing
Team and swarm; I watch
Clandestinely enclosed in black glass,
My frozen bones pulling at themselves
Dick, lick-round and waxen burned.
These reddened meat balls, so heartily proud,
Their fjord faces cliff out, squeelingly polishing
My mirror, big hairy head, feral
From its top on down. The waters swell
And fluct around them, heaping,
Buckets full, continents full. The age of buildings
Crashes into them like glacier shards,
They pull at them, great wave claws,
Tumult of orange noises,
And the fish thrown ashore.
I am left behind the carnage,
Olded in a stillness that ripples around me.
So holy these circles that spread.
They echo over the liquefied land
As a low whistness,
Hiddenly carrying the angerful words
And my scalp which was seized
While I watched the waves crashing.
I sit in
And you are all
Over your foggy bays
And your fjords
Full of mallow,
The freezing corners
Of my eyes, do. You trace
A kohl on me,
Dark and breathing.
Black lace replace
Atrophying sweat glands.
I lengthen and loom me.
And your deep hollow
Through. Sleep in deadened air,
Wind roil and breathe over stagnant
My eyes closed,
She howl boetian land away.
Yellow ropes do tangle
Fattened, anxious land
Who hold said me
Hvernig on no
Water. In blackened vein
Skin light, vaporous
Incense of light reluctant,
You do come.
The whole of green mountains,
Tallying shards of crystalline cheek bones,
Rock away slumber with the sun.
Gnarled ustulate land wash down
Into candied whale blood,
Float sleeping aside ship bellies..
Be replaced by slinking
White of gently gummed larynx.
Holding the cold of inside
Shrill music then warmed and heartened,
It take my hand in cold,
Turn tips to niveous cliffs
Again looking away into the rest.
Hard back hold wooden teeth
Around mine head, wake me in middle.
I hope it will not be long until you find me again..
Dank, dank, and callous
Drip, drip the walls
Whose lips envelope
And belly my arms.
I am trapped in a cave.
The glaring leather
And black straps
With luculent metal snaps
Like viper fangs
Are useless here.
The door closes
And I float into a bubble
Of fabricated laments, and of angles
Bending into themselves
While a mouth blathers
Bilious, phrenic notes
Scrawled across his moustache,
Grey and prickly
As a garden of grasses.
So, so that they ought
To have their own gorge.
These words like messy balloons
Pour out and pollute
My air. I have done well
To condense it in my own jar,
My own space,
But these words
And their fat black lips
Suck away with meaty hands
Supping at my thin
Veil of a head.
They prong at it with instruments
Of Agamemnon gold
And aluminum, so wrinkled
They could hide even more caverns
In their folds.
The talk is its own anesthesia.
My neck is cranking,
Crooking, and my eyes
Glaze away, searching for focus
In the daze music.
The noise licks at my ears,
And only the lamp shines out
The faceless words.
There she sits,
Full and stout in her own Willendorf,
Congenially lisping the light
From her round, o round head.
A mother's head, warm head.
I love leaving the sofa.
The indentation I can sense,
My absence there,
Gives great comfort,
The hall widening like opened gates
Of magnum blue, gilt-choking plastic.
I think of it, my zero left behind,
When the little sandpaper hands
Cup at mine
Surrounded by Goliath sample pills,
And I remember the black leather glare,
Cold and smooth that looms like an ocean.