Dreaming in Hi-Def, Ozymandias Streamed Dynamic Data. A Poem by Joseph Armstead

 
 
The sound of ten million voices raised in confusion,
raised in wonder, raised in anger, raised in prayer,
scatter
like beads of fallen mercury
to roll across the desert sands,
pathways to Giza, Luxor, Cairo,
and Alexandria,
home to antiquity and myth, kingdom of the pharoahs,
pyramidal necropolii dotting an arid landscape,
baking under the fiery glare
of an unblinking solar eye,
next-generation optical disc,
waiting for the Summoning,
for the Call,
waiting for the Sacred, for a Benediction
from a polytheistic overworld
of New non-secular Gods,
the pantheon of the IMF, BASF,
Microsoft, Apple, Oracle,
Exxon-Mobile, CitiBank,
Daimler-Chrysler, Sony,
and McDonald’s,
waiting
as the orchestra of voices gather,
venting their passions, like Opera,
“Look, Ye Unworthy, upon my works, and know
this high-definition storage media format
will spread the glory of the blue-violet laser
across the face of Heaven,
an interstitial data sector
striped across the disk-array
of a Cloud-based
Application Server Farm,
where the tears of the Mighty
fall like acid rain!”
The sound of ten million voices
raised in confusion, raised in wonder,
raised in anger, raised in prayer,
scatter
across a boundless arid plain,
an ocean of charred and barren grit
stretching into a Future where
the Kalashnikov assault rifle
is the scepter of Paradise.

 
 
 
 
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BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
 
 
 
 
www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
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robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

 
 
Key of Mist. Guadalupe Grande.Translated.Amparo Arróspide.Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
goodreads.com/author/show/Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
https://www.amazon.com/author/robinouzmanhislop
http://www.innerchildpress.com/robin-ouzman-hislop.All the Babble of the Souk

We Darkened Few Laugh With Needle-Sharp Joy. A poem by Joseph Armstead

 

Laughing
with delight,
we thought we saw
a vision of blood
Turn to wine…
 
It’s a story told
in silence and pictures,
where everything we say
sounds like the spatter
of falling rain,
the sound of weariness
beating a drumbeat
on old concrete,
And its brittle beauty
makes the cracked
photographs
in our album of memories
dance
while we feel like children
at a tea party
with ghosts, pouring our hearts,
a piece at a time,
into empty porcelain cups.
 
Our timid smiles
are splintered
breaks
in the face
of a laughing clock.
“See how sharp,”
the timepiece said,
ticking.
 
A vision of light
at the tunnel’s end
fails to lead us
from the dark,
Saviors and Angel Wars,
Burning bushes
calling out numbers
at an endless game
of celestial Bingo,
And God’s reflection
looks out
from the fruit punch,
laughing from inside
the crystal serving bowl,
We can’t believe in such things,
because we feel like children
at a tea party
with ghosts, pouring our hearts,
a piece at a time,
into empty porcelain
demitasses.
 
“See how sharp,”
the timepiece said,
ticking.
 
And we darkened few
laugh with needle-sharp joy.

 
 
 
1196372998383oj4
 
BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
 
 
 
www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
www.facebook.com/Artvilla.com
robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

 
goodreads.com/author/show/Robin Ouzman Hislop
http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
https://www.amazon.com/author/robinouzmanhislop
http://www.innerchildpress.com/robin-ouzman-hislop.All the Babble of the Souk

Bloodwork and Quintessence. A Poem by Joseph Armstead

 
 
The second hand sweeps the face of the clock,
suddenly freezing
and
Time itself stops flowing In and Out,
birthing impassive waves across the Weeping Ocean.
 
I am caught, locked, in the trembling grips of a nervous lull.
 
There it is again, a pause,
a space between the pounding
of bloody hammer on fleshy anvil,
a searing heat
in my heaving chest,
heart thumping, rhythmic thunder,
an interruption of the pulse
of the scarlet lightning
that sears my heart.
There it is again.
 
I followed rumors and legendry,
romantic mysticism,
along a trail
of passionate whispers
to your door,
all lusts lead to you,
a magnet made of flesh,
I am caught in the pull
of your gravity,
and you sparked
nuclear fission
in the lead-lined chambers
of my atomic heart.
I followed the trail
of errant electrons,
quarks, leptons and mesons,
colliding nucleii,
and in the subatomic fury
I saw your face merging with mine.
Together.
Metapmorphosis.
Mutation.
The tyranny
of human need.
 
It spills from a rent in the vein,
solid/insolid, fluidic components,
physiological and biochemical,
a Rorschach puddling on cold glass —
take a basic metabolic panel,
analyze the plasma for its
extracellular
mineral content, get a
protein electrophoresis
and
polymerase chain reaction,
then examine arterial blood gases…
It is hard work,
this divination
through haruspication,
reading dripping entrails
slowly going cold.
 
I am bound, caged, by anxiety filling the space behind broken seasons.
 
There it is again, a pause,
a hole piercing the ephemeral fabric
of the constant storm,
a stutter in the unending howl
that sizzles like molten magma
inside the cavity that holds my soul.
There it is again.
 
The second hand shudders and again begins its inexorable pass…
 
How unlike
the sprouting of a rose,
a bleeding bouquet
born of the pulse
of the scarlet lightning
that sears my heart.
How like a blossom
from a wound.

 
 
1196372998383oj4
 
BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
 
www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
www.facebook.com/Artvilla.com
robin@artvilla.com
editor@artvilla.com

http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop

MACHINUS ROFOCALE. A Poem by Joseph Armstead

 
 
Tinny, brittle music wafts like cigar smoke

    from out the open doors to a dingy bar,

where the leather-coated Machine Men speak

    through plastic masks in rough whispers.

 
Today, the lemon sun above the amber fog of industrial haze will not shine —
 
And my Dream of You asphyxiates, ink-smudged and soiled, sinking into a bed of clouds…
 
 
i. The Exquisite Concatenation of Elastic Chaos
 
The victims march single file from the set
of a televised Game Show
where Time and Mind are manipulated
by strange mathematics and arcane
sorcery
as the Automaton Master of Ceremonies explains
to these departing, blank-eyed contestants,
the Rules of Engagement for their commercial gain.
 
It’s all white noise
filtered
through a sound mixing board
by a synesthesiac
madman.
 
There is a sense of Order beneath
the overly-regimented
facile architecture
presented with unearned fanfare
to a comatose viewing audience.
 
Seeing this past the sutures
that have sewn its eyes shut,
Chaos is weary, but nonetheless amused.
 
The march of the disenfranchised penguins goes the wrong way.
 
Something bad is happening.
 
 
ii. A Spectrum of Contradictions in Deepest Black
 
No one is supposed to talk about it.
No one is supposed to know about it.
The secret is not kept hidden.
 
Maybe it is best that way.
Maybe transparency is best.
Maybe we need to know
that which we do not
want to know,
even though we have
subconsciously
suspected it
all along.
 
The Truth does not set you free.
 
It invades you like a virus,
invading, unwelcome and infectious,
and our expectations
darken and curl at the edges,
like smouldering paper as it burns.
It battles with our natural defenses,
revealing our immuno-deficiencies,
spotlighting weaknesses
in the Body Politic.
 
Chaos is weary, but nonetheless amused.
 
Something bad is happening.
 
 
iii. The Collapse of Zazen Structure During Fractured Fission
 
It is a quiet night in Shadow-Town.
The echoes of Industrial Authority
have begun to fade like the hush
of a far distant surf upon
the debris-strewn shore.
 
You are in my vision,
a focus of painful ecstasy,
the rupturing of heavy nuclei
under the relentless, streaming
assault
of acrimonious proto-atomic
catalysts,
a rain of beauty and tragedy and fury,
 
… a dream …
 
accompanied by the sound of murmured prayers
spoken in an empty, unhallowed hall of mirrors
 
A consecrated Mass
that dares not be spoken
too loud, lest the potency
of its message
be lost
past the dark, open maw
and down the deep gullet,
of a bird of carrion prey.
 
I can see the blossoming
delicacy
of your growing decay,
an alien viral corruption.
Seeing this past the sutures
that have sewn its eyes shut,
Truth does not reveal itself.
 
Maybe it is best that way.
 
The leather-coated Machine Men
are pallbearers
of my Dream Of You.
 
Chaos is amused, but nonetheless bitter.
 
Something bad is happening.

 
 
 
1196372998383oj4
 
BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
 
robin@artvilla.com
PoetryLifeTimes
Poetry Life & Times

www.artvilla.com
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Roses for The Ferryman. A Poem by Joseph Armstead.

 

The crystal lamp burns lazy and dim,
And the mastiff hounds howl ‘pon the moor,
Heralding a prophesy of a return of him
Who once with strength and anger did deplore
The unjust decrees of a distant heaven
That had robbed him of his life’s single joy,
Leaving him empty, bitter and deadened
Little more than uncaring Destiny’s broken toy.
 
The Children of Lost Hope anxiously do wait,
As across the vast moat of blackest dreaming,
Old Charon does ferry a Herald of direst human traits,
An unmade priest, lead voice of a choir for screaming.
 
Crossing the Styx, the waters of night filled with souls,
The Ferryman brings ‘cross the Traveler, solemn and dread,
Unconcerned with Justice or for whom Truth’s bell tolls,
Only knowing his duty, to carry the lost shades of the dead,
Journeying ‘twixt the worlds of the Light and the Dark,
Asking no questions and hearing no tales,
Seeing only the movement of Fate, cruel and stark,
And hearing the songs of torment the unholy wail.
 
Without shame and in regal distress he would return
This princely cleric of tattered soured belief,
And words of his cold gospel would again burn,
In hearts and minds of those for whom Faith is not relief.
Light turns to shadow and the echoes of howling fade,
As from the dreaded ferry he does finally stride,
Bringing a legacy of broken promises to trade,
And the highways of nightmare he is anxious to ride.
 
Pensive at the castle’s gates she stands,
Wrapped warm ‘gainst the wintry night,
The dry remnants of a waxen rose in hand,
Memento to lost bittersweet delight.
On the hill, the moon behind the oak is dull,
The trip was long and the night chilled,
The Lady holds her secrets close, memory full,
And she waits entry to a home of mysteries filled.
Dreamt she on her journey of her strong beloved,
A knight, a knave, a paradox of moods,
And her sadness grew, fitting soul like a glove,
‘cause on his untimely demise she did brood.
 
The Dark Lady of the Midwinter’s Night,
A cheerless child her father named Angelique,
Waited in tearful solemnity, to the Devil’s delight,
To go home one last time, her tragedy unique,
As alone and bathed in starlight cold,
She tried to quiet the voices in her head,
Some just brittle whispers, most angry and bold,
For it was because of her that her Knight is dead.
 
An empress is she, royal and majestic and grand,
A queen of the evermore fallen eve,
Her cold fragile heart clasped in a pale undead hand,
Her life the dire web of a spider’s weave.
 
The Ferryman unsmiling did bring her across,
She followed a Pale Priest of Dead Hopes,
And into Charon’s hands two coins she did toss,
Taken off sightless eyes at the end of Life’s rope.
 
The Ferryman is tired, yet his labors never cease,
Rich and poor, weak and strong, all he does carry,
While the Clock of Life shreds Time piece by piece,
The line of travelers is endless and he cannot tarry.
So a Saint of Flesh and Shadow, he returned to the living,
And a gentle Lady of secrets and red despair,
Today second chances at redemption he is giving,
A hollow hope Love and Memory can be unburden’d,
Yet well he knows that of this Life all is prior written,
And though triumphantly from darkness have ye returned,
By poison fangs of Destiny, All has already been bitten.
 
When at last he returns to his nightmare shore,
Endless eternal day’s task momentarily ended,
He spies a thing of beauty, naught could shock him more,
A bouquet of black roses, left alone and untended,
A gift of Grace from some fractured unyielding soul,
Knowing that they yet reside in Hell,
But daring to set forth an honorable goal,
Of thanks to a ferryman for a job done well.

 
1196372998383oj4
 
BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
 
robin@artvilla.com
PoetryLifeTimes
Poetry Life & Times

www.artvilla.com
Artvilla.com

Scirocco (Tears of Carthage) Poem By Joseph Armstead

 
Among the stony ruins, the shadows haunting Carthage yet abide…
 
An unforgiving heat, strangling Life
from the very air through which it pulses,
radiates from an ocean of sand, charring
the steel of Heaven’s Gate —
 
there is no romance in this tale,
that would be a fool’s conceit
 
… and this disenchanted heart bleeds for you…
 
this is the bleakness of a dying god,
my lazy, uninspired deity,
slumbering
under baked, dessicated soil
as a nomadic army of ghosts
marches through the long centuries,
the flesh burns, scalded
by the brilliant light
of a star suffering storms…
 
Burning memory onto the retina of the mind’s bleary eye.
 
Something touches my hair. Wind?
Perhaps a Specter, lost, and wandering
the labyrinthine corridors of Time.
 
No greater fool than this, I peer into history’s chaos;
 
Bonifacius fell before the fury of the Vandals,
the Vandal heretic Gaeseric, in turn, fell
and the paretporian prefecture
of the Darkest Continent sundered
the Mediterranean shackles of Empire
until the Muslim Caliphs wrested control
of the warm waters of the vast harbor
 
… and still my misshapen life weeps through this wound I bear…
 
‘Lo, hear the music of regret, my scars are singing.
 
It’s the heat. Always and always, the furious heat.
Blistering. Stifling. A ragged silken gag stretching parched lips.
 
The breezes stir from off the bay
and streak over the rolling waters,
gathering into a rushing, stormy
fireball
 
… searing the wound shut, closing it against the leakage of yet more blood…
 
I see the excavated dinosaur’s remains of this place,
a warped mirrored reflection
laying bare my inner desolation.
Naked, in a shallow puddle
of dried and flaking scarlet
yesterdays.
 

 

BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
http://redroom.com/member/joseph-armstead

http://www.amazon.com/Condemned-Of-Heaven-Joseph-Armstead/dp/0578013665

 
Uroborus Mike Collins
 

robin@artvilla.com

www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes

 

They Smile With Stiletto Eyes Poem by Joseph Armstead

 

something twisted and brittle
grows imperiously
under the burning glare
from a distant dying sun
 
crippled souls swimming
orange panoramic skies, open and vast,
the high frontier
streaked with thin purple scars
and elongated, julienned cuts
of flashing metallic azure,
 
the bloom reaches towards
the ruins of Heaven
 
in the perfume of its rosy musk, the voices of ghosts…
 
They smile with stiletto eyes at tomorrow.
 
Dialogue:
 
Her — “It’s the sound of the telephone,
don’t you see, that electronic bleating,
that sudden, startling interruption
of your thoughts, its the absence
of THAT
which is the thing that makes me saddest…”
 
Him — “Black coffee fills my leaden limbs
with the acid from my numbed mind,
I’m just tired sometimes, weary,
lethargic,
and it helps me summon the energy
to face the dragons beckoning me
from the wasteland at the edges of the map…”
 
Narrator — “They converse in an alien tongue,
their out-of-synch voices pitched
just beyond the range of human hearing,
but they speak volumes to one another
through the staring bleakness of their eyes.
A disjointed exchange of discontent,
it is a gift of unwanted predestination.”
 
The audience is confounded.
Their ennui is as solid
as the bars to a prison.
 
Her — “I can’t stop crying,
knowing I’ll never
feel that way again.”
 
Him — “They won’t break me.
I won’t let them. I owe it
to all the wounds that mark me.”
 
The audience blinks and remains unmoved.
Vision is defined as hypercompetence
in
discernment
or
perception.
And if they see anything, they see dissonance.
 
They smile with stiletto eyes at the image of a strangled eternity.
 
in ashes, the gnarled flora hungers,
seeking nourishment
in the crumbs left
from a banquet of the dead,
and an entrepot of melody
releasing its goods,
an unfinished symphony
from an alienated, tone-deaf
orchestra pouring in
through the colorful, ragged tears
in the fabric of unstable Reality,
washes like the ocean tide
across a celestial Sahara
 
starlight feeds the thirteenth rose of hell
 
and the velvety carmine blossom
unfurls its bloody petals to catch
tainted brilliance
cascading
onto the specters
of a concrete and steel
anthill,
staring
 
They smile with stiletto eyes at weeping nothingness.

 

BIO

Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area. Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines. A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.
 
http://redroom.com/member/joseph-armstead

http://www.amazon.com/Condemned-Of-Heaven-Joseph-Armstead/dp/0578013665

 
Uroborus Mike Collins
 

robin@artvilla.com

www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes

 

Forsaken, the Carthaginian Quartet. Poem. Joseph Armstead



…the warm waters of the Punic ports stir fitfully…
 
City of Bones, languid and arid, it sleeps,
skeletal ruination of Phoenician dominion,
Hellenistic citadel, on the eastern shores
of Lake Tunis, once a sandy jewel
in the crown of Elissa,
birthplace to Hannibal,
and legends of endless war…
 
the squawking of gulls threatens the silence

1.) Confessio Nunquam
 
— my voice will hide —
the membranous gates
to my secret heart
are stitched shut, sown
of coarse thread, spun of denial,
I let nothing bathe
in the revealing light of day,
hiding nakedness
behind a fragile,
cracked, mirror-mask,
a spiders’ web map,
faultlines of the psyche…
 
— Sssshhhhh—!

2.) A Strange Blindness
 
History obscured
behind a wall of lucid dreaming,
soft-focus P.O.V.
through the vaseline
smeared over a camera lens,
I clutch the Past to my chest,
cautionary, restrictive,
custodial, prenominal,
let no picture escape, no image
be seen, no tableau unfold,
sub-rosa, clandestine,
none can know the Truth…
 
— cryptic, let sleeping dragons lie — 

3.) Sigmund Benedicta
 
…shamed, I camouflage my ferocity…
 
I am struck mute.
 
searing magma of flaming tears
behind eyes swimming
in the memory of damnation,
while shameful denial forms the lyrics
to a song stuck in my throat,
words set to the music of heartbreak
waiting to play
before an audience
eager to judge…
 
chaotic, quixotic, impracticable and dreamy
my anarchy seeks its voice
 
— hush, I will not speak —

4.) The Justinian Variation
 
the dam breaks, the levees are overrun,
the hot stones of the rocky shoreline hiss
as the waters cascade inward from the harbor
 
the necropolis coughs its myths
into the air, fable and folklore
dancing with skeletal ghosts
through the haze of antiquity,
 
and the waters rise yet higher
and the sun-baked ruins grow cool
 
The sound of my voice astonishes me:
bygone phonems, repressed grammar
and disremembered syntax mix
with nostalgia
creating a lullaby
for ravens.
 
Unrestrained, I sing
powerfully
in the City of Bones,
the squawking gulls
my choir…

 

BIO
 
Joseph Armstead is a suspense-thriller and horror author living in the United States’ San Francisco Bay Area.   Author of a dozen short stories and ten novels, his poetry has been published in a wide range of online journals, webzines and print magazines.   A mathematician, Futurist and computer technologist, Mr. Armstead’s poetry often defies easy description, but frequently includes neo-classical imagery, surrealist viewpoints and post-modern themes.

http://redroom.com/member/joseph-armstead

http://www.amazon.com/Condemned-Of-Heaven-Joseph-Armstead/dp/0578013665

 
robin@artvilla.com

www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes