Again, Kneeling Before Anubis, Lazarus Wept (New Refrain).Poem. Joseph Armstead


… Truth is a mansion, a many buttressed cathedral,
Notre Dame de Despair au Île de la Nuit, a gothic sprawl
of unending night where the light from a single dim candle
burns, beckoning, but the blind faithful do not see,
no one comes …

Armored in its solitude, it is a sanctuary built on screams.

i) Godforsaken and Estranged

At sunset, will the rain stop falling?

There are shadows dancing across the freeway,
ghosts of Promises Past, reminders
of All the Things We Could Have Been,
both evolution and mutation,
both supposition and deduction,
no answers,
racing to and from the recesses of memory,
leaping the gaps between ganglia,
tracing tortured neuropathways,
and as they slide grayly over the racing bodies
of personal destiny, they dissolve these seeds
of the future, leaving only quicksilvered ash
on the road haunting the edges
of the map of the soul.

A soiled and dirty penny lost
in the dark folds of a trouser pocket,
Fate drizzles across the pitted pavement
falling from clouds stained
by disillusionment,
the disenchanted deprivation
sends lightning down a dead spine.

Cold water puddles shallowly…

ii) Anno Corporealis: The Bondage of Flesh, Cold and Dark

The Dreamer, staggering under his load of Sins, awakens… 

Frightened, yet triumphant,
the broken marionette dares to rise,
legs shaking, atrophied musculature straining,
sightless eyes locked
onto the face of the Godhead,
the inscrutable divinity laughing
in a whispery croak,
the imprisoning cloak of flesh
enveloping the Dreamer
splits and cracks,
unable to completely contain
so much promise at last galvanized
into trembling, unsteady motion —
the Road to Utopia
and the Road to Ruin
converge —
the Divine Source vomits forth
a Promise of Eternity,
a shop-worn brand of immortality,
sold at discount prices.

Sunset finally settles over the rainswept cathedral,
a sanctuary, where each prayer ends in a scream.


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.

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