Every Normal Man (8.6.15)

This poem crashed into my head this morning, turns out I wrote it 6 years ago exactly. This is meant to be read aloud.

8.6 Every Normal Man

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” – H. L. Mencken

We took the palette of the unsatisfied
the brush of the disillusioned
and painted a black flag to raise above our holy heads
a banner of righteous filth to wipe the sun dark
and to smother their skylines.

We are Lords of the Flies and our crowns buzz
with the laughter of the damned
We have stripped down to our bare souls
and flayed obligation from our hearts
we are raw and we bleed only for ourselves
and those we choose to love.

We are a plague infecting every story on the shelf
We have soaked our tongues in the fountain
our breath mingled with the saints
our sighs gripping each other
until we spat in their mouths
flung our vows down the hatch
and lit our cabins on fire.

Our captains abandoned us
we lashed their bloody helms
due south of salvation to show them what we think
of their directions.

We are done.

Brave clean men sink beneath us
the silt of duty on their sleeves weighing them down
dragging their legacies into the dark
they followed a code but lived by the lash
they loved queens who never even knew their names.
But now, their names live on in our songs
their smiles adorn our necks
we have carved our oars out of their bones
and we break their waves with Titan arms.

The gods don’t want us and we don’t want them.
We will sail to the forgotten places
we will make our bounty beg
our olive branches crisp in our furnace
our faces painted in rotten things
the fruits of our labors frying in our hot lungs
we make a paste of what they said we should do
and dip our fingers in it before gripping hilts
and raising our death’s head to high heaven.

Our rusty arms have seen more war
than their polished hearts
We have soaked our bruised smiles in gasoline
a toast to the days we can’t remember
and the days we wish we could
We have sworn to break every glass offered to us
to only drink what we steal from Dionysus himself.

Liquid fire leaks out of our grins
sparks echo in our eyes
A fire that has no place in their homes and factories
A light that refuses to quiver in the presence of stars
A candle as mighty as Helios himself
The same fire that young Prometheus spirited away
when Olympus decreed everlasting night

We Burn.

We wink to the dark and mock the high horse
We will leave our marks singed in our skin
our wet footprints will trace
the symbols of our ancestors on every beach

A map
For anyone who ever woke up in the pitch black with a gasp
For anyone who ever stopped dead in their tracks and laughed
For anyone who ever said, “No.”

For the lost, for the drowned,
for the forgotten and the found
if you read the right horizons
Dead men do tell tales.

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