"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mask of Evil

It's barely harnessed...
this underlying benevolence that leaks out
from the corners of her disingenuous remarks.

It breathes beneath the surface of her deception
and I watch it straining against the leash
bug eyed and wanting.

Fuck how it strains!
Moorings are no match for this evil...
this way that it bloats

Part of me wants to sit court,
wait for the kind arrangement of features to crack...
watch the lava erupt from her boiling core
her face breaking off and carried away
like little toy boats
disintegrating and helpless in the molten bath

But the wiser self knows
I am a paper craft, and no match for fire.
I row my distance and watch her self destruction
with a telegraphed eye.

(Co-workers. Gotta love 'em. Or not.)


  1. Ohhh, is that your co-worker on her back with her arm whacked off? Good for you! That last stanza wraps it up nicely. I love, "I an a paper craft, and no match for fire." We gotta know our limits!

  2. I can see the rays burning through someone’s back. The words explain the reasons this may be so. I sort of like the mannequin.

  3. Supebly written, man I'm shivering

  4. you're the winner,,,she hasn't a chance.

  5. oh my god can you write! the metaphors and images in this are fantastic: the little toy boats in the molten bath, and holy moley, "i am a paper craft, no match for fire"

    ww, i was in a relationship with a woman like this. i haven't yet recovered. i would guess this is a sociopath, meaning no conscience. the inability regulate without a conscience is reason enough to run not walk.

    i read your last poem too and i will hopefully return to offer another genuine round of praise


  6. *stares in disbelief at a good safe distance*

  7. Yvonne - Ha! I wish. Perhaps one day.

    Anthony - Yeah...it's a cook picture. Wish I'd taken it.

    Eco, Lorraine, Glenn - It's creepy to watch. Such a delicate film of a smile covering her fangs.

    KJ - Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it. Barfed this poem out over lunch and felt a whole lot better! The glass of Chardonnay didn't hurt either :) Yep, I steer real clear of her!

  8. Oh wow! Sorry you have to work with such ... What a stricking combo, this poem and photo. Well done.

    I didn't realize you lived so close to us - judging from your response to my daughter-in-law's post on my blog today ... I love Sonoma!

    Take it easy ...

  9. You have this magical nack for saying what you mean without saying it.

    You're like a word-ninja, silent but with an unmistakable wake.

    You ain't no paper boat, girl.

    - Eric

  10. Oh ouch! The photo is striking, and scary...then you add the words, and the explanation...whew!

  11. It's insanity. That's what the stoics said. I'm frightened by it. I too feel like a paper boat dreading fire.

  12. Jamie - We all have somebody like this...don't we? ACK! Is it just me????

    Eric - Word Ninja. I like it. Can I keep her? I promise I'll feed her, and take her for walks, and clean up her messes. REALLY! Can I? Can I keep her?

    Liza - I know. Kinda a creepy photo, so how come I like it so much?

    Andreas - The definition of insanity is what I do at work every day. Same thing, expecting different results. I work primarily from a place of malicious compliance, cuz' no one listens anyway. Blech.

  13. Eric has coined it quite beautifully, you are indeed a word ninja, subtle and silent but God so powerful!
    Just been catching up and your words (and wonderful community discussions below in the comments) have me deep in thought.
    An avid admirer as always,

  14. Annie,
    Evil is the sea when you are that boat...Talking about co-workers i think they are little paper clowns....they pop up with new make-up every day...you would want to set them on fire..but they give death to more living things than the life in their friendly handshakes and winks that to arrange this paper...with our faces pasted on them....and we are one of them...but i guess we atleast
    avoid that colourful lingerie to dress up the disfigured remains of what was once a simple,unsophisticated body of thought...probably that is why you color me a little..and i color you a little....

  15. Becky - Thank you. Sometimes I'm not so silent. Sometimes I open my big mouth and the only power that comes out is destruction.

    Manik - Disfigured remains in colorful lingerie. I am wanting to photograph this, the contrast of such things. It is a powerful image. Yes, you color me...but in good ways, way outside the lines:) Perhaps I will imagine her as a paper clown today.

  16. Annie ... no it's not just you ... :-) Sorry if I made it sound that way ...

  17. you really close this so so so well. the images of lava and fire and tiny boats just grabbed me and pulled me closer to the work. honestly, that's was my physical reaction. haha, co-workers... who can't relate to that?? back when i had co-workers i saw regularly, i could. now that i don't see them and just email them, i get their energy from their emails and the steam rising from them i feel even if i'm not starting into their faces:)

  18. Jamie - I feel better now :)

    Ed - Living in such a techno generation now, we have many assumptions we take into our e-mails, texts, and whatnot. To be able to feel the evil without facial expression or tone...WOW! I'm glad you don't have to face those people anymore. You and I...living singed.

  19. "I am a paper craft, and no match for fire."

    That line leaves me speechless. You're words are inspiring.

  20. I am pirating internet connection from a local Starbucks as I type and I am now able to post my comment that I was unable to the other day.
    Thanks for stopping by. You say you get angry often, who doesn’t?
    Maybe a saint like Christopher, I’m laughing as I write this hoping he reads this poem and the comments.
    Back to the poem, I like dark gritty poems like this! I avoided poetry for most of my life because I thought it was all smarmy mooshey gooshey crap. I learned how to write less than a year ago and I am happy to have started reading blogs like yours.
    Wander over my way any time you feel like it!

    Wander without being lost

  21. Wander - I don't think Christopher reads here, but yeah...he does seem kinda saintly at times :) Smarmy Mooshey huh? That's how I feel about praise songs in church. Sheesh. It ain't always that pretty, you know? Let's all get real. I'm a follower of yours. You'll soon be sick of me :) I avoided poetry because I thought it had to rhyme. Only been at it a couple years myself.


Thank you for listening.