Revelations of Icarus

I Prelude

Isn't it strange
The way everyone frowns in the city?
Each tight-lipped soldier
To another day,
Capturing another red flag,
Then pitching camp on the crest
Of some barren hill
Behind raised ramparts.

II Limbo

The rain pours on black asphalt.
A dark shape squats in a ruined church archway
Nursing cheap booze from a brown paper bag,
An elixir to master the twilight,
To harmonize the spirit with night's essence.
Dampness seeps beneath the
Old army jacket plastered to his skin
By a layer of oil and sweat
And he shivers
Breathing the acrid rain into his dry, decrepit lungs.

Raising his head slowly,
Deliberately, as if with a crank,
He turns the dead grey marbles in his head
Towards the street.
The wrinkles in his dessicated face
Draw themselves together as they
Anticipate an approaching car.
Headlights pass with their harsh piercing eyes,
Blinding him,
Momentarily burning blue suns
Into his mind
Which fade to green, to red,
To a dull, muddy maroon,
Then set over him
Leaving only
The night.

III The Fiend

I knew you were a monster,
A goddamn bloody monster!
The way you smile that
Paper-thin grin,
Flashing your shiny white teeth
As you greet me.
The way your eyes twitch and dart
Like shivering serpents
When you tell me the sad tale of your existence,
Then linger oppressively at my back
When I look away.

No-one else seems to notice,
But I can see the maggots
Writhing under your cheeks,
Burrowing between your nostrils
And under your eyelids as you speak,
And I know...
That you hunger for my flesh,
And, oh, what you would give to fasten those bright teeth
Into my throat.
And with those tight, wormy lips,
Suck out the last drop of my sanguine spirit!

God save me from your foul hunger!

IV Descent






V The Black King

Deep in my shadow kingdom,
Hear the bells:
          Another star has fallen...

An endless clatter of pawns
On a marble chessboard.
Groans of supplication.
Murmurs of pale reckoning
From the pallid throng.

No fires of vengeance,
Only cold shadows
As I sit on my dark obsidian throne,
Rust gnawing at the crown
Fixed to my head with nails,
Listening to the music of the bells:
          Another star has fallen...

VI The Dungeon

What am I doing here in this dumpster?

Oh yes, now I remember.
They were chasing me,
Four of them.
I knew I was in for it
So I just started running
All over Hell
With them screaming
"You're dead, mutherfuckuh!"
Right behind me,
And I just kept goin', man.
I didn't know where the Hell I was goin'.
I just kept running
All over Hell
Until I couldn't hear them screaming anymore.
Then I found a place where they'd never find me
And I just crawled in, man,
With the rats and the flies,
And stopped breathing
Just in case they could still hear me.
At least one of them had a knife.
A knife!
Jesus! I could have been butchered
Like a fat Christmas hog!

VII Duo Seraphim

Seraphs in my bathroom, I tell you!
Joyous, they sang to me In their bright and delicate soprano voices
Filled with heavenly longing
Of love immortal, bliss unending,
And earthly passion exulted,
And how I burned with the ecstasy
Of those sweet strains
And as I gazed enraptured,
Light poured from their radiant eyes
Burning blue suns
Into my mind
Which faded to green, to red,
To a dull, muddy maroon,
Then set over me
Leaving only
The stench of my rancid droppings
And a discarded Penthouse at my feet.

VIII The Chosen

Isn't it strange
The way I smile at the police station
As I watch the human scum ebb and flow
Through the sewage tides of the city
Into this vast septic tank:
And me—
I like to expose myself;
It turns me on.
Maybe it'll turn you on too.

IX The Clairvoyant

What the Hell did they put in my coffee?
I can't even fucking think straight!
I keep hearing the birds chirping outside,
Out on State Street over by Bradley's,
Something about some chick sleeping on a rock
With fire all around.
Am I man enough?
Am I man enough?

What the Hell did they put in my coffee?
Far away an albatross is screaming
Something about a creepy Dutchman:
Mark well the black ship with the blood-red sail!
And the chick on the rock keeps calling my name
And I stayed out too long last night
Just kicking around the streets
For a piece of meat.
But nothing came so I just went upstairs and went to bed.

What the Hell did they put in my coffee?
Where can I get more?

X Benediction

My name?
That's a tricky one.

But I can tell you stories
Which would turn your spine to rubber,
And wondrous tales
Of trial and redemption!

There was a man,
An ordinary man,
Who fell from the kingdom of men
And became
A demon.

The Dark Lord laid his hand upon him
And his flesh did shrivel and turn black,
And he went insane.
To him Satan granted the power to confer death
On any who dared to touch him,
And a sorcerous gaze to blight their minds
With the canker of madness.

His friends fled in horror
When they saw what had become of him.
So he wandered through city streets,
Preying off the flesh of vagrants and homeless people.
The police feared him;
Bullets only seemed to make him angry,
And the street-people whispered monstrous tales
Of his grisly nocturnal hunts.

But one woman pitied him,
A strange and hysterical woman.
Her eyes, the most pale, serene blue eyes
Shone with a wild luster,
And the morning spread its warmth
Over her locks of bright, turned gold
As she came to give herself to him.

The scarlet gleam in his eyes flared wickedly
And he set upon her with greedy talons,
But she did not flee.
As he danced grotesquely towards her, he hissed
And venomous drool dripped from his slavering jaws
But still she did not flee,
Nor did she tremble, nor cry out in terror.
She merely stared
Gently into the inferno of his feral orbs.

Closer he crept,
Leering at her with bared fangs
And his twisted limbs outstretched towards her.
Then she touched him
And he froze,
Fell to his knees, and began to weep,
And she said unto him.
"I shall not desert you."

Then he collapsed,
Fell in a heap before her,
And his skin began to change
Releasing its deathly grip on his bones and
Losing its blighted hue until
He was a man once more,
And then,
Raising his head slowly,
Deliberately, as if God himself had granted him the motion,
He turned the resurrected jewels in his head
Towards the woman who had ended his curse.
Then night fell once more and sealed them forever in blissful darkness.

Tears fell from her eyes
And then she
Threw aside her mortal shroud and
Everyone on Blake Street saw it;
She paled the sun itself in her radiance!

Then she gently lifted him up in her arms
And a dazzling blue fire
Engulfed them both
And they vanished
Leaving only
The groggy, bewildered street-walkers
Ambling to work that morning to ponder what they had seen.

George Chadderdon © 1993