before i knew better
handful of Gods
peace, please!
takes time
a final bow
language of silence
can words help?
why try?
all the buzz about nothing
one step, remembered
my very own hostage
crumbling walls
discolored stew
dared never enter
order in advance
where can i stand

before i knew better
i saw her body,
before i saw her face.

i saw her curved hips,
before i learned her name.

i saw her perfect derriere,
before we became engaged.

i saw her silky, black hair,
before we married.

but i didn't know the awful truth,
before we had kids.

she was a liar and a whore,
before we ever met.

i was fooled be her stunning beauty,
before i learned better.

i was trapped by her wicked web,
before i knew better.

handful of Gods

if you're really there,
why do you insist
on restricting our lives?

if you really care,
why do you let us
waste our precious lives?

if you truly dare,
you could show us right:
put meaning in our lives.

if us you want to scare,
you could cause great panic:
put an end to our short lives.

if you are even slightly aware,
you could see the troubles
and lure us to your hell.


the unending diversions
in the path you take
to remember.
you wish
an unbiased,
something distracts,
in order
that you need never
what you wish
to remember.

peace, please!
So simple a word,
So complex a subject.
For all practical purposes.
No person will take peace,
If in peace they lose in:
Or power.
Yet they fail to see
That in violence
They lose worse:
And morality.

takes time
Just as in their spellings,
Peace takes longer
Than war.

Peace is not
The easy route,
Not the cheapest path,
Not the risk-free choice.
To choose peace
Is to choose a chance,
No matter what you lose,
No matter how much is lost,
No matter how long you struggle.
A chance
For construction:
In war and violence
Destruction is primary,
And if re-construction,
Only after severe
And extreme

a final bow
Sifting down
From the heavens.
Crashing against my window's pane,
Seeping through my cracked ceiling,
Soaking into my clothes,
And freezing my frail form.
The shrill cry
Of the wind
Through the gaps
In the timbers,
And the spaces
Around the door
And windows.
The cold
Freezing my body,
As it freezes my soul.
Overwhelmed by the harshness:
Of mother nature.
The rough treatment
Forcing me to bow
To the forces,
And recognize
The ultimate power
Of God
And of Earth.

language of silence
The eternal mime.
In a world of silence,
Inside of an imaginary box
Of restricting,
But invisible

But bends.
But gasps.
But cries.
But dies.

can words help?
you can write a lot of things
and never follow through.
you can criticize
but still not commit.
you can fill pages
with lofty ideals
and billowing plans,
yet still make
the same mistakes
as everyone else.

But even if we don't have the power
to do as we say,
to act as we feel,
isn't it better
to speak,
to share those words and feelings,
that someone else
may be able to come through,
and that someday,
you yourself
may be able to fulfill
those dreams and visions,
you painstakingly shared,
and persistently attempted?

why try?
I can't fly,
Though I try,
So I cry.
Can't I fly?
Must I cry,
Though I try?

all the buzz, about nothing
to burst forth
in your social blossom,
seems so important
to so many.
does it truly mean much
to yourself?

to evolve
into a creature
of unending engagements
undetered confidence.
is it
what everyone wants?
what everyone needs?
what everyone can achieve?

is developing
into a social miracle
something to raise one
above others,
or are they all equals
with those
of lesser confidence,
and minimum
or non-exsistent
social calenders?

one step, remembered
one step
can lead to another
if nothing hinders the path
and no one forces the motion.

eager for an event
or scared of an occurrence,
can lead to a life
of few wonders.
if you are unable to dream,
and work,
then you will probably never

it crushes hearts.
it breaks souls.
when the dreams and fantasies
that course through our veins
are ignored,
or forgotten.
our lives themselves
will not be noticed,
will not be accepted,
will not be remembered.

my very own hostage
my hollow sea
spreads out around me.
the waters
wrap around my legs,
hiding part of me,
and holding hostage the rest.

kiss me goodbye,
I tried
all I could.
I swam
the waters that I had always feared,
I have tried the tasks
I could have never undertaken,
yet no where,
and with no one
is as far as I got.
I have always hoped,
always tried,
but one goes no where
when your trying
is nothing
compared to the achievements of others,
who dwarf you
even when they do not try.

I can be dwarfed easily
as I can be drowned.
I thought I had loved,
but I failed that just as well.
and I now sail
where wind never blows
and the sun never rises.

crumbling walls
with a silent roar,
the stone walls around me
come crumbling down.
the solidity
that ages have worn
have finally given way,
no longer wishing to handle
the constant stress:
the forces pushing it
to where it could not go.

as the wall crumbles,
the walls i have erected
inside of my skin
crumble as well.
They are tired of the fear
and the disappointment.
and they would rather buckle
to the pressures,
and lie in a pile:
then to stay
and struggle
and fight
for a losing cause.

discolored stew
one pain
can drip into another
only to be identified
by a discolored streak
in the entire stew.

a heartbreak,
a headache,
a stomachache,
all drown in the world
liquified around your feet.

look up,
look down
but the white-feathered bird
that is to bring relief
always flutters in the blind spots
of your vision.

dared never enter
You are from a dream
I dared never enter.
The voice,
The smile,
The body,
All created by hands
Which would never be seen
Shaking mine.
You emerge
From a past
I can never believe,
Into a present
I can never be a part of,
And walk
Into a future
I can never imagine.
You step upon soil
That I can never till:
Upon waters
I can never swallow.

order in advance
in order
for the orders
to be
in the right order,
a side order
of wisdom.

where can i stand
let my mind wander over the keys as i try to wonder what is life and what meaning does it have for me, a man who is not even a man, but a boy, tall and through puberty, but yet only a child in a life that has not unfolded, but has remained wrapped up in a ball which has refused to open up into a heavenly blossom. living is not a choice, it is a necessity that winds its way on and on not worrying about the trouble it causes or the problems it brings, because it needs to carry on Time, before it becomes to heavy and is impossible to move. so i am caught in a predicament of being the shape and form, almost, of an adult, but still shivering and quivering inside like a child who has no choices, has no friends, has no luck in the way everything works. i can choose, but my choices are altered by the guiding hands of those in the know, and i walk the paths they have laid in concrete, and i try to lay the imprint of my hands in the cement, but the path has already dried, and all I can do is walk, and so walk is what i do.

and i get nowhere, and nowhere is where i belong, or i should say the only place that has accepted me for membership, for all others have strict quotas, and they need no more children like me, who have no experience, and no relationships, and no lives. they do not need people who can not work problems out on their own , and attempt the impossible, by risking their emotions, for the greater good of themselves and others. i stand in frigid waters and let myself be carried downstream by the waters i fear so much. and i keep falling under, and i frantically struggle to right myself, the water tearing at my lungs, as i let out foolish cries for help, for i have never learned to swim: never overcome my fears of all that water that everyone seems so graceful in.

So i walk now along the shore, looking out at all the swimmers as they transverse the English channel, and all i can do is buy my commemorative souvenirs, and walk on, for there are more sights for me to glimpse and then fill with the pain of never experiencing. but when i find a way to enter the realm of experimence and ready myself to jump in, everyone leaves and runs away to another experience which is safe from me. it is not a matter of my being lost in delusions of childhood, i am just left in a world where the risks at hand seem insurmountable, and i have not the guts to try it, so i wade out into the marshes of life by myself, moving slowly as not to disturb the geese, as they rest on their way north for the summer. that summer which is starting to arise, while i am still in my cold weather clothes, with icicles hanging from the sleeves, and snow resting upon my shoulders. women in nothing at all run past me, off to frolic in the forbidden surf, while being chased by men with the air of maturity and the size of Gods who have not risen.

i stand still gazing out on a fields of golden browns, and i lust over the wonders that are ripe, and ready, but only to be harvested by the choice workers, not the migrant like me. so i savor the imaginary taste that is forming in my mouth, and my mind wanders the seven seas of heaven and crosses the land of dreams, but my feet stay planted in the penalty box of life while everyone passes by, only stopping to look back and smile, a small laugh escaping from their lips. i am a museum relic in a museum they only visit on the worst of days. i am the revisiting of a childhood they would rather forget. the scars upon my face remind them of the torture of the adolescence and make them clutch tighter to the exclusivity of their present which only further pushes me away from my aspirations. i bow in their presence, for they are beings of supreme beauty, and of unearthly personalities. they do not quake like i do, they do not shiver in a bath of fear, as i do , they do not run away from confrontation as i do. they are the ones who did not turn away to the far corners, when faced with a room full of wonder. they revelled in the amassing of beauty encompassed in the flesh of the body, and of the lusting aspirations of the mind. all the while i was taking an audio tour of the wastelands of the world, being shown all of the places where things, happened, and being told the great deeds of those much higher than me.

the tour led me to the wonders of architecture, and the grace of nature, for in those beauties, i did not have to interact, but could fall into a well of appreciation, which only required my opinion, not the consenting of others, as they ripped across the surface of the globe burning all that they came across, and smoking all they could grab, and making love to anything that didn't run away. and they cheered at the feats of each other. arguments would whither fast, as they would continue again. those who disagreed with an action, would end up being the next one to lead the parade. no inhibitions ran through the crowd, they could perform their pleasures, in any state, and not worry, for they could look back, and see my pitiful form hunched, sitting on a rock, peering up at the sky, and they laughed at me, for as i was dreaming of rising up into the skies, and transversing the wonders, while they already were standing upon the gold of the heavens, and they were playing with the rewards, that i believed were only figments of my wild, and unharnessed imagination, but i was wrong, there is nothing of extraordinary wonder about my predicament, only the weight at the bottom of my stomach, as i come in last in but another race, and i am trampled, in their rush of excitement, and they drop whatever they are doing and celebrate, in a mass of bodies, that care not what they do, as long as the feeling is of their heavenly tastes, and the world is smothered by a sea of copulating forms awash in seas of orgasmic ecstasy, with one person standing at the edge of a pond, staring out at the water he is so afraid of entering.
total lifespan 17:01:20
flag burning
wilted rosepetals

American Freak Show. Copyright © 1991 by Matte Elsbernd. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.