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Episode 6: Friend

In this episode, we listen to Ernesto Mora’s poem ” Friend”.

I’ve a friend I can’t explain, he is night and shade and pain,
gentle as he gnaws my bones, and his voice is as the rain.
His is the gloom, his berth and shroud, herald of lament, patron of the disavowed.
Moon so pale, stars collapsed, the baying wolves snarl and snap,
promenade in the fetid garden, hand in desecrated hand clasped.

Seated he on cathedra inverted, hassock skin and flesh perverted,
crown of darkest pumice stone, so reigns he, upon such indecorous throne.

His the voice of madness and woe, lyric that sets the sun, song of sorrow,
sonant of the midnight mass, perched on cloud of black, between the twilight and morrow.
Such derision for the soil, growth be burdened, wilt and spoil,
maiden dance with blade in hand, to the lord naught be loyal.

His the wine of supplication, vintner of the most foul lamentation,
bitter grapes with seed of ire, chalice filled with lies and liars.
His the feast of avarice, cuisinier of rapacious artifice,
On silver plate with silver-tongue,
you tie your noose, the hangman comes.

His the scent of fallen rain, petrichor, deluge of pain,
I’ve a friend I can’t explain, without face and without name,
folie and fatigue, his is ceaseless romp and play,
and the rain, it seems, never goes away…

Last in Line

Last in Line by Ernesto Mora

 

Summary

The emergency broadcast alarm sounds off. I am disturbed, out of my sleep. But what’s more disturbing is what I now see on the screen. Could this be real? Is this some sort of hoax? I don’t know, but there’s something to the tone of the man’s voice, that is leaving me unsettled. I think I better take this seriously.

***********************************************************************************************************

I lay on my couch, slightly stirring from the ache that had accumulated in my neck from what I assume was a lousy sleeping position. The sound was at its least, irritating, but as my senses became more acute, the sound became more…desperate.

My irresponsibly powered on screen was midway through the Emergency Broadcast alarm that so often goes disregarded, and as my sight came into focus, I see the official seal of the Department of Homeland Security emblazoned across a blue velvet curtain, and just underneath that emblem, the expressionless man at the podiums’ credentials read;

Steven Chambers
Head of FEMA

“…and cannot corroborate the veracity of the Munich accounts…”.

He seemed stoic in his demeanor, but there was an unsettling quality to the tone of his voice, it seemed desperate and flustered.

“As of fourteen-hundred hours, local time, Munich has ceased its initial distress calls. All attempts at re-establishing a line with them, be it online or otherwise, has failed. But going back to your original question, at this time we are treating all rumors of a catastrophic event as just that…rumors.”

At saying ‘rumors’, Mr. Chambers, Head of FEMA, tensed up and shifted his leg from his right to his left, showing obvious body language of a liar.

“…but, in any event, as a precautionary measure, the President of the United States has issued a flight ban on all traffic to and from the U.S. and has implemented a complete lockdown of all major and minor airports nationwide, and many other countries are following suit.”

Unsettled, I sat up as the morning sun blinded me from the small openings on the side of the persians. I took a drink from the bottle of beer I had left to warm up on the coffee table during last night’s solo blowout, but something made me stop mid drink, a realization that felt like a ball of lead spontaneously materialized in the pit of my stomach. I sprang up from the couch, turned down the volume on Mr. Chambers, Head of FEMA, and slightly pivoted my head towards the direction of the window.

On any given day, even at random, the street is pulsating with the daily hustle and bustle typical for any mid-size city like Bachman Heights. If my waking stupor wasn’t hindering me too much, I calculate today should be Friday. Glancing at the muted monitor, I’m able to tell the time is 7:55 a.m., peak hours for the garbage truck to come down the street, menacingly close to the neighborhood parked cars, the sputtering and grinding of its transmission being many folks often rude morning call. From my third floor apartment, my living room windows provide quasi-balcony seats to the ever-unfolding drama that is daily life. Rooted midway between two busy avenues, my street is a considerable thoroughfare for the working-class to and from the business district to the North, and major transport hubs to the south. My neighbor directly below me was also oddly imperceivable. I haven’t had the pleasure of acquaintanceship given, what seems to be, their obvious lack of consideration when it comes to accepting the fact that not everyone in the building appreciates rap at odd hours, and at ear-murdering levels at that. Across the hall, a nice young couple and their kids are typically rushing out the door at this hour, him, on his way to morning classes where he’s studying for his bachelors in criminal justice before going to work at City Center Plaza’s Best Buy. She, dropping their 5 and 7-year-old girls to their kindergarten and 2nd grade classes respectively, before making her way to the Train Station where she’ll travel roughly 35 minutes to her day job in Windsor City, where she is in marketing, I know this because of their loud conversations in which they argue over the bills and discuss short and long-term plans.

But today, on this bright and seemingly common day, my ears pulsed with the lack of auditory diversity. No traffic, no commotion, no conversation, and listening even closer…no wind rustling the mid-spring leaves on the Queen Elizabeth Hedge Maples that intermittently line the sidewalks with shade, and the complete absence of the morning songs of the local birdlife.

Out of the corner of my eye, a splash of red on the monitor alerts me to it. Across the screen, and in an alarming hue of vivid red and yellow, the words, ‘EMERGENCY BROADCAST’ are sprawled. I turn the volume back up on the monitor just as it cuts to another suit standing at a podium with the same DHS emblem, this one’s face much, much sterner and perturbed.

“…do not make sudden movements, do not run, do not make loud noises, do not look directly into the black shade…”

Some form of interference scrambles the digital signal and temporarily distorts the image, occluding the audio as well…

“…stay in a straight line and face forward towards the light of the morning sun, evacuate immediately to your locally designated centers…”

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Episode 4: Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe

 

In this 4th episode of The Prose & Poesy Podcast, we listen to the reading of Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan, read by Ernesto Mora

Poetry of the Deprived

In unpleasant dreams, I’ve heard you weep
beneath the Umbrous willow trees
the creek does mourn your shade forlorn
you’ve laid your tired bones within the flow.

The sun has dreamt it’s final bow, among the sullen stage so dreary now,
midnight remains resolute upon your brow, the crepuscular vestige is your crown.

From the darkest eve, comes a fevered steed,
famished, wanton lust for the husk to feed.

To stare into the dismembered hours, the void of sorrow,
painful flesh devoured, I call your name unto the stars,
etched into the night once ours.

You come to me veiled in black, vested in the shroud of agony that scalds my flesh,
embrace my piteous alms, my derided and indecorous banquet,
from the black meadows a petulant fest.

Through the windows come cold whispers cavorting with anguished blasphemes,
you speak my name as if to maim,
my sanity canters away on mare which drinks from your streams.

Into my dream seeps vitriol, forsaken is the lamb at slaughter,
as you imbibe my tremulous life I slip downstream farther…

In the waters of your resolution, to drown me in the mire of confusion,
you and I litanize the poetry of the deprived.

Episode 3: Poetry Reading Sweet Magdaline

 

At night, when the fleeting dreams haunt my flesh and tear at my walls,
And the waking voices hold vigil on my fantasy, it is then, cloaked in the shroud of gloom that I see where you have gone.
Without regards to the fevered twilight, who bids no clemency to the maddening vision, into that damnation so willing I go.
A gait amid the scentless roses, a look into the blackest sky, and a cup of tea with the beast, bitter with the rotting leaves.
Gone is the smile, parting lips that once revered my flawed words.
Gone are the moments dipped in the cove of your eyes, that once beheld my fallible flesh.
Into that quixotic bog, shaded in the valley where my sleep offers ephemeral glimpses.

You sing to me with such disdain, I hear your wailing on the starry canvass.
Such misery it is to behold, the cries of famined hounds, and more the snapping bones within the maw, once sweet claret nectar has spilled from the ire.
My name parts the winds, and, as if upon winged desperation, rend my pleasant rest apart and drown my lungs with resentment.
Do I drink from this irony? Indulge in this font of putrescence?

From below, comes the bellowed breathing from parched throat agape, lusting for vengeful chalice of a sacrilegious vintner.
Oh what mournful crying!
Tear my weeping eyes from me!
What songbird comes from the depths with such a cadenza? Such pitiful an aria as to drive the flocks from port, and the milk to spoil.
Sweet Magdaline!

Afire is my skin that swells with my contrition, as surely the lakes of perdition rage on feasted bones and souls!
These hands that once traced your beauty, these that snuffed the candle from your eyes!
They break from within as your intonation beckons the darkness come!
The choir now at my bedroom door doth rattle my peace!
And the mighty sword from which I slip, slip deeper into that streaming brook, where folie and fancy bear no resentment, and where from the stony cliffs you sing into my dimming light.

Sweet Magdaline, such delicate features now rot away, agonizing your every note.
Sweet Magdaline, I now sing from the shade as well, where at your feet I plead with the unforgiving.

Despite the naivete of young love
Your tepid body you pledged to me, sweet Magdaline
So your body I took
Despite your callous apathy and misdeed
Your heart you swore to me, sweet Magdaline
So your heart I took…

Episode 2: Poetry Reading ‘Hearts of Bitter Harvest’

In this 2nd episode of ThePOEMHOME podcast, we listen to the reading of Ernesto’s poetry “Hearts of Bitter Harvest”

In barren field, sitting upon marble black, painted upon a piteous facade, a farcity so contrived as to mock its own insipidity.
Along its flesh, torn are the moments as leaf from tomes, bidding the warmth that once kindled upon the very sun, a contemptuous parting.
From the roots, the soil so deprived and imbued with disdain, so to sow upon the mud would only serve to reap the loathing sentiment.
Arid is my earth, a thrall to your words so dulcet, and marred is the fruit, the hearts of bitter harvest.

Into the folding nights my vines extend, and caress upon its tendrils your pulsing breast.
What dormant secrets take abode within your countenance, that whittle away at elation and whet condemnation of my soul.
To gaze upon your truth would be divine, to satiate the withering leaf, and bring forth to this parched parcel, the deluge from your sorrows.
Arid is my earth, penitence to a wretched fluora, and plagued is the crop, the hearts of bitter harvest.

Tend to this meadow, so ashen with the ardent bellows, where dreams wither upon the brow and tomorrow is never veracious. Taunting, untruthful, vain and insidious are the pledges that are never consummated. So upon the sun I scribe in futility, a declaration of my devotion, an intimate portrayal versed in emotion, and whispers delicately spoken from the hearts of bitter harvest, inexorably broken.

The waters that flowed have long since dried, the drought that bends the stalk in agony.
And unrelenting is the howl of the acrid dust, imbued within the winds of profane idiom, that flay the skin with merciless battery.
So poignant is the deplorable rose, whose color is flush with unending misery, who blooms but only for a kiss so as to falsely absolve the hands that thrust the rooted love from the faded terra, the hands that bled once pricked by the dessicated thorn yet failed to acknowledge their own mortal paradox.

Among the vines the hands did bleed, and from that crimson wine so bittersweet, the dying morning glory did recede, against the dimming cries for clemency.
Arid is my earth, no songs sway discourse, the sweet aroma of dissonant bounty, the hearts of bitter harvest.