Wood Grain

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 13:06 -- Eigen


It’s a-a-a word all too familiar to me

The turbulent soul with hair like wood grain


Sometimes it’s more orderly, less entropic

Sometimes it gets tangled up like inseparable lovers, and I gotta part ways

With some o’ it

With some o’ me

When it gets too gaudy, I use shears smithed from ancestral shackles to cut away at it

Until it falls at my feet

With enough force to bring global ripples into being

With enough force to stir the hubris in humankind

With enough force to kill me

If I didn’t recognize my evil


This wood grain mane

It keeps my thoughts private from the Sun

But I could never be private proper – never alone

These curls o’ mine bellow with every brittle move I make

Or least I think so

The way those lords won’t let me stay secluded in my mind

You people with those dreadful eyes that cut into me like doom blades

And those nasty square toes like Miss Z used to say

I’d feel better if y’all hadn’t confiscated my judgements

And made me think my somber blood was anything but godlike



Like trees, these spirals grow into the Ether and stretch out towards the cosmos

But they pull back, afraid of becoming a haunted forest

Not by spirits, but by those flame-wreathed knights

That carry plagues in their wake

So these locks stay put near my obsidian trunk

Intertwined like sinful serpents in the Garden of Eden

Like those serpents before time, my evil is instinct

Which must explain why my lifeblood bludgeons the Earth in tragic harmony

Whenever I look up and fix my mouth to beg for an accusation of my sins

Other than ‘you shouldn’t have-’


I’ve died many a time, and I’ve been brought back formless, always formless

For the sake of ‘just because…’

My body holds the starshine

While their sun-shy hands shake with eagerness

Wantin’ to shape my quills like a comely shrub that’s been all but blanched

I don’t wanna die

But I know that I gotta

It’s the natural rhythm of the universe

My hair ain’t the one that swallowed Ahab

It was you

But this sickness I have –

It’s forever

The way these umpteen locks tremble

When I dance the dance of the afterlife

When those shadowy figures come to escort me into the nether world

When I come to terms with the fact that I am eternal

I love those damned constellations above, but I ain’t seen enough time to justify glowing like them


Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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