You’ve come to watch me bleed? Well, grab a seat.
Get comfortable; enjoy yourself. Why not.
I’ve already conceded my defeat;
you might as well see what your ticket bought.
You might enjoy a beverage. Some of mine?
It’s vinegar and blood, a nasty cup.
I’ll see if I can find your favorite wine.
I’m just a little dizzy; don’t get up.
I know it’s such a mess, this bloody trail.
You didn’t need to follow; I’ll be fine.
Wait here, I’ll fetch a mop and fill a pail.
If you should slip the fault would all be mine.
So watch me bleed, a lonely thing to do.
I know! Why not invite a friend or two.
The lamp is on, but Candace is asleep:
too many clothes to wash, too many sighs.
The light does not decide which shadows keep
her face in weary blankets of disguise.
It draws forgotten energy in waves,
in years that fold themselves on buried years.
The lamplight reads itself the book of days
while Candace dreams of unremitting tears.
At three-oh-one she rolls above the ash
of burned-out sleep and switches off the light.
She lays awake ’til five-fifteen; the crash
of weariness is merciless. The night
completes itself by sighing at the sun;
the darkness of the day has just begun.
Audio of Scott Ennis reading Candace Wastes Energy
Determination rubs his weary face
and tucks himself into a spartan bed.
He marks another day devoid of grace,
whose victory is just that he’s not dead.
He sinks into his mired dreams of Joy
while dragging all her memories behind,
a convocation summoned to employ
their gravity upon his weary mind.
While Joy, that bitch sublime, is still awake
and dancing like a fool before some stage;
she grinds and screams, a tease, a whore, a fake,
while acting like she’s only half her age.
Tonight some stupid boy will hike her skirt,
determined to control the faithless flirt.
The ecstasies of leche softly dawn
into the awe of memories of you,
while warmth and subtle sweetness linger on,
complete with the emotions they imbue.
One kiss released the passion of your breast
and nourished mouth and tongue and starving soul.
And now, a goddess by your gift expressed,
by ecstasies of tenderness made whole.
The child I gave you, gave you milk to bear
to nourish her, your living memory
of love we found a loving way to share,
expressed in warm and tender ecstasy.
And you, and I, and she are now complete
by more than just these memories, soft and sweet.
My rosary, restrung, is in my hand,
unsure of the intent of my embrace.
I whisper to its silent reprimand:
Hail Mary, Holy Mother full of Grace.
The words are wrong, but maybe she will hear
my desperate plea for peace. Hail Mary, please
restring my soul; I’m lost, alone, obscure . . .
I’m searching for my beads on bleeding knees.
Oh Father, oh my Father, hallowed be
Thy name. I have forgotten. What is mine?
My name is broken heart and misery,
devoid of my inheritance divine.
What was, what is and always what will be.
Will this world never end? Oh, set me free!
Audio of Scott Ennis reading My Rosary.
It’s time to shuffle through the lonely space
of house too big to fill with phantom noise.
The buzz of silence sings an empty grace,
unsure of hallelujahs it employs
a steady hum that draws me room to room
in one uninterrupted, conscious flow,
afraid to stop for fear it won’t resume.
It’s nothing; it’s the only thing I know.
I won’t deny I’m crazy, not tonight.
Her ghost was here but now it’s gone. It’s gone.
It floated where I shuffle, through the light,
and disappeared like darkness in the dawn.
My ears are blind from straining at the hum
of silence in the hope that she will come.
Audio of Scott Ennis reading Lucidity Lost.
The melancholy rain that coats the road
in shining darkness kills me cold and hard.
I shake like autumn’s leaves as they explode
behind the blast of wheels. The night is scarred
by eyes that only see the glossy sheen
of life reflected in the mirror’s shine.
Co-mingled with the rain, the blood is clean;
the stain of life, the stain of death are mine.
I’m trying not to gasp too loud for breath
as shock proceeds to numb the blinding pain.
I’ve never felt this cold in any death
I’ve died before in melancholy rain.
My pulse, my pulse is all I seem to hear;
I thought the angels’ songs would be more clear.
Audio of Scott Ennis reading Struck.
The shock of glass exploding on the floor
and bleeding water dripping from each shard
mark time by this meridian before
and after by the danger we regard:
exposed to dying flowers, violent ends
cut once, cut twice, will not be cut a third.
No lover will receive of these amends
which everyone now present will have heard.
Don’t cry for little losses; cry for help
to clean with broom and mop this little mess.
These little tragedies, keep to yourself
as broken petals keep their tenderness.
They’ll soon be long forgotten, in the waste,
and by another soon will be replaced.
Video of Scott Ennis reading Dropped
I wish I knew how long this tiny hand
will cling to mine. The lamplight overhead
reveals some fascinations which demand
investigation. What was it she said?
She’s got her daddy’s legs. She’s right; they’re strong
enough to keep her balance on the line
between the light and shadow. Is she wrong?
She falls into the light; the fault is mine.
I wiggle loose to see if she can stay
upright. And yet she doesn’t seem to mind;
she crawls to her objective, straightaway.
She’s there and I am just a step behind.
She pauses to investigate, and then
she reaches up to take my hand again.
Audio of Scott Ennis reading Walking With Jonathan
You trade your kiss; you give your kiss away
to any stranger you decide to own.
Pathetic whore! I love you more today
than any stranger you have ever known.
I hate you now, like water hates the light
and bends it when it penetrates too deep.
So beautiful beneath the lake tonight,
in peaceful darkness where you’ll sleep, you’ll sleep.
My bed, so warm to welcome you, your ghost,
the memory of you beneath the sheet.
I almost thought you loved me then, almost;
refraction makes the memory complete.
You loved me then; you love me now, you whore.
So beautiful, your kiss, I love you more.