Saturday, 9 November 2013

Poets Corner: Catherine ZIckgraf Ambient


I’m demented from exhaustion again.
It’s 5 am, and my conscious mind
is scaling my skull to find its own kind.

            And I think I’m turning
wild in this wilderness,
tired of restlessness—
everyone’s abandoned the roads.

            The wind rolls in like tides, like sin—
            and I’m stalked by eyes inside these lines.
            I want to run, erase all of it—
            but I’m caged here till time unwinds.

                        So I’m fighting fear,
            fighting tears tunneling my ears,
            fighting demons that fill the stability
            they’ve prescribed me over the years.

And those screams in last night’s dreams
lead me past the graveyard path tonight
where my goals and plans once traveled my head.
I’m unraveling sanity, tossing in bed.

I’m desperate to settle down my bones,
desperate for eyes to close,
so I can float in my ocean of sheets.
But even when I finally sleep,
my mind still roams the streets.

And I’m trying to sleep.
But I run through rooms
where lights are flashing.
            I’m smashing through doors,
            soaring over the floor,
            twisting through carpeted corridors,

fleeing a roar, my folks screaming whore,
I’m unsure if I’m awake or asleep.
            And even weed doesn’t seem
            to work anymore. . .

Flooding blood swells around me.
Hell pulls me down to drown me
in the soundlessness of coffins
sliding out to sea.

Catherine Zickgraf is a writer first, a performer second.  As Catherine the Great, she has shared her spoken word from Madrid to Boston, from Miami to San Francisco, and on scores of stages in between.  See her perform at

Yet the written word is her first love.  Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Bartleby-Snopes, and GUD Magazine.  Her chapbook, Every Clock Has Its Place, is forthcoming from Sweatshoppe Publications

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