The Lost House : Poetry From The Vaults by Chauncey Dandridge

“a memorial”

it was just another event

a typical ‘attending’ ‘not attending’ ‘maybe attending’

i see them all the time

i try not to be that guy that hits ‘maybe’ all the time

i try not to be the one that always says ‘no’

and there’s nothing worse than saying ‘attending’

with no intention of showing up

but then i caught a friend’s update

someone i usually expect snarkiness from

but that good kind of snarky

that ‘i know i’m a joke so i think i’ll tell one’

attitude…the kind i am drawn to

the kind i pay attention to

because lord knows i pay attention to myself

this wasn’t a typical one

the snarkiness was replaced

there was anger dripping

enough to turn the update into a gif

it was about this person

decapitated because he was gay

i thought he was a kid from the new blood

a cute little twink that got in the bars before he

was supposed to be in the bars

the kinds of kids i let into the urge

i was alarmed

whenever something happens to someone

because they are gay

i immediately take notice

i pounce on the news because

i may know that person

or i probably know someone

who knows that person

who knows i may have fucked him

who knows i may have had a drink with him

a smile, a seedy stare or a look of disgust with him

i may have never met him before

but he was gay

and that’s why he was crucified

and that’s enough for me to dive in

it is the one shade of my coloring

that i share with that person

whether plight or party

that person shares something with me

that only ‘ten’ percent of the universe

shares with me

therefore there aren’t a lot of us

so we should all know each other

we should all invite one another over

for thanksgiving

birthday parties

promotions and fundraisers

we should stick together

like the pages of a hand me down

porn mag

if stolen for the night

can be considered a hand me down

we should be brothers

we should be sisters

and when your brother or your sister

dies

what do you do?

you mourn

you get angry

you get nervous

you get scared

you get up

and you pay your respects

you rip up the anger into tiny pieces

and you turn that smoky shrapnel

into a ticker tape parade

confetti of confusion

but you throw it

and you love it

and you make a promise

to watch each other’s back

a little tighter

a little more seriously

a lot more

 

‘there is one letter short of a promise in promiscuity’

i feel it all

this holy night

this sacrilege

this war

as we follow the choreography

of the dance

of filth

i feel the awkwardness

i feel the shame

the mispronunciation

i feel the power

the promiscuity

all the misguided determination

we prayed and prayed for

we won the lottery

i feel you though i cannot feel you feel me now

there is no privilege

to the massacre

no accolade

for this ailment

the aorta overworked

stonewalled by desperation

sporadic with fatigue

i feel the push

i feel the throttle

blood cannot ever stay in one place

the moat must defend its kingdom

constantly

ferociously

feverishly

i feel nothing somewhere inside everything

it plays hide and seek

do you dare to care to find what’s hidden?

it runs in fear

yet it is the flower in which

the seeds of fear are born again

and scattered and annointed upon

the unfortunate and fortunate alike

everyone is afraid of nothing

and that is the sorcery

which binds us

which locks us

which seasons us

which flavors us

which binds us together

for all eternity

there is one letter short of a promise in promiscuity

 

‘momentos’

moments pass

militant yet religiously

should i use an adjective or an adverb?

when the quotient multiplies

when subtraction leaves you with

much, much more than what you started with

that is evolution

that is miss mary mac

all dressed up in a technicolor dream coat

that is cannibalism

we eat away at our various cancers

until only rebirthday cake is left

i have spent many dollars

i have dropped many coins

i have swallowed many pills

and snorted their shrapnel too

i have made a mockery of my foolishness

i have danced inside the absence of rhythm

i have put my ego on lay-a-way

i have returned the communion i once received

but nothing can cure me of my disease

nothing can change my punctuation

nothing can satiate my hunger

no one can be my abominable snowman

i struggle not to rhyme

yet the words that sound alike

creep their way onto my table

my dreams reckon to be a force

and my envy finds itself unemployed

the benefit of my intolerance

has become my favourite four letter word

do you know my favourite colour?

do you have a ticket for the show?

brother can you spare a diamond?

every good bye begins with the word hello

 

the goodbye waiver

by chauncey dandridge

if you swear you’re telling the truth

when you say that you loved me

then you should have no problem at all

hating me after today

i know you better than i know myself

so i’ll enjoy the game until you grow up

cut the puppet strings my fingers have bled by

release the ravens and-and carve the carcass

i use your strongest weapons on your own reflection

cultivating and celebrating your sweat and tears

they fill my pewter challice with blood

quenching my thirst for powerlessness and control

before i gulp it all down like a frantic swine

sympathy and empathy traipse about in tango

while my lusts and loves for all that is you

duel swords above a dangerous pit of poison

surely my grim conceit shall eventually thin

and through its inevitable translucence

you shall find a beating human heart

somewhere within my jungle of jealousy and immaturity

my words have always been my fists

jagged and calloused like tarnished brass

leaving gashes and bruises no medic can mend

though you must concede the pain they provided

today is not a different day for sure

the path is blocked and the lightning fierce

i need you too much to make this easy

i want to ensure our separation is final

for the only way i could possibly be defeated

is if you find it impossible to despise me

i shall never find a hole for this skeleton key

the truth would never admit that you lied

your love for me was nothing at all

compared to the mountain of worship i built for you

it shall erode soon into a desert of death

decorating the tundra at your swollen feet

your flames are cold, freezing monsters

liquid ice behind the mask of an inferno

i see your facade within the charade

nervous and frightened and indicted

symptoms you intended for me but suffer yourself

you are shivering and frostbitten with solitude

all the appendages of your arachnid heart

are now useless as the tongue in your mouth

and the shriveled cock in your hand

i never seek revenge for i am not that clever

but i’ve been in this bullfight many times before

i have exchanged the currency of this aggression

and searched for success as the passive matador

winning a battle i have chosen not to fight

will be the most rewarding victory of its kind

sweet and supple like the bosom of shame

yet spiky and sharp like the rose of romance

i’ve shed no blood because of you

i’ve only bled myself of love for you

i really believed in my dream of you

and the beauty imprisoned in our future

i relished every gift in our present

but you have startled me wide awake

all we hold dear is in the past

i clenched my passion and purse my lips

to utter these words to cast my spell

goodbye again for the very last time my dearest

for i shall never say hello to you ever again

 

red and green

by chauncey dandridge

you are a martyr’s apprentice
serving your simple sentence
i am a warrior from the womb
soldier of a friendly doom
i am a bullfighter bit by bit
yet all i seem to find is bullshit
cause all the real men are dead
my favourite colour is red
you tell me to stop
you tell me to continue
you keep trying to exorcise
the angel within you

goodbye
hello
which way did i go?
goodbye
hello
which way did i go?

you want to be good at bad
but you’re terrible at it
every single disease you want
i’ve already had it
things could get really loud
underneath your silly shroud
a protest to indecency
guarantees complacency
try to move a little faster
to chase your disaster
instead of swimming in mud
and drinking all of my blood

goodbye
hello
which way did i go?
goodbye
hello
which way did i go?

i’ll never tire of your  charade
a faulty fortress to invade
a  tiny country to conquer
another fresh wound to doctor
i will outlive your solitude
and accept your gratitude
i’ll swipe your fears and then
make you cry and cry again
i am your wildest dream
i am your greatest gift
the needle to your suture
a present from your future

goodbye
hello
which way did i go?
goodbye
hello
which way did i go?

 

Purgatory

Take this candy
Lick – suck – bite – chew it until your teeth are sore
Until your jaw quits in frustration
Until your tongue threatens to taste no more
It will never stop getting smaller
It will never completely disappear
It is my fantasy to be your fantasy
And yours to be mine
But fantasy can never be reality
Heaven can never be hell
But together we shall not burn
Together we shall not freeze
In this bittersweet purgatory

Drink this punch
Sip – slurp – swallow – gulp it until your belly is full
Until your eyes overflow with tears
Until your thirst threatens to be quenched
The chalice will never be empty
The chalice will never be full
It is my obsession to be your devotion
And yours to be mine
But religion can never be science
Fiction can never be fact
But together we shall not stop
Together we shall not go
In this liquid purgatory

Walking in circles yet
Never in the same place again
Dividing in halves yet
Never left with two parts the same
Climbing horizontally and
Running vertically yet
Forever still in this purgatory still
With and without you

Remember
Heaven can never be hell
Religion can never be science
Fantasy can never be reality
Fiction can never be fact
I am here to remind you
I am here to make you forget
Never can never be forever
With or without you
In this glorious purgatory

 

UNTITLED

 

Determination has its privileges
Where did I go wrong?
Drama has its consequences
Sing me a silly song
I just want to sleep so long
Waste a couple days in wild dreams
And the rest of the week I’ll spend
Trying to remember them
Trying to figure out what they mean
Inadequacy has its fallacies
Congratulations on your newborn child
Maybe I should try painting…

I used to walk along the water
Long before that prophet could walk on land
And my talismans cut through mountains like dynamite
Before the scientists could understand
My hands calmed the seas with separation
And my shadow was reveled in royalty
The dinosaurs roared and the flowers bloomed
Just to display to me their loyalty
But that was all so many years ago
Now I’m imprisoned with hands and feet
Spending my nights supplying my shelter
And my days searching for something to eat
Loneliness and Passion infect my insides
And danger is truly danger
I have danced uncontrollable in ecstasy
And have walked through the swamps of anger
I used to be a superstar
My children the lights that lit the night
Now I am here to mirror you to teach you
Behold us and watch us take flight

 

‘nondenominational’

celestial wastelands
uncomfortable wastebands
manufacturing the mistakes in my microscope
i entangle myself in the most solemn of eternities

laying to rest my pillow and my bedspread
the ones i have not absolved from sin
in several weeks
in several years

i celebrate my shadow
and synchronize my watchdog
yearning to find my middle finger
and banish my intercepted bigotry

racism knowing damn well better than to think
that i am an advocate of his religion
without any explanation or arbitration
from little ole me
i am far more fiasco than these feathers
dipped in stolen ink can describe

just bask in the sunlight
in the photographs of my holidays
and navigate within my sincerity
for its uncommonness is plagued by loneliness
and you will find that my mine
shelters the most rare of gems

– chauncey dandridge

‘the opposite of substitution’

i never wanted sympathy

though that is all anyone could muster up and figure out to send me

it was the first time

i would have requested such a distorted pattern of praise

it was the first time

any constant in my life collapsed into catastrophe

i never hunted misery

though it became the fowl that kept my gun company

it was the last time

i could have connected to what i neglected

and learn many lessons from my many mistakes

there once were two people that i prayed to make proud

keep a crown on my courage

keep my fear under a shroud

now i am the only one

who shall remember her name

now i am the only one

who possibly could

but i have found yet another heir

to my throne of testaments

i have found another goal

another talisman to funnel my magic into

i have found you

whether or not the connection is physical

i pray the connection remains

fastened with the glue of my gratitude

i thank you for your patience

i thank you for your endurance

i thank you for your release

i thank you for your restraint

and i hope i have attempted

to return to you

what you have bestowed upon me

– chauncey dandridge

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