Black Hole and Other Poems

Black Hole and Other Poems

by David J. Murray

Paperback

$10.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.

Overview

Black Hole and Other Poems by David J. Murray

Black Hole and Other Poems, a new compilation of verse by poet David Murray, focuses on the role played by hunger for power in reducing the success of heterosexual romantic relationships. Divided into four parts, this collection explores the topic in a wide variety of styles and approaches.

The first part of the collection, 'Poems in a Lighter Vein', interprets the familiar vampire story as being an allegory of common male fantasies of having power over many 'brides', and most of its verses are satirical in nature. The second part, 'Black Hole,' contains examples based upon Murray's experiences of the personal power, all too easily abused, exerted by men over women.

'Treading Water,' the third part, describes Murray's feelings when he found himself forced to compete with a male rival to see which of the two could exert the most power over a particular female's affections. In the fourth and final part, 'Bagatelles', each poem attempts to arouse, in only two lines, core emotional responses of the kind that are usually assumed to require longer poems.

Satirical, gutsy and succinct by turns, this book explores the role of power in sexual relationships and the varying aspects of that power.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462073184
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/2012
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

Read an Excerpt

Black Hole and Other Poems


By David J. Murray

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 David J. Murray
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-7318-4


Chapter One

Poems in a Lighter Vein

* * *

    I a Secret Vampire Am


    I a secret vampire am
    and nobody knows but me.
    I descend upside-down down castle walls
    and take haemoglobin with tea.

    I wander the waiting graveyard wastes,
    howling in blood-inspired revelry.
    I hear how my howls are picked up by the owls
    and carried far outward to sea.

    I wake when the festive blistering sun
    beds himself down, while I flee
    from its rays till the moon comes out
    and softens with moonlight each tree;

    and then do I smile through my toothy fangs
    and join in the moonlit mêlée
    where the moonlight makes magic of commonplace things,
    and I search in the moonlight for thee.

    O my bride of bad dreams in glittering white,
    posed in a halo of moonlit glee,
    thou showest the blood on thy fangs to the moon,
    then glidest to sit on my knee,

    where I know I must guard my very own throat,
    keep it safe from thy dentistry,
    so eager art thou to find a nice vein
    or a lusciously plump artery.

    As thou sit'st on my lap and at me look'st
    ever so hungrily,
    hoping thou'lt taste the tang of my blood
    and discover what men-vampires see

    when they look at their brides in their moonlit white
    while the brides plead an endless plea
    that their husbands not drink from them at night,
    but search out new members who'll be

    people quite willing to have their blood drained
    and their souls turned to vampires whom we,
    in our turn, will admit to our rollicking group
    in a rollicking party and spree

    where blood-fangs meet blood-fangs and all night long
    'bite', 'drips', 'swallow' and 'gulp' are the
    sounds that waft sideways athwart the tombs
    while the moon shines dispassionately.

    For moons know that suns grow, fizzle and fade,
    but vampires go for eternity,
    unless they've been lured into sunlight by
    spoilsports devoid of vampempathy.


    A Soft and Silly Man

    Once a soft and silly man
    didn't believe the rumour I
    was a vampire; he said I seemed to look
    too nice to have the evil eye;
    but I will catch him by and by
    and drink him till he's dead and dry!

    Another silly man there was
    who didn't believe that I could be
    a vampire; he said I seemed to look
    too young to know eternity;
    but I will catch him by and by
    and drain him till he's dead and dry!

    But once a girl-child saw me fly
    with silent wings and swishing swoosh
    across the moonlit evening sky;
    I'll catch her, maybe, one fine day,
    and she'll agree to be my prey.


    Am I Normal?

    I could go on forever and ever
    pretending that I felt super-clever
    because I can fly and turn into a bat
    at the flick of a feather or drop of a hat;

    but really I don't feel quite that way.
    I just feel I'm normal, and might even say
    I feel an impostor or maybe a lush
    because I'm aware that I can't really brush

    my fangs; you see, I am forbidden
    to look in a mirror, so I have hidden
    my crestfallen ego far behind
    a persona of being normal and kind.

    But simmering there, in my deep undermind,
    is the knowledge that I must forever be blind
    to how my fangs look by night or by day;
    it's only my brides who ensure I'm okay.

    My Favourite Name

    I'm very glad my name has never been
    Crazy Horse;
    but, of course,
    no vampire ever wanted to be seen

    without a name like Nosferatu, or perhaps,
    in the vernacula',
    Dracula;
    not to be named like this would collapse

    the heart of any aspiring vampire-bat.
    But, all the same,
    I'm glad my name
    has never been Bonzo or Jehoshaphat.


    My Favourite Place

    Oh, let the wild winds whirl
    throughout my habitat!
    No vampire in the world
    can ever better that!

    Oh, let the wild winds howl
    about this precipice!
    No vampire in the world
    can ever better this!

    Oh, let the wild winds race
    about these battered trees!
    No vampire in the world
    can ever better these!

    Oh, let the winds wail on
    over the thorny roses!
    No vampire in the world
    can ever better thoses!


    My Favourite Movies

    Although the mists do tend to swirl
    wherever movies make me go,
    I'll have you know,
    they never make my hair to curl;

    and though dark crypts and gloomy trees
    appear where movies make me go,
    I'll have you know,
    they never make my blood to freeze;

    what does curl my hair and freeze my blood
    is that movies never make me go,
    for the sake of the show,
    to hotels where the beds are soft and the food is good.


    My Favourite Scene

    I stood at the top of a cliff-top's height
    and spread my wings out to the pearly moon.
    Daytime would come sometime in the night,
    but I hoped that its coming would not be too soon;

    for there, as I saw what I saw there below,
    I knew what I saw was by moonlight made;
    a light can make dazzle of what's but a glow,
    and a shadow a blackness of what's but a shade;

    so dark and light, dark and white, light and black,
    white and black, criss-cross the valley's floor;
    I sweep my great bat-wings forward and back,
    and feel further forward than ever before.

    "Power! Aha! Look, Ma! No hands!"
    was the song that I sang from the o'erarching heights
    of my solemnmost Ego, down to the lands
    of the bold forest-floor in its blacks and its whites,

    and heard the re-echo of its strains
    pushing and panting over the trees
    and off into natural landscapes and plains
    like a vocal gust that has turned to a wheeze;

    and, as I exulted, flush with my powers,
    I thought I heard moonlight that praised me aloud
    and thought I saw angels who plied me with flowers
    for being more than a face in a vampire-crowd,

    for being a vampire ethereal, strong,
    a god among bloodsuckers, pounding my wings
    up there on the cliff-top all night long,
    singing the songs that a psychopath sings.


    My Favourite Food

    Although I like to scale the heights
    of my castles and palaces steep,
    I far prefer to penetrate
    the throat of a person who's fast asleep;

    he never wakes up, for I take great care
    not to rattle the bed or to ruffle the air.
    I always come in by a window I open;
    I never come in up the stair,

    for stairs can creak or betray me by
    the clomp of my oncoming tread;
    and I always avoid the bedside table
    for fear I bump into the bed.

    I even take care to bring Kleenex along
    in case of a glugular vein;
    so I drink up my fill and I quietly leave
    making sure I have not left a stain;

    and the person wakes up with a stretch and a yawn
    and sees in the waste-bin a tissue
    he thinks had blown in, through the window ajar,
    but nothing else seems like an issue

    until to the bathroom mirror he hies
    and notices dots on his neck;
    "Did I do that shaving?" he wonders aloud,
    and answers "I probably did, what the heck";

    while I, on the roof of my victim's house,
    see it's time I must be on my way,
    for the cockerel's crowing, the cattle are lowing,
    and the bumblebees buzz at the break of the day,

    to the dank of my coffin and cold of my crypt;
    but I'll tell you a secret, so please bear with me:
    The person I bit, as he now eats his cornflakes,
    doesn't know that he'll soon be there with me.


    Good Intentions

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    that floats on high o'er vales and hills
    and wondered what on earth was meant
    when lawyers talked of 'codicils'.

    It is a clause they add to wills,
    changing the dead one's legacy.
    Sometimes the living think them daft
    and doubt the deceased's capacity;

    and sometimes the living, unlike the dead,
    think ill of the codicil's goal;
    I'm thinking now of a man I once knew
    who tried to bequeath his very own soul

    to his cat, to ensure its survival.
    Contested it was, that codicil,
    by all who had known the man and his pet;
    they testified that they loved the man still

    just as much as they'd loved him in life;
    but, before he lay mouldering in his grave,
    he'd known that neither kinsfolk nor friends
    to look after his cat would dare to be brave;

    so, to save his cat's soul, he had given to it
    the soul he had owned himself throughout
    a life where he'd mainly thought about work
    and all that he'd had to go without.

    So he'd left his soul to his only cat,
    assuming his soul would help it to thrive.
    It was then that I heard of his codicil
    and decided to make his corpse come alive

    to see how he managed without the soul
    that had gone to the cat when the lawyers had won;
    I made him stand up, in his open-pit grave,
    with his arms waving mildly beneath the moon,

    and noticed he seemed to have nowhere to go,
    for he suddenly tumbled down to the earth
    like a toppled philosopher who had learned
    his ideas had been greeted with mocking and mirth;

    for a cat has a feeling a human does not;
    for felicities feline it yearns;
    for angelical harmonies nothing it feels,
    nor sings 'Many Happy Returns';

    so the soul of the cat rejected the soul
    of its owner; I caught its remains,
    as they shot from the cat, in expurgative jet,
    in my cloak, where I still see their stains;

    and, slightly bemused, I got on with my life
    (I mean, death) while the stars stood on high,
    and the daffodils bloomed but a few days each year,
    and I'd learned to let sleeping cats lie.


    Vanity

    I think that I shall never see
    a vampire lovelier than a tree—
    unless, of course, that vampire's me;

    for, in my bathroom mirror, I can see
    nothing whatever of little me,
    nor can I see a single tree.

    Hence we are equal, I and the tree,
    because, in my mirror, we both are free
    of visibility.


    Party Animals

    How could you know that I'm planning to throw
    a party for my peers?
    Vampires will fly from all parts of the sky
    to sample my bubbling beers.

    From here and from there they will soar through the air
    in ultra-vampirical finery;
    and they'll come down to earth, in the land of my birth,
    at my Transylvanian winery.

    We will then hold a ball and invite one and all
    in the village to party away.
    They will dance cheek-to-cheek for the whole of a week
    in a spirit of innocent play;

    and none will suspect that their lives will be wrecked
    when we bus them all off to a glade
    where our fangs we'll bare in the moonlight's bright glare,
    and sgrazoom! one and all will be made

    into vampires like us with a minimal fuss
    and with brand-new fangs for no fee;
    and we'll then pass a night giving maximal fright
    to all the drunk drivers we see.


      Sounds

    Sometimes I glumly and gloomily sink,
    on pinion'd bat-wings, down to the ground,
    in order to solemnly brood and to think
    about whether I really enjoy any sound.

    Sights I can bear; my eyes grow wide
    at the thought of a beautiful nape
    on a beautiful girl who might serve as a bride
    and from whom I would never attempt to escape.

    Tastes I can stand, and I crave fresh blood
    whose pungent aroma reminds me of home,
    and I feel my nostalgic emotions flood,
    and I know a quiet tear to my eyeball will come.

    Smells I can like, save for garlic's dark pong,
    that has me wondering all through the night
    if I had done something terribly wrong,
    when humanoids munch it with unfeigned delight.

    Touch, oh, ah, yes, I like the feel
    of the wind on my wings as I softly land
    on the westernmost wall of my castle and steal
    handfuls of stonedust to harden my hand.

    But sound ... what is sound? And why is it there?
    A sound gives to me, almost always, a fright;
    I'm afraid that my footfall makes others aware
    of my shadowless presence outside in the night;

    I'm afraid that a twig-snap will give me away,
    or my silence at bedsides be spoiled by a burp.
    No, sound you can keep while I keep it at bay;
    and I daren't use a straw to silence a slurp —

    the holes that I make with my two-sided bite
    are too narrow for straws to be utilized there;
    so I drink pianissimo as long as I might
    till I've finished my drink and fly off through the air.


    Flowers

    Oh, what a nuisance flowers are!
    Just when you're getting all comfy and sleepy,
    somebody brings a bouquet to your graveside,
    and the smell of dead tulips is horribly creepy.

    The scent of dead roses can even be worse,
    and marigolds, mouldy from mildew and weather,
    are something akin to a gravedigger's curse
    as they mingle their odours and stenches together.

    Nettles smell better than buttercups, yet
    a wreath of narcissuses, jonquils, and phlox,
    with tincture of frond baby's breath can upset
    your composure more than can hollyhocks.

    That's why, I believe, our forefathers of yore
    gave up sleeping in graveyards and took to the habit
    of sleeping in coffins, though it cost a bit more,
    but at least they were free of the smell of dead rabbit.


    Saturday Night

    When it's 'Saturday Night at the Movies' on TV,
    that's really inconvenient for me,
    for my victims need time ere they stumble to bed,
    not quite right in the legs, not quite right in the head,
    and they keep me up waiting, outside in the rain,
    while they run to the bathroom and back again;

    and even when Morpheus, God of All Sleep,
    is sick of their counting of countless sheep
    until they drop off, and he passes me by
    with a nod of the head and a wink of the eye,
    I know he will know that I don't stand a chance
    of drinking their blood if they opt for romance;

    so, one dark night, I stole their antenna,
    an act from the bowels of a vampire-Gehenna.
    I waited while they smoked and drank for hours
    till they drifted upstairs to their separate bowers,
    and when the sounds slowly arose of their snores,
    I crept through the window and opened their doors.

    How beautiful she looked, the Household Queen!
    She slept with her cat, but, alas, it had been
    scratching with claws at her neck, so she wore
    a muffler thick, ten feet long, maybe more,
    coiled up around her shoulders and neck, and I
    was so miffed that I thought for a moment I'd cry.

    So to Hubby's room next I wended my way;
    I could feel in the distance the breaking of day;
    I looked out through the window to see if a bat
    could fly safely; but I trod on the cat.
    The darned thing scratched me, right through my cloak,
    and the husband awakened and sleepily spoke:

    'What is it then, diddums, did Mommy forget
    and has not put your food and your water out yet?'
    And I froze in horror in case he saw me,
    but he went back to sleep, and that feline Banshee
    jumped up on the bed, headed straight for his throat,
    and wrapped itself 'round it as if to gloat.

    Frustrated, I turned to escape ere the dawn
    would floodlight the bedrooms, the house, and the lawn.
    I flew like a flittermouse, dare I say?
    And got back to my castle ere breaking of day;
    but over and over again I'll malign
    television, before which I'd always done fine.


    Rustic Chivalry

    Just where a weeping willow wept,
    at the side of a countryside river,
    I once met a girl who was proud she had kept
    her promise to meet me, 'her demon lover'!
    'neath the boughs of the tree, for a rendezvous,
    an evening tryst—but the wrong thing to do;

    because when she sat down on some grass she had swept
    clear of pizza-box bits and of beer-cans galore,
    I endeavoured to calm her and make her accept
    that I'd thought they had cleared it the day before,
    but, now, I went on, I would set her aflame
    by being the 'bat guy', and live up to my name;

    but I pulled the wrong ripcord in my mind,
    and turned into a werewolf raised as a pet;
    to my doggie devotion my date was blind,
    and, throwing a stick and shouting, 'Go, get!',
    she called me an irresponsible worm
    who could never be trusted again to confirm

    that I was the man that she'd thought she was getting.
    She'd thought I'd regale her by drawing her blood
    with my two-pronged fangs in prolonged blood-letting,
    while she'd be my girlfriend, as she'd understood;
    but all that she'd got was me begging she pitch
    more sticks in the river for me to go fetch!

    So off in a huff she went, hat in her hand,
    away from the willow, away from poor me,
    and I knew that I'd be there for a quite a long stand
    before the spell vanished and I would be free
    to transform myself back to that thing of the night
    whose blood-dripping fangs she'd described as 'all right'.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Black Hole and Other Poems by David J. Murray Copyright © 2012 by David J. Murray. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................1
Poems in a Lighter Vein....................5
I a Secret Vampire Am....................6
A Soft and Silly Man....................8
Am I Normal?....................9
My Favourite Name....................10
My Favourite Place....................11
My Favourite Movies....................12
My Favourite Scene....................13
My Favourite Food....................14
Good Intentions....................16
Vanity....................18
Party Animals....................19
Sounds....................20
Flowers....................22
Saturday Night....................23
Rustic Chivalry....................25
A Country Ballad....................26
Fools!....................28
Awakening....................29
Beauty....................30
A Lingering Search....................32
Love Song for a Mortal....................34
The Millstream....................35
I and Thou....................36
The Undead....................37
Seduction....................39
Springtime Again....................40
You, Miracle....................42
Making Sense of It All....................43
Carnality....................44
Chance....................45
Comparing Thee....................46
A Poem about a Poem....................47
Identity Crisis....................48
Aging....................50
Existing....................51
Black Hole....................53
Drunksong....................54
In a Garden....................55
None but the Brave....................58
Lamplight....................59
Explosion....................60
Implosion....................61
On a Train....................62
Trying Not to Hurt #1....................64
Trying Not to Hurt #2....................65
The Romance of Science....................66
A Wandering Wish....................67
In a Restaurant....................68
Sentences....................70
Treading Water....................71
My World of Words....................72
A Rap on the Knuckles....................73
A Fear Renewed....................74
Sometimes....................75
Movies and Thee....................76
Your Body is Your Toy....................77
In the Sunlight....................78
Sad Revels....................79
I Have No Portents....................80
A Dreadful Mathematics....................81
Amity....................82
On a Foreign Beach....................83
On a Foreign Table....................84
On a Foreign Sofa....................85
On a Foreign Path....................86
On a Foreign Clock....................87
On a Foreign Poet....................88
What I Must Do....................89
On a Friday....................90
At a Hotel, Alone....................91
Every Thought You Have of Her....................92
Compulsive Repetition....................93
Breakdance....................94
Degrees....................95
Too Strong a Dedication....................96
Cold Breeding....................97
Probability Theory....................98
Some Strange Winds....................99
A Silent Figure....................100
Hopes....................101
Re-Reading....................102
Glumness Unlimited....................103
Am I Caving In?....................104
Lake-Blur....................105
The First Brown-Red....................106
Bagatelles....................107

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews