Three Poems by RC deWinter

soft cartel may 2018

the scholar of loneliness

the scholar of loneliness is dead
but what is the world without someone to
illuminate that dark corridor

and so being well acquainted with the subject
volunteer to take that mantle
wear it
write of its empty geography

those of us familiar with it
attempt to fill it with speculation
despair and hope

the stray seed with no firm core
is always a lonely soul
those with roots have a hard time understanding that

but if you too are a transplant
and so often transplants find themselves in foreign soil
you carry that knowledge in your bones
the disconnect from nourishing ground

all hail the new scholar of loneliness
intimately acquainted with that darkness
who will walk that corridor with you
together yet separate
in our individual hells

audience non-participation

i lounge in my corner of the universe
louche long lazy
watching the endless performance
of the human comedy
but i’m not laughing
knives flash silver in the moonlight
and another innocent falls bleeding
but i’m no hero
i laid my sword down long ago

swiveling my head
i focus on the people
dancing on the graves
of children who starved
while grain rotted in warehouses
the pope said mass
and functionaries initialed
documents full of promises
they never intended to keep

if i had any ambition i’d get up
and change my seat but i’m not sure
that would make any difference
so i order another drink
and then another
and wonder why nothing’s changed
in hundreds of thousands of years
maybe it’s this hundred proof
we’re all sucking down

hell’s kitchen

what with the constant wind
deafening in its ferocity
hell is a cold but elegant place

it’s a challenge
to arrange a comfortable spot
in which to pass eternity

but it can be done

one must be careful
not to sit too close to the edge
of the canyon of angels

every so often one explodes
sending a blizzard of feathers
up into the wind

which then
plasters them in your face
and trust me there is no hell

like burnt feathers up your nostrils
in your tongue sandwich
all over your little black dress

but overall it’s not so bad

not that it’s exhilarating
but the tales of the despair of the damned
are gross exaggerations

truthfully the worst thing
about eternal damnation
is the food

and your punishment
is being served the same thing
at every meal

take me
i was a terrible liar
terrible as in constant and convincing

consequently i get a tongue sandwich
morning noon and night
disgusting but not as bad as some

killers get blood pudding

whatever’s leftover from yesterday
goes to thieves and so on
it’s all geared to your worst behavior

keep this is mind because
guess what
you’ll be here too

i call it hell but really
it’s just where everybody goes
the gang’s all here

and all the devils are chefs

no pitchforks just forks
and carving knives and ladles
and they’re damned too

because they cook the same thing every damned day

if you were hoping for pie in the sky
forget it
there’s no dessert in the afterlife

but believe me
once you get used to the wind
and the food you’ll be fine

RC deWinter is a Connecticut writer/digital artist whose poetry has been anthologized in “New York City Haiku,” published by the New York Times, and in “Uno: A Poetry Anthology.”  Her poetry has appeared in print in 2River View, Pink Panther Magazine, Another Sun, Plum Ruby Review, Garden Tripod, The Gall and in numerous online publications for two decades. 

Her art has been published in print, online and also used as set décor on ABC-TV’s “Desperate Housewives.” She is proud to be the first digital artist invited to exhibit at the Arts of Tolland Gallery in Connecticut.

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