Two Dark Poems by David Arroyo

At the Dinner Table–Dusk

“To wake , and hear a cock
out of the distance crying”
— Dawn, Philip Larkin 

To eat and hear a scream.
To rise and peer through a foggy window
To lose and loose the self to a waking dream 
and feel behind you the Shadowman grow.
How normal it is 
for muscles to freeze and eyes choke on the mind’s conspiracy.

Witness

The mind let unwind with a whip
A Cat-Of-Nine made of neurons 
Flailed at grey matter with barbed tips. 
Made him stiff, slobbering like a moron.  

In these hallucinations he could not escape
though he knew the machines weren’t real 
Knowing is not enough when grinding pain
tenderizes and you’re the entree, grilled veal. 

Whatever gnawed at his inner thigh
percolated through his skin 
always at his periphery, out of sight
not mind, his sanity worn thin. 

His wife, paralyzed, drooling, stared wide-eyed,
bed bound, binging his dream, with each bite she died.

David Arroyo is a nerd and ex-catholic. His Dungeons & Dragons alignment is Neutral Good.  He holds an MA in English from Florida State University and a MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. He’s published poetry in Club Plum,  Stirring, Silver Blade, Burning Word, and Abyss & Apex, and most recently in Coffin Bell and Nocturne. His Twitter handle is StarSmashrX.


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  1. Pingback: The Chamber Magazine

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