Beyond the Mad/Funhouse by David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Kendal Evans

beyondsBeyond the Mad/Funhouse
David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Kendall Evans

                    She is underlit
                      There atop the cathedral madhouse
                      As if by the floor lights of a stage
                      Illumination ascending, spotlighting mercilessly
                      Casting crowraven shadows of features and form
                      All in the wrong direction”
                                         from Cathedral of Madness
                                                             by Sylvia Reddig

You executed our divorce in the deepest of shadows;
Napoleonic icons drifted by
                             on crag-edged ice floes
And we both watched at the cowled judge
                                                      lit six black candles
Like those trick candlesticks that won’t blow out
                                 though love is all too easily extinguished

Thus watching you, my new ex-wife
Clack across the parquet of the bus-depot courthouse
Receding like a last, missed ferry
I felt nothing, not pathos, not anger, not even relief.
I need to dig my way out of this coffin
                                                   of dead emotions
Instead, consciousness un-rav-el-ing
                                            at gates of horn
I find myself mind-traveling back in time,
Re-inhabiting my six-year-old self
Where energies fierce-dark
                          and not born of my mind
Force me to climb atop the funhouse entrance
                                          at the far dark end of the pier
To stand beside the mechanical maniacal madwoman who laughs
Robotically stooping, deforming with the force
                                                        of macabre laughter
(Replaying a thousand thousand times
                        down through the years and into my dreams
Transforming this moment into nightmare) As she bends, revealing ponderous artificial cleavage
                                                                    impossible breasts
My small child’s hand of its own volition
Gives her manikin-hard flesh a quick squeeze
Which, like a kiss to some dark princess, brings her to life
Igniting her eyes as they meet mine;
And she turns to thrust me plummeting/tum-bl-ing
Down into one of the cars
That ride the rails through revolving doors
Into the darkness of the Mad/Funhouse

I ride through clutching, clinging strands
Of dangling giant-spider webs; brushing them aside
I continue past the dancing skeletons
Through a burgeoning sense of dread
Beyond the monsters and the writing bodies
And these ineluctable totems of the dead
Somehow eluding the embrace of the beautiful Iron Maiden
(that most accessible of lovers)
Questing for any exit at all
But finding only an ever-growing succession of tawdry images:
                             chipped-paint Horror
                                              movie-poster Evil
                                                              papier-mache Death
And dime-store Dementia



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