The Iron Maiden II

- by Linn Barnes

The Iron Maiden II
-Linn Barnes

“Good morning Mr Trump
Greeting from the SDNY

I’m required to tell you that we will not
be seeking the death penalty for your 

hideous crimes, as unimaginably worthy as
they are of the extreme judgement of the law.

But, well, ‘the times they are a-changing’, get it? 
Anyway, have you ever heard of the Iron Maiden?

Well, me neither until I got a 
call from the director of the

Torture Museum in Rothenburg, Germany.
It's really cool and kind of simple:

The 'Maiden' is the effigy of a large, fierce 
and powerful looking woman, maybe not your ‘type’,

who opens up like a book, don’t worry no reading 
required, to reveal layer after layer of 

iron spikes, which, once the 
'accused and convicted' is ‘introduced’,

as it were, to our ‘Maiden’, 
oh, yes, we've ordered one,

well, all you have to do is 'shut' the doors,
and we’ll see ‘what happens’. Should be a howl!

There was a time when this solution was very popular...
We think you’ve made it possible for a come back.

How about that?”

One word of caution:
Be careful ‘what’ you ‘grab’…


Long Ago

- by Linn Barnes

Long Ago
-Linn Barnes

One time long ago
I crested a large mogul

on the top of the last drop 
to the bottom of the

hausberg in garmisch
flying into the clear air

at speed gaining
more altitude than

I had planned
soaring into the

snow driven blue 
while my love

watched below 
and cheered

as i landed perfectly
in mid slope and in

two fast turns 
screamed to a halt

and was awarded 
a half liter of perfect

augustiner helles 
which vanished down

my throat in seconds
with a second on the way

yes it was like that 
in those days long ago


Ruffles and Feathers

- by Linn Barnes

Ruffles and Feathers
-Linn Barnes

At the delicate edge
of what is known
is a strange truth
about the world

where good will and reason
have no bearing and time 
no meaning twisting 
grain to lean loaves 

where good will and reason
have no bearing and time
a dim memory of 
no more than a brush

where grain into lean loaves
brushed torso to shoulder
swimming in the shallows
where not much is as valid as

your abiding wish for more
and then you turned away
blinked and the dream you 
witnessed vanished in less

than a flash before you could
cry foul but there is no foul
in the great little known pottage
of a hypothetical hallucination

that appears to be the world
and we wonder at the evil
and ill will trampling into the
corners and depths of chaos 

little more than ruffles and feathers
decorating the long days we spend
gathering berries apples and nuts
for the dark days of coming winter


Dust

- by Linn Barnes

Dust
-Linn Barnes

Stars are blinking through the steam 
shadows growing with the spin

our crib careening away from the sun
the darkness of the to be skylit

night boring a hole into the coming dawn
where traces of man are hardly noticed

where the errors and tragedies
no longer matter or bother

with the broadened face of 
another world roaring into being

as the shackles of the old are
cast into the dead ditch of time

and yes oh yes it is too damn late 
to bother with what you’ve thrown away

with what has been squandered
smashed and wasted before 

soon enough another attempt
will surely be ratcheted into being

to once again without a shudder dash
the new very last chance to quantum dust


Mytle for Carol Pilosi

- by Linn Barnes

Myrtle
-Linn Barnes for my old friend Carol

Myrtle the aged wise creature 
who it appears adopted you

has left you with crisp and 
ghostly shadows of turtology

sparkling the air with sweet 
and powerful hauntings

as all things do to all the rest when finally 
we yield to the glamour of time

Mid-July

- by Linn Barnes

Mid-July
-Linn Barnes

Tumbling from the 
clouds into 97

degrees one drop 
of rain splattered

the fading green 
and vanished in

less than a flash
while the fetid air 

shimmies in the 
unholy hostility of 

july’s vengeance upon
the blurred memory of

spring when frost 
caught the early garden

out of sorts and
gave us a drenching

of green and ice 
we will not forget

and tomorrow i’m told
will be worse

as we grind
higher into the 90s

with no rain in sight
and stillness in the

now savage air where 
even the storms pass by

teasing the heat
in the late morning 

without a spark
or a thunder clap

to lighten the heart
of the weary watcher


The Animals at Prayer in a Time of War

- by Linn Barnes

The Animals at Prayer in a Time of War 
-Linn Barnes

Midnight mass high in the hollow 
the deer and the bears have all taken

the front rows tinkling champagne glasses
and gobbling bits of blood soaked wafers

between unimaginable prayers to sad antiquity
with ferocity looking for a new ride to something

like an open door policy to heaven’s gate
where the only certainly is not only that it is shut

crumbling rotting and vanishing in a cloud
of poisoned smoke and bad air exploding

in the blue ridge night falling into the pews
that will vanish in the wave of the coming flood

of unchecked pestilence roaring screaming
into the blood and pores of empty lost souls

good night and good luck


Dominion

- by Linn Barnes

Dominion
-Linn Barnes 

The elevation before the fall
stamps the days that lie ahead

reach out from your false bravado 
grind sustenance from the night

where soon there will be only whispers
blinding the blistering unholy hours

with false hope and dead flowers
for the love lost savaged crushed

alone suffering until the lonely end
when death shall surely have dominion


Roger

- by Linn Barnes

Roger
-Linn Barnes

Oh go on say something
if you have to

no big deal
so he let him off

who cares really 
nothing to fret about

just regular stuff
so he was a convicted

fellow on several counts
whatever they were

big deal what’s new
I mean he was kind of funny

the way he attacked women
I remember one time

something like you stupid ugly 
bitch I’ll see you in court

stuff like that but he was 
well is a great dresser

a real taste for color 
shirts and ties always right

and a severe worship of hats
lots of hats great costuming

a jerky vicious smile over 
a hawk nose my guess

he is immensely proud of
all celebrated this man

before our country severely
damaged by the capo who just

cut him loose without a day
served for nothing short of treachery

to cheer and celebrate
the dying intubated gasps 

of the party falling rapidly 
down into the gloaming 

where the sad ugly mud 
reeks of despair and defeat


Help

- by Linn Barnes

Help
-Linn Barnes

Help 
I fucking

can’t breathe 
I’m dying

the room is 
falling in on me

the light 
is going out

the bile is rising 
I’m gagging on

my own phlegm
I’m fucked and nobody

really gives a shit
but don’t worry about me

I voted for trump 
since he drove the shit 

out of Washington 
even tho’ it might

have saved me
and maybe you

better wake up
before rotten turns

to worse and brings
the whole house down


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