Collective TEXT by / Giorgia Pavlidou AND john allen THOMAS /UNDERTAKER INSIDE THE MIND

Edited by / Mohsen Elbelasy

undertaker inside the mind / death is a vocation

Giorgia’s voice: 

nightly 

the undertaker of the mind 

robs me of your body  

& buries you in debris 

from the in-between

you grab my sleeping hand

to drag your little corpse

over dreaming cobblestones

through sordid sewers

to watch your tormented torso 

fall forever into discarded scrap 

& in the dead of endless night 

when your snuffed-out eyes 

glare at me one last time

skyscrapers in my head explode

o dearest 

your lifeless body

is disappearing forever 

in unreasonably smiling steel 

death’s savage mobs  

had arrived early in the morning 

when illness first banged on my door

moaning rhythmically their cannibalistic call  

ever since 

now so many years ago 

the undertaker of the mind

has been burying me nightly 

into your permeable snooze 

my decomposing arms 

sticking out of your dreams

a sign for you 

to drag my enormous corpse

over sleeping cobblestones

a sign for you

to finally throw 

my tormented torso 

deep into eternal dross  

(my name collapses into my name

my body collapses into my body

my mind collapses into my mind)

John’s voice: 

Death is a vocation

It has abandoned seminaries in the North

It is to these darkly born ceremonies we still travel

Bent back as St. Sebastian in the queasy light of sin
On bored nights, funeral trains still circle us

The conductors stuff cats in their habits as penance,
and sleep in the the coats of old monk’s.

By their blood Charon is humbled, and stigmata’s
serrated view circles Cocytus with a cherub’s
paean.  By this delivery, Lazarus was brought to us
to die finally and struggling, and he gave voice
to the final Word. Death warps eager hands
with reptile skin. It protects its children. Still
as sullied Hosts, its abrupt reeds bend till
The dark is disturbed and moons rise
In the eyes of the weak and willing.
Death is not staid, he’s wild and sudden.
Death’s a ministry, and the prayer books
It distributes are filled with sun braille.
A kind that could cure a blindness,
But can’t be seen for very long.

Giorgia Pavlidou

is a former clinical psychotherapist addicted to reading, writing and painting. She also holds an MA in Urdu Literature, and earned her MFA from the Manchester School of Writing. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in such journals/anthologies as Clockwise Cat, City, From the Ashes Womxn’s Anthology, Revue de la poésie in Toto, Lotus-Eater, New Urge Editions, Witchcraft Mag, Puerto del Sol and Entropy.

John Thomas Allen 

is from New York. He has edited three anthologies of speculative and mainstream poetry. His first book, Nouveau’s Midnight Sun: Transcriptions From Golgonooza and Beyond, was published in 2014. His new book entitled Fake Shemp is due later this year. His poems have appeared in Veil: a Journal of Dark Musings, Arsenic Lobster Magazine, Surreal Poetics, The Cimmaron Review, etc., and he has a story in the recently released anthology titled More Bizarro Than Bizarro.

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