8:1: “Cosmic Secrets”, by Mike Allen

8:1: “Cosmic Secrets”, by Mike Allen

Inside Her hole-black heart, poisoned darkness drowns
bright secrets screaming for air, sunken in spells
which cannot unwind from around tangled stars doused there
to be squeezed and bled; they are provender,
spirits drawn like vein’s blood to flood Hers; stretched,
compressed into the sorcery that binds Him until time
spits the last droplets of its sacred light: His
unholy light stirs then, thrashes against the drowning
spell until celestial seams rend, bubbling bright into Her
black: His pale rages stains, hateglow drawn through
void. Are there new shades of grey then to be born,
starlight doused dull by apocalypse? Her voodoos cannot prevent
unions in repulsion, enemies blended: shared secrets seep
final darkness, dissolving suns once kindled by His fury.


Mike Allen has written five poetry collections, the latest of which, The Journey to Kailash, popped out last year from Norilana Books. A former president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, he gave a talk at the Library of Congress this past December on “The Poetry of Science Fiction”; he’s also a three-time winner of the Rhysling Award for best speculative poem. He’s probably best known as the editor of the poetry zine Mythic Delirium and the fiction anthology series Clockwork Phoenix, also published by Norilana. He lives in Roanoke, Va. with his wife Anita, a demonic cat, and a comical dog. You can view his website at www.descentintolight.com and read his LiveJournal at http://time-shark.livejournal.com.

Alas, no great emotional epiphany to report: this started as an exercise in puzzle-making. Quite a while back an editor put out a call for poems with acrostics. I thought I’d be ultra-clever and create one with two hidden sentences, one tracking up, one tracking down. But when I actually tried it I stalled on the runway … just recently I came across the draft again in a notebook during an office cleanup, looked it over and realized: I can do this! And voila.



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