Poetry Showcase: David L O’Nan from Cursed Houses pt 1

https://amzn.to/3gknC3r the U.S. link to the book.

Twine Years

Ever since I remember as a little boy
my grandmother much younger than I actually thought
She appeared to be lost and looking for the lost sunset all day
Another cloud goes by, and she smiles and says "it is about to become really pretty out here."

She would sit in on a knotted wood framed chair and watch her world disappear as the moon came out to remind her for a moment of who she is. As she twisted some twine together hoping to someday make more blankets and sweaters.

The woman with style at the 1950's ballroom halls.
The men would look and she'd flash her ring.
A quick look back at her military man in a picture frame. Smiling in the dust that buries the room.  Her yellow wedding dress sits in the attic.

She remembers the walks in the park with her lost friends.
She remembers the children as they were children.
She remembers the kicking and jumping, the twirls of immortality.
By the beach she would splash for hours with a wagging tail dog.
She remembers the endless fashions that she would help mature a town from rags to class.

She looks blank and cries to a mass of blanket that she has been working on for weeks.
Was that military man remembered for his drunken slams of fists against the walls?
The accusations he'd proclaim as he ran with the mice in packs to the whores and sweating out Sunday mornings. Dripping wet, stained and stinking in a plaid jacket with “Lucky Tiger” in  his hair.

I have to calm her down.  I play the "The Nutcracker" on a record player, as she masks herself back into a ballet.   She begins to sway arms slowly but surely.  I feel she is on that endless dancefloor again.
Or was she ever?  Was she just imagining a time when she was free again?

About 6 months later I had lost this Angel to the dance away.  The sunsets would always come. Even in the darkest of storms.

She'd say on her last days " I want to Remember You, but I can't" " I want to know all children and tell them not to be afraid"

Now I’m in my 40's I see another older woman.  Struggling to remember most days.  Does she mimic this dance?  The mother I
always depend on.   Will I finally have to learn to be myself?  I wait for the sunset for hours by the river. Always curious if she is also looking for that same spinning sunset that seems endless and impeccable and immovable. Has it moved all these years?

Fidgeting with the jute twine.  Where can I go hide?

A Quicksilver Trilling

Once upon a time we met the platinum blonde 
- with a letter in hand and a Loro Piana Handbag.
She was quiet and frantic at the same time (the obstacles of running from beautiful to damnit!)
You popped bubbles in the hot flames, 
in flamenco streets with bleeding trains that lead you
 from the whistles to the cheating rainfalls.
Now, she’s as quiet the storm swept flower.
Now, she’s an atomic bomb in my heart of desire.
She’s as damaged as the ignorant meal to the fiery belly of a carnivore.
"Meeting the vagrants are as easy as meeting you" she’d laugh to herself.
Maybe, she’s just a little deaf when this city shakes in a quicksilver trilling.
A little blind when the joy with from a celebration to a thronging.

So you missed the thrills of the small crowd now.  
That city took your bravery and your crown.
It’s hard to be superficial in your walk.  
The thrills of a million helicopters circling down.
Your heartbeats a quilted bundle of wires. 
In the Hollywood hideaways the public does watch.
Hurry up to snap a picture of her durable nucleus falling apart. 
Behind the bars, to the many
 alcohols and elixirs falling straight down the cold rocks. 
Her beautiful monuments show some cracks
and the drinking of the sweet fruit tree has become a little thick in the dust cloud social ball.
Maybe she’s just a little deaf when this city shakes in a quicksilver trilling.

Maybe she’s a little thirsty when the water is sealed from the dams to a willing thirst.
This blessing is just a disguised curse when she’s dressed up for another Judy Garland downward spiral.

I’m starting to rethink this shadow looking at his shoes, playing little Mr. Socialite wearing a poor man’s Bruno Maglis blues.   
I’m standing here holding your golden cup.  
The feathers of your golden goose,
and a shriveled-up ticket to the sacrifices you make at Tiffanys.   
My culture lies behind the ropes holding the inside of my head.   
To play lover and not to play dead.  
So you can play elegant and hip for the artsy coffeeshops.   
They can spell your name in the drink and your heart melts, and you finally feel like a somebody.   
So you tip those baristas and joke about the rats.   
They don’t know art, don’t have MFA’s and haven’t been bought their gardens to thrive.    
I just watch the fakeness leave your timid hazel eyes. And you try to just to the restroom and cry, I hear you in there weeping like a saturnine coyote.

There are a couple of genuine fools, walking around pretending to be the rules of cool.
They folded under the pressures of rebellion, but they are beginning to wonder my darling.
They are wondering exactly how many canvases you have put your brush to.   Since you tell them all you’re so smart and like a branch.
I’m just this poetic clown stuck with oversized t-shirts and the smile of 
a stripped screw.  
Don’t worry he’ll pay for this free meal at this simpering Italian Restaurant.  Then he’ll be on his way back to the job of being a wonderful muse when the art professors aren’t calling you.
Never to share a true linen of a sunrise together. Tell me exactly what art is when you don’t know the art that is natural weather.

Oh, maybe she’s a little deaf when the city shakes and is shrilling.  A little quicksilver trilling.

The sunrise is a little overbearing.  
Can’t see the canvas from the golden glare that I’m wearing.
Operation, a colorful tornado on a disco floor.   Weak legs are dancing.
Drunk and the quick pills are mixing.  And you’re a drunk and grinding against pistons of strangers trying to keep from pissing.  
They want to call you up for a night of glistening, and introduce you
to a hypodermic waterbed.   
You forgot me behind the trees. A little dirty when you have to sit and 
plead.  You have nothing you really need, but everything you want is in the halos of that river.

Well, the birds wake up a little earlier than you. And they seem sick without the worms to chew.
There isn’t a masterpiece for them to view.  You went right into the darkness with your colors and your strength.  Frail bones fail frail forests.  Simple supernatural spells bring crumbles to a magic mountain, 
the journeys are hard to walk when the valleys and the lakes are droughts and scrawny to swim in.
Oh, maybe she’s a little deaf when the animals stopped howling. 
The wind is full of heat and rain is even melting. Around the curves the body is sealing.

The city is shaking to a quicksilver trilling.

From the windows, we used to see the clarity of the glass.   Now it’s a little oily and overcast.
It’s a holocaust, razor sharp raindrops with teeth that bite, just like a brand-new disease. 
The queen must hide from the flee. Our humanity isn’t built anymore on heartbeats.  Sometimes humanity is built from cardboard signs.   Hold a little higher and ask for a prayer.  Ask for a shave of cool air to save you from a Tinseltown cataclysm.
So what does the wonder girl do, when she goes from the pretender to blue to the shrew?
Does she realize her hair wasn’t always so cute? 
Does she realize the geniuses are all crooks?
Does she feel the jazzy palm trees have always 
been a little plastic and fake?

Much like the hypnotized starlets in the platinum blonde deconstruction game.
Oh, maybe she’s a little deaf from the chess game that keeps yelling checkmate!
Maybe she’s been blinded by the hysterical cut-throat authority waifs. Maybe she’s just part of this jealousy, a vanish haze they thrown on you to make you a product.

A little pill sick when the city keeps shaking tiny slits of cracks in this quicksilver trilling.
Now, she’s as naked as a blurry mirror.  Now she’s feeling as pitiful as a stuttering preacher.

Now her art is less of a picture that hangs above bountiful nouveau vanity mirrors.
Her art is the magnetism that pulls the moon through her evening veins.   
Her art is when the clouds move in and pulls the curtains of stars over her delicate frame.
Maybe she grew tired of her ears constantly ringing.  Loud masochisms and feminine leeches luring and lingering.  

A city shook to pieces in a quicksilver trilling.  

September is my Blind Girl

Unto thee I lift up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.   Psalm 123

I haven't been following your eyes that I see in your faded footprints.
During a clever Summer, endless heat
Your skin stuck to the melting of everything around.
And I’d watch you leave, and watch you go.
From contempt to a new journey in the cold.

From July to September it was months that bathed me in a forever drowning. They bounced by too fast because I was trying to breathe in your every breath, and drink in your every thought.  
Putting beauty to the mistress 
when the maidens were all dying with the lambs.

Love was a walk around the town, 
Love was stuck in spoken tongues that I couldn’t understand.
Searching for your scent in the dirt of this aging frail town.

I watch from my jail, the town is up in flames from my bending windows
and my loud neighbors are too silent, 
or I am too tame in my lonely hands?

Just laying in sheets, wounded from heart to heart, the world’s heart doesn’t beat anymore.
Turning and turning, or did the world become still and pause with the pills?

I want to grow with the trees, bathe in the rain, I want the muscles emotionally and physically
 to secure this warmth and comfort if I were to ever feel the need to succumb to the gusts.
To dream as the birds do. To kiss as the wires do that hang overhead. 
To be peaceful as the lightening
that frightens our eyes when the thunder threatens us into endless shakes.

Watch God 1-2-3 lift up my eyes. I’ve the need to escape the heartaches and the straps.

My Brother (Lays Dead Under the Hickory Tree)

There he is 
I see him under pelts of hailstones
A riddled mind and diseased by doctors
the icy rain pulsing little cuts 
All over and over again.
I'm still in a quiet thought
We always felt the ending.
Or at least I have seen this ending.
In nightmares every night
The men festive from the jail.
Mother, a stereotype. Needing an exorcism.

There he is
My brother, a little hushed baby of 25.
Shoes as split as a peeled banana.
His coloring of blue, like the river nearby.
Like the breeze that blows through his long haired, daredevil boy.
He was hideous in his battle
Popping firework amphetamine pills, dragons watch the alleys.
The abusive and abused in corners and in jars.
Oh, lonesome traveler
a blood kissed jewel.

Some crows sing in their broken voices, they sit atop the bells.
They fly in the air; they congregate in the tree above. The sick hickory
I watch with no blink as they rescue him from the cold ground.
For only a few long hours and then they just return him back
to give him a comfortable dirty sack.  
Underground, where they'll whisper out your sins to each other.
We can't escape the gossip.  
Gossip clumsily falls like a slinky missing a step along the way.
The steps that are missed however, are remembered for coming up with the best stories.
Your best demise.

The Water Lilies in Claude Monet's Mind as I Feel Grave

A whole, a dump, I worship in my sadness. 
To be a flower that is not dead in this dark room where my mind has shed.
I feel like I cannot break any further as my body hits the water.
Caution: the water is too cool.  But it looks warm enough to me.
A blue day reflects through the trees and my eyes obey the power of the water lilies.

The fears begin to fade, 
although I have not moved from my internal shade.
I have dreamt myself into a Garden, I have begun to feel Giverny.
You hear the echoed voices from outside from the unruly. 
Tune them out and swim in my friend!  Your only true friend right now is the imagination and escape.
I have deleted out the traumas of my past, my current, 
my midnight tremors.
I have held the water lily in my hand and worshiped to the gods of art, of beauty.  

Repaired.  In a sweet dream. Kidnapped away to the Water Gardens. 
A blink out of the trance.    Neglected.  The dream vanishes.   I want back my Paradise.   Another dream some other night....hopefully Monet will haunt me again.  

10 Years "We Are Hummingbirds in the South Wind"

Take my wings as we fly...
through every one of these electric fences.

Our record skips and we just want to love.
In gorgeous unison we’ve prayed to our savior.
We’ve battled the lingering evils, and danced
through our endless pain and exorcise urges.

Through Winter roses and the bleeding Spring flowers,
the Summer storms and the Autumn leaves rustling
Each with a threatening torch in our blessed hearts.
Our hearts for one another.

When we are silent
we are sifting through the floodwaters of a haunting family past.
Submerging us down to breathe the holiness of a family future.

Even the hummingbirds have to outfly the vultures to avoid the bleeding idiots –
who chant for torture. And we have to learn to laugh and hide in the clouds even when –
the south winds are blowing by so fast.

Materialize our threading seeds and grow purely in this soil for the healthiest of worms to swim through.
Eliminate our anger and learn to generate new beats in the music that haunts you.

A decade in and we are still learning how hard it is to shed our skin. 
With love in our eyes and holding each other closer we can begin flight and avoid another vulture.
The elimination of the wretched wagons full of dark nights with rose colored glasses.

Sip the power of the magnolia as it blows by our yearning hunger to feel as one.

The Lukewarm Train

There are days you remember the rambles of Chattanooga Misty.
Not quite bright, not quite dumb.
She was a lost girl living in the Kentucky woods.
She, maybe was just born into ignorance, 
to perfume all the smoke from her cigarettes before she comes back.
She didn’t know that her ass tore through the seam of her jeans.

She was looking to scoot away from the rabbit holes to the rabbit cage.
And so she learned to be a smooth talker, hide that shy, act that brave.
She was not too fond of all those presents... 
That you’d present to her to win her heart.
She’d rather be glum, take in the latest drug, 
and drink until heart cannot beat.
Well that’s a wild one for you, 
feeding the bikers their barbecue and their beers.

Sets you up for a Ponzi scheme, 
and then disappears into the arms of a deadbeat.
His politics have become something of a joke.  
His hair that was precious and begins to croak.
And now she’s wondering why her tan is no longer a cloak to hide her real self.
She thinks you can’t read her, 
everyone who sees her becomes a mystic and can see 
the flowing ego that won’t let her doves free.  
She’d rather spend time as a thrush digging up worms.

Well when she’s going insane, I won’t be anywhere nearby.  
I’ll be riding high in musical notes.
I’ll be chattering with the jealousies she hid in her bones.  
I’ll be the water, the nature, the trees...
where her nest fell from long ago.   
When they ask, oh, where is she at?   
Maybe, I’ll be truthful or state a fact.  
She’s been running away for about a thousand days from herself, her mind, and her beauty.
She’s been a little glum, brainwashed, trilling in the mud, and unaware of the twilight sorrow.
Well the crows all ask, for a quick boarding pass to see if she’d like to bring her fruits and berries into their decoy jungled home.

I’m sure she’ll just pretend to be a new disguise, as always. 
Maybe from brown to blonde today.
Maybe I’ll go from celebrations to breaking in the snake.  
Maybe I will be the one that’ll finally break.,. 
break him and just leave him a nervous rattling drum.  
Rippled streams, leave him hanging and never to 
call him back when he needed you most.   
So who is really the lost one here?   
The stones throw will just shatter those crows.  
Because he just sits there year after year refusing the find new homes.

When he’s going insane, just sitting in pity and haggard, 
stuck in his eternal humdrum woes.
She’ll be stepping aboard, from East to West, 
seeing the world in an everchanging brain.

She’ll go from palm trees to maple leaves 
and drink the margaritas and drink in a summer rain.
She’ll be the one, living on steppingstones and
hitching into the soundwaves of a lukewarm train.

The Feast

I can hear nature immersing with the breeze
I awake from the wonderful dream of you and I together
and the real seeming real again.

3 doe standing together sipping the dew off the flowers
while you hear the howling fade, and the fires turning the trees to ash.
The wildlife swept up like yesterday’s trash.
Like the avalanches are coming to crush our Islands to the wash.

I just want to escape myself and rewind a dream.

Beginning to walk away from the blackness, a sunlight sits achingly in a field.
I bend down to take a drink to the waters, 
and I breathe in the cuts of the primrose
while I’m just a sinner, feeling homeless and the water tasting of grease.
It’s not that I can forgive, it’s not that I haven’t, it’s not what I can do to try and ease you back in –
if I even were able to. 
You are just somewhere silent and the screams of memory is still in motion in my decay.

I just want to escape myself and rewind a dream.

When flawless and hands were nervous and sweaty.
And we could look in each other’s eyes and cry for joy 
and not the death of a tranquil peace.

Listening to the thunder, the cattle scurry to the barns
and the rains begin pounding on my bruised arms
The Spring has a kick, and the mudpuddles are thicker 
and the flooding causes even the strongest to flee.
And I will just live this day like a prayer. 
And live this day like a soldier calling for another-
after being shot down in streams of ammunition. 
Getting familiar with my blood and understanding all my scars.

I just want to escape myself and rewind a dream.

I just want to see myself the day you first saw me.
Before I was not damaged, and the benzos hadn’t reshaped my mind
to be a feast to the doctors and be worshiped in by fiends. 
They wanted me in their claws and
 pull me into their mirrors.
While posing for some invisible cameras and hoping to be seen.
And you strayed from affection. 
And you had to keep yourself from the edges yourself.
There are trains calling...and windowpanes shaking.
A sacrifice I take and the sunlight, infertile and dire
wants to go in for the night and just dream itself cold.

To escape myself hoping to rewind a dream.

Bio: David L O'Nan is a poet, short story writer, editor living in Southern Indiana.  He is the editor for the Poetry & Art Anthologies "Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art. and has also edited & curated other Anthologies including 2 inspired by Leonard Cohen (Avalanches in Poetry & Before I Turn Into Gold) and Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Inspired by Bob Dylan. He runs the www.feversofthemind.com website. A wordpress site that helps promote many poets, musicians, actors/actresses, other writers. He has self-published works under the Fevers of the Mind Press "The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers" "The Cartoon Diaries" & "New Disease Streets" (2020).”Taking Pictures in the Dark” “Our Fears in Tunnels” (2021) a collection of poetry called  "Bending Rivers" a micro poem collection "Lost Reflections" and new book "Before the Bridges Fell" & "His Poetic Last Whispers" (2022)  His latest book is "Cursed Houses" David has had work published in Icefloe Press, Dark Marrow, Truly U, 3 Moon Magazine, Elephants Never, Royal Rose Magazine, Spillwords, Anti-Heroin Chic, Cajun Mutt Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Voices From the Fire among several other litmags. He doesn’t enjoy the process of submitting constantly, however. Twitter is @davidLONan1 @feversof for all things Fevers of the Mind.    Join Facebook Group: Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Arts Group .   

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1


  1. Wondrous! I especially like Lukewarm Train this time around. I aspire to write memoir poems from a more distant past, and these are so inspiring! Just brilliant, David!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: