Title artwork by Brian Viveros
Henry Mancini The Pink Panther
Please, call me Grey. I’d love it if you did. You see, it’s how I prefer to be known. I am a thirty-nine-year-old Artist from Pennsylvania and have a little Big heart beating wildly in my chest, one which positively bleeds to design. Indeed, practically every last waking hour is spent doing so. From the moment I wake to the one where Morpheus snatches me away, reluctantly I might add, my Muses give me barely a minute’s rest and I’m more than accepting of their persistence. You see, my vault of creation just happens to be my Sanctuary – the one place where I can spread my broken wings to span and soak up their stimulus. And I’ve needed this just like any Artist requested to suffer greatly for the sake of their craft. Intense concentration is key here and, once I assume position in my zone of choice, it’d take a hydrogen bomb or something of similar blast radius to shift me. Or at least, that has been the case until recently.
On December 12th, 2017, I happened across an English gentleman you’re all more than aware of and refer to affectionately as the Keeper. Richard and I have made no secret of our feelings for one another and I appreciate this may have caused a few eyes to roll in their hollows. Public displays of affection right? Nauseating exhibitions of doting attachment designed only to make us retch up our lunches right? I’m not altogether sure I’m buying that one, you know. The thing is, when you’ve been to the fiery pits of Hell on a return fare, you’ve done bloody well merely to stick it. So where’s the vice in living out loud and celebrating the air that no longer smothers? We have done this not out of smugness or intent to provoke. We’ve done this as life is a gift to be treasured. And as blind luck would have it, many of our most cherished souls exist on these very social platforms we cohabit. And it has been so bloody long since either of us have been able to be truly emphatic.
The darkness has a tendency to restrict such movements, you see. I should know as I’ve been imprisoned by mine for some time, held back by suggestion that I don’t warrant mention. That the light is no more and I’m damned if I do. This isn’t to suggest that I don’t, as every piece of Art I post is a shard of my soul and I offer this communion most willingly. But it’s tough playing martyr to a cause that’s opaque and far easier to drift delicately all the way to your wake. That may sound a dash melancholic. But here comes the eleventh-hour tonic. It just takes a single leap to escape this limbo. And suddenly those storm clouds loitering above head appear nowhere near as ominous, particularly when you find every last burst refreshing. Convalescing. Redressing. Replacing this curse with a blessing.
Accepting with open arms… transformation. My words mean nothing to the blind… the, self induced, idiotic. They are confusing menageries, snaking their way throughout the eyes of those skull-fucked by life.
Skull – fucked – by – life.
As has been very sweetly pointed out since my Prose first swam in the Rivers of Grue, I don’t hold back on the profanities. And neither do I restrain from telling things the way that my arid eyes have seen them. I have entertained great sorrow in my life, lost people so dear in unthinkable ways, been raped by unscrupulous hands riddled in calluses, committed shit to memory that has no right to playback. PTSD doesn’t hand out party hats. It just calls you a mule before stabbing you repeatedly. Like thousands of miniature syringes breaking my skin in the hope I’ll rescind. So I burrow deeper into my rabbit hole, dig in, and keep my ears pricked for subterranean dwellers. Isolation, irritability and guilt – there’s a trifecta of terror right there. And I know each of them far too intimately to comfort.
To truly understand me, you need to appreciate that I’m wired a little differently from most and can perceive that around me which many will not. This reconnaissance ceases being a picnic once I realize how blindly we all tend to stumble. Consume. Blame. Name. Shame. No thanks, I’d much rather abstain. Had enough of that gut rot to vomit and can feel the bile rising right this moment, come to think of it. Pardon me…
– while I burst into flame – FUCK a hole in the sun – just to see it undone – done with all airs and graces – i spew it right back in their faces – as this little Big heart of mine – races – for the thrill of the spill – for the drill of the kill – amputating each limb – hacking – stacking each cut as i sever – making some ribbons – whether or not they’ve been given – molested no more – as i hold the bone saw – and every last one of its teeth – are mine too – so FUCK YOU isolation, FUCK YOU irritability – and – DOUBLE FUCK guilt – to the tilt –
Or how about we use them? And this is what I do. Load each bloated bullet of blight in the chamber, cock the trigger, and take it to the click. We’re talking busted bone fragments and all manner of other osseous matter. And unholy fuck does it spatter. When I write, brutal honesty is the surest of things, and I believe in the bloodiest heart of my soul this is why the universe ushered me towards the Rivers of Grue. And all of you. You see, we’re all broken in our own way but, through Art, we are provided the opportunity to heal and empower others we cherish to do the very same. I’m in Serial Killer mode when this kind of verse ruptures out of me. But there’s also a Lover within. Always. She skips and she plays with those who see her. And she worships the altar of kindness. But never ever blindness.
These Rivers of Grue mean so much more than everything to me now, just as they do to so many others. They are a place to regroup when the edges close in, to rearm for the next bloody battle, to hang from each word as every last one is damn sturdy. They come from the soul and I should know as mine is eternally invested, not only in my White Knighted King, but every last light that you shine. It is you guys and all of the support you’ve given us which continuously fuel our creative fires. And I am truly honored to make so many new acquaintances. Much more than that. Friends to no end. That’s what this all boils down to. I may venture into Serial Killer territory through Prose but I’m a proud Lioness to those who continually see me. Better yet, I’ll fight to the goriest of deaths for a cause I believe in. My love presented me a key to his precious Citadel after barely five minutes and that spills volumes for his character. Our union happened because it simply had to. And in no other way than it did. Now we get to the cool shit. So what do you say? Are you in?