Coffin Birth




Title art by Alexandro D’Marco. Click image to visit his studio.



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S’Express “Coma II (A.M./O.K.)”





feel trapped
the very most pained of awareness
panic setting in
for duration
i hate confined spaces
always have
cannot bear to be
penned in
pinned down
as i sink ever deeper in distress
set to drown
this appears to be my designated curse
and what’s worse
i have no idea how i got here
or where here actually is
feels so tight
severely cramped
devoid of precious air to breathe
my lungs feel clamped and set to burst
have to get out
before things grow any worse
need to hustle
find a way to escape
at the very least
yet i cannot shift a solitary muscle
by the way
cannot open my eyes
they feel tight
wired shut
and that godawful smell
i know only too well
from the twist in my gut
unless i’m mistaken
and i already know
i am not
it’s embalming fluid
may as well be raw sewage
perhaps that would explain
the offensive sting beneath my skin
jesus christ it burns
my only wish to tear it off
discard before it tarnishes the varnished bones within
but cannot
no movement
no solution which isn’t formaldehyde
and i’m fairly assured there’s
no pulse to tide me over
am i dead
if not then it’s only a matter of time
as i already discern the bells chime
once for sorrow
twice for sorrow
and third time denies tomorrows
i feel myself
yet still i am
captive audience to a release some way from release
no peace
no clue when this agony will cease
to a gallery of my own cruel demise
exhibition for one
in my honor alone
nobody else knows of my indisposition
my suffering
my signed off fate
excruciatingly painful
and what is that incessant pounding
sounds like rainfall
only far less delicate
some way more grounded
nothing whatsoever refreshing about this downpour
or the morbid verse that accompanies it


“For as much as it has pleased Almighty God to take out of this world the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground”


to the ground
i feared as much
knew precisely the same
the realization is such
that i can only but accept my lonely fate
reluctant i might be
but as this crude reductant courses my veins
like a liquified horde with vitrified reins
each pain is inescapable
my torment completely untraceable
no tearful goodbyes
chance to apologize
for being such a fly in the ointment
such a bitter disappointment
for approaching with caution
for loving with great reservation
for signing my own resignation
some time ago
chance after chance i spurned
and never once did i concern myself
with repercussion
if i liked not what i heard
then it simply wasn’t up for discussion
i grew bitter
tight-fisted with praise
held it close
like a child’s first blanket
such security endorsed through
life’s great contradiction
and one of less than merry multitude
each of which saw me coming
each of which were most forthcoming
have worn them like robes
a vestment of blindness
discernible only to the
beady eye
which narrowed while observing
harrowing through unspoken word
biding its time
monitoring error after error
pallbearer to the pine cross i now bear
through blessing of my own reckless endeavor
i am feckless
impotent of spirit
wholly unworthy of commemoration
and the time has now passed for repentance
for this is my last indignation






Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of The Crimson Quill




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