death of a poet as witnessed by a new species of bird

I.

his fingers bleed from clenching the quill tightly in his hamfists; gelatinous eyes peering over the piles of crumpled pages; a cloud of stench hangs over his hungover countenance; a pool of inks catches the reflected candlelight

he dies this evening

II.

the clock on the wall judges all that dare step foot in its loathsome gaze; as the longer arm points toward heaven with thunderous clicking gears; a set of doors open, small and carefully carved; a bird of indiscriminate origin slides out to trill a sullen song of surrender

the brass pendulum, long tarnished from oily hands, swings; weights affixed to chains provide balance to the tumor of gears turning in perfect precision

III.

the scratching at the desk became faster; in his haste he tore with the nib; uncaring he wrote faster and faster and faster, unable to keep up with the song in his mind; he barely had time to carefully set the sheet to the side and throw a handful of rice across it before beginning again

beads of sweat ran down his red face; he grabbed the battered goblet, draining the vestiges of vinegary wine to sate the thirst; still the song sang unerringly; still the song sang through his arm across the parchment

IV.

the bird gave no notice of the man slumped over the desk; painted eyes betraying no sign of loss

eventually the coiled metal lost its tension; the carefully arranged inner workings lost momentum; the bird forever more left caged in the mechanical hell

2 thoughts on “death of a poet as witnessed by a new species of bird

  1. WOW. This is so descriptive and heartbreaking. There’s death as symbolism in so many layers of this piece. Death of the mind, death of creativity, then death of the poet and self. I love the imagery in this piece with tenebrosity. Very stunning work, I’m in awe of your prose.

    Liked by 1 person

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