Nightmare Visions: Poetry Reading

Click photo for poetry reading

Welcome to Nightmare Visions! The reading of this poem is now up. I wrote it in October of 2010 and, since it's October once again, it seemed logical to create a video of this poem.

I hope you enjoy it.

Please let me know what you think. The audio needs some improvement due to the fact I am using my phone, which is all that I have at the moment. Other than that, I think it turned out pretty well. Below is the poem read in the video linked above (click the thumbnail picture).

Nightmare Visions  

I’m glad you could come to visit
and keep me company this night.
Have you seen the marionettes
hanging on my wall?

Silly little things, aren’t they,
insignificant don’t you think?

They do seem to glance my direction;
What could they possibly want of me?
No, I did not put them there,
my aunt hung them, telling me

“Here you are my darlin’ girl,
to keep the evil spirits away”
... as she hammers yet another nail.


I have a secret to share with you.
These puppets,
these puppets freak me out.
Their tiny eyes slowly move,
following me as I cross the room to leave.
Elevated hands lift upward,
reach out for me,
without the pull of string.

My childhood? Why do you ask?
I do not speak of it much but…

Nightmare visions of unexpected darkness,
lights turned low and screams in the night.

As grandmother stood in the doorway
dabbing at the corners of her mouth,
mother would whisper assurances
“they were not death screams, my child,
just an owl hunting in the orchard.”

I do not recall an orchard near our house.

They could not fool me, could not hide
yet another victim they had devoured.
And the souls of their prey?
Well, come closer and I will tell you,
whisper it in your ear.

I am more certain each day,
each year that passes,
that their souls have been locked inside
the bodies of these creepy little dolls
now hanging on my wall.

I know it sounds ridiculous,
farfetched and absurd,
but each moment I come closer to the truth,
their faces grow darker, more evil.

Their eyes sink deep into wooden sockets,
turning black and bleeding
into the back of their hollow heads.

Do you see them?
Tell me you see them!

Claws protrude
where small puppet hands once hung;
Nails black as the darkest night.

And now, look!

Blood soaked teeth, a few here and there,
sharp enough to slice out my heart.

Check my pulse!
No, please don’t go!

Clutch my wrist, be sure I’m still alive.

Look over there, there in the corner,
I see the newest puppet!
It wasn’t there this morning.

It sits in the corner…
watching me.
She looks so familiar, doesn’t she.
A small frown sits upon her lips,
is that a tear I see?

Oh, no,
Oh dear god no….

Really, you should probably leave now.

It has taken me too long;
The realization of my end comes too late.
This puppet is a vessel, a prison for my soul.

There sits another puppet… over there!
Do you see it, does it seem familiar?
It sits upon my dresser…
over there…
staring at you.

Is that a rapping at my door…
Mother has come to whisper in my ear.

It won’t be a death scream my child,
Just an owl hunting in the orchard.

Written by Phenix JiRa (jkl)
All rights reserved

Put it in My Glass

Give me another shot,
another bottle,
another barrel.

Label it green,
label it orange,
or no label at all.

Call it what you will
just put it in my glass.

Pour it down my throat,
open the emptiness to its glory.

The liquid boiling my guts,
boiling my thoughts,
my memories,
my life.

Roll me another round of dice,
deal out the cards and lets play.

I can feel her just around the corner,
the Lady brings riches on this wretched night.

Put the whiskey in my glass,
the dice in my cup.
Mix them together if it makes you happy,
just pour it down my throat.

The ice clanks,
the rum mixes easily with my coke,
gliding it’s silky fingers across my lips.

Promises of a smooth ride
into the deep hours of the night.
My engine purring as I take another shot
just a little deeper than the last.

Don’t cut me off now,
I’m on a roll.
The cards are turning my way,
the dice are landing with me in mind.

Give me another shot,
another bottle,
another barrel.

Call it what you will
just put in in my glass.

Written 3/30/2016
Images from Pixabay – Free Use Images