Six Sonnets and Some Wild Words Resurrected from the Last Century

by swampmessiah

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    Six Sonnets and Some Wild Words is an EP of voice recordings performed in 2014. The set includes a PDF version of the original chapbook produced in 2001 plus CD art should you choose to burn a disc.

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This is an experiment in multi-media publishing, to release a download audio album and PDF booklet rather than an interactive PDF. As of early 2014 the interactive PDF is not a universally supported medium and the audio will not play in all devices.


released March 30, 2014

All poems, drawings, and performances by Michael Myshack. Recorded and mastered in St. Paul, Minnesota at the home of Michael Myshack in March, 2014.



all rights reserved


swampmessiah Saint Paul, Minnesota

I was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1957. I've been drawing all my life and painting since about 1975; I started writing poetry and rants in, maybe, 1976; since 1996 I've been recording those poems and rants, usually with a "musical" backing.
I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My partner and I have two children. I have a day job that is in no way artistic.
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Track Name: Before Spring
White, listless streamers, fat clusters of snow
streaking the air in random, confusing isolation.
Like the dead sky, the snow gives no consolation.
The dimness robs from us contrasts and shadows,
laying a frigid blanket on the earth, from which grows
no hope in its mixture of mud and corruption—
no buzzing insects, no flowers, no green eruption—
just a dull, white chill too painful to know.
In you I find a similar season, a bleak smile
descending to coldly cloak my vision and art.
My radiant muse! yet you would have me daring
nothing, feeling nothing, making nothing—while
seeming so fecund; the pure embrace, the free heart
and tender lips, the wet, tropical illusion of caring.
Track Name: Seeds
North is the last thing you want—vast and dark,
you become like the lichens and cling tenaciously
to the rock and scraps of soil, a stunted mystery
of respiration; festering like a chance remark,
you come to crawl around like bugs under the bark
of short trees; ugly and bleak, moving morosely
as from swamp to swamp and smiling limply
like a creature missing the subliminal spark.
We find peace in strange places—you and I,
in preparation each night, take a deep breath
to dump out the suffering held in every breast;
with transformation, we put talismans in the sky;
anxiety is put to rest; the immanence of death
is lulled, snugly wrapped in a warped cedar chest.
Track Name: Fetish
In strange uncertainty I strain to speak
of my confusion and the gravid surprise
now spiraling behind my reticent eyes—
discovering that words are fatally weak.
Crooning fingertips and lips give your cheek
and indolent throat diversion from the rise
of my intention, disrobing my disguise
of indifference, lured by your primal mystique.
Your loose, twisting hair of quiet brown
obscures the hard white shoulders I need,
and the soft, swaying breasts of my desire—
my tongue dips lower, where your scents conspire
to enrapt, then to inculcate this profane greed
to always reap the secrets beneath your gown.
Track Name: The Moment
Opening one hand to pacify
and spreading another to titillate,
as though either one could rectify,
justify, alleviate or compensate—
for the fingers of both hands
digging up from an opening line.
Both consume the erratic strands
as fingers twine. Both claim to combine
moment and the moment’s hesitance
into an unlimited gesture almost
as ancient as the hand’s silence.
Each articulates love before love’s lost.
And, in closing, both hands feel
their touch makes everything real.
Track Name: Eagerness
The vernal equinox erupts with an illusion
of plenty, but no gray bag of shit is a contender.
Our eyes awaken before their skin’s resurrection.
Confronting such life, we old dry men surrender
our ambition. The sleekness of them leaves
our sagging abdomens quaking and obese
and helplessly wasted. So our balding sheaves
of voyeurism, praying for that timid release
in darkness, the prime hour of existence, sunset,
when girls wrap themselves in shreds of cotton
and clouds of smoke, prancing down streets beset
with eyes, are worn down by waves of temptation—
eyes so empty and distant, eyes below the water,
eyes rising back to the surface, lacerated by laughter.
Track Name: On Blue Sheets
You look shyly at the pale woman on blue sheets,
melting her open-ice eyes of desire and innocence.
She shimmers and flickers a faint smile that greets
your awkward glance with her own hint of reticence.
Can you do this, can you love without explanation?
There is a kindness in your eye that grooms her face.
She blossoms into a full white shadow of invitation.
The essence of your mind flows into the liquid grace
of her breasts, a whirlpool around quickening nipples,
descending to luminous abdominal planes, sinking lower
to the black forest—your tongue sending dark ripples
with each dart to the purring folds of her lips—laughter
of the cells, convulsions, burning fluids and sighs
pour out as you lose your head between her thighs.
Track Name: Heathens in the Trees
Birds without feather bleed the sky,
bright blue is draining toward black
and all the false stars hover
over the city in the distance.
The ditch grows without frogs,
the weight of their desire spent
and no longer pressing down on the mud,
the tadpoles sucked up and re-ejaculated
like live ammunition in a fast-action porn flick,
the hollow swelling between roots and rocks,
selling its mutant algæ to city fishermen
as bait for river nymphs, limnads
and other titillations that’ve gotten away—
each sportsman wants his rod to be ready this time.
All along the road
where forests threaten civilization,
heathen are nailed to trees
by the unknown judges of the road.
Until they die they eat dust
and rocks thrown by spinning tires.
They drink the liquid excrement of birds.
Their hair is long and dirty
and tangled into deceptive stories.
Their robes are of black wool
begging for fire.
Sap mingles with blood and urine,
draining the ditches dry
as it flows through the rocks
to the center of the earth,
freeing the snakes.

The moon hums radio jingles
while priests cry under the street lamp
and nuns run in circles,
naked but for their pastimes.
We’d join them if we could
but it’s a sacred ritual reserved
only for those whose undergarments
have been blessed for public examination—
no skids, no pee stains, no menstrual blood,
no wasted cherubs who leaked from his holy dick
after last Sunday’s confessions,
no nocturnal impressions stretching the cotton.
Telephone wires grow taught from distress
as we tell our friends the news.
Every one of us speaks as a prophet
to announce the new polycarbonate age
about to reshape our coffins and beds
so we forget death’s a transition
from prime time to late night—
until the wires overheat with the resistance
inherent in every inevitable apocalypse.
The trees give rhythm to the moon’s song,
like plantation a capella on every beat,
ignoring the heathen pleadings from below,
with a chorus of mad brahmin
hanging in the branches by their toes—
ugly bats to add high harmonic drones,
it makes even the weekend pederast hum along.
Wires snap free!
dancing in worm twists
like all the goddess’ arms swaying chaos
and it’s the end of the world
because it’s the last time you’ll ever get close to her—
she’s mad now and smiling like Kali—
strangling the heathen billboards—
nailed to the burning ash—
forcing vowels from their erratic mouths,
songs gracing their orifices
like a symphony of flatulence
outshining the moon…
until King Sodomy, sixty feet tall
and a red pecker the length of Cadillac hearse
loping in front of his sagging paunch,
dances over the hill just ahead,
legs bowed, eyes green and rolling—
if you don’t adore him he’ll poke your eyes out
and shoot hot semen into the sockets.
On either side, a train of quadriplegics
being towed for his amusement…
A carpet of red and black laughter
spreads from under his magnificent feet
to cover all lands in every direction—
choking heretics and saints
with scalding jizm down their throats,
giving life to whores
and their resplendent cunts,
blessing them as we should all be blessed,
leashing on the world the mythological slut,
the great dream-beast of every man…
and to gigolos learning their trade.
Fire! Fire! Light his ass on fire
and blow-dry the heathens for next christmas!
We want them toasty and clean!
Night screams for release!

A small beggar laughs
and only a puddle remains in the road,
water bugs crawling about his toes,
and wild telephone wires
protruding from his ears, dancing.
Track Name: "They gave her lady lips and a tea set…"
They gave her lady lips and a tea set.
Now she’s seen in large bathrooms
with a whole in her wallet,
sobbing that Edward is her doom.
It had been years since he last touched
the fur on her shoulders—
the sable wrap she always wore.
She is tedious, like a dream,
yet we’re drawn to her,
she’s like a sunset
or a forest in flames—
we think the ephemeral is weak
and gives us a hard-on.
Those bathrooms are man-made traps.