DECONSCRIPTION-Writings of Curtis Cottrell


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Chartreuse Sonnetoid

How do you spell Success?

What estimation has this existence earned?

I guess the grade I'll get is an "I,"

The first person singular, "Incomplete."

To say it is an utter dismal failure

Would assume some sort of finality,

An effort lacking in essential worth.

But here we lie between two worlds:

Written but unable to be published.

Unwilling to risk editorial rejection

These words wait for the recycling bin

To be leached by searing solvents,

Macerated into a mash of pulp,

And bleached into obscure oblivion.


Date Due

Don't try to label me.

Don't put me in a box.

I'll break out of your cage.

I'll pick all of your locks.

I'll defy your categories

Of forensic classification.

Preconceptions are dull weapons

For character assassination.

Redefining continually

With every step and leap,

With every gasp of breath,

I will live eternally

Beyond the wall of sleep,

Beyond the gate of death.


Dogged Will

Love has turned my heart around

Making my appointments late

While I only procrastinate

And stick my head into the ground.

A spring within me ticking tightens;

Manic frenzy yields succession

Of melancholy to depression:

Sleepless nights until dawn lightens.

Fortuna, must I be your fool?

My woe is not the want of wit

But temperance in using it.

I never tarried from Cupid's school;

Yet would I be love's loyal subject

If I could predicate my object.


Fandom Abandoned

In a dirty plastic trashcan
sitting by the curb
just around the corner
from the home of the family
of the late creator of
A Confederacy of Dunces,
I saw 2 American flags
faded, ripped and tattered
by sun & wind & rain &
a potted poinsettia
wilted, wan & withered
from carelessness & neglect.

What once had signified passion

Has sadly gone out of fashion.



Aa aa.
Aa aa aa, pahoehoe:
Magma oozes, spurts up wildly,
Churning, bubbling conglomeration,
Burning, erupting radiation
Seething free from under
Batholithic pressurization
Meeting the cool, clear air:
Crystals coalesce becoming new again.
From these I have fashioned
This obsidian arrowhead.
You can see yourself
Among its razor-sharp facets.
Graph Fight
My life is like a pencil
Not even half used,
Yet eraser mostly gone.
As I try to eliminate
The mistakes I have made,
The lines begin to smear
And smudge into an ugly blur.
It is getting dull.
I am here making marks
And marking again another start,
Something that is pointed sharp.
If too sharp, then to snap,
Only to be sharpened again,
As sharp as these words are now.

 Hanging In
Tippy-toe tapping,
tape deck squealing,
parking lot puddle.
"Who wants to go?"
Don't you know?
"A girl in trouble is a temporary thing."
White skirt wafted in a swirling careen,
Reverberation, oscillation, inundation
Wavelength winging marginward...
Inspection, reflection
"Please don't go."
Here we are again
Twisting in the whirlwind.

Heptametric Sonnet

Lying awake, bleeding inside, tears trace across my temple.

When I was on my way up here, I was warned about this:

"Your boss has ulcers. Watch out, or he'll give them to you, too.

How did I get this way? What did I ever do to him?

I failed to cultivate grace; instead, I believed in works.

Big guys can be bullies, but the small ones are dictators.

Throw your hat into the ring; throw your ring into a hat

I spit up blood the other morning; then I knew my fate.

The constant taste of blood can hardly whet one's appetite.

I guess I lack the lust for blood successfulness requires.

I can look all in the eye unlike backbiting lackeys.

A little travelling music maestro; I'm on my way home.


Illuminated Plate

For sale, a singer, a dancer a policeman,

A politician, a lawyer, a doctor, a scientist, a priest

All of them for sale to the highest bidder

You time is for sale to bosses, banks,

Credit cardsyour possessions soon own your future

Chains of debt weigh you down until you're dead as a doornail

Dead set at the threshold of tomorrow

Unable to enter your own destiny

Determined by an arbitrary devaluation

Forced to bet on your own life in order to keep it

Decapitation and removal of the spine

Willing to kill to keep someone from getting

What you haven't got and may never have

Bold, cold, coled, fold, gold, hold, lolled, mold, polled, rolled, sold--told


Persephone: Hymn to an Imaginary Moonchild

Coldhearted orb in the far eternal night

Circling Pluto in the distant dim and dark

Oh, you daughter of fecundity

Did you pluck a pretty posy?

Is it time for the harvesting

Or was that flower some hour?

Picking pits of a pomegranate

Affording funerary furnishing

Bony bouquet for bridal bower

Just over three months now;

So you couldn't take it and left.

Hecate, why can't you ever see

Could you stay for another day?

Pulchrerrimae excelcior esse!


Roben's Nest

Tisiphone as muse
Borderline of being

"Life gives gnarly head!"

Amazombie in space
Babylonia fascinates from the first

"I could hear the bombers coming
But I knew it would be missiles instead,
So that's when I knew I had enough."

"It's sc-sc-scaaary out there!"

climbing high into the sun

"For those who seek awareness in life,
Oblivion is the bliss coming after.

For those who seek oblivion in life,
Awareness is the curse coming after."


Sonnetaneous Combustion

Looking for love

Seeming to be

A scintillating second away,

The arcing sparks

Between our eyes

Bringing beaming ecstasy

Was leaving me restless,

Yearning and breathless:

Seeming somehow matchless,

I was going to say it,

But you were looking away,

And it faded into crumbling ashes.

Next time that I am burning with love,

I will seek it here and not up above.


Technocrazy-A Blank Sonnet

We are not robots; we are not machines--

Not extensions of technology

Nor accessories to mechanical or electric devices.

We are biological individuals with certain needs

Such as food, drink and rest--dignity and respect.

We are not numbers nor line-item entries

On your tables of organization and equipment;

Not operators with billable time listed below

Valuable capital expendatures on a daily flow sheet:

A bottom line more important than a mere afterthought.

We are personnel, not human resources,

Not disposable, expendable, replaceable components.

We live; we breathe; we love; we dream,

And we'll fight for the right to be free!