Leonora Carrington
Leonora Carrington


How often

I wrote your name

in invisible ink

on blind paper

to a deaf audience

in an empty theater

while imagining my skin

with your skin,

my mouth

with your mouth,

my body

with your body

within the walls

of our modest home.


Grassy yard,

happy dog,

sweet child,

wily garden

each blooming with life,


our patch of passion

and contentment,

secluded seduction,

calming condition

where we share

wine and wishes,

philosophies and prayers,

secrets and dreams,

where we sleep deeply

in each other’s company –


and here we are.


Close enough to

feel your breath

and all I can smell

are hot lies

and bitter delusions

pouring from

that precious mouth.


Far enough to

see your disembodied

hands tearing down

our fragile house

while your mouth

claims to mend it.


Piece by crumbling piece

the foundation breaks away

in arid clumps

within your tightening grip,

turning to dust

in unorganized winds

blowing into my

eyes and mouth.





reaching out

for your shadow,

you turn

away and

do what’s best

for us all.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

for maya.

Maya Angelou


We all have pain.


Some more than others.


Some people feed

its scraps

to the hungry dogs.


Some people take

it to the bank,

stowing it away

in a dusty

safe deposit box,

fading to nothing

upon its key holder’s

fade to nothing.


Others fling it

in the face of the

world at large,

an unfortunate fate

for innocents

crossing the paths

of emotional maniacs.


Some people


their pain.


They take it

into their arms

and cradle it

like a newborn,


losing sleep

and time

just the same,


feeding it from

their well of

inner strength,


until it

matures enough

to reason with.


Matures enough

to comprehend

how cruel the

world can be.


Matures enough to

make peace with.


Matures enough

to let go of

like a parent

waving goodbye

over a parade

of packed boxes

and painfully

joyful embraces.


Some people

fabricate their pain

knowingly and willingly,

masquerading as

the victim

in a cruel and

unfair world.


For others,

the world defines

cruel and unfair,


and some,

they let it break them.


Others wear the pain

like a pulsating

badge of

bloody honor,

feeding from its

richly caloric

bittersweet powerhouse,

owning it,

embracing it,

overcoming it but

never forgetting

the poisonous needles

prodding them

toward success.


We are brothers

and sisters,

mothers and fathers,

lovers and givers,

us all,

and the pain

doesn’t define us.


We define

the pain.


We define

the suffering.


We fuck up

and falter.


We squander

and abuse,


We withdraw

and explode,


We love and learn

while defining

our pain,


and it drives

us farther than

the finest

fossil fuel


when you

give it

the homage

it deserves.




“Cotton rows crisscross the world

  And dead-tired nights of yearning

Thunderbolts on leather strops

 And all my body burning

Sugar cane reach up to God

And every baby crying

Shame the blanket of my night

   And all my days are dying”

– The Memory, Maya Angelou

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

temporal contiguity.



This old perfume

in the creamy curvaceous bottle

looks and smells

like a bride

filled with hope

lust, wonder

and security,

its blanketing grace

cloaking chilled shoulders

with protective serenity.


Cinnamon, clove,

crimson red rose,

sage and sensuality

provides transport

to the misty day when

dense clouds loomed

smokey and thick

in fifty degree

late September skies,

parting only

for that abracadabra moment

when relentless rains stop

and the bride floats out

upon a lungful of

At Last,

filling the air

with sunshine

and bullshit.


Bitterness can’t help

bleeding through to memories,


doing them injustice


because I deserve them-

pure, and beautiful memories-

unscathed by future seepage

through time’s layers,

whispering bitter words

into the bride’s ears,


whispering things

she already knew

deeply and painfully,

but chose to ignore

for the sake of happiness,

maybe. Just this once.


unadulterated and entirely lovely.


(Trembling hands

transfer shivers

to the giggly bouquet,

ferns wiggling,

autumn berries bobbing,

lilies sprinkling

a dusting

of orange pollen

into the wind,

exaggerated nerves

filling the air with “Amour”

and damned if this

isn’t exactly what love

smells like)



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

From the other side.


Fingers don’t want to hold the pen,

hands don’t want to cradle

the mustard

hardcover remnant

of my sweet dead aunt’s

unfulfilled poetic achievements,

so I stand still.


Hands and fingers can’t write

while muscles are too afraid

of the truth they bring,

still resisting and trembling

over eager keys

like a virgin sacrifice

to technology,

I imagine they aren’t my fingers

writing the words

I was too afraid to say,

but said. Said aloud. Said anyway.


Said that I loved him.

That I was impressed by his resolve.

That I forgave him.

(My anger a caged tiger

set free upon two paths,

choosing freedom

over revenge.)


Said that I wronged

in desperation

to right the wrongs

done to me

by controlling him.

Said that I was obsessed,

ill at ease,

enabling at best

and disabling at worst.


Said that passion is unrealistic

when a shotgun shell impostor

is all remaining at present

and every possible future

is infested

with shadows of the past.


What I didn’t say,

is that I was never myself.

Never for all of those years.

He was a black hole

eternally stretching my limbs

upon the event horizon.


Creativity abandoned,

friends forgotten,

willpower a vapor

escaping through ever-growing fractures

as I gave him all of me

ignoring that “all of me”

was filled with dusty nothing.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

How the fire found me.



It was a nebulous sort of love. The kind that strikes internally, leaving victims unaware of its source, causes, meanings, or intentions. The kind of love that permanently entangles atoms. When lost in it, the danger is invisible. Life’s view is only as broad as the horizon of human limitation allows. Blind to the future, fuzzy pinpoints of light loom in the distance of approaching night, bringing a false sense of comfort to the wayward lover. At times the highway rolls ahead in total darkness, the present occupies immediate surroundings in a bubble of awareness, and the past remains a series of chaotic associations that diminish into the setting sun as diametric gods and demons. Reflections of a dangerous future bounce from their divine eyes into our humbled minds, thus satisfying the Universal Balance, the Cosmic Even Steven, the intergalactic scales of justice pervading our every move.

In him, beneath the shell, masks, layers, addictions, perversions, and unruly passions, lived a potential recognizable by me alone: and that made me special. It made me a savior. It gave me a chance to rewrite a past relentlessly pacing between my mind’s walls. The exhausted inner-child grabbed hold of my better sensibilities and drugged them with excruciating love until I was in too deep to turn back.

His potential was an unmanned nuclear reactor, writhing and pulsating with pure energy and probable meltdown, and in it my bleeding soul smelled home. She honed in, latched on, and tethered us together through passion, habitation, and devastating codependency.

When people asked why I stayed, I offered robotic answers, contrived, defensive, and dishonest. Why did I love a vampire, sucking my inspiration and energy dry? Because I loved that old rut. Because I thought I could change the past. Because pain and dysfunction cracked the windows through which I saw the world, distorting my view of reality. Because after a lifetime of monsters, the nightmare was where I chose to live. When Logic screamed in my ears from the inside out, I shut down and emotionally checked out, (because she was right.) Life was a lie filled with bitter-sweet intentions and whole-heartedly half-hearted efforts. And with that, into the black I disappeared. Into the nether I dissolved, not to be seen as more than a ghostly shell for years. For years, until I was thrown into the fire. Or rather, until the fire found me.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014