the weak cog.

Fleeting, Shayne of the Dead
Fleeting, Shayne of the Dead


So we’ve got

these things

that are just

the best at

what they do –


fruits and fireflies,

trees and tigers,

demons and dogs,

each commanding

a unique

genetic purpose

without question

or doubt.


Countless creatures

of leaf and fur,

of scale and skin,

of life and breath

working and resting,

foraging and nesting,

attacking and defending,

keeping this

clockwork ticking,


while we struggle

with our big brains

and fancy thumbs

to get at

the meaning

of life.


You’ll never

see a bear

slumped over

on the forest floor

wallowing in

the despair of



an ant paralyzed

by fear of change,


a fern listless

in the wake of

unrequited love.


Human beings are


the most effective

and defective


on the planet.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014


the blindness of busy.



It’s walking

down a road

stunned by

the beauty

only to realize

you’ve driven it

hundreds of times.


We miss so much

when we hurry.


It’s the golden finch,

the baby mantis,

the fuchsia wildflowers

nestled amongst

thorny weeds,



and hidden from

hurried faces.


Rushing past

the loves of our lives

to make the bus,

catch the light,

get to work,

blindly chasing

the empty dream,

finishing gold-plated

in this heated race

toward death,


rushing past the love of your life,


past walks and drinks,

past hands held shyly,

past nervous lips

meeting beneath

flickering street lamps,

past quiet conversations

draped in dawn’s

blue light,


rushing past

what songs

and poems


and lives

are made of.


Rushing past inspiration,

we are driven by the

constant fear

of slowing down

for long enough

to look it all

in the eyes

and see the truth

that proves

this madness




Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014


Faceless Composition, Lara Jade
Faceless Composition, Lara Jade




mourning pale yellow light

as velvet plum wine reflects

a vacuum sea of stars

struggling to penetrate

the city’s glare.


Without rational passion,

without positive prostitution,

without damaged ears to hear

or bloodshot eyes to read,


alone with my

reckless creation,

all around,

all stillness,

all movement

is without.


Hands compelled to

write with open honesty

are stunted by caution,

my remora

fattened upon the

volatile words

of a weary brain

as they drip

down through

to fingertips

in a parade

of ink beasts,

vowels and consonants

shaping a strained reality

determined to undermine

the foundation

of these precious

fleeting moments

where there’s still

life to live.


This thing on my mind

leaves me stranded

without option,

without power,

without a plausible solution,

giving birth

to coded abstracts,

disguising the truth and

feeding from within,

replacing the me

with the nothing.




Were I to know unmitigated satisfaction,

I might die in its arms.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014



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




Born old

so age is
finally catching up,

building weariness
each day
that I learn more

about the creative consequence

of sitting
on a loaded gun.

The consequence of stillness.

The consequence of wasted purpose.

The consequence of
owing your soul
and not owning up
to the personal obligation

to do great things

with tremendously
kinetic momentum.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014




Silk is a soft

deceptive place

to wait for death.


(Its bony spider legs

wrapped around me

as the fangs sank in

day after day

poisoning my spirit

with the urgency

of normalcy.)


For ten thousand years

disguised as three

it hollowed the soul

leaving a shell


as me.


Empty me.






dying dying

drop by drop

sucked dry

as the beast

fed on my best

and I was left


empty and

without muse

or hope

for recovering

everything missed

or sharing

anything gained.


I’ve been to hell

and it was a sea

of cubicles.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014





Walking through familiar woods

I find my slumbering self

alone with a cricket song –

a quiet soundtrack adding

to the crunch of twigs

beneath my feet,

to the rhythmic thoughts

thumping through my head

and racing heart.


(What am I supposed to do with a life like this?)


Bare feet break through

the topmost layer of crisp decay

sinking into molding rot that

squishes through pale toes and

filthy fire red lacquer.


(The future as I know it is gone.)


Only the past remains the same

eternally haunting memory

lingering behind my shoulder,

whispering in my ear

as I’m left wandering a

slumbering twilight path,

wondering if a clearing is near enough

to reach before night falls,

before silence falls,

before all that’s left

is me and the

low hum of photons

drifting through a starless universe.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

Notes on Eternity



It was a summer sunrise years ago when I felt the earth spinning beneath my feet. Too early for intense heat, the air traveled comfortably in and out of my lungs as I ran through the dew and fog. No dog, no stroller and baby, no cars, no passers-by: only me and the gentle arc of cerulean blue peeking out ever more from behind lush rolling hills were present to hear the rhythmic footfalls. Compelled by solitude with a gentle dare, I took the earphones out, turned the music off, and listened only to my footfalls. Listened only to my breath as I floated down the ancient mountain, gradually becoming aware of the spinning beneath my feet. The velocity of earth flying through space and whirling on its axis was one with my own as the downward slope of asphalt melted away into the eternal soup of space and time. There was nothing but the spinning earth and the amplified arc of horizon as my body disappeared. Just the earth and I, spinning, revolving, and moving with one another while the past, present, and future dissolved into atomic memories. Melting and fading away into the soup.

(It’s times like these that you have all the answers to every question ever asked. You know exactly who you are and what to do and where to go and how to be to make a valuable impact upon the world around you. You melt away into the soup, looking upon then, now, and forever from the outside, inside, and middle of everything and nothing, seeing your petty problems in their true light, and realizing your power of release.)

… Until a jogger passed. A dog walker. A pair of headlights disrupting the salmon sunrise. I slowly came back to myself, to my increasingly heavy footfalls and labored breathing, remembering my place in the stillness and the silliness of my stresses yet unable to avoid the surge of stomach ache thoughts as I neared the end of my run and inevitable return to my dark marital home. I envy the definition of purpose given inherently to each grain of sand, to the gradual sunrise, to the spinning earth beneath our feet. If only that velvety thick understanding of eternal purpose would consume me into itself and offer permanent release to these constant states of doubt and uncertainty. If only I could disappear into the spinning of the earth, into time and space, into the ocean of consciousness filling the void around us for long enough to bring something back to this side of reality, I might yet serve a purpose in this life.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014