Arlecchino Malbenvolio / Small Press / Collections / Chronological

a chronological collection

by j. griogair bell


This work is © copyright 1996 j. griogair bell, all rights reserved.

Some selections have been previously published in electronic media.

All originals are © copyright 1991 j. griogair bell.

Printing History: This is an unpublished draft.

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dedicated to DB.

a chronological collection of poetry


Surrounded by blues
brewing stewing
in the ambelic
of chromium infinite
disc of earthen vocals
the wand of the lyrics
in my hand
multicoloured motley
covering the sword
in my stone
steaming water
and clouding
on the mirror of my outlook
bad lyrics
without a song to sing
slam dancing crowds
couldn't figure out
the bus schedule and
got lost between roanoake and montlake
violent mood
violently invoked
ceremonial crowd ritual
I got a call from the cops
last night in the dark
in my room
I tried to explain to them
I tried to explain
I tried
they decided
to haul
me in anyway
my peace march cut short
by the violent victimless snort
of my pig nature
pugnatious failure
bad lyrics
without a song
there is no song
I guess this not-song is done


late night lifesavers
fo you
your ticklish toes
of you
running thru
my mind
a marathon of memory
rampant raging
thru my towers
of my chapel
a scarf
a t-shirt
a pair of gloves
and this half eaten roll of lifesavers
dancing some slam dance
for you
of you
without you
in a toy store decor
style of the simple
simply how I am
the worn out teddy bear
of the wanton lass
of last night dreaming
desire clinging
to let go
but with only
nothing to hold


the sun leaves me behind
as you walk thru the door
I have left only things to remind
me of how it was before you had to go

the couch where we sat
exchanging stories and anecdotes
we play with words without words quiet
silence in the sun with a book of quotes

the words of others pass between us
the light thru your hair enters my body
then the parting comes as it must
and a shadow enters thru the window as

you leave thru the door
leaving me behind


I'm telling you part of my soul
speaking thru my mind
my life as a fool
lost in reminders
that I saved in my little white box
I juggle the pain to hide the tears
little mementos like lost or stolen thoughts
the souvenirs I saved for all these years
to remind me of the past
afraid to forget, afraid to remember
I drop a knick-knack symbolically like some die I cast
it rolls wobbling and stopping waiting and demanding reminder
the strings of my skein tug at my chords
plucking a song from my soul
the tumbling of the silent music silences my choked back words
that damn trophy of another story i haven't told
the laurels of my potential slip from my brow
and slipping to my neck become a noose
my broken body swings in the wind knocking off my crown
the gold ring falls knocking my reason loose
glinting in the sun it falls to rest on the cold earth


A room of music
right and written down
around the last note of this bar
the notes noted nodding
in time to catch the last train
and the other side of the window
at the station the watchers watch
the last train pull away
A room of sound
said and spoken
here in an accent
flat and shrill
a high voice calling out
long way away
taking air in a domino game
domini domination damnation
business suit lost briefcase
quickly filled quickly emptied
A room of touch
touched and touched again
in some fencing dance epee flight
sparking promise of pain
light touch reminder of some pleasure
that pulled away
A paper cut
in the shape
of a snowflake
bleeding along
the edge of the song
sung by the whisper
that whistles thru the window
the sun
hides from
I'm cold alone
without you
alone in this room
after the last train
has left with you
and left me with this ring
that I didn't give
A room without a view
as I hermetically seal myself
until you return
ink wells and peanuts
these will free us
some day soon
away fly away death
that harlequinade
I act my part
someone I don't know
wrote me into a play
without a script
and I am forced to rely
on stock characters and
familiar boring lazzi
even the stage seems
like a phantasm
I pantomime my white
story line plotting my plotless
if you were still here
I would ask you to stay
some day
some day soon
it will all be
written down
A page with words
I can't remember written in
a room of quiet
scribbling noises
over there behind my back
where I cannot see
where the set is yet
I am misdirected
away from you
by something
something some day
the future
he lies to me
he tells me such tales
I find it so hard
to disbelieve
the things he tells me
he tells me I could be
things I should
I want to be
A room of distant voices
voicing distress a baby cries
a mother mothers
and my vision blurs
perfect pictures of portraits
past and future imperfect
I may stay here
for the forever
that will pass
until you


a sinner's prayer (now "ishtar" parts 1-4 in Our Dark Lady)


like two cogswell cogs in a spacely sprocket machine
two peas in a body snatcher pod
going round and round
speaking truth but never quite believing
that the truth is true
the silent rhythm of the dance I dance
no longer alone
two lost mittens lost in eachothers arms
invisible arms holding close
round and round
you whisper to me
I whisper back
we both laugh
going round and round
so alike we stand alone
pouring out giving out
how can I be you and you be me
if I am you and you are me?
I'd be me and you'd be you
still trying to be you and be me
I can't dance this dance alone
the gemini lovers hold the alchemical formula
combining two in one
some cartoon combination of fantasy
and fiction
some harlequinade that laughs a lifetime
this distant device of
deserved disturbing vice
a collection of fading
I see all my past in her
like some search
that I didn't know I was searching
my innocent purity
that I lost along the way
like a cloud surrounding
my path
my destination
my past like hazy
of the
hangs in the hall of my
gallery they are like
in imitation of the master
some incredible style
that I worship
with my feeble talents
I tried to reproduce
out of flawed


with words crowded
pushing shoving
with words like nothing
I haven't said
or meant to say
surrounded by the words
that aren't mine
you read them over
and over
but they aren't mine
What do those words sat
that I cannot say
that I haven't said?
What do they say
while I look at silk and lace
while while I'm dreaming
where do they take you
that I haven't
away from me?
when will I know
What do the neighbors see
thru your open curtains
that you modestly
from me?
What do you give to
that you do not give to
and what do they
give back?
what do his words
say to you
that I haven't?


My dearest
future life
has grabbed a hold on me
how can I worship her
without driving her away?
I love her so much
I lose myself
I rip myself
I sacrifice myself
inside out
and then I write
about it
in my life
I have been so out
that now that I want in
I have to claw my way
inside out


that poison
fills me like a liquid
and bursts from my soul
to surround me
pouring from my pores
I inject the poison
back into myself
hoping to hold
enough to stop
the torrent from tumbling
that vine
is my creeping searching
they simply grow toward the sun
that is in your skin
in your eye
my ivy fingers
travel along your spine
brushing against the marble
perfection with
dry dead desire
my wine
only a promise
winds around you
surrounding you
worshiping you
the only way
I know how
and the monument
that hush that
fills the garden
like the eye of your hurricane
awaits waiting any sign of
and when your arm moves
the animals become monuments
about your feet
forgetting fear to watch
your every motion
your fluttering fingers
as you test your
new found freedom
as you begin to walk away
I realize I will be left behind
stuck where I have grown
adoring you
I pull you back as you rise
to leave
my vines bind
and my roots rip
my soil separates
as one by one
my arms are dropped to the ground
without you
without even a look back
I lay limply sprawled out
awaiting a return
that I can only hope will come
because I'm not allowed to follow
and the freedom I cannot feel
fills you with things
that I cannot give
I wish that plants could
butterfly like catapillars do
and I could become more
of what I already am
so that I would have more to give
more than what I am
in order to entice you
to return


her hair
treasure of divine
original beauty
seems the art before art
to me
perfect halo
around the perfection
that perfect perfects
to be
her face
a facet that holds the opal
is itself a jewel
of fascination
a setting of seduction
a serraglio to my senses
enclosed by beauty
the beauty hidden behind
the beauty I behold
captivates and confines
my pleasure a prisoner
in a prison
without locks without cells
only keys
and wide open doors
I am the prisoner before
her I am held by the hush
falling like a sudden snow
from her eyes
from the sunset colours
in the sunrise
in her sky
the glowing welcome
of her attention
silences my thoughts
I feel the warmth of breathing
on the back of my neck
I feel the warmth of your body
reaching thru me holding me


my eyes become tired
as the warmth of your memory
floods thru me
and I am massaged by the mirage
of your image
and this daydream sleep overtakes me

a park a picnic
laying in the sun

a dance an apartment
making real the dream
that I still dream
hoping to make real

and I come back to
the warmth of your body
pressed against mine
your lips against my neck
holding me in your arms
my dream of all dreams
to be with you


beats its
little drum
into my head

so slow
so methodical

beating away
the seconds
smash into my temples
the minutes
march kick-step into my forehead

beating away
waiting for the phone
waiting for you to get home
hoping you're not with him
because I'm not with you

that clock
clocking away
chipping away
the pieces of whatever is left
of the cornerstone
of the cathedral
of my goddess
I speak to her
but she doesn't answer
just the


I climb thru the ceiling holes to her shangri-la
where she waits for me entranced by her sangreal
empty as the tower of melancholia
in the sanguinous seraglio of passion

my soul's safe in the passion of her possession
in her vampire embrace, I spiral to the dance
I willingly spider to her black widow bee

in her enfolding arms I slip back unconscious
leaving behind and becoming one with her grail
a sacrifice to the sonorous tower I
leave my love to her veins as I slip to the floor

the blackness envelopes me with love as I die
and in her love I am reborn out if my death
by the sprial kiss of her lies around my heart


to deborah (can't find it!)


Never realized
I was the vampire
until you'd hold me
wouldn't enfold me
until you told me

(but wouldn't tell me)
until you killed me
but wouldn't let me die

Never realized
I was the vampire
I didn't tire
of sucking you dry
the life you gave me
but couldn't save me
from the life you gave
but wouldn't let me live

Never realized
I was the vampire
until I didn't die
when I burned you alive
on my stake in my fire
then called me a liar
and made me love
my own burial

Never realized
I was the vampire
until I tried
to die loving one


Did you really need to see me bleeding?
some sadism in you to have me knealing
before you in suicide filled pleading

might be a sin
to want you again
before leaving
I'm holding my breath
I'd still smell you
if I were breathing

I still dream about your beautiful legs
spread eagle around my jealous aching heart
my fingers riping your gift apart

I put it in
but you did the reaming
you caught me with
pants down dreaming
my hollow heart in my empty hand

stop the crap and tell me the real reason
that the goddess I had in you is gone
that all I have left is eternal longing