The Bum’s Lament is now available for purchase

Tyler R. Martin

The Bum’s Lament is a series of poems I had written while languishing in a crappy studio apartment, no money in my bank account, no job, engulfed in depression and nihilism and bathed in alcohol and cigarette smoke. This book is an early attempt of mine to explore my own suffering and, in doing so, strives to understand the suffering of all of humanity throughout the finitude of the human lifespan. I was attending school at the time of this writing, a local community college, and was stricken by the lack of depth in analysis which the classroom setting could produce. My life previous, and my current life as well, exposed me to the dark pit that is the natural universe and, unlike my peers, the surface scratching that the modern academic setting yielded to me no recourse to understanding. This book likely will do no better, however, it is a genuine attempt with nothing held back.

Perhaps All Thats Pretty isn’t Pure

Tyler R. Martin

Seeds that which from heaven fell
Have all now grown tall and
Blossomed red like flames of hell,

Blue buds blossom in hot red cinders,
Expand to meter wide maws
Of spiraling fangs and thorny fingers!-

They yawn, savage snarls to the heavens.
Thick stems grow miles high and
Ooze sweet smelling sludge which beckons!-

Prey as they approach in a tentative fashion,
Fragrant pheromones, chromatic colors
Feign the mercy of a nurturant mothers passion

And thorns, dark razor predator’s talons,
These dagger’s dense honed edges
Like savage claws of gallant onix dragons!-

Are hidden from view in a pretense of virtue,
Shielding prey in secure arching maws
As stems assume a guise of a sentinel statue!

Then, in their horrid hunger, their friendly facade fades,
Terrible thorns collapse in a crushing embrace
And their prey is shredded! By onix blades they’re flayed!

A trusting beast has perished by maddend masses
Of the fierce and gluttonous flora
Consuming those creatures so pathologically passive!-

For miles and miles these maws traverse,
Smothering landscapes in death,
Petals wilt as a poisonous pollen disperse.

What is below in the Hungry Black Maw?

Tyler R. Martin

There’s a house at the end of the street where
All the little ghouls collude to meet and,
In plumes of smoke and cigarette ash, they
Invade the solace of a forgotten past. Where
All window panes are thoroughly smashed by
By wonton bottles of boozy glass
And the drywall bursts in thick sullen clouds of the
White plaster shrouds of those thrashes, so loud! .
These white plaster shrouds precipitating down
On scratched oak floors anticipating the sounds,
Of the words to be spoken and pentagrams drawn
In the black hope of inciting a terrible dawn!
Here the ghouls all read the Book of the Law
And call the basement below “the Hungry Black Maw” and
Scamper on down engulfed by the sound of the
Steps below creaking, in tremors they’re bound!
As below the cob webs of many a year are
Imagined to them the apex of fear! In the dark
Below, in all superb drear, the ghouls surround
In a worshiping pose, a sight so queer in tranquil repose!
The skeletal remains of the man of the house, now quiet
And still but with a lesson espoused! For the man in shambles
In the darkness below had died as he lived
And bitterly so!

Waiting for a Commercial

Tyler R. Martin

Tough to gain your footing on the black ice under feet
As you stumble with your bottle down the dark dreary street.
The change in your coat jingles, the last few cents not spent,
As you’re staggering toward home to imbibe, sigh and lament.
Trudging through slush toward steps stacked with snow
While you’re swearing at yourself for all the effort you forgo.
Turning your key to enter, hands and feet are frozen numb
As you grip your bottle tighter, with just one finger and a thumb.
The door swings open slowly and you quickly step inside
Then you close the door behind you, to this place in which you hide.
Spend a minute searching, and find the remote control
And then peruse the television, through the sitcoms you do stroll.
Icing down your bourbon, small glass and a frozen cube,
As you surf the daytime networks and stare blankly at the tube.
Feet up on the table, sipping slowly at your booze
And you savor tastes of poison and the comfort that ensues.
When that glass is empty, exert the effort for one more
And you drain that one even faster, then the third is quite a chore.
Now you’re feeling so lightheaded, best you’ve felt all week
And then you wait for a commercial
For there’s a task you must complete.
Picking up your pistol, laying right beside your chair
Then you cock the hammer slowly
And blow your teeth right through your hair.

Midnight Mourning

Tyler R. Martin

I hear her start at midnight, weeping,
And I hear her all night long,
It’s a dreary tune of heartbreak,
A bitter, sweet and sickly little song.

She begins with a sigh
(Quietly I sit and hear her so clear)
And says to no one “goodbye”
-”I shall love you forever, why did you have to die?

Then from deep within a shattered soul
A symphony begins its sway,
With first a tearful little sonnet
Of loss, death and dismay.

Then her soul emits the main event,
A tear stained face out the opened window gaze,
The weeping for just a moment halts
As she contemplates a leap into the waves

But the window shuts with a slam;
The sweet thing loses nerve
And the weeping once more comence
For life doles her more than she deserve.

The Cardinal in my Yard

Tyler R. Martin

The cardinal in my yard won’t sing
He just stares.
He stares blankly at nothing while I stare
Blankly at him.
It’s cold in January in New York
And my grandfather’s grapevine
On which he sits is bare and branches
Shiver in the breeze.
Nothing moves in my backyard today
Aside from an infrequent neck twitch when
The cardinal hears something.
He stays very still but the bright red is
Nothing but a beacon in the dull brown
of the grape vine.
Good for getting laid, I suppose,
But a bad target nevertheless.
He puffs his feathers in the cold
And I watch him and
I think we’re both wondering the same thing,
That is:
When the predator finally comes down on you
Is that day worse than any other?
Simultaneously sicked by this thought
The cardinal flew away and I put my
Boots on to go to work.

New Chucks

Tyler R. Martin

I bought new Chucks a week ago
And now they’re dirty.
The white had sparkled and glimmered,
The black was stark, rich and deep,
The laces, pristine as fresh fell snow.
But now they’re dirty.
Now the white is grass stained green
And the laces dulled with dust
And stark black has surrendered
It’s rich deep dark to the elements.
A week ago I bought new Chucks,
And the world
Has made them dirty.

Just…Wreckage

Tyler R. Martin

Life is more a second to second, day to day, drink to drink,
Mood to mood, cigarette to cigarette type of deal with way, way
Too many variables for any kind of long to term plan.
Today I drove up on a car, two cars actually, splintered and savaged
In collision of scattered steel and warped plastic as if the two cars
Were melded into one fiery display of wreckage and carnage and blood.
The passengers, all of whom were burnt to a blazing crisp,
Were being carted away like slaughtered livestock in black body bags.
It was early, the sun was just rising and the sirens stirred the cold,
Crisp morning air. Both sets of vehicles were on their way somewhere
To go do something with some other people. Planning their day
Their week, their year, the rest of their waning lives.
They were moving forward onto the future, willfully blind
To the metaphorical brick wall boldly awaiting interception,
They never would have known it but
Hell
They shoulda just stayed
Home

Madness, So Mundane

Tyler R. Martin

Asking yourself what lies within
Winter fields and all that freezes in the storm, or
Perhaps burns in horrid heat, floods, drowns, or
Withers with age and decays under pain of time, or,
Drinks and smokes and fights over status disputes, or,
Reads to find reason and understand the empty void, or,
Revels in the combat against self and man and nature, or,
Becomes sickened by the gross anomaly of existence, or,
Breaks down in a grand display welled up from years, or,
Gives up and self inflicts a gunshot wound to the head, or,
Chain smokes for days on end without eating anything, or,
Breaks knuckles against the wall in puffs of white plaster, or,
Writes a poem about apathy and contempt for existence, or,
Drives too fast in a rainstorm with road beers and crashes laughing, or,
Admiring winter fields and all that freezes in the storm, or
Learning not only to live with hangovers but to enjoy them, or,
Trying to figure out what it means to really “live”, or,
Trying to figure out what it means to really “die”, or,
To die “nobley” and wondering what that even means, or,
Large swaths of star speckled skies over the desert, and,
Is there still a meaning to things arcane? Or,
Has all madness become mundane?

To Avoid Choas

Tyler R Martin

Smoke screen of a thousand cigarettes,
in a place where tomes of madness fell,
Where silent nights go on forever
And your own thoughts become a hell
In this self imposed abyss of blackness
Where the torrents of dark rum swell.
Through this shroud I cannot see
Imprisoned by my ending…what tragedy
Has God in store for me?

But, by now I should have figured
And deciphered all the plans,
By now I should have noticed
I’m weakened only by my hands.
Engaged with my goliath
I cannot submit to my demands,
For through this shroud I cannot see
Imprisoned by my ending…what tragedy
Has God in store for me?

To gaze upon a dark horizon–
The horizon glows as day becomes alive
And ask yourself the solemn question “why
Was it only the darkness which I derive?
For is day’s illumination always so bitter
That tis only in deep abyss that I survive?”
For through this shroud I cannot see
Imprisoned by my ending…what tragedy
Has God in store for me?

And there’s a comfort in seeing nothing,
Yet, still darkness fails to quell the woes,
And my locked doors still feel so fragile
And it is this I fear life’s horror knows;
So i meditate on each second passing,
As outside a terrible chaos softly flows
For through this shroud I cannot see
Imprisoned by my ending…what tragedy
Has God in store for me?