R.M. Engelhardt is a veteran poet & writer whose work over the years has appeared in many journals & magazines both in print and on the net including in Retort, Rusty Truck, Sure! The Charles Bukowski Newsletter, Thunder Sandwich, The Boston Literary Review, Full of Crow, Fashion For Collapse, 2nd Avenue Poetry, The Outlaw Poetry Network & in many others. “The Resurrection Waltz” is his 13th book of poetry and is published by Infinity Publishing.
- The Fragments
- Coltrane’s Agent
- The Day God Became Popular
- A World On Fire
- Instructions & Invocations in Preparation for the Trip Across the Great River Styx
R.M. Engelhardt looks back at the time he had an encounter with the one and only Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the early 90s.
Dan Wilcox spent a lot of time at the 2019 Word Fest Readings Against the End of the World open mic and took notes.
Was it true?
Was it the god?
Was it the moment
Parchment & pen and this veil still
2.) The Woman
She had lost all amazement.
Where somewhere in her eyes
all of the lines became unclear
And once more returned to the
Of words &
instead of Ahab,
forgiveness instead of
Dreams percieved do not
Make dreams reality.
Is for the dead who have already stopped dreaming,
and they know it…
“timor mortis conturbat me.”
There is no thing said between the moments
Complete & unshaken whose voice remains
For the sake of determination.
Mind you, this is truth without the lethargic seance
Of years, mind you that these are the words of
Hypocrites and players, dreams & fools who
Assume or consume your heart with their “things”.
Calculate and transcend the towering dooms of
Love and cherish all faces equally at the mere
Mention of sirens or hollow men.
Beauty is a butterfly up in a tree or quite possibly
The sound of one devoted heart, not a superman
Nor a super model nor the uncontented cries of
Oversexed rock stars. Time will do quite fine
Without them when time knows what desire
Beholds between the moments & the distance of
The world will not
Save you this time bright
Bright boy of genius time!
You (with a penny in your shoe)
Are no longer a boy man made
Man of words & non-linear touch.
Hearts and poetry & kisses in the dark,
Soft palace where once time stood still.
Is that genius that
Wails through time like a
Saxophone cutting thru
The darkness of the night.
Possibly for you
Just as the rain….
Back in 1994 she was the model of all French fashion, her hair slightly unclean and tied up in a Princess Leia double knot cinnamon bun. She’s always late but ahead of her time. Never shaves her underarms and on occasion, wears makeup, and even glasses. All of the time talking to me on the phone she decries America, God, country and all of the boring bland music of the Rolling Stones at once.
And from her bedroom this morning she says “I am thinking of moving to Seattle”, “There they know art!”
Yeah whatever, I reply, adjusting her very large Persian cat off my lap who always seems to sit on my nuts, crushing them as if cleverly taught. “I am moving Rob, Did you hear me?”
This I something that she does to get some Pavlovian response when she’s curious about “feelings”, but I know her game and it never works. And so I answer back “You’re only 24 and all you do is listen to goth!”
The Bauhaus is turned up as her answer back as I can hear her pee in the bathroom.
She puts her stockings, black combat boots & lipstick on and pulls up her short catholic schoolgirl dress with no underwear beneath. “Oh yeah? Well you’re an old fucking jazz cadaver!”
I am told with a smile as her cat calmly watches from the windowsill like tennis.
But now its Sunday morning, almost noon and she has to go to work, and like
Dracula’s Renfield drawn to the fly its springtime in New York.
And soon, she will eventually move to Boston instead of Seattle, never knowing, never hearing the truth.
That she was all of my favorite things and that the time machine of the mind can never replace “feel”…
There are ghosts wandering the streets of New York. Lost souls looking for their homes trapped in the wreckage and in the moment. Some never went towards the light, because they don’t know the truth yet.One woman is shouting to the firemen “I’m over here!” but the firemen look confused and cannot seem to hear her cries.They walk around in almost a daze, their purpose now unclear,and there is no sense of time, for the moment repeats & repeats and repeats & the words of “Help me” and the sounds of voices in prayer & machines drown out the last consciousness of thought. There are ghosts wandering the streets of New York. Only a moment ago a policeman covered with dust was seen to be walking past a group of rescue workers only to disappear into the night, and shortly thereafter he was followed by the apparition of a crowd of office workers holding hands who were later identified as those missing in the destruction, their photos posted on billboards & placed in Union Square next to American flags, candles and flowers, always to be remembered and never to be forgotten. Yes, there are ghosts wandering the streets of New York, but we need to let them go, one by one, heart by heart and soul by soul so we can go on living, because that’s what they would have wanted. No more suffering, and no more grief or pain, but only the memory of all things cherished,and all things believed. God…love…peace and faith….always.
We were hanging out drinking a few shots with
that asshole Metastopholies.
He (as usual) was trying to boug a few drinks, and (as
usual) we..ignored him. At work as usual it was one
long fucking day. I was stuck putting up the sequoias
and disagreed; God liked red, I..liked black. And
somehow the boss (I won’t use her real name) told us
that our work was getting “sloppy’. Too many species,
she said, too many ferns, something like that. You are
always spending way too much time arguing and I’ll
have to let one of you go, the temporal mental bitch
said. “Fine!” I said, “I quit!” Buddha, Muhammad and a
few others were already gone and had decided to start
their own companies. And me, well I was just tired of
all of the insipid & corporate shit where the motto
was “Heaven… we care”. And this action left God whom I
always thought to be a pretty decent kid in general,
to run the factory. And for awhile we kept in touch.
“How’s it goin?” I’d ask and he’d say “Great, but I’m
really busy” “We’ll get together for a beer sometime,
ok?” Ok. But more & more the silence increased. Never
a reply back, never a how are you and never a word through the
psychic dimensional thought. Eventually I found out
that God had taken over and that he had been bumped
up. It figures…I thought. He always was more of the
corporate type than me.
Its been awhile now and I haven’t heard from him in a
few eons. I heard that he never really recovered from
that incident with his kid. Stay away from beautiful
women, we told him, stop trying to be a hero. But he,
never listened and almost…lost everything. Recently I
transformed myself into a man and I caught a glimpse
of him in a bar in NY City. Timothy McVey had just
blown up the federal building with children in it and
God was sitting drunk on a bar stool drinking red
wine. He was really fucked up and he had aged
something awful. “Bartender! Give me another fucking
glass!” he said. They kicked him out and he
disappeared stumbling into the night. I was saddened.
The firm is going under and he’s losing control, other
power hungry kids are creating technology & spirit
advances. God’s becoming an antique, but I know he
won’t retire. Me, well don’t worry about me. I’ll be
fine. These days I’m living as a cat owned by a girl
going thru a tough time. I know where I’m needed. And
even though no one remembers all of the work that I’ve
done its alright. The cycles of the universe go on
because love, redemption and faith never stop and
Oh and by the way, do you like coffee? Good…that was
You live in Noctorum, somewhere between the cities of reality & pretentious bullshit. Nowhere near the mid-west or Nebraska, the land of sheep fuckers & republicans where religion oversees reason, where superstition oversees truth.
There is a painting by Georgia O’Keefe on the wall & a plasma TV that takes up most of the room. Pictures by Ansel Adams overtake the small dwelling that your shadow inhabits. Today is Tuesday. After they arrest you call your attorney pretending that you are somebody else. At work the staff was left in shock, you were such a hard worker and always eager to help. You handled the accounts & took care of all the mail. Your attorney breathes out a long sigh over the phone and sounds like a distant train off in the distance leaving for a place far away. Disappointment seems to be the driving motif in your life. Not depression or anger, not movies or mom. They found the bits of flesh & spatters of blood in your living room, they found the young girl’s head in the freezer and as evidence took your TV. You’re fucked one billion times one thousand & ten, more than all those cowards who just hid everything, their desires, their wants & needs. As a teenager you used to like to travel. Europe, America the world your oyster and hunting at night in the clubs. Vampires live, vampires exist, and so do demons, devils & gods. And among them, you were the shit, the king shit of the scene, all of the rest of them…fakes. Screw Hannibal Lechter, screw Dahmer & the rest of them, because you are the real thing. The police take you away in cuffs as if you were a common criminal a lucid expression upon your face. You live in Noctorum, you live in the suburbs, you live in yourself and when they pull the plug on you & your sorry ass you think that hell will be a festival like Halloween, as your lawyer mumbles under his breathe
A WORLD ON FIRE
Like jazz… morphine..
Thru the streets
Refrain Refrain Refrain
To Begin ~ To End,
To, Some Where Some Way
In Dead Lights And In Hyper-Space
And Unto The Holy Light of the
Last Cash Machine
As the Utopian Prophecy bleeds
In-To Thine Youthful Eyes Which Hears- Seas
Of Majestic rhymes & urban schemes,
A Salvation… Of Gun Shot Megaphone Deliverance
And Oh Unto Thee, We Deliver Great Hopes Of Miracles… Mercy.
Illuminations As Thy Cradles Rock Falsely
With The sad Arrogance Of Label Made Kings,
Offering Up All Your Dead sons,
father, mother, sisters, brothers
Who have killed the word, & the sound & whole world of grace
With the smiles of Money~Greed Messiahs
Sampling Out Salvation, A Promise, A Lie,
All Their Words Now,
Just An Epiphany,
In A “Box”
Moving on down towards
South Of Heaven
Non-Transcendence Dead Enlightenment &
The Dead Roar Of Time
Back-wards stealing From All the Lost Poets & the dead dark souls
With a weak childish snarl that says, “ME’ “MINE”
A place where no philosophers need apply.
With No More Gods To Worship &
No more new myths to create
As The Vessel Sinks,
Reeks Of Slamming bores
Rhyming Whores for all the same crimes
Pants Un-Fit With weak words that will not survive
The Tides Of Time
And that shall never ever make it
Unto The Shore.
As one-day they will all say:
Kill Roy was here
And he wrote a poem upon the WALL
Which said this…
Except that he was here.
With his Bling Props No Props No Echo Your Masses Asses Making Hip Gang Signs &
Buying Up Your Video Product
No Rebels left But Cowards Who just Sing The Song Of Thy Puppet Selves Little Boys Of
Violence With Little Swords That Cannot & Will Never Plow The Field
Because, with weapon in pants, they are shit.
Who do not mend.
Gone. Now amongst us silent
The very thought
That once we shit thru our veins, living
As non aware un-alive
Follows when time is measured
monosyllabic and in waning days
For death recurrence
And numbers on papers, not soldiers
Become A Waste Of All That Is-Was Life.
But Can such an Armageddon
Accidental circumstances exist?
Life? Made of location and color
When the door of words is finally broken
With All levels un-covered
And Boring sets made of dead set repetition?
Because every man
therefore may whisper in the wind,
tend to the madness,
up to him-self,
That these are all faults
because every man
therefore may whisper in the wind,
Unto the vast world
Which is Now Dead
(Once like jazz… morphine.. salvation… running, thru the streets)
A World On Fire
Which said something
AHHHHHHH … POETIC
Thomas Wolfe and Jack Kerouac
Unicorns, God and the bible
Rimbaud, Venus and Lucifer
All in a dream, and a smoke.
Death and the quiet of night
Gunshots romantic and sad
And Tupac, Cobain & Lennon
All sitting in a cafeteria
And discussing them
Who nods and says…
INSTRUCTIONS & INVOCATIONS IN PREPARATION FOR THE TRIP ACROSS THE GREAT RIVER STYX
1} Place two coins (one over each eye) before you start your journey to give to the ferryman.
Your all seeing God may be waiting but just like an amusement park or a Disney film, it’s gonna cost you.
*Cancel that. Apparently they no longer accept coins and have now jimmied the price up to two hundred dollars due to inflation.
*Note 1 To The Unacknowledged: The ferryman hates the band “Styx”. So please DO NOT FUCKING sing!
2} Always carry a ham sandwich or a cream cheese bagel on your person at all times. The Ferryman can be bribed.
3} Poets ARE NOT allowed on the boat. However, if you are a critic that’s acceptable as long as you kiss ass well.
4} Hellfire. Brimstone. Satan? Perhaps you have taken the wrong turn. If this happens or this where your journey ends, then try smiling a lot and suggest a lot of your friends.
*Note 2: Hell is full of lawyers and politicians so suggest somebody else other than like your next door neighbor or an ex.
Keep your hands in the boat at all times!!!! You don’t know where that water’s been.
Bring a translation book, they all speak fuckin’ Egyptian.
*Note 3: If you are a drunk female when you pass or a gay guy DO NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES lift the Ferryman’s loin cloth or robe! And DO NOT make “Boner” jokes!
And yes. Smoking IS allowed…after all well, you’re dead.
You check the calendar,
Check your watch
And circle the date
Make plans with the Mrs.
Do the laundry
And sale shop
But everything’s the same.
For this world they say is changing
But nothing has really ever
Changed at all.
As you wait in the traffic lines
And flip off the slow lane
And serenely smile
As the next bad guy living on
The other side of the world
But the kids still need new shoes
And the mortgage must be paid
And the clock is still ticking
As you end another day
Another year, another month, another moment
Where you imagine in your mind
Just ending … It “All”
But would never do it
Because of the word “Hope”
But the preacher
On the radio, the Hopi
And the Mayans all keep talking
About that magic date;
12 21 2012
The end of the world
The end of it all
Or maybe just that call
From God which says
But either way the only way
To see it is that you are
Somehow moving towards a
But only if you keep
Your chin up