April 24: Tell it to the (blank)

Tell it to the Alchemist; Tell it to the smiling eyes; Tell it to the void


Tell it to the Alchemist

Soft slippers whispering across the palace tiles, and
your intentions are written plain on your face—
you’ve told me of your despair, born as you are
and never given what you desire deep down; and I sent you
to the Alchemist – not for what you want, but for
what is needful in a time when you have burdens to carry,
a place where there is no room for petty indulgences;
and, perhaps, you will forgive me one day, but your
transformation will ever be one at my sufferance: the power
behind the throne, the truth speaker when you want none,
wisdom where you are riddled with concerns of the flesh—
and it is at the forbearance of the gods that you still hold
that overly gilded chair of a throne, something I will
remind you of once again – once you are released from
the clutches of my talented Alchemist…

First, there will be Nigredo:
he knows your heart is Prima Materia wrapped in shadows,
hidden in a place that no part of you can know, but there
for the taking by relentless fingers that know where to press;
and your essence will drip from you through the sieve of
ancient knowledge, a projection of what you truly are—
whether monster, creature of nightmares terrible, or
ethereal beauty wept forth from the tears of Father Sky,
or majestic sapling birthed from Mother Earth’s loving embrace;
but whatever you will be, you will see truth and know yourself—
and know it for changeable not for another’s touch, but for the intent
you have poured so much of
into becoming something different.

Second, there will be Albedo:
there is a part of you distinct and otherworldly, waiting
for your discovery – that yearning in you answered, a lover distant
as the moon, but deep within you and forever close—
and that is the only true love you shall ever need to
satisfy your insatiable greed, someone who is tailored
by what you are; and that is not all, my lovely little songbird—
a trembling ball you may be now, but you will search your soul
and find meaning that stands stronger than your small wants; you
are exposed in the light of painful rebirth, a scourging of
pillars of strength and encumbrance of weaknesses alike—
you will have no choice, but to embrace the animus, embrace
and let who you were die with grace.

Third, there will be Citrinitas:
murmurs and whispers are all you are composed of, heart
locked in a light so intense it is of a pure black, and blessedly,
you will know divine intellect: the ruler of avarice shall pass,
the maiden forever displeased with her own image, claiming
to be a widow of a beauty that has forsaken her, and always
clutching her subjects as a child with a horde of sweets—
dawn has no patience with wisps of night trailing softly,
it cleanses with unquenchable fires that bathe you golden, and,
I hope, grant you the wisdom you have always lacked, my
lovely ruler unwittingly pure and simple: a love I have ever
ignored for who you were, and who am I in comparison—
but in the realm of the Alchemist, there are no such distinctions.

Fourth, there will be Rubedo:
he will scour your soul, tear down your useless pretense and
desire for the love of the moon itself, to wear a necklace of stars,
your reign one of peace – and absolute obedience; with a kiss
of anguish and reverent love, he will draw out your heat and
repurpose it, exercise your imagination to its limits and plant
intentions that suit your station – your heart is Prima Materia
awaiting a delicate touch of such an artist as he is; and when
you return to your flesh and soul reborn, I will be waiting there
with hopes I never dared ponder long, thoughts that would have you
a ruler of justice – and a woman of love; for I am an Alchemist,
whose council you had only sought in passing – but now you
know me for what I am: a simple man, loyal, and forever hoping.

Soft slippers whisper across the palace tiles, and
the frost in your gaze is a painful twist for my heart, yet warmth
also accompanies it with your small smile, a bare curving of lips—
my love, a just ruler, woman of power who has ever been
a fair maiden in my eyes, now with a beautiful sun radiating inside:
she is the moon in the skies that holds gentle rains and
terrible storms alike – but whatever I have done, she has become
the one who needs not such as I… yet, keeps me close enough,
that I cannot help but hope; my purpose is done,
and my work is complete: she told the Alchemist her fears, and
I gave her what she needed, and now that my magnum opus is done,
I am left feeling empty and lost – perhaps I will tell her Alchemist,
and hope she can reach inside me, purify the shell I have become—
…and, perhaps, one day return my secret love.


April 24, 2014


A brief explanation for the curious:

Nigredo (the blackening), Albedo (the whitening), Citrinitas (the yellowing) and Rubedo (the reddening) are the Stages of Transformation in alchemy; it can be heard of with only three stages in many places (excluding Citrinitas), but in some sources, including psychological manuscripts, it is included. Its essence is, as the name suggests, a process of transformation, the destruction, death of the old and a rebirth of soul and spirit into something new – more explanation would take much longer, but this is the essence and the core of the poem.

Prima Materia is the essence first sought in those undergoing the transformation, the “pure material” in the Nigredo stage, it is the uncorrupted seed of nature from which the elements are born.

Animus (or anima for men) is an inner “counterpart” of sorts, for women the embodiment of the ideal male and vice versa, also known as the inner soul mate. Its purpose and the reason for its significance requires much more explanation, primarily in modern times a psychological one, but suffice it to say that everyone has an animus/anima, and getting in touch with it is an essential part of the transformation.

Magnum opus – most probably know this, as it is more commonly used outside of an alchemical context, but for those who don’t, it means someone’s “great work” – or “masterpiece” is probably the most accurate translation. It is something that someone continually works towards, and generally it is one of a kind in a person's life, the peak of a career.

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Tell it to the smiling eyes

My mind is warping like hair through fingers, a ripple
squeezed of breath till I shiver, those
fingers touches of melancholy running down my spine;
we like hiding behind scenic dreams on distant coastlines,
and we bleed white, the puffs across a clear sky, and those
dreams seem to steam with the sore spots we conceal
behind cloaks and words we do not feel – and that
glassy sea is the oozing salt from our smiling eyes…

I feel the ripple, I feel the world swelter with the heat
of unfinished thoughts ripped from the weaving, then dipped
into a bucket of red to paint a brilliant sunset; we have no head
for heights, but we are not human without our secret delights, so
we strive through rippling minds, and reach out to the stars
to find new dominance: the promise of the shivers in our spines,
the seed of truth behind my glassy eyes, in our wonderlands—
at first: tick, tock, and suddenly, without warning: goodbye.

This place made sense once, and so did I—
there wasn’t a taste of madness to everything I ever said, but now
that might as well be a pretty to toss aside, now that the real
droplets of weight and sobriety have punctured the heartfelt bubble
of lies, now that time is warping, and my mind comes apart
at the seams: I step outside, and notice that it’s just a false ceiling—
behind eyes that just keep smiling.


April 24, 2014

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Tell it to the void

So many reasons spinning out of control,
and I am so cold standing behind
someone else’s eyes, feeling someone
else’s heart squeeze with impending loss,
and the reasons keep coming—
but all the soothing is swallowed by the void,
and no consolation is ever enough to fill it;
my mind enters crevices to hide, shying away
from the thoughts of control slipping, around me
the last scent of night fading, and
all those reasons collapse like a house of cards
from a gust of a half-hearted wind—
what does the void care that it is justified,
does it care that there is sense in what you say?
I feel cold, my heartbreak slipping
into the vanishing point to join a hollow place,
where I let you eviscerate things of beauty,
in the name of what is better for me…
you say there is so many new things waiting,
fulfilling collectables to replace what’s missing,
and you simply refuse to understand that
what I had was enough – now, you can give
your sage advice to the void, tell it
that it can go whenever it pleases – tell it, the
impressions of all that’s gone will stop pressing,
and that forgetting is a part of grieving:
tell it, and convince me that I am wrong
to have loved and for not wanting it gone…


April 24, 2014

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