Quake Quake Quake

C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_QuakeQuakeQuake.jpgAlthough I’m not the first poet to ever write a book of post-apocalyptic poetry (The Bones of Our Existence) I can happily say that I have been preceded by such poets as the likes of Paul Dehn and even by a poem by Lord Byron called “The Darkness”. Here’s a great article on Paul Dehn’s book, a collaboration with famous artist Edward Gorey entitled “Quake Quake Quake”


The Apocalyptic Poetry of Paul Dehn



There ain’t no sin and there ain’t no virtue.

There’s just stuff people do.”

~ John Steinbeck


He was and still is a huge influence on my writing to this day. His work, you may find is also an influence on my new book, “The Bones of Our Existence, A Journal 2046”. The daily struggle of mankind and humanity, compassion, will always exist. Bukowski once said it’s how we walk through the fire. Steinbeck’s books showed us how.

In the end?

We are all survivors.

~R.M. Engelhardt

The Bones of Our Existence, A Journal 2046 Coming March 15th …

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.”

—   Bertolt Brecht

The Bones of Our Existence 2016

R.M. Engelhardt‘s new book The Bones of Our Existence, A Journal 2046 will be revealed March 15, 2016 online and is “an entirely new concept in regards to the way the book is to be released as well as to be presented.”

This book will be absolutely free to the public and is one man’s journal of poems set in the aftermath of the post-apocalyptic future of 2046 written by an unknown survivor who in the forms of prose and poetry looks back and reflects upon his life, loves and battles (within and without) over the last some 40 years.

The book is part science fiction, part humanity and even part Thoreau, but mostly it is the memoir of a man, who like the future we all thought would get better, has lost his way but who still believes that the words, our souls and our voices, poetry still … and will always matter.

Look for this and other book related news here at http://www.rmengelhardt.com

The King of Bohemia

King of Bohemia

George Sterling (1869-1926); King of Bohemia and central figure in the Californian literary scene of the early twentieth century. Pupil of Ambrose Bierce, whom he called “The Master,” mentor to Clark Ashton Smith, friend of Jack London, Robinson Jeffers and Nora May French.

Perhaps best known for his epic poems The Testimony of the Suns and A Wine of Wizardry (1907), to which Smith’s The Hashish-Eater would forever be compared, his prodigious output of poems, plays, essays and the occasional story appeared in twenty one volumes, numerous magazines and newspapers.

His work covered a broad set of themes and philosophies – from the romantic, in the tradition of Shelley and Keats, to the morbid gloom of Poe passing through the mystical and fantastic on the way. He tackled the (at the time) taboo subjects of incest and homosexuality while covering the current political and sporting news of the day.

Sterling committed suicide by taking cyanide in his room at the Bohemian Club on November 17, 1926.

As all good poets should be, he was a drunkard and a womanizer.


~ Boyd Pearson



The children of the flesh of men,
They pass from night to night;
They weep and laugh and labor, then
Are lost to human sight.

Musing on such a fate, the mind
Stirs with a tragic sense-
So brave they walk the stage assigned,
So soon they hurry thence.

The children of the artist’s brain
Elude mortality,
O’er them Time swings his scythe in
Till time no more shall be.

In many hearts, in many lands,
They live again their tale,
As, young or old, the Future’s hands
Arise to give them hail.

As here the crafts of men assure
Their presence to the years,
So too shall Memory’s bronze endure,
With all their smiles and tears.

Such lives within our lives can be;
Such comrades Art can give.
Are men but shadows? is it we
Or they who truly live?

A Wine of Wizardry

"When mountains were stained as with wine
By the dawning of Time, and as wine
Were the seas." 
               -AMBROSE BIERCE.

Without, the battlements of sunset shine,
'Mid domes the sea-winds rear and overwhelm.
Into a crystal cup the dusky wine
I pour, and, musing at so rich a shrine,
I watch the star that haunts its ruddy gloom.
Now Fancy, empress of a purpled realm,
Awakes with brow caressed by poppy-bloom,
And wings in sudden dalliance her flight
To strands where opals of the shattered light
Gleam in the wind-strewn foam, and maidens flee
A little past the striving billows' reach,
Or seek the russet mosses of the sea,
And wrinkled shells that lure along the beach,
And please the heart of Fancy; yet she turns,
Tho' trembling, to a grotto rosy-sparred,
Where wattled monsters redly gape, that guard
A cowled magician peering on the damned
Thro' vials wherein a splendid poison burns,
Sifting Satanic gules athwart his brow.
So Fancy will not gaze with him, and now
She wanders to an iceberg oriflammed
With rayed, auroral guidons of the North—
Wherein hath winter hidden ardent gems
And treasuries of frozen anadems,
Alight with timid sapphires of the snow.
But she would dream of warmer gems, and so
Ere long her eyes in fastnesses look forth
O'er blue profounds mysterious whence glow
The coals of Tartarus on the moonless air,
As Titans plan to storm Olympus' throne,
'Mid pulse of dungeoned forges down the stunned,
Undominated firmament, and glare
Of Cyclopean furnaces unsunned.

Then hastens she in refuge to a lone,
Immortal garden of the eastern hours,
Where Dawn upon a pansy's breast hath laid
A single tear, and whence the wind hath flown
And left a silence. Far on shadowy tow'rs
Droop blazoned banners, and the woodland shade,
With leafy flames and dyes autumnal hung,
Makes beautiful the twilight of the year.
For this the fays will dance, for elfin cheer,
Within a dell where some mad girl hath flung
A bracelet that the painted lizards fear—
Red pyres of muffled light! Yet Fancy spurns
The revel, and to eastern hazard turns,
And glaring beacons of the Soldan's shores,
When in a Syrian treasure-house she pours,
From caskets rich and amethystine urns,
Dull fires of dusty jewels that have bound
The brows of naked Ashtaroth around.
Or hushed, at fall of some disastrous night,
When sunset, like a crimson throat to hell,
Is cavernous, she marks the seaward flight
Of homing dragons dark upon the West;
Till, drawn by tales the winds of ocean tell,
And mute amid the splendors of her quest,
To some red city of the Djinns she flees
And, lost in palaces of silence, sees
Within a porphyry crypt the murderous light
Of garnet-crusted lamps whereunder sit
Perturbéd men that tremble at a sound,
And ponder words on ghastly vellum writ,
In vipers' blood, to whispers from the night—
Infernal rubrics, sung to Satan's might,
Or chaunted to the Dragon in his gyre.
But she would blot from memory the sight,
And seeks a stainéd twilight of the South,
Where crafty gnomes with scarlet eyes conspire
To quench Aldebaran's affronting fire,
Low sparkling just beyond their cavern's mouth,
Above a wicked queen's unhallowed tomb.
There lichens brown, incredulous of fame,
Whisper to veinéd flowers her body's shame,
'Mid stillness of all pageantries of bloom.
Within, lurk orbs that graven monsters clasp;
Red-embered rubies smolder in the gloom,
Betrayed by lamps that nurse a sullen flame,
And livid roots writhe in the marble's grasp,
As moaning airs invoke the conquered rust
Of lordly helms made equal in the dust.
Without, where baleful cypresses make rich
The bleeding sun's phantasmagoric gules,
Are fungus-tapers of the twilight witch
(Seen by the bat above unfathomed pools)
And tiger-lilies known to silent ghouls,
Whose king hath digged a somber carcanet
And necklaces with fevered opals set.
But Fancy, well affrighted at his gaze,
Flies to a violet headland of the West,
About whose base the sun-lashed billows blaze,
Ending in precious foam their fatal quest,
As far below the deep-hued ocean molds,
With waters' toil and polished pebbles' fret,
The tiny twilight in the jacinth set,
The wintry orb the moonstone-crystal holds,
Snapt coral twigs and winy agates wet,
Translucencies of jasper, and the folds
Of banded onyx, and vermilion breast
Of cinnabar. Anear on orange sands,
With prows of bronze the sea-stained galleys rest,
And swarthy mariners from alien strands
Stare at the red horizon, for their eyes
Behold a beacon burn on evening skies,
As fed with sanguine oils at touch of night.
Forth from that pharos-flame a radiance flies,
To spill in vinous gleams on ruddy decks;
And overside, when leap the startled waves
And crimson bubbles rise from battle-wrecks,
Unresting hydras wrought of bloody light
Dip to the ocean's phosphorescent caves.

So Fancy's carvel seeks an isle afar,
Led by the Scorpion's rubescent star,
Until in templed zones she smiles to see
Black incense glow, and scarlet-bellied snakes
Sway to the tawny flutes of sorcery.
There priestesses in purple robes hold each
A sultry garnet to the sea-linkt sun,
Or, just before the colored morning shakes
A splendor on the ruby-sanded beach,
Cry unto Betelgeuse a mystic word.
But Fancy, amorous of evening, takes
Her flight to groves whence lustrous rivers run,
Thro' hyacinth, a minster wall to gird,
Where, in the hushed cathedral's jeweled gloom,
Ere Faith return, and azure censers fume,
She kneels, in solemn quietude, to mark
The suppliant day from gorgeous oriels float
And altar-lamps immure the deathless spark;
Till, all her dreams made rich with fervent hues,
She goes to watch, beside a lurid moat,
The kingdoms of the afterglow suffuse
A sentinel mountain stationed toward the night—
Whose broken tombs betray their ghastly trust,
Till bloodshot gems stare up like eyes of lust.
And now she knows, at agate portals bright,
How Circe and her poisons have a home,
Carved in one ruby that a Titan lost,
Where icy philters brim with scarlet foam,
'Mid hiss of oils in burnished caldrons tost,
While thickly from her prey his life-tide drips,
In turbid dyes that tinge her torture-dome;
As craftily she gleans her deadly dews,
With gyving spells not Pluto's queen can use,
Or listens to her victim's moan, and sips
Her darkest wine, and smiles with wicked lips.
Nor comes a god with any power to break
The red alembics whence her gleaming broths
Obscenely fume, as asp or adder froths,
To lethal mists whose writhing vapors make
Dim augury, till shapes of men that were
Point, weeping, at tremendous dooms to be,
When pillared pomps and thrones supreme shall stir,
Unstable as the foam-dreams of the sea.

But Fancy still is fugitive, and turns
To caverns where a demon altar burns,
And Satan, yawning on his brazen seat,
Fondles a screaming thing his fiends have flayed,
Ere Lilith come his indolence to greet,
Who leads from hell his whitest queens, arrayed
In chains so heated at their master's fire
That one new-damned had thought their bright attire
Indeed were coral, till the dazzling dance
So terribly that brilliance shall enhance.
But Fancy is unsatisfied, and soon
She seeks the silence of a vaster night,
Where powers of wizardry, with faltering sight
(Whenas the hours creep farthest from the noon)
Seek by the glow-worm's lantern cold and dull
A crimson spider hidden in a skull,
Or search for mottled vines with berries white,
Where waters mutter to the gibbous moon.
There, clothed in cerements of malignant light,
A sick enchantress scans the dark to curse,
Beside a caldron vext with harlots' blood,
The stars of that red Sign which spells her doom.

Then Fancy cleaves the palmy skies adverse
To sunset barriers. By the Ganges' flood
She sees, in her dim temple, Siva loom
And, visioned with the monstrous ruby, glare
On distant twilight where the burning-ghaut
Is lit with glowering pyres that seem the eyes
Of her abhorrent dragon-worms that bear
The pestilence, by Death in darkness wrought.
So Fancy's wings forsake the Asian skies,
And now her heart is curious of halls
In which dead Merlin's prowling ape hath spilt
A vial squat whose scarlet venom crawls
To ciphers bright and terrible, that tell
The sins of demons and the encharneled guilt
That breathes a phantom at whose cry the owl,
Malignly mute above the midnight well,
Is dolorous, and Hecate lifts her cowl
To mutter swift a minatory rune;
And, ere the tomb-thrown echoings have ceased,
The blue-eyed vampire, sated at her feast,
Smiles bloodily against the leprous moon.

But evening now is come, and Fancy folds
Her splendid plumes, nor any longer holds
Adventurous quest o'er stainéd lands and seas—
Fled to a star above the sunset lees,
O'er onyx waters stilled by gorgeous oils
That toward the twilight reach emblazoned coils.
And I, albeit Merlin-sage hath said,
"A vyper lurketh in ye wine-cuppe redde,"
Gaze pensively upon the way she went,
Drink at her font, and smile as one content.

The world has been lost. Gone into the unnamed void. We drink our coffee, put on our coats and go to work and sense that something is missing, aware something is no longer there. We have changed. We have forgotten who we are. Or maybe this is just the beginning of becoming, the transformation of the becoming of something new. Find the words unspoken. Find the voice that tells a new story for a new history as yet unwritten. This is your real job. To create that which has not yet been created.

An Interview With R.M. Engelhardt, 2006

MICHAEL ECK Special to the Times Union
Section: Arts-Events, Page: H1
Date: Sunday, October 29, 2006
R.M. Engelhardt wears black sunglasses in the shade. He chain-smokes Djarums until his head is wreathed in a clove-scented cloud. And, in the middle of the day, he sucks down coffee like a trucker on a midnight run.

Engelhardt, in case you haven’t already figured it out, is a poet. But he doesn’t just walk the role, he talks it, too. In fact, he’s been speaking his poetic mind in public for more than a decade, at least on occasion as the host the long-running Vox and School of Night readings series, both of which he founded, fostered and produced at local nightclubs. Engelhardt, 42, is one of the leading lights of the Albany poetry scene, and he is finally, rightfully, celebrating himself with the publication of “The Last Cigarette: The New & Collected Poems of R.M. Engelhardt” on his own Dead Man’s Press.

He calls the work, which includes selections previously published in journals, online magazines and in his own chapbooks, “a handbook of my life.”

Q: Why do you write poetry?

A: Why do people breathe? Why do people make music?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I wrote a Greek myth when I was 12 years old. We were studying Greek myths and my sixth-grade teacher freaked out. That was my first clue it was like, hmmm, I did something interesting.

When I was about 15 years old, I was a Doors fan. I liked Jim Morrison and all that. Then I read (Danny Sugerman’s Morrison biography) “No One Here Gets Out Alive” and he made references to Blake and Rimbaud and other poets. Of course, being an introverted, quiet kid, in junior high, with glasses, the whole thing, I spent my time in the library, in the corner, reading all those books.

I started writing a lot at that time. It’s just a part of life. It’s who I am.

Q: Your work has been published and you’ve performed it as well, which do you prefer, the page or the stage?

A: Actually, I’m more partial to the page. I’ve written more than just poetry. I’ve written prose pieces and things like that, which are also in the book. I like the craft of writing itself.

I do enjoy performing, but I find lately that I’m staying in more and writing, rather than going out all the time.

It’s kind of crucial that you have a place where you can share your work with other people and perform your stuff and get feedback on it, but as I’m getting older I see that the form and the style in the clubs is changing, with poetry slams and poetry battles.

I’m old-school, and my style is different from what’s coming out now. You won’t see me doing any slams in the future. I’ve done them before, but it’s not for me.

Q: Why Albany?

A: I’m a sixth-generation Albanian. That’s one reason. My family’s been here since 1890.

Albany is where I grew up. It’s a part of me. A lot of people I know have died here. Their memories are here. It’s my city. It’s my town.

I tried Florida, just to see what it was like. I thought maybe I would stay in the Keys there’s a great quality to the way it’s laid back there but the funny thing was, I had nothing to write about. It wasn’t like Hemingway-land. It was more geared toward parrots, bad shirts and rich eccentrics with long beards.

Albany is it. I’ll probably live here the rest of my life.

Besides, in Florida it was very hard to find clove cigarettes.

Q: If you could trade places with one writer, who would it be?

A: I’d love to be in the Renaissance era, when poets were rock stars. But if it had to be one person, it would probably be Baudelaire or Poe but hopefully with a happier life and a nicer mustache.

Since I was a kid, Poe has been one of those influences that’s been inescapable. His work, his stories, they’re phenomenal. He had an imagination like you wouldn’t believe. At the same time I wouldn’t want to end up in his shoes. He died alone, and nobody wants to die alone.

Q: What do words mean to you?

A: Words are powerful. Words make a difference. They can create and destroy. They can open doors and close doors. Words can create illusion or magic, love or destruction. … All those things.

Michael Eck, a freelance writer from Albany, is a

frequent contributor to the Times Union.R.M. Engelhardt

An Interview With Albany Poets : R.M. Engelhardt

R.M. Engelhardt
R.M. Engelhardt

An interview with old friend and cofounder of Albany Poets Mr. Thom Francis about the Albany poetry scene, new projects and something about a new book :

Listen Here:




“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.”

~ Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely

CREATE THE BOOK : Support Poets & DIY Publishing.