IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHTS : Where Noir Meets Verse



Dark-mirrored hallways
a dim precision march
Here we have tread before
Without fear/Well measured
Pagan desires and objective
Study. Pavlov’s dog is still
Breathing, his cigarette falls
To the floor and he dances like
a manic animal. Lost in the
headlights, accidents shall
occur once more. There are
no excuses left for avatars,
no reasons left for men,
only lights in the doorways
flicker and then they slowly


(to grey)

(to grey)

(to grey)






In the dark we rarely see 

Images from movies appear 

Easy to remain the voyeur 

As Bogart stares at Bacall. 

Here, are your vampires 

your child-like apparitions 

Yet true monsters are by far 

better dressed and elusive 

who, when asked to be truthful 

shall lie as they calculate your 

fate, look into your eyes and say 

“Don’t worry, all is well”. 

There is something strange about 

demons, night holds the key, we 

devoured by these realities which 

someone has named the truth. 

And yet, who if asked would pray 

for a parallel universe? Would you? 

Would God do this after listening 

to choirs? So uninspired 

that he would need to cool off? 

This is an impersonation, he is 

wearing old spice, his shirt open 

down to his navel. Disgusted, we 

turn away from this sight, a decaying 

Casanova hiding in the shadows of his youth.

As night approaches, we, much like 

our old ancestors, still stare into the 

fires and wonder about our lives, dream 

of our own private shambalas, forget, 

pass the bottle and survive. 

But is this all we shall amount to? 

When all we know is nothing, 

Except this




And now alas yet another poem from my destructions,

You, witness to and here in new flesh and new skin.

The skin of hero, the skin of snake, the skin of monster, the skin of saint all gradually and eventually shedding piece by piece living and dying and reinventing the world. Poems, photographs, enemies and the catastrophes which perish into the void. Paper, undigested words, mute horses and mad nostalgic whores, all reality deficient and nocturnally deaf to the unpure beating heart of man and muse. Reason-religion-idealism-theory….and shit. The perfect and critical butt-flight of monkeys and the cacophony of idle crows who sit upon the fences of eternity passing judgment upon our souls until we give in…to emptiness. But let them all know this;

That Jesus came unabridged with two fish and a loaf of bread, more a poet than a precise carpenter and he fed multitudes….

“With hope”




When stars fall out of the sky and 
all lights fade into silence.
When you grow cold
Eyes grow old
Touch grows cold
Stars fall out of the sky

And lights still fade.

After years
After hours
After moments
That never mattered

You grow cold
Love grows cold
Eyes grow old

And love fails..falls,
Fucked up and silent
Foolish and waiting

In the corner.

When the universe mo longer
Yields to your commands

When the mirror finally breaks
And all you are left with is glass

You grow old
touch grows cold
eyes grow old

And all of the stars still
Fall out of the sky

It’s time for the last call.





R.M. Engelhardt Copyright 2005.




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”