Of Ghosts, Dust & Forgotten Poems: R.M. Engelhardt

I have long since disappeared from these places. Time speaks and all I have left is gone where meaningless gestures from strangers in a foreign land signify nothing, the circle once more revolving and unfolding the mysteries of sleep. And everything, macrocosm and microcosm, has merely become a dream. Dead sonnets and broken memories. Lost words and disintegrated photographs. Here they say it’s easy to become “dust”
Tonight I have awakened you alone once more. I walked through you’re house and you screamed, you’re once beautiful brown hair now white with years, your heart still missing in all the wrong and familiar places. What are you now? 65? 70? You cursed me and swore that you would never let me in again. Was I supposed to be there? Afterall, you were the one who called me, and all I did was answer. So what’s worse than a suicide? I know. To live day after day after day in the misery and pain that you created
For yourself.
Beneath The Waking Sea

Beneath the waking sea a man pauses and dreams and says I am and could be, and yet there is nothing. Too much violence and too much hate to comprehend, too much disease and sickness to defeat. For this is the restlessness of one’s own immaturity, knowing that without imagination that all these days seem to mingle and blend and that we become lost. And yet it is not enough to merely be or to live beneath the waking sea, for there is a moment, a wave which must take you and carry you away when a man knows his purpose & his purpose for being when he becomes
“And there is a strange beauty in destruction and time ravages all of us in its wake.”
Detective Noir

It was dark after midnight and in the distance the dogs were barking loudly outside in the cold where his car was parked in front of your apartment building on Manning.
And I thought about how much you loved me, words now left
And uneasily spoken beneath the dim streetlights and the windows downtown where at about one a.m. all yours went out.
And he, got into his sports car and left around seven,
Looked right at me, through me, never knowing how close death was in the mourning of everything  lost.
I lit up another cigarette and walked home just as
the rain was beginning to fall.

Love Or Darkness?
Once, when younger I dreamed of you in visuals, brain-scattered images where I would catch a brief glimpse of you touching face and hands smiling voice melodious and beautiful streaming, kissing chasing a destiny myself that never came. You would walk suddenly and unexpectedly into offices, coffeehouses, libraries, restaurants and cafes, down the streets of the momentary fragment and into the crowded bars. You would dance wildly moving and your long hair would gently brush across your shoulders and it would sing lullabies lightly against your lips & breasts your eyes following mine in concert this connection blood for blood and wine for wine together. And like a motherless child from time to time you would follow me and ask me for forgiveness when the darkness came at night, and as the years passed by my answer was once gone it never returns.
It is said that once you love, truly love that you shall love forever and that that emotion never dies. But unlike you I have always known this simple truth: that heroes are made for falling no matter what they do.

I remember now,
I remember you and I ask
Myself why even bothered
To care
To let myself believe you
To let myself feel you trusted you
Here inside where
Once everything was dead
Didn’t you see the sign that said
“Do not open?”
Didn’t you care?
Selfish and foolish
There wasn’t any power
That you could have gained from this
But as I ‘ve now heard from many others
Inflicting a little bit of pain never
Stopped you from getting what you want
But the box my love, you shouldn’t have opened
Because inside of it was my heart.
1.   If it all doesn’t make sense anymore than what do we have left?
2.   What’s left.
Perhaps there is a history, an unexplainable riddle about
A man who eats too much albatross,
And a woman who drinks too much bleach.
A man who is waiting in Casablanca
And the woman who always leaves
All in the name of great drama.
And chivalry my friends, is the heart disease of idiots,
And the last vestige of her ice-cunt logic that convinced him
That it’s possible that temples can be built upon sewers
And that honesty never saved anyone…
From themselves.


Rimbaud & Jim Morrison: The Rebel as Poet By Wallace Fowlie

  • The poet makes himself into a visionary by a long derangement of all the senses.”—Rimbaud

    In 1968 Jim Morrison, founder and lead singer of the rock band the Doors, wrote to Wallace Fowlie, a scholar of French literature and a professor at Duke University. Morrison thanked Fowlie for producing an English translation of the complete poems of Rimbaud. He needed the translation, he said, because, “I don’t read French that easily… . I am a rock singer and your book travels around with me.” Fourteen years later, when Fowlie first heard the music of the Doors, he recognized the influence of Rimbaud in Morrison’s lyrics.
    In Rimbaud and Jim Morrison Fowlie, a master of the form of the memoir, reconstructs the lives of the two youthful poets from a personal perspective. In their twinned stories he discovers an uncanny symmetry, a pattern far richer than the simple truth that both led lives full of adventure and both made poetry of their thirst for the liberation of the self. The result is an engaging account of the connections between an exceptional French symbolist who gave up writing poetry at the age of twenty, died young, and whose poems are still avidly read to this day, and an American rock musician whose brief career ignited an entire generation and has continued to fascinate millions around the world in the twenty years since his death in Paris. In this dual portrait, Fowlie gives us a glimpse of the affinities and resemblances between European literary traditions and American rock music and youth culture in the late twentieth century.
    A personal meditation on two unusual, yet emblematic, cultural figures, this book also stands as a summary of a noted scholar’s lifelong reflections on creative artists.

    About The Author:

    At the time of his death, Wallace Fowlie was James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of French Literature at Duke University. He is the author and translator of thirty books, includingRimbaud: A Critical Study and The Complete Works of Rimbaud, a translation. This is the fifth volume in a series of memoirs, MemorySitesAubade, and Journal of Rehearsals,all published by Duke University Press.

Source : (www.rmengelhardt.com)

Selling Out The Gods…

Selling Out The Gods By R.M. Engelhardt


Lizard King lunchboxes for

Precocious children are coming soon

To a supermarket near you.

They will be next to the Jim Carroll 

Action figures and the “Rimbaud was 

a wildman” T-Shirts in isle 5.

The Jack Kerouac cereal is fortified 

And delicious …


R.M. Engelhardt 2005


NOD Moon Stars Sun Time Poems By R.M. Engelhardt 2002


Better to feel

                 (Than be)

Blood rushes thru veins

And the heart beats,

Only one-day to complete its duty.

While eventually earth and gods shall all come

Crashing down

And kingdoms & civilizations fade.

And so please, I ask you only this;

That when I leave to let me take these

Few things with me,

The moon, the sun and the stars,

And the small traces of light which

Once reflected in your eyes

That I 

Can no longer




Yours is a beauty of monsterous

proportions with the world 

Spinning randomly into 

Oblivion where all the leaves are all

Dying all the time off the trees,

Where misery makes its way into

Every small tissue stealing.

Yours is a world where 

Beauty has fled and has left town 

For greener pastures, has drowned its-

Self into the sea of angst & tears and

Has mixed its-self with alcohol & 

Cigarettes, sad poems and

Indiscriminate men & women who

Already know that beauty has left

The scene,

(And they no longer care to find her)

And yet it is good that beautyhas

Finally found you and that beauty is not dead,

But was merely sleeping

On the sofa of your



Poems By R.M. Engelhardt

From The Book “Nod. (moon, stars, sun … time)


How It All Began : A Memoir On Albany Poets & The Albany WordFest

Albany Poets



How It All Began : A Memoir On Albany Poets & The Albany WordFest

Arm yourself …

Arm yourself with pens and imagination, the paper is the empty space between the silence and the void. Fill it with words and ideas of grand thoughts and designs, unseen moments glimpsed out of secret corners. ~ R.M.

A life in writing: Charles Nicholl

A life in Writing

‘Let’s have a look at the dark side of the moon – Marlowe as spy, Rimbaud as gun-runner, Shakespeare as lodger’


A life in writing: Charles Nicholl

The Archeology of Her Smile

The Archeology Of Her Smile Poem

” I love you “

These words that he said

A thousand lifetimes ago.

A thousand women weeping

A thousand flowers burned.

The poem,

Just written for someone, somewhere



A wife

A daughter

A love.

About the archeology of her smile,

About her hidden voice,

The joyful noise of her child

Or just the way she laughed,

Poised, in the mirror

Or running thru the grass

Or thru the fields

Of forever.

For these words

Were said, were written

 A thousand lifetimes ago,

A thousand women weeping

A thousand flowers burned.

The poem,

Just written for someone, somewhere


About the archeology of her smile,

About the way she loved

About the life she lived with you

About the world she touched

For this is her true story

Written in the voices of each life.

Civilization, man or woman

And of their rise or fall.

For without her or her

Beauty, her eyes, or her smile?

Why there would be

No “his-story” ever written

At all.


R.M. Engelhardt 2012





This poem, ain’t about you.

And this poem ain’t about a raging heart
Or a saving grace.

This poem has nothing to do with the blues,
Robert Johnson, the devil or even
All the saints.

And this poem has nothing to do with the paranormal,
Demons or the neon electric lights of
Near death, deadly dead cosmic experiences,
Jesus Christ or his brother
Fred, candy, the shadow government,

Or “You”


This poem is a song
This poem is not a song

This poem
Is a riddle
This Poem is a revelation
For the false.

That has nothing to do with you,
Or your limited level of reality, non reality,
War, baseball or boxing, peace summits
Criticism Or the never ending war of

Good … Versus Evil.

That you are truly, afraid to fight.

No. Nope.

This poem ain’t about you,
not about you at all.

Because this here poem
Is all about “Soul”

An extinct & isolated species that’s
Connected, Interconnected & Intertwined
And Living Complete & Inside and Amongst the Cosmology
Of a Hundred Thousand Billion Stars.

And something that “You” Will Never Get,
Or ever understand.

Because this poem
Is not all about “You”

This poem
Is about “Soul”

That thing that you can never have
Or get which just like imagination
Escapes you just like honesty
Fame or the verses

That fall onto the page, like love.

Because you see it’s
That song inside your deepest depths
The heart that keeps you going, fighting

And truly “Alive”

Each & everyday

And that something
Which you must earn.

So this poem
Sure as hell
Ain’t about “You”

This poem
Is all about the parade of souls

That just keeps on passing you by
Without notice.

All the souls

Smart enough,

Not to follow



R.M. Engelhardt

Poems In Retort Magazine

I Was Once Dead Too  R.M. Engelhardt


In a famous painting
of Christ nailed to
and crucified upon the cross
I am the watching 
leper on the right.
And with my one good eye
I watch as Jesus dies
and screams up into
darkening sky asking
his father for a reason


And then, suddenly 
as the clouds open up
and the rain begins
the Romans scatter like mice,
the water, burning off their
flesh like corrosive acid.
As I feel the wetness upon my
skin like the warmth of a beautiful woman 
touching my face, I raise my
hands outward, and I am healed.
When a voice comes
which tells me I am now
the angel of death, and the
watcher in the eternity
that is time, wandering 
the earth.

The screams of both Jesus,
and his murderers the Romans
now a distant sound & memory
in a world without messiahs
or miracles to amaze us.
Only questions
which remain unanswered.


You reach inside

Your guts and you

Pull out

A fuzzy bunny.

You reach inside

You’re soul and worse

Yet you pull out

A teletubbie.

The image

In your mind appears,

the voices speak.

You’re probably insane.

And you wonder;

Has this ever happened

To Whitman? Dickinson

Or Frost?

Probably not.

But then again,

They didn’t have


As good

As ours.

More …   


Literature  R.M. Engelhardt

Poems In Retort Magazine