IN THE ABSENCE OF LIGHTS
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) out.
N I G H T
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 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,
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.
WHAT SHE SAID
“If you ever tell me that you love me I’m afraid that I’ll have to leave.”
So not wanting to ever lose her he bent down, got close and softly whispered in her ear,
no more love poems no more love poems for the tainted and the dead, the wounded & the love-lorn, the fallen & the fled. no poems for Maria, no poems for Faith, no poems for Madonna, no poems for hate, no poems for Jennifer, no poems for life, no poems for the desperate, no poems for their wives. no poems for Lilith, no poems for smiles, and no poems for the goddesses who’ve fucked up my life. no poems for Jesus no poems for Christ no poems for his father no poems for Pilot. no poems for Sinatra no poems for style, no poems are in fashion no poems are worthwhile. no poems for heroes no poems for liars no poems for icons, and no poems for wine. no poems for love songs, no love songs for crimes, no saints for any sinners, no redemption through eyes. no soul in my pocket no soul in my bed, no more love poems for poets no more poetry for head. no love in the kitchen no love in the den no love in the living room and no love poems ever left in this lonely house, on the side of the road, in the backstreets or in the alleyways allover the world. no more love poems, no more and yet we still live, going on & on & on and wondering who loves and who gives and who this stupid man is who keeps writing all of these foolish love poems for “her”
R.M. Engelhardt Copyright 2005.
Engelhardt Publishes His Collected Poems
MICHAEL ECK Special to the Times UnionSection: 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. Albany is it. I’ll probably live here the rest of my life.
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.
The Last Cigarette:
The Collected Poems
Of R.M. Engelhardt
These are the earlier collected works of Albany, NY based poet, writer & author R.M. Engelhardt who has published several books over the last two decades. Engelhardt through his ideas & visions has helped to create a large amount of the Upstate, Albany, NY spoken word~poetry scene and is the host of The Saint Poem Reading Series. Through his efforts he has created such groups the Albany Poetry Syndicate as well as Albany Poets (www.AlbanyPoets.com), which have left a lasting mark on the upstate NY literary scene. His work has also been published by many journals both in print & on the net including Retort, Verve, Fashion For Collapse, Sure! The Charles Bukowski Newsletter, Copious Amounts, Thunder Sandwich, The Angry Poet, 2nd Avenue Poetry, Full of Crow & in many others.
All men should possess a ‘visionary faculty’. Men do not, because they live wrongly. They live too tensely, under too much strain, ‘getting and spending’. But this loss of the visionary faculty is not entirely man’s fault, it is partly the fault of the world he lives in, that demands that men should spend a certain amount of their time ‘getting and spending’ to stay alive. …The visionary faculty comes naturally to all men. When they are relaxed enough, every leaf of every tree in the world, every speck of dust, is a separate world capable of producing infinite pleasure. If these fail to do so, it is man’s own fault for wasting his time and energy on trivialities. The ideal is the contemplative poet, the ‘sage’, who cares about having only enough money and food to keep him alive, and never takes thought for the morrow.”
~ From The Outsider by Colin Wilson
For round you,
Thy life there is a world
All thee who live
And all thee who strive
Strife may not as yet
Have touched your bones.
For the lark & the light
And the music of the night
And its kingdom.
So far from the dark
And apart from those times
A better world that
Is still trying
To be a better world.
For the child, and the heart
And the happiness & time
The seasons and the soul and
The hope that our kind,
For in the true
Kingdom of Night
There is no love to find,
No beauty, no truth no meaning
And no time
For it is not merely
The act of being alive,
But for that which
Keeps you alive,
Against the storms
Against the hard times
For among the ruins
There is a shining diamond
A star within the wreckage
Waiting to be found
So be thankful
That the daylight shines
And that the moon
Remains to remind
That time, life
Is merely a passing dream
And that the night
Good or bad
Shall eventually pass
R.M. Engelhardt 2011
Tonight on television
there is an actor talking about his battle with
drug addiction, sex addiction and life.
You would think that by the way
the host is interviewing him
that he is wise & worldly, an
ancient sage from his
battle with the curse
And there are a billion lights
in the great big city, a million lives
that get up everyday and go to work like
everybody else. And their addiction is food,
their addiction is rent and how to somehow
get thru the next day and make sure that
their children are dressed, educated & well-fed.
So the question is is that when you
look at the world do you see a gift? Or do you see an
enemy? Do you have faith or do you pretend that
all of these famous people are like you or your friends?
The constant partying,
the good life, broads & booze,
high fashion, money and
Paris Hilton bending over your
patio bench just waiting for
a piece of what you’ve got to give.
But there are those of us who
happen to live in the real world,
those who believe in more than just
the shallow trash that all the others
seem to admire.
And they call us the survivors who don’t
need the shit or the television to fulfill our
needs. The survivors who don’t need the
drama or the fake religions of the moment,
the meth or the cocaine, a little dog or
a brand new $400. dollar purse.
~ R.M. Engelhardt