Poetry from David Estringel (set one)

Blood Honey (originally published at Fugitives & Futurists)

into breath,
and damp
under nostrils’ slow 
b   u   r   n,
wet tips of tongues
melt, dart,
and slide
into syrupy tangles,
with hot spit and
exhales, sweet as
red pomegranate.
Your little gasps
(my little deaths)
fire cutting teeth
and hungry lips,
drawing us 
spitting us
blood honey in a syringe—
into the heavenly hell 
of this hypodermic love—the sugar 
in my veins. 

Blue Light (originally published at Terror House Magazine)

Against an old Chevrolet on Maudlin Street, I smoke a cigarette—hard—chuckling at the hisses and howls of alley cats beneath the butcher shop’s broken neon sign. They flick their tails and prowl about, pestering fellas headed home to cold wives and cold dinners, straight from the misery of their long evening shifts. Persistent, with purrs and claws—smooth as cream— they graze oily pant legs (and thighs) for want of a rub…or two. Flicking my smoke at the sidewalk—a cherry-fire explosion drawing the glow of hungry eyes—a young, new one to the corner catches my eye, preening her strawberry-yellow hair, distracted by night shadows that stretch and duck in the periphery. Lighting another smoke, I call her over with a “Psst”, motioning with my hand, as tracers from a flaming tip pull heads from her pounce in unison, to and fro. Cautiously, she turns to me, as the sign overhead begins to flicker blue, casting a harsh pallor upon angled faces with its undead light. Motioning, again, she slowly heads my way—eyes shining and features soft. “What’s tonight’s special?”, I ask, as she pulls the cigarette from my newly shaken fingers and takes a drag. Letting out a long sigh, she blows a steady stream of spite—sweet—into my face, and jabs, “A pound of flesh with a side of soul. Hungry?”, looking as if she’d heard that line one too many times. “Nah,” I answered (a burn taking over my cheeks), “not tonight.” Then I turned and walked away down Maudlin Street, wishing I knew her name, loving her.

Medicine (originally published at Dumpster Fire Press)

are my medicine
when things are 
When calm
like cigarette smoke 
in fan blades, 
tarring popcorn ceilings 
and textured walls
with burns and
invisible drops
of carcinogenic rain.
What better salve
for the poundings 
in my chest—
of a life, juxtaposed,
away from those eyes
that mouth
that touch of skin, yours,
the sedation 
of cool breath 
on hot forehead
and the combing
of fingertips 
through currents
of sweat-matted hair—
this world I know. 

Neon Gods (originally published at Cephalorpress)

Sacred footsteps 
of pilgrims and 
street PrOphETS 
piss-stained lottery tickets and 
dirty hypodermics—
like rose petals, strewn
under maidens’ tender feet—
pave the way
to playing card Meccas
beyond doors
to salvation/damnation,
below fiery eyes that cut
the night (and souls) in two
with gazes and blinks 
(but never sleep). 

Quite the price 
to pay
to cross these fickle streams
that run
sacrificial red 
with self-severings 
of thigh bone and fat,
and spiced with lotus wine—
in want of burning
on conjured stages and 
electric alters
for Vanity’s 

How divine 
the honied stench
of auto-vivisections (splayed out
for all to see),
making followers and 
the blue birds in flight
appetites and tastes for
eyes (for eyes) and teeth (for teeth)— 
for the sake of ounces (of fame) 
for pounds (of flesh)—
like cold Lethe 
and her gentle lapping,
smooth, of jagged rocks
upon Hell’s bitter shores.
Let us pray 
(for emergence
from this opiate haze
and a quick flip of the switch).


Discoloration (originally published at Cajun Mutt Press)

Hopscotch squares
and street flowers,
drawn with sidewalk chalk,
‘round castles that sit upon
sun-dried patches 
of brown cloud,
stretch across concrete slabs
like ghosts of crime scenes
pulled from tabloid headlines
of an old Daily Post.
with electric pinks, blues, and yellows
etch hopeful prognostications
(like blades)
on crumbling slates,
amidst the stink
of fermenting cigarette butts
and backwash
from broken beer bottles—
a chill before the storm.
How long
before the next hard rain
that washes away the stuff of dreams
in Technicolor runoff
for parched gutters,
leaving the street, again,
to cry lifeless tears,
splattering upon stoops
and stone-cold petals,
that turn brown in the sun?