Nocturnal Undoing ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written October 7th, 2007

Listen here for my reading of “Nocturnal Undoing.”


Although the enfeebled stars and the waning moon
Are scarcely visible, they still possess,
Through the intercessions of enumerable
Tiny threads, the potency to pull us from our sleep.
Now they have set us to wandering in a realm,
Which we suddenly realize is characterized
By something much more than simple lack.
The threads are actually attached to places
Buried deep inside the body, places unreachable
From the exterior, and hence, beyond the balm
Of any comfort.  We wake.  And the night, an agency
Of reparation, enlivens its hold on us, so that the Un-
Forces — unconscious, unreachable, unlit —
Bring us under the influence of those enfeebled stars
And that waning moon, where we may grieve, at last,
In a complete darkness, exterior and interior,
For the uninhabited husks of the undead.
How many times have we passed through the dirt
And darkness having surrendered our bodies
To these lost ones?  We die.  We live.  We sleep.
We are awake.  And the many forms, which shuffle
Through our bones show by these threads that tug us
Towards the future that birth and being were never
Ours to own. . .

Partial Birth ©

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written August 9th, 2008

Listen here to my reading of “Partial Birth” 


Someone big took an ax, and chopped the moon
Exactly in half, the surviving truncation
Fleeing across the star-mangled heavens,
And making the whole below-world vivid
With silvery graininess.  After that,
Everything became important, and a
Strange music burst from the pores of leaves.
A desperate contest was raging, the fight
Conducted through surrogates, gigantic
Horses lying at the feet of each of the four
Combatants: One, wounded, and breathing
Heavily; one, in the throes of birth; one,
Laughing, and only cloudily visible;
And one, a female, rising in dangerous
Flight.  What happened from then on was
Both beautiful and deadly, brutal and filled
With magic.  A drum snare, a crash,
The woman returning with arrows.
The cloudy one becoming someone
We once knew.  The horse on the ground,
Disemboweled now, and screaming.
The pregnant one delivering an animal
Full-grown and wet with dew.  We wake up,
Cowled in placental sweat.  Everything
In the house is galactic, and small, and quiet.
Yet something decisively brings us to our feet.
We go outside.  And there, in the grass,
Is the other half of the moon.