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It Could Have Been / Anthony Gedell


Decided by a collection of losses

And foul play 

Walk off homes 

These are not your father’s cigarettes or his funerals

His travesties or his tragedies

Born to run got left behind

A fool by design  

Reoccurring as animal hide

Nothing but teeth  

Extend a hand he’s right next to you

An unsung friend 

You and yours

Our flesh and blood

Those family tapes

Were missing a child

Parental gathering every one of them together watching with a sense of longing

Adolescent amnesia, you cannot remember the words

Sing it with me

Thing is I’ve deconstructed my life

Drank and deported oneself in ways you would not believe

Had no faith, regained, lost it again

Suppose the only thing left in me

Is dying tragically

Sang my woes in small hymns of gasping sorrows

These churchly ohs

Segway to nah nah nah nahs

Hey now, so long


People moving away in the direction of static vibration 

Wedded to this disintegration 

Home video taped over by pornographic images 

Of hated sons


Black windows and you said 

I never hurt anyone

Just took what they had to spare

How many meals we have alone 

Make haste slowly 

People shaped ambulances

Eyes all blinking crimson dark 

Every word siren song 

You’re anteing up and bidding farewell 

That person next to you all but slipping

Either the one in the sickbed or cleaning up the slop

Unread words on paper white flags 

It’s all mâché 

Rejecting the eyes of God

Whoever she might be

Anything but what those dials of final resignation see 

Where are the tender ladies with fair hearts and merciful gazes 

He sleeps in the bed you made 

Just changing the sheets there’s blood underneath 

A mother feels guilt for what’s done

All too late penny stock penance 

People have gone insane

Might be imagining it 

Called the church to report a missing people

They were not taking confessions anymore

The good word sparked a belief and a healing

But words never did no good for anybody

We have gone deaf, blind, and dumb

It’s on every pixelated screen 

From sea to dimming sea

I think I found another void

Need another universe and not just a planet 

Joyless more guns than glitter

Machine sucking monsters

There’s napalm in your teeth  

When the saints come stumbling in

What will be unrecognizable 

Is this disaster in karmic circle

Absolute biological manslaughter 

With their deceptive valor 

We are all the same bad news

I am quite unimpressed

By your mindless decoration 

And characterless exoneration  

Running home from the gore of fire  

And hideous uncontrollable laughter  

Considering the cash it took for the drugs to carry his weight

A debt in lies

He considered a story he once heard 

About this great lonesomeness 

Turn of phrase a tornado gyre of inattention 

Lost their meaning save demented interpretations 

Guess it’s just a phrase 

Like taking life on the chin

For better or for worse pains 

I’m talking about you and I’m talking about this

Yeah I’m on about assassinated love

The death of friendship 

There is a critical loneliness

It’s on every corner 

In our hearts here 


Because there’ll never be enough

We all know what’s here to stay and what’s to come

Canonized only by ways we catastrophize

How blind we are to this arms race 

That's taking place

Over everything in a culture

Our souls are sick 

Even the gladiators are out of work

This stage turned to cosplay of the implausibly moronic harebrained

Beggars and choosers all the same

The cowboys are as seen on TV and psychological deranged  

Thick droves of blood coals in too thick realms of ice

When the hour of darkness caves in

Nothing will save you

Somebody let the dead out 

It could have been hell

It could have been.


ANTHONY GEDELL writes from New Jersey publishing in Hobart, Poverty House, Variant, Revolution John, Punk Noir Magazine, and Bull (forthcoming). His debut novel, Love Lies in the Throes of Rhetoric, is slated for release soon with Michael Dolan at Winding Road Stories.


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