Maggie Wells

Bright Blight

Welcome to the Ballroom! Step in and emerge! Diseased or cured!

                                                  -- The Divine Host of the Universe



I close my eyes


when politicians speak


because there is logic


in darkness.



Sometimes men gather


in important rooms

and talk about violence


against women

because they own it.






Purity is power


the men at church explain


with panting dicks.

Take that sick feeling

and vomit

on no one

and everyone



with bottomless sacks.






This ecosystem 

is the ecosystem


you can’t escape


You wander like Aribel,

through the points on a compass;

a serpent with a woman’s head.







Silence falls even


amongst the terrified


mother birds.

The neon Aspen leaves blink: No Vacancy.


No forest


is large enough

to accommodate the sickness


of humankind.


Listen closely,

the bears sound so cute while shunning us.





At this moment



there may be

a king and queen

devouring your home



the workers

the soldiers

all of them blind.







When the floor falls


beneath your dimension


it will be replaced


by reaching hands.

They fall away too.








The hunter’s moon


is a bright infection

telling you to want things

you could never want.

Stop looking at me.

Water swallows up the Earth


and with the stretching forth of clouds


takes the heavens


as its own.

I will hold your head


in the river


should you seek God.






If the day is divided into fifteen equal parts


I will come to you on the sixth


to observe


the devils

you call your familiars.







Give me your devils;


I like to carry them


around bound

and enclosed

in rings     boxes             little vials.






Milk and honey,


black rooster blood,


the swell of cicadas on audio cassette.

Make an offering


it’s already too late.





A goat of many eyes stands


with two hooves


on a thick hunk of wood.

In the center of the slab is a chalice


aching for his blood.


We’re all having such a nice time.







On the night of the missing moon


we learn the spirits of darkness


are stronger in the dark.


To drive them away, lights and fires should be kindled


by the corpses


of the dead.

Take my matches; I’m sick of all this,

I say.

Buried in the streets of none


Are my embarrassments.


I walk away from them,


get nowhere.

Shame just keeps strangling me,


I say quietly into the microphone


of your mouth.








I need the waves to stop pushing heaven


when I’m busy carving my grave.


Stop filling these holes,

I say.







My recreation center


is a dark pool of water.


Petrified bones breathe at the bottom.



I was once amphibian,


I whisper.







Paint the void


to recreate the world.

Paint the black last.








Focus on the emptiness


surrounding poppies.


The negative space between


droplets of light and liquid.


You are each of these things.








I am afraid of running into myself


high up in these mountains.

I am not sure where I am

but these cliffs look familiar

and I can be very frightening

in my silence.