Tethered tight

Tethered by the weight of dreams
my scream’s a jellyfish, an iron horse,
a forceful chain to bind my voice
a frost to freeze my heart; my breath

compressed is fenced against my chest
undressed for scalpels I’m Sedated;
I’m degraded, plucked and pieces carved
when morphed to blood and brine.

I’m shrined inside the night, I’m nailed
a snail that’s crushed, a wreck,
a rest on knives. I sleep in bell-jars
yarned to sheets. I’m tethered tight.

Stiffened by Francisco Goya

Stiffened by Francisco Goya

Today it’s Open Link at dVerse with Gayle hosting. A wonderful opportunity to link up any poem you want. A writing friend challenged me to write a poem of being in a nightmare where you absolutely lack the ability to move. A feeling I absolutely recognize… this is how nightmares feel for me.

January 21, 2016

38 responses to “Tethered tight

  1. Sometimes it takes chains and scalpels to FREE your voice. When you realize how limited the literal voice is, it can untie your internal voice(s).

    This is astounding poetry, by the way. I love the jelly fish imagery. Also the iron horse, which draws up Helen of Troy as your night/mare.

  2. “Shrined inside night” … sounds pretty good to me — even if more than a bit frightening.

    “I’m degraded, plucked and pieces carved” … I love this. Did you ever watch American Horror Story: Asylum? You should find it online. This poem could easily be about the damage done by a certain doctor.

  3. Oh – whew, and I am reading this before bedtime. So much imagery here. Each stronger than the one before. I feel as if I am being crushed by this dream. Ha, you have succeeded in writing your nightmare poem.

  4. An astonishing & macabre vision, deeply dark & disturbing; sometimes I have hypnogogic instances when I’m almost awake, but cannot move, so this demonic dream resonates for me. All the lines are clever, but liked /my breath/compressed is fenced against my chest/undressed for scalpels/,–the internal rhymes hum with shivers.

  5. I agree with Glenn about those lines. My nightmare is being in a situation where I call out but have no voice and no one hears. Gives me the heebie jeebies. I am always amazed by the darkness in your words and how well you weave that darkness into such arresting and disturbing images.

  6. You really are a master of sound, Sir. This is terrifying, and yet so beautifully spun, I had to go back and read it again, out loud. You know I loves me some word bump. Yours get along quite nicely.

  7. Bjorn, you’re metaphors are astonishing and brilliantly awesome!

    My favorite lines by you:

    compressed is fenced against my chest
    undressed for scalpels I’m Sedated;
    I’m degraded, plucked and pieces carved
    when morphed to blood and brine.

    I can see all the vivid images you’ve injected into our imagination.
    Haunting and I’m already getting goosebumps. 🙂

    Love it!

  8. Oh, this is a nightmare for sure, Bjorn. I’ve had that same experience where I’m trying to move but can’t. I usually wake myself up in a panic. You brought to life the nightmarish feeling…the images are clear and frightening.

  9. Nightmare indeed – I like the contrasting imagery – from jellyfish to iron horse, frost and chains, plucked like a chicken – really fearsome metaphors!

  10. Your words do indeed describe this feeling of being caught within the nightmare….and deep and disturbing dream. I think it telling, the word choice of “snail” — a very very tiny organism that is coiled and so often buried in sand…but many, just a small small thing. As if the person in the dream has a self concept that is small as well.
    Bjorn: I hope this is not you! And the one thing to remember about dreams within the REMS, is that we do wake up. There is a waking world.
    A very excellent yet disturbing piece. Well done.

  11. Oh, I know that feeling, too…though it’s been a long while. You capture it well. Reading some of your recent poems, I have to think that the Scandinavian winter is having an effect on you with its Kafkaesque darkness.

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