The mask of pretending narcissism

In the mirror he can see his stories,
past and present sins as carved striations,
scars and flaky rot —
still he smiles, pretending
it’s right to take but never give.
Coerced consent is still a yes
(he thinks) and moist his lips.
What was her name again?

Can his spray tan
mask the voice that whispers and insists:
“memento mori” ?
Can he make it through another day pretending
that what’s fake is real?
Yes, he sighs and smiles
— if no-one else —
at least he has the sense to love himself.
He’s ready for the daylight,
confident and bold. It’s time
to conquer once again.

He build his battlegrounds on naked skin
on thighs and breasts,
adding notches to his mental gun.
Victorious he wades through misery of others
and climb on corpse cliffs for another conquest.

But as night comes crawling
a consciousness of conscience gnaws
on spleen and liver.
Unmasked, alone he’s sleepless once again.

The picture of Dorian Gray by Ivan Albright

Mish hosts poetics at dVerse on the subject of mental masks, the bar is open, join us. Also linking to the Tuesday Platform at toads.

October 24, 2017

31 responses to “The mask of pretending narcissism

  1. Ah, my old friend, Dorian Grey! I love:
    ‘past and present sins as carved striations,
    scars and flaky rot’
    and
    ‘Victorious he wades through misery of others
    and climbs on corpse cliffs for another conquest’.

  2. I thought Dorian Grey at first, then the typical sexual predator.

    But this line —
    Unmasked, alone he’s sleepless once again.
    might explain the idiotic early morning tweets.

    namaste
    JzB

  3. What an interesting concept introduced in the title — feigning narcissism.

    This is my favorite part:

    Can his spray tan
    mask the voice that whispers and insists:
    “memento mori” ?

  4. A similarity in our writes (maybe)…
    How lonely we can be when our only pleasure is bought flesh…
    Anna :o]

  5. love the poem. I can see the beginning lines very vividly; wonderful and it sticks in your mind: “In the mirror he can see his stories,
    past and present sins as carved striations,”

  6. I feel like you built this evil beast before my eyes. So descriptive in character…and those “corpse cliffs”… such strong image.

  7. In sleep (or while he tries to get there), he is alone with himself. I wonder about the sound a liver makes when is twisted by a rotten conscience, invaded by the maggots of deserved guilt…

    This is so terrifyingly good.

  8. That is quite the despicable character you painted in the poem. He’s vivid and repulsive. I liked the momentary glimpse into his thoughts that implied he can easily justify his actions. He’s a good villain, Björn.

  9. Your portrait is chilling–the perfect blending of thug bully narcissist Trump–and the rotting corpse in the perfect mask/husk–Dorian Gray. You certainly, as a poet, cam venture into the darkest places. I, too, like the sweet dark alliteration in /climb on corpse cliffs for another conquest/–course I endorse /the love you take must equal the love you make/.

  10. It fits trump to a t. But I doubt he allows himself a true thought or reflection, it would be agonizing. I read he walks the halls of the white house at night in his bathrobe……….

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