In our exploration of the sublime and wonderfully macabre world of dark poetry, we face our fears of mortality and imperfection with “Rot”.
Poetry and the macabre oftentimes walk hand and hand in the world of literature. Disguising darkness within the lyricism of poetry makes the distressing much more palatable, melting the morbid and the beautiful together on the page. Combining two extremes together makes the reading experience much more effecting and thought provoking, creating an atmosphere unique from other forms of prose.
Within Poetic Justice, I hope to explore the breadth of dark literature the internet has to offer us, coming from a wide range of authors of different backgrounds. Hopefully you’ll read something here that gives you a raging case of The Shiveries. Or maybe it’ll inspire you to have a go at jotting down some words of your own! Above all else, remember:
THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO WRITE!
The first piece up for your reading pleasure is one written by yours truly, entitled Rot.
I wrote this poem after slicing into an onion, without realizing there was a spot of decay right in the middle of one of the many layers. This got me thinking a bit: how weird that this spot of rot acts like the Black Dot of pirate lore, marking the afflicted with certain death? Although looking perfectly healthy on the outside, a piece of death was living inside the vegetable. I appreciate that this is very melodramatic thinking for a lady simply going about making a mean curry, but I digress.
ROT explores the duplicity of detritus and beauty through images of decay and opulence. Death is personified as, well, rot, feasting upon life forms and turning it into grey. Throughout the poem, motifs of indulgence are cut short with the grim reality of the Grim Reaper: nothing can last forever. Rot is an inherent part of life; it is the fate of all on the planet.
On another level, Rot also serves as an analogy for self-doubt, killing off meaningful memories and relationships through overthinking or panic. The choking out of joy at the hands of darkness within the mind is particularly explored through motifs of smoke spreading swiftly and silently. Once a speckle of doubt is planted, it becomes harder and harder to ignore — soon insecurity spreads and poisons the scenario irrevocably.
Without any further ado, here is the first installment of Poetic Justice!
“Rot” by Megan Hopkin
I linger beneath the skin
Gorging myself on the breath
Of fresh air you offer me: Death.
With mirth as my wine,
I feast upon your time.
A broken clock is correct twice a day
Though, in absence of a face of flesh to decay
A blossom of rust may be planted into its once ticking heart:
A mechanized Garden of Eden living dead within scrap.
Like a plume of black smoke
I creep to the edges of you
Leaving whatever blooms to choke
Amidst the destruction of the coup.
What once was a bouquet crumbles to dust;
Beauty dissolves into that which disgusts.