Poetry: Selections from Krystle Eilen

after Robert Mapplethorpe’s Self Portrait, 1980
half youthful, half emaciated,
he reflects the epicene
and the languishing.
his head is all shock and flurry;
his mouth a toothless brevity.
half Madonna, half Antinous,
he reflects a decadent flower
both wilting and transcendent.
his eyes suggest a having seen,
two eternally startled interims.
a princely pauper
whose aspect reflects that of
a parched orchid culled
too soon.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal

i am a winged thing flailing,
driven into my bovine body, and
back into my savage infant soul.
in the beginning, nature
conceived another deadweight,
and i find myself stillborn.
i am forever waiting to
open my welkin eyes
and outwit the brute.
i want the earth wrested from me;
i want no longer to acquiesce to
the stranglehold of gravity.
i am forever looking forward to
eclipsing the round
seared by fantasy.

published in Hive Avenue Literary Journal


the rooster call of the early
morning: as though in greeting of
a pestilence foreseen by
way of the half-glow.

a dog barks in response to
this intrusion while the roosters
sound out histrionics reminiscent of
Father Time’s marriage to terror.

here i mistake a bird’s song for
a swimming butterfly: a kind of
synesthesia whereby a stillborn sigh
reveals itself before the inner eye.

Nature, unleashing her canonical tide,
bruises the air with blind stirring
and makes way for her cruel
and saintly design.

published in Dipity Literary Magazine

Numen (a journal fragment)
“Life is the flight of the alone to the alone.”
I luxuriate in the silence;
the Divinity is with me.
I know enough not to look
I must be drunk with drought
until the sun
cuts like an icicle.

via crucis
to behold paradise
god must be heaved up,
for to become seraph
is to gouge the eye out.
always at one remove
is to be found divinity,
otherwise effaced
by twin identity.
riven apart
by mimetic sparagmos,
man is condemned
to die on the cross.
to shed the serpent’s skin
is but to reiterate its meander,
for conquest precedes
the bind of surrender.

published in Poetry Life and Times

______ as a weapon
i only count up
to ceasefire, patiently waiting,
but why wait
when the hand cremates
into a shadow
like an entombed particle of dust
retreating heavenward
at the memory of

How I would like to
keep the hearth of antiquated
calm then impassioned
— either with spirit stirred
or apprehension,
never ashen.
My wick fosters
a cloud far-reaching.
As for me, I am restless
— either in glee or in fear,
I am restless.

is life really just one big distraction?
one big clock in, clock out?
is hell’s furnace really just the sun,
and is my face really just a scorched
am i here just hopelessly divining?
in soliloquy
mute to God’s ear?

i dance an impish dance
in the drawing room,
and with bones poised to my breath’s rhythm;
occasion for a bohemian,
like chanting in a seance by virtue of the strength in my step,
by which the creak of the floorboards opens to a womb of webs
and my frazzled puffs of smoke
becloud the chamber lid of wine
against my impassioned intonation.

eternal intermission
my days linger
yet sees what a mayfly sees
in winter solstice —
far from somber;
in exhilaration, neither;
i wait out the hours
in their serene circumnavigation.
they, unbothered
while i, listless,
meander along
the crossroads of
evasion and

still waters
oh to seize the gray,
bear down when missile hits;
i am no capsizing ship.
somber in hue,
caution thrown to the wind, but
i won’t give in to the trade.
the way up north may well be nigh,
but i am as yet too wary,
too cautious to be known.

Krystle Eilen is a 22-year-old poet who is currently attending university. Her works have been featured in Dipity Literary Magazine, BlazeVOX, and Hive Avenue Literary Journal, and are soon to be published in The Orchards Poetry Journal and Young Ravens Literary Review. During her spare time, she enjoys reading and making art.