Prince Charming

A heroic sonnet crown in English Sonnets.

The sparkling lines of powder, how they call
Those crystals cut, to skin, to graze and grind.
The spiralled bliss to bring and bind them all
In labyrinths and mazes of the mind.
Prince Charming toys with Ariadne’s skein,
Then tosses it aside with dull contempt,
The dens of dextromethamphetamine,
Are better for your demons to frequent.
Those fettered rooms, your mem’ry’s hateful halls
The ones you had for pleasure and for pain
Where music quaked and quivered from the walls,
While darkness trickled down a sloping drain.
The sparks of meth pare back your failing years
They tear the veil; they strip the Veil of Tears.

They tear the veil; they strip the veil of tears
The Seen obscured, the Unseen swirls, revealed.
Revealed, his favoured music wraps and weaves
The quavers claw his psyche till it yields.
Good looks, well-dressed, oh how the money flows
A friend to pimps and women of the night
No rules, no checks, no limits, as he throws
restraint aside and moves to press his rights.
Those lines for ladies vuln’rable and sweet,
Night-shaded beauty lingers in their eyes
Their cheeks are hollowed, lacking food to eat,
But ready, yielding to his ling’ring lies.
Dominion over women, over all,
You had them then, compliant, under thrall.

You have a girl compliant, under thrall
The drugs you gave her taking half her mind
Her body bucking at your beck-and-call
Her beauty’s but a beast to bomb-and-grind.
For she who fell in love, this cultured chap—
This patron of the arts, in pinstriped grace—
he broke her spirit hard with treacle-traps
The promise of her future raped to taste!
Then from the cellar steps this Prince ascends,
To dance with all the other powdered whigs ,
The masquerade where every foe’s a friend,
Each lorded title’s lipstick on a pig.
The Ball above a well of women’s tears:
Their aching cries for justice down the years.

Her aching cry for justice down the years,
That strike your portrait on the attic wall,
Corruption, vice, grey princeling, how they sear!
Yet public face remains untouched by gall.
Out on the hills, they carve their spears from tusk
The Hunter and his Lady watch and wait
By gathered gloom that comes with bloody dusk
The traps are laid and set with Beauty’s bait.
Beneath the chandeliers the music swirls,
The courtesans, they bustle ’round the room
Well-heeled, these luscious little lobster girls
Those brittle brides a-seeking gracious grooms—
For one night only, ’round the floor they turn,
While voices from the hill enchant and churn.

“The voices from the hill, we chant and churn
An untamed tune, to court the Chase Savage.
O Monsieur Wolf, for you the Hunt now comes
You think the bugle’s just a meth-mirage?
You’re stalked, milord, by He Who Walks Behind!
The Hunter comes for you and not for het,
Through your addictions, tender and refined.
For Venus comes in diamonds, wrapped in furs,
She takes you in with lines of powdered bones,
Her eyes as green as poisoned paper bills.
The Huntsman’s Voice booms loud, for you alone
The Winter King, The Old Man on the Hill!
You hear his Voice as loud as thunder claps.
gnore him still. You rougish, charming chap!”

Ignore. You’re such a rougish, charming chap
The voices in your mind are just the drugs
You lay the ladies, taken by your traps
You hook the harlots, threatened by the thugs.
The women in your world did not last long
All used up, then discarded, cast aside,
Yet who can say you did them any wrong?
You claim, of course, they all enjoyed the ride.
Now years have passed, your blood is thin and clear—
Your mind no longer poisoned save in dreams
For all desires are doused in fragile fears
And voices from the hill but distant screams.
Still, nothing changes much beneath the sun:
The women come and go with flatt’ring tongues.

They come and go, the girls with flatt’ring tongues,
‘Twas not the settled truth of you they saw
They knelt to kiss the man they thought they’d won,
But didn’t kneel to strength. They knelt to straw.
The years fly by, the dragon that you chased
It’s tail a flick and kick beyond your ken
The girl who knew your inner heart and grace
The truth of who you were. A lover. Friend.
But who could love an asphalt-hearted man?
For those who gazed and saw your shrinking soul,
Etched pity on their brows, before they ran
From you, the broken princeling, never whole.
Oh to be loved for real, her lithe limbs wrapped,
Lips sweeping sweetly cradled at your lap!

They swept so sweetly, cradled at your lap,
Your Maiden-dreams — ne’er Matron nor the Crone —
Her laughter charting undiscovered maps
Of other futures. No. Now you’re alone.
No longer feral youth, now in your prime
You trot the globe no longer seeking fun
For her you hunt: you seek her all the time—
And find her there, at last, beneath the sun.
For in the Spanish plaza there she sits:
Her fragile feet strapped high in fuck-me heels
That gypsy voice so full of love and wit
With wild guitar, she’s playing for her meals.
A game of chess, now, for this greying lord
His little friend-and-foe now treads the boards.

Your little friend-and-foe sets out the board:
The artist sings and plays because she must
She strums the strings, and how the music soars
The patrons gaze on her with naked lust
She plays. She plucks and picks and plays again
Her offered music — nay — her proffered self
for she’s Rodrigo’s Fantasy for Men:
Curved instrument to grace a rich man’s shelf!
Her crucifix gleams dark in ebony
Rested there upon her dusky breast
And oh! To die upon that Calvary!
You’ll have her, Prince, or you will never rest.
The curtain calls, the final notes decline.
Your gambits, ever skilled, are honed through time.

Your gambits, ever skilled, are honed through time
The pieces set on squares as little tombs
For Cinderella hovers on the line
Her foot upon the threshold of your rooms.
“Great things I’d give to you, my dear,” you say
“If you but asked your Lord, your charming Prince
Such things and even more, I’d gladly pay:
I’d yield to undefeated countenance,
O stay the wicked glance, your will of war—
Your spears and arrows softened— little dove:
So still your war drums, strum your graced guitar.
Play for your prince. Come, sit by me, my love.”
She steps across the room, across your floor:
Your pawn or queen? Madonna? Virgin? Whore?

Your pawn and queen, Madonna, virgin, whore,
Her ankles delicate, like fragile glass.
She cannot know her fate, what lies in store
Your luscious side of meat; your piece of ass.
Her eyes are wary, skin a sheen of sweat
You scent her apprehension, and you grin
That feral feeling soars, she plucks. Regret,
Her instrument. The stave, for sickened sin.
Her clefts and quavers swell though she resists
As all the while her hands caress the strings.
And as the music flows your psyche twists
Should devils weep when holy angels sing?
The final note as merciless as Time —
She leans, her fingers flick. Your King resigns.

She leans, her fingers flick; the King resigns
Her countenance the mirror of disgust
Her face an open book, you read her lines
She gifts you not Surrender, only rust
She kneels not to the truth of who you are
Not to your asphalt heart, nor fetid soul.
The shadows in her eyes, so distant, far
She dons the maenad’s mask. She plays a role.
Her virgin voice her blessing and a curse
The gypsy looks on you, then looks away
And with your dry contempt you toss your purse
You’ve bought her artist’s time, and now she’ll pay.
She’s wound so tight, too nervous now to kneel—
“Lucinda. How you’ve lost your sweet appeal!”

For Cinderella’s lost her sweet appeal:
You pour upon the board a powder line.
“Cocaine, my dear, will free you now to feel
It won’t enslave your body. Just your mind.
You’re too repressed, my dove, you need to feast
The powder spins and sets your fears apart
Come then, inhale, be Beauty to my Beast.”
Says she; “It seems I have my Prince’s heart.”
She sets her gypsy’s instrument aside
And snakes her honeyed hands around your frame
Her blissful kiss, her tongue she slips inside
You pull her to you, murmuring her name.
Stiletto steel, so sharp you do not feel
But only hear the pocks of fuck-you heels.

Beneath receding pocks of fuck-you heels
Another Lady comes and takes her place
It seems you’ve seen this Maiden, dancing reels
In crystal ballrooms long ago with grace
A voice booms loud— the Hunter from the Hill—
“She comes for you; you are Her mortal prey!
With eyes as green as poisoned paper bills
She wipes the spreading stain, the crimson spray.
For Beauty knows her way to princeling hearts
Right through the ribs she’s slipped her gypsy knife
She wipes her sullied lips as she departs
And leaves you now with seconds to your life.”
As Santa Muerte waits for you to you fall,
That final line of powder. How it calls.

The sparkling lines of powder, how they call
They tear the veil; they strip the veil of tears
You had her then, compliant, under thrall
Her aching cry for justice down the years.
The voices from the hill, they chant and churn
Ignore. You’re such a rougish charming chap.
The women come and go, their flattering tongues
They lapped so sweetly, cradled at your lap.
Your little friend-and-foe sets out the board
Your gambits, ever skilled, are honed through time.
Your pawn or queen? Madonna? Virgin? Whore?
She leans. Her fingers flick. Your king resigns.
For Cinderella’s lost her sweet appeal,
Beneath receding pocks of fuck-you heels.

Liùsiadh is a poet from the West of Scotland writing wild and blue poetry from a drug-ridden council estate. She explores themes of sexuality, race, sectarianism, gender and the poetry is always strange. She’d done sucking it up.

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