Raw Material

Raw Material – Micro Essay

by William Pomeroy

I dreamt last night of a colossal farmhouse in decay, much like the abandoned plantations I have seen in Upstate villages.

It was faded white, almost transparent, with hunter green shutters, parallel to a rusted railroad long since discarded. Behind its sagging front porch and two-story apex ran a narrow corridor of one-story rooms almost fully collapsed like a broken wing hanging off a goose carcass.

Near the back corner of this battered strip with holes in the roof like a random succession of bombs had fallen, stood a makeshift, stone-tiled shower stall, white but yellowing as though generations of men had waited there, chain smoking.

Black mold splattered across its three walls. Near the open entrance laid a heap of flaking red chains.

It had been a cell.

I knew the men responsible.

On a bright afternoon, I stood before a table of elderly, dignified women sipping glasses of lemonade and hot tea in fine china adorned with roses.

White haired, their pale faces were speckled with tiny craters like moons.

Behind me, I suddenly glimpsed a young man, tall, thin, dark and well groomed, strikingly handsome.

“I know what you are!”

I laid into him.

Flailing beside him, I pressed his face down on hardwood floor and reached around his head to suffocate him with a rag soaked in bleach.

Everyone clapped and cheered.

Her dented face twisted in mirth, a woman reached over to hand me a machete, gleefully exclaiming: “Finish the job! When the brains are out, the man will die.” [1]

I hacked away at the back of his skull.

His blood was jet-black, flowing in clumps like sludge.

I awoke as a huge man I identified as his father paced furiously in the hallway of that rotten farmhouse where they had detained and violated a prisoner.

He tore up and down this crumbling pathway, thundering hatred for losing his son, and from a distance his taut skin and broad cheekbones resembled an octopus face.

This only happens when I have not written in several days.

Otherwise, I can usually avoid Lovecraftian monsters.

People define inspiration as pure, ethereal and optimistic.

Sometimes, it can be unrelenting.

I empathize with Keats:

And ever watchful with fatigued eye;
The last, whom I love more, the more of blame
Is heap’d upon her, maiden most unmeek,—
I knew to be my demon Poesy. [2]

[1] Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Signet Classic, 1963. 87. Print.
[2] Keats, John. “Ode on Indolence.” The Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of Keats. Ed. Harold E. Briggs. New York: Random House, 1951. 297. Print.
William Pomeroy lives in Greenwich Village and teaches English in Harlem. He taught ethics and poetry in a medium security prison while completing his philosophy degree. His writing has appeared in Art Times, Foliate Oak, Embodied Effigies, R.P.D. Society and Maryland Hunting Quarterly. Please visit his website: http://www.willpomeroywords.com.

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