Dissections 1

Hand Poised On Knob

You’ve had your bags packed
For a very long time
No chance to think it over
Just grabbed your essentials
Essentially you’re gone.

But still you remain
For what or why
You’re not sure yourself
And that’s the problem, isn’t it?

And that’s a problem
Isn’t it?

Remaining behind the door
Hand on knob
Certain of the monster behind you
Not sure of the monsters beyond
Duffle bag on your back
Mouth dry as cotton
So you remain another day.

But your bags are packed
And in your head you’re gone
Living your life this way
One day at a time
One monster clawing at your back
God knows what waiting beyond.

Living Dead Girl

The dead ain’t for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
This six foot hole home way too long
Only so many ways to dig dirt
Before it piles up
Crumbles back down
And ruins all your hard work.

So many ways for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
You’re so better off going about it alone
But even then it’s a mockery
Having dirt thrown upon you
After you worked so hard
Cleaning up your hole.

But the dead ain’t for living
Still you’re living dead, girl
And that six foot hole is a long way down
It’s okay to close your eyes
Just drop in; you’re not alone
See I’m down here, too
Digging all the while.

Fakes Need Not Apply

The thing about this mask
Is that I choose not to wear it
I’m comfortable

Without this mask
You see me for all I am
So shame on you
For not seeing me coming.

But you
And your kind
You wear the masks I choose not to
You wear the masks I see through.

A brilliant disguise?
Spare me.

I walk raw, naked and senses alive
Even while the rest of me dies
Just do me this favor
Only this one
When I’m gone
Display this mask alongside my casket
To serve as constant reminder
For the fakes who attend.


The call came
that you were gone
and all that remained
was the simple act of driving
to see you one last time.

But you left the party
long before last call
too soon
after the final hello.

Your own terms
something I will admire.

You left me
a husk
something you never were
something hard to erase from memory
something unforgivable.

And during that simple act of driving
when all that remained
were your terms
I remembered the final time I lay with you
A husk
the party long over
the curtain long drawn.

Of A Darker Art

Got hell in mouth
Devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
Demon in heart.

Dig bones from dirt
Bury spleens in hearth
Keep gris-gris round neck
Darkness never part.

Never sell this spell
But steal your charm
Tongue flick tail rattle, baby
Yeah, snake round arm.

But hell in mouth
Need devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
You the demon in my heart.

~ Joseph A. Pinto

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

27 thoughts on “Dissections 1

    1. Thank you very much, LE! Poetry (or the liberties I take with poetry) is an outlet (albeit an angry one lol) that I employ, but if you’ve read any of my horror fiction, I usually pack an emotional punch in my tales as well.


  1. What a collection! There is definite sense of bitterness and tragedy running through these poems. The repetition of ‘you’ throughout draws the reader in and forces them to examine themselves as they read, giving the poems an accusatory tone. ‘Hand Poised On Knob’ and ‘Husk’ are my favourites, although like the previous poster, I also enjoyed ‘Fakes Need Not Apply’.


    1. Hey Tom! Thanks very much; was the darkness that obvious? lol
      My poetry is pretty simplistic, but in the same sense, can & should be examined from different angles. It’s not always what it seems, & my words taken as a whole are metaphors without a metaphor being employed. It’s life, whether through my own eyes or another. My motto for Pen of the Damned is: “we speak truths you dare not utter,” & I haven’t backed down from that here.
      It’s interesting you enjoyed ‘Husk.’ I wrote that on the 5 year anniversary of my father’s death, when the hospital called to tell me he was gone, & I laid one final time with what remained of him. I bet most would think it’s about a relationship that had soured. Wish it had been. But still I ask of myself: who truly became the husk?


  2. I really enjoyed ‘Hand Poised On Knob’. We all have our baggage to bear, and our breaking point – it’s only a matter of being willing to admit when you’ve finally reached it. “Fakes Need Not Apply” is the one that draws me in next. The bitterness that oozes from the words is palpable, and very moving. ‘Husk’ is beautifully poignant, an excellent and heartbreaking piece. ‘Of A Darker Art’ – I’ll just flat out say it – I don’t get it. But that’s the beauty of poetry, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone other than the author, they know their meaning, and all other inferences are subjective. ‘Living Dead Girl’ – I think many would identify strongly with the words, though the one the poetic ‘you’ is down there digging with is far more fortunate than most.

    Individually, each poem is strong in its own right, not only for your intended message, but for what the reader will draw from it. As a grouping, there is a lot of emotional impact here – some gut wrenching, some heart rending, but all sharp as a blade with the intent/effect of cutting very deeply. Simple words that form lovely, disturbing, soul splitting, dark, and angst ridden poetry Joe! Needless to say, for their exposed pain, I love them all (even the one I don’t get!) :}


    1. Thank you Nina! I appreciate that you got different thoughts & emotions from each of my poems; I write for me, from me, & listening to reader’s takes is always interesting. I write about the life few people wish to discuss or share, or are even brave enough to admit. Sometimes it’s just glimpsing the pain in the eyes of a stranger while I’m out & fashioning my own interpretation.
      And as a side note: ‘Of A Darker Art’ is just something conjured while thinking of my fave city New Orleans one night. So the question is: who’s the demon in my heart? A woman? Or a city? Aah, interpretation, what a wonderful and mysterious thing 😉


  3. You know, it takes a lot when it comes to poetry to get me hooked. Poetry has always been the broccoli of literature for me. I stand corrected now. Some really dark, poignant stuff here. I especially loved Husk. So true, so raw. Pen of the Damned may make a poetry lover out of me yet! And now I have Rob Zombie’s ‘Living Dead Girl’ looping through my head! Great work, Joe.


    1. Hunter, what I’ve done here is grab that broccoli & force it down your throat! lol So much horror in the world around us; I cannot help but see the darkness within and without. Isn’t that how balance is achieved? And yes, I’ll be humming ‘Living Dead Girl’ at the gym later on 😉
      Thank you for the feedback, Squatch-man!


    1. Hey Matthew, I appreciate the comments 🙂
      It’s been cool to hear that everyone has enjoyed seemingly a different poem I’ve written, whether based on its emotion or style. If you missed my comment back to Nina earlier, there’s a bit more to “Of A Darker Art” than meets the eye. Exactly who is the demon in my heart? I’ll never tell… 😉


  4. I do so enjoy a good, wicked poem — or five. *sly smile* And even moreso, I appreciate the overwhelming sense of anger and emotional pain that oozes from your lines (and from between them). And, to jump on the already-full bandwagon, I must say that ‘Husk’ is my favorite. Good going you dark ‘saint…’


    1. Aah, Sir Wulf, good to hear from you. I’m happy you take pleasure in my pain; so willing to share it raw & pulsing upon this chipped plate. “Husk” happens to be my most painful poem, a flashback thinking about my father the day he passed. And some prose is derived from my nights sitting alone at my local watering hole, pen in hand, watching the crowd…ever observing. Foolish humans, have they no idea the Tale Weaver is in their midst… 😛


  5. Amazing job, Joe! I really enjoyed this full and varied spread. there was so much to be gleamed from each poem. so much emotion to explore, pain to prod, and shadows to slink through. Though each was separate, they worked so well together to convey an overall theme of darkness and sufferance. Bravo!
    Fakes Need Not Apply was definitely my favorite. I loved the bitter, judgmental tone. Living Dead Girl was a very close second. Funny how so many people shuffle through life mostly dead, with only the tiniest spark of life to sustain. you embodied that so well.
    Thanks for sharing your skills oh talented Tale Weaver!


    1. Thanks Adri! 🙂
      I didn’t necessarily group these poems together with any meaning behind it, although I did want “Of A Darker Art” to throw the reader off a bit in terms of what the poem implies versus its seemingly menacing title.
      Poems are stories and stories are poems; neither need to rhyme, but both need to resonate. I hope mine did for you.


  6. As I read these aloud I heard the two voices of Joseph (Oh I am sure there are more)
    Poetry is so great because symbols can actually speak loudly like cymbals
    Your symbolism is harsh
    Your words like leather to chew through but if I do I get to the core
    skillfully mastered my friend


    1. Hi Leslie, thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
      Yes, I have many voices…much like there are a few Joe’s running around inside lol
      I marvel at beautiful, woven poetry – much as you yourself write – but the darker side of things tend to be harder not so much to express but to carry in weight, that punch of emotion. My more ‘damning’ poetry can be like a silky poison, undetected & smooth going down, while others will stick in your throat & slam you against the face. I offer no apologies for that for I am real, and as you read, I wear no masks. For better or for worse, here I am, the dark, the light, and all the passion that fuels me. I’m a big fan of your work, & I believe you of all people appreciate that ‘nakedness.’


  7. Completely amazed by the sheer beauty shown through pain filled prose. Beautiful & deeply touched. Living dead girl…..no words! Awesome writer! Thank you for such beauty.


    1. Thank you very much, Kayln, although maybe you’re being way too kind lol
      I just write what I feel; when I’m out “people watching,” their pain calls out to me. Hence my interpretations. 🙂
      But I am thrilled you did enjoy!


  8. Sorry for the late reply: Nice work, Joe! Loved ‘Fakes Need Not Apply’ and ‘Of A Darker Art’. I liked the disgust, bitterness, and pain in the voice.


    1. Thanks very much! Oh I’m never short on attitude when it comes right down to it lol
      “Fakes Need Not Apply” is dedicated to all who claim to support what I do, and those who blatantly ignore it. The “posers” in my life, as I am apt to say.


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