Michael McInnis | Smokey of the Migraines

Excerpts from Smokey of the Migraines

The migraines
speak to Smokey
in tongues
he barely understands.
They tell him
stories that
have no meaning.

The migraines
talk at him in
incomprehensible
words that
remind him
of the adult
voices on Peanuts
specials.

The migraine
is a ghost
whispering
of death
and night
and blood.

The migraine
is Jackson Pollack
severing occipital
nerves
with paint.

The migraine
is the
plutonium
taste of meth
down the back
of the throat.

The migraine
is a creature
living in Smokey’s neck
reaching up
through his
brain
and pulling
each eye back
back down.

The migraine
is an itch
beneath the
straps of a
back pack
straining with
the weight
of its terrible truth,
of nails and screws,
bits of rock,
pieces of glass
and broken marbles.

The migraine
is smoke and
burnt flesh,
burnt wood,
burnt plastic,
as if a scream
had a smell,
a taste,
a touch.

The migraine
is the splatter
of paint,
an ocular
darkness
of color
and sound.
Pollack,
again,
in the garage
in East Hampton,
shattering
his brains
out on
canvas.

The migraine
is the
mortification
of flesh
glazed with auras
and sounds
heard rumbling
under the skin,
rifling through
marrow.

The migraine
is a killing field,
manured with
the blood of
shell-shocked men.

The migraine exists
outside
ecclesiastical
boundaries,
a leftover
of Purgatory,
lingering
to plague
the unholy,
the lost ones
who left the Church
or turned away
from the light.

Smokey
can’t seek
the light
because
the migraine
is light,
diffused,
catholic,
exquisite
as if the blue
of Smokey’s irises
is a laceration.

Smokey hesitates,
a coronal hammer,
a brief pause,
a shadow on his grave,
like glaciers
stopped at
the edge
of the continent,
like the planet
shifting,
like the tides
frozen between
migraines
and screaming.


Copyright © 2017 Michael McInnis

ISBN 978-0-9993971-2-1

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.


Order Nixes Mate Review Anthology from Amazon,

through your local independent bookstore,

or direct from Nixes Mate via PayPal $10 ppd – international shipping extra