All posts by faithlesspaladin

About faithlesspaladin

I am a writer from the Appalachian Foothills of East Tennessee.

Weightless Light

Twin beds in a sunlit bedroom. Me on one. Her on the other.

5ft between. Fingertips only draw blood. Touch is a cruel sin.

In the haze of an August afternoon, we share a dream of home.


The rainbow colors, the accidental prism of the window pane.

No music or radio. The colors entrance us. It gives us such hope.

Magik is possible. Untethered from the dust. Left in silence.


Home. Golden steppes were an ancient goddess of stone stands.

The cold, blue river that only carries the dead now in the rocks.

Healed, tall wheat, rolling earth. We were blown open. Left for dead.


And we end all seeds with the bitter arsenic of the apple, left to rot.

The wars will wash away like the river water, when seeds are emptied.

And back home, the real home in Elysium, we will be weightless light.


Saturn Crown, Fair Fae

It was August, and there were demons in my blood, and angels in her eyes.

Downtown, we ride our bikes on the early morning streets, the sun so pink.

She sees ghosts that testified to the coming rain, and they curse my one name.

She sees ghosts, lingering like the dust of the fire, on wide, crowded in streets.


It’s summer, and we’ve slipped and the air and inhaled the sunlight, a softness.

They’ll let here stay her forever, where it is quiet and ghosts will not harm you.

I will not let her follow me back into the world of flesh, of the demiurge’s delight.

Here we are free, and we are young people but still clean and full of imagination.


It is August, and she rides with second sight, wind blowing angels out of her hair.

I once laid claim to Atlantis and it’s vestigial tale of the Florida Keys, with gold coins.

She made her self the queen of the remnants and bones of Antarctica, by one kiss.

She kept her kingdom, and she took the Rings of Saturn to crown herself a fair Fae.


And it’s evening, and it’s August, and we don’t have school anymore, but I must go.

She has second sight into the hearts of the angels that live in the tall glass towers.

And she knows the demons all too well, as they see her innocence as sustenance.

I pedal away, back the broken world who’s name I called when I was born into it.



Stars Unstolen

Still born twin you never knew, but lingers in your bones like diamond dust.

Before the beginning you and her were one, but after the light she was taken.

And this angels wears her face, or so that angel says, and offers you its hand.

The angels wears her face, said she ascended to heaven, and you can come too.


The picture show on Gay Street, bustling crowds, rabble and hipsters, mix of all.

Going to see a romantic movie, dying teenagers in love, something beautiful tonight.

The angel, with those cold gray eyes, watches, sips a straw in a glass of soda pop.

You’ve always stayed in this world, you’ll stay here tonight, but you want to go with her.


Driving home on the dark road, you stop at French Memorial Park, cut off the engine.

You think of games not played, or stars unstolen, or summer games not made holy writ.

The angel sits on the slide, smoking those smooth French cigarettes, and has a half-smile.

Out of the car, going to the angel, this world is burning, has nothing left, and heaven is summer.


What I am at a loss to say, will have to die in my throat.

I turn away from her, head to the door, put on my coat.

I might drive all night, to watch the moon fall to the sea.

Try to remember the mermaid who loves salt water taffy.


Virginia by the next day, in black hills where aliens came,

took a young woman up in the sky; the drugs got the blame.

I might find the Fae or the aliens or the demons of her youth.

I might find the king in the grove, but I’ll never find any truth.


A long overgrown and unvisited cemetery, in a Maine forest

I’m a nomad, and in the lands of light or of dark, I’m a tourist.

A broken tombstone, grooves filled with moss, angel’s caught in,

this is epitaph is half snapped away: “He is gone, but not forgotten.”






She sits alone in the woods, in front of a little campfire.

The wood is green and pops, sends up balls of sparks,

like tiny fairies.


She wears a ragged jacket, faux fur and leather, long her favorite.

Her beanie is draw down low. It has the sacred sigil of the fleur de lis.

It keeps the demons from her thoughts.


It is cold, end of October, the veil thinning between the worlds.

It is cold, and the cold soothes her, softens the edges of her sorrows.

The fire is mesmerizing.


She sits alone in the woods, around a fire here in this pit, in winter.

Her voice is still in the world. Her thoughts are still born and empty.

Her she is free.


All the saints and bastards, lost souls and magic martyrs, are hers,

and they welcome her as an old friend, and take her to the place

where heroes win.


It’s Friday, and she has all night with them, all she could ever want.

Here she can slay the dragon and find peace and break the spell of

desire for romantic love.


Martyrs and saints do not touch. To touch is to sin. To touch is to fall.

Silver does not harm her hair, but iron will burn her skin, water saves.

Friday night. No one coming for her. She is free.

A Poor Imitation of Magic

If I could write the love song of an afternoon that stretched into an evening and then nighttime, of me and a woman touching with words and not the corrupt shells of flesh, of actually drawing God close without the sharp knives and dripping blood of his true name.

Words are magic, and a poor imitation of magic, and it’s all we got. Words of broken and indignant prophets and angels that whisper the lyrics in your ear when your listening to a melancholy pop song on the radio late at night, letting you know this bubblegum is sacred writ.

And me and that woman, we made crystal castles of our dreams, of the visions that we salvaged from corrupt childhoods, of the demons that were our schoolyard peers. We talked of God in that one moment will he truly loves us as his sacred children, before we became threats in adulthood and chivalry.

And, on an August night, past the changing of the hour and it’s angel and it’s guard, we smile and say goodbye, having said all we could every say, and like true soulmates, we know one night of peace and sanctuary, and then never see another again, armor gained, and talismans made sharp with fangs.

And we do not embrace to say goodbye. It is always a sin to touch.


I once thought the road led somewhere.

I’ve stayed in this town forever, forever more.

Hypnotic sirens whose poison song dispels hope.

My enemies are here forever more, too.


I could not find the angel, so I scorned sanctuary.

In my home, the soft and sad songs replace her voice.

I make up worlds staring models and actresses so pretty.

In my head no one talks over me, or is flippant.


I can’t find what I want here. It’s only in my restlessness.

There was one angel who came in February, in a tourist town.

There was one angel who came down, and who touched my face.

There will be no others. One will last until the end of time.





Frivolous Idolatry

I made her eyes, I made a moon.

Dark brown, cracked like a smile.

Stars are remnant lines of old gods.

She sees them as skeletons in a dream.


She sees the demons that eluded me.

Skeletons are sharp, make peace now.

She may think fireflies linger by water.

The demons will spoil all that for her.


Her eyes are dark brown like the Earth.

Glass is pretty in that bitter winter caul.

She reached the lines in the, finger pricked.

Demons are hungry for blood, and shame.


Eyes see an angel I never understood.

She makes angels of frivolous idolatry.

It soothes her temper and restless hope.

I hope one day she’ll be a line drawing in the sky.

Waitresses are kind, but not friends, nor are the angels whom kiss me for despicable ends.

I call no name now, sacred or profane, not the street where trash floats on overflow when it rains.

It was Zeus on the mountain who roared, but in time, swans wilt to shame, womanizers grow bored.

A Turkish cigarette, a promise that was honored in the breach. I make a world no kissed person can ever reach.


The song Maisie was listening to was quiet, almost hymn like. She sat on a tall, grassy hill that overlooked the subdivision where she’d grown up, as the sun fell away in fading colors, lurid and angry reds to defeated crimson, to the ambient glow of twilight.

Maisie, with her earbuds in, as always trying to soothe herself, watched the daylight fade. Summer was still here, but there was more of it behind than ahead, and winter would be here soon enough. She saw children making their way home, and men and women coming home from their days at work, and excitable dogs doing circles around their owners legs, overjoyed. She somehow found a grace and beauty in the scenes very ordinariness.

Maisie was in a clear mind, which was becoming rare, again. The meds weren’t working like they had been, paranoia and anger were eating her alive, and the joy of what few things she still had for herself, music and her friends, was becoming dull and empty. Maybe adjusting the dosage would help, maybe not. Truth be told, she resented the meds, even if they had given her her life back after her dark and anguished teenage years. She resented have to take medicine to just be human.

Maisie had come to see her parents tonight, her dad picking her up from her apartment in East Maryville, to the rural subdivision where they lived. Dad had been excited to see her, but as always had fallen silent quickly, again going into whatever world he always seemed to live in. At social gatherings and parties he was a laugh a minute jokester, everyone’s best friend. Around his own family, he was distant, no need for the mask then.

Maisie and her mom and dad ate a nice meal. Maisie’s mom had made her favorite past casserole, and it was easier to talk with her mother. After the hell of her teenage years they’d grown close again, like when Maisie was growing up. But she knew there where things there was no point in talking about with her. She never wanted to deal with anything unpleasant, never wanted to hear that Maisie was struggling or had doubts. Anytime Maisie tried to tell her mother these things, Maisie was shouted down and all her fears were hand waved away, as if they could that easily be banished.

After dinner, Maisie had grabbed her phone and earbuds, and went to the big hill at the back of the subdivision. Maisie had watched the stars from their growing up, when this end of the county was less built up, and there was less light pollution to drown them out. She’d come here to brood, to cry, or to just be alone. A Walkman in the old days had brought the soothing voices and sounds to her troubled soul, but nothing else in all these years had really changed.

Maisie listened to that hymn like song. It was sung by a man. Maisie wasn’t often touched by music sung by men. They always seemed swaggering and aggressive, no matter the genre. They could be emotive and moving, but rarely touched her soul the way a woman’s voice could. But this one, the singer seemed without ego and pride, simply singing the sweet things he felt in his soul to her. A quiet hymn in the fading twilight. It wasn’t a religious song, but it was tender and devoted, and that was as close to being touched by God as anyone ever got in this world.

The subdivision, the simple scenes there, the beatific music, and the love she felt for her parents even as it seemed impossible to reach them, this was the peace that kept her hanging on as she felt herself slipping away, all the good things tarnished, all the stars crowded out with facile light.

It was the only thing she could still find, sometimes.