The Blackened Flower (Antonin Artaud) by Paul Tristram

With heroin withdrawals
creeping up his limbs
like cemetery ivy
trying to strangle moonlight.
His shaking hands scrumple up
another desperate
‘Letter To The Legislator
Of The Law Of Narcotics’
and casts it to the asylum floor.
Picking up instead
a half written essay
on another madman
who painted starry skies,
cornfields and haystacks.
The thrumming witchcraft
emanating from Montparnasse
slackens its distorting grip, slightly…
and he smiles a sad half-smile,
clairvoyantly connecting
and seeing a truth
where others merely gaze at art.
There’s a whinging alley cat
within his shipwrecked, tortured soul,
yet, it’s a genius old moggy to boot.
To scale and descend
the intricate tiers of a fractured mind,
punished with electric shock treatment,
for going where most fear to tread.
And still scalpel a line onto tattered page
with such relevance, force and dark beauty,
whilst ‘The Theatre Of Cruelty’
encores forever inside his head,
is to be appreciated and applauded, always.


Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!



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