One Too Many Bad Deals

With partners like the devil …


Where is the savior with his haloed phalanx,

his steadfast gunners with the glued on wings?

Their truancy to this party is a hateful bias,

a repugnant exploit that so surely stings.

With their lozenge haloes made of coal and rust,

They do disgust me with talents they fail to bring.


Alone in the greyness my body walks,

The highway gusts beneath my arms

With partners like the devil in this world, I balked,

his words filled to sate with napalm charms.

In queries unanswered he persists to talk—

as bodies trace the chalk, from stillborn harm.


Each step in tragedy he felt right at home

while hollow church bells recall of their toll

The light is extinguished, engulfed by shadows

As down the gutter we endure for a stroll

When midnight comes, and silence runs deep,

Alone in the velvet sheet, my body goes slow.


Timidly I converse with my version of the devil,

His voice wreaking havoc from his fragmented tongue

Each word bears a grotesquerie of pure venom,

a stygian cacophony that’s so densely hung.

The first cut he makes is always the deepest

The worst is repeated, as air leaves the lung.


A soul in the ether, how it was disposed of like that,

I questioned the will of the people he took

He answered, unopposed, like a feared autocrat,

Said, “Look at them closely, go ahead take a look!”

I glanced at their carcass so lifeless and raw

And saw infestation, as the soul dribbles out like a brook.


Infected from within, he preyed on their weakness

Like a leech to blood getting ready to feed

He snickered each time a soul would come near us,

As he ripped them asunder and watched them bleed.

I watched him in silence, unnerved with my life

The strife I had caused, how I abandoned the creed.


After the slaughter, he got up, brushed himself off

And continued to speak as though nothing ensued

The skin around my eyeballs stretched out as he scoffed,

My heart through my chest, as my fear was on view.

I sucked the air around me and began to compose myself,

Desolation foretells as his voice intrudes.


The road still a barren, incessant struggle

A light at the end, the flame now negotible

With the black smoke rising, my mind since befuddled,

He walked next to me, his voice unemotional.

His words like knife blades, sharp and precise,

The air turned to ice, and the world was disposable.


I questioned my motives, was my conscience really wrong,

In the pith of existence, did love leave me lost?

Was life just a long train, still running along?

At what price was it forlorn, at what goddamn cost was I crossed?

I glanced right behind me and saw just a smirk,

In my framework he faded, and his hands were now washed.


The road straight ahead now a space of just blackness

How far along was I when I fell astray

Where was that lone glimmer of hope, had it vanished?

Why was I left silent, why couldn’t I convey,

In All the hate I had for him, would it all explode,

Yet back down the road, the light faded away.


Now left in creation I suspect everyone.

Did love leave them empty too, like it left me forlorn.

Does everyone have devils, like bullets to guns?

Unknown when they’ll fire, unknown when they’ll spawn.

Alone in the gutter, with life’s liquid rations

My devils had cashed in, drunk and turned on.


Imprisoned from light, my road ever dark

Abandoned at the crossroads, I hide in clear sight.

No saints, no sinners, no martyrs, just ripple marks—

of where I lost my hope and soul unto the plight.

The taste of stale ink from my cursive art,

My name the part that surrendered my rights.



Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.
Paul Neglia

Latest posts by Paul Neglia (see all)


Paul Neglia

Proud father of 3. Part time writer of poetry and short stories. I want to paint the world in but a few words.

7 thoughts on “One Too Many Bad Deals

  • October 4, 2018 at 2:23 AM

    Wow! a Powerful self-illuminating piece that we can all relate to, as that devil walks with all of us. So well penned with wonderful wordplay and rhyming, delivering a thoroughly stark and bothersome realism. Great work Paul, I so admire your skill. Take care, my friend.

    • October 4, 2018 at 7:53 AM

      Thank you so much Tony. Coming from the master wordsmith himself, I am appreciative. Seems like people dont like and or want to comment on dark poetry. Oh well. Is what it is. Thank you so much my friend

  • October 4, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    Indeed a big WOW from me as well Paul, like Tony I agree totally, your perfect wordsmith style is most definitely self-illuminating. You uncover and unleash the works of the devil in a most striking and brilliant way. You sir are also a very descriptive writer, your pen a friend to you, as a poet whether we are light, dark or otherwise, our gifts unfold from the deepest at times shadows of darkness. I tend to agree with your view of some people that don’t like to read nor comment on dark poetry, but there is an overwhelming following of readers who thrive on reading dark poetry, why? because for many of them we discover that our own souls at some time in our lives had a period of darkness covering our souls, not for want of our own, but enforced on us by others. So from having such experiences in life, we as poets and writers can be very expressive on the darker sides of this life. Excellent work Paul, you are truly a gifted poet.

    • October 4, 2018 at 9:54 AM

      Wow I never really thought about it this way. But you my friend are so right in that thought. I find that some of my most powerful engaging poems come from the darker side. It seems to stir more emotion for some reason. Oh well. Vincent thank you so much for your truly kind words. They are much appreciated.

  • October 4, 2018 at 10:01 PM

    Great work, Paul. Your mastery with word play and rhyme just keeps getting better. I enjoyed reading this piece from the dark side. I think we all have a dark side and you are right – it does bring out some strong emotions. Well done, dear friend. Take care.

    • October 8, 2018 at 5:59 AM

      Thank you so much Phyllis. Much appreciation. I’m glad you enjoyed this.

  • October 9, 2018 at 9:38 PM

    Paul, I actually love dark poetry. Even though the majority of my poems are uplifting and inspirational I tend to intersperse them with some of my darker pieces. As other commenters have stated, you are a master wordsmith and your poetry is always intelligent and flowing. Great work. We all struggle with the devil’s influences from time to time.


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