Confidante: Fourth Wake

Posted by ractrose on 27 Nov 2018 in Art, Poems

Charcoal and pastel drawing of small cat held by man's hand



The Folly








Travel, if that were the cause of it

A career of amputating limbs…a bent

Towards a ruthless, curious, yearning to experiment

Perhaps an inclination when he spoke

Of all humanity’s being one

To place himself outside of it

Howitt, the only friend I’d known


Wake’s voice dies at this.


A breath of sound

after a silence stirs the candle flame. I might believe

that in his voyages he’d run afoul,

that in some demon-haunted cave of the Malay,

he had left his soul behind

This Howitt seen, the very appetite of evil

Clothed in flesh.

An apparition.

I did not feel it then.


‘Wake, catch that animal!’

I had got a habit of obeying him.

The stalls were shuttered, yet these

Spits and moanings of the matted, bony

Crook-tailed pusses of the lanes and alleys

Came nightly to our ears. Some tender pity as though I

once had loved, slackened this time, my grip, and Howitt told me,

‘Never mind.’

But he had a thing he’d meant to say.

‘You’ll be surprised, Wake, seeing this for yourself, one day.

How the force of life

Resists extinguishing. Say I’d cut you open…

How long might you live, do you suppose, each nerve

Being severed from the spine, one by one?’




Charcoal and pastel drawing of working class woman, feeling defiant

Truth for the Victim












(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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