Joseph A. Pinto

The sandwich remains uneaten and forgotten, long since ravaged by mold.  Beside it, the milk in the glass is nothing but crusty, yellow mud.  The lunch now a mockery of what once was.

He leans against the doorway, peering into the fruitless dark of his son’s room.  Clothes cling to his skin.  Thirty minutes prior, he stood within the foyer, dripping in static silence after stumbling in from the rain.  He realizes that nothing carries weight anymore.  Except maybe his sodden clothes.

He wavers.  A car passes somewhere in the night.  Light cuts rudely through the room; shadows jump stiffly about the walls, scurrying into corners.  Stuffed animals squat atop the bed, solemn smiles unflinching across their faces.  A sliver of headlight touches the uneaten sandwich, illuminating the plate like a stage.  It fades away—the show over, curtain drawn on yet another day.  He hesitates, breath snagging in his…

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The Pages

I took out a pen and paper
With intentions of screaming on mute
Through the vacant scribbles on a page
But I found that I had no words to write
I couldn’t make the ink come alive
When I had nothing on tap to draw from
A dead pump won’t produce water
No matter how often that it’s primed
And when I looked down,
the page was no longer empty.
My instrument of mass creation
Had bled a river of blue
Leaving no room for wasted letters


Which Tale

Once upon a time,
The tale begins, as all fairy stories do,
When we all loved in the forest
And everybody loved everyone else
Once upon a time,
The memories were sweet
As apple blossoms on the morning
Like spun sugar on a hot summer day
It was all perfect, but
Once upon a time.
The flare of passion burned as relentlessly
As the fires under a cauldron and twice as hot
And then,
Once upon a time stopped being a fairy story
And became a scary tale…
Well fuck that noise.
I’ll make my own story thanks.


Frozen Soul

4:30 am.

I’m awake and staring out the window at the snow, wishing I was asleep and not witnessing horror. But instead I am, and so are the deer busily scampering, their hooves a clip clop of wood on wood against the asphalt.  It’s cold and my smoke is dwindling, but I stay anyway with teeth chattering and bare skin rippled   It’s eerily quiet at this time of day; enough that I can hear the downy whoosh of the Great Owls flying as I watch them silently soar. The rabbits scarper, too, suddenly prey, and I, a lowly human, observe thoughtfully, wondering exactly why we sleep through the loveliest time of our cycle.  The answer is that it’s warm and when someone you care for is beside you, it can be paradise; A lost paradise but one nonetheless. It can also be an abyss and one too vast to traverse without adequate supply.

The flame from my torch looks turns the window into a mirror, and the reflection is the true horror. The tip of my home rolled jitters nervously in the light, that makeshift looking-glass tells more truth than any I’ve known since my youth. I can’t turn away from the woman in the window. I want to but she isn’t something I’ve seen before, and like all humans, we covet what we can’t have by imbibing with our eyes. A terrible sort of beauty, she smiles as though sadness were a garment made for her.  Her face is a maze of scars and pitfalls; this resplendent monster wears her mask without shame.  Her bare skin is mottled with wounds that never heal, punch stains and splintered soul, this wonder affects an air of resilient strength that truly stuns. Broken, beaten she stands before me with that sad knowing smile and cries tears of blood in my honour.

I know her; this creature who stands and bleeds on my palms is a woman I recognise from auld lang syne, and I inhale again in hope that she will fade away with the smoke.  It’s selfish but I wish she’d go to Source or just leave, or – and I sigh in a cloud of regret. Selfish indeed. The poor thing didn’t, doesn’t ask to remain here, would rather be forgotten in some unmarked grave but I suppose the tears I cry awaken her spirit.  To my own regret, because there can be no tears in the presence of the world and she is a part of that world, corporeal or flesh, there are still eyes to see them.  Behind the gate and beyond fear, a buck openly observes my inner struggle with unblinking eyes and steam jetting from his muzzle. Moments like hours’ creep by and then he dips his prodigious rack and gracefully trots out of view. A message or a dismissal, of this I will never be sure, and perhaps I don’t need to know the answer.

All that I need to know is that the fire is out.  The smoke that I had lit is gone and the woman is still here.  I also know that I am sitting here in front of an open window watching the snow fall and wishing that was something else.  The woman still stands nearby, sadly smiling with her hands behind her back like a chastised child. After years of talking to a ghost, there are no more words to say that will make her understand that she was in no way complicit. That she should move forward and move on but she just regards me with pity in her eyes and a wince that makes me cringe in sympathy.  No one can convince a soul, no matter how tortured and desperate to believe they are, to give up the grip they have on life.

Above my head, the floorboards creak; the clock strikes five and still I sit here in the cold, thinking. There are things that no one seems to understand and I never want them to live it, let alone comprehend it.  How do you explain the way that I crawled out of the same grave I willingly leapt into?  It sounds insane; but is it as insane as the emotional re-emergence, covered in moss and gasping for air?   Crazy it may be but I crawled out of it nonetheless. I bear the scars from digging through years of dead flowers and the rotting corpses of fallen leaves, digging through thousands of apologies and wasted words to finally breathe free air again. Buried alive is not as far etched as it seems.

The sun will rise soon and I am finally tired enough to sleep. Turning to bid her adieu, with my hand raised to blow her a kiss, I complete the action to an empty room. My muscles creak and bones crackle alarmingly, as I climb the stairs towards my bed and some rest.  I should be exhausted, but it feels more like coming alive.  As I drift to dreamland, I wonder if she’s trying to send me a message.


Twisted Tales Patti BeetonClick here for more on Twisted Tales by Patti Beeton

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The Selkirk Seven is now available for Kindle, Kobo, at Barns and Noble and Amazon as well
The Selkirk Seven is now available for Kindle, Kobo, at Barns and Noble and Amazon as well

Some World …

It’s the Opiate of the masses.
Opinion seems to act as some sort of aphrodisiac, and media,
Media provides the soundtrack to the insanity.
It all makes us believe that if we
Kiss the ring on the hand of some pauper prince
If we commit ourselves to the real daemon
by believing in the falsehoodery
That somehow everything will be status quo.
It’s heresy;
Your grass marriage with reality
is really just a nest of lies
brought to you solely by your inability
to look past the mask into the
windowless soup of Society’s heart.
It’s disheartening to feel alone in a world full of people
Knowing that the black sheep is really juste a warrior
With a psychic avantage.
And that those with open minds remain the only
Armour that stands between the
Intentionally ignorant and those willing to see.


New Bones

Someone asked me what I feel,
And to my own fault I responded
The only way that I know how.
Only Haywire live wire seemed apt.
It makes no sense, perhaps,
To anyone but me
But that’s what it feels like.
It’s as though my bones have been replaced
And the new ones simply vibrate
Until my teeth rattle.
It’s oppressive and I’m trapped
By unseen eyes that observe
Every step, every breath
Someone is always there and it’s no comfort
Nor replacement for flesh and blood.
It’s uneasy the way the world is imploding
and the people are discussing politics
Issues of no consequence.
Leaves me to wonder what happens
What to those of us awake
When it ends.



The pterosaurs glide, hither and yon
On the hunt for the not quite dead
We call them Freshies. Like a treat

Below the snarligators sunbathe
Hoping for a snack of their own
Poor things.

Here I sit in my library,
staring at walls instead of reading
In my laboratory bodies rot, waiting…

I’m no princess. I don’t need saving
Sometimes I play at being a Queen
The Fool giggles too hard at that joke

Somewhere in the Minotaur’s labyrinth
Lost inside some ancient catacomb
There is another freak, wandering
Looking for another heartless monster, just like me

*sigh* I’m distracted.
It’s my world. I made it, flaws and all

Sleep is a fleeting friend, that twat
I’d give anything to engage in
A search for the soulless tonight


dybbuk box

Maybe I do think Hell is full and maybe I know for a fact that devils roam among us. Maybe I found one. Maybe I know one; and maybe he laughs like sin is a flight of fancy while he watches from his solicitous shadows. Enticing, that daemon, he ignited a barely controlled passion that burned just below the surface. It’s not fair, the way he teased, the horns on his head hidden well from prying eyes, but not from me. Never from me.

I was caught tonight, trying to get drunk and failing. Pissed off and glowering over the half empty bottle, a devil snuck up behind me. What an unsuspecting meal I must have appeared, and he chuckled when I rounded, snarling with my teeth bared, Spite!!  “You sought out a devil and now you’re shocked that you found one,” a devilishly handsome man with brightly shining eyes stated, an unrecognisable expression on his face as he sat and pulled me into his lap.

A girl could have melted then, those perfectly evil lips that begged for a bite, Then it was my turn to laugh. And I did, not unkindly and with a certain hunger colouring the tone enough to widen his smile. With zero regret, I laughed again. “I am not shocked that I found a devil,” I murmured from my new place into the ear of his human suit; his need is a new pressure on my flesh, as is a burning touch across my thighs and on my waist. Smiling, my masque slips and the sharp intake of breath upon sight of dust underneath is soul food. “No, I’m not shocked to find a devil. I’m only surprised I trapped one so quickly.”


A Dark Thought

I don’t know why I’m even trying. I swore so long ago that I wouldn’t speak to You ever again and I haven’t,  until now. The Absent  Moral Authority, You abandoned me so many times, when I was taught that You were there to protect me, watch over me. Saviour. The first time I needed someone, after begging the physical individuals in my life to see me, I turned to the one that I was told would always be there.  But, I was left to deal on my own.  I prayed then for a Saviour, begged for help and You sent me further assault on my body and no hope of help to escape. I was five.

I hear from everyone that You are still there, that You still believe in me even if I don’t believe in You. I have no evidence of that. I could have believed, after;  I wanted to,  and I tried but where were You when I was seven with a razor to my throat? When I was twelve and lost? When I was fourteen and desperately needed an intervention? Where were You then? There is blame, a tonne of it and I’m not sorry one bit. I Believed in You, and Trusted that You would be that Protector, and You let me down.

Parts of me still hold to the childhood brainwashing I received in the name of my eternal soul. That’s why I’m making a last-ditch effort. After all, kids suffer worse and survive, right? Every day, people suffer worse fates, and I’m alive, so be grateful, Believe in Me. I’m always here.  But this is where I’m having an issue. When I was dying, trapped like a rat in a maze and willing to provoke the final battle so that it would finally be over, I trusted in You to be my voice. To Save me, after I’ve spent so many years trying to save myself, and I have the scars to prove it.

Where were You when I lay sweating on that stinking bare mattress in the spare room, broken inside from fists and coughing and fever sick from days of effort just to breathe?  Where were you when I had to crawl on bruised knees and broken bones through my own blood and vomit to the bathroom? Where were your miracles when I sat for what seemed like hours, crying silent tears because it hurt to piss?  I could have screamed but that would have meant worse. Where were you when the barrel of that pretty little .44 was shoved into my mouth, breaking my teeth and the gun cocked while I begged for my life?   I prayed.   Nothing.  You weren’t there.  I was.  I needed You and I was alone, as usual.

So why am I here on my knees praying when I swore it would never happen again? Because I have nothing left to believe in. It’s hard to hold faith in someone whose only real action is to prove that company line is to take none.  Years have gone by since l last tried, and there’s always only one course of action that remains when there is nothing left; I’m not ready to entertain that option, yet.  I even pleaded profusely, offering a sacrifice to Cthulhu and then to Gingersnap the Soul Eater, but I was refused in both cases, indulgently. Perhaps it’s because I no longer have a soul.

I’ve asked in jest, and then in seriousness, for help, for a life-preserver, anything to save me from drowning. No one cares enough to pull their eyes away from their own reflection.  Once I was sure that Angel’s existed; I no longer believe in angels but I’m sure that the Devil is real and His name is Technology. Further proof that You aren’t there and Heaven is some kind of Celestial Prank.

Fact is, that I’m in bad shape, and it’s no lie. This time I’m broken in a new way and my breath rattles in my lungs quite like a watery maracas. It’s no excuse for my actions, and I know that I will pay for it in one way or another. Such is the order of things.  My Faith in You still exists.  It’s nothing more than this tiny glow of light but it  lives, but this is the last time that I will ask You to help me.  To forgive me.

I didn’t mean to do it.  I couldn’t swallow the swill of lies and insults anymore and instead of swallowing the gall in my mouth and walking away,like I normally do,  it exploded from the crowbar I was using to open the new barrel in the garage.  His voice was a buzzing in my ears, he was screaming at me so loudly and I turned and rammed the flat end of it into his throat.  I just wanted him to stop shouting, and after, when the blood was spraying all over my face and hand, I stood over him and watched him jitterbug.  His hands kept fluttering at his neck like red and white butterflies. He bled out on his spotless garage floor, and the delicate butterflies?   They stopped flying about five minutes ago.

He was complicit in his demise, made his bed so to speak.  The barrel was empty, thankfully, and made a handy storage place. But now, I’m afraid.  Please, I need Your help. I’m scared and I need Your Guidance.

The Dwindling Dream

You keep asking me as though
whatever crap falls from my lips
is some kind of gospel
or carries weight,
but it is worth less then nothing.

I’d laugh but it’s just so damned sad
when people trust the word of a ghost

Why do you care what I think?
Why, exactly, does it matter?

There’s not a god damned thing
going on upstairs;
empty noggins only breed cobwebs,
those things are hardly substantial
enough to catch dust let alone
well formed thoughts, so I ask you,

Why does it matter?

It doesn’t.
Not one word, not one syllable
of my opinion makes a difference

Gimme my crown,
I’m the queen of nowhere;
Knower of fuck all, the invisible woman,

so again I ask, why does it matter?

Aren’t there a billion others about
that could tell you what you need to hear?

The world is full of Pubic Opinion Judges
that could certainly fulfil your desire
for unfettered truth.

They, whose minds turn
as long as their mouths are open?
Surely they are better suited to your requirements

than some transparent fool who believes that she’s human.


It’s something like a tornado

the way the universe tends to

turn. what’s a girl to do, one thinks

as she sprays her life with gaso/

line and lights a match just to watch

it’s birth; once, twice, thrice and again.

she does nothing more than giggle,

make popcorn and watch the world burn.

“clear skies ahead in the eyes

of the dead,” she sighs wiping

tears from her cheeks and i relate

because i know the struggle to

keep breathing. the creature creeping;

it’s not real, but it is. i don’t

comprehend how it is that they

cannot see the storm building, or

hear the thunders roar.  it never

stops to stupefy, boggle the

mind; bleating sleeping sheep in fear

afraid of a silly spirit.

watch the way they mill about

frantic when the winds begin to

whip chaos into a frenzy.

pray to the almighty absent

for sanctuary if it helps

i can’t grasp the concept of it

i don’t understand the way you prey.


About beauty …

Beauty is a misnomer and used in the wrong context.

It should be used to describe objects that stun and awe, in appreciation of artistic effort and quality craftsmanship. In appreciation of Mother Nature’s innate talents, both wrathful and benign.

People are not beautiful; they are amazing and asinine, gorgeous and grotesque. Humanity is simply an enigma dressed a flesh-suit, and filled with an ennui that masquerades as happiness.

Beauty does not apply.

– In My Opinion


He says I’m beautiful, but
I think his eyes are malfunctioning.
Nothing in the mirror shows
anything close to that description.
What I see are lines and scars,
cracked crystal memories;
Things I do not wish to remember,
are what I face every day.
Someone suggested, implied,
that my soul was leaking through the veil
and I cried until I laughed
at the deadly sweet naivety.
The undead don’t have a soul.
Look in the glass, the empty vessel
mourns the perspective he sees.


but you love me right?

I talk, for once, about my feelings
and you get angry, or tune me out
Or just flat out ignore
But hey, you love me right?

I can sit for hours and listen to
This and that about who and what
About everything under the sun
Until I start to discuss matters of
Somehow the conversation gets derailed
Back to you.
But hey, you love me right?

I’m struggling. Badly.
So much on my mind that I’m lost
And I have nowhere to turn.
There’s no one around that doesn’t
Appear to view me as a tool.
But hey, you love me right?

I wish I could believe it.

Son of a –

Tiptoe through ground glass but leave no bloody footprints behind.

Confuzzled by the contradictory  message? Welcome to my world. I suggest you run.

you’re still here?  interesting. my thoughts about the situation go as thus: Winter’s Chill is a twat. On it’s heels, the Agoniser comes with his pretty, pain poisoned stick  this son of a skunkbutt…his main pleasure in existence is to torture and torment everyone.

as you see,  what goes on upstairs, isn’t pretty. those damned squatters have set up shop in the braincase are back and they have drawn some fairly apt, if pornographically  accurate, representations of reality.

and now,  to the chagrin of only me, there’s a high frequency vibration that has settled into my bones. an epically proportional ache that is slowly driving me utterly bonkers with a touch of batshit.

Sound fun?



Prince of Stones

Promised me you’d stick
like glue, true blue, to the end
but you split like a coward
are you so empowered,
that you break word like bread,
it’s easy to blame, play the game
like a player, role the dice,
you always win, such a sin
but honey, players get played
your excuses are staid and
worth little more then nothing
superman you ain’t but darlin,
to remove the sting
always remember,
a pauper can be king
if he plays the real game
a word to the wise,
I’ll cut it down to manageable size
just end the bullshit riddles
and speak your mind.


Plagued by a Promise

I remember the racket.

That noisy daemon behind the smile.

How could I forget?

Some say I fell in love

with you that day

and maybe they’re right.

Love as a brother,

the first truthsayer in my life.

My friend.

What resonates strongest, and

most often are those quiet

sober moments that weren’t

laugher and gaiety,

but factual and less than tactful.

The words, though, still stick.

“My dear, you’ll die.

Will you die on your terms

or conditions of someone else?”

The answer was then, on my terms.

The answer today remains the same.

I’d be lying to say there aren’t still  days

when I sit down to text you

about some stupidity

or a problem that only your

unedited POV can illuminate.

I get halfway through,

before I remember

that it’s useless,  that

it’s a message that you’ll never get.

I hate that, but I promised,

you motherfucker.

So you win again.


a birds eye view 

*ruffles feathers*

its cold out here 

on this stupid 

branch in this tree

Freezing, watching 

the weeping old 

man sitting in 

his saggy old 

chair by the big 

bay window yank

his only thin 

brown blanket tight 

around his frail

shoulders and shake

*blink and shudder*

without feathers 

i would freeze too

but he has a

home to go with

that brown blanket

while i freeze here 

on this stupid 

branch in this tree