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My Torturous Snake

I live with a snake
Have for as long as I can recall
Always know when he’s going to visit
First, he squeezes my insides, my guts
Foreplay, I suppose he would call it
Foreboding, is what it elicits in me
As darkness begins to set itself upon me
I fight and I fight, useless as I know it to be
I tell him each time, you’ll never beat me
To which he responds with his eerie reptilian laugh
And proceeds to a point just short of my throat
I gag and drink foul substances, but have ever failed put up whatever fight I could muster
Upon which time he unleashes his real poison, potent as an Asp
He slithers into my mind and spreads darkness and apathy
He haunts me asleep or awake, on his visits are akin to occupations
I see dead people and the living, very little difference at this point
Often I see myself, in a messy pool, my snake walking like a man
Having stolen my spirit
But I’m meaner than that
This is his true goal
And defeat me he never will, on that count
Ultimately, he is a cowardly bastard
Remaining, as he does within the folds of my intestines or my brain
Show yourself, minion of Satan
If I could only make him do so, I’d bite the hell out of him
Like I did that German Shepherd that bit me when I was 8
Show yourself, you cowardly bastard
You head I would crunch between my teeth with pleasure


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I came rather late to poetry and even later to photography. I have graduate degrees in philosophy. I realized sometime ago that nearly all of my work makes some sort of implicit argument, and it often makes rather esoteric references to philosophy. Sorry: not trying to be turgid. It’s what I know, and it what Pan whispers into my ear.

You may find my newer, more formal photography at:
Thanks, Rusty

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  • katcollins
    katcollinsover 4 years ago

    Great write of darkness within…I’m glad you are stronger, but I know how hard that fight is, and it gets more difficult each time…(did you really bite that dog back?)

  • Thanks, Kat. did I really bite the dog back? Hell yes, took off part of his ear and lucky as hell that he was more scared than I was. I was pissed off. I didn’t do anything to hurt that dog. But, payback’s fair play. Wow, I was one crazy fool; I think I was born without a fear gene. Zorro was on huge bastard! lol xo, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • raymondoantonio
    raymondoantonioover 4 years ago


  • Raymondo, the man. I always smile to see your visage. I swear I’m going to get you that roar. Hell, I may even try it this evening. We’ll see whether or not my camera will do the job. Otherwise, I’ll try my the built in video on my computer. Raising my pint, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • blueyesdragon
    blueyesdragonover 4 years ago

    i really do love this. It really packs a punch and gets the adrenline flowing with every line i read. Great work and hope to hear more like it.

  • Thank you, Blue Eyes. I’m working on another about the bastard. Good to see you, friend. Cheers, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • wasy35
    wasy35over 4 years ago

    Is this snake a metaphor for what I think it is?

  • And what would that be, W-man? Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • It’s actually a metaphor for depression, Wasey. Thanks for the support. Cheers, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • rubyjo
    rubyjoover 4 years ago

    intense and insightful- knowing the enemy can make a big difference

  • thank you, Ruby. I’m finally feeling somewhat normal today. The difference is amazing! Thanks for the support! xo, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • aprilmansilla
    aprilmansillaover 4 years ago

    I understand completely..amazing visual x

  • I’m sorry that you do, but I’m glad that you like it. Take care of yourself. xo, Rusty

    – Rusty Gentry

  • sophiaavene
    sophiaaveneover 4 years ago

    Unfortunately, I understand, too, but not to the extent that you do. Wish you (we, everyone who suffers the damn disease) could bite it, kick it, smash it, OBLITERATE IT TO HELL ! Can’t remember, who did the dog belong to? But I do remember the incident. You are and always have been fearless. Good quality given all that you have to deal with.
    As always,

  • sophiaavene
    sophiaaveneover 4 years ago

    Sitting here still thinking – remember how terrified you were of snakes when you were young – remember the dream you had that night you slept on that godawful ugly sofa that you were sleeping in a bed of snakes? Enough said.
    i love you,

  • I don’t know who the dog belonged to and didn’t care. I was pissed, because my bike was scratched up and he bit me. What do you mean, “terrified when I was young?” I don’t much like the creatures today. Yes, I very specifically recall the content of that dream on the couch. “I guess that was me screaming, wasn’t it?” Old times, that sucked. Good thing there are new ones.

    – Rusty Gentry

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedabout 4 years ago

    such darkness and pain inflicted by the snake …you should damn well eat it whole!!!!

  • Just let me get my hands on the goddamn thing; it will be digested.
    xo, ME

    – Rusty Gentry

  • lisameryl
    lisamerylabout 4 years ago


    POWERFUL write with much despair, darkness but a bit of light within!

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