Final Night in Sodom

This triptych poem, also my first triptych chained hay(na)ku, was written for two prompts: Read Write Poem Prompt #50: Gothic (‘Tis the Season) and Poefusion’s Tuesday Title Prompt this week (from Billy Corgan’s book “Blinking with Fists”).

Rather than the old gothic tales we have gleaned so many of our metaphors and cliches from (dark, spooky castles in the middle of nowhere, graveyards, black roses, etc.), I decided to go biblical on your collective poetic asses. This poem, of course, is based on the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

This triptych poem can be read THREE ways actually, as opposed to two like my other ones. Of course, you can read across, and then down each section. You are also encouraged to read down the columns in all three sections as a third way to read the poem.

WARNING: This poem contains references to violence, sexual assault, and murder. If you are not comfortable with these subjects, I suggest you stop reading now.

If you’d like to read on, then enjoy.



night streets glow
trees speak in spite of darkness
in hushed whispers of silent consent penetrating drunken eyes
to answer the bearing liquid lust of wanton men
West winds howl dirges in the
blowing wounded night
eyes swimming in
cheap wine in murder this night
cradles braying men with stiff cocks pointed at me
eyes only see fresh young meat sharp predaceous lust
serviceable flesh drooling madmen rape and
target aim kill
blinking with fists
these shadows the last imprinted memories
scattered, blurred, ashen fading, ragged breaths a film negative
icy, slurred laughter I am carrion then these words:
still randy let’s go to Lot’s
strangers in house

Written 10/26/08,10/27/08, and 10/28/08
© 2008 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.

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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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14 Responses to Final Night in Sodom

  1. rob kistner says:

    This is excellent — dark, urgent, wanton, and very ‘blood & bone’ seductive… really liked this!

  2. This is impressive. I like this form really well. And, your words weren’t any darker than life can be sometimes. If we can’t write dark sometimes then I think something is lost. Well done. Have a nice night.

  3. TD says:

    Excellent entry. So much depth and interplay here with a biblical story as backdrop. I must return to read more of your work.

  4. artpredator says:

    very complex–amazing that it works so well this way and that!

  5. pieceofpie says:

    strangers in the house…. recalls to mind you never know when you are entertaining angels.. of course paraphrasing… speechless nicole!!! beyond words as to your form and the beauty of silent wailing speech… amazing that god would spare lot and his daughters but to end in a cave of sin…

  6. Linda Jacobs says:

    I wasan’t sure whether to read down or across but it seems to make sense either way!

  7. Paul says:

    That’s a very clever well made multidimensional poem with very rich and rewarding imagery.

  8. I like the fact that reading it in both directions adds depth to it.

  9. The very visual of it makes want to read it again and again. I love the deep dark secrets in this poem.

    numbing the senses senseless

  10. Angel C. says:

    I do like this form and the imagery is so good. Based on Biblical times but almost as dark as present times.

  11. paisley says:

    damn… once again you nailed it… wow!!

  12. nathan1313 says:

    I don’t know how you do it. This is amazing.

  13. Cynthia says:

    amazing, reading the poem across was powerful.

  14. Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and compliments.

    I have written a few triptychs, and I must admit, they are a challenge, but a very fun challenge indeed. I have heard of a similar form known as a cleave (more info available here:, and interestingly enough, I experimented with the triptych form before I had yet heard of the cleave. You could say that the triptych, in essence, is kinda like an expanded cleave.

    I’d like to do more experimentation with the triptych form in the future. Heck, maybe even start an online mag for triptychs. I don’t know.

    I’m glad everyone liked this one so much. I only spoilered the content on this because it dealt with some pretty violent subjects. I’m a survivor of abuse myself and am trying to heal and recover from its effects, namely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While I’m documenting some monstrous people and some random acts of violence more than abuse itself in this poem, I know certain things can be triggers for flashbacks and other ill effects. The rule of thumb I use is this: if it feels like it might trigger me after I’ve written it, I spoiler it.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by.


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