Judson Michael Agla is primarily a visual artist who has studied and practiced in the fine arts, classical animation, and illustration. Always drawn towards dark imagery and sarcasm in his visual work, it wasn’t surprising when he found a fondness for dark comedy, and now has a collection of published works in poetry and flash fiction, as well as the raw beginnings of a novella.



The vines have stopped creeping
The walls shriek as atrophy and rigor infects the cascading latticework
The vines trickle crimson tears on the dying flowers below
The keepers who used to visit, visit no longer
Dust and rust are all that remains in this garden
I’d give my bones, my flesh and my crippled mind
Just to see a single bud or sparkle of color
But the bolt already flew with wretched precision
There are no more offerings
Only whispers of decay
Because the vines have stopped creeping


I love the way you drive
It’s like the way you love, full throttle with the most reckless of intensions
The streetlights seem to bow and dim upon your approach, like sentries guarding the darkness ahead, signaling safe passage
Your kisses become comfort in the low lights of the dashboard, but I’ve never encountered someone with such passionate monsters
You chase your engine like an armed pilgrim, on the way to lay siege to the Promised Land, shrieking back into the disappearing landscape
What is it of rot and ruin that pursues you with such wretched conviction?
As the icy road passes underneath, we barrel into a new dawn of deliverance, carrying the spark that will ignite the fires of reckoning
Where we will stand, steadfastly refusing the benevolence of slaughter to continue


She said that I had a tenuous mortal coil and no understanding about the machinery of dying

She came at me with the ferocious intent of a Princess who’d just had her kingdom sacked by a much weaker advisory

These were the end of my days in comfort and spoil

She criticized my poetry of having a conscience with a slippery decent into the realms of righteous protest

How dare she? I’d always made it quite clear that indiscriminate murderous malice, and my misanthropic behaviors were as close to me as any religion could be

She was, however, correct about my loose mortal coil, I’d never made any deliberate footprints, thrown between past and future; I had no sanctum or allegiance to the present. I found it distasteful with desultory horizons

As far as the machinery of dying, my education was only beginning, and would consume years of study and apprenticeship before any mastering could be obtained—I still had to strip it down and build it up again. Like the engines of time, the blueprints were stolen long ago; I’d have to peer into the clockworks and watch the septic, rusted gears crank round and round again.

Didn’t we agree to stand together and steadfastly refuse the hounds of god, and the blackness we thought we were running from? We can’t go back, the bridges were all burnt to rat shit, the doors and windows nailed shut, we kept the world out, but the demons remained within us.

Look at what fucking around with our destinies has brought us: a plate of rot, rigor, and mold. Angry wretched spirits pass through us like a late-night dinner on a Mexican Monday.

We were foolish, contemptuous, and arrogant. Delirious in our young love, we thought nothing could touch us. Now, chained to oblivion, and the wrath of our sins, we lash out at each other, the solace we brought into our bed was infested with the plague, and the bright lights ahead that we tried so hard to reach, turned out to be the diming fires of our love in atrophy.

Now, with more years behind us then ahead, everything crumbling around us, we both reach out for one final embrace, and as we let go the leash of history and the waning moons of time, we wait patiently in line, to join the ranks of the wretched.