Shadowscrawler Reading and “Eight Nights of Deep” Poem

Poetry Reading Winter Solstice 2022
Poetry Reading Winter Solstice 2022
The Winter Garden at Seattle’s Washington Park Arboretum

The Shadowscrawler Reading this past Winter Solstice was the coldest reading I’ve ever hosted and the coldest reading I’ve ever read at.

Perhaps the darkest too. The venue was fantastic and the audience was small but mighty. My reading is listenable below. I did record the entire event, but on my phone, and my fumbling of my phone made for an impossible listening experience. So it goes in the frigid cold!

Video Recording of Greg Reading “Eight Nights of Deep”

The poem here, “Eight Nights of Deep,” can be read here as well. Note that the performed version was utterly drafty and the version below is slightly more polished.

Eight Nights of Deep

December 2022

1) Las Vegas

each crevasse

argon signs

burgeoning patchwork


city of sleepless

we’re sleeping


freezing desert December

desserts and punishment

and bands and lots of light

neo Apollo teardrops

Apollinaire animalism

pollinated gunshots

bees at train stops



collective buzz in winter

it’s never really “nacht”

but it is ever flowing

these crevasses

unfolding unsung


unborn and remixed

new scars of cityscape

city scraping by

top layers of dust

and the man with tape

on the corner of his glasses

and the one who speaks

of the Paiute to the north

and we’re far from their pain

and yet here we sit

far from our redemption

facing bellies of neon

and scattered coin

our backs to shadows of dust

2) Atlanta

these heaps and pits

collections of oaks and maples

occasional banana trees green

cut back for winter

whispers of past seasons

we think it


back to the land that time grew


back to a preference for seasonality

where seasonal light doesn’t shock

doesn’t awe

where the heaping night is static but varicose

where we can’t but wonder and wander

partially and impartially

like imps skipping along the blocks

our pointed ears tuned

we emerge from the pits

we slide down from the heaps

we run across the lawns

we talk unmuffled

we stare openly into obscure night sky

3) Knoxville

between blocks of walking and blocks of bars

and smiles behind bars

dreams of bars filled windows

reflections null now in this breath

we dodge sex sounds

paper thin Red Roof Inn walls

a hyena’s masquerade

then a sudden silence

vocal non-anima

between long stretches

false confederation

you know the flags

of the bigots still longing

between those slow

between those sped

the longing

and the more

don’t tread on me

the creepier the creeping gets

we wait, we sip, we glance, we talk, we rebut, we stoop, we shiver

not in flight

and trees speak for themselves

in the brisk breeze


4) Asheville

music dots the heartbeats and I’m sweating

and the shivers stop as the bop blasts

and outside a confederate monument doesn’t exist

gone now

poof and purr

the jaguar of night lashing out

pure smoky energy

or panthers?

it’s calm but alive

in a frozen old mountain range

and people know how to lounge

or lunge

the night is steeped in the freeze

neon lights capture what the LEDs otherwise


beer captures what my tongue otherwise


dreaming in secrets of the roads

those I would have taken had I packed a thicker coat

and eaten more fried pies


I dream secrets with glazed eyes

and pricks in the heart

the sunny side of Armstrong

reenacted in the basement of Gigi’s

just another December

where the days keep giving

days are night so there’s that

oh and the big cats yowl

as you yowl

5) Asheville

frost continues

streets continue.

haunting hobbled hollow hills


as far as the breath will keep the eyes open

South Slope murals linked in community

I remember

we dotted across lazily scraped blocks

before charging forward

toward bookstores and biscuits

cold mouths

cracked hands

dried lips

mouthing jokes

over unmapled murals

dormant, sleepy trees

shadow matches a laugh

and there is life

and there we are

our slow shambling patterns

playing tricks out

slowly and surely

6) Charlotte

follow twang lyric and broken lines

and there are no birds out here

and our broken bods speak cryptic

screech of stretch marks and CBD madness


shelter goes

disappeared bowerbird

hallucinated in a soft cold morning

behind a few mountains

the memory of the gurgling plastic pipe

the metal drain too

that water gone gurgley

spliced with anthro murmur

idling cars

behind the frozen metal pane


beyond cliff face

ice sheets like glaciated skin

skimming empty attractions


the world in its own subtle shadows imbibes

yes the world imbibes the world

it’s alive


my own shambling

mound of mute

of grunt and guffaw


dreams of more


metallic cityscapes

strange auras

purple and red

no police

just a man


on a bike

a mechanic

his tale amidst the chill

and we were wearing gloves

the lack of fire

and the bounty of electric night

primacy effective

hallucinations ticks

on the evening’s tracker

when I roll in my food coma

hours later

I close my eyes

the fatigue of the best barbeque

I can see the eyelashes of the server

when I grind my teeth and

I can hear the molten forest backwoods drawl

when I press my chapped lips and swallow

spirits of the lonesome


beckon friendly

their claws beaming

I know these voices

I hear them for the year

until the darkness drags me along

until I am friends with the whorl

and I am whirling in the still lot

with jittery prospects

with rickety prospects

7) Atlanta

last lamp lit

here I am

big now

a gut big


fears and shivers and shrivels

return to Atlanta

the way the lake I dream of opens up

a big mouth

sucking genderless the world

into its within

until it’s gone





the way

absence of

leads to

absence to

send off, giving in, the world spins

childlike form, limbs sprawling and open

trees as toddlers

pavement cracks

is in need

need for it all to calm down

some time

owed and owing

rise and fall

we spend time indoors

beyond night’s touch

eventually the return

some type of shadow

some owl phalanx

pressure building


shallow is the rain that hit my face

holds my cheeks into position

Now here I am dry and tapping, pawing, letting imprint become extravagant

8) Las Vegas

“All day long I felt like smashing my face in a clear glass window.”

Yoko Ono

Solstice beckons but solstice is

Reach out into the everything and it is

Or it has been, and now we offer grace

Along the screaming children and the chances to escape

We have an interlude

I bow this face before the actual fall to dusk

Though it might as well be ceaseless time

Though it might as well be between

Though it’s all liminal, landscape for efforts

Mind is afrazzled, farming moments before actualization

Journey or flash and fizzle toward a new depth of

Waiting for the future as a reflection of the flash

The machinery is on the verge of being forgotten

My shoulders slump and roll like the coast,

like an elderly sea before it dried into Canvas and the potential of history