Crepuscular Ode



All avenues lead to the sea.

There's no arrival didn't start

as departure, no wind didn't

begin as a planetary afterthought

to hiccup into the cosmos.

The serpent has been eating

its tail from the beginning.

So stop thrashing your heart

with regret's unattainable tchotchkes.

Oxygen the body's most basic unit

of currency already carries the promise

of its bankruptcy, the epidural

notwithstanding. Ask the bee dying

on the driveway but don't expect

a polite reply. Each shade a psalm

composed by the sun. Each sun a star

having molten sex with itself all day.

Every brain a binary system

ending in a hologram.

Some verities will always hold.

To stimulate dyslexia in a child

feed him alphabet soup every day.

Where the day's perch fell away

to the sky is still the best place

to build a home.

All birds were once embryos in the mind.





Butterfly Effect

 

 

I hail from a dozen hailstorms, said the sailboat

to the pyramid suffering a heatstroke, in whose

shadow stood the disciple about to shovel

 

a fistful of locusts into his wookie mouth,

just as the elephant decided to rear up

and stomp his trainer like a field mouse

 

before rows of spectators,

while high above in the marbled clouds

the pilot announced the fuselage was undergoing

 

a crisis of identity and had sprouted feathers

and so a crash landing in the Aral Sea was imminent

except there was no water there on account

 

of the Soviets rerouting the river flow

to grow cotton, which gives Dry Law

a whole new meaning, this led the Goldman Sachs

 

banker of porcine bearing on that flight to clip

one last fat torpedo while shuffling the numbers

of a dozen portfolios with holdings as toxic as Fukushima

 

with the mystic reverence of a boy about to deliver

the longest turd in history: the butterfly never knew

what hit it when the net was cast and the pin

 

impaled it just as the disco ball started spinning

and new constellations sparked into existence.

 

 

The Lovers

after Magritte

 

 

They kiss under a shroud to summon rain.

Water the last element his mother knew

 

before being pulled from the river lifeless.

Her body covered in the same shroud the lovers

 

now share. Every kiss is a veiled death.

A cloud chamber where charged particles

 

skate, collide and deflect across gaseous skies.

His sober black suit a counterpart to her sleeveless

 

orange dress: a soft seduction of spring and fall.

Two seasons dressed in the intimacy of unrest,

 

holding on to each other like oracles under

lintel's tentative shield, yielding

to nothing but the coming storm.


 

 

Sea Monkeys


 

Well, if it doesn't jell, it isn't aspic, and this isn't jellin'!

—FROM THE FILM PSYCHO


 

Brine shrimp spawn a galaxy in a fishbowl.

Ergo, sea monkeys exist.

So do Higgs bosons and demodex.

These last look like scorpions

and live on the canopy of your eyelashes.

The difference being they're not sold

at toy stores as a novelty item.

PETA has so far remained notoriously

mum about sea monkeys.

Long before that Nazi sympathizing

corpolite von Braunhut patented his presto shrimp

aquariums in the late '60's,

Kubla Khan's gift to Marco Polo when they first met

was a porcelain bowl of sea monkeys

swimming in unfettered motility.

Michaelangelo sculpted a frieze

of sea monkeys once.

It's now in one of the nine circles

of the Vatican, next to Pope Joan's feeldoe.

Lao Tse was fond of traveling with an entourage

of sea monkeys wherever the wind carried him.

This led Confucius to think him

a mad poet beyond his time.

It is a well known fact how highly Jesus thought

of sea monkeys. This explains their fluency

in Aramaic. Sea monkeys, like leaf hoppers,

water bears and earwigs, could desperately

use a rebranding. According to Pliny

you'd be hardpressed to find creatures

more congenial than sea monkeys.

In this sense, they fall under

the same category of barnacles, bonobos

and Wallace Shawn.

I'd wager anything My Dinner with Andre

would've scored a spanking

10 on IMDB if only

sea monkeys were in the cast.

There's a UPS package that arrived from

Omaha yesterday from an unknown sender.

I fear the worst.

I'll say it once more, with bated breath:

sea monkeys exist.


 

Here

 

 

 

The Minotaur woke up bewildered in his labyrinth.

Fragments of the Internationale were still playing in the speakers.

The map is never the territory of our wandering.

 

He found a bright orange string leading down the dirt path.

This led him to an atrium where a film was being projected.

Somewhere the faint embers of a sunset, a truce of weather in the Alps.

 

Sun motes descending a long spiral staircase.

Scenes from a life he'd once known.

Before the great wars, before the famine, before slaying so many.

 

He continued following the orange string straight out of his stone prison.

Outside the world was green and densely populated by towering trees.

He heard what could only be a recording of birdsong in late summer.


 


 


 


Industry

To walk into the lost pilgrimage of this day
and be succored by a dawn of garbage trucks and crows.

The rouge color of clouds an example of how waste
can be recycled into paintings and eschatology,

how industry can be made useful exactly
by all it deems useless.

This is what they write grants about.
The Thermodynamics of Shit in the Post-Industrial Age.

The world churning its steady course toward zero—
a number that renders one twitchy for countdowns

while reminding there's no form of worship more laudable
than breathing and getting on with the tidal redistribution

of grub and grab, woe and glad,
where wingtips and a song may come in handy.

If only the untranslatable gaze of strangers
would refrain from murdering the air I breathe.

If only a transmission lost in the aerials translated
as spectral electric fog and didn't necessarily spell aliens.

Wheeling flocks of starlings perch
and score an elegy along the wires—

its ghost note sustaining throughout the day
into deepest animal night.

A reprise of every gesture I've known
to approximate something like truth.


Grief’s Engine is a Flower

Today each shadow is a giddy cosmonaut
navigating fields of light.

Wherever I stand sprinklers go off
and invite rainbows.

The transparencies of air feel
vertiginous as sky.

Every cloud is pregnant with rain that never falls.
Every tree vibrates with telepathic zest.

Ossicles spell out a symphony
that began in the Mesozoic with giant lizards.

The migratory patterns of vampire bats
have been rerouted to your house in the suburbs.

Politicians in Washington and everywhere else
wear overalls and are muzzled with honesty.

A virus somewhere has decoded the gene
for happiness.

All our liminal angels reel in the dark.

 


Water Music at The Cortland Review

After Goldsworthy at 87 Bedford

Here at Caliban Page 100

Nowhere Is Also a Place at Juked

Last Wish and Testament at Otis Nebula 

Dream Migration + Other Side of Bright at Jet Fuel Review

Liminal SeaCoda at Thrush Poetry Journal

Seeking Sanctuary at Hawaii Pacific Review 

cloudbusting at Eratio Review

Carpe Diem at Poemeleon

Earth is a Man at Ilanot Review

Darn That Dream + Schadenfreude at Bitterzoet Magazine

Ode to Mountains  at Isthmus Review

EVH + Hippocratic Ode + Energy Fools the Magician at Sleaze Mag