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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
All our liminal angels reel in the dark.
Water Music at The Cortland Review
Threnody at DMQ 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
Seeking Sanctuary at Hawaii Pacific Review
cloudbusting at Eratio Review
Carpe Diem at Poemeleon
Earth is a Man at Ilanot Review
Ode to Mountains at Isthmus Review