[4301 – 4400]
Phil & Allen, Caroline & Allah
acquire a lantern factory, casting
the vexed sadness of candles under the
carpet. Honestly, how beautifully they
blaze from the ceiling in the parlor, their
mirth spreading wildly across the lawn
by the pool at dusk, winning glances of
intimacy akin to what woke the goddess
from piety. But aren’t we forgetting
the treachery that dresses attraction,
the organs that beef up the soup, the wolf
in the architecture, the ceremonies
of sovereignty that successively mask
an alternate network of corruption?
[21901 – 22000]
Sisyphus overslept, then moped about
cyberspace only to liquidate the
database. Perspire as he may, he still
outran his coverage. “Calliope, turnover!
Your pokes paralyze.” Ogling e-text,
they vitiate colorful alphabets as
a cantankerous snowfall agitates them.
Buckshot & incandescence whittle options.
The gawky Choctaw nursemaid & her roommate
inveigle the native-born whoreson of his deficits
& dialectics. They, too, seethe as they crumple
the tricolor. Or was it croupier the coupon?
The cornea? Mollusk? Molar? Scutcheon?
First published: Spirits Arts Literary Magazine. Clint Wadsworth, ed.
(Spring 2010): 10. Print.
[3601 – 3700]
Pot stirring, thirst bending, & threatening
excess, Juan danced at one of our thirteen
fortnightly Friday meetings, solemnly
in consolation, hideous to his foes,
all dumb sweetness to his niece, Clara, with
everyone shaken from smallest to strongest,
clothed in a tight scarlet shirt waist, his guarded
tribute to the rocky sweep of Portuguese
mothers, sinking down holes where the unjust
mob transcribe crimson prose into blank virus.
Therefore, whip up from your sofa, mount
the ridge over the creek, convert your
notions, relieve your periodic disgust,
bargain with your impressions, & accomplish
[1101 – 1200]
We watched as sad proud ships spread opposite
to where sin lies aside twelve forgotten
mountains, knowing fancy clothes promised vast
hearts, & possessed curious importance. You
judge, rate, taste, marry the gentleman, trade
greatly for decided, search ordinary
for glory. Ideas? Yes! Serve ‘em up Captain!
Working anxious powers into feelings
of iron, altogether distant, altogether
pure. When liberty sides with building
progress to prove what’s accepted, I’m marked
for finished! Foreign weeks besides, & a dry
neck of evidence. Interesting advantage.
The bill finally came, pieces clearly priced.
Jesus, Peter, isn’t the wine excellent?
First published: The Citron Review. Jacqui Morton, ed. Fall 2013. Web. https://citronreview.com/tag/at-the-musarium-18/
[13901 – 14000]
On the bus to Babel, Günter was stringent,
cruising a blur, accommodating at bedtime,
but despondent: manna, wreckage, rib fracture—
What platonic atheist wharves his nickel
so figuratively? Xerxes glimmered Ceres
in her vestry. Alf & Ste Arcadia lurk
khaki & penitentiary. Is this permissible?
Indiscriminate exhilaration? Ailing ventilation?
Vitals & valuables, though voluble,
impair hallucination. Aborigines mayn’t
spindle here! Even the gayest outpost
adept at avoidance piques invective,
wicker, & the drip-drip of media. O
decrepit Hebrides, unmindful & lewd,
exhort again your lax Germanic phalanx
past the gauntlet of precocious asceticism,
tightening its cudgel, smashing, gushing, palatable!
First published: Danse Macabre. Adam Henry Carriere, ed. (July 2009). Web.
[2501 – 2600]
Fruits of gloomy contrast sharply crossing
the lively flow of discourse, the wondering
masses gazing at the feast, a bride of
eighteen persuaded by her teacher to
gather purple passages mingled with
magic verses, as simplicity of
motive returns earnestly in ruined
vanity: Admirable brethren lift
up thy dragged down charges & examine
every tendency towards vengeance, what
Spaniards whisper & what Lincoln condemned,
in the respectable construction of
obedience relieved of independence,
of structure conceived as perfection.
[1801 – 1900]
I sang softly & forgot the horror.
I sang troubled & painted the flower
of melancholy. I sang of violence
& murder, frightened of fierce suspicion.
Ashamed, I sang of household profit. At
midnight I sang trembling with mystery.
With my finger down the throat of shining
fame, I wondered, setting down my gun, how
refuse, delay, & after pause, proceed?
How unfortunate regret, that her fatal
bosom should press mankind to waste
its estate on the reign of image & reputation.
Hence I sang, formerly & lately, not
with wit but with difficulties & thanks.
[1001 – 1100]
Stop. Wouldn’t the rule fit the instance if
shown directly? Meaning that the moral example
obliged official members to servant his request
by keeping the offer lower & the darkness
complete? Wonderful start. Drink? He’s
proved his courage provided a sufficient
passion, though the board questions this.
Military access. Ears! Attack! Worse loss.
A mighty movement mentioned. The crowd
had spoken, but, at a glance, the higher fee
in dollars couldn’t doctor a safer path.
This is serious. A father’s built for
sorry, for grace, pride, for his dog, Jack.
All repeated forms of the same vain dream.
The class smiled. Heads shook. Any questions?
[801 – 900]
Picture Indian Summer in America.
Sitting in a corner of the garden, we
laugh, we cry, we eat, we forget ourselves—
& try to escape the terrible memory
of a vain century. Break, break, break, like
spent leaves on the floor of a wood, meeting
modern existence, drawn & terrible, turning
perfectly from soft to wise. Picture springtime
in Rome & watch how it does its grand
bit for the nation step-by-step along
a grave passage beneath the island shore
where it takes more trust in religious passion
than in original sin even to attempt
the surprise of you in that hot dress.