Our lava flow—red cheap horror movie blood, intersection pale gray sea, steam & all sorts of roiling, steely foreground outcropping & floating there above, a sienna demon or angel, so alike in their unexpected appearance and erasure, so solid
mid-air, held there by the gimmicky
strings of the mind with its claptrap
room of miracles & ghostly
rigging & its stately passersby,
strings of code for hair & the rough
gloves of beasts hunted to
extinction, like us these hundred
years or so of truly last goodbye.
You discover that space is flat
but you prefer a surface more like
an interface, or something that if turned
on its side would go straight to the bottom.
You want to turn your face to the sun,
you want gravity. Everybody else
will sit around eating and joking
all the way up to the end.
Names and other things have curves
where secrets hide or can be planted
to blow things up later. Unlike the
rolling boundaries of the things
you care about.
So you track it down.
There’s an improved experiment.
Before there was nothing there wasn’t
something. Your last refuge not to
beg the attribution.
The brute–it was all underwater but
like sadness it wasn’t an even thing–
more like a cryptic note or rather
a partial note. Acquiesce, it said.
a mean overseer with a whip.
Did it say “depth” or “death”?
Another way of saying it’s not true,
probably not true that you’ll be anxious
now in any scene set on a spacecraft
with the short guy in the tight coat.
That blowback from the future is such
an absolute affliction you wonder
how it is that something that’s
over hasn’t surfaced yet.
The god who lives in a shack always
leans a chair up against the nearest
outside wall to sit in the sun.
Everything he says is so crafted it’s
like clothing. Each day we wait to hear
from you. Are you there?
Always there is that one beside you
no matter the gray evening with its
piercing stars or the silent road, an
invitation to abide or go,
it is what’s made for you that’s not you,
the thing past you in looking glasses,
unseen quests and all unspoken poems,
parent of the street’s cacophony
the mess of executed thought, one
with your inside face, mysterious
to you still as collapsing stars or
water bears or even the water
that washes you or fills your cup, as
promising as all forgotten things.
the wild man, the recluse, the rustic
edgeling, hermit, housebound, hidebound
when magic is so somewhere not here
even when here is not a muddled blunder
like low clouds distant mountains
or the hole in the series where
the lock was, where I was, and all
the other places you never look
the heart a little animal
running and running on the flat when
the next thermonuclear hijack
makes everything an over thing
the loners’ club, how it happens
no place in our underfoot is not
towered down creatures before us
abandoned places, all their giving up
how we survive such vast undoing
make us a man
make him run
fast as he can
send him to the city
send him to the town
give him a hand can
knock walls down
set him in a sliver
set him in a comb
send him to the country
send him out to roam
make him amuse us
make him fight our wars
give him a shadow
give him claws
earth and sand
make us a man
give him a word
no one can hear
give him a prayer
no one can say
send him to the airport
put him in the ground
make him tell us
where he’s found
send him with the spirits
send him with the waves
give him the keys
to every rock and cave
put him in a tumbler
put him in a boat
give him a beard
like a billy goat
give him all our kisses
give him all our clothes
let him know things
make him fearsome
make him wise
give him sticks and
stars for eyes
make him bad and
make him good
an army of banners
a tower of wood
Our late discovered lake and crypt
With its sergeant bougainvillea and
Prim interior, such stays against
The dangerous preoccupations
Of youth, how then mortality seems
Near in a romantic way but
Soon rides us with its stinging crop
Stitches the tides of our breathing
Nets us with its familiar stare.
Of our last mission we recall
No details–where we were, what we did,
Our goal obscure, our resolve dissolved,
And all horizon disappeared.
Whatever we of late slogged through, we
Have arrived to find the republic
On the cusp of ruin, the emperor
Spewing lies and nonsense, his coiffure
Askew in the great wind of his
Ignorance, urged on by advisors
Eager to corrupt the state and to
Impair the common good for gain.