sizzle of the last protozoan
cross thresholds of belief.
The chitinous exoskeleton of a locust
perches on a dam. As the floodgates
burst, thought swears it hears
a high-pitched trill but has no memory
of its lacustrine past.
La vie dorée rushing
by. Rushing through
a vacuum riddled
with the mundane.
The mundanity of the moist
quiddity the desert
makes off with.
Continuous coverage of already-solved swindles
is how your story goes down. At intervals, hype
jingles with the faux naiveté of felons at large.
Secretly you yearn to be in the midst of a true-life
crime story with its McGuffins, its quest
for hollow penguins hidden in plain sight
to lead the gumshoe astray. You ditch the fantasy
and live a pretty normal life, occasionally saving the day
with cartoonish light bulbs switching on with impeccable
timing, viewing creation from a precisely-gauged periphery,
clock ticking and stopping and ticking. No plugging
the drain, scraping ancestral facades. And if you could,
maybe you’d rather peer at a blank wall, inwardly filming
all the could-have-beens teeming before your eyes.
A life of unbroken crime.
No Such Identical Horses
I was counting on my favourite superstition
to endow the mirage with authority. I was bobbing
for dissolved apples, placing my faith
in the rendezvous of generic rogues and dupes.
Glossy scenarios pretend not to pretend.
Not like the World Series. Nor rocking chairs or
Lazyboys or clippers dragging their barnacled anchors,
but an average sentence, in Latin for instance,
or magic incantations. Like when you say
what you’re going to say, then say it, then
say what you just said. Thought fleeces island
from chart. Marrow goads other things of marrow.
Storm swell stirs poppies at the bottom
of a teacup. Maybe I wouldn’t know
if I ate wormy fruit or hoarded chipped china.
I think I recognize the horse inside my head,
but throw a pinch of salt anyway.
The Tyranny of X
The question of what
seemed urgent at
the time. Then something
a litter of nameless
flakes, not unlike
satellites doling out
snapshots of myriad
selves. Selves, dust
a mirror’s tinfoil.
All any wisp needs:
silk accordion fan.
wisps annihilate wispy
being after the shudder
of thought thought
final: ants herald
cleave sod. After
the crash of solidity,
new heretics take
any x up
An emerging word requires faith
in what greets every living day:
cat’s eye shrouded in altostratus,
horizon gossiping about flames
of translucent ballerina. A word jostles
with other motes within a keyhole:
existence without audience,
like a Gurnsey jumping two metres
when no one’s looking. A word revises
every rose and its reverse,
confounds every dam and its brink. It bids
farewell to props in vaudeville trunks.
Spontaneously on the lam, it stops
on a dime; at the threshold of speech,
translates chatterings of gnats.
It dons heft without crumpling
into a dull heap. And it trembles that each
violet twilight might be the last.
That it would miss. That
and looking at the cat’s eye
and the cat’s eye looking back.