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Alexander Klein Aug 2013
The elderly psychopomp speaks his gullet words
Preparing me as charity for birds

I smelled snow and sweat when I drew breath
Though now I must give charity to birds

Juniper and fire become alms for the air
As I now must give charity to birds

The vultures are first, their beaks are the strongest,
They take the meat of my charity for birds

My friends come next, dearest to my heart,
Laughing as they grind a further charity for birds

What once I was is mixed with milk and bread
To fatten my gift of charity to birds

The speckled hawks and midnight rooks arrive
Hoarding their share of my charity for birds

I might be a wisp of smoke or softly chanted prayer
As I watch myself give charity to birds

Destitute and zephyrous I find my elsewheres
Having given everything in charity to birds.
Alexander Klein Aug 2013
and double-sought. at last
inside embracing entombment
the skull-dome of earth my
discovers the maiden intellect kidnapped by further
tomorrows and slakes my thirst on the
blood-brain beneath the hills of nemea.
am i the sa
vior the damsel or the beast?
curdling a slimy finger down the vaginaless brain
long veins delay my knuckles into nightingales between
serrated orifice-incisors made of thought and
all my hunting knives and bludgeons bring no unconsciousness to it. memories
they say
are as much like the present as a lion likes
cat food. The sleeping woman is about to become
cat food. cave shadows cloak what little of her is left
to imagination: nearly dead, nearly
does that brain-like lion stalk impenetrable as hungry
as intelligence as forceful as the crucibles of lust as
as wastelands in the unforgiven breast?
i could asphyxiate that hurdle given resolve
i could lambast a mortal lion with my palms but not this
facsimile of fortitude forcefields intact. through
the nose of the wind and the mouth of the water i found my way
to the eyesockets of the very dirt; a veil
about my brain but
saw it still.
some sign upon the smooth sphere an opening into
light or lifewaters or cold grey electricity but
no thing could penetrate that sheath of thought -- though it may yearn for fornication
some brains never breed but
condense in darkness
hermaphroditic, hunting through the silent greek city-states for
beautiful bloodrivers. there is no lion no trodden
angel weeping in a cave only
impervious struggling eternal meandering and the jar
of misdirection. thanks, hera
but it looks like you've been foiled once again and this time by your husband's headcold who said
only your brain can outthink your brain. she's a smart owl and
she's right:
every time i think i've reached my goal and
allow a little fortune or fulfillment to escape my maze eleven novel tasks
coagulate beyond my calendars of navigation. blood fills the veins of my
brain engorging it and pressuring it into questionable *******. for
if the sun breeds maggots in a dead lion
then i've emerged from the earth's crevice
victorious and spent. but there's more
to the story as i crawl off down the metaphor
wrapped beneath the brain's skinned hide its
vestigial thoughts arrest me thinking i
know, i know
eleven more sunrises until death.
thanks, brain.
Alexander Klein Mar 2013
"Neither heaven nor earth will be at peace if
I don't find it on my ******* desk
before six," snarled Julius Caesar into his cell
To the smell of ubiquitous coffee.
I was blended in line, and could see all:
Caesar's smart sharkskin-grey suit clearly
Some modern beguilement to help him blend, too.
Gone were silks linens and laurels,
I only knew him from the meridians of his face
And the crash of command in his baritone;
I had known that heartfelt stone and all its loss
Grown from titanic achievement. This man
Had scaled Olympuses to clasp his wreaths
And wore them well, though stonewise. Then,

She took my shriveled paper president
Apparently to fund her mascara habit
And I went to wait in the amorphous collective
For those done waiting in line.
From even across the establishment,
Opposite the opulent armchairs,
His muffled business-curses floated with aroma
And I realized the importance of blending.
(One of their machines had broken
Which is why I had time to wonder at all.)
Without a blended beverage, beans and water are
All I'd own: one taste would destroy the other.

I can become the air and sometimes do,
When I am sick from being bean or broth,
And this was how I saw so well
His snakeskin tongue and his eagle's claws
And plights of Gaul that his face told.
All this I saw while blended, so,
He saw me not. If a bean in his coffee,
No doubt he'd grind me to clay
To better insulate his office from the wind.
(It's not that I despise malleability
But that sometimes a gust can be helpful
When waging ****** campaigns.
Also, clay cannot sing.) I sing,
When I can. I wonder what a tactician
Could know of that fragile thing called music
That graces us best when half at-rest.
Though some say that Caesar shook, thus
He may have been mad; he may have had music.

"That's not what concerns me Karen,"
Intoned the Emperor of Rome,
"You don't take responsibility when you ***** up. Yesterday--"
But I didn't hear about that because
My blended beverage was ready. So out
Into the fresh of air with my cup of cardboard,
I snuck a farewell glance through the glass
At that gracious lionskin monarch
Unblended in the coffee shop.
It seems his damning sin was zeal
And possession of a mighty stature --
And deafness to Calpurnia's fear.
Her ugly dreams I carry with me now
And hope I passed none stealthier than I,
Perhaps some well-cloaked Cassius
Or Brutus lost in hidden bravado waiting
To penetrate Caesar in the parking lot.
Alexander Klein Mar 2013
On heaven and a broken ocean-stone
The waves' blood churned in foam and faerie spray
About the bay where sacred oysters moan.

The moon, the merest smile among the bay
Reflected in the swirl as if to curl
Angelic clams from bed of coastal clay.

Some secret eel or snake or ocean-girl
Slipped slick to court the crash and dance and swell,
Illuminated with forgiving pearl.

Adrift upon the seas, a single knell
Does shake away the faerie salt and spray:
A cry from god to fear the ones who fell.

They build their tower over holy stones
And shriek through sacred waves their piercing light --
These men, who thirst, and worry for their bones
**** paradise to guide them in from night.
Alexander Klein Mar 2013
Who can sing his heart?
Garotted by sins long gone
I am a may-fly.

Creek flows ever on,
Yellow blossom drifts downstream.
What is permenance?

A snake sheds his skin.
A man sheds his face the same;
No pearl is alike.

A dream is a fish:
Whole life spent in murky depths
In search of context.

The sea seems a mood.
Only asleep do I swim,
When awake, I drown.

My bones are the shore:
Skeleton of vibrant ghosts
Lapping sorrow's tide.

A drum un-beaten
Is a life unlived. In spring,
The woodpecker cries.

Consuming the grown,
Spreading hopeful seeds to spring:
A sigh is a bird.

My breath was forecast:
The winds are a waterfall,
All the world is wind.

There was an oboe
Who said "Don't follow the score,
Let me sing your heart."
Alexander Klein Mar 2012
Casket-boards of our boat all creaking
Against the lapping tongue of tide,
A soft journey of heartache
Had my six swords and I.
Across the war rent oceans
And beneath the mellow moon
All crooned, we few,
We wash-aways, we had
****** our prayers away.
Each sword aboard
The vessel knew no food but thought
And mused through breakfast same as supper
Growing only ever more distraught.
When departed we to shrouded sea
From long forgotten long bemoaned
Setting of the sun upon the coast,
All sapient and strong
These swordsmen mine.
Not withered like the husks they are become,
Mere chaff to rustle utterly along
They are dry inside, they die,
Their own confusion laying waste to flesh
And mother-hungry marrow. I sigh,
A windy shiver running up my backbone
And escaping into the endless mist and flood.
The strangest glint amidst the heavens sets our course,
And the grim placid seas do not reproach us
For all know,
All the lands of the earth,
And the sea, and the sky,
And every monotonous row of my oar passing by,
All know these six swords,
Know them truly,
And know as well their coming fate.
If swords these six swords were
Instead of men,
Then great forges would I say
Lay upon that further shore:
An empire of magma where all blades are fused to one.
Poor dears,
O my poor dead dears you do not even know the truth,
And you let your brows be conquered by woe.
And that is why you are my merest passenger,
And why I have been bound to steer.
Alexander Klein Nov 2011
So ride, soft-hearted child, over windy dale
And through the forlorn wood 'til ancient home
Lies far beyond forgetful dream of mist.
And by your riding seek new lands where hide
The truth of things behind the rough-stiched "seems"
That lie like faults in explanation's cloak.

The road is rough and may be chill, but on!
From rolling hills you ride to muddied cross
Of roads, at side of which there dwell the old.
Their shacks of wood like stubble on a chin;
There are some torches burning, most are out.
Yet from them learn that flesh is no concern
For there are worlds within too vast to know
That with a careful watering can grow
To dwarf the hardships of a life. But you
Must never linger: journey is your test,
And many are the hills must be traversed.

When find yourself at tower shaped of sand
On lonely shore astride a silver stream -
Yet holding court on every afternoon -
A knocking should you make, seeking the ones
Who guard ancestral wisdoms writ in ink.
On tales-that-stay drink heartily and sup,
For in their beauty labyrinthine there thrive
The hues and details both to paint the world.
Yet I implore you, feast but to your fill:
When greed grows in a man he must succumb.
There will be time to eat again, but go!
The weeping willows of the road miss you.

A spark from yonder forest gleefully gleams,
Some spot of grace in land of dying leaves:
The sapling children, all in flower dressed
With minstrel colors. Speaks with voice of lyre
To you does winsome child, and from him shine
The song-like airs of fancy, faith, and whim,
Un-understood in all your trudging road
Made clear in forest glen by wiser sight.
The knowledge of yourself can turn
Your sight to farthest reaching stars;
The knowledge of your land does bring
An eye-to-eye with all your kin;
But knowledge to **** knowledge lives,
Devoting life to seeking joy,
Windblown and free as songbird's singing breath.

O travel on, mine eldest son, come home!
'Tis fit that here from wanderings return
And rest your weary brow from all it knows.
Sleep deep, you eldest son of human race,
Sleep, sleep, forget your journey through the land.
And when the ripening sun does bloom at morn
All fresh will be your journey's start.

So ride, soft-hearted child, over windy dale
And through the forlorn wood 'til ancient home
Lies far beyond forgetful dream of mist.
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