I dream of delirious shadows and frantic,
in the doom of an hour my bones
are opened to the sky.
rise from me, mortal pilot.
eyes unseamed to the foot of
a pillar of fire in the void,
vaporize and depart.
adrift in the hysteria of one second,
a rapidly receding horizon.
awash in a thunderous confluence,
I am clay,
The illustrated version exists at: https://www.jconradlucas.com/#/effigy/
like frizzy cottonwood seeds on a wind that is not really there,
And light and sound and rain
pass him through-
he is borne on a whim
over the still-living earth
waiting in the wetted hollow
of some behemoth fallen tree,
are you just a moving lucid hallucination,
or is it me who lives in your
Link to the illustrated version: https://www.jconradlucas.com/#/feverdreamer/
The roar of the ocean drawing back
into the dawn of human existence.
Giant orbs of light emanating from
But not an empty void, no,
the dark side of this world
Slicing through the murk,
up the shore pings
and is gone.
That there could be so
hiding in the dark.
The haze of a distant fire
flattens the light on the knolls
beyond the sageflats. Their half-tone
silhouettes jagged by tall pines.
The rumble of the engine as I stand beside the truck
with the door open, surveying the
horizon. Locusts crackling.
A patchwork of shadows washes
over the flats. Steel-gray clouds above.
The wind kicks up sparse columns of
dust. A lonely road
and a shot-up gate.
A glimmer in the dirt. Brass.
Nine millimiter. Discharged and forgotten.
The lock on the gate has been grazed by bullets.
Maybe this one.
The shadows wash over outcroppings
of lava rock amid the tall sage.
Nooks and crannies. Places to hide.
A gust of wind and I am standing in the shade
and my eyes relax as a prairie falcon
glides over the road to survey the
far side for something to eat,
close enough I can almost
hear the beating of his
wings and suddenly
zigs up and then
per aspera, for the love of god
let me down
the oil of the asp,
the bee in my bonnet
in a needle
in the hay,
the raspy cough
from the hayfever on my
on the kitchen counter,
in my mind.
Let me off this bottomless ladder
Walking out of the bank yesterday
I got blindsided
By the sight of the late-afternoon-early-evening
in the overhead sea.
It wasn’t that I forgot it was there
and suddenly remembered, it was just so suddenly clear
that it wasn’t an image,
but a large and very real
and simplistic object
and the angle of the sun in the sky
was apparent by the shadow
cast on its surface.
For a moment I saw the grand order of it-
the scale and distance and relationships
of three orbs-
two dark, one light,
the big false hope machine in the sky,
like impressionist art
like an empty vase
like a blank sheet of paper
with three little circles on it.
Something I have seen every day
for my entire life,
as though anew.
And then I got in the truck
and I got on the highway
and I turned the radio on
to a commercial about a transmission shop in town
as someone cut me off in traffic.
Somewhere in the South Pacific
a human-shaped speck casts a bottle
from the shore of a tiny island
into the interminable sea.
The bottle contains a note
an approximate location
and a desperate plea.
The bottle drifts slowly away
flashing in and out of view
on the crests of passing swells.
It glides on mysterious currents
and a quiet modicum of hope.
Above a particular point in the Northern Hemisphere,
a ball of tin foil
labeled Voyager I
is crossing the threshold
into the world outside
the solar system.
On board are a pair of golden discs
images and voices of human beings
the relative location of the Sun to fourteen nearby pulsars
and a plea,
naively disguised to look like a proud declaration of identity
but what proud and accomplished
race of beings
would need to search for
among the stars?
The little metal ball floats away
blinking bits of data back to Earth
each grainier than
tugged by the gravity of distant bodies
and a quiet modicum of
Images not included.