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To vanishing horizons, endless night
He turns his face and chips away his legs
By hand ground down to sand, awaiting light
Returning to the dirt, reduced to dregs

Far better to dismantle dreams that sting
To quit their wriggling underneath his thumb
To vivisect and pin their little wings
Before their creeping venom strikes him dumb

Far better to escape that painful ship
To numb himself in cold and salty seas
To drown with every forecast on his lip
To float and decompose preemptively

He rations out his happiness in hits
An addict just about to call it quits
In death's dream kingdom
           These do not appear:


They're handing out maroon balloons
And saying they are free
But grasping children grip them fast
And the monks amidst them disagree
Dispassionately, but en masse
While they liberate the children
With obliterating oms.

A nearby Byron expiates
And mildly reiterates
The soporific broken ode
He bellows over holy oms
To the smitten women who approach
That "a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"
Dispensing with disinterest
Crimson bliss amidst the women
Who ignore the sinful image he bestows.

He hands them out like red balloons
To grasping girls all afternoon
Imploring them to trust their nose
Insisting they are free
And so continues to propose
To the smitten women in the street
That "a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"
As if the word could smell as sweet
As the perennials he grows.

And in the corner – Romeo
Who greenly mourning understands
The worth of poison in his hands
Imagining a life of night
Where roses wither without light
And only stars through windows break
Through all the countless nights of fate
and every breath's an endless wake...

Meanwhile Byron's distant yells
Prevail over the choral swell
And plant a seed in grasping ears:
Salvation can be engineered!
Which Romeo soon understands
As kissing death, he takes her hand
Thoughts germinating into schemes
If a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
...then a dream is a dream is a dream.


A griffin, a hippogriff, and a wyvern
Admitting me and
Gripping crimson
Dripping strings
So none of them will fly away.

Inside, Cain is killing Abel  
(How few! yet how they creep)
killing Abel
(Through my fingers to the deep)
killing Abel
(While I weep — while I weep!)
killing Abel.
(O God! Can I not grasp)
It is the first story:
(Them with a tighter clasp?)
A samsara of carnage and drama.

Somewhere above
On a city street
Desire's handing out balloons
He clips their thorns
And trims them neat
He says they're free
And just as sweet
As the women he impugnes
He belies his guidance on repeat:
That love is the light is the sun is the moon.

A widower laments and moves the world
That has such people in it:
A snake, a guard, a god, a dog
A wife by no other name
A faltering of faith, a peek
A pillar of salt, a severed head
Adrift on a river

I'd transcend five hundred miles
And I'd transcend five hundred more
Just to be the man who transcends trials
Sprawled out on your floor

(Thy drugs are quick.)
Searching for a souvenir
To prove to you our world was here

Isaac, bound, blank and free
Bleating, looking for meaning
(All that we see or seem)
In his father's violent eye,
And finding it.
(Thus with a kiss I die.)
Abraham swings his knife.
A son is a sin is a ram is a rose.

A man pushes the sun up a large hill
Every day, and then it rolls down again
And then an eagle eats his liver.
(I am the resurrection and the life.)
One must imagine Prometheus happy
The alternative is dark

The moon, by any other name, would—
But do not swear by the moon!
For she changes constantly
(Then said Jesus unto them plainly:
Lazarus is dead.)

Everything changes
But nothing is truly lost.

(at times
the fact of her absence
will hit you like a blow to the chest
and you will weep.
but this will happen less and less
as time goes on.
she is dead.
you are alive.
so live.

A man pushes the sun up a large hill
A day is a year is a life is a death.

One must imagine Orpheus happy.


In dreams, the sun resumes her loving glow
I'm reunited with my silhouette
I glue myself with soap to my shadow
And find myself beside my Juliet

No longer a balloon without a hand
I'm rooted to the earth where she grips me
With purpose guiding us through life's demands
I push my boulders uphill happily

I build a world with Juliet my wife
Where roses are all roses and smell sweet
We live a loving happy magic life
Together til our journey is complete.

[Enter, at the other end of the churchyard,
FRIAR LAURENCE, with a lantern, crow, and *****.

In union Eve and Adam are redeemed,
Not in a rose but in a living dream.
Can a rose be just a rose?
Ubuntu says that a person cannot be just a person.
Romeo grieves for the light of his sun, Juliet,
and chooses to live a life with her in a dream
as the poison kills him.
One night as I was purging habits old
I dreamed a dream of long forgotten arms
Around each other staving off the cold
Together mending ages' waxing harms

I dreamed of sleep where I was not alone
And felt another's breath against my chest
Whose cherished rhythm told me I was home
Where every weary wing returns to nest

I plunged in slumber under slumber deep
To hold the burning sun that morning takes
And stretch the precious seconds of our sleep
Before the dreamed of dreamer finally wakes

Til then I synchronize and count our breath
And nurture love until the morning's death
In morning, he is divided and pried from the dream
Confronted by the next plaster gray View-Master day.
He lingers on his traditional half of the bed, teetering
Then ventures across the deafening, empty apartment
Where the dust accumulates like hourglass sand
Blanketing, bit by bit, over sedimentary plans
And archeological troves of screaming bones
In a vast, derelict desert of vestigial space
Towards a wardrobe of aborted echoes.
There he peruses his potential noms du jour
The coats of people he could have been
Knowing most of them no longer fit.
He settles on his most generic pronoun.

He performs his penance to the Tao:
He is each domino just as it tips
He is becalmed
He is amid still waters
He is a ship without wind
He is a captain without a ship
He is a bouy on the waves
He is one last minute
Treading water
(He is Legion, sleeping)
He is another last minute
He is the dragging current
He is the inflection of breath
He is the mooring of the moment
He is the stones in the coat pocket
He is the coveted numbness of now

In evening, he recoagulates and retires
Resigned to eat the tail that eats itself
Consummating one more centrifugal lap.
He remembers Sisyphus must be happy.
He watches through his dizzy window
A caterpillar spewing up a second womb.
It will be the last monarch butterfly
But he avoids the finality of the situation,
And in his mind, any ensuing hurricanes.
He buries himself in stale anticipation
Beneath slowly overflowing drawers
And trash bags piling up in hallways
Where he stores expiring fortune cookies
Whose pearly secrets he leaves uncracked
For want of a friendly sweet tooth
To bite the bullet for him
Because he can't today.
A breakup, a pandemic quarantine, and zen philosophy went into this.
Exploring the discomforts of the past, present, and future.
Take the **** just stepping inside
Rejected and invited
A stratified disguise

Then a tentative trial
A round for a smile
At the bar where we iron old lies

Appraise the net cost
Are both of us Lost
Or will we be pirates tonight?

Break my nails just prying you out
Here for a jest and a joust
Drunk off of comfort and wine

Lean on what's real
Like a shaky third wheel
Struggling to stay in the lines

Do we settle our debts
Or dare raise our bets?
Does our broken poetry rhyme?
Inspired by the entire album Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
Damaged trust and marriage schemes
Held hostage in each others' dreams
Pinned to walls but flailing still
Forgotten values, failing wills
True love waits, we tell ourselves
True love gladly stacks the shelves
True love sets conditions and
True love does the dishes and
Slowly, slowly, we forget
Just why we're here and who we met
Another notch in wrinkled frowns
Where I keep getting lost and found
In roller-coaster ups and downs
I'm lost and lost and lost and found

Missing flights and toxic tongues
Catharsis found in tar-filled lungs
I lost myself in who I wasn't
And in what true love does and doesn't
Not quite gaslit, not quite safe
Playing back the ancient tape
We envy death for constancy-
Besmirching our own consciences
We forgo our emoluments
Too traumatized by precedents
But hush you tell me, no one knows
The pretzel-bending ways we grow
Forever twisting round and round
Lost and lost and lost and found

Now freaking out, now breaking down
Now glaciers found in evening gowns
Now agonizing 'Who am I?'s
Now dying fire in your eyes
At last the sunset settles debts
We tally up our last regrets
Relenting to incessant ghosts
Abandoning essential posts
'Til all that's left is loss and hurt
It burns and burns and burns and burns
And now I choke on orders filled
And mourn alone the youth we killed
I scrape the comb across my nettles
Pricking feelings, bleeding mettle
Finally free from ups and downs,
I find myself on solid ground
Inspired by:
Motion Picture Soundtrack by Radiohead
True Love Waits by Radiohead
Rivers by Tallest Man on Earth
Somewhere in China
A butterfly ***** its wings
Setting off a chain
Of blame and effect
And all the way over
In my living room
I face a hurricane.

And all the things I have
Out on loan
From the universe
Are being returned to it
Except love and forgiveness
Because you can't blame a hurricane
For being a hurricane.
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