All this world an alley,
unlit spaces and cruel or fearful glances –
and every man is made of mouths
riddled with teeth and tongues
licking, slurping, gnashing
for new and exciting flavour –
meat, flesh, fine and fickle liquors,
black bottles of sublime sauce heated by the spoonful
and shoved into every orifice –
and all the mouths will grin and wretch and
heave free of the body,
buboes given form, function, and freedom
to pursue their cravings as the body
collapses, a slack sack of skin
containing nothing but absence.
you’re telling me I don’t have to clock in?
That everyone is fed?
That nobody pays rent and
everyone is rested?
Now, let me see here, you’re saying
all is given abundantly and freely,
and all may partake?
Hold on just one sacred second, sir,
I must share the space with waiters?
Useless burger-flippers and
Not to mention taxi-drivers?
And all here are equal? Really?
Even the meek? Even the weak?
Well I didn’t want to say nothin’
but if this is really heaven
then I’ve been fighting for hell.
Who gave these statistics names?
Who let them crave a cappuccino
or decide they looked snazzy on Tuesday, February 22?
Who told them to wish for better things
when they will end laying on a supermarket floor
with filmy eyes and
blood pooling below?
Who gave these statistics parents?
Who gave them children?
So cruel to weep and wail over this,
the smallest proportion of a population.
And what fool would dare
to think of these outliers as
anything but a number?
Red like a berry,
red like a bite,
red like blood dripping in light;
red like rage,
red like love,
red like the lake and the sky up above;
red like power,
red like art,
red in the eye and red in the heart.
A clot of ink on the tip of the pen
wipe it away
see it stain the fingers and
drip onto the countertops,
run the tap
and the room fills,
ink and water
blackness as shallow as the sky
forms within but never clear.
potentiality and omen,
dive deep and
It’s the only water in town but
there’s a man down there
bloated larger than the darkness
eyes canceled from the skull;
and so many drink it daily
never knowing, never knowing,
there’s a sickness in the water
and we may dredge the flesh up someday
but we will surely not be saved.
Someone somewhere is
seeking something from somebody,
something terrible, something precious,
someone somewhere will do horrible things
to obtain this something,
they will damn themselves and others,
they will denounce all configurations of god,
someone somewhere is
taking drastic action,
is buying supplies and making a plan,
someone somewhere is
training daily and
is convinced of their righteousness,
and is ready, is willing,
is aiming for hell.
The man who will remember everything sits
quietly at a desk
memorizing names of birds and bees and shrubs and trees
and our best recollection of our first and last dates,
he will remember the color of your hair and
the diaries of every soldier who died in the Eighty Year’s War,
the man who will remember everything sits
quietly at a desk,
his brain aches from the knowing,
but he must know, he must remember,
to give meaning to the life
and death of this world
it must be remembered.
Light does not end, it escapes,
bouncing from you and moving
carrying the image along
skyscrapers on pebbles and
whales in each puddle,
all of us condensed
in pinprick notation
and sent out, out,
hopefully to be seen
in some distant somewhere
by some strange something.
The sky is beautiful today,
even in Akron,
the sunlight feeds petunias and
scours the pavement.
I see weeds here, there,
broad-leafed and long-necked,
poking their heads out from under long shadows,
reminding us they are kin to flowers,
cousins to trees.