The Lotus-Eaters II

This lotus smells of yesterday,
of Ithaca it knows no name.
A portside sigh: young lungs long
to breathe sweet lethargy
and rest undone efforts upon the sand.
For them, there is no other way.

North winds, blown them from their way —
a haven set eight suns past yesterday.
Their maternal ship berths abalone sand,
but for the land, they slave to name.
Aloe bud of Sicily? Scheria of draped ivy? Lethargy,
in silken draw, keeps their attentions from lasting long.

There, stillwater: strange stalks bend, long
the lotus flower lends her scent. She blossoms the way
of islander pride, fleshing their frames with lethargy
and laying their bodies swelled with dreams — as since yesterday,
the strangers have dared to sleep. Wroth Against calls the name
of his first mate to journey beyond bank and sand.

In droves of want, the crew unloads upon the sand,
unsuspecting of the perennial lure and why they long
to inhale an utterance of the flower’s name.
All panting and peeling, islanders stir and lead the way
to the lotus that smells of yesterday.
With warm blood, they pluck her fruit of lethargy.

Upon seaborne tongues melts saccharine lethargy,
thawing the salt from supple bone. They make lovers of the sand.
For such, they sink, unable to recall the storms of yesterday,
for the berry’s burn they languish and crave. As long
as each youth forgoes his way,
each youth forgets his name.

After the first mate, Wroth Against shrieks his name.
“Quick now, shed your lethargy,
for in this land you are less than a cast-a-way.
Conjure Ithaca’s olive vine, her poppy red, her pearly sand!
Get up, you reek of lotus flower. We have not long
before the winds return. We were so foretold yesterday!”

King Perish drags his men aboard, towing with them the rank of yesterday.
A portside sigh: young eyes long
westward over the sea, in memory of that apathetic sand.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe

Statuesque II

Embalming marble corpses, chased with earth
and gold, exhuming amber knuckle bones,
upending ores of afterlife, a dearth
of animated moss and stones —

Recall the body, once inscribed by men
as beauty manifest, divine in form.
And now, collapsing jasper wonders when
its effigy would ever be so warm

as living flesh, as dripping tear, as blood
and skin and breath. For calcified, the cast
of Venus, bronzed and cold, deprives of flood
and blush — in this, she knows her chance has passed.

— the spade, it snapped. The bust, in dust, recoiled
her jewel from ancient light: the myrtle spoiled.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe

Godself

I summoned my godself last night.
She was of adventitious frame,
gilded in hippocampi,
the sororal All of
Hermetic name.

Inside, rolled upon herself — she and I were intertwined.
Bedfellows, in one body.
She said, “Remember that time?”

I knew myself awake in her.
She pressed our hand into the sheet to prove a
thought we never had. “It’s real, now,”
she concealed. “Can your archangels do that?”

© 2017 Stellular Scribe

Headlines

I was thinking about touching the light
that touched the sidewalk
that touched the squinting faces
of Abrahamic patriarchs, light
that now fell upon half-lidded
undergraduates in a caffeinated daze
on a mazy day in the simplest place
in the world, an altar in a valley
in a library.

I was thinking about how far away
I was from the headlines yet
the hearsay was here, only I wasn’t there —
not with the “dozens of snakes dumped in
an Arkansas Walmart parking lot,”
not where they decreed that
“saturated fat was not the devil,”
not when “the world’s last male
northern white rhino joined Tinder
to find a mate.”

I was thinking about how in leaving
this sanctum of damaged denim and
unwoven eye contact I would be forced
up into the light, into the beam that
encapsulated the paradisiacal serpent
and Esau in his gluttonous rage
and The Rhinoceros of Versailles
as he paced his marble menagerie.

I was thinking,
but the light made
hazy prophets
of the newsworthy,
and here I was walking
in low LED, looking down
upon the ticker line.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe

Cage-Free II

plucked from down of
giantess, marked by
viral fingerprint

as an unintended
nucleus of crumpled avian stock,
soon set to Styrofoam

sitting among a dozen
sound, a dozen round
and weighty, waiting

in all entirety, until
forced to collapse quietly,
taking in the break of keratin

and vacuuming air and
unconscionable
sunlight, and then

trailing the totality,
slavering as what was certain
looses at the seams

left hugging
in desperation
to the negative space:

a plaster cast, a non-portrait
of unfertilized yolk and runny
meringue, an unlikeness

holding against the light,
all membrane
and concavity

the kidnapped afterbirth
of the cage-free,
stinging the thief’s cast-iron

© 2017 Stellular Scribe

Goodman Delver

Embalming buried corpses, stained in earth
and clay, exhuming rooted knuckle bones,
upending bits of afterlife, a dearth
of animated moss and stones —

Recall the body, once inscribed by men
as beauty manifest, divine in form.
And now, decaying muscle disheartens
the thought of loving something once so warm.

In life, affection followed her unsought.
In death, attention failed to spill a tear
Of blessed worms and scabs and must and rot —
of that, their fleeting veneration veered.

— the gravedigger evoked this anecdote,
as he uncovered ancient brains and bloat.

© 2017 Stellular Scribe